Interview with Jaclyn Klein, Co-Founder, Product Designer, Growlabs

Jaclyn Klein GrowLabs
Jaclyn Klein

Tell us a little bit about your role at Growlabs?

As a co-founder, my role spans various functions of the business; however, my core focus is designing the best possible software for our customers. I’ve used my past experience in sales and marketing roles, and the pain points I’ve felt trying to source data and engage leads, to inform a lot of design decisions for the Growlabs platform. In addition to my prior sales knowledge, I conduct interviews with sales teams, listen to sales calls, and work closely with our customer success team to determine our product roadmap. All the features we build are designed to solve problems for B2B companies looking to scale their growth. My role requires a lot of empathy and a deep understanding of current sales processes and best practices in order to innovate modern solutions.

My favorite aspect of my job is that I get to combine very powerful and complex features with a very simple and easy to use interface, which our customers have been extremely delighted and surprised by. I know how frustrating it can be to use a sales or marketing tool that has hundreds of settings, and an overwhelming set of features. I put forth a very conscious effort to make Growlabs easy to use and understand, and the feedback we’ve received has been extremely positive.

I’m proud of the work we’ve done so far, and I have to thank our incredible team of software engineers who have built our platform from the ground up, our customer success team who works around the clock to ensure all of our customers are happy and getting the most value from Growlabs, and of course to our team of sales champs for closing deals every day.

What draws you to the Revenue Summit 2018?

It’s a conference for forward-thinking sales and marketing professionals. When you attend Revenue Summit, you can expect to meet thought leaders, teams, and vendors from the next generation of revenue-generating strategies, tactics, and technologies. It’s inspiring and illuminating in many ways if you’re in the industry.

Which sessions at the Revenue Summit 2018 would you recommend and why?

Of course, I recommend my talk “Perfecting the SDR Playbook – How to Increase Sales with a Highly Targeted Outbound Process.” You’ll learn strategies for personalized engagement at scale, and I’m not talking about merge tags.

I’m also excited about the session “Inbound Lead Routing – Forms vs Chatbots – The Process of Routing, Timing, and Conversion Rate Optimization.” I think chatbots have and will continue to have a huge impact in the online B2B space, making inbound sales teams so much more efficient and successful.

How do you see the martech landscape evolving, in the years to come?

The rise of AI and Machine Learning will have a huge impact on the martech industry. We’re already seeing a lot of sales and marketing tools using automation, but this automation will become much more sophisticated and intelligent over the next few years. For sales teams, manual workflows and tasks will become very sparse, and the majority of their focus will be on selling to interested, qualified leads. I believe future tools will automatically execute and optimize the top half of the funnel.

What startups are you watching/keen on right now?

Guru is awesome. They make knowledge sharing look good! It’s such a useful tool for creating a searchable knowledge base for your entire company. I love it and hope it continues to see rapid adoption and growth.

What tools does your marketing stack currently consist of?

Growlabs, Intercom, AdRoll, Zapier, AdWords, LinkedIn, Salesforce, Dropbox, PandaDoc

Could you tell us about a standout digital campaign? 

Since launching our Zapier app, we’ve been able to push more dynamic multi-channel campaigns that span across both sales and marketing. When we add new leads in Growlabs and start engaging them, we’ve set up a trigger using Zapier that automatically adds those new leads to AdRoll to be targeted with ads. This allows us to build brand recognition as we start to send out cold emails to new prospects. We’ve seen a significant increase in reply rates for the groups of leads that have also been seeing our ads (we’ve been running A/B tests between leads who see our ads and leads who don’t). We’re excited about this new type of multi-channel campaign!)

How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a business leader?

One way to prepare is by keeping an open mind when it comes to new tools. There are many areas where AI can increase accuracy and efficiency in a business. It’s worth testing these technologies as they arrive because ignoring them could cause your business to fall behind the competition. Moving faster and working smarter is a good thing. That being said, it’s also important to use a critical approach when evaluating these new solutions. There’s no doubt that some AI tools will claim to handle tasks that… frankly just can’t beat the effectiveness of human talents (at least not yet!). Be skeptical of far-fetched sounding solutions, and make sure to ask a lot of questions and do your research before transferring trust from a human to a machine. When in doubt, ask to speak with an existing customer.

One word that best describes how you work.

Evolving

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

Because I’m a designer, the number one tool I can’t live without is Sketch. After that, it’s Asana, Gmail, Slack, Dropbox. Our sales team would say they can’t live without Growlabs because it’s our most successful customer acquisition channel and the source of 65% of our deals/revenue.

What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?

Our sales team has increased efficiency 5X by using Growlabs for outbound sales. They don’t spend any time manually sourcing new prospects or searching for their contact info (which could take hours a day). Growlabs finds the right decision makers for us, and puts them into an automated email sequence. The inbox filtering tool in Growlabs weeds out hundreds of “out-of-office” responses daily, and automatically re-schedules follow-up emails to send when the contacts indicated they would be back in the office. This allows our sales team to focus 100% of their time on replies from interested leads, rather than cleaning out their inbox every morning and manually sourcing data.

What are you currently reading? 

The content I read is either design, sales, or startup focused. I recently discovered a great article on LinkedIn (written by Justin Bauer for the Amplitude blog) called “Good Product Team / Bad Product Team”. It outlines the imperative qualities and processes that lead to a successful product and ultimately, a successful business. Good products (built by good product teams) will help your business succeed, will help your sales team sell, and will help your customer success managers retain clients and keep them happy.

Most of my content is found through a select handful of newsletters I subscribe to. For example, InVision’s newsletter is great for curated lists of design articles and blog posts, and for sales content, SalesHacker is one of the sources I rely on.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

The best advice I’ve ever received was from one of my college professors. I was about to graduate and had the option to join a startup as the first business hire or to join an established agency as an entry-level associate. I knew the agency route would be a safe choice where I would learn from the senior, more experienced team members. I feared that I wouldn’t be qualified for the role at the startup and was very intimidated by it. My professor told me she believed in me and my abilities, and that I should take the risk. Joining that startup was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’m thankful for her advice and encouragement.

Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?

My sense of curiosity and ability to learn fast has allowed me to rapidly move through various areas of responsibility within startups. I quickly became a “swiss army knife” for small businesses, finding success across various marketing, sales, creative, and product roles. I now focus mainly on product design, which I find the most rewarding and challenging.

My wide variety of business experience, and sense of empathy for the end-users allows me to design with various goals in mind, which makes me a strong asset to any design team.

Thank you Jaclyn! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.

Product marketer turned product designer. Open to ping-pong match challenges, if you’re brave enough. Words to live by: Be passionate and learn by doing.

Growlabs
All-in-One Lead Generation & Sales Automation Growlabs combines lead generation with powerful email automation to help our clients grow their businesses, at scale.

The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick.

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