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Episode 58  |  32:38 min

How Marketing Can Get Closer To The Customer (With SalesLoft’s Sydney Sloan)

Episode 58  |  32:38 min  |  02.25.2021

How Marketing Can Get Closer To The Customer (With SalesLoft’s Sydney Sloan)

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This is a podcast episode titled, How Marketing Can Get Closer To The Customer (With SalesLoft’s Sydney Sloan) . The summary for this episode is: <p>When Sydney Sloan joined SalesLoft as CMO, one of the first things she did was a customer journey exercise, zeroing in on new customers’ first 90 days with SalesLoft. Why'd she do it? Sydney says it was the best way to understand the challenges customers were facing and where marketing could provide value. </p><p><br></p><p>In this episode, Sydney shares the key metrics she looks at every week, why she thinks marketing should get involved in the post-sale, what she’s learned marketing to different personas throughout her career, and the mantra that helps her stay laser-focused on the customer.&nbsp;</p><p><br></p><p>Like this episode? Be sure to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review and share the pod with your friends. You can connect with Tricia and Sydney on Twitter @triciagellman @sydsloan</p>

When Sydney Sloan joined SalesLoft as CMO, one of the first things she did was a customer journey exercise, zeroing in on new customers’ first 90 days with SalesLoft. Why'd she do it? Sydney says it was the best way to understand the challenges customers were facing and where marketing could provide value.


In this episode, Sydney shares the key metrics she looks at every week, why she thinks marketing should get involved in the post-sale, what she’s learned marketing to different personas throughout her career, and the mantra that helps her stay laser-focused on the customer. 


Like this episode? Be sure to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review and share the pod with your friends. You can connect with Tricia and Sydney on Twitter @triciagellman @sydsloan

Guest Thumbnail
Sydney Sloan
CMO, SalesLofthttps://www.linkedin.com/in/sydsloan/

Tricia: Hey everyone. I'm Tricia, and I am the CMO at Drift. And you are listening to CMO Conversations. My goal with this podcast series is to help marketers learn and grow, adapt, and keep up with all of the changes that's happening in the field of marketing. As we move from what I call the demand gen era to the revenue era, and the demands that have changed our marketers along the way. If you're a CMO or you want to figure out the right path to becoming one, this is the podcast for you. And I'm excited that I have with me today, Sydney Sloan. I've been talking to Sydney for a while about getting her on the podcast, and I don't know why it took us this long, but thank goodness we're here. I worked with Sydney years ago, and she has an illustrative career in marketing. She spent 16 years at Adobe, before joining Jive, then Alfresco and now at SalesLoft. And she's a CMO at SalesLoft, which I think is unique because as a marketer, she is marketing a product to sales. And one of the big changes in the revenue era is getting closer to sales. So we'll talk about that later. I think you have some great insights on that, as well as the customer journey, the metrics that we use for measurement. So let me turn it over to you, Sydney. Maybe you can give us just a high level of your background and what people should know about your role at SalesLoft.

Sydney Sloan: Well, it's great to be here, and I'm excited to finally make it on your podcast. I've been wanting to be on it as well. I love listening to it. So my role, I'm the chief marketing officer. But when I think about what my primary role is, I'm a leader first. So I take my role on the executive team very seriously, and making sure that I'm aware of everything that's happening in the business and how best marketing can support the business. So working with finance, I mean, Steve and I, my CRO, or like in every meeting, I just came off a meeting talking about our customer success organization. So I really work hard at being a partner in the business first. And then the team I happen to lead is marketing, and they're a fantastic team. So, that's how I think of it first.

Tricia: Would you say that then one of your big contributors to success is the focus on being a leader versus being a marketer let's say, or is there some other thing that you would say is your super power as a CMO?

Sydney Sloan: So I think yes, first leading and being aligned definitely as a go to market leader that runs the marketing function. I think the one of our first jobs is to identify what is our go to market strategy and then how do we align the organization to execute against that strategy? And so I think that is one of my super powers, is really understanding the market dynamics, but also the execution orientation of how do you actually go from identifying market opportunity to actually driving revenue within that, in that opportunity, and ensuring that all the players along the effort are working in conjunction. I'm just really lucky that my CRO and I are so in sync, and I know that's unique, right? I joke that I've had probably 20 tours of duties with different sales leaders over my tenure, and sometimes it sinks in, sometimes it doesn't. And I think as people are going into the CMO role, your relationship with a sales leader is so important. When you're interviewing in companies and they say, what do you expect from marketing? And if what they say is leads, that wouldn't work for me personally. If they say I want to go to market partner, that's totally what I'm looking for. And I would say so that's it. Like the understanding go to market? And then the second one I think is just passionate and energy. And I just really care about people, the business, our customers, and I've always been very customer centric customer first. And it reminds me back in my days at Adobe, when we used to go on sales calls. And getting to like be in the field with reps, living in their shoes day to day and understanding really how tough it was, and what they needed and what they used that we created or what they didn't use that we spent time creating. So I think spending the time with your sellers and understanding what they need, how you're supporting them and how you can continue to do better is another great way to stay aligned with the sales and marketing teams.

Tricia: Yeah. I love that you really highlight this connection with the sales leaders. I'm fortunate that our sales leader is excellent, and this morning was introducing our two sales leaders together. So lots of synergies between us and between our sales leaders. I truly believe, and that's one of the things I try to get across in this podcast series, that marketers need to sign up for revenue. And in sort of the new world that we're in, which has just been accelerated with the past year that we've been through, we're in a digital economy, we're in a place where we have to make low touch into high touch, and just being focused on leads is not enough. You have to look at this experience. You mentioned working with the CFO, you mentioned working with HR. I think this is one of the critical transitions for marketing, is that marketing really plays this role as being a hub in the success of a company and that translates into the go- to market, but also into your employee experience, et cetera. You've been at SalesLoft for three years. And the role of CMO in general in three years has changed a lot. Can you talk about how, or if your role has changed over that time being at SalesLoft?

Sydney Sloan: Definitely has. I mean, we're one of these awesome stories of growth as Drift is. And so the market has changed. Our role has changed. And so I would say, I'd highlight two things. The first was the need for differentiation in a very competitive marketplace. And so in looking and go to market and trying to find differentiation. Because I was a buyer before I worked here. And so I went through the process and I understood. It was like, wow, how do I pick? It was on sales experience, frankly. As marketers, I believe we need to drive for differentiation. And so how our market view influence the product strategy to create that differentiation, where now we're winning, we're, A, able to offer a broader platform, more solutions to our buyers, and then that also create a differentiation. And I see that as marketing's role in working with product and sales.

Tricia: Is there a specific role within your team that helps with that?

Sydney Sloan: Yep. For sure, product marketing. And so we're responsible for identifying the potential growth levers for the company, evaluating that, presenting it, bringing analysts in and getting their input. As we're helping to cast the vision for where we want to go, and then working with product on aligning to what they're hearing from customers. Because they hear more of the customer voice than we do in the retention side of what our existing customers need. And then as a collective leadership team, making those choices and then executing on that. So I would say our product marketing team is responsible for identification and quantifying those opportunities. And then the leadership is tasked with choosing which ones to go after. And it's hard, because when I started three years ago, we had 14 different go to market strategies, and we ran a quarterly rhythm. And that was fine when we were 180 person,$ 20 million company. Now that we're bigger, we have to make bigger bags because the company can't pivot that fast. And so keeping that alignment based on data and we've evaluated all these things. So we went from the 13 to the three, and we've kind of kept on that rhythm since then. So, that's one thing. I think the other thing, Tricia, is like, if people are in a role where you're going after new market segments, how do you continue to shift marketing support? So it's kind of continued to shift year and year we were primarily an SMB company running a pretty fast sales motion. And as you add an enterprise that motion changes and how you support sales changes. And so we run a hybrid funnel. So we have a strict inbound funnel that does the primary amount of driving for our commercial business. And we brought the inbound SDR team into our team and we saw 230% increase year on year in our inbound opportunity creation, which is fantastic. It feels really good as a marketer to contribute like that. And a 50% win rate, which is really good. I know, I'm like," Yes." So I think that's one thing. But then the motion is different. So we built a different funnel for our enterprise team. We have a different supporting function and created an enterprise marketing team that just works with our enterprise because it's totally ABM, right? It's totally account- based strategy, not just ABM, account based overall. And identifying the tier one accounts and running programs and partnering our account- based marketers with the sales teams in terms of setting up that ratio of support. So, that's an evolution that we've gone through. And so, yeah, running a dual funnel, continuing to extend the team to be in partnership with each part of the organization. So each part of my marketing leadership team lines up to a revenue team, the commercial team, the enterprise team and the customer success and retention team. And so we're building our strategies and support for each one of those revenue groups.

Tricia: I love chatting with you because we're doing so many parallel things. It's really interesting. One of the things you just started to touch on, I hear of the customer success team and the alignment with that. You have built as a core of sort of mantra of your career, this concept of the customer and customer marketing. And you have shared with me in the past that you have a saying, smart, happy customers help you grow and buy more. And I'm wondering if you can talk about... You talked about product marketing being a part of influencing the product strategy, but I mean a customer strategy and putting the customer at the center, it's not just product marketing, is everything in marketing. So how do you view that and incorporate it into your marketing strategy?

Sydney Sloan: Yeah. There's two ways that I think about our marketing. One is the customer journey, and I'll park that to the side. We can maybe come back to that. As it relates to my favorite mantra, smart, happy customers buy more. I mean, I think I kind of learned it the hard way. And, for those of us who've been around a long time they'll remember like, Oh, we're at the end of the quarter, we don't have our number. Let's go call our customers and ask them to buy more. And guess what, our sense of urgency and end of quarter does not constitute a reason for our customers to buy. Having run that fire drill earlier in my career, I'm like, yeah, this is not going to work. I mean, I know you need revenue, but that's not how it has to happen. And so he came up with this concept, and really what it means is you have to educate your customer. So smart customers. The first thing you have to do is educate them through all of the programs that you put in place. So that's partnering with the training organization or targeting admins on how to get them certified or end user adoption of the platform. I love tools like Pendo, right? So we're thinking about what is it that we can do to train, especially in our world. And you fleets this, I'm sure as well, where you're having to retrain your customers all the time. The tenure of our user is under two years. And so we're constantly needing to, you can't just go implement and walk away. It has to be an ongoing relationship.

Tricia: Well, yeah. And hopefully other thing I think that's a big deal thing for our customer bases is if our customers are successful with our solutions they're growing. So whether you have this turnover or not, people are probably doubling the sizes of their teams that are using our product.

Sydney Sloan: Yep. By the way, my team told me this morning, they love using Drift, it's super easy. So congratulations on that.

Tricia: Excellent. We can still do more training.

Sydney Sloan: Yeah. So I agree. And, as the products get more complex and you add more products, the use cases, you have to continue to start breaking down. One of the things that I really like doing is, I've done this a couple of times now. After I took on the customer marketing function, you have to think of your existing customers differently than your prospects. And what I mean by that is like, we identify personas, right? We know who we're targeting to try and make them a customer. You have to do the same thing with your existing customers. So in the onboarding phase, the people that actually bought the product are probably not your primary contacts moving forward. So you also need to create personas and roles for your existing customers. So, A, you have them in your database, so you can communicate to them. B, you're keeping track of it. And then, C, you're running programs against those different roles. Because an admin needs different information.

Tricia: But at the same time, not losing touch with the original buyers, right? Because the original buyers are probably your chief advocate or your economic sign- off person. So maybe they're not involved day- to- day anymore. But guess what? When it comes up to renewal and other things you don't want to be going back. Oh, I haven't talked to you in two years, but hey, we should engage you again. The same to your end of quarter drive money problem.

Sydney Sloan: Yeah. And also the revenue decision- maker. And so how do we think about them? How often are we talking to them? How do we market or how do we communicate with them? I wouldn't say market. Once they're a customer, I like to say communicate. And then you have to... Again, we're running an enterprise and a commercial business. And so you have to think about how do I do that in a way that's personalized and relevant in a one to few, one to many model, and commercial versus a one- to- one in enterprise? And you start simple and then you have to start breaking those apart over time.

Tricia: Yeah. You talked before about how, when you started your role, I think it was at SalesLoft, the first thing you did was you did a customer journey map. And as much as we were talking about it being different for prospects and for customers, at the end of the day, I mean, the way I view it, and I think you do too, is it's a full circle, right? It's not like a linear line of one to the other, and you're traveling through these different groups of people, but it's the full journey map ongoing.

Sydney Sloan: Yeah. I've done circles and I've done infinity loops too. It's like, how do you get them? And then you're continuing to sell to them. And then they sell to your accounts. But I'm a big fan of customer journey. I think one of the nice things about being in marketing is that we get the opportunity to take being the advocate for our customers. And I believe we should understand our prospects and customers more than anyone else in the business. And then that means we get to partner with the business. And the first thing that you can do is design the customer journey. So mapping that out. I learned it from Rachel Happe years ago. She's one of the originators of the customer journey. Customer Bliss is the name of her company. And so as you map out that journey and what is it the customer wants from us, and you identify the moment of truth in each of the different stages. And if you were just to do that one thing, it would change the perception of the customer for you. And my favorite place to start is in the first 90 days.

Tricia: It's a make or break time, so I think that's a great place.

Sydney Sloan: And if you don't do it, they're more likely to turn. So they've just gone through this awesome buying experience with you, and then they get handed off and then they're educating the new CSM. And so you've got to fix that first window, and maybe it's even 30 days. We're talking about seven days now in helping customers realize time to value in a very short window. Even if it's a really small thing, just get those quick wins. So you get the validation that they chose the right partner, that the technology is implementing well. We do a thing called a graduation score as well. So I think there's a part two of holding your customers accountable to their success.

Tricia: I love that.

Sydney Sloan: And so where does that handoff happen? And so really examining that first 90 days is super important for the long time value of that customer over time. And it's also a good rallying point. I mean, as a CMO, if you're coming in for the first time, what a better way to understand your company, how you're organized serving the customers, the challenges your customers face, what they want from you. So you can have that broad view of like, okay, well, where can I start to help make the most impact for our customers and ultimately the company.

Tricia: Yeah. And I think it's also a great place to kind of feedback information into how you're marketing to attract customers, right? I mean, if you learn what's happening in the first 90 days and here XYZ is not working, we delivered a message and now people are absolutely deflated because they haven't seen the value of that message. You have to go back as a marketer and say, what am I saying in my end- user, like out in the market building that awareness funnel, et cetera. Because, it really does make a difference. And I think hearing from the customers is just as important as let's say, hearing from your salespeople of what's working and not working.

Sydney Sloan: Yeah. And what I love too is these new peer review sites. So I mean, G2 and TrustRadius haven't been around that long. Gartner Peer Review Insights. We can curate that as a new voice of the customer program. I mean, if you're a big company, maybe you have voice of the customer program, but if not, just go look at your peer reviews. Read them right there. That's where you can get the input. What do they like? What do they wish you did?

Tricia: I have a person on my team who owns voice of the customer and we're not a big company. But I think the value of aggregating what's being said, whether it's in these review sites or in the sort of one- on- one interviews that you have with your CSMs, et cetera. And then again, like marketing, playing that role of, informing the whole company, it's a really powerful thing. And it helps everyone marketing, product, sales. I mean, we're aggregating it into every department.

Sydney Sloan: Are they also running your NPS and customer survey stuff?

Tricia: Yep. The partner with the product team now. So it started as just listening, then demonstrating the value. Then showing that if we have this value, maybe we could increase in mature NPS program. And now I'm working with product to be the group that brings in the sentiment from the customers on what's working or not, feature requests, et cetera. So that instead of that being feedback to product in a vacuum, that is within the context of all the other things that we're hearing across other channels. As we talk about listening to customers, it really comes back me on the audience. And we spoke about how it's unique to be a marketer marketing to salespeople, because it's almost hard to say that you're a marketer and marketing to salespeople because the, I don't want to be marketed to radar is so high. But you've also marketed to developers. You've marketed to more like enterprise business buyers. What's your takeaway from marketing to all of these different buyer types?

Sydney Sloan: I mean, there's different strategies that work for different people. When you listed that whole category, boy, did I learn the hard way, how not to market to developers? You think salespeople, sniff test is high developers for the highest. And so, what I've learned over the years is that people buy from people they like. People want to hear from people they like. So as you think about who you're marketing to, using people like them... So the way that we fix the developer problem is not like, it wasn't my job to market. It was to partner with the developer evangelist team on putting programs to help them be elevated. So writing a book with one of the developers and a really famous influencer, or running a posse workshops. And so, I could use my technical logistical skills and communication to support the evangelists, similarly at SalesLoft, right? So we've got influencers and evangelists and so many sales communities out there that we partner with, where our goal is to elevate the sales profession. And so I have to think about that first. And then as much as we can, like all our content, I have our sales team read before we publish it out. And we run partnerships with all of our cadence building and content messaging between the teams. And so I just think using your own resources to make sure it passes the sniff test is important. And I made that mistake, frankly, coming in on that one. I hired an agency and we went out and we did a big rebrand and ta- da. And you read the website, it made no sense to any salesperson. And I totally blew it. I did not have sales in our working group. I did not have sales validating before we pushed it live. We were running on a deadline, and I missed it. So I won't make that mistake again.

Tricia: Yeah. I mean, I think that's a really good lesson. And I think whether you're marketing to developers or salespeople, I mean the majority of companies that we're working at as CMOs, or if you're not even a CMO, or you're just a marketer, but you have these people in your company. These are fundamental roles that exist in almost every company today. And so it might be one or two people, but really, they're right there in your company. So getting them to give their point of view is really helpful.

Sydney Sloan: I've even done it where nurtures are from that person. And so they're a real person in the company. They help us write it. We might do some promotions with them. So aligning a champion inside your company or externally with your personas, and using them and their voice and their public persona as the interaction between that. And I did that at Jive, with our community leaders and that worked really well.

Tricia: That's a really cool idea. I don't think I've ever done that actually, but I like that idea.

Sydney Sloan: You're doing it right now.

Tricia: Yeah. I mean, I like it that we talked about how we can be this hub and helping to influence out, but it's also a little bit of like, okay, what's your skin in the game, right? And so it's not just marketing, pushing out and trying to be a partner with everyone else. It's like, how do you actually have that partnership back and how people help you? Because I think the diverse perspective that always helps.

Sydney Sloan: Another example would be, if you're going to market vertically, well you hire an industry expert from that vertical? And then you work to promote them as that person that's going to influence. And so I think it can work in any go to market motion.

Tricia: Yeah. And I've definitely done that before. So thanks. It makes me feel better. One of the things that I think is great, and for me personally, it's very fulfilling is working with a solution that adds true bottom line value to the buyer we're going after. And I think that's one of the things with SalesLoft, you're empowering the CRO to be more effective, to then hit their goals at a faster, easier pace. And that, I think is great in terms of being a marketer and really helping to like hone in on true value to a company. How do you think that the world is changing in terms of the tools and solutions that are helping, let's say a sales leader or a CMO reach that value? 10 years ago, the only solution we talked about for these kinds of things was marketing automation, but now there's so many more tools.

Sydney Sloan: Yeah. I mean, I believe sales tech is where MarTech was seven years ago, right? Where you're now able to apply all this innovation that's happening in the technology landscape to the problems that sellers are facing. And so there's a digital transformation, marketing transformation, sales transformation thing going on. What I love is like the marketing and sales transformation is starting to happen more and more as marketers and marketing tech companies are realizing that you got to connect the dot with sales, because it's the closest path to revenue. I mean, frankly, right? That's what we want to show, is that impact to revenue. Salesforce, and you work there so you know, did a great job of helping to build a platform and a foundation for which to capture all of the sales activities... I'll say all, what people would input into it. But at least it provided a place for everybody to say, is that single source of truth. And now what we're seeing is that the one value that sales teams have is their time, that's it, right? So when you think about a professional economy where it is the sales person's time, how do we find ways to make them more efficient and effective? And efficiency can come through workflow automation tools, being able to structure things their day, their time, automating certain parts of what they used to do manually. And there's just huge lift in that across the board, especially when you think about what percentage of investment is spent on the sales organization. So if you can reduce sales person's manual activity by five hours... We did a study where we reduce 20% of the time, when you put in SalesLoft, you get a 20% efficiency gain. That's another day of selling. That is immediate value. And then the effectiveness looks at how your organization is performing. And you always talk about AB and C players and how do you make your B players A players. And so being able to provide information to sales leaders around the effectiveness of their teams, and having tools that plot out, like here's the teams, here's where they're performing against the benchmarks. And then being able to drill down to see where can we provide coaching? Where can we maybe look at sales stages and run more training to people? Or maybe there's a team that's struggling, and you would have had to manually create those views before probably in Salesforce or some other third party. And now we're being able to pull all that together. So we can look at all of the tactical things they're doing. We can look at how they're doing it and then bring that information back to sales leaders so they can better manage their teams. I mean, I think it's game changing.

Tricia: I'm smiling because I love listening to you talk about this. Back to our early part of the conversation, knowing your audience, it's obvious that you really know the audience and what matters to them. I think if you just went to a general marketer and said, Oh, okay, what are the things that matter to sales? They would say making their number. But they wouldn't realize, Oh, 20% of the team typically makes the number. And if you want to be more efficient and effective, you've got to reach that middle. Like you said, B player become an A player. But the B player is when you were in college, looking at the bell curve that you need to be to pass your class. That's the B player in a sales organization that you want to rise to the top. It's the largest part of the curve. So I just love listening to you talk about it. Because it's just shows that you have such a passion for the audience that you're marketing to, but also being a marketing leader who can partner with sales. Because you can't partner if you don't understand your stakeholders as well. I want to maybe ask you two questions because I have one follow, like last question I always ask everybody. But before we get there, we talked a lot about partnering with sales, but then we talked a lot about customer marketing and customer success. I'm wondering if you have key metrics that you look at and how are they different from more of like the new business funnel to the post sales funnel. And do you have any consistent metrics across the board?

Sydney Sloan: So we run a joint pipeline meeting with the revenue team. And we have a combined revenue team. So we have a CRO that has sales renewals and retention. And in that meeting, we basically follow the funnel. So we talk about pipeline created metrics, which primarily marketing and the outbound team are responsible for. So we'll look at it in terms of volume and pipeline. So how many SQLs... We use a term called STO, but how many SQLs are we generating and then what's the pipeline value for it in terms of being created in the quarter. And then we look at pipeline coverage. That's next chapter. And so it's like, okay, what's our coverage. How's it span across teams. And then we look at our retention metrics. So what's up for renewal, where are we at? We're red counts. And so we have that all in one meeting every other week. It's my favorite meeting that I go to, because it really allows us to look completely at the business. I love getting involved in red accounts. If I have a contact that I've worked with 10 years ago, who's a sales leader, I'm all over it. I'm calling that person and I'm in there, and that's fun as a marketer in this role that I can be so involved with the customers. I enjoy that part. We look at pipeline, and then from a marketing perspective, of course we have to look at... I always say, I am a steward of the company's investment. And I take that very seriously. The CFO loves when I say that. I take it very seriously. My goal is always to be spending 101% of my budget. I want us to spend just a little bit more, because they've given us this money so we can contribute marketing's part to the organization. And so then I need to show him how I'm being efficient with that. So the other metrics that we look at is like program efficiency spend, ROI, CAC, all of those things. We always can answer the question that he loves to ask in our board. If I were to give you another a million dollars, where would you spend it? And I need to know how to answer that question. So I do look at our marketing dashboard and efficiency frequently.

Tricia: Yeah. I love that. And I love the fact that you guys have this in one meeting. We just recently moved our hosts, a sales experience underneath our CRO and we're calling it the field's go to market operation now instead of the sales organization. I mean, no CS organization wants to work as a part of the sales organization. They want to be like a first rate citizen. And so, I think this is a big trend as well as we look at life cycle. And this is what I call the revenue era, if not just about new business revenue. Because, if it's all leaking out the bottom, I mean, no one's succeeding. We want to make sure that we have that full cycle of new business adoption expansion, renewal, everything in accountable to one person, which makes it much easier to make decisions.

Sydney Sloan: And owning the relationship, frankly. I mean, that's the cool part too. It's like one organization that is completely owning the customer relationship from beginning through the lifetime.

Tricia: Yeah, that's excellent. Well, this has been a great conversation about the role of marketing in driving a business, whether it be identifying the market or partnering in new business, partnering in post- sales. I always like to close the episode with the same question, and hopefully we shared this with you before, so that you're ready to answer it. But what is the number one important lesson that you think you've learned in your career that you would share with our listeners

Sydney Sloan: Team one, that was the game changing lesson for me. And it changed kind of my career trajectory. I was a very competitive person. I grew up with two older brothers playing sports in a highly competitive household. So I always was competing with my peers on my product performing better than theirs or whatever. And what I learned was that team one is your peer group. And as soon as I stop thinking about them as competitors and there were my collaborators and how we work together. And now how I approach coming into new companies, where the executive leadership team, for me, is my team one. And then how we come together as a marketing leadership team and manage our team is the second part. And so that's been the biggest. Because it really teaches you the importance of building relationships across the organization, how you can support them. And that's what has helped me become more strategic leader in the company. Because I look at it all. I don't just stay in my box. And I think that's helped me succeed in my career.

Tricia: There's a part of your marketing career where you realize, okay, you're not just an individual contributor that's doing one thing in a little Island, but that you can have much more success as you partner with others to rise the tide. But then also as you start to look at broader stakeholders and broader connection to a company- wide initiatives and goals versus just your sort of like little microcosm of a goal. So I think all of those things play into that.

Sydney Sloan: And I think anyone that gets the great fortune to be in roles like ours, you realize that your first job is leading people, and your second one is knowing how to market. And so being a great leader and understanding how to motivate and inspire and handle challenging situations. I mean, I'm sure you do as well as I spend a lot of our time doing that. Because we're trying to build and grow leaders and teams and empower and do all those parts to build a healthy and effective organization.

Tricia: Yeah, I think that's a great point. And I always emphasize to people when I'm mentoring them that as you grow your career, you have to say to yourself, am I passionate about leading and putting a larger part of my time toward leading than doing and being the one just strategizing on a specific segment of what it is that you do in your role? Because, I think that really is the critical component. And I always emphasize with my leaders that they probably need to think about the fact that they have moved up in their career and they need to start thinking not just about how are they leading their department and their team in terms of the tactical tasks, but how are they leading and making and clearing that path for that as well. So I really love that. And I think it helps to lead to successful teams. Which none of us are successful if we don't have a successful team overall with the employees in it. So, this has been a great episode and I want to thank you for being a part of CMO Conversations. I want to thank the listeners. I want to remind people that we really do watch for your thumbs up and your six stars, five stars, whatever it might be on your platform. And so we hope that you will share similar conversations with as many people as possible, and help us to reach a broader audience. So thank you Sydney for being here today. I know we're going to bring you back for another episode. And so I look forward to speaking to you again soon.

Sydney Sloan: Sounds good.

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