1812 – B2B Marketing with Influ2’s Dmitri Lisitski

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks to the Co-Founder & CEO of Influ2, Dmitri Lisitski.

Lisitski Wide

Dimitri unveiled the intricacies of Influ2, a platform that's not just another advertising tool but a specialized solution crafted for the unique challenges of B2B marketing. He explored how Influ2 stands out by enabling targeted advertising to specific individuals within large organizations, a game-changer for sales teams looking to connect with key decision-makers.

One of the critical themes Dimitri discussed was the importance of aligning marketing efforts with sales strategies, especially given the lengthy sales cycles typical in B2B transactions. He highlighted Influ2's prowess in targeting decision-makers by name and tracking ad engagement, which can significantly enhance conversion rates and bolster the sales pipeline.

Traditional advertising platforms often need to catch up regarding B2B applications. Dimitri delved into the challenges businesses face and the pivotal moment when a solution like Influ2 becomes essential. He stressed the need for a repeatable sales process and how strategic marketing can accelerate sales outcomes.

Key Points from the Episode:

  • Overview of Influ2 as a B2B advertising platform for enterprise sales
  • Unique aspects of B2B advertising and the importance of aligning marketing with sales efforts
  • Influ2's capabilities in targeted advertising to specific individuals within large organizations
  • Challenges of traditional advertising platforms in meeting B2B needs
  • Use cases for Influ2, including prospecting, building credibility, and engaging buying group members
  • Influ2's self-serve design and focus on customer understanding and leverage
  • Resources available on the Influ2 website, such as webinars, podcasts, and reports

About Dmitri Lisitski:

Dmitri Lisitski is a seasoned entrepreneur and the co-founder/CEO of Influ2, pioneering the first person-based advertising platform. With two decades of expertise in online marketing and advertising, Lisitski has spearheaded the development and growth of several IT-powered companies in the U.S. and E.U., notably contributing to the success of GlobalLogic, acquired by Hitachi for $9.6B.

Serving as the Global Head of Delivery & Services at Gett before Influ2, Lisitski brings a wealth of experience to the B2B marketing sphere. His educational background includes Executive MBAs from prestigious institutions, Columbia Business School and London Business School, highlighting his commitment to continuous learning and leadership in the dynamic landscape of technology-driven enterprises.

About Influ2:

Influ2 transforms advertising into a strategic component of sales conversations with its person-based advertising platform. Enabling precise targeting within target accounts, Influ2 facilitates direct engagement with key decision-makers and provides insights into ad interactions.

The platform equips sales teams with the contextual information needed to secure valuable accounts by delivering tailored content and tracking contact-level intent.

The impact is significant, as evidenced by Influ2's ability to drive a 2.26x increase in pipeline by consistently engaging decision-makers throughout their journey.

Recognized as a challenger in the B2B Advertising Solutions category of the Forrester Wave, Influ2 has gained traction among enterprises like Capgemini, Chargebee, Hexaware, and numerous others. This platform stands out for its effectiveness in generating and closing pipelines for mid-market and large-scale accounts.

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out Influ2 website at

Check out Influ2 on LinkedIn at

Check out Dmitri Lisitski on LinkedIn at

Check out Dmitri Lisitski on Twitter at

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Josh (00:00:05) - A thoughtful listener before we get going. Did you know that my company up My has launched more than 200 business podcasts. The host of our shows are amazing leaders and collaborators. Folks I want to connect you with. Maybe you deserve your moment in the spotlight as a guest of one of these amazing shows. Just go to up my, where you can see more than 50 shows that are actively seeking business leader guests like you to celebrate right now in front of their high caliber audiences. Just click on the podcast tab and up my, where you'll see shows like Profit Powerhouse with Glenn Poulos, sales negotiations, and business insights. This isn't just another business podcast, it's a deep dive into the strategies that truly drive success. Hosted by Glenn Poulos, a seasoned sales strategist and business growth expert. Each episode is packed with insights from top executives and business leaders. If you're a high level executive looking to share your expertise and story, we want you on profit powerhouse. Your experiences could be the exact insights Glenn's audience of ambitious business leaders are craving.

Josh (00:01:27) - And for our listeners, if you're ready to elevate your business acumen and learn from the best in the industry, profit Powerhouse with Glenn Poulos is your go to resource. Subscribe now and join a community of professionals who are transforming the business world, ready to be a part of something groundbreaking? Visit up my influence and click on the podcast tab to find profit powerhouse. Whether you're looking to be the next guest or just seeking invaluable business wisdom, this is where your journey begins. Again, just go to up my and click on the podcast tab. With us right now it is Dmitri Lisitski. Dimitri, you are the CEO and co-founder of Influ2. That's AI and flu, the number Dimitri, thank you so much for joining us.

Dimitri (00:02:24) - Thanks for having me.

Josh (00:02:26) - Well. So in flu too. Looks like is a B2B advertising platform service. Can you maybe give us an overview?

Dimitri (00:02:35) - Yeah. Impulso is a B2B platform built specifically for enterprise sales. So like, I think B2B overall it's like two different worlds of like volume and velocity, small transactions and sell into a large enterprise.

Dimitri (00:02:49) - So we're helping with that more. And yeah, we our job is to, you know, to show ads to specific individuals, decision makers and large organizations helping to sell into this organization through the long sell cycles. So that's basically our job to to engage these people across Facebook, Google, LinkedIn ads and, and then tell our customers who is engaging, like which decision makers are interested in that and then help salespeople sell more. Ultimately.

Josh (00:03:20) - What is it that's unique about advertising when it comes to B2B, as opposed to someone that's just selling a consumer product?

Dimitri (00:03:29) - Well, I guess like the biggest difference comes from the fact that you sell cycles very long. The number of people is more than one time. Typically buying groups make decisions. And with that motion you really need to care about, you know, like you can really invest a lot into, you know, the potential transaction. Right. So like in consumer typically the size of transaction is very tiny compared. And then you need to run a lot of ads and you the spend is very short.

Dimitri (00:03:59) - In B2B you can really invest in this relationship right. And while you're investing, this relationship is very important to communicate with your sales team to align marketing effort with sales effort, uh, so that, you know, salespeople know what marketing people are doing and vice versa. And also like the reason why we came up with info two was it's not just, you know, trying to connect those activities together, but also making sure you talk to the same people, exactly the same individuals, because salespeople, you know, they always talk to, they know exactly what they're talking to, right? So they're talking to specific individuals, specific decision makers. And our idea was, hey, marketing should do the same, right? Marketing should engage same individuals as salespeople talking to and help them sell into these individuals. Right. So that's what makes B2B very different. So what you know, consumer marketing is.

Josh (00:04:52) - And so what is it that's unique about inflow to.

Dimitri (00:04:57) - Yeah, that's exactly the ability to target individuals.

Dimitri (00:05:01) - Target specific decision makers by name and know exactly who is engaging with your ads by name as well. So what you can do with info two is you can, you know, sit together sales team and figure out, okay, here's ten people inside say Microsoft who they trying to sell right now. And you can show ads to exactly the same people. And then if, say, John Smith for Microsoft clicks on your ads, your sales team will know about this tomorrow. And they can call this guy and say, hey, let's start, let's have a conversation. And this is going to be a simple explanation, but when you do it at scale, you see a very tangible improvement in conversion rates of sales process. Right? So there's no direct conversion from from marketing because like if you sell large enterprise deals, it's impossible to expect that, you know, like someone will sign up for your product and, you know, put their credit cards on file and then, you know, purchase a product for seven digits, like figure, right? So there's still salespeople involved, but.

Dimitri (00:06:01) - You really can see a lot of improvement in conversion rates and, you know, better sales pipeline, but more deals won thanks to the fact that marketing are targeting the same people and helping salespeople close more deals.

Speaker 3 (00:06:15) - You know, why.

Josh (00:06:17) - Is it that other advertising platforms might struggle with individual? So what we're again, what we're talking about with Influ2 is a very targeted this is a very specific person, and we want to follow this person everywhere online and advertise to them nonstop, right. Is it that other advertising platforms just don't have the technical ability to do that?

Dimitri (00:06:42) - Yeah, exactly. So we don't have our own banner network or anything like this. We serve ads across like non display networks and social networks like Google Display Network, Facebook, LinkedIn, all the existing, you know, education platforms that you know what you lack. If you try to engage with this platform directly or through other platforms that they typically they're designed for consumer. Right. So I think like we see a lot of success of direct to consumer e-commerce products, but it's pretty limited when it comes to B2B applications.

Dimitri (00:07:15) - So what we are doing is making, you know, traditional platforms work well for B2B use. Case. Right. Because like B2B have very different needs to direct to consumer or e-commerce or media or any other consumer focused verticals.

Josh (00:07:33) - At what stage does it make sense for a company to investigate a solution like in flu two? So I guess what I'm asking is, let's say it's a smaller agency, and at any given time, they've got maybe 20 people in their sales pipeline. Right? It's just a much smaller volume. Um, your application would be better suited for companies that are doing a little bit more volume than that. Is that correct?

Dimitri (00:08:00) - I think the real criteria is just repeatable sales process, because once you have salespeople on the ground doing their, you know, hard work, trying to close those deals and like actually closing the deals, this is a moment when it becomes useful. Uh, obviously the bigger the scale is, the more value we'll see. Yeah. But just like I think like when we say no and actually sometimes we say no to, you know, uh, mature companies, if they don't have a sales process that is repeatable, then, you know, it's pretty hard to tell how marketing can help, right? So you first need to make sure that your salespeople know what they're doing.

Dimitri (00:08:44) - Right. And then once sales process works well and it's predictable and there are some repeatable metrics that is typical for sales process, then marketing can really help and accelerate this process and and have very tangible, measurable impact on on what salespeople are doing. Right. So like and this is our job actually to measure how much marketing helps salespeople to achieve this results. But if salespeople are not selling, then marketing is pretty in a hopeless situation. Um, and they can barely help. Yeah.

Josh (00:09:15) - So as I understand it, so is include to, um, for folks that have already kind of expressed interest, they're already like a known individual. Or can you use this as well for kind of very specific micro-targeting. So a lot of kind of the way I'm hearing this sounds like it's kind of like, um, you know, you're not casting nets to catch a bunch of minnows. You got a harpoon gun and you're going after the Moby Dicks out there. Um, so I guess getting back to the first part of the question I started asking is, can you do this to generate awareness, or is it more appropriate to use inflow to for people that are already in the consideration stage? Uh.

Dimitri (00:10:02) - Well, the best use case, obviously, and the easiest one is like start from influencer before the first, you know, sales outreach happens. And this especially works well for prospecting. So like if there's like a group of like sales development or sales people who are doing prospecting every day. There could be huge help from marketing team to build some initial awareness before the first email has been sent, or before the first call is made, because obviously it's much easier to connect to a person when this person knows who you are. Right? And by the way, this is the best. Like when you think about creatives, you can just post the put the face of your salesperson on the banner and present them as an expert. So that whenever the salesperson reach out to your prospect, then, oh, hey, I know this guy. They have this feeling of, okay, not just know your company, but also they know the person who is trying to reach out to them. And that really helps.

Dimitri (00:10:59) - And we say like very measurable improvement in sales development and prospecting conversion rates if you do this. But it's not limited to this use case, obviously throughout the sales cycle when you already have some sales opportunity and you're working to close this deal obviously takes time to close the deal. And a lot of cases when people just, you know, your buyer just forget about you, right? They just know that stuff. Yeah. So in this case, marketing can be really helpful, you know, to keep them aware and remind them and, you know, build additional credibility as well. So this is a perfect time to invest in building credibility and explaining why your product or your service is different and strong and reliable. So obviously throughout the sales cycle, there's no moment when you don't want marketing to help sales, right? It's like until the deal is closed and actually beyond that. Right? So like it's.

Josh (00:11:57) - Top of mind. Yeah. Yeah. Particularly you know, if you have you're dealing with a customer who's evaluating you versus 3 to 5 other solutions, you know, to keep staying top of mind there.

Josh (00:12:09) - Keep showing up. Um, what would you like the content of the ads if you had someone that was already in your sales pipeline, what would you advertise to them?

Dimitri (00:12:20) - Well, typically use like if it's called prospect, obviously you either advertise a salesperson, an account executive, or you realize the value, right. So you talk about very basic value. And then once you pass the stage, you already started the conversation. I think the biggest help that marketing can provide is to build credibility. I think this is the biggest, you know, thing that you need to work on throughout the sales cycle. So because when you know your buyer compares your company to other companies, your product or other products, they need to be sure that what they're trying to buy is the best option on the market. And that's where, you know, like beyond sales pitches, beyond sales conversations. Marketing can do a lot to to drive this. But also, uh, don't forget that it's never one person like especially the big companies that are typically the all the decisions are made in buying groups.

Dimitri (00:13:12) - And you know, if you can get an enforcer talking about this a lot about like how this buying group dynamics happens in larger companies. And then from marketing standpoint, what you can do is you can engage all your buyers, not just the one that you're the champion that your salespeople talking to, but also other buying group members that are not visible from sales standpoint. But we know they exist. We know them participate in decision making. And that's what salespeople call multi-threading, right. So you want a multi-threaded conversation to to engage other people. And this is a perfect job that can be done by marketing team to engage other team members.

Josh (00:13:55) - Yeah. Tell me about the company itself. Tell me about inflow to yourself. Um, like your company. Who's part of it? Like, you know, when you're working with someone, when you're working with a client, like when they're working with you, what does that usually look like? Is it a bit of a agency type relationship or consultancy type relationship, or is they just kind of investing in a platform and then they need to learn to use the platform? Yeah.

Dimitri (00:14:21) - Well, our platform was designed to be self-serve, so you don't need to talk to us when you use the platform. So basically, the job of my customer Success team is to ensure that customers understand and can leverage to the full potential. And also it's a lot of about like consultancy in terms of what are the best practices we see across different clients, and then what's the best implementation and the best practices that they can leverage to make, you know, their user base digitizing successful. So yes, it is more like a consultancy, but obviously if there is need like technical help that is needed, obviously we can help to provide this as well.

Josh (00:14:59) - Your website is influ. The number in flu Someone who's maybe stumbled upon our podcast and maybe they're kind of investigating or researching in flu too. And they're in the consideration stage. Uh, and uh, where would they go from here? What would they do?

Dimitri (00:15:19) - Well, uh, I think the easiest thing they can just, you know, like go, you know, hit sign up button and talk to our, you know, salespeople.

Dimitri (00:15:27) - And, well, again, like our salespeople job is not actually it's interesting because like, unlike many other companies, our salespeople can tell you, hey, hey, it's a little early for you. And I encourage this. We are really we are a lot of motivating people to make sure that the first sell is not the end of the story. We want to make sure that it's going to be a long lasting relationship and, you know, successful relationship for our customers. So we want to make sure that the implementation goes smoothly and the use case will work with the specific customer. So like the easiest thing to do is just talk to our account executives and they will help evaluate if the right thing to do. Also we did recently we launched version two products and this version to was a big thing is kind of a huge step forward compared to what we had like a year ago. So we did pretty big event and the recording is available. So we recommend the I would recommend to watch it. It talks a lot about the value and what we have built, especially for those marketers who already tried other ABM platforms try to convince marketing.

Dimitri (00:16:36) - Uh, so I think it will resonate a lot in terms of what could be done with with the new capabilities that we offer in version two product.

Speaker 3 (00:16:44) - Yeah.

Josh (00:16:45) - And what is a demo typically look like?

Speaker 4 (00:16:48) - Well, I think.

Dimitri (00:16:49) - Demo is not a good starting point because the product is pretty sophisticated. And like before you run the MCU, you want to understand our our county executive would like to understand what's your use case, what problem you're trying to solve. And we we try to connect, uh, you know, to, to address the problem that our potential customer could need to solve.

Speaker 3 (00:17:11) - Yeah.

Josh (00:17:11) - All right, Dimitri, again, your website is influ for someone that's not quite ready for a demo. And maybe they just want to kind of dig into some more resources. It looks like you have quite a few resources on your website, including some webinars, podcasts or different reports. Anything stand out to you that you'd recommend?

Dimitri (00:17:34) - Yeah, absolutely. Well, I think our content is more about how do you apply in a person based as two different use cases, and why you should care about person based resizing as an element of your revenue marketing strategy or part of your ABM programs.

Dimitri (00:17:50) - So if, uh, while evaluation, this is something you care about, I would highly recommend just to read our blog on LinkedIn. Uh, and again, like if someone is interested to see like more kind of to learn more about the product and what it looks like right now and what problems it solves, the happy to share the video of our, uh, version two launch. I think this is a one that, uh, will ask for many of the product related questions as well. And again, like I would like our salespeople are friendly. They're not sales direct like consultants. So I think people should not be shy to ask the questions they care about. Happy to answer all the questions.

Speaker 3 (00:18:31) - Yeah.

Josh (00:18:31) - Dmitri Lisitski again, you're the CEO and co-founder of inflow to your website, influ, the number Uh, Dmitri, thank you so much for this conversation. Appreciate it.

Dimitri (00:18:45) - Thank you. Josh. Thank you so much.

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