This article includes key takeaways from Guillaume Cabane’s talk on how to scale marketing. You can view the full video on Youtube or check…

This article includes key takeaways from Guillaume Cabane’s talk on how to scale marketing. You can view the full video on Youtube or check out the latest from our Scale series.

Guillaume — aka “G” — is VP of growth at Drift. Before that he’s worked at Segment, Mention, Apple (among others). A self-described “mad scientist”, Guillaume is one of the most creative minds in Growth Marketing today. He is proud to present his latest hacks and mindsets to successfully deliver personalized marketing at scale, and jumpstart growth through high-tempo testing.

4 key best practices

Best practice #1: Sales Velocity

Think of this metric as how much money do I make per unit of time. Compare that to the cost of a sales rep and it’s evident why putting sales reps on small accounts is a bad idea. Marketing automation is an attempt to close those small deals without the cost of a human.

number of leads (#) x conversion rate(%) x acv ($) / time to close (T)

The problem: automation without data gives a bad experience. So how do we match the personalized touch of a sales rep with automation? That is the crux of the problem. The framework “G” likes to work with to do that: collect data, enrich and score data, and act. And, on a standard B2B SaaS funnel, we’ve got 2 main data collection points: email (post-signup) and IP adress (website visit).

Best practice #2: Post-Email Capture

When a user drops his email on the site, that is a data point that you can use to leverage more information — and create more relevant messaging. For example, by splitting the signup form in two steps and pinging an API like Clearbit in between steps you can prefill the form, customize testimonials, serve a dedicated welcome email sequence and tailor other crucial interactions by role, by company size, by industry, etc… The information can also be run through a scoring model (like MadKudu) and predict the lead’s likelihood of conversion — allowing you to offer greater customer care and sales support to high potential leads.

Note: at this stage in the funnel, the email address isn’t necessarily the most effective key. G recommends looking creatively at all the data points you have already collected on a lead and relying on the most relevant — and reliable — data.

Best practice #3: Post-IP Capture

The problem with focusing exclusively on post-email capture is that you’re only adressing 10% (depending on your conversion rate) of your potential users (those that drop an email). The other 90% (website visitors) vanish into thin air. The key that can unlock access to those users is the IP (the only data these visitors leave behind). For B2B sales, by matching those IPs with a company lets you score the likelihood of conversion for anonymous visitors. And act accordingly: retargeting them through email after an anonymous website visit or activating a personalized chat experience to gather those otherwise “lost” leads.

Best practice #4: High-tempo testing

The point of the growth team isn’t to add campaigns. It’s to run multiple, simultaneous experiments on the entire customer journey so as to impact the conversion rate. From discovery, sign-up, trial, to subscription (and even renewal): Guillaume advises running experiments on shortened time-frames to create a compound effect on growth metrics.

4 key mindsets

Mindset #1: Understand your sales reps

Even with randomized leads, some sales reps close more than others. Listen in to those sales calls: you’ll see them gathering data through questions to their leads, and adapting the pitch to match the person they are talking to. Pick up on those messages, and those segmentations, to start understanding how your product can be sold differently to different audiences.

Mindset #2: Right place, right time

When it comes to incorporating growth into your company, 2 questions arise: when and where. When: once you’ve found product-market fit. Where: 2 main models exist, cross-functional and independent. Cross-functional growth teams incorporate growth to each function (product, engineering, design, marketing,…). Independent teams create an autonomous unit. Guillaume is a strong advocate of the independent model, which gives teams greater autonomy but (and this is the downside) can also create political issues within the company.

Mindset #3: Founder spirit

Another question that often comes up for growth marketing is: who should I hire? Former founders are great because they learned to do everything themselves and they have the grit to chase metrics above everything else (be it the quality of the code, the perfection of the copy, etc…).

Mindset #4: Communicate

Having a growth team is inherently unfair: it means creating double standards within the company. And it can heavily impact corporate culture. Because the growth team is focused on high-tempo testing, there is going to be a high rate of failure and a low standard of quality. This can create internal problems because other teams will continue to be held to higher and higher standards in terms of their success rate and the overall quality of what they deliver.


Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

Subscribe to get notified of the latest Scale talks.

About Guillaume Cabane:

Formerly Head of Growth at Mention, one of eFounders’ startups, and VP of Growth at Drift, Guillaume has more than 15 years of experience in B2B Growth marketing. Follow Guillaume on Twitter.