SBI Podcast

Our guest on SBI TV is Dan Levinschi, the Head of Marketing for PandaDoc. Dan is a revenue generating marketer who knows how to quickly transition from marketing strategy to execution.

Dan and I discuss how to move from marketing strategy to execution. Dan describes his process for developing a marketing strategy, and how he interlocks the company’s corporate strategy, product strategy, and sales strategy with his own. Dan also shares his rollout strategy and how he presents it to the marketing team to ensure that each person understands the overall strategy, their role, and how their execution fits into the overall strategy.

To follow along, leverage SBI’s How to Make Your Number in 2018 PDF Workbook and turn to the Marketing Strategy section starting on pages 236. To download the full transcript in a word document, click here

In today’s captivating show, Dan shares his method for transitioning from the planning phase to the execution phase of the marketing strategy, specifically how to ensure that the right KPI’s closed loop reporting is built into each new activity. Turn to the 13-minute mark of the video to watch Dan discuss how a marketing leader validates that progress is being made on major initiatives without micromanaging the team.

Matt and Dan discuss how precisely Dan makes this happen at PandaDoc: 

“It is very important for me personally knowing what everyone on the team is doing without being too invasive. The number one thing that you need to have is  a playbook for how your department functions. If people don’t understand how your department functions, it doesn’t matter whether they’re on your team or on a separate department, you’ll always run into the problem of people not knowing what you do essentially. You also have to build an internal Wiki page with all things marketing, just for internal for the company. Then you need to have a project management system in place. If you’re a startup on a budget, you can use something like Trello. Another thing you have to focus on are the core problems and helping your team to understand the impact of their work. Some people just go to work for a paycheck and do the minimum necessary. If they understand very well what the impact on the work is, they’ll be more motivated to work diligently. I find that when people are motivated they don’t need strict management, you can give them a lot of responsibilities and freedom and they’ll spend their time on the right things. 

Dan Levinschi shares his advice on encouraging the marketing team while also instilling the team with a sense of accountability.  

“The way we normally work is to hold open forums. I think that the best ideas are born when you have a number of viewpoints in the same room. What we do is, whenever there’s an argument about whether we should continue a project or not, the results are not there, the real question I’m asking is: “What is the immediate impact on business short term and long term?” If the impact is minimal, which you can generally quantify through specific metrics, it all comes down to revenue. Then it’s a simple argument for me to win. For example, if the impact is short term but in long term this doesn’t make any sense, maybe we should kill the project and reiterate. To summarize, I’m a performance marketer, so I believe in numbers. If you cannot prove it to me in numbers, then the argument generally ends.” 

Having a solid strategy in place sets a company and a department up for success. Understanding and utilizing marketing metrics in your strategic process can make the difference between success and failure. Skip to the 20-minute mark of the video to watch Dan describes how he establishes accountability with his marketing team, how he manages individual contributors, how he reports progress to the CEO, and how he measures the success of his team’s strategy. 

Direct download: AP1780_Dan_Levinschi-18981.mp3
Category:Marketing Strategy -- posted at: 10:05pm EST

Joining us for today’s show is Hassane El-Khoury, the CEO of Cypress, the leader of the semiconductor industry. Hassane’s mission is to establish Cypress as the global supplier of choice for innovative companies in high-growth markets. Cypress is leading the industry in growth after making the shift from commodity products to high value sales efforts. This has made it possible to focus on the  higher value offerings in the Cypress product portfolio.

Today we are going to demonstrate how to define which markets you will, and will not, compete in.  

Why is this an important topic? Being in fast-growing markets is the largest driver of revenue growth. Least important is market share growth. Yet, many executive teams tend to focus most of their attention on gaining share in their existing markets. While it is necessary to maintain, and sometimes increase, market share, changing your company’s exposure to growing and shrinking market segments should be a major focus. 

The first segment will seek to answer the question: How have you prioritized high-growth markets?   Hassane provides an overview to validate the claim that exposing your company to rapidly developing markets is the easiest way of growing with the highest probability of success.

In the second segment, Hassane outlines what traditional routes to market exist in his addressable markets, as well as innovative routes that disrupt those markets and his company’s competitors. Hassane also covers which channels he uses to target buyers, for each market segment (direct field sales, inside sales, global account management, key account management, VAR, systems integrator, e-commerce, phone, etc.). 

The final segment of the show describes the different areas market growth can come from, such as  market expansion or taking share from your competitors. Hassane goes on to describe the current demand drivers of his company’s addressable markets.

 

Direct download: AP1748_Hassane_El_Khoury_18791_Final_Mix.mp3
Category:Corporate Strategy -- posted at: 5:06pm EST

Our guest on SBI TV is Ryan Leavitt, the Chief Revenue Officer for LearnCore. Ryan is a serial entrepreneur who knows how to drive revenue growth which is the lifeblood of an emerging business. I can’t think of a better guest than Ryan to share best practices in sales prospecting to fill the funnel.

Ryan and I discuss how to fill the funnel with real sales opportunities. Ryan shares his knowledge of lead production, specifically what percent of leads marketing produces versus what the sales team needs to produce on their own. And how prospecting and technology platforms are used to support prospecting efforts and produce sales leads.

This is a fascinating show where Ryan shares his prospecting methodology, lead cycle length, and his lead-to-opportunity conversion rate, in comparison to his competitors. Turn to the 11-minute mark of the video to watch how Ryan helps his sellers facilitate buyer investigation of their problems early in their purchasing process.

Matt and Ryan discuss how precisely Mike’s team makes this happen at LearnCore:

“Prospecting is all about discipline and setting goals. Your prospecting methodology won't matter if the team doesn’t put in the effort. It’ s a volume game, in which discipline is required for success. The biggest challenge of prospecting is finding the people that are going to put in that effort and are going to focus on it and be disciplined about it. What we do to find potential buyers early in the buying process on an outbound effort, is to look at queues that are common with our current clients and opportunities. And so, whether that's industries, whether that's shifting roles, whether that's mergers and acquisitions, or new product launches, those are all great ways to find the right buyers. The key question you need to answer is, “How are you going to get your 2,000 sales reps across the world to communicate the same message?”

Ryan Leavitt shares his advice on thinking through marketing productivity from the view of a Chief Revenue Officer:

“So, we try to look at productivity on a granular level. Sales cycle metrics are much more important when we start to dig into the industry, the lead source, and the size of decline in general. Because the sales cycles for inbound deals are going to be much shorter than the sales cycles for outbound bills. There's a reason that a potential buyer is searching there. They're educated and they're in a buying process. We need to make sure that our data is apples to apples. So, yes, sales cycle is very important, but we can't compare the sale cycle of a 500-person inbound company to a 500-person outbound company, or a 200-person company compared to a 20,000-person company. They're drastically different, but they came from the exact same lead source. So, we break it down into industry and company size, and from there we could start to optimize and look at the full picture. We look at lead conversion rates, opportunity conversion rates, sales cycle, average deal size, etc. After a period of time, we look at the success of the clients and bring it all the way back to how they came into the funnel to begin with.” 

Marketing is going to contribute ~30% of the pipeline, which means sales needs to generate ~70% of the sales opportunities. Pipeline per rep varies too much without a standard prospecting process used by all. Lead quality and lead-to-opportunity conversion rates suffer when prospecting is left up to each individual sales rep. Skip to the 24-minute mark of the video to watch Ryan describe what competencies he looks for in a new sales rep candidate, and how he gets the new sales reps from day one to full productivity.

Direct download: AP1756_Ryan_Leavitt-18863.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 11:39pm EST

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