Hollywood in B2B: Marketing tactics to grow from pony to unicorn - Part 3

Building an enterprise lead generation machine

Sarah Nöckel
Dawn Capital


B2B Marketing is a fascinating discipline, where everyone feels like they know how to do it but few truly get it. We have aimed to equip you with better knowledge in Hollywood in B2B three-part series. In the first part we tackled about the art and science of crafting a memorable and impactful story. In the second part, we nailed the SME lead machine with a mix of online and offline activities that have worked really well for Billie. In the last dispatch, we tackle the Enterprise with the help of seasoned enterprise marketer Sorayah Banomyong, CMO of ReachFive.

Create the super plot to tackle enterprises

Sorayah has spent the last 15 years cutting her marketing teeth at startups and enterprises such as Salesforce. In that time, she has learned a lesson that she wants everyone to comprehend — in marketing, there is no such thing as a secret sauce that works every time. Instead, you have to start writing the plot from scratch each time because what will work in one instance, most likely won’t in others. What she offers you is a framework on how to ask the crucial questions that will help you determine what the right go-to-market strategy is. The framework has three components that are essential for success, and it’s what every company needs to have a clear sense about: superpowers, superheroes, and super leaders.

Nurturing Super Leaders

The goal of this is not merely to empower founder and C-level executives; it’s to enable every manager in the company to be a super leader. That empowerment starts with alignment. When Sorayah first joined young ReachFive, the team was tiny, and the company had a single founder. With such a small team, everyone was very deeply involved in their silo, and no one had a 360-degree market view.

Align on Mission
One of the first things ReachFive did was to lay down and understand what their mission was. Sorayah implemented what she had done during her previous experience; at Salesforce, they called it V2MOM (Vision, Values, Methods, Obstacles, and Measures). It’s a framework for people to share a common vision of what the company objective and mission are, and combine them with a long term vision that spans beyond the quarter or fiscal year. It’s about projecting what you have to achieve in three or five years, taking into consideration your values and your vision.

The latter part is essential because the goal doesn’t always justify the means; the execution cannot exist in isolation of the corporate culture and relationship with partners, prospects, and existing customers. The end result of doing the work to align will be clear priorities and focus.

Understand your constraints
Focus is a particularly important one, especially for young startups, as you won’t be able to achieve everything you want in one day. If you disperse in every direction, you won’t reach the level of achievement that you’ve set. Understand the constraints, whether it’s headcount, budget, skills. Once you do, you will be able to figure out how to go around them creatively and set achievable objectives.

Outline the roadmap
With all that information you have gathered, you can then put down the roadmap in writing and share it with everyone. The roadmap of the whole business of the entire company. As a living open document, it will help people to understand whether their narrow focus is contributing to where the company is trying to get. Don’t let that exercise daunt you. According to Sorayah, it doesn’t take long, and once you have everyone in the same boat, things accelerate pretty quickly from there. Having a shared vision between all leaders in the organisation means that everyone is following the company’s best interests as outlined.

Fostering superpowers

In the early days of a startup, everyone jumps to do a lot of things, often manually. That wastes time you do not have. Instead, supercharge your abilities and turn them into superpowers.

You have to start with tools early on as they will automate, track, and measure everything you are doing. Have a CRM and CMS, and use handy tools like DocuSign for electronic signatures, for example, very early on. Don’t wait until you scale.

Befriend your TAM
Once she had the right tools in place, the first thing Sorayah did before executing a single tactic was to understand her total addressable market and ask who the buyers are. She started by identifying every single company who potentially would buy, looking into what phase they are in, what size the company is, how much their revenue is, how many employees they have, in what industries they operate. She then started to look deeper into the buyer personas within — what types of job functions did they have, what was the job level, etc. All that information was being fed right into the CRM, crunched, and analyzed.

Create the need for change and urgency
According to Sorayah, what you have to do next is create a sense of urgency in your customers that they need to change now. In all the companies Sorayah has worked for, she has operated in slightly underdeveloped industries, with quite a bit of existing competition already. What that means is that a lot of potential customers have many reasons to differ, making a decision and very little reason to act now. Her efforts have always focused on convincing them otherwise and helping them understand what exactly the cost of delaying is.

Figure out what is your vehicle of choice
Next, it’s time to determine what the vehicle for delivering the message is. Is it content, is it social media, events, or something else? Educational materials have been a pivotal part of creating the urgency, explaining the problem, and educating her market about the solutions. However, she has supplanted that with insightful data coming directly from her rich CRM system: This is what other companies in your industry are doing, are you on top of them? The overall vehicle that has helped Sorayah deliver the message of urgency in Reach5 has been through Account-based marketing.

Funnel and friction
As you are doing all this, you need to understand how your funnel works and what are the friction points alongside it. This means thinking about all steps holistically rather than only conversion or acquisition in isolation. Focusing only on the acquisition, for example, you may end up mistakenly thinking that you need to acquire more leads. Instead, you have to think about the funnel and how decisions happen within it.

“I put myself in the shoes of the end consumer, aiming to understand what are the friction and pain points stopping them from converting.”

She tries to answer pivotal questions. What is not delightful in terms of experience? Is it not getting personalized marketing messages or receiving poor customer service. Or is it hesitation because the brand is not well known.

Finding your Superheroes

With aligned super leaders and well-understood superpowers, you are almost there. But you still need the final ingredient — superheroes. And the reality you have to face is that they may be the most difficult to find, but don’t let that discourage you. As Sorayah is quick to acknowledge, potential superheroes are everywhere and span much further than just your employees. These could also include influencers, contractors, partners, and customers.

These are the most essential superheroes, especially in the early days, when you don’t have established brand awareness. You are yet to build a connection with your buyer, so the most important relationship you need to foster is that with partners who can be your ambassadors and help raise awareness for you. Build a value proposition together and write the story together of why someone should care.

When it comes to employees, you have to let go of the notion that you are going to find all of them around you easily. For the ones, you want to recruit, spend the time and effort needed. When Sorayah was having a hard time finding BDRs in France, she started a community with occasional meetups to exchange best practices, which then became a pool of talent. That doesn’t always work, and for some roles, you have to accept you will need contractors. It’s what happened when Sorayah needed product marketers. She knew France didn’t nurture the best product marketers, especially ones with experience in the UK and US. So she opted to work with freelancers, which so far has produced excellent results.

The influencers that will stand behind your company are significant superheroes, and marketing has to think about them. Keep some budget for them and make sure they are using your platform to its full potential. If you are not aware of who the best influencers in your field are, use the services of Influencer 50, which helps you map your influencers.

Last but most definitely not least, build a customer community and a customer advisory board and enable them to be able to speak on your behalf.

And that’s a wrap on our Hollywood in B2B marketing guide. We hope you are much better equipped to start off your B2B marketing, be the best brand storyteller, nail effective online and offline channels and nurture the superheroes that will tackle the enterprise. We will be bringing you more valuable content from the best operators and founders in the B2B space, so stay tuned.