Newsletter
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

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
NewsletterDan Bruce

ICYMI: July 9, 2017

What we wrote

We talked with Joe Gelata, VP of Business Operations at Axonify, about how a Revenue Operations model can help solve issues like:

  • Dirty data
  • Overlapping tool stacks
  • Lack of ownership of data

Building Cross-Functional, Revenue-Focused Teams — 9-minute read

Marko Savic guest curated one of our favorite newsletter's – Raise the Bar. In it you'll find great stuff from April Dunford, Amrita Mathur, Carol Leaman, and Jill Rowley.  
Raise the Bar by Marko Savic 

What we're reading

  1. Dave Gerhardt tells a story of how they got Drift in The New York Times and how the principles that got them there can be extended past PR to Marketing, copywriting, and cold outreach 📰
    Behind The Scenes: How We Got Drift Into The New York Times — 6 minutes
  2. David Skok, along with The Bridge Group, gathered an extensive amount of data on the role of the Account Executive to use as a benchmark to compare your sales numbers against. How do you stack up?
    Bridge Group 2017 SaaS AE Metrics Report — 10 minutes
  3. Scott Britton does a plain English walkthrough of what a Sales Operations person does, what their goals are, and when they should be hired. 
    Demystifying the Role of Sales Operations — 7 minutes
  4. Joanna Wiebe explains that if a poor demo will result with BS objections 💩 Your demo is a sales conversation, so the goal is to create a vision of what benefit comes from your product, and how they can achieve it. 
    Everything I Wish I’d Known Before I Started Demoing SaaS — 15 minutes
  5. Kevin Kononenko writes about the importance of the value proposition you choose to put on the main page of your website and encourages you to take the route of using data to determine what that first impression should be rather than a gut feeling.
    Discover Your Product’s Most Compelling Value Proposition Within 72 Hours — 9 minutes
  6. William Wickey talks with Sales expert, Jill Rowley, about the benefits of social selling.
    Social Selling Metrics, Methods, and Myths | Jill Rowley — 8 minutes
  7. Jared Sleeper encourages startups to avoid the mistake of calculating metrics – like LTV:CAC – too soon, and how to use it once you're at the right size 👍
    Why early-stage startups should wait to calculate LTV:CAC — 8 minutes

Meme of the week

Amelia Earhart ... the name rings a bell, doesn't it? The first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean and vanished (and presumed dead) in 1937 on a flight around the globe. 

Big news this week is that Amelia may have actually survived 😳

This newly discovered photograph suggests that she survived the crash-landing in the Marshall Islands, and from there was taken into Japanese custody where she eventually died. 

To learn more on the story, go here.

To learn even more, check out The History Channel's special, Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence, airing tonight. 

NewsletterDan Bruce
NewsletterDan Bruce

ICYMI: June 25, 2017

What we wrote

Carol Leaman is the latest to appear on our expert interview series to talk about building a Revenue Operations team at Axonify. In this post you'll learn:

  • When to make your first Operations hire
  • The roles to hire
  • What skills to look for

Building a Revenue Operations Team with Carol Leaman — 11-minute read

What we're reading

  1. Dave Kellogg urges Marketers to take a note from newspaper writers 📰  Stop letting templates get in the way of the story you're trying to tell, but work within them to get your message across. 
    Dear Marketing: Stop Putting the Template Ahead of the Story — 3 minutes
     
  2. Andrew Oddo explains a Sales Playbook guide for startups to help teams create uniform messaging, decrease ramp time, and give a structured opportunity for collaboration. 
    A Founder’s Guide: Mapping Your First Sales Playbook — 10 minutes
     
  3. First Round Review talks with Stripe's COO about how to deal with hiring while growing at a rocket ship trajectory 🚀 The simple answer: stop and ask three simple questions.
    To Grow Faster, Hit Pause — and Ask These Questions — 14 minutes
     
  4. Brian Anderson shows off some important numbers from a Salesforce study showing that data continues to be a main struggle for companies trying to hit goals. 
    Study: Data Challenges Main Concern For Connecting Cross-Channel — 2 minutes
     
  5. Erin McKeeby delivers a complete guide to launching an email marketing strategy that will have you building better relationships with prospects. 
    A Clear-Cut Guide to Email Marketing Success — 5 minutes
     
  6. Erik Devaney looks at driving growth through "mad science" and walks through a framework called "Collect, Analyze, Act."
    Segment’s “Mad Scientist” Shares His Secrets for Driving Growth — 22 minutes
     
  7. Aaron Ross and Collin Stewart talk with Matt Amundson about understanding the Millennial brain, the growing importance of social selling, and the renaissance of account-based sales.
    Matt Amundson on The Core Principles of Outbound Sales — 49 minute podcast

Meme of the week

🎶  Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? 🎶

🔊 SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS! 🔊

That's right, this week's meme is about the adorable pair of Spongebob and his best pal Patrick, debatably the best cartoon pair to ever appear on Nickelodeon. They've brought children everywhere countless laughs ever since the show debuted in May of 1999. 

Well, 3D artist Miguel Vasquez went ahead and created what the pair would look like in real life. The results? Well, not so adorable ... 

For photos of Miguel's work, and to see the hilarious Twitter reaction, go here

NewsletterDan Bruce
NewsletterDan Bruce

ICYMI: June 11, 2017

What we wrote

Mark Roberge, former CRO at Hubspot, joined us to answer the question: what does a CRO do? In this post you'll learn things like:

  • how Mark moved from Hubspot's first salesperson to CRO
  • how to overcome the most common roadblocks Sales teams run into
  • how to better align Sales, Marketing, and Success through the full-funnel

What Does a CRO Do? With Mark Roberge — 13-minute read

If you haven't already, make sure to check out The RevOps Framework by FunnelCake

What we're reading

  1. Dave Kellogg talks about the magical 3X pipeline coverage ratio that we all know and love, where it originated from, and how we should think about it differently 🤔
    The Self-Fulfilling 3x Pipeline Coverage Prophecy — 6 minutes
     
  2. Mark Evans offers a step-by-step marketing strategy framework to use instead of the "shot-gun" approach that most startups tend to use. 
    A 7-Step Marketing Strategy Framework For Fast-Growing Companies — 7 minutes
     
  3. Nis Frome explains how every time your customers use your product, you're generating a goldmine of meaningful insights ⛏. Use that data correctly, and you can fill your top-of-funnel, engage prospects more strategically, and enhance your product. 
    You’re Sitting on a Gold Mine of Data — Here’s What You Should Do With It — 4 minute
     
  4. Alex Iskold walks through funnel strategy for startups, including funnels for B2B, B2C, and even for fundraising. 
    Funnels for Startups: A Primer — 10 minutes
     
  5. Steli Efti provides a list of the ten most common objections that salespeople should be prepared for (plus all the industry-specific objectives ones.)
    10 objection handling techniques every B2B salesperson should know — 6 minutes
     
  6. John Rode breaks down what sales capacity is, and why it's imperative to build into your plan the time it takes to get from "we need to hire more reps" to those reps being fully ramped up. 
    What's Really Driving Your Sales Capacity? — 4 minutes
     
  7. Cóbhan Phillipson put together a list of eleven sales metrics to track in order to improve overall performance and grow revenue 💰
    11 Sales Performance Metrics That Matter Most — 9 minutes

Meme of the week

Instead of going for a funny meme this week, we've got something that is ... out of this world

Basically, the Juno probe was launched back in 2011, and it orbits around Jupiter collecting information about its atmosphere and structure. Every so often, Juno dips into low altitude starts to collects photos.

NASA released those images earlier this month and German mathematician, Eichstaedt, went to work putting the photos together into a breathtaking video that you need to watch.

NewsletterDan Bruce