“I help b2b companies grow revenue by enabling sales, marketing, and sales development excellence.”
1. Tell us about your role at TOPO and how you got here?
I am the Chief Analyst and Co-Founder of TOPO. My team researches the fastest growing organizations in the world across their sales and marketing strategy, people, process, technology, and tactics. We turn this data into actionable insights for our customers. In other words, I spend my days in sales and marketing identifying ways to overcome challenges and figuring out “what’s next”.
Before founding TOPO, I had built expertise across the entire funnel from marketing through sales. I spent years as a consultant building sales development and sales processes, and 5.5 years as the VP of Marketing for a business media company.
2. What is it that you found lacking in the tech stack infographic when you initially started versus now?
The tech stack infographic is designed to be provocative, that is, the bigger the better. You start by thinking the stack is overwhelming, but really, it’s not. The graphic itself has lots of irrelevant tools and applications for b2b. Sure, CMOs get lots of emails and calls from vendors, but generally speaking we aren’t talking about thousands of technology choices.
In sum, my first take on the tech stack infographic was overwhelming, but now, I view it in context – yes, there is a lot of technology that touches marketing, but the real list of potential b2b solutions is much less than this.
3. We recently read about how you increased your technographics data base by a mammoth percentage. Other than the main agenda of providing sales and marketing teams with a wider option on the tech stack is there any particular reason that you decided to make the shift?
We continue to study the sales, marketing, and sales development tech stacks. It wasn’t a shift for us, as we have always studied the stacks. We have been really focused on identifying the core, foundational stack that the majority of the market needs to run their marketing operation. On top of that, we try to understand the different use cases and the technology platform required to deliver on these use cases. In the marketing practice, we are focused on the core stack required to run account based. The account-based stack was/is confusing as vendors rush to be a part of the narrative. Our research has allowed us to identify the most important elements to the stack and let organizations know when to use other technology.
4. Given the changing dynamics of sales and marketing where do you see TOPO fitting in the ecosystem?
We are a leading-edge research and advisory firm that is focused on the current and future moves of high growth early adopters. As the sales and marketing world continues to evolve,we will be there with a deep understanding of these changes and with prescriptive best practices to be in front of these changes. To specifically answer your question, we will be the advisory layer to help lead the market through change.
5. What is your most effective digital marketing strategy for reaching out to buyers across the world?
The best way to set up a global digital marketing strategy is to create a consistent playbook that can be used across every region. 70-80% of the programs should be consistent. Then the regions should be able to customize depending on how their buyers prefer to engage. For example, your marketing strategy in APAC will be fundamentally the same approach as North America, but strategies for Japan will place an emphasis on social media (which has proven to work well in that region)
6. What tools would recommend to CEOs and CMOs as a Sales Hack in 2018?
The tool I would recommend for a sales hack is to go “hand-written”. Especially from the CEO and CMO-level, something personal will make a difference in relationship building. It’s hard because everyone is so busy, but it works.
7. Which startups in the martech and adtech industries are you keenly following?
We let the data guide us. For 2019, our data tells us the hot martech topics will be account based platforms, intent data, and conversational marketing.
8. What is the best part of working with TOPO. can you share with us some fun pictures of your much-hyped work environment?
The best part of the culture is passion.TOPO is a collection of people who love sales and marketing. The result of this passion is intense, lively meetings, and conversations. We learn from each other every time we engage. That is empowering.
9. What book are you currently reading?
Billion Dollar Whale
10. One piece of advice you always follow irrespective of circumstances
Work harder than you think you did yesterday – Alex Elle