Drift’s CMO Shares the Secret to Building $500M+ in Pipeline

In 2013, the email marketing startup I was working for was acquired by Salesforce. I worked at Salesforce until midway through 2021, leading the customer and product marketing team before moving into global strategic initiatives where I led a team of 125 from around the world. It was then that I made the leap to Drift, where I have the honor and privilege of leading our marketing team as CMO.

My career has taken me through a variety of experiences — from leading copywriting and creative teams to working with paid media and ABM, all the way up to strategizing demand generation across AMER, APAC, EMEA, and LATAM. But I always go back to the bottom line. No matter your role or charter, if you can help impact pipeline and revenue within your organization, that is a rising tide that lifts all boats.

By orienting marketing to impact the bottom line, my teams have been able to contribute over $500M in pipeline and more than $2B in revenue throughout my career.


Generating pipeline is never an accident. What I’ve learned over the years is that the best companies stick to a unique framework to ensure the success of their business.

So, what’s the secret to driving half a billion dollars in pipeline? Well, no matter what role I’ve been in or company I’ve worked for, I have consistently seen three key contributors drive pipeline: people, partnerships, and process. Or, as I like to say, the “3 Ps.”

Today, I’m lifting back the curtain on what these 3 Ps are and how you can put them at the center of everything you do. Let’s go ⚡️

I presented this framework at RevGrowth: Better Together. If you want to watch the full presentation, click here. Otherwise, keep reading for all the insights 💡

My Pipeline Playbook: The 3 Ps

On the surface, my pipeline playbook is simple. I refer to it as the 3 Ps.

People is all about the team you build. Partnerships are the connections you make. Finally, process is your actual go-to-market strategy and how you execute it internally and externally. Together, the 3 Ps put you within reach of massive pipeline attainment.

Here’s how it works:

1. People

The first P is people.

Why this pillar matters:

People are everything. All your budgeting, resources, and opportunities mean nothing if you don’t have the team to get you where you want to go. Even one non-committed employee or person with a mismatched skillset can throw off the chemistry of an entire team.

Pitfalls to avoid:

  • Having the right people in the wrong roles.
  • Not including people from other departments in the interview process. For example, have someone from sales interview a marketing candidate to make sure that the new hire is a good partner for other teams.
  • Failing to make sure every team member feels seen, heard, and appreciated.

The bottom line:

As the leader, not only should you be hiring the right people at the right time, you also need to get people into critical roles that will move the business forward. For example, if your biggest issues are with messaging and storytelling, hire a copywriter or brand marketer. Focus on problem-solving, not just filling positions.

2. Partnerships

The second P is partnership.

Why this pillar matters:

Once you have your dream team in place, it’s time to bring our second pillar into the mix: partnerships. To drive significant pipeline, your teams have to operate as partners. It’s easy to assume your teams are in sync without creating an environment where people are actually collaborating on a daily basis.

Pitfalls to avoid:

  • Creating partnerships between a few specific departments instead of aligning everyone around an overarching value.
  • Connecting teams superficially with shared goals without bringing them together during implementation.
  • Putting up barriers for interdepartmental collaboration, such as ticketing systems and siloing collaboration tools.
  • Not hiring people who want to be of service to other teams. (Back to the first P 🔄)

The bottom line:

Partnership can and should happen between lots of different departments. But marketing has the unique opportunity to become the connective tissue that binds the organization together.

At Drift, we believe that marketing ties together our sales, product, customer success, and operations teams by acting in service to each department.

Marketing ties together all our teams.

With extensive partnerships throughout the organization, marketing can understand business challenges, synthesize pain points with what’s happening in the market and with buyers, and bring it all together to create magic internally and externally.

3. Process

The third P is process.

Why this pillar matters:

To make sure the work you’ve done for people and partnership pays off, you need a disciplined process. That means having a solid go-to-market strategy.

At Drift, we do this by focusing on four key areas: alignment at the executive level, clear internal communication, a customer feedback loop, and our Conversational Framework.

Pitfalls to avoid:

  • Only creating standard operating procedures for specific tasks instead of the big picture revenue drivers.
  • Failing to name and communicate your processes to your people.
  • Neglecting customer-facing processes and only focusing on internal processes.

The bottom line:

At the executive level, choose three to five of your most critical processes to guide your organization. We’re not talking task-level procedures but big frameworks to keep everyone focused on the right things.

For example, we at Drift have adopted Salesforce’s V2MOM framework to outline our vision, values, methods, obstacles, and measures. This cascades throughout the entire company so that, from top to bottom, everyone is aligned around the same goals, values, and tactics.

Another framework we use is what we call the Sell, Tell, or Consult framework. We maintain clear internal communication by asking ourselves: Are we trying to sell someone an idea, tell them about a decision that’s already been made, or consult someone for help?

By implementing these kinds of processes, we avoid wasting people’s time and ensure that we as a company are continually moving forward.

Why I Share My Goals for the 3 Ps Every Monday

What is your approach to generating pipeline? It’s important to reiterate it every chance you get, and internal communication is a great opportunity to do so.

Every Monday, I have a ritual where I send out a Slack to my marketing department with what I call my Monday Musings, which includes my weekly goals for the 3 Ps. This allows me to be transparent with the team about what we are improving on and keep everyone aligned. Plus, it helps reinforce that everything we do is important. Nothing is arbitrary or random.

How a Strong Philosophy Contributes to Pipeline, Too

There is one more P we need to discuss and that’s your philosophy — what you believe in. This is non-negotiable. It is the cornerstone of your company’s mission, even as that adapts to the changing needs of your customers.

When David Cancel and Elias Torres founded Drift back in 2015, they did so with one core belief in mind: that the buyer — not the seller — should dictate the buying experience.

At Drift, we believe in a buyer-centric philosophy.

The trends we saw in 2015 still ring true — now more so than ever. 80% of B2B sales interactions occur across digital channels, with 75% of buyers saying they prefer digital and remote interactions to in-person. B2B buyers are doing more and more vetting on their own. Today, buyers only give 5% of their time to sales throughout the entire buying process.

Our buyer-centric philosophy is in everything that we do. For your 3 Ps to fall into place, your entire company needs to share a deep understanding of and belief in your core philosophy.

Put your philosophy first. Then, hire the right people for the right roles, encourage them to form partnerships with one another, and create winning processes to push your team towards your goals. That is the secret to building and accelerating your pipeline.

Get our book, CMO Secrets Revealed, for more insights into how you can win at marketing today.