image of dan tyre
Aug 8, 2019

How to structure your SaaS marketing team and a whole lot more with Dan Tyre of Hubspot

By Matt Dodgson

Co-Founder - Recruiter & Marketer

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Fiona Jensen: Welcome to Market Mentors, a podcast for the marketing leaders of today, and tomorrow. I’m Fiona Jensen, a director, and co-owner of Market Recruitment. For over a decade, I’ve been helping B2B marketeers find the best jobs, with great companies. Together we’ll discover how marketing experts reach the top, and learn from their experience. Ask career related questions you can’t get answers to elsewhere. Be tough, be challenged, be mentored.

Fiona Jensen: Want to know how to work better with sales? Do you want to adopt an inbound marketing approach? Then this episode will help you do just that, as we interview Dan Tyre, of $8 billion company, HubSpot, and co-author of the book The Inbound Organization. Dan energetically shares lessons from his five past startup experiences, and deep dives into the inbound marketing world at the flywheel, a customer centric marketing approach. There’s life lessons, fun stories, and a whole new language to get to grips with. So let’s listen to the self-proclaimed luckiest man in the world, who has 12 years experience helping other companies and marketers grow at scale.

Fiona Jensen: Right, I am super excited to introduce Dan Tyre, of HubSpot fame. Thank you ever so much for joining us today, Dan. For any crazy marketer out there who might not have come across yourself, or HubSpot, please give us a summary and intro as to what they can expect to learn today.

Dan Tyre: My name is Dan Tyre, I’m the luckiest guy in the universe. I’m 60 years old. I reside in Arizona. Fiona, you ever been to Arizona in the United States?

Fiona Jensen: I haven’t, but if you’re inviting me, I will come. I am that much of a fan.

Dan Tyre: I only stay in Arizona about 30% of the time, but it’s where the Grand Canyon is, we have Sedona, it’s actually the fifth largest city in the United States. And I travel all over the world. I have been married 29 years to my beautiful wife, Amy. Actually about 90% of the smart things I say, I clip from my beautiful wife, Amy. Right, I just repurpose it. We’re having breakfast the other day, and I’m like, “Oh, that’s really smart.” And I start writing it down. She turns to me, she goes, “Dan, don’t steal my content.” Oh baby, you know you live in an inbound family when your wife accuses you of stealing her content. [crosstalk 00:02:34]. I got two great kids. Eli’s 25, Sally just turned 21. She just won a national championship on the crew team. Right, [crosstalk 00:02:44].

Fiona Jensen: Wow.

Dan Tyre: I know. She’s 4’11”, weighs 89 pounds, and she’s got Dan Tyre energy. She’s amazing, right. And I know a lot of people-

Fiona Jensen: I wonder where she gets her energy from, Dan.

Dan Tyre: I know. And I just celebrated my 12th year here at HubSpot. I’ve actually done five startups. I graduated university in 1980. I sold books door-to-door in the United States to work my way through college. I know I sound like your grandfather, but that’s the only way I could get through [crosstalk 00:03:14].

Fiona Jensen: I love it.

Dan Tyre: And then I started selling computers in 1982 in Boston. And it was very interesting. This company sold Apple computers to area businesses, and I did that for about a year, and my boss came to me, this guy Roger [Lun 00:03:32], and he said, “Dan, I’m moving to a startup.” I’m like, “What’s a startup?” And he’s like, “It’s a small company that’s going to grow very quickly.” And I’m like, “All right, well have a good time.” He goes, “No, I want to bring you with me.” I’m like, “No, I already got a job.” He’s like, “I’ll pay you $2,000 more.” I’m like, “I’m in. Let’s go. Startup. Let’s go.” So I started with Roger, and [Murray Dennis 00:03:53], and [AJ McMillan 00:03:54] as part of the startup team in Boston. The company was about $3 million, and over the next 9, 10 years it went to 1.4 billion dollars US. And it IPOd, and it was unbelievable hyper growth. And I got addicted to growing companies very quickly. It was super fun, super impactful, and I had a great ride. [Busl 00:04:14] was the symbol, it was awesome.

Dan Tyre: Then I started a company in my dining room, an agency that started with one marketer, right, and of course 14 salespeople. That’s the way we did it back then. I know you’re shaking your head, going oh my goodness, not that mistake. And I grew that business to $5 million, sold it to a Phoenix based company, that’s how I got to Arizona, in 1997. The combined companies grew to $25 million. So it’s an agency with eight locations throughout North America, about 250 people, at $25 million. And it was awesome. My third startup went bankrupt. We were talking earlier today about failure, bankruptcy taught me business planning, and humility, right. And it was a seminal component of my business experience. My fourth startup got bought out by Microsoft, and the vice president of sales-

Fiona Jensen: [crosstalk 00:05:10].

Dan Tyre: I know. I told you, I’m the luckiest guy in the world. My fourth startup got bought out by Microsoft. The vice president of sales there was a gentleman by the name of Brian Halligan. When Microsoft bought Groove Networks, he went to MIT, I went to work for Microsoft for a year. And then my fifth startup is HubSpot, worth about $8 billion, traded on the New York Stock Exchange. I’ve been here for 12 years. I just saw on LinkedIn I’ve been at HubSpot for 12 years. I was the first sales person at HubSpot, the first sales manager, the first sales director. I ran the international division, sales recruiting, education. I trained all of the people for the first two years, and now work in the HubSpot agency partner program, teaching our partners out of scale. So lots of twists and turns. HubSpot is the crown jewel to my business career. Now I’m an angel investor, I’ve invested in about 35 companies. I speak 60 times a year. I just did a UK tour. I was in Manchester, I was in Oxford, I was in London for 300 people.

Dan Tyre: Last year I wrote a book called The Inbound Organisation, which is super fun. I blog twice a month. I have a mentoring program, where I work with about 35 individuals, ranging from teenagers in the Bronx, all the way to CEOs of $30 million companies. And I have a lot of fun. My mission statement is to do the most good that I can for the universe, which I clipped from my 25-year-old kid. When he dropped out of university, he’s like, “Dad, all I want to do is the most good I can for the universe.” I’m like, “Okay, I’m stealing that line. That is awesome.” And I love jumping on podcasts like this, Fiona. I love helping marketers work through their careers. It’s a great time to be a marketer, oh my goodness. We’ll talk a little bit about that, but in 2019 marketing is where all the activity is. Marketing is everything. Marketing is brand, it’s lead generation, it’s helping build the customer base, it’s engagement, it’s awareness, like the web digital strategy, marketing is everything. So you’re seeing lots of motivated marketers get promoted more quickly, take responsibility as CEOs. Yeah, super fun and exciting.

How to build a marketing team for a $10m revenue SaaS Startup

Fiona Jensen: Absolutely. I completely agree. And I love the whistle-stop tour that we’ve just had of the Dan Tyre history and experience, and I’m so excited to be able to dig in, and unpack some of that experience now, to help those marketers, as you just said. So a lot of our audience, as you know, are within the [SAS 00:07:48] space, and I’m sure they’d love to achieve success that HubSpot has had. So let’s assume you were about to join a $10 million SAAS startup business as chief revenue officer, with the [inaudible 00:08:02] of building a team, and helping them scale. What kind of team would you build now, with all that experience, knowledge under your belt already?

Dan Tyre: Yeah, so the first thing is I’m a big believer in having co-founders, right. It’s hard to be an entrepreneur. Right, and there’re some characteristics, some of the things that made HubSpot HubSpot is Dharmesh and Brian, the co-founders of HubSpot, they were smart, they were empathetic, they have no ego, right. Or they have a little ego, but it’s very, very little, right. They’re very community minded. They’re very customer first, right. And they build a corporate culture that is second to none in the world, right. The HubSpot culture, we have what’s called a culture code. So it’s the most downloaded SlideShare in the history of SlideShare. Like four million downloads. Dharmesh wrote it. It defines what we want in our culture.

Dan Tyre: We lean into inclusion, and diversity, inclusion, and belonging. Right, so it’s very diverse. Right, we’re 1 of 20% of companies that have three women on our board of directors. We have a person of color on our board of directors, which seems like why doesn’t everybody have that? I mean you’re trying to sell to women, you’d think you’d have women executives, women managers, women in your workforce, right. Not everybody does. But I’m like it’s 2019, it’s time to wake up, right. But HubSpot has been a leader in that. And it’s super excited to work with the HubSpotters all the time, because the mission statement for HubSpot is to help you grow better. Help millions of marketers, millions of salespeople, millions of companies, millions of individuals to grow better. And I take that very, very seriously.

Dan Tyre: If you’re going into a $10 million company, right, there’s a couple of motions that are pretty important. The first is you probably have a defined sales motion, right, but you want to make sure that you can grow that quickly, that it’s process oriented. Right, the first vice president of sales for HubSpot, a guy by the name of Mark Roberge. Have you ever heard of Mark Roberge?

Fiona Jensen: I have, yeah.

Dan Tyre: He wrote a book called The Sales Acceleration Formula, and he teaches at Harvard Business School now. He was a great vice president of sales, because he wasn’t a vice president of sales, he was an engineer, and he viewed the sales process like a math problem, right. And he took us from 0 to $100 million. And so he talks about making sure that it’s process oriented, so that you can quickly move from the 10 million that you got to do this year, to the 20 million you got to do the next year, to the 40 million you got to do the next year, right. So you have to understand that sales process. Part of that is also aligning with marketing. So in 2019, it’s not sales, it’s not marketing, it’s schmarketing. Say that, Fiona. Say, “Schmarketing.”

Fiona Jensen: Schmarketing. I’m with you, Dan. Schmarketing.

Dan Tyre: That’s awesome. On the first try, Fiona, very, very impressed. I invented that term in 2007, with the CMO of HubSpot, his name is Mike Volpe. We were getting drunk at the [Cambridge Incubation Center 00:11:08], which is where our office was. It was on the seventh floor, and I was drinking Sam Adams beer. It was cold, because we’re in the United States, and he was drinking scotch, right. And we were just getting our first inbound leads. It was awesome. And a typical salesperson in 2007 spent all their time cold calling. And I cold called for HubSpot. Don’t tell anybody. It’s not that good. But I mean cold calling is hard. You’re calling up people with a script, and being a little pushy.

Dan Tyre: And then Mike started delivering these inbound leads, and I’m like, “Mike, this changes my life. This is unbelievable.” He’s going, “Yeah, I know. Dan, that’s what our software does. It helps you generate leads.” I’m going, “No, but you don’t understand, this has a bigger impact on sales than it does on marketing.” I go, “I need more of these leads for my team.” He’s like, “I know, but I don’t have any headcount.” I’m like, “What do you mean you don’t have any headcount?” “I only have two people in my department.” I’m like, “All right, well I’m going to give you sales headcount. He’s like, “What?” I go, “I’ll give you sales headcount to hire a marketing person.” He’s like, “Stop. You will give me a sales person, who carries a quota, in exchange for a marketing person that doesn’t.” I go, “It’s not sales, it’s not marketing, it’s schmarketing. Right, if I get those leads, I can have fewer salespeople that are more productive.” And he’s like, “Okay.”

Dan Tyre: It was also easy for me, because it wasn’t my headcount, it belonged to Mark Roberge, who’s the vice president of sales. I was just tapping the bag from my Sam Adams brewskies. Right, but the next day Mark was interviewed by Professor Thomas Steenburgh from Harvard Business School, and he wrote schmarketing in this … It’s a case study. It’s called [web 2.0 00:12:53], the HubSpot Story. And Mark says no, that we call it schmarketing. And the guy goes, “That’s funny.” I’m like, “No, it’s real.” Right. And over the last 12 years it’s become a real thing. Because think about it, salespeople do a lot of marketing. They do a lot of education, they do a lot of brand awareness. Marketing do a lot of sales. They send out emails, they do eBooks, they educate, they do videos. And in the old days there was this separation between sales and marketing. Today it’s all bushed together, right.

Dan Tyre: And so if you go into a $10 million company, you’ve got to make sure you’ve got those motions going, so that you can build that process. That’s the sales motion, so you know how to engage. It’s the marketing motion, because guess what, in any SAS company you’re going to grow 100% per year, so you’re going to want to make sure that you constantly have enough leads to follow up. And an inbound, right, where the marketers understand inbound intuitively. Right, every marketer I ever met, they’re like, “Okay, I get it.” Right. The sales guys are like, “What? What do you mean? You mean I’ve got to help people? Why do I got to help people? I want to sell.” And I’m like, “No, you can do whatever you want, it’s always a choice.” But if you help people, you will earn their business. If you be a pushy salesperson, right, in 2007 they just wouldn’t buy from you. In 2019, they will never buy from you. And I’ve got all the data, and the facts.

Dan Tyre: The best thing about being Dan Tyre is I was right. So I listened to Dharmesh, I listened to Brian, and I’m like yeah, that makes sense. I want to help people. And if you listen to Dan Tyre in 2007, you dominate your business, because you get all of the organic search on social media. You’re treating your prospects like people, right. You would never spam somebody you knew. Would you spam your momma, Fiona?

Fiona Jensen: No, absolutely not. She’d kick my butt. She’d kick my butt.

Dan Tyre: Exactly. Right. But lots of marketers do it. They do this stupid stuff. In 2014, it was bad. In 2019, it will kill your company. And I can prove it. I got all the data and the facts, right. The people who help, the people who treat people like human beings, the people that help indiscriminately. That’s why doing the most good for the universe is both my core mission statement, it’s also consistent with the HubSpot mission statement of helping people grow better. So, to get back to your question, number one, $10 million, first thing, your sales process. The second thing is you want to make sure you’re marketing process is in. That’s multi-level. First of all, you have to have a good brand, right. If you don’t have a good brand, it’s time for a rebrand, right, because you’ve got one shot in 2019. And if you get a reputation as a bad brand, that’s bad news. There’s ways around it. And millions of companies … Maybe not millions, thousands of companies, tens of thousands of companies have rebranded with a different vision.

Dan Tyre: But that’s super important, because today it’s all about the experience, right. No-one cares about a product. If there’s any product managers listening to this podcast, I hate to break it to you, but no-one cares. The product features are mildly important. The user experience, super important. Right, and there’s gazillions examples, from away luggage, to Tesla, to HubSpot, where you define yourself based on the experience that you have. The new product development is the customer experience, and that’s what inbound is all about. So the third thing is you got to deliver quality products and services, right. And it doesn’t matter if you can get the leads, and you can sell them, if you can’t deliver, and create delighted clients. And we call that a flywheel. Have you ever heard of the flywheel?

Fiona Jensen: I have. I found it in this great book called The Inbound Organisation.

Dan Tyre: Yes. I wrote with Todd Hockenberry. Great shout out, Todd is nothing like me. I’m all big energy, Todd is logical, and he’s smart, and he’s kind, and he’s empathetic, and he’s a great writer. And I would be freaking out, I’d be yelling, “Oh, we got a deadline coming.” Todd would be like, “No, we’ll get it done.” I spent more time with Todd in 2017 writing this book than I spent with my wife. We didn’t have any arguments in a whole year. And we lecture all the time, we run these workshops where people hire us. They’re like, “We want to be an inbound organisation.” We did one in Washington DC just last month. And we come in, and we work with the senior executives, and we understand where the potholes are. And then we help take traditional marketing organisations, traditional sales organisations, and traditional companies over into being inbound organisations. Right, and it’s a paid workshop that we do. Sometimes we have public workshops that are free. But it’s very, very encouraging. And it helps people move towards becoming mission driven businesses that will dominate their workforce.

Dan Tyre: Right, so delivering on your product, delivering on your service, super important. What the flywheel is taking customers, and making them great customers, and making them advocates. I hate to break it to the salespeople who’re listening. Do you think there’s any salespeople listening to this podcast?

Fiona Jensen: Indeed. A few.

Dan Tyre: Okay. If there are, we love salespeople, but you got to be a schmarketing salespeople. You got to have high empathy, right. You can’t be a pushy salespeople, or no-one will ever buy from you. The downside of being a salesperson, we’ll lose a million sales jobs over the next two years. It’s all going to happen quick. If you’re helping, you’ll get the reputation of helping, you’ll always have a job. If you’re pushing, like we did in 2004, you’ll be out of work, right. You got to find a new career. You got to be a cook, or a baker, or, I don’t know, plow the fields, or something, because you’re not going to make it as a sales person. A salesperson helps, we call them shelpers. Sales plus helping is shelping. Say shelping, Fiona.

Fiona Jensen: Shelping.

Dan Tyre: Very good. You don’t have it down like you have schmarketing-

Fiona Jensen: It’s a whole new language, Dan, that I’m learning.

Dan Tyre: No, you’ve got to make sure you’re delivering high quality service or products. And I talk to thousands of entrepreneurs. I’m going to Brazil tonight. I’m going to talk to all these people, and I’m going to say, “Do you have happy customers?” And no-one ever says, “No. My customers hate me.” They all say, “Yeah, I got happy customers.” I go, “Prove it.” And they’re like, “Ooh. What does that mean?” I’m like, “What’s your NPS?” And they’re like, “Ooh, what’s NPS?” And do you know NPS, Fiona?

Fiona Jensen: Net Promoter Score, Dan.

Dan Tyre: And what is it? What is NPS?

Fiona Jensen: It’s reviews, Dan, based on customer feedback from actual service or product delivery.

Dan Tyre: That’s right. So the reason Dan Tyres have a program called the Lion program here at HubSpot where I work with Professor David Winehouse, who’s brilliant, by the way. I’m all big energy, he’s super thoughtful, and a still strategist. Our NPS is 91, right. That’s off the chart. 91. So it’s not good enough for people to say you got a good program, I want to know what your NPS is. And so measuring, and getting an analytic response of why you have happy customers is critical to any marketing program, right. If you don’t have happy customers, everybody’s going to know about it. In 2012, if you were doing work for me, or I didn’t like your podcast, I would call your boss, and say, “I don’t like Fiona’s podcast.” And your boss would call you into the office, and they’d say, “Fiona, change the podcast.” And you’d be like, “Okay, whatever.” And you’ll walk out. What happens now, if I don’t like your podcast?

Fiona Jensen: You’ll write review, Dan.

Dan Tyre: Exactly. And then you’re all published-

Fiona Jensen: Where everyone can see it.

Dan Tyre: I know. @dantyre, 68,000 people are like, “Oh, Fiona’s terrible.” Right. Or it goes out on Instagram. Or on my LinkedIn, I’m like, “I don’t like this podcast.” So we all work in a fishbowl. That’s why marketing is everything, right. Your brand is super important. All of that kind of stuff is critically important, as it relates to the engagement of your clients. So first of all, you have to get the leads. That’s the marketing motion and process. The next thing, you have to have a inbound way of engaging. Third of all, you’ve got to make sure that you have a delivery mechanism. And then the fourth part is the scale, right. So you’ve got to be very, very careful. You now see companies, in the United States and in the UK, who don’t grow quite as quickly as they did before. In the old days you took a bunch of venture capital, and you grew like crazy, right. Today you take a little less money, and you grow organically, so that you don’t burn out your customers, so that you’re able to provide better customer satisfaction.

Dan Tyre: By the way a huge shout out to Mimi An. She is a researcher here at HubSpot. She runs HubSpot Research. And she’s what makes me sound so smart. All of these stats that I drop like I invented them, I didn’t invent any of them. I read HubSpot Research. She said in 2014 the average company had seven competitors. In 2014. What do you think it is in 2018? The last year we had statistics.

Fiona Jensen: 27?

Dan Tyre: 44, right.

Fiona Jensen: No way.

Dan Tyre: That doesn’t surprise you. It’s startup nation, right. In the UK, you guys are slowly starting up companies. The reason why you’re in business is all these SAS companies go, “I need more people. I need good marketers. I need a marketer that understands how to scale.” Right, if you have those skills, guess what, you have lifetime employment. You’ve got to make sure that you’re kind of doing the demand gen, you’re branding, that you’re working with your schmarketing, that your collateral’s there, your digital process, all of that. But now marketing expands to your flywheel, which means your client engagement. HubSpot has people in our marketing department that are focused just on our clients. Why wouldn’t you do client marketing? I mean they’re the most important people that you have. They’re giving you money every single month, you may as well market to them in ways where you understand their personas, you understand what they really want, and then you make them delighted customers, right.

Dan Tyre: And we watch our NPS at HubSpot all the time, right. We want to be very, very clear that it’s customer first, that we provide free software so that we can help everybody, but we also want to make sure that our customers are satisfied, and continue to be satisfied, so that we can grow our ecosystem. The last thing is the culture, right. And this is a big pothole, right. HubSpot is leaned into culture, because as you hit 3,000 employees, your single biggest leverage point is hiring additional people that are accretive to the message, right. So HubSpot now has 65 full-time recruiters, which I just learned this week talking to my friend [Alicia Zang 00:23:31]. And in the old generations, when you got to your 3,000 employees, the quality of the person would decline. It’s the exact opposite at HubSpot. I don’t know if I could get into HubSpot if I applied to HubSpot today. The bar is so high, because we want to make sure that it’s diversity, inclusion, belonging, and A players.

Dan Tyre: I was talking to this new HubSpotter today, [Patrick Rogan 00:23:55]. I’m going, “What makes HubSpot so great?” He’s going, “It’s the people.” Oh my goodness, the people are awesome, right. And by definition, our partners, which are [inaudible 00:24:07] marketing, and then by definition our customers, we call that the ecosystem, right. So the whole idea of what a marketer would do when they go into a $10 million company is, first of all, define the mission, right, and become a mission driven organization. Second of all, make sure that you have the lead process, you have the sales process, you have the delivery process, you’ve got your flywheel. That’s five jobs right there, right. That’s impossible, but welcome to marketing in 2019.

Fiona Jensen: Very good, I love it. And on that, with regards to the culture, and the quality, and the caliber, and the people, I think I spotted, looking through your LinkedIn profile about how to be your own best cheerleader without ruffling other people’s pompoms. I absolutely loved that. [crosstalk 00:24:57].

Dan Tyre: Yeah, do you know Dan [inaudible 00:25:00]?

Fiona Jensen: No, I don’t know.

Dan Tyre: He’s the funniest Dan at HubSpot. I’m the second funniest Dan at HubSpot, right. Lots of the jokes that I tell, Dan actually wrote. And he used to do standup comedy. And making people laugh, I’ve always found is a very effective way, right, to get a message across. Right, and I’m a goofball. Right, I’ve got gray hair, I’m 60 years old, but I’m like a 9-year-old. Right, I like making people laugh. All the jokes that I tell you, right, I’ve told a million times. Right, and it just breaks down barriers. Right, even in different cultures, right, I always want to be respectful, and I want to be professional, but if I can make you smile, I can make you laugh, that’s where the whole schmarketing thing came out, right. I was just being a goofball, right. And now it’s a real thing, right. And lecturing at Harvard Business School, and going all over the world talking about the power of schmarketing, I keynote all these events, I’m going to Brazil, which will be awesome. And everybody wants to hear how he did it, right.

Dan Tyre: And the message is the same, right. You start with good people. You become a mission driven organization. You focus on a specific niche. Now this is different in 2019 than it was in 2007. Right, the riches are in the niches. Have you ever heard that, Fiona?

Fiona Jensen: I have, yeah. I’m not sure where I’ve heard it from, but yeah.

Dan Tyre: A million people said that on the internet, I’m not the first person to say it. Everybody says, “That’s funny, Tyre.” Right, but I didn’t invent that, somebody else did. And it’s true, right. In 2019, generalists don’t usually win the business. In 2017, generalists could do it. 2019, if you’ve got a stomachache, you don’t want a general practitioner, you want a gastroenterologist. I don’t even know what that is, but it’s somebody who looks at your stomach, and says, “Here, take this.” The time, the value is very, very quick, and that’s different than we’ve had in the past, right.

Dan Tyre: So understanding, and being effective, in the way in which we engage, right. I tell all of these companies, all right, pick a [inaudible 00:27:00]. Right, you’ll grow quicker, because you’ll understand, and provide, by definition, better service. Right, you’ll be known as the company that works in London with SAS based fintech startups. Right, all of these fintech, agritech, all of these subdivisions, right, they have their own vocabulary. They have their own ecosystems. They have their own goals. And if you specialize in one, then you’re the recruiting agency that just works at fintech in London, and you get all of these WOML. You know what WOML are?

Word Of Mouth Leads

Fiona Jensen: No, what’s a WOML? That is new to me, Dan.

Dan Tyre: All right, I knew we would have at least one epiphany in this [crosstalk 00:27:40].

Fiona Jensen: I’m ready.

Dan Tyre: I know. Word Of Mouth Leads. Right, I know, I’m like, “You need more WOML.” And everybody says the same thing. They’re like, “What’s WOML?” I go, “WOML.” Then I let them pause there, so they’re thinking WOML, WOML. That’s just dopey. And then they go, “Oh, Word Of Mouth Leads.” Right, and don’t you want more word of mouth leads?

Fiona Jensen: Totally.

Dan Tyre: Why?

Fiona Jensen: Who doesn’t? They’re the best.

Dan Tyre: I know. Why are they the best though?

Fiona Jensen: Well someone’s done all the hard work for you. The expectations have been set.

Dan Tyre: Boom. And I go, “No, Fiona, we got to do business.” And you’re like, “Well Dan, we have to do an [inaudible 00:28:18].” I’m like, “No, Emma Hogan told me that I should call you. She’s done all her due diligence. I trust Emma. I’m not that price sensitive. Let’s just go. I need this problem solved.” Welcome to 2019, right. Word of mouth leads are the outcome of the flywheel, and that’s why marketers need to be aware of that, focused on that, and facilitating turning customers into delighted customers. I’ll tell you this, this is a little controversial, I clipped this from Brian Halligan, the CEO of HubSpot. He’s like, “No, your customers are more important than your sales team.” And I went, “I don’t know if I can say that.” He goes, “Okay, it’s true.” And then I did the research, actually Mimi An did the research, and I clipped it. She’s right.

Dan Tyre: If you don’t have happy customers in 2019, you’re not going to get out of the shoot. You can’t scale, because now, with 44 competitors, everybody just feels like hey, it’s table stakes. It’s not so much the product, right. I am a poker player. Never play poker with me, Fiona. Right, I’ll own your car by the end of the night. And there’s 44 apps on my iPhone that offer free poker, right. And I do Zynga Poker, because they got in early, and it works, right. But if Zynga Poker doesn’t work one time, right, I’m done. I’ll go over to WPT, or whatever it is, and I’ll just play another poker game, right. This is the business that we do in 2019. So with so many competitors, you’ve constantly got to create customer delight. And you’ve constantly got to make sure that you’re delighting your customers, and more and more people are talking about it, to build that ecosystem.

Sales and marketing alignment in SaaS Companies

Fiona Jensen: Perfect. Really valid points, thanks Dan. So being on the sales side, what do you think B2B marketers in the SAS space do to help sales teams? And what challenges have you found in your experience working with marketers?

Dan Tyre: Yeah, it’s been great. I’m blessed, because at HubSpot we have the best marketers in the world. Rachel Leist, [inaudible 00:30:17], John Dick. And one of the greatest thing about HubSpot is when you leave HubSpot, we still celebrate you, so Rebecca Corliss, and Ellie Mirman, Pamela Vaughan, who’s still here, it’s great. Emma Brudner. All these people, they were awesome in teaching me the appropriate way to engage professionally. Remember I was a pushy salesperson until I started at HubSpot. And they were like, “No. Tyre, you’ve got to be helpful.” Right, and marketing tends to be women, and women are more empathetic than men. Men want to conquer things. It’s all this warrior imagery. I want to kill the competition. I want to crush this deal, right. Women are like, “I want to feed the whole village. We got to take care of this kid.” Women are just better at life than men, right.

Fiona Jensen: Can I quote you on that forevermore, Dan?

Dan Tyre: That is one of my best quotes. Women are better at life than men, because guess what, they are, right. It’s just the way you’re wired. They understand, and want to help everybody. And guys are very myopically focused on me. It’s all about me. And it’s not all about you, right. It’s all about the village. And it does take a village, right. So what these marketers have told me is that it’s a combination, and that you have to help people. I wrote a famous blog article called Always Be Closing Is Dead: How to Always Be Helping, based on my experience of shared sales and marketing kind of thing. So the first thing that I would say to a sales person walking into a $10 million SAS company is go bear hug your marketer. The first thing I would tell a marketer is go over and talk to the sales team, right. Don’t [crosstalk 00:31:54]-

Fiona Jensen: [crosstalk 00:31:54] so cuddle them?

Dan Tyre: You can cuddle them if you want, right. Just make sure it’s professional. But say we’ve got to work together. You want to meet on a regular basis. You want to understand how. You need to understand what their quota is. If a marketer understands what the overall company quota is, and the ultimate sales quota, it becomes much, much easier, because then they’re working together, right. And then there’s a shared goal. So you have to have a common vocabulary about leads, about MQLs, Marketing Qualified Leads, about Sales Qualified Leads, and if you have that, it becomes a lot easier for you to talk about how you’re selling. Right, marketers now have a quota, not only for lead generation, but also a revenue quota. And if you’re using HubSpot, you should be able to say, “All right, we gave our marketing organization $1.2 million of funding last year. They turned it into $4.6 million worth of revenue,” right.

Dan Tyre: And I sit on five boards of directors, when I see the sales guy coming in, and I’m like, “All right, you hired three new salespeople. What was the outcome?” he can show me. Right, when I say the same thing to marketers, if they run a [inaudible 00:33:04] spot there, I’m like, “Wow. Okay, you need more budget. What can I do?” And lots of times people look at marketing not as an investment, because it takes a little longer, right. Sales, you hire three salespeople, and they’re producing in six months. Marketing, it’s programs, it’s multi-year, it’s process, but if you’re using [inaudible 00:33:24] you’ll see the corelation. You’ll see the responses that you get when you publish a piece of content, and how it scales, right.

Dan Tyre: So the marketers need to go over, and say, “All right, we’re in this together. I know the quota is 10 million, going up to 15 million next year.” And the salesperson is thinking, “Oh man. What’s coming next?” And then the marketer’s going to say, “So would it be okay if I took a little bit of your quota for 2019, and 2020.” Salesperson will be like, “What? What? What do you mean take my quota?” You go, “I want to help you overachieve and make more money. You down with that?” And they’re like, “Yeah.” And you say, “I know your quota’s a million and a half. I think I can do about 200 to $300,000 of your quota, if you’ll give me a little help.” And they’re like, “Yeah, what do I need to do?” And what they need to do is they need to help create content. What they need to do is push the content through social media. What they need to do …

Dan Tyre: Salespeople, as soon as you say the word blog, right, their eyes glaze over, and they’re like, “Oh my goodness.” As soon as you say the word … Exactly. Very good demonstration. Fiona. As soon as you say the word talk, salespeople are like, “I’ll talk forever.” There was this woman, Leslie Ye, at HubSpot. Right, she’s a five year HubSpotter, she’s a delightful human being, super smart. She had no experience in sales, and she got hired to write for the sales blog. So she sent out this email, says, “I need help.” You ever need Dan Tyre’s attention, you say, “I need help,” in your subject line. And I’m like, “All right, Leslie. What can I help you with?” She goes, “I know nothing about sales, and I have to write all these blog articles.” I’m like, “Okay, I’m in.” She goes, “What do you mean, you’re in?” I’m like, “Let’s meet once a week. You ask the question. You archive it. You write the article.” And all I had to do was talk, right.

Dan Tyre: Leslie and I wrote a hundred blog articles, right. I didn’t write them, she wrote the whole thing, right. And then she would stop, and she’d say, “Okay, I don’t understand this. What is closing a sale? What do you mean when you’re digging into research? How do you do this kind of stuff?” All I had to do … She goes, “What do you say,” and we produced all these great blog articles that several of them are top producers for HubSpot. And she learned all that process, she wrote all the things, she was great at headlines, sometimes she’d use a little click bait, but it was good, and pictures, right. And you’ll see all of the great Dan Tyre blog articles, and great pictures, right, because that’s all Leslie. And she was a super smart marketer, who would cycle in, and say, “All right.” We would have hour long meetings in seven minutes. She’s the only human being on the planet that talks quicker than I do. And she’d say, “All right, Tyre, just talk.” Right, and then boom, I’d just talk.

Dan Tyre: And then, after seven minutes, she’d look up, she goes, “I’ve got enough.” She’d come back, she’d write it out, I’d review it in five minutes. And then boom, we’d have great content. From a salesperson, if you’re a prospect for me, I send you a blog article. And they’re like, “Wow. You wrote this blog article.” I’m like, “Yes I did.” [crosstalk 00:36:15] wrote it, but they’re like, “Wow. You must be a thought leader.” Which is kind of an interesting kind of thing. But I have hundreds of blog articles that were driven by the sales and marketing alignment, driven by Leslie’s ability to sit, listen, write, and now she does it for the HubSpot executive communications, which is super cool. And that’s the essence of scaling, at the time, a $10 million SAS company to where we are today.

The evolution of B2B marketing

Fiona Jensen: Fantastic. Really good example, thank. So how has marketing changed since you started in your career?

Dan Tyre: Yeah, so in the old days, I know I’m going to sound like your grandfather, but marketing was always in the doghouse, right. They never had enough budget, there were always 2 marketers, and 45 salespeople. And they were always in the doghouse, because they were a built in excuse. Marketing was always women, most cases the sales team was guys. And marketing was over-mashed. Marketing did the brand awareness, they created the leads. And the salesperson would come out, and they would take the lead, they would call the lead, they would qualify the lead, right. I would get on the phone, and I’d say, “Fiona, are you ready to buy this month?” And back then you didn’t have a choice. It really kind of ticked you off, in fact I saw the little hairs go up on the back of your neck when I said that, right. I would qualify you on the connect call. Anybody who qualifies on the connect call today, right, they’ll never get the business, right.

Dan Tyre: And then I would say, right, you need a product demo. Which, by the way, in 2019, no-one cares about your product demo, right. And then I would answer objections that are being [inaudible 00:37:50] closing sequence. So I would do 95% of the sales process. Marketing would only do 5%. And if I was doing great, yes. I was Caesar, carried around on a little fringed pillow. Everybody was super excited, Tyre is great. And if I was doing bad, I’d blame the leads. I’m like, “The marketing organization’s giving me terrible leads.” And then they would get fired, right. So I got all the glory, I got all the money. When you wanted to scale a business, you hired Dan Tyre. And I’d get on a soap box, and I’d hire field sales people. I’d never add anybody to marketing, right. Poor marketing people would work tirelessly to do all this kind of stuff.

Dan Tyre: Today, you want to scale a business, the third person you hire is a marketer, right. We have this program at HubSpot called HubSpot For Startups, right. We’ve been doing it for eight years. Kim Walsh is the mighty VP who runs that organization. Incredibly impactful. Actually I helped start the program back in, I think it was 2010, but she’s taken it to a whole new light. And you have your proof of concept. The next person you hire, the third person is a customer support person, to make sure you have happy customers. The fourth person you hire isn’t a sales person, it’s a marketing person, because if you can bring the leads to the website, right, you’ll be able to get more business. If you can’t bring the leads to the website, you’re pooched. Forget about it. Close it down. It’s never going to work. And I can prove it. That’s all in the HubSpot For Startups success stories that we have all over the website.

Dan Tyre: So in the old days marketing, it was just hard, right. Today it’s the best. If you invest in marketing, if you invest in your skills, right, it’s the best time ever to be a marketer. When I am on stage, I’m going to say this in Sao Paolo, Brazil on Friday, if you have more than 10 sales people in your sales organization, if you’re a CEO, go back to the office, take your two least performing salespeople, fire them, give all the money to marketing. Right, and the marketing people stand up and clap. The sales people are like, “Oh, I wouldn’t have done that.” I’m going, “They’re not going to make it anyway. They don’t even know their quota. They’re wasting time. You just did that because that’s what you did in 1997. It’s just dopey.” I go, “Marketers, if you’re not practicing inbound, right, then you should.” Because do you happen to know, Fiona, the average atrophy of your database on a annual basis?”

Fiona Jensen: No, I’m not sure on that.

Dan Tyre: So your database of contacts atrophies between 24, and 27% per year. So unfortunately people die. Sometimes they move businesses. Sometimes you’re just not interested in the subject anymore. So if you’re not constantly bringing in leads, or you don’t have a million leads, right, even if you have a million, you’re going to be out of business in four years unless you’re constantly replenishing. So I say to the marketers, “If you’re not practicing inbound, quit. Go to some place that got that lead generation machine, go.” And then I say, “Salespeople, you’re not getting inbound leads in 2019, right, where are you getting your leads from? You guys should quit, and go to a place that’s getting inbound leads.” I’m telling you, it is completely different. You ask any HubSpot salesperson what it’s like to pick up the phone and call people, and they’re like, “Oh yeah. I know HubSpot.” “Oh yeah, we were just on your website.” And they’re like, “Really?” “Yeah.” “What were you looking for help with?” Which is a famous line that was invented by Catherine [inaudible 00:41:14], a great tenure HubSpotter, who’s active in our partner program.

Dan Tyre: She just asked that question one day. I’m going that is brilliant. “What were you looking for help with?” I was crying like a French chef cutting onions as soon as I heard that. Amazing, right. And that’s business today, right. Fewer sales people, a few more marketers, because if marketers can bring the MQLs, the leads, and the SQLs, then you’ll get all the business.

Valuable Marketing Skills

Fiona Jensen: What’s the most valuable marketing skill you can have?

Dan Tyre: This is an interesting one. I think it’s empathy, right. If you don’t have … That’s why women are so good at understanding the process, right. I really need to understand where you are at every stage of the process. And as soon as I’m non-authentic, and as soon as I forget you don’t know everything I do, right, that’s why women make great salespeople. That’s why we go out and try to recruit people. It’s one of the five characteristics that are super important. In companies I invest in, I want to make sure that they’re good companies, doing the right things in the universe. And empathy, I think it’s a very important characteristic.

Fiona Jensen: Perfect. How do you convince someone that inbound is the right thing to do, if it’s a bit too boxy for them?

Dan Tyre: Yeah, it’s hard. So first of all, come bearing gifts. Right, so there’s gifts like HubSpot Research, like HubSpot free CRM, right. There is tons of blog kind of things. And remember [Aberdeen 00:42:49], [Forrester 00:42:49], [Gartner 00:42:50] all say combined sales and marketing typically results in quicker, and better revenue growth. So I have all the data and the facts, right and then you got to start doing outbound in an inboundy way. Don’t cold call, warm call, right. And then you can get the book, The Inbound Organization. Right, this is what I’ve learned at HubSpot over the last 10 years. Brian Halligan, the CEO, wrote the forward. John Kelleher, our chief legal counsel has got a whole chapter. Professor Winehouse has a chapter. J.D. Sherman, the CEO of HubSpot, Katie Burke, right, Rachel Leist is in there, [inaudible 00:43:27], and all these great HubSpotters about how we scale the business from a management organization, learning and development perspective.

Fiona Jensen: Perfect. I loved the book, by the way, Dan. I’m a huge fan of that.

Dan Tyre: Thank you. It’s feeling great. For some reason we sold more in 2019 than when the book came out in 2018. The publisher, Wiley, was a great publisher. They called us, and said, “What are you doing? How come you’re selling so many books in 2019?” I’m like, “I don’t know.” And Todd, who’s brilliant, Todd Hockenberry, the co-author, he’s like, “Dan, it’s going to be a slow build.” I’m like, “What does that mean?” He goes, “Well we’re not going to be a best seller out of the gate.” I go, “That’s wrong. We’re going to be a” … And of course Todd was right.

Valuable B2B marketing lessons

Fiona Jensen: What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt in marketing stroke business? And how did it come about?

Dan Tyre: So I learned a lot of lessons, right. I do a lot of stuff. I’m the luckiest guy in the world, because I do a ton of stuff. I still work 12 hours a day. I essentially work seven days a week. I like to do stuff. It’s not really work. It’s not like I’m lifting hundred pound bags of flour, I’m like a teenage girl, I just talk on the phone all day, right. And it’s super fun to be me, because people like you want to listen to me, right.

Fiona Jensen: [crosstalk 00:44:33] every day, all day. I’d tune into the Dan Tyre Show, I promise you.

Dan Tyre: People like the big energy, right. I could come up here on this podcast, and throw up, and you’d still say, “Oh Dan, that’s so good.” [crosstalk 00:44:47].

Fiona Jensen: Maybe not.

Dan Tyre: Maybe not, that’s a bad example. But it’s super fun to engage. I like people who do things, don’t talk about them. So my only business advice, if you decide you want to do something, write it down. Don’t just talk about it, write it down. The way we solve problems in 2019 is we start with the goals, and work backwards, right. So you have to define the goals, right. I’ve been working with lots of people, they go, “I’m stuck.” I’m like, “That’s great.” You’re Fiona Jensen, you’re the only Fiona Jensen I know. There might be other ones there, but you’re the best Fiona Jensen that I know. You can do anything, right. My job is to inspire you. You have to figure out what you want to do, then you got to write it down, and guess what, you’re going to come into roadblocks, and it’s going to be hard, but you did the hardest thing in marketing, you got on my calendar, right. And how did you do it? How did you get on my calendar?

Fiona Jensen: Slight stalking mentality, I think.

Dan Tyre: No, [crosstalk 00:45:46]. You just did the right thing. You didn’t think, “Oh, I’d like to have Dan as a guest. I don’t know if he’s too busy.” You just send me an email, and say, “Will you help me out.” Right? And I’m like, “Sure.” And then we had to reschedule, because of my schedule, but then boom, here we are having a great time, and I’m glad I did it, right, because anybody can do anything, right. No-one can make you feel bad unless you let them. No-one can keep you from doing what Fiona Jensen wants to do. So now go out, figure out what you want to do, write it down, and then if you need help, ask for help.

Career advice

Fiona Jensen: Brilliant. That’s lovely advice. What’s the best career advice you’ve ever been given, or found for yourself?

Dan Tyre: Yeah, you know I’ve been fired about four times. I’ve been fired at HubSpot. I got to tell this story in a business [crosstalk 00:46:27]. But it doesn’t always work out. Just keep going, right. Just keep going. The secret to Dan Tyre’s success is I have fallen into every fricken pothole in the history of business. I’ve had companies that have gone bankrupt, I’ve done stupid stuff, I’ve had horrible business models, it doesn’t matter, right. I’m really good at not wallowing in pity, because I know I’m not the brightest bulb in the shed. I know that no-one is going to outwork me, ever, right. And I delight in that competitive advantage.

Fiona Jensen: Perfect. What’s the worst advice you’ve heard, and why?

Dan Tyre: The worst advice I’ve ever heard, I think it’s you’ve got to do this. And you don’t have to do anything, right. You trust your gut, right. Be in tune with what you want. And you do what you want to do, right. I’m a big believer in … I stole this from my wife as well, right. There’s this thing called the vagus nerve that goes from your belly to your brain. It’s your caveman brain, and when they say trust your gut, that’s because you kind of have more brain cells in your belly than you do in your brain, right. So that’s your fight or flight. What do you do? And you learn to understand that that’s important in trust. All right, I got one more minute, and then I’ve got to jump on another webcast.

Fiona Jensen: Fine, okay. Let’s do what passing words of wisdom or advice would you share with our audience?

Dan Tyre: It’s a great time to be a marketer. Super fun, and impactful, right. The marketers that can generate the leads, and the revenue’s going to get all the business. You will have lifetime employment, right. If you don’t know how to do it, just learn, right. HubSpot offers 84 hours of HubSpot Academy kind of things, we teach you for free, right. And just keep going. If I can be of service, just ping me, [email protected] Find me on LinkedIn. I’m happy to help to the extent of my bandwidth. I’m all in to help marketers grow better.

Fiona Jensen: Fantastic. Thank you ever so much for your time, it’s been a fantastic episode, Dan.

Dan Tyre: You’re the best. Thanks Fiona. If we got to do part two, just let me know.

Fiona Jensen: So there you have it. Career advice from a real marketing expert, and leader in the field. Thanks for listening. If you’re enjoying this podcast, then please leave us a review in iTunes. We’d love to hear your feedback.