It is funny how life works out. NewEdge Growth was in the middle of a new business development phase in March 2020 immediately following a rebranding and repositioning of the company a couple of months earlier. Consequently, the business was not bringing in any money when the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world.
Mark Kelly, the founder & CEO of NewEdge Growth, is a sales and marketing operations expert who could have panicked at this point. But he is much too calm and switched on to do anything like that. Instead, he and his business partner started doing free 30-minute consultations with businesspeople to assess their needs and see how they could help. It turned out to be a masterstroke.
“That was magical,” Mark recalls. “A lot of people were sitting at home looking for stuff to do and assessing what they could improve in their organizations, and that’s when we started building our business. And we’ve crushed it. The last 12 months have been better than I could have expected.”
Mastering The Practical Side Of Business
“When I tell people that I’m in marketing, they immediately think I do social media postings or create product brochures,” Mark explains. “And I try to tell them those are the tactics, they’re not the plan or the strategy.”
He continues, “There are two sides to marketing: creative and business. I’m hyper-focused on the business side. Call it sales ops or rev ops, call it the process – it’s what I know and love. I also know the role of CRM systems like HubSpot or Salesforce, and that is the secret sauce I bring to these engagements. I know it from my time as a former Admin, and I also understand it from prior CRO and CMO responsibilities, so I can talk to a CRO and a CMO in their language, take their words, and apply them to the systems they’re trying to leverage to enable them to improve.”
Understanding the operations side of Marketing, Sales & Customer Success is the essence of Mark’s business. He knows the operations side of sales and marketing inside out and he is passionate about passing on his expertise to anyone struggling with it. “It’s altruistic,” he explains. “Most people will admit they suck at this stuff and I know I can help them get better.”
Strategy First, Technology Last
Earlier in his career, Mark did the reporting and analytics and handled sales operations for a telecom company for nearly three years. During this time, he realized he was very good at this kind of work. So he drew on all of his expertise and experience and formed NewEdge Growth – a consulting company that currently gets 100% of its business from referrals.
“We help companies use technology, but we do it by helping them rethink their processes and operations and how they measure results,” he explains. “In every engagement, we use a framework we created called SPORT, which stands for Strategy, Process, Operations, Results, and Technology. That’s the order we focus on and the technology always comes last.”
He continues, “Often our customers start by buying technology like Salesforce. But it’s like getting the keys to a car without knowing how to drive it. And people struggle with implementing Salesforce. They buy it but they don’t know what good looks like, they don't know why they have it and they don’t know how to get the most out of it.”
“So we try to demystify a lot of that and give it to them in bitesize chunks so that a year from now they say, ‘How could I even operate without this? This is so much better than I could have ever imagined.’ The conversation I usually have with folks is, ‘You have the keys to a Ferrari, but you drive it to the mailbox. That’s all you’re doing with it. You need to show what it can do.’”
Empowering Their Clients
Mark is determined to ensure NewEdge Growth does things differently from its competitors. Initially, the company helps clients improve their operations, but its long-term goal is to empower them to do it themselves.
“Our message is that you could hire a person to do your social media posts and other tactics, or you can hire us for the same price and we’re going to help you grow your business,” he explains. “We’re going to give you a foundation to put in place and the tools you need to grow this. And then you’re going to be able to scale this and hire the people you need. Our whole goal is to either work ourselves out of a job or continue in a maintenance role with every one of our engagements.”
Mark continues, “Many times companies or consultants come in and they’re a hammer looking for a nail. Our approach is almost like a doctor’s. When we talk to companies, we try to figure out what’s wrong, and then make a plan to get you better.”