James Carbary

Founder at Sweet Fish Media

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3 Ingredients to Successful Demand Gen

James Carbary

Founder at Sweet Fish Media

Full Profile »

In this episode we talk to Laura Guenther, VP Marketing at SimpleLegal.

Click here to connect with this guest on LinkedIn.

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About SimpleLegal

Welcome back to the B2B Growth Show. We are here today with Laura Guenther. She’s the VP of Marketing at SimpleLegal. Laura, how are you doing today?

I’m doing great, James. How about yourself?

I am fantastic. Laura, we’re gonna be talking today, really about how to be successful in Demand Gen. You’ve got three ingredients, so to speak for doing successful Demand Generation campaigns. This is gonna be a topic that I think our listeners are gonna get a ton of value from, just looking over the outline and this is gonna be packed with a ton of actionable advice.

Before we get into that, I’d love for our listeners to understand just a little bit of context about where you’re coming from. Tell us about SimpleLegal and what you guys are up to over there.

Simple Legal is legal operation software that acts as a system of records for corporate legal departments. We work with the general council and legal operations teams to help them better track and manage their legal projects, their vendors, expenses, budgets, and so on.

To relate it to the folks listening to this podcast, it’s very similar to how we as marketers use a HubSpot, a Marketo or a Pardot for all of our marketing campaigns or have Sales Force as a system of records for all sale activity.

Demand Generation is Like a Marionette

Wonderful. Laura, I want to dive right in because we’ve got a lot of stuff that we’re gonna be talking about. As we were talking offline, you said the Demand Gen is like being a marionette. I think you explaining that particularly in light of everybody talking about ABM and there are all these buzz words that are somehow tied to Demand Gen, but you calling it … Demand Gen being like a marionette I think is very interesting. Explain that for us a bit and then we’re gonna dive into these three ingredients that you laid out.

Yeah sure. It’s kind or program management, project management. You’re working with a lot of different folks, you’re trying to get everyone coordinated. You have a lot of moving pieces. You’ve got your digital folks trying to work with PR. You’re coordinating with field and sales development. You’re ensuring that the C level executives and likely your sales leaders are bought into your campaign. You’re really just making sure that everything is getting done so you can see success.

Your point about ABM, in my opinion, yes a buzz word for sure and something that I deeply think is an important thing to keep in mind. It’s also not just … It’s a mindset, it’s not a dedicated channel or team. I think all great marketers, we’ve been doing this since the beginning.

3 Ingredients to Successful Demand Gen

Of course, we’re going to treat certain accounts a bit different because of their size and because of where they fit on our ICP, but when I think about a truly successful Demand Gen campaign, I break that into three different parts. Being kind of the pre-execution or the strategy portion. The actual execution of the campaign. Then the follow-up behind it.

I think it’s important to recognize that the follow-ups and the post-campaign strategy is just as important as the execution. I wanna make sure that all of us as Demand Gen leaders are aware of that.

Establishing & Documenting Metrics for Success

I love it. This first piece that we’re gonna talk about Laura is knowing who owns what and knowing specifically what you’re measuring. I think this being the first piece of this three-part puzzle, can you expand on this idea for us?

Yeah, absolutely. Kind of as I mentioned, with a lot of moving parts and several members that you’re trying to coordinate with, it’s important that they understand what they actually need to deliver and in what timeline, so there isn’t any gray area.

Kind of a small piece of that one, but the bigger portion is what you’re measuring. What are the KPIs that you wanna track? Whether it’s an event or it’s an email campaign, you have to decide what it is that you’d like to measure in order to show success. It could be new names, it could be pipeline influence, it could be website visits, you name it. Generally, this is going to be dependent on the type of campaign that you’re running.

One thing that I would also mention, it’s not just metrics for the marketing department. It’s important to think about the metrics outside of your team as well. Working with other leaders in the organization to ensure that there are numbers that are being measured. This could include what your inbound sales development reps or FDRs are tasked with.

Then finally, not really the fun part, but making sure it’s documented. Helping keep everyone on the same page. One thing that I do feel very strongly about is hiring marketing ops early. Make sure either you hire them early, or whoever you hire, they have some analytics chops. I can’t tell you how much easier it’s been for us here to be able to try new campaigns, to see what’s working and what isn’t. Of course, not every campaign is going to be a success, as much as we all hope it will be.

Yeah.

We’re able to quickly pivot because we have a strong foundation and process to be able to identify those things.

Love it. Was that something … I would imagine this is a lesson that you’ve learned from not doing it this way.

Yeah.

Can you speak to kind of what happens when you don’t take this approach?

Sure. You’re gonna fall flat with your goals. It’s going to be difficult to be able to show the success, and I’ll talk about more as well in one of the other kinds of ingredients I’ve called out. The fact that, if you can’t actually measure what you want to, for lack of a better word, measure, you’re unable to show your impact to the pipeline and to the organization.

Alignment

All right, this second piece that we’re gonna talk about Laura is around alignment. Specifically just making sure that sales and marketing are aligned in a few different ways. Can you expand on this for us?

Yeah, definitely. It’s important to make sure that the sales and marketing teams are aligned. That really does start with leadership. If your VPs aren’t getting along, there’s a chance that that is going to trickle down, that feeling is gonna trickle down to other members of the organization. That’s never a good thing.

At kind of a process level, it’s important that everyone’s talking the same language. Let’s say I’m using the terminology of MQLs and my VP of sales is using something she says leads. That in and of itself kind of shows that we aren’t aligned and that things might get missed.

We’re not tracking the same stages and the same conversion rates and things, it’s going to be confusing and difficult for our team to be able to understand what they should be driving towards.

Tech Stack

Another area is your tech stack, and this is a huge one for me. I’ve spent a lot of time figuring out workarounds, integrating different technologies. I’ve been a Sales Force admin for seven years, done some consulting and spent a lot of time playing with data. I’m kind of a geek with that stuff. I do recommend making sure that your tech stack is very heavily aligned.

There’s a lot of new solutions and technologies out there today that we didn’t have ten years ago. There are so many that both sales and marketing can use but there are still solutions that maybe only marketing users need access to and only sales users need access to another thing.

A few questions to kind of ask yourself would be, do the solutions talk to each other? Kind of seems like a no brainer but worth bringing up. I don’t think that it needs to be a one to one thing. I don’t think that it needs to be bi-directional or that you have all of the data in both systems. Key information should be able to be passed back and forth.

If you’re asking yourself, you’re thinking about your tech stack right now and your solutions … there’s not a native integration, then there might be a workaround. There’s a lot of great consultants who I’ve worked with to support those kinds of unique situations.

Another thing I would caution, as you’re building out your tech stack, to think about that and the fact that not all software is created equal and truly not all software integrations are created equal.

Yeah. One thing that I’m sure you’re well aware of, I’m not sure how much you guys use it at SimpleLegal Laura, but it’s something that I’ve heard people getting a lot of benefit out of is a tool called Zapier.

Yes.

Essentially it allows you to integrate tool to tool. If it doesn’t have a baked-in integration to it, it’s likely that Zapier does have an integration for it. I’m in total agreeance, both on making sure that leadership is aligned, making sure that your tech stack is aligned.

One Thing at a Time

The third piece of this that we’re gonna talk about Laura, is the idea that you need to stop trying to do it all. Expand on this idea.

Yeah. We’re gonna run a lot of campaigns. Marketing in general will, not just Demand Gen campaigns. With all the … Especially in B2B marketing, there’s a big push for doing all these integrated campaigns. We want them all to be successful and each one we do, we want it to be better than the last one. We don’t want … we can’t try to fix all the conversion weights at once or we’re going to kill ourselves trying.

Instead, it’s important to start with just one. Maybe that is, if we kind of take an easy example, your email campaign. If we … Let’s work on our open rates or let’s work on our click through rates. Pick one of those and work on it. Figure out how to impact it and then you can move on to the next one.

One example that also, kind of a real-life example for me, is during some of our events. We work very hard to schedule onsite events as most companies do. When they’re sponsoring you to get access to a great list of people and you have these key stakeholders in one spot. Scheduling those demos on site and getting that face to face time is really important.

However, after the event we kind of take a step back. Again this is making sure that you’re thinking about all three portions of a Demand Gen campaign. Looking and seeing, of those demos we did, how many of them converted to opportunities? When that number doesn’t look so good, how do you take a step back and pick that as a metric you wanna work in for next time?

One thing that we did in order to impact that metric in particular is modifying our qualifications for scheduling those demos and making sure that the next time around, we’re saving our top sales rep’s time at those events and reserving that for more qualified demos that we know will convert into an opportunity.

Fantastic. You’re clearly … You clearly know what you’re doing over there. I’ve gotten a ton of value from this conversation, I know our listeners are gonna pull a lot of takeaways from this. If there’s somebody, they wanna either connect with you directly or they wanna learn more about Simple Legal, what’s the best way for them to go about doing that?

Sure. Our website, SimpleLegal.com is a great place to start if you’re interested in learning more. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn at just Laura Guenther or you can reach out via email at Laura at Simple Legal dot com.

Love it. Wonderful Laura. Thank you so much for your time today, this has been fantastic and I really appreciate it.

Thanks James.

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