In our latest Founder Feature, we’re talking to Alisha Lyndon, CEO and founder of Momentum.
Read the interview below to find out how Momentum help clients address their top opportunities and challenges, drive revenue, enhance brand relevance and power strategic momentum through account-based marketing.
Q: Could you tell us about your company and what you’re striving to achieve?
Momentum is a B2B growth consultancy and the pioneers of account-based marketing.
We’re on a mission to help our clients grow their most valuable relationships, providing insight into enterprise organisations, turning that insight into a rigorous and distinct growth strategy for our clients, and developing moments or content that speak the buyer’s language to motivate action.
We work for tech and financial service leaders such as Microsoft, Amazon and HSBC and have so far driven $90 billion in revenue for our clients.
Instead of selling a solution and disappearing, we want sales and marketing teams to always be thinking about how they can add value to their key and strategic customers.
Q: What made you decide to take on the challenge of founding your business?
I’ve always loved building things, from self builds to businesses. I crave novelty and am addicted to change.
Q: Who are you and what is your story?
I’m Alisha Lyndon, CEO and founder of Momentum. I started my first company after realizing corporate life wasn’t for me and went on to build a mid-sized marketing agency, which we sold in 2009 to a trade buyer.
The eureka moment for starting Momentum came from a chance meeting with an ex-colleague. He shared his frustrations about how his seller had a meeting with the senior customer executive and at the end of the meeting, he left a stack of brochures for the customer to look through like the old Argos catalogue. The marketeer in me was depressed to think this pile of brochures would soon be in the recycling bin and the salesperson in me was annoyed by the missed opportunity.
But the penny dropped when I thought about it from the customer point of view — if a key supplier can’t tell you where they’re going to add value, who can? So Momentum was born with a mission to stop sales and marketing teams from talking about what they have to sell to everyone and start joining the dots for customers based on the buyer’s needs.
Q: Tell us about some of the biggest obstacles you’ve had to overcome?
Our major obstacle has been around talent. We’ve had some bumps along the way where we’ve hired brilliant people, but they’ve undermined the culture. We’ve also had big inconsistency in how different teams behave. These are not small things to overcome and are growing pains.
To solve this, we hired in Rhian Price, our People Director. We made this a board-level conversation and continue to make sure we are transparent to the whole business, top-down, bottom-up. By putting people first, we are now producing work that has never been bolder and our staff engagement is at its highest.
The second challenge has been around the market. As account-based marketing has picked up speed, so has the competition. Everyone from marketing technology vendors through to marketing agencies are adding ABM on to their service line. The constant challenge we have is to stay true to the firm we are, not get led by the confusion in the market, and position our firm in a way that buyers are able to easily see the value we can bring.
Q: What’s most exciting about your traction to date?
The most exciting thing is seeing the rise of account-based marketing and how we’ve created a movement. When I started this firm, ABM wasn’t a category. Now there are conferences on it, books about it and executive boards at multi-national firms are bringing it to the table.
Q: How are you measuring your success? What are your metrics?
I judge our success on the impact we’re having on our clients’ businesses and shortening the gap between where we are today versus our vision. As a business, we use three critical KPIs: our employee engagement, our client satisfaction and our business profitability.
Q: How do you manage the duality between driving new business and overseeing daily operations?
Firstly, having a strong and empowered team around me that I really trust is invaluable. They pull me in when they need to into the daily operations but otherwise, I trust them to run things so I’m able to give new business the focus it needs. Secondly, having access to data is crucial. That visibility allows me to keep a close eye on our business-wide key KPIs, so I can see if there is anything I need to turn my attention to or fires that need to be put out.
Q: What has surprised you in your journey so far?
Firstly, how ABM has taken off this past decade, I was confident it was what so many firms needed but didn’t expect this scale of adoption. It really has become the most popular form of marketing within B2B circles.
And, conversely, the number of conversations I’ve had with people telling me they were doing it in the ‘80s!
Q: What was missing from your business plan?
The plan itself. I actually had no real plan other than an idea itself, but no real plan on how to turn that into a business. But, fortunately, the idea was a good one. Within days we had our first client, so this really was a case of building the runway as we were coming in to land the plane.
I boot-strapped the business so didn’t have any seed funding or need for a plan per se. In my head I was using the last business I owned as a blueprint for getting started.
Q: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to budding innovators taking the same journey?
Choose an action, however small, over being in motion. Set a schedule and time box how long you’ll spend planning and strategizing. Don’t spend time forever thinking about how you’ll set up a company or hold off making decisions because you don’t have all the data. Your action won’t be right all the time but you’ll be practising, and practice builds expertise.
Find out more about Alisha Lyndon and Momentum here: www.wearemomentum.com