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Overview: Learn how to integrate BDRs into your marketing campaigns with Bryan Urioste CMO of Alert Logic.
About the speaker: Bryan is a revenue marketing leader. He believes in integrating Sales and Marketing into coordinated programs. In which each activity has a defined purpose. An expected result and ultimately leads to a measurable bookings. Or retention outcome that grows revenue.
Bryan has spent the last 20 years working in the tech world. Identifying markets, defining product requirements and building revenue acquisition strategies for long-term growth. He enjoy working in dynamic, high growth markets. With organizations that have a passion for their role in changing the world. And he is at his best when he’s building and leading the teams that will win in these environments.
Billy: Alright, everyone, I’m here with Bryan Urioste of Alert Logic. Bryan, thanks for joining us at the demand Gen summit.
Bryan: Yeah, thanks for having me. Glad to be here.
Billy: Yeah. So Brian, could you just start off telling us a little bit about yourself and about Alert Logic?
Bryan: Absolutely. So I’ma longtime b2b demand Gen guy. And most of my career spanned across kind of the infrastructure and cybersecurity world. Companies like Rackspace solar winds, and now Alert Logic. I’m currently the CMO of alert logic. And if you’re not intimately familiar with the cybersecurity market, alert logic was kind of the catalyst for what has become the manage detection and response category, with the idea being help organizations make a fairly rapid transition to comprehensive cybersecurity being delivered as an outcome, rather than a collection of new tools and technology.
So gone are the days for, for most, at least of complex software, like Sims, and, you know, their own vulnerability scanning and log management and compliance. And as Alert Logic, you know, my role is CMOS, about spreading the word that there is an easier and better way to protect organizations against the bad actors out there, and ultimately ensure Alert Logic earns its share of what is a massively growing market today.
Billy: Awesome. So let’s get into the topic, which is, you know, how demand Gen plus BDRs is going to equal more sales? So how do we start? You know, let’s start with an easy question. You know, what do we call them? Are they bdrs? Or are they SDRs? Are they appointment setters? You know, what are they?
Bryan: Yeah, you know, it’s sometimes you gotta start, start simple. And you really, you can call them, whatever, whatever you want, you know, call them something nice, I guess. But, you know, there’s BDR, SDR, either ADR whatever, there are nuances. The advice I always tell people is ultimately, if you think like a marketer, it’s whatever name is most likely to attract and retain the best talent, your market. To some degree, externally, it matters when people are looking at who’s reaching out to them. But generally speaking, it is a constant hire mode when you’re looking when you’re running. This kind of a system.
So, you know, the one thing I would say is don’t call it inside sales, unless you expect them to actually be booking deals. There’s absolutely a difference. difference there. But I would say for today, let’s call them bdrs. And for you know, I’m a data guy, the simple reason is I went on LinkedIn yesterday, and I did a search on business development rep and sales development Rep. And business development rep had over 26,000 jobs posted in sales development rep at about 21,000. So for today BDR wins.
Billy: Okay, Bryan. So why do you think that relationship between BDRS and the demand Gen team is so important?
Bryan: Yeah. So it really starts with the whole reason that the BDR is exist, and that is pipeline generation. And if you have responsibility for b2b demand Gen, or kind of overall marketing and pipeline isn’t the number one outcome you’re accountable for, unless it’s something even further down, like, you know, ecommerce, then you know, I would say your role isn’t fully realized. And you’re probably not as critical to the business as you hope or think that you are. So while all the leading indicators of demand MQLs that are all those things matter pipeline is what your partner’s on the sales side care about. It’s, you know, what can be directly translated to their ability to hit their bookings number. And then if you go beyond sales, that’s what the rest of the company understands.
Your executive leadership team, the Board of Directors, etc. And really, BDRs are often an essential part of the pipeline generation process. Particularly when your sale has some complexity. It’s not transactional in nature. If you can only move as fast as your you know, your slowest part. Ensure the BDR is are not a constraint, first off is essential. Then when done well, you know, we’d like to marketing and talk about the demand engine bdrs can be a turbocharger to your demand engine, so they just go together and your ability to create pipeline.
Billy: I agree. So what does it take to develop a high performing BDR program?
Bryan: So I’d say before you performance tune, there are some basics, I think it’s worth starting with first off, you just got to always ask yourself the question are bdr is even a good fit, right? For your market your business, are they gonna accelerate pipeline or just be an added step that don’t actually add a whole lot of value. If your business moves fast, if you’re closing 1500 $8 deals, after a week of talking to them, adding a BDR is probably not going to add value and you may actually sink your LTV, your customer LTV, even before the deal closes.
So those are the kinds of things you got to think about deal size, market size targeting etc. And you know, I would say like all things in marketing if you’re getting started or debating it, you know, start with a test, see if it adds value. See if it you know, accelerates brings people Your deals, etc, and then go from there.
Billy: Okay. So when you’re hiring bdrs, what do you think the optimal profile is for who you’re looking for.
Bryan: Yeah, and you are. First off, you are always hiring, if you’re managing bdrs, it is part of the process. I think they can come from all kinds of roles I’ve had, you know, the English majors to finance majors, engineers, everything in the middle. But generally speaking, I think the BDR it’s good for early career role, and you got to be hungry, you got to be willing to put in the work, you got to be willing to learn and adapt and really be shaped to fit your business model. Analytical and systematic is actually very helpful, folks that have that mindset, because they have did every single day, they come across so many data points and their calls or emails, just what they’re seeing. And so really being able to dial in over over time is really, really helpful.
Some of the best bdrs and I’ve worked with have been heavy note takers, they take just enough time to prep, you can’t prep endlessly, but you got to be moving, but they take enough time to prep and then reflect on why something worked or didn’t. And oftentimes, things don’t, and I think that is an important part, just from a characteristic. You know, failure is part of the role I like to typically think of it as more micro failures, it’s part of the process. And it’s something to be learned, and folks that can handle that and not take it too personally.
And if you’re in the role too long, it probably means either you never, no one ever saw the potential to elevate you up. Or you found a comfort zone. And you’re kind of sitting at the middle of the pack. You just don’t have aspirations to do too much more. There absolutely are exceptions to that rule. But especially even hiring people, and if someone’s done the BDR job multiple times, there’s benefit, because they understand things about how it works. But that role is typically 12 to 18 months, maybe you can stretch it to 24. So you may spend the first six months bringing somebody on retraining on how to work in your environment, your emotion, and at the end of day, you know, wasting a lot of opportunity.
Billy: Yeah So, with success, how should you think about that when you’re hiring bdrs.
Bryan: Two things I typically think about, you know, number one, bdrs should be highly metrics driven. And also, you know, I’ll say it twice, the BDR program, and it’s a program needs to be metrics driven.
And there’s a difference there, many BDRs, first off, we’re going to go into sales after, so having a very objective target is just how they roll, it’s motivating. So having success be both transparent and visible, you know, the big board and the gongs going off and all that kind of stuff. Like, that’s part of the, that’s just part of how it works and increase energy and the sorts of things. And healthy competition is a great thing. But, you know, like any program, tracking activity leading indicators, it’s really quite valuable it’s provides helpful context for evaluating rep performance, campaign performance looking at call volume, it’s a good thing, it’s not what you’re solving for, right at the end of the day, the goal, the it’s not the activity, it’s quitting pipeline.
But if you don’t understand what’s leading up to the pipeline, then you have a hard time, you know, optimizing that over time, but like, I’ll say, at the end of the day, if I have a BDR, that’s hitting 200% of their pipeline goal. I wouldn’t say I don’t care at all, how they’re getting there, I definitely want to see how they’re getting there. I’m not going to give them a hard time if they’ve made a few fewer calls, and then everybody else. And then so that’s one thing, it’s got to be metrics driven.
And then the second thing is, you know, where I started the beginning, we’re in a shared mission. So you know, from my experience, it works grace, it works really best. When you are both in it, you have a shared view of success. So it’s not Hey, you know, marketing crush the MQL goal, and they’re off having, you know, Margarita is and the BD ours are feeling like crap, because they didn’t hit the number and sales Miss bookings, like that is not an equation that that works out.
So really having a shared goal just means I know there’s things that I’m dependent on you on and you are dependent on me on for. But we get to the finish line together. And so it just eliminates all of the questions about what are you really trying to solve for. Are you really trying to help me or you’re just trying to help your numbers, any of those things? It gives you instant credibility with your with your partners in business.
Billy: You know, I I really agree on the shared success. There with demand Gen and bdrs. If you’re really working tightly together, what I’ve seen is the BDR is I mean, they’re talking to these leads that marketing’s driving, and they can give feedback on the quality or maybe like, our consulting team or working with a client marketing blew it up with tons of MQLs. And then we work with the sales team as well, because you know, the bots booking meetings for him. Well, the sales team tells us, all these meetings suck. They’re underqualified. They all use a certain integration part. Like they want a certain integration partner that we don’t offer.
And we took that back to marketing really quickly, and demand Gen specifically, and they’re like, Oh, crap, okay, we’re going to turn this campaign off right now, and go back to what works. So being tight sharing that success, I agree with you hundred percent. So, with that in mind, you know, there’s always this debate, should bdrs be part of marketing part of the sales? Who do they report into? And who’s responsible for them? Where do you sit on on the side of that issue?
Bryan: Yeah, it’s hard to have a conversation about this without, you know, taking that question on. So I’ll add my, one more data point to this. So, I always start by telling people, it shouldn’t matter. Right. As long as there are no barriers, which.
But I, you know, I believe it, I’ve lived in both kind of both models, based on the shared goals, right, and the way that you need to work as long as the bdrs. Demand Gen can work closely, and really feel like they are solving the same thing. And, the scenario you just described, it’s not, your MQL suck. And marketing team is like, arguing for the point of arguing that you hold my baby ugly, and it’s because my baby is the MQL or like, if that’s the case, then it does actually matter how you’re organized.
But as long as you have the ability to have shared goals and to work really close, and they’re not to be artificial separation between the teams, I don’t think it works. Now, I’ll tell you, I actually think there’s a benefit to the bdrs reporting in the sales and that there’s kind of instant credibility with eight years down the line, right, these are our folks, you know, the part of our team, the BDR. So what they’re working, they’re part of our process, it’s hard to call our process bad, you know, the head of sales feels, you know, a natural sense of ownership for what they’re doing.
But if you put me in a corner and said, choose, how would you How would you prefer to do it, I’m generally more inclined to say that I think they’re best off being a marketing. Yeah, at the end of the day, it goes back to the mission. And, you know, I want my head of sales to be thinking about closing deals and bookings, that’s what the board is going to ask them about. And I want to take the pipeline piece off of them and say, Look, let’s shake hands and say, I’m gonna own the pipeline,
I’m gonna do everything, it’s, I know, we’re gonna have to work together, nothing happens, you know, in one silo, right? But if I owe you pipeline, it just creates a real clarity, real accountability, and a really good working relationship. And then for me as a CMO, now I can take that back to the rest of my team and say, Dan, going back to your examples, like MQL is great. We hit 125%. What is the pipeline dollar number look like? Yeah. And if, if we’re not achieving that, it just creates a lot of a lot of clarity.
Billy: Yeah, I, I tend to agree with you. I think it works both ways. But having it in marketing, and if pipelines really what what you’re delivering, it totally makes sense to just have the BDR as they’re reporting to marketing. So I think we’ve nailed the basics. What are your expert level suggestions for elevating performance?
Bryan: Expert level? All right, well, so any amount of time we have maybe a few things I would highlight. I would highlight. First off just certainly back I think the BDRs is a marketing channel. Right? And not to overly simplified, but that’s how I think about their role. The huge advantage of this channel is that they have the benefit of humans and brains and emotions and whatnot perception. They can think they can adjust, they can relate to buyers and as as cool as we’d like to think of our martech and, all the AI and intent, fancy intent signals, all this sort of stuff. There’s just something special about having human involved today, you know, maybe someday Cyberdyne will change all that. Well, we’ll wait for that to happen.
So you know, a BDR program really can be optimized in a similar way to other demand programs, just keeping in mind the unique elements out there. And so you want to make sure that you’re, you’re optimizing every single touch that they have. And so there’s a couple things that I would say are kind of fit when you want them. Make it really work, make sure you’re doing these things.
And the first one is coverage. There is, you know, as a CML, I’ll tell you this, this is my view, at least, there is no excuse for missing your pipeline target, because you didn’t have enough bdrs, you know, it’s just not an acceptable excuse is a known fact, over time that some of your bdrs are going to get promoted. What’s hope, right, others may just never reach full potential, most of these folks are pretty early out of school, right. And so you’re always taking a little bit of a risk when you’re when you hire, and, others will simply, you know, to say it nicely flake out in spectacular ways you never thought could be possible. And so you know, what’s gonna happen, and all that can be planned for.
So, I use a very simple Excel based capacity model. And I use a set of assumptions based on whatever history I have, if I join a new company, it’s what I see in their data and what I’ve learned in other places. So if you know that on average, or bdrs, are gonna hit 75% of their monthly target will just plan for it. Right, if you typically lose 15% of your bdrs each quarter for you know, promotion, or whatever reason, then remove that capacity from your plan, and plan to hire new BDRs.
and on day one for them to be at a ramped capacity, maybe it’s zero percent for the first month, and then, you know, it’s a fast ramp, because it’s a BDR, typically, but you can plan for all these things. And so it’s a very common approach for managing transactional sales capacity, but it were fixed and you to find points I put on that are, you know, number one, always,
this is kind of my approach, but I always err on the side of over hiring. So if I look at my capacity model. And say your the end of q3 beginning of q4 is a peak from a market standpoint. There is no way I want any risk in my capacity. I’m going to make sure that I’ve got a few people, even if somebody doesn’t leave the business get promoted. It’s not worth being short the capacity, it’s a relatively inexpensive roll to keep. And there is always something that they can be doing of value, while you’re ramping them. So that’s one thing.
And then the other thing I think as much as you can, depending on the size of your BDR team. If you can hire in groups, that’s always, that’s always a good thing onboarding easier for you. You’re not constantly trying to onboard people, it also builds an immediate sense of belonging within a couple bdrs. These are my, these are my peeps we’re gonna go do this together. And then you as a manager, it gives you an easy comparison to see how people are ramping up. Now you’ve got a baseline, they all started this date with the same information. And let’s see how fast and which ones are really quickly getting out of the out of gates. So that’s one point.
Yeah another one I would say is, you know, just being coordinated to again, like, if this is a marketing channel, then you know, make sure that your be ours are not just utilized as the, they’re going to call the leads that, that registered for the event, if they’re just that they’re kind of opposed to that thing, then again, you probably want to question whether you can have them, there’s a whole lot more that you can do with them. So if the BDRs are well integrated as part of your campaign, you’re gonna see a better result. This means they need to be fully enabled as a campaign element.
Everything from data intelligence, training, messaging, you know, and don’t make the mistake of just, you know, whatever they ease, get the bdrs get, the bdrs have a different role. They’re doing discovery, prospecting, qualifying things that oftentimes the A’s aren’t doing. So for me that the BDR is get as much as possible, the gold standard of the names, confidence goes a long way. And if your bdrs walk in to a campaign, you know, feeling like they’re 10 feet tall and invincible, they are going to crush it for for you and you know, feeling they have all the tools, they’re not going to be afraid to make that call, they’re going to send an email with confidence and know what the right response is. And that, you know, that really goes a long way. I think we’re probably short on time.
But the last point I would make is persistence, right. And this is kind of an easy one. There’s no magic to this, but it is, it’s a grind. It’s an every single day program to be a BDR it’s hard and managing a team of bdrs. So it means you need to very clearly set expectations if you’re a manager. Which starts with making sure every minute of the day is is well used, right? And it sounds a little bit rigid, but you got to keep in mind most bdrs are a year or two out of college. The more direction you can give them. To make sure they’re doing all the things that your motion needs them to do, the better.
And so you know if you Want to make sure that outbound calling is which is painful. Nobody, very few people, even bdrs, I know have enjoyed doing that. You just got to book it and say, Look 10 to 1030, every single day, we’re all doing this. And then you get everybody in there to get nine versus central time. Much better when we’re all in it together. We’re feeling the pain together, and we’re celebrating the victories together. Then afterwards, we’re all getting together and saying. What worked, what didn’t work. Let’s laugh at the failures and celebrate again, kind of what, what worked well.
Lastly, it’s it since it is so hard. I think we got to make sure not to forget to appreciate them. Right, everything from the little things. Coffee food, I guess we can, you know, Uber it or grubhub it to them today. But you know, just doing those sorts of things, bringing food in small. Small space for whoever made the most connects on call day. Or when the team hit the end of month number. Whatever it takes. Just make sure you know that you appreciate them. Honestly, there is no role. I appreciate more and in the demand engine, just because of how hard it is. And how much we ask them and also how critical it is. I can’t get the pipeline, if I don’t have that role killing it.
Billy: Yeah, I agree. Bryan. It’s a tough job. And but you got to have them. So I tip my hat to anybody that really does their best to Excel has bdr. Not an easy job. Okay, well, thank you so much, Bryan. And we appreciate all the insights and if someone wants to get in contact with you. And continue the conversation or learn more about Alert Logic. What’s the best way for them to reach out?
Bryan: You can just hit me Bryan. My name is Bryan Urioste there at Alertlogic.com. You can find me you know, Twitter, LinkedIn anywhere. Happy to respond and interested in the conversation.
Billy: Okay, thanks, Bryan.