The Sales Hacker Podcast
The Sales Hacker Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

12. Navigating a Career from a Unicorn to a Public Company W/ Jaimie Buss

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Talking about startup careers and transitions is this week's guest on the Sales Hacker podcast—Jaimie Buss, VP of Sales, North America for Zendesk. 

One, two, one, three, three. Quote. Hi everybody, welcome to the sales hacker podcast.This episode we're going to be interviewing Jamie bus, VP of sales North Americafor Zendesk, but before we do that we've got an exciting new sponsor andwe wanted to talk a little bit about it. The company's called Air Calland we want to thank them. They empower sales and support teams to aceevery call with the phone system specifically built for their favorite business tools. WithAir Call, you can now make every conversation count. Now, if youdon't know what that means, what I would encourage you to do is goto their home page, which is are called Dot I. Oh, takea look and there's a video that walks through some of the technology that theyuse. It looks like initially for support teams, and I know the reasonthat they're advertising with us is because they've got a sales module coming out very, very soon. So take a look at air call. I've they've beengrowing incredibly quickly and I think everybody that's a customer is very, very happy. Now, without further ado, let's get on with the show. Thanks. Hi Everybody, and welcome to the sales hacker podcast. It's your friendlyneighborhood host, Sam Jacobs. I've got a very special interview today. We'regoing to be talking to Jamie bus. Jamie is currently the VP of salesNorth America for Zendesk, but let me give you her quick bio. She'sa veteran sales leader. She's got experience selling everything from Sass to virtualization,storage and networking. As I mentioned, she's running sales North America for Zendesk. She leads a team of over two hundred people, including field sales, hybrid aase, SMB and sales development wraps SDRs. During her eighteen yearsales career she's held sales and leadership positions at Andres and Horowitz vmwhere coverity aMaerchai chlorate and ink tomy. So welcome Jamie to the sales soccer podcast.Thank you say I'm excited to be here. We are excited to have you.So, as we do, we start with your baseball card. Aswe mentioned offline. There's a tiny bit of discretion that we have to employbecause Zen desk is a public company. But very quickly, your name isJimmy Buss. Give us your title once more sure, VP of sales ofNorth America and your Zend Desk. For those that are in the Stone Age, what is Zendesk? What do they do? What do you guys do? And sort of rough revenue range, which we could also find by usingYahoo, Google finance or something. Yeah, no problem. So we are apublic company. Are Our latest earning state call we stated five hundred millionin annual run rates, so pretty big benchmark for us. We're really excitedabout that. We are a support and ticketing platform, primarily used B Tocbe to be internal use cases anyone that needs to interact with a customer andbe able to track those interactions. So our company is not about twozero peopleworldwide and then we've got about two hundred sales people in North America organization specifically. Wow, well, that's impressive. And so you've been in startup land? How long? Technically, I would say probably since two thousand so Ijoined into me back at that point and the allure of Silicon Valley kind ofdrew me in and my career kind of took off from there. So probablyjust about eighteen years. Wow. Okay, well, that's a healthy amount oftime. Let's go back to the beginning. So tell us where you'refrom. You know where to grow up and essentially, how did you endup at Zend ask running North America for a five hundred million dollar business?Walk us through a little bit of that progression for the younger people out therethat want to emulate you. Sure. Well, I will say that atfirst I definitely did not see myself landing in sales. I landed in theright spot, but I didn't get here straight out of the gate. Soactually from southern California, natively. I grew up in Ventura County and wentto cow polly Sandloispispofer for a undergrad where I got an environmental engineering degree,which completely has nothing to do with what I do now. What drove that? Where you an interest in the environment? I suppose. Yeah, I'd therewas definitely an all over that I really liked understanding how things worked andwhat could negatively affect the environment. But my mom actually thought I was crazybecause I wasn't particularly strong in math in high school and she's like, areyou sure you want to do engineering?...

There's a heck of a lot ofmath, and I'm like yeah, I got to do something hard like Iwas really competitive. So I'm like, well, I'm not going to takelike, you know, something that I perceive is being something really challenging.So I definitely got what I asked for. How polly was phenomenal school. Icouldn't have couldn't reflect it better for myself. And Post School I wentinto consulting. So I worked for Deloit for about a year. I probablywould have stayed longer had so can valley at that point it hadn't quite implodedyet right, it still was so exciting and companies that made absolutely no money. You could go work and get all this stock that would be worth somethingsomeday. I think we all kind of had the wool pulled over our eyesat that point, least I did. I was twenty three. Come mea little slack. There's nothing wrong with being optimistic. We valued asn't inour trade exactly. So, with stars in my eyes, I moved toSilicon Valley and that's where I started working at into me and got a salesengineering position there, which wasn't you know, it was quoted, but as youknow, it's not the same as having the carrying the bag yourself.So I did a lot of the demos. It's the technical work. What didin to me do? They were searched. So they did like internalstarts, like I think most people probably use Google or some other application nowat this point. Autonomy, I think, used to do that. But basically, like if you had an intranet, you would need to search your contentand back then companies didn't really have a good way of doing that.So we would crawl all your content, help you create indexes and men useall that kind of stuff so that internal content would become more accessible. Andso you're at deloit. You know and I you know. We're the samegeneration. I remember the job market back then. It was insane. Soyou're in this fairly stable consulting world. Sales engineers, and often the paththat people from consulting choose to take off in times they need to sort ofinsert themselves in strategy. How did you think about making that decision? Sowhen I first joined into me for six months, I was brought in underthe it organization to help bridge a gap between sales and it on the applicationsthat sales needed it's. That was the six month tenure, at which pointI presented my first application to the head of sales engineering freeing to me andhe said you should be in sales, like, what are you doing?This happened. That happen a lot to sales leaders. We find ourselves inone job and then just the gravity of sales draws us in. Yeah,and I hadn't really thought about it before that, and I think I'm like, you know, that could be interesting. So I took the leap and didthat and then I did that very well. But what I really lovedabout that job was not answering the technical questions and creating the demos. Ireally loved winning. I loved being part of the team that won the largestdeal for the quarter and how can we strategize to win it? And that's, you know, in to me. I was there about two and ahalf years, just I have three years, I think, and by the endof that point we'd had round and round of layoff, which I'm sureyou also lived through the two thousand two period where that Silicon Valley bubble poppedand we all kind of got dropped out of the bottom of that. Andyou know, I found myself laid off at whatever. I was twenty four, twenty five years old, something like that, which was shocking right because, to your point, I had this nice stable job at deloit. Myparents thought I was crazy to go join silk in value. You just don'tdo that right. You don't leave a good job for a risk, andI told them like now, I'm going to find something, don't worry.But the good thing was I really built a phenomenal network atting. To me. I mean I'm still in contact and have gotten several jobs out of thefolks that I met back then, and a lot of that crew had movedover to vmwhere. And I'll be honest, I didn't even realize how great ofa product vmwhere was at the time. All I knew was I had greatconnections there and I wanted to carry a bag. I did not wantto be a sales engineer that for someone to take a risk on me havingnever see me carry bag before. I was going to have to go somewherewhere people knew me. So I tried getting some some positions where two peoplemight take a chance to me that didn't know me. But I really pursuedvm more hard and I had to get on the phone first with cart,with with the hiy managers, Brian Cocks the time. Talk to him,he said, talk to Carl. I convinced Carl Schaback I was I want, really wanted to do it. Take a chance on me. They broughtme into interview and I had to sit down at that point. There's onlyten sales people on the vamore sales team. I literally had interview with Dian Green, being as young as I was,...

...and convinced her that I could bea great sales rep for her team. So I still remember that day clearly. I know exactly where that office was. Fortunately, must have donewell enough to get the job. So I made that transition for me tome post being laid off and landed as an and count executive at ink,to me at vmwhere covering the northeast. So I was an inside sales repcovering the northeast, lowest performing territory out of all of them. So nothinglike a challenge or dropping in as a rep and being at the bottom.I was the training and the onboarding at that point. I will tell youexactly what the training was. The training was here's your computer, here's yourphone, it's ringing, you better fucking pick it up. As long asthe phones ringing. I mean that's that's a benefit that many of us don'thave. That is very true. And vmre was a very unique situation.I don't think I've not had that scenario since. I may never again.You know, we were in a very, very unique position. It was aproduct that worked very well. It was brand new to the market,we had no competitors and it made a ton of sense because you can consolidatetwenty servers onto one. So even for a test of environment, it wasnot it was a phenomenal product. We were I was really, really luckyto, you know, to get that position and then, because the companygrew so fast, probably about every eighteen months, I was able to kindof get a promotion. So I moved from, you know, ae toinside sales manager. I managed a bunch of teams for about eighteen months orso, maybe a little longer than from there I became director of alved insidesales for North America and Latan. I did not have worldwide, but that'sstill was a pretty sizeable organization and I did that for a couple of years. Opened up the Austin Office from scratch. Did you move often? I didnot. I considered it at the time. What I did at theTimes. I spent fifty percent their time there fifty percent time here in Pallealtough. My husband and I considered it, but he he had a great jobin the insilicon valley and it was it was a tough choice, butwe decided to stay in the bank area. As one quick question, there's alot to unpack here. So the first thing is that you're mid s. You just got laid off, but some one of the things you justsaid was, you know, I needed to go somewhere. I had alot of connections. It feels to me that you, I don't know ifit was intuition or you developed, you know, this insight specifically and intentionally, but you seem to understand and the power of networking pretty early on.Did that just come to you or did some mentor sort of articulate, Hey, you need to build a network, you need to have relationships across thevalley. So that is this thing doesn't work, you've got plenty of options. That's a very good question. I had two very important, you knowfolks who helped me out that that job actually even at deloit. Might youknow have a boss there, but you had somebody who would kind of reportback on your work, and even that early on, what they really dowell at the agent at those consulting firms is they teach you how to bea professional and they instill in you that you are a brand and you've gotto think about what is that brand that you want to be and then thenetwork that you build is how you're going to capitalize on that brand, becausea lot of that consulting world is about networking and that was reinstilled for meatting. To me I had two great mentors there as well, on StevenLee and then Dan battlehouse. Both of them, I think, gave mereally good foundational advice. You know, I really build my brand around executing. I want to do a good job. I want to deliver what's it aboveand beyond what's expected of me. We're tatting a little bit earlier aboutresponse time on emails. I really strive to be saying day, as longas it's sent to me within a reasonable hours during that day I like toget shit done. Like if you give me something, you do not haveto worry that it's not going to happen. It's always going to happen, andso a lot of these things I was already kind of thinking about ata really early age and because I was delivering good work and building that brand, but in an authentic way, I established all those connections. So peoplehad some good perception of me and we're willing to take that chance on meinto another role. I think, well, there you go. There's a reallypowerful benefit of consulting, because I think a lot of young people don'tquite realize what you just said, which...

...is that you are your brand andyou have to build it. So you got to vm where and it soundslike you mentioned every eighteen months or so you happen to you jumped on aUnicorn and the company's growing incredibly quickly and you're moving from individual contributor to manager. What was that transition like? And I think one of the questions thatactually got from a buddy of mine that I used to work for me,Michael Serenian, said, you know, let on the podcast. Can youguys talk about making the jump from individual contributor to manager? What was thatlike for you? Yeah, and you know, I had to. Thisis actually one of the topics that which I know we're jumping way ahead.But I was so passionate about this topic that I actually built a program forit, to a s Z where we'd bring in the portfolio companies, individuals. They're reps that want to be managers. Are early managers actually kind of liketaught a course on the transition, but sween being an icee the kindof management one on one, because I really feel like this is a hugegap in in corporate America. Whether you're at I don't eat. Maybe thebig companies have it a bit better. I have typically been at startups whereyou're just really ea get to be top of your trade and then you're movedon to management and you're just expected to make everyone else be excellent the wayyou are and you're not taught that it's a completely different job that operates inthe gray area every single day. That part of your job is being acounselor that part of your job is get making it answering questions that really don'thave a right or wrong answer. So it's like, how do you becomethe manager that people want to follow and want to work hard for? Howdo you become that type of manager? So a lot of the things thatI kind of had to teach myself because I made a lot of mistakes.I think the hardest transition for me was I see the manager and was becausethose reasons. I would have the same set of standards for my best rapas I would for my wis holost performing wrap, which absolutely makes no sensein retrospect, but I didn't know. I was like, well, Iguess I need to set fair right, treat everyone, quote unquote, fairly, and so everyone should have the same expectation. That's not exactly true.Right. So there's a lot of like little nuance things and my one ones. I treated everyone onone was like a grilling forecast call. Well, wherewas my rap ever going to get feedback? Where were they ever going to hearwhat they're doing? Well, where were they ever going to have anopportunity to develop their own career? And make sure that I understood what motivatesthem and how am I coaching them to get there? All those components noone ever really taught me. So what I had to do is I kindof sought out so want all throughout one of my favorite books. It's anOldie but a goody. People make fun of me because this is an olderbook, but first break all the rules. I was going to mention that itis my by far. I've read a million of them. This oneis by far my favorite because it's so practical and what you can do isthey've got these core twelve questions that you can ask yourself. How would Ireps answer these questions? Have I received feedback in the last week? DoI feel valued in my job? All those types of things. Right,it's an incredible book. In the very first question they ask, and thereis do I know what's expected of me? Yeah, exactly, and sometimes,and that's actually I lay that out in the training is like. Sometimesyou have to be really explicit, especially when the people are younger in theircareer. You have to remember not everyone went to a consulting job at outof the college and was taught how to be a professional. We've had tohave conversations with reps on what's appropriate and not appropriate, on what to wearto work. Oh My, I mean that's always been a thing. Totalk about it. I'm always scared to talk about it as an older man. I try to delegate a HR. Yeah, yeah, there have definitelybeen instances where, and I have a lot of female leadership on my teamwhere sometimes if it is a female that's in question, that one of uswill take that conversation instead, because it is a bit uncomfortable for some ofthe men if it's an opposite gender conversation. But yeah, I mean you'd besurprised. You have to lay out sometimes when they're expected to be atwork or what the expectations are abound kickoff. Do you know I've literally I've hadso many challenges with people. You know, you have the party ata kickoff the night of the next morning at Qbrs and then you always haveone or two raps that have completely missed the QBR and are drunk in therooms or whatever. And I lay it out every single time before hands,like it's still a work event. This is not your baths of party.You're expected to post in the morning.

Let me be clear. So sometimesyou have to be more clear than you even think you need to be.How did it go? I mean, so you know you're maybe a youngermanager and now you're an experience manager as you're making this progression through VM.Where was your intuition? Pretty UNIRRING, or did the growth of the businesskind of mask some of the growing pains until you were ready to sort ofstep into, you know, the more senior roles. I think I didlearn a lot, even though, you know, Valmore was doing well,but I had large size teams. I mean even when I was a fieldman, soul last role I had there, I managed a field team, butit was of nine people from Washington DC down this you know, throughsouthern California. So my teams were never small. I could have had fifteeninside sales reps reporting to me nine field wraps. I mean that's arguably alittle bit spread too thin, but you know, I kind of learned from, you know, interactions with the reps and sometimes they would be early onthey would provide me feedback of like hey, you know, I'm how do Imanage my career here? And then I started to take a step backand like I need to educate myself better on on how to do this job, and that's when I started doing a lot of research. That's when Iread first break all the rules in a million other leadership books. Actually stillsubscribe to hbr because sometimes they have some really good research articles done out ofGoogle and some other places that have have done a lot of benchmarking and surveyson what does it take to be a good manager or a good leader.So I just consumed as much material as I could and kind of built that, you know, kind of leadership profile over time. Wow, I'm Ithink that's against maybe it's your own intuition or maybe it's instinct, but youknow, your instinct to go outside of the confines of the job itself andmake sure that you're educating yourself is obviously a best practice. So vm wherewas a wild ride. I'm curious. How did you end up at inreason, and obviously that's, you know, one of the better known investors inthe world at this point. And and what you do for in reason? And then how do you end up its end us? Well, thoseare excellent questions. So in between m where and and reason Horowitz, Idid work at three different startups, which was actually gave me really, reallygreat experience and preparation for and Reson Horowitz. Would you learn from those startups afterbeing at DM where? Okay, do you know those people who joinyour company and they go well, at vm where? We did this,at vm where we did that. So that was me, probably my firstjob out of vmwhere. And now I look back now people like well,when I was at sales for so, I did this, and when Iwas at sales for a side of that, I just kind of roll my eyesand like you'll learn. You'll compital company, couple companies later you'll learn. The biggest thing I learned was that you cannot make an assumption on theright GTM model based on what's worked for you in the past. I thinkthat was my biggest most naive mistake. I'd like to just blame myself that. I see other people do it even at, you know, various companiesI've been at. Is Making that assumption of well, just because I didverticalization at this other company at this time, it's the right time to do itfor this one. Not necessarily buy a long shot. I think yougot have to. You cannot try to do unnatural acts to get a productto market. Either it's going to be high velocity bottoms up. People cantry it, they can buy it easily and it can scale to enterprise orthe top down enter price sale got to be sold. WATTLE wall sea levelsinvolved. You're not going to get the an prize level. You'RE NOT gonnabe able to sell inside sales. The inside tales are not going to workfor that. I mean you can want it because it's cheaper, and alot of people do, but it's just not going to work and sometimes fromthe bottoms of company like it just not. Might you know, mid market mightbe where that needs to be and maybe you don't need field sales.Maybe inside sales is what you need. So I think what I learned wasI really had to study the natural motion for that product. How easy wasit to try? How quick was that trial? Was that trial free?Was it a fremium model? It was there no trial at all? Whatwas the ASP? What is the sales cycle? And once I kind oflearned, like kind of put these staffs together, then I could start topattern match. All right, this is what you need, field sales andstrs. I don't know why you're messing with the inside sales. And that'swhat I think I brought when I went to interest in Horowitz. I'll I'lltalk through my role there, but the lessons I learned post vm where,I think actually made me tremendously more valuable at the a sixteen s evil.It makes so much sense and certainly it's...

...the perils of success to early inyour career when you all of a sudden assume that the reason vm where gotto work for my in my case was Gerson learmon group, but is thesame thing. It went to three hundred million and revenue. Everything we triedworked and of course he's come out of their thinking you're a genius and that'snot quite bad, I know. But well, of course it's because ofwhat I did, says on Linkedin. I tell everything. Course, itwas exactly one question. I have a really, really strongly agree with youthat you kind of the market will tell you in many ways what how wantsto be sold and you know how it wants to digest the product. Iguess the question is, if you're pitching yourself as a VP of sales outthere and you're saying I've done it all, I've seen at all, how muchtime do you give yourself to just sit and listen and figure it outbefore you feel that pressure of saying, okay, now it's time for meto get off my ass and make sure that we have a plan that I'mleading the troops up the hill on. Yeah, well, be you meanonce I get in the company. You mean? Yeah, exactly. Yeah, so, I mean, I think I don't usually sit back. WhatI do is, first I keep the trains running on time for what's they'reand running, because I'm not going to come in and make grand sweeping changeson day one. First of all, I don't know enough yet to dothat. So I try to figure out, okay, from the team, whatare some low hanging issues that I can help block and tackle for themto gain their trust early, right, so can I what's an easy likes? What some wins I can get for the team? What are some thingsthat I've really been painful for them that I can knock down while I'm learninga little bit more about the business and where my coverage is? Where ismy coverage lacking? Do I have troops in all the right locations? Andthen I'll start kind of changing some of the most acute things as quickly asI can. Well, I'm kind of figuring out the long or more strategicbets right, like an easy one might be I came in to Zendesk andwe had nine stars, but that's for inbound, down outboult and we geta lot of them bound. So I was like, well, where's ouroutbound pipeline? Like yeah, we don't really do help. Like well,does anyone do out like no, no, we don't. We don't do helpmy okay, well, that's something that I can fix that with.Give me enough money and I can fix that goodly. is so I builtinto where I had it, you know, I had a quota and I hadan expensive loope and I made sure that I could make a SDRs fitinto that. So I don't feel as if I can come in and makesweeping changes right out of the gate, but I do ask a lot ofquestions so that I can understand where the challenges are, where our opportunities areand then start to make changes from there. Let make sense. I of courseI interrupted you before, but you made your way after learning through theschool of hard knocks. He major way to and reason, and I thinkit's also going to be interesting for people to understand. I think for probablya lot of people in the world, and reason would be the final destination, you know, that would be where they want to get in their career. How did you figure out to go from and reason into another operating role? Would love to hear about yeah, yeah, so let me walk youthrough that. So when I started at in reason Horowitz, so the operatingpartner is Mark Cranny, who I think you're familiar with mark. Many peopleare very famous sales later. He is exactly cute like and all those thingsthey say about him in the book are true. But I learned a tonfrom him. But anyways, he had a recruiter paying me on Linkedin andat first I was like, what the heck, why is a recruiter fromAndreason hoards pinning me for a job there? This made no sense to me becauseI didn't really understand the model. Second to that, it was sixmonths pregnant with my second child and I'm like, I don't want to interviewmy walk and looking like a house, like what that? I don't wantto go right. This is not what you interview what you know. Actually, you know Josh Leslie, CEO of Cumulus now, is a good friendof mine and you he said, you know, jam he just might wantto take that call. You know, it's a great company. Just takethe call. So I did and I passed the recruiter screen and and metwith mark for an hour and you know, he joke with me the first thinghe saw was my stomach, like, you know, ten feet before heactually saw me. And like it's a second kid. What can Isay? I interviewed with mark and I think we know, we hit itoff quite well. I think he loves to know, like his interview style. Actually learned a lot from him. He wants to know where you're from, what your parents did, what birth...

...order you are, like he's reallytrying to figure out like are you you take chances? Are you a leader? And I kind of picked up a lot of those things that I've usedsubsequent to that. Got That job. What that job was? It waspart operating, so I did have a team there and it was part kindof consultative. So the team part was and dreason Howitz runs, I think, one of the best briefing centers. Of course I'm biased, but Ithink they have an excellent executive briefing program that market built where we would bringin sea level executives from fortune five hundred global to thousand, etc. Tomeet with either for half a full day session with our portfolio companies, andwe'd custom curate it right. So we had business development reps that would talkto the executive really understand their top in issues for the year and then curate, whether it's like security or Sass software or whatever the took neal themes werethat were important to that company. We curate it and then bring in theportfolio companies to present. So what my team was responsible for doing was figuringout what companies had no relationship with a sixteen Z, not portfolio companies orpotentially portfolios, but the big enterprise companies. We would do outreach and these,and some these are both market feedback for the portfolio companies but also maybeactual potential requirers partners, customers. Is that right? We were going forcustomers will. Our goal was to drive pipeline and deals and give access tothe portfolio company to sea level and let them sell top down in a waythat they ordinarily would not have been able to do. That is incredibly valuable. Well, there's are there's something besides just the money itself that makes asixteen see valuable. Absolutely, and I felt really good about it because Iknew, having run sales teams for startups, how difficult it was, if notimpossible, to get that sea level meeting, especially right out of thegate. So we were able to provide that. It was a free service, so there's no cost and a lot of these sea level executives do comeout to the valley for a valley tour. So what we would try to dois make sure when they're coming out to silicon valley that interesting hearts isone of the stops they'd make on that trip. So my team was responsiblefor kind of like top of funnel getting new interest, and then I alsohad kind of junior business development reps who would also run the briefings and andthat kind of thing as well. So I did that for about three anda half years. Towards the tail end of that I love that job.I learned so much. I was so privileged to be able to sit inthe room with Ben and mark and the other general partners when they were listeningto pitches and then afterwards, listening to their feedback on whether or not they'dmake an investment. I mean it, I felt like I was in theheart of Silicon Valley and had access to things that I just never even imaginedI would have access to. So stremely fortunate and thankful for that Opportunity.Towards the end of that three and a half years, though. You know, I did a lot of counsels of the portfolio companies. Oftentimes, asis a technical founder, I have no idea how to build a complan.They have no idea who to hire first, when to do inside sales versus fieldsales. So I would do a lot of counsels with asking them abouttheir product and understanding it and then helping give them some point them in theright direction of Hey, here's how I think about it, give them sometools to help them do it. But I felt like, you know,by the end of that I was like put me in the game, coach. I just wanted to do it myself. So and at that point my kidswere a little older, you know. My son was three years old,my daughter, you know, seven. So I felt like, you know, they weren't babies anymore. They're both in the same school. Madeour life a little bit easier and that allowed me to go back to ajob that was going to acquire more travel, a bit more time away from homethan, you know, the a sixteen Z job did. So Ihonet. It was kind of balancing that work life balance too. As amom. You know, you got to make as a parent. I shouldsay, you just need to make those decisions on when is it right tolean in? When is it right to maybe change the career path a littlebit so that you can feel you're spending enough time with the kids? Didyou want to be an investor? Did you ever find yourself wishing that youwere been or mark or actually leading the investment for a fund, or doyou always think of yourself as an operator or sort of tvd yeah, youknow, it's a good question. At this point in my life, I'vereally, really love being an operator. I love my team, I haveso much fun. I love this job. But you never can say never,right, because I don't know where my career is going to go fromhere, and there could be at some point where it does make sense forme and I would perhaps want to pursue...

...that type of career. But whereI'm at right now, this is what's fun to me. Like I reallylike living and dying by the sword and it's sharpest winter in the field.I agree with you. I'm not sure you know. It seems to bethe destination of a lot of people to end up on the byside making investments, but for me I don't have enough of an opinion just through the sortof pitch process for me to develop a point of view and whether or notto make an investment. So I just tend to like being in the gutsof the thing where or I developed conviction that might be do and I'm alsonot a gambler and it feels like gambling to me. So that's the otherthing that makes me a little bit concerned about investing. Yeah, it couldbe. So now let's get some specifics. There's a lot of people out therethat are running much smaller businesses, obviously than yours, and it's alwaysinteresting to understand organizational design. So give us a glimpse of first, whatwas the org that you inherited when you join Zen desk, and then whatdoes it look like now? And what sort of teams did you build andhow did you you know, to your point about listening to market feedback,how did you think about making the decisions to stand up those teams and makethose investments? So when I came here it was a pretty sizeable inside salesteam and kind of a limited field team. So the way that it was structuredand we kind of built upon it from there. As I mentioned,they had a smallest to our team's primarily inbound. They were technically hybrid butreally didn't have any time for anything else. That is an inbound. Then wehave what we call velocity, but we're technically is like an SMB teamthat covered all customers. They'd come what everything from qualifying their own leads toclosing deals in under a hundred employees space. And then we had everything over ahundred employees was covered by territories, which was a combination of a's oraccount executives or marve that hybrid account executive. And then there were they were setup in pods, which they still our today. It's a little bitof unique structure where there's one field rep for every for inside sales reps,and the reason for that is because we are still much more highly transactional thanwe are a ton of large long sell seal cycle deals. So the wayI look at the Pod is if you look at their if they're a huntingteam and they're going out there and hunting in the forest, like sometimes they'regoing to flush out a lot of rabbits and my ae's Cantrac you know chaseall those down, but every now and then you're going to have. You'regoing to flush out a buck and I need the field up to be ableto take that down, because that the inside sales reps just you either don'thave the tenure or they're not physically present with the client to help the getthat deal done. So we had the pose struction place, the challenge andthe top end of the business show was most of those field reps were locatedin like they weren't located in the the cities I needed them in. Rightmost of them were in San Francisco, the couple maybe in the territories Ineeded them, and then in New York. So one of the changes I didwas we change the field structure so they were in the primary football citiesand I'd have coverage we're most of our business was. And then I alsotook the SDRs separated them. In bound outbound says, you know, youprobably get about a twenty five percent up left by separating them. We definitelysaw that and then some, and in fact our outbound program is now outpiecing our inbound in terms of pipe jen. Oh Wow. So that was apretty phenomenal turnaround. And then is that because of more deals or higherdeal size? It will. The outbound is the outbound does have about adouble of the ASP of the inbout so the average cell price is definitely higher. They take longer to close and they're closed to obviously their conversion rate isnot as high, but they're getting us into logos that we ordinarily would nothave been at and because their focus they're able to obviously drive a lot morethan the one outbound maybe they could do before, right when there's only nineof them. Is there a self service component to end us? There isanother good question. So, and I think you and I talked a littlebit about this before, what we do is there is self service and fora lot of us to be clients, that's the way they want to operate. But sometimes they will interact with a sales rep in the sales rep willjust tell him here, listen, like great, your set, go aheadand buy those licenses online. It'll be it'll be easier. So they do, but I do not want to spend time arguing over who helped who andwho gets credit on which deal. So what we do is we give everyonea bit of a higher quota and then they'll get credit for any deal thatself service or not in their patch.

I just handle it with quota ratherthan quibbling over who gets credit on what. But yeah, there is self servicecomponent. They are paid on it into the point of the patch.So they have like a geographic territory or they have some lead rotator. Butsomehow, you know, every transaction that happens at send USK, whether it'sto a sales person or on its own, is accounted for. Yes, sothe SBTEAM, the under a hundred employees, they're around Robin and ifthey've closed a deal before that's considered, they're part of their book. Thatbecomes part of their book of business and they can sell expansion into that bookof business. So the book of business is spread out amongst everyone, butthe new and bounds are rotated. Interesting. We talked about this before, butI dealt with the same thing it live stream and it wasn't more aboutcredit. It was more about understanding what was the impact of the sales machineon the overall growth of the business, because sometimes you're worried that you're justapplying a sales attribution on something that would happened anyway. Yeah, exactly.So we've got probably five or ten more minutes wanted to first just get alittle bit more about the technology that you're using. So first of all,you just mentioned that your outbound team is generating more pipeline than even your inboundteam. What are the tools that you're using to do that and what's oneof your favorite technologies that's in your text act. This actually kind of surprisedme, but we had bought a tool called six cents last year. Unfortunately, I don't think anyone really understood how we were supposed to use it,so we kind of sat on it for a while. Then somehow, Ithink they realize that we're pretty big account oh gosh, maybe we should nurchresundus a little bit. So they reach back out and train my team onhow to use it and they've been able to turn over a lot of significantlogos by using that. I think. Now this is a bit you know, I've got a director who runs, a senior director who runs that Org. What from by understanding, they're able to really see who has buying tendencies, who's looking for support offerings, where they're looking on our website, otherthings that they're looking at that might indication that they're kind of more in abuying cycle. We actually had one of our prospects that one of my AE'snoticed them looking around Zendas going to see, you know what, totally str gooutbound to them. He did, and the customer says back to usthat's so weird that you just called me. We are about to send you anemail. Wow, that's and it's called six cents. Yes, theoutbound team loves it. So they've been getting and the s two that atboth a he's and the SDRs, because my ae's outbound as well. Soeveryone's expected to build their own pipeline via expansion and for new so just becausethey have strs does not mean they're off the hook for, you know,doing their own outbound. So they've both been using it and that's been prettysuccessful. What's the percentage of the pipeline that you expect an a to contributeor generate versus, you know, outboundstr versus inbound? That is a goodquestion and I don't know that we actually have it divide it up specifically betweenthe outbound of the strs in the outbound of the e S, because collectivelywe're trying to get right now, the outbown effort is driving half of thepipe Gen I would say probably seventy five percent of that, if not eightypercent, or my SDRs and twenty five percent of the a's, and that'sjust because the a's don't have as much time, but they're doing a significantamount of pipe gen I'm on their own, and the a's the rest of theirpipe generation is based on expansion, because obviously we've got a pretty largeexpansion business as well. Yeah, your expansion business is probably massive when we'rethinking about paying it forward. So we're getting to the end of our timetogether, sadly. But when you think about advice, particularly, as youknow, there's a lot of discussion and I've asked other people on the podabout this. As a woman in a position of power, what advice wouldyou give to the female leadership and they upandcoming female count executives? As younavigated your career? How should they think about that? I will give youthe female you know leaders, potential female leaders. I think the best pieceof advice I could give them is go pick up or listen to the confidencecode. I wish I had read it a long time ago. I thinkthat we as women, tend to wait until we're a hundred and ten percentready to take on a new opportunity. I know that's been my you knowthat's been my amo for a lot of my career and what I think weneed to realize is that our male counterparts...

...tend to maybe feel there may besixty percent ready, but they're all in, like they're going for that next role. So we're kind of sitting back and waited to be over ready.And it has a lot to do with biology and kind of how our chemistryworks. But I really think there's an opportunity for women to get out overyour skis a little bit. You know, you make yourself a little bit uncomfortable, you're going to do just as well as anyone else and don't letyourself be the one that's holding yourself back. Interesting. So I mean not completely, but a little bit of like fake it till you make it.Present you know domain expertise and subject matter expertise may be slightly ahead of youractual experience, and just jump in and figure it out as you go.Yeah, because you know there's always going to be an Almot of that.You're never going to be if you wait till your hundred ten percent ready,then it could be too late. Yeah, it's great advice. Last question.So you know favorite other VP's of sales or other people that we shouldknow about? You know, as we're making a list of people that wewant to know, we want to appreciate and recognize their work. Who aresome of them? The people that have impacted you over the last, youknow, twenty years? I think the two V piece of sales is standout to me most are going to be Carl Schaback, who's now a overat sequoia, but I worked with him adding to me he was became coeventually over at Vm, where Carl never late for a meeting. Will stillreturn my text like within the same hour, if not minutes, of me textinghim, which I find amazing. Probably still remembers my husband's name,my dog's name. He's just one of those leaders that you could literally falloff a cliff like. He's just so phenomenal at what he does. Idon't know a single person who's work with him, both sea staff level.I see level doesn't matter. He's just one of those charismatic leaders that Ithink are really hard to come across. And then mark creany too, ifyou know go read hard thing about hard things. There's a lot of reallygreat wisdom in that book. Overall, I think ben is a phenomenal founder. He's extremely bright, very personable, very funny, and mark is thequintessential battlefill general. I don't think there's anyone that can kind of lead ina very competitive market as well as he can and really get the right troopsin place fight for the right complains like mark is. Quinn essentially topped downone of probably the best enterprise VPS from that perspective. Awesome. That's greatadvice. One question is, are you guys hiring or if people want toreach out to you and get in touch with you after hearing this, whatis your preferred communication channel? I am hiring. We are hiring for oursecond half, or most of my hiring takes place. So we've got openingsand everything from SDR Account Executive and I've got three offices. I'm right nowfor kind executives. Them only hiring in New York and in San Francisco,and then we've got some field positions as well. I think my management rolesor a hundred percent filled. Yay, super excited about that. But yeah, we're definitely hiring and then outreach to me. I think probably linkedin mightbe the best. So, Jamie bus, go ahead and click connect to methere. I am JF bus. So J F is in France,scene be USS on twitter, so you can reach out to me there aswell and I could definitely respond. But yeah, go get connect me thatway. Love to hear from the audience and if they're interested in Zendusk,I can definitely get them connected to the right folks here. That's fantastic.Well, Jamie, thank you so much for participating in the PODCAST and Ihope to see you in person soon, the next time I'm on the WestCoast. Thanks so much, SAM'm looking forward to it. Good thanks somuch. By another wonderful interview with Jamie bus, VPU sales North America fromZendesk. This is SAM's corner. Thanks everybody for listening. Jamie has beendoing this a long time. She spent time at Andresen, where she helpedportfolio companies get access to the most senior executives at Corporate America. She's alsospent time building sales teams and building leadership teams of places like vm where.So she's seen a lot and she's even seeing, you know, the failedstartups both in the the earlycom bubble bust and subsequent to our time at Vm, where before she got to and recent. So I think first of all,her experience is incredibly relevant. Two things, one very generic and strategicand then the second pretty tactical. The generic and strategic is she said,and it was directed at the women in the audience, but it's really toeverybody. Don't wait till you have a hundred percent confidence in your expertise ona new endeavor before jumping in. The...

...timing is really, really important whenit comes to a new rule when it comes to a new job. Somake sure that you're a little bit uncomfortable and that there's something that you're gonnahave to learn, because if you feel completely comfortable, it's likely that theopportunity is going to go to somebody else. That's kind of thing number one.That's a strategic in generic. Here is the highly tactical, which isa lot of different could to market models. But there are Indo on leads coming, there's a self service channel, there's a lot of channel conflict andJamie goes ahead and comps her inside sales team that processes both the Self Serviceleads and the sort of SMB transactions. She comps all of those transactions towardsquota as long as the salesperson has touched the lead, and I think thatremoves a lot of the source of conflict when you're trying to attribute revenue toself service and you don't want to give credit to the sales team. Easierto just give all of the credit to the sales team for the purposes ofquota attainments so that you remove all the channel conflict from the low end partof the business, which I think is the right move and it's obviously onethat I would pursue where I heard. So those are two tidbits from Sam'scorner. Final thing, go out and read first break all the rules.It's the best management book there is and she's damn right about that. Thanksfor listening. This has been dam's corner. I will see you on the nextepisode. To check out the show notes, see upcoming guests and playmore episodes from our incredible lineup of sales leaders, visit sales hackercom podcast.You can find the sales hacking podcast on itunes or Google play and if youenjoyed this episode, please share with your peers on Linkedin, twitter or elsewhere, and I've seen a lot of people sharing a lot of insights from thepodcast. So thank you very much for doing that. Please continue to doso. Finally, special thanks again to this month sponsors at air call.See more at air called that ioh. I've been following company pretty closely.They've been growing at a tour at rate. I know they just raised a bigground of financing and the VPM Marketing Jeffrey Kers, is going to bea guest on future episodes of the podcast. So check out are call. Andthen, finally, finally, if you want to get in touch withme, find me on twitter at Sam f Jacobs or on Linkedin at linkedincomin slash Sam f Jacobs. Will see you next time. Thanks.

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