Outbound

Outbound

Outbound

Outbound

Building blocks to pipeline creation with confidence

Building blocks to pipeline creation with confidence

Building blocks to pipeline creation with confidence

Building blocks to pipeline creation with confidence

Good day PROs!

There are x building blocks that, when put together thoughtfully, can lead to compound growth in pipeline.

Last week we chatted with Kyle Norton, Chief Revenue Officer at Owner, which he describes as "Shopify + HubSpot for Mom & Pop restaurants." We've been impressed with his comprehensive, but actionable, perspective on designing Go-to-Market teams. Here's what he shared:

Begin With the End in Mind

Here is the number one insight from Kyle: He has built a GTM engine that has every function focused on the main thing, which is closing, activating and expanding "best fit" customers.

"Best Fit" isn't based on anecdotes and opinions, but is actually subject to "customer quality" reviews using updated retention and expansion data… Every. Single. Month.

Let's be honest. Are we this stringent with our ICP, with a self-reinforcing feedback loop that actually removes accounts and contacts from our demand gen efforts? No. Not likely.

The Building Blocks to Confident Pipeline

Kyle shared with us his real-time, real-world perspective on structuring outbound teams for success, prospecting messaging for success and more.

When we look at a little deeper at each of these, we can see three underlying building blocks upon which these motions are formed.

1️⃣ Ideal Customer Profile

There is a tendency to describe ICP as companies of a certain size within a certain industry. But for most "horizontal" solutions, that can be limiting and misleading. Even for solutions that are sold to companies within a specific industry (like restaurants), there are important attributes that are only visible "under the hood."

However, new AI-based data tools are making it possible to find data points that can be proxies for these hard to identify attributes.

The key is to have our ICP rigorously defined and supported by data (both quantitative and qualitative). This helps keep us from pursuing an "aspirational" ICP and keeps the team focused.

In addition, because of the velocity with which the market is changed, we need to consistently reassess the performance of our ICP customers.

In the case of Owner, they recently deprioritized 40% of what was formerly their ICP due to higher churn rates, ensuring the focus of the team remains on the most promising accounts.

2️⃣ Strong Foundation in Data and Process

If there is one common attribute we see in high performing GTM orgs, it is a strong foundation of data and process.

This is often referred to as "RevOps" but that too has become a polluted term that is nothing more than sales, marketing, CS and product ops all reporting to the same person.

When Kyle was recruited to Owner, one of his earliest hires was a RevOps leader. But not just any leader, one with whom he worked at 2 previous stints (League and Shopify).

In Kyle's words, it takes a unique RevOps leader to essentially be the data-driven extension of the CRO who helps architect and monitor the Go-to-Market engine.

For context, Kyle made this strategic, high-caliber hire when the company was ~$5mm in ARR.

3️⃣ Incentive Structures that are Aligned and Fair

Let's take a hard look at our incentive structures. Do they align the interests of the Customer, the Company and the Rep (AE, AM, CSM, etc.)?

We can say with confidence, "probably not."

That is because it is so easy to focus solely on acquired revenue. Our financial model says we need our 6 reps to each hit 85% of their quota (on average) to meet plan.

Separately, we have GRR/NRR targets and comp for our "post-sale" teams.

So what happens. New logo reps think any revenue is good revenue because they hit targets.

But then those companies don't onboard well, struggle to activate, never expand and churn prematurely.

What if instead we focused first on what we want to orchestrate for the benefit of our customers.

As an example, Kyle shared with us a new comp plan for the team. So new, in fact, that at the time of the recording it hadn't yet been shared with the team!

This new structure incentivizes the new logo (AE) team to prioritize quality bookings, as measured by a "Growth Potential Score" (GPS).

It also ties part of the incentive comp for new logo to a successful onboarding, which encourages AEs to stay involved until the customer starts to see success. How do you think this impacts expectation setting? Definitely for the better!

The 4th Block

We believe there is a 4th building block re: Content, but it there is so much depth and nuance it requires its own podcast series and set of posts! We plan to cover this soon, but Kyle hints at what this looks like in his "Offer of Value" approach.

5 Elements to Build Pipeline for SMB and Enterprise

Below is a quick summary of the five elements to build pipeline in SMB and Enterprise environments.

1️⃣ How to systematically provide the best leads to your team and keep them focused on your ICP:

At Owner, Kyle and his team developed a system to ensure their sales team focuses on the best leads.

What makes them so great?

They have a rigid process that ENSURES they're aligned with their Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).

Here’s how they do it:

  • Lead Management via RevOps: Leads are managed through their RevOps and data teams. BDRs don’t pick leads themselves; instead, the team pulls from their entire database, scrapes online information, enriches the data, and then uses scoring algorithms.

  • Scoring Algorithms: Two key scores determine lead quality: estimated Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) and estimated win rate (eWin). Higher GMV indicates larger potential deal sizes and lower churn rates, making these leads a priority. Leads are routed to BDRs based on these scores.

  • Continuous Fine-Tuning: Every month, they review customer quality and adjust targeting based on churn data. For example, they recently deprioritized 40% of what was formerly their ICP due to higher churn rates, ensuring their focus remains on the most promising leads.

2️⃣ How you can address churn through better targeting and messaging:

Addressing churn starts with precise targeting and effective messaging, as Kyle explains:

  • Customer Success Metrics: They developed a Growth Potential Score (GPS) to measure how well a customer is set up for success with their product. This score is based on factors that correlate with customer success.

  • Role of CSMs: Customer Success Managers (CSMs) work to improve these scores, which in turn increases customer retention and revenue. Lower GPS scores indicate better setups, leading to higher payments volume and lower churn.

  • Incentive Alignment: Kyle’s team is aligning launch team compensation with GPS improvements. A launch is only deemed successful if the GPS is below a specific threshold, ensuring that customers start with the best possible setup.

3️⃣ How to build familiarity and liking at scale:

Building familiarity and rapport at scale involves consistent, high-quality engagement:

  • Content Marketing: Kyle emphasizes moving from high-volume, low-quality content to high-quality, valuable content. Ungated content builds trust and credibility over time.

  • Social Engagement: Encourage BDRs to post thoughtful and useful content on LinkedIn. This helps establish them as credible voices in the industry.

  • Multi-Channel Outreach: Use multiple channels—phone, email, LinkedIn, text—to maintain a presence and engage with prospects in various ways. Monitoring engagement metrics like click-through rates helps refine these strategies.

4️⃣ How to prospect for your first 10 customers:

Starting your customer base from scratch requires a strategic approach, as Kyle advises:

  • Leverage Existing Networks: Begin with contacts close to you, such as friends of founders, investors, and current customers. These connections are more likely to take meetings and provide initial traction.

  • Expand Gradually: Gradually extend your reach to prospects less familiar with you. This concentric circle approach allows you to build credibility and success stories that make cold outreach more effective later on.

  • Practical Steps: Identify 100 target accounts matching your ICP, assign them to a Sales Development Representative (SDR), and aim for 10 meetings with decision-makers. From these, work to create 5.5 to 7 opportunities, aiming to close about 1.6 deals.

5️⃣ How to structure your cold outbound pitch:

Structuring an effective cold outbound pitch involves several key elements:

  • Pattern Interrupt: Use techniques to grab attention immediately. For example, name-dropping local businesses or mutual connections can establish instant credibility.

  • Establish Relevance: Clearly explain why you’re calling and how your product or service is relevant to the prospect’s needs.

  • Scripted Approach: Use heavily scripted calls to ensure consistency and measure effectiveness. This allows you to A/B test different approaches and refine your pitch.

  • Value Proposition: Quickly transition into your value proposition, focusing on how you can solve a specific problem for the prospect. This should happen around 30 seconds into the call to maintain engagement.

As we said at the beginning, we really appreciate Kyle's comprehensive approach to GTM. We of course recommend listening to all of our podcast episodes, but if there is time for only one, this is a great choice.

And you don't just have to take our word for it 👇

See you next week!

Gary & Andy

Blow Away the Board

Get weekly insights, monthly deep dives, free guides, templates and other resources to help on your way to being a Go-to-Market PRO!

Blow Away the Board

Get weekly insights, monthly deep dives, free guides, templates and other resources to help on your way to being a Go-to-Market PRO!

Blow Away the Board

Get weekly insights, monthly deep dives, free guides, templates and other resources to help on your way to being a Go-to-Market PRO!

Blow Away the Board

Get weekly insights, monthly deep dives, free guides, templates and other resources to help on your way to being a Go-to-Market PRO!

Practical Go-to-Market coaching specifically for B2B software and service companies between $5MM-$50MM in revenue.

Practical Go-to-Market coaching specifically for B2B software and service companies between $5MM-$50MM in revenue.

Practical Go-to-Market coaching specifically for B2B software and service companies between $5MM-$50MM in revenue.

Practical Go-to-Market coaching specifically for B2B software and service companies between $5MM-$50MM in revenue.