SalesTech Star

SalesTechStar Interview with Adam Stambleck, Chief Revenue Officer at Movable Ink

With businesses moving towards digital models for all their key functions, sales and marketing leaders need to focus more on growing customer relationships using the right data, in order to boost retention efforts; Adam Stambleck, Chief Revenue Officer at Movable Ink has some tips that can help:


Hi Adam, we’d love to hear about your journey through the years…tell us more about your role as Chief Revenue Officer at Movable Ink?

I’ve been with Movable Ink since the early days. As we started getting clients, I came on to work directly with them and show them how to be successful with our technology. In addition, I was building out the day to day team that would work with clients on an ongoing basis.

I did that for over three years and was able to see our clients see the value from our tech and willingness to increase their investments. So, we launched our upsell division. Shortly after, I expanded my role across all revenue teams to bring together the GTM organization as one larger team based around the concept of understanding clients, speaking their language and knowing how to make clients successful with our technology, which included new business sales, client experience, marketing and partnerships. I wanted every team member across all groups to be able to use our platform and apply that to our clients’ strategic goals.

Apart from the typical CRO role around growth and retention, culture is a critical focus for me. Our people are our company and making sure we keep a strong and positive company culture is what creates growth; culture is everything. I take pride in developing career plans for my team members, understanding their goals and watching them succeed. Most people at Movable stay at Movable for a very long time. That is something we are very proud of.

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In what ways can sales and marketing be optimizing use of their data in today’s omnichannel marketplace to drive results?

To start, I always operate as being data-informed and instinct-driven. What I mean is, data is critical but you have to also understand what is going on day-to-day in the field (and continue to work with your teams and clients directly) to make the best possible decisions. Never allow yourself to get sucked into all the internal work as you will lose your edge.  As CRO, your revenue operations team is your right hand and needs to be really strong (and we have a fantastic rev ops team at Movable Ink).

They should be providing you with both reactive and proactive data trends that help you run the business. Data should help you navigate through the entire client/sales funnel (ideal customer profile, ops creation rate, win rate, average acv, growth, retention, net expansion trends etc) and show you what’s working well, where you need to dig in and where you should increase investment. I can talk about this process for days, but it’s best to break each part of the funnel into pieces and attack/improve them separately.

As it relates to outbounding, an integral part of driving response is personalization. Using data and research, our BDRs, sales and marketing teams can grasp the emotions, intent and needs of our customers as they navigate through the marketplace. Customers are bombarded with options, so data allows us to personalize communications based on what their interests are, what their quarterly earnings reports show they are focusing on and improve the overall experience, leading to improved results in acquisition in sales and conversion in marketing. Remember, customers don’t experience data, they experience content so make sure that it is personalized and relevant.

What are some top B2B data best practices you’d like to highlight?

First of all, partner internally to set up Salesforce (or whatever CRM tool you use) correctly. When this is used well, you can run the entire business with those dashboards. Think about the end to end sales funnel and break each stage apart separately. Then, you can track the success or weakness of each stage and really understand where to focus. We have become really good when opening a new market (a big focus for Movable Ink is international expansion) in setting baseline assumptions for the entire funnel and tracking how we perform against those assumptions. It’s a great way to set goals for a new market and then focus on improving each stage of the process.

What are some precautions revenue leaders should be taking when assessing all their insights to create stronger strategies?

Over the past year, the pandemic has shifted business and revenue strategies significantly. Revenue leaders need to be able to adapt to change and embrace it. Be willing to change based on feedback you are hearing from your team and in the field from your clients. Make sure your teams are supported well (especially now when we see a ton of burnout across all industries) to meet their goals. By building a strong workplace culture, listening to their feedback and investing in your people, you can create a strategy that grows the relationship between employees and their clients. If you have happy employees, they will go above and beyond for your clients, and it’ll be a win/win.

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As B2B data trends evolve, what are some thoughts you’d like to share on the future of data-driven marketing and revenue strategies?

With businesses moving everything towards digital, leaders should focus on growing relationships with current and potential customers in order to help increase future revenue opportunities (when you launch a new product you want to have a seat at the table so you can introduce them to your clients). We have always had this approach at Movable since day one. If you surround your customers, help them achieve their goals and build a strong relationship you can ensure a healthy pipeline that’s mutually beneficial. We never wanted to be a company that said “go get an agency” if you want to use our technology. We wanted to build something they can use on their own and we can make sure they are using the tech strategically. In addition, we are seeing a massive shift in the marketing space to zero and first-party data. For businesses, it will be imperative that they focus on collecting this data and utilizing it in marketing plans as third-party data becomes less central to marketing efforts.

A few thoughts on what revenue leaders need to be doing more of today to align team and business goals?

When I moved into the CRO role it was all about alignment. We couldn’t have a head of CX, a head of sales, a head of marketing all operating independently. All these different teams need to be going after the same strategic outcomes and all be aligned from a comp perspective as well. So, the CRO role is very much about setting the strategic direction and making sure the teams are aligned to get there. During the pandemic, we doubled down on investing in our people by setting attainable sales and retention goals and showcasing our appreciation. We knew there were outside factors at play, so we wanted to make sure our teams were happy at work, over-achieving their goals and believing that would pay off in the long run. And we were right, as we have had a record setting three quarters coming out of the pandemic. We’ve also enhanced our Go-to-Market (GTM) model to include more strategic interactions with clients. If the revenue and strategy leaders have a seat at the table with the client, we can ensure we’re aligned on the client’s business and revenue goals, improving customer experience and satisfaction. A great sign is when a client leaves their current organization and brings you into their next org, which we see that frequently!

How do you see the role of the CRO evolving and what would the future CRO look like?

Many C-suite roles have changed and evolved over the past year and a half, and a CRO position is no different. CROs must take a larger stance in the health of our client relationships (customer experience and retention, as the CRO role is not just about sales) and doubling down on our employees and culture in order for a business to continue to grow as we enter a post-COVID world. Focus 90% of your time on your team and your clients and a lot will fall into place (you can leave 10% for internal work, but don’t get sucked into all internal work).

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More than 700 of the world’s most innovative brands rely on Movable Ink to accelerate their marketing performance. Movable Ink is one of the fastest-growing SaaS companies in the U.S. and has been recognized by Inc. Magazine’s “Best Workplaces” (2021, 2020, & 2019) and Built In NYC’s “Best Places to Work” (2021, 2020, 2019, & 2018).

Adam Stambleck is the Chief Revenue Officer at Movable Ink.

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