The Sales Hacker Podcast
The Sales Hacker Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

27. Building a Predictable Revenue Engine for Your Company w/ Mark Roberge

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This week on the Sales Hacker podcast, we interview famous CRO, thought leader, and author, Mark Roberge.  

Mark was the first sales hire at Hubspot and helped scale that business from $0 to $100M.  During his time, he developed the key concepts that would lead to the “The Sales Acceleration Formula”, the foundational factors that help a company deliver predictable consistent revenue growth.

Mark walks us through his time at Hubspot, provides detailed insights into the factors driving predictable revenue growth, and breaks down the essence of his new framework centering around go-to-market fit.


One two one thre three fo hi everybody. This is Sam Jacobs.Welcome to this week on the sales hacker podcast. It's going to be anincredible episode. We've got mark robears, the author of the salesacceleration formula lecturer and a teacher and a faculty member at HBS and,of course, the first cro for hub spot that helps scale that business to overa hundred million dollars in annual recurring revenue, Mark's going to talkto us about the four key elements that go into a predictable sales model thatis hiring the same type of person, giving them the same type of training,generating and producing the same type of leads and quantity of leads on aconsistent basis and then holding them accountable to running the same type ofsales process. And if you do those four things you can get to predictablerevenue, we're going to dive into that and a lot more on the upcominginterview. But first I want to thank our sponsors. We've got air call. AirCalls Te phone system designd for the modern sales team. Everybody needs atelephone system, I think, and they seemlessly integrade into your crm.eluminating data entry for your reps and providing you with greatervisibility into your team's performance through advanced reporting. They canalso again do implementation very very quickly, so you can add new lines andminutes and you can use in call coaching to reduce ramptime for yournew reps, so that website is air called that Io forrdh sales hacker and thereyou can see why Uber Donan, Brad Street and pipe drive, as well as thousands ofothers, trust air call for the MO critical sales conversations ar secondsponsors outreach that is outreached out io. The leading sales engagementplatform, outreach triples the productivity of sales teams andempowers them to drive predictable and measurable revenue growth byprioritizing the right activities in scale. ING CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT WITHINTELLIGENT AUTOMATION, outreach makes customer facing teams more effectiveand improves visibility into what really drives results so hapover tooutreachd Adio, forward ash sales hacker to see how thousands ofcustomers, including Cloudera glassdoor, Pandora, Andzilo, Reli on out reach todeliver higher revenue per sale's rap and now, on with the interview highfolks and welcome back to the sales hacker podcast. It is your host SamJacobs, I'm the founder of the New York revenue, collective and I'm also thechief Revenue Officer of a wonderful little company called behavox. Buttoday we're going to have a very well known note were they herald did eventhought leader and revenue leader within the startup community, noneother than Marcroberish for those of you that aren't familiar with Mark'sbest selling book the sales acceleration formula or his work at hubspot. Let me give you his brief background. Before we talk to mark somark. Currently is a senior lecturer in the entrepreneural management unit, HBS,that is Harvard Business School. He teaches entrepreneural sales andmarketing in the second YEARMBA program prior to his work at Harvard he servedas the svp of global sales and service at hub spot, where he scaled revenuefrom zero to a hundred million, and he expanded the team from one. I believethat one was probably him to four hundred D. fifty employees mark wasranked number nineteen in Forbe's top thirty social sellers in the world. Hewas also awarded the two thousand a D ten sales person of the year. At theMIT sales conference, he's active with a number of startups, as you'll hearabout as a board member as an advisory member as an investor, I believe he'salso talking about raising the fun which I'll tell us about, and welcomemark were excited to have you Jee Sam. Thank you, though, that illustrious shit it certainly overselling here. Well, I'm a train salesperson N, the inthe mold of a young Roberge, and so I got to make sure I make you sound,authoritative, incredible that Yo. Thank you. So for folks thatdon't know you and don't know the book. It's often useful to just get a littlebit of background now, you're a famous author, but originally you started offcoming out of Mit and then working sort of in startup plan give us a little bitabout your background. I think you're trained engineer so tell us how youended up in sales and give us some of the the details from the amazing Ridtthat you had at hub spot yeah. For sure...

I mean I studied Engineering Undergrad,just because my parents told me continue that I'm good at math andthat's what I should do and really use that to early my career to move into writing Cote and then quickly fell inlove with entrepreneurship. So I really just to this day, consider myself moreof an entrepreneur n than a sales leader. I did. A bunch of businesses inmy tweties ended up an MIT for business school because I love their on Chepeneoprogram and eventually found my way into hub spot, which was three peopleat the time and there was a hole in their need for someone to sell, and Iwas you know, helping them along those lines. So that's how I ended up insales. It was a bit serendipitous and not intentional, and I was very luckythat when I jumped into sales we were going through sort of a hibitablemoment for the field. In general. You know we saw a lot of companies movingfrom a field sales org to something that was inside sales oriented. We sawfor the first time marketing be able to step up to take a more proactiveinvolvement and leaue generation, and those two items made the use of data,the capture of data in crms and the use of science and process for the firsttime was enabled much more so than I had in the past. So that was really mygood fortune in blessing was. I was able to stumble into a field at a timewhere my unique advantages in terms of process, Dat and cients w o were, forthe First Time Really Well leveraged in the industry. was there a time when youjoined hub spot, where that epiphany sort of shown its light upon you, whereyou realize that all of a sudden, it's not as much art and sort of Schmoozing,but there is a science and a predictability that can be generatedfrom the sales discipline yeah. Our series, be investor David Scock atMatrix partners, really helped mee that unique ness to be honest or the firsttwo or three years. I was certainly practicing it, but the only reason Iwas practicing. It was because I'm a geek who was under a lot of pressureand when I get une pressure, I need the data, so it wasn't like. I was tryingto set myself up for some sort of like storyline or book or anything like thatis just how I was- and I remember exactly the moment when it was at somesort of venture capital Holiday Party, where I ran into David, and he said theindustry just needs your perspective. For the Fallin reason. It's great thatyou don't have a traditional background because we're at sort of a turningpoint. It eventually led it to a great article that he wrote on his fourentepreneurs blog that I think nicely codified. The thinking that article ledto a good foundation for the book and for you know me going out and andhelping entrepreneurs that, as helb spots started to blow up and as moreand more people started to reach out to me and be like. How did you do this?How can we do this, and I saw a continual pattern in the questions thatpeople were asking me and the answers that helped them the most that reallyled to the foundation of the book and the inspiration and motivation to writeit. So, let's dive into that a little bit because zero to hundred and youknow being the the human, the man or the woman that can see that full sweepof scale is pretty rare, there's a lot of times that folks, they are viewed asthe builder from Zeroto, ten or the person that can take it from thirty toa hundred. But it's really rare to see somebody that can sort of follow theentire trajectory all the way past a hundred million. So what are theelements that you describe in the book that helped you put a model Ond a plantogether that enabled that growth yeah sure. So I always joke that. Themission that I had for myself was predictable, scalable revenue growthand it amazes me to this day when I get on stage and talk about that mission,every venture capitalist eyes just light up. That's those are exactlytypes of companies. I Wan't invest in it's like it', somein obvious for words,but for whatever reason, that's an epiphany for investors and so for theentrepreneurs out. There are the seals...

...rebs out there, who eventually want togo off and start a company and raise money. Put that those four words at thebeginning of your sales are marketing strategy and it will work with theinvestors now. What's more talent, I think, is the double click of the fourtactics behind that strategy, and that really was the I guess blueprint for mysales machine that I wanted to build, and so those four elements were numberone: hiring the same, successful salesperson every time number two onboarding them in a very standard way that controlled the output of thosereps coming out of onboarding number three, providing them with the samequality and quantity of lead flow and demand Gen each month and number fourholding those reps accountable to the same sales process against those leades,and so that was the logical machine and the components of the machine that Iwanted to focus on. You know when you lay it out that scientifically or justlogically, it makes a tremendous amount of sense. Let's unpack the elements alittle bit one by one, but occurs to me that if I'm thinking about a companyand it's potential for scale, I have confidence that if I design aninterview process in a consistent way and measure the same qualities, I canhire the same people and I can train them the one thing that I don't alwayshave visibility on us. Can I generate the same volume and quality of leadsconsistently. Do you agree disagree? How do you think about lining up salesand marketing? It seems to me that marketing is almost. If you can't dothat, you can't do the other three things. Would you agree with that? I do,I would say all the four things I listed. The most difficult are thefirst one around hiring, even with the detailed discipline that I brought tothat after hundreds of hirers, I still got it Ron like ten to twenty percentof the time. It's just really hard and then I think to your point, Sam thedemand Gen the scale o of the man Gen. It's just a continual battle, becauseeven when you figure out one channel, they all have ceilings on them and theyall run out of steam or just can't scale to the revenue growth goals thatyou have. So it definitely is a continual struggle and something thatneeds to be worked on when you're thinking about hiring the same type ofperson walk us through the evolution of the hub, sput interview process orbecause I think, a lot of people struggle with what is the ideal profileof a seller. How did you define that? What is your ideal profile and what isthe interview process or the grating mechanism that you used to confirm toyourself that you're hiring the same type of person? Yeah, absolutely I meanso. I'd have to go back to the first year, probably around our eight hot th,the AH higher that I made, and I had convinced the number one celler at alarge public company in the Boston area to quit and join our company, and atthe time we were still like twenty people in a garage across the streetfrom Mit- and I was just like this is amazing. I mean this is literally thetop celler of an eight hundred person sales team. I can't wait for them tojoin our company and just teach us how to sell it. Amazed me that months afterthe higher that seller was not our best seller, I mean they weren't the worst,but they weren't the best, and I was like. Are you kidding me we're twentyhacks over here and this person? WHO, year after year, was the top seller ofeight hundred raps does not envolved to be our bestseller and that, like really redirected, mythinking on this whole, like hiring formulan process, was you know, as Itook a step back and reflected, I was like wow wait a minute, the contextfrom where they solt the where the company was literally running SuperBowl ads. Everyone in the country knew the brand. They knew exactly what thatperson was selling. It took a few minutes to just decide if there was afit or not that couldn't have been more different than the hub spot salescontext at the time where no one knew what the heck we were, no one even knewwhan in dol marketing was it took a long time to describe it how it worked,and you could imagine that the seller...

...that would succeed in that publiccompany context. The optimal seller would be way different than the optimalseller in the hubspot context, and it was that moment that I realized it isreally dangerous to go to a conference and meet a sales beater from adifferent company and say Hey: What are you looking for in a salesperson andcopy that, because the ideal answer to that question is so correlated to yourcontext, the stage of Your Business, the category maturity in which you'reselling the complexty of your product, the specific buyer, whether it's amarketer or an it person or a finance person, are you selling in Europe orAsia or North America. All these things define your context and give youinsight into your optimal sales, higher and Sio. What I did was I took a stepback and said: okay. Well, knowing what I know about our contaxt, what would bethe ten criteria that I think would be outimal for us and let me clearlydefine what each one is. Let me try to take a stab at what a lower medium orhigh schoor would be so I can rank these people of like an eight O, fiveor three on each criteria, and let me devise an any oftoe process to go outthat, and every few months make some hires see how they do and ask myselfthis person's, crushing it why in am iadequately testing against thatinmanery process and this person struggling? Why, and am I adequatelytesting against that and just set up a learning environment? That's unique tous and overtime honing on the ideal profile, and so I just continue to dothat, and it wasn't long before had enough data points to actually geek outand run a regression analysis and try to put some stats behind this. So thatwas what qualities did you discover specific? I guess I have two questions.One is how many of the qualities were superficial, meaning they were on thesurface visible like they worked at this type of company. They had thistype of experience and then how many of them were character. Diven qualitiessuch as you know, courage or ambition, or something like that. Pretty much allof them were character. Ritim. I can tell you the five that surfaced for us.They were coach ability, curiosity, intelligence, prior success and workethic and HW. Do you? How do you test for coachability? Let me just walkthrough the interview. It was interesting same about the coachability was. That was a great example of one that I completely missed for twoyears. It was not in my opening thesis and it took me reflecting time and timeagain of people who were great sellers who came in, and I thought we're goingto be a home run and didn't, and I just had to see the pattern and Aventur thatone rose to the top. So my interview in two minutes here is: it starts in theLADI. When I shake your hand, it's just an opportunity for the cellar H T: Dothey recognize me? Did they had they done their homework? Did they ask meabout my kids flag football game this weekend? It's not a Chow stopber, butit's an opportunity that they did the research and ask some good questionsright from the start. I get into the room with them. I warm them up withlike why you interestin in hub spot, where a you headed in your careerisleadership. Is it selling bigger things you know I dive into their priorsuccess in terms of I see Youre an account executive, acme softwarecompany. How many other account executives were there and where did yourank was tat a revenue bookings where your references validate that and thenwe get into the meat and potatoes around the coach ability, so I'll, say,Sam. You know, let's role play on a hub spot example: Hat: Let's pretend like aVPA marketing from a security software company came to the website last night,downloaded a kneebook and it's your lead you're going to fall up thismorning. Let's do it I'll play the buyer, and so I watch if they sort ofshow up and throw up and just spend ten minutes telling me everything I couldhave read on the website or if they...

...actually dive in with good curiousquestions and listen and and some nice falling questions around developing mypain. I test them hard on Seo Orin by marking to see if they did theirresearch and learned and then, most importantly, I stopped. Then terollplay five minutes in and say: Hey Sam. How do you think you did delpasess ifyou're like? I was awesome and that really that psyched about your you knowyour ability to look internally and reflect and see how you could haveimproved versus if youre say some good things and some critical things on howyou could improve that's creat and then I sit there and coach you. I tell youone good thing: You did well in one area of improvement, I'll coach, youfor a few minutes on know, haw Y to Redo the roleplay, and so almosteverybody screws up the second one, but you can just observe how they're takingthe coaching, whether they're able to apply anything and Gosh. If you canmove the Neel even just a little bit in that fifteen minutes, I imagine whatit's going to be like spending a day week and month with that individual,and so that's really a quick summary of the process. I use with the big Astristhat those five criteria were unique to hob spot at tat, pime and just be alittle careful around copying every piece of it and think really hard aboutthe interative process. You should go through to develop your own, uniqueCINDFORMA. No, I think it's good advice, I think, not to undermine that lastpart of your statement, but I think coachability is pretty universally. Ithink coachability and curiosity and then correspondingly, empathy are justnatural, broad traits that are going to determine success for a lot of folks.The see the people on this podcast, like in startobs an and B to be contactabsolutely, I agree so moving on to training them and on boarding thim. Inthe same way, I've had the unique pleasure of spending some time withAndrew Quinn. How early did you invest in this separate training andenablement? However, you want to call it, but somebody that was not thatwhose only role was to train the new class of raps and then to make surethat they on boarded in the right way, according to the rant model that youdetermined, yeah and Quenn was, was my individual and he's a rock star, and Icouldn't have done half the stuff we did without him. I was amazing such ablessed find for me. There were three what I'd call nonquota carryingoverhead roles that I think are critical in setting up your team thatyou have to at some point, make a decision when you're going to do it andmake a case to your head to say your cel or whoever to spend the three rolesare recruiting training and operations. You know those are critical roles tolike you K, ow metrics. I went after recruiting first, just because it waslike. I thought that was the more difficult one to be able to go afterpassive candidates. The onboarding for a second, the operations was third, allof them. The recruiting probably happened in year. One were training,probably in year, two and operations probably quickly following. I don'tknow in hindsight, if I would change that order, he's that's a tough onebecause they're all, but that was really around the timewhen I was doing it. I had to just you know when you're an Erchputter andyou'R startg out, you got to do the eight hours a week, so you got to fillin the gaps and I was able to put together reasonable trainingcurriculume I'm on my own. It was at least o be minest and got us by, and Iremember how io was tough on me and made me hearn the right to make thosehires and kind of cut deals of like I had a certain revenue attainment ratethat I can make the higher. So that was roughly when we put it in place, makessense- and I guess few more questions on that- was the training, anenablement person. I guess that's your two, but you know at some point: Didyou feel pressure to put a quota carring person into head of training,or did you find a specific skill set, and that was different than somebodythat you were taking off the sales floor when you put them into thatenablement, roll yeah, I tried extertal all the time. I don't think it's a badcall to go with someone internally, but...

...that's a tough shift number one you'repretty early then, and you have to take a top performer out, which is tough andthe other thing is, I'm not sure I see a huge overlap between my topperformers and the skill I'm looking for in that trainer eiuse. The topperformers. Typically, are you know, they're very motivated by money per se,be a little aggressive, oftentited they're, not necearly the best teacher.So it's a really hard higo, because you need to find someone that certainlyunderstands is probably even done it themselves on the front line, but ismore motivated by the coaching and teaching, and I was actually quite goodat it. So Iwas lucky with Quann, I mean he had multidecade career in selling,but he's just found that, like you know, I don't like it as much. I don't likethe pressure of Canin quota. I don't like being on the road. I Love Coachingraps and I'm damn good at it, and so I just got lucky, and maybe that is alittle bit of a blue print on what you could look for is there are people whohave evolved in their career and you know don't want to be out there.Selling million dollar deals and chasing QOT every quarter and they'requite skilled that the craft of selling and teaching the craft Wa selling, andthat's what I found with Quinn and did you find any tricks or tips in theonboarding program and he types of learning modules? Is it sort of like?Well, you got to you have to figure out how each person learns and then developa program specific to them or what really worked for you when you werethinking about onboarding effectively yeah. There were two things that stoodout and especially as they went out and coached many companies, two calmmistakes that I saw the make. The first was over a line on what I'd call ride,alongs or rap shadowing as part of training. You know, like Hey BobWelcome to the company. You remember, Susan, our top Rep from the interviewprocess, your train's going to be sitting next to her for a month, andyou know it's like you know this well Sam to is like even your best. Rapshave bad habits and few best raps are good teachers, and so that seemed likea formula for disaster of, like you know, having a rap learning fromanother rap and just misinterpreting what best practice was and potentiallylosing out on kind of leveraging their own strengths ind the sales process,just because they didn't see this one rap using those strinks and how theysold. And so I instead took a step back and said: listen. My job here is tocraft some sort of hotified blueprint that in provide a guidance to raps onhow to navigate this process, while at the same time allowing an amount offlexibility for them to sort of make it their own within those boundaries. Thatalso proved to be a really nice sort of quantification opportunity where Quinand I developed a certification around say like Tsenty to twenty fivecheckpoints on skills that we wanted them to have mastered or behaviors wewanted them do have mastered by the end of the thirty days and letting Quinncertify those people against those capabilities. That's just a bigopportunity is like listen. If you put that in place and over time, you'reable to validate that those certification scores correlate withlong term success, then you've now created a a really quick learningopportunity for you to check that your hirings not falling off within thirtydays of the Highes, as opposed to having wait six months and know by theway, if that certification score doesn't correlate with long termsuccess. I'd really question the effect: If Tiss your on boarding and what istelling you about preparing people for the job that was one big one was justthe quantification peace and sentin up. The situation has opposed to onboarding.The second one was how much time is spent on producttraining versus byer training. I farked...

...a lot of onboarding processies spent alot of time on product training, which is fine, but not enough time. On thebuyer training you just you just you just shot an Arrow through my heart, exactly what it's happening right now.Exactly I mean S. I would much rather have my reps Bein, a plus, anunderstanding the buyers perspective. Then an APLUS on every frigin advancedfeature that my product can don. I mean the way we did. It was every single rapspent, most of their time in training, creating their own blog using hub spot,creating a social media. Following ranking and Google setting up an emailmark, neur, train campaign, building, landind pages, doing the job of thebuyer. They would eventually sell to feeling that pain, building confidence.The techniques worked, and then they were just such more powerful sellerwhen they get out there. That was the other piece was just an underinvestmentin weight in byer training versus product training. I think that isthat's worth the price of admission for this podcast. Just to put, I put astamp on that. We can spend a lot of time talking about the right type oflead and some of the mechanisms that you use to aligne sales and marketing.But for this audience I also think it's important to dive into a little bit ofprocess. So you know you were a new at some point: You're, not at some point.You had experience as a sales manager in sales person, just by dint of thefact that you had been there for a while. But did you copy and embrace youknow? Did you read a bunch of books and say: Okay, we're going to do sort ofMiller Himan, or how did you work out? What is the sales process appropriatefor hub spot and what are the key elements of it? Yeah I mean I did go out and takemeetings with the salespeople and executives at Miller, Himan and Sammerand Hoothwuay and all those places- and I learned a lot from reading abouttheir methodologies and talking to their people. I mean they were justexperts at the craft. The only beef that I had with it was because they were trying to buildscalable businesses. They had sort of off the shelf methodology and, as Ilook at them I was like you know. Half of that really applies to us andwill be helpful, but the other half is just going to confuse my raps. Can Ijust take this piece and there wasn't a lot of like configurability andcustomize ability and flexibility along those lines, and so because of that Ijust never took the plunge and committed to one, but I did leverageall those discussions to build out our own. So I think that gets back to justa theme that I think you're probably hearing through this process- that I'mreally believe as philosophical belief in sales is like. So much of this iscontext driven, and so much of this is just understanding. What is uniqueabout your context and building everything from who you hire to how youcompensate to the sales playbook and process you develop to the type ofdemand generation. You decide to invest in execut in around that context, andso that's essentially, what I did was you know, took the bits and pieces thatwere highly applicable and I hout our playbook from scratch. One of the things that I think about,as I read the book and as I listen to you speak, is time, and you know ifyou're going to figure out what is the ideal hiring profile for somebody toyour point, you need to establish what your scientific method you establishthe hypothesis on what you think the qualities are and but then you needtime. You need time to evaluate whether you are right or not and then adjust,and that takes time, and so you know that can be months. That can be sixnine twelve months. How did you deal with sort of it sounds like you know,as the company was growing, there was a certain amount of information that youknew in a certain amount of information that you were testing for, but didn'tyet have data around. How did you deal with that ambiguity? was that a problemor an issue, or was it just something...

...that you know it is what it is yeah Imean it's a huge problem. I mean as an Ergpener, we're constantly trying tofigure out. How can I learn faster and more accurately, with less time andless money? You have to Constantlybee asking yourself that and saying yourcoking are one of the more difficult areas were just that learning curvearound hiring, it's so hard, because you honestly, I did not know whether arep wis going to work out until nine months, an even years into it, where mymanagers would be like this and that high I made that Highe. Then it's notworking out and then a year later, they're one of our top wraps. Thathappens. All the time happens all the time, and so I don't know what to saythere. You know I freaked me out what freaks me out most is, I just don'tknow for such a long period of time. The only thing that I kind of was ableto get inside on was, I would tell those managers. Okay, do this for me,go in and like be very prescriptive about what the specific skill you wantto work on and develop with them, but you think will be most helpful to themcraft, a great coaching exercise around that skill and around the learningpreferences that you perceive from that rap and just work on them for like twoor three weeks on it, and then let's ask ourselves: Did they improve and wasthe improvement sustained? And so, if other answers or know to thosequestions, then well probably need to move on this and it's not working out,but if we are able to improve them and sustain it, it might take longer. But Ithink we'll get there over time, and so that was like the only early indicatorthat I could see the help me Lard Fast Yeah, which speaks to the coachabilitypoint, which is, if you can sense, some coachability early in the interviewprocess and you know not to put to fint a point on it. But if they're not dumb,if they're, smart and they're coachable, then there's probably upsidepotentialso mark, you were at a hub spot for all those years. You got thempast a hundred million and then ultimately, you moved on to HBS. Sotell us a little bit about some of the new work that you're doing. I think youmentioned to me that you're working on some new concepts talk to us a littlebit about that. I'm sure they're, interesting and I'm sure you'releveraging some of the recent conversations and interactions thatyou've had. Yes, just really bless that this opportunity cam my way, I mean, asyou cand imagine, what's happening in business. Schools is there's a hugeappetite these days for enchreprenership, maybe away frombanking a little bit since the go a crisis, and because of that manyschools are trying to diversify their faculty in offerings aligne withuntrepreneural tasks felling being one of them to HBS is just BA phenomenalopportunity for me not just to build out the sales curriculum there, butalso because so many business schools look to them for the curriculum theybeke to teach it their school. It's just a great opportunity for me toinfluence how selling is taught at at many schools across the world. Theother great thing is, it just gives me the action. Courage Continue Imolvementand practice. So I get to hundreds of data points a every year, whether it'sas an investor advisor board member students that I'm working with etcaround the insides of sales and marketing functions and try to stepback and do some pattern. Recognition B, the big thing I've been seeing latly isI've, been continuing to look in the startup phase, reflecting on some ofthe guidance I made in the sales acceleration foritat and I think,there's a big wayy today around entrepreneurs who successfully navigatethe lean start of methodology, arguably founded by Erich Res Develop mvpsremain agile, create prototypes fine product market fit, but I think there'sjust a huge confusion at that point by both aunchpetders and investors of likewhat do I do next, and I see many organizations just be like: Go Fast,hire twenty raps and let's start...

...triplin revenue and Doubl in revenue,and that leads to a lot of issues down the road and I think that what I'vebeen working on is trying to codify a framework that organizations can followthat you might describe as finding go to market fit once you find productmarket fit and there's essentially three stages to it, which is customersuccess, then unit economics and then growth and Bote. So how can you proveand develop the ability to time and time again sign up dozens of customersevery month at a quarter and have eighty percent of them realizing thevalue that you pitchd them on within a few months? And what how do you do that?Yes, so the biggest thing there is, manyorganizations will measure the success about based on whether people arecanceling and journing or attaining and in a lot of contexts. That metric is asignificant laggin indicator to actually what's happening, so the firststep to actually do that is to do someself reflection on your ownoffering and decide what is your leading indicator to customer successthat can be observed within the first month or two of a customers life and inthe industry? A lot of businesses refer to that as the Aha moment for dropboxit was one file, one folder one device for Slat. It's two thousand people on ateam that are collaborating for hub spot. It was the usage of five or morefeatures out of their twenty five feture platform. These are all thingsthat could be observed within the first month or two of usage and once that'sidentified measure the heck ot of it every month to see that you're gettingbetter and run a bunch of experiments on how to get better, which range fromthe customers you choose to sign up the expectations you set during the salesprocess, Ye on boarding techniques that you use to on board them and any sortof product enhancements, whether it's in that messaging or ease avuse on theUX to help customers get to that metric fast enough Ho, just not enoughorganizations. They skip that step and jump to measuring. You know revenuetopline revenue as their key to success, and I just think that's an easy metricto go after and completely bandate an enormous deficiency of creatingcustomer value. I don't disagree with you at all. In fact, I'm reminded Ithink the Sales Force One was: do they build the dashboard right right? Heyeah there are moment so that that's wha, you need to focus first and then,and then you can move on to UN economics once you've nailed that anduni economics at that stage. That's when things like your complan design,your pricing model, scalable demand. Gen Tactics really become critical, butI wouldn't recommend working on those in the first pace, and so this modelprovides a clearer picture of the milestones we need to go through andwhat aspects of the sales machine development not er most at each dake tell us about the key parts of sort ofthe last stage, which is growth and mode, and you know, obviously I knowwhat you're talking about when you say Molk, but a lot of people might not sowalk us through what the concept of a mote means for a business sure. So it'sa barried entry and as I reflect on different businesses that I've met overthe last couple years that got to ten e an got the twenty million and thencompletely flat lined a lot of times. It was because of a lack of motedevelopment, and so what that means is great. You figured out customer value.You found product market fit you're, doing it in a profitable way, withgreat UN economics. You're scaling fast doubleind revenue every every year.Guess what copy cats are coming, so you got to ask yourself if two really smartengineers from Google quit their job and raise ten million bucks from Siqoaand build exactly what you have. Why do new prospects still by what you haveand not what they have, especially if they sell I cheaper and so yo? Now it'sa difficult thing to do, but it could...

...be anything from a network effect tobench marking features that you provide to even like in hub spots case like thecreation of a category in by marketing and the association that we were thebest and you should come with us, there's just ways to develop that bearto entry that are very difficult for people to copy and it serves asustainable advantage, and I usually I put it last just because sometimes thegrowth contributes to that now and at the same time, it's advisable to taketime to build the mote, even if it comes at the sacrifice of acceleratedgrowth. So if I had to choose, if I'm talking a compay like yeah, we cantriple by revenue this year or we can double our revenue, but take the RNDcycles an time to develop a mode around it. I would choose the latter. Sothat's what I mean by Mo and and the things that come into play during thegrowth and mode stage are some of the stuff we've talked about today, whichis the scale, will hiring process and on boarding process oftentimes. Itmeans looking at multiple segments within your business and running thoseaf, slightly different motions like if you're selling to SMBS and enterprises,ORF, you're, selling to healthcare and finance. You may have to look atbifocating your overall sales motion to be accustomed to each one of thosesegments, so those are some of the things that will come up at that stake.That's very helpful one very specific question. Just because you just broughtit up, do you prefer if you had to choose between segmenting by size ofcustomer, meaning enterprise versus SNB or by Industry Vertical? What would youchoose? Yeah again context is Kan ID such an interesting question salmon. Itwas the fifth case that I wrote at HBS about a great company down in New Yorkcalled DEU. The space bts really complicated sales deployment decision.There is no universal answer there. The only thing I could say is you want todrive that decision based on commonalities in Bieur behavior, and sothe mistake that I see across the industry is jumping too quickly into ageographic segmentation just because that was our roots as a field. The onlyway to sell was to shake hands with people and see people,and it's just logical to cluster your reps around the prospects th they wantto go after and that's still the case if your sale process requires a lot ofhandshaken and imperson meetings, but those are declining, and so you havemore options like size of company or vertical, or you can do size of companyand then vertical. So the way I drive, that decision is based on whereun,seeing the most commonality in byer behavior and the difference acrossthose segments, so that I can specialize my raps around that behavioryeah makes sense. We're almost at the end of our timetogether. Mark give us a quick update. First of all, thank you because thishas been exceptionally useful but tell us what you're up to now. So we canstart as a global audience. Figuring out, if we can help you in some way andtell us what you're up to because it's pretty exciting yeah, I mean we're intheir early phases. I almost don't want to go public, but we can talk about Thisame so I'm looking to jubble down on the investment side and we're puttingtogether we're in the early phases of experimenting with whether go to marketfund would work, meaning backed by go to market professionals, helpingorganizations at that Goto market stage, and so it's really just a nicecontinuation of all the work that I've been doing. It's going quite well withour early discussions, and I think the way you can help is, if you know, oforganizations that youare setting up there go to market capability or maybestrugging a little bit just continue to reach out, and I may have moreresources at my disposal O to help Alon those lines. That makes perfect sensevery sort of last question. As I call it, we like to follow the bread crumbtrail. So when you think about...

...influential people or books or content,that's really impacted. You could be recently like the book you're readingright now or somebody that really meant towards you, give us some names ofpeople or books or pieces of content that we should know about as we pursueselfimprovement and and evolution of the sales discipline yeah, I would say I'll go back to somelike really old school stuff, a question I often get fror my studentsis listen. I have no background and sales how I learn to sell knowing thesales hacker community. I know a lot of folks are still selling her in theearlier stages of their sales career. So there's a three book sequence, twoof wh H, are quite classic one jees it's got about is eighty years old howto win friends and intepball by Dal Carnegie. It's really funny to readabout the early sales of typewriters, and it's also equally amazing, howapplicable they are to modern sales professions today, so dig into that one.The second is not quite as long as a class older, the classic, but it'sstill a classic and that's been selling by MEO Rackam. I still think that Neilwas the forefather in thought: Leadership Around cotifying the processof understanding the buyers perspective reframing that buyers perspective wouldsuch as critical and important skill and selling, and just helping the buyerto prioritize the challenges there ahead of them to make sales move fasterand then the final one is the is, the more near term classic around theChallengeer Sale. I think they've done an equally good job of helping toredefine modern salesman personship in terms of defining problems, helpcustomers, understand those problems and telling presentations according towhat you find so that's kind of like my three Pran classic on developing bellyto bally sales skills. That's awesome, that's great last question and thankyou again so much for joining us. If folks want to reach out to you, forexample, if they've got ideas about companies that need go to marketassistance or they just want to pin you are you open to that? Is there achannel that you prefer to prefer Linke dind, you prefer email. How and is that?Okay, absolutely I mean it's how I stay in touch with the industry. I make asmuch time as possible to help so two ways are linkdon's great or on myfaculty page at HBS we can just Google, my name and HBS. There's an email, abutton there. You can send me a note there. That's awesome mark thanks. Somuch for your time. I was great speaking with you that you SOM high folks, it's Sam's CornerMarkrobears, dropping knowledge on the sales hacker podcast. The great thingabout talking to mark is just the specifics and the details he's done it.So he can dive into detail and really give us some actionable advice. Couplethings jumped out of me. One of them is around the interview process. So Ithink coach ability is a widely and off discussed paradigm for thinking aboutpotential success, and what mark mentioned is that he specificallydeploys a sort of a coachability module into the interview by jumping into arole play watching out the candidate response and then stopping midway,giving feedback and seeing if the person can respond to that feedback andthat's one mechanism to demonstrate coach ability and if they can reactreally positively and moderate and adjust their behavior. In the contextof that interview, then there's a high likelihood that they will be successfulat other points in their career. So that's kind of one really interestingthing that he mentioned the second when it comes to training and onboarding,which is near endear to my heart, an over emphasis on product training andan under emphasis on byer training, and I think, if we're all going to bebuilding really effective training and onboarding programs. First and mostimportant is understanding the buyer's perspective in the Byer Journey.Empathy, understanding where they come from what their motivations are. Let'sspend a lot of time teaching our teams about how the buyer thinks what they dodatoday and what their keypain points...

...are and also teach about thecomplexities of the product and how it works. So this has been Sam's cornerand we also want to thank our sponsors as we depart from you this the weekend,Seles Hacker podcast. So if you're interested in learning more about theshow itself, see upcoming guests play more episodes from our lineup of salesleaders. First, I encourage you to go to sales hackercom and head to thePODCAST TAB. You'll also find us an itunes, Google play or anywhere thatpodcasts are performed if you enjoy. This episode share it with your peerson Linkedin, twitter or elsewhere, and if you want to get in touch with me,you can always find me on twitter, at Sam f Jacobs or on Lindon atlengthoncom Andslah, Sam, F, Jacobs, professional correspondents, probablybetter on likeden twitter has more potentially offensive ramblings andthen finally, shout out to our sponsors, its air call your advance call centersoftware, complete business phone and contact center, one hundred percentintegrated into any CRM and outridge a customer engagement platform that helpsefficiently and effectively engaged prospects to drive more pipeline andclose more deals. I will see you next time.

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