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Podcasts > Tea Time with Tech Marketing Leaders

Navigating CRM Challenges: Optimizing Marketing Efforts and Lead Nurturing for Sales Success

Kerry Guard • Thursday, December 7, 2023 • 52 minutes to listen

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Miad Moussawi

VP of Marketing | Product Marketing | Aligning Sales & Marketing for Partnership-Led Success


Welcome to Tea Time with Tech Marketers! 

So grab your favorite cup of tea and join us for a riveting conversation with Miad Moussawi on Tea Time with Tech Marketers!

In this episode, our host Kerry Guard is joined by Miad Moussawi, the VP of Marketing at Synsaber, as they delve into the dynamic world of tech marketing.

 With over 17 years of industry experience, Miad shares insights into product alignment, the significance of flexible marketing efforts, and the pivotal role of customer feedback in shaping successful marketing strategies. From discussing the evolving cybersecurity industry to navigating the complexities of CRM systems and collaboration between marketing and sales teams, Miad's expertise offers a treasure trove of knowledge for tech marketers. 

–Transcript –

Kerry Guard [00:00:04]:

Hello. I'm Kerry Guard and welcome to Tea Time with Tech Marketing Leaders. Welcome back to the show. We took a little bit of a hiatus. Thank you for Thanksgiving and the wonderful holiday season that has commenced. I'm here for it, Nadir. Are you a seasonal person? Are you a wintery holiday person?

Miad Moussawi [00:00:23]:

Yes. After, Halloween, I feel like it just kinda sets the tone. Right? To Now you know, all the holidays are coming up and yeah, it's great.

Kerry Guard [00:00:33]:

It is great. It also means the end of the year in crunch time, which we are all one 100% feeling it is q 4 y'all, and we are here for it and we are here with you and the struggle is real. So Let's take a break and settle into learning something new with our good friend, Leon. Before I get there, little housekeeping. If you're here with us, say hello. I am hanging out in the comments. We have Haughtness and Leisure Studios. Trevor Van Wharton is with us today.

Kerry Guard [00:01:02]:

Hello, Trevor. Always lovely to see you. If you're here with Trevor Riyadh and me, please say hello. We'd love to see you, comment, and, join in the conversation, which we are excited to have. It's gonna be a good one. We promise to stay on task. We are not here to sell. We are here to to talk about the struggle that is real depending on what it is and then unpack a real opportunity to help you with your marketing efforts.

Kerry Guard [00:01:29]:

So we're gonna get into that. I do too. Before I dive into a little bit about our guest today. I have been on the I said this in my LinkedIn post, but I have literally been on the edge of my seat for this one because I have a lovely database that I've been sitting on for a few years now. I've been building up, but it is a hot mess. And if you are with me so you wanna say database, a CRM, but it's a hot mess and this is gonna be to the show for you, and Miad's gonna help us unpack that and repack it up in a way that is helpful and useful, and it's gonna be Amazing. Miyan has 17-plus years of experience in marketing with a proven track record of bringing new business to market. She's a dynamic transformational thought leader working at a cutting edge of marketing and product management, senior stakeholder engagement, and Telem strategy development to drive multimillion-dollar growth and sustainable brand visibility at a global level.

Kerry Guard [00:02:29]:

She has a notable capacity for defining and translating challenging business goals into groundbreaking direct and digital marketing solutions. It’s underpinned by an to Aptitude for Revolutionizing Internal Operations, Structures, and Processes, which is all gonna come into play today, to align marketing performance with to class-leading industry standards. She has superior leadership capabilities promoting a team oriented culture that is conducive to Inspiration, Target Attainment, and Continuous Improvement. She is currently the VP of marketing at Syn Sabre. And we are going to understand how she takes all those beautiful skills and how she's applied it to, SIN Sabre and companies to 4, and it's going to be I know. Yes, Trevor. It is a lot and it's fantastic. And that's why we're here today.

Kerry Guard [00:03:21]:

And what a blessing to bring such wonderful, wonderful people onto the show. So, Mian, that was a synopsis in your own words. Thank you for that. Thank you for doing my job for me. I appreciate you. But why don't you tell us your story? Right? This is, like, a synopsis of what you do and what you're great at. But how did you get there? What do you do now, and what was your journey to that?

Miad Moussawi [00:03:43]:

Yeah. No. I mean, from now on, I'm gonna have you introduce me, Carrie, anywhere, You know, anywhere I go, please join me in introducing I do

Kerry Guard [00:03:51]:

a little voice over here. I'm just following around. Great.

Miad Moussawi [00:03:54]:

Starting my career in marketing, really started off with Event marketing. So, basically doing the traditional marketing in-person events and trying to do the, you know, the packaging of products, the packaging of printing, and doing all the good stuff back in the day. And then I started to be you know, find digital marketing really interesting. So I volunteered to, be an intern. So I really was like, you know what? I'm gonna push my ego aside, and I'm going to become an intern and work with somebody who's back. Super, super well respected. Steve Wiedemann. I don't know if some of you might know him.

Miad Moussawi [00:04:36]:

He's in Orange County. He does a lot of digital marketing. And so I really sat next to him for a full summer, and I learned everything I could from him because I really wanted to be a marketer who could have a full understanding of how things operate. Because if I can be hands on, then I can lead my team more effectively. You know, if they have questions, I can actually be able to answer them. So that said, I went down the digital marketing path. And then with that, come came along some job opportunities in cyber back. Security in Tech, where I was, able to start startups with some, awesome people in the past, and we took the company from self self-funded company from basically the 4 of us to a Fortune 500 company as the 2nd fastest growing company in California.

Miad Moussawi [00:05:35]:

And, you know, and we did that again with another organization. And so, my point is that I had to learn a lot of different, more elements in marketing. Right? I wasn't able back. Just focus on one area. And at one point, I was like, am I going to be good at anything if I'm all over and if I know a little bit of everything? But it has actually been super helpful because I'm able to connect with the different departments and figuring because I have been on both sides, I'm able to, look at both, sides of, you know, whether I even at one point, I was actually leading a team of developers. So, that's it., I have a good understanding of how the different departments work, which has helped me to build up, systems that can bring the teams together to then work together in a way that it's efficient, and we all have good data, and we can do our jobs better. So hopefully that is helpful.

Kerry Guard [00:06:37]:

Yes to all of that. I think we all wanna do our jobs better, and that's why we're here. Hello, Mike Cross. Thank you for joining us, the Forrest Gump Wave. I'm here for it. And, I figured out that our LinkedIn user here is Adam, Coach. So thank you for joining us, Adam. What a great crew we got kicking us off and excited to hear your questions as we dive in.

Kerry Guard [00:06:59]:

One question I had for you, Miad, about your journey before we get into more of the conversation is cybersecurity is a bit of a walled to garden. You don't just sort of like happen to find you or maybe you do, but then, you know, we all fall in love with the industry. You mentioned it was a very short clip of just like, and then I started in cyber. Can you give us a little bit more of, like, how you found the industry or the industry found you?

Miad Moussawi [00:07:26]:

I think the industry found me. I was actually, I had just moved here from Houston and I was just looking for, a job, right, trying to to start over here in California. And I came across this job posting which Adam Couch here on this call is actually someone I worked with, in that company. And so We, really that's how I came across it. And then from there, I learned a lot from the team. I learned a lot from, Just really sitting there and actually understanding the terminology and really fully being able to speak to it was obviously at first challenging, but I fell in love with it because it's never boring. And yeah. So that's what excites me about cyber and that's how I enter

Kerry Guard [00:08:15]:

What's not boring for you? When you say it's not boring, what is that? 

Miad Moussawi [00:08:21]: I think we all It's always evolving. You think you have just figured out how a new regulation, and then a new one comes out. Right? So then you have to learn about that. And how do you market to it? How do you speak to it? And so that's that's sort of, why I fell in love with it because it was never like the same old saying. You had to continue to learn. And, which is what I love. I love learning new things, so perfect for me.

Kerry Guard [00:08:49]:

You said something that sort of sparked something for me, And so I'd love your take on it, being in the cyber world.  you know, I’ve been in cyber now for 6 plus to yours at MKG Marketing. We've been paying attention to the industry as well as some under other industries, which is why I feel like I'm able to compare. But it feels like cyber's to paving the way in terms of how we need to market, period. Like, it's a tough audience, to begin with, but then I feel like other industries are sort other buyers are sort of following suit. There may be a little bit of a lag, but they're all like, Yeah. Stop selling to me. This is nonsense.

Kerry Guard [00:09:29]:

I'll make my own decisions. Thank you very much. 

Miad Moussawi [00:09:33]:

So yeah.

Kerry Guard [00:09:33]:

Do you feel like that like, that's one of the beauties of cyber is that they're sort of setting the stage for how we should market not just to the cybersecurity world, but like to markets in general?

Miad Moussawi [00:09:45]:

I  do. And I'm glad you brought that up because, One of the things that, you know, as a marketer, you start off, you think you can just do ads and you can do all these things, but really, A lot of these things don't respond the same way as maybe some other industries. and I agree some other industries are following the same trend. So it's all about connecting authentically with the contacts that come in and that's what I love about it. Because We don't just sit there and put together a piece of contact content just to send something else, and I can say, okay, check. I've done my job. Right? I sent 5 emails out. Instead, I have to sit there, and it's a little bit of psychology.

Miad Moussawi [00:10:28]:

Right? You sit there and you're like, You know, what does he care about? What is his problem? Like, what are the struggles in this context in, you know, in his industry? Right? So, and they have to understand where they come from, what the struggles are. And that's what I love about it because it's more of a cut building a relationship rather than just letting me bombard you with all these things that I think I'm great at. And, yeah. So that's why I think I love this. And I think more people should market that way.

Kerry Guard [00:10:59]:

I hope other industries are tuning in right now Yeah. To get less and to that. And I have a lot of questions before We dive into the email side of it. Before I get there though, what's the challenge you're currently facing? What's our world human and it's Q4? Life is hard. What specifically is a challenge for you?

Miad Moussawi [00:11:20]:

I would say at this point trying to understand, who is really the ideal customer profile. Right? One of the and especially with the product, as you back. Change and and market evolve quickly too. So you just just when you think you have figured it out, who's my ideal customer profile Or who does it write target, you know, personas? Then you're read up something else, and then you're like, okay. Well, back. Shoot. Do you know? And then you have to get new contacts into the CRM system, and then they're all excited about your product, and they still need to be added to your customer profile list. Right? So now you're like, okay. Am I just totally off? So it's it can feel overwhelming.

Miad Moussawi [00:12:05]:

So I think that's one of the things that's always going to be a struggle. At least I  think it's one of those things you always have to go back to and reassess and question and, so that's I would say that's one of the biggest struggles I'm facing at the moment, but I'm grateful that I have an awesome VP of sales, that I work with who really has been supportive in bringing information, which helps a lot. When the 2 worlds Work together, the marketing and sales, it's beautiful because it makes the job a little bit easier. Yeah.

Kerry Guard [00:12:40]:

And unusual. So unusual.

Miad Moussawi [00:12:42]:

Very unusual. Yep.

Kerry Guard [00:12:44]:

So what makes your partnership between you and the salespeople the salesperson people? How are you aligned? What’s your what's your, is it a goal? Is it the persona? Is it just general, like, we're all in this together? What sort of glue that's to pulling you both or the magnet that's that's pulling those 2 service lines together?

Miad Moussawi [00:13:08]:

I think we share common goals. It's not that Sales, you have to close this many leads. Marketing, you have to bring me this many contacts. It's we don't even Attach a title. Okay. Where did this contact come from? Sales. Where did this one come from? Marketing. And then there's this, oh, fine.

Miad Moussawi [00:13:26]:

Well, marketing didn't give me enough contacts. And then you have this sort of back and forth. Right? And so what I think has made our friendship or to It is also a friendship. But, you know, work relationships work very well is that we have come together and said, Okay. These are the programs we're going to build. I know on my back end how many contacts I have sent to him, but that's not something that we put in front of the CEO or everybody else. We are just sharing 1 Excel sheet that we say these are the contacts that are currently in opportunity. However, between sales and marketing.

Miad Moussawi [00:14:04]:

We have regular conversations and we'll get into that whole dashboard and how the CRM system has been super helpful with that. And, We're able to then look at the contacts that are coming in through marketing and talk through it as, peers. Right? Like, okay, this isn't working. Okay. Then what do you think works? And then it's just a very calm and effective conversation. And so but in front of the CEOs, we don't put the numbers of, this is how marketing does it, here's how sales do it. We sort of, in the back end, communicate and work things through and figure things out. So that way, there there isn't that bad blood.

Kerry Guard [00:14:45]:

Yeah. These are the opportunities.

Miad Moussawi [00:14:47]:

Yes. Period. And then we know in the back end how to make that opportunity you know, taking SQL to make it an an opportunity and work together in those things.

Kerry Guard [00:14:58]:

I love that. I think that's so helpful to not place blame on who's doing what. We're all in this together. Let's, let's dive into how you sort of approach the CRM. And I and you mentioned a dashboard and sales. Let's start with the ICP because we keep talking about how much this has changed. I feel like this is sort of the crux of where you start. Am I, am I jumping down there?

Miad Moussawi [00:15:24]:

Is that No, no, no. It's perfect. It's like you read you read kinda my thoughts of how I was going to go through this, but no, that's perfect. So Let's start with, like, when I joined out when I joined an organization as head of marketing. What I like to start is Understanding the first, the overall company strategy. And this isn't a marketing strategy or a sales strategy. This is the overall company strategy. So we come together as a company.

Miad Moussawi [00:15:54]:

We say this is kind of our goal. Alright. Marketing and sales. How are you guys going to execute this goal? We come up with that and then we say, okay, so who would fit this, the current, year 1? Let's just say Who, what type of persona would fit the current, state of the product? Right? So the product could be at the stage a and we're, we just back. Define who could benefit from it, and we did sort of define the personas and the ideal customer profile. And again, These things evolve sometimes on a monthly, but at least having a starting point helps us to understand where we should start. And then as we evolve and things change, we'll make those, changes as we go. But that's where we start with, identifying sort of the ICP, right? And we sit down and really look at the product back.

Miad Moussawi [00:16:50]:

First, before we even say who is the right ideal customers or personas. Because if this product is at a place where Perhaps a company with 500 plus doesn't it doesn't bend you know, we're not there yet. So we start with the product, then we hope we kinda work backward from there. 

Kerry Guard [00:17:09]:

I feel like what we're sort of dancing around is the product market thing. Right? So you start with the product to understand what the product can do.

Miad Moussawi [00:17:17]:


Kerry Guard [00:17:18]:

And then figure out who it can do it for. 

Miad Moussawi [00:17:21]:

Yes. Yep. And then we identify who we think. Right. Sometimes it's also who we think, and then we all agree that We're going to launch some activities, right? Some marketing activities. We'll run some ads against these personas and We all need to be on the same page that these are meant to also inform us. So once, you know, especially if you have your proper, CRM set up, you're able to quickly learn. Okay? We're learning that we're getting some other audience coming in that could be better for this idea for the current state of the product.

Miad Moussawi [00:18:04]:

And, so we start to be you know, begin testing and doing some of that, and then we go back and review the I do a customer provost. We initially said and see if we need to add a few more personas in there. But without a proper CRM, this would be extremely challenging to do.

Kerry Guard [00:18:26]:

Yeah. And I love what you're saying. It changes depending on, like, how the product evolves into the market as well. And so and you're saying so many important things there. I hope everybody's, like, leaning in because It is this learning curve, like what I feel like I hear you saying, Yod, is just because you put some marketing efforts out there to this to the potential audience. That doesn’t mean you're necessarily going to see results right away.

Miad Moussawi [00:18:50]:

Right. And in my opinion, there are plenty of marketers out there that respect and they do it, in different ways. But in my personal experience, if we tie ourselves to one ideal customer profile and we just get stuck there, right, Then we are not doing the company a favor. And we just have to be very flexible. And that's where your head of sales is actually super helpful back. To support the marketing efforts with really the market research. Right? So as an example, typing up notes from the sales calls. Let your marketing people read every single note or record.

Miad Moussawi [00:19:38]:

Use some tools like, you know, Gong or others to really record these calls so that the marketing can listen to And, look, take away little keywords that the clients or customers are saying because, in the end, we can start with an idea, But ultimately, the market is gonna tell us what they want and how they want us to position the messaging and who's ready to buy the product today and who's not. So, just being flexible as a marketer.

Kerry Guard [00:20:08]:

And using customers' own words. Yes. Like, I think that's what you're saying.

Miad Moussawi [00:20:11]:

Like, Absolutely.

Kerry Guard [00:20:12]:

Yeah. Let's use the language of how our customers are talking about what problems we solve and how we solve them and what the product does to get them there. They're words, and you can't do that without listening, to, you know, Gong or Fathom or something like that, so yes to that. Oh, so what's the next step then?

Miad Moussawi [00:20:33]:

Strategy is put in place and you sort of have your initial ICP and personas. That's you really know what you're even looking for. If so if I go in there and from you know, I come on and I start looking at the data in the CRM, What am I even looking for? Right? I can say, wow, we have this many organic contacts coming in, but Is it the right person for us, right? We don't know that. And so that's why this strategy is number 1. And then, You know, then digging into your CRM system and I have this, I have this, to you know, a thing where I do whiteboarding, right, where I say I ask my question the so what question. Right? So we have This mini organic traffic coming in. So what? Right? Because you will get that question from a CEO. So what? We have this mini organic traffic coming in.

Miad Moussawi [00:21:25]:

Carrie Well, out of this much organic traffic, we were able to get this many marketing qualified leads, and out of those, this many market marketing qualified leads, We were able to convert 20 of them to a sales qualified lead, and 2 of them were opportunities. So it tells a story. Right? And if my CRM can't give me that story or the soul it doesn't allow me to answer this. So what question, Then I'm afraid that it's not doing its job. Right? That's where I go back to the drawing board and start developing, started developing sort of the the the framework of how I would wanna lay it out, the flowchart, And then get to work with the rest of the company to build that flowchart because it's not a it's not a marketing job. It's a company. As a team, we have to do this flowchart.

Kerry Guard [00:22:20]:

Okay. I have 2 questions. The first is how you define a qualified lead. I feel like everybody has sort of a different definition of, like, what qualified means. So when you're looking at an MQL, what's that for you?

Miad Moussawi [00:22:34]:

Would sales look at that lead and say, yes, this is the right person? And whether they're whether They're ready for it today or not. Right? Maybe marketing needs to nurture that contact a little bit more. But Ultimately, if sales say, yes, I can work with this contact, then or even look at your ideal customer profile too. But at the same time, We don't wanna be too stuck to that because, again, if you're starting especially with startups, right, you wanna be flexible. And, then I, I can kind of sort of start to understand what's the right MQLs. Right? Then I say, okay, which ones can you take today? Which ones do we need to nurture? And that's when a BDR can come in and support some of those activities. If it's a very small team, the salesperson himself has to also be mindful, that not everybody is ready to be back.

Miad Moussawi [00:23:32]:

Contact yet. Right? That's why sometimes I think maybe ours is more is better because sales might say, I'll just take it and work it, and then we might burn that contact And we can't do anything else.

Kerry Guard [00:23:43]:

Alright. 2 things there. You sort of answered my second question, which was the right person or the right time? And a lot of the time, it's the right person, but they're not remotely ready. And so when you're talking about a VDR, a business to development. I

Miad Moussawi [00:23:59]:

I would say SDR actually.

Kerry Guard [00:24:01]:

S t yeah. SDR is probably better. Sales development.

Miad Moussawi [00:24:04]:

I always confuse you, but if I know.

Kerry Guard [00:24:06]:

 Sales development. And that, a normal Not normal, but, like, more of a down the funnel, right, like a salesperson who's pushing a buyer has a different mentality to then an SDR. Right? So Right. Let's just pull those apart for a second. And I did a really poor job of defining those. So you help us out, Miad.

Kerry Guard [00:24:29]:

What is the difference between these 2 roles? And you sort of mentioned 1 for nurture and 1 for sales. Is there more to it than that?

Miad Moussawi [00:24:38]:

To me, SDR is the one that's responsible for inbound leads qualifications. So they're just sitting there reviewing the contacts. And then your BDR is really responsible for outbound prospecting. So that those would be like, they're more like a business development. Right? There's they're really on this mostly, like, just The sales side of things like, if it's, if the sales team is going out there, bringing contacts via Zoom info or other platforms, They typically are in charge of it, but sometimes depending on the organization, they might only have 1 person that's doing all of it. Right? So it's I think those 2, that's why they kind of kind of kind of bounce back and forth as far as roles go. Depending on the company size. So Yeah.

Kerry Guard [00:25:28]:

And I think that comes back to something you said earlier that really struck a chord with me around the authentic relationships in the building. And as marketers, when we're sort of tasked with I'd love your opinion on this, but traditionally, as marketers, We're tasked with more of the surrounding, the awareness, the, You know, capture a 1,000 knowing that we're gonna get, like, 10.

Miad Moussawi [00:25:56]:


Kerry Guard [00:25:56]:

And that sales are sort of more in that role of taking in those 10 and weighing them down to those, too, you know, 5 4, or 5 that are necessary. But it feels like the ground has sort of shifted underneath us from a marketing perspective, and we're also being tasked with that authentic relationship building, and it's not about wall entity as much as it is about quality. So how does this when you're thinking about marketing and the BDR and the SDR, we're sort of working together in your experience, is that sort of what you're seeing? Marketing is more of that broad awareness. BDR is more of that relationship cultivation. And sales is more of that selling or is it getting blurred these days?

Miad Moussawi [00:26:37]:

Both. I think it depends on the company. Right? It depends on the company and how the top-down, right? Like this the the the, how do I say this? Sort of the push that they're getting. Right? Like, how does a CEO really understand what's really how we need to go about this? Or is it just sell, sell, sell, and then There's that panic? Right? So it really depends on the organization. And so, yeah. So that said, One of the things that helps is really sitting with your SDR, and BDR and saying, look, if you see these signs, right, That means they're they need to be nurtured. So we have to then sit together as a team and decide what are those sides.

Miad Moussawi [00:27:25]:

Right? If they're XYZ, then go ahead and put them, tag them as nurturing so that marketing can then take that on and nurture them in an authentic way, which you know, and BDR supports a lot of that because, then they can go ahead and tag that contact based on, like, in the back end. For example, when I set up CRMs, one of my requests is that each contact is tagged with a persona so that when the contact comes in, I understand how can I speak to this person. What's their persona? Are they an IT person? Or are they more or less of an IT person? Because if I speak to you with all these IT acronyms, You're not gonna know what I'm talking about. And, so it's what so so it's really working with your BDR and tell kinda guiding them and saying these are the types of people that are ready to go to sales. These aren't yet. And you'll know when they are ready when they do X, Y, Z. And then we have to set those requirements so that they are so clear. That way we we don't get let's not get a lot of, unsubscribers. Right? Yeah.

Miad Moussawi [00:28:43]:

We can send out a bunch of emails. Yeah. We can get all these contacts in, but we can also quickly turn them into unsubscribers, and we can't touch them anymore. So let's work on them.

Kerry Guard [00:28:53]:

I think this is leading beautifully into something you mentioned earlier, which is your flowchart.

Miad Moussawi [00:28:58]:

Yeah. So I can share that.

Kerry Guard [00:29:00]:

Oh, yeah. I see it. Okay. We're gonna add that to Stacy. Look at us, Gallo.

Miad Moussawi [00:29:04]:

That's good. Awesome. So this is  I am My actual ones are very complex. I try to make this as simple as possible. Because when I showed the actual one to one of my members they were like, no. Hey, this is going to be super overwhelming. So, you know, those make more sense when people are sitting in the room and they're working with you on these things. So I just try to simplify it.

Miad Moussawi [00:29:30]:

Right? And, how I would go about something, like, starting to really define how your CRM should be set up. And this is why it's important that you have a marketing strategy in place. And at first, right, because you first need to identify what are even the marketing channels that we're going to be using So that you can say where are our potential contacts coming from. Right? Could it be advertising? Could it be SEO? What Where which channel are they coming in from? So then we set these so we're able to actually even get started on building this flowchart. But prior to that, I always recommend sitting with your team and identifying what are the life cycle names, and what we wanna call them. If a salesperson is bringing in a lead using ZoomInfo or other tools, their life cycle Stage should be different than when a marketing brings a lead in. So that way we can kind of pass them all, pass them to each other back and forth through automation. Because if we set up the same thing with the same names, auto automation is not gonna know the difference.

Miad Moussawi [00:30:37]:

So we'll get there. So anyway, we first set up what is our lead status. So for example, if we're calling, A person, is a contact that just came in from sales, a prospect, and we're going to give in a lead status open, Right? Then automation can already handle this for us. Right? As soon as a contact comes in, the automation will say, okay, I'm gonna tag this open as a lead status. And then this guy gets a notification. Hey. I, I saw it. I got it.

Miad Moussawi [00:31:13]:

And then from there, they look at it, they review it, they say, alright. This is bad contact, So then we can do something with it. Right? Maybe they get bad emails or just no longer the person is there. If we can't find their email, we'll make bad contact. If it's somebody that they decide, you know what? It's a great contact, but I don't think we're there yet, whether it's the product side of things or something else. And then we can set nurturing so that we can send it back to marketing. Or we move it along to sales qualified, so meaning sales can start working with it. And, I don't need to go through all of this, but really Mhmm.

Miad Moussawi [00:31:52]:

This system goes through sales, then what happens? What if then, You know, you come out of nurturing and they actually schedule a demo from nurturing, what happens next, how do we tag them, And all of these taggings trigger the automation? So that way, we don't have a bunch of contacts sitting in the CRM closet. Right? To thousands of contacts. No. That's it.

Kerry Guard [00:32:18]:

Plus it. Yeah.

Miad Moussawi [00:32:19]:

They're just sitting there. No one has touched them, and then we're all wondering why the ads aren't working. Or as these other campaigns we were running aren't working because we've we just didn't have that level of visibility, let's use automation to gain some of that visibility. And I have to be honest, like, that this building, this process, it's time-consuming. It requires everyone's buy-in from the company to say, we will go a little slow at first, and we're going to build this So that we can go faster in the future. And a lot of CEOs, it's hard to get them on board with something like this. My current position is again. I'm lucky I have this opportunity to have the opportunity and the space to do it, which has been super helpful for us.

Miad Moussawi [00:33:08]:

Yeah. And so, that said, with this system, we can do a few things. We can measure How long it contacts between the different phases and the automation does it for us. So if I can see that an MQL was passed to SQL, but they sat there for so long before anything happened, I'm able to actually even measure that because otherwise, if we don't have the system set up, we're not even able to identify that. Right? So This is one example of many things we can do with this process once we put it in place.

Kerry Guard [00:33:49]:

Thanks, and then we'll pull out of this, and I wanna take a step back. Just so we all know how to read this chart when we're looking back at it, It looks like greenish channels.

Miad Moussawi [00:33:59]:

Yes. Just channels.

Kerry Guard [00:34:00]:

And then the purple is the life cycle.

Miad Moussawi [00:34:04]:

Life cycle.

Kerry Guard [00:34:05]:

Life cycle. Mhmm. And then yellow is the trigger.

Miad Moussawi [00:34:09]:

Completely. The lead status, which is a trigger. That's right. Okay.

Kerry Guard [00:34:14]:

Okay. So we can understand. And I think we also want to just be crystal clear. You said it earlier, but I just want to say it again. This is very, very simple compared to what a real flowchart might look like. And so if yours bloats and gets complicated that's actually probably very normal.

Miad Moussawi [00:34:32]:

Very, very normal. Actually, especially the other one, you'd be like, oh my gosh, I can't even look at this. But it's super helpful. You can basically put this in front of any new BDR you hire or any new sales rep that comes on. They can just grab this and they know, oh, I'm I'm here in this step. I know exactly what to do next. Right? Yeah. And people think, well, I'm just gonna build this when I'm bigger.

Miad Moussawi [00:34:57]:

At that point, you've already just had so many things in place that it's going to take way more time to try to work backward. So I highly recommend putting this in place. It's gonna take time, maybe a couple of months to really get everybody on board. I mean, not even. Maybe a month, a month and a half. But we feel like, You know, it's too much. Right? We're pausing everything else, but it's really not. Right? I think it's going to actually give us give marketing good information as well.

Kerry Guard [00:35:23]:

And once you put once you actually start capturing leads, then you actually can do something with them versus them ending it in a parking lot, essentially. So it's all well and good to capture leads, but, like, what are you gonna do with them?

Miad Moussawi [00:35:33]:


Kerry Guard [00:35:34]:

And please don't hand them directly off to sales.

Miad Moussawi [00:35:37]:

Yeah. No.

Kerry Guard [00:35:37]:


Miad Moussawi [00:35:37]:

Don't do that.

Kerry Guard [00:35:40]:

We're on the agreement next. Let's take a step back for a second because I love that we've talked about the CRM as really negative, hard things like parking lots. Because it's true, where, you know, weeds go to die, I think is one of your sort of comments. So when you come into a system and once you've identified your ICP, is it a matter of what you do first? Do you set the flowchart up and then tag, or do you tag and then set the flowchart up? But I feel like there's, like, this connection that needs to happen. It's all well and good to make the flowchart, too but knowing how to help leads through that. And if there are already existing leads, like, how do you differ I have a lot of questions in that. Let's start with the one around. You have the flowchart.

Kerry Guard [00:36:26]:

You have a CRM. How do you bring these 2 things together to help those lead those existing leads through the process, or do you just accept that they're there and we just need to build that new?

Miad Moussawi [00:36:38]:

I don't think Kate's

Kerry Guard [00:36:40]:

Yeah. So if you

Miad Moussawi [00:36:40]:

already have and that's, you know, prior to this role, I was doing a lot of fractional CMO where I've seen a lot of that. You entered a CRM system and there were so many leads and, an example was 50 +1000 leads that were sitting there, contacts. And we didn't know what to do with them. Right? So we sort of started to, to, to, to take a step back and, Look at you know, set the ICP and say, okay, who are they? Then from there, at the same time, while the sales reps and the BDRs were reviewing them and seeing what's what, we started to work on this flowchart. Because we were on a time crunch, we needed to get everything done. Right? So, as they were reviewing, they realized that, Oh, we can just through automation, just select this thing and we know who is no longer we've they've been sitting here for years and no one has touched them and Some contacts have gone bad, so you'll be surprised once you start digging, then you'll be like, oh my gosh, half of these don't even make sense anymore because they are, You know, then they moved on or whatnot, but

Kerry Guard [00:37:58]:

We don't anymore or so and so forth. So Right.

Miad Moussawi [00:38:02]:

Right. And a lot of people we Subscribers.

Kerry Guard [00:38:04]:

We are not Exactly. LCRM.

Miad Moussawi [00:38:06]:

Yes. Yes. I like that.

Kerry Guard [00:38:11]:

Okay. So you clean up the CRM and you get down to the contacts that are the priority. Okay. These contacts still exist. They're still in those same companies, or maybe they've moved on, but they're in similar roles. And so but then what?

Miad Moussawi [00:38:27]:

So then you kind of reset their life cycle stages. So based on what you've defined in your life in your chart, You go back and, you know, as an example in HubSpot, you can reset life cycles. So if they had been going through so many life cycles before, We reset those life cycles and start it over. We give them new life cycles based on what we define. Okay. We're gonna just going forward, We're starting over the ones that we are bringing on, you know, carrying over with us. We're gonna call these MQLs 10, 10,000 more are going to be MQLs, Half of them were maybe SQLs or whatever it is, but we have to make sure it's resetted because when we begin to put the dashboard together, It's not going to look like, you know, the progression that we're trying to get to, which is how many were MQLs out of those MQLs? How many became SQLs Out of those SQLs, how many became opportunities? Cause. At least in my opinion, If you are measuring just how many MQLs you brought in as a marketer, you are basically throwing it over the fence, hoping that sales do the work and You're that's it.

Miad Moussawi [00:39:37]:

You are to bring some SQL. Right?

Kerry Guard [00:39:39]:

But Right.

Miad Moussawi [00:39:39]:

It is as much your job to identify why They have an inter turned into an SQL so that you can fix it, but not that you're in trouble, but we can fix it. Right? We can say, Okay. Out of this many MQLs, I only had 500 SQLs. How come? Right? And understanding Why is it that my campaign has been working. Am I sending it to the wrong people? When that way you can correct it.

Kerry Guard [00:40:06]:

Well, messaging's working versus not working.

Miad Moussawi [00:40:09]:

Yes. Instead of pushing blame, and that's why I think we're all responsible You know, maybe it's a product thing. Maybe it's a sales thing. Maybe it's a marketing thing, but it allows us to address the issue and see what's not working. And then sales also feels like that we take ownership through and through, and we're not putting blame on anybody. And that we're we're there. We wanna figure it out as a team.

Kerry Guard [00:40:34]:

That's really important. It sounds like the CRM is sort of, the center of the universe for both you and sales and figuring that out together and being able to pass those leads, you know, through that life cycle. Can you just quickly define it for us you sort of mentioned the life cycle and you pointed to it in your flowchart. But life cycle means how many times they have to go through the flowchart in multiple ways before you disqualify them or you give up on them? Like, What do you mean by life cycle?

Miad Moussawi [00:41:05]:

Right. The life cycle is just giving the quality of a contact a name. So, meaning, like, if, if I'm if I give this contact The life cycle m marketing qualified, MQL. That means that this is just basically tagging it as This lead is way more ready for sales to be worked. Right? So that way we can sort of measure, how many qualified leads we brought in. So we call that MQL marketing activity. Right? And then SQLs means sales are not ready. It's just a way of communication in our c CRM system.

Miad Moussawi [00:41:52]:

To say we're you know, how I don't know if I'm giving you a good answer, but

Kerry Guard [00:41:59]:

yeah. No. It’s a life stage. To

Miad Moussawi [00:42:02]:

Yes. Yes.

Kerry Guard [00:42:03]:

Contact dates in the cycle. So Yes. There needs. to be a nurturer. They need to, like, hang out a bit longer and learn more about us and whether they're right for us, to whether or maybe they're just not quite in that stage yet of, like, needing this product, but, like, we're staying on their radar

Miad Moussawi [00:42:17]:


Kerry Guard [00:42:18]:

versus actually actively researching. Okay. Oh, they're doing something. They're on our website more. They're dialing more white papers. They're trying to figure out, Like, they know they need something. They're just not sure if it's us yet. And then actually activating a demo or something to that regard to say sales.

Kerry Guard [00:42:33]:

To sales. You wanna be paying attention to this guy over here who's, like, down, like, you know, answering their questions. He's a human versus, you know, to our content sort of doing some of the work for us initially. So it's the stages in the cycle which that to the context we're moving through. And unfortunately, I think your flowchart was a beautiful rendition of this. It's not linear anymore. To Engage.

Miad Moussawi [00:42:58]:

This is Kerry.

Kerry Guard [00:42:59]:

Breadth and depths to all the different ways people will come in and out of and back in and around and through before they end up at sales. You know, BDRs and SDRs are a great way to help nurture and create those authentic relationships but being very, very careful to not sort of scare people away by jumping on the sales bandwagon a little too early, I feel like it's too really how your flowchart helped helped there. I wanna talk about that for a second. It's something you mentioned in terms of sales and marketing and BRs and SDRs and something you said earlier on. I'm gonna say something that's maybe contra controversial. I don't know. We'll find out. People will ping us in the comments and yell at me if so.

Kerry Guard [00:43:50]:

It's starting to feel like marketing as a whole needs to go back to basics too little in taking more of an awareness play. Hi. We can be tied to outcomes. We wanna be tied to those. We wanna see, like, what comes down the funnel. However, in terms of how we engage with cuss potential customers at the end of the day. It is marketing's role to surround and educate, which is not as lead, lead, lead, lead, lead, lead, lead, lead focused as it used to be. See it, click it, lead it, buy it.

Kerry Guard [00:44:32]:

Like, those days feel like they're over and your flowchart demonstrated some of that. Is that that I am I crazy? Or is that No. No. No. But you're excited.

Miad Moussawi [00:44:46]:

Accurate. Yeah. No. It's absolutely accurate. Like, we need to go back to the basics. We need to all wear, well, you know, the same hat. Right? Where to Wait. Wait.

Miad Moussawi [00:44:57]:

I cannot wear my marketing hat and say, I'm only gonna do marketing. You're only gonna wear your sales hat. We all all We're all selling. We're all marketers. We're we're doing we're all doing the same thing. So let's go And this is what I love about the practice of building this flowchart. It allows us to come together and be heard. So What is it that you need? What do what is it that I need? Right? I don't wanna send this to you.

Miad Moussawi [00:45:25]:

Okay. Great. And why don't you wanna send this to me? Because here's what it takes. So yes, it goes back to educating your sales team or educating, not educating them because they don't know. It's more like educating them on How you're thinking about your process and why it matters. Right? And that's why it's crucial to bring everybody on And build this together as a company so that everybody understands how each department, thinks about the context So that you can go back to the P6. Right? And And

Kerry Guard [00:45:58]:

before you start spending any media dollars.

Miad Moussawi [00:46:02]:

Yes. Yes. Oh my gosh. That's the other thing. There were so many times that in my past roles and then as fractional CMO, I've seen So many, CRM systems that they were spending 1,000 and 1,000 dollars, but the contact was just getting lost in, In the entire CRM system, but the data shows we had x number of conversion. So they're like, well, where are they? And then they're fighting. Right? Because they don't know where where Where these are. And they're not properly measured.

Miad Moussawi [00:46:36]:

And so you get that whole thing. That's where all the to well, you there's been, you know, finger pointed happens and so

Kerry Guard [00:46:46]:

Yes. And then that struggle becomes real. So I love this moment of taking pause. Hey, this is a great time of year to do it. It's q four. We're all winding. People have other things in their brain about how they're going to spend time with family and not get wrapped up in the drama, as well as making sure they have enough presents for their children. So while their brains are preoccupied with that, it's a great time to sit down and think about what are some of these challenges we're having with our CRM, with where people are in it.

Kerry Guard [00:47:17]:

Is it a parking lot? Are they lost in the universe? Are they just on this cycle, this never-ending cycle that hasn’t actually amounted to anybody? Maybe they're they're not even there anymore. We're getting a ton of bounce backs and we need to clean up on the ILCRM, all of this is exactly real. And now is the time to tackle it so you can start off the year strong. So thank you, Mihad, for walking us through your flowchart, through your process Starting at the ICP of where your your product and your ICP are now, optimizing your CRM for that, and then building that flowchart to help to move people through and making sales life easier. I mean, that's what we're here for as marketers. At the end of the day.

Miad Moussawi [00:47:59]:


Kerry Guard [00:47:59]:

We make sales lives easier.

Miad Moussawi [00:48:02]:

For sure. And they should contribute to making our lives easier instead of us chasing them down for info. They should just Give us the information, you know?

Kerry Guard [00:48:11]:

What do you need? Tell us how to make your jobs easier we so you can make our jobs easier. I want

Miad Moussawi [00:48:15]:

to Right. To circular.

Kerry Guard [00:48:20]:

This is for your life. Let's do this. I'm so grateful for this conversation. I know our audience is too. If you'd like to learn more about Beyond. Beyond, where can they find you?

Miad Moussawi [00:48:30]:

You guys can reach out to me on LinkedIn. And if you guys have any questions and you wanna get further dig deeper into this, or maybe you have a quick question, here's what I have and can you just take a look? I'm happy to do that, as well. But yeah. Reach, reach out on LinkedIn through just direct messaging. Read best, I think.

Kerry Guard [00:48:51]:

Lots of the ants.

Miad Moussawi [00:48:51]:


Kerry Guard [00:48:53]:

Are great. To Reports Shop Up here, Miad. You are more than a marketer. Can you tell us in the last 3 years, the world has changed? We're all remote now. Traveling. It's coming back. Events are on the con are, are making their way back as well.

Kerry Guard [00:49:08]:

But for you, what's is there been any to life-changing event. Are you traveling more? Have you picked up a new hobby? You know, in the last 3 years, what's sort of been that that to big change, if anything.

Miad Moussawi [00:49:24]:

I think for me, I've been traveling more in the last few years when I can. Definitely, I've been traveling a lot more out of the country because I did a lot of traveling in the US, so I try to get out and Get a little uncomfortable, you know, be in places

Kerry Guard [00:49:40]:

where you

Miad Moussawi [00:49:41]:

don't speak the language and learn the culture. So I've been doing a little bit of that. And really just trying to learn how to spend time with family and, you know, because as marketers, you tend to just get Stuck with your computer and you don't know how to leave it behind. So I'm trying to track these stats. So hopefully I'll see more of that in 2024. To Jose.

Kerry Guard [00:50:05]:

Favorite country you've or place you've visited in the last 3 years since you're traveling more?

Miad Moussawi [00:50:12]:

So far, it has been Spain. Just because they're so calm and low, it also has been helpful for me. You know, just so I can just calm down but Yeah. No. It's been Spain. It's been wonderful. And I have so much, you know, history and culture have been great.

Kerry Guard [00:50:30]:

It's so calm and slow and yeses for everyone. Yes. I'm too Absolutely here for that. Yeah. Thank you so much. Thank you so much. If you enjoyed this episode, thank you for listening. If you wanna join in, you know, subscribe, like.

Kerry Guard [00:50:49]:

I have a channel, Tea Time, on LinkedIn. We also are across to Spotify, Apple, and so on and so forth. So be sure to tune in to next week's episode. We’d love to have you. This episode is brought to you by MKG Marketing, the digital marketing agency that scales brands through meaningful relationships, fueling their ability to push their mission forward. It's hosted by me, Kerry Guard, CEO and co-founder of MKG Marketing. To music mix and mastering were done by the lovely team here. And if you'd like to be a guest, DM me.

Kerry Guard [00:51:14]:

Just hang out. I'd love to have you on the show.

Miad Moussawi [00:51:17]:

To Beyond. Thank you again.

This episode is brought to you by MKG Marketing the digital marketing agency that helps complex tech companies like cybersecurity, grow their businesses and fuel their mission through SEO, digital ads, and analytics.

Hosted by Kerry Guard, CEO co-founder MKG Marketing. Music Mix and mastering done by Austin Ellis.

If you'd like to be a guest please visit to apply.

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