27 SaaS Products for the Marketing Department

After the post on 35 SaaS Marketing Products @ 1 Startup, a number of people asked me what products they used. While I don’t have the exact list of apps, here’s most of the free and paid apps the marketing department of the sub 100 person company uses:

  1. Salesforce.com – CRM
  2. Pardot – Marketing automation
  3. SalesLoft – Sales development (inbound response reps on the marketing team use SalesLoft to respond to leads)
  4. Google Analytics – Web analytics
  5. Google AdWords – Ad platform
  6. LinkedIn Ads – Ad platform
  7. Facebook Ads – Ad platform
  8. WorkGreat – Marketing analytics + reports
  9. Terminus – Account-based marketing
  10. Calendly – Calendar scheduling
  11. Moz – SEO analytics
  12. Buffer – Social media scheduling
  13. MeetEdgar – Social media content recycling
  14. Captora – Bulk landing page generation
  15. Optimizely – A/B testing
  16. Zapier – Cloud integration
  17. Unbounce – Landing pages
  18. WPEngine – WordPress hosting
  19. Zopim – Live chat
  20. ON24 – Webinar management
  21. GoToMeeting – Screen sharing
  22. Sigstr – Employee email signatures
  23. Intercom – Customer communication
  24. Vidyard – Video management
  25. LeadData – Campaign attribution
  26. Bizable – Marketing attribution
  27. Everstring – Predictive account discovery

Some later additions:

A small business marketing department using 27 products is on the high side, but not unreasonable. Look for the number of marketing department apps to grow over time as more useful point solutions come on the market.

What else? What are some more apps you’d add to this list for a marketing department?

35 SaaS Marketing Products @ 1 Startup

Yesterday I was talking to the head of marketing at a fast-growing, <100 person SaaS startup. We were talking about the modern marketing stack and he mentioned that they pay for 35 different SaaS products. Yes, 35 different marketing apps at one small business. Some of the app categories included marketing automation, social media management, A/B testing, SEO analytics, etc.

Here are a few questions that come to mind:

  • Is there an upper limit to how many marketing apps a small business will use?
  • When does app fatigue set in?
  • How many are apps require daily work vs ones that are set it and forget it?
  • How is reporting done across so many apps?

SaaS is unique in that once the business has $500,000 in recurring revenue, it’s hard to kill. Thus, there’s a huge cottage industry of SaaS marketing apps that provide value. It’ll be interesting to watch the industry over time and see how it plays out. My prediction: there’s no upper limit of marketing apps and we’ll keep seeing more and more.

What else? What are some more thoughts on the idea that there are 35 SaaS marketing products at one small business?

4 Reasons to Add an SDR Team

Earlier today I was talking with a couple of sales leaders about Sales Development Reps (SDRs). One leader was a big proponent of SDRs and the other didn’t have any experience with them. From the discussion, I took away four reasons to add an SDR team:

  1. SDRs help make the more expensive, and more experienced, account executives more productive
  2. SDRs, with their focus on appointment setting, are more efficient than full-stack sales reps, which are spread thin across a variety of functions (setting appointments, doing discovery calls, facilitating meetings, delivering proposals, and closing deals)
  3. SDRs are effectively a training ground for future account executives thereby acting as a talent development pipeline
  4. SDRs are also a training ground for non-sales roles like support and customer success

Startups should evaluate these four reasons to add an SDR team, and once a positive decision is made, review these 7 Quick SDR Tips for Startups.

What else? What are some more reasons to add an SDR team?

7 Quick SDR Tips for Startups

As more startups hire sales development reps (SDRs) to set appointments and schedule demos, it’s important to learn best practices and increase the chance of success. Building an SDR team, like any job function, takes time to figure out what does, and doesn’t work. Thankfully, there are a number of great resources online. Here are seven quick SDR tips:

  1. Start by reading the Predictable Revenue book
  2. Build a sales playbook
  3. Hire sales reps ahead of plan
  4. Always hire reps in pairs
  5. Make sure inside sales makes sense
  6. Require a written assessment in the hiring process
  7. Map out the sales process

Use these seven SDR tips and build a great team. The SDR function is the most important sales process innovation in the last 10 years.

What else? What are some more SDR tips for startups?

Build a Sales Playbook

One of the first things a new sales leader (or entrepreneur running sales) should do is build a sales playbook. A sales playbook, put simply, is a central resource for tracking everything from the basics, like the elevator pitch, to the more advanced items, like differentiating from specific competitors. With more knowledge and training, sales reps speak more confidently and intelligently, helping win more deals.

To start, make a Google Doc sales playbook and include these items:

  • Corporate information
  • Sales pitch
  • Elevator pitch
  • Market space
  • Recent trends
  • Target customer
  • Types of buyers
  • Features and benefits
  • List of references
  • Sales process
  • CRM process
  • Competitors and differentiators
  • Objection handling
  • Glossary

Revisit the playbook on a weekly basis and ensure that the team contributes to it. With sales, the more you know, the more you sell.

What else? What are some more thoughts on building a sales playbook?

8 Sales Lessons for Entrepreneurs

Last week I was talking to an entrepreneur that’s in the process of scaling out his sales team. Scaling a sales team is much harder than it sounds. Sales people, as you’d expect, are great at selling themselves, but not always great at selling to prospects. Then, sales reps often want to be sales managers, and managing people is a very different skill than selling to people. Here are seven sales lessons for entrepreneurs:

  1. Learn modern BANT qualifications
  2. Do the match to ensure inside sales makes sense
  3. Align special incentives with desired outcomes
  4. Plan out the first 30 days for a new sales rep
  5. Develop a sales playbook
  6. Model the time it takes to ramp up sales reps
  7. Hire reps ahead of plan at scale
  8. Implement a sales development process

Bonus: Every entrepreneur should read these four sales books.

Entrepreneurs need to understand sales even if they aren’t a “salesy” person. Start with these eight sales lessons and read the four books to build a solid foundation.

What else? What are some more sales lessons for entrepreneurs?

Leads, Leads, Leads

Whenever I’m talking to entrepreneurs, especially seed stage entrepreneurs, the number one challenge is customer acquisition. Drilling in, more specifically, every entrepreneur wants more leads (who wouldn’t?). In fact, Jason Lemkin argues that lead velocity rate is the most important metric in SaaS. Since leads are so important, it follows that entrepreneurs need to build internal lead generation capabilities.

Here are a few thoughts on lead generation:

  • Use a marketing automation system as the core of the lead generation efforts
  • Pick a sales development cloud to execute outbound campaigns
  • Run the standard B2B marketing playbook (SEO, SEM, email campaigns, webinars, ebooks, etc.)
  • Ensure the marketing team has a quantitive mindset (think analytics and data — Google Analytics is your friend)
  • Establish a definition of marketing qualified lead and sales qualified lead
  • Require clear objectives and key results from the team
  • Build a repeatable process and constantly iterate

Lead generation is significantly harder than it looks. Entrepreneurs need to build a customer acquisition machine post product/market fit, and lead generation is one of the top priorities.

What else? What are some more thoughts on leads being so critical in building a successful startup?