0 to 10 Million Leads : Lessons learned from the lead gen trenches

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0 to 10 Million Leads : Lessons learned from the lead gen trenches

  1. 1. Presented by Ian Smith Powered by
  2. 2. My name is Ian Smith • I work for QuoteWizard • And I want to talk to you about the anatomy of a successful lead gen company
  3. 3. Dillon, MT
  4. 4. Seattle, WA
  5. 5. Three topics • How to build great lead gen funnels • How to build great teams • How to innovate at scale
  6. 6. About Ian Smith Industry Veteran • 8 years of experience • Helped sell over 10,000,000 leads • First employee at QuoteWizard • As VP of Technology: Built our platform • As VP of Operations: Drive continuous improvement of our business
  7. 7. How to build great lead gen funnels Step 1: Learn to ride the rapids Step 2: Test your heart out
  8. 8. Learn to ride the rapids
  9. 9. Learn to ride the rapids Two hardest things in lead gen: • Getting consumers to start • Getting consumers to share their phone #
  10. 10. Learn to ride the rapids
  11. 11. What can go wrong • Not debugging • Building defensively • Assuming the visitor knows what to do • Failing to iterate
  12. 12. Test your heart out • Your funnel can always be better • You need to test • You need to be bold • And be prepared to be surprised
  13. 13. Example • We challenged our design team to make QuoteWizard look cool
  14. 14. Our old home insurance lander
  15. 15. Our new insurance lander
  16. 16. Which one will work better? A. B.
  17. 17. Which one will work better? -26%
  18. 18. Why?
  19. 19. Looking at the heat map for A
  20. 20. Looking at the heat map for B
  21. 21. What can go wrong • You make assumptions • You trust your assumptions • You fail to test your assumptions • But testing and empirical decision making isn’t everyone’s strong suit
  22. 22. What can go wrong • You make assumptions • You trust your assumptions • You fail to test your assumptions • But testing and empirical decision making isn’t everyone’s strong suit : you’ll need a team
  23. 23. How to build great teams Step 1: Know who you need Step 2: Hire slow Step 3: Fight crazies
  24. 24. QuoteWizard’s Team
  25. 25. QuoteWizard’s Team
  26. 26. The four people you need • Data Scientists – To ask: Does this really work? • Marketers – To ask: What if…? • Developers – To ask: How? • Sales People – To ask: Would you like to try?
  27. 27. How to find good people 1. Hire slow 2. Ask good questions 3. Stress test
  28. 28. Good people are like time machines
  29. 29. Ask good questions • Start with the job post – What questions do you have about our company? – What relevant experience do you have? – Do you prefer SQL or Excel to solve a problem? • Multiple in person interviews – Describe a time when you had to deliver bad news. – Describe an interaction with a difficult customer. – Describe a project that was going badly and you helped turn around.
  30. 30. Stress Test Potential candidates should be able to demonstrate the required skills: • Sales person: Do a test call • Developer: Write code to solve a problem • Analyst: Derive findings from sample data • Client Services: Answer an email Get messy : multiple tests, followups, white boards Give feedback and see how they respond
  31. 31. Fighting crazies 1. Set expectations 2. Aggressively check-in 3. Serve people
  32. 32. Bad people are like groundhog day
  33. 33. Set expectations • Verbal is not enough! • Write it down: – Job Description – Key Results Areas – Career Development Goals
  34. 34. Aggressively check-in • Project and task follow-up • Regular 1 on 1s • Written weekly reports – Why should I be happy you were here this week? – High for the week: – Low for the week: • Written corrections when something is wrong
  35. 35. Serve people • Your job as a leader is to serve the people who work for you • Often the best service you can provide is showing certain people the door You will never say to yourself : “Man, I fired that person too quickly”
  36. 36. How to innovate at scale • You got a funnel. You got customers. You got a team.
  37. 37. How to innovate at scale • You got a funnel. You got customers. You got a team. Now your problems scale exponentially. • So how do you keep focus and innovate at scale?
  38. 38. How to innovate at scale • Step 1: Create a funnel for ideas • Step 2: Pick priorities • Step 3: Keep learning
  39. 39. Funnel for Ideas • Your goal: Make your team compete on execution, not origination • We use the PreKickoff
  40. 40. PreKickoff Basics Anyone can have an idea 30 minute meeting with 4 or 5 interested parties to ask: • What do you want to do? • What are alternatives? • What are the business objectives? • What metrics will be used to track the project? • What is the simplest test to prove the value of this idea? • What are likely internal objections to this idea?
  41. 41. Pitch and Pick 1. The PreKickoff is a barrier to entry • 90% of ideas self select out before the PreKickoff 2. 50% of PreKickoffs end with the consensus not to advance a pitch 3. Every 6 weeks the executive team meets for a Pitch and Pick
  42. 42. Pitch and Pick • 3 Minutes to pitch your idea • 2 Minutes for questions • Runoff voting – CEO votes last • Top 2 to 4 projects advance into the Tech / Design queue
  43. 43. You keep learning
  44. 44. Resources are limited • Every project is vetted by multiple groups of stake holders • Business objectives are clearly established and refined • The executive team provides clear direction as to priorities • Every project is an opportunity to learn, refine, and improve the process
  45. 45. In Summary “Victory in the next war will depend on EXECUTION not PLANS and the execution will depend on some means of making the infantry move under fire.” - General George S Patton
  46. 46. Connect Email: ismith@quotewizard.com Cell: 206-406-4874 Twitter: @biastoact
  47. 47. Thank You!

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