How To Build An Elite B2B SaaS Growth Marketing Team

On this episode of Open Source Growth, Dean Denny, founder and director of Australia’s top-ranked SaaS marketing agency Owen Denny Digital, discusses the importance of building an effective B2B SaaS growth marketing team. He recommends hiring a high-quality generalist, outsourcing specialist help, and hiring agencies for media buying, strategy, and SEO. He also suggests hiring from disadvantaged communities and bringing in a CMO to oversee the whole team.


[00:01:47] Building B2B SaaS team: step-by-step instructions.

[00:03:55] Marketing team part of revenue team.

[00:06:14] Enable customers to self-serve, self-submit, revenue-driven.

[00:08:27] Hire quality generalist, train, manage, align goals.

[00:18:56] Outsource copy, hire copywriter, video editor.

[00:21:23] Create content team, CMO, report up, philosophical choices.

[00:23:19] Hire agency help for growth.

Top 5 Lessons Learned from the Podcast

Lesson 1: Recognize the marketing team as part of the greater revenue team.

Align marketing efforts with sales to ensure the generation of revenue is the ultimate goal. Understand the company’s vision and revenue targets, and ensure the marketing team shares this focus.

Lesson 2: Prioritize hiring a general marketing assistant before outsourcing to agencies.

In the early stages, a versatile marketing assistant can handle various tasks, allowing the founder to focus on strategic direction. When ready to expand, consider outsourcing specific tasks to agencies based on needs.

Lesson 3: Hire an in-house copywriter early in the growth stages.

Having a consistent tone of voice across all platforms is crucial for effective communication. An in-house copywriter can maintain brand consistency and negotiate better rates with agencies while aligning content with overall marketing goals.

Lesson 4: As the team grows, bring in-house specialists like video editors.

Building an internal content creation team with specialists like video editors ensures a steady flow of high-quality content. Consider hiring from disadvantaged communities for skilled yet cost-effective talent.

Lesson 5: Introduce a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) to oversee the entire marketing operation.

A CMO becomes essential as the team expands, managing activations, networking events, and reporting frameworks. This strategic leadership ensures efficient coordination among team members and helps the business scale effectively.

Hey. How are you going? It’s Dean here and welcome to open source growth. The #1 destination for SaaS founders, CMOs, and more to help you scale your B2B SaaS product in record time with the latest and greatest direct response advertising, demand generation and so, so, so much more. Here is a true exchange of ideas that can truly help you grow your business. And in today’s episode, I want to talk to you about how to build an elite B2B SaaS growth marketing team.

Now. If you’re wondering like, yes, we may not have a B2B SaaS product in our business. Um, We may just be a marketing agency, but what’s really fascinating about this conversation today is that, by definition, a marketing agency is essentially a marketing team. That works for you. So with my experience in growing this business to beyond eight high performing non junior team members. I do know a little bit about what a B2B SaaS needs in order to grow their business and grow a team, which is self-fulfilling. Essentially. Since. Your company. Then it provides them with engagement on your posts. It extends leads into your funnels that captures the demand. It does lead generation and it helps. Sales and marketing to work as one compelling unit together.

Now. I’m not sure how today’s podcasts going to unfold, but what I can say is this, we’re going to talk about. What. You must go in with, so the mindset. Around building this team and the mindset and you must then propagate. Through out the marketing team you build will also go into the stages of. Your business and where you’re at inside of your B2B SaaS company, you may just be a. Lone Wolf during it all. At this stage and we’ll show you through today’s podcast. How to go from lone Wolf, literally doing everything from investor relations, to building products, to running the landing pages, et cetera, et cetera. What to do, how do outsource it, what to bring in house blahdy, blahdy, blah. And we’ll go all the way from that. Up to that medium sized business or know where a real team is then starting to be required and even touch on what an agency. Is, and when you need it. But more importantly, I really want to get to the heart of the matter and provide you with some step-by-step. Instructions in regards to the team members you need to hire.

In real time. Now as part of this growth marketing team, we’re only going to be focusing on the digital today. So when it comes to activations, hiring your business development manager, Uh, hiring anything in regards to a customer success manager, et cetera, et cetera, that is old. I would say more in that customer service and sales facing capacities. We’re really only going to be focusing on the growth marketing. Member. Of the team. So. Please understand that this is our wheel house, and we’re going to just reveal to you. How you go about building this team out in real time. So let’s start off with what I think is a true misnomer. Of. Building out a marketing team is so recognize this team as a part of the greater revenue team.

Now, if you’re building a marketing team out that just does marketing over indexes on the KPIs, which had. Attributed to marketing team performance, whether it be number of leads, generated. Number of sales calls booked. Um, or you number of impressions, number of clicks, the traffic, et cetera, et cetera. If the metrics that have been established. If they are 100%. Congruent with the overarching business revenue metrics. You’re going to have some great outcomes, but you need to, before you even get into building out this team, recognize that you are part of a greater revenue team. And this is why you have. Companies that now have not chief marketing officers, but chief revenue officers. Which essentially.

Roll up.

The marketing and sales function, you need to recognize it as a revenue team. So when your marketing efforts are rolled out, that they are. Focused. And combined with the sales marketing, the sales efforts to ensure that, you know, Generating dollars and generating new clients is the peak of what people require. In your business. So first things first go in there with the mindset that, yes, this is all about generating revenue. If the marketing team that you hire, all the marketing employees. That you decide to bring into the team, do not understand this. You’re already putting yourself at a massive disadvantage, recognize what your company’s vision a north star is. And what does that revenue target look like and understand. And determine whether or not your team members know that, Hey, we actually need to get.

Our shit together so we can go about. Bringing in new people into the brand. Getting them onto the website, engaging with the valuable pages that enable our customers to essentially self-serve and then. Self submit to becoming part of the sales process. And then being able to have that. Captured information loop from the sales team, which leads to revenue, feeding that back to marketing. So your first real key here. Is a mindset shift where you need to ensure that your marketing efforts are all revenue driven or their sales led. So that’s the first thing you really need to look at. Now, when it comes to building out your team, this is where it’s going to get really funny. I’m. Looking forward to this part of the conversation today. Because when you’re building out your team for the first time, You can’t. Eat this first things first, you may not have the money. And it may just be you.

But. We live in 2023 and there are some really compelling things out there that can help you. Do a lot of your marketing, if you are a lone Wolf in your product. So for instance, just say you’re the only sole founder. That’s doing everything. The web design, the social media, all that stuff. And you don’t have the money. It’s never been a better time to be a broke founder because for less than $3 a month, you can get your hands on a copy of chat GPT four, which can help you create amazing content. If you get onto YouTube, you can look up. AI prompt. Engineering classes. You can look at what you need to say in order to develop really good copy. As long as you’ve got a basic understanding of terms like lead generation direct response advertising and the platforms. That you wish to be running ads on or writing landing pages for, or building websites for you’re going to be our carrier. And I’m, I really do emphasize that chatGPT has made it a lot easier for. Sole business owners to become successful. In short periods of time, sir, I do want to emphasize that that is a possibility for you.

Now. If I was you. And you were going to either. Make your first hire. Whether it be an agency. Or building out an internal team member. The first thing I would be choosing in my marketing team. My B2B SaaS marketing team is. I would not be opting for an agency to begin with. If I was here, the first hire I would make would be a general marketing assistant. That can help you out with the very simple things. If you need copy on our website, they can pump out the copy. If they can, if you need social posting to build out a brand that people love, you need that person inside the business you need. Uh, generalist all rounder. There may be somewhat T-shaped when it comes to a particular area.

For instance, you may be a founder or essentially a marketing lead or marketing sales led founder. And you may have really great experience when it comes to media buying. Hire that first assisted. Train them up in that media buying platform. And then put them to YouTube university and get them learning about media buying, get them learning about how to run ads, how that all fits in the grand scheme of things. When it comes to your vision. As soon as you’ve hired. That first marketing is system. Believe it or not. You remember you are having to spoon feed this person to begin with. This is whilst you’re broke. FYI. I just want to let you know that. Because if you all, at that point, when you can’t afford high quality talent, Uh, marketing system may be the very first thing you look towards. However, if you are cash strapped and you are at this stage higher. Highest quality generalist you can find to begin with. Highest quality generalists spend good money on this because they can essentially take what you’re building and run with all your ideas.

So there’s two paths. If you’re the bootstrap pop, you’re going to have to provide the person with a lot of strategic direction. So get that marketing generalist might be a, you know, a three to five years experience, but. I provide them with the direction, point them in the right direction. If you’ve got the money and you’ve owned, and this is your first marketing hire. Pay as much as you possibly can, for the best person you can afford. And expect to spend six figures on this person as they will be able to take everything and run with it. But again, What really comes down to at the end of the day is high quality management and ensuring that that person’s efforts are aligned with your revenue goals and your mission, vision for your B2B SaaS. So that’s the first thing you must do. This would be. You know, a person that can write copy, post things to social run, the old Facebook and LinkedIn and Google lied. This can be the person who can oversee and manage the website. Uh, Review the Google analytics information, even get inside of HubSpot and figure out what’s going on. That’s the very first hire you must make as a B2B growth leader. Once you get that dumb. You’re going to start to see as your business grows and you start generating leads and sales, and you start pulling off all these initiatives that there are going to be challenges along the way. Your guy, isn’t your guy or your girl. Isn’t going to be able to write enough. Copy. You’re not going to have the web development chops to do the right things. At this stage. When there are small projects to be done. Don’t go out and hire a full timer.

The next hire you must make at this point is agency assistance. If you’ve got, say a two or three person marketing team at this point, you’ve got sales reps and all that sort of stuff. You’re probably an eight person business. And at this stage, when you have yourself, plus your marketing assistant. You’ve probably got a business just doing anywhere between 10 to $15,000 a month in recurring revenue. And it’s at this stage, you need to go out and hire agencies for specialist help. Where we see a lot of our business come through it O and D digital, when it comes to media buying or strategy or whatever. Most of the businesses sit anywhere between that 20 to $50,000 a month in this SaaS journey. Why is that the case? Well, it’s because of the fact that they’re doing a lot of the good stuff, in-house, they’re acquiring users and they want to scale up quickly. And I’m sure when you’re at this point, you want to start scaling because you can see the results that are happening.

Again, you’re not going to go and just drop 20 grand a month on Facebook ads, unless you can see some meaningful results getting churned out the other end. So with your first player, that’s when you can use yourself from a strategic perspective in forming your, your high performing marketing person, or if that high-performing marketing, person’s got a better vision than you have, and you can step out of the way and just proactively manage them. Or if it’s your marketing junior, this is when you start in. Hiring agencies for specialist skills. Recognize your skills and then determine the best agencies to hire. A common one will be finding a content creation agencies. Let’s be Frank as you scale up your business and you look from scrappy to schmick, are you need a really good content marketing agency to assist you with high quality blog posts, great videos, great social posts. Your branding needs to be locked on.

That’s great skillset. We don’t have that in house that needs to be outsourced. Just say you’re great at copy, but you can’t run out. Hire the ad person, do a really, really well. Just say you’re really good at all the technical stuff, but you’ve got no strategy. Find that strategy piece, hire that person in. Like a download on all that expertise and run with it. It’s at this point where you’ve got your social media humming along. Yeah. Initial bunch of ads running, whether it be on Google, Facebook, or Metta or Instagram or LinkedIn or being, or whatever. Right. Like, this is like, it’s all happening and it’s old. I told where I could, well, to an extent, right. But then. It’s when you go. So the next stage, once again, It’s when you start. Needing some additional agency support. This is fairly common after you’ve got that first marketing person that can then manage the agencies. Instead of you trying to manage the agencies and the marketing person. That’s where it, that’s where you start to have some real wins. In your relationship with those marketing agencies?

At this point, you’re going to have ads running. If you’re marketing agencies. Good. They’ll probably write your copy for you and that’s, that would help you out. Or if you’re a content marketing agency that you’ve hired, sorry. If you’ve hired a content marketing agency. They are going to be scripting. Your videos are going to get you to speak. They going to be doing whatever. If you found an SEO agency, they’re probably writing your blog posts and stuff. It’s at this point, you need the agency to be out putting as much as you possibly, as they possibly can from a content creation perspective to ensure that your marketing. Assistant or your high-performing marketing leader. Is as leveraged as they possibly can. Again, at all of these different stages. When you hire the agency, and this is probably a subject of its own podcast, you need to really ensure that that marketing assistant or marketing leader has a really good matrix as to how they work with the agency. What does the agency need? How can we ensure that they have a really good.

How can we develop a win-win relationship with them to ensure that we’re generating users to ensure that we’re getting the right content to ensure that we’re pulling off our demand generation and our direct response advertising efforts effectively, you know what I mean? So get that reporting. I get that. Rules of the game. Get that like level playing field where you’re building out and cultivating that win-win relationship. And hiring in the agency for that specialist help. There. And then that’s like a super, super important thing. At this stage as well. Another thing that we would recommend you outsource is your web development, because at the end of the day, There’s nothing worse than a creative marketer being stuck inside a web CMS, trying to fix shit all day long. They may love web development. They may love all that stuff, but there’s nothing worse than a more of a time-suck than to get. Uh, web development. Um, responsibility inside of your business at this point. That’s the next thing you need to pretty much outsource right away. So you’ve gotten your first employee in doing some amazing work, the heavy lifting, whether they be an assistant or essentially a pseudo CMR. They managing your agencies. They’ve you’ve outsourced or your web technical challenges and things like that. And you’ve got all these initiatives rolling out. What’s the next thing. Believe it or not the most, the most important next hire. Isn’t something technical. It’s actually your copywriter. Now once you’ve got. Once now. Please hear me out here.

The reason why you want to hire a copywriter and keep them in-house it’s because of the fact that you need to ensure that your tone of voice is consistent across all of your platforms, right? So if you’re running Google ads, if you’re running Facebook ads, you’re doing organic posts on Instagram, LinkedIn being YouTube ads, whatever you’re doing, you’re sure that your tone of voice is absolutely doubted. Across the board. Because if you’ve got no one to write content, if you’ve got no one to post content, if you’ve got no one to oversee this tone of voice. You’re not just like your tone of voice is wrong and that your copy may not be as effective, but your brand is getting smashed every single day. So when you build out, whether it be a B2B growth marketing team from a digital side of things, or even a marketing agency, often people don’t bring the copywriter. In-house soon enough. And what that does. It takes the media buying. The media buying generalist a way. From what they do best. See. If you’ve got a, a marketing. Assistant or CMO. Who’s really good at looking at the data and making top level decisions. It’s probably not his strong point too. Right at. But it’s not a strong point and not a great business decision too. Outsource your copy to four to five different people or five or four to five different agencies to get that consistent. Right.

So, if you’re going to build out this marketing team, define a content writer and copywriter who can write your ads. Your blog posts. At someone who can be at least trained up in the power of direct response copywriting to generate new leads on demand. It’s like a super crucial one. So you, as you’ve got your, um, your marketing assistant, you’ve got the agencies and have a copywriter work alongside these agencies. What’s also really crucial here is if you have that copywriter, you can negotiate better rights with your agencies and you can help that agency do what it loves to do. By just managing the media. Running the ads to like an inch of perfection. But by providing them the copy, you’ve got to be able to get a discount on their services as well. So there’s a bit of a pro tip for y’all who have never been around the block. When it comes to the next members of your marketing team. This is where it can vary from organization to organization.

We’ve worked with enterprise clients have literally three people in their marketing team. And we’ve worked with small businesses with like 15 people in their marketing team. What we’re now starting to see though, is that. If you want to compete in the demand generation world, which we are pushing into in the B2B SaaS world. Not only do you need a copywriter now, but it’s crucial to have an in-house video editor. Now. I’m a huge advocate for finding people in disadvantaged communities to make this work. So if you are open to employing someone in the Philippines or India or Africa, or in a community that really needs assistance, you can find yourself really high quality video editors that have gone through rigorous training to deliver amazing results.

We use them at Owendenny digital. That valued members of our team, and we love them. But we’ve brought this in-house do you know why? Because we understand how important the amount of content we need to generate is in order for us to remain relevant. Not culturally, but also economically insight. Of this market that we live in. Sir. You’ve got your marketing assistant. Or your CMR. You’ve got your content writer. Or your copywriter. And you’ve got a video editor. You essentially now. Have a full content team. You’ve got a copywriter. A video editor or a video. And if that person you can bring them in house, if you’ve got the money to do such thing, bring them, in-house support them with a video editor and ensure that that video videographer content creator is able to then shoot you. Communicating through exactly what you do. In your business. I think you’re going to be in a really good spot.

So again, you brought the content creation, in-house brought the copywriting. In-house, you’re overseeing everything. It’s at this stage where you need to make a pivotal. Move. So. You’ve got content internally. You’ve got a CMO or you may have a marketing assistant. At this point, this is when you need to decide whether you get yourself a marketing assistant, or a CMR to oversee the whole situation. Once you have this, this CMR can then overlook. Activations can look overlook, networking events can overlook a whole heap of in-person events and then can develop the reporting frameworks to report upwards to the right people. Oh, hang on. My dog’s just visit me. Hello, Zoe. How are you sweetie? Hope you guys don’t mind. Um, This is when we believe the CMO is needed. When you’ve got one or two people on the ground on a, sorry, three or four people on the ground. You need. The CMR to be able to report up. This is where we find it really, really important.

But. It’s at this point, now that you’ve got a four or five person team. And this is when.

You make philosophical choices around hiring. Four. Whether it be manpower or you hire for specialist expertise. Now. There’s no, there’s no denying this fact that. If you are strong with your media buying and you’re doing it internally in your business. That’s great. But if you know, you’re weak, With your media buying internally inside of your business, you’re going to need agency help. Agency help. At. This level when you already have a five or six person strong marketing team. Is crucial. Because of the fact that enables you to get to the next level. Now I did watch very interesting. Uh, video by Alex called mosey recently on how to use marketing agencies. To help your business grow? I would totally recommend everyone. Check that one out. On. On YouTube at some great video, it will help you get a better understanding of how to best use. Agencies to propel your business. Forward into its next level of growth. But that’s where I see it. Get your first marketing assistant. Get a content copywriter. Get your video editor in there. Get agencies to help you out with special niche subjects, whether it be Google tag manager, tracking Google ads, Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, et cetera, et cetera. Manage your social media internally. So your organic social media. And then fire up your CMO and make that happen.

Look, I hope this has been valuable. It’s been 25 minutes. I didn’t know where this one was going to go, but I really do appreciate the fact that you’ve been here today. And if you need any assistance, if you just want to pick a. If you just want to have a quick chat about what you’re doing when you’re building your B2B marketing team. Hit me up. There’s a link here to book a free 10 minute chat, where we can go through exactly what you’re doing, where you could be improving things and identify whether or not we may even be able to help you out in the future. Once again, thank you so much for tuning into open source growth. You’ve been speaking with Dean or listening. Really. Listening to Dean to any founder and director of Australia’s top ranked SaaS marketing agency. Owen to any digital check us out at Owendenny digital. Talk soon.


Connect with Dean Denny, host of Open Source Growth and Director at Owendenny Digital

Owendenny Digital, Australia’s #1 SaaS Marketing Agency


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