How can you use powerful messaging and communication tactics to speed your sales cycles? Zack Brown, Head of Sales at Write Label takes the time to share a few tips in this chat with SalesTechStar.
Can you tell us a little about yourself Zack? Tell us about Write Label and how it helps solve key customer/client pain points? What are some of the biggest changes in how clients have been interacting with the platform during the Covid19 pandemic?
My professional background is a mix of technology and creative. The common theme has been working with the disruption of old structures amid constant evolution. Technology has heavily impacted creative workflow and bringing ideas to market. By way of example, I joined FPG International in the early 90’s, a 70-year-old predecessor of Getty Images. They were delivering 35MM and 70MM slide transparencies via FedEx. The ad agency had to select the photos they wanted from a catalog and once the FedEx package arrived, scan them. Then, they had to ship the slides back or pay a $5,000 per slide fine. FPG International was an appropriate victim of digitization. The Internet dispatched that model for the online marketplace we are all familiar with now. In my career, I’ve been fortunate to be involved with several great companies at the forefront of the digital revolution including Getty Images, Shutterstock and now, Write Label.
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Creative marketing and advertising is storytelling. Creatives use some combination of visuals and the spoken or written word. And Write Label scales the copywriting element into the digital online world. By activating an always-available community on the Internet, brands are able to quickly solve their persistent copywriting challenges.
Platforms like Write Label’s were built to connect dispersed groups of people. COVID-19 has accelerated the trend toward online solutions. Because we have the right mix of technology, creativity and timing, Write Label is able to partner with our freelance writers to offer the solutions our clients need.
How has the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic changed how tech and B2B teams are looking to invest in gig workers to reduce costs and ensure business continuity?
All companies are cutting back or re-allocating their resources. There isn’t anyone out there who isn’t re-examining their business plans. What was solid in January looks completely different now. Long term initiatives have been abandoned and companies have doubled down on those parts of their business that continue to thrive. What we are seeing is that COVID-19 is the great disruptor. The move to remote work and new buying habits gives businesses an opportunity to abandon old models and invest in new ones-whether you are in an emerging industry or a dinosaur. The trend was already heading toward freelance models, but now, even more so. However, businesses are naturally skeptical. Freelance models have to be done in a way that minimizes friction to justify the investment. The old freelance model was to re-create what you had in-house with a freelance network. The new model is to take the best of both worlds – transmit the knowledge of your brand, leverage diversity of POV and gig worker flexibility, so that your network can scale limitlessly at the moment you need it.
How would you advise B2B and tech sales teams to revisit their content marketing and creation plans during this downtime (when cutting through the noise, online content is becoming more crucial). And, how are you seeing B2B and tech marketing and sales teams run creative programs to help drive customer interest for their products?
At this time, customers are hungry for relevant ideas that keep them ahead of the competition and help them close deals. Stephen Pia, a great sales trainer I had the opportunity to work with emphasized that the statement “Show me you know me” paired with industry best practices makes you a consultant instead of a sales call. If you are able to show the client content that is specific to them, they will listen.
B2B sales is known for its long sales cycles – during a downtime, long prospecting cycles or sales cycles can burn resources more; what would you share with teams in SaaS / tech when it comes to using creative sales messaging and ad tactics to boost outcomes?
As sales leaders, we always have an eye towards a better connection with our customers. Three areas that are top of mind for us right now are: ABM (account-based marketing), SDRs (sales development representatives) and video personalization. Used in tandem these are incredibly powerful.
In my experience, it takes 12+ touches to gain your prospect’s attention, so buckle in. Many of those touches may be in media or paid advertising, but if you can’t meet your customer in those venues, your team must create them. You know the shortcuts, like great timing or a referral, but let’s set those aside for a moment. Twelve touches is a good rule of thumb as your organization scales. Starting from the top of the funnel, account-based marketing coordinates your outreach between marketing and sales across channels for your high-value prospect. My advice is to send coordinated, brand-focused messages on Facebook, LinkedIn, email, etc., and to have a dedicated landing page for your prospect.
Sales development representatives are junior sales people dedicated to one thing: getting the meeting. Once the prospect is qualified, they loop in a senior seller for deep discovery. Identify your value proposition and arm the SDRs with this message. Volume and persistence are key.
The last tactic I recommend is short video messages directed to a single prospect. It’s incredibly compelling when someone creates a short video message and drops it in your inbox.
These are the messaging and tactics that are top of mind to speed sales cycles and we expect them to survive the current circumstances in order to become a regular feature of top sales organizations.
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According to you, how will the gig economy and platforms like Write Label shape up in the future?
Write Label’s mission is to empower writers. We were founded by writers as an invitation-only feedback arena. It began as a community to test material and receive feedback from writing peers. Those principles of community, feedback and personal and professional growth continue to drive our corporate DNA. As our community grew, there was an organic call to action… a demand that we help the community develop their side hustle. After testing a few ideas, we settled on quick turnaround, short form advertising copy because we found companies had a need for it. Because we are developing our existing talents at pace with the available technology, it’s organic.
Sum up marketing and sales in 2021 in one line!
Sell change. In a world where the only constant is change, help your customers navigate it.
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With over 20 years of experience in intellectual property licensing with Getty Images and Shutterstock, Zack Brown joined Write Label to build their Global Sales Team. As Head of Sales, he is responsible for identifying opportunities for growth, maintaining the current positive work culture and building a sales team by creating value for enterprise partnerships as the business grows. In his career, Zack has built strong partnerships with Advertising Agencies, Media Companies Corporate marketing teams. At Shutterstock, he launched an international enterprise sales division with a multi-million-dollar deal with Pearson Education. He negotiated advertising holding company relationships with Interpublic Group, WPP and Publicis Groupe, which have generated over $100 million in revenue. Additionally, he was responsible for growing partnerships within the FinServ and Technology sectors, including IBM, MetLife, Vanguard and Fidelity Investments, to name a few.