Growth Marketing Camp
Growth Marketing Camp

Episode 71 · 1 month ago

How To Establish and Measure Brand Trust with Vena Solutions’ Tamara Kitić Yarovoy

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

A common question many companies ask is how do you establish and measure strong brand trust. And what does it mean to create community?

Our newest Growth Marketing Camp guest, Tamara Kitić Yarovoy, the Director of Demand Generation at Vena Solutions, is here to answer these questions, and more.

Tamara sheds light on her most recent projects in 2022, the importance of aligning marketing and sales teams (as well as the CS, HR, and all other departments), and shares with our audience how she’s found success doing so.

Tamara has built tangible advantages for Vena Solutions directly attributed to her community building through the launch of Plan to Grow, a community for finance professionals.

She shares insights on how to get started, how she measures the ROI of community, and why the first task should be to get buy-in from leadership. We uncover the reasons behind Vena’s company-wide shift from MQL to the MQA approach, how she’s leading and supporting it, and how she’s aligning this transition with ABM. Check it out!

Welcome to Growth Marketing Camp podcast powered by Open Sense, where we sit down with leaders and founders from diverse backgrounds in marketing, tech and beyond to explore what it takes to build a leading brand that's shaving the world of B two B. Let's get into it, ladies and gentlemen. This is Bobby Nurange, co host of Growth Marketing Camp. I am super excited to be joined by tomorrow. You are boy Che, director of Demand Jen at Venna Tomorrow. Welcome to the show. I'm Bombay. Thank you for having me. Let's start with the basics. Tell me a little bit about what you're doing at Venna, tell us a little the audience, a little about Vena and the value that they're providing in the market. Yes, so venas a FP and a solution for finance professional s c P s UM like financial people, account people think that depends from the size I TA to some cases as well. So we are the only native excelf platform. Basically that really helps everyone's streamline the budget allocation, works with all the team members collectively and then helps like being more efficient, do all the cost analysis. What ifs that you know any I would say business coming into especially when we all want to be more efficient with possible recession on the line, or banks are saying twenty twenty three. So on my post, I see a huge demand for Venda the next year. But that's just what Venda does. As you mentioned, Yeah, I handle a few things that vendas, So the top few are that complement right aways, and we're growing a big community for for finance professionals plan to grow. So like growing learning, how we measure it, we how do we you know, make it a place where our customers and prospects skills safe to you know, just grow with us. Absolutely, But it also comes on the sales and marketing alignment, like educating sales you cannot fish out of respond and protecting. This all kinds of two years as an organization, we're transitioning from m QUEL to qualified accounts approach, going very narrow efficient focused as a team. And then in that aspect, I will be lining up a B M strategy um so that it was all kinds of starts and again lining when you line it up, sales and marketing alignment is one of the top things you can consider convention, so that's a secondary thing. And then third nurtured that actually does not exist, so I'm solving for it. There's all kinds of like steal. Theture for marketing is just like non existing. And again it's like how do we bridge together both teams that we have successful comps at what time frame is that executed? And what's the objective for the stream or susteed stream and all council good stuff. And I think that that should be starming enough for now. Those are my three top priorities right now, but they're lingering. Others like go to my kids obviously are bog motion um understanding user journey from start still end does are sound as well? That come Yeah, that's a phenomenal. That's a phenomenal place for us to start. I mean, I actually jotted notes down because I think there there's there's multiple avenues I think for us to explore there. Because you know, a theme that I've noticed in some of my interviews over the last couple of years is the focus on community and and really kind of serving as like a leader in in creating the community as a method of I don't know if that's a brand play or if there's a if there's a demand capture play. I think it's probably more brand But I've heard community come up more and more in the last year than than I had, frankly in the last decade. Why do...

...think that is? And what are the advantages that you're driving for your business by spearheading that? And I think you spoke to some the advantages for the community itself. But there's clearly a reason you're doing this. Yes, I think I don't know why this became a motion which made a lot of sense to me personally few years back. It's regarding like a position cost or cost of oppuisition to getting a new prospect versus by keeping your current customer well. Somehow in the last I don't know a few years, a lot of companies that are shifting into being more customer centering. That's what I am noticing, at least in trends um and then along with that, taking that approach of how do we serve them better, how do we keep them longer together? Yess, how do we grow with them? How do we scale with them? I think community is a place where you can allow for that to take place. Why as like companies are trying to be more customer centric, I think they started a need right work for that. Ye, like a mentional community has been a thing forever, like you share your braises by sales worthy no idea what initiated a long time ago? Then I have always take an example of due lingo versus is that the stone dueling like Childers community. So there's a lot of these things that put a decade ago. But right now I think maybe we're educating ourselves. Thinks sir. You know, companies are understanding more becoming customer centrics. But then emphasis became there and I think last thing I can think about is like sure think I bought B two be sas right now it's understanding churn, understand negative churn. One way to combat the churn is also community, because if you have your customers like emotionally evolved or your brand was invested for them to grow along, yes, trying to put them to churn. So there you god that that it might be a too to the district thing, But but I think that the point is is that you're you're kind of you're you're creating this place where the conversations can incur with connecting people who otherwise wouldn't connect, but their common ground is perhaps that they use your product or or have a need for your product. If you're sort of looking at this as a as a potential tactics to investigate as you look toe, I mean, is it as simple as spinning up a slack channel and inviting your customers into it? I mean, how do you think about sort of actually facilitating community, Like what does it mean to actually create community when you're actually action in something like that? That is a great question. I recently read a book which commence for anyone who stay, It's business of the Lunging here, Business of the belonging Um. They say, like the number one reason why communities failed to start with like you have to get everyone on board and have the clear objectives why we're doing this. You're never gonna see r y what Like yeah, that's like you know, let's just clear the objection objectition this. But like the reason why the family is like not having a proper resource. I think that's tricky because like if you cannot prendict the revenue coming out of this, how do you get for head count on your team to get it. I think that's a big challenge. I really think just to be wrong with ce all understanding really marketing and in Venice case, we're so fortunate with Hunter. Hunter speaks about the mean crazy um and Alison is obviously doing a tremendous job in communicating the direction division and why we are Allison is am sorry, I'm like, I still know everyone knows this. Yeah, of course right option. So we really we were able to get that because I I really everyone on our team exectively should team understood why we're doing this. But it's not as easy. There's a lot of love that needs to be invested into building yet nurturing again and a lot of handfolding.

At the beginning labor intensive, and then as as it grows, then it becomes it's on beast and easier to manage. But at the beginning it's very very tricky. Before we get to m Q and m q A, there's one thing I wanted to say, and one thing I wanted to ask. First. I wanted to say is that nat I Milani, she's VP of marketing at a company called Proposal Fy. She she made a point to me that said that any time you come in with some of these initiatives that perhaps don't have like a very obvious R O Y um, and you need to kind of get the buy in from executive leadership. Oftentimes it's valuable as a marketing leader to come in and deliver some wins that gave you a little bit of air cover to be able to ask for some of the investment that maybe doesn't have secular cut r O Y, which in your case maybe wasn't the case because Hunter, we all know, um it was a little bit more, a little bit more aligned with the idea behind demanded and understand did it? But I guess I wasn't gonna ask you about that, but I would say, like what is what are your thoughts on that? Number two is? Um, this is more of a tactical thing. Wouldn't you, as a demand gen director identify opportunities to create demand that aren't going to have the easy to measure r I outputs? How does someone sell you something like that? Like I guess, like, like, what do you need to be convinced of if it isn't going to be something that you can obviously measure before you make the investment? Letb okay, so two questions, Yeah you so I can go back, thank God, measuring the arroy of community well within vena we know like it takes up to an average patitric touches or somebody to consider Vena And if we can measure which we are doing, how is user journey being impacted if they are part of our community versus them not being community? Fast you close the deal? How easy is for them to understand? I call it in which store they are a k What Vena does? Then? Are still Steam is having a easier job because she established the trust they come on the call trusting us with a father instead of them coming on the call cluelest right and then steals having to build the relationship, build that trust that's missing and then dive into battle from yes, so this way if you have like this, so I think about it, like pointed in in a user journey measured in a way. Okay, there were parts this use a respont to plant atlantic prop community. What's the results? Okay, we'll not be missed in an area without And that's a strong business case to showcase you the impact the community have that smart good? Yeah. Second thing is okay, measurement you mentioned like how do you go about like selecting theologeting. Yesterday I was having some conversation, how do you measure trust in a brand? Okay, I'm trying to answer this question. They're having a resources with sending one. But this is something I'm trying, like, how do you allokay th resources to build a trusted brand because I don't have the R o I on it right like, but essentially, which is what I'm bringing backs on the point I mean earlier is like he also solved the problem for seals to have an easier way of selling because it marketing can build the trust. And we know so many big TWOB examples. You know that they did tremendous job. Then all they have to do who sales has to just do? And I'm sure how this will help you. That's openin point. Here's how we can solve it for you the fact train. Yes, and then if you transparently have by talk about this just aparently if you like share, like...

...ask me anything, like here's everything all our customers have shared, like how easy implements end up, how fast we can get you up and running, like just to move this kind of like issues that people have to make in the steam. But then again, how do you measure trust a brand? Yeah? How do you google the investing We're getting new hit counts to solve for that. Yeah, well it sounds it sounds like, you know, one of the key things you keep coming back to is like removing some of the like responsibilities from the salesperson. So ultimately win rates should go up, cycle should go down. I mean, ultimately this should all be I guess that's what it all comes down to. Like, I think the way that you you described it is what does selling look like without this investment and what does it look like with this investment? Across the met like the key metrics and in selling it it seems like that's the downstream UM component there. This is awesome and I'm sure again we could spend the entire versation discussing community because again I think it is probably the number one trend I'm observing in demand gen in in in in marketing across A B two B, particularly software B two B. Those are the conversations I tend to be having. UM, I want to get into m Q versus m Q A and and this sort of aligns with your A B M strategy. And really my question around this is is a little bit more tactical in nature, and so this is gonna probably showcase my lack of clear understanding of demand gen. However, a marketing qualified account Okay, so let me tell you what this means to me, and you tell me like where I'm totally wrong or like we're we're and then fill in the gaps. But basically, you know, you mentioned a number of touches required before someone is ready to is it closed or to get into into cycle or whatever the case might be. I imagine there may be a similar kind of approach when it comes to an m q A and again, tell me I'm wrong there as well. Number two, though, is tactically speaking, what do you do when you have an m Q way? Do you reach out to everyone who's an I c P in that MQ way to to try to establish contact? Like what are you actually doing when you get the insight that hey, this account is warmed up and ready to go, how do you then harvest that as a marketer, as a SDR, as a salesperson? What are you actually doing to take advantage of that work? Because I imagine it's like you can definitely target very granularly and you can measure what are you doing tactically to harvest when you see and when you actually get an account to that point. All right, Well, I'll start with we are in a very infant stages of this process and I well, within a year I can give you a bit better answer. I'm just seven months in ATVENA and three years some months ago this has been initiated and he has about to do with just that go to my kid strategy because at the very infant stages you have, you're trying to do a product markets fit, right, you don't really know your SCP. Then you know your s c P and you kind of know your market. That's like an m quel approach, and then you finalize it with empty approach and like really going like almost kind of like scaling innocense where you you're becoming a platform because there are more than one team and exactly interest. So it does have to do with g TM to start with and got M when it comes to how do you go about this? To begin with again, efficiency is a think heybor three yea. Luckily for when a where in a very wide place to transition this way, so you're standing your marketing spend and focuses against the keyword again efficiency pocus because now is a marketing team we are really efficient in accounts. We are warming up and...

...targeting. It's like a list between the revenue teams that it's being shared, amounts accounts that we have at that disposal, and that's it and keeps everyone very brave bous, which is great. That efficient, we're spending you know, dollars where it should be, and we're bringing the buyers in that can we can really sell to right the tonology and all count of other stuff. Um actedly speaking, you asked great questions, Well, how do you then align your marketing and sales team to people at this effectively? This is something that I'm currently evaluated in extaining how many resources we currently have, how many resources will have in twenty twenty three accounts right now, and just getting on the bottom were like, okay, there's an account list, but I just went back to my office and then, god, this is too broad. I need to understand industry market I need I need to understand Okay, how many personas are buyers with team? Have an average we have at on disposal? How much are we willing to pay per contact per account? Yes, to acquire them? All kinds of good is there, And then I'm basically the point where I'm dissecting this data and putting strategy in place for us to work together. Thankfully, again, as I mentioned, sales and marketing alignment falls into all of that. So I have to figure out the way for us, how do we effectively and simultaneously between marketing and sales take this approach forward. Absolutely, there will be overlapsed, there will be their cadences, us clauses. How is that gonna look like? I am still hiring the details? Understood? Understood? So I want to I want to pull on that thread a little bit and we might You know, you talked to your top three things earlier was community m q O over sent to a nurture. I want to put nurture to the side for a second. I want to focus the remainder of our time talking about sales and marketing alignment. And actually, in our pre recording conversation you actually you mentioned sales, customer success and marketing alignment. Um, because I'll ultimately see us plays a role and go to market as well. But what are some of the most common misalignments that you are aware of or have observed, and what are some of the low hanging fruit remedies that our audience can think about, if not execute upon today to create a better alignment between sales, marketing and potentially even see us. I can answer that run me like first answer question look hanging fruits. Okay, yeah, I think that I came across and I call this program meet sales acceleration literally in attempt to shorten the life cycle of a deal before lean into the life cycle deal and step into the sales side. One thing like you mentioned, yes, I first see revenue teams being marketing, sales and CS. That's how I see it's okay, and the best demand and teams do not stop in a quel. They're lead into all six stages of sales or how many stages depends on the business, but sixth per day on our shore. Then leaning into it. So as I came in, I started to have discussions and their sales team okay, tell me what to your pain point? And then one one answer that I got, I think everyone's tactically should really have first this conversation that you won't cover so much if you just feel this question. In my case, it's not watered. Previously, we were really struggling to shorten the sales cycle from so introducing a marketing program stages four through six like almost with closing and sent them as in your prospects as say like we don't give basket or a mushtle or something. Hey, we're soiling the tail and off um of causing the deal. I just want to really thank you for helping me out and being my champion a lata. So as a small gifts over appreciation here is I think from men, yes,...

...not what they're name it. So in that attempt, like typically if you identify, like what is the average time it takes for a deal to close because instantembize the prospect in a way or a future customer, you're like, they have no, It's kind of like a behavior ship, right, Like they owe you nothing, so now they have to follow up quickly go to get this contract out of the um of the cycle. That's one thing. So when I was posing these conversations with my sales team and Maltalter and Advanta identify different issues and they want to identify, then then we where you're bleeding. Basically, Yeah, you go back to drawing board and you figure out how can we help them out. THEVENA specifically, I had problems with the stage during stage four. In stage two, it's like x about of days it takes us to get out of stage two? How this better? How can marketing lin in stage wars? We have a little bit of a chip up in terms of a lot of customers at this point want to have reference calls. How do we stop stale facing customers to put them on a reference called So we have some ideas about like frequently ask questions. Maybe pull from all the videos we've you know published into off it into just answering these questions and it's kind of like a library of things like cool and ask them. I know you want to get on the gold customers. Well, this do to start with our marketing team pull this together in attempt to to you know, skit us up and imagine, I don't know what percentage will say yes, but if I don't also stuggering number of don't say you entering the process that like we already got over there, meaning the steal cycles shorter, right, hurdle up, We overcame it, and then well we minimize like this chasing of customers. Yeah, yeah, that's a settle. The tactical things that it's going back to trust. How can we be upfront more writhing about like ask me anything campaign? I think in BTC world, McDonald's did this interesting what I'm saying up front? Tell me as a business, how long it takes two onboard you? What are the hurdles that like, tell me everything up front so I don'tticipate any issues and I feel safe to make a decision to move forward with you. So transparency, right, that's asked me anything kind of deal. That's that's another tactical thing I can give away that people should consider. So that's phenomenal. Thank you for sharing some of those. I imagine some of those are our secrets, but no longer so but but no, I mean it makes a ton of sense. I mean, one example that is in one of our stages is a security review, and so this would typically involve first off, an exchange of an n d A, which adds days than an exchange of a packet of information related to our security and compliance program, follow ups to get the sign off from the key stakeholders, and then ultimately we can continue for the rest of the sale. And one of the things that we did, similar to what you're describing, is just create a security compliance um web page on our website that has the highlights as well as some of the key like uh publicly share herble insights. And we've had multiple deals that where we typically would have had to go through this song and dance, now all of a sudden, we've we're overcoming or at least providing visibility into the program that alleviate some of those concerns and ultimately remove some of the days from the cycle. So, UM, I think that that makes a ton of sense. I know we're coming up on time here. I feel like I have probably an hour's worth more of questions to have with you. So maybe what we'll do is, when your A b M program is a year mature, have a follow up conversation if you're open...

...to it. But before I let you go, I'm just gonna ask you a couple of less marketing related questions. Let's start with here's a good one. If you could go back in time for yourself, maybe at the start of your career, what's one key piece of advice that you give yourself a decade ago that you wish you'd known back then. So basically, what what do you know now that you wish you'd known back then, and what would you tell yourself if you could go back. Three things that come to mind that I hope they're three my head as they aligned them up. Let's say the first one would be persistency, pay off, stay with it. There are times in my career when I promised you, I came to my husband and I'm like, I'm done. There is no more me in marketing. I have to look into engineering, computer science. I have no idea I'm getting out of this, but staying with it it really paid off. Advice, Okay, don't give up just figuring out. I think that I made a lot of impact on my career and how fast I was moving up. That's one two years. Probably connect with more peers to identify its building your career makes sense. I think recently I got the advice like know your specialization in terms of like I B two B marketer and B two see. At some point in my career I went back to BE to see kind of like on a real estate in international luxury side of things and the marketing still but be to see stupid. I wasted time. One year of my time was wasted. UM, So I would recommend like pick your weapon and exting it like your experts in this stay with it like the commerses you think and you want to remain there. Pick pick like your line and don't DV. It's like number three, like advice. I would say for anyone thinking about marketing. My best place I had is like starting out of our agency. Oh really yeah, agent seems to be a part of it. Or a startup yeah, the house, okay, leadership that will allow you to do I know my startup experience. Pr yeah, everything, analysts, I mean every things I never do now I know how to do them. Events like also came there. I mean all kinds of stuff that time was able to do on the top of like now what I considered record dimension as you go, I have a confidence I know how to do pressteries now I know what Anna restoration ships like. So that will be my last piece of a place. And that's that's all. That's all wonderful, I think, um sticking with it, being persistent, picking your lane. I think one of the things I've learned now I'm fifteen years into my career is that if you just move forward a little bit every day, well ten years later, that's a lot of distance that you've covered, and I think that's like a really valuable aspect of just moving forward in our careers. It's just just got to keep focusing on moving forward a little bit and over time that little bit aggregates to the whole heck of a lot. The last question, you you referred to the book that you're reading. We're actually putting out a book club list. Tell us one more time the book that you you'd referred to when we're talking about community, and what is some of the key takeaways that that readers will get from it? It's them the business still belonging. Yes, he just thought touch on everything anyone plays considering community. That's my top pic. But it really touches on like song strategy standpoint of like why this should be the case? Like I've mentioned, no, you have to set the stone versus well lingoing very gives your example, so like why this makes sense? How can community help you scale business? Like in this example, I don't know what's company. There will be two people able and community involvement able to execute thirty six best No kidding, yeah, because then Teddics is like very they can...

...do that. They have a playbook, Like I think they're set in a book of fifty plast pages eight o'clock me is something really big and you go, you want to run detecks seeing Austin here? Yeah, yeah, go with it, like and that's how you're doing old. I love it for that reason. I love examples as any market duriousity, but it really talks about high level why it makes sense to all the new degree these of how do you track these people? How do you measure it? What successful plus what failure looks like? And yeah that for that reason I'm recommending you. Okay, well that'll be in the list. Yeah. This this has been super fun. Again, I feel like there's probably another hour's worth a conversation that I would love to have with you. I'm glad that you didn't change to engineering or computer science or something, because I think the the profession is better off with with you and people like you in it. So so thank you so much for joining us today. And I think up, you know, thank you for sharing some of your insights and tactics. I mean that stuff that I think is valuable, you know, to the audience, it's valuable for me personally, and so I'm eager for everyone to hear what you have to say so, thank you so much for joining us today, Thank you for having me and I look forward to connecting with Tina one year. Looking forward to it all right, thank you so much, by bye bye. Thanks for listening to Growth Marketing Camp. If you enjoyed this episode, we'd love it if you would give it a quick five star rating or share it with a friend or colleague looking to strengthen their skills with tips and inspiration. You want to learn more about the company behind the show, head to open sense dot com. That's O p E N s E N s E dot com. We'll catch you on the next episode.

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