In this episode, Darryl Praill, CMO of VanillaSoft, shares insights on why it’s so important for B2B brands to have executive and employee brand advocates. Darryl not only shares his opinions; he’s got some real-world examples of what he’s started since becoming CMO of VanillaSoft.
Not in the mood to listen? No problem, you can read the transcriptions below.
executive and employee brand advocates can take your business to THE NEXT LEVEL
Every wonder why some B2B brands seem to be everywhere — people talking about them, doing news stories, winning awards, speaking at conferences? While advertising and good marketing can go a long way, many of these brands have discovered the incredible value of putting a face (or faces) to their brands.
In this week’s episode, VanillaSoft CMO Darryl Praill shares why B2B brands should cultivate executive, as well as other employee brand advocates, to be visible thought leaders who share and speak on behalf of the brand. Everything can’t just come from “the logo.”
- How fear stops people from taking on the role of champion or spokesperson [11:05]
- Why it’s important for B2B companies to have visible champions and thought-leaders (hint: people like to buy from people they trust) [12:15]
- His thoughts on entering VanillaSoft as the most public figure for the company and how putting a face out there has changed things for the company [14:55]
- The importance of leading by example and grooming people to be ready to get on camera or speak and be visible on behalf of the company [18:29]
- The magic of transforming the company “junk room” into the company’s studio and hiring a media producer [18:40]
- How you have to build personal rapport and influence with your brand’s audience and how Darryl built his community of sales professionals and influencers when he started with VanillaSoft [23:00]
- The power of being a bit of a contrarian on social media and video and why you need to have an opinion [26:17]
- The importance of authenticity and using your personality to shine to build awareness for yourself and the brand [31:30]
- How his wife helps him shine online [33:07]
- What qualities and traits do employees need to be a competent and successful public thought-leader [37:20]
- How powerful it can be to have public-facing spokespeople from a variety of departments — tech, customer success, product marketing, and more — to hit different audiences [38:09]
- Why you HAVE to get your LinkedIn presence in order before you start looking for your next job [40:46]
- Why he would never hire you for sales or marketing roles if you aren’t active on LinkedIn [41:48]
- How to help people rise to the challenge [46:16]
- Why you can’t put your eggs in one spokesperson’s basket; cultivate multiple, capable people [49:33]
- Steps he’s taking to prevent over-saturation [50:51]
- Some of the results that VanillaSoft has seen since amping up executive visibility [52:44]
- What he would do if he weren’t CMO of VanillaSoft and could do any job in the world [59:34]
- A little sarcasm at the end because he still can’t believe Stacy edits the show with GarageBand (he’s slowly pushing us to advance our podcasting gear and tech) [64:08]
If you’d like to get in touch with Darryl, connect with him on LinkedIn. He’s always happy to share his thoughts and discuss ideas with others in the sales and marketing community.
Alanna Jackson: Welcome to The B2B Mix Show with Alanna and Stacy. Each week we’ll bring you ideas that you can implement in your own marketing strategy. We’ll share what we know and advice from industry experts who will join us from time to time here on the show. Are you ready to mix it up? Let’s get started.
Stacy Jackson: Hey there, this is Stacy Jackson.
Alanna Jackson: And I’m Alanna Jackson.
Stacy Jackson: We’re cofounders of Jackson Marketing. We’re also sisters and we’re bringing you episode 13 of the B2B Mix Show. Alanna, what is today’s episode about?
Alanna Jackson: Today, we have a very special guest. Stacy and I have known this person for almost two years now and we are in touch almost daily. He’s a friend and a mentor to us. His name is Darryl Praill and he’s the CMO of VanillaSoft, a sales engagement software leader. If you have not yet come across a Darryl on social media or at a conference, then you’re in for a treat. Darryl has over 25 years of experience spanning startups, restarts, consolidations, acquisitions, and divestments.
Alanna Jackson: He started his career off as a coder and ended up in marketing. He ran his own successful marketing agency, which led VanillaSoft to hunt him down and make him an offer he couldn’t refuse. He’s been the CMO VanillaSoft for almost a year and a half and has helped push the company to make some big wins for the brand. Sure, he’s a marketing rockstar, but Darryl does more than just sit behind a desk all day strategizing. He’s also a guest lecturer and public speaker.
Alanna Jackson: You may have seen him in his famous blue jacket at one of the many conferences he’s attended so far this year. If not, look for him at an upcoming conference such as INBOUND 2019, MarTech East and more. I don’t think the blue jacket is going to go away anytime soon because let’s face it, it’s awesome. It’s not just us who think he’s a terrific marketer, Darryl was recently named as one of the 19 B2B marketers to follow in 2019. If you’re not currently following Darryl, stop what you’re doing right now and go check him out on LinkedIn and Twitter and links to his profiles are going to be found in our show notes.
Alanna Jackson: Darryl has some advice for companies that want to elevate their B2B brands. You’ve got to have a face to the brand. We aren’t talking mascots people, brands need active and engaging champions out in front evangelizing on behalf of the brand and that’s exactly what Darryl does. So, Daryl, welcome to the B2B Mix Show.
Darryl Praill: I just want to know like you got the check, right? I sent it to you before you crafted that, to make sure you got it right. I was listening to that thinking to myself, “You know what’s missing? The book. I haven’t got that published book yet and that intro would have been better if you would’ve said and bestselling author. I got to work on that. I can’t believe you guys-
Stacy Jackson: Well, we can throw that in.
Darryl Praill: Yeah, you can just lie, right?
Alanna Jackson: You can put together a quick picture book.
Darryl Praill: Who fact checks these things anyway, right?
Stacy Jackson: You can self-publish.
Darryl Praill: I can self-publish, why not?
Alanna Jackson: There you go.
Darryl Praill: I know one person who would buy it, but does it count if I’m buying my own book.
Stacy Jackson: We can put your name on one of the ebooks. How does that sound?
Darryl Praill: I like how you’re thinking and that’s fantastic. You guys are brilliant.
Stacy Jackson: There’s a way to work it.
Darryl Praill: There’s always a way to work it. I’m just thrilled to be on the Marketing Mix. You often struggle in life about will I have success in my career? Early on I thought to myself, if I was a guest in the Marketing Mix, then I will have made it and today I’m a guest so I have made it, I embrace it.
Alanna Jackson: You know what, it’s even more exciting because we actually changed the name of the show to B2B Mix.
Darryl Praill: I’ve grown. I’m not just marketing, I’m B2B and it’s awesome.
Stacy Jackson: Right, exactly. It’s even doubly awesome.
Darryl Praill: That’s great.
Stacy Jackson: You’re part of the new era.
Darryl Praill: Am I the first guest on the B2B mix?
Stacy Jackson: You’re the second.
Darryl Praill: Second is for losers. That’s what I’ve heard.
Stacy Jackson: Second is for first place in our hearts.
Darryl Praill: Oh, that’s good.
Stacy Jackson: There you go.
Darryl Praill: It’s getting thick in here.
Stacy Jackson: Okay, Darryl we know a little bit about you, well we know more than a little bit I guess, but our listeners know a little bit about you now. Can you tell them a little bit about VanillaSoft and what VanillaSoft does?
Darryl Praill: VanillaSoft is a sales engagement platform. Since this is the B2B Mix, I’ll make some assumptions that you guys understand a little bit about technology and the technology stack and I’ll make it really simple. Because everybody likes to know well, what does that mean and where do you fit in my world? What I’ll often tell people is, “Hey, you have a tech stack?” “Well, of course we have a tech stack.” “I’m going to guess your tech stack is probably marketing automation where your marketers work and they live and they produce great content and inbound leads resulting in a marketing qualified lead, MQL.”
Darryl Praill: “Yup, we have that.” “I’m going to guess you then pass it over to sales, who lives in their CRM, their customer relationship management tool like salesforce.com for example and sales pursues your MQL.” “Yup. That’s what we have. That’s our stack right there.” Fantastic. Well the problem with that stack, if I look at the stats, is that typically anything that marketing generates in the MQL front, when they pass it over that wall from marketing automation to the CRM, sales will not follow up on 48% of the leads.
Darryl Praill: They’ll only make about two call attempts or email or whatever touches to try to follow up with that lead. If it’s a new lead coming in, they should respond within the hour, but on average just a day and a half to two and a half days. So that’s bad. That’s bad because you spend all this money as a marketer and 50% is going out the door. It’s real simple. If you’re a sales rep, I would say to you, “Do your reps cherry pick?” They’re going to go, “Oh yeah.” If you’re a marketing person I would say to you, “Are you tired of your leads not being followed up on?” “Oh yeah.”
Darryl Praill: We all know that. We can all relate. That’s our stack and that’s our world. Sales engagement is all about being the right tool for the right purpose, for the right role. What I mean by that is sales engagement fits between your marketing automation and your CRM. What it does is that when you pass that MQL over the wall to the next player in your stack, you gonna pass it over to sales engagement. Sales engagement is where the sales development reps or the inside sales reps live.
Darryl Praill: Their whole job in life is simply to sales qualify the MQL. They do that through a series of ongoing touches, email, phones, social, video, whatever, as many times as required, as fast as possible. The classic playbook is seven touches in seven days. The whole point is I’m trying to take that MQL and make it sales qualified. Once I know it’s sales qualified, they’ve got budget, they’ve got authority, they’ve got need, they’ve got timeline. This is bad, this is awesome. It’s SQL.
Darryl Praill: They flip it over the wall to the CRM or the account executives or the BDRs. Then create the opportunity in the CRM. It pops on the forecast and they work the deal to a close. The beauty of sales engagement being in the middle is that we get rid of the problems with CRM. That 48% thing. Because CRM is list based. People are living in lists all the time. You log in, you see a list. It’s a list of my leads and I’m going to pick the ones I want to follow-up on, and ignore the rest. In sales engagement you can’t do that.
Darryl Praill: We’re going to just force feed each rep the best lead to follow-up on right now. They cannot do anything until they deal with this lead right now. By doing that, you’re actually going to make sure you follow up on 100% of your leads. You’re going to touch them as many times as required. 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 22, whatever it requires. Using all of the necessary and channels available to you, email, phone, social so that you actually take that MQL, turn it into an SQL and generate revenue.
Darryl Praill: You will triple your actual pipeline. Literally triple your pipeline just by doing this without spending a dime more in marketing program, without hiring a single additional staffer. It’s proven. It’s tried. It is the new stack.
Alanna Jackson: Awesome. I love the saying that David had come up with that ‘CRM is for managing relationships and sales engagement is for starting them.’
Stacy Jackson: I think Darryl actually came up with that.
Alanna Jackson: Oh, did Darryl come up-
Darryl Praill: No, that actually was David, full credit to David. I just took credit for it, but it was actually his creativity.
Stacy Jackson: And David Hood is the CEO of VanillaSoft.
Alanna Jackson: All right folks, before we dig into this topic, we are going to take a quick break to hear from our sponsor.
Alanna Jackson: We are back. All right, so let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Are you ready?
Darryl Praill: Bring it sister.
Alanna Jackson: There are many growing companies that don’t have a face to their brand. Right? A lot of them don’t even have a visible champion. It’s just a logo image that they see. Why do you think that is and why is it important for those B2B companies to focus on having that face as a spokesperson?
Darryl Praill: What I think it is and I think it’s changing. I think it’s getting better, but what I think that these companies don’t have a brand. A visible champion, I believe is the word you used is because we have a lot of really shy people. We have people who don’t want to be on camera. We had people who aren’t good in front of the camera. We have people who are unable to deliver a concise, brief message that’s compelling and understood. We have people who are afraid to let their personality shine.
Darryl Praill: We have people who are afraid of conflict because in social media, half the world will love what you say and half the world we’ll spit on you. For all those reasons, no one wants to step up. The other reason is no one wants to be held accountable. What if I go online and I say something that sounds good in the moment, but upon reflection was politically incorrect and therefore I have tarnished the brand. That’s bad. All right, so there’s a lot of fear. A lot of fear, a lot of insecurity. Some people view it as vanity, other people don’t really add value.
Darryl Praill: They’ll have no problem getting in front of the camera, but they actually don’t add value. They just talk a lot. I think to me that’s the reason why you have such reluctance for there to be designated spokespeople. Why is it important for them to have it? That’s pretty straight forward, I think. People connect with people. It’s as simple as that. Brands are interesting. We value brands. I might drink coke and I might buy Nike sportswear, but in the end, if I look at that brand and how we interface with them, there’s going to be designated spokespeople that I follow on Twitter.
Darryl Praill: I follow on social media. That’s what it is. People connect with people. That’s why you see even television commercials where there’s always a spokesperson that you see over and over again. The Trivago Guy, right? We all know the Trivago Guy. He’s a visible spokesperson. The reason people connect with people is because they want to trust. They want to establish a rapport, relationship. I may or may not like Trivago. There’s a lot of other options out there. There’s Expedia, there’s hotels.com. There’s all these other travel sites.
Darryl Praill: But I liked the Trivago Guy. Because I like the Trivago Guy, I just like him, I kind of liked the brand because the brand is him. They put him in place. That must be what they’re like there. They must be fun. I’m going to go to Trivago and give them a chance for my business. That’s exactly what it is. People establish bonds, trust, relationships. They identify with, they connect with people. If you don’t have that, you’re putting yourself at a massive disadvantage.
Alanna Jackson: You mentioned… sorry, go ahead Stacy.
Stacy Jackson: No, go ahead.
Darryl Praill: No, no, someone. One of you go ahead please.
Alanna Jackson: You mentioned that a lot of people are scared to get on video and maybe they don’t have the confidence to do that. A few months ago, I think it was, I did that video where I put all my bloopers at the end. I think you guys remember that.
Stacy Jackson: Yeah.
Darryl Praill: And boy were there a lot holy moly
Alanna Jackson: But that generated some conversation and like Gavin Harris came on there and said, “Yeah, this has pushed me to do my video,” which he has yet to do, which I have also bugged him about. But it gives them a sense of, “I don’t have to be perfect all the all the time to put those videos out there.” I think you hit the nail on the head. A lot of people are scared of that.
Darryl Praill: Yes.
Stacy Jackson: Speaking of maybe hesitancy and being scared maybe isn’t the right word, but hesitant, VanillaSoft before you got there, really didn’t have that spokesperson out there. Is that something that you expected to come in and have to be that person or were you looking to install another person or encourage someone else to do that?
Darryl Praill: So good question. I assumed it would be me only because I recognize the role needs to exist and I recognize VanillaSoft wasn’t doing it. It wasn’t like I was going to go on and say, “Okay, now I need to find me my first employee hire is going to be an out of work actor.” It wasn’t that because I also recognized, it’s not just enough to have somebody who’s shall we say the face of the brand or the company, they’re on video or what have you. The person’s got to add value.
Darryl Praill: If I were to hire an unemployed actor, they may be the world’s best actor, but they just might really not connect or identify with what it is VanillaSoft does because they don’t have the background. They don’t have the experience in what it is we do. Maybe experience in sales, for example. I suspected it was going to be me, but I’m always looking for talent. Even now I’ve got multiple people that I’m grooming to get more in front of the camera. But it’s taken time and I think a lot of it was me leading by example so they could see that, “You know what, you can make mistakes, you can laugh at yourself, you can screw up.”
Darryl Praill: If it’s done with the right spirit, the right intent, the right, I guess just the delivery that the audience will laugh with you. They won’t mock you or what have you. Exactly as you said, it’s exactly you did Alanna where you said, “I put my bloopers at the end and it created massive conversation.” Because people look at that and what it is, is they relate. They go, “Ah, Alanna screwed up. I screw up. I’m not the only one that screws up. She screws up too. Because she looked so good in that video and then I realized that was just the art of editing. In fact, I thought I was bad, holy smokes, she’s a bigger screw up than I am. I like her because she screws up and I screw up, but then I feel better about myself because she’s a bigger screw up than I am. So I’m okay.”
Alanna Jackson: Exactly.
Darryl Praill: It’s exactly what it is, right?
Alanna Jackson: Right.
Darryl Praill: When you see that and you watch it, you go, “Oh,” because so many people put so much pressure on themselves to perform. We’ve got one fellow in our company, he is an amazing individual. He is so brilliant on our product. You put him on a phone with a client or even on a video call with a client. He is Mr. Personality. He can drill down. He’s incredible. I’m like, “Dude, you, camera, let’s go. I’m going to package you up.” I put him in front of a camera and I asked him a simple question, “What problem would I be experiencing that VanillaSoft could be a good solution for? Just give me the top three problems I may be experiencing.”
Darryl Praill: Womp, womp, womp, womp, he just went on and on and he couldn’t look at the lens and he was brutal. I’m like, “Dude, you’re like Mr Personality.” He admitted it. He goes, “It’s the camera. I’m in front of the camera and there’s lights and I’m freaking out right now.” I get that and for the record, he is not a spokesperson for the company publicly. He’s still on those phone calls. But yeah, to answer your question, long winded answer, I suspect that it was going to be me and I would have to lead by example.
Darryl Praill: The other part was candidly, I knew I needed to teach the people here at the company how you can do it and that was huge. One of the first things we did on that front, was we had this room that was this, for lack of a better word, as an office space that wasn’t being used. It was full of just stuff. Whenever we didn’t know where to throw this empty box, throw it in that room. It was… what’s her name? Marie. What’s her face? The organizer, she would’ve-
Stacy Jackson: Kondo.
Darryl Praill: She would’ve walked away from this room. That’s how bad it is.
Alanna Jackson: It’s like a junk drawer, but it’s a junk room.
Darryl Praill: It was a junk room. I’m like, “What’s up with this room?” “Well, that’s the junk room.” “Is anybody using it?” “No, that’s the junk room.” I’m like, “Do we need this junk?” “No, it’s the junk room.” “Great. We’re getting rid of the junk room. We’ll hire this out. Call 1-800-GOT-JUNK, get it out and I’m taking it over.” I turned it into a studio. My boss was like, “What do we need a studio for?” Now as a marketer you go, “Really?” But candidly, that’s a legit question and it’s just lack of familiarity and I’m like you need a studio because video is king and it’s also my brand and I need a space that I can have cameras and lights so that we’re well lit, were well spoken, it’s all wired up.
Darryl Praill: It’s all we set up so that when I am inspired to go do a video or to go do a recording on The B2B Mix Show that I can physically just hop in and sit down and everything’s there. He’s like, “Okay.” He trusted me but I don’t think he really trusted me because I was still new. Then, a few months later he was like, “Oh, I get it. I get it now.” Because he watched it. But and it’s like about six months ago I hired my first full time video guy, until that point in time, I was the chief marketing officer and I was the video producer and I was the video editor and I was this and I was that. So out of necessity.
Darryl Praill: When we were doing our budgets last year, I had my head count down and one of the positions was full time media producer. This was probably last September. My CEO was like, “Darryl really, we need, we need this?” Because in his world as far as he concerned, sees all the videos are just magically appearing. He has no idea what’s going on that Darryl was working to eight o’clock at night every night. I’m like, “Yeah.” He’s like, “Why?” I said, “We’re getting such momentum and my bandwidth is getting less and less.”
Darryl Praill: I said, “I now am at a point that I need to be able to just simply to walk in when it’s 30 seconds before production starts, sit down, do my video, shoot my audio, my recording, whatever. When it’s done, get up and walk out the door and go on to my next task, knowing that somebody is taking care of, they’re getting the audio, they’re getting the video, they’re doing the editing, they’re posting it to the various channels and I don’t have to worry about it.” He’s like, “Okay.”
Darryl Praill: Then fast forward two months, I went back to him in November and I said, “Okay, I’m ready to hire now. I’m ready to hire that position.” It was so funny because again so now because he was aware of it, because I positioned it, he was watching me more and his reaction now went from being, again, why do you need this to being, “Oh my gosh, yes, you totally need this position. You needed that a month ago.” I’m like, “You think?” All of that transpired simply because people are always watching you and until they see how it’s done and why it’s done, until they experience the consequences of doing it, they just don’t know. It’s nobody’s fault. It’s just a lack of familiarity.
Alanna Jackson: I gotta to tell you, I was super excited when we heard that you were coming on, but VanillaSoft, we started looking you up and seeing, “I’m like, oh he does video. I really want to get some more video in here.” I was so excited. Then you came in and you just took it like a boss. You just took over it and have just created this brand for VanillaSoft that has just taken them to different levels because of having that champion in the spotlight. Now, but you came from more of a marketing background and had more of a marketing audience. How did you take it to get your name and the company out there and start picking up the traction with the salespeople?
Darryl Praill: This is a really good question because many of us are artisans with our craft. You may be a rock star marketer and then you start working for a company and you don’t know anything about their product or the technology, but you’re a marketer. Now you have to learn how to apply your skills to their space. I was no different to your point Alanna. Yes, I was active already on LinkedIn. I wasn’t by any stretch of the imagination prolific. It was just, what I would call, I was periodical.
Darryl Praill: Periodically I would post something and as the mood struck because I was a busy guy and my connections were primarily marketing. My audience here is my target audience, my customers are primarily sales or sales and marketing. But I didn’t have the sales. To your point I had to get the sales. The first part was just identifying who were the influencers. It’s so funny because people always say, “The first thing you ought to do is you identify the influencers and then you get to connect with them and then you got to really engage with them.”
Darryl Praill: I’m like, “Okay, let’s go do this man. So how do identify the influencer?” Like I’m on a buzz sumo and everything else looking for all the keywords sales or sales engagement or sales development. Yeah, you get a list of influencers. Theyhave 80,000 followers, then you have 10,000 followers, blah, blah, blah. I’m like, “Yeah, okay.” You see some names, but again, you’re new to the space. You don’t know Adam from Eve.
Darryl Praill: What it really took me candidly was just getting involved in a lot of sales conversations on LinkedIn and watching, following people. It’s kind of like a game of snakes and ladders only you say, “Oh, that person looks like they know what they’re talking about so I’m going to follow them. Now who does that person look up to? Who do they when they respond to, “Oh, you’re like Keenan. Keenan. Who’s Keenan? Let’s go yo snakes and go up the ladder. Keenan. Okay, so there’s Keenan. So Keenan he’s a player. He’s a bigger player. Okay and let’s follow him. Who does Keanan look up to?” “Oh, he liked Larry Levine. Who the hell is Larry Levine? Then go up again Larry Lavine.”
Darryl Praill: It took months to figure out the players and follow them and start posting on some of the stuff. I did a couple of things to answer your question once I kind of got lay of the land was I made sure that my posting with those individuals stood out. I’ll use Keenan. Keenan will post something and it’ll be good. If I posted it, I’d get 10 comments. He posts it, he gets a 1,000 comments. We’re both saying the exact same thing, but he’s Keenan. He’s Keenan.
Darryl Praill: Just everybody’s like, “Oh Keenan.” Everybody goes and goes, Yeah.” You see of those 1,000 comments, 990 of them are like, “You rock Keenan, love you,” and add no value. So why bother? That’s my attitude…you’re just noise. I was the guy, if I agree with him like, “Yeah.” I’ll give it a like or whatever might see something. But usually what I do is I pick my spots to say, “I don’t agree or I think you’re only partly right.” I’d be the guy that would go in there and say, “Love what you’re saying here and here.”
Darryl Praill: I’m validating him not to be an ass, but I disagree with you here and here and this is why and this is my take. How do you respond? Being that contrarian helped me stand out. They may never comment on me or they may give me a cursory, “Oh thanks Darryl,” and move on, but over time, three, four, five, six months, they began to know who I was.”
Stacy Jackson: Well, I imagine for someone like Keenan too, they have a raving audience of fan girls and boys who probably, you got their juices going. So, it got a lot of conversation going anyway.
Darryl Praill: Yes. The part where it’s really interesting is that when you comment on someone like Keenan, well you don’t ever realize because the vast majority of people in social media are lurkers. They don’t say Jack Squat, but they see that I argued with Keenan and they actually liked my argument. So they start following you and they word of mouth to their buddy, “Hey, check out Darryl.” Before you know it, you’ve got this silent army people who are following you and you’re oblivious to them just oblivious, but they know who you are.
Darryl Praill: That was, you got to understand that. The next thing I did was we started producing content. I would love your guys’ take on this because this was part of the conversation. You guys loved the idea. Then I think after a while you guys got scared with what I was doing which was, I have no problem picking a fight. We’ll call it a debate, but it was a fight.
Alanna Jackson: You?
Darryl Praill: I know it’s hard to believe, but this was intentional. This wasn’t just because Darryl is a contrarian. Maybe he is and maybe that’s his personality, but this was a 1000% intentional. I would look for content where somebody would say, “What’s the color of the dress? Blue or gold?” You’d have a 1,000 comments and half would say, “Blue,” and half would say, “Gold.” I would look at that and go, “There’s no clear winner here because the audience is split. Man, does everybody have an opinion.”
Darryl Praill: I would go back to the person who posted it. John Doe was the person who posted it and I would reach out to them and I would say, “John Doe, you and I should have a debate and you’d be picking blue and I’d be picking gold and we’ll have the great argument and we’ll get everybody who’s emotionally attached to this argument to attend.” That did wonders for initial reach. Now this is really important I’m going to say…
Darryl Praill: That did wonders for getting us a spike. The reason in my opinion, would love your thoughts. The reason, in my opinion we were able to not just spike and drop again was because when we do these debates, we actually bring solid credible stats, facts, and arguments to back us up. If I’m in a fight with Keenan and everybody’s like, “Keenan is going to mop the floor with Darryl.” Then they watch us go back and forth and at first I was like, “Keenan didn’t mop the floor with Darryl, in fact, Darryl got in some really good shots. Keenan was staggering. Darryl is a little smarter than I knew. I got to follow the Darryl.”
Stacy Jackson: Yeah, you come in prepared. It’s not like you’re just using the Internet famousness of someone to get some registrations. You’re actually prepared for these conversations.
Alanna Jackson: Yeah, and I think that first one was the Dan Disney one, right?
Darryl Praill: First one was the Dan Disney one.
Alanna Jackson: That was the first big debate and that was a huge one. You came in and I think mostly everybody came on thinking, “Oh, Dan Disney, it’s social selling where it’s modern day time in the business world, there’s no way cold calling has any leverage.” You came in and dropped all these stats and you really held your own on these conversations. I think a lot of people were like, “What? Maybe cold calling is good.”
Darryl Praill: To me, that was what was the start of really our growth, and we’ve had staggering growth. You folks, Stacy and Alanna, you guys are social media savants yourself. You’ve worked with a lot of the other social media players in the space who themselves are social media rock stars. So, you know of what you talk when it comes to this. I think we’ve had a lot of growth because of that. Now the last thing, so there’s a couple. We kind of got the lay of the land, then we started connecting with the influencers, then we reached out and did live debates and webinars and seminars and live streams with these guys.
Darryl Praill: We were prepared. That was that. That was really important. Now we were street cred. The last thing was, and this is what I hear over and over again and this is possibly the hardest part because you can do everything I just said with no problem. The last part of the magic formula I would contend is personality. The feedback I get from people is they like me because they find I… this is an interesting one because the feedback I get is that, “You’re direct Darryl and you can be like really direct but it’s direct and it’s substantive and it’s not malicious. But then you can be funny, and you can be engaging, and you can be self-deprecating and you can pick on them. You can make us giggle.”
Darryl Praill: Now I’m not saying you need to do that. What I’m trying to say is I have somehow myself managed to create a personality mix that was somewhat unique in the area I’m in that resonated with a broader audience. If I was just a statistician spewing stats, I would be referenced a lot, but I wouldn’t necessarily be invited to a lot of speaking gigs. They would quote me, but they wouldn’t include me. If I was just a negative Nelly, then they would just completely discount me even if I had a big brand.
Darryl Praill: I think the ability to connect with every person to be approachable and humble and then to be that contrarian, to be that bold when required using it carefully works well. The funniest part, the biggest feedback I get everywhere I go when we talk about social media and I love this because it just shows you can’t plan anything. My wife, God bless her, she is the antithesis of me. She is not into technology. She does not have a LinkedIn account. She just rolls her eyes at me.
Darryl Praill: She’s an interior designer and has her own business. She refuses to let me market her because she doesn’t want to have that much business. She’s the opposite of me. What I have done on occasion where relevant is we’ll go for a walk or what have you and I’ll pull the camera out and I’ll just interview her on something that’s relatable to the everyday person.
Darryl Praill: Most recently asked her on video I said, “Social media. What would your reaction be if somebody on social media, Facebook, whatever, came to you and wanted to connect with you and instead of saying, “Hey Tracy, let’s connect.” It would be, “Hey Tracy, can I have 15 minutes on your calendar? Let’s connect and can I have 15 minutes in your calendar to talk about your quarterly objectives.” I said, “What would your reaction be?” She’s like, I don’t know who these people are. I’d say, “Get the hell out of here and I would say, ‘Go away.’”
Alanna Jackson: That was one of my favorites.
Darryl Praill: Yes. Then I said, “Okay. Fair enough.” I said, “Now what if they said, hey, let’s connect.” They said, “Okay, connect.” Then they engage with you in conversation for the next month or two. Then two months, whatever later they say, “Hey, Tracy’s great talking. Listen, I’ve got this solution watching you and I think maybe it’s a good fit for you. Would you be willing to give me 10 minutes so I can tell you about it? What would you do?” She says, “Well then I’d probably give him 10 minutes because I have become their friend.”
Darryl Praill: I’d say, “Okay.” The whole point of that interview was to say, “People stop asking for meetings on the initial connection request. Here’s the normal person, not me, a normal person and this is how they think.” I’ve done a grand total of two videos with my wife and I post videos nonstop, just two. “Everywhere I go, “I love your wife, your wife is awesome, your wife is like amazing. I love your wife.” It’s the first thing I get nonstop. “Hey, are you Darryl Praill?” “Yes.” “I love your wife.” So, my wife clearly is the real rock star.
Darryl Praill: But the point when I ask people, “What about my wife is it that you like?” The answer is interesting. They said because it makes you, Darryl, approachable. We don’t want to hear you preaching, preaching, preaching and product. We’re seeing you, we’re seeing you and your family life, we’re seeing you. That’s really the secret to growth and visibility and brand name recognition is just be authentic. Be you. People will connect with you no matter what shape, size, or color you are. If you’re just, you, everybody can connect to something about you because we’re all human.
Stacy Jackson: I think that’s really important. I think where some people kind of go off the rails is they try to be Darryl or they try to be Keenan or they try to be so and so and it just falls flat.
Alanna Jackson: It’s like they’re trying too hard.
Darryl Praill: That’s not being authentic. That’s posing and never pose. A lot of people can’t get beyond that. They don’t know how to be authentic. They’re in front of the camera, they’re in front of the mic, they fall back on a crutch of I’m uncomfortable where I’m at so I’m going to channel my inner Tony Robbins and that’s who I’m going to be. Or I’m going to channel my inner Keenan or I’m going to channel, whatever and that’s who I’m going to be, because I know them. I’m going to emulate them. People smell that out pretty fast. That might get you one or two good hits and then after a while they go, “This person isn’t the real deal.” Then you fall to the wayside.
Alanna Jackson: We learned a little bit about your personality and how that has played into the whole process of creating your followers and getting a bigger voice for VanillaSoft. But what kind of person do you think should be the face of a brand? What traits and social savviness should they have? Do you think that it needs to be an executive? What aside from who you are because you have like a full package? You’ve got the funny the, I’m going to be blunt, just all of that in it. But what should a company look for in somebody that’s going to be their face?
Darryl Praill: I think comes down to the role. I look at a company like Gong.io, they do conversational analytics. Their rockstar is Chris Orlob if I recall it’s name. Chris is a product manager. So here the face of the company is a product manager. They’re not a director, they’re not a VP, they’re not C-level, they’re a product manager. He as a product manager he’s all about the product. He’s always spewing off stats and facts as they analyze all the transactions that are taking place on their platform.
Darryl Praill: That makes sense. That’s product related. It’s being true to your role. He’s a product manager. I’m a marketing guy. By default, and you can say the same thing about a salesperson, I’m supposed to be a little more out there. You don’t need to be an executive. You just need to connect with your audience. That’s really it. If my financial controller wanted to get really big in video, I would say, “Knock yourself out and you should focus on ROI and financial related matters as come down to sales. You should not be talking about coding because that’s not what you do.”
Darryl Praill: He would get an audience and they would love what he has to say and he can become the go to guy quoted about all things financial related. It could be SaaS company, metrics. It could be whatever. It could be the art of collecting overdue payments and how do you handle upset customers when you process their credit card and you shouldn’t have? All these wonderful stuffs that are finance related, he could do and that’s his role. I think you just need to find people in your organization that are up to the challenge and serve a need.
Darryl Praill: For example, for me, we’re actively now trying to grow other people within the company to be spokespeople and I would love, I designate a person from the tech support team so they can always just talk about the product and the challenges and issues and nonstop and they’d be the go-to face from a support side. That humanizes the company and that also makes people feel better. “I have that problem. Everybody else has the problem. I feel so better. I felt like a moron and there’s a solution. Isn’t that fantastic?” Then they start to feel awesome.
Darryl Praill: Similarly, I’d want to have somebody from the success team, so our success team, they really make sure that if you’re an established user that we take your usage savvy if you will, to the next level. You become like a superstar user. They’re exposed to not the day-to-day tech support issues of this doesn’t work. They’re like, you’ve got it working now what if you could make it work even better? What if you could do this? That novel innovative applications of the tool that you might not even have thought about, but if you hear it, you go, “Wow.” Just people in the company having roles and speaking, we will all hit different audiences. There will be some overlap, but not a lot and that’s huge.
Stacy Jackson: Maybe even advice for today’s job seekers are to cultivate those skills because there could be a role for you at the next company you go to where you need to be able to get in front of the camera and talk or speak in public. Because it seems like it’s becoming a more important skillset with video and podcast and everything growing.
Darryl Praill: Over 60% of people when they hear your name, will go to LinkedIn first. That’s a fact. It’s proven and you can imagine in the hiring circles of HR recruiters, that number is dramatically higher. I’m hiring multiple positions right now. I’ve been inundated with resumes. The first thing I do every single time, this is literally the first thing that I do. I look at their resume and I don’t even open the first page as the main thing. Okay, have they listed their contact information? Do they have LinkedIn? Okay, they do. All right. LinkedIn search for Alanna Jackson. Okay. What do we got?
Darryl Praill: How many contacts does she have? When was the last time you posted? What are you saying? Who you are connected with? Have you personalized your actual link? What’s your profile as you look like? Have you invested any time? Because right away for me as a marketer, I’m going, if you can’t even get LinkedIn no matter what your role is in marketing, then you’re not a marketer. You don’t get it. End of story.
Darryl Praill: I was with a colleague out the other day and we’re talking and he’s a chief operating officer of a large company and we were out for adult beverages catching up. We’re talking about sales, just sales. How’s your sales? How’s your sales? Blah, blah, blah, blah. “Hey, I met this guy. This is guy is a rock star.” It’s what he’s saying to me. “Have you heard of this guy?” “Who is he?” “He’s so and so.” So up comes the app and we’re using himm and oh my gosh. I pull up his app and here he is. I said, “I’m actually connecting with them. That’s really weird.”
Darryl Praill: I didn’t recognize the name, but I’m a first connection. I’m looking at him, I’m looking at him, I’m looking at him, I’m going, “Has he never posted on LinkedIn? Like literally I’m not seeing a single post.” He goes, “No, he’s never posted. He’s not into that.” I’m like, “I would never hire him.” He’s like, “Why not?” I said, “He’s a sales rockstar who clearly does not understand social selling and that’s one of the three main channels that’s getting stronger and stronger and stronger. He has no credibility with me.”
Darryl Praill: “Have you seen his wins? He’s built teams to 70 to a 100 to 200 people.” I said, “You know what, that’s great. Again, he doesn’t understand social media, wouldn’t hire him.” That’s the truth. So guess.
Alanna Jackson: Especially because especially for tech companies, more than half of sales are going to come from digital by 2020 is what Adobe has said. How can you not be on social?
Darryl Praill: I totally agree.
Alanna Jackson: It’s crazy. Like over and across marketing directors and CMOs and marketing managers where they are not doing anything on LinkedIn. They have like 50 connections, no posts and it is so baffling to me. It just is,
Stacy Jackson: Yeah, that’s weird.
Darryl Praill: I always ask people, they’ll say, “Well, I’m not into that.” I’m like, “Dude, this is not about you being into that. Before I got this job I could argue I wasn’t into that.” But I knew enough to make sure that I at least spent a few hours making my profile look good and I keyword stuffed everything. Because I never knew where that next client was going to come from or the next recruiter is going to come from. But I knew how they were going to do it. They were going to do it through a keyword search. They were going to do it through once they found me in a keyword search and they’re going to go and they’re going to do exactly what I just did.
Darryl Praill: How many connections, how many recommendations, what companies has he worked at? What has he done? What’s he all about? I said, “This is about investing in you and your career. You don’t need to be me. You don’t need to be a social media prima donna, but you need to invest in you. If you don’t even take time to invest in you, wow, that’s saying something about your commitment to your career and your craft.”
Alanna Jackson: Right and it’s kind of scary when you think about it.
Darryl Praill: It is. Right about now, everybody’s going, “Oh, sugar, when was the last time I updated my LinkedIn?”
Alanna Jackson: I still working the same job I quit 10 years ago.
Darryl Praill: Yeah, exactly. If you’re one of those people who are not happy with what I just said, I apologize but, “Hey, I’ll tell you this. I wrote a post on this.” When I overhauled my LinkedIn profile not too long ago, it was one Christmas I was at home and I knew I needed to update it. Probably hadn’t been updated for like six or seven years. I’m like, “Oh I got to finally do it.” I spent like eight bucks and got an ebook. I read it in an hour and then I spent the next day actually slowly updating all this stuff the ebook said.
Darryl Praill: That was it. I did that over my holidays. I recently actually had it audited. There was a show where our good friends Vengreso we’re offering, “Hey, we’ll audit your LinkedIn profile.” They audit mine. They actually asked me, “Did we do your book?” I’m like, “No”, “it’s awesome.” I’m like, “Thank you.”
Stacy Jackson: That’s highly praise from those guys.
Darryl Praill: Yes. That was for my good town friend Viveka von Rosen. She was like, “There’s nothing I can say to tell you to fix this.” I spent eight bucks on an ebook, and that’s all I did guys. This doesn’t have to be scary. That’s why you have ebooks. They tell you what to do. This doesn’t have to be hard. You just have to make it a priority. It’s in your own best interest, both for you and your employer. Trust me on that one.
Alanna Jackson: What should a company do say they don’t have someone identified, but maybe somebody in the company is very eager to be that person, the brand picture, but they’re not the right fit. How should they kind of tackle that situation?
Darryl Praill: They’re not right fit because they’re ugly, because they’re not articulate, because they’re not knowledgeable enough?
Stacy Jackson: Maybe articulate would be the thing because I guess you could train people to be a better speaker though maybe.
Darryl Praill: Yeah, you absolutely can and I’m proof that you don’t have to be good looking to still have some success. To me, I think you have to get your chops under you so if we’re of the opinion that perhaps they’re not ready to be on video because they’re not articulate or they don’t have enough substance yet, then what I would challenge them to do would be let’s build up the video and let’s do some written posts. Let’s watch you debate so let’s have the back and forth, let’s do some written content.
Darryl Praill: In other words, let’s build up that depth of knowledge. There’s nothing like building up a depth of knowledge by forcing you to write ebooks and white papers where you’re forced to research and learn it. Do some of that because especially research, like if you look at anything I talk about, half of my statements, my declarations, what have you, are literally based on research I’ve read and internalized from other thought leaders.
Darryl Praill: They’re not my own thoughts. I did one just the other day on how bad this person’s landing page was because they had 10 required fields. I knew it was bad, but I knew I couldn’t go and just post that and say, “This is bad.” I went and just did a wonderful thing called Google. I did a search on best practices for landing pages and I got the stats and I said, “No, this is bad because the stats say this and their conversion rates are going to suck because the stats say this.”
Darryl Praill: I would have them focus on the written word and the back and forth written exchange. Because what you’re going to watch in that and the written exchange of social media, it’s really easy to quickly drop down the basic instincts and say, “Well, you suck.” “Well, you suck more.” It becomes a name calling thing. It takes much more finesse and experience to say, “I hear what you’re saying, and I respect your point of view, but as a counterpoint have you considered x, y, and z?”
Darryl Praill: Try to knock an emotional and actually be intelligent about it. Once I’ve seen that, then give them some harmless video to start with. Maybe promoting an event, “Hey, we’re going to be any this show. I’m going to speak of with a and b and c are going to be there. I’d love to see you.”
Darryl Praill: Then see how that goes and how the reactions are and then have them perfect it. Then you can eventually unleash the hounds and give them the really meaty stuff. Let them engage with the industry thought leaders on, is the dress blue or is the dress gold?
Stacy Jackson: One thing that’s interesting to us is if you’ve got somebody that’s really been the star of the show, really out there getting the name made for the company. What do you do if that person leaves? Obviously, you’ve already talked about how you’re trying to encourage other people in the company. I assume there’s some kind of succession planning you should have in place or just a culture of employee advocacy.
Darryl Praill: If I do my job right before I leave, if I’m leaving because I’m just ticked off because they’ve screwed me and I just like, “That’s it. I’ll screw you back. I’m out the door.” It’s all heated and emotional then it’s hard to anticipate for that. But if I’m doing my job right, the leaders of the company should be anticipating that there’s going to be turnover. Because the irony is the more visible you get, suddenly you start getting calls and emails and, “Hey, just wondering if you know of anybody who might fit this opportunity profile nudge, nudge, wink, wink. If you know anybody that they could reach out to me because we’re hiring this and it’s a really fat paycheck. If you know anybody, you should let us know.”
Darryl Praill: When you get more visible, you get more of those, so you are more vulnerable to be poached. The leadership should be making sure that there is more than one. That’s the first thing, but then I would go one step further. Whoever the individual is who’s the spokesperson, should themselves be creating a line of succession so that there’s other people there. Back literally six months ago, I went into my CEO’s office, David and I said, “I have some concerns.” He’s like, “What?” I said, “My concern is that I’m getting over saturated and there needs to be less of Darryl and we need more people.”
Darryl Praill: Now I can say we are grooming some people and we’re going through the exact process that we were just talking about to get them ready. They’ve got nice gear now. They have been practicing some voiceovers. They’ve got video gear, they’re practicing video. They haven’t gone out there yet, but we’re building up to that. We have a plan in place. Conversely, I’m already hiring people with that in mind.
Darryl Praill: Again, I’m hiring a position I was in an interview yesterday where I was with this individual and I was explicit, I said, “I’m looking for a mini me. I don’t want you to be me. I want you to be you. But I need another person who can get on a video, who can get on social and hold their own. Is that of interest to you? Because this is a big part of the job. If that scares you a way, then you’re probably not going to be the right fit.” I was looking for that from get go and that’s a change.
Darryl Praill: Before what I was looking at, do they have the raw skills? Where now it’s like not only do you have the skills, but do you have the wherewithal, the desire, the capability to engage this medium to reach our audience?
Alanna Jackson: I have a question about the results that you’ve seen. You’ve been speaking at a buttload of conferences lately and doing all different kinds of webinars, podcasts, everything. You’re everywhere. Do you think that that is as a result of your having more of an executive level visibility for the company? Do you feel like that plays a big part into it?
Stacy Jackson: What have the results been for the company?
Darryl Praill: I can speak to the results. You guys probably are better to answer to give to I suppose what you think the answer is to the first question. I would love to hear it. In the results side, what I can tell you is a couple of things. I started with the firm in September 2017. One of the first things I did was make sure we start tracking stats and all that wonderful stuff, which they were doing, but of course I wanted to overhaul it. We looked at the stats from January 2018 the January 2019.
Darryl Praill: Depending on the programs we’re doing on average in that one-year period, when I compared year over year, we were anywhere from three to four times the volume of leads that were generated in the previous year. In that one year, in that 12 months, whether it be webinar leads or trade show leads or what have you, inbound leads, depending on the channel, it was three to four times more.
Darryl Praill: Was that a result of Darryl talking a lot and listening to himself speak and being a dick on social media or what have you? I think it all adds up. It’s really hard to measure the impact of public speaking of have social media. But similarly, I can look at the sheer volume of content that’s been shared. I can look at the engagement levels. We recently did a Webinar on Webinars and one of the things we shared in that Webinar on Webinars was how we produce Webinars.
Darryl Praill: Our first one was in December 2017 and we had like eight people show up. We might have had 25 people register, give or take. Now it’s not uncommon for us to be 800, a 1,000 people attending our Webinars. What happened in that timeframe, is that simply because our content got better? Well, no, it’s because our reputation got better, and our reach got bigger and further, and our influence grew stronger. Now when we say we’re doing this thing, people are like, “Yeah, I’m signing up because it’s just it’s VanillaSoft, it’s Darryl.
Darryl Praill: When we began the Webinars, we had to beg, borrow and plead with people, “Please, please, please be on our show. We like you, please.” Whereas now we have people coming to us all the time saying, “Hey dude, how can I be on your show?” We get to pick. When I go for the big names, Keanan and I just did a Webinar a couple weeks ago, there’s no pushback. I was talking to a fellow named Matthew Paul a couple of days ago, and he sought me out.
Darryl Praill: We were at a conference. He sought me out and he knew who I was and I know Matthew as well, but I’ve never met him before. He’s like, “Dude, what can we do? What can we do?” We did a video where we’re at the show and I’m like, “Let’s do a Webinar. He goes, “Okay, so here’s the name of my admin.” He goes, “We get asked all the time.” He goes, “When you email her and let her know we were talking and we’ll make sure you get to the top of the list.”
Darryl Praill: That wouldn’t have happened a year ago. But here’s the real big kicker in that the only advice I can give you, you got to be patient. From the get-go, we had a long game plan. I told this to my fellow executives. I told this to my team. The first few thing ties we do something, whether it’s on social, whether it’s a Webinar or a new piece of content, I expect zero results and I expect it to only be a learning lesson so we can get better from there.
Darryl Praill: But I do expect in 6 or 12 months from now, we’re going to be kicking ass. If we’re not, we haven’t done it right. Be gentle on yourself. I guess the last piece of advice that would give you is be really, really, really consistent. We do two Webinars a month for two different audiences on the second Tuesday and the fourth Tuesday, and it’s always the second Tuesday and the fourth Tuesday.
Darryl Praill: It’s not when Daryl’s schedule permits. It’s the second Tuesday and the fourth Tuesday because my audience gets used to it being the second Tuesday and the fourth Tuesday. Just mark podcasts are always the same time. They get used to that. You want to go to kind of train and condition them and they look forward to it with anticipation because it’s predictable because you’re consistent. That’s harder to do than it sounds, but that’s what’s necessary.
Alanna Jackson: Yeah, I agree that it’s like a whole digital strategy. It’s not just the one thing because we’ve done so many pillar pages, we do blogs on a regular basis, we’ve got the podcast, we do social. We’re doing so many different things as part of the digital strategy and your videos playing into that as well. Your personality being that voice of the brand. I think all those put together has just created buzz and excitement around VanillaSoft that we didn’t have before. I think that that has really been something that has moved the needle on what’s happening.
Darryl Praill: Well, you want good examples of that to inspire and incent the people who are listening. When I was named recently one of the top 19 marketers to follow in 2019, I was in a car driving from San Francisco from show I just finished to San Jose to a show is just going to. It came across in a Twitter mention, I got tagged. I’m like, “What the hell is this?” I had no idea. I had zero knowledge I was even being considered. Today is a good case in point.
Darryl Praill: I’m doing my own thing and we’ve got software that mentions for media mentions and boom up comes a media mention and HubSpot. HubSpot, little ole HubSpot, small little company named us one of the top 10 sales management tools in 2019. Again, I had no idea this was coming. How was it we’ve been around since 2005 and none of this stuff has happened previously, but now just like it’s becoming every other day it’s like we’re on another list or we’re on another podcasts? We’re on anther directory, we’re being asked to participate here, speak there.
Darryl Praill: It is the long game. It is momentum and it is a snowball and it gets bigger and bigger and bigger. My biggest fear though, candidly is how do you sustain? That is what keeps me up at night. How do I sustain? It’s kind of like think of your favorite TV sitcom. It’s a great sitcom for the first year or two. Then after a while you know it’s always gonna be there. If I miss one this week an episode, it’s no big deal. Then before you know it, it’s, “Oh, it’s off the air. That’s too bad.”
Darryl Praill: Because it became the new normal and so that’s my worry. That’s my next one is how do we sustain; how do we grow; how do we continue to push? But that’s a marketer’s I think good problem to have.
Alanna Jackson: Exactly. That sounds like another podcast episode.
Darryl Praill: I think so.
Alanna Jackson: We have a just for fun question to wrap it up. If you were not the CMO of VanillaSoft and could any job in the world what would you do and why?
Darryl Praill: I hope someday I will be the CMO VanillaSoft I’m really hoping. I’ve been asked this question before and ironically, people who are going listen to this, going to say, “Well it all makes sense now” when I give you the answer. I would love to be a talking head, whether it be on a cable news show or talk radio, national audience where every single day I get to sit down to the news makers of the world, whether it’s politics or something else and just sit there and hammer it out. I would love that because I just love-
Stacy Jackson: You’d be good at that. I can see that.
Darryl Praill: … I love news. I love people. I love asking the hard questions. I’m a bit of a news junkie, so that’s the kind of stuff that would probably do. Ironically my son is following in my footsteps only he’s doing just that.
Alanna Jackson: I was going to say you have an “in” with that world.
Darryl Praill: I’ve built an in with that world, but if I was to do it all over again, that’s what I would do. But you know what, I love what I do and the best part of what I do and this is with all sincerity because I’m surrounded by really, really, really good people on my team. They make going to work today, every single time, every single day, it is a blast. They have no problem calling me an idiot and I like that. They had no problem disparaging me and so nobody on the team takes themselves too seriously.
Darryl Praill: But what’s really cool about my team and why I like my job so much is that when we asked them to step up work a few extra hours or put the extra effort and because we have a big goal in mind, every single time they step up. I think they’re the reason I get up in the morning because they’re just so much. So I’m blessed. I’m happy where I’m at and maybe in my next life I’ll do that.
Alanna Jackson: Well, we have to say, you make it fun for us too.
Darryl Praill: Of course, you have to say that. If you don’t do that, I don’t pay the bills.
Stacy Jackson: That’s right. You really do, Darryl. We really enjoy doing the work with you and the rest of the VanillaSoft folks.
Darryl Praill: So folks, if you don’t know it, Jackson Marketing are some pretty amazing people and I’m not saying this to plug them because you know they’ve asked me to do. Because they sure as hell didn’t and that’s what I love about them. But what you get what Jackson marketing is you get the full service. These people to know the tech stack, to the operations, to best practices. They’re out there on the bleeding edge learning and they’re doing. They’re not just talking about doing a podcast, they’re doing a podcast.
Darryl Praill: What I love about it is they’re chronicling what they’ve learned and they’re sharing it with you. That’s the kind of agency you want to partner with. Whatever you do, surround yourself with good people like them and you will have fun and you will be successful, and you will learn so much. That’s words of wisdom from Darryl whether you want to hear it or not. There you go.
Stacy Jackson: Well, Thank you Darryl.
Alanna Jackson: Thank you.
Stacy Jackson: We appreciate that. Well, there you have it fellow B2B sales and marketing people. Are you ready to embrace the role of the company spokesperson or at least cultivate some people in your organization to take it on? Take it from Darryl, it does work. Darryl, if our listeners want to ask you any questions or follow you online or see you in action at a conference or in your videos, how can they find you?
Darryl Praill: Just LinkedIn is really the simplest because I’m always telling you what I’m doing. I’ll be speaking here talking there, debating somebody else, somewhere else. Follow me on LinkedIn. I would love the connection. I would love to connect with you. I’m a big believer and loving and endorsing and supporting and helping the tribe. You’ve got a question you want to know my opinion and there is nothing in it for me, that’s cool. Reach out. Let’s do it. That’s what we do. Let’s be fellow tribes. Let’s do it.
Stacy Jackson: Let’s do it. What about your podcast, do you want to tell everybody the name of that because you say it so well?
Darryl Praill: If you want to listen to the world’s show on inside sales, then you need to listen to INSIDE Inside Sales where we give you the meat and potatoes. Just the facts, none of the fiction, no strategy, no vision. It’s just hardcore. How do you do this and you do this job great? We bring in the industry’s best thought leaders and we make it happen and we laugh, and we share knowledge. When you’re done listening to that half hour podcasts, you will be smarter, wiser, better, and more prepared to succeed all at INSIDE Inside Sales.
Stacy Jackson: We’ve got to work on saying our name like that Alanna.
Alanna Jackson: I know, right? Or get Tracy to say it for us, Darryl’s wife. I hear she does a good impression.
Darryl Praill: She does a good job. She mocks me pretty good. Sunday, Sunday, Sunday everything to her is, I’m a big monster truck nonsense.
Stacy Jackson: Well thanks Darryl for joining us. We appreciate it.
Alanna Jackson: Yeah, we really do.
Darryl Praill: No problem.
Alanna Jackson: It was fun.
Darryl Praill: Anytime. I look forward to hearing this live soon and learning about all the leading-edge tools you’re using to produce this puppy. There you go.
Stacy Jackson: Oh, Daryl. All right Alanna, end of another great episode. Why don’t you tell people how they can get in touch with us.
Alanna Jackson: There are multiple ways you can get in touch with us. The first one is Twitter. You can reach Stacy @Stacy_jax, S-T-A-C-Y-_-J-A-X or or you can reach me @Alanna_jax, A-L-A-N-N-A-_-J-A-X. If you prefer you can catch us on LinkedIn instead. Just look up our name’s Stacy Jackson and Alanna Jackson. Don’t forget you can leave us a voicemail on the anchor mobile app.
Stacy Jackson: We might use your voicemail on next week show. Thanks everybody for listening in. We’ll catch you next week. Bye.
Alanna Jackson: Bye. The B2B Mix Show is hosted by Stacy Jackson and Alanna Jackson of, you guessed it, Jackson Marketing. If you need help with your B2B inbound marketing efforts, visit us at jacksonmarketingservices.com.