MarTech Interview with Jeffrey Ha, Chief Go-to-Market Officer at Rev

Jeffrey Ha, Chief Go-to-Market Officer at Rev shares a few proven go-to market tips and practices in this quick catch-up:

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Welcome to this MarTech Series chat Jeffrey, we’d love to know more about your B2B go-to market/sales-marketing journey and how you’re going to address your new responsibilities as Rev’s new Chief GTM officer!

I’ve been fortunate to have been in positions throughout my career that span the entire customer journey. I started in Customer Success, moved into Sales Operations, ran a Sales Development team, transitioned into E-commerce and marketing, and most recently a CRO. Each of these posts gave me an important vantage point on how each function operates and their measurement of success. Oftentimes in a startup, Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success evolve at different speeds. This leads to a bumpy ride and puts stress on your teams and GTM plans. My new responsibilities at Rev as the Chief GTM Officer is to align these functions together and minimize the speed differences across the teams. We are learning something new every day so maintaining a constant flow of information across the teams is paramount to ensure a successful customer journey from first touch to loyal customer.

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We’d love to hear about some of the core business strategies you’ll be observing or focusing on as you focus on business growth and also, a little about the martech-salestech that you’ll rely on to drive goals?

Our core business strategy starts with our own use of our Sales Development Platform. We fondly call it drinking our own champagne. Just like every other fast growth B2B start-up, our GTM strategy needs to start with a complete and prioritized set of accounts for our target markets. This information allows us to more accurately estimate our TAM (total addressable market) and then rank each target market. Oftentimes, decisions about target markets are based on hunches and intuition, but we defer to science and AI to help us make this decision. Once our target markets are set, then it is a matter of measurement and fast iterations across the entire sales/marketing funnel till you reach a number of repeatable deals. My magic number is typically between 5-10 repeat deals. At that point, we should have the playbook defined and ready to scale. In terms of martech-salestech, we’re probably using the usual suspects of tech including Salesforce, Marketo, Outreach, and Gong to name a few. Regardless of the tech, the discipline of measurement is what matters most – you can’t iterate what you don’t know.

When it comes to go-to market tactics today, how do you feel B2B teams need to evaluate their processes and plans to align better with market and customer expectations?

We’ve been hearing the phrase “software fatigue” come up more often in our conversations. I believe this is the effect of two things:

  1. There is more specialized software than ever before to serve almost every part of the sales funnel imaginable, and companies have probably overbought what they actually can use.
  2. Sales development continues to be a blunt instrument which requires brute force to get opportunities and sales. The market is saturated with more ads than ever. More emails than ever are being sent daily offering Starbucks gift cards to just take a call – talk about the ever increasing customer acquisition cost. No wonder customers are tuning out.

For companies that have overbought need to go through an honest evaluation of their processes and simply cut the fat – just because you can doesn’t mean you have room for it right now. 

As for sales development being a blunt instrument, there is a wave of new tech that is going to improve precision in sales targeting. The same way B2C and E-commerce experienced vast improvements when psychographics burst onto the scene almost a decade ago to enhance what marketers can do with demographics, this new tech involving AI and machine learning will revolutionize how sales and marketing teams control who enters the funnel – we call this the first-mile problem.

Companies who win above-the-funnel are going to be the ones that find themselves aligned with their market and customers because they will be targeting companies that already show fit and readiness for their product and services. Hopefully the spray and pray approach will become a thing of the past and sales development now becomes a sharp instrument.

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What in your view are some of the hardest things for a startup to do when streamlining their entire sales-marketing or go-to market plans? 

Start-ups are inherently impatient when it comes to collecting enough data to make accurate decisions regarding their GTM plan. There are usually insufficient measurements in place outside of just closed won deals. If deals are not closing fast enough, start-ups are quick to pivot. If you’ve talked to a start-up founder lately, chances are you will have heard the word pivot in your conversation. A well defined GTM plan should have specific interim milestones that are measurable and time-based. Closed won deals are the result of a sequence of successes. When deals are not happening, you should be able to pinpoint which step in the sequence is holding up the line. Yes, failing fast is a good start-up mantra, but let’s not fail blindly. 

Can you talk about some of the most successful go-to market strategies you’ve come across in B2B and how you feel marketers in the industry should learn a few takeaways from these? 

Two companies I admire for the GTM strategy are Outreach and Gong – two products that we use in our own stack. They nailed the problem they are solving and clearly understood the people that care about that problem. Sure, lots of companies can get this far. Where I believe they excelled in their GTM strategy was to embrace the responsibility of teaching the market how they optimize the use of their own product for their own internal needs. That builds immediate trust and credibility. The cherry on top is the fun personality they each brought to their marketing and messaging. The result is a loyal community of like-minded companies. My key takeaway, go set out to build a community, not just a company. Let your true self come through so other like-minded companies can find you. Share your experiences so others can participate in the same success.

We’d love to hear a few predictions you have in mind for the future of martech and B2B marketing! 

The future of martech and B2B marketing will follow the same track as B2C and E-commerce. For consumer goods, you have 10x the number of brands even from even a year ago. Consumer brands have had to really hone-in on specific audience segments that will appreciate their story and align themselves with their values – call it ultra-personalization. The same will be needed for B2B marketers and selling teams moving forward. More and more companies will have data science teams to take full advantage of all this new tech and constantly refine their ideal customer profile and target lists. With so many new martech players entering the scene every day, the companies that can best ultra-personalize their audience and message as part of their GTM strategy will win. 

Some last thoughts, takeaways, before we wrap up! 

Martech and B2B marketing is primed to enter a revolution where AI, machine learning, and predictive analytics will be at the forefront. It will be interesting to see how marketing, demand generation, and selling teams will adopt this new tech and how it will fundamentally change their current processes. I imagine the size and reporting structure of these teams are going to look very different 5 years from now. Who knows, we might see more Chief GTM Officers sooner rather than later.

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Rev, is an AI-powered martech solution for B2B sales and marketing teams. Rev uses AI-based technology to revolutionize the sales and marketing process for B2B companies. Rev’s Sales Development Platform starts above-the-funnel, helping companies find more relevant prospects in less time, improve lead quality throughout the pipeline and drive consistent revenue growth. 

Jeffrey Ha is Rev’s Chief Go-to-Market Officer. His responsibility is to operationalize and scale the company’s go-to-market strategy. He’s a Silicon Valley veteran having held roles at BrightEdge, NetBase Solutions, and PLAE. He is the founder of People Powering Success, a consulting practice that designed scalable sales growth programs.

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