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Sales Synergy: Refactoring Go-to-Market Mastery with Mark Kosoglow

May 17, 2024 Gary, Andy & Tiana
Sales Synergy: Refactoring Go-to-Market Mastery with Mark Kosoglow
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gtmPRO
Sales Synergy: Refactoring Go-to-Market Mastery with Mark Kosoglow
May 17, 2024
Gary, Andy & Tiana

Discover how to craft a winning go-to-market strategy with insights from Mark Kosoglow, as he shares his journey from educational product sales to leading tech sales with giants like Outreach and Catalyst. Mark’s expertise will show you how refining your go-to-market approach can drive customer-centric growth.

In this episode, we explore the resurgence of Account Executives in prospecting and introduce a new playbook for outbound sales. Imagine a specialized football team where each role is defined, and every channel—email, phone, social media—is masterfully utilized. This episode challenges the status quo of sales development, advocating for precision and accountability to overhaul the outbound sales engine.

We’ll also dive into the evolving synergy between marketing and sales, particularly in private equity backed companies. Learn how Revenue Operations teams are the unsung heroes, using data enrichment and intent-based insights to equip sales professionals with the tools they need to thrive. From understanding buyer behavior to crafting effective strategies, this episode is a must-listen for anyone looking to harness the full potential of RevOps and achieve sales excellence.

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Mark's LI

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Discover how to craft a winning go-to-market strategy with insights from Mark Kosoglow, as he shares his journey from educational product sales to leading tech sales with giants like Outreach and Catalyst. Mark’s expertise will show you how refining your go-to-market approach can drive customer-centric growth.

In this episode, we explore the resurgence of Account Executives in prospecting and introduce a new playbook for outbound sales. Imagine a specialized football team where each role is defined, and every channel—email, phone, social media—is masterfully utilized. This episode challenges the status quo of sales development, advocating for precision and accountability to overhaul the outbound sales engine.

We’ll also dive into the evolving synergy between marketing and sales, particularly in private equity backed companies. Learn how Revenue Operations teams are the unsung heroes, using data enrichment and intent-based insights to equip sales professionals with the tools they need to thrive. From understanding buyer behavior to crafting effective strategies, this episode is a must-listen for anyone looking to harness the full potential of RevOps and achieve sales excellence.

Where to find US
Mark's LI

Gary:

Mark, this was awesome. I mean, I really appreciate it.

Mark Kosoglow:

You got some new shit out of me. That was an excellent interview. There's probably like five or six things where I've been putting in my head, but I haven't publicly talked to them, so hopefully they came out okay, no, it was fantastic.

Gary:

And, honestly, it was good, it was organic, because we're doing the same thing. It's this refactoring such a great term for how we think about go-to-market, and we're particularly sensitive to companies of this size, because they'll hear a lot of things and then they're like, oh, we need to go do that, but then they never bring it back. I'm like you've got two people in marketing and you've got four people on your sales team. You can't do this shit. You've got to think about yes, you need it, but how are you going to do it? You need to think differently. And so Andy said this earlier we have this framework we call buyer led growth, which is customer led growth. It's the same concept, and Andy's like Mark is preaching buyer led growth.

Mark Kosoglow:

He just doesn't know it.

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. We are here to provide that support.

Gary:

Your journey to boardroom excellence starts now. Now, well, let's get started. We are very thrilled to have mark cosiglo here today with us, and if you spent a nanosecond on linkedin, you will have seen mark's posts, um, but we've been following for a long time. Is is, uh, you get very good being a seller selling, selling, selling sales software to sellers, which was a decade of outreach, um, and I will will butcher the background. So, mark, well, first of all, thank you for joining us. We're really happy to have you here and I think, just for context, it would be really great to just provide a quick overview of that journey because, you know, like anything, those experiences build on each other and will lead us to our discussion today on march 19th 19th maybe not that specific texas.

Mark Kosoglow:

No, yeah, no, listen um a little mark was born yeah, a little interesting, weird mark was born, no, so here's the deal is um, you know, the first half of my sales career was in the education field. In the education industry I sold stuff to schools. Um, it wasn't technology, but it was very, very difficult to sell things to schools. They have very constrained budgets, they have very tight needs, they have competing priorities and I really learned how to make my thing, that I was selling a priority to the people I was selling it to. So that made a huge difference. Now, when I got into technology, I was working. You know, my first foray was I was the first employee at Outreach and then I led sales to about $250 million there and then I became the CRO at Catalyst and helped them double their revenue in about 14 months and they got acquired by one of our competitors who's owned by a PE firm who's going to merge the two companies together. So that's kind of like my short TLDR resume.

Gary:

Yep Got it, so you brought up Catalyst. So one of the things we're going to talk a little bit about outbound. But I want to go back to that period just after that happened, because I remember some posts that you had that actually, thematically, are very similar to what we're going to talk about today, which is an observation that fundamentally, the whole concept of customer success was really broken, in that it really was reimagining. Like this whole set of tools and processes and structures that we built over the last 10 years that served us in that time period are actually the things that are potentially hurting us today and it feels like we're kind of in that same boat as it relates to to outbound. So, um, you know, just kind of flashback a little bit to that period and what did you observe in that period that led you to that and how has that influenced what you're now seeing today as we start to talk about outbound and sales in general?

Mark Kosoglow:

Yeah. So my first thing I knew at Catalyst was I didn't really understand post sales that much and I was a typical CRO that was a revenue leader that got moved into that position with, and now I was responsible for a function that I didn't have much experience with and had only, like you know, kind of you know excuse my language but bitched about for years, right. So I knew I needed to up level myself, not only for the role but for my role at a company that was specializing in that. So I was really lucky. I was able to have about 100 conversations in my first 50 days and every one of those conversations is at least half an hour. So if you think about that, I I basically spent the part of two or three entire days my PhD in success from some of the best minds on the planet in success, and what I went in is I went in with my very rigorous, operationally driven sales mindset. I'm an operational sales leader. I believe much more in the science than the art. I love the art too, but if you don't get the science right, the art doesn't matter to me. You can't build a scalable process.

Mark Kosoglow:

So I was looking for that kind of dichotomy or something inside of CS and what I found was is that it just didn't exist. The rigor isn't there. There was eight meetings. You know, a typical company might have eight meetings with eight different audiences, all about at-risk accounts where different people are telling all the same people the same stuff. There was no real methodology. Well, there are no CS methodologies Like. There's all these ones like medic calendar sale, product of selling command of the message. There's all these sales methodologies. There's all these ones like medic challenger sale, product of selling, command of the message. There's all these sales methodologies. There's none for CS.

Mark Kosoglow:

Interesting what you have is you have a function that's very capital intensive because it's very human based.

Mark Kosoglow:

It's providing limited value to the company, at least in a way that most people can understand or subscribe to it, and there's no real standardization or benchmarking that you can do or methodologies that you can subscribe to to make sure that people are holding up to the process, and most people that ultimately are over customer success have very little experience with it and have very little desire to learn more about it.

Mark Kosoglow:

It's all that together and to me, you have a very broken function. And I think we started to make some strides of creating a category called customer-led growth that taught people how to get ahead of churn and to realize that actually retention is only part of the swing. You have to grow those accounts, and so we started to complete that swing and we kind of talked through that. And I think we started to complete that swing and we talked, we kind of talked through that and you know, I think we started to make some inroads when the acquisition happened. Uh, and I think that they're going to continue to fight that battle, but that's a battle that must be fought yep, yep, got it.

Gary:

Well, it's actually a great foundation for as we, as we think about then. Outbound is, you know, at least from our perspective. Let me provide some context. We We've talked to, we've shared a little bit about this before we hit record is just what we've observed in the lower middle market is not surprisingly. Most of these, most of these organizations, had some form of an outbound SDR team. They actually got quite big relative to the size of the company as they grew up, especially through, you know, mid to late 2020 and into 21.

Gary:

And then the efficiency reaper came and we realized this we're not actually, we're getting less and less out of this and this just isn't working anymore. And so they went the other way and they cut it completely. And now we're in an environment where just brand new net new ARR growth is very challenging for every software company everywhere, in an environment where it's like who knows what the algorithm is going to change on the organic platforms tomorrow to reach people paid has gotten to the point of the efficient frontier where, you know, google and other platforms know exactly what your economics are and so they're going to charge you up to that point very hard to build a business on that SEO long burn. Very strategic, but takes a while to get the wheels turning. Also, questionable efficacy as we go forward in an AI world. So it's all of these obstacles that you have in terms of getting back in your front end, your customer. You realize like we have to go talk to our customers. How do we do that? And so, like this resurgence of there's just wreck in my mind a recognition that the SDR thing of the past didn't work. But it almost feels like we're going to slather AI over the top of what we used to do, call it more efficient, and then, you know, set out to do that with that, that piece.

Gary:

So, with that as backdrop, as we are talking to and advising these companies, it's like please don't do that. Let's actually take first principles and build it from the ground up. What is the price of admission to get out in front of your customers? Well, and you've talked about aspects of that Can you break that down for us from your perspective? What have you seen? Obviously, you've got the origin story of outreach, of Outbound as a whole, up to today. Like if you were going to set out to build the, you know, the, the, the outbound process of today. What would it look like?

Mark Kosoglow:

Yeah. So I've been thinking a lot about this and um, we did see the proliferation of SDRs. I think that was in a time when capital was cheap and you know you could buy your way to growth and that was, that was what investors wanted. So you can't, we can talk about how stupid it was and all that, but guess what? You know whose idea? It was Investors that put money into the companies that did that and I'm not just talking about VC, everybody was doing it, yep.

Mark Kosoglow:

So investors changed their mind. That's really what happened. They changed their mind. They all of a sudden didn't want to pay for that kind of stuff. They wanted to pay for profitability. I don't know who the hell changed their mind first. But somebody started talking and had a nice talk track and got everybody freaked out. They all changed their mind.

Mark Kosoglow:

Then they went to this era of like, all right, we've got to slow down the. And then they went to this era of like, all right, we've got to slow down. And you know the interest rates and all that kind of stuff help with that. And then they started to say, all right, what can we cut? And you know SDRs in a lot of companies when you start to do.

Mark Kosoglow:

The economics aren't providing enough value to invest in that, and there's other avenues with greater value and, like you said, we saw that go away. Listen, though, here's the problem is if you take away an outbound channel, where do you put it? You put it on your AEs, and AEs now have lost the skill to prospect because they haven't done it for so long. They also don't want to do it, so there's a huge change management and a resistance to it, and the last thing is is what all they're going to do is, if they, if they have the time to do it is they're going to take it down to the least common denominator, which basically means that we're going to do worse than what SDRs were doing, but expect the same results with people that don't have it as their full-time job.

Gary:

It's kind of insane when you think about when you say it out loud, it's like how do you think that's going to work out?

Mark Kosoglow:

I know, but I talk to everybody oh, we're going to have our AEs prospect again. I'm like I had an AE that used to work for me that said, hey, I'm thinking about this job, I like the company, the accelerators. They want me to prospect. So we looked at her deal cycle time, her average deal size, the win rate and a few other metrics and we I calculated out based on how much work you have to do to get into an account. And then that down feels she's going to have to work 82 hours a week to do the enough activity. And if she didn't want to work 82 hours a week, guess what she has to do. She has to automate. And if we automate, guess what we're doing now. We're now getting down to the least common denominator and we actually have to do so. We're like doing the school, church stuff. So what? What do we do instead?

Mark Kosoglow:

I think there's two things that I'm exploring really deeply right now. One is a refactoring of the SDR function into more of like a football team. So think about a football team. You get your offensive coordinator, your defensive coordinator and your special teams coordinator. They all roll up to the head coach that has an overall vision and how he wants to build out the team. But it's the offensive coordinator's job to score. If he doesn't score, the head coach gets some of the blame, but the offensive coordinator gets fired. So I believe SDR teams in the future are going to unite around channels and so email coordinator, phone coordinator, social coordinator the email coordinator's job is to send out all the emails, every single one of them. Like, if we want to approximate a 50 SDR team, they send out the emails of 50 SDRs and they use that using, you know, enrichment and data sources that they can automate and then warming up inboxes using automation and doing all that kind of stuff. And that's the problem right now is that we're trying to teach SDRs how to do email, how to do cold calls, how to do social, how to be corporate citizens. Because they're young, they're asking about their promotion path.

Mark Kosoglow:

It's too many things, so let's take it down, make one person in charge. When I go into companies, the amount of times that they have somebody that's in charge of monitoring their messaging is almost zero. There's nobody who's on the line for poor performing emails. So guess what? Every email is poor performing or everybody's doing their own experiment. So imagine if one person. Their whole butt on the line is are you sending a volume and is that volume a converting or not? That's in that one thing. Then you can take that list and move it to your call coordinator, your phone coordinator.

Mark Kosoglow:

With parallel dialing, one person can make two thousand dials a day. Do you know how many meetings I would say if I've made two thousand dollars a day? With a ten percent connect rate, I get down to 200 people with a meeting connect. Uh, I think I can connect or I can book meetings at 15. I could probably book 30 meetings a day on the phone with 2000 dials. Yeah, now it would be exhausting, it'd be hard, but there's people that love it and you got to find those people and you know that's one that doesn't necessarily scale like the email one you need to like at about 2000,. 1000 to 2000 dials. You need to hire somebody else, but the volume is so good and their only job is to be awesome on the phone.

Mark Kosoglow:

I just met an SDR and he's so good on the phone. He outperforms his peers by four acts and he spends half the time doing the job. He has a couple of kids. He spends most of the time playing with his kids and he just hops on the phone two or three hours a day, books a ton of meetings and so like that. That's the way. And then you have a social coordinator.

Mark Kosoglow:

At Catalyst we actually created this role. We called it a marketing projects specialist or so I can't remember what we called it. But what they would do is they had access to my linkedin and I. They didn't do any content for me. I wouldn't allow that because that's kind of like my voice. But what they would do is go in and look at all the likes and all the comments. They would then parse that against a list of targeted accounts and key personas and then they would dm those people on behalf of me and then they would set up meetings, and that person was setting up more outbound meetings than my other four SDRs were combined twice as many.

Mark Kosoglow:

And so I was evolving that team into that. But I think that that's the team of the future. So that's the first thing is transformation of the team structure. The second thing is is I have come to the conclusion that basic account and contact data is worthless. It is nothing, it's salt, it's a commodity. It doesn't matter If I could give you a hundred email addresses that are a hundred percent accurate and a hundred phone numbers at a hundred percent accurate, you would get X results and it wouldn't be that good because everybody else on the planet has that information.

Mark Kosoglow:

Yeah, but if I can enrich, if I can see what growth hackers are doing and there's growth hackers that can take the same exact list that you do and they can get it to do 5 to 10x the results, and so that kind of what those growth hackers are doing, the enrichment, the approach, the creativity that to me is the secret sauce. So most people are worried about accurate data. I would argue, if a list was 100% accurate but didn't have growth hacker principles and methodologies applied to it, that it would perform at 10 to 20% of what a list that is half accurate does with that information. I think that it's exponentially better to have a less accurate list that is highly enriched with information than it is to have a highly accurate list that has no enrichment.

Gary:

That is awesome Couple of questions. Let's go back to email and social Love the word to refactoring the SDR team. The way you describe email, where does that overlap with what would be traditional demand gen? As we think about that as we think about that and we start thinking now about skill sets and who manages that and what that looks like and the importance of content and thematic. At what point does that become demand gen land.

Mark Kosoglow:

So honestly, I think you're starting to eat at some of the friction of this refactoring. I think that should then become a marketing function. It's basically a form of content marketing. Right, and now you can't use your marketing automation language in sales-based emails, so you've got to have a specialist that understands sales content. But it's still a function of content marketing in my opinion. The phone calls, that's a lot more sales skill oriented.

Mark Kosoglow:

The social you could suggest might be, it could sit either place. You could see it doing kind of like hey, we want our messaging on brand, like we actually did have this social coordinator do a couple posts for our CEO. That did really really well and so he was starting to kind of do that part too. So you know, I would. I would say you know, that might make it more of a marketing function versus a sales function. But if you're just gonna do like DMS and stuff that's more of like active sales, prospecting, yes, stuff. So that that's how I'm thinking about it. But honestly, like you know, I'm just still piddling around with these ideas. They're not like things that I've tried and definitely not stuff I can say this definitely works. You know, I it's still early on this stuff. This definitely works. It's still early on this stuff.

Gary:

Well, I think. But I agree. I think the way you just broke that down is what we're seeing as well, which is so often, you know, private equity group comes in, they make an investment. Again, we're talking smaller companies here and there is this vision of well, I need product marketing, I need demand gen, I need an str team, and there's these, these legs like legacy ideas, these almost loaded terms about what these things mean and who does what and how they roll up and how you incentivize them and everything else. I'm like, but none of that stuff works. Like, if you're going to run it the way you used to run it, it doesn't work. So let's just reimagine from the ground up what modern in this era where, like, the information is is all over the place and if you hide it from me, then I'll just go on to your competitor. And because there's 50 of them, like this day of scarcity of information, like, either give it to me or I'll just go someplace else. It's like we need to think differently about that. So with that too, you mentioned the contact data.

Gary:

I couldn't agree more on that enrichment piece, and one of the things that we've wrestled with a little bit is when we talk about enrichment in a way. There's like attribute enrichment, like things that don't have an expiry date or have a longer shelf life, if you will. And then there's almost like signal slash, intent based enrichment that does have like, hey, this happened, act on it now, because you know that's top of mind. How do you think about like parsing those two things out? And that's. We start to get now into a RevOps world and you know, does, does, is a, is there a? Is that portion owned by a RevOps person who is a sales support specialist or you know probably a similar question.

Mark Kosoglow:

No. So listen, it's fun to talk to somebody that is thinking along these lines. I think this is not uncommon thinking. At least a lot of people I talk to aren't thinking this way. But yeah, I think that to me, revops should be doing three things besides all of the system administration. But to support Pipeline Gen, there's three things that I think they should be doing. One is providing an accurate book of business with account data for the rep, so that these are accounts that have some kind of propensity to our ICP, that we think are good accounts. The second is they should be providing accurate enough contact data that has the right personas. An SDR should not have to go to LinkedIn Sales Navigator and see who all that isn't in their CRM and then use some other tool to get it. That's ridiculous. We know the people, we know the titles, we know the personas, we have the technology. You should just give that to them. And then the third thing is is you should provide this kind of intent data or creative outbounding enrichment that allows a rep to know what course of action to take to have the best chances of converting that persona at that company into an opportunity.

Mark Kosoglow:

And I think to me there's kind of like three types of enrichment data. There is creative outbound stuff like hey, I'm going to enrich this list with the top rated restaurant within five miles of where this person lives. And I asked him if they've ever eating there, because I'm taking a trip in two weeks, you know. And now the email might read hey, I was just uh, you know, funny question. You know, I was looking at this restaurant. It looked really good. Have you ever eaten there? And oh, yeah, by the way, like if you dah, dah, dah, dah dah.

Mark Kosoglow:

And then you move that into like some kind of transition to do an outcome message. That's outbound. Then there's a low intent signal and then there's high intent signal, and so I think each of those three are three things that you need to have an idea about. And if, if you, if I, was a rev ops person, I would be like right, here's your accounts, here's your contacts, here's your high intent signal, if they exist, here's your low intent signal If they exist, here's your low intent signal, if they exist. And here is your creative outbound ammunition to put into this kind of campaign. And then RevOps and marketing should be figuring out what is the monthly or whatever the cadence is of that creative outbound campaign that we're doing, and we just need to make sure that the reps have that information ready at hand for them to use make sure that the reps have that information ready at hand for them to use Yep, yep.

Gary:

So it's interesting when you describe that and it's going to actually lead to the next question, what I would call the third leg of the stool, which is, in order for a RevOps person to deliver, that they actually have to really understand the buyer at depth, right, like you can't just be okay, I know my data and I have my tables and I have my things and here's my process and I spit it out. You actually have to know the questions to what do I put in my AI prompt to get the things back that I need? What would be intriguing or interesting? Some of the most successful RevOps people we have seen were formerly SDRs or sales people. They just had a technical acumen for it and it's like they get it, they've lived it.

Gary:

They of the most successful RevOps people we have seen were formerly SDRs or salespeople. Right, they just had a technical acumen for it and they it's like they get it, they've lived it. They know it's like geez, if I had this information, this is what I would do with it. So, but it changes again back to this like building it from the ground up. I'm like what is the skillset that you need? And and often, more often than not, it doesn't exist. So how do we develop it?

Mark Kosoglow:

right, yeah, I think this is where you're seeing these growth hackers come in, and really, to me, growth hacking comes down to one quality, which is creativity. When you think about, oh well, if I have our B2B telling me the anonymized person and I want to like outbound that person but without feeling creepy, so I'm going to like redirect it to this thing I can call in this API that gives me this bit of information and now, like it's not creepy, to reach out to you as the anonymized website traffic. It makes sense. Yeah, a lot of people can't string those things together, and I happen to know of a company in stealth there. They're building stuff right now. That that's, this is what they're trying to do they're trying to get to.

Mark Kosoglow:

Here's a list. We know what your company is trying to do, who is trying to do it. Here's a list we're going to recommend, like, being a growth hacker over your shoulder. These are the enrichments that you should do to make this list perform at three, four, five, 10 x what it would go if you just take this list, handed it to your sdrs and like here you go, guys, like, use our sequences and research the personalization you want to use, because they're just not going to be as creative as these. These growth hackers are.

Mark Kosoglow:

Just they're like the picasso's of crafting ways to get into people's inbox and stuff yeah, and it's such an in-demand skill it's, like you know, very difficult to hire and keep at your company yeah, yeah, because they're all, they all know that they can be consultants and make 5x what they'd make as a as an employee, and there's so much demand right now and so little supply that you know, I, I know a few of them, they're they're putting together seven figure. Uh, just them. They're making a million dollars a year just doing like part-time consulting work with this stuff. But it's so massively valuable and that's where my thesis comes from of like everybody has the data, like there's nobody that can zoom info or whatever. That's just salt. You know what I mean. It means nothing, yeah.

Mark Kosoglow:

And what's even worse is, uh, it's like you buy this bag of groceries from zoom info. You get home and half the groceries are bad and zoom info is telling you well, cook your dinner anyway, I don't care, you're going to get sick and there needs to be somebody that's like, hey, we're gonna. You know, we know the data isn't always gonna be right, but if something's wrong, we're gonna send the bag boy to your house with the groceries that are good and, oh yeah, he's gonna bring a personal chef that's gonna cook a dinner 10 times better than what you thought that you could make on your own, while you're sipping bourbon at the kitchen table watching them, yeah, and what this company's trying to do. They're trying to become that, that growth hacker, that in that data person. That's like helping you understand. All right, I got the data, the data is easy to get, but now what do I do to make sure that that data performs at a rate that is I'm getting what I need to get out of my pipeline coverage?

Gary:

Yeah, and I think that, back to the core, one of the core skill sets around RevOps is that creativity right, it's the gone are the days where you just you know and I think this is part of the core of the challenge is that we so long for the good old days when we could just to Zoom Info, extract a bunch of data, throw it into a tool, press, go on the spam cannon, have some knowable conversion rate out of that, and if we needed more, we just loaded more into the spam cannon. We so desperately want that back. It's easy, yeah, we can predict it, but the skill sets now are really around this. There's no one tool, there's no one process. It really is this set of things that haven't really been poured in concrete yet and probably won't for a long time around how we get creative about getting to this data and what works for us, and that that's such a hard thing for companies because they just want process, they just want routine.

Mark Kosoglow:

This is a really weirdo story, but I was just in Italy and I'm sitting in Neptune Square in Bologna and I'm sipping on a glass of wine and I'm watching the square and all the activity and just relaxing. And I'm watching this one african-american gentleman go around and he obviously is needy and his, his approach is he has a bunch of african history books and he's walking up to people and he's like can you help me? Uh, and he's kind of. He's like he's basically asking for money and then, in return, handing the book, and so he comes up to me. My first reaction, you know, when that kind of stuff happens, is whatever. But I'm like wait, wait. He's basically asking for money and, in return, handing the book. And so he comes up to me.

Mark Kosoglow:

My first reaction when that kind of stuff happens is whatever. But I'm like wait, wait, wait, let me see if I can help. I'm not going to buy a book because I don't want a book. I'll give him a couple bucks. But how can I really help him?

Mark Kosoglow:

And I was like, hey, do you realize that the way that you're doing approaching people is completely turning them off?

Mark Kosoglow:

Approaching people is completely turning them off. And he's like what do you mean and now we're kind of like dealing with a language barrier a little bit I was like, instead of going up to somebody with your cup and saying give me money and I'll give you a book, why don't you try going up to them and saying hey, you obviously are super interested in history, you're one of the most historic places. Have you ever considered african history? Like here's something that you might be able to read on your way back. Maybe it's a place where you end up going on your next trip Like I'll give you the book, you can give me a couple bucks. That the difference between my two minute conversation with him, of what he was doing in the square before and after and the reaction of people was like 180 degrees difference. And that's like the difference between a RevOps person and not all RevOps people are like this. I don't want to like just because they're salespeople, marketers, everybody.

Gary:

Yeah.

Mark Kosoglow:

But the amount of people are just like well, listen, I got my book, I got my cup, I need money. Like give me, give me, give me. Versus a creative person that's like, oh wait, people here are in this historic town. They're obviously tourists, they're obviously interested in history. They're standing and looking at this statue for 20 minutes like let's appeal to their history side and then ask for money after we've given them something that is valuable to somebody that wants to do with history. That that's the difference, and you have to have somebody in your organization or you have to have technology that can do that part, because most people are very we hinted at this earlier.

Gary:

What what we describe is the third leg of the stool Also a very hard thing to do at volume and takes a lot of insight and creativity is, on the content side, Right, and the way we describe it and you were talking about this earlier is the first thing is we have to have the data right. We have to have the creative angle to get in and then, if you think about it, almost as a waterfall. The next is I have to have a subject line that compels you to actually open the email. So we've got to be creative about what that is. Then the very first line of the email is price of admission. I am going to decide immediately in that first line whether or not I'm going to give you my attention or not, and you earn it.

Gary:

Each line earns the next, but at some point I got to bring you to something of value. The book in your example here just now, right, when I'm like this is really compelling and I'm going to go check this out and I'm going to learn more and I'm going to be pulled in. So that doesn't just happen. Right, and some organizations are blessed with really great content and product marketing people really great content and product marketing. People but there's probably more than the most of them are still doing like the same old stuff. That is fairly ambiguous. So the where have you seen, either recently in in your discussions or in the past, like what is the secret sauce around that, that content, that compelling piece of information that gets people to lean in?

Mark Kosoglow:

Yeah, so it's actually. There's not actually information that gets people to lean in. Yeah, so it's actually. There's not actually. One thing you have to look at a a more baseline concept and I learned this from Mary Lou Tyler, who helped write predictable revenue with Aaron Ross and while the concepts of predictable revenue are starting to wane, now Mary Lou's moved on to like version 8.0 of what she does, and she's she, I think she's at the forefront of thinking through this.

Mark Kosoglow:

So this is the way that you, I think that you approach this and that Mary Lou taught me, which is you have you're aware, you're unaware, you're aware your consideration and then your decision. That's your buyer's journey, and the way that you communicate to somebody in each one of those areas is drastically different, and so I think the way that you get compelling is you align to where someone is. So let's say that you write a sequence of emails that are geared towards someone in consideration phase. That means that they understand they have a problem and they're considering solutions to move into an evaluation with. Decision is when I've decided. I'm now collecting vendors and I'm I'm running evaluations with those vendors. Consideration is still I'm educating myself to do that process right. But let's say that somebody doesn't reply, that means that they're not in consideration and they're probably not in decision. That means that they're in aware or unaware. So we need to take that message, take that person and move them back in the buyer's journey to just aware and the consideration language might be something around like here's materials that we can give you that can help you understand your problem better. You might be researching this like here's some third-party stuff, here's a podcast. You know you're giving that value. But awareness is have you ever thought about like the fact that your SDRs aren't performing as well as they used to like?

Mark Kosoglow:

And so to me, what's compelling is when you find where they're at in the buyer's journey.

Mark Kosoglow:

You have a strong message that's tailored to that person's mindset and that journey, and then your job is to move them further along into the journey, hopefully into consideration and decision, where they're ready to enter your pipeline and you can run a sales evaluation.

Mark Kosoglow:

So I don't think it's like the form of the emails are like you know, hey, maybe we want to do a, an attention getting show me, you know me line in the beginning that gets them to read the next line. The next line is like a problem statement or something that gets them thinking. Then you have one sentence of this is kind of how we do this, and then you have a soft CTA that's like is this worth chatting about? That seems to be like the general best practices right now, but I would suggest if you just optimize on that format but you leave out the context of where someone's at in the buyer's journey, that you're only going to get a small percentage of the effectiveness of that email or it'll only be effective for the one area of the buyer's journey where you're you're targeting your messaging and most people target at consideration and if you think about it, I think the last I saw was 3% of people are in decision, 7% of people are in consideration.

Mark Kosoglow:

That means what 90% of people are in aware and unaware, and that's and we're not. We're not actually communicating to those people the way that they need to be communicated to.

Gary:

Right, yeah, so so true, and what's interesting is that what you just described there reinforces what you were talking about. From that, that email perspective is to somebody owning, that is, it's not just owning the data collection and delivery, but the analysis of what is and isn't working and how we need to move people around on that basis. Right, it's like here's this group, here's what they look like, here's what we thought the triggers were and there's our hypothesis. Somewhere they were, where they were, and this subset did this. This subset did this. We need to deliver a different content stream versus we just didn't get a response and we throw them out and we just keep loading up the spam cannon intellectual and statistical level than 99.9999% of human beings, but she actually has a concept of an ISBN number for every single email that goes out and she tags that email with that ISBN number and then she classifies that email as this is where they're at in the journey, this is the type of CTA and all that kind of stuff.

Mark Kosoglow:

And then she pulls that metadata into her statistical analysis to determine what kind of emails are working. She's not just looking at you know, oh, this email has a 38 percent reply rate and it's email four in a chain of emails with the same subject line. So you look at email four and you're like, oh, we need to do something different. When actually it's the subject line from email one that's screwing you up because you're in the same thread, when actually it's the subject line from email one that's screwing you up because you're in the same thread. She's taking out that kind of opaqueness and by tagging each individual email with, like the Characteristics of that email and then looking at the character, how the characteristics perform, not the emails.

Mark Kosoglow:

That is brilliant. It's like UTM parameters on steroids.

Gary:

That's exactly what it.

Mark Kosoglow:

That's exactly what she's. Yeah, she's a genius, she's it, literally a genius.

Gary:

Oh, on the. The other thing you mentioned kind of on the content pieces is the stages of awareness. Um, to your point, I think, going back to we're, we're predisposed to focusing on those people that are ready to buy now and so we spend, we load up on all of that side of it and, from a content and distribution perspective, which now I think even more and more falls into, outbound is yeah, but what about the slow burn? To your point the other 90 percent.

Gary:

Like what is an outbound strategy there, where it's not like four email sequences and we go, but it's almost like? This is where this more tailored um, I want to, I want to, uh, I want to have an intriguing question for you to get you to like actually get out of your stupor and pay attention to me for a second and then can I bring you into something that's more always on and observe you as you go. Have you seen that? That like what's? What have you seen done well for that other 90 percent that you know may not be there, but by all, by all accounts, are absolutely our icp have a problem. It's just a matter of when, not if yeah, so it's funny.

Mark Kosoglow:

My daughter is an sdr and she was shocking.

Mark Kosoglow:

Yeah, and she, she's the number one SDR, so she's you know, but she's in her first SDR job and she was like hey, I'm doing well, I'm one of the top SDRs, but I'm not number one. And the reason I'm not number one is because only book. I think she was at 3% of her correct PNX that she booked into meetings and you know the average is like seven or eight and the great reps are doing like 10 to 12 to 13 percent. So I coached her on her calls. One saturday morning she called me, we listened to calls together and and, uh, figured out what she was doing. But the main thing that we've, one of the main things we figured out, was she wasn't building meeting pipeline for the future. She was only looking at that call in a very binary way, which is I either book them for a meeting and only looking at that call in a very binary way, which is I either book them for a meeting and and I get the the paid for that, or I don't. And I was like, well, there's a third option, which is what if they would talk to you in a month if things changed? And so we changed your script and once you got to the third objection, we call it three strikes and you're out.

Mark Kosoglow:

But once we got to the third objection, we say listen, you know what. Whatever the objection is, like I'm busy, I don't have time, I have another solution. You listen, you know what. Whatever the objection is, like I'm busy, I don't have time, I have another solution. You'd be like you know, it sounds right, gary, it sounds like you do have another solution you're happy with right now. Tell you what, though? Things are always changing? What if I put you in an email and I stay in touch via email, but I'm going to put five minutes on your calendar next month and 30 days out and I'll just check with see if anything else changed? Well, she would do that, and 70, 80 percent of people would agree to that. Fifty percent of those people the next month would pick up the phone and book meetings. With a huge percentage of those so 30 to 50 percent of her meetings every month came from calls that she where she talked to somebody that said no in previous months. So, like that's the power of what we're talking about here, is that slow burn, and so my philosophy on slow burn is really simple is, if you try to ask for something in a slow burn, all you do is turn people away, but people will always accept help and people will always accept education. So what? What I try to do is create like a paced out once a month or once every other week or once a month type of thing where we give and that requires work.

Mark Kosoglow:

You have to go in and look and be like hey. Let me give you a great example. Let's say that I'm going after a big public company. I read their 10K. They told me no recently, but in the 10K they're still dealing with a problem that I know I solve. What I would do is I would take the case study most appropriate for that company and send it. No, actually I wouldn't. That's stupid. Don't ever send a case study.

Mark Kosoglow:

I would take that case study and what I do is I print it out literally and I highlight it like I'm reading it as that person and in the margins I write notes and then I scan that in and send it to the person and be like listen, I saw on your 10K this issue. I just thought that this might make sense for you to take a look at. I actually marked it up. It took me like 30 minutes to read. It'll take you three minutes to get the main stuff. Hope this helps. Let me know if anything comes up.

Mark Kosoglow:

Yeah, you just have to have a little. You have to have a bag of tricks like that, like 10, 12, 15 tricks like that, and just constantly, once a month or every other week, deploying one of those little plays and giving, giving, giving. And then when people are, when the thing does change, when they do move closer to consideration in that virus journey, who are they going to think about? They're going to think about you. And it's funny.

Mark Kosoglow:

I have an awesome story about this personally, where I sold stuff to schools and I don't know if people remember selling candy bars for fundraisers, but that's kind of what I did. I helped with all that, logistics, right. And this one school had a prize and if a kid sold so much stuff, they got to go on a limo ride and eat pizza at lunch at the local pizzeria instead of, you know, at the cafeteria, and then they drive the limo back and so kids, super motivating for kids and fun. Well, I would go into these schools and I branded myself as the fundraiser guy. I never said my name, I just said hey, I'm the fundraiser guy. And so, after living in that territory for eight years. Guess what would happen when I walk into school.

Gary:

I'd be like hey, it's the fundraiser guy.

Mark Kosoglow:

So there's this one school I always wanted to work with but never would. And one day it's because one of my competitors messed up and the principal was so pissed he's yelling from his office get the fundraiser guy on the phone. These kids need their thing. They need, they need this limo, like we're. We told him the limos come in. I got all these permission slips. Get that fundraiser guy. Well, who do you think? The secretaries got called. They called me on the phone. I got and guess what I did? I bought him a limo and I got the limo there in 30 minutes. And guess who they used for the rest of my career Me.

Mark Kosoglow:

And that's the slow burn. You know like you show up, you brand yourself, you think that you're somebody, you're something, you have a perspective, you're a subject matter expert and you're not desperate. I'm not. I don't stink of desperation. I'm not like begging you to be my customer. I'm doing well enough. I'd like you to be my customer. Yeah, I don't need you Like I don't need you. I know how to sell well enough that I don't need any one customer. And so once you get to that level, I think that the slow burn takes on the right kind of energy. If you're always doing everything to win the deal or to get them in the pipeline, you're thinking about it wrong. If you're doing something to help them so that they can consider you in the future, I think that you have the right energy and people respond to right energy.

Gary:

Yeah, no, it's such a great. I mean you basically described building your own book of business right. It's like taking the long view and thinking about that and how that's going to come back to pay for you so one. We could go on for hours. So I'm going to try to wrap this up for you because I know you got to go. It seems like incentive structures will often get in the way of that and maybe not. Maybe it is more of a rep mindset. That's like you can do both. You can hit in the near term, but you're going to ensure your ability to continue to perpetuate hitting those numbers by playing the long game. What have you seen in terms of incentive structures at that level in anything related to outbound that is still production oriented but encourages this kind of book of business development?

Mark Kosoglow:

Yeah, I think that I don't think it's difficult to talk to a seller about what would it be like for you if somebody is trying to push you Like let's say that I'm mildly interested in a new car and I go to the Lexus dealership and they're just like hard selling me. Guess where I'm not going back. Yeah, you have these examples and I think that's really what it is. If you don't understand the long game and this slow burn approach, then you're not taking on your persona as a buyer, you're just staying in that seller persona and you're desperate. And listen, if you don't have the pipeline, you need not to be desperate. Then that's a conversation.

Mark Kosoglow:

You need to grow up and have a conversation with your boss about it and talk through like listen, I can pressure people. I think that'll drop people out of my pipeline forever if I do it wrong or I need another quarter or two and this is my plan to get back on track. There's no sales leader that won't talk to a proactive seller that's struggling that won't talk to a proactive seller that's struggling that presents a plan that won't be blown away. What stinks is when you, as a seller, are underperforming and you slink back into the corners and the shadows and hope nobody notices and you're like desperately doing a bunch of crap. That's like lighting your territory on fire.

Mark Kosoglow:

That's the worst thing you can do. The best thing to do is be like hey, bp, I'm struggling right now. I don't have pipeline for the next two quarters. I'm tempted to do a bunch of churn and burn horrible stuff like like this is my plan not to do that? Can you hold me accountable? Do I have the time to work for two more quarters to get back? Because I don't. Maybe I need to start looking. That's an adult conversation that will result in a strength and bond. You know I. You know I'm lucky. I've had a lot of reps that have had that conversation with me. Almost every single time it works out yeah, cause they're not doing. They've decided I don't want to do bad stuff. I feel comfortable enough telling Mark that I am not doing well, but I don't. I know that he'll be more unhappy if I do a bunch of bad stuff than if I don't do well.

Gary:

Yeah, yeah Well, and I'm sure that in that situation too, you lean in as a coach because you know somebody's coachable right and so it's a win-win really. Yeah Well, I know personally that I could go for another hour and a half, but I know you don't have the time to do that, so really appreciate this. We also smell that there's just seeing your background and the passion with which you talk about these things that you're going to do something else cool in the future. So we're going to keep watching on that. But in the meantime, where can people find you? Where should they look for you?

Mark Kosoglow:

Yeah, linkedin is my place. Actually it's kind of weird. I don't have any other social presence other than LinkedIn, so sometimes that makes people think I'm weird. But social media doesn't interest me. I'm not interested in looking at people's windows and lives, I just want to go talk to them. I'd rather just talk to them. But yeah, linkedin is where you can find me. All right.

Gary:

Well, we'll put the link in the show notes. Um, and you know, mark, stick around for a second, but we, uh, we really appreciate you just sharing your insights with us and we learned a ton and we look forward to summarizing that for everybody on gtm pro. So, thank you until next week. Bye, bye, co, 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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