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Episode 327: Qualifying MQLs the Right Way With Lindsay Duran of Zilliant

Episode Summary

From product marketing to corporate comms to sales, Lindsay Duran has finally settled down in marketing. As the CMO at Zilliant, a B2B data science and software company that assists large organizations with sales and pricing, Lindsay helps companies reimagine their approach to commercial decisions. Her experience in different business areas only helped her grow as a marketer, allowing her to fully understand the sales cycle and what “qualified” really stands for with MQLs.

“Moving a prospective customer down the path to becoming an actual customer is really about taking the time to understand a company’s business … and helping them see how this is actually going to improve their employees’ productivity, decision making and their overall business performance,” Lindsay says.

On this episode of Tech Qualified, Lindsay talks about her focus on finding highly converting MQLs and the in-depth content strategies she uses to provide value to customers in every industry. She also shares how she warms up prospects to the idea of overhauling a large portion of their business and what it takes to be a successful marketer.

Guest Profile

Lindsay Duran

Key Insights

Episode Highlights

“Most people are more concerned about sales rep adoption of prices or their team using their prices than they are about whether or not the solution actually works. They’re, frankly, right to be concerned about that. I always tell prospective customers, ‘You’re absolutely right. If your sales team doesn’t use the prices, then this is a waste of money.’ And they’re already thinking that, but it helps to say that out loud. Our customers are very successful in using our prices and driving real, tangible margin and revenue improvements as a function of that because we work with them so closely on adoption and change management.”
“Moving a prospective customer down the path to becoming an actual customer is really about taking the time to understand that company’s business, showing them and working with them, helping them see how this is actually going to improve their employees’ productivity and decision making — and their overall business performance — rather than it being a heavy product pitch.”
“I think the biggest thing, whether you’re in sales or marketing, is just remember to be human. It can be very easy to get caught up in what the metrics are and what the conversion rates are, and we forget to put ourselves in the shoes of the prospect we’re trying to message to, or talk to, or sell to. Or, as marketers, we might forget to put ourselves in the shoes of the salesperson on our team who’s trying to make their number and wants to have more meetings — how do we set them up for success? I think that’s really the key to bridging some of that marketing and sales gap or friction that often exists in a lot of companies.”
“There’s no shortage of challenges for our customers to overcome, whether it’s just pricing or running their business in general — so I always like to start with them in mind. A little over a year ago, we refreshed the Zilliant messaging and the key is we help companies reimagine their approach to pricing and sales. It doesn’t need to be the status quo, it doesn’t need to be the way that you’ve always done it. So all of our content and thought leadership pieces really stem from that. But it stems from that, then gets very specific to different industry verticals very quickly.”
“We use [our podcast] as part of our demand gen efforts. So that goes out in email campaigns, we might be using that through social media posts. … In the next few weeks, we will have a page dedicated to our podcast on our website now that we have a critical mass of episodes. The other side benefit of it is that often when we hire a new employee, it’s actually a great training ground for people to listen to and learn about the different industries that we serve. They can glean a lot of really useful insights from just subscribing to that podcast, so I almost think it extends as a bit of an employee training tool.”
“I think the biggest shift [in marketing at Zilliant] is that I really tried to bring the perspective of sales, as well as a deep knowledge of who our customers are, who our prospective customers are, and what their challenges are. I don’t believe that marketers can be successful if they don’t deeply understand the challenges that prospective customers are facing and what the benefits are of solving those challenges.”
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