GTM 91: Transforming Customer Intelligence, Leading a Company Before Managing a Team and Finding a Rockstar Co-Founder with Linda Lian

Linda Lian is Co-Founder and CEO at Common Room, the all-in-one customer intelligence platform that automatically surfaces signals across 30+ channels, reveals the person and account behind the signal, and automates actions like email messaging and team alerts. Linda founded Common Room in 2020 to unlock siloed, previously untrackable signals to transform how organizations connect with people. Before Common Room, Linda led product marketing for serverless computing at Amazon Web Services, where she saw firsthand the impact connected data and person-level insights had on accelerating product adoption, earning new customers, and expanding account revenue.

Discussed in this Episode:

  • The evolution of customer intelligence from intent data to signal-based selling.
  • Why a modern go-to-market approach requires moving beyond legacy CRM systems.
  • How Common Room unifies siloed data to enable a 360-degree view of the customer.
  • Lessons learned from scaling innovative products and go-to-market motions at AWS.
  • Strategies for recruiting exceptional talent and building a customer-centric culture.
  • The power of cold outreach and persistence in finding the right co-founders.
  • Tactics for capturing untapped revenue by leveraging existing customer signals.

Highlights:

4:36 – Linda’s background and the story behind founding Common Room.

7:09 – The evolution of data collection and actionability in RevTech.

11:07 – Differences between intent data and signal-based selling.

14:38 – Is Salesforce’s legacy architecture holding back the next evolution of RevTech?

21:12 – Linda’s strategy for recruiting and retaining exceptional talent at Common Room.

24:25 – Transitioning from VC to operator: Linda’s journey and lessons learned.

32:49 – Challenges faced and insights gained during Linda’s time at AWS.

38:23 – The lightbulb moment that led Linda to found Common Room.

42:47 – Advice for solo founders on finding the right co-founders.

50:00 – One thing revenue leaders believe to be true that Linda thinks is bull$***.

52:41 – One thing that is working for Linda in go-to-market right now.

Guest Speaker Links (Linda Lian):
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lindamlian

Host Speaker Links (Scott Barker):
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ssbarker/
Newsletter: thegtmnewsletter.substack.com/

Sponsor:

  • Brought to you by Demandbase.Demandbase helps B2B companies hit their revenue goals using fewer resources by using the power of AI to identify and engage the accounts and buying groups most likely to purchase. Their account-based technology unites sales and marketing teams around insights that you can understand and facilitates quick actions across systems and channels to deliver big wins. It’s flexible, scalable ABM built for you.

The GTM Podcast
Don’t miss The GTM Podcast dropping every Tuesday discussing true stories and experiences including trials and tribulations in the Go-To-Market world.

Before helping found GTMfund, Scott spent 4 years at Outreach as Director of Strategic Engagement. He was in charge of aligning key relationships with VCs, BoDs, ecosystem partners and community members to drive revenue and strategic initiatives across Outreach. Scott initially ran revenue/partnerships for Sales Hacker (which was acquired by Outreach in 2018). Prior to Sales Hacker, he led and built outbound Business Development teams at Payfirma and MediaValet. Scott also advises for a number of high growth start-ups and is the host/author of The GTM Podcast and The GTM Newsletter. At GTMfund, Scott leads all fundraising efforts and runs the media arm of the firm. He’s also responsible for assessing investments, team management, LP/community relationships and GTM support for founders.

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