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The Power of Go-to-Market Experience + Capital

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Mark Roberge

B2B Sales

Mark Roberge is the founder and Managing Director of Stage 2 Capital and previously was the Chief Revenue Officer at HubSpot from 2007 to 2016.  Mark is also the author of the best-selling book "The Sales Acceleration Formula". The lessons learned over his nine years leading revenue at HubSpot have led to several new endeavors including creating a Sales curriculum being taught at Harvard Business School and founding Stage 2 Capital.  We started the podcast by discussing "The Sales Acceleration Formula" which was first published in 2015. The bool was stimulated by a breakfast between Mark and enterprise sales influencer and author, Jill Konrath. It evolved from a concept called "The Art and Science of Sales" to become the basis for the book. The Sales Acceleration Formula is essentially an autobiography of how Mark built and scaled the revenue organization at HubSpot. The presence of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems enabled Sales to become more data-driven, and changed how Mark leveraged that data to inform how he built and managed the sales organization. One of the most interesting perspectives Mark shared was how he and his management team used the data being generated from the CRM.  Using the insights from the CRM data changed how HubSpot Sales Managers were able to better coach sales reps based on the "signals" being generated. Foundational to capturing those insights was the need to develop a very well-defined and structured sales process that generated performance metrics at each stage of the sales process. We quickly pivoted to a leading sales technology of the day, Conversational Intelligence. I asked Mark why with the ability to capture and listen to every Sales conversation has not made full sales funnel performance a more data-driven, sale management and coaching process. Mark highlighted one reason is that Sales organizations are often so focused on "chasing the number", that they do not carve out the time to step back, take a strategic planning approach to the future based on historical performance metrics and incorporate that into the planning process. This "reactive mode" cascades and impacts the organizational culture to one of high urgency - low value reactions versus one of high value - low urgency strategic activities leading to increased performance. Another topic we discussed was the 360 lead review process at HubSpot, which lead to the concept of the SMarketing SLA (Service Level Agreement). Marketing and Sales co-owned the pipeline generation and lead development process, and as a result consistently led to analysis of  pipeline generation performance. Far too often, there is significant friction between Sales and Marketing, which can be addressed by leading into the data. This starts with defining what a "lead" really is and starting to measure lead performance and conversion across the entire lead-to-customer process. Finally, we discussed the catalyst for founding Stage 2 Capital. Stage 2 Capital is unique in that the Limited Partners (investors) are primarily successful B2B SaaS Go-to-Market executives who can provide both capital and applied operating experience across each stage of a B2B SaaS company's growth. One of the important findings was the failure rate to scale across different stages of growth is much too high. The Science of Scaling was based on research that Mark conducted across several early-stage companies, and then he applied the "challenges of scale" to the formation of Stage 2 Capital. If you are considering raising funding for your SaaS company, or are just looking at how to more efficiently scale your revenue generation engine at the next phase of growth, the conversation with Mark Roberge is extremely instructive based upon the experience and success of Mark and hundreds of other GTM executives involved in Stage 2 Capital.

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