Declan (Strategic IC) - Okay, well listen Andy, thank you for joining us today and for agreeing to take part in this webinar. I think the idea really is there are so many things happening at the moment, as you know. And obviously, these are unprecedented times that we're living in. You're at home there, in Austria, I'm here at home in Madrid. And we have had a little bit of time to kind of catch up and talk about, what's happening in the world of sales and marketing. So I thought I'd start off by asking you a question actually, we're living through these absolutely extraordinary times at the moment. What do you think you've learned over the last few weeks sitting there at home and as you talk to your clients?
Andy (Leadfeeder) - So, I think like I break it down into two areas. I think what I've learned from myself is that like, you need to be super flexible. In terms of like what your approach is like, so. It's funny like a couple of weeks ago the team had reached out to me and said hey, you know can we look at the the priorities for Q2, 'cause it's coming up and I said yeah of course like, we've had a busy couple of months in any case and I said well like I had Q2 and the focus. Yeah like let's start talking Q2. And I typically like to have a plan and a strategy for the entirety of the year if not for a half. But right now is like okay, take that initial strategy that I've implemented or the team has implemented and like throw that out the window and start just like jumping from thing to thing just being like okay, what's going to work best now because, like the situation is changing overnight almost. I don't know what's going to be good next week in comparison to what could this week from a marketing perspective on what people are interested in. But like we've been adapting very quickly, I would say. The team probably like love me and hate me for it. They've turned into somewhat of like superstars in the organisation because of the content and the things they're pushing out at the moment. But at the same time it's turned like very knee-jerky reaction to things and,I mean okay we need to focus on this now. Which can be which can be challenging, right? But, locally enough basically everything that we've done has worked.
So like looking at it that way when you look in hindsight the team are pretty happy with how things have been performing so we're happy there. For our customers perspective, it's tough. Nobody has been unaffected by this crisis. And if anybody has appeared to be unaffected would be somebody like pharma companies, for example. However, they will be affected. I'm pretty sure certain that the initial wave of revenue that they've seen over the past weeks are due to people going and filling their shopping baskets full of medication. And that will slow down, obviously. So like nobody is safe from it let's say there's certain industries which are somewhat safer. But, in terms of our customer base you've got like a couple of different impressions I would say of what people have. I think, I've talked to some people where they're like okay, we need to pull back now. We need to batten down the hatches, wait until this passes. And then we'll start spending again and doing different things again. And then you've got the opposite. Who are like, you know what we're going to go harder and faster now, to try to get in front of as many people as possible. And really, start like making themselves a name in the market while other people might be a bit afraid to, right. So you've got those two extremes sort of like there's no I haven't come across any of it as sort of in the middle. it still doing a lot of things and, what's like being sort of wary of spending and so on. It's like, it's either you go one way or the other. Now for our customer base I think from a Leadfeeder perspective what we're seeing is people are seeing the value in the product.Especially if they're on that side of maybe not wanting to push extra cash out. 'Cause I'm not sure spending any way is the right thing at the moment, like even for our own strategy. We're not spending a huge amount of money at the moment. A lot of the stuff that we're doing is organic. But from what we're seeing is just similar for companies that we're working with that they'd be pushing out a lot of content in different things. Getting people to digest our content. And then also understanding okay who's visiting the site from which companies, right which companies are visiting? How often are they visiting? What is the content that they are digesting? Is there any type of buying signals or intent data that I can see from the companies that are visiting? So, like at the moment it's obviously people are digesting a lot of content. But then you also want to be able to see okay, which companies are the ones that are looking at my pricing for example.
We doing a bit of a deeper dive into the integrations that we have to offer or doing a bit of a deeper dive into our product features, right? So you want to be able to like, separate both of those and through using Leadfeeder you can do that. So you can say okay, right now as a sales team, I don't really want to be following up people that are heavily digesting our blog posts. But I will be interested in seeing people that are heavily digesting the blog posts, plus showing other intent signals such as hey, look there's pricing page here. Hey, they've looked at this particular product feature et cetera.
You're looking for those kind of sales triggers are you?
Yeah, so like, we can set up automations for the sales team or the sales thing is set up with themselves so that, they'd get those people that would, do for example, come and visit five blog posts. And then afterwards look at a product page or look at a pricing page and then send an email notification to the salesperson that owns that account. Or send a slack notification or something. Some form of notification to the sales team to say hey, these ones are people that you should probably be following up with. Here's why and what they've been looking at.
Yeah, and interestingly, lead to that points. There's obviously a lot of talk on LinkedIn which we're obviously on all the time and use all the time. Talking about maybe now isn't the time to sell. What's your take on that? I mean where are you sitting at the moment in that kind of debate?
So look, I'm a marketer wearing a salesperson's’ hat, right? Or vice versa, okay. So like I've got sales experience myself. I.ve been sales roles, I've been an SDR for a number of years and I've also done account management as well. So, like I've got the experience on both sides. My experience generally, regardless of what the situation is right now. Like, the best pitch is no pitch at all. Okay, like that's, by far always the rule of thumb that I use. So I'd never any way go into into anything that we're doing from a marketing perspective in the fact being like, we need to be really product heavy here so people see the product features they want to buy immediately, okay. At the moment, you need to be particularly careful of that. Because people don't want it. You're just going to to piss people off. And, what you should be doing now is looking to build long term relationships and long term connections. Personally I think the best way to do that is to help people right now. So, people are running around with their heads on fire not knowing what to do next. What should my next step and the strategy be. I don't know, but I can tell you what's working for us. And I can lift up the lift of the bonnet and show you okay what's happening in the engine to show you okay this is working pretty well this is not working very well. I think we just need to be sharing ideas with others, to help them better their businesses. And not just from what we can offer from a product perspective ourselves. So like, if you manage to do that people will when it comes to the time of people wanting to or being able to put their hand in their pocket to buy, they will consider you. And they will consider you ahead of the rest.
Yeah, and you see with regards to sales and marketing teams there, and indeed with the clients that you work with. How do you see that they're kind of coming together now as a group? 'Cause, everyone talks about sales, marketing. Alignments et cetera. But do you see any change in that dynamic in the last couple of weeks or months?
So, I think the changing dynamic has always has been constantly changing over the past years. I take the sales and marketing efforts are coming closer together. Now I'm probably a bad person to ask this too because, one of my core focuses is aligning, marketing and sales. So I'd always start off whenever I speak or join an organisation or whenever I work together with an organisation, whatever it might be. I'd always ask okay, what are your sales targets? And what could marketing give back to those sales targets? So that's what I'll come up with whoever's responsible for revenue so Leadfeeder it's our CRO Yakko.
So, like with myself and Yakko own the revenue targets, okay. And like we can't be misaligned if we both own the same target. So, I'd say from our perspective is that like if you tie everything back to revenue, you're ultimately going to have to be aligned with sales, right. And that's something that my team is starting to notice because I brought that focus in. And generally at the moment I see like, salespeople are much more willing or have the time to really push out marketing content more than they've ever because they're, I don't want to use the word desperate but I think they're looking for more ways in which to break down some doors or to break down some barriers to entry into prospects right now. Any sort of ammunition that you can give them. They're more willing to accept. So I'm seeing that as a big positive at the moment to be honest with you like sales and marketing are really one on one alignment.
So do you see the fact obviously now events are now, completely disappeared from the calendar. You think that's actually now making sales people think a little bit more with more imagination about what to do and how to engage?
Yeah, I've seen an interesting post on LinkedIn today saying that sales people are now the new marketers. And that they're the ones that they're like a next wave of marketers that come in and provide the message. And they should be helping share the message, shorter voice and through their outreaches. I mean that's always been the case. I think what now as people are digesting more on social networks such as LinkedIn. I think it becomes even more important that sales are pushing the marketing or pushing a message. Rather than a very heavy sales push. I think from an events perspective and that I... It's hard to say really well. This is going to be an interesting trend coming with these digital events. I still think that sales are still going to manage to get quite a bit of pipeline. True events but they're going to to be digital. So I've seen like the bigger events move on to a digital platform. So let's take for example SaaStock. They were supposed to push forward with an offline event in June in San Francisco for 3000 people or so, maybe more. But I know that, now they've moved that to online so Alex their CEO and founder decided a couple of weeks ago that he said okay, look, this isn't going to happen. We need to plan for something else. So he's brought it to digital. The Adobe Summit as well has been brought to digital. So like, I think if we were in a situation where you had the choice to either go to an offline or an online event. I think everybody would rather go to the offline event rather than the online one. But now that we're living in a world where there's no choice. Like either you go there and you make the best out of it or you don't go and you don't get the pipeline perhaps.
That's putting us in a situation where hey, this is the only means by which we can do this therefore, why wouldn't it work? If people are there to digest the same information as they would be if they're on the ground somewhere. Then it makes it very interesting. And I think at the same time as well from these events like, you won't have people stopping by a booth just to grab a I don't know swag.
Like to grab those t-shirts or a pair of socks whatever you've given out at your booth. Now you've got people like stopping by and you've got almost a gatekeeper. So I spoke with Sas, Sas is our guest and he said, well included in your package you've got a gatekeeper who's going to review the people that want to speak with you. And if they don't fulfill the criteria then you don't need to speak to them. So, okay that's obviously then I'm only going to lead into my queue which are of interest to me that I can have good conversations with, right. Then you've got the next level in that as well where it's actually from an attribution perspective. There's nothing dropping through any cracks, I'd say. So, if somebody sees your brand there and they're like, oh what do Leadfeeder do as an example. They can click through directly to our website from the event and have a bit of a look around. And we can track that all the way through. Even using Leadfeeder we can see that, that came from that specific event. Therefore, like I wouldn't get that with an offline event. If somebody had come to my site, like they've walked past our booth and an hour later and I just yes, in Leadfeeder or whatever. They check out our website, you're never going to know where they came from. So, it's an interesting concept. We'll see how it goes.
We'll also be interested to see Andy what happens, once we're actually through this out the other side. Whether or not we were back to normality in terms of events or whether there's going to be a complete change in strategy in companies actually don't invest how they have done until now.
It depends how it goes with the digital side of things. I envisage that it will probably be both for a while, right. It depends on on this goes on for. Like if this goes on until the end of the year. We won't have any events for the rest of 2020. The question will be then, how will people be feeling about going into public spaces, coming into 21 and 2022? Who knows, like that would be the thing where people like it might affect the ND right because people just don't want to be in a crowded space as much as they used to be.
The factors as well. So listen, just changing a little bit of tack.
Tell me a little bit about Leadfeeder. Tell us something about Leadfeeder that maybe people don't necessarily know.
So Leadfeeder, was founded in Helsinki. By our founder Pekka. And Pekka had a company prior to which is an analytics company called Snoobi. They've grown the company as a remote company. Which is probably something that a lot of people don't know. So, for us right now during these times we're a company of about 85 people. And I think 15 or 20 of those guys are based in Helsinki. And the only people that have been affected somewhat by this, change in terms of how they work remotely were those 15 to 20 people in Helsinki with everybody else the 60 odd people all over the world, business as usual.
So, that that's been very, very helpful and very interesting over the past couple of weeks just to hear other people's pain points. From the remote working perspective. I think yeah, so from a Leadfeeder perspective is that, in terms of how many people we work with so we've got two different types of customers. So we have premium users and freemium users, let's say. So our premium users we have over 5000 paying customers. And then our freemium users, we have about 15-20,000. Depends on how many leads we recognise for you per month, right. And based off of that then you can decide on the package. But, yeah so like across our overall user base in terms of individuals using the product, we have close to 45,000 people using the product. So a massive user base actually.
What's that growing gap per month now.
So it's growing in terms of the individual users growing at the moment. I'm just trying to think of based on the account code. So we typically see probably like, about 10 users per account. And we grow probably by in terms of premium accounts per month. We're looking at about 300 premium accounts a month plus that are closing. So, do the math that you're looking at about between three to 5000 users a month will be growing at.
Yeah, and so we've spoke previously and talked about data and how your take on data. You call this first party anonymous data.
So first party intent data yeah--
Yeah talk about a little bit how that works and how you see that playing out.
Okay, so like Leadfeeder is not going to be the tool that will do everything for you from a marketing or sales effort, right. It does a very specific thing and it does it very very well, okay. And that's what you just touched on is this first party intent data. And like de-anonymizing the companies which are visiting your site. Typically, as a most marketing organisations not all but most, will have some sort of marketing automation tool which will do some recognition of the individuals based on people filling out forms. So if you draw typically on any website or any B2B website let's say, you should be aiming towards a conversion rate of 2% so conversion rate being visitor to actually given into details like 2%. And then like you have like good well, performing companies will have a 3%. And then like above 3% like 5% or something like that is very very good, right? That's across the board. It's like including things like paid and organic and all different things like. Obviously conversion rates differ depending on channel et cetera. But overall, if you're looking out to two plus percent. Two is like the benchmark and then anything above two, three, five or whatever, is very, very good, right. Now, essentially what we're doing we're the other side of that. Where we're like okay, well you're leaving probably, like. let's say best case scenario, 95% of your traffic on the table, okay. So 95% of that traffic is certainly interesting. Well okay let's say 50% of that is nonsense, right. It's people that you're not interested in but the other 50% or maybe even 25% could be things that are of interest to you as a business that you didn't even know we're visiting.
Though, as I as a sales org and even a marketing org. So let's start with the sales user in terms of being able to see that information and see exactly which company has been visiting? How often they've been visiting? What pages they've visited? How long they stayed on the site? What was the referring channel? Got a contact information from full contact. To be able to see which roles you primarily see focus on. Send messages via the platform as well. So email, LinkedIn, et cetera. To have like that all in one platform and be able to see right in front of your face is very helpful. From a marketing perspective, especially if you're doing things like; Account based marketing campaigns. You'd be interested to see okay what type of content is driving those tier one accounts. Like those most win accounts, okay. Typically what you'll have is, if you wanted to use it against your account based marketing efforts. You could create a custom feed which is containing which is the filter on it is based off of your whatever's in your total addressable market then you can tier it out. So, that's it for us we've got four tiers. Like so based on revenue tiers, okay. And we say the top line revenue or the enterprise accounts are tier ones, okay. So what I'll do is then I'll create a list of tier ones or custom feed of tier ones. And anytime that one of those tier ones comes to the site, my sales team will get pinged and so will my marketing team. My marketing team will see which content they're interacting with. So that they can go ahead and create more of that type of content. The digital team will also see okay what channel drove that specific, company. So I can go and double down on that account or on that channel as well. So, it's killing a couple of birds with one stone there really.
So you see with your customers as well that they're using Leadfeeder as a key component of their ABM strategy.
Yep, yeah so we spoke about this before in terms of my opinion on ABM. So I've been doing ABM for a couple of years now. And my opinion from speaking with customers of ours as well as also speaking with friends and staff that are trying to run ABM campaigns is that, people are typically skipping the first basic steps, right. So like they're going and investing a tonne of cash into larger ABM platforms. Okay, like hundred so, I'm not going to say hundreds of thousands, definitely 10s of thousands a year. Without getting the basics right, okay. so with Leadfeeder, it's a minimal investment and if you can get the basics right there, there are certain things that you can do there in order to get your ABM efforts off the ground, right. And that being one piece is like understanding whenever one of those companies from any one of your tiers comes to the site, make sure that they're getting a follow up and make sure you understand exactly what they're interacting with. So it plays a role within the ABM piece. But it's not the full a ABM piece so you need to have execution channels. You need to have different pieces in there. Your marketing automation system et cetera. But Leadfeeder do slot into the martech stock when it comes to ABM, yeah.
Yeah, and talking about the current circumstances, how do you see Leadfeeder’s marketing strategy? I mean, how has that changed or how do you see it changing in light of where we are at the moment?
So, what I tell the team is that, we'll keep doing certain things that we know are working. So, one example is webinars. So we're doing currently a webinar a week. And that started, very like, randomly I would say so, let's say that on the I think was the 12th of March was the day that Donald Trump like started putting controls of borders so the people were trying to get out of the US that weren't from the US and people find it difficult to get into the US. So from that day onwards, I'd say like I started thinking and we started thinking as a team okay, what can we be doing a little bit differently. On that Saturday which was the 14th. I was texting Alex Olly, who's one of the founders of a company called Reachdesk. He was he was actually in New York at the time he was texting me from JFK. And I just asked him hey, how are you guys getting on? Like that particular week was slow. It was a bit of a slog that week and he said yes, it's a bit of an up and down one. He's like as he said, he was trying to get out. Get out of New York unexpectedly. And then he just said well, should we do another webinar? 'Cause we did a webinar at Christmas. On account based marketing and I said yeah well, I think it's a good idea let's give it a shot. So, that was a Saturday night and then by the Monday, we had we'd spoken about it a Monday after we got back to the UK. And by Monday evening we'd launched. And then back on Thursday when we were doing the webinar we had 700 attendees or 700 registrations. So like my toll off of that was okay well, that's a three day effort. Not massive effort, put an effort nonetheless. So we managed to get that amount attendees on the Friday I sat with the team first thing in the morning. I was like okay, which webinar are we doing next week? And we did the same thing again. And we had great success last week. Following again on Friday, what webinar are we going to do next week guys? So this week and we just launched it yesterday in the past 24 hours. Like it's already the last I checked there is probably around 650 registrations in the space of 24 hours, so. Webinars are definitely something I'm going to keep on top of for the next couple of weeks. And I inevitably see that webinars will start to taper off at some point, that's for sure. Like it's not going to last forever but I'll stick on top of it whilst it does. For the next couple of weeks as well we're also going to be focusing on content which is helpful to people and helping people which you know sales follow up. So how do you do sales follow up to the moment. In a empathetic but also a meaningful way that people will remember you. Things like that. What I'm seeing from some of our competitors is that they've, I actually don't mean this in any means badly but I think they've missed the boat slightly in terms of what they're doing. I've seen one specific one that remain nameless but they've gone on the boat with the webinars which is good. But the topic is in no means related to what's happening in the world around us at the moment. So, people aren't interested it's at the top of everybody's mind. So whilst that stays the top of everybody's mind they're going to keep on talking about it cause that's what people want to hear.
Yeah, so it sounds like agility which is a term that I've seen a lot and we talk about a lot inside our business at Strategic is being as agile as possible really moving quite quickly. And it sounds like that's obviously what's kind of triggered somewhat the success of these webinars.
For sure, for sure like agility it's funny, I've worked in tech now for six years or so. And anytime you mentioned the word agility to a marketing team they're like, oh dear don't please don't say that word 'cause you have certain CMOs that we need to be an agile marketing team. And what that means is that there's zero structure and we just rolling around with our heads on fire all the time. But in this specific situation right now, I fully agree with it needs to be, we need to be agile. We need to be able to move quickly based off what's happening in the world around us for sure.
Yeah, and obviously the feedback I saw on one of your webinars last week and obviously, you can learn an awful lot for the engagement and of the questions that people are posing you. And that just turns into great content for the next webinar or the next blog or the next whatever right?
Just a quick one you obviously they're sitting home in Austria, I'm sitting home here in Madrid. How do you think this whole you know remote working is, is that with your customers? I mean, are you seeing any change in their behaviour I mean going back to how Leadfeeder works? And how the technology works behind it? Are you seeing anything there any any insights?
So in terms of how the technology works now a couple of people have been have risen their concerns around this. 'Cause obviously we recognise based of IP addresses of companies. So we have technology in place that enables us to recognise even if they're working off a home IP. So, there's a couple of things that we're working on as well to even better that to just really full-proof it. Like, you'll see what the majority of larger organisations initially anyway like as a one precautionary thing it just to understand that what's working in the background a little bit like a lot of people will be working off a VPN in any case which will, the easiest way for us to recognise. But then there's also other databases that we're working with which have recognised individuals based on the home network plus when they do come on to another network. So we have that in a database. So it matches the two together and basically then shows us which company that is, so. It's been a concern of some customers. But we haven't seen a drop in leads or the companies that are visiting. And anybody that's raised it with us we've been able to explain okay, what's happening in the background in order to make sure that that's not going to be the case, so.
Yeah, so just finally, I think you've touched on a lot of kind of tips in terms of what you recommend people should be doing at the moment but finally, if a company's out there is looking to build pipeline at the moment. And you've said obviously, that sales is going to be difficult, right? Sales will happen people are buying people are selling. But what pipeline seems to be quite key at the moment. Building relationships building pipeline and then we'll see what happens but what kind of things would you say are the things that people should be looking at the moment.
So, from my perspective what I see working is that, I've even reached out to our sales team on this. There's certain, little things that you can be doing right. So if you pick up the phone to somebody that you've been in a buying cycle with already, or they're an opportunity. Don't go in there trying to do a hard sell. Ask them how they're doing, right. So, this is the first time in our lifetime for sure that everybody's been in the same situation. The whole world is in the same situation now, so. This is a great opportunity in the fact that everybody has a connection point. Now there's some frame of reference which everybody has in front of them right now. And that's what's happening around the world. So when you're speaking with people bear that in mind. It like should always be the case to know that you're speaking to a person at the end of the line. But now more so than ever so you don't know what's happening in people's worlds they could have, there could definitely going to be working from home. They may have kids running around. They may have dogs barking in the background. There's all of the challenges that you probably have, but they also have so start off with that. So connect to them on a human level and you'll start to start building that connection. Like I've had some real like disasters over the past week in terms of people doing outreach to me and I'm just thinking, how difficult can it be? So I'll give you one example. I got an email from a travel agency in the UK. That was offering me, well the email started off with. Hi Andy, it was great speaking with you a couple of minutes ago. Here's a list of hotels that you wanted to have for the event, I can't remember which event it is. So marketing event taking place in August. And I got a list of hotels in London like with prices. And she said, okay let me know when you want to book. So I just wrote back saying well, first of all I don't think we spoke. Unless there's another Andy calling and working at Leadfeeder that I don't know about. And second of all like, I don't think I'll be investing in any hotel rooms for an event that's going to happen on August right now. And, that was that was an approach from her she thought maybe it might be cheeky or cute to do it that way and I'd get back. But, not at all it is the wrong approach. So, from my perspective like what I've gotten feedback from on the sales team is the empathetic please but also reach out in a different way to what you'd normally be doing. The fact that you're creating a deeper connection, it means that people are happy to be more personal. So for example, Whatsapp is working pretty well. So if you want to ping somebody a quick WhatsApp message. Hey, how's it going? Send them like I don't know, a picture or some sort of funny picture. Like all this stuff is working because we're connecting more on the personal level. So, it may be that you may struggle to close in the next couple of weeks. But when people start getting back to normal and people are starting to get back to normal. The more people that you've created a personal connection with, the more likely they're going to put their hand in the pocket.
Yeah, it's funny you say that 'cause on a personal level, I've been obviously connecting with people and through LinkedIn and other channels. And just sending them a note to see how they are really and with no other pre-condition and just to be quite human as you said. And I think we kind of forget and we have forgotten with all this technology that at the end of the day it is human on human, right?
And we've kind of used automation and other tools to kind of speed up the process and to make the process more agile but in effect, we've actually been taking away what is the essence of a relationship and a commercial relationship which is two people transacting on a very personal level.
Exactly, I mean, look we're always so focused on numbers. And that goes like, I'm as guilty of it as everybody. And from a sales perspective more so than any other department. But like I've measured teams on how many phone calls they've made. How many emails they've sent. How many touch points they're getting on LinkedIn. All of these different things have measured people's performance on. So if they're not delivering over at the bottom of the funnel and creating opportunities, there must be something wrong with the top. Therefore they're maybe not making enough phone calls. Maybe they're not sending enough emails. And with that type of approach what you're doing is, you're forgetting that the people on the other end of that communication are human. So like I've in the past been guilty of treating people like numbers. Okay, the more we churn out, the more we're going to get back. That sort of view on things. Now obviously, it's still important to keep the numbers up. But at the same time, I think we need to be more wary than ever that when we pick up the phone we're actually picking up the phone to another human being.
Yeah, and I think that's a great way to end this conversation Andy. Andy, thanks so much for taking part today. Lovely to talk to you again. Keep safe there in Austria and we'll talk very soon.
Thanks mate, you too.