Leveraging your people channel with Bryce Nobles

Bryce Nobles, Growth leader at MX, has an ability to adapt quickly which has enabled him to reach, target, and lead effectively. In this episode, he joins Trinity to discuss hands-on ways to embrace innovation and avoid getting into a sales and marketing rut.

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The hosts:
Trinity Nguyen
Trinity Nguyen
Co-host
A profile photo of Christian Kletzl
Christian Kletzl
Co-host

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Building connections is key to growth.
  • Objectives must always be clearly defined.
  • Results need to be anchored to metrics.

What to listen for:

  • [04:04] - Where to start measuring growth
  • [09:36] - What does it mean to “own the people channel”?
  • [13:52] - Bryce’s favorite growth initiative
  • [18:26] - Bryce’s number one DIY life hack
  • [19:06] - Advice for revenue practitioners
  • [20:18] - Reflections with Christian and Trinity

Check out Bryce's blog post "How to drive growth in hypergrowth companies"

Reference Links:

Guest headshot

Bryce Nobles has the rare start-up trifacta - sales, marketing, and sales. He's currenting leading growth at MX Technologies - a financial data platform that helps organizations everywhere connect to the world’s financial data.

Read Transcript

Bryce: You'll have this herd mentality with one sales rep that you test it out. Hey, it's a home run. Hey, can we do it with three others? And then you get four sales reps to do it. Then they start talking about it and then everyone wants to know about it. And that's what we want to get to enablement that way in a sense.

Otherwise, that's a spaghetti on the wall approach where if you're trying to put sticks, I like that kind of herd mentality to get away. Can we replicate it? If not, let's just keep that in your back pocket.

Trinity: Welcome to the first 100 days, a show for revenue practitioners by revenue practitioners, giving you unscripted access and tips to help you navigate any new transition or initiative both in life and at work. So how do you build an organization? With boaters, right? You know, those critical roles in sales, marketing, and operations, but for I'll guess the most important growth component isn't a builder is a connector.

Bryce, no plus leads growth at Amex technologies, a financial data platform that helps organizations everywhere connect to the world's financial data. And this episode, he talks about how important it is to connect the right people, to propel an organization forward.

Bryce: What I find is there's the conventional path. And then the unconventional path, meaning an essential path of sales is usually the SDR, the AEE, the team lead the region lead going forward in marketing. Do you have your traditional titles of demand gen and product marketing PR those ones that way. But what I find is those are all builder roles they'd like to build.

There's very few connectors and organizations like glue. I like to pride myself as being a connector first. and sales. It's a little easier to say. I drive a revenue number, but in marketing it's a little bit more internally defined what you do there. I like to hit onto that and then send another way as well is with hypergrowth startups, with the growth rate, I'm a huge believer that your personal growth rate has to be greater or equal to your company's growth.

So with that, I rewrite my job description every 45 days at these companies I work with just because there's a need and the job. That's when 

Trinity: I'm going, I'm just taking notes right now. Eight, the connector piece that is so true, especially in high growth startup everyone's I'm building processes, but at some point you need someone to bring all that together and make sense.

Bryce: It's one of those where my success has to come through others and it has to be a low Eagle role where you have to get people with parallel initiatives identified. And then how do you broker them together without having an agenda behind it? Right. We want to drive business. We want to have our bottom line that, uh, and all those things, but at the same time, we want to have a decent experience where you just don't want to be overwhelming people in these conventional.

And their lanes, right? You don't want to overwhelm them with this unconventional nature of, Hey, let's work cross-departmentally but let's really focus on that. Yep. 

Trinity: That's a really great actually I thought what you said earlier was like one party's connector and you said it's a low Eagle role cause you bring people together.

But then on the other hand, you measure your, like you have a metrics either set out by your team, a company or yourself, how do you balance? But to me, I don't want to say a supporting, but like the connector role and then actually assigning yourself a metric so that you can measure the impact you're making, but also your growth 

Bryce: when working cross departmentally.

The first thing you want to ask somebody and being a little blunt is like, how do you get paid? How do you get paid? How do you get promoted? And let's find how I get paid and how I get promoted. And I deal with there's some overlap there and that's where you need. It takes a little time to understand the full business of understanding how a product manager.

Can work with a demand gen rep. If you just go off of like how they define their roles, it might be a little hard if you go by more of that status quo. But if you understand what metrics are driving, that product manager is obviously having some metrics around moving a product to the market and then demand gen.

They might have, again, that might be one of the eight products there. So that's where they connect AI. This one of eight products that we overlap on, let's have synergies there and go. So the number one thing I would say with that is having clearly defined metrics and kind of start somewhere, plant the flag.

And then again, the whole, every 45 days adapt because with startups, hypergrowth organizations, there is that nimbleness of adaptiveness that you need to be at. So start with the metric and then over time, you'll find the right. But at plant your flag somewhere and say, this is what we're going to go drive and be bold enough to say, Hey, this is the wrong way.

Let's kill it quick. Or you might just surprise yourself and achieve it. So again, this rephrasing that start with the metric. And then I asked them what metrics get you excited? And if they don't know, it's a great learning opportunity. Okay. Let's just try this one out and see if that's works. A lot of times they'll actually help you be more metric driven.

We're a big OKR shop and kind of both companies I've worked at have been OKR. So if you don't know what OKR is, are this refresh your objectives and key results? They're generally in 90 day segment. And then obviously you can have multiple OKR is that transcend quarter over quarter. So that said for my companies, I worked for.

That your performance is based on your performance reviews. Obviously there's a qualitative side of the contextual side. We need to manage your stuff, but there's also that qualitative side of what metrics did you drive this quarter in the last 90 days, if you will. Right. And having that be like the start of, Hey, what do we want, what change do we want to have?

And this organization over the next ninety, a hundred eighty three hundred sixty days, it's a cleaner conversation than this saying one of those, oh, I want to go to. But if you have clearly defined with your objective, there's black and white, did you do it? Did you not? And then after you define it, who else in the organization is trying to do the same thing?

And you'll be shocked by someone just sitting right down right across from is trying to do the same thing is it's not defined. 

Trinity: I love it because my background's in product marketing and sometimes like the connectedness of like different cross-functional initiatives, like totally get it. You're the first guest that we have on the show that has what you call this startup trifecta.

So sales ops marketing. Can you walk us through the journey? What was the motivation to make this. 

Bryce: And I was finishing up school. There was, uh, I had this mindset shift of from going into legal law route during an internship. And then my buddy of mine invited me to be part of this. Let's call it the BYU strategy club, where they actually bring in these different organizations and they have you do.

So they brought in Walmart and Walmart said, Hey, we want a, again, a hypothetical case study of consulting, or they're like, Hey, we want to go into this strategic market. That's not really in our model. How do we go and do it in a sense, I'm a humanities major in my background. So I don't know if they were joking or if they were serious, but they had me be the team lead of this group.

And my team was all these MBA students. And what I found was I was doing circles around them. Cause one like the hunger, obviously, but then additionally, The humanity skill set of reading and writing. So taking a lot of information and distilling it down to small amount information. There's actually a huge application for that in business.

And I just found that this, there is this flow of creativity. That again, the current path I was going for, I didn't have, so I was like, Hey, I want to do business. And I was like, how do I get in the door? And just so happens. There was this little startup called Qualtrics right down the street. And I was like, okay, how can I get in the door?

So I was like, Hey, I want to get started wherever I can. So I started off as a sales development. So I said, smiling and dialing 90 phone calls, if you don't do it, you're out type of thing. So that's how I got my taste of sales. I thought at first it would be a shortstop. And then, but actually I fell in love with the B2B sales is absolutely phenomenal career path.

Um, and what I found with that was I got really good. Again, taking a lot of information and positioning it to different folks. And then I moved into the operational enablement role afterwards. Hey, you're, you're extremely valuable, but you're even more valuable scaling teams. And that's where I really got, I would say the PhD in the sales process of not only teaching the sales process, but also getting into the data.

And then I found another company that was very similar to my former company. So then I call you them moved over there. One of those who was just like, yeah, like I want you to join the marketing team. I'm like, I, I'm not marketing I'm in sales and operations. Right. He's I don't know if the senior same thing here, just use the marketing budget for it.

So I jumped over to marketing and then the two things I was shocked with on the marketing side was the amount of data yet. Mind-blowing and then the budget and the budget leads to action. So a little bit of a Robin hood where you take the data budget from marketing and give it back to the sales team, which has been fun.

So you always hear these roles, like the missing link between sales and marketing and stuff like that. But the big thing here, it's that go to market approach. So how do you. Leverage all the channels. And I like to say that in my marketing channels, I would own, I own the people channel. I, lot of people on the email channel, a lot of people own the digital channel.

I like to own the people channel in a sense that way and making sure that we leveraged people as efficiently as a digital ad campaign, if you will. But that's called the marketing side. On the sales side. I live in a world where, how can we get.

To justify issuing a, I want to do a digital ad campaign to my patch. And here's why, how do we arm the sales reps with more and more channels without slowing them down? Because we don't want to give them the whole, this is when, and here's the one-on-one on digital abstract. It's not that it's just, how do they recognize how to prioritize their count books so that they can go in and, and go and adjust that.

It's 

Trinity: incredible. So we've been interviewing a lot of guests and we've seen some sales to marketing, marketing, to sales sometimes, or sales to ops or marketing to ops. But you are definitely the first one who checks all three boxes is incredible. I want to dig deeper into what you said, people channel. Can you elaborate what that means for people in.

Bryce: Yeah. So the people channel, it's all around efficiency of resources. A lot of times we use the word like bench strength. So who in our organization can we go leverage in these situations? So when interacting with our opportunities or with our. Prospects or clients, if you will, we always run into roadblocks of, Hey, what's, we're blocked on this one again, there's a mirror to different blockers out there.

And a lot of times we tried to think, okay, what's the positioning, right? What's the content what's this, or what's the event we can go do in that sense. But I also like to consider is who internally or externally. Can we bring in to help mitigate that blocker if you will, the people channel there. And it's one, it's the bench of, Hey, who do we have at our disposal?

Or who can we go a contract externally or partner with, if you will, to help overcome that objection. So that's kind of one side. And then it is how efficient are those individual into, how are they efficient? Are they with those resources, especially those combined sales marketing tools, right? If you have a tool that helps them identify key prospects that are custom contextual things that are relevant to you, that you can take, I can leverage this piece of information, whether it's like a, they worked for a private company and they moved over to get to a prior customer, then moved over or some marketing content or the way they engage with this piece of content.

How efficient can they be? With these tools so they can go cover more ground and spend their time where they're needed. Again, customer facing, if you will, for some startups, you're doubling your company right a year over a year or every six months, depending on your size. There's a lot of new faces coming in a whole bunch of new tools.

The messaging is always changing. So there's a lot of balls to juggle that way. Both the people channel it's really around, do they know where to find it? So the whole situational thing, right? If I see this is where I need to go, you don't need to teach them everything for every tool. It's just like when you it's just the whole flag raiser.

If you see these elements do this, when it comes to account prioritization, when it comes to on your active sales opportunities, when it comes to working with clients, help them understand, at least on the awareness level of, Hey, I'm seeing these. Here's who I need to reach out to, or here's a tool that can help me see those.

Trinity: I really like it in my past life as product marketer, that sales enablement was the hard thing. And sometimes you can go between training, like manual league war, like just manual documents, Google drive, one, drive, all kinds of tools. And then you start looking into like different kinds of enablement tools to help the team.

But it sounds like you guys program at Highland. Is that a word? 

Bryce: Yeah. So it goes through this, the lagger curve, if you will. So like early adopters innovators, the herd, and then the non innovators are laggards, if you will. So that said, I like to translate the tribal knowledge of getting on the front lines, getting like here's what to do in this situation to people that know that I think for those types of scenarios, like they're fresh kind of testing out innovation areas.

That's the very manual one-to-one thing where me and the marketing side, I need to be proactive with the dates. To insert myself and to show that we're not going to expect the reps to know that the sales team, to know that if I want to insert myself that way. And then like over time, as we find, I like to say out of 10 plays, maybe one of them is worth talking to wholesale team about where the other nine of them.

Uh, good to keep testing out and make sure it's there. But what you'll have is you'll have this herd mentality with one sales rep that you test it out. Hey, it's a home run. Hey, can we do it with three others? And then you get four sales reps to do it. Then they start talking about it and then everyone wants to know about it.

And that's when we want to get some enablement that way in a sense. Otherwise it's a spaghetti on the wall approach where if you're trying to put sticks, I like to do that kind of hurting and how to get a win. Can we replicate it? If not, let's just keep that in your back pocket. If yeah. Hey, there's a huge appetite that way.

Then we can do the Hermantown. I 

Trinity: feel I should have booked you for an hour to just nerd out on this. It sounds so exciting. I want to, like, you must have like a process. Can we interview you for a blog post on how to do this? Because I know it's a pain, it's a pain point for so many companies because everyone's busy.

Like you said, the go to market cognitive load, but then as marketers and Hey, there's this new cool. Do this, and then I am busy in this way. So on the show, like we want to leave the listeners with some like practical tips, cheat sheets to help them succeed in their jobs. So my next question is what has been your all-time favorites, sales, and or marketing, or just revenue growth in general initiative?

Can you give us a context? What 

Bryce: happened? The favorite initiative or one of the initiatives I think worked extremely well. through COVID. We were having a lot of success around direct mail, and it was one of those where it took a lot of time, meaning going off to FedEx to go ship off boxes and all that stuff.

And we had a huge pain around that or like the value and the impact was there. But so was the huge time suck if you also like the whole holiday mailer thing, best campaign ever. But at the same time, it took two weeks. And I was like, oh, there's gotta be a better way that way. So first off we knew that it has high impact and it had a high time.

So the impact value said, Hey, like there's potentially additional budget to go source a vendor for this. So we started the whole bidding process. That way ended up selecting a vendor, not direction, the whole implementation they're able to implement within like a, it was a 30 minute call with. Five minutes for implementing.

And with five minutes after that, I was already sending out digital, like gift cards. It was sweet. It was awesome, but it was one of those textbook examples of come holiday. Nailer year later, after we implanted this tool, instead of taking two weeks of time to do this, it took maybe a day of total time over that period.

So just click the button, boom. Get out the door. So not only were you able to increase the volume. But that equates to increased impact. So instead of sending just 50, we're able to send 500 and then we're able to have that higher impact of less time taking no time at all. so now with the COVID Evan works from home, how has that impact.

I would say the whole journey. There was, again, being that whole adaptive one where when we, for sellers out there, it's all about being part of the prioritize initiative. And how do you hedge onto to that when COVID hit, there was that dust settling and that forced everyone to work from home. So our main customers, their initiatives shifted from some very important.

Digital transformation, right? To how do we set up VPN so that we can have our employees work from home, which is a totally new precedence, if you will. So with that, we were self-aware of that. And we knew that and we positioned that, Hey, we know now's not a good time. You guys are working over you all working overtime, have some lunch on us.

If your team's lives, if you will, when you're ready. We love to talk about this when this it's back on your radar. So we did sacrifice. Of COVID situation.

So we adjusted the type of Emmys were out and those types of areas, and then out this whole Delta very coming in and great example is there was a in-person event canceled. And within a week we're able to do any virtual tough of that. And we had that public already said, Hey, this happens, boom. Here's how we're going to have that approach or having hybrid first then if you will.

So having an integrated experience and just saying, Hey, here's where we're going, 

Trinity: combined the direct mails with these events or virtual events, et cetera, as. Oh 

Bryce: a hundred percent. So again, integrated marketing is the key there. So for Jack melon, right, you have all these virtual events are tough things to get value out of, but you can hack them in a lot of different ways.

Maybe one tip off they're out there. It's called the booth in the box. A lot of times you have that virtual booth that is hit and miss on those, but you can send them, Hey, we want to send you our booth. We have a cool little mailer in there that you could send to them and show them like, Hey, this is coming to you in the sentence.

There's ways to. And how do you leverage all your chatting? One it's being aware of the channels, right? And then to being, and I think that's where the, the marketing operation side is really cool is like the operational side. We'll show you the prospects in your CRM that are attending these scenes that are hot, that have the situations in the marketing side.

Is those, all those channels of direct mail or digital content, you know, PR if you will influencers. So how do you use the data? To tell you the, where they're currently at and that's how you get creative afterwards. That way, these aren't all my ideas. You have a great team that has a lot of really fun ideas.

I just encourage them to keep adapting and Hey, let's solve this. My favorite book from COVID probably who moved my cheese. One of those where it's the best sense out of these rats are running through Mays day after day. It's the same day. And then they just had that instinct or they have that kind of slow if you will.

And that, that the, Hey, this is how I put my playbook. If you are let the cheese gets moved, you can't go off of kind of those old programs. You have to go back to your senses, right? Your touch, your smell, your gut, all that stuff. And kind of going back to what you have at your disposal. I think COVID is a great example of that, of adaptiveness, but also keeping the lights on as well.

You got to keep to your bread and butter, but then having that room to do some moonshots, if you will, or I go for the. 

Trinity: I have so many questions to follow up. I know you can't share all of your secret sauce. All right. So one of the last final questions we have. So what is your number one? DIY life hack. If you have.

Bryce: On that my wife's the big DIY or for sure, but I would say, I would say at least for the business DIY one, I would say on Sunday night, look at your calendar and remove five meetings from your week through an email, we all say there's this, those meetings that we can all with an email start out either Monday morning or on, I liked doing Sunday night.

Just not catch people off guard on Monday. Kill five meetings on your calendar, give yourself some yourself and your team or your company or your prospects, and you can solve those with five emails. So that's the hack that I love doing that. I think I'd become a hero for, for a lot of people. 

Trinity: That's great.

I feel like my last question is I, do you want to share some words of encouragement for revenue, petitioners listening, but I feel like that could be one of 

Bryce: them. Yeah, I'm really big on, on ageism, on both sides of the spectrum. So you have, obviously the one I'm more familiar with is on the younger side of the spectrum.

And it is a big thing where people have a lot of potential. They might not have the years in the industry or in the role of give the people, your young guns on the team, a huge opportunity, give them that big, hard project that they fell on. Obviously you have in a contained environment, so you don't do too much, but give them the opportunity.

If I can tell a practice practitioners, one thing, give your young guns a shot and they'll surprise. I 

Trinity: love it. Actually, that's one of the reason why for use of when we do career postings, we don't put in a number of years of experience required that queue out the skill sets we want. If you have them, we don't care if you out of college or you've been around the block a few 

Bryce: times value of having the experienced.

Don't get me wrong with that to your point. At the same time, give someone that has that hunger a chance, but then have it be in a controlled environment and say, God, I'm going to give you texts. I still need you to do these main deliverables. But if you want the, I call it extracurricular, right? Hey, you want to take on this extra third grade, but you have to be nailing it before you jump off somewhere else.

Trinity: Christian, what stood out to you? 

Christian: I think Bryce's experience how he showed, how he's experienced, helps him in his role, I guess, in the sense that because he worked in sales and sales ops and marketing, like distraught factor that you, that you've said, I think in any step, he always thinks about the job of the other person and how that aligns with his job and how he can work better with the other person.

And I go in, he said, especially as the connector here, where thinks about what is this. Paid for what are they promoted for? What am I Patriot? What am I promoted for? And how does this overlap? But I think because of this, you can always think about better understand the tasks the other person is doing, like the saves tasks, and then understand how marketing can help or support or make these tasks for them 

Trinity: easier.

So he's always looking to understand. Different department, a different person's incentives and see how he can align what he needs to get done with that person incentive. So that it's a win-win on both sides and therefore move the project forward. 

Christian: And I think just, I think it helps you be better in marketing.

The more you understand what saves us doing. I think he says it in a sense it's like marketing, like do the same. As in sales, you just have more budget with that. It's not, it's obviously not exactly the case, but ultimately marketing needs to understand every step of the sales funnel to be able to then in every step of the sales funnel, help with marketing material help with the right channel, the right message.

The better. You can understand this better. You can do your job at marketing. I 

Trinity: start to realize that this theme of, Hey marketers, you've been doing a great job and everyone's have increased, but marketers, modern marketers in order to do your job well, now you need to understand how. Does their things. And then maybe not just understanding the funnel, but a lot of the times is bringing what sales does best at the human one-to-one level and use the budget and the tools and the automation, all of that, to scale that out and.

You do your job better. This is the second or third time that this theme comes up in the season. 

Christian: Now, at least for me, that that's totally how my understanding shifted in a sense from marketing, from being just top of the funnel growth engine to you're really interconnected along every step of the funnel.

And it's, it's really together that you're driving the deal forward. 

Trinity: You're driving. 

Christian: Could not be possible without marketing. I like the, the bench strength. I think it aligns with the thing that I always say, like when you, when you start a new role, you always evaluate the tools, processes people, and kind of some of the thoughts.

This is related to the bench strength where we always think about like, what's the material we can utilize to drive the person further down the funnel, but it's actually. Who, the people that I can work with and leverage internally, like any relationships that my colleagues have or external, like any product users that I might already have at that company to drive the company across the funnel.

Trinity: I think that's what he called it to the bench strength. The part that stands out for me is the connector component, because in the past, I always thought in a company, you either a builder. Or you as seller. And this is basically you kind of, in general, you can put marketing under, sell it because you're trying to sell the value prop and messaging, and then you have a builder, the engineers, et cetera.

And we completely forgot, especially as the company scales, you need the connectors because all the wise things just get out of control, right? That's why you need like a COO type of role. And the fact that he highlighted and how. Basically, it just, his project changed all the time. Because as the company scales, you have to figure out like, okay, I need to connect this a, to B in this month.

And then once that project has done, now, you get a C and D and then E and a and all that stuff. So these are the people that sometimes I feel like the roles kind of overlooked because you don't talk to him about that as much. And maybe rev ops is one of those connectors. 

Christian: Yeah. I always, obviously like what's in it for me.

I think everybody thinks about when they listen to podcasts. So what's in it for me. I loved the moment when he said about the personal growth that it needs to mirror, the company grows. And I think we're seeing this right now, especially if you're in hyper-growth then you come, it's a completely new company every six, 12 months.

 we always think about how can we scale the company over the next six months, 12 months. Where's the revenue coming from, et cetera. But. Rarer that we think about ourselves and how, how do we, as a person grow with the company and how, what actually does scales that I need in order to get there, always see, like, where are we spending the money?

Christian: What are Halloween investing our resources as a company to get to the money? And we really think about how we upleveling ourselves. How can we spend our time, our resources to, to get 

Trinity: there. As I am, uh, growing the marketing team and thinking more about like the team aspect and not just like, what channel are we gonna invest in and what kind of creatives and strategy.

But now thinking more about the team's like, okay, what kinds of skill sets we need to fill in for the team a year from now, but also the existing team members? How do I. Coach train or provide resources to help them grow as fast as the company, because what Bryce said is very common. You hear that all the time as a startup grows in the hyper-growth stage, the company easily can outgrow someone's ability to learn and grow fast enough.

So. Yeah. 

Christian: Once again, even what you just said, you highlighted on the other people know the company. So it's also, I think ourselves your skills, not only 

Bryce: do a hundred 

Trinity: percent, are you going through a major transition within your organization or your career? Do you have a first 100 day journey to share recently on the.

If, yes, I want to hear from you email me@podcastatusergems.com. And if you're looking for the ultimate revenue leader, cheat sheets, sign up to receive them@usergems.com forward slash podcast.