In the third episode of Business Banter by SkillsLab’s Jack Kosakowski, we speak with Gabe Villamizar where he shares his input on the future of hiring an evangelist inside your organization.
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If you don’t know Gabe Villamizar, there are a zillion reasons you should!
Often considered one of the sharpest minds in the world of B2B SaaS marketing,
Gabe is currently working as a Global Sales Evangelist at Lucidchart.
If that’s not impressive, he also has top brands like Southwest, InsideSales, and HireVue on his resume.
Now, if you’re wondering what the heck a “Sales Evangelist” is, you have reached the right place.
Along with Jack Kosakowski, CEO at Creation Agency, Gabe is prepared to spill the beans about the whole affair.
Hope you’re ready.
The fascinating role of “The Sales Evangelist”
Gabe attributes his success as a world-class evangelist to a combination of multiple things like creating a relevant network, nurturing valuable relationships, and so on.
In fact, it took a long time for him to become a top resource ready to be hired by world-class brands like Lucidchart – a SaaS company with 15+ million users worldwide.
With a solid background in marketing and sales, in his role as a sales evangelist, Gabe can potentially help with everything.
Whether it’s creating a product roadmap, helping sales teams with demos, setting appointments, coaching, social selling, and positioning the brand for demand generation.
This also means that the role of a sales evangelist is rather holistic, which involves working with distinct teams within an organization.
As an evangelist, you are primarily expected to be involved in the “right” communities – like a master connector introducing people to each other and offering solutions.
So you need to nurture the industry relationships. When the time is right, you can cash in on these relationships.
Unlike a regular sales rep, you are helping organizations to get closer to their ideal prospects without being pushy. A sales evangelist builds up their relationship chips over time. It comes down to being an active networker.
In a way, you’re helping people achieve their goals by pointing them towards the correct direction. You are helping them move the needle, drive leads, and ultimately acquire more high-quality business.
How can you become the next “Gabe Villamizar”
Gabe once did a simple LinkedIn post and had 25 demo requests from it. His reach is unbelievable! No sales rep can ever achieve that. It’s like having a superpower.
However, it’s not easy to become Gabe.
You need to put in the time; you need to plant those seeds, and then really work hard over the years. This is not an overnight success. The person who remains in the game the longest is usually the one that wins.
At the risk of repeating myself, it all comes down to “active” community building and consistency. So you need to relentlessly invest all your faculties in building a circle of fans and followers.
You need to provide so much value to your audience that they are choosing and hoping that you’re going to appear on their social feeds. They should be willing to engage with your posts out of their own free will.
… and the role of an evangelist doesn’t end there. You need to have an internal relationship with employees so you can involve them in your campaigns.
For instance, you can tell everybody to engage on a particular post. That’s how you can keep everyone involved and convert every employee into a brand ambassador.
An evangelist should add substantial business value, both internally and externally. You can achieve bigger goals if you have a bunch of people on board with what you’re doing.
Yes, you can become another Gabe Villamizar, only if you’re willing to put in the time, and be patient.
Much more than another “experienced sales rep”
You see, an evangelist is driving relevant leads because they are putting the offers in front of the right person. This method turns out to be ten times more profitable than paid ads (where you’re just leaving it up to the algorithm to put your message in front of the right eyeballs.)
A world where most companies are pounding the pavement on trying to get cold people into the funnel, sales evangelists like Gabe are building their social networks to the point where they can direct the organic traffic to wherever they like.
The evangelists have the ability to put the perfectly-timed message in front of an apt audience on social media channels. This is different from what sales teams do (since most salespeople are more suited to use cold methods for lead generation.)
An evangelist can get you the best partnership with a suited company that aligns with your product. With a robust network and solid relationships at their disposal, evangelists are also in a position to get proper pricing and negotiate better than anybody.
A high-quality sales evangelist can give your brand all the attention it needs. Attention equals trust. Trust gives authority, and authority gives you the power to create a presence, and then get something in return.
Clearly, the role is much more diverse than a salesperson.
Sales evangelists are the future
As an evangelist, there is no fixed playbook. No one can tell you what you need to do to achieve massive success.
In fact, nobody thinks of themselves as an evangelist right from day one. It’s a role that you eventually evolve into. Maybe you have an evangelist inside your organization, or perhaps you can develop your CEO to be an evangelist.
It all comes down to whether the person is comfortable in their role, and they’re ready for the position.
So, if you have someone in your organization who seems to enjoy this role, it’s advised to turn them into a full-time sales evangelist (especially when it’s not very easy to outsource the task of creating relationships or building a network.)
There is a good chance that the role of an evolving evangelist will be similar to what a micro-influencer does.
If you are unaware, micro-influencers are often utilized to promote your brand in a particular area. Sometimes the local micro-influencers prove more effective than national celebrities.
B2C has already proven that micro-influencers can get more attention and a more significant reach than even a celebrity. Now we’re starting to see more of the same phenomena in B2B as well.
With more and more people understanding the power of digital relationships and networking, the role of the sales evangelist is bound to grow. This is even more important in today’s world, where most brands are struggling to get outside of their network.
At the end of the day, you can only market to so many people, so you need to move out of your comfort zone.
You need to actively find an evangelist who can connect with people outside of your brand. In a world that is driven by fake news and propaganda, we are fast gravitating towards being influenced more by humans, not by algorithms.
The evangelist is almost like the mouthpiece of credibility – just like a bridge. They have the way to the audience that you want to reach. As a business owner/stakeholder, you can direct them to any segment that’s not doing well.
In a world where people can smell inauthentic content from miles away, you need real human beings to expand your reach. That’s exactly what a sales evangelist can do for you.
Now we’d like to hear from you.
Are you planning to hire or become a sales evangelist?
Or maybe you have a doubt.
Let us know by leaving a quick comment.