Marketing and Sales Development Driving Revenue Together (Webinar Transcript)


Marketing and Sales Development Driving Revenue Together (Webinar Transcript)

Marketing pros from Leadfeeder, DemandDrive, and Bloobirds have come together to share how they’ve managed to align their Marketing and Sales Development teams. Get their expertise on how to get both teams on the same page and help each other increase revenue.

Andy Culligan | CMO of Leadfeeder

AJ Alonzo | Director of Marketing at demandDrive

Sofía Guzmán | Demand Gen Manager at Bloobirds

Below, is the full transcript from Oppgen’s webinar on Marketing and Sales Development driving revenue together. Keep reading or check out the full video here.

Sofía Guzmán: Hi everyone. Thank you for joining us today. I’m Sofia, Demand Gen Manager of Bloobirds. I’m excited to be here with Andy Culligan, CMO of Leadfeeder, and AJ Alonzo, Director of Marketing at demandDrive. Welcome guys. Would you like to do a quick intro for everyone?

Andy Culligan: As Sofia mentioned, my name is Andy Culligan, I’m the CMO of Leadfeeder. My experience is in the tech space. So I’ve been in the tech space near on 10 years. I started my career as an SDR, almost 15-17 years ago, which is a tough gig. I think everybody would agree with me, the SDR is probably one of the hardest jobs in an organization. But having done that as well as going into somewhat of a career in sales -so an account manager, dealing with larger clients, managing the entire sales process from start to finish-, helped me learn a lot in terms of what things look like over the other side of the water. From both marketing and sales.

I then went into the marketing area because marketing is where I wanted to be, just initially after finishing uni, there was more money in sales. So I studied marketing and then I went into a couple of different roles in marketing.

My first sort of role was actually building an email marketing tool. This is the early 2000s when email marketing tools weren’t really existing. I built an email marketing tool with a developer friend. We set up an e-commerce company and did a lot of email marketing.

After that, I went into managing marketing automation systems. So I was one of the first Power users, I would say, of Marketo. Then I joined the company called Emarsys, which has just been recently acquired by SAP. At Emarsys I built out a global demand generation function there and also built out how they use Hubspot there, and actually myself and the guy, that was the two of us, build it out together.

We actually became the most advanced Hubspot user on the planet. So Hubspot used to come to us and our schools for like “Hey, why are you doing things like that? Hey, what are you getting out of this?” We used to go back and forth with their support and tell them all. “This is how we’re doing this” and they’d be like, “Jesus, this is crazy”. So, yes, that was interesting.

And then, after a stint there Emarsys for a number of years building out the demand gen team, I took on a new role, which is VP of marketing at a competitor of ours, called Exponia, building out their marketing team. I also took on the SDR team underneath my umbrella. So a rather large team that helped me learn a lot about the SDR order as well.

So if that I didn’t know from being an SDR myself, more or less looking at it from a leadership perspective – the challenges that the SDRs have, the challenges from a leadership perspective to manage that organization. Having so many young people that don’t have a huge amount of experience in the industry. Although the huge amount of pressure is on their shoulders to perform like an on-performing SDR Team as an underperforming business, so that helped me learn a lot.

Then a year ago I joined Leadfeeder to be their CMO. So I’m going to be here exactly one year now. What we do is we recognize the companies which are visiting your website, giving you the intent signals from those companies: where they’ve gone from, when they visited, how many visitors came, what they were looking at. We have a formal lead scoring within the product and to show “Hey, these are the companies that your SDR or marketing team should be either, from a marketing perspective, doing further marketing towards, or from an SDR or sales team perspective, doing outreach too”.

And based on that, we’ve got what they’ve been looking at, how long they spend on the site, how many people, etc. So it gives you a good idea of intent there. So for me, it was a career choice to join Leadfeeder as it’s a B2B piece attack. I have always been a B2B marketer. In the last couple of jobs, I was a B2B marketer selling to B2C marketers, which is a difficult message to resonate. Now, focused on the B2B space, I really enjoy it. That’s me in a nutshell, and I’m sorry, AJ. I might’ve gone way over here.

AJ Alonzo: That’s totally fine. My experience isn’t as lofty as yours, but we started out in the same place, which is cool. So I work for demandDrive and we help organizations build and scale sales development functions for an outsourced capacity. I started as an SDR at demandDrive seven years ago now and started just as one of those contracted SDRs for a client, making dial, setting emails, doing activities.

I learned a ton in the first nine months that I was there about the SDRs functions at a bunch of different companies. So I had the luxury of being able to see the inside machinations of a bunch of different organizations in healthcare, HR, cybersecurity, sales enablement. All of the projects that I worked with gave me the opportunity to see where sales development fits in different industries, and sort of how it impacts the bottom line revenue for all these companies.

So I was in the SDR role for a few years, sort of moved into a player-coach position for a while. But, like Andy, I realized that my true passion laid marketing. I was able to take on some responsibilities while splitting my time as an SDR at demandDrive in marketing. So blogging, helping out with webinars, things like that sort in a content role. And then ultimately over the course of like a year of doing that, I moved into marketing full-time and sort of took on the department under my wing.

So similar path, SDR-marketing just a whole lot faster than what Andy did and a lot less experience in between, but I do think that my grasp of how sales development works within a bunch of different organizations and industries is really where a lot of my strengths lie. So that’s why I’m here today.

Andy Culligan: I think that speed is almost terrifying, AJ. The speed at which you’ve managed to get those, first of all, it’s a great achievement; and second of all, it’s a lot.

AJ Alonzo: Yeah, I know. I often equated to drinking from a fire hose. It’s just like all of this information gets funneled at you real quick, real fast, and if you can figure out how to drink fast enough, that’s great. And if you can’t, then, you know, I floundered for a couple of years, I’m willing to admit that. But you get your bearings, and you kind of pick yourself back up. But it is a lot to take on real quick. Measure sales development in a nutshell right there.

Sofía Guzmán: So that’s awesome to have the point of view of former SDRs. I, myself, haven’t worked as an SDR; I’ve only been in marketing, but I work really closely with SDRs, so I understand the pain. Thank you for that quick intro.

Before we get started, I just wanted to say thank you for all those submitted questions ahead of time. We’ll make sure to get to those. We’ll also be answering questions live. Just send us a message in the chat and we’ll have 10 minutes at the end of the webinar to answer them all. Also, just FYI, we’ll be sending out the recording after the webinar.

So, let’s get started.

You get a demo. What do you do next?

Sofía Guzmán: For example, us, in Bloobirds, what we usually do is that whenever we get a new demo or pricing or contact request, we have a Slack Channel. We have a Slack bot that lets us know that we got a new request. I check out that lead, see if it fits our qualifying process and if it’s a good one. I would just go through the whole MQL, SAL, and assigning it to the SDR, and letting that person know that they have a new request. Also, Bloobirds sends an automatic notification. But for me, I like to just have that personal contact and be like, “Hey, you got a new demo request from this person from this specific company”. So what do you guys do?

AJ Alonzo: I employ a very similar Hands-On approach. I think that’s really important in sort of the link between marketing and sales and kind of the whole point of the webinar today in the sense that if you have to work with the sales development function to see success and to see revenue.

When we get a request come in, we’re not a software or a services company so we don’t have demos per se, but any contact us request that comes in, I do a light qualification from my purview before passing it to anyone. So do they fit her ICP? What industry are they in? Does it look like a company we’ve worked with before? I do all of that before passing it off to the appropriate team, whether it be the SDR function or higher up to sales depending on where they end up in the funnel, and that’s through my own research and then via email, Slack, and sort of CRM things that get that over to them.

Sofía Guzmán: Okay, so pretty much the same.

Andy Culligan: I think it depends on the size of the organization and how many inbound requests you’re getting. It’s tough to do that manually when you’re bringing quite a lot of demo requests. If you’re living in that wonderful world Utopia where you’re getting a massive amount of demo requests, it’s tough to do that at scale when there’s somebody sitting in between. If AJ’s sitting there and he’s getting, I don’t know, 100 demo requests a day, for example, you’d be dead. It just wouldn’t be possible, so I can talk about Leadfeeders model.

We’re mainly an inbound model, 70% of our business comes from inbound. What we do is we offer a free trial or two-week trial. So essentially that’s our demo request. What happens is people go on to a trial for two weeks. They see the value in the product and then they either say is a live customer, which is for free with limited features and functionality; or two, then purchase, and they get the full functionality then.

Okay, now, let’s say our signups for trial are somewhere between 70 to 100 a day, right? So that’s quite a lot of signups. We do limit if it’s on a manual level. So thankfully it’s not. We’ve got a certain level of qualification in there. Based on the qualification it gets streamlined over to the sales team if it hits certain criteria, and if it doesn’t fit those criteria, it goes into another pill which then is also within the product itself.

So we’ve got a number of different things that determine whether or not it should be sent to sales. One of those things is a data point which is appended by another service, which basically tells us how important that website is in terms of how many visitors go to the website on a monthly basis, because we charge based on monthly visitors to your site basically. We charge it on a number of companies who recognize, which is based off companies, which observe traffic and we make an assumption from there. Based on that assumption we don’t qualify it immediately.

As soon as the sign up happens, data then goes through a workflow, data is appended against that specific field. Once that meets specific criteria in that field, send it across the sales, right?

And now the number one thing about this is, and this is also going towards any demo request, the number one thing that kills deals is time. So the quicker that you’re able to pick up the phone and get in touch with these guys, the better. If the easiest way that you can do it in order to scale it is to automate it, make sure that in the automation you have everything ticked off from the speed in which the stuff is entering into your CRM, whatever system using and then also the speed of which sales have been notified. For sales need an immediate notification to say, “Hey, this particular contact or this particular person signed up for a demo, go get them now”.

Sofía Guzmán: That’s super interesting that you mention it. Because my second question was –

How do you make sure you close the demo?

Sofía Guzmán: That’s actually super important for us too. I mean, they (the SDRs) know, but we usually try to reinforce the importance of demos and pricings. Because it’s what you said, if you don’t call them now the chance of closing goes away so quickly.

AJ Alonzo: Think about it like this is someone who asked to talk to you and normally for a rep you’re doing the opposite. So we look at it like a white-glove service. Like this is someone who’s come to you and it’s like “I want to learn more about you, your solution, your service, I want some pricing, whatever it might be”.

We did some research on this years ago in terms of the turnaround time for what it takes to get someone who submits a direct request to get in touch with you. I don’t have the figure off the top of my head, but after even an hour the response rate drops by a certain percent, after a day it drops by like 70%, so you really need to get on top of these people because they’re not just looking at you. Chances are they’re looking at your competitors, they’re looking at different solutions to fill their needs.

So what we do is make sure that I’m giving my SDR sales rep everything they need: their LinkedIn profile, the company profile, the link to our CRM, instantly notify them via the CRM when it gets put in, they get a Slack notification, they get an email with everyone involved. This is a full-scale team involvement you have to get in touch with this person’s situation.

Andy Culligan: Yeah, that’s it. 100% the right way. I think when it comes to those inbound requests the number one killer for deals is time. Especially nowadays, when people sit behind their laptops all day long. Right?

They’re surrounded by ads. The number of ads people are seeing nowadays is extraordinary. They’re surrounded by platforms in which they can do further research on against, like pitting you against your competitors, even the simple review sites like G2, Kaptara, TrustRadius, Trustpilot, like Otis, rolled all those off my tongue like two years ago. You’d probably talk about G2 crowd was known back then but it wasn’t like this massive engine of things where I go to search as a buyer, right?

So constantly being pushed off from everybody in the space. And if I make a decision to go and contact that one company, then I’d want to make sure that company is being contacted and followed up with immediately, because you’re going to lose the interest because somebody else is just going to step in front of you when it actually comes to following upon.

I like AJ’s approach here, that there needs to be some form of manual peace in this from a marketing perspective because typically SDRs are, as I said before, a young team and don’t fully understand the ins and outs of the business. Every great SDR will know that the demo requests are absolute gold. But there’s one word that I mentioned there, that not every SDR is; and that’s ‘great’, but it’s the same in every role. You have your Superstars and you don’t. The Superstars are the ones that know “Hey, obviously I’m going to follow up with the people that want me to take their money”.

Sofía Guzmán: It’s the easiest because there are people actually saying “Hey, I want to talk to you”. There’s no excuse to not follow up on that.

Andy Culligan: You have to remember. I’ll go back to when I first started in marketing. I remember organizing my first event. My boss said to me “Hey, did you bring the lead capture forms?”, and I didn’t even know what he meant by lead capture because now everyone assumes everybody knows, right? I was this young guy, was like 20 years old, was like “Oh we’re here to capture leads”. And I said, “What the hell is a lead?”.

Since then I’ve specialized in lead generation, but it’s one of those things we assume too much. When it comes to SDRs, especially, they’re a young team. They have no experience typically, and they come into the business and they’re expecting to perform almost immediately. You can’t just say “Hey, by the way, all these inbound demo requests, go get them because they’re hot”. They’re like “What’s a demo request?”.

There’s no relativity there when it comes to actually watch that in comparison to everything else that I’m doing. Is it as important, is it not?

Sofía Guzmán: Yeah, so I think the first step would be to sit down as a team and explain what an inbound lead is and this is why it’s so important to follow up quickly on demos.

Andy Culligan: Yes, exactly, and then you need somebody from marketing. Whoever owns the channel, like a Head of Demand Gen, your Head of Growth, whatever it might be, CMO, whatever, needs to be checking that stuff is getting followed up with because everybody has a leaky funnel, everyone. There’s always something falling out of the phone. You need to make sure that there’s accountability on the SDR team if it still isn’t being followed up with. Accountability must happen quickly, but it needs to come from the person that owns the inbound flow and the inbound flow needs to be online marketing.

Sofía Guzmán: Exactly. Therefore, we agree that demos are super important and we need to follow up on them quickly. But what about content? How do you guys manage that process?

How do you manage the content inbound lead follow-up process?

AJ Alonzo: I think there still needs to be like what Andy mentioned, that level of accountability and transparency. I do because I was an SDR and I moved into content marketing. Now because I own that funnel, a lot of what I do is enablement as well.

That’s why I help SDRs understand the why of the purpose of this content. So if someone comes to our website and say they download a datasheet in a white paper, most SDRs when they see that, they follow up and the first thing is “Saw that you downloaded it. This is why it’s important. Let me get 15 minutes”, and I hate that. I’m like “Give me time to read this, give me time to understand if this is going to help me, I don’t want you to just sell me on something right away”.

I give my SDRs essentially the promo materials that I put together for that piece of content. So they understand why is someone downloading this, what value can they get out of it, and work with them, so that when they create a message as a follow-up, they’re giving more information than what that person can just find in that datasheet in that white paper acting a sort of like a Delta between what they can find and what they can’t, and then creating compelling messaging around that.

I think it’s really important for marketing to not just work with SDRs, but enable them to get to that point. It’s a whole different ballgame when you can act as sort of that consultant versus someone who’s just selling somebody something.

Andy Culligan: Yeah, I fully agree. I think that’s a problem amongst a lot of sales and marketing teams or SDRs and marketing teams, that marketing goes away behind closed doors, create some content, push that content down, bring some leads in and leads are flowing into the cues of the SDRs team, and the SDR is like “What the hell is this? We don’t do any follow-up because they don’t have any…”

Sofía Guzmán They don’t have the tools.

Andy Culligan: They don’t have the connection to what that is.

Sofía Guzmán: What we usually do, it’s like you said, AJ, we have some follow-up content, like a second piece of information and depending on the type of content they interacted with, we have something else to send them out, just to have the excuse of like “Hey, I saw you downloaded this. Why didn’t you take a look at this?”.

Ask for feedback too for the conversation to be a bit more fluid and not as aggressive as “Hey, thank you for downloading something, now get a demo”, because that usually doesn’t work. It usually just makes the person be like “No, I don’t want to talk to you. I haven’t even read it”. So I completely agree with you guys.

How do you keep good vibes between Marketing and the Sales Development teams?

Sofía Guzmán: That’s super important because I’m on the side of marketing, you guys have been on both sides. So, you know the struggle between the two teams so what do you guys do? What are your best practices?

Andy Culligan: For me, always making sure that there’s a constant line of communication between both teams. That starts at the very top whether it’s between marketing and sales, and marketing and SDRs, whatever it might be. I always make sure that I, as the Head of Marketing, and whatever aspect of form it is, I’m basically in the same space or headspace as the Chief Revenue Officer right now so I can talk about my current position, current situation.

So Jaakko, who’s our Chief Revenue Officer, and I have the exact same targets. This is our Revenue Target, that’s what we’re going to hit. Then I start to split the targets out a little bit in terms of what I give to certain members of the team and what I don’t, but the end of all of their funnels is revenue, every single one of them. We’re all working towards revenue and that’s on the marketing side.

One of the questions I asked the team when I first joined Leadfeeder was “Hey, how many times a month are you speaking with your sales counterparts?”, and they’re like “Well, I think the last time I spoke with somebody in sales was probably like at our last company meet up which was four months ago”, which happens. Very, very often across sales and marketing teams, they don’t talk to one another. People say “Oh, how do you get marketing and sales online, it’s so difficult”. No, it’s not, it takes time. But you need to go build a relationship. “How do I build a relationship?” Pick up the phone as a starting point and ask them how you can help.

A lot of marketers don’t like to think of themselves as sales enablement. AJ just mentioned sales enablement. We are 100% sales enablement, that’s what we do as a marketing team. We enable the sales team to sell and we make their lives easier by helping them sell better. That’s how you should look at it as a marketer. You should be a support function for the sales org. If you’re thinking differently, then you’re going to end up in trouble.

And then when it comes to the actual SDR team and how do you keep them happy, it’s tough, because every SDR starts their career being like “I don’t want to be an SDR. I want to be in sales or want to be somewhere else”. So typically an SDR would start. Three weeks later he would already be asking for their first salary raise. They want a promotion without even picking up the phone first. It’s just how it is. It’s a difficult team to manage and a difficult team to have a low turn rate switch up.

A couple of ways to keep them happy is to train them. So as I said to you before, don’t assume that everybody knows everything about the marketing and sales function. They probably know very little, so any time that I came into an organization where there was an SDR team (currently at Leadfeeder we don’t have an SDR team, we’ve got a sales team that manages the entire sales funnel), but at Exponea, I sat down with the SDR team and said “This is marketing 101. Does anybody in this room know what lead generation is? Put up your hand”, and then two or three put up their hand, it was a team of 20.

So it’s one of those things that you need to educate. And with that education piece, they feel they’re gaining something and you’re promising them that “Hey, look, do this for a year or so, slug it out, get your points, get it done, and then you can get into another role which could be either sales or marketing role, but I’m going to teach you how it works in both of those different roles, right?

AJ Alonzo: I think that’s a whole different webinar topic of itself: how do you better motivate and get the SDR team to buy into what they’re doing. But I think you hit the nail on the head in terms of transparency and education, making sure that you’re not, as a marketer or even if you’re higher up and sales, that person behind the curtain who’s just giving them stuff to do and then expecting something in return, that never works.

As an SDR, I saw it a bunch. If you’re expecting leads and you’re giving basic information with nothing on top of it, I’ll give you basic leads. If you want to step above you got to train me a step above or coach me a step above. So that transparency is huge.

And then, educating on why it’s important is also a huge and, again, I’ve had the luxury of working with a few different clients at demandDrive as an SDR, and the most successful ones were the ones where I, as an SDR, met with marketing and sales separately and together, and the worst ones were the ones where I never talked to the marketing team and they just delivered a webinar list and expected me to get leads. But how am I supposed to do that?

Sofía Guzmán: I found it to be so common where I see companies where you have two different teams. And they’re two different universes. They’re still disconnected. They don’t know what the other one is doing. And on the marketing side, they’re like “We provide and we think this is what our customers want”. But at the end of the day, the SDRs are the ones actually talking to them, so that’s why it’s so important to literally just ask “Hey, what’s going on with this? What’s the feedback? Do you have any insights? Do you have anything? You think we should know that should be important for us?”. And that’s literally what we do. We just sit down with them and be like “Okay, what do you have for us?”.

And then on the education side, I think it’s super important too. What we usually do is marketing onboarding every time someone joins. So they at least know what we do, how’s the inbound process, and basically understand because, as you mentioned, we take for granted and we assume everyone knows what we’re talking about. But most of the people don’t have a clue and it’s okay. It’s their first job usually, so it’s normal that they don’t have that information. But yeah, I think you guys are completely correct on your approach. I just wanted to say we have a question from Tiffany. I don’t know if you guys can read it. I’m going to read it out loud.

“One thing we’re trying in our small B2B company is sales sequence emails. For example, use download ‘White Paper’, then an email sequence is triggered with roughly five emails. The first couple of emails link into further resources we’ve created and eventually calling from call or meeting. Having said that, we haven’t been successful with this approach. Is there something you guys have tried, any best practices?”

Andy Culligan: Tiffany, I can help you out here. You mention in the PS here that marketing are the ones who write those sequences. So you’ve just answered your own question there. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to be mean there, but this is something that I’ve been asked actually recently, and first of all, because at Leadfeeder we’re just were rolling out right now, which is the sales cadencing tool, I’ve run a couple of sales cadencing tools before, so SalesLoft and SalesView in my two previous organizations, and every time that we’ve tried marketing to do the content for those it’s never worked, because marketing typically aren’t sellers, right?

So what you need to start doing is I’d start with some of the sales emails or sales pieces that are working well for your sellers right now. Obviously, you’ve been doing some form of outreach up until you’ve put these sales cadencing pieces in, or the sales cadencing tool in. You’ve obviously closed some business. Test some of the things that you’ve been pushing out before in the past. It’s not going to be perfect. But I would take the existing information that the sellers are using up until the point in which you implement the size cadencing tool and try that. I don’t know. What do you think, AJ?

AJ Alonzo: I could not agree with you more. I think, Sofia, you just touched on it, but the sellers know more than the marketers do. As someone in marketing who used to be in sales development, I can see my email writing and copywriting skills kind of shift and I don’t want to say they deteriorate away from being effective at selling but it’s true. The way that I write and the way that I speak to our audience is so different from the way that the sales team will do it.

What I do and what I recommend everybody do is, I have three meetings a week set up between myself and the sales team, myself and the SDR, and then us as a full group, and those are strategic meetings. Those are metrics-driven meetings, but what we do more often than not is go through what’s worked, why it’s worked, and then try to incorporate that in the content that I create and what the sales team is putting out.

So whether or not this sequence is written by marketing or by sales, I think it should be written by both, in the sense that marketing and sales can work together to create compelling messaging that promotes more content. Like you were saying, ultimately asks for meetings because that could work.

There’s nothing saying that an automated sequence post download is just not a good way to capture leads. It’s a great way to capture leads. But you have to think about it from a seller’s perspective with a marketing backing, In my thinking again. Hopefully, that helps.

Sofía Guzmán: Yeah, I think it does. Okay, so I wanted to ask just the last question because I think we’re pretty tight with time here –

What has been your most successful campaign for both marketing and SDRs?

Andy Culligan: It’s funny how some channels which I taught, which you’d typically think are dead, have come back to life; first of all, because of great alignment between marketing and sales, but at the same time also great results actually, DirectMail being one of them. During my time at Exponia, I doubled down on DirectMail because I thought it was an underutilized channel and I was right. I took a gamble and we spent a good chunk of the marketing budget because it’s not cheap to do DirectMail. But our average order sizes back then were minimum of 100K contracts per year. So we had a bit of wiggle room to work with in terms of how much we could spend on our customer acquisition costs.

One of the plays that we did was a Black Friday campaign because we were selling to retailers and we created a Black Friday survival kit, which had lots of different bits just to help marketing teams get true Black Friday.

Because typically retailers, their marketing teams, are under the cosh quite heavily when it comes to Black Friday, we set that probably three weeks ahead of Black Friday. So to get them exactly when they’re in the thick of it and we basically co-branded it. We put our Brand, plus whoever-is-receiving-it brand all over this box and all over the stuff, the content, etc, but we basically made it ourselves. It was my head of marketing in the UK, as well as the SDR team, that were mainly based out of the UK, who put all this stuff together. They worked together, mailed all the boxes, put all the boxes together, and did everything.

And now the back of it. They did the follow-up and actually, some of the biggest retailers in the UK were posting stuff on Twitter and so on about “Hey, we got this awesome thing from Exponia”. We had this Keep Out tape like what you see on the crime scene with their brand + our brand + keep out, it’s Black Friday. One of the biggest retailers in the UK had that wrapped around their entire office. The SDRs were seeing that being like “Wow, the stuff that marketing is pushing out is actually really cool; it’s helping us get our foot in the door”. And we did that a number of times and was always successful.

And then this year coming into Covid, and again a channel that I didn’t think was really working very well but I wanted to test, it was webinars. So in March, when the first lockdown happened, I think it was like the 14th of March or something, I spoke with a friend of mine who’s actually the co-founder of a company that facilitates direct mail called Reachdesk, so myself and Alex were talking and he was trying to get in New York, they were closing all the airports, it was a nightmare.

Then we said, let’s do some content together, let’s talk on Monday. We spoke on Monday and we said let’s do a webinar. We put together a topic which is for salespeople, we focused on the users (our core users are salespeople). Let’s talk about their main fear right now, which is going to be creating a pipeline; how the hell would you create a pipeline in a pandemic, and this is just as everything was closed down coming to the end of Q1, Q2 about to start, all these different things aligning.

We push it out on Tuesday and then by Thursday, we had like 675 registrations. For free, we didn’t pay anything, nothing. So I was like, okay, there’s something in this. In the lead of this I could see the registration is going on. So I was typing in our slack channel like “Hey, guys, sales guys. Look at this like all these people, come to the webinar”. Some were saying that was the best thing they’d ever seen, so many prospects. And then on Friday, I was calling people in my network saying “Hey, you need to come for our webinar. We had these results yesterday”. I called Aaron Ross, who I know is the author of a book called Predictable Revenue, start the open, function at Salesforce.

So I called Aaron and was like “Hey, would you be interested?” He was like “Yeah, emailed you a couple of weeks ago, said I want to do some content together”. Then we pushed out on a Monday or Tuesday again for the corresponding Thursday. 2,000 registrations for free, 1,000 people showed up, the entire platform crashed.

Anyway, you live and learn but again, kept on rolling out, rolling out, rolling out so over the past since March we’ve had something like 15 webinars out of which we’ve had over 10,000 registrations, I think, and about 5,000 attendees, and we spent $1,000 and out of that, we’ve helped the sales team close like 30k in monthly recurring revenue. A good chunk of revenue.

So that is probably actually the biggest success story that I’m seeing. It just happened sort of randomly. It wasn’t planned.

Sofía Guzmán: Those are the best ones actually.

AJ Alonzo: Oh for sure. When are you just like, hey, maybe this will work, and then it’s like oh, okay. Yeah, that’s unexpected.

Andy Culligan: Exactly.

Sofía Guzmán: AJ, do you have a success story?

AJ Alonzo: Not as grand as Andy’s.

Sofia Guzman: No, I don’t think anyone can top that.

AJ Alonzo: No, I did this recently within the past few months, I did a ‘tag-team reverse retargeting’ is what I ended up calling it, where on the marketing side, we put out a handful of ads on LinkedIn, and the cool thing about LinkedIn ads is I can see all of the accounts that click through it, that engage with it, but also get the accounts where you see impressions, but no engagement whatsoever.

So I took that list of companies that saw the ad but didn’t do anything and built a target list. I had my SDR sort of strategically reach out to them acting like P1 accounts, basically top priority, like these people saw our content but didn’t do anything.

How can we better engage with them and create a messaging around what the ad said that gets them in the door. So this was really strategic: me working with him back and forth creating messages, finding additional content to send to these people, and building out sort of an account, mapping strategy to go after them, which is kind of the opposite of what you normally do – you target people who came to your website and then you hit them with that.

So we reversed it and it worked out really well. He’s got a ton of opportunities in the pipeline because of that. These are relationships that he is going to be building for months and months to come.

I’ve never really done anything like that before. It’s been a lot of top of funnel lead generation and sort of getting people in the door at that level, but injecting sort of in the middle of the funnel works really well because you’ve overcome that education hurdle you don’t have to do as much headbanging prospecting, as I call it, of just calling as many people as you can to hope you have a conversation, you’ve got a foot in the door already. So that’s worked out really well for us and ideally will continue in the future, but and I don’t have any numbers.

Sofía Guzmán: I’d like to try something like that

AJ Alonzo: Yeah, it was a really cool experiment that I didn’t necessarily think would work, much like Andy’s, and it’s going to be part of our strategy moving forward. So I would recommend anyone try it.

Sofía Guzmán: I’ll be trying too, definitely. I think that’s it, guys. It’s been super fun. Thank you so much AJ and Andy for being here, we’ll be sending the recording out to everyone who’s attended.

If you’re looking for more lead generation and inbound marketing resources, you can head over to or follow Andy Culligan on LinkedIn. You can also check out for sustainable and customized sales development programs. And of course, where you can find tons of more resources in both marketing and sales development; that’s best practices. I think we’ve also posted all links in the chat. So you’ll be able to find them. Thank you so much again guys for this. It was super fun.

AJ Alonzo: Yeah, thanks for having us.

Andy Culligan: Thank you, guys.

Sofía Guzmán: See you next time.

Want to put faces to the text? Check out the full video of the webinar.

Marketing and Sales Development Driving Revenue Together

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