634: Solution-Based Selling: A Powerful Sales Strategy for Small Businesses | Kaylene Grieve

Podcast Cover Image: Solution-Based Selling: A Powerful Sales Strategy for Small Businesses Featuring Kaylene Grieve
Podcast Cover Image: Solution-Based Selling: A Powerful Sales Strategy for Small Businesses Featuring Kaylene Grieve

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On the latest episode, we are thrilled to have Kaylene Grieve joining us today. Kaylene is the Managing Director of Sales, SEO, and Social Media (SSSM), a renowned marketing services agency based in Sydney, Australia. With an impressive track record of over 25 years in sales and marketing, Kaylene and her team at SSSM have consistently delivered exceptional results for numerous companies.

One of their remarkable achievements is their ability to identify the perfect volume and target markets, ensuring a consistent flow of 8-10 sales-qualified leads per month for their clients.

Through a strategic blend of inbound and outbound techniques, Kaylene and her team have consistently generated additional sales and marketing-qualified leads, providing invaluable consistency to businesses.

Tune in to learn from Kaylene’s extensive expertise as she shares her insights, strategies, and experiences in the world of sales and marketing!

Conquer Local is presented by Vendasta. We have proudly served 5.5+ million local businesses through 60,000+ channel partners. Learn more about Vendasta and we can help your organization or learn more about Vendasta’s Affiliate Program and how our listeners (like yourself) are making up to $10,000 off referrals.

Are you an entrepreneur, salesperson, or marketer? Keep the learning going in the Conquer Local Academy.

Solution-Based Selling: A Powerful Sales Strategy for Small Businesses


Jeff Tomlin: Welcome to the Conquer Local Podcast! Our show features successful sales leaders, marketers, thought leaders and entrepreneurs who will inspire you with their success stories. Each episode is packed with practical strategies, as our guests share their secrets to achieving their dreams. Listen in to learn the highlights of their remarkable accomplishments and get tips to revamp, rework, and reimagine your business. Whether you’re a small business owner, marketer, or aspiring entrepreneur, the Conquer Local Podcast is your ultimate guide to dominating your local market. Tune in now to take your business to the next level! 

I’m Jeff Tomlin and on this episode, we’re pleased to welcome Kaylene Grieve Kaylene is the Managing Director of Sales, SEO and Social Media, (SSSM) a marketing services agency based in Sydney Australia. With over 25 years of Sales and marketing experience, they have helped numerous companies achieve tremendous results. Knowing the right volume needed and nailing the right target markets, they consistently provide clients with 8-10 sales-qualified leads per month. They use a blend of inbound and outbound strategies to always deliver additional sales and marketing-qualified leads to a business with consistency.

Get ready Conquerors for Kaylene Grieve coming up next on this week’s episode of the Conquer Local Podcast.

Kaylene Grieve’s Journey from Tech Sales to Solution-Based Marketing.

Jeff Tomlin: Kaylene Grieve, welcome to the Conquer Local podcast, sales and marketing expertise coming all the way from Sydney, Australia. How are you doing Kaylene?

Kaylene Grieve: Very well, thank you for having me. How are you going?

Jeff Tomlin: It is going fantastic here. We’re rockin’ and rollin’, and thought we would just jump into things, and give us a little bit about your background, where are you from, who’s your mom, how’d you get to what you’re doing right now in the sales and marketing world?

Kaylene Grieve: It’s a bit of a funny story. I’ve been in corporate sales for a long, long time, in the technology space, and selling lots of telephone systems and IT equipment, et cetera, and thought I’d need to get out of this technology game and jump into marketing. And now I think there’s more technology in marketing than there is in technology so, it’s been an interesting journey. The reason I started this business was I was practicing hypnotherapy at the time, this is about 10 years ago now, and I did a bit of a survey on potential clients ’cause I was gonna move it into, like, a performance-based hypnotherapy practice so we could help sales teams and that type of thing. And the biggest challenge most businesses seemed to be facing was lead generation, and I just thought, wow, this is a real opportunity to get in there and help businesses with their marketing and their lead gen and all of that kind of stuff so, that’s how we started. I did a course in social media marketing, and SEO, and all of that stuff, and here we are 10 years later. It’s been an interesting journey, that’s for sure.

Jeff Tomlin: You know what amazes me? No matter how much time you spend in the space, there are always insights to be had when it comes to the world of lead generation-

Kaylene Grieve: Mm-hmm.

Jeff Tomlin: And you never know at all, and I’m constantly surprised when I have conversations with experts in the space so, I’m excited to jump into it. Yeah, before we jump in over there, and lead generation, and getting into that, you guys have a lot of success with solution-based selling, and one of the things around the office here is talking a lot about sales methodologies and approaches to that, and I thought maybe you could give us a little bit of insight into the way that you guys approach sales and the success that you’re having over there.

Kaylene Grieve: Yeah. Well, solution-based selling is interesting because you can get down into the detail with clients, so everybody’s business is different and they all have different needs so when you, sort of, talk to clients about what outcomes they’re looking for you can really tailor a service that hits those markers. You know, there’s so much you can do online, as you know, that it’s just such a vast area of marketing and, you know, you can’t really do it all, that you’ve gotta have your specialists in their different fields. So really understanding what the clients need, and then tailoring the solution to meet those objectives, we find is a smarter way to approach the sales cycle with clients. And it means also too, we don’t have those uncomfortable conversations each month when we’re going through the reports on, “Where’s my leads, where’s my traffic, what’s happening, why aren’t we getting, you know, sales?” That type of thing. So, it’s a really good way to, sort of, narrow down on what people need, deliver on that, and get the results. So we monitor progress each month with reporting, and then it just gives you a bit of feedback on what’s working and what’s not. So if you do need to make some adjustments, you can do that quite easily and, you know, keep measuring and reporting on it so you’re continuously giving clients results. And one of the great things that we love about this business is our clients have been with us for years, so we’re obviously doing something right for them, which is great, but I think that solution-based sale is the great approach because it’s all about them, and that’s all they care about, as we all do.

A Mix of Lead Generation and Content is Vital in Marketing.

Jeff Tomlin: Right, right, and when you’re solution-based selling, the mix is really important, right? Like, the customer journey today isn’t a straight line anymore and so the mix that you provide is really, really important. So, you know, when you’re putting a proposal in front of a client, and you’ve got different things in it to approach creating demand, how do you propose that? And are there any challenges in people looking at line items and saying, “Hey, how does this fit in, am I getting any return on this piece?” And being able to communicate that to the client, and how they work together.

Kaylene Grieve: Yeah. Yeah, sometimes it’s difficult, like, when you’re working with clients that don’t understand marketing, explaining why we need to do some things is often interesting. And business owners, very bottom line focused type people so they want to see the results, and sometimes some elements of marketing don’t deliver a direct result, or it’s harder to measure, like, say content is harder to measure than say lead generation, because sometimes people don’t remember how they came to you, they don’t, you know, know why, in their brain, they’ve thought of you to come to talk to you about business. So yeah, so, having those different elements is really important, and having, I think, a mix of lead gen and content as a baseline for marketing is critical, because when you’re doing the lead gen processes then you’ve got that volume coming in. And checking the business out, the first thing they’re gonna do is come and look at your social media, they’re gonna come and have a look at the website, and if it’s not current and updated, they go, “Ugh.” It just kind of rattles that trust with people, and you’re not helping that rapport-building process online. So if you’ve got a little bit of both going and, you know, small businesses need to also bear in mind budgets, they don’t have vast amounts of budgets to spend on marketing, so you’ve gotta get that balance right with what’s gonna get a result and what’s gonna keep that brand awareness sticking through news feeds and all of that kind of stuff to keep them front of mind with clients, you know, as they’re looking for products and services.

Social Media Boosts SEO through Search-Friendly Content.

Jeff Tomlin: You mentioned website and social media, and so one of the areas that’s often a black box for clients is SEO and the world of SEO, and maybe talk a little bit about the way that you see social media’s role today in building SEO and supporting it.

Kaylene Grieve: Absolutely. It’s a bit of a missed opportunity for a lot of businesses because oftentimes you’ll go on and, say, look at Facebook or LinkedIn, and look at the about section of the business to see more about what they do, and a lot of businesses leave that information either very, very short or, you know, it’s not all filled out, it’s actually a really good thing to think about. So all of the about sections on the social platforms are search-friendly, so if you’re, like, in the description area on LinkedIn you’ve got 2000 characters, you can write almost a web page worth of content about what you do. And if that’s loaded with search terms, obviously writing for humans first and search engine second, that just helps the search engines find you. And if the search engines find you, clients can find you, because that’s basically how it works in the online world today. So if you’ve got those about sections filled out really well, and because those social platforms usually have higher domain authorities than most businesses, you may have a better opportunity of showing up in the search results on a social platform than your own business URL popping up first.

SEO is Crucial for Small Businesses; Optimizes Website, Content, and Backlinks.

Jeff Tomlin: You know, I still find today that social, that SEO rather, is a missed opportunity for a lot of small businesses, and everyone in the space has, sort of, a different starting point, at least I’m finding that today when they’re looking at SEO. First off, maybe just talk a little bit about why it’s still so important for a small business today, and where you guys start in the SEO strategy and breaking things down.

Kaylene Grieve: Yeah, absolutely. It’s critical because, I’m not sure what the latest statistic is, and this changes regularly, but the last time I heard, 93% of all purchases start with a search. So that’s huge, right? So if you’re not showing up online, you’re not showing up for clients, which is really important. So, one of the 101 things we do is we always check the back of the site. So, small businesses don’t necessarily always have the budget to update their website from, you know, a full upgrade, so if we can backend the website with SEO, make sure each page is optimized with a keyword, that’s kind of foundational, and oftentimes we’ll find that isn’t done on most clients’ websites, even if they’ve been paying for SEO, which is astonishing. And then we look at their content strategy, so how are we gonna build this out? So the more content on the website that’s keyword optimized, the bigger the digital footprint, and if you can continue to add to that over time obviously your digital footprint is gonna grow online. We also look at things like directories, are they a location-based business, can we get them landing in the maps on page one by using directories? Quora questions are a great way for clients to land on page one, answering lots of Quora questions online, and linking back to the website is a great way to drive organic traffic, and backlinking. So, backlinking, you need to be mindful of using proper, you know, companies that manage backlinks for you and can write the content for you is often easier. So using those five-ish or so strategies with SEO for a small business kind of keeps them going, it builds the foundation really strongly of the website. So that doesn’t change, ’cause that stays with the website, even if you turn off the SEO service, so to speak, but it just increases their visibility online and if you think of each website page as a sales rep working for you 24/7 in the sky, that’s a good way to sort of build out the website. So if you’ve got all of your keywords that you wanna use, and each page has been optimized with a keyword, those little sales reps are out there working for you and, you know, whenever someone’s typing in a search for that particular term, or like that term, you just have a better opportunity of showing up.

Jeff Tomlin: I find for a lot of small businesses that still haven’t done a really good job of optimizing their overall presence for search, it doesn’t take a huge lift to start making a big difference in the traffic and the attention that they can get online.

Kaylene Grieve: Yeah.

Content Marketing is Viable but Slower, and Ad Budgets are Important.

Jeff Tomlin: One area I wanted to ask you about is the content marketing area right now. So, inbound marketing became very, very popular quite a few years ago now, and over time it’s grown, and more and more people understand it. They’re producing content out there in all sorts of different forms. It’s become a lot more competitive, even for small businesses in different geographies, there’s a lot of competition there, is it still a doable strategy for a lot of businesses to invest in content marketing today?

Kaylene Grieve: It definitely is. I guess it’s more of a slower burn from a lead gen perspective, and you really have to have your ducks lined up if you’re using it in a campaign format. The content marketing gives you the opportunity to use different forms of content across many different platforms. So, like, you could create a blog and then turn that into different social posts, you could create a series of blogs, turn that into a white paper, there’s so many different things that you can do with the content that the initial cost of creating that piece of content can then be replicated and used in many other different formats so, it does become quite a cost-effective way to market the business. It also gives you the opportunity to, like back in the day when we weren’t using online as much, you didn’t really know what your competitors were doing, so now we have the opportunity to research that and look at ways that we can better that or tap into different markets that we might not have thought of before. So, content can really help you, sort of, branch out in that way as well. And like I said before, it’s the slow burn, it’s the way that people will find you, it’s almost like if the content is well formatted and the SEO is correct on the page, on the website, it’s almost like you’ve given the mailman the correct envelope with the correct address for that person to find you, because you’re just making it easier for the search engines and people to find you. So, yeah, definitely content is a viable and important aspect of marketing. I think there is still a bit of resistance against it because it is a slower burn than, say, like a very direct lead gen approach.

Jeff Tomlin: Yeah, are you finding that the content that we produce, especially in the small business world, sticks around as long as it used to, or are you guys seeing, like, an increased decay in it, and what does that mean? Does that mean that they have to increase the velocity of the content that they’re producing or is it a volume game?

Kaylene Grieve: I think a bit of both, It definitely is a volume game, but also it’s an ad budget game. So I think organically, content doesn’t hang around as long as it maybe used to, one, because there is more of it, we’re just inundated with content, and news feeds move very fast. So, Twitter used to be the fastest-moving newsfeed but now I think the others have all caught up, It’s very fast, in the social space at least. But I think the main reason is, the platforms where they want you to have an ad budget, and I think a lot of small businesses have, kind of, balked at that in the past, but you need to, when you’re putting your budgets together, really put some ad spend into a budget for marketing. Because otherwise, unless you have, you know, thousands and thousands of people following you online, your organic content isn’t gonna reach very far and it’s not gonna stay in the news feed for very long. But if you’re boosting that or spending ad money on that, you can keep that in the news feeds for a lot longer over a period, and I think that’s why, potentially, content isn’t lasting as long as it used to, because the social platforms want you to spend money on advertising, which makes sense.

New Marketers: Certifications, Networking, Freelancing, Showcase Skills, and be Remarkable.

Jeff Tomlin: Yeah, yeah. I find with news feeds, everything’s got a feed now and the feeds are moving faster and faster. As our younger generation grows up, they grew up in this world and, a lot of them, content creation is secondhand to them now, not only consuming it but creating it. So, for the younger generation that is getting into the marketing field now, and they’ve got, sort of, this foundational knowledge of how social media works and they know, foundationally, how to create content and even create audiences, what advice do you give them coming into the world now? Because, you know, when marketing seriously, you have to connect the audience to an end goal and actually drive an ROI at the end of the day, and there’s a little bit more under the hood that you have to do, right?

Kaylene Grieve: A hundred percent, yeah. I think for new people starting out, obviously getting the certifications, you know? The different platforms like LinkedIn, and the different CRM platforms, getting certifications in areas that they’d like to specialize in is really a great start. Also building their own online profile content, like, the best way to demonstrate experience is by showcasing it, so if you’ve got great social platforms yourself and you’re interested in creating that content, I think it’s great to build that out. Definitely looking for internships or volunteering-type roles if they’re really, sort of, new to the game. I definitely recommend networking, the old adage of turning up to an event. It always works, like, I remember when I used to work for a business channel and we’d always turn up at the big corporate and have a coffee with the reps and whatever, without fail, there was always a lead or a new opportunity coming sometime that week because you were front of mind. So, definitely get out there and start networking and, yeah, putting your feelers out there I think is a great place to start. Also freelancing, like, if you wanna get your feet wet, start by doing freelance jobs, ’cause usually agencies will hire freelancers to do different specialties. So if you’re really good at what you do and the agency is using you, they’ll either be able to use more of you through the freelancing app that you’re using or potentially offer you a role, which is a great way to, sort of, demonstrate skills as well.

Jeff Tomlin: I like that advice of thinking about how you put yourself out there is the greatest way to prove your medal to a pro, whether it’s a new client, or whether it’s for a job that you’re applying for. We say around here, that the worst thing a marketer could be is unremarkable.

Kaylene Grieve: Yeah, absolutely.

Jeff Tomlin: And so it matters, right? It matters how you put yourself out there-

Kaylene Grieve: Absolutely.

Jeff Tomlin: And how you interact, and how you present yourself online.

Kaylene Grieve: Yeah, a hundred percent.

Consistency is Key in Marketing and Consider Outsourcing for Help.

Jeff Tomlin: Kaylene, what are a few takeaways that you have for the audience that you want them to keep in the back of their mind?

Kaylene Grieve: Yeah, I think with marketing for your business, consistency is the key. We see this every month, like, sometimes if clients have got something on or they miss elements of their marketing, you can see that reflected in the report. So if you’re doing your marketing objectives each month on end, on end, on end, you’re just gonna see that steady growth in the reporting, which is what you want, which will also equate to steady growth in results, and opportunities, and sales. Yeah, so doing one-off things is not ideal. What else? Get someone to help you, if you’re not good at marketing, outsource it, like, there’s so many ways you can outsource it, there’s freelancing, there are agencies, there’s interns, just get some help, but keep that consistent. And keep doing things that are working so, the results will speak for themselves. So if you’ve got that measure in place, do more of what’s working and less of what’s not, basically.

Getting in Touch with Kaylene Grieve

Jeff Tomlin: And that is a great note to wrap on. Kaylene Grieve, thank you so much for taking some time out of your very busy day to spend with us here on the Conquer Local podcast. If people wanna continue the conversation with you and get in touch, how do they reach out to you?

Kaylene Grieve: If they come to salesseoandsocialmedia.com, it’s a bit of a mouthful. We’ve got some free resources on the homepage, we also have a free online audit we can do for clients. So, if they’re interested in seeing how they’re performing online at the moment, we can have a look at things behind the scenes for them and go through that with them on a consult.

Jeff Tomlin: That’s fantastic. Kaylene Grieve, everyone, thank you so much for joining us here and I bid you a very productive day and a fond farewell.

Kaylene Grieve: Thank you for having me, and have a fantastic day.


Jeff Tomlin: I’ve really enjoyed Kaylene’s analogies and overall an insightful conversation. Solution-based selling in marketing, focused on tailoring strategies to meet clients’ needs and outcomes, can lead to long-term client retention and continuous results. Specialization and expertise in different marketing areas, such as lead generation and content marketing, are essential for providing value to clients and achieving success.

Building a strong digital footprint through SEO, content marketing, and social media presence is crucial for businesses to attract and retain customers in today’s competitive online landscape. Consistency and investment in content creation and marketing are key to staying relevant and reaching target audiences effectively. And lastly, freelance work and networking can be valuable starting points for individuals looking to enter the marketing industry and hone their skills.

If you’ve enjoyed Kaylene Grieve’s episode discussing Solution-Based Selling: A Powerful Sales Strategy for Small Businesses revisit some of our recent episodes from the archives, check out 627: Driving Business Growth through Effective SEO Strategies with Nic Padilla or Episode 618: Mastering Partnerships and Go-To-Market Success with Barrett King 

Until next time, I’m Jeff Tomlin. Get out there and be awesome!