Unlocking Sales Excellence: Visualizing Success | John Golden from Pipeliner CRM



In this enlightening episode of Pathmonk Presents, we have the pleasure of hosting John Golden, who serves as the Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer at Pipeliner CRM, a trailblazing visual CRM platform that empowers sales teams with its innovative features.

Throughout the discussion, John provides valuable insights into Pipeliner’s distinct approach, which revolves around delivering a visually compelling and user-friendly interface designed to simplify intricate enterprise sales processes.

By integrating advanced automation tools and AI technology, Pipeliner CRM effectively streamlines everyday tasks, allowing sales professionals to dedicate their time and energy to closing deals with maximum efficiency.

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Ernesto: Pathmonk is the intelligent tool for website lead generation. With increasing online competition, over 98% of website visitors don’t convert. The ability to successfully show your value proposition and support visitors in their buying journey separates you from the competition. Online Pathmonk qualifies and converts leads on your website by figuring out where they are in the buying journey and influencing them in key decision moments. With relevant micro experiences like case studies, intro videos, and much more, stay relevant to your visitors and increase conversions by 50%. Add Pathmonk to your website in seconds. Let the AI do all the work and get access to 50% more qualified leads while you keep doing marketing and sales as usual. Check us on pathmonk.com. Welcome to today’s episode. Let’s talk about today’s guest. We have John Golden from Pipeliner, CRM, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer with them. How are you doing today, John?

John: Yeah, I’m doing great. Thank you, Ernesto.

Ernesto: It’s great to have you on. You’re almost about to complete those ten years, so I’m glad that we’re able to get you on today’s podcast.

John: It sounds like a sentence. Hopefully, you know, I haven’t had any parole hearings lately, so it looks like I’ll be here for a while yet.

Ernesto: Definitely, definitely. I mean, it’s a great achievement. So congrats on the upcoming milestone for you. Well, let’s kick it off, right? So that our listeners could get a good understanding of Pipeliner CRM. Can you tell us a little bit more in your own words?

John: Yeah. So, Pipeliner CRM, as the name suggests, is a CRM customer relationship management system. We are the most visual and engaging platform on the market, and the only one that really takes the complexity of enterprise platforms and enterprise selling and makes it simple and intuitive for users. From mid-market up to enterprise, we have visualized everything from a salesperson’s perspective so that when you work in the CRM, you can embed it into your daily work practice. It makes sense, it leverages, it keeps you focused. It has automation tools built in to take out those routine and rote activities that you need to do. We have AI built in there to give you some intelligence and insights into things. But overall, we’re the most visual CRM. And the adoption rates we get from the actual salespeople, the users of the system, are second to none.

Ernesto: Definitely awesome to hear that from you guys. So that our listeners could get a good understanding of Pipeliner CRM, what would you say is the key problem that you guys solve for clients?

John: Yeah, it is actual visibility into your revenue, your pipeline, your accurate forecasting, and having people use the system so that management is getting the data they need for reporting because the salespeople are actually using the system. Then the salespeople can get 360 views of their prospects and customers and be able to track all of the interactions, see where they need to pay attention, and have all the elements they need in order to sell successfully in one system, following a logical way that salespeople do business on a daily basis.

Ernesto: Great to hear that. And as far as some clients of yours, is there a specific vertical segment? Is there an ideal ICP for Pipeliner CRM?

John: Yeah, we do. We’re actually across multiple verticals, to be honest. But we do particularly well in, I would say, IT. So, I mean, software and hardware, security, professional services, management consulting, industrial equipment, and manufacturing. We do very well in the energy sector, construction, medical devices, and insurance. That’s where insurance is another one. So those are ones that are particularly strong for us, but we are kind of cross-verticals.

Ernesto: Great to hear. And let’s say I’m in IT. How would I find out about Pipeliner? Is there a top client acquisition channel for you guys?

John: Yeah, so the best thing is to go to pipelinersales.com, to go to the website. But then there’s also, you know, we have the YouTube channel, so you can find out a lot about us from both of those. We’re a bit of a content machine. If you go to our website, you’ll discover that we don’t just have content about the product. We also have a lot broader content. We help people with content around sales management because obviously, a CRM system is a key part of that. But sales management has the skills surrounded. So we produce a lot of content to help you also with your job, not just using the system.

Ernesto: That’s great to hear. Awesome to hear that from you and Pipeliner. Like you mentioned, our listeners that are tuned in can go ahead and visit you. They can check you out at pipelinersales.com, or on LinkedIn, on your company page.

John: LinkedIn is another great place to go and see us as well.

Ernesto: Definitely. Great. What role then does the website play for client acquisition?

John: Yes, it plays a number of roles for us. Number one, it helps introduce us to the market in terms of the visual difference that we make and our product makes. So it immediately reinforces and validates that. Again, it becomes a great source of validation because of our customer base and the customers who’ve been kind enough to give us testimonials and case studies and things. So it absolutely helps us reinforce our brand. We try to educate through it as well, because when somebody is going to make a purchasing decision around CRM, it can be quite overwhelming with the number of CRMs in the market. So we’re very clear about what we do and also about what we don’t do. I think that’s something that a lot of people miss out on, is that your brand, your site, your website, everything being very clear in what you do but also helping people understand what you don’t do, where you stay in your lane if you like, because there’s so much information overload today that I think that’s a problem for people. So we try to be very, very direct. We try to be very transparent and as helpful as possible. So from a conversion point of view, people come, they can do free trials, they can request a demo, they can review our content, we can follow up with them. So it operates both from an inbound and an outbound perspective. From outbound, it’s a place to send people to get them to go and visit. Our organic SEO brings in a lot of traffic. For people who are looking at CRM in the first place, it’s also a reference point because we’re on all of the third-party review sites, the G2 crowds, and all of those. Again, it’s very important when that traffic comes over that you’re presenting and putting your best foot forward.

Ernesto: Great to hear that. Thank you so much for that. Is there any tools or tips or methods that you would recommend to our listeners as far as website lead generation?

John: Yeah, I mean, I think the authenticity thing is very, very important today. How authentic does your website sound? Does it really sound like who you are as a business? Because I think that’s really important. People sometimes spend a lot of time with what I call bumper stickers and all that on their website that are totally disconnected from the actual experience of working with the company. So I think you should be very, very clear and authentic about who you are. I think your website has to be relatable. You have to go to the website, and it has to resonate with you. You have to see. So that’s why we use a lot of personas and things to make people feel like, “Oh, yeah, yeah, they get me. I understand that, you know, in this role or whatever, they see me.” So I think it’s important that it’s authentic, that it’s relatable, it resonates, people feel like they see you. And I think transparency and honesty are incredibly important today because I see a lot of fluff and buzzwords. People love to throw in what sound like new technical terms, and people get all worried about it. That’s what we try to avoid, and that’s what I would advise people to avoid. Don’t use the latest buzzwords, don’t have bumper stickers on your website, and that means don’t say anything on your website that you can’t back up or that, if somebody becomes a prospect, they won’t suddenly go, “Oh, well, you know, you have customer-centric and all of this all over your website, but when I actually come to work with you, I find that you’re quite hard to do business with.” So, like I said, don’t have anything that’s incongruent with who you are.

Ernesto: Awesome. Great to hear that from you. Thanks for sharing those tips and methods with us, John. Well, let’s switch gears a little bit, John, and talk about you as a leader. You being the Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer at Pipeliner CRM, what are some key tasks you like to focus on in your day-to-day work?

John: Yeah. I do a lot of work around messaging and PR. I work with our PR company very, very closely on that because we like to do a lot of work with publications and journalists, helping them with their work and obviously getting our message out as well. So I spend a lot of time on PR. I spend a lot of time on strategy and forward-looking as well because the landscape is changing and rapidly altering. So, making sure that we are aligned properly, our messaging is aligned, and that we’re ready to support any initiatives that come through. As new features come on board, or maybe we’re integrating more AI into the platform, we want to be working very closely at an early stage to make sure that messaging flows through everything from our website to our PR. To be honest, that’s a lot of where I spend my time. Also, on the networking side from a content point of view, I run my own podcast, Sales POP, which you can see behind me. I spend some time on that because it builds a network of key experts, thought leaders, and people like that. So again, that helps me stay on top of what’s happening across multiple industries and areas. That’s where I spend the majority of my time.

Ernesto: It sounds like you have a full plate on your hands. How do you stay up to date with all the trends in marketing and new strategies? Is there a channel that you prefer?

John: Yeah, well, as I said, I go back to our podcast because, to be honest, I found the easiest way to stay up to date with everything is to talk to experts and people who know what’s happening in different areas. The guests that I have on my podcast are often marketing folks, chief revenue officers, and people in similar roles. I get to stay up on all the latest things happening in different niches and specializations by interviewing and talking to experts. For me, that’s been the most effective way of staying up on things because I get it straight from the horse’s mouth, if you like. I don’t have to go searching and looking; I talk to people who really know what they’re talking about.

Ernesto: I would totally agree with you on that point. Every time I bring someone on, it’s something new. So it’s awesome to hear the same from you, John.

John: You know, people always say, “Thank you for having me on and for interviewing me.” And I always have to say, “Well, thank you for teaching me something.”

Ernesto: Definitely. I feel the same way. Awesome to hear that. Well, let’s jump into our next section, John, which is our rapid-fire question round. Ready for them?

John: Yep.

Ernesto: Awesome. First off, John, what is the last book that you read?

John: The last book I read is “The Book of Five Rings,” which was written by Miyamoto Musashi in the 16th century. He was a 16th-century samurai master. The book is full of fantastic wisdom around strategy and approach to life. I always like to use both modern insights and the wisdom of the ages. You can learn a lot from Greek philosophers and 16th-century samurai masters if you take the time.

Ernesto: Great. Interesting read there, John. Next, there’s a lot of AI going on out there. Are you guys focused at one point on going into AI at Pipeliner?

John: Oh yeah. We were the first to integrate a really solid AI feature into our platform last year. We brought in this AI assistant to help salespeople write emails, put them in the right tone, bullet everything for them, and look after the whole communication piece. We used the OpenAI API and built something properly ourselves into the system. We’re going to be bringing out more AI features this year and in the future. We’re focused on leveraging AI as efficiently and effectively as possible for the platform, but not in a gimmicky way. The AI assistant was the first part of that strategy.

Ernesto: Great to hear that. If there were no boundaries in technology, what would be the one thing you would want to have fixed for your role as a marketer today?

John: That’s a really tough one. If I had a piece of technology that eliminated buzzwords, I’d use that one to blast the buzzwords off everything. But I think a tool that brought together everything from SEO to the tone of content to the right imagery would be amazing. I’d love something where you could press a button, and it would take everything and say, “This is the perfect piece of content.” It’s beautifully SEO’d, the tone is nice, it communicates visually as well. It would be great to have something that just did all of that because you can do a lot of those elements separately with different tools. But I’d love to have a button you could press, and it would just say, “Yes, this is an almost perfect piece of content.”

Ernesto: Awesome. Good to hear that. Next, if there’s one repetitive task that you could automate, what would that be?

John: Well, you know, we have an automation tool within Pipeliner CRM. So there isn’t actually any kind of task or process I have today that I haven’t already automated. We have this workflow automation engine within Pipeliner. It’s a no-code, drag-and-drop system. Anytime you see that you have a task or a process you’re doing repetitively, you can just turn it into an automation. We have over 400 automations running in our company right now, which allows us to be very productive. So the answer to your question is, there’s nothing right now because I’ve pretty much automated everything we can.

Ernesto: Great. That’s awesome. I think everyone should be at that point. Great to hear that from you guys. Lastly, John, you have a lot of experience already in the marketing world, but what is that one piece of advice you would give yourself if you were to restart your journey as a marketer today?

John: The one piece of advice I would give to myself and to everyone else is to spend as much time with sales as possible and to really understand sales. If you get an opportunity to be a salesperson and to sell for a bit, that would be good too. The most effective marketers understand sales and the reality of the world that sales operates in. Here we are in 2024, and we can still talk about sales and marketing alignment, which is ridiculous. It shouldn’t be an issue, but it still is. The most effective marketers understand sales and the world of sales. The minute you can demonstrate to sales that you understand their world, you have an in that other marketers generally won’t have, and you’ll have a much better collaboration and much more effective marketing going forward. That would be my one piece of advice: don’t get so blinkered in marketing, but understand the sales world and how they operate. It’s going to make you a really effective marketer, and you’ll be embraced by sales organizations and sales leaderships throughout your career, as opposed to the experience a lot of marketers have where that can be a contentious relationship.

Ernesto: Awesome. Thank you so much for sharing that advice, not just for yourself but for all our listeners as well. We are coming to the end of the show here, John. But before we do, I want to give you the last word. If someone forgets everything about the interview today, what is the one thing they should remember about your company?

John: That you can love using a CRM. Most people, when you hear CRM, go “ugh,” but you can love using Pipeliner. That’s the feedback we get from our users, that they actually love using it because it’s so engaging and visual and it helps them do their job. So there’s one takeaway: we have broken the myth that you can’t love a CRM. Yes, you can. You can love ours.

Ernesto: Well, there you guys heard it. Check them out at pipelinersales.com. John, thank you so much for being on. And to our listeners, thank you so much for tuning in. I’m looking forward to our next episode at Pathmonk Presents. Thanks a lot, John.

John: Thank you, Ernesto.