Podcast

Align With The Buyer: House of Revenue – Mary Grothe

Mary Grothe started her sales journey at 22 working with a Fortune 1000 Payroll/HR company working for only $13/hour in an admin role. She now is the CEO of House of Revenue, a consulting firm building revenue foundations set for scale by focusing on all aspects of the revenue engine — marketing, sales, customer success, and RevOps.

On today’s episode Mary discusses some of the issues that hinder a company’s ability to continue growing and reaching their goals. “So my favorite way to build process, align with the way your buyer buys, because a lot of times people build the process based on the way they think it should be and the way that works for them and their organization, but it actually creates a lot of friction for the buyer.”

Tune in to today’s episode to learn the importance of scaling as a company!

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Transcript:

Fri, 6/4 1:00PM • 49:49 

SUMMARY KEYWORDS 
sales, cro, revenue, people, person, marketing, client, build, brand, scale, understand, data, salesperson, process, company, problem, ops, buyer, ceo, customer 

SPEAKERS 
Mary Grothe, Christopher Smith 

Intro 
Welcome to the Sales Lead Dog Podcast hosted by CRM technology and sales process expert Christopher Smith, talking with sales leaders that have separated themselves from the rest of the pack. Listen to find out how the best of the best achieve success with their team and CRM technology. And remember, unless you are the lead dog, the view never changes. 

Christopher Smith   
Welcome to Sales Lead Dog. Today, I have joining us a special guest. Mary Grothe, welcome to Sales Lead Dog.  

Mary Grothe   
Hey, thank you for having me.  

Christopher Smith   
Mary, tell us about House of Revenue. 

Mary Grothe   
House of Revenue is a firm based here in Denver. I started the company three and a half years ago. I had a mission, I had this thought in my heart, because I’m a former top salesperson, and I love sales I love the profession, it’s always come naturally for me and I have great respect for it. Well, I started this company and I thought, I’m going to find small business owners who have tried hiring sales people and it didn’t work out, and I want to help them solve that problem forever. For the first 18 months of our existence, we were hyperfocused on solving that sales challenge for small businesses, and we did great. We were building out real high performing sales departments, but 18 months in, we had a wake up call, and the wake up call, was that it was 2019, the buyer had changed, and revenue departments had changed. That sales, great sales departments actually were selling a phenomenal brand, they had inbound marketing engines, they had qualified lead flow, excellent focus on customer success to the client experience from the touch point in marketing through CS, and this thing called revenue operations or rev ops that was really just being born in 2019. Well, we started to acknowledge, we’re not doing right by our clients if we can’t solve the revenue problem holistically. So we doubled in size, and we became experts in branding and marketing in addition to the sales work we were doing and CS and rev ops. All of a sudden come 2020, we had nine full service clients on our, on our service, and we scaled them, we acted as their fractional revenue team. So, each of those nine clients got a CRO, or in our terms, it’s a VP of Revenue, backed by a marketing manager, a sales empowerment manager, a rev op analyst, and our entire marketing team, and these fractional revenue teams serve those clients for a year. And on average we scaled them about 3.2 million, which was very meaningful. It was a pandemic year, and for some of those companies, that was 2x-ing and 3x-ing their MRR, so very, very meaningful growth. We realized that at that point, we rebranded as House of Revenue and in 2021 now, that’s who we are. Think about us as you’re making the decision of hiring a CRO, or for less than the cost of that CRO’s base salary, you can actually get a five to seven person revenue team, being the House of Revenue team, that goes to work for you for 12 to 18 months to build the right revenue engine inside of your company that will last, it is built firmly on the rock on the foundation, that is going to support you through your growth. We’re not meant to be long-term, we build the engine internally, and then we set that client free on their path to scale. 

Christopher Smith   
Yeah and if you’re listening to the show and you’re like, well, hey, you know, I’m not a small company or you already have my sales team, that’s okay, because really what you’re doing, that that principle around you’re supplying or aligning all those different areas from marketing to sales to operations and really creating that revenue engine, it really applies to any business that is tasked with growing revenue, correct? 

Mary Grothe   
We’re not a stranger to second-stage growth companies. That’s actually when we decided to start offering services and expertise, the world of braiding marketing and CS and rev ops, we actually went up market. And we found ourselves serving companies more in that $20 to $60 million range in addition to our startups and small business clients. But we’ve noticed exactly what you just said, we can work with that existing team. I mean, actually three of our clients right now have CROs, and they have VPs of Marketing and VPs of Sales and five or six person sales teams and a two- to three-person internal marketing team. And they still hire us and they still get that 2x-ing of MRR within a year’s time and just really tremendous growth by working with our team in addition to there’s. So absolutely yes, it does work with larger companies, too. 

Christopher Smith   
That’s good. Let’s unpack that a bit, so if I have you know a VP of Marketing and I have a CRO, I’ve got my VP of Sales, but things aren’t working, what are those common issues or things that you’re seeing that if you address those issues, start pulling those levers, you can see those, that, that change? 

Mary Grothe   
It’s usually people process or ecosystem. And a lot of times, people are quick to look at the person, because we look at the person, their output, their attitude, effort, results, so we look at the person first to try to diagnose the problem. Where you can very easily start to see it’s not the person is if you replace that person and you still have the problem. So this is usually more identifiable in the sales department, because we have clients who have been, they’re on their fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth sales person and they’ve never really cracked the code on building that high-performing sales team. So what we tell them is stop hiring salespeople, it’s not the sales person’s fault, it’s not the head of sales, it’s the actual sales ecosystem and to take it a step further, it’s really the revenue engine. And so I think gone are the days that if you have a sales problem, that you isolate the problem to the sales department, specifically to the Sales VP or the individual sales performer. You actually have to look at how the brand is performing, you have to get as granular as going back to a competitive analysis, highlighting your differentiating factors, understanding your brand differentiation and your brand promise, what you do that your competition can’t that you can stand by and is accurate. You also have to look at the emotional drivers of the buyer and ensure that your brand is staking its claim, staking your claim in that one area of how you make their lives better in the problems that you solve. Through the brand definition and that brand ethos should stem the rest of what’s happening in your marketing engine. So again, gone are the days when we have a single point of failure in sales, and we have to start looking holistically across the revenue departments to say, “Do we have a brand that competes in the marketplace that is a brand that people can trust? Do we have a marketing engine that layers on top of that brand that attracts qualified customers to our brand that actually have a need and intend to buy? Do we know how to nurture and communicate and build a relationship with those leads while we’re in marketing and conjunction of working with sales?” Then we can look at the sales department, but that’s just super high level. I mean if you’re talking about a Sales VP, you have to dig into how quotas and goals are assigned, you have to look at how people are incentivized and comp, you have to look at milestone bonuses and retention strategies and how you’re nurturing and motivating and recognizing sales people. You have to get into so many granular pieces in the infrastructure, but so quickly, when there’s a revenue problem, CEOs and CROs are very quick to go to the person and say well, it must be Sally, it must be John, you know, is it? Or is it part of the ecosystem? Do we have our processes right? Is it branding, our messaging, all those other components? And my guess is based on our work, once you fix those, the team you have today actually is set up for success and they’re, they’re actually so thrilled that you made investments in all those other items, because now they can show up to represent a brand and a company that they feel confident, excited about, and they’re supercharged do their work, and they’re actually getting better results. 

Christopher Smith   
When you’ve built that foundation, you know, that I was thinking as you’re talking, I have an entrepreneur friend of mine that he’s built his business over 10 million a year in revenue. He’s very successful, but he was on that flywheel of, of, you know, firing a salesperson, hired a new one, fire sales person, you know, it’s just continuous like revolving door. And then you realize like, hey wait a minute, maybe the problem isn’t the salespeople, it’s me. It’s that I haven’t created the tools, the framework, the systems, the processes to support them to be successful. That holistic view of the business that you were talking about, I think that’s just so critical. Is that a difficult transformation for your clients to make, to work through this process? 

Mary Grothe   
It all starts with the CEO, and step number one for us is tackling the CEO mindset. Well her tagline is for CEOs, “ready to scale.” Ready is the key word. Not the ones who dream about it, who think it’s a good idea, but CEOs who are ready, and ready is a state of being. If you think about when you’re ready to run a race, you probably have the right shoes on, you’ve been training, you put the right nutrition in your body that day or the night before, you’re in the right mindset, you’re in the zone, you’re in position, and you’re ready to go and,  

Christopher Smith   
You’ve practiced, probably. 

Mary Grothe   
Correct. And you’ve done the work that needs to happen for that moment in time for when that gun goes off like you can go. It’s not the CEO that shows up to the starting line who’s like I’m ready to scale and they show up and they’re like, you know, in the wrong clothes, they haven’t done any training, they haven’t run in a few years, and you know they ate a pizza last night, so like they’re in no position today with any nutrition, and that’s how they’re showing up to the starting line. No, that’s not how it works. You got to be ready to scale, and there’s a lot of pre-work that has to happen in order to be ready to get into that moment and so yes, step number one is the CEO mindset, and it is preparing them to be ready to scale. So it’s the CEO mindset, but it’s the readiness of the organization, and we do break that down into people, data, process. And so one of the first areas that we look is actually in data, because the data tells a story. I love to say opinions are valuable, but data is priceless, and I need the data to tell a story. Now, people will argue yeah, but data is only as good as what you put in, so that’s true. So if it’s dirty data, that’s not valuable information. So that’s what you have to use to the best of your ability, a data analysis, but also a subjective analysis, and that is where you layer in some opinion. But from that day, you have to start tracking data correctly so that within a month or three month’s time, you can start accumulating data that’s going to help you make decisions. But data, number one, how are we capturing data, what is it telling us, and how does it benchmark I guess or weigh against our opinions? And from there we start to do some research, then we get into the process. So how do we go about each function today? Where does it start, what is the end of the process, what is the objective, what are the key results, how do we get through each step of the process, how can we rate performance of each of those steps, where’s their leakage, where’s their waste, where’s their duplication of effort, where’s their gray, lack of clarity, lack of alignment? And so we’re able to go through processes. Then we look at the people, because we want to understand the readiness of the people in the organization to scale. I just had a prospective client meeting yesterday, and the CEO asks me, “Well, have you ever worked with a company where you have some executives they’re maybe like a little set in their ways? And so like if I’m all in, and the executive team that really loves doing it this old way and they struggled to adapt and to see will that be a problem?” And my response is, “What do you think?” Yeah, it’s gonna be a problem, can’t have one person on the executive team that’s all in and ready to go, because we’re gonna have so much friction, don’t make an investment in us if you’re not actually ready to scale. And so we have, there’s readiness of the organization that’s critical. And again, that’s very high level, but when you break it down in our first two weeks is a kickoff discovery audit process to produce a gap analysis, and that’s where we really benchmark the readiness of the organization, and typically our first 60 to 90 days are building infrastructure and bringing in the right data tracking and the right processes, the right tech stack, and bringing apart all the infrastructure components so that we can get into development and execution. 

Christopher Smith   
Yeah, and I have yet to find a technology platform that can fix bad process. Yet so many companies when we talk to them, they’re like, “Hey we need a CRM.” And you start asking them, “Why?” And they’re like, “Well, we’re just not achieving the results we were hoping for. So we were hoping CRM will fix that for us.” They’re looking for these band-aids. How do you talk to your, your customers that are looking for those what they perceive is an easy solution to this problem? 

Mary Grothe   
If scaling was easy, we’d be out of business. The sales training industry wouldn’t be a trillion dollar industry, like. It’s not easy, you know, 90% of small businesses wouldn’t fail within five years. Like, it’s not easy. So there is no easy button in this, but there is a way that you can do it the right way, and it’s a slow, methodical, very thoughtful, and strategic way of putting it together. So my favorite way to build process, align with the way your buyer buys, because a lot of times, people build the process based on the way they think it should be and the way that works for them and their organization, but it actually creates a lot of friction for the buyer. And what will happen is many buyers will just go buy from someone else that made it a lot easier for them to give them their money. So as a, as an example. My husband works for a really big name phone company out here, one I will not name, and he’s a field technician. So my husband has the biggest empathy, I guess maybe I’m going to use this other word, but alignment with me, because our firm, we’re about 22 people now, my company, and I’m the only business development person. So, when I get a lead, I respond immediately. I don’t care if we’re in dinner, I don’t care for on vacation, I respond immediately. After a sales call, I have a proposal out same day, because I know my competition can take up to a week to deliver a proposal. I have specifically one business, because CEOs do not make, waste time. They’re usually high urgency people, they’re fast movers. And so my proposal gets in first and while they’re just sitting there twiddling their thumbs waiting for the other like they know what’s going to happen. So we are very pro-sales, and we created our process around how our CEOs buy, but that requires me to maybe have to do things that are a little inconvenient at times, but this is the job I signed up for. And everybody knows that. So my husband aligns with it so much and gives me all the grace and patience and like the path to do it, because in his company, he’s a field technician and he works direct with the customer. And so he does, he processes a lot of upgrades and referrals, and order and these people, like they have money, you know, they’re like ready to pay and buy more, and the multi-step process that has to happen to get on the phone with a sales person who can process the order and take the money and then schedule it to get the service set up is the most asinine process I’ve ever seen, and it can take days. And my husband is standing right in front of the customer, my husband has the opportunity to be able to go to the box for the internet or phone connectivity and actually like, make the changes he needs to make right then and there, to add a line, to upgrade the service, like he can dig into the ground, he can pull a line, and he can do all these things. But he can’t, because they have to wait until the sales gets somebody on the phone. Anyway. 

Christopher Smith   
Yeah. That reminds me of years ago, I bought my first house. And so I called up the cable company and said, “Hey, you know, I’m the new residents here. I need to have the account switched over to my name and my payment method.” “Oh, no sir, I’m sorry we can’t do that, we have to cancel the old account. And then once that happens you can call back and schedule someone to come out and turn it back on.” 

Mary Grothe   
Yeah.  

Christopher Smith   
And I’m like, what? Just switch it over. “Oh no, that’s not how we work.” 

Mary Grothe   
Exactly. So then what are you going to do in that moment? Sit around or are you gonna go call a competitor and see if they can do it better? 

Christopher Smith   
I called a competitor, and I was a customer of DirecTV for like 20 years. 

Mary Grothe   
So the case in point, don’t build your process around internally like the way you work through your own red tape and minutia, and the bigger the company, the worse, the worse offenders they are. And so my recommendation is we do these voice of the customer surveys and we do primary market research, secret shopping, and competitive analysis before we determine anything of what our client’s process should be, because we want to learn how the competition is doing it. We want to learn what the buyer wants, we want to interview through primary market research people who don’t use that company and existing voice of the customer surveys. And so, you talk about the complexity of building a revenue scaling strategy, some people just default, they’re like let’s hire a sales trader, let’s adopt a new methodology, let’s send our sales people to boot camp, I don’t know, let’s hire a marketing agency, maybe they can help us with some lead generation, or let’s go buy a $50,000 custom website that takes a year. Like I’ve seen these CEOs do crazy things to try to solve their revenue problems. It’s like, what are you doing? That is a band-aid and it’s a complete waste of money, like you need to hire experts, which is really what a CRO should be doing, but a CRO is a newer role, and most CROs have bias to being a salesperson. And what happens is like what you see of 90 plus percent of CROs come up through the sales ranks, it’s really a VP of Sales that they put in a CRO position, a CRO should be responsible for the entire customer lifecycle, for the first touch point in marketing, through sales and CS, it should encompass rev ops, and the CRO should not have a bias towards one of those. So if they’re predominant in sales, they need to do the work to become proficient in marketing, not just knowledge-wise but confidence and passion, to be as passionate about marketing because they’ll have subconscious bias when they’re building budgets, when they’re doing coaching and one-on-ones, when they’re building teams, when they’re, you know, having to decide process. They’re gonna favor subconsciously what they know, and so that real CRO, like when a CEO is trying to truly, truly solve this revenue challenge, get past the plateau, or if they’re early stage, or they’re really just trying to set for scale out of the gate, this strategy has to be built holistically. And if you start with what I was just sharing about interviewing the customer and understanding the competition and primary market research, you will understand what your buyer wants. This is where you get blue ocean instead of red ocean red ocean is that metaphor for it’s like a bloody war and then the blue ocean is where there’s no competition, no saturation, and it’s just blue and it’s beautiful. Like you have to play blue ocean, even if you have a company where there’s a lot of competition, you can figure out through differentiation, and not just in like your brand promise, but actually in your processes, in the client experience, you can blue ocean yourself, even if you’re, you know, a phone company, or like another internet provider, or whatever it is. There’s a lot of you out there, you can still find blue ocean strategy in the way that you differentiate the experience to the buyer. Like your holistic revenue scaling strategy has to start there. Don’t start 10 steps into the process of trying to build a new sales playbook. 

Christopher Smith   
Yeah, yeah. No, I love that. For CROs that now they have the broad scope of responsibility, is there a common, well, let me back up a little bit, is there a common advice you would give them to like I’m a new CRO, what are those things those first things I should be doing that first 90 days in my role of, as CRO? 

Mary Grothe   
Well, that’s just a very difficult answer, because it just depends on the stage of the company. It depends on what you’ve been brought on to do, it depends on what has been assigned as your success metrics or any OKRs. It depends on your background, it depends on your efficiencies and proficiencies and your passion. It just depends on a million different things, but so let me just give you two different examples. There’s a CRO that I know that works for a company that we were thinking about working with, and they don’t have product-market fit, and they are, so the CRO was brought on to grow sales. And so they get immediately brought in and they’re overseeing marketing, sales, and customer success and rev ops, so they at least set up the CRO function right. But the CRO comes in, and the first thing is put into the, the heat of the moment with vacant roles, open sales territories, a VP of Sales had changed over, a digital marketing person turned, so there’s immediate areas trying to put out fires and immediately address that. Then it’s trying to go back and look at data, well data hasn’t always been kept well, so like your CRM example, they had done a few CRM migrations over the past three or four years, and so they’re just like, dumping data into each new CRM, but actually never fixing the problem, like cleaning up their data and actually building correct processes and eliminating unnecessary fields and drop downs in their picklist and creating reports that were meaningful. So like they never took the time to do that, so the data is a mess. So there isn’t a lot of data that this person can pull and like really get a great understanding, so he’s cutting his teeth in the roll and it takes about six months to learn it in the moment with the teams to identify we have a very low close rate, we’re not winning. And because that sales cycle is about four to six months, it’s going to take about six months to get any good data. So this new CRO can’t have a 90-day plan other than learn and observe and challenge what you were brought in to do and really understand, going back to the holistic revenue scaling strategy, is the brand even performing? Do we even represent ourselves correctly in the marketplace? Is our product where it needs to be to serve the people that we say we serve? So, this specific example, there was an initiative to go up market. That’s very common with SAS products, we’ve been doing so good in the SMB, now we’re gonna go large market. We shouldn’t have a problem doing that, we just so good in SMB, I’m like, “Really? Have you done a competitive analysis? Have you interviewed buyers in the large market? Do you understand your differentiating factors? Is your technology ready to compete? What is your tech roadmap. I mean, are you sure you can do that, how do you know how to price your product? Do you understand the complexity of the implementation? Is your implementation team able to onboard more complex customers? What about your service team? Right now all of your KPIs and metrics are built around servicing 80 customers each and each of those take X amount of time and are you ready and willing to have the capacity to take on the complexity of a larger customer and how are you trading off your ops team?” So there’s so many things that they don’t even think about. And like the CRO is tasked with we want to increase average revenue per sale, so tell your sales team to sell larger clients. Like that’s the stuff that gets dumped on a CRO, and so if they immediately just go to the sales team, and it’s like “Hey, I need you guys just add some targets in there, 5000 plus employees.” It’s like the worst strategy ever, but it’s like what people do. Like are you even ready to go into that? I said I was gonna give you two examples, but that was so lengthy because I am like the chattiest person ever. Anywho. 

Christopher Smith   
I love how you answered that question, because I guarantee you people are listening going, “That happened to me! That’s what exactly what happened to me,” I guarantee it. That I have no doubt that there are people listening that can completely relate to that. So yeah cause the 90 day, I hear that a lot of “Well, my first 90 days, I was doing this or that,” but nothing in the business world is so clean or, you know, if they, if you know if they didn’t need a CRO, probably you know things were going great, you know, and and so they need a CRO because it’s a mess.  

Mary Grothe   
They do, yeah. So if you really had to have a plan, step number one is audit. Audit everything, and use your data analysis and subjective analysis to form very well-educated opinions and hypotheses, and then build a gap analysis, current states or future state, here’s exactly how to get from point A to point B, do it by revenue, department, do it by function, evaluate the tech stack, the process, the people, and the quality of data. And in that gap analysis for each of the departments, you’re gonna be able to map it out, and then it’s creating a plan that is something that you can take on that’s reasonable, that you can do it in a specific amount of time, you know who you’re delegating to, they’re brought in, they’re agreeing that they’re going to do the parts that they said they’re going to take on, and you just, I mean it’s also then the CRO needs to look internally. Because the, the chance that the CRO is equal parts proficient and knowledgeable across all revenue functions, it’s just a newer role so it’s probably slim. They’re definitely going to be a unicorn if they are proficient across all. So when they can identify their areas of weakness or opportunity, they need to get their own education and training, they need to find a mentor, or they need, so a lot of the CROs that hire us, they hire us because they are the former sales person that has moved up the ranks, and they finally got a real CRO position, like a beautifully built, I’ve seen some recent CRO job descriptions in the market. I’m so proud of some of these companies, I’m like, “You’ve got it right.” It’s cross functional, like I’m so proud, but the talent pool for that is so limited. And so my recommendation and this is, you know, a great opportunity for us as we have these CROs that call and they say, “I’m just now starting with XYZ company, and the expectation is I’m able to assist in areas like brand strategy, go-to-market strategy, product-market fit, competitive analysis, and understanding these and going up market” you know, they’re like, “I don’t know how to do that.” And they’ve given me a budget to find, you know, a third party or a mentor firm or fractional consultant or whatnot, and I’m like, “Oh my gosh, this is amazing news.” And so we’re able to come in and wrap around them for a year, supplement, and really coach, mentor, develop to get them to that next step. Anyway, that was the other part is the CRO needs to look inward and figure out where they’re not going to be proficient in their first probably year. 

Christopher Smith   
Yeah, I love that. When, if I’m a CRO and I’ve got my different department heads, and thinking back to that scenario you were talking about before, where you’re like oh, I’m gonna have maybe one or two, you know, executives that really don’t want to play ball, they’re used to doing it their way, what’s your strategy for creating that alignment for those people that really maybe don’t want to be aligned? 

Mary Grothe   
Yeah, our core values and what we stand by is serve first, scale second, and succeed always. So going in reverse order, succeed always means custom success definition and metrics definition, because success by the definition of this world, turns out is actually very fulfilling and it’s quite lame. I did it and it’s very empty. But success metrics that are very meaningful and tied to a purpose and a why and more of a heart mission are actually way more fun and way more meaningful when they’re accomplished. And so the our succeed always is, is I just really more about the heart mission of it and having more alignment with purpose. The scale second is very straightforward. We know how to do it. We’ve done it 100 times, like we’ve got that on lockdown. But the serve first is the component that will truly answer your question. We have no business and a CRO going into an organization with some not quite bought-in executives has no business with their agenda until they get right with that person first. If we are not there to align ourselves with the people that we’re working side-by-side in true alignment like human being to human being, that’s community. That is serving. That’s understanding the why behind it. At the end of the day, we have roles and titles, but when you strip that away, we’re all just people, we’re all human beings, we all have a heart, and we all have purpose. And the people that really excel in life are those that have work aligned with their purpose. And I feel like when we can get aligned with the people that we’re working for, and really understand it and get a connection that’s separate from anything that has to do with work, all of a sudden, we have a relationship. The relationship has to come first. Once we have that, the other stuff falls into place, and it almost feels effortless and easy. It’s because in a relationship, guess what you learn how to do? Communicate. So communication is one of the biggest stressors amongst executive teams, because the foundation was never laid that we’re here for each other, and we’re actually going to do this together. And so without that and without understanding people’s personalities, their purpose, their passion, the way they communicate, the way they feel valued and heard, the way they’re motivated, things that are going on in their life, like come to find out, did you know we’re not two people? Did you know we’re the same person at home and also at work? Like we actually don’t split into two beings. And so if you think about like really serving somebody, it’s knowing who they are as a whole being and seeing a person as a whole. For years, I was taught that you should separate your work life from your home life. I’ve heard things like you need to check it at the door before you walk into this office. I’ve heard things like when you get feedback, you need to separate the feedback for your role versus you as a person. I don’t like that. I actually think opposite. I’m like why don’t we give feedback that actually honors the person as a whole human being, because as it turns out, there’s only one of them? There’s not their role self and their human self, so like, all these things get into human psychology of like actually loving somebody and it’s super Kumbaya, but like, I don’t care, because when we figured this out and got this right in our own business, amazing things started to happen. 

Christopher Smith   
Yeah, and as a leader, you have to make yourself vulnerable and show that vulnerability to your team, so that they then now they’re feeling comfortable, they’re like okay, this person’s approachable, I can talk to them about what’s going on in my life, because they shared something that’s going on in their life. You know, wow, that is a human. They’re not, you know that, you know, two-dimensional cardboard cutout, you know, that they have some depth and, and their own crap going on in their life, you know. So I think that’s, that’s a key part. For, you talked a little bit about tech stack as part of your role. What role should the technology stack, specifically CRM and other sales enablement tools, play in creating this alignment between the teams? 

Mary Grothe   
Everything. I’ll say that again. Everything. Like, if you’re not tech stack forward, and you’re tech stack reactive, it will never be adopted, people will never use it, the data will never be good, you’re going to switch out your CRM every two years. And like you said, you know it can’t, a CRM can’t fix bad process. So, you have to be tech stack forward. For us, when we build revenue engines, we use a single system and so everything that lives in marketing, sales, and customer success is actually one technology, and then we are able to have no walls, and it’s also frictionless. I’ve said that word I think now three times in this interview, because it’s so important, frictionless to the buyer. When you look at client experience or customer experience, you have to look at every single interaction that they have throughout their lifecycle. And if, okay I used to sell payroll services, and so is the technology of service, payroll HR. And it was a whole different experience with marketing, because marketing completely misrepresented the market I sold in, so I was up market and everything on the website and all marketing materials was all small business. So, one was misrepresented. The brand in the the reputation of the braided marketplace was for small business. And so, the from a client experience, it’s already super fragmented, because I’m telemarketing or I’m networking, I’m building these relationships and they’re like, “What, I didn’t know your company work, I thought you guys worked only with small business.” And so I had to overcome and set the record straight constantly. So out of the gate, there was misalignment between marketing and sales. So then I get them through the sales process, I really took it upon myself, it was actually a complex sale in the up market, and so I had to understand integrations and field mapping and technology proprietary systems and the apparel can be very complex and multi states and so anywho, I had to learn to master all that so that I could be the salesperson that they actually loved, because I got it. And so I would walk them through all of this, the sale was very complex. Well, the challenge was the operations team was very hit or miss on who I worked with. One, they were all lovely people to work with. I loved all of my ops counterparts, but they had different levels, and I couldn’t always get the most advanced people. And so when I was working with more of a junior-level ops specialist and I had a complex deal, all of a sudden, the client experience, boom, has a friction point again, because what was experienced here is now very different of what they’re getting through new client onboarding implementation. And then when they go into onboarding, or excuse me past onboarding into customer success, now they have a different person that’s managing. So when you break that into a CRM and the data, if that in itself, those were just people. I didn’t even talk about technology. Now guess what, there was a third-party marketing system that was used, there was salesforce CRM that was used for sales, and then there was Oracle back end that was used for ops. So the customer record actually had to move between three different databases, and not all the data transferred, because it was not automated, so it was required for the salesperson to enter the data, then do the other one which is not right. And so, how is that for client experience and for the employee experience? Brutal. Like nobody wants to work in that type of environment anymore. There’s technology out there to streamline, so if you’re not making that at the forefront, because that tech stack will dictate client experience and employee experience, and it’s also like a just a pathway to selling more. 

Christopher Smith   
Yes, I’m a big, I’m so aligned with what you’re saying. I’m a big proponent of one platform from marketing through sales into ops, because it so often gets left out. When people think CRM they’re thinking, traditionally sales, sometimes marketing, hardly ever ops. And that’s such a lost opportunity for really thinking about where is the customer experience? It’s with ops. And they need to see what’s coming, they need to be able to plan and manage and, and not be reactive or jumping around, you know, it needs to be a seamless experience all the way through the process. And, you know just support your people, with, with the tools they need to succeed. It’s that easy. I mean, I say it’s that easy, it’s hard, but it doesn’t, you know, it there’s such an ROI generated when you’re able to accomplish that.  

Mary Grothe   
Very much.  

Christopher Smith   
Yeah. So we are up on our time here on Sales Lead Dog, it has been great listening to you, Mary. If people want to reach out and learn more about House of Revenue, if they want to connect with you, what’s the best way? 

Mary Grothe   
HouseofRevenue.com, and you can find me on LinkedIn, Mary Grothe. Just mention this podcast, I’ll be sure to connect with you. 

Christopher Smith   
Yep, and everything’s in the show notes, so check that out on our website. Mary, thank you again for coming on Sales Lead Dog, it’s been great.  

Mary Grothe   
Such a pleasure, thank you.  

Outro 
As we end this discussion on Sales Lead Dog, be sure to subscribe to catch all our episodes on social media. Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. Watch the videos on YouTube, and you can also find our episodes on our website at Empellorcrm.com/salesleaddog. Sales Lead Dog is supported by Empellor CRM, delivering objectively better CRM for business guaranteed. 

Quotes

  • “Think about us as you’re making the decision of hiring a CRO or for less than the cost of that CRM is base salary you can actually get a 5-7 person revenue team, being the house of revenue team that goes to work for you for 12 to 18 months to build the right revenue engine inside of your company that will last.” (9:49-10:07)
  • “And so I think gone are the days that if you have a sales problem that you isolate the problem to the sales department specifically to the sales VP or the individual sales performer, you actually have to look at how the brand is performing.” (12:46-13:00)
  • “So my favorite way to build process, align with the way your buyer buys, because a lot of times people build the process based on the way they think it should be and the way that works for them and their organization, but it actually creates a lot of friction for the buyer.” (20:32-20:48

Links

Mary Grothe LinkedIn
House of Revenue LinkedIn
House of Revenue Website 

Empellor CRM LinkedIn
Empellor CRM Website