Summer '23 Pipeline Summit Recap

We learned so much at our Summer '23 Pipeline Summit. Hear the biggest takeaways from each of our speakers and watch the sessions on-demand now.

Summer '23 Pipeline Summit Recap
Shelly Weaver
Shelly Weaver
July 21, 2023
min read
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This week we hosted our Summer ’23 Pipeline Summit—a three-hour action-packed event for B2B marketing, sales, and revenue leaders.  

We gathered some of the brightest minds in tech to tackle the hottest topics in the industry and hear their insights, playbooks, and inspiration for the next quarter.

Click here to stream the event.

Get the highlights below 👇

Udi Ledergor (Gong) and Kraig Swensrud (Qualified) open the event with The State of B2B Marketing

AI isn’t coming for Content Marketing jobs

Udi Ledergor, Chief Evangelist at Gong, sat down with our Founder and CEO, Kraig Swensrud to talk about the biggest things impacting B2B marketing today, namely the widespread adoption of AI tools like ChatGPT, and what that means for the future of marketing. When it comes to content marketing, Udi isn’t concerned about AI’s ability to replace authentic, human writing.

"ChatGPT averages out everything it’s been trained on, so it’s never going to have a controversial POV. It’s not going to have the unique style or voice that a human marketer can have. You need to inject those things to fill in the blanks. Human writers are moving more toward an editor position, but we’re nowhere near not needing those people.“

—Udi Ledergor, Chief Evangelist, Gong

Watch the session here 🎥

The teams that double down on brand in the next two years, win

Our CMO, Maura Rivera, sat down with Kyle Lacy, CMO of Jellyfish, and Jane Alexander, CMO of Carta, to explore something that’s keeping most tech CMOs up at night—budget-cutting and where to invest more time and energy in the second half of 2023. Kyle shared his mindset when it comes to narrowing in on where you’re spending, and where you’re not.

"When the world is ending for a lot of people, it’s beginning for some. The people who can take advantage of this environment will ultimately win if they do it appropriately, but you have to find the efficiencies and channels that will allow you to spend money on your owned media and make more impact in your content production instead of spending everywhere. “

—Kyle Lacy, CMO, Jellyfish

Watch the session here 🎥

The tough times are the defining moments for marketing teams

Later in the conversation, Jane shared how lucky she feels to work with her team, and how she thinks about navigating this tough market as a leader. She had some strong words of encouragement for the marketing teams in the thick of it right now.

"We were in good times, and now we’re in hard times—but the good times are going to come back. The question is: who do you want to be when the good times come back? Everybody stepping into this right now, this is a real opportunity. This is the ‘show everybody what you’re made of’ moment.”

—Jane Alexander, CMO, Carta

Watch the session here  🎥

AI can’t be the answer looking for a problem

Our Co-founder, Sean Whiteley, spoke with President and Co-founder of, Matt Millen, to talk about how important it is to be methodical when it comes to bringing AI products to market. Teams can’t just slap a thin veneer of AI over their existing products if it doesn’t provide a real, valuable use case for buyers.

"It should be easy to use. It should be fun to use. It needs to be coachable. At its core, if the product doesn’t make sense, isn’t fun, and your boss has a hard time figuring out what you’re doing, it’s not going to get adopted and rolled out at the organization.”

—Matt Millen, President and Co-founder,

Watch the session here 🎥

The way buyers research is shifting significantly

In our Pipeline Power Hour: Marketing, Matt Heinz interviewed five subject matter experts back to back for their insights and playbook in five key marketing channels. He started with Allyson Havener, VP of Marketing at TrustRadius, to dive into the most important buyer trends marketing teams need to be aware of in the coming months.

The last few years have had a big impact on buyer behavior, and the last few months have accelerated some trends that weren’t even on our radar last year.

"Buyers today are relying on their own prior experience. Before, prior experience wasn’t even in the top 5. This year, it grew 30% as one of the top resources. People are super risk-averse, they were already skeptical, and now they’re really relying on their own prior experience in the economy that we’re in.“

—Allyson Havener, VP of Marketing, TrustRadius

Watch the session here 🎥

The first touchpoint in community lifecycle marketing is crucial

Next, Matt talked with Katie Ray, Metadata’s Director of Community, about how to manage a community lifecycle and how to think about engaging community members on a deeper level. Katie had some great insight into how to approach newcomers to communities in a way that entices them to engage with their peers, instead of running them off.

"You have to understand how people work. Just like when you’re going to college or moving cities and you’re trying to make friends, it always starts with that initial interaction. Which is why for us, our first touchpoint, we try really hard to be as earnest and genuine as possible. We want people to know they’re welcome here, their questions are welcome, and their opinions are valued. That’s the first thing you have to really consider in the community lifecycle.”

—Katie Ray, Director of Community, Metadata

Watch the session here 🎥

Matt Heinz (Heinz Marketing) and EJ Oelling (6Sense) break down the art of event orchestration (and a few acronyms)

What you do with your event data is the key to success

EJ Oelling, VP of ABX at 6Sense, spoke with Matt next about how you can get the most out of your event strategies by prioritizing how you leverage your event data before, during, and after your events to maximize your ROI.

"The end is key—that’s where you take all the conversations you have and work with your sales team. We talk about different emails you did, and use all these tools, to carry that conversation forward. We work with our sales teams to look at all the different pockets of information to carry it forward to the next event.”

—EJ Oelling, VP ABX, 6Sense

Watch the session here 🎥

Think of events like a content creation machine

When Matt talked with Marissa Kraines, VP of Social & Content Marketing at Salesforce, about how she navigates creating strategies that are complementary to Salesforce’s massive events, she laid out their strategy for getting the most content out of their events.

"Events are content creation machines. We are building so much content on-site that we can utilize for years to come. I still go back to keynotes from years past for the best clips. You have to find the magic moments within those keynotes and repost them. Continuing the engagement is a lot of utilization of content and making it new to lead to your biggest announcements and developments.”

—Marissa Kraines, VP Social & Content Marketing, Salesforce

Watch the session here 🎥

Hybrid events aren’t just about streaming your live content

To round out our Marketing Power Hour, Belinda Joseph, Head of Events and Community at Goldcast, took us through her guidelines for creating a cohesive hybrid event strategy. Instead of focusing on just your in-person experience and phoning it in on the virtual side, she approaches hybrid programs like two separate events, and plans accordingly.

"You want to be very thoughtful about what makes the most sense for your audience and the objective you’re trying to achieve with that event. You’re essentially putting on two events. You can’t replicate exactly the in-person experience for your virtual, but you still want them to have a good experience, so production value matters.”

—Belinda Joseph, Head of Events & Community, Goldcast

Watch the session here 🎥

In this tough market, sellers have to hone the mindset of controlling the uncontrollable

The shift in the market hasn’t just been tough on marketers, sellers have had to rethink all of their strategies in order to keep up with this year’s rapidly-evolving trends. Gina Sandoval, Director of Sales at Allbound, took us through the top trends sellers are trying to navigate right now, including AI tools, generational mindset shifts, expanding buyer committees, and economic uncertainty.

She reminded us that we can only control what we can control, and the rest is up to us how we react.

"I always focus on what I can control and separate that from what I call an uncontrollable. An uncontrollable is anything that our buyers say and do—answering the phone, reading your LinkedIn message, moving on from their role—there’s not a whole lot we can do about that. What we can control is always being prepared, having really consistent follow-through, and being an attentive listener.”

—Gina Sandoval, Sales Leader, Allbound

Watch the session here 🎥

AI is here to stay, and our job as marketers and sellers is to understand where it makes sense in our workflows

Our very own Marty Kassalen has made it a point to embrace AI tools into his workflow and shared his tips and tricks for getting started in this new landscape. AI isn’t a silver bullet, but we also can’t close our eyes and pretend it isn’t happening, or we’ll get left behind. Marty shared simple and straightforward ways to get your feet wet as sellers so as not to get overwhelmed.

"Some of it can be overwhelming, but what’s absolutely guaranteed is this wave of AI is crashing onto us fast and we need to familiarize ourselves with these new tools, find valuable use cases, and start implementing them.”

—Marty Kassalen, Sr. AE, Qualified

Watch the session here 🎥

Mike Wander (Lavender) gets ready to take us to Sales School

More and more buyers are opting for rep-free experiences, and it’s up to us to combat that

Self-service is a rising trend amongst buyers, so reps have to work harder than ever to be personable, engaging, and worth listening to. This shift in mindsets is hard to reconcile with the other messages we’re hearing about using AI to scale as quickly as possible, but if you ask Mike Wander, Growth AE at Lavender, there’s a healthy intersection of AI tools and personal, hand-crafted messaging.

He shared his 15-minute Sales School crash course is breaking through crowded inboxes with modern tools and hyper-personalized messaging.

"The last thing we want is our buyers hopping onto a call with us and feeling like they aren’t going to learn anything new. We want to become brands that people want to engage with.”

—Mike Wander, Growth AE, Lavender

Watch the session here 🎥

It’s time we took the same approach we do to replicating sales call wins with our demo calls

The Gongs of the world are incredibly helpful in analyzing sales call data and helping us define what’s working within our outreach programs to help us replicate what our top reps are doing, but when it comes to demos, we’re sometimes lacking in the right analytics to understand what’s more effective in demo calls.

Eric Portugal Welsh, former Director of RevOps at Demostack, shared a peek into their world of Demo Analytics, and how to leverage this data to craft demos that stick with your buyers.

"To us, it’s important that we create really specific talk tracks. We can generate winning demo playbooks by using demo analytics and replicating that across all of our demo calls.”

—Eric Portugal Welsh, former Director of RevOps, Demostack

Watch the session here 🎥

You create a culture of celebration by magnifying wins

Capping off our Pipeline Power Hour: Sales, Sam Nelson, Founder of, shared his tips for motivating your sales teams during rocky markets without compromising the quality of work needed to have meaningful interactions with buyers.

"Anytime things feel like they’re going backwards instead of forwards it can be a hit on morale. As a sales leader, you have to make sure you have a culture of winning without lowering your standards. You have to increase the surface area of your wins. By magnifying your wins, you can increase this culture and make things more exciting and increase morale without having to make big changes.”

—Sam Nelson, Founder,

Watch the session here 🎥

Corrina Owens (purple cork) and Sarah McConnell (Qualified) dive into the latest marketing acronym we need to know

You don’t have to launch a massive Creator-led Growth Strategy at first

In our Marketing Spotlight session, our VP of Demand Gen, Sarah McConnell, and purple cork’s Chief Evangelist Officer, Corrina Owens, took us through the Creator-led Growth Blueprint, a framework for planning, executing, and measuring the success of your Creator-led Growth strategy.

Corrina shared a good reminder that you don’t have to launch with dozens of pieces of content, ten influencers, and a full-blown production studio. You can start small, engage with your peers and buyers, and grow your company’s reach steadily over time.

"It’s not doing more with less it’s doing less better. It’s about utilizing your SMEs that already exist internally and know your product inside and out. You don’t have to have this huge overarching campaign to start with. You can start small.”

—Corrina Owens, Chief Evangelist Officer, purple cork

Watch the session here 🎥

You have to take a holistic approach to your attribution models

The Revenue Excellence role is the future of go-to-market strategies, and our VP of RevOps, Kieran Snaith, had the chance to talk with Sarah Houlihan, VP of Revenue Excellence at Clari, and Karan Singh, Partner, Revenue Excellence at Sapphire Ventures, about their respective visions for this role within a tech company and a VC firm.

Sarah shared why she thinks it’s so important to have a dedicated function that looks across your entire org to get a clear view of what’s happening, painting a holistic picture when it comes to your pipeline targets.

"You can look at one area and things can look great. Say demo requests are going up week over week and everything looks awesome! But maybe your real qualified pipeline or ACV isn’t where it needs to be. Conversely, if you’re marketing-sourced pipeline is down you might think the sky is falling. If you zoom out and other sources of pipeline are converting and closing, that’s telling you something about your modeling.”

—Sarah Houlihan, VP RevEx, Clari

Watch the session here 🎥

The winning teams are turning their go-to-market strategies around to be more customer-focused

Later in their conversation, Karan shared that across Sapphire’s portfolio of companies, there’s something he’s seeing that is indicative of success in this tough market. The companies that are willing to reconstruct their strategies and processes to align with their customer’s objectives are the teams that are coming out on top.

It’s a huge effort to make, but once you’ve shifted to this mindset, the rest starts to fall into place.

"One thing I’m seeing a lot of now is that the best companies are thinking customer-centric and customer-first. When we look at our go-to-market motion which has been historically insular, turn it around. What is the customer’s objective? What are they trying to accomplish at different stages of the journey? Look at it from their perspective and then re-architect your processes to be reflective of that.”

—Karan Singh, Partner, Revenue Excellence, Sapphire Ventures

Watch the session here 🎥

Morgan Norman (Dialpad) and Dan Darcy (Qualified) bridge the gap between Marketing and Success teams

Marketing and Success should be partnering to determine their content roadmaps

We wrapped up the show with a really thoughtful conversation between Dialpad’s CMO, Morgan Norman, and our Chief Customer Office, Dan Darcy, exploring the ways that Marketing and Success teams can better lean on each other to create a more engaging customer experience.

In most orgs, these two teams tend to keep their work in silos, only crossing over during the big moments in a company’s timeline. But Morgan pointed out that things are changing, the needs of buyers and customers are much more complex now, and Success teams have access to insights that marketing teams simply don’t. The solution?

Roadmapping content together, and being open to a little constructive criticism from our Success counterparts.

"What content matters? It’s a different generation out there, it’s more complex, and we all have less bandwidth. Instead of listening to marketing and what the opinions might be of the CMO, tell us what matters. We get criticized every day and it’s okay, it would be great if we could say let’s fill the roadmap of content together, let’s commit to how we develop that, and we’d be pretty good.”

—Morgan Norman, CMO, Dialpad

Watch the session here 🎥

We hope you were able to pop by and learn from our incredible speakers at this quarter’s Pipeline Summit! Watch all the sessions here, and make sure to stay in the loop with upcoming events here.
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