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18 Key Components of a Successful Sales Playbook

As many companies have found out firsthand, hiring salespeople with great track records doesn’t guarantee your sales team will hit their targets. Even if you’re filling your team with talented sales reps, they won’t be able to deliver their maximum value unless you train them to be experts on selling your specific products to your specific target market.

A 2018 study shows that the average tenure for a salesperson is only around 1.5 years, so chances are you’re regularly onboarding new salespeople. The faster you can get them up to speed and selling effectively, the more value you’ll be able to get from your limited time with each rep. 

The key to training reps better and faster is to create a sales playbook. This asset outlines your company’s particular sales processes and best practices so everyone on the team can refer to and learn from it. The sales playbook should include all the resources new reps need to start making sales.

Whether...

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The Digital Marketing Team Structure You Need to Capture Value

Digital marketing can generate incredible ROI, but to capture that potential value you need a well-organized team of experts.

If your Facebook ads are already driving leads, a paid media expert and a skilled marketing designer could optimize the ads to deliver leads that are higher quality. If a blog post is capturing 20 email addresses each month, the right writing and SEO skills could help it capture 50. 

Building a team that can maximize the impact of your digital channels isn’t just a case of hiring extra digital marketers. Instead, the most successful marketing teams are structured in a way that focuses on digital marketing results and includes specific key skills.

Two hiring approaches that hold teams back

Many teams that are trying to generate more leads through digital marketing are slowed down by growing their team in inefficient ways:

Hiring generalists 

Hiring a Digital Marketer or Digital Generalist can seem like a quick fix solution to build the digital...

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How to Create a Content Roadmap for Multiple Product Lines

Does it seem like your team is churning out content without any means of prioritizing what to work on next?

We see this often within companies that have recently merged or made an acquisition and have a central marketing team. Teams can slip into the habit of working on each product line in a siloed way and lose sight of the projects that can best benefit the business as a whole.

Instead, the output of Marketing needs to be managed across product lines by focusing on measurable results. Building a cross-product content marketing roadmap allows you to strategically allocate your resources and drive leads in the most efficient way.

 

The content dilemma of multiple product lines

Many companies with multiple product lines or brands face three common challenges:

1. Duplication

Creating content for each product line in a siloed way or without reviewing existing content can bloat your library with multiple versions of similar assets. This is an unnecessary duplication of effort and,...

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How to Conduct Data-Driven Marketing Due Diligence

One of the things we see when companies are acquired is that the acquiring company will do all kinds of due diligence. For most companies, that includes technical, financial, and legal due diligence, as well as an assessment of the market and the pipeline. But one area that we see being consistently overlooked is marketing due diligence. 

There is plenty of data, information, and opportunities hidden within the marketing side of every business that aren't analyzed before an acquisition. With all the other kinds of due diligence happening during the LOI-to-close stages, marketing due diligence often isn’t prioritized. 

In this blog post, we’re going to show the types of insights that can be uncovered, the value they can help you capture, and even give you a step by step checklist to follow. We’ll cover:

  • Why marketing due diligence is critical
  • Key questions your marketing due diligence should answer
  • Six areas to consider to get these answers
  • Benefits of...
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How to Integrate Marketing Teams After Acquisitions

 

One of the biggest opportunities post acquisition is to find efficiencies on the marketing side, and this is often an ignored area because there are usually a lot of efficiencies in sales, product, finance and services.

Within marketing, there are five domains that you can look to integrate:

  1. Brand: making multiple business units and product lines look like one entity.
  2. Programs: initiatives core to the investment thesis to grow the business
  3. Teams: you have multiple business units with their own marketing teams and so you have to try to find synergies 
  4. Data Governance: you have customer data now living in multiple databases
  5. Marketing Stack: different business units are likely spending on the same tools or overlapping tools and paying for both

 

Brand

The biggest mistake is when companies focus on branding as the primary driver of value creation from the marketing function after an acquisition for the following reasons:

  1. Rebrands take a lot of time and effort, without any...
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Why Digital Marketing is the Next Big Growth Lever for Private Equity Firms and CEOs

 

 

How many times have you been approached by CMOs asking for more budget?

And how often can the CMO give a solid, data-backed business case for why they should get that extra budget? 

This is a common problem. Marketing teams often can’t get the increased investment they need because they have trouble relating their activities to business results. They’re usually focusing on hard-to-track benefits like brand awareness instead of ROI, and many aren’t ready with the kinds of metrics CEOs and PE investors need to justify giving them more budget. A recent Gartner study showed that marketing budgets have been stagnant for the last few years.

Meanwhile, sales teams are facing challenges too. Nearly 60% of sales reps expect to miss quota, which can impact your board meetings, projections, budget, and whether or not you can acquire more companies. At the same time, the average tenure for a VP of Sales dropped by 26% between 2010 and 2017. On...

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How to have 1-on-1s with your manager

1-on-1s are one of the most overlooked pieces of real estate when it comes to growing your career and growing your business. The one-on-one is incredibly valuable time that is often misused for the wrong topics and both parties lose in that equation. The employee loses because they're not getting enough advice and support to grow their career. And the company loses because the team member is not performing up to their full potential to help the business go forward.

If you prefer audio, listen to the podcast episode here:

One of the best pieces of advice that I've ever heard on this topic came from Harley Finkelstein, who is the COO of Shopify, on Cameron Harold's COO Alliance Podcast, where Harley shared my one-on-one with Toby is my opportunity to get what I need for Toby to have a bigger impact and do my job better.

Let's look at what Harley says once again. He talks about the one on one as his opportunity to get what he needs to help Toby do his job better...

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How to forecast sales projections more effectively

Has your company ever missed its quarterly or annual sales projections? This is one of the top reasons why C-Level executives are let go from growing companies. It often happens inside companies where forecasting is treated more like a math exercise and the underlying growth model for the business isn't strong enough. That's why on this episode of How To SaaS, I talk about how executive teams can forecast sales projections more effectively, while still setting ambitious targets. 

If you prefer audio, listen to the podcast episode here:

This is actually a very common problem that plagues a lot of companies. And the reason is that with investor pressure and funding comes the responsibility of growing the company faster. Quite frankly, however, a lot of that pressure is self-inflicted, because we're incredibly optimistic and bullish on how fast we can grow our company. And we often overestimate how quickly we can get to the next plateau of our growth.

And so this...

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How to hire a rockstar Product Manager for your SaaS company

What does it take to be a great product leader and what characteristics should you look for when hiring one for your SaaS company? Given that every SaaS company is a product oriented company, this is one of the most important roles that you're going to find inside your business, so it's very important that we think about it in the right way.

If you prefer audio, listen to the podcast episode here:

The intersection of Product Management

A simple way to think about the product management leader is someone who sits at the intersection of user experience, technology and the business. Their job is to drive the customer experience forward so that the product is easy to learn, adopt, and use, to work with technology leaders to ensure that the product is built with the right infrastructure and architecture to solve the problems that we're trying to solve, and to understand the business fundamentals.

Now, this is probably the hardest skill to find inside a product manager...

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How to build a content strategy for your SaaS company

Are you trying to figure out your content strategy? Are you trying to figure out what type of content you should be creating? I see a lot of companies struggle with this problem. They have phenomenal products, but they just can't seem to figure out what type of content they should be creating, and so their blog looks like a mishmash of different kinds of resources that is not really helping them convert more visitors or prospects into paying users.

If you prefer audio, listen to the podcast episode here:

Here are 6 simple steps that can help you create a massive content backlog:

1. Who are you trying to serve?

This is one of those simple questions that often gets over complicated by people, because they end up using all kinds of frameworks, journey mapping, ideal customer profiles, personas, et cetera, and they lose the plot very quickly. Instead, my recommendation is just to pick one, keep it simple, and attach someone that is a real life person that you know is...

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