Written by Sangram Vajre, Co-Founder and CMO at Terminus and Founder of #FlipMyFunnel
Sangram here! It’s been 18 months since #FlipMyFunnel did its first conference and almost two years since I wrote this LinkedIn article about flipping the funnel. When I drew that funnel on a napkin on my flight home from the MarTech conference and proceeded to flip it, I had no idea this movement would become what it is today.
You, the community of #FlipMyFunnel, have rallied around the idea of challenging the status quo in ways we never could have imagined in our wildest dreams. And we’re extremely grateful for all the support you have shown us on this journey.
When I first launched this movement, it was a way to help create a category where Terminus, an account-based marketing (ABM) company I co-founded, could thrive. At the time, there were only a few technology companies in the market and I saw an opportunity to really create a category around ABM.
We had one marketer on the team who was marketing both the product (Terminus) and the category (#FlipMyFunnel). The movement accomplished exactly what I had hoped in those days. Terminus reached $1 million in ARR in just 9 short months.
At the same time, we began to see a true community grow around #FlipMyFunnel in both our live events and online activities. We saw a rapidly-growing desire from practitioners and thought-leaders to connect with each other, educate themselves about ABM and grow their leadership capabilities. In short, you wanted more from us and we wanted to deliver on that.
We made the decision have one person dedicated just to the #FlipMyFunnel movement and grow the marketing team within Terminus who would focus on the product and company brand.
As you, the community, continued to evolve along with the market, we realized the best way we could serve you was to take a vendor-agnostic approach. In August 2016, we wrote the #FlipMyFunnel Manifesto, which established who we were and why we existed. And while it stated that we would be a vendor-agnostic community, that was not enough. We had a duty to uphold that notion within Terminus.
Since that time, we’ve grown the #FlipMyFunnel team to four people who are totally dedicated to ensuring you have a truly amazing experience with #FlipMyFunnel and that we can meet your needs in the best possible way. But even that’s not enough for us.
It is our goal to ensure that we also operate with the highest level of integrity and deliver on what we promise. And while we might occasionally fall short, this is always our aspiration. This is why we’d like to share how #FlipMyFunnel has been operating since the beginning of 2017 and will continue to operate moving forward.
At the beginning of 2017, #FlipMyFunnel began operating with a “separation of church and state” approach within Terminus. This means they are working toward being self-funded and also have full autonomy to act in the best interest of you, the community. While they operate within the physical location of Terminus, they have the latitude to run the community as if it were a separate company.
You’re probably wondering what exactly that looks like. Allow me to explain a bit more. Every year, there will be a review of the #FlipMyFunnel “what and why” statements. This allows us to ensure we are still on the right track and best suited to meet your needs. As you continue to grow, we want to evolve along with you. We will also set yearly Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that will allow us to track how we are doing.
Every quarter, #FlipMyFunnel will establish its own strategic plan with quarterly KPIs and strategic projects. The focus of these will always be done with a “how can we better help the community” mindset. The team has full autonomy to make the decisions of what this looks like based on your best interests. They also have a responsibility to fund all of their activities from outside sources beyond Terminus. This helps ensure that funding does not bias the decisions they make and how they serve you.
The team also has its own technology stack. We recognize the concern of competitive partners to Terminus and how contacts are handled once an event or activity is complete. The #FlipMyFunnel team keeps all of its contacts within its own marketing automation tool (which the Terminus marketing organization does not have access to) and those contacts are never shared with the Terminus team, except when Terminus is a sponsor of a given event activity. In this case, there is a budget transfer that happens between the two groups and Terminus receives the same benefits as any other sponsor.
I bet you’re probably scratching your head at this point and asking “Did I just read what I thought I read?” The answer is yes. When Terminus participates in a #FlipMyFunnel activity, they pay #FlipMyFunnel as any other vendor in the market would. The reason for this is to ensure a level playing field and fairness for every single vendor in the market.
They also have their own email addresses, website and social properties. This ensures the message stays vendor neutral and they are able to provide, create and share content that provides the most value and is most helpful to you.
Having a team fully dedicated to you and your needs with a high level of autonomy ensures that you can continue to grow as practitioners in a way that never feels biased or pitchy. We believe, from the bottom of our hearts, that it is truly the best way we can exist and the best way we can serve you.