So you have 45 minutes on your hands as you drive out to a sales call. You flip through your AM Radio to listen to the same discussion about your favorite sports team/ political figure/ local news you already read on Twitter this morning. Is there anything better to do with your time? You could listen to an audiobook, but it might drag on for five or ten hours. You could try to make a few sales calls “hands-free” but it’s still a little tricky trying to take notes. Why not try listening to a sales podcast?
What is a Podcast?
If you’ve never listened to a podcast, or don’t know the term, it refers to a series of digital audio files which a user can download and listen to. It is often available for subscription so that new episodes are automatically downloaded. Originally made popular through iPod devices accessing them on iTunes, there are now several handy media players which can help you to store, track, and organize content. I prefer the free version of the Stitcher app which acts more like a radio station, providing navigation tools, as well as curating fresh content based on what I’ve been listening to.
You can find podcasts on any topic under the sun. Once you find one you like, they can be almost as addictive as anything you’ll find on Netflix. One of the most popular podcast of all time, Serial, has been downloaded over 250 million times. I got hooked on the podcast, Startup, a couple years ago. It chronicles the exploits of Alex Blumber as he set out to launch his own podcast media company, documenting everything from investor pitches to the naming of the company to anxious conversations with his wife regarding their personal finances. The company has since launched more than a dozen shows including another favorite of mine called Reply All. A new show I’m just getting into is a lifestyle/ entrepreneurship/ business podcast called Novel. It’s focused on millennials produced and hosted by Jake Nicolle from 180 Drums.
In the B2B sales space, there are a few specific shows I’d recommend. The Social Selling podcast has over 100 episodes featuring news and interviews with sales experts. It’s a great place to hear about the latest books, apps and tools in the B2B space. The episodes usually run 45 minutes to an hour. On the shorter side, the Advanced Selling podcast runs episodes at about 15 minutes a piece. With over 450 episodes to choose from, there’s plenty of selling wisdom to go around. The B2B Growth podcast is another excellent podcast with hundreds of episodes focused directly on B2B sales and marketing issues. If you’ve gotten through the 1000 or so episodes from these three podcasts you can find some further B2B podcast recommendations here. You’ll notice that these podcasters use their show as a marketing tool for the variety of paid courses, programs and special events they offer. They’re actually great examples of how a podcast can be a great marketing tool.
James Carbary, Co-Host of the B2B Growth show suggests every B2B company should have its own podcast. Just like other social media channels, the podcast can be a way for you to develop strategic relationships, build engaging and interactive content, and be seen as a thought leader in your field. One key element is to identify your niche market. You don’t need to have millions of listeners, just the “right” listeners. Carbary suggests that while most B2B marketers focus solely on getting their most profitable buyers to listen to their show, their primary focus should actually be on featuring these buyers as guests on their podcast. This will lead to building trust and engagement. You can find a complete guide to starting your own B2B podcast here.
It Takes Time
Just like other forms of content engagement, podcasting takes a significant investment of time and energy. Whether it comes to podcast development, content writing, or making the sale, sometimes the best next step is to outsource the task at hand. Read a recent blog post by Steve Gruber of VA Partners on the benefits of outsourced sales here. Got a favorite podcast I should know about? Leave your suggestion in the blog comments section below.