Behind every great sales startup is an even greater marketing mastermind, and, in this case, it’s Tami McQueen of SalesLoft. Since joining the SaaS squad in 2014, McQueen has ardently led their marketing efforts and helped SalesLoft, a platform that focuses on sales calls, email tracking, and more, grow into a robust $6 million per year company. Hear from the boss behind the brand on how SalesLoft is making it rain more than just money.
What’s your current role?
I am the Director of Marketing at SalesLoft, with a laser focus on branding, public relations, event and partner marketing initiatives across multiple platforms. In March, we hosted the second annual Rainmaker conference in Atlanta, the only event specifically dedicated to the Sales Development industry. Rainmaker attracted over 600 modern revenue business leaders from across the country and worldwide over a period of two days, and hosted Gary Vaynerchuk as the headlining keynote speaker. The accelerated growth of the event is a testament to the fact that sales development is the biggest innovation to happen in the sales process over the past decade. And we look forward to not only placing our stamp on the timeline of sales but also in leading the impact it has on the local technology scene.
When did you join the SalesLoft team?
I joined SalesLoft in early 2014 when the company was in the very early stages of its explosive growth, ultimately leading to a 2,000% ARR increase that year. With less than 15 of us huddled in a cozy, coworking space in the Atlanta Tech Village, I was tasked with the mission of building the marketing team, while scaling the efforts that had started to gain traction in the community and among sales development influencers in the industry at large. Over the course of almost two years, the marketing team has evolved and shifted from “wearing many hats” to specialized roles, including: content (digital/video production), social media, marketing ops, customer marketing, integrated events, and most recently inbound sales development.
How is SalesLoft growing, “making it rain,” if you will?
The DNA of SalesLoft is pillared by the core values (positive, supportive, self-starting, empathetic, open, exceptional) that serve to influence the organizational health of the company. It is undeniable that the success and growth of the company wouldn’t be possible without the foundation of these core values that run deep in our hiring processes, our employees, and the vision for the future.
From five employees in early 2014, SalesLoft has since graduated from the ATV and moved within walking distance from the innovation hub, with just over 85 rainmakers today.
During #Rainmaker16, we launched The Sales Development Cloud – a seamless integration of critical providers that are part of a cloud ecosystem that serves the sales development community. The Sales Development Cloud integrates directly into technology that modern revenue teams use to further enhance their workflow, all within one platform. With a continued agile approach, I’m looking forward to working with our team on scaling the partnerships and marketing value for each provider.
What aspects of working for a growing startup do you get most excited about?
I knew that in order to level up in my career, I had to learn to become comfortable in uncomfortable situations, and to actively pursue an ecosystem that facilitated that growth. It’s one thing to coast day to day; to clock in from 9-5 every day, but it’s a whole new ball game to build a company from the ground up. No two days are alike, and without benchmarks from the get-go, I had the autonomy to lead the vision for scaling marketing strategy. And you just can’t put a price tag on that type of hands-on-learning and experience.
In addition to the fluidity of touching on various tasks, roles and responsibilities, one of the most rewarding things about startups is working alongside a team that is highly passionate and driven toward accomplishing goals and breaking barriers of innovation. Learning from SalesLoft co-founders, Kyle Porter and Rob Forman, has significantly impacted the way I approach management, organizational health, and servant leadership. And that right there will get one fired up each day, and ready to go!
Marketing is a huge element to getting any company traction. What is your approach to spreading the word on SalesLoft?
My previous experience in marketing was hinged on established brands, and joining a startup shifted that mindset instantaneously to a lead-to-revenue model. With the vision to transform and lead the organization by building a talented, well-oiled machine as quickly as possible, the alignment on the company’s mission was pivotal.
As a subset of the SalesLoft’s mission, marketing set out to be the “Authority in Sales Development,” and everything we did focused on achieving those results. I went an inch wide, and a mile deep on where I could best lend my strengths to the team. We continued the momentum on driving our advocates to champion for us online and at conferences. We pride ourselves on producing content that adds value to the reader, and the cadence of content produced was a direct result of adopting an agile approach.
It’s all too easy for marketers to shy away from trying new things and experimenting because they feel pressured to prove the ROI of every campaign. While you should be smart and selective, you also need to take bold risks (like this, this, and how about this) and find ways to be memorable. Not everything is going to work. That’s a given.
And remember “not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”
What’s your advice to marketers or non-tech professionals wanting to get into startup life?
Whether you’re already at a startup, just getting started or wondering where to start, the best advice I can offer is to ensure there’s alignment between your own career vision and the company’s mission. Don’t join a startup because you think it’s cool, or for the scooters, swag, catered lunches, or beer on tap.
Join because you will be making a difference, everything you do will contribute to the ultimate success or failure of the business. Join because you understand that you’ll have to wear multiple hats, adopt new skills and responsibilities, and take on the challenges of building an empire. Join a startup to have a hand in shaping the culture around you, and directly contribute to the creation and growth of the organizational health. Join a startup to learn how to set goals, execute strategies, take a product to market and implement industry best practices.
You will hustle harder than you ever imagined possible and you will shatter every expectation you once held for yourself. Join a startup because you want to do more, and become more.
How does Atlanta weave into both life at SalesLoft and your personal story?
I often say that I’ve been in Atlanta long enough to be considered a local. It’s a transient city and a community that I’m especially proud to be a part of. Atlanta is a beacon not only for emerging technology and innovation but for inspired leaders and change agents that extends beyond the borders of 285. The city has afforded me the opportunity to forge these relationships and made calling Atlanta “home” roll right off the tongue.
Together with an exceptional quality of life and unlimited opportunity, Atlanta exudes vibrancy that only happens when culture and industry collide. And that is why I #ChooseATL .