Darryl Praill is the Chief Revenue Officer at VanillaSoft, the industry’s most established Sales Engagement Platform that keeps your sales team busy and focused on engaging your leads and growing revenue.
Darryl joined VanillaSoft as Chief Marketing Officer in 2017 and has successfully increased VanillaSoft’s profile in the sales technology space and among industry influencers worldwide.
As an accomplished award-winning marketer, a Sales World Top 50 Keynote speaker, a 2020 top 10 SaaS Branding Expert, a Top 19 B2B Marketer to Watch in 2019, a social media influencer, a category-leading podcaster, and a serial entrepreneur.
In addition to Darryl’s vast marketing experience, he also has an extensive background in sales and business development, making it a logical step for him to transition to the role of Chief Revenue Officer.
Darryl joins us on episode 10 of the MOV Podcast to talk about the exciting shift from being the Chief Marketing Officer to being the Chief Revenue Officer at VanillaSoft while sharing a few revenue tips and fundamentals that can help B2B marketing and sales teams tide through the challenges bound to the COVID-19 pandemic.
So without further ado, tune in to learn more such interesting marketing insights only on the Mad Over Videos Podcast by guch featuring Darryl Praill.
Pranav Chimulkar: Hey guys, welcome to the MOV podcast. This is Episode 10 of the Mad Over videos podcast and I am your host and today we have a very special guest. I don’t want to take a lot of your time before I want to bring him in. And I will be doing it right as we speak. Please welcome Darryl Praill from VanillaSoft.
Darryl Praill: Great job. That’s awesome. You got it? Right. Well done.
Pranav Chimulkar: Yeah, a few run-throughs I think we got it right. Yep. So, Darryl, I would like to first congratulate you. You have your own podcast, the inside sales podcast. And you are on episode 100. You’re gonna be doing Episode 100. Congrats.
Darryl Praill: Yeah. Yeah, we’ve actually got about 105 or 106 in the cam. But we’ve Episode 100 is coming up. And I was just literally on LinkedIn a day or two ago saying, Okay, guys, what do we do to celebrate this? What do you want from us, because it’s a pretty big deal? We’re pretty excited. So there you go. Good times, lots of smart people I’ve been really lucky to talk to although I haven’t had you on this show, we have to get you on the show.
Pranav Chimulkar: I would be stoked, I would be really excited to be a part of that, I think I want to know what it takes to reach 100 episodes, we’re on 10th we have like 1/10th behind you, we have 90 episodes like to go live before we could hit 100. And we are just about started with this. Please tell me what it takes to build a podcast like yours.
Darryl Praill: A lot of patience, let me tell you that one. For us, it was actually just we had to find our rhythm, right? If you look at an if you’re going through this now if you look at episode one, or two, or five or six, they change every so often. And we probably went through 20-25 episodes before we finally found a format that we liked, that we really liked and the audience liked. And, just to style, the best part for us to make it scalable, because that’s the hardest part, right? These things can suck your resources with the editing and the production and the coordinating was to make it really simple. So for us, I use a calendly link for all my guests. And I made sure was all set up so that they could find time on our schedules. And in the link and has like all the instructions, you can imagine links and contact information and everything so that saved a step for me and my people don’t have to always be coordinating. And then we just keep it really simple. We’re like, the purpose of the show is to teach the audience, something they can learn and apply immediately. So it’s very pragmatic, very tactical. And we just simply ask our guests, we work with them to say, give us a topic you’re really passionate about that you’re an expert on, I think let’s have three to five talking points. And that’s it. And we stick to about 25 minutes. So it’s about a half-hour show. And it’s free format, we just go where the conversation takes us. But I always make sure, because I make a promise to the audience that you will learn something that you can apply. So always make sure that we get that out of them. There’s something tactical, and they can learn it. And that’s it. And then the other part about it is promotion, it took us a while to learn, we started off audio-only. And then very quickly, we went to audio and video. And what’s your platform, you guys are using stream yard fantastic platform. We use v mix now.
And then, so we do a lot of on-demand stuff, we do some Pay Per Click promotion of it, we do a lot of social media promotion of it. So it’s learning how to promote it really get the traffic and the eyeballs. And then the other part is, you get those clips. So you can send them out there to people and say, Here are 30 seconds if you like this, listen to the whole thing. So for us, it’s been a lot of fun. It’s been a learning process. I won’t lie but did that but now we’re in number 13. Now it’s all good.
Pranav Chimulkar: Yeah, I think we’ve also starting to get a feel like you said, as you mentioned, I think you make a promise to your audience that they’re going to learn something from your show. Whether or not we’ve put that out in public. I’m pretty sure has one checkmark already. For people who are watching, they already know how to run a successful podcast and I’m pretty sure there are going to be a lot more learnings as we continue with today’s conversation with you added.
Darryl Praill: Oh, I love it, man. You’re on the right path, what’s great about the podcast, not only did the people learn but for you yourself as the host and the driving force. All the guest’s everything else is that you can take some of this content and you can repurpose it in so many ways, and I’ll be honest with you, it sounds stupid. I’ve had people come up to me and say, Oh, how is it so much about sales? And, and I’m just candid with them. I’m like, dude, I don’t know, any more than you know. But here’s the difference. I’ve got 100 episodes of talking to people who are really smart at what they do. And, I said, so I’ve learned from them, just like you’re you learn by listening to my show. I learned by listening to my guests. And then, like, we’ll have a conversation today. And you wait a week from now, I’m going to be on LinkedIn, saying something that’s going to be a repeat of what we just said today. But people will think I came up with it secretly, you and I both know, you came up with it. That’s how it works. Man.
Pranav Chimulkar: I think you just touched upon the golden tale, like you, that there is a lot of content, you can repurpose out of every piece that you produce. And like you said, we also do the same thing with our podcast, we go live with the MOV podcast at a particular time, that is preset. But then we also have a lot of mini-clips that come out of the subway, interesting stories that are shared, go out as separate pieces, we have the best quotes put together. And they are shared, again, on a different platform. And then we also write a blog about it. So I think it’s all across the board that we redistribute and repurpose the same content that we produce here during this.
Darryl Praill: So, one of the things we’ve also started doing the last several months is using the platform. So again, you’re using stream yard, we use V mix, I’ll actually reach out to my customers. And I’ll use this platform, I’m but I’m not going live. I’m just recording locally. And so what I’ll do is I’ll actually interview them about, their use cases, how do you use us? What was the challenge you’re trying to solve? , what were the issues you had in deployment? What are the benefits? Now? What advice do you have for future customers? And then what we do, because it’s great because they’re remotes, I’m not sending a video crew to them. It’s an easy platform. And then we actually take the recording, and we send it to our writers to turn it into a case study. And then we just reduce the recording a little bit down about, five, six minutes of just the best sound bites, and boom, now you’ve got this brilliant case study, you did dirt cheap, you’re repurposing the content. It’s a platform you already know and use and love. It’s got branding galore all over it. I mean, who would not want to do that? So you can do a lot more than just podcasts. But yeah, the whole repurposing thing. People don’t give it enough love, but it’s fantastic.
Pranav Chimulkar: Absolutely, absolutely. I will talk about this thing, I’m dying to address this. Two months ago, you put out a LinkedIn update from being the Chief Marketing Officer at VanillaSoft and now the Chief Revenue Officer at VanillaSoft, why don’t you walk us through the transformation that has happened at your, with your role?
Darryl Praill: Sure. So feel free to interrupt me at any time, I had fun with that announcement. I put everything on LinkedIn. For those who missed it, I’ll share with you what I did was totally mean. And what I did was I said, Hey, just, just an FYI. I am just sharing that I’m no longer the Chief Marketing Officer of vanilla soft. Then I had this long pause. Then I said, but don’t worry, I’m the new chief revenue officer. So people for a few minutes were thinking I’d laughed, and I was going somewhere else. And I totally had fun with it. I got a lot of people to give me a heart attack don’t do that. It was a lot of fun. So yeah, so I’m a dick. There we go. I said it. Um, the whole process, the process is an interesting process, because much of this is, as you might imagine, outside of my hands, it wasn’t like I went to, the powers that be and said, Let’s change the org structure and the reporting structure and the people were involved and make me the CRL. And it was even so I didn’t do that. And the other part that’s interesting is that, whenever there’s a transition like that, those people that are no longer in the sales leadership role, that was my friend, that was my colleague who I worked with. So they’re never easy for the company. They’d never had a CRO before. Right. So before I began, they never had a CMO. So the only other C level officer at this company is our CEO. So they brought in a C-level CMO. So clearly, they must have thought that went okay. And they brought in a CRO, and how it went clear, as you might imagine, anything else is my CEO came to me, before this all went down to say we’re thinking of making a change. And we’re thinking of bringing on a CRO not a replacement VP of sales, so they’d already made a conscious choice to not replace the VP of Sales with another VP of sales. Which is a whole conversation on its own. When does your company right for CRM, because they have a different mandate? And then the question was, would you? Would you be interested in that? So as you might imagine, that’s me going, Okay, no, we’re just talking hypothetically, because, you’re thinking of making a change. So I’m going to give him a hypothetical answer. And so what that led to was basically a back and forth negotiation on if I took the job, what would I need, in my opinion, to succeed, etc. And what they needed from me was, okay, if we go down this road, then we need to see a 90-day plan of what you’re gonna do, which I then put together. And that was a process, I actually, in all fairness, the first thing I did, folks, I’m just like, you would talk about experts, I went to Google 90 days, 30-60-90 day plan zero. And then I called up a few of my external buddies on social media, who are the thought leaders, and I said, this is what’s going down, what would you do in your 90-day plan. And so with enough input, I kind of had a consensus, and it worked with what I thought. And I presented it, they liked it, they gave me the job. So that’s how that went. But my CEO made one point really, really clear to me and he said, I need you to be the C R O. So we need to backfill ahead of marketing and ahead of sales because I need you to be that strategic driving, unifying force. So he was emphatic about that. So it’s not like I’m a VP of Sales with a zero title. I truly am a zero, and I’m actually backfilling those positions right now. That was the first part. Then after that, it was not so I mean, my first 30 days, I had never worked so hard in my life. And I thought I had, I just like, left social media, the whole summer social media was gone, I felt guilty. And, and it’s just because what you’re trying to figure out is, okay, why what is broken, I knew what I thought was broken when I was a CMO. But what and the only way you can figure that out, is if you get really deep into the people and the conversations and the in the data. For example, one of the things I did was I made a sales enablement team that didn’t exist before I made a revenue ops team that didn’t exist before. And I went to my new revenue ops team, and I said, your first job is to analyze using the data, the sales teams, so they come back with this data, and they give it to me and they say, here’s your analysis, Darryl, check it out. And I look at it. And what they had done, which was brilliant was it said, rep, one rep two rep, three. I’m like, Where’re the names? And they’re like, No, you can’t know the names. So I had to do my analysis, not knowing who the people were, so I was impartial. Get rid of those biases. So it was quite the process. But we overhauled everything I restructured the team dynamically brought in a whole bunch of new roles. I mentioned new departments. So a few people left, a few new people came on. And it’s been dynamite already, we’re seeing a change, average deal size is going up the number of seats are going up. But the biggest thing is how we sell so I brought in an account based marketing approach, which we hadn’t done before. So we’re figuring that all out. And then to support all this, we had to go and implement and deploy salesforce.com. Plus we implement deploy Terminus. So this just isn’t a title change. This is a process change is a technology change. This is a culture change. So it’s pretty dramatic. So right now I’m just trying to catch up on sleep.
Pranav Chimulkar: I’m sure you’ll find some time as, like you, you get into the role and try and understand what you should be doing. But then I think interestingly since you’ve come from a marketing background, and now you’re heading like, the entire revenue function, I want to bring this point out, where most leaders at companies do not like they don’t understand how you judge what marketing activities, right? Typically, they evaluate marketing ROI from the sales perspective, right? Because now that you are in a position where you’re in charge of revenue and the ad, like at the onset, I’ll just take a quote from my previous episode that featured Nick Bennett from logz. He said that sales and marketing have to be tied at the hip, right, to ensure that revenue, I mean, gets the right boost. But then why should people stop evaluating marketing from the lens of the sales? I think you also posted something about this particular topic on your LinkedIn and you should have a better perspective after I think a lot of people have contributed to that post as well.
Darryl Praill: Yeah. Yeah, we’ve had some good engagement. I’ve been blessed with a lot of loyal people in my tribe. So a couple of things right. So context to your point about marketing and measuring, especially on sales. I think don’t quote me on this, when you have asked the board and the CEO, part of the reason I was offered the job to be CRO, is because I did go into my CEOs, office months prior to this all going down and saying, here’s the scoop portion of my CMO at the time, a portion of my compensation is based on revenue. Now, to the best of my knowledge, I’m generating the forecasted required, MQL inbound lead flow, based on our agreed-upon definition, hence, its marketing qualified, it meets that definition, and sales is accepting the lead. So I’ve done my part. Because if they didn’t like it, they wouldn’t have accepted it.
So why am I and that was a big thing? You’re measuring my marketing by sales outcomes, what I’ve done my part, and that’s the spark the conversation that we have a problem in sales. So to all the marketing folks out there, do not blindly accept that measurement without making sure you’re in a position to hold sales accountable. Now, how you hold sales accountable, is through a service level agreement. And that’s what the all the control, you’ve gotten a service level agreement says, It defines the rules of engagement. So you want to be connected at the hip. That’s literally what it does. It’s the glue. So you to the sales and marketing leaders need to sit down and say, how do we define a marketing qualified, lead title, role, company size industry, etc? Alright, when will you accept it? And when we will not accept it? How do we define an SQL sales qualified lead, how many how soon when you follow up on a lead that marketing gives you how many persistent attempts will you do to follow it, etc. So you need to understand that so that the leads you generate as a marketer, are treated optimally by Salesforce. So for example, if they take a week to follow up with a hot lead, that lead is no longer hot. That’s bad. If you only call them once or twice, which is not uncommon. That’s bad. So sales have got to be held accountable. The other part is, I always tell people, the two leaders need to understand how they’re respectively compensated, if I understand how my sales colleague is compensated, and vice versa, the marketing colleague, then I know their thought process and how they’re motivated. You got to know that, that’s critical for and I think that was the catalyst for making me CRO. Oh, go ahead. I’m sorry.
Pranav Chimulkar: No, I’m sorry. I think I think the point you made is trying to understand the motivation behind company.
Darryl Praill: Yes. You got it. If you don’t know that you’re flailing in the wind. And it goes both ways. The head of sales needs to understand marketing’s motivation and how they’re measured. Otherwise, they’ll never understand why they do what they do. Right? So that’s why you have the CRO there who now says, Listen, where’s the CEO’s word about customer support and customer success? And, product development, and the board and the shareholders. The CRO simply says, I’m focused on revenue, and we’re on one team. So let’s just stop this crap, and figure it out.
Pranav Chimulkar: Absolutely, I think I think they have to go hand in hand. Otherwise, it’s gonna be a disaster, right?
Darryl Praill: It is, its revenue now, right? It’s not so much sales and marketing, its revenue, because the lines are blurring. Because you have SDRs talking about their open rates and their click-through rates and their subject lines and their email formats. When did that happen? When did sales start quoting marketing stats? So it’s all revenue now?
Pranav Chimulkar: It’s beautiful.
Darryl Praill: It’s a beautiful world, man, you got it.
Pranav Chimulkar: Coming back, I asked this question to all my guests. And I would like to ask this to you as well. I know that you as a company have and you personally, are I mean, admired over videos, I want to know why Darryl, is mad over videos like you love videos. I think your personal branding is all about videos, your podcast is in the video, vanillasoft does a bunch of videos. What makes you mad? About what is it about videos?
Darryl Praill: That’s a brilliant question. So it’s a common answer, but it’s actually a pretty simple answer. So okay, so number one, we all know video marketing is amazing. You can check all the stats and the engagement levels and the actual conversion rates are just dramatically higher. That’s why when you put a video in an email, it converts higher when you send a LinkedIn video to a private individual. It gets a better response. People just love video, it’s the first part. So why would I not play the odds increasing them in my favor is number one. Number two I’m a big believer that you are the brand that you project. So right now I’m in a wonderful little studio. It’s an affordable studio, but you got five lights in front of me, I have a light overhead, I got a real background, this is not a zoom background. It’s not and I got sound insulation. So there’s no echo. I’ve got little earpieces in my ear. The whole point is, if I look polished, then I project trust. And I project like I’m a thought leader. So when you’re in the sales cycle, they’re always making these psychological assessments. And do I trust them? Or not? Do I value their point of view or not? And video allows it to be more than just what I say it’s my body language and my appearance. So that allows me to control the brand. But the most important reason I like the video is this. My two biggest competitors, so each raise that one’s raised 250 million ones raise 300 million, I’ve raised less than 1% of that. So how do I compete with somebody so well funded? I beat them on social media. That’s how I do it. And how do I do that by adding value and sparking conversation? And people on social media, they’re not engaged with vanillasoft, the company, they’re engaged with Darrell, they’re engaged with you the person. So video allows my personality to come across. I’m not shy, I can be effusive. I can exaggerate, I can call people out professionally. And that allows my content with one with less than 1% funding to rival or exceed the visibility my competition gets. So the video is a fantastic equalizer. And that’s why we do it.
Pranav Chimulkar: I couldn’t expect a better answer coming from I think you hit the nail on the head. At this cost of sounding repetitive. This is the same point I made in the previous episode as well, that when you don’t have the marketing dollars, you go back to content.
Darryl Praill: Yes. And, the funny part is, when I started here, I had a LinkedIn profile. But that was it. I was like everybody else. I barely used it. It was a job thing. That’s what it was when I get my next job. So I had to learn that. And then I started off using my phone. It’s as simple as that. These puppies, two great videos. The first thing I did was I bought a gimbal for the phone. That’s what I did. Right. And I bought a little plugin mic, a corded lapel mic. And that’s how I started shooting my videos was with that. So you don’t need a big budget to start doing make some great content.
Pranav Chimulkar: Yeah, yeah. Like following up with the same point, I want to ask you this, I really want to debunk this myth that a lot of people have that videos are for marketing, right? I personally believe that videos are great for all verticals are awesome. All business functions beat sales, beat customer success, the actual product team, or even the leadership. Everybody can use videos for their benefit. What do you have to say?
Darryl Praill: Oh, my goodness, dude, I had to pay you money, you could be like my agent, you’re like preaching it. Let me put it in the straight forward way you’ll all get alright. The acronym is cx, which stands for customer experience. If you want to maximize your likelihood of closing a deal, you want to make sure that the customer has a cohesive, consistent, predictable experience. So from the time they first hear about your word of mouth, Google search, pay per click whatever might be to the consumer marketing, they talk to a person to that they become a customer. And now they’re working with support or they’re working with success. And now it’s time for that renewal. Alright to remember the renewals manager that everywhere along the way, it’s the same because if it’s not, you’re going to get bad reviews, and your reviews are going to tank on Google, on capterra, and trust radius, etc. So what’s the easiest way to ensure a customer experience? One, allow your while you get to train your people across the board on the right message the right voice. So everybody here vanilla soft knows the voice. It’s fun, it’s friendly, it’s a going it’s collaborative. And they also know that we’re not afraid to make fun of ourselves and be self-deprecating, but then it’s also some of the languages for the terminology across the board. And then some basic stuff like use cases and case studies etc. Once we are saying that, you got to let those people who own those boys Connect relationally with the individual and that’s where video comes in. So one of the first things we did when we started making videos wasn’t just marketing videos, it was all about the CX. So we went and took all every single week, we would shoot at least one new customer support video, and at least one new customer success video. And we did it over and over and over again. One of the first integrations we did with VanillaSoft was vidyard, as one example, so the reps had native video, and they could do it right away as part of the process. So yeah, video across all departments, all departments! And it’s a fantastic way to make sure your customer not only favors you over the competition but more importantly, that they stick with you. And they do not churn.
Pranav Chimulkar: Absolutely high five for that.
So I think I want to dig a little deeper into this same question. I think we’ve answered why video is great. Across the board. I think my team sitting and watching this, I am going to be like, really happy because they now have a lot of content to chop and this is this good? Yes. So this is going to be the promo. Like what he just said, right? Like coming back to sales. Like, what challenges, in particular, Do you think sales that sales face, are solved by videos?
Darryl Praill: Oh, so what that means specifically, what are the challenges that sales faces when it comes to video?
Pranav Chimulkar: No. So I want to know, what are the challenges that sales faces in general?
Darryl Praill: That can be solved using video. Okay, that can be solved using videos. Yeah, yeah. Okay, so a couple of things that can be solved using video. So one is, is in no particular order. We talked already about relationship building. So, sometimes on a phone or especially on an email, words can be taken out of context. tonality can be inferred that should by the recipient, that was never meant to be inferred was ever implied. But for whatever reason, they took a positive email negatively, who knows? Right? So video ensures that from a sales rep, that the message is clearly delivered, the tent is clearly delivered, right? That’s the first thing videos. The second thing video does. It’s a dynamic, powerful way to get quick answers. So often we’ll get questions like, well, I don’t understand how this works. You said your feature does whatever, but I’m not seeing it. I don’t see it on your website, or I didn’t see it when I’m kicking around your free trial or whatever it might be. No problem. Let me do a quick little, Camtasia, ScreenFlow, quick time, whatever. And let me show you Bing, bang, boom, see here, I just did this, I did this, I did this boom, done, 30 seconds, explainer video, and they go- Oh, wow. And then as you get deeper into the sales cycle, maybe a little more technology, me actually having some packaged explainer videos already done upon how the certain technology works, or how we differ from somebody else, is a great little way saying, boom, send this, it’s a great way to handle that objection your head having internally. So in other words, one of the things we always teach sales, is you’ve got to teach your prospect how to present, how to create and present the business case for us, well, videos, a fantastic way of giving them the many business cases over and over again. So they go, they can just share it. And people can consume it on any device, and they go, Oh, and that with your sales reps, scales. So the messaging, the differentiation, the quick answer, the business case, building, all of that is huge for sales, which otherwise would take a boatload of time on my Rep. And here’s my challenge as CRO especially, the more time my rep can be developing new business, the more money we make as a company and the more commission I get to pay them. If my rep spends an inordinate amount of time nurturing along the existing business hand-holding them, then that’s not happening videos, I need to understand if I get a question once I’m gonna get a second and a third or fourth time other deals. So having those betas they can just grab and throw and say There you go, let me know if you have any questions, dramatically scales my sales team and makes me able to achieve more revenue with my same headcount. So my cost of acquisition goes down and my revenue per employee goes up all because a video what a simple simple reason why would you not do video you’re stupid. If you don’t do a video, have I made that clear?
Pranav Chimulkar: I have the content that I will have to chop out and send to my customers, I think potential customers sales leaders, here’s the piece. I’m just gonna take this small piece out of the podcast that is doing all the selling for guch, right.
Darryl Praill: Darryl on video talking about why you’re stupid if you don’t use video, that’s good. I like it. That’s a little bit of Zen going on there, I like it a little meta
Pranav Chimulkar: There are a couple of other use cases that I also like to point out that I feel are relevant for sales leaders to look at. One is I think building social proof, I think you spoke about explaining the product and explaining certain features and why sales guys need not spend all that money all the time on educating, I think education is one social proof. Like I think I think people buy from the photo when they hear other customers who’ve used and, and then there’s this sort of this reputation that gets built because a few other brands that are well known have used your product, I think that’s something that people really love. And the second point I’d like to make, and you could touch upon both of them as you wish. The second one I would like to say is for training. First for training your own sales reps, right? Because a lot of time is spent into explaining what needs to be sold and how it needs to be sold to our own sales teams. I think internal, we talk about a lot of videos that are done for consumers. But we don’t talk about videos done for your own employees. I think if you have a large team.
Darryl Praill: Oh, dude
Pranav Chimulkar: Perhaps this video can help you solve that.
Darryl Praill: The whole sales and I touched on that, you’re so wise, the whole sales enablement side of doing the sales, the videos for training and how-to, and that could be, we talked about call recordings, but why not just by call recording, why not an actual side by side where you see the video of your rap. And you can hear, the person in there and, and then capture of the screen or a zoom recording, right, you can see both sides and screen share the huge record for training purposes. But I mean, you nailed it, one of the things. One of the biggest expenses any organization is going to have is training your sales team because part of it is you want a consistent message. And part of it is you’re going to have turnover on your staff. So you’re always bringing on new people, and they start at the bottom. So I don’t want to have to always be teaching the same content over and over again. So recording my content sessions, whether it’s product or service-specific, in vanillasoft case, this is how the voice works. Let me show you, right, or it’s how to sell. This is what you do when you get an objection. This is how you ask an open-ended question. This is how you ask a closed-ended question. This is how you perform discovery is dynamite. And it’s huge. I have to go one step further. True story. We do this here at the vanillasoft. We call it a book club, but I should call it a video club. Because what it is, is every single week we go get a killer video, it could be a video, like what or it could be a live stream or a recording of a live stream. It could be a webinar, it could be whatever it could be something on YouTube, and we get everybody to go watch the video, which is usually something that’s our competition, or it’s a skill or to industry issue. And then once a week, we come back to our weekly sales meeting. And like you wouldn’t a book club where you talk about the characters in the story and you have a little sip of booze, we have some crackers and cheese. We do the exact same thing. We talked about what we thought of the video, do we agree that we disagree? How can we incorporate that video is all about the training and the scaling your training and ensuring a consistent message dynamite stuff?
Pranav Chimulkar: Yep. And I think to see, I mean, the adoption of video in businesses, I think that has gone up by like leaps and bounds after the pandemic I think, yes, abs would, who would possibly be having a face to face meetings, doing handshakes and, selling over say even a bill can now not afford to do all that. And then they have to use videos, right? I mean, they have to be on zoom calls, they have to be on whatever WebEx or any platform that they’re using, but at the same time, a lot of things that you would do in person, have now to be done on video, right? And you cannot really like like think of it as a good to have entity it has become a must-have. Right?
Darryl Praill: It is and in fact, to the point that every single one of my customer-facing staff, so that could be marketing. It could be sales, it could be a sales engineer, anybody ever talking to a customer, I go out and I do the following. I buy them a high-quality microphone, it doesn’t have to be something like this. But I buy them a high-quality microphone. It’s a dynamic microphone. They’re wide, wide dynamic as opposed to the condenser, condenser picks up all the sound around so if I’m typing, you would hear that typing dynamic is hot on the end only so if I’m typing you hear it. So they all get dynamic microphones. They all get dedicated webcams if they need a little tripod for that webcam, so that sort of the right position, that’s huge. They get lights. And we talked to them about their branding behind them if you’re going to be in your house because we’re all working from home, is it clean? Is it tidy? What is it? What does it say about you? Whether it’s intentional or not, too, if you have a bookshelf, they’re looking at the books on your shelf? Is there a book you don’t want there? The Kuma sutra probably shouldn’t be on your shelf. Right? So, I’m not judging you. You read whatever you want to but context, because again, goes back full circle to brand, we want our customers to hear us if the big headphones on? Well, what, let me get you some more discreet headphones, like what I’m using now, the whole point is about, I want you to have a face to face, I want to look good for you. So you will go, Wow, it’s just on the phone with vanilla soft, and they sounded good. They look good. They were professional. And then I went to the competition. And they were, cloudy. And I was looking up the guy’s nose because the camera was sitting, in his lap and what is it? What a difference? Again, it’s so why would you not take advantage of that to make yourself better than the rest?
Pranav Chimulkar: Absolutely. I think I think it goes the same way. Right? in the pre-pandemic world, you dress up really well. You show up as your best self, I think the same thing has to be done. Now, in the video, I think you have to ensure that you’re wearing good clothes, or maybe like I said, ensuring that the backdrop is something that you really intend to show in the back in the car in the auction sale meeting that you’re doing. And also if there’s anything that is not to be sure, just get rid of that.
Darryl Praill: Get rid of it. Just move it out of the way. Yeah. The funniest part, people are always when I get on this kind of conversation. I’ll tell you how we’ve been all zoomed to death. People are shocked when they learned that this is actually a real curtain by me. They just assume it’s a backdrop right there. And it’s funny to watch the reaction quickly followed by Well, what’s behind the wall there also it’s okay, at least to a wonderful conversation.
Pranav Chimulkar: Absolutely, absolutely. I want to talk about your achievements. I haven’t seen so many achievements on LinkedIn performance marketing, I want to know you you added 2020 Top 10 since a SaaS branding expert, you’re a top 19 b2b marketer to follow and then sales world’s top 50 keynote speaker why is it important for a leader like yourself to be at the top of your game when it comes to like having a personal brand out there.
Darryl Praill: Oh, that’s an easy question. I mean, it’s a great question. I wish more people would ask it. And it’s a wonderful, it always leads to conversations when it does come up.
So the first thing I’ll say is, that you don’t need to be me just, be you. But the reason why the brand is so important is multifaceted. One, whenever somebody buys something from you, again, the human psyche, is we’re looking for reasons to say no, I mean, think about, when was the last time you went on Amazon? To buy something? It could have been five bucks, even at five bucks, did you look at the reviews? Of course, you did. Alright, you look at the reviews to make sure that it was going to be a good five bucks spent not a bad five bucks because people liked it. So social proof, right? So. But branding is the same thing. It’s social proof, they know that they’re talking to me or my team, or the products I represent that I’m credible. That’s the first point. The second point is you never know what tomorrow holds. So, for example, when we took the job when I say we, I mean, my wife, and I took the job as CRO because we’re a team. I said to her- honey, just so you’re clear on what this means if I accept the job is, you thought I was close to the exit before. I’m really close to the exit. Now, I’m having a bad quarter or something. I’m gone. So she’s like, Oh, my gosh, and then that led to a conversation. The point being, we’re self-aware of our circumstances. So why would I not proactively take control? So okay, we have a bad quarter, Darryl gets the ax, there was gone, unemployed. Because of my branding. Well, people seek me out, when I’m announcing I’m looking for my next opportunity, because of my branding, when I apply for a job and there are 100 applicants? Well, I’d be in that top five that shortlisted five. Because, on paper, we all kind of sound the same. So why me? Right? So the branding is about your social proof, but your street cred, it’s about future-proofing your own income-earning opportunities. My wife has always told me that I suck at networking. And she’s 100%. Right? The beauty of social media and branding is that it’s allowed me to rectify that without having to go to every single freaking person, no face to face meets up in the local pub. And I’m happy about that.
Pranav Chimulkar: Like, I think it all ties back to, again, being good on video, and then ensuring that even if you don’t want to be physically present, in a networking environment out there, can you shoot out a video to 1000s of people who are following you on your LinkedIn, having that kind of followership and they want to see what you have to say, that you have a very unique voice on things that you represent and things that you work with, I think, videos is again, something that again, ties back to personal branding is when I’ve seen so many videos that you do, and you’re so consistent with that, what drives you every day to get in front of a camera and put yourself out there.
Darryl Praill: Sometimes, sometimes it’s therapy. So I did one a couple of days ago, it was a Friday. And I had somebody trying to troll me, and I was not happy about them trying to troll me. And, and I was annoyed. And I wanted to respond to them. But I knew if I responded to them, we just give them more attention. So I couldn’t do that. So I said, Okay, I’ll talk to the issue. And I’ll do it on video. And I did I got massive engagement. So, the troll had two or three comments, I had over 100 comments, I had almost 10,000 views. I guess I won that one. So sometimes it’s therapy. For a lot of it candidly, it’s just understanding how people buy. So, you see me online, I talk about something sales-related and you go- Hey, that’s really cool. If I’m ever going to buy that product or that product like that, I’ll give them a kick at the can. But then six months go by you forgot about me and lo and behold you go and buy a product and you didn’t call me well that’s bad. We don’t want that. So the frequency of the videos is to make sure that I’m always Top of Mind in case you’re in the market. There’s an element of that. The other point there candidly is the video frequency is about driving referrals and inbound leads here at vanilla soft. You would be shocked how many referrals and inbound leads come to me personally not through the website or anything else just drops in your content about your products. Can you show me? So that’s like free. That’s the cost of acquisition on that lead was $0 or right? If you can do better than $0 you let me know. So, there’s that and the other part is, it sounds stupid. But it’s, it’s exactly what we talked about earlier about training. So when I’m in this conversation with prospects, they’ll say, Yeah, well, this is my pain. And I’m looking for a solution to fix it, or I don’t like your product because of that feature. Okay, so one is a pain when it’s an objection. Well, if you have that pain, sort of you and you and you and you and you, let’s get online and talk about the pain, and the next time somebody shares with me and a sales call, they have that pain. I’m going to say, let me send you a link to this post that had 50, 100, 200 comments, and you’ll see my video, and you’ll see the conversation and you’re not alone. But remember, what’s at the top of that conversation? It’s my video. So we’ll go- Oh, wow, see me on the objection. They give me an objection. I’ll say, Well, let me send you a link to another post where I talked about that objection. And again, the conversation is fantastic. So all of a sudden, they start going, Wow, these guys are thought, leaders. So it’s a great way for me to expedite the sales cycle again. So it’s a lot of reasons. But mostly, it’s just cheap. It’s great branding that I can do for very little money.
Pranav Chimulkar: You’ve been brutally honest, I think we realize the people who’ve already been doing videos for a long time, the know-how, what’s the return on the time that they spent, and whatever little investment that they do to get like, like a good video out regularly on their feed. I also wanted to mention the point that you just made, right. It’s not just the content that I want to talk about the pieces that you just brought up, while you spoke to me about other aspects of your job, I think a lot of pain points that I can actually identify as a revenue leader, as a CRO, what what you go through in your work. And then I can actually say the same things as you said, exist with a lot of other CRO, folks out there. And then it also gives me that business intelligence in trying to understand what are the pain points? Again, it’s a feasible way for me when I’m doing this, because then I can then sell to those pain points to my potential costs.
Darryl Praill: Yes. Yes. Yes, emphasize, that’s one of your clips, kept that in and post that. That’s right there what you said.
Pranav Chimulkar: I will talk to you about a collaborator of yours. You’ve been participating with this guy, in your videos, on your feed a lot of times and you also happen to mention your user of his product. It’s you’re a buyer for him as well. And that is Sangram and then you seem to have been really good friends. Please tell me what, kind of relationship you share. I’m doing this again because maybe Sangram becomes a guest on the podcast, Episode Number 12- 13. Whatever. I feel like he’s again, going to be a great guy to be invited on to the podcast.
Darryl Praill: Oh, my God, you’re gonna love Sangram, you’re gonna love him. Yeah, so the relationship has evolved, Sangram, I was just a fanboy. I had literally, stood in line to get his book. He signed it to me, here you go. And I was part of a long line. I’m like, Hey, man, love your work, the usual stuff and off you go. That was it. And then, and I watched, I watched from afar, totally, there’s a handful of, the marketer in me. There’s a handful of marketers that I really respect just like there’s a handful of salespeople I really respect and so watch from afar watch to stop is all cool. So how did this begin? This really kind of began where I was kicking the tires, I’m on acquiring Terminus, let’s do in a competitive evaluation process. And of course, talk about networking, right. And in part of the video, to your point about maybe get Sangam on your show, I’m thinking the same thing I was saying about my show. He’s got a good draw, why would I want them on my show? So let’s talk about my sales rep. And I happen to know some of the other executives in the company.
I said, hey, it’s part of this deal. If we do this, I’d love to, do something with Sangram. And he’s like, yeah, I’m sure we can work that out. So we’re moving forward and I got a message from Sangram Hey, talking, So here where you might be a customer. I love that. Right. We’ll get we’ll go. We’re gonna get you one of my Monday mornings LinkedIn lives. Great. So fast forward. We’re still in the final deals. And, a couple of weeks pass. I said to the Rep. I never heard from him again. I said, but I appreciate the try. I know he’s busy. I really genuinely get it. Now leave it with me. So boom.
We’d inked a deal. Boom- Hey, Darryl, let’s get you on the Monday mornings LinkedIn live. Okay, okay, sure. So off we go doing exactly this. And really to the first time he and I truly connected it was literally just like, as we were using stream yard, he used the stream yard just like you guys do. And so it’s like literally this interface we have going on right now. And he’s asking me all these questions. And it’s like, we’re like each other’s brother from another mother. We’re laughing. we’re answering the same questions. So I remember him saying to me, Darrell, first time had marketing who was the best? Who do you become best friends with it with a company? And I’m like, head of HR and head of Finance. And he was like- oh, my gosh, that’s what I always say, so this is what’s going on. Right? Nobody says that. So we really bonded, we thought a lot of like, so from that, he invited me to join, he’s got a community that he’s behind, called the peak marketing community. And he asked me to join that. So then I was in there, and he’s loving this stuff. And it just evolves. From there. It was like, let’s do this together. Let’s do that together. I think what it was, was that he recognized a kindred spirit in me as I didn’t him that we think very similarly. He is a very happy, energetic guy. His favorite word is boom, and I love doing the mic drop with him. So he’s a peer, whom I respect. And when you got two people on something like this, or in a community whom you respect, I mean, magic happens. Because you can have people that you say, Yeah, they’re smarter, they’re smart, or they’ve had success. But when you connect, it’s magic. So and the beneficiary of that often is the audience is the community. So I added to think maybe he’s leveraged me a little bit, I’ve definitely leverage him a little bit. But, we’re texting each other now.
It’s wonderful. He’s just a great man. And what I like about him, and all honesty, he knows his strengths and his weaknesses. He’s very transparent. He’s very vulnerable. He’s very forthright, you won’t be misled by him, you’re just going to get sincere advice and truths and perspectives. And in the end, that’s all I want from a friend or a colleague, just shoot straight with me. I may not like what you say. But, sometimes we need to have that truth. So I don’t make a mistake that I could have avoided. Or I take something from here to here because of what you told me. So he’s a pretty smart guy. If you don’t follow him now, please, guys, all those on board online here. Give him a follow. He’s just, he’s a smart, smart man.
Pranav Chimulkar: I am sure we are going to use this clip again. This part of the interview is going to be cut out into a video that is going to be shot across to Sangram. So that he takes notice, and then happens to come over and join us on the movie podcast very soon.
Darryl Praill: You’re gonna embarrass me now he’s gonna go there on Hang on, hang on. No, believe it. I was just online, I was lying.
Pranav Chimulkar: So I also want to ask you, because we just spoke about Sangram being such a big influence on you, and me and a bunch of other marketers out there. I don’t know who are the other marketers and brands that you think are doing really well on LinkedIn specially or across the boards, people crushing with videos.
Darryl Praill: So which is so whether it’s online or LinkedIn? So actually asked this question today and that St. Pete community I asked a group of people who are the CMOs or the marketers that they admire the most, so and I opened it up to get the ball going. I said for me, one of the ones in the world that I quite respect and follow their stuff. I look to them for advice to them for innovation. Because I’m always looking to innovate so I stand out, if you can innovate before others innovate then you look prepared for so for me, it’s a fellow named Neil Patel. I quite like Neil Patel. I think he is. He’s just a smart cookie. And he’s pretty transparent, pretty honest. Take it or leave it. It is what it is. So I like Neil Patel, on LinkedIn. Those who I have a lot of time for and are doing video. Well, and they do and they do it differently. Two names come to mind. One I will never hear the end of this if I admit this publicly from him especially. It’s a fellow named Benjamin Dennehy. Benjamin is the UK’s most hated sales trainer. And, and he is so in your face, and abrupt, borderline rude, sometimes blatantly rude. But it’s all part of his shtick. But his videos are amazing. This guy, he’s just he’s a ham. But he does. He puts his calls out there. He says he’s a cold calling expert. He puts his calls out there, and he and he has fun with it. He smiles at the camera. He’s cheeky, like, you just want to watch him. He’s just fun to watch. So he’s quite good. I quite liked him. And then it’s stunning. You don’t have to agree with him. But he does provoke you did the person that comes to mind, maybe not as natural on video, because he’s not like me in the sense where I’m like, over the top energy. That’s not what he is. He’s very much laid back this guy named Scott lease. And what I like about Scott lease is that he knows how to use the medium. So he’s a really smart guy because it is, where he stands with his convictions and his beliefs, whether it’s politics or health care or social. And he’s a master of the podcast master at the video. He’s got he’s a master at the live stream, so he works with the Thursday night sales. He’s the host of Thursday night sales. So he’s just, he’s a big user of Patreon. And, YouTube. So here, here’s a guy who really, really gets the medium of video. Yeah, he’s contrarian because he’s just such a laid-back, soft-spoken guy. So you don’t need to be a late-night talk show host to be a video that’s your lesson. You just need to have substance and content. And so he’s, those are two that come to mind who are rocking and video. Now I got to give an honorable mention to the folks that lead IQ Ryan O’Hara and the crew there, they make the best funniest videos, I want to do more videos as they do. So those are maybe three. Those are my three honorable mentions. I’ll mention follow them if you haven’t.
Pranav Chimulkar: Yeah, yeah, but I did come across a video recently. Oh, sorry. Please go. No, I’m sorry.
Darryl Praill: One more. All right. Sarah brasier. At Gong. Dynamite.
Pranav Chimulkar: Just yesterday, such brilliant content that was.
Darryl Praill: Dynamite. So Sara brazier a gong is just dynamite. Please follow her. She is just so good and smart. And what a success story. I mean, she’s been doing this for over a year and a bit from SDR to AE rocking it a gong. And she’s just so she’s fun. She doesn’t take herself seriously. She’s honest. I mean, you just want to walk the journey with her and give her the business because she’s so much. She’s just so nice. So yeah, another one. Sorry, I didn’t mean to cut you off.
Pranav Chimulkar: No, absolutely. Shout out to Sarah. And I think I’m going to be tagging her as well after we put this post out on LinkedIn. So yes, I want to ask you one question. I think we’re, like, close towards the end of the show. So I want to finish on a high. I want to know because you’re a veteran of two things. What is something that you would say to a young guy who’s following, who’s possibly going to be on the same path as you are? Because I think one yes, I don’t think everybody has the same kind of journey in their careers or lives in general. But there are a few things that you could possibly tell them, because you can only look back and connect the dots, but they cannot look in front and know what’s going to come next. But then possibly some bits of advice for for someone like that. And then second, I mean, if you want me to, like first answer this, and then go to the next question, but the second question for me is, what are you looking forward to in 2020, remainder of 2020 and the next year?
Darryl Praill: Alright, so advice for the folks entering their career, I have a handful of pieces I say over and over again. First off, if you’re waiting for your employer to make you a rockstar, it’ll never happen. If it does. That’s nice, thank them for it. But they don’t owe you bubkis. All right, they’re paying you a salary to do a job what you’re doing, they pay you it’s a transactional deal. They have no obligation to make you better than what you already are, to train you to coach you not on the table. They should, but they don’t have to. So if you expect them to stop doing that, your success is dependent upon you taking the initiative to learn and to get better. So learning is earning. Alright, spend your own hard cash, or time or both to actually learn. All right, it’s incumbent upon you, you are the master of your careers, number one. Number two, take the initiative. Stop waiting for permission from your company to have signed on, never give it to you. Just take the initiative, you think something needs to be done. Just go do it. And then come back and say, I did this here are the results. Well, you think so keep on doing it. All right. take the initiative, stop waiting for permission. Don’t be shy. Just if you think it’s the right thing to do. Do it. Number three, great is the enemy of good. What’s your course good is the enemy of great is a long term expression. But I firmly believe crazy enemy of good. In other words, I can get too good, which is 90% of where I what great is pretty fast. But that final 10% to get the great might take me days and you’re spending that that delta of days to increase it only 10% from good to great, you’re not doing something else. If it’s good enough, get it out the door so you can do something else. Right. So the more you can do, the more you can scale, the more successful you will be, not everything will be a success. But the more you can do it, the more you can succeed. So good is what you want. Great is great if you can get there quickly, but don’t focus for great every single time. So time management. I had one more that I want the lineup for you guys. But of course I’m blanking on what it is right now. Oh, yes.
Two things, test everything. Everything you do test it all right because it always gets better. So, write a blog post in one format that reads in a different format and see which format gets the same topic. The second thing as an example, test, everything always gets better. The second and last thing I would give you on what to do is never be afraid to fail. I would rather you try something and fail than never try it all, honestly, because if you try and it succeeds, you’ve taken me further than I’ve ever been before. And if it fails, we’ve learned now and we’ll never do it again. All right, do not be afraid to take risks. They’re just controlled risks. Failure is not a bad thing. Failure is a good thing, you will learn from it. And then you refine it testing, and then you’ll get better. And eventually, you’re great. There you go. That’s my advice if you’re getting into it. And what do I want for 2020 I simply want to complete the transformation of my sales and revenue machine to get them to the point that I know they’re capable of getting. And right now we’re at the hard part, which is more so people, getting in people’s heads and their mindset, and sales methodology and consistency, right, they’ve got the tools, they’ve got the training, they’ve got everything else. Now we just need to kind of rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat and get iteratively better every single time. I wish this was done already. I’m a very impatient person sometimes. But candidly, if it’s done by Christmas, December of this year, going into 2021 on a high note like that well made the transformation. I’m going to be absolutely thrilled.
Pranav Chimulkar: Awesome. Thank you so much. This is an absolute pleasure. I think most of the people who are watching this, have not just learned one thing, I think they would have learned five or 10 different things from what you’ve said. Personally, I’m so excited to see what your 100th episode, behold, and then I’m really wishing you from the bottom of my heart. I wish you all the best for the next 100 and the next 500 episodes that are going to be coming for inside the sales trades podcast. Thank you so much for your time and for gracing us with your presence. I hope to stay in touch with you and possibly keep learning a lot more from you.
Darryl Praill: I mean, I’m the one to thanking you. I love they’re advocating and pushing this knowledge out there. Keep it up. Well done. Thank you so much.
Pranav Chimulkar: Thank you.