The Sales Hacker Podcast
The Sales Hacker Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

36: How to Market to Developers w/ Meghan Gill, VP Sales Operations, MongoDB

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This week on the Sales Hacker podcast, we interview Meghan Gill, VP of Sales Operations at MongoDB.  

Meghan has been at Mongo almost 9 years and was the first non-technical hire at the company, helping them scale past an IPO in 2017 and transitioning from an early career in Marketing into Sales Operations.  

One, two, one, three, everybody, this is Sam Jacobs. I am the founder of the revenue collective and I'm the chief Revenue Officer of a company called behave box. You're listening to the sales hacker podcast. Today on the show we've got the VP of sales operations, Megan Gilt, at Mungo DV. Mungo ipled last year in October of two thousand and seventeen and Megan was the first non technical higher at the company. They now have a sales team of will over two hundred people and revenue of over two hundred million and their public company. So it's a great conversation. She started off in marketing and then moved into sales and, as a consequence, has really deep insights into highly technical enterprise sales that are sort of bottoms up, they call them, smoke them out, marketing strategies where they market first hit the individual developer and then from there they pursue and push up into the enterprise, and so it's a really interesting conversation. They've had tremendous success and we're excited to have run the show. Now, before we get to the show, we want to thank our sponsors. The first is er call, a phone system designed for the modern sales team. Are Call seamlessly into greats into your crm, eliminating data entry for your reps and providing you with greater visibility into your team's performance through advanced reporting. So when you're ready to scale, you can add new lines in minutes and you can use in call coaching to reduce ramptime for you new reps. they've got a new product focused on sales. They originally started in customer success and they're doing great work and they've got a great had of marketing, Jeffreakers, who's been on this show. So visit air called out io forward sales hacker. That it's air called out io forward sales hacker, to see why we we're done in Bradstreet pipe drive. Thousands of others trust are call for their most critical sales conversations. Our second sponsor is outreach io. Our reaches also the sponsor of the revenue collective, which were super excited about. outreaches the leading sales engagement platform. So they triple the productivity of sales teams and empower them to drive predictable and measurable revenue growth by prioritizing the right activities and scaling customer engagement with intelligent automation. Outreach makes customer facing teams more effective and improved disability into what really drives results, which they will tell you that I suppose hop over to outreach. That io forward sales hacker to see how thousands of customers, including cloud, a, glass door, Pandora and Zelo, rely on outreach to the build or higher revenue for sales rap. so that's outreached, io forward slash sales hacker. And without further ado, let's listen to Megan guild from mango DB. Hey, everybody, it's Sam Jacobs. Welcome to the sales hacker podcast. We're incredibly excited to have Megan Gill on the show today. Megan is VP of sales operations at mango DB. Importantly, she was employee number eight at the company and has been with the company almost nine years and has watched that company grow from a very early stage, which will hear about, all the way through IPO. She started off in marketing and then recently moved over into sales operations, recently, about a year and a half ago. I guess she's also an advisor to a lot of early stage companies here in New York and an advisor to flybridge capital, which is a VC focused on our stage investments. So she's a wellknown startup advisor in addition to being a really respected sales and marketing leader here in the New York community. So, Megan, welcome to the show. Thanks for having me. We are excited to have you. So one of the things that we like to do right at the beginning is sort of understand a little bit about your background and, as we say, get your baseball card. So you know, your name is Megan Gill, your VP of sales operations. We know that mango DB's a public company, we know that it's a Big New York success story, but a lot of people don't know what Mam Goo DP does. So give us the quick overview of the company that you've been with for close to nine years. Sure. So, MOM Goo dyb is a we make database technology. So we make a more flexible and scalable database solution that makes developers more productive. That's it in enough shell. Good and then so what's rough revenue range? I mean your public company. So I guess we could look it up on your most recent filing, but what's the run rate of the business? You can say roughly...

...two hundred million and growing. Car going in a pretty fast clip. That's exciting. And so you guys ipoed in basically very recent it was it. Was it a few months ago? Was it a year ago? It was a year ago. So we had our one year as a public company anniversary, I want to say two weeks ago as of this recording. So we're recording in October two thousand and eighteen. So we went public in October two thousand and seventeen. Congratulations. So tell us about your story a little bit. Where you're from? You know, what's your background? How did you end up at mango back in in two thousand and nine? Sure, so when I joined mom going to be at the end of two thousand and nine. We were. I was the eighth employee. It was all engineers and and how I got there as I knew the founder, Elliott. We went to college together and I was looking to join US start up, and so I went to Elliott for advice thinking he would refer me somewhere. I didn't expect him to say, Hey, why don't you join Mongo DB, because I had knew very little about open source software. It was a very technical, technical product. There was no sales and marketing team, but he said Hey, you're smart, why don't you join? You can come and just help us get leverage, help us figure things out, and that's pretty much exactly what I did. I had a very sort of ouldifascinating role when I joined and over time I became more focused on marketing and particularly developer marketing, and then over the years I ended up running multiple teams. I ran develop a relations, I ran to man generation, I ran events and then about a year and a half ago the CEO and the CEO asked me to take on sales operations and again I was like I know nothing. To sort of similar and when I joined longing to be I was like I don't know anything about sales ops. I know I'm fairly onnalytical from having run to man generation, and they kind of gave me the same field. They were like, well, this is a great opportunity for up, you know, for you because you'll learn a lot about how the sales organization is run, and it's good for us because you know the company, you know the business, you know all the people in the nuances of how things what things work and what things don't work, and I think be a good fit for it. So that's how I ended up in this role. So how do you define sales operations at mango DP? What is the scope and sweep of your responsibilities? Sure, so my role is the it's a bit of it can be a bit of a cash all and and actually it's funny, because I was thinking about this as as prefect this podcast, that one of the things that was great about the early days of Bongo DB is that whenever there was a problem that wasn't engineering related, I just had to go figure out how to fix it and it drove this sort of high degree of accountability and problem solving, and I think that's sort of the same concept in sales ops, is that you know, whatever sortainly needs to get fixed, it's my job to fix it. But the scope of my role is really the systems, the reporting and the analytics to support the sales team and to get the highest productivity out of the sales team we possibly can. So that's my mandate. Tell us about the sales team, because it's sort of it's got a lot of different pieces in it, particularly given such a complex sale. Sure. So, at a high level, we divide our sales team into two main segments. We have a corporate segment, which is calling on companies with today with less than seven hundred fifty million and revenue. Next fiscal year we're going to make some changes which I can talk about. And then we have an enterprise organization, which calls on seven hundred fifty million plus and they're out in the field or organized geographically. So we want to optimize for, you know, reps in Dallas calling on the customers and Dallas and so forth. And then we have some supporting functions. We have a solutions architect organization, which is our technical pre sales organization that supports the sales reps, as well as a partner organization that helps us source steals through strategic a size and ISBS and help us sort of go to market with those companies and would tell us this is this is, you know, all very, very interesting, particularly for myself, given that I run a growing enterprise sale that's highly technical sober. Some of these questions might be very self interested, but so, given what is the ratio of solution architects, which it might incorrect, and saying that that's largely...

...sales engineers. That's sort of what most people would call them. What's the ratio between them and the field sales teams? And when we think about a city like Dallas or a city like, I don't know, Los Angeles, how many people, how many sellers, are in those markets or is it purely driven by this is the territory? There's so many people that are sure. So lanswer the first question about ratios first. So we actually run it slightly different ratios for a corporate versus our enterprise team. So our enterprise team, you know, we're expecting the reps to be traveling, to be on site. So we expect to have roughly in a steady state, three to one. The reality is it ends up being more like two or two and a half to one because we're growing so fast. So, as an example, we just put our first sales up in Korea. So we can't put a sales rep without us, without an essay. So we have a onetone ratio there and we sort of build that into our planning. Is like. You know, we know that certain ratio certain territories, as we grow them, are going to have more essays to match the number of you know, the the as we put in. The first reps in those areas are inside team. It's a slightly you know, it's a little bit more. It's more transactional. The reps are on the selling on the phone. So it's typically more like a five or six to one ratio, but we're sort of we've also been experimenting with with that ratio as well. I guess that one of the questions I have is how difficult is it to recruit essays solution architects and what's the level of technical experience that you require or expertise or substance that you were that you expect from the seller themselves? So I was a debate, you know, in these highly technical organizations, what what is the expectation of sales? Do you guys have a clear definition of what the salesperson is supposed to do and how that is different from what the solution architect is supposed to do? I think it is quite different. I mean, you know, our sales reps are one of their key responsibilities that's quite distinct from an essay is pipeline generation, right. I mean that's like a huge part of the job now. I think if they're technical, they're going to potentially the sales rep has some technical background, they put potentially do a better job a PG because they understand the audience and they understand what the person cares about. We did do some analysis recently about people's backgrounds and try to correlate, you know, are that's. Are The reps with more technical background more productive than reps without a technical background? And we found that yes, and generally are, but it wasn't hugely significant and they do work closely with the essays once they do get into a deal in terms of sizing and scoping and defining the requirements. Interesting, it's always been difficult for us at least, to find essays, to find people that are technical in all of these different markets. Do you guys sort of experience the same thing, which is that it's sort of more difficult to find the technical sales, engineering, solution architecture support in some of these markets as it is to find great sellers? Or is it just finding great talent as hard in the matter? or You guy, I would say just finding great talent is, I mean, I'd say, the interesting thing or I think our biggest challenge challenges. It's not market size, because the database market is huge. It's like forty billion dollars a year growing and I think the product is great. Our biggest limitation has been finding talent and engineering and sales essays and in all functions to grow at the rate that we want to grow. Yeah, well, I think that's a common situation for a lot of high growth companies. You guys are you know, it's a hundred. It's a large organization. You started as the first non technical hire. Walk us through some of the phases of growth because I think you know, you mentioned there have been some sort of shifts and I don't know if they're called pivots, but certainly they're been inflection points in the growth of Mango Dib. Give us a little bit of that experience, as it's been over nine years. Sure. I mean when I joined we had no sales reps. we probably hired our first we are in our first sales or, if I want to say, in like six or twelve months after I joined, and those reps were really very reactive. I mean we had a pretty I mean I was running running marketing program so I'll to my own horn. I thought we were doing pretty good job in marketing. We had a lot...

...of inbound demand and so they were really managing that that inbound demand and we overtime built the sales organization and we did split it between an inside organization and a field organization and one of the early iterations they were actually you could consider them kind of overlay, so they were covering the same accounts but they were split based on the size of the deal and I actually thought that that was a pretty not optional configuration because people would do funny business to make sure that the deal was on. You know, I forget what the threshold is like. Let's say it was a K threshold and inside was closing less than that and outside was closing deals bigger than that. So that created situations where people were trying to hang on to deals or move or change the size of the opposite that they could close it. So then we changed the configuration of the sales organization that be based on revenue. So our inside team was was had sole responsibility for companies less than a certain revenue threshold and the outside team was closing deals above that threshold. And over time we kept raising the revenue threshold and then we saw something else happen which I alluded to earlier, which is that even though our threshold got all the way as high as seven hundred and fifty million and revenue, our inside team has had the most success with companies with less than a hundred million in revenue. So we're actually doing something counterintuitive. We're saying, Hey, we want you to focus on where you're having success, when they're having a lot of success, are actually quite productive the inside team. Let's focus you on on the low end, on accounts less a hundred million. Doesn't mean that you're the the JV team. It just means that you found your you found your sweet spot and let's give the enterprise team a chance to go after the account said you know, basically, you're not focused on you're not spending enough time on let's give the enterprise team of crack at those. So I've seen sort of multiple iterations and different ways to structure the team and you know, even though we're public company, were still literating on it. Yeah, I'm sure, and you know you're known in many ways. I mean, I guess for most of the time a pet Mongo you were doing marketing and you guys have an interesting go to market model because it's sort of developer driven. So walk us through you know that because you know you mentioned you were working on demand generation. Like walk us through the model for how mango DB identifies an opportunity and how you became good at figuring out how to market to developers. Sure. So our approach has been to have to create like a really amazing customer experience and an amazing experience for developers. So mom going to be is open source and we treat open source almost like a fremium model. So you can get up and running and try mom going to be and build applications of Mongd be, either with our open source version and now we have a cloud product called longing to be atlas where there's a free tier or so you can, you know, very quickly get up and running with the product. And that's how we generate demand, because we make it really easy to for developers to use. And the way we think about sales is the sales reps are really looking for what we call smoke, as in when they're smoke their fire. So they're looking for accounts where there's activity. Could Be, you know, developers just tinkering around and they're going and talking to those developers, finding out what kind of projects there are and then pillaring up to a decision maker or somebody more senior to talk about a more strategic, more strategic deal. What is the benefit of going from sort of free, open source to pay? Is it security and sort of some of the INFOSEC and some of the things that an enterprise cares about? Or there are different features? Sure, so there's really two rounds you can go in terms of paying for mom going to be there. If you're running on prem you're probably going to have security requirements, you're going to have operational requirements. So we offer an nomprem product called long, going to be enterprise advanced, which includes advanced security, includes a tool called ops manager that lets you know, manage and run mom going to be within your data center. And then, if you want to go to the cloud, we offer a tool called long of the atlas, which has a free tier. The Nice Segment Atlas is that it, you know, automates and and handles all of the a lot of the operational things that a technical team or an operations team...

...would need to do in order run in order run mom to be on their own, and it's in a rated with aws school cloud and with Azure, so you can. The Nice thing is is that you can run in on any cloud that you want and you have flexibility to be on, you know, multiple clouds. What are your key insights from, you know, running developer marketing for so long and from running to managin get us in the heads or the minds of the developers, and what are some of like the great marketing programs that you run? Just really curious because you didn't formally have a marketing background, but you spent a lot of time, I would imagine, putting yourself in the mind of either a decision maker, a sort of an engineering manager or a developer themselves. What was that like and what are some of the key insights that you drew? I think the key insight is, you know, developers, they don't really like being quote unquote, marketed to, but they are really hungry for information and for learning and for education. So we took that angle in pretty much all of the marketing programs that we did. So, as an example, one of the early successes was doing these one day developer conferences, which we still do, the early ones. I mean, I'd probably be embarrassed to like, look, you know, if I were running that event now, probably be embarrassed, as it was like the production value is so low and was so minimally branded. But it didn't matter because people were there to learn. They were there to figure out how they could solve their problems with mom to be, how they could build applications more efficiently. Is that was like an early marketing win. And then, you know, another key marketing initiative, which is still really an important part of our go to market, is are Mong going to be university? So we offer free online courses where you can learn mom woyd be and we've had over a million people register for a course to learn momoyd be. So again it's like to me, I think about like the educational angle has been really effective for working with developers. What is the narrative that you've constructed given again, like many people, I don't think you majored any marketing or any of the major and sales, certainly because that's nearly impossible to do. So what's the narrative, or how do you think about approaching career development and professional development for yourself and sort of advice that you might give to other folks that are out there listening? Sure so, if anybody's read lean in, which I know is Chryl Samberg's book, is really thought about. Most people think of it as being about purely about women, but I think there's a lot of really great generic career advice in it and one of the really great pieces of advice she gives them the books to think of your career as a jungle gym rather than thinking about it as a ladder. So in my case, you know, I could have just kept going up the ladder and learning more and more about marketing, but actually decided to take a step to the side and work on sales ups to give me a broader perspective. Similarly, like you know, I think a lot of people get really honed in on things like titles, like what's the role? Am I going to be VPA marketing or VP OF SALES? My perspective is better to be in a company who cares about the title, who cares with the role. If you're a company is growing really quickly, there are always be new opportunities if you're doing a good job and you're anti value, which is the experience I had. Of had a chance to do multiple things within marketing and now within within say, bills. So I would say that the two pieces advice are, you know, think of it as a jungle gym, not a ladder, and secondly, to think about joining a great company is so much more important than the the specific job title or job description. was there a point at mango DB when it became clear it was going to be this IPO opportunity? Is there something you attribute that success to, or is it really just, fundamentally, you built a great product and you guys just continue to iterate and figure out how to serve your customers better? Well, it's an interesting question. I mean, you know, I think every I think most people when they're joining a start up are hoping for a great outcome like in like an IPO. I think for us, yes, product was their stronggo to market and then also just the size and the spop of the market. I mean, we think we're only capturing a very small percentage of the overall database market, which is, you know, over four billion. So if we keep executing then we can continue to grow at the piece that we're growing. It's a great outcome. So congratulations on it. You know, one of the things that...

...we were sort of talking about before and that you mentioned and in a note to me, is talking about moving from a funnel framework, which I guess Brian Halligan at s hub spot was mentioning, to a fly wheel and how companies need to focus on customer delight. Are you guys doing that at Mango DB? Walk us through how you're thinking of it, which is often, I guess it's sort of like a marketing framework, but probably also relevant to the sales organization. Yeah, so I just recently watched Brian Halligan's keynote. That inbounds when he talks about going from funnel to fly wheel, and I think this is, in a really indicative of how the market is changing. You know. I mean it used to be that the person who had all the information and it held all the cards was the sales rep they had they knew everything about the product, about the market, about the competition. Now it's a lot easier for people to get that kind of information on their own and it does put sales at a bit of a disadvantage and it means that, you know, what's become the most powerful form of sales and marketing is customers or talking about the experience they're having with your product and generating virality. So I think that means that as sales people and as marketers, we need to reorient towards creating an amazing, positive customer experience so that our customers will refer people and, you know, talk about the great experience that they're having. So that can manifest itself in many ways, like you know. One way, for example, was having a really strong customer success organization that's integrated with your sales organization, which is something that we have. Another approaches, you know, we have all of you know, some companies, once a deal is closed, they pass the renewal off to a renewals team. We have our sales reps continue to own the relationship and own the renewals, which means that they're really invested in the success of the customer and thinking about making sure that they're going to renew when that when that time comes. So so there's different ways that you can integrated into the come that concept into the company. Yeah, do you find that the sales people? Do they embrace that idea of mataining the relationship? Are there tradeoffs that you have with the customer success or Account Management Teams in terms of division of responsibilities? It's always an interesting challenge to think about to what extent the CS or am teams are motivated by specific revenue apis versus the sales team. How do you guys structure that? I'm a strong and believer that the at least in a business like ours, that the reps need to own the renewals, and the reason for that is that we're land and expand sales motion. So if you think about how many database applications a single company could have, I mean the first deal is just your foot in the door, so it would not make sense to pass that on to somebody who's more of a a farmer. To maintain the relationship. We want the reps to stay, engage and structure the complex and structure their territory, is that they're really motivated to stay gage in the with the customers. Now I agree there are tradeoffs, like doing a renewal like that takes away time from generating new business and it takes away time from, you know, getting new logos, but I think that it's important enough in a land and expand that we're willing to make that tradeoff and I think it's the right thing to do. When you think about you're in sales ups now and to the point of land and expand and sort of like looking at the sales team and looking at the sales motion. There's a lot of enterprise sellers out there and you're in this unique roll because you're in sort of the OPS function, so you're looking out at the productivity of all of the different sellers and sort of what makes success and what doesn't. And you said that you've done some analysis trying to determine if technical background or some level of technical knowledge helps people perform better. What are the other insights that you've gleaned looking at sort of sellers from this analytical objective perspective in terms of what makes a great seller? Who Your most successful people are and why? And you know, what lessons can you share with the audience? Sure I can share. I mean one sort of counterintuitive insight we have had, and this says less to do with the people in the profile, is around focus. Some I think we're big fans of focus at MONGODB. So we did an analysis to figure out. Okay, I think intuitively would think if I give someone a bigger patch and more opportunity, they're going to be more productive. We actually found pretty...

...much exactly the opposite, that the fewer accounts somebody has, the more productive they are, and that actually makes sense to focus people on a handful of really good accounts where they can get deep and they can maybe say qualify I'll quickly or qualify in quickly. So that was one insight that we had and that had US move our entire sales organization, including our inside reps, to a named account model. When you say a handful, like how is it five and roll. And this is the other sort of key insight is, you know, you can't treat every person. You know, every person's unique right. You have to match the player to the position right. So an inside rep can handle, you know, seventy five accounts. It's very high velocity. They're qualifying in and out very quickly. You know our enterprise team, you know they're more focused on in a fifteen or twenty accounts, and even twenty could be a lot of accounts for them to handle if they start getting really deep in them. You know, are most one of our most most productive reps. he's down to three accounts and he's just really focused on on expanding within those accounts. Now they're very large organizations. So that's there's room to expand and within those those three accounts, but it has to do with the person and there their skill set and sort of matching the the territory and the accounts to their abilities. How early did you guys go feel and did you struggle and or how did you address the struggle of a growing company, you know, venture backed with all of these people that you're hiring that don't work in the office and sort of imbuing them with the MO on Goo DB culture at the same time that you know, I've got a hundred and fifty people around the world. You Got Somebody in Korea, different time zones. How do you guys address that challenge of sort of cultural scaling with field sales people and people that don't work and home base? It's not easy, for sure. We do bring people together for qbrs centrally. I mean we've we bring all of the sales leaders together. We have one in Europe and one in North America where there with the head of sales and one of our some of our board members are CEO. So I feel like that's an important way for us to reinforce the culture. We also did an exercise I want to say three years ago, where we put sort of a common language around our culture and values. So, like mom going to be's, we have six core values. Some of them are like think big, go far, built together, make it matter, be intellectually honest. And when we did that exercise I'm everything in myself, like nothing really change about our culture. We just put a common language around it and it really resonated with people. And you know, even when we're recognizing people through our sales all hands or our sales kickoffs, we try to frame it in those common that common set of values and that we defined several years ago. That's interesting. Is there a psychographic, you know profile, as you guys have interviewed, hired, fired lots and lots of people. Any common themes or anythings that you think are specific to mango in terms of the types of people that you're looking to hire, particularly on the sale set? So we try to be scientific about it. We actually we do an assessment. Every single person that gets hired in a sales roll does an assessment. We use a tool called profiles xt and we took our top sellers and also our bottom sellers and we tuned our assessment based on on those people and we try to refresh that every six to twelve months. And that assessment is broken down into three sort of core sections. There's like the there is a section on they're learning, their capabilities, which is basically can they do the job, and there's a behavioral section, which is about how to do the job, and there's a third section about, you know, will they enjoy the job? So there's different facets on the assessment. There's things like, you know, manageability and coachability. Are they management? Can you manage them? Can you give them advice? Will be able to follow our playbook? There's a score for something called accommodating. You know, are they to commodating with customers and able to hold a line and hold a customer acountable to a certain timeline? So we use that assessment to help us iterate and refine our profile and also just to help us understand the people that were bringing on board and you know where their sort of strengths and weaknesses and areas of development are. And is is that inform the I...

...would imagine it informs the interview process in the sense that if you determine that accommodation is a bad thing. Then you find ways to test for that. And is it? I guess the other question is sort of is it exclusively behavioral or are you doing a lot of case studies and kind of assignments to gage their ability to match to the profile that that platform as well? Our interview process is Pretty Pretty Rare Aus so they have to do the assessment, they have to do interviews and then they also do a challenge, so they actually come in and present, do a presentation and do a pitch as if it were to a customer. We're really trying to understand if they'll be successful in the role. And the other thing about these steps in the processes is it also helps them qualify us, like are they going to enjoy doing this kind of work, putting to get the process of putting together the challenge helps helps them qualify as well. So it's a combination of all of those things. And, like you said, like you may say see on the profile that somebody scored particularly high or low on a certain facet and then you have to think about well, if they have a certain score or certain or maybe they have a certain experience gap, does a manager can the manager help cover those risks? Because their manager has that, you know, experience. So it's also about again, player position. Like you know, if they don't have experience doing a multistate coal or sale, but the manager has a lot of experience with that, then maybe we're okay, but if it were the case that neither the manager or the Rep had that experience, then you know, we might be in trouble. Do you guys use any kind of specific methodology when you're selling, to the point of the multi stakeholder sale, or using value selling or Miller hiymen or anything like that? So we we have a few different frameworks that we use. We worked with a consultancy called force management to come up with the value framework, so you know, the value drivers and then the things that sort of build off of that, and then we also use medpick to qualify deals. So metrics, economic, oh my gosh, now I'm on the spot. Metrics. The pen is a paper pay for the process. I as identified pains these champion. So yeah, so those are some of the frameworks that we use. Got It. Another question I have is I sort of, you know, asked you a few questions offline about sort of building the revenue plan and thinking about Perp Productivity, but you've also been in charge of demand generation. So is the enterprise plan? Are you guys using bedrs or SDRs or you thinking about pipeline generations? It's the job of the REP to deliver the amount of pipeline that they need and, you know, whatever, whatever quota we give them, which is, you know, going to be x there ote, that's how much pipeline they're going to generate. So we do have an SDR organization which we've done a lot of experimenting and eneryting on, which I think is is natural and it's it's a good way to test things out and do lots of experiments because they're the least experience part of the organization, so it's really easy to pivot and come up with sort of new ideas and run them. And so we do expect some pipeline from the from the STRS, but at the end of the day we try to drive accountability with the reps, like they should not be setting back waiting for pipeline from an SDR or from marketing, like they own their pipeline in the and the the revenue that they're generating. And in terms of planning, I work pretty closely with our FPNA team and building our annual plan. And there really are only three inputs to that, which are, is, our assumptions about sales productivity, hiring and attrition, and we build our sort of annual plan based on those, those three inputs. And you know what I can sort of provide to the FNA team as they're building that is, you know, okay, we're going to create this hiring plan is and will actually go and stress test it with the the sales leaders, like, okay, let's actually build an ORC chart that they gets you to whatever, a hundred and fifty EA's this year? Is that realistic? Do we have the management capacity? Do we have the regions that we want to open up? Will we have enough solutions, architects, things like that. So there's a little bit of back of forth that happens between the finance team...

...and the sales organization and I would assume that the in terms of sort of like demand generation, like to the point of named accounts, it really comes down to territory design and making sure or that each person has the right number of named accounts to get to whatever number you expect them to get to, and that your job in opts is almost to provide that reassurance that, listen, we're very, very confident that this group of accounts will get you to the number that you need to get to. Does that sound yeah, it's interesting to bring that up because we're spending a lot of time of thinking about territory planning right now and doing a better job and a more sort of scientific job around territory management. So we consider territory management. It's ultimately the job of the Rd to sign the accounts because, you know, as systematic as we could be in terms of identifying data, their data, that indicates a good account. You know, you have to also be able to match the accounts to the people. So is that player position concept right? You wouldn't give, you know, a rep with very little field experience, you know, an account like a big bank, like Morgan Stanley, for example, because you're a setting them up for failure. But we can provide the managers as intelligence to help them make those decisions. And you know, we're actually in the process of rethinking how we do territory management. So we're actually bringing in a consultancy to do some data science analytics on our account account base to help us figure out which are the accounts that we think have the highest or pensity to buy so that we can make it simpler for the managers to assign those accounts. And then we're also supplementing our account data with more intelligence from third party tools like Data Fox and inside view and things like that. So that's definitely a topic that's very top of mine because I think it'll have a big impact on sales productivity if we can get the territories assign more scientifically. Yeah, absolutely. Beyond mango, you know your your an advisor to a bunch of early stage companies. What are some of the trends patterns, you know, what have you observed as an advisor, maybe separate from your experience within mango DB? That determines, you know, in some ways, where you're finding that companies are successful or unsuccessful. What are the common themes? As you've been more part of the start ecosystem, given the the success of Mango d be, what are you sunny? I mean I I've been advising these early stage startups like one, for example, is called Concord. They got acquired by Akamai. Another is called honeycomb and which is a product to help developers get insight into performance issues and those are pretty like monging to be pretty technical products and have technical cofounder or technical founders who, you know, may not have a lot of experience with sales and marketing. And in the case of like honeycomb, the CEO and founder charity majors, like she's pretty amazing, like she's an engineer by training, but like she is incredible marketing instincts because she knows the developer audience so well. But in terms of like the insides, I feel like the startups and the founders that do really well they're coming from a technical background, of the ones that are trying to figure out what are the best practices, what are the right ways to build a sales and marketing organization and really thinking about it critically. You know, I think you asked offline, like you know what some startup advice that you think is total bullshit, and I think a trend right now or theme right now is like Hey, just build an amazing product, is all about product, and then your products going to go viral and you'll succeed. And I think that that may be true for a small subset of products that have some inherent reality and have very little competition. But for most of us, most of us, you know, mere mortals, we need seals and marketing and you need to generate demand and if you're not doing it, your your competition is doing it and you're missing out. So I think that those founders that start thinking about it early and try to learn as much as they can and are open to feedback are the ones that are really successful. It makes perfect sense. You know, there's a part as we sort of think about, you know, paying it forward and some of the influences that you've had and maybe some of the content that you've created. What advice would you give to other folks? Are there books that you've read that have been particularly influential or even mentors that you want us to know about? Sure, so, you know, I thought of two things I thought were pretty interesting. One is a...

...podcast called ninety nine percent in visible. I don't know if you've ever listened to it, but it's all about design and the things that you may not notice around you that have actually been designed or thought about at some point. So an example would be there's a really great episode about the calendar, like why do we have thirty or thirty one days a month. Why do we have twelve months? And it talks about the different experiments that have been done around different kinds of calendars and there was actually a someone who worked at a railroad that came up with a calendar that was thirteen months, or each month was twenty eight days, and it made it a lot easier to manage time tables and that calendar was actually adopted by Kodak, I think, as recently as like the s and the reason I love this podcast is it gets you out of your head in terms of, you know, what, what you think is the best practice or what you think is normal, because that's the way you can innovate is when you can step aside and say, Hey, this is a the prescribed best practice, but why do we do it this way? Do we have to do it this way? So I really appreciate that podcast. It's called nine hundred and ninety nine percent in visible. Look. I would recommend is predictably irrational by Daniel Ralli, which is it's sort of similar in that it again gets you to, you know, rethink conventions and it's all about the ways in which humans do things that seem counterintuitive and if you can understand human behavior. I mean I think that's sort of necessary to be a good sales or marketer. So that's that would be my recommendation. Those are so just repeating it back for the audience. Predictably Irrational. And then ninety nine percent invisible, as the podcast. And in terms of you know, sales leaders or even marketing leaders or any kind of leader, who are some of the people that have been particularly influential that you know we should know about? We should kind of Google and look them up on Linkedin. You know one or two folks that that you think have been particularly important? Well, I definitely learned a lot about marketing from mom going to be CMO, Megan Eisenberg, who's pretty well known, as well as our former Ciro, Carlos Dillatorre, who's now the CEO of a company called Vera Security. So I thought it was pretty cool. by He's well known, he's famous. I hear about him all the time. Yeah, and it's pretty I think it's a pretty amazing success story. Like I was really bummed when he called me and said he was leaving, but when I found out he was becoming a CEO is like, well, I get it. The other big influence on me is actually my fatherin law, Phil Murray, who's a had many marketing roles. He's had a marketing ow at a company called cyberex out of Boston. So it's really fun over Thanksgiving and other holidays to be talking talking shop, talking about convergent rates and, you know, outbound versus in downd SDRs and things like that. Absolutely are you from the Boston area? I'm actually from New York originally. I grow up in Queens. My my husband's from Boston. Okay, cool, awesome. Well, listen, Megan. Thank you so much for your time on the show. We really appreciate it. congrats on the success at mango. Your career has been really, really inspiring. And any final advice for people you know? So you mentioned the jungle gym, you mentioned Sheryl Sandberg. Any last parting words of wisdom before we hit the Stop Recording Button? As people think about you know how to be you maybe even particularly for some of the women out there that are trying to navigate their career in sales and marketing, I guess my advice would be to be bold and just sort of go for it. I mean my one of my personal mottos is ready fire aim, so don't worry so much about being perfect or having the perfect plan. Like you know, it's better to take action, even if the action is wrong, and learn from it, because in action is also a decision and you'll get better results if you just keep trying and it rating on it. So just go for it and be confident. Absolutely, we will do it. I assume, given what you just said, that you guys are growing. If people want to get in touch with you, either to, you know, seek you out from mentorship, to ask you questions or even to apply for a job at mango, is there a preferred channel through which people should approach you? Is that okay? How should people reach out if they heard something that I liked on this podcast and they want to connect? Sure, I mean, I'm on all the social media network so feel free to connect to me on Linkedin or on twitter, or you can just email me. My emails pretty easy.

It's Megan M Egaja, and at Mango, tobcom happy to happy to refer people for jobs or hiring like crazy. That's great, Megan. Thanks so much for being on the show and and we'll talk to you soon. Thank you Y I team at Sam Jacobs. This is SAM's corner. Other great interview, this time with Megan Gil from mango DB. She was the first non technical hire at that company and she helped them go public last year. They've been public for over a year. I think Megan had a lot of really, really good insights into how to build and scale a complex enterprise sale and one of the things that she mentioned is it's a heavy field sales organization where they put a lot of emphasis on the sales up themselves to generate pipeline. In fact that's one of the core responsibilities. They have a one to one relationship between the salesperson out in the field and the solution architect, which is the sales engineer, which is the technical person that actually knows what Hell's going on. So one to one and so they have equivalently, if they have a hundred fifty people out in the field, they have a hundred fifty solution architects, although I think the actually she mentioned that the ratio was sort of ideally three to one, so maybe they have fifty solution architects in my math is wrong. The point is that when you're doing an enterprise sale that's highly complex, highly technical, you're going to need to provide an invest in technical support and part of that go to market motion is investing in sales engineering and support to assist the sales team. Now, they did some analysis, and this was really interesting, and they found that people with technical backgrounds in sales did do better. So they did better, but not a ton better. Nevertheless, it's pretty clear in the modern age that if you don't have technical experience of any kind you're at a disadvantage relative to everybody else. And finally, I think what's really interesting is that they figured out that the smaller the territory, the more productive the REP and I think we've all probably had some notion or some intuition that that might be true. But you know, they're their enterprise sellers are managing. You know, she said twenty was a lot and I would think ten to fifteen and she said their top seller manage is just three accounts and it sounded like one of them was a really big investment bank. So if you guys have ever tried to sell the investment banks, you understand why that's important. There's so many different people making decisions, so many different local little pockets of budget and it's really, really difficult. So make sure that when you're thinking about your territory design and your named account strategy that you have the right ratio for the size of the deal. For a truly complex enterprise sale, you might think about a territory that's really only ten to fifteen named accounts if that seller is a land and expand model where they can grow the account over time. So before we go, of course, what do we want to do? We want to thank our sponsors. There there are the reason we all get to breathe oxygen, etcetera. Big Shout out to air call, your advance call center software, complete business phone and contact center, a hundred percent natively integrated into any crm and outreach, a customer engagement platform. They efficiently and effectively engage prospects to drive more pipeline and close more deals. If you want to get in touch with me, please do it. A lot of people have been reaching out to me and it's fantastic. You don't have to just get any positive feedback. You can tell me, hey, these are the types of things that we want to hear on the show. We've gotten a lot of feedback we're working on new formats because of that feedback. So if you want to reach me, you can find me linked in twitter, anywhere you want. Linkedin's probably the best. It's Linkedincom the word in I N and then forward Sam f Jacobs, linkedincom in Sam f Jacobs. If you want to talk to me about Washington, sports, politics or the singularity, you can find me on twitter at Sam f Jacobs. I'll talk to you next time.

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