An interview with Pragadish Kalaivanan, Lead Generation and Content Manager, US at Toucan
We sit down with Pragadish Kalaivanan, Lead Generation and Content Manager, US at Toucan. Toucan is a customer-facing analytics platform that empowers companies to drive engagement with data storytelling.
How did you end up at Toucan and what problem does Toucan solve for its clients?
I was looking to experience work cultures in tech outside of the United States and Toucan being a Paris based customer facing analytics company, it just seemed like a great fit. Toucan's mission is to simplify analytical reporting and help business users of all technical levels make actionable insights using data. This mission came about because with the boom in data culture we quickly realized that data was being kept in ivory towers and all the information was being bottle necked by data specialists. By democratizing data access we can ensure that everyone in an organization is able to make data driven decisions moving towards the common company goals.
As the Lead Generation and Content Manager, US, what are your main responsibilities at Toucan?
My main responsibilities in Toucan are split into two major categories. On the lead generation side I work with lead vendors and the sales team to ensure we are hitting and exceeding the QSO numbers and filling but the pipeline for account executives. This needs to be done with a heavy focus on alignment with the ICP and awareness of closing timeline. On the content generation side of things there is a major emphasis on creating blog articles, quizzes, videos and infographics around SEO clusters we have chosen for the quarter. This is to spread TOFU awareness about Toucan and it's offering. Further, we produce BOFU content like evaluation checklists, cost calculators and battle cards to help the sales team reheat a nurturing lead and close deals faster.
How do you lead your team to organize and improve the marketing-sales process to increase sales and enhance the customer experience?
It all starts at the top. It is very important to have over arching company goals that each team can adapt to their own departments. In the marketing digital acquisition team we set quarterly OKRs that fall under the umbrella of the company goals and will push our team to effectively contribute towards them. Each of the OKRs is them assigned to a department within the team. This heaps each department track their progress and understand how they are contributing to company as a whole. Many companies have a disconnect with sales and marketing, at Toucan we avoid this by tying the marketing team with sales goals. During every weekly marketing meeting we go over pipeline generated and close won for each geo separating and get a bonus depending on the percentage of goals met. This puts us more in the mindset of the sales teams and increases cross team communication since everyone has a stake in it.
At ColdFire, when we look at our clients' Marketing and Advertising strategies, they vary greatly. Some have found a single, scalable client acquisition process while others thrive on a mix of top-of-funnel strategies. How would you summarize the overarching revenue-focused strategy of Toucan, and what key elements does it encompass?
Toucan's revenue-focused strategy starts with properly identifying the ICP. With so many SaaS solutions in the market, it is important to know what your unique offering is and why you are the best at it. At Toucan we focus in one specific type of client where we know we have a great win rate and close deals faster while beating out the competition. This ensures that we do not spread ourselves too thin in terms of our resources, messaging and efforts. Further clients out side the ICP who come to us are completely inbound, this ensures all opportunistic use cases have a high level of interest in the product.
What is an efficient marketing technique that you've implemented at Toucan or previous companies, which you believe is underutilized by most management teams - and why do you think that is?
Generation more BOFU content and reducing efforts in social media marketing. The first one is obvious but difficult to implement since many people confuse what a BOFU content is. Most content generated is done so from a marketing perspective to increase awareness and bring in more leads. Often we forget the content needed to push leads down the pipeline and help close the deal. Content that can assist the sales team. Some organizations have the content but they aren't utilized due to poor inter team communication and awareness. This is why at Toucan we have a content hub which shows whee the content falls in relation the sales pipeline and which competitors it would be best used against. The second one is specific to B2B companies. Everyone hears and reads about the wonders of social media marketing and wants to jump on board before asking the why. why are we on this social platform and what do we expect to gain form it. If we can't answer this question then we should not be investing money and effort on that particular platform. Be more intentional in the social platforms you choose and have tangible KPIs over a 6-8 month period to measure the usefulness.
Has your LeadGen team experimented with some kind of cold outbound strategy (like cold email)? If yes what was the general outcome and if no, why not?
Yes, the lead generation team at Toucan has experimented with cold outbound strategies in two specific ways, manual and automated. In the automated strategy we got a list from a lead vendor depending on technologies used and our ICP. this list was sent automated emails to gauge interest and convert them to leads. This strategy did not work as well since the there was no personal toucan and it may have seemed like all the other sales emails people receive these days. In the manual strategy we combined marketing and sales efforts and had a dedicated BRD reach out. This strategy proved effective due to a combination of multiple touch points that generated more awareness and a personal mode of communication that didn't feel generic.