Episode 106: Building a Rockstar Marketing Team with G2’s Adam Goyette

What marketing leader doesn’t want a rockstar marketing team? While it’s certainly easy to agree that you want top marketing talent, it’s much more difficult to find them and build your team.

In the last episode of this season of SaaS Half Full, Adam Goyette, VP of demand generation at G2, joins the show. Adam is an expert at building high-performing marketing teams, and he shares his wisdom with listeners on how your company can replicate some of their success.

Dig Deeper in Marketing Candidate Interviews

After interviewing many candidates during his tenure, Adam has learned the ins-and-outs of a solid interview process. “Once a candidate gets to the first interview with me, I like to go pretty deep on the first interview. Not just the surface level, like, ‘Tell me about your background and read off your resume to me.’ One of the tricks in hiring a team is getting into the weeds pretty quickly.”

In this case, the weeds are the details of how a candidate does their job. The interview becomes an opportunity for Adam to dig into a candidate’s background and see how far their knowledge extends, often stripping away the buzzwords common in marketing. He encourages marketing leaders to ask more functional questions with multiple follow-ups, like having a candidate walk through their current marketing funnel.

Adam also looks out for candidates who bring the mentality that sales and marketing should be aligned on goals. “Getting leads to get revenue is ultimately like the name of the game. I think marketers who don’t focus on that side of it miss a lot of opportunities to understand the way your sales team is positioning,” he said.

Digging deep is a two-way street. If candidates aren’t asking pointed and interesting questions in reply, Adam spots a red flag. He believes marketers today need to not only be good cultural fits but also have curiosity and a data-driven outlook. It’s how he’s built his team at G2 and what he’s seeking in new hires.

While he’s naturally looking for candidates who know their stuff, he’s also watching for soft skills like how candidates treat office workers while awaiting the interview or if they clean up after themselves —little things that can make a big difference. “Politeness matters, and the way you treat other people matters,” he said.

Marketers Need Curiosity and Freedom to Run

While this process isn’t perfect, Adam has found a lot of success in hiring rockstar talent. And he sees no reason to wait to introduce them to G2. “One of the big things I like to do is to get people into the mix pretty quickly. For me, there’s no better way to learn than to actually just start doing a project,” he said. “So I love incorporating them into brainstorms and team projects and other things we’re working on.”

One way this happens at G2 is through a monthly brainstorm process. For an entire month, marketers write ideas — no matter how outlandish — on a community whiteboard. At month’s end, they have to pitch their ideas to the team. It’s become a source of inspiration for new and successful marketing campaigns and concepts. 

Encouraging marketers’ curiosity and entrepreneurialism is where Adam believes some CMOs miss the mark. He notes that if you’re going to build a high-caliber team, you need to give them the space to perform if you want amazing results. 

“The biggest thing to me is hiring in good people and giving them the freedom to run things,” Adam said. “You’re hiring marketers who are entrepreneurial and cutting-edge and testing a lot of things. Give them both the freedom and the reins to actually go out and do those things.”

For more insights from Adam, listen to Episode 106 of SaaS Half Full.