The Sales Hacker Podcast
The Sales Hacker Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

1: Walking the Road From Individual Contributor to Management w/ Kiva Kolstein

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this inaugural episode of the Sales Hacker podcast, we talk with Kiva Kolstein, Chief Revenue Officer at AlphaSense

What You’ll Learn  

  • How to map your career from individual contributor to manager 
  • Why you should spend time with and invest in your new hires 
  • How to know if a company is a good fit for you and your skills 
  • How a cohesive leadership team should function 

One two one thre three O hi everyone and welcome to the SalesHacker podcast on your host Sam Jacobs, fatter, the New York revenue collective.Before we start a quick. Thank you to this months. Sales, Haker, podcast,sponsor nod nodes, AI discovery platform can understand the meaningcontext and connection between any person or company by proactivelysurfacing opportunities that are highly relevant and personalized in real time.Note is creating an entirely new paradigm for sales and markeingprofessionals to grow pipeline and accelerate revenue. felocity visit,infodot, no dot io for Whid Hsales tacker to learn more and now on, withthe show, welcome everybody to the sales hackerpodcast. This is Sam Jacobs. I'm the founder of the New York revenue,collective I've been building businesses in New York City for thepast fifteen years, and this is episode one. Thank you so much for joining usfor episode. One were excited and honor to have keepa Cole, steam HA chiefrevenue officer of Alphacens, and somebody that's been a friend of minefor a number of years. Welcome! Kiva! Thanks O I'm great to be here. Well,we're were excited to have you you're one of the the most respected andrecognized revenue. Leaders in New York, city and Alphicens is one of thefastest growing businesses. So what we want to do over the course of the nextperiod of time is really chat with you about, where you're from your origins,what got you into sales and then we can dive deep into some topics as theyemerge. This sound, like a good idea, sounds perfect awesome, so we're herewith Kiva Colstein, and we want to do the quick baseball card stat so kiva.What's your title Chief Revenue Officer and what's the company that you workfor Elphasins, now give us a rough annual recurring revenue range forAlphacens? We are in the fifteen to twenty five million dollar range andhow many folks are ound the team. What's the size of the team that you'reresponsible for and walk us through, how it's organized so we have aboutforty people on my team and my team consists of customer success, whichincludes account management and product specialists and sales, and the salesteam is set up in two teams. We've got a team, that's responsible for sellinginto the biside and cellside, and a team responsible for selling into bigcorporations. Each of those teams has a VP of sales and then supporting both ofthose teams is an SDR layer. In addition, we have sales, ops and salesenablement wow and tell us about your growth plans for two thousand andeighteen. Our goals to double revenues in in two thousandand, eighteen and interms of the number of people, were likely to grow these sales or by thatfifty percent o this year. So let's get started Kiva. You know. Ihave your background and your resume in front of me. It's obviously veryimpressive, but why don't you walk us through it tell us your origin story,How d you get into sales and how did we end up on a zoom call across theAtlantic Ocean, together on a Tuesday morning, h great happy to do that? Thecoolest part of my story actually begins long before I even thought aboutsales. Long before I really thought about anything. My parents decided toon a whim quit their jobs, sell their house sell all their possessions when Iwas three years old and take me on a an eighteen month trip around the country,and so we spent eighteen months living in a trailer visiting every state inMexico and over that period of time. Obviously, we spent a lot of timetogether as a family, but my father wrote a book called everybody shouldquit at least once I didn't know anything about the book that he waswriting. Nor did I know anything about the trip that I was on. I was onlythree years old. Where did you guys start from? We started from MaplewoodNew Jersey, wow and we landed in Rockland County New York? That's wherethe trip ended and, and we settled down what were your parents doing beforethey quit everything my father was in advertising. My mother was the head ofa anall girls school. Had they just...

...seen the Albert Brooks movie lost inAmerica. They may have. I don't know what inspired the trip. I know itdidn't please my grandparents, their decision to quit their jobs and selleverything, but they were inspired to do it and it was sort of a romanticjourney for them. Had that inform the rest of your life, which is Bel, I mean,I think, a couple things. One is the importance of doing what you love andmaking sure that you're always sort of checking yourself to remember that youknow you only live once and you should spend sort of every minute of every daydoing the things that you love and when you realize you may not be quit and gofind the thing that you love to do. I think that's the most importanttakeaway fror me from from their trip and in the year since, of course, wetalkd about the trip a lot and it's sor of become the foundation for who myparents are, but maybe perhaps who I am to tell me more about that foundation.So how did it lead to to a career in sales or what were thet? The animouswas really doing things that you love and how did you figure out even thatyou loved sales, because I think your original background was in politicalscience of Aunmistakeand Yeah. So so so right exactly s. So I think, with abackdrop of doing what you love, that's what I set out to do after college andwhen I began early O, I graduated with a Durig Political Science. I decided Iwanted to go to law school. My parents suggest that I take a year off betweengraduation and starting law school and get a job and see what it's like in thereal world, and I went to work for a company called Windstar Communications,which was a small local telecommunications company in the midstof of the telecom deregulation, one thousand nine hundred and ninety six.So the telecone act O Ninety six BU, which opened up markets to localcompetition for the first time, Iwas an awesome time, a great time to beworking in the space I sold to big fortune five hundred customers. I crushmy numbers. I won national and international sales contests acrosslike five hundred or thousand person sales organizations. I literally hadtrucks backing up to my apartment with prizes, one from these sales contests.What did you think you were doing differently than everybody else,especially given that you're only twenty two, I don't know. I reallydidn't compare myself to anybody else. I'm not sure what made me different. Iwas just super aggressive. I understood the obvious choice, which was you havethis sort of monopolistic telecommunications company that you'vebeen using for the last whatevery number of years and they're chargingyou a rate local long distance Internet access, whatever it was back then, and now, for the first time you couldchoose a different provider, the very same fiber, so the same access at alower cost, and so it was an o brainer. It was a pretty easy sale. This is longbefore the need to map accounts or build influence or advocacy. I simplywalked in met with whoever was in charge and sold hem on this idea thatthey could save a lot of money. Well, people buy things to either make moneyor save money, so that sounds like a compelling value proposition fror myperspective. Let's keep going through your Seyour background. So winstarcommunications is the beginning. It was an easy sale because of thederegulation which sort of enabled you to walk right, inthe, front door andsay you can save a lot of money and stop working with the big monopolies.What happened next, so I stayed another year after after having done well. Myfirst year I didn't go back to school. I did it. I had another good year and Imoved on to a company called Global Crossing. It was actually aninteresting time to be a global acrossing love acrossing had justbought fontier communications, so a much smaller in terms of number ofpeople and rethernue generated company buying a much larger one. I think atthe time I was with Global Crossing. We had something in the neighborhood offive hundred or thousand people, and we bought frontier communications whichhad maybe ten housand employees, and I stayed on whor. I began as a manager atGlobal Crossing. I stayed on there a...

...couple of years taking on two or threedifferent teams as a general manager in New York and had a bunch of successthere. A and the rest is really history and D. I never went back to school. Imoved on from Global Crossing to a company called CPI, which was theconsultant brought in to help in the transition as we integrated frontierwith Global Crossing. I spendt about five years there and on and on so here.I am now at Alphasen, seven years later, so one of the big questions you knowand the folks, the saleshacker audience has a lot of SDRs and a lot of entrylevel account executives. Thinking about making you know, mapping a careerthat eventually ends up in management. Do you have any tips, tactics, insightsthere and then the other question I have for you is: How do you think aboutbecause you're both an example of this distinction going from individualcontributor to a manager? But how do you think about guiding people that aretrying to figure out what's best for them? I think the first thing is to hityour numbers, no matter what you do, no matter where you ultimately want to go.It all starts with you mastering your craft as an individual contributor,really learning how to choreograph the entire process, learning how to breakdown your sale cycle into its smallest component parts and master each of thephases, so that begins with a phone call or an email, and you move intothat. First Meeting, the deck the Demo Discovery, objection, handlingnegotiation, closing etcetea. Each of these phases requires a set of skillsthat don't sort of happen by accident. You've got Ta really practice andmaster the craft, and once you do, that usually leads to significant success inthat individual contributor role and so f Om for me, the best sales managers ordirectors or VPS that I've been around started as SDRs or started as sort ofjunior aes and were in that role, not necessarily at the company for whomthey now manage. But in that role for a long enough time where they recognizepitfalls or landmines and can help a seller sort of master their craft andso to me that that's the first most important thing you can do beyond thatmanagers need to be selfless, and so the big difference between individualcontributorship and management from my perspective, is frontlines versusbehind the scenes. You're standing on a stage in front of the audience as anindigial, individual contributor and you're sort of behind the scenes. Asthe producer, the director pulling the strings as a manager, you have to beselfless. You have to be interested in elevating the folks who work on yourteam and giving them the glory in becoming almost a repository of bestpractices, information that can be shared across the team. If that is whatinterests you, if you're genuinely interested in building those around you,then management is likely a good path. If not, then you should reconsider t.You know I often hear from management candidates, they think of themselves asentrepreneurs and they sort of have an entrepreneur mindset and that's a goodthing. On the one hand, because you do need to be crafty and gritty andwilling to sort of roll up your sleeves and pivot in the moment, but on theother hand, entrepreneurs many times begin by working alone, and that is theopposite of what I see in good management. You really need tounderstand how to quarterback a sales process or pull from different partswithin the Organization for your sellers, whether it's engineeringproduct help or even help from the Financtian or marketing team. The salesmanager needs to understand where the the real value in the organization tohelp a sell. Our close a deal lies and begin to help. U Seller, organize thatvalue around them to help their deals get closed. I tend to agree, and Ithink the insighes there are really important, which is that, if I thinkthat distinction between being an entrepreneurial mineset and almost aservant leader, I don't think enough. People consider what is the truepurpose of management, which is...

...essentially sales enablement, t yourpoint, which is removing obstacles and then putting resources in front of thecellars thik close deals. So that was great. Now y were at Global Crossing interms of your career development. That's where you first got managementexperience. I think, and is this: Are we in Ne Thousand Nine hundred andNinety onethousand nine hundred and ninety eight? At this point,neighborhood yeah, I think werelike, two thousand two thousand one, but yeaht that neighborhood so the first, the really the firstcom boom and then youknow, walk at just the final few steps, because you know you've made a leapefrom individual contributor which is right out of school all the way up tochief revenue officer, which is for a lot of folks that are listening,probably their career destination and their career goal is to at some pointBSCRO. So what Werd do you think over the last? Maybe ten years, theimportant inflection points that led you to where you are today. I was inmanagement through CPI and a company called Castle. I actually took a stepback in terms of responsibility by joining Girson Liman Group GLG, where Imet you Sam and decided to help found the corporate markets division for thiscompany GLG had historically sold its expert network to the financialservices industry. The business had flattened out a bit in two thousand andsix or seven, and I was brought on to help start this corporate marksdivision determining whether or not or we were setting out to determinewhether or not there was an appetite for access to expertise inside of largecorporations, and so I begin as an individual contributor again there, andI think that was really a turning point in my career because it was sort of astart up within a a bigger company. We had a bit of a safety net in that, ifit didn't work out, there was a bigger company to support us, but I wasinvolved in every facet of building this business, even as an individualcontributor, a seet at the table, really thinkingabout pricing strategy and customer segmentation and territories as we aswe realized. There was an appetite for access to experts and we began to builda business there. Regardless of my title, my responsibility expanded farbeyond selling to customers, thinking about the trade of the handoff betweensales and service. Thinking about what is now called, you know, count base,selling or ABS, but really thinking about how do we expand all of these bigfortune, five hundred customers that we've begun to sell? When do we bringon an str team, and so even back then as an individualcontributor for this startup within this larger enterprise, I was gettinginvolved in things that would be more like head of sales or Cro. For me tthat was the big turning point. We built a fifty or sixty person companythere. We grew revenues at in Glg sort of corporate life sciences to somethingin the neighborhood of of thirty or forty million dollars over the the sixor seven years that I was there. I would say tha sort of that gave me thegreatest opportunity to see how e a startup gets built from the ground up.You know one of the things I see Kiva, which sort of is embodied in thedecision that you took to join glg. I see a lot of people trying to balancetitle and sort of designated seniority in a sense with the right level ofexperience, and so on the one hand, I see people that really really want tobe a VP or really really want to be a director, and sometimes they take aleap before they really have enough cumulative experience to teach otherpeople. So they get the title, but ultimately they're not as successful asthey could have been. There's another group of people that take a much longerterm approach where there really are accumulating experiences, maybe all theway through their twenties and then once they feel like they've, hit thatcritical inflection point, then they pursue all of the cutreman and thetrappings of office, which would be the title and the money, and things likethat. You have a framework for what guided you to take. What you considerto be. You know a slight step back in terms of title to geology, or maybesome advice for people that are balancing those two paths right now intheir career is a great question. I think one of the most difficult thingsto do as you're building your career,...

...not just in sales but just in general,is balancing patience and ambition hard for me hard for everyone, and so Idon't know that. There's a recipe for balancing you know patience andambition. For me, it's mostly about the opportunity, and so when I talke toSDRs, who aspire to baes or AES, who aspire to be managers. What I want tosell them on. What I want to talk to them about is is the opportunity thatexists at this company for them and try to show them a sort of a not just apath to whatever comes next, but a path to the job after that or the job, evenafter that, and how the work that we're going to do together here is going toprepare them for life long after they leave me three or five years from now.Now, speaking to all of the heads of sales or Cros out there in the world, Iwould encourage you to spend time in recruiting and with your newer hires,to do just that. Thatit's really important that the folks who join yourteam under recognize or believe that you're going to develop them. So theycan take what they've learned from you and apply it to the next job on thenext job on the next job. I think too often sales managers bring on new hiresand teach them to do job. That's right in front of them, perhaps even some ofthe better ones help them close deals and achieve their target. Are theydelivering general manager skills to help this seller MANAGEE PNL? That'sthe kind of additional support that I think folks need today or really needto believe they're going to get from you before they join your company andso to answer your question, I don't there is no silver bullet. I mean, Ithink you know everyone sort of thinks about their career and the speed withwhich they rise differently. I would just encourage folks to focus more onthe opportunity on ate. Is the opportunity this company and an theperson to whom you'll report provide you more than your title orResponsibility Day, one or w? How fast you might get the next title. I thinkthat's great advice so bringing it back to your career. So you know you ere atGLG. You then were an early employe at percolate along with a bunch of otherfriends that we share in common, including Mike Seek. You grew thatbusiness significantly, both his chief growth officer and she frevenue officerYeur, then chief Revenue Officer at handshake and now your chief revenueofficer at Olfisen, so you've had tremendous success over the last coupleof years and you com into to me offflyine about sort of the elementsthat go into you picking a role or picking a company. Specifically, youknow for the readers, the listeners out there that aren't familiar with al. Icens tell us about that company and tell us about the factors that led youto taking the role as chief revenue officer at Alficense sure. For me,there are five or six things that needed to be true for me to get reallyexcited about the company Alphacense in the role, but most important, as that Ijust mentioned the opportunity right. What about this company makes it anexciting place to be, regardless of your title of your role and the five orsix things that had to be true for me to get really excited about thisbusiness, one! It's a gigantic market and it's a market that already exists.That does not need to be manufactured. So all these nknowledge professionalswho work for these different companies. So if you're on the by side, it's ananalyst a PM and md a director of research and a CIO. If you're inside ofthe big corporation, it's MNA strategy, competitive intelligence, investorrelations, bd Corpcons, you already recognize the importance of accessingthis kind of content. It's what you do every day. It's your job! What we needto do is not convince you that access to this kind of content is important.We need to convince you that Alvacense provides you a better way or a fasterway to access this information. That's really interesting, and you know Ithink, a lot of people out in startup land talk about market size and even atthe same time that they talk about it. There's not always a clear or uniformdefinition of what a big market is.

Sometimes a big market just means thenumber of possible people that you can have a conversation with and possiblysell to other times. It means the actual amount, the volume of dollarsthat are spent on that specific solution or product. So when you thinkabout big market, do you just think about the number of people? The averageamount that they spend the total amount that they spend? How do you think aboutit, great question and all three, and so when we think about a Tam, Alphisansis a SASS product and we sell it. We sell licenses to individual usersinside these companies. We think about the number of users within a companythat might potentially buy how much they'll spend and then by market. Whatis the total revenue opportunity that we may be able to realize by sellinginto these set of customers? Are you another common fallacy that I've seenas everybody assumes their product is going to access newly created budgetthat the decision maker, the economic buyer, is going to create new money fortheir solution? Are you guys taking existing budget from other spend, orare you in one of those rarefied situations where they are actuallygoing out and getting more money and new money for your solution? It's agreat question, so I'm an answer at a moment going back to Glg. That was oneof our challenges. Early on was: Where does this budget come from we'retalking to executives and big corporations who didn't even know theycould pick up the phone and talk to an expert, and so the first thing we didhade to do was introduce them to this concept. We have to manufacture amarket for this service, and then we had to figure out where the budget wasgoing to come from at althe sense. The budget is already there. It is highlylikely that, if you're a knowledge professional in one of these companies,you are spending money on Bloomberg or Tonson, ruiters or Capbiq or fat setcompanies like that. If we can differentiate, Alphasens and show youhow you can gain access to the very same content more quickly and you canfind what you'd otherwise miss if you're using some other tool, we canshift budget from one of those companies or other companies like themto Alphacins, and so for the most part, the budget is already there and it justneeds to be shifted, which actually is a good thing in most cases because toyour point, you're not having to create an entirely new category which has bothits benefits and it's disadvantages. It isn't and really. The Way I think aboutis a relation to the celler. It's how many sales do you need to make in orderto get your deal done. You want to limit the number of sales that need toget made inside of a company in order to get your deal across the line yeah.So if you first have to convince them that access to this kind of content isimportant or access to an expert who might help you think about moving yourbusiness into a new market is important. BET, that's sale, number one, so you'veconvinced them of that. Then you've got to convince them. Sal Number, two thatdoing it through your firm is a good idea. That's sort of sale, number two,and so without the sense sal number one is already as already been made, and soto me, you're, speeding up the sale cycle by not having to convince themthat that having access to this kind of content is a good idea, yeah. So you'realluding to another issue, which is that in established markets, thesalesperson can focus more on pure sales and in new categories. Thesalesperson has to also play the role of marketing in a sense, because, ifyou're trying to convince somebody that they need a solution in the first place,that is often a much longer process and often the domain of marketing asopposed to sales. So you were talking about factors that led you to officinsand obviously we've got a big market and that's because they are spendingmoney on research already. There's lots and lots of people, and there is budgetthat exists for this type of search content or a product that searchescontent. You've got a product, obviously that you believe and what arethe other factors when you're evaluating and picking a companybesides the product and the market that you're considering well, the first isdefinitely the size of the market. The second is the product in your right.We've got a product, but I think I' spend a little bit more time on thatone because I've been part of or I've advised companies sort of ABC roundcompanies where they go to market...

...strategy as far out ahead of theproduct and what ends up happening is the product the sellers need to sell sofar into the road map that one of a couple things happens either one justthe product developint cycle isn't sped up enough so that when that customerdoes sign, they get what they were initially promised, and maybe they signon, or maybe they don't. But let's say they do sign on. It puts all sorts ofpressure on the product organization to reprioritize the roadmap, to supportthat new customer like a customer commitment or third, you put pressureon your customer success or your account management organization tosatisfy a customer. That's not very happy for me. What was really importantis joining a company whose product already serves the needs of the marketthat it's not some future road napped product, but the product as it existstoday supports the needs of the market. Of course, it will continue to evolveand get better over time, but what I didn't want is sellers having to sellsix or twelve months into a roadmat. I think that is a unique insight,especially because my perspective, especially in New York, is companiesare raising a lot of money, given the availability of capital somewhatearlier than has historically been the case and at stages that it would imply,there is much clearer product market fit than there actually is, and so yousee companies raising ten fifteen twenty million dollars around a bee ora sea round, the assumption being that they figured it out, and now is thetime to scale, but in actuality. What's happening is exactly what you justdescribe, which is seller selling into a roadmap that you know is sometimessix to nine months out. Ofhead yeah, I think it's an epidemic. I mean I reallydo. I think it's a real problem in startup land, where you've got sort ofa lot of pressure based on the recent around and the story that you want totell the market or the investment community to sell bigger deals or moreof them and so you're putting pressure on the sales organization to go out andsell. These deals when, in fact, in order to do that, you've got to sell sofar into the roadmap that you're just not going to have happy customers. Youknow which leads to Curn, and you know, there's all sorts of problems that comeas a result. Is there a a Kiva Calstin answer to this epidemic? Besides fromyour perspective, picking a company that hasn't done that? Well, I thinkit's again sort of palance of patience and ambition. I think. On the one hand,it requires a management team willing to take the slow and steady approachwilling to stand up to the board, if that's what it takes willing to takesort of the long term here, understanding that, in order to buildsort of a massive independent company, not one looking for a fast exit,sometimes you've got ta sort of be a little bit more patient and set perhapsmore appropriate expectations at the board level and at the same time, Ithink it requires transparency inside the organization. If you do decide forwhatever reason and many times, there are good reasons to have to sell intothe roadmap, making sure that the entire organization, your serviceorganization, Your Product Organization, O R Sales Organization, recognizes whywe're doing that really important that that the founders that the chiefRevenue Officer, that the folks who are whoare out there leading the chargecommunicate clearly what we're doing and why we're doing it, and so takingon a customer commitment, is not necessarily a bad thing. As long aseveryone is aware for why we're doing it and a reason could be it's thelargest deal. We've ever closed. It might signal to the rest of that marketthat this company has chosen to go with yours and therefore there are somefollowers that will decide that they should go with you. So there's there'slots of reasons why you might want to take on a customer. COMMIT REprioritize the product roadmap. You know for one customer, but buttransparency is really important here. Have you seen that happen? You don'thave to name names, but yeah wee got naming names. I definitely have seenthat happen and I'm the same way that I talk about every single interactionwith a prospect can potentially impact the outcome of your deal, so you needto chorograph the entire process. Every single decision that we make throughour growth process will potentially impact the outcome. You know the exit,you know where this company is headed, and so it's not just big decisions likepricing and customer segmentation and...

...hiring it's all the small decisionsthat we make every day, and so we meet as a leadership team once a week, notjust at Alpisens, but in all the companies I've been with and and we doquaterly planning once a quarter and we sat the path when a founder on a whimdecides to make a change. That is really disruptive. We talk a lot aboutat Alpha sense, measuring twice and cutting once versus the opposite. Let'stake our time to really analyze the situation, whatever the situation andnot simply follow something that might be shiny and bright and new. Let's moveinto a bit of tactics, because you've learned a lot of lessons from your timeat startups and I think it'd be helpful to share some of your key lessons andsome of the elements of the CIVACOLE stume playbook that you rely on thatyou think are particularly successful. Walk us through some of your frameworks.Choreography is sort of the overarching framework. Ind Samu and I've talked alot about that and I care deeply about sort of Choreographin the entireprocess for sellers for managers for ops, for really everyone. In myorganization, sales and service, I train on choreographing the process. Italk a lot about mastering each of the phases. I believe in it for myself toand in what I what I do so I'd say. The first thing is around hiring making badhiring decisions is probably the worst thing that you can do it sets you back,but a long time. Not only do you have to sort of let somebody go and a baddecision has been made, but you have to unwind the work they've done in theirterritory or customers that they've built relationships with or all theother stuff that has gone on over the course of the first two or three or tenmonths that they'de been with you. So do you do have a framework, for I thinka lot of people would nod their heads, but then the next question is: I don'tknow how to hire somebody properly. I don't know how to hire somebodyeffectively. So, what's your framework for making that that decision? Theright way, I think getting lots of people involved in the hiring process,is a good first place to start making sure thore that everyone who isinterviewing a candidate is looking for something unique, whether it's passionor crit, or raw intelligence or curiosity, or a genuine interest inlearning whatever it is that you are looking for in candidates for aspecific role. Make sure that all the folks are interviewing are interviewingfor something different. First, it will give the candidate a better experiencenot to have five or six of the same interviews, we're all asking the samequestions and second, it will focus your questions in a way that candeliver to me who may be the hiring manager insights around each one ofthese characteristics that I may be looking for. What's your favoriteinterview question give us something we can take with us. I think it's lessabout a favorite interview, question more about the story. I want to heartold to me by a candidate for me, it's important to go all the way. Back tothe beginning. I told the story at the outset of this conversation: Abiutoutmy parents, ind the trip around the country and how that to some extent,has stayed with me and built a foundation for me, as I think about youknow what I do with my day. I want to hear about elementary school andchallenges that they may have faced or had to overcome. I want to hear aboutwhether they've played sports in high school o or played an instrument. Whyare why not? I want to hear about why they chose the college. They did. Whatare you looking for? I'm really looking for decision making and perhaps evenmore importantly, obstacles they've overcome the hardest thing for me andinterviewing is determining whether or not this person has the grit an thehorse power to work inside of a high growth, high velocity startup likeAlphasens or Hanchake, or percolet or anywhere ie. Then horse power meanhours til. You know just trying to get specific what his horse power mean toyou, perseverance wit's, your motor, if your abuilded o power through it's, notnecessarily ours, although it could be it's a recognition that when you workinside of a company that aspires to be an billion dollar company and there's along way to go from here to there, you have to be running it. A hundred andten percent all the time that this is an all in experience, and so I want tomake sure that this person who I'm...

...interviewing has dealt with adversityhas tools that they use to overcome obstacles that they haven't just intheir sales, career or business career sold, gold and a Goldrush. If you will,and sometimes that difficult to glean from a resume the resume says they wentto an Ivy League school, they got out of college and joined a company andachieved great things they hit President's club year over your year.But what it doesn't tell me is how difficult that might have been for themto do. You know what was that company selling, where they simply takingorders or having to introduce like we were talking about earlier, a newconcept or open a new market, and so part of the interview for me isunderstanding sort of work life, but I really want to go all the way back andunderstand sort of what got them there. I don't want to hire folks who'vealways had it easy, because this will be the hardest job that they've everhad and I will push them harder than they've ever been pushed before forcethem to use XOR exercise muscles that they've not exercised in a while orperhaps ever, and so the folks that I find fail in environment like this oneare those that haven't been pushed in that way so Kivo. What else do youthink is important? You know. You'Veyou've talked about hiring alittle bit, but give us a little bit more of your framework for helpingbuild and scale start up, so the next would be sort of territory creation, asyou think about scale. Creating territories is pretty important whenyou've got one seller, they're responsible for all the prospects andthe entire universe, and you got to and youv got a dividit by two and three andso on. But scaling is really difficult because it requires that you, you beginto beg and borrow territory from existing sellers, thereby shrinkingtheir territory and in their mind, thei ere ability to achieve their target andso coming up with a territory creation plan. You can convince the existingsales team that there's enough tam total adjestible market inside of theirprospect universe, to give them the opportunity to double or triple theirtarget is a really important part of managing a team and, at the same time,when you are scaling, be able to deliver to new hires the sameopportunity, a territory that gives them the opportunity to double hertriple teir target in some sensyears you're, not even just talking aboutterritory creation but abround. The entire investment that you need to makefor a new seller to make them successful, which might aloso includeSDR support or marketing support, or some commitment around how you're goingto help them. Build that pipeline within the territory- absolutely that'strue and en I would say those are other. Those are additional sort of pariphrallearnings around territory creation, but one of the most difficult for me isliterally creating territory. And so how do you do that? Well, you've got toget creative and go beyond geography, and so we've thought about verticalsweve thought about sort of ABS. So when you're starting the company or earlydays, you've got sellers, whov got two hundred or five hundred or thousandcompanies in their territory and, as you bring on more cellars youreshrinking that territory, you've got to think about different ways to convincethat seller that they can achieve their target, and so abs is sort of this newterm, but an old strategy. It's focusing in on a very specific accountsand understand the customer personas that we're selling into within E tothese accounts and determining how much revenue you can generate from one anaccount over the course of the next year and then building a marketing andsales plan around getting at that revenue. And so, when you do that, andyou do that effectively, you can now convince tha seller that instead ofmeeting two hundred or five hundred accounts in their territory, they mayonly need five or ten. That's a really important part of scaling a sales or isgetting to a place where a seller only believes they need five or ten accountsin their territory to achieve their target and as a sense, if I'm a seller,am I just focused on new business, or do I get to keep the account after thesale, so I can push for expansion and up so on the by cellside. Youimmediately hand that account off to an account manager, mostly becauseadditional analysts buying access to alphacens inside of a hedge funddoesn't require a lot of additional selling on the corporate side. You keepthe account as an AE and continue to...

...expand it mostly because the functionalareas within a corporation are silowd and require additional selling. Somoving from EMA, the strategy to competitive intelligence to be the etcrequires many times a whole new sales cycle, and there isn't a lot of bestpractices sharing inside of large corporations, and so we keep thoseaccounts with the AES. This sounds like it takes a tremendous amount of work.So two follow questions. One is there must be a point at which you want tostart developing more sophisticated territory creation, or is there not? Doyou develop it right from the beginning? You know just as you're hiring yourfirst batch of Aes, but I would think that you sort of phase it in based onmilestones that the business hits and then what kind of resources do you needas a cro to enable this level of sophistication in terms of sales, OPsupport. So, on the first question, you absolutely phase it in, and I think,along with everything else, like complans, they become more complicatedterritories, become more complicated over time, as you're required to thinkabout new and different ways to support new folks that you might be bringing in.In terms of the the assistance I'd say, the two most important hires for me aresales, ops or business ops, someone who is thinking about analytics from thevery top top top of the funnel, alongside our marketing team, all theway down through negotiation, clothes and expansion, division of Labor,between Amnd, AE, etc. So to me, sales opsis is my first hire and that personreally has to understand, I think, most importantly, the velocity ofopportunities, as they moved on a funnel, giving us the confidence thatthe pipeline that we're creating week over week month of Er month well get usto our target at the end of a month at the end of quarter, the second mostimportant hire for me of sales ennablement. That person also can getinvolved in customer segmentation in creating Bire Personas in some of thisabsabm strategy. Alongside sales, ops and me, but most importantly, thatperson is responsible for spinning up a ramping, our sellers and so the way Ithink about sales enablement. Is We split it into three parts? First, partbeing onboarding, and that's usually one to two weeks. I want that to be anavy seal style in early outlate homework. Every night presentations tomanagement really getting prepared for what life will be like out there on thefront lines after your second week is over the second part of sales. Aneblement is what we called performance ram so week, three to week, fifteen orweek, fourteen to twelve weeks worth of performance ramp. That is less intensethan your first two weeks, but you are still spending significant time withsales, enablement and various other folks within the organization masteringdifferent parts of the sales process or getting certified UN, let's saydiscovery or rejection handling or the deck or the Demo, that kind of thingand hen. The third part is im going sales affectiveness. So for all of theexisting staff that we have on the sales and service team, we want to makesure that they understand how to articulate value, to talk about rlywhen we come out with a newcase study how to communicate that case, study toclients in different sectors in a way that will make good sense to thatclient. So, there's this ongoing sales effectiveness program that we run andso to me those are really the two people that I rely on to help me thinkthrough not just territory creation but comp planning and scale Yeph. Thatmakes a lot of sense. We are running out of time, so this has beenincredible. What I want to do now is shift to some quick fire questionswhere we can just get a lay of the land in terms of how you approach differentthings. Does that sound, okay, great sure, great? So, first of all bigquestion in the startup land, who should SDR report to marketing oursales, I've seen them report to both. I don't necessarily have a strong opinionon whether they report to marketing or sales. I do have a strong opinion onmaking sure that, if they re port to marketing that marketing in sales arecoordinated, and so what you never want...

...to have is a marketing organizationthat is operating in the green sliping. Each other five really excited aboutall the leads that they believe that they're generating in a salesorganization, that's operating in the red, believing that the sales that arebeing generated aren't very good ones, and so, as long as there's tightcoordination between those two organizations you're in good shape. Thesecond thing I have an opinion on is is who the str ultimately wants to be. Inmy experience, it's very hard to motivate in SDR. SDR is like thetoughest job in the entire organization. It's thankless! It's long hours. It'slots of rejection, difficult to motivate that person to do that job fortwelve or eighteen months, unless they desperately want to career in sales,and so, if they believe they're growing up into marketing or strategy or someother functional area, they may be difficult to motivate in tough timesyeah an sense, so monthly cartilier annual quotas. What do you do for forOffic ense? So everyone has an annual target but they're responsible forachieving each of their quoterly targets, and I managed them against atwelve quarter, clothes so important that everyone hits a number every month,even more important that everyone hits ha number every quarter. So in Alphasense, you get paid a commission based on the sales that you bring in, but youalso get paid a coterly bonus for achieving that quaterly target and then,of course, if all else fails, you need to achieve your annual number. But I'dsay you do an annual number, but most important to me is everyone aligningagainst the quarterly goal average quota? For you know, SMB raps, midmarket and enterprise I'd say average for SMB tw. Fifty three hundredkaverage for mid market is probably the neighborhood five hundredk an averagefor enterprises is closer to nine hundred K and for me, what I've learnedis you want to be somewhere in the neighborhood of three x Taes as ote interms of what their target is for the year. Okay, let's talk about your texttack. One of the are you guys, a sales force shop we are and what are theother tools that you're using you know across sort of like your salestechnology, Investment Lincoln sales navigator, we use outreachind hub spot.The sellers use out reach our marketing team uses hup spot our recruitingorganization, uses greenhouse to organize sort of cadidate interviews Dand to post new jobs, and then black- and I think slack by Fars- is myfavorite, I'm on Slyk all day long, not just with the sales team, but with themarketing team, the product team, finance team and really everybodyenables me to connect with people very quickly and ask them quick questionsabout deals. Incycle your favorite VP of sales. That's not you or just giveus a mentor or a leader of people that you brainstorm with, as we want to knowwho are the best people in your in your ecosystem yeah. So so I'm not sure thatI have a specific mentor that I regularly turn to for advice, but I'mpart of a ven, wise Cro powt. In New York. We meet once a month and hen acouple times in between a more formal meeting to brainstome with each other,I'm part of your New York City revenue, collective, which is awesome and I'maff using folks from that group to bounce ideas. I use you apart from thatgroup when I've got a question Mike Zique H and I were at Glg for a longtime together, then we were on the executive team at Perelae together forthree or four years, a we'e kind of grown up together in similarenvironments and and I like to buy downse ideas off Asique and then jesthunt has been a long time. Favorite of mine. We work closely together at GLGfor a while and she's WHIPPD. Smart has deep experience managing multiple sidesof the business, and so when I'm really stuck I'll turn Tho jess all right.Everybody thanks so much Kiva for your time on the first ever sales hackerpodcast with Sam Jacobs, im Sam Jacobs Kiva. If anybody listening wants to getin touch with you, maybe their incredible account, executive or SDR,or they just want to meet up with coffee. Can they and what email addressshould they use? They absolutely can and they can email me at k Colstein atAlpha Dash, sensecom, awesome, Keva. Thank you. So much for participatingand I'll see you in future meetings of...

...the revenue, collective touns, goodthanks so much sem. Thank you at the end of every interview that wedo we're going to have a little section called Sam's corner where we reflect onwhat has happened, and this is the first SAMs corner. I think we can allagree that that conversation with Kepa was pretty exceptional. Peva is such awell respect and a well regarded thought leader in the New York salescommunity. One of the things that he said at the very beginning was: he said,make sure that you're doing what you love and my experience is that phraseand that admonition often gets misinterpreted. I think that folksmight want to consider a three circle Ben Diagram when they think about theircareer. The first circle is what you're interested in the second circle is whatyou're good at and the third circle is where the market is moving and allthree of those circles need to overwhap in order to have a successful career,most folks, overweight, what they're interested in and they underwaye wherethe market is moving and what they're good at, I would say, th the finalcaviat to that as well. WER ADENDUM is most people misdefine. What they'regood at they don't actually frame it in the right way. They oftentimes areapplying a very broad stroke to a department or to a discipline that isreally an accumulation of discreet responsibilities. So what I meanspecifically as people say, I'm not good at sales when f you break sales upinto its component parts, which are a combination of organization, discipline,the ability to ask difficult or uncomfortable questions, the ability topaint a picture for a world that might be versus world. It is all of thosethings actually do end up being both something that people are good at andsometimes that they're interested in when they thought they weren't. Sothat's my word for the wise for today and that Sam's corner thanks so muchfor joining in. If you want to get in touch with me. For any reason you canreach man twitter, Sam F, Jacobs is my user name or you can email n me, Sam F,Jacobs, agailcom and I'll talk to you soon. Thank you to check out the show, notes, seeupcoming guests and play more episodes from our incredible inup of salesleaders visit sales, hackercom podcast. You can also find the sale, tackingpodcast on itunes or people play. If you enjoyed this episode, please giveus a share, Om linked in twitter or any other social media platform, andfinally, special thinks again. Did this months sponsor at node Seymore at INFOgot node dot, IO forsales tacker. Finally, if you want to get in touchwith me, find me on twitter, at Sam f Jacobs or on Linkdon at LinkoncomInslah, Sam, F, Jacobs, I'll, see you next time.

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