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 :) 

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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. 

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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

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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. 

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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. 

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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

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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. 

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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"

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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.

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NewsletterDan Bruce