By Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing
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 Keenan; Joanne Black; Aaron 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.
Listen in when we’ll discuss The Power of Storytelling in B2B Marketing and:
– How in 2018, marketing and sales truly need to form #OneTeam for account-based marketing (ABM)
– How and why the white-hot growth at Terminus is thanks to a #OneTeam mindset, with everyone at Terminus being focused on ABM and customer success
Lauren Patrick is the Storyteller at Terminus, and Editor at PrettySouthern.com. She was employee #12 at Terminus, the leader of the account-based marketing (ABM) movement, and joined the company in 2015 right after they raised their seed round. Today, the company has more than 120 employees, 400 customers, and rapidly growing. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism & Mass Communication, she discovered her passion for niche marketing during her time as editor of UGA’s newspaper, The Red & Black. Before coming into the digital world, she worked for print publications Gwinnett Daily Post, Jezebel Magazine, AutoTrader.com, plus managing the Services category for RaceTrac Convenience Stores.
Matt: Thank you again everyone for joining us here on Sales Pipeline Radio. We are here live again as we are every week at 11:30 Pacific, 2:30 Eastern. If you’re joining us live, thank you very much for doing so. This is being recorded; at least on my end it’s being recorded live from the kitchen table above the home office in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. We got a sick boy over here on the phone today. He has agreed to mostly not join as a special surprise guest. He’s having a good time here on his iPad, but you know what, live radio, what are you going to do?
Paul: What’s the shout out to your little cohost here?
Matt: My little cohost Evan. Say hi Evan or at least wave from the couch Evan. He’s doing all right. You don’t want to encourage him too much. He’ll come over here and start sharing with us, everything.
Matt: If you are listening live, thank you for joining us. If you’re listening to us on the podcast, thank you for subscribing. It is humbling to see the number of people we’re getting on a regular basis joining us on the podcast. As always, you can join each and every episode of Sales Pipeline Radio; past, present, future on SalesPipelineRadio.com. We are featuring every week some of the best and brightest minds in B2B sales or marketing. Today is no exception. I am extremely excited to welcome Lauren Patrick to Sale Pipeline Radio. She is the story teller for Terminus a B2B account based marketing start up in Atlanta.
Lauren thank you for joining us on Sales Pipeline Radio.
Lauren Patrick: Thank you so much for having me Matt. Super excited to be here today and I was cringing as you guys were talking about the Vikings and the topsy turvy last minute. Oh man, you’re right. I’m still not sure I’m ready to talk about what happened to the poor dogs.
Matt: Yeah. So, Lauren is a proud University of Georgia Bull Dog and for those of you that are in the stage or follow college football, a great, great National Championship game against Alabama that went back and forth. Alabama lost, excuse me, Alabama won in overtime on just one of those plays that you just can’t believe the game is over. We put in the call notes a great blog post that Lauren put up. It’s part of her feelings process as a Georgia fan. Speaking of that Lauren, we got so many things we can cover today. We’re going to talk about storytelling. We’re going to talk a little about ABM. We’re going to talk about Pretty Southern. We’re going to cover a lot of basis.
I want to start with, you have an extensive marketing communications background. You’ve got a journalism background, but your title at Terminus is storyteller and I’ve always been fascinated by that, right? You’re not a content marketer. You’re not a copy writer. You’re a storyteller. Talk a little bit about the difference you see there and why did Terminus, in particular, invest in that kind of a role and that kind of an angle.
Lauren Patrick: Really quick, before I dive into that. I just want to make a quick clarification. I am a content marketer. I am a copy writer. I am a jack of all trades, which is why, when Terminus asked me, “What do you want your title to be?” I picked storyteller because there’s so much emphasis now in B2B, in mass media, in film about the story. People want to know the truth. They want to hear a story that they care about. I think that’s increasingly important for brands, especially really early stage companies like Terminus was.
I was employee number 12. I joined back in 2015 and Terminus was actually my forth start up. I’ve been really lucky that I’ve been a marketing content manager, communications manager, senior marketing manager. So, when Sangram Vajre asked me, “What do you want your title to be?” I said “What do you think about storyteller?” He’s the one who really encouraged me. He said, “I think you should be whoever you want to be. That sounds great.”
It’s been really, really cool and humbling to be able tell the story of Terminus since we’ve been experiencing such incredible growth in the two and a half years that I’ve been at the company.
Matt: The perspective that you guys have and the latitude that Terminus has given you and Sangram has given you is really refreshing. I think to your point, you’re a writer. You’re a copy writer. You’re doing a lot of those things, but there’s a difference between writing copy and telling stories. I think a lot of B2B companies get that wrong. They write copy as if they are selling to buildings and I have yet to meet a building that writes a check. We’re creating content for people. What are some examples of things you’ve done at Terminus that might be good examples to share of storytelling versus content marketing?
Lauren Patrick: That’s a great question Matt. I actually want to give a shout out to Joe Chernov on this one. He said something to me in December of 2015 that really stuck with me. He was talking about how you have to align your content to every stage of the buyers journey and the customers’ life cycle so you have an idea of that full story. He said to look at your total content repository every blog post, every day, every email and see how you can truly craft a narrative from there.
That’s something I’ve really carried with me over the past couple of years, especially as more and more people have started talking about account based marketing. They feel like they’re not ready to do it because they don’t have the right content and that’s where I’ve shared Joe’s wisdom. “Well, you have this great blog post. You could totally use that as part of the campaign.” But, more on that later.
Some of the fun things I’ve gotten to do with the company include helping Sangram launch “ABM for Dummies”. That was actually the first book that was ever published about account based marketing back in 2016. It’s been really amazing to see what Nikki Nixon and Sangram have done with the Flip My Funnel community. That’s how I got to know you Matt so gosh, we’re coming up on our two year anniversary of being friends since we first met in San Francisco.
Just getting to hit the road and tell the story of Terminus and get more people excited about what account based marketing can do for your business. Lately, since Peter Herbert joined Terminus as VP of marketing, the story I’ve been telling is #oneteam. How we’ve gone through our own internal ABM transformation at Terminus, brought sales and marketing together on best fit accounts and have been crushing our revenue goals, which has been really, really exciting to see.
Matt: That’s awesome. You mentioned some of the insights that you got from Joe Chernov around the buying journey. I don’t know if I got this from him or someone else; the idea that your customer, your prospect, simply does not care about your story until you proved that you care about theirs. I think there’s so many different ways, some examples you’ve already given and different ways where you can sort of tell a story that isn’t about your company. It isn’t about your product. It’s about the people and the problems they’re facing that are going to resonate more directly with individuals.
I love the fact that you guys are telling your own story internally about how sales and marketing are working together. You know? As you and I both know, it is not always a clean and flawless path. I mean, there are stumbles and failures along the way. I think making that accessible to a wide variety of people, not only does that help other people feel like ABM is accessible to them, but it also builds real empathy, a real connection between those people and people at Terminus, which makes a big difference.
Lauren Patrick: Yeah. Excuse my language on this, but this shit’s hard. It is hard to really get along with your sales team. Our Chief Revenue Officer, Todd McCormick, when we started on the ABM transformation journey, he was like, “I might lose my job over this if this doesn’t work because my revenue number is tied to this. My butt’s on the line.” I actually just did a blog post yesterday telling more about the one team story and I opened with a gif with a shot of tequila because you need a shot of tequila before you really get going with ABM.
Matt: Yeah. Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing. I think that the old way that we all see all the time WDBR’s that are flinging out bad emails, the marketing team that is generating volumes of leads as opposed to anything of quality. Fortunately, those days are not passed. There’s so many companies that still follow that path, but how they stay in business is a whole other question. Simply, as recipients of that marketing, we just don’t see it working very well.
Where do you see this heading? I think that you guys are certainly gotten into a lot more multimedia work. I know Sangram is now doing a daily podcast I believe and I don’t know how the heck he pulls that off and has the time for it. I think a lot of times when people think content marketing, and even storytelling, the default answer, the default channel for most companies is the written word. You guys have done a lot of work to diversify that across multiple channels, across multiple mediums online and offline. Talk about the importance of multichannel as a storytelling vehicle.
Lauren Patrick: Absolutely. In the words of Sangram, “You have to be where your customers are most active” right? For me personally, when I first launched my platform Pretty Southern, which we touched on earlier, I knew that Pretty Southern was going to be digital. I knew it wasn’t going to be print. I knew that there’d be some audio involved with podcast interviews like this, but I think where Terminus really got lucky is that we were the first on social to really own that hashtag for ABM.
Yes we had some of our competitors that were out there talking about ABM, but we’re the ones who really got pragmatic about it. Kudos to Nikki for pulling off five Flip My Funnel conferences in a year was insane. She put that show on the road so it was that in person experience and using events as a channel. Previous PFL direct mail to makes sure people get copies of our ABM framework. We send our customers a welcome kit that they Tweet. We have a monthly webinar program. When Sangram came to me at the end of last year and said, “I’m going to do a daily podcast in 2018.”
There’s one thing I’ve learned that you never doubt Sangram when he says he’s going to something. So I asked him, “How are we going to makes this work?” I’ve been really lucky that Sangram has us run with this and I’ve just been along for the ride helping support him how I can. Going back to your original question. I saw this interview that Gary Vaynerchuk did recently where he talked about, “If you write a blog post you better do a podcast about it. You better do a slide deck about it. If you have this one story you’re putting out there in one channel, there’s so many other ways you can repurpose that content.” Any video that Gary V does, he immediately does a transcription and then takes the audio and puts it on a podcast. I just thought that was brilliant.
Matt: That’s smart. What’s kind of fun about modern storytelling and content is that there’s so much innovation along the way. There’s people that have new ideas and try new things. Some of which fail. Some of which really become BB Teds for the rest of us. I don’t know a lot of people that are doing daily podcasts. When I first saw that he was going to do that, I thought he was nuts. Then, I think it was earlier this week or something, I saw things planned. On Tuesdays, we do this and on Wednesdays we do this. I’m thinking, “He just created …” We all have the ability to build media channels out of all this. Our blogs, our podcasts, our videos. He’s creating his own network. He’s got his own news network now that has serialized brands. I could argue, what is Flip My Funnel the movement, if not a multichannel ongoing, storytelling news network for Terminus.
I think there’s an awful lot to be said for companies that are willing to invest in that. I know Joe Pulizzi, who up until recently, was running the content marketing institute who just sold it to ABM. His last book was about the fact that people are not just doing content for marketing. They’re using content as a profit center. They are turning content into, not supporting the business, but turning it into the business.
For those of you who aren’t familiar, go to Terminus.com. Check out what they’re doing and then check out Flip My Funnel. It is one of the best examples of taking a content them and idea and turning it into an entire empire. Turning it into a driver in itself. The rest of other companies that have to rent attention and borrow attention from other media sources and other events, that world is turning on its head. I think you guys have been at the forefront of that.
I didn’t mean to become the, what’s the phrase, Lauren at Terminus has flipped my funnel, but it’s worth pointing out because you guys have done some innovative things. You guys have made a lot of tests and not everything has worked out. I think you’re creating a brand new playbook. We’re going to take a quick break. I’m talking way too much. I’m going to ask a lot more questions when we come back from the break. We got to pay some bills. We’ll be back with more with Lauren Patrick. We’re going to talk more about storytelling, less about football, but also about PrettySouthern.com. Check it out over the break. We’ll be right back. Sales Pipeline Radio.
Paul: Back to two of the best storytellers I’ve heard in a while here. I’m getting into this here. You guys have got my attention here. Matt and his guest.
Matt: It’s fun. As Lauren mentioned, I’ve known her for a couple of years now. We met at a conference. Actually, one of their conferences a couple years ago. She is a peach and I’m not just saying that because she’s from Georgia. We’ll have a lot more with Lauren here on Sales Pipeline Media. Thanks again for joining us. If you do like this conversation, if you like the ideas Lauren has and want to share this with your team, make sure you get a copy of this episode. We’ll have it up on Sales Pipeline Radio. It’ll be ready in a couple of days. You can get all of our past episodes, all of our future episodes on Sales Pipeline Radio.
Coming over the next couple of weeks on Sales Pipeline Radio next week we’re going to feature Katrina Munsel. She manages Microsoft social media, I don’t know what they call it. They call it the Hub, the Command Center, whatever. All the social media handles that Microsoft has for its products, for corporate are managed out of her command center. We’re going to talk about how she manages that. The following week, we got Eric Spatzer. He is with Citrix so we are going to be talking about sales enablement, sales engagement. A couple years ago no one really knew what sales enablement was. Now, in B2B circles you hear it as one of the fastest growing functions within sales and marketing.
A lot more great episodes coming up on Sales Pipeline Radio. Today, we of course have Lauren Patrick. Her official title is storyteller at Terminus, which is definitely a white hot company. You joined, you were employee 12. I think company now is 400 customers, 120 employees continuing to expand your footprint, not only in Atlanta, but in the B2B marketing space as well. What is it like to be on that kind of a train? I’ve been in early stage companies and been with a couple of them as they grew, but it’s been a while since I did that. What is that like for you having been in there early and seen so many cultural changes as you grow as well?
Lauren Patrick: That is such a multifaceted question Matt. I’m going to dissect it where I can. I have never seen a company grow as fast as Terminus has. I really can’t wait to see what’s in store, especially now since we just acquired our first company. Like you said, we’re expanding our footprint so now Terminus has an office on the West coast in San Francisco. We got really, really lucky to acquire one of my favorite technologies, BrightFunnel at the end of 2017. What BrightFunnel can now do in terms of measuring activity, means a lot for someone who does my job. I can go into BrightFunnel and see that X amount of webinars help drive X amount in pipeline for the company. So, that’s pretty freaking cool.
While the revenue growth has helped us get where we need to be, there are so many other things that happen along the way that help Terminus grow as fast as it has. I think one of the big ones is product market fit. ABM is such a new thing that Sangram was able to spot that trend and immediately get going talking about the problem of less than 1% of leads turn into revenue. People really bought into that idea. Again, going back to something that your customers really care about. This was something they stuck with. If you can’t show ROI on all your marketing because it’s not generating revenue, then you are going to be out of a job.
I think that talking about that really helped Terminus grow and build a subcategory of B2B marketing technology around ABM. God bless Sangram, he’s out there once a month speaking, once a month on webinar, the daily podcast. That’s done a ton to help grow that brand. From my perspective, this is actually one of my secrets for any marketers listening to this, if you work at a start up, apply for every single free award that is out there. I had my eye on the Atlanta Business Chronicle, the AJC, demand report, direct marketing news. Our local marketing association here in Atlanta called TAG, The Technology Association of Georgia. I’ve got a running Google Doc of all the awards that are in progress, deadlines, applications that are due. Over the past, almost three years, Terminus has won almost 20 awards for various different things.
Matt: I’ll tell you what. Not only if that impressive because I’m assuming you have earned all those awards, but also the fact that you have tracked them and gone after them and treated that kind of like a pipeline in it of itself. You mentioned earlier measurement and ROI. The content has had a bit of a tough time in this phase. In some companies as the investment content is increased the microscope on content has increased as well. I don’t think it’s fair to expect a lot of great storytelling to convert into closed deals. How do you handle or how do you tackle internally the issue of attribution. How do you justify the impact that content and storytelling is having for a business when it’s not a direct response tool; when it’s hard to draw straight lines between what you’re doing and making the cash register ring?
Lauren Patrick: I really love talking about this part, actually Matt because growing up my dad was in Tech Sales. I was kind of like your kid. I would be sitting at home on a sick day listening to my dad on sales calls in the other room. When I first started getting into B2B marketing and I was telling my dad about some of these things I was doing he was like, “Wow, this is really cool. I wish my marketing team was doing stuff like that.” That’s always really stuck with me. I’m a revenue focused marketer. I love when my sales rep tell me, “This event we went and worked the booth at together, I just got a deal to close from that.” or “Hey, the sales call you jumped on with me or the ROP that you helped me craft, I just got that deal”. That’s what gets me really excited because I know that my stuff’s working.
For me, when I go and I look at all my cargomatic constant efforts, the webinars, the white papers, the E-book, the blog, social. If you’re not tracking how people are converting on those touch points, then you’re not doing ABM. That’s the core of it. If you are marketing to an account, you better be looking at all those different activities. It’s simple to do if you take the time to structure it correctly and your CRM and your marking automation tools.
Matt: I think that’s a really good perspective. I think that because it’s very clear when we hear you talk and we hear you think about buying journey and your organizations are relying on, not only one team, but one team translates it to one goal. It’s clear that you are automatically applying a filter to what you’re doing based on what you believe is going to most likely drive prospects from unaware to interested to engaged. Even if you can’t measure it precisely, I think that sometimes intent is more important than precision on getting some of that right. We’re going to run out of time very quickly on Sales Pipeline Radio.
A couple of other questions for you. Clearly people should go to Terminus.com and check out all your great work. Subscribe to Sangram’s podcast as well, but I also highly encourage you to go check out Pretty Southern. Lauren Patrick can you please describe Pretty Southern to our Sales Pipeline Radio audience?
Lauren Patrick: Ah, thanks Matt. Yeah. Pretty Southern has been my labor of love since 2010. Like you said, my background is in Journalism. I was editor of UTA’s newspaper and I graduated in 2007 right before the Great Recession so newsroom weren’t really hiring and the ones that were I was seeing my friends get ferloed or laid off. I ended up taking a job at AutoTrader.com and their marketing department because at the time I was really focused on print and if y’all remember the old Trader magazine that used to pick up for a dollar at local convenience store; I was actually doing the distribution for that. I was looking at magazine numbers all day and really missed writing.
So, I launched my first blog Pretty Southern with the help of my husband Kevin, who’s a Tech Grad. I couldn’t have done it without him. He was one who bought my domain, set up my first word press instance, help me learn html and since then we’ve become one of the top ranked Southern Lifestyle blogs. It’s because I had the gumption to go and start wring my own stuff and teach myself html and social and PR; that when the content marketing boom started happening when Pardot exited to Salesforce, suddenly there were jobs for people who wanted people to write about their brand and have an in house journalist to do communications and content marketing. It’s just been a godsend. I’ve been really, really blessed and lucky to get to do what I do.
Matt: So it’s always amazing, it’s funny to me the things you pick up on. I love that and definitely people should check that out, but I think the one thing I just picked up, is your husband a Yellow Jacket?
Lauren Patrick: Yes. We are a house divided and he has been the most supportive husband over the past couple of weeks.
Matt: Now that is a sign of love right there. When you’ve got arch rivals who, not only can find a way to get married, but then to support each other in the times of need. That’s impressive. That might be kind of like getting a Packer fan to spend some time with you, consoling you over what might happen here the next couple of weeks.
Paul: Hard to imagine that. Hard to imagine that happening.
Matt: I don’t know. Okay, last quick question for you Lauren and then we’ll let you go. On the content marketing side, what are some people, what are some sources that have been inspiring to you that have help you learn to be a better content marketer, to be a better storyteller. It can be speakers, it can be writers, they can be dead, they could be long dead, but who are some of the people that you recommend others check out. See what things you can learn more about storytelling.
Lauren Patrick: So, let’s start with the living. Ann Handley and marketing profs, my God. What she has been able to do in terms of growing her community; the education, the events. Ann is a super star. I actually met her briefly at an event. It was the end of the day at Flip My Funnel Boston and she’s walking around sort of breaking down and I was just shell shocked. I couldn’t even articulate how much of a fan of hers that I was. I was so tired. It was such a shoot yourself in the foot moment. So Ann, if you are listening to this, I love you, you are amazing.
From the dead, her movie is out now, The Post, Katherine Graham’s story about the Washington Post. What she was able to do with her family’s enterprise and her life was just so inspiring. She was the first female CEO of a Fortune 500 company ever. What she was able to accomplish as a woman and a mother someone who cares so deeply about the truth and storytelling; she’s just my career idol and I love Meryl Streep, but I was really let down about the movie, but that’s something for a whole other time.
Matt: Oh boy. I think we’ve got another episode brewing here, but we are unfortunately out of time. I want to thank again, Lauren Patrick, she is a storyteller for Terminus. She is the editor of Pretty Southern. You can check those out at Terminus.com, PrettySouthern.com. We will have links to both sites in our show notes. It’ll be available when the podcast gets published here in the next couple of days up on Sales Pipeline Radio and then we’ll have a summary on our blog Heinzmarketing.com with links to these as well.
Thank you again to Lauren for joining us. Thank you everyone for joining us on this episode of Sales Pipeline Radio. Join us next week at 11:30 Pacific, 2:30 Easter. We’re here every Thursday for my great producer Paul, go Vikings. You’ve been listening to Sales Pipeline Radio.
Paul: You’ve been flying along on the Sales Pipeline. Brought to you by Matt Heinz and Heinz Marketing on the Funnel Radio Channel for at work listeners. Thank you.