The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

Ep 92: A Perfect Story of Hard Work and Luck w/ Jen Spencer

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Ep 92: A Perfect Story of Hard Work and Luck w/ Jen Spencer

Part of the "Is This a Good Time?" series, hosted by Brandon Barton.

Hello and welcome back to the revenue collected podcast. I am your host, Brandon MArtin you are listening to. Is this a good time the show where I ask revenue Collective members some really basic questions. They have incredible answers. In a short 15 minute conversation, we really shows Tuesdays and thursday. So hit subscribe. So you don't miss any of them. Our guest today is jen Spencer. She's a zero at smart plug media and she is just the perfect story about how hard work and luck boosted her career. This episode was brought to you by drift. More than 50,000 businesses use drift to grow revenue and increase customer lifetime value faster drift, helps their customers online sales and marketing on a single platform to deliver a unified customer experience, where people are free to have a conversation with the business at any time on their terms, learn more at drift dot com. Alright, let's do this episode 38 of is this a good time? All right, everyone, I'm so excited to have jen Spencer with us. She's the chief revenue officer at smart bug media, jen, Thank you for joining the show. I'm so glad, so glad to be here after listening to so many great episodes. Thank you for lying to the audience as we do here. I'll meet no filler. I want to get right into it. You know, Sarah huge title. How did you get into your role and what path did you take to get here? Tell us a little bit about your history. Well, I got into my role by telling my ceo that this was a role we needed and that I was a person to do it. But how I got here is a long story that starts with being a high school english and theater arts teacher and taking a little bit of a leap of faith and taking a pay cut from teaching to take on in education management, kind of community engagement type of role at a nonprofit professional, regional theater company called Arizona theatre company. You come from being a teacher. This is exactly how all sales career start,...

...right. You know, it's, it's the beginning of the rest of my career because I always looked at, where can I go and learn and how can I spend more time doing something that I love and enjoy and recognizing that if it wasn't for me, if I didn't like it, if I wasn't successful, guess what? I could always go back to dot to dot whatever it was, I could always go back to teaching, I could always go back to nonprofit. I could always go back to marketing and it's, I just built on that throughout my entire career. But being at the theater, being in a non profit organization where there's a lot to do and there's not enough people to do it. It's a really wonderful place to try things on. And if you're going to fail fail fast, learn quickly. So very similar to the startup life, right? And working in non profit, really prepared me for startup world and it was there where I had the opportunity to learn about public relations and marketing and ticket sales and tele sales and subscription sales and really targeting an audience with a very small budget. And when I look back on it, oh my gosh, like it was, it was like I was getting an M. B. A. In running a revenue team. I didn't know, I was just trying to make sure we could like payroll. Yes, very cool. I mean like, you know, uh it's necessity is the uh, there's a saying there. I know, and there's no fill it in, but like it forces you to kind of get stuff done. That's incredible. And then so theater company turned cr Oh, like how did that get there? I, you know, I was at the theater company for eight years and by the time I left I was director of sales and marketing, I was responsible, my overseeing the team, responsible for all of our earned revenues are ticket...

...sales revenue versus contributed, which comes from donations. And you know, honestly, I was tired. I mean, it's exhausting to like go to bed at night, stressing about making payroll, right? Uh, so many, you know, startup founders. No, but I decided I needed to change of course a little bit. And it was at that right around the time when hubspot was just getting started and sharing this, this vision of this methodology of inbound marketing and content marketing. And I was consuming all of this amazing information and was ready to go work inside of an organization that wanted me to implement a program like that. And so I found a role at a company called TT success insights, which is you need to create the behavioral motivational and EQ types of assessments. And it's also where I got a chance to learn about the channel and I'll never forget, you know, sitting at this table with the president of the company and she's walking me through the difference between B the C and B the B, but then also channel sales like through distributors because T T I sold 100% through distributors. So that was a really great learning opportunity. And from there that just opened me up to this entirely new to me, B two B World and B two B software and moved from that into B B C. S, worked at an amazing organization called Net Time Solutions, a time and attendance software company. I honestly wasn't expecting all that much from it, but it was where I really learned about SAS and learned a lot about just the market and got to take that company through an acquisition and got to be part of the team. Yeah. So that was such an amazing experience. And then getting a chance to work for paychecks is who acquired us and working for a $2 billion company and realizing, you know, like I probably don't belong in a 15,000...

...employee company. Like I'm the kind of person who wants to have an idea in the morning and executed that day. So then I, I took another leap of faith and joined a very early stage startup. All bound, we were pre product in pre revenue at the time I joined. So, you know, there was an idea and really was marketing by night and selling by day and again, having that opportunity to get my hands on everything possible. And so that, that's what gave me the opportunity to be, to become a Chief revenue officer, I think coming out of marketing because all of a sudden I was thrown into sales, I was running demos, I was running a sales process, I was figuring out as I went and then building a sales team and that again, just having that opportunity to say yes to something to take a little bit of a risk. You know, that I had other opportunities. Paychecks was, I could have stayed there for 10, 15 years and had a very comfortable life, but not what I was looking for. And I always look back on like, well what is the path that I would regret if I didn't pursue it? Every time I've made a really critical career change that helped get me to where I am now I took a rest. That was the fork in the road that you took. Yeah. So it's so funny because we in a weird way you and I have very similar trajectories that we that we've taken. I instead of theater plug in restaurants and then went to work for some piece of tech that was involved in what I was doing right like I learned and then and then got in, you know, enamored by sales and marketing and sass and B two B sas like I love that story. I think it makes so much sense. At least it does to me and each step along the way you were clearly learning something completely new and by the way, mother, necessity is the mother of invention is where I was, what I was trying to look for but whatever. So look, I always say luck...

...and hard work contribute to getting you where you are. Give us a tidbit of either one of those like in your career, it seems like there's a lot of leaps of faith, but in what case did you get lucky or you know, really kind of power through something with hard work. I think I can answer both with my transition from TT I over to nighttime solutions because the way that happened is a mixture of hard work and luck. The hard work was really bringing to the forefront this inbound marketing methodology and aligning content around buyer personas and supporting customers along there by our journey and building that entire framework out and seeing really, really great success and that I was working with the T. T. I were really successful. We were doing things very differently from the way the organization had been run before. And it was it was a crazy the founder of that, that company has now passed, but he definitely had a hard time embracing the change. He would have preferred that we called people in the phone book because that was that was how he built the company and he just didn't. He had a really hard time wrapping his mind around what we were doing, even though we had the revenue metrics to show like to show success. I mean, we were really successful. And so it was incredibly frustrating, just I think just be in a position where the owner of the company just didn't want to get it, like, you know, almost wanted us to fail I think because it was proving that you know what he had done was it was no longer valuable anymore. I think there was a lot of emotion, there is there are for a lot of entrepreneurs. So my boss, the president of our division, she was at one of her like vestige meetings and just kind of sharing, she was in the hot seat that month and sharing what we were doing and kind of digging in. I I had no idea right digging into like all of our marketing data and after that...

...that meeting and one of the others Ceos in that group came over to her and said, I don't know what you're going to do if you're going to stay in this organization or not, but if you leave I will hire your marketing department sight unseen. Just let me know and that's what happened next. Obviously I did, I did meet with him and he did give me some like ridiculous test that he gives developers. He was like more of a CTO type and I responded to all these questions that clearly required an equation. I respond to them like an essay format. But anyway, so basically I, he said, great, I think you'd be great to like run dimension for us. Like start to really build a marketing program. We really were selling exclusively through channel right now. We want to shift to more of a direct sales model. But before we hire a bunch of expensive sales reps, I want to have you come in and lay marking, he's like, I have a million dollars and I want you to spend it and I'm like, oh my gosh, I felt like I felt like I just won the lottery, right? Like this is amazing. This guy is instant faith and trust in me and it's giving me all this money to build the program I want, but it was because I had done all the work and you know exactly as you said, this is this is the combination of those two things that sometimes people will come on and they'll say, I don't believe in luck and like, you know those guests that have said that, like shouts to you great, I don't believe that, like, there's moments like this that happened that are are the world pushing you in a direction and you clearly articulated why both of those things contribute to success and what a great story. That's so funny, I'd like to hire your marketing team will take her, she's like, I'm not gonna fight you on it. Well look, I mean, maybe it's part of what you spent the million on, but like give us a sales or marketing tactic that people can implement, like right now and what they're doing to to get...

...deals closed. All right, Well, I'm gonna fast forward a number of years because I think the best tactic I can I can suggest kind of sitting from my seat is to give marketing access to your sales call recording platforms so smart. But we use gong. But what we do is because we're using a conversational intelligence tool that allows us to look at the questions that are asked by prospects. My marketing team goes in and they sort just by those questions and then that's what they use to contribute to our editorial calendar and search for like new keywords for search engine optimization. It can be really like you could get in a position with S. E. O. Where you're trying to target just the same keywords as your competitors, but you can get like myopically focused on what you think people are searching for versus what they actually are. And so if you actually listen to the language that your prospects use, you might stumble across some terms that they would be also searching for. That might not be kind of at the top of the forefront of your mind. That's so smart. And plus if you get there a week or two early, you're all of a sudden just a cost there is so much lower than somebody else's or even a month or two. That's a good one. I like that. I'm going to be using this myself. All right. So, uh, lightning round if you will any open roles that you are hiring for many. But the one I we're always looking for smart marketers but I am also very much in need of, it's called Senior Specialist Integrations on you look on our careers page but if someone to really serve as the solution engineer in prospect or existing client conversations to help identify business opportunities and requirements were doing a lot of revenue operations work and so this person would work as like part of our technical development team and we're looking for people with about...

...three years of integration and migration experience but that's the very, very top of my list right now. I love it. It's also pretty as specified so probably hard to find great, we'll get the word out about it. Alright some shout outs either you know people that you admire and you listen to content or up and comers. I got a few folks so content wise um in the in the sales universe Pete Kazanjian, whose co founder of atrium, there are sales performance platform and author surrounding sales. Really love his insights. And then Gabrielle Blackwell, who's the sales manager for commercial teams over at dong is just spitfire like I just listen to write and then as far as the up and comers there's two people I, I kind of want to plug so one is my own director of marketing, Hannah Shane and I'm trying to get her to share more of her brilliant mind on places mostly linked in because she is just crushing it. We, she is such a strong asset to our team and all of my sales reps. Well they're all, they will all tell you that as well. And Shell often linked in or not often enough, but she's been publishing like, hey, here was a problem and here's how we solved it and kind of sharing our secret sauce. So everyone, I like that. Okay. Yeah, Yeah. I mean that's kind of the goal is we want to be our best best case study, but then also on twitter, if you're a marketer followed Christina Garnet, she's, she's a senior marketing manager for offline community and advocacy at hubspot. She's that Christina G. That's hurt her handle that Christina G on twitter or if you search like hashtag marketing twitter, you will 100% of your posts. But everything in my twitter feed that I love is somehow connected back to Christina like that. Maybe she's also sending some good retweets your way to. It sounds like yeah, she's awesome. Alright well look, all of that is for...

...everyone else. This questions for me, I mean it doesn't need to be in phoenix where you are right, could be anywhere. Give me a place to eat. Oh, I'm like, I want to not follow your rules here because the last awesome experience, like dining experience I had, there really wasn't much food that was being consumed, it was cheese. But I got this amazing, my friends and I got an amazing private tour of Jarvis winery in napa, it's a cave tour and they have this extraordinary tasting room. So it's funny, you know, I just had a humble brag, right? Well it was, it was so, it was, it was so, so, so cool and I'm the one I ordered is coming I think next week. But plus the cheese, like there were a couple of different kinds of cheeses that were part of the pairing and I love, I love goat cheese and the representative at Jarvis said, this will be the best goat cheese you've ever had, you told the group and we're like, okay. You know, it was like, it was for sure. It doesn't break any of my rules. Like saying the word restaurant. I mean give me a place that I can go buy food from one person wanted to be said that their mothers, you know something and I was like, I can't get that. That doesn't like I need a real spot, but I could go to this winery and I could eat there when I'm in Avonex. Yes, Yes, it was, it was so cool. It was such a happy one of those happy place is very like, I just want to be here all the time. I love it. Well, I hope this is a perfect place to end. Thinking about eating goat cheese and drinking wine in the middle of Napa Valley after you crush 10 quarters in a row worth of sales goals, jen thank you so much. Thanks for sharing your story and excited to stay in touch and see how you progress. Wonderful. Thank you. All right. That is our show today. I had so much fun. Thank you for listening. If you love the show, tell everyone posted on linkedin, put it on your Pinterest board or just listen to your friends. A reminder. This episode...

...was brought to you by drift, the new way businesses by for businesses, you can learn more and get the conversation started at drift dot com. I had a lot of fun today. I really hope you did too. Now go crush your numbers. Say something. Mhm Yeah.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (253)