Inbound Marketing: How Block Imaging Increased Sales by $9 Million

krista-kotrla-interview_0

In this interview we’ll explore the success that Block Imaging has experienced with inbound marketing. We interview Krista Kotrla, Senior VP of Marketing for Block Imaging. Block Imaging buys and sells imaging equipment ranging from $50K to $500K.

We talk at length about the incredible results Block Imaging achieved through inbound marketing. When you hear the results, you will be stunned at how much of an impact inbound marketing has had on their business.

Krista will also explain to us how they got started, some of their mistakes,  how to create an effective inbound marketing campaign, and the major pivot that had a dramatic impact on their results. If you are looking for a proven success story from a company that sells relatively technical products in a “boring” industry then get ready to take notes. Don’t miss the golden nuggets on:

  • How to be helpful instead of ‘us’ focused.
  • How to create content from customer questions.
  • Why getting buy in is critical.
  • How content breaks down barriers between departments.

Listen now and you’ll hear Krista and I talk about:

  • (01:00)  Introductions
  • (05:49)  What kind of results have you achieved from inbound?
  • (10:10)  What kind of mistakes did you make in the beginning?
  • (13:00)  What did your first blog posts look like?
  • (16:00) What had to happen to make the cultural shift needed for buy in?
  • (17:50) What did you cover in the workshop?
  • (22:50) What impact did the content have on the sales process?
  • (28:00) What are some of the ingredients needed for ongoing success?
  • (31:30) What impact has content had on the sales cycle?
  • (34:00) What happens after a prospect downloads a buyers’ guide?
  • (37:50) Is there a disconnect between marketing and sales?
  • (40:00) How soon do you pass leads to sales?

how to create an effective inbound marketing campaign by asking questions

Resources Mentioned

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

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Transcript

Trent:
Hey there bright idea hunters, welcome back to episode 165 of the Bright Ideas podcast. I am your host, Trent Dyrsmid, and this is the podcast where we help marketers to discover ways to use digital marketing and marketing automation to dramatically increase the growth of their business.

If you’re a marketer and you are looking for proven tactics and strategies, as opposed to just theories and ideas, that will help you to increase traffic, conversions and profits, well my friends you are in the right place.

So how do I make good on that promise? Obviously I am not the guru that knows all so what I do is I bring on proven experts to share with you and share with me exactly what is working for them in their businesses. This episode is exactly that.

My guest on this episode is a woman by the name of Krista Kotrla. She is the vice president of sales for a company by the name of Block Imaging. Block Imaging buys and sells imaging equipment that ranges anywhere in price from $50,000 all the way up to $500,000 and they have built a very successful business for themselves.

In this particular episode we are going to talk at length about the incredible results that Block Imaging has achieved by adopting something called inbound marketing. And I got to tell you when you hear the results, and we cover those at the very beginning of the interview with Krista.

You are going to be absolutely stunned at how much of an impact inbound marketing has had on Block Imaging’s business. It’s been dramatic to say the least.

In this interview, in addition to hearing those results I am going to get Krista to explain to us how they got started, some of the mistakes that they made when they got started and then there was a major pivot which had a dramatic impact on their results and buy-in across the organization and what that pivot looked like. We are going to talk about the things that they covered over a couple of day period that enabled their team to make such a big pivot.

We are going to talk about the impact that this content has had on their company culture, on their relationships between departments, on their thought leadership, on the sales cycle (and I will give you a hint, obviously it’s cut down their sales cycle fairly dramatically. And there is all sorts of stories that Krista is going to be sharing with us.

So if you are looking for a proven success story; the poster child of inbound marketing as it were for a company that sells relatively technical products in what Krista describes as a boring industry then you are going to want to have your pen and paper handy as we go through because there is going to be quite a number of what I call Golden Nuggets.

And those are things that I try to get my guests to share with us that are so impactful that you can literally write them down and when the interview is done you can put these things into action in your business to get results that are similar to what my guests are sharing with us.

So with all of that said, in just a moment we are going to welcome Krista to the show. The only announcement that I have before that is that if you are listening to this and you are looking for help with inbound marketing, we have a library of free e-guides that is ever increasing. There is also a couple of videos, depending on when you are listening to this there could be one or more webinar recordings there.

Anyway, you can get to it all at GrooveDigitalMarketing.com/resources and there are all sorts of resources there.

Also of course we have the blog which has hundreds of articles that I suspect you will find very helpful if this is a topic that you are interested in. So with all that said please join me in welcoming Krista to the show.

Hey Krista, welcome to the show.

Krista:
Thanks Trent.

Trent:
It is a pleasure to have you here. I am really looking forward to doing this interview with you. For the folks in my audience who don’t know who you are yet or what you do let’s start with that.

Krista:
Okay, sure. I am Krista Kotrla and I am the senior vice president of marketing for Block Imaging, a medical imaging equipment company.

Trent:
And in a nutshell what does Block do?

Krista:
We actually buy used imaging equipment, refurbish it and then resell it worldwide so everything from MRI machines, DT scanners, we buy the used systems, refurbish those and then we place it in facilities all around the world.

Trent:
Alright, so folks, the reason that I asked Krista to come on and do the interview with me is they have done a phenomenal job with inbound marketing and the results have been absolutely amazing. So we are going to talk in detail about what they’ve done to achieve these results.

The hope of course is that the folks listening will be able to come away from this interview with some Golden Nuggets and real big AHA’s and think, “Wow if it worked for Block Imaging this stuff could really work for us.

So with that being kind of the frame work for the conversation, Krista let’s just dive into some of the results that you have achieved so that people can understand how big of an impact this had on your organization. I think in the pre interview you told me a little about the additional revenue and you talked about the number of visitors to the site and leads and so forth. You want to zip through those numbers for us?

Krista:
Sure, we had started this content marketing/ inbound marketing journey back in 2010 and pretty quickly started to see an uptick in web traffic. So in the earliest phases before we started, traffic was about 4500 visitors a month and once we started we saw the uptick go up to about 7000 visitors per month and realizing there was some potential here to do this in an even bigger and better way if we involve everyone on the team, because it seemed to be working even in a weird, boring niche industry.

I wanted to start putting out even more content and involving everyone who had so much more knowledge about our products and answering questions online for people so once we involved everyone on the team and sort of launched this as, “We are going to make this a part of our company culture and get everyone to participate.”

From that moment we went from 7000 visits a month to now about 50,000 visits a month and what was originally ten web leads a month, the leads coming in through the website was about ten. We now have about 800 web leads a month.
I am just tracking where we are getting our return on investment, I know that is always the big question. I can say with confidence that the inbound leads have lead to over $9 million of sales.

In that is from just organic search alone.

Trent:
$9 million! And just to give perspective on that, that is an incredible number, what percentage lift to the organization sales was that? What was the company doing before?

Krista:
I don’t know if I am allowed to say that actually.

Trent:
Okay, no worries. Sometimes private companies don’t want to divulge everything and I get that. So $9 million is a big deal. No matter how you slice it and dice it $9 million bucks is a big deal. For the people who maybe are new to inbound marketing to really understand, you said from organic.

So there is no advertising involved in this, there is no paid searches this isn’t Pay per Click marketing. This is just you and I love how you came up with these three words, “Questions equals content.”

And we will talk a little more about that later but this is really just about your team producing high quality content that answered people’s questions and when they type in those questions into a search engine they are finding you, consuming the content, and going down into the funnel and ultimately becoming a customer?

Krista:
Right, and our worry wasn’t so much high quality, it was just helpful content. So that is why the Question Equals Content became so powerful is, in a way, not lowered the bar but set a more feasible expectation for the team that we need you to contribute if you are answering questions; that is all we need for you to send to the content officer so that we can turn this into a piece that people will find helpful. Then they will want to pick up the phone and call us or they’ll fill out a form with their own follow-up questions.

In a way I don’t want to say that we lowered the quality but just making it easier for people to participate was pretty significant.

Trent:
So when you first started, let’s unpack the activities that lead to these results, as I promised listeners at the beginning that there would be some Golden Nuggets and actionable take-aways. When you first started, you didn’t kind of shoot the lights out to begin with, correct? There was a few skid marks along the way, would that be a fair statement?

Krista:
Sure, absolutely, as with most fun journeys. It took a lot of effort to get buy-in to even start this content marketing thing and do a company blog. But the journey started with only really one person contributing.

And there was that expectation, “It has to be really high quality content.” We were racking our brains and going around trying to get buy-in from the team and teach the whole team like, “Here’s what content marketing is.” “Here is what it will help us to achieve.”

And everyone was nodding their head with enthusiasm saying, “Krista that sounds great, you should go do that because you’re marketing and that is your job right?” So it would just be like fighting to the nails to get one post per month out with the bar set so high and without a lot of buy-in and participation.

So even with that one post a month and then slowly being able to show some results and continuing to try to get buy in one person at a time; it wasn’t happening fast enough in my opinion for us to really dominate in the digital space. I just knew there was a big opportunity there for the whole team to really succeed and share a lot more information.

That was the slow start and until we got buy-in from the entire leadership team and made the pitch that we needed to do this as a culture; we want everyone to participate and we need to be putting out blog posts and driving traffic to multiple pages and creating these e-guides that would make it worth people handing out their email address to opt in to join our email list so that we can half allow for people all over the world to find us online and find us as a valuable resource.

That is really what made the biggest difference; getting buy-in to involve the entire team and that this was not only an opportunity but kind of the expectation of the way that we would serve customers better now and in the future.

Trent:
And we are going to dive into the specific things that you did to get that buy-in in just a second but before we do I just want to ask one very tactical question. These first blog posts that you wrote prior to the pivot that we’re about to talk about, what did they look like? How long were they? How polished were they? What kinds of stuff were you writing about?

Krista:
Really good question, they were less strategic. I am sure that everyone kind of laughs when they look back at their first blog post. There is a little bit of about you know, “Oh here is the history of Block Imaging.” “Here’s why you should work with us.” “Here’s why we service imaging equipment, it is a valuable option.”

It was a little more us focused than what we wanted to talk about. And then the switch, really focusing on customer questions, the questions that people were asking online about just imaging equipment in general, not just refurbished and including that as one option of many; being very open and transparent about the options they have and what might make them decide even on something other than refurbished and just acknowledging that so that we could earn trust.

Trent:
Okay, I want to feed that back to make sure that people really understood because there is a huge distinction that you just made. What I heard you say was when you first started your blogging was more or less kind of about you guys and your “sales messaging” that you might want prospective customers to read.

And then after you went through this process of getting buy-in, which we are still going to talk about, you started following a very simple formula of creating content that answered questions that people were asking.

So that was a profound shift in the type of content that you created and the results were all equally profound. Did
I understand that correctly?

Krista:
Absolutely, there is a huge difference from being brand centric to customer centric and how do you kind of make the shift in the content that you are talking about and even doing some tests on what you are publishing.

Are you using a lot of “we” and “I” and “us” or are you using a you-voice where you are saying “you” and “together” and “here is what you might consider” and sort of laying options out but even making that switch to the you voice and giving them some direction. It is all about empowering them to make decisions for themselves.

Trent:
Okay, so that is Big Golden Nugget number one folks. And I emphasize this so much because I talk to a lot of companies and I look at a lot of blogs and by far the biggest mistake that I see when organizations first go down this road is, because maybe their PR department gets involved, they think they need to use blogging to make themselves look even better which as Krista has just explained.

That is not the approach to take. The approach to take is to be helpful first and foremost and answer questions that people are asking.

Okay so we’ve alluded to this shift where you got buy-in because in the beginning everyone said, “Hey Krista that is a great idea, why don’t you go and do that?” And that didn’t really work very well and so you had a pivot, an event happen where that shifted so let’s talk about that, what happened?

Krista:
We had a workshop, a training. So two days we actually set aside to make this very intentional shift and make it part of our culture and that took about six months worth of getting buy-in from the leadership team and so as they understood and agreed that this was a very important change for our entire organization. They helped set aside those two days and we did a workshop to help everyone understand that this is what inbound marketing is, here’s why we are doing it, not just to talk about ourselves.

But how we would start answering questions and publishing these as posts and then it would end up leading to building trust with prospects and getting found by people who didn’t know we existed and building trust with them so that they would want to work with us or so that they would rely on us to ask their additional questions when working on imaging equipment products or projects.

Then that would be our foot in the door for earning a seat at the table and building trust and credibility in their eyes as the industry expert.

Trent:
So at the high level, obviously a two day workshop we could talk about for quite a while but let’s look at it from a table of contents perspective. What was in that table of contents that you guys covered in those two days?

Krista:
It was about what inbound marketing is. Why inbound marketing will help grow the business and here is what is possible when we all participate and here is how you participate. In addition to helping people understand that, seeing sort of a light bulb go on, eyebrows go up, “Oh I get it now”; the most important piece was actually doing some hands-on workshops and breaking people up in teams and brainstorming blog titles and then even turning some of the group activities into games of going off and taking a brainstormed blog title and turning it into a funny video that people would just film with their phones.

It really created not only some fun teambuilding time but it just was an important stake in the ground moment of everyone practicing together and messing up and laughing about it together. But this was just going to be the beginning of “Here’s how we all create content and do it in little simple, easy steps.”

That is really what became the pivot point in getting everyone to start participating and filming videos and being comfortable with things being a little imperfect because we were all in this together now.

Trent:
Terrific, any of the folks who are listening if this is a workshop that you would like to have this is something that we at Groove do and you can send me an email, trent@groovedigitalmarketing.com or you could just give us a call at 283-912-057 if you have questions.

Okay so why do you think that the workshop was so effective in helping you to get the cultural shift that was needed to essentially establish buy-in among all of the people that, “Hey we all can make a contribution to what we are doing and we will all benefit as a result?”

Krista:
Why it was effective, I think just everyone starting and understanding together and then putting it into practice. And for the entire team to see the company president participating and filming a video and film goofy stuff and all getting in the trenches and brainstorming together. Then for them to see the ripple effects of how this would lead to sales and really better relationships with clients.

Maybe it would even reduce our need to travel as much and go out and meet people. This would actually be a wiser investment of their time because for some of the sales team what they could sit down and help write or generate as an outline for a blog topic that would lead to web leads for the next three to five years.

They could do that in a 30 minute interview or just sitting down for an hour and trying to write something versus going for three days to a tradeshow and maybe come home with a handful of leads that they get to follow-up with on a few times. It is not the long term return on investment of their time that investing in a blog post would turn out to be.

Because some of those blog posts that were written three years ago are bringing in more leads today in a month that it did in that entire first year when it was first published.

Trent:
That is incredible, why do you think that is?

Krista:
Because they were answering a very significant question and that is what gets searched on in Google the most. So articles about how much do the CP scanner cost, how much does the used MRI cost, those specifically. There are months that those blog posts gets more views than our own homepage of our website.

So for people to even realize that every page is page one; that is a new entry point for somebody to find and discover our organization, discover us as a helpful resource; that was really powerful.

Trent:
So a moment ago you mentioned that the people who attended the workshop got the idea that perhaps having this content might make an impact on sales and their ability to close deals so naturally my question is, did that pan out? Did you find that your sales team, to win business, maybe didn’t need to get on the airplane as much as they used to because these people were consuming so much content beforehand?

Krista:
Yeah it was really fun, there’s little stories that pop into my head as you ask that question, where within the first six months of starting to publish the content where I would publish on a blog post, even at midnight, late at night just to get it out. Then I would hear from the sales person the next day, “Oh my goodness, I just got a phone call about that blog post that just went out yesterday.”

And for one of the engineers to realize, “Wow, here is a simple fix to this common error code on the system” and a lot of other manufacturers or businesses are trying to tell the end user, the hospital that they need to replace the entire system and instead he is giving them some troubleshooting tips and letting them know that if you find that this is the trouble after viewing these troubleshooting tips you might only need to replace this one part.

Then that being a part sale for us, that would save the facility $50,000 because they didn’t have to buy a whole new system, they could just replace that one part. Then the next time they have an issue or a troubleshooting problem they are probably going to call one of our helpful engineers to continue to now address these service error codes. It doesn’t have to be super inspiring but it does need to be helpful.

Trent:
So obviously you build incredible good will when you are that helpful with people instead of trying to sell them a $50,000 thing maybe they only need to buy a $500 thing. But eventually they are still going to need the $50,000 thing at some point down the road. I think that is a pretty big deal.

The other thing that I wanted to make sure that people understood is when you crowded your team and said, “Let’s all create content together, you didn’t just talk to the sales team, you talked to the service and the technical and the everybody team because you understood I’m assuming that there was all sorts of opportunities to create content that would help to increase brand awareness and goodwill and thought leadership in the way that you just finished telling us in that story.

Krista:
Exactly, even the receptionist comes up with some of the best ideas because she is the one who commonly get asked these when she answers the phone for people. And even accounting was part of the workshop and the training because sometimes we’re publishing content that would help address a common question that they always get asked.

And not only could it potentially be the new page one for someone to discover us online, we are also taking this content and incorporating it into the user experience. So in this point of a project being managed we have some automated emails or we can send them links to content that will help them at that point of their equipment project.

“Here is how to prepare before the system arrives.” So we are using the content to bring in hopefully top of the funnel new leads, build trust so that the team has found that it is also saving time throughout the whole project management side even after the sale to really boost even the customer experience.

Because it is helping someone setting expectation for, “Here’s what’s going to happen next” or “Here’s who you’re working with and how you can prepare your facility and your site before the system arrives” or “Here’s what is happening in the refurbishment facility right now.”

Instead of just letting it be a dark period between the sale and the arrival of the system. Content is helping to facilitate that whole user experience even after the sale.

Trent:
Wow, so there is a bunch more Golden Nuggets here. Golden Nugget number two is that the workshop was pivotal making people understand that this isn’t some thing for the marketing department to look after, is a big Golden Nugget that I hope people have taken away from this.

Golden Nugget number three is make sure you get everybody involved all the way to the receptionist because anyone and everyone who is answering questions whether they be pre sales or support questions can provide incredible value which your customers and prospects really, really appreciate, fair?

Krista:
Absolutely.

Trent:
Okay, so you kind of got things ramped up at this point and you are producing content on an ongoing basis, would you say, Krista, that there was any other critical ingredients for keeping up the momentum with this overtime so that people didn’t lose interest or didn’t fade or were the results just so darn good that it was self-perpetuating?

Krista:
No [laughing] of course there are ingredients to keep the momentum going. I would say a big factor of our success was having a designated content officer that is just a good people person and that loves writing and that understands your business. So that they can help turn some low quality content into being publish worthy.

And then for them to know your team and the voice of your organization and that so that you are putting something out in an authentic voice for your brand on a consistent basis; that is a really significant piece, that concept.

So it works off having the content officer that everyone trusts and then even if people are not submitting content they can go and sit down and interview someone, either on video or just interview them in person so that they can turn it into a text blog.

That is a really important piece and then to continue the momentum; I would say there was maybe thirty people who bought in really fast and were inspired after the workshop. But now we have over 60 to 70 people who are participating by contributing content and instead trying to go and get buy-in from the people who didn’t believe at first or who were a little skeptical, we kept the focus on making those 30 first participants look really, really good.

And getting their content out as fast as we could and driving traffic and leads for them because if we could make them really successful, that would be the ripple effect of getting more buy-in.

Once other people saw the results or they could start to hear the stories where there was the magic moment when we’re in an all team meeting and the sales person could acknowledge the engineer and say, “That blog idea that you had lead to a deal I was just able to close today because the customer found that piece, read that and that led them to trust us,” because their source.

Another fun story is when one of our salespeople got a phone call from a doctor in New Zealand who was actually about to buy a system from a competitor. So he had found Chris’s blog post and downloaded the Buyers Guide, read everything through it and just felt so much more equipped to make a better decision and that he trusted us as the vendor that he would want to work with.

So when he picked up the phone to call Chris, the salesperson, he already trusted Chris, he already knew about our service and our process.

He already decided that he wanted to buy from us. The sales team; for them to experience now a shorter sales cycle because buying imaging equipment anywhere from $50,000 to $500,000 in the refurbished world, it still is a very long buying cycle but at this point the sales team is finding and experiencing that by the time people submit a web lead or they pick up the phone and want to talk to someone on the team they are able to see now that this person has actually been reading our content, our buyer’s guide for maybe six months before they pick up the phone.

But they are that much more educated and understand our process or the questions to ask and they have already self served answers, the trust is that much higher at that point and besides just building relationships with information. We are very intentional on putting a person’s name on the content that goes out, on the emails that go out because we really want to humanize the brand and let them get to know our team members as well.

Trent:
Isn’t it bizarre how that when people read written content by say Chris for example, and they have never met the guy, develop a higher level of trust perhaps than if they have spoken with him on the phone and he verbally explained the same thing?

Krista:
[Laughing]I don’t know if that is true in every single case but you are definitely creating the opportunity for people to have that magical moment of feeling that they discovered you instead of you calling and pestering them or you spamming their inbox. There is a huge difference there when they feel like they have discovered you.

Trent:
Yeah, and I think that was the point that I did a really poor job of making. So thank you for clarifying that, because I know that in my business I experience it, when someone calls us as a result of reading our content and we have discussion about working together.

That is a very different conversation than if we have contacted them via traditional prospecting or outbound marketing because their guard is up right away.

Krista:
Absolutely.

Trent:
You have no trust, you have all sorts of skepticism, you have, “I don’ want to be sold, what trickery are you up to?” And when they find you all of that stuff doesn’t even exist.

Krista:
Right.

Trent:
And that is pretty profound. Alright, you talked a little bit ago about a buyer’s guide and so I wanted to ask you about what your marketing funnel; and some people like that term and some people don’t like that term; so I’m just going to say, when someone comes to your site for the first time and they read a post; if they download something, so we’ll say that is a top of funnel activity, what happens after they download “the something?”

Krista:
They would have access to the buyer’s guide which we try and put links to *inaudible* guide that would give them reason to either click through and find even more related information but we also have some preset email drip series setup for each buyer’s guide that would be very specific to the modality that they were interested in based on the pages they visit, based on the guide that they downloaded.

And then have those next series of emails address what would be the next common follow-up question.

Once they download the CT scanner buyer’s guide, the first follow-up email that triggers several days later is going to say, “Hey thanks for downloading the buyer’s guide, you are probably interested or curious about CT scanner prices, here’s some resources that addresses CT scanner prices in today’s market.” And give them some related links to what would be the next series of questions and proactively address that without being too aggressive.

Then another follow-up email and that is all based on sitting down with sales team members and saying, “Once someone downloads the buyer’s guide what would they potentially ask you next if they did pick up the phone.” And then turn each of those topics into their own email that would have additional resources proactively answering those questions so that they wouldn’t have to pick up the phone and call.

Then that even lets sales team members see how many different pages has these people read of the website. Have they read the additional pages and links of the website? So that now they can even grade in a way, how real is this buyer? How much content have they already consumed?

And then there are some cases where someone has submitted a web lead and because we have seen that they have been looking at our website for six months, they’ve looked at all these different pages, the sales person has gotten on the plane the next day, they go out and visit with them because of that insight.

Trent:
Yeah that is incredibly powerful to know when someone has spent that much time reading that much of your content. Clearly they are doing more than just kicking the tires.

Krista:
Now that we have got 800 web leads coming in a month we have to have that insight to even know where to spend our time because the danger that we have potentially just shot ourselves in the foot if we are not following up in a very customer centric way anyways, we could be doing ourselves a disservice by putting out this quality content, automated emails that is building expectations for the user experience.

And once they want to talk to someone if we are not actually responsive, that would be very dangerous and poor on our part.

We needed that insight in order to continue the experience in the right way with integrity.

Trent:
Is there a disconnect between your marketing and sales department like there is in most organizations?

Krista:
I would say we get along great with our sales team. I know there is always room for improvement but we have a great relationship with them and we love their insight into helping us even learn about our customers on a deeper level and we get the best content from them. I think we work hard to kind of break down that silo and it is two different worlds, the way that we think and operate but we are great friends with the sales team and really work hard to maintain that.

Because it is such an important piece of the whole experience, not just helping get information from them but we want to help build their own personal brand so that is why Chris sort of knows and is the CRM guy because he gets it. And so he helps generate a lot of content around CRM equipment, CRM machines.

We want to help him build his personal brand and that help fuel his own funnel of incoming leads and leads to a lot of deals. And then it has been a beautiful thing to see when a salesperson is going to have their name on a piece of content. It has helped break down the silos between sales and engineering because they would now work collaboratively with an engineer to say, “Hey would you mind looking this over before it goes to publish?”

We are working together even on creating some content ideas across departments. That is the other piece that I am personally passionate about, seeing this whole content marketing culture thing play out; it has changed our culture in other ways of breaking down silos between departments. And I think it has just been great to watch every team member even learn that much faster because when you have to teach it you’re going to learn it at a much deeper level.

The whole team has just gotten sharper as a result of that.

Trent:
Yeah, I can imagine because in the typical world salesmen are famous for; especially in a technical business selling “flying toasters” and then the engineers grumble and moan because they got to figure out how to fulfill on what the salesmen has sold but in your organization, from what you just explained my understanding is that you have given them the opportunity to collaborate and then make sure that they are all on the same page before a blog post goes out.

I got to assume that that has a pretty dramatically positive impact on their relationship with each other.

Krista:
Yes, definitely.

Trent:
So we are going to wrap up here pretty quick. What I wanted to find, the thing that I don’t know yet is when you capture a lead at the top of the funnel and they download an e-guide and then they get some nurture emails, when does your sales team decide to call them or do you only wait for; because you are getting 800 leads a month; do you just wait for your leads to call you guys?

Krista:
No, we put the lead into the salesperson’s hands right away. So either based on the score of that prospect, they are very aggressive and would want to make that human to human connection as quickly as possible. If someone isn’t responding to an email or phone call then they can with confidence trust that that person is going to continue to get the email drip.

But they do want those leads in their hands first and foremost and then they can tree house it [laughing] from there how aggressive to be about following up with that contact or just letting them go through the automated drip.

Trent:
Okay, before we wrap up Krista is there anything that I haven’t asked you yet that you think would be a remiss if we didn’t cover?

Krista:
You’ve asked great questions, I’ve enjoyed this very much and I hope the story of Block Imaging and how we are doing this inspires people in some niche industries to understand that that’s a significant opportunity and for people to see the potential of involving all the employees and turn it into a culture. And the ripple effects of it besides the inbound leads; how it can be a part of really letting your team know, everyone on the team know that you matter; we need you to answer questions and we want to make the most of that opportunity to publish that and put that out there. That is my hope.

Trent:
Alright Krista, if anyone who is listening to this would like to get in touch with you to ask additional questions, is there a way for them to do that?

Krista:
Absolutely, I have my website at kristakotrla.com which of course cannot be spelled. [Laughing] And I am on Twitter @kristakotrla, I’m on Instagram, I’m on Google+ and if anybody wants to send me an email, it is kk@kristakotrla.com.

Trent:
Alright Krista thank you so much. And folks if you are driving I hope you weren’t trying to write all that down. It will be in the show notes, I’ll have all these links there for you. So Krista thank you very much for coming and being a guest, you did a fabulous job, I think this was an absolutely stellar interview. I can’t wait to publish it, because first and foremost I think it is going to be incredibly helpful to a number of people who maybe aren’t yet getting the results that you are getting.

And if this can work in what Krista describes as a boring industry then perhaps it can work in yours as well.

Krista:
Thanks Trent.

Trent:
Okay to get to the show notes for today’s episode just go to BrightIdeas.co/165. If you really enjoyed this episode I would love it if you take a moment and leave some feedback in the iTunes store or you can go to BrightIdeas.co/love where there is a tweet that you can send out with just a click of your mouse.
So that is it for this episode, I am your host Trent Dyrsmid. Thank you so much for tuning in, I look forward to having you back for another episode soon. Take care, bye-bye

About Krista Kotrla

Krista Kotrla

Krista Kotrla is Senior Vice President of Marketing for Block Imaging, Content Marketing Strategist, speaker and consultant. She helped a medical imaging equipment company inspire a content marketing culture and involve every employee in social business transformation which resulted in more than $9 million in sales. Her work has been recognized by Social Media Examiner, {grow}, Ragan’s Health Care Communications News and the Mayo Clinic’s Social Media Health Network. She now helps others marketers get buy-in for content marketing, humanizing their brand and inspiring social business transformation. Get an inside look at how to lead a content marketing culture at kristakotrla.com. You can also connect with her on Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

 

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