Forget the Unicorn: Building Your Marketing Automation Team

Still chasing after one magic marketing person who can do it all? It’s time to wake up. LeadMD CEO Justin Gray explains why you need a team to fully leverage marketing automation properly, and points to five critical roles to hire for first.

 Forget the Unicorn: Building Your Marketing Automation Team

This may radically change your way of thinking, but it must be said: marketing automation is marketing. That is, MA is not something that lives and operates separately from the rest of your marketing endeavors. Unlike search, PPC, advertising, direct mail, email and events, marketing automation is a platform on which to structure your overarching marketing strategy and goals.


3 Core Qualities of Successful Sales Talent

Scaling your sales organization can be a daunting task. Find out how you can hire fast and hire right by zeroing in on three distinct traits of top performers.

3 Qualities of Successful Sales Reps | OpenView Labs

Are you actively recruiting and hiring for your sales team? If you’re smart, the answer is always yes. But how do you truly determine the difference between the future A-players you’re interviewing and the destined-to-be-average or below-average reps?

Do you concentrate on their ability to close or their ability to articulate effectively? At HubSpot, Director of Training and Development Andrew Quinn focuses on identifying three distinct qualities that make someone successful in the B2B world.


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First-Time Sales Managers: 4 Tips to Help You Crush Your Numbers

As a first-time sales manager, you may be used to hitting your own goals, but now you’re responsible for your entire team’s performance. Pantheon VP Sales & Business Development Scott Crawford provides four tips to help you rise to the challenge.

First Time Sales Manager Tips | OpenView Labs

Even for top performers, the transition from sales rep to sales manager can involve a steep learning curve. It introduces a completely new set of challenges, ones that you may not have had to deal with when you worked alone. If you’ve recently made the jump, Pantheon VP Sales & Business Development Scott Crawford has four pieces of advice that can help you get up and running and crushing your numbers faster and more effectively.


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The Startup Trap You Have to Avoid if You Want to Grow

Things may be moving fast in the right direction, but if you want maintain your startup growth you have to avoid one common trap at all costs.

mouse trap helmet

If you are at a startup that has graduated to the expansion stage you’ve done quite well for yourself — so far. OpenView considers the expansion stage to mean that your business is generating 2-20 million in annual revenue. Any business that can get to these numbers today’s competitive marketplace should be proud.


The Secret Growth Formula Behind HubSpot’s #INBOUND14 Conference

HubSpot CMO Mike Volpe offers a rare glimpse behind the curtain at #INBOUND14, and shares how his company turned what started as a modest conference with no budget into one of the biggest marketing events on the planet.

Event Marketing Lessons: HubSpot's INBOUND Conference | OpenView Labs

Right after we hosted the first-ever HubSpot User Group Summit in 2010, our co-founder and CTO Dharmesh Shah put up a page on our internal wiki titled, “Thoughts on HUG 2010 (And Beyond),” where he listed the good, the bad, and the ugly from the event and shared ideas for the following year. My favorite line on the page is, “I liked that we had such a big turnout.” The Summit attracted 315 attendees that year. It’s funny to think about how dramatically our definition of “big” has changed since then.


How (and How Not) to Conduct Backdoor Reference Checks

Candidate-supplied references don’t always provide you with an objective perspective. To find out what makes a candidate truly tick, backdoor reference checks can be much more revealing.

How to Conduct Backdoor Reference Checks | OpenView Labs

No matter how certain you feel about a sales candidate’s capabilities, competencies, and fit for the role, it is absolutely critical to conduct reference checks. As sales expert Jeff Hoffman explains, salespeople generally excel at selling themselves. And the last thing you want is to hire a C-player just because he or she talked an A-player game in the interview. Vetting those types of candidates through your network (and theirs, if applicable) can go a long way toward helping you avoid making a big and costly mistake.

That’s where reference check interviews can come in.


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5 Questions Leaders Need to Ask Before Adopting Scrum

Organizations don’t magically become agile overnight. It’s a significant transition process that requires every individual to reexamine and adapt their role. And it starts with leadership answering some fairly difficult questions.

question tree

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Scrum Trainer and Coach Kane Mar, founder of and creator of

The challenges modern organizations face make Agile compelling. Who wouldn’t want more frequent releases of product? Who doesn’t want to be more adaptable to an ever-changing business environment? But too many leaders are contemplating adopting Scrum without understanding the full impact that Scrum can have on their organization, career, and goals. 


Are Your Sign-Up Forms Killing Your Growth?

When it comes to SaaS signup processes, marketers generally fall into one of two camps — those all for getting as much info as possible, and those all for removing friction at all costs.

Are Your Sign-Up Forms Killing Your Growth? | OpenView Labs

How much signup process friction is too much? This is an important question facing many B2B marketers as they design trial and freemium SaaS sign-up processes. Trying to balance the value of gathering prospect information against the costs of the signup process deterring prospects from completing the sign-up process is difficult.