Heinz Marketing blog provides daily B2B Sales & Marketing Insights. Heinz Marketing is a Seattle area marketing agency focused on Sales Acceleration. Each member of the Heinz Marketing team hold themselves to the highest standards of integrity, focus and professionalism.
“How I Work” is one of my favorite recurring features in Inc Magazine as well as via Lifehacker’s This Is How I Work Series, over the last few years several sales experts (including Anthony Iannarino, Dave Brock and Trish Bertuzzi) participated in our own series.
Each Thursday, we feature a new B2B sales, marketing or business leader here answering what have become the standard “How I Work” questions (recently updated). You can catch up on everyone we’ve featured thus far in the “How I Work” series here.
This week I’m excited to feature Jon Ferrara, CEO of Nimble and one of the pioneers of the CRM category. Jon co-founded Goldmine back in 1989 before CRM was even really a thing, and continues to be a thought leader and innovator spanning B2B sales & marketing.
He has a degree in computer science, has studied photography and loves to cook. Here, in his own words, is how he gets stuff done.
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Number of unread emails right now? Over 100k ;-(
First app checked in the morning? The first app I check in the morning is Apple News because it consolidates a variety of news sources to give me a glimpse into the days interesting events.
First thing you do when you come into work? Connect with and greet Nimble team members. I think that people are your most valuable resource, and it’s important to connect and to stay connected with your team. I try to personally connect with as many people as I can every day.
What is your email management strategy? Sometimes I feel like I’m digging a hole in the sand with email. It’s an ongoing avalanche. It’s more like a triage strategy, like a battlefield. I quickly scan and triage the ones that need the most attention and the ones that don’t either die, or they follow back up if it’s important to them.
Most essential app when traveling? Google Maps for navigating cities and All Trails for hiking.
How do you keep yourself calm and/or focused? Breath. Walk. I keep a daily list of To-Do’s. I think that sitting is the new smoking. Meeting in boardrooms and having conversations while sitting behind a desk are probably the least effective ways to communicate. I love having walk and talks with my team as well as other people I’m meeting with. I feel more present and connected when I’m not staring at a screen, but moving and breathing air instead.
What’s your perspective or approach to work/life balance? I think that in the end, they are not going to say on my grave: ‘Built GoldMine and Made Gazillions of Dollars.’ They are going to say ‘Beloved Father, Husband, Brother and Friend.’ This is why I think that winning from a business perspective is great, but that’s not why we are on the planet. We are on this planet to be present with people we care about and find ways to add value. All we leave this planet with is the moments and memories in which we’ve been truly present with others.
It is critical to connect with people you care about, and even strangers, by listening for ways you might add value to their lives. Even if it’s simply giving someone your ear by listening, and then a smile to acknowledge them. Smiles are free and often the greatest gift you can give.
I also take time to have lunch with our Nimble team as often as I can because the people at my work are my family. If you look at the people you work with as your friends and your family, then it’s not necessarily trying to balance work and personal because it’s all personal. I just try to keep balance by being present with the people I connect with.
Are there any work rituals critical to your success? I tell great stories, and many times people retell those stories. That’s how I’ve built two global software companies. I try to tell those stories not only to prospects and customers but to their influencers as well. My walk and talks are also a bit of a ritual. I think that this may be an unorthodox methodology of having meetings with my team outdoors but it is what helped build GoldMine, and Nimble as well. I read Thoreau’s Walden as a young man, and it taught me to march to a different drummer. My methodology in business is that I try not to do everything the way everybody else does it, but to find my own beat and dance to it.
What apps/software/tools can you not live without? I think that contacts, emails and calendars are the heart of your business communications and signals. I manage that via a variety of tools including iCloud, Gmail and G Suite, and Office 365. Beyond that, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram are my go-to social platforms. Inevitably, I would be lost without Nimble. With all of my disconnected contacts and communications, I need something that unifies it all to give me the context and insights I need in order to be effective at the engagement I’m doing. Most importantly, Nimble helps me keep up with all the follow-up and follow-through.
What’s your workspace like? Lots of light and windows. I don’t like being in the dark. I’m surrounded by pictures and mementos of the people I love, kind of like an altar of things that are important to me. For the most part, my workspace is pretty simple and clean.
What’s your best time-saving shortcut or lifehack? When you commit to doing something verbally, write it down and then follow-up with the person and follow-through with what you promised to do. It’s the basics in life that wins games, and it’s the basics that most people fail at because they don’t successfully track what’s most important to them. You should have a methodology to track what you need to get that day and what you commit to and act on it.
What are you currently reading? I’m reading a book called Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business from Gino Wickman. It’s a book about achieving your company goals and scaling your business and keeping your team focused and enjoying work. I am also reading a book called Ireland that tells the story about the Irish people.
Last thing you do before leaving work? I say goodbye. The same way I start my day: connecting with my team.
Who are some mentors or influencers you wish to thank or acknowledge? I think that Napoleon Hill, Dale Carnegie and Zig Ziglar are the three people that taught me about the value of relationships, and how to figure out what your passion, plan, and purpose is. In the end, I have concluded that my passion, plan and purpose in life is to help other people grow, which is simply just building off of the shoulders of the greats like Napoleon Hill, Dale Carnegie and Zig Ziglar.
Name some supportive people who help make it possible to do what you do best? My dad and my uncle. My dad was an automobile entrepreneur and my uncle was an aerospace entrepreneur and they both were instrumental in helping me become who I am. In addition the team members at GoldMine and Nimble are people that were instrumental in helping me to realize my vision of reimagining relationship management – twice. Also our business partners, specifically our resellers as well as our strategic partners (like Microsoft), who basically helped us scale to $100M in revenue with GoldMine. Right now, we’re on our way to replicate the strategy again with Nimble.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? “You can get everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” ~ Zig Ziglar
Name a guilty pleasure TV show Vikings.
Anything else you want to add? There are only eight, at best 10, hours in the day that you can be effective and that does not scale. If you really want to be effective in this world, you need to be able to tell great stories – and get other people to tell the stories for you. If you can turn those storytellers into your salespeople, you can build a GoldMine.
Fill in the Blank: I’d love to seeJohn Jantsch, Alice Kemper, Neal Schaffer, Jeff Bullas, Max Altschuler, Alan Lepofsky, Mike Kunkle, Travis Wright, Brynne Tillmananswer these questions.
Marketing Performance Management (MPM) and attribution is gaining awareness and adoption among B2B marketers, especially with attribution analysis. It’s about time.
When planned and executed correctly MPM and attribution measurement are powerful tools for B2B marketers. Attribution measurement is a component of Marketing Performance Management and it’s important because it shows how well channels are performing in building sales pipeline and driving revenue, and at what cost.
It takes careful planning and implementation to make attribution successful. Here are the lessons we want to share from our MPM experiences over the last two years.
Identify and Align Around the Important KPI’s First
This is where it’s important to plan for the KPI’s to track and map and get the organization aligned. It’s meaningless to track attribution without any plan or connection to strategic KPI’s.
A marketing executive must lead this effort, which requires alignment with company goals and executive stakeholders. Identifying the KPI’s that show how marketing builds a sales pipeline and drives revenue. (Listen to our outstanding on-demand webinar with strategic KPI suggestions.)
It’s common for marketers at all levels to fall into the comfort zone of tracking activity metrics, guessing at what execs want, and creating monthly business reviews with spreadsheets and dozens of slides. Rathole exercises ensue. Frustration mounts with execs like the CEO and CFO because they can’t tell what the marketing team does to move the dial.
Rushing the process is your enemy. We always see companies who rapidly implemented an attribution tool without a thorough plan or a set of strategic KPI’s. Marketers are under incredible pressure and they want to get tools implemented rapidly. Martech vendors obviously are happy to accommodate because the time pressure helps drive the sale. Unfortunately, after a rushed implementation and several months into the subscription, the attribution tools are often used poorly and the data doesn’t align with KPI’s that anyone cares about.
Check Your Current Data Model in Your CRM and Marketing Automation
Many marketers are stuck in analytics quicksand because they are tracking all the wrong data. And then some poor soul on the marketing team is strapped with two weeks a month of spreadsheet gymnastics trying to collect disparate data and cram calculations into a meaningful dashboard.
An attribution system by itself won’t magically fix this problem. Reliable and credible data requires a data model. And the CRM and marketing automation systems must be configured with the data model. Taking data the way it’s been captured for the last few years will likely only reveal an incomplete and confused data picture which doesn’t align with the desired KPI’s.
This is hard. It takes planning and thought. Skipping the data model step and rushing through attribution tool implementation won’t solve any problems or magically reveal how well marketing is performing. Take the time to make sure you are tracking the right data that aligns with the KPI’s!
Establish the Rhythm
When all of the pieces are in place with an aligned organization, a strong data model, and the right tools it’s time to execute with a regular rhythm and use the attribution tools on a daily basis. Marketing Performance Management assets like attribution tools should be monitored on a daily basis. They can reveal all kinds of patterns, problems, and opportunities. Checking MPM attribution data once a quarter won’t lead to decisions that help drive the basis. The daily rhythm should look at the clues from the historical data and also a forward-looking projection on future impact. (Gartner recently published an article using metrics to reveal clues, not provide answers.) The historical results are important. But it’s even more valuable and important to intellectually analyze how the results will impact the business in the next quarter or the rest of the year.
Attribution tools are powerful components of Marketing Performance Management. Success requires planning, alignment, and a rhythm that makes the tools and process useful to help drive the business.
Are you joining us LIVE for Sales Pipeline Radio, which runs live every other Thursday at 11:30 a.m. Pacific? It’s just 30 minutes long, fast-paced and full of actionable advice, best practices and more for B2B sales & marketing professionals.
We cover a wide range of great B2B and sales & marketing topics, with a focus on sales development and inside sales priorities heading into and throughout the year. We’ll publish similar highlights here for upcoming episodes. You can listen to full recordings of past shows at SalesPipelineRadio.com and subscribe on iTunes.
More from Patrick: I am a growth-driven marketing, sales and business development executive in high technology focused on building high performing teams, building lasting relationships and delivering results. I am also an advisor to innovative start up companies. I run marketing, alliances and channels at Altify. We focus on making the lives of sales people better by delivering great software that help strategic sellers win the deals that matter.
Matt: Thank you everyone for joining us on Sales Pipeline radio, those of you who’s joining us live we are here live every Thursday at 11:30 Pacific, 2:30 Eastern. Thank you for those of us that are always joining us on the Funnel Media Radio Network. For those of you on the podcast, thanks very much for subscribing and listening. You can catch all of our episodes at the iTunes store and Google play. And as always, every episode of Sales Pipeline Radio past, present and future is available at salespiplineradio.com. We every week are featuring some of the best and brightest minds in B2B sales and marketing, today is no different. Very excited to have with us, Patrick Morrissey is the CMO of Altify. A proud graduate of Iowa State University. Go Cyclones. Patrick thanks so much for joining us today.
Patrick: Thanks for having me Matt. Great to be here.
Matt: So I will bypass the questions about Navy competence and Cyclone football. We’ll get right to the B2B marketing side of things. First of all, talk a little bit about what Altify does. For those of you on the show that don’t know what Altify does for B2B sellers.
Patrick: Absolutely. We’re in the business of helping companies build the next generation of sellers. The problem we’re really attacking is, how do you affect the digital sales transformation? And we help companies by doing that in three ways.
Number one. Helping you win the opportunities that matter.
Number two. Helping you drive maximum revenue penetration and build the relationships with the customer that you already have.
And the third piece of the puzzle is all about how do we help you drive process with a combination of methodology, coaching and best practice that’s built right into our applications to drive, not only a disciplined sales process, but continuous improvement across your entire team. So customers for us look like everybody from the who’s who in technology, like Tableau or Sales Force or Auto Desk, to British Telecom and Comcast Business in the com space and Honeywell in manufacturing.
Matt: Speaking today to Patrick Morrissey, he’s CMO at Altify. You know you’re talking about what you’re doing with teams on B2B site. One of the things that I thought really stood out on your profile of LinkedIn is the fact that you focus on building teams. Getting your career leading marketing teams, what are some of the keys you find to building really high performance marketing teams that can deliver results?
Patrick: Yeah. It’s an interesting question because I think everybody comes to the notion of team a little bit differently. But I would say, particularly in marketing that, marketing is fundamentally a team sport. And not just on your team, but the extension of marketing into sales. So, there’s a few different things I would call out in terms of focus on teams that I have found to be successful over time.
One is as a general rule when you’re trying to put together a team, I would have a strong bias for athletes versus experts. Because, the pace of change across every business and across every market is so quick now, that there are a lot of people who may be an expert in a particular sub-discipline, who can’t transfer those skills and can’t help other members of the team. So one, I’d look for athletes not experts and people who can really work to solve the problem.
The second thing, when you’re thinking about marketing is really having an understanding and a focus on learning to try to understand the customer in the market. And a lot of that comes out of my heritage in product marketing, but also I think there’s a lot of bias that people, particularly on the sales sides of this discussion have, that marketing does a lot of hand waving, doesn’t really actually understand what’s going on. And so you need people across the entirety of the team to really be focused on, not just the mission of the company and trying to produce a result, but really understanding the customer in the market.
And then the third thing I would say specifically that helps inform teams, is look for people who have sales DNA. Because more often than not, having lived the life of somebody in sales and you had a great example, Elissa Fink was on with you a couple weeks ago from Tableau. She is a great example that proves the pieces in my mind, which is people who started early in their career or who have had experience in selling, have a lot more empathy for the realities of what it takes to generate an opportunity to get a deal done. But, also what results look like as measured by revenue, and I think all those things are important.
Matt: Great, great answers. And I think having that sales mentality, at least having some level revenue responsibility, I think is really key. What are some of the ways that you can impart that on people that may have been career marketers? That maybe have never carried a bag, having never been doing sales before. That maybe in the past in marketing had been really measured based on activities and volume as opposed to metrics that you can buy a beer with. Is that something that you can train? Is that something that you can … Or is that something you have to look for a certain mentality or mindset from the beginning?
Patrick: Yeah. It’s an interesting question and I would say that a little bit of it is focus, a little bit of it is learned. And some people are just, naturally have that spirit, you’ll get it. And what I mean is that from a learning perspective, the first thing is to level set the conversation particularly in marketing that marketing exists as a revenue generating function. So, I think a lot of these conversations don’t get out of the blocks correctly or are misunderstood, not only in marketing but across the business, because there’s a bias that marketing does stuff and it generates leads and good leads turn into pipeline. And forever after Amen and good luck, and then people go on. The reality is, from a business owner’s perspective, and certainly from the CEO’s perspective, the measurement is earnings and results on a quarterly basis, on a yearly basis. And if you’re public that’s an EPS calculation right?
So, One. The first piece of the puzzle is, understand contribution to revenue to orchestrate all the behaviors in the team across that. The second thing is to really look at spending time with the sales people and with the customers that, some people naturally come with that experience, as we were talking about a second ago. But in fact the best lessons I ever saw in real life to help illustrate this point is, I worked for Dave Kellogg at Business Objects years ago, and he used to send out a survey to the entirety of the sales team and it had two questions on it.
The first question was a laundry list there, a pull down list of every person who was in marketing and the sales people were all asked, “Do you know these people?” And the second question was, the exact same list, “Please identify those people who had actually helped you win a deal?” As you might suspect, by the way I laid that out, obviously that’s going to over bias to more senior people and people in product marketing, putting a technology context in this case, that are out on the street or in the field or in front of customers.
But what it was, was a clear message that if you were doing something that somehow correlated to sales and helping us be successful, then you need to re-think what you’re up to. The second thing was, we’re keeping score on this. Like everything needs to be measured and your activity, so if you’re not doing it now, now’s a good time to go find somebody in sales and figure out how you can help.
Matt: We’re talking to Sales Pipeline radio today is Patrick Morrissey. He’s the CMO of Altify. Before we have to take a quick break here in a couple of minutes here Patrick, just I want to talk a little about differentiation in the sea of what is like, 5500 maybe even more sales and marketing tools out there. And I think everyone’s got a different story and a way to sort of tell their story and differentiate, but in the mind of the buyers, talking about like a B2B, CRO, chief revenue officer, VP of sales, it can all blur together. What are some of the keys to really creating differentiation in a significant sea of competitors?
Patrick: Well, one is the idea is that you need try to look to, I think the high ground for marketers and the high ground for differentiation is looking to create your own category, because different sells and different wins. And you can see that in lots of different examples around the different market spaces. But trying to be as different as possible to carve out your own unique space and the language and the focus that you have is one piece.
The second piece around differentiation is really starting from putting the customer at the center. What does the customer want? What does the customer need? You can decompose any sale cycle down to its root, which is fundamentally people and problems. I need to find somebody who matters, who has some purchasing authority but I really need to understand her role, her needs and her business, her market and really provide some insights to them. Because nobody got up this morning, or most of us didn’t get up this morning, looking for in my case, new technology, new apps. For other people its platforms or it’s industrial solutions or whatever it might be.
But I’m intensely interested with anybody who can come with a new understanding or a new insight to me in terms of what’s in my business, what’s happening with my team or my people. What’s going to help move the needle and give me some insights that are going to help me manage more effectively. And I think one of the common traps around differentiation is it starts from, “Hey we’ve got the newest best thing that’s really going to be awesome and let me tell you.” Because we all get bombarded with these emails, and not only are the emails poorly written but they’ve vomited a bunch of stuff at me that has nothing to do with what I’m thinking about right now and I just hit delete.
Matt: Asking about that, the messages you’re giving are really, really good in terms of how to create some value added insight based message to begin with. But as a CMO of a large technology company, I’m sure you’re the recipient of a lot of these messages and approaches as well. So, independent of the message, are there certain approaches that work better to get a hold of you? Are there certain channels, certain tactics that seem to stand out to earn your attention in advance of having an interesting message?
Patrick: Yeah. I think there’s a couple of things that stand out. One is, sending me some numbers or some case studies. I think the crown jewels of any of these communications to stand out is, show me somebody who looks like me Matt, who’s produced a real world meaningful dollars and cents result and explain to me very crisply in three sentences how you can do that for me. That and I had a vendor, like the best email I’ve seen in the last year. You mentioned Cyclone football at the top of the program, which I’m happy to do a follow up segment on if we ever have time.
I got an email from somebody when I first started, who sent me a clip of a Cyclone football touchdown and said, “Hey well I’d love to talk to you about football.” Which it really interested in his pipeline because he’s probably thinking out of the parking lot before the CEO is asking you specifics about pipeline metrics and here’s how we can help. And I immediately forwarded to my team and said, “Please get this guy on the calendar immediately.”
I’m sad to say the end of the story doesn’t end well, I made a massive purchasing decision, because what they were selling wasn’t as good as his email. But, it was that combination of show me something different, show me something personal and give me something contextually that starts to say how you’re going to help me. That’s the key to the capital.
Matt: Love it. We have to take a quick break here, pay a couple bills. We’ll be right back with more with Patrick Morrissey he’s the CMO of Altify. We’ll be back after quick commercials, you’re talking to Sales Pipeline Radio.
Matt: Thank you Paul. It is very clear after the first half of this episode, we’re going to have to work on the field Expedia unit of Sales Pipeline Radio. We are … I called our studio if you’re listening this week, we got a little compromised audio quality today. We are recording from the home office, the Sales Pipeline Radio’s middle son had eye surgery yesterday, so he’s home recovering today so we are working this from home. But thanks very much everyone for joining us.
Paul: I figured you were out on a ship, that’s what it sounds like because it’s almost like a wavy watery sound so I figured you were out sick.
Matt: That’s so weird. No I’m literally, literally at the kitchen table and it’s pretty quiet here. So I don’t know. I’m going to make sure, if I blame Comcast does that mean I get free wifi? I think they come back and fix it? Did we talk about that?
Paul: I think so. I think so.
Matt: All right. Well, thank you very much for joining us again. Sales Pipeline Radio we got more with Patrick Morrissey, he’s the CMO of Altify. And we’ve been talking a lot about, well just everything from building effective teams to differentiating yourselves on the sales technology side. We talked a little bit, Patrick, about just marketers that are building a mentality of revenue responsibility. How inside of Altify, are you connected with the sales organization? How do you both create strategic alignment with sales, as well as, how do you operationalize that on a day to day basis?
Patrick: It’s a great question Matt, and in my case I spent a fair amount of time, I’m the executive sponsor, on a couple of deals on a couple of account every quarter. So I have some long term relationships, where I’m responsible for the overall relationship, versus the quarterly deal specific things where I’m looking to help. But, as often as possible I’m trying to get out on the deal with the sales teams, and go sit in meetings and go talk to customers, is first and foremost where I think I have the most value. And I find the most value in it and find the most learning is really understanding the day of the life of a sales leader, and instrumentation piece is key.
And one of the things that we allow you to do at Altify, or the way we keep score of it internally, is the notion of an account plan, or a portfolio plan. Which has capabilities that we sell at creative and sales force, which allows not just the front line sales person, but also his manager or the VP etc., to track the overall performance of their portfolio. As well, as do things like assign actions and activities that are really based on account objectives to the marketing team and to myself individually.
So, now we start to get line of sight between, what is marketing doing to help sales sell? And really make it actionable by putting it in an account plan, so we can help create ease, not only to learn the white space to generate some opportunities in that territory. But, everybody can keep score on what are the activities to surround the customer to assist in the ease and to include true selling in a way that’s going to deliver value for our end customers.
Matt: Patrick do you believe that sales people should, excuse me, that marketing folks should have a period of time when they’re on the sales floor? Whether that’s playing an SDR role, or just carrying a bag? Is that something that is valuable or is there alternative ways to sort of build that mentality?
Patrick: Yeah. I think that’s valuable, but that’s not necessarily always practical. And that doesn’t necessarily lie with how some people organize. I think a couple of the hacks that you could start to apply Matt to do that as I’ve seen is.
Number one. Bringing some of those people into individual sales calls even if it’s in listen only mode or web cast, so they can understand the dialogue. They can understand the questions. They get the vibe of what people are seeing day to day. Even better, if they can get on a plane and go sit in a meeting.
The other thing that I’ve seen work really well is for marketing people, particularly to talk, not just to AE’s, but oftentimes where the rubber meets the road is the front lines sales manager. Go find somebody who’s got five, eight, five, six, seven, eight direct reports and really understand what he or she is going through in terms of how do they think about pipeline. How do they bucket their time between coaching the reps versus working out deal strategies, versus thinking about pipeline, versus managing a report. To really try to pick up not just where’s the energy and where are the problems, but also how do they think? How do they prioritize? Which is a leading indicator of mapping to something that’s going to help everybody on the team be more successful.
Matt: So many different directions we can take this conversation. Now we’ve only got a few more minutes here before we’re going to run out of time, but curious how all this plays with the idea of customer lifetime value once you’ve got that customer on board that’s great. But it’s maybe the end of the sales funnel, but it’s kind of the middle of revenue customer lifetime value bow tie if you will. How do you manage both sides and how do you balance the need to continue to fill the boat with new logos while also really putting a strategic focus on keeping people happy and satisfied and paying for as long as possible?
Patrick: There’s multiple cuts to that question, I’d say a couple different things. One is being really deep on the idea of who is the customer, not just from a logo or for all the excitement around account based marketing. It’s really people based marketing. When you get underneath the details about how do you upsell a customer, it’s not just doing a first transaction, but it’s also looking at, “Okay. Who else is on the team that were involved with this? What other problems are we helping to solve?” Are we really robust and coming back to them as a team not just the AE.
Because the problem, particularly in technology is they hand off things to the CSM, and it’s never seen again and then when the expectations aren’t met there’s a lot of aggravation that gets in the way of the upsell. And so from the front end, from a sales point of view, this is the start of a relationship that should be expected to be long term otherwise, why are you wasting valuable marketing dollars and cycles going after these people in the first place.
And on the back half is, what is the plan to drive the customer success and to make sure that the service is as good as the sale? And that both sides have the ability to keep score on that, so that we can look at the next deal and the next deal and the next deal. And we consistently see in our most successful customers that the ones, if you think about some of the names I mentioned at the top, whether you’re in the telecom business, or you’re in the technology business or you’re in the manufacturing business. The more the deeper you understand the customer and can proactively provide insight, the more change you have to drive the up sell.
And you have a lot less friction on the upsell than you have trying to get the initial deals to begin with. So, anybody who’s not thinking about a long term relationship is really having the wrong kind of pipeline conversation to begin with.
Matt: Yeah. I would agree with that. Just a couple more minutes here with Patrick Morrissey, the CMO of Altify. Let’s talk a little bit about the need for agility. We got best laid plans you create at the beginning of the year, were here recording this almost the midpoint of 2018 and best laid plans often don’t survive first contact with the battlefield. Best laid plans Paul, to have this high quality audio situation here doesn’t always work, so you find me squeaky I figure, and sometimes you just power through, but also there’s a level of adjustments along the way. What do you guys do internally to make sure you are keeping your eye on the end goal, but making adjustments as you actually see what’s working and what’s not?
Patrick: Great question. And there’s a couple of different things from a sales and a go to market perspective, the marketing team on our side is spending time with the account teams while they’re doing their account plans. And really looking at what are the set of behaviors down to the individual AE or the individual account activity? Some of those maybe more top of the funnel just awareness. We’re trying to expand our surface area in the account from a programs plan, versus the other side of this which is, folks on my team who are directly interacting with customers or we’re doing things like custom customer videos and code ramming some of our sales content and our best practices around opportunities of account management with our clients.
And actually than helping support their mid-year SKO or mid KO efforts. So that they don’t have to have the homework, they don’t have the extra cycles and they’re getting some value add from the vendor. And those are the sorts of things to the point you were … The question you were just..
Forever, competitive intelligence has been manual, time-consuming to do comprehensively, and inherently just a snapshot in time of what’s happening.
Of course, your competitors are likely evolving as quickly as you are, so that competitive intelligence project you completed last month is already out of date.
Crayon makes competitive intelligence seamless, instant and ongoing. You get to customize the content you’re tracking, when and how to get alerts, with lots of actionable insights to ensure your company, brand or product can differentiate, stand out and succeed.
There’s a slick paid version but the free version is a great place to start.
I called Mike Volpe this week to talk about sales and marketing alignment, but we talked first about competition.
Mike is chief marketing officer at Cybereason and speaking next week at the Zoominfo Growth Acceleration Summit. Like many industries, cybersecurity is red-hot and highly competitive. Incumbents, newcomers, wannabees – all trying to get a finite number of prospects to pay attention.
I asked Mike to talk about how they differentiate and stay above the competitive noise. Here’s what they’re doing (with lessons and implications for all of us):
Differentiate on brand image: Marketers who focus primarily (or exclusively) on measurable marketing ROI might miss this opportunity, by Cybereason leverages image, trade show booth presence and other channels/opportunities to bring their brand to life. “Words are easy,” Mike said. “How we say them and what the visuals are, the embodiment of the brand, we focus on that. It matters.”
Happy customers generate positive word-of-mouth: Anytime a market is crowded and it’s hard for buyers to understand where to turn, they shut down and often tune everything out except for what they hear from their peers. “We build up advocates and use them for introductions, reference calls, video case studies and more,” Mike said.
Focus on customer needs, not competitor claims: This can be easier said than done, and difficult particularly when competitors do something noisy, flashy or newsworthy. “We have to remind people that we’re not here to focus on the competition,” Mike said. “If we obsess with them, we’re not going to make an impact. We want to be aware of what they’re doing but don’t let it dictate our day to day plans.”
We got around to sales and marketing alignment as well. More on that part of the conversation next week.
“How I Work” is one of my favorite recurring features in Inc Magazine as well as via Lifehacker’s This Is How I Work Series.
We regularly feature our own B2B sales, marketing or business leader here answering “How I Work” questions. You can catch up on everyone we’ve featured thus far in the “How I Work” series here.
This week I’m very excited to feature Kathy Mammon, Senior Director of Demand Generation and Marketing Operations at Splash. Kathy has run demand generation for companies such as LivePerson, Lattice Engines, Magnetic and Newscred. She’s a Marketo Certified Expert, loves cooking and has been voted best laugh (though she won’t provide documentation or evidence).
Here, in her own words, is how she gets stuff done.
Location: NYC (Splash office) and Denville, NJ (home office)
Number of unread emails right now? 333 – I normally am really on top of this and typically have no more than 30 unread emails at a time, but with a vacation and GDPR deadlines in the past two weeks I am a bit behind!
First app checked in the morning? It’s going to be one of three – 1) NJ Transit app for my train ticket into NYC 2) Pinterest – I know, a weird one; I work out in the mornings and love to pin workouts I can do at home (and then actually do them or 3) Email or Text Messages to catch up on anything I missed while sleeping
First thing you do when you come into work? Go through emails, clear out what I don’t need and answer immediately the ones that can be answered in 1-2 minutes. On Monday mornings I spend the first hour planning out my week in Google docs. Top 3 priorities go on the top of the sheet, then I break out into sections the different focus areas, and highlight in yellow the items I need to action most urgently or are the ones I am most likely to forget to do.
What is your email management strategy? Emails from my manager and the rest of the executive team get priority first. I use various folders in my inbox to help provide structure. One of the things I find most helpful to manage my email is to not check email while I’m in a meeting, forcing me to say present in that meeting and not let my mind wander back to my inbox. Keeping email time and meeting time clearly delineated makes responding to email feel less chaotic or sporadic, and helps to provide structure.
Most essential app when traveling? Google Maps – I’d be lost without it
How do you keep yourself calm and/or focused? To stay calm in emotional situations, I have a solid “sleep on it” rule. If I receive an email or have a conversation with someone where I find myself getting frustrated, I refuse to respond in the moment (emotionally) and I commit to giving myself the night to sleep on it, and with fresh eyes and perspective I can respond the next day, usually without that knee-jerk reaction we all get. For staying focused, I tend to throw earbuds in my ears to drown out outside noise, even if there’s nothing playing in my ear.
What’s your perspective or approach to work/life balance? I am a mom of two young boys, and I make a conscious decision every day to compartmentalize work life and home life. With kids in daycare, you are basically forced to shut down and log off because daycare closes at 6pm. Work takes up so much of our week day lives, and I only get a few precious hours with my kids during the week, and some days I don’t see them at all. When they are with me, that’s their time and I refuse to take that away from them. And when I’m at work, I’m hyper focused on work because let’s be honest, there’s never enough time to get everything done. Compartmentalizing these two pieces of my life I think are critical to my success. Nap time becomes especially important on the weekends to knock out any work hanging over my head.
Are there any work rituals critical to your success? I habitually block off time on my calendar to get specific work done. When it’s on my calendar I treat it like a meeting, and changing that mindset from “I can get it done any time” to “I only have time to get this done right now” forces me tackle big and small projects throughout my week. My personality is also one where I don’t like to miss or be late for meetings, so this works well for me.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? Marketo and BrightFunnel
What’s your workspace like? Super organized. Both my desk atwork and at home have my laptop, monitor, notepad and pics of my family, and some awards I’ve won.
What’s your best time-saving shortcut or lifehack? I’m going very old school here but my lifehack is getting up early and getting into the office early to start the day. When I’m running late to work or get into the office after my co-workers I spend the entire day feeling like I’m catching up, and I hate that feeling.
What are you currently reading? Devil in the White City by Erik Larson.
Last thing you do before leaving work? Say good-bye to my team. This simple acknowledgement opens up any last minute conversations we need to have before I leave the office.
Who are some mentors or influencers you wish to thank or acknowledge?
Scott Buckley, who was one of the first managers in my career and back in 2006 had the foresight to say to me, “I think this marketing automation thing is going to be a good thing for us, and I want you to lead on implementing Marketo and managing the tool for the company.” That one decision steered my career path to where it’s grown today, and I believe I have gotten every single job I’ve had because of my specialization in marketing automation since the very beginning.
Jamie Lemle, formerly VP of Marketing at Magnetic (now at TVSquared), who was always super supportive yet pushed me to think bigger and be better.
Jeff Soriano, Group VP of Marketing at GlobalEdit, who I knew I had to meet because when you searched for my name on LinkedIn and you saw the sidebar of who else people looked at when searching, Jeff’s name would show up, for years! Turns out we have hundreds of connections in common, and we’re the male/female version of each other in so many ways. He’s also become a great mentor and friend!
Name some supportive people who help make it possible to do what you do best? Hands down, my husband. With 4 hours on the train when I commute into the city, he holds it all down, including getting the kids up the morning, getting them off to school and daycare, getting them in the afternoon, making dinner for us and them, bath and bedtime. And somehow he manages to also have a drink waiting for me when I get home. He is 100% supportive of my career, and couldn’t imagine doing it all without him.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? “Not everyone is going to like you. And that’s okay.” It sounds so simple when I write it, but maybe it’s being a female raised to make friends, not waves, and be kind to everyone, it was a hard lesson to learn. I think it’s especially true in business. Not everyone is going to like you and you need to get comfortable with that and move on.
Name a guilty pleasure TV show The Bachelor.
Anything else you want to add? Most recent advice I received that struck a chord with me: “Hold other people to the same standards you hold yourself.” I think this is great management advice as we all learn how to grow and work well with other people, and how to manage expectations and feedback with team members.
Fill in the Blank: I’d love to see BLANK answer these questions. I’d love to see Jeff Soriano answer these questions.
Asking what marketing costs is the wrong question. Asking instead what it is worth provides a much better answer.
Many marketers are focused on the most volume at the lowest possible cost. How do we get our cost per lead lower? How much traffic can we generate while spending less? It sounds efficient but often it’s actually counterproductive.
Is $20 bucks per direct mail piece too much? That’s a question asked entirely out of context. Would you be willing to spend $200 dollars to get a Fortune 1000 CIO’s attention?
“That marketing piece is too expensive” misses the point. What’s the end-result worth to you? When you ask how much marketing costs (vs asking what it is worth) you’re perpetuating the idea that marketing is a cost center.
When you measure marketing’s impact based on revenue results vs superficial volume-based tactics, you open up a ton of creative new opportunities to directly create that impact.
Another Sales Pipeline Radio, for you. It runs LIVE every Thursday at 11:30 a.m. Pacific. It’s just 30 minutes long, fast-paced and full of actionable advice, best practices and more for B2B sales & marketing professionals.
We’ve already featured some great guests and have a line up of awesome content and special guests coming up.
We cover a wide range of topics, with a focus on sales development and inside sales priorities heading into and throughout the year. We’ll publish similar highlights here for upcoming episodes. You can listen to full recordings of past shows at SalesPipelineRadio.com and subscribe on iTunes.
In this episode, our fearless producer, Paul Roberts and I talk about B2B Pet Peeves. We have a lot of fun. What are your B2B Pet Peeves?
Paul: Welcome aboard. It’s time, once again, to grab your board and ride out into the sea of ideas. There’s one of them starting to curl up right over the horizon there. It looks like a sales pipeline, that master surfer there himself, Matt Heinz.
Matt: How’s it going, Paul?
Paul: Okay. I don’t know where I came up with this surfer image. I live in California. Sales pipeline seemed like the surf pipeline that I see every day at the beach. Does it have that kind of curling, ever changing appearance to it here?
Matt: Sure. Honestly, it’s funny, we’re like, what, 120 plus episodes into Sales Pipeline Radio? It never really … I think today or last … It was kind of the first time where, like, “Huh.” Like, Sales Pipeline, surf pipeline. I guess that makes sense. You’re in Southern California. The imagery is good. It’s kind of fun to play with. It gives us something fun to talk about at the beginning of the show.
Matt: I’m all for it. I love the creative license. You could go wherever you want with this. If you want to change gears at any point, just knock yourself out.
Paul: The thing I, and maybe we can talk about it today but, the thing that I always picture is a sales pipeline. All the images I see, it’s like a fixed pipeline. It’s a funnel, as everybody says. Is it just that? Where it gathers everybody together and narrows down to a little stream or is it a vortex? Is it an ever-changing size and shape to it? That’s the way I picture the pipeline out here, off the coast of California. The wave appears and you ride it a little while. Then it disappears, and you’ve got to wait until another wave builds up. I don’t know. Is it a continuous thing? Is it a fixed pipeline? Or is it an ever-changing shape?
Matt: Honestly, it’s an important topic, because the pipeline assumes that you’ve got a bunch of prospects, and a percent of them are going to become actual sales opportunities, and a percent of those are actually going to buy. Mathematically, and maybe chronologically, that’s true but if you ask an individual prospect: A. they don’t think of themselves as a number in a pipeline; B. they don’t necessarily go just from left to right or top to bottom, if you’re doing a gravity-based pipeline. The end of the pipeline is really the middle of, what I would call “the revenue bow-tie,” right? If you are beginning a new relationship with a prospect or if you are beginning a new relationship with a customer, whether you’re a SAS business, or just trying to sell them more stuff ongoing, that initial sale is inconsequential compared to the lifetime value you’re going to hopefully create from that prospect. Maybe inconsequential is the wrong word. I don’t want to minimize the importance and the difficulty of-
Paul: But it’s not once and done. The typical picture I see on every funnel graph or every funnel infographic is just like the kind of funnel I use to put oil into my car here. It’s a funnel. It’s a wide lip and then it narrows down to a little drip. It catches all of this stuff and forces it down into this one stream of stuff going somewhere. But once it’s got there, what image do I use for that second sale, which may or may not come right away? Or the third sale? Or the continuous sales? Or the even bigger sale or the little sale? That’s why I like this pipeline image of the surf pipeline, because it appears and disappears.
Matt: It appears and disappears, and it never ends.
Paul: It never ends. Right, exactly.
Matt: If you’re doing a good job selling something to someone and they commit to it, just because they become a customer doesn’t mean you’re done selling. As a company, you have to continue to reinforce why someone should want to continue to work with you. Like surf, like gardening. You’re never done gardening. The surf never stops, it just keeps coming-
Paul: You’re always tilling this soil. There’s another wave and another wave and another. Each wave is a little bit bigger or a little bit smaller, has different opportunities. You have to judge that wave. How are you going to ride it?
Matt: Some days, you’re better at surfing than others. Some days the actual surf itself is more conducive to great surfing. Sometimes the weather conditions, and overall conditions make for great gardening.
Paul: Little choppy.
Matt: Some days, you suck at selling. Some days your marketing just doesn’t work. It happens to everybody, right? I think, you know, you get up the next day. You get back in the garden. You get back in the water. You get back on the phones. You get back in the market and you keep trying.
Paul: We talked about pet peeves, that maybe this show is about pet peeves. One of mine is this idea of a fixed pipeline, that once I build it, stuff just continues to flow at a continual rate and produces results at a predictable percentage. I get so many in, I get so many out. It’s a machine. I don’t know that it works like that. I know that’s everybody’s goal, but does it really work like that? Or is it more fluid and more changing?
Matt: Yes and no. It’s a good topic. Thank you. We kind of went down the pigeon hole of the pipeline, but it’s a good way to introduce today’s theme on our show. We had a guest, we’re still trying to get ahold of him, but we may just have to reschedule him if he wasn’t able to join us. I’m excited. I definitely want to get him and his topic and what he can offer to the show.
Today we’re going to talk about B2B pet peeves. Certainly, the paint-by-numbers method of managing sales that I think a lot of companies want. There have been books written about a predictable, repeatable, scalable engine of growth. A lot of venture capitalists have read those books and have then told their early stage companies, “If you just hire enough sales people and make enough phone calls, the math works out.” You have to start somewhere, so you start with the math and you start with the plan, but sales is never that easy. One of my pet peeves is someone who has never done sales, and never managed a pipeline, and never even carried a number say, “I read a book. Therefore, this is the way that we’re going to sell,” right? I think that: A. books are great and books are important, but I think you’ve got to try new things. If everybody in the world just follows that book, then all of a sudden it becomes a little tough.
Paul: I just think we have this notion that a pipeline, and that’s the only thing I object to the whole … I know your show is Sales Pipeline and it’s all about pipelines. I think we have to have a different definition of what a pipeline is. I don’t think it becomes just, “If I need more results, then I just got to get more leads.” Well, no. Maybe you’ve got to get better leads. Or maybe you’ve got to get better at converting the leads. Or maybe getting more leads from outside your sales pipeline is not the point. Maybe it’s to get more sales out of what you’ve already got and the establishments you’ve got. This idea of just go gather more, and pour it into the top of the funnel, and more will come out, is, I think, an oversimplification.
Matt: I would agree with you. What I’ve found valuable about the concept of the pipeline … We call this show Sales Pipeline Radio. I continue to use pipeline as a metaphor. I have custom-made note pads that I use to take notes at meetings that has a funnel literally printed on every note. If you go to our website, you’ll see that our logo includes a fancy looking pipeline. By the way, if you look at that out of context, like, I’ve got a Heinz Marketing sweatshirt that has that logo on it. I’ll wear it traveling sometimes. Literally, I will have people come up and they see “Heinz Marketing,” they think, “ketchup.” The logo is, basically, kind of a squiggle of a pipeline. If you think it’s ketchup, it looks like just a squiggle of ketchup.
So people say, “Oh, that’s a cool ketchup. I didn’t know Heinz was changing their logo.” I’m like, “Well, they didn’t and it’s … Oh never mind.” The pipeline, I still think, is valuable as a starting point. I think you’re absolutely correct if you assume you’re just going to throw a bunch of content in the top, you’re just going to throw a bunch of visitors, or a bunch of web traffic in the top, and then just naturally they’re going to convert into the right prospect.
Paul: Or just going to filter down.
Matt: A. That’s incorrect. B. if you assume that you have to start at the very top, you have to start with this massive amount of traffic to get to where you want, that’s not correct either.
Paul: Right, right. Again, I’m throwing out my other analogy here, maybe it’s more like the surfing pipeline. You get into the pipeline, it appears, and there’s a momentary opportunity there, and you flow through it as quickly and as well as you can, and then you have to go catch another wave, or you have to go wait for another pipeline to open up and develop. Each one is a little different depending on the tide, depending on the time of day, and depending on the conditions surrounding you. How about that?
Matt: One of my other pet peeves, related to that, is, I think, what I’ve often called, “the marketing of more.” I think a lot of marketers, even today, are enamored with big numbers. We want more traffic, more clicks, more leads. More sounds better. It sounds better, it looks better if you put that on a chart and put more in front of your board, in front of your leadership team, those up-and-to-the-right charts that look great. More sounds great, but, honestly, in many cases more can be counterproductive. You don’t need a thousand good leads; you need maybe 10 great ones.
You don’t need all the people, all the people at top of the funnel. You need the opportunities. The opportunities may come from a more finite campaign. It may come from doing less, but doing it in front of the right people. Just this year, we’ve done work with clients that clearly have that marketing-of-more mentality. We start talking about, “Hey listen, let’s do smaller campaigns. Let’s do more direct campaigns. Let’s focus on, instead of 100 prospects, let’s focus on the 22 that actually show some interest, that have some characteristics or attributes that we think we can actually sell.” So we get a higher conversion rate and a more efficient set of marketing and they’re like, “Yeah, but our numbers are so small. It just doesn’t look good.”
Paul: “It doesn’t look good,” come on!
Matt: I’m like, “What do you mean it doesn’t look … Do you really want more traffic?” Literally, I mean. So now, the problem with the pet peeve episode here, of course, Paul. You get me on a rant and I won’t stop.
Paul: We won’t stop!
Matt: I’m a judge for the Content Marketing Awards for the content marketing world here in September. Yesterday, I’m going through my categories, and one of my categories is, I’m judging multi-author blogs. People submit their blog, and they do a write-up that says, “Okay, here’s what we’re really excited about. Here’s our results,” right? In the results section, the vast majority of people, when they talk about results, it’s, “Well, here’s how much traffic we got,” and, “Here’s how traffic we got.”
Paul: And mine’s bigger than yours.
Matt: Yeah, exactly! That’s exactly what it is. It’s just showing how much volume we’ve got. It may be dentists South Carolina that are visiting your SAS enterprise software blog, and they count in those numbers, I guess. Maybe I’m just a hammer and everything looks like a nail, but I’m reading all these submissions and I’m saying, “Wow, you did a great job getting traffic to your blog. You did a great job using social to increase pass-along and engagement. But you can’t buy a beer with any of those metrics.”
Paul: And they looked at you shocked and, “Well, but I thought that’s what I was supposed to do. You’re supposed to reward me and say ‘atta-boy.’ Look how much traffic I drove. Look how many-”
Matt: We’ve always done that as marketers, too. I think, as leaders of marketers and of organizations that are managing and hiring and evaluating marketers, we like more. CEOs like up-and-to-the-right. They like seeing more traffic. The boards are used to thinking that marketing isn’t responsible for a number, not responsible for the sales number. They’re responsible for the marketing metrics. More marketing metrics feels better.
Paul: Yean, right. We’ve got to do what feels right to me right now, which is run a commercial and stop you, because you’re just going to go off. We’ve got to break this up for a second here.
Matt: Okay, we’ll take a quick break. We’ve got to pay some bills. Thank you for joining us today, special episode: Pet Peeves. We’ll be right back on Sales Pipeline Radio.
Matt: All right, thank you everyone for joining us on a special episode of Sales Pipeline Radio. We had a last minute cancellation with guest. No big deal. We’ve got lots of stuff to talk about here. We decided to call today’s episode “Our B2B Pet Peeves.” Literally, Paul, as I look at the list of things I put down as our pet peeves, I’ve got six things; we’ve covered one. We’re going to run out of time for sure on this.
Paul: We’re going to run out, yeah.
Matt: I think if we would have planned this out in advance and encouraged people to call in, this probably would have been a very popular topic.
Paul: Maybe we conceive a future show here this way. We give them an address or an e-mail or someplace, if they have a pet peeve that they want to voice or air or have us or you talk about, where would they send that?
Matt: You could send that straight to me. You could just send it to Matt@HeinzMarketing.com. Just send me your pet peeve and let me know what bothers you about B2B sales marketing. Not a bad idea, Paul, to maybe make the pet peeve of the week. Have a regular feature here on Sales Pipeline Radio. I like our format of bringing on some really great guests, and really asking them hard questions, and having a great conversation. Boy, a pet peeve of the week would be a lot of fun.
Paul: My pet peeve of the week is that too often we think, you’ve said one of them, that more is better. My pet peeve is why is the new customer more valuable than the existing customer? Here’s what I mean by that: we spend so much time chasing the new that we sometimes overlook what we’ve already got, and take it for granted, I think.
Matt: I think you’re right. I think at a lot of companies … Look, if you’re early stage and you don’t have a lot of customers, by definition you have to go acquire clearly. I think it is significantly more profitable for you to work on keeping your existing customers than going after new customers.
Paul: It’s sure easier.
Matt: If you want to grow, if you want more market share, then clearly you’ve got to go get new customers, but a lot of companies put so much effort into that and leave a random e-mail newsletter and toll-free number for their customers and wonder why their churn rates suck. I think you do have to put a little more effort into that. I think it’s a challenge. I think marketers often see that there is an account management organization and say, “Well, I don’t own the customers’ success number, but I have been told I have to generate pipeline. I’ve been told I need to generate new customers,” and assume, you know what they say about assuming, assume that when you put that content out there that a customer is going to see it too. Customers will go to our blog too. But I think there is a different angle you want to take and a different approach and a different strategy you want to use for those existing customers.
Paul: My late father was, at one time, the head of customer relations for Chrysler Corporation. Big job. Even back then, this was back in the 70s, this is a million years ago, he complained he could see what was happening, where customer relations was getting cut back while marketing was growing. Meaning, it was less important to keep the current customers happy than it was to go find a new customer. That was not the world he grew up in. Their world was if you captured a customer early enough, for Mobil gas, for Chrysler cars, for whatever, they’d stick with you for life. The assumption started to be, “They’re going to change anyway, so we better just be looking all the time.”
Matt: Yeah, boy. Some of this is easier said than done for companies. I think that when we talk about marketers and the marketing of more and trying to adjust the objectives that you have to revenue-centric metrics. If you’re a CMO listening to this, and can sort of come out of this Podcast, and you can say, “Listen, I’m going to start focusing on better metrics.” It’s not that easy. You’ve got a board that’s used to seeing up-and-to-the-right. You’ve got a leadership team that’s used to seeing a certain set of metrics from you. You, at least, have to have a conversation to transition them to think about that. Then you’ve got a bunch of marketers on your team that are used to prioritizing more, they’re used to buying the most leads at the lowest possible price.
If you now come to them and say, “I don’t care about how much it costs, I want to know how much it’s worth.” If I now say that there are certain leads that I’m willing to spend 5x to acquire, versus what I’d been doing before because I know that they’re the right customer, that if I can get to them more directly, more efficiently, I’d do that. That sounds great, but you’ve just entirely changed some digital marketing manager’s job. They may very well be afraid of what you just put in front of them. They may very well be worried about their job security.
Paul: Let me ask you another question, and I’ll continue on my pet peeves. With the assumption you have already got a certain base of business there, and you take this for granted, “Great. I got that. Now I’m going to double it by finding new people,” rather than trying to get more business out of your existing customer base or even holding on to that business. If that assumption is true on my part, and I think it is true for a lot of companies, the new is better than the old. How do you market to the old? I don’t see much stuff aimed at me, as a current customer. I see a lot of stuff aimed at me to attract me to be a new customer.
Paul: I’m just thinking out loud. I don’t see a lot of campaigns that say, “Thank you for banking with us for 10 years. Here’s more stuff we would love to talk to you about.” They try and do that sometimes in the bank live when you’re standing , but I get more and more enticements to join the new bank than I do from my existing bank to stay there.
Matt: I would agree. I think we take for granted some of the customers we have. That’s not true all across the board. I think what a lot of companies say is, “We need to go do something. Let’s send them something. Send them an appreciation gift,” right? Or, “You know what, we haven’t been doing enough for our customers. Let’s do a barbecue next Friday and invite all our customers to the barbecue.” That was fine, but there’s a difference between having customer appreciation and customer retention be part of your DNA, be part of what you do every day versus doing random acts of customer appreciation. Like saying, “Hey, let’s send everybody a coffee mug,” or “Let’s do a barbecue next Friday.”
Paul: Exactly. I’ll give you another example, real quickly. We had somebody on another show talking about how you’re coming in and selling them some widget or something, and they know that you make this, but you don’t know and they don’t know that you also make another widget. They think of you just as widget A and not as widget B. They don’t think of you. They’re out looking for somebody to solve some new need, and they didn’t know you can do that nor did you know they’re looking for it.
Matt: It’s a challenge. It’s not just in the communications. Sometimes it’s in the way that we brand ourselves, it’s in the way that we talk about what we have. Look, I think about this topic at least once a year. That once a year is usually the week of Thanksgiving, when all of a sudden my inbox is full of companies that tell me how much they’re thankful for me. Then I don’t hear from them again until the following Thanksgiving, when they will come back and tell me again that they … You know what’s happening, right? Someone comes in Monday morning and says, “We should do something for Thanksgiving this week. We should thank our customers for being customers,” right? If I only hear from you once a year during that week, how actual thankful are you? Being thankful is not a campaign. It is not an e-mail...
Taking over the app of the week this week featuring Rover! Rover is a great app for both pet owners and pet lovers looking to make a little extra money, like me. I have been using for about 8 months now as a dog sitter where I will go and stay at someone’s home while watching their pet, in most cases dogs.
It’s a great alternative to boarding your dog while you are out of town and your pet gets to stay within the own comfort of their home. The app makes it very easy to search for available sitters within your area and each sitter has a detailed profile, reviews, and are required to get a background check prior to being approved.
I don’t have a pet of mine own but have heard from pet owners that it makes their lives easier, they worry about their pets less, and they don’t have to stress about making sure their dog is going out enough during the day.
My favorite feature about Rover is that they encourage you to set up a ‘Meet and Greet’ once a pet owner has sent an inquiry. It’s not required, and I don’t know about you, but I want to meet the people/dog and see where I’ll be staying ahead of time. After the ‘Meet and Greet’ either side has the chance to book and/or decline.
In my experiences, all have been positive, if you have a pet or are looking to spend some time with animals and make a little cash, check it out! Shameless plug: here’s a promo code for $20 off (BRENNL29804) your first book and if you are ever looking for a sitter in the Seattle area, I’m available.