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How To Scale Your SaaS Company Using Personalization

Originally published on The Growth Hub podcast.

  • What growth really means within the context of B2B SaaS
  • The importance of defining and building your growth model around your North Star Metric
  • The 5-part framework to achieve personalization at scale alongside how he used email to solve this issue at inbound.org
  • Why we should stop using the term “Marketing Stack” and use “Customer Stack” instead
  • And the story of how he secured a funding round for inbound.org over lunch with Rand Fishkin & Dharmesh Shah at MozCon, alongside the tremendous importance of conference beers

Read the full transcript

[00:00:00] Edward Ford Welcome to the show everyone and welcome to The Growth Hub podcast. Ed Fry of Hull.io.

[00:00:05] Ed Fry Hello, nice to be here!

[00:00:07] Edward Ford Yeah great to have you on the show. Now Ed your title is Growth at Hull.io Obviously that's something we're super focussed on here at The Growth Hub. I think one fundamental question that we should probably start with is actually what is growth. So how do you view and define growth in the context of B2B SaaS?

Growth in the context of B2B SaaS

[00:00:27] Ed Fry Sure. So I think in terms of growth it's not one of these compartmental. things which we've seen before it's not sales it's not marketing it's not just customer success. It's sitting across all of this and really trying to optimize that entire customer lifecycle.

Searching for my own answer for that question, I remember just earlier this earlier this year at ConversionXL Live asking Sean Ellis "how do you think about growth?" exactly answering this question and his answer was "think of that one North Star metric" right? If you're Uber, the number of rides. If you're Airbnb the number of nights stayed. And I think for B2B SaaS companies which can often be quite complex it's a case of finding that number.

Now my point was is MRR? Is this a revenue thing? And no, it's not. It's a very business-centric, finance-centric metric. Sure, it's easy to easy to measure etc. but it's nothing to do with your customer really like what is the value that they're getting out. So in the case of say different API products it might be number of API calls. In the case of a product like Hull it might be the number of connectors which have been actively used etc.

What is the ONE metric which is delivering value? Then your role as Growth is the raise that. Your role as growth is to optimize that and that isn't necessarily limited to marketing. That can be part of sales. That can be part of product. That can part of customer success.

[00:01:52] And really what we see a lot of successful growth teams doing is operating across the whole organization optimizing and building net new projects, net new initiatives to raise this in addition to the traditional functions. So that's really where I see growth being a where growth sits. Obviously a lot of this does end up being nearer to more traditional marketing but it's not exclusive to that.

[00:02:18] Edward Ford So it's not about looking at growth from the perspective of financial numbers such as MRR but thinking about the value of your product and tying metrics around that which actually sort of how you should drive your growth. You joined Hull just under a year or so ago, so could you tell us a bit about your platform and what Hull.io does.

What is Hull?

[00:02:39] Ed Fry Sure. Hull is a customer data platform. It connects to all different tools that you were using - your Salesforce, Intercom, Hubspot Segment, different analytics tools, your backend database - and it combines all their data into one master profile. And with that master profile you can then sort segment and sync that data across all your tools.

So now your tools have the same data the same segments the same logic they can all work as one. And that's really really exciting in the context of not just optimizing marketing or sales or customer success or support or product but the whole thing all at once. So that's really quite exciting.

I came to Hull with this problem. So my last role as inbound.org we were trying to solve exactly this sort of problem. We had a bunch of really useful valuable insightful data in our production database but all our messaging was going out through HubSpot.

And it became a case of a lot of engineering time to connect the two. And whilst we could then get incredible results with it because we could do this hyper-segmentation and we could deliver highly personalized messages to audiences that were on time and on message. It took just an inordinate amount of resources.

And whilst I think this is the way everyone should be going, it's not realistic. It's not feasible to have all their engineering time. So when I saw Hull which sort of makes this point and click. This is the way it all has to go. People need to become more personal and a big role in that is being able to harness your customer data effectively.

[00:04:16] Edward Ford Yeah, exactly. So Hull is basically connecting all that siloed data from the various tools that you're using into one centralized place. And that's pretty much then allowing marketing and sales teams to turn the so-called "Frankenstack" monster - which I know is a term you've used before - into a single source of truth which is obviously a massively valuable solution.

And like you just mentioned one of your main focus areas right now is about how companies can then scale, automate and personalize their sales and marketing. And you've actually developed a five-part framework for personalization. So could you talk us through this?

How do you create a personalization strategy?

[00:04:54] Ed Fry Sure. So going back this originally came back at Inbound when we were doing this hyper-segmented personalized email outreach. It started with who we wanted to talk to. We didn't send to everyone. We sent to a very defined audience. We do things like segmenting by title and timezone and last activity etc.

So at the beginning of the day here in London when I beginning started and I had a question which I wanted answered about content strategy I had people in my time zone, in the morning, who we hadn't emailed in the past 10 days, who are beginning to slip away from their activity, who had answered questions before who I could reach out to with a highly personalized email and actually get a very high engagement rate. Because we had that time of day, as the US came online a little later in the day we had all this content and discussion ready for them to get involved with. This is what kind of drove that growth around the clock.

So it starts with WHO. Who are you talking to? Rather than starting with just sending any message. Personalization is not "Hi {firstname}!" If I yell your name across a room, sure I can get your attention but I haven't said anything meaningful. I haven't really got your attention. I haven't got your lasting attention. I haven't found what you care about. So it starts with who you're talking to and really understanding their interests. And then you can move on to the message.

[00:06:15] The WHAT part of it so there's the second part of the framework and really digging down into how you construct that message and package it up. Which then moves onto the next part WHERE. You can sort of think of different channels like live chat, like email, like sales, like your website, like ads but been able to coordinate this all at once.

Personalization is not just an interesting chat message or a really insightful sales guy who's reaching out with something very specific, but being able to manage all of this all at once so the entire company is speaking to you in the way that's most relevant to you in the way that you care about most.

Then there's fourth part of this WHEN. When you're able to reach out you know to leverage the value of being immediately relevant. Someone's going to your website - what do you do with live chat? How can you personalize your website? How can you follow up with e-mail immediately or personalize different pages on there. How can you cue in your sales guys right away. Some of this can be quite hard without having a true grasp of customer data.

And then a final part of the framework is WHY and really trying to do this type of personalization at every single channel that you're operating in across your entire lifecycle. So we think of WHY as moving from trial to customer or from customer to retained customer or from retained customer to an upsell like the different stages of your customer lifecycle.

[00:07:44] So I've got a longer longer slide deck which goes into framework a little bit more which maybe we can share after the podcast in the links or something?

That's the sort of the five parts. It starts with WHO then then you once you know who you're writing to you can define WHAT message you send and then you'd want to roll that out across all the channels at the right time at every stage of a customer lifecycle. So that's really how we think about personalization at Hull.

[00:08:10] Edward Ford Yeah and absolutely we can share a link in the blog description to that slides which is really good and goes very in-depth on this topic. But actually you briefly touched on this already in your answer but you actually ran into this problem of automated personalization at scale when you were working at inbound.org. So could you tell us a bit about how you actually used e-mail to solve this challenge.

How to use hyper-segmented email marketing for growth?

[00:08:34] Ed Fry Sure. So as you think about growth again and so do those metrics which matter. For inbound, we had a lot of members. Getting new members wasn't the primary problem - keeping them active was. And there are a number of ways we looked to go about this. Some of this product side and terms of feeds and so on and so forth. But email gave us a way we could reach out to people right away. And after HubSpot acquired Inbound we had accessed to a HubSpot portal like the most beta-enterprise edition. We could play with all the things, so we might as well use it. So importing all the data into there and trying to use that for email.

Now the challenge we found was trying to get people to participate. When we sort of modelled out this growth, we found about 30 percent of sign ups would complete the profile, but those with profiles were far more likely to contribute, and the contributors are what drove new discussions. New discussions is what drove weekly active users. Weekly active users drove traffic which drove the whole thing again.

So our objective was to get people to start discussions but discussions on their own aren't anything. What discussions need are other people in that discussion. Someone asking a question which has never answered is not interesting. That's not valuable to growth. So it came at came a question particularly of using email to get questions answered.

[00:10:03] So we'd build interest-based lists, skills-based lists by time zone, by level of engagement using all this data which we had now back in database and using some of the data we had in HubSpot as well as some client-side data, and just compile that all into one. Now that meant we can reach the right person to answer each question. We'd reach out to 500 people at a time or so and they would get sort of a plain text email sort of like gmail which would be so contextual to them because we knew who we were writing to. This was no longer generic spam. And that's how we could we average about a 10 percent click rate through to participation.

Emailing about 500 people, making sure I had that list meant I could get a question off the ground so long as I wrote the message in the right way. And if I got that off the ground for every participant we would get about four more weekly active use this number - which is really the core metric that that Northstar we're looking at.

So using e-mail we were able to drive the main activity which drove growth. And this wasn't something you were able to do as fast with product. It's really something we started experimenting with a lot with at the beginning of 2016. And we saw a lot of growth quite quickly by using this technique. Hyper-segmented e-mail was huge for that.

[00:11:37] Edward Ford Yeah. And you were actually yourself employed number one at inbound.org which has a very nice ring to it I have to say. Inbound was founded by Rand Fishkin of Moz and Dharmesh Shah of HubSpot. And it's grown into a huge community now with I think it's close to quarter of a million members. But of course Rand Fishkin and Dharmesh Shah are two of the biggest names in SaaS and you've actually mentioned before that the three of you once discussed the project over lunch.

I think it was at MozCon 2013 which actually resulted in a round of funding from HubSpot. Could you tell us a bit about that experience? And also what was it like working with Rand and Dharmesh, and what were some of the most important things that you learned from them?

What was it like working with Rand Fishkin and Dharmesh Shah?

[00:12:18] Ed Fry Sure. So they're both very unique, very smart guys. I think they they suffer from their own success in some ways. Being big names means they have to deal with things like board meetings and a lot of interviews and a lot of external stuff. And actually what's what they really love to do is actually get on and build new stuff. Rand is now working on new products at Moz. Dharmesh is equally working on new net new stuff at Hubspot. You've maybe seen the new GrowthBot? You've probably seen Marketing Grader in the past you seen inbound.org. And those are all sort of his sorts of projects.

So far as how that came about - I knew Rand's previously in SEO circles. So when I interned at Distilled, Distilled ran events called SearchLove - which are very high quality search conferences - where Rand's a regular speaker there. Getting to know each other in the conference bars. And I got into the habit of just pitching him terrible ideas. Terrible ideas each conference in the bar. And one of these conferences, one of these ideas, was a jobs board for his new product called inbound.org.

A few months went past and that's what happened when they turned around and said look this project needs someone to manage it. And the jobs board is an idea to bring back community etcetera etcetera. Here's 500 bucks a month and twelve thousand dollars to last indefinitely. Let's do this. So it was like the three of us that we've sort of figured out how to bring some developers on board and rebuilt the platform etcetera etcetera. It was very scrappy and early.

So that's really how I got involved. Sort of pitching things whilst in a conference bar. And yeah from there I think between Moz and HubSpot. Those are their first babies - it's their first child and those took priority. But to have this orphaned, second project was sort of a problem.

Inbound was beginning to grow by July 2013. Dharmesh was speaking at MozCon and so gave us the opportunity for all of us to get together and actually talk about it. And the decision was that it's ridiculous that from their perspective - it's ridiculous [that] "I can't go and pound tables and go on to put get support for this thing" because it's not technically in the interest of Moz or HubSpot besides serendipity. And furthermore, they were funding this personally and it needed that little bit more resource to be able to move forward.

So the decision was for either Moz or HubSpot to move forward and support it officially. In the end, that decision was Hubspot was going to was going to take that role and that any one of us to sort of expand the team and sort of build a proper platform for it.

[00:15:21] And being able to leverage some of the HubSpot assets which were quite valuable.Things like partnering at INBOUND, working with HUGS communities (the HubSpot user groups communities), and just reaching sort of different groups and different sorts of people. Then the interesting side of being close at HubSpot which was just coming out to their IPO. So it was a very interesting time to see inside the big orange company at that time as well.

[00:15:48] Edward Ford Yeah that's is it. As a really good story and another lesson of the importance of the conference bar, and the networking, and terrible ideas, and not being afraid to go and pitch.

[00:16:02] And if we if we move back to some of the things we were discussing earlier regarding Hull.io. I'd like to talk about buzz words. Now marketers, we love buzzwords. You've actually said in the past we should stop using the term "marketing stack" and we should instead be using customer stack. So could you tell us a bit more about what you mean by this.

What do you mean by "stop calling it a marketing stack" ?

[00:16:24] Ed Fry Sure. So and as for those who aren't familiar there's a guy called Scott Brinker who runs the Chief Martech blog and it is a great resource for keeping a pulse and what technology's matter both on an individual level but also kind of as a trend level. And since 2011 they've put out the "Martech Landscape Supergraphic" which is sort of a bewildering array of logos, classified by type. And back in the day this was hundreds. The one they launched in 2017 at their martech conference in San Francisco had over 5000 tools.

By describing this thing as a marketing stack and "you need a marketing stack" and marketing stack is this or that. It's very confusing and it doesn't deliver a way to think about this practically. It doesn't fit on a to do list. "Build marketing stack". Now there's been some development since then in terms of how we can split this up.

Previous he's described it as sort of a car engine but who actually knows how to build a car engine. It's sort of like okay that's something which a lot of things that I know have - I don't know how to build it! And as marketers it's our job to build the marketing stack but there's nothing prescriptive about that term. Now, so much of our marketing stack is about customer data. It ties back to a user profile or a contact profile or a lead profile whatever. It ties back to a person.

[00:17:51] Really what we want to do is think about how that data is used. This is much simpler and it's much easier to understand, and because you do understand, it's easier to build. The customer's stack: it's about sending a message. Sending a message to a person. You track their reactions those reactions get recorded into a profile. Whether this is your CRM, your email tool, your ads tool, whatever - it's recorded to a profile.

From those profile, decisions are made to decide actions whether this is a sales activity, it is an e-mail workflow, if it is an ad audience or any kind of logic like that which is going to send more messages. You notice this is a closed loop. It's got four steps and you can then be prescriptive in terms of where your gaps are or where you need to optimize.

Are you tracking individual activities across every single channel? How are your profiles coming together? How are you able to link your CRM data with your analytics data with your email data etc. and then how are you able to use this to inform sales activity? Are you able to trigger your sales guys to take action when as interesting product use usage data for instance? Or send intelligent email workflows or enrol people ad audiences and then be able to send messages across every single channel, like we talked earlier with the personalization framework.

Every single channel whether that's email, live chat, website, ads, sales guys - whatever - you've been able to really think about these four pieces in turn and in depth. Of course there's more to marketing stacks than that. There's the content side for instance.There's the finance side and being able to manage the whole process. But like the core of marketing has got to be people first.

[00:19:30] It's got to be customer first and this is why you need to think about this closely between messaging, tracking, profiles, and actions. And without that you sort of start wandering around buying into tools which you sort of don't need do need and at Hull we spend a lot of time looking at companies technographics - what technologies they use.

We used a tool called Datanyze to do that we see so much duplication of functionality. People have umpteen email tools, umpteen live chat tools, sometimes in the same page. One in nine Intercom users have another live chat tool. It's crazy. And why are people doing this? Because they're confused and they don't know how to build this out. Or the customer support and success team is purchased this tool, but marketing has purchased another tools to do the same thing. This shouldn't be the case.

What you have this close loop this really operates in every stage the customer lifecycle whether it is from early stage leads through to opportunity, closing those sales through the entire lifecycle after the purchase as well. Sending messages tracking their reactions into a profile that decide actions. And that's really where you get quite powerful results by combining all that and using that across entire customer lifecycle.

[00:20:47] Edward Ford OK. So we all need to start thinking now customer-first rather than marketing-first when it comes to our stacks. Exactly yeah. So if we think a bit about Hull.io's growth over the last year or so while you've been working there. Could you tell us what has actually been your north star growth metric alongside some of the most effective strategies and tactics that you've used to grow the business and also how you actually use Hull.io as part of your own growth model.

How does Hull grow?

[00:21:15] Ed Fry So this is a little context on Hull. Hull's a Techstars 2013 start up and has pivoted a couple of times through that. And a couple of months before I joined it moved from Shopify e-commerce social login tool again all about consuming data and be able to do stuff with that but moved to this B2B SaaS model.

There's a couple reasons for that but largely you have tools like Salesforce, you have analytics tools, you have some backend database et cetera. There's a lot more value in different tools, there's a dollar value on each contact and is far more distributed. Whereas with with e-commerce or something like that most of this boils back down to your Shopify or your BigCommerce or e-commerce stores. So there's a pivot just before I joined. So when I joined it was early days on this B2B piece.

So in terms of our own growth model, it really started by understanding our customer. As does all personalization but understanding what use cases mattered, what messaging mattered, and how we could communicate that and grow from there. In our own story it's a mix of having this established business which was you know not like didn't have like that 100 million dollar sort of potential necessarily compared with this B2B SaaS model.

And really what one of my early roles was actually trying to figure out how do we dig into this new space. So given that a lot of our focus has been on defining use case and defining messaging and actually just yesterday we republished a website with this much more simplified messaging.

[00:22:53] Previously our website really became a testing ground for sharing and trying different sorts of messaging. The nature of a customer data platform like Hull is there's tons of different use cases you can use it for. And what we actually tried to do was publish these use cases - sort of like a mini tutorial - and see which ones would stick.

This sort of gave us a way of like "does anything here interest you?". We could sort of see based on what our existing customers were doing, whether other lookalike customers would be interested in buying. That was helpful to some extent, but it also became very overwhelming for alot of the market. This new website and this new issue messaging is much more simplified. Start by defining your customers. Start by finding your ideal customer profile. What matters to them? Then try and fit in that messaging to make that happen.

[00:23:48] Edward Ford Yes and this actually seems to be a common problem for some B2B SaaS companies. I know Trello have had this issue regarding their value proposition in messaging since it's used in so many different ways. I was speaking to Typeform's Director of Growth earlier in this podcast series and he was also saying that they have this challenge because Typeforms are used in many different creative ways which is you know a blessing but it's also a curse when it comes to communicating what it actually is. So what did you decide to go with when it came to your value proposition in messaging and on the new newly relaunched Hull website.

How did you find and test your new messaging for the new Hull.io?

[00:24:22] Ed Fry Sure. So there's lots of moving parts of a customer data platform has lots of logic involved in that. The trouble is if you describe that logic and you describe how the engine works this is interesting but it's not quick, clean, and concise. Whereas there is one thing which is very clear, and people did get very quickly, and we could see this in the numbers when we tested it. And that is the idea of one profile to power them all.

One profile built from everything else, always up-to-date, always up today. Always in realtime. And from that profile you're able to compute new stuff you compute new logic you can manage all this stuff and ties back to something about one person. So for you, I know everything about you according to every single tool. That is the thing which people could understand and could be communicated. If I wanted to then sync that to any other tool whether that's an Optimizely audience or a live chat or your CRM, or whatever - this idea of like let's sync this profile to that profile and make sure they're always in sync and most up to date version - this became much clearer.

And so if you look at the new whole website now, this is sort of consistent throughout. This idea of one master profile at the heart of everything.The coolest thing we've seen is when people describe their marketing stacks - their customer stacks nows - they draw it as a spider diagram. So they put Hull in the middle. This is the best thing.

One of our customers Mention - They were asked by some of the B2B SaaS marketers there how they describe it and it's Hull in the middle with everything else pointing into it. And that's so much clearer than you know all this business logic and sort of layer of intelligence and all these just individual random recipes. This is confusing it's very hard actually understand what Hull does. So actually finding that really simple concept that could be communicated to the people who want to buy that. So that's kind of the final stage.

[00:26:33] And then actually be able to use that in anger - how we use Hull itself. So a big source of data for B2B SaaS companies is in enrichment, so being able to plug into tools like Clearbit and Datanyze so we can get firomgraphics - What a company is. Their industry. Industry. Different tags. Their descriptions. describe them. With Datanyze, their up-to-date technologies including technologies out the page. So something like Salesforce or your data base can't be scraped from internet, but they use their natural processing and all sorts of backend. So we have that that data there.

Now using that data were able to enrich demo requests and target people with our outbound sales efforts very very precisely and were able to reach them with the messaging that matters to them. If you're using certain technologies which have certain pros and cons, we're able to reach you with the pain points that we know are specific to those use cases. If you're in sales and you use an Intercom and you have Salesforce, you damn well want that Intercom and Salesforce data connected and perhaps enirched with other data as well like Clearbit. And that ought to work seamlessly and effectively.

[00:27:48] Edward Ford Yeah I really like the messaging one customer profile to rule them all. So I guess the typical whole user is also a fan of the Lord of the Rings.

"One cutsomer profile to power them all". So are all Hull customer's Lord of the Rings fans?

[00:27:57] Ed Fry So I don't know about that :) One of the ways which they tested need different microcopy - these short lines - was to use Twitter ads to our target audience. Not just to any audience or just on the website where we get maybe some qualified and unqualified traffic but to pay to put it in front the right people. This was at the version and variant which came up on top. Then doing some separate user testing just running it past different marketing friends.

Actually, in some cases just putting out on Twitter or LinkedIn into saying "Can anyone give some feedback on this?" It helps having run inbound to get a lot of copywriters could chime in etc.. And that's where we turn from one profile to power them all to one customer profile. Just make it really clear that this is about customer data, lead data et cetera. And that's really what we lead with.

[00:28:51] Edward Ford Yeah that's good stuff. And I see now if we move on to the final part of the interview and this is where we ask the same two questions to all our guests and firstly of course all you guys know more than anyone just how many great tools there are out there for SaaS Growth leaders but if you had to pick five as part of your customer stack, which would you choose?

What five tools would be part of your marketing customer stack?

[00:29:14] Ed Fry Sure. Hull's got to tie them all together so that has the end of the five :) We get asked this question quite a lot. Not initially like what's your top five tools but what tools do I need for x, y or z. And there's some very common use cases we have to address. Less is more because it just reduces the complexity going on.

So tools like Intercom have been very valuable for doing multiple things. It's sold to customers support and success but also sold so that marketing-sales side as well you know to talk to leads and a website as well as existing customers. So I definitely put Intercom in there. There are some similar sort of companies but I think Intercom's executed well so that would be number one.

Segment. Segment is an analytics tracking tool. It's not like Google Analytics or Mixpanel or those kind of products in the sense that they do analysis but what they do do is track once and send everywhere - including to Hull. This means instead of writing your analytics tracking plan in how many tools you're using, you just you segment once and then you can pipe that data effectively onwards. So it's very very good for tracking back - that tracking stage of the customer stack where you've got data in the page that segment is very valuable for opening that actually a lot of different tools. So my second one.

Third, Clearbit. Of the data enrichment tools that we use we find clear a bit and other customers tell us this clip it's one of the better enrichment tools. For one, their range of products. So it's as an API service they will enable you to find and prospect for domains and accounts so "show me accounts which are within this industry or listing or whatever". But then also be able to enrich those those those profiles, both individuals and accounts to get more data about those.

So when you get a demo request, enrich it with Clearbit, you now know what industry they're in, what company size etc. and this is a very important for lead qualification and targeting etc. They also got a new API called Reveal. And this returns a company to an IP address. Now you can start to do cool things like anonymous personalization. someone lands on your website and you able to say, "Hey Distilled!", I noticed you're using this technology, this technology, and this technology.How can we help you at Hull? By combining all these different data sources together. Clearbit is probably the most interesting data sources. And unlike other data sources they're very good on the mid-market and so some of the smaller businesses which is where the volume is I think. And so it's very interesting to B2B.

Number four. I'm going to disappoint you, but Google sheets. This gets scrappy. But some of their functions like importXML. This lets me do some really scrappy scrappy scraping and stuff. I'm not a developer. I'm not that kind of person. I don't have that skill, but I can write pretty advanced importXML queries and do stuff with that, which enables me to get an idea of things pretty quickly without having to involve anyone else. It's makes data a lot more accessible quite quickly. I wrote a post on my personal blog about building like really scrappy minimum viable products using Google sheets and stuff like that. But yeah as distasteful an answer as that is your question, Google sheets has got to be in there just because it does enable you to do quite a lot.

And then finally, Hull. A lot a our customers say they just couldn't do what they do without it. And if I had this at inbound, we'd have been able to do so much more without the engineering overhead as well. So I don't want to think about how much engineering hours we spent on our use case there but, yes it's an incredibly powerful tool.

The whole customer data platform space is very similar to where marketing automation was 10 years ago. People knew about email. They knew about blogging etc. and actually to combine this one to one platform. And now you wouldn't think about not using a marketing automation tool. And if you'd said no you'd be trying to put together the same functionality.

These days with 5000 plus marketing tools and similar story with sales tools etc. You've got to think about how they work together, because it's not just about the tools working together. It's really the teams that that run them working together. Does your ads guy talk to your email guy talk to your sales guy talk to customer success team - because are they even running on of the same of the same sheet or are they working very fragmented siloed data. So that would probably be my five: Intercom, Segment, Clearbit, Google Sheets, Hull.

[00:34:05] Edward Ford Yeah that's a really good combo. There's absolutely nothing wrong with Google sheets let's just say that. And finally the last question would be what is your one piece of advice that you will share with other SaaS growth leaders?

Your one piece of advice for SaaS Growth Leaders?

[00:34:21] Ed Fry So again, this is really disappointing but really true (sort of like the Google Sheets thing). Just do less focus on less and do it better. This is something which Dharmesh says there's something which are best most picky customers say. And really this is my experience as well.

When you do less like you just focus on e-mail or you just focus on getting X type of content out, rather than be totally overwhelmed with requests and ideas from your team in that your CEO sees this in your sales guy see that and they're like "We should totally be doing this!". And yes you're absolutely right. But not now. It goes in the backlog. And I got to focus on this. I forget what it's called but Dharmesh has a blog post on this - DoFewerThingsBetter.com. It's basically his manifesto of doing less.

And of course this is frustrating if you on the other end of it. I've pitched countless ideas to Dharmesh ideas where he's like with like "yeah... no". Nicely, in the Dharmesh sort of way. I do fewer things but like focus focus focus focus and it's so true. So frustrating with the constant conflict. The alternative is move to a land with 28 hours a day, eight days a week and then you have more time. That's not the reality. You have to do fewer things.

[00:35:54] Edward Ford Yeah. Excellent advice and we'll definitely a link to that blog post in the blog description. Ed thank you so much for joining us. It's been an absolute pleasure to have you on the show today.

[00:36:04] Ed Fry You're welcome. It has been good fun - thank you!

Ed fry
Ed Fry

Prev 'Ed of Growth at Hull, working on all things content, acquisition & conversion. Conference speaker, flight hacker, prev. employee #1 at inbound.org (acq. HubSpot). Now at Behind The Growth

If you've questions or ideas, I'd love to geek out together on Twitter or LinkedIn. 👇