The Kula Ring

Episode 167 Building Trust with Manufacturing Prospects Using Video and Text

The Kula Ring podcast is essential listening for manufacturing marketers who want to grow their digital presence and compete online.

Sponsored by Kula Partners—an agency committed to helping leading B2B manufacturers craft digital experiences that transform how they engage buyers, serve customers, and outpace their competition—The Kula Ring podcast features conversations about marketing, sales, and technology with top manufacturing executives from across North America.

The Kula Ring podcast is co-hosted by Kula Partners principals, Carman Pirie and Jeff W. White, both of whom are frequently sought after for their digitally-focused B2B expertise. They regularly share their insights with audiences including conferences like B2B Online and HubSpot’s INBOUND, the Gardner Manufacturing Marketer blog, and other podcasts focused on B2B marketing and technology.

In this week’s episode of The Kula Ring, we talk to John Weiler, SDR Manager at Path Robotics. John talks to us about the fast-paced world of growth, experimentation, and innovation in the VC (Venture Capital) world. This episode dives into how Path Robotics has seen shifts and changes in its operations over the pandemic and how they have overcome those challenges, with a particular focus on their marketing and sales departments.

John shares his unique approach to how Path Robotics approaches and builds relationships with prospects and customers using texting and video communication. Dive into this episode and learn how Path Robotics is making waves in the artificial intelligence and the industrial automation sector today.

Building Trust with Manufacturing Prospects Using Video and Text Transcript:

Announcer: You’re listening to The Kula Ring, a podcast made for manufacturing marketers. Here are Carman Pirie and Jeff White. 

Jeff White: Welcome to The Kula Ring, a podcast for manufacturing marketers brought to you by Kula Partners. My name is Jeff White and joining me today is Carman Pirie. Carman, how are you doing, sir? 

Carman Pirie: I am happy to be chatting again. That’s how I’m doing. 

Jeff White: Yeah. 

Carman Pirie: And you? 

Jeff White: I’m doing excellent. Thanks. Wonderful to be back here recording again. 

Carman Pirie: Yeah. Yeah. And today’s show is gonna be fun. Sometimes I feel different organizations have different sales dynamics and there’s different levels of integration between marketing and sales organizations, so sometimes the sales methodology, sales process and whatever, can be kind of something that sometimes the marketers can’t quite get their hands on, so anytime we have an opportunity to bring a guest on the show that comes at things from a bit more of a sales-driven background, I’m really enthusiastic about it because I think it just helps fill out the perspective if you will. 

Jeff White: Absolutely. And it’s not even just a sales-driven background. It’s really building a sales-driven culture within a manufacturer, which I think is pretty interesting. It’s a fairly new company and they’re doing some really, really interesting and aggressive things. Yeah, so without further ado, we should get into it. So, joining us today is John Weiler. John is the SDR Manager at Path Robotics. Welcome to The Kula Ring, John. 

John Weiler: Hey. Thanks for having me, guys. Happy to be a part of the show today. 

Carman Pirie: Yeah. Awesome to have you on. And let’s start with telling us who Path Robotics is and what do you all do there? 

John Weiler: So, Path Robotics is a venture-based company out of Columbus, Ohio, in the Midwest of the United States, and we are tackling one aspect of the labour shortage. We’re an artificial intelligence company that is in the industrial automation sector today, and the first labour shortage that we’re really tackling is the shortage of skilled trade welding in specific, so we are doing welding as a service as a starting point. 

Jeff White: That’s awesome. 

Carman Pirie: Via AI and robotics.

John Weiler: Yes. Correct. Yep, so we use a variety of off-the-shelf components and then combine that with some proprietary technology that Path has created and has patented, and then the software, the artificial intelligence that powers all of those components to use robotics, automation, and AI to accomplish welding as a service. 

Carman Pirie: That’s really cool. 

John Weiler: Yeah. It’s a fascinating company to be a part of. One of the things that we talk about is we have one of the most advanced products in the world, so let’s carry ourselves as a sales organization as one of the most advanced sales teams in the world. 

Jeff White: How do you go about doing that? But before we get into that, tell us a bit about yourself. 

Carman Pirie: Yeah. Let’s not jump the gun, but I do want to go back to that. 

Jeff White: Yeah. 

John Weiler: Yeah. Absolutely. So, myself, I started as an entrepreneur right out of college here, studying finance and economics. I really only use it during holidays to argue with family and friends. I transitioned right into entrepreneurial endeavours, started a web-based company. Actually had the experience of raising funds myself and working with an investor and aboard. Sold that company three and a half years later and got right into product development, and I was the fourth person at that company. We grew it to about 40 people. That was over the course of four years, though, so it kind of gave me a taste into hyper scaling and growth, but not at as aggressive a pace as a VC-backed company. We were a debt-free company, so each year we were growing kind of consistent and measurable. It wasn’t like, “Hey, we need you to triple the size of your team overnight.” 

But I had an appetite for that level of growth, so I jumped into the VC world. I was a director of sales after leaving that family firm and that company led me to Path Robotics. So, I’ve always kind of been in that sales leadership-based role throughout my professional career, but getting into software as a service, hardware as a service, and artificial intelligence, I could kind of see was the future, and I really wanted to break into that space, and Path Robotics offered that opportunity in my backyard. 

Carman Pirie: Nice. Okay, so where to start. There are about 40 offramps here, but look, let’s go back to that comment that you just said around this notion of high, kind of the high-tech product requiring a high-tech sales force. Fundamentally, I think I understand the notion of what you’re saying there, and the symmetry sounds great. Is that a kind of a thought process that you employed as you’ve built out other sales organizations and have you reaped the benefit of that symmetry? Because again, I don’t dispute that it sounds good, but I want to know where the rubber meets the road here. 

John Weiler: Yeah, so having a career in sales, you learn how to make a lot of things sound good, right? But the execution is the devil’s in the details thing, right? 

Jeff White: You and Carman are gonna get along just fine. 

John Weiler: Yeah. I’d say that’s one of the things where marketing and sales can unite, and we both make things sound really interesting, or fun, or good, and when you can deliver value, it’s all the better. So, the reason why we say that and one of the things we try and hold ourselves to in that standard is I feel like we owe it to our engineers and the people that are working on the robots and working on the technology themselves, that that’s the standard that they carry themselves to, and we need to hold ourselves to that same standard. What that looks like in daily practice is personalization. We’re multithreading accounts and we’re reaching out to multiple people at an organization strategically. We’re sending different value propositions and custom messages to each one of those stakeholders because the things that they think about and the problems that they’re solving are different. 

So, taking a little bit more time, being a little bit more tactical and strategic in our approach, differentiates us from a lot of other sales organizations out there. It’s sad to say in many ways, but you can’t just turn up activities anymore and say, “Let’s email blast a bunch of people and see what sticks.” You kind of will drown out in the rest of the noise out there. So, when I think of being the most advanced sales team in the world, I think of how can we use the tools, the resources, and the strategic initiatives that we have learned over time or that are available, that we can see some of the other organizations doing, and learn from them, and replicate, and build upon those? 

Jeff White: Do you think that your experience in venture-backed organizations and kind of seeing a bit of that SaaS world has been what’s informed your opinion about how to build this team at Path Robotics?

John Weiler: So, I think two things. I definitely think the venture-backed atmosphere brings a whole new light. So, the product development firm was a family-run, debt-free company from 4 to 40 people. We were doing things in a very traditional format. Let’s go to trade shows. Let’s buy lists. Let’s do ads on Google and let’s create some inbound leads for our people and distribute those. 

In the VC world, they say things like, “Let’s throw gasoline on all of that. We want all of that and we want 10X it.” And so, you’re left there kind of scratching your head. The thing that’s interesting for me, and I think one of the things that led me to where I am today, is the mentors that I’ve been able to have access to or be a part of that is a direct relationship from the VC companies. So, with VC companies, I noticed they have a tremendous requirement for really great talent, and with that comes really great mentorship and development, so I’ve been lucky to be a part of those organizations. 

And then also, they’re constantly pushing you, so the rate of growth is… It’s numbing at times in the sense that we need to grow faster, but it also forces you as an individual outside of your comfort zone, and that forces growth. What I mean by that is I think of levers for a sales org, especially at the top of the funnel for me and the SDR team, as we can set really high volume of meetings or we can set really high-quality meetings, but a VC will come in and say, “I won’t both, and I want both all the time, and I want you to turn up the dial on both.” And it’s not an acceptable answer to go back and say it’s one or the other, so it forces you to continually make strategic decisions. 

Carman Pirie: I guess how has that changed your tolerance for risk and experimentation? 

John Weiler: So, it’s a great question. The environment at Path, and something that I love about these small to medium-sized startups that are growing from pre-revenue to their first 100 customers, are they very much encourage a culture of experimentation, and they’re very much willing to say, “Go out there. Let’s see what works and what doesn’t work. And if it works, let’s document it and scale it, and if it doesn’t work, it was an experiment that we went to, and we all are better now having known the outcome of it.” A real-life example of this would be personalized videos, where I can record a prospect’s website and say, “This stands out to me.” They can see my face. They can see what I’m looking at. The research and firsthand, and maybe the video speak directly to them, and I have to get that message out and that call to action in under a minute. 

Not every organization is gonna open up and play a video, but that’s an example of an experiment that we encourage here at Path, and we’re seeing a little bit of early success with. So, that’s definitely the culture. I personally tell the people on my team it’s better than my direct report coming to me and saying, “Hey, here’s a little slap on the wrist. Don’t do that again,” rather than asking for permission. I don’t know if I can say that for every organization, but I’m a big fan of asking for forgiveness, not permission when it comes to sales strategy. 

Carman Pirie: I just gotta think it’s a huge difference between a debt-free, family-run organization scaling from 4 to 40. There’s just a different kind of tolerance for experimentation and risk there. 

John Weiler: Yeah. Yep. A very different environment there than a VC-backed company, right? I mean, since I’ve been at Path Robotics, we’ve gone through two rounds of funding. And I’ve been here… November 17th was my one-year anniversary. We were at 52 people as an entire company. Today we’re at 196, approaching 200, and the difference within those is in one year we’ve tripled, almost quadrupled in size, and it took that same kind of growth over many years at that family-run business, and here we’ve experimented with all sorts of tools, and techniques, and very quickly can accelerate if something’s working or not. There it took a lot longer to experiment, as well as, “Hey, we’re doing this. It’s working. We don’t need to delve out and expand on our strategies,” type of thing. So, it’s much different from a culture, as well. 

Carman Pirie: Yeah. No question. I’m just interested in thinking about how people evaluate their strategic options as marketers and how rarely sometimes, how rarely they think of the context that they’re operating within. It’s easy to get excited about the latest, greatest tool, and often be inspired by things maybe in the SaaS world, or high-growth VC world, but if that isn’t your reality-

Jeff White: It’s gonna be difficult for you to implement. Yeah. 

Carman Pirie: Yeah. It’s just interesting. But nevertheless, I want to kind of unpack a bit more of your success in prospecting into engineers that are the leading edge of this, because you’re certainly looking to, as an organization, as a very leading-edge product, you’re looking at leading-edge adopters of it. And that can’t be a spray-and-pray approach. I understand that there must be some like you say, a high degree of personalization, and examination of the buying committee and whatnot as you do that. I guess one of the things that you said to me in our lead-up to this conversation that stuck with me was this notion of earning the right to text. So, talk to me about prospecting into engineers and earning the right to text. 

John Weiler: Yeah, so that’s a great example of what we have here on the sales team here are winning indicators, and these are indicators that of our current customer base, they’re commonalities that we see in every deal that has gone from a prospect to a customer. And when we look at those and we identify that list of winning indicators, a text message relationship with a C-suite executive is one of those indicators. If we earn that trust and we gain that permission to have that level of intimacy with someone in a business relationship, there’s a higher degree that they could become a customer of Path Robotics. 

So, when we reverse engineer that, we look at a velocity in the sales cycle in enterprise sales going from 180-plus days down to 110. It’s something where the velocity of sales is something that we look at, and so what we ask our team is how can we build rapport quickly and how can we earn their trust and build credibility to be able to gain permission to that next level of intimacy. That’s the way that we view a text message. 

If I send you an email, that might get a reaction. If I pick up the phone and call you, that might start a conversation. You text with family and friends. And there’s definitely a line here to be drawn. I saw on LinkedIn cold FaceTiming. We’re not exploring that. We still have to draw some lines and we could dig into that too, but with the texting it’s not a cold text, and I think there are even legal things around this with mass texting, or texting lists, or any kind of marketing-based soliciting texts, that that’s not something that was given permission to. 

So, if we dig into that, we send someone an email, we pick up the phone, we’re now building a relationship. If the message from the beginning resonates with them because it’s personalized, because we did our research before we went into that conversation, we can start to build some instant trust and credibility from the start. We can set up a conversation with them and Path Robotics and maybe an example of a very preliminary, the earliest type of text message that we’re gonna send is if they provide us with their mobile cell phone number during that phone conversation and we say, “Hey, we might reach out to you just to confirm the time of the meeting.” 

And at the beginning, it’s a simple text that just says, “Hey, the account executive here is excited to connect with you and your manufacturing engineers over Zoom, just wanted to make sure the date and time is tomorrow.” They sent a text back to us. Now we have bridged that gap on texting and it’s to say that we can go back to our team internally and say, “Hey, we texted this person. They texted us back.” Not saying that we’re gonna start texting them by only means [of communication], but maybe we pass that level of intimacy off to the account executive and they build upon it if they see that it could be a way to build further rapport within that relationship. So, that’s the way that we look at texting. 

Carman Pirie: That’s really interesting. It kind of reminds me of an old friend of mine that… His approach to sales is the minute he could get into a bit of an email exchange or text exchange, you were going to get 40 messages, a stream of consciousness about things that could help your business. You were gonna get that within the next 24 hours and they were gonna come at the most random of times. But it’s like all with very good intention and it’s like he just almost overwhelmed them with, “What about this? Or what about that?” 

Jeff White: I was just thinking about things. 

Carman Pirie: Yeah, but in a very personal way. As much as that would have probably seemed really annoying to me, it would be hard for me to argue with his success. I understand you’re not taking that approach, but that notion of it as being an indicator of intimacy, I think that that’s a notion of something that people could extend. What else kind of fits into that definition beyond text messaging that shows that you’re drawing closer to the customer? That’s really interesting, that notion. 

John Weiler: Yeah, and I think you have to be able to read the room is something we talk about very often as a soft skill at the top of the funnel here because we’re… And all I mean by that is if you’re reaching out to my dad, as an example, who is a civil engineer, and you send that man a text, you might get your phone number blocked. You have to be able to try and decipher through and read the room as what are all of the soft skills telling you? What is the communication up until that point telling you? And that’s what we mean by earning that permission to do that. Do you feel like you have a really good chance of that person texting you back, being okay with that? And are you delivering value in almost every communication that you’re having? Is it advantageous to that person to send a text?

There’s been examples here where we’ve worked with people for six, eight months in the sales process, and we’re still emailing them, and on one of the calls that director of automation might say, “Hey, shoot me a text.” And it might just be because we’re mentioning a journal article in the Wall Street Journal that’s relevant to him and his industry, and he might want to share that with his colleagues. We weren’t asking for the next step in the process. We were just saying, “Hey, this piece of content might be relevant to you. It was relevant to us and in our conversations, you’ve brought this up.” And that’s how I gained text messaging with a director of automation, and this was a recent example, because he said, “Hey, text me that. I want to share that with my colleagues.” 

And that’s the way that he communicates with his colleagues. You asked about another example of intimacy. I think videos are an evolution of the sales process given the global pandemic. I mean, we don’t do as many plant visits. When I joined here, we became partners with someone in 88 days. They signed up for a 12-month commitment to become a partner with Path and our average contract value there is hundreds of thousands of dollars, and so this is an enterprise partnership. They never visited our planet. We never went to their plant. The reason why I bring this example up is that we had built such a strong relationship through video, they pretty much gave us a virtual tour and we did a virtual demo, and there were people here that were like, “That’s an edge case. That won’t happen again.” 

Well, our fastest deal to close now is 16 days. You can’t even hire someone that fast. It’s just a different world, I feel like, in today’s digital age where you can build relationships over the video, over the camera, having conversations like this over the web, and they can become very intimate very quickly. 

Announcer: Are your digital marketing efforts bringing in too many junk leads? Stop wasting time and distracting your sales team. Account-based marketing can help give your marketing strategy the laser focus on the qualified buyers that you need to increase your pipeline velocity, close more deals, and grow your business faster. We’ve created a sample manufacturing ABM plan to help you get started. Download the sample manufacturing ABM plan at bit.ly/sampleABM. That’s B-I-T.ly/sampleABM. 

Carman Pirie: And I’d be curious, have you seen that extend to video outreach, as well? Versus just video calls or video sales calls? 

John Weiler: So, video outreach is… We’re manufacturing, right? It’s interesting that the way that we look at it when I referenced multithreading in an enterprise earlier, what I was meaning by that is C-suite, directors, VPs, and then you’ll have people at the plant level, maybe plant managers, manufacturing engineers. The way that they communicate and the mediums that they use could be significantly different, and so figuring out which method of communication is gonna work well for them is how we look at that. Some people do really well with video. Some people never want to open a video from an email. 

The thing that’s nice about video within an email and video outreach is it shows the person on the other end of the email this is not mass communication. This is something where whoever that is at Path took some time, maybe it’s 5 to 10 minutes, but they got on our website, they read our story, they looked at our product line, they looked at the job openings, they looked at a variety of different indicators, and in a minute they’re gonna tell us why they think we should continue or even start a conversation. 

So, I like video outreach because you can say, “Hey, I saw that part of your story here is that you guys have state-of-the-art equipment for your customers. Well, we have some of the most advanced technology. And I also noticed that these product lines are similar to some of our other customers, and we’ve been able to be transformative for them. And you guys are hiring human welders, so is welding a bottleneck? Is it worth us having a conversation?” All of our outreach, especially very early on, is all focused on starting a conversation. We are never sending someone something that says, “Schedule a meeting with me,” and sending them a Calendly link. At least no one on our team is doing that. I know it happens from time to time, but we talk about very soft calls-to-action early on. Is it worth a conversation? Are you interested in learning more? Those are the types of questions we’re asking when we’re prospecting. 

Jeff White: And I have to think too, in order to get to this place where you can confidently have those kinds of conversations, and early emails, and things like that with people at the plant management level, and the C-suite, and the others that you’re talking to, is that you really need to understand who you’re going to be talking to. Tell us a bit about your process for identifying those ideal target accounts. 

John Weiler: Yeah. Really great question there. And so, over time we’ve developed a list of ideal customer personas. Not something new. Something that I think a lot of companies do, but we’ve continued to tweak and add in things there, and we really look at are these decision-makers or are these people that are receiving strategic initiatives from people above them within the organization? And then we break those down into what problems are they trying to solve, what are the KPIs that they’re measured on so we can speak to situations or scenarios that might be relatable to them, or they might be able to say, “Oh, yeah. I experienced that.” 

If we talk to someone like a VP of manufacturing, for example, they’re thinking about throughput. They’re thinking about how to increase capacity. But if you talk to a plant manager and you mention automation or robotics, they might actually be a little bit intimidated. Well, are we coming after a job here? And so, the messaging for those two different ICPs is gonna be significantly different. The way that we research an organization is we’re looking at a variety of tools, so we’re looking at their website. We’re looking at LinkedIn. We’re looking at different databases, trade associations. We’re looking for second, third-degree relationships, whether that be from our current customer base, or did we attend a trade show that they attended? And we’re trying to learn how does that organization makes decisions and who we need. 

Another thing that we’ve noticed as a winning indicator is in every one of our customers, we have an internal champion. That internal champion is someone who is advocating on Path Robotics’ behalf internally, to their decision-makers, so early on in the sales process we might engage with someone, whether they be a manufacturing engineer, or a director of operations, or a VP of manufacturing. Based on that initial conversation, we’re trying to learn very quickly what does the decision-making process looks like to you in your organization, and that will give insight to the rest of the team here at Path. How do we want to communicate and who do we want to communicate with? Who do we need to get into a room? 

In a lot of these enterprise deals, you’ve got 6 to 11 different stakeholders, and that’s with small to medium-size enterprises. If you’re working with multibillion-dollar publicly traded companies, they could have 50 divisions, and it starts to become a matrix of decision making and a lot more complicated. 

Carman Pirie: It’s a really interesting challenge because when I look at Path Robotics, it’s an incredibly focused organization. This is for welding. It’s very, very specific in many cases. A lot more specific, I would suggest, than many B2B manufacturers out there. And yet it sounds as though, not to put words in your mouth too much, but that the types of buying committees that you encounter differ greatly. Your way in seems to differ greatly from the plant manager, to an operations manager, various others. I guess it’s interesting to consider this challenge when you think about 6 to 11 stakeholders in a committee, so 6 to 11 different numbers, different types of makeups of those committees, different titles in those committees, there’s a real challenge for people who are trying to simplify the buying process through buyer personas and trying to say this is who we speak to. 

Jeff White: Yeah. Your internal champion could be any one of those people. 

Carman Pirie: Yeah. Yeah, so I guess I’m kind of wondering, how do you deal with that? 

John Weiler: Yeah. Well, first, one of the biggest things is the CRM is a goldmine, and if used properly, and data is captured and updated on a reoccurring and regular basis, and you’re working with a content management system, you’ve got technology that you can leverage here internally and software that provides some data-driven insights. And we have a business intelligence unit here at Path, so when I tell you guys things like we have winning indicators, that was born out of an entire business intelligence unit that we spun up in the last 12 months that continues to interface with our CRM, and then uses software like Tableau to visually show us datasets that we can take action on. 

And so, we continually become smarter here at Path about what’s working and what’s not working, and that’s why I think the experimentation is a big thing because we still are working through our first 100 customers. I think it’s safe to say, and the leadership all agrees, we’ve got a lot more experiments to go through to figure out how we want to scale and what we want to scale with. We have some ideas around what best practices are, but we continue to learn and get better. 

Now, with managing those different relationships, when I say 6 to 11, I’m referring to at the finish line, and so the quicker that we can figure out who are those, for example, say 6, one of them might be their legal team. One of them might be a CFO to sign off on the actual financials and the ROI side of things. We don’t necessarily need to do a lot of heavy-duty communication with that CFO early on, but we need to know what’s important to them, and if we’re in a… Here’s a benefit of a Zoom conversation that’s recorded. We can have an account executive say during a demonstration, “So, who else is involved in the decision-making?” Once they know that, we can then ask the question, “So, what’s most important to them? When you go in and you bring a new partnership to them, what’re the things that they look for?” 

And we can call that stuff out during a recorded conversation and then we can send them an email with that recording and say, “If you fast forward to this for the CFO, I think they’ll find this really insightful.” And you’re covering some of these bases. But the best way to do it is to get into a live conversation, and so it’s kind of old school in some ways, in the sense that when you say how do we manage it, the closer we get to the finish line, if we’re able to text with that internal champion, I know a lot of our account executives here that can say, “Hey, we need to figure this out here at the finish line. Can we hop on a call this afternoon?” They might be sending that via text because they’ve built that relationship with that internal influencer and that internal influencer we’re relying on to round up some of the troops internally, put them into a room, and let’s work through some of these last-minute revisions before we sign off on things. 

Carman Pirie: I think that’s really instructive to the marketers because that notion of look, yeah, there are a lot of people on this committee, but I don’t necessarily-

Jeff White: But not all of them are as important at the beginning. 

Carman Pirie: Yeah. I don’t necessarily need to communicate with all of them, either. Yes, I’m gonna have to be mindful as I have conversations with them, but it may not need a ton of marketing-level support, i.e., we may not need the persona done up for the lawyer that’s on the buying committee. It’s more about the lead economic buyer. Who’s really driving the decision? And often people say, “Well, that’s who has the pen at the end of the day, who signs,” but it’s not always. Sometimes the person that’s making the recommendation, that’s really who you’re after. 

So, I think that’s important to be mindful of that. 

John Weiler: It’s a great call out. It’s a great call-out. The one thing that I would add there is like with… So, the deal velocity can be… The timeline to close can be greatly impacted by who we get in that first meeting, and we’ve realized that over time as a top-of-funnel sales organization that’s doing outbound prospecting. Not every president or C-suite is gonna want to get into a discovery call. But we know on our side that if we can get them bought into the process early on, the technology, and the potential for an ROI, then they can drive that to a finish line a lot quicker than if we’re working our way up. Say we get a plant manager, and they have to then sell that business case to their director, the director has to go up to the VP, VP to the president. 

If we can go from the president down, the president typically can send out an email. Just like if my boss sends me an email and says, “Hop into this meeting,” I’m typically going. So, you know, we can find that out, but that’s why I think we have… We really focus on three to five ICPs at the very top, and then like I was explaining to you earlier, we have some that are… We refer to them as above the line and below the line. Just strategic decision-makers looking at the outcome of the business versus people that are receiving their priorities from somewhere in leadership. And we customize the messaging based on them. 

If we get a meeting with someone at the organization, we still want to have that conversation, because they could turn into an internal champion. But the timeline to close and them becoming a partner at Path might be different based on who we have that first meeting with. 

Jeff White: That’s an incredible understanding of your sales process, especially given you haven’t been at it that tremendously long. 

Carman Pirie: Exactly right. 

Jeff White: And it’s very well refined and you clearly have a good understanding and know that you still have more to learn. 

Carman Pirie: Yeah. I know we’re drawing to a close here, but I think there’s a lesson back there that I just want to emphasize around the recording of video. The recording of sales conversations that are conducted via video, being able to refer back to those, being able to use it in the sales process, I can tell everyone listening to this it is incredibly invaluable. And it’s amazing to consider the information that marketing can glean from reviewing those conversations and the level of understanding that they can get to by having that as a resource that you just can’t get to otherwise. I mean, sure you could do it on ride-along or what have you, but just that doesn’t scale in the way that this does. 

So, I just think it’s a really important tip that you gave us there. 

John Weiler: Yeah. It’s been really effective for us, and I’ll share one other thing that’s with marketing and sales since I know you guys are doing marketing. We have a marketing department that we’re building out here in alignment with the sales org and we work hand in hand, and a great example of that most recently — we joined a trade association in a vertical where we’ve had some success but not a tremendous amount of success. So, we joined this trade association, and the marketing team is sending out to specific people on that trade association, they’re sending out custom emails saying, “Hey, Path Robotics is a part of this and here’s why.” And they’re just really warming up people that we haven’t had an engagement with yet and then the SDR team here at Path, so they sent out an email one last week, they sent out an email two this week. We’re tracking open rates. We’re tracking people that are responding to Path. 

And this has already spun up some conversations before anyone from sales has even reached out. And then next week, the SDRs now are gonna start going after the list of people based on engagement. But that’s one example of how our marketing department helps support the efforts of the sales team here, and we all work on copy and messaging, and the list building together, and I think that really creates a lot of alignment between the two organizations. Because we all have the same goals, but we have different ways of achieving those goals, I wanted to share that because I thought it was really cool and we’re seeing a lot of success with it. 

Jeff White: I think that’s really instructive. 

Carman Pirie: Yeah. It’s fantastic. What a great way to leave it. John, thank you so much for joining us today. It’s been fascinating to have you on the show.

John Weiler: Yeah. Thank you guys both for having me. I really enjoyed the conversation. 

Jeff White: Wonderful. And best of luck in the future. 

John Weiler: Thanks so much. 

Announcer: Thanks for listening to The Kula Ring, with Carman Pirie and Jeff White. Don’t miss a single manufacturing marketing insight. Subscribe now at kulapartners.com/thekularing. That’s K-U-L-Apartners.com/thekularing.

Read Full Transcript

Recent Podcasts

Warning!

You are using an outdated browser. Things may not appear as intended. We recommend updating your browser to the latest version.

Close