Dan Bruce

ICYMI: July 15, 2018

What we wrote

Nikki Curtis joined us to talk about Sales Enablement at Slack and some lessons learned from her experience at Salesforce and LinkedIn. 
Nikki Curtis on Sales Enablement — 9-minute read

ICYMI - more great content from Nikki on what to focus on when building an enablement team in the midst of hyper-growth:
Building an Enablement Team from Scratch: Where Do You Start? — 12 minutes

What we're reading

  1. Scott Brinker writes about why he dislikes the idea of working toward being a "unicorn" company, and why you should be a "Chimera" instead. 
    The future of marketing belongs to hybrids, but don’t call them unicorns — 6 minutes

  2. The Prepperz blog breaks down the difference between Sales Ops and Sales Enablement, and what mistakes you're making in your Sales Ops strategy that is leading to a broken process. 
    Broken Sales Operations Is Costing Your Company Millions — 8 minutes

  3. Margo Pierce explains how they used content marketing to boost leads and expand their team. 
    How to Double Organic Sales Leads with a Content Marketing Refresh — 9 minutes

  4. Despina Exadaktylou does an in-depth look at the user onboarding funnel and how crucial it is to continually advance in order to keep up with customer expectations.  
    The User Onboarding Funnel! — 8 minutes

  5. Jason Lemkin walks through an example where a startup thought they had a sales problem, but turns out it was more of a demand gen and marketing problem. 
    What You Think is a “Sales” Problem is More Likely a Marketing Problem — 4 minutes

  6. Lauren McMenemy explains how the content marketing funnel is less like a funnel, and more like a pipe, and your success lies in where you aim that pipe. 
    The Content Marketing Funnel Never Ends — 12 minutes

  7. Ken Gaebler looks at the relationship between marketing and sales enablement and how folks in marketing can help the enablement team while driving better business results. 
    Sorry, Marketing, You Don't Own Sales Enablement — 5 minutes

Meme of the week

After a tremendous run at the World Cup, England was eliminated by Croatia on Thursday. For English fans, this sadly means their rally call, "It's coming home!" will not come true in 2018.

Check out some of the best "They're going home" memes

Dan Bruce
NewsletterDan Bruce

ICYMI: July 1, 2018

Since you're either on holidays or everyone you work with is on holidays this week, here's some reading you can do to pass the time:

What we're reading

  1.  Babar Suleman explains what conversion wireframing is and how to use it to create a revenue oriented design process. 
    Conversion Wireframing: A Revenue Oriented Design Process — 7 minutes

  2. Steli Efti talks to his many successes and failures as a serial entrepreneur and gets into what he's learned about the psychology, habits, and skills of being a founder. 
    The Path to Improving as a Founder and Generating Millions in Revenue with Steli Efti of Close.io — 1 hour 23 minutes (podcast)

  3. Adam Henshall recommends 9 user onboarding tools and encourages anyone building out an onboarding process to test, test, and test some more. 
    9 User Onboarding Tools to Smash Your Revenue Targets — 14 minutes

  4. Neil Patel gives a full walkthrough of the SaaS conversion funnel, how to optimize it, and uncovers some essential steps you may be missing. 
    Are You Optimizing Your SaaS Conversion Funnel? Don’t Forget These Essential Steps — 12 minutes

  5. Aja Frost dissects and explains how to overcome a sales objection every salesperson has run into: "It costs too much."
    33 Responses to the Dreaded Sales Objection "It Costs Too Much" — 8 minutes

  6. Marketing Charts surveyed 500 B2B buyers to share some interesting insights about how sellers are connecting with buyers in today's landscape. 
    Are B2B Sales Reps Connecting With Buyers? 5 Insights — 5 minutes

  7. Kristen Herhold has done her research, looked at the numbers, and presents us with the state of email marketing 2018. 
    The State of Email Marketing in 2018 — 9 minutes

  8. Andy Mura explains the importance of having a well-defined customer success playbook and what battle-tested tactics you can use within it. 
    Customer Success Tactics That Lead to Hyper Growth — 15 minutes

  9. Tomasz Tunguz teaches us a lesson about how to look at the jobs and projects we have on the go because your lookout on things can be the difference between laying bricks and building a cathedral. 
    The Three Layers Of Management — 3 minutes

  10. Michael Redbord clearly lays out what to do, and what not to do, in your customer success strategy at every life stage of your company. 
    How Your SaaS Company Should Be Thinking About Customer Success — 8 minutes

Meme of the week

Whenever a #challenge starts to go viral on the internet, it's always fun. The #fluffchallenge is no different – take a look

NewsletterDan Bruce
Dan Bruce

ICYMI: June 17, 2018

What we wrote

FunnelCake has partnered up with Kiite and LevelJump to create the Sales Productivity Survey 2018. The goal is to answer some important questions in the Sales space centered around how Sales Reps spend their time to uncover some valuable insights. 

If you're in Sales, take the survey to gain exclusive access to the results. It's anonymous, will only take 7-minutes of your time, AND if you're one of the first 800 to complete the survey we'll send you a $10 giftcard to Starbucks ☕️ ☺️

What we're reading

  1. Jason Lemkin explains that all closing is not equal. Different deal sizes require different skills, and it can be tough to jump from one bracket to another. That's why the first question you should ask your Sales hires is what their experience level is at your ACV is. 
    Why SMB and Enterprise Sales Have Nothing In Common — 3 minutes

  2. Tyler Sprunk writes about using video to accomplish the thing everyone is Marketing and Sales is after: more closed sales. 
    How to Use Video to Move Leads Through the Sales Funnel Stages — 6 minutes

  3. Brandon Redlinger recognizes that target account lists get plenty of attention in ABM, but the focus on clean contact data does not. He goes through some eye opening stats, data cleanliness blindspots, and how to maintain quality standards while growing your database. 
    Cleansing and Enriching Your Contact Records for a Pristine ABM Program — 5 minutes

  4. Jeff Hoffman offers his suggestion on how to follow-up with prospects after you've been ignored via email. 
    How to Send a Follow-Up Email After No Response — 4 minutes

  5. Tomasz Tunguz looks into the recent Github acquisition by Microsoft and how it's positioned Microsoft at the forefront of open-source. 
    Seven Strategic Rationales For The Microsoft/Github Acquisition — 2 minutes

  6. Steli Efti explains that as you're growing, selling to startups should be part of your strategy, but not the entire thing. 
    Selling to startups: What you need to do to get the most our of your startup customers — 10 minutes

  7. Allison Pickens wrote a brilliant guide on aligning your whole company around the customer. 
    The Essential Guide to Company-wide Customer Success — 20 minutes

Meme of the week

The World Cup is upon us, and naturally, people are excited. Some are so excited, that they've been diagnosed with World Cup fever

Dan Bruce
Dan Bruce

ICYMI: May 20, 2018

What we wrote

We've had an exciting last few weeks with our time at Dreampitch as well as a number of new customers joining the platform. Read all about it:

Rachel Miller, the Senior Social Strategist at Thulium.co, joined us on the expert interview series to chat about lead generation with social influencers. 

"Numbers aren't everything."

Lead Generation with Social Influencers with Rachel Miller — 11-minute read

What we're reading

  1. David Skok breaks down what the two main contributors to churn are and how to avoid them.  
    Top Two Reasons for Churn — 3 minutes

  2. Steli Efti explains that an unqualified inbound lead is just as bad as an unqualified outbound lead ... but many people don't understand this and if you sell to them, it's actually hurting your business. 
    5 places your inbound funnel is bringing in bad customers — 6 minutes

  3. David Kellogg talks about how to properly scrub your pipeline to ensure that your castle is not built on a sand foundation. 
    “Always Scrubbing the Pipeline” Means “Never Scrubbing the Pipeline.” — 4 minutes

  4. Vishnu Vankayala writes about the rise of marketing operations and how data lakes can play an important role in collecting data for analysis to better acquire, retain, and engage prospects.
    Martech 2.0  —  Rise of Marketing operations and Marketing data lake — 8 minutes

  5. Robbie Richards lays out some top-of-funnel marketing campaigns that will help you to generate demand and fill the rest of your funnel with quality leads. 
    B2B Marketing Campaign Types to Power the Top of Your Funnel — 12 minutes

  6. Dayna Rothman tells a story about how she got catfished by a candidate but luckily discovered something was fishy before a hire was made.
    I Got Catfished By A Candidate — 5 minutes

  7. Haresh Gangwani explains the value that customer marketing and customer success when they are working in unison. 
    How B2B Brands Can Turn Customer Loyalty into Revenue for Their Business — 7 minutes

Meme of the week

Yanny or Laurel? ... Yes, it’s the dress controversy all over again. 

What do you hear? The question that is taking over the internet and dividing every friend group, office, and family in its path. 

Dan Bruce

ICYMI: May 4, 2018

FunnelCake Wins The First Ever Canadian Dreampitch at Salesforce World Tour

Yesterday Marko Savic, Founder and CEO at FunnelCake, took the stage at Salesforce's Dreampitch competition for the opportunity at a $100K investment from Salesforce Ventures and good news – we won 🎉

What we wrote

Curt Crosby, Partner at Velas Coaching, joined us to chat about the difference between Sales Coaching and Sales Enablement.

We also discuss characteristics that make for great leaders, negative traits that leaders need to eliminate, and (of course) Curt's favorite '90s dance song. 

The Difference Between Sales Coaching and Sales Enablement — 9-minute read

What we're reading

1. Sonja Jacob highlights some truly shocking numbers out of Drift's Lead Response Survey. Here are a few:

  • B2B digital ad buyers are on track to spend $4.6B to tell people about their product and drive people back to their website/blog.

  • The average response time for B2B companies that bothered to reply at all is 42 hours.

  • More than half of B2B companies still aren’t following up with leads–at all.

The Drift Lead Response Report — 8 minutes

2. Lauren McMenemy talks with marketing leaders about the balancing act they have to deal with of creating creative marketing campaigns while proving ROI and generating leads. 
Balancing Art and Science: The Modern CMO’s Experience in Driving Revenue — 10 minutes

3. Jeff Hoffman put together a list of mistakes to avoid when closing deals. 
17 Sales Closing Mistakes That’ll Stop a Deal in Its Tracks — 8 minutes

4. Tomasz Tunguz explains why we tend to overestimate our own work and don't necessarily give others as much credit as they might deserve, and how things like daily standups, weekly handoffs, and QBRs will shine light on everyone's contributions. 
Why I Overestimate My Contribution To My Team — 3 minutes

5. Steli Efti takes on the interesting task of tearing down cold email and lists some actionable take-aways you can use when creating your cold emails. 
Cold email teardown session from Enterprise Rising — 37 minutes (video)

6. Jaxson Khan talks with Brandon Redlinger about what you need to understand before going too deep with your Account Based Marketing (and Sales) strategy. 
Four Basics You Must Understand To Be Successful with ABM — 5 minutes

7. Raluca Popescu summarizes Paul Rouke's in-depth presentation on CRO strategy using a number of case study examples and how embracing a growth mindset can pay big dividends with conversion optimization. 
The four pillars of CRO strategy by Paul Rouke — 7 minutes

Meme of the week

It's May 4th ... you know what the meme of the week has to be - Happy Star Wars Day 

NewsletterDan Bruce

ICYMI: April 8, 2018

What we wrote

Tim Hughes, Co-Founder at Digital Leadership Associates and someone who knows a thing or two about social (200K+ Twitter followers), joined us to talk social trends, strategy, and tactics. 

"People think that social selling means that you have to sell over social. It’s not."

Tim Hughes on Social Transformation and Selling — 14-minute read

What we're reading

  1. Steli Efti breaks down the difference between an inside sales team and an outside sales team, something important to understand if you're building a sales team or recruiting talent. 
    Inside sales vs. outside sales: What's the actual difference? — 7 minutes
  2. Jory MacKay encourages businesses to make sure that fixing leaks in your funnel remains a priority while you're in growth mode, or you'll become the captain of a sinking ship. 
    How the teams at Buffer, Zapier, Close.io, and more plugged their biggest revenue leaks — 13 minutes
  3. Jason Lemkin gives his advice on how to break into a crowded space, as well as some ways that you should avoid. 
    5 Ways to Enter a Crowded Market. And 3+ Ways Not To. — 4 minutes
  4. Dave Kellogg is surprised by the lack of alignment between CEOs and board members when it comes to one thing: what success looks like. It's a simple question that can spark quite the conversation and debate. 
    The Question that CEOs Too Often Don’t Discuss with the Board — 4 minutes
  5. Brooke Goodbary explains why you need a dedicated Customer Success team, how many you should have, and what skills to look for in hiring. 
    When and How to Make Your First Customer Success Hire — 6 minutes
  6. John Cutler digs into the interesting topic of the opportunity cost of decision making, and all the factors that play into the cost of making decisions that you likely don't think about. 
    Cost Per Reasonable Decision (CPRD) — 7 minutes
  7. Tomasz Tunguz writes about Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs) and how unclear ICPs can be problematic, but clear ones can be too ... the key is having an ICP that is easy to identify with lead generation tools. 
    An Often Forgotten Characteristic About Your Startup's Ideal Customer Profile — 3 minutes

Meme of the week

This week's meme is a clip that has gone viral of a young boy named Mason Ramsey, or better known on the internet as "yodeling Walmart boy". Take a look at the full story, original video, and extra internet hilarity here

NewsletterDan Bruce
NewsletterDan Bruce

ICYMI: February 25, 2018

What we wrote

Marko Savic joined an impressive crew of seasoned sales experts, practitioners, and thought leaders to explore the future of sales and consider how forward-thinking teams can win the market in 2018.
The Future of Sales: Insights for the Best Sales Teams In the Galaxy by Lessonly

What we're reading

  1. Steli Efti explains what to do when your customers ask for a discount. Short answer: don't give in, but if you do, do it in the right way. 
    What to do when your customers ask for a discount (and why you shouldn’t give them one) — 8 minutes
  2. Tomasz Tunguz explains how to hang on to your key startup employees through the use of stock options. 
    How To Use Options To Retain Key Employees In Your Startup — 4 minutes
  3. Karl Clement gives some helpful advice when it comes to scaling your SaaS business.
    Knowing When To Scale — 5 minutes
  4. Sonja Jacob writes about getting Sales and Marketing aligned through revenue and to use tech to make it happen. 
    Marketers Are Drowning in Metrics: Here’s How Revenue Marketing Can Help — 5 minutes
  5. Dave Kellogg uncovers a big myth about management by objective and objective key results that will have you thinking about the entire job scope next time your discussing objectives. 
    The Single Biggest Myth about MBOs and OKRs — 3 minutes
  6. David Lynch talks about the dilemmas product engineers face when it comes to progress over perfection and speed over safety, and that there's a certain level of uncertainty that exists in these dilemmas ... uncertainty that should be embraced. 
    Move fast and optimize for the long-term — 8 minutes
  7. Dan Tighe makes an argument for aligning Sales and Marketing, and it's through content marketing and provides a helpful infographic to get the point across. 
    Why Your Sales Team Really Should Invest Time in Content Marketing — 4 minutes

Meme of the week

As the PyeongChang Olympics continue, young athletes – coming from the millennial generation – continue to perform and put on an impressive show. Red Gerard, born in 2000, may have won the most millennial gold medal ever ... just take a look at the highlights that led to, and followed, his Olympic win:

  • Binge watched Netflix the night before competition
  • Overslept and almost missed the finals
  • Lost his jacket so had to borrow his roommates
  • Won the gold medal in slopestlye snowboarding
  • Dropped an f-bomb on live TV

Full Story

NewsletterDan Bruce
NewsletterDan Bruce

ICYMI: January 28, 2018

Wynne Brown, Director of Customer Success at Seal Software, joined us to talk about the relationship between Sales and Customer Success. She explains what the current state of the relationship looks like, common issues between the two teams, the handoff process, and much more. 
The Relationship Between Sales and Customer Success with Wynne Brown — 11-minute read

What we're reading

  1. Dave Kellblog shares 10 quick non-obvious things about scaling SaaS including focusing on ARR, how to analyze churn, and whether or not to make multi-year deals, 
    10 Non-Obvious Things About Scaling SaaS — 4 minutes
  2. Steli Efti gives some advice when it comes to dealing with investors: stop worrying about whether investors like you. Instead, decide whether you like investors.
    Investors turn founders into insecure little teenagers — 9 minutes
  3. Mike Reynolds uses Slack as an example to show how B2B SaaS Sales is shifting to B2U (Business-to-User) and what adjustments you should make to get started. 
    The Future of B2B Software is B2U — 7 minutes
  4. McKinsey & Company points out the emergence of the "science of B2B sales" that have companies pulling ahead in revenue growth, profitability, and shareholder value.
    What the future science of B2B sales growth looks like — 8 minutes
  5. Colby Cavanaugh looked at the best emails from 2017, how to implement them in your communications, and gives a few ideas to take into this new year. 
    What B2B Marketers Can Learn From Some of 2017's Best Emails — 5 minutes
  6. Steve Benson explains how being a good manager means you need to be a good coach, and how some small changes can take your team to the next level. 
    How to Coach a B2B Sales Team to Win Bigger and Better Deals — 14 minutes
  7. Tomasz Tunguz summarizes the pricing frameworks and theories he's seen over his career of investing in startups. 
    Ten Year's Worth Of Learnings About Pricing — 6 minutes

Meme of the week

Do you ever have trouble taking the first step at starting something? Whether it's cleaning the house, or tackling a new project at work, this pony will give the motivation you need to get started.

NewsletterDan Bruce
NewsletterDan Bruce

ICYMI: January 14, 2018

Alex Simoes, Senior Director of Business Enablement at Sysco LABS, joined us to chat about Sales Enablement Strategy.

Find out when to make that first hire into an Enablement role, essential tools for an effective strategy, and where Enablement should live in your company. 
12 minute read

What we're reading

  1. Tomasz Tunguz makes seven predictions about SaaS in 2018. How many do you agree with?
    7 Predictions For SaaS In 2018
    3 minutes
     
  2. Scott Brinker looks at Gartner's hype cycle and points out the one thing people forget about.
    The one thing everybody forgets about Gartner’s hype cycle, even in martech
    5 minutes
     
  3. Ben Tacka preaches a underpromise/overdeliver mentality when it comes to pre-sale and post-sale to reduce churn. 
    To Reduce Churn Risk, Start Pre-Sale
    3 minutes
     
  4. Dave Rigotti shares a study showing some interesting salary benchmarks for Marketing Operations. 
    Unveiling the First Salary Benchmarks Report for Marketing Operations
    7 minutes
     
  5. McKinsey & Company takes an in-depth look at the emergence of new science in B2B Marketing and Sales.
    What the future science of B2B sales growth looks like
    12 minutes
     
  6. Tim Copp looks at the role of Marketing and how their main goal should be to help Sales hit their goals, rather than all the ancillary things that don't allow you see the forest from the trees. 
    Marketing as an Accountable Revenue Function
    6 minutes
     
  7. Erik Devaney looks at five key pieces of advice from Price Intelligently's CEO–and very smart guy–Patrick Campbell
    5 Secrets From Price Intelligently’s CEO You Can’t Afford to Miss
    6 minutes or listen as a podcast

Meme of the week

Just because it's already January 14, doesn't mean that you can't still make new year resolutions. In honor of this being the first ICYMI edition of 2018, here are 10 "no-brainer" resolution ideas

NewsletterDan Bruce
NewsletterDan Bruce

ICYMI: December 17, 2017

What we wrote

Joel Burke, Partner and Analytics Practice Lead at Outshine, joined us to talk about Account-Based Marketing strategy and tactics as companies scale. This is a must-read. 
ABM at Scale with Joel Burke — 11-minute read 

What we're reading

  1. Julia Manoukian looks at a study focused on 900+ companies reviewing successful sales development structure, system, people, and pipeline. 
    How 900 Companies Build and Execute Successful Sales Development Teams — 3 minutes
  2. Peter Ostrow explains how for long-time B2B sellers, it's tough to balance individual success with what's best for the company.
    I've Been Selling a Long Time – Just Leave Me Alone and Let Me Make My Number — 3 minutes
  3. Mike Preuss encourages you to include PQLs in your organization as a way to increase alignment. Product team focused on building a great product, sales team focused on highly qualified leads, and the marketing team dynamically nurturing leads. Win-win-win. 
    Pull Levers in your Sales Funnel with Product Qualified Leads — 7 minutes
  4. Trinity Ventures compiled a number of #2018predictionsin5words. Check them out.
    2018 Predictions — TL;DR — 2 minutes
  5. Mark MacLeod shares four key insights he observed from his time in the trenches of scaling an SMB. 
    Key insights from scaling SMB SaaS companies — 4 minutes
  6. Jason Lemkin gives advice on how to deal with one of the most frustrating things for a growing company: a long sales cycle on a big deal. 
    How to Cope With Long Sales Cycles — 4 minutes
  7. Tomasz Tunguz explains how running an effective meeting boils down to respect for the time of others and so preparation is key. 
    Meetings Shouldn't Be Boring — 3 minutes

Meme of the week

If you're a fan of the expert interview series on the FunnelCake blog, you know that we end every conversation talking about '90s dance songs, because ... why not? As a present to you loyal newsletter subscribers, here are all the best answers we've come across in our interviews in one handy Spotify playlist – enjoy :) 

NewsletterDan Bruce
NewsletterDan Bruce

ICYMI: December 3, 2017

What we wrote

Oldies but goodies:

What we're reading

  1. Nudge starts a series to give an in-depth look into the buying process from 12 different expert perspectives – the first features the CMO of MongoDB, Meagen Eisenberg. 
    #HowIBuy – Volume 1 — 5 minutes
  2. Ada Chen Rekhi shares a few key learnings she's experienced in her career that helped her climb the corporate ladder – one of which is to eat your broccoli. 
    How I Went from Entry Level Sales to SVP Marketing at SurveyMonkey in 8 years — 11 minutes
  3. First Round Review looks at expert advice from those who helped build impressive brands including Airbnb, Dropbox, and Gusto about the important foundational pieces that build a brand.  
    Our 6 Must Reads to Build a Brand That Breaks Through the Noise — 9 minutes
  4. Ben Wiener looks at the elusive goal of finding product-market fit and how making something people want is not enough, but rather something they desperately want. 
    Why is Product/Market Fit So Freaking Hard? — 3 minutes
  5. Brian Balfour walks through numerous cases where startups gain massive traction, raise huge amounts of capital, just to shut down a short time later, and how retention seems to be the silent killer in many of these cases. 
    Why Retention Is The Silent Killer — 12 minutes
  6. Kayli Barth analyzes the change we're seeing where Marketers are now focusing on more "engagement" metrics rather than form fills and click-rates. 
    B2B Marketers Step Up Shift From Activity Metrics To Identifying & Driving Engagement — 9 minutes
  7. Ann Smarty reminds us to always be keeping an eye on competitors in order to discover new tactics, gaps in the market, new leads, and to learn from the mistakes of others. Here's some way to track your competitors. 
    Competitor Research: 7 Key Metrics to Measure (with Tools) — 6 minutes

Meme of the week

Popular card game company – Cards Against Humanity – has because synonymous with outrageous holiday Marketing campaigns, and Christmas 2017 is no different releasing this tweet last week.

If you're wondering if this is for real, wonder no longer – it is. Prongles have replaced Cards Against Humanity card sets in retail stores across the nation. For how long? Who knows, but for now, go out and grab yourself some Original Prongles. Once You Pop... THAT'S GREAT!

Check out the Prongles website for yourself. 

NewsletterDan Bruce
NewsletterDan Bruce

ICYMI: November 18, 2017

What we wrote

Check out some of our most popular original content:

What we're reading

  1. Tomasz Tunguz explains how looking at the LTV/CAC metric for startups can give a false sense of confidence when you should really be looking at Payback Period.
    The False Confidence Of The LTV/CAC Ratio For Early Stage SaaS Startups — 2 minutes

  2. Dave Kellogg looks at the seemingly simple metric of win rate, but digs further to show how it relates to the concept of milestone vs. flow analysis and full-funnel conversion rates. 
    Win Rates, Close Rates and Milestone vs. Flow Analysis — 6 minutes

  3. Lizzy Funk passes on some helpful tips on how Marketing Automation can help increase Sales (in addition to making life easier for the Marketing team). 
    7 Ways to Increase Sales with Marketing Automation — 5 minutes

  4. FirstMark shares some of the expert insights they've gathered from Marketing leaders of companies including Shopify, Slack, and Spotify at their annual CMO Summit. 
    Marketing lessons from the world’s leading CMOs — 5 minutes

  5. Carol Luong gives some helpful advice to jumpstart sales and build momentum for technical startup founders. 
    Sales Advice for Technical Founders — 8 minutes

  6. Matt Wesson argues why companies should first utilize current tools to aid Sales Enablement efforts before going out and purchasing yet another tool to add to the tech stack. 
    Sales Enablement Isn’t Just Another Tool for Your Sales Stack — 4 minutes

  7. Chris Glass writes about how Machine Learning is changing the way we do ... well, everything, and specifically how it can help improve Sales performance and effectiveness. 
    7 Ways Machine Learning Boosts Sales Performance and Drives Revenue Growth — 14 minutes

Meme of the week

New iPhones are now available, and a core feature that has people excited (and rightfully so) are animojis. Take a look at the newest craze – #AnimojiKaraoke

https://twitter.com/duncanbirnie/status/927182730449899520

NewsletterDan Bruce
NewsletterDan Bruce

ICYMI: November 5, 2017

What we wrote

Amrita Gurney, VP Marketing at CrowdRiff, joined us to chat about building a Marketing team from scratch.

"It's shocking to still see Marketers solely focused on MQLs – that's so 2005!"

Building a Marketing Team from Scratch w/ Amrita Gurney — 13-minute read

What we're reading

  1. Tomasz Tunguz looks at what the rising rate of cost of customer acquisition means for SaaS companies.
    The Implication Of Secular Increases In SaaS CAC — 3 minutes
     
  2. Russell Vaughan explains how we can use data to break down the barriers between Sales and Marketing.
    Knocking down the wall between marketing and sales — 4 minutes
     
  3. Ronen Shetelboim gives his argument for why the Next Generation CMO (a.k.a Growth CMO) should be second in command behind the CEO, rather than other titles like the COO.
    Second in Command: The Emergence of the “Growth CMO” — 3 minutes
     
  4. Amanda Richardson (data expert) points out four approaches to data she sees in the market that we should all watch out for. 
    The Four Cringe-Worthy Mistakes Too Many Startups Make with Data — 9 minutes
     
  5. Andy Raskin shares his experience hearing Dave Gerhardt speak at an event and how he managed to captivate the entire audience. 
    The Greatest Sales Pitch I've Seen All Year — 12 minutes
     
  6. Wayne Chang gives some incredible advice on creating an unforgettable first-time user experience for your users. 
    The Quintessential Guide For Building An Unforgettable User Experience — 13 minutes
     
  7. Steli Efti points out some extremely important things (that often get overlooked) that great salespeople do to set themselves apart from the rest of the pack. 
    What the best SaaS sales reps know that others don't — 5 minutes

Meme of the week

Halloween is over and it's November ... that means it's pretty much Christmas, right?

Check out this list of hilarious tweets comparing October 31 and November 1. 

NewsletterDan Bruce
NewsletterDan Bruce

ICYMI: October 22, 2017

What we wrote

If you haven't had the chance to check out The RevOps Framework, now's the time. Give it a read, download it for later, and share with your team!
The Complete Guide to Revenue Operations

What we're reading

  1. Carlton Bowers is obsessed with fostering team chemistry and shares five habits that will keep your teams happy and engaged.
    5 habits any employee can develop to scale company culture — 6 minutes
  2. Jonathan Solórzano-Hamilton tells an interesting story about Rick, your top contributor, and how your team's strength is not about individual talent, but a function of collaboration, tenacity, and mutual respect. 
    We fired our top talent. Best decision we ever made. — 8 minutes
  3. Ryan Robinson gives some helpful advice on Sales training techniques as the team scales beyond the first few hires. 
    12 sales training techniques to build an unstoppable sales team — 
  4. Andrew Chen looks at companies like Uber, eBay, and Craigslist to see how small, niche marketplaces turn into billion-dollar enterprises. 
    How to build a billion dollar digital marketplace — 7 minutes
  5. Sean Siddhu encourages salespeople in SaaS to think a little less like a conventional sales person and a little more like a consultant. 
    Why SaaS sales people should think like consultants — 7 minutes

Meme of the week

This post from Marketoonist is too good not to share. 

NewsletterDan Bruce
NewsletterDan Bruce

ICYMI: October 8, 2017

What we wrote

Oldies but Goodies:

  1. Building Cross-Functional, Revenue-Focused Teams — 9-minutes
     
  2. Pete Caputa on the Sales Process — 17-minutes
     
  3. Joanna Wiebe on Writing Copy that Sells — 17-minutes

What we're reading

  1. Doug Kessler argues why revenue shouldn't be the only thing that marketers have their eye on, but rather to look down to the bottom-line. 

    |      "TLDR: Screw 'Pipeline', chase Profit." 

    Why revenue is the wrong marketing metric — 5 minutes
     
  2. Tomasz Tunguz put together an interesting piece on the SaaS industry and how it's become commodified with easy-to-use infrastructure, playbooks that we all follow, and rising customer acquisition costs. He goes on to explain that this isn't a bad thing – not at all – but an opportunity. 
    Has SaaS Become Commodified? — 3 minutes
     
  3. Scott Vaughan explains that B2B marketing automation platforms are at a point of re-examination, which is a great thing. Marketing is changing from being brand-focused to revenue-focused, and so marketing automation needs to make adjustments. Will you be ready for them?
    Ready to evolve beyond marketing automation in the next era of marketing? — 6 minutes
     
  4. Ross Simmonds gathered 50 useful B2B stats that could (and should) have you rethinking your Marketing strategy. 
    50 B2B Marketing Stats That Could Shake Up Your Marketing Strategy — 12 minutes
     
  5. Jason Cohen encourages product teams to have their eyes on an SLC (simple, lovable, complete), rather than the traditional MVP. 
    I hate MVPs. So do your customers. Make it SLC instead. — 5 minutes
     
  6. Ben Virdeee-Chapman wrote a post that Jason Lemkin fans will love, and everyone else will likely not understand. 
    I am not Jason Lemkin – A startup parody, parody. — 3 minutes

Meme of the week

It was World Architecture Day on Monday and ... well, Deanna Raybourn put it best: "OMG. Cathedrals are in a Twitter fight and it's glorious." 

To see Cathedrals fight on Twitter, which we all do, go here

NewsletterDan Bruce
NewsletterDan Bruce

ICYMI: September 24, 2017

What we wrote

Pam Hege, the Managing Partner at Revenue Influencers, joined us to talk about the Lead-to-Revenue Process.

"A successful lead-to-revenue process requires continuous flow and 360-degree visibility."

The Lead-to-Revenue Management Process with Pam Hege — 14-minute read

What we're reading

  1. Benjamin Brandall gives an idea of what top SaaS companies like Salesforce, New Relic, and Hubspot do to chase big deals.
    We Analyzed 1,000 Emails & VMs to Understand How the Top SaaS Companies Chase Enterprise Deals — 3 minutes
  2. Leyla Acaroglu explains the different concepts of system thinking and what the tools are needed to develop and advance a systems mindset for dealing with complex problem-solving.
    Tools for Systems Thinkers: The 6 Fundamental Concepts of Systems Thinking — 9 minutes
  3. Steve Woods talks with Jay Hedges about their differing views on how executives go about buying. This is worth checking out.
    How I Buy - Jay Hedges, SVP Revenue, Uberflip — 5 minutes
  4. Justin Withers looks at the reasons why most B2B buyers don't trust salespeople (apparently there's a lot) and how to overcome them.
    The B2B Buyer Persona: 30 Ways to Get Inside the Mind of Your Target Buyer — 8 minutes
  5. Brian Balfour walks through the HubSpot Sales Product framework that laid the foundation towards a goal of $100M.
    Building a Growth Framework Towards a $100 Million Product — 13 minutes

Meme of the week

This short little clip made everyone in our office laugh – so I'll pass it on to you. 

NewsletterDan Bruce
NewsletterDan Bruce

ICYMI: September 10, 2017

What we wrote

See FunnelCake Speak!
Mastering Growth P2P #3: Using Martech to Close The Sales & Marketing Gap
When: September 15th
Where: Toronto, Ontario
Register

CMO Inflect
When: September 21
Where: Mountain View, California
Register

Guest post: Nis Frome, co-founder of Alpha, wrote a brilliant piece on our blog about how partnering content teams directly with sales can have a significant impact on revenue. 
Content Teams Can Drive Sales by First Empowering Salespeople — 7-minute read

What we're reading

  1. Tomasz Tunguz walks through the design of a successful sales compensation plan and explains how to create the right one for you and your sales structure. 
    The Theory And Data Underpinning Sales Commission Plans — 3 minutes
  2. David Premier offers advice on writing cold outreach that will have you rethinking the way you're doing it today. 
    Salespeople: Here’s How to Get Prospects to Pay Attention to Your Outreach — 7 minutes
  3. Jen Grant presents some key metrics you should be tracking, and to keep in mind that shouldn't only focus on Marketing metrics, but those that truly drive your business forward. 
    The Four Most Important Metrics for Any Business — 7 minutes
  4. Michel Feaster shares a story of how Usermind was created and how digging deep into your industry to find the most painful changes and connecting the dots is the key to creating (and owning) a new category of software.
    Creating a Enterprise Software Category — and Owning It — 5 minutes
  5. Ryan Law and Emily Smith looked at the top 250 most successful SaaS companies to create The State of SaaS Content Marketing 2017. There's a number of great stats in here worth checking out. 
    The State of SaaS Content Marketing 2017 — 12 minutes
  6. Brian Trautschold writes a piece centered around the role of SDR ... the most overlooked, misunderstood, and mistreated role in B2B Sales organizations. 
    Most SDRs Fail or Burn Out. Here's How to Fix That — 7 minutes
  7. Tracy Eiler talks with The Pedowitz Group about what it means to be a "T-shaped" marketer, where you should focus efforts in the funnel, and specific changes to make within your organization to get Sales and Marketing better aligned. 
    CMO Insights: Tracy Eiler, Chief Marketing Officer, InsideView — 15-minute video

Meme of the week

For this week, the headline says it all:

"Delta Airlines plane flies straight into Hurricane Irma – and out again"

NewsletterDan Bruce
NewsletterDan Bruce

ICYMI: August 20, 2017

What we wrote

It's hard to believe that we're just about 2/3's through the year – 2017 is flying by ✈️
Here are our top posts of the year (so far):

  1. Sales Ops with Kenny Goldman — 10 minutes
  2. What Does a CRO Do? With Mark Roberge — 13 minutes
  3. Joanna Wiebe on Writing Copy that Sells — 17 minutes

What we're reading

  1. Lance Jones and Joanna Wiebe put clever marketing vs. clear marketing messages to the test running three ad variations of the same service; one very clear, one looking to trigger an emotional response, and one clever one aimed to crack a smile. Check out which was most effective – you may be surprised 😮
    The Great Copy Debate: Clear Vs. Clever — 7 minutes
  2. Omidyar Network talked with Mandy Cole, former VP of Sales at Zenefits, about building a kickass Sales team and common mistakes many companies make along the way.
    The Playbook To Scaling Sales — 11 minutes
  3. Gokul Rajaram explains what the second most important metric is for companies. The first? NSM (North Star Metric), but Gokul pushes the importance of measuring your NSM's 'check metric' 🤔
    The second most important metric for every company — 3 minutes
  4. Erik Devaney shares learnings from top SaaS companies marketing strategies including things like demographics, tech stack, and content. 
    Analyzing Marketing Strategies of the Top 100 SaaS Companies — 2 minutes
  5. Daniel Debow talks about how it's ok – encourages even – to piss people off 😡 – but to do it in the right way. 
    Piss people off (but only at the right time) — 7 minutes
  6. Ayaz Nanji shows some great sales cadence benchmarks – number of attempts, word count, and cadence duration all included. How does your team stack up?
    Sales Cadence Benchmarks: How Often Reps Contact Leads — 2 minutes
  7. Vincent Vo has more sales benchmarks for us, but this time for pipeline. 
    Sales Pipeline Benchmarks to Supercharge your Competitive Edge — 6 minutes

Meme of the week

If you haven't heard, there's a solar eclipse tomorrow (Monday). If you're lucky enough to live along the path it travels, you'll have the chance to see the Total Solar Eclipse. Don't worry if you're not – you'll have a partial view (still very cool).

If you haven't bought special eclipse glasses yet, it's too late, they're sold out everywhere – something myself and the FunnelCake team learned earlier this week. Anyways, here's a DIY option.

NewsletterDan Bruce
NewsletterDan Bruce

ICYMI: August 7, 2017

What we wrote

We interviewed Amrita Mathur, VP of Demand Gen and Marketing Operations at Top Hat, about Lead Lifecycle Management. 

"There are only two things a Marketer should be focusing on: opening the funnel or fixing it."

Lead Lifecycle Management with Amrita Mathur — 17-minute read

What we're reading

  1. Tomasz Tunguz looks at the two different methods of building a Sales team: top down or bottoms up.
    Comparing Two Ways To Build A SaaS Sales Team — 3 minutes
  2. Monika Götzmann gives some key tips to help improve sales team performance and increase revenue through Sales Enablement. 
    4 Tips To Make Your Sales Enablement Strategy More Effective — 5 minutes
  3. Mark Cox points out eight mistakes you could be making while demoing that could indicate you're a demo "rookie". 
    8 Software Demo Mistakes that Scream ‘Rookie’ — 8 minutes
  4. BrightFunnel talks about Marketing Attribution – from basics to in-depth – and how if deployed correctly it can help to unify Sales and Marketing. 
    Marketing Attribution | From Novice to Knowledgeable in Seven Minutes
  5. Courtney Buchanan explains why sales people and marketers should take some notes from data scientists in order to know the right accounts, content, and pain points to focus on in the buyer's process. 
    Why Sales and Marketing Teams Should Think Like Data Scientists — 5 minutes
  6. Hila Segal writes how Sales Managers aren't just Sales Managers ... they're also expected to be mind readers, detectives, and cat wranglers. 
    “Dammit Jim, I’m a sales manager, not a mind reader” — 5 minutes
  7. Christopher Ryan points out some of the biggest barriers to Sales and Marketing Alignment; like communication, broken processes, and metrics, and what the teams can do to ensure alignment. 
    How Marketing and Sales Can Achieve the Alignment Imperative — 6 minutes

Meme of the week

Boeing 787-8 took off on an 17-hour test flight on Wednesday of last week and took an interesting flight path. Take a look for yourself

NewsletterDan Bruce
NewsletterDan Bruce

ICYMI: July 23, 2017

What we wrote

We've got some big news 🎉

FunnelCake Announces Growth Calculator – A New SaaS Solution for Predictable Revenue Growth
View the Press Release

What we're reading

  1. Mike Nelson updates us with email design trends and how things have changed since 2016 #EmailGeeks4Ever. 
    Email Design Trends of 2017 (so far) — 9 minutes
  2. Julia Chen explains how CRM tools have a huge challenge when it comes to onboarding new customers, but by lowering cognitive overhead, the onboarding process (and the product) can take off. 
    Getting Past the Empty State: How 5 Popular CRM Tools Onboard Users — 9 minutes
  3. Debbie Qaqish put together a RevOps Maturity Model that will have you moving from functional Operation silos to a customer-centric Revenue Operations model. 
    The Five Stages of Maturity In Customer-Centric Revenue Operations — 7 minutes
  4. Barbara Giamanco talks with Mary Ford about Sales Ops; the definition, becoming an Ops rock star, and where the future is heading. 
    How To Be A Sales Ops Rockstar — 25-minute podcast 🔊
  5. Chris Orlob explains how internet marketing has evolved from a "black art" to measurable in every way and how it can be applied to sales conversion effectiveness. 
    Will Technology Reduce Sales Conversations to an Exact Science? — 5 minutes
  6. Brian Carroll tackles the complicated topic of Marketing and Sales collaboration in respect to lead generation, and how successful teams work together. 
    Who should own lead generation for a complex sale? — 9 minutes
  7. Dave Kellogg defines the unique term called "rolling hairballs", how to detect them, and answers how to eliminate them from your pipeline. 
    Detecting and Eliminating the Rolling Hairballs in your Sales Pipeline — 3 minutes

Meme of the week

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, has seen the quite the transformation since 1997 ... take a look for yourself. 

NewsletterDan Bruce