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DiscoverOrg has grown 5,000% in six years. In fact, they were just awarded Growth Technology Company of the Year by the Technology Association of Oregon.

What drives growth for companies changes over the years, and eventually, the growth decelerates. So we brought Katie Bullard, DiscoverOrg’s Chief Growth Officer, on the show to discuss the incredible growth the company has experienced, and how sales and marketing processes had to adapt to maintain that pace.

Highlights of the episode include:

How to stave off a decelerating growth rate by revisiting ICP

the first thing we recognized was that we’ve done a really good job of understanding what our ideal customer profile was for who DiscoverOrg was two years ago. And what we hadn’t done was we hadn’t expanded that definition. Now that we have more data sets, now that the SDR function, for instance, was reporting more and more to the marketing department versus the sales department, and the way that sales and marketing departments functioned was is different now than it was a few years ago. And so what we said was, ‘Look, let’s use our own product to help us define who the ideal customer profile is for each one of our data sets and to understand the sales buyer and the marketing buyer equally well.’ And when we did that we started to see tremendous growth in some of the newer data sets.

On smart applications of revenue attribution

We recognized was that we didn’t have a great view of what marketing channels were leading to the most revenue. So we knew which marketing channels were bringing in the most leads and we knew which leads were turning into demos that were sort of losing visibility at that point because of the way that our tech stacks were aligned across sales and marketing. And because that we have processes we’re aligned across sales and marketing. So we put a big initiative in place to really understand revenue attribution across the board. And what that allows us to do is to say you know there were a couple of lead channels that quite frankly were low quality channels…So we dialed down our investments in the lower quality channels. We dialed up investments in the higher quality channels and we had to be okay with the fact that that meant that the overall quantity of leads might not grow as fast. But the demos associated with those leads were growing faster. The opportunities associated with those leads were growing faster and ultimately pipeline and revenue was growing faster and so that was a big initiative for us.

On maintaining momentum as you grow

I don’t think I have a 100 percent solution for that. What I will say is my approach is always progress not perfection. Right. We are in an industry and in a company and a team where we’re constantly changing and we’re constantly growing. And when you when you think about you know the way that the team is organized and the technology that we’re going to use a process that you put in place it’s all about what’s better than we have now. Not what’s the end game forever…the key thing is to know going into this that these things are going to be iterative. The goal though is just to be that much better than you were yesterday. When you come in with that approach each day, thinking about the makeup of your team and the technology that you have in place and the processes that you have in place; then it becomes much easier to handle the pace of change that that you’re moving at when you’re growing really quickly.

On building a culture of ‘test and refine’

You have to put the systems in place that are going to give you visibility to know what’s working and what’s not working from a revenue generation perspective. When you have that in place, test, try things, experiment. If it doesn’t work, you learn something and try something new. And if it does work, double down in that area. But in order to do that you’ve got to have that visibility all the way through the revenue lifecycle.

Technologies mentioned in the interview

And for all the listeners who love old houses like Katie does, don’t miss the HGTV article featuring one of her renovation projects.

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