Ryan Paul Gibson is the founder of content lift. Ryan explains how customer research can drive...
Customer lifecycle marketing with Madison Zimmerman at Property Meld
Madison Zimmerman talks customer lifecycle marketing, from cold outreach and generating new leads with webinars to meeting with customer success. They use HubSpot extensively and recently added a new tool you may have heard of called Chili Piper.
Where B2B marketers come to talk sales. 15-minute interviews published every Monday morning. For heads of marketing and founders who support a sales team.
Madison Zimmerman has taken full lifecycle marketing on as head of marketing at Property Meld, a proptech (property technology) B2B SaaS company. Our discussion includes:
* Generating new leads through webinars. Making webinars that people actually show up to and find interesting -- it's true, it's possible.
* Managing inbound with HubSpot. How marketing and their outbound BDR team use HubSpot for marketing and sales automation.
* Quantifying pain to justify pricing. Their custom scorecard drives their sales process and helped them increase their prices.
* Coordinating with customer success. Beyond generating leads, their marketing team focuses on win rates and retention, all in HubSpot.
* Trying new technologies. They implemented a new lead concierge tool called Chili Piper. It works and they learned something else, too.
Find Madison Zimmerman on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/madisonzimmerman/
Learn more about Property Meld: https://propertymeld.com/
Welcome to Pipeline Meeting, where marketers come to talk about sales. Whether you're the head of marketing or a founder who's supporting your first sales hire, we'll talk about qualifying your inbound leads and finding new ones with cold outreach. Learn more at introcrm.com/podcast.
[00:00:20] Madison Zimmerman: We do a webinar, try to do it monthly, every once in a while we go couple months without one, just cuz of how busy the industry is in certain times of the month. It's called Beyond Maintenance, it's our thought leadership.
[00:00:30] Harris Kenny: So your customers are property manager.
[00:00:32] Madison Zimmerman: Mostly single family property management companies are our cust customers, all over North America. We're United States and Canada and they're trying to solve what is the ever headache of property maintenance.
[00:00:48] Madison Zimmerman: It impacts their operational and financial growth opportunities for their company. Our system streamlines that and we go very much thought leadership. We're selling or not selling a software, we're selling a solution.
[00:01:01] Harris Kenny: So they're busy people.
[00:01:04] Madison Zimmerman: They are very busy people.
[00:01:05] Harris Kenny: How do you get 'em to show up for a webinar?
[00:01:08] Madison Zimmerman: It's all about value and meeting them where they're at. That's why there's some months where we're just like, You know what? We know that you're gonna be drowning in your day to day jobs. That month we may kick out just like an email or a blog post or something to that.
[00:01:25] Madison Zimmerman: It's all about connecting other professionals with other professionals who've current already solved the problem or in the process of solving the problem.
[00:01:32] Madison Zimmerman: It's definitely not a sales opportunity at all. We very rarely speak Property Meld in the process. If it comes up organically, that's always a win.
[00:01:42] Madison Zimmerman: But it's about like the specific pain points, symptoms and solutions.
[00:01:49] Harris Kenny: Do you see inbound coming from that directly where people are mentioning the webinar or it looks like you're using HubSpot from the chat widget on your site. Do you see that someone attends it and then X number of months later, you know, the whole flywheel thing, that they get the newsletter and then all of a sudden they're like, Hey, by the way, I have a question.
[00:02:06] Madison Zimmerman: A lot of the attendees are already customers. Um, so where we see the growth in inbound is conversations afterwards. So being very specific on the topics that we are picking and that, you know, they are having a conversation with another property manager who may not be a customer already and they're like, Oh, wow, that's makes sense.
[00:02:31] Madison Zimmerman: We also have a thought leader subscription, for a twice a month email that's going out with similar topics. We'll see an increase in subscribers to that.
[00:02:41] Madison Zimmerman: And then from there, like you said, it's the flywheel, couple of months down the road, they'll inbound, they'll connect with a business development representative just to kind of pre-qualify them.
[00:02:53] Madison Zimmerman: We see that increase, but it's not direct right away. A lot of my team members on my marketing team have zero B2B SaaS experience when they come in the door. That's always a hard thing for them to, to learn, Oh, this isn't direct. We're not gonna get this instantaneously. Realizing that customer journey's a little bit longer than what they're used to.
[00:03:15] Harris Kenny: Can you share any examples of a campaign or an off the wall idea where you were like, Yeah, let's give it a go and then it kind of took off. Or maybe positioning or copywriting or sort of anything like that that you're allowed to share.
[00:03:28] Madison Zimmerman: I think our copywriting's the big one. There's a lot of like just sell, sell, sell, and coming in, being more of a storyteller with it. Our current marketing coordinator, she came from the tourism industry, was one of her big clients. It was all about telling a story and she's really brought that into her writing.
[00:03:46] Madison Zimmerman: Guiding the prospect through the process of pain realization through storytelling.
[00:03:52] Madison Zimmerman: The one part about it that's the most challenging is we don't have any direct competitors. There's not a single solution that's out there doing the exact same thing we are.
[00:04:01] Madison Zimmerman: So obviously anytime you're marketing, if you have competitors, that makes your life a lot easier in that as a portion of that, cuz you're piggybacking off of a lot of things that other people have already tried.
[00:04:13] Madison Zimmerman: We don't have that.
[00:04:15] Madison Zimmerman: The biggest thing we learned is we can't go feature to feature. That's not a winning strategy, but focusing on outcomes and to get to the outcomes, you have to start at the pain.
[00:04:26] Harris Kenny: mm.
[00:04:27] Madison Zimmerman: Find the symptoms of that pain and quantify them.
[00:04:29] Harris Kenny: Your pricing also is really interesting to me, just from, you have on your site, which is charging per unit per month, and it seems like pretty affordable price per unit, per month. How is that received, I'm curious how that plays into your sales cycle and your process?
[00:04:45] Madison Zimmerman: Early 2021, I believe, we finally put our pricing on our website. And it was a really big move. We were like, Do we do it? And we had just done a price increase. We raised the price per unit, 60 cents. We put it out there, we watched it significantly. We checked the bounce rate daily to see if we saw any significant loss of engagement just by putting that on there.
[00:05:07] Madison Zimmerman: We didn't, which was good.
[00:05:09] Madison Zimmerman: We do have cases where people are like, Yeah, it's a second thought. This is, we've been able to quantify the pain so strongly, the very beginning of the conversation. Once it wraps up and comes back to pricing, it's like, okay, now I can say, yes, this is a dollar 60 a unit, but I'm losing this much through efficiency, negative reviews, loss of owner retention.
[00:05:32] Madison Zimmerman: So quantifying, it's the number one. If you can quantify your pain, you should never have an issue with pricing. We also have a mindset too that if you are not having, you know, a loss of sales due to pricing at a certain percentage, then we're priced too low.
[00:05:49] Harris Kenny: Makes a ton of sense to me, and I think that's really solid insight about pricing and being able to quantify the pain.
[00:05:56] Madison Zimmerman: Yeah.
[00:05:57] Harris Kenny: Makes sense.
[00:05:58] Madison Zimmerman: Going back to that. We have pain scorecards, urgency creation, and systemize the entire process. And how does the pain create the urgency to probability of something closing.
[00:06:09] Madison Zimmerman: For marketing just in 2022, when I started at Property Meld, it was all just inbound. You're just focused on inbound lead generation and that's what the entire department's doing.
[00:06:18] Madison Zimmerman: Now we're really working hard to facilitate the entire customer journey, even for the outbounds. An inbound lead is much more educated when they come through the sales cycle as somebody who's just been cold called.
[00:06:31] Madison Zimmerman: How can we bring them up to speed with that education to help the probability of them closing just by knowing more about the solution and pre-quantifying the pain before they get to the demo. And then following that up to post sales and transitioning.
[00:06:46] Madison Zimmerman: We do a 90 day trial. This is not a free trial. You're paying the whole time, but your annual agreement doesn't start until you get through the first 90 days to really understand and see how Property Meld's gonna work for you. And then customer retention. And we're for the first time really jumping into product led growth as well.
[00:07:07] Harris Kenny: First you said that you're quantifying pain. Are you using a methodology for that, like BANT or MEDDIC, or do you just have a scorecard of these are the X number of questions that we work through?
[00:07:20] Madison Zimmerman: Yep, we've created, a scorecard, three point scorecard. We've developed that ourselves through just being here since 2017 and understanding.
[00:07:30] Madison Zimmerman: Our CEO is super hands on with our sales process, which is just kind of an ode to the size that we are. But that's been great because he has the historical, experience and the industry knowledge that we need to create this scorecard.
[00:07:43] Harris Kenny: Yeah. So your reps are filling that out? Is that a field you have in HubSpot? Probably. So you can see how many contacts do I have that are 1, 2, 3, or zero?
[00:07:51] Madison Zimmerman: Yep.
[00:07:52] Harris Kenny: When they're on calls, that's, that's where they're filling that in, right?
[00:07:55] Harris Kenny: So from a marketing perspective, you have visibility into what's happening in real time.
[00:07:59] Harris Kenny: They're not doing some Google Sheet, or sticky note or whatever. You're like, Hey, it's gotta be in the CRM so that I know, you know Madison, I know what's going on.
[00:08:07] Madison Zimmerman: Yep. And then we have that report that we can watch and that helps us with our forecasting for sure.
[00:08:12] Harris Kenny: And you mentioned that outbound is part of the mix now. Initially was all inbound. Who owns the outbound motion?
[00:08:21] Madison Zimmerman: We have a manager of business development and he manages that team. The execution of that team. The messaging is still highly owned by marketing. I have a hard time letting things go, so I'm very, very hands on with that. We're an in-office team, which is really abnormal for B2B SaaS.
[00:08:41] Harris Kenny: You're running the outbound motion, you're kind of cross-training the teams so everyone knows what's going on during the sales cycle. You're tracking the pain. You've got these new customers in, they've got this 90 day sort of ramp or onboarding period, and marketing has ownership of that customer life cycle.
[00:08:56] Harris Kenny: So during that ramp, are they still in HubSpot? Is that activity still living in HubSpot.
[00:09:02] Harris Kenny: Okay. so you're not moving to another project management tool.
[00:09:05] Madison Zimmerman: Nope. We tried that and we brought everything in, God, about a year ago, I think, everything into HubSpot and that has just made, I don't know, it's made marketing's life a lot easier.
[00:09:17] Madison Zimmerman: HubSpot's such a robust and amazing tool. We really like it like that cuz it is, it's, we have to keep that excitement about change real and an understanding of the problem that we're solving and the symptoms of that problem like the beginning.
[00:09:35] Madison Zimmerman: Because when you're onboarding anything that's going to be an operational change for your company, it's go. You're going to have new pain points that arise throughout that. So marketing's messaging is to make sure that they keep hyper focused on the initial pain that's solved. Why they bought.
[00:09:53] Madison Zimmerman: And that in separating out these new hurdles from the process, so those can be addressed separately, but still, this is why you bought in the first place. And keeping that excitement real.
[00:10:03] Madison Zimmerman: And this is something that we've just started, uh, within the last six months really getting involved in.
[00:10:09] Madison Zimmerman: Regular meetings with the customer success manager and team. We've even systemized that down and we look at everything from inbound all the way through the 90 day in two week increments, 14 days.
[00:10:22] Madison Zimmerman: It's the responsibility of making sure we're getting them scheduled within the first seven to 14 days. My preference is always seven, but bandwidth is hard sometimes for scheduling.
[00:10:32] Madison Zimmerman: We're looking at a 14 days to close, and then we look at 14 days to invite residents.
[00:10:39] Madison Zimmerman: That's the leading indicator of success through the 90 day trial.
[00:10:42] Madison Zimmerman: If they're dragging their feet and they've, you know, they've been there for 21 days and they still haven't invited their residents, that's a leading indicator that you're gonna have problems down the road.
[00:10:52] Harris Kenny: Seems like you've reinvented your job like five or six times and that you're adding new competencies into the team and then taking something that you were new at and then ingraining it as being done pretty, pretty well.
[00:11:08] Madison Zimmerman: I always laughed at around two and a half years I always start looking for a new job because I've built the systems that, you know, I'm a very systematic person. I'll come in the first year at a job is amazing cause I'm building all these systems and then the second year is optimizing them.
[00:11:24] Madison Zimmerman: After that second year, it's like, okay, there's nothing else to do here. This has been done. And what's awesome about Property Meld? Not just the, the company changing and growing at such a rapid pace, but also the industry changing.
[00:11:37] Madison Zimmerman: When I walked in the doors, our decision makers, ideal customer profile, didn't have a lot of tech savviness behind them. They weren't really open to change and understanding that the importance of building a tech stack.
[00:11:51] Madison Zimmerman: And now we've seen that transition to, and I think we've been like, to an extent, a driver in that.
[00:11:57] Madison Zimmerman: But they're also seeing a lot of millennials are starting to become property management broker owners of companies.
[00:12:03] Madison Zimmerman: They're the instant gratification generation as we know, cuz we are that, and it's like we have a solution that will help them build that.
[00:12:11] Madison Zimmerman: As the company's changing, the industry's changing it's opt constantly optimizing the, the, um, The strategy and the systems built to execute the strategy.
[00:12:23] Madison Zimmerman: That's my happy place. I mean, I have dreams about building strategies. Talking to our CEO and I was like, This probably isn't super healthy, but , I just, it's the way my brain works, but it's, it's fun and it's, it's problem solving.
[00:12:37] Madison Zimmerman: I love the constant challenge that is, you know, building and optimizing and tearing down.
[00:12:43] Madison Zimmerman: There's been a lot that we've thought, this is great, but testing's super important.
[00:12:48] Madison Zimmerman: And building around a, a fail culture, which I think is really awesome that, you know, it's okay to fail. It's actually encouraged in a lot of instances, just don't fail the same way twice. And you know, I, that's what, making sure that the team that I'm building is comfortable in that space because a lot of people aren't, or it takes some time to figure that out.
[00:13:10] Harris Kenny: Well, clearly you're taking chances and trying new things because all the stuff that your team is doing versus when you started, it's awesome.
[00:13:17] Harris Kenny: Is there anything else you wanted to talk about or brag about that we didn't get a chance to talk about?
[00:13:21] Madison Zimmerman: Being open to trying new technologies. We just implemented Chili Piper for lead concierge, this year, and the solution itself was amazing, but the process of doing it gave us so much insight into what our own customers go through to implement something that's op, like changes in operation that could be decades long operations.
[00:13:48] Madison Zimmerman: Stepping through that was really exciting for us to learn and take note on how we could execute it. And plus it's been a great product for us so far.
[00:13:58] Madison Zimmerman: I think just being open to those changes and staying abreast of what's out there, cuz it doesn't just only help your execution, I think it helps you keep an idea, like the process of that we do every day.
[00:14:12] Harris Kenny: What do you think is the hardest part about that?
[00:14:14] Madison Zimmerman: I think timing is a huge one. And then the fear of if it doesn't work, and that comes into fact of I had to influence a lot of different stakeholders in the company to actually move this through.
[00:14:26] Madison Zimmerman: And actually influence even farther where there was a couple stakeholders who were ready to pull the plug on it and I had to continue to influence.
[00:14:34] Madison Zimmerman: It's not being afraid that you put all this work into influencing and what if it doesn't work.
[00:14:40] Madison Zimmerman: We have to continue to produce and move in this direction to hit these goals, and how are we going to fit this in? We know it's going to save us time in the long run and increase efficiency. How are we going to implement?
[00:14:55] Madison Zimmerman: That's a huge thing that SaaS companies need to realize, is how important that implementation process is.
[00:15:01] Harris Kenny: Where can people learn more about what you do? Where can people find you online?
[00:15:05] Madison Zimmerman: Yeah, LinkedIn is probably the best way. I don't mind giving out my email, it's Madison at Property Meld. I'd love to connect. And I like, I love this idea for the podcast, so thanks for having me. This is really cool.
That's all for now. You can find show notes at introcrm.com/podcast. The theme music for Pipeline Meeting is by Neighbourhood Vandal and it's shared under a Creative Commons-Attribution, or CC-BY, license. If you learned something, consider sharing this show with a friend. Thanks.