8 to 2,500 Employees at MongoDB | Meghan Gill

8 to 2,500 Employees at MongoDB

with Meghan Gill

 

About this episode:

This is a show all about getting attention online. Whether it is for you personally or for your company, each week we delve into how to get attention, how to keep attention, and how to make money from attention.

On this episode I speak with Meghan Gill, who was employee #8 at MongoDB and has served in various marketing and sales roles for the last 11 years, as MongoDB has grown to over 2,500 employees. We talk about sales and marketing tactics you can use at any stage of a company.

‘May I Have Your Attention…’ is brought to you by Captivate.ai, which turns your webinar or podcast into three months of social media content. Find out more at Captivate.ai

About today’s guest:

Meghan Gill is the VP of Sales Operations & Sales Development at MongoDB, where she was Employee #8 and the first GTM hire at MongoDB, a company with over 2,500 employees now. She is an advisor and board member to multiple companies, including HackNY.org, Concord Systems and Honeycomb.io. In her 11+ years at MongoDB she has held positions in both marketing and sales operations.

Selected resources:

Selected quotes

  • It is so important to network, and to sometimes take a leap of faith on a role or on a company that you may not have heard of, or may not know about.

  • Focus on the title, not the role. If you’re at an amazing company, and a company that’s growing fast, there will always be opportunities.

  • Part of the process is experimenting and pivoting. I have a lot of respect for people who go big and try something out of the box, because that takes a lot of courage.

  • Everybody’s really focused on driving lots of content to drive interest in your product, which can lead to an ocean of really low-quality content. Quality over quantity is important.

  • Every marketer wants to be more analytical, that’s the future of marketing.

  • Think about what your audience wants to learn and what they want to be an expert in.

  • There is an element of authenticity you have to take into consideration when taking a provocative approach to stand out, you have to be authentic to your culture.

Transcript:

Justin Nassiri  00:06

Okay, well joining me today in New York, my guest is Megan Gill. Megan, welcome to May I have your attention.

 

Meghan Gill  00:15

Thanks for having me.

 

Justin Nassiri  00:17

I want to give listeners a or audience a very brief bio. So Megan is the VP of Sales operations and sales development at MongoDB, where she was employee number eight, and the first go to market hire at MongoDB, a company which now has over 2500 employees, according to LinkedIn, she is an advisor and board member to multiple companies, including hack new york.org, Concord systems and honeycomb.io. In her 11 plus years at MongoDB, she has held positions in both marketing and sales operations. And so Megan, first of all, you know, I’m familiar with MongoDB. I feel like most people are but just in case people aren’t familiar with the company, could you share a little bit more just to kind of set the stage for some of our discussion?

 

Meghan Gill  01:03

Yeah, for sure. So we are a technology company. And our core audience, or persona is a software developer. So if you think of every application that’s built, has building blocks, and one of the most important building blocks is the database, which stores your data. So MongoDB is a modern database that’s easy for developers to work with.

 

Justin Nassiri  01:26

That’s great. That’s great. And so one of the first things that came to mind for me is jumping back to 2009. You know, being the eighth team member to join, what, what caused you to take what I’m guessing seemed like a big risk of joining this, like unknown early stage startup? Yeah, I

 

Meghan Gill  01:50

do feel like I’m living the startup fairytale. Because when I joined over 11 years ago, I would have never imagined that MongoDB would end up being such a rocket ship, I was really keen on having a more entrepreneurial experience. And this seemed like an amazing opportunity to learn and be part of many different aspects of an early stage business. And, you know, the success of MongoDB is let me try out and do lots of different things over time. So it’s kept it really interesting. And it’s kept me at the company for for over a decade.

 

Justin Nassiri  02:25

And I’m guessing that your life since joining like you said, your ideal customer persona, are these software developers. Was that part of your life at the time? Like, did you know that community of people? Or is that something that you had to learn?

 

Meghan Gill  02:40

It’s funny, you asked that, because so when I. So my story of how I ended up at MongoDB, was, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do, I wanted to join something early stage and learn a bunch. And so I spoke with a friend of mine, who I went to college with, and he had founded MongoDB. And I really just was legitimately looking for career advice and direction. He said, Well, why don’t you join MongoDB and I was like, I don’t understand what this technology is. I’m not a software developer, you speak out, you’re smart, you’ll figure it out. So, you know, I often use it as an example people ask for career advice, you know, to how important it is to, to network into sometimes, you know, take, take a leap of faith on on a role or in a company that you may not may not have heard of, or may not know about.

 

Justin Nassiri  03:31

It’s like that it makes me think of that old adage, it’s like, you know, they say with fundraising, when you’re looking for money, ask for advice, when you’re looking for advice, ask for money, and you You are not looking for a job, you were legitimately looking for advice, and it led to what’s what’s been a really career defining job transition for you.

 

Meghan Gill  03:48

Yeah, for sure. And that that kind of, it’s actually happened, I think, you know, when I think about, you know, staying at MongoDB, as long as I’ve had I have like, I think you there’s no way to continue staying at a company this long through this trajectory, unless you’re trying to think ahead. And I was actually listening to a presentation or a webinar on, on career planning and like, what it means to be at different levels of your career. And one of the things that the author was saying is how the, the, the more senior you are, the more you have to be thinking about the organization and thinking about how did she put it now I’m like, blanking on how she, how she said it, but you need to be thinking, thinking about how to evolve your function on an app within the industry and on a competitive scale. So I try to spend as much time as I can, getting advice, doing conversations like this, like I’m sure I’m going to learn a bunch of things in this conversation, which is one of the reasons that I like to to to Do these types of obsessions?

 

Justin Nassiri  05:03

I think that’s great, because it’s this sense of constant nonstop evolution, like always learning growing, be exposed to new things. Because that’s one of the things that stood out to me from your story is that like, at least my context, like staying at the same company for 11 years. And and I imagine for you, that’s like, almost been like being part of 10 different organizations, because I’m guessing that from eight to 50 employees was one company and 51 to 100 was another like all of these lifetimes. It’s it’s pretty rare. And I’m, I’m curious, since you brought that up. Any advice you have around career progression, like what has made that possible for you to stay and to grow and continue to evolve as you’ve been part of an organization that has just been like a rocket ship?

 

Meghan Gill  05:53

Well, I think one of the best pieces of career advice came from Sheryl Sandberg lean in where she talked about? Well, there were two things that stood out to me about that book. And one was it her advice to really focus on the company and not the title or the role? Because if you’re at an amazing company, and a company that’s growing fast, there will always be opportunities. So when people ask, How do I, you know, enter the technology or startup scene, like, what kind of jobs should I be looking for, I’m like, who cares about the title get into like the just look for like the top of most amazing, fastest growing companies and target those, find your way into those. And then the second thing that she talked about that I think is also relevant for me is to think of your career more as the jungle gym versus a ladder. And I think career development, you know, there’s sort of the traditional, like, stay in a company move up, move up in a certain role or function. And what’s been really fun about being at MongoDB is, you know, I had spent a long stretch in marketing, and I really wasn’t sure that I wasn’t sure what my next step would be. And I had the opportunity to make a lateral move and take over the sales operations. org, which has been a ton of fun. So now I feel like I’m much more well rounded, because I came from marketing. Now I know sales operations. And then, you know, about five, six months ago, I also got to take on sales development under my umbrella. So now I feel like taking on you know, it started with a lateral now it’s been like a, you know, an expanded role, which has been really fun.

 

Justin Nassiri  07:29

Claire Hunsaker, who referred me to you was, it was interesting from her story, because she had, you know, dabbled in sales. And she felt like that made her much more empathetic as a marketer, because she realized, the ammunition that helps salespeople and that objections that she could anticipate from a marketing standpoint. So it’s interesting to think of you doing almost a role reversal there of starting in marketing, going to sales, and then now overseeing sales development. And I’m wondering how that progression is maybe shifted your view about sales, or maybe in retrospect, shifted your view about marketing?

 

Meghan Gill  08:06

Yeah, that’s, that’s a, that’s a really good question. And I it has made me more empathetic to marketing. So I think, but I also feel like I have a more holistic view. So running the the inbound sales development organization, for example. You know, I spent a lot of time thinking about, you know, it’s so important that we optimize our processes to drive return on investment, because I know that this is how we’re going to get more marketing investment, like I understand, like the mindset of marketing, one of the really interesting pilots that we’ve been running within sales has been to specialize our inbound organization. So we actually started to split out the teams based on the type of leads that were coming in. And this is a really great example of like, you know, sales and marketing working together. So we have one team that’s focused on what we call hand raisers. So people who are on our chat on our website on chat, who are dialing our phone number on the website, we’re answering contact us forms and their focus and their motion is all about speed to lead. That’s all they think about right? And they actually have a much higher target.

 

Justin Nassiri  09:23

Because first thing is that that’s because the person’s interested so it’s like you got to strike while the iron is hot you just as quickly as possible, while while they’re in that headspace, that’s, that’s interesting.

 

Meghan Gill  09:33

Exactly. And what we found was when we were giving them both what we call the knowledge seekers, which are the people that are a little further up funnel, attending webinars, looking at content, looking at white papers, things like that. They it was so easy to get distracted by the the hand raisers. Right? So we said let’s separate them so now we have a team of knowledge seekers and they they get a higher volume of leads, right because they’re further up the funnel, but it’s much more of a I guess methodical type of approach. It’s a very different mindset to be in. And so one of the conversations we’ve been having a lot is like, How much time do we how do we think about balancing the two? Because I know I can get more out of a hand raiser. But at what point do we get diminishing returns? Right? Because there’s only so many people that are at the very bottom of the funnel. So like, that’s like an example of like, one of the, the phones sort of sales and marketing initiatives I’ve been working on.

 

Justin Nassiri  10:27

It’s, it’s, it’s crazy to hear that because from my vantage point, having been in so many early stage startups, it feels like, at least for me, I’m always fixate, it’s like the fixated on the next meal. So it’s like always looking at the very bottom of the funnel, because you’re like, you’re just you don’t have a lot of extra resources, and you’re just looking for those people. But I’m appreciating the maturity of like, realizing there needs to be some counterbalance of constantly investing in the people in in tomorrow’s hand raisers who aren’t there yet. And it just makes me realize how much I’m just exclusively focused on like, Who’s ready? Who’s ready to make a deal right now, rather than like building those relationships, and investing in that knowledge and building that more broader awareness?

 

Meghan Gill  11:11

Yeah, and these are the kinds of questions we were having conversations we’re starting to have now, which is, you know, should we focus on all? Should we focus more of marketing on generating more hand raisers? Obviously, we want to do that right. But like, you know, what is the right mix? Like, should we have mostly handed razor wraps or mostly, knowledge seeker reps? Were? What’s the right sort of balance in terms between like the short term and the longer term approach?

 

Justin Nassiri  11:37

How much of it is, you know, how much of it is deliberate? Like, we’ll take someone who’s kind of familiar, and we’ll teach them this, then this, then this, like, how much is laying out the steps are like laying the breadcrumbs for someone to eventually become a customer? versus just, we’re just going to create great content, we’re going to answer questions and good things will follow like I imagine it’s a blend of those two, but in my mind, sometimes it feels like two very different approaches.

 

Meghan Gill  12:07

Yeah, it’s a good question. And the other, the other sort of subset of interests that we get, is people who were actually using our freemium product. And we’re actually, you know, we have a whole self service channel. And when you when you bring up this question, like another question that I’m thinking about, and this is also where I feel like I having had, you know, a foot in marketing and a foot in sales helps me is, I’m thinking like, well, there’s a certain subset of customers that we probably don’t want any salespeople to talk to, because they can self serve. And that’s a lower cost of acquisition. And that’s the better, that’s the experience that they want. And trying to figure out like, who can be nurtured 100%? By not marketing? Who’s going to be nurtured and and assist sales assisted you can consider by more junior salesperson, and then who actually needs that more sophisticated seller that’s going to do this retreat, outbound multistakeholder sale? Like those kinds of segmentation questions are the things that we’re, you know, at MongoDB set a scale that we think about,

 

Justin Nassiri  13:08

when you when you think of questions like that? And I’m, I’m kind of curious what your answer is today versus when you first started in 2009 employees? Like, how much of it is your gut feel? Maybe maybe just kind of like qualitative? While we talked to a few people, this is our sense versus like, we have absolute confidence based on all of these numbers and metrics, like what would you say for today, versus versus back in? 2009?

 

Meghan Gill  13:41

I mean, you never have 100% confidence, right? You have data and indications, but it’s definitely different world from 2009. You know, in 2009, it was all anecdotal. You know, I would run an event, an in person event, which feels like, you know, 100 years ago that we did those. And I would be asking people, like, in person, what kinds of topics were interesting to them, or just counting like, this is how many people are in the room and how engaged they are in this topic to figure out like, those are the pieces of content that we’re going to go put online or distribute more broadly. And then over time, you know, we were able to collect a lot more data, who’s visiting what parts of the website which topics are more engaging? And then think about how do we repurpose content, which, you know, I wish I had a tool like captivate at the time because that’s a challenge. I was always trying to, to figure out. It’s like, how do you take great content and turn it into multiple different different formats? I one of the core pieces of advice I give to people who are early stage in marketing, as soon as you can start collecting data, whatever you can collect, it’s so important. And you you also have to think ahead, like what data might be useful in the future, which is kind of A hard headspace to get into especially, you know, being in the place where you’re always thinking about like the next deal I need to live to fight the next battle. But having a little bit of thought about what the next stage will look like, can be incredibly useful. And I know there are points in time, where, you know, we didn’t collect data, we made a decision, for example, to drastically shorten the webform on our cloud service signup form. So we took took everything out, except for like, name and email. And we’re like, yeah, we’re gonna get tons more top of funnel. But then downstream, it was like such a such a mess from a data standpoint, in terms of making sure we had the right people following up from a sales perspective, and that they were getting nurtured correctly. So you know, having a little bit of foresight can go a long way.

 

Justin Nassiri  15:53

I imagine that, I mean, is that been your experience, where it’s kind of you take one action, and then you realize, like, it’s kind of like this zigzagging of contracting. And like, in that case, with with leads, I can imagine that it’s like, you have a long form, and then you switch to a short form and you realize, and you go to something in the middle? is, is, is that been your experience of kind of like experimentation leads to insights that I guess what I’m trying to ask is like, was there a faster, more efficient way to get there? Or do you feel like it is part of the process, if you have to experiment, fail pivot in that that is what the process looks like.

 

Meghan Gill  16:35

I think part of the process is experimenting and pivoting. And I have a lot of respect for people who go big and try try something really out of the box, even if it fails, because that takes a lot of courage. But on some of these topics, a lot of it has to do with your overall go to market your overall strategy. So to give you a tangible example, so MongoDB is targeted at developers, and we want it to be a really frictionless process. So for as long as I’ve been at MongoDB, downloading MongoDB, the open source free version, there’s no gate in front of it, you don’t have to give us your contact information. It’s like completely frictionless. And so we made a strategic decision to optimize for that persona for what they expected to make MongoDB ubiquitous. And we have sort of accepted that the result is for go to market functions, we actually don’t know every single person who’s downloaded the product. There’s some people were using it in production, we’re not even aware of it. And we have to go look for other signals to discover those people. But that’s a conscious decision that we made.

 

Justin Nassiri  17:45

That that’s that’s I mean, it’s, it’s crazy for me to think of that because it seems like it’s so valuable to know who’s exposed to your product and who’s doing it. But it seems like the thesis there was that just make it an easy experience for them to start and the product speaks for itself. And they’ll they’ll kind of continue to deepen if it’s a good fit. So like, you’re really putting the onus on them, that they’re the right fit, and then they’ll kind of raise their hand at some point or progress down until like a paying customer.

 

Meghan Gill  18:14

Yeah, and, you know, this is 11 years ago. So you know, we started with a, you know, open source downloaded product, you know, since we’ve had launched Atlas, which is our cloud product. Now we tend to push people through to the, the Atlas product as their first experience for free trial. So we do learn about them, and we’re able to nurture them and give them information and content. But it’s true. And this is actually creates a pretty interesting challenge from a data standpoint for sales and sales operations around how do we focus the reps? So like, which accounts have the highest propensity? which accounts have been the most engaged? So not only are we looking at signals from our from marketing, like who’s engaged with the product, who’s downloaded content, who’s attending events, we also look at, and we have built a bunch of automation to pull this data, who’s got MongoDB, or no SQL listed as a job on their, on their website? Who had who’s hiring developers? How, what’s the ratio of developers to the overall number of employees in the company because companies that have invested in a large in house development staff are going to be good prospects, who has MongoDB skills on their LinkedIn profile, like these are all like data points we use to sort of triangulate the most like the highest potential or highest propensity accounts. And the reason we spent so much time you know, thinking about this is like databases is $70 billion market so and we have something like 400 reps, there’s no way we’re like, we have the champagne problem. It’s a huge market. So we have to prioritize really well. My kids are outside the door. Not sure what’s going on right now.

 

Justin Nassiri  19:56

I’ve already had to two break ins for my two year old today. So you’re in good company. One of the things I wanted to ask about is that you started as Senior Director of Marketing back in 2009. And I’m curious, like reflecting on that period of time, what what tactics did you use? or How did you get noticed? I feel like at that stage of the company, it’s really where you’re waving your hands, and really trying people to take notice, which is dramatically different than the problem you have now with 400 reps. And it’s a completely different ballgame. So what was what were some of the things that you you tried in those early days?

 

Meghan Gill  20:35

So one thing I think we did well was, and again, this is a piece of advice I give to early stage companies is, you know, we really focused on our core audience of software developers, and we’re going to meet them where they are. And in many cases, that was developer meetups and community forums and social media. And we didn’t try to go build a white paper, a downloadable white paper for a software developer audience, but that’s not really how they want to experience and learn, you know, learn learn things, we spend a lot of time thinking about, you know, what, what is interesting to a software developer, like, what motivates them, what’s going to help them advance their career, and building a lot of educational materials, like, for example, we have an online like a free online education portal called MongoDB. University, we’ve had over a million people sign up for MongoDB, university class to learn MongoDB. And it’s like an education, Master marketing, master’s education, but it’s really one in the same. So if you could provide that kind of content with that has real value. That was like a very effective way for us to, to build interest and build an audience.

 

Justin Nassiri  21:52

I mean, it’s so clear the the amount of empathy that requires and I know, it may be overused, but I like I’d heard someone once say, it’s like, the golden rule is Do unto others as you would have them do to you. But the Platinum rule is Do unto others as they would have you do unto them. And it’s like, that sense of like, yeah, you may want a white paper, but realizing this is who I’m serving, this is where they’re at. This is how they’re consuming information. This is what they’re wanting. So you’re going to where they are, you’re getting to know them, and I appreciate you, I’m imagining that as you are spending more time with them, you’re understanding more their pain points, what their needs are. So I am appreciating the the level of alignment of just constantly learning, interacting and being around around this, this very specific group that you are going after.

 

Meghan Gill  22:39

Yeah, for sure. I mean, I haven’t heard the the Platinum rule, but it makes sense. And, you know, it’s interesting, because, you know, before we started recording, I was like, wow, I haven’t heard of this tool captivate, but it’s like, exactly the kind of thing I would want and then your your, it’s very effective for you to be dogfooding for an audience like me and bringing people like Claire and and others who can share valuable insights using your own platform. So I think it seems that you’re you’re taking a similar approach.

 

Justin Nassiri  23:12

It’s, you know, it’s interesting on that, I think it was a recent discovery for me where I love to read, I love to listen to podcasts. But as I thought of like the biggest insights I’ve learned in the last 10 years, it’s almost always come from a conversation where I was just talking to someone with no agenda. And that just either sparked an idea for me, I learned some sort of insight. And so transitioning to this format has been almost like playing to what works best for me to learn where I’m like, I know I need to be always learning about always learning about marketing, and all of these things. But I just know for myself, if it’s a book to read or an article to read, or if I set aside time each week, try and read is not going to happen. But if I block off time to have a conversation with them, I’m guaranteed to learn. So it’s it’s very self serving, but I appreciate your your thoughts on that. What about I’ve got a I’ve got a heavy duty right now. So one thing I was wondering about is, you know, now, now that you are on the other side, where you’re a larger company, you’re more well known. What advice do you have? Because I imagine you see so many smaller companies in your space, and they’re trying to sell to you and all these other things. What advice do you have for smaller companies that are trying to slice through the noise, either to get noticed by customers or by partners or investors? Like anything come to mind on that?

 

Meghan Gill  24:44

Yeah. So you know, I, especially now in a world, we’re all working remotely, I think everybody’s really focused on taking you know, the HubSpot model driving lots and lots of content to drive interest in, in in your product which I think makes sense but I think the result of people sort of learning about that sort of HubSpot inbound model is that there tends to be sort of an ocean of really low quality content. So it may sound obvious, but focusing on, on quality over quantity, I think is really important. Because in my experience in marketing, it’s really a you know, it’s like a power law, right, your, the pieces that will really hit will be far more successful and bringing in traffic. So I’d rather have, you know, three of those, then 30 that bring in very little, and sort of more specifically, just thinking of some some examples, like I mentioned, I’m going to be University, so thinking about what your audience wants to learn and what they want to be expert in. So marketing University isn’t one example. But I also think about segment, they launched analytics Academy. So every marketer wants to be more analytical, that’s the future of marketing. So building an analytics Academy to teach marketers about analytics is like an absolutely brilliant way to reach that audience. Another approach is to think about data, everyone loves data. So you know, think about MailChimp every I don’t know how often every year they release a report using their own data about email marketing, what subject lines work, what’s the best time to send an email again, it’s like the data that your exact audience wants. StackOverflow is another example. They do an annual survey of 10s of 1000s of developers, and they publish a super detailed report about what are the most popular programming languages? You know, what are the tools that developers want to learn, you know, salaries, all of that kind of stuff. So I would say go deep use data. And then another way is, I think, is to sort of slice the noises to be bold or be controversial. So you mentioned I’m an adviser to honeycomb and the founder, charity majors, she’s often on the front page of Hacker News or getting retweeted for something, something bold that she said, but because she’s sort of provocative it, it captures people’s attention. And, you know, another example I think of is the company buffer. So the social media scheduling tool, right? They have this, this very sort of open transparent culture that they write about a lot like they publish everybody salaries online, and it just has caused like a lot of, you know, doing something kind of totally different and writing about it has also brought a lot of people and to their brand and exposed more people to to what they do. So where was I go deep data be bold or controversial. And then lastly, I would say give away something for free. So whether it’s a free trial, again, going back to the HubSpot example, they have like a SEO analyzer on your site. They’re like, you know, analyze your site for SEO, that’s a huge, like, lead gen concept. So is there something some expertise you can give away for free? Like, those are different ways I would advise trying to cut through the noise.

 

Justin Nassiri  28:14

I know those are so great, and so tangible. I mean, makes me think, you know, this is dated as well, but it was okay Cupid with, I think their founder was Sam Yagan, who was like the first one that I can remember where they published data about online dating profiles. And it was things like, you know, men should be looking at the camera for their profile photos, but women should be looking away, or maybe it’s vice versa, something like that. But I just remember at the time, it was like, wow, this is like really, really interesting information. And they’re just using data from their platform, which is a great way to reinforce their value. And I also like the thought of of that, that free thing of like adding value for free to them. And I’m blanking on one of the other ones that you said, that just really resonated, but I just appreciate that that tactical, tactical nature of those. And I think those are the provocative one. I think that that’s so interesting, because, you know, again, this is just my own hang ups. It’s like there’s so much there can be so much fear about saying the wrong same thing or doing the wrong thing or failing publicly. There’s so much scrutiny given to things but I think that you’re right, that when people take a big stand, and they either own who they are, they own their culture, or they do something, you notice that it’s refreshing to see people willing to take those big steps and you notice those provocative gestures that really they’re antithetical to everything else going on. So it really stands out in your mind.

 

Meghan Gill  29:49

And a lot of these things you do have to be authentic to yourself in your culture, right, like not everybody is provocative by nature, so that might not work for you. Uh, you know, maybe that wouldn’t work for like a security product, I don’t know, something, you know, in with a an audience, that’s maybe a little bit more on the conservative side. So there is like an element of, of authenticity, you have to take into consideration. But I do think that there are ways to, to, to stand out.

 

Justin Nassiri  30:23

And and you mentioned analytics, I’m kind of curious, has that changed over time for you? Like, I imagine over time you’ve had access to more analytics? Does it change the way that you approach sales? strategy marketing? You know, how do you factor in data to also the over decade experience you have, and I’m guessing a pretty strong gut feel for the right way to do things?

 

Meghan Gill  30:52

Yeah, I mean, we’re at a scale where, you know, we, we, we have to look at data before making decisions, like it would just be irresponsible, irresponsible not to and sales strategy is, is is all about looking at data. Where do we hire reps? What regions? Should we put them in? Where are they most productive? How do we think about sales? incentives? What will drive what will drive the right behaviors? You know, we talked about territory, analytics, all the different data points that we look at, to decide which accounts we’re going to prospect into. And these are, like, all things that we’re looking at all the time. And, and then, you know, lastly, like, which accounts should we call it? All right. So that’s, that’s the whole other thing, you know, we have, we have three core channels, right, we have our self serve channel, we have a high velocity inside sales channels, they’re in hubs closing over the phone, and then we have your traditional enterprise Field Sales, which are in non COVID times, you know, in the geography of the customer, like your reps in Chicago are selling to customers in Chicago reps in Italy, selling to customers in Italy, and, and typically to large enterprises. So, you know, figuring out those, which accounts should go into which segment and how we should engage with them is a big part of what sales strategy the sales strategy team is doing.

 

Justin Nassiri  32:14

It really underscores the value of what you said earlier, which is at an early stage, think about the data that you’re going to want like you really, amidst everything you have to do you need to be planning ahead, because it’s clear how vital that that data is. And I’m guessing that data is only available because some time before people were smart enough to anticipate what information would be valuable in decision making. And I think that that’s great, because it applies to every stage of growth for a company of always thinking ahead and anticipating what information will be helpful in guiding the next decisions.

 

Meghan Gill  32:49

Yeah, for sure. And you know, now what, because we’re at a scale, I think, the scale that we’re at, you know, a lot of what we’ve been our approach has been thinking about how do we pilot things versus, you know, we’re not going to like, you know, we don’t want to break, fix something that’s not broken. But how do we optimize it? So I gave the example of like, the SDR, SDR specialization, I started as a pilot. So let’s see if we can get better productivity by specializing the teams. And that we learned a ton. And, you know, we’re continuing to iterate on that. And there are other areas where we’re, we’re running pilots to think about different incentives or different portfolios or different ways to sort of approach customers.

 

Justin Nassiri  33:32

That’s great. I always like to ask you about any resources that have helped you, in your own career, that could be a book, podcast, website, conference, anything that you would recommend to to our audience that’s helped you.

 

Meghan Gill  33:49

Sure. So two of my favorite blogs on just general leadership and business are. So Patty as rlo she has a blog, and that was the one I was mentioning earlier, where she talked about being more strategic and thinking about what that means as you get more senior in an organization. The other one I love is David kelloggs. blog, Kal blog. And he’s he’s been a CMO. He’s been a CEO, he’s got really good perspective on on sales and marketing. And, and then I the other one, I really love is open view, the the VC firm, they have amazing content on go to market, all things, all things go to market. So I subscribe to their newsletter, and they have great podcasts. So those are some of the resources that I look to. And then lastly is networking. Lots and lots of networking.

 

Justin Nassiri  34:45

That’s great. And for for our audience, we’ll add those to the show [email protected] slash podcast. Well, I know that we’re coming up on the end of our time, but I always like to make space at the end. And that could be one of two things, either Is there anything I didn’t ask about that you really want to make sure you share with people? Or is there just any final words of wisdom that you’d like to leave with everyone before we wrap up?

 

Meghan Gill  35:11

Um, final? Well, the one question I wasn’t prepared for the very open ended one.

 

Justin Nassiri  35:17

I always I started doing that, because I would always have these conversations and I’d think like, man, I really wish I could talk about this, but they never asked, so I’m just gonna let it go. And maybe that’s it maybe that’s overvalued my own wisdom. Maybe it wasn’t that insightful anyways, but I thought I want to make sure I never in case I didn’t have the question to uncover some golden nugget. I want to make sure doesn’t go overlooked.

 

Meghan Gill  35:38

I think you’ve extracted all my golden nuggets.

 

Justin Nassiri  35:42

I’ll take that as a compliment then.

 

Meghan Gill  35:45

Thank you so much for having me. It’s a lot of fun.

 

Justin Nassiri  35:47

Yeah, thank you. This has been great.

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