The realm of selling business-to-business (B2B) has experienced significant transformations in recent years.
Ever-changing buyer behavior.
Every factor listed above (plus many more) have and will continue to contribute to the shift, ultimately reshaping the way buyers buy, sellers sell, and marketers market.
To sum it up: if you want to stand out in the world of B2B sales and marketing, you’re going to need to be and remain on the cutting edge.
On this episode of Evolved Sales LIVE, host Jonathan Fischer sits down with Omni Lab co-founder, Jonathan Bland, to outline exactly how you can create a marketing funnel that reduces friction in the buying process, lowers customer acquisition costs, and better aligns with the way your prospects want to buy today.
Don't forget to follow us on LinkedIn for more engaging sales insights and discussions! Happy watching!
Over the last 14+ years, Jonathan Bland has worked for 4 VC-backed SaaS companies, consulted with more than 100 others, assisted one in getting acquired, another in reaching unicorn status, and helped all of them generate millions in net new revenue.
Check out the transcription of this webinar episode below!
Jonathan Fischer 0:03
Welcome back. Thanks for joining us. I'm Jonathan Fisher. It's no secret that the art and science of selling b2b has gone through an immense amount of change in just the last couple of years. Well, today's guest has been tracking those changes and is in a position to share with us some best practices to make sure we're right up to the cutting edge of what's going to work today. Jonathan bland, is the co founder of Omni lab, a firm which specializes in managing paid media to drive pipeline for b2b SaaS brands. Over the last 14 plus years, Jonathan has worked with more than 100 b2b SaaS companies, he was personally instrumental in helping one get acquired another reach a unicorn status, and all of them generate millions in net new revenue. He's also seen his fair share of failures, so he knows many of the mistakes. Today he's going to be outlining exactly how you can create a marketing funnel that reduces friction in the buying process, lowers customer acquisition costs, and better aligns with the way your prospects want to buy today. Jonathan, welcome to the program. Great to have you.
Jonathan Bland 1:04
Thanks, my friend, happy to be here.
Jonathan Fischer 1:06
We're happy to have you on the show. I mean, it's an area where there's been a lot of conversation. But it's great to have a specialist in very specific niche of b2b SaaS selling today, as we're getting into this topic. Would you share with us just a little bit more about your, your background? How'd you learn the lessons you're going to be sharing with us today?
Jonathan Bland 1:25
Yeah, for sure. For sure. It's it's interesting. I actually started out my career in sales. SDR moved into a the middle management always working for VC, b2b SaaS, startups, and VC back that is, and so I think it was around probably 2012, or something like that, when I ended up moving more into a marketing role. Although I'd still say that, you know, you're always even selling inside marketing roles to that I started getting involved in paid media, and specifically building out marketing strategies and running paid from YouTube, to Google to Facebook to LinkedIn, and you name it, and then ended up founding a dimension agency called Omni lab as you just kind of introduced. And so yeah, my journey kind of crosses between sales and marketing. And I think the one thing that always gives me huge benefit is everyone loves to talk about all the communication issues and misalignment with sales and marketing. And I've kind of been on both sides. So it allows me to kind of see what worked and didn't as well as align with ultimately some of the metrics that matter. So that's a little bit of a high level background on on my journey. So
Jonathan Fischer 2:29
Well, sounds like you're the man for the job today. Hey, good reminder to the live audience, we are definitely going to have our live q&a At the end of the show, as we always do. No need to wait, you can put your questions right there in chat. We're going to bank those. And we'll circle back at the bottom of the half hour here and get your answers right here live with our guest. Well, Jonathan, I did notice that the way that you structured or positioned rather, your company's offering, as a demand gen firm already is speaking of one of the major changes that we've seen in the focus when it comes to getting business. So would you tell us a little bit where maybe track those changes? Like I mentioned in the intro, what what do you see, as have been some of the biggest shifts? Maybe specifically focusing on the buyers journey?
Jonathan Bland 3:11
Yeah, you know, I think the biggest thing is that if you even look back, you know, this is, you know, just as the internet was kind of coming around late, late 90s, early 2000s, etc. Information predominantly was not really that available. And so there was still a lot of people that needed to talk to sales reps. And so we were all used to going into a company's website, reaching out for information, a lot of times pricing was gated products gated all sorts of things. Even many companies still operate that way today, which is what we'll talk about. And so now you've got social media, Facebook, Twitter, Slack channels, communities, all sorts of things that are proliferating all over and many more millions that actually have internet now. And so what you've seen is that if you must looked at it, in a bar chart, right, you have, really the buyers journey being made up of sales about halfway earlier on. And now you've got that shrinking quite a bit, because buyers are now self educating, and they're doing a lot of research themselves. And so even if you don't have a product demo on your website, they're going to YouTube, they're going to your customers, your customers are sharing pricing. And so the reality is like all the informations already out there. And so I think traditionally, you know, a lot of people had a company centric type of model where it's like, hey, I want to get this out of the customer, I need these things, and so on and so forth. And now we're moving more to a customer centric model. And this has been happening for years. This isn't just now in 2023. But there's still lots of companies are still operating that way, either. They've been around for a while they're more mature SAS companies, most modern SAS companies we talk with are still, you know, much further ahead in this and kind of get some of these things. So, so that's kind of like the big change that we've really seen. And so a lot of them need to start taking this into consideration and adapting to some of these ways that people want to buy. And knowing that Yeah, well sales are still really, really important to the sales process. They're gonna get involved later in the game. And so it's up to marketing and all So sales, to do a lot more education and get in front of that buying cycle by providing valuable content information, answering questions and being top of mind so that when a customer is ready, they're the first choice.
Jonathan Fischer 5:12
So I wonder if with you my observation is this has become a much more crowded space. I mean, b2b SaaS used to be only for the bigger players, you get to draw major coin over years of time to develop something worthwhile. Yeah, hope that you hope you did your homework that there's a good product market fit, right? Do some beta testing, make a change, then go big, that that whole approach now is being subverted because anybody with you know, a couple 10s of 1000. And the willingness to throw the dice and an idea can get it can get involved? And so I'm wondering, has that taken the emphasis away from a product led approach is it made it all that much more important to really have a great content and lead gen scuze? Me demand gen type of strategy in play?
Jonathan Bland 5:57
Yeah, I mean, 100%, I mean, again, everything's a balance, right. And so, you know, I think plg is become extremely hot. Right? Now, if you look at some of the open few metrics, customer acquisition costs are much lower for plg based companies than sales lead. And so what you're seeing is a lot of sales, lead companies implementing Product Tours. And so if anyone's been around for even a year, or whatever, maybe on LinkedIn, you've seen that there's a proliferation of tons of companies that are offering product tours on your website. And so these companies are coming out for sales lead companies to allow for buyers like ourselves to say, hey, cool, like, I can go and check out this product, I don't even really talk to a sales rep. And oh, by the way, they're contextualized. There's multiple types of demos and all sorts of things like that. So, you know, I think it's not necessarily appeal to your SOG. And of course, you've got a lot of people that are just trying to jump right in. And there's a lot of other caveats before you just say, hey, let's make the switch from a sales lead org to a product product, lead org. And so those things are really important to keep in mind. But, you know, overall, I think the biggest thing that we're seeing is that people just want less friction in the buyer journey. They want easier ways to get information, they don't want things gated, they want people to be helpful and answer their questions and things that are not necessarily just in the self interest of the company, but more so in the interest of them. And frankly, this is human right, this has been something forever, that's been going on. But now we've got a lot of companies that are now realizing this and trying to get smarter about the way they market their products versus, you know, trying to make it harder for people to buy.
Jonathan Fischer 7:24
Okay, so it's less about the overall philosophy sounds like and still, if you have an innovative way of bringing it to bear, you can still go product lead sounds like he wants to be innovative, maybe offer some experiences online for that. But as a marketer, that's something you may or may not control. So for you, it's more about the messaging and the approach, what are some of the bigger mistakes that need to be avoided, then given the way that the buyer has shifted and the way that she likes to make her purchases today? What do you gotta watch out for?
Jonathan Bland 7:52
In regards to the messaging or just broadly speaking?
Jonathan Fischer 7:55
Yeah, broadly speaking?
Jonathan Bland 7:57
You know, I think the there's a couple of things, I guess, immediately the kind of mind one, one big one, in terms of just friction, in general is everyone's familiar probably with the typical friction that happens between you coming in for a demo, you go into an SDR, SDR passes notes to an A, you ask for a demo at the beginning, but you still haven't gotten the demo. And so by the by the third call, two weeks later, you're finally getting a demo of the product, that thing you actually wanted. And so what we're seeing a lot of modern SAS companies do is they're kind of flipping that model and saying, You know what, even though we know the SDR is really, really important to the organization, we're just going to move all high intent leads that meet the ICP criteria that come in asking for a demo. And this is obviously for a sales lead org, we're going to pass those straight to A's and A's are going to take those calls. And it's typically because A's, you know, have been trained to do demos and to go a lot deeper in the sales conversation and usually have a little more experience in an SDR and so. So it ends up being a better type of experience for the buyer. And so you kind of remove that element, and then the STR still can help out on all things related to outbound and prospecting or wherever there's people that don't necessarily fit the ICP, or their lower intent types of leads, and they could potentially do something with that. But that's one big thing, just to stop on one point, we can dig into a couple of others. But that's one thing that we're starting to see a move is a trend around how people actually follow up. And I guess to add one, I actually think to that, that I now just thought about is, you know, making sure we're also matching the intent level. I posted about this on LinkedIn a few weeks ago. But so often, so many people treat every single form filled the same way. And I bet you many people that are even listening to this right now don't have a spreadsheet that indicates Hey, here the form fills I have all over my website, whether it be gated content webinar, demo, contact us trial, all those different types of ways that people could reach out to your newsletter, etc. And then on the right side, what's the follow up motion that you're going to use, if any, right and that doesn't mean follow motion aside from sales, it might just be what are we going to do when that person fills out that form? Many times a lot of people just treat Everything is Yep, it's a sales ready lead, let's pass the SDR and let's move down the road, right. And so that's another thing that I think is create a lot of friction for people and created also poor buying experiences too. Because if you think about it, you know, the old gated content, you know, thing that play, the people are still running today, where you're taking people that just wanted to read the content now are being cold, called aggressively, typically by STRS. And they're trying to set them up for a demo, when all they really want is just access to the content. And so now you've started to create bad brand impressions against that person. And so it's not the gate, it's dead. It's not that anyone that's running gated or promoting gated content should not do it anymore, although there's some things we can talk about around that as well. But it just means taking into consideration some of the different levels of intent. And so I'll stop myself there, because then keep going. But see if you have any thoughts, we want to riff off that for a bit.
Jonathan Fischer 10:48
Yeah, no, I love what you're putting there. And you're actually very much in agreement with other experts that have had on the show that we've got to remove some of these layers between the at least the person who's vetting the solution, even if they're not the final decision maker, let that velocity increase. That's good news for the company trying to make the sale, right? If we can shorten the the length of time, reduce complexity, that's only a good thing. I think the fear there, though, is that you're gonna get somebody who's just taken a demo, who seems like they have intent. And they can say no, but they can't say yes, as we like to say in b2b selling, right? Does that remain a problem? And what can you do to over overcome that? Are you basically looking at more than one demo, then? Is that kind of the way we need to look at this?
Jonathan Bland 11:27
More than one demo in the sense of now, if demos pass the that they have to do more than one demo? What do you mean?
Jonathan Fischer 11:33
Well, so let's let's so I'm looking from the buyer side, right? So many of these companies do have divisions where there is some authority, but they can always say no, they can't necessarily say yes, even after a demo, it depends on how they got to that demo, whether you're going to get decision based on that one interaction, like who else needs to see that? I mean, there's art and science there, we've had a lot of training on the show from experts on that as well, right. But in the real world, you're gonna have demos with a certain percentage, probably a large percentage, that's not the last time that somebody inside that enterprise needs to take a look at you and your solution. So how do you plan for that?
Jonathan Bland 12:08
Yeah, sure. I mean, at the end of the day, I mean, it's always about I mean, the way I think about it is just essentially think figuring out what are the different steps that a buyer has to do ultimately, to talk to you and to get the information they want. And so if an AI is overseeing, say, 10, or 100 accounts, depending on its enterprise, SMB mid market, I mean, the way to think about it is to say, Alright, listen, if I've got a motion right now, that sends my buyer through 12345 steps before actually give them what they want, maybe there's a problem there, maybe we should look into how do we make that easier. And so to your point, if na has to then demo to other people, and most people in the organization, then fair enough, let them do that, because again, they're the lead person. And usually the one that's trained to do that now, some words may train their STRS, to do demos, most that I know of STRS are typically there to help qualify to do outbound prospecting, social selling. So you can create some content and do things like that. And so it's really just a matter of making sure you get the right person earlier on the stage. And because most people that do ask for a demo, well, maybe they're not all clearly going to convert right now today, and yet, I'm ready to go. Some are definitely just interested in getting more information. And that's okay. The point is, is that a still need to develop that relationship with the person and so they can build out over time, most days, hopefully already building a personal brand on LinkedIn and other places, right, so now that they've had the relationship, they've had the conversation with them, they can then nurture that relationship over time, whether it be on social media or their places, and then content, answering questions, you name it. And so then when they come back, if even if they don't convert, right, and it's a no like, hey, nothing, just right now. Yeah, that's okay. Like, it's not, it's not a problem, because, you know, hopefully, they've been allocated the proper number of accounts to make sure that they're not overburdened out, going after them. So I mean, you know, I know we did this, I did this personally at a, one of my last SAS companies. So I've done this, not just by word of mouth and seeing other companies. But this is how we did it, the last company I worked at before Omni lab, and it worked really well and created a nice division and even STRS to a degree kind of helped out in prep A's, to a degree when leads came in, but it just worked better because there was less paths off. And many times too, you know, a lot of times the notes were not passed from the SDR to the E. So then the buyer was getting the same questions again, from the A, which always happens. I mean, I'm still today, on demos with other companies where I'm getting asked the same questions that I was asked from SDR, also from an AE, it just doesn't make sense. So, so I'm not quite answer your question, but, but that's, that's kind of my position on it.
Jonathan Fischer 14:33
That's good. And and by the way, that's a there's a little mini commercial, please get some AI involved with your CRM that can capture notes, because you're never gonna get all your salespeople to do it. You just human nature, right. Technology workforce here.
Jonathan Bland 14:45
Yeah, there's solutions already out there. Exactly. They're out there. I mean, there's the you know, Gong, there's a BOMA, there's clarity. There's tons of different tools out there to record calls. And there's really no excuses nowadays, but, you know, you still find it. There's a lot of companies that don't have things integrated the right way and it's A lot of you know, taking down some sloppy notes here or there and trying to get over the ad or the ad not having enough time to read those notes before the call. So sometimes maybe the information is there, but the ages hasn't prepped well enough for the call. And so then you just kind of dive right into the regular questions. And so it's, you know, it's never a fun experience for the buyer who's just like, hey, man, I just wanted to see this thing. Can I just take a look at it, you know, I just want to tell me how it works related to the use case that I'm trying to apply for. And don't just, you know, point this button, that button here, right, like anyone can do a demo, you know, really, it's more about the context. And maybe that might be another talking point, too, because it's something we do in paid a lot. Especially the retargeting layers put in context around demos versus just giving a demo. So I don't know if that's interesting topic. We want to go down that road or we can go somewhere else.
Jonathan Fischer 15:44
It is interesting. I'd like to move from what not to do into the what do we do aspects of things. So we've covered some pretty good stuff, just quickly recapping or deep reducing the friction, overdoing the gated content, having too many layers in built into our sales process, can we simplify that would be always always recommended. And then, hey, can the right hand or the left hand please know what's going on? And talk to each other so that because it is it's a huge annoyance, it should feel like there's a seamless experience if you go to a high end resort, right? It's always mister whatever your last name was, or Mrs. And they already they pass you off from one professional, the other they know what your preferences are. They know that my wife's food allergies, right? They know the events are there to do? It should there should be a high end experience, I think when you're talking b2b cell sales as well. But see, now I'm reaching. So I like what you're talking about. Jonathan, let's go to the other aspect, then you are, you've made it a specialty to create demand gen that actually works. How do you build a funnel that does that that incorporates reduced friction, and approaches the buyer the way they want to be approached?
Jonathan Bland 16:44
Yeah, so what I want to do is repeat some of the other things we talked about, I guess, related to reducing friction. So I think some of the people understand some of those things, the this SDR, a pass off, you know, demo on page on your website, clear messaging, reduction of forums, not long form. So there's all these little things along the way that it will help your website conversion rate. But I think the more important thing is let's start from the beginning. And so what's the most important thing is to figure out who you're targeting. And the one big mistake that I see a lot of sass companies do is they the founders have gone off, and they've sold the vision of the company and how big the opportunity is, it's the billion dollar opportunity, right? Here's the massive Tam, we're about to go after and tackle it. And a lot of times, then that gets passed down. And marketing says, well, yippee, let's do it. And then we start marketing to the whole entire Tam, let's go get them all. And let's get figured out broad messaging to go after all these different people. And so there's not a lot of segmentation, there's not a lot of focus. And what you get is a message that's broad, that's watered down. And so the first thing that you have to do is really very quickly go into your CRM if you've got enough data. And again, this depends on the stage of your company. If you're really early stage like seed or even like Series A, sometimes the data in your CRM might not be the best indicator because you're hustling, trying to get deals, doing whatever you could and so looking at the patterns in your CRM may not be the most accurate indicator of where you want to go for the future. However, if you're a little bit more mature, you're going to have that data. So you should have some of those trends. So whether it's the client that has the highest LTV, lowest churn, most expansion, revenue, shorter sales cycle, highest ACV, you can start getting all these variables together to make a list so that you can actually start segmenting down this Tam, because your tam is for your investors that you actually market to today is your ICP, your ideal client profile. And so that'll be made up of firmographic, Technographics, psychographic, whatever, but usually just firmographic type of criteria that will say, Hey, these are the core things we want to do. And so all easier said than done, you know, lots of nuance to that, making it sound really easy. But the next part is really in terms of the way that I think about it, and what's the narrative. And so most people have probably heard of a strategic narrative, Andy Raskin always gets claimed with the credit to building this out, I think the strategic narrative really has been around since hundreds of years, it's a framework for describing the wave of what's changing the current situation people are in now the problem that results in the solution, the social proof, and then the CTA. And so those are the core things that need to be defined. And so because once that narrative is defined for the organization, then you can start building messaging and content off of it. So if you think about it as a tiered structure, right, you've got your Tam, you broke it down now into your ICP. And then from your ICP, you may even have segments underneath that maybe it's healthcare, manufacturing, finance, whatever it is. And then underneath that, you'll have obviously, your messages. And the thing that people have carried away is they want to test everything, hey, let's just do it. All right. And so a lot of times, they'll tell their in house team or their agency, hey, just go figure out what works. I don't know, test some stuff, AB tested, right? Everyone's to AV test everything. And usually there's no forethought of what we're testing and how we're normalizing that data and what we're actually going to do with it. And so, you know, the way that I like to think about it is break down At least the three core messaging themes that relate to your strategic narrative that you'd like to communicate to the market, right. And I obviously speak more from a paid perspective. But this applies for everything. This is not just a paid related conversation. But this is the way we think about it for a lot of our clients when we run paid. And so those messaging themes should be distinct from each other, right? They shouldn't be the same, they should be different messages or points of view that you want to communicate to the market. And so once you have those established, then it's about figuring out what's the supporting content underneath each of those themes that I have either now or that I need to create. And so most people want to do it. All right, there's video content, there's carousels or templates, there's this that you can do all sorts of different types of ad formats, and or content types. But the key is like, just start with one and make it easy. And then get a bunch of different content around that type. And match that under each message. And ultimately, these messages that have dotted lines to your product, right? Not product content, but content related to solving your buyers problem, or helping them answer questions or helping them do their job better, or whatever it may be. And so those are, those are kind of how you start mapping it out. And once you have the supporting content there, then now it's about figuring out all right, what are the channels? Where are the channels where audiences hanging out? Right? Are they on LinkedIn and on Tik Tok? Are they on Facebook? Where are they? And the way that you can do that is you can go in simply from an ADS perspective, I'll speak from that first is just go in and build an audience. Are they there, how many people are on this platform? Now, not all of them are going to be active, not all and we're going to be engaged. So that's when you have to run campaigns in the channel and figure out what the engagement levels are. Finance might be more active on one channel manufacturing might be more active on another channel. And so even though you broke down your segments up at the top, you may have different channels with different content or messaging be distributed out and then based upon who's engaging more with that content. And so this is kind of where I start, you know, is building that initial framework, that's probably one of the most important things. And a lot of this is course done by the product marketing org To a degree, right. I mean, we as an agency are not building all of that 100% ourselves, right? A lot of that top portion is coming from either the marketing or product marketing work, who gets together like, Hey, this is the motion we want to go with. This is how we want to approach the market is what we want to say. And the key thing and stop me by the way at all if you want to kind of cut this a little bit, but I'm kind of a loose wrapped. The big thing with these message themes is that you should not be necessarily changing them on a monthly weekly basis. Everyone gets into this like World of like, hey, we need to change now test here. What happened yesterday, Jimmy, like we just launched the campaign, do we have any revenue yet? Oh, no revenue, fine, turn it all off. We don't want to do that anymore. Let's do something else. And b2b Buying especially if you're, you know, a company that has an ACV of around 10k Plus, this stuff that's going to take a while no one converts off of one and two ads, three ads, like it's gonna take multiple different touches not just from paid, but from other things, too. And so it's really important that these messaging themes stay consistent. I like to think about it from a quarterly basis is typically how we do it. I had mixed panels, Director of demand gen actually on our podcast some weeks ago, same way that they think about it even at a mature b2b SaaS brand, like mix panel, probably a lot of you know who that brand is. And she uses a similar type of framework for them for the entire marketing, Oregon, they've got multiple different products that they do this for. So So that's interesting. And I guess I'll cap it off and say one last thing. And then the last thing, obviously, is measurement. Right? How are we going to measure things and I'm not sure if you all saw if anyone follows me or connect with me on LinkedIn, I posted yesterday, I think was yesterday about this. And it was how to measure paid campaigns. And so the one thing that everyone always does too early is they want to measure everything the same way everyone wants, the big thing, revenue, we all want revenue. Well, of course, every campaign program activity, or anything you do as a company, needs to lead back to revenue at some point. But not all campaigns are going to have direct, easy attribution back to revenue, it's just not going to work that way. And then also, some campaigns are not going to be designed to convert immediately. They're not direct response. And so we've got to keep in mind again, back to the intent levels, like what are the different what's the campaign goal for this specific campaign? Maybe it's just to build brand awareness and credibility of their audience through ungated content, and therefore, we're not looking at leads, we're not looking at downloads, we're not even looking at Pipeline, or purely looking at likes engagement. We're looking at click through rate impressions reach, things like that, to understand, hey, is our content resonating or not? So I'll stop myself there, because that's a lot and give you some time to comment or I can break some of those down. But I think it's important to get that structure right from beginning.
Jonathan Fischer 24:32
Yeah, love it. Well, obviously, you've thought this through and put it into practice. In many different cases, we can see that in the way you're delivering it. As you mentioned earlier, a lot of nuance and all these steps, but I think it is pretty clear. It sounds to me like this is something that probably requires pretty good coordination into department departmental. Lee, do you have any suggestions for best practices on that? I mean, you have a lot of times the marketers and the guy and the guys and gals who are good at running paid advertising. They don't all Always have an easy road working from the same page, what are your recommendations on helping them to be better aligned?
Jonathan Bland 25:07
Helping the outside paid media experts to be aligned? I think I saw that question in the chat, if that's the one you're referring to, versus
Jonathan Fischer 25:15
we'll circle back to the chatted ones I'm thinking like it internal inside of the company, the people that are charged with the different aspects of this lot time to just different temperaments and approach their job very differently. You know, once it's very much more numbers oriented, the others a little bit more creatively oriented. So how do they how do they better read from the same playbook?
Jonathan Bland 25:35
You know, I mean, ultimately, what you're talking about, I guess, a couple different things, one there, I mean, obviously, some people are going to be more numbers oriented, some are getting more creative, and there's, you know, personality, types of things to kind of manage on that front. And ultimately, to keep people aligned, right. I mean, there should be a senator document. That's not just Liz and G Drive, by the way that gets repeated probably on a weekly monthly basis of what we're trying to communicate to the market, how we're approaching it, how we're doing it, what we want to be saying, things of that nature, as well as a dashboard that's shared by the whole entire or with the exact same metrics, because what commonly happens, especially with us, because we're on the outside, right, technically, we see ourselves always as partners, but you'll get these situations when you mentioned metrics, for example, where someone's running report in HubSpot or Salesforce, but that report doesn't have the same filters that say the CEO does. And so then they're reporting up numbers and saying, Well, wait a minute, we've seen pipeline as XYZ, when the CEO is like, now it's not, what are you talking about, like, and so there's so many things that need to be done in terms of like people just creating all these different reports on their own, where we have the same sheet of music that we're reading off of right, same dashboard, same core reports. And sure, you may have your ad hoc reports on the side, that's fine. But we need to have the core business metrics of the business, be in one place where everyone's agreed on, hey, these are the filters we're using. This is the attribution model, etc, etc. Otherwise, you're gonna get inconsistencies. And so that's a big piece of it. The other side from paid is that Google Analytics, your ad platform and your CRM are always going to communicate different numbers, always. There's no way around this I've never seen in the 100 Plus Eskimos have worked with would they ever match completely now they should be close. But the reason that they're not is because they use different attribution models, typically, like Google ads is the last touch model. Where's your CRM, you may have a multi touch model set up. And so there's all sorts of different things that need to be taken to consideration on that as well. And so a lot of times when we're working with clients we have, for example, clients on HubSpot will have all their core lagging indicator reporting like number of leads, sales, cycle length, pipeline revenue, you name it inside of HubSpot, and then we'll use Looker studio to pull from API from all the different ad channels. But when we're comparing those numbers, there's going to be some differences. But it's still important to understand that, hey, these are the numbers or conversions we're getting from the channel, we just may not be able to see them in HubSpot for some reason, or Salesforce or whatever the tool is. So I think I'm generally answer your question. But I mean, ultimately, you know, there's different gonna be different, you know, people that have different skill sets, that's always gonna be the case. But the one thing that needs to always be true is We're all reading from the same sheet of music from a reporting perspective. And then making sure that everyone knows in the organization on a recurring basis, because this commonly gets locked up in the C suite or somewhere else, and it doesn't get communicated the org well, where we all know, hey, by the way, again, as a reminder, this quarter, these are the three core messages that we're trying to communicate with this market. Here's how we want to be saying it. Here's the current situation they're in, here's the problems they have. We need to build content systems as all things around us. And so I think that's the message needs to be always repeated because people forget, you know, and things get lost. So I'll cut it there.
Jonathan Fischer 28:47
Yeah, good stuff. Well, nothing. Clearly, you have a lot to offer in terms of insights on better creating demand gen for your b2b SaaS solution. How can folks follow up with you are going to go listen and go next?
Jonathan Bland 29:00
Easiest place is Find me on LinkedIn, I post, usually daily, if not three, four times a week, and so try to provide some really kind of valuable content there. So if you want more content like this, and frameworks and ways to think about it, definitely reach out to as Jonathan bland on LinkedIn at Omni lab. And then, yeah, if you ever interested in us helping out, running your paid on the outside, again, we see ourselves more as partners where it's like an outsourced agency, then just go to Omni lab consulting.com. And I'm sure that'll be in the show notes, or we can put in the comments later. So yeah, now be it.
Jonathan Fischer 29:33
All right, excellent day. Well, it is that time we're gonna go to live q&a with our guests. We've got a good slate of questions already in the chat. Go ahead and add yours and we'll get you some answers here shortly. So let's go ahead and dig in here and see what we've got. So yeah, and I think Yeah, a couple these are just some good comments. I mean, Melissa mentioned that, you know, for sure people are so Off educating and it's really exponentially increased. I think we all are just we have so much more access to information, not just random Google entries, but there's a lot more good quality content out there. So it does kind of mean they're, they're further in the cycle, which is should be a good thing. I think I'm sure you would agree with that.
Jonathan Bland 30:17
Yeah, exactly. When
Jonathan Fischer 30:18
it comes to the idea of complex, you know, sales processes, Andrew elenberg, is asking the question, do you still see a need for like for sales leadership at earlier stages of the funnel you talked about at the beginning, kind of skirting this? I would say divide, it shouldn't be divided. But it is two different hats of sales versus marketing. What are your thoughts on that? Jonathan?
Jonathan Bland 30:43
I'm not sure I quite understand the question. I mean, having sales leadership, part of complex sales cycles and early stage SaaS companies.
Jonathan Fischer 30:51
Yeah, I mean, for example, I think that the idea is that marketing doesn't always think the same way the sales does, probably should be a team play. Would you agree with that? And if so,
Jonathan Bland 30:59
okay. Yeah. Just more the alignment you're talking about between the two? Yeah. Yeah. 100%. I mean, this is this is the one thing that everyone talks about all day long, right sales and marketing alignment. You know, the one the one big thing I'd say, this is pretty tactical. So I kind of maybe I'll zoom in and zoom back out. But the one thing that drives me nuts, that happens all the times is you've got marketing teams that are marketing to accounts that are not the same accounts as sales. There's literally no excuse. I mean, I've been I've been in sales before I was marketer, and we always had a target account list, always, I've never not had one. So there should be no excuses of marketing, not being able to get a target account list from sales. Now maybe they're working on a new one, maybe they're adapting it, maybe they're removing some accounts and all sorts of things that happens constantly. But the one big thing from marketing sales perspective is that marketing should be communicating and supporting sales with messaging, whether it be through brand awareness campaigns, Legion, campaigns, whatever, to make sure that, for example, the scenario should be this, Hey, we've got 100 accounts that we want to get into this quarter, or this year, whatever the timeframe may be. Okay, cool, cool. So now marketing is going to target the same 100 accounts with specific messaging with specific content, because what's going to happen is when sales starts reaching out, and they do their outbound efforts, and their cold emails and their cold calls, and all the other things is that they're already going to know who the brand is. And so some of you probably are familiar with a familiarity bias. And this plays into this exact thing. When you see a brand's name repeatedly over time, there becomes familiarity with it. And so when Jimmy from XYZ company reaches out to me, I'm like, wait a minute, I've seen that brand from somewhere. And so then open rates go up for pilots likely go up. And so all these things need to work in conjunction. So that's a very tactical kind of piece. To answer your question. I can zoom out later. But I know we've got some other questions we want to get to. But short thing I'd say is just make sure the minimum that you're going after the same accounts. And that's something easy everyone can do literally right now, if you're not doing it already. And then boom, now you've got a situation where both kind of the same stuff. And the last one I'd say is Yeah, marketing may have some additional accounts that they want to go after. All good there. That's fine. You got the other campaigns that are maybe not focused on the same ones and sales, but always make sure there's a one to one alignment between those two.
Jonathan Fischer 33:13
Yeah, I like that. It probably makes a good segue to this question from Lavie, then, what do you believe are the pros and cons of doing demand gen in house versus hiring a great firm to do it for
Jonathan Bland 33:25
you? Yeah, so I think there's two things that demand gen is a big broad term, right? So we classify ourselves as demand and agency based on the approach of what we do. But what AMI lab does is to use a real example is we're managing and optimizing paid ads across say, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google ads, you name it, we're building out ad creative for those channels at scale. And we're doing a lot of reporting interpretation, what's working, what's not working, right. So that's one piece of demand gen demand gen also incorporates all the other things, right? Who are we targeting? How are we targeting? What do we want to be saying to them, this goes back to the product marketing example with the funnel, if you will, that I kind of, you know, gave an interpretation on. And so all of these things still need to be coordinated by an in house team, always those things should stay in house, whether it's the dimension team, if it's an actual team, or the marketing leader, or the product marketing leader, one or the other, like those things should always stay in house. I'm not a big fan of outsourcing that unless it's more for some general consultative services to try to improve some things, etc. Get some feedback around the messaging, what the agencies for is really saying, okay, great. We're not necessarily going to try to build up in house expertise to be the paid experts, but we are going to be the experts on making sure that we're communicating the right messages. were reporting up results in house to the team. We're providing that agency may be content supporting content to those messages, and being that internal partner to kind of lock up everything between the smees heads and getting that out into different channels. And so typically, most people will not in house paid media unless you're a already mature company and even still a lot of them end up outsourcing that the stuff that you want to keep in house is content marketing, always want your content marketers in house my opinion I there's other content marketing agencies that are great out there. But I always would have content and product marketing in house. So that'd be my biggest take on it. With paid him, so.
Jonathan Fischer 35:19
Okay. Yeah. Fair enough. So we talked earlier also about shortening the well, reducing friction really was the rubric. And so Susan has a great question. How do you feel? What do you feel works best in terms of the handoff from SDR or BDR to the AE, same call, subsequent call? Is there a preferred mode for that, in your view,
Jonathan Bland 35:42
I think you should always test this out. But my my prefer no kind of repeat in a similar way that I answered it before is that if it's a high intent, lead, what's high intent, someone that fills out the requested demo form, or the contact us form would be someone that has given their intent to talk to sales, they want to talk to sales, every other form, fill on your website, they don't want to talk to sales, they're just downloading an asset and an offer or whatever it else is. So generally speaking, if they meet ICP criteria, and you should have that documented based off firmographic criteria, and you can do this with enrichment tools on the fly, or you can do it manually, depending on how much lead volume you have. Those should just go straight to AES. Now, there may be a model where AES are not prepared for that if they're not trained to handle depending on the volume, that amount of leads and the way those calls should go based on qualification. And so there's some caveats to that, right. So if you've got a motion right now, where it's SDR, a, and so on, and so forth, then you might want to consider AR A is trained and ready to handle this. But from a buyer's perspective, it is a better motion, because if you just think about it, like anyone on this call, just put yourself in the shoes. I mean, if I, if you fill out a form, you wanted to demo with a cool product, and you wait a couple days to get a call with an SDR. SDR qualifies you. And then again, most STRS do not give demos. But there are probably some that do. And then so you don't get the demo on that first call with us, you're an SDR and then after that, then you got to reschedule another call notes are sometimes not passed, and then the finally jumps on. And then sometimes students give a demo because of course they want to give context, they want to customize the demo, they want to do XYZ things. But you know, a, you should be still trained enough to be able to give some level of context. So that's still my take on that. But again, always test it and see. And so if there's a moment where it just makes more sense to add the SCRD handoff, and you can make that work and make it efficient, perfect. And the last thing I'd say I know you're trying to get to another thing is to make sure that you have a calendar booking tool after your form filled another big mistake a lot of people have they do this whole thing where they fill out the form and then says we'll get you in touch with 24 hours or 48, or whatever the number is, and obviously faster is better, right? Just offer the calendar booking tool. And you know, if you're worried about non ICP fit leads bogging up the calendar, you can also use enrichment again on the form so that you get those people out of your way, and they can't book on your calendar. Or you can always just go on the counter and say, hey, it's actually really not the best fit, so on and so forth. You pass it to someone else. So there's ways around this. But this ended with that point, too.
Jonathan Fischer 38:09
That's a great tidbit. I resonate with what you said too, in terms of being on the on the buyers side of the equation, if somebody else can be brought into the conversation right there, where it's clear to me, what is it even asking? Right? Yeah, exactly. That's so much nicer, and then you're engaging with another personality inside that company, the connection is stronger. I mean, my own likelihood to buy is, I would I would definitely think is quite quite a bit stronger at that.
Jonathan Bland 38:34
Right? Exactly. I mean, because again, like, you know, there may be I mean, there may be a moment, again, where the SDR wants to really, I mean, its training can go a lot deeper. And so in those cases, maybe it's fine. But again, I'm all about figuring out what's the least amount of steps I can make my buyer take to allow them to buy the easiest way possible. Because like pricing, we talked about transparent pricing a lot. I know that there's not ways to make pricing transparent across all different types of your product, likely, but I bet you you can bundle one aspect of your product to give some price on the website. Because if there's no price, my immediate thought is this is expensive. It's going to be complicated. And it's going to take a long time to implement. Right? And that that is what's going through by ourselves. And maybe that is what your product is. Maybe those are the realities,
Jonathan Fischer 39:19
if it is what it is. You may have to live with it. Well, maybe you're a fan of putting like even starts as low as like, what, just to put something there. That would be real. So yeah, you can always you can always
Jonathan Bland 39:30
Yeah, exactly. You can always be one bundle, where you reveal one price. It's your starter package. And then you could say enterprise call sales, that's fine. At least then I've got a base understanding of like, how like, is this a $1,000 product? Or is it $100,000 product, right? And so those things are really important for people to understand.
Jonathan Fischer 39:46
Yeah, yeah. Lots of conversation around that two different pricing strategy that says that's another show. Exactly. This question from Karen, because this is still within the whole realm of tightening up our buyers journey. Are our approach there too, I should say. So Karen asked, in your opinion, is there a time when it's good to use good content? You told us how to not do it? So is there a time to do it? And if so, like, for example, like a lead magnet, or use or use? Are you still a fan? As long as there's good value there? I mean, what kind of that kind of goes along with the whole idea of trying to, you know, come up with your attribution? Right. And and this can help fill in that gap a little bit? What are your thoughts on that?
Jonathan Bland 40:25
Well, so Karen, I love this question. Thanks for asking. So I could clarify a little bit. So. So my position and even our positions on the lab is not the gate, it is dead, it's not dead. So the takeaway from this call is that it's not that you should go back and update all your content. The key, the issue is that again, goes back to intent. It's matching your follow up motion with gated content. Now, traditionally, most people have treated gated content, when someone downloads the content, they're passed immediately to sales and SDR to follow up to get them on a demo. That's what's fairly ineffective. And I've ran some numbers for multiple clients, that seems to always be the case. But we ran it for a client literally a month ago, point 1% of people, that download of the content converted to customer over a 12 month period, and we give it a long time, time cycle, the ACV on that decision, when it's context is around 15k, sales cycles, three months, so plenty of time for that to happen. And so the question that we're always asking ourselves is, Alright, fair enough. It's important to grow and owned audience, it's important to nurture contacts, especially in enterprise motions. And so we just need to make sure that we're not necessarily sending all those leads straight to STRS, to follow up and get a demo, but maybe adding them to a newsletter. Or maybe we're doing a content collaboration with them, we invite them and say, Hey, it'd be awesome if we did a webinar just like this one, right. And we all get on. And we talk about a really interesting topic that relates to the rest of our ICP. And if your brand is not well known, now, you've got maybe a big brand, that's right next to you. And so that makes your brand even more, you know, more notable. And so those things are really important. So that short story is more, it's not dated as dead, it's just the motion that most the most SaaS companies do that is highly inefficient right now. Now, there may be some exceptions out there, I'd love to hear them, the audience is always going to be different. But typically, what we want to do is ungated portion that content. And so if you've got to get a piece of content I posted about this, I think, this week or last week, so if you want to go to my LinkedIn and take a look at it, I think was a use case with segment if you know that company. And so they've got an industry CDP report that they're promoting right now on LinkedIn for 2023. And so one thing that I would be doing for them is taking that industry report that is gated that probably has a lot of rich information, it's great, I would break that app. And it may be some video clip highlights, a blog, some social posts, and other things like that, so that people could consume some of the content because not everyone's going to download that content. And at the end of the day gated will reduce content consumption, it is it creates friction. I mean, we've we've tested it out a dozen times. And it's just obvious why. Now, the downside of ungated is you don't get the information, right? You don't know who it is, it wasn't the consumed. And so that's why there's this constant battle with this because everyone wants to identify the person and show that there's an actual lead. So it's, again, a balance between the two and thinking about how we can expose more of our content from a gated piece in ungated ways.
Jonathan Fischer 43:21
So it makes a lot of sense. I like that just being savvy with it. And he's nice, nice to be that alignment. And in terms of the overall structure that funnel, their higher intent, we don't jump in if not maybe have a well designed approach, even email marketing, even you know, drip content can be an effective way to follow up with a get at least at least for in conversation right over the long
Jonathan Bland 43:38
exactly. And if you don't mind, I'll share one last example isn't real data that might be interesting for everyone to this is another easy practical takeaway. We work with the client. This is now a little bit old use case there's like six months ago or something. And we still do this today. But this is just this one client. But we promoted a webinar on LinkedIn, just like the one where it was not a webinar per se, it's podcasts. But webinar one sense. And so it was promoted over say, I think a two week period they had, I think they had around 67 or so registrants. And then about half of that actually showed up to the actual webinar live to watch it. And then they did what everyone does, they email the recording to the email list, and then they get it on the website. And then it basically just goes there to die. That's it, like game over and then we're on to the next webinar. It's the next cycle. And so, so what you can do is a marketer that's maybe strapped, you don't have a big marketing team, you're like, Oh, my God, I mean, how do you expect me to like you know, do even more, right? Well, you can take the same webinar. And what we did is we clipped it up into three different clubs that pulled out the biggest highlights from that webinar. We re promoted it as an on demand on demand webinar. And then we made the objective video views and engagement because we were trying to optimize your people to consume it. And we had another 12,000 people consume more than 50% of the clips and now you've got more people that are actually consuming the webinar. Then in addition to that, we had another 200 come back on Watch the full webinar on demand. And then on top of that, we also saw, again, not direct attribution. But we also look at correlations to inbound demand requests, we saw increases in inbound demand requests after doing that this is about, again, the lag time is not instantaneous, right? This is a month or two, after we're looking at slightly longer time periods. This isn't like, hey, we did it and boom, tons of demos. It was a little bit of a longer time period. But I just wanted it on that note, because I think it's a really practical thing that we can all do. It's easy. Go get the script, put your mp4 in there, clip it up, frame it headlines subtitles down, you know, out the door. So hopefully, that's helpful if you guys looking for some ideas.
Jonathan Fischer 45:38
Yeah, that's great. That's great. I'm gonna take this last question because Rogo Rogozin is he asked, How do you convince businesses to buy into this modern way of growth strategies, Robo have them come check out the Evolve sales leader podcast where they can listen to fantastic experts, like Jonathan bland, Jonathan Yee knocked out of the park. Thanks for the great content you've given listener today. I appreciate
Jonathan Bland 45:59
it. Yeah. Thanks, everyone, for joining connect with me on LinkedIn if you want to check out some more.
Jonathan Fischer 46:03
Yeah, right. And I find Jonathan bland, on LinkedIn. Edu Did you have a lot of great content there, and I'm gonna go check some of that out myself after the show. Well, that's gonna wrap it up. I want to thank everybody for being here. If you've been enjoying the content on these LinkedIn lives, if you haven't yet gone and checked out the actual podcast, do yourself a favor this weekend. Wherever you like to go get podcast, find the Evolve sales leader. And just start looking through some of the topics we have some of the best thought leaders on the planet. I'm humbled to say that come on our show. So go check it out and download some episodes, and fill in some of your workout or yard work time. Over this coming weekend. And of course, we're very proudly sponsored by overpass. If you need to get some virtual assistants, SDRs AES anybody that can work a phone, or work a in social media account or work an email list and help you develop your company. There's no better solution to quickly and cost effectively do that than overpass.com. Best part. It's free for the hiring manager to set up an account. So go there to overpass.com Create Your Account, put a job listing and just see how easy it can be to get talent to grow your company. Well, once again, thanks everybody for being here. That's gonna wrap up this episode. We'll see you same time, same station next time. Take care, everybody. We'll see you there.