Want your company to understand what you’re doing in marketing?
Reporting is SO important to get alignment across marketing, sales, and leadership.
It all sounds easy until you get to building it for yourself. And then you realise there’s a lot of practical gaps from the theory to the practical implementation!
Well that’s what we’re hoping to address in this episode! Pasha Irshad joins us as another true expert, to take us through exactly how to set up and use reports to facilitate alignment between your marketing team and sales and leadership.
Watch The Episode
Pasha – Pasha: [00:00:00] So that tells me we’re targeting the right people, right? It seems to be the right messaging. If that they’re moving to, sales qualified leads and then the sales accepted leads, then we start to say Hey, that’s good. That also shows us that we have like message market fit. And that message market fit is shared not only by marketing and sales, right?
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Pasha – George – Front: Welcome back to the B2B Playbook listeners. This week’s interview is with Paha Irshad Pasha, who has also become a nice internet friend of mine, is the co-founder of Shape and Scale, a B2B agency that orchestrates growth for B2B tech companies. Kev, Pasha, he’s such a helpful expert and it was so good to have him on to [00:01:00] discuss what it looks like actually putting reporting into action, particularly with something like HubSpot, which he really specializes in, in order to help with marketing’s alignment with sales and leadership teams.
Kev: George, I think you said this a few times in the episode with Paha in the interview with Pasha, but it’s definitely one that needs to be seen to be understood. He takes us through very generously. It takes us through a lot of examples of how to set up some of these reports, how to understand and then utilize them as well.
But you need the visuals for this one. So make sure listeners, if you can go over to YouTube and check out and become a viewer. Become a viewer for this episode.
Pasha – George – Front: That’s it. Hit that subscribe button while you’re at it. Alright, listeners and viewers, we hope you enjoy this conversation with Pasha.
Pasha – George – Side: Welcome back to the B2B Playbook. Listeners, as you know, we rarely have guests on our show. Instead, we select a few true experts who align with our view that B2B marketing is more about people, not platforms. Now, today our special guest is Parsha Erhard. Parsha [00:02:00] is the co-founder of Shape and Scale at B2B agency that orchestrates growth for B2B tech companies.
From the story to the stack, after spending over 14 years working both client and agency side, Paha has the perfect set of lived experience and expertise to help us solve a big problem faced by so many marketers that I speak to. And that problem is how to use reporting to drive more alignment between marketing and sales and marketing and leadership.
Pasha, thank you so much for coming on the show.
Pasha – Pasha: Thanks for having me. Happy to be here.
Pasha – George – Side: Pasha, you and I connected on LinkedIn last year, and I’d like to think now that we’ve actually become friends we joke around a fair bit. We catch up every now and then. It’s weird having true internet friends. I feel like if I saw you in person, I’d probably give you a bit of a bro hug. Would that
be strange? Would you be down
Pasha – Pasha: I would be down with that man. And yeah, I’m excited to be here. I was gonna say, I’m following Justin Rowe and Jess Cook, which is like following Rihanna in the weekend for [00:03:00] your first concert. But, I’ll try to do, I’ll try to do the platform justice.
Pasha – George – Side: Oh, not at all. Not at all. Look Pasha before we get into reporting, I think it’s really vital that we set the scene here first. so many marketers that I speak to, they really struggle to get buy-in on what they’re doing in their organization. They get typecast as like the make it pretty department, or they just become a cost on a balance sheet rather than a real revenue generating function.
They get put on this MQL hamster wheel that isn’t really driving the business forward. Paho, why are marketers experiencing such a disconnect with sales and leadership?
The Disconnect Between Marketing, Sales & Leadership Teams
Pasha – Pasha: me it’s threefold, right? The first is things have just gotten harder. And when I say they’ve gotten harder, the advent and the love affair that we all have with SaaS technology has done a couple things, right? It’s compounded the win rates, right? So for a perpetual license, I believe it was like, One in four with SaaS, it’s a one in eight win rate, right?
That’s the first thing. [00:04:00] The second thing is all of the risk now lies with the seller. So obviously we’re coming out of Fast Times at Ridgemont High with funding. And so you’ve got a lot of organizations that maybe don’t even deserve to be there. And you’ve got a lot of marketers who now have to, not only they have to wear so many different hats, right?
A lot of times marketers are coming in and it has to be a product marketer and a data analyst. And so that has also led to more stressors on the position, which in turn leads to what I think is a really big one. And there’s a lack of focus and clarity, right? I think you see it probably, I see it in working with clients.
It’s biting off more than you need to chew. You’ve got four quarters in a year, but if you’re trying to do, if everything is a priority, then nothing’s a priority, right? So I think. Those two or three things, if we look at those, have really led to what we see now. And then the final piece is coming out of the digital marketing era where everything was instant [00:05:00] gratification.
So again, if you just look at getting ROI immediately, it’s like you launch a campaign and you get clicks, and you get impressions, and you get ctr and you get, all these metrics that just don’t really matter. That has led to analysis, paralysis in some regards. And you’re not able to identify the metrics that even matter.
So when you throw all of those into a blender, you get a shit smoothie, right? That’s just a reality.
Pasha – George – Side: So that really is the perfect storm there, and you can see why so many marketers get put in that really difficult position. But there’s very real consequences to this misalignment, right? Whether it’s marketing and sales, or marketing and leadership what have you seen are the consequences of
Pasha – Pasha: I mean, look, Look, I, we’re unique in that we work with, I work across industries, right? So most of our work is sass, a little bit of plg, but I work with a big, federal defense contractor out of DC where we’re at, and that’s everything from like straight startup to series B to [00:06:00] small toed enterprise.
That has a monolithic enterprise motion. I would say within all of those, you see commonalities, right? And I think the commonalities start with just, it’s funny, before this I was like, trying to think of just like smart things to say about this, but it really just comes down to the basics. And I think you and I have talked about that a lot of times, right?
Okay. You can call it demand generation, you can call it good marketing, but it’s, it really is the fundamentals. And I just remember, there was times in my career where I would rack my brain on the marketing plan and I’d be like, how can I make this different? And the reality is it doesn’t need to be different.
Marketers Need to get the Fundamentals Right
Pasha – Pasha: You need to understand what you’re selling, why you’re selling it, and why anybody will care, right? Jobs to be done, whatever framework you want to use to understand that. Like customer interviews, listening to sales calls, that’s obviously one piece of the puzzle. Who is your total addressable market? And within that, who’s your ideal customer profile?
So many companies that I talk to don’t have a [00:07:00] sense of that, right? So already you’re going to market and you’re setting up an audience in LinkedIn that is not the same audience that your salespeople are going out to, right? So again, when we talk about that lack of focus and lack of clarity, that.
Supersedes departments, right? Because it now we’re all so in integrated and things need to be integrated, that all it does is harm the customer journey, right? Like the first person that gets impacted by internal problems is the customer. And then obviously the second one is the employee.
Pasha – George – Side: Yeah, I think I saw one of your LinkedIn posts, I think it was yours, about how like the customer doesn’t give a crap about whether or not your marketing team and sales or marketing and leadership are aligned, right? They just want a positive customer experience. So you’ve really gotta put the customer at the heart of everything you do, and that has to be the key driver moving forward.
And it’s just fascinating that when it comes down to it, it’s those fundamentals of deeply understanding your customer that really [00:08:00] helped drive, I think the foundations of that go to market strategy.
Pasha – Pasha: Yeah. It really does. I think it’s crazy. I think about how he got here sometimes, because when I started out, Especially on the agency side, and it’s still to a certain degree, it’s just like I’m was never exposed to the customer, right? So I would be exposed to the client who was my customer. I never really thought about the customer up until, I don’t know, five years ago.
Like I, it’s just like this idea that you like, you know, you, you have, you create the buyer persona and you, you do everything. Bud talked to the customer and it’s become very cliche. I think now when we go into engagements and shape and scale, a piece of my scope says I need to be able to either interview customer or I’m going to be listening to sales calls.
I’m going to be reading the notes in your crm. These are the things that give you that little bit of intelligence that can go into your, ad campaigns that can spark an idea. But again, we, we got away from that. So just the idea of like empowerment, right? If you are the first [00:09:00] marketer on a team at a startup and you’ve already got crazy pressure from sales, it’s very hard to necessarily like advocate depending on what type of founder you have, because honestly, most technically inclined founders aren’t going to necessarily be, are they gonna care about marketing?
Are they gonna care about sales? They’re gonna care about sales because sales equals revenue.
The Role of Sales and Marketing in Revenue Generation
Pasha – Pasha: I think marketing’s misunderstood at the corporate level. I think a lot of marketers are misunderstood because they go from job to job, never really finding their footing, never really being in an organization that’s product market fit.
And these things coalesce and just they cause problems.
Pasha – George – Side: I think you’re right. Like especially as that company grows, sales are definitely to that leadership team. Like they’re the revenue generating, asset marketing is often the cost center. And originally like marketing is just taking orders from sales, right? And
And if your leadership, you’re going I want them to do that cuz I want them to help our revenue generating assets as much as possible. So you can see how [00:10:00] that has evolved. And then marketing just gets left to one side and isn’t part of any of the adult discussions, which it really needs to be a part of.
Like marketing is fundamentally responsible and should be responsible for that go to market strategy. That’s the stuff that we should be good as marketers, I think. A lot of marketers do miss the, that fundamental understanding of customer. I had a similar experience to you, Pasha, where I was in an agency for a long time.
We were in execution mode and I never once really thought about the customer
Pasha – Pasha: It’s crazy.
Pasha – George – Side: it was only once I went out on my own. Yeah. And really got deep into B2B and realized that execution side was just this tiny little part of overall marketing, how important it was.
Pasha – Pasha: Yeah.
Pasha – George – Side: And I can fully understand and empathize then with, I guess won the leadership team who just want marketing to serve sales.
And then two, the marketers who don’t see the full scope of what marketing should [00:11:00] be.
Ownership of Marketing Strategy and Operations
Pasha – Pasha: It gets tough because the scope of marketing has really changed. Uh, I think when I talk to a lot of organizations, three questions I have is one who owns marketing strategy. And it sounds crazy, but like oftentimes you won’t necessarily get an answer like, Mar does marketing own it.
Does product own it, right? Does product own the messaging strategy and the positioning strategy and then mar it sounds crazy, but you’ll see it. Then I want to understand who owns technology, right? Who owns operations? Because that is the agility of your operation is being able to get things out in the market without a lot of obviously the larger organizations, the more gridlock, right? Once you start getting a single sign on and whatnot, there’s some clients where I’ve got their email addresses and their security, and it just, it takes weeks. Whereas with sas, you can move very quickly. It, again, all of that affects, it just affects the customer, right?
Pasha – George – Side: yeah, Yeah, definitely. And it’s. Gotta be a customer-centric experience. Now I wanna talk about how we can actually start to address some of these alignment issues. I think we’ve established, why we’re [00:12:00] having these alignment issues, the huge pains that it causes marketers and just companies as a whole.
Pasha, I, you work, you’ve worked in rev ops. You have a lot of experience with CRMs and HubSpot, and I wanna look at how you can use your CRM and reporting to help play a role in creating more alignment. Have you got any thoughts on
Solving Alignment Issues in Marketing
Pasha – Pasha: I think it, it boils down to a few things really at the start. Again, as we talk about fundamentals, it’s just, A shared taxonomy across departments. Like I, again, as I was thinking before this podcast and trying to sound as smart as possible I wanted it to be something more flashy, but just, are you speaking the same language?
I think Matt Boian from Rep Partners, really good LinkedIn posted inspired this, and that’s where he was talking about like that shared revenue taxonomy. And that really stuck with me because over the last year as I’ve started modifying my engagements and the way I approach clients, one of the first things we do out of the gate is just install data dictionary some [00:13:00] sort, right?
It doesn’t have to be super complex, but just what’s what do we care about data wise? What do we name our files in HubSpot, right? What’s our campaign taxonomy? What’s our UTM taxonomy? And that’s locked down from the start because just having that. Adds a layer of process to things. And I think once you start getting those initial quick wins and these processes, things start to seem a little bit easier.
So the CRM doesn’t necessarily create the alignment, but the process that you build into it gives you the chance to do why love HubSpot? Shameless HubSpot plug is it really sits at the center of the customer facing department. So six years ago when I became a partner, maybe seven that was at my last agency.
At that point, it was a marketing automation tool, right? And I think I’ve talked to you about this. It to me, at that point, it competed with the Marketos of the world and the Pardots of the world. Who’s, like claim to fame was really just like creating like 80 80 nurture email touches that nobody ever responded to.
Maybe [00:14:00] they did, but I think HubSpot noticed a gap in the market. Small to medium, again, small to medium businesses and small to medium enterprises. And that’s really where you’ve got Marketing Hub, right? Which is just marketing automation. It’s aggregating all of your social, it’s aggregating your email.
It’s just, when I say aggregate, it just lives in that hub. But then they layered on top Sales Hub, right? And so now Sales Hub has given you the ability to do things like send email sequences, build in playbooks report on sales metrics all the things they can do. And then obviously layering down top of that service hub, right?
So now we’re bringing in customer success. All of that is in the same database, which is what makes it so powerful if you’re using it as all in one solution. I say that to say this, if you are using the HubSpot and you have your team all in HubSpot, then all of your reporting is done in HubSpot. As where, and again, I am taking a page out of Hub HubSpot, but it, Salesforce, you’ve gotta have Salesforce and then you have Salesforce Marketing Cloud, [00:15:00] and then you might have, 10 to 12 other point solutions where with HubSpot you can run proposals through that.
You can put your payment processor in there. You have, chat. It’s just, everything’s all contained. And so I think for growing organizations that are looking to scale, the CRM can be that place where everybody is aligned around a process that’s built in the CR r m, right? You build your sales process in the CR r m, you build your marketing flows, your campaigns it in the crm.
And so that’s just, I think that is big. I think the process piece is big. And then yeah, those are two things I could point to.
Pasha – George – Side: One of these days we’re gonna get either you or us sponsored by HubSpot. I think with a glowing
Pasha – Pasha: they could just make me a gold partner. Close.
Importance of Shared Taxonomy and Revenue Definitions
Pasha – George – Side: There’s a little bit to unpack there. Something that I wanted to touch on again was you said the importance of getting that taxonomy dictionary, getting everyone on the same page, and you said getting revenue definitions in in place. So is that [00:16:00] things like agreeing on what an MQL is and what a, like a sales qualified lead is and I, is it that kind of stuff?
Pasha – Pasha: Yeah. It’s I think it’s twofold, right? I think it’s definitely, the way that I see the metrics, it’s conversion-based. It’s probably time-based. There’s another one I’m forgetting, but if we just look at like conversion metrics by funnel or the bow tie or whatever you say. Yeah. What is it mql?
Do we skip the mql? Do we go, what is your customer journey? And again, what are the steps you take from the first interaction to the last interaction in defining those, right? And everybody’s aligned to them. Marketing, sales, and support. They understand it. Then we need to understand from a revenue perspective, like what are the things that we care about?
Is it lifetime customer value? Is it cac? Is it cac, payback? Period? And when I say cac, it’s customer acquisition cost. Do we, are we measuring a c v or are we measuring m R? Like these things matter because when you’re in HubSpot, you can [00:17:00] customize HubSpot. You know how many times I’ve gone in HubSpot and it’s been set to measure like a r, but you’re measuring M R, right?
You’re an mri, right? Its small. Things like that cause issues with data and those issues with data become much bigger issues because then you’re making decisions that are based on something that’s not real, right? And we see that all the time. And it’s honestly, probably one thing I didn’t focus on enough in the opening of this is just, the data piece, like.
There is alignment in having clean data, right? Data that you can trust in having data that there’s a shared understanding and meaning at your organization. So just when you think about language, right? What is language? It is a, it’s like a shared it, we all understand it, it has, it creates shared meaning, which is the essence of life, if I can get esoteric on a HubSpot podcast.
But, I think there’s just a lot in that. And so it really can create that culture. And then obviously reporting, right? That’s the final piece. And creating alignment. How do [00:18:00] we have reporting that matters as much for perhaps the performance marketer at their level, but then we have different reporting that’s gonna matter to the C-suite.
Pasha – George – Side: Just to come back to those definitions again and making sure that you have that alignment. Even just getting everyone to agree on what an MQL is, right? Like the enemy is not marketing generating mql. It’s MQs being probably like poorly defined, I would say, in a lot of organizations. And then what you actually do with that mql.
Pasha – Pasha: Look at, if I had a dollar for every time somebody said to me, Hey, we just got like a bunch of leads, right? Like leads what is a lead to you, right? If somebody on a common syndication site downloaded your ebook downloaded, right? I’m sure they spent a lot of time with it. That’s not a lie. You know what I mean? It’s an email address and a lot of people smarter than me have said it, but I’ve been in this 14 years and I’ve seen it right up front. [00:19:00] So it’s being realistic about the challenge at hand. And so you’re right, it’s about assigning meaning we talk about shared understanding.
Shared meaning assigning meaning and making sure we’re all coalesced around that and not being afraid to tell the CEO that like, Hey, this is going to take time, right in the first three months. You can expect this in, three to six months. You can expect that. And that’s what we do when we’re working on demand generation piece.
It’s, these are the leading indicators we care about on the website. These are the leading indicators we care about on the platform. And then these are the business metrics that are lagging. And it’s gonna take some time to see that. Sometimes we do it well, hey, sometimes it doesn’t work, right? I’m not a omnipotent marketer.
Think there’s a lot of that where people on LinkedIn, it’s like every campaign they touch turns to gold. I don’t think that’s realistic either. There’s trial and error still at this point. And again, I do blend demand, Jen with the HubSpot, it all comes together. So I think I have a unique perspective.
Pasha – George – Side: And that’s why, look, that’s why we got you on this [00:20:00] podcast because like you are a platform expert. But what I’m hearing you say is that alignment comes down to a lot of people management and you’ve gotta talk to people, you’ve gotta get on the same page. And I think it’s that combination of the two, which is what makes like an average marketer a really great marketer cuz you can start to be effective.
I want to take us back to reporting again, Pasha. Sorry, I keep bringing us back down into the weeds.
Pasha – Pasha: it’s fine.
Pasha – George – Side: but I wanna talk about other things that you can do in your reporting or to set up your reporting to really help drive alignment. I’ve seen you talk about the importance of UTMs to really help understand what’s driving pipeline.
Could you talk about that a little bit?
CRM Setup to Drive Alignment
Pasha – Pasha: Yeah. And again, this kind of goes back to the taxonomy and it seems simple, but just, making sure you’re all on the same page in terms of your tracking. So obviously UTM parameters, if you’re using HubSpot, are great, but what most people don’t understand is out of the box, [00:21:00] HubSpot doesn’t have properties to capture UTM information.
So you’ve actually gotta create those, right? Been some really good p Ryan Gunn from Aptitude eight had some great posts about that. It’s small things like that in HubSpot and your technology that you might not understand. If you’re setting up HubSpot for the first time, you’ve gotta create those custom UTM properties.
And then what you can do is you can put them on your form fields as hit hidden form fields, and then you can start capturing that data. The reason that’s important is because HubSpot measures things through original source. Original source drill down one and original source drill down two, which we’ll talk about a little bit later.
It’s just different ways of looking at that data. So if you want to be measuring UTMs from the start, that’s something you gotta be cognizant of with HubSpot.
Pasha – George – Side: All right, cool. So by setting that up, you can start to identify which channel, which campaign, which ad is actually leading to either creating or capturing that demand.
Pasha – Pasha: Yeah. And again, HubSpot has its own way [00:22:00] of that attribution. I’ve found that most people refer creating the custom U t m properties.
Pasha – George – Side: All right, Paia you’ve actually prepared some reports to show us. I think this first one is, it, is it around aligning marketing in sales so people can see
Pasha – Pasha: Yeah.
Pasha – George – Side: those two should work together?
Pasha – Pasha:
Reporting for Sales & Marketing to Work Together
Pasha – Pasha: yeah, a couple things. First I’m gonna take you into HubSpot. So you’re looking at my demo portal. So just a couple caveats here. I uploaded the data last year, so I’m not gonna have a huge look back period. But I wanted to get marketers comfortable with just, how to look at HubSpot depending on the access that you have.
And really a few things that I think are important, especially when we talk about business metrics. In HubSpot, they’ve recently moved sales analytics into the sales tab. And so if you go into sales analytics, you’re gonna see some things that are important, right? The first is for sales coaching.
And so I wouldn’t necessarily worry about that, where you’ll start to see Interesting data as a marketer is going to be forecasting [00:23:00] pipelines and then sales outcomes, right? And so sales outcomes is where you can start to see things like average deal size, which is a really good look at how many people, what the average size of a deal is.
And you can even see it like down to the person. So I’m technically a rep, that’s what threw me off there. But you can group it by none, and we can just see hey, this is our average mountain company currency. This starts to become important when you start thinking about reports like sales pipeline velocity, which we can talk about in a little bit.
And then if you just go down, you’ll see deal lost reasons. And so you’ll start to see like closed, lost again, important for a marketer, depending on how you’re capturing the data. If you have. Qualitative fields here, you can actually see the reasons very easy to get to. Couple things, deal revenue by source and then deal velocity.
I think deal velocity is a very big metric that both sales and marketing should obviously care about. If you think about the idea of pipeline velocity, how quickly and the dollar amount of your pipeline [00:24:00] moving through to a closed wand, you can get that data. You can get the data for that equation here.
And then obviously just what’s our closed wand? You can see this here. You’ve got closed wand. I think where it gets interesting is you can start to filter based on deal properties here. And so you might say I don’t know how much of anything that moves the presentation scheduled.
for that, but you, the gist of it is just being able to use filters to break all that out. So that’s really just like sales analytics at a high level. Where it gets spun is reports. And again, for a marketer that maybe hasn’t been exposed to HubSpot, think of it like this.
You’ve got analytics tools and those analytics tools rival that of again, think of GA four. You’ve got traffic analytics. Again, I’m not gonna have live data here, but you will be able to see how people are interacting with your website, right? Then you’ve got dashboards, which are obviously just, [00:25:00] accumulative.
Look at the reports that you create, and then reports are obviously individual reports that you assemble for the purposes of informing, leadership, informing colleagues, whatever it may be. When you’re creating a report in HubSpot, you’ve got a few different ways to do it. You can actually create reports from templates.
So that’s usually where I’d start. You can filter by contact. So we can just see that. And look, a lot of the times what you need is here. What I like to do, and really the way I did this is I would go and when I was first learning HubSpot, I would look at different reports that were set up by clients and I would reverse engineering those.
The Single Object Report in Hubspot
Pasha – Pasha: There’s a couple reports or ways to build reports that I think are really helpful. Single object report, super easy to create. Again, when I talked about objects earlier, think of it as the top level of that data hierarchy. So if we want to look at, let’s some info about our contacts and let’s say we just want to [00:26:00] see let’s say we want to see what sources of traffic are driving opportunities.
And so we’re gonna go to original source. Let’s go to kind of contacts. And now I’m gonna have to again, remember what I said at the outset. I have to look back to next year, right? So you’ll have everything laid out. You’ll want to go into filters. And then, so we’ll want to do create date. And now I’m gonna go all the time.
And now you’ll start to see I’ve got all this data in here, right? So we go back and we’re taking a look at this. It looks very messy. So let’s say I just want to focus in on paid search. I’m gonna use a filter here and let’s go to original source. And now I’m just gonna focus in on paid search, right?
So let’s say you want to understand alright, now we start to see what paid search is doing from a life cycle stage, right? And that goes back to the customer journey. Okay? So now I’ve got [00:27:00] now I’m starting to see some things, but it still looks a little messy. I just wanna see opportunities, right?
So all I want to do is understand what paid search is, driving opportunities. And then, so here, we’ll go to Lifecycle stage. Gonna filter this out. Now I just wanna see opportunities. Okay, this is great. So now I’ve got a clean look at opportunities, right? And this is where it gets fun because this will show you again, the context I’ve been created.
But I wanna go a little bit deeper. I wanna understand the keywords that are actually driving
cause I want to see the keywords and I want to see the campaign because this is where you start to do an audit of your paid campaigns to understand, hey, guess what? All of our fucking, all the money that we’re making is from branded keywords, right? This is an example. So again, if you just look at this as we could look at this some as it’s easier just to do the table when you click into this report, now you’re able to see, all right, so Daniel came in through paid search, all [00:28:00] right, this is the original source.
So again, if this was real data that wasn’t coming through a data push it would show you the campaign group and then it would show you the drill down, right? And so with my clients, if I’m helping them with this, because I’m in the crm, it’s very easy for me to go in and say, Hey guys, guess what?
Like you’ve generated actually this much revenue from these keywords. The rest of them maybe should look at them, right? So this is just like a very simple report that you can get to. It’s very easy to create. And that is through just again, the original or what I would say is just the easy single
object report with a customer.
Pasha – George – Side: So I was just gonna jump in pa so you can get super granular then. As ly granular as you need to get as the marketing team to look at what’s actually, I guess suppose creating or capturing that demand. I mean you can see like really what’s driving those conversions. So if you know you wanna make your ad spend more efficient, you can see down to the keyword word [00:29:00] what is driving that final touch.
Pasha – Pasha: A hundred
Pasha – George – Side: revenue, which is pretty awesome. But then you also kicked us off with much higher level reporting, which is still pipeline reporting. And I think a lot of marketers probably aren’t even looking at like the pipeline and seeing how things are moving through the pipeline and whether or not their marketing activities are impacting that pipeline.
Pasha – Pasha: Yeah. And it’s interesting, like you talked about kind of process change management. The way that I run this now is I basically say Hey, this is our plan. This is our plan of attack. Again, and this is what we’re gonna measure from a leading indicator perspective on the website, in the platform, in revenue.
Are you guys comfortable with that? And then from there we build out those reports, right? But it for me, so I do that and not, I guess I am too, to my own horn, whatever. It’s been a long day, right? I talked to a c o today and my question for him is what are the sales metrics that you need to know to be effective?
And that’s where I go back to, are you looking at volume metrics, like the number of sales calls made? Are you looking at the number of [00:30:00] emails sent? Because from that, you can get an understanding of how many you need to hit the number that we need to hit, or are you looking at the conversion metrics, right?
Which is gonna be MQL to sql, SQL to marketing acronym to closed one, or are you gonna be looking at time-based metrics, right? Which is what I just showed you in sales analytics where you start to look at stage in deal, right? Like how long it’s been in in the pipeline
and that leads in things like pipe plus velocity.
Pasha – George – Side: so you really wanna find out, from leadership specifically, what metrics it is that are important to them. I’m sure that you also have your own 2 cents to add their pasture on what it is that they should be looking at, if there are any additional metrics. And then do you just set up these dashboards and just leave it for them to access at any point in time?
Do you recommend that there’s.
Pasha – Pasha: No,
Pasha – George – Side: cadence with which you should alert them to any metrics that are going on in that in that dashboard. In terms of reporting should you check in once a month, once a week, once every three months?
How often should you look at the platform reporting?
Pasha – Pasha: Yeah. [00:31:00] So again, like what I would say is for platform reporting, if we’re looking at data in the system as it relates to like ads, I don’t know, man I’m looking at maybe once a month, with a client, because I don’t believe that you can make decisions within a month that are going to affect things in a way where you get into this situation of like over reporting where you’re reporting weekly.
Like I remember it was a point in my career where the, my superiors would want me, would promise to report weekly on like LinkedIn campaigns, right? And I’d be like, This is the most pointless waste of time for everybody because anybody knows that the moment you make a change, there needs to be time for that change to work its way through the system, right?
In order to make meaningful decisions based on the data. So I would say like a platform data, like maybe you can look at it biweekly, probably can look at it monthly. Obviously you’re, the people that are managing it are gonna be looking at it more often. But that’s my take on that from a like revenue reporting perspective.
You’re [00:32:00] gonna be looking at things quarterly, right? Like you, you’ll probably have reports internally that everybody can access, especially if you have a revenue operations team. Like revenue and the lagging takes time, right? What I talked about. So like those lagging indicators.
Definitely quarterly, and then when you’re looking at leading things like website traffic, so on and so forth. To me I’m looking at that kind of stuff month over month, quarter over quarter. Again, I’m looking at, I come at it from consultancy side and a consultant that kind of has to prove it’s worth.
So it’s probably gonna be more more frequent in some regards, but that’s the way that I would probably approach it.
Pasha – George – Side: Yeah, those leading indicators are really important. Just to reassure, yourself and everyone else that you are on the right track, or if those leading indicators are showing you that, maybe things aren’t quite playing out as you thought they would be as you thought they would that actually gives you the ability to review that, change tact and go in a new direction.
Pasha – Pasha: when I think about leading the [00:33:00] indicators, I don’t even notice I would consider this, but you think it’s just about ad frequency, right? If you set the expectation out, call it the just around method, you’ve got your cold layer, warm layer, hot layer, you know what your sweet spot is you’re gonna need to get one to two touches, three touches to get them in a retargeting bucket, right?
So like that gives you a lever to control the relationship with whoever you’re reporting into. And just saying Hey, like this isn’t just like a it is a when I say it’s a numbers game, it’s just touch points, right? You need touch points with your buyer ain’t gonna happen on the first touchpoint, right?
It’s not gonna happen on the second touchpoint. You need multiple touchpoints across multiple channels. And again the School of Roe, but I’ve always, I agree with his statement. He talks a lot about, the whole thing is an ecosystem, right? Like it all works together. It’s not just like one channel.
You can with, especially with pre-targeting, and it just it all works in concert.
Pasha – George – Side: yeah, I absolutely agree with everything you said there and everything Justin says there. I think there needs to be more of a [00:34:00] focus on the marketing ecosystem as a whole and the way everything works together, and then even beyond that, how marketing and sales work together as one team. Are there any other reports that you’d like to share with us Paha, when it comes to aligning marketing with sales or marketing with leadership?
Pasha – Pasha: Yeah, I think a big one, two, like we just talked about, just like understanding, and this is actually new, so we’re seeing this for the first time. Let’s see, I’m literally this, okay, so they’ve actually replaced the funnel with customer journey analytics. And I have used this before, but I guess the idea here is like when I talk about those conversion metrics is seeing how,
so this is, we’re gonna doing this live now. I played around with this before. Looks like I’m gonna have to learn it, but it’s just creating a funnel report, right? So just seeing how your customer moves through the funnel and what is the conversion rate at each one of those [00:35:00] touch points, right?
And winning by design certified big, winning by design fan. If you think about it, they don’t look at a funnel, they look at a bow tie, right? And the bow tie doesn’t stop it. Closed one, it goes into renewals because, most companies are reaching profitability. Long time after they get that first sale.
And so within that, if we look at those different, again, just conversion points, MQL to sql l, SQL to, I don’t know demo the close, then we start to be able to look at the full journey between, again from marketing to sales to success and see where breakdowns occur, right? And so if we have our, again, I’ll call the bow tide mapped and we understand that, hey, like our mql, the SQL L conversion rate is very high, right?
So that tells me we’re targeting the right people, right? It seems to be the right messaging. If that they’re moving to, sales qualified leads and then the sales accepted leads, then we start to say Hey, that’s good. That also [00:36:00] shows us that we have like message market fit. And that message market fit is shared not only by marketing and sales, right?
They’re singing from the same choir sheet. But if we see a breakdown maybe from. Something going from marketing to sales accepted, but then it falls off. They don’t get to the demo. Then maybe there’s misalignment there, whereas we could win new customers, right? But if we see that our churn rate is X, then that tells us there’s more of a problem in support and how do we fix that?
So that allows you to zoom out and look at everything holistically to start making decisions based on that. Does that make sense? And I want you to challenge, man, if you think, like some of this stuff I’ve I challenge myself from time to time, but those are the things where I really see the marketing and sales alignment.
Really coming into play and like how it can make a, an organization
like more powerful.
Pasha – George – Side: Yeah, I completely agree. I think that’s such a great place for marketing and sales to align on. At the end of the day, I think a metric [00:37:00] that marketing and sales can work together on is that pipeline velocity that you referred to earlier and the speed at which someone moves through that and trying to remove those points of friction between those different deal stages is something that marketing and sales need to work together on.
So if there is a drop between those sales qualified leads and the number of people who are going through to actually book a demo, then I think it’s marketing it’s marketing and sales, it’s job to figure that out together. To go well. Why is there a gap here? Why is there friction? Let’s go out there and speak to customers like what is it that they need to know before?
Or what objections do they have before we lead them into a demo and how can we remove that point of friction? And then that becomes ultimately a message because there’s a gap in what you want that prospect to know and what they do know before they book that demo. And you’ve gotta find out as the marketer what that is, and then put that message in front of them to convince them to get to that demo.
Friction Is Not Always Bad
Pasha – Pasha: Yeah, and I think you just raised really interesting point, [00:38:00] the idea of force friction. So oftentimes, again, if we just think about those conversion rates, right? And let’s just say we have like thousands of MQL s coming in and they’re, they’ve actually they’re well primed MQs, right? Like they’ve done a few things, they’ve fit demographic, they’ve fitter icp, they’ve downloaded a few pieces of content on their own, and now they’re in mql.
If those people then go to get qualified and they all fail getting qualified, then guess what? That three field form that you have, maybe you need more fields there, right? And that’s adding friction to the process. But that friction’s not necessarily bad because of the downstream implications, right?
You’re getting a little bit more upfront to have a little less MQs to positively affect the business, right? So that’s a little bit of friction that you see where I’m going with that. So I think there’s this idea of It’s always gotta be super seamless. Sometimes it does, but that’s how you can use the data to tell
Pasha – George – Side: A, and I was just gonna jump in so pa that only really works if you have true sales and marketing alignment, [00:39:00] because if marketing’s putting more friction in that three formm contact us, sign up, demo, whatever it might be they’re gonna probably generate less, what you would call marketing qualified leads, depending on how they’re defined.
But you’re actually getting a much more qualified prospect because they’re taking the time to fill out the forms properly. They’re people who are more qualified and more likely to turn into a sales qualified opportunity. You’re wasting less of sales as time. But if marketing is measured by sheer number of MQs, then they’re not incentivized to do that.
Pasha – Pasha: Yep. And this is what I was gonna show you first. So this is actually my portal. This is obviously not a good representation of data. I wish that my, I wish that my own CRM was as clean as I make everyone else’s, but you can’t see subscriber lead mql. If you’re doing this the right way and you’ve got everything set up, you’re going to be able to see these numbers, right?
And so they’ve just created the new for, again, for some some instances we’ll have the new reporting, but these are the [00:40:00] reports that people are usually going to be looking for, right? Like again, for revenues focus, you’ll want to see those. Obviously the conversion based metrics, the time-based metrics lead to speed or speed to lead is another one.
So how quickly after somebody becomes like, raises their hand, does sales reach out to them? That’s other data that you can find. And you can actually find that in the sales analytics piece, which I’m gonna pop back in. So that was another one that I wanted to mention. And I just realized I’ll have to go back to the demo, but I do think it’s worth showing one last time.
Pasha – George – Side: Yeah. Yeah, definitely. Please.
Pasha – Pasha: Yeah. So let’s go here and lead response time. So this is a good one. Average time to contact. Let’s see if I can get, and again, I’m limited a little bit by the data that I’ve gotten here, but if you go to lead response time by rep, then you will be able to see that data in here and un populate.
So that’s definitely another one. So I think like the big picture is you’ve got sales analytics that lives on its own and pretty much [00:41:00] all of these reports give you a lot of those like baseline metrics that every marketer I think should feel comfortable with. And then obviously as you start getting more in depth, you’re gonna start building single object reports, and then from there you can build What I like is Multiple objects, right?
So we can look at contact data, we can look at deal data. We start looking at those together, and now you’re looking at two objects, right? So we might be looking at like total amount of deals. So let’s just say like we look at like total contract value and you might look at, and now let’s look at like original source again, and let’s pull that in.
And again, I’m a little bit limited by the data here, but you start to get a sense of this might look better here. Just one sec on that table. So this would be better if I had total contract value, but you get where I’m going with it, right? Like you can compare like what’s actually [00:42:00] driving the revenue.
You can look at that. Just on the contact level, or you can start looking at like the contact and deal level. And that’s where it gets a little bit more powerful. Again, it’s a lot more powerful when you have the right data. And I do apologize, my data set in here maybe isn’t the best.
Pasha – George – Side: Yeah. So would you mind just talking us through, like what that illustrates or how you use that information in this particular report?
Pasha – Pasha: I think it starts allowing you to attribute like what channels are driving actual revenue at the organization. And so I’m actually gonna try and do this one more time.
Pasha – Pasha: There we go. This is what I was trying to get to. And so now I’m just simply looking at paid search, right? I’m looking at over a time period, like what channels are driving the most revenue. It’s as simple as that.
Offline sources are gonna be APIs, uploads other things of that nature. But yeah, this gives you that, this kind of gives you, Exactly what you need to see as a marketer, just in understanding the way channels perform. Now there’s different attribution models that come into [00:43:00] play all of that.
But it, I think it’s just getting comfortable to go in here to pull these reports. And I guess if I take a step back, you’ve got sales analytics and HubSpot, which looks at volume, right? Some of those volume metrics, emails, calls, it looks at things like lead to speed and it’s gonna look at those.
Just gonna look at conversion metrics like win rates, right? We look at the win rates, it’s going to look at things like average deal size. It’s gonna look at things like how long your sales cycle is as you get into the customer reports, that whereas as a marketer, you can start to really look at the attribution piece, right?
So What channels are performing, what channels aren’t performing? What can you cut, what decisions can you make based upon your ad campaigns? It’s paid social driving, rev. And not everything has to be reduced to revenue, but I think it’s just being able to like, get in here, feel comfortable with it.
Look, there’s a lot of people probably that can pull amazing reports. I still take [00:44:00] some time to do it, but yeah, I mean it’s really just a learning, learning curve.
Pasha – George – Side: You mentioned something there. You said you look at attribution, look at what’s driving revenue. There’s a big call for marketers to look more at self-reported attribution to see what’s driving demand. That’s obviously something that you would have to, set up in a custom way within HubSpot, but if we don’t need to go into that, but just where do you sit on that self-reported versus in platform attribution modeling debate.
# Self-Reported vs In Platform Attribution?
Pasha – Pasha: Yeah. I think that, look, it’s funny had a call today where we looked at it, right? I looked at outta 600 submissions on a form, how much was actually filled out. And I think it was the number was like, and now it’s a required field, and it’s a radio dropdown, right? 30 to 40 answers out of 600 submissions.
It’s not a magic bullet, right? Because in HubSpot [00:45:00] you can actually skip it completely. So if you do, if you just do an OpenText field, you can press a space and you can just skip the thing. And I found that out last year, and I remember I posted about it on LinkedIn and said there was a change coming where you can now require that something gets typed in.
And the people came for me with the pitchforks and the and the the torches, they were ready to, they were really ready to just, get me out of the paint. But that again nothing’s a magic bullet, right? So I think that’s again, what I was saying today. Look, we run HubSpot reporting.
I run hockey stack and. I look at GA four and I look at the platform and I talk to customers, and I listen to sales calls. And if you’ve been doing this long enough and you have a smart group around you, you start to develop a sixth sense. And you can, like I talk a lot about, like directionally it, the, I think the more data the better.
I just think you gotta be smart about how you utilize it. I do not believe that the form field that says like, how did you hear about us? Is this like magic bullet that [00:46:00] it’s made out to be. I has no disrespect to anybody. I’m just telling you what I see from the clients that I work with in HubSpot when I run reports on that, right?
Because again, if you look at, and again, a lot of it’s just the way it’s structured. Like Google, right? Okay, like I saw it on Google. I don’t know, there’s like recency bias in everything that we do. So like when you fill something out, it’s like where did I hear about you? I don’t know. Sometimes I’m just like, ah, I saw an ad, but maybe that wasn’t the first touch point.
Maybe you. You talked to somebody about it a year ago, so I just think everything needs to be looked at in a blended way, and the sixth sense will tell you what to wait more than other things.
Pasha – George – Side: Yeah I, look, I tend to agree that it’s definitely not a magic bullet. I think the hope is that it will at least uncover or attribute some value to channels or activities that are really hard to measure. So if you have a podcast if you’re active in Slack groups and there’s no action from click [00:47:00] to your website, there’s the hope that someone’s gonna mention that activity once or twice or three times, whatever it might be, to then justify.
Spending more money on that again. So I definitely understand it from that point of view. But look, I do agree that it’s certainly not the magic bullet and that’s why I like Justin Rose’s approach of, and your approach of, look, try and collect as much data as possible, fight like hell for attribution.
But understand that at the end of the day, it is a bit of a mixed bag, right? Like we’re never gonna be able to fully attribute exactly what touchpoint someone had before turning into a customer.
Pasha – Pasha: Yeah. And when you think about all the attribution models out there, it’s like some of it just comes down to a philosophy debate, right? Do you think it should be linear? Do you think it should be U-shaped? Do you think it should be 40 up front 20 in the middle of 40 at the end, right? We can debate this stuff all day.
I think, again, this is a hockey sack plug and I am a agency partner, I was I was on with Drew today and we were looking at it, and I think the beauty there is [00:48:00] like we’re actually able to see the whole customer journey, right? Because it’s plugged in the HubSpot. And so within that it’s okay, I can see when Jane entered and she got served some impressions and she clicked on this ad, and then she talked to the, she talked to this person and man, it’s I would’ve killed for that information 10 years ago.
And now I think people might scoff at it. But the reality is, here’s the reality, here’s the reality, okay. Is really easy. And I’ve done it like it’s easy to go on LinkedIn and we all post about the different things, but it’s a lot harder when your job is on the line and you have to produce something, right?
So if your job’s on the line and you’ve gotta produce data, I’d rather have more so I can make an informed decision than less and tell my leadership, Hey, just trust me. Hey, yeah, the leads will come in eight months. Just trust me. It’s gonna work. That doesn’t fly, it doesn’t fly from me, right?
Because I am talking to you, there’s cro, or I’m talking to the co-founder, or I’m talking to the cmo. It just doesn’t work. And so I think [00:49:00] with a demand gen movement, which I’m a hundred percent in lockstep with, right? Like I believe that, fundamentally there’s also business realities. And those business realities are harsh.
And you gotta find a way to meet it in the middle, right? Like it’s, you’re not gonna just, you’re gonna there’s times where I’m, I have to say, okay, you wanna run lead generation, we can do that, but let’s do these things. Let’s infuse some of the principles from demand generation on top of it.
And I think you’ve gotta be able to, You can’t be so dogmatic in your approach. You just throw everything to the wayside. I don’t think that’s good marketing, right? I don’t think that’s being a good team player. I don’t like, I love HubSpot. It’s great. Sometimes Salesforce is better, right? Some people might, I just, again, if everybody at your organization used Salesforce and you’re coming in and you’ve gotta hit the ground running yet and probably Salesforce makes sense as opposed to getting a whole new system training to everybody when you’ve gotta go to market in six [00:50:00] months, right?
Like the, there, there’s nuances to business. You just have to be, you’ve gotta sometimes roll with the punches. And I think, I don’t know if we’ve gotten away from that, I just think with, it’s, I think it’s just easy to talk about, but there’s realities that we all face and I think more data is better as long as it’s used, with great power comes great responsibility.
So yeah, you just have to be able to use it in the right way.
Pasha – George – Side: Yeah I think that’s a beautiful place to, to round out this conversation. Paha look, you’ve been so generous with your time. It’s a lot clearer in my mind now, like how we can really communicate marketing’s value, what reports we can use to work better with sales and leadership. It really. Does come down to, like having that mutual understanding with people and then leveraging technology as much as possible to help you support that.
I gotta thank you for sharing your brain with us, sharing that live demo of all that reporting. Listeners, check out the full version on YouTube so you can see the [00:51:00] actual reporting live. Before we round out the conversation pasture, is there anything else that you would like to direct our audience’s attention to or anything that you’d like to add to the conversation?
Pasha – Pasha: Oh, I think, I think you and I talk about this together. In my bio it says marketing is a sum of its parts. You can’t have, marketing can’t be important if the organization as a whole doesn’t deem it important, right? As a consultant, it’s really hard to, again, if it’s rugby or it’s the nfl, right?
If you are a consultant and you are consulting with the head coach, it’s very hard to change the fundamental view the head coach has as a consultant and it’s hard to do it as a role player, right? So I think as much as we can at the organizational level, get everybody on the same page as to what’s important as to what everyone’s role is to have common goals, both financial and, metrics wise, that [00:52:00] makes for a better organization that is most likely going to learn how to win.
And I think it’s a sports analogy. It’s a little bit cliche, but that’s really where I have the most success in my consultancy is when I’m working with those kinds of organizations.
Pasha – George – Side: I love it. And marketing. That’s the challenge. If you want to be the one to lead that conversation in your organization. There’s definitely a lot of rewards at the end of the journey, difficult as it may be, Pasha. Where would you like people to find you to follow your journey?
Pasha – Pasha: LinkedIn says it is to say, I have a website I, we’ve updated like one time, but no, you can find me on LinkedIn. I’m there pretty much every day. It’s funny I always joke with George that as I’m posting at night, He’s getting up in the morning and doing his engagement or you’re doing your engagement.
So it’s like we’re like walking past the water cooler, it’s just, yeah. As much as I like to give LinkedIn a hard time, I’ve met some great people like George and I just really appreciate [00:53:00] being on the show. Met some like really smart people on here. So just trying to deal with justice.
Pasha – George – Side: Oh, it’s been wonderful to have you on. Great to catch up as always, and I think our listeners and viewers are gonna benefit massively from this. Pasha, thank you so much for your time.
Pasha – Pasha: Yeah, it was great to be here. Appreciate it.
Kev: well, George, I’m not sure we’ve had as practical an episode of that in terms of real, tangible examples and immediate applications. Pacha takes us right through the platform on HubSpot and how to use it to its full capacity as a reporting tool.
Pasha – George – Front: Yeah, look, sometimes these things can sound complicated, but when you look at it visually and Pashas actually taking you through it, it becomes so much clearer. So a huge thank you to Pasha for actually doing that and showing us live examples. And if nothing else, Kevin listeners, it’s definitely an episode that you should watch and don’t, oh, I mean, you should listen to it.
Of course. Please listen. But definitely go and watch it and hit that subscribe button while you’re there.
Kev: Yeah, George. I think as an in-house marketer myself, [00:54:00] this is certainly one that I’ve had a lot of takeaways from that I can probably apply directly if it wasn’t for a HubSpot expert already within the business that I work in, I would definitely be digging in myself directly.
But with this understanding, I can go in and read the reports with much more understanding and know how to navigate HubSpot as a reporting tool. And George, usually we do some takeaways for the episode, but I think you said a best in summary during your chat with Pasha, you said that having a mutual understanding with people and then leveraging technology as much as possible to help you support that.
That’s what this interview and this episode on reporting has been all about with Pache, isn’t it?
Pasha – George – Front: Oh my God, did I really say that? That actually sounds pretty smart when you say it back to me. Thank you, Kevin. Alright. Alright, listeners, go find Pasha Erhard on LinkedIn. As always, Kevin and I so stoked that more and more of you joining us every Monday by listening to the podcast. And if we can ask one thing, it would be to please pass the show and to someone that might enjoy it and get [00:55:00] value from it.
Or leave us a short review on whatever platform it is that you listen on. It’s a huge help to us. It’s a huge help to our future listeners, and we’d really, really appreciate it. Take care. Thank you, Kev. Thank you, Pasha. See you next week.
Kev: Thank you, George. Thank you Pasha, and thank you listeners. See you on next week.