Sales and marketing alignment with Intercom's Jeff Serlin and Brian Kotlyar


Hey, everyone, I'm feelin feeling elite L welcome to incite intercom businesses to grow you need your teams to be executing together and firing on all cylinders at the same time. But one partner should that tends to be fright with misalignment so one between sales and marketing, it's a deeply intertwined relationship. Sales relies on marketing to drive leads and marketing depends on sales to convert the lease they bring in and when revenue targets slip. It's easy for the finger pointing to start and the fireworks. So is there a better way for marketing and sales to reach alignment, we brought in inner calms the man gen director, Brian Cotler, and our senior sales operations director, Jeff sterling to have a candidate discussion on this topic. And let me tell you. They did not hold back it talks about whether sales should care about how marketing is get leads suppose. If I was good enough at my. Job. It's possible. You wouldn't have to care. However, I don't think I'm that good. I don't think any marketers that good. And I think the truth is that for me to be affective. You need to care how sales and marketing voice finger pointing by architect in revenue plans together, there has to be a revenue plan ninety sows plan and marketing plan, certainly the tactics beneath it, you know, I don't want to sit with you and figure out what your strategy is. But I want to make sure align event strategy is going to generate XM out. I'm probably going to spend X amount to do this got into the topic of sales comp lands and whether marketers should have similar incentives is a leader, regardless of incentive plan. It's your responsibility to set expectations for the team that it doesn't matter that you ship the new website. If we missed our number. It doesn't matter that we did thirty women ours. If we missed our number. Jeff, and Brian provided a really on his look at what it takes to foster sales and marketing alignment and growing businesses. So let's hop into the studio and listen. You're listening to inside intercom intercom making internet business personal at scale. Learn more at intercom dot com. Everyone. I'm Brian Kotler. I run demand growth and income. Joining me for today's conversation on the podcast is Jeff Serlin. Jeff's our head of sales ops here. We're going to talk today about the role of marketing sales and driving revenue growth for for companies like ours and companies like yours forget started. Would you mind giving our listeners a little bit of a rundown about your career? And how you got into this chair cost me. Yeah. Thank you. Brian good to be here. I think I'll keep a kind of focused on the operations part of it. I am almost embarrassed to say, but I've been doing south operations for about fifteen plus years when I started. There was no such thing. There was no role people weren't recruiting for it. It was in its own specific physician. I was biz Dev person actually had a marketing role right helped out some early kind of nurturing lead screen before most of that item -ation was out. But I was the guy in the back that always said, well, we need to look at our pipeline. How much should we create this month? How are we moving it through where we're gonna track I would run around trying to get four. Recast cast from everybody, even though it wasn't my primary position when we first got or when I first got sells for dot com. And early two thousands no-one kind of knew what to do with it. So I sat down and created a couple of basic processes and workflows I kind of migrated towards their and it starts becomes something real about ten eleven years ago. Somebody asked me who was a head us AL's who knew my background want someone that was very well rounded kinda run operations full-time, and I took the plunge, and that's when I started thinking about it as a career as a function something strategic and just developing my skills across all of that since that time, I've either set up or one that perations team sows a little bit of marketing ops and even a little bit of finance at time at about four different companies, most of them successful, and I joined here, I think a little bit after you about a year ago to kind of build it out here as well. Great. Thank you for that. So how about your turn Brian? How did you get into demand generation, but also marketing operations, well, I think similar to you. Think these are as my mother always says, these are jobs that didn't exist when you went to college. How did you end up in this weird job? I can't explain to your friends. Major and sells on. Yeah. Exactly, nor did I major in marketing ops. Basically, I guess my start came because of just kind of what companies needed my training was as an industry analyst, which I did a lot of writing and my entry into startups time really well for the emergence of inbound and content marketing as thing, and because that became sort of the primary way that businesses were driving demand. It really labeled me to get a really good holistic view of sort of what's the relationship between what we want to sell what we need to say. And how are we going to? How are we going to generate leads and so from there was able to experiment with Email but with advertising website optimisation? And then of course, the natural push. That falls is does this stuff making us any money, and that's generally marketing operation steps in. And in my case, I was small company there was no Martha operations. And so it was my role to help solve those questions and build up the team. Solve those questions in the skill away. And that's kind of what I've been doing ever since is devising the programs that will cause activity in the market. And then attempting as best we can on the other side to measure, what those things are make promises to the business about the revenue those things will create and then hold ourselves accountable to those promises you've mentioned that you lead marketing ad number of companies, if you early stage ones, what advice do you have for startups when they're thinking about initially building out in scowling, theirselves marketing functions. Yeah. I think I should call it this by saying that I'm naturally, I think because of some of the experience I had early stage businesses that may be scaled a bit too quickly like, I'm nationally low conservative, and I think others might might even say this is too conservative ice. But with that said, my general guidance is that I've seen so many companies failed because they scaled sales too quickly. It's very easy for a very founder group at the advice of a bunch of capitalist. Or whatever to say we've sold one hundred K with the stuff. We're ready to scale go higher. Sales people need a hotshot director who need a bunch of as we test ers and so on and in my experience that could be true. But it rarely is true in that first initial push I think just a pattern icy time, and again, so I think the first bit advice, I would say is just because you're making some money doesn't mean you're ready to build out complex full-bore sales organization because kind of your specialty. It's like if you can't easily answer questions like what's my opportunity to close rate what kind of pipeline my expecting for each of these reps. And so on you're probably not ready on the marketing side, I think on over there. The simple kind of thing. I would say piece of advice. I would say is there's a kind of a thought process going around on a lottery among marketers these days, which they do that essentially, we're all paying Google Facebook rent. It's like we pay rent to be on a page of search results, we pay rent to show up in people's news feeds, and that's just how it has to be to appear to be visible and relevant and somebody that's necessary task to be affective. But for earlier stage company, it's really easy to burn. A lot of your cash really fast on things that you're not really set up to actively do have a sales team place monetize, those leads can your product to it for you and things like that. So the the other thing I would say is like I believe really strongly that you need to do is sort of a portfolio of tactics and that the range from the very expensive to the very very cheap. And it's only through a balance of those things you pay your rent where you have to and you moved off the land for free where you don't. And the combination of those things is what gives you the right folio to help you grow. I think that the whole point of doing this is Howdy evolve overtime radius star where do you get to after twelve months free to get to after yet out one million to that five million to that ten in twenty million? So that's great transition to ask you. So, you know, my comments were a lot about earlier businesses you've done sales operations operations, generally and businesses across the whole spectrum of scale as companies mature, how do you see the relationship between sales and marketing changing in the relationship between the operations teams changing as as they grow income more complex. Yeah. Good question. I think that. As you mentioned when you start off its first, let's validate that people are willing to give us some money for this. And you're probably in that before you think of the tactics that you mentioned or the best basket of tactics. Probably before even came up with the strategy of kind of who you want to sell to you what size, and what type of of companies, I think in the early days. It's just kind of go get that number go acquire customers. Go figure out why they're buying and then go get some more of them. I don't know that you need a lot of sales operations or even a big sales team as you mentioned. I think you just need enough bodies. They handle the leads people that have this overwhelming mindset of, you know, optimistic I guess is a good word of it's something new, but we see some early people consuming it. So we're gonna go sell more. I think that is he start getting multiple offices or multiple Geos or multiple segments smaller companies larger companies or even sales manager or two is when you need start thinking about placing operations in place. And I think one of the things that happens when the marketing team starts to get bigger and sales team starts to get bigger is, unfortunately marketing, and Sal starts to I think diverge sit at different places of the building go through different processes of figuring out what they need to do. And I think the role of both of our operations teams is to pull them tighter. When it was maybe five or six people sitting all together earlier at the time. So as they mature or as a company matures both of those organizations are going to mature. And I think without that inbetween that glue or the stitching of what really operations is what my team does. And what yours dies to keep them together into one continuous supply chain that you start to see marketing targeting a segment and sows recruiting to fill sales capacity that has emotion that is inconsistent with that segment and then bad things happen. You're either spending money on on pipeline that isn't getting convert it or sales's converting pipeline that you don't or otherwise, we're not wanna. Convert and you have those mismatches. So I think the operations needs to get more sophisticated needs to get more operationally. I don't know if that's a word, but you need to start documenting things you need to start aligning your processes needs start having more structure and governance in how you do everything. And I think if you just keep structure governance alignment staying on the same page. Same KPI's constant communication that. You can typically grow your cells and marketing team together in the right sort of ways, the company scowls, it makes a lot of sense. I really like the idea kind of to plot an idea from there, it seems like you sort of get that alignment in that sense of being one team sort of for free when you're small, and it seems almost like what you're saying is as the companies get bigger more complicated, the role of operations is to preserve that sort of oneness and sort of single team mentality way of working one hundred percent. I think if you hire a dedicated events person, we know on how Challe. It is to manage the logistics of setting up executing a great event. And there's a a core skill set that not tiny people have and you're gonna hire someone who's optimizing that. But they might not be fully aware of how you take that you do the premarketing where you gather, the leads or you get them into nurture tracks or you pass them over to sales to truly pipeline off at and that's okay, because they're all, you know, put to gather some really really great events. And I think that's where the marketing ops team working with the south ops team can help that specific tactic that you're investing in get closer and pull it back into this concept of one teen while allowing those other resources he might not even ever think sales on her then who's going to staff the booth, you know, to do what they do best accents. So that to you. I mean, you know, clearly sales and marketing is is has always been I think you, and I would believe had to be very close needs to be close from your perspective. What is successful partnership walk like back to Sowell's? And how should cells view that as well? With respect to being good partners to marketing. I totally agree. I really would go something you mentioned a bit a little while ago. Which is think what's really helpful is when both parties think of it as a supply chain, and that we're all were manufacturing the same thing on behalf of our employer, which is revenue for the business. And so I think kinda starting there with that grounding. I think the foundation of successful partnership is understand that and that sounds sort of I don't know routine or boring to say, but is not always the case some sales organizations, they're just in a local acquisition game actually trying to make money for their business because that's the way that they're accomplishment set up or that's what their leadership is driving. And I would actually say more commonly the marketing team might think oh, my job is building brand. And the my question again being the revenue operations person is to what end we don't sell her. We saw stuff and the branch was to help ourselves stuff. But a lot of mercury stations. Be like my job is build the brand. My jobs have wonderful facilities for employees. Work in. And that's true. That's part of your job. But always asked that question is to what I think once you're there once you have that that sort of a lion of what is the outcome that marketing and sales are trying to get together. Then I think you get into the fun part of the partnership was, of course, a lot of things that you and I do together which is. Yeah. Giving each other a hard time of our respective contributions to the supply chain but getting aligned on kind of what you should earlier showed early. Like, okay, how we're going to get. There was the officiant way for our business mutually to get to the revenue outcome, we want our we staffed correctly. We have the capacity can I actually drive the sort of leads that you need the time line that you need it. And that's kind of where the the phone in fact, actually, the art. I would say our rules comes in because there's not a playbook that you can just execute in my experience. I wish there were. And there's very rarely obvious answer. Oh, hire ten reps and buy some Facebook ads in the problem goes away. Like that has never worked for me. I don't know anyone that's ever worked for it. I don't expect it ever will. So I think that that's kind of that just getting really aligned and. How we work and how we kind of forecast trying to shape the futures key my experience where I think because of that mentality has been good at times, it's been frankly, very very very bad though. And I think it always the foundation of where it goes wrong is when there's a misalignment of expectations of what the supply chain China make when there's a misalignment of expectations of the plan that we should have developed but often did not to get there. And then Lastly, I do think that sometimes there can be a lack of just understanding education that both jobs are hard. You can both know you're supposed to be making money. You can both agree on a plan. But it's always easy. My be little folksy firm, it my uncle has the saying he always uses which is never take out the trash when no one's looking because known appreciates harbor else's job as if they don't see it or appreciate it feel it. And so I think that that's just like you kind of have to have empathy for the party on the other side driving leads of quality at any sort of scale, super hard super expensive and takes time closing leads of any quality. At any scale on a time line and a printable way is super heart. And I think when you see we you start to see the fissures between the departments emerge is when people forget that. I guess question for you. I talked a little bit about planning. How do you feel about planning? Do you think that the kind of what I shared is? Right to do it. Is there a better way to do it? Like if you could just draw the whiteboard the perfect planning process for for sales and marketing relation go through. What would that look like a good question? I think it I it has to be together. I think there's one plan. There has to be a revenue plan. Not a house plan any marketing plan, certainly the tactics beneath it, I don't want to sit with you and figure out what your strategy is. But I want to make sure align that strategy is going to generate X amount. We're probably going to spend X amount to do this. I think it has to start from a shared primis of what the objective is which is to get our number and generate revenue I think then has to start with building it together of how waterfalls back upstream. So every inflection point every point that we measure every definition that we use. Every way that our systems are set up to capture those to make them visible and do all the hand offs are completely one hundred percent, align I think that it should go down into the details forgiving that. Cac target for example of we can spend whoever we want. I can choose to have less SDR's, for example. If I know that the money that you can use from that is going to go to generating more different sorta leads. So I think it's just one plan. And I think we both need to put it together meaning sales marketing start from the stages of what are we trying to Chievo what boundaries and barriers. Do we have an constructing in a way that maximizes that outlet and allows us to do to do more than than we could? If we did them separately. So one plan one spreadsheet one set of metrics one approval process, but also aligned on the incentives against that plan you and I should in a sense be measured against the same thing. So that in theory anything that we decide to work on an outward on his. Meeting both of our goals, especially on a personal level. So I just think it has to be together and having you know, PA or some other team facilitate that process of revenue planning, I think is a very good way of doing it. I think that creates a natural tension of is this going to be impactful, and how are we going to manage this? But if it's not our plan that we can easily point a finger at each other. And I think that's when you kind of get into dangerous territory of pointing it at each other and said of the challenge the problem that we're trying to solve and both being on the same page is solving that I wonder I think it's a just a fall of thought, I suppose it's like I think we both have been in that situation where either because we plan together and now things have gone awry, or because we failed to plant together. And we're in that finger pointing situation I guess for like the listeners who may encounter that is there. A good way like to to find a way out of that problem because I think it's inevitable every business. A number gets missed, you know, and then no we all like to think role actress that will take that burden alone, and whatever, but that's just not realistic fingers will be pointed. So how do you know having been in that situation? How do you think about dealing with that when that happens? Well, I think if sour the premise that numbers will be missed here point plan is predicting the future, and if we can predict the future on, you know, we might be in Vegas instead of out here in the room talking to each other about sales of marketing, so these star with the mindset, and the premise that we're putting together a whole bunch of sumptious and tactics and timing against them of showing how we're gonna get tarleton mill jettison that some months, we're outperform in some months, we're going to underperform and some months it's going to be the complete opposite of what we saw the month before I think if we start with the premise that is our plan we have the joint KPI's, and we both present the joint KPI's back where people on our teams put them together to tell that story. Then we're taking out the personalities or the organization where literally talking about what's working, and what's not working and from the basis of we know, it's probably not going to work perfectly in every number and every assumption that we wrote down with a we're going to tackle the problem together and everything I believe in the revenue cycle. You can probably attribute it some to marketing in the quality of leads, but also some sales execution. I always think that that is true. If you step back and take a real hard critical rally based view of the world of dropping leads working on the different ones system's not working of enablement. So that we can drive more consistency or you know, better top of the funnel tactics. So that we actually get the folks in nurture them in your proper way to what we need on the other end. So I think the truth always lies and bow sales marketing, and then I think if you have that culture in that governance, and that relationship that drives you working together solve problems. You avoid the finger pointing the finger pointing happens. Maybe when it's not the. Two of us involved. It could be a CEO or could be CR could be a CFO who's literally going in there. Wanting to knock heads in signed blame. I think if that happens it puts us in a tough spot. But I think that if we truly are partners in this will figure out a way around that and get back to the business of of accelerate Negra. Hey there I'm from the intercom sales team. We'll be back with our guest in just a moment. But I wanted to quickly tell you about intercom latest book the sales handle. If there's one problem every business will confront it's this. How do I grow revenue faster? It doesn't matter. If you're looking at your first million, adding too many, hundreds of millions or even crossing the billion, Mark we're all striving to do the same thing. Win more deals. The sales. Handbook features lessons and advice from industry leaders at companies like hub spot Lincoln into it and Marquette, oh, you've heard many of them right here on this podcast, including Interphone VP of sales LB Harvey closed that is steadily FT emergence capitals. Doug Landis and sales trainer. John barrows, and you'll hear from many many more, and that's just a taste to learn more about the sales book and download your free copy head to intercom dot com slash books. Again, that's intercom dot com slash books. And now back to our conversation. One of the things that you think marketing teams also need to work on if we're working on our tactics. The way we talk to people the systems and the tools we use to make us more efficient. What are those things that that marketing is currently doing to try to stay more relevant in this new world that we all live in. Yeah. I think it's funny process. I would say like somehow back to basics and reinvention happening kind of constantly right next to each other. So what I would say is it's like one of the expressions. I use a lot of times. It's like be the marketing, which is my specialty. But I wouldn't even you could even Brown marketing marketing, his boring like in the sense that for any given campaign that we're ever going to run I could probably seven months prior ever happening. Jot down every single channel that we're gonna use. They'll probably be an event will probably be some ads. Those ads will probably run into start number of places. They'll probably be meals. We said they'll probably go over pretty well established period of time with the pretty standard. Cadence. They'll probably have similar C T as like all that stuff is not where the. Innovation of marketing lies generally in my experience. I think where the really interesting stuff happens is when you start to mix those in different orders in different sequences in different ways to reach different audiences and get different outcomes. And like one of the things simple example would be if I'm trying to get to a CEO, I know that CEO's often have administrative assistance. So I know have two people have to influence the Adleman and the CEO. And so my tool kit is that boring toolkit. I just shared, but I can now apply to different people and closely cause them to interact in a way that's favorable to me. And my rep who's going to be doing outreach send a gift to the Adleman. And then two weeks later sent her a package at the C O referencing the gift and have followed calls in between or whatever all that was phone calls in packages. However, they get the outcome that we're trying to get at. Meanwhile, I'm trying to affect a director at a small company. They don't have a listed number or desk phone. So that phone part of the package is out, but they also don't have Adleman. So all of a sudden a drive by. Swing through at the office and dropping something off. I might get walked right up to that person's desk at the hand them the gift, and we can program that whole experience to gain. It's not anything. We didn't invent a whole new way of marketing reaching people. But we're applying in the right way to the right person one of the areas, I think of tension potentially that exists between sales and marketing teams is a high percentage of the compensation of sows wraps, and even managers as leverage, and it's tied to end result closing deal generating revenue, and it's not always the case for marketing. And I think that puts a little more maybe urgency or real time faster gency on a sales team to have the need to get the leads that they need to get the right type of quality of leads that they need. I don't think that were ever gonna have marketing on a similar sort of leverage house plan. But I do think that marketing can have some incentives and one's income plan. And that impact their variable that do align to what needs to be delivered to south what that whole revenue chain needs to deliver. What are your thoughts on what? Some incentives in good formats methodologies for incentives, especially for the teams that you run a manage have been affected. So I think I'm totally agreed that the outcome of trying to get at is a marketers -ation that is focused on driving revenue for the business. And in doing that. I think it can't it'll set them up to feed the sales position the right way. I think what's can be really hard about this is that the immediate answer that you would think when you ask that question is, okay. We'll put him on a performance plan tied to revenue or the closest metro they can affect revenue which is probably Jenn. It's hard about. That is marketing is kind of like a zoo with all different animals in and all those animals are have different attributes. So the content team has such a different form of contribution to the pipeline than the Email team than the operations team than the whatever don't pick your poison. So it gets really challenging at times. I find to come up with a fair plan to generically applied all of marketing. So I think at that point. I would actually fall back on things. One is. Everyone in my opinion, should have some degree of variable compensation, and it should be either tied to one of two things either to the closest metric they can affect that drives revenue or just company attainment overall, which and then of course, in Texas's also have some equity, which is effectively tied to company attainment overall. The other thing though, that I think in a lot of cases actually, Trump's that is culture, I think that you can have marketing departments that are revenue entered in their culture, and you can have Marcon departments that are not revenue oriented in their culture. And I think is a leader, regardless of incentive plan, it's your responsibility. If that's the kind of organization, you want is to set expectations for the team that it doesn't matter that you ship the new website. If we missed our number. It doesn't matter that we did thirty women ours. If we missed our number now, maybe those have some long term benefits that we can't fully compute at the moment. But the fact is the businesses failing marketing is not succeeding, and I think that's a cultural thing that you need to set first. And then align incentive comp appropriately thereafter. But you still have to keep mind you have to be. Fair. It's hard for designer to affect revenue the way a salesperson can. And if you just apply kind of a blanket complaint tied to revenue sometimes you put folks that don't have a lot of control in very difficult positions because they feel helpless, and that's a really bad outcome because they're like I made less money this month. But what would you have this conversation? They come to me. And they say what should I have done differently to change that number eight? Yeah, I think people that are directly or marketing teams for generating pipeline responsible for generating leads on are the ones that you can most closely align, those metrics, I think even shared point of view of SQL or pipeline that SDR teams are compensated against in the plein that same exact thing with the same definition the same measures less leverage, obviously to the marketing team. That's responsible for demand generation. I always found to be effective. You're right. I even questioned whether parts of the operations team should be on variable time to cells delivery or not the further you get away from having. Cnet more knots the hardest to do that. But I think there are areas of opportunity to align and very specifically aligned incentives across both of those teams should sales care. I know I will. But in general, should we care? How you're getting the leads or should we kind of leave it to you to the right set a Leeds at the right persona the right level of buying intent. And what you figure out the rest. Do we care? And should we care? Screw question. Actually as I think about this. I mean, I suppose if I was good enough at my job. It's possible that you wouldn't have to care. However, I don't think I'm that good. I don't think any marketers that good. And I think the truth is that for me to be affective you need to care because you need to build a look at what is going on. And tell me you did what why how are you insane? Or this is really working. Oh my goodness. I'm following up on these things that you put in market, and I've been cold calling for six months, and it feels like, you know, the skies parted, and it's a sunny day for the first time, and I'm getting some traction and building pipeline and. Yeah. Benchley if your systems are so bright, you see that stuff in your CRM. You see that stuff in the pipeline reports. But the earliest indicator is happy salespeople like the canary in the coal mine is a bunch of STR's that are making money or a, you know, in the case of a product oriented business, you know, a bunch of trials that have just come through come through the pipeline, and that stuff is going to be visible so long before your company ever actually makes money, and you need to be tied to sales to understand the flavor of what's going on. And then I would also say that both of the best of you mentioned earlier most of the best selves I've ever worked with are kind of secretly marketers. They're testing different headlines for the emails they're playing with different calls to actions. They're sending. I mean, I used to know one guy great salesperson he used to send out his own direct mail campaigns. And I came to him and said, I haven't intern here I have budget. Let me send this for you. I won't even change anything. I'll just let the envelopes and put the stamps. I said, no, this is my process, I like to touch the marketing, I like to know what my people got in the mail. I like to know what they're interacting with. And I think that that's a great attributes. You can learn the most marketer from the people doing the work is take an interest in what you do. Yeah. I I agree with you. There. You ask me a question earlier about cells, folks, I I think that was part of my data driven intellectual wanting to learn I think once had understand how things come into their pipeline and are able to work on honing the tactics along with their partners, the best I love the sales reps that come up to the marketing floor and say, hey, I see you're doing this event or this webcast. How can I help? How can I get involved? Yeah. Totally. Hey, Brian one question for you. I know that we wanna be great partners. Right. Bless you say that sales is feeling that they're not getting the level of leads either the volume or the quality that they need in order to hit their numbers and their conversion rates are holding their ASP's are holding etc. Cetera to avoid what we talked about before the pointing the finger and the potentially screaming at each other. If this was brought to you, what are the things that when you hear that where you see that you typically go down, maybe not completely. Checklist form, but what are those areas that you start to look at to try to dissect and understand what may be going on and most importantly, take some action. So I think the first thing I would do is. I would look at sort of what is the? You basically what you want wanna always do? You wanna you wanna go to where the volume is? And in different kinds of marketing jobs, I've had in different kinds of business. I've had that means something different. So like at Entercom because we have a product that you can run a credit card for him by and such a large percentage of our sales motion is derived from that the thing that you can do is you can affect the web experience and what happens on the web. And you wanna go investigate has something changed their to detriment or could we make a change to improve? That's volume is that's where small change can make the biggest difference in other centers. I've been in. It's been about the database. We know we sent an Email with a certain incentive late in the quarter. And then other situations I've been in it's been about partnership. It just really varies because it's where where's the volume coming from? That's always the first place. I look, unfortunately, there's not always an obvious answers sitting where the volume is. And that's what people start getting into this idea of growth hacks, and this and that, and you know, I say this all time, I don't really believe in growth acts. I think all generally what that means is you're sacrificing some long term good for some short term benefit. And that's rarely the right thing to do. Yeah. But I do think what you can start to do is you can start to look for. There's no obvious change. You can make with volume is now I start to look at sort of my secondary and tertiary channels for things that are sort of just have not been off demised, especially in a growing business or in a large business that's been around for a while. What happens is you have all these initiatives that have begun. All these things that were good enough. And you never really kind of squeeze all the benefit to the business out of them that you could have or should have. I mean, we were in the situation recently, even here at Entercom where there was a channel I was overseeing and we'd implemented it, and it was starting to perform and stop paying attention to it couple months. Go by and I'm looking at sort of our portfolio and trying to think how how are we going to get to the next spot in dawns on me? You know, we never actually went through step by step through that whole flow and made sure that it was right? Just never at time. We have a bothered, and if we just go back, and we just fix those things were get it's almost like free money. You've done all the hard work of implementing a process or channel. And what you haven't done is the really hard work of seeing it through. Through like, a very detail oriented way to get the benefit you want. So I guess like in a nutshell. I I go to the volume look for something broken or something easy to fix or implement. And then I go looking for channels that have high potential but haven't been fully implemented properly. And usually there's enough opportunity in those two areas that you can get your outcome. Pretty fast. What about for you? If if I'm every indicator I've got and there's no data issues at all. You know, every indicate got says marketings doing their job. And yet we're not hitting our numbers, and it looks like something's going wrong in the sales funnel. How do you think about diagnosing? Where do you look to fix it? Yeah. If I knew you're going to ask that back and might not have asked in the first place, but the question I think a little bit. Then we talked about partnering and tension the tension that exists is in south Riveria action oriented, so I think it acts here question is on a daily basis if we're a good modern data driven analytical team are constantly looking at Nash, boards and trends and metrics and staying on top say conversions or first response time where the things that you might want to measure in terms of pipeline flow, and what's happening on. We also spend a lot of time looking at the individual performance differences between, you know, great reps and ones that are struggling between offices between Sal. Manager's between geographies I think that because there's so much data about that in south for says hard frost, sometimes hide behind parks acumen. I think that we go back and look at the same things that you would we're going to look to see are we converting at the same rate. We're going to go look and see what's the basket of leads that were getting in. We're going to go look to see if people have left the business where where for ramping up a whole bunch of new reps. We're going to go take a look at their specific 'execution and probably on the sales managers to over rotate for a little time of digging into that are they doing the things that we want them to do are. They following the play books are they on top of first response time and the other metrics and the quality of their interactions where we want it to be. So that's one area. We also look at process change a lot times things get put into the process or the workflow that we aren't necessarily aware of or more. I guess directly not aware of the. Potential downside of the complexity or the impact where the inefficiencies may put in there. We might have had someone from Arkan do a big event that was mostly about building brand and loaded up. If I was in new leads and told us is that they have to kind of go in and work those for this whole week, and that alone explain some of the leads not flowing into that pipeline. So I think that's where it comes back to alignment between our two groups of making sure we're focusing on the right things, if we see the metrics are offer training, the wrong way, we have a responsibility to raise them and to dig in and understand what's driving them and correct them which could be enablement and training, which could be making some personnel decisions which could be people like me or Ciero jumping in and personally getting involved for little while deal inspection and pipeline reviews in forecasting to make sure that we get, you know, the rules of engagement or just the importance of managing things the gold if you wanna call that believes that men in the right sort of way. So I think it's a little bit of both. I think it's are we doing what we're supposed to be doing has there been a change of process. That's impacting this do we have it shift in the mix of the people that we have. And we have to think about enabling ramping reeducating. I do we have something that we can fix from technology. If all of that, isn't there you, and I are probably spending a lot of time thinking on the bigger picture of maybe what's changed which could be external competitors market shifts the flaw, maybe the assumptions we used for what segment we're targeting as. Well. So I think it's it's relevant for both of us important for both of us to constantly be in top metrics. I shouldn't have to tell you that leads aren't getting to where we need them to be in. You shouldn't have to tell me that are conversions kind of training in the wrong direction. And I think once again, if we you know, maybe and this discussion on where one team one plan one set of metrics once head of Ashbourne constantly reviewing them together. Those things are made visible and come to light far before we get into the point when we're screaming and yelling at each other to to fix these things. And I. I think that when it works like that. Great results. Come from it completely. Thank you, Brian. This has been fun. Yeah. Thanks. You've been listening to the inside intercom podcast for more episodes. Visit soundcloud dot com slash intercom. If you'd like to subscribe, six for inside intercom in tunes for Stitcher, and for even more, great, content checkout blog, Entercom dot com.

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