Brand vs Demand, Market Perception, and the Double Funnel | Sydney Sloan CMO @ Salesloft

February 2, 2023

Episode Description

In today's episode we sat down with Salesloft's CMO, Sydney Sloan to chat about brand vs demand, changing market perception, and supporting a double funnel. Sydney has been with Salesloft for 3 years and has seen a lifetime's worth of change so we cover it all.

Show Notes


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Demand Gen Chat is a Chili Piper podcast hosted by Kaylee Edmondson. Join us as we sit down with leaders in marketing to discover the key to driving B2B revenue. If you want benchmarks or insights on trends in the market, this podcast is for you!

Episode Transcript

Kaylee Edmondson: All right. Hey everyone. Welcome back to another episode of Demand Gen Chat. I am your host Kaylee Edmondson. And today we are joined with Sydney Sloan, CMO at SalesLoft. Welcome.

Sydney Sloan: Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Kaylee Edmondson: Absolutely.

Sydney Sloan: Great to be here. I [inaudible 00:00:13] pre chat, this is gonna be fun.

Kaylee Edmondson: Let's start by just setting the stage at SalesLoft. You've been there for a few years, what is SalesLoft and what pain are you guys, um, solving in the market?

Sydney Sloan: So SalesLoft, uh, started out as a platform for SDRs to prospect, um, where they were able to organize the council they were going after, um, orchestrate all the different channels that you need to use in order to be successful. We know that, uh, three or more channels gives you the best results in terms of number of engagement an- and certain number of touches over, uh, a period of time.

And so it just really organized all the tasks for SDRs and salespeople to drive prospecting efforts. In the three years that I've been here, we've evolved from just serving the SDRs and sellers for prospecting to also, um, record calls. So conversation intelligence. So for coaching capabilities, for taking snippets of your calls with your, um, with your customers and, and using them in your sal- sales cycles. And then last year we introduced a product called Deals, which allows you to do a better job of managing your opportunities. Kind of think of when sales managers are meeting with their sales teams going, "Okay, what's in pipeline? Show me your deals?" Like we've, we've added that. So we're the most complete sales engagement platform in the market right now incorporating all those capa- capabilities and serving sellers everywhere.

Kaylee Edmondson: And like primary titles or like VPs of sales, VPs of like SDR managers, things of that nature?

Sydney Sloan: Yeah. SDR teams, sales teams, inside sales teams. I mean, frankly, you know, COVID as tough as it was really did accelerate the whole industry of sales to become digital-

Kaylee Edmondson: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Sydney Sloan: ... sellers. So we're seeing new companies way outside of our ICP. So it's not just for tech i- inside sales teams anymore.

Kaylee Edmondson: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Sydney Sloan: It's, you know, sellers everywhere that are looking for new ways to be able to host conversations with their customers, to be able to communicate to them effectively. And then we're unique in that we cover that whole spans. We're able to capture that data and give a lot of insights into teams it's like where you should be focusing your effort, what deals are at risk, um, who are you maybe not contacting yet within the account that's a primary buyer type? So we're able to provide a lot more of those insights 'cause we're capturing every interaction between from prospecting to all the way of customer lifetime around that account. So just bringing that much more information to the sales teams about the interactions between the customers and their teams.

Kaylee Edmondson: Yeah. That's incredible. And so you've been there since 2018 and obviously-

Sydney Sloan: Three years.

Kaylee Edmondson: ... [crosstalk 00:02:47].

Sydney Sloan: It's my three year lock [inaudible 00:02:48] this month. I know it's crazy [laughing].

Kaylee Edmondson: Oh my gosh. Congrats, congrats. Yeah. So-

Sydney Sloan: Thank you [crosstalk 00:02:51].

Kaylee Edmondson: ... in three years you've seen, I feel like a lifetime of change at SalesLoft. Can you just set the stage for what your marketing team looks like when you first joined, um, and what it looks like today?

Sydney Sloan: Gosh, it's, um, it's evolved so much and yeah, we've, I think I was employee maybe 300 or 275, more up to 600 and, um, just crossing, uh, 100 million in revenue. It's been a crazy, crazy ride. Um, when I started what I can recall and I have to really think back is, um, you know, we had product marketing, we had an events team, um, demand gen, we were running account based strategies. Um, SDRs were not in our team yet. Um, brand, and we had brand, brand and events was kind of a, a team.

So I think there might've been 16 people on the team at the time. And we were releasing features on a daily basis. Our product marketing team was just trying to keep up with the daily feature release. Um, and we put on really great events, rainmaker, everybody loved the events, but we weren't really well ingrained into the business at every level. Like how does marketing lead go to market? How does marketing partner across the business? Um, and not just be seen as the fun, you know, the fun team-

Kaylee Edmondson: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Sydney Sloan: ... that, that throws great events, which we still do. Um, but I, I feel like we're a much more strategic partner across the business.

Kaylee Edmondson: Exactly. It's getting the marketing team more closely aligned with pipeline and revenue. Um, and that kind of changes the whole perception.

Sydney Sloan: A- and go to market strategy. Where, where should we go? How should we go? When should we go? Yeah.

Kaylee Edmondson: Yeah, exa, absolutely. And so as you guys have grown in terms of revenue and customer base, what are some of the changes that you've made along this timeline, um, in terms of go to market or in terms of like marketing headcount or marketing s, team structure so that your team is enabled-

Sydney Sloan: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Kaylee Edmondson: ... to serve the rest of the teams cross-functionally?

Sydney Sloan: Yeah. I mean, we've made continuous changes. When you're growing this fast everybody has to get used to and embrace change.

Kaylee Edmondson: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Sydney Sloan: If, if someone's not good with change there, then, uh, you know, this may not be the right place 'cause it changes so quickly. O- our joke is like, if you didn't like where your seat was, don't worry, it's gonna move, you know, it's gonna [laughing] move in a couple months. Um, now that's different, but it's also true really. Um, but, um, the... I think the kind of the first changes we made was more of an investment in product marketing and really trying to get, um, ahead of the feature, competitive feature release war and like what strategically is right based on the market opportunity ahead of us. And that's really what informed us going to a multi-product offering and building products that support the sellers in addition to the SDRs.

Um, so that was the first thing. And when you take on more products, you need more product marketing support and the pricing and packaging strategies that create a differentiation and that... So that was the first thing. The second, um, part was, um, we brought... And this happened, um, will be, we're about a year and a half ago, we brought the inbound team into marketing and has really invested in streamlining the processes between marketing inbound and converting to opportunities. And what I love about that is that it creates more accountability for us to our portion of the pipeline generation. And so, you know, yes we're partnering with the product and sales teams and go to market. Now we're doing our part in terms of having direct impact on pipeline creation and revenue where I can say here's how much marketing sourced, here's how much pipeline we touched, um, which has contributed attribution and influence.

Um, and here's how much business closed one in the quarter that was sourced by marketing. And it's a significant portion. So when you can start to point to that, then you can justify an incremental investments. And so incremental investments now are doing a lot more in brand-building. Um, as the market gets, you know, it's crazy, it's growing-

Kaylee Edmondson: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Sydney Sloan: ... like mad and they're more competitors than ever, and while we are a leader, we wanna maintain that leadership, especially as new people are looking into what they need to, um, invest in. And so maintaining that leadership and brand awareness is super important.

Kaylee Edmondson: Yeah. And I think you've hit on something that's super interesting for me. So I'm gonna go off script and just ask a follow-up question, um, around brand, how do you as a leader, um, break out your validation like to your CFO or your board, or whoever around how many, what percentage of your marketing dollars are gonna go towards performance marketing, things that are typically much more trackable, versus things that are gonna go towards brand, which we all know is super important and viable for your business, but is more long tail in terms of return versus some of those performance marketing tactics? Like what's your rationale, um, or your validation, or is it just more of like a, you have to trust me, I know this is right?

Sydney Sloan: Um, no, I, there's, I mean, credibility over the three years that's been built up with my CEO and the team and finance in that we invest wisely. And so-

Kaylee Edmondson: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Sydney Sloan: ... you know, that- that's just a track record of over time that we built out that we, we don't spend foolishly, you know, we, we show return on investment. We always are... My, my goal is to always be 1% over my budget. Like I want us to spend just a little bit more, so we really do, you know, try and drive as much awareness and demand as possible, given the budgets that we have. Um, and we've tracked on that. Like, you know, I'm somebody that balances, you know... I only have one credit card, I pay it off every month, you know? I think you can look at [laughing], you know, like how well people manage their personal funds 'cause that's how I think about the company's, um, investment in marketing.

Uh, so to answer the question specifically about brand versus demand center, demand spend or performance marketing, um, once, once we got the metrics and kind of infrastructure proven as to, um, being able to convert investments to, to pipeline, um, looking at that and saying, "I- I'm gonna go invest this much in brand it's..." First of all, it's time, we're a different company. And, um, we need to show up differently in the market than the company we were over the last 10 years.

Company's 10 years old. And, um, and so we, you know, we need to be the company of the future that's global, that's trusted. And, um, and so how, um... You know, where do we wanna show up and how do we wanna show up? And so that's one part. The second part is, you know, I think there's a couple other companies out there that are doing a really good job in brand, and our company can see that. And-

Kaylee Edmondson: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Sydney Sloan: ... and so you see the conversion ratios, the awareness of these other companies that are doing a good job. Um, and so you, you know, give a shout out to competitors that are, that are doing a good job, and like, we need to continue to compete there and not just rely on what we've always been known for. Um, and so changing brand perception and market perception is an investment. And it's not a call to action of click. It's a call to action of awareness. And so that's how, how we measure that is in our reach.

So what number of impressions are we driving? How do we see organic increasing on the website traffic? Um, and, and then look at down the line the... It should be an expected decrease in demand gen conversion, um, when the brand perception goes up. And, and we also measure share of voice and everything like that. So, um, that's what we're expecting. And, you know, we'll turn on a little bit, and if it works we'll turn on a little bit more and, and just continue-

Kaylee Edmondson: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Sydney Sloan: ... to, uh, fuel as we see value come through it.

Kaylee Edmondson: Yeah, no, that's wonderful. And then I wanna [crosstalk 00:10:41]-

Sydney Sloan: Does that make sense too, like, I know I-

Kaylee Edmondson: ... no.

Sydney Sloan: ... I tend to long-wind the answer and I'm in my brain, so hopefully that makes sense as I shared that.

Kaylee Edmondson: Yeah, no, I think it totally does. And it's, for me, it's just always a very, um, it's very topical. Um, and I feel like I talk about it a ton in my own personal network of friends that are kind of doing this same effort, um, around a go-to-market role or a demand gen role within their orgs. Um, and for me personally, let me share a little bit about myself, but I, um, I have a background in pure performance marketing.

Um, so I have just always been the numbers girl, and I always like to tie everything back very attributable to revenue or to pipeline. Um, and so it's a little bit harder. It's more of a feeling, right? It's more of a feeling for brand motions. It's very different for me, um, to think about how to prove value with brand money versus performance marketing money. Um, and it's just something that's like less two plus two equals four, right? It's kind of how I have-

Sydney Sloan: Yeah.

Kaylee Edmondson: ... my, uh, my marketing career has gone at least. And so brand dollars and brand spend is a new motion for me personally. Um, and it's less, it's just less trackable, right? And obviously that's the world we're moving into with this post cookie world anyways, is a less trackable world. So I feel like, uh, taking off the training wheels and moving with like a brand play is obviously pivotal and important. Um, for us like building a performance marketing foundation came first. Um, and so now, like, as we start to evolve into more of a brand play, it's just interesting to see how others perceive it. And then especially how you have those internal marketing communications with your own marketing team, by your sales org, your CFO, your CEO, et cetera. Um, because I think everybody, everybody moves about it quite differently.

Um, so like if you have the dollars to do these larger studies, um, around share of voice and audience perception and all of those things, and it's, you know, that's a thing that you have to point back to to say, yes, um, this is w, this is working, these dollars we're spending are moving the needle, but if you're trying to ease into brand marketing and don't have enough money to like, you know, invest in a large study or a research firm or whatever it is to kind of prove that, th- the dollars are a little bit harder to drive to revenue, right?

Sydney Sloan: Yeah. I think the question is at what point in time does it make sense to invest in brand?

Kaylee Edmondson: Right.

Sydney Sloan: And three years ago when I got here, I felt like it was a brand play. Uh, we, we weren't differentiated and then it was like, this market's gonna go fast. So we, we do need to make it-

Kaylee Edmondson: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Sydney Sloan: ... a brand play. And so of course thought leadership is, you know, paramount to brand. And, um, and, and, and so you can play that part. I think the other thing that you can do is you could pick a channel. So maybe not investing in all channels, but what is the primary channel that your, your audience lives in? And so for us that's LinkedIn. And so, you know, could we double down on LinkedIn and then maybe not do other investments in other areas. We held back a long time in doing display and retargeting and all of that. Um, it just financially was like, you know, we're just going to double down and in LinkedIn and try and really build our presence there. Um, and I think too, um, I mean, it's just, yo- you got to take each step, right? Like-

Kaylee Edmondson: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Sydney Sloan: ... building brand and lots of brand awareness if you don't have... If you have a leaky bucket or you don't have your process in place-

Kaylee Edmondson: Yes.

Sydney Sloan: ... of how you're gonna convert leads, you know, like you got to fix that before you put more water in, in the top of the funnel or leads in the top of the funnel. And so, you know, you just kind of have to step into it I think. Um, and yeah, um, I'm lucky that I, you know, lucky by, by design built a really strong relationship with our finance team and built out a business case that made sense. We, we treated, it was ki- kind of fun and we treated it like a, um, Shark Tank. We came in-

Kaylee Edmondson: I was gonna say yeah.

Sydney Sloan: ... we were like, "We want this level of investment for, you know, return of this." And we had all the data to back it up. And so while it's a brand investment, I'm confident that we'll be able to return what we said we were going to be able to, and probably even more, um-

Kaylee Edmondson: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Sydney Sloan: ... just based on the history that we have in our advertising spend. Um, and like I said, like, you know, if it's working we'll continue to invest more and more when it works.

Kaylee Edmondson: Yeah, absolutely. And I like your, I like your motion of spending 1% more on budget too. I think that's a good takeaway. I've just never heard anyone say it, but I really like it. And talk a little bit more about your business model. You'll have a double funnel business model, correct?

Sydney Sloan: We do. So when we, um, segmented our sales teams into enterprise and commercial, that changed the way that we were thinking about supporting the sales organization. So I'd like to like line up our teams with sales, like here's the marketing team that's gonna support the enterprise team, and here's the marketing motions that are gonna support commercial. So commercial is primarily where our inbound, um, comes in.

And so that is how much automation can we get in predictable lead volume or predictable opportunity volume, 'cause it's not about leads. We don't actually track leads. We just track opportunities created. Um, and so, you know, how can we get that predictable so the team can count on it? To the point where the head of commercial in a meeting with the sales leadership last week when he got asked the question, where would you invest more? He said in marketing. Like that's music to my ears, um-

Kaylee Edmondson: That's wonderful.

Sydney Sloan: ... because that means that he's counting on us, right? He's counting on us and we're able to deliver for him. So fantastic. On the... So tha- that's a traditional funnel model.

Kaylee Edmondson: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Sydney Sloan: A- And so it's like, what are we putting in? How are the conversions running? How do we increase conversions? What's the velocity? All of that. With enterprise, we're running an account based strategy. So it's completely different. We have our top 150 global accounts. We have account like our field marketers are now called enterprise marketers which is really account based marketing. And they line up to, um, the sales teams and we run, you know, for tier ones, we run customized programs and, you know, running out of running custom ads. Um, and I think the thing that's still a little bit different is, you know, leveraging the intent data and the account-based platforms. So it's like, yes, we're working proactively the tier one accounts, and then how do we still also manage opportunistically the enterprises-

Kaylee Edmondson: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Sydney Sloan: ... that are showing intent, um, and still action on those. So there's still a little fluidity there which is really interesting to see because we have that much transparency a- av- available to us now. So it's like, "Yeah, we've got 150 accounts but these accounts are surging so we gotta work on those too."

Kaylee Edmondson: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Sydney Sloan: Um, and then just getting our ratios, right? With managing the SDRs and working with the SDR teams on target accounts, and then also doing account-based programs in COVID world which ha- has its own challenges. So it's, you know-

Kaylee Edmondson: Yeah.

Sydney Sloan: ... it's a different world and it's a different motion and it's a different reporting structure and it's a different funnel and, um, different technology. So-

Kaylee Edmondson: [crosstalk 00:17:42] gonna say [crosstalk 00:17:42] different [crosstalk 00:17:42].

Sydney Sloan: ... um, so they run, they run separately.

Kaylee Edmondson: [crosstalk 00:17:44] your enterprise motion.

Sydney Sloan: Yeah.

Kaylee Edmondson: It's different. And can you talk a little bit about how you've combated, uh, go to market motion for ABM in COVID? 'Cause it's definitely different than... Obviously A- ABM is also defined different. Maybe we should start, ABM is defined different [laughing] depending on who you [inaudible 00:17:59]. So do you wanna give your quick like 30 second spiel on how you guys interpret ABM?

Sydney Sloan: Yeah. I mean, I think account based is a reflection of go-to-market market strategy. So, um, you know, we work and we bring data to the table, to the sales leaders and collaborate on what it means to be a tier one account, who should be on the list. We, we refresh it quarterly. Um, and the-

Kaylee Edmondson: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Sydney Sloan: ... and we bring all the data. It's like, you know, here's what fit technographic like engagement, all the, all the things. And, and then we go through the list together and like, "Okay, this is the account list we're working after, and some have already converted." And so, um, basically we have the prospect account list. Then we have our customers who are also tier one accounts that we wanna continue to invest in. And we, I mean, we moved more to digital to start, right?

Kaylee Edmondson: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Sydney Sloan: And just doing more custom ads and making sure that we're warming up the accounts first. Um, and then getting creative with programs, go live events, um, and-

Kaylee Edmondson: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Sydney Sloan: ... you know, making sure that we celebrate with the, the customer because they're not in office either. So how can we create opportunities for customers to get together and celebrate? Um, lots of, you know, lots of wine tastings, lots of cooking classes. Um, we've done golf, like, uh, VIP things with famous people, um, around the master's program and bringing in tier one accounts to those, 'cause of course what you, what you want, you wanna have these events, you wanna have some customers and some prospects, you wanna sit back and let them talk. So the more-

Kaylee Edmondson: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Sydney Sloan: ... opportunities that we can create to create that environment, um, we will do. It's a little bit-

Kaylee Edmondson: Yeah.

Sydney Sloan: ... different too. We also have, um, our [EMEA 00:19:39] team. And so we run, uh, uh, even a different program in EMEA 'cause it's, it's still so new over there. Um, and so really we have three different strategies and three different sales teams that we're supporting in different ways.

Kaylee Edmondson: And as a result your marketing team is structured in those three different tiers as well?

Sydney Sloan: Yeah. Yep. So there's like-

Kaylee Edmondson: Nice.

Sydney Sloan: ... our demand gen, there's a demand gen team that's really just looking at the, um, partnering with, um, on inbound and partnering with the sales teams. And then there's a dedicated enterprise marketing team, and then there's, uh, MEO leader as well. So those three sep- separate groups.

Kaylee Edmondson: Interesting. Okay. I'm just super... I'm, I'm always very interested to see how you've scaled and then as a result how those tiers are functioning within marketing. And of course, if you guys have really like three tiers that you're trying to support, like how does that break down look? Um, but then if like all of that has to roll back up to you, so like, how are you managing-

Sydney Sloan: Yeah.

Kaylee Edmondson: ... your time and your day, and like making sure that everybody's-

Sydney Sloan: Yeah.

Kaylee Edmondson: ... getting the support they need is just super interesting to me.

Sydney Sloan: I, I think too, it's like, what's interesting personally to me, right? Like I wanna be involved in customer activities. And so running the cab and being an executive sponsor of our cab program that our customer marketing team facilitates is super important. I have these firsthand conversations and relationships with our most important customers. That's, that's important to me, um, to be able to facilitate that. Um, as well as references and customer stories.

I mean, I really do believe that, um, uh, you know, being a head of marketing means you're also the customer... You know, head of, head of customers. Um, and so have those, having those insights and stories is super important. And then partnering with the customer success team, because we know in SAS like that growth and, and retention is so important. So that puts us in line with that part of the business. Product marketing-

Kaylee Edmondson: Exactly.

Sydney Sloan: ... keeps us in alignment with sales enablement and product, right? Like that in- intersection between that. Um, and now we've actually got a, a part of our product marketing team that's supporting our post-sales experience because that's also part of, of growth. Um, and, and helping, you know, trademark and brand certain methodologies. And, and that will help us scale. Um, and then, you know, maybe I'm a marketing nerd and geek too.

Kaylee Edmondson: What does your alignment look like though between you and your customer success leader? Um, because I feel like that is not often talked about, right? Everybody talks about marketing and sales alignment, um, but hardly anyone talks about marketing and customer success alignment. Um, a- and I think that's like very important point for us to highlight for listeners.

Sydney Sloan: Yeah. So we have a chief revenue officer who has, um, sales and customer success. So my primary alignment is with him, but-

Kaylee Edmondson: Interesting.

Sydney Sloan: .. the gentleman that's running customer success now, uh, another lady as we, we continue to segment out as the company grows, like I have, I have calls with them. I have a biweekly call with a head of customer extents, eh, success. And, and then my customer marketer is aligned with, um, the, the customer success team on programs. Um, but I mean, I still talk to her all the time. I go to churn meetings, like, you know, wherever I can help in the business, I'm happy to. Um, and I, you know, I think when you do the term analysis of adding new products to the portfolio, and then it's like, well, how many sellers are still in accounts that we don't have? Like, there's just so much room still in our customer-

Kaylee Edmondson: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Sydney Sloan: ... in our customer base. Um, so we have to make them wild... So I have a mantra that I love, um, as it relates to customers which is smart, happy customers buy more. And I've used that since I ran customer marketing two companies ago. And the idea is that once they become customers you don't, you stop selling to them. You just need to educate them. It's all about learning. And so first you have to learn and then you have to make sure they're happy.

So you have to look their adoption statistics and NPS and all those things like which we do in voice of the customer programs. And then they will buy more. You can't go at like, "Hey customer..." I've had this happen to me. "Hey, it's the end of my quarter, do you wanna buy something else?" I'm like, are, "No." Like, "No [laughing], I don't, I'll let you know when I wanna buy something else." But, you know, that hope and a dream like, oh, maybe they'll just buy more ;cause it's my end a quarter and I can make you a deal like that doesn't work. So we have to change the way that we communicate to customers. It's all about education. It's all about education, frankly, the whole time, but, but you have to talk to them differently and you have to do different programs just for customers.

Kaylee Edmondson: Yeah. That's interesting. And I think too like rolling, um, customer marketing, obviously in, and then creating that alignment that, you know, just closing the loop quickly, the feedback loop, I think, is what gets lost sometimes. Um, so that everybody that's on the front lines within customer success, your CSMs, your s, even your support that are getting that immediate feedback can close the loop quickly back over to your team, um, for programs, future programs, learnings on programs that are running right now, et cetera.

Sydney Sloan: Yeah.

Kaylee Edmondson: Um, I think it's just an interesting thing to highlight. I, I don't hear people-

Sydney Sloan: Yeah.

Kaylee Edmondson: ... talk about it often. So it's interesting that you guys are already thinking about it and have, uh, a great framework.

Sydney Sloan: So we've three people in customer marketing, which, you know, for the company our size, but they were in the cab-

Kaylee Edmondson: Yeah.

Sydney Sloan: ... they run a reference program, the new customer stories or user groups like they're busy. Yeah.

Kaylee Edmondson: Shout out [laughing], shout out to that team.

Sydney Sloan: Yeah, yeah.

Kaylee Edmondson: Um, yeah, no, that's super interesting. I, I just love hearing like how, how you've set all that up internally. Um, and then especially like supporting this double funnel, eh, kind of having a commercial side and an enterprise side, you said that happened like a year ago or so?

Sydney Sloan: Year and a half I wanna say. So we, we segmented... You know, it's gonna be... Well it's a year and a half. Yeah, we created an enterprise sales team and a commercial sales team. And when that happened, we, we lined up marketing to support those. And that, that was the point that it made sense to start a double funnel. So we report differently.

Kaylee Edmondson: [crosstalk 00:25:18].

Sydney Sloan: We have different dashboards for each one. Um, you know, 'cause the... Everything about it is different, right? The, the, um-

Kaylee Edmondson: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Sydney Sloan: ... the velocity of a deal in commercial is much quicker than the velocity, that coverage ratios of pipeline are different. Like the, the go to market motion is more outbound versus inbound. Even though we do have inbounds that come for enterprise, it's not the primary motion. So-

Kaylee Edmondson: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Sydney Sloan: ... partnering with those sales leaders and setting up the programs and relationships is completely different.

Kaylee Edmondson: Yeah. And as you're starting to do that initial research to f, you know, kind of chisel away at this wheel that you're creating, what were some of your first like low-hanging fruit actions that you knew you needed to do in partnering with the sales team to figure out what that go to market needed to look like? Where are these people hanging out? What do they respond to? What do they not respond to? Like, I feel like the differences would be pretty absolute between the commercial business that you were already running versus trying to figure out how to go to market for an enterprise motion.

Sydney Sloan: Um, so the, the low hanging fruit that we did and we, we already were running account-based, but we were running it at a very [laughing], not like 150 accounts. So the first thing that we did was we ran a, um, tier one account project. And so-

Kaylee Edmondson: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Sydney Sloan: ... partnering with the sales leaders, their leaders on two things, one was, ho, what is our account selection criteria? We've refreshed it. We had tier one, we've been talking account-based for a long time, but it included a lot of our commercial accounts. And so we really looked at it as it-

Kaylee Edmondson: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Sydney Sloan: ... related to enterprise. And then we, um, we took the customer journey and we said, what is the responsibility, and kind of service level agreements from each team as the customer moves through their journey that they should expect? So what does marketing do for tier one accounts? And so it changed like, you know, here's how, here's the things we, account planning support, um, our one-to-one ads and investing more in tier one accounts than other accounts in terms of ad frequency, um-

Kaylee Edmondson: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Sydney Sloan: ... different things in investments that we would give the SDR team to be able to do. So spending more on door opener programs than we give to the, um, the commercial team, for instance. So just spending a lot more one-on-one time, like thinking through of like creative ways to break through to these accounts as well. Um, that- that's kind of the SLA that marketing did. And then sales said, "Okay, here's the sales experience we're gonna give them, they're gonna get a different level..." I'm not gonna say all the things, 'cause I don't wanna give away your secrets, but they are gonna get a different sales experience in terms of all the interactions that the sales teams will go through. So it's a different sales process. It has more to do-

Kaylee Edmondson: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Sydney Sloan: ... because frankly in the commercial they don't have time. They don't need to. Like they can skip these three steps 'cause the, the philosophy and the, the deal is just so much faster and there's less people involved. And then we have, what does it mean to be a acc, a tier one account post one? And so we created the agreement of that.

And so there's lots of things that our tier one accounts we'll get in terms of, um, uh, di- direct ac- account owner assignments, uh, strategic account services, special... You know, it's like being a diamond member on Delta, you know [laughing], like a special phone number to call, like, you know [laughing], um, uh, they, you know, they get [inaudible 00:28:27] of our favorite, uh, packages is Kyle, Our CEO has a Tangerine farm in Orlando or sorry, just outside of Orlando where he lives. And so we, we send oranges to everybody during orange season that's on the tier one account list. So they get extra special things from us as being part of our, our family.

Kaylee Edmondson: No way. That's so funny.

Sydney Sloan: Oh yeah.

Kaylee Edmondson: Um-

Sydney Sloan: And blueberries. So there's orange seeds, there's tangerines, which are really good. Um, and 'cause I, you know, I had to be the test for the mailing to make sure it looked okay, juicy crunch-

Kaylee Edmondson: ... of course.

Sydney Sloan: ... and then, and then he does blueberries in, in April. And of course I had to, you know, bake the example of the recipe that we gave. But I mean, those, I mean, those things matter, right? Like it's, we, we want our customer to feel like they're part of the SalesLoft family. And so, you know-

Kaylee Edmondson: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Sydney Sloan: ... we, we try to make it personal.

Kaylee Edmondson: Yeah. And I don't know how much more personal you can get then from your CEO's backyard [laughing]?

Sydney Sloan: Blueberries from his farm. Yeah.

Kaylee Edmondson: No, I love it.

Sydney Sloan: [crosstalk 00:29:20].

Kaylee Edmondson: Okay. Last question. What are some plays that are in motion right now, or that you have currently played, um, that are really moving the needle for your business?

Sydney Sloan: I think the thing that we've done the best this year is really working with our sales teams on the cross sell, uh, sell programs to our existing accounts. Um, and, eh, a little bit of it had to do with changing the compensation models that made it more of an incentive for the, um-

Kaylee Edmondson: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Sydney Sloan: ... account managers to do that and, and staying in the account longer, which I think was a really good call. You wanna eliminate as many handoffs as you possibly can and continue to grow those relationships. And frankly the, our customers rely on them for advice. So I think, you know, that wasn't necessarily a marketing m- move. It was a marketing support, um-

Kaylee Edmondson: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Sydney Sloan: ... in, in doing that. But I think, you know, making sure that you've removed all the barriers to allow it still to be the right investment of the seller's time, um, to continue to work with the accounts was the biggest impact. That, and then I don't know, I, you know, I wish I could tell you what happened, but like our inbound is going off the chart. And I think that's just a m, a mat, a matter of the market, right? The market is just growing so fast and there's so many players.

And as long as we maintain our number one position as the most loved brand in sales engagement, then we're gonna get those inbounds when people think of, "Oh, I need something like this." And so continuing our investments in brand and being sure that we're, you know, getting the [G2 00:30:47] crowd reviews that where our customers say how much they like working with us and how we making them successful and continue to be number one there, like that gets, that gets the inbound. And so we're just gonna keep doing that, making sure our customers are successful-

Kaylee Edmondson: Yeah.

Sydney Sloan: ... given them opportunity to tell others. And then hopefully more people will come to us.

Kaylee Edmondson: Exactly. Word of mouth is the most powerful thing and the most untrackable thing. So, that's just part of the game, right?

Sydney Sloan: You can do a referral. Um, you can do a referring link.

Kaylee Edmondson: When I buy it's normally like, "Hey, let me text my group of buddies and say like, "Hey, this is our problem. What are you using?" And they text me back, whatever it is and great." Then I'm on their website and I'm buying their product. So, um, yeah-

Sydney Sloan: True, yeah it is-

Kaylee Edmondson: ... like referrals are great too. They do help.

Sydney Sloan: ... word of mouth is most... We, we just, we just hired a new, uh, performance marketing agency. And I was asking, uh, the guy that was leading, Michael, the guy that was leading the [inaudible 00:31:33], I'm like, "So how did we find them?" And he's like, "I went on to G2. They were the number one ranked." And I'm like, "Well, there you go [laughing]."

Kaylee Edmondson: Exactly, exactly.

Sydney Sloan: [crosstalk 00:31:38] [laughing].

Kaylee Edmondson: Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. It's really hard for me sometimes, but like yeah, getting out of marketing mode and just going into buyer mode, like how do I buy software? I normally always buy it for my friends. So it just goes to say that like, yeah.

Sydney Sloan: Yeah, same. And I'm in many slack groups and you, the tech conversation is usually the most lively [laughing].

Kaylee Edmondson: Exactly. It's like the most, yeah, the mo- most popping channel that they have.

Sydney Sloan: Yeah.

Kaylee Edmondson: So same. Um, okay. Last question for real, for real, who is another marketer that you're following in the space that listeners can go follow, read their book, listen to et cetera?

Sydney Sloan: You know, John Miller, uh, eh, just released his new, um, guide. I, I read it this weekend. It's like 230 pages it's super fast. Um, you know, and I've been doing account based for years and I have to give a shout out to that book that, um, it was really comprehensive. And I, I think I took two pages of notes, like [crosstalk 00:32:33]-

Kaylee Edmondson: Yeah.

Sydney Sloan: ... mentioned team, like, you know, look at this, look at that. So I, you know, I got, I followed John for a long time. You know, I'm, I'm, I'm fans of Demandbase and fans of [Sixth Sense 00:32:40]. Like, I, I, I know I need to put them in the same breath, like many have to do with, uh, us and our competitor. Um, but I, that's the most recent thing that's my weekend read was his book and I thought it was great.

Kaylee Edmondson: Awesome. Okay, cool. We'll link to that in the show notes for anybody that's listening and then quick plug Sydney for people that want to follow you where can they follow you?

Sydney Sloan: I'm on LinkedIn. So at Sydney Sloan at LinkedIn. Um, I, I, I, you probably would be more [laughing] likely to get a response of a LinkedIn InMail than an email directly sent to me. So, [laughing] that's the best place to get me.

Kaylee Edmondson: Perfect. Okay. And for anybody that enjoyed this, please leave us a review. It is super helpful and we appreciate it and we'll see you next time.

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Demand Gen Chat is a Chili Piper podcast hosted by Tara Robertson. Join us as we sit down with B2B marketing leaders to hear about the latest tactics and campaigns that are driving pipeline and revenue.
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