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Lead Qualification Using AI with Francis Brero of MadKudu

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Fast-evolving AI and machine learning algorithms are helping sales and marketing teams engage elusive prospects more contextually than in days prior. They do this by accurately picking up on signs that indicate a shift in a prospect’s readiness to enter the buyer’s journey.

Up next…

Check out the four sales fundamentals every top performer masters, how to use value-based selling to increase your leverage, and how to improve your remote selling skills as the world becomes more virtual. 

Today, our guest is Francis Brero from MadKudu. MadKudu is a software tool that allows sales and marketing teams to score the leads that are coming in. Prioritizing those that are most likely to buy based on historical performance, historical data and firmographic information.

In this episode, we’ll be talking about:

  • Are we losing something by foregoing SQLs and MQLs

  • What insights are most critical for those people who are already in my sales pipeline

  • What is the role of lead scoring in enterprise selling environments

Whatever the goal, lead qualification is all about finding evidence of intent to buy or potential intent to buy. This helps you figure out which prospects are worth your sales teams’ energy and are ready to enter your sales process.

Sales and marketing teams are beginning to rely more heavily on lead scoring, as a result, it saves time and money by helping you focus your time and energy on the most valuable potential customers.

Being able to focus on the strongest leads possible means that sales and marketing staff will be able to close more deals in less time while building stronger relationships with customers.

Mentioned in this episode:

MadKudu
The Blueprint of Sales – Winning By Design
Steli and Hiten Shah’s podcast
MadKudu Blog

For more information on remote selling and a complete list of links mentioned in this podcast, visit this remote selling article on our website.


Lead Qualification Using AI with Francis Brero of MadKudu:

Full Transcript

Liston Witherill:
Welcome to Modern Sales, a podcast for entrepreneurs, business owners, and salespeople looking to have more and better conversations with your perfect clients. You’ll get a healthy scoop of psychology, behavioral economics and sales studies to help you create win-win relationships. I’m your host, Liston Witherill, and I’m pleased to welcome you to Modern Sales.

Liston Witherill:
Too many leads. If you have the problem of too many leads, what do you do? Well, one thing you might do is just hire more salespeople, more people to talk to more people, more of whom don’t want to buy from you. Obviously, that’s not an optimal solution. Another thing you can do is look into those leads and figure out which ones are the most qualified, which segment or group of those leads are most worth your time. If you don’t want to grow a gigantic sales team, well, that’s probably the thing that you do want to do.

Liston Witherill:
My guest today knows a little bit about that. His name is Francis Brero of MadKudu. MadKudu is a software tool that allows sales and marketing teams to score the leads that are coming in and prioritize those that are most likely to buy based on historical performance, based on historical data, based on firmographic information that does tricky things like even qualifying people who are on your website filling out your contact form right there on the spot before they even leave the website.

Liston Witherill:
What I’m interested in here is not so much that Francis has cool technology, but I’ll admit it’s pretty damn cool, but what I really want to know is the thought process that went into the qualification criteria that he and his team use in order to do this stuff in real time because what’s most important is the thought process behind it, the thinking that went into the product and not actually what it does because you, dear friend, probably wants to know how can you apply different little pieces of the algorithm, different little findings that Francis and his team have had over time to your sales process, to your team, to your company?

Liston Witherill:
Of course, if you want to get MadKudu, you could just go to the show notes and there’s a link to sign up for a sales conversation and demo there, but I have to warn you, you will be qualified on the spot so you may or may not make it through the gate. With that said, I am really excited to bring to you my conversation today with Francis from MadKudu.

Liston Witherill:
So I was reading an article that you wrote and you talk about PQLs rather than MQLs or SQLs, which you define as product qualified leads. Obviously, I’m focused on sales, but I also have a copywriting and marketing background. In copy, we would say these are essentially people who are sold on the solution and maybe they’re evaluating the particular vendor they’re going to choose. Right? “I have a problem. I know I can go out and fix it. Here’s the range of options I have,” and maybe they at least believe that yours is it. My question to you is, are we losing something by foregoing SQLs and MQLs?

Francis Brero:
Yeah, I think it’s an excellent question. Maybe I’ll just iterate a tiny bit on the definition, or not the definition, but what product qualified leads really stands for. It’s a really common term in SAS businesses where the complexity of the sales motion leads to having MQLs not be enough, right? So if you have, let’s say a free trial or a freemium type of model, you can have a lot of signups that could be high quality, that would typically be called MQLs if they’re requesting a demo. Because you’ve created a new call to action that actually has a low barrier to entry, which is your signup for a free trial with other credit card, you’re just creating a lot more volume and you need another layer of qualification to determine who’s actually ready to go to sales. So that’s where really, the product qualified leads come into play.

Francis Brero:
It’s something where we’re saying, by looking at the usage of the product, the lead has been qualified as someone who would be getting value from the product, understands how to get value from the product and is therefore, ready to have a sales conversation. The way we typically look at it is more of SQL stays what it is as being a more down funnel metric of saying this lead is ready for a sales engagement.

Francis Brero:
Essentially, PQL is just another form of MQL. What happens with companies, B2B SAS companies at least that have these high volume trials or freemium models, is that they’re still going to have MQLs, what they call hand raisers. So a high quality lead is raising their hand saying, “I want to talk to sales,” clear past MQL. Then you have your, I guess people call a lower grade MQLs, which are going to be your content leads that haven’t really raised their hand. Then you have your PQLs, people signing up for the product. They’re high quality, but at the time of signup, we don’t yet know if they’re ready for sales. Then a week after they signed up, we see that they’re actually engaging with the product and now we want to promote them to sales. That’s really the one of the big, I think revolutions in sales motions for SAS is having this new concept of PQLs.

Francis Brero:
There’s a another layer that you can factor on top of it, which is what we call the MQA, the marketing qualified account, which is when you’re selling to enterprise accounts, you very rarely get a PQL because there’s no user who’s going to be using the product enough to actually hit that threshold of being pretty obviously ready to close and you actually want to look at the overall behavior of the account. Do you have multiple leads who are signing up into the product? Do you have multiple users who are interacting with it, sharing information on the platform that tells you that the account itself is actually ready to have a conversation with a rep? I think essentially, it’s just different tiers and different ways of qualifying people for sales based on different types of attributes.

Liston Witherill:
So MQA is a new one for me. I want to talk about that for a second. Is that something that you use at MadKudu, this sort of style of targeting an account based on… It’s more like the cumulative action of everybody at that account is what’s adding up to you saying, “This is elevating to a level of priority for us,” versus any individual. Did I get that right?

Francis Brero:
Absolutely. We actually do that in two different ways. The first one is that whenever we are scoring a given lead, because we know we’re selling to B2B, right? So any lead is always within the context of an account. It’s very rare that again, in B2B, someone is just going to swipe their personal credit card for a B2B product. Ultimately, what you’re trying to do is to sell into the account. Especially, as your ACV goes up, you have more complex sales cycle and you know you need more people on the account. So whenever we’re looking at identifying which are the leads that we want to promote the sales, we are going to give priority to leads that are engaged, but where we’re seeing other leads engaging with the product.

Francis Brero:
Then the other sales motion where the MQA really comes into play is when you’re actually have these kind of target accounts and I guess like much bigger enterprise accounts where you won’t necessarily see again, one individual user stick out then a couple others, you need to aggregate all the information to go and say, “Well, out of all my target accounts, these are the few ones that are ready because we can identify an active buyer, we can identify an active champion and so we have a way into the account.”

Liston Witherill:
Okay. So if we could focus on your company for a second just to make this super concrete because abstract is useful, but for someone listening to this, I guess I’d be wondering, okay, great. So MQA like how does MadKudu treat that? You get an MQA, right? The cumulative action adds up to, “Hey, this is a priority for us.” What happens next? How do you guys actually take action on that?

Francis Brero:
Yeah, there are two parts. One of them is the identification of the account being ready. That’s one thing. The second one is identifying who within the accounts you want to go off there. So that’s where we have two minor models to identify who’s the most likely champion and who’s the most likely buyer, which if you really want to make it as simple as possible, the MQA model could be how many active users do you have in the last 30 days? Your most likely champion is who has the most activity and your most likely buyer is who has the most seniority. You can go more complicated in that. That’s like the very basic level. Now you’re saying, “I have identified a champion within this account. That’s the person I want my SDR to reach out to try and book a meeting. We know that person’s not going to be enough to close the deal, but that’s the person who’s the most likely to respond to an outbound email from us.”

Francis Brero:
Then the most likely buyer is someone where we’ll actually start some nurturing campaigns to send them content and to get them warmer to MadKudu, even though they know who we are because they’ve shown some activity, we just want to warm up the account that way. Essentially, we have two separate treatments for these two key people on the accounts. It’s essentially, as triggering campaigns for those.

Liston Witherill:
Right, right, right. So that’s basically telling your SDR, or whoever on your team’s handling that, “Hey, reach out to this person who’s most likely to be in an authority position to make a decision or the entry point.” Right? We know decisions tend to be very consensus driven these days, and then you’re going to go book a meeting. Once you book a meeting, are you also looking through your system to surface insights that would affect how you behave and approach the sale during the sales process?

Francis Brero:
Yes, to a lower extent, I would say. The complexity of having to manipulate this data is really, I think from a targeting standpoint, once you actually have the conversation, we do surface some insights into our Salesforce instance, so it shows what technology stack people use just because our product has strong integration. So surfacing which of these integrations are present in this prospect’s stack is going to be really helpful to drive the conversation and tell them, “Well, I know you use Marketo Salesforce segment. Therefore, this is how MadKudu positions itself within this stack and this is how we actually bring value to all of it.” With our scoring, we essentially have what we call, signals, which are a condensed version of all the insights the model picked up to qualify a lead.

Francis Brero:
The idea behind that is just to help the rep have context once they get on the phone, but the truth is most of the time, our best reps are going to look at the accountant and spend a little bit of time understanding what the use case is going to be. Once you’ve booked the meeting, I think that’s when there’s a little bit less value in all this AI because that’s really where humans today, perform best in being able to do that, I guess like pattern recognition of what’s going to be the best use case? Who is the most similar customer we have today that I want to talk about? And therefore, what case study do I want to be able to bring on for the call?

Liston Witherill:
Interesting. Okay. So kind of related to this because you’re sort of in the business of surfacing insights, I was curious, what insights are most critical for those people who are already in my sales pipeline? It sounds like one thing is for you, because you’re selling software, how do they integrate what you have with what they’re already doing? Are there other factors or insights that you can observe externally that you think are pretty critical?

Francis Brero:
I guess at a high level, there’s a couple, right? There’s always going to be, do you have someone in the company who used to work at one of your customers? That’s been a really thing for us to look at. I guess I’m not sure what kind of insights we’re talking about, but even during the sell cycle, one of the things that we do is that we track on our website, of course with pages, people are looking at. So knowing what case studies they’re looking at, what pages on the website is very helpful in identifying what potential questions they might have or which use cases they’re most interested in. So that’s been very helpful. I think the integration part is the most important and not only from a pure technology standpoint, we also have a custom scraping tool that we’ve built that aims to replicate what a rep does when just looking at the website of saying, for us, essentially knowing what your sales motion is is incredibly important to understand what we’re going to sell, right?

Francis Brero:
So if you only have a contact sales CTA on your website, then I know everything is going through that channel and you probably have some fairly strict qualifications that your reps are not overwhelmed with low quality leads. But now, if you have a freemium and a contact sales or a trial and a contact sales, I know that you have a much wider range of prospects and potential buyers where some might be self-serve, low value and some are going to be more enterprise-y and you might have different companies that would fit one or the other. They’re actually signing up through the wrong one. So that’s where then in that case, talking about use cases with customers that have that same problem becomes very relevant. We actually scrape that from the website and we input it into our Salesforce. It’s really about understanding, based on all the information that’s available out there, what is going to be the most relevant use case to pitch to this lead; independently of what was the email they reply to?

Liston Witherill:
All right, so maybe a stupid question. Why can’t the SDR or the account rep or whoever is making first contact just ask, “What made you interested in this right now?”

Francis Brero:
So just to be clear, we always ask that question. We always ask two questions: how did you hear about us beyond or did you hear about us before the email we sent you? And again, what is going to be the most relevant today? But I think independently of that, I think, and this goes to something that you mentioned earlier on, which is the future of sales is service oriented and I think it’s the future of sales is very consultative. I think having an SDR come into a sales call and know that there is potential value in talking about one specific use case just establishes the company, the SDR as thought leaders and someone who’s done their research and not just looking at what the title is on LinkedIn. They actually went through the effort of thinking, “What is an actual use case that’s relevant to this company and to these people I’m talking to right now?” And that just is extremely helpful.

Francis Brero:
There’s a lot of people, surprisingly, or maybe not surprisingly, if you’ve been in sales, you just know that there’s a bunch of people who accept demos or request demos without necessarily knowing exactly what they’re getting into, especially if you’re fortunate enough to have a product that has a high cool factor. We’re in that case where we have quite a few people who just hear about us at conferences where these cool companies say they use MadKudu and then people jump on a demo call and they tell us, “We don’t really know what to expect, but we heard that you were a part of this and that company’s tech stack, so we want to know how we can do what they’re doing,” which we don’t know what it is.

Liston Witherill:
There’s probably a little bit of FOMO involved there and there’s also a little bit of like, “I just want to know how it works.”

Francis Brero:
Exactly, and that’s where it’s really important to have done that little bit of research to be able to guide them and to have a discovery call that’s really guided around adding value rather than just asking a set of questions one after the other.

Liston Witherill:
One thing you talk about a lot is segmentation and sort of the big idea there is who is coming forward to your company, which leads is critically important because you may have a segment of course of like 20% of the leads are accounting for 80% of your business, the old Pareto principle. But one segment that you were just referencing and I know is a problem, especially for companies who are very successful on creating top of funnel leads, so they create lots of content. I don’t know if you read the book Dan Lyon wrote about HubSpot, but he shares this anecdote about how they were bragging that they got 10,000 leads every day and his quip was sort of like, “Holy shit. Who would want that? And how good could they be?” A significant percentage of those leads, one of the segments is what you’re calling, “tire kickers,” right? People who just maybe think it’s cool or they’re just there because someone mentioned it and they’re trying to do a little bit of homework on it. How do I identify those tire kickers as a segment and then spend less time on them?

Francis Brero:
There’s two parts to the answer, or at least there’s two ways that we answer the question. As I was mentioning before, when you look at PQLs and MQLs, there’s really two elements to them. The MQL is saying, who is a high quality lead who’s hand-raising? And a PQL is, who’s a lead that’s showing high quality engagement with my product? I think the tire kickers are kind of the flip side, right? So you’re saying, if you have a low quality lead that’s requesting a demo or signing up for your product, there’s a high chance they’re a tire kicker. So when I say high quality lead, that’s what we call our firmographic model. We build the definition based on statistical learning of what is the ideal customer profile. We look at historically, what leads have converted, what leads have not converted? And from that, we can derive what are going to be attributes that indicates someone has a high fit for your product and is likely to generate a relevant conversation with sales or even actually, is going to be likely to benefit from your product. And that’s number one, right?

Francis Brero:
If someone is requesting a demo or signing up for your product and you know they’re not a fit for the product, then most likely regardless of are they really a tire kicker is just they’re not relevant and they’re not worthy of your reps time. Then when you’re looking at more high volume, either content downloads or more importantly, when you’re looking at trials and freemium where you just get a ton of these, it’s really looking at their engagement and saying, “For any new sign up that is not an obvious great fit for the product, let’s give them five days or three days and see if they actually engage with the product,” because the daily retention numbers of these companies are generally terrible, right? So you’ll lose something like 50% or 30% of your cohorts off their day one. Essentially, yeah, there’s very few people who come back on the subsequent days. Just doing that essentially isolates your tire kickers and then you can get more granular and more refined in saying, “What can we define as activation of our product?”

Francis Brero:
So if you have a CRM, it’s going to be, “Have you loaded in contacts? Have you customized your pipeline?” If you haven’t done that, then most likely you’re not getting value from your product and you’re a tire kicker unless you’re an actual great fit for the product, and it might just be that you’re stuck. So that’s why the combination, I think of the behavioral elements and the relevance of that behavior in conjunction with the quality of the lead and how closely they match historical people who’ve had success are the two big factors I would use.

Liston Witherill:
In this example of tire kickers, right? This is going to be really relevant to companies that have a cool factor or that have a thriving content machine and have a lot of attraction capability. For a lot of other organizations, they’re looking more at lower volume, lead generation because the product is very complex or it’s for fortune 1000. So sort of low volume, slow sales cycle, very complicated. How do I introduce lead scoring in a way that’s helpful if I’m in an environment where I’m basically doing enterprise sales that are slow and low volume?

Francis Brero:
Yeah, that is an excellent question. I think that the first point I will make is that the behavioral data has close to negative correlation in enterprise. This is actually something that, Thomas Tsongas who’s a VC at Red Point, talked about because he did the analysis back at Google in his days where they were seeing that for in their enterprise sales processes, people that were showing a lot of behavior before the first meeting were actually the ones that converted the worst. So I think trying to do behavioral lead scoring in a high touch enterprise like field rep style sales is actually not the best thing to do. The fifth element is still going to be critical in understanding is this company likely to have a need for the product I have to sell and if they don’t then it’s probably not relevant. But then in terms of understanding are you to a company that has the right fit? And I think that’s why IBM introduced the band concept, right?

Francis Brero:
Bands I think is like the first and foremost form of qualification of saying, “Do you even have what it takes to move you on to the next stage?” I think I’ve seen companies and we’re starting to put that more in place, at least at MadKudu, to have a very clear process of almost check boxes to say to be able to move to an SQO or to stage three, we need to fill in these boxes of, do we have a clearly approved project that has executive support? Who is the executive sponsor? Is he identified? Has he vetted the fact that we have a project? Because otherwise, you end up talking to a lot of people are super excited, but in the end don’t have budget, don’t have authority and have no connection to authority to be able to close this. So I think that’s an important one.

Francis Brero:
Maybe the final element I will say is that one of the analogies I typically use is in selling to B2B is like the Lord of the Rings. I don’t know if you’ve seen, there’s this amazing illustration-

Liston Witherill:
Where is this going? Go ahead, this amazing illustration.

Francis Brero:
Yeah. So there’s this website called XKCD.

Liston Witherill:
Oh, sure. Yes. I love it. It’s for nerds like us.

Francis Brero:
Yes, exactly, for nerds. So he has this amazing graph of storylines of different movies. He has, I think it’s like 12 Angry Men, which is basically just 12 straight lines. Then he has some movie about like time travel where they put time-travel machines inside of other time travel machines, and it’s this super complicated. Then there’s the Lord of the Rings where essentially, it’s a fairly linear timeline from start to end, but you see there’s a lot of different characters in that storyline. The interesting thing is that even though it tells one unique story of the fellowship and the destruction of the one ring, so there’s really just one objective for everyone, there’s a lot of different characters that split up at different points in time that play different critical roles in the story you where if Boromir doesn’t sacrifice himself, then they can’t go further and the story probably would have ended there, even though he might have been kind of slowing down the whole process at the start.

Francis Brero:
So I think B2B is the same where you can’t just try to find the one person who’s going to do everything from start to end on their own. There’s a lot of different characters that are going to come into play and they might seem like they’re there to slow down the process, it’s typically what we think of procurement, but they’re actually enablers in a way where if you get past them, then you’re really set up for success because had Boromir not sacrificed themselves, then when they go through [inaudible 00:23:21], probably would have been a different story. Right?

Francis Brero:
So there’s that inherent complexity in B2B sales, which means that from a lead scoring standpoint, you also have to be able to understand who are the different personas and characters that you need to have within an account that are aware of the project you’re trying to push through. If you don’t have those, you’re most likely not set up for success. So that’s almost kind of a new way of scoring of saying like, “Is my account complete in terms of the list of contacts that I have and do they fulfill all the jobs I need?” So it’s almost like, do you have your dwarf? Do you have your wizard? Do you have your elves? Because they’re all going to play different roles that are critical at certain points in this story.

Liston Witherill:
Yeah. I was having a conversation with Derek Ron, who’s the VP of sales over at LeadGenius last week. One of the things I mentioned to him, which it sounds like you’re not saying directly, but you’re saying something similar is it’s really clear to me like at LeadGenius, I know they do, not exactly what you guys do, but they have a dataset and sort of used leverage data for prospecting. It’s really easy to focus on the prospecting part, the firmographics part. What do my SDRs do in order to set meetings and what sales plays do we, “run,” in the beginning? Once you get into that enterprise sale, it’s really difficult to track what’s going on, to document it and to surface any insights that would be applicable to other enterprise accounts. It becomes more and more of a challenge, I think, the bigger the sale gets because of the level of complexity and nuance involved in it.

Francis Brero:
Yeah, definitely.

Liston Witherill:
I want to talk to you about the future of selling a little bit because I noticed I don’t have MadKudu, but I did some spying on LinkedIn and my assistant did some spying on LinkedIn. What we found is that you don’t actually have anybody on staff right now who has sales in their title. Although, I’m sure you do quite a bit of selling yourself, but still the point stands, you don’t have anyone specifically in sales right now. You are hiring an account executive according to your job postings, but I thought that that was interesting. I’m assuming at your size now, the founders are really and probably the founders like the guy I’m talking to right now, is mostly responsible for selling, but you do have quite a few CSMs, customer support managers or success managers. Are they responsible for selling and how do you see the future of selling evolving? You referenced consultative selling a second ago. So I’m wondering is that your strategy within your own company?

Francis Brero:
That’s a good point. We’re fortunate enough to have our first AE you start on Monday next week, which is great because yes, until now, I’ve been the one doing all of the selling. The approach that we took at MadKudu was to focus on initially few customers that were flagship customers, but not the massive brands that everyone knows about. Right? So we didn’t initially go for an IBM. We went for segments who just recently became a unicorn when they raised $175 million, I think last week. We actually started working with them when they were about to raise their series B or they were like six months away from that. But they were this up and coming startup. So because they were a customer and we spent a lot of time on the client success side with them, they saw a lot of value and so they grew their adoption of MadKudu and they started spreading the word.

Francis Brero:
As that happened in essence, to some extent our CSMs were doing the SDR work because our customers were then talking to their customers, or to their partners and things like that about how they were using MadKudu, the value they were getting from it and that actually is what did our lead gen for the first three years. It was very, very organic word of mouth. While the CSMs so far, and this might change in the future, but up until now, our CSMs have not been responsible for closing the upsells; they’ve been in charge of identifying them. So we actually want to keep the two separate where the CSM is in charge of pitching the value of a potential upsell, what could be done with it, what a project plan would look like. Then when it comes to pricing, they actually consult with sales, which today is me, to get a sense of what pricing would look like. Then I actually step in for a separate set of meetings to really go over pricing, negotiation and all of that.

Francis Brero:
So I think the way we’ve tried to keep it so far is that CS is in charge of value and sales is in charge of costs at least on the upsells of just, “This is how much it’s going to cost you,” and the CSM team is just pushing on value, which I think is good in two ways. The first one is that it keeps our CS team on the forefront of innovation and what people are looking for and it brings sales in when there’s really only a clearly identified opportunity, which means that sales is not like spinning cycles trying to generate opportunities that don’t really exist with customers. It keeps the sales team aware of what people are looking for and I think it keeps a slightly clear cut definition of like our CSM is really focused on value for the customer and not necessarily value for us because you don’t want CS focusing on, “Oh, this is potentially a higher upsell from a dollar standpoint for MadKudu, therefore I should push this even though this other upsell actually has more value for the customer.”

Liston Witherill:
Do you find that your CS team ever has hesitation in looking to surface some of those opportunity for clients? Because customer success can be very relational and anytime the idea of sales or even the word opportunities is introduced, it can feel quite transactional for some folks. I was wondering if you’re seeing that as a challenge?

Francis Brero:
We’re not really seeing it and partly because of the process, right? Where essentially in the QBRs, they’ll talk about ideas of use cases that would make sense, what success we’ve seen with other customers. So it’s really always about value. As soon as there’s, again like a clear, I guess like hook or we feel that the customer of where, I would almost say done with the initial almost SDR work of saying, “All right. We know these guys have budget because we know how much they’re paying and we know there’s potential. So now, let’s actually introduce them back to the rep who closed them,” just because I’ve closed all of our business, but in the future, it will be assigned back to the rep who closed the account in the first place to go and do that upsell.

Liston Witherill:
All right. So on a lighter note, my friend, why is T-Rex your extinct spirit animal? What is up with that?

Francis Brero:
It’s a silly joke. It was just that at one point, we were making fun of someone who used to say he was hands-on when he was absolutely not. So he said he’s like a T-Rex hands-on.

Liston Witherill:
Understood. I get it.

Francis Brero:
And it just stuck, so now I’m saying I’m an aspiring T-Rex hands-on because I am actually still very hands-on in a lot of different elements of the business. My goal for 2019, as a founder, is to make myself dispensable in the sense that I want to make sure that I’m not critical to anything practical, so that I can focus more on growing the team rather than specifically either updating data models or helping people here and there. So I want to become the T-Rex hands-on.

Liston Witherill:
What is one sales resource that you recommend, whether it’s a book or a study or an article or a methodology?

Francis Brero:
That’s an excellent question.

Liston Witherill:
You can recommend more than one if it makes it easier.

Francis Brero:
I think it depends. I guess if you’re on the SDR function and SDR processes, I would highly recommend the blueprint of sales by Winning by Design, which is a really detailed book around how to set up your pods, how to set up your office based on what is your ACV, what is your sales motion and all of that. It’s a fairly detailed book that I find very interesting. Then in terms, I guess if you’re listening and you’re a startup, I would say listen to some of the podcasts like Steli and Heath and Shaw’s podcast, which I think has some good insights.

Francis Brero:
Surprisingly, I highly recommend meeting people and going to events to talk with other folks because you actually learn a lot from that. So it’s almost like the idea of listening to podcasts to see who seems inspiring enough that you would want to meet up with them and then trying to figure out what events to go to to actually meet with them in person. That’s why I think there’s a lot of value today in podcasts to just one, broaden your perspectives and hear about other people and more importantly, then figure out who you actually want to meet. I’ve been slightly disappointed by most of the books I’ve read around sales where I think it’s a lot of generalities and there’s just so much value in having people that you can ping when you have a specific question and know you can trust their judgment and I guess, their integrity or their thought process.

Liston Witherill:
well, right. That’s where the most relevant learning is always going to happen, right? Is when it can be more applied to you and someone can react to what your specific thing is. Well, thank you for unpaid plug on podcast in general. I agree. They’re fantastic. You’ve been great in sharing all the sort of behind the scenes about your company. I appreciate that. If anybody wanted to learn more about you or your product, what should they do?

Francis Brero:
I guess check out MadKudu.com. If you actually come to request a demo at madkudu.com/contact. If you are qualified, you will get access to my calendar on the fly and sorry if you don’t get access to it.

Liston Witherill:
It’s a rough world out there.

Francis Brero:
We still love you. I think our blog has some interesting analyses. We did a lot of analyses around how to optimize your company’s velocity. Are you better off chasing whales or should you close deers or rabbits? Basically based on how quickly and what difference of size of deal, what works best. So there’s a lot of very analytical blog articles that we have and we try to focus everything on bringing data first. So I think that would be a good place to learn.

Liston Witherill:
Great. I’ve linked to all of those places in the show notes. So if you’re listening to this and you want to get in touch with MadKudu and roll the dice and see if you are qualified for a conversation with Francis, it’s linked in the show notes as well as the blog article that he mentioned. Francis, thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate it.

Francis Brero:
Yeah, for sure. Thanks for having me.

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