Carol Meyers has an impressive track record as the prior CMO of Unica, Logmein and most recently, Rapid7 (NASDAQ:RPD), where she led the team to 10x sales growth going from $30m ARR to over $300M ARR. Having been through 4 IPOs and now sitting on numerous boards and advising many companies, she had some great anecdotes, tips and tricks to share.
Navigating Multi Product Sales
During her time at Rapid7, a highlight of Carol's experience was handling an extensive range of products. The abundance of offerings initially seemed like a benefit, leading to a "the more, the merrier" approach. However, over time, the reality became apparent: it was impractical and inefficient for one sales team to sell too many products. The issues arising from customer confusion and the extra efforts from the sales team led to the strategic shift of segmenting the sales team into different product families. This division of labor, although counterintuitive, worked better because it allowed each part of the sales team to fully understand and sell a specific product. The marketing was also aligned per product, ensuring a singular, potent go-to-market motion for each one.
Balancing Metrics, Goals, and Incentives
Talking about metrics, Carol expressed her stance against compensating marketing teams based exclusively on marketing qualified leads (MQLs). Instead, there should be a balance in incentivizing behaviors that lead to the overall revenue growth of the brand rather than limiting it to mere lead generation. This perspective implies the need to design more comprehensive and balanced compensation plans for marketers, making sure they drive results in harmony with the brand's larger goals.
Don’t be afraid to look beyond pure sales numbers as a metric for acquisitions. In 2019, Rapid7 acquired Metasploit, an open source penetration testing framework, to build out its community amongst cyber professionals. Metasploit became an easy gateway to introduce higher ACV products in Rapid7’s suite through a brand the cyber community already trusted.
Harnessing AI in Marketing
Another highlight from the AMA was the discussion on the role of AI in marketing. As Carol mentioned, AI has the potential to revolutionize customer personalization and amplify customer experience. With data privacy as an essential aspect, AI solutions should be strategically designed to leverage the available data while maintaining the security.
The session painted an exciting picture of the future of marketing, where the use of AI will be more prominent. In a world where customers often prefer self-engagement rather than heavy sales pitching, AI has an instrumental role to play in delivering value to customers.
For businesses that deal with multiple products like Rapid7 did, the possibilities offered by AI are particularly relevant. From providing personalized experiences for each product line to helping sales and marketing teams align their strategies more effectively, AI solutions carry the potential to transform the B2B landscape significantly.