The Sales Hacker Podcast
The Sales Hacker Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

28. The Key Habits and Systems that Power High Growth SaaS Companies w/ Chris Degnan

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

We sat down with Chris Degnan, CRO of Snowflake Computing, one of the fastest growing SaaS businesses in the world, to learn how he went from being the first rep to leading the sales entire sales organization.

One, two, one three, pot hey team, it's the salesacker podcast and your host Sam Jacobs. I'm the founder of the revenue collective. We started in New York. We've now got chapters in London and we'RE LAUNCHING BOSTON, Toronto and Denver Pretty soon, so that's pretty exciting. I'm also the chief Revenue Officer of a company called Behave Os, but most importantly I'm the host of this show and this is episode twenty nine. We've got a great show. Today we're interviewing Chris Stagnant, who is the chief Revenue Officer of Snow Flake Computing. Snowflake and Chris particularly are a great story about going from Chris was actually the first sales hire at snowflake. They didn't ever go to market model, they didn't have a go to market commercial strategy. Chris built that from the ground up. They are now well past a hundred million and rr and one of the most successful enterprise technology businesses to come out of Silicon Valley and in fact out of the US in a long, long time. And Chris has an amazing approach to how we managed his career, how we sought out mentors, how he laid the foundation so that he could one day become a VP of sales and a cro and it's a fantastic conversation. Now one of the things we must do. We must do this. We have to thank our sponsors. We've got two sponsors this week and you probably heard of them already. The first is air call. Air Calls a phone call system designed for the modern sales team. They seamlessly, seamlessly, without seems, integrate into your crm, eliminating data and tree for your rips and providing you with greater ability into your team's performance through advanced reporting. Now, when it's time to scale, what can you do? You know what you can do. You can add new lines in minutes and you can use in caall coaching to reduce ramp time for your new reps. visit are called Dot ioh for which sales hacker to see why uber done and Bradstreet, pipe drive and thousands of others trust are call for their most critical sales conversations. Our second sponsor is outreach IO, the leading sales engagement platform. Outreach triples the productivity of sales teams and empowers them to drive predictable and measurable Revenue Growth. That's interesting, isn't it? Now, what's more, by prioritizing the right activities and scaling customer engagement with Intelligent Automation, not stupid automation, it's intelligent automation, outreach makes customer facing teams more effective and improves his ability into what really drives results. Hop over to outreach, dio forward slash sales hacker to see how thousands of customers, including cloud ere, glass door, Pandora and Zilo, rely on outreach to deliver higher revenue for Sales Rep now give me two seconds. I want to point out some fans that have written in. One of the things. If you're listening to this and you're in the car, that's an honor. That's an honor for me to be sharing this car ride with you and I want to thank some of the folks that have reached out. Robert Hanson specifically said that he's been driving around a lot and I kept him company. Or sorry, I we the salesacker podcast team, which is a big team of people, kept him company on his long drive. We also have outreach from Scott Vander Lake, Masha Rutovski, Trent Vander stelt and Daniel Holberg. So all of you, thanks much for reaching out and the folks that have reached out and said Hey, I drove from Chicago to Austin, Texas and I listen to the sales haccer podcast the whole way. Thank you. Thank you very much. We've got a bunch of great guests coming up and we've got a bunch of exciting new content ideas that we're going to be testing. So thank you very much. Without further ado, let us listen to Chrisdegnan, CRO at snowflake computing. Hey, everybody, it's Sam Jacobs and welcome to the salesacker podcast. Today we're incredibly excited to have Chris degnant on the show. Chris is the chief Revenue Officer of Snow Flake Computing. He's got a long and story career in Silicon Valley, originally coming out to the valley in one thousand nine hundred and ninety seven. I'm winding up in San Francisco, during the originalcom boom. His first big start was at EMC, where he spent eight years both as a rep and a frontline sales manager. He then left in two thousand and twelve, which we'll hear about, to join a company called a Vexa that was acquired by EMC and eventually found his way in the summer two thousand and thirteen to snowflake computing. And...

...now snowflake is, I think will find out, but well over a hundred million and run Raider is certainly close to that number and one of the fastest growing SASS platforms of all time. They've got over a thousand customers. Chris oversees a sales organization in the US, Europe and the APEC region and we're incredibly excited to have them. So Welcome, Chris. Thanks. Am Glad to be here. Yeah, we're glad to have you. So we like to start off to just to frame people's experience in context. You're Chris Dagnan. You're the CRO it's snow flake computer. Give us a quick thirty second elevator pitch on snowflake. Who they are, what they do? So at Snow Flake we built a cloud database from scratch and we started building that in two thousand and twelve. Our founders are PhDs from from Oracle and in other major database companies and we are native to the cloud. We are on aws, we are on Microsoft Azure and we soon next year will be on Google cloud as well. In from a competitive landscape we compete with Amazon, Google and Microsoft from a cloud day to warehousing perspective. And then on premise venders are folks like tera data or Cole, IBM and Teasa, those types of folks that we compete with on the on premise. Roule, was I correct in the Revenue Range? Give us rough are obviously private company, confidential. But what's the range? Confidential, but what is it? So we'll do from a rep there's obviously two numbers. There's ACV bookings, is really my goal, and there's revenue, where usage based revenue system so kind of unique in that world. Will do well over a hundred million dollars in revenue and somewhere in the hundred and fifty million dollars in dcv bookings this year. Wow. Well, congratulations. That's incredible and the company, I think, is raised a am I reading this right? Four hundred and sixty three million dollars. Yes, foreigner, sixty three million, butter hill red point. I'll timeter iconic sequoiam a DRONA. Wow, okay, that's a lot of millions. Tell us about your sales, or so how many people? How do the function split out? And Walk us through that a little bit. So we have a field sales organization. I think we originated. I was effectively sales rep number one in snowflake about five years ago, and so we originated as a field selling organization and we've grown that to over a hundred and twenty field ups globally. Within my sales team we also have a corporate sales team, which is our inside sales team, which is about fifteen people and we're really starting to build that muscle, if you will. Now. In addition, we have a BEDR organization and we're roughly one BDR to every three sales ups. That's our rough ratio. And on top of that I have the sales engineering organization, which is a for every two sales ups there's one see, so it's a two to one ratio. And then we have a I have the alliances organization as well as the sales operations organization. That is a large organization and am I correct that you? I mean you've been doing startups since, or at least you've been doing software sales, regardless of size, since one thousand nine hundred and ninety eight. So basically for twenty years. Yeah, yes, that's correct. So you're old just like me. Even going back, I mean I talked to a lot of people that graduated from, you know, with law degrees or journalism degrees. How'd you end up in sales in the first place and and how did that journey take you to snowflake? Yeah, I think when I grew up in the Boston area, I think everyone, I thought everyone made, you know, money in finance and when I got out to the bay area I got into a program at Franklin Templeton which was a management trainee program and they rotate you through departments every four months and it was it was a great experience and my first rotation was through human resources and I knew that was not a career path for me. I did not like HR. And then I went into the sales organization and I felt like Hey, this is something I like. I like trying to sell something. I enjoyed the people that I was talking to, but I didn't necessarily like the finance aspect of sales. And so that's when, you know, it was Acom Boom. I got involved in startups and I kind of navigated my way to a company called covalent technologies, where I was my first real true enterprise tech sale and then from there got into EMC and you...

...know, that's all she wrote. Now I'm over here at Solf and so emc sort of a big cunt. You started off as a sales rep, is that right? And then walk us through that evolution. You became a manager. How did you end up as the Crro of such a huge company? H It kind of lucky, better lucky, even good, as I always say. No, you know, when I interviewed a d MC, you know, I think this is probably old school, but I had a printed resume and I put on the printed resume my objective was to be the vice president of sales someday. That's very true to form. I don't think I ever want to do anything other other than sell. I can't imagine being a CEO. I don't. There's functions within the organization that I never would want to manage. And so from that standpoint that was my high level objective and career objective and I kind of said, what are the things that I need to do to get there? So I knew that I had to be a successful sales rap and I did that for four years and then I really pushed to be a frontline manager and got that frontline job at Eddie Mc and I'll tell you, a man em he was a grind. It was a very tough organization to work at. But I learned a lot in the I call it, effectively my MBA and sales at a MC. And then at the end of my time at a MC, I got sick of selling storage. I got introduced to the John mcmahan network, I'll call it, via my friend Adam Aaron's, who was the xcro at OCTA and in sort of retirement right now. And in that world, being part of that John mcman world opens up a lot of doors and I went to a Vexa, worked for a guy by the name of Andy Byron, another phenomenal sales leader. In in my tenure at of EXA, probably the hardest sale of my career, but had a lot of fun in on my twelve month anniversary we got bought by EMC. So being a back into EMC was not what I signed up for and even though I had to leave shares that were worth a lot of money on the table, I kind of took a leap of faith and jumping to snowflake Vacu in two thousand and thirteen. The reason I did it is there's a lot of sales leaders within the enterprise tech space that have the history of being successful. They're also in, pardon my French, assholes, and I made the decision after a lot of these companies that came after me. Being part of the John McMahon network offered a lot of opportunities for me, and a lot of the opportunities came my way were either sales leaders that I didn't care for or just I couldn't get passionate about the tack behind it, and I got introduced by then to a guy by the name of Mike spiser. Mike is a founder in snowflake and event your capitalist. He's also a founder and pure storage in on their board as well to this day. In Mike sold me on. Hey make a decision that is people based, in market opportunity based, and that's effectively why I came to snowflake. I joined snowflake in two thousand and thirteen. Is A director of sales. I took a giant pay cut. I figured at this point in my career, five years later, if I projected out, I figured I would been fired and they would have hired a gray haired sales leader to kind of be my boss, and I was fortunate enough to have Bob Muglia, our currency Eo, come in. He came in after I did and he really bet on me and really pushed me and developed me and I feel so fortunate to be a part of that. That that's an incredible story and particularly well. First of all, I think unfortunately for both of us, Chris, at this point we are the gray haired people that that are gonna do the replacing. That's right, that's so. When you joined Snowflake, I think it's you know, it was in stealth mode. Don't off was prerevenue, but it was certainly very early. Your old customer. Zero reven zero, not a single customer. So what do you do? Well, how do you start? How do you get going, and sort of what's like the playbook for the first twelve months when you're in that stage? I walked in I think the first day I said, Holy Shit, what did I just do? And then I said, okay, what are the things that I've learned in my sales care and I think going back to, you know, my time at e MC. I said, all right, I'm going to hold myself. I had no manager like Mike spiser was the acting CEO. He was in one day a week. I had a bunch of engineers. There was literally I was a sixteen employee here. It's no flake and there were fifteen...

...engineers staring at me and I said, all right, I'm going to hold myself accountable to metrics, and those metrics are so important to this day. So I ultimately said I need to have eight meetings a week. That was my goal, eight customer meetings a week. And then that's the high order bit. And by the way, every Friday I had to write an email to the entire company summarizing all of the meetings I had. So I knew that there was a shameful email coming out if I had zero meetings. So that was kind of my self motivation. And then I had to kind of back into how do I actually go and find customers, because we were self mode. What I did was I initially I would go out and try to target the biggest companies in the planet, a General Motors or something like that, and I realized that those companies are not early adopters, not even close to earlier doctors. And so, after a few conversations with large enterprises, I really focus my time and effort on companies that were cloud friendly, that had cloud native APPs that were more cheap than anything. So I focused on Amazon, really advertises their customers a lot. I hired an intern. Between her and I, we would build list based on people that were already in aws. I would go to job boards like indeedcom and look for job postings of atws job postings and then I would then go on to Linkedin, build a list from there and find the highest, you know, the CTO, the CIO of that organization, and send them an email, and my email was pretty simple. Is Hey, I run sales at a cloud day to warehousing company. We've done something really unique where we've built from scratch this sequel day to warehouse where we've separated storage, drink, compute and we natively ingest semi structured data. I'd love fifteen minutes of your time to just tell you what we're up to and see if you could give me any advice on how we could actually make the product better. And that was really my it was a soft sale and all of a sudden I went from banging my head against a while trying to go after the large enterprise to getting inundated with opportunities after spamming thousands of people every week and I was cold calling people, and so I was up to my head and opportunities and that really led me to start building up the organization and gave the investors, quite frankly, the will to allow me to hire people. When you joined, did you sign up for a revenue plan? Was it sort of and it was it like a traditional fifty comp or half here commission is on closed business, or was it much more amorphous, because they didn't even know what the sale was at that point and it's more like, Chris, will give you twenty percent of whatever you close until we figure out where the machine is, and then once we build the machine, we can set a target. I think that's the beauty of these venture there's not a lot of you know, we can get into a later, but I'm not a huge fan of the venture capital community and there's, I think, a very select of really strong vcs, Mike spiser being one of them. And Mike said, look, you're not going to he he set my expectations. WHOA quite frankly, is you're going to take a fifty percent pay cut for the next two years, by the way. Can you do that now? He said the upside is in the equity, so bet on the equity, right, and that's a typical venture capitalist. But I took that bet and I took a huge pay cut in doing and he said you're going to make your own goals, right, and you're going to go and make the product better. And so ultimately your job thet customers to use snuff. Like I don't care if they pay, I want them to actually use it and make the product better. And that was my high order bit and that's what I focused on. So I found customers and I begged them. It was probably the hardest sale of my career of convincing a customer to put their data in a product that basically didn't exist. That was really it, and so I gold myself with getting customers and about nine months into my tenure we signed up our first paying customer, and so there was no commissions. It was a quarterly bonus and I basically made my mbos up and I shared them with the board and they agreed it. Every quarter, and that's what I would do, and the mbos would change quarter by quarter based on where we were as a company. It makes sense. And so then the interesting thing about your experiences. First of all, super recent right, like it wasn't twenty years ago. You were the first salesperson a snuff like relatively recently and you've seen this MEDIORC growth. So we can dive in and...

...really get really tactical details, which is awesome. So first nine months you get your first customer. At some point you start hiring. How do you figure out? Did you already have a playbook or template for you know how you're going to build you or how many sales engineers? You know the ratios? You were talking about bedrs to field. What was your game plan there? The first tire I had was, of course, an intern where she helped me build the man generation, because I was my own demand generation machine. And then I needed a sales engineer because I was using our V P of product marketing as that sales engineer. So I needed that. And then from there I was getting inundated where I did not have enough time to actually tell the snowflake story because there was enough demand that I was generating where I needed more help. So I hired two inside sales ups who are still with us to this day and they bring promoted to the field a long time ago. And so I hired to the inside sales reups. They started to create more demand, the investor saw it, and so I had to go find the three kind of core foundations of my sales organ I hired two guys that had worked for me in previous jobs and then one guy that I had to go find with a help of my recruiter, Chat Peetz, on helping get the core foundation of the sales team. So I started then and where these three guys field guys. These were quotacay and field guys, sales, sales leaders. They were leaders that took individual contributor roles. So I convinced them. It was hard right, but I convinced them to bet on the company, on me, on everything, and that's probably the most important thing that I've learned in this entire process and what has enabled me to go from director of sales to chief revenue officer, is recruit people better than you and if you're able to do that, you will be rewarded absolutely. Recruiting top talent is probably the number one goal of a senior executive. So you added these three folks. These were sales leaders. where they regionally focused? How did you organize them? Yeah, I mean effectively. Yes, the short answers. Yes, they were reginally focused. I had a guy in the bay area, I had a guy up in Seattle and Seattle and I guy in New York and we kind of just diving up the country three ways between those three folks and we kind of started going from there. And then as we saw demand in a specific region, we would hire. So the northeast was a hotbed force and this guy, Vince trata, who works for me to this day, is Vince is based in New York. He was the first sales Rep. we started to see demand not only in New York but in Boston, and then we so we hired a sales team up in Boston, both in see and a sales rep, and then we hired more people in the bay and so forth and so on. So we would follow demand. I mean it was hey, where are we seeing leads? Where can we not get to the opportunities? And then let's go hire a sales team. And then the demands being created largely by you guys, right because maybe we've been leaving up on marketing, or because there was we were in stealth mode. So there was literally I had the bed our function in we would literally build lists off of job boards, off of aws presentations. I wanted to focus solely on companies that were in the cloud already and that were early adopters, and you can tell that. You know, small companies generally are cheap. They'll do anything. If they like the technology and they can get it for nothing or next to nothing, they'll do that and those are earliest customers. Add Tech customers, online gaming customers who had massive data challenges and didn't have a lot of money. Those are earliest customers. And so you know, you guys are following demand. Obviously that, I mean, one of the things that is probably eminently clear, but we should articulate as obviously you have a great product, because the demands going to dry up really quickly if a bunch of people are trying this thing out and not happy with it. So you've got something that's working. You're scaling up the team as your responsibilities grew and his regardless of your title, as your responsibility shifted from being a sales manager to being a cro what do you think are the main things that change? What's a different about the quote Unquote Crro job from a regional head of the west coast sales or something like that? I think the biggest challenge that I've seen, even within people that within the organization that I've hired, is there are some folks that you hire that are good from like like. The they say they're the venture capitals. Will say, Hey, there's certain...

...sales leaders that are good from zero to ten million and then ten to fifty and then fifty to one hundred and so forth and so on. I think the thing that I'd say about it is if you micro manage, if you were a micro manager, you do not have the ability to scale. So, as I said earlier, the key in my success here at snowflake is a yes, the product is world class and that founders are just amazing people, but on top of that it's hiring great people and empowering those people to make decisions on their own, helping them navigate those problems, and that's ultimately what I do. Even to this day, for example, I hired a phenomenal leader in Europe. Tebow Sarelli and Tebow was he was part of the original team in Europe. And I'm not sitting there micromanaging tebow. I'm allowing Tebow to make decisions on where he's going to put people in Europe and how he's going to grow the organization. Now, I will give him guidance and I will help him get the resources he needs, but but I'm not saying Tebow, go to this sales called, do this, do that. No, man, you it's your business, you run it. I trust you and you empower those people that you trust. That's basically what my whole philosophy has been here at Snowflake, and I've been very fortunate to hire great leaders. My North American leader the same thing. So all great leaders. You're articulating the tenants of great management. So for this guy, Te bow, out in Europe, what you need from him is one of the things you probably need is for him to tell you what resources he needs and then you need to give him the goal or the direction. Here's where we're trying to go. Is that sound right? Yeah, so the high order for us right is John McMahon. By the way, it's a piece of advice I could give to anybody is when I made the decision to join snowflake, one of the things that I said to Mike Spiser, who I think is amazing, I said, Mike, I love you to death, I think I'm you're so passionate what we're doing, but there's no one on the board that cares about sales people, and I'm working for you and the founders, who are engineers. I need a sales leader, like a person like John McMahon on my board and Literally Mike the next day put John on our board. And so what I'd say about that, and what's key about that, is John has the model and it's a productivity model and we followed that and that was our revenue builds model and we said, all right, our goal is to get to a million dollars in ACV growth per wrap. And so that's the model that we kind of built and that's how we decided on. Okay, I need this much head count. This will generate after six months. We expect twenty five percent turnover and will generate after a rep has been here six months. They will generate two one hundred fifty grand in ACV bookings a quarter and that's my that's basically my unit of measure, especially early on, and so that's every region, country that we hire sales teams on the leader is held accountable to making their reps productive. And productive is it was two hundred FIFTYZERO dollars a quarter. We're at a productivity number that's much higher than that now because we're seeming such growth. And do you factor in the cost? I mean obviously two hundred and fifty grand a quarter can be de factor and how much it's going to take to get to two hundred and fifty grand of quarter either in terms of leads, opportunities, bedr support? Is that all part of like the unit economic equation? Here's a rate. Yes, there is a ratio for everybody. So there's for every three field reps, there's one BEDR for every two field reps, there's one at sales engineer, and we have ratios. So the numbers of sales as drive the headcount for the entire company, right, because that's all driving the million dollar run right after the ramp period. Correct. Yes, when you think about what's going to make you successful or not successful in your role, what do you think the biggest determinants are. What I've learned in meeting some big company folks is, I think a lot of big company folks in quite frankly, you know I'm just starting to see it from my level now, is I never had an assistant. Now I have an assistant. I have a sales operations team that builds my board decks. I used to have to build my board decks on my own, so you can get used to that. It's like living the life of luxury, if you will. Write and and I think the thing that I've noticed is when you hire big company people and they don't have...

...those resources available to them, sometimes they struggle. So from my vantage point it's kind of hilarious. In my viewpoint. I get a lot of recruiters calling me and saying, Hey, we want someone that's built a company from zero to one hundred million dollars in revenue, and I'm like yeah, that's great, but no offense to you, but you know I've done that and I'm probably don't want that job. And I think what's important for those people to realize is you want my biggest thing is hiring potential over like experience. I think potential and grind it are probably the most important thing. So I think the thing that you have to be willing to do at every level at this company or any company, is you need to get your hands dirty, and a lot of its senior executives are unwilling to do that. You know, hey, I give this big strategy, but I want a lot of people to execute for me. That's not the way it is here and even our CEO, Bob Mugley, I think that was my biggest concern. When Bob joined, Bob was the president of Microsoft, of the Server and tool division of Microsoft. He worked for Steve Bomber, who was the CEO Microsoft, and satching Adela, who is the CEO Microsoft, used to work for Bob and I think the unique quality that Bob has is someone who managed Tenzero, Fifteen Tho people. Bob Gets his hands dirty and I think that's the key is he will grind, he will go out on sales calls, he will go meet with customers, he will drive product to do stuff, he will get people. He understands the product better than anyone at this company. So I think what I'd say is for the those venture capitals that want to hire great sales leaders, I would say, bet on the future as opposed to, you know, hiring the experience. I think those people that grind and want that VP is sales job. There's a lot of potential in those people and go find someone like me five years ago. I think that those are the kind of the key qualities of people you know that you're looking for. How do you test for that? One of the things I've noticed IT companies is early stage companies. Often they have guys like you or there's often a couple early stars. The reason those early stars are there is because they didn't have a hiring profile, they didn't have, you know, the scorecard and greenhouse. They were just taking a bet on a few different people and a couple of them are emerged as massive overachievers, huge grinders. We've got those people here at behaviors. The head of account management is, you know, a few years out of school, but this guy will get on a plan to fly anywhere in the world on a moment's notice. Is His name's Nebile Ebraheim. So we've got those grinders. But five years from now I'm going to have a speck and the speck is going to say I need this much experience and this much experience doing this and this much experience doing that, and what's going to happen is that those kinds of people are going to be screened out of the process because they're going to be deemed to not have enough experience, and so some of that grinding upside element is going to be lost. How do I find the young grinders on their way up? That's a great question. I think it depends on what job you're hiring them for. I mean, if you're hiring a BEDR, you're looking for qualities in that bed are. So in any given interview, I don't care if I'm hiring you know, we just hired to see a right, I was part of that interview process. If I'm hiring a BDR, and I mean in the BEDR interview, the first question I ask is tell me Your Life Story, tell me where you're from. Tell me that the reasons that you made the decisions you made in terms of the college you chose. Tell me what you did while you're at college. And what I'm looking for our people that there's situations that they've actually had to work, had to go grind in their careers. It might be, Hey, they were an athlete and they overachieved and they did X, Y and Z in there, you know, in their athletic career, or they work. They paid their way through college and then they got their first job and they out of school. And if you're looking for a field, sales are up with potential. The thing that I would say, even to this day at Snowflake, the number one thing that I look for is within the last two years you need to explain to me in your job you've actually opened up brand new logos for your company and if you have not done that, if you've been an account manager, you've managed one account. That's not what I'm looking for. Ninety nine percent of the time,...

...even to this day, where we're at from a scale perspective, because we are in hypergrowth mode. So you need to find that great and grind and you're looking for that in their life experiences. So finding tough situations. I you know, one of the questions that John McMahon has got me asking candidates is give me the toughest situation you've ever been in, and I caveat it with you. Can Get make it personal professional, because sometimes I've asked it is blunt. Just give me tough at situation? I've gotten some crazy, crazy responses and sometimes I don't want those. So it's give me the talk a situation that you're comfortable talking to me about, and that's ultimately what I'm looking for. Is, how did they what is a tough situation? Have they grown up with a silver spoon in their mouth or do they actually know how to grind? Those are the things I'm looking for. What's the terrible answer to the question? Give me your toughest situation. I think it's like, Hey, I failed the test or didn't get a job I wanted or something like that. It's I'm looking for real life experiences where they've said, hey, I was put in a situation. You know, I just interviewed a woman who explained it to me, a situation that she had a senior leader in the organization her effectively harassing her and she handled it unbelievably, and that's a really uncomfortable, terrible situation for a young woman to be in and she handled it like unbelievably well as we went through it and I said man, Hey, that's super inappropriate for that guy to do that and be good for you for the way you handled it and showed me that she's a pro and she handles it with great and class, and I think those are the things you're looking for. Makes a lot of sense. Want to get a little bit specific, if you're willing to, and just sort of talk a little bit about your sales process. So you, you guys use, if I'm not mistaken, medic and Medpick. So I don't Know Med pick. Walk us through that methodology. Well, so medpick is a variation of medic and the P is, John Nickman implemented, is paper process and there's an added C on the end. So there's two seas at the end of medic. You know, instead of just having champion, it's also competition. So assume that a hundred percent of your deals are competitive and if you don't assume that, you're basically wrong. Sales drops put a forecast up and they say hey, this customer soul sourcing Snowflake, and I say, you know, BS, that's not true. And by the way, every sales call I go on I tell the customer who our competitors are because I am that confident of our product and the P is paper process. So paper process, and in a world where we're as SASS company, where we house data. That is painful. We have the typical customer who's moving, especially a large enterprise who's early in their process and moving to the cloud. They put a lawyer on it or a procherment team. That basically stifles innovation. I'm amazed at how some of these companies continue to innovate at a large scale because these lawyers are are stalking the s and ultimately what they focus on is, hey, we want to be able to sue you for unlimited amounts of money in the event that you know, you get hacked. WILL GUESS WHY? We're in a world today where everyone gets hacked a hundred percent, like, Hey, you know, by the way, the US government gets hacked where you know the Russians just changed our elections, that kind of stuff. So we're not taking unlimited liability. And, by the way, no well runs as company will do that period. Amazon doesn't do that, Microsoft doesn't do that, Google does and do that and snowflake doesn so the paper process is a pain because you have lawyers that like basically draw a line and sand say we will not cross that line. So I'd say that's my number one pain point. But ultimately, the medic sales process is a way that we use our medpick is a way that we used to qualify the deal very consistently. And then, you know, this past year we kind of implemented at my sales kick off in February this past year we did a training from a company called Force Management Consulting and we did force management training which is just, you know,...

...value based selling on top of medic or Medpick, and those are the things that we focus on. So we're focused on not just selling a commodity. Hey, snowflake can run queries really fast, that's a commodity. What are the kind of the value drivers of snowflake that the business users will get, even though it's a technical product? So we try to take a technical product and then show business value in it to the customer and make sure that the customer understands. Hey, this is the success criteria. And, by the way, you, as a sales rap need to make sure that the customer is on the same page as you as on the success criteria. And if the success criteria changes and it changes in a way that we don't like it, you should pull out of that. Proof of concept and being able to pull out of a proof of concept. What gives you the courage to do that is pipeline. So it all starts with generating strong pipeline. If you do not have a strong pipeline, you're going to grab hol do it deal, you're going to hug it, you're going to love it and even though the deal from a medic standpoint, doesn't hold up to the qualification and ultimately you're going to fail as a salesperson. So pipeline generations what we focus on, and that's what, to this day, I hold my sales leadership to is making sure they generate that and you have metrics around that. And then on the medic side of things, we kind of do opportunity reviews with the customers are with the sales reps at any given time. Thank you for that level of detail. Let's talk about quotas really quickly. There's a lot of enterprise sellers out there. Tell us about as much details you can give about your complans, like what percentage you're paying, where the accelerators kick in, things like that always useful information. So I'll just you know I won't give you the exact you know on target earnings, but in general when I first started, the first year that I started hiring sales people, we had no real revenue to speak of. We gave wraps basically eight hundred and FIFTYZERO ACV growth quota. Today we have reps with a million and a half dollar ACV growth quota and you know, we have reps that are killing that. We had a rep that did it seven million dollars in growth on a million a half dollar ACV quote quota. So you can imagine that my sales team is pretty happy on the amount of money they're making. In fact, over eighty percent of our sales team is actually forecasting to be over their quota this year, which is excited. That's fantast and it's an annual quotas. That right. I don't believe in anything but annual quotas. In fact, I interviewed a CEEFOL cannidate. We suggested we should go to half your quotas and, no surprise, I was a thumbs down on that's CFOL can, that you are. You are a function of being an enterprise sellers. I think it's sort of depends probably on the market segment. Yeah, I mean you know, I have a friend, a Docu sign who's on you know, there on monthly recurring revenue. That's not if you want someone to do that, that's not me, right. That's what I'll say is I'm focused on large enterprise sound, not just large. I'm mid market to large enterprise, but field sales organizations. That's ultimately what up, you know, my expertise is. And then when I don't have that muscle built, I go hire leaders in that space and that muscle is for me is a guy by the name of Mark Wendling, who's my vice president of corporate sales. So well, one last question about complaints. So annual quote or whatever it is, million and a half bucks? I don't know. It's seventy percent. A million and a half bucks is but is there a it's around a million below. Is there a point at which you don't pay anything at all? That it's my question. Yeah, if you don't close in it, it is there like a break point. Sometimes some folks it's just controversial topic where like passed. If you're under fifty percent attainment of your quota, you don't get anything at all. I'm not a fan of that. I'm not that. I mean, look, our sales motion is you know, a hundred percent of our customers evaluate snowfl like. In fact, you know, after this call you can get on our website and sign up for Snowflake via credit card. So a hundred percent of our customers evaluate snowfl like before they buy it. Now, whether it's an about free evaluation that we control or it's a paid evaluation that they control, those are up to them. But ultimately the sales reps and the way that the biggest difference in Sass versus like where I...

...sold, you know, hardware device it at e MC is there's almost immediate gratification. In the hardware world is, Hey, I can go sell a you know, do a proof of concept and at the end of that proof of concept I can get a five million dollar deal. Well, with Snowflake, because we're a usage based system, the sales rup has to go and do a land deal first. Hey, let's go find a use case. So let's go do a Twentyzero deal first or Fiftyzero deal first, and that customer will get that use case going and then we'll upsell them into additional use cases. That is our model. That's how we work and it's to the benefit of the customer. We actually only revenue based on usage, so customer actually has to see value and snowflake for them to use it and for us to ultimately get paid. So our sales team, what I quoted them on, is ACB, bookings and growth. So they have a renewals quota and a bookings quota or growth quota, and so they get one rate for the ACV for the renewal and another rate for growth, and that's what that's what I have them focused on. And then there's and that sense they're both hunters and farmers, because you sell now, but you got to expand and they have a gate to get to the accelerators, and the gate is they have to open up a minimum of for new logos in a given year, based on their territory, anywhere from for to eight logos, and giving them love it. Chris, this has been an amazing conversation. Just a few last questions for you. The main one, as you know, we like to pay it forward, like to figure out who are they. There's two types of pay it forward questions. One is who are the people that have influenced you and the names that we should know that have been inspirations and mentors. And the second is, what are the pieces of contents, what are the books that you've read or the methodologies that have transformed or helped you evolve your sales perspective? In my career there's been some pretty key folks on the sales side. I worked for a guy the name of Jim Cavanaugh at EMC. He was a ballbuster and he's now president of Asia Pack for AP Dynamics. I don't know that I could work for Jim again. I love them to death, but I don't know I could do that. But he taught me a lot, you know, a lot of basic blocking and tackling. I think John McMahon, from a sales leadership perspective, he's really helped. He's been really an advisor to me through my entire process here at snowflake of building the Sales Organization and I'm very fortunate that he's been on our board. So he's amazing, amazing. Mike spiser from Sutter Hill again, one of those guys that bet on me in a big way and ultimately, Bob Mouglia, our CEO, who are board, said Hey, go hire a quote unquote, as I said earlier, gray haired experienced sales leader and he said no, I'm Chris is my guy, because look at the organization that he's built. So those are some of the key folks. And then I've been very fortunate to have a recruiter by my side the entire time at snowflake by the name of Chad Pete's. He's a partner over at Sutter Hill. I in fact he was not prior to I actually introduced him to Sutter Hill. So I will take some credit and sutter getting chat over there. So Chad's been a critical business partner for me. And then there's just you know, it's important for you to network with other sales leaders. So you know, like I said earlier, Adam Aaron's from MOCHA. He didn't owe me at anything other than being a nice guy and I would always ask him how he would handle a situation. Andy Byron, you know, the guy who runs sales over at cyberreas and now an ex boss of mine, and and he again was very kind with his time in terms of coaching me and helping me. So I think getting coaching from peers that sometimes aren't involved within your organization is Super Helpful as well. Perfect any books, anything you think we should write? Yeah, so, so, right now I'm one of those people that basically trust nobody, and so this book caught my eye most recently of everybody lies, and it's a big data book. And ultimately, I didn't know this, there's a thing called Google trends and you can go onto Google trend and see what's trending and what you find is the Internet is the ultimate source of truth and you might not tell your friends what you look at on the Internet, but the Internet knows, in Google knows, which is a little bit scary, but but learning about that. So it's a big day of book about, you know, how people lie, what they lie about that kind of stuff. So to me that's probably the most important thing for me...

...right now. Love it. Any last words, life, Mottos, guiding principles? There's, you know, a young, twenty two year old listening to this right now and you have a chance to shape his or her mind. What are you going to tell I mean I in fact I just you know, I just did a speech to our bed, our team yesterday. Look, I hate entitlement. First of all, like if you're a senior executive and you feel entitled to success. If you're twenty two year old who's got and trophies for winning nothing your whole life. You have to come and earn everything that you do. So nothing comes easy. If it does, it's probably too good to be true. Be Humble, and I think that's important for my team now is we've seen success, and I don't want to be clear. I have no arrogance about the success I have. I'm on a three month contract every quarter. That's how I view it and I have to live up to my three month contract and I have to hit my quota in that and that's that's how I run my business and that's how I run my life. I do think long term, but I think be humble, grind yourself, don't expect people to do anything you wouldn't do yourself and, ultimately, don't be an asshole because, look, it's a small world. People will hear about how you treat people in the future and although you might be at a good company today, that'll eventually end and you want another good job in the future and people do blind references on this. So be honest, be transparent, don't be an asshole and and go get it. I love it Chris, thanks so much for your time. It's been a great pleasure chatting with you. Awesome Sam, thanks for your time. I really appreciate the time. Hey, folks, it's Sam Jacobs. This is SAM's corner. Another fantastic interview with Chrisdegnan from snowflake computer and you can hear the passion coming through Chris's Voice. He sounds like an awesome guy to work with and an inspiring manager and leader. So I love the conversation. One quick tidbit that you can pull out from Chris just enterprise sale. So Chris believes an annual quotas and one and a half million dollar quota. Right now it's snowflake and they paid out annually and you can imagine it's probably like a fifty split and it's probably en x that one point five million is probably ten times the base salary most enterprise reps and I'm sure it varies, but there's a debate around what's the cadence of the quota and my perspective on it is that it should match the sales cycle, so for U S and be in mid market, probably monthly for us and be certainly maybe for mid market. That's a sixty ninety s day sale cycle, probably quarterly, and then for longer enterprise sales that are nine to twelve months in length. It's twelve months. Also note that Chris is salespeople, the field sales people. They have a ACV growth target, which means essentially that they land an account and then they expand it over time, and so that is how their team is organized. I would also say that the life lesson that Chris tries to impart is be a grinder. Just go in there, get your hands dirty, do the work and be humble about it, and you'll rise to great heights. So that is your Sam's corner for today. Now we always want to thank our sponsors, so let's make sure that we do that. Are Call Your advanced call center software, complete business phone and contact center, one hundred percent natively integrated into any crm and outreach, a customer engagement platform that helps efficiently and effectively engage prospects to drive more pipeline and close more deals. I'll see you next time and thanks for listening.

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