The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 10 months ago

How to Instill Unicorn Company Best Practices into Your Organization


We all know a unicorn company — One with super fast growth and a billion dollar valuation. But what makes these particular companies stand out? Are there strategies common across many of them that you can incorporate into your own business for faster paced growth?

In this episode, we speak with Ryan Gibson, Manager of Sales Development at, Jason Prindle, Director of Inside Sales and Global Sales Development at BigID, and Taylor Jones, Business Development Manager at SalesForce, about unicorn companies and how they perform better than others.

Join us as we discuss:

  • What each brings to the discussion & how they got hired at their unicorn
  • How to deal w/ hiring too many too fast
  • Deciding between an external top performer or internal hire
  • Balancing the need for top tier talent w/ diversity & inclusive initiatives
  • The process for ramping up sales reps
  • Advice for those getting into leadership roles

For more engaging sales conversations, subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Sales Engagement

in your favorite podcast player.

Welcome to the sales engagement a podcast. This podcast is brought you by outreach, the leading sales engagement platform, and they just launched outreach on outreach, the place to learn how outreach well does outreach? Learn how the team follows up with every lead in record time after virtual events and turns them into revenue. You can also see how outreach ones account based plays, managers, reps and so much more using their own sales engagement platform. Everything is backed by data pulled from outreach processes and customer base. When you're done, you'll be able to do it as good as they do. Head to Outreacho on outreach to see what they have going on. Now let's get into today's episode. Hello and welcome everyone to another sales hacker Webinar and see everyone trickling in now. We had a lot of folks register for this one. So excited to chat and, as always, you know, I just want to say thank you. I know there's a million different things out there that are vying for you your attention, so we don't take it lightly, but you decided to spend the next hour or so with us. Got A great panel lined up today and before I get to introducing the panelists. Super Quick Housekeeping. So today what we're going to be talking about? We're talking about hiring at Unicorn companies, super fast growing company. These unfamiliar with the Term Unicorn Company, with a Billion Dollar Valuation. So typically that means they're growing absurdly fast. So that's what we're going to be talking about. We've got some discussion points, but I always like it when you the the community is in the driver's seat. So there is a Qa function at the bottom. You have any questions that kind of pertain to this topic, do get them in. I'll be moderating the QA and we're going to try and get through as many as possible. We've got the right people to answer these these questions. And then, second it's always more fun when we know who we're hanging out with, so there is a chat feature as well. Go ahead, introduce your name, title, company, say what's up. It's always fun to know who we're rocking with, and you can even throw your linkedin on there. Get everyone connecting. And then, last but not least, these are all recorded, so if you have to jump off, you got to do a oneonone with your manager. If you are a manager you have to do a oneone, you got to close a deal end of the month, any of that stuff. These are all recorded, so we'll have this in your inbox within about twenty four hours. So so non stress. But that's the boring stuff out of the way. Now get to introduce my panel. I am joined by Ryan, Jason and Taylor and I'll get each one of you to go into your background quickly. And Taylor, let's start with you. We're actually on one of these earlier this week and I asked the same question. So now you're going to know the trick that I the same question every time. But it is. What is your superhero origin stories? How I usually put it. How did you get to become a business velotment leader at company that everyone knows, sales force? Yeah, thank you so much, Scott. So yeah, my name is Taylor. I'M A business development manager at sales force, leading our team out base out of Canada. So my story is I started in startups, started as an str and worked my way up through str bedr account exact, did some enterprise sales for a while. At the same time I was doing my mba kind of when I was finishing my account executive roles and decided to jump into management. So I've been in the text space for about six or seven years now. Have three years of management experience. But on the side I also am a professor at a college here in Toronto and also own my own business doing sales consulting called Black Arrow. So that's, I think, partly what landed me the job at sales force is kind of the robust amount of experience within tech and startups and also kind of that additional experience outside of I'll call it my n nine twenty five. So that's a little bit about me. Very cool. You keep yourself very, very busy. I have a quick follow up question. So you did your MBA while you're working. That two DOOS. That's insane as someone thinking. I think many people are like, Hey, should I do an MBA? Is it worth it? What did you gain from your NBA and would you recommend it? Yeah, great question and I get the question all the time. So for me, I have an Undergrad in science, so an MBA for me was really important just to round up my business skills. So definitely, if you don't have a business degree, I think that helps give you the business acumen that you need to speak to see level executives, particularly and sales, which is really important. But for me it was also about the I guess I'll call it critical thinking and strategic skills that you learn some more of the soft skills working with other people. I also did mynd big globally, so I was in a class of individuals across forty seven countries. So...

...for me that was an insane and really cool experience to learn how they do business over in, you know, China versus France, versus Canada. I know Jason's working through that right now with his team and tiring. So for me it was definitely worth it to learn about not only like local or Canadian laws and ways of doing business, but also globally and then kind of be able to roll that into my my role each and every day. So very cool. All right, sold. I think he sold a few people on that the NBA. It's a I like it, Jason. Moving on to you, Jason Prindle is currently the director of inside sales and global sales development at big ID, going into lots of new markets, doing a lot of cool things. What's The superher origin story of Jason, though? How'd you get to where you're at today. Oh Man, I like to say I tell people I've been selling since I was nine years old and trying to sling cool aid to the construction workers in my in my neighborhood. But I've been in inside sales and sales pretty much my entire career. Actually started in tech support and I realized that kind of hiding behind a terminal wasn't for me. I had to be out there in front of people. So moved into sales and I've been just kind of progressing ever since, right from a seller to running teams within larger organizations to then recently, about four or five years ago, actually building my own sales development team and kind of using all of the all the experiences I've had and all the good and the bad that I've experienced from other managers and other companies to build a sales development team how I see fit. So did that at beyond trust, did that recently had a company called prevalent and now I'm at big idea doing that again and as well as sprinkling in some inside sales team as well. So if I wasn't a glutton for enough punishment, I've taken two departments to build from from the ground up. That's awesome. What I love the track of you've done a lot of different roles. Do you think your time has kind of like an icy and even in tech support, inevitably made you a better, better leader in the long run? Absolutely. Absolutely. I think the the tech side of things really kind of helped me with where I was going to have my career. I've been in technology and when I come into companies like big ID that's a very niche part of Cybersecurity, it helps understand what we're trying to sell. So obviously that helps with with teaching the strs how to sell it. But having the different roles, it reminds you what it's like in the seat. So it just like Taylor, you know, said she was a BDR. Worked our way up and so we know what it's like to do the role. So we as long as we remember that every day, it makes us better at understanding the people that were working with and building out our processes and coaching and doing all those things with having that experience. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah, I'm I'm often jealous of some folks that have more technical shops then then I do. I know I had had outreach as a good friend and I knew Andrew you born, who's a solution's consulting. He's like got really like technical in the weeds and then moved over as an AE and now he's like, you know, Superman because he's he knows that the technical side so so well. So that's really cool. Last but most definitely not least, joined by Ryan Gibson, manager of sales development over at outreach, Ryan weaponman. Thanks Scott. Hanging out in Florida right now. Currently in Florida for one more day before heading back to Seattle. Nice. Nice, and same question, man. With that the Superhero Origin Story of Ryan Gibson? Yeah, definitely so. It's definitely kind of a long journey getting to tech sales. Ultimately I thought I want to go to law school after Undergrad. took the else out a couple times. Actually went to Michigan State for Law School for a short period. Realized that wasn't going to be the life for me and I thought about what I had done in the past and one thing that really stood out to me that I absolutely loved, and we've hired a lot of people from this organization, was selling women's shoes at Nordstrom. It was just such a fun, fast paste experience. And then I started thinking about all my connections from Undergrad at the University of Washington here in Seattle. They were all in tech sales, they were all loving life, killing it. So I just started reaching out to my network back in two thousand and sixteen. Now landed an STR GIG at a super small start up where I was the fifteen employee. Got To go through like a series a funding around triple and growth, move up to like a team lead in an a e rol before transitioning over to a much larger public company and smartshoe, where I was an ae for a little over a year. And then one of our corporate sales managers at outreach, who I knew from college, convinced me to get a coffee with him one day and the rest was history. So I spent my first eight months at outreach as an account executive and then this opportunity to lead our SMB SDR team presented itself back in April and have been in the role since then. Awesome, awesome. We're lucky to have you and I think everyone at some point and then, if should have some sort of either...

...retail or hospitality experience. I think it does a good job at teaching Grit, humility and empathy in a really, really big way. What was the most expect you remember the most expensive shoe that you ever sold at North Strip. So it actually wasn't a shoe. I did sell a lady. She bought like a three hundred dollar pair of shoes, but then she also wanted a thousand dollar Valentino handbag, so I was a lucky one that got to help her out with that. Next, I don't night. Okay, let's time into it quickly. Want to do some shoutouts. We have a ton of people joining us, shadow Gig Joea Taylor, rick at so, Gloria, Jennifer can, Steve, Steve Bailey, what's up? He's from from Vancouver. Danny. All right, we got a lot of folks. So remember go ahead and use the chat, but if you have any questions you want the panelist answer, do use the QA. But let's dive right into it. I think it's kind of going to build on the story, but let's start about how each of you actually got hired at the current Unicorn your at was it through through networking? How did how did this kind of company and then we'll break out, but I think it's important to set the stage and we'll start with you two. How did you land this job at at sales force? Yeah, mine was a pretty traditional path, but I will preface I never thought that I was going to work at sales worse, I started in startups and I love startups. I love the fast paced I love kind of where twenty five different hats even though you're in, you know, an individual role, and I love this strategy and a startup. So I thought I was never going to leave startups, but at some point I thought, you know, maybe I should just explore other options before I kind of keep myself in this one little box that is startups. And so we started exploring options and sales for us, of course, was one of them, being, you know, the top Canadian employer, or one of the anyway. And so yeah, so I just had applied online and kind of the traditional way, it had a call and and I was very honest with the people I was interviewing with that I wasn't sure if big corporate was for me. And you know, every person convinced me that it's not. Not what it seems, and so I will say I'm very, very, very happy with the decision I made and and it really is a startup within within a large corporation. So it's definitely been a pleasant surprise. Yeah, what would you see the differences have been from, you know, startup life to now, you know, this part of this huge, huge organization, even though you said it does feel like kind of a start up because you're leaving the Canadian team. What are some of the differences? I think the biggest thing is just like the direction. Like Mark Benny off, I'm sure everybody has heard him speak, is incredible and such an inspiring and motivational leader and really aligned. The whole company really aligns everything that they do to, you know, his overall objectives and everybody can feel that. So, you know, I maybe ten or fifteen layers removed from that, but I still feel all of the same values and corporate goals as you know, Mark Benny off does, and I think that that's really, really important. And so it helps us stay agile but also aligned, whereas in startups I felt that, you know, your vision could pivot every every quarter and you as soon as you feel like you're you've picked up speed. Any of you know figured something out, it changes again and so like that can be really defeat and start ups is like we finally feel like you've got something, but maybe another part of the business doesn't have it and so they pivot and you're always kind of feel like like you're trying to catch up and you're trying to like run against a pace that maybe doesn't even make sense or isn't even as you feel is impossible. And with sales for us we are still running at that pace, if not faster, but you know the direction you're running in and everybody's aligned alongside of you. So that's probably been just like one of the biggest changes I've noticed and definitely something that's been really great about being in a larger company. Yeah, it's a great, great answer that that collective vision is so incredibly important and that the pivot after pivot after pivot in startups can get get taxing for a while for sure. All right, I want to get Jason and Ryan your answers, but before I do that I do want to just do a quick pulse check with the attendees and I'm going to launch a quick pole before we get too deep into it. Just want to know what what is your role, and that's going to help in form this discussion if we have more ics or if we have more more leadership. Leave that open for another three to one. Get those last boats in. All right, we'll end it there. Okay, awesome. So we have twenty four percent manager, another twenty percent director, seven percent VP and about sixteen percent a e and the nine percent str so primarily leadership focused audience. So what kind of speak...

...through through that Lens? But, Jason, how did you land this most recent roles for some of those managers directors joining us who are maybe want to take that next leap and maybe looking at, you know, hyper broke Unicorn companies? How'd you get their attention? Yeah, so I actually got recruited by big ID and I think what it really started with. I was one of those guys that honestly believe like creating a personal brand was kind of dumb, to be honest with the I didn't really think it was a thing. But as I started seeing a lot of people in my network getting kind of the promotions and and being steered towards the companies that I want to be steered to, I thought hey, there's something to it. So, you know, I joined sales hack or REV genius. I tried to participate in that, updated by Linkedin profile of kind of taken it back down and notch now, but I wanted to make myself real visible to people. So talked about a lot of my accomplishments, you know, in Linkedin. Again. I've taken that out now because I kind of go back into quiet mode where I'm happy where I'm at. But just made myself visible. And then big ID came and, you know, talked about the opportunity and, to be honest, it was a bit of a lateral move. I was doing the same thing at my previous role, you know, building a SDR team and an inside sales team. But once I started doing some research on big ID and seeing the funding rounds and how quickly they were growing and what people were saying about them in the media and everything at you know, I was floored. I was like yes, this is absolutely the opportunity for me because it's growing really, really, really fast, which will get me back into where I wanted to be, which was that fast expansion. So so yeah, so they recruited me. I had a bunch of conversations with with obviously a lot of people there. I report directly to our CMO. So one thing I like about the startups that that Taylor was talking about a little bit, as I like that connection right to the executives and had a lot of conversations with them, just talking about what I accomplished in the past and really focus on, honestly, a lot of the mistakes I had made and and, you know, what I'd learned over the last couple of journeys. And I think that's, honestly, what captivated them about me was that willingness to be open and honest just about, you know, learning what I'd learned over the past couple of years and the failures I had had. Yeah, but I'm buddy, you brought that up and I think that's an important thing to note for all the kind of leaders that are are joining us is it's unfortunately, it's not always enough just to smash your your number anymore to get the recognition that that you want. If you want, you know, the promotion and you want the big logos, there is an element of call it personal branding, or just like creating community around yourself and like and like giving back and sharing the knowledge that you had. So that's awesome that you kind of leaned into that and I'll know next time I see you really get into it that you're looking for for the new awesome mode right now, because I've got enough work stuff to do. But yeah, and when you see that change, you'll know what's happening. Yeah, yeah, that's it. Ryan, same question. So you mentioned you kind of got headhunded a little bit. Right. Was it cramer who took you for a coffee? Oh Yeah, nice man. How so? How so? How did that go? Why do you do you think that was so you would trap that up to like network of fact or how could people replicate kind of that story when you look at that? Yeah, I think that's part of it. For sure. For me, outreach, being in Seattle, had obviously been on my radar for quite a while. I'd use it at my previous two companies. I knew the power behind it, so it was always kind of in the back of my head as a possibility of somewhere that I could end up. And, like you said, Scott Alex Kremer reached out to me. Him and I talk quite a bit and was like what are you doing come be an ae over it outreach and I had no intention. I wasn't looking, I had no intentions of leaving, and just the energy that he he had around outreach in particular, it was so infectious, even just chatting with him over a coffee. But he convinced me to apply and the rest was pretty much history from there. Nice. Yeah, he's such a an incredible leader and I think the learning they're kind of like reading between the lines for those joinings, like take the meetings, even if you're not looking like take the meetings, take a few even go I would suggest going through a full inter interview process like once a year. Keep Yourself Sharp, get to network, you get to see what you're worth. You know, there's all sorts of things. So don't, don't even you're super happy, don't, don't get complacent. All Right, true to what I said at the beginning, we've got some questions coming in, so let's just dive into them. There's so let's start with we'll start with ricks question. First one came in when hiring seals talent and ran. I'm going to go to you on this one first. We'll go opposite order. When hiring seales talent. What is your perception and willingness to utilize an external recruiter versus keeping it all in house, to use recruiters run today? First off, great question. We have internal recruiters that handle this.

We don't have external recruiters right now at outreach. I think it's probably something that they are open to. We do have very lofty hiring goals this year in terms of what we need to hit to keep scaling at the rate that we are planning to and growing, but we have a team of fantastic internal recruiters that we use and their calendars are jam packed every single day with phone screens gearing them up to send over to the hiring managers. Jason, what are your thoughts on you? You like you utilizing recruiters? You like to keep an in house? What are you? What are your thoughts? Yeah, I'm kind of I'll use whatever gets me candidates as fast as I need them, and especially when you're when you're hiring very, very quickly, you don't want to handcuff yourself to one thing. So yeah, we use we look at external recruiters. We have an internal recruiting team. I've also used some of those services that will put together hiring day. This was obviously pre covid where you could bring in ten, fifteen, twenty candidates and and put them through some exercises. So we've used all of those things. I think it's really about, you know, it's not necessarily do you want to use a recruiter, you got to make sure that you're using the right recruiter based on giving them a chance to throw you a couple candidates and see how you feel from there. That's big for me is really the results. What's WHO's getting to me and am I wasting my time with interviews that should have never, you know, should have never really been in front of me at that point? Yeah, yeah, good points, Taylor, yea or name with external recruiters. Yeah, I mean that sales first. We only use internal recruiters. So that's just a corporate decision and I agree with Jason Though, when making the decision, it's you know, how much time and when they when they get past to me as a hiring manager, do I feel most of them are valuable conversations or you know, what's the thesis consistency of that, because, you know, especially when you're managing a large team, there's nothing that is more frustrating than having a whole week of interviews that don't go well. There's nothing more frustrating, and so I guess personally I'm indifferent. But also, you know, as a hiring manager myself, one thing I really lean on is my value of my network. So I actually made a post this morning, so this is very timely, that I'm hiring bilingual begaing bdrs to help cover the Montreal territory here in Canada, and so I tried to lean on my own network and try to get my team and other members within the the organization to help bring that call out, because the we've hired these people for a reason and so the their network is extremely valuable for that hiring process as well. Yes, I like that. I might actually have a biling will be you are for you will take it's if you not less. Yeah, yeah, please. All right, I really like this question a lot. And Taylor, I'll go back to you on this one. Michael Scott, Michael is say your real name, because that that's cool if that's your real name. Like the OP have you ever hired too many too fast and had to reachul or readjust your team? How do you manage the damage cause from having to be regressive in a few positions? Good question. I would say most of the companies I've worked for we've been more on the conservative satisfar as hiring. However, I'm a big fan of capacity planning. So really trying to think like what does the next three months look like for me, what does the next six months, months look like for me, and what is twelve months look like for me? And I have a constant vision of that in my head at all times because, again, as a hiring manager, there is nothing more frustrating than having a whole that you need to fill rather than having extra extra bodies in seat that you can move around. So it's definitely a fine balancing game on I'm having too many but also, you know, figuring out where the holes are. I have over hired before and typically if I overhire, I always have a contingency plan in place before I do so if I if I do overhire, let's say, my team capacity is time I overheard thirteen. Before I extend that offer, I know what I'm going to do with that person. So whether it's you know, one of my territories is larger than the other if I have a specific industry that needs more focus when I was at previous company, is it was SDR bed are kind of balancing sometimes that I could change coverage. So I definitely have overheard, but it it. It involves planning still, I think, in advanced yeah, pasty planning so important. Having contingency plans super important. I'll say I've seen almost as bad as it can get at one of the first check companies I ever worked for, Fintech Company, and they had higher when on the massive hiring spree and then kind of retroactively figured out that the deal size didn't really warrant like the bedr function. They had to like three quarters of the bedrs in one day. And what that will do for morale, I don't I don't think the company lasted much after that.

So it's a super important thing to make sure that your confident in these decisions and know what you're going to do if the worst case scenario happens. Jason, is this anything if you had to deal with the situation like this before and what was the outcome? Yeah, unfortunately, well, I shouldn't say unfortunately, but no, I haven't had too many too fast. I've usually been on the opposite side of trying to play catch up and you know, as Taylor alluded to, having that capacity planning. I think you know it's really important to stay in touch. When you're talking about a sales development team, stay in touch with the sales leaders and understand what their plans are so you can tag team right, you know, right behind it, versus, oh, we hired three new sales reps in you know now you're already a couple of months behind. So, yeah, but just just staying aligned with leadership and understanding where they're hiring is going to go so that you can keep with, you know, keep track. That's the only time I've ever had that. That big problem of not enough is when communication fell down or in the startups, in the Unicorn everybody's moving too fast and wearing twenty five hats, like like someone else said, and you forget, you forget those little things of you know, not what's right now, but what's happening in three months and six months from now. Yeah, how tactically, how do you keep those lines of communication open? It's harder now we're all remote, like you said. You know, you've got your team and your KPIS and your rocket. But sometimes it's hard to be like okay, what's what's my marketing leader counterpart doing? What's my sales leader counterpart doing? How do you tactically keep those lines of communication up? I honestly I overschedule one on ones with everybody throughout the company. So everyone that I need to talk to on a regular basis or that I need to have that's going to touch what we do, I have one on one. Sa'd rather have them too much and cancel them as we come up to them and give people time back in their day than not have that line of Communication. And really the only time that we've had those fall downs is when something isn't scheduled or we don't have time, car doubt, to really talk about these things. So, especially with you know where I'm at right now. Now I've got one on ones with all our sales VPS, with our senior sales leadership, with our marketing leadership and and a lot of times we do, you know, half hour hour beforehand, like hey, do you have anything for today? No, not really, okay, well, we've got stuff to do. So you're not you're not hurting anybody by giving them an hour a half hour back in their time. So it's it's it's overscheduling those one. I want to make sure that you are talking to people on a regular basis and stuff will just come up organically in those conversations. Nice. Yeah, good, good advice. Ryan. Have you you seen in your career where you had to, you know, maybe hire two fast and you had to read tool things a little bit? Yeah, I think pretty similar to Jason, I've mostly been on the side of too few. Part of my role is specifically training newer SDRs to promote them up segment, ultimately getting them promoted to an a rol, and we're pretty lock and step with the AE team that we support, so we know how many we need for them to hit their pipeline number. So are scaling. Kind of goes hand in hand with that. In the past, I mentioned I'd been in a small start up, went through series a funding, which was super exciting, and with that came some pretty quick growth and we realized about two months into that that we didn't necessarily need that many people. We hired about five additional as on the sales side, another five additional SDRs and we just didn't have the market there yet. We weren't closing deals at a quick enough rate. So unfortunately we ultimately had to let some people go. But that's really been the only experience that I've had with that. Yeah, on in that experience, how did you think about of the after effect? How did you how did you maintain culture in that in that experience? Yeah, that's a really good question. I think at that company we were still so small at the time. I think at that point we were at about thirty employees and at least half of them have been there since year one. It was a very early age startups. They had a good grasp on the culture. So obviously it's always a shocker when you have to let people go like that and it's going to hurt them Arale. But I think we had a good foundation in place to really kind of build it back up once we were ready to kind of scale again and grow, and we did it a little bit slower the next time it came around. Yeah, makes sense. All right. Here's another great question. I like this one a lot. When do you decide to go get a top performer from outside your organization versus promote from Your own internal team? The context is they have a fifteen person team that all lacks enterprise experience and currently seeing market opportunities market. Ryan, I'll go to you on this one. To you in this case, are you looking outside or someone who's, you know, been an enterprise BDR? Are you going to try and teach someone to get there because your your top performer? Maybe? How do you look at that and how do you balance the two? Yeah, that's a really great question and I think...

...for US specifically a outreach, we've seen the most success come from promoting within, and I think this holds true for a lot of organizations. At our reach in particular, you learn the product inside and out using it every single day as an str like our SDR is. Half the time they know the products better than the A he's that are out there closing deals right so they have that hands on experience. Like you can teach someone how to talk to companies with five thousand people, tenzero people. You can learn that business acumen as long as you have the product knowledge base behind it as well. So if you ask those strong questions, if you can talk, we call it talking above the line to sales leaders that you want to get in touch with. I think that that motion can be trained and we've seen much more success from promoting within. When we go outside of outreach for those enterprise or corporate level positions, we are looking for someone typically that has experience using outreach or selling to the enterprise or corporate level. Yeah, that's it's a great thing about having a product that the team uses every day. If there's a way, like even if you're not in sales or MARTEC or are anything, if there's a way you can somehow infuse your technology, product service into your team's Daytoday, it's so incredibly, incredibly helpful for them to to progress. Jason, same question. When do you look for bringing on some outside talent? When do you hire from within? I think yeah, I think the main thing, if you think about is how much time are you willing to invest, or how much time do you have to invest so to bring an SDR up to enterprise level sales? It's going to take a lot of time and, like Ryan said, you can teach it, but it's going to take a lot of effort to teach it. You'RE gonna have to ride along on a lot of opportunities and you're going to have to be willing to kind of sacrifice some time while they get their chops up to speed. So if it's something where you're looking to grow, you know, organically like that, and you're willing to put in the time where you have the time to do it, then absolutely go. Go internally. In my industry, you know, we when we look to expand, especially enterprise, you know we're talking to we're talking to sea levels with a ton of experience and also very, very technical. So we generally have to go outside for that to find somebody who's been in a in our market or an adjacent market. They know how to talk the talk and they've done these deals with, you know, with the big companies whose names you recognize. So we don't get to promote from within from SDR to enterprise. We can't have that step. One of the reasons we're building the inside sales team is to get that bench so we get people closing deals with that bid market and get them talking that talk so then we can start promoting to enterprise from there. So again, when to decide, it's really based on on what what kind of time you have and what kind of patients you have for that learning curve, because there's going to be a pretty steep learning curve. Yeah, it's a great I great point. If you're at like you've got fourteen wraps, you're managing your at Maxx capacity. You know how much time are you can be able to teach this person. Are you sitting up for success good things continuously without yeah, especially with the enterprise sale I mean I've been in inside sales my whole career, you know, for twenty some years. I'm dating myself, but if you ask me to go sit in front of a sea level executives at Microsoft, I walk in there, you know, sweating through my suit, I'd have no idea what to do. Is there's IT gonna be a learning curve to teach anyone to do that. But especially when you're looking at in the inside sales wraps or SDRs that have very little experience, there's even bigger curve there to worry about. Yeah, yeah, for sure. Taylor, do you look at it the same way? What's the track at at sales force? Typically outside or internal hires. Yeah, so we try to keep a balance always within the company. I think part of that is for equality purposes as well as to make sure that we're a constantly bringing new, fresh ideas into the business. So we typically do balance just to make sure that we're always growing as a company and not continually just just promoting within. But in this scenario, I think it again, it just depends, like for me and my hiring criterias the same. So putting my, you know, a management hat back on, if that's, you know, the role that I was I was hiring for, it really whatever. My my however, I would interview internally and externally would be the same. So of course I would. I would personally choose to favor internally. We tried to promote internally as much as we can if those people are ready. But we don't have a bias against external either. If that person is a is potentially a better, better studit of candidate and we don't have somebody who's ready within the organization. So it's definitely a mix and a balance. But I think you can't sacrifice whatever your hige hiring criteria is to just for the sake of promoting internal. As much as we want to promote internal, I think that's great and I think it's it's great to promote your people, but you don't want to sacrifice and, to Jason's point, have to put a lot more energy and also to set them...

...up for failure too, because that's that's not fair to anybody, particularly to the candidate actually. So, yeah, yeah, I like that. You brought up something interesting about you mentioned equality, which I think is in a super important thing, and I'm going to ask a tough question. We're going to put you, the three of you on as on the spot, to tough one and something that the tech industry needs to figure out. How do you balance, when you know, you all kind of stated you need people right, you're hiring so fast, you're growing so fast. How do you balance the need for getting talk to your talent fast and balancing diversity and inclusion initiatives? You know, we have a problem in tech. We need more people of color, we need more females, we need more of a ton of under represented groups in Tech. Taylor, how do you, how do you look at look at that when you know I have to make five hires this month and maybe you don't have a study candidate pool, maybe I'm underrepresented groups? Yeah, it's definitely a challenge that that we face and something we're actively working towards. It's a equality is one of our values. That sales force and and has been long before. Let's see the last twelve months where this has really been elevated. So it's definitely something top of mind for our organization always. For me, I am that minority, so I think that helps give me a perspective when I hire in that I want to help, you know, ensure that there is diversity across my team and to give equal opportunities, and so it's definitely a challenge. I think we really rely heavily on our recruiters to bring us a dot like as much as many people from different backgrounds and and I love hiring people with unique backgrounds. I don't one thing that I really I really look for in my interviews when I ask questions, is not necessarily their experience, but also, like what have they learned from life and like that. I love. I love asking a lot of situational questions about, like how opinions have changed for them over the past five years, what things they've they've learned over the past five years, and it's not necessarily about if they have software experience or if they have direct selling experience in Canada or whatever. The when you know, whatever the questions might be that are maybe more typical. I want to know like how they think and are they coachable and if they have those qualities. I think that that helps increase sometimes, like the the amount of candidates and the types of candidates that we get, because it's not quite the traditional type hire, if that makes sense. Yeah, makes complete sense. I like the way of looking at it. Jason, how do you look at this? Yeah, I think very similarly to what Taylor said, and it's I like recruiters hate me because they always say, okay, what kind of candidate are you looking for? And I say I'm looking for the diamonds in the rough. Now go find that person. On paper, it's very, really tough to do, but it's an organizational thing. So first of all you have to have a recruiting team that that is putting diverse candidates in front of you, and then it is relying on on experience. So being the person that gives them that opportunity to move into an industry that that maybe they, you know, they wouldn't have before. Some of my best hires had zero sales experience and zero tech experience, but they had that that grit, they had that get after it, that you're looking for and they also happened to be minority candidates and I think that's a societal thing. I want to get too controversial with it, but you get a lot of that from people who have been unfortunately disadvantaged throughout so so, yeah, so, looking, looking beyond, you know, what school did you go to? What did you graduate with your degree, and what's your experience like? What is your life look like? Who are you as a person? And if you look at that you'll organically get a team that is diverse because you're not looking at the classic candidate, you're looking at the person and where they've come from and what they've overcome to get to where they are. Well said, well said, Ryan. I know it's super important at outreach. How do you balance the massive growth pulling down sometimes to make sure we get the verse candidates? Yeah, first off I want to give a shout out to Danny in the chat. I think she had a great comment in there that you have to commit to sourcing a diverse candidate will not only at the role and team level but at the company level, and I think that's part of the reason why we've seen success in that outreach in particular. You know, our CEO is a minority leader and Scott, you know this very well. Manny just he is so passionate about everything that he does and that is one of them. Diversity, equity, an inclusion, and so it really does come from the top down and we have a lot of programs in place, whether it's women in sales, are galls and cells network. We have a few different minority groups at outreach that are focused on working with hbcu specifically for recent college grads and similar what Taylor said, I love the situational interview questions. I think experience can be so much more important than just hey, I hit a hundred twenty percent every single quarter.

Like numbers are great. Obviously you want to hire those top performers, but I want to know about a time that you failed and you were able to bounce back from it or what were you able to learn from that scenario, because working in tech is so fast paced and things are going to change so fast, specifically at a Unicorn Company, that if you can't learn from those mistakes, you're probably not going to be a good fit. So I try to I try to feel a lot of that out in the interview process. Yeah, yeah, I like it looks like we're on the same page in and Danny has another great comment. Skills over experience. If they had the skill set to do the job but they didn't have the direct experience, that's that's all good. Okay, lots of great questions. True to form, I'm just going to keep them rolling. You guys are our guide in this great, great questions. Thank you, one for being so engaged with this, this whole thing. Okay, where's a good one? Oh, this good one. What's your process? And Taylor, I'm going to go to you on this one. What's your process for ramping up sales reps? How quick do you expect them to be hitting quota? WHAT'S THE RAM period? I imagine it's very different on boarding now that we're all remote. Thank you. Said earlier this week that you've only met your team like once the whole time, which is crazy. So how are you thinking about on boarding at these days? And I'm when are they expected to be at full pacity? Yeah, so, for everybody who maybe hadn't heard, I on boarded at sales forts Romoli. So I have been with the company since May. I am the the example of now how I try to teach and train my new hires. About fifty percent of my team now has on boarded Rovoli, so it's been an interesting transition. Yeah, so our team for bdrs, they're expected to be ramped after two months, fully after three, but pretty much after the first sixty days on the phone. They have thirty days before that where they are just like learning. So we sales forest itself has a lot of boot camps and and on boarding that is run by, you know, overall corporate enablement and then we have team specific enablements and trainings that we run for those folks for about a week or two as well. But really like that stuff's great and it's great to give the sales force feel, the sales for story and the sales force way, but it doesn't necessarily mean it gives you know, the team way. And I think like because, as I mentioned, we're like a start up within sales force or every team is unique. The way that I train and develop the mentor of my team is not the same as any manager even within my or my my direct business unit. So the best way for me to make sure that my my reps are ramping as quick as possible is first we align them one to one with somebody on my team as their their trail guide for the first thirty to sixty days and that's their mentor that they that their mentors expected to make sure that they're ramping and answer all their questions. And I've started really delegating things to my team members that I you know. I know they're really strong, and so, for example, of one of my team members is really strong and social selling, then I will make sure that they're aligned to that new hire to teach them, you know, everything they know about social selling, do shadow sessions. Somebody's really strong on the phone, I will align them for to listen, to call shadow sessions with that person. Somebody's really good at analyzing data and sales force, and sales force, as everybody knows, as a beast of a solution and can be very overwhelming if you've never used it. So I want to give my reps the best chance of being successful with the tools that we have. So so I just align them one to one with my reps and that's proven to be really successful. My all my new higher stuffar have have hit, I think, a hundred percent or more of their quota in their first thirty days in the phone and they're not expected to that till the first ninety. So yeah, it's worked really well as I like that, like the men ploor program kind of like buddy system. Super important to have that person who's like your leader, your manager, that you can ask the quote unquote, like dumb questions that you're like scared to ask, is so, so important. And I like this idea of highlighting people that have strengths on your team and getting them to present to them or teach them, because they're two two great, great ideas. Jason, how are you looking at ramping new reps in this strange time? You'll find or something? Yeah, I think, to be honest, I got lucky because I was training and ramping reps remotely across the world before covid hit, so I kind of wasn't surprised at Oh, now I have to do it all remote. We had done it before. I think when you're ramping people now right that everyone's remote and Taylor's got one meeting up on me. I haven't met anyone on my team yet and I on board and remotely, so there's no facetoface here. It's really important to create that community like Taylor was talking about. So I have reps on the team that I've identified do certain things well and they'll be part of the on boarding and part of the training process and and that helps to like you said right, they can they can go ask questions of someone who's not their leader, who's not their manager, and maybe sometimes it's...

...not even the sales rep they're aligned to, if it's an str or the field wrap that the inside sales is a line to you don't sometimes don't want to ask them the things. So it's all about creating that community throughout the training process and that ramp so much quicker. Right, we have the same thing as tailor. It's it's ninety days. Technically most people are there. We expect them to kind of be there by sixty days and most everybody's actually there by thirty days, just because of the focus that we have on getting multiple inputs and taking the experiences of everybody and putting that all into that one person to help them get up as quickly as possible. A lot of shadow sessions and then using tools like like gong or exact vision or, you know, I don't want to pick out one, but a call coaching thing where you can share those best ep best practices and those previous experiences and asking for input on the team. So we put together an objection document to have everybody pour in. So when you bring in a new hire, because I hear, here's the here's the real world objections that you're going to get right, not what product marketing is telling you and not what your bandager me is telling you, what you might hear, here's what you actually hear and here's what people have actually said that is worked, and so on and so forth. So it's all about all about that, all about creating that team atmosphere and the village to raise the child. Yeah, I like that. I'm I'm often jealous of new bedrs who have like the gone's course exact visions of the world. Wasn't around when I was a Bedr, but would have been extreme really helpful. So if you're a BEDR and you're on this and you're not just diving into that like every day, go do it it. Yeah, I might date myself, but my you know, group training with the guy who sat next to me was pretty good and I got to listen to him as working off my spreadsheet. There's nothing like this that we have now. So, yeah, we try to get the team to really buy into those tools and use those tools to ramp faster. And, you know, don't reinvent the wheel. It's already it's already there. Just, you know, kind of copy what we've got already. Yeah, yeah, please explain what you just said about gongs and bells. Sorry, Jennifer. So God Gong and chorus and exact vision are actually their conversational intelligence tools. Are At sass platform that were cords all your sales calls and looks for different themes and and different trends that are are going on. So definitely, Jennifer, check them. Check them out. Ryan, I know there's some interesting things outreach does when it comes to on boarding. Break, break it down. Yeah, so I think Taylor and Jason of hit a lot of it on the head as far as like ramping speed and things like that go. Ours is right around ninety days as well, but I actually stepped into a phenomenal position at outreach. In this position, specifically, we have what we call an a Gogi SDR manager that is solely responsible for the onboarding of new SDRs. So they are responsible for their learning, for their success for essentially those first three months. So they take them through a week long boot camp and then they have they're responsible for those first three ramping months where they're ramping up to that full quota. So, quite honestly, I looked out stepping into a great position. We have a fantastic team lead named Mark Mashovski, who does this. So that way, when they are ready to come to my team, I'm obviously still coaching them and I think one of the unique things that mark does really well with this program is he brings in people from all over the business to run coaching sessions with our team. I think as you know on the panel and probably everyone who's attending, being in zoom meetings all day is super tiring. I know my team is tired of looking at my face and hearing me talk every single day. I'm tired of listening to myself talk every single day. So the more people you can bring in from other business units, other teams that have unique experiences, that's going to help keep your team engage so much more. It's going to help keep them interested out of the gate, especially in those first couple of months. Yeah, great, great steps there. I think the AGOGI leader is one of my favorite things. That the our business development function. That is there's a lot of incredible things, but that's that's a really cool thing that I think a lot of companies are going to model the future having a dedicated person just on boarding because, as the three of you know, there's so much you have to think about as a manager. At might be like end of quarter, they're starting. You're like, I really want to give you my attention, but also I got to hit my number. I think it's a really cool thing. I'm all right, I'm going to keep this question intentionally vague and then we'll do rapid I sort of to get through the rest of the the questions. But we had a lot of manager director level folks here. I imagine many are are maybe new to this. This rule. Ryan, if you could go and jump in a time machine and take you back to the first day where you started your your leadership position, what, let's say two things would you tell Ryan Gibson, who's just getting into leadership? Yeah, that's a great question because this is my first formal kind of managerial experience. I had some... the past where it was a little bit of a hybrid model. But I think for me, looking back, and I did transition into this position remotely, kind of similar to Taylor, I think for me one thing that I would have done differently. I did this a lot later on. I actually did this back in November, but I would have seeked out approval to basically do the str job add outreach specifically for two weeks a week maybe, just to really kind of reground myself. I'd like. Obviously I done the str roll to three years prior. I know what it takes. I know it's an absolute grind, but there are different nuances everywhere. It's different talking to sales leaders versus when I was talking to public health directors back in the day. There are a lot of different things that you need to be able to pick up on. You to be able to pivot during conversations and ultimately just learn that day to day process. I think it's just again, it's just so unique everywhere the SCR position. Sometimes it gets overlooked and we forget how hard it is. Being in sales you typically don't because they're the ones driving pipeline for the whole organization. But I think I would have just taken a step back and just done the position for a week just to remind myself once again how hard it is to get said no to, you know, ninety to a hundred times a day. Fantastic answer and a very, I guess, like humble answer. I think that that's that would be a great best practice. I mean, if you jump to a new org, you know, just because you've done a bed bedr role on another or doesn't mean it's the same direct cross over. Why not jump in, get your hands earty for a couple weeks, you know, remind yourself? I think that. I think that should be a new best practice. Let's make that one. All the leaders got to jump in the trench for two weeks. Jason, same question to you. I got a time machine. I drop you off the day that you got your first leadership position. What would you what would you tell yourself? Yeah, there's there's two things. One would be that you can't do it for him. I think a lot of new sales managers fall into the trap of Oh, there's a problem, okay, let me fix it because I know how to fix it right away, versus having the patients to teach. So it's you know, you feed a man for a day or you teach them how to fish it. You got to remember to teach him how to fish. And then I think the second thing for me, you know as a little younger when I got my first one and maybe got a little bit it arrogant or Cocky, but it's don't forget who you're who you truly serve. Right, you don't. I report to our CMO, but I serve my SDR and my inside sales team. My job is to make their job easier because I can't book the meetings and opportunities, I can't close all the deals, I can't do all the work that they do, and that's how I get paid. So you have to remember you know who's buttering your bread and who do you truly serve? Those would be the two things that I think got in the way or even slowed me down a little bit as I was growing through management, that those are the big hurdles at the beginning. I like it. I like it. Can't do for them, don't forget who you serve. That to be on a on my office wall. I think I like it. Taylor, same same question to you. Yeah, for me it is resist as hard as you possibly can, not to change everything that you see that you want to fix immediately. My I started in leadership about to two and a half years ago and the biggest mistake I made when I first went in was I saw the challenges. My senior leaders had told me what the challenges were and I came up with solutions immediately I wanted to implement them and my team didn't like me very much when I did it and it was my first time managing and I thought, Oh my gosh, I'm a terrible manager, like I don't know what I'm going to do. So that was at my last company and you know, eventually gain back the trust and, you know, try to explain why. I'm a big believer of, you know, Simon Senex book about telling why before you do anything, and so that was a big learning curve for me. So I know, Scott, I I mentioned this even on Tuesday, so this is a little repetitive for you, but I'm a big believer of crowdsourcing from my team. So before I make any change or implement anything, by crowdsource. So that comes right down to my team vision, where my team help me write the team vision. It's not me telling them what our vision is. It's them helping me write that vision, and so they're all bought into that vision and it's not me having to push it upon him push it upon them. Same for like, I think it was day two of my my new role here, I sent a survey out and I said it's going to seem weird I'm asking all these questions, but I want to know, like what do you want to learn, what do you want to change? What do you think is your biggest strength? And I really try to crowdsource that information. So then I can create sessions where they're teaching each other and I can also help them in areas where they actually want to be helped. So not me coming in and just trying to change the world, but actually lean into what they're looking for. So also, to Jason's point, like we serve our teams. So so I try to do that when I when I come in and and yeah, so don't don't try to change...

...everything all once. You got to resist. But that's tough. It is to it certainly is. And how do you tactically do that? I think you mentioned Google form. So you're sending out like kind of biweekly Google forms to get a pulse, check on the on the team and what they're trying to accomplish and learn. Is that how you do it? Yeah, quarterly I send Google forms. Any new initiative we try, I send one after for quick feedback. Any time I just want to an opinion. Sometimes like spiffs, like hey, what's fiffs and excite you next week instead of us just trying to come up with everything, like let's hear it from our own, our own individual so, like what's going to motivate them and excite them? And then if I if I identify a challenge that I think is a challenge, I sometimes, you know, will ask like leading questions to try to get them to also self identify that. I want them to be able to still identify it before I come up with, you know, a big solution to maybe a problem that they don't see themselves. So yeah, it kind of depends. I like it. I like it all right. These hours always fly by. Ryan, Jason Taylor, thank you so much for during your time and your wealth of knowledge with the sales hacker community. Really appreciate the three of you and for all of those who hung out with us. Thank you so much. I can't remember the last time. We got so many questions we can get through to them all, but I imagine if people want to continue this conversation, what's the best way to connect with the three of you? Are you linkedin or you twitter, pubhost? Now there's all sorts of things. dailor. What's your best way for people to kind of connect with you and keep learning? For me, yeah, linkedin's the best way. I'm pretty active on there. So awesome. And Jason, Yep, same thing. Linkedin. I get them all day, every day of the notification. So get in. And Ryan Linkedin. Yep, same thing. I just throw it in the chat again for everyone. Perfect, perfect. All right, everyone, thanks for hanging now with us. Have a fantastic into your month. I hope you all crush it. Thanks again, planelists, and I'll see you all suit. Thanks so much. Thanks, guys. Hi, thanks, everyone. This was another episode of the sales engagement podcast. To help this get in front of more eyes and ears, please leave us a shining five star review. Join US at sales engagementcom for new episodes. Resources in the book on sales engagement to get the most out of your sales engagement strategy. Make sure to check out outreach that I oh the leading sales engagement platform. See you on the next episode.

In-Stream Audio Search


Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (334)