Pipeline Visionaries

Outbound Marketing Still Works with Eric Quanstrom, CMO at CIENCE

Episode Summary

This episode features an interview with Eric Quanstrom, CMO of CIENCE Technologies. CIENCE offers the quickest, most-targeted path to market using their Orchestrated Outbound program to deliver qualified sales opportunities directly to your business. Eric is a startup executive with an entrepreneurial mindset, and spends his time preparing overall plans to increase revenue, reduce costs, mitigate risks, and develop programs to measure results. On this episode, Eric shares his insights into why outbound marketing still works, the critical role that your website plays, and why relevance is king in all cold outreach.

Episode Notes

This episode features an interview with Eric Quanstrom, CMO of CIENCE Technologies. CIENCE offers the quickest, most-targeted path to market using their Orchestrated Outbound program to deliver qualified sales opportunities directly to your business. Eric is a startup executive with an entrepreneurial mindset, and spends his time preparing overall plans to increase revenue, reduce costs, mitigate risks, and develop programs to measure results.

On this episode, Eric shares his insights into why outbound marketing still works, the critical role that your website plays, and why relevance is king in all cold outreach.


“One of the things we’ve been positioning in the market lately is the critical role that the website plays, especially in outbound outreach, especially in helping capitalize on the people you’re bringing to your website on a daily basis.” - Eric Quanstrom


Episode Timestamps:

*(02:37) - Eric’s role at CIENCE Technologies 

*(05:22) - Segment: Trust Tree

*(07:36) - Why outbound marketing still works

*(11:35) - Segment: The Playbook

*(13:06) - The critical role that your website plays

*(27:08) - Why relevance is king in all cold outreach

*(33:02) - Segment: The Dust Up

*(34:19) - Segment: Quick Hits



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Episode Transcription

0:00:06.3 Ian Faison: Welcome to Demand Gen Visionaries. I'm Ian Faison, CEO of Caspian Studios, and today we are joined by a special guest. Eric, how are you? 

0:00:12.9 Eric Quanstrom: I'm fine. Thanks for having me, Ian.

0:00:15.4 Ian Faison: Excited to have you on the show. Excited to chat about CIENCE, CIENCE without the S of course, all the cool stuff that y'all are doing from a marketing perspective. We're going to get into some real fun SDR talk and obviously tons of demand stuff. So let's get into it. First off, what was your first job in demand? 

0:00:33.2 Eric Quanstrom: I've got a few gray hairs and I actually started and led one startup back in the 1990s. I had left a corporate job with what was then the largest media company in the world and overseeing their essentially internet division on the West Coast to join that startup. And it was a very heady time, fun, fun days back then.

0:00:54.9 Ian Faison: And so flash forward to today, tell us what it means to be CMO of CIENCE.

0:01:00.7 Eric Quanstrom: It means that I get to steer the direction, the brand, the go-to-market activities of our organization. We've grown quite a lot over the last few years. It's fun. I view marketing as a craft and myself as a craftsman and being a head craftsman is a cool gig.

0:01:18.8 Ian Faison: Yeah. One of the reasons we are excited to chat with you, we'll get into this a little bit later is how many CMOs have SDRs that report to them now. It'll be interesting to chat through that and how important the SDR function is to marketing, which in theory it's always been important to marketing, but now more than ever.

0:01:34.2 Eric Quanstrom: Yeah. It's funny too. I think that best conceptualized SDRs, BDRs, whatever you want to call them, XDRs, just sit right in between sales and marketing. So it's always an interesting split of where they end up rolling up to or who they answer to at the end of the day.

0:01:48.8 Ian Faison: Yeah. It just depends on the organization, how you want to do things. But this is part of the revenue function making a little bit more sense these days and maybe a little bit less sense these days too, that marketing growing in terms of that overall revenue function that it's like, yeah, it does of course make sense for SDRs to roll up to marketing for some organizations. That makes perfect sense. So it's just, it's a fascinating, never ending strategic decision.

0:02:15.1 Eric Quanstrom: That said, I've yet to hear the title RDR, revenue development representative. But that would be a fascinating one to have roll on up, if you will, going forward.

0:02:23.1 Ian Faison: Yeah. It makes sense, right? 

0:02:25.1 Eric Quanstrom: Yeah.

0:02:26.3 Ian Faison: That's the thing is we have rev ops now, right? Because sales ops and marketing ops living separately didn't actually make sense. It makes sense to have one view of revenue and to have someone who's not stealing from Peter to pay Paul, right? That didn't make sense. It never did make sense. And especially depends on the type of org that you have. If you have product like growth, if you actually own a number as a CMO versus like owning a revenue number, not just owning a pipeline number, you're literally, the website is driving revenue for your business. You're having conversions that a salesperson never touches. That's revenue.

0:02:57.0 Eric Quanstrom: Yeah. And it's funny that you bring up website because one of the things that we've been positioning really in the market lately, especially with CIENCE is the critical role that the website plays, especially in outbound outreach, especially in helping really capitalize on the people that you're bringing to your website on a daily basis. But how many of those are you reaching back out to and running outbound cadences to that aren't converting, that aren't raising their hands, that aren't filling out forms on your website? Because I would argue that's probably the biggest gap area for most demand gen leaders and their sales counterparts or revenue overseers, depending on your org structure in 2022 going on 2023.

0:03:36.9 Ian Faison: All right, let's get to our first segment. The trust tree is where you go and feel honest and trusted. And we can share those deepest, darkest demand gen secrets. Tell me a little bit about CIENCE. Who are your customers? 

0:03:50.0 Eric Quanstrom: Our customers are primarily those revenue titles and they reside in sales or marketing. Historically, CIENCE has predominantly sold to sales leadership and sales management. That line is really starting to blur per my comment of about 30 seconds ago. And we're starting to see a lot more traction, interest, demand, if you will, from the marketing side of the house, largely because we've started producing our own software and selling it separately in addition to bundling everything together with a lot of our go-to-market activities on behalf of the clients that we serve. It's really those two predominant camps. And then I would be remiss if I didn't include for small to medium-sized businesses, it's very typical that we have owner, founder, CEO titles, assuming essentially the revenue responsibility or pipeline responsibility and is ultimately a decision maker in our sales cycles and oftentimes even main point of contact in our engagements.

0:04:46.9 Ian Faison: Yeah. And so within that function, how the heck do you get in front of them? What's your marketing strategy? 

0:04:51.5 Ian Faison: Yeah. Well, we drink a lot of our own champagne to be perfectly honest. So we're big practitioners of what we like to call inbound led outbound, intent led outbound, and frankly, list led outbound. And so when we start to think about the, and I'll get to some of our demand gen and exclusively marketing techniques in a little bit, but focusing on just those three areas for a moment, one of the things that we prioritize on is first and foremost, developing our own ICP, understanding who we want to do business with. I gave you broad strokes just a second ago. Once we understand that we can do a lot of things, not the least of which is advertising to all of those audiences. So we have our own demand side platform and we practice what we preach and have a lot of, or a very robust kind of like add developed motion to our ICP every single day. From there, a lot of our web traffic that we generate, we're running outbound cadences against both the folks that are raising their hands, filling forms, inbound SDRs are following up setting appointments and starting sales cycles with.

0:05:53.9 Eric Quanstrom: Those that don't raise their hands we're identifying through our own tools and we're ultimately running outbound sequences. What I called inbound led outbound back out to those folks that match our ICP.

0:06:05.0 Eric Quanstrom: And that's a very robust, in fact, it's one of our strongest kind of like outbound campaigns that we run internally, largely because we're no different than a lot of other businesses where we're only converting about 3% of our web traffic visitors into like hand raisers or form fills. It seems to be around the industry average or maybe slightly above, but ultimately that 97% of folks that are coming to our site, that we can identify a certain portion of them and when they fit our ICP, we want to bring like the conversation direct to their door. So that's a big go to market for us. We also spend a lot of our time identifying intent. And so we have our own intent tool and we look at who's in market or who might be in market for our areas of promise. If you take a kind of like a hot topic, like lead generation services would be a really great example of something that we're targeting on and the accounts that are showing intent for that topic we're running outbound campaigns to on the regular.

0:07:01.1 Ian Faison: And then we have a number of other kind of like trigger event and other style campaigns that run out the door and end up turning into leads in our system that are technically outbound sourced, that half of the business, if you will. And all of that rolls up to me and we call that CIENCE core. And we've been doing it that way for quite a while and having frankly what I would determine to be very good success. On the inbound side, we've got a variety of activities, a lot of the kind of content marketing, SEO, being found and being very discoverable. Those are things that we've gotten reasonably good at and are generally generating, call it right around 50,000 unique visitors to our website every single month. And then turning that into a lot of inbound interests that we take forward into sales.

0:07:43.0 Ian Faison: You mentioned the persona a little bit here. In terms of like types of organizations, do you have like size and shape of organizations that you're going after? 

0:07:52.5 Eric Quanstrom: We do. We're lucky in the sense that we don't have to throw a hard floor or a hard ceiling at the type of organizations that we work with. I think our largest client by total revenue, at least in the software space is Salesforce. We've worked with Google and Microsoft and a bunch of other very large organizations in the past on the enterprise side, all the way down to two guys in a garage. And so it's not uncommon for us to have, as long as the business model supports it, and that's a key criteria for CIENCE really is when the business model can support an outbound motion. So note what's not included there. A lot of product led growth companies, maybe not nearly as much of a fit or freemium tools or B2C companies that really couldn't support an outbound motion whatsoever. But if the business model supports it, our TAM tends to range that gamut from the solarpreneur on up.

0:08:45.9 Ian Faison: Awesome. You touched on a bunch of how sort of demand fits into that, but any other thoughts on demand and how it fits into your marketing strategy? 

0:08:53.0 Eric Quanstrom: Yeah. We've run quite a lot of what I would call demand kind of experiments too. We're always testing new channels. We're always looking for ways to attract folks or be in the buying path of a buyer as they're looking to discover organizations like ours. The interesting part about our business model is that we have a very kind of non-zero sum game type of organization and industry that we compete in. In other words, when our clients grow, we grow or vice versa. And that's the main reason that we're being hired, right? People want to grow more. And so our job is to both help with demand gen and lead gen and ultimately turn interest into appointments and appointments into sales revenue.

0:09:34.8 Ian Faison: All right, let's get to our next segment. The playbook is where we open up that playbook and you talk about the tactics that help you win.

[video playback]

0:09:55.9 Ian Faison: What are your three uncuttable budget items? 

0:09:58.8 Eric Quanstrom: Three uncuttable budget items? That's a really good question. I think that for us, some uncuttables are a lot of the positions that we've achieved on primarily directories where our own clients are reviewing us and relating their firsthand experience of doing business with CIENCE to the rest of the world. And a lot of those directories are pay-per-click and they very much feature folks in sponsorship tiers. And so we have to preserve those tiers by pay-for-play. And so that becomes a budget item that is loath to be cut. Largely because the truth of the matter is that when you exist on directories and you have positive word of mouth or favorable reviews, and our reviews tend to be very robust. We tend to have more than average competitors in the space simply because we've had more clients I think over the years and been growing a lot faster. But the interesting part there is that those leads, when they come through, I like to think of it almost like Google arbitrage, right? Because people are hitting Google and they're finding directories and then they're finding you one layer deep, right? So if I were looking on Google for say lead generation services companies or appointment setting firms or telemarketing services or call centers or any of the other kind of phrases that largely describe our business, there's a really good chance that I'm hitting a directory first and seeing a stack ranking of ourselves against relevant competition.

0:11:24.1 Eric Quanstrom: And again, when you can compare apples to apples, so to speak, and then earn those click-throughs oftentimes through sponsorships or uncuttable budget, what you find is that those clicks tend to convert at a much higher rate and they tend to perform very well in sales cycles. And it's a very virtuous circle or cycle going forward. They also produce a lot of people that are doing their homework and that we can then identify through our use of our own tools. And again, follow up as I was illustrating earlier in an outbound led motion. So capturing people that are doing research, but maybe just aren't ready to pull the trigger and fill out that form just yet. It's a great way to mobilize outbound to capitalize on buying interest, even if the buyer themselves isn't ready to pull the trigger. So that would be number one. I think number two would be our own ad budget. And so our ad budget really has performed well for us. And the ability to allocate dollars against our ICP and return results is something that we don't see cutting anytime in the near future. Plus raising awareness has a ton of virtuous effects on what we see in other traffic channels, not the least of which are direct.

0:12:29.5 Eric Quanstrom: That's where we see a lot of people associating with the CIENCE brand. And then even coming back and oftentimes doing Google searches for that CIENCE without an S and getting branded traffic, either organically or through AdWords. So that would be, and maybe I'd even throw AdWords in as part of like 2A or number three of uncuttable budget, simply because we want to be on that buying path when people have buying intent and commercial keywords that are relevant to us. So that would be my answer.

0:12:56.0 Ian Faison: What types of places are y'all advertising? 

0:12:58.3 Eric Quanstrom: A lot of the very usual kind of suspects, Clutch, G2, UpCity, TrustRadius, Captura, GetApp, Gartner Pair Insights, you name it. That's just a short list that I could itemize out.

0:13:09.5 Ian Faison: Yeah, for sure. Just like all of those places where you can be found where it's high intent, like you said, people doing research, either looking for something to buy or potentially looking down the road and capturing that. And obviously same thing with AdWords. I'm curious because a lot of that stuff is very intent heavy and that seems very purposeful. Is that because you're focusing so much on those because of propensity to buy? And do you have non-intent heavy initiatives that you're doing as well, more of market making or category design or those things? 

0:13:36.6 Eric Quanstrom: I would say less. We have been very intent heavy and that's deliberate and intentional.

0:13:43.0 Ian Faison: I intentionally asked you the question.

0:13:44.6 Eric Quanstrom: No, I'm kidding. But yeah, we love second party intent, which is why as a great example, we just started a new advertising relationship with Slashdot, SourceForge. They have kind of intent products as well where across their categories we can see who's in market, who's buying, who's looking for various tools and ultimately again, run outbound campaigns against those accounts and contacts.

0:14:08.5 Ian Faison: And then in terms of content, you mentioned doing a bunch of stuff for content and SEO and those sort of initiatives. How are you thinking about creating that stuff to drive demand? Are you making stuff for people that you need to exist? Are you making more stuff for you, more stuff for them? How do you think about content? 

0:14:25.1 Eric Quanstrom: I think of it as a blend. And what we try to create is not have a narrow aperture, but a wide enough aperture to focus on content that we develop that fits into various buckets. You itemized a few of them, but here's a few others. So we definitely look at commercial intent keywords that would need content created around them and that's a big focus for our editorial manager and her kind of content calendar. I would say the other big areas of focus, especially for us lately have been our evolution and graduation, if you will, into software and kind of even software only sales as well as bundled software and services sales. And so we've created a lot of content around our new products, how they're used, where they're used, the categories that they belong to, understanding them. So you can almost think of it as like a product marketing focus for a lot of our recent blogs. We definitely do CIENCE centric content around news, awards, recent appointments, that kind of stuff that I think is still relevant to today. And then last but not least, we spend quite an amount of time writing about the issues and the best practices and what we see in the field, if you will, working on behalf of clients in the motions that we typically do.

0:15:45.5 Eric Quanstrom: In fact, that's all about another form of content we have is our own podcast and we could get into that and some of what's produced there as well.

0:15:53.8 Ian Faison: Yeah, let's get into it. Don't have to twist my arm to talk to podcasts. That's for sure.

0:15:58.5 Eric Quanstrom: Yeah. So we run a podcast called the Enterprise Sales Development Podcast and the focus is really around that leader, if you will, in the sales development space. And that's typically the guests that we have on as well as consultants and authors and other thought leaders in and around sales development, largely for the purpose of really giving back. We tell all of our guests, the best thing that we can have in our conversation is you sharing some of your first person insights on how you run your teams, how you go to market, what's working for you, messaging that you've developed, tactics that you've seen work, strategies that you want to employ or that you are currently employing at your company. And then our listenership benefits by getting all of that information, G2 and the honest opinions of our guests, which are real thought leaders.

0:16:46.1 Ian Faison: Yeah. I talk about this idea of co-creating with your prospects, with your customers and with your influencers, with your community. And I think that it's a no brainer. If you're not co-creating with your prospects and your customers, you're absolutely losing out. They have audiences, they have things that they want to share. Generally speaking, most people are not good at writing. We're not going to... Not that they couldn't actually write. Of course they probably could, but that we're bad at physically sitting down and writing the article and then editing it and then posting it. I don't know the average number of articles people write on their LinkedIn's or on their personal blogs or whatever. Vast majority of people are not going to do that stuff. And they're definitely not going to do it at a clip that's fast enough to keep up with the Joneses. Technology moves so fast, marketing moves so fast, they're getting those insights weeks in advance, months in advance. You can have a huge impact. I challenge every company to start co-creating content with those folks. And if you were to go back 15 years ago and go, hey, yeah, some of the top prospects and customers are going to guest write blog posts for us, you'd be like, oh my gosh, how do I do this? 

0:17:55.0 Ian Faison: Show me where to sign. That's the greatest thing ever. And now you can do that with a series and it's great. And you're serving your audience and your community and it drives the bottom line. It's win-win.

0:18:05.8 Eric Quanstrom: It is win-win. And by the way, I agree with everything you just said. The other thing I would add to that is if I think about the mind of our buyer and actually on your podcast, you probably have your entire audience, A, they're already listening to podcasts so if they're hearing this now, they are kind of like sharpening the saw or working on their own craft just by listening to this podcast. That ambition, that kind of like professional development, if you will, I think is probably the most undersold or undertold trend line of our generation. Largely because I don't see people climbing up the corporate ladder without it. I don't see new ideas being developed. I don't see promotions without people soaking up like sponges, new ideas, new methods, better ways of growing their own businesses without that type of professional development. And so if you take it all back to first principles, this idea for feeding the ambitions of the listeners that want to grow themselves is a noble goal, right? Isn't it? 

0:19:07.8 Ian Faison: Yeah, I agree. I mean, I literally built a company based off of this, so of course it's what I believe in. But yeah, I believe that practitioners, the people who are actually in the trenches doing this stuff, many of the answers that we seek, right? My friend is a marketing professor. He had his students listening to the podcast because where else would you get these insights? It's not going to be in the textbook. They can't even write a textbook that fast, right? And so anyways, I think it's non-negotiable. I think you have to be doing this stuff. And one of the things that comes up often with this sort of thing is like, well, is anyone watching or listening or paying attention? And to me, that's the same thing as the CFO and the CEO having the conversation saying, should we have to train our employees? And the CFO says, what if we train them and they leave? And the CEO says, what if they don't and they stay? Right? It's the same sort of thing. Being worried about who is consuming and when and how is of course, you have to think about that stuff and you have to make things in media that people want. But everybody wants to get better at their jobs. Like everybody wants to.

0:20:09.4 Ian Faison: So you have to help them do that and you have to figure it out. However you do that, you need to figure it out. If it's a trade show, if it's a magazine, if it's a TikTok channel, so whatever it is, you got to help people get better at their jobs.

0:20:20.3 Eric Quanstrom: Well, and I think that the same ambitious, smart, professionally developed folks, there's a certain amount of halo effect that occurs in producing what people would define as good or quality or professional content because they'll realize the brands behind that. They'll realize the voices, they'll realize the leadership, if you will. And they'll start to ascribe certain elements to your brand based on that consumption. And I think that model of marketing is actually a really effective one. Terrible to attribute, like literally one of the hardest things to quantify down for all the demand gen folks out there listening to this. You know exactly what I'm talking about.

0:20:55.4 Ian Faison: Yup. Oh yeah.

0:20:57.7 Eric Quanstrom: Because it's not linear and it's not one to one and it's not a CTR that you can, oh, they listened to the podcast and then they bought my product. Doesn't work that way.

0:21:05.3 Ian Faison: But that's where you make a difference. And this is one of the things that's so exciting about this show is like why we do uncuttable budget items. The easiest thing to do is to say our target demo is blank whatever officer at this size company from this number of employees to this number of employees and run a bunch of ads on LinkedIn, right? Anyone can do that. Same thing with like Facebook made advertising really easy. It's super accessible. Google the same thing. Now there's endless levels of complexity there that you have to deal with. And like that is easier to set that up because there's like rules and you know how to do that. Creating things from scratch is way harder. So therefore like if you're looking for an advantage, you could build an advantage. You could build a moat around the things that are much harder to execute from a company perspective, from a marketing perspective. And that's what the best marketers are doing, right? 

0:21:55.8 Eric Quanstrom: Well, Rome wasn't built in a day and I don't think that anything that's worth having as a channel or a go to market strategy ever comes easily won.

0:22:04.3 Ian Faison: I want to go back to the SDR piece here. Obviously there's two sides to this coin, which we talk about a lot on this show, which is on one side that outbound motion is mostly essential for any type of business that does that. On the other side, it's really annoying to the people who are getting the emails a lot of the time. And so how do you think about balancing that and how do you think about doing that in your own marketing and obviously your organization does this and works on it a ton? 

0:22:30.4 Eric Quanstrom: I think that there's a lot of ways to peel this onion. And so I'll start on one that I've already, maybe it can become a theme throughout this podcast for folks to think differently, especially on the demand gen side of the house. If you're running inbound led outbound or intent led outbound campaigns, theoretically you're anything but annoying, right? Like logically speaking, the reason that it's why me, why now, why care in any kind of multi-channel outreach is because you have reason to believe that the other person that you're reaching out to has a need.

0:23:02.9 Eric Quanstrom: And those reasons can be, I don't want to go too far down that path, but there was a trigger event and it wasn't just your name appeared on our list. You know what I mean? It was based on some action that you took, which is why my highest and best form of outbound is really inbound led. People don't just arrive at like cince.com because they couldn't find the summer blockbuster reading. Like where's the latest Grisham novel? Oh, let's go to cince.com. No, there was some, something that was curious or interesting, or in our areas of promise that pulled them to our site. Maybe it was an ad, maybe it was content, maybe it was a referral link. By the way, marketers out there, you have a cost associated with that visit and recouping that cost is actually a pretty good way of thinking about like justifying any of those inbound led outbound efforts. Anyways, once somebody is on that site, 98 out of a hundred people, 97 out of a hundred people are going to hit the site, visit a page or five and go silently away. That's what the numbers say. What you're doing to get those people back onto the radar, back in front of them to me is like anything but annoying.

0:24:04.9 Eric Quanstrom: It's like focused attention on someone that was showing some form of buying intent. And so ultimately I view the annoyance factor to be very low in those situations, largely because what you're really trying to figure out is fit. You're trying to figure out like, Hey, what were you researching? Hey, what were you trying to learn? Hey, what were you comparing? Were you interested in looking at different vendors and we were one of them, so to speak, and then moving in that direction. Now for pure, just like list led outbound, I think that there's a variety of ways that we can avoid the annoyance trap. And so this is more like general speaking on like outbound best practices, if you will, file under that bucket. And what I would say first and foremost is relevance is king in all cold outreach, period, full stop, end of story. And if you can't cross the relevance bar, then you are going to get ignored or spam foldered or deleted because busy people just, that's what they do. And I assume, and I think that this is a good rubric for anyone thinking about any form of outbound, that the three B's are always in play in the modern era.

0:25:11.1 Eric Quanstrom: And those are that your prospects will always be busy, bombarded and bewildered.

0:25:16.0 Ian Faison: Love it.

0:25:16.9 Eric Quanstrom: I have yet to meet again, these ambitious executives pick an industry, pick a, like if they're worth talking to as part of a buying group, then they're largely by default as a rule overscheduled. They're always busy.

0:25:31.8 Ian Faison: Yup.

0:25:32.8 Eric Quanstrom: Just the way that it is. It's like the sun rising in the East and setting in the West and to think differently would be asinine strategically. They're bombarded in the sense that like your outreach will be part of all the other stimuli, all the other people reaching out to them that day, that hour in that inbox or on that phone or over whatever medium you choose on LinkedIn. And so you have to recognize that's really your competition or that's really the noise that you want to be signal in. And then last but not least bewildered. I like to think of this as most prospects, buying is really hard. Buying anything is super difficult if you get right down to it. I don't know of any college courses that teach buying to most executives outside of larger companies that have procurement departments where that is a discipline.

0:26:18.8 Eric Quanstrom: Buying is largely ad hoc, random and completely democratic and only becoming more so over time. So buying is hard. The way I like to flip this around then is once you realize that everyone's busy, bombarded and bewildered, you can adapt strategies for adding value to that equation as an outbound practitioner or as an SDR reaching out and thinking through what's going to make this person that I'm reaching out to care to not just say yes to an appointment with me, but continue talking. [chuckle]

0:26:48.8 Ian Faison: What are some examples of that? 

0:26:50.5 Eric Quanstrom: I think that there's a huge body of research that indicates that one of the big attached ideas to relevance is personalization. And so the idea that you don't treat people like numbers, you don't just mass blast a message and hope that it works. A lot of outbound rests on the fundamentals of one-to-one outreach, doesn't it? 

0:27:09.1 Ian Faison: Yeah, agreed. I totally agree.

0:27:10.8 Eric Quanstrom: One human to another. At least that's the point as far as I can tell of why even have the SDR role in the first place. So if that's a truism about the role and the dynamic, then letting humans interact with other humans and having a relevant reason for reaching out and then conducting personalization, research, segmentation, all the kinds of things that you would expect to make something actionable... Let me say it this way. Those times where you've probably perked up, paid attention, and otherwise interacted or engaged with whoever was reaching out to you, were those times where you felt like, oh, this doesn't look like all this other kind of stuff, does it? And I think that cuts the clutter. It's the signal and the noise. And I probably spent more time collectively on the buy side, given title and role and budget that I've held than on the sell side. And I think that this is the golden rule that a lot of my peers, I would hope, really start to understand when creating campaigns or crafting them out or just thinking through the dynamic of that one-to-one interaction of SDR to prospect. How are we making it worth the prospect's time? 

0:28:19.3 Ian Faison: I love it. Any other best practices that you've seen there? I guess I should also add in, I love your ROI calculator. It's really cool. We'll link it up in the show notes. It's very well done. And I think it's pretty darn rad. It has an awesome build or buy. Do you want to go CIENCE? Do you want to do it yourself? And it's just a slick little tool.

0:28:35.5 Eric Quanstrom: We tend to think in ROI terms around outbound, any of the flavors that I talked about earlier, you can still model out the same way. And what's cool about outbound is it actually isn't as victim, so to speak, of attributional uncertainty or vagueness as other channels are. So we still have yet to have a client that wonders where the appointment that was set by CIENCE came from.

0:28:57.4 Ian Faison: Yeah, that's funny.

0:28:58.7 Eric Quanstrom: So when you have that attribution, you can run a very clean ROI calculation against any product service or solution in any sales cycle, largely because you're starting from what you hope to be a sales accepted lead, but you know exactly where it came from and what it costs you because we're a monthly subscription fee. You can basically just run a one-to-one. Oh, okay. This many appointments led to this many kind of sales, and I can do the backwards math and get an ROI off of it extraordinarily cleanly.

0:29:28.0 Ian Faison: Yeah. I love the build versus buy. I just wanted to shout out that calculator that you all have. Yeah, thank you.

0:29:33.0 Eric Quanstrom: Appreciate it.

0:29:33.8 Ian Faison: What is your most cuttable budget item? What's the stuff that you maybe won't be investing in next year or maybe decreasing spend on something? 

0:29:40.1 Eric Quanstrom: One of my most cuttable budget items I wish I could cut, and that is we pay services to help us suppress, especially on AdWords, bot traffic that masquerades as accurate clicks. It's just like a tax on the industry as a whole. I wish I never had to spend not even a dollar on that type of software that monitors that spend and then hands us back. Here's the percentage of your spend that's bot traffic and here's what you have to do to suppress these folks.

0:30:13.1 Ian Faison: Yeah, that's a great one. That's a great call out. That's also necessary evil.

0:30:15.8 Eric Quanstrom: I know, right? 

0:30:17.9 Ian Faison: Okay, let's get to our segment, the dust up, where we talk about healthy tension, whether that's with your board, your competitors or anyone else. Have you had a memorable dust up in your career? 

0:30:28.1 Eric Quanstrom: Yes I have. We'll see if any of our competitors are actually listening to this podcast. But we actually built a site and internally we called it the lead gen mega. But what we did was we basically stack ranked 83 different criteria of lead generation companies like ourselves against objective things that we could matrix or put into almost a spreadsheet and we scored it. We built the site and we put 282 of our closest competitors into that scoring mechanism. And lo and behold, we came out on top and it's now a public site where it has our scores versus all 280 plus of our competitors. Needless to say, a few of our competitors have issued cease and desists for us creating scores, with their brand and trademark and what have you. So I think that would qualify as a dust up.

0:31:18.6 Ian Faison: That's pretty good. I like it. All right, let's get to our final segment here. Quick hits. These are quick questions and quick answers. Just like how quickly you can talk to somebody if you use qualified, go to qualify.com to learn more. We love qualified. They are the pipeline cloud and we love them dearly. Go to qualify.com to learn more. Just the best company, best team, best leaders. Quick hits. Eric, are you ready? 

0:31:44.4 Eric Quanstrom: I am.

0:31:45.9 Ian Faison: Number one, do you have a favorite podcast or TV show or movie or book that you've been checking out recently? 

0:31:54.3 Eric Quanstrom: Yeah. So the Jolt Effect is a book that I've just taken down, recommend it to any sales leader. But I think that marketing leaders can learn a lot from the information, the research and kind of the key ideas. It's from the same team that wrote the Challenger books, Challenger Sale, Challenger Customer, which I also highly recommend. And so the Jolt Effect is their kind of like new and leading. So that's one that I highly recommend. Other podcasts for me personally, I tend to gravitate towards a lot of the National Public Radio type stuff. I'm a huge marketplace, Kai Rizdahl, shout out, great daily listen for me. And I'm a big fan of the All In podcast. I think has gained a tremendous amount of traction in a really short amount of time, largely because the dynamic between the four impresarios on that podcast is a rare thing.

0:32:46.4 Ian Faison: Yeah. I think that being able to react in real time to stuff is something that is really hard to do, to build a series where you do that consistently and repeatable. And they're able to do that really well. It's a huge value add.

0:33:00.8 Eric Quanstrom: Yeah, I totally agree.

0:33:01.6 Ian Faison: What is your best piece of advice for a first time CMO? 

0:33:04.2 Eric Quanstrom: My best piece of advice is think of yourself as a portfolio manager where you're by default can have a lot of activities, resources, people, budget to manage, and that you're never going to get everything 100% right. What you need to look for is forever be optimizing, figure out what your key channels are, figure out what your key activities are, figure out what seems to be working. So this is where data meets gut feel. But the best portfolio managers that I've observed are like the best CMOs in my opinion, largely because they can cut and they can get out of investments that are nonproductive faster than not, but they're always looking for what's going to return better results and feed those winners as they happen. So I would say be a portfolio manager.

0:33:54.5 Ian Faison: Considering I have a post called portfolio based marketing ready to rock here, I wholeheartedly agree. I'll need a quote for that.

0:34:01.1 Eric Quanstrom: Happy to serve. You got it on your name now. So there you go.

0:34:05.5 Ian Faison: I know that's what I mean. The work is done. Eric, awesome having you on the show. Thanks so much for joining. For listeners, you can go to cince.com, CIENCE without the S to learn more about what they do and SDRs and all the fun stuff with the platform and services and everything in between. Eric, any final thoughts? Anything to plug? 

0:34:24.3 Eric Quanstrom: Just that if you listen to us or heard us on this podcast, please let our sales team or our SDRs know. We love getting that feedback and maybe even that attribution that'll like ride in our CRM.

0:34:35.6 Ian Faison: Yeah, there you go. That's awesome.

0:34:37.5 Eric Quanstrom: Inform the discussion.

0:34:40.1 Ian Faison: Great. Thanks again. And we'll chat soon.

0:34:42.2 Eric Quanstrom: Sounds good. Thanks Ian.