Corporate LiveWire Interview with President of Pipeline Outbound Eric Watkins
Based in St. Louis, MO, Abstrakt Marketing Group is a full-service lead generation agency, offering inbound and outbound solutions. With more than 800 clients, their market-leading Pipeline Outbound has enabled businesses across the United States to achieve growth by building and maintaining a consistent sales pipeline. We spoke with Eric Watkins, who was promoted to President of Pipeline Outbound in September 2019, to find out more about Abstrakt’s recent achievements as well as his vision for future success.
You started at Abstrakt Marketing Group seven years ago. How has your role changed over the years?
EW: It’s crazy to me to think that I began my career at Abstrakt over seven years ago as an intern. Since then, I have held positions from operations manager, implementations manager, and partner sales manager, to director of partner sales. I spent a few years in those positions and was then promoted to Vice President of Partner Sales, from February 2017 to September 2019. I’m grateful for this opportunity to now become the President of Pipeline Outbound where I can continue to empower our team members in their on-going efforts to move Abstrakt forward.
Can you tell us more about Pipeline Outbound?
EW: Pipeline Outbound is our flagship product that helps our partners gain competitive data in their market, improve their brand awareness, and ultimately create more sales opportunities for long-term strategic growth. The goal of this project is for our partners to remove themselves from the daily stress of where their next sale is coming from by creating a sales pipeline that is too big to fail.
Who can benefit most?
EW: Really, any B2B company that is looking to grow. Our Pipeline Outbound solution has proven to be effective in a wide range of industries. From our experience, we know that each industry is different in its characteristics and best practices, and we use that knowledge as an asset to our partners’ lead generation strategies. It could be an IT provider in Los Angeles, a material handling company in Baltimore, or an LED company in downtown Charlotte—we currently work with over 800 different companies across the United States.
What does your role entail?
EW: My role is to simply make sure that our team members feel supported and challenged to deliver the highest quality of service to our partners. Essentially, my role is to always be looking at both the partner and team member experience and ensure leadership always has a clear understanding of what needs to adapt to ensure success for our partners.
Where do you hope to take Pipeline Outbound in the next few years?
EW: I could not be more excited about the opportunity to push the envelope for what is possible for Abstrakt. At the end of the day, our company is fuelled by the success of our clients, so we will continue to find ways to innovate to increase the likelihood of success. The reality is that every business will always need sales and every business will have a specific target market they are trying to reach. I envision our product continuously adding different mediums and leveraging the newest technology to ensure we are reaching the right people at the right time. I know that if we continue to invest in and develop our team members, they will in turn be the ones to innovate our service to take us to new heights.
How do you expect Pipeline Outbound will add value to Abstrakt Marketing Group over time?
EW: Pipeline Outbound has always added value to Abstrakt and will continue to do so. Since 2016, this division’s revenue has risen from $5.6 million in 2015 to pacing for $22.2 million by the end of 2019. Because of this exponential growth, we plan to see $27 million from just the Pipeline Outbound Division by the end of 2020. As our flagship product, I see no reason why this division will not grow at a minimum of 20% in revenue year-on-year while we continue to add new services and products to our portfolio.
Are there any other projects in the pipeline for Abstrakt Marketing Group?
EW: Aside from our Pipeline Outbound solution, we also offer other types of lead generation services. Our Pipeline Inbound solution is designed to bring quality leads to our partners’ websites through web design and development, SEO, and social media. We also provide marketing collateral services, video production services, and sales force consulting as well as other services. Regardless of the service that our partners choose to invest in, they can rest assured they will receive a team that is dedicated to their success and growth.
Aside from specific projects, how has Abstrakt Marketing Group developed in the last few years both financially and otherwise?
EW: It’s incredible to witness growth first-hand in both employee retention and revenue. Two years ago, we ended the year with 207 full-time employees and in 2019 we were at 300+. As far as financially, I remember years ago when our goal was to reach $20,000,000 and I am excited to say in 2019, our revenue surpassed $27,425,000.
Aside from retention and revenue, one of the things I am most thrilled to say is that Abstrakt has made the Inc. 5000 List for the fifth time. Only a mere four percent of companies are able to achieve this, and we are honored to be a part of that prestigious list again this year.