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Redefining GTM Strategy for Modern Markets

June 24, 2024 Gary, Andy & Tiana Season 3 Episode 1
Redefining GTM Strategy for Modern Markets
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gtmPRO
Redefining GTM Strategy for Modern Markets
Jun 24, 2024 Season 3 Episode 1
Gary, Andy & Tiana

Want to redefine your go-to-market strategy and leave outdated models behind? In this episode of the GTM Pro Podcast, we unlock the secrets to refining your GTM approach by leveraging investigative journalism. Traditional models like predictable revenue are fading in effectiveness, so we delve into how an investigative journalist can continuously refine your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) with both quantitative and qualitative insights. This episode promises to help you navigate a competitive landscape brimming with alternatives and skepticism, making your GTM strategies more resilient and customer-focused.

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Want to redefine your go-to-market strategy and leave outdated models behind? In this episode of the GTM Pro Podcast, we unlock the secrets to refining your GTM approach by leveraging investigative journalism. Traditional models like predictable revenue are fading in effectiveness, so we delve into how an investigative journalist can continuously refine your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) with both quantitative and qualitative insights. This episode promises to help you navigate a competitive landscape brimming with alternatives and skepticism, making your GTM strategies more resilient and customer-focused.

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Speaker 1:

It's like David Spade or something. He was doing a stand-up routine and he was talking. It was like an HBO special and he goes. You know what you're doing with this section? You go voot-toot, voot-toot pew Like. Go to your head, voot-toot, voot-toot pew.

Speaker 2:

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. 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. Your journey to boardroom excellence starts now. Okay, welcome back to GTM Pro. We are excited to dig in.

Speaker 2:

So we had a fantastic month of May. Actually, it bled into June a little bit. We were talking about specifically outbound, which, not surprisingly, evolved quickly into GTM strategy. Our most recent conversation was with Kyle Norton and he hit on a lot of things that we have been seeing in our own work with a variety of customers in the lower middle market or clients, and what we have seen is especially, it seems to have really accelerated in the last well, certainly since uh 21, but just a. I would describe it as a fundamental shift and go to market. So you know, if you go back to the predictable revenue era, the 2010s to 2015, even that late, late period, I mean that whole wave basically rode the decade and we rode that into 2020 and pretty much drove it into the ground, honestly. But it was built at a time when ads were inexpensive. It was kind of a blue ocean environment. We could go out and get lots and lots of leads and filter them through our own process and determine and control the buying process, and PLG started in that era as well for the same reasons. We could very efficiently bring people in. But we're now in an attention deficit era. Getting the attention of our buyers is harder than it's ever been, and so a lot of those models start to break down, and I don't think we've found this backfill yet of what really works.

Speaker 2:

And so, however, having said that, there are two things that we see where every company gets stuck that actually unlock the entire go-to-market engine, and they very rarely, if ever, invest in these roles because they kind of have lived inside of the existing structure, and so we have referred to them in the past as the investigative journalist and broadly rev ops, which we need to unpack a lot, because that's a polluted term. Let's start with the investigative journalist and go back to the environment in which we live today, and that is that every company everywhere in our space and again we're speaking to lower middle market companies who are self-funded or private equity backed most likely they are in a category that has lots of alternatives. There's probably an 800 pound gorilla in that space. Who's the category leader? And every one of them has run the predictable revenue slash inbound playbook into the ground. And so there is tons and tons and tons of information out there that, frankly, buyers are very skeptical of and creates even more confusion for them.

Speaker 2:

And so the role of the investigative journalist. The thing that we need to do is we need to go a layer deeper and have an intimate knowledge of our customer and the things that they deal with, and we'll talk about some examples here in a second. But the difference is and it starts with having a really rigorous definition of your ICP, because you can't have an investigative journalist going after a very broad and poorly defined ICP. And there's we've talked about that in the past but that needs to be both quantitative and qualitative and will feel uncomfortably small for probably product and certainly at the executive level, but that's required in order to get really good insights that you can actually make actionable. So I'll pause there for a second. We've talked in the past about the investigative journalist, but maybe some examples of where, why that's so important and what we've seen.

Speaker 1:

Well, I would just throw in there as well on that role is that it's actually constantly sharpening the point on ICP, right? So, as you mentioned, there's the call it, the crude, quantitative, a lot of times firmographic, sometimes technographic, and so on, market condition based, what level of the market you're playing in, and so on, which defines your ICP kind of on that level. And then there's the job to be done voice of the customer, understanding their pains, understanding their process for working, you know, for doing work, right, and that's the job map and so on, and there's a lot of those pieces, right. The investigative journalist is constantly not only probing that but then getting qualitative feedback all the time from the market, whether it's directly, from interviewing customers. So they're constantly, I would say, refining your ICP, and so I just I wanted to throw that on there, that that that role it's, it's, it's almost one in the same with ICP, like they're. They're. They're constantly maybe even challenging it too, right, but extracting those insights which helps the company understand what makes their customers tick period.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's a really good point. It's almost self-reinforcing or course-correcting on ICP as it evolves, because it's evolving quickly, because there are so many options in the market and the way companies themselves are changing rapidly, and so from a structure perspective, I think a lot of times we think we have that capability because product is talking to customers. We probably have a content marketer who is doing some customer interviews and researching and, you know, navigating reports and things like that. But the the problem we see with most of those is that they are, they have a singular focus on, they have a bias, right, product is going in basically trying to understand problems. So I can go build product to solve some of those problems and be thinking about that content marketing.

Speaker 2:

What we've seen at this level is we have to shake off a lot of the old approach which was around, frankly, exposure, right, it was getting in the slipstream of what people were looking for and bringing them to our site and almost picking off interest. And since everybody has done that, when anybody sees those kinds of articles or they click through, they very quickly can discern what's actually really in-depth, helpful, and what's just, frankly, clickbait, clickbait. There's a lot of that out there and so this, this is this role. The best way to think about it is they are in constant pursuit. It's almost like they're writing a documentary. They're they're the script for a documentary and they're researching that they want to understand. So if I'm gonna go and I'm gonna talk to customers, those that have recently started with us, I want to try to unpack the entire journey.

Speaker 2:

Not, and honestly, whether you bought our software or anybody else's software. I want to understand what was the catalyzing moment, what was that moment that? What was the underlying problem? And a really good investigative think about any article of any depth. They really go to levels where even the interviewee doesn't realize the pieces that fit together and how that came. And so, because those are all the elements that drive that, and so what we want to then understand is was this a one-off situation for this specific company? Or, due to Andy, to your point on ICP, are there a set of patterns that we begin to see?

Speaker 1:

in that. I think that and it goes back to you brought it up uncomfortably specific. We've all been through it, probably in the 2010s around there, where we bought stuff that we didn't fully know what it did Right, and so this whole thing about like the trough of disillusionment we've all been through some semblance of that. So buyers have gotten savvier, and that's part of the catalyst of all this is they actually do know what they're looking for, or they definitely know what their problem is pretty specifically, and they're like you know what? If you can't explain to me how this specifically addresses this specific thing, I'm just I'm going to tune out. Like I've way too many other things to do. So it's, it has gotten more refined, it has gotten more specific. I mean, we all, we all look at it.

Speaker 1:

You know introspectively, like back then you could be sold something and then suddenly you're punted over to account management and onboarding. You're like they're like wait, they told you that that stuff doesn't fly anymore. It just doesn't. Like people have been through it. They not now know what to look for, and so that that ties not only to buying you know the final solution, if you will, the product, the thing that's going to solve that, know the final solution, if you will, the product, the thing that's going to solve that but like articles on how I can, how I can help myself.

Speaker 1:

You know, you're rewarded now in a number of ways, and I think this has happened with the search engines and so on, where like specificity matters, like there's so much noise, like you said, there's just that's all blown up. Seo AI has like blown everything up, so we're like it's all noise now, but people at the same time are looking for more specific things. So if you're just doing noisy clickbait, get in the slipstream of like oh, I'm talking about AI today because you know it's big ai today, because you know it's big, um, though you're, it's it's disassociating from the things that your, your likely icp customers are really looking for right.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it's like uh, the investigative journalist role is, it's like, created to fight this attention deficit era right when trying to capture the the attention of of our buyers as companies and companies, and I believe it's like a mean to how companies effectively filter through the vast amount of, like Andy was mentioning, the vast amount of information available to buyers and address that skepticism and confusion that this abundance of information constantly is creating.

Speaker 2:

Right, yeah, yes, and I think that, andy, you brought up a really good point, which is let's put a finer point on it, when? So, if I'm in a category with 45 other software options, there's only so much I can say about my software option. And, by the way, all of my competitors are saying the same thing in some way, shape or form, and maybe they're all right, maybe, but I'm just trying to figure. Look, I don't have time to go through 45 of them, so I'm looking for ways to narrow that down to three, four or five. Now it becomes about the three, four, five. Now it becomes about the two things elimination of friction, like how easy is it for me to get started here? And then, secondly, what is the level of depth of information that I can understand, where you de-risk this decision for me, and that is where the investigative journalist can really come in and help. Because now I can understand well, if I've worked, if I've taken that documentary perspective with existing customers and unpacked how, all of the challenges and issues and things, if you had to do over again, what would you have done differently? In a sense, you're helping people understand how to take that same journey with a guide, a travel guide. Somebody's already been there, done that and guess what? That may actually apply to any one of your competitors.

Speaker 2:

If I'm implementing a project management software or a a new sales automation tool, or whatever, the case may be that there's a certain set of steps, it doesn't matter which tool it is. There's a certain set of things that need to happen in a certain organization to make that really work, and that's what they need to see. And and what you're effectively doing is you're pulling apart the sales and marketing process and going into the activation, implementation, the customer success side of this. That really made the difference. And we're back. Technical difficulties, the modern era. Okay. So, andy, bring us back on track. Where were we? Oh, we're going deep on the seeing through your specific product and thinking more holistically about what's going on on the other side of that side of that and all of the tips and triggers and things that need to be, and it's not just about your product but more broadly, how, what are the alternatives to solve this problem, and you've seen that done reasonably well.

Speaker 2:

But I think we're also entering this era, part of which the investigative journalist feeds is what are the micro products or sidecar products or things like that that we can provide. What do we mean by that? Okay, well, part of what anybody who's in a particular size organization needs to do is is pitch for budget to get this new tool. Well, instead of turning it over to them to figure it out, help them do that. Do we have previous decks that people have presented? Are there ways that they've outlined it? Make it simple for them to be able to go pitch for budget for your tool? And guess what? They may not pick your specific tool, but you have helped them think through how to do that. Or an implementation plan, or, hey, you're a champion bringing in something, a new idea, into an organization where the organization may have some resistance. How have others fought through that? And that leads us to use cases being more powerful than testimonials.

Speaker 1:

Use cases also being realistic, right, and I think that's where credibility comes in, that's where usefulness comes in, where we are, um, we're actually using the roadblocks and the hurdles and the and the obstacles that people had in a situation as part of the content, because it's real and people are like yep, I have those two things that are I always run into when I'm looking for budget for whatever. And if you're providing value and how people justified and and internally sold a a solution, you're right. They can use that for whatever, it's not just for this specific product and it's useful. And it's helpful and it's real and it's credible because it's like, yeah, I mean, it's not just you were. You were saying, I think yesterday about a situation where it's like, yeah, and if you buy this thing, everything's great.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, Well, it's the, the we've said this before and we have used it a lot here recently is a lot of the information that we tend to get in B2B selling environments or marketing is. You know, the analogy is everybody's saying that we need to be healthy and so we have two tips to tell you that. Number one eat better. Number two go to the gym. You're welcome, and it's like, okay, thank, and that's the article you land on. Now maybe there's seven tips or whatever, but it's, you know, adopt this technology or involve the stakeholders or things like that. But that's not helpful. That is not helpful. And, by the way, everybody else has done something similar. There's a thousand other articles out there like that, because nobody has taken the time and effort to really go down a layer to determine how can I actually help you get there. So, if you think about that investigative journalist as, literally, that's the best.

Speaker 2:

I like that perspective, andy, is that it is the constant improvement of fidelity and reinforcement of your ICP, like really, really, really getting an understanding and being able to pick on those subtle shifts, as we're seeing, like, what are the organizational dynamics?

Speaker 2:

Who's involved? Oh, we're seeing more and more companies coming in this direction and and that's always the problem, when we don't have someone shift and a very hard shift for CEOs at lower middle market companies, because you are making a resource allocation decision to a role that feeds everything else that we do, but isn't an output oriented thing. It's not a you're going to get X number of leads or you're going to produce so many pieces of content or whatever. It is literally there to be the heartbeat of the organization as it relates to an understanding of your customer. They get to fly over everything. They get to talk to customers. They get to listen to onboarding calls. They get to listen to sales calls. They get to do keyword research. They're you know're looking at competitors. They're maybe involved in other podcasts. I mean, it is truly an investigative journalist.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but it can be named a lot of things where it occurs, right, it's an analyst by its very nature, right, but it's also voice of the customer. It's also probably part of we call it problem marketing. But, like product marketing, where it resides is certainly an open question and you could call it a lot of things, but at its heart, it's exactly what you describe it as, which is it's an investigative journalist, like they are constantly teasing out information from all available sources, but mainly the customer's mouth.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Say this is what I'm running in. I really love the idea. Also, it is in real time, also a finger on the pulse of market conditions like this. This competitor's doing this, like you're gonna hear that a lot more, so those benefits are are also pretty compelling as well. That you're you're getting kind of real-time feedback from the market. That could be, you know, certainly helpful product, product stuff and so on. It's all this big pool of, I think, very useful information, but its core purpose is really understanding the job to be done and how that's being conducted by customers and prospects Two great points.

Speaker 2:

I want to come back to the product marketing point in a second, but picking up on your theme of a pulse of the market is, let's imagine that we are, we're every everybody's kind of feeling based on these conversations, the, the, the market is sharing it with us. What's important, what they're thinking about, and it's it's not just priorities for the departments that we sell, but they, they reflect the priorities of the companies as a whole. And we're entering an era, as we sit here in the middle of 2024, where pretty soon we're going to start placing eyes on 2025. And what could be really an unlock for that role is if you have somebody who's in a constant stream of listening for those and has that point of view right. I'm not listening for what's the next article I can write or what's the next feature I'm going to build, but what's going on in the market and what are people thinking about? I can begin to find patterns and themes for how companies are beginning to look at 2025. Like, what are those goals going to be? How can we start to position ourselves for that? How can we get in front of that? Because then they're feeding, then the engine of what are we going to say? How can we start to position ourselves for that? How can we get in front of that? Because then they're feeding then the engine of what are we going to say? How are we going to say it? What are we going to produce? Where are we going to distribute it? That's when we get into quote, the marketing and the sales, and that becomes the creation of the content and the distribution of it.

Speaker 2:

But you can be really in tune with where people are, which is how you're going to get attention Right. You cannot be the. You said it earlier. The intense specificity that is required to gather people's attention is higher than it's ever been, and so you can't speak about broad, guess what In a couple of months, months, let's we should actually do this start trending on 2025 planning. Let's look at it. You know search trends and in a couple of months, everybody's gonna start pumping out content about that and it's gonna be generic. But if you can be specific to your segment relative to what they're thinking, because you have your ears to the ground on it, you're gonna cut through the clutter.

Speaker 1:

AI is another example. That's we. We have very recently been looking at trends around keyword specific to an industry. We, we, uh, we help with the client in and we've seen it over the past year it's doubled in essence as as part of something somewhat specific to this industry. But that's the point right, like if it's not really specific. You don't, you know the analogy I use and this is maybe dating myself and I don't know if piana's ever seen it. Remember the paper clip on microsoft? Well, actually, any help bot now on any website, it it gives you. I'm trying to think of another example where it's like oh man, that's just like it's not help Google even. I think the help, the help bots, they get you to like a very general area and I was like, did this help? No, I like have like way more. It's way more specific than that and it like it just it generalizes the answer and it's never helpful. I feel like so much content out there is like that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yes, yes, agreed. And here's the deal. In an AI world, competitors will get better and better at using that tool to get to those specific answers, almost in a way to make it more interactive Like, wouldn't that be fascinating where it's less about a static blog post and more about a uh, a micro product? Right when? Here you come. We've built this thing based on all of our insights from you know, from working with these customers to help provide answers to these very core problems. You're never going to get there if you don't have the insights and really understand what the questions are. You're going to come back with exactly that. I'm like no, this wasn't helpful, it's too generic, it's too general.

Speaker 1:

Well, the help I get a lot and's. I'm a geek and I'm always looking for whatever formulas, but it's like a Reddit or a community or a GitHub or something specific somebody did on a video on Excel or whatever it is. I have a very they call it a compacted search string, right Like I put in Google, like something you know, 10 words long, like I'm looking for, and lo and behold, somebody did an answer on a forum somewhere where they said this is how I built this. You know this, lookup this view, look whatever it is, but like it's really specific. So people are and that's that's getting ingrained in people to like be really specific about what you're looking for and you'll get those answers. But it's not an article, it's like.

Speaker 3:

It's like a you know a forum, like right, like wrote an answer yeah, yeah yeah, that's something gary once said to me like write what they want to hear, what they want to read, not what other marketers are writing exactly yes, just talk to them directly, as you would, of course, make it sound right if you can, but, and make it catchy, because, if not, like you're probably not going to get anyone's attention. But but just make it very, very specific, as if you were reading it and you were saying, like this is exactly what I need, this is this is my problem. Talk to Tito on set to. Like talk what I need. This is this is my problem. Talk to tito on set, too.

Speaker 2:

Like talk to the problems, too, and paint the paint, the scope of the solutions when you're doing so, and that's how you're getting their attention yeah, and you mentioned, uh, this, you know saying it and that's the other advantage of this role is that not only are they coming back with real, nuanced insights on where, where people are, you know, you know, emotionally or from a business priority perspective, or some of the challenges they're wrestling with, because that's that's kind of the reality is okay, especially as we move into. Taking the 2025 example, we're moving into this era where we're starting to digest. Looking back, what happened in 24, what can we learn from that, and what do we think the environment is going to be in 25? And what do we do about it? Right, how do we start? Where are we going to deploy resources? What are the priorities going to be? And there's not a black and there's never a black and white answer.

Speaker 2:

And in that kind of level of anxiety and uncertainty, you'll begin to understand not only that, but also the words that they're using to describe it, so that when you go out into the world, you are literally to your point, you're talking as if you're part of them, like you are them, and that the specificity of the topic and the language that you use again, is really, really important.

Speaker 2:

So, as a CEO you mentioned mentioned, let's go back to the product marketing thing. I think, as we describe this role, that's the natural point is okay, well, do I already have that today in some form? Content marketer, maybe? That's probably the most likely place that it lives. However, you have to look hard at the skill set of that content marketer, because a lot of what we've seen is that that's more of a I'm going to call it out a 2015 inbound era marketer who is writing SEO content versus truly diving deep to dig into and doing the research, not just once or twice a year, but constantly, then being able to distill that down into documentation or insights that are actionable for every part of the organization, from customer success to top of funnel marketing, to sales discovery, to the late stage sales process contract negotiation all of it.

Speaker 1:

Here's an acid test, right? Is the content that person is producing useful in a sales enablement capacity, like really useful, not just like I'm going to put this link in an email and it's fodder? Is it actually part of a useful sales enablement process?

Speaker 2:

Yep, great, great acid test. And then product marketing is another place where we can often see this role and theoretically that could work, but I think again. And in larger organizations, theoretically that could work, but I think again. And in larger organizations it may, because they have product managers under the product manager leader and they can be more strategic from that perspective. But in most organizations in the lower middle market that we see, you are lucky to have one product manager or product marketing manager, product market manager or product marketing manager.

Speaker 2:

And that then is the challenge is that the tyranny of the. Now they get, they get. They get pulled into all of the things that need to happen that product want them to do in terms of talking about this feature and getting this adoption and what the things that you're rolling out. They get, they get into the process of the mechanics of doing versus the insights required to really drive the entire engine. So we have to just be realistic about what that looks like and that is going to require hard choices about where we're going to deploy that capital. So that role gets us the insights that we need, that are going to literally feed the marketing engine, an outbound engine, the sales discovery process, the deck, the buyer package or deal room that we may fulfill afterwards. How to navigate the process. Activation, why people are retaining or not retaining what their challenges are. It literally is the engine. It's the fuel that feeds the entire engine.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, oh, sorry but it also matches with what some of our guests have been saying, especially Mark and I think Tito too that, like, just general data is just not enough anymore. This is not something you can just buy somewhere and expect to just drop like spam message or spam outbound to everybody, and it will just naturally come back as new leads or quality leads. This information is something that is going out, it's out there, but you can't buy. It's something that you can read while being involved with that community. It's something that you can tell by being constantly just listening to what they listen, or reading to what they're investigating, or just being around reading the comments. Even if it's something you can spot can vary like you can spot in LinkedIn or different parts where this, where the people that you're looking for are around.

Speaker 3:

But if you're just looking for, like, if you try to change the investigative journalist into something that you're just a big list that you're buying and then you're just talking to, is just Pointless. This feeds, as Gary was mentioning, the, the entire engine. It's how your marketing will communicate. It's part of the messaging. It's, it's how you will position yourself around the icp that you're aiming for. It's how people were like the outbound motion will work towards, like how will they message, how will they structure their scripts? It's, it's with the right information and a tightly defined ICP. It's exactly how you get to the people that you're looking for.

Speaker 2:

Yep, yep, there are no shortcuts. All right. So the second capability, if you will and we'll want to unpack this is we're going to call it RevOps, but unfortunately that's a polluted term that for a lot of people just means the department into which sales ops, marketing ops, product ops, reports. But what we're talking about specifically are two components to that and increasingly increasingly important is, with the benefit of those insights and understanding, the ICP, the people, ie personas, the challenges that they face where they go for information, all the things you just talked about, tiana is the ability to now go out into the world and say where is the data that I can find that will help us activate on that, that will help us find the people, what they're interested in, what's going on real time in their lives upon which we can use as a trigger to take action. And that is now more than ever the wild west with a lot of. We won't even we could talk a whole podcast about all of the creative ways that people are doing that, but the ability, the capability inside your organization to have someone who can discern that information, who can absorb it, understand it from a buyer perspective and how that impacts the buyer's journey and what we can do with it and then figure out where to go get it and then make it actionable.

Speaker 2:

That means what systems are we going to use and how we're going to feed those systems and what is the data hygiene that needs to happen. What are we going to keep? What's fungible? What are we going to throw away? Like that capability it's uh, I mean we're seeing it kind of pop out. You've heard it, I think actually, mark referred to it as a uh, you know, a data hacker, a gtm hacker, which we hate the word hack, because that implies you're taking advantage of a uh, an anomaly or a window in time, and then that window goes away and you've got to move on to the next thing, versus building something fundamental. But that capability to be able to understand the customer and how it, how that information can be put to work, is really powerful and hard to find.

Speaker 1:

So very hard to find. I mean you you used the term unicorn earlier. I mean it's, it's hard. It's hard because it is.

Speaker 1:

It's, first of all, it's very intertwined with what we were just discussing the investigative journalists, like it, it's the you know it's that that investigative journalist is informing this role in a lot of ways, informing what they're looking for, what they're doing, what they're trying to activate, what they're trying to find lookalikes for this, this hardened like, I'm going to be very disciplined. I'm going to have pretty rigid standards around data, to your point, data hygiene, the structure of that, the models I'm using, the models everybody's using in the company for sales processes, lead management, that needs to be like rock solid and somebody needs to own that like outright, and I would argue that this, this person, if, if not the direct owner of that, is strongly informing that um, and, to your point, they're creative like that's. That's at a premium these days. Um to to like you it's, it's hacking in one respect. But these roundabout ways to like Disarm prospects to to get that attention, like this is where that all does happen.

Speaker 2:

You know, that's the core of it. It struck me as this is I wonder if it's as hard to find as we think it is, or it's more a function of the structure into which we try to put these people that creates it to be hard to do or hard to find. And what I mean by that is we're in it. We, we as humans, like predictability, visibility and control. That's just human nature. So our companies, made up of humans, want to have the same thing. We want to go build systems. We want to build the productive, predictable revenue engine that tells me that I can put people here, here and here and I can have them do these things and out spits out, you know, a capitally efficient dollar of revenue. But in this environment of revenue, but in this environment, we are experimenting and we need the freedom to experiment. We need to be able to have somebody who can not just do the data but actually then see how it works. Yeah, working closely, and I think that's it's gonna, it's a person who can activate that. But they need to be put into a structure where the whole structure is fluid and has the ability to test and experiment, and that may be direct line with marketing. Let's try this thing, part human and we're using bits and pieces of this. They need to be able to work with those teams and all the teams need to be malleable to be able to respond to that.

Speaker 2:

And I think that's the biggest challenge is we have these silos that say marketing does this, sales does this, and the reality is the buyer doesn't operate that way anymore and so it's this that ability to activate is almost a glue between in that period, between I'm, I'm open to learn, which is I can be activated by this role but is largely, would argue, marketing. But then, when we get to open to change and open to buy, we get into these triggers where it's like now it's a, it's a team effort, there's this data. I won't gtm scientist, right, who's looking for all these triggers and ways that we can know that and see that and take action on it and triggers and experiment and see what's having an impact and then decide did that come into the website? Is it a marketing pull? Is it a sales pull? When do we bring in a person? Did that work? And it's that structure is what's necessary to really unlock that capability.

Speaker 1:

I mean, if we take the extreme example right, like why you would want this in-house, why you would want this capability, is, the alternative is and we've seen this a lot this happens all the time as you hire an agency and you kind of offload all of that to them. I mean even something as simple as ad copy they're doing. Paid advertising for you should encompass all of that in there, certainly on the investigative journalism side, but like the RevOps piece, like where you're even playing your targeting is informed by. I know this about my ICP. I've now discerned what are all those factors out in the world that I can use as leverage to find lookalikes and so on. So I know I'm in a very target rich environment. If you don't have those in-house, you're most likely, by definition, outsourcing that. And then if you don't have those disciplines in-house, if you don't have that analytical horsepower in-house, that entity that's doing that for you is doing it blindly.

Speaker 2:

Right, yep, and I think that you hit an important point, which is the corollary to that. I guess, going back to that role, is that that that can't be a more junior person who is waiting to be told what to do, who has expertise and then just goes execute. They need to be part of the decision-making process because they have eyes on what's the art of the possible and then pulling that together right and so it. You need to have somebody who's more you know, has broader business acumen, who's who can absorb those insights, understand how they can be put to work inside of the GTM org, whether it be sales or marketing work with their counterparts, and then be technical and creative enough to go out and find the data and make it actionable inside of the systems.

Speaker 1:

And the tools that you brought up, the tools piece right, because what you are looking for then becomes incredibly specific as to what tools out there will really facilitate that. So you think about that acumen and bringing that all together. You've got this kind of like left brain and right brain thing that comes together to be like I know that tool which I just heard about, assuming it does what it's supposed to do. Disclaimer, we've all run into those situations that will help me here. For these reasons, in this situation and getting to this answer over here, and you know, teasing out that attention and that need and that pain that someone has, they can tie those things together.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I think we're evolving from with generative AI and some of these new tools. We're evolving from these fixed, rigid pools of structured data that third parties went out and got for you. I'm not saying that those aren't still important and we still need those. We definitely do. We don't need those. We definitely do. But now there is the opportunity to use tools to, with some reasonable scale, icp or persona. Where will that evidence itself in the world in a digital footprint and how would I go get it? And maybe it's a proxy. Well, I can't get it directly, but could I get a proxy for that?

Speaker 2:

That, you know, more than half the time tells us that this is that. This is true. It's that degree of creativity, that and that comes through experimentation, work or not. We got to run it through the engine and see if it's going to drive the impact we think it does. So it's just this constant reinforcing loop and that's frankly. Companies struggle with that, because we can't look at this thing and say, oh, we figured it out. Now we're just going to run this because there are diminishing returns.

Speaker 1:

There are things that work and then they stop working, and so it's this experimentation that's required and it's, but it's at the same time so strategic because it incorporates so many disciplines and thoughts and company objectives and things we're learning at the same time out in the world with you know, direct feedback and voice of the customer. That requires a lot of processing, yeah, a lot of processing horsepower, a lot of MIPS, as my dad would say.

Speaker 2:

But and that's the thing is, while it's operational, it can't be consumed by the operation. Correct, right, because you need time to have that creativity go. You know, experiment with some, some data, see what's happening, and and companies don't typically do well with providing people or departments white space to do that. So that's another change as we think about that. Last part, related to RevOps, is then also having a measurement of the system, and not financial metrics, but the operational input metrics, the GTM metrics, as we think about using all of the inputs that we just had and the flow through the system. So we can identify if our hypothesis is that if we do this thing and we have this touch point over here, that we'll see increased interest here and we'll have we'll have higher quality, better, better fit, best fit customers coming through that equation, which means we have to understand what is a best fit customer and actually have a measurement for that, and that that we're getting productivity through the engine.

Speaker 2:

And a lot of times it's not a direct we did this thing and we got this output. It actually is more statistically, looking at probabilities or reverse engineering journeys, it takes time to be able to say, okay, we recently run one. Excuse me more of this type of business from this segment that we were going after, and we've now discovered that 80% of them have these certain touch points in the journey. But we couldn't necessarily make that one-to-one connection because there were multiple steps along the way. It's that level of analysis that is required to really understand, in an increasingly opaque consumption of content world, what's actually driving the needle, and that's an opaque attribution, for that matter.

Speaker 1:

Just the physical mechanics of that are becoming harder. And then to your point like that journey, it goes hand in hand with what we just talked about the struggle for attention, the struggle for meaningful answers to questions and to pain points and so on. All that is part and parcel to that journey looks very different today. Somebody just having a slight inkling that this solution might be something they'd be interested in, while 10 years ago they'd be like you know what? I'll spend that half hour on a demo call. You're not likely to get that today.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, and it really is interesting as you think about where. So that's probably the more traditional RevOps ops, but as companies in the lower middle market start thinking about resource allocation, this comes down to making choices and it comes down to the post that I put out recently that is questioning is rev ops now actually greater than sales? In some, the ability for us to actually drive GTM success may very well be more dependent on a solid strategic rev ops thinker who's thinking about all the pieces and where we need to deploy energies, versus the sales leader, because the sales leader is going to have a limited toolkit in many cases, at least at these size companies, and they're not going to be able to. It could very well be that the right decision actually isn't sales at all. It's more of the GTM hacker, as we call it, or it's more in a quasi outbound role. We have to get creative on how we do that. It may be more product or marketing or website or microproduct or whatever. All of those things like where, where does the opportunity lie? And let's, let's devote our resources there so that we can have our most expensive and least saleable Excuse me least scalable resource ie sales people Maxed out with the best opportunities. If they aren't, then we have them working very inefficiently prospecting, doing outbound, working on the wrong opportunities that don't close, working on best fit and worst bad fit opportunities that do close, because then they've hit their target with that, but we know now they're going to churn. So in a perfect world, we are teeing those up and again, this is not for all sales. This is not for a $500,000 enterprise sale, not for all sales. This is not for a five hundred thousand dollar enterprise sale. That seller is incredibly important in that journey, because now we're we have to activate the entire buying org, but for something that's 75, 50, certainly 25k and under, it is really really important in order to make that an efficient engine to do that. Do that well. So, okay, well, we kind of were solving this in public because, honestly, we've not seen this done really well. There's a few places that you know. Go back to the.

Speaker 2:

If you haven't had a chance, go back and listen to the Kyle Norton interview, because what was interesting in that is he describes very early on now, granted, a very different situation. This is a fast growth industry, fast growth company, excuse me, um, and they had a lot of pieces in place and he was brought in to really ramp up gtm and was given the resources to do that. But one of the very early investments he made was in a really strategic RevOps leader who he knew was going to be critical to driving the visibility and the actionability of those tools and data. And because he knew that in order to make that an efficient, in order to make the people efficient and productive, he was going to need the ability to activate and monitor and measure, and so he invested in that very early on, when they were relatively small. So I think that's a real world example of you know, in that case he had the resources to be able to do it. He had somebody in mind with whom he'd worked in the past. A lot of organizations don't have that, and so it gets a little more challenging because we have to think now about how do we structure the organization to get to those capabilities without necessarily having the unicorn individual to do it for us. So we're going to be spending a lot more time on this because it's happening in real time and uh, but we actually would love your questions, so reach out to us.

Speaker 2:

Hello at gtmproco, if any of this resonates with you or you're struggling with it or, frankly, if you've seen it working really well, we'd love to talk to you. Uh, it is. Every organization is different and I think that is the biggest challenge is we see something work, and Kyle said this as well. You see it work at one place and it doesn't mean it's going to work in another situation, even if the companies look fairly similar and could even be in the same industry. So if you've seen that, we'd love to talk to you. Until next week, have a good one. Bye, 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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