515: 8 Steps For Building and Leading a High Performance Team w/ Jen Anderson

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk Jen Anderson, Director of B2B Marketing at RentPath.

Looking for a guaranteed way to createcontent that resonates with your audience, start uponcast interview yourideal clients and let them choose the topic of the interview, because, ifyour ideal clients care about the topic, there's a good chance, the rest of youraudience will care about. It too, learn more at sweetfish media, dtcom, you're, listening to the BE TOB GROTshow podjast dedicated to helping be to B executives and she'd explosive grown,whether you're looking for techniques and strategies, O tools and resources.You've come to the right place, I'm Jonathan Green and I'm James Cargary.Let's get it into the show. Welcome back to the B to b gross show.Today we are joined by Jen Anderson Jen is the director of B to be marketing atRentpath, Gen, walk Ome to the show. Thank you. It's a pleasure to have youon the show today we're going to be talking about not only building butbuilding and leading a high performance team. I think this is a a subject thatour listeners across the board are going to get value out of, but beforewe get into today's topic, maybe you can tell us a little about what you andthe rent path team ar up to these days. Sure. So for those that don't know whatrempath is rent pass is a digital marketing solutions andinformation provider to the rentals M housin market. So we own five consumerfacing websites, apartment Guy Com, rent dcom, rentils, dotcom, live,lovely and rental houses. DOTCOM and consumers use those Um sites to findtenr extental home. We monitize access to those to that consumer audiencethrough digital advertising. Um Different communication tools, leadmanagement, things of that nature to property management companies acrossthe country. So we're a two hundred and fifty million dollar business we're theleader an in our vertibl today and we...

...we operate throughout the entire leadto leese sal cycle. Just to give the audience a little bit of contact. Werecently went through some Um restructuring when we had our NWCEOJoinas Marglifar jained US last April, and he came from bonage. She was theformer CE o. There mark has a background as CMO. He was the MOsingular wireless and he helped launch the icelong with stee jobs. So when hejoined our company he did a lot of analysis to understand where we werereally strong, where there was opportunity for improvement and one ofthe keychinges that he made late last year was to restructure marketing andproduct. So we we broke out marketing into two groups, consumer and Bte Bee,and we also broke out several different teams and B to be product as well asconsumer product. So, on the Beato side, my team reports to the head of B to bethere are seven departments that were port up to him and me to be marketingas one of them and I joined the team M. I was formerly managing a digitalmarketing team, so I consolidated my team with the broader B T, be markeingteam and restructured it into some. We started in December. That's fantastic!I mean your your resume certainly sort of speaks for itself. I mean you're.Obviously someone we want to have come on the show and and talk to us about Bto be marketing and- and today, specifically, you know, building andleading a high performance team, which I think is fantastic, because we dohave a lot of guests that that come on and they have a lot of incredibleinsight into the world of B to be marketing and things that theexecutives in our audience can be doing specifically for their company. But I'mexcited to talk about okay. Well, you know what else can you do specificallythat is sort of team oriented, so I'm G...

GENL I'Mgointo kind of? Let you take itaway. I mean one of the the first points that you were going to be makingtoday was actually structuring for success. So what does that mean? Yeah?I think a lot of people when they think about okay. You know: What do we needto do to M centifize performance? They go right to culture and they go rightto you know hiring, but but the reality is that you can hire the best people,but if they're, not, if you don't have he structure and place for those peopleto be successful, you'll still fail. So the first thing that I did when I tookthe V TB team over was, I looked at, were howare re structured today, anwhat's working and what's not working and what I notice, which is true of alot of marketing ords todayis hat. We were structured, Oron channels, so wehad somebody dedicated to pr another person dedicaed to email, another person focused on socialand that really led to a lot of silos where the team was running into eachother rather than working alongside each other to accomplish their overallgoals. So what I did was I looked out what's our actual marketing process, sowe go through to operationalize, marketing and and really drive thein,and then I stretcheded the team around that, and so we created three Corppillars, demand generation, marketing operations and analytics and customerexperience, and each of those teams is responsible for a part of the marketingprocess that we used to engage, prospective buyers and operationalizedmessaging across channels to those fiers, as well as insure adoption andretension postsale, so structuring in that manner. It really allows for eachperson on the team to be part of the broader initiatives that we're pursuingas a team, but also allows them to really grow their competency twherthey're specialized in deep in a particular area, the still workedbroadly across various teams, and also ensures that we're thinking aboutmarketing from an audience centric perspective, so that each initiative isaffected at he chiefner Ar Court jectives yeah yeah, I mean it's aunique approach and it sounds certainly...

...very effective. An and you've alsomentioned competency. Developing competency is actually sort of a numbertwo or in our interview today, about building and leading a high performanceteam. So can we delv into developing that competency a little bit more?Absolutely so, one of the other things that I did once I structured the teamgrund marketing process was. I looked at each person that existed on the teamand evaluated. Were they really strong? Where do they have opportunity to growand become stronger in specific areas and what skills do they have? Thatreally would position them well for some things, but but not for others,and once I evaluated that I moved people into rules where they had anopportunity to pursue that tea and get reallycontinue to grow that thatspecialization, but also stretch and grow in other areas. So once I'e puteverybody into those rules, I also evaluated. Where do we have gaps on theteam, and then I began to pull in people that would help round out theskills in the teat. So, for example, how this actually works s we have onour demand generation team. We have somebody WHO's really skilled incampaigns developent. So she leads a lot of our campaign initiative, but shealso works with other members on on the team to develop poor content and sallscollateral so that she can further develop in those areas. Then I haveanother person on the team who comes from sales, so she's fantastic atthinking about okay, F, I'm a sales person and I'm sitting in front of apliant or a prospect. Howamite pice, miss and so she's grated developing theright sales colloteral for the endstage fire journey, but because of that perspective, she'salso really Um instrumental in helping us develop our our campign strategy andour core messaging so that t's, it's effective in the early stages of thebyer journey as well, and that helps ha federal line marketing he sales, and soeach of the teams has this mix of different skills and competencies, andwe we've appropriately put people in the roles where they can reallyflourish and growl yeah. No, it does...

...sound organizationally as if you youknow, you're talking about getting people um out of a silo and sort ofaligning those efforts, so seems to be very successful with with the sort oforganization that you have going on and point number three: was this idea oforganization and project management, so I'd love to know kind of how that alsom sort of differs from structuring for for success? The first point that wetalked about yeah so once you've got this sort of structure and pleas. Ithink M it's easy to sort of forget. Well, someone still has to be lookingat the holistic, big pecture right until I'm certainly looking at that,but it's also important for there to be defined processe and hand off acrosseach of these teams, both within marketing but also broadly across thecompany, and this is particularly true for rentpass Werewe're working with a lot of different teams within the company,we're sort of the intersection so we're working with consumer MARKETI andconsumer product teams, as well as BTB product US sales operations. It and youknow three hundred and fifty salespeople. So it's really importantfor us to make sure that we've got strong hand off in organization tomanage these different crossfunctional initiatives. So one of the people thatwe have on the team that is sort of that sit sort of outside of the threepillars is our merketing project manager and she's, really responsiblefor ensuring that, as we move forward with different initiatives, whethertheir small, medium or large, in scope, that we've got a very structuredapproach to each initiative that there's a project plan in place that wehave m people who are assigned as responsible and accountable that wehave firm deliveraboles in place and that there are dashboards in place foreveryone, whether they're, inside marketing or outside of marketing, thatthey can see exactly where we are in each project. What's been complete,what's still in progress and Um, and...

...whether or not we're hitting thedeadlines that we have on each of those initiatives, we also th. The projectmanager is also responsible for facilitating by Withe scrums, whichware sort of all hands meetings in this person. She she leads the team through okay,looking at our projects, not talk about everything, that's ingreen Len's talkabout everything, that's at Riskand, yellow and what's triving that risk,and let's talk about everything, that's in red, what's a blocker, and thisgives the the team an opportunity to not only collaborate across there, thedifferent pillars within marketing, but also with the broader project teams,and it it gives everybody the opportunity to provide input and helpus move things forward. It also insures that we're not doing nuplicateve work.So one of the things that we were doing when we re structured er on channel alot of people were doing a lot of the same things and didn't even realize it.So having these sort of scrums give t gives us visibility into what everyoneis doing and how they're how they're all contributing to the overall teams,as well as the company objectives, and because the project plans werevisible to everyone, including our leadership teame. Everyone is aware ofwhat's happening and WHO's responsible for it, which really Um got tails intoour our next topic of transparency and combility, yeah, yeah, absolutely, and-and I do want- I mean you, tim up visibility and I wan to get into ththis point number for o transparency. Can I ask really really quick, then Gen,you know when you do have these by weekly scrums y. u know there e a fewkepieces of advice. You have for making these something that that your teamlooks forward to rather than rather than dreading, rather than feeling likeyou know what we're just we're we're just having another meeting we're justwasting time I mean: Do you do a couple of key things that sort of keeps it? Itpointed focussed and valuable? Absolutely so we go through the actualproject, O dashwords, so every project has a Dashword with a roll of viewwhat's happening this week, and so we...

...try to make sure that it's Gerrystructured everybody in the room is supposed to just focus on a few keypoints, something that they accomplished, which everyone it's anopportunity for everyone to recognize, each other, as well as focusing on theyellow and the red at risk and the blockers. When you keep things verypointed and keep things Um focused on just what are the high level pointsthat we need to really address in his neety? It keeps it movie, So our scrimsare only thirty minutes and a lot of times we have more than ten people andthese scrums, and so everybody has to be superdisciplined. Wi H, just movekeeping it moving. It's not an opportunity for everyone to sort ofbloviate, but we keep it wwe, keep it very much on track and Im focused onthe key things that we all need to do to move forward for the week we alsomeet twice a week. So in the beginning of the week, and a little bit later inthe week and surs that not only do we know what we're supposed to beaccomplishing this week, but then we also at the end of the week, make surethat everything we talked about earlier and that we actually did getaccomplished and if it didn't get accomplished, it's an opportunity forus to ask why and what we need from the team to make sure that we can mit moveit forward dodge also bloviee great word. I love. I Love Bat that you usethat word very underutilized. Let's, let's talk about point number, four M:let's talk about transparency and accountability. Yes, so having these project plans in place, itreally gives us transparencen to what every single person on the team isdoing. It also gives us visibility, particularly me, and theleadership team visibility into resource allication, and what I'vefound is that people who are a players, particularly people who are driven byperformance and results Um. They want to know that their hard work is notonly do ho recognize, but but that they're, not the only ones, workingright and so having accountability in transparency in place is reallyimportant. I would argue, probably m two of the the key components of beinga performance. REVENTINIS is offering...

...those people transparency inaccountability. So when you have these friends en Y, have this type ofstructure where everyone has visibility to what their colleagues are doing?They see how everyone is contributing value, they see how everyone isallocated and it developed a culture of trust and respect. It also empowersaccountability. So if someone isn't delivering on what their commitmentsare to the team, there's no hidings on it. The the tasks are aren red and andthey're past you and so m. When you have that level of visability andeveryone is looking at the same information, everyone is held to thesame standards of excellence. I would also say that M it's important for, Ithink, leaders to really hold people accountable. You can't say that youhave a performance, Tervin, humor, that your focusd on performance, if you'renot willing to meet the hard decision. So there are times when you're going tohave people in the team that are just not pulling their weight and as aleader, you really have to make the hard decision. Can I skill this personup? Do they have the will um? If they don't have the will, then there reallyisn't anything you can D? In my opinion there isn't anything you can do aboutthat. You can. I can br, I can help skill someone up hit, they have tobring the will for a drive and the will to actually do the work. That's notsomething that I can teach someone. That's something that I expect peopleto bring to the job, and I have to be willing, just like every other leaderhas to be willing to hold those people accountable. There's there's, certainlyUm. There certainly needs to be an opportunity for improvement, but whensomeone isn'tperforming, you must hold that person accountable and make a harddecision to let them go, because otherwise keeping people on the teamwho operate at a level of mediocrity, all you're doing is, is Rodine thattrust, you're Rodi morale and, ultimately, you crush strongperformance because Ur your high players, your a players, are going tosay: Why am we working so hard when I...

...mean Hale to higher scanders than thisperson over here? Who seems to be getting away with it? So it's reallyimportance now only say they yare holding people accountable, butactually pull the trigger and do it. You know it feels, like I, I've heardmore and more people talk about this idea of sort of accountability formarketing as a whole, as as a team sort oftracking the the marketing metric mbeing able to measure marketingsuccess verses. Just you know, sale's, obviously easy to M easy to measuremarketing a little bit tougher, but as bad sort of new tools become available.I've noticed that there's more of this pushd to Um Accountability for themarketing team as a whole, but it's interesting to hear it. You know eveninternally, you know he the accountability Um in thestandardization internally for your for your marketing team. So that's greatpoint number five and I think you you've already started to touch on this.Is the idea of recognition and and sort of incentivizing increased performanceyep absolutely so. I personally m worked in in several environments wherethis was not done and and in fact, um one of the things that I wanted to Mekesure that I did differently when I, when I started to grow this team was tomake sure that when we do have a players that we'removing them forward, that we're not losing them because everybody istreated the same. So it's one thing to talk about. incentavizing performanceis another thing to actually grow people, and I don't see a lot ofleaders really focus on this and I think it's unfortunate because becausepeople will grow frustrated, they want particularly a players- people who arevery performance driven. They want to know that what they're doing is makingan impact, and so, if you're not focused on empowering those people andadvancing them, Yeu're going to lose them. So one of the one of the thingsthat I've done is I've really thought about what are some of those different waysthat we can incentivize performance,...

...both from a from a verbal recognitionstandpoint, all the way through to actually Um advancing people o thefirst one? That's pretty simple, I think, is providing verbal recognitionin front of the team, not just the marketing team, but the divisionmeetings of heold quarterly, as well as in front of senior leadership. WheneverI have the opportunity to Um to call out someone on the team forexceptional performance in front of our leadership team, I do it and it'simportant for that. For for anyone, who's got that visibility, intestingyour leadership to acknowledge the hard work of the people in their team. A lotof these people don't necessarily interract with Senour leadership on aday to day basis, so they don't necessarily have exposure. But it'salso important for your seniorleers to know what people are contributing inthe company, so I'm I'm very careful to give credit to the people who are doingthe actual work and Um and reward them with that without recognition in thatpraise at a leadership level, and this help pild collaboration andappreciation into our team culture when people are are recognized only by theirby their leaders but also by their peers, they feel appreciated and it'smotivating it helps them continue to want to come into work every day tofeel part of a bigger initiative, something huch bigger than themselvesbigger than the day. Tode grind Um. The other thing that we started to view isimplement non payincentives, so things like extra timeoff, we work from homeevery Tuesday, but we've also offered an additional remote working days. Whenpeople go above and beyond M, I offer happy hours and team events. I also usedifferent gifts to reward exceptional performance, and I think it's justimportant for managers and leaders to say thank you. It's it's yes,somebodyis doing their job when they head it out of the park, but whensomebody hits it out of the park and...

...they they go above and beyond you.Sometimes you need more than just to thank you. A verbal thing. Yo isn'tenough, sometimes, especially when you're pushing through a majorinitiative and people are in the office untol eleven o'clock trying to get toknow deadline's head it's nice to say thank you and then also say hey by theway, take a day off, and so we've really we've reallyleveraged that within our team, and I think the last point is um advancement.So I I don't know why this is so uncommon, but I have seen itparticularly in in midmaret Marcher businesses, Um, there's this thisperspective, that everyone should just get a three percent raise, and I just Idon't believe in that at all. I believe in m PA, I believe, in playingfavorites Ando, please favorites bass on. I like this person that doesn'tmatter what matters is, is somebody going above and beyond? Are theycontributing exceptional value nd? If they are, you must reward that, and soI don't believe in giving everyone this same advancement, Tho seeme performance,pay increase. I I think that tha all that does ISENSII MEDIOCRI so M. I, andI also believe that there is no reason why you can't find a way to givesomeone a an advancement of title, an advancement of pay, as well as anadvancement of scope of responsibility. Yes, it means that somebody Altimatteamay not get three percent. They may get one percent, they may get zero percent,but if you have somebody who's a rocks, our performer, they do deserve more,and so it's important for that perspective to be applied tocompomisation and advancement everybody on my ateam. I have an idea of wherethey want to grow. Some of them are a little bit more articulate andthoughtful about that than others, but I'm always looking at, even if theyhave an articulated specifically where they know they want to go. I havealready, in my mind an idea how I can further laverage them in Inan, moresenior role, so I'm always looking at...

...how I can grow the people on my teammake sure that they're continuously advancing and and so I'm keeping thepeople that I need. I mean at the end of the day, the Atlanta job market iscompetitive right now, so it's easy to lose good people there's a lot ofoffers out there. I personally get contacted by recruiters on a regularbasis. So, if you're not proactively, looking at okay, who are my topreformers, are they challenged? Are they growing? Are they dancing? Youwill yeah? I love how how deliberate and thoughtfully you are sort of when,when it comes to managing the team, recognizing those those all star, H,performers that you have you know it's not it's not an easy thing. It's somuch easier to just, like you said, say: L, everyone! Everyone gets threepercent this year, ou've all worked very hard, but um take a lot more time,tand effort to sort of be deliverat about. Okay, let's, let's think aboutyou, know what we're trying to accomplish WHO's helping us get that done and- and I think thatkind of you know in a way definitely relates topoint number six having having a clear mission. Let's talk about that yeah andI think Um. I think this is really important and it's a small thing thatcan have such a huge impact so um as somebody who is also driven byperformance. I one hundred percent want to know what I'm working towards right.I need to have a clear mission in front of me, and so I think, if you havereally strong performers on your team, it's important that you woul documentwhat it is that they're working towards they have clear goals in Mine Um. Sothere should be no confusion on your team. What the mission is what the corevalues are, what your orobjectives are. My team recently went through anexercise of actually drafty n a formalized. He mission statementdocumenting our core values and outlining each of our objectives, andeach person had a part in that process,...

...and so what happened? was every single one of them had anopportunity to ensure that their voices were represented in that documentationand in doing that, we gained a buy in what are we actually here to do? Are weall clear on that mission? What are our actual core values right andperformance and hustle were at the top of our valus list M, along with UmAccountability? We had we had a team meeting, we drafted this together, theformalized at and then we actually shared it out with others in thecompany, and it's been incredibly empowering M. I think for the team,because we've created sort of a unified team identity, but it' also reallyhelps guide our interview process when we're bringing people on to the team.So it's helps us remain focus andwhat's important as well as who are the peoplethat we need to make sure that we're bringing in to accomplish thosespecific objectives. POURT number: seven radical candor. Let's talk aboutit, reall quick yeah, so I am a firm believer in direct communication.There's just no time for passive aggressiveness or Kean. Conflict D and You'll always havemoments of conflict, but it's how you address them that really Um can makeher break your team. So my team, we all challenge each other, directly,encourage it expect it Um. Every sible person when werwoer debating differentideas is, is expected to participate and if they disagree with somethingthat we're pursiing or an idea or a strategy, it's up to them to articulatethat during those discussions Um, if they don't articulate it, thentheyare buying into the solution that comes out the other end and they'reresponsible and accountable for helping the team implementid. So I think thatthere's an incentive there for them to voice their opinions up front so thatthey have by and later on. I think it's...

...really important for us to all just bevery direct about that. It's also important that we're communicating withone another when there's a failure, so nobody is perfect we'rewe're in we'rein a kind of a a transformation period over at Rekan. TAP werewere grovingreally fast and we're bringing in a lot of amazing talent and we're growing outmarketing the product substantially. But with that comes the challenge ofmanaging that transformation, and so there are goingto be moments of failuremoments when things get dropped, when Um you know, deadline is missed and inthose moments of failure, it's really important for the team to challenge.Why? Sometimes it's because a of an organization issue, sometimes it'sbecause of a competency issue, but it's important for all of us to challengewhy those failures occur, challenged directly and indoing, so put it behindus. We we challenge, we get to the heart of what's going on, we solutionfor it and ye move on, and I think that that is really helpful to the astrongteam, our team, because of that there's, no pattinest, there's no backstaing,there's it's not competitive in the sense that people are competing witheach other, O ore, competitive in the sense that we want to win as a companyright, and so when we're all clear about where we stand with each other.There there's no misunderstanding, and I think that's really important- istransparency and and being gradically candid with each other, really allowsfor people to feel comfortable like if I, if there's something wrong, someonewill tell me if I'm not if I'm not meeting Um performance schools or ifI'm not following through my commitments. My teenmates willchallenge me on that, and so I think that that has been a huge benefit forus and has really helped us Nove, the team bormard. Then you and you haven't,had to send anyone to the rent path...

Thunderdome, where sort of two M twomarketers enter. One marketer leaves if that sounds sounds like a healthierchoice that you're making yeah it's been really good. I mean the team. HasWe just we all get along so well Um. We all have a really um healthy respectfor one another. I mean it's, I think, just being directd with one another.It's it's created usual respect, which is vteen very important. Faswell jeerwe're coming down the home stretch, point number eight, the of the steps tobuilding and leading a high performance team professional development. Let'sunpack that really quick yeah, so any marketing is constantly ivolving rightM. just the rate of digital innodation is enough to warrant a training budgetin your bottom murketing budget, and if you want to not only bring a players inbut continue to keep them, you have to continue to challenge them so um. Ihave actually looked at ways that I can invest in my teams: Growth. We leverageonline trainings. Well as college courses, we go to serious decisions anddream FORCS and different conferences throughout the year, not everyone but tthe people who it makes the most sense for them to go. We also do it marketfield trips, so we have. You know we have a considerably large fills teamout in the field and every market is lightly different, and so it's reallyimportant on that. Every single marketer on her team understands whatsales is facing in all of those different markets, and so throughoutthe year we have a budget for everyone on the team to go out into the field toM, join client meetings, some join prospect meetings and get a feel forwhat stales his face seems thot. We can better articulate in our messaging andour campaigns, um things that will held move the needle for them, and so I'vealso encouraged my team that, if they feel like they're weak in a specificarea- or they just want to learn something new to grow, encourage themto pursue that trainso. I've actually...

...set aside training budget, which hadplanned to actually increase going into twenty eighteen, just to ensure that myteam, its constantly moving forward and not becoming static, which I think is achallenge in today's digitally drivenworld Yep Yep. That makes a lotof sense Gen. this has been. I just, I think, some tremendous content. I meanthis is definitely one of our longer episodes, but I think it's perfect,because everything that you were talking about makes a lot of sense. Itwas very well put together very deliberate, great actionable pieces ofadvice for our listeners and, if any of our listeners are interested in infollowing up finding out more about, you know what they can do to build andlead a a high performance team. They want to find out more about rent path.They want to connect with you what's the best way for them to go about doingthat. Yeah I'N, Linton nlincoln is Jennifer Anderson, Alanzi and Alanzi's.My married name, and you can also reachn at Jennifer Anderson at Rantaf,dotcom, Fero Jennifer. Thank you so much for your time. Today. It was apleasure having you on the shelf. Thank you so much to appreciate it. If you've been getting value from thispodcast, you can help us reach more people by reviewing the show on Itunes,here's how you can leave a review in less than a minute open your pod castout and tap the serch igon in the bottom Ra corner type in fee o b growththen select our show once you're there tap the reviews to have and tell uswhat you think of the show. These reviews help us out of time. Thank youso much for listening until next time.

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