117: Making Freemium Work for your Salesforce

Does a freemium model actually work? For the sales team at Web.com, it does. They’ve launched WebCard, a no-cost starting point for B2B sales and it’s working.

This week, George speaks with Karen Davies, Go-To-Market Manager, and James Moore, SVP of Web.com, to dig into their freemium model, and how they’re succeeding so well in helping legacy sales reps thrive in digital. Hint: Depth of product knowledge and deep buy-in from sales managers is key.

Listen now!

Connect with James Moore and Karen Davies on LinkedIn.

Karen Davies’ Four Quadrants of Confidence in Digital

4 Quadrants of sales confidence with digital media

Karen’s four quadrants are bang on the money, when it comes to identifying a salesperson’s ability to sell digital.  It should be every sales trainers goal to get every one of their salespeople into Mastery.

Axis: Confidence vs Knowledge
Uniformed (Paralysis), Misinformed (Mistakes = lost business), Doubt (hesitation) Mastery (Smart, takes action = sales.)


It’s the latest episode of the Conquer Local Podcast, we are across the pond in England and speaking to James Moore, Senior Vice President of International for Web.com, and Karen Davies, the manager of Go To Market. Now, these two people deal with more media companies and agencies in the UK than anybody that I know. And I’ve known James for a number of years. James is one of the smartest guys in local digital, and Karen knows more about salespeople and go-to-market strategy than most people I’ve ever met. So I’m really excited for this episode of “The Conquer Local Podcast.”

In this episode, we’re gonna talk about overcoming the big blockers and helping traditional sales reps transition to selling digital, and the importance of earning the trust and buy-in from the sales manager. It really is the key to get the team engaged. And what I really want you to hear in this podcast is a freemium model that actually works. There’s lots of people that talk about, “Give this to your customers even if they’re not a customer yet, and they will become active paying clients. Well, let’s hear about the Web.com WebCard freemium model and how it works with James Moore, senior vice president Web.com, and Karen Davies, the manager of Go To Market from UK, coming up next.


George: Well, we are here in London for LocalComm. It’s Siinda’s annual convention. We have been doing this for the last almost three years. And one of the very first gentleman that I met, and it may be the fact that we share a Scottish heritage, was James Moore, the senior vice president of international for Web.com. And James, pleasure having you on the podcast.

James: Thanks very much, George. It’s a great honor to be with you today.

George: So we’re gonna talk about local. And you’ve brought along a very important member of your team that deals with lots of local salespeople and local sales managers, and I’ll let you do the introduction.

James: Yeah, I’m very glad to be with my colleague, Karen Davies, who’s head of Go To Market, and works with me with a number of partnerships. So, Karen and I’ve been working together for a few years now. She was on the side of Johnston Press, one of our partners. And then, I’m glad to say, came to join us and is working with me as a key part of our channel partner strategy. So hi, Karen.

Karen: Thanks, James, and hi, George. It’s a pleasure to be with you today.

Dynamic Duo for Media Companies

George: So it’s really interesting to me this dynamic duo that you two have created because it’s pretty easy to see that James is a product person and you’re, you know, very focused on coming up with a great workflow for the customer that is working with the media company. But Karen’s role is really important, and I remember when you brought her on board and when we first met, I think was a little over a year ago, that there was maybe some blockers there in working with some of those organizations, and that’s why bringing in a go-to-market specialist was so important.

James: Yeah, I think you’ve really described that well. There’s a big difference. I always talk about a Chinese saying, which is, “It’s very easy to make ducks stand in a row on paper.” I won’t try and say that in Mandarin, but basically, the dream of selling digital is one thing, but the practical reality is another. And certainly, Karen’s experience in actually working on the coalface…I have a background in sales as well, which is where I came from. I won’t bore you with that. But working in large organizations and transforming the digital dream into a reality involves a crucial attention to detail, and fundamentally, is a hearts and minds exercise as well as a project exercise.

One of the things we often say is, when you’re trying to get digital success, it’s 20% product, it’s 20% sales, and it’s 60% process. And so, that is the piece, the missing piece, that you absolutely have to solve when you’re trying to take digital to market, and that’s a role that Karen is playing to a great extent and doing a beautiful job with us.

Four Quadrants of digital transformation

George: So when it comes to the salesperson actually taking the solution set out to the customer, well, what do you see as the biggest blockers in your experience to that?

James: That’s an interesting question. There are so many blockers. It’s hard to choose one. I think, fundamentally, the salesperson’s incentive is one of the key areas which one has to understand. If a sales guy has been selling print for the last five years and is being told every day that they have to keep on hitting that target…well, print is a euphemism for any given media. And then they’re suddenly told, “Oh, by the way, you need to stack digital into this.” It’s something that they need to viscerally understand and own, and it needs to be part of their get up and go in the morning. You cannot just add digital into a mix then hope it’s gonna sell. You can’t just add it to a spreadsheet and then say magically, “Every salesperson came to do it.” I mean, I don’t know, Karen, do you have any other comments on that question?

Karen: Yeah, I think, interestingly, you mentioned there are multiple blockers. In my experience, there are two or three fundamental blockers that happen that mean the, sort of, business plan that on a spreadsheet means we’ll all be millionaires, doesn’t ever actually come to fruition. The first of those is confused messaging throughout an organization. So there is an aspiration to have digital transformation in almost every print organization that I’m aware of.

However, to James’s point there, yes, the salespeople have been going out to sell print for many, many years, but so have the management team and particularly the sales managers, but also the heads of the business. And listening to one of the sessions this morning, it is very difficult for an organization to make that decision to actually transform to digital and almost risk that print legacy revenue, which is always of the higher value. So, that gives confused messaging to salespeople. So we’re saying one thing over here. We want to be digital, but actually, on a day-to-day management basis, the number that they all want to hit is print.

The second part of that or the second part of it is, when you deliver a new digital product into a sales organization, to James’s earlier point, the step-by-step process from which they actually close the sale to the product being pushed live has to be absolutely watertight. And that means that the entire organization, from IT, through to learning and development, through to marketing, into commercial, have to support those salespeople without any question and all be in the boat together to take that product to market, understanding the why it is that the individual organization is doing that. If everyone isn’t onboard, forget it. Game over. And the salespeople end up with processes that don’t work or products that don’t deliver what they’re meant to deliver.

And the third is around confidence and knowledge. When I work with teams, I try to use the simple product matr-, or knowledge matrix, which is around, where am I in my digital confidence and understanding? And there are four quadrants really. One is, being completely uninformed about digital, which leads to, even if I want to go and sell this, I’m totally paralyzed, and I can’t. If I’m misinformed, I’m giving my customer incorrect information, which leads to, basically, misselling, massive amounts of churn. If I have any doubt, then I have some hesitation, and maybe it’s just easier to sell the thing I’m used to selling, which is print.

And then there’s the fourth quadrant, which is where we want to get everybody to be, which is mastery, in which I can have a true conversation with a customer about what it is that’s good for their business and how we can take them through what James and I refer to as the digital transformation journey, right the way through different products, each layering in an additional element of…what’s the word I’m after? Benefit and ROI. So those three things. So actual cultural change through to knowledge and understanding. And I think, you know, the sort of management team and communication piece has a large part to play in that.

George: Oh, I love the four quadrants analogy, and we actually have the four quadrants inside the episode recap on the podcast for managers that are sitting there, “Whoa, Karen nailed it. That’s exactly what I’m dealing with.” I like that analogy. Let’s talk about something, and I was in a meeting about a year and a half ago, John Caputo, he is Senior Vice President for Postmedia in Western Canada. He had come to our home city, and we went out for breakfast. We were introduced through another person. He said, “You know, George, one of the challenges I think that has happened is, we as sales organizations, have been calling on the flashing open sign. So we go knock on the door of all the flashing open signs in our marketplace. And there are a bunch of businesses that don’t have a flashing open sign, but yet, they have a marketing budget, and we should be calling on those customers.”

Web.com’s Freemium Strategy

So what I’m leading into is I wanna talk about this freemium strategy. And James, well, you know, you call it global domination. That’s been the code for it, but it’s really interesting idea of, let’s give every business in our marketplace that we know of, give them something that helps their business. And then when they engage with that solution, and this is where you and our CEO at Vendasta, Brendan King, are aligned with…you know, it’s called freemium or it’s called a path to purchase, where you’re able to get that customer to become a paying customer, but you give them something of value so you can start to have a conversation and nurture that. Let’s talk a little bit more about that workflow. And I know that it isn’t easy, because you’re doing it now and it’s working, but I know it hasn’t been that easy. There’s been blockers around that strategy as well. Would you like to talk about the inception of this concept and where you stand on it today?

James: Certainly, George. Yes. And I think that’s a really important point. I mean, world domination aside is a kind of a euphemism for being able to digitally enable businesses all around the world. Fundamentally, I come from a business directory background. I started an online internet directory in 1997 in Oxford, England. And the part of that premise was giving the business a profile, letting them have a listing on the local thing that they could look at and call their own. And then from there, it was a conversation about what you want to do with that.

Now, there are various partners, whether it be the traditional YP business or newspaper groups. We power over 600 white-label business directories within our media partners specifically with the objective of customers and sales reps being able to look at something within the media framework that that partner has and say, “This is your profile. This is what we know about your business. Let’s add to that, let’s increase that. Oh, I didn’t know you had a Facebook page. Oh, I didn’t know you had opening hours. Oh, I didn’t know you did this or did that.”

It reminds me of a story when I was literally going back to 1997 when I was selling to a pub in Oxford. And I went into this pitch, and this was back in the day of 56k dial-up, right? You had to sit there and listen to the whole thing. I sat in this pub with this guy. He had no interest in the internet. He had no interest in anything else. And I thought, “This pitch is not gonna go very well.” I suddenly noticed in the corner he had some like gaming machine or pinball machine or something like that. And I basically just started asking him questions. I said, “Oh, I didn’t realize you had a games room back there.” And the conversation turned around. I mean, this is simple 101 sales, we all know, but there’s a digital premise to this which we can all learn and use.

When this guy started talking about the benefits of his pub, the investment he’d made on the extension, the games room, the fact that they had the quiz night on the Tuesdays, he suddenly opened up. He was sharing what is his life. His life is his business, and he wants to share that with the world.

So we’ve taken that concept and we’ve globalized it. So with the web.com product that we’re launching around the world, and we’re very proud of, it’s called Web Card. It’s a free digital business card that allows you, as a business, to take control and to tell the world what is the key information about your business.

Now, we use that with our media partners, whether they have a directory or not, to start the conversation. You can give away that card free of charge and say, “We want to know about you. We want to put this page free of charge online, please claim it, please get in control.” When you tie that at a database level into things like the Vendasta system, you can start to then use triggers. So as soon as this guy takes control of his card and starts to add photographs or starts to add opening hours or starts to engage with it in any way, boom, you’ve got a conversation to have. You can then start talking about that customer in a knowledgeable way. It’s the fundamental difference.

And to Karen’s point about making sure you’re giving value all the way, it’s not about just shoving product down these guys’ throats. If he’s not got a Facebook page, fine, you can help him to set one up. If he does have a Facebook page and he’s got 3000 followers and that’s all very good and gravy, you’re in a different world. So understanding sophistication is all about learning about the customer.

The free business card approach is a classic extension of the original YP model, and we’re having huge success around the world with different partners on that. You can take them up a product ladder journey, going from a free profile, point a domain name to that profile, and suddenly, you’ve got a professionalized business. Start running Google or Google clicks or running Bing, or running Facebook to that and you’ve got something. The day they say, “Actually, you know what? Can I have a couple more pages,” you’ve got a website lead.

So all of these things can be done by getting the business owner or the marketing person responsible for that business and so on, to take responsibility and start to talk about themselves in that digital environment. And we’ve tried to boil that down to the most simple possible representation, and that’s how we approach the freemium model.

I’m pleased to say, you know, we’re going around the world with different partners in multiple languages. I’ve been in lots of different countries in the last few months and learning different languages with my iPhone phrasebook, but it’s the same message all around the world. Give these people a place where they can start talking about themselves, loop it in using the digital technology we have, say the Vendasta platform, back so the sales rep can see that interaction, and then take them on that journey. And that’s how you can make that thing start to catch fire.

Freemium is working in more countries

George: Well, it’s really interesting the success you’ve had with that. I know one of the places that you’re having a lot of success with it is in the South African marketplace.

James: Yes, indeed. South Africa is a very interesting place. Africa as a whole is…we are finding that the mobile revolution is something which is really our friend, and I’d say that for every one of our partners and media partners today. I did a presentation in the Asia Local Search Conference six months ago and said, “If your entire digital strategy is about mobile enabling your customer base, you’re actually not gonna regret that,” because thinking about markets like South Africa, where everyone’s accessing the internet on their phones, thinking about markets like Asia, even actually going into long tail USA, even in the UK, being able to give people a digital mobile presence, because they all know that that’s how people are accessing information, being able then to show them that presence, give them control of that presence and then take them up the stack to start driving traffic and ROI on that, getting the phone to ring, that is the keystone to success. And we’ve had amazing success in South Africa, and we’re having amazing success in other countries as well.

Freemium is working for all business verticals and maturity

George: So what type of customer is the most successful with this type of a model? When I think freemium, I don’t think of the local auto dealer that is, you know, spending $10,000 a month on an advertising campaign. Is this where you’re really dealing with what I would call, you know, digital babies that are really just starting out or are you seeing it…is it geographically different depending upon the geography? Like, where is the sweet spot for this type of a model?

James: Okay, I think it depends on how you look to approach it. Certainly, from a digital-enablement model, if there’s a customer that doesn’t have any kind of internet presence and you’ve got, relatively speaking, a slam dunk on your hands. But I wouldn’t be too scared of…I wouldn’t be throwing under the bus the guys who’ve got more budget and more sophistication, because a lot of the time, you can actually find a lot of their online solutions can be, to a certain degree, over-engineered. When you’re talking about the knowledge graph, which is what we’re actually looking at today, the internet is evolving into a place, which is, whether you’ve got Alexa or Siri or all of these other people exploring it, voice-driven search. It’s all about having structured data. So you might have a fantastic website where you’re driving PPC, but if it’s not properly structured or there is no place where that structured data is something that can be pointed at and used to extend the knowledge graph, you know, we work closely with our friends at Yext who’ve done a fantastic job in educating major enterprise companies around the importance of that.

So I would certainly not say that there is any one company trying to do business or individual professional in this world, who is not affected by the need to have a properly structured knowledge graph schema around their business details. That can be done as a companion to their website, it can also be used as a landing page, etc. etc., if you’re on that journey.

But I think it’s important to explore where you are within digital. And the first question to ask is, is my knowledge graph properly structured? Now, that might be the kind of thing that people talk about in digital marketing meetings, but what it basically means is, is there a place where my name, my address, my opening hours, my key contact details, my offers, all of these things, are in a place which not only I, but also individual computer robots, can understand and therefore make sure that when I am searched for, whether it be Cortana or Alexa or Siri or someone typing into Google or any of these places which are all leveraging the knowledge graph, you have to feed that knowledge graph.

So if your enterprise is not structuring its data on the knowledge graph, you are going to be losing business. So I would say, yes, when you’re trying to go to market, there are baby customers who can just take a knowledge graph business card and start making money on it. But there are also quite sophisticated enterprise businesses who also need to address that need.

George: Yeah, and there’s no such thing as too many places where you have the correct data online because it definitely helps the indexing. So, Karen, let’s get to this strategy that James has been baking for quite some time and it’s working. And it’s working in multiple geographies. Now, let’s talk about the salespeople that are executing it and closing the deals and getting these customers. What are you seeing as the, you know, the things that are…if we’re talking about a freemium model, and that’s our topic, if someone has a freemium model where they’re starting to drive those new prospects, what are some of the things that the reps have been tripping on in making those conversions, that you’ve been training them to watch out for those bogeys?

Hurdles to sales team adoption of freemium

Karen: So I think one of the major challenges around this, the freemium model, is actually to my point earlier on, is getting the sales people to understand that journey. You know, there is no one model salesperson. If we could just take a salesperson that’s good at this stuff and just replicate that person, it would be far easier. But there are lots of people out there who are actually frightened almost of giving something to that customer for nothing because that’s not hard-baked into their DNA. So, I mean, that’s pretty challenging. And there’s the, “What’s in it for me,” aspect as well because, of course, salespeople are targeted. And if there’s something that’s of no value, perceived value to them, and they don’t understand the digital journey, then it’s quite a challenge to get them to understand, why would I give my customer something for nothing?

George: So I believe that…I just wanna make sure I’ve got this right, though. It’s the marketing department that has identified a set of customers in a marketplace that is offering that, and then the salesperson goes in to do the conversion.

Karen: Well, there are different models based on different partners. Yes, you could do that. But either way, the perceived value of the product, whether it’s a salesperson taking it to market directly or whether it’s the marketing department provisioning it and saying, “We’ve done this, now you go and follow up,” is…there’s still the same challenge around it because there’s still the misinformation in their mind and the lack of belief in their hearts and minds that this is the right thing to do. So that’s our biggest challenge in this space.

James: I would also add to that, that we all understand the principle of a structured sales pitch, going back to my pub in Oxford. The idea of a freemium or the idea of a profile and the ability to have a conversation, an unthreatening conversation around that profile, is fundamentally the archetype of the need find. And I think if you can let a salesperson understand that by helping their customer to fill out this profile in the conversation and teaching them how to use those triggers as identifiers for giving them guidance on what to pitch, it can be turned from someone thinking, “Hang on, I’m giving away a lot of value,” to, “Hang on, this is a machine that’s gonna help me to close more sales. The key thing is, of course, in your freemium is not to give too much away for free, and that’s fine, that the individual cards in and of themselves, put a lot of onus and responsibility on the business owner to have to then go and share and do this and do that.

Freemium is not “free”

And then to Karen’s point, it’s absolutely fundamental. I learned this lesson a long time ago. And in fact, we had a recent experience in one of our partners who suddenly said to all our sales guys, “Hey, now we’re gonna do this promo. We were selling for $100. We’re gonna give it away for free.” Of course, all the sales reps sort of said, “No we’re not,” and nothing happened. The minute they put a price tag of, I think it was 50 back onto it, boom, suddenly it took off. So you have to give the sales guy a way to earn their commission. There’s no question about that. The using the freemium as a way to structure the need fine and giving them a very clear set of training on which parts of that lead to them putting money in their pocket, there’s the magic solution.

George: So, the thing that interests me the most about this is, this is happening to us every day and we may not even be noticing it. So I think about some of the apps that I’ve downloaded recently, where I didn’t pay a penny for the app, but they’re always sending me triggers and notifications of things that will lead me to spending more money. This is really the way that our economy is headed.

James: Absolutely. And I think in the context of media, which is ultimately what we’re talking about here, what are you trying to do for your business owner is drive more sales, drive more revenue. If you can be on that journey…I often talk about our partners, and web.com indeed being the ambassador. We are your digital ambassador. We are basically creating a digital profile with you, and we are then going to make you famous. We are then gonna make that phone ring. And you know what we’re gonna do? We’re gonna track all the way.

This is one of the major areas which is terrifying media companies traditionally, because they’ve been living in a world where ROI was a potentially a conceptual thing. Now, it’s something which you can fundamentally track. And I think one of the key messages I would say to any company wishing to embrace digital is you have to put your arms around ROI right at the beginning, and you need to make it your responsibility all the way through that customer journey that your job is to deliver value. And if you aren’t able to demonstrably deliver value, you’re gonna lose that customer. And you know why? It’s because you’re not giving them value.

A lot of the time we see people trying to sell something for the revenue and then they never get up the stack. I’m talking about this in the context of making sure you’re offering tracking all the way through and able to guide that customer on the journey of making their phone ring, and that’s how you’re gonna get more budgets and that’s how you’re gonna keep that customer for life.

Stop throwing mud at the wall (at your sales team)

George: There are sales trainers that listen to this podcast. And what we’re trying to get out there with real-world examples is, this might be one of the things that’s blocking your sales process. You’ve got a sales rep that’s used to selling a product and not used to having the conversation about ROI. And we’re now living in a space where you have to talk about ROI. Competitors are talking about ROI. And then we’re wondering why we’re not hitting quota, and we’re wondering why our reps aren’t hitting quota. It’s because we need to really train them that this is a different world, and they really don’t have a choice. They have to come over to this side because the competitors are doing it.

Karen: Yeah, absolutely. And I think, well, there’s a couple of other things there. We also have a history of giving salespeople lots of digital products to sell. Almost, let’s throw a lot of mud at the wall and see how much of it sticks. I think my experience, more recently, seeing success with digital go-to-market strategies is where businesses focus on a few things, do them really well, and most importantly, tie it all together. So make sure that every part of the organization understands what’s happening and supports that strategic decision to go to market in that way.

Salespeople’s lives are really hard. You know, whether you’re working in a vertical environment, whether you’re on the High Street talking to small businesses, you have to have an awful lot of information about the business that you’re talking to. And you have to be able to translate that back into why buy my product or why use my product, depending on whether it’s something you’re selling. And so, you know, we really need to simplify and just have a very clear, “This is what we’re doing, this is why we’re doing it, and this is what’s going to happen as a result of doing it,” strategy.

Win the hearts and minds of sales managers

George: For a lot of launches of products or a lot of…when you’re making this transition, you really need to get inside that sales manager’s head and win their heart and mind. Let’s talk a little bit about what some of your strategies have been to do that.

Karen: One of the things that was difficult in the beginning was going into a traditional print media business or sales office with all of the usual stuff going on and the deadlines and everything, and introducing digital products right at the very beginning. The way that we approached that was perhaps wrong, I guess on reflection, but it was then that we needed to win the hearts and minds of the managers, because the majority of media managers have been around a long time. And they are the most engrained. They were good salespeople, generally. They are passionate about their core products, and this new stuff is a bit noisy. And what’s more important is, for the core product, their knowledge is second to none. They know absolutely everything about print, how it works, how the processes work, how things get, you know, taken out to the consumer.

With digital, it’s all a bit of a murky world. And I think, from a sales management point of view, the most important thing is to completely immerse in that product and have that knowledge. So when your salesperson comes to you and asks a question, your action isn’t to pick up the phone and speak to the person in the digital department. Your action is to say, “I’ll come back to you on that,” or be able to actually provision the answer. I’m not sure if that actually answered your question, but that is such an important thing from a sales management point of view. If you’re not self-taught, seek the information and really embrace it. Otherwise, it’s quite a difficult place to be.

Traditional media spend in the UK vs USA

George: Yeah, and we found that the space changes so quickly, that’s the piece that’s daunting for the sales manager, because they are used to having all the answers. Really, the thing that we’ve sold, when it comes to traditional media, hasn’t changed very much. Maybe the way that it’s delivered behind the scenes has changed with efficiencies and technology, but the actual product itself… The one thing we should note for listeners is that the fall off in revenue in print, especially in the UK, hasn’t been as dramatic as it has been in the United States and in Canada. And I noticed that because I am getting newspapers dropped off at my door at the hotel that we’re staying at, that are still very significant with advertising. And let’s talk about that a little bit. Is it because you don’t see the big box influence here? And you talk about the High Street. You just have to walk down one of these streets. There are hundreds of businesses, small businesses there, that you can call on and make a sale to. There really hasn’t been the drop that we saw in North America here in the UK.

Karen: I’m not sure I completely agree with that. I think there’s certainly been a significant reduction in newspaper spend, from the old traditional media spend from the High Street. I think we’ve lost, although there has been a significant loss of revenues from verticals, including the jobs market, property, and motoring. So I think, you know, our media organizations have, perhaps, reacted differently in terms of the way that they’ve coped with that revenue decline compared to our colleagues across in the U.S and Canada. But I think it’s still a real challenge. It’s certainly not one that’s going to go away. And I think one the fundamental things that our media businesses has done is try to protect that revenue, and perhaps to the detriments of digital adoption. But I speak from, you know, an opinion of one there, you know, there are different experiences, depending on which newspaper or media groups, you know, certainly James and I talked to, there were different experiences happening.

James: Yeah, I mean, I would just add to that. Thinking back, I’m pleased to say that Karen and I are working with some newspaper publishers in the UK that I started relationships with eight, nine years ago. One of the key areas there is I think people sort of heard the canary or the canary stop singing in the proverbial mine and started to move to it. We find a very strong appetite to engage as a provider of digital solutions to partners. And, you know, once one can cut through the nuances of the difficulties of go-to-market and everything else, being prepared to look and work with experts in the field, as I say, we literally power over 600 hyper local directories in the UK.

Pretty much all the leading newspaper groups have embraced this principle and are giving these profiles away, digitizing the customer profile, then taking on some version of the customer journey. Now, whether that be a modular approach, which is selling one piece and then another, or whether it be, as Karen was referring to recently, a very successful partnership we have launching a bundled approach, which is based on tiered budgets, I think there’s a strong appetite to embrace this change and recognize that it is something that’s here to stay.

So yeah, I think that the fundamental reason we work with organizations like this, and web.com is a people business. We bring people to digital, okay? That’s what it’s about. And the reason we work with traditional media agencies is because that legacy of trust that they have going back years, sometimes literally centuries, working with customers and knowing that relationship and that history. But then being able to bring the proverbial fire of the internet and being able to work with experts such as ourselves to package that up in a way which can make sense is how that these media companies are transforming themselves.

George: Yeah, the trusted expert comes out over and over and over again. It is one of the themes of this podcast is to help the listeners and help anybody that hears the sound of our voices become more of that trusted expert so that they can better serve their customers. I really appreciate you taking some time. It’s been a great three years getting to know both of you. You definitely are leaders in the field, and I’m excited to see that you’re having a lot of success with this model because it does make a lot of sense. Karen, thank you.

Karen: Thank you.

James: Thanks very much. Great to be here.


Well, what a great episode today. You could tell that James and Karen have a lot of experience in this space. I love getting feedback from organizations that are all around the world because it’s really easy to see, when you talk to more and more of them, that everybody has the same challenges.

Karen’s four quadrants. I’ll tell you that thing right there, and we’re going to include it in the podcast, you can find it online, it really explains where sales organizations are. You can pretty much plot any sales organization or any sales rep into one of those four quadrants. Plus the compensation model, compensation drives behavior and, you know, we really covered that and Karen talks about how that’s so important. And getting that entire organization working on a simple end-to-end digital strategy.

Too many times, we find organizations have this glut of products, and what happens is the salespeople don’t feel confident so then, they just start dumping the product that they are confident in. Make sure to subscribe and tell your friends about the hottest podcast for local sales, “The Conquer Local Podcast.” It’s on iTunes, Google Play, Overcast or SoundCloud. Reach out to me on LinkedIn. I’d love to have you part of our community there. Thank you very much for joining us on this week’s podcast. My name is George Leith. I’ll see when I see you.


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Introducing Conquer Local podcast for marketers, sales experts