We are back: The Art of Imitation, Should SDRs Work in Marketing?

Happy Friday,

Well, look who is here!

I missed you. 😘

This was the longest time without a Growth Report we ever had to endure.

BUT, we did it. 🙌

The summer break is over and I am back with more vigor, enthusiasm and a bigger backlog full of crazy topic ideas than ever (I apologize in advance!).

So buckle up folks. 💺 🚀

And now without further ado may I present….

...Today's topics

📈 B2B Marketing:
Should SDRs Report Into Sales or Marketing?

🧰 Tools of the Trade:
Articles, Tools and Inspiration for Marketers

⛑️ Reflections from the Trenches:
Through imitation, we discover our voice.

📈 B2B Marketing

Should SDRs Report Into Sales or Marketing?

Just for definition's sake:

  • SDRs (Sales Development Reps) own inbound lead qualification with the goal of booking meetings for the Account Executives) and

  • BDRs (Business Development Reps) own outbound prospecting with the goal of booking meetings for the Account Executives.

The Marketing Argument

Personally, I love the idea of marketing owning SDRs. This leads to marketing owning more of the funnel, which means marketing can actually own pipeline revenue numbers. Every modern marketing org today wants to be measured on pipeline, not leads, but it's hard to do that if you have to just pass leads over and hope sales…

  • a) follows up

  • b) touches them enough

  • c) is making enough quality touches

  • d) books a meeting.

If marketing owns SDRs, the sales role literally becomes about SELLING. Not prospecting, not qualifying. But getting on the phone and selling -- which should ultimately result in better conversion rates (they just have to focus on selling aka helping people buy) and a better prospect experience (reps can get great at the pitch, the demo, the questions, the pain vs. having to do 15 things everyday on top of taking calls).

Then as a marketing leader, I can actually sign up for a revenue number (pipeline) and feel good about being accountable for it, because my team owns that part of the funnel.

Owning SDRs in marketing would also help with consistency of message and being in the loop on all of the content & product marketing you're putting out - because everyone is sitting on the same team. Imagine all the SDRs in the weekly + monthly marketing meetings as a part of the team. And then they go out and try and turn new leads into meetings.

One Caveat: Size Matters

  1. If your are selling to enterprises (long sales cycle and big deals) SDRs should be in marketing.

  2. If SMB (short sales cycle and smaller deals) then SDRs should be in sales (if you have it at all).

What's your take? SDRs in sales? In marketing?

Would love to hear!

🧰 Tools of the Trade:

Articles, Tools and Inspiration for Marketers

💬 The Influence of Your Ideas.

"Broad ideas influence more people. Specific ideas influence people more."
— James Clear


👨‍🎓 Marketing & Leadership Education

  • Born Social: The Social First Brand (slides) - This is the best breakdown of what it means to be a social brand today that I have come across. Whether you are managing a B2B or B2C brand, this 57 page slide deck is pure gold.

  • How to Scale Emerging Acquisition Channels - This in-depth article provides a framework how to choose, test and scale up and coming marketing channels (think Communities, TikTok, Social Audio etc.).

🤩 Brands and (digital) Products that caught my eye

  • Walling - A visual workspace that I use for most of my research projects.

  • AdMockups - Download ad mockups for FB, Twitter, Google Ads and Snapchat in various formats and ad types. Great for visualizing and presenting ad ideas before you publish.

  • Milled - A search engine for email newsletters from big and small B2C brands. An inspiration-treasure-trove.

  • SayHey - A link-in-bio landing page builder. Provides an easy link to share with all your newest content updated dynamically.

📚 Interesting reads

  • The Tyranny of Time - We take time for granted. But how much of our history and culture is shaped by it is truly eye opening if you start digging. We created time and it blinds us from a true understanding of how our bodies and nature works.

  • The Privilege of Beauty - Society rarely talks about the advantages of beauty. This article discusses research and studies conducted to show how much we are biased towards attractive people.

⛑️ Reflections From the Trenches

Through imitation, we discover our voice.

Beginning of this year, I read the following passage from David Perell's newsletter:

I once met a painting coach who tells students to copy their favorite artists. At first, students resist. In response, the coach tells them to listen for friction. “Do you hear that resistance? It’s the whisper of your unique style.”

And so I started experimenting with it…

Through imitation, we discover our voice.

We all want to be original and unique. To develop our own style. We are told we need to come up with our own ideas. But how do we do that?

Isn't pattern recognition and imitation a fundamental part of the human condition and hence the creative process as well? We learn by watching, listening and experiencing the work of others.

And what I learned over the past weeks is that when you go one step further and not only consume, but COPY word for word, brush stroke for brush stroke the work of people you admire, you indeed start to hear that voice of resistance.

Listen closely, then follow the voice.

It's your inner critic that does not agree with parts of the work you are copying. And suddenly, you are entering an imagined dialogue with the author (or painter). You can hear that critic even when you read a book or an article. Try it next time and listen to how your inner artist rebels. Write down how you disagree and how you would change the piece.

I personally started copying passages from certain writers I admire. You start peeking into their thoughts: "Ah I see what you did here", you start following their arguments "mmhmm I see where you are coming from, but I would rephrase this part here".

With time your own style and voice emerges.

And it makes sense. If you copy someone word for word, your brain gets confused: "Hey what about this thing we believe in", "why do you say or write it like this when you could put it like that". Our mind is not used to write stuff that emerged in other brains.

It doesn't matter if you are doing this for business (copying Amazon's shareholder letters to sharpen your business philosophy) or personal leisure (copying a Monstead painting to learn how you interpret nature).

Your own voice will make itself heard and if you keep at it, a comprehensive and cohesive style and philosophy slowly starts to emerge. And from this position you can draw out more original ideas that have its source someplace deep inside of you.

Try it out. It’s like magic.

That's it for this week.

Talk soon,