What does marketing and sales alignment include, and what causes misalignment between the two?
When teams are in alignment in sales and marketing, they are aware of one another's responsibilities, share identical goals and KPIs, and prioritize effective revenue generation. A focus on growth at any costs can lead to misalignment by forcing concessions on terms and prices, which can result in burnout and dissatisfied clients. It may also be influenced by boards' or investors' ignorance or short-termism.
How can the marketing and sales teams be better aligned to collaborate more successfully?
Andy Culligan proposes encouraging frequent one-on-one meetings amongst team members to align the marketing and sales teams.
What frequency should routine communication between operations, customer success, and sales and marketing occur?
The speaker says that regular and consistent interactions can be ensured by having daily communication between the CRO and the head of sales as well as monthly communication between management-level staff members of the sales and marketing teams. The speaker also stresses the need for consistent communication to avoid problems from forming in these relationships and the significance of understanding the distinction between service and servitude.
How often should sales and marketing, customer success, and operations engage with one another?
The speaker says that regular contacts between management-level members of the sales and marketing teams can be ensured by having daily communication between the CRO and the head of sales as well as communication every month between those two groups of staff. The speaker also stresses the significance of knowing the difference between service and servitude in these encounters and the necessity of consistent communication to avoid problems from occurring.
Marcus Cauchi: Hello, and welcome back to the Inquisitor podcast with me, Marcus Cauchi. Today. I'm delighted to have, as my guest, Andy Culligan, he is the Chief Marketing Officer for a company called Leadfeeder based in Vienna and also member of the Revenue Collective. Andy, welcome.
Andy Culligan: Nice for having Marcus. Happy to be here.
60 seconds on your background
Marcus Cauchi: My pleasure. Today, we're gonna be talking about this concept of alignment, but before we do, could you give 60 seconds on your background please?
Andy Culligan: Sure thing, as you mentioned, I'm, uh, based in Vienna, Austria, clearly not Austrian with this accent. I grew up in Dublin but, uh, so, so yeah, I, I moved out here 12 years ago and uh, much to my detriment. I've had to have been learning German and whatnot, but, uh, yeah, so based out of here, I've been, I've been working in tech now, for about well seven or eight years. But prior to thus, I started my career in, in sales. So I, I started as an SDR. So understands the, the toughest role on the planet is what I call it. Because I think being an SDR, nobody respects you. You're very young, you're very green. You don't understand the space you're operating in and you're trying to be a salesperson. Right?
Andy Culligan: And it's, I, I still believe that, although all of those things are working against you, you're still the lifeblood of an organization because you're, you're driving pipeline. So I started there at SDR, went into account management and then following that then went into, into marketing. At heart, I am a marketer anyway, I studied marketing, but uh, following university I wanted money.
Andy Culligan: So that's why I went into sales, sales route. so I, yeah. So I think from my, my perspective, I, I see things, um, a little bit differently to, to other marketers that may not have come up with the same route as me. Like, I understand that that the plight of the sales person a little bit better than a lot of other marketers, because I've been in that position.
Andy Culligan: So, with that I've managed SDR teams under the marketing under the marketing umbrella and my main focus before becoming leadership in marketing or before running the entire marketing org is really being a lead generation and demand generation. And again, my sales background help with lead gen, right?
Andy Culligan: And then following that, going into the marketing leadership space, uh, with the tech companies. So that's me over the past.
Marcus Cauchi: Excellent. I see from your LinkedIn profile that you worked with Arthur Price, one of our wedding presents was a canteen of Arthur Price cutlery, so, very happy with them. Good job.
Andy Culligan: Yeah, man, I've done the most random of jobs selling canteens of cutlery was probably one of them.
Andy Culligan: And I managed to even sell a canteen of cutlery to the president of Ireland at one point, which was a, a great honor.
Marcus Cauchi: Although I have to say Arthur Price did have a large ego, because he wrote a book about his history, which was excruciating to, uh, to look at.
Andy Culligan: I, of course, had a copy of that book.
Marcus Cauchi: There you go, common ground.
Marcus Cauchi: OK. So moving on. So we, we're talking about this subject of alignment, what is, and what isn't alignment?
What is and what isn't alignment?
Andy Culligan: From my perspective, right. I focus purely or mainly on sales and marketing alignment. Okay.
Marcus Cauchi: Yeah.
Andy Culligan: So, to put it very simply sales and marketing alignment would be singing off the same hymn sheet. And I think that also goes for alignment across the organization.
Andy Culligan: So it's everybody understanding what each other's roles are. Everybody having having similar objectives and KPIs and all of those KPIs matching one another and helping one another. Right? Um, so one of the things as well, I, I, I think from a, from a sales and marketing alignment piece is that the first and foremost, both teams should be focused on the bottom line, which is revenue.
Andy Culligan: And a lot of marketing teams are not. Okay? So..
Marcus Cauchi: Should it be revenue or profit?
Andy Culligan: So, so, I would call it efficient revenue. So, profit. Yeah. So profit. Yeah. Let's, let's, let's call it profit, but I.. Look, it depends on the, the size or the, the growth rate of the organization where you are in your, in your, in your lifetime as an organization.
Andy Culligan: Yes, of course, everybody should be striving towards profitable growth. Okay. So, we, uh, so where I, where I'm currently based at Leadfeeder, we focus on efficiency and profitable growth. Um, I have worked at other organizations that have focused on growth at all costs, which actually now that you mention it, actually is detrimental towards alignment.
Marcus Cauchi: And that's where I was headed.
Marcus Cauchi: My next question is going to be around what causes misalignment. And you've touched on one thing there, which is, uh, growth at all costs. Because I think what tends to happen at that point is you take your eye off the real prize, which is winning delighted lifetime customers. And if you're just going for growth at all costs, the tendency then is to take anybody who may not be in your ICP and your Ideal Customer Profile, and you buy problems down the line.
Marcus Cauchi: I'm speaking to a number of companies. And one of the things that amazes me is their willingness to compromise on terms to offer discounts that they continue to pay the price for, for years to come. And that comes straight off their bottom line and their top line. Then, they have to work twice as hard, right?
Marcus Cauchi: So you end up burnout and all that other rubbish that's completely avoidable.
Andy Culligan: And I think that that doesn't just cause misalignment between marketing and sales, that causes misalignment across the entire organization. Because you then have CS teams that are pissed because you're handing over shitty business to them that they can't manage.
Marcus Cauchi: Yep.
Andy Culligan: So CSP and customer success, then you also have probably from a, from a C-suite board perspective, like CEOs coming down heavily on sales; sales that's coming down heavy on marketing because marketing are the ones that are sourcing the stuff; the CEO's telling the marketer, you need to grow more. So the marketer's like, oh shit, I need to, I need to grow more.
Andy Culligan: So I'm just gonna go bring everything else in. And then it's just this, like, it's just this devil circle really? That just doesn't end.
Marcus Cauchi: It's, it's a downward spiral.
Andy Culligan: Exactly.
Marcus Cauchi: Often it's driven - in my experience, it's driven by ignorance. They don't know any better because that's the background that they came from.
Marcus Cauchi: And they were fortunate enough to be in, um, uh, a unicorn and they think, oh, this will work, but the reality is 70 to 80% companies that operate like that fail. Now, often they're being driven by investors or founders or boards that are focused on the short term. And they're not trying to build a business that has happy lifetime customers, where they create a culture of highly engaged employees who give massive discretionary effort.
Marcus Cauchi: I interviewed a fascinating lady, uh, yesterday, a lady called Caroline Pinot and, uh, she works for Splunk and, um, she got cancer while she was on her induction training and she spent the last year in chemo. Now, what's really fascinating about her is with about two hours work a day. She is now over 300% of quota and she still has two months left.
Marcus Cauchi: And the theme that came through all the way throughout that conversation was all about alignment. It was about making sure that she was the conductor of the orchestra, making sure the right people were having the right conversations in the right way at the right time with the right people. And there was always forward motion and unblocking, the internal obstacles, making sure that she was communicating to everybody.
Marcus Cauchi: So let, what, what is it that in your experience, what are the triggers and the catalyst for misalignment?
What are the triggers and the catalyst for misalignment?
Andy Culligan: People don't talk to one another. Simple as that, like there's, like people. So funny people say to me all the time, oh, you talk all about alignment. That's well, and good. How do you actually do it? Like I put up a thing on, on LinkedIn yesterday saying that marketing opens doors and sales closes them.
Andy Culligan: Right? So like basically the team being that both teams need to work together in order to cause business. Righ? And somebody wrote this and said, oh, that's a very big statement, but how are you actually managing to do that? You know, and I'm like, so one of the things I ask whenever I start on a marketing team is, okay, when was the last time you had your one on one with somebody on the sales team? Like, so what, what day a week do you have it on? They're like a one-on-one? Last time, last time I spoke to somebody from the sales team was at the last team event that we did. Like, I don't know, six months ago. I'm like, well, obviously that needs to change.
When was the last time you had your one-on-one with somebody on the sales team?
Andy Culligan: So they're not even talking to another, you know, how are you supposed to be aligned with somebody that you have no idea what's happening on their side of the world? No idea.
Marcus Cauchi: Again, I saw a wonderful quote from Jay Abraham a couple of weeks ago, which is that in future, your success will be determined by your ability to collaborate.
Marcus Cauchi: And if sales, marketing, customer success, account management, engineers, consultants, finance, operations, legal and management are not communicating regularly, then what you end up with is politics. Ambiguity at the top leads to politics at the bottom. And I think one of the big problems that I see is ambiguous communication from leadership.
Andy Culligan: Mm-hmm.
Marcus Cauchi: And it happens in the board meeting that then trickles down to the executive level.
Andy Culligan: Yeah.
Marcus Cauchi: Then into management and then the people on the call phase do what they can or what they think they need to do. And then they get it in the neck when they fail to meet an unclear expectation. So, they get defensive and they start making excuses and blaming. And, it's incredibly inefficient. Why would anybody choose to have a business that is that badly run?
Andy Culligan: It's not that difficult to solve. It's it's getting over your personal grievances and personal shite or having those difficult conversations. Seriously, it's sometimes a difficult conversation needs to be had.
Marcus Cauchi: Yeah.
Andy Culligan: And it's as simple as that and just calling people out like I've, and it's, it's a classic at, at between the sales and marketing org as well, because you know, there'd be a lot of, a lot of stuff flung over from one side to the other, right?
Andy Culligan: They're saying, oh, the, the leads are terrible. Or, you know, and they're hearing that from the bottom up and that's gone back to marketing and marketing, then get fragile about it. And they're going on about sales. Cause they're not following up with the leads and that's, that's where it starts. Right? So from my perspective, there's always been and something that's worked really well for me is an educational piece.
Andy Culligan: So when I go and speak with sales, like they don't understand fully what's happening in the world of marketing, or don't fully understand what marketing is. Right? Everybody thinks they're a marketer, generally. Right? And everybody thinks, they know, oh, you just need to do this. Like I've had a CEO tell me before, like, oh, you know what marketing needs to do?
Andy Culligan: You guys need to go bake a lot of cookies, put them in a box and send them to all of our customers. And that's gonna make them really happy with us. And I said, I'm not doing that. Like there was no, there was literally no ounce of blood inside my body that wanted that saying, this is a good idea. I said, this is a terrible idea.
Andy Culligan: Whereas other marketers would've said, oh yeah, let me go away and do that. That would cause you know, it's not gonna work. I had the uncomfortable conversation. Sorry. You wanna say something there?
Marcus Cauchi: Yeah. I, I, I, there are two stories that are worth recounting at this point. I remember I, um, was helping a client recruit a marketing director and he was the dog's bollocks.
Marcus Cauchi: I mean, he was really very good at direct response marketing. And we were talking about how important it was to test. And the CFO and this, I I'm quoting him directly "Our direct testing is really good idea, but can you not run the tests that fail?" Cuz they're expensive. I mean, how fucking stupid. So that was one.
Marcus Cauchi: And then another company that I remember speaking to, uh, was giving away brand new iPads for people who took a meeting. So, people were just taking meetings for iPads because, and all that the SDRs were doing was what they were told, which is book a meeting and bribe them with an iPad.
Andy Culligan: Oh Jesus Christ, that's destined for failure, that's bribery. Bribery.
Marcus Cauchi: Yeah. But idiocy I'm paraphrasing Mark Twain here. When you realize the whole world is mad, everything makes sense. My pal, Martin Lucas always, uh, says that humans don't understand other humans, but if you don't communicate, how the hell are you going to?
What sort of cadence should there be in terms of regular interactions between sales and marketing?
Marcus Cauchi: So to build on your point, what sort of cadence should there be in terms of regular interactions between sales and marketing and customer success and operations so that they consistently and regularly?
Andy Culligan: Let me tell you about my cadence, right? What works for me? Right? So at Leadfeeder we have a CRO, Jaakko, myself and Jaakko talk every single day.
Andy Culligan: First thing in the morning, we chat, how's it going? Right? That, that's how it starts. We build a rapport, we build a relationship. So that's, that's important to both of us to build that relationship. Okay? And then we start to dig into the numbers every single day.
Andy Culligan: What are we looking at from a pipeline perspective? What can we do to drive more? And, and what, what are we missing right now? And that's how we start our day, five days a week, maybe six or seven days a week. Sometimes depends on how things are going, but, and then throughout the day we see sales come in. I ping 'em. Oh, great stuff. You know, just a, a nice little pat the back, well done. This is, this is, this is going in the right direction. Or if we see if, if he sees something that's not looking right from the marketing perspective, he'll ping me immediately say, hey, this doesn't look right. And there's this constant back and forth between myself and Jaakko all day long, all day long.
Andy Culligan: And then even in between, evening times, on text, we change our channel. We go to WhatsApp or we go to Facebook and we're texting each other back and forth about work stuff, but also about other, whatever, send each other memes, whatever it might be in between just to keep it somewhat light. But there's a cadence there in terms of every single day constant contact with my counterpart from the sales team.
Andy Culligan: Right? And everybody below me sees that. And what we started to do is we, we started to record videos together and talking about, okay, what have we got coming up this week? What are we chatting about? What's in the pipeline for this week. What's cool is coming from marketing a five minute video, we post that out to the entire company once a week.
Marcus Cauchi: Excellent. So that's at the C level. What about at the management level and the operational level.
Andy Culligan: So on the management level, what I've started to get my guys to do, and actually not just start, I did this a year ago, was to speak with the sales leadership once a month. So also same as what myself and Jaakko were doing, so your counterpart at the sales org, go and speak to them at least once a week, twice a week, daily, if you can. And understand what are the grievances on their side and how can you help solve those grievances? Because I think generally marketers can be a bit precious about being servants to sales, but at the end of the day, that's what we're supposed to do.
Andy Culligan: We're supposed to make selling easier, right? That's the part a marketing attract them and then sales go and just make it make a close, right? So you can't do that without having some sort of server relationship between marketing and sales and it's, it is just that way.
Marcus Cauchi: And it's really important to understand the difference between service and servitude.
Marcus Cauchi: You have equal stature, you are both contributing to the desired outcome, which is why they, uh, the company has hired you. No one hires you because they want a salesperson and no one hires you because they want a marketer. Uh, they hire you because they want to generate sales and they want the customers to be the right kind of customers.
Marcus Cauchi: And they want the customers to stay with you and be delighted. Because if you, if you are hiring for any other reason, then you've got it wrong. You're not putting a warm body on a seat, cuz that's just a cost. And without that regular communication, everything turns to shit. In my experience where you get sales and marketing customer success and operations meeting, regularly.
Marcus Cauchi: People sitting in on the sales meeting from other departments so they can see what sales is doing, but they can also feedback about how the work that sales is doing is directly impacting the other departments. In a hotel client. I had a couple of years back getting a housekeeping and, uh, the catering and, uh, food and beverage people, the front desk, the back office into those sales meetings meant that there was clearer communication and the people who benefited most were the customers.
Andy Culligan: There you go.
Marcus Cauchi: Now, tell me this, can you give me some examples of what great looks like in terms of properly aligned sales and marketing operations?
Can you give me some examples of what great looks like in terms of properly aligned sales and marketing operations?
Andy Culligan: Sure. So I think it's, um, there's one part in this that we haven't really covered is that the sales people understands what's coming at them from a marketing perspective and that's an education piece. Right?
Andy Culligan: And I'll give you an example of what I mean. So. Typically, one of the core grievances from sales to marketing teams tends to be the leads you're giving us are shit, right?
Marcus Cauchi: Yep.
Andy Culligan: And typically marketers generally, right? This is a generalization, but a lot of marketers are really bad at lead gen, like really bad. They don't have it as a core focus. They don't connect the dots back from what I'm doing to generating leads for the sales team to generating new revenue for the business. It's very, it's a niche that's growing. Let's say, okay. Now the issue is the reason why sales are doing that aorre saying that if they are getting good volumes of leads coming in, the reasons that they're saying the leads are shit is because they've got no clue what industry benchmarks are.
Andy Culligan: And they've got no clue what industry benchmarks are, because you don't have a marketer that has, has an idea themselves. It stems down from the top when a CEO where somebody, when they're, when they're hiring marketing, it's again, it's like an afterthought, like we spoke about when we get to this in a minute about customer success, being somewhat of an afterthought in, in hyper growth organizations.
Marcus Cauchi: Yeah.
Andy Culligan: Marketing tends to be an afterthought being like, oh, we need to put somebody in there that's gonna manage all of the, like, we've got a business run coming up. We need somebody to do the t-shirts. Right? So like, if you've got a marketer in there and you've, you've invested in good marketing and a good marketer that knows what they're talking about, they can go educate the sales team.
Andy Culligan: Right? And whenever I hear that excuse from sales, cause it really is an excuse. It's like, oh, I don't follow up the leads. Cause they're shit. It was like, okay, well tell me how many, what's your percentage of shit that you're getting in? So let's start at a hundred percent out of that hundred percent, what's the level of shit?
Andy Culligan: Oh, it's probably 30 or 40% shit. And I said, that's wonderful because I am targeting to have 60 to 70% shit. Right? So like you're looking at probably 60% of the leads are gonna bring in a Mickey Mouse, a Donald Duck.com and 40% are stuff that you're gonna be able to sell to.
Andy Culligan: And they go ha, all right. And every sales team that I've done that with, there's like an instant, like light bulb moment that I'm being like, oh, actually maybe this isn't as bad as I thought because human beings as a whole, we're always gonna focus on what the negatives are, what the bad stuff is, and it's gonna be, it's gonna become our entire focus rather than boxing that off by just having that knowledge knowing, "Hey, I know that 60% is probably gonna be shitty, but 40% is stuff that you can sell to.".
Andy Culligan: And having that knowledge and transferring that knowledge across has automatically created a road to alignment between marketing and sales.
Marcus Cauchi: Okay. If 60% is gonna be shit, then let me ask you this. If we were to ask better questions about who our customer is and who they are not, and we're able to then focus our messaging more clearly to attract the ideal customer and to self disqualify, the non prospect or the non ICP, then the impact on sales is that they spend their time as productively as possible. Cause we don't. I had a client last year who was getting 600 free downloads of their software every month. And they converted roughly half a percent. Yeah, that meant that 1,199 wasted attempts. And it's not uncommon in hyper growth tech companies that they are around the 6% conversion rate.
Why we don't spend more time in planning and preparation?
Marcus Cauchi: Uh, and this was particularly bad, but you know, even 6% seems incredibly wasteful. So why is it that we don't spend more time in planning and preparation, in challenging ourselves and getting ruthless in our disqualification process at the marketing stage? So, that when we put the leads into the funnel at the top, then sales is hot to trot because they know they know that there is an opportunity there.
Andy Culligan: I think it's because most companies aren't doing an account based approach, which is aligned between the sales and marketing ones. I think it's, there's still too much pay and spray stuff . . You're, you're a big advocate of, of saying how, how bad of an approach that is. So that's 60% approach by the way, is, is the old school approach to lead generation.
Andy Culligan: Yeah. Now, if you're to turn that in its head and implement an account based approach or focus, then you're gonna be flipping that to probably 60% quality, 40% stuff that maybe you won't be able to sell to because it's not the right persona, for example, right? But the volumes are gonna be much lower and you're gonna also need the entire organization to be aligned.
Andy Culligan: So if you, if you wanna be doing an account based marketing. Account based sales approach, you need everybody on the same page. So you need CEO on the same page as EMO.
Marcus Cauchi: Absolutely. And this, this I think is the critical point because so many people have come from a traditional direct sales or direct marketing background, and they think that throwing shit at the wall, some of it will stick. In all honesty, I don't think there's an excuse for that, nowadays. There are companies like Gap In The Matrix and White Rabbit Intel that allow us to really pinpoint precisely who it is that we should be speaking to with which messages there's a pal of mine over in Australia, John Bedwani, who runs a database company. And they're brought in by their clients to start softening prospects up two years before they intend to sell to them.
Marcus Cauchi: So it's an account based marketing strategy. Where they are developing the relationships, they're understanding their strategy. They're getting ahead of where, um, sales needs to be. So when they do finally engage, they're dealing with prospects who are already familiar with the kind of problems that you have to fix.
Marcus Cauchi: And there's two years worth of a relationship building already in place, speaking to Joe Robins and to Tom Williams, both of those are amazingly strong advocates of partnering and aligning yourself with procurement. They're historically seen as the enemy, but I'm, I realized that I'm wrong. I, if you can become their partner, um, and you can help procurement solve critical business problems, you make them the hero.
Marcus Cauchi: They're not gonna stiff you on fees. They'll pay your full fees. If you can help replace five other products and you can solve, uh, a number of different departments issues. It just strikes me that too many people are in too much of a hurry and they don't spend enough time in reflection and they don't spend enough time in constructive conflict.
If you are advising a board, what advice would you give them about revisiting?
Marcus Cauchi: So if you are advising a board, what advice would you give them about revisiting? And COVID, I think represents a perfect opportunity for them to do this. Take a blank sheet of paper and redesign your marketing and sales operations from scratch.
Andy Culligan: Yeah.
Marcus Cauchi: If you were advising someone who's gonna do that, what choice bits of advice would you give them?
Andy Culligan: So, I think you need to start off with the, like what, who is, who is our ideal customer? So the ideal customer profile is, is something that people think that they've nailed, but they haven't really, and it should be something that that is living. Right. I think, especially during the COVID times, as you just mentioned at the moment people's ideal customer profile has changed.
Andy Culligan: So like a specific industry spaces, subsets of industries have gone outta business completely, or don't have the money to spend. So why would you keep focusing on them? And then as well as that, like, you need to look at like how and something you've mentioned already, like, are we selling to the right people?
Andy Culligan: Like, do we have the right customers right now? What's, what's our, what's our retention looking like? What's our net retention looking like? Are we less than a hundred percent net retention? Then we're probably doing something wrong somewhere. So, the question is either on the CS side, on the customer success side, or is it actually that we're attracting the wrong types of business?
Andy Culligan: So, like really have a good think about that and set that in stone. As, as a board, as a leadership team or, but I'll be, I'd be tasking the leadership team with that from the board level. And then, um, approaching it from like, once you have the ICP sorted, you need to understand like what's the size of this industry or this, this particular ICP that we can sell to what's our total addressable market?
Andy Culligan: Which I've asked a number of companies this, like how many accounts can you sell to? So like you're focused on the, you're focused on the UK market, all right. How many companies in the UK need your specific service or product? And they're like, oh, we think it's like between 500 to a thousand. So you think it's between 500, so it's either 500 or a thousand.
Andy Culligan: What one is it? Because 500 is 500 and a thousand is doubled 500. So you're either saying that your market is either half the size or double the size. So what is it? And they're like, oh, well, we actually haven't dug into that. I was like, and they're like, how do we do that? Well, what you need to do is a lot of shit manual work, figuring out your account list.
Andy Culligan: And it's, it's heavy lifting and it takes time. We don't have time. Well, do you have time to just go blow a lot of cash and just bring in whatever? Is that, is, is that what you have time to do? And then they start thinking, okay. Maybe not. No. Okay. Let's go build out our, our account list. Our, our total addressable market list.
Andy Culligan: And then based off of the back of that, you can then say whether or not the growth targets for that specific, for the company are actually gonna fit what you have as a total addressable market. If they don't, then you've had to have an, either a very interesting conversation with the board or your investors, or you need to look to extend out your ICP and grow out your total, total addressable market larger.
Andy Culligan: And essentially what happens then is what you should be doing with that total addressable market is once, you have it fixed, here you go, sales and marketing. You guys come up with a plan together in terms of how you're gonna penetrate these accounts, but here's your accounts. Don't look beyond those accounts.
Andy Culligan: Look at those accounts, figure out a plan in terms of how to break down doors and bells. And that's where you start. And that's where you start to see your funnel being flipped from traditional lead generation, which I mentioned a couple of minutes ago where you'd be probably getting in 60% Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck.com, right?
Andy Culligan: And 40% gold to 60% of stuff to, to, to personas on accounts that you'd be able to sell to probably 40% of those will either be stuff that's just landed on your website, which you haven't been like aggressively targeting or personas on those accounts that aren't particularly interesting.
Marcus Cauchi: It's really interesting because I don't think that sales people or marketers, uh, spend enough time challenging themselves with the right questions. One of the partners that I work with, was asked by a client of theirs to help them get to speak to more decision makers. And this was a roofing business and they ran their AI analytics. And what they discovered wa,s that for this particular roofing business, if they went for comp, uh, for buildings that were built between 1970 and 1990, and they were built out of concrete and steel with a flat roof and they were on a north south road with an east facing, facing front aspect, they had a 40% increase in sales, the following quarter.
Marcus Cauchi: Now, the problem is that most people don't know how to ask those questions and they don't know how to do that research. Now, if you can get that specific and you can nail who your ideal customer profile is, and I, I have an issue with personas because if Jim is a 32 year old gamer who likes to go hiking in the hills and goes on backpacking holidays and has two, uh, cocker spaniels, okay, that's fine, if you're Jim. But, it doesn't really cut it when it comes to who your customer really is. And I think, um, one of the problems here and you've touched on it is down to communication, but why is it almost no marketers actually speak to customers? I mean, what the hell is going on there?
Why is it that almost no marketers actually speak to customers?
Andy Culligan: Because they're not in a customer facing role, typically.
Andy Culligan: So see, they sit behind. I know, I agree with you. I, I fully agree with you. I, I don't, I think, I think it's bad that they don't. I think a lot of marketers are arrogant and they think that they know better than the customer or better than the prospect in terms of what the prospects needs or problems are.
Andy Culligan: And it's easy to say that, cause you've got this great technology that solves all the world's problems, but at the end. So if you don't fully understand what, what it's solving on the, on the customer side or what the actual problems on a day to day basis within their organization are. And it's always like whenever you have a customer call, it's always sort of night and day in terms of what you think the problems that they have are and what their actual problems are.
Andy Culligan: Because you think of sometimes as your customer are sort of a, on a either you've got two, two perceptions. You've got the, you think that they're on the pedestal, they know exactly what they're doing. They know how to use their technology. And you know how to use your technology really well.
Andy Culligan: Or you've got the order opinion where you think they're complete idiots and they should just listen to everything that you jam down their throat. Typically they tend to be, they're not idiots, don't get me wrong. They tend not to be educated well from the company side, from whatever tech or whatever you're selling, they tend not to be that well educated. Right? And that's also a problem that marketing needs to solve, but they're not, they're not solving it very well. And then at the same time, the problems that they're seeing on a day to day basis are quite similar to problems that you probably experience on a day to day basis yourself.
Andy Culligan: I, I think there is a, there's a lack of a human element of understanding. Like, okay. People that we're selling to on the customer side are actually humans that go through the same shit that we need to go through bureaucracy, whatever it might be internally as everybody else. And you don't think about that.
Andy Culligan: You just think about, I've got this amazing product that I'm promising to solve all these problems. And you're like, well, me and my company can my product solve all my problems and needs? No, of course it can't. So why would it be able to do that on the customer side? So there's always these little gaps that you find whenever you go and speak with a customer.
Marcus Cauchi: Right. You've just sparked about three or four questions at once. So let me get my head together.
Andy Culligan: I think's a good, that's a good thing, right?
Marcus Cauchi: That's a good thing. Um, okay. So to summarize, just because you've made it, doesn't mean customers need it. My pal, Jerry Lundberg, always used to describe entrepreneurs as people who created elegant solutions to problems that don't exist, which is why you end up with shelfware.
Just because you've made it, doesn't mean customers need it.
Marcus Cauchi: Which is why you end up with massively overengineered product, the best sales leaders that I've interviewed for the scale ups and hyper growth podcast, in particular, every one of them speaks to their customers on a regular basis, their marketing team, their R and D team, their engineers. In some cases they have, um, specialists who've come in from the buying side.
Marcus Cauchi: So they've been customers. And now those people work with the sales team to basically cut through the, uh, the bullshit. And, uh, tell them, you say that you're gonna lose the deal. And they're, they're involved in, uh, premortems, in rehearsals. They bring in externals who are friendly, who are in those roles and they rehearse with them so that they get a sense of what it's really like to be those customers.
Marcus Cauchi: So I'm thinking of people like Jim Legg at Thycotic they've gone from 10 million to 500 million in five years. Tom Schaudel 42 million to 1.2 billion in five years. Massive emphasis on the customer. And this again, really builds on something that I learned from Bob Moesta, who wrote Demand Side Sales, really fascinating conversation with him.
Marcus Cauchi: And that was really about making sure that you build your product from the user up. You've got to really create product that is timely. It's relevant. It's contextually appropriate. You look at Microsoft's T minus 36 program. They pay their partners a small amount for winning the deal. They get paid a bigger amount for full utilization.
Marcus Cauchi: They get paid a big amount for repeat business and retention. They get paid another amount for extending their reach within the account. And I think this comes down to culture. It comes down to compensation. It comes down to what you measure, and it definitely comes down to communication. And if you are not focused on the, if you're not paying attention to all four of those, then you don't achieve sustainable long lived, hyper growth.
Marcus Cauchi: Now, I look at someone like UiPath, a hundred thousand percent revenue growth in seven years, and they're still in control. Why? Because they do all four of those things really well. So let's talk about compensation because I think most comp plans drive unintended consequences, which are negative.
How do you reward all the people who contribute to the successful win and successful implementation and retention of customer?
Marcus Cauchi: In your experience how do you reward all the people who contribute to the successful win and successful implementation and retention of customer?
Andy Culligan: It's a can of worms, this one, right?
Marcus Cauchi: Yeah. This is why do you think I threw it over to you?
Andy Culligan: Thanks. Thanks very much for that. No, uhh..
Marcus Cauchi: It's my pleasure.
Andy Culligan: So it's a very tough question, right? Um, and it boils down to as well, like if you have marketing teams that are purely focused on revenue, you need to give them a piece of the pie as well when it comes to when it comes to the success of the business.
Andy Culligan: Right? I, I think that's important. One of the let's talk about it in the tech space, right? Or in most spaces. But I think a lot of the problems can be solved with either share options or equity. From the marketing side. Because if you're fueling the growth of the business, you should be recognized as fueling the growth of the business and then getting rewarded by having a stake within the business.
Andy Culligan: I think that having marketing and comp plans first and foremost, Is fine, but it should be some like, it shouldn't be, it shouldn't be taking up a large percentage of their - like their variable shouldn't be taking up a large percentage percentage of their, of their salary. Like it should be a small bit of just as a bonus with a core focus on if it's possible within your organization to offer equity or more options.
Andy Culligan: And that generally fuels people to move things in the right direction. From a marketing perspective on the sales and CS side, this is where it gets. Sales is pretty clear cut. You've got your comp plan comp plans then differ between sales. Let's say account executives versus SDRs. Also a tricky thing because SDRs can be, uh, comped, for example, for meetings booked, right?
Andy Culligan: And then you have a misalignment between the SDR and the AE because the SDR might be just booking everything they possibly can. And then the AE is saying, I'm not, this is, this is shit. Like, why are you throwing this over here? Well, I get paid for meetings booked. So one of the things that I've used with SDR in the past to comp them on, instead of using meetings book as a comp.
Andy Culligan: Use it as meetings completed. So the, the salesperson will have to accept the meeting and then actually the SDR will then be responsible for making sure that that person shows ithe meeting.
Marcus Cauchi: Well, there, there's a really interesting metric that I read about recently, which is seven out of eight first meetings did not result in a second meeting. So my thinking here is that you comp the SDR on it, going to a second qualified meeting and they get paid a little bit for the first meeting, but when it goes to a second meeting, that's when you comp them properly. Because they've set it up really well. And they've got the right kind of prospect and the salesperson's done their job.
Marcus Cauchi: And that's the tricky bit, cause let's face it. Most people who are in sales are not very good. So you've got to train your sales people to be good sales people and to disqualify ruthlessly, but to be able to move stuff forward. I mean, think about when, when you think about the hidden cost of wasted opportunities. It's just terrifying. I mean, I dunno what it costs a lead for you guys, but let's say it's 300 quid now that's two and half thousand, uh, 2,100 pounds to get one meeting to a second meeting. Now, if you are a three meeting close, uh, you could easily sink 10 K just in the, uh, the pursuit and probably even more if it's an enterprise sale and it's a two or four legged, sorry, a four or six legged sales call where you take along a pre-sales person or you do demos, and you've got management involved before, you know it, the cost of pursuit can easily wrap it up to 40K win or lose.
How do you make sure that that relationship between SDR and AE is clear, respectful, and effective?
Marcus Cauchi: And, uh, if it goes the whole way, you could be into high six, even seven figures. So you've gotta be really effective at this stuff. So taking it to the next stage, then, the communication between the SDR and the AE. I always think of the, uh, the AE or the salesperson as the captain, uh, of the ship and everyone else is crew or they're the conductor and everyone else is, uh, you know, player in the orchestra. How do you make sure that that relationship is clear, respectful, and effective?
Andy Culligan: It boils down to having good AEs. So like a, like a clear cut thing for me was always, whenever I was managing an SDR team was to see if an AE was spending the time to understand the plight of the SDR and help the SDR. Then that's a good AE. That's a closer, that's somebody that understands the SDR role and how, how useful that SDR can be to them because salespeople, let's call a spade a spade there . Salespeople want to sell what gets 'em out. Good salespeople gets 'em outta bed in the more closing deals and money, money plays a massive role for sales people.
Andy Culligan: The more they sell, the more money they make, right? Like, you know, it's, it's, it's a, it's a typical thing. So how can they make more money? They can make more money by getting more pipeline. How can they get more pipeline by utilizing their SDR in the best possible way that they can. And it's really down to sales leadership to see, or to first of all, see if, if the salesperson understands what it means to have SDRs on the team, some salespeople don't even get it.
Andy Culligan: They think, oh, I'll just go off and do it by myself. I, the SDRs is whatever they're doing there I'll leave them to it. But if they can really utilize that position, they can get their calendar booked up with meaningful meetings, but they need to steer them in the right direction. I mentioned earlier on the call that the typical SDR profile is about 11 years old. And has no experience whatsoever in any industry. Right? And on top of that they're in a role that they don't want to be in. Right? So it's probably one of the only roles that like nobody - - I've met two SDRs out of a hundred of SDRs that actually wanted to be an SDR.
Andy Culligan: So everybody is like, when am I gonna get it? When am I getting my promotion to AE? Right? That's exactly where they're at. Righ?. I think a good salesperson's able to fuel that motivation to get them, to promise them that they'll help them get them up to that level. Almost like a mentor type of position.
Andy Culligan: And then that constant, like, it's it, I've seen it like the best AEs sit down with their SDRs or the SDR that's servicing their calendar, whatever it might be, like once a day for half hour and say, Hey, look, what are, what are the objections that you've had to handle today? X, Y, Z. Okay. Then you could have gone this way or that way, try this. Right?
Andy Culligan: It's simple. It's again, going back down to talking to people. Right? And we don't talk enough to people, you know, understanding what the problem is and treating each other, like, like humans and seeing that we have, each of us has problems that need to be solved. How can I go and help you a little bit, based on my experience. It's not difficult. It's not rocket science.
Marcus Cauchi: Uh, and again, when I speak to people like Alex Omidvar, Gabrielle Blackwell, uh, when I speak to people like Jen Ferguson, when I speak to, uh, people like Caroline Pinot, every one of them spends that time, either speaking to their AE or being an AE, speaking to their SDRs. They communicate, they are helping those people grow and develop.
Andy Culligan: I think this is part of the, it really starts in the recruitment process, uh, as well. If you do not create the right kind of expectation that the SDR role is something you're probably gonna do for 15 to 18 months. And this is where you are learning your craft. These are the specific milestones that you need to be able to achieve in order to qualify for a promotion into an AE role, or you can move into a more senior BDR or SDR role.
Andy Culligan: That's where things go wrong. I think most of these problems start in the recruitment process because then what happens is things like coaching and training gets sacrificed, uh, in the rush because people don't spend enough time stepping back, reflecting, asking themselves questions, how they can get better.
Andy Culligan: Then you don't see any progress. And, you know, you end up reinforcing crappy behaviors, terrible beliefs. And the metaphor that I've come up with now is that, you know, it's like a battlefield littered with the corpses of burnt out SDRs, who are just frustrated as hell. And they're constantly looking at over the fence to see for, you know, is there a better opportunity?
Andy Culligan: And you look at the turnover rates, it's bloody expensive to recruit. It's even more expensive to lose good people. And Phil McGowan who just, uh, completed his PhD in sales, at the University of Portsmouth, his research suggests that the business pays the price for 30 months after a salesperson leaves.
Failure log: They encourage them to share them so that they can constantly improve
Andy Culligan: You've got to stop thinking about the here and now. And you've gotta think about the future and you've gotta step back and analyze what works and what doesn't. One of the things that I see the best companies' doing is having a failure log. So they allow people to fail. They don't let the business fail, but they punish people for hiding their failures, but they encourage them to share them so that they can constantly improve.
Andy Culligan: And this is where I guess those daily huddles with Jaakko really come in because, you know, we fucked up here. How can we improve it? This is the problem. This is, these are the solutions that I've come up with. Can you make them better?
Andy Culligan: I think that is actually an interesting point, cuz in, in the tech space, cuz I've, I've come from a different industry, a slow moving industry into the tech space and the slow moving industry was like a, a big, so multinational organization that the industry itself was basically run by old men.
Andy Culligan: Things didn't move very fast and all. And then I came into the tech space, my head started to spin, but one of the, one of the things that the tech space is very guilty of is not accepting that people make mistakes. And when they do make a mistake, come down with them with a, with a hammer, right. And, and quick decision making, oh, let's just fire 'em and find somebody else, you know, this very, very shooting from the hip approach, which is never good because it, it, it affects the entire organization then for months, as you said, so, and one of the areas in the organization that's quickly judged is the SDR organization.
Andy Culligan: Oh, they've been with us 30 days now. They've only booked three meetings. I better fire them and find somebody new. Like I've worked with leadership like that before. It's a terrible way of doing things because. Two things, onboarding and expectations. I think expectations are incorrect. If you think that an SDR is or a junior SDR is gonna be successful in the first 30 days, I think you're very, very wrong, if you think that's gonna be the case, maybe even their first 60 days, they will see, see some success if you're onboarding a shit off. But the expectations again, though in hypergrowth organizations are typically fueled from the very top fueled then by investors fueled by, Hey, we're we're we're after hiring an SDR, an SDR and extra SDR, cuz we want to get this amount of sales and not knowing, Hey, these things take a little bit of time.
Andy Culligan: We need to have a little bit of patience with it. And then it's quickly, as you mentioned, burn them out, fire them, bring on the next, the next line, right? It's like this first line of defence in the war, send in the send in this first line. Once they go send another first line and nobody cares. Whereas if you can, if you can invest the time and and efforts into lowering the turnover rate in that organization, you will reap the rewards and what are the rewards? You'll have people that have been growing up within the organization are hugely loyal to the organization, understand the product like the back of their hand and understand the blight of the customer because they're day in, day out qualifying, that's what they're doing, picking up the phone, qualifying people.
Andy Culligan: What are your problems? What are your needs? What's the budget look like? What's, who's the right person at this organization should we be speaking about. What's the time on these. And then after a while, they start to get a feeling for what works, right? And what, what's the problem on the customer side that then then translates when they actually do get the chance to move up into the next role.
Andy Culligan: They're probably given the best possible opportunity to be an excellent sales person, because they already understand the customer. Something that you've already said a couple of times. So instead of hiring new sales resource from somewhere else that doesn't fully understand your customer.
Marcus Cauchi: I think one of the really important things that AEs can do is bring the SDR onto sales meetings every now and again, so that they can see the output and they can experience what's going on and, you know, good, bad and in different meetings so that they see what good looks like. And they can make that comparison then, and they can listen to what the customer is saying.
You wanna attract more people like your ideal customer
Marcus Cauchi: And, and the other piece, which a, again, we touched on it earlier about marketing, speaking to customers. I think one of the most important functions that a good marketing team will have is developing the customer hero story and going out and speaking to customers and finding out about what it's like to be them, why they originally brought your business into their business and decided to buy from you what the impact has been, what the competitive landscape looked like beforehand, because they will tell you how to sell and attract people, just like them.
Marcus Cauchi: You know, you wanna attract more people like your ideal customer. I see this all the time, where organizations go out and because they're in this rush for logos and this race to revenue, they're paying homage to the church of finance as well. Then what you end up with is lots of customers who are asking for staff that actually is a distraction it's expensive and they then churn.
Marcus Cauchi: So you've, you've spent a fortune acquiring these, uh, leads and then bringing them on board and then you blow it because you're trying to satisfy people who you shouldn't be satisfying. One final question in that case, because I, I think what's really underserved in both sales and marketing, really effective management and communication in the middle of the funnel.
Marcus Cauchi: And that's the function of the way sales and marketing and CRM are set up. You know, you got marketing piling on the leads. You've got the manager pounding the desk and their chest saying work harder, speak to more people. Whereas the best SDRs and BDRs, I know actually speak to a handful of people every day, but they do their research.
Marcus Cauchi: They do fantastic quality calls. And so they get 3, 4, 5 meetings a week that are absolute gold. And then you put an opportunity into the CRM. And the first question I ask you, is it, um, estimated close date. Now, if you then move to the end of the, the process, you forget the middle of the funnel. And one thing I've found really powerful is when I'm engaged in a sales cycle with a prospect, and then now live, then I spend a large amount of my marketing and, uh, content production on trying to speak to them whilst they're in the middle of the funnel, talking about their real life issues. And delivering value to them in that process, your thoughts on what the best marketers do in that space.
Speed up that sales cycle by pushing contents in display advertising
Andy Culligan: Some of the things that I've been doing here at Leadfeeder and also my previous employer at Exponia was that, um, I wanted to alleviate this thing of marketing hand the lead over to sales. Our job is done, right?
Andy Culligan: I wanted to stop that nonsense because our job is not done. Even past the close, our job is not done. We should always be looking to get more and more and more, uh, from our customer base. So like you, you get them from prospect all the way down to customer success, right? And you're helping success all the way down, to the funnel.
Andy Culligan: But in that mid space between opened opportunity and closed opportunity and looking to maybe speed up that sales cycle, for example, what are you doing? So there's a number of things which you can be doing, which you just mentioned there, creating content, which is applicable to them, which, which we do. At the same time you, one of the, one of the approach I always said to my guys was like, Let's make sure that our brand is the first thing that they see in the morning. The last thing they see before they go to bed at night. And let's make sure that at least six people from that company are seeing that. So I wanted to target the schiz out of them, right?
Andy Culligan: Display advertising. Right? Cause people are gonna they're if it's, if it's a large enterprise deal, typically you're gonna have probably six to 10 people that you're gonna be talking to on that account from a sales perspective. And if it's a larger investment, it's gonna be something that that's gonna be known within the organization.
Andy Culligan: So I just said everybody from the cleaners up should know exactly who we are or at least know our brand or recognize our brand. And it doesn't need to be expensive to do that either. You can do with some simple targeting software, you can use it on, on LinkedIn for example. And what we would do is we would create, and it was quite simple, we created a slack channel between ourselves and the, and the sales team. So marketing and sales, and anytime that anything ended up in, in, in open opportunity, we would be notified. But then in the slack channel, it would say from the salesperson like the salesperson, like this is awesome for marketing, cuz it helps me close things.
Andy Culligan: They then post in here, here are the list of problems that this specific customer has or prospect has. I want you to target this type of profile and go get them. Like we could also get that from the CRM. But like if you're building something from a marketing perspective that you don't wanna spend huge amount of time, money, resource, et cetera, to get moving, just to have everything automated, you can do it using the tools that you have.
Andy Culligan: And that's, that's what we did before in the past. And it worked really well in that middle space as you mentioned. First thing they see before they, they, first thing they see before they fall asleep at night. And the first thing they see when they wake up in the morning, your brand.
Marcus Cauchi: That's brilliant. I mean, you've touched on something really important, which is coverage in enterprise sales. You're gonna have six to 10 people influencing or making the decision that most AEs only cover one to two people, which is just pitiful. And this is where marketing can really come into their own. Wow. This this's been a fascinating conversation. I'm conscious, we've hit, uh, the top of the hour.
What are you struggling with? What are you wrestling with at the moment?
Marcus Cauchi: So, uh, tell me this, what, what are you struggling with? What are you wrestling with at the moment?
Andy Culligan: So there's plenty of things we're wrestling with. Like this year has been actually a very good growth here for us at Leadfeeder. So if I look back on March and April times, they were our toughest months. We've then seen good growth month on month. I think the thing that maybe is a, a little bit of a struggle is that things are constantly changing, which is hard for long term planning. So me as a leader, I'm trying to keep the team focused on long term goals. And the longest term goals that I can be looking at is sort of a queue, maybe a half. Right. And that's even pushing it. Right. That's really pushing it. I know people say, oh, well that's quite a bit a half, but even on the queue level, like things can drop or things can change very, very quickly.
Andy Culligan: And it means that I need to adjust everything, everything again, I'd say that's a slight, a bit of a struggle. I would say. I wouldn't say I wouldn't call it a massive struggle. I think everybody's in that same boat, but it's also like remaining efficient while us growing as well. Right. So we're very efficient as a business.
Andy Culligan: And we also wanna go to the next level of growth. Now I could immediately start hiring, start bringing more people on board, start executing more, but then with that, I'm gonna be blowing a lot more spend. Right. And then that, if that doesn't work, which I know when there's, we said this before about a CFO saying, Hey, uh, I think testing is great, but only do the tests that work.
Andy Culligan: Right? That's you know, that, that approach, like you can't have your cake and eat it. Right? It doesn't, it doesn't work that way. Okay. Like if you wanna be doing massive testing to see massive results, then like you have to be expecting a good chunk of that isn't gonna work and you're gonna be left with some inefficiencies there.
Andy Culligan: Right? So it's, it's about that juggle. How do I invest right in the right people, first of all? Like I've got a I've I've got a fairly good cadence when it comes to that, but then actually the right positions to bring us to the next level. And then also making the right investments from a, from a paid spend perspective. How do I. Like, how do I make sure that I'm being as efficient as possible there? So there's some efficiency things that are going through my head, cuz currently right now we're being very efficient, right? We've got like 11 month payback period on our customers with a, with a 12 month payback period target.
Andy Culligan: So like it's, it's, it's our, our LGBT, our lifetime value to Customer Acquisition Cost ratios are really, really strong. It's a bit of a balancing act. You know???
Marcus Cauchi: Right?
Strategic trends within customers market
Marcus Cauchi: Again, I think these are issues that a lot of fast growth companies are experiencing. One thing that I've found very helpful with my clients historically, has been to always keep an eye on the strategic trends within their customers market and look 18 to 24 months ahead and have those conversations now with your customers, because that will tell you where they are likely to be headed. And it gives you at least some forward visibility of where the demand is likely to be and how you need to adjust and the kind of changes that you need to make to product that might be something worth considering.
Andy Culligan: I think those things that happen, one of the, one of the don't wanna say to call it a struggle. But one of the, the challenges from our perspective is that we are, we are a, um, we're a volume business. So, uh, we, and we work with a lot of SMBs, from a lot of different industries and a lot of different spaces. And with that, that brings its own challenges. And it's very hard to remain very successful in that SMB space.
Andy Culligan: Cause, and we see that with a lot of our competitors being like how we give up, let's just go towards enterprise.
Marcus Cauchi: So if you look at the web threads that run through your best customers, the ones who shout the most about Leadfeeder, the ones who recommend you, are there any common threads that run through whichever industry sectors they're in?
Andy Culligan: Yes, there are. We have those, we have those common thread that we're working towards them in terms of product. Right? So there's plenty of exciting stuff to be coming out over the next 12 months.
What advise would you give to your idiot 23 year old self that he would've ignored?
Marcus Cauchi: Excellent. Okay. Andy, tell me this. You've got a golden ticket and you can go back and advise your idiot 23 year old self with one first bit of advice that, you know, he would've ignored. What would it be?
Andy Culligan: So it's funny you say that at 23 years, because I, I moved to Austria without speaking a word of German at 23 years old. And I'll tell you the exact moment I decided to do it. I was lying in bed beside my now wife in Dublin, pissing down rain outside. She said, I can't live here anymore. The weather's killing me. And I said, well, let's just go back to Vienna, Austria then. And she said, okay, well let's, let's do it. And that's how I made the decision that I got up my life and move to a country where I don't speak the language. So if I had the golden ticket and go back in time, I. There's not a, not a huge, huge amount I would change in terms of how I approach things. I think I'd probably tell myself that you need to go through those shitty situations. You need to be dragged up. Right. And I've had so many times where I thought in my, in my career 'Oh, this boss is an asshole', or 'I can't deal with this', or 'this is giving me terrible anxiety' and so on and so forth.
Andy Culligan: I just tell myself that you need to go through that in order to be successful. Like nobody has that like free ride all the way up to the top. It doesn't work that way.
Marcus Cauchi: It's the grit that makes the oyster.
Andy Culligan: Absolutely. And there's, you know, I think personally, and, and, and professionally I'd give myself that advice to both, and everybody goes through a certain level of shit on personal and professional side of things and that's just life and you're just gonna have to accept it, but it makes for you a better rounded individual at the end of the day.
Marcus Cauchi: Absolutely. I've never learned anything meaningful or useful from my victories. From a damn good kicking? Plenty.
Andy Culligan: Yeah, absolutely.
What would you recommend people read?
Marcus Cauchi: Excellent. Andy, um, what would you recommend people read, what's to listen to because you think this is right on the cutting edge or it's massively important that they are influenced by this material.
Andy Culligan: So a couple of things like, uh, so podcast wise, I, I listen to Demand Gen radio. I think, uh, it's good for, for marketers that are trying to learn a little bit more around the SDR space, um, and also the lead generation space and the best way to be effective.
Andy Culligan: Every marketer where I started understanding the sales piece in tech, a lot more. Having also been in an SD role, but understanding a lot more from a marketing perspective after reading predictable revenue by Aaron Ross, it's a little bit outdated now, but these, it does have an updated version of, of, of his other book, Impossible To Inevitable, which is also a very good read.
Andy Culligan: So Aaron was the guy who, who started the, the outbound function at Salesforce. And within four years they grew the, they grew the revenue from 10 million ARR up to over a hundred million ARR. And a lot of that was built around that outbound function. So really good read predictable revenue. And on top of that, like I tend to keep it limited in terms of the amount of business books I read.
Andy Culligan: There's so much. And I see like people mention it on LinkedIn, like, I've read these 20 books this month and you need to read them like, look, the best, the best learnings that I've gotten is from a handful of books, I would say. But, uh, really the best learning that I've gotten is, is from, uh, is from doing.
Andy Culligan: Testing and doing, and if you, if you fuck it up, as you said, just make sure you fix it pretty quickly afterwards. That's the best advice I can give. And go talk to people. Spend the time talking exactly, exactly into sales counterpart and have the humility to accept when you fuck up and use that as your best teacher, couple of books, I would strongly recommend people read, Unlocking The Customer Value Chain.
Andy Culligan: And forgive me for butchering the name. Uh, it's Thales Teixeira. And I would also recommend Demand Side Sales by Bob Moesta, really very good and Tom Williams, uh, Buyer Centered Selling and, uh, his other book The Seller's Challenge. Both of those really worth a read.
How can people get hold of you?
Marcus Cauchi: Excellent. So Andy, how can people get hold of you? So I I'm very active on LinkedIn. You can grab me on, on LinkedIn, as Andy Culligan and, uh, Marcus, if you, I guess you can share with this podcast as well, the, the linked my, my LinkedIn profile, but, uh, please feel free to reach out. Just let me know if you wanna have a chat about anything or discuss about marketing sales alignment, or any, anything that's come up on this call at all. Be really happy to speak with any of you
Marcus Cauchi: Brilliant. Andy Calligan, thank you.
Andy Culligan: Thanks so much, Marcus.
Marcus Cauchi: This is Marcus Cauchi signing off once again from The Inquisitor Podcast. If you found this conversation stimulating, then please get in touch with me at email@example.com or via LinkedIn. And if you know someone who'd be a great guest, then please do get in touch and don't forget to like, comment, share and subscribe.
Marcus Cauchi: Take care, happy selling. Byebye.