Drive predictable B2B revenue growth with insights from big data and CDPs

As the world reopens and revenue teams are unleashed to meet growth targets, many B2B sellers and marketers are wondering how they can best prioritize prospect accounts. Everyone ultimately wants to achieve predictable revenue growth, but in uncertain times — and with shrinking budgets — it can feel like a pipe dream.

Slimmer budgets likely mean you’ll need more accurate targeting and higher win rates. The good news is your revenue team is likely already gathering tons of prospect data to help you improve account targeting, so it’s time to put that data to work with artificial intelligence. Using big data and four essential AI-based models, you can understand what your prospects want and successfully predict revenue opportunities.

Big data and CDPs are first steps to capturing account insights

Capturing and processing big data is essential in order to know everything about prospects and best position your solution. Accurately targeting your campaigns and buyer journeys necessitates more data than ever before.

Marketers today rely on customer data platforms (CDPs) to handle this slew of information from disparate sources. CDPs let us mash together and clean up data to get a single source of normalized data. We can then use AI to extract meaningful insights and trends to drive revenue planning.

That single source of truth also lets marketers dive into the ocean of accounts and segment them by similar attributes. You can break them down into industry, location, buying stage, intent, engagement — any combination of factors. When it’s time to introduce prospects to your cadence, you’ll have segment-specific insights to guide your campaigns.

AI realizes data-based insights

You might find that your data ocean is much deeper than you expected. While transforming all that data into a single source to drive actionable insights, you’ll also need the right resources and solutions to convert raw data into highly targeted prospect outreach.

This is where AI shines. AI and machine learning enable revenue teams to analyze data for historical and behavioral patterns, pluck out the most relevant intent data, and predict what will move prospects through the buyer journey.

Shopify says two support staff stole customer data from sellers

Shopify has confirmed a data breach, in which two “rogue members” of its support team stole customer data from at least 100 merchants.

In a blog post, the online shopping site said that its investigation so far showed that the two employees, who have since been fired, were “engaged in a scheme to obtain customer transactional records of certain merchants.”

Shopify said it had referred the matter to the FBI.

The employees allegedly stole customer data, including names, postal addresses, and order details, from “less than 200 merchants,” but financial data was unaffected.

Shopify said that it does not have any evidence to suggest that the data was used, but that it had notified affected merchants of the incident.

One merchant shared a copy of Shopify’s email notification with TechCrunch, which said the company first became aware of the breach on September 15, and that the two employees obtained data that was accessible using Shopify’s Orders API, which lets merchants process orders on behalf of their customers. The email also said that the last four-digits of the customers’ payment card was also taken in the incident.

Shopify did not say how many end customers were affected by the theft of data from merchants, but the email sent by Shopify contained the specific number of customer records taken in the breach. In this merchant’s case, over 1.3 million customer records and over 4,900 were accessed.

A spokesperson for Shopify didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Just last month, Instacart admitted two of its third-party support staff improperly accessed the information for shoppers, who deliver grocery orders to customers.

Fabletics’ Adam Golderberg and Kevin Hart on what’s next for the activewear empire

Like plenty of other modern direct-to-consumer companies, influencer marketing has been an essential part of Fabletics’ journey. Actress Kate Hudson co-founded the company and co-CEO Adam Golderberg believes that its network of spokespeople has been key to the company’s growth.

We were joined on our virtual TechCrunch Disrupt 2020 stage by Goldenberg and comedian Kevin Hart who has been working as a brand partner for Fabletics.

“You can have the best product, which we believe we have, but if you can’t get it out there then you’re not going to be the leader that you want to be,” Goldenberg told us. “By having a very broad and diverse ambassador and influencer network, it allows us to become a very inclusive brand.”

Hart joined the company as an official brand partner earlier this year just as the pandemic took hold stateside and the company launched a menswear line. For Hart, the partnership is one of many relationships with brands and startups, but fits into his own lifestyle and thus made a lot of sense for him to work with, he says. 

“[A company I invest in] has to coincide with myself and my lifestyle. If I’m going to talk about it, I have to be true to it,” Hart told TechCrunch. “There’s a plethora of things that I’m involved with that people would be shocked to know I was a part of, but it’s because I have the eyesight for it and a love for it.”

The Fabletics menswear line that Hart has advertised, and served as a brand spokesman for, has seen major growth amid a broader spike in athleisure wear sales. Goldenberg is bullish on just how much growth Fabletics will see from its men’s line so early in its lifecycle.

“It’s a big goal, but I think we could do $75-100 million in sales next year with Fabletics Men, which is our first full year with this line, which would be very, very fast growth,” Goldenberg says.

As the company firms up its offering in activewear, they’re also keeping an eye on what trends will help them grow. Fabletics has already been building out technology trying to connect online and offline user habits in its stores. On the heels of Lululemon’s major acquisition of Mirror, which it announced in late June, moderator Jordan Crook inquired whether Fabletics had its own interests in expanding its footprint beyond activewear.

“We really believe in the importance of living an active lifestyle, so we’re not ready to share it yet, but we’re going to be doing something very large incorporating fitness into Fabletics,” Goldenberg said.

Check out the interview with Hart and Goldenberg below.

A digital goodie bag

I’ve always been a fan of startup resources lists and had a dedicated page on VC Cafe since the blog’s inception in 2005. While some things change slowly, maintaining the list current proved tricky as time went by.

You may have stumbled on LinkedIn posts enticing people (mainly startup founders) to leave a comment if they would like to get a copy of a document/list/database. The range is wide, from cash flow models to email copy templates, startup decks etc.

To save you from writing that comment, I’ve collected 20 resources here. Hope you find them helpful.

? Sales, Marketing and customer success

?Venture capital

?Online education

? General

The post A digital goodie bag appeared first on VC Cafe.

Imran Khan’s Verishop adds Verified Shops, a way for emerging brands to set up shop in its digital mall

Verishop, the Los Angeles online retailer founded by former Snap executive Imran Khan, launched a little over a year ago to change the way people shop online. Now the company is launching a new initiative called “Verified Shops” which looks to change the way that up-and-coming retail brands can sell their wares. 

As direct-to-consumer and upstart brands look for new ways to sell, they’re increasingly turning to online partners to grow their businesses. Chiefly, the concern is that some retailers have been overrun with counterfeit products or unauthorized sellers that undercut pricing and dilute the brand’s value with knock-off products, the company observed.

So Khan set out to change the selling experience for these new companies that want to have a better way to communicate with their potential customers… a way to really tell their story online.

“We started with the big brands,” Khan said. “[Now] we’re launching ‘Verified Shop’ where any DTC brands can sell on our platform. They have to get through an approval process and verify that you’re a real direct to consumer brand you can sell on the platform.”

That pitch appealed to retailers like David Manshoory, the founder of the popular cosmetics brand Alleyoop.

“Right now we don’t work with any other e-commerce retailers,” said Manshoory. “Verishop was the first online-only retail partner, because they’ve got a really large audience of customers that are in our demographic.”

The year-old cosmetics brand went with Verishop because the number of retailers and types of sellers on the platform “seemed very curated,” according to Manshoory. “There are brands in there that we recognized and respected.”

The revenue share program that Verishop has created for the newer, smaller consumer brands that join the platform is also straightforward, Manshoory said. Brands in the Verified Shops channel only pay when they make a sale  and it’s just 10% to 15%, depending on the category, according to the company. 

“Because they’re not buying inventory upfront they take a lower cut… which was a reason why I was attracted to it,” said the cosmetics company founder. “We can get started right off the bat once the integration is up… we have full control over our store.”

Verishop also managed to win over other online direct-to-consumer darlings like Greats (which was recently acquired by Steve Madden), Dagne Dover, Athletic Propulsion Labs, Judy and The Ridge.

“E-commerce still starts in 1990,” said Khan of the traditional shopping experience. “It’s a search-based experience that’s phenomenal if you know what you’re looking for.” However, as brands proliferate and consumers look to identify with particular brands and brand stories more closely, the question becomes how to find those new companies that are selling the types of products that resonate with particular shoppers.

It’s the question that Verishop has set out to solve and the company is hoping that Verified Shops can be the onramp for the newest consumer brands to reach a millennial audience. Think of it as an online mall where a curated shopping ecosystem exists for each brand to develop its own digital storefront and tell its own story.

“Right now we sell fashion and home and beauty, but long-term why can’t you buy a car?” Khan asked. “It’s this virtual mall or virtual shopping strip that you can walk through and discover and learn and hang out. We let the brands tell the story and let the consumers discover the stories.”

Unlike other attempts to create a front-end digital storefront experience for brands, Khan said that Verishop is differentiated by its focus on a back-end e-commerce infrastructure and logistics capabilities that other virtual malls can’t match.

Brands can apply to appear on Verishop and once they’re selected as verified shops they’ll have the chance to tap into a customer base that’s mostly comprised of Gen Z and millennial shoppers.

Imran Khan’s Verishop adds Verified Shops, a way for emerging brands to set up shop in its digital mall

Verishop, the Los Angeles online retailer founded by former Snap executive Imran Khan, launched a little over a year ago to change the way people shop online. Now the company is launching a new initiative called “Verified Shops” which looks to change the way that up-and-coming retail brands can sell their wares. 

As direct-to-consumer and upstart brands look for new ways to sell, they’re increasingly turning to online partners to grow their businesses. Chiefly, the concern is that some retailers have been overrun with counterfeit products or unauthorized sellers that undercut pricing and dilute the brand’s value with knock-off products, the company observed.

So Khan set out to change the selling experience for these new companies that want to have a better way to communicate with their potential customers… a way to really tell their story online.

“We started with the big brands,” Khan said. “[Now] we’re launching ‘Verified Shop’ where any DTC brands can sell on our platform. They have to get through an approval process and verify that you’re a real direct to consumer brand you can sell on the platform.”

That pitch appealed to retailers like David Manshoory, the founder of the popular cosmetics brand Alleyoop.

“Right now we don’t work with any other e-commerce retailers,” said Manshoory. “Verishop was the first online-only retail partner, because they’ve got a really large audience of customers that are in our demographic.”

The year-old cosmetics brand went with Verishop because the number of retailers and types of sellers on the platform “seemed very curated,” according to Manshoory. “There are brands in there that we recognized and respected.”

The revenue share program that Verishop has created for the newer, smaller consumer brands that join the platform is also straightforward, Manshoory said. Brands in the Verified Shops channel only pay when they make a sale  and it’s just 10% to 15%, depending on the category, according to the company. 

“Because they’re not buying inventory upfront they take a lower cut… which was a reason why I was attracted to it,” said the cosmetics company founder. “We can get started right off the bat once the integration is up… we have full control over our store.”

Verishop also managed to win over other online direct-to-consumer darlings like Greats (which was recently acquired by Steve Madden), Dagne Dover, Athletic Propulsion Labs, Judy and The Ridge.

“E-commerce still starts in 1990,” said Khan of the traditional shopping experience. “It’s a search-based experience that’s phenomenal if you know what you’re looking for.” However, as brands proliferate and consumers look to identify with particular brands and brand stories more closely, the question becomes how to find those new companies that are selling the types of products that resonate with particular shoppers.

It’s the question that Verishop has set out to solve and the company is hoping that Verified Shops can be the onramp for the newest consumer brands to reach a millennial audience. Think of it as an online mall where a curated shopping ecosystem exists for each brand to develop its own digital storefront and tell its own story.

“Right now we sell fashion and home and beauty, but long-term why can’t you buy a car?” Khan asked. “It’s this virtual mall or virtual shopping strip that you can walk through and discover and learn and hang out. We let the brands tell the story and let the consumers discover the stories.”

Unlike other attempts to create a front-end digital storefront experience for brands, Khan said that Verishop is differentiated by its focus on a back-end e-commerce infrastructure and logistics capabilities that other virtual malls can’t match.

Brands can apply to appear on Verishop and once they’re selected as verified shops they’ll have the chance to tap into a customer base that’s mostly comprised of Gen Z and millennial shoppers.

The Shed is a startup out of Virginia trying to revive the rental-for-everything business

Reducing consumption by expanding the notion of the rental economy and giving people access to tools and equipment has been something of a startup holy grail for some time.

It’s a model that’s worked famously well for fashion and accessories (just ask investors in Rent the Runway), but has had not had the same resonance for white label goods.

The Shed, out of Richmond, Va., hopes to change that.

Launched by Karen Rodgers O’Neil, a longtime marketing executive, and Daniel Perrone, a serial entrepreneur and technology executive whose previous company, BroadMap, was acquired by Apple; The Shed hopes to take the rental model that Home Depot has turned into a billion dollar business line and take it to the masses.

Unlike Home Depot, The Shed touts its presence in eight categories. Stanley Black & Decker is a marquee early partner and the company’s executives said that others have come on board.

“We don’t buy product,” said Perrone. “We take delivery of all the products and rent them out in the local marketplaces where we do business.”

The only thing the manufacturer provides is the products and some servicing starter kit so that The Shed and its employees can manage and maintain the product.

The Shed founders Karen Rodgers O’Neil and Daniel Perrone. Image Credit: The Shed

Since its launch in April the company has expanded beyond its Richmond, Va. home base to Denver — and will be looking to expand further into Portland, Austin, and San Jose, according to Perrone.

Among the features that the company intends to roll out as it expands is a dynamic pricing capability that will enable manufacturers to wring the most out of their goods when they’re in high demand.

Rodgers O’Neil came up with the concept back in 2012 when she was working as a marketing executive for General Electric out of Boston.  Perrone met Rodgers O’Neil at a networking event in Boston and became convinced that her notion of offering more rental options to encourage a more circular economy and reduce consumption was something that could resonate with consumers.

To be sure, The Shed isn’t the first company to attempt to bring the rental business to a broader array of consumer products in an effort to cut down on consumption. The Los Angeles-based startup Joymode was attempting to do much the same thing. That company sold to an early stage investment firm out of New York.

Joymode’s chief executive, Joe Fernandez spoke about the difficulty of running the business. “Part of the thesis was that by making things available for rental, people would want to do more stuff,” said Fernandez, but what happened was that consumers needed additional reasons to use the company’s service, and there weren’t enough events to drive demand.

By contrast, The Shed isn’t owning any of the inventory, just acting as a broker and managing inventory between local retailers and manufacturers who want to take advantage of the company’s service.

In addition to Stanley Black & Decker, companies like Primus camping equipment have placed their products on The Shed along with Mobility Plus, which added wheelchairs and mobility scooters; and Replacements, the largest china dealer in the country, which is offering a “Party in a Box” for dinner, cocktail or tea parties.

To date, the company has raised $1.75 million from investors and entrepreneurs from the Richmond, Va. area. Now, with 60 manufacturers on board and another 15 to 18 vendors signing up monthly, the company is looking to expand even further.

“I joined with Karen because I saw that this would be a game changer in the rental space,” said Perrone. There are a number of retailers in specific verticals that still don’t transact online, so The Shed becomes their avenue to reach the market, he said.

Brands that hyper-personalize will win the next decade

When people reach out to customer service, they’re seeking more than a solution to their immediate problem. They want empathy and understanding. What they’re often met with is a queue.

Nothing frustrates people more than calling customer support and getting stuck in a loop. According to a study by Vonage, 61% of consumers feel interactive voice response (IVR) actively poisons the customer experience — and only 13% found it more helpful than calling a human directly.

Like many solutions, IVR falls short in personalizing the customer experience (CX). A customer calls in for a specific task like paying a bill and instead cycles through a one-size-fits-all menu that in reality fits nobody. Experiences like this clearly indicate to customers a brand doesn’t care about them as a person, only as a case number.

Personalizing the experience is a start, but this isn’t the end. Customers will expect a one-on-one interaction the moment they enter your customer service channel. To make that happen, AI and analytics are creating scalable opportunities to show your customers how much they matter to you. Brands taking advantage of that opportunity can create unrivaled CX that sets them far ahead of their competition.

The personalization buzzword

Personalization has become a popular buzzword in recent years, but true personalization is much harder to attain than many companies realize. That was the case in 2016 when companies first hopped on the chat bandwagon. The potential for a new communication method was there, but the one-size-fits-all approach companies took in developing their interaction platforms created more problems for customers than it solved.

What they missed is how to create digital experiences in which customers converse with automation that adapts based on user context. Information like their product or service history and preferences should be pulled up the moment a customer engages. Data on disposition, tone, sentiment and stated intent should influence how the customer moves through the system and reaches their desired end goal. That navigation should be effortless and go well beyond text-based communications, including immersive UX options like maps, surveys, carousel selections and more — all in a spirit of lowering the cognitive weight for the customer.

As it awaits its US fate, TikTok rolls out new marketing tools and Stitch to let users sample other videos

There’s a big question mark hanging over the future of TikTok right now, in the form of what exactly will happen to its U.S. business come September 20, when President Trump said he plans to shut down the Chinese-owned app over security concerns.

But in the meantime, it seems to be business as usual for the app.

Today, TikTok — which has 100 million users in the U.S. — announced a slate of marketing partners to help brands create and measure the impact of campaigns on the app, and a little later the company announced a new feature: Stitch, which lets users sample up to five seconds of video from another user in their own TikTok posts.

Stitch looks like it’s been in testing in some form since April, and the basic idea is to give users an easier way of “quoting” pieces of other videos in their work. For a platform where viral content, and specifically making videos based on popular TikTok memes makes up a huge part of activity and engagement on the site, it makes a lot of sense.

TikTok says that whether a video can be Stitched or not is up to the creator: you can change the default settings for all videos in your privacy settings, or you can toggle whether you want to use it or not each time you create a new video for the platform.

Those who chose to make a Stitch based on your video credit and link to your original video by default, which is a handy and nice way of making sure the original work or creator do not get too lost in the mix — unlike quite a lot of other viral content on social media.

Users who want to Stitch a video do so from the video itself. Hitting the sharing “send to” button, you will now get a Stitch option, which then takes you to an editing screen to create a clip of up to five seconds.

Here is how it looks:

@nigelwhittington##stitch with @nasouin go check out his content btw :) ##fyp

♬ original sound – nigelwhittington

TikTok is keeping an eye on the money. For the marketing program, the company, owned by ByteDance in China, is kicking off with 20 partners that include companies for campaign management (e.g. Sprinklr and Bidalgo); for creative development (e.g. QuickFrame and Shuttlerock); branded effects around VR and AR (e.g. Bare Tree Media and Byte); and measurement (Kantar). The full list is below.

This is the latest expansion of TikTok for Business, the company’s advertising platform, which launched officially in June to bundle together TikTok’s existing marketing products alongside a new AR product it launched to rival Snapchat’s.

TikTok confirmed to us that this is a global initiative — that is, it’s set up to create marketing campaigns for wherever TikTok is available.

In the case of both the new Stitch feature, and in the new marketing program, I’m going to be honest: It feels a little like an alternate TikTok reality, like the kind you might see in a split-screen meme on the app itself.

Taking the marketing announcement, adding in marketing partners is very, very standard for a social media app that’s doubling down on making money through adtech based on its growing and engaged (and young) audience. Facebook (and the apps in its stable like Instagram) did it. Twitter did it. Snapchat did it.

And now TikTok is doing it. It speaks to the company’s ambition to expand its platform to work with the biggest brands and at scale, leveraging its strong audience growth to build advertising units to sell brands and products to them in innovative and sticky ways that are uniquely “TikTok.”

On the other side, of course, TikTok is having anything other than a standard growth trajectory right now.

It’s in the middle of a messy bidding process for ByteDance to sell TikTok’s U.S. assets (along, potentially, with others) to U.S. owners. The company has had to deal with the abrupt departure of its U.S. head. And now the situation seems to be spilling over into speculation over what might happen in other parts of the world, such as India. All of this means that it’s unclear what will happen to marketing relationships, and where advertisers and partners will be left if and when the app has to splinter.

Or indeed, how ad products and other IP like the new Stitch feature would be passed on in a potential sale. (Right now, reportedly, one of the sticking points for a deal has been the possibility that China might limit which algorithms, which form the basis of how TikTok works, would be passed on in a sale.)

“With the launch of TikTok For Business, we’re building new opportunities for marketers to be creative storytellers and meaningfully engage with the TikTok community,” Melissa Yang, head of Ecosystem Partnerships, TikTok, noted in the blog post. “We’re thrilled to collaborate with some of the most strategic and trusted leaders in the advertising industry and continue giving marketers access to more tools to successfully create, measure and optimize ad campaigns on TikTok. We can’t wait to collaborate with partners to bring a creative and joyful experience to our brand partners and the broader TikTok community.”

We asked TikTok if it can comment on how new features like these would be affected if and when the company does split up into regional operations, and it declined to comment specifically. “Unfortunately we’re not able to comment on speculation,” said a spokesperson. “In general we along with our partners are excited to kick off these partnerships and continue bringing more solutions to the marketing community.”

Here’s the full list of partners in the meantime, per TikTok:

Campaign Management to plan, create, optimize and measure marketing campaigns

  • Bidalgo – Bidalgo drives growth and reduces user acquisition complexity for mobile marketers, leveraging AI to generate actionable insights and powerful automation capabilities for creative production and media buying.
  • BidShake – Empowers fast, efficient and reliable campaign management by enabling real-time, automated cross-channel actions based on aggregated data all from one platform.
  • Sprinklr – The world’s leading Customer Experience Management (CXM) platform.
  • WinClap – The marketing company that provides advanced AI analytics, expertise and creative production to boost the performance of your campaigns.
  • MakeMeReach – Multi-channel ads management platform optimized for scale.

Creative Development to build assets like videos that work on TikTok

  • QuickFrame – More than a marketplace connecting brands to video creators. We help businesses grow by transforming the way they produce video content at scale.
  • Shuttlerock – Transforms existing brand assets into stunning handcrafted video ads.
  • VidMob – Leading creative analytics & post-production platform that uses data to understand your creative, improve your ads and increase marketing performance.
  • Vidsy – Helping brands achieve their business goals with effective digital ad creative.
  • Cohley – Helps brands and agencies cost effectively scale the creation of UGC videos for ads.

Branded Effects for AR and VR content

  • Bare Tree Media – A full-service creative agency enabling brands to reach, engage and entertain consumers through the creation and digital publishing of augmented reality (AR), emojis, messaging stickers and GIFs within popular messaging platforms.
  • Byte – Global specialists in branded AR, Byte is a martech agency that combines technology and creativity to  help solve brands’ challenges.
  • Happy Finish – Global creative production collective studio, creating realities. We specialise in cross-platform services including Retouch, CGI, Animation, VFX, VR, AR & Mixed Reality and Creative AI, and craft experiences for some of the biggest brands and agencies in the world.
  • IgniteXR – Ignite XR is an end-to-end creative solutions group for augmented reality, creating integrated AR campaigns for brands and translating ideas into engaging immersive creative experiences.
  • Poplar Studio – A global creative platform that makes the creation of 3D and AR campaigns easier, faster, affordable and fun — including face filters, world effects, mini-games, portals and image trackers.
  • Subvrsive – Subvrsive is an immersive innovation studio focused on creating content, software and experiences that transform businesses on a global scale.
  • Tommy – A modern communications agency that uses technology, strategy and award-winning design to help brands earn the attention of their audiences.
  • Unit9 – A production studio focusing on AR/VR, Digital, Experiential, Gaming, Innovation and Film projects.

Measurement to target and analyse campaigns

  • Kantar –  The world’s leading data, insights and consulting company.

TikTok is opening the program to other interested partners, it said.

Your first sales hire should be a missionary, not a mercenary

As the first sales hire at Cloudflare, I learned firsthand from both our high growth and my own mistakes how to build a world-class sales team. Early hires are the cultural cornerstones of an organization. As Vinod Khosla described the initial hires at Sun Microsystems, “Initial hiring is way more important than you think because of its multiplicative effect. So, it’s worth taking a little longer when you hire those people.”

The first sales hire will set the best practices, cultural tone and is responsible for making sure each subsequent new sales hire succeeds. For this reason, it is important that startups look to hire missionaries, not mercenaries, when they bring on their first sales team member. If the first sales hire is a “coin-operated” mercenary whose priority is to overachieve quota and is a great solo player, they may be more competitive than collaborative. In contrast, if the first hire is a missionary who cares more about evangelizing the product and is a team player, they will naturally enable the next set of hires to succeed.

Hiring the missionary

There is an overwhelming amount of declarative advice on how to make your first sales hire: They should have experience selling at an early-stage company, tenure in that company to a much larger team (five to 50 employees, or $100,000 to $10 million ARR), they’ve sold at your price point, overachieved quota consistently (beware of this one. Quota overachievement can be a false positive and may be the result of a fruitful territory, a comp plan where quotas were too low or selfish “me-first” behavior.), etc. What you should look for are missionaries, and they exhibit two key qualities: resourceful ingenuity and team-based behavior.

Missionaries are resourceful team players

At early-stage startups, there is more work to do than people to do it. These are resource-constrained environments where roles go beyond job descriptions and are “jack-of-all-trades” positions. This first sales hire is not an ordinary sales gig. It requires a missionary with a deep interest in the technology who wants to evangelize the product. The resourceful missionary must have an enterprising mindset to build their own sales collateral, a clever approach for testing pricing, a passion for the product technology and an ability to navigate the organization so engineering and product teams can hear the voice of the customer.

While resourceful skills are needed to test out different sales motions, the most important quality the missionary must have is a team-first attitude to share those learnings with colleagues. As the missionary, and the subsequent missionary hires, are developing a repeatable process they are engaging in novel intellectual work; this is not routine execution. When someone develops better messaging, or discovers a new use case, the goal is to spread that expertise so overall collective intelligence and team performance increases. If that operational know-how becomes siloed and an individual optimizes for themselves, instead of the team, the organization loses.