The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 9 months ago

Record Month After Record Month In a Pandemic w/ Martin Leamon


Just like the financial crisis in 2008, the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 has been challenging, to say the least.

Not every moment has been bad, though. Some changes we implemented have launched us into more success than we imagined — and we aren’t going back to the way we used to do things.

In this episode, I interview Martin Leamon, Chief Commercial Officer at WebCreationUK, about positive outcomes of embracing changes.

What we talked about:

  • What it was like when the phones stopped ringing overnight
  • Changes to marketing & sales that drove 5 record months in a row
  • 2 new customer profiles for online presence
  • Time for a bit of navel gazing

For more engaging sales conversations, subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

Welcome to the sales engagement podcast,this podcast is brought to you by outreach, the leading sales engagementplatform, helping companies, sellers and customer success engaged withfuyers and customers in the modern sales era, check out sales,engagementcom for new episodes, resources and the book on sales,engagement available on Amazon and Barns and noble or wherever books aresold. Now, let's get into today's episode: Hey Everyone. This is Kate,Lanit, Kelly and sewere excited to be launching these sales engagementpodcast here with Martin Lemon and outreach, we're based out of the MEAregion, and for those of you who have not met me quite yet. I'm the managerof sales, development for outreach, enemia and also one of the podcast hostfor the sales engagement podcast as well as cofounder of SCR's anonymous. Aserasanonymous is a community of SPRS ANDSR leaders where we can submitquestions nonymously, and we have a monthly chat where we tackle thosequestions that have submitted and trining a different leaders to shareinsight and knowledge throughout the community from there. Martin superexcited to have you joining us today. We had a conversation a couple weeksback so excited to dive into a couple of those things rigt. You want to goahead and introduce yourself e yeah good morning m Marten, Lelan, IAM, CI,commercial, Ofcicer, a work creation UK we consider ourselves one of thefastest grand digial marketing agencies in the UK, as well as having sort of early stage operations in boththe US and Australia. I've got a background of just over twenty years in southleadership majority, which has been focused on providing marketingsolutions for small businesses and primarily that being in the onlinespace for a number of the most recent years. Amazing, yes, super exciting to haveyou here, especially with all the experience that you're able to bring tothe table in our previous conversationon we 're talling aboutwhat a wild year I has been with the pandemic and the amount of uncertaintyand it shifting and challenges that many companies were facing for you andyour team over at web creation. During this time, you guys are able todemonstrate some extreme bravery and kind of pivot to continue to see growthand success within this year. So Marin would love to understand if, like whatwere some of the struggles that you feel that the team was facing in thebeginning of the pandemic, and how would you say these have kind ofshifted now that were sixt seven months into it yeah. So I think I think some of the strong werecreation based were the same as those based by most businesses glovally in the it wasliterally an unknown Stet of circumstances that everyone wasoperating in. You know there. Some shift to working from homelockdown of many businesses and servicees meant that it took a while for people to adjust.So so what happened? For where creation was the the phones? basially stopringing. So, first and foremost were a a highlytuned sales organization, with very good at generating leads, and we havesome great sales people who are able to convert those and the whole businessmodel flows from there. You know without those Leeds coming in there'sno celles being made and there's nothing Col fild fulfiler to do andthere's no customr service on the back end, whether is through distingcustomers, but obviously the whole thing all slows up and like literallyovernight, nothing happened. You wer her the werefrom growth in the first quarter to zero over anight for the first sort ofweek to ten days. That's how it stayed...

...and and then you know, everyone had tomake decisions and the same as many businesses we use the furlough scheme.People took paycurts and everyone mucked in and it was a real ACO uses the phrase it was kind ofSpatmesk, but he had. You know there is a thereis a real family, go to our BUSINESSS and mathes we're growing and we've got a significant headcount globally th.The business is always at that kind of retains that familythos and dedications to customers,and so everyone kind of got what we were doing and there there was. Youknow everyone understood why certain things were made, but whatit did is it made the business step back and take a look at how we do things. So it was a greatopportunity to reflect particularly operatationally. Thedowntime gave space to think about camp. Can we dothings better, both from a delivery point of view for our customers? Can Wedliver faster? Can we deliver better quality? Can we get more things rightfirst time, but it also gave us the opportunity to look and think actuallycommercially. This is an industry where the margins are not excessive and so introducing efficiencies and betterways of doing things. El Past to grow s TA business, but also to potentiallyoffer a better frice to product for our customers, and so we develop some newinitiatives and they may seem to they may see to other businesses to belogiccal, but but we built a custom success team that we didn't have beforewe looked at where we had fatin in the business and potentially cut thoseareas or redeployed people to make the business leaner and faster andeverything wer went very quickly and those people that stood on board wellcommitte do everything we were doing put in a lot of effort and actuallythings turn around fairly quickly. Yeah and I was in a working at a Simvilatbusiness back when the the viatial crisis hit. You know, Tenerso, it's nota descemina story to tha in th in h, things went very quiete very quicklyand then new new opportunities grew out. Youknow you had a you, had a growth of people who are to work for themselves,N and we've seen that again, so yea I'll be Frankwe, managed to reduce itoverheads and improve them. The way we we did business, butactually that's, got back up and we we cant or marketing budgets, quiteconsibiated to start, but then very quickly realized that actually there'san opportunity here for us that business haven't just gone away andactually it's there. It's still there for those are, are brave enough to goand get it. So we went up don marking budget in the by by the end of thefirst month, hat finished and went aggressively after the market. That wasthere and thought you know what its still pe got: their sturtingbusinesses tere still people out there who need help. Wi H with their digitalmarketing, particularly among small businesses, is ist, not somethingthat's easily selfsertd. We know that- and I definitely know that from manyyears in this industry, and so we thought, if our competition ar areining back and aren't servicing these guys, we can and we will yeah. So wemade these operation wipretments and then we just went for it yeah. I lovethat that is. I think a lot of people can relate with you and all of thisfirst kind of happened in the very beginning. There was like that firstweek or two where it felt like everything was standing still andnothing was happening, and I think that kind of makes the difference betweenthe companies that are going to see. You know the upside out of the pandemicand the ones that maybe are maybe didn't transition quick enough oryou know, adjust their stategy, so they...

...were able to swing and be brave to goafter those markets. Yeah it mentioned had sit's a volatile yeah ive gotcasson heartlan TA, small business, Malle medinside businesses and Smallo Meto sode business ons. So thatcan be that cohar people can get. Customerscan be exposed to the volativlity of things like the economy and and andTemis, but actually, if you think about the profile of those guys, theirbusiness is everding to them. I that you know you go into business foryourself Becau, you don't want to work, somebody else, because you had a greatidea because you've got something you're passionate about, because Youegot something youe good at and you dont want to keep that alive and what we saw happening was actuallyin some ways. It's Werk well far, inst because it pushed maybe those guys whothose guys ware rpassionate about that. They look for ways to survive and lookanten to look for way to grow. They didn't want to let their businesseswither on the vine, but also persh a lot of businesses who may be e resistedthe shift online previously, and it's still a good percentage of those. Butyou know in this country, but particularly glovally, and I think itif they adjusted itto a new normal different ways of doing things. Theythen started getting touch with us and say you know what we've resisted this for a long time,but we know we've got to do it, but we don't know where to start. Can you helpus? That's what we're creatiis all aboutthere that they're the guys we want to help. You know there's a real youleonstart of this business thirteen years ago, because it was something he wasgood at in terms of wet design and and he wanted to help smore business ownersand that and that easosce of helping the small business community issomething that that remains like arky focus, yeah from simple things likeright: priate, Pademi, Roly, business, networking, Fr events in our office ona monthly basis, four three for small businesses locally, those sorts ofthings. You know we don't necessarily touch that many people through doingthat. But it's just it's just indicative of when spirit of the businesses and soactually what happened in the end lends itself really Wello what we'recreations all about yeah, amazing yeah! I love that Youys, like you mentioned,Tha, that you shifted your focus more to enturing, that your the prospectsyou were kind of supporting them and you guys created the customer successand leaned heavy into the marketing budget as well, when you guys are kindof doing this. What were were there? Any other key changes or processes thatyou found were key to driving results for you and your team. So I think the other, the other thingwe did gross. So what we found was castioned by aping, Ou, Markesan budgetto the frontde and then by making our operational capabilitiessicker the bit this in the middle is okay, sowe've got to get customers from that lead part into the sausage machinethasis Ar fulfilming operation, and so that's the sales guys and actually whatwe sunthe fan was. We have more leads coming in than that sell people, and sowe thought actually the other opportunity for us here is ourcompetitives are making people redundant their furlonepeople we just went on linked in and and yeahhold a great story and look to recruit people from businesses where they calcome in and hit the ground runningfor with us. They knew how to to explainthe complexities digital marketing to a small business owner in a way that theycan relate to, they understand the prodofeastand benefite and and theycould cul it and they and they actually wanted to come work somewhere where they would fill value and feel part ofa part of that exciting groweh story rather than worrying about their job.So actually you know all of sudden we we had a very small sel thin at a start,but we ju startas to recruit numbers,...

...that's a very side position to bebecause, because you get a bit of a organic growt through that, becausepeople tell their friends who they werke with and a D, You know we didn't,spend a PATN recriminations well lik this, but we didn't spend a pound onrecruitment day weand, and that meant that we couldbecause serve ice more and more easy, because therefore we could continue to.We could continue to keep our comversion Racie at the level they were.We just left the fats on and brought more more people in and it was youow it's a great thing and we WIA EOL monthof the record month of the record month for the last five months. That's amazing, yeah. Ilove hearing t a I love to hear that you guys are not only breaking your ownrecords, but your team is growing and you're able to scale it efficientlywhat the processes that you have implemented in this kind of environment.If you were to speak to other leaders and kind of going through the situationYouhad mentioned, you had done it during the financial crisis previouslyand then a similar situation with the pandemic care. If you were to give anytips to other leaders, you know being brave and kind of just going for it inthese types of situations. What would some of those tips be for leaders tolean in? So I think what one of one of the key things we did and it's a littlebit ennaval Gazand, I guets in some way, but thet time give you that is to thinkabout what it is. We stand for what our conpear or compessive wit brandatoris.So what? If we're going to give to out to market and go resist the kind of negativity that was outthere? What is what Isthe story that we wante to tell, and so we go troug atour competition, is saying what they're doing you've got some of the big a Imean there e. There are other AGENC in wrong. Hor Do an amazing job and someof them do a great job of making customers crittin a feeling that theingdianing with a vig agency gives you something, but actually that's right for some businesses, butwe've stripped all that out so part of our review. Wedis wed, you know whatwhat is what is it that we want to deliver? You know, Weve, create. We'vegot this woneful league generation approach. We've got some fantasticSelles, guys who yo k. They not sells. You TR theyr consultative they're, allabout the customer and Rey find ourselves process to a certainextent around those, and then it's like an wa Ri. What is it we want to deliver?What is what is the thing that we want people to think o where creation for,and so it's very simple we we did was we ended up picking out this thingabout what we stand for and going after that, and I was very simple- its it's ahigh standin PPAT, but it's a prem impoe Butit, but an anaffordable cost and that's what a small business ayea wants, and it's explainedin simple terms and we deliver with it's a Baut delivering what whatcustomers are after and and and it's. We thought it' hugely important toactually try and figure that out to cut through the noise and to actually sayhey, we're still here and actually I this is what you're loking for AI thinka lot of people were Becul, particularly given that our TIPI marketwas adjusting to a new normal. Actually, people joined our target market, who welove to have been part of that five years ago, wet just weren't becausethey were resisting the shift. We need to Pak Sur that I go to. Marki messagewas really simplified and really clear, and that's worked very well for us, andso without taking that time to stand back and go how o? How do we strippdown everything that we've got in terms of now? We do things, but what we say m. that's that's a key piece of Avice,because without that you just end up doing what you've always done m andthat doesn't necessarily work in in this world when lot at first happened,every we're a very sort of office, centricbusiness, everyone n, the OFFICIS sells Teamr inthe office it was and that bars of the sales team learn from each other and celebrateeach other successes, and all that sort...

...of thing face to face was reallyimportant and being able to walk down and speak to one of the project.Manrages of Accustom got an issue and resolve things quickly and just thatconvenience of being altogether was a big part of the business, and so all ofa sudden youv got this. You must work from home, so a Suden ar our business s is spreadgeographically, all over the place in broom colors. Like Min Herto People'sdining tables to the KITCHENTO, the bedroom to wherever, right and soyelike, how heck do we run a business like that? And so you can't carry ondoing things as you always did, because the natural circumstances, the natuonalorder of things, has changed. So we had to quickly figure t out. Okay,actually does that stop US doing business? Does it and I thes everyone'sdone to a certain xstent you adoptor to new technologies and we've used thingslike teams and zoom cals to to help each other, and you know theamount that goes on there is is a stanping and the sale team. Now actallyourselve team now are very geographically DIV. Diverse I've gotpeople literally all over the country that we didn't have before everywereeveryone before community is the office they Nid like half an hour maximumalway from for my Soma location now met some my self te, not for yeah. Idon't need to necessarily because I know what they ar meeting here onlineand yeah and they meet together and actually they have. They had thet. Youknow t they set their own rules as well. They have a they have a daily Hel. Themanagers don't turn up to that. They all just g each other up. Theycelebrate what each other did the day before and we just move just adapted.So That is interesting. It's just become business as usual. That's how we dothings now, but we had to make those changes at the start, and if you don'tembrace the change, then that's where that's where you have a struggle, Ithink yeah. Now I love that I'm tip that youjust give so to summit alup, because that's quite abit there. You gave a lot Ian love that to someon all in I, you guysmainly embraced to change, but I think ultimately, one thing that caught myattention there is you kept it very customer centric and you met yourcustomers where they wanted to be met, speaking keeping it simple and anspeaking their language to ensure that you're meeting theire needs as well, sothat everyone would kind of get through this shift and evolve together throughall of it. I think yeah Mucht definitely, and thatsounds actually berly straightforward, but but I think, when you're running abits and you're busy yeah an if you're livering, you end up justdoing things where you did and you can't deliver, develop bad habits orthings maybe ouners with, but because things are going. Okay, you just carryon with that m. What an envent like this Lik, a like a global pademic, hasactually made you stop and think and review what you're doing and actually,as I say, OOUR custom demographic didn't Chage, but the new peopleentered it that that they hadn't been there before and we stopped andthought.What do they want? You know what's going to be important to those guys,and actually, how can we do better and that's what we've ended up with yeah fantastcic when you kind of think aboutsome of the changes that you have seen in the market and youhave mentionedthere, that you guys Hav are having new customers anter? What are some of thechanges that you're kind of seeing the way that your customers are purchasingor leaning on? So I think, there's a couple of thingsI think hat one of the big things we've seen isot taking people selling products online, so shops and retailerswho potentially have a high street location or of done things inparticular ways they. They have embraced the fact that actually, I needto be able to there's no reason why I...

...can't send my product to someone fourhundred miles away. I just haven't happened to that audience before, butwe given them my preexisting customer Vae, who used to walk past my shop on adaily basis, aren't doing that anymore. I've got to think about other ways ofgoing the market, so we see a massive uptik in econist website builds. Ithink the other thing we've seen is customers who historically had websites for for a lot of time, and maybe I've usedthem as more of a business card. Reference for a I've got to have one,because people expect me to have one when theyre, when they're a maybe areferror or something those customers now are actually more considered about. Okay, so I've got my website, butactually it someone who doesn't know Mei'slooking for me that they can't find me, I they're looking for what I do in thearea that I do, I'm not top of the list so that we'rgetting quite a lot of phone calls say: Hey. Can you help me with this? How doI idea? How do I become more visible to my target market, and so, in particular,our online onmin marketing products have started to become far moreprevalent amongst the POR Forios that we're setling, the maybe they werebefore. Digital presencs has always been something that we excell, that interms of acquiring customer numbers, but what wwet finding t is those customers TDATT? We build websites for maybe two yearsago, coming back to us and saying, okay, he talks to me at the time about how itcan get front of my competition. If I need to do that now, tell me how I doshow me how to help me. Do it yeah it' Sot, like lots of change goingon there, as the customers are evolving and everything's kind of papeing at aquicker rate? What are some ways that web creation is there any technologythat your team has leverage to help support them in their growth? A youguys, Ave implemented during this time? Yeah most definitely so. We alwa have aTA group of Seles people, but one of the things that I faud is actually whatwe found with our with our customers. Is they actually want to know moreabout what it is that we can do particularly on the online marketingsite, so weembrace someselves tools that that do things like Hanalyzarcustom, eor performance, but also we've been taken technology and we use ascreen sharing out that with e the press of a button, the customer can seewhat it is we're looking at in terms of the report or some analysis, or maybe aprouct presentation that they can see on Themr Obil, Fonin, literally theCLICKER aband. They can control it if they want they can stroll through andactually for those customers who want to understand it. Better who Ho haven'tmaybe bought this sort, O probuct before so, don't really know who they should be trusting or whethersomething is genuine or not. We can show them and actually thatthere's definitely helps build. The relationship helps us be moreconsultive and also you got to knower. There are a lot of people out there whoare visual learners. You can phone I and tell thim a great story, butactually they don't take it in bekile. They don't want to take Itin, becauseactually they need to see something need to Te to read it and I'm one ofthose people. So I've been able to do deeper analysis to be able topresent that in actually user friendly way and e be able to click a button.FRE T pop upon their phone while they're on a job or whatever, and theycan see they keep things really quickly. That's made a tremendous difference tohow we do business wow yeah, that's amazing, especially if you can O it onyour cell phone, because it's accessible for all your customers andeven for your raps Wen any game of the day. You got to think about it now Imean since, since probably after the first look gown most of our customersare out most of the day, they're, not sad at a desktop Yeyeah gotto be ableto to access them in a more affected way. Amazing. I love that all right. Well,we are coming up to the end of our time,...

...sot here, but Martin. I appreciate yourtime today in sharing all of this insight around the success that Webcration has seen in this wild year that we've all been havping, and thissharing your tips in tricks of how your team has been able to lean into it. Ifanyone wanted to reach out and connect with you, where is the best place forhim to connect with you, Martin, I've definitely did Lincoln alrighty awesome.You hear it here, first with Martin Lehman with web creation, and you canfind him on Linkdon drop him a connection request, a message, and Iappreciate Youall Atine and thanks for joining again Martin Frenc, tin, Ejoyit by this was another episode of the sales engagement. PODCAST join us atsales, engagementcom for new episodes, resources and the book on sales.Engagement now available on Amazon, Barns and noble or wherever books aresold to get the most out of your sales engagement strategy, make sure to checkout outrage the leading sales engagement platform. So you on the nextepisode.

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