Salestechstar Interview With Jeff Lundal, CRO at Validity
What does it take to drive a GTM model that impacts overall business results? Jeff Lundal, CRO at Validity has a few key pointers that B2B teams should consider:
Welcome to this SalesTechStar chat Jeff tell us about yourself and how you got to being CRO at Validity…
Absolutely and thanks for having me. My name is Jeff Lundal, I am the CRO at Validity, a leading provider of data quality and email deliverability solutions. For some background, I have spent the last 20 years building what’s now known as the Go-to-Market function (sales, marketing, account management, and customer success) for software companies including DoubleClick, Responsys, Oracle, and Experian Marketing (formerly CheetahMail). My expertise and specialty is in transforming businesses and driving growth by assembling high-performing teams, ensuring stakeholders are aligned toward a common mission, and ensuring that the company is delivering impactful value for customers.
The company is at a turning point and I’m excited to bring my expertise to help propel future growth by optimizing the customer experience and transforming the go-to-market process. Validity has built the most powerful data management solution and the highest value email deliverability solutions in the market. These solutions solve major issues for sales and marketing leaders and are required more than ever in today’s environment. Our software allows marketers to manage their data, ensure the accuracy of email addresses, and guarantee that they are in good standing with all email inbox providers so they consistently deliver 29% more email campaigns to recipients. On the sales side, our customers are reducing the time they spend on cleaning and managing data by 80%. We ensure high ROI while also allowing more “self-service” capabilities, two features that are imperative today as budgets and headcount are challenged.
What is your focus for the next six months, especially considering the turbulent economy?
I will be laser-focused on developing our sales, marketing, and account management functions to ensure we’re properly assessing needs and implementing a customer engagement process that matches the needs of our customers today. I plan to draw from my experience executing similar programs at category-leading companies in rallying the entire organization behind a shared sales process and go-to-market playbook. This matters in any market but is even more important today.
When it comes to building high performing GTM teams, what are the top practices that have worked for you in the past
Great question – it comes down to a few key techniques.
- It’s important to come into any role with a proven playbook that has worked over multiple initiatives in the past, not just one. In its simplest form, we focus on mapping our solutions to solve our client’s problems. This allows us to secure the install base, grow the install base, and win new clients. Easier said than done with lots of strategy intricacies, but the concept is the same.
- Then, I’m focused intently on building a high-performing culture that excites employees and drives a sense of urgency. The mantra I use to guide & shape that culture is communication, collaboration, and celebration. Working closely together towards a shared vision is imperative – but just as important is celebrating the team’s successes along the way. It can be easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day, but I know firsthand that companies thrive off of energy and excitement, so I make a concerted effort to inject that energy into my teams.
- On that note, investment in the team is crucial, even during challenging economic times like today. In order to truly develop and scale a standout GTM team, a company needs to put significant time and monetary resources into recruitment, onboarding, coaching programs, incentives, and other career development resources. While the initial costs can feel intimidating, I have seen firsthand again and again what dividends it returns. With the right GTM team, developing new strategies and ideas, winning vital RFP bids, and utilizing more effective prospecting tools can be seamless.
- Over the course of my career, I’ve found that partner networks are often underutilized. Identifying and leveraging partners to enter new markets is a strategic must. While it is a win for Validity, it also is a win for the partners themselves and delivers on scale goals for both of us.
- Finally, we drive a culture of constant improvement by using data to measure results and finding new ways to continually push to be better at meeting our client’s needs and being clear about our value proposition. I’m never satisfied with where we are today, we can always strive to get better.
Take us through some of your thoughts on driving a data backed revenue/ops process for better sales, marketing unification and engagement?
Utilizing data and analytics to inform the needs of the business and market opportunity is imperative. In order to build a high-performing organization, GTM leaders need to start with the basics and implement a rigorous process discipline around all GTM operations, inclusive of KPI development and measurement. This means closely evaluating potential metrics and testing and optimizing to meet those. Ultimately, RevOps provides the backbone that ensures critical success for the company, so it should touch every piece of the organization.
By the way…I’m currently recruiting for the best Rev Ops leader based in either Boston or Tampa, for those interested, apply!
If there were three things that you could ‘’fix’’ about B2B sales, what would they be?
This is a great question and one I think about and solve for daily.
- Modernizing the GTM & Sales Functions: Today’s B2B buyers act like B2C consumers, conducting the education and comparison process in a self-service manner. In fact, according to McKinsey, two-thirds of buyers prefer remote interactions to in-person ones. This is a far cry from the legacy enterprise sales model and requires teams to be agile, personal, and targeted in their process.
- Utilizing a Data-Driven Methodology: I work closely with my teams to ensure that we are utilizing the best practices of B2C companies in a B2B manner across every aspect of the sales journey. This means working closely on data and analytics, segmentation, and persona-based targeting. Ultimately, through this data-driven process, we can ensure we are providing the right offer and the right product at the right time.
- Investing in Partner Relationships: Properly defining and investing in partner relationships needs to be a top priority for B2B GTM teams. While legacy sales were referral-based, we are quickly moving to a market in which ISV-OEM and CoSelling reign supreme. If GTM teams fail to adapt, they are missing out on significant market opportunities and future innovation.
A few last thoughts you’d like to share before we wrap up?
I feel like I joined Validity at a truly perfect time – we have so much ahead of us in this next year, and I can’t wait to share that with you and your readers. In the meantime, for readers interested in learning more about impactful ways to shape their data quality and email deliverability strategies, you can find resources on the Validity blog.
Businesses run better and grow faster with trustworthy data. Tens of thousands of organizations across the world rely on Validity solutions – including Everest, DemandTools, BriteVerify, GridBuddy Connect, and MailCharts – to target, contact, engage, and retain customers effectively.
Jeff Lundal is CRO at data quality & email deliverability provider, Validity
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