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, three, three Fo. Hi Everybody, this is Sam Jacobs. Welcome to thisweek on the sales hacker podcast. It's going to be an incredible episode.We've got Marc Robers, the author of the sales acceleration formula, lecturer anda teacher and a faculty member at HBS and, of course, the firstCiro for hub spot that helps scale that business to over a hundred million dollarsin annual recurring revenue. Mark's going to talk to us about the four keyelements that go into a predictable sales model. That is, hiring the same typeof person, giving them the same type of training, generating and producingthe same type of leads and quantity of leads on a consistent basis and thenholding them accountable to running the same type of sales process. And if youdo those four things you can get to predictable revenue. We're going to diveinto that and a lot more on the upcoming interview, but first I wantto thank our sponsors. We've got air call. Air Call is a phonesystem designed for the modern sales team. Everybody needs a telephone system, Ithink, and they seamlessly integrate into your crm, eliminating data entry for yourreps and providing you with greater visibility into your team's performance through advanced reporting.They can also, again, do implementation very, very quickly, so youcan add new lines and minutes and you can use incall coaching to reduce ramptimefor you new reps. so that website is are called that io for itssales hacker, and there you can see why uber done and Bradstreet and pipedrive, as well as thousands of others, trust air call for them, arecritical sales conversations. Our second sponsors outreach. That is outreach DOT iohthe leading sales engagement platform. Outreach triples the productivity of sales teams and empowersthem to drive predictable and measurable revenue growth by prioritizing the right activities and scalingcustomer engagement with intelligent automation. Outreach makes customer facing teams more effective and improvesvisibility into what really drives results. So hop over to outreach dot io forwardsales hacker to see how thousands of customers, including cloud era, glass door,Pandora and Zillo, rely on outreach to deliver higher revenue per sales wrap, and now on with the interview. High folks, and welcome back tothe sales hacker podcast. It is your host, Sam Jacobs. I'm thefounder of the New York revenue collective and I'm also the chief Revenue Officer ofa wonderful little company called behave ox. But today we're going to have avery wellknown, noteworthy, herald it even thought, leader and revenue leader withinthe startup community, none other than Marco Berish. For those of you thataren't familiar with Mark's best selling book, the sales acceleration formula, or hiswork at hub spot, let me give you his brief background before we talkto mark. So mark currently is a senior lecturer in the entrepreneurial management unita HBS, that is, Harvard Business School. He teaches entrepreneurial sales andmarketing in the second year NBA program prior to his work at Harvard, heserved as the svp of global sales and service at hub spot, where hescaled revenue from zero to a hundred million and he expanded the team from one, I believe that one was probably him, to four hundred and fifty employees.Mark was ranked number nineteen in Forbes top thirty social sellers in the world. He was also awarded the two thousand and ten salesperson of the year atthe MIT sales conference. He's active with a number of startups, as you'llhear about, as a board member, as an advisory member, as aninvestor. I believe he's also talking about raising a fund, which I'll tellus about. And welcome mark. We're excited to have you. Jee Sam. Thank you there. That illustrious. Appreciate it. Certainly overselling here.Well, I'm a train salesperson in the in the mold of a young Robeart, and so I got to make sure I make you sound authoritative incredible.Thank you. Thank you. So for folks that don't know you and don'tknow the book, it's often useful to just get a little bit of background. Now you're a famous author, but originally you started off coming out ofMIT and then working sort of in start up land. Give us a littlebit about your background. I think you're trained engineer, so tell us howyou ended up in sales and give us some of the the details from theamazing ride that you had at up spot.

Yeah, for sure. I meanI studied Engineering Undergrad just because my parents told me continue that I'm goodat math and that's what I should do, and really use that to early mycareer to move into writing code and then quickly fell in love with entrepreneurship. So I really just to this day consider myself more of an entrepreneur thana sales leader. I did a bunch of businesses in my twenties, endedup at MIT for business school because I love their entrepreneurial program and eventually foundmy way into hub spot, which was three people all the time, andthere was a hole in their need for someone to sell and I was,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 verylucky that when I jumped into sales we were going through sort of up pivotablemoment for the field in general. You know, we saw a lot ofcompanies moving from a field sales org to something that was inside sales oriented.We saw for the first time, marketing be able to step up to takea more proactive involvement in lead generation, and those two items made the useof data, the captured data in crm's and the use of science and processfor the first time was enabled much more so than I had in the past. So that was really my good fortune and blessing was I was able tostumble into a field at a time where my unique advantages in terms of process, data and science were, for the first time, really well leveraged inthe industry. was there a time when you joined hub spot where that epiphanysort of shown its light upon you or you realize that all of a suddenit's not as much art and sort of Schmoozing, but there is a scienceand a predictability that can be generated from the sales discipline. Yeah, ourseries be investor David Scott at Matrix partners really helped me see that uniqueness.To be honest, for the first two or three years I was certainly practicingit, but the only reason I was practicing it was because I'm a geekwho was under a lot of pressure and when I get under pressure I needthe data. So it wasn't like I was trying to set myself up forsome sort of like storyline or book or anything like that. Is just howI was and I remember exactly the moment when it was at some sort ofventure capital Holiday Party where I ran in a David and he said the industryjust needs your perspective for the following reason, and it's great that you don't havea traditional background because we're at sort of a turning point. It eventuallyled it to a great article that he wrote on his for entrepreneurs blog,but I think nicely codified the thinking. That article led to a good foundationfor the book and for, you know, me going out and and helping entrepreneurs. That, as hub spots started to blow up and as more andmore people started to reach out to me and be like how did you dothis? How can we do this, and I saw a continual pattern inthe questions that people were asking me and the answers that help them the most. That really led to the foundation of the book and the inspiration and motivationto write it. So let's dive into that a little bit, because azero to a hundred and you know, being the the human the man orthe woman that can see that full sweep of scale is pretty rare. There'sa lot of times that folks they are viewed as the builder from zero toten or the person that can take it from thirty to a hundred, butit's really rare to see somebody that can sort of follow the entire trajectory allthe way past a hundred million. So what are the elements that you describein the book that helped you put a model, on a plan together thatenabled that growth? Yeah, sure, so. I always joke that themission that I had for myself was predictable, scalable revenue growth, and it amazesme to this day when I get on stage and talk about that mission, every venture capitalist eyes just light up. That's those are exactly the types ofcompanies I want invest in. It's like something obvious for words, butfor whatever reason that's an epiphany for investors. And so for the entrepreneurs out there, are the sales reps out there...

...who eventually want to go off andstart a company and raise money, put that, those four words at thebeginning of your sales and marketing strategy and it will work with the investors.Now what's more telling, I think, is the double click of the fourtactics behind that strategy. And that really was the, I guess, blueprintfor my sales machine that I wanted to build. And so those four elementswere. Number one, hiring the same successful salesperson every time, number two, on boarding them in a very standard way that controlled the output of thosereps coming out of on boarding, number three, providing them with the samequality and quantity of lead flow and demand Jan each month and number four,whole holding those reps accountable to the same sales processed against those needs. Andso that was the logical machine and the components of the machine that I wantedto focus on. You know, when you lay it out that scientifically orjust logically, it makes a tremendous amount of sense. Let's unpack the elementsa little bit, one by one, but it occurs to me that ifI'm thinking about a company and its potential for scale, I have confidence thatif I design an interview process in a consistent way and measure the same qualities, I can hire the same people and I can train them. The onething that I don't always have visibility on is can I generate the same volumeand quality of leads consistently? Do you agree disagree? How do you thinkabout lining up sales and marketing? It seems to me that marketing is almostif you can't do that, you can't do the other three things. Wouldyou agree with that? I do. I would say all the four thingsI listed, the most difficult are the first one around hiring. Even withthe detailed discipline that I brought to that after hundreds of hires, I stillgot it wrong like ten to twenty percent of the time. It's just reallyhard. And then I think to your point, Sam, the demand Jenthe scalable demand Jin. It's just a continual battle because even when you figureout one channel, they all have ceilings on them and they all run outof steam or just can't scale to the revenue growth goals that you have.So it definitely is. It is a continual struggle and something that needs tobe worked on when you're thinking about hiring the same type of person. Walkus through the evolution of the hubsbut interview process or because I think a lotof people struggle with what is the ideal profile of a seller, how didyou define that? What is your ideal profile and what is the interview processor the grating mechanism that you used to confirm to yourself that you're hiring thesame type of person? Yeah, absolutely, I mean so I'd have to goback to the first year, probably around our eighth hot the eighth higherthan I made, and I had convinced the number one seller at a largepublic 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 street frommight and I was just like this is amazing. I mean this is literallythe top seller of an eight hundred person sales team. I can't wait forthem to join our company and just teach us how to sell. It amazedme that months after the higher that seller was not our best seller. Imean they weren't the worst, but they weren't the best. And I waslike, are you kidding me? We're twenty hacks over here and this personwho year after year was the top seller of eight hundred reps, does notevolve to be our best seller. And that like really redirected my thinking onthis whole like hiring formula and process was you know, as I took astep back and reflected, I was like wow, wait a minute, thecontext from where they sold, the where the company was literally running Super Bowlads. Everyone in the country knew the brand, they knew exactly what thatperson was selling. It took a few minutes to just decide if there wasa fit or not. That couldn't have been more different than the hub spotsales contact at the time, where no one knew what the heck we were. No one even knew what in bound marketing was. It took a longtime to describe it, how it worked,...

...and you could imagine that the sellerthat would succeed in that public company context, the optimal seller, wouldbe way different then the optimal seller in the hub spot context. And itwas that moment that I realized it is really dangerous to go to a conferenceand meet a sales leader from a different company and say hey, what areyou looking for in a salesperson and copy that, because the ideal answer tothat question is so correlated to your context, the stage of Your Business, thecategory maturity in which you're selling, the complexity of your product, thespecific buyer, whether it's a marketer or an it person or a finance person. Are you selling in Europe or Asia or North America? All these thingsdefine your context and give you insight into your optimal sales higher. And sowhat I did was I took a step back and said, okay, well, knowing what I know about our contact, what would be the ten criteria thatI think would be optimal for us? And let me clearly define what eachone is. Let me try to take a stab at what a lower, medium or high score would be, so I can rank these people oflike an aid to five or three on each criteria. And let me divisean any of your process to go at that and every few months make somehires, see how they do and ask myself, this person's crushing it,why? And am I adequately testing against that in my navy process? Andthis person struggling? Why? And am I adequately testing against that? Andjust set up a learning environment that's unique to us and overtime hone in onthe ideal profile. And so I just continue to do that and it wasn'tlong before I had enough data points to actually geek out and run a regressionanalysis and try to put some stats behind us. So that was what qualitiesdid you discover specific I guess I have two questions. One is, howmany of the qualities were superficial, meaning they were on the surface visible,like they worked at this type of company, they had this type of experience,and then how many of them were character driffern qualities such as, youknow, courage or ambition or something like that. Pretty much all of themwere character at it. I can tell you the five that surfaced for us. They were coachability, curiosity, intelligence, prior success and work ethic. Andso how do you how do you test for coachability? Let me justwalk through the interview. Was Interesting Sam about the coachability was. That wasa great example of one that I completely missed for two years. It wasnot in my opening thesis this and it took me reflecting time and time againof people who were great sellers who came in and I thought we're going tobe a home run and didn't, and I just had to see the patternand eventual that one rose to the top. So my interview in two minutes hereis. It starts in the lobby when I shake your hand. It'sjust an opportunity for the seller that they recognize me. Do they have theydone their homework? Did they ask me about my kids flag football game thisweekend? It's not a chows Dauber, but it's an opportunity that they didthe research and ask some good questions right from the start. I get intothe room with them, I warm them up with like why you interested inin hub spot? Where you headed in your career as leadership? Is itselling bigger things? You know? I dive into their prior success in termsof I see her in Account Executive Acme Software Company. How many other accountexecutives were there and where did you rank? was at a revenue bookings? Willyour references validate that? And then we get into the meet and potatoesaround the coachability. So I'll say, Sam, you know, let's rollplay on a hub spot example. Let's pretend like a VPM marketing from asecurity software company came to the website last night, downloaded a knee book andit's your lead that you're going to fallow up this morning. Let's do it. I'll play the buyer, and so I watch if they sort of showup and throw up and just spend ten minutes telling me everything I could haveread on the website, or they actually...

...dive in with good, curious questionsand listen and and some nice following questions around developing my pain. I testthem hard on Seo or in ball marking to see if they did their researchand learned and then, most importantly, I stopped the and the role playfive minutes in and say hey, Sam, how do you think you did self? Assess if you're like I was awesome. I'm not really that psychedabout your you know, your ability to look internally and reflect and see howyou could have improved versus. If you say some good things and some criticalthings on how you could improve, that's great. And then I sit thereand coach you. I tell you one good thing you did well and onearea of improvement. I'll coach you for a few minutes and I'll have youredo the role play. And so almost everybody screws up the second one.But you can just observe how they're taking the coaching, whether they're able toapply anything. And Gosh, if you can move the Neil even just alittle bit in that fifteen minutes, imagine where it's going to be like spendinga day, week and month with that individual. And so that's really aquick summary of the process. I use with the big asterisk that those fivecriteria were unique to hub spot at that time, and just be a littlecareful around copying every piece of it and think really hard about the iterative processyou should go through to develop your own unique cairent formula, and I thinkit's good advice. I think, not to undermine that last part of yourstatement, but I think coachability is pretty universally I think coachability and curiosity andthen, correspondingly, empathy are just natural broad traits that are going to determinesuccess for a lot of folks. Let's see the people on this podcast like, in start, Dobson and B tob contact. Absolutely, I agree.So moving on to training them and on boarding them in the same way,I've had the unique pleasure of spending some time with Andrew Quinn. How earlydid you invest in this separate training and enablement, however you want to callit, but somebody that was not the whose only role was to train thenew class of reps and then to make sure that they on boarded in theright way according to the ramp model that you determined. Yeah, and Quinnwas was my individual and he's a rock star and I couldn't have done halfthe stuff we did without I mean was amazing, such a blessed find forme. There were three what I'd call non quote of carrying overhead rolls thatI think are critical in setting up your team that you have to add somepoint, make a decision when you're going to do it and make a caseto your head to say at your cel or whoever, to spend. Thethree roles are recruiting, training and operations. You know those are critical roles,like metrics. I went after recruiting first just because it was, likeI thought that was the more difficult one, to be able to go after passivecandidates. The onboarding for second in the operations was third all of them. The recruiting probably happened in year one. We're training probably in year two andoperations probably we quickly following. I don't know in hindsight if I wouldchange that order. He's that's a tough one because they're all pile but thatwas really round the time when I was doing it. I had to justyou know, when you're an archpitter and your start now, you got todo the eight hours a week, so you've got to fill in the gapsand I was able to put together a reasonable training curriculum on my own.It was a at least a be and got us by and I remember howI going. was tough on me and maybe hearn the right to make thosehires and kind of cut deals, of like I had a certain revenue ateam at rate that I can make the higher. So that was roughly whenwe put it in place. Make sense and I guess few more questions onthat. Was the training and enablement person. I guess that's your too, butyou know, at some point did you feel pressure to put a quoteoccurring person into head of training or did you find a specific skill set andthat was different than somebody that you were taking off the sales floor when youput them into that enablement role? Yeah, I tried external all the time.I don't think it's a bad call to go with someone internally, butthat's a tough shift. Number One,...

...you're pretty early and then and youhave to take a top performer out, which is tough. And the otherthing is I'm not sure I see a huge overlap between my top performers andthis skill I'm looking for in that trainer, because the top performers typically are,you know, they're they're very motivated by money per se, be alittle aggressive. Often time they're not necessarily the best teacher. So it's areally hard hire because you need to find someone that certainly understands, is probablyeven done it themselves on the front line, but is more motivated by the coachingand teaching and as actually quite good at it. So it's lucky withQuinn. I mean he had a multidecade career in selling, but he's justfound that, like you know what, I don't like it as much.I don't like the pressure account in quota, I don't like being on the road. I Love Coaching wraps and I'm damn good at it. And soI just got lucky and maybe that is a little bit of a blueprint onwhat you could look for is there are people who have evolved in their careerand, you know, don't want to be out there selling mill and toour deals and chasing quote every quarter, and they're quite skilled that the craftof selling and teaching the craft of selling. And that's what I found with Quinn. And did you find any tricks or tips in the onboarding program andhe types of learning modules, as it sort of like, well, youGott, you have to figure out how each person learns and then develop aprogram specific to them. Or what really worked for you when you were thinkingabout on boarding effectively yeah, there are two things that stood out, andespecially as they went out and coached many companies, to common stakes that Isaw and make. The first was over a line on what I'd call ridealongs or rep shadowing as part of training. You know, like Hey, Bob, welcome to the company. You remember Susan, our top Rep fromthe interview process. Your trains going to be sitting next to her for amonth and you know, it's like you know this well. Sam Too,is like even your best reps have bad habits and few best reps are goodteachers. And so that seemed like a formula for disaster of like, youknow, having a rap learning from another rap and just misinterpreting what best practicewas and potentially losing out on kind of leveraging their own strengths in the salesprocess just because they didn't see this one wrap using those strengths and how theysold. And so instead took a step back and said, listen, byjob here is to craft some sort of hodified blue print that in provide aguidance to reps on how to navigate this process while at the same time allowingan amount of flexibility for them to sort of make it their own within thoseboundaries. That also proved to be a really nice sort of quantification opportunity whereQuinn and I developed a certification around, say, like twenty to twenty fivecheckpoints on skills that we wanted them to have mastered or behaviors we wanted themto have mastered by the end of the thirty days, and letting Quinn certifythose people against those capabilities. That's just a big opportunity. Is like,listen, if you put that in place and over time you're able to validatethat those certification scorers correlate with long term success, then you've now created areally quick learning opportunity for you to check that your hirings not falling off withinthirty days of the higher as opposed to having to wait six months. And, oh by the way, if that certification score doesn't correlate with long termsuccess, I'd really question the effective is. You're on boarding and what if tellingyou about preparing people for the job. That was one big one was justthe quantification piece and setting up the situation, where as opposed to onboarding. The second one was how much time is spent on product training versusbuyer training? I thought that a lot...

...of on boarding processes spent a lotof time on product training, which is fine, but not enough time onthe buyer training. You just you just use just shot an Arrow through myheart exactly what's happening right now. Exactly. I mean. It's like I wouldmuch rather have my reps being a plus and understanding the buyers perspective thenan a plus on every friggin advanced feature that my product and down. Imean the way we did it was every single rap spent most of their timeand training creating their own blog, using hub spot, creating a social mediafollowing ranking in Google, setting up an email markinnur training campaign, building landingpage, his doing the job of the buyer. They would eventually sell tofeeling that pain, building confidence. The techniques worked and then they were justsuch a more powerful cellar when they get out there. That was the otherpiece. was just an under investment in weight, in buyer training versus producttraining. I think that is that's worth the price of admission for this podcastjust to put put a stamp on that. We can spend a lot of timetalking about the right type of lead and some of the mechanisms that youuse to align sales and marketing. But for this audience I also think it'simportant to dive into a little bit of process. So you know, youwere a new at some point. You are not. At some point youhad experience as a sales manager and sales person just by dint of the factthat you had been there for a while. But did you copy and embrace,you know, did you read a bunch of books and say, okay, we're going to do sort of Miller hymen, or how did you workout what is the sales process appropriate for hub spot and what are the keyelements of it? Yeah, I mean I did go out and take meetingswith the salespeople and executives at Miller hymen and Sandler and huthway and all thoseplaces and I learned a lot from reading about their methodologies and talking to theirpeople. I mean they are just experts of the craft. The only beefthat I had with it was because they were trying to build scalable businesses.They had sort of off theeself methodology and as I look at them, Iwas like, you know, half of that really applies to us and willbe helpful, but the other half is just going to confuse my wraps.Can I just take this piece? And there wasn't a lot of like configurabilityand customizability and flexibility along those lines, and so because of that, Ijust never took the plunge and committed to one. But I did leverage allthose discussions to build out our own. So I think that gets back tojust a theme that I think you're probably hearing through this process that I'm reallybelieve as a philosophical belief in sales is like so much of this is contextdriven and so much of this is just understanding what is unique about your contextand building everything from who you hire to how you compensate, to the salesplaybook and process you develop, to the type of demand generation you decide toinvest in execute in around that context. And so that that's essentially what Idid was, you know, took the bits and pieces that we're highly applicableand built out our playbook from scratch. One of the things that I thinkabout as I read the book and as I listen to you speak is time. And you know, if you're going to figure out what is the idealhiring profile for somebody, to your point, you need to establish what your scientificmethod, you establish the hypothesis on what you think the qualities are,and but then you need time. You need time to evaluate whether you wereright or not and then adjust, and that takes time. And so youknow that can be months, that can be six, nine hundred and twelvemonths. 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're testing for but didn't yet havedata around. How did you deal with that ambiguity? was that a problemor an issue, or was it just...

...something that you know? It iswhat it is. Yeah, I mean it's a huge problem. I mean, as an entrepreneur we're constantly trying to figure out how can I learn fasterand more accurately with less time and less money? You have to constantly beenasking yourself that and say I'm your poking and one of the more difficult areaswe're just that learning curve around hiring. It's so hard because you honestly,I did not know whether a rep is going to work out until nine monthsand even years into it, where the my managers would be like this andthat higher. I made bad high. Then it's not working out and thena year later they're one of our top reps. that happens all the time. Happens all the time, and so I don't know what to say there. You know, I freaked me out. What freaks me out most is Ijust don't know for such a long period of time. The only thingthat I kind of was able to get inside on was I would tell thosemanagers, okay, do this for me. Go in and like be very prescriptiveabout what the specific skill you want to work on and develop with themthat you think will be most helpful to them. Craft, agree a coachingexercise around that skill and around the learning preferences that you perceive from that wrap, and just work on them for like two or three weeks on it,and then let's ask ourselves. Did they improve and was the improvement sustained?And so if other answers are no to those questions, then we'd probably needto move on this and it's not working out. But if we are ableto improve them and sustain it, it might take longer, but I thinkwe'll get there over time. And so that was like the only early indicatorthat I could see. That help me learn fast. Yeah, which speaksto the coachability point, which is if you can sense some coachability early inthe interview process and you know not to put to find a point on it. But if they're not dumb, if they're smart and they're coachable, thenthere's probably upside potential. So, Mark, you were at a hub spot forall those years. You got them past a hundred million and then ultimatelyyou moved on to HBS. So tell us a little bit about some ofthe new work that you're doing. I think you mentioned to me that you'reworking on some new concepts. Talk to us a little bit about that.I'm sure they're interesting and I'm sure you're leveraging some of the recent conversations andinteractions that you've had. Yeah, so just really blessed that this opportunity camemy way. I mean, as you can imagine, what's happening in businessschools is there's a huge appetite these days for entrepreneurship, maybe away from bankin a little bit since the o a crisis, and because of that,many schools are trying to diversify their faculty and offerings aligned with entrepreneurial tasks,selling being one of them. So hps is just a phenomenal opportunity for me, not just to build out the sales curriculum there, but also because somany business schools look to them for the curriculum. They'd like to teach ittheir school. It's just a great opportunity for me to influence how selling istaught at many schools across the world. The other great thing is it justgives me, and they actually encourage continued involvement in practice. So I getto the hundreds of data points at every year, whether it's as an investor, advisor, board member, students that I'm working with, etc. Aroundthe insides of sales and marketing functions and try to step back and do somepattern recognition to the big thing I've been seeing lately as I've been continuing tolook in the start up phase, reflecting on some of the guidance I madein the sales acceleration formula, and I think there's a big void today aroundentrepreneurs who successfully navigate the lean startup methodology, arguably founded by Eric Reese, developmvps, remain agile, create prototypes, fine product market thing, but Ithink they're just a huge confusion at that point by both entrepreneurs and investorsof like what do I do next? And I see many organizations just belike go fast, higher, twenty reps...

...and let's start triple and revenue anddouble and revenue, and that leads to a lot of issues down the roadand I think that what I've been working on is trying to codify a frameworkthat organizations can follow that you might describe as finding go to market fit,once you find product market fit, and there's essentially three stages to it,which is customer success, then unit economics and then growth and mote. Sohow can you prove and develop the ability to time and time again, signup dozens of customers every month or quarter and have eighty percent of them realizingthe value that you pitched them on within a few months and once? Howdo you do that? Yes, so the biggest thing there is many organizationswill measure the success of that based on whether people are canceling and churning orattaining and in a lot of context that metric is a significant lagging indicator toactually what's happening. So the first step to actually do that is to dosome self reflection on your own offering and decide what is your leading indicator tocustomer success that can be observed within the first month or two of a customerslife, and in the industry a lot of businesses refer to that as theAha moment. For dropbox, it was one file, one folder, onedevice. For Slack, it's two thousand people on a team that are collaborating. For hub spot, it was the usage of five or more features outof their twenty five feature platform. These are all things that could be observedwithin the first month or two of usage and once that's identified, measure theheck out of it every month to see that you're getting better and run abunch of experiments on how to get better, which range from the customers you chooseto sign up, the expectations you set during the sales process, theonboarding techniques that you use to on board them and any sort of product enhancements, whether it's in APP messaging or ease of use on the UX, tohelp customers get to that metric fast enough. So just not enough organizations. Theyskip that step and jump to measuring, you know, revenue, top linerevenue, as their key to success and I just think that's an easymetric to go after and completely bandaid an enormous deficiency of creating customer value bydon't disagree with you at all. In fact I'm our minded. I thinkthe sales source one was do they build a dashboard? Right, right,yeah, there are a moment so that you need to focus first and thenand then you can move on to UN economics once you've nailed that and younew economics. At that stage that's when things like your complan design, yourpricing model, scalable demand Gen tactics really become critical. But I wouldn't recommendworking on those in the first phase. And so this model provides a clearerpicture of the milestones we need to go through and what aspects of the salesmachine development matter most of each stage. Tell us about the key parts ofsort of the last stage, which is growth and mode, and you obviouslyI know what you're talking about when you say Moh, but a lot ofpeople might not. So walk us through what the concept of emote means fora business. Sure, so it's a barrier to entry and as I reflecton different businesses that I've met over last couple of years, that got totend to and got the twenty million and then completely flat lined. A lotof times it was because of a lack of mote development. And so whatthat means is great, you figured out customer value, you found product marketfit, you're doing it in a profitable way with great UN economics. You'rescaling fast, double and revenue every every year. Guess what, copycats arecoming. So you got to ask yourself if too really smart engineers from Googlequit their job and raise ten million bucks from sequoia and built exactly what youhave, why do new prospects still buy what you have and that what theyhave, especially if they sell it cheaper? And so you know it's a difficultthing to do, but it could...

...be anything from a network of factto benchmarking features that you provide to even, like in hub spots case, likethe creation of a category inbound 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 asa sustainable advantage. And I usually I put it last, just because sometimesthe growth contributes to that mode and at the same time, it's advisable totake time to build the mote, even if it comes at the sacrifice ofaccelerated growth. So if I had to choose, if I'm talking to copyit like, yeah, we can triple our revenue this year or we candouble our revenue but take the RD cycles and time to develop a mote aroundit, I would choose the ladder. So that's what I mean by Moeand and the things that come into play during the growth and mode stage aresome of the stuff we've talked about today, which is the scalable hiring process andon boarding process. Oftentimes it means looking at multiple segments within your businessand running those is slightly different motions. Like if you're selling to SMBS andenterprises or if you're selling to healthcare and finance, you may have to lookat bifurcating your overall sales motion to be customed to each one of those segments. So those are some of the things that will come up at that stage. That's very helpful. One very specific question, just because you just broughtit up. Do you prefer, if you had to choose between segmenting bysize of customer, meaning enterprise versus s and be or by industry, vertical. What would you choose? Yeah, again, context is kated such aninteresting question, Sam, that it was the fifth case that I wrote atHBS about a great company down in you are called view the space bets reallycomplicated sales deployment decision. There is no universal answer. They're the only thingI could say is you want to drive of that decision based on commonalities inbuyer behavior, and so the mistake that I see across the industry is jumpingtoo quickly into a geographic segmentation just because that was our roots as a field. The only way to sell was to shake hands with people and see peopleand it's just logical to cluster your reps around the prospects that they want togo after. And that's still the case if your sale process requires a lotof handshaking and in person 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 onwhere I'm seeing the most commonality in buyer behavior and the difference in across thosesegments, so that I can specialize my reps around that behavior. Yeah,makes sense. We're almost at the end of our time together. Mark.Give us a quick update. First of all, thank you, because thishas been exceptional useful, but tell us what you're up to now so wecan start, as a global audience, figuring out if we can help youin some way and tell us what you're up to, because it's pretty exciting. Yeah, I mean we're in the early phases. I almost don't wantto go public, but we can talk about it Sam. So I'm lookingto double down on the investment side and we're putting together we're in the earlyphases of experimenting with whether a go to mark get fund would work, meaningbacked by go to market professionals helping organizations at that go to market stage,and so it's really just a nice continuation of all the work that I've beendoing. It's going quite well with our early discussions, and I think theway you can help is if you know of organizations that you are setting uptheir go to market capability or maybe struggling a little bit, just continue toreach out and I may have more resources at my disposal to help along thoselines. That makes perfect sense. Very sort of last question, as Icall it. We like to follow the bread crumb trail. So when youthink about influential people or books or content...

...that's really impacted you could be recently, like the book you're reading right now, or somebody that really mentored you.Give us some names of people or books or pieces of content that weshould know about as we pursue self improvement and and evolution of the sales discipline? HMM, yeah, I would say I'll go back to some like reallyold school stuff. A question I often get from my students is, listen, I have no background in sales. How do I learn to sell?Knowing the sales hacker community, I know a lot of folks are still sellingor in their other stages of their sales career. So there's a three booksequence, two of which are quite classics. One, Jeez, it's got it. I visit eighty years old, how to win friends and in peopleby Dale Carnegie. It's really funny to read about the early sales of typewritersand it's also equally amazing how applicable they are to modern sales professions today.So dig into that one. The second is not quite as long as aclass older the classic, but it's still a classic and that's been selling byNeil Rackham. I still think that Neil was the forefather in thought leadership aroundcodifying the process of understanding the buyers perspective, reframing that buyers perspective would such ascritical and important skill and selling and just helping the buyer to prioritize thechallenges there ahead of them to make sales move faster. And then the finalone is the is the more near term classic around the Challenger Sale. Ithink they've done an equally good job of helping to redefine modern salesman person shipin terms of defining problems, help customers understand those problems and telling presentations accordingto what you find. So that's kind of like my three pron classic ondeveloping belly to belly sales skills. That's awesome. That's great. Last questionand thank you again so much for joining us. If folks want to reachout to you, for example if they've got ideas about companies that need goto market assistance or they just want to pin you, are you open tothat? As there are a channel that you prefer to prefer Linkedin. Youprefer email how and is that okay? Absolutely. I mean it's how Istay in touch with the industry. I make as much time as possible tohelp. So two ways are linkedin's great or on my faculty page at HBS. We can just google my name and HBS. There's an email about inthere. You can send me a note. They're that's awesome, mark. Thanksso much for your time. I was great speaking with you. ThanUse them high folks. It's SAM's corner. Marc robear's dropping knowledge on the saleshacker podcast. The great thing about talking to mark is just the specificsand the details. He's done it so he can dive into detail and reallygive us some actionable advice. Couple things jumped out at me. One ofthem is around the interview process. So I think coachability is a widely andoff discussed paradigm for thinking about potential success, and what mark mentioned is that hespecifically deploys a sort of a coachability module into the interview by jumping intoa role play, watching how the candidate responds and then stopping midway, givingfeedback and seeing if the person can respond to that feedback. And that's onemechanism to demonstrate coachability and if they can react really positively and moderate and adjusttheir behavior in the context of that interview, then there's a high likelihood that theywill be successful at other points in their career. So that's kind ofone really interesting thing that he mentioned. The second when it comes to trainingand onboarding, which is near and dear to my heart, an over emphasison product training and an under emphasis on buyer training. And I think ifwe're all going to be building really effective training and on boarding programs, firstand most important is understanding the buyers perspective in the buyer journey, empathy,understanding where they come from, what their motivations are. Let's spend a lotof time teaching our teams about how the buyer thinks, what they do dayto day and what their key paining points are, and also teach about thecomplexities of the product and how it works.

So this has been Sam's corner andwe also want to thank our sponsors. As we depart from you, thisthe weekend sales hacker podcast. So if you're interested in learning more aboutthe show itself, see upcoming guests, play more episodes from our lineup ofsales leaders. First, I encourage you to go to sales hackercom and headto the PODCAST TAB. You'll also find us on itunes, Google play oranywhere that podcasts are performed. If you enjoy this episode, share it withyour peers on Linkedin, twitter or elsewhere. And if you want to get intouch with me, you can always find me on twitter at Sam fJacobs or on Linkedin at linkedincomas in slash Sam f Jacobs. Professional correspondence probablybetter on Linkedin. Twitter has more potentially offensive ramblings. And then, finally, shout out to our sponsors. It's air call, your advanced call centersoftware, complete business phone and contact center, one hundred percent integrated into any crmand outreach, a customer engagement platform that helps efficiently and effectively engage prospectsto drive more pipeline and close more deals. I will see you next time,.

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