Lake One Becomes a Rybbon Agency Partner for Managing Clients’ Digital Rewards Programs

Minneapolis, MN: Lake One® announced today that they have officially become a Rybbon Agency Partner. Rybbon takes the pain and costs out of managing digital rewards and incentives with its leading all-in-one and global solution for sending, tracking and managing your rewards and e-gift programs. With this partnership, Lake One adds to their trusted technology ecosystem to further support their clients’ sales and marketing transformation needs.

“With our new partnership, Lake One gains the expertise and technology to help clients add firepower to their sales and marketing programs with personalized digital rewards and e-gifts,” says Bradley Blinn, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Rybbon. “With Lake One’s focus on tightly aligning strategy, technology and execution in their Marketing Sprints framework, e-gifting and rewarding will only help their clients grow faster in an increasingly digital world.”

Launched in 2014, Lake One has grown every year since with the belief that transformation is about taking one step at a time. As a virtual marketing team, based in Minneapolis, Lake One supports organizations who have complex buying processes including Technology, Manufacturing, Ecommerce, and professional services in Healthcare, IT and Staffing.

“As we saw sales and marketing teams look to overcome the challenges created by the rise of the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, our prospects and clients were asking us for help. They were looking to break through new barriers like losing the ability to meet face to face or a surge in remote working that made it harder to land calls and direct mail to contacts normally at an office. With our partnership with Rybbon, e-gifting helps break down barriers in digital selling, account based marketing and lead generation. Whether you’re sending a virtual gift card in place of a physical lunch for a sales meeting or an incentive to drive lead acquisition, e-gifting allows companies to react to the rapid digital transformation acceleration we’ve seen and will continue to see in the months and years ahead. We’re thrilled to partner with this leader in digital rewards.” says Ryan Ruud, CEO and Founder at Lake One.

egifting example

About Lake One: The Lake One team has been driving business impact for companies with complex sales processes in B2B and Ecommerce since 2014. Their team embeds (virtually) into client organizations to provide strategic, technical, and hands-on support, helping clients navigate sales and marketing transformation. They help organizations navigate sales and marketing technology decisions to deploy right sized tools that scale program performance.

About Rybbon: Rybbon puts the power of rewards to work for marketers and market researchers at 1000+ businesses. Its extensive catalog of digital rewards includes brands like Amazon and Uber Eats, as well as charities like World Food Program USA. Rybbon works great for international rewards programs, with options such as mobile wallet compatible Mastercard rewards that work in 150+ countries. Rybbon integrates with leading platforms like Marketo and HubSpot to make rewarding easy and automatic.

To learn more about Rybbon, please visit

Andrew Schulz Joins Lake One as Director, Demand Generation

Lake One announces the addition of Andrew Schulz as Director of Demand Generation, a new role for the rapidly growing modern marketing & sales transformation firm.

Schulz brings more than a decade of digital marketing, strategy, planning, and demand generation experience across a diverse set of B2B and B2C experiences from startups to enterprise.

At Lake One, Schulz will lead the development of performance marketing strategy, technology and execution in support of Lake One’s client programs.

“We’re super excited to have Andrew’s experience, energy and client passion on the team at Lake One,” says Ryan Ruud, CEO and Founder of Lake One.

“Too often performance marketing is seen as a standalone tactic. We hear people just looking for PPC help or a paid social campaign. We look forward to continuing to build this offering as part of our approach to an integrated sales and marketing transformation that drives growth amid rapidly changing buyer environments and expectations.” Added Ruud.

“When I was asked to join the Lake One team, I accepted without hesitation. Opportunities to join thought leaders like this are few. I’m excited to bring my experience and continue my digital growth around like-minded strategists.” says Schulz.

B2B Sales Leaders Dish: Top Strategies and Tools for Digital Sales in 2021

The countdown to 2021 is on. Oh, who are we kidding? For many of us, this countdown started back in March. Regardless, this past year has left an impression on businesses, good, bad, or otherwise. One area of business we were especially interested in gaining some outside perspective on was sales. So, to help jumpstart your 2021 digital sales strategy, we invited some of the best and brightest in B2B sales strategies and technology for a discussion on breaking through to buyers when business environments are turned upside down.

Our Experts

Lou Orfanos | General Manager & VP Product – HubSpot

Joshua Fedie | CEO and Founder – SalesReach

Dan Wardle | VP, Revenue – Vidyard

Hindsight is “2020”

They say that hindsight is “2020”, so we wanted to reflect on a year that was anything but business as usual and see what could be learned from it. There are some things we’d like to keep and others we’ll be sure to leave behind. Ultimately we wanted to learn how this pandemic shifted sales processes and how HubSpot, SalesReach, and Vidyard adapted to this change.

Buyer Expectations and Experiences

When asked about 2020, our panelists all agreed there was no question that COVID caused sales to change the way they engage with prospects, but the reality that sales needed to start working in a more digital-first way, was not recent news.

Orfanos noted that you should really be looking at everything you’re doing and calibrating your go-to-market and digital sales strategy to the new expectation. “It’s been moving that way for a while, but COVID made it go into warp speed.” That said, he cautions that you shouldn’t just rush to do whatever is new. Look at your services through the buyer’s lens and what they expect, and then determine what new strategies you want to adopt.

It’s also essential to make the buyer experience seamless from the start. Wardle encourages people to create the best experience possible from the minute prospects hit your website. “Whatever the customer needs is what you should be thinking about.” Things like the ability to directly book meetings online or adjusting your sales process based on customer needs.

Reducing Friction in the Sales Process

With so much change in how we do business, all of the areas you would expect to reduce friction in the sales process are spiking—things like online chat and videos. People want answers now. How does a sales leader get a sales team over their own friction when the speed of change is so fast, especially when it comes to video, online sales demos, and more?

Watch the Entire Discussion

Video for Sales

When it comes to video for sales, Wardle says the best way to start is just to start. He notes that the more authentic you can be, the better, only with some decent lighting. We know not everyone has time to make high quality, custom videos all day long. Nor should you.

Wardle recounts an example of his team making a quick “really excited to see you” video sent to leads. It got a 10% response rate! That same team decided to make a more professional video for another segment of leads and had half as many responses. Why is that, we asked? “You can see it was human-made, it wasn’t marketing, wasn’t polished. Think of it as a handshake at a conference. That video you send is that handshake. Make it personal- not overproduced. Just get started.”

Online Sales Demos

When it comes to your sales strategy, in-person sales demos were likely a very common occurrence for many pre-COVID. And while many of us might be facing “Zoom fatigue,” it’s still important for sales to get that face time with prospects, even if they are virtual or online demos. In fact, research has shown that the more face-to-face time or time spent on camera vs. sharing slide decks, the better. The closed/won deals were 41% more frequently pushed through the sales cycle. That’s how powerful face-to-face is.

Drift sales video webcam usage and successful deals

So, what do you do when you can’t meet in person? What lessons have been learned to break through with B2B buyers?

Fedie says, “You really need to embrace the fact that the best sales professionals – they’re all great entertainers. This digital thing through us for a loop, though, because it’s easier to take prospects to a restaurant or a golf course to build that relationship. So now you have to figure out how to be an entertainer on sales calls or demos.” He advises:

  • Be more interactive
  • Make it an experience
  • Have some Q&A
  • Call out specific stakeholders during demos to address their questions
  • Work harder to make sure they’re entertained, informed, and educated

While keeping prospects engaged and entertained is important, Orfanos takes it a step further to say that you need the value to back it up. At HubSpot they have a saying, “Add value before you extract value.” So take your demos and sales process and try to add as much value as possible. He says this is most impactful mid-funnel. “If you can nail personality and value that’s amazing, but if you had to choose one of the two- value first.”

Coaching Reps

It’s also important to remember what you’re coaching your reps on now. When it comes to friction and how to reduce it, Orfanos pointed out that 82% of managers and leaders say that they’re providing coaching but when those reps were asked, less than 50% felt they were being coached. Can you say low hanging fruit for reducing friction?

Your Sales Training Is Broken. Here's How to Fix It.

2021 Digital Sales Strategy Top Priority

When looking to drive and start pushing forward modern, digital sales strategies, we wanted to know what’s a top priority for these sales leaders—knowing that resources aren’t unlimited. Where does one start? What’s the top priority in creating a strong digital sales strategy?

Choose the Right Tools

Fedie suggests asking your team what they’ll actually use and what they’re comfortable using. He also said he sees many times that it isn’t sales leaders choosing tools for the sales team, it’s marketing, without having the necessary conversation with sales about what they actually need. “You’ll have a lot more success and rate of adoption if you get input from sales when choosing a sales tool.”

Adapt to Change

For Wardle, tools are secondary. He says, more importantly, it’s taking a step back. Businesses have changed, and maybe your sales reps haven’t changed yet. Understand what’s changed and how you’re going to coach the reps and be more effective. If you’re doing things the same as you were back when we could go to conferences and meet in person, it’s time to reevaluate. Once you’ve figured that out, then you can get into tools and strategies.

Align with Your Buyer

Tools, coaching, and last but not least, aligning with your buyer. Orfanos says in addition to tools and coaching, if there was ever a time to do this, it’s now, and that is your need to ruthlessly align with your buyers. Ask yourself:

  • Are you really locked in with marketing on who the target accounts are?
  • Are you fully aligned across the company on the target accounts?
  • Have you done the map of how your prospects expect to buy from you?
  • Are you actually delivering on those expectations?

How to better align your sales with B2B buyer's journey

Looking Ahead to 2021

Despite the challenges that this pandemic brought to businesses and the sales process, there’s still a lot to look forward to in the year ahead. We wanted to know what our panelists were most excited about for 2021.

Orfanos enjoys seeing the outside rep become more of an inside rep and inside reps moving to more e-commerce. He says, “If you can figure out the right blend of selling online and selling through reps, you can create a really efficient customer friendly model.”

Fedie says he loves seeing how quickly people have embraced technology, in good ways. “We’re starting to see more good come out of tech than bad. You’re still able to create meaningful relationships without having to travel to prospects and I don’t think that’s going away. That brings me the most joy and excitement.”

Wardle sees the world moving to broader adoption of video – that the default will be FaceTime for the enterprise and will live long beyond this pandemic. “Virtual selling is here to stay.”

Key Takeaways

  • Look at everything through your buyer’s lens and then work to create as seamless a buyer experience as possible.
  • Work to reduce the friction in the sales process, whether in your videos, online demos, or sales coaching. Things have changed and sales needs to change with it.
  • Align with your buyer, but don’t change for the sake of change. Find out what your buyer expectations are, and create your digital sales strategy around that.
  • Don’t be afraid to try new things. You need to embrace new technologies, new efforts, and new ways of doing things.

A big thank you to our three panelists and all of you who joined in! It was educational, informational and entertaining.

Mark Boyts Joins Lake One Team

If you subscribe to our Field Notes, you already know this exciting news. For those of you who don’t…. *drum roll*… please join us in welcoming Mark Boyts to the Lake One team. Mark is our new Marketing Technology Implementation Specialist.

“My time so far at Lake One has been nothing short of exciting. For me, starting a new job is anxiety-provoking and takes a lot of perseverance and hard work,” said Mark. “At Lake one, my anxiety has quickly faded into a sense of teamwork with the Lake One team supporting me and guiding me through my initial weeks here.”

Mark has worked in the technology industry for the past six years. After graduating with a B.S. in Marketing Communications, his passion became combining his love for technology with his education in Marketing. Prior to Lake One, he worked as a Marketing Operations Specialist for Arcserve, a data backup and protection company. While there, he oversaw all operations processes and gained expertise in several automation software platforms, web development, and marketing technology stacks.

“Mark is a quick learner and has valuable experience with CRMs, our various partner platforms, and all things marketing tech. We’re excited to have him on the team,” said Rachael Cecko, Sr. Director of Operations at Lake One.

We couldn’t be more excited to have Mark aboard and are excited to see him continue to grow and flourish in his new position. Welcome, Mark!

From Intern to an Integral Team Member: Pouria Nastaean

This name and face might not be new to some of you, but this latest development should be. Pouria Nastaean, Lake One’s first-ever intern, has joined the Lake One team as an employee! Meet our new Digital Marketing Associate.

Pouria Nastaean

“They say you are the average of the people you spend the most time with. I’m glad to be surrounded by such a knowledgeable and goal-oriented team that has supported me through the start of my journey as an intern and into transition to an employee,” said Pouria. ” I couldn’t be more thankful to be a part of the Lake One family!”

Pouria joined the Lake One team in June of 2020. Prior to Lake One, Pouria worked as a freelance digital marketer. Working with small businesses and startups, Pouria specializes in paid media and marketing strategy. Pouria loves to take on new challenges and help businesses grow.

“We launched the Lake One internship program this summer and Pouria has set a high bar. His level of curiosity, accountability, and desire to learn, grow, and dig into challenges were immediately apparent,” said Ryan Ruud, Lake One’s Founder and CEO. “As he looks to pursue his degree in Management Information Systems at the Carlson School of Management we’re thrilled to have him continue on with us past his internship as a Digital Marketing Associate.”

Congratulations Pouria! We can’t wait to see what insights and innovations you’ll continue to bring to Lake One.

Lake One’s Rachael Cecko Becomes Senior Director of Operations

Never a shortage of fun and exciting things happening around Lake One! We are thrilled to announce and acknowledge the promotion of Rachael Cecko. Formerly our Director of Client Delivery, she is now officially our Senior Director of Operations.

Rachael Cecko, Lake One Digital Marketing

“I love my job and the Lake One team. I’m so fortunate to be able to say that! I’m grateful for the opportunity and can’t wait to see what the future brings,” said Rachael. “Not only do we have the best team, but we have the best clients. I’m looking forward to continued growth and partnerships as the Senior Director of Operations.”

Rachael Cecko joined the Lake One team in August of 2017. Prior to joining Lake One, Rachael obtained her Master’s in Mass Communications and got her feet wet in all things digital at an AdTech company, NativeX (acquired by Mobvista in 2016). At NativeX Rachael led strategic partnerships and technical onboarding initiatives for both the business and account development teams.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Rachael at both NativeX and now Lake One. She always has the client’s best interest at heart and works tirelessly to ensure they are happy and receive the absolute best,” said Tiffany Schultz, Lake One’s Director of Content Strategy and Promotion. “She is a tremendous asset to Lake One and I’m thrilled for her and this promotion!”

“Rachael has been with Lake One since its early days and worn about as many hats as I have,” said Ryan Ruud, Lake One CEO and Founder. “Her adaptability, willingness to take on new challenges and compassionate leadership is an extraordinary asset to the team. In her new position, adding operational responsibilities to her client services oversight, she’ll continue to add her unique touch to our organization as we continue to grow.”

Congratulations, Rachael! Thank you for all that you do for Lake One, our clients, and your colleagues. We can’t wait to see what greatness you’ll achieve next.

Lead Generation Guide Part II: Techniques, Tools and Tips

In part one of our series, we talked about some of the pros and cons associated with lead generation and some tools to help combat the challenges. (Click here if you missed it.) Now we’re going to share with you some techniques to actually generate those elusive leads we all covet so much. Let’s start by thinking of your lead gen strategies and program as a toolbox. These tactics are all just tools in there to use at your disposal. Some you’ll use, some you won’t. You might have a favorite that gets the job done every time and another that you only pull out to tackle special projects. There’s a mix of old school and new school lead gen tactics. Take a look and find the ones that will help you build a successful lead gen strategy.  

Lead Generation

Lake One’s Tiffany Schultz Enters VP Role for AdFed of Central MN Board

Lake One® announced today that its Director of Content Strategy and Promotion, Tiffany Schultz has stepped into the role of Vice President on the AdFed (American Advertising Federation) of Central MN Board of Directors. AdFed is a nonprofit 501(c)(6) organization comprised of business professionals in the sales, marketing, creative, publishing, print, radio, television, and photography industry.

AdFed of Central MN

Related Reading: Lake One Founder and CEO Joins PinkySwear Board

“Tiffany joined our organization in 2019 and from day one you could tell she was going to give it her all. Without hesitation, she jumped right into her role as the community connector and paved her own path. She wasn’t afraid of a challenge and learned to pivot as the year went on. In a year of change for our group, I can confidently say having Tiffany in the room made us better,” said Taylor Sellnow, Board President. “Her fortitude, creativity, and belief in the club made her a great candidate to fill the Vice President role for the 2020-2021 year. I’m so happy she said yes to this opportunity and I know once my presidency is up in 2021, the club will continue to be in great hands.”

AdFed of Central MN has monthly events to entertain, educate, and network. To learn more about the AdFed of Central Minnesota and how they got their start, click here.

“I had attended several AdFed events in the past and instantly felt a sense of belonging. When I was approached to take on a bigger role and join the board, there was no question. The same was true for the VP role. While 2020-2021 might look a little different than previous years, I’m excited to see what great things this group can accomplish together, ” said Tiffany. “Whether you attend events, are a member or you’re on the board, you’re surrounded by smart, creative people who all support one another and the hidden gem that is the creative community of Central Minnesota.”

“We’re thrilled to see Tiffany grow in her role and involvement with AdFed of Central MN. At Lake One she’s shown tremendous leadership and grit to tackling challenges of all shapes and sizes. A perfect addition to the AdFed Central MN leadership team!” said Ryan Ruud, Founder & CEO of Lake One.

Lake One Becomes a Vidyard Partner

Lake One® announced today that they have officially become a Vidyard Partner and Video Selling Certified agency. Vidyard is an online video platform for business that allows you to increase leads, accelerate your pipeline , and delight your customers. With this partnership, Lake One looks to enable their clients with the power of video

“Through our new partnership, Lake One has the expertise they need to help clients transform the way they market and sell with engaging and personalized video content,” says Tyler Lessard, VP Marketing at Vidyard. “By leveraging Vidyard’s solutions in an integrated way with HubSpot, we’re already seeing joint customers generating more sales opportunities by taking a more personal and impactful approach to how they connect with new prospects. We’re excited to see Lake One bring these ideas to more businesses to help them grow faster in an increasingly digital world.”

Lake One launched in 2014 and has grown every year since, with a belief that business can pursue both profit and purpose. As a virtual marketing team, based in Minneapolis, it supports organization’s who have complex buying processes including Technology, Manufacturing, and professional services in healthcare, IT and staffing.  

“Lake One takes a consultative approach to understanding the challenges businesses face today, and to deliver solutions that have an immediate impact on their success,” says Ali Hammoud, Partner Account Manager at Vidyard. “We’re thrilled to partner with Lake One to help more businesses integrate video into their marketing and sales programs in a way that aligns with their goals and how they currently go to market.”

“Video usage continues to surge and we’ve been in search of a technology partner that fits well into the solutions we support our clients with – driving aligned sales and marketing growth. Vidyard fits that need, integrating with the existing sales and marketing tools our clients are already using and empowers both sides of the revenue team to grow with video. We’re thrilled to partner with these leaders in video technology.” says Rachael Cecko, Sr. Director of Operations at Lake One

About Lake One: Founded in 2014, Lake One is a revenue operations and growth firm based in Minneapolis, MN. They partner with B2B organizations to compete and win online by planning, building and implementing aligned sales and marketing programs. They help organizations navigate sales and marketing technology decisions to deploy right sized tools that scale program performance. 

About Vidyard: Vidyard helps businesses and professionals connect with their audiences in a whole new way through engaging, personalized, and measurable video experiences. Through its global video hosting and analytics platform, Vidyard empowers businesses like Honeywell, Citibank, and HubSpot to transform their approach to marketing, sales, and corporate communications. Through its free and pro tools, Vidyard helps any business professional create and share custom videos to deliver their message in a more personal and impactful way. Thousands of businesses and millions of people around the world rely on Vidyard for their video needs. Sign up for Vidyard for free: