Meet our host, Angela Alea, the President and Chief Revenue Officer at LASSO, as she leads our audience on a mission to set order to chaos in the...
Episode 35: How to Build a Revenue Engine
In this episode, LASSO's own heads of sales and marketing Anthony Zhang and Drew Brucker share their insights on how to create a scalable engine that generates predictable revenue for event companies. They discuss the best practices and strategies that can be implemented to ensure a steady growth of revenue over time.
The power of marketing and sales alignment
For successful marketing and sales alignment, it's crucial for both teams to work in a collaborative and supportive environment, where they can openly discuss and understand each other's goals and objectives, and work together to achieve them. Effective communication and teamwork are key to building a strong relationship between marketing and sales teams. [00:10:00]
Everyone in your company needs to understand your ICP
It's important to identify their ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) beyond just knowing their titles and industry, by uncovering what they love, hate, what prevents them from reaching their goals, and their daily practices and workflow, to gain a deeper understanding of who they are and who businesses are marketing or selling to, which serves as the foundation for any action. [00:04:22]
Building the dream revenue team
Marketing: When starting out, hire someone like a generalist with experience in various components of marketing, such as website development, content creation, and social media, to test and try different strategies, as hiring a specialist may limit the range of strategies that can be implemented. [00:17:00]
P.S. It's ok to be scrappy!
The skillset of the leadership team plays a critical role in deciding whether to hire a marketing or sales leader first. For CEOs with a sales background, it may be beneficial to hire a marketing leader to fill the gap and help bring in leads, while documenting everything for future hires to learn from. Ultimately, hire for the piece of the spectrum that aligns with your strengths and bring on the necessary support to enable your efforts. [00:20:28]
Read the Transcript 📚
[00:00:00] Angela Alea: Welcome to Corralling the Chaos Podcast, where we talk publicly about the things you're worried about privately. My name is Angela Alea, and I'm your host. This is the event industry podcast for companies and crew where we're gonna dive deep into things like, what does our industry need that it just doesn't have?
[00:00:18] What are the things you wanna know, but you're just too afraid to ask? And what are the biggest opportunities ahead for our. We're gonna go deep and nothing is off limits.
[00:00:36] Welcome back everyone, to Corralling the Chaos. Today we are gonna talk about how to build a strong revenue engine for your company. And where do you even start with that when it comes to sales and marketing? So today's episode is really meant to introduce you to just some of the basics around making sure marketing and sales are aligned.
[00:00:57] How do you create an [00:01:00] engine? Because as much as we would love for new customers to just kind of show up, we all know it just doesn't happen that. And so to help us unpack that, I've asked two special guests to join us today. First, we have Anthony Zhang, who is a sales leader of 18 years. He's had three unicorn exits, valuing over 2.8 billion.
[00:01:21] He's really passionate about joining startups, building sales processes, structures, foundations, building teams from the ground. And really taking companies to financial exits and acquisitions. He also just so happens to be lassos vice President of sales and also was recently married, so congratulations, Anthony, on that.
[00:01:42] And then our second guest is Drew Brucker, who spent the first half of his career in sales before pivoting to marketing. And in just six years, drew Rose from an entry level marketer all the way to a VP sitting on the leadership team. And Drew is best known for building marketing and brand [00:02:00] engines from scratch.
[00:02:01] And also just so happens to be lassos vice president of Growth leading all of our marketing efforts. So welcome to you both and thank you for joining us.
[00:02:12] Drew Brucker: Thanks so much. Welcome to be here finally on the Corralling the Chaos podcast.
[00:02:16] Angela Alea: Yeah. Yeah. These guys are usually behind the scenes. It's really nice to bring you guys out.
[00:02:22] Cuz there's so much knowledge. I mean, for those of you listening again today, we're really, you know, and even before the show, I had to say to them, Hey, to, this is just meant for basics today, right? So just know we're gonna do another episode in this series that's gonna kind of take it to the next. But I really want today's to be around kind of the basics.
[00:02:44] You know from, my perspective, prior to Covid, you know, a lot of these small and mid-size companies, they didn't really have a need to have a marketing initiative. It, typically was one or two salespeople that had relationships. And [00:03:00] that's kind of what brought the business in. And then when our world shut.
[00:03:04] I think these companies kind of said, Hey, we gotta pivot. What can we do? And they started putting some dollars behind marketing and really trying to understand what that is and how do you do it. And and then, you know, then there didn't need to be as much of a need because there was all this pent up demand.
[00:03:20] And so we just felt like it was a good time to Talk about how do you stand up, not a marketing consultant and, a salesperson that's responding to RFPs and generating quotes, but I'm talking the real revenue engine. Something that is predictable, right? It's one thing to say, and in the service business, a lot of it's not predictable.
[00:03:42] You know, most companies in our industry, they don't have multi-year. And so how do you create an engine that scales and one that provides some predictability when it comes to your revenue? So let's jump in there. And I wanted to start with, you know, what guidance do you [00:04:00] have for these companies?
[00:04:01] Like, what are some of the basic things you should even start to think about before you even start building out the framework? Like, where should these companies be starting? Is that like identifying their ICP. You know, what their, how their position. Like talk to us about what they should be thinking about first before they start doing anything.
[00:04:22] Drew Brucker: You know, there's the, obviously the practice of knowing who your audience is, right? The titles, the industry. But that's, 1 0 1, right? That's, oftentimes not enough. You, really have to uncover what those people love, what they hate what prevents them from reaching their goals, what their day-to.
[00:04:45] Practices look like and, what their workflow looks like to, really get to the, deeper level of understanding who they are and who you're marketing or selling to. You know, that to me is the foundation. You, have to understand that before you can [00:05:00] do anything else, right? It's understanding your market, it's understanding your customer.
[00:05:04] And you know, just from a marketing standpoint, I talk about this a lot, but marketers will come in and, Sometimes take a lot of guesses or, look at what's already been crafted without doing their own research within the company. And I think that's also important. And what I mean by that is listening to calls with sales you know, getting on the phone with customers as a marketer and having a different kind of conversation.
[00:05:29] You know, so really establishing that, foundation is almost the domino. To everything else that you do afterwards.
[00:05:38] Angela Alea: Hey, Anthony, before you add on to that, how important is it that everyone in their organization understands what that ICP is, what their sweet spot is? I'm sure you've seen that and, various roles that you've had where different people explain the value prop differently and they identify maybe a different icp.[00:06:00]
[00:06:00] The, general manager or their owner might, so like, talk to us a little bit about
[00:06:03] Anthony Zhang: that. I would just echo what Drew said. I mean, the number one thing you need to understand. Is who is your best customer, right? Who is your best customer? What do they look like? Where do you find them? You know, do you have enough to hit your revenue targets?
[00:06:19] Right? And then, you know, if you don't, who's your second best? Right? And continue to go down that path and really understanding what your customers care about the most. Right. Is it, you know, having a great experience? Is it, you know, audience engagement, right? Is it, you know the relationship that you, can build with your clients, right?
[00:06:40] What is it that they care about? And I think that's incredibly powerful because I, see so many sales professionals in the space talk about them and their services and what they offer, and they don't talk about what the customer cares about. Speaking in the language of your customer is
[00:06:59] Angela Alea: crucial. [00:07:00] I love that.
[00:07:00] You're right. So many companies make that mistake, right? It's me, It's s Let me tell you about A, B, and C versus what resonates with customers is when you speak in their language, you talk about problems, you know, they have the pain of those problems and the implications of those things.
[00:07:20] So we've got to talk all about them, and that's a challenge, right? No matter how many years you've been so I think that's just a good practice to put into place, whether you're, whether it's in writing, whether it's on your website, your materials your, decks that you're showing to customers, proposals, make sure it is all about them and not so much about you.
[00:07:42] Drew Brucker: I think that's, I just wanna add one other note to this. So Jess will kill me. Who? Jess is our head of content here at Lasso. She'll kill me if I don't bring this up, but less me. And we in your copy and more, you right. Anything that you're putting together that your potential customers could [00:08:00] see, needs to be focused on that, right?
[00:08:02] They don't care about lasso this or lasso that. They don't care about, we do this or we do that. They care. You know, you care about, and your customers care about what it does for them, right? So that's just a tactical application of that.
[00:08:16] Angela Alea: Obviously, drew, you're in marketing, Anthony, you're in sales and so many companies.
[00:08:21] There is this. Misalignment, right? It's sales is saying marketing isn't doing enough to give us leads. And marketing is saying sales isn't doing anything with the leads. Right? And so the importance of having that alignment is so key. But what exactly is marketing and sales alignment and why is that so important?
[00:08:42] Drew Brucker: There are a lot of things that I think can, hurt or help you here. You know, I think in, bigger companies it is harder. That alignment, especially if you come in right and everything's already established, you there, there are more obstacles that you need to push out of the way to get there. But having [00:09:00] the alignment and speaking the same language as sales is, key for a lot of the reasons you just mentioned.
[00:09:05] But, Also just a good work environment and the, people that you wanna be around you, know you're, expending a lot of energy. If those two departments are feuding with each other, you know, that, that makes no sense for you as a person or the company. Right. So it's, you know, I wanna understand what Anthony and his team are going after, what their goals are, what they're doing, you know, at a high level on a weekly basis.
[00:09:30] And, some of the things. They may need from us. Right. And, we, he makes sure that we, he facilitates that same conversation back on us. Right? You know, can he help us with anything? What are they hearing on the phones? You know, is there a, tactical change that we could make that would help their sales conversations, like opening the door in the conversations to have those frequent.
[00:09:53] And often is going to pay a lot of dividends for, not only your team, but for the company and the bottom line. [00:10:00] Yeah.
[00:10:00] Anthony Zhang: I think the, biggest piece to misalignment is measuring different things, right? It's celebrating different things and I think that, you know if, As a marketer, right? You could go out and you could purchase a list of a thousand leads, right?
[00:10:15] But if a, if sales is only converting 1% of those into customers, there's something wrong. And if sale, if marketing's measuring the number of leads that they're bringing in, and sales is measured on the quota and the revenue that they bring in, There is a huge misalignment, right? And so creating that feedback loop and making sure that you guys are looking at the same thing, celebrating wins together.
[00:10:38] You guys both have the same success metrics. That's crucial, right? And so you guys have to build that together, whether you're the c e O, whether you're the head of marketing, head of sales team. You guys have to come together and say, this is our goal. This is what success looks like. And then going back to Drew's point, creating that feedback.
[00:10:57] Hey you know, you, here are the leads that we [00:11:00] got for this quarter. Here was our conversion. You know, it's a little bit less than we expected. What can we do? How can we pivot? How can we adapt? Right? And that's, the important key
[00:11:10] Drew Brucker: right there. You know, one other piece that you just mentioned that, that is very interesting too, is what is a lead to marketing and what is a lead to sales, right.
[00:11:20] You know, some of this misalignment can also happen with sales feeling like they're not getting quality leads, right? So what is a quality lead and how are you going about getting the leads in the first place? Because that can ultimately impact the kind of leads that you're getting. The reality is, you know, like just, working in something like sass.
[00:11:39] You know, I could stand up a paid ad and say, Hey, take a demo with us, right? But that's a very bottom of the funnel. And chances are, well, not, chances are, I mean, I've seen this time and time to get you're, gonna get slim to nothing because you know, there's only a small percentage of your market that's actively, looking to buy at [00:12:00] any given time.
[00:12:01] And then even within that, there's a lot of crap that comes through. And it's not the best way to educate. What, marketing needs to do is think about it from a long-term perspective and play the long game with marketing and create the buy-in the perception of the brand, what you offer, create the relationships at scale so that you are handing off the right kind of leads, you know, to, to Anthony or somebody on that sales team, right?
[00:12:25] Because if you're putting up a white paper and someone's entering their information and then all of a sudden you're expecting that to. You're raw, you know, like that, that we've seen that be a strategy for years and it, works. Barely. Right? Like not enough. Not what you need it to do. So you have to think about all the ways that you can get quality over that team.
[00:12:46] Anthony Zhang: Drew mentioned this, right? Having a really strong feedback loop between sales and marketing. Sales. You know, we're in the trenches. We're hearing what the customers are saying. We're hearing what their challenges are, their objections are, right? Why didn't, they didn't decide to move forward with us in the first place?
[00:12:58] And I think providing [00:13:00] that to marketing is some of the most powerful content that you can help marketing create, right? Getting ahead of these objections and like, Leveraging marketing content, right? Being able to use that content in your sales outreach to add value to your customers, even if they're not purchasing from you, continue to educate them, right?
[00:13:19] And that's what marketing provides. They give you the ammunition to be able to educate your customers with the insights that you've learned over time in your career in your
[00:13:29] Angela Alea: field. So I wanna talk about that. Anthony, you just mentioned the word education and I've been in revenue roles. A very long time.
[00:13:37] I'm not gonna say how long to age myself, but a very, long time. And what I can say is marketing is not what it used to be, nor is sales. Let me tell you what it used to be versus what it is now. Marketing used to be. A bunch of collateral, right? I used to call it a crutch for salespeople. Well, I need more collateral.
[00:13:59] N no, you don't. That's [00:14:00] a crutch. You don't need to just throw up a brochure or one pager or something in their hands and let the brochure do the selling. That is not the role of marketing. Marketing is not creating collateral. We're gonna talk about the difference between collateral and content.
[00:14:15] Sales is not convincing someone to do business with you and why you're so great. Sales is instead helping your customer or prospect process the value of what you can do for them. It doesn't have to be a win-lose. It's not a, I convinced them I got 'em. Press hard three copies like that. That is, ugh. That is not sales.
[00:14:37] That is what it used to. But if you haven't noticed, given the evolution of technology, MarTech stacks, think about yourself when you buy. You don't wanna be sold to most sales happen before you even talk to a salesperson. And it goes back to that educating Marketing's job is to educate, provide thought leadership, help people [00:15:00] process the value of what you do in the most simplistic and concise way possible.
[00:15:05] And we're gonna talk about content in just a minute, and then sales picks that. And they connect any of those gaps that still exist, right? Like when, somebody is ready to talk to your company, they know typically know exactly what they want, what they're looking for. They need you to get them the rest of the way, right?
[00:15:22] It's not show up. Throw up all over me about all the things you do and how great you are and your great gear and you know, give them a great show. It is so much more than that. And even when you think about the, type of people that you're hiring, you know, look for salespeople who are consultants, not salespeople.
[00:15:39] Like, I hate when people talk about salespeople that sale, salespeople that like we're, it's not salespeople, they're consultants. They help you process the value of what you're considering. And so I think there's been a big shift. Marketing and sales even a decade ago to now, because I mean, gosh, the number of tools, how people buy, you know, you as a consumer, you buy very differently [00:16:00] because you can go on your mobile phone and type in anything and be bombarded with all sorts of information to help educate you and to help steer your decision as to where you wanna go with it.
[00:16:10] So I do think that's one thing before you even start building that f. Is understand what, do you want marketing and sales to be for your company? And then make sure you get the right person for that. Which leads me to my next question. You know, for the companies out there that are listening that really, that are just starting to put a framework in place, what does a starter team look like for both marketing and sales?
[00:16:34] Drew, as an example, if they could only. A marketing person, right? There's so many different roles in marketing, right? There's product marketing, there's content marketing, there's digital marketing, that there's, so many different things, like where do you, where should they start with marketing?
[00:16:49] And then Anthony, I'm gonna come to you as well with sales. Like, what does that starter team look like? I, think the
[00:16:54] Drew Brucker: reality is if, you're just starting, you need somebody that is a generalist. You need somebody that can be [00:17:00] scrappy, agile, you know, knows different components of marketing. So for example, They have experience in website, they have experience in content, they've done social media, right?
[00:17:11] Like all of those typical levers are important because if you just hire a specialist you're, pretty much pigeonholing your yourself into one or two areas. And at this stage, you're still trying to figure out what your best levers to pull are. So I think it's important to hire somebody. Really has experience with a lot of different areas of marketing is a, you know, thinking about trying, testing and failing because, you know it's getting to those those yeses as quickly as possible.
[00:17:42] Right? Most of the time, I think in the early days of marketing as a team, right, like eight or nine outta 10 things are gonna probably be eh, right? You're trying to find that one thing and then even then some things aren't going to work right away. You have to be co. So there's this balance of trying [00:18:00] to put things out there and test things, but also let them run long enough to get a sense of, is this working or not?
[00:18:08] So I think early on, right, it's looking at some, leading indicators, like some vanity metrics to begin with. That's the reality. You're just looking for positive signals to give you information to make better educated guesses at that point. So I, would say it's that You know, also, I think what you're trying to do is content has to be a part of this because content right now is the way to build trust at scale and eventually convert that attention into revenue.
[00:18:41] Now, content is not writing a blog and expecting people to show up. It's not posting on, you know, your social media company page and expecting deals to start coming through the door. It's not how it works. I think there's a, huge fight for [00:19:00] attention and eyeballs. And so what you should really be focused on is wherever you can capture their attention, keeping it there.
[00:19:07] So let me give you a perfect example. Even social media, the way it's been used recently has changed. LinkedIn, for example, people would come in, you know, even companies, brands, they'd put something, Hey, check out this blog. Really interesting. There's so much good stuff in here. Click through to it. Okay, well you're gonna drop a lot of people that, aren't even gonna click, right?
[00:19:29] So you're already consolidating that number down to a select few that may click. Then that number gets even smaller with the people that are gonna read that once they click. So you're already. Reducing the impact that you could have versus capturing their attention right there in the platform. So if I'm posting something on LinkedIn, I'm gonna put all the valuable good stuff, the things that I want them to know that I think will be valuable to them.
[00:19:53] Right there. I want as many people to see it as possible, because again, what you're doing is you're just feeding [00:20:00] information and you're driving perception around your brand. Who are you, what do you stand for? What value do you provide? And then once they buy into that, then they're gonna start giving you more attention and come back for more.
[00:20:11] But you have to establish that and really just kind of focus on, you know, really areas like that where you can get 'em right then and there rather than trying. Send them through two or three hoops to then get 'em to do something that's just not working anymore.
[00:20:25] Angela Alea: Anthony, what would you add to that on the sales side?
[00:20:28] Anthony Zhang: I, think it really depends on the competency and skillset of the leadership team, right? If you're just starting out, you know, are you a C E O with a marketing background or are you a C E O with a sales background? Can you handle that job? Right? So as a ceo, as a founder, If you have a sales background yourself, then go ahead and start selling some of these contracts and closing some of these deals, right?
[00:20:54] And bring on a marketing leader to fill that gap, fill that empty space, have [00:21:00] that marketing leader, someone like Drew, come in, help bring you some leads, start closing those leads. And while you're doing that, document everything, I mean, document everything, right? Because this is so crucial because when you start to hire on that first sales, They're going to be learning from you.
[00:21:17] They're gonna be absorbing all of the lessons that you learned in the trenches while you were selling, right? And so that's, kind of my word of advice, is depending on your strengths, hire on for the other piece of that, spectrum, right? And then, you know, bring on that first sales rep or bring on that first marketing lead you know, whoever you need to continue to support those efforts and enable those efforts.
[00:21:42] Drew Brucker: I just wanna add one point to that. I, think where Anthony. What Anthony's been exceptional at though, is not just hiring somebody and expecting that to, to work for itself. He's very methodical in the approach and the process. And so I [00:22:00] think, you know I've learned this too as a hire, like really thinking about what that first 30, 60 days looks like for them and making sure that you're spending the time mapping that out for that person in order for them to be successful.
[00:22:14] Let's face it. A lot rides on that. And if they're not the right hire, you're just wasting time. You know, it's not just about that. It's, really like taking the approach like Anthony does with his team. You know, making that a, really thoughtful experience about how somebody's going to develop and ramp up to be able to hit those revenue goals that they set out
[00:22:36] Angela Alea: for.
[00:22:37] I'm gonna get a little taboo here, but, What are your thoughts on, you know, I just feel like a lot of these companies are like, I just need to bring in a sales guy. Right? Sales guy. Sales, girl. I, if I just put money behind it, they're gonna go sell. And I think you brought up a [00:23:00] great point of just cuz you have someone in that seat, You're not done at that point.
[00:23:07] It is up to you to equip them with the message, the value prop, the tools, which I wanna talk about that next, right? Like what tools does, a good salesperson need? But I also want to, warn you a, good. A good salesperson doesn't necessarily have to come from our industry. And here's why I say that, and I, can just hear everybody now saying, of course they do.
[00:23:32] There's no way they're gonna know how to sell shows and complicated epic experiences. You might be surprised because our industry has changed so much in just a few years. And I'm not saying, look, I am, hear me loud and clear. I am not saying people that have been very successful at this for 20 years can't continue to be, that is not what I am saying.
[00:23:51] But don't discount people that don't have experience in the. Because knowing how to sell, you can teach anybody. Our industry, [00:24:00] I know we all think it's super complicated and you know this allure to it, but at the end of the day, it's not rocket science. You can teach anybody the value prop of your company.
[00:24:10] It is very hard to teach consulting skills a good salesperson. So don't discount those. And I think so many people go to, well, I've gotta find somebody who's got industry experience. And so I just would caution you against that because that. A very big mistake and you're gonna waste a lot of money, perhaps hiring the wrong person.
[00:24:28] So just food for
[00:24:30] Drew Brucker: thought. I think Anthony and I are both examples of that. He's jumped from selling to it to selling. I mean, ju jump in Anthony, but sa same for me. Like I I've, dealt with different industries every step of the way, and This is where I think having that organized approach like this, real methodical approach like Anthony does, there are certain things that I use as a template going into any job, right?
[00:24:55] That I know I have to do in order to get up to speed, in order to achieve success, in order [00:25:00] to, you know, make this thing work. And then, right. You're really immersing yourself in the first 30, 60 days and just getting to know the business. And then applying what you're already bringing with you into that business versus the opposite.
[00:25:15] Right. You know the industry well, but you don't know how to adapt to change. You're not malleable, right? Like maybe you've got some bad habits. So like I, totally agree with that notion. I'm pretty sure Anthony does too.
[00:25:25] Anthony Zhang: From what I've seen the, best sales professionals are masters of their craft, right?
[00:25:31] Regardless of the industry that they serve. And so I, urge every. To hire for in the intangibles, not just industry experience, right? I mean, there's so many other qualities. Are they a critical thinker? Are they driven? Are they coachable? Can they learn the things that you are teaching them? Right? Is their process methodical?
[00:25:52] Do they really take the time to think about why they're doing what they're doing versus just aimlessly making calls and blasting emails out? So [00:26:00] really think about hiring for the intangibles because. The best sales professionals are masters of their craft. They're not masters of the industry.
[00:26:09] Angela Alea: Well said.
[00:26:09] Cannot state that enough. Awesome. Well, let's move on. Let's talk about, you know, if someone is saying, Hey, I'm ready to put this framework into place. I'm gonna hire a marketing generalist. I'm gonna hire someone to supplement, you know, where I'm weak in sales, or whatever it might be. We kind of referenced having some systems and tools in place very different than again, even 10 years ago.
[00:26:33] Right. And so where do they start? What, are one, or like when you think about different softwares or tools or, things that you just love and could not live without, what are some of those tools that you think they should leverage when starting to stand up a revenue engine?
[00:26:50] Drew Brucker: It all starts with a good crm, in my opinion.
[00:26:53] I I, think we've, what
[00:26:55] Angela Alea: Is a good crm. Yeah. CRM is relative, right? There's lots of amount there. A cr [00:27:00] is, you know, to some people means this is my client list and I logged a phone call, but that's very true. Tell USS what
[00:27:05] Drew Brucker: a good CRM is. That's very true. I'm a big proponent of HubSpot for a lot of reasons.
[00:27:10] It's just a very intuitive and easy to. CR r m platform compared to something, you know, even like a Salesforce. I just, I haven't seen Salesforce in a few years now, but it just, it's always seemed a little bit overbearing compared to something like HubSpot. I think they do a really great job, and just from a marketer's perspective, like the UI and the feel of getting comfortable in there feels much more inviting.
[00:27:34] But I it, comes down to having something like that in place where you can underst. Email performance, right? Web visits, you can understand contacts, activities, all of the components that really give you a general understanding of what's happening in your system. As a marketer, I think, you know, looking at something that's very easy as Google Analytics and Google Search Council.[00:28:00]
[00:28:00] You know, when you're really trying to understand historically, right, like how your website's performed, as well as you know, the organic component of your business. What I mean by that is, you know, what are the search terms that are driving people to your website? You know, so establishing your baseline there, what are the key words that people are typing into Google to get to you, and are those the right keywords?
[00:28:26] That you want, right? Because there are different intent levels to the keywords. Are they branded keywords, right? Are they searching just lasso or are they searching, you know, event production software, right? Because those are two totally different things. One tells me that they already have heard of us and know about us somewhere, right?
[00:28:46] Maybe that's a friend. Maybe that's something that's offline. Maybe it's, you know, a colleague, what, whatever. But on the other side of that fence, that's something that is a. But they don't know who to go to for it, right? So it, it's just a totally different intent [00:29:00] and it gives you an idea of what that brand recognition is as well, because it could indicate that they're shopping around, they don't have a preferred vendor.
[00:29:07] Those are two easy, ones that I think I always start with no matter what now. I love tools, so I could go for days, but like I, think you really
[00:29:16] Angela Alea: do that in our next session where it's the more advanced version. Spend a lot of, I'm, there's so many cool tools out there. Yeah. Yeah. Well, Anthony, before we go to you, drew, you touched on the website.
[00:29:28] I think there are websites out there that are really well done, and then I think there's some websites out there that we see that are, really basic. So talk to us about how important is. To stand up a solid website, like what should a good website be? What are some of the fundamentals that should exist, number one.
[00:29:46] And number two, if someone's just starting out and they wanna refresh their website, I know pricing varies depending on how deep you wanna go with it. But what should they budget to kind of stand up a, basic website that is gonna start to drive some [00:30:00] of that inbound leads and some of the interest around there.
[00:30:03] And then Anthony, I wanna come to you to kind of hear your favorite tools, but Drew talk to us a little bit. Website. Oh, this
[00:30:08] Drew Brucker: is a loaded question. I could go for a while. So if I do cut me off well, the website is I, think I'm at a turning point with websites. It's, all there. There's always gonna be this need for a digital postcard of your business.
[00:30:25] That's what a website is. I would say that a website, I'd rather have less information on a website That's right. Than more inform. On a website that where there's just a million pages, and I'll
[00:30:37] Angela Alea: tell you why. That's the art of it, right? How do we say more with less? Yes. And make it really concise and easy to absorb
[00:30:43] Drew Brucker: From a marketing perspective, there are a lot of things to think about.
[00:30:47] The copy, right? So the messaging on your site, so going back to the me, we versus you going back to, Hey, are we talking about. The features of our product, or are we talking about [00:31:00] the actual benefits of what they get out of it, right? So, that's a switch that you can make. It's also saying a select few things versus a vast number of things because somebody is trying to identify who you are and what you're about.
[00:31:18] And if you've got too, Then it's gonna seem overwhelming and they're just gonna walk away. You don't, you actually don't know what they walk away with, what piece of it resonated with them. You don't know, versus being very specific and clear about a select few messages that you repeat in different ways.
[00:31:36] Right. And that is going to be, I think, the piece that underpins anything with the website. From a user experience standpoint, the buy-in to who you are as a brand, your mission, you know, what you're about what makes you different, right? What's your unique point of view? Because let's face it, there's a lot of competition out there.
[00:31:55] What makes you different than anybody else? And not just incrementally different. [00:32:00] They want something that's truly different, something that's truly. Than what maybe somebody else that they're using is. So I think you really have to find your own lane with that. Now, in terms of like a budget for a website that, really could go all over the place.
[00:32:14] It could depend on who you hire as a marketer. Perhaps that's somebody that has that. That skill to stand something up. You know, WordPress has been around for wherever still, is. You could build it on something like a square space even, which makes it very easy to just stand up. Anybody average could sort of put something together in the course of a, weekend.
[00:32:36] So it depends. Do you have that in-house or not? If you don't, it's largely gonna depend on how many pages you have on the site, how big the build is. I think a website could go anywhere from, you know, 5,000 to six figures, just depending on what you're dealing with. If you are gonna go out and make that expense, what is it that you feel like are the needs for right now?
[00:32:54] Start small and
[00:32:54] Angela Alea: build on, just start somewhere, right? Have, a great digital presence. So when somebody [00:33:00] hears your name and they go to your website, what do you want them to feel as a result of. And so it's just starting somewhere. Well that's awesome. Anthony, tell us what, do you think are some of the basic tools or systems that a salesperson or team would need to have access to that would be meaningful for them?
[00:33:20] Anthony Zhang: I think throughout my career I've always all aligned myself with startups. And you know, one of the biggest mantras that we've always had, or I've always had, is stay scrappy. Right? It, you don't need, you know, the most expensive tools or, you know, all these different bells and whistles. Drew, drew nailed it, right?
[00:33:36] The first thing you need is a C R M. And, you know, whether that's your inventory management system, whether that's HubSpot, whether that's Zoho, I mean there's a lot of 'em out there. The, main thing to watch out for is you have to be able to track your activity. You have to be able to track things like your calls, your emails, right?
[00:33:54] It has to log all of those things as well, because a, you know, we are, we're working with a lot of different [00:34:00] customers. It's very easy to forget what was said. Right. So being able to track all those things, record those things, go back, review those things, especially if you're, you know a, founder or a C e o and you're coaching the sales rep up your first sales rep, you gotta be able to go back to those calls and listen in to fine tune those different aspects.
[00:34:19] Also making sure that, you know, they stay accountable. Right? That's the other thing is you don't know what's happening without tracking those things. Right? You don't know if they're working one hour a day or if they're working 10 hours a day. Right? So being able to understand those metrics and then also understanding, you know, how many opportunities are, or is this individual, is this team?
[00:34:39] Bringing to, the table, right? How many opportunities and of those opportunities, how many is closing. And so in order to be able to track all that, you have to have some sort of a crm. So that's, my number one recommendation as well. On the sales side, I would say, you know if you really aren't getting that inbound leads that many inbound leads [00:35:00] find a prospecting solution, right?
[00:35:01] That's another very powerful tool for the sales team, right? Being able to identify new opportunities. If you're coming with a Rolodex, that's fantastic, right? But that Rolodex is gonna run dry at some point, and you have to keep the funnel going, right? You have to continue to build the funnel. So prospecting solution there's two big ones on the market right now.
[00:35:20] Seamless AI and apollo.io. You know, both are fantastic. Definitely, you know, make sure it works for your business. And then as I mentioned, you know that recording software, whether your C R M does that or whether you need to get another tool to, record those calls, record those presentations, that's crucial for training and coaching purposes.
[00:35:38] And then lastly, some kind of an internal chat system, right? We use Slack here. But you know, our project management solution has an internal chat function built in. Having that immediate collaboration between teams, between departments, between individuals is so crucial. So being able to chat internally and discuss, you know, what's going on [00:36:00] with this deal, any roadblocks and challenges, any immediate changes that need to be made, right?
[00:36:05] Those are incredibly important to have within the organization.
[00:36:07] Angela Alea: Especially in our industry where things are changing all the time, can we even execute on this show? Do we even have the gear? Is it available? Like do we have the team to do it? Right? There's, so many of those things that are changing constantly and I think that's such a great point.
[00:36:21] And then just, a question to pose to the audience. And if you don't know the answer to this question, it is a sign. You do not have the right tools, you don't have the right framework. And just imagine a day where you as the owner, the c E O, You can fully predict what your revenue is gonna be. Here's exactly what we're gonna do in October, November.
[00:36:44] Here's the chances of it, just because my salesperson is forecasting, saying yeah, it's looking good. It's looking good. Is it really? And so part of all of these, building a framework is understanding your numbers. And so my question for you is, what is your [00:37:00] win? And if you don't know your win rate, there's just some work to do.
[00:37:05] And here's what I mean by that, right? And you, kind of gotta start backwards to say, okay, if we, if our average show is, I don't know, a hundred thousand dollars just to make it, you know, a round number, if our average show is a hundred thousand dollars and we win 30% of the time, how many leads do you need A.
[00:37:24] To get to whatever your revenue goal is, right? If your revenue goal is 10 million a year, you've gotta do X number of shows, and you gotta work backwards to say, okay, if our North Stars we're gonna do 10 million this year, how are we gonna get here? Do not make the mistake of saying, I'm gonna just hire two salespeople and they're just gonna go get it.
[00:37:42] That's not how it works, and I promise there is so much. And, knowing that you, the confidence of here's exactly how we're gonna get to 10 million. I need, if one salesperson can do X amount in revenue, who has this amount of close rate and our inbound, we convert at one [00:38:00] amount. And if we're doing outbound calls, prospecting, those, convert at a different rate.
[00:38:04] It really just becomes a math equation. And so it's so important. So as we talk about numbers, I wanna kind of wrap up. What should these companies be measuring in the early days and how do they go about setting those KPIs in quotas? So we'd love each of you to kind of weigh in on that. So what should each one be measuring and how do they go about setting those KPIs in quotas?
[00:38:26] Anthony Zhang: one thing Angela, you nailed it. Close rate, right? What is your close rate? You know, of the opportunities that you have in front of a you real opportunities, by the way, and that's another thing is make sure you. What a qualified opportunity is, right? Is it budget? Is it authority? Is it need?
[00:38:42] Right? What are those? What are those points that you wanna make to make sure that this is truly a qualified opportunity for every single one of your deals? That they all follow the same rules. That way you can identify, okay, this is our close rate, so how many meetings do we need to generate? So that's number.
[00:38:59] How many [00:39:00] meetings do we need to hold to get a qualified opportunity? Is it one to one? Is it five to one? Understand that. And then lastly, what is that lead conversion rate, right? When you get a lead from either your outbound prospecting efforts from your Rolodex, right, from marketing, what is that conversion rate?
[00:39:19] Measure those things as well. So going back to Angela's point, you brought up great point. Reverse engineer your. Through the different activity metrics
[00:39:27] Drew Brucker: that you have. It's very much about the quant and the qual. So it's like, you know we're, looking at how many scheduled demos we need, right? And then, you know, Anthony can say, Hey, look like H how many of these scheduled demos actually turn into SAT demos?
[00:39:44] Right. People that actually show up. And we, could even slice that into how does that look based on the channel in which they come. Right? Like is, this coming from one of our sales reps reaching out to somebody, you know, let's just call it quote unquote [00:40:00] cold. Or is this somebody that came in through a LinkedIn ad or somebody that came in through a, referral or a person personal recommendation or, you know, you know, so those, all those things could look different.
[00:40:13] Right? And, same. The, close of those, you know, so how does that look by channel from a marketing standpoint are like, we could be getting 20 leads from LinkedIn in, in five, from, you know, referrals. But four out of the five referrals close in, you know, two of the LinkedIn ones close. How do you understand that as a marketer and those sort of signs give you a little bit of information of what to double down on, where to go a little bit harder?
[00:40:41] Right. Then I might spend a little bit more attention focusing on building relationships or the word of mouth. Now, that specifically is a little bit harder than other channels, but the point is you need to understand how each channel is contributing to the end result as well. Because going back to the very beginning of this, [00:41:00] of testing and trying, you're gonna be trying a lot of different things.
[00:41:03] Now, on the qualitative side too there's some interesting things that you can look at as well. When I got here, Talking with our sales team, you know, some people knew at Lasso did, some people didn't. We threw up a, an open field form field on our website. When someone, you know requests a demo, what problem are you trying to solve?
[00:41:25] Now that gives us qualitative information because it's, telling us how are they describing that problem, and is that the way that we want them to describe the problem? Are they educated? In a way that makes sense. And, so over time you can kind of see how those things have gotten better from a marketing standpoint.
[00:41:44] Putting something like, how did you hear about us as an open field on the form, because, you know, attribution, which is a whole different discussion in itself that we won't get into today, but. Your CRM is gonna tell you one thing about where a lead came from. It's gonna put it into [00:42:00] a nice, neat bucket for you, but that's most of the time that's not the true bucket.
[00:42:04] Perfect example of that, you know, your CRM tells you it's an organic search lead. You know, they came to your website and they filled out a form instantly, right? They went through that process instantly. Most, people aren't gonna do that organically. So you could take an educate a guest, they probably heard you from zr, they landed.
[00:42:22] And so if Anthony told me about to check out Lasso and I filled out a form, it's gonna look like organic search cuz I didn't know the url, you know? But the reality is that was word of mouth. So I think having something like a, how did you hear about this open-ended field also gives your team information to understand, hey, is somebody gonna tell me a little bit more about how they did hear about us?
[00:42:43] What was the true source? It doesn't work all the. But gathering that and aggregating that over time too, is also gonna to give you much more information on the channels that are working and what the true attribution of those channels are.
[00:42:59] Angela Alea: It's [00:43:00] clearly important. If you're not ready to measure these things, don't spend the time setting it up.
[00:43:08] You're, not ready to do that. And that's, Otherwise, I just think it's gonna be an experiment gone wrong unless you're willing to measure it and more importantly, take action on it. And so what I mean by that is don't also be fooled into, Hey, our pipeline looks really full. We've got, you know, 40 opportunities going right now.
[00:43:32] But when you dig deeper, gosh, 35 of those, we sent a proposal over six months. I'm not sure that's an active opportunity. Right? You know I, would encourage you to make sure it's accurate, dig into it. Otherwise you have this false sense of what's really happening. And you know, the sooner you can, you know, get to a no or a yes, the better.
[00:43:55] Like I, I'm just as happy to get a no as I am a yes, right? Because I know our pipeline, it's [00:44:00] accurate when we say to our investors, this is exactly what we have in the proposal stage versus a verbal. It's accurate and we are constantly going back. And if we're not getting a company to engage with us who we've given a proposal to, then we just reach out and say, you know what?
[00:44:14] It doesn't sound like now is a good time. That's totally okay. Let us know if there's a better time in the future and we're moving on. Right? And that doesn't show in forecast or proposed stage or anything like that. So it's really important that you set up those processes ahead of time and those metrics and even the process of, same with this, do not turn.
[00:44:34] A revenue engine, unless you have the framework to support it. And what I mean by this, I'm sure everyone listening this has experienced this. You're hot and heavy to buy something. You're really interested. You go to the website, you say you're interested, I'd like to see a demo. And you wait you don't hear anything. So you go back to the website, Hey, I'm really interested. I'm really interested. Right? How many times do we have to chase down? People to [00:45:00] buy something from them. Don't be that company you make. You have to be maniacal when it comes to that stuff. If somebody says they're interested in having a conversation, you need to immediately pick up the phone and schedule that.
[00:45:13] Don't let it sit because they will move on and. They're thinking, well, gosh, if that's my experience when I'm saying I wanna do business with you, what if when I actually do business with you, are you gonna be hard to get? Or are you gonna be reliable? Are you gonna do a great show for me? So just don't lose sight of some of those things.
[00:45:28] And sometimes we're moving fast. It's not about the lead, it's how we handle it. So just don't lose sight of that. But thank you both Drew and Anthony. I mean, obviously I think the world of you both, I think you're so talented each in your own rights. So grateful for what you've done for our company and hopefully it's helpful to our audience cuz I know a lot of people have been so complimentary of, how Lasso operates.
[00:45:52] But more importantly that, you know, there's just this renewed interest in we wanna set up a revenue engine. Where do I start? How do I do that? What [00:46:00] should I do? What should I not? So hopefully this has been helpful to our audience. Again, this is just kind of one, oh. Happy to do a deeper dive until, you know, once you set that up now, how do you kind of get it to the next level.
[00:46:12] So we'll come back and revisit that. But thank you all for joining and if you like what you hear, don't forget to subscribe. And if you have any questions, comments, or feedback, reach out to email@example.com. Thanks so much for joining us, everyone.