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 America for Zendesk, but before we do that we've got an exciting new sponsor and we wanted to talk a little bit about it. The company's called Air Call and we want to thank them. They empower sales and support teams to ace every call with the phone system specifically built for their favorite business tools. With Air Call, you can now make every conversation count. Now, if you don't know what that means, what I would encourage you to do is go to their home page, which is are called Dot I. Oh, take a look and there's a video that walks through some of the technology that they use. It looks like initially for support teams, and I know the reason that 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 been growing 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 friendly neighborhood host, Sam Jacobs. I've got a very special interview today. We're going to be talking to Jamie bus. Jamie is currently the VP of sales North America for Zendesk, but let me give you her quick bio. She's a 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 Zen desk. She leads a team of over two hundred people, including field sales, hybrid aase, SMB and sales development wraps SDRs. During her eighteen year sales career she's held sales and leadership positions at Andres and Horowitz vmwhere coverity a Maerchai 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. As we mentioned offline. There's a tiny bit of discretion that we have to employ because Zen desk is a public company. But very quickly, your name is Jimmy Buss. Give us your title once more sure, VP of sales of North 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 using Yahoo, Google finance or something. Yeah, no problem. So we are a public company. Are Our latest earning state call we stated five hundred million in annual run rates, so pretty big benchmark for us. We're really excited about that. We are a support and ticketing platform, primarily used B Toc be to be internal use cases anyone that needs to interact with a customer and be able to track those interactions. So our company is not about twozero people worldwide 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 I joined into me back at that point and the allure of Silicon Valley kind of drew me in and my career kind of took off from there. So probably just about eighteen years. Wow. Okay, well, that's a healthy amount of time. Let's go back to the beginning. So tell us where you're from. You know where to grow up and essentially, how did you end up 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 there that want to emulate you. Sure. Well, I will say that at first I definitely did not see myself landing in sales. I landed in the right spot, but I didn't get here straight out of the gate. So actually from southern California, natively. I grew up in Ventura County and went to 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 there was definitely an all over that I really liked understanding how things worked and what could negatively affect the environment. But my mom actually thought I was crazy because I wasn't particularly strong in math in high school and she's like, are you sure you want to do engineering?...

There's a heck of a lot of math, and I'm like yeah, I got to do something hard like I was really competitive. So I'm like, well, I'm not going to take like, you know, something that I perceive is being something really challenging. So I definitely got what I asked for. How polly was phenomenal school. I couldn't have couldn't reflect it better for myself. And Post School I went into consulting. So I worked for Deloit for about a year. I probably would have stayed longer had so can valley at that point it hadn't quite imploded yet 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 something someday. I think we all kind of had the wool pulled over our eyes at that point, least I did. I was twenty three. Come me a little slack. There's nothing wrong with being optimistic. We valued asn't in our trade exactly. So, with stars in my eyes, I moved to Silicon Valley and that's where I started working at into me and got a sales engineering position there, which wasn't you know, it was quoted, but as you know, 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 did in to me do? They were searched. So they did like internal starts, like I think most people probably use Google or some other application now at this point. Autonomy, I think, used to do that. But basically, like if you had an intranet, you would need to search your content and 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 use all that kind of stuff so that internal content would become more accessible. And so you're at deloit. You know and I you know. We're the same generation. I remember the job market back then. It was insane. So you're in this fairly stable consulting world. Sales engineers, and often the path that people from consulting choose to take off in times they need to sort of insert themselves in strategy. How did you think about making that decision? So when I first joined into me for six months, I was brought in under the it organization to help bridge a gap between sales and it on the applications that sales needed it's. That was the six month tenure, at which point I presented my first application to the head of sales engineering freeing to me and he said you should be in sales, like, what are you doing? This happened. That happen a lot to sales leaders. We find ourselves in one 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 did that and then I did that very well. But what I really loved about that job was not answering the technical questions and creating the demos. I really loved winning. I loved being part of the team that won the largest deal 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 a half years, just I have three years, I think, and by the end of that point we'd had round and round of layoff, which I'm sure you also lived through the two thousand two period where that Silicon Valley bubble popped and we all kind of got dropped out of the bottom of that. And you 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. My parents thought I was crazy to go join silk in value. You just don't do that right. You don't leave a good job for a risk, and I 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 the folks that I met back then, and a lot of that crew had moved over to vmwhere. And I'll be honest, I didn't even realize how great of a product vmwhere was at the time. All I knew was I had great connections there and I wanted to carry a bag. I did not want to be a sales engineer that for someone to take a risk on me having never see me carry bag before. I was going to have to go somewhere where people knew me. So I tried getting some some positions where two people might take a chance to me that didn't know me. But I really pursued vm 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 brought me into interview and I had to sit down at that point. There's only ten 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 be a great sales rep for her team. So I still remember that day clearly. I know exactly where that office was. Fortunately, must have done well enough to get the job. So I made that transition for me to me 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 rep covering the northeast, lowest performing territory out of all of them. So nothing like 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 you exactly what the training was. The training was here's your computer, here's your phone, it's ringing, you better fucking pick it up. As long as the phones ringing. I mean that's that's a benefit that many of us don't have. 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 a product 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 consolidate twenty servers onto one. So even for a test of environment, it was not it was a phenomenal product. We were I was really, really lucky to, you know, to get that position and then, because the company grew so fast, probably about every eighteen months, I was able to kind of get a promotion. So I moved from, you know, ae to inside sales manager. I managed a bunch of teams for about eighteen months or so, maybe a little longer than from there I became director of alved inside sales for North America and Latan. I did not have worldwide, but that's still 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 did not. I considered it at the time. What I did at the Times. I spent fifty percent their time there fifty percent time here in Palle altough. My husband and I considered it, but he he had a great job in the insilicon valley and it was it was a tough choice, but we decided to stay in the bank area. As one quick question, there's a lot 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 just said was, you know, I needed to go somewhere. I had a lot of connections. It feels to me that you, I don't know if it 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 the valley. 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 know folks who helped me out that that job actually even at deloit. Might you know have a boss there, but you had somebody who would kind of report back on your work, and even that early on, what they really do well at the agent at those consulting firms is they teach you how to be a professional and they instill in you that you are a brand and you've got to think about what is that brand that you want to be and then the network that you build is how you're going to capitalize on that brand, because a lot of that consulting world is about networking and that was reinstilled for me atting. To me I had two great mentors there as well, on Steven Lee and then Dan battlehouse. Both of them, I think, gave me really 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 above and beyond what's expected of me. We're tatting a little bit earlier about response time on emails. I really strive to be saying day, as long as it's sent to me within a reasonable hours during that day I like to get shit done. Like if you give me something, you do not have to worry that it's not going to happen. It's always going to happen, and so a lot of these things I was already kind of thinking about at a 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 people had some good perception of me and we're willing to take that chance on me into another role. I think, well, there you go. There's a really powerful benefit of consulting, because I think a lot of young people don't quite realize what you just said, which...

...is that you are your brand and you have to build it. So you got to vm where and it sounds like you mentioned every eighteen months or so you happen to you jumped on a Unicorn 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 that actually got from a buddy of mine that I used to work for me, Michael Serenian, said, you know, let on the podcast. Can you guys talk about making the jump from individual contributor to manager? What was that like for you? Yeah, and you know, I had to. This is 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 for it, 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 like taught a course on the transition, but sween being an icee the kind of management one on one, because I really feel like this is a huge gap in in corporate America. Whether you're at I don't eat. Maybe the big companies have it a bit better. I have typically been at startups where you're just really ea get to be top of your trade and then you're moved on to management and you're just expected to make everyone else be excellent the way you are and you're not taught that it's a completely different job that operates in the gray area every single day. That part of your job is being a counselor that part of your job is get making it answering questions that really don't have a right or wrong answer. So it's like, how do you become the manager that people want to follow and want to work hard for? How do you become that type of manager? So a lot of the things that I 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 because those reasons. I would have the same set of standards for my best rap as I would for my wis holost performing wrap, which absolutely makes no sense in retrospect, but I didn't know. I was like, well, I guess 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, where was my rap ever going to get feedback? Where were they ever going to hear what they're doing? Well, where were they ever going to have an opportunity to develop their own career? And make sure that I understood what motivates them and how am I coaching them to get there? All those components no one ever really taught me. So what I had to do is I kind of sought out so want all throughout one of my favorite books. It's an Oldie but a goody. People make fun of me because this is an older book, but first break all the rules. I was going to mention that it is my by far. I've read a million of them. This one is by far my favorite because it's so practical and what you can do is they've got these core twelve questions that you can ask yourself. How would I reps answer these questions? Have I received feedback in the last week? Do I feel valued in my job? All those types of things. Right, it's an incredible book. In the very first question they ask, and there is 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. Sometimes you have to be really explicit, especially when the people are younger in their career. You have to remember not everyone went to a consulting job at out of the college and was taught how to be a professional. We've had to have conversations with reps on what's appropriate and not appropriate, on what to wear to work. Oh My, I mean that's always been a thing. To talk about it. I'm always scared to talk about it as an older man. I try to delegate a HR. Yeah, yeah, there have definitely been instances where, and I have a lot of female leadership on my team where sometimes if it is a female that's in question, that one of us will take that conversation instead, because it is a bit uncomfortable for some of the men if it's an opposite gender conversation. But yeah, I mean you'd be surprised. You have to lay out sometimes when they're expected to be at work or what the expectations are abound kickoff. Do you know I've literally I've had so many challenges with people. You know, you have the party at a kickoff the night of the next morning at Qbrs and then you always have one or two raps that have completely missed the QBR and are drunk in the rooms 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 sometimes you 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 younger manager 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 business kind of mask some of the growing pains until you were ready to sort of step into, you know, the more senior roles. I think I did learn a lot, even though, you know, Valmore was doing well, but I had large size teams. I mean even when I was a field man, soul last role I had there, I managed a field team, but it was of nine people from Washington DC down this you know, through southern California. So my teams were never small. I could have had fifteen inside sales reps reporting to me nine field wraps. I mean that's arguably a little bit spread too thin, but you know, I kind of learned from, you know, interactions with the reps and sometimes they would be early on they would provide me feedback of like hey, you know, I'm how do I manage my career here? And then I started to take a step back and 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 I read first break all the rules in a million other leadership books. Actually still subscribe to hbr because sometimes they have some really good research articles done out of Google and some other places that have have done a lot of benchmarking and surveys on 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 I think that's against maybe it's your own intuition or maybe it's instinct, but you know, your instinct to go outside of the confines of the job itself and make sure that you're educating yourself is obviously a best practice. So vm where was a wild ride. I'm curious. How did you end up at in reason, and obviously that's, you know, one of the better known investors in the world at this point. And and what you do for in reason? And then how do you end up its end us? Well, those are excellent questions. So in between m where and and reason Horowitz, I did work at three different startups, which was actually gave me really, really great experience and preparation for and Reson Horowitz. Would you learn from those startups after being at DM where? Okay, do you know those people who join your company and they go well, at vm where? We did this, at vm where we did that. So that was me, probably my first job out of vmwhere. And now I look back now people like well, when I was at sales for so, I did this, and when I was at sales for a side of that, I just kind of roll my eyes and 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 the right GTM model based on what's worked for you in the past. I think that 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 companies I've been at. Is Making that assumption of well, just because I did verticalization at this other company at this time, it's the right time to do it for this one. Not necessarily buy a long shot. I think you got have to. You cannot try to do unnatural acts to get a product to market. Either it's going to be high velocity bottoms up. People can try it, they can buy it easily and it can scale to enterprise or the top down enter price sale got to be sold. WATTLE wall sea levels involved. You're not going to get the an prize level. You'RE NOT gonna be able to sell inside sales. The inside tales are not going to work for that. I mean you can want it because it's cheaper, and a lot of people do, but it's just not going to work and sometimes from the bottoms of company like it just not. Might you know, mid market might be 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 was I really had to study the natural motion for that product. How easy was it to try? How quick was that trial? Was that trial free? Was it a fremium model? It was there no trial at all? What was the ASP? What is the sales cycle? And once I kind of learned, like kind of put these staffs together, then I could start to pattern match. All right, this is what you need, field sales and strs. I don't know why you're messing with the inside sales. And that's what I think I brought when I went to interest in Horowitz. I'll I'll talk 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 in your career when you all of a sudden assume that the reason vm where got to work for my in my case was Gerson learmon group, but is the same thing. It went to three hundred million and revenue. Everything we tried worked and of course he's come out of their thinking you're a genius and that's not quite bad, I know. But well, of course it's because of what I did, says on Linkedin. I tell everything. Course, it was exactly one question. I have a really, really strongly agree with you that you kind of the market will tell you in many ways what how wants to be sold and you know how it wants to digest the product. I guess the question is, if you're pitching yourself as a VP of sales out there and you're saying I've done it all, I've seen at all, how much time do you give yourself to just sit and listen and figure it out before you feel that pressure of saying, okay, now it's time for me to get off my ass and make sure that we have a plan that I'm leading the troops up the hill on. Yeah, well, be you mean once I get in the company. You mean? Yeah, exactly. Yeah, so, I mean, I think I don't usually sit back. What I do is, first I keep the trains running on time for what's they're and running, because I'm not going to come in and make grand sweeping changes on day one. First of all, I don't know enough yet to do that. So I try to figure out, okay, from the team, what are some low hanging issues that I can help block and tackle for them to 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 things that I've really been painful for them that I can knock down while I'm learning a little bit more about the business and where my coverage is? Where is my coverage lacking? Do I have troops in all the right locations? And then I'll start kind of changing some of the most acute things as quickly as I can. Well, I'm kind of figuring out the long or more strategic bets right, like an easy one might be I came in to Zendesk and we had nine stars, but that's for inbound, down outboult and we get a lot of them bound. So I was like, well, where's our outbound 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 help my okay, well, that's something that I can fix that with. Give me enough money and I can fix that goodly. is so I built into where I had it, you know, I had a quota and I had an expensive loope and I made sure that I could make a SDRs fit into that. So I don't feel as if I can come in and make sweeping changes right out of the gate, but I do ask a lot of questions so that I can understand where the challenges are, where our opportunities are and then start to make changes from there. Let make sense. I of course I interrupted you before, but you made your way after learning through the school of hard knocks. He major way to and reason, and I think it's also going to be interesting for people to understand. I think for probably a 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 you through that. So when I started at in reason Horowitz, so the operating partner is Mark Cranny, who I think you're familiar with mark. Many people are very famous sales later. He is exactly cute like and all those things they say about him in the book are true. But I learned a ton from him. But anyways, he had a recruiter paying me on Linkedin and at first I was like, what the heck, why is a recruiter from Andreason hoards pinning me for a job there? This made no sense to me because I didn't really understand the model. Second to that, it was six months pregnant with my second child and I'm like, I don't want to interview my walk and looking like a house, like what that? I don't want to go right. This is not what you interview what you know. Actually, you know Josh Leslie, CEO of Cumulus now, is a good friend of mine and you he said, you know, jam he just might want to take that call. You know, it's a great company. Just take the call. So I did and I passed the recruiter screen and and met with mark for an hour and you know, he joke with me the first thing he saw was my stomach, like, you know, ten feet before he actually saw me. And like it's a second kid. What can I say? I interviewed with mark and I think we know, we hit it off 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 really trying 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 used subsequent to that. Got That job. What that job was? It was part operating, so I did have a team there and it was part kind of consultative. So the team part was and dreason Howitz runs, I think, one of the best briefing centers. Of course I'm biased, but I think they have an excellent executive briefing program that market built where we would bring in sea level executives from fortune five hundred global to thousand, etc. To meet with either for half a full day session with our portfolio companies, and we'd custom curate it right. So we had business development reps that would talk to 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 were that were important to that company. We curate it and then bring in the portfolio companies to present. So what my team was responsible for doing was figuring out what companies had no relationship with a sixteen Z, not portfolio companies or potentially 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 maybe actual potential requirers partners, customers. Is that right? We were going for customers will. Our goal was to drive pipeline and deals and give access to the portfolio company to sea level and let them sell top down in a way that 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 a sixteen see valuable. Absolutely, and I felt really good about it because I knew, having run sales teams for startups, how difficult it was, if not impossible, to get that sea level meeting, especially right out of the gate. 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 come out to the valley for a valley tour. So what we would try to do is make sure when they're coming out to silicon valley that interesting hearts is one of the stops they'd make on that trip. So my team was responsible for kind of like top of funnel getting new interest, and then I also had kind of junior business development reps who would also run the briefings and and that kind of thing as well. So I did that for about three and a 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 in the room with Ben and mark and the other general partners when they were listening to pitches and then afterwards, listening to their feedback on whether or not they'd make an investment. I mean it, I felt like I was in the heart of Silicon Valley and had access to things that I just never even imagined I 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, as is 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 field sales. So I would do a lot of counsels with asking them about their product and understanding it and then helping give them some point them in the right direction of Hey, here's how I think about it, give them some tools 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 kids were 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. Made our life a little bit easier and that allowed me to go back to a job that was going to acquire more travel, a bit more time away from home than, you know, the a sixteen Z job did. So I honet. It was kind of balancing that work life balance too. As a mom. You know, you got to make as a parent. I should say, you just need to make those decisions on when is it right to lean in? When is it right to maybe change the career path a little bit so that you can feel you're spending enough time with the kids? Did you want to be an investor? Did you ever find yourself wishing that you were been or mark or actually leading the investment for a fund, or do you always think of yourself as an operator or sort of tvd yeah, you know, it's a good question. At this point in my life, I've really, really love being an operator. I love my team, I have so 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 from here, and there could be at some point where it does make sense for me and I would perhaps want to pursue...

...that type of career. But where I'm at right now, this is what's fun to me. Like I really like 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 be the 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 sort of pitch process for me to develop a point of view and whether or not to make an investment. So I just tend to like being in the guts of the thing where or I developed conviction that might be do and I'm also not a gambler and it feels like gambling to me. So that's the other thing that makes me a little bit concerned about investing. Yeah, it could be. So now let's get some specifics. There's a lot of people out there that are running much smaller businesses, obviously than yours, and it's always interesting to understand organizational design. So give us a glimpse of first, what was the org that you inherited when you join Zen desk, and then what does it look like now? And what sort of teams did you build and how 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 make those investments? So when I came here it was a pretty sizeable inside sales team and kind of a limited field team. So the way that it was structured and 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 but really didn't have any time for anything else. That is an inbound. Then we have what we call velocity, but we're technically is like an SMB team that covered all customers. They'd come what everything from qualifying their own leads to closing deals in under a hundred employees space. And then we had everything over a hundred employees was covered by territories, which was a combination of a's or account executives or marve that hybrid account executive. And then there were they were set up in pods, which they still our today. It's a little bit of 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 than we are a ton of large long sell seal cycle deals. So the way I look at the Pod is if you look at their if they're a hunting team and they're going out there and hunting in the forest, like sometimes they're going to flush out a lot of rabbits and my ae's Cantrac you know chase all those down, but every now and then you're going to have. You're going to flush out a buck and I need the field up to be able to take that down, because that the inside sales reps just you either don't have the tenure or they're not physically present with the client to help the get that deal done. So we had the pose struction place, the challenge and the top end of the business show was most of those field reps were located in like they weren't located in the the cities I needed them in. Right most of them were in San Francisco, the couple maybe in the territories I needed them, and then in New York. So one of the changes I did was we change the field structure so they were in the primary football cities and I'd have coverage we're most of our business was. And then I also took the SDRs separated them. In bound outbound says, you know, you probably get about a twenty five percent up left by separating them. We definitely saw that and then some, and in fact our outbound program is now out piecing our inbound in terms of pipe jen. Oh Wow. So that was a pretty phenomenal turnaround. And then is that because of more deals or higher deal size? It will. The outbound is the outbound does have about a double 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 is not as high, but they're getting us into logos that we ordinarily would not have been at and because their focus they're able to obviously drive a lot more than the one outbound maybe they could do before, right when there's only nine of them. Is there a self service component to end us? There is another good question. So, and I think you and I talked a little bit about this before, what we do is there is self service and for a 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 will just tell him here, listen, like great, your set, go ahead and 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 and who gets credit on which deal. So what we do is we give everyone a bit of a higher quota and then they'll get credit for any deal that self service or not in their patch.

I just handle it with quota rather than quibbling over who gets credit on what. But yeah, there is self service component. They are paid on it into the point of the patch. So they have like a geographic territory or they have some lead rotator. But somehow, you know, every transaction that happens at send USK, whether it's to a sales person or on its own, is accounted for. Yes, so the SBTEAM, the under a hundred employees, they're around Robin and if they've closed a deal before that's considered, they're part of their book. That becomes part of their book of business and they can sell expansion into that book of business. So the book of business is spread out amongst everyone, but the new and bounds are rotated. Interesting. We talked about this before, but I dealt with the same thing it live stream and it wasn't more about credit. It was more about understanding what was the impact of the sales machine on the overall growth of the business, because sometimes you're worried that you're just applying 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 a little 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 inbound team. What are the tools that you're using to do that and what's one of your favorite technologies that's in your text act. This actually kind of surprised me, 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, I think they realize that we're pretty big account oh gosh, maybe we should nurchresund us a little bit. So they reach back out and train my team on how to use it and they've been able to turn over a lot of significant logos 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, other things that they're looking at that might indication that they're kind of more in a buying cycle. We actually had one of our prospects that one of my AE's noticed them looking around Zendas going to see, you know what, totally str go outbound to them. He did, and the customer says back to us that's so weird that you just called me. We are about to send you an email. Wow, that's and it's called six cents. Yes, the outbound team loves it. So they've been getting and the s two that at both a he's and the SDRs, because my ae's outbound as well. So everyone's expected to build their own pipeline via expansion and for new so just because they 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 pretty successful. What's the percentage of the pipeline that you expect an a to contribute or generate versus, you know, outboundstr versus inbound? That is a good question and I don't know that we actually have it divide it up specifically between the outbound of the strs in the outbound of the e S, because collectively we're trying to get right now, the outbown effort is driving half of the pipe Gen I would say probably seventy five percent of that, if not eighty percent, or my SDRs and twenty five percent of the a's, and that's just because the a's don't have as much time, but they're doing a significant amount of pipe gen I'm on their own, and the a's the rest of their pipe generation is based on expansion, because obviously we've got a pretty large expansion business as well. Yeah, your expansion business is probably massive when we're thinking about paying it forward. So we're getting to the end of our time together, sadly. But when you think about advice, particularly, as you know, there's a lot of discussion and I've asked other people on the pod about this. As a woman in a position of power, what advice would you give to the female leadership and they upandcoming female count executives? As you navigated your career? How should they think about that? I will give you the female you know leaders, potential female leaders. I think the best piece of advice I could give them is go pick up or listen to the confidence code. I wish I had read it a long time ago. I think that we as women, tend to wait until we're a hundred and ten percent ready to take on a new opportunity. I know that's been my you know that's been my amo for a lot of my career and what I think we need to realize is that our male counterparts...

...tend to maybe feel there may be sixty 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 chemistry works. But I really think there's an opportunity for women to get out over your 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 let yourself 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 your actual 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 should know about? You know, as we're making a list of people that we want to know, we want to appreciate and recognize their work. Who are some of them? The people that have impacted you over the last, you know, twenty years? I think the two V piece of sales is stand out to me most are going to be Carl Schaback, who's now a over at sequoia, but I worked with him adding to me he was became co eventually over at Vm, where Carl never late for a meeting. Will still return my text like within the same hour, if not minutes, of me texting him, 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 fall off a cliff like. He's just so phenomenal at what he does. I don'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 I think are really hard to come across. And then mark creany too, if you know go read hard thing about hard things. There's a lot of really great wisdom in that book. Overall, I think ben is a phenomenal founder. He's extremely bright, very personable, very funny, and mark is the quintessential battlefill general. I don't think there's anyone that can kind of lead in a very competitive market as well as he can and really get the right troops in place fight for the right complains like mark is. Quinn essentially topped down one of probably the best enterprise VPS from that perspective. Awesome. That's great advice. One question is, are you guys hiring or if people want to reach out to you and get in touch with you after hearing this, what is your preferred communication channel? I am hiring. We are hiring for our second half, or most of my hiring takes place. So we've got openings and everything from SDR Account Executive and I've got three offices. I'm right now for 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 roles or a hundred percent filled. Yay, super excited about that. But yeah, we're definitely hiring and then outreach to me. I think probably linkedin might be the best. So, Jamie bus, go ahead and click connect to me there. I am JF bus. So J F is in France, scene be USS on twitter, so you can reach out to me there as well and I could definitely respond. But yeah, go get connect me that way. 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 I hope to see you in person soon, the next time I'm on the West Coast. Thanks so much, SAM'm looking forward to it. Good thanks so much. By another wonderful interview with Jamie bus, VPU sales North America from Zendesk. This is SAM's corner. Thanks everybody for listening. Jamie has been doing this a long time. She spent time at Andresen, where she helped portfolio companies get access to the most senior executives at Corporate America. She's also spent 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 failed startups 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 strategic and 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 to everybody. Don't wait till you have a hundred percent confidence in your expertise on a new endeavor before jumping in. The...

...timing is really, really important when it comes to a new rule when it comes to a new job. So make sure that you're a little bit uncomfortable and that there's something that you're gonna have to learn, because if you feel completely comfortable, it's likely that the opportunity 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 is a 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 and Jamie goes ahead and comps her inside sales team that processes both the Self Service leads and the sort of SMB transactions. She comps all of those transactions towards quota as long as the salesperson has touched the lead, and I think that removes a lot of the source of conflict when you're trying to attribute revenue to self service and you don't want to give credit to the sales team. Easier to just give all of the credit to the sales team for the purposes of quota attainments so that you remove all the channel conflict from the low end part of the business, which I think is the right move and it's obviously one that I would pursue where I heard. So those are two tidbits from Sam's corner. 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. Thanks for listening. This has been dam's corner. I will see you on the next episode. To check out the show notes, see upcoming guests and play more 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 you enjoyed 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 the podcast. So thank you very much for doing that. Please continue to do so. 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 big ground of financing and the VPM Marketing Jeffrey Kers, is going to be a guest on future episodes of the podcast. So check out are call. And then, finally, finally, if you want to get in touch with me, find me on twitter at Sam f Jacobs or on Linkedin at linkedincom in slash Sam f Jacobs. Will see you next time. Thanks.

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