B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 3 years ago

27: Short-Term Wins & Long-Term Brand-Building w/ Faye Hawkins


Everyone knows the value marketing has on the sales cycle. Marketing puts forth an incredible amount of effort to warm clients and accounts. Sales members strive to close deals, often under immense pressure to meet quotas. When these two teams work together, it’s magic.

So this week, we’re listening to Faye Hawkins from First Base Unlimited. Their goal? To help you strategize and determine who your real buyers are, and understand how you can best access and serve the market. On this episode of the B2B Revenue Acceleration podcast, Faye delivers these answers and more.

Faye Hawkins has been defining the face of tech brands for almost 20 years, specializing in B2B software.

You were listening to bb revenue acceleration, a podcast dedicated to helping software executives stay on the cutting edge of sales and marketing in their industry. Let's get into the show. Hi, welcome to be. To be a reven new acceleration. My name is already end with you and I'm here today with Faye all kinds from first base. Are you doing faith? Yeah, good, thanks, very nice to see you. Thanks for having me on. No problem at all. So today we will be talking about some top tips for first growth marketers. But before we get to start, he can you bleef, tell us a little bit more about yourself, as well as your company, First Base? Yeah, sure, so, so fast grade marketing is what we're all about. So perfectly aligned to our specialist topic here. We work with technology, B spee companies and we're an agency that helps them put all the right pieces in place, so taking them to market, helping their buyers to actually understand what it is that they sell, what the value would be, getting them in front of the right target audiences, making sure that we get those buyers to know what it is that we're trying to sell. We generate the leads. That's always the number one requirement for all of our clients. So demand generation is very much then the kind of tactic, and then really just helping the clients to understand how the buyers are behaving. So there's a huge component of digital marketing where we're looking for, you know, every touch point, every action, where our buyers are really getting in touch with us on various channels and I'm really just helping kind of push them toward the sales conversation. In a nutshell, that's what we do. Excellent, that sounds that sounds very interesting and very close to what we do. In a sense, we probably are the next step after that. So that's we've got a good Ondo something of the value you can bring, and so we both work with BTB software organization and multi. Our clients, as probably your clients, are growing at a very first first space, with new technology consistently, or constantly, shall I say, coming to market. Then there guessing neurons of Investment Company leading needding to scale their business because they're under pressure from investors and needing, needing to do it in a very short time phrase in the first phase environment within market that can quickly adapt their approach to their clients into that company that companies needs. Your perspective, what are the skills and talents that you believe marketers in the first changing market need to add? Yeah, Oud question. I mean there's definitely a skills and expertise component to any any successful marketing program yeah, you picked up just there that you know, we work in the kind of industry where it's hugely competitive and you know, whether you're a startup or an enterprise, business is still have quite a lot of ground to cover from a marketing point of view. The skills that you need the number one thing as much as you need the kind of hands on expertise. Just need to be all over it. We need to have,...

...you know, the attitude where you're really looking for every single opportunity and learning really quickly. There's all sorts of tools out there these days, so the Martek Revolution is absolutely upon us. So every marketer is having to learn new things every day and we're learning know what kind of new techniques we can put in place. We're having to get scripps with all the new kind of marketing automation platforms, different types of tracking software. So technology is really having a huge impact on how we actually do marketing for software and beat be tech companies. So it's definitely a component of just need to be quite resourceful. There's an answer for something everywhere, like how do we do this? What's the best practice way of doing it? So it's definitely a kind of high paced environment and you need people that really kind of have that go getting drive to like get stuff done and learn new things and just make stuff happen, because in the end that's the thing that makes the difference. You know, we set out our strategy for all the clients we work with and you know, we have to adapt really quickly. That's the other thing that we don't know very often when we start with companies. I mean you'll have the same thing yourself you start with a startup company, because they may not have done marketing before. We can set out a paper based plan that makes really good sense, but we don't know until we actually get a market and how the buyers are going to behave, what sort of engagement we're going to get, what sort of response rates we should be looking for. So there's a lot of optimization and and, you know, kind of looking at what's in front of you and picking the best path and that's a real skill. So good decision making short term and along the term, vision of all the things that are kind of needed to be successful. It's quite a long answer that. There's quite a lot to it. I guess. Yeah, like it's but it doesn't make perfect sense because I think you also tell you right. I think if you look at your organization, if you look at an organization like like operatics, we are tensions of our clients, cells and marketing to respectively. Right. So ultimately we would have people coming to us because they want to accelerate reasult they want to accelerate their route to market, they want to accelerate pipe and generation Lee generation before that, but ultimately they want to accelerate their growth. And we see it very, very often, and it's not just with small startup company that you would expect. You know, I've not really finalized the strategy. Also see it with larger organizations, some very large public companies that we work with, when sometimes we've tart with a strategy, but to along the way, through analysis of results, through voice of the customers, through the feeling, through our experience of working with other vendors, we also need to find you our protray at least. Yeah, we need to and share, but practice is to try to influence clients. But you find it, you thinkled some things between fence clients. From the writing. That's a bit of a tricky question. Yeah, I know exactly what you mean and you know putting, when I put myself in the client shoes, what they're looking for from us is a degree of certainty. They want to know...

...and ultimately it always comes down to our way. It's if I make this investment in marketing or demand generation, what will I get out? And it's sometimes very, very difficult for the agency or for any marketer to to give a concrete answer to that. And I think you know a little bit of marketing does sometimes suffer from from that kind of attitude of it's all very kind of fluffy and you know, we we're not really kind of nailing our colors to the post on what we can achieve, but as an agency we try to get that predictability in place for clients where we can forecast and we can build a model, but the model requires data. We need to we need to do some marketing before we can tune it up, and that's where the responsiveness and the optimization comes in. You know, we have to know how many, what the download rate is, for instance, and how we're converting landing page visits to downloads to actually put a ratio in a percentage that says, okay, if we now increase the traffic by this much, we'll get this many more downloads. Otherwise, you know, we're going to say, okay, let's do some marketing, we'll just hope for the rest. So it's sure that it's quite I mean, I do you understand? You know, absolutely. We have to understand it from the clients point of view as well, and it would help, though. I think, you know, they're looking for certainty. We can we can give them a plan that has all the kind of you know, worked out strategy and loads of experience and best practice in there. We can give them a target and say this is what we think we can achieve if we go ahead and do this, but we're going to have to actually, you know, adapt as we go and learn as we go, and that's something that often yeah, I do think clients, you know, they don't like to have that conversation necessarily because it almost feels like, you know, we're not sure that it will work either, which there is a degree of because you know, we don't know for sure if it will work unless we do it. Absolutely now. Completely agree with you on the point you mentioned a war. That is we spoke consture, remember exactly in which podcast. But you mentioned flirty as an efective going after marketing and and I controquel exactly and I think of that conversation actually came up a few times. But there is almost called a fluffy marketing. Is More like the long term marketing, which is actually very important. Know the long term. What I would you build job bread, the after the short term, which is of the other thing that you mentioned, such as, okay, let's generately now. Let's get people coming onto the website less of to maize, that's have some compings, let's let's make it very simple for people to contact us and get in touch with us when the vain process. So I guess, man. Ex question to you is any marketer needs to find a balance between show of winds and long down Brend building. I'll do that. Yeah, that is the ultimate question from marketing. I'm so glad you're asked. And so it comes down to it comes down to a couple of things and it also comes down to being prepared to stick at it. Is kind of the number one thing that, you know, we've learned in our years of working with no tons of different technology clients and the short term...

...requirement is often the justification for continuing to invest in marketing. So, for instance, you know we'll have a client to say we've got a fixed budget and we want you to go ahead and put the marketing plan together. We'll do what we do and we'll come back with here are the leads that we've generated for you. Off You go and you know, as you say, there might well be some kind of operatics involvement or some kind of lead development just to get them into them selves pipeline. But ultimately it's about it's about bombs on seats at that level and that is the number one thing when lots of clients are looking to us as an agency. We have to deliver that. But the other thing that goes hand in hand with it is what is the cost of that lead? So the cost per lead is more important, arguably, than how many leads have can we generate, because you know, you can buy as much traffic as you want. It's a question of how expensive should the traffic be for you to actually get the wheels to turn? From the marketing point of view, and this is where the longer term approach really can't starts to come into its own, because even if you invest in the short term in brand, you have this kind of juxtaposition where the better known the brand is, and particularly for kind of start up businesses, they have this equation that they have to find a balance for where you know they're not necessarily very well known as a brand. They might have an amazing product. They know exactly who they're going to go and target. But if we go and knock on those doors, from a marketing perspective, maybe we use in mail, we might use sponsored content, might use Google ads. We can get in front of those people, but their next question is, who are these guys and when will you know? Will they be around in two years time? If I buy their software now, what sort of service contract can I really expect? And that comes down to brand and you know, ultimately, you know we we have a lot of discussions with kind of senior leaders and the people who sign checks for marketing where you know we're looking at investing in the brand. They don't see that as a helpful thing from a balance sheet point of view, but it does mean that overall you'll get much better performance out of your marketing and you will grow faster. It's just less tangible in the metrics. So that's the tricky thing. The other thing, though, we kind of proven with a couple of plants where we work with them, one kind of longer term relationships. The Ideal Marketing Program is twenty four months in a plan. It's not six months, it's not three months, not even twelve. And you know, over over twenty four months, you can put both a short term and a long term plan together and you can look to bring down the cost per lead because investing in the brand means that you will generate more leads that are organic or are cheaper to buy. So overall the Roy if you look at it over a longer term period, that's a far better way of doing it rather than how many leads can I get over a short term period starting from zero? And that's always the complicated bit when we're they're trying to talk to clients, because it does take a leak of faith if you're just trying to get started in a market, particularly if you're a kind of fast, great business and it yeah, it's a difficult, difficult conversation to having a tough challenge. Absolutely, but I guess you saw some. My next question. Do you have what would be our top tips for the startups organization or those technology companies to develop a successful marketing...

...strategy? And so you found us on the way with what you're saying. Is that really realize that on't need to long term plan, but really get the best of a marketing strategy which you should have is a twenty four months plan in which you have tactical shot up impact on pipeline as. Yeah, long of them, longer term strategy that will help you to put your brains forward, reasonates to your customers and you timately accelerate the rhythm on your technical compings and to that extense, redio, shocker, spalt, that isn't the right summ things. That's exactly what I'm saying. Brilliant. Thank you. Right, all, write that down. I'm listening. And but that leads me to it was our question around around the lead, for we we think about the leads and and we we always have different definition of fleets. Yeah, and I appreciate you know, I think you and I had conversation in the patterns what led to the podcast to day and in you know, knowing each other, which is how do we bridge the gap between the work that you guys do and actually sells? Okay, yeah, because and I feel I feel for for individual like yourself, a feel for marketers, because we work very closely to sell team. We work with fantastic cells. Team also work we sells individuals that are probably a little bit more picky come of what they want. We also sometimes work with teams that are a bit more tactical. So it could be a reseller, it could be a partner or it could be an insight cell steam who have sometimes they expect the leads to be you know, if there is not a project in three months or if there is at a project in six months, this is not a good lead. Okay, which is great if you are in the commodity business, which is great if you like the very low value, I. Volume, and you want to share and you don't have the time to have the time to what. Basically, you don't have space for any additional custo cells to be put in because the average deal values to look but how do you get that and shake done from a transfer of fleets perspective, to make sure that you know, first of all, people are actually walking the lise that you are providing them? Yeah, and not just from walking the lands. Doesn't mean, okay, I'm gonna give them a call or send them any man if they don't respond to such a good lead. It must be done properly. But I'm interesting to Amos on know you do that, because obviously I know that we are doing you and we're working togethering doing that for the same clients. But when we are not involve, what are the challenges that you see and what are the solution that you are bringing them? Of End of our process, to make sure that you know, most of the art work that you do is actually not only the perceived as good, but also, yeah, done it into good. Because, yeah, okay, when you're marketer, the job of marketing is that to probate qualified opportunities for me or lead. That is the CO unity string on six months time, easy qualified opportunity.

So someone and should do that. Your job is to find that first touch, that first interest. So yeah, that's that's kind of my long wound. Yeah, question to you no, and again it's another really big topic and there's no one size fits all approached here. There's all sorts of different factors to consider. But I absolutely agree with you that the the role of marketing is to is to generate interest from buyers. We are not selling to people, we are helping the salespeople understand who they should be talking to to then go ahead and sell to them. So I completely agree with you and I think there's a there's a lot of, I guess, kind of industry confused usion, frustration maybe about some of the terminology that's really been adopted in B Tob. So the MQL's are mark putting qualified lead had such a massive range of different interpretations and definitions across our client base, and with good reason in part. Sometimes it reflects the sales organization that exists inside the clients. So, for instance, you know if you've got tons of BIZ DAD or lead development telemarketing inside sales team, for instance, you need more volume, you need less qualified leads, you just need a lot of them. And so the definition of mql at that point could literally just be a download. It's not very well qualified. But there's an expectation that's kind of set there between marketing and sales that quits. A high volume of them will be returned to marketing for nurture, and that's fine as long as it's understood. But we also have the opposite end of the spectrum sometimes where, you know, we're marketing is expected to qualify the leads, but we want them now, and you know that it takes time to qualify leads that come through in the same way because they will have, you know, come through from whatever the the kind of engagement is, but that doesn't mean that they want to buy. So we we can we can look at intent, we can understand, no, which channels and what sort of funnelvelocity in all these, you know, kind of ways of figuring out who look like the highest priority that would convert to sale. But at the same time it's still it's still requires a sales discussion, it still requires an appointment, it still requires the sales assessed and it's sometimes that line is quite blurred about, you know, how far along the whole of the buyer journey in marketing should actually continue to engage. It's always a good one for discussion. I mean what we do for quite a lot of clients is is trying to nail that down from the start, because it's super important for marketing and sales to get off on the right foot. You know, we need to all understand exactly what we mean by lead, to your first point, and we try to define what are the lead stages. Very, very often, you know, there's some kind of existing crm, so sales force or whatever it might be, that the sales folks are all used to using, and we can work with that. We just need to understand what that intersection point is between whenever we create a marketing lead, how does it actually populate? Who Does it go to? How do we actually put that kind of automation bit in place and complete the return path? So if it's not a lead, give it back, we'll have it back, thank you, or do some lead nature. We'll see if we...

...can qualify them again and if not, then you know, what do you what we need to do on the marketing side. So there's definitely there's good kind of structure that can we can put in place to kind of set up, you know, what should that hand over look like between marketing and sales? But again, you know, it needs to fine tuning. We need to work out. You know what can marketing practically do and you know how to sales need to come to the party to do the next bit if we're not able to qualify. It so hard from the marketing point of view, I think you know, as we discussed only on because at the end of the COOPIG is fast growth marketers. I think, coming back to a point that you mentioned, what we see with most of our clients is that we have to adapt. We have to change this qualification. We've got to change the way we pass some too sleaves, we've got to change the way we communicate or we need to change the reporting. So you may start with a company and they say, you know what, we want absolutely everything because we need to stick to people with to get out there, and then they get to a position where they actually have a amount of pipeline and then they can want of pressure to close the business. So yeah, probably let's interested by the lower level or less qualified leads and then you may have an internal team coming in and then that internal team will just do the qualification and you know all it could be. Don't do puts to the channel. But the strategy always tend to change every six months from what we see. So I think. I think, coming back to the point that you mentioned earlier, that leading over process and that return. Look, I agree needs to be defend at the beginning and everybody needs to end shake sales, marketing and US professional services to players. But I think it's also very important to discuss about it on the quarterly Bas and just to make sure that it's still fitting the needs and fitting the requalt from the management of the clients. And to the point you mentioned earlier, it's about adapting, it's about adding people. It can do the analysis, listening to the signals from the clients, understanding all the structure for clients and dose fast growing company are developing and, based on the way they develop, provide suggestion on hey, this is all we search and search when they were exactly understand same stage of growth as you, we would suggest, but entually putting that processing place, and we actually end up doing a lot of that, helping also to get to the next stage. You know, do so almost like a staircase. You get to a certain level of provenue and then you need to get better and better and better and to go up you need to change and change. It is difficult and I guess the good news for organization like yours and ours is that we've been doing it with many clients, so we can come up with a we can come up with that's wonderfully well, thanks for that pain, I'm sure. I'm sorry. It was very useful for all audience to listen to the tips and the information you shall and all the intelligence around the way you perceive things. And now, if anyone wants to connect with you or to learn more about your company, first base, what's the best way to get in touch with you? Well, we always opened some conversations with technology companies that be looking to...

...grow. So you know whether there's they were already doing marketing or you know right at the beginning and if that journey best way to get in touch is probably take a look at our website and have a look at some of the case studies that we've got on their various different types of client at different types of marketing. The website address is www dot it's hit first Basecom, hyt first and then be a ssaycom. You'll find quite a few different examples of kind of services that we offer. We do all sorts of different things for some clients, some clients. It's full service marketing where literally outsource all of it and we'll take care of hitting the number. And for others, you know, we fill in around existing in house expertise. So you know, we can add, you know, certain bits of components of the whole marketing programs, whatever's needed really. So, yeah, I shall look forward to where, yeah, continuing conversations and some of our share clients hopefully will have found a little collaboration here interesting to absolutely what. That's great. Many things again, Fada was wonderfully too. Was wonderfully twelve younger. Thank you right, it's great, really good fun. Thanks for having me on. Thank you. operatics has redefined the meaning of revenue generation for technology companies worldwide. While the traditional concepts of building and managing inside sales teams inhouse has existed for many years, companies are struggling with a lack of focus, agility and scale required in today's fast and complex world of enterprise technology sales. See How operatics can help your company accelerate pipeline at operatics dotnet. You've been listening to BEDB revenue acceleration. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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