The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 3 years ago

Jacob Baadsgaard on Results-Based Relationships


Founders and CEOs often expect immediate results from new sales teams and employees. But that isn't always realistic, or sustainable. To find out why, we sat down with Jacob Baadsgaard, CEO of Disruptive Advertising, a team-enabled agency that uses analytics and data to help clients grow their businesses, leveraging platforms like Google and Facebook. 

You were listening to the BB revenueexecutive experience, a podcast dedicated to helping the executives train their sales and marketingteams to optimize growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools andresources, you've come to the right place. Let's accelerate your growth in three,two, one. Welcome everyone to the B Tob Revenue Executive Experience.I'm your host, Chad Sanderson. Today we have with US Jacob Bad's guard, CEO of Disruptive Advertising, and we're focusing on results based relationships, howthey impact sales, marketing and growing your business. Jacob, thank you fortaking the time and welcome to the show. Hey, thanks for having me,Chad. So before we jump in, we typically ask and off the wallquestion just to give our audience a little bit more insight into you.So, as you look back over your career, was there a pivotal moment, something that happened or lessons that you learned that kind of change at trajectoryor your thinking on your career and what you wanted to accomplish? And,if so, what was it and how did impact you? Yeah, youbet. I had an interesting experience early on in my career after school wasworking for a company called Aminators as a technical implementation consultant, and I feltlike a like a fraud, like I didn't know what I was doing.I that the individual that was training me at the time it was her firstopportunity to mentor and train someone and I don't think she necessarily knew how todo that. And I felt kind of in between a rock and a hardplace in that I wasn't getting it and I felt dumb and too scared toask her to explain, because usually the response was you didn't get that,or how come you don't remember that, and so I was just feeling like, shoot, I don't know what I'm doing and the person that's supposed tobe helping me. I'm I'm, you know, a little scared of andI feel like I'm getting beat up every time I do this, and soI'm there saying I'm there thinking, how did I did I make the wrongdecision? I'm I have no confidence. I just think, shoot, whatdid I get myself into here? And the experience that really made a bigdifference for me was an individual who is not on my team, not mymanager, who I had become acquainted with while I was there. One dayhe walked by him and apparently my face must have shown how I was feelingon the inside and he stopped by and he's like, Hey, Jacob,how's it going, man, and I said good, because that's what weall say, and he called my bullshit and said no, you're not,tell me how you're really doing, and so we got into it. Kindof explained why I was feeling, you know, not up to the task, lacking confidence and not knowing what I needed to move forward, and heproceeded to spend a couple of hours with me that day and for the nextthirty to sixty days spent one to two hours a day with me and justreally helped answer my questions, help make sure that I understood things, heldme accountable to making sure that I was pushing myself and, man, aftergetting his support and feeling like man, I don't know if I have whatit takes to be successful. Getting that level of individual support, when itwasn't even required of him to do that, totally change my life. Over thenext eight to ten months, became one of the top performers in theorganization and is what ultimately what led me to starting disruptive advertising with the skillset that I start developed there, and so that was something that absolutely changedmy trajectory, my personal confidence and my perspective on what I want to doin my career, and that is I want to be that guy. Iwant to be that guy that's willing to step in and help when when it'sneeded, even if there isn't something financially in it. For me, excellent. So that's that kind of fueled the whole desire to create disruptive advertising,it sounds like. So can you give our audience a Lib bit of contextaround that company and what led you to...

...start it? Yeah, so disruptiveadvertising. We're a tech enabled agency and we use analytics and data to helpour clients grow their businesses, leveraging platforms like Google and facebook, and that'swhat we do and our mission statement is we a prove lives through results basedrelationships and just like that experience that I just shared with you, that's arelationship that's delivered results for four years. I'm still very close friends with thatindividual and that's what we tried to instill and bring to the table, notonly with clients, and of course, that that is a top priority forus, but we also do that with each employee that works at destructive advertisingas well. And so you know, the success story of disruptive is wellknown for anybody who takes the time to look. I'm curious, though,the multimillion dollar business probably have sales team. Now. All companies start out withfounder based selling. How do do you make the transition from being theperson that had to do it all to having a true sales team? Well, I'll tell you what, that was one of the hardest things for meto figure out, as it is for most businesses, and there's no waywhere at where we are today without breaking through that. And I'll tell youwhat I did wrong and then I'll tell you what work and and then hopefullythere's something for all of us to learn. There is, first and foremost,I went and hired some more experienced, bigger guns that were more expensive,that had a lot of sales experience and kind of just try to handit off to them, and what happened was they didn't understand the business.They had good seal skills but because they came at a high cost, theexpectations for them to deliver what we needed as an organization. It wasn't ahuge leash, right, or the amount of time that we had to getthere. And so after a few months of saying wow, this anything thatyou are selling is coming over with really bad expectations, and even then we'restill not selling enough to justify what we're paying you. I'm for a coupleof those experiences I just thought, shoot, what am I going to do?How am I going to get past founder based selling, or is thisgoing to become a lifestyle business? Right? And what's interesting is there was thispersistent kid that kept bugging me for a cell's job. He was stillin school and and just kept bugging me for a job because he had afriend that worked out that just loved working at disruptive advertising. And so finallyI'm like, man, if he is this persistent with me, I'll probablybe pretty persistent on the cells side. Him and another individual brought them bothover, very low cost individuals, and I said, Hey, I needto get to the point where I don't have to sell everything and I wantto take a different approach here. I'm going to sell everything for you andI'm still going to pay you a commission on it and I need for youthe first three months to set me up with some appointments. Go Hustle,makes some things happen. We have some good in bound leads coming in aswell, and you're just going to observe, watch what I do, how Ido it, and you're going to make sure that we stay on topof all of it. Well, long story short, taking that approach andjust really giving them that time and experience to just work with me see howI do it so that they're not coming up with their own version per se, actually ended up paying off the bigtime dividends for us, because I gotto the point where it took a while, and that's and that's the the partof the answer that I didn't like is, yeah, they were startingto contribute and close their own deals after a few months, but I stillpaid them pretty well, paid them commissions on sales that I closed for themand just really let them observe and listen to the way that I was doingit. And after it took about a year before they were very solid anddependent and now had kind of took the way that I was doing it andkind of molded that into their own thing, but with a with a solid andconsistent foundation. After eighteen months they...

...were doing fantastic, the company wasgrowing and that we were hiring people, that they could train, a mentorand and now we've got a team of over ten people on ourselves team nowand that are all doing fantastic and closing more revenue than you know, mytop cells guys a close more now than I ever did on my on myown each that's what you want to see, though. Yeah, that's exactly whatI want, and I still like to pretend like I'm the best cellsguy in the organization, but I don't know if I am anymore. Well, I mean and when you make that transition. I mean, first off, Kudos to you, right, because I've seen a lot of founders whodon't crack that nut right first. They don't want to give up control roleand individuals not scalable. We all know that, right, and so beingable to have that comfort level, in that insight and crack that nut isis, you know, Kudos to you and the organization. I'm curious,though, as you go from you know, you took eighteen months, say,to train those two people, to give them the foundation. How doyou ensure that, as you continue to grow that foundation is scalable? Isit? The one on one mentoring? Is each one given, you know, the the longer leash of say, twelve eighteen months shadowing somebody? Howdo you cut you guys handle that well in that process. Actually did havea cells coach as I was going through that process. And what what Iand a lot of founders have is what we call as being unconsciously competent,right, like we just kind of know the right things to say and do, and that's why we're in business to begin with, with the product orservice that we're bringing to the table. And as we went through this processand saw actually most of it was very repeatable and that we could go frombeing unconscious about it, too conscious and intentional about it to where we actuallystart to build the collateral, the process, the systems, leveraging a crm,doing these types of things to actually make it a repeatable, scalable approach. Is kind of what we did during that and continue to do even now. But someone that comes in now gets up to speed exponentially faster than thanthese initial two people. So trial and error and figured out what worked withdidn then make sure you kept the good stuff and got rid of the stuffthat wasn't working or dragging them down. Yep, and so when you oneof the things that we talked about, or kind of exchange emails on andwas was this investing in your employees. And it sounds like, you know, eighteen months is a long in a B Tob Enterprise space that I comefrom. It sounds like a really long time. There's probably sales reps goingwow, I was, you know, when I'd started it job a Bor c. they'd given me that type of help. The desire to investin the employees. Obviously it comes from that, that story you told,but can you give us some examples of how else you're investing in enabling youremployees and what kind of results you've seen from that? Yeah, you betthe I think it's also important to note that they were contributing in a meaningfulway within about six to eight months. Okay, but they but they weren'tperforming at a top level independently until about eighteen months. So it's not likeI want eighteen months without them selling any shin. So that we're clear onthat. And then, as far as this is actually one of the reasonswhy I started my own business is I felt like the the I would getcompensated at level x and if I were two, three, four or fivetimes as hard and produced two, three, four, five times as much,I wasn't getting compensated that way. And so I found myself feeling frustratedthat, you know, I found myself not performing at my peak level becauseit didn't really benefit me to do that all the time and I didn't like, you know, when I was being honest with myself, I didn't likethat I was kind of stepping down a little bit and not pushing myself todo my best. And because I wasn't in the cells roll. And sono matter how many clients I serviced or the work that I did or thegreat things that I accomplished that he did have any meaningful impact to revenue,I wasn't seeing that come back to me at that rate. That felt right, that felt fair to me, and... one of the things that I'vedone very differently in my organization is the cells teams always have very aggressive hey, you want to make more money, sell more right and you've got avery variable performance based commission or compensation model where you have some more control.Some of the the risk that comes with that, but a lot of theupside that comes with that as well. Okay, and so I said,you know, that's great. Why don't we do this for all roles inthe company? And so that's what I've done, is for for the positionsthat I've created in the company, I've always taken the time to back intotheir financial contribution to the organization and creating compensation plans that don't penalize top performers. Because if I'm a top performer and just because I can get it donetwice as fast as you, because you're still only a year into this andI'm two years into this, does that mean I need to do twice theamount of work for an extra ten grand a year in my salary right?And and so I've just tried to create that mentality of don't penalize top performers, take the time to understand the financial impact to the business and back intothat and say hey, if you can perform, and this is even forsome non you know they're kind of several, several levels removed from revenue, butI can say, as a percentage of total revenue, that you wouldthat you are as cost in the company. If we can grow the company bytwenty percent without needing to hire someone else because you're just way more efficientat it, we can flow at least a lot of that through to youright if not all of it, and so that's the kind of the mentalitythat we've taken is the only ceiling that is in place is your own ceiling, and the more times you can break through that are compensation plans allow youto almost immediately recognize the benefit of that, and so that's one of the thingsthat we've done to really invest in in our talent here at disruptive isby sending it up that way, and I think that's when we do ourinternal surveys. We're about a hundred people now and the organization. That's veryregularly one of the most common things mentioned about. One of their favorite thingsabout the company is the investment that you guys put into them. Yes,and so it's interesting right that their organizations complants, especially for sales people,complants are always a sensitive subject when you back into financial contributions. Are youdoing it outside of the sales groups? It's just kind of standard across theorganization, or is it something you've really focused on making sure you're not puttinga ceiling across justice bales team, across the entire organization, and so forall roles we want to have that type of compensation in place and make surethat it's financially justified. I mean, especially in the B Tob World,that the two numbers that matter are the lifetime value of the customers that we'reworking with and then the cost that it takes for us to acquire and thenservice and fulfill on those customers. And so yeah, we've got it backinto it, but every organization touches that somewhere right right, and so that'sthat's what it's based on. Excellent. And so when we were when wewere talking, were the concept of you know, we have a lot ofcompanies out there, and I'm sure you've seen it, where they'll invest inhiring people, and I get to a certain size. I mean I thinkyou guys are in a sweet spot right now and hopefully can continue to scaleit with the authenticity and approach that you've got. But if you get tosome of those organizations that are, you know, a hundred million, twohundred million, I have a tendency to see a lot of them say hey, you know what, I'm an invest in growing my team so higher,a bunch of people, but I won't necessarily also spend the money to enablethem. So I'm curious if you have any advice what you've learned at kindof as you've scaled to this point, those organizations that have gotten to thatpoint, whether they think the answer is just put more feet on the street, more bodies in there. Are there lessons or advice or perspectives you canprovide that might jog the memories of those that are in, say, largeorganizations that still kind of paid themselves into a corner at times? You know, that's it's in interesting even going from an individual consultant to an organization abouthundred people. Now we've absolutely experienced that...

...and so it exists at at thelarger scale as well and it probably a larger challenge there. But those arethings that we've experienced. The the hangouts that you know, because we're justa few friends working together and you know we're friends outside of work as welland spending a lot of that time together. Things change and maintaining that culture thatis important as the company grows and and staying true to our mission it'sbeen a challenge and it's not one that we've been immune to either in ourgrowth as a company, because, keep in mind, were only four anda half years old and in that time period the growth that we've had hasbeen quite a bit for us to handle. So one of the things that I'venoticed that makes a big difference is enabling and empowering the leaders in theorganization to say, because they would come back to me they're like, Jacob, I feel like we're losing some of this, you know, of whatit used to be like, because I used to spend so much more timewith you. We'd hang out, we do those types of things, andand then for me realizing, Hey, that's now what I need you todo with your team. Right, that doesn't need to change. It justall. I guess it does change, but that's that's the level that itneeds to happen now. And so some things that we that we do isvery regularly life events that happen at disruptive advertising. We had a new baby, we got married, we bought our first home. We actually have abudget set aside. That's not that's not formal. Right, it's not anythingthat anyone's expecting, but that we like to make significant contributions for people inthose times and critical moments of their lives. And so I had to realize Ineed to empower my leaders to identify those opportunities and so that they havea budget that they can draw from to contribute to the people on their teamthat way, right going out and having launch or hanging out after work,that there needs to be a budget and encouraged to have those types of activities. So we've kind of taken what was really our roots and how I ranthe business with a small team to now saying hey, each individual team inthe company, you now have the resources and are encouraged to do the samething. So it sounds to me. So I maybe too much information forthe audience or for you, but I've done my fair share back in theday of working for founders and I've always seen that struggle that I don't knowif it's an internal if it's fear, if it's I don't want to letgo of it. You sound this. You sound very well adjusted for fora founder. I don't mean that to come across the way it's probably comingacross. It's is meant to be a compliment, but what you're talking aboutare the it sounds like the ideal, right, but founders have a tendencyto hold on to too much too long, and so I don't know if you'refamiliar with less try ACKMAN. He wrote a book called don't eff itup. It's kind of he's kind of known as a with the call inthe second the best second CEO founders of ever hired, or something like that. But one of the things he talks about is that that that fight tolet go. How did what was it about you and your approach that?It sounds to me less, you just really have got me kind of snowed. Sounds like it just kind of can naturally to you to invest in Imean there had to be some sleepless nights, right, am I wrong about that? Well, and I think there's still more that I'm holding onto.The maybe came through in that corner. Let's just let's be real here yet, because there's something that is satisfying about being the guy or girl that itmakes that meaningful contribution to someone at a critical point in their life and toget that appreciation and all the good vibes that come back from that film,like a good person and that is something that I have wanted to hold onto, but I've realized that I just simply can't. I can't keep trackof everything that's going on in everybody's lives and if I didn't empower them thatthat it just wasn't going to happen and... was going to create issues.And so I wish I could. You know, at least that's what Iwould have wanted to do, but I realized I couldn't and you know,we have had to make that transition excellent. So all right, so the spacethat disruptive is in, you guys are, you know, tell yousaid tech enabled. So I'm curious. There's a lot of change that's goingon in the space and technology. You know, some days it's everybody istalking about Ai, some days it's something else. I'm curious from your perspectiveand with what disrupted does what you see on the technology landscape that you're themost excited about, not only maybe from a business standpoint, but also thatability to enable that giving back and maintaining that culture inside of disruptive. Yeah, well, there's there's a couple of things that I would point out herein our industry, which we're in, the digital marketing agency right and wemanage roughly about a hundred million in annual budgets for our clients and what they'respending on Google and facebook to grow and advertise for their business. And whatwe found is that our software is actually identified seventy six percent of those budgetsare completely wasted and not driving value, and so some of the technology thatwe've been investing in our end is how to reallocate and redistribute digital marketing budgetsso that, instead of wasting that seventy six percent, it's actually growing andscaling the business and reallocated in an area that's actually producing. And so thetechnologies that were investing in developing ourselves and that we're seeing in the industries arereally those that are taking seriously connecting the dots, you know, you thinkin a betob world where people have a nine, you know, three,six, nine, eighteen month cell cycle and being able to tie back themarketing efforts that drove the actual revenue that contributed. Those are the areas whereI think people need to be focused. And here's the thing. A lotof the machine learning ai things that are thrown out there are often optimizing withoutthat level of insight and they're optimizing on hey, let's just drive in moreleads at a lower cost. Well, what if they're crappy leads and andthe machine learning isn't working? Now the cells teams pissed off because I'm havingto go through many times more leads to find a good one, you know. And so the technology that I'm the most interested in is looking at thoseand saying, let's actually tie this through to revenue, contribution, margin,profit whatever for the business. And then the technology that I've found, it'sactually not that new, but it's improving across all of the platforms, isunderstanding the power behind increasing lifetime value of a customer, because the most theperson that's most likely to buy from you is the person that's already bought fromyou in the past and taking those lists of customers that are already bought fromus, uploading those in two platforms like Google and facebook and others, orwe can actually go and get them to buy more or cross sell them intosomething different or get more users or whatever. That is. That's where we're seeinga lot of people miss the mark right now. Is Net new customersare so expensive and everyone wants to find the silver bolt that makes it,you know, super were easy cost effective to just get, you know,tons of new net new customers, when the reality is, yeah, youcan do that, and you need to be increasing the lifetime value side ofthat equation as well. So those are the things that I'm the most interestedin right now. Attributions always been a challenge, so crack in that wouldbe, you know, phenomenal. But I got to believe if you candid deliver that type of attribution your it would help bridge that chasm between salesand marketing right because and it'll fight. It's a fight, and that's thething is, when you have that level of information and sophistication, it's nolonger marketing versus cells, it's mark it's a marketing and sells team that areworking together for the same things. Because that's that's what I see, isthe marketing always says, Hey, we're winning, we delivered the leads youneeded, and sell said, well, yeah, but that's not what wereally wanted because the lead sucked. When... and cells are both held accountableto the same thing, which is revenue contribution to the company, that's howyou overcome that and it's challenging, but those breakthroughs and the solutions exist andneed to be in place if you want to be successful with your business.Excellent. So let's Change Direction here a little bit. We ask all ofour guests kind of two standard questions and of each interview. The first issimply, as a founder and CEO of a hundred person company, that makesyou a, in sales parlance, a target or prospect for people that wantto get your attention. I'm curious if somebody's trying to get your attention andbuild credibility something that you don't know, what's the most effective way to captureyour attention and start a conversation if somebody thinks they have a solution that mightbe a value. Well, I'll tell you what. I get hit upwith these a little bit more often, but the cold call, I cannotremember the last time that I've answered a phone call of a number I didn'trecognize. Emails, I already get bombarded with so many that I'm rarely readingthose. But I'll tell you what. I get hit up occasionally with thetext message, with with the concise message about something, and I read itand I've responded to some of those. Interesting you're the first person who's mentionedthe text so let's let's I got to dive into that a little bit.So the some people would say that texting somebody is a little bit more ofan intimate level of connection that needs to be earned, but it sounds likeif they're providing value or capturing your attention, you're open to getting not random buttargeted, let's say, targeted text messages. Yeah, you know what, and I agree with what you said and at the same time I readevery single text that comes across my phone and it's true. So you knowthat there is definitely going to be a balance there and you know part ofme, when it's not something I'm interested I'm definitely more frustrated that I'm gettingtexted by someone. So it needs to be done right, but I've thinkit'd be very effective with myself and that something that we've been testing out formy on business and with some of our clients as well, that we're seeingsome good success with. And as so, just any pointers you could give somebodyif they before they go crazy and start randomly texting people? Any anypointers or lessons learned you could share. Yeah, there are laws about whatyou can and can't do. So I would point number one. With allthe law, I would definitely be cautious with that and there are can bestiff penalties and those types of situations. But at the end of the day, when it's when it's, you know, kind of like the ABM or theaccount based marketing solution, where your really is a single, you know, a very small group of people that you're going after it, I thinkthat's when it can be very effective and you know, even if it's justa simple text that it's like Hey, I just sent you this, ora simple video or those types of things that you can send over get.You know, there are great ways to do that, but you know,make sure you're being compliant. It works really well when you're going for alarger cell on kind of that count based marketing marketing strategy. But yeah,those are a couple of things that I throw out there. Excellent. Allright. So last question. We call it our acceleration in sight. Therewas one thing you could tell sales, marketing professional services people, one pieceof advice that you would give to them that, if they listened, whichis always the challenge with if they listened and embrace it, that you believewould help them hit their targets. What would it be and why? Well, I'll tell you the one that's tough of mind for me right now,and that is there is such a such a thing as bad revenue and wastingone's time on chasing down the deal that isn't the right fit for the forthe software, for the service, and just pushing that revenue through. Itnever pays off in the long run because it pulls time away from from sellingthe clients and customers that you really should be focused on. And I seemy own team, I see so many...

...other cells teams, get stuck inthat where they're so concerned about hitting the number they'll really, as long assomeone's willing to say yes, they'll push that cell through, rather than movingon coming up with a system that is good at identifying which ones are goodand which ones are not, that are ultimately going to drive the value thatthe business needs. And let's focus and work on those ones and stop wastingour time on those that are not the right fit, because that creates moreproblems than it solves by hitting a quota number and here's the thing. Alot of people will say, well, if I don't do that, Iwon't hit my numbers, and I actually don't agree with that. If youstop wasting your time on the cells that you really shouldn't be pushing through anyway, you'll hit your numbers and you'll hit him in a more meaningful way.That makes a bigger contribution to the company and will give you opportunities to growfaster, without a doubt. So perfect take. If a listeners interest intalking more about the topics we touched on today, what's the best way toget in contact with you? Yeah, can somebody's work with disruptive advertising toincrease cells volume, and we do that by driving leads or ecommerce cells throughleveraging Google ad words and facebook ads. Is primarily what we do, andso we've actually developed a tool for those of you that are already exploring orspending money in those avenues, which most companies are. We've developed at anaudit tool where we are actually glad to do that for you for free.Go to disruptive advertisingcom Slash Audit and will run an audit on your adverts orfacebook campaigns for free. Give you a beautiful pdf that shows you exactly whatis and is not working in your account that you can either go fix andgive to your marketing team so that you're getting better quality leads, or youcan engage us and that's something that we can help with as well. SoI can't thank you enough for being on the show today. It's been greathaving you. I really appreciate the time, Chad. Thanks for having me.All right, everyone that does it for this episode. Please check usout. Of Be Tob Rev exaccom, subscribe on Itunes, share with friends, families, Co workers. You know the drill. If you like whatyou are hearing, please leave us review on itunes and until next time,we have value prime solutions. With you all, nothing but the greatest success. You've been listening to the BB revenue executive experience. To ensure that younever miss an episode, subscribe to the show and Itunes or your favorite podcastplayer. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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