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Class Introduction

Lesson 1 from: How to Hire, Train and Manage a Rockstar Growth Team for Your Business

Ryan Deiss

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Lesson Info

1. Class Introduction

Lesson Info

Class Introduction

I'm excited about the topic today. It's something that I haven't had the opportunity to teach on as much as I would like, and it isn't something that isn't talked about as often as I feel like it should be. And that's this idea of actually building and training a growth team, a digital marketing team. I mean, this is now a thing, right. This idea that as companies we need people on our teams who are able to walk into an office every single day, whether it's the office that we have, or maybe a distributed team, and show up with the goal of growing our organizations. It's real, it's here, it's not ... You know, there have been so many changes lately, and yet there's not a lot of discussion about how do we actually do it. How do we build a team that can respond to all the modern marketing channels, that has an understanding of how to build a comprehensive growth strategy within an organization. So I'm excited to be talking about just that, and really soup to nuts. How to hire, how to trai...

n and how to manage. So I'm operating under the assumption that as it stands today, you are a team of one. I'm assuming that you are a team of one, and either sometime soon, or you know, maybe not so soon, you would like to grow your team. But this is also very much gonna apply, and we're also gonna address those of you who have a team. And maybe that team is a little bit disorganized. Anybody have a team but maybe ... maybe I'm not gonna ask you guys to do it, because your team may be watching, so if you've got a disorganized team, you're like, "They're terrible." You know, and your team's watching and all of a sudden you're in trouble. So I'm not gonna ask you to raise your hand there. But you know, if you have a team that's there but it's disorganized, we're gonna address that. And then finally, if you have a team, but it's a legacy team. So maybe you're working for an organization that's been around for 10, 15, 20, 30, 50 years, right, and there's legacy sales and marketing teams in place, how do you break through some of those barriers and actually get that team to take it to the next level, and again modernize just a little bit. It's not easy, but it can be done, and we're gonna address all of those things. To get started, though, there are some terms, some words that I want to throw out. And let's see if we can figure out where these come from. The first is incompetent, incompetent. Second, cowboys, cowboys. Third is simple-minded. Incompetent, cowboys, simple-minded. These are all common words marketing executives use to describe salespeople, according to a study done by the Corporate Executive Board. This is how marketers are described. This is how marketing executives are describing salespeople. Paper-pushers. Academics. Irrelevant. These are common words that sales executives use to describe marketers. I actually think the academic one is quite nice, I've been called much worse than that, you know, as a marketer. But the fascinating thing about this, 87%, all right, 87%, that's the amount of negative words that sales and marketing people use when describing one another in this study put out by the Corporate Executive Board. 87% of the words and phrases used to describe sales and marketers when they are talking about the other are negative. Do any of you have separate sales teams and marketing teams? Is that something that you have within your organizations? So maybe you have experienced some of this, right, the war between sales and marketing. It's out there, it's common, and it's not getting any better. It's not getting any better. In fact, what we're seeing is that these two worlds, which used to be fairly siloed, they are beginning to come together. So we're finding that salespeople, like you go to any sales conference and they are all being told that what they need to do is they need to get better at marketing. They need to be getting better at conversational selling. They are teaching salespeople content marketing. And on the marketing side, right, it used to be that marketers were responsible for brand identity, they were responsible for making sure that everybody had pens with the company logo on it. And now they are saying, oh, marketers, you really need to be responsible for not just generating awareness and leads, but you need to be responsible for generating some sales. So you have these two worlds that were separate, and they still hated each other when they were separate, now they've been merged together, and it's not helping things, all right, it's not helping things. And in fact, here's another number for you. Zero percent, zero percent. This is the amount of marketers and salespeople who actually agree on the definition of a lead. That's not a study, that's my own painful experience over a decade of dealing with this crap. So just getting them to agree on what is a lead, is in and of itself difficult. So we want to make sure that we can solve that challenge, as well. So I believe it's time to end the war between sales and marketing once and for all. So that's one of the objectives that we want to have. And if you're brand new, if you're just getting started, if you're building a team from scratch, the beautiful thing is, you may never have to deal with this. You may never have to deal with this. But if you have this in your organization right now, if you have marketing people, if you have sales people, you are likely dealing with this today. And if you're in a legacy company, God help you, this is a daily struggle and a daily problem. And I know it, because I've had the experience where we've acquired legacy companies that had these in place and we had to go in and rebuild some teams and do some restructuring, and it's tough. We're gonna talk at the end of the day, how to do it and how to do it without having people completely freak out, without having mutiny. And I've also had the privilege of building these teams from scratch. So again, if you're here and you're like, I don't know if this is quite right for me, because I don't have a team yet, it's perfect for you, because hopefully you can do it the right way and avoid this from the get-go. So my promise, by the time that we're done, is you'll have a step-by-step process for building a cohesive growth team, a cohesive growth team. And that term matters, growth team, that works together to grow revenue and achieve company goals. Now, who's gonna benefit most from this training? Entrepreneurs and founders. I know most of you guys in this room are entrepreneurs and founders, that's safe to say. I'm sure a lot of folks that are watching at home are in that position. Because again, you get to do this right the first time, hopefully, or it's not so entrenched. The silos, you know, haven't had brick and stone built around them that they can't be broken down. Also, small business owners and CEOs. So if you're kind of beyond the start-up phase and you're getting into where it's a small business and you're an active CEO and you're dealing with the management, how do you implement a growth team from the top down. How do you implement a growth team from the top down without having a mutiny. Marketing and sales executives, how do you implement this within a team. How do you implement it within your organization. How do you pilot a growth team. That's something that we're gonna talk about. How do you pilot it. How do you do it maybe from, not the bottom up, but maybe the middle up, we'll say. Freelancers and solos, this is great for you if you are thinking about joining a team. It's also great for you in terms of how do you go about structuring your out-source team. So we're gonna talk a lot about roles. We're gonna talk a little bit about heirarchy, but I'm not gonna get into ultra-specific job titles and job descriptions. And I don't want to get into here's exactly how your company can be structured, because look, it varies massively. And I've gone in and we've put growth teams in place for all different types of businesses, businesses that are more digital-first media type companies, Sass organizations. We've done it in offline brick and mortar companies. We've done it in large-scale industrial type companies. And it's different in every single one of them when it comes down to the specifics. When you think about the broad categories, it's always the same. So that's what I want to bring across to these categories, and the same applies, again, if you're a freelancer, if you're a solo, it doesn't matter if they don't work for you full-time, you still want to implement some of these same structures, even if they're an outsource team. Agencies who are looking to scale. If you're an agency, this is big. If you're an agency, your job is growth. Companies are hiring you because they want you to essentially, in some cases, be their outsourced growth team. We're seeing a lot more agencies right now who are repositioning their brand. They're shifting away from being a creative agency, they're shifting away from being a digital agency, and what they're instead shifting their positioning to is we are your out-sourced growth team. It kind of makes sense, right. You've seen this a lot with companies, where you'll have an out-sourced CFO group. Like when companies can't quite afford to have their own CFO, their own accounting team, they'll begin to out-source that. This idea of a growth team, which really was largely a Silicon Valley invention in terms of popularization of the term and some of these concepts, has now spread. Like so many of the things that have come out of Silicon Valley, what started here has spread and is beginning to change and become the accepted vernacular of the world. So this creates a tremendous opportunity for agencies. So if you're watching and you're an agency, or you're a freelancer, you might be able to pick up and get some pretty cool company re-positioning strategies out of this, as well. So any one of those, and I think you're gonna be in pretty good shape. Now what are we gonna be covering? We're gonna talk about the four broad-based roles. And I'm gonna speak a lot in terms of roles. You're gonna hear me say, "This is a role." A role does not equal a human. It is possible for a person on your team to have more than one role. Now if you're a founder, you get that. If you're a founder, you get that, because when it was just you, you did everything. You showed up, you were the product team, you were the marketing team. When the toilet in the office over-flowed, you fixed that, too. Founders don't have a hard time understanding the distinctions between roles and the people doing those roles. So I don't want you to think, okay, right at the outset you're saying there's four roles and there's eight critical skills, so for me to actually have a growth team, I need to have a minimum of four to eight people. No, that's not what I'm saying. Roles, not people. Roles, not people. And especially early on in a company's life, it's very appropriate for an individual to do multiple things. And again, I don't have to explain that to a room here full of founders, because you get that. You live that. That's called life for you. You just call that a Tuesday. But for a lot of the folks that are watching from home, especially if you've been an executive, especially if you're an executive within a larger organization, you got people working on your team that you don't even know what the heck they do. They have no role, much less one person with a couple. So four roles and eight critical skills that define the modern growth team. I'm gonna talk about how to structure your team to maximize communication and accountability. This idea of communication. Communication is so critical. You know this, anybody who's traveled to a foreign land, you know that there's something magical about being able to communicate. If you can just learn a few words, that in and of itself can be a break-through. That can drop a lot of barriers. You're showing respect. Even if you fumble over them, right, even if you fail miserably, the fact that the other people can see that you're trying, that can break down barriers. In many of these organizations, just walking down the hall from the sales department to the marketing department is like traveling to a foreign country, okay. So being able to have some appreciation, some respect, for what they do, for the vocabulary that they use, that can be big. And also accountability. There's a lot of finger-pointing. And as companies grow, the finger-pointing only gets worse. How do we lock in. How do we create what we call a balance of blame? I'm gonna show you how we do just that. We're gonna talk about how to prioritize growth ideas, and align your team to the same strategic goal. And this is big. This is big, because I've seen this happen a lot with founders, in particular. They'll go to a conference and they'll hear all these great ideas, right. And they'll come back with all these ideas. And they're rah, rah. And they'll say to their teams, "Okay, and I want to hear your ideas, too." And so the teams will come with their ideas. And then the founder, like nothing ever happens with those ideas, right. And now the people get upset because they're like, "Well, you told me to bring ideas, "and I did and then you didn't do anything about it, "and it just laid there. "So obviously you don't respect me." Has anybody ever had that experience, where you invite ideas from your team and in some cases the ideas are just terrible and so you don't want to do it, but you don't have a way to tell them, "I would try this, but it's terrible." You can't say that, you're gonna hurt their feelings. But in other cases it's a good idea, but you just don't have the resources, the time, the capacity. Maybe there were other ideas that were better, and so you're doing those first. So how do we prioritize these ideas in a way that becomes objective, so that you can invite an abundance of ideas, but people can participate in deciding and acknowledging what comes first. I still don't want to turn your companies and your organizations into democracies where people vote on what you're gonna do next. Screw that, right. A well-run company is a benevolent dictatorship, I believe. So I don't want to get into that, but how do you make sure that everybody feels heard? How do they feel heard. That's what we're gonna cover. And then we're gonna talk about tactical things, like the structure and frequency of meetings. It sounds really mayabe boring, but understanding when do you meet and how did this happen, it's important to make sure that this gets implemented and also who should be there. Who should be there. And then how to launch a growth team, both in new and legacy businesses. So these are all that we are going to cover. Really quick about me, my name is Ryan Deiss. I actually started my very first business from my college dorm room at the University of Texas in 1999. I didn't think about it as a business at the time, I just needed some money. So I started selling some stuff on the Internet. This was, I don't know, Google was barely a thing. We were optimizing the heck out of Alta Vista and Excite and Dogpile and selling little e-books on how to make your own baby food and roll your own sushi, literally. That was kind of where these things started. For the last 10, 15, I don't know, you guys can do the math, years, scaring the heck out of 20, actually, ooh. Okay, that hurt a little bit. You just saw me die a little inside, ouch. Okay, so over the past 20 years, that simple idea has ballooned into multiple businesses, some of which have been successful and we've exited, some were successful and we still run, some were massive, colossal failures and we lost lots and lots and lots of money. So I've had a lot of experience on all these different sides. is kind of my day job today where I get to teach and talk about this stuff. I've written some books. We host an event called Traffic and Conversion Summit. But truly the joy, my biggest joy, is getting to work with these people. I never, in a million years, would have thought I would enjoy people. I used to say, and I'm not proud of this, by the way, but I used to say, "Business would be great, "if it weren't for the people." Has anybody ever said that, thought about it? Again, you don't have to ... I'm not gonna ask you to raise your hand. There is a camera on you guys. Your people are watching. If they're not watching today, they're watching. Like, agreed. So we're not gonna name names, right. I'm not gonna call you out, but I'll admit it, I said that. Business would be so great if it weren't for the people. How foolish. How utterly foolish to think that. Business is because of the people. I love that I get to come to work with these knuckleheads everyday. I love that I get to lead them, that we get to develop, and that we get to do great things together. So if we can accomplish that, if we can accomplish just change your mindset around, yeah, let's build a great team, let's build a great team that's all aligned and excited about the same thing, where we're celebrating wins together and we're hugging it out when we lose together. But we're in this thing together. If we can accomplish that, then I believe we're gonna create some really great companies, and do some really great work. The way this is gonna happen today, we're gonna talk about first how to architect a modern growth team, like what is the architecture of that. And I want to look at it through the lens of not just Sass. So much of what's been written about growth teams and growth hacking and a lot of this whole growth movement has come out, again, of Silicon Valley. It's come out of the start-up culture. And it's great. It's been enormously beneficial, but I've been able to apply this outside of technology companies. And I know that there's people who are watching this now and people who will watch it in the future, who they are not building software, right, they're not building software. They've got a clothing boutique, you know. They have got an Etsy shop. They're a wedding photographer. Maybe they have a manufacturing facility, and they're selling to distributors. How do you put a growth team in place in those types of companies, as well as the types of companies that many of you guys are running in this room, and many of the folks watching at home, where it is more tech-enabled. How does that work? Where do those teams land? We're gonna talk about some of that. We're also gonna talk about the growth acceleration process. So once you have this team in place, what do they do? Yay, we built a team. All right, get to work. What do they do? We're gonna talk about what they should be doing. How do you establish a culture of optimization within. There's been a lot written about that, but not a lot of people... much of what's written about it is like you should do it. Like, thanks. You know, we're gonna talk about how you actually do it, and then how do you launch your growth team. How do you launch it from the bottom up, from the top down. How do you roll it out in such a way that your people don't freak.

Class Materials

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CreativeLive - Build a Growth Team

Ratings and Reviews

Scott Nelson

Course was amazing! I'm a startup founder & the content was perfect for stage of our company. Ryan is a fantastic presenter & I found both his delivery as well as his ability to answer pointed questions to be extremely helpful. I'd recommend this to any company looking to build a growth team!

Marvin Liao

This was an incredibly helpful class & i found many of the frameworks & suggestions immediately useful. Well worth it.

Ato Kasymov

Amazing class !! Really complex issues are simplified and put together in a systemic and practical way !! Just take into work and reap the benefits !!

Student Work