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Enterprise sales strategy with Aaron Mellman at Aiden Technologies

Aiden Technologies is a fast-growing IT automation platform that serves large enterprise companies. Aaron joins to talk about his enterprise sales and go to market strategy as the first marketing hire.

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Show Notes

Aiden Technologies is a fast-growing IT automation platform that serves large enterprise companies. Aaron joins to talk about his enterprise sales and go to market strategy as the first marketing hire.

Topics include marketing with HubSpot, cold outreach, sales-marketing alignment, and more.

Aaron also talks in detail about how Aiden's sales team is structured, working with SDRs and sales reps, and sales automation.

Find Aaron Mellman on LinkedIn:
Learn more about Aiden Technologies:


[00:00:00] Harris Kenny: Welcome to Pipeline Meeting where marketers come to talk about sales. I'm your host Harris, Kenny, and I'll be joined by guest every Monday and Wednesday for brief 15 minute interviews where we'll share tips that you can apply to support your sales team and help them close more deals.

[00:00:15] Harris Kenny: You don't have time to listen to this whole episode, you can skip ahead in the show notes in your podcast player, or find the transcript at All the episodes are published there.

[00:00:28] Enterprise sales strategy

[00:00:28] Aaron Mellman: I think the best topic to talk about is being a startup in an enterprise b2b sale and how to get through to some of the biggest companies in the world.

[00:00:41] Aaron Mellman: We are in a heavily red ocean type of industry, right? We're an IT automation solution with benefits on the security side. And the most difficult part is that the people that we're trying to reach are the hardest people to reach in the world.

[00:00:56] Aaron Mellman: They literally don't trust anyone. They will rarely get back to you. They've got all the security in the world to keep you from trying to get to them. It's truly an educational and relationship play.

[00:01:10] Aaron Mellman: marketing people get hit up all the time. Sales people get hit up all the time. CFOs, they get hit up, CEOs get hit up, but it security or cybersecurity people, it's just relentless, it's a matter of trying to figure out that, walking the line of not being too incredibly annoying as well as figuring out a way to get into an account that isn't your normal way of selling.

[00:01:35] Aaron Mellman: we had two customers when we started out. Our ceo actually used our solution, realized that it was so incredible, left his six figure job at a huge private equity firm, bought the right, saw the software and the company. We rebranded it.

[00:01:51] Aaron Mellman: I was tied for first or second hire or whatever, and we built it from there. So we have a great story. But what we've realized is that it's a lot about relationship selling, right? It's all about using your network at first, getting to know people, providing value, and communicating that, hey, there are other people that are using this solution just like you.

[00:02:15] Aaron Mellman: These are the benefits that they're receiving. Would you be interested in saying a completely different way of doing what you're currently doing? and achieving unbelievable benefits. It's it, they're so unbelievable that no one believes it. My job is, has been creating content that is all about educating the end user, right?

[00:02:36] Aaron Mellman: Reading about it, not being marketing speak, not being salesy, just saying, Hey, this is literally what happened. Here's where it is. If you want to talk to this person, you can under an nda, because all the people that we work with, the majority of our customers are private equity.

[00:02:52] Aaron Mellman: Everything's anonymous. It's all, you know, secret sauce on there. It's funny, like when we started our CEO and the rest of the leadership team were like, well, how, marketing leads are we generating, right?

[00:03:03] Aaron Mellman: I'm sitting like, guys, this is not about marketing leads. This is about generating relationships. Who do we know that we can talk to, right? And who do we know that can speak about us so that we're not speaking about ourselves.

[00:03:14] Aaron Mellman: We don't do any advertising, barely any. And if we do do advertising, it's for a webinar. Um, and the webinar is about a topic that people are dealing with, and we have people on that. are well known, established, and they're honest people, right?

[00:03:31] Aaron Mellman: Our most successful webinars are people that are literally coming out. They're less entertaining and more just knowledgeable in the space. And we've generated a lot of, a lot of relationships from those webinars, um, and a lot of relationships just using our own network.

[00:03:49] Harris Kenny: Hmm. So you are not measuring the conventional marketing metrics. Is there a counterpart in sales or business development who you're working with?

[00:03:58] Aaron Mellman: So we are measuring them, but in the beginning we weren't because there's a transition, right? So in the beginning we are this no name company, this no name startup. We raised some, you know, some seed funding. We're trying to raise our series A and it was less about MQLs as far as a KPI for marketing.

[00:04:16] Harris Kenny: Okay.

[00:04:17] Marketing with HubSpot

[00:04:17] Aaron Mellman: Now what we're doing is we've really worked on our data, so that way we have visibility and we can see the transition and people that, you know, sign up for a newsletter or come to our website or whatever.

[00:04:27] Aaron Mellman: We use HubSpot for all of that. It's pretty good. We had to build our own dashboards, but now we've grown to have two salespeople. I very much support the sales team. I create all the content and help them to understand what's working ,What's not. I actually have a sales marketing monthly meeting today.

[00:04:46] Aaron Mellman: We meet every month to say, Hey, can I get some feedback on what you guys are seeing in the market? How can we improve what we're doing? And bridging that gap is really important because, you know, I'm a one man band.

[00:04:58] Aaron Mellman: And I also manage all of our software internally, so all of our sales and marketing software, I manage HubSpot, and everything else. it's a lot of work. Having that conversation is really important in getting on the same page.

[00:05:10] Aaron Mellman: And what we're measuring now is we've hired an SDR that's reaching out and the way that has worked really well for us is, and I mentioned this on another podcast, but it's basically a land and expand type of thing, right?

[00:05:25] Aaron Mellman: We're gonna go after this industry. How do we get into the industry or get on our foot in the door, and how do we expand? It's a basic strategy. It's not very difficult, but it's really all about making sure that you focus your team.

[00:05:38] Aaron Mellman: We're not gonna try and promote or sell to every single person out there because it helps to focus our marketing, it helps to focus our messaging, it helps to focus our positioning and it helps our sales people be focus. And so I'll run like our outreach, our SDR cold outreach. Um, and it's worked really well.

[00:05:54] Aaron Mellman: Like private equity, we have quite a few customers, the majority of our customers. And we started off realizing, okay, well most of our network is in private equity. Let's expand on that, right? Let's, and let's build some case studies. Let's build some knowledge base information. Let's have a webinar with some people that, that are in the industry as CISO, CIO, CTO and have a casual conversation about this shift where our software, essentially our solution sits in the middle because a lot of people don't know, but IT, and cybersecurity, they don't really talk, they don't mesh very well.

[00:06:29] Aaron Mellman: Security doesn't tend to have the budget but the security tells the IT team what to do a lot of the times. Hey, we just ran a vulnerability scan. We need to fix all of these vulnerabilities. The IT team then has to go do it and it's a pain in the butt. And what we do is we automate that entire system, but we see ourselves as that bridging that gap.

[00:06:48] Harris Kenny: Are you spending more time getting that feedback with the SDR or with the account executive on the team, or which part of the sales org do you find yourself? working with more or is it both?

[00:07:00] Sales-marketing alignment

[00:07:00] Aaron Mellman: I'm on every sales meeting, not sales call with prospects, but I do listen to a lot of 'em. I'll hear them talk through and hear about what they've used, what they're using in their messaging.

[00:07:13] Aaron Mellman: We just created a brand new deck. Hey, how's that working out? Because then I can kind of relate that to our cold outreach, bring that to our SDR, or bring that to our content, create a landing page if I can that's, really targeted. And come up with new content ideas because I'm here to make sure that the sales team has enough to educate the prospects.

[00:07:34] Aaron Mellman: IT and cybersecurity people, they don't buy anything unless they hear it from someone else, a reputable source, or they've done a ridiculous amount of research, and that's what we focused on.

[00:07:46] Harris Kenny: You mentioned that you're doing cold outreach given how hard these folks are to reach in the first place, and I saw you had a really good post on LinkedIn about how, you know, so many cold messages that are sent are just not hitting the mark. How are you approaching that differently given how your buyers buy and given the fact that they're constantly getting bombarded?

[00:08:07] Cold outreach

[00:08:07] Aaron Mellman: That's a good question. With every industry it's different.

[00:08:11] Aaron Mellman: We started off in private equity, now we're kind of focusing on law firms. And we have to really understand the industry, understand our buyer personas. Cuz in all honesty they're slightly different.

[00:08:20] Aaron Mellman: In law firms, there's a bunch of people that have risk in their title. We're finding out is that they're not the decision makers, right? I get constant feedback from the sales team saying, because we have an SDR, but I also have automated it so that way we're doing multi-channel outreach.

[00:08:34] Aaron Mellman: Everything from LinkedIn, email, and phone calls. Very conversational, we're trying to target a pain point that they have.

[00:08:41] Aaron Mellman: It's that hook of trying to get them to one, think differently about their pain point that there's a solution cuz no one knows that that's, that there's a solution out there that does what we do.

[00:08:51] Aaron Mellman: So it's changing their mindset. And then it's also seeing what works is cold calling has actually worked better than anything else, believe it or not.

[00:09:01] Aaron Mellman: I was very surprised cuz I, I have. Spam blocking software on my phone, you know, and um, what we're finding is that there are some templates that work really well.

[00:09:12] Aaron Mellman: Empathy works really well. Hey, are you okay? ? I don't normally send, you know, I don't normally try and contact someone this many times and they just go silent, you know, is there something that I could have done better? Is there a better way to contact you, you know, being human? It's still in progress.

[00:09:27] Aaron Mellman: I would say getting someone. has experience in cold calling or has the relationships, have already sold to these people, have already talked to them. The data is clean. That's really important. And then just iteration.

[00:09:43] Harris Kenny: HubSpot, obviously, built on inbound philosophy, right? So some of the outreach tools in HubSpot, I've found that a lot of times people look to integrate other tools. Are you doing everything native in HubSpot?

[00:09:55] Aaron Mellman: This has been a headache of mine for a while now.

[00:09:58] Aaron Mellman: Woodpecker doesn't do LinkedIn. It just creates tasks, manual tasks, right? Woodpecker's okay. It needs a lot of functionality, but it does what it says it does, right?

[00:10:06] Aaron Mellman: Integrating with HubSpot, it took me forever. I had to do a bunch of custom integrations, APIs, Zapier, crazy stuff, right. And took me forever to get that done.

[00:10:17] Aaron Mellman: Because we don't want overlapping, we don't want someone to reach out again. If they're already owned or the account is already owned by one rep, we don't want the other rep.

[00:10:24] Aaron Mellman: It's the biggest pain in the butt. Right? So we were using Woodpecker and then we hired an agency to do cold outreach and set up the emails and phone calling and stuff. And so we started using Lemlist. I've set this up for other companies, right? But I wanted to hand this off cuz it's just a big pain in the butt.

[00:10:39] Aaron Mellman: What I like about Lemlist is that you can essentially create a list in HubSpot and use that list to only reach out to in, uh, Lemlist. They automate the LinkedIn, they integrate with the phone, which we don't really use, but that's fine. Regular emails and I like their Lemwarm feature, keeping things out of the spam box.

[00:10:57] Aaron Mellman: There's a couple others that I've used, I use for a little bit. But we were using a different CRM for a different company. I will tell you it's still not perfect. It's still something that we're trying to figure out.

[00:11:08] Aaron Mellman: I've reviewed ample market when they were very, very, very new, and was kind of talking with the founder, um, and some of the technology guys, given them some, you know, Hey, this is what we would need if we wanted to use you.

[00:11:20] Aaron Mellman: I'm a software nerd, so I just do it because I love it. But the long story short, we still haven't found a perfect solution for it. I'm trying to do my best to keep our sales people just focused on sales and in the CRM. I don't want our CEO and, and me helping support them, like, I'll take care of everything else.

[00:11:37] Aaron Mellman: You guys just go and sell. It's worked. We've generated more pipeline this year than we've ever had in the past and it keeps going up. But I'm trying to do my best to help them focus on, on what they need to do and, and kind of doing everything else in between.

[00:11:53] Harris Kenny: Kind of a snowplow, you know, with setting up the systems and the tools and the data so that they can just kind of run behind you and do their thing.

[00:11:59] Aaron Mellman: That's right. And it's something that's taken a long time to, to figure out. It's not perfect. But I'm still looking for, for a way to do it.

[00:12:07] Harris Kenny: Even when you have everything supposedly figured out, stuff still breaks, sometimes

[00:12:11] Aaron Mellman: Every day. It's a full-time job, man, just managing sales and, and marketing ops or is a full-time job that people don't realize. It's the job that I've jumped on the grenade for, for my company, cuz I've done it before. I've automated pretty much everything.

[00:12:23] Aaron Mellman: One of the last companies I was working for, I automated us reaching out to over a thousand, contacts a day and generating new fresh leads all the time. You know, adding a thousand new leads a week or whatever it is in multiple email and integrating it with, it's, it's, it's a lot and it's not something that I want to continue to do. In all honesty, I'd love to hand it off to somebody else.

[00:12:45] Harris Kenny: Yeah. Yeah. But you're building the engine, you're figuring out, the sales team's busy. Is there anything you're doing that you didn't get a chance to talk about that's cool or, or frustrating or anything we skipped?

[00:12:57] Positioning

[00:12:57] Aaron Mellman: Something that is really interesting and cool in from my perspective is that we're in a real, really unique, uh, time right now. Right. And I think it's very difficult, obviously for marketers to figure out, cuz a lot of'em scared, right? Marketing gets cut quickly, tends to be one of the first to get cut or at least downsize.

[00:13:20] Aaron Mellman: I think that the hardest thing and what we've tried to figure out is well, how do we position our software?

[00:13:26] Aaron Mellman: Everybody says, oh yeah, we'll save you time. We'll say, you know, but how do you really become empathetic to their need? It's not about selling them, it's really about understanding their pain point and figuring out whether or not you're solving that pain point and providing the educational tools to do it.

[00:13:40] Aaron Mellman: People are trying to figure out how to do more with less right now, especially decision makers. Don't be afraid of it. Capitalize on it, right? Figure out how to be empathetic and communicate that you're here to help versus, Hey, you know, here's my piece of software.

[00:13:59] Aaron Mellman: It's a great widget, it's gonna save you time and money. It's like, well, everybody's letting go massive amounts of their employees these days? Well, what if you didn't have to do that? You're probably really concerned about it.

[00:14:10] Aaron Mellman: That's something that we've had to try and communicate to CIOs, CTOs, and CISOs, is you don't have to get rid of your team. There's not a lot of experts out there, right? You don't have to cut your budget, you just have to use your budget better.

[00:14:25] Harris Kenny: Where people find out more about what you're talking about. I think you've posted some really interesting stuff on LinkedIn. So I would say people should find you there. But where, where would you point people, uh, if they want to learn more about your work and learn more, more about how you think about go to market stuff?

[00:14:38] Follow Aaron Mellman

[00:14:38] Aaron Mellman: LinkedIn, I spend a lot of time on it. I think it's a really valuable tool if it's used properly and not, you know, spammy.

[00:14:44] Aaron Mellman: Trying to have a, a genuine conversation instead of like, Hey, it'd be really great to have you in my network. Like, you know, it's like, Hey, I really thought this post was was great, and Luli actually has this like icebreaker.

[00:14:55] Aaron Mellman: Section where you can like, do all your research, figure out that icebreaker, like, Hey, I saw this post that you posted on, I thought it was really interesting. I'd love to speak more. It'll automate automatically bring that into your email. Or LinkedIn. You can automate that kind of personalization as long as you do the upfront work.

[00:15:10] Aaron Mellman: So anyway, yeah, LinkedIn, would be the best one. Don't call me, I won't pick up

[00:15:17] Harris Kenny: All right. You heard it here, send Aaron a message. Hello? I see you are a professional. I am too. Would you like to connect?

[00:15:24] Aaron Mellman: Yes, absolutely. Super interesting.

[00:15:26] Outro

[00:15:26] Harris Kenny: That's all for now. You can find show notes at intro The theme music for Pipeline Meeting is by Neighbourhood Vandal. If you learned something, consider sharing this show with a friend. Thanks for listening.