The Revenue Generator podcast is a personal project of mine, and it’s been a long, long time in the coming. The catalyst of the podcast comes from the errors of my own professional past and each episode serves as a vehicle for me – and hopefully you as well – to become a better revenue generator.

But I’m getting ahead of myself….

The Revenue Generator podcast is a daily conversation, and each episode shares the story of how innovators of the Revenue Generation orchestrate sales, marketing, product and customer success teams to deliver world-class customer experiences. 

In short-form episodes, listeners learn how Chief Revenue Officers and others from the B2B SaaS, Business Services and Communications industries integrate data, technology, people and processes to expedite demand generation and increase recurring revenue.

Logo of the Revenue Generator Podcast

Judgment born from experience, and experience born from bad judgment

I’ve been a B2B marketing and sales leader for 18 years, and during that time I have been the author of my fair share of jargon-laden messaging, mushy positioning and pushy promotion. In doing so, I felt that I was keeping up with trends. But, I knew, or rather felt, subconsciously, that I was just perpetuating poor go-to-market strategies.

I felt that way primarily because I was using the very same tactics that I was getting bombarded with as a customer and a consumer.

The dawn of the digital age brought more sophisticated marketing tactics, led by email and social media. My Inbox would get flooded – and continues to get flooded – with emails and offers from SaaS companies and agencies, reaching out to me time and time again with an SOS – “same old sequence.”

Every day I have to clear my Inbox of irrelevant emails – lots and lots of irrelevant emails. And, there continue to be numerous instances where impressions are so interruptive, rude and difficult that it leaves me with a poor opinion of the brand, something polar opposite to their intentions.

Again, though, guilty as charged. I’ve deployed those same tactics.

Emails are just the tip of the iceberg, of course.

Case in point: Professional marketers are obsessed with their digital presence, pouring over data analytics to try to understand customer behavior and chartering corrective actions that range from minor webpage updates to major website overhauls.

Yet, at the same time, we flood digital content with jargon. Time and time again, I feel like a spelunker, gingerly inching my way through a dark cave of jargon-laced messaging until I finally give up, turn around and go home.

Again, as a B2B revenue leader, I’ve done it too. I had become so used to it I had gotten numb.

The word "audience" on a whiteboard, with a man's hand holding a marker and drawing arrows to the word as a point of emphasis.

The change within

Looking introspectively at my own efforts, coupled with my cluttered Inbox, I began to compare B2B marketing with the world-class type of customer experience I’m exposed to as a B2C consumer. 

Comparing B2B marketing with B2C marketing, it is abundantly clear that us B2B revenue generators very often lack an understanding of our customers. Oh, we claim to understand, but in reality, we tend to only understand how customers serve us, rather than how we serve them.

In a word, B2B revenue generation is “jacked.” 

There’s a lot of bad stuff out there, and it’s well past time to peel back a bit of the problem and bring potential solutions to light. 

I believe it starts with empathy and vulnerability.

Empathy & vulnerability

To truly understand today’s buyers, a brand has to be empathetic. And, to be empathetic a brand must first be willing to be vulnerable.

Let me explain.

Professionally, vulnerability is inward facing. It comes to light by being comfortable in simply saying, “I don’t know.” 

As revenue leaders, we need to have a willingness to acknowledge we know some things, but don’t know others, and that our list of don’t knows far exceeds that which we do know. We need to close the gap between understanding and assumption.

Here’s the thing: Generally speaking, millennials and Gen Z are willing to be vulnerable. They’re comfortable with the notion. And, every bit as important, both generations will drive business and consumer behavior for the next 30 years. Listen up Boomers and Gen X – we need to adapt. 

I began my professional journey toward empathy and vulnerability when I sat through a presentation facilitated by Jordan Koene, where he looked at empathy through the lens of search engine optimization (SEO). Seeing the abstract, I thought, “That’s interesting in that it’s so unique. I have to check it out.” 

I’m glad I did, because his presentation changed everything.

Banner with the words "We Heat You."

Jordan believed future winners would be those who had empathy for people who were searching. He shared a wonderful example.

Wayfair, the furniture company, competes against a variety of furniture companies, many of which are longstanding stalwarts of the business. But, it achieved a level of success by understanding and empathizing with its target market – middle class families who want stylish, durable, affordable furniture that can stand up to children. 

How did Wayfair do it? Well, they created a guide to buying couches that featured an overview on … how to convert a couch to a “fort” for small children. The guide wasn’t created by some maven marketer. No, it was created by a former teacher, unburdened with any legacy thoughts of how marketing should be done. Instead, she put herself in the mindset of those she wanted to engage. 

With a stroke of genius, Wayfair emotionally connected with its demographic, proving it understood them and their needs. The result was category domination over more established brands. 

Introducing the Revenue Generator podcast

Full circle time – back to where we started.

In my ongoing journey of introspective self-learning and discovery, I am routinely inspired and motivated by the pace of innovation, and flat-out amazed at the focus needed to execute successfully. 

I have also learned that keeping track of the nearly constant change in our profession is a daily challenge. 

To help unearth the go-to-market wisdom I see at LeanData and from our partners, I’ve been inspired to launch the Revenue Generator podcast

In our first few weeks of producing episodes, we’ve already published conversations with the industry leaders that are at the forefront of change, including:

Our goal with the Revenue Generator podcast is to help you keep pace with the daily evolutions of the modern revenue industry. 

As you’re a member of the “Revenue Generation,” I want to invite you to pay a visit to the podcast, and by all means, please provide your feedback. You can catch episodes – as well as subscribe – on Apple, Spotify, Google or virtually any other podcast player

Thanks for reading my about revenue generation journey, one I hope you’ll join me on. Let’s ‘un-jack’ B2B sales and marketing together.

Doug Bell, CMO, LeanData
Doug Bell
Chief Marketing Officer at LeanData

Doug Bell is the Chief Marketing Officer at LeanData, where he continues to demonstrate his career-long ability to drive revenue growth and scale marketing with steady, empathetic leadership. Connect with Doug on LinkedIn.