The Revenue Architect

ABM and Industry Trends, with Mallory Lee

August 5, 2021

The Revenue Architect

Join host of the show Jeff Ignacio, as he dives deep into incredible businesses and their Go-To-Market capabilities.We’ll explore how founders, executives, middle management, and RevOps leaders & practitioners achieve their success. The podcast is not only an inspirational guide for those looking to start or scale a business, but also serves as a practical companion to building a world-class revenue function.

"So from my perspective, account-based advertising is a super efficient way to spend your marketing budget. You're essentially choosing to show ads to just the companies that mean the most to you." Mallory Lee

Mallory, a marketing automation junkie, runs Rev Ops at Terminus. Mallory comes from the world of marketing and performed many of the operational tasks around it. As Jeff says, her only hobby is work - she lives and breathes it and has an awesome view on current trends and a great take on ABM and what it takes to make it work.

Tune in to hear how Mallory is nailing it at Terminus with the right language, and surrounding their prospets with love in this awesome episode of The Revenue Architect.

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Thanks to Sales IQ Global for powering The Revenue Architect Podcast

Mallory Lee
VP Revenue Operations

Jeff: [00:00:00] Welcome to the revenue architects. I'm your host, Jeff Ignacio in this podcast, we're going to bring incredible business athletes together. We'll explore how to build a go to market capability for businesses. No matter the size or shape we'll remix content from a bunch of different. Bring in guests, deep dive into incredible topics.
So with that in mind, I want to thank you for joining us. And now onto this episode of the revenue architects
today, we are joined by Mallory Lee. She runs revenue operations at Terminus quote, unquote, grew up in marketing ops, starting at exact target and Salesforce. She's a marketing automation junkie and a B2B company. She moved into revenue operations almost two years ago, when she joined Terminus, she leads a team that covers Salesforce technology and systems rev, ops management, and also business intelligence and analytics.
She lives in Indiana and it has three boys running around to keep her busy, which I'm sure doesn't, you know, get, give her some sleep for the long hours that revenue operations already goes through. Her only hobby is work. And that's why she's here today. And for fun, obviously. So Mallory, appreciate you coming onto the show.
Joining me today.
So you and I talked on and off quite a bit through pavilion formerly known as revenue collective, and you know, one thing I've always admired about your experiences that you've actually come from the world of marketing have been a marketer yourself and have performed much of the operational tasks around it.
So, you know, one burning question that I have in our field is who should revenue operations report to a very curious from your perspective, you know, what is the most optimal reporting stuff?
Mallory: [00:01:47] Yeah, great question. And definitely a hot topic that I do hear a lot about. I think it can work well. In almost any part of the business.
If the right leadership is aligned on the right things, then I don't think it matters too much. But I report to our CFO at Terminus and I really liked that. It keeps us kind of. Right in the middle of all the things, very objective and a very tight relationship to finance, which is sometimes hard to come by when you're trying to break out of sales and get closer to finance.
So I really liked that setup and still have a super close relationship with the rest of the ELT. So yeah, I like it
Jeff: [00:02:28] just to clarify ELT executives, leadership team.
Mallory: [00:02:34] Yeah, I think everyone probably has an EL something
Jeff: [00:02:37] So I have not reported to  a CFO and I run revenue operations at a startup called upkeep, but I do have appreciation of come from an FPA background. And so there's a sense of one having that, you know, unbiased balance and check inside of a company. But I'm curious, do you lose a little bit of that business acumen just because of the reporting structure or is it.
You know, the other, the other way around, you actually provide a lot of business acumen ups, the finance organization,
Mallory: [00:03:04] I would say it's the latter. I think that there's a deeper understanding of how the rest of the businesses working since we're a part of the team. And I actually, I would probably guess that none of my job is any different based on where I report to.
There's no activity that we don't get to do because we're not under our CRO, but it's just kind of a nice. You know, objective party to bounce ideas off of and, and a good way to make sure that we're splitting all of the resources super evenly across the business, because we do support sales and marketing and customer success and our product team and really every team under the whole terminal.
Jeff: [00:03:44] So Terminus who's on the ELT. Is there a COO. Why ops reports into the
Mallory: [00:03:50] CFO? I guess we don't have a COO. I think that if we did, then that could be, you know, a different home for us. But actually our CFO, his name's Oliver, he came up through rev ops and found his path to CFO. So it's a really good alignment because he's got so much background in rev ups and he really understands, you know, what the team is setting out to do.
So that's really great from a support perspective. But we do have the rest of the seats filled. We've got, you know, CMO and CRO, both which I know isn't always the case for everybody. And then we've got like our chief product officer or chief technology officer a bunch of folks up there on that ELT as
Jeff: [00:04:30] a full stack team.
I'm actually a fan of. The structure of a CMO CRM, it provides perspective, right. Particularly for account-based. And we'll get into that in a minute as well. So all too often, I actually see rev ops roles filled with former sales, operations titles. So it's almost as if I CCRS, they're almost formerly VPs of sales, a very, you know, very few, very, very few times a UC, like a VP of marketing actually move into CRO role.
At least that's what it appears from the outside looking in. So I'm curious to hear about your journey taking, you know, the marketing operations. Where do you see the profession of marketing ops fitting in within the context of quote unquote rev ops?
Mallory: [00:05:13] Yeah, that's a great question too. I mean, I think that marketing ops can oftentimes be large enough that it's the last thing to kind of get slid under the rev ops umbrella.
And it's also kind of been around even longer than like the classic rev ops title, I would say. So for me, I think it's a great background. You know, when I was doing marketing operations, basically my chief focus was return on investment and then alignment with sales. And so if those two things are the focus, I think it lays a really strong foundation to actually begin supporting sales and learning more about their day to day and finding ways to make their lives more efficient and better, and to improve the bottom line.
So I think the the overlap there is really strong and, you know, we do have some pieces of marketing operations at Terminus that don't fall under my team, but we still have a dedicated marketing ops manager in the rev ops group. That's a very tight liaison back to our marketing leadership team. So it's a little bit of a hybrid structure and.
It's nice to be able to be flexible
Jeff: [00:06:25] with that. Awesome. So tell me a little bit more about the team. Like besides yourself, who's on the team. Like what roles did they have? Yeah,
Mallory: [00:06:31] we have kind of three big chunks of the team. I like to think about, we have. The BI and analytics team, which is a team of one right now.
So that's going to encompass our data warehouse things like CDP, all of the cohort analysis that we do for ourselves and for our board. And then all the way on this other side, we have Salesforce and systems. And so that's another team of one today with a Salesforce developer slash admin. Who really holds the keys to a lot of the work done in the system and a lot of integration.
And then in the middle, we have a whole bunch of people doing robots that are kind of partnering directly with the people in the business to either get their concerns or their requests, or provide them with reporting. And then they kind of bring all that back to the team. We get everything together and prioritize it.
And then we either take it to Salesforce land where we need work done, or we take it to the BI land where we need analysis done and just kind of keep everything feeding through, you know, and my goal is that all of the technology we use can be set up in a way. That gives us that data. We need back out on the other side.
And you only get that data if you've engineered like a process for people to use, to use the technology correctly so that the data comes out on the other end. So getting all of that to line up and then trying to keep all of the. All the friends happy is the name of the game
Jeff: [00:07:56] smart structure. You've separated out kind of the systems administration.
And then the kind of the overall data operations, the architecture, trying to smash that into one person is actually quite difficult just because the nature of the skill sets. And oftentimes you'll learn one and then you can spend a whole 10 years really learning that craft. So I'm curious, like the CDP something that, you know, a lot of companies have started to explore, but for those who aren't familiar with the CDP, like, what is it and what value does it unlock for you?
Mallory: [00:08:26] Yeah, this is such a hot topic right now. And to be clear, it's an emergency. Place for us. So we don't have all the answers on this. But David, our BI analyst has started connecting all of these dots across the different tools that we use. And I think a lot of people have probably experienced this where, you know, you can like customize anything in Salesforce.
They can hold anything that you want to put into it, but is that the right choice? Probably not. You know, it's not great for trending. It's not great for The historical analysis. And so we have more and more started using tools like snowflake and Tableau. And then we use a tool called census to pipe the data back into Salesforce.
So we will actually do calculations on our opportunities or on the accounts in snowflake. And then we send it back in because our ability to do calculations in snowflake is so much deeper and so much more. And so it's really taking the burden off of doing, you know, like a, a UI facing formula in Salesforce that always maxed out.
It's always too long. Right. We're able to do all of that outside of the system and then send it. So that is one of the lowest hanging pieces of fruit that we have found by doing things outside of the system. But then in addition to that, you know, our customers work with us to do account-based advertising and we've got a whole world of measurement around their campaigns and their spending and the impressions that we're getting for our customers.
And so that data, all pipes into snowflake as well. And it's vast amounts of data. So we couldn't really put it anywhere else. I think the notion of a CDP is really to be able to have one place where all of that data lives. And at any time I can bounce a piece of information against this, like, you know, single source of truth, kind of golden record situation for all of our customers to really see what's happening.
To the fullest of that account. Whereas today there are some disparate systems. So the CDP doesn't really quite exist for us yet. It's something that we're looking into. But I do hear about it more and more from a lot of people that might have a usage component to their product, or they might have.
Just a ton of data and they're not having a lot of luck in Salesforce with the trending and analysis. If you think
Jeff: [00:10:47] about Salesforce, like what, 10, 15, 20 years ago, when they created the CRM, you know, you were selling probably an on-prem software and cloud was just starting to come into play. Now with the advent of all these mobile applications, you can actually start to onboard these customers with a free trial.
So getting those product usage analytics are super important to unlock value and bring that into your top of funnel and your sales cycle. We use census as well over at upkeep. My background is actually in data warehousing. So building that unified data structure, what you call a golden record to me is that Willy Wonka ticket to getting some real insights into your customer base.
So I think if anyone's really looking at, you know, finding a way. Create a unified view of their data. And there's now options out there that weren't there before, before you had to engage with your engineering team, they'd have to build something custom, something that as a rabbi practitioner, union, just not for me to you're like, I don't understand the maintenance, the upkeep, the roadmap around it.
How do I get the data in, but now these are these plug-in plates. So really cool. I think you're ahead of the game there. I'm curious from your, from your perspective, you know, moving from an IC to kind of a leadership role, how has marketing operations changed? You know, during the course of that time and what have you learned along the way as you've, you know, kind of broaden your responses?
Let's see,
Mallory: [00:12:06] I would say in terms of the trends that have kind of come across my desk over the past, I don't even know how many years you know, for a while it was a lot around marketing automation. How do you get it integrated? What's the strategy segmentation was huge. I think that people still struggle to segment their, you know, their worlds effectively.
And I think it changes a lot as well. So from my perspective, building something that makes sense today, but can be adjusted in the future is not always the easiest thing to do. And still very top of mind. I lived through the great, you know, GDPR launch. And there was so much around that becoming an expert and trying to keep up with all of the privacy concerns that are out there today.
We just opened an office in London. I find myself trying to remember, okay, how do we do this? What's the rule. And so that stuff is really hard to keep up on. But you know, a lot of the people that I talk to now, and a lot of our customers, they are marketers that are trying to get to an account based approach.
And they're trying to figure out the right way. To measure success when you've got an inbound funnel and you have an account-based funnel and trying to figure out where those meet and how they overlap and how to report success on each of those, I think is something that Kind of hearkens back to the attribution question that people have had for awhile.
And I think that that's one of the most important things that I would love to help solve
Jeff: [00:13:38] for today, back there. And just trying to think, okay, let's talk about compliance kind of how to stay on top of that. Whether without an InfoSec team launching into new markets, particularly, I mean if you open up in Germany or England, you obviously are opening up a can of worms.
California itself is a unique state within the union. You've got the CCPA rules. Then you talked about attribution segmentation. Super interesting. I think. Rabbit hole through, through a lot of these, but I want to move over to ABM a little bit. You know, marketing has been on this journey of quote unquote ABM and any, a lot of it's been due to, you know, rebranding and categorization by BI tools and software vendors coming in and try to create a space.
So that term account based marketing has been Vogue for the last decade or so. Could you please describe, you know, in your opinion what ABM is, and then I'd love to talk about like, kind of trends in the industry and where you think
Mallory: [00:14:28] we're going for you. Yeah, definitely. Well, you know, for anyone who doesn't put it together yet, I will say full disclosure.
I work at Terminus. We are an ABM vendor and I am a past Terminus customer. So that definitely informs a lot of my perspective. But I would say for sure, that ABM has been around for a very long time. Far prior to companies like Terminus, really kind of creating a space for it. And I remember back at exact target 10 years ago, we had two different lead qual teams.
We had lead qual and we had lead gen, and this is more than 10 years ago. And in a lot of things that we did were pretty advanced at that time. So I can't take credit for it. It was just kind of like that when it got there, but. The lead qualification team, they followed up on inbound stuff and the lead generation team, they were responsible for outbound cold calling and using account-based approaches to try to get into top accounts.
And I remember we would do direct mail campaigns every quarter to try to get in front of these potential customers that were the highest priority for us. And Lots of time and money spent to go outbound to these accounts. So I think that people have been doing that motion for a very long time. And it was really when account-based advertising came into play that the market started to coalesce around this and try to figure out like, how do we.
How do we make this work? And that's when the label came about. So from my perspective, account-based advertising is a super efficient way to spend your marketing budget. You're essentially choosing to show ads to just the companies that mean the most to you. And that could be your customers. I hope it is.
It could be your top tier target accounts that sales is looking to go after, or it could be any number of things. We have customers that use account-based advertising to target their own employees, you know, for events or morale or anything like that. So there's a lot of options there, but I think at the same time that account-based advertising became really important.
You also saw. Intent data become really important. And there were developments around being able to identify, okay, there are people at this IP address that are visiting websites, that contain content that has to do with this topic. And therefore we can infer that this company is interested in this topic and all of that information has just become much more widely available.
A lot of players getting into that space. Really, it just comes down to the data. I think it's all about managing vast amounts of data, vast amounts of information, trying to help the sales team prioritize. Who's the next best person for me to talk to right now. And is that an inbound conversation or is that an outbound conversation?
And I think that if account-based marketing is done well, you're able to have more of your sales team's time to be spent on top of that. Yeah. As a percentage of total, I think, and I actually feel pretty strongly about some of this, but like, it's not going to change your inbound funnel except it should make it higher quality.
So the leads that you have coming in today, you know, maybe one out of 10 leads happens to be from your top account list and everyone cheers. When that happens, it's like, yes. And you know, you kind of got lucky with that. But if ABM has done well, then like two or three or four of your inbound leads should be coming from your top account lists because you've been targeting them.
And you've been speaking to them in the right language and you've been calling them on the phone and they're just surrounded by love from your company. And I'm pretty convinced that the only reason that people ever pick up the phone for an outbound call is because they realize you're not going to stop bothering them.
And it's like, okay, they're never going to stop calling me. I might as well answer and hear what they have to say. At least that's like my personal perspective. So as much as you can, like surround these accounts and prove that you've researched them and that you're not going to give up, that's how
Jeff: [00:18:34] you get them on the phone.
You're turning what good luck into into a process, right. Rather than, you know, getting those, you know, six to 8% connect rate. Probably 75% non closure, right? You they're just hanging up on you and saying I'm not interested. You're rallying around one. What they're searching, what they're concerned about.
Hopefully imbuing that into your content on the marketing side, as well, as on what you call the lead qualification. I think a lot of teams would call that maybe the SDL or the BDR teams, or actually arming your reps with with killer. Process around how to create personalized content on the outbound side of the fence.
I think that all leads to a kind of a higher quality in the first company in the space against your peers. That can do that as well. I can tell you, it's probably gonna build a moat around their outbound and their account-based campaigns. Really interesting. You talked about the separation of lead gen and lead qualification.
You know, when I came into the space in sales operations, there was already like an SDR team and there was always this hot potato debate. Should they report to say. Or should they report to marketing? I'm curious if that's the bait at that debase been echoed in your home?
Mallory: [00:19:46] Yeah, I think every company goes through that.
I've seen it. Ping-pong at Terminix a couple of times already, just in a couple of years. So I think it's similar to the question about where rev ops reports up to. I think it can work well in the either department. It's really about which leader is passionately dedicated to that team and has the right experience and wants to take it on because it's a really, really tough gig.
So requires a lot of passion, I think.
Jeff: [00:20:15] Yes. Shout out to those directors and senior directors of sales development out there. I briefly managed USDA ARS and realized that was completely out of my depth,
Mallory: [00:20:26] same hair. I used to call them my kids.
Jeff: [00:20:30] So thank you. We were in our last segment. I call it the Rorschach test.
So how this works, I'm just going to say a few words and I'd love to hear the first thing that comes to your mind. So if you're ready, let's go. All right. All right. Personalization versus
Mallory: [00:20:45] relevance. I think about marketing automation for that one, you know, having your email content, it's still, it's still something that's foundational and people have been doing it forever, but remain super important
Jeff: [00:20:59] B2B versus
Mallory: [00:21:00] this one.
I instantly think of marketing cloud because there's so many different options out there. Some are B2B and some are B to C. And when people don't know which one they belong
Jeff: [00:21:11] to
Mallory: [00:21:13] real or not, I would say real
Jeff: [00:21:15] marketing, qualified accounts. Very real,
Mallory: [00:21:18] Separate but different, but both real.
Jeff: [00:21:20] Yeah. I think a lot of folks don't often talk about MQL, but on LinkedIn, no one talks about MTAs who be a fit for notice field marketing, post postcode.
Mallory: [00:21:27] Oh man. I would say this is emerging. We've started conversations here. We've taken some polls and think people are ready to get back out there. So when done, well, hopefully on a rooftop, I think it's timely.
Jeff: [00:21:41] I'm ready for some live events and cocktails with customers personally. I'm all right. Deal.
Mallory: [00:21:45] Oh, deal velocity. This is one to measure. This is something built into the way we do measurement determinants platform. I think it's all about. Highest possible fit and going as fast as you can with the understanding that bigger deals take time. So something to keep an eye on, for sure.
Jeff: [00:22:03] Right. Publishing enterprise pricing,
Mallory: [00:22:05] mushing enterprise pricing. Oh, you're killing me. You know, I'm in the I'm in the no camp on that one, mainly competitive. That's my main reason
Jeff: [00:22:14] for that.
Mallory: [00:22:17] As tiaras and inbound, they go by literally zillion names. I like it best when there are dedicated people following up on inbound and dedicated people going out down to target accounts, but I prefer for them to be on the same
Jeff: [00:22:32] team and pipeline management last pipeline management.
Mallory: [00:22:36] This makes me think of diligence. It's endeavor, never, never ending task. And at Terminix we have pipeline council that meets twice a week. And so it's a huge group of people that are dedicated to pipeline and forecasting and generating as much pipeline as we can. So they're high
Jeff: [00:22:57] priority. That's awesome.
Valerie one, thank you for joining us today. Where can our listeners find out more about you?
Mallory: [00:23:05] Oh man. I would say my LinkedIn page is probably the right place. It takes me a week or so to get back to a message, but I do get
Jeff: [00:23:13] back to them. Thanks again. Thanks
Mallory: [00:23:15] Mallory. Yeah, thank you. Bye.

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