The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 7 months ago

Ideal Customer Profiles w/ TJ Macke & Jason Serota

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Who’s buying from you, and who are you selling to - are they the same people?

It’s three for the price of one today, as I’m joined by TJ Macke, SVP of Strategy at Sapper, and Jason Serota, Head of Commercial Business Development (Americas) at Adobe

What we talked about:

  • Superhero origin stories of both TJ and Jason
  • Storytelling as a key skill set for sales
  • Defining ICPs - ideal customer profiles
  • DCP vs TCP (desired vs true customer profile)
  • Lagging, current and emerging ICPs, as categories
  • Involving the right people at the right time
  • Advice for individuals working in and leading sales functions

We mention these resources during the show, for you to look up and make use of:

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

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for The Sales Engagement Podcast in your favorite podcast player.
 

Hey folks is enter me born now beforejumping in I've got to tell you about I'm least two thousand and twenty oneon Ma, Leven thrughhiteen were focusing on how to wing together in the newsales era, you'll learn new, go to marces strategies, get deeper, funalinsides, an aximal takewast foryour entire, or from revenue leaders, hi,Gro, startups and fortune five hundred companies and are very special guestsor none other than Guyras the podcaster, an author of how I built this and carrylaurence. The first female fider pilot in the US baby come sinher seat forthis high energy on line eveen at only stot out reache tot IO. Now, let's getinto it. Welcome to the sales engagement, apodcast. This podcast is brought you by outreach, the leading sales engagementplatform and they just launched out reach on our reach, the polace to learnhow outreach well does nout reach learn how the team follows up with every lead,ind record time after virtual events and turns them into revenue. You canalso see how outrecwins account based plays, manages reps and so much moreusing their own sales engagement platform. Everything is backed by datapulled from out reach processes and customer base when you're done you'llbe able to do it as good as they do hand. Tho outreach on io on out reachto see what they have going on now, let's get into Teday's episode helloand welcome back Eryon to these sales, O Gageren podcast you're hanging outwith Scott Barker. Thank you for lending us your your drums for the nextthirty minutes. As always, we've got an incredible incredible line. Up of Iguest with us today, CIIT's one on one today we're doing you get threeh forthe price of one. Today I am joined by to Trens of mine, one TJ macky TJ.Welcome. Thank you. So much got very happy to be here. Hi is a great crew.It certainly is and I'll get you to go a little bit more into your back story,but quickly for the listeners. TJ Is...

...the SBP OF STRATEGY AT SAFRE,consulting operating partner at sale source as well. So that's super cooland I'm also joined by Jason Seroda. Did I pronounce your last name right?You did Nice Dae. I seem to always forget to ask that question before westart. It's always nice, an I get it out. Thatwas good as good and Jacon is actually the head of Business Development forthe Americas at Adoby, which is incredible. Massive massive enterprisecompany, so Jason Welcome Man W. Thank you excited at cited to collaboratelike it's been too long to do this, so toally g certainly has been some likeleadups and build up to this around our car calendars. It's hard to get threeschedules to to Align Tu. Let's start with you, though man, I always like tokind of frame it up a little bit. We get all sorts of listeners to thispodcast. You know new PDRs manager, level, director levels bps, and it'salways interesting to hear someone's. I call it Superhero Origin Story: How didyou get to sapper and such a cool role? Yeah? I am so fortunate and privleged,so my quick story is that I did not start out in the business world. Wor Isthat I did not start out in the business world. I started out with ahumanities degree out of college. One of those kids and then also you know Iworked in youth services and you know I did some like pastoring for a whileanyways, but I was really passionate about starting new things. So I starteda couple companies. None of them were success they all felt through, but thatled me to the opportunity of joining tappers team early on and so sapperbuilt. The business on. You know: Outsource Sales, development, businessdevelopment, and you know my job for the first year or two was to on boardand create all the initial campaigns for our clients which to me I tellpeople was like business school Ondrean...

...one. So I didn't get my NBA, but I gotto like help companies design their their prospecting efforts and I learnedso much from it and I've got a lot to share now. So that's my background. Ilove it. Man and and we've actually done another episode in the past, wherewe go a little deeper in the battleground we disect, some of the youknow, t e the things you learn from being like a pastor that that's such ainteresting way to get into it, and it's always fascinating on this podcastone of the coolest things is hearing people's stories of how they wound upin this incredible profession. That is, you know, sales, marketing and businessdevelopment. All Right Jackson, you're at my man same same question, a Jo, betough bar to get into a company like that. You know it's. It's no easy feat that is, you knowwhat I would consider a tier one for sure, Tech Company, How d you get there!Man Yeah originally from Texas, move to Los Angeles to you, know chase at thetime y mhellywood dream, as many people do wanted to be. A TV producer grew upmy whole life and and actually went to film school love honestly loves juststorytelling and kind of collaborating with people and leading projects and kind of work. My way up in Hollywoodand worked for Disney for a while running a production company and thencame to a point in my career, where I wanted something fresh anted somethingnew in something of more the flexibility and wore get to you knowthe technindustry I thought was going through some changes that I was reallyreally excited about, and I had some friends in the industry and sarted anetwork internally and and kind of got a roll at s coming to called Magento,which was startup at the time with ecommerce booming, and then we gotacquired a fears into me working for there, and now I've been in a dobt with threeyears coming up and...

Rena. You know trying to change thelandscape of a you know, kind of how it works there and trying to, I would say,really grow their business to the next level and it's been really reallyexciting to see how far this company has. You know been transforming overthe past few years, really really fun. That's incredible! I think we mighthave to make the title of this. This episode, like a TV producer and apastor, fall into sales thisis, a a SICOM, that's the next question isbuddy Cott movieyeah. I love it that Super Cual. So I had TAT ask thequestion just to follow up to that Jason. I can imagine the the parallelsand and why they would transfer over right. I imagine there's a massivewriting component here'San intention creativity component in the producingworld. What do you still draw on from those times in your role today? Yeah Imean, I think, storytelling. I think it's such anunderrated skill honestly and it's I never thought how many skills that Iwould leverage and use as being you know, coming from entertainmentindustry to Ecaus it still sales ben a different way, Somei'm selling withstories, but instead of going to tea networks, you know I'm going tocompanies in a person, so I think really knowing how to leverage thattype of skill sed has been really really valuable for me and obvoulydoing it in a convenced way to make it impact. I think knowing how to make animpact and standout is really really remarkable and kind of Goo goes down tocopywriting and collaboration, and we kind of working as with a lot ofdifferent teams and that's kind of what I did a lot honeslavin. My pastexperience, yeah storytelling and it's soincredibly incredibly important. There's a few things I don't know forfor listeners to go and look up that will help. You write a compelling storyeven and you can use these things in your for your product. You just have tochange them. There's like go read all...

...about the heros journey and you canwalk your customer through. You know a hero's journey, that's a big one andthen another one, that's kind of a sideshoot to that is. Have you uy seen the greatest sales teck ever made AndyRask an did a post, it went pretty pretty viral, he breaks down, which isessentially how to tell a compelling pitch, and I think it's it's prettygenius. Have you guy seen that and he's the man Yeah and e SSome Pas, like that,the poor father, I feel like o'v a hard business for storytelling totaly, all right, so there's a few things. Iwanted to talk to you guys both about we could take this. A million and fourdirections where I want to start is one of probably the most potentially usedbuzz works in our industry for Acronam, sorry, acranems, ICP Iseem. I like you,can't you can't get get anywhere without her and someone drop ICPquickly, TJ. What is ICP Kis, there's a few listeners that that don't know thatacrm haven't heard it before yeah, absolutely so ideal customer profile,and I think, to your point folks- might define that differently in differentplaces, but I think Jason and I are aligned an our working definition yeah. So for yeah. For me, I remember hearing about this six years ago, I'm like a a BDR and itwas really just who we thought we sold in to wasn'talways based on a tened Dada in sale, ports. It wasbased on like the top couple AES that bubbled it up to the VP of sales. Tothen pass it out to the marketing the VPOF marketing is like okay cool. Nowwe sell to midlevel directors and manufacturing.That is the that's the Gospel. Now, don't Ko not sure how we got there, butwe got there Jason. What is what is ICP...

...mean to you, because it's become muchbroader than that and I think we're at this precivice of it changing again andwe might need who knows a new acronom to throw around so yeah. No, any, Ithink ICP means is the target custower you're, going after my opinion. Is iteasily repeatable that specific industry is the region? Obviously thelot goes into it, but, in my opinion, there's obviously going to be a lot ofexceptions to the rule. You might have certain customers that were so specificto fit that product, but in my opinion, when you're targeting someone who fitsyour perfect, ICP and hees be more broad and something that is you know,can repeat after over and over and obviously that will change over time. II that's the key my opinion, yeah. That is definitely that what you have towatch, Ou for and also there's a few thing, there's like repeatability andalso like speed to that repeatability, becauseyou can, you can spend a bunch of cycles and you have a big outdown teamand you could you can go after a subject and you can probably repeatwhat happened but is. Is it the most? I guess it's like mostefficient repeatable way, O to do something and Aeah yeah totally TJ. Youwork with literally Hunders, I think, probably, is it thousands now Ihaitenthosands yeah ers been thousand thousands of companies to. I imaginewhen you're building out yeah an owfound campaign that has to be where,where you start is that step one typically OOne hundred percent- andthis is one of those you know when you're in this business- and I thinkwhen you're in sales in general. This is like one of those services. You dothat doesn't really get celebrated, but a lot of the work is helping peopleunpack what they think their ICP is versus. What reality comes back to thisis something this is actually how Jason and I got kicked off on this. We were,you know, kind of talking shop and this...

...difference CN came out on theconversation of like your desired, like customer profile versus your truecustomer profile. It's like your DCP and your TCP like what is actuallyhappened, because to me an ICP has to be based on closed deals versus youknow. Like you mentioned like one day, the CMO says now we're going toprospect. You Know Xyz and we've never done that before, and so I think theaspirational targeting is something else I would say and there's plenty ofpeople who will write me emails about this afterwards, but I think it'ssomething other than your ICP. It's an aspiration, and it's important to haveit's different, yeah great great gray. Point I likethat, so we've coined now DCP we've got another a we need to learn, but this is.This is important. I think this is super important and I Jaon. I want toget y Ur your thoughts on this, but, like I remember again, some reason Ialways go back to the my beginning of my career because I had such a like abianner's mindset. Leaders were making decisions that sometimes were rightsometimes were wrong, but I didn't know whether they were right or wrong sokind of like blindly follow them, and then you see the outcome. So it's likea really interesting time in your career, and I remember it was at a fin ceck companyand we would just put together campaigns and they were literally ninety percent sure we're at random.I'm just like this Mon were doing dentist, aee would like yeah go and thewhole marketing team would create a dentist campaign and we go afterdentist, a d we send like mailors and and then the next week it would be. Youknow, small business owners and we would just kind of like pick this thingand it was a definitely a DCP. You know and yeah. Itwas based on absolutely nothing, and I can't even imagine the amount of like what that cost us to be. Focusingon our DCP versus our actual ICP, so...

Jason, how do how do you make sure that you re focus on your ICP and notyour DCP, because I imagine it's always evolving right. It's not like a one anddone exercise of like o cool. We know our ip now we're good forever, yeah. No,that's a great ruestion and I think that's one of the biggest things that Ilike to voice when we're onboarding, you know new bdrs and STRs is is firstthing instead of getting to another product. Is I think the number onething when you're getting started bbuse the product is all you know, feature anpunctionality and you'll learn that overtime. In my opinion, I think thenumber one thing to know is who would Beng a good fit for your product andwhy so telling my bdrs before you're, reaching out just Beo, because you're,given a lead for marketing or even me or your boss, gives you a list. Askyourself like? Why are you reaching out to this company you know at like? Isthere reason? Because if you don't know why, if you can't answer that questionhow they can actually fit, can you tell a story of how your product cand addvalue and actually help that company? And you can't tell is story, thenyou're not going to be able to win them Otor, so that's kind of something thenumber one thing and in usually that answer is y. u know needs to be moresimple, like less is more so like don't try to force the product to fit thatprospect if it's easily, I think like. If it's easily adds value to them, thenthat's where I sal, B versus if it's super custom, yeah they're going to beacceptions, but you got to think more broad big picture. That's somethingthat I really like to tohone down with my team. So yeah, that's a great a great point, andI want to underscore that for any of the the bdrs listening is like everysingle time before you set mat emailu before you make that Colt call justquickly go to the mental exercise of like. Why am I calling this personspecifically at this specific company, because there's there's nothing worsewhen you like you get that shot, and...

...you don't have that ready of like? Ohhere's, what we do, but you don't have t the wide part of why you specificallywhy you right now, that's a great one: Okay, TJ! I want to talk a little bitabout who should be in the room when you are to fight like how do we startto umpact this? This thing you mentioned close one deals, so I look atmy closed one deals. What else should I be looking at as a business and an afollow up question? Who should be in the room when we're making thesedecisions about who our ICP is not our DCP, because we're going to spend a lotof cycles on this? So this is a very important decision, very, veryimportant decision, and I think the sthe thing that I come back to you knowW we're trying to figure out what it is and we'll talk about the Ho in a second.But to me it's stopping it's. You know refraining on the reflex of making ICPmonolythic like we think it's like a solid tube, and it is what it is and itwill always be and sure there's exercises maybe annually or wes go. Youknow, did we break into any new markets? We have new products, but for the mostpart, a lot of folks treat ICP as a uniform group, and this is one of thethings that Jason and I erewere kind of getting amped on is is Ike, it'sactually a collective and we would argue that in all at Jason speak forhimself, but, like you know that it's this idea of of I, I think three bigcategories and a lot of folks reflex, ICP and industries. I think that'sreally important, but I think there's three other buckets. That may be moreimportant and it actually has to do with your changing market presente. Soit's, I would call it your lagging ICP, your current Ip and your emergent ICP,and the idea there is that each one of those the uricpes like an Arrow movingthrough the air- and you know the tip...

...of that Arrow- is your emerging market.The middle of that is your current and the Tal into that is youre lagging andover time, businesses, change, markets, change, products, change and so you'renot going to target. It engage folks in the same way, there's going to be somecompanies, you want to let fall off the bandwagon they're going to hold backyour growth. It's going to be some folks that are your bread and butterand there's going to be some new markets that you know are going to beyour future, but aren't worth spending all of your attention on today. I likeit, I like it a lot Jason. Can you break that down even for those yeah? Ilove asking this question because it's honestly, mostly for myself, break thatdown like I'm I'm seven years old, you know what is alagging indicator. What is it leading indicator and break that concept? Downbecause I think that's that's a really really good good point. Yeah I mean Ithink it comes. I always like to ask questions and Yo can kind of you knowbefore you're reaching out ask these questions so something maybe, as yourproduct is evolving over time in that's also going to change hour ICP, but alsothe timing like what's going on in the world. What is happening so questionsask yourself, you know it if your product has gos through differentupdates. You know is that product is that target repeatable, so I thinkthat's fading ICP, so maybe in the beginning, you're going after smallcompanies, but now you're your product is turned into more of a enterpriseproduct. So maybe it's now larger companies are going after and thesmaller companies wouldn't be that are less complex, wouldn't be a good fitanymore. FOYOUR current ISP. Obviously that's going to be your bread andbutter. Those are the ones that the highest have predictable demand. Sothere's the most predictable demand for that specific type of target, andthat's probably like your bread, an butter and then I would say emergingICP could be an upandcoming trend or could be a timing thing so, for example,maybe not to bring up Covid, but you know that obviously effectedebusinesses worldwide, a lot of different businesses had to adapt theirbusiness models for every type of...

...business, so that cund be, and some ofthem are going to be permanent. So obviously like reremote work or meetings virtual meeting. So a lot ofcompanies that maybe weren't going to do virtual meetings or weren't going todo certain types of remote work. That's going to be, maybe something that'sgoing to be now because of the timing, part of your future IEP. So somethingthat's. I would say that changes your business, the long term- and I wouldn'tsay in terms of IT- could be the exception. So it's really seing thetiming. So if it doesn't pan out, maybe it was just a cove that could be. Thatcould be an exception, but some of them. Obviously, it's going to be more of along term. Change M. Well, sait, most sad! Thank you for for breaking thatdown. Okay, I have another Json, I'm going to go back to you right away,allyios one. What happens if top down there is a new desired customer profilewhich often happen I'. Give me an example: What often happens in startups or your time at at Magenta,you go. Okay, we got to go sell to the enterprise, the unit economics. Now wegot TA scale. This thing we got a. We got a hundred x next year. The only waywe're going to do that is to go after our DCP and maybe those aren't thenatural ICP right. Now. How do you look at that? How do you start to merge your ICP with with your DCP whenit's what the business needs at that? That juncture? Yeah I mean, I thinkit's all Os goes down the storytelling and your brand and changing if there'sa new feature functionality. Let's say you know, Talking Toyour EngineeringTeam and talking to your marketing team, changing the value that we're selling so that itwill really be very obvious and big picture how you can make an impact onthat new version of their ICP that you're trying to get break into,because if it's not obvious, then it's not going to be obvious Tori CUSTOMIR.So it has to be super obvious. The...

...valuere going to bring one thing, butalso, I would say a way to break into a new ICP is, I think it gall goes downto your network. So if there's any partners or ecosystem o leveraging anyyou know, your internal community is to see I understanding those relationships,an what what is most important to those types of customers. So I think buildingyour using your relationships for he that new, ICP and saying what's mostimportant and then how does our product or whatever service you're selling,really help provide that value to that company is also something away toreally help change it. I would say I liked it. I, like it and Tj ad loveyour your opinion on that, because I bet you get companies coming to you andthey're saying a similar narrative, Riat t like hey, we do great and Idon't know why manufacturing is always my example. I've never sold thet tomanufacture but always comes up. First, you know we're sellininto manufacturing,but we really want to break into big tech. How do you coach them in that'siner yeah? I, like you, know, I think, just to be clear for the folks at home,like desired customer profile, isn't bad like that's how every business isborn and creates that you know accelerated growth, so it's not aboutavoiding them, but it's just about creating the distinction, and so whenyou want to break into a new market, I think really in lines. Woot Jason said,like you approach it like you're, starting a new business so like how dowe all start new business? We start with our network, we sell to our momsand our uncles and friends of friends so like what ar inside of our company,you kno. What are those folks that are close to us that we can go sell toimprove the case, and then we take those early examples and we take themto a really specific part of the market. So we sold a bunch of dentists office.Well, now we're going to go to Houston and sell Houston is in e dentist office,because we've got a story to tell there and then, by the time, we've done thatnow, we' converted a DCP into an ICP because we've closed deals, we'veproven the value and we can go take it to the market. But I think it comesback to you shit, a great story. You know early in your careeer BDR and weekto week. Your prospecting randomly...

...maybe is too harsh, but all of thesedifferent businesses and it comes back to placing bets and when we're notintentional, about how we attack an ICP or DCP and we're just reactive. It'slike going to the blackceck table and just putting everything down on. YouKnow Red Twelve. It's like maybe you'll get lucky, but maybe you won't andthat's no way to run a business. That's no way to run a business developmentteam yeah. I like that. I'm I'm a red twentythree guy myself. I almost calldall right. So I love it. I love it. This issuch an interesting topic, lots of great insight, but I feel like I'd, bedoing that both of you a disservice. If I didn't Broa this a little bit, weboth have had incredible careers. Incredibly, smart people SAR going tokeep the next couple questions just intentionally broad because I'm justgoing to try and tease out as much of your wisdom as possible and Jason AlI'll start with you. So for ITI'LL BE A two part question. So for theindividual contributors listening, you know, tha the bdrs, maybe junior Aes,what some advice you would give them and then for the leaders out there,what some advice that you would like to impart on on people? Yeah! No, that's agreat question! I think advice for upcoming. You know people in Du Stry.You know medirs scrs is you know. One of the most important skill sets tolearn is to understand your company's trends and how that industry is vollingover time. So I think, knowing how to leverage your data and tell that story,we using data is something that I think you can apply. I always, then that's mynumber one thing. Every time I on boarder BDR is you know you got to go,take a sales force, recorting class or whatever crm you're using. Is it'sgoing to benefit you for whatever role...

...you go into like unknowing? How to dodata analysis nowadays, I feel like it's a requirement honestly. So that'shonestly, my biggest thing that any time someone gets on board, I would sayhundred percent. Do that frand message to any other executives. Is You knowlet your bdrs and s her s, take more risks. That's something I really wantto push is. I want my bears to fail and live from them mistakes, because that'show they're going to grow and learn and when we challenge them to take a chance.That's your team is going to grow and you're going to when you learn how toinvest. In your team and have them really focus on Hav this growth mindset,rather than always focus on the numbers, my opinion, the numbers will comenaturally, in my opinion, as you focus on their growth instead of just gettingat the school wee gon at this goal, I think the goals will come over time. SoI think just that mindset I think nowadays, I think it's a betterapproach, I think, to getting SRS and Ideos to to feel more included and feel likethey are in a better work, culture personally excellent advice and the the good thingabout the first one. The the data analysis is it's getting easier andeasier to do that, and that trend is going to continue. It's getting easierand easier to do everything you know new no code, APPS are popping up.You've got camva instead of powerpoint there's. You know you don't actuallyexcel. I still like, finally enough, like the goat software, but there's allthese there's all these sort of things that make that announceus a lot a loteasier. So one thing I wanted to the take more risks is hugeright because you benefit off of especially at the entry level position.They take risks and if they fail, it's not a huge impact on the business, butif they win it outweighs the impact at big time right, because theycan. You could repeat that it could...

...become a new process. I, like thatgreat grade advice, all right, Tan't question, O your TJ one, four ics thatare listening and one for leaders that are listening yeah. Absolutely so Iwould say all of this talk on ICP and intentionality and using data is like Idon't think, there's many people that will disagree in theory. It all comesdown to practice and how we execute, and so for the ices out there thatmaybe don't have the luxury of a hering to these things. You know theyre theirthings being thrown at them. You know I would encourage them to likefind ways create small ways for you to test find small ways to explore. So younow, I think, kind of running with Jason's idea, like you know, if you'rebeing dictated and ICP, that is no longer productive, an you carve out tenpercent of your day, ten percent of your prospect universe, to go afteryour new theory, and I think the only advice there's just be scientific aboutit. So we incorporate you know what Jason said about the data analysis sothat you've got a story to tell, and this is different, different type ofstorytiime. We come back to that. You've got to be able to prove thevalue, prove your case Bun. I encourage I seese to not wait on leadership to dothat for them, but be invite themselves into the room by proving it out andthen, for you know, for the leadership I would come back to. How are you getting your truest information on this?So some of this is always going to come from data, but I think a big piece tois I the reason that icpb comes misalined is because it has to actuallyinclude like strategic input and tactical input. You've got to have likethe data on. What's actually happening and you've got to have mer term or realtime data from folks in the field sales people SDRs CSMS, to give you feedbackin the short term, you can't wait for the annual planning meeting, and so Iwould really encourage leaders to expedite that feedback loop outside offormal reporting to try to get a quick pusoon either how new markets areemerging, how old standard customers...

...are no longer current or valid andmaking sure that they're getting both sides of that strategic and tacticalequation so that they can correctly lead when it comes to how thebusinesses run and what bets or me beautiful? Well, I think that's aperfect way to wrap it up and I feel like the red thread through all of thisis wherever you're at in your career. Try and get more data driven, less lessjust instincts, feel and got you know we're definitely turning into more ofscience than an art. Of course, there's always going to be that art compoment.That is the storytelling which we talked about, but if you could Gom bythat with the correct datayou're going to become unstoppable. Gentlemen, thishas been a lot of fun. Thank you about your an incredible wealth of knowledge.You'll have to have you vote back again to wrestle with another topic, becauseI know you guys are thinking about this stefp all the time, but Jason Dj. Thankyou so much hers, a Plu Avin, a Scottt, a player Oxov and for all thoselisteners. Thank you for rocking with us, Senex Tim. This was another episode of the SalesEngagement F podcast to help this get in front of more eyes and ears. Pleaseleave us a shining five star review join us at sales engagementcom for newepisodes. Resources in the book on sales engagement to get the most out ofyour sales engagement strategy, make sure to check out outreached tio. Theleading sales engagement platform, see you on the next episode.

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