The Sales Hacker Podcast
The Sales Hacker Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

41. Helping Marketo IPO, Achieve Hyper Scale, and Take Those Lessons to the Next Great Company with Bill Binch, CRO of Pendo

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This week on the Sales Hacker podcast, we talk to Bill Binch, Chief Revenue Officer for Pendo and a former sales executive at Marketo who, over close to 10 years, helped guide the company through multiple phases of growth including both an IPO and an acquisition. Bill is the consummate commercial leader, sales manager, and team player and walks us through his career insights.

One, two, one, three, three. Hey everybody, it's Sam Jacobs and this is the saleshacker podcast. We've got a fantastic show for you. Today we've got bill bench, thechief Revenue Officer of Pendo, one of the fastest growing businesses in theUnited States perhaps the world. Bill is an acknowledged commercial great and leader.He's spent over ten years, or close to ten years, at Marquetto starting, I think he may have been he may have been one of the earliestsalespeople there, but rows up the ranks and eventually became evp of worldwide sales. He helped launch in Japan, he helped launch in Asia Pacific region andand obviously saw Marquetto through a bunch of liquidity events, including going public andthen ultimately the acquisition he started his early career. People soft. He's reallya fantastic leader and it's really clear why people love working for him. Sowe're excited about that interview. Now before we dive into it, as always, we have to thank our sponsors. The first is chorus DOT AI,the leading conversation intelligence platform for high growth sales teams. Chorus for chords transcribesand analyzes business conversations in real time to coach traps on how to become topperformers. With chorus, more ups meet quota new hires, ramp faster,leaders become better coaches and everyone in the organization can collaborate over the actual voiceof the customer. It is a fantastic tool. I've used it before,for I'm a huge fan. CHECK OUT CORUS DOT AI forward salesacker to seewhat they're up to. So that's CORUS DOT AI forward sales hacker. Oursecond sponsor, as you know, is outreach. They are the leading salesengagement platform. Outreach support sales reps by enabling them to humanize communications at scale, from automating the soul sucking manual work that eats up selling time to providingaction oriented tips on what communications are working best. Outreach as your back nowcoming up in March, outreaches running unleash two thousand and nineteen the sales engagementconference. This is going to be the definitive new sales conference in the world. It'll take place March ten through twelve in San Diego. So if you'reon the East Coast and you've got some March snow storm that comes upon youand you thought it was going to start getting warmer. Let's all go toSan Diego instead. It's better there. It's dry, it's warm, it'ssunny, it's beautiful. All kinds of things are legal there that aren't legalin other places. The listeners of the pod get a hundred dollars off simplyfriendering the code sh pod. So, listeners of the pod, you geta hundred dollars off. The code is sh pod. Hop over to unleashdot outreach dot ioh and use the code s h pod to save a hundreddollars off your ticket. I'm going to be there, either moderating a panelor speaking, so you'll get to meet me in person, which is mostpeople's highlight of their life, if not of the entire universe. Just kidding, but I will be there and and we'd love to see you there.So again, that code is sh pod. Finally, I went through a lotof my linked and requests and there's just so many great people out thereso that are listening and sharing and I want to thank you. Here's someof the folks. Kyle Roy Ball at Sendo. So thank you, Kyle. Justin Cardillo, VP of sales, in Chicago. Justin we're going tobe launching the revenue collective in Chicago in two thousand and nineteen, so makesure you get involved. Ed Spencer at Sales Force Austin Cowen or Colin,I hope I pronounced to write, at bamboo great hur platform, and aBetcher at campaign monitor. She's listening all the way from Sydney Australia. DennisBrookholtzer from Germany, Jason English from at Blue Wolf, Andrew Wall working atFacebook, Darren Noble quantum workplace, Brian Tate, Elaine Moore, who's incorporatingsome of the stuff from Unia, but we had in previous episodes Shawn Buckston, Matthew done from carbon black. Hopefully Matthew heard the Amy Apple Yard episodelast week. Jerry Ony, who just messaged me on linkedin literally three secondsago. All of you folks, thank you so much for listening and thisis this is going to be a great show. So without further ado,let's dive in and and listen to this interview with Bill Bench. Hey,everybody, it is Sam Jacobs and you are listening to the sales hacker podcast. Welcome to two thousand and nineteen. We are in the meat of twothousand and nineteen right now, if I have my calendar program correctly, andtoday we're incredibly excited to have bill bench who is the chief revine officer atPendo. PENDO is one that we're going to learn more about the company,but one of the fastest growing businesses and one of the fastest growing startups tomy knowledge, in the US and perhaps in the world. and Bill hasa really long and incredibly impressive background and history working at some of the mostpivotal technology companies and high growth companies that all of us know a lot about. So really quickly, at Pendo, Bill oversees all revenue bearing aspects ofthe business, including the sales, customer success and Professional Services Organizations. He'shad sales leadership experiences at Oracle, people, soft and BEA systems and then backin two thousand and eight he joined a little company called Marquetto and hehelped them grow from zero in revenue to over two hundred and fifty million overnearly a decade. He helped lead the marketing automation giant from a small benchrevack start up to a public company to...

...going private with its one point eightbillion dollar sale to Vista Equity Partners. In Two thousand and sixteen. Hissales operation grew from targeting B to B to BTC, from mess and Betamenenterprise and from domestic to global, with customers and offices all over the world. Most recently, bench managed Marquettos Asia Pacific team based in Sydney, Australia, which is one of my favorite cities. And he's an advisor. If you'reon his linkedin profile you'll see that bill is an advisor to a numberof different high growth companies. So we are super excited to have you bill. Welcome to the show. Thanks Sam. I'm ready to get two thousand andnineteen kicked off with you, so thanks for having me joy. Thisis a time travel experience because we're recording this with a few days left intwo thousand and eighteen, but people will be listening in two thousand and nineteen. So what we like to do just really quickly, Bill, is toget what we call, I read your bioh but we we like to knowa little bit of what we might call your baseball card, specifically around yourcurrent company, and give you an opportunity to pitch that business to the listenersa little bit. So your cro at Pendo. What is Pendo? Tellus a little bit about what the company does, who they are? Yeah, pendos in what we call the product analytic space, which were really defineas being able to measure the user behavior of what your users are doing insideyour APP. So that's what we call insights, and then we allow youto action that. So we allow you to help guide that user experience tobe better so that your customers end up loving what you do the best.Real world are, you know, common person language. Analogy that I couldgive you SAM is. Think about what a fit bit does for the body. Right, it tells you how many steps you've walked, how many stairsyou've gone up, what your calories are, what you're sleeping habits and allows youto control your calories, your intake. It allows you to drive your bodyto be better. Right. That's what Pendo is for an application.Is What fitbit is to the body understood, and it's feels like it's probably likea fast growing category and in a competitive space. Roughly, obviously,private company is confidential information and all that, but roughly, how big is Pendofrom an rr perspective? So we're all over thirty million. We areabout two hundred and fifty employees right now. And you you used to really operativeword there about growing space, and that's one of things that was reallyexciting an appealing to me is you reference my Marquetto experience when I when Ijoined Marquetto there were no gardener quadrants for marking automation, there were no companieslike Oracle and sales force who today, alongside adobe, are the biggest vendersin that and I saw a very similar type of growth on the horizon withPendo as I saw that this was a space that had well funded organizations outthere. That we're going in trying to define and create the category for whatwe are. So I think that will be a good topic for us tocover off today. And the the category would be product analytics. Is thataccurate? My defining Approbay? Yeah, product analytics or user experience analytics,something along those lines. Like I said, there's there's there's no you know,crm, Bender Quadron or marketing automation platform category name that's been created andhad everybody kind of circle around yet. But product analytics is probably the thebest, the best and most common used one. Well, yeah, andyou know if they're if there is in a category yet it's up to ifPendo can define it. There are multiples of enterprise value that go to theperson that coins the name, which is something I read about in this book. Played bigger. So the total organization is two hundred. How many peopleare in the Revenue Organization? Actually little over two hundred and fifty. Youknow, I joined back in January here of two thousand and eighteen and therewas about a hundred and thirty, hundred forty folks, and today were nearingtwo hundred and sixty. So we've almost two hundred and sixteen just in therevenue work. No to sixty entire company and about a hundred and twenty comprisethe sales, customer success and pro services teams. Got It and is it? Would you describe? Is there a sort of a deal size? Youknow, is it SMB? Mid Market enterprises are specific slice of the universethat you're going after from a from a customer size perspective. We cover small, medium and large. The heritage of the company definitely followed a page outof the playbook that I think sales force created. And then, you know, Marquetto among many other companies followed and started with the s andb go getexperience, go get transactions done with small customers, show that you can,that you're marketing message works, that your sales team can execute, that yourcustomer success can get them live and launching and give that feedback to the proteam to continue innovating. And so for the last couple of years pendo hasbuilt a good reputation with about seven hundred customers in the in the small mediumsegment, and are making the that March upwards into the right and moving intothe strategic team. So while I've been here this year we've quadrupled the sizeof our team that that calls on on enterprise and strategic accounts. How's thatgoing? I guess this side the headcount...

...is growing. Is Are you seeingpipeline growth commensurate with the investments you're making a new personnel? Yeah, it'sbeen really successful. You know, we have a vice president of sales engineeringhere named Brian Mez, and he came from Zend askins and dusk, isanother one of these companies that has gone through this transition of starting small andgoing into bigger, more enterprising companies, and he called something out and asour head of sales engineer, he's kind of got a unique perch to seethis is. He said, Bill, I started last December, December ofseventeen, and he said, you know, the biggest diference between then and nowis, I said what he said, the amount of security and and INFOSAC and questionnaires that we're going through right now during the sales cycle.And I said what's your read on that? He goes the difference of logos ofwho were calling on. You know, it used to be the you know, the the you know, the venture funded startups, and now it'sthe you know, it's the pro level software companies. You know that we'retalking about now. So this year's been really successful and that March upwards.Like I said, we quadrupled the team this year. We won't do it. We won't grow that much next year on that team, but we've justgained a lot of confidence this year that our product is scalable, the functionalityset is applicable and that we can create a very compelling value case for thosebig companies. Is your VP of sales engineering, the person that manages whatwe would call like the RFP Infosec database. You know where you know you're gettinglike the two hundred questions in a spreadsheet and you go back to yourlibrary to make sure you're answering the same way you answered for, you know, for the other ones. Yeah, he is. I mean you know. So, Pendo, our product being product analytics, we oftentime cell tothe product management function, the user experience function, the customer success function,and those tend to be people that buy or break a little bit more onthe you know, the technical by and so almost everyone, in addition todemos, wants to do a trial. So our sales engineering function here iscertainly the group that does requirements gathering along with the sales Rep. they participatein doing the demos, though with, like I said, our buyer beingfairy technical. Most of our sales reps are all certified to do their owndemos. But, you know, for the the juicier ones, the seesparachute in on, they do the RPS and then they also manage any typeof proof of technology process. Yeah, POC's. This is a highly tacticalquestion, but that's why people come to the sales teger podcast. Do youcharge for your POC's or is it kind of case by case. Now wedon't like said. You know, our founders are all former product people andyou know, I had to tune into this coming out of the last tenyears of being in marketing software, that marking software. When we started andit wasn't a defined category, everybody asked for a trial. You're a smallcompany, the space a little bit unknown. You know, they don't have budgetfor this, so they're gonna have to go ask for incremental so youneed to go prove it. And then once pen, I'm sorry, Marquetto, got to about a thousand customers and we grew our confidence. The spacewas shaping and forming up. We probably got a little bolder and start offeringtrials less often and by the time I left it was very and frequent thatwe were doing a trial or proof of technology. Pendo, again starting overand having a bunch of founders that came from the product space. They liketo get hands on, they like to feel the product and so you know, there's a number of ways you can gage with Pendo. We have aplayground that you can use. We have a free trial that is self serviceand you can download that and then there's a more guided trial that we cangive you a full version of the product. But typically what we do during thatphase SAM is, instead of charging for it, what we do iswe ask this question. Look, if you're excited about doing a trial,it means that you're probably interested in potentially bring this into your organization, becauseotherwise, why would you exert the time, why would you spend your team's resourcesto spend the next fifteen or thirty days trialing some software? So let'sproject out fifteen or thirty days from now and tell us what happens then.What's different now? Are then versus now? And and we ask about what theirprocesses and we ask a question of that point. Do you have moneyfor this? And a lot of people say no, we're going to haveto go get money, and we say we'll tell you what then, whilewe're doing the trial, why don't we simultaneously help you build a business caseto show the impact that Pendo will have? And so that's been really helpful for, like I said, when it doesn't matter what your category is inSoftware Sam if you're in a space that's newer or fledgling and you have peoplelooking to buy, you probably have to help them buy it. Right.You know, you know, it's like buying crt. Mean almost every Solfrom the company, every company that has that's in technology has a crm andit's a budget line item in their their spend year after year. And soif you make a change, you might be changing your vendor, but it'sat least something that already exists. In a younger space, like product analytics, it may not exist. So we have to help our buyers buy alittle bit. I and I think I think that's candidly the case in insort of the majority of software sales at...

...this point because there's so many newcategories that are being formed and that's, I guess, one reason why somepeople say that Bant is no longer like a relevant qualifying mechanism or criteria,because a lot of people don't have they don't have they don't ever have budgetfor these new things. They always have to kind of go build a businesscase a hundred percent. I mean, and I'd say I've been along,I've been on that riff for a few years, that realistically, if youdo use a band style criteria and your coalf qualification, that really what Icare about is does someone have a need, and I define a need, asif they don't do something, there's some consequence and that consequence tends tohave a timeframe. So the N in the tea portion of band are thetwo things that are valuable to me. But the budget and authority won't youknow. I mean there's that saying out there that buyers are liars. Sothe first person you're talking to may say that there they decisionmaker when they're reallynot, and they might say that they have budget when they really don't.Yeah, and and then I had a Brent Adams and on from Gartner,who wrote the challenger books, and he's also saying that on average it usedto be five point four, but now it's eight different people within an enterpriseneed to sign off before a software purchase is made. So the idea thatthere's one person that signs the contract is also probably a little out of date. Yeah, I caught that when they went from when they came out withthe the next book, I think it's the challenger customer, I saw thatthey had had expansion of the five to the eight people. And and itis so true today, I mean, especially with gdpr coming in in thelast year, that you see that, you know like I got a distantfeel this way. But I'll say this. Five ten years ago it was easierto sell SASS software. It wasn't easy. I'm not going to getcaught, you know, and get quoted saying that, but but gosh,I kind of I wish we could go back in a way, because todayjust the INFOSAC and you know, like we just hired it Pendo, achief information security officer, we have a data protection officer, we have ageneral council here and the amount of commercial work they do is impressive comparative towhat it would look like five years ago. Yeah, no, I sort oflike the rising cost of doing business. So and obviously today there's headlines aboutfacebook selling our personal emails to Netflix and and Google and Amazon. Sothere you go. So let's go back to the beginning and figure out howyou got here and learn some lessons along the way. You came out.Are you from Ares Zona originally? Is that right? You just went toArizona State? Yeah, I went Arizona State and then I really loved itand ended up back there about fifteen years after I graduated. But grew upin California, grow up in northern cal right in the heart of the SiliconeValley. And so coming out, did you always know that you wanted tobe in sales? Was, I guess Oracle was your first job out ofsale? It was it just, you know, they were hiring and itwas you need a job, or did you have like a perspective on howyou wanted your career to go? Yeah, I mean my dad's been a tremendousinfluence on me and and he, you know, started his career outof college at IBM and had kind of a classic, you know, salesand marketing approach and he had up being a vice president oracle in the Sand early s and when I was graduating college, are to say, whenI was in college, I'd come home for the summers and I actually landedsome internships at racle. I had three of them, and these are kindof funny to talk about today, Sam, but my first one, my firstsummer, was in what they called the manufacturing and distribution warehouse, andwe physically used to ship software and to recognize revenue back in the day,like if it was Jan thirty one or December thirty one, it had toship that day. The software physically had to leave your warehouse mean you hadto have a way bill for it to get recognized. So we would workfuriously at the end of months and quarters. So my first summer was shipping softwareand I learned about what quarter ends really meant for businesses. Second SummerI went back and again, this is just amazing to say, but wehad a physical contracts room at Oracle. We're all of the physical master services, agreements and order forms were stored, because this was before imaging and havingthings online. And so when someone was coming to do a new contract andthey had the reference that they'd come up to this room and we managed theinventory there. And then my third summer was in the good old famous mailroom. I delivered mail, which was quite hostly. It's exactly what theysay to it is a blessing in disguise, because I got to meet from everybodyfrom Larry Ellison down in that organization by delivering mail. So you justthink about what I just said there. One was a summer of shipping software. We don't do that anymore. One was summer of managing physical contracts.We don't do that anymore. Another one was working a mere room. Likeyou know, I'm sure they have a package department, but you know,I mean how much direct mail happens. So I was pretty directed, togive you a short answer, early in my career by, you know,my dad. I saw what he did, I tuned into it and obviously hadan end. So I took the...

...in and worked at Oracle and and, like I said, working in the warehouse and working in the mail roomcaught me a lot of connections and so by The Times graduating I've met thepeople that ran a group called DMD, direct marking division, and this isthe group that lot of famous people that end, notably Tom Seebel, youknow, ran that group and he went and found it. See Bowl systemsand Mark Benny off ran that group for a while and we all know whathe want to do. Did you work with Benny? Of they were thegeneration ahead of me. So Benning off was at Oracle while I was there. So, but he was doing different things. He'd moved out of runningthe direct sales and was doing more product things. Yeah, well, that'sI mean. I think for some of the young folks out there they don'tquite appreciate how Oracle and sap and people soft these were like the pillars.These were the companies, besides maybe Hewlett Packard, that really form the corefoundation of BTP enter price sales for most technology businesses. They are like thegodfathers of the whole of the whole thing. Totally, totally, I mean Iso I graduated and I started my career as an str and I quicklymoved up to being a sales rap and I did that for a couple ofyears and then I had a really interesting fork in the road, and Ithink you and I'll probably explore this, but I had the opportunity to interviewfor being both a field wrap, because back then you had inside and outsidesales and I was an inside sales wrap in redwood shores. I had thechance interview to go to Chicago at be a field wrap and then also Ihad a really influential manager there that encouraged me to consider a management and youknow, twenty five years old, as I was school three years and Iwas thinking how many twenty five year old sales managers are there at Oracle?There weren't a lot. So I went that direction, got the GIG anddid that for a couple years and worked for that same woman and she encouragedme to apply for this director role in Boston and I'd never set foot inthe state of Massachusetts before, but I went for it, earned the job, moved myself to Boston spent a few years there before wrapping up nearly adecade at Oracle and making a move to people's offt. So one quick question. I didn't realize that they had SDRs back then. So that's been athing for at least twenty five years. The title was direct Response Representative backthen. But yeah, we got on the phones and it was obviously less. You know, there are no tools like outreach or sales loft. Youknow, this is nineteen ninety three. So there was an internet, Iguess, somewhere, but we didn't use it. It was mostly inbound phonecalls. And so you're on the phone and classic like today. You startedon inbound typically and learned how to deliver the messaging and work with, youknow, potential buyers and qualify them and then you moved to outbound. Wow, that's so what D why'd you go from Oracle to people? So softwalk us through some of the big transitions and then would love to also hearabout obviously you started at Marquetos. So that's something that we want to heara lot about. Yeah, yeah, so it's again it's a point intime story. So if you look at my nine ninety three hundred and oneperiod at Oracle, it was purely and transaction volume and velocity sales. Itwas all inside focused or channel focused and we were just starting to do onlineand web sales at that point. So it was all the velocy stuff.And so what I like to say, Sam, is those, you know, nine years at Oracle were like getting an MBA in transactional business and Iwas really quick good at it. But at that point, and the modelshave changed a little bit since then, you know, that challenge I wasfacing, and you know early was whenever I went out and said Hey,I have over a hundred people that work for me, I have over ahundred million dollar quota that I managed fell go. This is great experience,great operational experience, but you haven't closed the elephant sized deals, you haven'tclosed the twelvemonth seven figure transactions you know in your history and you need thatto grow. So I was like shoot, you know, I get that.Experience is so I thought to myself, what's one of the most complex thingsto sell and you know, application software was one of them, becauseit's long sales cycles, you're changing business practices when you're doing them, andso I, you know, looked around. I've found that people soft, justfrom a cultural perspective, was a great company that start off as anature our company and was emerging as a true competitor in the ARP space.And and I dove in and went after that and I got the role andI went from being a vice president with over a hundred people working for meto being a director with about nine people working for me. And a lotof people always asked me, like Jesus, was out of step backwards, andsure, from a title perspective it was. But, like I said, I was pursuing something specific, is, I was trying to check a boxof something that I hadn't done previously, and it was these big ticket deals. So I spent the next three years at people soft getting that experiencebeing a field level manager with smaller team but, you know, being inthe trenches, rolling up my sleeves and helping drive those deals. And I'dsay this, Sam does, our riisee it Oracle really taught me how tobe a really savvy businessman and people soft taught me how to sell. Ohwell, and why do you say that?...

Because you feel like the twelve months, eighteen months, you know, a million dollar deal is just adifferent level of sophistication in terms of like how to how to push that dealthrough the organization. Yeah, certainly that, but also, I mean, againgoing back to Oracle, I was a year as an str two yearsas a sales wrap and then I was managing people. And, as youknow, when you're managing telesales you're managing a lot of process and a lotof system and a lot of repeatable cadence. And you know it's not like customdeal because you're looking at reps, they are doing maybe five, six, seven ten deals a month. So it's not like you're camped out,you know, in the lobby of these these companies, right. And so, like I said, I learned how to really run a business and,you know, understood the basics of finance and money coming in and out andstructure and hiring profiles and comp planning and things like that. But that's differentthan selling. And so I got two people soft and, you know,thrust right in there. So love. You always ask like hey, youwent backwards and ties and yeah, but I advanced careerwise. So I tookthat box and then I want to a company called BEA. People soft gotbought by Oracle and after nine years at Oracle, you know, I hadbeen around the the circus long enough. I decided I didn't want to goback. So I went to a company go Beata, and I moved backto the West Coast and that job was really interesting because they had a uniquemodel. You manage their not just sales. You managed inside and outside sales.You manage the sales engineers. You didn't own the professional services people,but they were aligned directly to your region. And so I took over the northwestand Rocky Mountain region and ran that for a couple years and a similarstory. People are. I'm sorry, BEA got bought by Oracle as well. So as a little bit of a run. And so at that pointI decided it was time to go maybe explore and try working for a smallercompany. And so let's hear about the Marquetto experience and let's I'm specifically curious. So you joined Marquetto pre revenue. Is that right? Yeah, sortof they shift the product in March of Eight and I joined in May ofo eight. So I joined may twenty seven, and I remember that becausethere are twenty seven customers that day and those customers probably had, you know, an average sale price of k. So there's maybe three hundred thousand bucksfor revenue. And so how did you, I mean when you think about acompany that's in I we I call that a post revenue. It's atrademark phrase, so if you want to use it, feel free. Butwhich is like that stage where it's not quite zero but it's just past zero. But how did you first of all, like did you worry that you weretoo much in terms of your, you know, the teams that you'vemanaged, in the processes and systems that you built, that it was maybetoo much for such an early stage company? And how did you get right withthe risk or word profile of a company that has, you know,twenty seven customers and is tiny compared to these big organizations? At this point, you know, you probably have a family. So how did you,how did you sort of like make that decision and calibrate it in your ownmind? Yeah, it's a great to put a great question. I havekind of a two party answer. So first of all, there's a stopbetween Beata and Marquetto there is a small company called avalant that I spent fifteenmonths at and it was a ten year old company that burned through a tonof venture cash, wasn't doing a lot and revenues had burned through five VPSof sales in the last five years. Part of me, but I hadblinders on in a way, and what I saw was, number one,the chance to be a vice president of sales, not just be a regionalvice president or something like that Sam but to be the vice president sales andto work for the CEO, which there's a skill and learning how to workfor a CEO, and so I saw that as valuable. And then numbertwo, this was a company that an old on cram heavy solution and theywere reinventing it in a hosting space. So I went there and it failed. It failed. You know, it was the Mulligan of my career,if you if you want to go with that term, but I call itmy year of learning and not of earning, because I didn't make much, muchmoney at all. But I'll I'll tell you this and as the secondpart is Sam. I don't think I ever would have landed the Marquetto Gigif I hadn't done that, because otherwise I would have been like some midlevelmanager coming out of a big billion dollar our company. And so you know, I was able to go get this company. It was not an aplayer by any stretch of the imagination, but I learned a lot from theCEO. I learned, you know, how to be dynamic, how tonot be so regimented, which big billion dollar companies trained you to be really, really good at and, like I said, I got my first exposureto SASS and without those two elements I'm not sure I would have been thatattractive to to Marquetto. But with Marquetto I got in through and this isa good life lesson about you know a lot about who. You know.Bruce Cleveland had been the CMO at Siebel and he had been at Oracle partof that and we'd gotten acquainted and he and I had flirted a couple timesduring my oracle career about me coming over and working at Siebel with him andwe just never were able to make it...

...happen. But I think we had, you know, kind of some mutual affinity for trying to find something andhe had become the series a investor along with his partner, got named DougPepper in Marquetto, and my time is perfect. I reached out to himand said I was looking for something and he said, Hey, talk withthese guys at Marquetto, and that was a no. Seven while I wasat avalanche and I met with the Marquetto founders and I adored them. But, SAM, they didn't have a product and I believe in self awareness.I believe that's one of the best traits that you know, anybody in salesfor sure, but also in leadership, can have. And I knew thatI wasn't a pre product guy. I'm not a Biz Dev guy, atleast at that stage of my career. That wasn't my skill set. Ineeded a product to go take to market, and so I met with them.I like them, but I wasn't ready to make that risk. Toyour point, however, had made a pretty positive impression on them. Sowe kind of plant any on the back burner and about a year later CEOreach back to me and said, Hey, bill, we have a product.We have about sixteen customers. We have in market about a month,month and a half. I'd love to show it to you. And Icame in and I fell in love again with the team and film love evenmore the product in the space when you reflect back, because you were there, you know, from twenty seven customers and a couple hundred grand to wellover two hundred and fifty million. Is that right? Yep, so,and I'm asking this because, you know, so many VC's and so many kindof founder advisors are whispering in their ears saying, you know, isshe the zero to ten head of sales and maybe she's not the ten tothirty? Is He this ten to thirty but not the thirty to a hundred? How did you maintain your standing in your position, or were you layeredand laddered over the course of the seven years and eleven months? But youliked it for the bigger opportunity of, you know, having equity in acompany that's ultimately acquired for one point a billion is obviously worth more than whateverthe title is at the company. Yeah, all the above. You know,I got in and was the had a sales and customer success which wasan army of about five people at the time because, like I said,I was the seventeen person in and and I embarked upon an amazing ten yearjourney of incredible highs and successes and the biggest business challenge as I've ever faced. And, you know, moments of heartbreak and, you know, despairand everything like that. But you know, ultimately what I what I tuned intowith them is this was a team of eight players that were building somethingto win. I'm not sure we all quite realize how big the space wouldget, but we all knew that we were building to be the leader ofthe space, of whatever it became. And and that journey was amazing.You know, fill the CEO. I say that other than my father,he's the most influential coach or manager or mentor that I've had. And youknow, anytime you have a ten year relationship with anybody you have highs andlows. And so yeah, there were three times during that decade that hebrought in someone above me and you know, the first time it hurt like how, you know, had me really considered do I want to be onthe thing, and I kind of went back to basics and just thought thatJesus, team is built to win in this place is going somewhere, soI'm going to come back and do whatever job I have really, really well. And a year, year and a half later, that person was outand I was elevated back up. And you know that happened a couple times. But I'll tell you it's one of those things, Sam that you know, I ran sales and customer success. When we got a little bigger,we split customer success off, gave it to someone else and then, youknow, that didn't work out for a while, so I got it backand then we carved Bizdev off of me and channels and that one away andthen it came back. And then there was a time when we started developinginternational and it wasn't mine and then it was. You know, then therewas a time that actually went and moved overseas to run international and Asia packand so, you know, I still get back like this. Did allthose things feel great at the time? Now, was it an incredible learningexperience that I look back on and wouldn't give up for anything? At thispoint? I wouldn't. I wouldn't because, even though it didn't feel great atthe time, I look at all the things I've done. I've runSMB, of run the enterprise, of run, you know, the direct, of run the indirect, of run the sales or run the customer successor front, both a run domestic, of run international. How many peoplecan tell that story? I mean that's just it's amazing. It's a it'san amazing story. And to do it going through, like you said,from you know, kind of a couple hundred thousand revenue to a couple hundredmillion, to be in that that pace. I mean what I'll say is this. All the people that were layered above me during that time had stintsthere that were probably less than two years, and so I think most people kindof look at and say, you know, the one, you knowkind of continuous, you know kind of Rock, was probably me inside ofthat organization. So I've a traumash amount of pride of teaming up with thatcrew and doing what we did. I think it's a it's just a hugelesson and it speaks volumes to your humility, into your work ethic that you beable to take those lumps and just keep going and ultimately emerge, youknow, on top of the heap after eight years. Did did you everhave like those tough confort when they're slicing off pieces of your portfolio? Arethey saying bill, you know you're making...

...x, but you got to makex LS twenty percent, because we're giving this job to somebody else? Didyou have those kinds of conversations, or at least was your kind of youreconomic security protected through all those ups and downs? Yeah, no, wewere. They're pretty loyal to me on that. There's never an economic thingfrom you know, a w two or comp plan perspective, because when you'regrowing, I mean you got to remember this, you start off as tenperson company. You know, I'll use a sports analogy. It's like inbaseball, like you know, when you're small company, you pay left,right and center field right, but as you get bigger, you define whatleft, right and center field look like and you put people in them andyou want to try and avoid collisions, and so we start doing things.So it's to be expected. I mean very few people have the fortune ofgoing from, you know, basically zero and revenue to a couple hundred millionand going through those stages. Fact your question that you'd asked. But atthe same time, if you do have that ability you've got to expect that. Most people are not. You know, Larry Ellison, or you know,you brought facebook earlier with Mark Zucker. They don't open up it with thecompany and then just go with the company for the next couple of decadesor a few decades in the same effect roll. Only people evolved. Yeah, no, I mean honestly, for me personally, it's been a it'snot a lesson. My my ego is not really naturally position to when somebodysays, listen, Samuel great sales leader, but somebody else should run marketing,I want to hold onto it, even though probably for the business thebest thing is to have the person that is exceptional at marketing running marketing andif they want to report to the CEO they should be able to. Soyou know, on that one of the things that I really learned at Marquettoyou know, and this is very divergent from Oracle, at Oracle we usedto have a saying those control what you can control, and how that kindof manifest itself is there's another saying. It's inside of Oracle was. Youknow, people don't just stab you in the back here, they stab youin the front. Like it was a tough environment and so you protected yourback, you know, you protected yourself. Information was power, so you didn'tshare. And that's like, if you look at, like you readany management philosophy or these you know books by Peter Drucker or these you know, credible management practitioners, basically that's like the worst thing you can have happenedit. What it does is just absolutely kills productivity and transparency and communication acrossthe company inside of Marquetto it was very opposite. And yet, and thisis a fair point, that you have to have some trust, but thereis always a mantra of you know, I'll use the morbid version of it, but what if you walked outside, you got hit by the bus,who would take your role? So there's always this focus on do you havea strong number two? And, by the way, when you're hiring numbertwo, this is the part that a lot of people this is depending onthe culture of the company. You have to really dial in. You know, we always just say hire somebody better than you and you know, lookback over your shoulder because of that good and some companies that might be bad. That might be the death. Someone might say, well, that personis better than you and so I'm going to move up. But it Marquetto, that's what got you promoted was when you hired great people, they'd belike, all right, well, you don't need to be doing this jobanymore. Let's give it to them and let's move you into something that wasreally good, so it would open up opportunity to you. And so that'sa Brit bit of a mature I think you know leadership philosophy that I feltthat was something that we got really right at Marquetto. Yeah, I meanI think it's really hard to scale a company if you're threatened by the peoplethat work for you or with you. Even you have to be have abig enough vision that you are rooting for everybody's success. Because, because,even because ultimately the truth will catch up to you anyway. So if you'renot any good, that will be found out and you also become unreliable assomebody giving counsel or advice to management if it's clear that you're self interested thewhole time. Well, I can tell you this. When I joined Pendo, our CEO, Todd Olson here, obviously the first reference he did waswith Phil Fernandez, my CEO, and Marquetto because I've been with him fora decade, and after they had their conversation, talking me and he saidHey, you know, I talked to Phil and I talked with a coupleof other folks and he said that from a skill set perspective, you could. You could write books on the volume and velocity side of the business,but on the enterprise side of stuff, you know that's not as strong.You break fifty one percent more towards the smaller business type of deals. Itwas what do you have to say about that? And I said yeah,it's true, and he goes, Huh, should I be worried about that?And I said no, he goes why? So? Well, let'sthink about this. You're hire me as a crow, if you're hired meto be a CIRRO, you're not hiring me to be the Alpha level salesperson. If that's what you're trying to get, then that's not what I want atthe stage in my career and it's not the right fit for both ofus. So let's figure that out, I I said. But I saidYou, let me ask you a question. was I at Marquetto when it wentpublic in two thousand and thirteen. He was like yeah. I waslike is Marquetto now their biggest business, their enterprise portion? He was yeah. I go yeah, it's right, because my job wasn't to go bethe best enterprise leader. My job was to hire the enterprise leader and makesure that they were awesome at what they did, make sure that they hadthe tools and the things they needed to go and recruit and train and bringon the best enterprise sales town in the world. And I said so he'sabsolutely right. You know, Phil said...

...is you know like yeah, myearlier days when I was more hands on and sales was definitely much more benttowards that's to be but the enterprise stuff, I had a few years at peoplesoft and a couple more years after that. It bea before I kindof stopped doing that as my role and moved up into real big leadership typeof positions. I think, and your point is exactly right, a lotof people don't really realize like the number one job of a sea level executiveis recruiting. It's not your job to know have all the answers. It'syour job to make the smartest people want to work with you. That dohave the answers. It's number one, Sam. I mean I just myCEOS over in London right now because we're opening up our office there in February, and I just hung up with him before I got on with you,and he said I'd six interviews today, and so it's so true. It'slike I spend, I mean with the pace that we're growing, for fouror five interviews per day. So you know, obviously the CRO their jobis obviously deliver performance. But number two, who is to talbously put the playerson the field, and so that second part is just such a corecomponent of the role. Absolutely. So we're almost this has just been suchan easy conversation. We're actually almost at the end of our time together.But one of the things that you know, you and I were talking about offline, and we've got so many upandcommers that are listening to this right now, you have this phrase. You said, career pass or for B players,and you know, when we're looking back on your career, certainly you'vedone a lot of different things. You've taken different roles and different titles.So when you say career pass or for B players, tell us what youmean. Yeah, so that's creates a little controversy and that's not why Isay it and I'm trying to provoke a thought process when I think we likeprovocation. Just to be clear. All right, we'll get there and maybedo it for you, but let me first start this way, that Marquettoand then here at Pendo. We have a career path. We have apath where we can go recruit strs who are, you know, right outschool or early in their career, train them up in that role of howto qualify, how to position our product, how to talk and deal with potentialbuyers, and then a path up to corporate sales role, which canlead them to, you know, mid market or that could go into managea role. So we do have a carved out path. So it isthere and it's necessary. It's necessary for me to give that to recruit toptalent. People want to be able to see that, if they join here, that they have a place to go. So it sounds a little speaking outsideof the other side of my mouth and that's not what I'm tempting todo. It's just that I think that's kind of table stakes. You haveto have it. My point about a players is at a players don't tendto follow a defined career path. What happens with a players is opportunity knocksand smart, savvy a players answer the door when it knocks and they gofollow it. And that could be something that's a very linear track of youknow, hey, you're been an individual. You want to put you into afirst line management. It could be in something that says we want youto go overseas. It could be we want you to start up a newdivision or a new function inside of a business. That's not so linear.But the important thing there is is that I just simply say for people,their top performers opportunities, going to present it to them, to themselves andtake it. Just take it. You know. I mean I I hadthe fortune, Sam, to move to you mentioned earlier, Sydney, atthe age of forty five and you know, I spent thirteen months living there myfamily. We loved it and when we came back, you know,all I thought was, I wish I'd done that at Twenty Five, Ohmy God, before you were married. Jesus. Yeah, so, Imean that's a whole different podcast. But but, but you know, youget the gist. There is like like opportunity knocks for people and, likeI said, I you know, my first really big one was I hada Boston encouraged me to go get this job in Boston and, as Isaid earlier in the podcast, I'd never even set foot and state of Massachusetts, had no friends there. I was a West Coast Guy and and Iwas like cash, I don't want to do it for those reasons. She'slike, you're going to do it because this is going to advance your careerand give you that that you know, that turbo charge of your career pathand solve it. And I fortunately listened to her and the job wasn't justoffered to me. I had to go compete for it and get it,but I was successful at getting it and I went there and, like Isaid, it was probably the catalyst, the key catalyst point in my careerof advancing me. It's awesome, Bill. It's been awesome to have you onthe show right at the end. Here we tend to like to do, you know, pay it forward kind of shoutouts. If you can thinkabout it. Can Be books that you've read that really had a big impacton you in any way. It can be people like who are some ofyour influences, whether it's great sales leaders or great books that you've read,or any kind of ideas that you want us to leave us with that wecan sort of do more digging on. Yeah, let me give you acouple of those things. So, first all, since we're talking about careeradvancement, there's a book out there called multipliers by Liz Wiseman. Anybody that'smaking a move from an individual contributor to a manager, I think should readthis book because it's Bait like multipliers. It's about if you're getting promoted froman individual to a manager, it's probably because you're being recognized as really goodat what you do in that individual role...

...and what someone's looking for you todo is multiply yourself, make you know seven or eight minimes of what youare and it really helps you tune into that that leadership and management philosophy aroundthat. And then, secondly, you know around some some key mentors.You know, we mentioned this group DMD at Oracle, that Tom C bonebenny off for a part of it, as an incredible lineage of people thatare out there. I mean James Ramsay, who went on to become that hada worldwide sales at net sweet. Came out of that Org Mark Huffman, who also went on to run all of net sweets businesses and now isthe CEO at black line, Erica Scholtz, who's the crow over at new relic, norm Jennaro over, who's the CROVER Zendesk. There's a group ofus at all work together and it was kind of a magical time. Wework for a woman named Hilary COPLA McAdams, who was the president of sales forceand then the sea, I think, Co of new relic. She's sincegone into venture capital, but you know, there's just some incredible peoplethere. And to your point about paying it forward, I didn't do thisalone, you know. I had people pushing me. I people rooting forme. I'd people mentoring me, I'd people tell me really hard things.You know, hey, your tie is a little bit askew or you know, you look a little Chubby. You should lose some weight. I meanlike like I make light of it. I make I thinks that I'm notallowed to say today. I make light of it. They're sam but likethe reality is is that they were. They were people that cared about meand they were really trying to do that. And so, you know, likewhen I was coming to Pendo, there are four individuals that I reachedout to to get their counsel as I was looking at opportunities and exploring differentthings. One was clearly my dad. The other one was Phil for Nanda, is the old CEO of Marquetto who's you know, we've continued a greatfriendship and we text almost every day. And then I have a friend JohnHunter, who is the chief running officer at Microfocus, and then Mark Kaufman, who I previously mentioned, who's the CEO Black Line. Reach up tothose four people and said look, you know, here's what I'm looking at. You know, here's my highs and lows. What do you think?And and it was great, like to a tea, all of them essentiallysaid choose Pando. One of them didn't say it by name, one ofthem was just kind of subtly nudging me, but the other three were like,Bill, go to Pando, you're going to go create a space,you're going to help create some of the culture inside of that company, you'regoing to have a hell of a lot of fun and knock on would hopefullyrepeat what you did at Marquetto. That's awesome. It's bill. You guysare growing. I'm sure you're hiring. If people out there want to connectwith you and maybe apply for a job or maybe just seek you out asa mentor are you okay with people contacting you? And then, if so, what's the preferred mechanism? is at Linkedin is an email. How wouldyou prefer? Yeah, Bill Dot Bench at pendo DOT IO is my emailhere by away. Just come at me direct awesome, Bill, thanks somuch for joining us on the show. Is Great. Yeah, thanks forhaving me, Sam. Appreciate it, everybody. It's SAM's corner. Whata fantastic interview with bill. It's clear why people love working for him andhow he's capable of taking these companies to such great heights, and I particularlyliked his advice on career pathing. It's a common theme and it's something thatyou hear time and time again in this podcast, and the real point ofit is when opportunity knocks, answer the door. So I think bills phrases. You know, b players have career paths. The point is that it'snot that you don't seek upward mobility. The point is that you have tobe open to opportunity and open to possibility. I think one of the best examplesof this I believe it was Sheryl Sandberg, who was working for LarrySummers, you know, something like twenty years ago or something like that,and somebody called and it was Google, I think it was Eric Schmidt,and she was having all this consternation about should she move out to the westcoast. She was in DC at the time, and ultimately Larry said listen, just it's a rocket ship, get over there, and she hopped onthat rocket ship and obviously that took her up through the ranks of Google andthen in to facebook, and it's because she answered the door when opportunity knocked. So please remember to do this. So that's been Sam's corner, prettyshort one, but the point is lean and lean in on your career.Take Opportunity and take advantage when you can and if there's a new opportunity,if there's an opportunity to move to a new city. One of my goodfriends, Dan Brown, he he was in New York. He worked forme at axial, he worked for me at live stream. He then wenton to we work. He's at we work now. Opportunity knocked. Wework said go to Austin. He moved to Austin. Opportunity knocked again.He moved to San Francisco. This is a man that is putting his careerambitions as a top priority in his life and he's getting he's getting shit done. So we love you, Dan or. Hope you are out there listening now. If you want to check out the show notes, see upcoming guests, play more episodes from our incredible land up of sales leaders, visit saleshackercom and head to this podcast tab up. If you want to join us inSan Diego, please do that. It's unleashed dot outreached at ioh andremember that code is a hundred dollars office sh pod. You'll find us anywherepodcasts are made. So if you enjoyed this episode, please share with yourpeers on Linkedin, twitter or elsewhere.

If you've got a great idea ora guest for the show, if you want to get in touch with me, find me on twitter at Sam f Jacobs or on Linkedin at linkedincom inSam f Jacobs. And lastly, if you're out there, in a citythat the revenue collective is not yet president, we're in Denver, BOSTON, London, Toronto, New York and Amsterdam and we're growing all of those chaptersand we are also launching consulting services. So if you want to figure outwhat's going on with the revenue collective or if you're in a city that doesn'tyet have the revenue collective, we're launching in about ten to fifteen new marketsin two thousand and nineteen. That's a good reason to reach out to meon Linkedin as well. So we're looking for VP and above, sales andmarketing leaders and success leaders across commercial functions at high growth companies, and thoseare the folks that represent the now over two hundred people that are in theglobal revenue collective. So Ping me on Linkedin on to learn more. That'sLinkedincom the word in, and then Sam f Jacobs. Finally, thanks againto our sponsors, chorus, the leading conversation intelligence platform for high gross salesteams, and outreach, the leading sales engagement platform. I will see younext time.

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