Matt Heinz, CEO of Heinz Marketing: Revenue Responsible Marketing
Matt Heinz is the Founder and President of Heinz Marketing, a B2B sales and marketing agency that helps businesses achieve sustained sales success by growing revenue from existing customers and cost-effectively identifying and winning new customers. He has 20 years of marketing, business development, and sales experience from different organizations, vertical industries, and company sizes. Matt has been recognized repeatedly as one of the Top 50 Influential People in Sales Lead Management and a Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencer. He is also the host of Sales Pipeline Radio and the author of Full Funnel Marketing.
Welcome to The Future Is Borderless podcast with David Nilssen, we feature top entrepreneurs and thought leaders from around the world, those who bring a global mindset and a unique perspective to their life and business. Now, let’s get started with the show.
David Nilssen 0:23
Hey, this is David Nilssen here I am the host of this podcast. On The Future Is Borderless, we connect with business leaders from around the world who have what I like to refer to as a borderless mindset. And the purpose of this is to share ideas and innovations, best practices that will just help us continue to grow both personally professionally, and allow us to continue to evolve in a rapidly changing world. Now, this episode is brought to you by Doxa Talent. Doxa helps businesses to source full time highly skilled workers from all over the world. And as a result, these companies can scale faster increase margin and proof culture. And they provide everything from accountants, sales, development reps, virtual assistants, and even software engineers to publicly traded companies and local small businesses. If you want to learn how to grow your business with offshore professionals simply visit doxatalent.com. All right, well, I’m excited for today’s show because we’re going to talk about something that I think is very important to every business owner and something that we all need and love, and that’s revenue. Our guest today is Matt Heinz. He’s the president founder of Heinz Marketing. And he brings about 20 years of marketing and business development, and even sales experience from a variety of organizations and industries. Matt is an author of many books, including Full Funnel Marketing, excuse me, and regularly speaks at national stages, such as Salesforce is Dreamforce, and the Marketo User Summit. When you see him, which I have, Matt is memorable, not only because of the content and humor that he sort of provides from the stage, but also the actionable and even motivating takeaways. And Matt also is the host of the Sales Pipeline Radio, which is a weekly show that sort of highlights best practices and actionable insights for sales and marketing pros. So I’m going to do my best to actually control the conversation and not let him take over since he’s used to being in this seat. But Matt, welcome to the show.
Matt Heinz 2:14
Thank you so much. Pleasure to be here.
David Nilssen 2:15
Yeah, it’s going to be fun. And you’re a Seattle guy. So Go Huskies. Yeah. And as I understand it, you started your career at Microsoft. But it’s funny, like, I’ve actually known Matt, for a little while, but I don’t know the backstory of Heinz Marketing, and how that sort of came about and what your vision is for the company. So I wonder if we can maybe start there.
Matt Heinz 2:35
Sure. Sure. Sure. So I actually, before Microsoft, I started as a journalist, I studied journalism and political science at U DUB. And my first job out of school, I was a reporter for the Bremerton Sun had the state government beat. So I was doing what I wanted to do, except for I got into it and didn’t really love it. And so ended up in a PR firm for a while then went to Microsoft, left Microsoft to run marketing and a couple Seattle startups and eventually just decided I kind of wanted to try to do my own thing. I had no intention of running a business. I come from a fairly risk adverse family, no entrepreneurs, but my mom and dad both had the same job for essentially 35 years, like I didn’t even change jobs, the same place, right. So like, when I told them, I was leaving the newspaper to go to a PR firm. They were supportive. But they said, like, you chose your career in college, like, you’re sticking with that? So not a lot of you know, taking. So I didn’t intend to start a business, I just kind of decided to sort of try to do my own thing. It was me a laptop and a bus pass 14 years ago to get started. And just some natural growth from that point, and then eventually tried to figure out how to actually grow and lead a business. And so it’s been a lot of baptism by fire, David, it’s been just figuring out different stages, like what’s needed. And for sure, the EO experience, the EO community has been instrumental in not only helping me see what might be coming, but also give me some of the skills and confidence to say, maybe I can run a business, maybe I can grow something that can be successful and have an impact on not only our clients, but the community around it.
David Nilssen 4:11
Yeah, so help me go one step further because we talk about sales and marketing. It’s a pretty broad topic. There’s a lot of places where agencies and consultants and organizations play, like, what is it that you actually do and who is your core customer?
Matt Heinz 4:27
Yeah, we work entirely with b2b companies, and mostly with those where marketing wants to embrace a level of revenue responsibility that they may not previously had. We describe that as revenue responsible marketing that generates predictable pipeline for growth phase organizations. So if you have a marketing department that may kind of act and operate like the arts and crafts department, lots of activity, lots of pretty pictures, logos on pens, maybe even generating some leads, but not really thinking about the revenue output of their efforts. And even if they’re thinking about like, hey, I need to generate pipeline too often that pipeline is lumpy, right, like a conference this month and not next month. Well, that’s great for this one’s pipeline, but your sales team is starving the next one. So the best marketers in b2b are thinking with a revenue mindset. And they’re developing systems and programs that deliver predictable, repeatable and scalable pipeline to their organization. So I think of us as a teaching organization that can come in and bring our methodologies and customize those to a company’s opportunity, culture, and market and teach them how to run a more revenue responsible marketing department moving forward.
David Nilssen 5:33
It’s funny, you can tell you’ve been doing this for a long time, because it just rolls off the tip of your tongue. It’s pretty good. But I’m going to take a minute and just one ask a couple questions that I think are relevant to a lot of people. But honestly, these are things that I’ve struggled with in every business that I’ve ever had, which is, when to invest in brand and when to invest in like demand or demand gen, right. Like how do you think about the intersection of those two? And when you’re a young business versus a mature business, like, is there a particular recipe for how you should invest between those?
Matt Heinz 6:06
It’s a really great question. Historically, I’ve always thought that you earn the right to invest in brand by investing first in demand. You have to close business, you have to have some revenue, to be able to sort of have the runway to go and build brand. If you spend time upfront at the first thing you do is hire a PR firm an ad agency and get your name known in the market. But you build no pipeline, like as you and I both know, like cash is king as you grow your business. So if you’ve generated a bunch of funding, and you say like I got a four year runway, and I’m going to invest in brand, that’s going to give a halo effect, and subsidize the cost of our direct marketing, fine. But you better hope you actually have that four year runway. And I think as we record this in 2022, a lot of companies are starting to run out of that runway. Right? That said, where I’ve come on this is I think you can do both. As you grow, especially early stage, if you invest first in how well you understand your customer. Two ways one, who is your target market? Like if you sell into healthcare, it’s not all of companies in healthcare, right? There’s a difference between your total addressable market. And what I think of is your serviceable obtainable market? What’s the subset of the subset of your market that are companies that are best suited to buy from you that most likely have the need, that are more likely to be actively buying in the near future like that you start with and then because buildings don’t write checks? Who are the people in those organizations? Who are the different people with a vested interest in the outcome you represent? And what do they care about independent of you? Right, you earn the right for them to care about you by you caring about them first. Don’t ask them what keeps them up at night. Assuming you don’t ask them, what keeps them up at night, tell them what should be keeping them up at night because you know so well. And you know so much about that audience, right. And so if you do that, well, the content you create the offers you create, while they are intended to drive demand, have some consistency, in terms of the message they provide. And so it’s not just get a demo, get a demo, get a demo, it’s I’m educating you on a problem that you did or didn’t know exist. So for those that are actively buying, you’re likely to get a response from those non-equity buying. They’re saying, wow, that was decent content. I’d like to see more from that company. Your demand marketing, your content can go from being interruptive to being irresistible. And so you’re building brand, you’re building equity with that audience while you are building demand.
David Nilssen 8:37
Yeah, I love it. You got some good nuggets. Like you got these like little phrases that you use. I think it’s awesome. I hope somebody says the same thing about me someday. Let me ask you a question in your business, how much of it is geared towards b2c versus b2b?
Matt Heinz 8:51
We’re entirely b2b. Everything we do is b2b, it’s what I grew up doing at Microsoft, the companies I went to afterward, I always joke that like consumers to hard, right, consumer marketers, and you think about the way that the database marketers do it for Target and for Amazon and others, it’s very high level of complexity. b2b marketers are getting there, which is good. It’s just what I’m comfortable and familiar with that said, even if you’re selling to a fortune 50 company, it’s still people like you, me that are making decisions, right? It’s crazy, busy people that should be making logical decisions for the company, but oftentimes, you’re making emotional decisions based on what they need, as well. So it’s humans you’re selling to and I think too often, if you look at like b2b sales or marketing materials, it is way too formal. It is way too much about a business interest. It doesn’t address the person that you’re selling to. So that’s where elements of consumer marketing, I think, apply directly to successful b2b sales and marketing as well.
David Nilssen 9:55
Yeah. Well, I think part of the reason I asked the question is, COVID obviously sort of pushed the world in a direction was already sort of moving in this sort of remote environment. COVID sort of accelerated that shift. But now, it seems like companies are uncertain about who they’re going to be like, am I full remote, bring people back to the office, I mean, hybrid environment. And I had this situation just the other day where we wanted to send a handwritten thank you card to a couple 100 of our clients. And then we realized, we don’t have their addresses, because we would typically send those to the office, but there’s a very high likelihood they’re no longer there. So I’m just curious, like, now, when you think about how people are activating their sales and marketing efforts, like how has that shifted? And what are you consulting people on to sort of think about that?
Matt Heinz 10:46
Yeah, I mean, well, in the midst of the pandemic, if you were building a relationship with some trust from the beginning, people were willing to give you their address, right, especially in the sort of shelter in place world, like checking the mail was a highlight of the day, right? And so getting something in the mailbox, or like, hey, there’s a box coming in the next couple days, I don’t know what it is, something’s coming. So we were like, yeah, sure, I’ll give you my address. But if they trust you, right, like, are they going to spend an hour with you, if they don’t know you, and trust you, we’ve probably all if you ever watched and listening, we’ve all had the bait and switch of someone where you thought you were gonna get something valuable, it turned into a sales pitch, right? That’s not valuable. That’s not trust. There have been a number of companies that have created virtual experiences very successfully. I remember during the pandemic, Ethan Stoll, did it here in Seattle. He did a number of programs where he would send people a package that included a steak and all the fixings. And he would on the screen like he would do how to cook a steak. And in some cases, it was like, you could buy as an advertiser as a marketer, you could buy that package and give it to your VIPs. So your VIPs your best prospects get, like stay at home, ask questions of Ethan Stoll. So for those who are not in Seattle, like he’s big deal here, he’s like, has a bunch of restaurants, kind of a celebrity chef here in Seattle. So that was a drop. Another company was invented right out of the pandemic called Purple Cork. And all they do is virtual wine tasting. So they have partnered with high end niche wineries, and they package and send them out to prospects, and they get b2b companies that want appointments with executive decision makers and say, we’ve got exclusive wine you can’t get anywhere else, right, we will send you two bottles. And the best companies that do this, don’t do a pitch in that meeting. If you if you take someone to the Super Bowl historically, if you take someone golfing historically, that’s about trust and rapport building, you will have a chance later to have the business conversation. And if you’ve taken them golfing, or to the Super Bowl, or a couple bottles of wine, they’re more likely to say yes, if they feel like that experience was worth it. So, I see a lot of companies say I can’t mail people anymore, I can’t call people anymore, you can do both. You have to earn people’s trust, right, there is no fast forward to just immediately getting someone’s attention and all the attention you want.
David Nilssen 13:04
Doesn’t it also come down to intent though, because I hear when you say like, those investments that you make in a longer term relationship, you should approach those thinking like, this is not my opportunity to sell, this is my opportunity to sort of develop a relationship that may be fruitful, long term. But what I’ve found is that anytime I’ve done that, the person that I’m treating, starts to ask questions, they start to sort of warm up, and it sort of opens up a conversation that isn’t selling, but actually it’s just about developing relationship and educating.
Matt Heinz 13:35
100%. Another thing born out of the pandemic, so I manage the CMO network, and it’s a Slack group and a group that meets every Friday morning and what started with 24 Chief Marketing Officers is now almost 2000. In an active slack community about 350 rotating folks will meet on a Friday morning, we do not pitch there are people in that group that don’t know what my company does at all. They just see me in and around the community. But I want to provide so much value to those folks where they’re like, who are you? And why are you doing this? Like what do you do for a living and you invite that conversation? But to your point about intent? I think you also, this isn’t just about getting people into a Slack group or to the Super Bowl or to a steak cooking party. It’s who are the people you invited in? And why are they there? There was a sales readiness study done a couple years ago by Gartner that seems to have held up pretty well across b2b industries. They said who is buying? And across b2b, they found that three or 4% of companies were actively buying and they know they have a problem. They’re committed to change, and they’re exploring solutions. 46% of the market is what Gartner called poised they have the need. They just aren’t pursuing it today. For right or wrong reasons, they may have accurately triage other things. They may not know that there’s a problem, they may not have quantified the problem. And what this implies is there’s a whole 50% in your market you should not be spending time on. And so again, like people sometimes say like the biggest 100 companies in my industry are my top targets. Maybe not. If you think about the criteria and the intent signals that exist with the companies in the individuals to say, who should I be engaging to begin with?
David Nilssen 15:14
Yeah, I love that. So, tell me, let’s talk a little bit about you, as a leader. I want to talk a little bit more about marketing. But you have this business, I know it’s been growing, you guys are doing very, very well. What year did you start, by the way? 2008? Okay, so 2008. Think about Matt Heinz 2008 to today, like how have you evolved as a leader? Like how have you changed the way that you not only lead the organization, but maybe even your role within it?
Matt Heinz 15:42
Oh, well, I’ve changed dramatically. I still think back to some of my early days, as a manager, this is back. I was an individual contributor at Microsoft. So the startups, I started managing people, and I still think back to some of those days, and I cringe, I literally want to go on an apology tour and try to find the people I used to manage and say, I’m really sorry for doing what I did for acting the way I did. I mean, I was trying to do the right thing. And I was selfish. I was trying to look good to my bosses, I just ended up making all the mistakes in the book as a manager. And when I started, it was just me as an individual contributor as a consultant. And I was thinking about this the other day, because I was in a group of CEOs, we were complaining about founders complaining about CEOs. And if you’re a founder of any business, like, by definition, it is your baby. I mean, it literally, if you’re an entrepreneur, like it is your baby, it feels like a child. You’ve done all of the work, like when you started, you did all of the jobs, you have a very explicit vision for what you are doing and how it’s done. And as you grow the business, you will hit a ceiling very quickly, if you don’t relinquish some of that control. If you don’t hire good people and get out of their way, if you don’t realize what you are good at, and what you are not good at, and sort of get out of the way of people that are way better at you than doing things. And one of the best things that helped me years ago was at an EO retreat, where we went through an exercise of finding your genius zone. And it really helped me I mean, I knew that I didn’t like back office stuff. And I knew that finance and it and the rest of that even quite honestly, like even managing people I’ve never felt like I was very good at. But the idea of like, okay, like, what am I really good at that I’d like to keep doing. And so I’ve really over the last few years work to get myself more into my genius zone more often. To find great people inside the organization. Ideally, they can step up but outside that fit our values, and give them opportunities to succeed and grow, build wealth, be successful in their own right, but honestly, selfishly take that work off my plate, so that I can focus on the things that I think I’m actually good at.
David Nilssen 17:50
That’s amazing. So I know, the genius zone Lex Sisney. He is the author of Organizational Physics. That’s the system that he he’s built. And he actually speaks on I know he’s done a lot of you presentations, he was actually our first guest on this podcast. So it’s just an amazing, that’s funny to connect the two of those, I’ll have to send you a link to that later. But you said, this is really your baby. And I was thinking myself, you know what they say about kids, they say it takes a village. The same is true about a business, right? Like it takes a whole community of people to really help grow that long term. So I love that.
Matt Heinz 18:26
And the analogies direct too, I think as you grow your business, you can still sort of help guide its direction and culture and purpose. But you have to relinquish control and trust other people. And I think as you grow children, you get to do the same. Like my oldest is 13. I got nine, 11, and 13 year old kids, my daughter is in eighth grade, she’s wonderful. And there are places with all of our kids that you want as a parent, you want to step in and help you want to step in and fix you want to step in. But there’s a lot of situations where they need to learn. You give them guidance, you give them values, you give them help if you need it. But they’re going to learn how to be independent of you and to succeed, and to move on and have their impact on the world. Not by you helicoptering around them, but by you giving them the foundation they need, giving them a set of objectives. And saying off you go, and let me know where I can help.
David Nilssen 19:18
Yeah, totally true. Let’s talk, just want to go back to our audience here. So some of them are going to be startup entrepreneurs, maybe early in their lifecycle. Some are going to be more mature businesses. But know the one thing that I always struggle with when we have new initiatives, and I’m going to have to resource a team to that is, do I hire the captain first or the crew? And so, think about marketing. This is a place where you can spend a lot on a really strategic executive on sometimes you just need that person to sort of help with demand gen, as we talked about earlier and so, how do you think about that for younger businesses, do you invest in that captain or do you start to build the crew first?
Matt Heinz 19:57
Well, I want to talk about the end game first because I think most businesses that continue to grow need to have the core competency of revenue responsible marketing in house. I think there was a day when a lot of the execution and even strategy was outsourced to agencies, we’re seeing that shift now to companies saying, as we grow, we need that to be part of our DNA. Investors want to see that private equity firms want to see that buyers want to see that you are not dependent on some outside group, that you can actually do this yourself that you have that discipline, you have those processes. When you’re getting started, I think it’s dangerous to start with a senior marketing leader or even a senior sales leader, because you bring that person in who’s got that level of experience, unless they’re a player coach, unless they’re willing to get their hands dirty, they’ve shown that they’re willing to do it, you’ve got an expensive person that’s going to immediately want to spend more money on a team to go do the things you need done. So I think if you as a founder, you as a leader should have a sense of what your go to market motion should be, I think every founder should be salesperson number one. If you don’t know as a founder, what your sales process is, if you don’t know who your target audience is, again, serviceable obtainable market, as well as who to talk to and what to say, how can you possibly hire someone who’s just going to come in and invent it? You have to be able to give them some kind of a playbook. And I believe you start by hiring people that are going to execute that work, right? You start with people that can take you, the founder out of the sales and marketing process, that can take your playbook, replicate it without you and then make it better and scalable, and you may be then the virtual VP marketing of the virtual CMO. But once you’ve got that system humming, then I think you can bring in a senior leader to optimize it and grow it. So yeah, I think in those functions, I’m usually not a fan of bringing on the senior people first, it’s too expensive, and doesn’t generate the immediate results that you need.
David Nilssen 21:45
Yeah, I think that makes a lot of sense. I mean, we’ve done that historically, with our businesses. I’ve done both actually where you hired the captain first, but it takes a long time to generate that ROI. Because inevitably, you hire the captain, then you got to go out and find the crew anyways. Right? So I think oftentimes, with founders in particular, they have a good sense for where they want to take the business, they just need an additional capacity to do that. Similarly, I have a question about social media. I mean, this is something that I still feel like people are really confused about, and I did a quick check. Before we did this, just to kind of look at your following looks like you have about 50,000 followers on LinkedIn. 100k on Twitter. So clearly, you’re doing something right? Strategically, how do you think about the role of social media in a business? And as for you, as a thought leader, or maybe a better question is like, where do you see people really falling down in that?
Matt Heinz 22:38
Social media is a long game, right? I mean, we talked earlier about brand versus demand. I mean, social media is not a demand channel. I see some people say, like, well, I’m doing these TikTok ads, and I’m getting a lot of leads, you’re not getting leads, you’re getting clicks, you’re getting followers. Followers are not leads, this doesn’t mean these are people that are going to immediately buy from you. I think social media can be a highly efficient and highly effective thought leadership tool. It can be a highly effective competitive differentiator. It can be a great accelerator of your continent, and in building awareness and intent from your prospects. But that’s a long game. I’ve been doing this for 14 years. And followers don’t come out of nothing. I mean, you can go buy followers from somewhere, some sweatshop somewhere in Southeast Asia, I guess. But that’s not real numbers. I see people say, like, oh, I got this many clicks or views. Are those real people that you want to sell to? I’d rather have a smaller number of people that I can actually sell to than a million people that just view but have no interest in buying anything ever or nowhere near my interest in market. But I would say like the key to doing social well has nothing to do with the channels. It’s not about tick tock versus Instagram versus LinkedIn. Although choosing your market, your channel mix is important based on who you’re selling to. It’s about content and consistency. What message do you have that’s valuable? I mean, I’ve mentioned earlier sort of this going from interrupted to being irresistible, like, what kind of message what kind of voice do you have the people can’t wait to hear more? Right, in small snippets and snackable pieces of content. And consistency wise, like you just do that every day. Like you have a regular drumbeat. I mean, I’ve built a nice following, but I didn’t intend to build a following, A. B, I just do it every day, right? Like there’s content I’m posting on LinkedIn almost multiple times a week. I’m responding, engaging with other people there. I’ve been building content and engaging with an audience on Twitter for like 15 years. So some of that just takes time. Now sometimes like you get a press book clipping or something happens and you can see an acceleration of that. But it’s really about the right content for your audience. And then a consistent slow build in the right channels that your audience is engaging in and doing that over time? I mean, it’s a very simple formula. It just takes a level of investment and discipline to do it well.
David Nilssen 25:08
Yeah. To your point, though, it’s hard not to get trapped in the vanity metrics. That’s what I always call them, right? Because I recently saw a report from I sit on a board and somebody came back and said, we had 100, I want to say was 500,000 impressions, that was the number that they were sharing. It’s like, somebody sort of saw it maybe. And doesn’t really mean anything at the end of the day. But they are big numbers. And they sound exciting. And it’s hard to resist those.
Matt Heinz 25:36
They sound great. I mean, it sounds like a big number. It may not be a big number, maybe that’s an average number, right? Like even on LinkedIn, it’s like, what’s a good number of impressions on a LinkedIn post? Is it 100? Is it 1000? Is it 10,000? But like, how many beers can you buy with those numbers? Zero, right. And so anything you do with content, anything you do with social is a leading indicator is a building block towards building demand and building pipeline and closing some deals, so you can buy some beer. But I agree with you, I think it’s so easy to get enamored with what is sometimes referred to as the marketing of more, more clicks, or likes or retweets, even leads, I mean, you can just say, oh, I got 1000 people that downloaded my white paper. Well, I mean, I look across my website, we got a bunch of things you can download. The percent of leads that actually represent people that can buy something from a small single digits on those downloads, right? The people come from all over the web, a dentist in South Carolina, who wants my content marketing best practice guide, great, take it, read it, benefit from it. I don’t have anything to sell a dentist in South Carolina. That’s not my market. So, I could argue like it’s free for him to take it. Yeah, but I had to pay a server fee somewhere. So that all starts to add up. So you really do need to think about okay, those metrics are cool, like click throughs are cool. But if you aren’t seeing down the line results that represent a path to revenue. Why are you doing it?
David Nilssen 27:01
Yeah, that’s funny. What other mistakes I mean, we’re talking about social media for a second, but like, what are some of the other things that you see business owners commonly make mistakes? And when you think about the sales and marketing funnels?
Matt Heinz 27:16
A couple of hot takes one is hiring for industry expertise. A lot of times you say I’m going to go hire someone that’s been in this industry for 20 years, they got a Rolodex, they know what they’re doing. They know all the people. Yes, they have a Rolodex. Yes, they know all the people. A relationship with someone doesn’t mean that that person is ready to buy, a relationship with someone doesn’t mean that that company is actually in your serviceable obtainable market. And rolodexes have a shelf life. Right? So what someone’s Rolodex was, effectively 10 years ago, a lot of people moved on, they’ve retired, they’re no longer buyers. And then also, if all you’re doing is working your Rolodex, you’re just hoping that those relationships last as long as that salesperson is going to last with you. More important to me than really, than the deep industry expertise is a process. Who should we sell to? Who are we talking to? What message should we have in front of them? A relationship helps, right? If you already have a relationship with someone, maybe you’re more likely to go there and answer the phone or them to take a meeting with you at a conference. But if you have a relationship when you buy someone a couple beers, but you don’t have something compelling to offer, you’re done. Right. So I think assuming that the industry expertise is going to work itself is one mistake. I think the other is assuming that a volume based sales strategy is going to work. There are some books that have methodologies around predictable revenue and sort of these activity based selling motions that may have worked 15, 20 years ago, but now everyone’s using it. And it’s annoying, as I’ll get out to the buyers that are engaging with it. And I think if you are building your sales process based on a simple spreadsheet that says if I make this many calls, I’ll get this percent of people to reply and get this many people into a demo. Very few sales processes and buying processes are that straight forward. It’s not a straight line, zigzags all over the place. There’s multiple people involved. And even if the math, even if your spreadsheet says, well, if I get one and a half percent conversion on all these calls, I’ll profitably get customers. Yes, maybe. But you may have just done scorched earth with that other 98 or 97.5%, or I’m not very good at math. 98.5%. Right. If I’m one and a half, it’s a good one. And if you call those people like four times a week for four weeks, like do you think they’re going to pick up the phone again, if you change your strategy? You are working from a disadvantage if you take those strategies and you’re working from a deficit, and that can be painful and expensive to make up. So, I think people constantly looking for like, what’s the one thing that’s going to work and sales and marketing and what’s the silver bullet that’s going to make things work? Boy, I wish there was one right but you’ve got to put in the work, you got to do it the right way.
David Nilssen 29:52
Yeah, putting in the work is a good way to put it. I mean, I actually just literally about a month ago was sitting with a particular company and they were telling me about their sales and marketing strategy. And they have warm leads people that have come to their site and actually requested a particular type of information. And I said, well, what do you do with them? And I was trying to understand their funnel. And the comment was that they actually call them 10 times. And I was like, over what period of time they like, in the first five days. And I was like, 10 times, 10. Listen, my phone got sold somehow, a couple years ago, and I get 20 calls a day. If I don’t recognize the number, I will not pick up, you’re just burning up time on the phone. So I agree with you. There’s a lot of people that still think about it in terms of just number of dials, and that’s going to drive the entire funnel. And that’s not the way that buyers consume these days. So I think that’s great feedback. Let’s talk about remote work for a second, as you know, I’m in a talent business, I like to tell people, I’ve started two businesses between them, we currently have about 500 employees. And I’d like to brag we don’t even have a storage closet, I’ve really leaned into this remote work strategy. Tell me about how you think about it within your own business and how you manage that with your team.
Matt Heinz 31:00
Yeah, it’s changed a lot in the last couple of years. We had an office in Redmond, Washington, up until the pandemic, we were one year into a three year lease, and we decided it was safer to work from home. And then the governor said it was definitely safer to work from home. And we never went back. Thankfully, we had someone that was growing wanted physical space to go over our lease. So that was nice. But we went from sort of making some adjustments to maybe going back to now definitely being strategically impermanent, remote work environments. And literally yesterday, we use EOS as our operating model. And yesterday, we had our first quarterly reset, where we kind of like talk about what happened in q3 and say, set up our rocks and focus for q4, it was the first time we’ve done that fully remote. Usually we have said, okay, we bring everybody in, we’ve got employees spread out throughout Western Washington, well, we would if we’ve asked everyone to come in, and this time we didn’t. And it kind of sucks, to be honest. Like I loved being and seeing people, we used to have a culture of people leaving their desks and go into the lunch room and having lunch together. You build community, you’ve got natural mentorship happening in an office. We’ve missed those opportunities. But I now have an employee, I have two employees on the other side of the mountains now. I’ve got one, I’ve got some that are looking at. And we’ve got employees that we’re looking at hiring from various places that we couldn’t do before. And so I missed the community. But part of our purpose is to impact the careers and lives of people in our spheres. And one of that groups is employees. And so if someone chooses to work somewhere else, and have that flexibility, be close to family, I’ve lost the intimacy of being together, but I’ve gained their employment with us, I’ve gained their loyalty with us, because we’re enabling them to have the life and the lifestyle they want. And I was talking to some of our leaders, and for those of us that are older, like we’re just so used to those in office things. But one of the things I think we’ve done well is we’ve said, okay, if we are going to be fully remote, what are the things that were easier in person that are now very hard to do remotely or not as easy to do remotely? And how do we explicitly replace them. So we are missing out on collaboration, collaboration is harder remotely than it was in person. Just team building and team bonding, right? Just community building in an organization and accompanies is just more difficult remotely. And then mentorship and learning. The opportunity for people to learn from each other, happened in an office space it just more naturally. And it does. So just by saying those three things are things are harder than remote environment, what are we going to do proactively to address those? And so I wouldn’t say we’re perfect on those fronts, and we’re certainly continuing to sort of learn and improve on what we’re doing. But I am fully embraced. I mean, not only just cuz I don’t have to pay a lease anymore. But also I think we can more directly fulfill our purpose as a business remotely versus in person.
David Nilssen 33:49
Yeah, it’s really funny. This is a place where I have leaned really far and on the remote side said, hey, look, well, part of it is we’re an international business. If I have an office, people are getting left out all over the place, right. And so while there’s some of that sort of osmosis learning and team building team bonding that you talked about, when you decentralize, it actually becomes exclusionary versus inclusionary. And so I think that’s a really good. I always tell people, I think it’s great for execution, it’s harder for collaboration. So I love the fact that you guys have sort of teased out what are the things that you’re potentially going to struggle with, and just by bringing visibility to it, you’ll manage it differently. And by the way, these are the exact things that we’re struggling with, as well. So I think it’s just a common issue. But that being said, when I was all in downtown Seattle, I could only recruit from a pool that was within about five to 10 miles of there. Now the world is my oyster. So I think, there’s tradeoffs either way you go. So tell me a little bit about that then. So let’s go a little bit further on that. Like, tell me about some of the tools that you guys use or maybe some of the rhythms that you have in the business that you’re using to sort of help compensate for some of these, even knowing that they’ve got to continue to evolve.
Matt Heinz 35:04
So one of the things we started when we were in person is, we always had kind of an employee of the month award from early on. And we said, we want to recognize someone that sort of exhibitor our values, and we decided we want to reward more values per month. So we’ve always had this little Heinzie, I don’t know if you can see this, it’s a picture of a cat plush ketchup bottle with a face, arms and legs. And that’s a real plush doll, by the way, it’s actually still around here somewhere, but we put it on a sticker, and every employee has a full size Heinz Marketing football helmet. So for those of you that are college football fans, sometimes at the end of game, some teams give helmet stickers, to their teammates, like you had a great game, you set a record for rushing yards great. You’re a third string quarterback, but you helped with morale, when we were behind in the third quarter, you got a helmet sticker as well. So every Friday, we give out helmet stickers every week. And so the way they are rewarded is we have we use tiny pulse, which we love use as a feedback tool. And in tiny pulse, there’s a cheers function, right? So you can give a cheers to anyone on the company for any reason. And on our executive dashboard, we have a weekly cheers goal. And when you give it cheers, you have to tie it to one or more of our core values before you submit it. When you submit it, it goes into a cheers channel in Slack. So the entire company sees who got cheered, right. And so on a Friday afternoon, I go through all the cheers in the week, and I pick out helmet stickers, right. And I find some great examples, big, small, that relate to our values. And it’s a way for us not only to reinforce the importance of our values, but it’s a way to encourage employees to recognize each other for big and little things throughout the week. So that’s one. And then we’ve invested in, we have a team bonding advisory group that we have enabled for different people on our team across different levels and departments and said, okay, you know, what can we do with a now remote environment to continue to sort of build just community with each other. So last night we had our quarterly meeting yesterday, and a bunch of folks went to a mariners game, we had people come in from out of town, just go to a mariners game, we also do weekly, happy hour. So every Thursday, we do a virtual Happy Hour around robbing the owner. And we play games, like you pick codenames or you Pictionary. And sometimes it’s just like, hey, bring your favorite holiday drink and talk about it. But some of those are more serious, and some are more silly. But I think those are things that help create a culture and community of people that look, like we got a lot of work to do. But let’s also sort of make sure we’ve got a rhythm of community enjoyment at the same time.
David Nilssen 37:41
I love it, we don’t do it as regularly as you spelled out there. But when we do these sort of ad hoc meetings, where I get a chance to connect with some of our team members that I haven’t met from abroad, and the last one we did was bucket list backgrounds. And it was like, you got to change your background to something that’s a bucket list item, and man, the conversation and some of the like authenticity, or I would even say vulnerability that came from it, super, super interesting. So sounds like you guys are doing a lot right there. I know we’re getting close to the end of our time here. But one thing that I’d love to just ask about is most of the best leaders that I know, are avid learners, constantly pushing themselves to get better. Give me an idea of something that you’re excited about learning right now, or that you’re working on that just gives a sense for how you’re thinking about you as an individual.
Matt Heinz 38:29
I am thinking a lot about work with purpose and work that matters. As we continue to grow, like a year ago, when we adopted EOS as our operating system, if someone had asked me like, we’ve always been a very values driven organization, but if someone had asked me, what’s your purpose? I would have said, well, we help b2b marketers create revenue responsible, predictable pipeline. I’m like, okay, that’s our niche. That’s what you do. That’s what we do. But why do we do it? Like, what’s the why behind that. And so, as we sort of leaned into that, and we sort of define that we initially like, so just behind the scenes, we initially defined it as we want to change the definition of work to impact careers and lives. And over the course of a year, nine to 12 months of sort of living with that we feel like it’s not really about the work, it’s not really about the change first, it’s about the impact careers and lots, like that is the primary objective. And it’s not about change. It’s about impact. So we change it to say we want to positively impact careers and lives by enabling work that matters. And I think about that across four different audiences. I think about that, how do we enable that better with our employees? How do we enable that more with our clients? How do we enable that in the b2b marketing community overall? And the one that I’m really fired up is like, how do we use our success as a platform to support those in need to do things that matter? So how do we start to impact the communities in need around us? And so that we do great work, we do change making work for our clients. But if we’re successful at doing that, we’re giving of our money and time and efforts and inspiring others in our community to have an impact on careers and lives around us. And so that, to me, that’s where I start to get fired up is thinking about what that looks like. And there’s things we’re doing now and things we’re looking at doing next year, that I think are creating more impact on that.
David Nilssen 40:21
I love it. It’s funny, even as you started talking, I could feel myself leaning forward. When you start talking about marketing, I’m interested. When you talk about purpose, I’m engaged. So we’ll leave it there. We’ve been talking to Matt Heinz, the President and Founder of Heinz Marketing. Matt, where can people go to learn more about the work that you do?
Matt Heinz 40:37
We’re just heinzmarketing.com. If you’re interested in sales and marketing stuff, we’ve got 13 years of blog posts and research and best practice guides, so tons of stuff up there. I’m just [email protected]. You can find me on LinkedIn as well. But if anyone’s interested in learning more, just one has any questions what we talked about today, whether it’s sales or marketing or purpose driven work, I’d love to talk about it.
David Nilssen 41:00
Awesome. We’ll get all that in the show notes. Thanks again for being on the show. Thank you.
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