Episode 300: Kyle Lacy of Lessonly on Creating a Revenue-Driven Marketing Team

Episode Summary

At Lessonly, a training software company, marketing and sales play on the same team. And Chief Marketing Officer Kyle Lacy wouldn’t think of having it any other way.

“Part of the reason why I wanted to move the BDRs and SDRs under marketing is that you force alignment,” Kyle says in this episode of Tech Qualified.

At other companies, the marketing department might focus on attribution or proving influence. Kyle’s goal is to focus the marketing team on revenue. He says they’re not quite there yet, but he aims to have the marketing team influencing 100% of revenue.

He doesn’t mince his words: “I think this idea that marketing is an influence
metric is just a load of BS because you’re going to be the first one cut, nobody’s ever going to
align to you because they don’t need to — you’re just going to be an order-taking team.”

Kyle shares some of Lessonly’s major marketing initiatives since COVID-19 hit, which includes doing virtual whiskey tasting with enterprise prospects. He also discusses his personal process for professional development — and why he focuses on learning from people rather than books.

Guest Profile


Key Insights

Episode Highlights

“Part of the reason why I wanted to move the BDRs and SDRs under marketing is that you force alignment. When you are responsible as a marketing team for direct source revenue, then you have to be aligned. Like I have to be aligned with our sales leaders because our team is responsible for producing 70% of net new revenue. So I think the difference between how we’ve built the marketing team at Lessonly and how some other marketers go about their business is that some people are entirely focused on attribution or influence. I focus our team on revenue. And a marketing team should be influencing a hundred percent of revenue, like expansion and net new.”
“For most of our virtual events, I have a brand bucket within our budget. It’s 25% of our overall spend, and it’s only used for experiences. So direct mail, virtual events, like cooking classes, wine tasting, stuff that we’re doing on a weekly basis. It’s within that black hole — that’s a terrible way to put it — but we’re not measuring that cost against ROI. It’s mainly just to make sure we have a brand experience that is meaningful, that people enjoy.”
“A lot of what we’re doing right now is just around this idea, that practice should be first. You know, you go through onboarding at a company and you never touch it again, which is crazy if you think about it. So why aren’t you practicing personas? Why aren’t you practicing messaging? Why aren’t you practicing ticket resolution or phone calls? I think that’s kind of where we’re putting a lot of our emphasis. Our ability to measure that is very important. And a lot of people are trying to figure that out at the moment.”
“The idea that we need to continuously and rapidly improve on everything that we’re doing, whether it’s … tests on our demo page, the way that we build out our project planning for events, for deliverables — that we’re constantly trying to improve as human beings. … What I’ve ingrained in the team is the idea that it’s okay to break things because we have to. But once we break them, let’s make sure we’re moving forward and restoring them, and that there’s a process in place.”
“My learning comes from my community, man. It’s the JoAnn Martins of the world, she works at Searchspring. It’s the Daniel Incandelas, the CMO of Conga. It’s the people that I am talking to almost daily. That’s where we learn, because we’re helping each other to try to get through the challenges that we’re facing because we’re peers. … I don’t have to read a Chip and Dan Heath book to understand that. I can just go talk to the people who are in the trenches.”
“The key is to develop a team that will inspire each other, because you can’t do it all. And I’m lucky that I have a team that does that. But for everybody else out there that does not feel like they have that, that’s the pinnacle, that’s what you need to reach for. How do I get a team that is constantly inspiring each other, so I don’t feel like I have to take all the burden?”

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