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Building A Demand Gen Tech Stack To Optimize Your Financial Decision Making

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Speaker 1: (00:00)
We've invited marketing, finance, sales, and general management colleagues today as what you can do with an optimal funnel structure. And timely reporting can help hone tactical, demand, gen spending, and strategy, increase your customer acquisition, augment your top line forecasting and diagnose issues. We're super excited to partner today with Aptitude eight, a consulting firm whose expertise lies in implementing and improving demand gen tech stacks, reporting and performance. They work with clients large and small, so while they have a view on what can be done with a gazillion dollars, they can also help solve the same issues for companies on a smaller scale. The goals for today are to baseline set one, what are optimal funnel components and why. Two, what does good funnel reporting look like and how can general managers, sales teams and finance act on the information diagnose issues and potentially shift tactics. Three, how can you use the components to help with long and shorter term forecasting? And four, what tech stack do I need? We're happy to have Connor Jeffers from Aptitude Date to help guide us through these topics Today we're planning on an hour of presentation, followed up by hopefully a lively q and a. You can ask questions by typing in during the call or raise hand during the q and a itself. Connor, thanks for coming today. And the audience is yours.

Speaker 2: (01:14)
Awesome. Thanks Aaron. Uh, good to meet everybody. Um, I'm Connor, I Apt two date. Um, as Aaron sort of touched on, we are a, a rev and demand gen consulting firm. Um, we are partners with HubSpot, Salesforce, insight Squared Outreach and tons of different sales and marketing, uh, technology tools. And what we really do with the customers that we work with is systems implementations, integrations, helping people build out the tech stack that their business will run on, and primarily focused on both how can we leverage automation to increase efficiency, as well as how can you build out the right funnel reporting, um, to make sure that you guys are delivering on the goals that you're looking to pursue. And you can continue to optimize those strategies as you go. Uh, super excited to be here. Uh, and in terms of what we're gonna go over today, so there's gonna gonna be two main sections.

Speaker 2: (02:02)
Uh, first we're gonna go through what is a funnel and, and why is it important. We're gonna define those funnel stages, uh, go through demand gen talk about tracking. We'll go through a bunch of different reports and examples of all of those items as well. We'll get pretty tactical, um, talk through the demand gen life cycle and help you guys figure out where in that cycle your company sits today. Uh, and when, finally get to, uh, what tax stack is right for your team based on both your size and your business model. Uh, and we'll talk through some, some quick how to get started as well. Um, and as Aaron mentioned, feel free to submit q and a throughout the session and we'll tackle all of those, uh, at the top of the hour. So starting at sort of the, the baseline here for, for what's a funnel and why is it important, um, we wanna go through what are the metrics you should be looking at at each stage of that funnel.

Speaker 2: (02:50)
What are the terms, uh, in those funnels and what do we wanna look at for them? And really get on the same page that when we talk about a funnel, what does that actually mean? So many of you have probably seen this before, uh, but for anyone who hasn't, we'll go through these one by one cuz it'll sort of form the baseline for everything we're gonna talk about today. So the first stage for funnels when we're talking about them is gonna be our prospects. And this will fall into two buckets. So one, if you're inbound and you're looking at, uh, the m and site driven traffic, that's gonna be traffic on your website, the people that you could potentially capture, but you don't yet have their information. Uh, and if you're an outbound driven organization, these are going to be cold lists of emails, contact information that's in your CRM that you could potentially be going after.

Speaker 2: (03:34)
We'll wanna move those prospects into leads. And so our leads are going to be people that we have a warm pulse, we have information about them, they have engaged with us in some capacity, whether it's a form fill, they've opened an email, they've clicked on an email, they've engaged with us in some way, and then we'll wanna be moving those leads into everyone's favorite, which is mql s uh, and really the key here for the difference between these two, it's gonna be our leads, is anybody who has had some form of engagement. So perhaps that they've registered for a webinar but they haven't yet attended. Uh, and your MQL are gonna be people who are interested in talking to you and interested in engaging with your sales team. So those are going to be book a demo forms, webinar attendees, people that you really wanna be getting in touch with.

Speaker 2: (04:18)
And leads are gonna be those top of funnels. So a core function for your marketing team is gonna be how can they move all the leads that you have into MQL so they can serve them up to that sales team. Our SQLs for our sales qualified leads are going to be m qls that our, our sales team has interacted with and engaged with and is confirmed that this is somebody we would actually sell to. Uh, it's not an intern, it's not a low level employee, it's somebody who is actually somebody who's interested. It's the right type of company. They are in the market, they do have the right type of company to work with us. And then from there we'll move those into opportunities. People that are interested in buying, we're working in active sales cycle with them, we're moving them through our entire process and then down into purchase, which is of course our customers.

Speaker 2: (05:01)
And so what's important here is when we talk about our funnel, um, we're gonna go through each one of these stages, what you should really be tracking and managing at each stage and how you're gonna tie that back into your forecasting, your funnels and how you look at the business overall. Um, so let's start with with what is demand gen? Uh, cause we're gonna talk about that term a lot. So, uh, when we talk about demand gen, it's really the data driven marketing strategy to create awareness and interest in your company's offerings through technology. Uh, which is a really verbose way of saying the demand gen team at your organization is really building that funnel. Um, and who's responsible for architecting it, driving people through it and measuring it falls onto demand gen. And so tons of different things that go into that funnel. You have paid media, any of your inbound marketing efforts, your sales enablement efforts, customer retention, web conversion analytics, all of this ties into the funnel measurement itself.

Speaker 2: (05:52)
But when we talk about a demand gen team and a demand gen responsibility, it's the group in your organization that's responsible for building, managing and maintaining that funnel. So we wanna jump into what should you be tracking, uh, at each funnel stage for the organization. Um, and the important part of this is that we're really gonna make sure all that reporting is done in a cohort. So, uh, when we're looking at our reporting, we want to be measuring month by month, source by source, really isolating a particular audience versus just getting sort of pulse metrics as we go. That funnel is always going to be one particular cohort, uh, that's moving through the process. And in terms of how we actually do this, we're gonna show tons of screenshots of tons of reports throughout this presentation. Uh, and all of these come from a variety of different tools, but some of it's gonna be geared towards the marketing team and tactical and the demand gen team.

Speaker 2: (06:45)
Uh, but these are all the things that you should be looking at to measure that funnel. Uh, and there's a couple of core technologies involved. In order to make that happen. You're gonna have CRM where all of your data base and your contacts live. Your sales engagement tool, which is how your sales team actually engages with the prospects. Your marketing automation platform for all of your marketing site data billing management is, we're gonna pull all of those ROI and sort of where those customers are. And then a BI tool if you wanna layer that on top to really aggregate all of that together. So if, if you're at sort of the, the CEO level and you're looking for what, what's the summary and why do I care and what should I be looking at? These are the things that we would say are the most important things you should be asking your demand gen team asking your marketing leaders to bring to you.

Speaker 2: (07:27)
And when you're looking at sort of that weekly one-on-one meeting of, of evaluating the performance of the demand gen team, this is what we should be looking at. So what's our trending funnel cohort performance as this up or down and why? And we'll go through sort of tactically what this looks like. Our funnel stage conversion changes. So are we seeing people increase percentage conversion from stage to stage? Is that going down and what's the reason our forecast based on that funnel? So we really want to answer, does our sales team have enough leads in order to feed the revenue goals that they're pursuing? What was the performance from the last period? So how, how well did we perform last month? Is that getting better or worse? What's our current period trending? So are you, is your team moving in the right direction? And what's the current period forecast? So are, are we going to hit your target? Are we gonna hit our goals? And so when you look at this information, we're gonna go through lots of reporting, lot of content, lot of lot of specific examples, but for that CEO summary of this is what you should really be looking at when you talk to your demand gen team, and this is what should be getting delivered to you, uh, in that regular meeting.

Speaker 2: (08:31)
So let's jump into sort of details on these. So for prospects, so again, prospect is somebody engaged with your company, could become a customer, could become somebody that engages with your sales team. When you look at your prospect reporting, uh, you are gonna wanna look at your site traffic. So what's the overall sort of people that are actually visiting your site? What's the onsite conversion rate? How many of those are giving you contact information? Total database size? And as that's growing, how many net new contacts are coming in and what's sort of the, the target account list size that you're able to work with? So are you adding more target accounts that you want to be able to sell to, uh, as time goes on? So to go into some specific examples, um, so this guy is going to be what is the sessions and the traffic on your site?

Speaker 2: (09:13)
And this is a, a week over week, uh, and kind of report. So what we wanna evaluate is what traffic sources are driving people to our site. And if you're spending money on seo, if you're spending money on paid, if you're spending money on partners and webinars and different conferences and content, you should be seeing that reflected here and you should be seeing spikes. Uh, and so what you should be able to look at here is evaluate are the marketing activities that we're engaging in and is the money that we're spending actually getting awareness and interest in the market for what we do? And you wanna look at that broken out by what source that traffic is coming from. So, uh, is it traffic that people are just searching for you? Is it traffic that you're buying? Is it traffic partners are sending your way?

Speaker 2: (09:56)
And this should be able to inform you whether or not the marketing decisions you're making are driving attention to the business. Overall, drilling down into that, um, you really wanna start to look at that conversion rate by each source. So not only what's your aggregate conversion rate, so you might be seeing, you know, 2%, two and a half percent conversion across all traffic, but you really wanna break that out by the source that that traffic is coming from. So if you're seeing that your paid social traffic is converting in a much higher rate, uh, that may be where you wanna be putting a lot of your attention in a lot of your spend as opposed to investing in sort of SEO or organic cuz you're not getting as much conversion there. Uh, and this'll help you prioritize different channels and prioritize different sources for where you should be investing for the for the demand gen team.

Speaker 2: (10:44)
Similarly here, uh, we wanna look at how many new contacts are we driving in. We wanna make sure that the traffic we're getting isn't just noise. Um, and you're not just getting people who come in view a page or two and then bounce, but really looking at how many new contacts are coming into your CRM and your database from the traffic that you're investing in. So this'll tell you whether or not those strategies you're doing or reaching people who are interested in what you have to say, as well as telling you whether or not the messaging you have on your site resonates with people from where they're at in that buyer's journey. So if it's somebody who's coming in from remarketing or paid social, uh, it might be somebody has a little bit more knowledge about you and what you do, uh, whereas somebody who's coming in from organic may just be looking for a solution to their problem and they're hitting your site and saying, this isn't something that's going to help me.

Speaker 2: (11:30)
Uh, and then bouncing back out. And here we're, we're really aggregating that together. So, uh, our stacked bars here are just gonna say, what's our sessions by which source that session's coming from, uh, are sort of, uh, X axis here is gonna be, uh, over time. And then that line is gonna say, what's that conversion rate? So this is a really helpful chart, especially when you're looking at that, uh, conversion rate over time to tell you if you did a new site change, perhaps you sort of moved it from your pricing page, showing your core pricing and switching it to contact our sales team. And this will tell you, is that actually getting more people to engage with you? Or is that engagement going down? If you changed your messaging to instead of being focused on sort of product centric messaging, you're now moving to more value driven messaging, is that actually working? Um, and it'll also help you spot where you're starting to, to either gain momentum or starting to surface gaps, uh, in your overall traffic sources. And so when you're looking at those prospects, you really wanna focus on overall site traffic conversion and then really breaking that out by individual source.

Speaker 2: (12:36)
So jumping into leads, um, and this is one where there's sometimes a little confusion, we'll, we'll rehash it again for leads versus MQL s but our leads are gonna be people that, uh, have expressed interest in in what you're doing. So it's not necessarily that they're ready to talk to the sales team, they're not necessarily somebody who we wanna go and, and sort of book a demo with and pound down their door, but it's somebody who's filled out a form, they've opened an email, they've clicked on something, they've somehow shown us that they have interest in what the, what we are doing. But we haven't yet said that there's somebody that sales absolutely wants to talk to. Our lead reports will go through, will be qualified percentage, um, that's gonna be of the leads that we have, uh, what percentage is actually people we want to talk to that'll tell us if our marketing efforts are reaching the right folks.

Speaker 2: (13:19)
Um, our lead to MQL conversion rates. So how effective are we at getting somebody who has a pulse, has an interest, uh, to somebody who actually wants to engage with our sales team? What's our unqualified reasons? So why are the leads that we're saying this isn't someone we want to talk to? What's the reason that they're unqualified? Um, this is something we think is really important to truck cuz it'll help you flag are we marketing to the wrong audience? Are we spending money on channels that produce people that aren't interested? Are we somehow servicing the wrong type of contacts? Uh, and also our unqualified percentage, so inverse of that qualified percentage, but again, you won't necessarily reach all of them. So typically you're gonna see a percentage is qualified, a percentage is unqualified, and a percentage is just kind of unknown cuz you never really got in touch with anybody.

Speaker 2: (14:03)
And ideally you wanna break this out by your sources as well. So you really wanna be evaluating this, uh, by where these leads are coming from, um, so that you can make decisions about each channel. And c I hear some of these are fuzzy. I'll speak to each one. Uh, they're pulled from a variety of tools and a variety of orgs. Uh, and so I'll sort of speak to them and and it'll look different in your organization as well. So this guy is telling us in sort of a stacked bar format, um, what are the total leads that we have coming in? Is that sort of that tallest bar? Um, what's the conversion down to those actually sort of being MQL s and then how many are we we converting up into opportunities? And what's really important, uh, when you look at this is you want to evaluate this on a cohort basis.

Speaker 2: (14:45)
So you don't just wanna say, oh, we got 25 leads last week and we had 50 leads this week, and then here's our MQL number, here's our opportunity number. You really want to make sure you're looking at this as one whole audience so you can evaluate of the records that we pulled in, uh, a month ago, how many of those are moving through. And this is also going to lag based off of the duration of your sales cycle. Um, so keep in mind that if it takes you, you know, three months to convert something all the way through, uh, you're gonna have to look that far back to get that full funnel. But at each stage you should be getting a little bit more insight.

Speaker 2: (15:18)
So again, this is kind of that breakdown for one cohort. So this is just an example report out of something like Salesforce. Uh, and we're looking at, so outreach here in our top left is gonna be, um, all the leads that came in. Everyone kinda uses different terms, uh, when it gets down to the details. But these only sort of leads that came in of those leads, how many of them became, uh, MQL and what are we processing back? And then how many of those were we able to convert up and actually have our sales team start engaging with? And so again, the important part here is to look at this sort of conversions from each stage, but then breaking this out as much as you can by different campaigns and different initiatives, you can start to figure out that digital is a really good channel for you. Events are a very good channel. Partnerships are a really good channel. The more that you can break these out and isolate these, the more insight you're gonna be able to derive and also the more direction that you'll have on which channels are actually yielding results.

Speaker 2: (16:12)
So similarly here, this will be more on the outbound side, um, which is, uh, this is pulled from from a tool called outreach, which we really like. But this is looking at of all the leads that we're, we're sort of creating and responding to and all the people that we're reaching out to. So all those cold prospects, um, we have 637 that were created, how many did we get? Opens, clicks, replies, how many actual reaches are we getting of the leads that we're reaching out to, uh, and how, what percentage of that 6 37 are we actually getting in touch with? And so this will also help you sort of optimize by, uh, the messaging that you're putting into some of your sales sequences, the tip different cohorts that you're going after from sales and identifying industries or identifying title levels and comparing performance between each of those. So you can start to string together that, that sort of whole funnel analysis.

Speaker 2: (17:00)
And similar here you want to be looking at your cost per lead, uh, and how that's trending month over month. So are you, are you getting more bang for your buck this month than you were last? But also breaking it out by each individual campaign and assets. So as you start to expand your paid efforts and as you start to expand the types of content that you're surfacing and driving traffic to, you may find that it is significantly less expensive to buy leads that are sort of downloading your, your pricing guide versus, uh, buying leads that are direct book of demo. And so this will help you start to optimize for what types of content and what types of collateral you should be creating and measuring that month over month. And not only your costs per lead on the actual channel level, so sort of LinkedIn versus Facebook for instance, but also looking at it on each individual asset and each individual thing that you're driving traffic to so that you're able to really analyze what it is that people are interested in, um, and what's the most expensive attention for you to grab.

Speaker 2: (17:57)
And here we're looking at, uh, our leads that were converted up for each first campaign touch. So this is telling us of the channels and of the initiatives that we're engaging in, um, are how, what percentage of those leads are converting. So not just over a trending of how many leads from January were we able to convert, but also breaking that out by which campaign and which initiative they came through. So if you pair this with some of that cost per lead reporting, you can really get down to how much does it cost me to actually generate an MQL from this particular source or from this particular channel. And starting to measure and model that backwards as well.

Speaker 2: (18:37)
So here, when we talk about mql s so our MQL will be contacts that are sales ready. So, uh, they're directly somebody that we want sales to reach out to. We want sales to sell to, we want sales to engage with. And when we're looking at our mql s uh, we wanna look at MQL s by month how we're trending. Our MQL is by channel. Uh, our MQL is by campaign, which will be the initiatives that we're actually launching. Um, what our response time is, how long does it take sales to get back to those mql? Um, and then what's our conversion rate down to sales qualified leads as well. So here, similarly, uh, just like the traffic report or that that sort of new contact report, we wanna understand which channels that we're investing in are generating MQL and at what level of frequency.

Speaker 2: (19:19)
So if we're spending a ton of money on, on paid ads and we're seeing that spend to go up, we should similarly be seeing a higher number of mql. Uh, and if we're not, we can either flag that worst case this isn't a good channel for us, but perhaps our messaging on that channel isn't aligned. We don't have to write landing pages, we're not converting them down the rest of the pipe, but we wanna look at this trending because it'll let us spot before we have issues at the tail end of our funnel where we're sort of decreasing bookings or we're having issues actually having demos. This should flag it way in advance so that we're seeing if our MQL numbers are trending down and we know our historical conversion rates, we can start to be proactive about solving that issue before it becomes something that impacts our actual bookings.

Speaker 2: (20:00)
Similarly here, uh, not just looking at what is the raw MQL are bringing in, but also how our conversion trending. So on average, are we actually increasing the quality of, uh, mql so they're actually becoming SQLs, we're getting higher quality, uh, MQL s into our system. Or perhaps you're investing in some of your sales messaging, you're investing in sales training, you're bringing on new sales leadership, you should be seeing a higher MQL conversion rate because you're more capable of taking somebody who has an interest in what you're doing and an interest in your business to somebody that actually is, uh, a good qualified fit. We're asking the right questions and also starting to break this out by channel, uh, becomes extremely important as well, which we'll show in sort of some subsequent images here. But really evaluating what's our conversion rate for those M qls and how is that trending over time? So we can start to look at those cohorts and see are we performing better or worse to where we were? And starting to diagnose that before it affects that bottom part of the funnel.

Speaker 2: (21:00)
Again, campaign cost reporting. So, uh, not just looking at, you know, everyone's sort of says, oh, it's the cost per click, it's your cost per lead. You really wanna be measuring that cost to every single layer of the funnel and sort of trickling it down. Um, so it may only cost you a certain amount to get sort of a, and in this example they have campaign numbers as leads and then leads as mql. But when we're looking at that cost per individual lead and engagement versus cost to be able to generate that mql, uh, and then also looking at the cost to generate any opportunities from that and ideally breaking that out by campaign and by channel. So that we, we really wanna get towards in any particular cohort is in, you know, Q1 of 2020, um, how much did we pay for mql? S how much did we pay for MQL by each campaign in each channel? And if we start to break that out by types, we can start to optimize that demand gen investment to the channels that actually are generating conversion later in the pipe.

Speaker 2: (21:53)
And this guy here, a little fuzzy, but in our top left we have our MQs this month by trend similar to what we saw before. But what's important here is comparing this to our SQLs. So we really want to know what is that conversion, uh, from MQs to SQLs. And if those lines are not sort of in lockstep, we'd change something that is having either a positive effect or a negative effect on our conversion rate. And we want to be looking at that at those ratios. So, uh, your lines are gonna be sort of spaced apart, different amounts depending on the effectiveness of some of the strategies you're engaging in, but you should see them sort of parallel all of the time. And if they start to di it in one direction or another, that's a change that you wanna sort of drill down into.

Speaker 2: (22:32)
And you also wanna look at that conversion. So of those SQLs you're pulling in, how many of them are you moving back up? Uh, and again, looking at this by source. So, uh, that bottom sort of chart there is on your, on your Y axis, you have each individual lead source. Um, what are the MQs that are coming through and what percentage of MQs from that source are getting converted up into, uh, SQLs that are qualified and our sales team is now working. And so you will both wanna know that on a total level trending month by month. But you also want to break that out by source as much as possible so that you can start to figure out which sources drive the highest quality records that your sales team says. If people find us from Google search and they hit these pages, this is somebody who converts a lot higher.

Speaker 2: (23:13)
And that may convince you to sort of start investing more in SEO as a strategy, uh, versus paid for instance, SQLs. Uh, so our SQLs will be people that the sales team has actually, uh, talked to. They've said they're qualified, they've said that they're somebody that they wanna talk to, said there's somebody that they wanna reach. Um, and our SQL is when we're looking at them, we always want that trend line. Um, we also want sort of what's the percentage that we're converting those up, uh, into opportunities. Um, and what's our, the time that it takes to get somebody out of SQL and into somebody that's ready to buy.

Speaker 2: (23:48)
So when we're looking at our SQLs, um, and this is sort of a similar sort of report here where we're looking at across sort of three layers. So here leads is gonna be those MQL coming in. Um, how many net new contacts are we actually adding into the database and saying these are qualified. And then how many of those are target contacts? So of the MQs that our sale, our marketing team is servicing to us, how many of those are actually the target contacts that we want to sell to? Um, and the important piece of this is to really understand not just how many, uh, MQs is, is marketing putting up, but how good are those? And this is both gonna help you manage marketing both by channel and establish which ones are the correct fit, but also being able to start to optimize against each channel based off of which ones generate the types of people you want to sell to.

Speaker 2: (24:34)
Um, something we see really common is people will talk about how cheap it is, they can drive leads off of Facebook and they can get engagements and you know, LinkedIn's really expensive, but when you look at sort of that cost per sql, uh, on a channel like LinkedIn, you're gonna see that be much lower, uh, than your cost for SQL from something like Facebook because your targeting is much better and the quality of the contacts that you're able to generate are just significantly better than what you're gonna get from channels where you can't do as much targeted.

Speaker 2: (25:02)
And so here we're gonna look at that as sort of that breakdown that we talked about before, which is the qualified and unqualified percentages. And so here we're gonna look at our, our raw MQL numbers. This is one cohort, one group, this is in one month, right? So we're saying we have 216 M qls. Uh, of those, uh, 105 are are not sales engaged. That's gonna be people that are sitting in MQL sales, hasn't been able to get in touch with them yet. Sales hasn't made them in s QL and, and hasn't sort of taken a look. Um, and then our sales engaged are gonna be those sql. So ones that sales has talked to, sales has said, yep, this is real, they are a good fit, they're somebody we wanna sort of actually move into an opportunity and be pushing through our pipeline. And then of those, how many are we moving into opportunities?

Speaker 2: (25:44)
And then how many are just moving into disqualified? So disqualified here is gonna be, you know, we reach them, they're not a good fit, they're the wrong, wrong type of company, wrong type of business, they don't have the budget, they're too small. Um, and really the difference for that not sales engaged are the ones that we should be getting in touch with and and we haven't yet determined whether or not they're SQLs. And you'll sort of see some atrophy here as well. So typically, you know, you'll reach a percentage of the MQL that come in and a bunch of 'em will just sort of fall off cuz you can never get a hold of somebody and you also wanna be tracking that percentage as well. So how effective is sales at actually reaching somebody and evaluating this is, or this is a good fit or it's not a good fit versus it just sort of atrophying in the database?

Speaker 2: (26:27)
So for opportunities and our customers here, so opportunities, qualified prospects, we're actively working them through the sales cycle. Uh, and obviously customers are people who signed up. So when we're looking at sort of these metrics, um, we wanna look at opportunities by our campaign. So we wanna look at sort of how many opportunities is each initiative and each marketing plan that we're engaging in generating. Um, what's the opportunities by source? So sourcing campaign are different. Um, source is gonna be something like paid search, whereas campaign will be, you know, we we are promoting this particular ebook through paid search as a channel. And so that's the, the campaign is gonna be the asset or the thing that you're actually engaging in. And how are our win rates sort of by source, by campaign, by rep average days to close, uh, our sales vault stage velocity. So how long does it take to get through that sales cycle? Um, and ultimately what's our campaign roi so that each campaign we're investing in has maybe multiple different channels of promotion, single asset, multiple different leads and opportunities getting generated. How do we evaluate sort of the actual ROI of that investment?

Speaker 2: (27:32)
So here we wanna look at our opportunities month over month, uh, seeing what are coming in, but also seeing what sources they're coming from. So as we start to see some of these grow, we might be finding that uh, certain sources are actually creating more opportunities for us. Um, and really looking at this and staying ahead of it on a cohort basis will also help you figure out where to be investing, uh, and seeing what's generating real opportunities. So very similar to what we looked at with some of the, the source data on the MQL level, but you want to pass that over to your opportunities to find out which prospects from which sources are moving further into that sales cycle.

Speaker 2: (28:08)
Here's where you're really gonna wanna be looking at your, your win rate and also how that's trending. Um, and really understanding sort of over time, um, are you closing more deals or are you losing more deals and sort of driving into that cause. Uh, and this will help you surface some of those issues, whether it's on the sales process or the quality of those leads that are coming through. Uh, so the demand can start to optimize as well. So you can see where those are going from. Um, so this one i, I won't spend too much time on, uh, cuz Aaron's gonna expand on quite a bit, but what we want to sort of touch on is looking at our bookings trajectory and, and how we can sort of start to forecast by taking our win rate that we're sort of tracking on a, on a quarterly and a monthly basis. Um, what's our conversion and our stage velocities of how long is it taking for a deal to get closed? And then once that deal is actually moving forward, um, we can sort of take that average amount and we can start to look at what we're forecasting for our bookings if we're modeling everything in that whole pipeline. Um, so I'll Aaron expand on this quite a bit more later. Um, but to give you kind of a taste of what this could look like in a visual view prior to getting into more of a spreadsheet.

Speaker 2: (29:17)
Similar thing here, um, really looking at sort of what we describe as sales math, um, which is saying if, if we know how many opportunities we're generating, we know what the average deal size is and we know what the average sales cycle is cuz we're measuring conversion at each stage, um, we can start to forecast out what our bookings are gonna look like, uh, wholesale cycles out. And so if you aggregate that back up to the top end of the pipeline, you can do the same thing and you can start to model backwards for what it costs you to generate something at each stage of that funnel. Um, and then really tying that back into your overall forecast,

Speaker 2: (29:52)
This is similar, the difference here is we're looking at this at broken out by um, where, where it sits in the overall stages. So are conversion rates going up? Are they going down? Are we getting stuck on any particular stage or any particular, uh, event? And so what we may find in a report like this and what we make lean is not only are we sort of encountering issues when we get to the contract signature piece, but our conversion rate there is going down. And so it may make a lot of sense to invest in document automation tools or track things more tightly here or maybe automate and improve our sales to finance process for how we're actually getting contracts out the door. And what this will tell you is, uh, how are you trending and are the the changes you're making operationally to the component of your business increasing the speed with which you're able to move deals through the pipeline? Or are you making changes that are slowing things down?

Speaker 2: (30:44)
And here we see that that aggregated, right? So we're not just looking, we wanna see sort of one cohort over one time period in the last 12 months. What's our conversion rates? And this is where we're really targeting. If we see we wanna be targeting the lower numbers first, that's where we're investing time and attention. Uh, and where we're seeing things that are really high, we want to figure out, you know, what's the reason that we're driving those so intensely forward. Um, and really just looking at that in one particular, one particular time period. Uh, so here this'll be touched on quite a bit more, uh, on Aaron's section, but um, to give sort of a taste of it is really looking at what's that entire funnel, how long does it take for something to move from stage to stage, uh, and also what's that conversion rate?

Speaker 2: (31:25)
And so if you total up sort of the average duration across each stage of your overall funnel and you look at your overall conversion rate from each stage with those two pieces of information, you can start building really powerful forecasting. And ideally you want to be looking at this not just at an aggregated level, but also drilling down into this by, by each source, by each campaign and as your business expands, um, starting to add more and more sort of slices of that data as you go. And what this will do is help you surface, uh, where are you lagging, where can you be doubling down what needs to happen in order to decrease either the duration or increase your conversion rate? Cuz ultimately those are the two levers you have to pull along with your pricing and your deal sizes, uh, to actually impact the, the raw revenue numbers for the business.

Speaker 2: (32:10)
And finally, uh, when we look at sort of like individual campaigns and what you wanna see here, we really want to break this down for, uh, that ROI in campaign. So we want to be saying of, uh, when we launched this campaign, uh, how many leads, how many did we actually generate, how many responses did we get from our database? Um, how much did it cost us to get somebody to respond to this campaign? So that sort of cost per member and hierarchy that 3 95 is saying, it costs us $3 95 cents for somebody to register for this webinar, to download this ebook, um, to really get somebody in the top end. And then how many of those ended up becoming opportunities? So of the people that we got engaged through this campaign, how many of those actually ended up becoming an opportunity and how much did it cost us to get somebody there? Uh, and then ultimately looking at how many one opportunities do we generate from this campaign and then aggregating that back to cost. So really breaking down inside this campaign, what's its performance, not just on an aggregated level, but for each initiative that we're investing in and how much are we able to convert things through, and what's the ROI back from that?

Speaker 2: (33:14)
Cool. Um, so this is where we talk about the demands and life cycle. So, uh, you guys probably fall into one of these buckets in one of these phases. So phase one, if you're early on in your demand gen process early on in sort of having that marketing team is the really big question is how do we get leads and how do we get mql? How do we get people interested? Um, and in phase two it it starts to become an operational problem. So we're now generating leads, we're generating m qls, people are interested in what they're do, what we're doing. People are interested in what we have to offer, but how do we actually react to those records and how do we engage with them? And then phase three, you now have a sales team, they're working off the leads that you have and the question starts becoming how do we get good MQs that become SQLs?

Speaker 2: (33:57)
And how do we sort of filter out all of the noise to find people that actually are worth us talking to? And then that sort of last phase of how do we really pour gas on that fire and ramp this way up? So really looking at that on a full funnel basis. And so depending on which phase of this life cycle you're in, um, we'd recommend you really focus on that particular problem. So phase one is gonna be where do we invest for demand gen Phase two is gonna be how do we build the right system stack to, to optimize and be able to track and manage these things. Phase three is really filtering back by channel and optimizing your overall strategy. And phase four is looking at, you know, conversion rates through each step of that funnel and starting to optimize each one of those and really focus on that sales process or sales marketing handoff, all the operational side stuff.

Speaker 2: (34:42)
So we're gonna jump into, uh, tech stacks and like how you pull all of this together. I'm not sure I, I I got muted, but I think I'm back. Uh, so, so let me start over. So before, before you really start looking into, uh, what, what tech stack you want, you really wanna start with, what type of team do you have? Um, and so we're really gonna break this into two, two buckets. So one is an inbound focus team, uh, and one's outbound focus team. So inbound focus teams, you're gonna typically, you're gonna have a smaller acv. Um, you're really gonna be marketing or a product driven company, and you're really gonna be measuring sort of your MQL and your p qls, just like your product qualified lead free trial type stuff, um, are the lifeblood of your company. And so people that are sort of fall into that category, right?

Speaker 2: (35:24)
You have, you have people like Zoom, you have people like clear bit notion, Dropbox typically a freemium type of model, uh, that you're gonna have a smaller acv so you can't spend as much on a sales team that's gonna go out and sort of get those deals. On the flip side, uh, you're gonna have outbound focus teams, so much higher average deal size, um, really a sales driven culture and product. Uh, your SDRs are really heavy on your head count in terms of your demand gen function, um, and your sales ops and your, your demand gen team is really supporting sales, uh, and not necessarily owning a revenue number that they're solely generating that, that you have to really focus on that sales marketing to sales handoff. Uh, and sales enablement is a core function of that marketing team. Um, and you're really gonna be measuring like how many demos, how many top of funnel sales processes versus how many free trials did we have sign up and, and that really becoming the guiding metric.

Speaker 2: (36:14)
So in terms of, uh, the types of tech stacks that, that we typically like to recommend and, and put people on. So if you're an outbound driven team, um, you're gonna want want Salesforce, um, you're gonna want outreach that's similar. If you work with Sales Loft, uh, outreach we, we like a lot. We think that they have a better tool than Sales Loft, but they're an outbound prospecting tool. And then some sort of list building component. So whether it is something like a sales navigator, clear bit hunter, uh, probably not something super robust just yet, or maybe you're using an offshore team, but you really need to get sort of that core list of prospects that you're gonna be going after to start generating those initial deals. And so this stack, really what it provides you is, uh, you get sort of a core CRM for lead conversion rate management.

Speaker 2: (36:54)
You can start tracking a lot of those conversion percentages. Uh, you get that automated outbound prospecting. So you can both measure a lot of that type of funnel metrics as well as be able to sort of make your sales team put up a lot of activities versus them having to manual email or manually call everybody, um, that reach rate analysis. So when you're looking at that prospect to lead conversion rate, you really wanna understand, you know, how many people do you have to reach out to in order to get a pulse and in order to find somebody who's actually interested. Uh, and then you're dealing your pipeline management. So what's the tool your sales team actually uses to move things through your, your overall pipe?

Speaker 2: (37:28)
Once you get to sort of a little bit bigger, a little bit more midsize, um, you start wanting to tack on two additional things. Um, so one of them is gonna be contact database and enrichment tools like a Zoom info, a discover org, something gets you better data on the folks that you're reaching out to and trying to acquire. Um, and then something for sort of that bi pipeline velocity analysis type, multi-touch revenue attribution. Uh, so Insight Squares our favorite. They're bi, they're, I think that they're rebranding is like a Rev platform, but in terms of their sales analytics, uh, we, we like them the most. Um, and what you really get from this particular stack, we jump to our next slide here, is, uh, you're gonna get everything in that small package, but also, uh, on create lead and contact management. So when you're super small, uh, it's very easy to take a lead that comes in or take a lead that you're sort of prospecting into and go look it up on LinkedIn, find additional information.

Speaker 2: (38:19)
And as you grow, that starts to both A, take a lot of time, and B, you have a lot more reps so that the amount of time it takes compounds. And so if you add something like, uh, a Zoom info or a Discover org you're getting, when somebody finds an account, they can add it, they can add contacts from that account and they can prospect really easily into it. Um, you'll start to be able to build that target account database. So actually defining, here are all the accounts we want to go after, here's information about those accounts. These are prospects in those accounts that we wanna be reaching out to. Um, and also those prospecting tools so that your sales reps can go and find a target account, they can enrich that account with contacts and prospects with the right titles. Um, and then Insight Squared's gonna get you two pieces here. One is really, really good cohort analysis. So bucketing that data, looking at conversion rates for each individual cohort, where they came from, different slices of information, uh, and then the funnel velocity reporting. So really looking at how quickly is stuff moving through our pipeline, which we can do, uh, with a lot of Salesforce, but being able to analyze, measure, and iterate on it and, and sort of look at it as a, as a larger team starts to become a challenge.

Speaker 2: (39:24)
So once you're, you're starting to get a fully robust, you have a full sales team, a full demand gen team, you've got a bunch of different functions, you start needing to tack on a couple of different additional things. So one of these is, uh, a billing management solution. So whether it's NetSuite, intact Zora, charge B, whatever it may be, and really looking at how are you tying that back into Salesforce, you can figure out what's the ROI in a lot of these campaigns, how much are things actually looking like whether you're, if you are sort of a marketplace model or something more complicated than just sending a contract, then that's what they pay you. Tying back a lot of that payment information. Um, and then adding on document automation as well. So as you start to do a lot more contracts, bigger contracts, more complicated, you start to need to manage and optimize that process, um, so that it sort of stays inside of the balance you're trying to go into.

Speaker 2: (40:08)
And so what you're gonna get in here is, uh, in CRM data for upsell cross sell, empowering your account management teams and your renewal teams with the data they need to be guiding those customers in the right direction and, and helping sort of increase your net retention and also add additional business back in, um, giving them product and utilization data. So one of the best things that you can get from your billing platform or your product or however you're integrating this back, um, is really surfacing for the account management team. What products does this customer have? Uh, how much did they pay for them last year? That'll help them prioritize and manage their communication, um, your renewal support some of the churn mitigation, uh, and then streamline CPQ and contract management. So if anybody's a little later in this overall cycle, something that starts to become extremely painful is, uh, having the right packaging, making sure sales reps are selling things at the right prices and with the right support and add-ons and implementation costs and everything else.

Speaker 2: (41:00)
Uh, and also being able to get contracts out the door quickly, uh, is when you have a lot of sellers managing a lot of deals, uh, it becomes really painful to have that go through sort of a back office process to get approved. And so as CPQ and contract management, something like a Congo composer or something like that, um, will go a long way for making sure that what you guys are sending out, you can sort of build a rules engine around, uh, to sort of increase that total pipeline velocity. So on the flip side, uh, if you're an inbound driven team, um, you're probably gonna want something like a HubSpot. Uh, HubSpot's awesome, uh, they're one of our favorite tools on the market, um, and especially on the marketing side. Uh, and then Hub has reporting in it. Um, being able to tie everything together in really complex ways gets a little bit challenging.

Speaker 2: (41:41)
And so at that point, if you're more inbound driven, you can get really buy really what something as simple as Excel or sort of a spreadsheet until you have more tools later in terms of what you're gonna get from this. Um, so well HubSpot's amazing at you get integrated traffic and onsite conversion analytics. Um, so all the things you typically try to string together with sort of a Google analytics and landing pages, tying back to the crm, HubSpot does all that, more or less out of the box. Um, you get seamless MQL management so you can start to build cohorts off of that. So not just what traffic sources, generated leads, but really looking and tying that back, uh, and also native life cycle. So that whole funnel really evaluating that whole funnel. Um, something HubSpot's awesome for, uh, their new CRM product is super powerful, uh, but better.

Speaker 2: (42:22)
It has super easy sales rep tools. So if you're an inbound driven team, uh, you probably don't have the ACV to justify really like a sales ops or rev ops requirement to be building out a lot of the tools for your sales team. And so hub side's super easy to use out of the box sales tools for those folks. Uh, so you don't need to add more headcount, more costs there. Um, you get that native marketing automation, uh, so you can start to automate your, your nurtures your upsells, getting people back into the funnel, building out trees and branches off of the behavior that they have. Um, also integrated ads analytics. So, uh, when you have something like a HubSpot, it ties right into all of your ad accounts, gives you your cost reporting all of your ROI directly inside of HubSpot, and then lead scoring.

Speaker 2: (43:00)
So as you sort of start to figure out where are the people that we wanna be focusing on and and who do we address, uh, HubSpot does all that out of the box as well. So once you get a little bit bigger, um, and you're sort of that mid-size company, you're gonna start to add sales reps. Um, so those will be the reps that are gonna go after that higher end customer, a little bit more complicated, higher end sort of number of seats or maybe a larger organization. And at that point you're gonna need to add more sales tools. So you can kind of go two directions here. Um, HubSpot has an awesome sales pro CRM product, uh, their enterprise tools coming a really long way, or you're gonna grab something like a Salesforce and wire them up together, um, and sort of integrate them.

Speaker 2: (43:36)
And then you'll probably wanna add on something like an insight squared as well. Um, similarly to what we talked about for the outbound piece. And what you're gonna get from here, uh, is, is really starting to get into that deep, deep cohort analysis, getting into multi-touch marketing attribution, starting to understand over the course of an entire deal cycle, which, which marketing initiatives are moving things over the finish line instead of just what's that first and that last touch, understanding that whole customer journey. Um, also target account management so you can start to get into tracking and managing who are the prospects you want to go after, um, and how, how effectively are we engaging with them? HubSpot has some really cool out of the box target account tools and you can build stuff out in Salesforce pretty easily as well. Um, and then custom events.

Speaker 2: (44:19)
So if you're an inbound driven company, uh, it's very likely that you have, uh, a product, a SaaS application, something else that people you have some data for. Uh, and so with that, that sort of HubSpot enterprise marketing tool, you can have custom events. So you can start piping into HubSpot pretty easily. Uh, number of logins, uh, last login attempts, like how many times they ran a particular report, how many users they added, and you can start to use that data in the marketing platform to, uh, both do marketing automation and email communication to those folks, but also surface those, uh, top level ideal customers to your smaller sales team. Who's that gonna go after those versus just those, those standard freemium or, or smaller touch, uh, users. So once you get a bit bigger, uh, you're gonna want to tack on, um, one or two things.

Speaker 2: (45:07)
You're either gonna need to add in some outbound functions. So it's not enough for your sales team to just be picking the best MQL out of the bucket. You now need to start going and generating pipeline and generating interest. And so you, again, you can go up to the, the HubSpot sales enterprise, they have lots of really cool CRM features. Um, or if you're on that Salesforce side, add on something like an outreach, um, outreach, Salesforce and HubSpot is a really popular stack that we work with. Um, you can do it all on HubSpot, uh, if you're product and sort of inbound driven. And uh, also you're gonna want to add on some like billing management. So you're gonna wanna start to pull that in. Um, and going into sort of what this lets you do, uh, is you can start to next slide. I thought that was subtle, but maybe not.

Speaker 2: (45:49)
Uh, so for our, our inbound driven large, so you start to a lot of automated upsell and cross sell. So if you pull that billing data back into your marketing automation and your CRM platforms, you can start to automate a lot of the, uh, processes that you guys are doing manually or maybe not spending as much attention on today. You can feed that product data back to the CRM to help you sort of prioritize and manage that. You can also automate a lot of your renewals so you can start to have automated cadences going out to folks prior to their renewal dates, um, move a lot of those renewals through. So you're only pulling in people on ones that are at risk or ones that are higher value. Um, you also get access to, and you start to build out custom objects and custom events.

Speaker 2: (46:25)
So you start to integrate all that data back into your system as well as add on additional business processes or additional business pieces that you may want to be managing now that you are a larger organization and you can build an object to store something like the billing relationship with your business or, you know, any of the product side data as well. So in terms of, uh, if you sort of came into this and said, this is a ton of information. All this reporting looks really cool, but like, how do we actually do that? Um, what we'd recommend is sort of going through this process. So the first one is do a strategic audit of your current process. Um, and what you really wanna map out is how do people move through your funnel today? All the way from sort of the start point of, uh, a lead first coming in, converting through, how does it go through your marketing platform?

Speaker 2: (47:08)
How does it get into your crm? What stages of the funnel that we've been talking about, uh, are missing from your funnel? So what can't you report on? What data are you missing? What data point can't you get? Get? Um, and then moving into sort of that systems audit. So going through, now that we know sort of our process, um, how does our tech stack support this? So can we measure everything that, that people move through? What data lives in which tool, uh, and what redundancies are we do we have in this overall tech stack? And what things, what might we need to add? And then what we like to do is really that current state analysis. So now that you've sort of had this together of all the data that you can string together, what are the holes in the funnel? Where are things, uh, not converting and how can you sort to start to optimize those? Uh, and then what we look at is really that future state mapping. So how do you want your process to work and what, from what you've learned here, how ideally would everything function and really look at that outside of the technology piece, really mapping it out and then jumping into what technology tools do you need in order to help support that overall initiative.

Speaker 2: (48:11)
And so with that, uh, I think we'll jump into q and a and questions and, and some of this other stuff. Um, for folks who've asked a lot of questions, uh, we will send through the full recording. Um, well also you can reach me here if you do have to go, feel free to send me an email and I will get back to you. Uh, and Aaron, I will hang around for, uh, I think another hour or so, um, and answer questions and q and a from, from anybody here. But if you guys wanna shoot me an email, I'm more than happy to chat about your stuff as much as you need me to, uh, love talking about this stuff at na. Uh, and would be delighted to take the time. But we can jump into some q and a, which people can start to send to.

Speaker 3: (48:48)
Cool. Okay. So we had a number come in throughout, um, the webinar. So the first question, um, is what is the benchmark for a good MQL to SQL conversion rate?

Speaker 2: (49:02)
So I can take maybe a first pass at that in an error and you're welcome to add anything. Um, and unfortunately my answer is I don't have much to tell you. Um, it's, it's really gonna depend on your business. It's gonna depend on the channels, it's gonna depend on, on what stage you're at. Um, I don't have a particular benchmark to be managing yourself towards. Um, I'd probably look at other peers in your space. Uh, I'd imagine that there's probably research groups that are cranking stuff out for measurements, but, um, what we really look to is really saying how are we trending and, and are we improving that number? So there's definitely a point of diminishing returns, but overall, um, the important piece is to really be measuring it consistently so that you can spot it changing prior to, uh, it, it becoming a problem at the bottom end of the funnel. Um, and Aaron, if you have any benchmarks on that, you're, you're more than welcome to share them as well.

Speaker 4: (49:51)

Speaker 2: (49:56)
Let's go to the next question. Cool.

Speaker 3: (49:58)
Okay. Um, the next one was about Salesforce. Um, they asked, how are you getting the cost into Salesforce? Is this a manual input or are you leveraging an integration?

Speaker 2: (50:09)
Yeah, so on on some of these examples, typically what we're seeing is it gets manually added. Um, and the reason for that is that the way that the demand gen team and the marketing team is looking at this data, um, is, is typically a little bit different than how it's coming in from the finance side. So what we typically see is finance sort of collaborating with the demand gen team, providing them cost numbers, and then the demand gen team assigning it to individual campaigns. Um, if you are, if you're looking primarily at like ad spend or platforms that have really cut and dry, um, costs, you can pull those automatically into a tool like HubSpot or you can wire it back up to Salesforce as well from your, your Google ad platform with a pretty easy sort of like integration or API connection to pull those cost numbers back. Um, but typically we're seeing those come in. And then, uh, Aaron, you had talked a little bit about how you could sort of use that and map it back to your, your chart of accounts. You could do it outside of Salesforce as well.

Speaker 3: (51:05)

Speaker 2: (51:08)

Speaker 3: (51:10)
Um, alright. The next one that came in says, I viewed best practices as, as creating SQLs only after discovery calls. And those are, and that's the basis for their pipeline. Um, they've heard that other people will create SQLs prior to or during a discovery call, um, but still not knowing whether the sales lead is actually qualified to be included in their pipeline. Um, do you have a perspective on that?

Speaker 2: (51:37)
I do. So, so my opinion on this is, is twofold. So I actually am, am of the mind that it is totally possible, uh, for a rep who knows the market and knows their space and, and knows about a company that you could move something into an S SQL without ever actually talking to somebody. So for instance, if you know Salesforce came through and you had, you know, a VP of sales at Salesforce filling out your form and you know, you sold some services that were applicable to them, you would be like, yep, this is exactly who I wanna talk to. And so a simple LinkedIn search or maybe even sort of an enrichment from, uh, another platform, you could at least figure out if this is an SQL or not. Um, but all of it's not gonna be that cut and dry. So some of them is sales saying, yes, this is good, I do wanna move this forward.

Speaker 2: (52:19)
And some of them are gonna require you to actually reach the MQL before saying that this is a sales qualified lead. Um, it'll be a little bit based on that rep's perspective, but the goal of the SQL is really a, it, it's primarily a measurement for sales to tell us is this lead somebody that you want and you want to sell to and this is a good fit for what we're doing. And so some of the time sales can do that without ever needing to call anybody. Uh, and sometimes they actually will need to reach out and go to people. And so typically when we're building out sort of these systems or these processes, we like to do a lot of managing that data where, uh, sometimes they have leads and they'll just immediately convert them into contacts and opportunities and they'll be like managing and saying, yep, this is good, it's an sql.

Speaker 2: (52:59)
And other times they'll sort of lead them in that, that lead database and say, Hey, I'm trying to call them, but I haven't really been able to validate it. And you know, from a Google search, I can't quite tell that it's a great fit. Um, and so it can be a little bit hybrid, but uh, the way that I would look at SQLs is this is somebody that sales says, yes, this is the type of lead that I want. This is somebody good, it is qualified, and I do wanna be able to to work it.

Speaker 3: (53:25)
Okay. Um, the next one is more about technology. Um, they noticed that you, um, had grabbed some, um, like screen grabs out of Salesforce and they were curious, um, like what other tools were used to like compile this presentation?

Speaker 2: (53:39)
Yeah, we touched on a little bit. I think that this came in before we got to some of the tech stack stuff. Um, we, a lot of the really sophisticated reports and charts you guys saw were primarily coming outta something like an insight square. You can get really far with just Salesforce. Um, we, we typically can help organizations scale up to like 80, a hundred employees in a pretty sizable go to market team, uh, without needing to add on something like an insight squared yet. Cuz you can get a lot done with Salesforce reporting, uh, as you sort of start to push past that and you go from, you know, I, I have a question and I want to be able to have an answer, but also be able to analyze that answer all in one sitting versus having a question, going and building a report, looking at that report having sort of longer cycles. Um, that's where something starts, like insight squared starts to become extremely valuable as more of like an insight tool. Uh, that's a little redundant cause it's kind of their name, but an insights tool as opposed to something that just gives you, uh, reporting back.

Speaker 3: (54:35)
Cool. Okay. Um, so in addition to, um, all of the metrics that you've shown, um, shouldn't we be tracking the rate at which a channel produces closed deals? For instance, when weighing Facebook leads versus LinkedIn leads? Isn't the real bottom line what it costs to result in a customer?

Speaker 2: (54:55)
Uh, yes, definitely. Uh, we absolutely want to be knowing how much we're we're getting for customers and how much those customers are worth. But the, the goal here is really to be looking at that further up in the funnel. So if you have to wait one whole sales cycle, uh, to have any idea sort of like what it costs you to generate, uh, a customer, um, you're gonna be lagging pretty far behind and you're not gonna be able to iterate and optimize as quickly. And so if you can measure those core metrics higher up in the funnel, it's better for sure. Um, the other piece is you wanna be able to know whether changes that you're making are having an impact without having to wait that whole sales cycle also. So if you're launching sort of LinkedIn ads or maybe you change from using, uh, you know, in, uh, in feed to using something that's like the, uh, the InMail ads directly and you're seeing, whoa, we're getting way more MQL for this at a lower rate, you, you wanna know that without having to wait for that customer to actually close and pay you.

Speaker 2: (55:48)
And it's all about sort of speed. And at the end of the day, you should absolutely be able to look back and say, here was our cost for opportunity for this strategy and this initiative.

Speaker 3: (55:58)
Okay. Um, next, somebody wanted some help understanding what a PQL is.

Speaker 2: (56:05)
Yes. So pql uh, stands for Product Qualified Lead. Uh, it's kind of a, a fun term. Um, basically it's the difference between, uh, an mql, somebody comes to your site, fills out a book, a demo form and is interested. Uh, a PQL would be somebody who is taking interactions. So if you have a freemium product or maybe you have like a, a super low cost tier and a PQL would be somebody who starts to engage in the types of behavior that indicates that they're higher value. So an example could be, um, it's a somebody who signs up for, you know, your, your cheapest level of your product, that's like a freemium or self signup model. Uh, they're looking at some of the advanced reporting, they're looking at some of the API documentation, they're like looking at some of your supporting documentation about Salesforce integrations. That might be somebody that through that behavior you might qualify them as a tql cuz they're engaging in the types of behavior in your product, uh, that indicate they're someone you would want to actually go after and sell to. Um, and so it it's kind of just product qualified lead, but it's behavior that someone expresses inside of a product itself as opposed to behavior on the site or downloading or interacting with a particular form.

Speaker 3: (57:15)
Um, another one, um, is asking for, um, a little bit of insight into how they should decide whether they're, um, an outbound model or an inbound model makes more sense, um, and what the mix between outbound versus inbound should be. So it's like a two part

Speaker 2: (57:32)
Question. Yeah, good, good question for sure. Um, so I would look at this as, uh, which one of those buckets you fall in. Um, so if, if you have a large average deal size, uh, you have a longer sales cycle, you can probably justify having kind of a sales model. Um, the other thing to sort of keep in mind, especially if you're really early on, um, outbound at a really early stage of an organization is a lot cheaper and easier to start with, um, than than inbound to, to execute on inbound. Well, you need to create a lot of content, there's a lot of lag time. Um, you need to be measuring and optimizing that and building funnels out of it and like moving people through your buyer's journey. Um, whereas with outbound it's really easy to spin something up, start reaching out to those target customers and and see if you can convert them.

Speaker 2: (58:18)
Uh, and so unless you have a really, like a freemium or a product driven uh, type of experience, I'd probably start with some light lightweight outbound. And then once you're gaining traction there, you can start to invest in inbound. Um, I usually see organizations, uh, pretty lopsided in the beginning and then moving more to like a 50 50 model. Um, and then over time sort of one, one side of the house, uh, gets more traction than the other and, uh, I don't have a lot of insight into the magic of why that happens. I think it just has a lot to do with the teams and the execution and, and the folks that are involved. Um, but I would probably, if you don't know where to start, as long as your average uh, size is high enough that you could have a contract, you could sign somebody and it isn't just, you know, a hey sign up here and put in your credit card and we'll bill you 10 bucks a month. Um, I'd probably start outbound, uh, and see how that functions and then sort of add on uh, more of an inbound channel a bit later.

Speaker 2: (59:14)

Speaker 1: (59:17)
I think this, Aaron, I think we're set with all the questions. Just wanna give a quick thank you to all of you who've carved out some time to join us, uh, and for all your hard work in general, uh, for your companies in these unusual times. Uh, also thanks to Connor and his team for helping us to walk through the optimal funnel tracking and the associated tech stacks. As he said, feel free to reach out to him and the folks at App to two date for any follow up. Uh, also feel free to reach out to me as a sounding board for any help with budgeting, forecasting, reporting metrics or finance tech stack questions. And a quick closing note. We're gonna be sending out a quick survey on the webinar. If you could take 30 seconds to fill it out, that would be great. Uh, that's all for today. Thanks and have a great day.

Speaker 2: (01:00:05)
Thanks all. For those of you just have a couple more questions, feel free to shoot me an email. I'm more than happy to chat with you.

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