The Sales Hacker Podcast
The Sales Hacker Podcast

Episode 205 · 7 months ago

205. Changing How You Communicate with Buyers


In this episode, we've got Shruti Kapoor with us. Shruti is the Co-founder and CEO of Wingman, a company that helps salespeople make better decisions by bringing intelligence into both the conversations in real time and into the overall aggregation of data, so that people can close more deals. Join us for a deep conversation about the lessons Shruti has learned as she has built Wingman from the ground up.

What You’ll Learn

  1. Key tips for starting a new company
  2. The difference between creators and sellers
  3. The importance of self-awareness and honesty for founders
  4. Why data and activity metrics aren’t enough  

Show Agenda and Timestamps

  1. About Shruti Kapoor and Wingman [4:58]
  2. The keys to a successful startup [13:16]
  3. The difference between creators and sellers [15:31]
  4. Observations about selling to salespeople [17:56]
  5. The importance of self-awareness and honesty for founders [20:44]
  6. Paying it forward [22:02]
  7. Sam’s Corner [23:26]

One, two, one three, hey everybody, it's Sam Jacobs. Welcome to the salesaccer podcast. Today in the show we've got Shruti Kapoor. Trudy is the CO founder and CEO of a company called Wing Man. Wing Man is helping sales people make better decisions in the moment by bringing intelligence into both the conversations in real time and also into the overall aggregation of data, so that people could be better at closing deals, which is obviously important. It's a company based in India, as she started in India and and they're they're international and growing all over, so they're doing really well. It's a great conversation. I really enjoyed it. Before we get there, let's listen to a word from our sponsors. This episode of the salesacker podcast is brought to you by outreach. outreaches the first and only engagement and intelligence platform built by revenue innovators for revenue innovators. Outreach allows you to commit to accurate sales forecasting, replace manual process with real time guidance and unlock actionable customer intelligence that guides you and your team to win. More often, traditional tools don't work in a hybrid sales world. Find out why outreaches the right solution at click dot outreach, dot io forward slash thirty MPC. That is click, dot outreach, dot io forward slash thirty MPC. This episode of the Sales Hacker podcast is sponsored by pavilion. Pavilion is the key to getting more out of your career. Our private membership connects you with a network of thousands of like minded peers and resources where you can tap into dozens of classes and training through Pavilion University. Make sure you take advantage of the pavilion for teams corporate membership and enroll your entire go to market team in one of our industry leading schools and courses, including marketing school, Sales School, Sales Development School and Revenue Operation School. Unlock your professional potential and your team's professional potential with a pavilion membership. Get started today at join Pavilioncom. Once again, that's joined pavilioncom. This episode of the Sales Hacker podcast is brought to you by fresh works. Have you ever been in a digital sales room? Well, if you haven't, your sales team should be in one soon. Gartner and its latest report predicts that by two thousand and twenty five. Fifty percent of all enterprise be tob sales technology implementations will include digital sales rooms. Create an immersive digital sales environment with fresh sales. With fresh sales you can develop digital customer journey maps, integrate advanced digital commerce capabilities and to be to be sales, create unified experiences across touch points and enable visibility for your sales and marketing teams. See how thousands of businesses use fresh sales to shorten sales cycle and improve sales conversions faster. Get a free trial of fresh sales at FRESHWORKSCOM. Slash fresh sales. Get a free trial again of fresh sales at fresh WORKSCOM. Forward Slash fresh sales. Everybody, it's Sam Jacobs. Welcome to the sales hacker podcast. Today in the show we've got SHUTI QUA poor. Truti is the CEO and Co founder of a company called wingman. She loves iron man and she wants every sales team to have their own Jarvis. She's worked across life sciences, research, investment, banking, technology, investor stink, commercialization, product development, thin tech and sales, and she can find you can find truty enjoying podcasts and board games when she's not flying paper planes with her five year old. Shoot you, welcome to the show. Thanks them. Great to be here. We're excited to have you. So one of the things we like to do when we start is to give you an opportunity to tell us a little bit more about your company. So you are the CEO and Co founder of a company called Wing Man. What does wing man do? Win Nun's mission is to make you know the life of sales people better. What we do is we help make revenue intelligence actionable. So we bring it insights from different types of sales interactions, across calls, emails, video meetings, and then not only do we analyze find trends in them, but we try and paint that intelligence break it up into little nuggets that people can use, you know, either while they're actually speaking to the customer or while they're preparing for that interaction or right afterwards. So yeah, the way I like to think about it is, you know, we all know that maybe we should wake up at five am and our lives will be magically better, but it's...

...really hard to do that and that's kind of where a lot of the magic lines and enabling people to actually do those things and that's what bigman does for sales teams. I love it. How so tell us a little bit about sort of like the history of the company and where you are in your growth journey. How large are you? You can answer that in any way you want, from money raised, a number of people that work there. Give us a sense for where you are in your in your revolution. Sure, so, I started the company almost four years back. Now we are a team of Neil Lee, fifty people as we speak. And Yeah, we, you know, mainly work with sales teams of all sizes and we have more than two hundred sales teams that work with us today. And are you based in India? I think you're based in India. Found not mistaken. But where is the company distributed all over? Do you have offices in the US? Yeah, I'm based in India right now. All of the folks are based in India. But yeah, we are looking to open offices in the US. So wonderful. So tell us a little bit about yourr background. You know, I mentioned a number of different, you know, areas of experience for you. You. I mentioned finance, I mentioned entrepreneurialism and product development. Walk us through a little bit about your career and how you came to be the cofounder for Wingman, how you thought about it. Just give us a little bit of your sense for your evolution, because a lot of people want to be co founders, they want to start their own companies and they want to be CEOS, and it's always inspiring to hear the journey of people that have done it before. Right, I don't think there is kind of a line apart to getting there, and I think the good thing with being a founder is you know you'll always feel unprepared and the bad thing is that you will realize how much you don't know. But you know in some sense that makes it, I would say, an equal playing field, because everybody who becomes a founder probably realizes that the equip to be one, because that just so many different hats that you need to wear on any given day. But my own journey right, so, you know, it's definitely being a bit of a mixed right. I started out always loving technology. So I think even as a kid I always loved tinkering around and you know, when I went in to do my undergraduate studies, I was very sure that I wanted to, you know, do something in biotechnology, maybe do cancer research. And I spend a lot of time during my university years and shortly after and actually, you know, figuring out what research really meant. But we quickly realize that, you know, it wasn't something that I would enjoy and therefore declined PhD offers that I had and instead, you know, I wanted to experience the corporate world aside and maybe I'll do an MBA first, get, you know, some grounding in that and then, you know, switch gears. I think that was a good idea in hindsight, because it gave me both a good grounding and I think also a good network of people that, you know, still help me in my journey. And then, I think through that evolution I knew that I was, you know, I enjoyed analytical stuff, so finance seemed interesting. And then I managed to somehow marry my two interests in terms of, you know, finance and analysis and technology. So, you know, spent eight years working in a fund that was investing in way early stage technology, literally research coming out of universities, and in that process what happened was that I was seeing, you know, the startup journey more from the creative side of you know, how do you take an idea? How do you think about, you know, the market for it? How do you actually get it in the hands of that market? What does it entail? And that I found really interesting and I thought maybe this is something that I want to be involved on, you know, from the driver's seat, and that's kind of how I decided to take the lead. What was it about the the category? You know, how did you decide on this particular focus? Was it experience in sales? Was it customer interviews? How did you figure out that this was an area essentially like sales enablement, a revenue enablement, that you need to focus on?...

Yeah, that's that's definitely a valid question, given my background. So, before I start, decided to start up, I, you know, worked at a fun firm called pioneer and there my role was more on the sales side of things. So I was helping figure out what is the you know, what should be the Goo to market strategy? Who Do we sell pioneer product to? The how do we message it to them? The sales people, hiring them, training them, etc. And did in that process what I discovered was that it was really hard to take the things that the customers were telling us or, you know, basically the voice of customer, and share it back with people in the organization who needed to know it without kind of losing the sense of it right. So, you know, we needed the product and the marketing teams to understand what the customers are saying, because this was, you know, a new product in a new market. But it was so hard because, you know, one is people kind of assume that sales people are going to be biased in their opinion of why they lost a deal, and so, you know, you don't get full credibility right when you present something. Second part is that it's also, you know, very biased by recency. So if, at the end of a month you ask a salesperson, you know, why our customers not buying from you, whatever answer you get just depends on what were the last three conversations or the last three deals at that person lost. And, you know, coming from a finance and more of a data oriented approach for the decade before that in my career, I felt like, you know, this was just so flawed and one thing that I had learned was you can't change human behavior. But you know, human behavior sometimes gives you opportunities that you can exploit and I feel that you can't really change and get sales reps to write every single thing that they're talking about with the customer. But maybe this was something that technology could help solve for. So that was literally the starting point, you know, where I was like, okay, this seems like really important data that every organization should use for improving, you know, how they think about the customer of the product and the market. But it wasn't going to come from the salesperson. So that would literally the starting point. And then, as we went deeper, we, you know, of course, spoke to a lot of sales leaders, we spoke to a lot of people who were kind of, you know, our possible target customers, and we realize, okay, if I gave you this information, how would you use it right so that we could build a product that wasn't just capturing data but actually helping them, you know, achieve their goals? So, yeah, we went through a few evolutions to get to that answer, but it was a combination of personal experience and customer interviews. Did you feel equal, like on the same playing field? Disadvantage or advantage? Starting a company in India relative to starting a company and more, you know, for for me living in New York, I will say more traditional. It doesn't necessarily mean it's more traditional, but you know, we hear about startups in Silicon Valley and New York. How did you feel about sort of your chances or did you like your chances with their better access to talent in some ways, because you were originally because you're based in India? Yeah, so that's you know, that's an interesting question. I think when we started the company we knew that we were always going to be, you know, kind of a company into geographies, because we definitely felt that our access and cost of talent pool, you know, in India was going to be went up. But at the same time we always also knew that we were building the product for the Western market and so we knew that we were going to also need to kind of have a base on our presence or focus on the US. So yeah, I think in that sense it was like we knew that we needed to put our two feet into different continents and build it, which, of course, was much harder, but I think it gave us something there and did advantages in the long run. What advantages do you think it gave you? So I think two things. One is we, you know, we knew that if we are able to get the talent pool that we want over here, we would be able to build the company much more efficiently. And you know, my two... founders, who are both great takey's, had at already spent a decade in the US working for some of the top companies in Silicon Valley like, you know, Google, loober, Amazon, and we knew that we kind of had the advantage of knowing what the talent pool look like, what you know, what what the best in class look like, and we knew that, you know, with this team we could actually replicate, you know, getting really good quality people, trading them really well, but being able to do that at a much more efficient, you know, economics. So that was one part of it and I think the other part of it, just from a good to market standpoint, was that we knew that, once we had crossed the initial hurdles of, you know, how do you build trust, how do you build a brand, we knew that we could also service, you know, a variety of customers much better because we also have much more efficiency in our go to markets, which meant that, you know, we'll have much more optionality. We didn't need to say that. You know, we will only go after really large customers or we will only do deals which are, you know, about a certain price point. We could actually experiment a lot more and makes a lot of sense. What are some of the key lessons that you've learned over the last four years building the company that maybe you would share with a new founder or a new entrepreneur? What what are some of the things that you'll take with you perhaps if you start a new company? Yeah, I think. I think every day in the startup world is a new lesson. So I'm sure if you ask me this question, you know, a few months on the line you might get a different answer, but I think you know early on one thing that was really important was to believe in you know yourself and the idea and you know that they will always be messayers. Who who will you know, basically, find a reason why this should fail? Right and literally, if whatever it is that you're doing, you know, if some people at least don't think that it's that idea shouldn't exist, that means that you know that there's something wrong with the idea. Right and in that case that was also true. Right, like when we started out, a lot of people be like, but you know, salespeople will not like that and their customers will not like that and you know, I don't think this will work. So one is that right. The second part is that life is only that longer shot to make all the mistakes, and in the startup world there are way too many of them that we can make. So, you know, or a period of time, my biggest you know hack in some sense has been go and find a person, or maybe three people who've done the same thing that you're about to do and see if you can find out and learn from their mistakes. Right. So that is like, say you're hiring for the first time for a particular role. You have no idea what that role should do. How do you define the job description for it? How do you judge somebody for it, evaluate somebody for it? You know, don't try and like reinvent this right, go and speak to people who've done this, understand what mistakes they've made or wrong highers they might have made, so that you don't kind of go through that journey, so you don't have to do it alone and you don't have to feel shy asking for help. You know, there are a lot of people who've gone through the pain who will be happy to reduce your pain. Well, I run a community company, so I am a fervent believer in what you just said. One of the things that you you've talked about in the past, is sort of the difference between creators and sellers. Tell us a little bit about how you think about those two categories of people. Yeah, so, you know, I think maybe in some sense, mentally, the two categories of people are wired a little bit differently in terms of how quickly they need and seek gratification. Right, I feel that a lot of times, you know, to be a good seller, all right,... almost need to be somebody who is constantly UN you know, I wouldn't say I'm happy. He had, you know, impatient and you know, quickly ones gratification. Quickly wants results and I think from a creator perspective, sometimes that journey can be longer and I think those people tend to get gratification and, you know, see success with a very, very different Lens. But and do you view yourself as a creator? That's a fun yeah, actually, I think I do. Yeah, I guess. How do you? You know, you mentioned that you know, life is long or short. How do you think about, like how do you think about contextualizing the journey of the startup in your life? You know, do do you think about it as something that might take the rest of your life? Do you think about it as something that might how do you think about this particular adventure against the backdrop of all of your other experiences? I think you know I mean, I if the question is like, do you see yourself doing this to the day you die? That's part of the question. Yeah, no, I don't think that I want to be doing this to the day I die, right, and just because I you know, I'm a strong believer in making sure that there is a strong, you know kind of work life balance, and I think at some point I want that to kick in. Working on a startup is definitely not a good definition of work life balance. But yeah, but I think even even in the current context, you know, I try and find ways for this not to be all consuming, right, and I think that's why having some strong interest that I really enjoy, you know, just spending time with the family, all of those things help in having that balance and I think keeping the sanity wise words absolutely. What have you learn? You know, you've been selling to salespeople over four years and you've been building this product. One of the things that you said is that more intelligence and data isn't necessary going to improve your sales performance. Talk us through that, what you mean by that, and also other lessons that you've learned observing and selling into the sales profession over over the last four years. So you know, it's really it's really interesting selling into the sales professional. I'll tell you a few observations. Right you know, if if you're doing outbound campaigns and you see that somebody's like, you know, click yours, viewed your email like eight times or twenty times, the chances are that it's not because they're about to buy from you, but the chances are that they just forwarded it to their own is Dr Team and said Hey, this is a really good one. Why don't do this the sound? Well, that is a very controversial perspective. The second one is that, you know, you could be prepared to get on a cold call and then and the call not with you know, you might like be on a cold call for five minutes and it wasn't because they was setting up the meeting with you, but maybe they were giving you advice on your pitch. Right. I think it's it's it's basically an interesting mix of empathy, right, and like you know, somebody who really understands how of sales can be. You know how many knows a salesperson needs to deal with, right, so it's like the conversation that you have are very interesting, right, and I think sometimes those people are a lot more receptibly. Even if you go to a sales conference, people will happily be like yeah, sure, go ahead, stand my badge, I understand this, right, like they know how how this world works. But at the same time it can also be very challenging audience because you know, they are not just looking at, you know, the product, but they also may be evaluating the person for their sales skills and for their sales process. And I think that and the fact that they also... to negotiate because they have been on so many deals on the other side of the negotiation table. So, you know, there are some good things, some bad things, but it's a lot of fun and I think you also need to be a lot more on your toes and Benative because they know all the tricks in the book. Well, it's interesting what you said this specific sorties that the point you're making is like, if we're just looking at the data, if we're just looking at activity metrics, we're not getting the full story. Somebody might spend, your point, ten minutes on a phone call. That doesn't mean that, you know, we can check the box that they're they're closer to the sale. They may not be. And also, like, you know, the emails being open. That's really interesting. Yeah, exactly, what do you you know? One of the things that you've also said is that you're not a big believer in this concept to fake it till you make it. Tell us a little bit more about what your philosophy is as opposed to, you know, just trying to represent success without having it. How do you how do you approach being a great founder? So you know, I think the reason why the fake it till you make it philosophy doesn't land well with me, as I think it puts a lot of undo pressure on the founder and I don't think it's great for people's mental health, because you literally are being told that you can never be honest, you can never, you know, like let your head down in some sense and ask for help, and I think that's that's impractical and that's probably counterproductive in some ways. Right. I think if you're a lot more selfaware and honest, right you can have much better learning conversations and a much better learning journey. You can iterate much faster. But if you, you know, if you kind of are always trying to fake it till you make it, you almost have to always sound like you're on the top of the game. You know, you believe everything is perfect, you're super confident on what you're doing, and sometimes that closes the doors to feedback, to iteration and to improvement. I love that. That's a great point, because you always need to be open to feedback, especially from customers. Shouldy, if we're almost at the end of our time together, one of the things we like to do at the very end. You mentioned right that you one of the practices that you've cultivated is finding people that have been there, done that to get support, assistants, mentorship. When you think about people or ideas that have had a particularly large influence on you that you think we should know about, tell us who comes to mind. Who Do you think we should know about that's been a really important person in your life. I think not, I mean not not necessarily like a personal person, but like I think some of the ideas from you all. No wine. You know the book the Sapience, especially the idea about the power of stories in terms of how our social ideas evolved. I think that's that's being pretty foundational in terms of how I think about things and how I think the world operates pretty and I see that that lends. So Sapience is the book. Great Book. Yeah, Shudy, if folks want to reach out to you, what's the best way to get in touch? So I'm bay active on Linkedin. You can search for Shooti Kapoor and, you know, maybe put binging them in there. But yeah, that's probably the best way to reach out to me. Wonderful. Thanks so much for being on the show and and we'll talk to you on Friday for Friday fundamentals. Awesome, everybody say. I'm Jacob Sam's corner. Really enjoyed that conversation with Shrutty Kapore. Think it's just very impressive. You know, she's built a company that's doing really important work and she's done it from India. We didn't talk about it, but as a woman, which I'm sure you know, it's probably adds a degree of difficulty to achieving breakout success and she's doing an amazing job. And I also think that the work that wing men does is really important because, you know, as we talked about in Friday fundamentals, there's so much data coming out all of us all the time and and making sense of that data and understanding exactly what you're supposed to say and when you're supposed to say it is really a critical it's just... That's the part of sales that we all we all need to be better at because we have the information now. Now we need to make sense of it, but we need to make sure that we are ourselves experts in the way that we communicate and the way that we interact with our buyers, in our prospects. So I love that conversation and I always, I always, you know, I do think that people with the background and investing in background and finance, they tend to be they tend to be good operators because you have to be able to look at the business from a from a holistic perspective. So enjoyed that conversation and and I appreciate it. If you haven't given us a five stars on the itunes story, please consider doing so. If you want to reach out to me, you can linkedincom forward, slash the word in for and F Jacobs. Thanks to all of our sponsors and thanks to you for listening. Before we go, let's hear from our sponsors and we'll talk to you next time. Thanks again for listening to the Sales Hacker podcast. Once again, thanks to our sponsors, outreach, the first and only engagement intelligence platform built by revenue innovators for revenue innovators. GO TO CLICK DOT OUTREACH DOT AO forwards thirty MPC to learn more. Also, pavilion and roll, your sales team, your marketing team and your entire go to market organization and Sales School, Sales Development School, marketing school and many, many more. Learn more at joint PAVILIONCOM and finally, fresh works and their new product, fresh sales. With fresh sales you can develop digital customer journey maps in a great advanced digital commerce capabilities and create unified experience is across all of your digital touch points. Get a free trial of fresh sales at fresh WORKSCOM FORWARD SLASH FRESH SALES.

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