The Sales Hacker Podcast
The Sales Hacker Podcast

Episode · 1 month ago

182: Build a Sales Team from the Ground Up w/ Michelle Pietsch

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode of the Sales Hacker Podcast, we have Michelle Pietsch , VP of Revenue at Dooly , which streamlines sales workflow and saves reps 5+ hours per week. Join us for a standout conversation on building sales teams from the ground up at high-growth startups.

What You’ll Learn 

- How to handle massive growth expectations

- The importance of investing in infrastructure in the team

- Hiring SDRs to create demand

- Why the discovery process is always an improvement area

Show Agenda and Timestamps

- About Michelle Pietsch & Dooly [2:10]

- Building sales teams from the ground up [8:08]

- Being in the early growth stage with sales [11:15]

- Effectively coaching reps for improved performance [16:40]

-Improving the discovery process [18:57]

- Paying it forward [25:10]

- Sam’s Corner [27:01]

One two one: Three: Three O everybody: it Sam Jacobs, welcome tothe Sales Hacker podcast today on the show we've got Michelle Peach. Michelleis the VP of revenue at duly a really interesting company that providesconnected workspaces so that your ability to update your CR M and salesforce is improved, reduces complexity from Your Company and saves your repsfive hours per week in busy work and things that they don't want to do so.At any rate, it's a great conversation and she's been building companies fromthe ground up for a really long time. Before we get there, we've got threesponsors. The first is out reach out. Rich has been a long time sponsor ofthis podcast and were excited to announce that their annual series, unlysummit series is back. This year's theme is the rise of revenue.Innovators join the new cohort of leaders who put buyers at the center oftheir sales strattis to drive efficient, predictable growth across the entirerevenue cycle, get more details and save your spot at summit out reached Oio. The podcast is also sponsored by pavilion. Pavilion is the key togetting more out of your career. Our private membership gives you access tothousands of like minded peers, dozens of courses in schools from BraziliaUniversity and over one thousand work, books, templates, scripts and playbooksto accelerate your development pavilion members get hired. Twenty two percentmore quickly are paid fourteen percent more on average and get promoted thirtyfour percent more rapidly than their peers. Those are some amazing statsunlock the career of your dreams by applying to day at join pensilo.Finally, Demos tack, the Pro Demo is make or break for your deal, buttailoring the story is tedious. WORK DEMO STACK TURNS WEEKS INTO MINUTES, soyou can deliver custom demos at scale. No more acme ink dummy data with Demos,tack. You can edit data in tharks with a point and click and show productstories that win deals faster, see how world class sales organizations usedemo stack to accelerate revenue at...

Demos accom now without further due.Let's listen, my conversation with Michel Peach, everybody. It's SamJacobs, welcome to the Sales Hacker podcast today we are excited to have onthe show Michelle Peach Michele is the vice president of revenue at duly therapid growth sales SASS company that recently raised eighty million dollarsto pioneer the connected work space for revenue teams. Michelle has a longhistory of developing and scaling sales teams for fast growing startups priorto joining Duly Michelle served as the VPS Adrift and Associate Pof Sales atdata dog, where she successfully grew the sales team from the ground up.Michelle welcome to the show, thanks for having me SAM, we're excited W. Sowe like to start with your baseball card. Your title is pof revenue. Yourname is Michelle Peach, but not everybody knows duly. So, in your words,the company now just tell us, I mean it's been a story in the press thatwould that I've read about recently over the last couple of months, but inyour words, what is duly do yeah. So for a sales, rapid sales managers, youhave your data and your meeting notes all over the place and raps don'tupdate sales force because there's a lot of Admin work and that impacts ofsales managers, so with Duly Reps, take meeting, notes and update sales for uswith one workflow and view which ultimately eliminates the duplicateeffort, ensuring that your sales for s instance is always going to be up todate and we are saving sales raps, five clus hours per week to just reallyeliminate all that busy work all the noise and for me, as a sales leader, Ihave dealt with US my entire career, both as an account executive but on theleadership side, where I have to constantly hit up raps to ask for datesof their forecast or what's going on with deal so that helps with all ofthat grant work and removes it. Amazing. I mentioned that you just you know yourecently raised eighty million dollars, but from like a size of theorganization, rougher R, I mean you,...

...don't have to answer anythingconfidential. But where are you in your growth? How many people work there thatkind of thing yeah? We are really small. We have a big presence out in the social media world, but I startedin March and we had thirteen employees and were around fifty employees todayand fastly, adding more to more engineering and product side on the air.So we keep that pretty close to us, but we are growing and have some prettylofty goals ahead of US amazing. How did you find the job you're working asum? Ur you're, a drift. I mean those are drifting, data dog or two prettyhigh profile companies. What was it about this opportunity that excited youyeah? It's funny, because I left drift to be a stay at home mom. I had mysecond son last July and thought I'm going to take a break and really justspend time with the family and didn't think I work for quite some time untilChris, our CEO asked to meet with me, and I saw a demo duly and it justsolves a pain that I felt for so long in my career. So it was a no brainer totake this role and do what I typically do is building and scaling the salesteam here at Julie. So I'm really excited about that. Well, that's that'sincredible and congrats on your on your second son. Thank you. So, let's dive alittle bit into your background. How did you you know where you from thecommon question is because I still I've been doing this for three and a halfyears now recording this podcast and nobody has ever said that they have aquote unquote traditional sales background in terms of how they gotinto sales. So how did you get into sales? What was your entry into theworld and and and just tell us a little bit about your career yeah, so rightout of college two weeks out of college, I started at MC's sales program becauseI really didn't know what I wanted to do, but sales just seemed like thenatural step. For me, I went to school...

...to be in PR and communications. I had anumber of different internships in PR and I noticed that the ability to makea lot of money and control your revenue wasn't really there and, at the sametime, I was bar tending and waitressing and knew how to up sell from you knowthe stake tips to the flame and on the bottle of wine, and I enjoyed that. SoI had a feeling that I should go towards sales, but no one knows whatthey're going to be doing out of college ended up at MC, went throughthe sales program and realized that the larger organization really wasn't forme because crushing goals and getting like very little recognition and notseeing that reflecting your paycheck as a bb wasn't for me. So I went toapplause where I got my experience in the true startup world and that it tookoff from there where I was a Dr and at that time we called it brass roots.Marketing had no idea what I was getting myself into didn't really knowwhat a startup was, and I learned so much very quickly about outboundprospecting: How to talk to prospects and close deals at a really young ageright out of school, so it kind of just happened. Naturally, what did applausedo? What does applause do? So? Applause was called you test back in the day andit is a crowd source bug testing. So you hire people to test yourapplications for bugs, and you could do that on different platforms anddifferent environments, which were super powerful for some of these, theworld's largest organizations. When they're rolling out an application, youneed to make sure it works amazing, and so what have you learned over the past?You know I mean you've been at data. Do you've seen some really incrediblesuccess and now you're working at a really well funded company, that'searly in its growth and one of the...

...things that you mentioned a few minutesago. As you know, what you do, is you build sales team from the ground up?How do you approach that you have a framework? Do you have a methodology?Do you have a seat? You know how do you figure out what to focus on, forexample, tell us a little bit about you know your philosophy. If we were tohire you to build out our selves soon, what would you do first and how wouldyou think about it? Every organization is different and that took me a littlebit of time to realize it depends on what you're selling who you're sellingto, and it really starts with listening to your customers listening to thecurrent employees that are there and identifying our super powers and thevalue that we bring to the market. So before you put any type of process inplace, it's important to understand what we actually do, what our customersare saying, what they love, what they hate about our products and peel backthe layer of the onion there to identify okay, what's our discoveryprocess, look like what's our beed for look like what type of sale is it goingto be? Is it more transactional or we focusing more on mid market toenterprise so early on, it's identifying top of funnel? We knowWHO's coming WHO's raising their hand and what does that look like and thenputting the the standard process in place from there and knowing that thefirst two times is probably going to fail and being okay with doingexperiments and and being okay with those experiments, not necessarilysticking so with the organizations that I've built the team that they have hadmultiple different traducte of where the sales process was going and whatthat overall growth look like. So a data dog is super super transactional.Your Standard, P LG motion before pl g was even a thing we had people comingand raising their hands and buying without ever talking to a sales. Rapand drift was a little bit different, wherewe had a great great brand recognition...

...out in the market. So everyone wasreally really curious, but we treated it as if it was a pleg motion. But atthe end of the day, we really needed to do like qualification and properdiscovery in order to make those customers successful, and that was oneof the instances where, like we didn't, take the time to actually listen andlearn and identify those true super powers for customers in order for themto be successful. So putting your traditional sales motion in place,there you're duly now. How do you think about, I guess, there's a naturaltension. I would I would presume, but I could be wrong between the amount ofmoney that you've raised in the growth expectations that are implicit in thatmoney and the reality that it's pretty early stage company and there werethirteen people there a few months ago. How do you balance that pressure? Doyou balance that pressure? Do you just try to hire higher higher? You know myexperience when- and you might know this just from from knowing a littlebit about me or not, but my experience is sometimes companies raise a ton ofmoney and then there's this huge pressure to hire a ton of sales peoplebefore they before there has been any diagnosis, the top of the funnel beforeyou figure it out how you're going to generate, leads and generateopportunities. How are you balancing that attention now that you're, a dulywhere you've got this massive amount of capital in the balance sheet, whichimplies? You know a couple hundred million dollar valuation, but thereality is that you're pretty early in your grow stage, Yeah Sama. That is yetwe pressures the right word. It is setting the right expectations witheveryone involved at the strategic level in the organization and also atthe board level, because we are very much seed company or severely earlyseries a but with a lot of money, and we have been in learning mode. Since Istarted in March, there were no sales wraps, so we had really very littleresources or understanding of you know where this thing is going. Sowhen you have all of that capital and...

...expectations to build and grow super quickly, you canfall on your face r relatively quickly because you hire too quick and youdon't have the resources, the process and the understanding of where we aregoing to run to, and that was something that I set early on with our CEO, thatI will not just throw bodies a number, because we got a ton of funding. Weneed to understand how we can be successful and map our priorities, the right way andknowing that we are still very much in learning and growing face and, as westart to have more conversations with prospects and customers were learningevery single day. So I spend most of my time coaching and listening to callswith my sales team to identify okay. What is our process going to be now,for example, we're starting to see a lot more mid market companies raisedour hands. So that's something that wasn't there. Two months ago, so it'sreally it is it's a tough balancing act, but setting the right expectationsearly on was really important. For me with my CEO that I will not just throwbodies at a number and we need to make sure that we have our ducks in a rowbefore we do that, because I've made the mistake in the past where we'velistened to. Okay, you have x amount of funding, now go higher twenty people.Six months later we have to fire fifty percent of them, because we just weweren't ready. I made that mistake to Yeh, then they're done. I don't want todo it again. Yeah me, neither another thing that I sort of like discovered orwhich is also hard sometimes to pitch to the CEO is hey. I don't want to hirereps necessarily. First thing I want to do is maybe hire a head of revenue. OPSand maybe I want to hire a head of enablement, and maybe I want to hireyou know, a recruiter or some kind of sales or revenue. Fucus tolenacquisition person like building out the infrastructure of the revenue teambefore just hiring Reps. have you sequenced it that way or you know?What's how are you thinking about building infrastructure as you hire theactual closers yeah? That is exactly...

...what we're doing. I hired a head ofRebot in June when I only had three sales raps at the time, and the idea for her role is to reallyunderstand our data and put the process in place for marketing up CS OPS andsales ops. So we can figure out where to focus as opposed to bringing in abunch of sales raps. I think it's really important to hire sales, ops orrebot really early on, because they are you're, basically guiding light andthey're. My like number one person that I spend most time with to just put themechanisms in place and, if you, without the actual tools needed inorder to understand o top o funnel Matrix, Tabo funnel data and also CSand customer success data, I you really can't figure out where to go withoutthat in my opinion, and that's a role that people wait too long to hire, because once youstart to unpack it after you know, selling for twelve months were like Ohwow. We should not have segments of that way. Now, let's change it. I wantto do it the opposite way and have someone put that in place before weactually do you know segmentation or tearing of accounts or grating of leads and stuff like that,but for the sale side. I also hired an STR teamearlier than I normally what as well, and that's for us to really just topenetrate the market and get as many hands on leads and contact as possibleto bring people to duly, and it is it's a one one ratio right now, which youdon't typically see this early on, but it's a an experiment that I'm willingto take. I support your experiment. Thank you.

It's better to have a small number ofraps with tons of opportunities, high fiving and everybody sitting quote andclosing dealers, then two hundred reps and no leads, and then you fire, halfof them, like you said earlier right right exactly so one of the things thatyou know you I think you're good at you've, prided yourself on in the past,is, is coaching how to effectively coach your reps- and you also mentionedearlier in this conversation that you know you're spending a lot of time onthe phone listening to calls. Maybe you're using you know something likegoing, or course, or what have you but try to hear what our customer saying,what a prospect saying? How do you need to think about the sales motion, thesales process, the talk tracks? What Are Your keys to effectively coachingreps that you can actually drive improved behavior and performance yeah?It took me a while to learn this through many. You knowfailed attempts of watching other leaders come in above me and putting aprocess and place it just doesn't simply just doesn't make sense or aline with the business or the rep day in the life and then trying to roll outa process to sixty reps. who just look at me like you, have no idea what whatwe do all day. So I have now realized it's best to understand what the wrecksare doing every single day. What does their day in the life look like what'sgetting in their way? What's working? What's not working and listening to calls and identifyingcoaching opportunities for each individual rap and then also on theteam side is really important, but getting on the raps level so spendingmore time on a one to one basis and a team environment as well to just hearokay. What are you hearing on calls? What's getting in your way, for I justgot off a forecast call. I got into the second deal, and one of my reps ischimed in and said: Hey have you as anyone else been hearing XYZ and wespent that entire forecast call just trying to unpack that and help themidentify how they can get over overcome...

...that objection or get better when thatcomes up, as opposed to just like focus on the deals focus on the forecast, andI think it's really important to figure out what they're spending their time on.So, for example, at drift, we were constantly rolling out new tools, everytool that we rolled out, the reps, no one logged in, and they were like. Yourealized that you just gave us five tools to learn and to implement- and Idon't have the time or energy to do that so figuring out, what's getting intheir way and how you can minimize that that noise is really important, and italso gives you the opportunity to build their trust in your ability to help them,especially when you're identifying areas of improvement, gaps in theirprocess and taking the time. And it's really just about listening. Youmentioned that the one thing that you can always that always bearsimprovement is the discovery process elaborate on that. Yes, I don't care ifyou're a hundred million in revenue you're, crushing it. I guarantee theirraps that are just still failing at the discovery process, and- and it's maybebecause I am spending a lot of time listening to calls. But you miss theopportunity to dig deeper and identify what I call like a golden nugget reallyearly on in calls and discovery is super important to identify how you canposition the value of the product, how you can actually help your prospect andreps need to always be working on discovery, and you see even your topreps get super comfortable because they're a top wrap and they start toskeet over some questions and they miss the pain they. They can't tie valueback and it's something that I will always be working on with my team. Oneof the experiences I had sort of to your last point. Your last commentabout tying value back is sometimes I,...

...when I've been teaching discovery ortrying to coach, raps or my or just been part of teams that have been doingit. We spend so much time talking about asking effective questions that youhear reps on the phone and they they just. They start asking so manyquestions and you could tell they lose the thread somewhere in the middle ofthe conversation and they're, not sure how to take any of these answers andrelate them back to the product tying it back to value. How do you? How doyou coach people to do that? That's a question! That's what I'm dealing withtoday. I think it's narrowing it down and notasking it's almost like less is more especially. If you get a metric, youget one metric focus on that one metric dig a little deeper and then identifyit or demo like it could go. It could be a ten minute demo where you can getto the athamant or you can be showing someone forty five minutes of duly, butwithout actually identifying that core metric or pain. Point it's really hard.So once you get one one thing really early on to stop, there ask a few morequestions, know that you have Amora at the end of the call or at the end ofthe sales process, to throw back at them. That is easier said than done,though, and I've seen it with my reps, for example, just at a call yesterdayhad unbelievable metrics and just didn't know where to go from there andit's the it's practice makes perfect and identify okay. What else could youhave asked with this? One metric? You got the pain, asked the two or threemore open, ended questions and then go to the part of our platform that tiesback to that and then that's it, because people don't want to be on apain funnel call for for fifty minutes where you're just drilling them withquestions, and then you lose them in the demo, because people's attentionspans are very short, so try and less is more short and sweet yeah. Also. Theother thing is that people are aware. You know, especially for your toolright, because you're probably set selling to heads of sales and able menor Cros or picos sales. They are acutely aware of when it's a rep,that's just asking questions, because...

...they were told to ask questions and itfeels like an interrogation, not a conversation exactly, and you can alsotell when there's a script in front of them, which is painful so trying tomake it as conversational and helping your prospect as opposed to justdrilling them with questions, because you know your manager is going to ask makes a lot of sense. Last question Ihave before we sort of you know talk about your influences and mentors andthings like that, but you're in an early stage company, Idon't know, do you have a quarterly or monthly goals for the team? We do bothright now and that's simply because we didn't really know much about our run rat or where a business is going,but we're going to go quarterly next year makes sense. My question is this:You I've found, but you know- and maybemaybe maybe just haven't experienced this I found it can be. You know thejob of sales leadership can be. I mean the job of an a is very hard. The jobof sales later ship or revenue leadership is also hard, and one of thehard things I found is that you build up so much energy and and commitmentand enthusiasm and passion for the quarter and hitting the number and youknow, pulling deals forward and and clearing out the pipe line so that youcan hit that quarterly number and then it all resets back to zero. You knowwhen the next quarter starts and the reality is that for duly to be a worldchanging company, that's going to take probably five six seven years andthere's you know, that's going to be twenty twenty four, twenty eightquarters of that kind of roller coaster of energy, ups and downs. How do youpace yourself? What's your mindset? How do you think about making sure that youare prepared, for you know a two three four five year journey, as opposed toyou know a shorter journey with the company. Well, that's a very goodquestion for me. It is really identifying small goals that youcan chip away at and then very long...

...term goals that you can chip away at.So you always have something that you're racing to achieve. So, forexample, if we do quarterly goals it, I have my team specifically focus onchipping away monthly and then also tripping away weekly. So I will do thesame, but I think more long term for six months out and chip away there, butfrom a numbers perspective- and you know keeping this thing going for thenext three to five years, knowing that there are going to be ups and downs andunderstanding what your your ultimate goal is, either you know acquisition orIPO. This being my fourth start up, nothing really surprises me anymore, sonothing phases me. I just need to understand how we're going to get there and makesure you have the proper goals in place and then back it. I into you, knowweekly monthly, quarterly expectations for myself and then also for my teammakes a lot of sense. Michelle it's been great. Having on the show one ofthe last things we like to do is just pay it forward a little bit and figureout who re it can be books like it can be. You know grit by Angela Duckworth.It could be like a great book. You've read, it could be a great boss thatyou've had it could be a mentor could be a board member, but it's just peopleor ideas that have had a big impact on your life that you think we should knowabout when I frame it like that. What comes to mind my previous Ero JoshAllen, a drift was a great mentor Josh and I had, I think, a good workingrelationship where he was one of the first leaders that provided feedback,and then I also provided feedback. So we helped one another grow and andlearn from you know, books and what I really like to read, or what I one ofmy favorite books is Patty mccord...

...powerful. That was an awesome bookbecause it ties back into what I've dealt with a lot with growing startupsand the mentality of the employees. From like really early on and as yougrow, I just like the way that she just she's no bullshit and that's how I hopeand want all leaders in a start up to act yeah. I think Josh Allen probablybe my. You know, favorite leader, that I've worked for so far. Well, we areall fans of Josh all and over here so you're not going to hear any thing saidfrom US Michelle. It's been great having you onthe show, we're going to talk to you on Friday for Friday fundamentals, but iffolks are listening and they want to reach out and get in touch with youwhat's the best way to get in touch. What's your preferred method of contact,Lincon Michelle Peach at duly and maybe remind people how oupot Peach Pie pschAwesome Michelle thanks, so much for being on the show we'll talk to JonFriday for Friday fundamentals thanks so much damn everybody, Sam Jacobs and Sam's cornerreally enjoyed that conversation with Michelle Peach, really really talentedearly stage: Sales Builder Leader Revenue, leader and she's, taken on agreat job at Julie, which is a really incredible company. We talked about alot of things, a couple things just to underscore and if you know me, you'veheard me talk about this one million times, but Michelle has inherited asituation where they've just raised eighty million dollars and I thinkJuly's overall raise over a hundred million dollars and yet they're a veryverily stage. I mean, I think she said post seed, pre series a like reallyearly right really early. There were thirteen people that worked at thecompany when they had eighty million dollars on the bank, which is wild. Butthe point is this: with eighty million dollars comes very, very high growthexpectations and the mistake that Michelle did not make but which lessexperienced people might make would be to take those growth expectations.First of all, I just turn up the intensity and the anxiety mer insideright internally. You just...

...be super freaked out every single daythat you're not living up to these massive expectations, and you know youcan imagine like a revenue model where, like Michelle, she said she started tomark. So it's like that's the end of quasi. Is You know flat C. Three is alittle bit up, but then Q for you're supposed to all of a sudden, show fivehundred percent growth and be it. You know ten million an hour or up from onein March and that's not going to happen most of the time, maybe sometimes it'llhappen, but most of the time it's not going to happen, but the thing thatreally happens, though, is you feel that pressure, and so you say in theboard, because often times, although it's changing but often times theydon't know how to build a company either. So they say you know, go higher.A ton of reps go hire. Thirty Reps, you know every rep generates two million,an horror if we hire thirty raps next year, we'll have sixty million andthat's not how it works, and that's that would be a big mistake, and soMichelle has made a couple smart decisions that I would underscore andsort of bring to you. The first is that she's invested in infrastructure in theteam. First and foremost, I think she only had a small number of reps and yetwhat did she do? She hired ahead of revenues, as I think one of her bighires and she made that hire only a month or two into her her journey there.Secondly, she hired a bunch of SDRs right so, instead of just Hirin, twentyreps they've got a one to one ratio. What is she doing when she does thatshe is creating demand? She is focusing on creating infrastructure scalability.That's the revenant operations higher and she's, investing in creating demandthrough SDRs and correspondingly. What you're going to have is a smallernumber of raps correspondingly but reps that feel supported. Right, they've gotinfrastructure around them. They've got demand generation and SDRs, creatingopportunities and leads those people are far more likely to be successful.Can you imagine a world where there we no SDRs or where shells being chiselled,maybe on, like you know, a specific kind of ratio, one to five one, a starto five raps, which doesn't really do any good and there's no revenue wopsand she just hires rep, strap straps, because the CO in this case it would beChris Harfink. Who Does understand these things? But let's say it wasn't:Somebody is enlightened, as Chris all...

...of a sudden you're, just you're beingasked to hire all of these people and, as Michele said, then what happensthree months later, fire half of them fire half of them because they didn'thave any deals to work on. Why don't? They have any deals? Well because youknow for process, because you never need fro structure because he didn'thave demand so she's doing it. The Right Way, first, focus on creatingdemand, focus on creating opportunities, focus on creating infrastructurethrough revenue PS and then from there build out the sales team withscalability in mind, and I think that's going to work. So I really like thatconversation with Michelle before we go. We want to think our sponsors. Ofcourse the first is out reach. Remember that they're bringing back the unlysummit series so get more details and save your spot at summit dot outreached on Ao. We're also sponsored by pavilion. Think about these statspavilion members get hired. Twenty two percent more quickly are paid fourteenpercent more in average and get promoted thirty four percent morerapidly than their peers. So those numbers speak for themselves unlock thecareer of your dreams by applying to day at Jinkin and finally, Demos tack,product emo is maker break for your deal, but tailor in the story istedious. Work so see how world class SALORS use demo stack to acceleraterevenue at demo, stacom thanks so much for listening everybody if you haven'tjoined the sales hack, your community, yet please think about doing that. Ifyou haven't given us five stars on Itunes, please think about doing that.If you want to get in touch with you, can you can email me salmon, joint,Troviamo or Ledenon Fort Clash? The word in Fort Lass M Jacobs, butotherwise I will talk to you next time.

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