Marketing exists to make sales easier

The Growth Report - #12

Today's topics include

📈 Growth Marketing:
Marketing exists to make sales easier

🧠 Personal Growth:
All you need are a few small wins every day

⛑️ Reflections from the trenches:
You won't always get what you want, but you might just get what you need

📈 Growth Marketing

Marketing exists to make sales easier

This topic might be a bit strange coming from a marketer, but I've been having conversations with quite a few founders of (Enterprise-) B2B companies lately and think it's worth talking about.

Most companies that sell to businesses, get started like this: After the founders built or specced out an MVP, they hire a team to build the product. Then they hire a team to sell that product. The rest of the team is there to support those two functions.

Or in the words of Dave Kellogg:

Enterprise software is a two-engine plane and those two engines are quota-carrying salesreps (QCRs) who sell the software and storypoint-burning developers (DEVs) who write it.

...everyone else is “the help” — including marketing, finance, sales supporting roles (e.g., SCs, SDRs), engineering-supporting roles (e.g., QA, PM, TPM), customer service, and yes, the CEO. The faster you understand this, in my humble opinion, the better.

And while consumer products (especially DTC/CPG brands) are a different story, I think a lot of B2B marketers who work at companies with CHF 10k+ average order value (and no self-serve option) should take this mantra to heart: "Marketing exists to make sales easier".

How can marketing help?

  • Giving sales qualified leads to work on.

  • Building training and tools that helps sales sell more.

  • Providing competitive information that helps win more deals.

  • Creating an ideal customer profile (ICP) that helps sales focus on the most winnable deals.

  • Building industry-specific messaging that helps sell in given verticals

  • Working with product marketing to build product that is inherently more salable.

  • Corporate strategy development to put the company in the right markets with the right offerings.

  • Building a content strategy to establish a thought-leader position in the market and use that brand equity for customer acquisition and retention.

I think there is just as much value being in a "helping" or supporting function. It's just that marketers don't like to hear that (especially the ones coming from agencies and B2C brands). The impact and influence you can have as a marketer with the above-mentioned activities are far-reaching and profound for the business.

But at the end of the day it's our responsibility as professional marketers to be realistic on where we add the most value.

/rant over

🧠 Personal Growth

All you need are a few small wins every day

I can't believe I haven't had any of Ryan Holiday's ideas covered here so far. He's the author of two books that I love, 'The Obstacle is The Way' and 'Ego is the Enemy' and has had a big influence on my philosophy of life overall.

In his most recent article we are covering here, he starts with:

Success, like the proverbial sausage, is much less pretty when you see how it’s made.

Meaning that the process of writing a best-seller book, creating a successful business, crafting an award-winning work of art, product or anything else really, is a lot less glamorous than the end result might suggest.

If you look at it from the outside though, this is counter-intuitive. You might think that there is some magical-genius-process going on that is akin to the final product. But if you really think about the best stuff you've put out there yourself, how did you arrive there? Wasn't it messy and chaos at the outset, and sprinkled with desperation and self-doubt throughout?

Ryan makes the link to writing:

Hemingway once said that “the first draft of anything is shit,” and he’s right.

The first draft of anything is shit. Exactly. How could it be any other way?

So what's the remedy?

The single best rule I’ve heard as a writer is that the way to write a book is by producing “two crappy pages a day.” It’s by carving out a small win each and every day—getting words on the page—that a book is created.

Creating anything of consequence or magnitude requires deliberate, incremental and consistent work. At the beginning, these efforts might not look like they are amounting to much. But with time, they accumulate and then compound on each other. Whether it’s a book or a business or an anthill, from humble beginnings come impressive outcomes.

Isn't that an insanely liberating thought? Great work is accessible to each one of us. Sitting down every day and doing the work is something that is under our control. It's not as sexy as big risky bets, or instant transformations, but "it's dependable and it works".

Because it adds up. Because it determines what you’ll accomplish, and what you won’t. Most important, it determines who you are.

Even this newsletter is an example of this at work. Is it the best thing ever written? Definitely not. But in the process of creating it, I have practiced my writing skills and proven to myself that I show up every Friday and do the work. This continually builds confidence and makes every next piece of work a tiny bit better still.

Small wins every day. That’s it.

⛑️ Reflections from the trenches

In this section, I share my weekly thoughts and reflections that come up during our journey of building our company GrowthBay.

You won't always get what you want, but you might just get what you need.

This week was a turbulent one for me. Due to unforeseen circumstances, a planned website launch on Tuesday had to be rolled back and postponed twice. And even though we successfully delivered on the third go and everyone involved is super happy with the end-result, the question remained: What happened and why?

When I do a personal post-mortem of any project or undertaking, I'll try to analyze how I specifically have lived up to my promises and where I have fallen short. I don't want to bore you with the specifics, so let's jump straight to my conclusion: To speed up the release of this project and to meet its deadline, I have agreed to too many shortcuts and compromises that made the technical setup complex and failure-prone. And while each little compromise on its own would have not been too much of an issue, in totality they have left us vulnerable to a vast array of eventualities that could go wrong.

To make things worse, I was well aware that we are pushing our luck, but in my mind (and in agreement with the customer) it was a temporary solution anyways and we already had plans to fix all loose ends right after the launch was concluded. So no problem right? We do the launch and fix the rest later.

Well, I was wrong. Shit hit the fan, mission critical technical issues arose and we had to abort. Twice. Not the most comfortable situation to be in.

That was two days ago. Now after reflecting, zooming out and looking at the long-term view, we certainly didn't get what we wanted (a smooth release), but I think we might have gotten what we needed (a wake up call to re-evaluate the whole legacy infrastructure that's been in place for years and a bonus lesson in proper risk mitigation management).

And isn't that the case so often in life? When things go wrong, we have to take responsibility for the situation (the first instinct is often to look for someone else to blame and so it was the case here). And when each of us actually takes the time to look under the hood of what happened and why, we find a valuable lesson for our own life hidden in plain sight. And it's on us to learn from that lesson, or we might find ourselves in a similar situation again very soon.

To me that is true for business, relationships, hobbies, finances, you name it.

Life gives us what we need. Sometimes it coincides with what we want, and sometimes it doesn't.

See you next week,