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 yourhost, 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 believeit? I'm also the chief Revenue Officer of behaviors. Today we've got agreat interview with a good friend of mine, Rob Lopez, also a member ofthe New York revenue collective and somebody that has helped scale the company.Just works from zero. He was literally the first sales hire too, wellon the way to a hundred million in Arr and, in the meantime doinga great job helping small businesses and growing companies with all of the painful hrthings 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 wewant to thank our sponsors. So the first is air call. Hopefully atthis point you know about are called, but they are a phone system designedfor the modern sales team. They integrate into your crm, they eliminate dataentry, they provide in call coaching and they give you the ability to addnew lines in minutes. So when it's time to scale, visit air calldot 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 trustare 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 teamsand empower them to drive predictable and measurable Revenue Growth. And I justgot a demo of the new interface and it looks amazing. A lot ofreally, 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 thesales organization and across the Sales Development Organization specifically. So by prioritizing the rightactivities, they help you scale customer engagement with intelligent automation and they make yourteams, your sales teams in your customer facing teams, more effective, improvingvisibility into what really drives results. That last line being I would assume areference 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 thousandsof customers, including cloud, are, glass door, Pandora and Zillo,rely on outreach to deliver higher revenue for Sales Rep we also want to thanka few of the fans that have been listening. So Aaron Smith Message meon Linkedin, Joseph Adkins Kirol Melnichenka, Alic Stir Lane, conner case seats, Vica Vagman, Jason Diamato, Jack Davis, all of those folks arelistening 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'sa 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 toour 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 havea good friend of mine on the show and a member of the revenuecollective. Rob Lopez is the SVP of sales at just works and if youknow 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 abouta hundred and fifty people across business development, sales, revenue operations and self serviceacquisition. Prior to just works, he served as a GM and managingdirector a group on helping launch new business verticals, I think specifically in LatinAmerica, and will hear about that. And he got to start in financeat Morgan Stanley and platinum equity and earned his degrees from William and Mary andan 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 liketo do when we've got a guest on the show is learn a littlebit about sort of who you are in your baseball card, and you knowwhy, 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. Andtell us what is just works. What do? What do you guys do? And you know, give us a little bit about the revenue range ofthe company. Just give us an overview of the company for those that don'tknow. Yes, it just works. We've been around for about six yearsnow. The business is a all in one HR providers. Specifically we dohur benefits and payroll for growing company, so companies as small as two employeesup to several hundred employees, and what essentially we do is we aggregate allof 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 focuson that rather than some of the ancillary things that are required, whichare the day to day, like pay rolling, benefits, selecting a provider. So we take that all off of their hand so they can focus onwhat they do best. How do you frame the revenue range. Is thatan Arr number that you quote or yes, so that's more or less what itis. 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 funride, but it really if you think about our business, it's although wesell to a smaller business, it's really an enterprise sale because this is theone of the largest purchasing decisions that a small business owner makes. I liketo say that it's like an enterprise sale to a smaller business because if youtake into account health insurance and and all the other insurances that a business willpurchase from us, you're actually looking sometimes at seven the figure deals. Soit's a really, really big decision that companies make. Wow. And sofirst of all, you know, I think I mentioned ended in the introduction, but hundred and fifty people across all the different functions. Just give usa sense for sort of the breakout between account executives and SDRs and what areall the different roles that you're overseeing? Yeah, so essentially, I sayI ever see all new customer acquisitions. So one of the businesses there isour 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 decentamount of travel to some of the local markets. Then we have about fortypeople in our sales development organization and then be business development. Smaller but that'sfocused 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 chatabout a little bit later, but early on in the business we found thatfor the smaller customers we were losing money when account executives were closing those dealsjust due to the revenue that they were paying us. And so a fewyears ago we invested in a productizing the sales process and so if you're twothree 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'sbecome a huge differentiator and competitive advantage for us in the space because no otherCEOS 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 operationsteam, which focuses on analytics, process improvements, compensation and that's beena 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 thenext higher I made because I actually used to run sales ops or any oppsitea previous company and if you don't have the operational background of foundation, youcan't scale a business. Yeah, and how big is the revenue oppers teamnow? That teams about ten people. Oh Wow, fought and that's setsacross marketing operations as well. Yeah, but still that's a really nice investmentand operational infrastructure. So how did we get here? Walk us through sortof 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 Ithink you know you went to William and...

Mary. So you're highly educated andgs 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 Ialways really love travel, so I studied Spanish and spoke in so I alwayswanted to focus on that and so, if you bookmark that, I wantedto have different I'm a big believer in having different experiences, and so Iwent growing up in La to moving to Virginia for college. was like peoplewere turning but around the corner and Wayns R Virginia. It's like the completeantithesis of La but it gave me a very different perspective on life and howmuch how important it is to value like diversity and different experiences. I thenmoved back to La and worked at platinum equity, which at the time wasa small private equity firm. Now it's a multi billion dollar firm that theyhave 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 weweren't essentially selling a product that we're selling platinum to buy business stuffs really areI cut my teeth and were essentially sourcing and analyzing new acquisition opportunities for thefund. By then went to Morgan Stanley, where I wanted to really gain moreof a training but like learn a little bit more about fundamentals of salesdistribution 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 theheight of the financial crisis. As you can imagine, there were moments whereyou'd like go home and, I shit you not, you like not goingin the next day, like are we gonna have a job as a companyand exists, like we mean, is going under. And some mentors ofmine I'd always thought about going back to business school and they're like will shiftDu it. If you're going to go back now, it's probably the besttime to go to business school. I was all right, done so basicallylike hunker down and just cranked out, took the GMATS and it was veryfortunate to get into a couple schools, like really good schools. I thendid some nonprofit work in South America and, like on a whim, I waslike 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 goingto say note to this and went to school there and that really kind ofchanged 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 thefinance people and like some really good friends work in finance. But you meetthem and you think through what they were like, the type of people theywere, and then you meet like the founders of North Space and repastings bookat one of my classes and I just looked forward in life and I waslike, well, what I rather hang out with? Like rehastings or likethe 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 officeand 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 thenhow 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 Iwas 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 timethe company was just taking off like crazy and I met the CEO down thereand getting it off with a run basically sales ops and sales and sales oppositebusiness development for Latin American. So I got in a plane, moved toSantiago. I've never been there before. I think I've been there for likea day and there it goes. That was essentially like what it was allabout, and so spent the next three years running around Latin America, flyingaround this country, just doing whatever you could to kind of get the businessand grow the business. And we grew that business from when I started abouta 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 theCEO 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 toChicago for a hot minute and for the first time my adult life like boughtfurniture. I was not living out a box. And then came a callfrom a former colleague group on who invested in just works. They are seedstage at the time, and I was like, dude, I just literallybought furniture. I bought a bed, about a couch and the last thingI 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 Idid that and doubt since then the rest of the history. So it's anamazing story. In one of the parts of it that's amazing from my perspectiveis just you started at the seed stage and the risk profile of just worksat that point is radically different than it is today. So do you attributesome sort of precognition or Prussians like, did you always know you're going toget to this point? What was your thesis on going to such an earlystage company? Well, I think a lot of times, if you lookat VC, they say right, one out of ten businesses succeeds. NotOut of ten fail. I think there's a lot of de risking you cando and you can't Deris get down to a hundred percent, but I thinkyou can do risk get maybe like forty percent, fifty percent. And Ithink 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 goingout 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 aten, like a hundred million dollar ten. And and I think that there's justan 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 millionsmall businesses in the US and the process is broken. Like if you haveever 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 wayyou need to speak to customers today. And we talked a lot about likethere'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 strongproduct, that you know, they would back us. And the last oneis the foundering. Like I think if you're working at a high growth technologycompany, 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 peoplein twenty of starting companies, but there's something to be said for having hadprevious 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 thearmy intelligence and had previously sold a company and really had done some pretty remarkablethings and this was his opportunity to build something massive. So I thought thatif you can put a great product around this industry, you can build somethingpretty massive. And they had started the I think a lot of engineer startedproduct and it's like build it and they will come, and then after havinga product in Mare, I get to realize, Oh shit, like theydo not come and you need to like sell the product and that's kind ofwhere 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 thathappen like at the same time or just out the exact same time? SoI joined just works and in six months later they raised like the largest seriesa, and history is kind of insane. Probably lost ninety nine out of everyhundred deals these benefits at the time because everyone was like, wait aminute, they are free. We have to pay you, like why wouldwe ever use just res like snifits? It's free, and I think it'slike my mom or like what it is, but it's like nothing good in lifeis free, right, and it turned out that it was very truea 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 acrosssome very often. I think just works as a company really built on valuesand I think when you're you're trying to scale and build a company, that'sreally important, right, like you need to be up front in the salesprocess, 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 tolike mention too early because it can be challenging, but at the end ofthe day they quite the will. We always teach it's not a question ofif, it's a question of when, because it's a long term relationship thatwe're getting into. So we might lose a deal two, three times beforewe win the deal, but we will win the deal. And like that'skind of a mental psyche and the focus that we really try to instill inour sales process and in our train. We bring people on board, becausewe'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 wesell. 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 youwill 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 yourbenefits on file like that is life and that is real, and so wereally try to like instill that empathy in that emotional buying process in because thisis really really important decision for business owners to make, and that goes throughand 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 thinkif it is like an advisor relationship, and we talked a lot about beinga trusted advisor to these companies through educating them about their businesses, and that'sreally how we try to treat the value proposition on the sale side of justworks. I love it and as a free plug, I am a justworks 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. Imean 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 acompany is very pleasant and we get paid on time over here. behaveoks.So thank you for that. So were you the first salesperson? There Iwas. I joined as the first salesperson and at the same time had asale, so I was ahead of sales of one. So it's kind oflike playing I went from running like in a hundred and fifty person business inLatin America, like a sixty million dollar piano, to being a one manshop. Wow, forty. It was a tough pill to swallow and likea 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 theend of the day, I love building things like that's what I love aboutgroup on and I think that if you work in this world you really haveto love the building acts best, the tangible aspect of building something meaningful andlike it's all about the people you know, and I think that from day onethat's and you're quite frankly, what is it? I think I wasdoing the math to the day for of the six sales people that I hiredin 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 otheraspect things to company. What were the big milestones. You know, you'redropped in massive culture shock to your point of you know, going from runninga hundred and fifty people to being the sole person and you've got a milliondifferent things that you could possibly do. How did you start to prioritize andwhat did you do first, and what were the set of tasks that youdid 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 thejob. But I think a lot of willing to do this is that Iasked to talk to customers. I'm wanted to talk to customers. I wantedto 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 whenI did it, I also read the s one, so trying a isa competitor of ours. Like I read...

...there s one. I read allthe US ones of all the companies the case attend. You really understand theindustry, in the business. And then I got on the phone. Youknow, we had some innimic in down lead flow, so made sure Iwas the one talking everybody. started like going through my networks. Who CanI who do I know that it's like that I could potentially transition over becauseif you study the business life cycle and you go back to kind of likethe innovator model, like you your innovators, you have your early doctors, yourfast followers, like we were selling to the innovators, right, becausewe were selling essentially a product that was priced at seventy sixty, seventy perpose and per month, when our competitive for selling free products. Right.So we really had to focus on that innovator persona. And then somebody whobelieved that really wanted to support like the New York ecosystem, really wanted tosupport small business and really wanted to believe that they could be part of theproduct 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 youto 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 raisedlike their series be of like a our twenty thirty million bucks and send themand I was like hey, we really appreciate your business, and it's alwayslike hey, it's remarkable that, like we're so proud to be one ofyour early customers, and so that kind of stuff to me is it's likethe people. It's all about the people in the customers. What do thesequences 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 pointto that were sort of inflection points in the curve? So I think thathiring that initial team was huge. Our first partnership health insurance is a bigcomponent 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 personcompany. They don't have time to deal with putting that together, and sothat's what we're all about. So we did our first health insurance partnership atthe end of two thousand fourteen, to gain two thousand and fifteen, theymade it another one at the end of two thousand and fifteen, and thoseare massive inflection points in our business. Where our growth kind of went fromthree four x and really just took off. I think a lot of startups anda 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 oneof the big things is you raised ten million box, boom, I wantto go to five markets, I want to go to ten markets. Andthen since then I've seen about twenty companies do that and like now you don'tknow them and nobody knows them because it ant exists. And so I thinkit's like truly like scaling both for you have that product market fit. Andso we really tried to refine and build our processes. Of New York isthe largest city in the country, the one of the largest cities in theworld, and we really focused here to refine our systems. We find ourprocess, we find our go to market and until we were ready, whichwas, quite frankly, two years later, we didn't focus a team on anycity outside of New York. So we spent like two thousand and fifteenand most of two thousand and sixteen focused on New York. And then thenext 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 twothousand and seventeen, we kind of grew that even more. Put teams onTexas, La and Boston, and now we're kind of really ranting that upwith teams focus on Atlanta and a few other markets. So that for methat 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 anotherone is the geographic territory allocation because, because you're sending people down to thosemarkets, is it a legal or state regulation thing? Does it needto be Geo based or or a lot about this, because some of ourcompetitors do it vertically. But when you think about the compliants nuances and thetax codes and the health insurance dynamics and some of these different markets, thisis a unique to our business. But after studying those aspects, like ithad to be Geo and we made it bad on it and I believe it'sbeen the right bed. So it really...

...has to do with the local stateregulations, because if you're an acount executive, focus on New York. It's verydifferent than somebody focus on Texas, because Texas has completely different employments,they have completely different regulations, they have different health insurance providers that are dominantand competitive, and so for us that's like the really important component of ourgo to market strategy. Yeah, that's interesting. So the team has grown. I mean again, just to make the comment one more time, it'svery rare that somebody like joins us the first sales person and then can makeit 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 acquiredalong the way? How do you think about that narrative, because becauseit is so exceptional? Yeah, it's really tough and in full transparency anddefinitely like it wasn't always like there was. I. I had a boss atone point and so that happened. It didn't work out, and soI think that it's really like just our business is so complicated and unique andon 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'vealso run large teams before. I've been a part of that process at anothercompany, and so I think what you see is rare is kind of joiningour company as early as just works was and I think that that really anunderstand 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 arethe best products and then you're going to win, right. It's creating aculture and a winning environment that really differentiates. It makes people want to work withyou and makes people want to work for you. And I could havedone it without my team and I think that we invested in probably people thatwe're a little bit more senior than you'd normally hire our stage, but it'sworked out greatly for us. And you know, over half of our managementand directors they're internally promoted and I think that that unique aspect of our industryand that competitive knowledge has made it so when people come here generally like theywant to stay. We're not perfect and people do the adjust works, butit's trying to build a culture around that and I think that has been abig differentiator and kind of why you, I've been successful here. One ofthe big initiatives that we were talking about is this notion of the just workslibrary. So what is that? Walk us through what that means and howit applies to your business. Yeah, it's pretty crazy. So we arecustomers grow over time, like we have a pretty strong kind of net andare our growth. And so one of the things I was thinking about is, like, you know, in this day and age and everybody talks aboutlike a menilla generation, learning of the generations, etc. And you wantprogression, but at the same time you also wanted to make sense for yourbusiness, and so a couple years ago I was chatting with one of theguys on a revenue operations team and like well, how can we build aprogression 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 ofbooks and we have this thing that we built out internally which gives an aevery deal they've ever closed over time and like net of growth, net ofturn, like what is that business doing? And Revenue Net are are so netof growth out of churn, and so I thought this idea about,like what about if you hit differently? Are Our milestones? You could getcompensation increases, you can get raises, you can get title changes, andI'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 thatbusiness on the the person who you know, is probably nurtured that relationship. Youknow 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 monthwe set out the library when we build...

...revenue, and it's a pretty incredibleprocess 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, theyget like a raise, they get a title change, and it's created thisculture of like I know what the next level is right and like I knowwhat I made me for. And they always people like in their mind theyknow kind of what they need to hit when they the next level. Soyou're always driving for something, and so it's created a culture advancement, cultureof progression, which I think has been a little benefit for us, andthis increased and help with retention overolved they're at the organization. Why do youcall it a library? Because it's a book, that a bunch of spreadsheets. So I was like, all right, well, the books and spreadsheets willall Gif. You can go to a library and like open up abook. You could see all the eight like all the S and where theyrank in terms of their net air or over time. And so it justcame up with the juster its library allo. There are no physical books, soit'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 assumingyou'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 aspecific cumulative are o milestone, you get a ray today. It's justbased on are are because to your point, but those other things we actually likewe manage out and to today we haven't had the situation where you knowsomebody who is an asshole. It's the you know, senior a or likestrategic a threshold. But it's a good point and it's actually something that we'vebeen talking about over the last couple months of of at certain of the biggermilestones, like putting in a qualitatior to view, where something like a presentationor skills modules more complicated deals because you do get additional things like at thedifferent levels and so but it's something that we're thinking about and we're thinking aboutof the mind. How many levels are there? So there are about sixlevels today, and does that include str levels too, or do they havetheir own levels of SDRs on a different system? So they're on they havest level one level to seniors scene. We call them stas seen sales ofalm associates. So level one level to senior STA and then once you hita certain threshold you can graduate for the sales associate program and the sales associateprogram is a threeto four month training program Army up to be a on averageit takes twelve eighteen months to go through that program we started it in twothousand and fifteen. We've since had over thirty people graduate through the sales ofelopment program and actually think forty percent of our a's roughly came from our salesdevelopment program and they've actually done thirty they do thirty percent more on average thanan external higher with sales experience. It just kind of remarkable. Wow,when you actually think about it. And these folks, most of them don'thave any sales experience, and so you as in hiring people right out ofright 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 inits senior Sta but it's been a huge game changer for us and I thinkthe thing here we have the organization, number one, to create opportunity forthe company, so qualified pipeline, but number two, it's great opportunity forthe reps right and it's very tangible, it's very numeric. If you getout, you're able to like graduated sales socio program however, if you don'tgraduate 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 weget those through, though, I mean it's remarkable some of the folks thathave 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'tthink about. Like they're much more bought into the company right there. Understandthe culture, they understand the values, like if some buddy calls them offeringthem like ten, ten more, like they it's there. They're really focusedon it because, you know, we've provided a great platform for them andthey've given us a lot, which is,...

...you know, why we really wantto make sure that they're happy in the growing and the progressing in theircareers. When you're interviewing people or when you're looking at the qualities or attributesof 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 pieceas intellectual curiosity. For us, I mean there's obviously the hard work andI think generally that's a pretty common answer, but for us of this like intellectualcuriosity and not wanting to give up. So I talk a all about duringthe juster sales process you're going to run into a wall, like it'sgot to happen, like there's going to be about block and so that thepeople who are most successful here are the ones who can think creatively outside ofthe box. And either are they going to go over the wall, arethey going to go around the wall? Are they going to like punch throughthe wall, like how are they going to like get across this road blockor this wall, that this this block on the sales process, and canthey think of creative solutions for this business owner, for just works to makesense for them? And that, to me, has been a huge competitivelike to the people who really excel and the ones who read up on localknowledge and really understand like what's what about our business, and I think thosepeople are the ones really really excelled. You've been making, and I've alwayschampions sort of really interesting investments, both to stimulate the culture, like President'sclub and sort of stuff like that, but you've also made some some investmentsand sort of training and development of the team, and one of them isthe mindfulness investment. Tell us a little bit about that, because that's reallyinteresting. Yeah, it's very unique and I'm really excite. It's a littlebit, like I've to take controversial, because I didn't I never heard ofanybody doing it. But one of the women on our team, amber,she actually ran, or should tak accounts program for a while and she movedover to to run our training enablement program and she's like been doing a phenomenaljob. 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 monthsof the year. So it's pretty seasonal and alongthian nature. And I waswe 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 thisguy can Revisi, who champion mental conditioning, used to coach Fullerton and actually helpedwork to the cubs. Now I think all but three teams and MajorLeague baseball have full time mental conditioning coaches on staff, and so I waslike thinking more and more about this and we were talking about it and we'relike, well, what if we like did something about this right and likethe mental side of sales and how do you think through the problems? Howdo you manage trash? How do you think through mindfulness? And and sowe found this guy's actually like a licensed therapist, like a family and marriagetherapist, but he also does a lot of business coaching. So he wasn'tlike extremely yeah, he's actually had that that business knowledge and that business knowhow and we've been working with them. We're about halfway through the program theclasses are usually fully subscribe. People are really excited about it and it's it'stalking about that softer side of sales that people don't really talk about a lotand acknowledging it's like Hey, your job is stressful, like sales people arepretty much every company, and know our company probably the hardest job at thosecompanies. You're being told known more than yes, it's tough. You gotto pick yourself up a lot and like and I think that for us itwas a great investment in the organization to help people think through those challenges andthink through that stress and how do you manage it? How do you bemindful about it, how do you acknowledge it and how do you kind ofpick yourself up and work through it? And the feedbacks been really strong thusfar and I think it's something that not a lot of people are talking aboutbut that more need to be talking about. Give us one or two tactics formanaging 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 ofplaces, but in New York City...

...it's like taxis and horns and honkingand it's just a bad morning on the bus or the subway. Somebody showsyou 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 bepresent about where you are and what you're doing. And just like on yourwalk to work, like taking a look around you, like looking at thearchitecture, appreciating like what you have and really like being positive and thinking throughthose those moments. Same thing with like a close deal, right, it'slike or you lose a deal, like you know, losing a deal likethat sucks, but like taking a moment and like really being mindful about allright, so why did that happen? What can I do differently? Whatcan I do better, and also like being thankful and grateful for like thestuff that you do have and trying to like put a positive, like beingin a positive mental state around managing that and managing that stress, because alot of times people were racing so much. Today there's so many gadgets and somany distractions and you just pee. A lot of people just don't taketime to just be present and be mindful about their day to day and kindof like what they actually do have. So it's been pretty interesting, likepretty powerful, like bringing in like Freud and some of the like old ancientphilosophers around this and Tonumm, it hasn't been that crazy, right. It'san hour and a half every two weeks, so it's not crazy and I thinkit's been really powerful. Now, granted that everybody we made an optionallike it was very conscious decision to make it optional, because we want toforce 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, stameslayer torrent and he actually used to live in New York. He was inCharles in South Carolina. So we fly them up every couple weeks and healso does one on one sessions with the team. So it's not only themindfulness training, but we thought like do someone on one sessions as well.And, like you know, obviously all that's like confidential, like not companydoesn't know anything about it, but it's an avenue and an outlet where peoplecan share things with him that you know they're to may not be comfortable sharingwith their manager, right, and I think that that's something that is reallyimportant and it just gives people like another outlet, because it really is mentalright their skills around performance. But it's also if you're not on the rightlike mental state, you're not going to perform, which is why you seethis increase, the increased utilization of it and professional sports, even in businessas well, like coaches and what have you. It makes a lot ofsense and I love the initiative moving and switching gears a little bit to justsome tactics and some numbers and some dashboards maybe that you're using. What arethe sort of top two or three KPI's that you're obviously closed business is oneof them, but if you're thinking about before the business is closed, whatare the numbers that you're looking at that you rely on to sort of driveyour management of the team? For sure. I mean the biggest one for us, at least on the a side of the game, is we focusa 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 smsoadvertising. 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 thebiggest indicator of like whether or not you're going to be successful, because that'swhat you can control. Right. I think that you know, when youfully rely on in bounty, fully rely on another demand channel, you essentiallycould 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 selfsourceopportunities and anything beyond that that you you get an inbound, if you geta sales bomb and the like, great, that's great, and we really reallyhave 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 ageof our opportunities, and so, because just works is like it's there's thisI like to call them perceive switching costs like a lot of times the lastthing companies want to think through, but it's one of these things where theage of pipeline and how much is that pipeline aging over time? We rolledout tableau recently, which is like change...

...the game for us. So wehave a central data warehouse, what you called the house, which we plugall of our data into a from our phone system, sales force, youname 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 canbasically 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 indecisions. So like run their business and they can answer any question theywant. So like in this zip, how many companies have been contacted andlike what's the average like conversion rate in this zip at this size and thisindustry? 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 endof our time together. So, rob thanks so much. But a couplelast 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 teamsare 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. Weuse seals offt, so a big fans of that. Some of the onesprobably that aren't is typical, or things like tableaud. It's not really likethe Sili a sales tool as much. Zoom Info is actually been great forus, I'd the most accurate database that we've been able to find that peoplecan like. That actually has accurate information. Also, beyond that, those reallygo say the main tool. We looked at some of the intelligent callcoaching software. We haven't pulled the trigger on it yet, but some ofthe we looked at it about a year and a half ago, but itjust a technology wasn't there for us yet, and so we we sometimes earlier onbe like block companies that were a little bit earlier stage, and thenthe product kind of crafts out. So we're kind a big blue we wantto wait the due to the size of our team. We can't roll somethingout and have it not work because, like, the credibility factor is justnot great. So we bade a test everything for at least thirty days nowprior 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, youmean like chorus or exactly? Yeah, exactly. Let's pay it forward alittle bit. Who you know, if you're thinking about people that haveinfluenced you or people that you look up to, that are other crows everypiece 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 superhelpful 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 JeffWilliams, who has been phenomenal. He actually used to run bunch of salesor he's like IPO, two companies. Like never missed a quota. Theguys just you like meet him and it's like he drank twenty five coffees inthe morning or did other stuff in the morning. You're just like, Ohmy 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 capitaladventures. He's really, really smart, really good guy. Somebody you mightknow. You obviously know Fred mather. He's fantastic. A lot of insightsand value there. Wendy Sturgis over at yes. She's just great andsomewhere informal men towards Guy John Lewis. He was a former president and Nielsenand Joel Peterson. He was a professor at Stanford. He's a chairman ofJeff Blue Mark, Leslie Andy Rackcliffe. These are some of the people thatkind 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 aprofessor of running this company, aligning start up with the market, which isall about product market. But how do you know when you have it andhow do you know when you don't? And that's for retasting. He hadlike 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 wasusing it. And Mark Leslie's also he ran a sales class. They're calledbasically 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 whoinvented the sales learning curve, which is this academic idea around sales andso 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 yourproductins and Shit and then you have to let everybody off. And so tryingto scale that curve, pryre before you actually have the fit, and Ithink it's a lot of companies make that air. I see it all thetime. Yeah, absolutely, they sure do. Rob This has been amazing. Are you guys hiring and or if people want to get in touch withyou a is that okay and be what's the preferred mechanism if they want toreach out, if they like what they heard, or if maybe they wantto talk about a job at just works? Yeah, for sure, we aredefinitely hiring. You're hiring in all roles of kind executives. As momentwe'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 justWorkscom so, Robert, it just Workscom what was it the question? That'sit. I was the only process. Yeah, but yeah, we're definitelygoing to hire people. I think that it's a super exciting time just forNew York and the country and just like some really awesome business ideas are beingstarted. So I think it's a great way to build a career and reallyalso have some fun meeting some great people all doing the wonderful well rob thanksso much for participating and we'll talk to you soon. Great. Thanks somuch. Hey everybody, this is Sam's corner. A great interview with RobLopez. You notice, like Dan Cook from Lucid Chart, a background andfine its platinum equity. If you don't know who they are, is isone of the biggest and they're specifically middle market and lower metal market private equityfirms. 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 intostart up land and going to a group on and then being the very firstsales hire. It's very, very rare that somebody can drop in as thefirst sales higher and have the support of a founder all the way through tothe hundred million marks. So it's a fantastic that rob's been able to dothat and whethered a bunch of different storms along the way and they've put ina lot of really, really great programs. They invest a lot in development andso one of the things that rob mentioned is this thing called the justwork library, which is sort of a tone. It's a spreadsheet, Iguess, of the cumulative are the cumulative contribution of all of the people onthe sales team and they know that when it's circulated, the people that achievecertain milestones immediately get compensation increases and immediately get different types of responsibilities. SoI think that's a really interesting approach to this leveling or laddering career laddering thatwe always talked about. Just work specifically as six levels just for a's andthen they've also got a separate program for SDRs. The other thing that thatrob mentioned we've been talking a lot about in my circles. What's the averageten year for an SDR, and it's looking like twelve to eighteen months issort of about the amount of time that an SDR can be expected sort ofsit in that role. So develop a program that takes your SDRs. Ifyou'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 preparesthem to move on to become an account executive. I think forty percent ofthe reps that are at just works now came from the SDR program and theytend to on average, contribute thirty percent more per person when it comes tonew 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 youwant to find our podcast on the Internet, you can or on itunesor Google play or spotify, and if you enjoyed this episode, please sharewith your peers on Linkedin, twitter or elsewhere. If you want to getin touch with me, find me on twitter at Sam f Jacobs or atLinkedin, 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 seeappear on the sales sacker podcast, please...

...let us know. We want tomake sure that the guests represent a great cross section of society, not justwhite males. So if you have ideas about people that we should be featuring, please let me know. Now, once again, big shout out toour sponsors for this episode. Are Call, your advanced call center software, completebusiness phone and contact center one hundred percent natively integrated into any crm andoutreach, a customer engagement platform that helps efficiently and effectively engage prospects to drivemore pipeline and close more deals. So I'll see you next time and Ithink when you're listening to this it might be near Thanksgiving. So if itis, I hope you have a great Thanksgiving and I'm sure I'll talk toyou soon by.

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