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EPISODE 085: Marketer of the Month Podcast with TJ Macke

Hey there! Welcome to the Marketer Of The Month blog!

marketer of the month

We recently interviewed TJ Macke for our monthly podcast – ‘Marketer of the Month’! We had some amazing insightful conversations with TJ and here’s what we discussed about –

1. Using team selling to make large enterprise account sales easier

2. Gating content and how it affects your potential customers

3. Linkedin and podcasting – how unmeasurable brand activities help

4. Shifting from sales enablement to revenue enablement

5. Migrating legacy data: knowing what to move

6. Parallel of designing for both the buying and selling journeys

About our host:

Dr. Saksham Sharda is the Chief Information Officer at Outgrow.co. He specializes in data collection, analysis, filtering, and transfer by the means of widgets and applets. Interactive, cultural, and trending widgets designed by him have been featured on TrendHunter, Alibaba,  ProductHunt, New York Marketing Association, FactoryBerlin, Digimarcon Silicon Valley, and at The European Affiliate Summit.

About our guest:

TJ Macke is the SVP of Strategy at Sapper Consulting, where he manages go-to-market initiatives, with a focus on developing new products and partnerships. He is also an Operating Partner at SalesSource, a consulting firm that uses sales processes, SaaS CRM, and cloud technologies to help companies scale their existing sales organizations.

Building and Measuring Success in SaaS With a Buyer Centric Model

The Intro!

Saksham Sharda: Hi, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Outgrow’s Marketer of the Month. I’m your host, Dr. Saksham Sharda. I’m the creative director at Outgrow.co. And for this month we are going to interview TJ Macke, who is the SVP of Strategy at Sapper Consulting. Thanks for joining us, TJ.

TJ Macke: Glad to be here. Thanks for having me.

Don’t have time to read? No problem, just watch the Podcast!

Or you can just listen to it on Spotify!

The Rapid Fire Round!

The rapid fire round

Saksham Sharda: So, TJ, we’re going to start with a rapid-fire round just to break the ice. You get three passes. In case you don’t want to answer the question, you can just say pass. But try to keep your answers to one word or one sentence. Okay?

TJ Macke: Okay. Let’s go.

Saksham Sharda: At what age do want to retire?

TJ Macke: 85

Saksham Sharda: How long does it take you to get ready in the mornings?

TJ Macke: One hour.

Saksham Sharda: What item is worth spending more money on?

TJ Macke: Books.

Saksham Sharda: What movie do you enjoy quoting the most?

TJ Macke: Pass.

Saksham Sharda: Who’s your favorite Disney character?

TJ Macke: Aladdin.

Saksham Sharda: Which movie comes to your mind when I say the word ambition?

TJ Macke: Interstellar

Saksham Sharda: What are you most looking forward to?

TJ Macke: Adventures with my family.

Saksham Sharda: What is the one thing you wish you enjoyed more?

TJ Macke: Being in the mountains.

Saksham Sharda: What never fails to make you love?

TJ Macke: Inside jokes with my friends.

Saksham Sharda: Pick one – Mark Zuckerberg or Jack Dorsey?

TJ Macke: Jack Dorsey.

Saksham Sharda: The biggest mistake of your career?

TJ Macke: Not being more candid with myself.

Saksham Sharda: How do you relax?

TJ Macke: Reading

Saksham Sharda: How many cups of coffee do you drink per day?

TJ Macke: One.

Saksham Sharda: A habit of yours that you hate?

TJ Macke: Procrastination.

Saksham Sharda: The last one is your favorite Netflix show.

TJ Macke: A difficult one. I’m blanking on Netflix shows.

Saksham Sharda: Okay, so it’s all good. All right, so that was 8/10 I’m gonna give you, which is a good start.

The Big Questions!

Big Questions

Saksham Sharda: So now we can move on to the long-form questions. The first one is what in your opinion, are the best ways to leverage the right kind of tech stack to make large enterprise account sales easier?

TJ Macke: The best ways to leverage the right tech stack, so for large enterprise account-based sales, like the perspective that I try to help bring people back to is team selling, like, that’s the core idea of account-based sales is your team selling. So any technology that’s the right stage for your growth, can help you better collaborate on a sale, whether it’s initial prospecting, managing an opportunity, onboarding, and ensuring client success. Like that should be the tenant, the thing that you come back to is how can I sell better as a team. Two, this team of buyers adds an account. I think where some folks get tripped up is that they take on too much technology for their stage of growth. They’re too small, and they buy 18 tools that they could never manage. Or they don’t continue to invest in some of the peripheral solutions that add to a better account-based experience. So I don’t know if that was too long. But that’s my initial thoughts on that.

Saksham Sharda: No, you can answer these long. So we’re not in the rapid-fire round. And some speakers make the mistake of continuing to be in a rapid-fire mindset lecture, the entire interview, but now you can take your time. But yeah, so why team selling in particular?

TJ Macke: That’s what account-based selling is like you’re selling to a team, right? There’s a group of people on that account. Most of them you hopefully know, but some of them, you won’t get to know. But you’re not selling to an individual, you’re selling to a team. And to provide a great experience, you’ve got to bring a team. So if you’re an individual trying to run an account-based approach, you’re going to be at a disadvantage. Because you can’t bring the nuances to a conversation to an experience that the team is demanding. You know, if a CFO asked for a follow-up meeting to a proposal, and you’ve spent most of your time working with a CMO on a business plan if it’s the same person just at every single conversation without any additional support. The conversation lacks dimension because none of us can be a CMO and a CFO and a CTO in one that’s why we have those different leaders in our businesses. And so you’ve got to be able to match what the customer is bringing. I think that’s maybe another thing I would add that folks kind of get wrong is that they don’t bring enough depth to match their buyer. Right, like our buying and selling journeys should be parallel to each other. And we should match the intensity and the participation that our buyers bring. So if you’ve got three executives, as part of an enterprise account base sale involved on the buying side, how are we countering that on the selling side? It doesn’t have to be one-for-one, but it definitely can’t be one for all. So those are some of my thoughts.

Saksham Sharda: And what do you think of gating content in general? Do you think it results in fewer potential customers understanding what you offer and the issue you resolve for them?

TJ Macke: Gating is all about how you do it. So gating content comes back to this idea of like a mutual exchange of value, that’s what we’re doing, I’m going to give you something that you don’t have to pay money for. And in return, you’re going to give me some information about who you are, and potentially how I could get in contact with you. Now, what’s happened, what we’ve seen is that the exchange of value is often not equal. So we ask for lots of information in exchange for breadcrumbs of value. And inevitably, our buyers and people on our buying committee feel jaded and frustrated. Sometimes you have the other way around, though, you’ve got customers, or you’ve got companies that are giving away incredible value in their content. And they ask for nothing or very little, it’s not bad. But, ideally, we should have a mutual experience. And so I recommend that for most companies, again, depends on your strategy. There are a lot of elements here, but you should have two or three core dense assets, that are your pillars, that you should feel confident gating because you’re giving such immense value that you’re asking just for a little bit in return. And you should surround those pillars with lots of free open-access content, and whether or not you’re pulling from your pillar, that’s a content strategy question. But you should lean on the side of giving more away, but you should feel comfortable and confident in your content, to ask something in return. But if you don’t feel confident, that’s a sign you haven’t invested enough in your content.

Saksham Sharda: So do you have some examples of like good gated content, and a company that does gated content good?

TJ Macke: Let me try to think of some examples. I have worked with a lot of people in this space, I don’t want to put anybody out. Let me initially speak for ourselves, just because, I can be most candid about that. So we put out a lot of content around how folks should think about their sales tech stack. That’s a conversation we have a lot in sales workflows. And so we’ll have some guides and articles that go out throughout the year, that are here are some best practices on outbound prospecting, here’s the best, the three core pieces of technology for an inbound workflow. So those are examples of pieces of content we put out throughout the year, that wouldn’t be gated. But then inside of the year, we’re typically producing like two core assets. And it’s either like a universal sales workflow guide, or it’s our perspective on what the best-in-class tech stack looks like. And it typically encompasses, you know, 10, to 12 technologies. And it’s our take on what those items are. We spent a lot of time interviewing customers, interviewing the market, and investing because of our reputations behind this. So we feel confident that we’re providing value. And so we asked something in return, we asked for folks to, put some contact information in and let us know why it’s relevant. So that’s an example for us we’re going to put out this year’s here and like about six weeks, and folks will see, they’ll have to input in some information, but it’s worth it because we think they’re going to experience great value. You know, many other companies do this well. Trying to think, Figma has some great content. And I know some of the demand generation team over there. They’re working hard on providing that. Let’s see who else is another one. The team at Anaplan has a complex product, and I feel like they do a great job providing the right depth through the journey. It’s easy sometimes to throw in lots of heavy content, especially with technical products. I think they do a great job providing sort of a curated experience. I think that’s underrated.

Saksham Sharda: And what do you think of unmeasurable? So gate content is measurable. But what do you think of unmeasurable brand marketing activities such as LinkedIn and podcasting, do you think they eventually lead to increased demand for your product?

TJ Macke: They can, I am a big believer in the value of the less tangible touches. But I think it’s like you have to agree as a team or as an organization, on how you value those things. And it’s different for different like go-to-market motion. So some examples here. So I worked for sapper consulting. And I was fortunate enough to be a real team member. And when we were first of all, in the company, we primarily grew through using our methods, going outbound, and prospecting. And we invested transparently, very little in marketing. And this is twofold. This was partially due to ignorance and partially due to strategy. We were very good at outbound. And so we felt confident in that. And we wrestled with this idea of how we value impressions on the websites or likes on LinkedIn, or some of these less tangible, brand experience items. There are lots of thoughtful marketers out there, they’re very confident in speaking to those things. But in the early days, we weren’t confident in the value of that. And so we over-indexed on what we could control. And it ended up working out super set a great turn of events. But at some point, we realized that we were getting these like bonus wins. And we did some research into like how we were winning deals. And we saw that on the surface, our inbound leads, just were nice to have like, right, they were a surprise, “oh, gosh, we got 20% more inbound leads”. But as we started peeling back, we noticed that those eventually correlated, though, we couldn’t always make a direct connection to those intangibles. Right? So we want to best workplace award, or we had a group of people attend an event, but we didn’t get the event leads. But we saw people eventually come through the funnel because they heard from a friend. And so we started to place more value as a team and an organization on those hard-to-place intangibles and investing in the brand, and not spending a ton of energy over quantifying the impact, we just said, we’re going to do X number of these things. And we’re just going to trust that it’s going to be valuable. And it was, and that was the beginning of our real brand strategy that now you know, much smarter folks than I have taken over and do great work behind. So I think especially for smaller organizations, or folks just getting into content strategy, and sort of brand experience marketing, you’ve got to sort of coming to terms with it with yourself, especially if you’re a very sales-driven organization, you need to just sort of accept the reality, there’s gonna be some things you have to invest in that it’s very difficult to get the impact of the ROI. But here’s the principle I back that up with. If you’ve ever been to Las Vegas, or if you’ve ever played and maybe a poker championship, right? It’s a certain amount of fun, and depending on your skill level, you’re gonna win something, hopefully. But you never bet more than you can lose. And I think that mindset or that principle should somehow be backing this intangible marketing, because I’ve seen especially young businesses get sold on the idea of the intangibles, and they invest more money than they can stand to lose, or that they need to make back right away. And then they’re in an over-leveraged position, which is bad. So the thing that I would encourage folks is to create some sort of practical budget, and commit to a certain number of items, right? We’re gonna spend whatever 10 grand this year, we’ll spend 100 grand, on these types of experiences, we’re going to do five events, or we’re going to invest in a website and those aren’t good examples, because they can still be tracked. But whatever the thing is, we’re going to invest in some intangible marketing, and we’re just going to watch it. We’re going to commit to a free year, we’re going to do these things. And we’re just going to see, do we get an increase in inbound that we can’t correlate? What what’s the outcome of that? That’s what I would encourage folks to do. But the trick is giving it time and space, but not overleveraging yourself. We think about that.

Saksham Sharda: Yeah, that works. But how does one go about as a small and medium business assigning a particular budget, what percent of the budget should be going into intangibles?

TJ Macke: I mean, it’s so customer to customer, company to company, right? Do you have to take from something, can you afford to net increase your marketing budget, I would like one step at a time. So if you’ve never invested in this before, see if you can go find a grand or two a month. And if you’re a small company, that’s like no money, but it’s not all the money. And, if you take a grant or two a month, that’s 10 to 20 grand over the year, and you can participate in some meaningful experiences. So again, whether that’s some sort of online engagement strategy, if it’s offline events, if it’s some sort of gifting strategy, I don’t know if there are several things you can do publications, awards, find what those things are. And I think the deal is to just give it enough space, I see folks like, they spend two months on strategy, right, they spent four grand, like, I didn’t see anything comparable. So we gotta give it the space. If you want to measure that impact, especially the further you get away from the metrics.

Saksham Sharda: Okay, so also, what do you think that in today’s rapidly changing buying and selling dynamic, how critical is it to shift from sales enablement to revenue enablement?

TJ Macke: I mean, candidly, it depends a bit on the business model. There’s a big trend right now between going from sales to a revenue mindset, right? So we’re not having Chief Sales Officer, we’re having Chief Revenue officers, we’re having this idea of revenue as a complete journey, one very valuable. And there are many organizations, especially in the SaaS world, where that is more honest ownership of how money is made and cared for in the business, right? So, especially if we have got any sort of trial basis, or product, lead growth strategy, sales have to be closely related to the inbound and the marketing function. If we have an expansion pathway and we’re proof of concepts or anything where usage grows quickly, over the initial period of the journey, well, then we’ve got to have a great success function, you know, do we have an enterprise expansion model, and we need account ownership to break into new business units or regions? Well, then we need a great account management function, all of that has to be owned by one team, that coordinates this and comes back to the account-based conversation. If the buying the flyers, bringing your team, we gotta bring a team. If there’s a true journey and not just moments in time, we have to bring a team, which means a revenue mindset, and I guess, to your question, revenue enablement. But I also want to call out that that’s not every business. If you’re not working in a subscription model, if you’re not working in a rapid-pace expansion model, based on consumption and incremental success goals, then that may or may not be the right model for you, especially if we look at the SMB market if you’re, a small I don’t know any number of businesses providing professional services, you sell copiers, if you’re a Managed IT provider, you may not have a business model that benefits from having a core revenue function that owns all, revenue pieces, but if you do, you’re far better off investing in it. So I guess to answer your question, it depends on the business model and how you win your customer’s business over time. And if it is infrequent wins, so once a year or every couple of years. And if it’s not based on consumption, then no, I don’t think revenue enablement and revenue operations are the models.

Saksham Sharda: And what do you think has led to the majority thinking that revenue enablement is the model that has gotten people into that mindset?

TJ Macke: One has been the rise of SaaS, the rise of software as a service. And this notion that we’re not going to sell someone an upfront $2 million investment for five years for hardware, a custom-built software, like the old days, and instead, we’re going to incrementally win our customer’s business over time. And we’re going to break the payment structure over, a value-based increment based on usage or seats or feature sets. And software has continued to eat the world, the famous quote, so because customer access and value have changed, monetization had to change. And because of the monetization change, we had to change what the internal supporting motion was. And so I think that’s given rise to this more mature perspective of, well, we can’t have a salesperson sell once and then never talk to the customer again. That won’t work for the business model, right? We can’t have marketing only engage them upfront when they’re a lead and then never talked to them again. Right, because we want them to come back and experience value and expand and refer and all of that. I do think that even for nonsoftware as service businesses and non-software businesses, there are principles from that model, they are already seeing trickle into the SMB world. This idea of sticking with your customers from a marketing perspective, right, even after they’re a customer, we still most companies will market to them. Here are some things you didn’t know about us, here’s a newsletter, that wasn’t always the case. Or it was, you know, sort of done on an individual level if you’re a proactive business owner. You know, we’re seeing folks, ask for referrals, ask for customer satisfaction scores, these are things that consumption-based models, pioneered and made standard. And now you’re seeing, people that sell printers and copiers or people that, do lawn mowing services, the bread, and butter of the world, like how the world operates. They’re learning these principles and the fact that they can make more money and win more customers, even though they’re not, you know, a revenue operations organization.

Saksham Sharda: And speaking of changes, then AI, artificial intelligence is the fastest growing area for sales teams. So adoption is expected to increase by almost 139% in the next three years. So what are the most advantageous ways that AI is influencing today’s sales technology you think?

TJ Macke: I think, some of the ways I am most excited about seeing AI show up right now come back to like messaging. Especially for SMBs, small companies, and early companies that maybe can’t afford to go and hire someone that has built out a sales program three times before, they can’t afford the best-in-class sales representative that has their book of messaging that they know, works, whatever it is they’re at a disadvantage to some degree, but we’re seeing artificial intelligence show up in new parts of the buying journey. So in the marketing journey, and inside of the sales journey, there are a couple of different tools out there that are either helping companies write AI, informed blogs, or SEO content strategy, there’s an amazing platform called Reggie, that will help you write sales messaging, and even like social selling LinkedIn posts, things like that. So there’s a lot of AI innovation being done around an area that was almost exclusively a human endeavor, right, this sort of quasi-scientific creative effort of how do I speak to my buyer? Well, now AI is teaching us what the best ways are. And I think that’s early in its journey. But that will soon become the standard, you won’t be able to compete unless you have some AI support in your go-to-market strategy.

Saksham Sharda: Have you used that software, Reggie? Are you guys using that regularly or what is something you’ve found?

TJ Macke: Yes, that’s a platform that we use internally. But there are several others out there that are either operating in similar related spaces or competing. So there are many solutions that you can look into, what are some other ones, some other AI? For actual sellers, there are some really interesting AI-call coaching solutions out there. I think that’s also sort of at the forefront. It’s early but promising. If you’re a sales rep, that’s new, some tools will prompt battle cards, or will, give you questions that you should think about or ask about, a lot of those solutions are helping teams ramp faster, and increase the overall quota attainment of their sales team.

Saksham Sharda: So like, a lot of tools and like, you know, stuff available now. So what are the most successful strategies for avoiding pitfalls, when migrating legacy data to anything new?

TJ Macke: Goodness, that is a whole ball of wax. Migrating legacy data is an incredibly hard thing to do. Part of what’s hard, I think for companies is deciding what to move. This can take a lot of different forms. But if you’re moving from maybe one CRM to another, this is your first time, investing in a CRM. You have all your customer data. I think one of the things that folks use to value a lot was comprehensive data. I want data as much as I can get. And don’t get me wrong, there’s value, data is the new oil. And having lots of data means you can do lots of interesting things, create interesting reporting, and feed really powerful automation. But one of the things that I see holding some of the biggest companies in the world back is data integrity, and what they end up but many companies Isn’t it spending a lot of time on is figuring out how do we improve the quality and accuracy of our data? So if I’m suddenly put in charge of a legacy data migration, one of the things that I want to talk about with the stakeholders involved is, what data do we believe the most in? And what data is so questionable or so poor, that we would never act on it? And if you can’t improve that, before the migration, you’re better off leaving it out. Because many companies like to talk about, “oh, we could run this thoughtful account-based automated marketing and sales motion. But you know, what? Our native company name isn’t reliable. We’re at like, 80% accuracy, so we can’t use it.” Get rid of it. If you can’t use it. Now, there are some basic functions you’re required to have. But companies should invest more, in my opinion, in data accuracy, and that should be one of the primary tenets anytime you’re migrating data. What data do we believe in? What data don’t we trust? Can we change it before we move? And if we can’t change it? Can we leave it behind and focus on net news and raising the bar of accuracy?

Saksham Sharda: So what exactly do you mean by leaving it behind?

TJ Macke: I mean, quite literally not bringing it into your new system. Again, very controversial take. And there are some times when that’s not an option. But too often the default is if we have it, bring it. And my challenge there to folks is that if you can’t trust it, if you wouldn’t go turn on an automation strategy, leveraging that data, or if you wouldn’t create a report that you share with your team automatically before you fix it. Is it worth bringing into your new system? Sometimes, again, you have to, but often, it’s not a requirement, especially if you’re not going to use it. So don’t bring it, go and get new data that you can trust or find a way to append that data so you can act on it. A lot of people are data hoarders, and I get it because data is incredibly valuable, and can do some interesting things. Historical data is very meaningful. But if you can’t trust it, you’re not going to act on it. It’s going to sit in the basement if you will.

Saksham Sharda: I think humans are just hoarders by nature. Like if you’re shifting flat to get rid of so much useless stuff. I feel like analogy does.

TJ Macke: I agree, I think we’re all.

Saksham Sharda: So going back from like data to intangibles, once again, how crucial is it for companies to find a way to align their customer service practices with their brand voice and business model?

TJ Macke: I think this is important, but pretty hard to do. The best teams, again, come back to the account-based strategy, right? So if we’re running a revenue motion, or the journeys connected, and we’re running an account-based motion, where we have teams, supporting teams, making sure that your success team knows what your voice sounds like, can be difficult, because a lot of those things are kind of intangible. Right? So how do we tell someone, we’re sort of a fun, quirky voice as a brand that’s supportive, and naturally curious? Alright, well, if I’m a customer service representative, and I get someone asking me, “my software’s down, what do I do? I’ve ordered a lot of product, it’s not coming.” How do I show up in that conversation with quirky, supportive, and curious language? It’s hard. And so I think if companies want their customer support, customer service, or customer success teams to leverage a brand voice, they have to invest heavily in enabling that. So the simplest way right is to provide templates. So here’s how you would answer this question or solve this problem or lead a curious inquiry with a customer with our voice, many companies do that they provide some sort of template or messaging. However, inevitably, templates fit 50% of the conversations your team might have. So what do they do for the rest of the time? Well, they have to improvise. And if they have not practiced how to improvise based on your messaging, or and this is important, if they don’t sort of interpersonally understand the messaging, if you’ve just dropped a content handbook to them and walked away and they don’t get it. On an internal level, they’re gonna have a hard time riffing and adding their voice to that. This is why all of us have had awkward, clunky, not brand-connected interactions. Everyone listening to this, I guarantee it because so many companies struggle. So the things that I would recommend is like yes, this is important. Again, match your level of capability with how much time you can spend on this,  if you’ve got one customer service person, maybe you can’t spend a lot on this, but spend a little, and make them some templates. And then practice, practice asking them questions, I can’t reemphasize, roleplay and coaching enough. So, set some time aside to prompt them and get them to respond, give them some coaching based on how they respond, and then listen to or get a transcript of the interactions they’re having with customers and say, do you actually like I’d say it this way, here’s how we would handle that as a company, versus, how you handle that, like, good try, here’s how I do it instead. Too many companies avoid this or just trust that their team’s gonna get it? Intuitively. It’s not intuitive, we have to help people understand how to speak in a brand voice.

Saksham Sharda: So could you like relate all of this one more time to your take on the parallel of designing for both the buying and the selling journeys?

TJ Macke: Yes, this is something that I talk about a lot, and I think is important. So companies tend to over-index on either the buying journey or the selling journey. If you spend much time on LinkedIn, you hear a lot of people talking about the buying journey. I had a terrible sales experience and SDR cold call me and they didn’t know my business name, or I got a proposal from a company and they didn’t get what I wanted. There are lots of woes, and we’ve been there, it’s painful, it’s frustrating when you go to buy, and you don’t have a thoughtful buying journey. So there are a lot of folks talking about the importance of making sure you design for your customer experience and not your own internal experience. The problem with that is your customer experience is fed, probably unless you’ve got direct-to-consumer motion, it’s fed by the sales team. So that the sales team, they have to do all of the things you’re designing for your customer. And if you require them to do a lot of activity, or to do complex activities, and you don’t give them the enablement or the space to succeed. It’s gonna fall apart, you could design the most perfect, beautiful, curated experience. And if it’s too heavy, it won’t work, and the sales team can’t execute it. So there’s this parallel, and I think there are companies on the other side of the fence that are the parallel is, over-engineering your buying journey. So these are the companies that all they think about is selling, all they think about is the sale, “I got the sale, we won, we’re done, we’re out, send the customer an invoice, we don’t care.” That’s sort of the legacy sales team approach. Listen, I get it, I’ve worked with companies that have had that mindset before you just kind of go in and try to win as fast as you can. Sometimes it’s small companies, it’s easy to default to that. The challenge is that, typically, if that’s your mindset, if you overemphasize the selling experience, then you design experiences that are painful for your customer. So you require your STRS, and your sales development reps to cold outbound prospects to hundreds of accounts, and it makes their interactions very impersonal and demanding, and greedy feeling. You require your salespeople to create a certain number of opportunities or send a certain number of proposals. That’s a lot. And it’s very demanding and unrealistic. And so, again, they’re impersonal, they’re not thoughtful, they don’t listen, well, they haven’t been trained and coached on how to be a thoughtful seller. All of these things contribute to over and from indexing, on the selling journey. The best companies meet in the middle. So they first draw out probably on paper or a Lucid Chart or something. What would the best buying journey look like? If I was a customer and then they map out below it, what would it take to support that? Well, we gotta send this email and we got to create this trigger in this automation, we got to have this type of tool, literally map it out. This is why people pay consultants, but you don’t have to have a consultant, you can do this yourself, get some paper, draw it out, and then start running some volume through it, you’ve created a little model. So like, well, what if we brought 100 new customers into the funnel? How many activities would that be for our seller? They’d have to do hundreds that are not sustainable. Okay, well, let’s redesign this experience. A lot of companies struggle to slow down enough to do this. So like, I’m calling that out, that can be challenging to invest the time. But for folks that do, they can be confident that the process that they’re running balances, giving the customer what they need to be successful and happy and fulfilled and creating a process that’s reasonable and realistic, and that you have the resources to support internally. That’s that perfect union, that everybody here also has one or two sales experiences that are just perfect. You thoughtful person that listens to your problems. They think about and consider what the best solution is. They don’t try to overcharge you or oversell, the really gracious and helping you get started, you know those companies, they have this great union between buying and selling. So that’s what I think more companies need to do is find that balance.

Saksham Sharda: Do you have any examples of companies that you’ve worked with that have become good at doing this?

TJ Macke: I mean, I talked about earlier, I think they’re doing great things. And they had a great event recently, but Figma has a very product lead function. And I think that they do a good job of providing their customers’ early access, a thoughtful sort of journey of enablement. And for their B2B motion, they run a, again, thoughtful practice for bringing customers on board. And I think that’s part of why Adobe wanted them and acquired them, and it’s going to change their business model probably a little bit, but I think that they do a great job of that. Some other companies that do I’ll get back to you on that.

Saksham Sharda: Okay, so the last question is more of a personal kind, it is basically, what would you be doing, if not this in your life right now?

TJ Macke: This I love, this is good. If I wasn’t doing this, I’d be doing one of two things. I would either be starting a company to help folks adapt and try to mitigate the effects of climate change. It’s something I see and I believe in the importance of quite a bit. Or I would be a climbing guide up in the Alaska range in either Canada or Alaska. I love mountaineering, hiking, and climbing, and I would build my life around that if I could.

Let’s Conclude! 

Saksham Sharda: Okay, well, thanks everyone for joining us for this month’s episode of Outgrow’s Marketer of the Month. That was TJ Macke. Thanks for joining us, TJ.

TJ Macke: Thanks so much for having me.

Saksham Sharda: Check out the website for more details, and we’ll see you once again next month with another marketer of the month.

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