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Episode Info:

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For years Marketing and Sales have been complementary but isolated departments. There was no reason for them to function in any other way. But the world has changed - business has changed. With the rapid evolution of digital technology, business cycles are more complex and buyers are more sophisticated. Organizations who thrive in the world of digitally engaged customers are those that adapt to the buyer’s behavior by marketing, selling, supporting and delivering a great customer experience leveraging digital engagement.

Chris Sikora is Vice President of Marketing for Strategic Enterprise and The Public Sector at CenturyLink. Chris has more than three decades of sales experience in the telecommunications industry. His background in sales uniquely equips him to help with the digital transformation journey the company is making - and it’s not a small undertaking for CenturyLink with 55,000 employees. He's been working diligently to equip his marketing and sales teams at CenturyLink to use digital tools to be effective at reach, engagement, and building sales pipeline.

CenturyLink is a global telecommunications company and provider of technology solutions with IT, hosting, managed services, connectivity, cloud and security solutions for global enterprise customers. The company has customers in more than 60 countries and has an intense focus on the customer experience. Listen to hear how Chris is equipping his marketing and sales teams to embrace digital tools to reach and engage their customer - and the results they are experiencing.

This episode is brought to you by Zubtitle, a new online tool that makes it easy to automatically add captions to any video in minutes. Don’t let your videos get passed over on social media because people can’t follow along on mute. Head to http://Zubtitle.com/Vengreso to get started.

When The Marketing & Sales Gears Turn In Isolation, We Have A Problem

When Chris took on his current role at CenturyLink, the structure of the business was very traditional. The marketing department did its thing and the sales department did its thing. Chris had spent enough time in a modern sales environment to know that had to change. The reason is that the modern B2B buyer is more educated about products and services they need, so marketing and sales need to work in tandem more than ever to gain the customer's attention, earn their trust and keep it.

Listen to this episode to hear how Chris is leading the way as the CenturyLink team has changed its approach to both marketing and sales with a digital first mindset and strategy. The integration of social media, LinkedIn, social selling best practices, digital advertising and more are enabling salespeople at CenturyLink to be digital first and produce impressive results (see below).

Sellers Need To Be Teachers And Guides To Customers

The buyers that are considering the products or services you sell know almost as much about them as you do - from internet searches, from your company website, from reviews, blogs, downloadable content, comments from peers, and from friends or associates who may have used your product or service. They don’t need you to “sell” them, they need you to listen and to field their specific questions relating to their needs.

Chris says that one of his biggest goals in leading digital transformation at CenturyLink is to help sellers become teachers and guides to buyers. Sellers have to understand their buyer’s journey and learn to provide resources they need in order to make buying decisions. On this episode, Chris explains the impact of social selling training his teams received from Vengreso to make them more effective at buyer engagement and through a digital first approach.

A “digital first” approach to marketing and selling means many things. But primarily it’s about utilizing digital tools and online platforms to engage in a helpful way with the people who are potentially looking to buy your product or service. One of the things Chris’ team learned is the value of well-written profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter, and other digital platforms. The training taught them how to use those platforms to build their personal brands as representatives of the company. This powerful strategy opened the door to greater effectiveness as a sales team. Listen to this episode to hear how Chris’ team is doing it.

Do You Know How To Address Customer Problems From A “Digital First” Mindset?

A “digital first” approach to marketing and selling means many things. But primarily it’s about utilizing digital tools and online platforms to engage in a helpful way with the people who are potentially looking to buy your product or service. One of the things Chris’ team learned is the value of well-writtern profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter, and other digital platforms - then they learned how to use those platforms to build their personal brands as representatives of the company. This powerful strategy opened the door to greater effectiveness as a sales team. Listen to this episode to hear how Chris’ team did it.

RESULT: 83% More Digital Engagement By The Marketing & Sales Teams

As Chris’ team at CenturyLink was trained to work more effectively in the digital realm, they adopted the mindset needed to make an impact. They understand from their own lives as consumers how digital is changing the way people buy - including business customers - and how those changes in buyer behavior apply to reaching and engaging CenturyLink enterprise customers.

Their change in approach has enabled them to connect with prospects and buyers more effectively. Chris shared statistics measured since the Vengreso social selling training was delivered. They’ve experienced a 42% increase in the use of tools among their team, a 50% increase in reach, and an 83% increase in digital engagement. Their approach has changed from random acts of social selling to a regular cadence of digital engagement. And, it’s having an impact on business results.

Learn more about how the team at CenturyLink is experiencing digital transformation internally while helping their own customers on their digital transformation journey. On this episode, Chris Sikora explains how their digital first mindset is enabling the marketing and sales team to deliver a great customer experience from prospect to closed-won and beyond.

Featured on This Episode Outline of This Episode
  • [1:16] Introduction to Chris and the work he does at CenturyLink
  • [4:20] The ongoing evolution from classical marketing to digital marketing
  • [9:22] Transforming marketing and sales in the overarching scope of the company
  • [10:49] The impact of the changes on the sales organization
  • [17:26] A bridge from internal transformation internally to external change
  • [17:49] What Chris sees ahead as they continue their digital transformation
Resources & People Mentioned

This episode is brought to you by Zubtitle, a new online tool that makes it easy to automatically add captions to any video in minutes. Don’t let your videos get passed over on social media because people can’t follow along on mute. Head to http://Zubtitle.com/Vengreso to get started.

Connect With Bernie and Modern Marketing Engine

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