Esther discusses the balance between the art and science of marketing, what B2B can learn from B2C, and the different motions that fuel high-transaction, high-volume inbound pipeline versus the targeted ABM strategies that drive complex, enterprise-level deals.
This episode features an interview with Esther Flammer, Vice President of Demand Generation and acting CMO of Conga.
Esther is a senior marketing executive with nearly 20 years of B2B and agency experience in SaaS, high-tech, and non-profit sectors. Her dynamic leadership has driven success at high-growth B2B technology companies like Conga, Convercent, and Return Path.
On this episode, Esther discusses the balance between the art and science of marketing, what B2B can learn from B2C, and the different motions that fuel high-transaction, high-volume inbound pipeline versus the targeted ABM strategies that drive complex, enterprise-level deals.
“We see so much ROI and a lot of the bigger deals and true qualified pipeline coming from [our ABM efforts]. It’s a very multichannel, targeted effort, starting with the technology that provides propensity to buy data…really defining what those target accounts look like, adding in targeted advertising so that we can warm them up and truly personalize…then ensuring that we're delivering the right message to the right person at the right time, that it's personal, that it's relevant and it’s aligned with where they are in their buyer's journey.”
“We were invited to be on a pilot to try out Qualified.com on Salesforce AppExchange…and it's been a game changer completely. We've always had high volumes from AppExchange and from each of our product listings, but we were able to see much higher conversions, more qualified conversations and true pipeline come from that. So we’re huge fans.”
“Because of the fact that we don't really have live events where you would typically see conversations happening at a booth, [conversational marketing] has been a great addition to our full demand gen strategy and the tactics and channels that we're utilizing.”
“I think there's a lot that B2B can learn from B2C–tech and data analysis and neuromarketing and things like that. B2B tech is, I feel like, just starting to do that in a sense, but there's a lot that we can do to actually provide really relevant content to people who are looking to purchase.”
“I feel like when you're in demand generation, there's kind of always a target on your back just because you are accountable for the pipeline that the business needs to close in order to hit the bookings goals. Demand generation in most cases is front and center: What are you doing? What is your strategy? How are you producing more pipeline? ...Everything is very much kind of that art and science of marketing…So we use a lot of data and science to figure out how much pipeline we need, and for me, our goal of the demand gen team is predictable pipeline. We put a lot of effort into trying to figure out how much pipeline do we need to create in this quarter in order to hit our goals, both this quarter as well as next quarter and beyond.”
Demand Gen Visionaries is brought to you by Qualified.com, the #1 Conversational Marketing platform for companies that use Salesforce and the secret weapon for Demand Gen pros. The world's leading enterprise brands trust Qualified to instantly meet with buyers, right on their website, and maximize sales pipeline. Visit Qualified.com to learn more.
Check out Conga's Agents of Change Podcast
[00:00:00] Ian: [00:00:00] Welcome to dimension visionaries. I'm Ian Faison CEO of Caspian studios. And today we are joined by special guest Esther,
[00:00:08] Esther: [00:00:08] how are you? Good. How are you? Happy to be on the show. I know it's
[00:00:12] Ian: [00:00:12] great to have you on the show. Excited to chat conga and all things, marketing and demand gen. So what was your first job in demand gen?
[00:00:20] Esther: [00:00:20] So it's a good question. I actually started out as just a marketing manager just to generalist, but at a really small startup, probably employee number 50 called return path. Back in the day, it was very focused on email deliverability, but we were in a very high growth phase. Right. And the way that I've kind of made my career in the past is by looking for critical business opportunities and gaps, and kind of made my way into customer marketing, largely because we had never really had really well-built or foundational customer marketing programs that started to create customer satisfaction, customer welcome looking at kind [00:01:00] of all of the aspects of the customer life cycle.
[00:01:02] And as part of that, I was utilizing. Marketing automation to really drive a lot of that in terms of nurtures and how can we accelerate some of the customer life cycle, utilizing technology, but really was using, you know, our marketing automation tool. And it was really early on when marketing automation kind of first came out.
[00:01:21] And really utilizing it really only as kind of an email nurture tool started to explore it more in terms of, we're not really capitalizing on the full power of this technology and just technology in general to really drive and scale our full marketing. So actually started to build out a plan and moved into a marketing operations role that was somewhat of a new kind of function in the B2B marketing world.
[00:01:47] Started to build out again, kind of that full roadmap of how do we actually start to capitalize on the power of marketing automation, as it pertains to, you know, full buyer's journey, accelerating [00:02:00] leads, lead management, campaign management, and tracking, and then all the way on through the customer life cycle.
[00:02:05] And that really exposed me to, again, that full view of really what demand generation is all about. That actually set kind of the foundation and set things into motion for me to move into kind of my first official demand generation role, which was again, focusing on how do we make sure that we've set up a demand gen engine that can scale as the business scales and how can we utilize the technology and the tools and the analysis of our data to identify.
[00:02:33] Where we should be kind of pointing our Canon what lead sources we should be focused on. How can we accelerate and optimize our conversions and our revenue, and really move people kind of through the buyer's journey, move them through the funnel stages. So focusing on sales and marketing alignment. So that was really kind of the first.
[00:02:51] You know, my first experience in terms of full on demand gen flash forward
[00:02:55] Ian: [00:02:55] to today, you're VP of marketing at Conga you're running [00:03:00] demand gen and you're the acting CMO for the past handful of months. For those of our listeners who don't know, can you share a little bit more about Conga?
[00:03:07] Esther: [00:03:07] Yeah, absolutely.
[00:03:09] So I started at conga almost exactly four years ago. And the company had just come off of kind of an acquisition conga as we know it. The original kind of. Conga name and the conga product was document generation. And it had grown that the small little company had grown because it was right time, right place.
[00:03:30] One of the first apps on Salesforce app exchange grew organically for 10 years without really sales or marketing. Not a lot of effort there. But grew to like 6,000 customers kind of organically. And of course investors are gonna look at that and say, okay, great. Let's try and capitalize on that opportunity.
[00:03:47] They acquired four companies in a day, you know, with a lot of, kind of, again, similar types of products to cross sell into that amazing base. And then, you know, it became conga kind of, as we know it today. I came [00:04:00] in probably nine months after that initial, that acquisition and really what that full conga experience looked like.
[00:04:07] Then. Really, you know, started to build out what does demand gen look like? How do we build out that demand gen engine in order to scale and in a very hypergrowth type of mode moved from building out a full demand generation team, which was focused across all sources. So not just kind of inbound marketing, but also outbound.
[00:04:28] And in terms of how do we start to build out an enterprise an enterprise engine to fuel that area of the business. Incorporating field marketing with that customer marketing partner marketing event marketing. So everything that would be revenue generating putting that under one, one team and then continued kind of on our hyper-growth mode, made more acquisitions as an organization started to become.
[00:04:52] Less of a kind of commercial, you know, high volume, high transaction business, although we still have that element going, [00:05:00] but really also building out a true enterprise business and really starting to be, you know, more 50 50 in a sense between commercial and enterprise. Right. That then took us to an acquisition that was made this last year, actually last may, where Aptus came in, one of our big competitors they're fairly well known for kind of their CPQ focus.
[00:05:22] They came in and acquired conga and it was an acquisition, somewhat treated as a merger. Combined the two companies of Aptus and conga into the conga that it is today. And then, you know, I went back into really, again, a demand gen role after moving into kind of global marketing, focusing on. Field development, field marketing, SCR our EMEA and APAC teams and building out really the prospecting arm.
[00:05:46] I moved back after the acquisition into an actual full-time demand gen role for the combined companies at this really being true complex, much larger enterprise. Conga being, you know, [00:06:00] still a good amount of that being kind of commercial mid market, and then creating a demand strategy that could really fuel both pipeline engines, both bookings numbers for two companies that have come together as one
[00:06:13]Ian: [00:06:13] let's get into our first segment, the trust tree, the trust trees, where we can go to feel honest and trusted, and you can share those deepest, darkest demand gen secrets.
[00:06:22] So who does Conga sell to?
[00:06:25] Esther: [00:06:25] I just took you through kind of a, you know, a pretty crazy history of high growth and acquisitions of the conga that we know today. You know, it's definitely changed over the last four years, fairly dramatically. We've actually repositioned our company and created a combined brand and corporate messaging and a vision in terms of how do we move forward in the future.
[00:06:49] And what does our audience look like? And really our new brand and our messaging encompasses more. So. Bringing in Aptus, bringing Conga, two combined companies, [00:07:00] and really we have the most comprehensive and complete end to end solution on the market specifically for commercial operations. And so really the way that we're messaging our company.
[00:07:12] And where we're focusing is on true commercial operations transformation. And what does that mean? That means empowering our customers, empowering companies to increase their agility, to increase effectiveness and efficiencies and to achieve better business outcomes across any operational types of processes, functions, departments within their business.
[00:07:34] That is something that. Conga the new conga can help with. And so that if you think about kind of, you know, the acquisition with Aptus and conga, CPQ, CLM doc, gen sign, all of our core solutions, they really do actually tell kind of an end to end story and help from a complete operational transformation, whether you're in.
[00:07:58]Revenue operations [00:08:00] type of function, focusing on sales, acceleration sales productivity. We can do an end to end transformation of that business process. We can do that on the legal ops side as well. So if you are in a legal role focused on accelerating your contract life cycle, again, we have the solutions that work perfectly together to actually complete an end to end transformation.
[00:08:24] Right. For your legal operations function. So there's so many different aspects of what we can do. Some of our main personas really do reside in those kind of pillars of revenue operations, which oftentimes you will see sales, operations, or Salesforce admins or revenue, operations, sales marketing in that have that use case that have, that need to try and increase their revenue.
[00:08:49] On a legal operation side. Again, we can target GCs and contracts, admins, and legal operations, and people who are interested in making sure that they are [00:09:00] eliminating manual processes when it comes to contract life cycle and ensuring that we can create again. Just efficiencies and acceleration of that process and any of the business operations and everything that comes with business operations.
[00:09:13] I mean, HR has operations in terms of how do they accelerate their employee and how do they create a consistent employee experience and how do they potentially accelerate even. The recruiting process and some of the employee contracts and documents that need to be generated and sign. So we actually have, we serve a myriad of personas, a myriad of use cases.
[00:09:34] That's the beauty of Conga. There's so much opportunity from a horizontal marketplace standpoint, where we serve every single industry. We serve every single size of industry from, you know, small SMB to these large scale, fortune 50 companies. It's
[00:09:50] Ian: [00:09:50] so funny, kind of seeing that transformation of, you know, seeing conga on the app exchange on the Salesforce app exchange for years and years, talking to people who, you know, kind [00:10:00] of by that way, I'm sure that shifting that outbound motion shifting that kind of go to market was pretty crazy considering kind of the changes that need to happen there, you know, from a strategy perspective, you know, how did you build a demand gen strategy to kind of, yeah,
[00:10:15] Esther: [00:10:15] absolutely.
[00:10:16] It is somewhat of two different. Types of motions, right. If you're thinking about it and we actually, I think we've done a good job in terms of shifting where the revenue comes from, in a sense, and then making it more distributed between mid-market and enterprise. But we have to make sure that we're fueling both of those engines and high velocity high transaction oftentimes is somewhat different than, you know, more of the complex enterprise level deals.
[00:10:45] And so we definitely have kind of two different types of go to market, but there's also a lot of overlap in between where you see some similarities across the board. So from kind of a [00:11:00] high transaction, high volume type of play, you know, for us it's very much a looking at the lead sources that are generating the highest conversions, ensuring that we have as much kind of automation and self-service possible of.
[00:11:15] Of moving people to the next course of action, where if they download on app exchange, for example, making sure that we immediately hand them off to a rep who can go ahead and chat with them and either, you know, close that deal or expand or provide more insight, or support after a free trial.
[00:11:32] So it is a very, you know, what you would see as traditional demand, gen very kind of inbound focused in a lot of ways of looking at top of funnel, looking at the number of leads, how qualified they are, making sure that those conversions continue to increase and figuring out how do we optimize really our funnel.
[00:11:52] And that's really kind of, as you think about a go to market strategy is very much your typical inbound funnel, right? Then on the [00:12:00] enterprise side you have still some of that, you ha you do have the elements of inbound because you want to continue to actually drive people from an enterprise standpoint who are looking for, let's say a CLM solution, and they want to include you as part of the RFP process.
[00:12:14] We want to be able to be found from an inbound standpoint and continue to drive a good amount of our pipeline. From inbound, but a large amount of our focus. And I would say the majority of our focus is actually on influence and really working in conjunction with our SDR teams, our sales teams, our partner teams, and our customer teams to go and do more of an outbound approach.
[00:12:37] If we know exactly who the target accounts are, that we are trying to go after they have a propensity to buy, they hit the sweet spot where they have a perfect use case for us. And then we go out. And go after them in more of an ABM type of fashion. And so it's a little bit more of a mix of both of those.
[00:12:54] That's super
[00:12:54] Ian: [00:12:54] fascinating. What a challenge for, you know to coordinate all that stuff. It seems like it's so [00:13:00] complex. And and you're all over right now.
[00:13:02] Esther: [00:13:02] It is, it's not no shortage of things to do and challenges to overcome, but it's a lot of fun. It keeps us on our toes. For sure.
[00:13:11] Ian: [00:13:11] So, you know, mentioning that the app exchange stuff, our amazing sponsor qualified, who we love did a really cool.
[00:13:18] Thing with app exchange recently that you all were a part of. I know, you know, for some of our listeners, I'm sure they sell on app exchange or they're on app exchange. Can you just share a little bit more about like, what that was like and you know, how can, how is this like, you know, next kind of phase of conversational marketing, potentially, you know something new and exciting.
[00:13:37] Esther: [00:13:37] Salesforce AppExchange has always been a huge driver of a lot of those high volume, high transactional deals for us, where people who are searching for let's say a doc gen solution or an e-signature solution can just go on and on Salesforce app exchange. Download the app, install it and have a free trial of that solution, you know or speak to someone who can talk to them a little bit more about the [00:14:00] solution.
[00:14:00] It's been one of our largest lead sources and most qualified lead sources, highest converting, lead sources, all of the things. And so we love Salesforce app exchange. I would say we, we were actually invited to be on a pilot to try out qualified on Salesforce, AppExchange to try and convert, to see more conversions from people who hit the app exchange, hit our listing, and then actually want to talk to someone to see if we could get more for conversions and more leads in pipeline through that.
[00:14:32] It's been a game changer completely. We've always had high volumes from app exchange and from each of our product listings, but we were able to see much higher conversions and much more qualified conversations because they were able to immediately, if they had a question about the solution, if they had a support question even, or if they were just, you know, looking around and saying, you know what are the differences between your product versus your competitor's product?
[00:15:00] [00:14:59] Actually, having someone. On a live chat that they can speak with right. Then instead of dropping in converting somewhere else, or, you know, getting distracted and moving to a different listing, we were able to see much higher conversions and actually true pipeline come from that. So we were huge fans.
[00:15:15] Ian: [00:15:15] That's awesome to hear. And obviously, you know that's great to hear as they're the sponsor of the show, but also just, I think it really turns a page on. The new normal for for marketers, because I think like you just look at that sort of thing as a demand gen person. Someone comes to the website and instead of the conversations back and forth, 55 times, you know, with sales of like, what was happening, what was this?
[00:15:37] What was that? It's like, Oh, sales is having the conversation with them in real time. Like, it's just, there's no more. Okay. Well, you know, is it, or is it not a qualified, you know, conversation? It's like, it's happening right there. You don't need to set up a meeting or set up something else, or like you said, let them get distracted.
[00:15:54] We all have, you know, 50 tabs open at any given time, you know? You got. [00:16:00] Getting pinged on Slack, getting all these other things. It's a. That's cool to hear.
[00:16:04]Esther: [00:16:04] Yeah. And especially now that we are in a different world than we were in a year ago in the remote environment where there's a lot of fatigue, digital fatigue and, you know, webinars, fatigue, et cetera.
[00:16:15] And the fact that we don't really have live events where you would typically see those types of conversations happening at a booth. This is a perfect kind of not replacement. Right. But it's actually it's a great addition. I would say to our full demand gen strategy and the tactics and channels that we're utilizing.
[00:16:32] Ian: [00:16:32] That's awesome. Okay. Let's go to the playbook. The playbook is where we open up that playbook and talk about the tactics that help you win. What are three channels or tactics that are your most uncuttable budget items?
[00:16:45] Esther: [00:16:45] I would say the things that we're doing from an ABM standpoint are uncuttable. And largely because we do, we see so much ROI and we see a lot of the bigger deals and we just, we see a lot of true qualified [00:17:00] pipeline come from that.
[00:17:01] And so, and when I'm talking about ABM, unfortunately it's not like one channel or tactic. It's actually very multichannel, but it is. Really a targeted effort. And so starting with kind of, you know, the technology that provides propensity to buy data and there's a lot of them out there we use Mintigo. But utilizing, you know, kind of that cross analysis of what are the companies that are actually looking to buy your solutions starting with that in terms of really defining what those target accounts look like adding in targeted advertising so that we can warm them up and truly, again, personalized to that specific.
[00:17:36] Business that specific vertical, that specific segment, that specific persona actually, you know, making sure that we have consistent messaging from our ads to our webinars, to our direct mail strategy, to our SDR cadences and the outreaches that they're doing, it's a fully integrated effort, right? And I think it leads to a lot of what we were talking about just in terms of that experience.
[00:17:58]And ensuring that we're [00:18:00] delivering the right message to the right person at the right time, that it's personal, that it's relevant and that it, you know, is aligned with their, where they are in their buyer's journey. The second I would actually say is. Largely around still events. And when I say events, it's obviously shifted in the last year where it's less, you know, much less so on the LivePerson event where we're not doing any of that.
[00:18:23] And we don't really plan on doing, you know, any mass scale, large scale in person events this year, but events are still a big strategic focus for us and a great channel that we've been able to capitalize on both from. Both from an internal kind of, we are hosting a large scale event, and it's going to be a virtual event for our customers, a user conference.
[00:18:48]That is a huge amount of some of our focus and where we put budget is on our customers and on our users. And how do we continue to surround them and get them trained and get [00:19:00] them understanding, you know, all of the different solutions that we have. So there's a lot that we focus on there and virtual is actually.
[00:19:07] A great way to get in touch with more people than that. You could potentially get up to come on a plane, you know, get on a plane and join us at a user conference. So the reach is much, much more much larger, but we have to be much more focused and purposeful and intentional about the content to keep them engaged.
[00:19:26] We've also seen a lot of success with virtual events that are at a smaller scale, like field events that are more intimate. So again, with a target account strategy where you're not doing the in-person events anymore, but you can do virtual field events, even in an intimate setting, focused even surrounding a zoom call.
[00:19:43] So we did a couple of things this last year with. For example, an NFL viewing party where we would get an NFL all-star to come in on a zoom call and chit chat with some of key decision makers on some of our target accounts as they watch a game. But altogether, [00:20:00] again, it's not something that we typically might do in or it might be more difficult to do if we were doing a kind of an in-person or we wouldn't be able to reach as many people, but that's something that we've, we found a lot of success with.
[00:20:12] So the third tactic or channel you know, we do, we actually do. And I'm sure everyone has done this in the last year, especially we've ramped up our digital quite a bit. Digital is hugely important for us to continue to spend on, especially given the environment that we're in. But again, we have to be much more strategic and purposeful about how we actually go to market.
[00:20:35] What kinds of message messages calls to action that we're looking at the targeting of where we're placing. Ads, et cetera. Those are hugely important and aligned to our larger strategy, but digital is a huge channel that we'll continue to invest in.
[00:20:50]Ian: [00:20:50] I love it. That's killer stuff. How do you view your website?
[00:20:54] Esther: [00:20:54] Our website is a huge inbound driver, you know, to us, it is [00:21:00] critical that we've optimized our website for the people who are going to potentially, you know, click on an ad or understand our brand, or are specifically looking for, let's say a solution. They want to include us on an RFP. It is where we place a lot of our focus of how do we optimize?
[00:21:18] How do we. How do we ensure that it is conveying the message that we want to convey both from a corporate messaging standpoint, but also making it relevant so that. If you are in a specific vertical, or if you are a specific persona that you are seeing the type of information that is relevant, that makes sense for your specific use case or your specific pain points and needs.
[00:21:41] So there's a lot that we are investing in from a website standpoint, we actually just launched our brand new unified conga.com website. So go check it out. We did that actually two days ago, so we've not been busy at all.
[00:21:59] Ian: [00:21:59] I know. Well, [00:22:00] I've been on, I've been on the website, a bunch you know, prep for the, in prep for the episode.
[00:22:04] And I was going to compliment you on the website. I didn't I didn't know that this was, I had the fresh tracks on this thing. This is great.
[00:22:11] Esther: [00:22:11] Yup. Brand new. So it incorporates our new messaging again, around commercial operations transformation. There's a lot that we're going to continue to add to it.
[00:22:20] So it's going to evolve, especially, but we've added a lot of layers based off of where people are, again, really trying to meet people where they are in terms of who we're speaking to, who our target audiences are. Right. And then allow for them to be able to kind of find their way on the website based on where they are in their transformation journey, for example.
[00:22:39] So we're moving forward with kind of a maturity model type of concept. We talked a lot about kind of operational transformation at the beginning of the call here at the beginning of the show. And. You know, there's a lot of different areas in an area of, you know, whether it's in your function or your department or in your specific business, where are you in your [00:23:00] maturity of true operational transformation?
[00:23:03] And so are you just getting started or are you really well on your way? You're fairly sophisticated. And you're adding in. Additional layers to bring true integration across all of your different departments and all of the different people that touch an operational process, which is a lot, if you think about it in a business.
[00:23:21] And so we're allowing for people who come to our website to really get an understanding of where are they in their journey and not just that, but, you know, based off of their. The specific persona and their specific pain points or their specific vertical and how they might use documents or contracts within, you know, the healthcare industry versus finserv is very different.
[00:23:42] So we want to make sure that the journey on the website matches where they are in their specific role and function.
[00:23:49]Ian: [00:23:49] I love that so much stuff to to optimize until look there. I just, I think that there's just so much opportunity for people to be able to personalize and do exactly what you're saying.
[00:23:59]I really think [00:24:00] that's one of the things in the future that everybody go into you know, going to a website, going back to a website is just going to be such a different experience person by person going forward. And that's just really exciting for marketers and salespeople.
[00:24:12] Esther: [00:24:12] Absolutely. There's so much data out there that allows us to be able to understand kind of a lot about you in terms of who you are and what drives you or what you're looking for.
[00:24:22] I think there's a lot that B2B can learn from a lot of the B2C, you know, tech and data analysis and, neuromarketing and things like that. That's happening. B2B tech is I feel like. Just starting to do that in a sense, but there's a lot that we can do more so not to be creepy big brother, but more so to actually provide really relevant content to the people who are looking to purchase.
[00:24:47] Ian: [00:24:47] Well, yeah, I mean, it's just, you know, first savvy companies, you know who it is, right? Like, like we know, you know, if you're trying to, you know, target someone that I don't know Boeing, it's like, you know who all the titles are, you know, [00:25:00] you know, all the people from an ABM perspective, like we know who they are.
[00:25:05] And so, you know, things like that. It's like if they come to the website, you want to be able to put your best foot
[00:25:10] Esther: [00:25:10] forward.
[00:25:11] Right. But even if you're putting yourself in your customer's shoes, right. If I am looking for a solution and I have a very specific pain point in my mind, I want to be able to easily find that.
[00:25:22] And so we want to make it as easy as possible for you to find that. And so it is all about the user experience.
[00:25:28] Ian: [00:25:28] Okay, let's get to our next segment. The up, this is where we talk about healthy tension, whether that's with your board, your sales team, a competitor, or just anyone else. Have you had a famous desktop in your career?
[00:25:40] Esther: [00:25:40] Oh, plenty. But I need to choose one look. I mean, I feel like when you're in demand generation there's kind of always a target on your back just because you are accountable for the pipeline that the business needs to close in order to hit the bookings goals. And so. [00:26:00] Demand generation in most cases is front and center.
[00:26:05] What are you doing? What is your strategy? How are you producing more pipeline sales is saying we never have enough pipeline. It's always marketing's fault. You know, it's there's always going to be room for those desktops. One of the more recent ones is, and, you know, sales and marketing alignment is so hugely critical, but.
[00:26:25] It was actually more so around our pipeline targets and the creation and the modeling that we use to create those pipeline targets. So we use a lot of data and science to figure out how much pipeline do we need. And for me, our goal of the demand gen team is predictable pipeline. Everything is very much kind of that art and science of marketing.
[00:26:47] And for me, a lot of it does sit on the science side where we have a bookings number. Very easily to actually identify based on coverage based on source, based on new type. And based on kind of [00:27:00] all of these factors, conversion rates, win rates, et cetera, how much pipeline do you actually need from a coverage standpoint, then you look at the creation because.
[00:27:09] You need to actually create those offsets of depending on your average sales cycle, how much pipeline do you need to create now to hit your Q3 goal or Q2 goal to get the coverage right for next quarter and beyond. And so we do a lot of, we put a lot of effort into trying to figure out how much pipeline do we need to create in this quarter in order to hit our goals, you know, both this quarter, as well as next quarter and beyond.
[00:27:37] So. There's a lot there, right? In terms of all of the different sources that you're looking at, of how you actually create that pipeline, how we actually hit our goals. And for us at conga, we have five different sources of pipeline. So you have your marketing, which is essentially your inbound channel.
[00:27:57] The leads that are coming in that hit the BDRs [00:28:00] and that create pipeline. We have our SDR team, which is our outbound prospecting SDR team that, that goes out and hunts and works with field marketing. And with our target account plays to try and go and find them kind of cold call and, you know, do all of that outreach to get more pipeline.
[00:28:18] We have AE created pipeline. We have partner generated pipeline. And then we have customer success driven pipeline. So across the mix of all of those sources across new versus existing business, across each segment of enterprise versus commercial, and then by geo. So we look at a multifaceted approach to give us the science and algorithm of where we need to create pipeline.
[00:28:42] And this dustup in particular was largely around that mix because, you know, sales came back and said, Oh, marketing needs to be sourcing so much more. We had a target of 60% marketing source, you know, in the past. And so that's what it needs to be. [00:29:00] And again, the discussions and the alignment and the conversations that I had was for a B2B enterprise company.
[00:29:08] 60% is actually, it's unheard of if you're looking at B2B best practices, especially for the enterprise business, it typically tends to be lower to 20%, 25% maybe, but largely because. It doesn't mean that, you know, we shouldn't resource marketing as much because we're not sourcing as much. It actually means that we're putting more of our effort and our resources into this influence, which is how we get the big deals.
[00:29:36] Right. We don't, we're not going to see a large majority of our pipeline coming from inbound enterprise, you know, giant sized companies coming to us and saying, Hey, you know, contact us for more clicking on an ad and then converting as a lead. No, we're, we need to go and identify who those target accounts are and then go out and prospect, and that's going to be an SDR or an AE or a par you know, utilizing a partner [00:30:00] to bring that pipeline in.
[00:30:01] And so it actually turned it into, it was actually a very stressful, you know, debates. I don't want to say fight, but debate healthy. Somewhat healthy debate about it. And it actually ended up being a little bit negative just because, you know, you have to compromise. So we went up and sales went down, et cetera, but we still didn't get to what.
[00:30:25] What matched historics as well as best practices. And so marketing completely missed our target, even though I said, just so you know, hand raise, you know, we're going to miss our target because there's no way we're going to hit this because we're going to do what's best for the business by investing in these other channels.
[00:30:42] So you know, sometimes you got to give and take a little bit and sometimes it's lessons learned across the board. You know, I was hoping that we could get to more of a realistic type of you know, attribution model, et cetera, prior to setting the targets and then setting ourselves up for failure in a sense, but all good.
[00:30:59] We all [00:31:00] survived, you know and lessons learned moving into the next kind of half and set actually much more realistic and appropriate targets.
[00:31:07] Ian: [00:31:07] Final question. Before we get into our quick hits here, do you have a favorite campaign that you've run over the past couple of years?
[00:31:14] Esther: [00:31:14] I have a lot of really.
[00:31:16] Favorite campaigns. I would say the two that come to mind one is a favorite campaign because it was so successful and we saw. Like a thousand percent pipeline ROI from it, which is obviously fantastic. And that was, you know, one of our first target account plays or ABM plays that we implemented. And again, it was utilizing propensity to buy data.
[00:31:35] Along with that multi-channel approach that I was talking about that included advertising, you know, video emails, social. Direct mail and virtual or sorry, field events. And it was really a multi org approach as well. Sales working with marketing, working with SDRs, working with partners. That to me is some of the most successful campaigns that I've seen when we were [00:32:00] able to have some fun with it in terms of theming it and doing a direct mail.
[00:32:03]That was super fun. One of the more creative favorite campaigns that we've done. We actually did this this last November, largely because Dreamforce wasn't happening as we knew it. And as you all know, Dreamforce has always been a huge kind of event for us. It's our largest event of the year.
[00:32:23] We go all out. We typically have this crazy silent disco. And that is, has been rated. The number one party at Dreamforce. We have our headquarters at thirsty bear where it's just free food, free drinks.
[00:32:37] Ian: [00:32:37] I've been to thirsty bear many times.
[00:32:39] Esther: [00:32:39] I know it's so fun, right? Yeah, I know. It's so good. I love it. We've done private helicopter rides.
[00:32:45] We've done, you know, a giant booth and Moscone. So we usually have so much fun at dream force and that is one of our biggest pipeline builders of the year. And so obviously like with almost everyone else in the Salesforce ecosystem, we're really [00:33:00] disappointed about obviously not being able to do an in-person event with Dreamforce this last year.
[00:33:05] And so we started very quickly thinking about how do we pivot and how do we change our strategy, knowing that's not going to happen. It's not going to happen in the way that we expect it to. So we actually pivoted to doing a virtual 5k and kind of the concept behind that was. You know, everyone is missing out on the, you know, hundreds of thousands of steps that they take it in San Francisco every single year.
[00:33:30] Everyone knows you walk miles from Moscow needs all the hotels to all the parties. So we said you can still do that, do it virtually with a 5k and get your steps in and do it in a fun way. You can do your own disco in silent, just in your house. You can take a walk around the block with your dog or with your kids.
[00:33:49] You know, if you are super athletic, go and do your actual 5k, but you know, did a lot of swag giveaways. Cause we know people love that at dreamforce and they were missing out, we did, [00:34:00] you know, some social and some community types of photos and videos and pictures so that people felt like they were doing it with each, you know, walking with each other, et cetera.
[00:34:10] And that was a super fun campaign that we just did.
[00:34:13] Ian: [00:34:13] That's great. I love that. What a great idea I need to, I might need to participate because I'm definitely not only missing my my By Dreamforce steps, but just steps in general.
[00:34:24] Esther: [00:34:24] I think everyone is. And that was another thing is like, let's get over zoom fatigue and you know let's take a break and just schedule a 30 minute break during your day.
[00:34:33] Cause I know we're always back to back, you know, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Zoom calls all day long, just get outside and get a breath of fresh air or do a little dance party in your living room. I think we're all needing some of that activity.
[00:34:47] Ian: [00:34:47] Okay, let's get to our quick hits here. These are quick questions and quick answers.
[00:34:52] Just like conversational marketing with qualified.com. Qualified prospects are on your website right now. And you can talk to them quickly with [00:35:00] qualified.com. Check them out. They're the best. And they're the presenting sponsor of this show from the beginning. From the first episode, we love them. Check them out quick hits.
[00:35:09] Esther, are you ready? Yes. Number one. You interviewed US soccer team superstar, Alex Morgan. What was your favorite part of the conversation?
[00:35:20] Esther: [00:35:20] We actually talked a lot about women's equality in sports, but also how that translates to just everyday life and especially the business world. That was definitely my favorite.
[00:35:32] Topic of conversation. Cause it's something I'm super passionate about is raising visibility of women in the tech world, making sure that there are women in leadership, making sure voices are heard from the many women that have just amazing things to share. So that was something that was definitely my favorite, but that was a huge that was one of my favorite moments of my entire career was interviewing Alex Morgan.
[00:35:56] Ian: [00:35:56] That's awesome. Yeah, I'm a member of women in revenue and [00:36:00] And we have, we've had a bunch of folks from that org on the show already, Tracy and Jen, and a bunch of other folks. It's great. Great org. Do you have a hobby that you picked up in the past year?
[00:36:10] Esther: [00:36:10] Yeah, I think the remote work can, and especially at the luck at the height of the lockdowns, when everyone was trying to figure out what do they do?
[00:36:16] I spend a lot of time with my kids and doing crafts and trying to entertain them while they were trying to do online learning. And I was working from home at the same time. I had learned how to crochet back in college. And again, I would just crochet blankets during long lectures. It was just something to do, but I actually made two little crochet animals for my boys because they asked for it.
[00:36:41]I got like a book and it had all the materials and I just, I. Figured out how to do it. And I made my son a little Yoda doll out of yards, dad. It actually turned out. I was really surprised.
[00:36:53] Ian: [00:36:53] That's so great photo or didn't happen. That's awesome. Well that's about it. That's all we have for today, Esther, it's been awesome.
[00:36:59] Having you [00:37:00] on the show. Everybody check out conga, tell your ops people to check out conga, conga.com, brand new website. Give it a whirl. Any final thoughts, anything to plug? No.
[00:37:10] Esther: [00:37:10] If you're looking for other podcasts to check out, definitely check out Conga's podcasts called agents of change. We are trying to make sure that people, all of our customers, as well as just anyone out there who wants to be a change agent in their business.
[00:37:25] Really capitalizing on technology new concepts, creativity, and innovation and want to be continued to be relevant in a rapidly changing world. That's the podcast to check out so I'd highly recommend it
[00:37:38] Ian: [00:37:38] awesome. And we'll link that up in the show notes as well. Check out agents of change, Esther. Thanks again.
[00:37:44] You're the best.
[00:37:45] Esther: [00:37:45] Thank you so much Ian.