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Ongoing Coaching

Scaling companies would be a lot easier if companies behaved more like sports teams.

Training in most companies halts after onboarding. This is part of the reason why tenure in a lot of roles (especially executives) is below 2 years. In a market where the demand for talent far supersedes the supply of talent, internal training can be a competitive advantage.

Hire high potential employees and invest in them by:

  1. Having them report to a manager that educates them on how to level up their skills.
  2. Give them access to premium education resources so they can self study and improve on their own time.
  3. Help them connect with communities so they can learn from others facing similar challenges.

Each of these empowers team members to come back to the company with capabilities to contribute even more.

As they level up based on your investment, reward them with higher compensation to recognize their increased ability to contribute.

If your business model doesn't allow you to invest in team...

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Team Member Hierarchy of Needs

Increasing team member tenure can be one of the keys to unlocking growth long-term.

Each time you lose someone, you take on the added tangible costs of onboarding and training replacements + the intangible costs of lost institutional memory.

This is why employee satisfaction and retention is not an HR issue. It is one of the biggest growth priorities for companies yet unfortunately not treated as such.

People leave companies for a variety of reasons. These include:

Level 1 - Salary, Title, Benefits. What do I financially gain from working here?
Level 2 - Safety, Security. Can I trust this company / leadership to take care of my needs?
Level 3 - Culture. Do the values of this company resonate with me personally?
Level 4 - Opportunity. Do I see a path for personal and professional growth here?
Level 5 - Alignment. Does this align with my long-term goals?

Each leader in a business must be fully attuned to these questions and proactively engage team members to ensure all 5 levels are...

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Immature vs Mature Growth Org

Immature organizations view growth as a Sales-only problem. These are the organizations where:

  • VPs of Sales get fired constantly
  • SKOs put all the pressure of growth on sales reps
  • Marketing and Product have no revenue accountability

Mature organizations, by contrast, view growth as a holistic problem, owned by everyone in the organization. To scale, they ask themselves questions like:

  1. What value does our product need to provide to the customer so that we can increase conversions to Closed Won?
  2. How much budget does Marketing need to drive the pipeline required to ensure Sales is successful?
  3. What kind of Onboarding and Retention programs are necessary to increase LTV and lower attrition?
  4. What is the optimal pricing strategy to maximize expansion revenue and net retention?

Immature organizations miss all these growth avenues because their conversations are one-dimensionally focused on sales just working harder.

What these organizations don't realize is that putting less pressure on...

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Secret Sauce and IP

Companies often confuse what their intellectual property really is.

  • A blog post (as a content format) is not intellectual property, it is a commodity.
  • A video is not intellectual property, it is a commodity.
  • A drawing — like this one :) — is not intellectual property, it is a commodity.

This is why as things start to work, people notice and start to make the similar things — why wouldn’t they when it’s working?

But the medium and format are not the secret sauce.

Instead, here are things that actually create differentiation:

  1. Positioning and messaging and how you solve a specific pain point.
  2. True expertise and value provided to the customer.
  3. The audience and customers behind a business and the affinity they have for the business
  4. Strategic advantages at the business’ disposal (e.g. supply chain, partnerships, cost efficiencies etc.)
  5. How effectively you execute on a bigger vision for a market or category

Anyone can imitate a portion of the whole,...

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Always be Helping

Always helping your prospect get closer to their stated and unstated goals has to be the simplest, most effective sales advice.

It means adopting principles like:

  1. Make it about them, not you
  2. Act as a their fiduciary in their best interests, even if it doesn't help you
  3. Give them free content and advice to get them closer to their goals, even if they don't buy from you
  4. Generating awareness around how customers with the pain point can alleviate that pain.

All three of these involve having Marketing play a major role. Marketing needs to:

  • Position the customers as the hero and showcase how the solutions helps them on their hero's journey.
  • Clearly articulate who the solution is best suited for, and who it is not a fit for so that the organization knows who not to sell to.
  • Build content that helps customers and prospects self-serve their way to a solution and establishes authority and trust within a market.
  • Distribute and disseminate the message so that more people with the pain can...
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Correlation vs. Attribution

The problem with marketing is that some channels are easy to attribute through to revenue, while others are not.

This is why "correlation" is, in many cases, more important than "attribution".

Understanding this concept takes understanding how buyers are really behaving.

If you think your buyers are making decisions only by searching on Google, a lot of marketing activity will seem irrelevant. This is why attribution tools don't tell the story well for non-linear channels.

It's easy to talk about if a lead from Google Ads became an opportunity. It's hard to talk about the value of a Facebook video view or a Podcast download or a YouTube channel.

This is why Correlation is more important than attribution, especially for activities related to content.

The entire environment you create for buyers across all marketing activities is what impacts conversions. If you pull one thread, you may end up impacting revenue on the other end.

You just won't be able to directly attribute it.

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Pipeline Growth Over Time

Most marketing campaigns stop getting funding well before their true pipeline value is understood.

Why?

Because marketing leaders are constantly being asked for an immediate return on their efforts.

Unrealistic pipeline growth expectations from CEOs and boards lead to the exact opposite result of what they are hoping to achieve.

Pipeline growth takes time. You need to:

  • Develop marketing assets
  • Build ongoing processes to scale
  • Get the right people to execute on the plan

Meanwhile, the potential of channels and campaigns are judged on their first iteration. This is why you hear things like:

"Facebook Ads don't work for us"
"This is a relationship based business so we have to go to events"
"Why would I give more money to marketing when I can hire 2 more sales reps?"
Etc.

Similar to how sales reps become more valuable after full ramp up + training + pipeline building, marketing becomes more valuable after experimentation + better distribution + better messaging.

Not only is giving...

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Consistent Audience Building

Building an audience takes time. This is the 100th drawing of SaaS Marketing Simplified. Here are the biggest lessons from the journey so far:

  1. Have something valuable to say -- Don't just spew more bad content into the universe.
  2. Have a unique voice -- Say it in a way that only you can say it.
  3. Always seek to add value -- Make it about the audience, never about yourself.
  4. Produce evergreen content -- Create content that can create enterprise value long-term. Otherwise, you'll be creating topical content forever.
  5. Create content that creates leverage -- We use this same content for paid advertising to our ideal customer profiles.
  6. Build your own list with unique value -- The SaaS Marketing Simplified newsletter has over 50% open rates on email number 70.
  7. Nurture with education -- Consistent content will help your sales pipeline will grow because you have pre-built trust.
  8. Don't take shortcuts -- I've rejected multiple offers to join "engagement" groups etc. to boost the engagement on my...
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Old Nurture vs New Nurture

Things like gated content, newsletters, webinars and drip sequences still have some value but customers don't pay attention to these mediums like they used to.

Instead, they'll:

  • Come to your website
  • Watch a video on your YouTube channel
  • Listen to a podcast with someone from your team
  • Read a post on social that mentions your company / solution

All of these nurture touch points that companies do not try to orchestrate enough.

Instead, the obsession with attribution leads to the creation of gated e-books and downloads so that you can source a lead to a particular channel and add lead scoring as certain steps are taken.

In the process, you may have better attribution metrics but lose the overall picture of what's actually driving revenue.

Your prospects want to be nurtured across multiple channels, mediums and formats. Those are the brands they end up trusting more.

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Repeatable Systems

The best businesses leverage automation wherever possible. The worst businesses have virtually no automation and require custom human intervention every time.

Automation and repeatable systems have two benefits:

  1. They create more enterprise value and build bigger companies by default because the business is growing without always needing human intervention.
  2. They create more freedom, space and time for all those involved with the business, leading to more fulfilling lives.

The second benefit is the most overlooked when building companies. Surely, you can still build a lot of enterprise value without automation.

But you will also surely have more unhappy employees and customers, which is the exact opposite of what businesses should hope to achieve.

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