The Power of Process – Shifting Perspectives to Tackle Challenges Holistically
Smarter GTM 08.17.2023

The Power of Process – Shifting Perspectives to Tackle Challenges Holistically

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In this episode of Sunny Side Up, host Ryan Schimmel interviews Greg Graham, a seasoned marketing operations expert, on the critical role of end-to-end testing, the value of adopting a macro view in marketing strategies, and how leaders can tap into their team’s collective intelligence. The conversation delves into the importance of thorough testing, highlighting real-world examples and emphasizing the need to trust nothing and test everything. Greg’s insights shed light on bridging the gap between individual tasks and broader perspectives within marketing teams, suggesting collaboration across functions and mapping out processes to drive value. Moreover, he explores effective ways for leaders to harness their team’s experience before seeking external consultants, from reorganizing teams for improved collaboration to fostering controlled changes for fresh insights

About the Guest

Greg Graham is an expert in diagnosing, simplifying, and resolving demand generation problems to improve business performance. He particularly enjoys helping businesses that have great products and technologies but want the scale effect of a modern marketing and sales engine with the customer at the center. His approach to scaling revenue retention and growth is grounded in Six Sigma principles and has been recognized in multiple company awards. His hands-on approach increases productive leads, builds trust across sales, marketing, and technology teams, and shortens sales cycles lowering operational costs and building greater customer trust and enterprise value.

Connect with Greg Graham

Key Takeaways 

  • Shift perspective to view challenges holistically, driven by process optimization.
  • Prioritize human relationships and avoid getting lost in complex tools and measurements.
  • Start by being effective before scaling with technology. Don’t overcomplicate tasks.
  • Remember the human touch in communication, ensuring emails and interactions are relatable.
  • Focus on interconnectedness in campaigns; avoid building disjointed components that lack cohesion.
  • Thorough testing guarantees accurate outcomes, uncovering potential issues throughout the process for improvement.
  • Collaboration across departments fosters comprehensive views, enhancing solutions and efficiency.
  • Effective leadership optimizes team structure and encourages creativity to harness collective expertise.
  • Controlled organizational changes spark fresh ideas, breaking routines and fostering adaptability.
  • Storytelling and branding connect emotionally, conveying purpose and engaging audiences effectively.
  • Diverse podcast guests enrich discussions, offering varied viewpoints and experiences.
  • Process mapping and inter-departmental collaboration streamline efforts for value-driven results.
  • Strategic team changes stimulate growth and rejuvenate dynamics for long-term success.


“Trust nothing, test everything… You can sit around a table and concoct these brilliant ideas, only to have one little single thing break and the entire campaign goes.”– Greg Graham

Highlights from the Episode

 How can leaders harness the collective experience and intelligence of their internal team before resorting to external consultants?

Greg suggests that leaders should begin by assuming that their internal team holds valuable collective experience and intelligence. He advises leaders to examine if the team’s structure might be inhibiting contributions and if individuals are positioned appropriately to collaborate with the right people. Greg also recommends thoughtfully timed reorganization within the team to break out of stagnant thinking and promote a fresh perspective, leveraging the experience of team members to create orchestrated change.

What advice do you have for junior people to adopt a more macro view in a role where their immediate manager is focused on a narrow perspective?

Greg advises junior professionals to initiate connections with colleagues from adjacent departments, those upstream or downstream in their processes. By collaborating and mapping out the broader processes they are involved in, individuals can gain a macro view of their work and discover opportunities for shared growth. He introduces the concept of the SIPOC tool, encouraging individuals to expand their perspectives and contribute effectively within their organization.

What do you think marketers tend to overdo, underdo, or miss out on in their daily tasks and strategies?

Marketers tend to overcomplicate things, overthink solutions, and pivot too quickly after launch. They often get caught up in tools and measurements, losing sight of human relationships. Greg emphasizes the importance of prioritizing human connections and focusing on relationships, collaboration, and effective communication within the organization.

How has prioritizing the human factor and the needs of individuals influenced your approach to marketing operations?

Greg emphasizes the significance of human relationships and the tendency of marketers to focus excessively on tools and metrics. He suggests that marketers should engage in meaningful conversations with interconnected teams within the organization to align objectives and goals. By prioritizing collaboration and working as a unified team to delight customers, marketers can avoid imposing an organizational hierarchy on customer experiences.

How do you shift your focus from individual tasks to considering the overall process in marketing operations and tackling challenges from a holistic perspective?

Greg explains that adopting a mindset where everything is viewed as a process, focusing on inputs and outputs, helps in connecting various aspects of a business. He highlights the inefficiencies that often arise at handoff points and underscores the importance of understanding these connections. Greg’s career journey, moving from sales operations to marketing operations, allowed him to bridge the gap between sales and marketing, demonstrating the importance of integration for effective lead creation.

Can you share some key highlights of your career journey and how you developed a passion for addressing challenges in marketing operations?

Greg shares highlights of his career journey, from being a generalist with a desire to understand business dynamics to focusing on scale, technology, and process optimization. His experience included roles in system integration and business process management, with a transition from sales operations to marketing operations. Greg’s expertise lies in diagnosing and resolving demand generation problems, with a grounding in six sigma principles. He finds joy in helping businesses scale their marketing and sales engines with a customer-centric approach.

What advice would you give to marketers who are stuck on a specific task and need to broaden their perspective to understand the bigger picture?

For marketers stuck on specific tasks, Greg suggests reading emails through the lens of how they would like to communicate as humans and emphasizing the human factor in interactions. He also encourages manual testing and hands-on work to understand processes from the ground up before scaling with technology. Greg highlights the importance of considering customer requirements and aligning goals across interconnected teams within the organization for successful collaboration.

Is there a book, blog, newsletter, website, or video that you would recommend to our listeners?


Daniel SiegerFounder and Chief Storyteller at Stories for Good

Kent PetersonSenior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer at McGraw Hill

Joseph LapinVP of Marketing at Bisk

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