The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

Ep: 26 Leads Are Overrated with Alon Waks

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Leads Are Overrated with Alon Waks

Hello and welcome to the revenue collective podcast. My name is Casey. Like Gordon and I'm your host. Today I have the chance to sit down with alone Wax four times CMO and marketing leader current Fractional CMO and adviser for Growth Face Companies. You guys are gonna love this conversation. We get right into the nitty gritty of why he says leads air overrated and screw a B. M. He's talking about account based everything. We talk tangible things, but we also talk philosophy around sales and marketing. He brings a tremendous amount of experience, passion, and as we jump in you'll see controversy. So with that, let's get started. And before I dio, I wanna give a shout out to today's sponsor. This episode is brought to you by Quota Path Commission tracking software built by salespeople for sales people. If you wake up in a cold sweat, dreading the commission process, quota path is for you. Quote. A path provides commission track ings transparency for everyone involved while motivating reps to sell more. Plus, it's so easy toe on board. It'll be up and running before your next commission cycle. Ditch spreadsheets and formulas simplify commission calculation at quote a path dot com Hello and welcome to the revenue collective podcast. My name is Casey. Let Gordon and I'm your host. We are podcast focus on revenue sales and marketing leaders, telling the stories of what it's like to be in the roles and telling the the human aspect of of what it means to be to be a sales, marketing and revenue leader. So today I am very excited to have one of our members joining us alone. Wax alone is a fractional CMO and adviser today at Growth Face Companies in the Martek and see X spaces. Prior to this, he was a marketing leader at customer visible live person eight by eight. You get the idea We're gonna be talking today about a topic that alone has promised me to be provocative, and it is that Leeds are overrated. So if you're in sales and marketing, sit down, buckle up because we are about to get riel alone. Welcome. All right. With that introduction, I better be entertaining. I guess you better be. Don't disappoint. Now off course that I will I will oblige and I'll talk about anything you want me to be a long as I'm a least a little bit knowledgeable about it. Perfect. So you and I correct me? If I'm wrong, you actually lead in moderate the marketing channel within revenue Collective. So anybody that's moderating a channel, I assume that your your pseudo guru status. So talk to me about your journey into marketing and how you became a fractional CMO. Sure. Pseudo pseudo sme Sougou is exactly how I define myself. The people I'm gonna go out with, like, what are you, like I'm a student person. Okay, so I started actually in consulting really old school consulting And what it taught me talking about 25 years ago I'm pretty ancient is that I like to touch a lot of things that altogether or messy, but can have a systematic approach to understanding something bigger than each one of them. And that led me. Then to go into product management was kind of like being a CEO of a small company inside the company. I I spent many years a bigger companies like a via And when I did product management and I did general management, I always like something which is about I don't understand the market well enough. I don't understand the customers well enough. I've always been a B two B and B to B to C person. I taking the I of the consumer, the attendee, the employee, whoever is the target user off what you're selling and marketing intrigued me because it's like I went to a business school that taught me a lot about it. But mainly about two b two c aspect very CPG consumer goods and all that. It's like, Yeah, well, like sexy, brand sexy color commercial. It must be more deficit. So I was attracted a lot to the voice of the market, the voice of the product, and how do you bridge the gap between the two? And that was what I like to think about B two b marketing as. And that's why I started going towards more the marketing roles I started and the length of Korean product marketing all the way to being leader of big companies and big teams. And many CMOs come from one of three are the product marketing brand, or demand, and I come from the product marketing go to market strategy approach, and that is taking me through this career until becoming a leader of marketing, encompassing all of those wells. So I like it all. Yeah, that's I think that's such an interesting path and probably representative of a larger macro trend of this consumer experience coming into the B two b space. I know informer lives, you know, I was working in the B two b side of things, and I found, and...

I'm sure this is where we're going to go today. But I found that even in a B two B environment, you're still selling to people. And as all of us are becoming so much more savvy and just our own personal lives about how we consume and the expectations we have around an experience that doesn't just go away because we put on our work cats that still is there. So I I love that you observe that and then intentionally, it sounds like, really began toe to build a career headed towards that way. Definitely. The way I look at it is you can't just be a bit to see commercial based discount. You know, the three PS four season, all the stuff that I learned 25 years ago whatever. And you can't just be a B two b, the how technology and all that I It's actually funny. I came off a call with one of my clients. Serena told the CEO that I believe that the new modern marketing is focused on programmatic storytelling. You gotta be able to tell a story, but you gotta be able to actually measure and understand that. And if you marry those two together and then it's actually really beneficial for B two B. So I want to talk about what you look at when you think of a marketing team that does programmatic storytelling, because that, to me, is there are they're interrelated, but they usually are different skill sets, perhaps the person or the individuals with the team that is great at building that narrative. Developing a rich brand. They may not be your hardcore data folks on the back. So when you're looking at that, what is a great team comprised off? Yeah, so I get this question a lot. It really depends also on stage, but let's assume this stage is more than one market, because how do I e? I love starting off with red rocks or operations because I believe that in order to understand if you're doing well or having leading indicators toe what what you think should be done because you come with a lot of experience in baseline, you need to be able to measure and understand what's working. And the data tells you a lot of stories, even in, you know, in perfect data. But some data so red robes with the demand kind of like tilt, very important second pieces, content and product marketing. Whatever you can do it, you can ditto two of them together, separate, or if it's very early on, you could have a hybrid person. You gotta be able to drive content that is effective to your target persona in the I C P. Otherwise, you could be doing a lot of just, you know, campaigns and things around how great your product is. But nobody gives us because it's were on the podcast. Have to be politically correct because at the end of the day, if you're telling a story about how great your product is, and you're not talking about the persona of the person, the consumer, the decision maker, the user, the buyer the influence of persona the CEO. People want to hear about what they care about, not about what you do, so content and storytelling is an extreme part. Now the thing is, when you look at those separate things like a campaign manager demand person, a rare box person that can tell a story from data and the third person that is more of a content person, those are like the big bones. I would assume that you can do the content Person should talk about the y and a little bit of the what what we do to solve the problem. The person who is in charge of campaigns and demand should be able to take that together, understand how to go and get towards an audience. With that story and off course, your data person and operations person should be able to tell you Well, are you getting closer to these people? Are they showing your signals and so forth? But the main person to look at it all has to be You is the marketing leader because that's your job. Your job is to make sure that you are addressing the target audience with ineffective yet successful man. So when you're looking at just to restate this and make sure we're synthesizing it for the audience, you start with REV. Ops to give structure right. We need some sort of structure in which that we're going to begin Thio measure and see what's working. Then bring in your your content or storyteller within that, and then you're bringing in that data piece. So we know what is. The structure that we're designing against. Here is the actual content that will go into that structure. And then the optimization of that is what then follows on shortly thereafter, with the marketing leader having oversight into what we're doing. Is it working 100%? And the river of person also can run the campaigns for you animal marketing and others. And eventually you need a person or somebody or without function to help you just scale the campaigns. But without measurement, without content, what are you actually looking at? I don't know, right? So you like I said in the intro I when you and I were going back and forth over email, I said one of the questions we always like to ask going into this is like as Ah leader. Tell us something provocative that maybe you believe that not every other salesperson believes. And we've had really great answers. Come, come on. The podcast And you came back with two. You said, first of all, leads air overrated. Which most salespeople that probably caused them like a you know, like a way a moment of oh, shit. And then the second is it's not account based marketing, its account based...

...everything. And so I want to talk about these two. And how you What is your philosophy and how you got there? Being provocative is not just fun. It actually it's about what you believe. So the whole obsession about leads, and especially this ancient metric called em Que el is unless you are very inbound s and B high velocity five minute s L A too quickly answered by the phone, which not a lot of companies are anymore. Especially if you're talking with Margaret Enterprise En que el is actually could hurt you because the old methodology is marketing. Drive you more leads. They marketing says Okay. They've done two clicks and one email open that is qualified. We like it not our problem anymore. SDR, go hunt him down. Or South Person. You got attendees? Why not working them? Its cause is still the mentality of over the fence. And on the other side of it is this account based marketing which is supposed to counter this immature over the fence thing has the M in it. It's a country's marketing, but you can't be account based marketing that the account has to be owned by cells. People eventually that they could go deep across the wide into accounts. So that's why the whole terminology off marketing is gonna do a B m for me. I'm expecting 100 demos every day because that's how the world works, right? Not it's about. You need to be accomplished. Everything. Which means you yourself, leader, your customers success your ops, Your revolves on Lee to understand. Here is the 1 to 112 few methodologies off how you slice your ICP. We're gonna work together on orchestration marketing does air cover and the metrics off relevance are not in cures that are thrown over the fence. Because that's not enough. Not enough depth is about how is the account responding leading indicators a cover intent engagement level oven account. Is that surging up? Do we see multiple personas engaging? Should we now say it? Is they already? If so, what should, as they are do? Marketing's job is a lot more to guide sales and str videos also in going towards the right account with the right manner. And it doesn't matter who created this attribution, which is completely operated term anyway. But we can talk about that another day. It's about how do you work together towards an account and not just say, Oh, it reached 50 school. Throw it over. Let's go get the next one. It's not an assembly line anymore, so your take is that Leeds are a potentially a false indicator of success. You can say we have all of these in cules, and marketing can say, you know, wash their hands of it. Hey, we did our job. But in an organization and especially as the sales process has become more complex, more nuanced, mawr customized, it's not about leads anymore. It's about what is your holistic strategy. And so if I'm sitting in either the sales or marketing function, my organization right now is very much leads driven. And I'm listening to this podcast. What are some of the conversations I need to start having inside my team or inside my company to shift this mindset? First of all, look at the data. How is an incurable really representative over buying Decision Group buying entity? No. Because if you're not totally inbound demo request one persona is the decision group. Then you probably need to engage more than this lead or which becomes a content you wanna be able to engage? Probably the user, the buyer, maybe the economic buyer, maybe an influence of persona from the I T department. All of those could be each one of them. Incurable. So what you're gonna have you need to reach four MQ LZ in order to define and account to be ready. No, you need to reach a certain position off account engagement that includes significant buying group people. The people not leads people, and then that defines an account that's really for who could be as they are. Go talk to them about why they came to an event and give them another consultative peace. Or Mr Salesperson, they can't you own in England has now shown some activity in the US Perhaps it would be smart for you to try and bridge the gap in getting informing production. He has three direct mail and speak opportunities we can give you. That's what I mean by this. Focusing on is this piece that is the goal. It's not. Marketing is gold. Marketing Goal is revenue and Pipeline, not NPR's. Do you find that organizations that you work with So you're fractional CMO Do you find that organizations that you work with are able Thio? Adapt this to this this way of operating. It takes a long time and it's hard. First of all, it's hard for everybody. I'm not just gonna say Oh, hey guys, listen to along the forecast The CEO and founder Asimo heard these guys, everybody drop. The...

...leads were going to account like That's BS. It's like, Look at your flow, your lead flow, your customer journey where they're coming from. What do they do? When do you define something? Sales ready? Who cares What you call it ready for sales is what you care about. I don't care. What metric is that? Marketing qualified? I don't really care. M qsr used doesn't matter once that they look at the data, look at the process and then come and say, Okay, look at that on the lead. Still have a place because leads away. We're marketing automation systems do. But I believe that leads are owned by marketing 100%. No, sir. And this is gonna be provocative. Ready? Everybody already know such a person should touch a lead ever again in their life. That is my 100% belief, because it distorts the view of an account because an account represents a buying entity. And that's all you can I, as a former sales leader, love the idea that salespeople are never touching leads again because I think that it is. It could be such a time suck of the wrong activities to the wrong customer. But sometimes is that that activity versus productivity, right? It's It's just things I could be doing. And it can often be a trap. And so I'm just thinking through my own experiences of how not only how open I would have been, but also how open my organization would have been video to adapting this. And I think it would have been things have been really challenging. Yeah. I mean, there's reasons why Because we used to this. So here's one step towards it. Define a Rev ops committee or function whatever you wanna call it that has sales ops and marketing ops and represents the inside sales and the outside the fields as the eighties. And tell them, first of all, everybody relax. Have a coffee. It's gonna be OK. Sit down, chill and we're gonna take you through that. You're not losing anything. How you rather your focusing if your folks are going through salesforce in looking for randomly that they think are smell good But we have all agreed that they are outside of our focus I c p or Target audience whatever terminal joining us, then you should represent them or even give them no view like in South View. There are teams, maybe an SD or maybe as their manager that can look at it with your with your obstinate say these actually good. We should move them back, optimize looking age. I'll always look at the data to give you more directions and change the process. Change the scoring change the routing, But wasting a is are so expensive and so important because they're the only ones who can sell. So if you're giving them things to work on, which are gonna distract him for the things that are warmer, that's not a good idea. But you've got to start with. We all take this pledge that a warm account is better than a cold account, and you'd be surprised how many times we all agree to that. But then I go see them work on called the Cards because my dear leader told me that I need to make 100 70 is a day, and that's my metric. No, it's not. It's pipeline. That's your number one metric. So that's what I disagree with a lot of times, all right, so you come in and talk to me about what your role is as a fractional CMO because I always think that's fascinating to have a fractional executive role. You know, we're seeing that become more common as I think they're more proof of success. But I I personally just have a lot of curiosity because I know there's so much as a C suite. You're so invested in the success and it feels like that could be all consuming. But to be fractional means that you don't That's not the only thing that you're working on. So I'm just curious of how how you got into fractional roles and what are some of maybe the the differences or nuances that that people may not realize? Sure. So I got into this by not being strategic luck when I decided that it's time for me. Thio move on from my last company and we came to a great agreement, and I still a big fan. And with friends I had the day I left already started this two days a week fractional CMO of a smaller company. Now it's a personal thing for me. I've learned that small startup pre growth phase. I have less intention to be the full time CMO, and they probably can't afford me. And they have a lot of execution foundational work, just like we discussed now, like I have no intention of going to a company and spending 40 50% of my time on defining the foundation, the leap account routing account by scoring what is our target audience and, like I could do that much better, giving a day, two days a day and a half, maybe half a day, some time to give the framework to structure the experience, the baseline things that I've known for 20 years now, as I grew in mature share companies that I understand that the space, that's what affection of CIA Moken dio. Now why is it beneficial? The smaller companies that are relatively pre growth or just entering the growth phase can't afford somebody like myself...

...or somebody experience. So it's a win for them. They could get really deep strategy and frameworks and guidance. They could get an objective person who is not measured on. Oh my God, I didn't mean the number of incurable Oh, God, market is dying and tell them that that's Bs and B a riel adviser to the CEO. I come in from the board. I come in from the CEO, usually not from the marketing team. I'm brought in by somebody who says, Come help them come help us. And why is it cool? Because for me, it serves a purpose that I don't wanna be a seam of small companies, and also it enables me to date before I marry. Why not if I ever decide to take on a bigger role, right? Right on dso anything that you have You had any experiences? Where? Where it's not turned out. Well, I'm just curious as people are listening to this and maybe exploring this like, what are some things that they look out for, as they may be assessing this is a path. Yeah, for sure. Again, I'm very candid about this. I'm fractional or advisor is what I call this is not really consulting. You not have a turnkey project to build us is definition of success is varied. Sometimes definition of success is I'm gonna give you three months and I'm gonna I'm gonna take you through this journey and definition of success is that we're gonna have a definition of what your target audience and I see P is how you're gonna approach it, will build a plan, and then you go and execute. And if you need me in the future, will be happy to help you on some path. That's one of the rich that some of them is. We want to continue. We want to continue or we'll think about continue. And one of them that my first one, actually because of covert, had to downsize. So was a successful. Yeah, could afford me. And could I stay? Oh, no. But I usually become aboard advisor or advisory board. Remember, to the CEO, which is I can still be involved. And I get a little bit of, you know, shares and stuff. So that's success. Um, I've had one or two, actually. One where we did, We decided not to continue because we didn't see it was a really good fit from both sides Most of the time. When that happens, it happens because the team in place cannot take the strategy and plan towards execution. Doesn't have the bones to do that, and that's it's fine. But the executive team of the company should decide this. What we agree with yes, alone is giving us about plan. We love it now. We don't have anything to do with it. We need to go and make decisions, or we decided not to make the right decisions that the plan has told us. And we're gonna take a different path, which is okay. And then we shake hands and we end his friends and usually they come back to me in a few months to help them again. Oh, they go look for VP marketing junior person, which is what sometimes they need. And I help what they need in order to take in the next level. That is also definition of success. Okay, so we've covered why Leeds Air? Overrated. We've covered. Okay, of course about leads. We could talk plenty to talk. We've talked about organizations and their readiness to actually adapt this mindset, how you've been able to affect change and also sometimes not affect change in your fractional roles and what that looks like. I want to dig back into your point around, leads being overrated and the concept of account based everything account based marketing. I mean, where you can't hear it. Enough people are, you know, year after year, especially recently. Talking about that is the headline for how business is going. I want to dig in there a bit more. So let me tell you a bit about my mantra, if that's okay, so that would be great. I say to these teams, usually I'm the same. Of course, 80% of our time and effort should be focused on this motion, this theme, whatever you record it, we're gonna go and say, Here's the one too few And here's the 1 to 1 on and we'll focus on that 80% of the time, which is a big, big What does that mean? It means that we have decided that this is the target account list or target account lamb stylist like these are the profile of the companies we in virtual. We go and we partner whatever we need in order to reach this persona and vertical and companies multiple personas through these tactics part of its sails. Part of that is S. Diaz. Part of it is marketing. Part of it is partnerships. Sometimes the combination sounds there's only one one too few is probably hundreds to limited amount of thousands of companies that are defined as a space, probably a vertical or a displacement program. Off those 121 is like here are the top 20 per rap. There's, like 200. Maybe there's 500. Maybe there's 100 at the time that for two quarters we're gonna really do 1 to 1. They were speaking up podcast. We'll send them direct. Were building their own personal video. They'll be part of this exclusive community and so forth. In order to do that, you cannot have the accounts owned by the top 20 each rep not being worked on research, but rather have a marketing say we warm...

...them up and only then the report gave a shit. No, you have to work together and agree that this would yield foods. And the assumption again is to be warm is better than called. Why the hell would you go work on the call? The count. Now, if these people are similar, lookalikes come inbound. That's where the 20% kicks in and it will feed. But it's usually because you've done some good content, community awareness campaigns, partnership that is attracting this kind of companies. You anyway, want to care about the challenge. I see a lot of times is he still going to get these little sardines. I call it sardines, tunas and whales. We can go into alone methodology. The Saudis can still come swimming to you, inbound, and you wanna grab all these sardines are so good or wow. That's because if I eat 100 sardines, I'll be full versus two Tunas. But that's not what your company needs for sex unit economics. It's very hard to say no to these or just give them only to the small, like New A s and commercial to work on. And that's a lot of times where it's challenging. I think go more to that. So I want to dig in more to the challenges because I think that a lot of times I'll speak on my own experience. I hear us talking here and it sounds well, yeah, of course, that's what we would dio. But then I go back to my organization. I'm sitting in a weekly planning meeting or quarterly planning meeting who should be leading the We'll call it the A B strategy. Who should be leading this conversation? Yes, I know that sales and marketing, or probably both in there but who ultimately has the call two ways could go the most experienced, mature grown up that has done it before. It gets to be the leader off this to define the strategy, but you have to have the Sierra and CMO really align VP cells with market whatever you call it and be behind us not us a line, but the team. If a manager off sales or manager of SDRs then goes and keeps them doing the other spray and pray. Or we're gonna work on these accounts because we don't have the time to get marketing two weeks to warm them up and and and invite them, then it's going to fail. Top down the strategy. Who needs toe work on orchestrating this and looking at the daily, weekly and so forth? I have this thing that I like on Wednesday but all the week to have what is called an interlock of ST committing that marketing sales, a M or customer success come in. We all look at the agreed upon religious dashboard of how we're progressing and look at it and look at take aways. My ideal is a REV. Ops person. Well, look at this. This person could be sales, marketing or, ideally, none of reporting to. And third party. I like that a lot, and they will be the single source of truth about how our go to market strategy leading indicators are working towards our goals. That is nirvana for me. So week to week. What is eso we observed. We goto our Wednesday meeting. I like the idea of midweek to allow people to get in, hit Cem Cem stride and then actually see progress. So we get into that meeting, we observe that something is awry. How quickly do we adapt week over week versus allowing it Time thio even out. And I think that's again. I'm speaking from very much my own experiences of knowing how quickly do we move versus and get enough data to make a call, don't make rash decisions and think they should take time. For example, we have event in 45 weeks and you just launched the day go and you have only one email Go out Don't say Oh shit. This event is a flood. There is because you haven't put enough wood behind the arrow. That makes no sense. Um, on the contrary, if you decided to do a direct mailer and 100 direct mail has dropped and people are not responding over the last 2 to 3 days to an orchestrated BDR marketing and maybe an additional thing, don't send another 400 the next week, just like if you have a new tool that you're piloting pilot before you buy. Don't just say we need intent. You need a B M does what he does with that, and then we'll start a B M strategy. No. Hell, no. Start with piloting on your own, learn and then scale. So that's what I would say. Do you establish those metrics ahead of time of what would be significant enough? Or is some of it just, I don't know, gut and conversation Real time with the group. You have to have baseline experience from your past, which is like that to tell you what you expect. Like conversion rates like conversion rate time. I How long is a cycle between engagement to meeting how many meetings should be like so forth, But you need to build a baseline that takes probably a quarter of time. Depends on the sale cycle. One length of the sale cycle should suffice for you to get enough information and data to validate. But if you're not, leading indicators tell you that you're not getting there. Don't wait a quarter. Do some, you know, optimization. I hope...

...you didn't spend $50,000 on ah white paper and a whole where we brand and stuff before. You really did some proper testing with your target audience, whether it's friendly people or just a sample group. Uh, good luck. So we talk about setting up the baseline. You mentioned a quarter. This sounds like something that gets implemented in a company that that at least has its legs under it. When we're talking about a very early stage company or a new company, do you think that account based is appropriate for them? Or does it take time to develop a baseline before you invest? The compass is relevant. It's a methodology or approach to marketing. You can be, uh, seed company with less than $100,000 in sales. Or you can be a late stage company public company, which, where I grew up in many of these 100 million. Plus it doesn't matter. What you shouldn't do is before you've piloted and seen success that is showing repeatable parents over time to some target audience. Don't investing tools or don't investing tons of committed marketing tactics that you should scale as you see success. But that goes to anything I mean, are you gonna go invest $20 a month on intent Review sites before you start understanding it with $3000 for that. No, it doesn't make sense. Are you gonna buy a tool before you think that you understand how to implement an average? It there is a massive pitfall. All of these CMOs coming in with a need the stool because it's magic, and you don't have a way to leverage it. Six months since the come and sit with the CFO and said, Like What about the $30,000 to what have we done? What does it return to us? Be careful. You could do a lot with our tools. Yeah, and I push a lot. You were an incredibly sophisticated marketer. And so I'm pushing for us to get down into the nitty gritty here because not all of our audiences, right? A lot of our audience are the people that are building their career. This may be the first time that they're doing this. They may not have this seasoned experience. And so how do we how do we help them have these conversations? And I love what you said there around. Don't over invest or over index and tools first of all, most tools. They're gonna let you pilot it before you buy it, that they want you to have the right fit and to recognize based on who your customer is. What your business needs are what your sales like. It looks like what tools air actually needed. I think that, you know, we could we could probably have, I don't know, 12 different podcast going simultaneously about all the tools that you could possibly use. But it's figuring out and doing, you know, having parts of your organization responsible for vetting those to see. Are they appropriate for our business? Yeah, definitely. Just start to start with, start with the people in your customer base, but over the last, take the cell cycle, double it. Go back to that time. And from then on who has become a new customer who of those represents a persona that is that has shown value the value metric. If they've shown value, they have gained X. You saw that there actually are benefiting of expanding talk to them, understand what or look at them from a sous perspective of software. What use cases? Well, it for them. Then start building account based programs around that. Let's say these same personas are under the seas kind of audiences. Let's say it's the retail vertical between 1000 to 5000 employees, North America that have no stores and are not a marketplace. Okay, that's a definition we're gonna go for the director of marketing that is a focus on paid search, great, or the or the VP of performance, marketing or whatever it's easy to define. And we're gonna try and get 50 of them to have an engagement with us to these three elements of a campaign. And we'll see success because nobody showed up. However, now why, okay or nobody? Everybody liked this book because it really resonated or people are coming to this block post because it's completely got nothing to do with us. But they're loving the topic. Okay, how can we use that? Just ask the questions to yourself and then try to come up with ways to look at. No, no market has the right answers for everything you got to test. I think that's part of the scary. That that's the scary part, though, is that a lot of times, you know, one of the things that has been a recurring theme on this. This podcast is how marketing is such a catalyst for growth inside, especially earlier midsize earlier growth stage companies. But it often is the most oversimplified by other parts of the organization. Ah, lot of times somebody says, Oh, that's marketing. It's just a campaign that's really easy And so being able, I think is a marketer to say, Hey, I don't have the answers But here's the structure by which we will get to them. I think that takes experience and and confidence in your...

...own capabilities to be able to say that inside a company, it's definitely the right approach. The right approach should not be like, Okay, we know this is gonna work. We're gonna spend 50% of our budget on this. We're gonna commit six months. Don't do that. Especially now, in these crazy, unfortunate times, agility is the key. No, CMO is looking more than six months ahead, so go for a target audience. Do a little bit of campaigns be able to scale them, know how you're going to scale them. Look for leading indicators week over week and understand it's hard. It's hard to be a market and b two b, you don't know what's always gonna work. It is. It is, especially with these longer sales cycles. I'm curious on something about defining your total addressable market. So we have our, you know, maybe not even total addressable. Maybe it's really are are focused customer list are you know, the target list. You said it could be pretty easy, right? We want to go after companies of this size in his geography, these kinds of titles I have found at times that the organization can be fearful to put lines in the sand of who you're gonna talk to because that means I may not talk to other people. And there's this fear of if I'm only talking to these 50 what about these other 100? Even if the 100 are not correct, how do you help organizations find confidence in defining that customer and not being scared of what they're quote unquote leaving behind? Yeah, attacks upon it earlier. If you understand that these small sardines are not going to be actually beneficial, well, they're gonna and then you can spend the same amount of cells, people's time and effort on acquiring a customer. High touch, not low touch. No touch with the second we'll talk about that. High touch means a meeting with an SDR quantification meeting demo meeting within a Yea, we dance little dense. Now let's go to technical validation. We're bringing to one more person to the show, and then we're gonna go to business validation. We show our Y or value value positioning. It's like it's still gonna take 30 to 90 or 1 20 or 1 80 days. Okay, would you really take this whole journey with a $10,000 a C V company? If you could probably do the same thing with just 10% more effort for 30,000, where would you spend your time? Yes, if these sardines come to you in the buying two days, you shouldn't have AH, product growth or shut based assisted sales approach that an SD architect them all day long and inbound mechanism Separate those out. Leave them alone. Don't focus on cells. People trying to quote and dance with these people that seem hot and smell them separated, let themselves people work on the things that are in the swim line. It is an extremely dangerous game to try and work on the inbound sardine demo flow. If you know that you're going to spend as much time with them and they're gonna do leakage in your retention rate, you're just not. You have to put a filter slowed. So when we're talking about this, are you really thinking about companies that are text SAS based companies or you thinking more broadly that it could be any B two B company? And I put any within Asterix? But in your mind are these things that, for instance, if I'm in professional services or other other realms, is this content still relevant to me? I think the approach off this understanding, how to filter out the non I seep or how to accelerate I see P two sales and give them a high touch vs no touch or low touch with his chap. It is very funny, buddy. So, for example, if you are a professional services and you're selling consulting or let's say business services related, whether it's legal, whether it whether it's I t, whether it's whatever it is, it doesn't matter if people coming to you or small association or dot gov or M. P O s. And they say, Oh, yeah, I'm looking for, like a project, but your history has shown that these usually the budget is in $5000 where you expect a minimum of 20. Why you gonna dance a dance? Even though it's a hot lead, it is 80% likely they are not a good fit for your services, and you might have to go through this discounting and the center. Stop wasting your time on those Go for the people that are a better fit. But if you haven't validated what it's called, the must have off this bigger fit. Don't send your a ease on a wild goose chase. If you don't know that there's a solution, market fit out there because then it's sad. Thanet sad. That's a That's a great way of saying that. Then it's sad. So you talked about briefly while we were going through this, the low touched and no touch. And you said you wanted to expand on that. Talk to me a bit about that, Yeah, So in an inbound fashion and also out band, you're gonna get awareness and people coming and starting to raise their hands this high that high. It doesn't matter when they're coming to you. I don't want to try self serve. Want to convert on some Maybe a demo videos or whatever. You...

...could be there for them proactively and reactively. Being there for them doesn't mean you're going to give it to Yuri's. If they are off the lower tiers, it's kosher. It's okay. You can give them a chat. You can route them to a growth team. I like this terminology of growth team or startup kit team. Whatever you want to come. These are new ease or Junior is that probably graduated from your video assembly life and let them get one. Call it one call to close offer. Here's what we have for, You know, I'm sorry. We cannot discount 50% because you don't have a budget. Why don't you go toe somewhere else and come to us when you grow up? Be there for these clients. Customer experience is always important here. But you're not gonna given e a 45 minute demo called with hot lead inbound. That doesn't fit the band I e. Commercial with market enterprise. Give them to people that are other chatting or route them towards a Friday online demo. One too many that they can all come and experience and ask questions with maybe a new E that is in training or with a customer success person that gets crude cared for this. Why not? You don't want to lose these people if you have a solution that is valuable thio to your size metrics or decided yes to lose them but still be courteous about it and tell them we don't sell to your kind because you're too small or you don't get value. Come back when you grow up. And I'd love to recommend anybody else if you want. So you see customer experience as part of the journey, even when they're not your customer. It's a hard one, and I've had to deal with this. It's a hard one because people come back and say, What do you mean, them too small for you? What do you mean you don't want to sell to me? Are you freaking e? I wanna pay you $3000 a year, but you know, like our minimum a service 10-K. It's like what can we do, and it's a challenge. It's a challenge for executive team to do that. But but But at the end of the day, I've had to cheat, even aware board meeting when we talked so much about this, like, Why are you letting your people work on these mineral deals are calling the sardines? Yes, the Saudis, Well, because the directive from you guys and the CIA was to take every dollar we can do. I agree with that. Hell, no. That's why we created the growth team. It's It's it's It's a lot of questions it so it's not easy. But once you align on the strategy, you got to stand behind it. Otherwise, you're messing up the whole plan. How long do you get on average? Stand behind your strategy. Now it's a global, more agile because you want to look at things less than 90 days and see if you're right because there's a lot of changes in the world. But this strategy should lost for a least two quarters. The leading indicators telling you are measured, as I mentioned every week, but the strategy, for example, saying we see solution, market fit, Cardona wood products like solution because there's elements that you don't have any product. If we defined solution, market fit. We know. I see p. We know that the persona is showing master verses Nice to have. Then you gotta put your teams behind it for a least two quarters at least. Otherwise your whole company strategies off your roadmap prioritization. I really like that you're giving something tangible here because I think that sometimes we hear we need a strategy for the next 90 days and other times we here we need a strategy for this year and for 90 days, not a strategy. And not everyone will think it's if it's an I like to say you need to xsl cycle to really explore something in depth. Unless the cell cycle is enterprise, are you not gonna wait 24 months for 12 months? That's what I was about to ask. What do you do if you have a year long sales cycle? You half of it to show leading indicators. There's plenty of time market if you have the 90 to 1 80 days, if you do two quarters, that should be plenty of time to understand where you stand and to make changes along the way to the plan and how you address the plan. You're changing strategy every quarter. I think you're gonna have morale issues, quote attainment, challenges. And actually, trust in your executive team is gonna be a very hard if you don't know your strategy. Every four e couldn't agree more. And I'm curious how, as a marketing leader, how have you balanced the tension when at times other members of the executive team and maybe you have had this experience or not? But other members of the executive team are changing strategy faster. Then you would feel comfortable with because you know that you need to quarters or two extra sale cycle. How do you balance that? Yeah. I mean, marketing builds for now a little, but you you made a quarter plus the head off sale in what you focus on. You want to focus two quarters ahead and say, sales quarters. And now the next quarter, of course. And product focuses behind catching up. That's usually a drug. If the decision is okay, we need we are behind that. It happens. We are behind our 40% on our goal to sales. We're gonna take every frequent sardine that comes to us because that's gonna...

...make us get throughout our metric. Then I'll challenge it or said that is not a company strategy. Why are we gonna actually meet our goal to show our board. But then two quarters later, we're gonna have shitty retention and or three quarters because then you're gonna have the renewal cycle. You're gonna have bad retention and you're gonna see a drop off, and you're gonna have tons of wind lost that are gonna be lost. And you're gonna show your whole metrics off. You're destroying our plan instead of that, let's if we're gonna take a hit, okay, But one week celebrate partner from next quarter and bring it into this quarter instead, which is still the right deals for us. I'm sorry, but a lot of people going to meet the metric I don't believe that's right for the company. That's why I don't go to m curious. I can every market that can influence employers quite easily, But that's not the magnetic I know. I think these air I've enjoyed where this conversation is going. And so if I am right, we're coming into Q. For we are closing out what has been a very chaotic year for all of us were going into next year's planning. You know, wrapping up planning for this year going into 2021. I am someone that sits within rev. Ops, marketing sales inside my organization, and the conversation you and I are having today is one I want to bring inside my company. Give me. Are you able to give me a couple of tangible pieces that that someone can start with to introduce the concept of account based or to shift the thinking around leads being king as they go into this upcoming year? You mean like content pieces? Or, like approaches? Approaches? Yeah, approach start by understanding. Are we really seeing traction around leads, If not asking the question tangibly to the group? Say, I want to assess what is our What is our relationship around leads and what is the proven success or lack thereof? Let's develop a point of view on the role leads solely play in our business. Is that it? Should we focus on leads or lead velocity right, Or should we switch it to you're making sure that accounts are all the way across town to follow. That's one second thing is all we do. We have trust and confidence in our data that enables us to look one quarter ahead that we are. We're or even this quarter. Are we on the right track so that we don't stray away from the strategy at the last mile I e. The last two weeks or more or last month of the quarter, which is unfortunate. It happens a lot. That's another one. The second thing off data integrity is the other and and making a collective decision on how confident are we and it's okay if it's not perfect. But being up front about that, they were 80% confident or whatever that that metric is because otherwise you're going in finger pointing in small rooms, and that makes no sense. Frank, whose time of patients with the third is Do we have the right process and framework in place to drive what the cells people need in order to succeed from a coverage and conversion approach I eat, they have the right trust in the leads coming to them. They can't have been translated. The number of people and companies and outbound, we're engaging outbound versus inbound. Are we all focused in a line that we're going to strain this 60 70 80% of our time on these 100 accounts or ourselves? Our is the our leaders. Are you still gonna go and spray and pray? This is 5000 people list like, are we behind us? And then, if so, let's agree that we're gonna look at the metrics and and that's what you're gonna activity will be focused on. So agree on what is your target list or your target activities to engage in audience? But then don't go often. Do your own thing, right? So it zig it's initiating the conversation. It's agreeing and aligning on what your data integrity is. And then it's assessing your process and saying, Do we have the infrastructure in place to actually be able thio, adapt or understand? And is there anything missing? And if so, can we work on getting that in place? Yeah, and the last thing I was I would recommend piloting if you can to drive confidence, Trust and and the rial scalable plan take one in one is the all that are maybe in a regional vertical match them with a marketer. Try to do like an account based motion for that vertical. For that, let's say mid market retailers, um, in the in the West Coast and try to pilot a day and then you can scale it. And I really like using the people in the trenches to show their peers how it works for them coming into the sea amount telling people this is how it works. Great. But then in the trenches, that might still go back to the old ways right? This has been really fascinating to me to dig into this concept, and I put my not just my podcast host on today, but I put on my former sales leader and I was, you know, in a a mid size small midsize professional services firm. And...

...these were conversations we were having so frequently, especially when it came to We want to update or pivot our strategy or evolve our strategy and what was enough data in order to make a decision. So I really like that you gave some tangible pieces to say it's two x your sales cycle or, if you're an enterprise do it. Half of your sales cycle thes air some really tangible pieces as we're leaving our listeners today. Are there any other pieces of advice, insight, perspectives that that you'd like to share? I don't know if I think I'm shit enough. I'll give you one last thing if you think about if I come in and I could tell my CEO something that I've always been afraid of. Everybody doesn't want to tell them. It's give things time, especially in marketing, like branding and awareness on other elements to actually show you impact. But ensure that you have leading indicators that can show you progress towards it. Both of these are important. Don't just go. Instead, we don't have enough leads that za little rural slave of marketing sensible marketing is more than needs. So the top line is to your executive team to say we need times time to figure this out. But the click down is I am tracking these leading indicators, and these are the things that I am deeming could be indicators of success, and we will collectively measure them and have conversations around staying the course or changing. Yep, this has been this has been fun. Thank you for joining me today. I I've learned a lot and I hope our listeners have Thio. Good stuff. Thank you. Alright, That is it for our revenue Collective podcast today. My name is Casey. Let Gordon I'm your host. I sat down with alone wax to talk about why Leeds Air overrated or why you need to be doing account based everything and how a fractional CMO actually works inside of companies. This was fun. We'll see you next time. Thank you for tuning in today to the revenue collective podcast. This episode was brought to you by quota path. Quota path is the first radically transparent and and compensation solution from sales reps to finance. Get started for free at quote a path dot com And your next commission cycle could be totally automated. My name is Casey. Let Gordon I'm your host and this is the revenue collective podcast. Stop.

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