Thought Leadership Interview # 14: The World According to Garth: Garth Moulton, Founder of Jigsaw

We landed a big one: Garth Moulton, co-founder of Jigsaw Data Corp. and pretty famous for having founded one of the hottest Sales/Marketing 2.0 companies in the valley.  I met up with Garth last week for the first time (thank you Twitter).  He’s very smart and a good guy-perfect for the Funnelholic Thought Leadership series.

Garth Moulton is now called the “Jigsaw ambassador to the community”  after previously leading the business development function. Before he founded Jigsaw, Garth worked at several technology firms.  He has a great blog on Jigsaw and Sales 2.0 you should follow as well.

Check out this great interview:

1. What are the three trends you see emerging in 2009?

Designer jeans with suit coats in business meetings. It’s the new cool guy uniform. Sorry. Let’s see …

I think the biggest trend in B2B sales is not necessarily “emerging” in 2009 but becoming more mainstream. That is the trend toward sales teams going “inside and online.” and other early SaaS companies pioneered the way for reps to close six figure deals without ever setting foot in the prospect’s office using new (Sales 2.0) technologies and communication methods. Even the big boys (IBM, Oracle) are replacing their “silverbacks” that do business in the board room and the golf course with hybrid professionals that can prospect online and on the phone in the morning and present the business case in person in the afternoon.

Similarly, successful companies are blurring the line between sales and marketing both in process and personnel requirements. They’re sharing lead generation responsibilities. They’re integrating their formerly stovepipe data systems or replacing them with marketing automation platforms to manage leads throughout the funnel. Salespeople still think that marketing doesn’t send them enough good leads and marketing points back that the salespeople don’t adequately follow up on the ones they get, but there is a growing transparency that makes finger pointing more difficult.

Also, 15 years after Al Gore gave us the Web, companies are finally starting to capitalize on all the customer data they have to do more intelligent marketing. This involves placing more helpful information in places where customers can retrieve it, rather than just clobbering them over the head with new products.  But there is still a long way to go.

2. What are the biggest challenges for 2009?

With the economy in the dumper, chasing exclusively small, “net new” direct deals is risky for B2B salespeople. The large companies are likely to have the resources to weather the bad times, so B2B sales efforts need to be aligned toward enterprise offerings and up sell opportunities to current clients. Also, partnerships become more important because of the need to leverage established relationships with big companies and channels. With the severely restricted direct market, the challenge of rising above the noise for both sales and marketing is as important as ever.

3. What are three metrics that B2B marketers should care about and why?

I don’t pretend to be a marketing guy, but looking in from the B2B sales end I would say any metric that deals with speed should be the top priority. In sales we have pipeline velocity and time to close metrics – how about time until the lead is in the sales guy’s hands? I’m sure lead scoring has a place in sophisticated programs, but I would take 10 leads of any sort one hour from when they came in over one lead that made it through two technologies and a handful of human analysis three days later. This is Internet Age – customers want what they want and they want it now.

That said, I’m not suggesting that we abandon quality metrics to just focus on quantity. In fact, driving down to a true cost per lead is extremely important for running a successful business.

4. What are the top oversights marketers are making regarding lead generation?

I think the main oversights marketers are making match those of every other department – lack of communication throughout (and after!) any process. Before embarking on a new lead generation program, there needs to as much communication as possible with management and with sales to make sure that everyone is targeting the same thing. Is there even an agreed upon definition of what a lead is before the money is spent and resources allocated? No technology in the world can decide that one seemingly simple detail for you. Once a program is finished, everyone should reconvene and honestly do a post mortem instead of rushing onto the next Webinar, trade show or viral video shoot.

5. What will you prescribe to marketers to carry out effective lead generation?

Try to diversify as much of your spend as possible to take advantage of as many different potential lead sources as possible. Fowler and I had exactly zero experience with PR being anything but a huge waste of money until we founded Jigsaw. But in the first year, PR was our second leading source of leads next to word of mouth, which it helped drive. Test and invest in a variety of ideas. Don’t get so caught up in the latest craze or technology (ahem, AppExhange or Twitter) that you either ignore a valuable source of leads or, worse yet, waste a lot of your budget trying to keep up with the Joneses.

6. What  three Web 2.0 applications,  cutting-edge technologies or lead generation sources do marketers HAVE to consider to be successful?

Jigsaw, Jigsaw and Jigsaw. In that order.

Seriously, the top of the funnel data component of lead generation is enormously important, and sales and marketers need to gather that data from wherever they can – Google, social applications like LinkedIn, Jigsaw, and in instances where the ROI is carefully examined, the data aggregators or niche providers.

Also, I can’t see a B2B company getting very far without an online CRM system. As much as I love poking fun at, we run our business on the platform and the fact that they are making it so easy to pipe in other business applications and report so effectively.

I guess the final key application would be some combination of email marketing, Web analytics and marketing automation. The line between these guys is certainly blurring through M&A and technology expansion. But there needs to be a system for tracking all lead generation functions, and in a Web 2.0 world you simply have to be able to analyze success.

7.  What do you hope for in B2B sales and marketing for the new year?

I hope that sales and marketing can fight off the lemming-like instinct that most companies have to batten down the hatches and grind to a halt all commerce, even if their bottom line hasn’t been affected yet. To me it’s just as irresponsible and stupid as the drunken growth “strategies” during the boom times.  Money spent on sales and marketing programs with calculable and predictable ROI should be immune from “everyone on this side of the boat” budget cuts.

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter

  • Great interview. The point about “inside and online” is right on – its the way to go.

  • This is an awesome interview. I have known about Jigsaw for a long time, but reading Garth’s blog and this interview have inspired me to dig in to more of their offering and to your Funnelholic blog. Rock on, sir!

  • Great interview… love his response to question No 6… “Jigsaw, Jigsaw and Jigsaw. In that order.”

    Having said, if you read his follow-on definition and think about the tried and true methods of direct marketers for the last 100 years, it sounds like the same answer:

    It’s the List, the List and the List.

    “Seriously, the top of the funnel data component of lead generation is enormously important”

    Get to the right people with the right offer and you win.

  • Great post. Another solid step in the march toward instant, actionable data . . . The velocity measurement is exactly where we want to be. Thanks, CR.

  • The point about lead velocity and getting 10 qualified leads quickly resonates deeply in this market. The other issue associated with this is conveying to a sales rep the value of these leads based on source and time to follow up. With multiple and pervasive sources of product information, the purchaser has every opportunity to move on quickly–speed to lead is key.