Welcome to my portfolio! You'll find a small sampling of how I've helped B2B startups achieve their pipeline and sales goals.
(Please note: Each testimonial reflects the person's title / company at the time I worked with them.)
Table of contents:
- Strategy development
- Buyer persona development
- Positioning and messaging
- Customer proof points
- Analyst relations
- Competitive messaging
Recurring themes across my portfolio:
- I've driven business results at well-established tech companies like LinkedIn and eBay, as well as high-growth startups like 15Five and Udacity
- As a full-stack product marketing leader, I operate at multiple altitudes, from influencing strategy to creating messaging and positioning to the very tactical, like writing copy.
- I'm a big fan of grounding actions in sound logic, moving quickly, and iterating based on real-life feedback
- And lastly, the work I do creates massive leverage across Product, Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success
1. Strategy development
Problem: Emplify (employee engagement platform) was considering entry into the leadership development category and needed support from the board of directors.
Solution: Working for the SVP of Product at the time, I created a deck with a clear storyline, outlining why we should enter the leadership development market and how we can find success.
Click here to see the full version
Result: The board gave their support, and as we were building products and services to enter the leadership market, we got acquired by 15Five.
2. Buyer persona development
Problem: To stay competitive and accelerate growth, 15Five changed their target persona from managers who bought 10s of licenses for their teams to central HR buyers who could buy 1000s of licenses for their companies. Before bringing the strategy to life, Product, Sales, and Marketing needed a clear understanding of HR buyers and how to meet their needs.
Solution: As every team needed clarity on who the buyer is, what they care about, and how to resonate with their needs, I created a comprehensive yet easy-to-use buyer persona based on conversations with customers, prospects, listening to sales calls, surveys, and secondary research. Any 15Fiver could use our new HR buyer persona to understand buyer pains, motivations, desired outcomes, and the overall purchase journey. As you'll see from the document below, this is not your run-of-the-mill buyer persona.
Before calling it done, I invested in conducting internal training sessions and held a roadshow to answer questions and drive alignment across teams.
Click here to see the full version
Result: The HR buyer persona above became one of the most frequently visited files (according to Google document analytics) that centered Product, Marketing, and Sales on the same definition of the buyer and how they evaluate buying decisions. Having a single, robust definition of the buyer played a key role in creating a consistent buyer and user journey across product, messaging, content, and sales enablement.
3. Positioning and messaging
Problem: As 15Five pivoted to targeting a new buyer (the HR leader), the company needed a messaging framework that Product, Marketing, and Sales could use to convey 'why 15Five' across the purchase journey. The positioning had to go further than just resonating with HR buyers; it also needed to win head-to-head battles with competitors.
Solution: After listening to the ground-level needs of Product and GTM teams, I developed three messaging assets: 1) core messaging, 2) product messaging, and 3) competitive messaging. The work combined a deep understanding of the product with ongoing market research, including win/loss interviews, sales calls, speaking with customers, and an analysis of the competitive landscape. Covering all four product lines, I crafted the three messaging assets as a package to enable the roadmap, demand gen, and sales enablement.
1. Core positioning Click here to see the full version
2. Product positioning and messaging Click here to see the full version
3. Competitive messaging Click here to see the full version
Result: This work put product marketing on the map as Product, Marketing, and Sales welcomed the fleshed-out positioning and messaging with open arms. The demand gen team had a clearer understanding of what messaging would convert visitors to leads, SDRs and AEs had messaging and content they needed to differentiate the product and close sales, and Product was better equipped to build features and products that supported customer acquisition. We exceeded our pipeline and revenue goals for three straight quarters!
4. Customer proof points
Problem: As Udacity fought to grow its enterprise business, prospects constantly asked the sales team for customer proof points. During the decision cycle, prospects were hungry to know if they'd be in good company, and if Udacity had driven success with other companies in the same industry and with a similar use case. After all, Udacity's average deal size was in the high six figures at the time. So customer proof points became the sales team's #1 ask.
Solution: I worked in partnership with the Sales Enablement team to create a customer proof point program, which involved identifying customer successes on a monthly basis and turning those successes into customer proof points (in days, not weeks or months). I defined the strategy and led content creation, and the Sales Enablement team managed identifying customer wins and distributing proof points once they were ready.
Example of a customer proof point Click here to see the full version
Internal launch announcement Click here to see the full version
Result: When the sales team started applauding before we could finish announcing the program at the weekly sales enablement session attended by sales and marketing leadership, we knew we had struck the right chord. It was clearly what the sales team had imagined, striking a balance between creating a high volume of output and yet delivering enough detail in each proof point to win over buyers.
5. Analyst relations
Problem: Analyst reports played a key role in helping Udacity's target buyers win over their buying committee, which consisted of CFOs and CEOs. Buying stakeholders—who often heavily influence the purchase decision but don't have domain experience—rely on third-party validation to inform their decision-making. With IDC's influential MarketScape report on IT training (the category that Udacity belongs to) less than a few months away, Udacity needed to have a strong showing.
Note: IDC's MarketScapes are not 'pay to play' where vendors can pay for favorable placement. Instead, IDC conducts an independent review of the vendor based on customer feedback and data-driven proof points provided by the vendor. We're talking lengthy questionnaires with laborious documentation requirements.
Solution: Knowing that the IT Training MarketScape report was on the horizon, I developed analyst relations ahead of time. I briefed IDC analysts so they had a strong overview of Udacity and how we stood apart from other vendors, requested inquiries so I could understand each analyst's research goals, and worked across multiple internal teams to produce proof of Udacity's unique approach to IT training and the value we're creating for clients.
Udacity overview for analysts Click here to see the full version
Result: For the first time, Udacity was named No. 1 in IT Training in the US (our largest and most strategic geo). I quickly turned the result into sales enablement assets and messaging for a landing page and demand gen. The impact was almost immediate as the sales team exploded with excitement. Demand Gen, Email Marketing, and Sales now had a powerful asset to re-ignite conversations with prospects and existing customers.
6. Competitive messaging
Problem: 15Five faced stiff competition from Lattice, the market leader in modern HR tech. In sales cycles, prospects would inevitably bring up the comparison between 15Five and Lattice. They wanted to know why they should choose 15Five over a more feature-rich solution like Lattice. To win against a larger competitor, 15Five had to take back control of the narrative and influence how prospects approached the 15Five vs. Lattice comparison.
Solution: Winning against Lattice presented a big opportunity as 15Five competed against Lattice in 30-40% of large deals. And I knew it couldn’t be done by simply going head-to-head on a feature-by-feature basis. To find Lattice’s Achilles' heel, I interviewed six 15Five customers who cross-shopped 15Five and Lattice during the sales cycle and wound up choosing 15Five. My quick interviews turned up rich insights that I used to create sales enablement assets and a “15Five vs. Lattice” web page. Both assets spoke directly to the needs of the comparison buyer and therefore played a major role in the buying journey.
Click here to see the full version
Result: By taking a customer-centric approach—and zero SEO optimizations—my content ranked 1st on Google’s organic search results, out-ranking Lattice, Reddit, and G2. Notice the search results page pasted below is for the search term that mentions lattice first: “lattice vs. 15five” and my page still ranks above Lattice’s page.
15Five vs Lattice landing page
As prospects often self-educate before talking to sales, the content I created was having the intended effect: it was changing the way buyers evaluate the two platforms. 15Five's sales team voiced feedback that the competitive content was acting as a powerful tool to win the battle against Lattice. Win rates against Lattice improved by 18% in the first 60 days.