The Sales Hacker Podcast
The Sales Hacker Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

34: The Benefit of a Finance Background to Help Company Growth w/ Rob Lopez, SVP of Sales, Justworks

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This week on the Sales Hacker podcast, we interview Rob Lopez, SVP of Sales at Justworks, one of the fastest growing businesses focused on HR including payroll, benefits and the like.

While Rob has a background in finance, he really jumped into the startup world first at Groupon, where he was the GM for their Latin American division. After moving to New York, he became the first sales hire for Justworks. He has helped the company grow to well over $50M in ARR and he walks us through that journey on the show.  

One, two, one, three, three, hey everybody, welcome to the sales hacker podcast. It's your host, Sam Jacobs. I'm the founder of the New York revenue collective. We've now got revenue collectives in Denver, Boston and London. Can you believe it? I'm also the chief Revenue Officer of behaviors. Today we've got a great interview with a good friend of mine, Rob Lopez, also a member of the New York revenue collective and somebody that has helped scale the company. Just works from zero. He was literally the first sales hire too, well on the way to a hundred million in Arr and, in the meantime doing a great job helping small businesses and growing companies with all of the painful hr things that we don't like to deal with, like payroll and benefits, etc. So Rob's a great interview and I know really well. But metime we want to thank our sponsors. So the first is air call. Hopefully at this point you know about are called, but they are a phone system designed for the modern sales team. They integrate into your crm, they eliminate data entry, they provide in call coaching and they give you the ability to add new lines in minutes. So when it's time to scale, visit air call dot IO forwards sales hacker. That's are called Dot ioh forward sales hacker. To See why Uber Dunn and Brad Street, pipe drive and thousands of others trust are called for the most critical sales conversations. Our second sponsor is outreach. As usual, the estimable owner of sales hacker writ large. That's outreach, that I the leading sales engagement platform. They triple the productivity of sales teams and empower them to drive predictable and measurable Revenue Growth. And I just got a demo of the new interface and it looks amazing. A lot of really, really powerful technology, especially in the analytics side, without reach. So you can sort of have a great pur view of what's happening across the sales organization and across the Sales Development Organization specifically. So by prioritizing the right activities, they help you scale customer engagement with intelligent automation and they make your teams, your sales teams in your customer facing teams, more effective, improving visibility into what really drives results. That last line being I would assume a reference to analytics. So go over to outreached out io forward slash sales hacker. That is outreached out ioh forward slash sales hacker, to see a thousands of customers, including cloud, are, glass door, Pandora and Zillo, rely on outreach to deliver higher revenue for Sales Rep we also want to thank a few of the fans that have been listening. So Aaron Smith Message me on Linkedin, Joseph Adkins Kirol Melnichenka, Alic Stir Lane, conner case seats, Vica Vagman, Jason Diamato, Jack Davis, all of those folks are listening and giving feedback. Aaron specifically said, what's that song in the intro? Is it fish? It's not fish. It's a band called lipstick and it's a band that I happened to be in when I was in my s. So that's Lpstik if you're interested in the music that's playing in the background, but if you're not, that's okay too. For now let's listen to our interview with Rob Lopez from just works. Everybody, it's the salesacker podcast. Welcome to it. It is your friendly neighborhood host, Sam Jacobs, as I'm sure you know at this point, and today we're really excited to have a good friend of mine on the show and a member of the revenue collective. Rob Lopez is the SVP of sales at just works and if you know about fast scrowing companies in Sass land then you probably know about just works. Rob Is leading all of their new customer acquisition go to market efforts. He joined the company in two thousand and fourteen and leads a team of about a hundred and fifty people across business development, sales, revenue operations and self service acquisition. Prior to just works, he served as a GM and managing director a group on helping launch new business verticals, I think specifically in Latin America, and will hear about that. And he got to start in finance at Morgan Stanley and platinum equity and earned his degrees from William and Mary and an MBA from Stanford GSB from the business school at Stanford. So Rob, welcome to the show. Thank you, Sam. Very excited to be here. Well, we're excited to have you.

So the first thing that we like to do when we've got a guest on the show is learn a little bit about sort of who you are in your baseball card, and you know why, why we should be listening to you. Why your credible experts. So your name is Rob Lopez. Give us your title once more time. Yes, I'm the senior vice president of sales. Ad Just works. And tell us what is just works. What do? What do you guys do? And you know, give us a little bit about the revenue range of the company. Just give us an overview of the company for those that don't know. Yes, it just works. We've been around for about six years now. The business is a all in one HR providers. Specifically we do hur benefits and payroll for growing company, so companies as small as two employees up to several hundred employees, and what essentially we do is we aggregate all of their outsource h our services so they can focus on what they do best, which is, you handle their customers, growing their business and trying to focus on that rather than some of the ancillary things that are required, which are the day to day, like pay rolling, benefits, selecting a provider. So we take that all off of their hand so they can focus on what they do best. How do you frame the revenue range. Is that an Arr number that you quote or yes, so that's more or less what it is. So the business is like that fifty hundred million dollar range. So I joined the company back in two thousand and fourteen, when we were, you know, the thousands, and it's been a it's been a fun ride, but it really if you think about our business, it's although we sell to a smaller business, it's really an enterprise sale because this is the one of the largest purchasing decisions that a small business owner makes. I like to say that it's like an enterprise sale to a smaller business because if you take into account health insurance and and all the other insurances that a business will purchase from us, you're actually looking sometimes at seven the figure deals. So it's a really, really big decision that companies make. Wow. And so first of all, you know, I think I mentioned ended in the introduction, but hundred and fifty people across all the different functions. Just give us a sense for sort of the breakout between account executives and SDRs and what are all the different roles that you're overseeing? Yeah, so essentially, I say I ever see all new customer acquisitions. So one of the businesses there is our count executive organization. That's about seventy five account executives regionally geographically focus. Everybody's based here in New York but their focus on different Geo so a decent amount of travel to some of the local markets. Then we have about forty people in our sales development organization and then be business development. Smaller but that's focused on channel partnership, strategic partnerships, and we have self service acquisition. Self Service acquisition is a business which actually is really interesting and we can chat about a little bit later, but early on in the business we found that for the smaller customers we were losing money when account executives were closing those deals just due to the revenue that they were paying us. And so a few years ago we invested in a productizing the sales process and so if you're two three person company just starting out, you can go through the selfservice flow, not even talk to anybody and able to enroll in. Just works and it's become a huge differentiator and competitive advantage for us in the space because no other CEOS or a professional player organizations actually do that, and so it's very, very unique in terms of what we do. And then we have our revenue operations team, which focuses on analytics, process improvements, compensation and that's been a critical foundation and aspect of US helping to get where we are today. It was actually like after I hired my first Kevin Executives, that was the next higher I made because I actually used to run sales ops or any oppsite a previous company and if you don't have the operational background of foundation, you can't scale a business. Yeah, and how big is the revenue oppers team now? That teams about ten people. Oh Wow, fought and that's sets across marketing operations as well. Yeah, but still that's a really nice investment and operational infrastructure. So how did we get here? Walk us through sort of a little bit of Your Life Story. So you're from the West Coast, you grew up in La. How did we end up? And I think you know you went to William and...

Mary. So you're highly educated and gs because you're out of work. How do we go from from finance to, you know, leading a startup sales team? Yeah, it's funny. SCRUP IN LA and my background, like part of my family's, in Mexico. Part of my family is like kind of the typical European Mun and I always really love travel, so I studied Spanish and spoke in so I always wanted to focus on that and so, if you bookmark that, I wanted to have different I'm a big believer in having different experiences, and so I went growing up in La to moving to Virginia for college. was like people were turning but around the corner and Wayns R Virginia. It's like the complete antithesis of La but it gave me a very different perspective on life and how much how important it is to value like diversity and different experiences. I then moved back to La and worked at platinum equity, which at the time was a small private equity firm. Now it's a multi billion dollar firm that they have a massive portfolio. But we were doing it was falled business development, which is essentially co calling CFOs, CEOS and small businesses and passing bankers, you name it, and essentially one of the aspects of that so unique we weren't essentially selling a product that we're selling platinum to buy business stuffs really are I cut my teeth and were essentially sourcing and analyzing new acquisition opportunities for the fund. By then went to Morgan Stanley, where I wanted to really gain more of a training but like learn a little bit more about fundamentals of sales distribution and worked with some Solverem mail funds, work with some large pension funds, and at that point this was like two thousand and eight, so the height of the financial crisis. As you can imagine, there were moments where you'd like go home and, I shit you not, you like not going in the next day, like are we gonna have a job as a company and exists, like we mean, is going under. And some mentors of mine I'd always thought about going back to business school and they're like will shift Du it. If you're going to go back now, it's probably the best time to go to business school. I was all right, done so basically like hunker down and just cranked out, took the GMATS and it was very fortunate to get into a couple schools, like really good schools. I then did some nonprofit work in South America and, like on a whim, I was like I'll but I'll play a STANDFORD and see if it works out. And you know, I had some scholarships to some other really good schools, but I got in there and I was like I well, I'm not going to say note to this and went to school there and that really kind of changed my conjectory and my outlook. And so I took some classes in finance, to some classes and technology, and I would meet a lot of the finance people and like some really good friends work in finance. But you meet them and you think through what they were like, the type of people they were, and then you meet like the founders of North Space and repastings book at one of my classes and I just looked forward in life and I was like, well, what I rather hang out with? Like rehastings or like the Private Equity Manager? And I went for the I have read these things. So I was like done. But then I went to the career office and they're like look, there two jobs and matter you got either work. It's like what are you building and how are you building it, and then how are you getting into market? Right, and I remember her telling me, she's like, Rob you're not an engineer. It sounds like all right, done, so I should go working, like to go to market revenue functions. I like a growth company and it was funny at the time I was talking to a bunch of different businesses and because of Spanish and that, I ended up meeting it alum who worked a group on and at the time the company was just taking off like crazy and I met the CEO down there and getting it off with a run basically sales ops and sales and sales opposite business development for Latin American. So I got in a plane, moved to Santiago. I've never been there before. I think I've been there for like a day and there it goes. That was essentially like what it was all about, and so spent the next three years running around Latin America, flying around this country, just doing whatever you could to kind of get the business and grow the business. And we grew that business from when I started about a hundred employees to about two tho employees...

...or the course of three years, which is insane experience. And then I found myself in Chicago working for the CEO at the time launching a new business which is very similar to boxed. This is and drow Andrew Mason Erklfkoski. Okay, so I moved back to Chicago for a hot minute and for the first time my adult life like bought furniture. I was not living out a box. And then came a call from a former colleague group on who invested in just works. They are seed stage at the time, and I was like, dude, I just literally bought furniture. I bought a bed, about a couch and the last thing I want to do is a job or like move jobs. But Isaac, who started just works, commits me to fly out for weekend us. Okay, worse, Kissing Oar. You got a free trips in her so I did that and doubt since then the rest of the history. So it's an amazing story. In one of the parts of it that's amazing from my perspective is just you started at the seed stage and the risk profile of just works at that point is radically different than it is today. So do you attribute some sort of precognition or Prussians like, did you always know you're going to get to this point? What was your thesis on going to such an early stage company? Well, I think a lot of times, if you look at VC, they say right, one out of ten businesses succeeds. Not Out of ten fail. I think there's a lot of de risking you can do and you can't Deris get down to a hundred percent, but I think you can do risk get maybe like forty percent, fifty percent. And I think there's three components specifically that I think about. One is the market, right. So I think a lot of people are starting companies that are going out to really small markets, like they think it's a ten billion dollar market, but in reality, when you peel back the onion, it's like a ten, like a hundred million dollar ten. And and I think that there's just an education gap there in terms of what people need to do there. So when I saw the market you're looking at, there's five, six million small businesses in the US and the process is broken. Like if you have ever used an ATP or use some of these companies, they're very monolithic. I mean they're great, we have a lot of respect for our competitors, but just the way that they speak to customers is very different than the way you need to speak to customers today. And we talked a lot about like there's this consumerization of the enterprise that's happening and I really bought into that. And then the second thing was the investors. Like I knew some investors personally. They kind of indicated that as long as we've built like a really strong product, that you know, they would back us. And the last one is the foundering. Like I think if you're working at a high growth technology company, the company needs to be product line and I think that the founder. There's a lot of people out there that know nothing against kind of people in twenty of starting companies, but there's something to be said for having had previous leadership experiences. And the guy who started just works had been an Amazon, cut his teeth building payment systems. Had also had an experience in the army intelligence and had previously sold a company and really had done some pretty remarkable things and this was his opportunity to build something massive. So I thought that if you can put a great product around this industry, you can build something pretty massive. And they had started the I think a lot of engineer started product and it's like build it and they will come, and then after having a product in Mare, I get to realize, Oh shit, like they do not come and you need to like sell the product and that's kind of where I came in. We've been really much off to the races ever since. Were you competing with benefits when you join just works, or did that happen like at the same time or just out the exact same time? So I joined just works and in six months later they raised like the largest series a, and history is kind of insane. Probably lost ninety nine out of every hundred deals these benefits at the time because everyone was like, wait a minute, they are free. We have to pay you, like why would we ever use just res like snifits? It's free, and I think it's like my mom or like what it is, but it's like nothing good in life is free, right, and it turned out that it was very true a benefits and they were doing some things that probably they shouldn't have done. So now we like actually never compete with...

...them. We don't don't come across some very often. I think just works as a company really built on values and I think when you're you're trying to scale and build a company, that's really important, right, like you need to be up front in the sales process, you need to be honest and there's shit that, quite frankly, in our sales process that you almost like don't want, you don't want to like mention too early because it can be challenging, but at the end of the day they quite the will. We always teach it's not a question of if, it's a question of when, because it's a long term relationship that we're getting into. So we might lose a deal two, three times before we win the deal, but we will win the deal. And like that's kind of a mental psyche and the focus that we really try to instill in our sales process and in our train. We bring people on board, because we've seen it time and time again, like deals we've lost, two, three, four years ago and now coming on board and they stay with us, I mean our lifetime value, just do to the nature of what we sell. It's like I always talk about we don't sell screenshare software. Right, nothing again, zoom. We use zoom and we don't sell pens. Like I think it's great, but you know it, screen share software, screen shores offtware, doesn't work. Like life will go on, like you will be okay if your employees don't get paid like that, shit is real, right. And if you go to the doctor and they don't have your benefits on file like that is life and that is real, and so we really try to like instill that empathy in that emotional buying process in because this is really really important decision for business owners to make, and that goes through and through the DNA, from the values, from the way we talked about sales, which I don't really think of like sales and sales. I think if it is like an advisor relationship, and we talked a lot about being a trusted advisor to these companies through educating them about their businesses, and that's really how we try to treat the value proposition on the sale side of just works. I love it and as a free plug, I am a just works customer and I can attest to the enterprise for small business part because man, it's it's a pain in the ass signing up for this stuff. I mean there's a lot of different forms. Also nuts, it's not. Yeah, stating and regulation have increased exponentially over the last ten to twenty years. You guys did a really nice job and I every interaction I have with a company is very pleasant and we get paid on time over here. behaveoks. So thank you for that. So were you the first salesperson? There I was. I joined as the first salesperson and at the same time had a sale, so I was ahead of sales of one. So it's kind of like playing I went from running like in a hundred and fifty person business in Latin America, like a sixty million dollar piano, to being a one man shop. Wow, forty. It was a tough pill to swallow and like a huge like, you know, comp change and all that kind of stuff, but I really wanted to do something very raw and early stage because the end of the day, I love building things like that's what I love about group on and I think that if you work in this world you really have to love the building acts best, the tangible aspect of building something meaningful and like it's all about the people you know, and I think that from day one that's and you're quite frankly, what is it? I think I was doing the math to the day for of the six sales people that I hired in two thou fourteen or is about us. So I'm really proud of that. And they're all like doing great things and running teams. You're doing other aspect things to company. What were the big milestones. You know, you're dropped in massive culture shock to your point of you know, going from running a hundred and fifty people to being the sole person and you've got a million different things that you could possibly do. How did you start to prioritize and what did you do first, and what were the set of tasks that you did to get this sort of boulder rolling down the hill? Yeah, well, I mean one of the things that initially did was before I took the job. But I think a lot of willing to do this is that I asked to talk to customers. I'm wanted to talk to customers. I wanted to learn about why do they buy just works, how were they using it, and so that's kind of where I started. Also, when I when I did it, I also read the s one, so trying a is a competitor of ours. Like I read...

...there s one. I read all the US ones of all the companies the case attend. You really understand the industry, in the business. And then I got on the phone. You know, we had some innimic in down lead flow, so made sure I was the one talking everybody. started like going through my networks. Who Can I who do I know that it's like that I could potentially transition over because if you study the business life cycle and you go back to kind of like the innovator model, like you your innovators, you have your early doctors, your fast followers, like we were selling to the innovators, right, because we were selling essentially a product that was priced at seventy sixty, seventy per pose and per month, when our competitive for selling free products. Right. So we really had to focus on that innovator persona. And then somebody who believed that really wanted to support like the New York ecosystem, really wanted to support small business and really wanted to believe that they could be part of the product development process, which we really allowed them to do. And it's like, look, if you move forward to us, like I can't tell you to give the best product in market today, but I'll tell you that we will, and really kind of selling the dream and like backing up that dream. And so a lot of those customers we signed up in the early days, they're still customers today, which you know, I'm really proud of, and some of them, actually one of them just the other day just raised like their series be of like a our twenty thirty million bucks and send them and I was like hey, we really appreciate your business, and it's always like hey, it's remarkable that, like we're so proud to be one of your early customers, and so that kind of stuff to me is it's like the people. It's all about the people in the customers. What do the sequences if you look back at this path from zero to somewhere north of fifteen, less than a hundred, are there major milestones that that you can point to that were sort of inflection points in the curve? So I think that hiring that initial team was huge. Our first partnership health insurance is a big component of our product and being able to offer smaller business small growing businesses, enterprise like benefits, right, so like Google like benefits for the ten person company. They don't have time to deal with putting that together, and so that's what we're all about. So we did our first health insurance partnership at the end of two thousand fourteen, to gain two thousand and fifteen, they made it another one at the end of two thousand and fifteen, and those are massive inflection points in our business. Where our growth kind of went from three four x and really just took off. I think a lot of startups and a lot of growth companies the biggest error they make is scaling too fast, too quickly. I saw it firsthand and group on and I think one of the big things is you raised ten million box, boom, I want to go to five markets, I want to go to ten markets. And then since then I've seen about twenty companies do that and like now you don't know them and nobody knows them because it ant exists. And so I think it's like truly like scaling both for you have that product market fit. And so we really tried to refine and build our processes. Of New York is the largest city in the country, the one of the largest cities in the world, and we really focused here to refine our systems. We find our process, we find our go to market and until we were ready, which was, quite frankly, two years later, we didn't focus a team on any city outside of New York. So we spent like two thousand and fifteen and most of two thousand and sixteen focused on New York. And then the next inflection point in our business was when we started focusing teams on other markets. Are In two thousand and sixteen, I focus on DC and then two thousand and seventeen, we kind of grew that even more. Put teams on Texas, La and Boston, and now we're kind of really ranting that up with teams focus on Atlanta and a few other markets. So that for me that those are some of the really, really big inflection points for us, and now we're investing a lot of partnerships, channel partnerships, which has been another one is the geographic territory allocation because, because you're sending people down to those markets, is it a legal or state regulation thing? Does it need to be Geo based or or a lot about this, because some of our competitors do it vertically. But when you think about the compliants nuances and the tax codes and the health insurance dynamics and some of these different markets, this is a unique to our business. But after studying those aspects, like it had to be Geo and we made it bad on it and I believe it's been the right bed. So it really...

...has to do with the local state regulations, because if you're an acount executive, focus on New York. It's very different than somebody focus on Texas, because Texas has completely different employments, they have completely different regulations, they have different health insurance providers that are dominant and competitive, and so for us that's like the really important component of our go to market strategy. Yeah, that's interesting. So the team has grown. I mean again, just to make the comment one more time, it's very rare that somebody like joins us the first sales person and then can make it all the distance, at least as far as you've made it so far, which is, you know, most of the way towards a hundred million. What do you attribute that success to? are their specific skills that you acquired along the way? How do you think about that narrative, because because it is so exceptional? Yeah, it's really tough and in full transparency and definitely like it wasn't always like there was. I. I had a boss at one point and so that happened. It didn't work out, and so I think that it's really like just our business is so complicated and unique and on the onset it's really understanding like the customer buying process and and are A. He's like rank takes a while. Address works. It really does, and I think that for me, the biggest kind of differentiator. Why, I think kind of it's been a I've been able to do this. I've also run large teams before. I've been a part of that process at another company, and so I think what you see is rare is kind of joining our company as early as just works was and I think that that really an understand the customer buying process, the persona of the customers and, quite frankly, like starts with the people, right. Like the culture. It's very interesting. There's so many great products out there, but just because you are the best products and then you're going to win, right. It's creating a culture and a winning environment that really differentiates. It makes people want to work with you and makes people want to work for you. And I could have done it without my team and I think that we invested in probably people that we're a little bit more senior than you'd normally hire our stage, but it's worked out greatly for us. And you know, over half of our management and directors they're internally promoted and I think that that unique aspect of our industry and that competitive knowledge has made it so when people come here generally like they want to stay. We're not perfect and people do the adjust works, but it's trying to build a culture around that and I think that has been a big differentiator and kind of why you, I've been successful here. One of the big initiatives that we were talking about is this notion of the just works library. So what is that? Walk us through what that means and how it applies to your business. Yeah, it's pretty crazy. So we are customers grow over time, like we have a pretty strong kind of net and are our growth. And so one of the things I was thinking about is, like, you know, in this day and age and everybody talks about like a menilla generation, learning of the generations, etc. And you want progression, but at the same time you also wanted to make sense for your business, and so a couple years ago I was chatting with one of the guys on a revenue operations team and like well, how can we build a progression plan that that makes sense? And so what we thought of was, you know, I need to go to the library, there's a bunch of books and we have this thing that we built out internally which gives an a every deal they've ever closed over time and like net of growth, net of turn, like what is that business doing? And Revenue Net are are so net of growth out of churn, and so I thought this idea about, like what about if you hit differently? Are Our milestones? You could get compensation increases, you can get raises, you can get title changes, and I'm a big believer in the lining incentives, and so if the company benefits, then why shouldn't be a benefit? They actually the people who brought that business on the the person who you know, is probably nurtured that relationship. You know the best days. Fifty percent of their business comes from our roles, and so that's kind of what we've done. And so once a month we set out the library when we build...

...revenue, and it's a pretty incredible process because everybody like reads it. It goes to the entire leadership team, because most of the company and it's like when people hit new milestones, they get like a raise, they get a title change, and it's created this culture of like I know what the next level is right and like I know what I made me for. And they always people like in their mind they know kind of what they need to hit when they the next level. So you're always driving for something, and so it's created a culture advancement, culture of progression, which I think has been a little benefit for us, and this increased and help with retention overolved they're at the organization. Why do you call it a library? Because it's a book, that a bunch of spreadsheets. So I was like, all right, well, the books and spreadsheets will all Gif. You can go to a library and like open up a book. You could see all the eight like all the S and where they rank in terms of their net air or over time. And so it just came up with the juster its library allo. There are no physical books, so it's like actually specially it's it's a reference to the first library at Alexandria. So so if you hit the milestone, there's no qualitative review. You know, you could be any kind of personality. I mean, I'm assuming you're going to fire the people that aren't aligned with your values, but basically, is there a qualitative or subjective review? Or the minute that you had a specific cumulative are o milestone, you get a ray today. It's just based on are are because to your point, but those other things we actually like we manage out and to today we haven't had the situation where you know somebody who is an asshole. It's the you know, senior a or like strategic a threshold. But it's a good point and it's actually something that we've been talking about over the last couple months of of at certain of the bigger milestones, like putting in a qualitatior to view, where something like a presentation or skills modules more complicated deals because you do get additional things like at the different levels and so but it's something that we're thinking about and we're thinking about of the mind. How many levels are there? So there are about six levels today, and does that include str levels too, or do they have their own levels of SDRs on a different system? So they're on they have st level one level to seniors scene. We call them stas seen sales of alm associates. So level one level to senior STA and then once you hit a certain threshold you can graduate for the sales associate program and the sales associate program is a threeto four month training program Army up to be a on average it takes twelve eighteen months to go through that program we started it in two thousand and fifteen. We've since had over thirty people graduate through the sales of elopment program and actually think forty percent of our a's roughly came from our sales development program and they've actually done thirty they do thirty percent more on average than an external higher with sales experience. It just kind of remarkable. Wow, when you actually think about it. And these folks, most of them don't have any sales experience, and so you as in hiring people right out of right out of school, either right out of school or a few years out. And we do hire some experience folks as well, so they come in its senior Sta but it's been a huge game changer for us and I think the thing here we have the organization, number one, to create opportunity for the company, so qualified pipeline, but number two, it's great opportunity for the reps right and it's very tangible, it's very numeric. If you get out, you're able to like graduated sales socio program however, if you don't graduate from cells as socio program it is an upper upper out program presently. So that's I mean that's some of the piece as well. So once we get those through, though, I mean it's remarkable some of the folks that have graduated it. There a lot of our top performing as today. Wow, and they've also like there's this intangible thing in these externality benefits you don't think about. Like they're much more bought into the company right there. Understand the culture, they understand the values, like if some buddy calls them offering them like ten, ten more, like they it's there. They're really focused on it because, you know, we've provided a great platform for them and they've given us a lot, which is,...

...you know, why we really want to make sure that they're happy in the growing and the progressing in their careers. When you're interviewing people or when you're looking at the qualities or attributes of some of the people that really stand out, the top performing reps, what are the things that you're seeing that they do differently versus everybody else? I think the main thing for us it's around this. They're a big piece as intellectual curiosity. For us, I mean there's obviously the hard work and I think generally that's a pretty common answer, but for us of this like intellectual curiosity and not wanting to give up. So I talk a all about during the juster sales process you're going to run into a wall, like it's got to happen, like there's going to be about block and so that the people who are most successful here are the ones who can think creatively outside of the box. And either are they going to go over the wall, are they going to go around the wall? Are they going to like punch through the wall, like how are they going to like get across this road block or this wall, that this this block on the sales process, and can they think of creative solutions for this business owner, for just works to make sense for them? And that, to me, has been a huge competitive like to the people who really excel and the ones who read up on local knowledge and really understand like what's what about our business, and I think those people are the ones really really excelled. You've been making, and I've always champions sort of really interesting investments, both to stimulate the culture, like President's club and sort of stuff like that, but you've also made some some investments and sort of training and development of the team, and one of them is the mindfulness investment. Tell us a little bit about that, because that's really interesting. Yeah, it's very unique and I'm really excite. It's a little bit, like I've to take controversial, because I didn't I never heard of anybody doing it. But one of the women on our team, amber, she actually ran, or should tak accounts program for a while and she moved over to to run our training enablement program and she's like been doing a phenomenal job. And over the summer we were talking a lot about if sales is. It's very stressful, you know, it's pretty intense for our business, for example, like forty percent of our business gets closed and the final months of the year. So it's pretty seasonal and alongthian nature. And I was we were thinking through how do we like set sales? Also mental right, like to these self limiting beliefs you have and you get in your head. And I was reading some articles also around like sports and, for example, Major League Baseball. Back in the s mental conditioning didn't exist and there's this guy can Revisi, who champion mental conditioning, used to coach Fullerton and actually helped work to the cubs. Now I think all but three teams and Major League baseball have full time mental conditioning coaches on staff, and so I was like thinking more and more about this and we were talking about it and we're like, well, what if we like did something about this right and like the mental side of sales and how do you think through the problems? How do you manage trash? How do you think through mindfulness? And and so we found this guy's actually like a licensed therapist, like a family and marriage therapist, but he also does a lot of business coaching. So he wasn't like extremely yeah, he's actually had that that business knowledge and that business know how and we've been working with them. We're about halfway through the program the classes are usually fully subscribe. People are really excited about it and it's it's talking about that softer side of sales that people don't really talk about a lot and acknowledging it's like Hey, your job is stressful, like sales people are pretty much every company, and know our company probably the hardest job at those companies. You're being told known more than yes, it's tough. You got to pick yourself up a lot and like and I think that for us it was a great investment in the organization to help people think through those challenges and think through that stress and how do you manage it? How do you be mindful about it, how do you acknowledge it and how do you kind of pick yourself up and work through it? And the feedbacks been really strong thus far and I think it's something that not a lot of people are talking about but that more need to be talking about. Give us one or two tactics for managing stress that you've gleaned from this mindfulness training. Yes, it's interesting, I think living in New York City. So I've lived in a lot of places, but in New York City...

...it's like taxis and horns and honking and it's just a bad morning on the bus or the subway. Somebody shows you can like a ruin your day, right, and it's taking five minutes, even if it's only five minutes, to like think through and like be present about where you are and what you're doing. And just like on your walk to work, like taking a look around you, like looking at the architecture, appreciating like what you have and really like being positive and thinking through those those moments. Same thing with like a close deal, right, it's like or you lose a deal, like you know, losing a deal like that sucks, but like taking a moment and like really being mindful about all right, so why did that happen? What can I do differently? What can I do better, and also like being thankful and grateful for like the stuff that you do have and trying to like put a positive, like being in a positive mental state around managing that and managing that stress, because a lot of times people were racing so much. Today there's so many gadgets and so many distractions and you just pee. A lot of people just don't take time to just be present and be mindful about their day to day and kind of like what they actually do have. So it's been pretty interesting, like pretty powerful, like bringing in like Freud and some of the like old ancient philosophers around this and Tonumm, it hasn't been that crazy, right. It's an hour and a half every two weeks, so it's not crazy and I think it's been really powerful. Now, granted that everybody we made an optional like it was very conscious decision to make it optional, because we want to force it upon people. But for the people who are going at least, initial feedback has been really positive and they're getting a lot out of it. What's this guy's name? Let's give them some more business. Yeah, stames layer torrent and he actually used to live in New York. He was in Charles in South Carolina. So we fly them up every couple weeks and he also does one on one sessions with the team. So it's not only the mindfulness training, but we thought like do someone on one sessions as well. And, like you know, obviously all that's like confidential, like not company doesn't know anything about it, but it's an avenue and an outlet where people can share things with him that you know they're to may not be comfortable sharing with their manager, right, and I think that that's something that is really important and it just gives people like another outlet, because it really is mental right their skills around performance. But it's also if you're not on the right like mental state, you're not going to perform, which is why you see this increase, the increased utilization of it and professional sports, even in business as well, like coaches and what have you. It makes a lot of sense and I love the initiative moving and switching gears a little bit to just some tactics and some numbers and some dashboards maybe that you're using. What are the sort of top two or three KPI's that you're obviously closed business is one of them, but if you're thinking about before the business is closed, what are the numbers that you're looking at that you rely on to sort of drive your management of the team? For sure. I mean the biggest one for us, at least on the a side of the game, is we focus a lot on selfsource opportunities. So we have a lot of different demand channels. So we have in bound marketing via demand Gen that we generate the smso advertising. We have our sales development organization, which is creating a s Qa's. But I think for the really top performing folks like selfsource opportunities is the biggest indicator of like whether or not you're going to be successful, because that's what you can control. Right. I think that you know, when you fully rely on in bounty, fully rely on another demand channel, you essentially could be in a situation where at that diamand channel runs dry, you're saying, in a really tough place. And so we really try to instill like, look, get to your try to get to your number using your selfsource opportunities and anything beyond that that you you get an inbound, if you get a sales bomb and the like, great, that's great, and we really really have tried to push that as much as possible. So that's a really, really big one for us. We also think a lot about the age of our opportunities, and so, because just works is like it's there's this I like to call them perceive switching costs like a lot of times the last thing companies want to think through, but it's one of these things where the age of pipeline and how much is that pipeline aging over time? We rolled out tableau recently, which is like change...

...the game for us. So we have a central data warehouse, what you called the house, which we plug all of our data into a from our phone system, sales force, you name it, and then so we basically will query that day to warehouse. So anybody can use anybody you can sequel, can they run queries on it, and then we use tableaud to visualize it, and so each manager can basically dig into any KPI they ever want, and it's really change the game, like helping managers, really giving them, empowering them with the right data in decisions. So like run their business and they can answer any question they want. So like in this zip, how many companies have been contacted and like what's the average like conversion rate in this zip at this size and this industry? What are the customers we've signed up for, customer references, etc. And so that has been a really, really powerful tool for us. Wow, it's really helpful when you so we're getting sort of to the end of our time together. So, rob thanks so much. But a couple last questions. One is you mentioned tableau. What else is in your text act? What sort of the suite or the arsenal of tools that your teams are using to go to market? I mean this sells force traditional we use, despite the screen shows software comment. I. We do like zoom, so zame. It's good. So those are kind of typical ones. We use seals offt, so a big fans of that. Some of the ones probably that aren't is typical, or things like tableaud. It's not really like the Sili a sales tool as much. Zoom Info is actually been great for us, I'd the most accurate database that we've been able to find that people can like. That actually has accurate information. Also, beyond that, those really go say the main tool. We looked at some of the intelligent call coaching software. We haven't pulled the trigger on it yet, but some of the we looked at it about a year and a half ago, but it just a technology wasn't there for us yet, and so we we sometimes earlier on be like block companies that were a little bit earlier stage, and then the product kind of crafts out. So we're kind a big blue we want to wait the due to the size of our team. We can't roll something out and have it not work because, like, the credibility factor is just not great. So we bade a test everything for at least thirty days now prior to rolling it out, and if we don't feel really good about it, then we just scrap it. Yeah, but Inteller Dian Call Coaching, you mean like chorus or exactly? Yeah, exactly. Let's pay it forward a little bit. Who you know, if you're thinking about people that have influenced you or people that you look up to, that are other crows every piece of sales walk us through who we should be aware of? Yeah, for sure. So there's this Guy Carlos Fillip Tory, who has been super helpful just generally. He's great. He actually was this Corner Cerro Long, woody be he actually is the CEO Vera security. Now there's a Guy Jeff Williams, who has been phenomenal. He actually used to run bunch of sales or he's like IPO, two companies. Like never missed a quota. The guys just you like meet him and it's like he drank twenty five coffees in the morning or did other stuff in the morning. You're just like, Oh my God, have this, I just to hang out with this guy. It's a he helped take fire eye public. He's an operating partner at being capital adventures. He's really, really smart, really good guy. Somebody you might know. You obviously know Fred mather. He's fantastic. A lot of insights and value there. Wendy Sturgis over at yes. She's just great and somewhere informal men towards Guy John Lewis. He was a former president and Nielsen and Joel Peterson. He was a professor at Stanford. He's a chairman of Jeff Blue Mark, Leslie Andy Rackcliffe. These are some of the people that kind of have given me some really, really valuable advice over the years. That has been fantastic. You met Andy at Stanford, must have been. Yeah, exactly so. He was actually a professor there. He was a professor of running this company, aligning start up with the market, which is all about product market. But how do you know when you have it and how do you know when you don't? And that's for retasting. He had like to see you have netflix come by back then. This is like, this is a while ago. So netflix was a thing but nobody actually was using it. And Mark Leslie's also he ran a sales class. They're called basically scaling sales, or gets a name of it, and he taught that. He started very toss software and wow,...

...really caught. He's the one who invented the sales learning curve, which is this academic idea around sales and so many organization scale the shalees seem before they actually have product market fit. And so you hire twenty sales people because the board and the investor say, Hey, hire sales people, and then you hire sales people and then your productins and Shit and then you have to let everybody off. And so trying to scale that curve, pryre before you actually have the fit, and I think it's a lot of companies make that air. I see it all the time. Yeah, absolutely, they sure do. Rob This has been amazing. Are you guys hiring and or if people want to get in touch with you a is that okay and be what's the preferred mechanism if they want to reach out, if they like what they heard, or if maybe they want to talk about a job at just works? Yeah, for sure, we are definitely hiring. You're hiring in all roles of kind executives. As moment we're actually looking for some great sales leadership, so managers and directors as well. You know, easy. Three the emails me is just Robert at just Workscom so, Robert, it just Workscom what was it the question? That's it. I was the only process. Yeah, but yeah, we're definitely going to hire people. I think that it's a super exciting time just for New York and the country and just like some really awesome business ideas are being started. So I think it's a great way to build a career and really also have some fun meeting some great people all doing the wonderful well rob thanks so much for participating and we'll talk to you soon. Great. Thanks so much. Hey everybody, this is Sam's corner. A great interview with Rob Lopez. You notice, like Dan Cook from Lucid Chart, a background and fine its platinum equity. If you don't know who they are, is is one of the biggest and they're specifically middle market and lower metal market private equity firms. I'm sure they have all different strategies but we work with them. When I was at Axel, so a background and finance and then moving into start up land and going to a group on and then being the very first sales hire. It's very, very rare that somebody can drop in as the first sales higher and have the support of a founder all the way through to the hundred million marks. So it's a fantastic that rob's been able to do that and whethered a bunch of different storms along the way and they've put in a lot of really, really great programs. They invest a lot in development and so one of the things that rob mentioned is this thing called the just work library, which is sort of a tone. It's a spreadsheet, I guess, of the cumulative are the cumulative contribution of all of the people on the sales team and they know that when it's circulated, the people that achieve certain milestones immediately get compensation increases and immediately get different types of responsibilities. So I think that's a really interesting approach to this leveling or laddering career laddering that we always talked about. Just work specifically as six levels just for a's and then they've also got a separate program for SDRs. The other thing that that rob mentioned we've been talking a lot about in my circles. What's the average ten year for an SDR, and it's looking like twelve to eighteen months is sort of about the amount of time that an SDR can be expected sort of sit in that role. So develop a program that takes your SDRs. If you're an SDR, don't get ancy unless it's been after twelve to eighteen months, but develop a program that takes them up through that program and then prepares them to move on to become an account executive. I think forty percent of the reps that are at just works now came from the SDR program and they tend to on average, contribute thirty percent more per person when it comes to new rr. So they're they're more productive because they're more about into the culture, because they've been developed, because they appreciate the career progression. So really, really valuable insights from rob and just worsk of self. As I mentioned, we're a customer over here at behaviors, great company. Now, if you want to find our podcast on the Internet, you can or on itunes or Google play or spotify, and if you enjoyed this episode, please share with your peers on Linkedin, twitter or elsewhere. If you want to get in touch with me, find me on twitter at Sam f Jacobs or at Linkedin, at Linkedincom, then the word in and then Sam f Jacobs. If you have feedback on guests or recommendations on guests that you want to see appear on the sales sacker podcast, please...

...let us know. We want to make sure that the guests represent a great cross section of society, not just white males. So if you have ideas about people that we should be featuring, please let me know. Now, once again, big shout out to our sponsors for this episode. 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. So I'll see you next time and I think when you're listening to this it might be near Thanksgiving. So if it is, I hope you have a great Thanksgiving and I'm sure I'll talk to you soon by.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (384)