We have a doozie today. Two Tims for the price of one: Timothy Harris, VP of Marketing at DialSource, a sales engagement software provider, and Tim Johnson, Co-founder and Head of Global Sales at Censia Talent Intelligence. I’ve had the opportunity to work with both of these go-to-market leaders and I’m grateful to have our connections continue long since.
Our nearly 40-min conversation spanned all things account-based marketing, including how their teams are adjusting to life amidst the pandemic, martech advice, go-to-market lessons learned, and ways to operationalize data across both sales and marketing.
Below is a written recap of our conversation, plus a link to watch the discussion on-demand.
Meet The Marketers
At DialSource, Tim leads the sales and marketing teams to deliver a dyanic solution for capturing the context of every conversation. If content is king, then context is queen, and DialSource unlocks the intelligence to help teams have better, context-driven conversations.
About Tim Johnson
Censia is a predictive talent start-up based in SF, using big data and analytics to understand a holistic view of customers’ ideal employees. Censia helps companies understand their ideal team profile, using hundreds of data points, in order to optimize and streamline hiring.
How are you keeping your teams engaged and on track during the pandemic?
Tim Johnson shared that with young children at home, he’s regularly juggling the roles of #dadlife and a data-driven life. Helping his team members feel safe and comfortable working from wherever is a top priority, too. Tim helps encourage his team members to be honest, open and that takes a level of vulnerability. Upward and downward empathy is important for the entire Censia team, keeping the company banded together.
PRO RESOURCE: The Censia team is putting their money where their mouth is, and partnering with leading B2B brands like SAP to engage in thought-leadership discussions around diversity, inclusion, and the need for businesses to do more to fight bias and discrimination.
Timothy Harris underscored how real conversations matter now more than ever before. To put this into practice with his team, he opened up a recurring “virtual office hours” timeslot on his calendar, with a drop-in Zoom link. Some days it’s more popular than others, but Timothy notes the incredible collaboration opportunities it spontaneously creates. Beyond that, structure and reliability are important factors, but make sure to find that balance. As leaders, it’s important to support our team members through the personal changes they are likely facing.
What first got you interested in a Sales & Marketing career?
For Timothy, from an early age he’s always been compelled to tell stories. A career in marketing definitely embraces that concept every day. His agency operated from that mission and now in his role as a marketing leader for DialSource, he gets to engage both the creative side and the analytical side of the brain.
PRO RESOURCE: Timothy’s creative, storytelling ability is on full display when you explore the DialSource homepage, a team collaboration with context-driven conversations at the heart of it all.
Tim mentioned he backed into sales, partly because of his competitive nature cultivated during his time as a professional basketball player. From there, he entered the biometrics industry, and eventually technology, where he loves sharing how tech innovations can change people’s lives. Tim’s career in SaaS kicked off with a role at Marketo which spring-boarded him into founding his own company, Censia.
What advice would you give someone who’s building out their martech stack?
With so much data available, and so many tools, it can feel overwhelming for a team just starting out. Tim underlined that when building your martech stack, there’s no better lesson than doing the job. You can’t learn anything from the data unless you’ve done the job and can intrinsically understand the customers you target. Often you need to lean on gut intuition, and that comes from experience. Nothing can replace just being on the sales calls themselves, but make sure you lean on the data to drive your insights even further.
Timothy mentioned that the tools are what can help you listen and get a pulse on your customer, gaining that all-important additional context. EverString gives contextual information about what people are looking at online. Alone that can only take you so far. But when you pair that with the other components in your tech stack, including fit scoring, ideal customer profile modeling, and industry monitoring tools. Separating the signals from the noise is crucial. Don’t get too excited with basic metrics of success, unless the more coordinated, concerted intent behavior is truly displayed.
PRO RESOURCE: The F.I.R.E. Methdology is EverString’s data-driven approach to identify high-fit accounts that are the likeliest to convert. It’s the only way for an effective go-to-market strategy to take hold. Download the F.I.R.E. eBook
Timothy also encouraged teams to just get started. Take baby steps and don’t be afraid to start before everything is fully in place. Sometimes a good old fashioned spreadsheet can be enough until you’re ready to automate more. Don’t automate something until you know it works, otherwise, you’ll create an even bigger mess in your database.
What are your lessons learned for operationalizing data across your go-to-market team?
For Timothy, his team finds incredible value having a single source for truth and for them, that’s Salesforce, with the EverString Sales Intelligence Panel for real-time business data piped right in. Together, this provides his team with a central point of understanding for the entire organization.
From there, Timothy’s team scans trends and patterns within that data, checking which messages are hitting and which campaigns are outperforming others. A continuous feedback loop also helps. This is where EverString comes into play, helping us connect real-time business data directly into our Salesforce dashboard. This enables both sales and marketing leadership to view the same centralized data.
CASE STUDY: See how DialSource boosted the volume and quality of their opportunities with integrated, real-time business data from EverString.
Tim Johnson echoed these points, sharing how as a sales leader, the single source of truth is the most important element of understanding a customer’s health. Product usage data pipes into Salesforce, so they can filter by customer type to view who’s using most. Reporting from a centralized, reliable source helps Tim make strategic decisions to drive his team towards success. That took time to build, but it helps his team make the moves they need to be productive.
Once the shelter-in-place order is lifted, where’s the first place you’re traveling?
Timothy Harris: Crete, Greece!
Tim Johnson: Gym, then the office
Who’s one marketing or sales pro you admire?
Timothy Harris: Andy Raskin’s work around the strategic narrative and the hero’s story
Tim Johnson: Pete Cowing, an Enterprise Rep at Marketo and incredible free thinker who always had those amazing, “ah-ha” sales ideas.
What’s the best career advice you’ve received?
Tim Johnson: Sound like you don’t need the deal because prospects can smell desperation a mile away. Secondarily, when that doesn’t work, remember this: “In Sales, we get paid like a doctor, but no one dies.” Have passion and professionalism, but don’t take the job too seriously.
Timothy Harris: From his father growing up Timothy often heard “attitude is everything.” Another piece of advice Timothy often shares is: “hire for passion, train for skills.” And lastly, “have grit” and put in the dedication and time it takes to excel at what you do. In marketing specifically, you constantly have opportunities to try again and see what works, so strive to be a lifelong learner.
What advice would you give brands trying to position messaging during the pandemic?
Tim Johnson: Give your SDRs some grace. Don’t SDR-shame. Everyone’s trying to maintain a level of normality while still expressing empathy.
Timothy Harris: You must focus on context, all the way through the journey. Consider what’s happening holistically, from the economy and the industry to the company, and the individual. Let’s also have empathy for the sellers, who rely on commissions to earn a living.
Watch More D.R.E.A.M. Data Discussions On-Demand
Watch this interview and more from B2B experts at Capital One, Box, Scout, a Workday Company, Forrester, DialSource, and Censia share all things sales & marketing, and the data that drives it all forward.