I knew I needed help. I had a goal to increase my company’s organic traffic by 25% for the year and I had no idea how I was actually going to pull that off and whether or not it was truly going to increase our sales.
So, what did I do?
What every entry-level marketer does…I googled “how to’s” and “best practices” and was filled with ideas that other marketers wrote about without any clue as to whether or not those tactics would actually work for my company.
I crossed my fingers and tried a few things but, ultimately, I failed.
I think back on this time and shake my head. I thought I could learn what I needed to on my own in order to drive results for my company. But are free resources truly enough to teach what works and what doesn’t?
Here at IMPACT, we provide a lot of free resources for business owners, sales leaders and marketers to educate themselves on how to grow their business. And we honestly believe you can succeed in doing so on your own.
So why would someone choose to hire us? Aren’t we giving away the “secret sauce”?
To answer this question, I felt it was important to interview two people from our services team that have critical perspectives.
Both Eric Dunn, a digital sales and marketing coach, and Brian Casey, a content trainer, have worked with clients to grow their businesses.
Should you hire IMPACT?
Justine: So, let’s cut to the chase… Why should someone hire IMPACT?
Eric: Why should you hire IMPACT? Because you want to learn, grow, and improve -- not just your bottom line, but your sales and marketing teams as well.
You want to break down those typical marketing and sales silos and create buy-in around educational content that will inform your buyers, and help your sales teams close deals faster.
And also, because you're tired of spending money with agencies on one-off projects and marketing campaigns, you want to grow your business by growing your teams.
We’d rather teach you how to fish than simply say, "Hey, I caught you this salmon, I'll be back in two months with another one."
Justine: That’s a funny analogy.
Eric: It's not that great, but...
Brian: I feel very similarly. It's organizations who have realized that they have a need for digital sales and marketing, and they need to upscale their organization.
If you're a good fit for IMPACT, you're not going to be the person that's OK with writing a check and then getting a bunch of deliverables back. You’re not someone who wants people to do the work for you.
Instead, you want to set yourself up for longer term success by teaching your internal teams to focus on creating a great sales and marketing strategy, so that you can, ultimately, set yourself up to hit your sales goals.
It really comes down to, are you ready? Are you ready to do it within your own organization? Are you ready to own your own success, versus having to rely on somebody else to do it for you?
Do you feel like you have the team around you that can be your digital sales team, be your digital marketing team, and is up for taking on new components to their role?
If you do, then you might be a good fit for IMPACT services.
Eric: If you're a business leader who doesn't believe that education builds trust, then our coaching and training services might not be the right fit.
Can you afford digital sales and marketing coaching?
Justine: Clients can expect to pay anywhere between $8,500-$15,000 a month for our Mastery program which provides access to our training services and starts with four training calls.
What would you say to those whose immediate reaction is they can’t afford that spend?
Eric: Honestly, I think the question is, “Can you afford to continue paying agencies for one-off projects and campaigns, or does it make more financial sense to hire and train the people within your organization to do the inbound work for you every day, year round?”
Like I said, we'll train you to do the latter and ultimately teach you how to fish.
Just the other day, I had a client tell me they paid $19,000 in the past three months for someone to write content for them. They told me they weren't really sure if hiring someone internally to write content would make financial sense. I had to say, “Take $19,000 and multiply it by four. That’s how much you’re going to pay to outsource your content.” That's more than what we typically see as a starting salary for a content manager role. A lot more.
Brian: Exactly. It really comes down to the opportunity cost. The amount of time you spend and the amount of money that you spend with a third party to do the work for you is much greater than the cost of being able to do this on your own.
While we don't provide all the same deliverables that you might get with other agencies, you’re going to have to continue to pay them to do the work for you longer than if you learned to do it yourself. Even if you use a traditional agency, the cost is like taking on additional employees.
Why does IMPACT provide so many free resources?
Justine: We’ve talked a lot about why someone should work with our coaching and training services. But, we do offer free resources for people to learn how to master digital sales and marketing on their own. Why does IMPACT provide so many free resources if we have paid services?
Eric: I think that answer is simple: we believe in education. The more resources we provide — from conferences and online training courses to video guides and eBooks — the more informed our clients will become about They Ask, You Answer.
Brian: It's our philosophy at IMPACT that we want you to be able to come to our site and learn.
We want to be a great educational resource because that's how we believe you can build the best trust with your prospects and customers.
Something we teach our clients on a daily basis is how to build trust with content. In order for us to be the best example of building trust and educating, we must give away as much information as we can to our audience.
Whether you're a client of IMPACT or you're not, our goal as a business remains the same: to educate people in the fundamentals of They Ask, You Answer and digital sales and marketing so they can have success growing their businesses.
Where should you get started?
Justine: Let’s say somebody wants to go the free resource route to get started in improving their digital sales and marketing. Where should they go and what should they learn first? Whether they become a paying customer with us eventually or not, where would you recommend they start?
Brian: IMPACT+ is a great online training platform that has a library of digital sales and marketing courses, some of which are free, that can help you get started in learning how to do certain tactics on your own. HubSpot Academy is another great resource that I used when I was self-educating on inbound marketing and sales.
Eric: I personally think it starts with hiring the right people to create content, both articles and videos, for your company. Then ask, "How can our sales team work collaboratively with these hires to create content ideas, and more importantly, use those videos and articles throughout the sales process?"
Brian: I actually think of it the other way around. I think it starts with your sales team and you get an idea of the goals you have as a company. Ask, “How well equipped are we to hit these goals?”
Then it comes to the point you first posed, Eric: “Do we have the right people in place to do this?”
Everything stems from what your sales goals are and what you need to do to reach them.
Can you be successful without IMPACT’s coaching services?
Justine: Can a business truly be successful in adopting They Ask, You Answer on their own?
Brian: Definitely. They Ask, You Answer has been proven to work for businesses all across the world.
Eric: Could somebody read the book, digest it, and create action items based on the principles in the book? Absolutely. That's why we share an abundance of education on this subject through our events, and through all of our videos and educational content on our website.
But I think the key piece is that it begins and ends with buy-in. From leadership and sales to marketing and customer service, everyone needs to understand the what, the how, and the why. What is content marketing? How does They Ask, You Answer work? And why is it important that everyone participate?
Justine: That’s a great point. Marcus Sheridan, founder of the They Ask, You Answer methodology, didn’t have an agency. He learned and applied these principles during the Great Recession to save his pool company. He didn’t have the option to hire someone at the time because business was so bad but he, as the owner, stepped up and wore every hat. He didn’t need to get buy-in because he was the leader, marketer and salesperson. How can companies that have people across multiple departments create that alignment so they can truly be successful?
Brian: I'll tell you from experience, it can’t simply be dictated from the top down. Buy-in has to happen on an organic level throughout every department.
We’ve seen companies, like Aquila, who had one person pushing this initiative for years but it wasn’t until Marcus went and hosted a workshop at their company that everyone else finally had an aha moment, collectively.
Eric: Yep. I think buy-in happens when there is a collection of aha moments across the company. It's when people can finally see the answer to their questions: “What's the value of this to me as the sales rep? What's the value to me as the marketing coordinator?”
Brian: Exactly. Everybody has to see the unique value that They Ask, You Answer brings to their own roles. Tying this back to the original question, can you be successful in adopting They Ask, You Answer on your own? If your entire team is bought in to trying something different and will adopt the principles across the company, then you're more likely to be able to do it on your own.
Justine: What would make someone go from implementing They Ask, You Answer on their own, to realizing they want and need to hire IMPACT for its coaching and training services?
Brian: The perfect analogy to me is when you’re trying to become more fit. You can watch fitness videos online and you can do it on your own, but if you miss a day or do something incorrectly, are you really going to hold yourself accountable or be able to realize what you’re doing wrong?
When trying to implement They Ask, You Answer on your own, you might not be able to identify where you're weak in your own company, or you might not be able to really understand how to take these principles and accurately apply them to your business.
Eric: OK, I'll be the one who uses a sports analogy here, it's just too easy for me. "Michael Jordan is the best basketball player and possibly all-around athlete of all time, let the debate begin. Would he have won six championships, if it wasn't for the triangle offense that was created and implemented by Phil Jackson, the coach?
Maybe, but probably not. Why? Because there were four other people on the court that had to be a part of the team and Phil Jackson was making sure that everybody was doing what they were supposed to be doing in order to get the best possible results.
That’s what the Digital Sales and Marketing Coach will do for your business. They will help make sure everyone in your company is doing the right things to get the best results for your business.
Also, I recommend people read through our case studies. Those companies have seen amazing success, generally taking 12 to 18 months. But that success wasn’t them doing it on their own in a silo. They had a digital sales and marketing coach, a content trainer, a video trainer, and oftentimes a HubSpot trainer all coaching their internal teams on what to do, when.
Would those companies have been able to see the same success in the same amount of time without IMPACT’s services? Probably not.
What is the true value to IMPACT’s coaching and training services?
Justine: What is the true value behind digital sales and marketing coaching and training services?
Eric: As a digital sales and marketing coach, I’m here to uncover your blind spots, provide clear direction, and hold you accountable to your self-identified priorities, just like your favorite coach or teacher did when you were a kid. That includes pushing you in the right direction when needed, sharing successes we've seen from past case studies, and guiding you through what is typically a 12- to 18-month commitment.
Brian: The overarching value you get from a digital sales and marketing coach is a path forward that gives you a very strategic goal-driven approach to digital sales and marketing. They help you be accountable. They help make sure you're implementing the philosophy of They Ask, You Answer in the best way possible.
Training services are an additional component that really helps you hone in on — in my case — the content, which is the driving force to enable your sales team to succeed.
The combination of digital sales and marketing coaching with content training helps make sure that, not only are you moving forward in the right direction from a high-level business perspective, but that the content you're producing is going to increase leads, create trust with your prospects, and speed up your sales cycle to close better-fit customers.