Today, we're eyeing the most coveted thing every salesperson wants. Plus, marketing master Jay Acunzo on the hidden benefits of irrelevant projects. And finally, we spotlight Quibi yet again—a company spending more than $1 billion as it crusades into the streaming service battles.
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Becoming a pipeline pro
Mixmax, the email app that extends Gmail's functionality and amps up productivity for customer-facing teams, drops a blog post on “tips for building the most coveted thing every salesperson wants.”
Although unfortunately, we know there are so many potential roadblocks for building pipeline—from customer delay tactics to terminology discrepancies, the list rages on.
But here are some learnings, from the sales community, that Mixmax put together so we can start acting like pipeline pros.
Firstly, firm up your foundation. Hire leaders who are aligned with your goals and take a step back to view the big picture. Far too often, focus is limited to the short term because of the nature of daily deliverables in sales. But it’s crucial to look past that.
And don’t overwhelm the system with too much tech. There are quite literally thousands of sales tools trying to help you, but as with most things, less is more here. David Dulany, Founder and CEO of Tenbound, says his team encourages clients to put recurring reminders on their calendars to revisit each tool every 90 days. “Go in, validate the process, and ensure that everything is still working as originally planned."
When auditing a sales tool’s usefulness to your pipeline, ask yourself questions like:
- Is the tool actually being utilized by sales staff?
- Are we achieving measurable return on investment from the tool?
- How can we demonstrate ROI to our CFO?
- Who, internally, owns the success of the tool?
And finally, strike a balance between what Mixmax calls “hunting and farming.” Because sales professionals are often likened to "hunters." But should your AEs and SDRs also be good "farmers?"
“Today, more than ever before, companies are hiring sales development people for the farming side of their business,” says Don Erwin, Head of Sales at Mixmax. And, “Selling into different departments within an organization is a brilliant way to build repeatable pipeline.”
Be gone with rigid thinking
Let's talk: hidden benefits of outside-the-box projects.
A few episodes back, we touched on cross-pollination, courtesy of Drift’s CEO David Cancel. He encourages us to look outside our respective industries, because too often we admire the same leaders, read the same business books, and attend the same workshops and talks. But there’s a huge benefit in looking elsewhere to build out our knowledge base, and today we see that author/speaker/marketing man Jay Acunzo agrees.
“Organizations and thinkers have a way of focusing narrowly,” Jay writes.
Because of course the marketing conference wants to attract marketers. Of course a designer knows other designers. Of course a podcast producer likes podcasts enough to try making one. But if we only learn from things that are so perfectly related to our jobs, we become rigid thinkers and doers, he adds.
So we need to work on our flexibility, our agility, our vision, Jay encourages.
"In school, we learn that learning means memorization of the exact topic we aim to learn."
But we need the marketers to try that cooking class, the designers to write a column on relationship struggles, the salespeople to dive into photography.
We’re getting stale, but there are ways to stay fresh. Think about it. Try it. And let us know how it changed you—inevitably, for the better.
Quibi drops a billion
You remember Quibi as the streaming service that launched this year at CES. Short for “quick bites,” Quibi plans to roll out original content (perfected for mobile viewing) after raising $1 billion and signing up with some big Hollywood names like Spielberg and del Toro, not to mention its advertising partnerships with companies like Pepsi and Walmart. (No big deal.)
And on a recent episode of Marketplace with Molly Wood, my ears were perked for an interview with Meg Whitman, Quibi’s CEO.
Because Quibi has a big focus on mobility. Its target audience, ages 18 to 44, is made up of primarily mobile users, so here’s why they’re prioritizing something different than other streaming giants out there.
Video on mobile has historically been an uneven experience, Meg says, with some content only available in portrait mode, and other only in landscape.
"We said for our use case, on-the-go viewing, we have to be able to have seamless portrait-to-landscape rotation with full-screen video. We figured out that it had to really be what we call script-to-screen innovation, because the creators have to film a little bit differently."
"$4.99 we think is a good value for this premium content on their mobile phone. For those people who really don’t want advertising, we felt like we should offer an ad-free version at $7.99."
And they're expecting most revenue to come in via subscription.
Meg doesn't seem worried, but we know that standing out in a certain market might mean choosing prices that undercut your competitors—even though those prices might cut into your overall profits. And beating the competition might sound obvious, but your prices can be a powerful tool for maintaining or increasing your market share. Competitor objectives are not the most important thing to consider, but they have their relevance.
Recurring Rhetoric: power pricing
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