Secrets From A Chief Revenue Officer To Help You Drive Revenue Growth

August

25

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Imagine being privy to the hidden strategies of a top Chief Revenue Officer that can propel your business growth. I have a Fractional Chief Revenue Officer with me today, Kyle Mealy from Next Level Coaching. He’s about to share some game-changing methodologies and strategies he uses to help businesses grow.

Join Tim Fitzpatrick and Kyle Mealy for this week’s episode of The Rialto Marketing Podcast!

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Secrets From A Chief Revenue Officer To Help You Drive Revenue Growth

Tim Fitzpatrick
Imagine being privy to the hidden strategies of a top chief revenue officer that can propel your business growth. I have a fractional chief revenue officer with me today. He's about to share some game changing methodologies and strategies he uses to help businesses grow. Hi, I am Tim Fitzpatrick with Rialto Marketing, where we believe you must remove your revenue roadblocks to accelerate growth and marketing shouldn't be difficult. Thank you so much for taking the time to tune in. I am super excited to have with me Kyle Mealy from Next Level Coaching. Kyle, welcome. Thanks for being here, man.

Kyle Mealy
Hey, Tim. Thank you. I'm super excited, grateful to share a little bit of the secrets that I've picked up over the years.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I love it, man. We're going to dig into this, but as a chief revenue officer, certainly there is some crossover into what I do on the fractional chief marketing officer side of it. But we're going to dig into that. I can't wait to talk shop with you today. Before we do that, I want to ask you a few rapid fire questions, help us get to know you. Are you ready to jump in here?

Kyle Mealy
I'm so ready.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay. When you're not working, how do you like to spend your time?

Kyle Mealy
I live in Wisconsin, so if it's summer, I'm outside in my yard, absolutely. If it's winter, I'm cooking and putting on weight as much as I can so I can work it off in the summer.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I love it. Anything in particular you like to cook?

Kyle Mealy
Definitely pasta. I make homemade pasta, soup to nuts, the whole thing. It's a good time.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Wow. So rolling it out and cutting it?

Kyle Mealy
Yeah, I like to have it in eggs. Oh, yeah. I go all out. Make the sauce from tomatoes and carrots and onion and celery. Oh, yeah. All out.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay, nice. You have to make sure I stop by when I'm in Wisconsin. So what's your hidden talent other than making pasta from scratch?

Kyle Mealy
So I don't talk about it a lot, but I spent 30 years doing martial arts, and I may not be at Michelangelo, the ninja turtle level of nun chugs, but I wouldn't show up poorly standing next to him doing nun chugs. I can do nun chugs pretty well.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay. Damn. What about the stars?

Kyle Mealy
These throwing stars? I've never done them. I'm not skilled at them. I would be just as dangerous as anybody else, more to myself than the person I'm targeting.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay. What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

Kyle Mealy
I think this one is it's less about what you say yes to. It's being really impactful with what you say no to. And that has been really powerful, both in the professional and the personal, what relationships are you saying no to, what asks are you saying no to, being really choiceful.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I can't remember where I heard this, but it always stuck with me. It's like every time you say yes to something, you need to understand what you're actually saying no to, which is just a little bit of a variation on that. What's one thing about you that surprises people?

Kyle Mealy
I'm not that. I'm loud and crazy and what have you, and I'm energetic, but I really like to just sit and read a book and just be chill at times. So I don't think most people think I stop moving, but I really do.

Tim Fitzpatrick
What success mean to you?

Kyle Mealy
For me, it's always about improvement. Progress is happiness. So if I'm learning, if I'm growing, if I'm being mentally and emotionally challenged in a healthy way, all day. And success always follows that. So what does success mean? It's the front work of that, which is the learning and the growth.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. You know what I love about that definition is that you can be successful every day.

Kyle Mealy
Oh yeah. Towards success, instead of mistakes as taking you away from success, actually, because you can only learn from mistakes. You don't learn when you win.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I think too many of us have these definitions of success that we're not successful until we get there. But how demoralizing is that to not be able to be successful every day?

Kyle Mealy
Yeah, we tend your vision and you haven't hit it for 3,000 consecutive days. That's awful.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. It reminds me of, God, I wish I could remember the book. He talks about, in the US, we talk about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It really shouldn't be the pursuit of happiness. It should be the expansion of happiness. Because if we're pursuing it, we don't have it. A similar concept. Where's your happy place?

Kyle Mealy
My family goes to Cape Cod. We try to go there. I've been going there since I was a little boy. My grandma had a house out there, so we try and go every year to visit the Cape Cod.

Tim Fitzpatrick
And where on the Cape?

Kyle Mealy
It's become Hyannis, if you guys are familiar.

Tim Fitzpatrick
With Hyattis. Yeah. So my dad was born and raised in the Cape.

Kyle Mealy
Oh, for real?

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. He grew up he grew up in Orleans and Brewster. I still have relatives in that area. I also have relatives in Provincetown. My aunt and uncle owned and now they're their kids still own a rubbish and cesspool company right in Provincetown.

Kyle Mealy
Cool.

Tim Fitzpatrick
As you turn left off the main drag to go into Provincetown, their house and their business is right there on the left.

Kyle Mealy
I've always ended up South and West Cape. My grandma had a house in Falmouth. And then with my family now, this generation, we've ended up in Hyannis because there's lots of good Airbnbs and the downtown is incredible. So it's cool. I go to a Harbor Hawks game every time. I get a great picture. My little boy was up on my shoulders watching the game, and we happened to be there near Father's Day. I wasn't really paying attention in this social media. People saw us and took a picture. And we were the Cape Cod League, which if you're a baseball fan, you know what I'm talking about? We were their Father's Day picture. So I have this priceless picture of me and my little boy with the Cape Cod League. And it was a really cool moment for me. So I was just looking at that picture.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Small world, man. What qualities do you value in the people you spend time with?

Kyle Mealy
The obvious answers are integrity and honesty, but I just think it's people who leave me better than I was before. And it's back to the challenge. It's back to the growth. It's back to who's making me a better person of me.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Kyle, tell us more about what you're doing with the next level coaching. Yeah.

Kyle Mealy
I've had the opportunity to talk with so many business owners and leaders in the small business world and around the business operating system communities like EOS, like Pinnacle Business Guides. I kept running into the same issues over and over and over again. Just this disconnect between sales, marketing, and the leadership team, and understanding how to break through the referral stage of business growth where it's all referrals and the owners running all the sales. Then this marketing attempt, not marketing campaign. I wanted to help them. In my last role, I was able to help them a little bit, and I just couldn't give my full self. I decided to jump in and do this to bridge that gap between businesses who are trying to get in that 1 to 5, get to 5 to 10, or just south of 10 million, get to 20 million. And it's almost always a sales and marketing, like alignment and understanding issue. So that's what I do is I stitched those pieces together so that they're going in the right direction, and then I can pass them off to someone who can be there full-time for them.

Tim Fitzpatrick
It's an alignment issue or it's just a lack of an engine. They don't have a sales engine, they don't have a marketing engine. So many people... Gosh, there are plenty of examples of businesses that have grown quite large on just referral. But most people reach that plateau where you're talking about where they just cannot push through that ceiling because referrals are not predictable and they're not scalable. So that's when people like you and I get involved. So let's transition and just like chief revenue officer. A lot of people have heard of chief financial officers or chief operations officers or chief executives, chief marketing officers. But I feel like this concept of the chief revenue officer is, I don't know if I'd say new, but it hasn't been around nearly as long. So fill us in there and then we're going to talk about some of these methodologies and strategies that you use.

Kyle Mealy
Yeah. I was really intentional when I decided to do this chief revenue because it felt blue ocean. It felt white open. It felt like there wasn't a lot of definition to this as a service. And the experience I had was that it felt enterprisey, like it was really for bigger businesses. When I envisioned what I would do, I wanted to bring the strength of executive marketing leadership and sales leadership into small businesses. And so that's a little different than enterprise focused. This is focusing on... There's not a million dollar budget in marketing or a ten million budget. Some of these businesses might not even have 100,000 to play with in marketing over the year. So what do they do? They get can't just be stuck. So if you can combine sales and marketing in a really intentional way with the right level of leadership, and you don't need to pay for a $250,000 a year expert, you can pay for a much less. Use that same amount of brainpower in a business that can absorb that in a smaller bite and do some really cool stuff. When I think about chief revenue officer, I think marketing plus sales equals revenue. You have a marketing seat, you have a sales seat, who do they report up to? In most of these businesses, it's like the COO or the CEO themselves. So instead of having two seats, they have to pay full-time for it, pay for one seat and do it really well.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I think a lot of business owners are becoming much more aware of this whole fractional or outsourced part time executive level person that you can hire because look, it's tough when you're at a certain point in your business. It just, as you touched on, Kyle, it doesn't make sense to hire a full-time executive when there's not full-time work. I've seen people, and I'm sure you have, I'd love to get your opinion on this, but I have seen people hire VPs of sales, chief revenue officers, chief marketing officers, long before they meet them. And usually, the one of two things happen. They either promoted somebody within that is really not at that level, or they've hired somebody and brought them in and that person, they're paying that person high level dollars to do low level work. It just makes no sense. The way I always look at it is like, if you've got the budget, because like you said, look, a CMO, a CRO, minimum 250 for somebody that's good, that knows what the hell they're doing. Really good ones are making way more than that. So and that's just salary. That doesn't include your benefits and all that other stuff.

Kyle Mealy
That's good for equity or stock or something.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. So if you've got that budget, why not hire somebody like you or I to come in on part time basis and use the rest of that budget to fuel your sales and your marketing efforts. Don't hire too early in this case. Any thoughts on that?

Kyle Mealy
I see the internal resource level up, which small businesses, they love their people. Talk to any small business owner. They love their people like family and they protect their culture. It makes sense for them to hire within. They want to celebrate their growth and celebrate the people who helped them get there. I totally get it. But what I see is that's where they get stuck, too, because you've capped out that person's ability level. It's not like they're going to fractional or chief marketing officer. There's no school that really teaches this stuff. You have to have people who've been boots on the ground doing this real time because marketing moves so fast. They get stuck there and they don't know what to do because they think they have a chief marketing officer. My hope is they talk to someone like you and talk to someone like me and they're like, Oh, there's a whole different level that we're not even playing at yet. It doesn't mean you have to get rid of that person. This is why fractional is so powerful is because they can have the right strategy. The fractional person can have the right strategy, the right understanding, know what the right buttons and levers are to engage, but you still need someone to help execute that vision. They do it all themselves. It's actually a really good marriage. The ancillary benefit is that person who's on your team is getting exposure to that level of knowledge. That's a big win for your business because you're getting the benefit of that investment more than one way.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I want to add to that because I was, and I'm so glad you touched on that, t ypically, this is not always the case, but typically, when you're promoting from within to a higher level executive position like we're talking about, most of the time, those people lack the strategic side of things. They're great at implementing and overseeing things, but they just don't have that strategic level experience that a higher level executive has. Like you said, Kyle, it's totally okay to do that, but I think it would make a ton of sense to find somebody that you can bring in and at least for a period of time, that person can help guide and coach on a strategic level to level up that internal person's skills. Because strategy is not easy. It takes a lot of experience. So why not pay somebody to help level up their skills so they can get there faster? So I don't know. That's what I see on the internal side of it.

The Simplify, Measure, and Margin Framework to Growth

Tim Fitzpatrick
Let's dig into the heart of it, man. You talk about simplify, measure, and margin. This is one of the frameworks, the methodologies that you use. Let's break it down for us, Kyle.

Kyle Mealy
Yeah. Because of my exposure to the entrepreneurial world and the small business community, this is absolutely a framework that I think any of them can apply. So if you're watching, take advantage of this. You'll uncover some of the issues that maybe haven't floated up yet. But simplified is just this. Usually, as you scrape through your entrepreneurial phase and you get stable, three, five million in revenue, you're still saying yes to a lot of things. So this is going back to my favorite quote. You're not getting really clear on what you're saying no to. And so if you can simplify who you serve, how you serve them, and what's the best method to... Who is the right person for you to serve? You're going to be much more potent in your marketing because if you're saying yes to everyone and everything, you're just going to spin. You're just going to get stuck. So simplify your marketing message, simplify who you're targeting, simplify what you do. Might mean you cut off a business line that just isn't profitable. I'm going to talk about how you know that later in the margin side, but you can see where I'm going. Measurement. So many people measure impression, so many measure clicks, so many people measure sales based activity. How many new accounts did you open? Guys, I'm really good at making up accounts. If you're not measuring the things that are actually moving the business forward, which is dollars in and dollars out, it doesn't matter. So reorienting on what you're measuring, and usually it's simplifying. It's part of it. They had 19 measureables for the sales and marketing department, and let's be clear, they weren't even marketing. They have a sales and marketing department with nobody in the marketing scene at all. So it was 19 sales metrics. Guess where they were going? Nowhere because you're measuring everything.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Nowhere.

Kyle Mealy
Our sales measurement now is three things. We've simplified. And then margin, if we don't know what the cap on what we're selling or what we want to put into the market, if we don't know what is profitable and how much we can basically give to get a new client, we're going to be guessing. And I hate guessing. Marketing feels like black magic. It feels like guessing. It's because those three things are not intact in most of these businesses. If you don't know your margin, it'd be really hard to position a marketing budget around it that's profitable. If you're not measuring the things that matter, you're just guessing, Yeah, I did some good stuff because I wrote a LinkedIn post and had eight people like it. Yay. And then simply, you can throw a lot of stuff out there. I had one person come to me who goes, I I had a million impressions. Did anybody that you care about see it? They don't know. So are we actually doing the things that we need to do to the right people?

Tim Fitzpatrick
Kyle, you shared so much value there, man.

Kyle Mealy
I want to pull some things out.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I love it because you're sharing a lot of the same things that I repeat over and over again, just in a slightly different way. So, man, I love it. Simplifying. One of my mentors said complexity is the enemy of results. When we simplify things, it becomes much, much easier to manage, to implement, execute, measure, everything. One of the things I always talk about is, look, marketing starts with strategy. Where does strategy start? It starts with your target market and who your ideal clients are and your message to that market. And you said that exact same thing when we're looking at simplifying, who are we serving them? Who are we serving and how are we going to serve those people? What are we going to say to them? But you have no idea what to say that's going to attract those people until you first know who the hell those people are. So everything with marketing starts there. And I love how you start with, Hey, we got to simplify. Then we got to measure. I always talk about in marketing, there's all kinds of vanity metrics that don't mean anything. You touched on them, impressions, website visits, followers on social. Yes, some of those are okay to track and may give you some decent top of funnel metrics. But you said it, are we generating revenue and making money. So to me, the first three metrics I always look at are leads, where they're coming from.

Kyle Mealy
Source.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Lead source, and conversions. How many new clients did we get each month? To me, those are three simple metrics. It helps guide and like, hey, what are we doing that's actually working? And it tells us how many leads we need to generate to get a new client. You touched on it. Are there other things we can track? Yeah, there's a ton of other stuff we can track, but damn, if you're not even tracking the basic fundamental foundational metrics, you have no business tracking the rest of it because it's just going to confuse you. I love that. Simplify, measure, margin. Anything else you want to add on that before we shift gears a little bit?

Kyle Mealy
Yeah, I think one of the fun parts about the conversation, I was looking forward to talking to you is obviously fractional chief marketing officer, special gift. What's fun about what I get to do is I get to also apply the same framework to the sales side. That's what I think often is missing because you can have an incredible fractional marketing officer who's putting leads in front of a business that they've never seen before. Volumes they've never dreamt of, but then they don't consume those leads. There's nobody picking up the phone. There's nobody calling back. I kept seeing that as working in marketing agencies previously is you can have a great lead, but if nobody calls it for a week, you cost yourself twice as much because you're paying for the lead and then you're paying for the lost business. That's when this combined offering came to mind. It's like, you're going to generate leads. You better make sure those leads go all the way to revenue. That's why I say marketing plus sales equals revenue. Normally, we talk sales and marketing is like the common. I'm trying to put up marketing first. Marketing is the tip of the spear. Sales catches what marketing delivers, but that strategy comes through revenue, too. When those are synchronized, my gosh, everything's great. To your point about simplified, the same thing is for sales process. I saw it can't be called a process. It was a mind map video chart that had about 72 levels, 400 lines. Guess what was happening? Those deals were taking 100 days to work through. If you have 100 day deal in B2B, from lead initiation to close, you're probably losing 80 % of the time or more, 90 %. If you can actually create visibility to those stages and simplify your stages in the sales process, same framework, you're going to improve the quality of our marketing, too, because you're going to know it's working faster. If you can do that and you can connect that all to revenue, actual dollars that you are spending and getting in, you have an equation that actually can steer strategy, which that's what I look for. That's what gets me excited because then you know it's working. It's not all the way into the business.

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The Revenue Zipper

Tim Fitzpatrick
This whole concept of simplifying, we could apply that in every aspect of our business and our life, frankly. Simplify, it's huge. You talk about this concept of the revenue zipper. What's the revenue zipper?

Kyle Mealy
It's the culmination of all those things. Especially in B2B marketing are long sales cycles. This can be B2C too, but monthly recurring revenue client service, these intensely personal relationship deals, which is very typical for B2B. Sales and marketing are oftentimes tried to be treated as two different entities. But really, I think of sales as just one to one marketing, and marketing and marketing as one to many sales. I know that might hurt the brain, but it's the same conversation just done differently because if you go meet someone at an event, you have to do a high level pitch, which is your audience. It's your top of funnel, like this is what we do. How have you done it before? And you actually work down the funnel. When I envisioned this, it was like funnel. And I realized that thought leadership could be up on the marketing side, but it's also on the sales side, too. Because in B2B sales, if you have a really expert salesperson who actually can understand and solve the problem, they become one of your most potent marketing assets. Thought leadership. And it's like, well, is it sales or is it marketing? Well, you have to think about them both at the same time. And that's true for your marketing process and your sales process, because if your marketing process doesn't align with your sales process or your sales cycle, you're going to have this misalignment and it's not going to work together. That goes all the way down to the core basics of what you're measuring. How are you attributing revenue? Well, actually, you've got to tribute them to both branches. As I was thinking of this, I realized that take your marketing funnel and it really looks like a zipper. I just imagine the CRO zipping all these pieces together. In my ideal state, I work with a fractional chief marketing officer who understands leads are what matter, not vanity metrics. I can have them go steer the strategy so I can focus on sales. Then I can report to the ELT or the executive leadership team on the whole picture. That becomes so powerful because I don't want to do it all. I'm not good at doing it all. Ask anybody about my creative skills, it's bad. Ask anybody about my grammar, it's bad. But that's the fun part is when you can tie all these concepts together with the right people at the right segment of the funnel if you think of sales and marketing as one funnel. That's the thing that's the first break it all together, intentionally.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I completely agree with you. I want to dig into this a little bit more because it's always been fascinating to me that in some organizations, sales and marketing are separate. Frankly, they're not doing a good job of communicating with one another because there's so much that we can learn from sales on the marketing side and vice versa. I love this concept of the Zipper where they're coming together. They really are. It's left hand, right-hand. They have to be working in concert. One of the biggest gaps I see between sales and marketing comes with the marketing message. Marketing is putting out one message, they generate a lead, the lead gets handed over to sales, and then the sales team is saying something totally different. And it's like, what happens to the potential client at that point? The breaks go on, they're confused, they're like, Whoa, wait a minute. I thought we were talking about this, and now you're telling me this. And confused people don't buy, right? So that message, when we put together a marketing message on the front end, I don't actually even call it a marketing message. I just call it a messaging playbook, where that message goes from marketing to sales to customer service. It infiltrates the entire organization. It has to be seamless. Gosh, if people just take one thing away from this, sales and marketing, they're one and the same, like you said. However, you look at it, you just need to see them as operating in concert with one another.

Kyle Mealy
I agree with you. The marketing message should be generated from within and then pushed up to marketing with marketing steering it because they're the ones who actually know how to deliver the message. They're the final endpoint of like, no, we got to sharpen it. I literally think of this sphere. Totally agree. Because if sales can contribute to the bottom of the funnel, the actual closing language that works, man, can marketing make some really good landing pages? Man, can marketing really deliver some great hooks? See, those people have that stuff innately. So if they're informing, not deciding, informing, that's so powerful. And that's like the most fun part about what I'm doing right now is helping those bridge together. It's that zipper. And a fun moment happened recently because we measure revenue in this organization I'm working with. So sales is accountable to the revenue and so is marketing. Because at the end of the day, if we're not driving enough revenue, we can't pay for marketing, we can't pay for sales. They all have to play together. We're making marketing decisions with salespeople in the room, and they're advocating for marketing dollars to go out. And here's the fun part. The CFO is like, That's a great idea because I know what the return is going to be on that. I can put that into our financial projection. That's really fun. So sales is excited by my marketing efforts. And you know what that's going to do for them when they're talking to a client? They're talking the same language. And so you can break down that confusion. And by measuring very simply, you can actually rally the team around one combined revenue effort, marketing, plus sales. And that's what I love. And letting marketing people do that part, do their part of it, but do it with sales. And then they cover the top and the bottom at the same time. Well, that's the fun stuff.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. So you got to communicate, right?

Kyle Mealy
That's a whole different show.

The Biggest Mistakes Companies Make to Drive Revenue Growth

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yes, it is. We have a little bit of time. I want to dig into a couple of other things that I think will be super helpful for people. Look, we all make mistakes, and hopefully we learn from them. But what are some of the bigger mistakes that you see companies make as they try to grow revenue?

Kyle Mealy
I think timing continues to be an issue I run into. If we only had a little bit more revenue, or if we finish this initiative, or later in the year, we'll start marketing. Well that just tells me they don't understand their sales cycle, or they don't understand how this game is done. When you're talking long sales you're talking six months, you need to look at your revenue forecast, where you want to be, and you need to subtract six months and then three more months. So you can actually build a program to get you there, potentially by that date, potentially if you're lucky. And I think people think of marketing as an ATM, not an investment. So you put money in your 401, you don't expect to go get it tomorrow, but you're expecting it to be there when you need it later on because you're putting it for a future date. And so I don't think people think future enough. I think they're more reactive versus. I think that's the biggest mistake I see is just misunderstanding the timing of that investment, and then it causes them to get reactive with marketing, specifically in this case, because it's not working fast enough. Well, that was because you didn't start it soon enough because you don't know your whole cycle.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I want to pull out a few things because, again, you said some of the same things I say just slightly differently. Marketing, sales, long term investment. If we go into it thinking short term, we're going to be dissatisfied and frankly, we're going to stop before we reach a point of success. I love how you talk about timing. They say the time to go get a bank loan is when you don't need it.

Kyle Mealy
Correct.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Same thing with marketing and sales to a degree. If you're looking at marketing when you feel like you need to market, you're behind the eight ball. It is way too late. We've got to look at it as an investment that we're doing consistently over time. You touched on it. It's like your 401 just every month, every month, every month. I think it's super, super important.

Kyle Mealy
That is interesting. And I'll bring it to the sales side, too. A lot of businesses when the owner is running most of the sales or leading the sales for the most part or bringing in the referrals, when they want more sales, they bring in a salesperson. I see this as such a flaw because, one, just because you can sell because you're in the room with other CEOs who are making the buying decision and you have a contact list, your salesperson that you're pulling off the street does not. They're going to take some time to build runway. That's assuming you've been able to codify your sales strategy and they can apply it. My sales strategy, go to Vistage and hang out and talk to my friends and get some deals. It doesn't work for your sales guy off the street. It doesn't work. The second one I see is comp. You go off comp on sales and you can really put your business in a hole real fast. There's just some pieces that we think, I need sales, I get a salesperson. I need more revenue. Well, when you think more revenue, you're actually thinking marketing and sales. I would much rather people think of it like that and then think of timing.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I also think that... I mean, look, there's plenty of business owners that do this where they bring in salespeople and they just expect those salespeople to be hunters all the time.

Kyle Mealy
More business for me? What are you doing all day?

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. Look, the reality is, yes, are there people out there that exists like that that just freaking love the hunt day in, day out. Yes, but they are few and far between. And if you don't have marketing, at least bringing in some warm leads to feed those salespeople while they continue to hunt, I think you're going to burn through salespeople fast. That's just my thoughts, but what are your thoughts on that, Kyle?

Kyle Mealy
Well, and this is why the combo is so important because you're right, not every great... The true hunters know their value and they're charging you 150 at a minimum plus comp. That's just to walk in the door and hunt for you. Those folks already have a ton of relationships in industry contacts that are specific to your industry. So if you're not getting that person, you're getting someone who's 80 to 90K, who's maybe done some sales before, and that's what you're getting, and you're expecting them to go hunt in your industry cold, they're going to get crushed. But if you're intentional with your strategy and you support them with a strategic sales outreach program, or put them in events, or put them in places where they can get in front of their prospects and they're a good hunter, or they have that skill and you are coaching them, then they can flourish. They can do great. But if you're ignoring qualified leads and marketing leads while they're getting up and running, you're going to spend three months, you're going to be out the 80K salary per month, go nowhere, and then you're going to yo, yo. You're going to say, Well, sales is stupid. Get rid of the salesperson. They were terrible. I need marketing. Then they're going to call you and then they're going to call you, and then they're going to wait. I see that over and over. It's the same cyclical pattern and they're not putting them together and realizing that they work best together.

Tim Fitzpatrick
What do you see as some of the lowest hanging fruit to help drive growth for a lot of businesses?

Kyle Mealy
Simplify measure margin? No, I think it's just being honest with your revenue picture. And then having that honest conversation of how many qualified leads you have. Because if you can't even answer that question, it's going to be hard to dictate a marketing budget or a growth strategy. The other is just how long it takes for you to close a deal. What is your sales process? Can you put it up there in five bubbles? You're doing it, literally five bubbles. If you can't, you probably don't have a sales process. Same thing with marketing. Marketing should be a process as well. It's just getting real and honest with where you are. I was working with someone who said, Yeah, we get 7 to 10 new deals a month, but they were getting 20 leads. Okay, you're not closing at 50 % in B2B month over month. There's just no way. Well, I dig in. Well, we only have a 25 % close rate on our qualified leads. Okay, well, if you have 20 leads and you have 25 % close rate, you really only have four deals, which is at 4 or 7 to 10? I don't know. Okay, well, that's where you need to start. That's where you need to start. It's just having that really simple number and actually believing it and not believing it because you think it's right, but actually knowing it's right. That's the biggest one. That's where I start. That's my easiest in road is I just go show you that you don't know that because then I can actually help you.

Tim Fitzpatrick
When it's starting, you touched on this earlier, it's like we have to start with the fundamentals and make sure that we have those in place. If you skip the fundamentals, one of my favorite quotes about the fundamentals is from Michael Jordan. God, how did he say it? Get the fundamentals down on the level of everything you do will rise. I see the fundamentals in the strategy as fuel. If we're picking the vehicles before we have the fuel, then it's not going to work very well. That's first and foremost. But some of the other low hanging fruit that I see that frankly, I see this on the marketing side, but I think this can be applied on the sales side as well, is just what's already working. Oftentimes, what's already working is not fully optimized and we have to have that process, that system in place for it. The other thing is what used to work that we stopped doing. Sometimes success blinds us and we just start going down another path and we stop doing something that used to work. Those are two places that I see being really low hanging fruit for most businesses. When we start looking at the marketing vehicles, we don't jump to new vehicles until we first identified those two. What's already working? Let's make sure it's optimized. Is there anything you stop doing that you used to do?

Kyle Mealy
Yeah. This quote always cracks me up. It works so well, we stop doing it.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, it happens to all of us.

Kyle Mealy
Well, you have a big event or whatever it is, whatever the campaign is, it works really well. T his happens in businesses all the time, whether it's sales or marketing, you get this influx of new business. The whole organization shifts to serving this new business. Sales and marketing goes on the back burner because we're good. Then we want to chew through this revenue. Anybody who's working through client service knows that at some point you lose them and you got to get more revenue. But you took your eye off the ball over here and now you're back to square one and you're looking at new vehicles. I like that. You're looking at new things versus like, What if we just did two of those events in a year? And we predicted the growth off of this one for the next one and we tested. I think people say testing is easy to do, but I think testing is a low hanging fruit. And to go actually to make it valuable is like, Can you test anything right now? Do you have the ability to test something? Because if you don't, that's going to give you a pretty good indication of where you are. And testing is as simple as can you put up two different ads at the same time in Facebook? Testing it as simple as can you do two different talk tracks for your sales team at the same time. If you can't do that, you're missing some of those fundamentals. And I'm a huge fundamental fan doing 30 years of martial arts, always the best of the best who are good at the basics, master the basics, who are the scary ones.

Tim Fitzpatrick
It's like they don't even think about it. Professionals make it look easy, but they make it look easy because they've absolutely mastered the fundamentals.

Kyle Mealy
Marketing and sales is often confused for the slam dunk contest on the NBA. But they forget that those folks just spent hours and hours and hours in the gym. In sales and marketing is you have to have gym rats. You have to have people who love the process, who love the grind of doing the simple things and doing them really well over and over.

Tim Fitzpatrick
That's fascinating me. I just got done watching quarterbacks on Netflix. Have you watched that?

Kyle Mealy
My wife was trying to get me to watch it last night. This would have been a great end of our convo, but no.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, it's so interesting. One, it's interesting just to see, for those of you that haven't watched it, they follow three NFL quarterbacks throughout the season. You see some of the personal side of it, but the parts of it that I was really fascinated by are just some of the work that they do. It's like we see the tip of the iceberg. All the stuff that they do behind the scenes is below the water. When you see that, you're like, Holy cow. These guys work so hard and there's so many moving pieces outside of what we see on a Sunday. It's fascinating.

Kyle Mealy
Well, marketing is such a... It causes this problem for itself by its very nature because we see the external facing of the success. We see a business who's succeeding because their marketing is good. You can just tell You can see their ad count growing. You can see all those things. But what you don't see is exactly what you're talking about. You're seeing under the surface the actual machinations that are occurring, the practice, the methodology being discipled and stuck to. And what will happen is a visionary leader will see this, or a CEO will see this, or somebody will see this and go, Well, I want to do that tactic, or I want to do it exactly like them. And with the big danger sign, red flag warning, when somebody comes to me with that, it's like, No, I want to look at what's underneath that. What's supporting that structure so that we can see this really cool marketing thing up at the top?

Conclusion

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. It's the fundamentals, the strategy, the planning. You got to have that in place. Then you can start to jump to some of this other stuff. Kyle, this has been a fantastic conversation, man. Any last minute thoughts you want to leave us with?

Kyle Mealy
Just gratitude. I love talking about marketing. If I don't have this outlet, my poor wife goes nuts because I just want to talk marketing and sales all day. So this has been really fun for me. I appreciate it. I learned a lot. I actually took some notes. I like some of the ways you frame things. I might borrow as a good tracker.

Tim Fitzpatrick
It's all good.

Kyle Mealy
I put on my swipe and deploy hat pretty frequently. I always look at it this way. There's bad marketing out there. And when I'm not talking about bad marketing, I'm talking about people who are not applying some of the things we're talking about. And if you have some indication or you have a belief that maybe you're missing the mark, I give free sniff tests, so I would be happy to just take a look around and be like, Yeah, I don't know. I don't know if that's going to be working. So that's something I would like to leave people with. I love talking.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Where can people connect with you, man?

Kyle Mealy
Definitely LinkedIn. I think my website is scrolling ready for the next level. There's a very cute branding there. And then I have a ton of information about fractional chief revenue officer on there as well.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Cool. We will make sure that those are in the show notes readyforthenextlevel.com. It's Kyle Mealy, KYLE, and then MEALY. I don't know how many Kyle Mealy's there are on LinkedIn, but my guess is probably not.

Kyle Mealy
There's one and he's an assistant principal, I think, in New Jersey, but I got them first.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Awesome. Should be easy to connect with Kyle there. If you'd like what he had to share today, which I loved, go connect with them. Kyle, thank you again, man. I appreciate you taking the time And I always enjoy connecting with other sales and marketing folks as well. I learn new things every time I chat with folks like you, too. Those of you watching, listening, I appreciate you doing so. We were talking a lot about revenue today. If you want to know which of the nine revenue roadblocks are slowing down your growth, you can do that over revenueroadblockscorecard.com. It takes less than five minutes. You can also always connect with us over at rialtomarketing. Com. Be happy to chat with you and give you some outside eyes on the roadblocks you're facing and how to best push through them. Thank you again, Kyle, thank you. Until next time, take care.


Connect With Kyle Mealy


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About the author, Tim Fitzpatrick

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