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The Ultimate B2B Growth Stack

Video Summary

You're short on time. We all are. So when it comes to turning leads into conversions at scale, you need a few shortcuts - a strong, reliable stack that does much of the work for you. And Dan McGaw has one so good he also didn't want to share it at Growth Marketing Conference B2B. Discover how Dan's analytics-first stack drove record-breaking growth numbers for Frame, Real Thread, Pair, Effin Amazing, and more.


Dan McGaw is an award-winning entrepreneur and speaker. He is also the Founder and CEO of Effin Amazing, an analytics and growth consultancy that helps product and marketing teams get data driven and optimize their businesses. Coined as one of the original growth hackers, he has led teams at Kissmetrics.com and CodeSchool.com.

In 2015, Dan was selected to be a United States Ambassador of Entrepreneurship, where he had the privilege to advise universities, governments and private corporations on how to build entrepreneur ecosystems.

The Ultimate B2B Growth Stack


So, I’m Dan McGaw CEO founder of Effin Amazing. We’re an analytics and growth consultancy that helps a lot of companies get their analytics in order, to measure some shit, and then be able to do marketing, automation, operations and then conversion rate optimization. So, if you want to make more money and you have demand, hire me. If you don’t have demand, don’t call me. Okay, because we only work with people that have demand.

[00:00:28] So there’s some cool companies at the bottom here that we’ve done some cool stuff with so I’m going to run through what the ultimate grow stack looks like, but I want to kind of preface this with something. Right now, we’re in a stack apocalypse. Okay. No joke, it’s crazy. There are just too many tools, it’s nuts. Developer tools, support tools, marketing tools, sales tools. We just keep having more tools come on the market right. Now in 2011, there’s about 150 of these tools.  By the time we got to 2013, 350, the year after that 1000 right, crazy, crazy, growth. Year after that 2,000 plus, 2016 3500 tools. How the hell are you people supposed to pick stuff when there’s new stuff that just keeps coming out? It’s too damn fast.

[00:01:09] This year, we’re expecting over 6,000 new tools to be dropped onto the Martech space alone. That’s not including developers’ stuff, that’s just the Martech space. So, summary is this is a bubble for all of you in Martech, you are surviving off of other Martech companies that are starting. So, make sure you’re making money. That’s the goal you got to do because a lot of these companies are not profitable

[00:01:28] Now, it’s a big growth curve if your company had that growth curve you would be happy. That is just the industry of Martech growth right? So, getting these stacks in place is really important. Today, I’m going to focus on only five tools. Okay, keep it really, really, narrow. Now we’ll get into that just a second but if you get bored everybody on your computer go to EffinAmazing.com/tools. We figured we got to add more products to the market, so we can continue to see that curve go up. So, we created three Tools around as well. So not going to go into that now though.

[00:01:57] Now talking about changing anything in your marketing stack is really, really, scary. Like I get nightmares when my clients come to me. They’re like, hey, we want to pick a new marketing automation tool. I get terrified because one thing gets moved out of the stack, next thing you know, half the stuff break, and then it takes you six months of doing QA to really get everything fixed. So, changing the tool is tough, who here has changed a tool in the past year? Lot more of you’ve changed tools, trust me. There’s only like 6 of you who raised your hand, but either way it’s scary. It’s really, really, scary.

[00:02:23] Now, I want to do a quick survey and see if people know how many tools they have in their stack. Now, if you have one to five tools, please raise your hand. Okay, that’s good. We got about 5% of the room. Now, if you have six to ten tools in your stack, please raise your hand. Okay, we got a little more. I think people are lying though, because there’s usually more tools. Now, what about ten to twenty? Who’s got autopilot, who’s got twenty-one plus? Do we have anyone in here who’s got more than twenty-one tools? Yeah, for sure. Okay.

[00:02:52] Now, let’s check something out. Twenty-one tools are a lot but it’s actually really low for the average company. So, let’s have another quick survey, who can guess how many tools I have in my personal stack? Scream a number.

[00:03:03] Audience response: 40

[00:03:04] Dan McGaw: Forty, Well, that’s a good guess. Anybody got a better guess?

[00:03:07] Audience response: 43

[00:03:09] Dan McGaw: You’re close though. Forty-three, that’s too many. Where’d you go? I heard that’s a lot of fucking tools. That’s probably what I have in Chrome extensions, I will say that. Probably Chrome extensions, I have 200. Well, anyway in my personal stack, this is an including everything that my team does. These are only the tools I personally use at my company. I have 29 different tools for just me and that’s only including the tools which I require to do every single day. This is not my Chrome extensions and stuff like that because those aren’t integrated with the rest of my stack. Now, if you’re interested in learning about my entire stack, come visit me at my booth but 29 tools, so still a lot right.

[00:03:41] Now, the problem in this space with marketing stacks and sales stacks are typically siloed, right? You have a marketing automation tool that’s integrated with Salesforce, but they don’t really do much integration. Nobody really looks at the data. Marketing is not very often in the sales organization. They’re not looking at the CRM. So typically, things are going to be siloed and not have as much data.

[00:04:00] Now, I also want to say don’t try to read the text. I put that there because when we send it out later, we want to make sure people can read it. So, either way the data is very, very, siloed, which is a problem, right? You would be doing so much better if all the data was integrated. So, we’re going to talk about how to do that today. Now, what you want to understand is that when you go on the market and look for tools, you choose tools based upon their ability to be integrated with other things. If you go shopping for a tool and its own silo and it cannot be integrated very easily, don’t choose the tool. It’s a big problem. Do not choose that tool. Okay, so this used to be other tools have big problems like big CRM companies don’t always integrate. Now the CRM I’m talking about today is going to be.

[00:04:38] So, let’s talk about the core thing that you need to do as a Martech person or even a salesperson. One of the first integrations you should do is with segment. Anybody here not familiar with segment? If you’re not familiar with segment, please raise your hand. Go find what segment is, it will save you so much time. Segment is basically the Rosetta Stone of APIs, right? So, I write one line of code and it’s translated into 300 different syntaxes of these other tools. When you’re managing a marketing stack and you’re a marketer, you don’t have control of changing the tags usually on your site very easily. Yes, you have tag manager, but you have server-side code you can’t change. So why do you want to incorporate 16 different syntaxes of tools on to your site? Do your segment, you just use one and you write one line of JavaScript or one line of Ruby on Rails code and it works with 300 different tools. Seriously this is a game changer and it’s the reason why it’s one of the fastest growing companies in San Francisco

[00:05:28] Now with segment the reason why it makes it really nice is because it integrates with everything right. So, you can put your iPhone app. You can put your WordPress app. You can even have other different resources that pipe through segments and then pipe into all of your tools, makes it really, really, easy. So, bring your integration into the 21st century. Now another reason why it’s extremely helpful is because marketing is agile and if you’re not an agile marketer get the fuck out right. You got to be an agile marketer.

[00:05:54] The great thing about segment is you can turn tools on and you can turn tools off with the matter of flipping a toggle. I mean technically you’re clicking it, but it’s still flipping the top. But integrations are important, so you want to test out that new innovative tool if they’re on segment, you turn it on, you’re automatically up and running. So, you definitely want to be using tools like this. It makes you a more agile.

[00:06:14] Now, let’s talk about another one which I’ve heard brought up a couple of times today, Clearbit right. This isn’t the only data enrichment provider out there, but for growth it’s definitely probably one of the most popular because it’s really, really, good in the technology space. Now Clearbit is a data enrichment tool. Now, why am I so excited about this? Well, I don’t want to add more form fields. I want to have the minimum amount of form fields that I can have. So, we use Clearbit. Now Clearbit, if you have it hooked up through segment, the way that you should, anytime you call identifying segments it automatically enriches the lead. This means every single person that signs up for your service, you now have firmer graphic demographic. You also get techno graphic information about them, really, really, important.

[00:06:50] So, this is the type of information that you can immediately get about a lead the moment they sign up for your product. Now this information is also used for lead scoring and as well as many other personalization things which we’ll talk a little bit about it another time.

[00:07:01] So, next one is going to be autopilot. I pretty much think all of you people have been beat over the head with autopilot today. So, you’re all going to go sign up for autopilot. Now, I don’t like autopilot for the reasons that everybody’s been talking about, right? I like it because it is a workflow management tool for our business and I’ll explain a little bit more about that later. But autopilot is a great automation tool. I don’t even want to say marketing automation because we use it for doing exporting and transforming and loading data into Salesforce. We use it for sending things to other services. We use it for all kinds of stuff. Really for our business, it’s a workflow management tool which is really, really, powerful. So, I definitely recommend checking it out.

[00:07:37] Now, once again, it’s a visual editor. So, it makes it super easy. Who in here is stupid? I am, I’m not going to lie. When I sign up for a tool, I’m not the smartest person, I’m pretty stupid. It took me about 15 minutes to really start getting used to the visual builder. So, definitely recommend checking it out. Now, other things it does email, it does text, it does postcards, amazing postcards. Who here does Direct Mail? The rest of you with your hands down, should start raising your hands because you should start using Direct Mail. It’s super cheap, way cheaper than AdWords like literally a 15th of the cost in some cases and the conversions are just as high. So, definitely check out Direct Mail.

[00:08:12] That’s one of the reasons why we moved autopilot in the first place. We sell $100,000 contracts people don’t want to always buy it. Who here wants to pay me $100,000, raise your hand? That guy, I like that guy. So, either way we have to consistently follow up with people. I can’t just keep sending you emails, right? So, I’ve got to send you cool stuff like postcards it gets your attention.

[00:08:32] So, now the next thing is this Salesforce. I used to be the guy that said when you’re a startup don’t use Salesforce, use Pipedrive, use any of these other tools, use Soho. Really Salesforce is by far the best CRM you can ever get, and it is way worth the money. Now, some of the big reasons why it’s really cool is because they came out with a new version which is way easier to use. So, if you were scared of it, you now shouldn’t be scared. But the great thing about it is the amount of integrations it has. If you look at the other tools, there’s like 10, maybe 20 we’re talking there is hundreds of thousands of options to integrate into Salesforce. That is a huge competitive advantage if you can move quickly and just plug applications into it. I mean, obviously it does lead tracking, customer tracking, all that stuff, but I definitely recommend if you’re a startup get Salesforce as soon as you can.

[00:09:14] Now, the next one is going to be Amplitude. Who here has Amplitude? I’m buying you a drink, buying you a drink. We’re going out drinking hoot, nobody else? If you want to drink, go sign up for Amplitude. It’s a really, really, good tool. Now the reason why I say that is because I’ve spent my life in analytics. Since 1998, I’ve been a digital marketer and I’ve been using whatever analytics I can get my hands on. Now, I worked at Kissmetrics. Anybody know what Kissmetrics is? I was head of marketing there and I fucking love that thing. Amplitude kills everybody, and I’ll explain a little bit more why but it’s a really, really, good tool. Their Compass report is basically lead prediction and it enables you to understand what behaviors make your users stick, and make them stick around, you don’t even have to do any analyzing. It just does the report for you in their Compass report. Now, the reason why I use Amplitude with B2B, who here sells to just one person at a company, or is there multiple people, who sells to just one person? Right, if you’re doing B2B, you’re selling typically to a lot. Did you sell to just one person? That sucks. But sorry, means you’re dealing with small companies typically, right?

[00:10:16] But either way who here has to do account-based marketing? A good amount of us. I don’t know why people are getting scared to raise their hand on that side, but you guys are doing a good job. Either way, the problem with analytics and having an account when you have an analytics product tracking your service, it’s usually done on a user-based model. So, for an example Joe signs up to my beautiful service, and he really, really, likes it. Joe then invites Sally, the CFO to then come to the platform so she can put it on her credit card. Every single analytics tool right then and there does not complete your funnel because Sally is a different identity. So, if you loaded it up in a funnel report, you would never see that conversion. They didn’t go through the sign-up process.

[00:10:55] They didn’t make it all the way to the end because they don’t look at the account. They look at the individual person and what that cookie says, but with Amplitude they have that right out of the box. It’s called a group property and you can actually save companies and now actually see that funnel complete itself because you can see the whole account goes through that funnel. It really is a game changer. And if you don’t understand what I’m talking about, please come to the booth and I’ll explain it to you, but it is amazing. So, I definitely recommend checking it out. Do we know how much time I have left? Because I know that we were behind. It’s right there. Perfect. Sweet. We’re doing great man. We got better. So, either way we’ll go back to that slide. So, we have more time than I thought.

[00:11:32] Another really cool thing about Amplitude is it is cross-device. Now anybody in here use Mixpanel? Anybody know what Mixpanel is? Mixpanel is really cool, too. I love it. It’s one of my favorite analytics tools. It sucks at cross-device. It is horrible at cross-device, Amplitude does it out of the box? It’s able to cover every single platform. So, if you discover a user on mobile, they come back to your website on their desktop. It actually is able to append those people together, which is really, really, helpful. Most of your analytics are broken just because you guys aren’t tracking things across multiple devices and the only two that do it really, really, well is Amplitude and then potentially Kissmetrics. Kissmetrics does a really, really, good job as well.

[00:12:06] Now, let’s keep going on. Your stack is only as good as the people that you have running it, right, so don’t be stupid do cool shit. This is really important. People typically have stupid people running the stack. Sorry. It’s just sometimes it happens and they’re not very creative right? So, you got to be able to do cool stuff. Don’t be afraid to get advice from other people that was on stage today. Use that information and start running really, really, cool stuff. Do stuff that’s outside of the box. Like send postcards. Anybody here doing postcards yet? It is great. It’s a dollar in your sales process and it’s really, really, effective. So, I definitely recommend checking it out.

[00:12:41] Now, let’s talk about one of my clients that is really, really, complicated. All right. So, there’s a t-shirt printer called Real Thread. Now, Real Thread prints shirts for fashion companies and as well as big tech companies, so like Dropbox, Palantir, Intercom, they do all of their t-shirts really, really, cool stuff. But the biggest problem that you have with a custom T-shirt printer is they have online orders and they have offline orders and it’s actually really hard to track the offline orders, right? Because all of that data is a phone call and it sits in Salesforce. So, from a marketing perspective that person discovered us because of the website, then called in and just went right into Salesforce, but we aren’t necessarily able to connect those two things together sometimes.

[00:13:19] Now I didn’t talk about a call tracking service because I think some of them are a dime a dozen. If you don’t have call tracking, it’s really, really, helpful. So that was one of their main problems but from an analytics perspective, 80% of their business that came in they had no idea where it came from and by setting up this exact stack that I’m talking about, they now have complete insight into everything that goes on to their business and it is really a game changer for them. Now I’m not going to be like everybody else and say hey we grew their business by 500% right? Like I’m just not that metro guy in a company and start giving away free data on my clients. Either way let’s talk about some of the stuff that they have.

[00:13:50] Now the best thing that they get is 2,000 leads a month and the reason why they get so many leads is because we’re really, really, good at SEO and we’ve done a lot of linking back to this specific page. Now, you’ll notice we only have one field, right? One field, email. You can actually see it. I’m sorry. But either way there’s only one field so that’s not enough to really do much with right? So, as we talked about earlier, we used Clearbit, right? You give us your email, we have about a 30% match rate and automatically I get all of your information. I get your first name, your last name, your company logo, even an avatar picture of you. You can’t really see it but on the left-hand side, it filled out all of my information.

[00:14:26] Now another thing that we do which is a great hack, I hope everybody in this room steals this concept and uses this themselves. The first email that you get is a welcome email that asks you, what role do you have at the company? Now, I know what role you have because I enrich the data, but I only have a 30% match rate, so 70% of my users go unknown. Now by sending a survey in the first email we’re actually able to start to capture these people’s information to start to learn more about them.

[00:14:51] Now, earlier, I think Susan Sue had talked about don’t use the emails as a landing page. I’m the exact opposite. I think you should never try to get somebody to leave the email go somewhere else. Give him most of the stuff inside that email. Now with autopilot, what happens is the moment you click that, you’re taken to another place in the funnel so we can get you to purchase, but autopilot saves that data for us, it adds it to that person’s record because we created a journey and then also sends that information into all of the other tools that we use. So, for example, that information winds up into Amplitude which is really important, right? We want to make sure that we know who this person is, so we can cohort them in Amplitude and we do that because autopilot has an event sent through segments which then loops back into the rest of our tools.

[00:15:29] So, remember earlier we talked a little bit about segment. It pipes all the data. Amplitude can send an event into segments which then sends it down stream to the rest of your tools. So now you have a complete circle of everything that’s going on and you can send an email and then add that information directly to Salesforce, and also make sure it winds up in Amplitude. You can make sure it goes to Zapier, you can put it in Intercom. You put it in your pocket, you could throw it out. I don’t give a shit, just do it. Either way add the survey here. One of our clients is getting nearly a 90% click rate on these types of emails. So, getting that information from your customers, is really, really, helpful. So, definitely check it out.

[00:16:02] Now, we also use this identity information for lead scoring. Anybody here have lead scoring? With lead scoring is you need to always be optimizing and trying to get more information. So, by using the lead scoring and somebody clicks here, we actually grade how important they are in our system and actually it helps us understand which leads we need to reach out to.

[00:16:22] Now obviously you answered the question and told me that you’re a designer or you told me that you’re a business owner. Well, we create custom paths for you basically to go through that. So now you have a custom nurture journey which is based on that persona. I mean, you don’t want to talk to everybody like they’re a designer if I’m a business owner chances are, I’m not really good at design. I know there’s some of us, but many business owners are not very good to design, but we don’t want to be sending design information to a business owner if they’re not interested in that kind of content, right? We want to send other stuff. Meanwhile designer wants to see other types of information. So that one email now creates multiple nurture flows for us to actually nurture that person into the funnel really, really, simple.

[00:16:57] Now, this is not what autopilot looks like. That’s Real Time Board. If you haven’t heard of Real Time Board, really, really, cool tool that helps you do diagrams, but really, really, effective. Now, the great thing is that what we really like about using autopilot is because it’s completely integrated with Salesforce. So, with every single thing you do, you can have it actually sent over to Salesforce and it has a bi-directional sync. So, what’s important to us is actually custom lead scoring. So certain things are helpful to us in the fact that you have made it down the funnel, but you have not converted. I also want to know how many times have you, previewed your artwork? Some of you are making a custom T-shirt, you upload a piece of artwork, you then look at it on the shirt. Now, if somebody’s uploading nine different images and they still have made an order. We should probably reach out to them because there’s a problem right? Maybe they need help with design, right? We also have, did they make it to saving their quote and all of this stuff is added immediately in Salesforce. So, you’ll notice on the left- hand side, which I know it’s hard to read in the back, but we have all the counts of how many times somebody has done this action and our sales reps are trained to actually read all of this information before they contact a lead, so they know exactly where they are. Now this isn’t an easy process to do for every single tool that you have out there. But by leveraging segments to autopilot, then pumping into Salesforce, we’re able to get some really, really, cool information about these people.

[00:18:08] Now, you’ll also notice on the top, right we know that this lead was qualified. Now the biggest problem that we see in the marketplace is that your CRM is not integrated directly with your analytics tool. Now this is a huge problem because as a growth hacker I live inside of Amplitude. I’m a growth person, I also do sales, but I can never see if somebody changes from a lead status in my analytics tool and that’s a huge problem right? Because if I’m doing a huge marketing campaign and thousands of leads are coming in. I don’t know if they got picked up by a sales rep. I don’t know what is going on in my analytics tool. I can’t connect that lead back to an original campaign because that’s just not how those tools work. But by leveraging segment and autopilot when we get a lead status that changes, you’ll notice that we have our normal funnel. They viewed a product, or they viewed all products and then the lead status changed to qualified. This means they reached the highest lead score and we’re flipped over to sales saying hey, bro, you got to take this. You got to listen to this person and talk, right? So, we now can track that because we use autopilot to then send an event when a lead status changes back to segment which then sends it into Amplitude.

[00:19:11] So, now we have a 360-degree view of everything that’s happening in our analytics tool even though it’s potentially happening somewhere else, right? So, really, really, simple stuff. Anybody have their lead status tracked into their analytics tools and knows what happened in Salesforce and analytics tool? You should start because it’s super, super helpful. So, definitely check it out.

[00:19:31] Well, cool. Thank you very much. I appreciate everybody for being here. Anybody have any questions? Yes, sir?

[00:19:44] Audience response [inaudible]

[00:19:47] Dan McGaw: Lead status?

[00:19:48] Audience response [inaudible]

[00:19:53] Dan McGaw: So, for an example what happens is when a person comes to the website, just to give a little more context, they come to the website to see any of our pricing they have to give us their email. Dramatic increase in the number of emails we collect it’s a great way to get more leads. Now, we identify that person and we store in analytics where they came from, right? So, Amplitude knows the UTM Source, UTM medium. They also know if they came from pay. They understand it they came from a referral. There’s a lot of information that we track there. Now, once they go through that process, we’re identifying them based upon their email. So now they’re in our marketing automation tool which we use autopilot in this case. When they go through the rest of the funnel a lot of people stop halfway through the funnel and then pick up a phone and call a sales rep. So, what happens is that record is already created in Salesforce. Every single email automatically becomes a lead. And what happens is as soon as that sales rep takes that, they change lead status to working. When that happens autopilot listens for that and we have an operational journey which you’ve probably heard about a little bit today, that then sends an event into segments saying hey, Joe is now on lead status working, and we also track it for other statuses as well which then makes it so that we can actually see what’s going on in our analytics tool. So, the little one what you can’t see is leads status change to working and that’s just because these sales reps don’t pick up all their leads. We generate about 500 qualified leads just off lead scoring and only about 20 of them get reached out to so.

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