Six steps to create an effective and repeatable ABM strategy that drives higher conversations and accelerates sales velocity.
“Efficient growth” isn’t just a buzzword.
The days of never-ending, unsustainable growth are behind us. Companies need to focus on growth that’s foundational and replicable.
Sustainable isn’t possible without executive buy-in.
Goals and KPIs have to be aligned and managing that change isn’t possible at the director level.
ABM isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it.
Tightening your target audience while taking a holistic view of your customers allows you to focus on contacts that matter most.
It's amazing to see the shift in the model for an IPO these days. It’s no longer hyper growth, right? It's all about efficient growth.
Alex Jonathan Brown: [00:00:00] It's 2 PM on the East coast, 11 a.m. in the Bay Area, and wherever you are, grab your favorite caffeinated beverage. It's time for a coffee break. I'm Alex Jonathan Brown, Senior Content Strategist here at Iron Horse. And today we're diving into how to create sustainable and scalable growth for your company. To have that conversation, we have a full house, Demandbase CMO Kelly Hopping and CSO John Eitel. And from Iron Horse, our very own CEO Uzair Dada. Hi, everybody.
Uzair Dada: [00:00:34] Hello. Hello. Hi. Hey, everybody.
Alex Jonathan Brown: [00:00:37] Conversation going Uzair. Um, I'm going to ask you to do a little table setting. What's the current state of play around growth and marketing? Kind of across the board?
Uzair Dada: [00:00:49] Yeah, I think it's kind of interesting. Right. The world as we know it over the last few years has changed where uncertainty, uncertainty, ambiguity, chaos, whether it's political, whether it's, um, kind of geopolitical, whether it's wars, whether it's diseases has become common. And what used to freak us out before, I'd say if you look at Covid, uh, when it happened, everyone froze, then we thawed, then we overindulged, and now we've normalized. And now when things happen, we still freak. But we thaw and move on faster. So we're starting to get used to this thing, and it's becoming sort of the new normal, which is great because sort of business goes on. Doesn't mean you don't care about those other events that are happening, but you sort of becoming more agile and more adaptive. But growth at all costs. Is gone. That's no longer the mindset. Everyone is expecting us to make sure we're efficient, we're predictable, and most importantly, that it's scalable, that it's not once and done. It's something that's repeatable. And I think that's kind of what we are seeing across the board with a lot of our customers. I'm sure it's similar for John and Kelly, and I think that's why this topic was really interesting and dear to all, all our hearts. And so with that, I think it'd be kind of cool to sort of hear from Kelly first, like, what do you what do you think sort of what how do you define scalable, efficient marketing as you think about it?
Kelly Hopping: [00:02:22] Yeah. I mean, thank you. Uh, yeah, it's it's the reality of where we're living, right? I mean, I think ever since, I mean, maybe for a while, but definitely in this economy and with, uh, the Silicon Valley bank stuff last year, I think it forced us all into getting out of that growth at all cost mindset. We just can't we have to be growing, uh, efficiently. Um, and so to me, that's really what scalable growth is about. It's about marketing efficiency. It's about how do we take our existing resources and do more with them. How can we optimize processes, people, data in order to deliver higher demand? How do we make every dollar work a lot harder? Um, and I think that's, uh, that's a challenge, right? That's where data is so key. That's where, um, processes and efficiency and understanding who our target market is, uh, is so critical.
Uzair Dada: [00:03:10] Uh, John, from your perspective, that wearing the CSO hat. For you. What is scalable growth look like? What is what is that? What does that entail?
John Eitel: [00:03:21] Yeah, very similar to you know, what Kelly Kelly said. And I think actually, just to pull it back to even where you started to just just to, you know, kick things off, I think you I love this topic is there because I do think you're right. Like the growth at all costs shift happened and it happened, you know, uh, you know, over the last two years. And I do feel like 20, 22, you know, is where we started to talk about do more with less. Uh, you know, I think in 2023 we really had to do more with less. And this year we're going to have to continue to do more and more with less. So it's gone, you know, really, really, uh, you know, it continues to go further in that direction. And I think it's really pushing, you know, us and challenging us all in new ways, uh, which I think will eventually be a healthy thing. Uh, you know, as you mentioned, there was probably some bloat at the other side of this from, you know, the, you know, the pandemic and other things that kind of allowed that to creep in. But we're really going through refining it and the streets, rewarding it.
John Eitel: [00:04:16] I mean, it's amazing to see, you know, the shift in that to like, that's the, you know, the model for an IPO these days. It's it's it's no longer hyper growth. Right. It's all about efficient growth. And so you know taking it down to each of our functions and units, I do think, uh, you know we all should be thinking about that. But this is like a master class in how to even do it better. Right. And how to get even, uh, tighter, you know, than we did the year prior. Right. And so that's that's a lot of what, you know, Kelly and I've been thinking about and I think also, you know, the way this all happened to us, too, I think we often kind of, you know, under under pressure, under crisis, in crisis. Maybe we focus on, you know, our immediate, uh, sphere of influence or our own world. But I think, like, we've all probably done that. I think the efficiency lies between us now. Uh, and I think that's a real powerful thing as we kind of talk about this collectively. Yeah. That's awesome.
Uzair Dada: [00:05:06] Yeah. Go ahead. Sorry.
Kelly Hopping: [00:05:07] I was going to chime in on John. Not even you talked about the immediate sphere of influence. I think that's one thing that you could be tempted to go. The other thing is the, uh, the thought of like doubling down on just the bottom of the funnel, right? And getting right there and saying, gosh, we know that this event is what's converting the highest. Let's just do this event over and over and over. But the reality is there's still that full touch mechanism. We just have to be smarter at. How do we manage that full funnel more efficiently with the right audience, at the right time, in the right segments? Um, versus kind of doubling down on just the bottom, because that'll dry up real quick.
Uzair Dada: [00:05:42] Yeah, I think, I think that is so critical. And I think you guys playing off each other, it's kind of awesome to see that, because to me, the whole notion of sales comes in and says, I got a bogey. I need to hit these numbers. I want you to do I need to drive leads now? I need to close this quarter. It's not going to happen. It's not magic, right? Like there's there's a structure. There's a process to go stuff. If I only do one thing and I cut my legs off and not do the stuff that has helped me, me build a pipeline, it doesn't convert. And then everyone's frustrated. And then you got this. The favorite, favorite three words. These leads suck, right? And so it's like, you know that's got to be some people got to get you know, they got to put a $5 in the, in the, in the, in the bucket. If they say that next time. Right. Like it's we have to sort of embrace the one team, one growth team mentality. We've all talked about that a lot. And so how are you guys manifesting that. You guys are both relatively new to demand based coming from very successful organizations. How are you sort of bringing that into your culture? What does that look like?
Kelly Hopping: [00:06:46] I mean, I think it's a little bit of both. I mean, John has been here a little bit longer than I have. He's coming up on a year. I'm on around month four, I think. Um, but we talk about a lot. How do we bring these teams together? I think that these leads suck mentality. Hopefully we are, uh, dissolving that completely from the company because we are one team and we are trying to operate with the same set of KPIs, the same set set of processes going after the same set of accounts. Um, usually if a lead sucks, it's, uh, it's not the lead itself. It's the fact that it hasn't had enough time to marinate or the timing is off, or the, uh, the offering and the, the use case that we're putting in front of them is not resonating or, um, we're we have kind of misinformation on the way that we're going after them. And so, um, it's I don't think it's usually the lead, but it might be the, the circumstances around that lead that we need to, uh, to work on. And that's okay, because we know that in the market, you know, of the universe is looking at your that is the right kind of target market. Icp that we're going after at any one time. Only 5% of that market's actually in the market for your product, even though all 100% of them could be the right market, only 5% are actually searching for you. And so finding that lead that's in that 5%, uh, takes some work.
Uzair Dada: [00:08:03] Yeah. And I would say, you know, it's not the lead. Yeah, right. Lead is a dot within this big puzzle piece, which is the account. We all know that. But we just have it's it's the bad behaviors, the past behaviors, the forced habit. It's the Pavlovian behavior that we just always go back to lead. Doesn't mean if I'm a CSO or I'm a CMO or whatever else, and the board and the CEO is like, everyone is auto tuned to your your funnel is measured by your lead status. So John, for you. Right. Being a the new CSO in this role, how are you changing that at DB.
John Eitel: [00:08:42] Yeah, it's funny, as we were talking about this so I could just hear the, uh, the Alec Baldwin reference of, like, the leads are weak, uh, you know, uh, sorry, I, I had to get that out there, but, uh, I do think, look, I, I, you know, it is a lot about resetting the relationship and the expectation. And I think, you know, where this does get sideways, you know, really quickly is when, you know, sales or the board or others try and teach, you know, treat marketing like a lead machine, right? Like it's just like, put money in the lead machine and let it, you know, dispense leads to the seam, right? Uh, and we, as you know, we all kind of smile and laugh about that. That's not how it works, you know, it truly is, uh, you know, about building, you know, partnership together. It's about building trust together. Right? I think that's something we'll talk a lot through this, but I think, you know, how do you get sales teams to to buy in and also trust what's coming over is you know, the right things. The Glengarry leads maybe to date myself and other old references here. Um, but you know, making sure that we have that, that, that, you know, kind of tie back and we're able to give feedback when things aren't missing the mark or making the mark here, uh, improving and optimizing again, you know, together here. But, uh, you know, it is it is really about kind of setting the right tone and having the right culture and not, you know, not treating each other like machines here.
Uzair Dada: [00:09:58] Yeah. So, so, so, Kelly, I want to go back and forth. So what are you doing with sales to gain their trust and align to sort of a unified workflow so that the effort that you guys are putting in are getting the most yield.
Kelly Hopping: [00:10:17] Yeah. I mean, I think that's, uh, that's a great question. We are, uh, we're doing a lot of things. Um, one, the the word lead is sort of, um, you know, kind of dead in our vocabulary, hopefully, because, um, not that the lead is the problem, but at the end of the day, like, my success can't be dictated by leads, um, because otherwise we would never have sales and marketing alignment. Right. Um, we're all in the kind of, uh, revenue game. We're all here to close revenue. We're certainly here to get to the right qualified opportunities. Um, so if leads don't make it to that, then then we're not doing any value, I think, for for our sales force and the revenue. So ultimately that's what we're focused on. That's the key KPI is pipeline and revenue. Um, that's a big piece of it in terms of what we're driving is um, the way that we're doing it is being and making sure that we're, uh, we're really in lockstep on the target customers. So, um, you know, one of the things we've really focused here is how do we narrow our focus, um, being able to kind of target that bull's eye and saying, hey, you know, in the, in the spirit of efficiency and scalability is how do we go after this target set of accounts, this target market, um, as efficiently and directly as possible? Obviously, like I said, there's a halo around it, but you get so much there that you can make sure you're messaging and your brand and your pricing and your packaging, um, and your use cases are all aligned to that target. And if we're aligned, marketing and sales, especially as we think about our demand gen teams, our digital marketing teams and our SDR teams, that they're in lockstep around those particular types of accounts that we want to go after.
Kelly Hopping: [00:11:52] That's going to be huge because we're going to work in lockstep. We're not going to do a we're going to run a marketing campaign and then throw it over the fence to sales, and they're going to run it. It's a back and forth. We're continuing to work them. Sales is continuing to work them. And we hope that that kind of intersection is helping. I think that's one. Another one that we're really doing is, um, is trying to focus on existing customers. You know, part of being efficient is really that idea of what's your highest ROI, where are you going to get the biggest bang for your buck? And the reality is, in a market like this, customers are much more willing to spend more with the vendor they know than take a risk on a new vendor. And so knowing that we're already running and we can expand really means we want to surprise and delight our current customers. Um, as we feel like that's where that loyalty and willingness to kind of advocate and expand with us. Um, so those are a couple things. Overall, John and I are trying to run, um, demand based on demand base. Um, and so, you know, demand based is, is an ABM platform, um, which is poorly named because, uh, account based was sort of, I think, categorically the wrong name from the beginning because they called it account based marketing, when really it's account based marketing and sales. It's account based growth, account based, uh, you know, alignment, whatever it happens to be. Um, but that concept is what makes sure that that we're all in lockstep, we're all operating under the same playbook, um, and going after the same players.
Uzair Dada: [00:13:16] I, I love a lot of the things you said, and the one that is super near and dear to my heart is focus and segmentation. The the amount of times, the simplicity of just making sure you understand your ICP and persona and, and really understand it. And that doesn't mean that I'm just using Firmographics or Technographics and pulling down a zoom info list, right? And putting that into my system and saying that's who I'm going after. And just having the cognition of that 5% of my Tam is in market at any point in time and sort of putting layered intent on it to say, okay, this is how and who I'm going to go follow up on. That's where you guys as a platform make a lot of sense and enable a lot of awesome efficiency, I think is such a simple thing, but it is a paramount mistake that even the best of people make all the time. Um, and especially.
Kelly Hopping: [00:14:12] So much of that complexity comes from in your go to marketing. Our budgets are not what they you know, what they used to be. This growth at all cost means we also have more efficient budgets. And to try to be everything to everyone with message that resonates with every single audience and every single pain point. We'd never get anything done. It's too complex, so we just need to narrow in and focus on the one, the one thing, the one folks who are going to drive more than half our growth, at least.
John Eitel: [00:14:35] I think actually to. Yeah, sorry, just to double down on this real quick on this. I think that's probably like for everybody listening, you know, the big pocket of efficiency that's probably, uh, been forgotten. I think we all, you know, as we kind of, you know, bloated. We tried to go after everything we could. Right? Because we thought that was the way to win, you know? And so it was like, let's cover everything. And, you know, I think as we're finding out quickly, you can't be everything to everybody. You know, if you have limited, you know, kind of budget, you have limited resources, right? You need to expend them in the right ways, ways here. And so I think a lot of folks haven't thought about like, do I, you know, constrict my, you know, my ICP, you know, my Tam, do we need to think about, you know, narrowing in the aperture when we've expanded it? And I think it's a, it's a it's a disciplined story. Uh. And we we went through it ourselves. Kelly and I just led a massive undertaking of a process here because, you know, over, you know, ten plus of years of doing this, you know, we started to, to creep into areas that probably weren't as effective for us and not the best use of those resources. So it was a great moment of like, let's stop doing that and let's start putting a lot more of that emphasis. Let's put a lot more of those resources in the places that we know we're going to win the most, and the customers are going to value what we're providing here.
Uzair Dada: [00:15:43] Yeah, I think that's.
Alex Jonathan Brown: [00:15:44] I think that's a great time.
Uzair Dada: [00:15:45] Yeah. Go ahead. Alex.
Alex Jonathan Brown: [00:15:47] Oh, I was just going to hop in real quick with a question from chat. Um, there, uh, I think it was Heidi. Um, sorry if it wasn't you, Heidi. And it was someone else. Um, but there's a question about how to manage that change like that. These ideas are a shift for, like, we're thinking about this a lot, but especially if you're one of the people who are, like, doing the work. And just organizationally, how do you do you have any strategies for managing that change from kind of the way that we used to think about things and that hypergrowth mindset that you were talking about to this now hopefully much more sustainable process that does use different muscles kind of throughout. That's for anybody. Yeah.
John Eitel: [00:16:33] Kelly, I can, you know, maybe start off if you want, and, uh, we can kind of tag team this one, but I but I think, like, I think that's a great question and it's probably like, I'm so glad that question was that because I think it's probably the biggest, uh, you know, underestimated piece of any change journey is change management. And so, um, you know, for us, just using us as an example, I think we, you know, maybe doing this a few times, learning the hard way, knew, knew to get ahead of this. And so we, we really kind of kicked off a lot of our transformation for this year, you know, kind of middle of last year. You know. So we were we were starting this process, you know, six, seven months ago, uh, and it began with using a lot of data to really inform the decisions, you know, aligning together as an executive team, you know, with folks even outside of Kelly. And I like product engineering. Uh, you know, we want to make sure we're thinking about all these other aspects that kind of touch our surface area, but making sure that we, you know, all agree on the changes we need to make. And then once we did, you know, then it was what really kind of kicked off the hard work, you know, once we made the decision, you know, is how do we get our teams aligned, how do we get them project managing, you know, these aspects.
John Eitel: [00:17:37] How do we get them prepped and ready. You know, for this to be, you know, something we can pull off in the beginning of the new year. We're calendar year. So that was our, our, you know, uh, you know, situation here. But it's extremely hard to do that when you've been trying to deliver on expectations, you know. So you need to close out last year strong while while planning for this better tomorrow in future. Um, you know, it really does take discipline. It takes, you know, it's a preparation. It takes probably carving off some teams to to focus on this, or at least giving some people on your team dedicated space to focus on this, because it's it's really hard to do it when you have, you know, uh, again, limited resources, which kind of started this conversation, uh, you know, that change journey becomes even a little bit more, uh, you know, conflicted. And so I think that's, that's a little bit of just insight in how we think about it or how we thought about it. But, uh, any other thoughts, Kelly? Maybe to layer in.
Kelly Hopping: [00:18:26] Yeah, I would say that, um, it was, you know, I think it's part it's just part of the mindset of being intentional. And so we started with the data. Um, well, we started with the alignment that, hey, we need to focus. And then we said, well, let's look at the data. And so we went actually through each of our segments and said, okay, what's the average, um, you know, deal size at the, at the different segment levels, what's the average retention? What's the average growth rates? Where are we seeing good NPS like where are those? Those are the customers that are really, really happy, which means our product is really, really resonating with them. Like that seems like our sweet spot. Like we red, yellow, green. And you saw the green sort of pulsing in this one area and we said, that's our market, that's our sweet spot. So then once we aligned on that, then it was really about saying, okay, how do we reframe our segmentation? How do we make sure our sales team is is structured and comped, um, the right way with, with quotas and target account lists and things that match up to that. How do I make sure the marketing team is structured in a way to outbound against that market? How do I make sure that our brand is resonating with that audience? How do we make sure that we understand the key pain points we're trying to solve for that audience, and leaning into that in our differentiation. So it was cross-functional. It changed billing, it changed CSS. And how's our customer success team support? Um, you know, an ICP customer versus versus other customers. So it's, uh, it's an extended sort of change management exercise across the organization. But the biggest key thing in that, I think that drives success is that cross functionally at the executive team, we were 100% in lockstep that this is the direction. And that makes it much easier to cascade into the various functions.
Uzair Dada: [00:20:05] Yeah, I think to me it takes bold leadership at the end of the day, right. It needs being able to say we're not going to do this is the hardest thing for people to do when they've been doing it and and when, when it may be ten, 15, 20, 30% of your business. But it's not the right business you should be in. And being able to say, we're not going to do this and do the other thing requires some chops, right? Requires some persistence and requires leadership at all levels. And to me, I think that's what you guys are doing, which is so awesome. Right? And I think for everyone else, you have to you can't win all battles. You have to focus. And I think the and this means that for certain people that are in the middle management, they have to build up the business case of why kind of what Kelly talked about to get leaders swayed and then go all the way up to the board because and your and your investors, whether if you're the private company or public company, because we are so used to just doing things the way and the way is no longer working. So to me, I think the bold leadership part and I think you guys kind of emphasize the change management, which I can't agree more. I think it's sort of you need to also change enable. So it's across all levels. It's not done. It's not just communicating once or doing this and it's over because we all resort back to the mean, which is what we were doing before, even though we said we're going to do something different. Yeah, it's ensuring it sticks is the hard part. Right. Same thing goes on the sales enablement side. Every time we roll out a new platform or a new tool. Yeah, we're we did the two hour zoom session or we did a workshop or two and we're good to go. We're awesome. Like great. Like no, it doesn't stick. So so like we know this, but we keep doing it again and again and again. So the enablement part is, I think to me, the biggest opportunity, especially on the sales side. And John, I'd love to hear from you from a, you know, what are you doing to ensure change sticks. Right. Because your team is used to doing things a certain way before you showed up.
John Eitel: [00:22:07] Yeah, yeah. No. And I think this is, you know, this is an important part of this too, right? There is the project management aspects of it and the change management. But then there's also the, you know, the, you know, the ability to stick through it. And I would say like something that, you know, really is important that this started with and will continue to thread throughout is the data will set you free. And as Kelly mentioned, you know, when we looked at the data, it was very clear, like it became very easy to understand and articulate to our teams, like why we were making this shift. And so we kept that very much kind of front in mind as we moved through this change journey as well. Right? So whenever there was that like, you know, resistance moment or that feeling of like, why would we kind of step away from this? Like, this is a customer that wants to to take our money, right? You know, to be able to say like, look, but we know the outcome here. We know that a year from now they're not going to be a customer. Right? We're going to spend a lot of time, energy and resources for somebody who's probably not going to get the value that they want. So like we got to be very, you know, cognizant of that. And so I think being able to to, you know, reinforce along that change journey, I think if you study any, you know, change, uh, you know, change management curves, right. There's always that point in like when things get hard, people want to go back, uh, to what was, you know, once before. Right? It's just human nature. It's it's innately in us. And so being able to spot those moments too and be able to be prepared for it and ready for, you know, kind of the right things to reinforce along that, you know, that way here. But we're, you know, we're we're in the process of it right now. I'm about three weeks, you know, kind of into the new year. You know, we've also kind of aligned our RKO, we're doing RKO. And uh, in two weeks it's going to be our first in person after, you know, four years. And it's really great to think, like, okay, now that's going to be when we hit that, that wall of resistance or that moment of weakness, you know, of like, why can't we just go back to the old way? It's getting hard again. Right? Like that's going to be, you know, it hopefully kind of powers us through the change curve. So just kind of thinking about it in that way. Um, because you're right, we've all probably been victims of like big launch, low follow through. Uh, you know, and I think it's got to be like, big launch, consistent follow through, you know, with the ability to to make sure that you've got measures of accountability and feedback loops to support it there. Uh, and, you know, we could talk about that, you know, if, if we have time, but like, you know, comp and other pieces play into this, you know, Kelly and I's, you know, kind of, uh, you know, our own kind of agreements with each other and how we kind of navigate these things. I think those all really kind of work together. Uh, part and parcel here.
Uzair Dada: [00:24:32] Yeah. So, so you touched on a couple of cool things, which is a perfect sort of, uh, segue to the next conversation is with with AI and all these awesome tools we have, we we sort of are getting to this kind of hyper personalization mode or personalization mode, kind of expected votes from our customers and, and other things. But as a result of personalization, there's a lot of workflow automation and other things that are happening. You know, not as if before texting and emailing at at ad nauseam wasn't enough. Now we have sequencing going crazy on the sales side, right? And becoming so freaking robotic that you can you can smell it from a mile away. So in this new world of AI enabled personalization and automation, and there are some cool things that we were prepping for this, that you that you had mentioned, both Kelly and John, kind of like what's sort of your thoughts on kind of personalization in The buyer's journey? And I'll start with sort of Kelly of kind of how to do it in a way that you are not losing the purpose and losing the core outcome.
Kelly Hopping: [00:25:42] Yeah. I mean, I think that's the ongoing challenge of automation, right? It's a it's a fine line between, uh, automating and losing the authenticity of, of your brand or of the relationship or of the specifics of why you're reaching out to somebody. And so that personalization is, is really critical. And a big part of, um, you know, what we consider a differentiator, I guess, in the world of ABM, um, because it allows us to not only find the right people, but know what else they have done and find out where they are in their journey so that our messaging is relevant at that stage. You know, I've spent a lot of career without an ABM just operating on like BTR email scripts, right? Like, okay, this is. The email. Number one, this is email number two. Everybody gets those same. Oh you went to this event. You get this email cadence. Um, instead of recognizing, hey, we're not only looking at they went to this event, but we're seeing their entire journey. We know where they're coming from. We know what, uh, what company they're at. We know what page they landed on on our website. We know all of these things. So now we can actually, um, customize a message to them that's actually relevant to to where they are. And I think that's really critical. I think those are the messages I respond to. Right? I mean, as I'm sure you guys do, I get a ton of of spam, whether it's email or social posts or emails. Um, and, and I can tell when they're completely off and others when I'm like, oh man, you like, have you like, is that Alexa? Are you listening? Like, it feels like so aware of what I'm doing. Um, that I'm like that that's somebody who's actually has really good insight into my needs today, into my pain point, into what I'm going through. And it's crazy how relevant it is. And so I just think that's the way you get people to respond. Um, yeah.
Uzair Dada: [00:27:32] I think we've lost the person. And personalization. Yeah, right. And kind of we've sort of the person has become a label. It's a name. It's a company. It's a whatever. Like my favorite on LinkedIn is like, uh, hey, I feel like we should be connecting because whatever. Like how lazy? Just the easy buttons killing us. Yes. Every button is killing marketing and sales efficiency. I think that's what's happening. Right. So we so you know, and and to me marketing side it's important. But my god on the sales side because it's where the magic actually changes and happens and converts. It's so insanely important to be human. And so John, what are you doing to humanize your follow up and ensure that it's happening in an appropriate way? Yeah.
John Eitel: [00:28:17] Like I think actually I'm going to steal some of those comments you just used there, because I think you're right. The easy button is killing us. And, you know, I think this has been happening for a while. And then it really just got compounded in a massive way with AI. Right? But I think like sales tooling has come so far, you know, from, from, you know, the early days of when I started my sales career to today. Right. And it really has made, you know, I would say a seller's life a lot easier. Right? They have, you know, contact detail at their fingertips. They can launch, you know, multiple emails at any given time. Uh, you know, you can really do a lot of tasks, uh, that we thought needed to be a bit more automated. Um, you know, in the beginning. And I do think what we might have done is we've actually kind of let that run a little too wild. Uh, is my sense here. And so I do feel like that's kind of one part of the problem. Back to your the easy button is killing us here. Um, and it's taken, you know, probably the humans further back, you know, from the experience here, you know, and it makes us feel, you know, like you said, like a number or like a part. A step in a process, not like a a person that we're connecting with here. So that's happening. And then you throw in AI, you know, and I think AI is going to completely you know, we're still our brains are still you know, you know, I think struggling to catch up with what's coming at us here. And there's going to be so many powerful things that come out of it. But I think, you know, ultimately, at the end of the day, like, I, again, should be all about bringing the humans to the right touch points at the right time and being able to fix that. But I think, again, all these things kind of have been coming together. And so you're seeing Google make changes right now, uh, to restrict how many emails can be sent, you know, and they are starting to like clamp down on things. I think it's actually probably good. I think actually, uh, we as buyers would probably say, you know, this is this is how we get some semblance of, like, normal back in our inbox and back on our phones. And I'm hearing that actually, like, dialers are next, right? The restriction of dialers is going to come down, which is yeah, I welcome that because I can't answer my phone anymore. Uh, you know, and that's, that's been a problem. And so it's going to be, you know, really I think, uh, maybe hopefully a renaissance moment or an evolution moment where we start to reset, you know, uh, you know what this new world of sales and marketing looks like. But how do we get these touchpoints right? And it's not about making, you know, 100 dials plus in a day. It's not about sending a thousand emails. It's going to be about like, how do we send 30 emails hyper personalized, you know, that show that I know who Kelly is and I understand what she's really, you know, concerned about. And I think I can help her. Right. Like I can show up and be very genuine. Not like with this very generic like let's connect. So I think that's a bit of the, you know, the story for all of us. And that's what I'm kind of going through right now. It's kind of, you know, good to be new in a company because you can come back and think like, let's just rethink a lot of the things that we put in place. Do they still serve a purpose? And, you know, we, you know, as a company probably over utilized, you know, some automations in the beginning, I think we were losing, you know, sight of why, why, why we exist and something we can help. So I think that's the power of, you know, what Kelly mentioned, you know, being, you know, kind of DB on DB being a, you know, kind of a initiative for us here and really making sure that we live and breathe, uh, you know, our own kind of, uh, you know, model of efficiency here. You know we saw that really quickly. And so we are unwinding, you know, some outreach sequencing. Not to say that we're not going to use outreach. We're going to use it more efficiently and probably in the way it was intended in the first place. Like I think the, you know, the team did what they did and they broke they broke it down and they started using it in, you know, ways that really fit, you know, fit them. And we probably also made this problem worse because we set metrics around, uh, unattainable goals. And so, you know, it's, uh, it's going to take some unraveling here. Um, but I do believe that we will hopefully have a better experience, you know, for buyers and hopefully for sellers, you know, where they're they're feeling like the impact they're making can be felt. They're seeing, you know, those those outreaches actually responded to versus, you know, sending a bunch hoping that, you know, Kelly, uh, happens to to respond in this one moment here. But there's a thousand others. If she doesn't, you know, we don't we don't have time for that. And as we mentioned, like, you know, this world that we're now kind of adjusting to, it's all about efficiency and and landing, you know, the right the right message at the right time with the right buyer.
Uzair Dada: [00:32:28] Yeah. I think I think the data driven part amazing tooling part is, is is such a godsend and such a help. We just we have to be smart about it and not lazy about using those tools. And, and I think the other going back to bold leadership, you and you hit it on it a lot of times we do things the way we do things because of the KPIs that have been set. If we are willing to sort of challenge the norm and think about the right way, the way Kelly defined it, sort of how to think about segmentation and the way you're thinking about, okay, we were just doing it because the norm was did you have n number of touches was how I was thinking about it. It's going to resort to bad behavior because I'm going to become the, you know, I'd say easy buttons really the lazy button. Right. Like so like that, that button pusher. And I'm not going to do my job where I know I have this amazing insight of all the work that has happened on that account and that person before they got to me, the tools are all there. But we've it's almost like the GPS analogy when when GPS came in, we forgot your sense of direction because we just rely so much on this thing because you just get in a car, you're like, I don't know where I am, like, where do I go? And so it's sort of like the common sense stuff. The human part of that needs to be persistent and, and shine. And because the tools are making it very easy for us to shine. And so it's on us as sales and marketing leaders to make that happen. Um, as we sort of finish up, um, kind of for both of you. One last question. I'll start with Kelly. So from a CMO perspective, new to demand based, talking to a lot of your customers, what are two takeaways that you have for your team and generally marketers who are on the call today that they should be thinking about for 2024?
Kelly Hopping: [00:34:13] Yeah. Um, I think the the number one is focus, right? We talked a lot about that. But I think really I think that's what is the, the, the enemy to effectiveness in marketing these days especially I don't know any marketing. None of my marketing friends would ever say they have too much budget. Um, and so we have to be laser focused and hyper vigilant in the way that we spend our dollars, which means we need to be hyper focused on the right audience and the right message and the right products and all the things. And so to me, focus is really critical, and that focus is only feasible if sales and marketing are aligned when you do it. And so having that focus cross-functionally, um, makes such a difference. Make sure we're all in that fight together. Um, we'll either win together or lose together with that focus, but we will focus. Um, the other thing I would say is, is customers, um, meaning customer marketing. I think that marketers are typically in a vein of new business acquisition, which is super important. Um, and I think that's relevant, but I think it has to be full funnel and we are full life cycle is probably a better time than funnel. Um, it has to be all the way from acquisition to retention to expansion and loyalty and advocacy and thinking about that full life cycle, um, which means that we have to have KPIs as marketers around, um, around customer marketing, around growth rates, around retention rates. That used to be something that you give to the CS team or the account management team. But now to me, that's that's 100% a marketing problem as well. We're also in that together with with our sales and CS teams. Um, and to me, in an environment like this and maybe anytime, but specifically, um, that is going to be the absolute highest ROI on your business.
Uzair Dada: [00:35:52] It's awesome. John, what about on the sales side? What are the two things that you are planning on doing differently and advising your or making that happen on your sales team, but also you think is broadly applicable to everybody else?
John Eitel: [00:36:06] Yeah. So sadly, it's going to be a little bit of a broken record moment. But again, the focus I think is so critical. And so, you know, we talked a lot about like how Kelly thinks about it versus how I think about it. But I think, you know, just making sure that your team is aligned to the right places where they can win and making sure that you do that analysis and, and, you know, resist the urge to just try and be wide and be everything to everybody. I think that's. It's going to be so helpful for everybody. Um, you know, and so make sure you take the time, go through the exercise. It's not too late. I think, you know, the moment to start is now, if you haven't already. Now, the other thing, too, is just rethink everything and go back to basics. And I think in times of adversity, um, you know, this is where you need to go back and like, you know, test out your buyer journey, see what the touch points are, you know, and make sure that look your automations, you know, do they need to be automations or can they be people you know, are the automations being used in the right ways? Does it feel very human when you go through the experience? Like, those are the things to test because we just we probably haven't we, you know, in some cases, you know, I know in certain areas maybe we took our eye off the ball. And so it's such a great time to think about how do you fix that? How do you tighten it up in some ways, maybe even reset it and do it all over? You know, if you if you set it up 4 or 5 years ago and it's just been a process that's been evolving over time, maybe it's time to rethink it from the ground up this year. But I would say, uh, you know, this is a year, you know, that you really need to kind of also, uh, you know, look deep in the seat cushions, uh, because we've been doing this for two years already. So I think that change is going to be deep in there. But I think there are, you know, some areas that that may take a little bit more work, uh, and enable, you know, kind of take some change management to, to get through the journey. But I think those are the things that are going to really make, uh, you know, make us better, you know, as we go through this year.
Uzair Dada: [00:37:51] I think this is awesome to me. Focus, simplify, can, can humanize. And I love the fact that what Kelly brought up that we didn't touch on, and I wish this is another conversation we need to have, is don't forget who's paying your bills. Your customer. We are all so, so, so enamored by chasing new logos that we forget that majority of our growth comes from people who are already customers. And so and maybe in the next call, we need to bring customer success leaders at the same table because it is the three legged stool. It really is. And and that's it's such a undervalued area from a focus perspective. And the companies that do well, you know, your sales forces of the world and the adobes of the world, that's their bread and butter. That's kind of where they're obsessed about. And I think that's something that for all of us to take that lesson and learn from it.
Kelly Hopping: [00:38:41] So absolutely. Yeah.
John Eitel: [00:38:43] Just piggybacking on that too. On last thing, I think you're right. I like that, you know, Kelly brought up like marketing you know, is involvement in existing customers. Again I think some people thought that it was, you know, and I might have been a victim at times or part of the problem, but you know, that it's, you know, once the deal is done and they become a customer, they just organically grow. And I think in this competitive world we're in, you know, I think keeping a customer sometimes is just as hard as selling to a new one right there. They have limited dollars to spend and limited budget, and they're making, you know, hard decisions, just like, you know, all of us are. And so, you know, how do you stay top of mind to them. And so I think it, you know, really does put, you know, put the onus on you to figure that out. So yeah good good call out Kelly. And obviously you know, another piece to to make sure you're keeping a watchful eye on.
Kelly Hopping: [00:39:25] Yeah. Thank you.
Uzair Dada: [00:39:27] Well, thank you very much. This has been awesome, Alex.
Alex Jonathan Brown: [00:39:29] Yeah, this has been a fantastic conversation. It's been so fun to get to listen to you guys and then also watch the. Like the chat is having its own little webinar over there. We've got people exchanging LinkedIn info like they're solving their own problems. So everybody who's been chatting throughout this and asking such good questions and listening so well. Um, thank you so much for doing that. If you're watching this on the on demand and you're not part of that chat, what are you doing? Uh, we do this once a month here at Ironhorse. Um. Kelly and we we hope the whole demand, the whole demand base team comes back as often as you want to come. We're always here, um, to learn more about what you're doing at Demand Base. Uh, do you guys have any plugs or is it just the website? Anything cool coming up you want to promote?
Kelly Hopping: [00:40:18] Uh, we got a lot coming up. I think we've got some, uh, we just rolled out our ROI cookbook, which is pretty exciting to help us understand the full, um, value prop and ROI expectation when you embark on an ABM journey. Um, so that's a great a great asset to check out. Um, we're going to be showing up at some some big events soon. We'll be speaking at the Adobe event in March. Uh, we'll be at Forrester in May, will be at the Gartner for marketers. Uh, in June. We hope to see you guys come by and see us. Um, but yeah, in the meantime, check us out on social. Check us out on demand based. Com and, uh, give us a shout. We'd love to get to know you.
John Eitel: [00:40:57] Yeah. Thanks. Thanks for.
Alex Jonathan Brown: [00:40:59] Having us. Anything else? Yeah.
John Eitel: [00:41:01] Oh, we appreciate the the open invite to return to Kelly's point. Come see us at any of those events as well. Uh, and thank you to the Iron Horse team for the partnership. We really have enjoyed, uh, working so closely together. This is actually my second time to work with Uzair. So, uh, you know, past life’s, uh, you know, reconnecting here, but but great to great to partner up again and make such a big impact together with our customers.
Alex Jonathan Brown: [00:41:24] Absolutely awesome. And if you want to learn more about what's going on at Iron Horse, our website is Ironhorse.io. Like I said, we do this once a month. There's. And it feels like lately we've been revamping big parts of the website once a month as well, so check back often. There's new stuff all the time. Um, but again, everybody who's there. Thanks for running the conversation and made my job real easy today. Um, and for everybody else. Coffee break's over. Let's get back to work. Thanks, everybody.
Uzair Dada: [00:41:52] Thanks, everyone. Thanks, everyone.
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