I try to start with a story on most of these posts because people remember them.
It’s an easy way for me to get my point across and allows me to reflect on some great times in my personal and professional career.
I’ll always create content around my experience at ExactTarget because it meant a lot for my career and professional development.
Quite frankly, it still means a lot to me today. I feel fortunate to have received my “MBA in Marketing” through the real life experience of joining a high growth company that went IPO and then got bought by Salesforce in about a 4 year span.
I was employee number 747. You just don’t forget about experiences like that one.
Forever Orange...that’s my tip of the cap to anybody any former ETer who might have stumbled across this post.
My experience at ExactTarget is relevant for the story that I’m about to share and new experiences that we are working through at The Juice.
I was in my first year as a B2B marketer. I was trying to figure out how it all worked.
For me, it was a baptism by fire and an experience that I’d never trade for any other.
My first job at ET was to respond to RFP’s. We were getting hundreds of them per month and a team was being built around responding to inbound interest from some of the biggest brands in the world.
These documents could be 100+ pages.
They sometimes came in weird systems.
There were excel files that made my eyes cross.
Most importantly they were a proving ground. I viewed these mammoths as an opportunity to not only sharpen my marketing skills, but also use them as a vehicle to establish relationships with sales.
Here’s what I needed to do in order to respond to these documents on steroids:
- Understand the product
- Be familiar with the individual use case of the future customer
- Learn how to message and position
- Become an expert at juggling priorities
- Be a master at hitting deadlines
- Become an expert at building relationships with enterprise salespeople
The last bullet has probably been the most important learning of my entire career.
It felt like I went from 0 to 100 in marketing experience. It seemed to happen overnight. It came from the culmination of the 1:1 conversations that I was having daily with some of the best and brightest sales people in SaaS.
This is no exaggeration. This crew was the Dream Team of selling.
They were experts at discovery, all-stars at building relationships, and they sure knew how to entertain.
The reps that I was supporting had $1M+ quotas, winning mindsets, and sales acumen that I still think about today.
There are too many to name here, but I’ll never forget how much I learned about business from East Coast reps like Rob Ackley, Rob Wax, and Courtney Bencze. These were true sales pros who understood the value that marketing could bring to the table.
I reflect on my experience aligning with enterprise sales people and then I think about a moment in time during a marketing stand up meeting that I will never forget.
Tim Kopp, former CMO at ExactTarget and now CEO at Terminus had our entire marketing team in a huddle with Andy Kofoid who was the COO and in charge of global sales. The message was clear to me that day and has never left since.
Marketing and Sales work together and can’t be successful without each other.
There were so many call outs and examples of internal use cases to get us motivated around the right action. I was excited about the relationships that I had developed with the sales team before this meeting, but was left with a brand new purpose after this pep talk.
I love building brands, creating content, and providing value back to the audience that we are building at The Juice. It’s what gets me out of bed in the morning and is extremely motivating by seeing the gradual growth every day.
I’m even more excited that we are building a kick ass product that I believe is going to cut out a lot of BS in B2B marketing and make it easier for people to consume content that they want to use to learn.
I’m the most excited by the fact that we are growing our team and are now in need of a sales person to help us take our message to market and drive new demand opportunities.
I’m ready to work with someone who is passionate about solving big problems in the MarTech space and values what’s possible when building relationships with marketers like me.
We put out an open req for an Account Executive position over the last week. I’m excited to talk with people who might fit the profile about all the opportunities that I see with what we are doing at The Juice.
Jonathan and I even recorded a conversation last week about qualities that we admired in great sales people.
I’m ready to help our future sales person craft the right message, run the right campaign, and deliver the best content to that future customer who you are trying to reach.
I’m ready to reignite that synergy that I felt over the phone with enterprise reps or standing in the Marketing team huddles on Guaranty, floor 6.
I can promise you a lot of things that I can support from a marketing perspective, but if we are talking about RFPs again I might need to call in a substitute. 😓