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SEO Still About Backlinks? Landscape of SEO Strategies (video)

The Changing Landscape of SEO

Our conversation began with AJ Silber, who is currently based in London, UK, sharing his insights on the evolution of the SEO industry. He noted that in the past, SEO strategies heavily relied on backlinks. However, due to the cost and time-consuming nature of this approach, the focus has shifted towards building topical relevance and establishing E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authority, Trust).

AJ clarified that factors like having a legitimate business with contact information and a face behind the business determine trust. Authority is related to link building, while experience and expertise are crucial in ranking content. He predicts that in the future, Google will prioritize ranking content based on the author’s experience and expertise rather than the authority of the website.

The Impact of AI and the Rise of Video Content

We also touched on the impact of AI-generated content and the need to raise the bar in terms of content quality. AJ suggested using different formats, such as videos and reels, to engage and retain readers on a webpage. We both agreed on the importance of delivering content in various ways to cater to different audience preferences and the need to focus on dwell time to improve SEO.

With the rise of video content, it’s crucial to focus on producing high-quality videos that showcase expertise rather than simply churning out content for the sake of it. AJ emphasized the value of creating content from an expert’s perspective and injecting personal experiences and insights to improve its quality.

The Advantage of Small Businesses and the Power of Personal Branding

We discussed the advantage that small businesses have in projecting the personalities of the people behind the business, as opposed to larger organizations that may feel disconnected from their audience. AJ encourages small businesses to start experimenting with their content and voice, treating it as their own sandbox to find what works best for them.

AJ also mentioned the decreasing attention span of consumers and the need to adapt to shorter formats like TikTok and reels. He advises businesses to focus on producing a large volume of content while also building their personal brand. By becoming the face of their business and cultivating a loyal following, businesses can create their own fan base and leverage it for success.

Future Challenges and Opportunities

In terms of future challenges and opportunities, AJ suggests that businesses continue investing in SEO and running ads, as they are still effective marketing strategies. He emphasizes the importance of building a personal brand and diversifying marketing strategies. He suggests investing in video strategies and other marketing techniques to capture shorter attention spans.

We both agreed that while it may be challenging, it has become easier to implement these strategies with the help of tools and professionals like AJ. AJ advises taking action, even if it means starting with basic resources like an iPhone to shoot videos. He believes that sucking at something initially is the first step towards improvement.

Reflections and Resources

We both reflected on our own experiences and how we have learned and grown over time. I mentioned that my early podcasts serve as evidence of my progress. AJ added that Small Business Bonfire offers free resources, articles, and standard operating procedures, with a local SEO course coming soon. He also mentioned his newsletter, the Bonfire Field Guide, which provides tips and tactics for businesses.

Before concluding, we mentioned Podcast Bookers, a platform that connects guests with podcast opportunities. It’s a great resource for anyone looking to share their expertise and reach a wider audience.

In conclusion, our conversation with AJ Silber was a deep dive into the evolving world of SEO, the power of personal branding, and the future of content marketing. It’s clear that the landscape is changing, and businesses need to adapt to stay ahead. Whether it’s investing in SEO, diversifying content formats, or building a personal brand, the key is to start experimenting and find what works best for your business.

Our Host

John is the Amazon-bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.

How Can Sales Enablement Drive Revenue Growth Across the Customer Journey? (video)

The Evolution of Sales Enablement

Hello everyone, I’m John Golden, your host for this podcast, and today we have a special guest, Paul Butterfield, the Executive Board President of the Revenue Enablement Society. Our conversation today revolves around the transition from the Sales Enablement Society to the Revenue Enablement Society, and the importance of focusing on the customer journey.

The Journey from Sales Enablement to Revenue Enablement

Paul’s journey into enablement began 11 years ago when he was tasked with scaling his own sales enablement strategies for his entire organization. He quickly noticed a disconnect between sales and other teams like customer success. This led him to ponder how to enable these teams in the customer journey.

Interestingly, Paul’s realization was not unique. It was a growing trend in the field, which eventually led to the rebranding of the society. The shift from Sales Enablement Society to Revenue Enablement Society signifies the importance of focusing on the customer journey rather than individual silos within the organization.

The Misalignment Between Sales and Marketing

Paul shared an example of the misalignment between sales and marketing when it comes to training sellers. The focus often leans towards business-focused conversations versus feature-based messaging. This misalignment emphasizes the need for collaboration and executive sponsorship to drive the necessary mindset change within the organization.

Paul suggests bringing together key stakeholders from different departments to define the customer experience and work together to achieve it. It’s about optimizing every stage of the customer journey to avoid any weak links that could negatively impact the overall experience.

The Importance of Customer Success

Paul stresses the importance of customer success and the need for continuity throughout the sales process. Sales teams need to uncover specific success metrics and transfer that knowledge to the customer success team. This ensures that customers are getting maximum usage out of what they’ve paid for and can proactively address any issues.

I added that it is crucial to agree on healthy metrics for customers post-sales. Simply assuming that everything is fine without actively communicating with the customer can lead to problems down the line. Building a relationship with customers is more critical than ever, especially in an age where customers may feel that providers are easily swappable.

Differentiating the Buying Experience

Paul suggests that by offering a different buying experience focused on business needs and helping customers look like heroes internally, sales teams can differentiate themselves. He also highlights the importance of building effective business cases with customers to make the deal stickier from the beginning.

We both agree that creating the best customer experience requires constant monitoring and tweaking of the sales process. It’s also important to base sales stages on customer inputs rather than internal indicators, driving the salesperson’s opinion out of the process.

The Power of Active Listening and Curiosity

In a distracted world, active listening and curiosity are becoming rarer, but they present an opportunity for understanding the business outcomes of customers. These essential skills can help sales teams better understand and meet the needs of their customers, ultimately leading to a more successful and satisfying customer journey.

In conclusion, the transition from Sales Enablement Society to Revenue Enablement Society is not just a name change.  Instead of shift in focus from individual silos to the entire customer journey. Collaboration, customer success, differentiating the buying experience, and constant monitoring and tweaking of the sales process. It’s about active listening and curiosity. And most importantly, it’s about creating the best customer experience possible.

Our Host

John is the Amazon-bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.

Most Innovative Strategies for Healthcare Growth and Patient Engagement (video)

In the healthcare industry, there is a common misconception that revenue is solely generated from physically seeing patients. However, strategic planning and innovative marketing expert Jamaul Ford argues that healthcare professionals can achieve patient growth and create new revenue streams by offering ancillary services and building strong relationships with their patients.

Ford’s program, Wealth List, empowers healthcare professionals to do just that. By providing additional products and subscriptions, dentists can help patients maintain good oral health between visits. Speech and hearing therapists and primary care physicians can also use this approach to offer additional services that improve their patient’s quality of life.

In addition to offering ancillary services, Ford also emphasizes the importance of continuous care and communication. Patients often feel disconnected from their doctors and dentists because they only see them when they have a problem. Ford believes that doctors should take the time to understand their patients’ lifestyles and provide support and guidance beyond the physical appointments.

Enhancing Patient-Doctor Relationship

Technology and AI can play a role in enhancing the patient-doctor relationship by providing ongoing support and accountability. For example, AI-powered chatbots can remind patients to stay on their diet or exercise regularly. Ford also believes that technology can help patients and providers connect with each other on a more personal level.

When it comes to partnering patients with the right healthcare providers, Ford believes that it is crucial to understand their needs and preferences. His company, Jamaul Ford Marketing, has received over 10,000 leads for patients in the past two months through B2B communication. Ford and his team prioritize listening to patients and ensuring that they are partnered with providers who align with their values.

Overall, Ford’s insights into the healthcare industry are enlightening. His emphasis is on the importance of patient-doctor relationships, the role of technology, and the need for continuous care and communication. His program, Wealth List, is a testament to his commitment to these principles, aiming to increase revenue for providers and make patients feel cared for.

Our Host

John is the Amazon-bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.

The Most Overlooked Aspect of Sales: Process Adherence (video)

Sales process adherence is often overlooked, but it is crucial for the success of any sales organization. When a sales team follows a defined process consistently, it can lead to increased sales, improved customer satisfaction, and reduced costs.

In a recent podcast interview, I had the pleasure of speaking with Spencer Wixom, President & CEO of The Brooks Group, about the importance of sales process adherence. Spencer is a seasoned sales professional with over 30 years of experience, and his insights were invaluable.

The Reality of Sales Process Adherence

Spencer shared that while many organizations claim to have a sales process, only a small percentage actually follow it consistently. This lack of adherence can lead to disorganization and confusion in customer interactions, which can ultimately impact sales negatively.

The Three Basic Rules for Process Adherence

Spencer emphasized three basic rules for sales process adherence:

  • Do not skip steps.
  • Complete each step before moving on.
  • Ensure that both the salesperson and the customer are in the same step at the same time.

These rules are essential to avoid misinterpretation and to ensure a smooth sales process.

The Importance of Initial Stages in the Sales Process

Spencer and I also discussed the importance of spending more time and effort on the initial stages of the sales process. This is because the initial stages set the foundation for success in the later stages. Spencer cautioned against rushing through to the negotiation and closing stages, as this can result in customers not tracking with the process.

Adapting to Changing Market Dynamics

In today’s rapidly changing business environment, it is essential to regularly revisit and tweak the sales process to adapt to changing buyer behavior and market dynamics. Spencer shared that The Brooks Group reviews its sales process quarterly to ensure that it is aligned with the current market landscape.

The Difference Between Methodology and Process in Sales

Spencer made an interesting comparison between the sales process and a chord progression in music. He stated that if the process is not followed correctly, it will sound bad or wrong. This emphasizes the importance of having the right skills to execute the sales process effectively.

Assessing Salespeople’s Situational Acumen

To assess salespeople’s situational acumen in each stage of the sales process, The Brooks Group has developed an assessment called the Selling Skills Index. This assessment helps evaluate the intuition and decision-making abilities of salespeople. Interestingly, Spencer shared that salespeople struggle the most in the discovery and probing stages of the process.

The Challenges in the Current Economic Environment

We also discussed the challenges salespeople face in the current economic environment, where buyers are more cautious with their spending. Spencer highlighted the importance of competing against the “no decision” option, as it can often be the easiest and safest choice for buyers.

The Traits of Successful Salespeople

Spencer and I agreed that the best salespeople possess curiosity and intellectual curiosity about their prospects’ businesses and the business world in general. We also noted the decline in listening skills and emphasized the importance of investing in sales team skills development, especially during tough times.

Investing in Sales Team Skills Development

Many people tend to think about investing in their sales team only when times are good and they have extra money. However, I argued that it is during tough times that investing in skill development is crucial. Those who invest in skill development during tough times are the ones who emerge the strongest. Spencer agreed with this, stating that this is a well-known fact that has been statistically proven.

Sales process adherence is essential for the success of any sales organization. By following the three basic rules of process adherence, investing in sales team skills development, and adapting to changing market dynamics, sales organizations can position themselves for success in any economic environment.

Our Host

John is the Amazon-bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.

The Ultimate Guide to Achieving Bliss through Time Management (video)

In the hustle and bustle of modern life, achieving a sense of bliss can feel like a distant dream. However, with effective time management strategies and a commitment to personal growth, we can all take steps towards a more fulfilling and balanced existence. In this enlightening conversation with Carol Williams, a renowned time management expert and coach, we delve into the secrets of overcoming obstacles, embracing discipline, and ultimately achieving bliss.

The First Step: Recognizing the Desire for Change

Carol Williams emphasizes that the journey towards effective time management and achieving bliss begins with a conscious decision to embrace change. She highlights the importance of identifying one’s true desires and aligning actions with those aspirations. Carol shares the inspiring story of a financial advisor she worked with who discovered his passion for recycling and composting, a realization that transformed his outlook and motivation.

The Ultimate Goal: Freedom and Reduced Stress

As the host, I concur with Carol’s assertion that the ultimate goal of time management is not merely productivity but also achieving freedom and reducing stress levels. By streamlining our tasks and eliminating unnecessary burdens, we create space for creativity, passion, and overall well-being.

Overcoming Challenges Faced by Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners

The entrepreneurial journey can be both exhilarating and demanding, often leading to burnout if not managed effectively. Carol suggests striking a balance between enthusiasm and steady progress to avoid this pitfall. She explains that her coaching process involves clarifying goals and determining the level of commitment before proceeding, emphasizing the importance of personal conviction for lasting change.

Fear and Comfort Zones: Embracing the Unknown

Carol and I acknowledge that the fear of past failures and the reluctance to step out of comfort zones often hinder personal growth. We emphasize that change, while challenging, is essential for achieving our full potential.

Discipline and Realistic Expectations: The Cornerstones of Success

Carol delves into the concept of discipline, highlighting its nuances for men and women. She explains that discipline involves undertaking tasks that may be uncomfortable or unfamiliar but are necessary for achieving one’s goals. We also discuss the importance of setting realistic expectations and cultivating patience in a world that often prioritizes instant gratification.

Small Steps and Accountability: The Power of Incremental Change

We emphasize the significance of living with an eye towards the future, taking small steps consistently to achieve long-term goals. I underscore the cumulative effect of minor actions and the need to maintain momentum. Carol shares her approach of gamifying tasks and fostering accountability through group challenges and rewards.

The Value of a Coach or Accountability Buddy: External Support

I highlight the value of having a coach or accountability buddy to provide support and encouragement throughout the journey. We both emphasize the importance of this in achieving one’s goals and maintaining motivation.

Conclusion: A Call to Action

As we conclude our conversation, I express my gratitude to Carol Williams for her insightful contributions and encourage the listeners to explore the resources provided below the video. I invite everyone to join us again for future episodes filled with valuable insights and inspiration.

Key Takeaways:

  • Effective time management is the key to achieving bliss and a fulfilling life.
  • Overcoming fear and stepping out of comfort zones is essential for personal growth.
  • Discipline and realistic expectations are crucial for accomplishing goals.
  • Small steps and accountability are powerful tools for incremental change.
  • A coach or accountability buddy can provide invaluable support and encouragement.

By embracing these principles and committing to personal growth, we can all take steps towards achieving bliss and living a more fulfilling and balanced life.

Our Host

John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.

Why is middle age so challenging for finding purpose in life? (video)

Midlife can be a challenging and transformative period for many people. It’s a time when individuals often reassess their lives, reflect on their accomplishments, and question their future direction. In a recent podcast episode, I had the pleasure of interviewing Molly Seidel, a midlife change coach and the creator of the podcast “I Am This Age.” Our conversation delved into the struggles and opportunities that come with midlife, emphasizing the importance of self-discovery, embracing imperfection, and cultivating strong relationships.

The Challenges of Middle Age

Molly and I began by discussing the common challenges faced by individuals in midlife. She explained that many adults spend their early adulthood pursuing specific goals, such as a particular career, financial stability, or material possessions. However, upon achieving these external markers of success, they may find themselves feeling unfulfilled and questioning their life’s purpose. This can lead to a midlife crisis, a period of uncertainty and reflection.

I added that the definition of midlife has become more complex in recent years. People are living longer, delaying retirement, and often juggling multiple responsibilities, including work, family, and personal commitments. This can add to the stress and uncertainty of midlife.

The Power of Self-Discovery

To navigate these challenges, Molly emphasized the importance of self-discovery. She encouraged individuals to be present in the moment, explore new interests, and step outside their comfort zones. Trying new things, she said, is a way to understand oneself better and find new passions in life.

I agreed, noting that starting something new can be both humbling and liberating. It allows individuals to approach life with a beginner’s mindset, free from the constraints of past experiences and expectations.

Escaping the Trap of Comparison

Our conversation also touched on the issue of social comparison, which Molly referred to as “comparisonitis.” We agreed that the constant exposure to others’ seemingly perfect lives on social media can fuel feelings of inadequacy and dissatisfaction. Molly encouraged individuals to focus on their own journeys and celebrate their unique strengths and accomplishments.

The Importance of Relationships

We then shifted our focus to the importance of relationships in midlife. Molly mentioned studies showing that a strong social network is crucial for a long and fulfilling life. She encouraged individuals to evaluate the people in their lives and determine their impact on their well-being. Cultivating positive and supportive relationships can provide a sense of belonging, companionship, and emotional support.

Embracing Imperfection

Molly and I also discussed the concept of perfection and the importance of giving oneself and others grace. She emphasized that no one is perfect and that part of being a mature adult is understanding and accepting this. We also talked about the value of admitting when one doesn’t know something and the trust that comes with humility.

Our Host

John is the Amazon-bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.

The Future of Mobile Commerce: the Powerful Sales Channel (video)

Mobile commerce is rapidly evolving, with app commerce poised to overtake e-commerce as the primary driver of online sales. In a recent podcast episode, industry experts John Golden from Sales POP Online Sales Magazine and Pipeline CRM and Campbell Paton, co-founder and CEO of Store Lab, discussed the future of mobile commerce and the shift towards app commerce.

The Rise of App Commerce

Paton, a specialist in mobile apps and mobile marketing, believes that app commerce will eventually surpass e-commerce as the primary driver of online sales. He cites three main drivers for this trend:

  • Push notifications: Push notifications have higher conversion rates than email, SMS, and traditional advertising methods. They are also free to send, making them a powerful tool for businesses.
  • Enhanced user experience: Mobile apps provide a faster and more streamlined browsing experience compared to mobile web. This leads to higher conversion rates and a more satisfying user experience.
  • Increased retention rates: Mobile apps can create a sense of exclusivity and community, leading to increased customer retention and higher purchase frequency.

Paton advises companies to consider a no-code solution for app development, prioritize conversion rate optimization in app design, and actively plan and strategize app content and push notification campaigns.

Balancing Human Connection with Technology

The conversation also touched on the challenge of balancing human connection with technology in the app industry. People are increasingly seeking human connection, but at the same time, they rely heavily on apps and technology. Some apps have chat bot functions or the option to talk to a human, which helps retain a level of human connection within the app experience.

The Importance of Storytelling and Authenticity in E-commerce

Golden and Paton discussed the importance of storytelling and authenticity in e-commerce. Businesses should tell their story, show behind-the-scenes processes, and establish trust and credibility with customers. Authenticity and credibility can be easily achieved through simple tools like smartphones.

The Impact of AI on the App Industry

The conversation then shifted to the impact of AI on the app industry. AI can be used for personalized recommendations and text-based marketing platforms like push notifications.

The Concept of “Less is More” in App Design

Finally, Golden and Paton touched on the concept of “less is more” in app design, highlighting the importance of focusing on essential features and avoiding clutter. App builders provide pre-designed elements that are optimized for conversion rates, ensuring a streamlined and effective user experience.

The discussion between Campbell Paton and John Golden provided a deep dive into the future of mobile commerce, the rise of app commerce, and the importance of balancing human connection with technology. Paton’s expertise in app design and mobile marketing added valuable insights to the conversation.

Our Host

John is the Amazon-bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.

How can a strong sales process turn around a struggling software company? (video)

Understanding the Acquisition and the Need for Change

As the host of the Sales POP! Online Sales Magazine and Pipeline CRM. I had the pleasure of interviewing Andrew Swiler, the CEO of a leading software suite for Microsoft users. Our conversation revolved around his experience acquiring and turning around a software company. Andrew emphasized the importance of understanding what you’re buying when acquiring a company and the need for significant changes when sales are flat.

The sales team he inherited had no objectives or KPIs and lacked modern sales tactics. They were solely focused on farming the current user base for revenue and were resistant to change. Andrew shared that the existing sales process was not really a process at all, with each salesperson having their own way of selling. This lack of structure and resistance to change were the first challenges Andrew had to tackle.

Implementing a Personalized Approach to Sales

To turn things around, Andrew implemented a more personalized approach to the sales process. He encouraged the sales team to make personalized calls and send personalized emails, showing genuine interest in the prospects’ businesses. He also emphasized the importance of curiosity in sales, comparing it to the mindset of entrepreneurs. Andrew believes that salespeople need to be curious and constantly seek new knowledge and insights to succeed.

Rebuilding the Sales Team

Andrew discussed the process of rebuilding his sales team. He let go of most of the existing salespeople, except for one dedicated individual who had been with the company for ten years. This person was highly knowledgeable about the product and always went the extra mile to support the team. Andrew decided to give him a chance to prove himself as an asset, even though he wasn’t the best salesperson.

To rebuild the team, Andrew worked with someone to create a sales playbook that outlined their processes and steps for lead management, email sequences, and more. They then hired a few new salespeople, but one of them turned out to be unreliable and had taken another job without informing Andrew. This experience highlighted the importance of honesty and integrity in a small company like theirs.

The Challenges of Hiring Great Salespeople

Andrew emphasized the need for candidates who have held a job for more than three years. He finds it confusing how some people with a history of job-hopping still get hired. We also touched on the entrepreneurial nature of salespeople and the importance of curiosity and adaptability in a constantly changing market.

Andrew mentioned that he tries to hire more women in sales, as he believes they tend to be more honest and wants to address the gender imbalance in the industry.

The Importance of Authenticity in Sales

We discussed the importance of authenticity in sales and the shift towards more human-centric selling. I mentioned that women salespeople often bring a natural level of empathy and authenticity to their interactions. Andrew agreed and added that many salespeople, both men and women, are naturally competitive. Sometimes this competitiveness can manifest in a toxic way.

Andrew shared an example of a toxic salesperson who would yell at people on the marketing team and treat others with deference. He emphasized that authenticity is crucial in sales.  As people can see through inauthentic behavior.

The Need for Genuine Connections

Before the pandemic, there was already a growing desire for human relationships in sales.  The pandemic has further highlighted the need for genuine connections. Andrew mentioned a statistic from McKinsey that 80% of software buyers prefer not to speak to someone. Before purchasing software, which surprised him. I suggested that this preference may stem from bad experiences. If a salesperson can surprise and provide value to the buyer, they will stand out from the competition.

Our Host

John is the Amazon-bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.

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