The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 8 months ago

Ep: 58 Focus is the Key w/ Lori Sullivan

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Ep: 58 Focus is the Key w/ Lori Sullivan

Part of the "Is This a Good Time?" Series with Brandon Barton.

Hello, everyone, and welcome back tothe revenue collected podcast. I'm your host, Brandon Barton, and you'relistening to Is this a good time? The show where I talked to RevenueCollective members and ask them some really simple questions and they havegreat answers should be about 15 minutes of conversation. We're comingto you each and every Tuesday and Thursday. So please hit the subscribebutton. Make sure you don't miss anything as we're just getting into agroove here. About 15 episodes in So good to have Laurie Sullivan on ourshow today. She's the director of marketing at video, and we talk abouthow focus is the foundation of success, something everyone should realizebefore we get going with the questions I wanted to tell you a little bit aboutthis month. Sponsor six cents six cents. The number one account engagementplatform helps you identify accounts that are in market for your solution.Prioritize your efforts, engage buyers the right way with highly relevantmessaging and measure what actually matters with the Sixth Sense platform.You're able to get into more deals, improve win rates, increase overallpipeline and optimized budget. Spend to learn more visit six cents dot comslash revenue collected. All right, here it is. Episode 15 Is this a goodtime? All right. So great to have you here.Laurie Laurie Sullivan. She is the VP of marketing at Flavio Birmingham,Alabama, co chair of the revenue collective chapter in Birmingham. So Ican't wait to hear about what's going on in the South as this this, uh,interesting time for our country in the middle of a pandemic and all that. ButLaurie is so great to have you on the podcast. Thanks so much for having me,Brandon. So as we do here, it is all meat. No fillers, no bs. Let's justjump right in. Give me the career progression. Tell us about how you gotto where you are today. So I am like you said, I'm at Flavio now, which is aB two b SAS company. We're focused on modernizing the fleet management world,but I originally started my career in...

...the agency world working with tons ofdifferent clients, large and small in every industry. You can think ofputting together lead generation programs, executing on that, measuringthat for different clients and my previous agency before hopping over toFlavio was B to be specific asset because you can be lead generation for,like, the BBC stuff which the tactics could apply, but not exactly the sameway for me to be. Yeah, it's a different world, and honestly, I feellike in in higher education, like when you learn about marketing, I mean somuch of the so many of the examples that you're getting our B two c, andyou really don't understand that there's a big B two B marketing worldout there, and it was something that I found pretty early in my career, andI'm such a nerd for me to be marketing. I think it is just such an interestingworld, and and there's so much opportunity to connect with buyers inthe business space. And so my previous agency before Flavio was B to bespecific and learned a lot there about just how the B two B marketing andsales process worked, what B two B Legion really was and how to optimizefor success there. And so about six years ago I met the founder and CEO ofPalladio, and we began talking about what marketing could look like at radio.And so I was a really early employee. I was employee number six day. Yeah,almost 100. Oh, wow. That's a fun journey that I've done that in mycareer. I love it. I love the I love that part. It's been a ride, and and asyou know, I'm sure you're so emotionally invested in it, too. Andthat success of the company. But yeah. So almost six years later, you know,I've inbound Legion has been my team's...

...biggest goal along the way, and itstill is today. And and that's been a huge driver of our success to date andour our revenue. You know, I joined the company when we were sub one million,and there are, And so we've seen a ton of growth over those close to six years.So that kind of brings me to today. Yeah, I wonder. So you said you werelike employee six on the marketing side, just just out of curiosity, any sellersat that point or did they bring marketing in first before salespeople?We had one salesperson. At that time. I came in as marketer number one andbasically built the inbound Legion engine. I mean, we weren't doing anyoutbound at that time and that actually carried on for a number of years. Wewere inbound only for quite some time, really, until a couple years ago. Andso we were very inbound, focused. I came in one sales person on staff andcame in built the kind of inbound legion engine, and we were a marketingand sales pair for about a year. And then I started hiring and building outmy team. That's great. That's great. Well, look, Expertise alert foreveryone listening. If you're building an inbound funnel inbound pipeline, weclearly have somebody who's done it in the B two b side. Not not that I'mgoing to go sell your time now, but jeez, give Gloria slack message and say,What's up? I live and breathe inbound marketing all day, every day. Yeah, youdid say you love it, or I think maybe you refer to it as being a geek of it,which is pretty sweet. Well, look, it takes a lot of things to get to therole that you're in. Certainly luck and hard work or two components of it. Whatwould you say? You know a story about locking a story about hard work thatgot you here? Yeah. So I think when I when I think about hard work and justfinding success in my career and...

...especially with video kind of buildinghelping build that from the ground up to me, one of the things that I reallyassociate with success and and doing the hard work to get to a successfulpoint is focus. And I think just having that intense focus in the work thatyou're doing is incredibly important to me. On the marketing side, it's evenmore important because in the marketing world there are 10 million things thatyou could be doing every day to generate leads and grow your business.And saying yes to all those things is very easy. Saying no to those things isthe hard part, and especially in the early days, you don't want to miss anyopportunities. So you stretch yourself then and so I think, just along the way,doing the work to test and iterate and move quickly and learn what worked andwhat would scale and what necessarily wouldn't move the needle quite as muchyou're saying Don't say no, but try it in a very small test and then say noquickly. Yeah, prove whether you should say yes or no. The most freeing thingyou can do is test something and prove it doesn't work. And then you have noissue saying no to it. Right. And you're able to kind of clear it out ofyour path like that. And it really allows you to focus on the things thatreally move the needle from an inbound legion perspective and a revenueperspective. So I think from in the marketing world is just so important.And I think I'm not as I've progressed through my career. What about luck yougot? You had to get lucky at some point here. Yeah, look is a tough one for mebecause I don't know if I like, fully believe in luck, but I do believe intaking pretty big leaps and kind of trusting in big opportunities. And so Iwould say, You know, you can call it...

...luck. You can call it a big leap, likeI mentioned. But I mean, six years ago, when I connected with our founder andCEO at fellatio. I mean, I'd never heard of Palladio. There were fiveemployees and I, you know, was not actually was not looking for a job atthe time, I was very happy. And the BDB agency that I was in and I think justmeeting our founder and CEO, hearing his vision and then exploring the space.You know, the fleet management world is incredibly antiquated, and we were Wereally were well positioned to come in as this modern solution and change thegame. And to me, there's probably a little bit of luck and the fact thateverything fell into place for Flavio and I think a lot of it had to do withpeople and the fact that, you know, we're really building something thatwas needed in our space so we can call that look. We can call that Make me Howdid you meet the CEO of video through a mutual acquaintance network? Thenetwork is everything people are ever might be a little bit of there mighthave been a little bit, whatever the circumstances there, that seems likemaybe the break that you probably met a lot of people then and a lot of I'm not.I'm not telling your story for you would do that. But I just I love forthe listeners to know that nobody gets into a VP role without having somebreaks and having some good things go their direction. I am a big proponentof luck favoring people that are putting themselves in the position tobe lucky, right? But yeah, I don't know everyone. If you listen, you know metalking about this stuff already, I'll stop. But before we go into some of thetactics stuff, I actually want to know you've been a video for six years.You've been in Birmingham for the majority of your career. What is itlike 10 years ago versus now that...

...startup community the tech communitylike, give me a sense of what's going on in Birmingham like, yeah, it's adifferent world than it was 10 years ago. I've lived here for about a decade,um, originally from Mississippi and then lived internationally for a littlewhile and then came back and settled in Birmingham and again was in the agencyworld. But coming into the tech world in 20 early 2015 in Birmingham was aninteresting time. There is a start up incubator here called Innovation Depot.It's downtown, and there are close to 100 emerging companies in that buildingfrom one or two people working on an idea to when we kind of graduated fromthe depot. We were probably around 25 people. Now we have our own office indowntown Birmingham. But the change even in the last five years, thestartup in technology culture here is really surprising to a lot of people.And some of the success that we've seen in terms of, you know, companies likeShipped that is founded in Birmingham was bought by Target a couple years ago.And other other success stories we, you know, as Southerners. We definitelyhave a culture where we love to help one another and really share ideas, andeveryone's trying to elevate the other startups and technology companies inthis city, and everyone cares a lot about it. And I think that has reallydriven the success of a lot of these startups in in our city, includingFlavio. So it's been it's a different world than it was 10 years ago, when Ioriginally moved to Birmingham, and it's a different ball game that it wasjust five years ago. I mean, we have a an initiative in Birmingham calledBirmingham Bound, and that organization exists to bring tech companies toBirmingham, whether that's for their HQ...

...or for their second office. And whenpeople come here, they're They're surprised at the how large our techcommunity really is and how rich it is. And that's been really cool to seehappen over the years and and to be a part of cool. Well, look, I'm alwayscurious to see how other cities outside of the Silicon Valley in the SiliconAlley in the Silicon Beach and my I don't know what they're calling Miamiyet, but like how they're evolving because there's just, you know, if therevenue collective has taught me anything, there is so many smart mindsout there to learn from, and and that's where success comes from with cos it'sgetting a bunch of smart people that do something that's really hard andclearly, that's what you guys are up to. So very cool. All right, so we'll gointo our little lightning round. Give us a tactic that people could usetomorrow. So my biggest learning in preparing for 2021 was to plan, executeand measure at the most granular channel level. And when I say that,basically, I just mean, you know, if you're looking at success of yourmarketing channels and you're thinking okay, you know, I'm looking at paidefforts versus non paid efforts. One of the things that we did in our you know,our go to market planning for 2021 was get as granular as possible withchannels so organic, you know, paid search versus retargeting, emailreferral partners, events. I mean, there's a laundry list of them, and wetrack, of course, leads and and revenue for each of those. But we in our in ourprojections and our modeling for this year, we set marketing qualified leador SQL goals for our most granular channels, and we hadn't really gottenthat specific before with those goals, and it has really just, you know,rallied my team around their own...

...individual areas, set clearexpectations and really helped us understand what the parts that make up,you know, the sum of legion at the end of the month or quarter, whatever timeperiod where that's going to come from and how we're tracking to those goals.And so to me, I mean just being a little ways into the year, That's stilltop of mind. And we've had multiple, you know, ways of planning for thesethings over the years. But I think this is probably the best execution of ourgo to market model and projections that we've leveraged, and my team just seemsto be kind of thriving in in that format. And so I would recommend thatfor any any marketer out there granular, I love it beautiful. And so what's akey position of hiring for you? You have any jobs available for folks We doat content marketing. Specialist role is one that's out there right now. Wewe focus really heavily on thought leadership content, and if you visitour website at radio dot com, you will definitely see that long and short formcontent in addition to video and visual content as well. But that's a creativerole. But you know, everyone on my team is pretty analytical. Um, that's reallysomething I look for in the hiring process, so it's a fund role, butdefinitely one that's going to make a big impact. Organic has really alwaysmade up about half of our leads and half of revenue that comes from inbound.So we invest in content resources pretty regularly. I like that. Andspeaking of content, who do you follow? Who's some shout outs of people youlove hearing listening to, You know, both Both on the high level of, youknow, and these people we see on LinkedIn and whatever or are also someof the upper up and comers. Yeah, so I'll give you. I'll give you twolongtime follows and I'll give you two up and comers. So, um, I follow BrianBalfour's content pretty regularly and...

...have years. I just find that it'sextremely detailed, and I like that. It's very growth focused. Um, and Ialways try to really point my team into that growth mindset, and so I alwayslove his stuff. Recently, I've followed um, shiv from he's the CEO of how toSass, and he has a lot of really great content on and and his email newsletter,where he does these illustrations that it's kind of geared toward the CMOpersona and so love following his stuff and then to up and comers. I gotta giveyou to Birmingham based people I want. I want people from the From Birmingham.Yeah. So, uh, Dave Car. He's the VP of marketing and visited of at click dotio there, actually a Toronto based sales enablement company. And he has apodcast called BTB Enablement that that's really awesome. So love checkingout his content. And then, um, I've got a shout out videos. VP of sales Who, um,is my my counterpart. On the sales side, his name's Will Yarbrough. And, um, hehas a lot of great stuff on LinkedIn, but also just wrote an awesome articlefor sales hacker on creating sales playbooks. So you got to check out hisstuff, too. Love it. That's that's two amazing amazing call outs includingBrian and Ship as well. Clearly. And, you know, look, this better be alsofrom Birmingham because it is a place that definitely has a reputation forhaving good food and good restaurants. And like over the past 10 years, nevermind the startup. Seeing the restaurant, CNN Birmingham has been through theroof, so I love that you know that I'm This is like my soul is in restaurants.Okay, I ran ready for a long time. So when we were, you know, every city andunderstanding, which was the next city we should go to. And it was likeCharleston and Birmingham, like, you...

...know, it. Just like as soon asCharleston started to come up. Birmingham's right behind it in. Forwhatever reason, they're connected in this, like Southern, like, really getdown to the soul of American cuisine, you know, kind of anyway, give me arestaurant to go to. So there are so many in Birmingham, so it's very, verytough. And if you've ever eaten in Birmingham, you know, I mean, we havesome James Beard award winners and stuff like that. Food in Birmingham isthe thing I love to show off when people come here. I gotta go with oneof my all time long time favorites, which is Bottega Cafe. Okay. And if youlike beef carpaccio, I do. You must go there. Uh, the best you'll ever have inyour life. I That's a tall order, but I will make sure to make a trip toBirmingham to go do that. Laurie. So awesome to chat with you. I'm excitedto follow the rest of your career as it goes on and keep in touch. Thank youfor being on the podcast. Absolutely. Thanks for having me a great chattingwith you. All right. That is our show today. Thank you so much for listening.If you love the show, you know what to do. Rate and review in the Apple orSpotify podcast. Send it to some friends. Make sure you smash thesubscribe button so you can follow us each and every week. Reminder. Thisepisode was brought to you by six cents, Howard by a i m. Predictive Analytics.Six cents Helps you unite your entire revenue team with a shared set of datato achieve predictable revenue growth. Had a lot of fun. Hope you did too. Nowgo crush your numbers. Say something. Mhm.

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