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, the chief Revenue Officer of Pendo, one of the fastest growing businesses in the United 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 earliest salespeople 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 and and obviously saw Marquetto through a bunch of liquidity events, including going public and then ultimately the acquisition he started his early career. People soft. He's really a fantastic leader and it's really clear why people love working for him. So we'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 transcribes and analyzes business conversations in real time to coach traps on how to become top performers. With chorus, more ups meet quota new hires, ramp faster, leaders become better coaches and everyone in the organization can collaborate over the actual voice of 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 see what they're up to. So that's CORUS DOT AI forward sales hacker. Our second sponsor, as you know, is outreach. They are the leading sales engagement 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 providing action oriented tips on what communications are working best. Outreach as your back now coming up in March, outreaches running unleash two thousand and nineteen the sales engagement conference. 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're on the East Coast and you've got some March snow storm that comes upon you and you thought it was going to start getting warmer. Let's all go to San Diego instead. It's better there. It's dry, it's warm, it's sunny, it's beautiful. All kinds of things are legal there that aren't legal in other places. The listeners of the pod get a hundred dollars off simply friendering the code sh pod. So, listeners of the pod, you get a hundred dollars off. The code is sh pod. Hop over to unleash dot outreach dot ioh and use the code s h pod to save a hundred dollars off your ticket. I'm going to be there, either moderating a panel or speaking, so you'll get to meet me in person, which is most people'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 lot of my linked and requests and there's just so many great people out there so that are listening and sharing and I want to thank you. Here's some of the folks. Kyle Roy Ball at Sendo. So thank you, Kyle. Justin Cardillo, VP of sales, in Chicago. Justin we're going to be launching the revenue collective in Chicago in two thousand and nineteen, so make sure you get involved. Ed Spencer at Sales Force Austin Cowen or Colin, I hope I pronounced to write, at bamboo great hur platform, and a Betcher at campaign monitor. She's listening all the way from Sydney Australia. Dennis Brookholtzer from Germany, Jason English from at Blue Wolf, Andrew Wall working at Facebook, Darren Noble quantum workplace, Brian Tate, Elaine Moore, who's incorporating some 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 episode last week. Jerry Ony, who just messaged me on linkedin literally three seconds ago. All of you folks, thank you so much for listening and this is 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 two thousand and nineteen right now, if I have my calendar program correctly, and today we're incredibly excited to have bill bench who is the chief revine officer at Pendo. 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 to my knowledge, in the US and perhaps in the world. and Bill has a really long and incredibly impressive background and history working at some of the most pivotal 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 of the business, including the sales, customer success and Professional Services Organizations. He's had sales leadership experiences at Oracle, people, soft and BEA systems and then back in two thousand and eight he joined a little company called Marquetto and he helped them grow from zero in revenue to over two hundred and fifty million over nearly a decade. He helped lead the marketing automation giant from a small bench revack start up to a public company to...

...going private with its one point eight billion dollar sale to Vista Equity Partners. In Two thousand and sixteen. His sales operation grew from targeting B to B to BTC, from mess and Betamen enterprise 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're on his linkedin profile you'll see that bill is an advisor to a number of 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 and nineteen kicked off with you, so thanks for having me joy. This is a time travel experience because we're recording this with a few days left in two thousand and eighteen, but people will be listening in two thousand and nineteen. So what we like to do just really quickly, Bill, is to get what we call, I read your bioh but we we like to know a little bit of what we might call your baseball card, specifically around your current company, and give you an opportunity to pitch that business to the listeners a little bit. So your cro at Pendo. What is Pendo? Tell us a little bit about what the company does, who they are? Yeah, pendos in what we call the product analytic space, which were really define as being able to measure the user behavior of what your users are doing inside your APP. So that's what we call insights, and then we allow you to action that. So we allow you to help guide that user experience to be better so that your customers end up loving what you do the best. Real world are, you know, common person language. Analogy that I could give 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 stairs you've gone up, what your calories are, what you're sleeping habits and allows you to control your calories, your intake. It allows you to drive your body to 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 like a fast growing category and in a competitive space. Roughly, obviously, private company is confidential information and all that, but roughly, how big is Pendo from an rr perspective? So we're all over thirty million. We are about two hundred and fifty employees right now. And you you used to really operative word there about growing space, and that's one of things that was really exciting an appealing to me is you reference my Marquetto experience when I when I joined Marquetto there were no gardener quadrants for marking automation, there were no companies like Oracle and sales force who today, alongside adobe, are the biggest venders in that and I saw a very similar type of growth on the horizon with Pendo as I saw that this was a space that had well funded organizations out there. That we're going in trying to define and create the category for what we are. So I think that will be a good topic for us to cover off today. And the the category would be product analytics. Is that accurate? 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 and had everybody kind of circle around yet. But product analytics is probably the the best, the best and most common used one. Well, yeah, and you know if they're if there is in a category yet it's up to if Pendo can define it. There are multiples of enterprise value that go to the person that coins the name, which is something I read about in this book. Played bigger. So the total organization is two hundred. How many people are in the Revenue Organization? Actually little over two hundred and fifty. You know, I joined back in January here of two thousand and eighteen and there was about a hundred and thirty, hundred forty folks, and today were nearing two hundred and sixty. So we've almost two hundred and sixteen just in the revenue work. No to sixty entire company and about a hundred and twenty comprise the sales, customer success and pro services teams. Got It and is it? Would you describe? Is there a sort of a deal size? You know, is it SMB? Mid Market enterprises are specific slice of the universe that 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 out of 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 get experience, go get transactions done with small customers, show that you can, that you're marketing message works, that your sales team can execute, that your customer success can get them live and launching and give that feedback to the pro team to continue innovating. And so for the last couple of years pendo has built a good reputation with about seven hundred customers in the in the small medium segment, and are making the that March upwards into the right and moving into the strategic team. So while I've been here this year we've quadrupled the size of our team that that calls on on enterprise and strategic accounts. How's that going? I guess this side the headcount...

...is growing. Is Are you seeing pipeline growth commensurate with the investments you're making a new personnel? Yeah, it's been really successful. You know, we have a vice president of sales engineering here named Brian Mez, and he came from Zend askins and dusk, is another one of these companies that has gone through this transition of starting small and going into bigger, more enterprising companies, and he called something out and as our head of sales engineer, he's kind of got a unique perch to see this is. He said, Bill, I started last December, December of seventeen, and he said, you know, the biggest diference between then and now is, I said what he said, the amount of security and and INFO SAC 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 of who were calling on. You know, it used to be the you know, the the you know, the venture funded startups, and now it's the you know, it's the pro level software companies. You know that we're talking 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 just gained a lot of confidence this year that our product is scalable, the functionality set is applicable and that we can create a very compelling value case for those big companies. Is your VP of sales engineering, the person that manages what we would call like the RFP Infosec database. You know where you know you're getting like the two hundred questions in a spreadsheet and you go back to your library 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 to the 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 on the you know, the technical by and so almost everyone, in addition to demos, wants to do a trial. So our sales engineering function here is certainly the group that does requirements gathering along with the sales Rep. they participate in doing the demos, though with, like I said, our buyer being fairy technical. Most of our sales reps are all certified to do their own demos. But, you know, for the the juicier ones, the sees parachute in on, they do the RPS and then they also manage any type of proof of technology process. Yeah, POC's. This is a highly tactical question, but that's why people come to the sales teger podcast. Do you charge for your POC's or is it kind of case by case. Now we don't like said. You know, our founders are all former product people and you know, I had to tune into this coming out of the last ten years of being in marketing software, that marking software. When we started and it wasn't a defined category, everybody asked for a trial. You're a small company, the space a little bit unknown. You know, they don't have budget for this, so they're gonna have to go ask for incremental so you need to go prove it. And then once pen, I'm sorry, Marquetto, got to about a thousand customers and we grew our confidence. The space was shaping and forming up. We probably got a little bolder and start offering trials less often and by the time I left it was very and frequent that we were doing a trial or proof of technology. Pendo, again starting over and having a bunch of founders that came from the product space. They like to 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 a playground that you can use. We have a free trial that is self service and you can download that and then there's a more guided trial that we can give you a full version of the product. But typically what we do during that phase SAM is, instead of charging for it, what we do is we 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, because otherwise, why would you exert the time, why would you spend your team's resources to spend the next fifteen or thirty days trialing some software? So let's project 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 their processes and we ask a question of that point. Do you have money for this? And a lot of people say no, we're going to have to go get money, and we say we'll tell you what then, while we're doing the trial, why don't we simultaneously help you build a business case to 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 in Software Sam if you're in a space that's newer or fledgling and you have people looking to buy, you probably have to help them buy it. Right. You know, you know, it's like buying crt. Mean almost every Sol from the company, every company that has that's in technology has a crm and it's a budget line item in their their spend year after year. And so if you make a change, you might be changing your vendor, but it's at least something that already exists. In a younger space, like product analytics, it may not exist. So we have to help our buyers buy a little bit. I and I think I think that's candidly the case in in sort of the majority of software sales at...

...this point because there's so many new categories that are being formed and that's, I guess, one reason why some people 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 budget for these new things. They always have to kind of go build a business case 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 you do use a band style criteria and your coalf qualification, that really what I care about is does someone have a need, and I define a need, as if they don't do something, there's some consequence and that consequence tends to have a timeframe. So the N in the tea portion of band are the two things that are valuable to me. But the budget and authority won't you know. I mean there's that saying out there that buyers are liars. So the first person you're talking to may say that there they decisionmaker when they're really not, 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 used to be five point four, but now it's eight different people within an enterprise need to sign off before a software purchase is made. So the idea that there'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 with the the next book, I think it's the challenger customer, I saw that they had had expansion of the five to the eight people. And and it is so true today, I mean, especially with gdpr coming in in the last year, that you see that, you know like I got a distant feel this way. But I'll say this. Five ten years ago it was easier to sell SASS software. It wasn't easy. I'm not going to get caught, you know, and get quoted saying that, but but gosh, I kind of I wish we could go back in a way, because today just the INFOSAC and you know, like we just hired it Pendo, a chief information security officer, we have a data protection officer, we have a general council here and the amount of commercial work they do is impressive comparative to what it would look like five years ago. Yeah, no, I sort of like the rising cost of doing business. So and obviously today there's headlines about facebook selling our personal emails to Netflix and and Google and Amazon. So there you go. So let's go back to the beginning and figure out how you got here and learn some lessons along the way. You came out. Are you from Ares Zona originally? Is that right? You just went to Arizona State? Yeah, I went Arizona State and then I really loved it and ended up back there about fifteen years after I graduated. But grew up in California, grow up in northern cal right in the heart of the Silicone Valley. And so coming out, did you always know that you wanted to be in sales? Was, I guess Oracle was your first job out of sale? It was it just, you know, they were hiring and it was you need a job, or did you have like a perspective on how you wanted your career to go? Yeah, I mean my dad's been a tremendous influence on me and and he, you know, started his career out of college at IBM and had kind of a classic, you know, sales and marketing approach and he had up being a vice president oracle in the S and early s and when I was graduating college, are to say, when I was in college, I'd come home for the summers and I actually landed some internships at racle. I had three of them, and these are kind of funny to talk about today, Sam, but my first one, my first summer, was in what they called the manufacturing and distribution warehouse, and we 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 to ship that day. The software physically had to leave your warehouse mean you had to have a way bill for it to get recognized. So we would work furiously at the end of months and quarters. So my first summer was shipping software and I learned about what quarter ends really meant for businesses. Second Summer I went back and again, this is just amazing to say, but we had 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 having things online. And so when someone was coming to do a new contract and they had the reference that they'd come up to this room and we managed the inventory there. And then my third summer was in the good old famous mail room. I delivered mail, which was quite hostly. It's exactly what they say to it is a blessing in disguise, because I got to meet from everybody from Larry Ellison down in that organization by delivering mail. So you just think 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. Like you know, I'm sure they have a package department, but you know, I mean how much direct mail happens. So I was pretty directed, to give you a short answer, early in my career by, you know, my dad. I saw what he did, I tuned into it and obviously had an end. So I took the...

...in and worked at Oracle and and, like I said, working in the warehouse and working in the mail room caught me a lot of connections and so by The Times graduating I've met the people that ran a group called DMD, direct marking division, and this is the group that lot of famous people that end, notably Tom Seebel, you know, ran that group and he went and found it. See Bowl systems and Mark Benny off ran that group for a while and we all know what he want to do. Did you work with Benny? Of they were the generation 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 running the direct sales and was doing more product things. Yeah, well, that's I mean. I think for some of the young folks out there they don't quite 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 core foundation of BTP enter price sales for most technology businesses. They are like the godfathers of the whole of the whole thing. Totally, totally, I mean I so I graduated and I started my career as an str and I quickly moved up to being a sales rap and I did that for a couple of years and then I had a really interesting fork in the road, and I think you and I'll probably explore this, but I had the opportunity to interview for being both a field wrap, because back then you had inside and outside sales and I was an inside sales wrap in redwood shores. I had the chance interview to go to Chicago at be a field wrap and then also I had a really influential manager there that encouraged me to consider a management and you know, twenty five years old, as I was school three years and I was 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 and did that for a couple years and worked for that same woman and she encouraged me to apply for this director role in Boston and I'd never set foot in the 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 a decade 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 a thing for at least twenty five years. The title was direct Response Representative back then. But yeah, we got on the phones and it was obviously less. You know, there are no tools like outreach or sales loft. You know, this is nineteen ninety three. So there was an internet, I guess, somewhere, but we didn't use it. It was mostly inbound phone calls. And so you're on the phone and classic like today. You started on inbound typically and learned how to deliver the messaging and work with, you know, 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 soft walk us through some of the big transitions and then would love to also hear about obviously you started at Marquetos. So that's something that we want to hear a lot about. Yeah, yeah, so it's again it's a point in time story. So if you look at my nine ninety three hundred and one period at Oracle, it was purely and transaction volume and velocity sales. It was all inside focused or channel focused and we were just starting to do online and 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 I was really quick good at it. But at that point, and the models have changed a little bit since then, you know, that challenge I was facing, 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 a hundred 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't closed the twelvemonth seven figure transactions you know in your history and you need that to 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 things to sell and you know, application software was one of them, because it's long sales cycles, you're changing business practices when you're doing them, and so I, you know, looked around. I've found that people soft, just from a cultural perspective, was a great company that start off as a nature 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 and I went from being a vice president with over a hundred people working for me to being a director with about nine people working for me. And a lot of people always asked me, like Jesus, was out of step backwards, and sure, from a title perspective it was. But, like I said, I was pursuing something specific, is, I was trying to check a box of 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 experience being a field level manager with smaller team but, you know, being in the trenches, rolling up my sleeves and helping drive those deals. And I'd say this, Sam does, our riisee it Oracle really taught me how to be a really savvy businessman and people soft taught me how to sell. Oh well, and why do you say that?...

Because you feel like the twelve months, eighteen months, you know, a million dollar deal is just a different level of sophistication in terms of like how to how to push that deal through the organization. Yeah, certainly that, but also, I mean, again going back to Oracle, I was a year as an str two years as a sales wrap and then I was managing people. And, as you know, when you're managing telesales you're managing a lot of process and a lot of system and a lot of repeatable cadence. And you know it's not like custom deal 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 and structure and hiring profiles and comp planning and things like that. But that's different than selling. And so I got two people soft and, you know, thrust right in there. So love. You always ask like hey, you went backwards and ties and yeah, but I advanced careerwise. So I took that box and then I want to a company called BEA. People soft got bought by Oracle and after nine years at Oracle, you know, I had been around the the circus long enough. I decided I didn't want to go back. So I went to a company go Beata, and I moved back to the West Coast and that job was really interesting because they had a unique model. 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 northwest and Rocky Mountain region and ran that for a couple years and a similar story. People are. I'm sorry, BEA got bought by Oracle as well. So as a little bit of a run. And so at that point I decided it was time to go maybe explore and try working for a smaller company. 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, sort of they shift the product in March of Eight and I joined in May of o eight. So I joined may twenty seven, and I remember that because there 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 bucks for revenue. And so how did you, I mean when you think about a company that's in I we I call that a post revenue. It's a trademark phrase, so if you want to use it, feel free. But which 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 were too much in terms of your, you know, the teams that you've managed, in the processes and systems that you built, that it was maybe too much for such an early stage company? And how did you get right with the 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 own mind? Yeah, it's a great to put a great question. I have kind of a two party answer. So first of all, there's a stop between Beata and Marquetto there is a small company called avalant that I spent fifteen months at and it was a ten year old company that burned through a ton of venture cash, wasn't doing a lot and revenues had burned through five VPS of sales in the last five years. Part of me, but I had blinders on in a way, and what I saw was, number one, the chance to be a vice president of sales, not just be a regional vice president or something like that Sam but to be the vice president sales and to work for the CEO, which there's a skill and learning how to work for a CEO, and so I saw that as valuable. And then number two, this was a company that an old on cram heavy solution and they were 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 it my year of learning and not of earning, because I didn't make much, much money at all. But I'll I'll tell you this and as the second part is Sam. I don't think I ever would have landed the Marquetto Gig if I hadn't done that, because otherwise I would have been like some midlevel manager 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 a player by any stretch of the imagination, but I learned a lot from the CEO. I learned, you know, how to be dynamic, how to not be so regimented, which big billion dollar companies trained you to be really, really good at and, like I said, I got my first exposure to SASS and without those two elements I'm not sure I would have been that attractive to to Marquetto. But with Marquetto I got in through and this is a 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 part of that and we'd gotten acquainted and he and I had flirted a couple times during my oracle career about me coming over and working at Siebel with him and we 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 and he had become the series a investor along with his partner, got named Doug Pepper in Marquetto, and my time is perfect. I reached out to him and said I was looking for something and he said, Hey, talk with these guys at Marquetto, and that was a no. Seven while I was at 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 sales for sure, but also in leadership, can have. And I knew that I wasn't a pre product guy. I'm not a Biz Dev guy, at least at that stage of my career. That wasn't my skill set. I needed 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. To your point, however, had made a pretty positive impression on them. So we kind of plant any on the back burner and about a year later CEO reach 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 I came in and I fell in love again with the team and film love even more 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 well over 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 kind of founder advisors are whispering in their ears saying, you know, is she the zero to ten head of sales and maybe she's not the ten to thirty? 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 layered and laddered over the course of the seven years and eleven months? But you liked it for the bigger opportunity of, you know, having equity in a company that's ultimately acquired for one point a billion is obviously worth more than whatever the title is at the company. Yeah, all the above. You know, I got in and was the had a sales and customer success which was an 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 year journey of incredible highs and successes and the biggest business challenge as I've ever faced. And, you know, moments of heartbreak and, you know, despair and everything like that. But you know, ultimately what I what I tuned into with them is this was a team of eight players that were building something to win. I'm not sure we all quite realize how big the space would get, but we all knew that we were building to be the leader of the 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 you know, anytime you have a ten year relationship with anybody you have highs and lows. And so yeah, there were three times during that decade that he brought 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 on the thing, and I kind of went back to basics and just thought that Jesus, team is built to win in this place is going somewhere, so I'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 out and 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, you know, that didn't work out for a while, so I got it back and then we carved Bizdev off of me and channels and that one away and then it came back. And then there was a time when we started developing international and it wasn't mine and then it was. You know, then there was a time that actually went and moved overseas to run international and Asia pack and so, you know, I still get back like this. Did all those things feel great at the time? Now, was it an incredible learning experience that I look back on and wouldn't give up for anything? At this point? I wouldn't. I wouldn't because, even though it didn't feel great at the time, I look at all the things I've done. I've run SMB, of run the enterprise, of run, you know, the direct, of run the indirect, of run the sales or run the customer success or front, both a run domestic, of run international. How many people can tell that story? I mean that's just it's amazing. It's a it's an amazing story. And to do it going through, like you said, from you know, kind of a couple hundred thousand revenue to a couple hundred million, 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 stints there that were probably less than two years, and so I think most people kind of look at and say, you know, the one, you know kind of continuous, you know kind of Rock, was probably me inside of that organization. So I've a traumash amount of pride of teaming up with that crew and doing what we did. I think it's a it's just a huge lesson and it speaks volumes to your humility, into your work ethic that you be able to take those lumps and just keep going and ultimately emerge, you know, on top of the heap after eight years. Did did you ever have like those tough confort when they're slicing off pieces of your portfolio? Are they saying bill, you know you're making...

...x, but you got to make x LS twenty percent, because we're giving this job to somebody else? Did you have those kinds of conversations, or at least was your kind of your economic security protected through all those ups and downs? Yeah, no, we were. They're pretty loyal to me on that. There's never an economic thing from you know, a w two or comp plan perspective, because when you're growing, I mean you got to remember this, you start off as ten person company. You know, I'll use a sports analogy. It's like in baseball, like you know, when you're small company, you pay left, right and center field right, but as you get bigger, you define what left, right and center field look like and you put people in them and you 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 of going from, you know, basically zero and revenue to a couple hundred million and going through those stages. Fact your question that you'd asked. But at the 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 the company and then just go with the company for the next couple of decades or a few decades in the same effect roll. Only people evolved. Yeah, no, I mean honestly, for me personally, it's been a it's not a lesson. My my ego is not really naturally position to when somebody says, listen, Samuel great sales leader, but somebody else should run marketing, I want to hold onto it, even though probably for the business the best thing is to have the person that is exceptional at marketing running marketing and if they want to report to the CEO they should be able to. So you know, on that one of the things that I really learned at Marquetto you know, and this is very divergent from Oracle, at Oracle we used to have a saying those control what you can control, and how that kind of manifest itself is there's another saying. It's inside of Oracle was. You know, people don't just stab you in the back here, they stab you in the front. Like it was a tough environment and so you protected your back, you know, you protected yourself. Information was power, so you didn't share. And that's like, if you look at, like you read any 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 happened it. What it does is just absolutely kills productivity and transparency and communication across the company inside of Marquetto it was very opposite. And yet, and this is a fair point, that you have to have some trust, but there is 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 have a strong number two? And, by the way, when you're hiring number two, this is the part that a lot of people this is depending on the culture of the company. You have to really dial in. You know, we always just say hire somebody better than you and you know, look back over your shoulder because of that good and some companies that might be bad. That might be the death. Someone might say, well, that person is 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 be like, all right, well, you don't need to be doing this job anymore. Let's give it to them and let's move you into something that was really good, so it would open up opportunity to you. And so that's a Brit bit of a mature I think you know leadership philosophy that I felt that was something that we got really right at Marquetto. Yeah, I mean I think it's really hard to scale a company if you're threatened by the people that work for you or with you. Even you have to be have a big 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're not any good, that will be found out and you also become unreliable as somebody giving counsel or advice to management if it's clear that you're self interested the whole time. Well, I can tell you this. When I joined Pendo, our CEO, Todd Olson here, obviously the first reference he did was with Phil Fernandez, my CEO, and Marquetto because I've been with him for a decade, and after they had their conversation, talking me and he said Hey, you know, I talked to Phil and I talked with a couple of 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. It was 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's think about this. You're hire me as a crow, if you're hired me to 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 at the stage in my career and it's not the right fit for both of us. So let's figure that out, I I said. But I said You, let me ask you a question. was I at Marquetto when it went public in two thousand and thirteen. He was like yeah. I was like 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 be the best enterprise leader. My job was to hire the enterprise leader and make sure that they were awesome at what they did, make sure that they had the tools and the things they needed to go and recruit and train and bring on the best enterprise sales town in the world. And I said so he's absolutely right. You know, Phil said...

...is you know like yeah, my earlier days when I was more hands on and sales was definitely much more bent towards that's to be but the enterprise stuff, I had a few years at people soft and a couple more years after that. It bea before I kind of stopped doing that as my role and moved up into real big leadership type of positions. I think, and your point is exactly right, a lot of people don't really realize like the number one job of a sea level executive is recruiting. It's not your job to know have all the answers. It's your job to make the smartest people want to work with you. That do have the answers. It's number one, Sam. I mean I just my CEOS 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's like I spend, I mean with the pace that we're growing, for four or five interviews per day. So you know, obviously the CRO their job is obviously deliver performance. But number two, who is to talbously put the players on the field, and so that second part is just such a core component of the role. Absolutely. So we're almost this has just been such an 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've done 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 you mean. Yeah, so that's creates a little controversy and that's not why I say it and I'm trying to provoke a thought process when I think we like provocation. Just to be clear. All right, we'll get there and maybe do it for you, but let me first start this way, that Marquetto and then here at Pendo. We have a career path. We have a path where we can go recruit strs who are, you know, right out school or early in their career, train them up in that role of how to qualify, how to position our product, how to talk and deal with potential buyers, and then a path up to corporate sales role, which can lead them to, you know, mid market or that could go into manage a role. So we do have a carved out path. So it is there and it's necessary. It's necessary for me to give that to recruit top talent. 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 outside of the other side of my mouth and that's not what I'm tempting to do. It's just that I think that's kind of table stakes. You have to have it. My point about a players is at a players don't tend to follow a defined career path. What happens with a players is opportunity knocks and smart, savvy a players answer the door when it knocks and they go follow it. And that could be something that's a very linear track of you know, hey, you're been an individual. You want to put you into a first line management. It could be in something that says we want you to go overseas. It could be we want you to start up a new division 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 and take it. Just take it. You know. I mean I I had the fortune, Sam, to move to you mentioned earlier, Sydney, at the age of forty five and you know, I spent thirteen months living there my family. We loved it and when we came back, you know, all I thought was, I wish I'd done that at Twenty Five, Oh my God, before you were married. Jesus. Yeah, so, I mean that's a whole different podcast. But but, but you know, you get the gist. There is like like opportunity knocks for people and, like I said, I you know, my first really big one was I had a Boston encouraged me to go get this job in Boston and, as I said 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 I was like cash, I don't want to do it for those reasons. She's like, you're going to do it because this is going to advance your career and give you that that you know, that turbo charge of your career path and solve it. And I fortunately listened to her and the job wasn't just offered 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 I said, it was probably the catalyst, the key catalyst point in my career of advancing me. It's awesome, Bill. It's been awesome to have you on the show right at the end. Here we tend to like to do, you know, pay it forward kind of shoutouts. If you can think about it. Can Be books that you've read that really had a big impact on you in any way. It can be people like who are some of your 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 we can sort of do more digging on. Yeah, let me give you a couple of those things. So, first all, since we're talking about career advancement, there's a book out there called multipliers by Liz Wiseman. Anybody that's making a move from an individual contributor to a manager, I think should read this book because it's Bait like multipliers. It's about if you're getting promoted from an individual to a manager, it's probably because you're being recognized as really good at what you do in that individual role...

...and what someone's looking for you to do is multiply yourself, make you know seven or eight minimes of what you are and it really helps you tune into that that leadership and management philosophy around that. And then, secondly, you know around some some key mentors. You know, we mentioned this group DMD at Oracle, that Tom C bone benny off for a part of it, as an incredible lineage of people that are out there. I mean James Ramsay, who went on to become that had a 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 is the 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 of us at all work together and it was kind of a magical time. We work for a woman named Hilary COPLA McAdams, who was the president of sales force and then the sea, I think, Co of new relic. She's since gone into venture capital, but you know, there's just some incredible people there. And to your point about paying it forward, I didn't do this alone, you know. I had people pushing me. I people rooting for me. 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 mean like like I make light of it. I make I thinks that I'm not allowed to say today. I make light of it. They're sam but like the reality is is that they were. They were people that cared about me and they were really trying to do that. And so, you know, like when I was coming to Pendo, there are four individuals that I reached out to to get their counsel as I was looking at opportunities and exploring different things. 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 great friendship and we text almost every day. And then I have a friend John Hunter, who is the chief running officer at Microfocus, and then Mark Kaufman, who I previously mentioned, who's the CEO Black Line. Reach up to those 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 essentially said choose Pando. One of them didn't say it by name, one of them 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're going to have a hell of a lot of fun and knock on would hopefully repeat what you did at Marquetto. That's awesome. It's bill. You guys are growing. I'm sure you're hiring. If people out there want to connect with you and maybe apply for a job or maybe just seek you out as a mentor are you okay with people contacting you? And then, if so, what's the preferred mechanism? is at Linkedin is an email. How would you prefer? Yeah, Bill Dot Bench at pendo DOT IO is my email here by away. Just come at me direct awesome, Bill, thanks so much for joining us on the show. Is Great. Yeah, thanks for having me, Sam. Appreciate it, everybody. It's SAM's corner. What a fantastic interview with bill. It's clear why people love working for him and how he's capable of taking these companies to such great heights, and I particularly liked his advice on career pathing. It's a common theme and it's something that you hear time and time again in this podcast, and the real point of it is when opportunity knocks, answer the door. So I think bills phrases. You know, b players have career paths. The point is that it's not that you don't seek upward mobility. The point is that you have to be open to opportunity and open to possibility. I think one of the best examples of this I believe it was Sheryl Sandberg, who was working for Larry Summers, 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 west coast. She was in DC at the time, and ultimately Larry said listen, just it's a rocket ship, get over there, and she hopped on that rocket ship and obviously that took her up through the ranks of Google and then 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, pretty short 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 good friends, Dan Brown, he he was in New York. He worked for me at axial, he worked for me at live stream. He then went on to we work. He's at we work now. Opportunity knocked. We work said go to Austin. He moved to Austin. Opportunity knocked again. He moved to San Francisco. This is a man that is putting his career ambitions 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 sales hackercom and head to this podcast tab up. If you want to join us in San Diego, please do that. It's unleashed dot outreached at ioh and remember that code is a hundred dollars office sh pod. You'll find us anywhere podcasts are made. So if you enjoyed this episode, please share with your peers on Linkedin, twitter or elsewhere.

If you've got a great idea or a 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 in Sam f Jacobs. And lastly, if you're out there, in a city that 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 chapters and we are also launching consulting services. So if you want to figure out what's going on with the revenue collective or if you're in a city that doesn't yet have the revenue collective, we're launching in about ten to fifteen new markets in two thousand and nineteen. That's a good reason to reach out to me on Linkedin as well. So we're looking for VP and above, sales and marketing leaders and success leaders across commercial functions at high growth companies, and those are the folks that represent the now over two hundred people that are in the global revenue collective. So Ping me on Linkedin on to learn more. That's Linkedincom the word in, and then Sam f Jacobs. Finally, thanks again to our sponsors, chorus, the leading conversation intelligence platform for high gross sales teams, and outreach, the leading sales engagement platform. I will see you next time.

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