Lonnie Ayers: Inbound Marketing with SAPBW Consulting
Does your business need SAP consulting?
Lonnie Ayers is the president of SAP BW Consulting.
SAP BW is one of the leading SAP Consulting Companies in the world.
SAP BW provides their clients with a unique and easy to follow guide with what you should look for in a high-quality consultant.
SAP Consulting is a combination of SAP training and education, industry experience and SAP Project Experience.
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Welcome to the thoughtful entrepreneur Show. I'm Josh Elledge, founder and CEO of up my influence.com. We turn entrepreneurs into media celebrities, grow their authority, and help them build partnerships with top influencers. We believe that every person has a unique message that can positively impact the world. stick around to the end of the show, where I'll reveal how you can be our next guest on one of the fastest growing daily inspiration podcasts on the planet in 15 to 20 minutes. Let's go. And Lonnie Ayers, you are the president of SAP BW Consulting. You are a master at inbound marketing. So that's what we're going to talk about in this in this podcast interview. But first off, can you just kind of explain roughly what SAP BW Consulting does?
Yeah, we provide just want the name says consulting to people who are implementing SAP BW and BW stands for business warehouse, which is a fancy name for data warehouse, which is a fancy name for Uber reporting system that comes with every you know SAP system. And
and again, just basic definition was so what's what's SAP.
So SAP is the is the name of a software provided by a German company and stand for software applications and program. And it is the largest business software vendor in the world. They sell what's called ERPERP stands for enterprise resource planning software. The Department of Defense uses it, every fortune 500 company basically uses it. It ties finance, logistics and human resources together in one one tight package.
You know, even for somebody who doesn't know what SAP is, if you saw the logo UO those guys yeah, I've seen
you've seen them in every airport, basically. Yeah.
Well, that's great. So how did you get into this space? And and by the way, I should say that we're both veteran. So thank you so much for serving us. Were you officer in the Air Force? Is that right? No, I was indeed. Yeah. Terrific. Great. And what did what did you do in the Air Force?
I will actually start off with enlisted, I worked as a crew chief on f4 phantoms. They call us knuckle draggers. And then I was a flight engineer and C 130s. And then after that, I was an aircraft maintenance officer on a 16 B 52. c fives I was in the first Gulf War. And then I retired after that. And so and that's actually what led me to my job in Middle East. I was in Saudi Arabia for eight years working for the National Air Force. And as part of that job, I was eventually tasked with evaluating SAP as an earpiece provider, and that that led to a job that eventually led to where I'm at today, so excellent, excellent.
Okay. So tell me about the services then that sa
p bw does
a little bit more specifically like so talk very practical, up a small, medium or learn from from you, what could you do for me?
Well, typically you already have SAP implemented and so you would come to us and you would want to get better data out of it. So we would help with your, your data warehouse called cold business warehouse, we would design a complete end to end reporting strategy for you. That's the one side of it. The other side of it is I'm a very senior SAP project manager. So I'm very much out in the field besides running my business. And so big companies will hire me to implement this from the get go and small companies as well. But big when I say big companies, my when my last big implementations that I was like, Greenfield implementation, nothing. There was a company called Costco, you may have heard of them. And they sent me to Spain, which is what I'm setting out today to stand it up for for them and their European rollout. So we do that I have a team. I also have a network of SAP partners. So if you need development work, I have, you know, teams can do that for me. If you need project staffing, I have teams that can do that. But But these days I get most of my personal business is I do inbound marketing for other SAP partners. Right. Right. And so that gets
into HubSpot. Yep. That gets into HubSpot and all that. So, so give me So talk to me about what when when you say inbound, what does that encompass
it at its most basic level, I get people to find you. Using content marketing, that's really what it what it's all about. It's a four, it's a four step methodology. It's based on producing useful content and that people can use and these days very advanced content. So on my site, for example, you will find 18 calculators that we have designed over the years that actually answer questions for people and tools. So a lot of people are looking for a tool to do something and as well When I stand up an e commerce operate, shouldn't we use content to sell the product with? So one of the beginning things that we offer is we do a strategy assessment across the board and says, okay, you're gonna stand up. And it's kind of fun because guys say I got nothing but I got a budget. So we stand up a store, you know, you know, the shoe guy, Darren have had a foot where he was already running, we took him to the next level. We combined it with we combined, you know, custom shoe design, with Shopify, e commerce with HubSpot inbound. So, you know, it's, it's, I'd like to tell you, it's simple, but it's not. But we know, we've grown a lot of businesses from zero to hero in a very short period of time. Okay, so if
I'm producing content to explain to me how HubSpot fits in that, I mean, so I'm producing podcasts producing blogs producing content on social media, where does HubSpot fit in that?
So HubSpot is your marketing platform. I always Courage everybody to be 100% on HubSpot by that I mean their website is totally hosted on HubSpot. It doesn't have to be. But the basic model is this. You have a piece of content, it's behind a form, someone fills out that form to get to the content, they download it. You've got them in a lead in your system. And now, you you pull them through through your system to your ultimate sales bill. That's the that's the boiled down version of that.
So we talked, I talked a lot about sales funnels. So we're essentially we're talking about a sales funnel, right?
Yeah, only now we're one level above sales. We're in marketing. And one of the key things I will say the hard lesson learned for anybody small, medium, or large is this, you better know what you're selling. And And by that, I mean, the, the benefits of the product that you sell and how you sell it. That's that's that's what HubSpot actually forces you to do is to think through that process. Top to bottom. Yeah, and so they have a CRM side as well. So that's for me, the Totally cool thing about it. Yeah, you know, when somebody comes in on the on the website, it's instantly available to the sales team, and they can start to follow up and you can design that process into end. Or if it's a hands off sales, which is your best bet, you know, they can help you close that deal as well.
So, so give me an example of, so you worked with a client and they had a shoe their shoe retailer, right? Right. So explain to me how this worked for them.
All right, well, we had to have a hook. So everybody had they called you'll, you'll run across a concept called lead magnets. You'll hear this hook. What's your spiel? So borrowing from a concept from another client that we worked with? We installed what's called a BMI calculator. But we didn't call it we, you know, it was a BMI calculator. But everybody wants to know, what should I wait? And that was the question. So we put a calculator that was the hook that got people to fill it out. Oh, by the way, here's an offer for a shoot. And so we took him from having about 2000 contacts to around 29,000 contacts and his email database now and an e commerce a contact his goal for you, right? And then we could start a series of targeted lead nurturing things, you know, in his case we the other complimentary part of the strategy was we had a blog and we blogged consistently and when we finished, you never finished but when we when we got to where we thought, Okay, that's enough. We had over 200 blogs written by a professional athlete about work working out and we converted all of those into downloadable ebooks that we would give away. You know, if you download one, you might want the second one because we have the guy designed his blogs around an upper body workout, mid and legs. And so there was a lot of different strategies that you could work out around that. And he had a lot of traffic coming in from that blog. And really, that's the key across the board whether it's e commerce or like mine, I have over 400 offers and blogs on my website that I personally produced over the years, and they still produce traffic and content new leads every single day for us. So that's how you do it.
So what makes a really good lead magnet then? And just think about, you know how consumer behavior has evolved over the past 510 years?
All right, I'm going to break that out into two, two types of consumers. The first one is I mentioned it the BMI calculator. It has to it has to be very simple, something that I can look on Google. And I can see that there's a vast search volume for this particular thing. And I can build a calculator. And I can do that. I mean, I can, I can put it out there. And I get that sometimes it can be unique. I had a client who had a database of cost differentials for construction. And so we built an online tool. It was very useful to contract people to figure out differences in Costas, between two different cities. And we built that and, you know, that was our freedom. It was there, run it, boom, but now we know who you are. Right? Yeah, the business side. So if it's pure, that's b2c, you know, b2b, but if it's pure b2b, oftentimes, it's it's, you know, okay, case studies still work. But if calculators still work, but one of the most useful things that we can do is build a tool that does work, that isn't far harder than it should be. So, you know, in our case we have in profound knowledge is Dr. Deming used to say, of a particular process, and that process is how to estimate the duration of a sat VW project our bread and butter. Well, that was a two or three week project. In the past, we sat around and we thought about it, and we've got a calculator and a website that in literally in five minutes, produces a good enough estimate, and we don't, we just need so
so. So with this BMI calculator, then at some point you're wanting to get an email address.
Exactly. To get your results. Give me your email.
Okay, right so if it so the So to finish the answer the the offer has to be worth at least an email address. But we get we get far more than that, you know, we saw the that this is where the HubSpot part comes in. So we never try to close people on the first thing to do in our website, we have 100 offers and they're all in funnels. And we our stuff is designed so that it's helping you as you go through a project. And we use what's called progressive profiling people they keep our forums only asked for a piece of information once and then the next time you come back to my site, it's gonna ask for something else. So I might ask you, you know, what's your LinkedIn profile, you gotta go do something. I don't ask it. But I'm going to ask for different things that we have found useful during the sales process. And then we have we know what offers to go look at it, you know, it takes some design and in thought process, do that plus the effort of creating that, that offer And I'll give you one and then I'll close that. Yeah. Another really hard process is to develop a scope document for a project. So we have a consultant that we work with. It's an expert in what's called SAP flexible real estate. That's the software used to manage buildings and cities and things like that. And he has to build a scope no matter what's happening, he has to come up with a scope even at the contract sign, which is backwards. So we worked with him to build a HubSpot based tool that you answer nine questions and it produces a scope document, that a scope document is a fancy way of saying, well, this is what we're really going to do for it. And it does it on the fly. And we say, here's your here's your presentation that that has been going for us. So that that's what it takes to make an ideal lead magnet.
Yeah. And so talk to me about what HubSpot does really well that other providers may not have included in it so you don't familiar Infusionsoft I've used lead pages Click Funnels, car tra those are primarily especially those last three are primarily sales pages and email automation, that sort of thing. HubSpot obviously has the built in CRM into that. And I think that might be the one of the key differentiators anything else. And I know like I said, I know HubSpot is pretty beefy stuff.
It is but it's also extremely user friendly, in my opinion, but just from a top level view, the thing that they do right that really hooked me in was education. They are bar none the best education. So they they really break it down for you and they teach you step by step so that for me is golden and I redo all education everywhere I'm I hold like 13, HubSpot certifications in both marketing and sales, and I have to repeat them all the time. You know, they're not hard to do, but for some people, you know, that That's a big deal. But what it does, I think really well, besides, it allows you to organize your work into campaigns, it allows you to store and deliver all your content in those campaigns. And what you will find is, as a website gets big and complex and whatnot, you need, you need some system to help keep it all organized, because it will, you know, I've got stuff that's been running since 2011. When we started, they are still still running. But I can't remember why well, I can go back to what's called the strategy tool. And I can see all the things that are connected to it every email, every social media, post, every blog post, every call that I've ever had with any contact that came in from that, and I can learn from it. So for me, that's the big deal is total, total visibility. But these days, I would say the bigger benefit to something like HubSpot is the partner ecosystem. There's all these things that you can plug into it, and that's a play for all right, but it's getting to be a huge universe of things that just plug straight in. So I'm not I've plugged in. I've integrated HubSpot and Salesforce for example. It's easy money. Oh, yeah, right. But here's the big one on the CRM side, especially typical si p implementation might will take nine months. It's very it's not that SAP is complicated heart, it says it's just that you're typically implementing in very complex environments. But on the HubSpot, I just turned that on the day, I give you your user ID, and we go from there. And we Yeah, we might do some other work to you know, developer cell phone. But there is no implementation is cloud based. You turn on there it is, okay, here's, here's how this works. There's just no comparison between between the two systems. That said, You're not going to do things that in one that, you know, that are done in the other, they're not exactly the same, but they're very close and very, very different in their implementation. Nice. Yeah.
by laying all these, you know, these systems out, you know, some of the clients you've worked with have gone on to do some pretty good stuff once they start formalizing, I think a lot of us start, and we're just, you know, we're kind of, you know, growing little bits and pieces, but eventually, you know, we really need to get that that full customer journey thing all laid out thing is I sound like a I sound like a genius right now. But you know, but but you know, when we do that, then it really helps us scale much better. And I think it it creates an infrastructure where we can plug and play a key people on our team a lot better. I you know, again, I think at the beginning, you know, we work with a lot of agency owners that are kind of up and up and so they're starting to hire more. But I think this is a major challenge is there is their sales and marketing processes, you know, and developing a great CRM That's just fully integrated with everything. Obviously, you've seen when you've kind of plugged this in with with the client, they've gone on to do some good stuff as a result.
They have they have and it's a very powerful combination. So nice. Yeah, it's, you know, it's it's definitely rocket fuel for most businesses if it's if it's done right. But again, I will go back. There's two two critical things to really getting the most out of HubSpot in that is, one knowing what you sell and how you sell it. That's like priority one, I can't overemphasize that enough. And then to building content, that's, you know, there's a strategy behind it that makes full use of everything and and making sure that it's in the system and up there. So you're so the public can find you with it. And those two together, just do amazing things. I mean, I took one client in three years from zero to almost 50 million year and operations and it was like, how does this work now? No kidding. Yeah.
And maybe talking money just just just for someone who's not familiar like what what kind of price point is HubSpot have?
Well, they they have a starter, which is they have a free free offering which most everybody can just plug in I recommend it, they have and that is like 50 bucks. That was really not where we play. So the two that you're really talking about is professional, and enterprise and professional is going to be probably right around $1,000 a month when it's all in for the platform, the web hosting and all that and it can go up a little bit like an enterprise. I think it's around 24. And it's all available on your website. And it's really based on contacts and it used to be and I'd have to go verify. But once you have about 38,000 email contacts in your database, then enterprises financially the right answer at that point, but enterprise allows you to do quite a few things that professional doesn't quite get you there. But for most businesses, you know, let's say there 10 million between, you know, one and 10. You know, professional is more more than enough characteristics you need to usually I see at least one or two marketers working in a business for it to be successful. But even for smaller guy, I mean, let's, let's say you've got not a lot, there's not much traffic into websites, but you've got a couple ebooks or something like that. You plug in HubSpot free into WordPress website and you start down they got these little pop up forms that allow you to do it. That's how you can get started with this. So that's great.
Well, good deal. Well, Lonnie, thank you so much for joining us. Again, you're the president and founder of SAP BW consulting, great conversation, I think that stimulated a lot of ideas for you know, people's, and most of our audience, you know, they've got established businesses and so now it's all about scaling. And really, really great conversation of course, so people can connect with you and your website address on is SAP BW consulting.com your phone numbers on there, everything. contact you, Lonnie, thank you so much for joining us appreciate the interview and looking forward to hearing from all your users and talk to you later. Thanks for listening to the thoughtful entrepreneur show. If you are a thoughtful business owner or professional who would like to be on this daily program, please visit up my influence.com slash guest that we've got something out of this interview. Would you share this episode on social media? Just do a quick screenshot with your phone and text it to a friend or posted on the socials. A few do that tag us with the hashtag up my influence. Each month we scour Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. We pick one winner from each platform and you get crowned king or queen of that social media. What do you win? We're going to promote you and your business to over 120,000 social media fans totally free. Now, can you also hook us up now in your podcast player right now, please give us a thumbs up or a rating and review. We promise to read it all and take action. We believe that every person has a message that can positively impact the world. Your feedback helps us fulfill that mission. And while you're at it, hit that subscribe button. You know why tomorrow? That's right, seven days a week, you are going to be inspired and motivated to succeed 15 minutes a day. My name is Josh Elledge. Let's connect on the socials. You'll find all the stuff we're doing at up my influence.com Thanks for listening and thank you for being a part of the thoughtful entrepreneur movement.