Matt Heinz is President of Heinz Marketing, a Seattle marketing agency focused on sales acceleration. Matt has worked with many prestigious clients such as; Microsoft, SalesForce, Weber Shandwick, Boeing, The Seattle Mariners, Market Leader and Verdiem. Matt is recognized as a thought leader within the marketing arena.
Britty: In 10 words or less how would you describe Heinz Marketing?
Matt: Sales acceleration & revenue performance management
Britty: Who does Heinz Marketing help and how has it changed over the years?
Matt: Our entire focus is on helping companies accelerate their sales and the lifetime value of their customers. We intentionally blur the lines between sales & marketing, because most of our customers care about the customer first. If we can tell a consistent, customer-centric story and help both prospects & customers understand the business outcomes our clients can enable, we’re telling a better story and are able to drive significantly better sales pipeline performance and customer success.
Britty: What were you doing before Heinz Marketing? What inspired you to decide to start Heinz Marketing?
Matt: I’ve been in sales & marketing roles for 15+ years. Was at Microsoft for awhile then a couple startups. I always had the itch to start my own business, but finally in November of 2008 I took the plunge. This, if you’ll remember, was a month after the stock market tanked and my wife was also pregnant with our first child. No time like the present, right?
Britty: Not a lot of marketing companies are as open when it comes to speaking about their business. Do you think this is one of the reasons why people connect with your blog so well?
Matt: We make it a policy to be a completely open book. We believe strongly in a core set of values that we hold ourselves accountable to, and we actually hold our customers and partners to those values as well. When it comes to what we know, how we think about sales & marketing strategy and execution, we’re also more than happy to share anything we know with anyone who asks. This includes the blog as well as our 10-minute brainstorms and any other channel. The more we can share, the more likely people are to continue talking with us. And that’s how we earn business.
Britty: Heinz Marketing has been extremely successful in attracting many prestigious clients such as; Microsoft and SalesForce. Could you explain to us what it took to get those clients?
Matt: Relationships and patience. Our business has grown entirely through referrals, word-of-mouth and now increasingly inbound marketing from the content we produce. We focus on building those long-term relationships and providing value from day one. We don’t push relationships to close or push prospects towards anything they’re not ready for. But by providing consistent value and building a reputation for value over time, that’s how we earn the right to help new customers accelerate their own sales and success.
Britty: What are the main factors that have led to Heinz Marketing’s growth and success?
Matt: You’ll notice under our logo is a short, three-word tagline: Passion. Focus. Results. Although our core values have growth since then, I think those three words nicely summarize who we are and why we’re different. We’re passionate about what we do, and the impact it has for our clients. We’re focused on what works. And we only care about results. Those focus areas manifest themselves in a lot of what we do on a regular basis, but I’ve found our clients really like that consistency and clarity.
Britty: You have given countless seminars on marketing, public relations, social media and various lead generation tactics. What seminar topics do you find most in demand? Why?
Matt: I get the most requests for social selling best practices, but I work hard to help people understand that the mechanics of what makes social selling work really has nothing to do with social media. The drivers of the buyer journey and sales process haven’t changed much over the years. How we engage and execute on it has changed significantly, but the fundamentals are the same. Many sales & marketing people, however, either don’t understand those fundamentals or expect the channels & tools to incorporate fundamentals for them. It doesn’t work that way, unfortunately.
Britty: What are the biggest challenges you face in marketing currently?
Matt: Buyers in almost all categories are increasingly busy, inundated with bad sales pitches, and jaded when they meet someone new. This makes it harder to break through, but we’re patient.
Britty: You have published multiple books such as ‘Successful Selling’; do you have any other books in the works or future plans?
Matt: I just published a new book, Successful Social Selling, that focuses entirely on how sales and marketing professionals can leverage the social Web to find and close business. Next spring we will publish a new book specifically on B2B marketing automation and lead nurturing strategy as well.
Britty: What conversion tactics have you found most effective for converting website visitors for Heinz Marketing and your clients?
Matt: As much as you may want to, you aren’t going to push prospects faster than they’re ready or willing to go. So it’s important that you match the nature of the content in front of the prospects with the incremental engagement offer in the sidebar or embedded in the content. Just because someone is interested in reading a best practice article about cold calling, for example, doesn’t mean they want to hire us. They’re just learning. But they might be interested in getting a best practice guide on inside sales management. Still no commitment, but relevant to their immediate needs.
Britty: Which online tools do you recommend for businesses just getting started?
Matt: Actively use Google Analytics to understand what’s already happening on your site, and where to focus next. Use HootSuite to listen for social buying signals, among your known prospects as well as those you don’t yet know. Invest in a strong marketing automation system to work with your CRM to actively manage your entire sales pipeline, from the beginning, without making your prospects feel like they’re being managed in a pipeline.
Britty: What was the last book you read? What online resources do you subscribe to?
Matt: My Kindle library is typically balanced between books about business, child development and baseball. I just read a biography of Bill Veeck, the famous baseball owner who’s literally responsible for much of the stadium promotions, giveaways and entertainment we see today. I highly recommend a book called NurtureShock by Po Bronson if you have young children. And if you’re in sales, do yourself a favor and read The Challenger Sale. It’s not often you come across a book that fundamentally changes sales. The last time it happened was probably SPIN Selling. I think The Challenger Sale is right up there in importance and impact in the years to come.
Britty: Thanks again for providing LeadLifter with this opportunity to interview you. Any final thoughts for our readers?
Matt: Work hard every day to understand your customers better, and give freely to them (even if they’re not yet giving you money) to build trust and credibility. Those building blocks will sustain your business for years to come.
Heinz Marketing is a Seattle marketing agency focused on sales acceleration. We help our clients achieve sustained sales success by growing revenue from existing customers and cost effectively identifying and winning new customers. www.HeinzMarketing.com