In the late summer of 2011, OpenView Labs began working with Mashery to build an outbound lead generation team from scratch. Just shy of two years later, that original team of four has tripled in size, and Sales Director, Jim McDonough, has managed to build a pipeline generation machine in Boston, some 3,000 miles away from the company’s headquarters in San Francisco.
This month marks an incredible milestone for Mashery, and for OpenView. Mashery was acquired by Intel, and we are SO incredibly proud of the entire organization. And I personally can’t be more proud of Jim and his team for their perseverance and enthusiasm. I can’t think of another team that bleeds their company like this group bleeds Mashery.
Just this week, I interviewed Jim to get some insights on the growth of his team — how it was accomplished and what it is like to build an outbound prospecting team at a company that has grown to become so successful and ultimately acquired. Here’s what he had to say:
DM: Jim, you’ve now been with the Mashery team since January of 2012 – how have you seen your team evolve over the last year and a half?
JM: We grew up fast. You have to working for an expansion stage company. The team started purely focused on outbound lead generation. As the team grew in size and our inbound lead flow increased, I moved a couple reps over to inbound lead qualification roles while the others remained focused on outbound.
This year, I have promoted three reps into Account Executive closing roles, and one member of the outbound prospecting team into a “Team Lead” position. We have also adopted social selling techniques and applied them to our everyday activities.
DM: You’ve tripled your team in headcount in a very short time period, with essentially no turnover — tell us about the profile of the candidates who do best in this role.
JM: I do look for someone who has previous experience in a similar role, but above all, the candidate needs to demonstrate that they are coachable. Reps who have the desire to get better everyday, and are willing to put the time in do best in this role. I want them to not only learn from me, but from each other.
We have a collaborative team environment in our office. There is no reason to fail alone in sales, and the ones who are taking advantage of the resources around them are doing very well.
DM: Mashery’s HQ is in San Francisco— what is it like managing a team in Boston 3,000 miles away from the rest of the company? How do you keep communication strong with sales and marketing in order to keep your operation running seamlessly?
JM: There are minor challenges around the time zone differences, and not having the ability to walk over to someone to ask a question or collaborate on a project, but overall it has been a very positive experience. Everyone in San Francisco has embraced the Boston team since day one as part of the Mashery family.
Being remote from corporate HQ forces us to be proactive and vocal. We have not been shy about communicating the things we hear from our potential customers back to HQ ,or asking for the things that will help us be more successful at the top of the funnel.
To keep communication strong with marketing I have weekly one-on-one meetings with our Director of Demand Generation, and I also have a separate meeting with her and a few of my team members to discuss top-of-the-funnel activity.
We also utilize Salesforce.com’s Chatter feature to keep communication strong throughout the entire company. My team is very active in contributing posts and responding to others. This has been a great tool for us, especially working in a remote office.
DM: What is the biggest piece of advice you could offer a company at the expansion stage who is looking to scale their outbound lead generation function and ultimately achieve the success that Mashery has experienced with the recent acquisition?
Focus on the customers that helped you grow from a startup to an expansion-stage company. Learn from them in order to build out your target verticals and buyer personas. Stay disciplined enough to put the majority of your top-of-the-funnel efforts into acquiring new logos from these defined segments, but agile enough to recognize a trend in another industry and capitalize on it. We were able to do this in 2012 with the emerging open data initiatives in healthcare.
Thanks, Jim! And congratulations to you, your team, and to the entire Mashery organization. Your OpenView family couldn’t be more proud.
Are you in the process of building or expanding an outbound lead generation team? We’d love to hear more about your experiences. What challenges are you facing? What have been your keys to success?