Double Sales / Zero Salespeople With Andy Buyting & Jessica Embree
Tulip Media Group’s Founder, Andy Buyting, and Creative Director, Jessica Embree, released their first collaborative publication, Double Sales / Zero Salespeople: Optimize Your Sales and Marketing into One Business Development Strategy That Works, in April 2021 shortly after the release of The Ultimate Culture by Tulip Media Group’s Vice President, Stacey O’Brien, and Managing Editor, Erika MacLeod. It’s been a busy year for our team, and we’re excited to share with you so many incredible secrets to success.
Bold, enticing, and remarkably innovative, Double Sales / Zero Salespeople is a reimagined approach to business designed for everyone from seasoned business leaders to those emerging into the world of business for the very first time. With step-by-step processes and real-world applications, it works as a guidebook for optimizing sales and marketing by using a single business development strategy that really does work. This issue, we’re sitting down with the authors to learn more about the book and the genius behind it.
Andy and Jessica, Thank you so much for being here today. Can you start by telling us what inspired you both to write Double Sale / Zero Salespeople?
We saw a problem, one we ourselves faced in Tulip Media Group.
The problem is this: businesses too often treat sales and marketing as two separate strategies, which creates conflict within the company and actually becomes counterproductive in the selling process.
When the sales and marketing departments are constantly competing for funding while trying to provide value for the company individually, it prevents them from working as a team. The secret to doubling sales is to align these processes and have them work together towards a common sales goal.
Where was Tulip Media Group at when you first decided to apply this strategy compared to where it is now?
Back in 2019, we were struggling. We were successful in that we had a steadily growing base of Client-Partners, but the response to our outbound sales strategy was rapidly declining. At the time, our marketing consisted of traditional methods like attending conferences and trade shows and making countless cold calls. We were logging hundreds of phone calls and emails every week and still falling short of our sales targets every quarter.
At our worst, our cost of acquisition for a new Client-Partners was running a staggering $40,000+. We knew something had to change or we were headed straight for business failure. In May 2019, we took a leap of faith, let the entire sales team go, and dove into an inbound SMarketing strategy, which we discuss in-depth throughout the book. The results have been phenomenal. Since implementing SMarketing, we’ve exceeded every single quarterly sales target and reduced our cost of acquisition to $4,000. This is even during COVID when so many businesses were struggling just to stay out of the red.
Amazing. What did the move to SMarketing look like for Tulip Media Group?
We started by breaking down the eight steps of our selling process and determined what steps required a real person to perform them and what we could automate through effective digital marketing strategies. We then went ahead and automated the entire first half of our sales process, which includes prospecting new target companies, lead generation, introductory meetings, and product demonstrations. Now, we prospect new leads through an inbound digital marketing strategy that incorporates a search engine-optimized, highly responsive, and highly usable website. We generate leads using “StoryBranded” landing pages. We’ve replaced our in-person introductory meetings with short-form written and video content and optional phone consultations. And our product demonstrations are now offered via asynchronous video recordings with an option to book a live demonstration. This has freed up our team to focus on the serious potential Client-Partners that make it to the second half of the selling process.
Strategy sessions, confirmation calls, finishing calls, and closing sales make up the second half of our selling process. At each step, we have a specialist in charge, someone who knows that step inside and out. We optimize the talents of our team by having each person perform only the one or two selling tasks they are best at. This goes against the nature of most sales teams where each salesperson performs every step of the selling process, even if they aren’t strong in every area. On our team, we only play in the positions we are strongest in.
How does this process translate to your Client-Partners?
Being a marketing agency, it would be easy to pour a high proportion of our resources into growing our own company. However, because SMarketing is a service we sell, we opt to treat Tulip Media Group exactly the same way we treat all of our Client-Partners. This empowers us to constantly improve programming from both a Client-Partner and a company standpoint. We have projects for the company in our project management platform where we manage the tasks and deadlines for all of our programs, and we use recurring tasks to post our blog entries, optimize our Google Ad campaigns, and review our newsletter strategy the same way we do for our Client-Partners.
Because we treat Tulip Media Group the same as a Client-Partner, we have a firsthand understanding of the value we are providing to our Client-Partners. We are constantly adding value to all our programs, and having optimized our business development assembly line, we have the power to do this while continuing to experience amazing results in our own company.
That’s fantastic. Have Client-Partners seen the same success with this program?
Absolutely, if not more. They’ve had so much success that we now guarantee program results when onboarding new Client-Partners.
One of our greatest success stories comes from custom fire truck manufacturer, Metalfab. In June 2020, Metalfab came to us looking for a strategy that would help them capture their unique audience of fire chiefs across North America. Because most fire departments only purchase a new fire truck every 5-10 years, Metalfab needed to find a way to reach more chiefs while maintaining relationships with those who had purchased from them in the past. We decided to apply a SMarketing strategy to position Metalfab as an industry expert, using their blog to provide fire chiefs with valuable industry information like how to write a request for proposal and introducing the latest in fire truck technology. By using keyword-optimized Google Ads and content to communicate with existing customers, search engines have deemed Metalfab an industry expert and improved their search engine rankings to help more fire chiefs find them. When any of these fire chiefs is ready to purchase a new fire truck, Metalfab is top of mind.
We’ve also applied SMarketing for many of our Client-Partners in the insurance industry to capture their respective local markets. We use keyword-optimized blog posts to provide their potential clients with information related to insurance coverage and pertinent changes to industry regulations. In much the same way as Metalfab, our Client-Partners are top of mind when new clients need to purchase a policy or when it’s time for existing clients to renew.
By positioning our Client-Partners as experts in their fields, we enable them to act as a resource outside of their buyer’s journey. This way, when potential customers move into a position to buy, our Client-Partners have already established a strong relationship with them and stand out as the preferred purchase option. This keeps them consistently a step ahead of competitors and has resulted in incredible growth for every single company we’ve helped execute a SMarketing strategy.
That’s incredible. How can we get a copy and start applying this strategy for ourselves?
Double Sales / Zero Salespeople is available on Amazon for Kindle, Audible and in paperback. If you’d like to kick off the process with a tailored SMarketing program, visit TulipMediaGroup.com to book a consultation with one of our specialists today.