SELLING IN THE CLOUD PODCAST

Sangram Vajre, Co-Founder Of Terminus, On Accelerating Cloud Revenue Generation Through ABM

In our tenth episode, we're joined by Sangram Vajre, Co-Founder of Terminus and author of ABM is B2B: Why B2B Marketing and Sales is Broken and How to Fix It. Prior to co-founding Terminus, Sangram led the marketing team at Salesforce Pardot, and has since gained a reputation as one of the leading minds in B2B marketing. He currently hosts the #FlipMyFunnel podcast.

Sangram shares the inspiration behind his book and offers his insight on how cloud leaders can adopt account-based marketing (ABM) in order to grow their revenue.

Show Notes

On the current state of sales and marketing alignment

"The value of marketing is defined by sales." (07:17)

"Marketers send [sales] leads. But guess what? That's the problem! They don't just want leads from random accounts. They want leads from the accounts they care about." (08:04)

"If you don't start with targeting the right accounts, now matter how great your marketing and sales and go-to-market strategy is, you're just knocking on the wrong doors all the time." (10:49)

On the role of data in ABM

"Intent data, and data in general, has never been more important [...] it is fundamentally changing the way companies are seeing the next set of customers. Instead of being reactive, they're becoming proactive." (26:35)

On being intentional, in work and life

"Being intentional is more important than being brilliant." (18:15) 

"I think the hard lesson for people is to stop and say, OK, right now, I need to be intentional about these two areas [...] that's how we define our companies, our careers, our lives." (18:47)

On the importance of celebrating

"Every week, we celebrate on Fridays. What was your win for the week before? It's not about revenue–it's like, what did you do that made you feel accomplished? It changes the equation and makes people feel that there's meaning behind everything they're doing." (21:54)

"Whatever you celebrate is what will get done." (22:11)

Full Transcript

Sarah E. Brown [00:00:09] Hello, everyone, and welcome to Selling in the Cloud, a podcast about the business of cloud sales and marketing, brought to you by Intricately: the authoritative source for product adoption usage and spend data for sales and marketing teams. I'm Sarah E. Brown and I'm here with Michael Pollack. And we are your co-hosts.

Sarah E. Brown [00:00:39] Michael, welcome to the show,.

Michael Pollack [00:00:40] Sarah, it's great to be here.

Sarah E. Brown [00:00:41] In this episode, we're speaking with Sangram Vajre, co-founder of Terminus and author of ABM is B2B: Why B2B Marketing and Sales is Broken and How to Fix It. We're looking forward to speaking with Sangram today about best practices for cloud revenue leaders and how they can adopt ABM in order to grow their revenue. Shall we dive in?

Michael Pollack [00:01:00] Let's do it.

Sarah E. Brown [00:01:00] Sangram, welcome to the show.

Sangram Vajre [00:01:02] Thank you so much, Sarah. Happy to be here.

Sarah E. Brown [00:01:04] Can you give us a brief introduction and share who you are and a background of how you got to be where you are today? And also tell us a little bit more about your work and your books and how you got to be so passionate about ABM.

Sangram Vajre [00:01:16] That's a long story for sure. There's a lot of questions in one but I'll try to cut it short and interject—and I'm happy to jump in in detail in any one of those. But for me, marketing is absolutely the most fascinating place to be in, especially like in the last five years. Every time I think about what marketers have the ability to do, and then I think—with the extension of B2B marketing, what the sales audience has the ability to do—is to literally change the world because we get to talk about it, communicate and engage people, and energize people around certain concepts and things and products and services. They wouldn't know if we didn't do our jobs. So I just got passion about the fact that we get to do this and we get to have fun with it.

Sangram Vajre [00:01:58] The way I got into marketing it was because my Masters was in computer science and I realized my friends would never want me to go and do any coding. I thought they just wanted me to present. And so I was very excited about the fact that they allowed me to present on their behalf. They never wanted to present anything. So I thought that's what my role was. The role was given to me not because I was a good presenter, it was because I was a bad coder. I figured that out later from them when we met again. But because of that, I got into marketing and it has since then become a passion of mine.

Sangram Vajre [00:02:30] Another anecdote on that was I run marketing at Pardot. We got acquired by ExactTarget and by Salesforce before we started Terminus. And in that period when I was there, I remember my Head of Sales coming to me and saying, Sangram, you and your team have done a phenomenal job. You guys have generated what, I think 30,000 leads that quarter or something like that. But here's the thing. Can you generate 3,000 more leads next month? And I kid you not Sarah and Michael, I literally sat down in my seat, I sunk literally in my seat, I was like, that's bad. Like I'm literally a coin-operated lead machine at this very moment. And I think better of myself than that. And that led me on the path to figure out that got to be a better way for marketing and sales to work and drive business outcomes as opposed to these vanity metrics that they bring in. And that led me to start Terminus, write a couple of books on ABM—ABM is B2B—working on my third book now. So this is a really, again, fascinating time to be in the space.

Michael Pollack [00:03:27] I love that. And when I think about your background and I look at other people who've made large impacts in sales and marketing—you look at John Miller, Marketo, comes from a scientific background. You look at Mark Rubars, who led sales at HubSpot, comes from also a mathematics and computer science background. If you look at the evolution of marketing, particularly with the rise of software in the past 15 or 20 years, it's a shift from a qualitative to a quantitative science. I know in your book you talk a lot about the stages of fit and intent and engagement. And I would love for you to just talk about that a little bit with our audience and just kind of the quantitative elements and how you just might educate somebody on that and just share some ways that it's changing how marketing is done. And obviously Terminus has led this. But I'll hand it to you and I'd love to just hear your thoughts on that.

Sangram Vajre [00:04:12] I think there's two parts of this, Michael. That's a great question, because it has fundamentally changed marketing. But I'll go through the the evolution of marketing because I think that might give more context to people as to why this happened. We go back to the 2000s, and that's where email marketing, right, like that's where ExactTargets of the world and others were actually created. People used to get 80, 90 percent open rate—that could give away my age, just by sharing that—but you fast forward five more years, marketing automation came about. That's where John Miller like Marketo and Pardot and HubSpots of the world, Eloqua. They all came up and they said, you know what, marketing can send emails. They can generate leads. We can figure out a way to automate this thing. And marketing automation was born.

Sangram Vajre [00:04:53] You fast forward five more years to 2010, predictive came about. A lot of predictive companies came up. They're like, well sales is complaining now that marketing got so good at giving them leads, that they're generating hundreds of leads and sales is like, we don't want them, we just want qualified leads. So predictive came about in 2010 and said, you know what, we're going to predict which lead to go after and again, created a bunch of M2L, SQL, SAL, of all of these jargon that marketers and salespeople use today and apply to that. You fast forward five years to 2015, ABM comes to scene. Now what's interesting about that is email marketing, marketing, automation or predictive: these are all technologies, per say, and people could use them. ABM is not a technology. ABM is a strategy. So today, people can do it, Michael, you shared before like you probably were doing that before it was called ABM. People were doing that. Before, it—they didn't really require technology. Technology only scales it, accelerates it. But that's the shift. That's the change that happened. So we went from technology shifts back to strategy where marketing and sales should actually live in a strategy world, then to converting them into different programs and stuff. So when I think about the shift, the story line of email marketing to marketing automation to predictive to ABM, and now I feel it's going into the go-to-market side where marketing and sales are now the same vein, the same process together. There's no longer [a sense of] marketing wants this or doing this sales and doing that. Those days are done, especially for the companies that are moving forward faster. Those days are gone for them. And I think the go-to-market thing is starting to become the real big deal. And I'm excited about that phase where we can go.

Michael Pollack [00:06:33] You know, you make a really good point in there, which is if you look at the evolution of marketing software, right, there's been these big themes and trends. People get really excited about predictive being one in particular that I always thought was one that sounded amazing, but it simply kind of isn't entirely possible. But the theme that's consistent across all of them is this notion that ultimately sales is about relationships and how do you get relationships modeled into software so that marketing and sales can collaborate on whatever tools they use. When you think about it today, is it fair to say that ABM is really a series of helping an organization codify to some extent, the relationship activities and the responsibilities between sales and marketing?

Sangram Vajre [00:07:14] I say this all the time too, and I wrote that in the book, the value of marketing is defined by sales.

Sangram Vajre [00:07:21] I get a lot of flak from marketers who thought that, oh my god, you are like... that was the most demonizing thing I could do to marketers. But I'm like, guess what? I can show you a hundred companies today where they have zero marketing teams and zero people in the marketing team and only salespeople—and these are 10, 20, 50, 100 million dollar companies—show me a single B2B company that has a bunch of marketing people and no salespeople. And they're actually a 10, 20, 50 million dollar company. Doesn't exist. So we need to recognize and wake up as marketers that our value is to drive sales forward. Now, the reason I bring that story up, Michael, is because ABM, account based marketing, was to help marketers know about that. Now thinking of salespeople, their title what, Account Executive for the most part. Marketers send them leads. And guess what? That's the problem. They don't need leads from random accounts. They want leads from the accounts they care about. So I think the "account-based" term does a disservice to the entire industry as just a marketing thing. But it was created specifically at this point to get marketers over the line and recognize that their job is to drive business and their job is to drive sales. And if that's not what they're doing and connecting the dots to that, whatever process or program or title they have, then they're going to lose their job. Then they're not doing the right thing for their business. So it's more of, in a way, codifying it to your point, but also literally pushing back the responsibility for marketers to own up their part of the bargain.

Michael Pollack [00:08:54] I have a quick comment then I want to turn it over to my co-host, because I know I'm sure she has lots of questions and comments to add here. But there's something I heard once that always stuck with me, and it's that marketing creates demand and sales fulfills demand. And to your point, if you think about early startups that are effective, it's that salespeople, those early startups who might not have marketing resources are able to find pockets of demand in the market and get initial traction. And then ultimately it's marketing's job to amplify and repeat that, I find—and I think that's actually the biggest challenge, protecting the B2B space, because getting those first 10 or 15 or sometimes 20 customers happens without marketing ever usually being involved. It's a compelling story or it's a product that's right on the money. And then, I agree with you, this evolution of "OK, now we need to go find thousands of new customers" changes the dynamic and I think requires marketing to rethink what they think sometimes. But you're right to call out the relationship between sales there. I think that's an important point and something I think our audience innately understands. But I would emphasize even more.

Sangram Vajre [00:09:54] Rightly so.

Sangram Vajre [00:09:54] One of the frameworks that's in the book, is the TEAM framework, which is the target, engage, activate, and measure. What's fascinating to me, is if people are listening to this, the reason the letters are TEAM is because "target" is the number one step that people should be doing. So what you're talking about, Michael, is that sales probably are already targeting and getting it, but marketing will probably launching a new e-book this month, right. So it starts with content. It doesn't necessarily start with who it is for. It starts with, you're going to launch a new e-book on this thing, and then if anybody downloads, we ship it to the sales team. So you miss the target and get directly to engage in a marketing space. That's what happens in 99% of the companies I talk to on a regular basis. So the companies that are moving ahead of it, are the ones literally taking the TEAM framework to heart. Because, one, it talks about the team—marketing and sales as one team—but also the fact that, oh, my god, if you don't start with targeting the right accounts, no matter how great your marketing and sales and your go-to-market strategy is, you're just going after and knocking on the wrong door all the time.

Sarah E. Brown [00:10:59] I would love to talk a little bit more about this idea of the companies that you speak to and what they're doing right now, because as you mentioned in your first book, sort of explaining the value of ABM, in your second book, you take a bold claim, say we're already there. We know we need to do account-based marketing. What are companies doing wrong? Maybe even those that are ostensibly doing ABM. What are you seeing in the market?

Sangram Vajre [00:11:19] Well, the number one thing companies I feel are doing wrong is they go and announce to the organization, we're going to do ABM. That sets out fires, that makes people think that you're going to have rainbows and unicorns coming up next morning in the office, that makes people feel they're going to see and close deals tomorrow. Not true. At all. The number one mistake most companies are doing is they're just jumping on the bandwagon with really little to no context of how to go about it. And what I advise a lot of companies right now is, don't do that. Go and find Jim and Sally on your sales team. If your marketing was supposed to participate and lead this effort, go and find Jim and Sally on your sales team, and especially if Jim and Sally are your best friends and buddies that you can go have a beer with or you can have a conversation with, they get it, you know, there's a relationship there. Go find Jim and sell. Make them wildly successful, meaning ask them, what are your top 10 accounts? They don't need to look at no stinkin' CRM. They know what their top 10 accounts are. So they're going to give you, hey, here are the top 10 accounts I work on, and just do the most unscalable marketing thing you can do for them. For example, if they say, oh, five of your accounts are in financial services, let me take this e-book, turn it into a financial services e-book, and then have you send it to them. Maybe create a landing page on your website slash their name and say, hey, how about I shoot a video of you and put it on the landing page specifically for them? Do all these things. I guarantee there will be a higher velocity in those deals of progression from wherever these accounts are sitting in. And then they're going to go tell everybody on the sales team that "this is what my marketing team did for me." And then the sales leader and the CEO is going to go and say to you, why are you not doing it for the rest of the organization? And then you, as a marketer, say, great idea. We need budget. Let's go about it. I think if you follow that path with thousands like going back at. But that's how you get people excited about if you go in and say at the next All Hands, let's launch an ABM program, we're going to launch an ABM program, it's going to change everything, it's going to change accounts. We're going to go strategic. We're going to only focus on these 10 accounts. Sales team is like, oh, my god, you're taking my account. You're taking food from my table. Like that's what they feel. So I think that's a number one thing. Weirdly, I'm seeing companies do wrong.

Michael Pollack [00:13:32] On that point, I'm based here in the Bay Area and there's an overemphasis on having technology, I think, do things that humans do very well. And I think, case in point, successful sales people as individual contributors do wild things that are unexpected and they're great relationship people, and then marketers can amplify that. I would agree with your comment there that the most successful marketing campaigns I've ever seen are wildly unscalable, somebody who goes out of their way to do something that's completely unique. And I would agree with you that, you know, a lot of the software that exists here in the Bay Area or in the MarTech space is around trying to take what's repeatable and just do it at higher velocity. But it doesn't really challenge people to think about, hold on, what could you do if you remove all the tools and all the noise? It's just, it's a crazy thing. So I think that's a great point. And that kind of flows into a question I have, which is, I read a case study you shared about Snowflake, who's also an Intricately customer, who's just obviously an amazing business, a combination of an insane technological innovation, as well as a couple of savvy business model innovations. I would love for you to share a little bit more about them from your point and why you think they were so successful. From the outside, to many people, they may look like a conventional kind of software company, but having worked closely with them, I know they're not that, and I know they do things very differently. So I'd love to hear from your point of view on why you think they've been such a success there.

Sangram Vajre [00:14:55] Oh man, all of that team.

Sangram Vajre [00:14:56] So I don't think Daniel Day is there anymore. But back when this was happening, Daniel Day ran ABM programs at Snowflake. They were not public. They were a small company trying to figure things out. And I remember Daniel saying, look, this is really interesting, but I don't know how we can scale this. And a couple of months later he came back to me saying that we have the best ABM program. I'm like, what do you guys do? He's like, we literally hired two or three interns to create these specific landing pages for every one of these companies. As soon as we created those landing pages, we gave salespeople a really clear-cut email saying, go—these are the emails for the accounts that you care about, then we put in direct mail with the same exact message. So in the end, they unified that whole process. And they did that for 500 accounts and wanted to see how that works. And that gave them such an amazing leverage because the salesmen had never seen something like that. The customers would send and forward the email and video of everybody in their marketing or their tag teams, like hey look, somebody just did that for me. I feel even today—this is like a year and a half ago, two years ago—I think even today, I would say almost 90% of the companies are not even thinking the way Snowflake talked about it or thought about it two years ago. And that's the scary part of it. I think that we don't spend enough time thinking before we do something. You're just starting to do something, like most marketing leaders I've talked to. But, yeah, this is really like, the companies I advise: here are all the things that I do, we do three webinars a quarter, we do two e-books a quarter, and we do five social posts a day—and that is their menu of options. And I'm like, if you stop doing that, what would happen?

Sangram Vajre [00:16:42] Crickets. Nothing. I'm like, well, that's where we start focusing on. Now, what if you didn't do an e-book per quarter? Like just because you have a content marketer... have that person work with the sales team and work on the ten accounts, I guarantee it will give 10x more than whatever she's doing right now, what he's doing right now. Again, I can give that openly and freely, but very few companies actually take up and do it.

Michael Pollack [00:17:02] On that comment, real quick, Daniel Day, who will be on this podcast, who's a friend and has been a customer of ours, and we helped power that ABM program. And Daniel spoke on our behalf at SiriusDecisions at one point and kind of unpacked how that whole thing came together. And I would agree with you that Snowflake's execution of their ABM program was clearly, in my opinion, one of the more effective, thoughtful usages of ABM. And part of it was they also have a kickass product that helps to be able to say, hey, we have a compelling message and our product is simply better than what's out there. And I think that that's the biggest thing. But there's a point in there that I think is so important, it gets lost a lot of times—is that I would always encourage marketers that it is better to do one thing amazingly well then many things not well at all. And I think the challenge we have today with the panopoly of tools that are available is marketers have ten different systems and they're doing twenty different things. But to your point, if you get the one thing done really well, you will get that customer interest. That prospect will reach out to you. That is the promise and the premise behind doing ABM well.

Sangram Vajre [00:18:08] Oh, a hundred percent, one hundred percent, I think that's true for life, that's true. One of the things that I have is, you know, being intentional is more important than being brilliant. And I learned that the hard way. I thought, you have to be smart and you have to the basic knowledge to have conversations. But I thought you have to be brilliant. And when I realized that a lot of brilliant people not doing what I get to do just because they're not intentional, they are just moved on to the next thing. And that's one of the reasons I wrote the book, because if I have written a blog post, it would have been a blog post. I would have gone. But I wrote the book because I wanted that to be the reason it changes the equation in the marketplace. And I think the hard lesson for people who have ideas all day long to stop and say, you know what, right now I need to be intentional about these two areas because that's how we define our company, maybe our careers, maybe our life. But very few times you can take the pause and drop the other things and focus on those two. But that's true for, I think, all aspects of life.

Sarah E. Brown [00:19:08] So when you're talking to marketing leaders and our audience of cloud marketing and sales leaders who are listening, you suggest some org chart changes that are pretty interesting. And I'm curious, what would you do or what would you say as advice to a revenue leader listening to this who says, oh, my gosh, we're not doing all these things, we've got all these activities, and now I'm being told I need to create a new org chart. How would you advise them to move forward? Do you recommend that they restructure everything? What's your advice?

Sangram Vajre [00:19:34] Well, the number one thing I feel is beneficial to the company if they can do that—and it starts with the CEO, quite frankly, but it requires the marketing and sales leaders to agree to that—is is the common number. Marketing will get bonused on this. Sales will get commission on this. But it's the only number that we care about. The reason it breaks is because a lot of times the CEOs will say, hey marketing, I need to see more, I need to see leaves and stuff, and they will have the CFO build a spreadsheet. You put a bunch of numbers of sales numbers that back into a lead number that make the marketing team go do X things. If you are able to get your CEO and CMO, CRO agree on a number, and it could be a revenue number, it could be additionally a pipeline number, it could be additional expansion number, whatever those numbers are that actually define—and it says that you will get bonused, marketing team, if we hit these numbers. And it's true, it's not when I'm looking for leads, you're not looking for anything. If it happens, great. If it's part of the process, great. But it's not number of MQLs. It's not number of SQLs. This is the north star. This is where we're going. If people do that, I think the org chart changes are not required. Every time I've seen it, we did that in our organization, then as soon as we did that, the CS person and the demand gen person and the product marketing persons were sitting in the sales team figuring it out because they knew that's where the answer is. So they were sitting with them. You don't need to go to meetings. Like, there are two ways to go about it. One, set a goal so everybody can march in that direction, or get into the weeds and micromanage everything. I would say that I've tried both and probably failed on one thing. And then you set a clear goal that everybody agrees on, and you're true to that and you bonus people on it, it simply works.

Sarah E. Brown [00:21:11] So you recommend aligning those incentives for every org?

Sangram Vajre [00:21:14] One hundred percent, like in one line like, that's so clear. And you celebrate that at the end of the quarter. You celebrate that because it is something that I've also learned is that whatever you celebrate is whatever is done in the company. Simple as that. If you celebrate people working hard, then people think that that's what it is, if you celebrate goals, then people think we need to go to that goal. So if you celebrate whatever activity or whatever team, everybody thinks that that's what it means. That is what picture success is. That is what it means for me to be successful in this company. So it's very important for leaders to recognize what you are celebrating and, in the virtual world, it's even more important now through Slack channels and virtual All Hands and stuff. What are you celebrating? Every week, we celebrate every Friday. What was your win for the week before? And it's not about the revenue, it's like what is your win? What did you do today that makes you feel accomplished? It changes the equation, makes people feel that there's meaning behind everything they're doing. So whatever you celebrate is what will get done.

Michael Pollack [00:22:14] I think that's a fair point. I think that is both true of life and true of businesses. And so I'm curious when you say, you know, whatever you celebrate gets done. I'm curious to change the topic up here just a slight bit. But when you think about the half decade you've spent on Terminus now and you look at the journey right from one founder to another, but if you look at the marketing landscape today, could Terminus start today? I recognize the problem of ABM still exists. But when you think about, like, what is the biggest challenge? Is it still about the relationship? And if it wasn't Terminus five or six years ago, it would be something approximating that today. How do you think about the change from when you started to where we are today? And how does that influence your thinking maybe of what would you do if you weren't where you are now or where would you go next?

Sangram Vajre [00:23:00] That's a great question, and a hard question because there's so many of them.

Michael Pollack [00:23:04] Of course!

Sangram Vajre [00:23:05] I do believe that where the market is heading today is in a go-to-market fashion, meaning marketing and like every executive, every C-level, the CEO specifically, and thereby the marketing and sales leaders and CS leaders, they have to start thinking about what is the go-to-market strategy. Now, there are two reasons why I bring that up. One, selfishly, I'm writing a book on this. So I wanted this to be the next big thing. But number two, I just interviewed the top VCs that have taken companies to billion dollar valuations, CEOs of like G2 and Outreach and others who have a billion dollar plus valuation, and the founders have been there from the very beginning to when they're now a hundred billion in revenue and just CMOs and CROs, and what I'm finding, which is fascinating, is not everybody wants a go-to-market strategy. None of them could define it in a succint way. None of them had goals around like, here's how it is, and they kind of stumble through it and figure it out. So I'm thinking to a similar theme in your framework that will bring people together. But I feel if I have to start another company today, it will be to figure out how marketing and sales is just part of the same ecosystem and we make that possible so you're no longer shackled to all the other MQLs, SQLs and all these things that were created for SLAs because you wanted to hold people accountable. Where, in a good marriage, for example, you don't sell your wife or husband saying, hey, here is a list of things, if you don't do this, you know, and it's a problem... that's not a relationship, that doesn't work. You do that with a contractor that comes to your house and actually builds a deck for your backyard. So it's true strong sales relationships, not alignment. If you're really thinking about that, then you don't need a bunch of SLAs. What we really need is that common understanding of like, here's what success looks like, and that's important.

Michael Pollack [00:24:56] I think that's a good point. And that just brings me to another question here, which is, I'm in the business of software and building tools for most of my career and building tools for sales and marketing, similar to you using these tools, building these tools. I'm curious to ask, this problem of sales/marketing alignment we hear about is the boogeyman inevitably always between sales and marketing? All the tools that are being created, are the tools making it better? Or making it worse?

Sangram Vajre [00:25:22] Well, I would say that one critical component that's missing is the customer success team and the CS numbers, right. Because sales get closest to the customer, but so does customer success and lots of times they're not even in part of the conversation. So when I think about go-to-market, I think of marketing, sales and customer success as part of it. And what I'm seeing is the Chief Revenue Officers of companies actually have the entire revenue number. They not only have net new growth, but also have expansion for their number, which means customer success rolled into that, which means they're now responsible for not only getting great customers in the front end, but actually keeping them great, making sure that that's right, they're not getting a leaky bucket problem, and most companies fail because of that. So I feel like the tools out there today do a disservice to all the different things. Also even us, like I don't think we solved the problem. I think we address the problem in one particular area. But to solve the problem, I think it's not a tool. It's a total mindset shift of like, here's what we need to do. Here are the numbers. Here's how we go about it. It's something that's really hard to do.

Sarah E. Brown [00:26:29] A quick follow up before we take us out. Talk about the role of data in all of this and this alignment.

Sangram Vajre [00:26:34] Yeah. Oh, my God. Like intent data and data in general has never been more important. But I think for the first time, I think in the last year, I think people have realized the value of that. For the most part, people would go and buy DiscoverOrg and data and all these different companies to just get lists and email addresses and just do stuff with them. But now I'm seeing companies and we ourselves, but we're seeing our customers do this where they are able to say, you know what, I want to get ahead of it. I want to get ahead of the sales cycle and I want to get higher in the company that I'm selling to. Well if you want to get ahead of the sales cycle so that you're not in defending position, you're the first company that they talk to. And if you only get higher so that you, the decision makers, not to the person who is just collecting the information, but actually the decision makers, then you need to really understand the intent. It really needs to get like two months, three months before they actually even think about themselves in a sales cycle. You need to be already having them in your sales cycle. So I feel like data's fundamentally changing the way companies are seeing the next set of customers. Instead of being reactive, they're becoming proactive, and that's where data comes in.

Michael Pollack [00:27:40] We could cut this here, but I'm sorry, I get excited on this topic. So why don't we wrap up and we'll pick this topic up on your podcast or we'll do this at a later date. But I could talk on this topic for quite some time.

Sangram Vajre [00:27:49] I'd love to.

Sarah E. Brown [00:27:51] Sangram, thank you so much for joining us. For folks who want to learn more about your work, where should we direct them to?

Sangram Vajre [00:27:55] They can connect with me on LinkedIn. And I'm happy to send them a book if they tell me one thing that resonated with them on this.

Sarah E. Brown [00:28:01] Fantastic. Thank you.

Sangram Vajre [00:28:03] Thank you so much for having me.

Michael Pollack [00:28:05] Well, that's it for us. And this episode may be over, but we can continue the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #SellingInTheCloud. On Twitter, I'm @MRPollack.

Sarah E. Brown [00:28:14] And I'm @SEBMarketing.

Michael Pollack [00:28:16] Thanks to everyone for joining us for this episode of Selling in the Cloud, brought to you by Intricately: the authoritative source of digital product adoption, usage, and spend data for cloud sales and marketing teams. If you like the show, head on over to iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts, and please give us a review. We appreciate it! Until next time.

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