The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 5 months ago

Go-to-Market Collaboration w/ Marketing, Sales, & Product w/ Ashley Estilette


If you’re selling complex software, you need sales, marketing, and product teams that both match that complexity and match each other.

You need go-to-market collaboration across teams. But how?

In this episode, I interview Ashley Estilette, CMO at Mitratech, about developing a Scrum Team to raise the bar on go-to-market collaboration.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Paying attention to how the 3 teams look, act, and feel together
  • Being obsessive about your focus
  • Crafting a winning Scrum/Tiger team
  • Building a culture based on trust

For more engaging sales conversations, subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

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Welcome to the sales engagement podcast.This podcast is brought you by outreach, the leading sales engagement platform, andthey just launched outreach on outreach, the place to learn how outreach well doesoutreach? Learn how the team follows up with every lead in record time aftervirtual events and turns them into revenue. You can also see how outreach runsaccount based plays, manages reps and so much more using their own sales engagementplatform. Everything is backed by data pulled from outreach processes and customer base.When you're done, you'll be able to do it as good as they do. Head to outreach Doo on outreach to see what they have going on.Now let's get into today's episode. Hello and welcome back everyone to the salesengagement podcast. Thank you, as always, for letting us through your drums forthe next thirty minutes or so, as I always, we've got agreat conversation aligned up. I am joined by Ashley Ashley is the VP ofintegrated marketing. Astley. Welcome, Hey, thank you so much, gout.Excited to be here, super excited to to have you, and Ido this all of the time. Is I have to ask this question.While we're recording instead of doing it after is it Astley? It's still letty. Is Am I pronouncing that right? It cool as to let and andyou sin. Yes, you can blame my blame my Cajun husband for that. It's a it's a great name. Just at that tricky but to pronounce. But excited to have you here. We were joking earlier that I havea pressure Washer somehow right outside my office right now and your lawn guy justshowed up. So if there's any noise that you hear, listeners just toignore it. It's part of part of life sometimes. But actually for thethe listeners. I always like it to...

...give some contexts on what we're goingto talk about in a little bit about your your backgrounds. I usually frameit up as what's your superhero origin story? How did you get to become aVP at such a cool come? I love it. So I startedoff early in my marketing career. Back in college. I actually thought Iwas going to be a journalist. Love to write. Used to pray foressay questions in College, which sounds insane, but did one internship very early onand with a daily newspaper. Realize there was absolutely no way that Iwas going to be a journalist and so found myself kind of trying to figureout what my what my first role was going to be outside of college trips, my way a little bit into marketing. I think it was a combination ofbeing able to write well, really liking the kind of multitasking that happensin marketing. You neuet to do a lot of different things at the sametime and then probably just, you know, a lot of writing. So Iloved love content. Obviously, so spence. Some of my early careerwith some engineering construction firms. Really loved it. Did some proposal writing,which I always say gave me my first case of working with a whole bunchof teams and sort of really understanding how critical it is for Cross collaboration.You know, when you're writing a huge, massive proposal, you you've got engineering, you've got estimating, you've got safety, you've got quality. Imean just, you know six, seven, eight sort of internal functions that you'retrying to all rally together. And so I think really early on mycareer I sort of developed this this passion for making sure that everybody was onthe same page and everybody had a lot of visibility into what everyone else isworking on and then, you know, just got recruited a little bit intopart of my careers, always been an energy get recruited into more of thesoftware and analytics side the business and then went through a couple acquisitions and andthat sort of a name of the game where I'm at now. I loveit. That's awesome. I find writing... such a sometimes overlooked skill thatcan be such a foundational skill for sales, for marketing everything. If you doubledown and like really take a course on writing or do anything, thegains you see from that are pretty incredible. Right. It is the main formof communication that we have in business, so if he can do it well, it's a huge advantage. Yeah, a hundred percent, totally totally agree. Content strategies are are just going to become bigger and bigger deals.I think totally so. Almost was a journalist. I was right there withyou praying for say questions as well. I loved that Nice, I loveI love doing that. Do you have a everyone has a favorite essay they'vewritten and I bet you still remember what it was. Do you have afavorite essay and what was the topic? So all, I don't know thatthere was a favorite essay, but there was a favorite project that I didin journalism school as my senior year, and it was the first time thatI got a real taste of how to sort of watch something and then howto how to kind of regurgitate and right back what you saw. And soour professor played a twenty minute clip of a riot and asked us, afterwe watch the whole twenty minute clip, we could take notes, ask usto then sort of objectively write a article on on what we saw. Andobviously, you know you can't can't really interject any opinion, you know,no adjectives. I mean it has to be very sort of fact based onwhat you remember, and that just that whole exercise was really was really eyeopening and impactful to me to kind of have to go through that and rememberfor certain things than really take, you know, great notes and and keepthings very objective. So it was really cool, totally. I don't youalmost have to completely change your way of thinking, because I feel like wealways add our own meaning to things and...

...everything and once it becomes abjective atotally different way. I think that's cool. Thanks for sharing that all right.So, switching gears a little bit. What we wanted to spend some timetalking about, and I really think this is an important conversation now morethan ever, and it's the importance of go to market collaboration through marketing,sales and also product and when we were talking about this episode, I thinkthe lightbulb moment for me is like hey, that, yeah, that's what weshould talk about. Was this analogy that you use, and I thinkit's a perfect place to maybe kick us off. You want to share thatanalogy with the let's sense of that. It was great. Yeah, sothe analogy I always think about when I think of product, sales and marketingsort of coming together is you can't sell a Ferrari in a toilta parking lotwith, let's say, you know, a KIA sales guy. And noneof those things are better or worse than the other, but the point isnone of them go together. And so, you know, I always think aboutin the software world, if you're selling a really complex, sophisticated software, your sales team better also sort of acts the part right like you wantto have a really complex, you know, a still seem to understand what thatproduct. Does they sort of look the part, acts apart, talkthe part, and the same thing with your marketing. It's hard to sayyou're this big high tech company if you're at a trade show handing out paperbrochures or you know. So you just kind of have to those things inorder to have that really consistent, buttoned up brand and go to market.I think you really really have to pay attention to how those three things sortof look, act and feel together and is that really consistent? I reallylike that one and really resonate with it. I mean it just when that's notthe case, your kind of buyers having this like cognitive dissonance all thetime. somethings just like, why is this? What do I feel odd, you know, as they're going through...

...the yeah, the journey, thingsjust stop adding up and that's when I think, you know, deal slowdown or you lose momentum. Exactly, exactly. So what are some waysthat you've seen to get everyone speaking the Toyota language or speaking the Ferrari language? Where do you start? And I can tell you from from my experienceat at out, which we're growing super super fast and right we're adding,you know, forty new people a week and to make sure if all thenew people and everyone and all everything that's evolving. It's no easy tas stuff. Yeah, what are some of the things you think about at the beginning, maybe when you're first trying to get people alive? Yeah, so there'sa couple of things. One I'd say you know, at the very,very beginning you almost have to as you know, in executive leadership team,even as sort of you know, management teams involved in a in a goto market, I think you have to almost have this obsessive nature about yourfocus and your priorities. People do it a lot of different ways. Oneof the good examples that we've done in the past is, and this usedto be a really big buzz word, but the the whole process around scrum. So software developers do it a lot right, and it's a way toit's a way to get a very small team together. I think that's thekey. So, you know, if you've got forty people that need toget up to speed, you sort of start with that really small tiger team, that scrum team, and it's making sure that that team is hyper,hyper focused on all the right parties. And what's cool about a scrum processis. You know, you set up those short sprints and so you coulddecide, hey, this team is going to meet for fifteen minutes every singleday. Some days it might be five minutes, some days you might takeoff this team, but it's that constant, constant iteration and alignment. That way, if if something else comes up, you're sort of always in touch witheach other to make sure that you can rapidly pivot. So those are, you know, I think. I...

...think having that my optic focus onpriorities and then having a really a really tight team that is sort of theEP, the center of what's being executed on and constantly together, constantly ableto pivot quickly. Let's call a little bit more into detail on this,this idea of scrubbs. I know you mentioned earlier offline that you just youjust ran one. If I'm a sales leader listening to this or a marketingleader listening to this, m what does that actually look like, other thanjust do I just get three to four people together at random? Are theyall working on the same project? Are they working on different projects? Andit's more about accountability. Walk me through how you've set it up. Yeah, so it's probably a little bit different by Org, but I'd say youknow the age old saying of if you're going to eat an elephant, toit one bite at a time. So that's sort of the idea behind scrum. So, you know, if you've got a really big product launch ora really big initiative, that's a great project to sort of apply the scrumapproach to. One of the things that I always think about is, youknow, you've got sales, marketing and product people. These are all peoplethat know how to sell, they know how to position. So one ofthe things I was like to do when I'm putting together a scrum team isthink about who are you're almost champions or influencers in your different teams in thecompany, if those are going to be the people that are going to notjust help you develop the project or initiative sort of at hand, but they'regoing to be sort of the microphone that then goes out and and help evangelizeit and get a bunch of people within the company on board. So Iwas kind of gage that when I'm I'm looking at the right people to getinvolved in these kinds of things. Who are the ones that that I thinkare really going to be able to help me sell some of the stuff internally. HMM. Yeah, that's a great, great point. In if you're listeningand you haven't identified those people. They don't even have to be leadersof the company. It's just the people...

...that actually people seem to be likedrawn to. They ask for help, and I'm right there with you anyany time we're trying to drive an initiative that's maybe outside of someone's typical view. Like an example, we do linkedin takeovers from time to time when wewant to, you know, get out information at I when I know exactlywho I need to go to on the sales team and as soon as theyhave something than everyone else will. Yeah, so it's the YEP, exactly kindof idea. I like it. And then I think it's also whenwe go back to like thinking about this at the beginning. Culture plays abig part in collaboration, right and having those lines open. I think sometimescompanies, if they're been a company for a while, or even startups,kind of have these underlying stories. You know, we're a sales first company, where? Or weren't engineering? We're just we're a product focus company,or were we have the best marketing store, marketing focused and it's important to payattention to those stories and and have them almost debunked right and like tryingto try and at least work, work through them. Is that something thatthat you think about? Yeah, I'd say culture is probably another thing thatI'm super, super passionate about. And you know, when you think aboutone of the Nice things about having if you can get your leadership team oryou know, get really organized around what those those real big focus points andpriorities are that your whole company's marching toward. One of the things, the sortof concepts that I love is was from Jeff Bezos and he had thisapproach to Amazon, which is, you know, obviously a vehemous company,that when you get to a certain size in a company, when you canalign the whole company behind that vision and...

...then have everybody rallying behind it,you sort of not everyone's going to agree all the time, right, you'regoing to have, you know, kind of pushing and pulling around certain decisionsthat are made, but the critical thing was to disagree and commit, andI love that concept of it allows you to continue to move quickly. Youknow, a lot of companies, especially in sort of the world that I'mliving in. You know, software and and technology. These companies are movedhaving at incredible pieces and you have to have this culture of we're not alwaysgoing to agree, but we trust each other and we trust our leadership andwe trust that vision that we're marching toward. And so it's okay to to disagreeand say look, but I'm in it, I trust you, let'sgo, and I think that kind of helps keep that that momentum so thatyou don't kind of get bogged down in just, you know, decisionmaking orpeople not quite sure what's a priority, things like that. I like that. I think it's a great antillity. So to clarify, it's like youcan you can disagree, but whatever the decision is, just commit, goall in and at all yeah, yeah, yeah, there is so much wastedenergy in like that pushing and a bully when it could be funneled in, yeah, in the actual initiative. All right, so tiger teams,I love it. The disagree, disagree and commit idea. I love it. Culture playing an important role. Another thing I wanted to talk to youabout, and maybe it's just curious because I think it's such a difficult thingto do is when, when there's changes in the business and they're big changes, how do you think about disseminating that information? It's always crazy to mewhen they'll be a new big launch of something and like an entire team doesn'tknow when they're like yes, you got the emails, yes, you've gotthings. People are so busy focused on their their day to day and therethe guys that it can be hard.

How do you think about disseminating informationto a you know, a lot of people at once? Man, andit's such a good question and such a huge challenge right now, I thinkin covid because you know, before, when maybe more stuff happened in person, now it's even small decisions or small conversations, you're either happen to sendan email or catch someone on a zoom call in the midst of their crazyschedule. So you know, I probably don't have a perfect answer. We'vefound a lot of success as far as disseminating information from kind of the toparound vision strategy, what's the company been up to and sort of trying todraw some transparency into that. We've started a monthly strategy call. But actuallyour executive team does when you could argue, you can argue even doing it morefrequently than that. But but it's a pretty robust call where they kindof talk about the latest happenings at their level, how they're seeing things.There's an open Q and a at the end. So so you know wherehistorically company is maybe did that once a quarter. You know kind of dida town hall all hands type. Think I think you know, shifting,to the extent that you can, to some more of a monthly strategy wherewhere all of the employee they feels like they understand what the company's trying todo and where the company's going. In this environment with everyone at home,I think a lot of those conversations are just getting getting sort of lost becausewe hang up on calls. There's not kind of the water cooler talk.There's not, you know, walking to someone's desk and getting updates on things. So amping that up and then there's a lot of technologies that people canstart using too, I think, to to increase communication. We started,you know, creating a couple different calendars that people can access in just inoutlook that are really robust at marketing owns that allow us to draw visibility intothe things that were executing on, because they're just wasn't wasn't enough time forenough phone calls in the day. So so I'd say, you know,look at technologies. There's a bunch of different tools out there, but Ithink people can start to leverage but it's it's it's just going to be alittle bit of a challenge. Yeah,...

...yeah, lots of good points thereand it's interesting to see how people have because I think it's one of themain problems, you know, with working remote. For sure, I've heardof companies starting like internal podcasts for updates, which I think is kind of awe have yeah, you have that, yeah, we do have that.Yep, Yep. How is that been received? I think it's beenreally good. The Nice thing about the podcast is and we almost to nowrecord every single meeting and sort of make it available on our Internet because,again, there's just not enough time in the day with people schedules, especiallysales teams who are trying to get in touch with clients. You know,you're sort of at the mercy of a client schedule. So I think it'sworked out really well and it's been a great avenue for things like product launches, for trainings, for here's what this functional team is kind of up to, here's what's important, here's how to get in touch with these other certaingroups. We've grown super fast over the last two and three years and sosometimes there's pockets of the company that you just don't talk to and so torevert back to, you know, a podcast or some of these recordings thatwe make available, I think it does help kind of bridge the lack ofin person to vacation. Probably yeah, and you just to like hear thevoices of yeah, like you said, Co workers that you may know,ever bet you know or anything. Yeah, comes much more approachable and human awesome. So it always amazes me. I say this every episode and listenersare probably sick of hearing it, but it's amazing how quick thirty minutes goesby. But before we kind of go and wrap things up, is thereanything else that you'd be remiss that we didn't talk about with this topic?Anything we missed? I mean, I don't know, I don't think so. I mean the I think just really the takeaways, like having that reallystrong, concise go to market strategy, getting those tiger teams together, understandingthat, especially the bigger and or gets, you know, have that kind ofmentality of you can disagree with something...

...but commit to it and you knowand sort of support and trust your leaders. I love that. Those are greattakeaways. Last thing is, are you hirings or anything that you wantto up plug or anything? Yes, Oh, I love it. Ilove the US that we are definitely hiring. We had a really exciting transaction.So we had a company, a private equity hs come in and recentlyback in Veris. So we're super excited. We're sort of hitting the reset buttonin that really high growth period. So definitely a lot of opportunity onthe marketing team, sales, business development products. So definitely go check outour website. For sure. Cool. I love it and if people wantto continue to learn from you, follow your career linked in twitter. What'syour sure? Yeah, I'm a Linkedin. Yeah, I'm a linked in person. For sure. Perfect, awesome. Well, actually, it's been SuperFun. Thank you so much for coming on. Absolutely your your insightand while our listeners thank you so much for hanging out with us and we'llsee it next time. Thanks. got. This was another episode of the salesengagement podcast. To help this get in front of more eyes and ears, please leave us a shining five star review. Join US at sales engagementcomfor new episodes resources in the book on sales engagement to get the most outof your sales engagement strategy. Make sure to check out outreached that ioh theleading sales engagement platform. See you on the next episode.

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