The Sales Hacker Podcast
The Sales Hacker Podcast

Episode · 4 years ago

15. The Art and Science of Pipeline Generation w/ Jeff Reekers

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Jeff Reekers, VP of Marketing, Aircall, talks about creating and executing lead generation marketing campaigns on E15 of the Sales Hacker podcast. Tune in now!

One, two, one, three, Poe. Hey everybody, welcome to this sales hacker podcast. It's your host, Sam Jacobs. We've got an incredible episode upcoming. Today we're interviewing the VP of marketing from Air Call, Jeff Freakers, and Jeff's an incredible talent, so I'm excited for this interview. Before we get started, I did want to give a thanks to our sponsors this month. Now Jeff is the VP of marketing from our sponsor. It's complete coincidence because Jeff is on my top ten list of marketers regardless. But Air Call is a phone system designed for the modern sales team. They seamlessly integrate into your crm eliminating data entry for your reps and providing you with greater visibility into your team's performance through advanced reporting. When it's time to scale, you can add new lines in minutes and use incall coaching to reduce ramp time for your new reps. so if you're a rep out there and you're frustrated with your existing phone system, or if you don't even have a phone system yet but you want to get professional about it, visit are called dot io. Forward sales hacker. That's are called that ioh forward sales hacker to see why we we're done in. Bradstreet, pipe drive and thousands of others. Trust are call for the most critical sales conversations. They've been growing incredibly quickly and it's really exceptional technology. So check out air call. And then the last thing I'll do is I just want to thank some of the folks out there that are listening. I want to thank Brian Kaplan, who's given some really good a feedback. He's actually a good friend of mine. Michael Sereny and WHO's an account executive out it, Sim Sara and San Francisco, who's talking about how to make the leap. He's requested an episode on how to make the leap from individual coin executive to manager and how to think about that. Sam Slevin, who listens on his way to work, who was currently running account management at the news, and Andrew Chullino, who I see running on the west side highway sometimes and who does business development for SW partners in the private equity world. So Ryan, Michael, Sam and Andrew, thanks so much for listening and without further ado, let's listen to this episode with Jeff Freakers. Thanks very much everybody. Welcome to this sales hacker podcast. Another Beautiful Day in New York City and we've got an amazing host and a good friend of mine. We're really excited today to welcome Jeffrey Gers. He's the VP of marketing at air call to my mind. He said, he just literally told me, doesn't want some sort of big promotional bio and Intro, but nevertheless it's incumbent upon me to mention that I consider Jeff to be one of the best marketers that I've ever met. I met Jeff when he was VPA marketing and handshake. He's got a long and illustrious career as a marketer over the past probably ten plus years on both coasts, and I'll tell us all about his background. But really one of the brightest, hardest working and most creative marketers working in Sass today. So we're really excited to have you. Welcome Jeff. Thank Sam. Really excited to be a part part of its and thanks. That's lovely intro as well. I think he deserve it. You know, one of the things I say is any company that has jeff freakers has a special secret weapon. So we're excited and I'm excited to sort of share who you are with the rest of the world, because I think the rest of the world deserves to know. So why don't we get started? Give us a little bit of your baseball card. You obviously your name is Jeff freakers. Give us a little bit more about the company. So your title is VP of marketing. Is that correct? Yes, correct, MEP marketing, and then the company is air call. Also correct. Yes, air call. And so the Revenue Range, kind of annual curring range? You don't have to give a specifics. It's obviously private company etc. Are Very confidential. But what's the revenue range of Air Call? Where the fifteen to thirty million dollar range? Wow, that's amazing because I know a year ago when you started, you are not in that range. So correct. Yeah, been a lot of growth. Yes, yeah, that's awesome. Congratulations. Amount of capital raised and our most recent funding round? Yeah, we just finished a series B in May and that was a twenty one million dollar round and we've rose about forty million today. Awesome. So you're running marketing. gives us a size, a rough size,...

...of both the marketing organ the sales organs like some of the positions. So we know how traditional and kind of with the deal size in the market category that you're going after is sure a sort deal size is starting there. It's been dramatically increasing over the past year hours. Deal size felt K ACV and when the phone system mark. So it's a very, very broad market, but we tend not to focus on ECOMM SASS companies and specifically support and sales teams within that up and as far as the team structure, we're split between the US and in Europe, so I oversee the worldwide marketing on both ends. Most of our marketing teams here in the US There's eight members dedicated to that team. We also have a partnership team which is really critical to the marketing and sales organization. That reports into myself as well. There's five members on that team, so sort of the entire umbrels, thirteen reps or thirteen members of the team there. And then on the sale side on the US and we have four count executives and they're paired with two scrs apiece. And on the Emma side we have ten account executives that are additionally paired with two SDRs apiece, putting ten SDRs over there. And on the US side, the SDRs are reporting. It's myself, so SDR to apiece. So two people, part two. Correct. That's awesome. Yeah, yeah, we really like to pod. We just prefer to them as pods, but it's two people doing to mansion for every one account executive. That's correct. Yep, here, genius, you're a revelation. We're going to dive into that because that's really, really interesting. How long have we been in start our plan? Let's get into a little bit of who is Jeff Freakers? Sure, so I've been involved in, I guess started pland for about ten years now. I originally came from where I started my career, which was in at forms. Was My first sort of real large position. I moved out after college to New York City. When I was out here I would just look for to really have a lot lined up, but you know, it's kind of one to find a plant the path. At that point I had done journalism my entire life and so that was certain field I reginally want to get into. I did it Middle School, I did high school, I did in college, and so it made a lot of sense to me to get involved in that world as soon as I got involved in Ittil wasn't necessarily what I love to do, and so I started going to back to school as well and I did my master's degree Nyu and Information Systems. There's a lot of different like pieces here. So I was doing information systems, which had a big emphasis on database architecture and very computer science focus. I was doing journalism in the daytime and this somehow led into a start up in marketing world. I got introduced originally to entrepreneur who is starting company called law line and I joined on there and that was one of my first taste. You know, I was at Forbes and it was very corporate feeling. It's an amazing organization, of course, but it wasn't really my, I don't know, Cup tea, I guess, and so I was fortunate enough to meet up with film Nam Dave Scherman, who was starting law line, and help him grow that company over the next four years and we grew to about, I suppose we had about fifty employees. We got to about six million, going on ten million, and revenues, and that was like my first taste of it and I love that and I oversaw both the operations and the entire marketing world and that's how I really got involved in start up marketing. And there's something about it where you know you put things out in the world, that you come up with it on your own or as a team, you put it out in the world and you have to see something happening, like you're poking the world to a degree, and there's a response to it. That was something I didn't necessarily see in a more corporate environment. It was just very addicting. And so I think I got about ten years and that first for and that really just started. That started the path. Where are you know, I had a real direct connection from marketing into actual revenue. I took that model that we had there into fuge organizations, which was similar roles that I have now at think h are, at handshake, where I was recently now here in the air call. So a couple questions. First, where are you from? I was born in Oakland, California and I grew up various places in the bay area. Okay, all right. So and then weren't you go to school? Do you have any siblings? Yeah, yeah, so I went to Undergrad at you see Davis. I played baseball there. I started out actually interesting. I went to a few different...

...colleges. I started at St Mary's College in Moraga, ended up leaving as results with some scholarship issues. WENT TO JAC for the next year and a half, had the make up a ton of courses over that time period and then ended up transferring to Davis on a baseball scholarship and once that finished up, I played baseball professionally for the next year. I moved out to New York, where we're you know, my story kind of picked up in the beginning. And then I do have two siblings. I've got a brother and sister, both senior to me now. So you're the youngest. I am the youngest. Yes, that's really interesting. The reason I asked about the siblings is because one of the things I've always heard about you as your work ethic, and I'm trying to figure out, I guess, where did it come from? It's a good question. I don't know if anybody really knows the answer. Where motivation really stems from, where the work ethic stems from? I'd say starting out in a very competitive environment. I've always been extremely competitive and I was into athletics as a kid and that was really good at baseball and there's something where every year as a part of a winning team and I wasn't a part of, ever ever a part of losing teams, and so it was sort of a something that built up in I think come when you get a lot of acknowledgements, it's kind of like think Malcolm Glad will writes about this and I think when you get a lot of recognition for something, it's, you know, the propensity to do it increases and I really wanted to be the, you know, the Best I possibly could at that sport, and so I had a really strong work with ethic there and I just kind of carried over into other areas of my life. Yeah, it struck me because you're saying you're working at Forbes by day, you're going to classes at night, you're working in picture. Yeah, I was working, you know, ten hours a day. They're doing the nine classes. Even Saturday was, you know, eight to six and classes, and so I had some day to take a nap and then just kick it back up because I was doing school through much a law line as well, and so that was my routine for about four years or so. Wow, if I recall correctly, through all of our mutual friends, in fact, leaving on each other a little bit. Are you a triathlete? To yes, I've Dune couple ironmen in the past, across country ski, like any sort of endurance sports. It kind of is where I get my I don't know my I get it in at work every day too, but it's not enough. Over the weekend that I get travels and any race I can in. That's awesome, that's great. All right. So let's get back to work. Stuff you know over the course of I guess you got started at law line and then you know handshake and are call. And what are the lessons you know like? First of all, I'm just you said something really interesting. You said that marketing is sort of you poking the world and seeing if you get a response. But give us your your philosophy on marketing and how you approach the concept of and maybe even what you define marketing. To be sure the first time, I think marketing is relevancy in a particular market and I'd say some of the things I've really learned over these experiences is one that's you got to know your numbers better than anybody else in the organization, and I this might be true for other roles outside of market but I think to have a really strong presence and to grow in your career you've got to be able to talk numbers alongside the CEO, the CFO and you got to know your numbers better than them and you have to know how specifically they coordinate with other departments and the top goals for the organization and so above and beyond, the most valuable thing for me has been understanding sort of the math behind marketing and how everything funnels down to revenue. That you think it float to your point. You know, there's a modern definition these days that you know marketing. Anybody that saysn't marketing as anything other than generating pipeline is sort of living in the past. Is that part of what you define as a central KPI? Your job is to drive pipeline growth? Yeah, I'd say it depends on the organization stage. I think. Certainly that's always a goal and certainly in the earlier stages in a startup environment, that is the number one objective. I think over time, as you have a large and larger customer base, more of your revenues coming from existing customers. It's coming from risk mitigation and minimizing risk, and so I think marketing starts to take on new functions over time, which is thanking customers more successful focusing on customer marketing. Brand becomes very important when you're trying to mitigate risk. But I think in the early days you've got to have just one central number and one thing you focus on, and that has to be supporting growth, in supporting the sales team. That's specifically through pipeline. was there something specific that helped you generate, you know, besides ten years of experience that sort of generate strength of conviction and your perspective on how to do marketing? Or because there's so many, so many...

...wide ranging perspectives on it? Well, I think that, regardless of where you are it's things always change, and so the answers and the things that are working today, you know there wasn't the right answer five years ago won't be the right answer five years from now. And so one thing I really believe is putting experimentation is a part of like the core components of your marketing team. You've got to have the tracking in place and you've got to understand, you know, at the unit level, how the different channels are working together and how to actually generate pipeline, how to convert your marketing in the pipeline. When you have that, I think you have to just constantly be experimenting and wrapping that into your forecast for pipeline and for efficiency metrics. You know, we have a few minutes here we can give people maybe a little bit of a one hundred and one. If I'm trying to build pipeline, like, what are the pieces that go into the supply chain that ultimately ends up in somebody out in the world maybe raising their hand or at least agreeing to my str's email, to have a conversation with me that everybody agrees as a is a commercial conversation, is a sales conversation? What are all the elements that I need to put into place for that moment to happen? Yeah, so first I think you have got agree as an organization and marketing needs to be leading. This is who you want to be relevant to, and I am extremely against anything that's a spray and pray type of approach and I think the more narrow you are, the more opportunity there is to grow. Youre going to be really relevant to an individual market, because if you are relevant to if you're really Arrow when you're messaging and you're really narrow and your prospecting, you're really narrow and your marketing, that one customer will tell another customer till three and every sale becomes and every opportunity become a little bit easier to generate. So they's got to start there in extremely narrow market and usually when you're there, I would go like one step even more narrow. For example, we really focus on not only support teams, not only ecommerce support teams, but I want to focus on ecommerce support teams that have a specific growth rate that are also in New York City, and I know if they're in New York City they're going to talk to each other. And so you want US focus really, really narrow, and I think that's the first thing, and the second part is understanding how the customers buying as well. You want to be in front of them in two ways. One, you to have a really strong value prop, and so there's a product marketing element there. I think to managin really dates can kind of hack that, but over the long term you want to have a really solid value prop that that you can take into the market to when you really want to start focusing on particular are you have to be in front of people where they're searching and have to be in the relevant channels, which is why I don't necessarily love this channel versus that channel. Is really understanding the customer. Are they searching at? They hang on a linkedin. When I was in the I think h are, for example, we sold into h our teams lived on Linkedin. We did tons of marketing on Linkedin because that's where they lived. But outside of that, when I'm doing support teams, that's not really where they're hanging out, so we're not focused there. Where you support teams hang out? A support team is generally on their computer all day, along I think, like a helped us team something like that, and they're generally absorbed in one concept that, when you think about the pain points that they have, it's making sure that the customers are happy and that the experiences are really great, and so there's really strong content marketing element there. Additionally, support teams are always in dated with more than they can handle, more tickets that they can't keep up with, and if you're growing, your team's never big enough. As you're always looking for more efficient ways to make your team happy, to grow your team, to handle tickets, and if you can create content around that first you can create a product around that, it's fantastic. You can create content around that, that's even better. So we really focus heavily on on the content that were putting out and leveraging partnerships. For example, there's tons of software that these companies are already using and I want to be very relevant to them. So when we relevant to that community, they're using Zend us to using intercom on. Have really great relationship with those companies and I want to comarketing with them, whether it's Webinars, Co marketing pieces on content, white papers, blog post, whatever it might be. And then the last part is I want to get some outdown going and so I want to build support that inbound. To me, the inbound component and that type of marketing is to support the outbound. It's great, you're going to get some trials from it and if you really have a good value prop you're going to see people that the timing works out. They're searching, they're going to find you...

...if you've got a good seo presence. But I also want to support that with outbound particularly if my ACV's high enough, so that if I'm target enough on the inbound side, when that outbound team is reaching out, they can use my collateral and when they reach out to somebody they already know who our call is to. Down bound rep is reaching out and the prospect they're touching base with or they're reaching out to does not know who are calls that's a really bad job. On the marketing side, we want to make sure that we're really relevant and are really focused on our prospect thing and our marketing efforts are really erectly tied it with the outbound side and I think if you have that, you know it's a good foundation. so that's a fantastic overview. If I'm thinking about th Khr from thinking about law line handshake. Now are call. Do you feel like you have a specialization and a specific market segment? Are you a kind of like mid market, you know, zero to fifty k deal size person, or do you think that these skills range from SNB all the way up to massive enterprise deals where you can close, you know, a million dollar ACV, or is it very specific? I think there's nuances to each one. Certainly just like there would be, if you know on the most extreme men you're doing B Toc if, which is which inherently is different. There's core fundamentals and marketing which don't change. It's being extremely relevant to a very specific market and that's not going to change no matter where you are. How you go about doing it's certainly going to change. If you have a very low ACB product, you're probably not going to focus heavily on outdown. What's going to be most important for you is to understand the search terms and have a really strong self serve model, and so your models going to change a little bit. Talking about supporting outbound, there's going to be about being as efficient as you can on the inbound side. Once the ACV goes up, you start getting to outdound more, the UN economics start making more sense and you have to nurture leads a bit more because there's more sophistication on the product down and so that goes more and more extreme. On the enterprise side you're going to get much less focus on pure inbound trials, demos, that sort of thing, because it's less about timing on that aspect. It's more about supporting the sales conversations and building a use case within the company. So there's core elements, but it's going to change at every level and I'd say on my personal and I like being as close to the sales possible and so I always have a bias on the sort of the the size that we're at right now the mid market, to ask some B side because then you're dealing with sale cycles from fourteen. The ours about fourteen to forty five days, depending on the size of deal, and I like being really close to the sale like that. Wow, I'm surprised that you can get like a forty five days sales cycle on system, which is a phone system. I would imagine that sort of implementing it or ripping out the old system putting in the new system require some work. Is that incorrect? But someone that's one of our largest value props is that it's extremely so you could self service if you want, and that's something that we be market very, very heavily. We leverage that because most traditional phone systems, telecom systems, are a little bit clunkier and take longer to set up. I've set up some of my past as well, so I know firsthand and we leverage that quite a debt, and so the sale cycles we feel to be much shorter. I'd also say it's a need to have some must have product, that you have to have a phone's most organizations must have a phone system. Your Support Team, you must have a phone system, and so when you're working in a must have product environment, it also makes the timing element a little bit easier. So when a contracts up, it makes it easier to instate sale. Yeah, absolutely, talking about you mentioned a little bit about knowing the unit economics and and some of the key drivers to success, and I want to sort of layer in two questions. One is sort of what do you think the biggest drivers to success are in your role, but also, specifically, as I mentioned, you know, because we were chatting before you joined, are call and I think they were. You know, I think you're probably grown six, seven, eight x over the course of the last year. So how do you put a plan together? How long did it take you to put that plan together? What did the plan include when you presented it to I don't know his name, but the CEEO air car, I think. IS IS HE FRENCH? Yeah, we're paispace company. French found a company. Mr The Frenchman that that called me to do that reference back. Yes, hires, yeah, and he brings you in and he says, Jeff, do your thing. You know, we just need to grow. We need to grow quickly. How do you put a plan together? What does that look like? Well, the big issue that we were...

...having at the time. There were a few, but the first place to start was around efficiency metrics and the unit economics. And if you look at a model and it has, you know, one point seven, two to one LTV CAAC ratio, a few things have to change inherently about about the business, because it's very tough to take that and save me a ten X, because if you're wrong, you have very little slack, you very little work with. If you're not as efficient as you think and you go down to one point five or less, even even that to you don't have a really scalable, industible organization. Yeah, to to one, l TV to Kak means you don't really have a company. Right. So we're around for last quarter around five to one. It depends how you calculated. As well as we look at Tech, you know, the payback curide as well. We try to stay within a payback curade of sixt eight months and ltvtcack racial about three and a half to one, upwards of four. I think we above that. I'd rather just spent. I want to spend more money, but we try to keep it there so we have some padding behind it as well, and that's where we're at right now. I like payback period better than ALTV to tect because, you know, are calls, however many years old. Like the concept of ltvs a little bit of a misleading thing. I mean it's all this math, ratios, but nevertheless, yeah, exactly. This is and I think if you've got to start there, so you have something that you can pour fuel on. You've got another sale cycles and and I feel if you're efficient and you can kind of project out from there. So the first thing we looked out when I joined about a year. I could spend a year in a quarter now, was to improve those metrics. The first thing, those obvious thing, if I keep the other constants, even when rates maybe sale cycles go up a little bit. But the number one thing was around average revenue per account. You know, are I far ar put goes up, then that's going to make everything much, much more efficient, and so it's first about changing a model from a very in bounced centric one and very, I guess, if you know, your smb were very focused on the ass into how do we generate more mid market style deals? This obviously impacts a lot of things in tact the product impacts how we sell and it certainly impacts how we're doing a marketing and so I think one thing if you, regardless of your role marketing sales, get to have a really strong opinion, you have to have a lot of conversations and know how to collaborate across your team, because you can't do it in isolation. I can't just say I'm going to increase, you know, our revenue account because I'm just going to source larger deals and it's all going to work out just fine. If you do that, it's gonna have product implications. Sales is going to have to change. A lot has to change. In mindset of the company has to to a degree, and so you have to really collaborate first off and sell it across the entire organization. That just the Seel, across the ord and then I think once you do that, you start enhancing your messaging it's going that right back to what we're talking about before. It's being really relevant to a specific market. You know, that was the original game plan, was going from a very smb focused, very lead driven model, into a more pipeline driven model. We're looking at coverage ratios, our sales staging is improving, our marketing is there to support the sales and se our functions. We start closing big deals, we start understanding them and you just build those blocks one by one by one. You create more of an account base marketing approach. Did you build a budget? Did you go to the CEO and say, you know, I spent sixty days, thirty days and ninety days, however long it is, and here's how much money. You know, if you want to get to ten million or fifteen million a rr it's going to take us. I guess it's sixty eight months pay experien might only take you five or eight million bucks, but I need five day million bucks right now. If you want to do this thing well, I go with my my own testing mindset, like im before I go full blown in something on notes working, and so that was the reason I was brought in was to you know, was it wasn't like I came in and go figure something out. It was obviously things that we need to improve on and marketing. The Role of marketing was very clear. It was to increase our our average deal size and generate sort of a different function within the company that didn't exist before. And so it was more about one changing the model into a pipeline model, getting agreement on that, and then, as far as the budget goes, it was more about testing concepts. I was in a very bullish environment where I was brought in to do a job and so obviously I had to show the numbers behind it and pose a budget, which I did, and it's fairly conservative in the beginning, but then every quarter gets more us some more aggressive, more aggressive. As you know, economics...

...start improving and it goes from maybe a quarter or two of testing things out and showing some value to really building a long term model off of that. And did you going back to the ork chart that we mentioned, you know a few minutes ago? I don't hear a lot of folks, especially like a Kent K deal size. I know that you guys are doing larger jeals as well, but I haven't heard a lot of folks say, yeah, we're it's one to two. For every account executive, we're going to have two SDRs. And did you come in with that conviction that that's a way to sort of I mean, I love it because what you're fundamentally saying is demand generation is the thing that drives revenue. The salespeople catch the demand, but I'm going to flog them with demand. I can raise their quote if I want to. I don't need to hire a million sales people. So I just I really love the philosophy. But did you come in without philosophy or sort of did you iterate or find it or discover it within the math? We were discovered it within the mouth. What what we thought the average outbound rep was going to accomplish, what our average deal size was, what a sale cycles war, and it's very clear to me that when we're driving inbound, we can drive it to a certain extent, we can get more leads, but you lose a little bit of control with what's going to come in bound, the exact company. What are the fits really great or not? And ultimately that that's one thing I'm very concerned on. The if the deal, the opportunity is a really great fit. Fair call and I think you actually lose that a debt on the inbound side. And so we looked at the thousand companies we want to sell to. We want to sell in the twenty percent of this year. How do we do that? How many opportunities can we create per month off of that, and how many scrs do we need in a way that still fits the budget with the can we scale efficiently with at one L T v DECAC ratio, with a two to one str a ratio? And we looked up numbers, what we were doing. We were accomplishing that, and so I want to be as most as aggressive as possible with a very investable framework at the unit level. And so that was the most aggressive we could be, with a little bit of safety and padding under it to support the account executives. It also builts in a lot of things. If it's a one, the one and you're just getting started, you're building your first str team, it's just so much risk involved if that str doesn't work out, if he leaves here, she leaves, she's just not good at the model's not great and so you've got to build some slack into everything, which is not ille'll say that word a lot, but you really have to build slack into models, and so early on it was also about creating a little bit of slack in the models that we had got it. And but to the point. You know, some people say build slack into the AE side of the model, but you're saying, well, I guess you already had three or four, so maybe you had enough people where you felt like if one person laughs or one person got promoted, they were still enough. One reason I like it on the str side versus the account executive side is if you've inundated your account executives with pipeline, and you know our average quota tainment something around, if a hundred, thirty, hundred forty percent a month, and we keep raising them, we keep supplying more pipeline to them as well, it becomes really clear how you scale the team. If you start seeing small deals slip through. I know I can sort of adding extra account executive into the mix, or we can. We can add an extra account executive to the mix of the pipeline before, versus everyone's at eighty per sent you to another count executive in there and maybe it dips down to seventy five seventy percent. That does a lot for the culture as well. It's a very excited team. If you're hitting in excess of your your quota, every one exactly right. So let's talk a little bit about some of the channels that you really like. I'm jumping around in terms of our list of questions, but I think you'll be okay with it. So you know, what are some of the interesting insights? If I'm a I'm a young founder or if you've been I'm a I'm a vpam marketing or VP of cells. Let's listening to this right now and I'm thinking about what are the new ways or the interesting ways or the unexpected ways that I can go out there and create high plan. What's been working for you recently? Oh, sort this off with, I'd say the SASS marketed as a whole. SASS as a whole is more competitive than it's ever been and it's extremely noisy. The email in boxes. You know mine. I have two emails. One is the one that gets captured on all across the the Internet and that's filled with str emails. I've got another one for internal and external communications that I just use, and so we're getting so inundated with really traditional marketing methods or I think what's kind of viewed as sort of like the newer age, which is the email marketing and add words, which, you know, the...

...cost per click is just getting insane on a lot of online advertising. So I consistently try to think of what the rest of the market is not doing so I can capture somebody's attention. And when you look at you've got to do this in a way that makes sense economically. But if you have a very narrow market, a really strong message that say a thousand, five hundred accounts, whatever it is, and I know specifically the names all those people who I want to get the attention of, it becomes a little bit clear how I can actually get their attention. What evends do they go to? A trade shows that they go to? What are the problems that they have? And I can create a lot of campaigns based off of that. And the way I love doing this like we even know it down to the level of like what are their roots to work? Where they from? In New York City, here, for example, we do a ton of marketing. We've got urban ads on like telephone poles and stuff like that. We play off the phone system thing on the telephone poles. We've mapped it out by ZIP code. We know that there's five hundred target accounts, so we have in about six different ZIP codes. We target those buildings even we work with an agency to do that, so we know on their commute to work every day they're gonna see these. So now this is gonna jump on the Internet and go sign up for our call. They've actually had that happened, but they're going to see us every day they see that. Add fifteen days later they get a mailer from us that plays on the same concept and we send them a huge what I call attention grabbers. It's something that's going to sit in the office. An example of one that we did over the Christmas break, or over the with the winner break, was sort of like a help kit, survival kit for support teams. If it's a difficult time of the year, there's a lot of questions, a lot of seasonality for support teams over that time of the year, particular for e commerce, and so we sent this little survival kit. It was this big box that came at had like mints in it and had had tissues. If they're gonna if, if they have a tough conversation, there's all sorts of jokes and bed in this big box, little gifts, kind of played on the urban ads that we were doing. Then they get an outreach from and SDR as well three days later and that person responds with a thank you for the gift to sparks a conversation, and that's how we started getting deals from those. And so I guess what I'm saying is I would look at really understanding the customer from every angle, how they can hear about you in ways that they're not getting from anybody else in your market, and then I would think about the steps that are necessary to convert that into a conversation and I would think of really untraditional means that to get that done. Right now we do a lot on the traditional l outside and it's been pretty effective for us. Love it. This is why marketing is so cool, because what you're describing is just extreme empathy. You're like you have to put yourself in their shoes, you have to wake up in their bed and do everything that they do during the day and then use that to figure out where can you put a message that can bring them towards you right, and one thing that I think that has been detrimental to the marketing world recently. It's about channel optimization. Of course. I think that's this more asse and be you go the most small bisc the more. Channel optimization is critical, but it's something I'd look at and buckets. I look at inbound outbound partnerships. I understand and I think anybody has to understand the influence. So on a almost intuitive level you can certainly measure it to a degree, but you have to understand the experience level and you have to go back to basic marketing principles of things like frequency and placement and make sure you value those. Over, I have to present the efficiency of my direct mailer's next month. I don't want to do that. I want to present the efficiency of the initiative as a whole, which is going up to these onezero accounts. Here's what we spent against it and here's what the result is. And then within the marketing team we want to talk about the subfunctions of how each channel's impacting it, and I think that the focus on channel has been somewhat of a negative for marketing teams because it's too easy to just fall into that and I think it's misleading and it's more about creating those experiences your genius. So I've got I've a controversial question for you, or it's not really controversial, it's an off debated subject, and that subject is the is the value of trade shows. So, I mean you know the frames, but just for the audience, one frame is or I don't even know that these are different decision vectors. They're just, you know, some people prepare and an immordinant amount for a trade show. So they'll try to get the attendee list, they'll do a met in some ways they'll stop the organization from everything else that it's doing. Hey, we're going to this conference.

It's the big conference of the year. Everybody, you know, str's hammer the phones. We got to get we got a book all of our meetings in advance. Stop all businesses usual until we can get those meetings, that we get there and the trade show. And then maybe there's a couple trade shows per company that they just take over the whole thing. There's probably like another world that's a little bit less intense. You sign up for a bunch of trade shows, you go, you send a couple people. It's a little bit more at Hawk. On the other hand, it doesn't disrupt from like the traditional, you know, marketing demand generation activities as much. And maybe there's another world where you say, well, we're only going to go to trade shows if we can speak at them. That's something that some people say. I don't know that it's always possible to speak at a trade show, to to sort of focus it like that. All of that is a long winded preamble to say. What's your approach to trade shows, particularly given what you just said, which is that you have to look at it as a campaign, as an initiative the whole, as opposed to just one event. Did we make our money back from that event? Yes, and I'd say it doesn't really change when it comes to our trade show'm very bolish on trade shows. We invest more in trade shows and probably anything any other single, you know, marketing channel. But I think it has to fit in with your original initiative and if the initiative is this one, thou companies, I want to know all the trade shows that they're going to. I don't want to be going to every show and wondering if it's going to be successful or not and setting up a booth there. I want to know where that one thousand is going and a couple things going to happen. If you do that really well, they'll come up with a list that suits the business. Might be really aggressive if you're an industry that embraces it or has a lot of different markets that you're in, and it might be small, maybe a few shows a year, but if it's really relevant to the market, I'd say certainly you want to be there, and I look at that on a multi year level as well. I don't look at thirty days after the show exactly how we did. I want there's leading indicators after the show if we've done well, but I want to be present at that over the years be really relevant to this market, because it's critical for me to do that, and I'd say it's similar to the outbound inbound model that we were discussing earlier. If I'm going to a show, I want to know which of the companies are on my a thousand account less are going to be at that show and certainly I want to let them know. I want to run events with them, I want to breakfast with them, I want to set up meetings beforehand. Likely already had conversations with a lot of these companies and so it's more willing that they're going to say yes. What I don't want to do is take the entire trade show list of attendees glass everyone and try to set up meetings that might be good or might not be good. I want to save that for the show. So want to have a really targeted approach on the outbound side because if you just change your focus as a team on the trade show, there's our portunity costs to it. You're going to lose what you're building everywhere else, and so you got to stick really core to the original model that you have, and for us that's at account based model. And then when the show comes, you want to have those meetings set up with the account step are assigned to the STR's already and to you want to set up some minimum inbound funnels that are at the show. If your target market is out that show and it's validated, certainly there's more companies that you can get gather on an inbound level that have the same pain points, the same use cases. Maybe they're smaller deals that you would put an outbound person on but in mass and that many people are at the show and I's I can show the product to, you know, a hundred extra companies, then certainly I'm going to take that opportunity. So I think that's how you have to look at it. I love it. A few more questions. It's been amazing having you on, Jeff, so thank you so much. You're it's always illuminating. If I'm thinking about I'm a sales leader listening to the podcast or sales executive and I'm looking across the aisle at the marketing organization, what's the one thing sales leaders should get from marketing? One thing that always want to avoid, and I've seen this before, is you can't have one team that wins in another team that loses. Meaning if I'm in marketing ORG and our Jen our goal is to generate x amount of pipeline, we accomplish that, but the sales team is not successful at quarter, then it's not a great culture to have one team winning and another one losing. So I think it's about having really shared goals and shared metrics. I am incentivized, for example, and I want this to be my incentive on own of course, pipeline are efficiency metrics that we're going our pipeline efficiently, and the third one is our our revenue growth, because I want to be directly tied in...

...with the sales function and I put that on everyone on my team as well, so everyone feels that they were a part of the sit a part of the sales team, and in fact we were really strong culture, and this is something that Olivier has, says, promote a bunch more than I have, but something I believe dearly end as well, is that everyone should know what that revenue number is at any given moment. If you were at at at are called and us a single member on the marketing team what the revenue number is, they would be able to side it down to you, probably within get out the nearest thousand, because everyone knows what that is at all times and that's how we judge ourself on success and that. If you have that, then you just become more part of the the sales or you understand the pain points, you understand what they need and if you have that sort of shared conquering plan, that that's the most important thing. I really completely agree. Let's share a little bit of love. I'm curious what's in your marketing stack? Your creative demandsin focused actually kind of like all encompassing marketer. But what are some of the tools that you're using or not using? First off, I'd say about tools, and I realize I'm definitely in the SASS world, but I like to keep the team as lean as possible and they and avoid think you can throw Sass at problems when at times when you shouldn't throw a Sass product that the problem. You should solve the underlying issue. And before I invest in anything, I want to make sure that it's not meant to reinvent anything that we're doing. It's accelerating something that we're doing or making a process that we know is good, much, much better. But some tools. Having said some tools that we really love and they're not necessarily marketing tools. All them. The one is for collaboration and because it's going back to the point earlier, collaboration across the team is really critical and collaboration within the team's critical. We did something called product. I don't know how man people know about it's called notion and Otio and for all our marketing projects are planning sharing it across the team. It's essentially replacement for Google Docs. Ever, notes. We use collateral and share clatter with the marketing or the sales team there and it's a really, really valuable resources, really easy to use. We use the traditional stuff sales force. We've got part on on the marking automation and we've got sales loft, which all the reps a lot of, quite a bit. We use linked in sales prospect use any like full cycle marketing attribution tools like visible, I think is there's one of them our full circle. I think don't at the moment. I would love to use it at some point, but for the most part we're getting our campaign influence, campaign attribution directly out of sales force and I think one thing that is really easy to not do is to pass and to go light on the marking operation side when it comes to sales force campaigns. And one thing that we're taking more and more seriously is tracking everything out of sales force and getting our cost per lead out of there and making sure that think that's really, really up to date. And if you have a really solid foundation there, the other tools become much more valuable, in my opinion. So we haven't quite got to the point where investing in reporting tools, but would love that at some point. Yeah. So who are some of the folks have influence here for thinking about maybe your favorite vp of sales or CRO or CEMO. Who are some folks that we should know about that have played a big role in in your life? Sure one of the biggest influences for me has been gentleman in Preston Clark. I overlapped with Preston at think HR use, VPS sales there. She's kind of fascinating story. He's president of ever fi right now. Ever fives, you learning company with thousand plays something like that. They wrote risen a ton of money. He's sort of could counterbalance to me if I'm a little bit more on the marketing side, but with, you know, a sales influence. He's the salesperson with some really good marketing DNA and I've learned a ton of from him and a lot of things I said today we're probably, you know, quote stolen from Preston at some point. All right, Preston Clarb, we're going to look him up. Any founders or investors that you think we should know about? On the founders, N I have a hard time, if I haven't really gone through the sort of the battles with somebody to really know what they're like, and so I appreciate a lot of complishments and many founders, but when you're really on the ground floor and you know, battling through things things, when you really can start appreciating someone to a large degree. I really love Piazzo, who is sort our CEO at and founder at think HR. He's one of the most competitive people I've ever met on the planet and has built some phenomenal tech companies over...

...his career. We've talked about them before in the past, but you know Glenn and Mike over, Glynn coates, Michilm green over at handshake. I've been nil my career as well and I'm very loyal to you know those people that I've worked with in the past and I've learned a ton from them. Well, that's funny. Your great qualities. What about books, content that we should create if we want to be more like Jeff Freakers? Any suggestions on books we should read or podcasts we should listen do that it aren't this podcast. How do we take some of these ideologies or these lessons and and where did you learn how to do this. Sometimes I get asked a lot of there's like a specific marketing book or what not that I've read that was really influential, but I think the ones there are good ones, but the ones that are more influential to me are concepts that don't necessarily pertain to marketing but are, you know, ways of thinking that can influence how you think about marketing. So my favorite book is one called thinking and systems by Donna Meadows. Essentially it's is about how you can create anything as a the world is creatd with systems and the feedback mechanisms there that you can improve and iterate on and it's goes back to sort of the you know, the database managements background that I had. So I think that's a really valuable book that contains to any department as more about a way of thinking to produce a result, and it's been very influential on me. Wonderful. Any last thoughts before we part ways on a Saturday morning? I guess my only last thought is, regardless of its marketing or sales or any other role, I think one, you know, underlying value of all of us as professionals is to have sort of a thesis or a mission something we have to say in the SASS world as a whole, and to have that something to say and to make sure that you are saying it on a daily basis and implementing it in your teams. And it's really easy to get bottled down with the demands of the daytoday. It it's particularly a startup world, but I think keeping that like clarity and focus on what you want to go to accomplish in your career and putting that out every single day in action is something that, like, is really easy to lose, but I think that's the most important thing that we're all doing every single day. Why is words. You guys may be hiring, considering how fast you're growing. So if anybody's listening and wants to get in touch with you, what's the are you open to that and, if so, what's the best way? Yeah, I'm certainly open to anybody that wants to reach out for roles that are call you can email me up a really knowledddress, the one that is meant for people, which is Jeff jff period reekers, are Eka Rus at air called out. Ioh linkedin's good. Twitter is good. If you can figure out my mobile phone number and your nest are, submit text and that that's Kudos to you for doing that. That's fantastic, awesome, Jeff. Thank you so much for coming on the show. We really appreciate it and can't wait to see you in person, whenever that is next. Thanks to it. It's a pleasure joinning. Hey everybody, it's SAM's corner. You know all the episodes and all the interviews are good. I'm not obligated to say that, but I really do think that Jeff freakers is a really special talent and it really has great insights into marketing. A couple of the things that I hope he took away. One of them is just the focus on the ICP, the ideal customer profile. He says he doesn't just want for air call, he doesn't just want support teams, he wants support teams at e commerce companies within New York City and so and he says that he gets more and more leverage the more specific, in narrow that he gets when it comes to targeting. Second thing very specific and unique insight which I just love. If anybody knows me, you know I'm always advocate being invest in marketing before sales to SDRs to one AE, and this isn't million dollar deals. These are their average deal size is fifteenzero dollars to SDRs, to one to eat. Flood the as with pipeline. Flood them with pipeline, make them successful. Their quote attainment's a hundred and thirty percent. So many companies sixty percent quote attainment, seventy percent quote attainment, higher and more as to get to your revenue plan. That's not going to work. It does not work. You need to invest in marketing before sales and reapers understands that implicitly. It's the final thing is think about the empathy that he demonstrates when he's when he's putting together their marketing channels. He talked...

...about understanding the commuting roots of his customer, the commuting roots. They have their their their their accounts, their thousand accounts. They have them broken out by ZIP code. They have air call signs plastered on telephone calls on the way to where these people go to work. They know the specific buildings where their customers work. It's a degree of empathy and projection that I really don't see very often in the marketing world. So if you're out there and you're a marketer, think about that approach. Think about your unit economics. Can you afford to have too SDRs? Can you flood your as with demand so that everybody is high fiving and the marketing teams happy in the sales teams happy, and it's not that either team is is winning or losing in in contrast to the other. So so many great lessons. Really, just honor to have a jeff on the show and and thanks so much for listening. Talk you next time. To check out the show notes, see upcoming guests and play more episodes from our incredible line of of sales leaders, visit sales hackercom podcast. You can also find us, as always, on itunes or Google play. If you enjoyed this episode, share it with your peers on Linkedin, twitter or elsewhere. This episode was particularly special because we had Jeff Freakers, MEP of marketing. Are Call is this month's sponsor, so see more of them at are called DOT Ioh. But I can assure you I would have had jeff on the show even if they weren't a sponsor, just because he's so insightful. If you want to get in touch with me, please do so. You can find me on twitter at Sam f Jacobs or on Linkedin at linkedincom and slash Sam f Jacobs. And thanks to everybody who's written in, and please continue to do so. I'll see you next time. By.

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