Dreamforce is your CRM data in real life (CRM IRL).

Every year thousands from Sales, Marketing, Customer Success and Engineering congregate in San Francisco to attend Dreamforce. It’s the only event that bridges the divide across entire organizations and centralizes all their tools, technology and future in one place.

For us at ToutApp, Dreamforce is the event to attend every year and always hits its ROI numbers. We’ve done Dreamforce for three years and as the event grows bigger, we step up our game. In 2013, our then seven-person company closed up shop and ran back and forth between two booths across the event floor. We learned a lot during our first Dreamforce and applied those learnings to our second booth the following year. Every year we strive to make it better, not just for us as a company, but for every Salesperson.

ToutApp’s mission is to empower the Salesperson, and Dreamforce is the perfect place to do just that.

The transition within the Sales industry today has never happened before. Today, there’s a global buyer’s journey, new technology and sharper tools, and it’s become increasingly harder to keep up and remain relevant with buyers. As the sales process becomes more complex, many organizations fall under the trap of automating the process and thus lose personalization.

But during Dreamforce, all of that stops. You can’t automate booth interactions or fake engaging conversations. For ToutApp, we’re lucky because Dreamforce is right at our doorstep and we treat the week-long event as our chance to meet face-to-face with as many people as possible and make every interaction count.

In short, Dreamforce is your CRM data in real life (CRM IRL). For one week only, all of those names, titles, opportunities, leads and activities jump out of the screen and turn into human conversations.

Dreamforce is the Ultimate Opportunity

The Dreamforce booth floor is where you can expect a constant stream of face-to-face interactions throughout the day. Much like your SFDC data, visitors to your company’s booth come in all shapes and sizes from leads, opportunities, contacts to swag picker-uppers. But that’s the beauty of Dreamforce, you never know who you’re going to talk to or connect with.

At every other booth on the floor, companies left and right sold their products to you, we didn’t want to do that. That’s never been our style–not in 2013 or 2014. Instead, we wanted to celebrate the Salesperson and teach you about the Greatest Sales Team in the World. At this year’s Dreamforce, we staffed our booth with Engineers, MDRs, SDRs and Support Officers–because for us, Dreamforce is an all hands on deck opportunity for everyone at the company.

As a company, we thrive on learning from each other and bringing back the human element to Sales, that’s just who we are as a company–and our booth proves that.

“As an MDR, going to Dreamforce is a great way to put a face to a name. When you’re on the phone, you never know who you’re going to talk to because you can’t put a face to a title, and when you’re in-person you always have to be prepared,” said Kelly Connolly, Market Development Representative.

And it’s not just the fielding different people face-to-face, going to Dreamforce and staffing a booth means having different kinds of conversations that involve a different level of engagement.

“Dreamforce teaches you a different way to handle situations and allows you to read physical and facial expressions. You can see how someone is responding to what you’re saying, which you can’t do over the phone,” said Kelly.

Whether you’re an MDR, SDR or even an Engineer, once you react and adapt to a person’s expressions, those conversations are going to flow naturally and you’ll be able to evaluate how to proceed forward.

Sitting Down at the Table with our Customers

As this year’s Dreamforce brought in 170,000 registered attendees, and a good portion of those attendees were ToutApp customers that flew in from all across the globe.

This year, we invited a handful of Executives from our customer base across the country and sat down with them at the dinner table for a unique experience. Our goal in hosting a customer dinner isn’t just to have a typical sales dinner. We believe that the relationship between us and our customers extends beyond signing the DocuSign. As a ToutApp customer, you unlock a network of the smartest minds in Sales and have the opportunity to sit down with them and a have a conversation about sales topics.

“The powerful thing in getting sales leaders in a room together is creating an environment where they can talk about what’s top of mind for them,” said Cliff Cate, VP of Customer Success. “The value in attending a customer dinner is the opportunity to connect fellow smart leaders and leave the dinner with new ideas.”

Those quality conversations is what drives our customers and our company. During the dinner, everyone is able to share stories and experiences that wouldn’t have been possible had we not all congregated for Dreamforce. As a company that values collaboration, these customer dinners allows us to build an even powerful connection between our customers, team and industry.

Happy Hour with Our Customers and Prospects

Much of your company’s Dreamforce clout relies on your booth’s presence, the other part heavily relies on the parties that you host. For us, Happy Hours–whether we’re throwing them ourselves our partnering with innovators in the industry–give us the unique opportunity to interact with our users and learn from their feedback.

Our Dreamforce experience was bookended by two events: a co-hosted Cocktail Hour that energized us for the week to come, and a Happy Hour for prospects and customers at ToutApp HQ.

“Face-to-face conversations move the needle. You’re able to make a connection with people in 30 minutes rather than the seven calls it would take to get comfortable with someone,” said Jessica Green, Sales Manager. “As a manager, I’m constantly thinking how we can translate what works so well in-person to the conversations that we have every day on the phone.”

Dreamforce is all about learning and connecting with people, and Happy Hours during Dreamforce amp that up even more and allows us to talk with our customers in a setting that’s purely for socializing and networking.

See you in 2016

As you start planning for Dreamforce 2016, ask yourselves this question: What does Dreamforce mean to your company? Make sure that your goals for your booth, meetings and parties align with your company values and goals–because that’s always a for-sure ROI.

Why Do We All Go to Dreamforce?

In 2003, the first year of Salesforce’s Dreamforce, the conference attracted 1,300 attendees. Fast forward to 2015, and this year’s Dreamforce attracted more than 170,000 attendees for a four-day long extravaganza. The conference is now in its 12th year, so why do we all go to Dreamforce anyway?

Like clockwork, every year thousands of us descend upon the Moscone Center to learn about Salesforce’s latest innovations, industry trends, new businesses, opportunities for growth and FOMO (fear of missing out).  

As Day #3 of Dreamforce kicks into high-gear and we come off the Salesforce-Microsoft collaboration keynote adrenaline rush, we must refocus and revisit why we attend Dreamforce every year in a push to make the most of the time that’s left.

Here are the key reasons why we go to Dreamforce and will continue to go every year:

#1 We Want to Meet You

If you’re anything like us at ToutApp, we go to Dreamforce to meet our customers and prospects in person at either our booth, meeting space or office. Sometimes, we even run into our top prospects while waiting in line for the bathroom. We’ve mentioned a lot that the Sales industry is changing and moving towards an Inside Sales model where reps rarely get to go onsite or meet their prospects in person. Dreamforce alleviates this and allows us to meet face-to-face with you, so come by Moscone West Booth #121 and say hello to us.

#2 We Want to Learn About Software

We all go to Dreamforce to learn about software and how it can help us be better. As more and more companies are pouring higher budgets into software solutions, it’s even more paramount for today’s SaaS companies to have a clear value proposition from the start. As Salesforce launches SalesforceIQ and the Internet of Things Cloud–it’s more apparent than ever that software has to be beautiful, scaleable and provide real-time insights, actions and learnings to its users.

#3 We Want to Stay Motivated

The takeaways that you walk away with from Dreamforce highly depends on your organization and your role. If you’re a Sales manager, you’re interested in solving for rep productivity and making sure that you provide the best practices and tools to keep them focused. If you’re in Sales Ops, you’re interested in learning from Salesforce’s Sales Cloud keynote and their next iteration of Wave Analytics on their platform.

No matter your role and organization, Dreamforce is a way to stay motivated and push through into Q4 and make a huge impact on your organization’s end-of-year results. So, go straight for the person-to-person conversations and find solutions and software that are relevant to your organization’s needs to finish out the year strong.

#4 We Want to Give Back

Dreamforce isn’t just about software, B2B businesses and parties. It’s also about giving back and discussing the world at large. Last year, Dreamforce aimed to donate one million cans of food. This year, Dreamforce is aiming to donate one million children’s books to schools and libraries around the world and are inviting attendees to donate books to help with the cause.

So, those are the reasons why we go to Dreamforce. The challenge with Dreamforce is the sheer size of it and the complexity behind prioritizing your day so you can stay focused. Before you head out for your afternoon breakout sessions, attend a keynote or stroll through Moscone West and North–reflect upon why you go to Dreamforce every year.

And, don’t forget your badge.

Reminder: ToutApp is hosting a pre-Dreamfest Happy Hour at the Dream Lounge (aka our office at One California). Happy Hour starts at 4pm, a few hours before the Dreamfest activites at Pier 70. To coordinate, just email dreamforce@toutapp.com or tweet at us @toutapp – no registration is necessary.

Humans of Tout: Jenifer Ho

The best companies all have one thing in common: they hire great people. At ToutApp, we aim to hire talented individuals that constantly make us better and better. Today, we’re announcing the addition of Jenifer Ho to our Marketing team as our Director of Demand Generation.

Jenifer is joining us after almost four years at DocuSign and years at Microsoft, Yahoo! and T-Mobile before that. She is a modern marketer with years of experience in her field. Here is her story. 

Tell me a bit about your background – when did you get into Marketing, and more specifically Demand Generation?

I got into Marketing randomly through a college job I had at the University of Washington (UW) at the Business School in the Executive Education division. I got my first taste in running marketing programs and found it intriguing and realized that I was pretty good at it, and since then it stuck with me.

At UW I studied Communications and Political Science and thought I wanted to pursue a career in PR. So I did an internship with Edelman, but quickly realized that PR wasn’t for me. Then, I took a job with an advertising agency working on marketing programs for Hewlett-Packard and realized that I loved the tech space but wanted to work in-house and be part of a team that sets the vision and drives strategy. So I went in-house and never looked back.

If you think about it, the function of Demand Generation hasn’t been around for that long. When I first got started in Marketing there were elements of Demand Generation like Advertising, Acquisition Marketing, Email Marketing and Lead Generation. Demand Generation came into the fold with the takeoff of Marketing Automation in the late-2000s. With the rise of Marketing Automation Platforms like Eloqua, Marketo and Pardot, the industry went from $225M to $1.65B in less than five years. This is when organizations realized that Sales and Marketing alignment was key for fast revenue growth and that aligned organizations would see something like 24% faster revenue growth and 27% faster profit growth, according to a study done by SiriusDecisions. For me, I think Demand Generation is one of those roles like Content Marketing and Social Media that is part of the modern marketing movement. It positions marketers to be technologists and revenue-driving players within an organization.

How does Marketing, particularly Demand Generation, work with Sales?

I believe Sales and Marketing teams must be tightly aligned if you want to recognize fast revenue growth. There needs to be a partnership between the two teams when it comes to defining a buyer’s journey. Demand Generation may start the courtship process, nurture and educate but at a certain point, Sales needs to take over the courtship process to dive-deep and really understand a company’s challenges so he or she can be thoughtful in what solutions are recommended. Ultimately, both Marketing and Sales want to help customers solve for their pains points and help them be successful.

How has the role of Demand Generation changed over the years and where do you see it going?

Before Demand Generation, there was Advertising, Email Marketing, Acquisition Marketing and good ole’ Lead Generation. A lot of marketers were focused solely on generating leads and all leads were considered of the same caliber. Marketing would generate the leads and hand them off to Sales cold, Sales would work those leads and Marketing often was left blind post hand-off on whether a lead converted into a sale. A lot of that has changed with the power of marketing automation and CRM, giving both Sales and Marketing teams a lot more visibility into the data and the ability to easily drive potential buyers through a personalized buyer’s journey. Demand Generation teams can easily use data and logic to nurture leads from being a hand-raiser, to a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL), to a Sales Accepted Lead (SAL), to a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) to recognized revenue. Leads are no longer cold and Sales and Marketing teams are aligned, ultimately with the common goal of driving value for customers and revenue for the organization.

Sales reps are no longer just selling in a transactional-manner, but are looked as strategic consultants that help customers solve for larger challenges. And Marketing, like Sales, is accountable for pipeline and revenue.

As for the future, as more companies invest in marketing technologies, I envision modern marketers becoming more sophisticated about where they spend. I would imagine less being spent on traditional lead generation programs and more on efforts like influencer or referral programs or interesting thought-leadership content.

What makes for a successful Demand Generation campaign?

A successful campaign has to have a combination of personalization, creativity, flexibility and revenue attribution. It also needs to be part of an integrated effort alongside social media, press, etc. When you ran campaigns back in the day, you’d launch a campaign on a specific day, it would run its course and then it would come to an end. You’d review the results, make some changes and then you’d run another one. Nowadays, we need to remember that prospects can easily go online and research your company and solutions before having a conversation with a person in your organization. Prospects and customers nowadays expect personalized experiences and we as marketers need to deliver on that. To run a successful campaign, you need to utilize technology and data and keep programs more fluid and dynamic. It’s common now where you may launch a campaign that does not have an end date. Rather you keep a pulse on it, regularly look at the data, make tweaks and adjust the levers as needed. You continue learn more about your prospects and use that data to drive better personalized experiences.

You were at DocuSign for almost four years and saw they company grow tremendously, what was that like?

Incredible. When I started at DocuSign, HQ was in Seattle and perhaps we had a few remote people in San Francisco. Though the company had been around for awhile since 2003, when I joined in 2011, that’s when the company started to get some traction. There were more competitors popping up and it was noticeable that there was a common pain point for any company, regardless of size or industry. Many companies were still heavily relying on fax machines and scanned attachments for filling out and signing paperwork and were looking for a solution to simplify and automate that process.

At the same time, DocuSign brought on Keith Krach, a veteran in Silicon Valley, as the new CEO and he moved HQ to the Bay Area and things really started to blow up. There was an ah-ha moment when we realized that DocuSigning could be a verb like Googling. In my years at DocuSign, I experienced massive international expansion, the acquisition of multiple companies and tremendous revenue and employee growth. The company now has over 50 million users and is at a $3B valuation and recently raised another $278M on Series F of funding. Being part of the growth and team at DocuSign is an experience I will always treasure. I now have friends from my DocuSign days that I know will be part of my life forever.

You’ve worked at much larger companies like Microsoft, Yahoo! and T-Mobile – how is that world compared to working at startups?

The big guys like Yahoo!, Microsoft and T-Mobile have matrixed organizations where there are a lot of business units and you are one in sea of many. No surprise, but the thing that’s very different about working for a large company is that you have a very focused role. You’re also equipped with an army of support with consultants and agencies that support you with execution. Launch or campaign cycles can be very long. For example, with Office, you’d launch a new box product every four years, whereas in a startup, especially in SaaS, you’re constantly releasing new products, bug fixes or features, sometimes weekly or more often.

Working at the larger companies was a good experience and each role was very different. The thing I really like between big versus small is that at a small company you get to roll up your sleeves, stay sharp on your skills and not only be strategic but also deliver. I believe you have to have a do it yourself mentality and be a naturally curious and resourceful person. “If you can dream of it, do it.” It’s as simple as that.

What got you interested in ToutApp? What made you decide to join ToutApp?

I wanted to work for a company that embraces modern marketing and modern sales. Though ToutApp is small at 55 employees, it definitely had both of those elements. I was impressed  with the company’s early investment in Customer Success and a segmented Sales team, which isn’t common in many organizations. I have worked in both modern and traditional organizations, and being a modern marketer — I knew I wanted be part of a cutting edge company that understood the principles of modern marketing.

When I first chatted with TK, I immediately knew he understood what it meant to run an organization with elements of modern Marketing and Sales. Then I dove deeper into the product and found that it had potential to be a game-changer in the sales acceleration space. As buyers gravitate towards having more positive human interactions with their sales reps, I believe more companies will invest in products like ToutApp. ToutApp gives sales reps the ability to run mini-marketing campaigns, have access to data, collaborate with their peers, yet keeps a very human element to sales.

What are you most excited about?

I’m super stoked to be here and be a part of the ToutApp team. The team here at ToutApp is like no other I have seen. There’s open communication, collaboration, strategic vision and a constant drumbeat of activities. I know ToutApp can be a game-changer and I am just thankful and excited to be a part of the family and journey. As we say here, “Teamwork makes the dream work.” I can’t wait to see where we are in a year, three years or five years.

What has surprised you about ToutApp the most since joining?

I didn’t know much about ToutApp before I joined. I actually thought the company was a lot bigger and that it had been around a longer. I thought it could be a late-stage start-up. However with just 50 some employees, I was impressed with the footprint ToutApp had in the market. The team here is filled with smart, hard-working individuals and it definitely shows.

ToutApp Hosted Customer Success Meetup Wrap Up

Last night, we hosted the August edition of the Bay Area’s Customer Success Meetup, a group that connects Customer Success professionals through sharing and learning best practices for their fast-growing field. The group of 35+ attendees and ToutApp’s own Customer Success team, were a passionate, energetic and highly focused bunch that were eager to hear from speakers from Optimizely and 1factory.

The mission of every Customer Success Manager is to make sure that their customers are successful on their platform, whether it’s optimizing their website or quality control – all CSMs want the best for their customers. And all CSMs do this by educating and sharing best practices with their customer community through trainings, webinars, onsites and effective collateral. Just like the customers that they train and interact with, the customer success community too likes to learn and share best practices – this time from their peers.

Pamela in action. 

The night’s first speaker was Pamela Ongchin, Solutions Architect at Optimzely with a presentation on the role of customer success in new product launches. Pamela talked about the role her Customer Success team played in launching products, specifically Mobile SDKs, and how the Customer Success organization changes as the company deploys new products.

The second speaker of the night was Ward Greunke, Director of Product Marketing at 1factory, who spoke about aligning product with customer success to increase customer adoption – which is an industry wide CS metric.

All the attendees walked away from the meetup with insights and tips that they can then integrate into their daily roles as CSMs. Thanks to everyone for coming out and a special thanks to Scott Massey, Justin Webber and Junan Pang, our meetup organizers.

Customer Success Managers networking, enjoying the view and eating. 

See everyone at the next one!

ToutApp’s New Digs: We’ve Taken Over 16,000 sq. ft at Salesforce’s One California

ToutApp has seen enormous growth over the past year and a half, nearly doubling our team to meet the growing demand for our software. To sustain that growth, we just established our new home-base at One California, right in the heart of downtown San Francisco.

To give you a tour, we’ve put together this fun tour video!

Ironically, while we have done and will continue to invest in our integration to Salesforce’s software platform, this move represents a deeper physical integration into their eco-system, since we’re now subleasing our office space from them.

This new space is great for our employees, but we plan to make it even greater for our customers, as well. Along with awesome perks such as the coffee lounge, beer-on-tap, catered lunches, we’ll also be dedicating space for customer workshops, lunch-and-learns, happy hours for salespeople and more. Just as our software has become a digital hub for salespeople and sales teams, we want to reflect that in our new home, becoming a physical hub to help you close deals. Remember — our goal is to not just sell you software; it’s to partner with you and build the absolute best sales organization possible.

Enjoying the new space at a recent Customer Success meetup. 

This latest step in our journey would not have been possible without the support of our great customers. We look forward to building an even deeper partnership with you at our new home.

If you’re in Sales, we are building out our Sales Team. Learn more at our Careers page.

What Teaching Yoga Taught Me About Sales

I’ve been teaching yoga for the past 3 years and have been slinging sales software for almost a year now. The two have more similarities than you might think.

Every class (and sale) needs something different

As far as yoga classes go, I never know what I’m going to get. Students vary in experience, excitement, and what they hope to achieve. Going in with a single talk track and set of cues leaves many students lost or ignored.

I’ve learned to constantly check on how students react and progress (and yes, check on the 100 degree room as well so I don’t completely cook people).

Same thing goes for sales: one set message doesn’t work for everyone. The best salespeople personalize, listen, and adjust at every stage of the sales cycle. You don’t need to rely on a script, nor will you even be very successful with one.

The uncomfortable stuff is probably what you need most

Tight hamstrings are usually not big fans of forward folds and wobbly ankles get frustrated real quick with balancing postures. Something feels difficult because it comes unnaturally or is a weaker area of your body. The most uncomfortable postures are the biggest opportunities for growth, and actually the most enjoyable to work on because you can so quickly see improvement.

Asking the tough questions? Well yeah, they’re tough for a reason. It’s definitely not in my nature to get into the nitty-gritty off the bat or come back swinging when hit with a difficult objection – I’m the kind of gal who wants to be buds with all my prospects and avoids the awkward moments at all costs.

Yet you definitely need to be able to handle objections and get to a yes or no as quickly as possible to be successful in sales. So practice the tough stuff over and over. As my favorite yoga instructor always says,

“You have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Comfort zones are great, but nothing grows there.”

Be your most authentic self

I remember thinking that I’d be a good instructor if I used a ‘yoga voice’, something slow, soothing, calm, a replica of the quintessential yoga teacher you imagine couldn’t possible get stressed or flustered. When I tried, I sounded bored, awkward, and like I’d rather be doing just about anything else.

I get the best feedback when I’m truest to my personality: goofy, enthusiastic, and outgoing. I pump the jams, laugh whenever possible, joke around, and keep it upbeat. I realized I didn’t need to be anyone other than my truest self and that was when I really hit my stride as an instructor.

Delivering an authentic sales pitch comes in a very similar way. Mimicking my colleagues verbatim didn’t work for me because it didn’t showcase my personal flavor and eccentricities. There’s no one way to sell or connect with others – but what I can tell you is that being yourself is going to work better than just about anything else.

I may not be a pro at teaching yoga, and I am definitely not a pro at selling. But keeping it authentic and pushing myself past limitations make it a fun adventure. I love the everyday challenge of honing my sales skills and trying to be a better yoga instructor every time I step into the studio.

So hey – maybe the next down dog you do will inspire a kick-ass pitch, at the very least make you a little more creative and authentic as you hop on your next call.

This post was originally published on LinkedIn. You can Connect with Belinda here or follow her on Twitter @belindakraemer.

Introducing: Team Management

Sales Development Reps, Account Executives and Customer Success Managers all use ToutApp. While we help each of these teams collaborate with each other with Sales Beat and shared templates & analytics, there wasn’t a way to collaborate within each of these teams… Until today.

Today, we’re announcing Team Management. It lets you segment your Tout subscription into distinct teams. It makes Sales Beat that much more powerful, and every other aspect of the platform that much more contextual.

Also… it was a lot of fun making this video!

While Tout has always had the functionality to share templates and groups with your subscription, your templates and groups were either shared with the entire company or not at all. As our customers have continued to grow their teams, we saw a need to create sub-teams within Tout so managers and team leads can drill in and focus on the right reps and get the most accurate analytics.

Today, we’re introducing functionality that will not only increase collaboration across your team, but will also give you visibility into analytics at the company-wide, team or individual rep level.

Best of all, when you’re sharing messaging with your team or teams, you can provide context about why you’re sharing the template, best practices and use cases. You’ll have the same functionality in the Relationships page, too.

And, you can even share updates in Sales Beat with just the team or teams you belong to.

Now, your account can have individual users, Master Administrators and Team Administrators in your subscription. And, we’ve made significant improvements to inviting team members to your subscription, as well as to specific subteams.

If you were using Tout prior to today, don’t worry – we haven’t touched your subscription. Everything will still be in place and your team will be called the “Everyone” team. You cannot have someone as part of your Tout account if they do not exist in this group.

As sales teams evolve and crave better tools to manage their workflow, we’re constantly improving our platform. Team Management is made available today to all Enterprise customers. Please check it out and let us know what you think and let us know if we missed anything!


ICP + TAM = A Sales Qualified Lead Machine

In the modern world of Sales Development, high quality and high velocity Sales Qualified Leads reign supreme. We find ourselves in a new era of Outbound. Sales Development teams are transforming from Clark Kent’s (suits in a phone booth) to Iron Man’s (suits full of high-tech accessories).

Never before in the history of sales have we really had this big of an advantage.

But listen, it’s not just because the technology is being built for us. Or because data is cheaper and more accessible than ever before. Or because there’s a whole new level of transparency to it. Or because we have unique ways, like social media, to get in front of buyers. No. All of that is awesome, but without knowledge and know-how, it’s just clutter and spam.

So that leads me to the focus of today’s knowledge bomb which is: qualifying leads.

Here are the four most important tactics to build a sales qualified lead (SQL) machine:

  1. Find your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
  2. Define your Total Addressable Market (TAM)
  3. Enrich your customers
  4. Meet your future customers

Now let me tell you about the traditional, 1.0 way people qualified leads in the past.

Step 1 – Buy a list (non-exclusive, so a ton of other people are calling it) and likely unqualified other than the fact that they are a business.

Step 2 – Call these people. One by one. Maybe email them a canned message. Both basically spam.

Step 3 – IF you get a hold of someone, ask for more of their time. (Usually in a call/second call, which they’ll likely duck because they just wanted to get off the phone with you the first time and felt uncomfortable saying no).

Step 4 – You call over and over. Maybe send a few emails.

Step 5 – Realize you’ve wasted a ton of time and move on.

Now if you’re 2.0, maybe you’ve done this and added some automated emails and social media in there. But you’re still missing the big picture. Because whether you buy, build, or pull a pretty little list out of your…office drawer, without defining you ICP and your TAM correctly, you’ll just waste time; and time is the most valuable resource for a salesperson.

So why are you here? You’re here because you don’t have a true grasp on your customer profile, and you don’t know who the best people to contact are. This leads us to two very important concepts.

  1. ICP – aka your Ideal Customer Profile
  2. TAM – aka your Total Addressable Market

Here’s how you can use your ICP and your TAM to build leads lists that are pre-qualified, saving you tons of time on those pesky qualification call questions that will likely result in a disgruntled and disengaged prospect.

Finding Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

The ICP is broken into two parts: Company and Job Title. This can be broken out even further as you get more advanced for Company Size or Industry.

For example, your target buyer at a 200-person company is the VP of Marketing, but at a 2000-person company, it’s the Digital Marketing Manager. As organizations grow, they hire out for more focused roles.

The better you can target and more granular you can get with your ICP, the more successful your Outbound Campaigns will be.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself when trying to identify your Ideal Customer Profile:

What products are my customers using that I compete with, complement, or that might translate to interest in my product?

  • E.g., if you have a Mailchimp-style service, you want to speak to Mailchimp customers.
  • E.g., if potential customers are running Facebook Ads, they might also be interested in Ad Optimization or Analytics software.

Where are these people living on the web?

  • E.g., someone interested in your e-commerce service might have a store hosted on Shopify or built with Magento because these services are built to host online vendors.
  • E.g., if you want to find people to create video courses online, go find people who have already created content on the subject in written or audio form and are selling it on Amazon. Then convince them to try video content.

What do I consider my low-hanging fruit?

  • These are the people already doing what you want them to do, just somewhere else.
  • E.g., An individual who is buying or selling a service on Craigslist that your company provides. It’s easier to get the person to use you over Craigslist than to create a new buyer/seller from scratch. Pinterest has emerged as another way to source potential customers that are already playing ball.
  • E.g., you’re going after their budget focused on ad spend and you see that a potential buyer has a testimonial on a competing company’s website. You know they have budget and are already spending it somewhere else. Time to go get your slice or even the whole pie!

What can I decipher from my previous closed deals that I can use in new ones?

  • You keep closing deals with companies, so take a moment to ask yourself, what do these companies have in common and how can I apply this when speaking to companies with the same common variables?

Once you’ve figured this out, you’ll want to build massive lists of these companies.

Here are some good places to look to start building lists of your ICPs:

  • LinkedIn and Facebook groups
  • Meetups
  • Industry conference websites
  • Trade association forums and directories
  • Job boards such as Indeed, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Public Legal Filings
  • CrunchBase
  • AngelList
  • Glassdoor
  • Yelp
  • Shopify
  • Etsy
  • Kickstarter
  • Any company database or marketplace

There are plenty of databases out there for you to use to inquire about these companies and find even more information! Things to look for might include:

  • Amount of money raised to date (for startups)
  • Timing of last round raised (for startups)
  • Employee head count
  • New employees recently added
  • Job titles and new titles added
  • Company headquarters
  • PR announcements, such as product, funding, key hires, or partnerships
  • Legal filings

For more actionable insights to build your Ideal Customer Profile, check out the book  Hacking Sales.

Now What?

Sounds cool, huh? But we’re not at the finish line yet. Use your ICP to build targeted lists that you know will convert because you know it’s the right person, at the right company, that almost certainly has budget at that moment. Once you have a clear sense of your ICP, it’s time to work out how to define your total universe of potential accounts.

Defining Your Total Addressable Market (TAM)

Enrich your Customers

Your customers chose to partner with you for a reason. Tapping into the commonalities across your customer base will leverage enormous value and build a more complete picture of your customer.

Once you understand the profile of your customer, you can determine how deep the market is for companies with a similar background. Moreover, taking a step back and looking at the customer base will inform you of outlying trends that could support a move into a new industry or market segment.

Map your customer base, using a tiered data framework:

Tier 1: Sales Cycle, Average Contract Value (ACV), Win Rate

The goal of this tier is to understand the sales velocity (i.e. the number of opportunities multiplied by the ACV multiplied by the win rate divided by the sales cycle) of your customer base.

  • These data points will form the basic foundation and expose any outliers in the customer data
  • Invest time to validate your data integrity

Tier 2: Industry (and Vertical), Employee Size, Growth Score, Location, and Technology Stack

The goal of this tier is adding an additional layer of firmographic data that will form the basis for your size and scope analysis.

  • There are a number of large data sources to validate Industry, Vertical, Employee Size, Growth Score, and Location including: Mattermark, FactSet, and Hoovers. When evaluating your potential database partner, the following criteria will help to guide the choice:
    • Matching percentage (i.e. number of your customers that are present in their list)
    • Number of additional data (commonalities) points
    • Data integrity – check third party sources to validate
  • Industry and Vertical are interdependent (and often confused). An example of the relationship (Box is in the Cloud Storage vertical within the Technology Industry)
  • If your customers have adopted a set of technologies, surfacing this data at scale will provide an additional proxy. For the Technology Stack, there are several sources to capture this data:Datanyze, Ghostery Enterprise, BuiltWith, and SimilarWeb. Using these providers you can determine if your customers are using Website Analytics,  Marketing Automation, PPC advertising, A/B Testing, etc.

Tier 3: Company specific data

  • Using freelancers (Upwork, CrowdFlower, etc.) you can add valuable data from competitors websites, the AppExchange, or any website. If you have a hypothesis that you’d like to test (e.g. your buyer is a VP of Marketing), you can have the freelancers do a pass against your customer list via LinkedIn.
  • The scope of this collection is broad, so identify a few hypotheses and you can validate them from your Tier 1 data points

Meet Your Future Customers

Once you’ve collected extensive data on your existing customers, it’s time to flip the magnifying glass onto your future customers. Assuming you invested in one of the databases mentioned earlier, this process will be fairly straightforward.

This next set of steps will draw on your customer list and extrapolate the data across the dataset of your database partner.
Step 1: Map your customer data<

  1. Using Excel, create a datasheet for each Tier
  2. Form a consistent list of your customers across each sheet
  3. Cluster (and sort) the companies with high concentration across each variable – specifically those that perform well across the Tier 1 data points

Step 2: Identify the Early Adopters and Mainstream (see Crossing the Chasm)
Place your customers into two buckets:

  1. High number of variables and high performing characteristics from Tier 1
    1. This list will surface companies that are early adopters and have a faster than average sales velocity
  2. Outside your (assumed) ICP but possess high performing characteristics from Tier 1
    1. This list will provide companies that have a faster than average sales velocity, however may not be in your present ICP.

Step 3: Validate the size and scope

  1. Based on your two customer sets, use the confirmed variables to export companies from the largest database available for your given Industry and set of Verticals
  2. Separate the two distinct buckets (from Step 2) to ensure you can test performance

Make It Actionable

Now you’ve collected all this data – what do you do with it? Empower the Sales team with the same insight you’ve collected.

Step 1: Confirm the variables
When you check the weather, are you interested in the barometric pressure? Probably not, so applying the same logic for the fields you expose. The goal in this step is to understand the optimal information that can be effectively positioned to personalize their outreach.

  1. Take a holistic approach to how the team can use this data
    1. Industry/Vertical will align future customers (see Geoffrey Moore: bowling pin strategy)
    2. Geographical concentration adds degrees of separation and can be valuable for marketing events
    3. Technology providers will allow easy dynamic fields within emails
    4. Competitive takeaways will give great talking points
  1. Limit the variables to 4-5 (to avoid paralysis by analysis)
  2. Choose your filters (for the Dashboard) so that you have overarching segmentation

Step 2: Create custom fields within the CRM
Add a collection of custom fields and be particular about how you present the data (i.e. on the Account record and/or Contact record). This will involve using a feedback loop with the Sales team around what they would find valuable – specific to the sales process.

Step 3: Mapping the fields to reports in Salesforce
In this section, you want to think about the optimal method for presenting the data so that 1) the Sales team can quickly interpret the chart and 2) you are telling a story with each data point.

My advice for this section is use a combination of different charts, and leverage feedback from the Sales team on how they interpret each report. The longer it takes for individuals to understand the context of the report, the less valuable the report.

Refine & Optimize the Entire Process

Finding your ICP will ensure you’re having the right conversations. Defining your TAM will uncover the breadth and depth of your market. The two exercises are not designed to be set-and-forget. As your customer evolves and you test your outliers, you’ll need to tweak and adjust the model.

In order to create and maintain this process you should have a qualitative feedback loop from your Customer Success/Account Management team; and a quantitative feedback loop to continually improve the ICP and TAM.

This post was originally published on Mattermark’s blog. Mattermark launched in 2013 as a data platform for venture capital companies to quantify signals of growing startups. 

Max Altschuler is CEO of Sales Hacker, an organization dedicated to helping B2B companies and sales reps build modern sales processes that generate more revenue. 

Sales & Marketing Alignment Through Content Podcast

Sales and Marketing are the two most crucial teams for every B2B company. Alignment between the two revenue generating teams is therefore paramount. True alignment is achieved when both teams share a definition of an ideal customer and come to a consensus on how to define, acquire and nurture leads.

However, alignment isn’t that easy. Many organizations cite that collaboration and communication between the two teams is too difficult. In an Aberdeen Group study, it reported that aligned organizations experience an average of 31.6% year-over-year growth in annual company revenue and less aligned companies experience a 6.7% growth.

During these past months, we’ve been working on a research project around the idea of Sales and Marketing alignment. We’ve compiled our research into a forthcoming book titled Sales & Marketing Alignment Through Content. To gear up to the book’s release, we’ve cobbled together a podcast that includes subject expertise from:

  • Koka Sexton, Content Marketing and Social Media Team – Corporate Communications at LinkedIn
  • Nick Christman, Marketing Director at Namely
  • Ali Boehler, Sales Effectiveness Leader at HackerRank

Listen to our podcast below:

Tout’s Command Center Introduces Mission Control for SDRs and Closers

A few weeks ago, as part of our Jarvis initiative, we announced Sales Beat to help sales teams collaborate in a whole new way to close deals. Today, we’re announcing Command Center — a streamlined interface within Tout that allows closers and SDRs to effectively manage a multi-touch outbound process.

With more and more of our customers, we’re starting to see sophisticated, multi-touch, multi-channel (email and phone), semi-automatic (some automated drips and some personalization) outreach campaigns both for sales development reps and for closers.

While Tout has always done a fantastic job of managing an outbound campaign, and for helping to manage a salesperson’s day in terms of tasks, reminders and follow-ups — up until today, we never had a single unified interface to manage all of it.

Customers had to go to the Scheduled Emails tab, or the Most Engaged tab, and use custom filters in the Sent Emails tab to hone in on the right next steps.

Until today.

Today, we’re announcing the next iteration of our Jarvis initiative which introduces Command Center, a single mission control for salespeople, which leverages all your Tout data to help you take the next step.

Whether it’s your Tasks for the day, identifying the most engaged people or personalizing a set of automated drip emails that are already scheduled, you can do it all right from Command Center.

Best of all, the idea of a “next step” is just a click away. Tout’s Click to Call functionality, and your ability to email someone as a follow-up is embedded right into the view.

As sales teams evolve and crave better tools to manage their workflow, we’re constantly improving our platform. The idea of running a workflow is top of mind for us, along with a plethora of other platform features part of the Jarvis initiative that we’re working hard on.

Command Center is made available today to all ToutApp customers. Please check it out here and let us know what you think as this is the first iteration of many to come as part of this release.

Watch the video for Command Center below: