gtmPRO

AI + Sales: The Unintended Impact Of Which We Should Be Aware

January 27, 2024 Gary, Andy & Tiana Season 1 Episode 8
gtmPRO
AI + Sales: The Unintended Impact Of Which We Should Be Aware
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Hello Everyone!

Sales + AI = Efficiency = Profit 
Right?
Yes, and no.
You might want to take a pause and rethink it.

Deploying technology into any process ever has always meant efficiency, and in those means better ways to handle the process. But in an era where people are absolutely tired of being exposed to cold outbound, we might want to rethink the consequences of up-scaling automation in sales (yet again).

Join us to dive into the positive and negative outcomes of AI in sales, where we discuss the sales innovation paradox of 2024, what you might have overlooked and what you should consider. 

Go be a PRO!

Gary:

Welcome to the GTM Pro Podcast, your essential audio resource for mastering go-to-market discussions in the boardroom. Here we share insights for revenue leaders at B2B Software and services companies, especially those with less than 50 million in revenue. Why? Because the challenges faced by companies of this size are unique. They are too big to be small and too small to be big. This dynamic pushes revenue leaders into executive leadership without a lot of help or support.

Tiana:

We are here to provide that support your journey to boardroom excellence starts now Today.

Gary:

I'm not rubbing it in for our brothers and sisters who are in cooler climates, but it's 70 degrees. The doors open, literally wearing shorts. It's bonkers. Andy went hunting yesterday. I thought when you said you were going to go hunting in the later week, I was imagining you standing in the rain, because it's raining. Yesterday it was raining at 38 degrees or 40 degrees. I can't think of a more miserable way to start your day.

Andy:

That was the prior hunting experience. That's right. It was exactly the same. It was foggy and a little drizzly, but it was about 60 degrees at sunrise.

Gary:

On January, whatever it is late January Wacky.

Tiana:

That's a week apart. That's nice.

Gary:

In one week yeah, it's a little bit of a spring tease We'll get back to normal. Well, even normal winter weather here, charlotte, is something to be desired, so I'm not going to complain, but, yeah, a little crazy. Anyway, I'm not here to talk about the weather, let's dive in. We are talking about the sales innovation paradox, I believe. So Tiana or Andy, kick us off, provide some context.

Tiana:

I think I'll pass this one to Andy because he was in a really good string before we actually decided to start with it.

Andy:

The sales paradox started with Howard and there's a great article and we can link to that. He's the director of sales innovation at UT Dallas. I want to say he was discussing that the use of technology and AI as a means for greater efficiency in the sales process and pulling sales leaders out in the world was met with the reaction that if I got that from technology and AI, if I got greater efficiency, what would I do with that? That was the question posed to them and the answer, pretty universally, was I'd hire more salespeople because this technology and this efficiency meaning I can generate a greater amount of leads and pipeline that would feed a growing sales force. It would mean I'd want to grow that sales force because I'd have more stuff for them to sell.

Andy:

We took a look at that and what eventually was a bit of the conclusion in that podcast was that that's a fleeting flash in the pan phenomenon that's going to be met with. Your TAM is going to dry up, you're going to burn through your potential universe of leads just much more quickly, and we can't agree more with that. That's something we've seen before the dawn of artificial intelligence and greater efficiency around finding leads and better data sources and ways to figure out who the right people at various companies are that might be interested in a product I'm selling. That's the backdrop of it is wow, okay, so whatever, 7 out of 10 people would hire more salespeople as a result of that. We're here to clear the air around why that might not be the best course of action and what that really means in terms of what you might want to do, either with technology or, certainly, around delivering better value to your potential universe of buyers.

Gary:

Yeah, and providing the appropriate props. This was in GTM news. Taylor Wells was the podcast. I interviewed him, so thank you, taylor.

Gary:

I was thinking the same thing, annie, as I heard that it's amazing how we've referenced this many times. But the law of crappy click-throughs different word for crappy and just how it literally is a law because it follows human and capitalist behavior, and that is that when something works, then everybody piles in until it doesn't. And there is a window of opportunity here where absolutely people are getting results by doing this. But back to your point of if you're not careful about how you deploy these resources, then any gains and benefits that you get will be short-lived and you will very quickly reach the law of diminishing returns because everybody else will do the same thing. And so these targeted messages that are perfectly scripted with AI, and AI is helping you determine who to reach out to at certain time, when you're the only one doing that, because you've been thoughtful about how to do that, then, yes, you will get results. But when my inbox and you're the 15th message of the day that's doing that, I'm going to become very good at spotting what is AI induced and what is really what's actually helping me through my day, and I think that's why this idea of relationship is going to be so much more important as we move forward the ability to earn the right to be seen as a source of information that I should trust, versus taking advantage of a window in time, and really, you know, I think that's the most important thing.

Gary:

Back to your point about hiring more salespeople. That actually, in the moment, may be the absolute right thing to do, but to think that those same methods will work the same way in the next year is, especially more than ever, like. Ai is moving super fast and everybody's going to take advantage of it and therefore the results are going to deteriorate faster than any other thing has. And that goes back to this year's target, is next year's baseline, and if next year's growth target is based on some of those same mechanics, while they've reached the law of diminishing returns because of crappy click-throughs, then you are building that forecast on sand right Very hard to make sure that that's repeatable.

Gary:

It's going to get harder and harder. So it's almost like the S curves that we've talked about are shrinking. They're every one of them. It's like you need to. You climb it very quickly and it peaks very quickly, which means you need to find the next S curve, and that is what I think, andy, where you were going is. We're arguing for something more enduring, which is to take a step back and think about less about the tactics and more about. We are in a new world order in terms of how all of us consume information and where we look for reliable sources of information, and we're almost, in a way, reverting back to relationship. That's why you see the growth of communities and word of mouth and things like that I mean I think that sounds cliche but it's absolutely accurate is relationship.

Andy:

It's more enduring and we're just talking about juxtaposing. What I would argue you know I've been talking a lot about is the some of the new sales motions where I go out and I find you know really good tools for it Find the audience that I want to target for a particular outbound campaign. So I know exactly who. You know who those targets should look like the size, company, their, their role. You know the industry they're in. Maybe you know they've been in their job between one and three years and I can go and get that list. And then I have this really great outreach sequence that resides in one of these cool tools that I can take that list and I can push it over there and I can push a button. And aren't I great? I'm a great salesperson. Actually, you're a direct, you're a direct response marketer and arguably, if you aren't testing as a direct response marketer, you ought to be testing the heck out of that messaging. And if it's the same old value proposition which you know, you may find one. And I was just just saying this. You could find a value prop that you know gets people who are out in the world who haven't heard of you, to fill out a form to talk to a salesperson, and that's possible, that's been done and you're arguably able to do that. But if you just do that repeatedly, you're, you're, you're relying on technology, yes, and it's, it's cool for a while, but it'll burn out unequivocally Because, by the way, that's what happens in direct response marketing, that's called fatigue or it's. You know, you're burning through your TAM list and so on. And so if you don't have a relationship, oh, and the last part of that is you're also trying to catch people right at that moment when they might have that, that problem that you're, you're potentially able to solve Right. So you've, you've just happened to catch them. You have to burn through a thousand people to catch that one person who just happens to want to receive that message at that time and fill out that form, as opposed to a relationship, which, again, it sounds cliche, maybe even hokey, which is.

Andy:

I am able to talk to you about three different things, and this is another thing Howard mentioned in in that podcast. He mentioned a gentleman named Jim Dickie, and I have done no research on this guy, but he sounds like an older school sales kind of guy. He sounds very, you know, gregarious and he sounds like somebody you want to talk to. That's how he was described by Howard. And he would call and Howard says I would answer that call and there was a lot packed into here and it was only about a minute of the conversation but it was like he'd mentioned that Jim would say you know these three things, these three conversations he'd had with CMOs of these big companies that were doing these things, and he'd go through these vignettes and Howard would. Howard said he would eat those up and it was like two of those things would you know he'd want to know more about, because Jim would get through these stories and he'd be like now, what do you want to talk about, howard? And Howard inevitably would say I want to talk about, you know, the first and third thing you just talked about, because you know I could potentially apply those into my world.

Andy:

Ideally you do that in your, you know your development of relationships with customers. You have three use cases or stories that ideally your product has had an ancillary component of. In these situations out in the world where value is being created, cool things are happening. I'm a whatever kind of professional and this is going to impact me in the future and you say those things, you convey those things, you share those things and that inevitably will create a relationship. And relationship can mean a lot of different things. That can manifest itself in a lot of different ways, and one of which will be people keep coming back to your blog or people read your newsletter because you are relevant to them. You are adding value again, another cliche term but you are adding value to that person in their situation and you're not just saying, hey, do you want to demo of my product? That's going to turn people off more and more. I think this year is a big year for all of that.

Tiana:

Like that's going to stop working folks, yeah One question that he actually asked during the podcast was like that. It was so strange to him that whenever you deploy technology into any kind of process around the industry, you actually reduce the amount of people that you hire for this process because it's supposed to lead you to efficiency. And he was so like he really was so confused when people actually thought about this becoming a reason for salespeople to actually hire more salespeople, for the sales team to grow, and I really started thinking about why people actually relate these two in the sales department and what I think I came up with is that actually they do because they fall in love with the mechanics over their role, and that's actually just telling themselves that as long as they sell more and more and more, or as long as they get more and more leads, they're doing a greater job, when, if those leads don't actually convert and if these things don't actually bring revenue to your company, you're doing a worse job because you're supposed to have more efficiency to it but you're not duplicating the value that these technologies bring in into your process. So it's just to Andy's point that I really got thinking about is that they're not thinking about the customer, they're not thinking about the buyer. They're thinking about the requirements that were set to their roles and how they can be better at them, but not really saying what outcome is this bringing to the actual company?

Tiana:

They're not thinking about the whole impact that this is actually supposed to have over the customer and what you said like what is this actually bringing in relationships to the company? Are these conversion rates not gonna end up in churn? Like, am I really bringing clients into the company that are actually valuable to the company? That will continue to be here in a long amount of time? I just think that people right now are really thinking about exactly what they are supposed to do instead of what value they're actually bringing to the customer. And, as you said, it is a cliche term. But who are we really thinking about here? Like me doing my job faster and bringing more leads that actually will turn into nothing, or the customers that we're getting to and bringing into the company?

Gary:

Yeah, man, there's some. I actually had to jot down notes because there's so much in here and I wanna go all over the place and scatter, but so, andy, let's go back to well. First of all, let's start with your thought there. Tiana around sales Actually heard this this morning.

Gary:

Dave Kellogg's podcast was talking about, in a lot of ways, the difference between the mindset of a CRO and the mindset of a VP of sales is that VP of sales is driven towards new revenue growth and if you're not careful, not always in how efficiently, you get there right. So it's like, of course I'm gonna hire more salespeople because it's gonna drive more sales theoretically. But I'm not necessarily thinking about the full equation, which is but I'm reaching a point of diminishing returns where at the margin, I'm actually destroying value for the company because I'm spending more to get that business at the margin than I am, than it's worth. And theoretically, the CRO is thinking about the repeatable capital, efficient production of growth, and I think we would all agree. From our perspective, that requires a systems thinking approach. And so, andy, going back to what you were saying about the outreach is, if the only part of the engine using tools like this is sales, sales has one motivation, and that is that salespeople talk to people to close deals. They really aren't in the nurturing long-term relationship game. Now, forgive me, it's different in enterprise sales or what have you, but generally speaking, what we've seen is most sales organizations don't have the patience for that, nor are they asked to do it, so when they're using these tools to reach out at any point in time, only 10% of a market targeted segment is going to be in market at best, and so what they're really trying to do is cut through the clutter to pick off the people that have that need or spark that need, or what have you. The problem is that the other 90% gets subjected to that and when the message is around, trying to agitate that problem so I can talk to you about how my solution solves your problem I have also potentially done reputational damage to the brand that turns you off for future communication when you are in that situation Absolutely, and so if you're looking at it from that perspective, you'd almost flip the script and now begin to say it's less about which department is reaching out and to whom are you reaching out, what are you trying to accomplish, and then what is the most appropriate medium or method to do that.

Gary:

So let's talk about these AI tools. What if we instead started with look, we actually have, and we have great clarity through these tools on how we can speak to them about their problem and who they are? And the desire, the goal, the metric is to start a relationship. We want you to come into our orbit and consume our content and invite you to our events or what have you. I'm not trying to sell you anything. And then from there, we analyze behavior with those same tools to determine who is actually beginning to show signs of being in market to solve for this. And that's what then necessitates the outreach from a salesperson, because then it's relevant. And so, instead of deploying that resource to try to suss out the 10%, flip the script and deploy the resource to start the relationship with the 100% and from that 100%, pull out the 10% that are in market.

Gary:

But what you've done is you've started that flywheel effect, that compounding effect. Where now the other 90%? At some point in time, if you've done your segmentation properly, it's not a matter of if they should be customers, it's when and you have a machine that is built to nurture and sustain that relationship I even hate to use the word nurture because to many people, a nurture is an email sequence that's dripped out over time with crappy content. It's automated. Yeah, it's an automated thing. It's like oh, this is a fun, we're nurturing the relationship, but really, really, I mean, you know, it's a workflow. It's a workflow.

Gary:

You get a postcard from a direct mailer in the mail every week. Is that really nurturing a relationship?

Andy:

I mean it is better than burning.

Andy:

So when I mentioned burning through your TAM, that's exactly what I wasn't just saying it like you're just burning leads and like you're gonna run out of leads, like you are doing reputational damage, you are hurting your brand and I think that was also mentioned in the podcast was like that's way harder to get back than just not screw up in the first place.

Andy:

And so on the micro basis, you're screwing up leads for your own brand and on the macro basis and this is the whole notion of the law of crappy click-throughs you're saturating the market with that. So if everybody's doing that, you're screwing it up for everybody. Like just because the potential recipient of a message but say through email, is less likely to see your message for what it is, which is highly valuable to them, they'll maybe never see that in the first place because everything's so polluted and saturated in the first place, which is just really unfortunate and we're kind of talking about. It's kind of like pollution or something. Like it's harder to do it on the macro basis and to solve for it than solve. Do your part. Only you can prevent forest fires, so to speak.

Gary:

Let's go random reference.

Andy:

I was just in the woods yesterday the community versus what can I do? And what we should be doing is not even just screwing up our own universe on that front, Like, and if everybody didn't screw up their own universe it would help the gander, so to speak.

Gary:

But yeah, Well, another thing actually, tiana. You were saying something earlier, andy, about the value of the conversation and everything. I took this call. Dr Howard takes the call right and it reminded me actually stitching together podcasts.

Gary:

The great Jeffrey Moore, who we talked about this earlier today, wrote Crossing the Chasm 33 years ago and that is still, if people pick it up today, seen as, wow, what great insights, because it's immutable the way he's approached it. One of the things that he talked about is that an organization needs to fall in love with problem domain expertise, so as when we've seen this firsthand when a salesperson is reaching out to and it's more important, depending upon different levels of different types of tools, but I would argue that it's universally important that is, that we as an organization need to equip not just the sales team but everybody with problem domain expertise. That is the way you do. That is, create a learning organization that really has ongoing, repeatable training. That what is life like from the eyes of the buyer? What are they dealing with? What is their organizational struggles? Well, how are they using these tools? What is the ecosystem and with which these things fit together? A lot of times that research is segregated a little bit in product and a little bit in product marketing and perhaps a little bit in marketing. There's bits and pieces of it that we go out with initiatives but we don't make it an ongoing effort so that, to your point, when a salesperson is having a conversation with a prospect, they have that problem domain expertise. With that expertise they have way more perspective on what everybody else is doing to solve that problem than any individual buyer will ever have. They're functionally consultants done right.

Gary:

So if we can feed that information to the marketing team and the sales team and the CS team and the product team and have this virtuous loop, this flywheel of information flow, we have now armed them with the ability to be the buyer's advisor, to really think through those problems, to have that conversation that says, well, here's how other people are solving it, here's very direct. Here are three examples of how people have done that. By the way, here's what they ran into, here's how they overcame them. Here are the blind spots that you don't see as you move forward in this project, that we're going to keep you from stepping on. That basically goes back to that's hard work. It's hard work that isn't measured in pipeline and leads and things like that. It is part of the health of the system. That's a really big challenge for CEOs, because you have to think differently about resource allocation. It's not just going to hire ex salespeople and get Y output. I'm going to hire these marketing people to get this number of leads. It's the fuel that feeds the system.

Andy:

Yeah, Going to the vending machine for leads. It's not that it eventually will culminate in leads, but it's not immediate. You can't stick a quarter in and get a lead out. More and more, that's what people are looking for. I shouldn't say more and more, but that's what people have historically looked for.

Andy:

That is when we go back to diminishing returns and how we burn through lists and so on. That's only going to accelerate, in my opinion. We're right in the moment where people are looking around and they're saying, oh crap, we're running out of places we can do these things. How do we get ourselves out of it? How do we really start to create real? How do we get stickiness around a universe of people who care about what we know a lot about?

Gary:

Right, yeah, yeah, I think so. If we make it tangible as organizations are evaluating this tool, it really comes first to, if you think about and really marketing, sales and CS, especially at lower-middle market companies. It gets really hard to do because it's their lean teams In many cases. Marketing leaders, sales leaders, cs leaders are both leading the teams and, in many cases, doing the work. It's really hard to rise above that and find the time to be able to think more holistically about the system. But as we think about the new avenues that are opened up with some of these tools, it would be refreshing to see those leaders come together and start first with what new capabilities are opened up. How does that help us help the buyer and what are the appropriate content to deliver? What's the expectation of what we want out of that? Is it starting the relationship? Is it deepening the relationship? Is it moving into buyer enablement, where I want to be able to learn more about how this product connects to my problems? Is it more sales enablement, where I need to arm you to be more informed about what's going on under the hood?

Gary:

All of those are different applications of the same set of tools and, if we think about it more holistically. In that manner, then we won't set out with the sales team with a bunch of rifles, when it's a different tool entirely, it's a different objective. The first step is, hey, let's first start. Doesn't mean that the 10% can't come out of that immediately. It doesn't mean that those tools can't immediately impact revenue. But if we take a more holistic approach then we don't run the risk of climbing an S-curve very quickly and destroying something that could actually work for a very long time if we were just a little bit more thoughtful about how we deploy it.

Andy:

Yeah, and just thinking that there's greener pastures beyond the turbulent waters we're in in 2024. So, to quote Dr Howard one more time, is the notion of people's motto this year people maybe in sales has survived to the year 2025, that 2024, we acknowledge is going to be choppy, and he said, well, why not thrive in 2025? So, experiment with things this year that are going to get us to a different place, a place of innovation, a place of like I'm not doing the same things faster, better, cheaper and burning through lists Just to beat on that dead horse one more time, but really figuring out how to create relationships and think about how to measure that. So, because that's one thing the CEO says well, what is this doing for me? Well, of the people, of the companies in our ideal customer profile and you got to start with firm of graphics there. So we've created this list of a thousand, 10,000 companies, and here are all the contacts that belong to those companies that are in our constituents, that we would call our buying group, and here's the user buyers and economic buyers and so on, and you can now identify those upfront.

Andy:

Now, you may or may not do this, but identify them upfront and then figure out if they're consuming what we would consider relevant content for that audience. So in a perfect world, my ideal buyer of my product would care about these things. Are they caring about these things that we're conveying out into the world? So you can look at that just plainly. Which would be for these blog posts, for these emails? Are they being consumed? And then, ideally and this is something to work toward for the people that I really care about are they consuming those things? So I would look at those two worlds to say am I moving the needle on creating relationships? Now, there's a lot of nuances to that and we can get into that with some frameworks and so on at a different time. But for starters, see if you can do that, see if you can actually move the needle on people consuming what would be relevant content to your ideal customer, and are they doing it more so?

Tiana:

I think it's a lot about actually switching the mentality of the people within the company to actually start thinking about the buyer and other roles specifically and how not they're nailing their roles, but generally attracting the buyer with what they need and not what we need to give them. Like it's more about what they're looking for and not what we're trying to sell them. Well, as we have established.

Andy:

Shifting from a current transactional mentality on that front, which I mean that's like, hey, I'm sales, that's what I'm supposed to do. But the idea is it's a little bit of a longer game and so patience is tough to get people into your orbit and then to worry about. To Gary's point and I love this right Is you're creating that gravitational pull, you're getting people to loosely care about what you're talking about because it's relevant to them and you're a subject matter expert. But then if you're actually only reaching out in a more transactional way to the ones that are showing signs that they're in a buying process number of ways to do that as well that that totally retains that universe, you're not burning it at that point, you're. You're actually only fostering it in a way. Yeah, I was not hurting the ones, you're not hurting the audience that that isn't exhibiting those signs.

Gary:

Yeah, exactly I was going to go is easy to sit here and say, oh, it takes time, you know, be patient, but of course it's like very very nice and luxury of time, but I don't think it's either or right and it really is.

Gary:

just be more holistic about how you do it. And then your point about thriving 25 goes back to what I was saying earlier, which is if you use these tools to pick the low hanging fruit in 2024, then you will have survived 24. You will have gotten through 24. You will have pulled a rabbit out of a hat to make your numbers in 24 so that you could survive your way to 2025. Well, guess what? Then you got to start all over again and figure it out versus why can't you do both? Why can't you use the tools in 2024 that both build a repeatable, more solid foundation to deepen and strengthen that relationship, broaden and deepen that relationship with your target audience and, at the same time, pulling out those that are in a buying cycle faster, giving them what they need and still taking advantage of those things?

Gary:

I think you can do both. It's harder work and that's and it's. And not only is it harder work, it's harder teamwork. It cannot be solved by sales alone. It cannot be solved by marketing alone. The group needs to come together to solve it, and in the lower middle market especially, I mean it's hard at every level, but it's especially hard there because the teams are only so big and it really is a forcing function on prioritization so well, there was a lot covered there. I think we have some other gems that we may try to drop in here as well, but really appreciate the time from a warm, unseasonably warm, carolina. Thank you for the time, have a great weekend and we'll see you next week. Bye.

Tiana:

Hey everyone, before we go, this is Tiana speaking. I just will put some context here. Earlier, before we even started the podcasting, we actually were talking about the buyer zones, which is the zones that we basically created to identify where the buyer is and how we, as a company should approach them. And since we were already talking about nurturing relationships and how to approach the sales and how all of this is evolving, we actually wanted Well, I wanted to make sure that I put this in here, just so, because I really think it's a gem and it could be hugely valuable for anyone looking for some advice over here or to how to look at the whole situation as itself. So if anyone wants to listen to it, you can keep going. It's a little more than five minutes long and it will change your day, believe me. So thank you for listening, and this is it.

Gary:

Then our job, then, is to deepen the relationship, and I think this is where what we would say is a lot of this is the modern way to think about the go-to-market motions. Right Is, a lot of organizations have clickbait to get you into the funnel and they jump immediately to I'm going to sell you, and there's none of this. Let me prove that I'm a place that is a good resource for you to teach you about the opportunities, the promised land, what other people are doing in the space, making you a smarter version of yourself, and that's where we have engagement-driven outbound. So I'm looking at this world where I have a relationship and I'm seeing are there people in here that are really engaged that I can proactively reach out to and say, hey, you seem to really like this stuff. I want to invite you to a webinar, I want to invite you to download this white paper, I want you to whatever. I'm not selling you, Right? I'm just strengthening the relationship. And then there's often engagement, which is people that are in here and we provide events and things that allow them to say, oh yeah, I want to go deeper here, I want to consume these things. And then we have engagement off-platform again, which is how are we helping you get more engaged here? Then we get into this. Now we get into this trigger where we need to enable the buyer to buy Again, this isn't linear.

Gary:

This isn't linear. This isn't like first I have to go here, then I have to go here, Like you can come in at any point here, and so now it is. We need to anticipate what is your problem? Back to the jobs to be done here. Do you even know what your problem is? Have you thoroughly defined it? You come in saying you need a one-way video interview tool. Why? What are you trying to accomplish? What do you expect is going to happen with that? Here's all the ways you can think about it. In order to make this successful, you need to be thinking about this, this and this Before you implement a tool like this. You need to do these things. And then, obviously, the same way, here are some third-party review sites, Like what information are we providing you off of our platform or in a way that you consume where we don't have visibility on it? Communities, other things like that.

Gary:

Now, this yellow thing here is there, because now what's happening is there is now an expressed interest from the buyer to come move from an anonymous on-demand consumption of content to. I now want a one-on-one conversation to guide me through this process, and that's the request to demo. There also can be a self-serve experience here, where this is the case of Spark, where I actually have both, Like I can actually come into the platform and just, yeah, I now desire to go dig deeper and instead of getting request to demo, I'm like I just want to see it for myself, so I'll sign up monthly, and that's a different track. But then we have the request to demo, and this is where we break this down into the second. You request to demo.

Gary:

There is a process between the time that you do that and the time that you show up for the call. That it is an experience. What does that look like? What do I need? What are my questions? What would help you in this process? So many companies absolutely crap the bed on that. I will say Marley does a really good job when she does this. She sends out a pre-demo set of questions. Here's what I found. This is what we're going to talk about. Are there any other topics you want to consider? Things like that that have been gold for her, and then you get into the demo and discovery process, and this is the proverbial OK, why are you here? What is your problem? It's the sales conversation. Now, in an enterprise situation, you can expand this out and there's multiple stages in there, but for now, most of our customers are going to be a fairly short, not 60 dayish period, and so this is where we get to demo and discovery.

Gary:

What is this process? What are we asking, why are we asking it and what is the sales pitch to help us in that regard and there's probably some off-platform things we can do here as well. Then there's the stakeholder review period, which is OK, you've left the call and you tell me well, I need to take this back to my VP of HR. What is that experience? How am I arming you, my champion, to best deliver Not just best deliver my message, but put you in a position of winning, to look like you know what you're talking about, to be able to intelligently present back what fits and what doesn't fit. How am I helping you with that? Right now, what happens is OK, great, I'll send you the deck we reviewed in an hour long Zoom video call and let's schedule a call in two weeks.

Gary:

Well, the stakeholders have no context for the deck and they sure as hell are not going to listen to a one-hour Zoom video call. So they're going to have completely different questions and what have you? So we need to anticipate that. Then we get into the procurement process, which is OK. Send me an option, send me an agreement. Whatever there's a process around that. Who's involved? What questions are they going to have? We need to anticipate these. So that's the idea of the zones here. And this is when he says the zone map, it is understanding that I think we put in here within each zone, it says content available, where and how it is distributed and how it is measured, and so this is what we get into Now we can start to think about.

Andy:

So this goes back to yeah, tiana, part of the idea is we're going to measure each of these zones because there's such discrete concepts in terms of what the buyer is trying to do at each stage, and then the venues for that are very different, and then what's to be measured are very different. Very crudely. We looked at that early on, as are we creating gravitational pull around the brand, or more people who look like they're a good fit for the company coming and consuming things. But what this does is it refines it quite a bit and more discreetly around specific functions, if you will, of the buying process.

Gary:

Yeah, so everything we just went through is basically this, which is that map. If we take that approach, we are determining what is needed and over what mediums and methods should it be distributed. This is where we start to understand that, and then we get to OK, well, is that a marketing motion? Is that a sales motion? What people are involved, what is the process, what is the technology required? Then, lastly, we finish with and this data kind of weaves through all these but what data is needed to actually make that happen? How are we going to measure and monitor both that it is happening and be that it's actually driving an outcome or moving a metric that we hope that we would see move? And most often, people start here. They immediately, actually, they start right here. What are the motions that we should have? What should we do? We need to nurture, we need email, we need partner marketing, we need a G2 crowd, we need da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da da. They start just doing stuff.

Tiana:

Well, that was it for this Friday. Thank you very much for listening. That's a bravo from me to Gary, of course, and well, I hope you stay tuned. This is GTM Pro. See you later.

Gary:

Thank you for tuning in to GTM Pro, where you become the pro. We're here to foster your growth as revenue leader, offering the insights you need to thrive. For further guidance, visit gtmproco and continue your path to becoming board ready with us. Share this journey Subscribe, engage and elevate your go-to-market skills. Until next time, go be a pro.

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