Sales Pipeline Radio, Episode 97: Q&A with Mark Godley

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Late in 2015 we started producing a bi-weekly radio program called Sales Pipeline Radio, which runs live every other Thursday at 11:30 a.m. Pacific.  It’s just 30 minutes long, fast-paced and full of actionable advice, best practices and more for B2B sales & marketing professionals.

We’ve already featured some great guests and have a line up of awesome content and special guests into 2016. Our very first guest was Funnelholic author and Topo co-founder Craig Rosenberg.  Next we had Mike Weinberg, incredible writer, speaker, author, followed by Conrad Bayer, CEO & Founder of Tellwise.  Recent Guests: Jim KeenanJoanne BlackAaron Ross; Josiane Feigon, Meagen Eisenberg, and Trish Bertuzzi.

We cover a wide range of topics, with a focus on sales development and inside sales priorities heading into and throughout the year. We’ll publish similar highlights here for upcoming episodes.  You can listen to full recordings of past shows at SalesPipelineRadio.com and subscribe on iTunes.

We were thrilled this last time to be able to talk to Mark Godley, President of LeadGenius, to discuss how lead augmentation drives greater sales pipeline contribution.

LeadGenius is a sales and marketing intelligence solution that enables B2B companies to identify and connect with their ideal customers. Using a unique combination of machine learning and human researchers, LeadGenius provides B2B marketing and sales teams around the world with highly-accurate lead generation data and go-to-market intelligence.

Trusted by enterprise companies like Google, Square, Box, and eBay for over 3 years, LeadGenius has become the source of truth for contact, account, and custom data.

More about Mark:

With more than 25 years of B2B technology industry leadership, prior to joining LeadGenius in July of this year, Godley most recently served as Chief Revenue Officer for HG Data. Prior to that, he was Vice President of Market Development for ConnectAndSell, Inc., a cloud-based sales productivity platform. At healthcare startup Aventura, he managed the alliance, partnership and sales channel efforts. He also holds Advisory roles at a number of leading companies in the salestech and martech space, including Omniquo, ZenIQ, The Big Willow and ZoomInfo.

Matt:  You know 2017 is about to crest. I cannot believe it is mid December.

Paul:  Can you believe it? Yeah.

Matt:  It’s ridiculous. This year’s gone incredibly fast, and I think for those of you that are on a calendar fiscal year, this is the end of the year. It’s the end of the month, it’s the end of the quarter, don’t mean to scare you, but times a wasting. Time to ride that crest and get a few more deals closed and then go and enjoy some time with your family for the holidays.

But before we do that, we got a couple more episodes here at Sales Pipeline Radio we’re going to get in the can. We are coming up on our 100th episode of Sales Pipeline Radio in just a couple weeks, can’t believe it’s been that many … Paul, we’ve done this now for almost two years.

Paul:  Amazing.

Matt:  It’s been a ride. It’s been good.

Paul:  You know what amazes me is I go in and check your feed from time to time, because we obviously do it live and then we turn it into a podcast, where we store those podcasts, every time I open up there’s 10, 20 people that are now suddenly following you. I mean, it’s crazy. You’ve definitely hit a nerve here.

Matt:  It’s amazing. It’s very humbling to see our traffic, to see the people that are downloading episodes. We are live here on the Sales Pipeline Radio network at 11:30 Pacific/ 3:30 Eastern every Thursday. We have people that are increasingly listening to us live, so thank you very much for doing that. We are also available on the podcast, you can catch us on Apple, the iTunes store, as well as Google Play. All of our episodes are available up there, and then at salepipelineradio.com, every past, present, and future episode available on demand. Yeah, the downloads that we’re getting, the subscription volume that we’re getting, it’s been really exciting. I think it’s certainly not me, Paul. I don’t think it’s you either. I think it’s a little bit you. But mostly, it’s the guests that we get.

Paul:  Yes, that’s true.

Matt:  It’s the great minds in sales marketing.

Paul:  Like today.

Matt:  Today is no different. Really, really excited to have with us today, Mark Godley. He’s the President of LeadGenius, and we’re going to spend some time today talking about data, talking about lists, talking about leads in B2B. But first and foremost, Mark, thanks so much for joining us on Sales Pipeline Radio.

Mark Godley:  Guys, thanks for having me. Those are high expectations, I hope I don’t disappoint anybody.

Matt:  No, you’re going to be great. We’ll be gentle. I want to start just by talking a little bit about data in B2B. I think that it’s easy for a lot of people to think that this is a bit of a commodity, but I think as you well know, data is anything but in B2B. What’s going on with data today? What’s the landscape in B2B look like as we kind of finish 2017, head into the new year, and why is it so important to have a smarter, more advanced strategy for your B2B sales and marketing efforts.

Mark Godley:  I think it’s a fantastic time to be in B2B, because of what’s happening with data. For the Greybeards listening, of which I am proudly one of them, you go back ten years ago and there was a paucity of data. Data was very difficult to find, and because of the computers we’re carrying around in our pockets and listening to this podcast on, you’ve gone from scarcity to abundance. What’s happening in particular in B2B is it’s paralleling the B2C world, where as individual consumers we’re being tracked, every credit card swipe, every text, every phone call. I personally enjoy that, because it allows marketers to be very directed to me as buyer. I don’t see that as an invasion of privacy, quite the opposite.

In the B2B brethren in the marketing side is saying, “I want that level of targeting. I want do precision targeting at scale.” So data vendors, again 10 years ago a company would have a single vendor strategy. “I use Jigsaw, I use Net Prospects,” these are companies that aren’t around anymore, but now you ask someone about their data strategy and they’ll rattle off a half dozen companies that they’re using. And I think that’s just absolutely fantastic.

Matt:  So there’s a lot of confusion and, I think, even intimidation among B2B buyers when it comes to data. There are a lot of choices. They aren’t mutually exclusive. There are a lot of crappy data providers out there. I think that even if you buy into the data that says, “The typical B2B database deteriorates at a rate of two to three percent per month,” so you gotta do something to continue to maintain. What are you doing … what should B2B buyers and B2B marketers be doing to evaluate new data sources and ensure that they’re not getting in bed with someone that’s going to give them garbage, that’s going to sully their reputation, that’s going to make their campaigns perform less optimally? What is the decision-making, sort of the research process people should be looking at?

Mark Godley:  Well, I think people have to be very prescriptive in their evaluation process. And buy through sampling of data, and putting a vendor through the paces. I actually believe on my LinkedIn profile there’s a very long piece that speaks about five to six things, speaks of about four or five things someone can do around this exact topic. But I think, really, what it comes down to is test every boast and claim made by a data vendor and sample data. When you sample data, don’t just let the data vendor provide to you what they want, but start with a seed list, as a good example.

If you’re asking for, “I wanna know CFOs in the UK at healthcare companies,” be very directive in what you’re asking of them. Even go so far as to, say, give them lists of companies you want them to append data to. By doing that, you’re going to make sure that they have data that is specific to your subset of the market that is important. The other things I’d like to say besides buying a little bit better is I think data vendors, I’m hoping that data vendors will start to bring more clarity to the marketplace, in talking about exactly what they do, what they don’t do, and what they’re used for. I think too many data vendors are muddying the waters by talking in generalities, and we’re making it much tougher for buyers, because everyone sounds the same.

Matt:  Yeah, I think that a level of clarity and direction certainly will help people significantly in that process. Talking today to Mark Godley, he’s the President of LeadGenius. LeadGenius does some pretty amazing work in the custom B2B contact and account data space. As we think about the need for greater depth, greater insight, more buying signals and triggers and attributes of companies that are more likely to want to engage, more likely to be receptive to our message. It makes me think about the account-based marketing efforts a lot of companies have been going through. I feel like we’re kind of getting a little bit out of maybe the #ABMfrothiness phase, and now into the how do we actually implement this. What are you seeing in the market, and I know that you guys work with a lot of companies that are doing target account selling, doing account-based marketing efforts. How do you see this initiative kind of evolving into 2018?

Mark Godley:  Yeah, I think the ABM wave and hype definitely starting to settle down, and we’re getting into the enlightenment portion of things. ABM has been around for decades, and really, if I were to boil down ABM, I really see it as effective, addressable market analysis. Every company wants to believe they’re a billion dollar unicorn. Every company wants to believe that everyone with a pulse is a buyer, but the reality is that’s usually not the case. So what I see companies doing is getting very specific and realistic about what is a qualified buyer for them? What is the company profile? What is the person profile? That may mean your target market is less than what you told your investors or what is ideal for you to hit your number, but if you can get realistic about who is your buyer at the person and company level, I think that’s the first step.

And frankly, I think buyers, not only are companies and marketers and sales reps getting a little bit numb to ABM, I think buyers are really getting angry, and rightfully so. Because it has become so easy, because of these sophisticated martech and sales tech stacks, to reach out to anybody for any reason. I think buyers are finding it challenging to figure out who to engage with, based on their voicemails and their cell phone ringing and email. I think we can do everybody in the whole ecosystem a favor if we were just more realistic on all of these points.

Matt:  I agree with that. I think that we’re definitely seeing a trend of the buying committee’s inside large organizations getting bigger. The effort to buy from those individuals and from those companies is getting more difficult. It’s getting more frustrating, and I think there’s a theme in this conversation so far of providing guidance to the buyers, providing a clear path to how they should be moving forward, making it easier for them to engage.

Mark, we’re going to have to take a quick break, here. Pays the bills. I’ve got a lot more questions for you, to talk a little bit about data. I want to talk about, we referenced this being the end of the month, end of the quarter, end of the year going into next year. As a relatively new leader at LeadGenius, I want to sort of get your insights into where this is all going. We’ll be right back with a lot more with Mark Godley, the President of LeadGenius. This is Sale Pipeline Radio.

*Break*

Paul:  Alright, let’s pick it back up with a couple of certified LeadGenius’s. Matt Heinz.

Matt:  Hey thanks everyone, coming back to Sales Pipeline Radio. If you like what we’re talking about here today and wanna share this with your colleagues, definitely make sure you go to salespipelineradio.com, download the on demand version that we’ll have up in a couple days, and subscribe to every future episode on Google Play and iTunes store.

I think, Mark, that data is something that, for too many companies, is an afterthought. You collect it and then you sort of have it in a list and you don’t do a lot with it. But I think dirty data and lack of data management, data maintenance, and a data strategy, can really be the silent killer of good marketing and sales campaigns. If you’re looking at your open rates and your click rates and looking at performance at the bottom of the campaign but aren’t looking at what’s going into it, not only having the right people and the right information, but targeting the right people for the right reasons. That’s the foundation, that’s what everything is built off of. I don’t care how good your creative is or your offer is, if you don’t have the right data strategy, you’re not going to be very successful.

So what do you recommend people do if they’re looking into 2018. How should people think about their data strategy, and the modern data stack as part of that?

Mark Godley:  Yeah. Well, I think what you ended on, this concept of a data stack I think is really important. I think as data has become more abundant, some people have gotten overly ambitious and created a lot of complexity by bringing on too many vendors, and others have been sitting back trying to figure out what should they add to a relatively simplistic strategy. What I would recommend is go back over the last year or two, look at your bookings, look at your efforts, do some analytics on where you’re getting the best return, and then I think it’s basic persona-driven approach, where you try to replicate your wins and minimize your losses. And how can data help you in that regard?

And data doesn’t necessarily have to be from a third-party vendor. There’s a lot of first party data siloed within companies, that if you can understand how to utilize it for upsell, cross sell, or take a look at anonymous web traffic, or partial form fill. There’s a whole bunch of stuff you can do to start to understand peoples’ buyers journey better. Then, once you’ve done that with internal data, are there third party vendors that have specialty data that you can bulk on to fill in some white space, to allow you to be more prescriptive, and honestly, not necessarily build a bigger pipeline, but get much better conversion and throughput for the companies you are targeting and trying to get on that pipeline.

Matt:  Mark, you’ve been doing this for a while. And I’m not saying that to call you old, but you’ve led sales teams at companies like ADP. You’ve been CEO, you’ve done this a lot. As you look at the end of this year, and look at going into next year, we’re recording this on December 14th, so almost halfway through December. A couple questions. One, what do people do to sort of stay in the game and stay sharp in the last part of December? It’s not like everyone’s going away, there’s plenty of people still working, plenty of opportunities, so how do you help people stay disciplined for that? And then how do you recommend companies really hit the ground running on January 2nd so they’re not immediately caught behind of flat-footed.

Mark Godley:  Yeah, so first, as far as on an individual basis, anybody listening to this podcast, I think, is way ahead of the game. Because anyone listening to this podcast is someone that invests in themselves, it’s someone that has found thought leaders such as yourself, Matt, and I would recommend find a half dozen people like Matt Heinz and others, that you can learn from. So whether it’s Twitter feeds, or LinkedIn connections, or using Flipboard, just like there’s a ton of data out there, there’s a ton of ways for us as individuals to stay current. I will say personally, I start my business day not looking at emails, but I start my business day with about a half hour of, “What happened in the last 24 hours? What happened overnight? How does it impact me?” And I do that thorough using various social feeds and RSS feeds in blog posts to try to stay current.

I think it also starts with a commitment to being the main expert. All of us want to be great sales people and drive revenue, but really rather than selling, I’m a big believer in helping people buy. And the way you do that is by becoming a trusted advisor, by being an expert not just in your company, but in the space and the landscape in which you sit. As far as a company, what can a company do going into 2018, I’m a huge fan in what I call the vital pew metrics, which are one of the true levers of a company’s measurement of success of failure. Vanity metrics and beautiful graphs and dashboards and tableau charts, they’re eye candy, but at the end of the day you can most often boil a business down to no more than a half dozen metrics. Whether it’s cashflow, whether it’s number of logos, whether it’s gross margin, whether it’s velocity of sale. There’s a whole bunch of different metrics one can use.

I’ve spend the last decade in a startup where, first I’ll say that, and whenever I come into a new organization, what I try to do is get the senior team, and the senior team is not just the senior staff, it’s also the investors in the company, all behind … not only what are our goals, but how are we going to measure if we’re really succeeding or not? If you start with that premise and you get everyone focused on the three or four things, that really will … those are the dials of the growth of the company, I think you can do great things.

Matt:  That’s great advice. I love both those perspectives, both for the personal as well as the company perspective. Also, want to ask you about … so you, in addition to leading the LeadGenius team, you are an advisor to a number of companies, especially a lot of startup companies. Talk a little bit about your decision to do that. I mean, that takes a fair amount of time, but I find that people that do what you’re doing tend to be a combination of curious and generous. What’s the thought process for that for you? And then, what kind of advice would you give other executives, other leaders, that are looking for ways to sort of help and impact other companies?

Mark Godley:  Well, I do find that I am voraciously curious, not just about the business world, but about the world with a big W, and certainly within where I’ve chosen to make a career, which is in kind of the Salestech, Martech data extended space. As I said a little bit earlier, it’s just a wonderful time to be alive. There’s so much innovation happening. I didn’t start down the road ten years ago saying, “I want to run a company and be an advisor or organizations.” What I did is try to take a look at where is the big arch going, in the way people buy and sell? And what are those macro trends? And then try to find employment that would have me with those winds at my back.

As far as specific to advisory roles, that’s happened very organically, by just trying to be well connected, well-educated to the point of sharpening the saw as a main expert and trusted advisor. I’ve just been lucky enough to develop relationships of meaning, with other vendors and with customers. So for years I would get phone calls, people saying, “Hey Mark, I don’t want to buy …” name the company you’re working for right now, “But I know you know a lot about this bank. Can you help me out?” And to your point about generosity, I just believe in putting goodness in the world. I just developed a bit of a reputation of having a lot of opinions that were inexpensive, most of which were valuable. Not all of them. That kind of just morphed into people asking me to be formally associated with their companies, to help them grow and go to market with something of meaning.

Now when you do that, you gotta make sure that you’re not creating conflicts of interest. You gotta make sure that you disclose in any conversations who you’re affiliated, because you don’t want to inadvertently create the impression of bias or self-serving. So as long as you go into these relationships with transparency, I think it works out well for everyone.

Matt:  I love it. Hey, we’re wrapping up here with Mark Godley. He’s the President of LeadGenius. Just a couple minutes to go, and earlier you recommended people seek out people they can learn from, taking the time to learn, but also seeking people out. Who are some of the people that you seek out? Who are the people that you have found over the years as a sales and marketing executive, as a leader, that are the people that have been really instructive for you? It could be peer, it could be mentors, it could be authors, speakers, anybody. Who are some of the people that you would highlight on that?

Mark Godley:  Oh gosh. Wow. You know, a lot of the folks that I seek out are personal friends and confidants that don’t really have any kind of national followings or any kind of social media presence. It’s people that I’ve worked for or who have worked for me. I’d probably, one or two days a week, face to face with people, sharing my problems and troubles and seeking advice from very intimate relationships. If I were to list four or five people, no one on this call or listening to this podcast would have heard of them. I would encourage people to replicate that. I also, as far as where I seek inspiration, a lot of my interests are totally outside the business world. So rather than following the Elon Musk’s of the world and the Mark Zuckerberg’s of the world, I really find myself reading a ton and following a ton of people in totally different disciplines.

Surprisingly, I find a lot of parallels and a lot of refreshing perspectives that I bring into the business world. I think I may have answered a different question. I don’t know if you want to re-ask it, but maybe some of that was helpful.

Matt:  No, I think it’s good feedback, and I think what I take away from that is for people to prioritize building relationships with people that can be mentors, that can be someone you can work with on a regular basis, and to be well-rounded, to find sources or information and inspiration outside of your specific area of work.

We’re going to have to wrap up, unfortunately. Always run out of time way too fast, but I want to thank, again, our guest. Very generous with his time, Mark Godley. He’s the CEO of LeadGenius. You can check him out online. I definitely encourage you to learn more about what your data stack and your data strategy should be in 2018, at leadgenius.com. They got a lot of great information. They’ve got some great best practice guides and great content that can help educate you on this space as well.

If you liked this episode and you want to check it out again, you’ll find it on demand at salespipelineradio.com. In a couple days we’ll also have a highlighted Q&A from this conversation with Mark Godley on our blog at heinzmarketing.com. Thanks again for listening very much, for my great producer, Paul, this is Matt Heinz, thanks again for joining us on Sales Pipeline Radio.

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