The Sales Hacker Podcast
The Sales Hacker Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

47. The Key Qualities of Great Executive and Commercial Leadership with Dan Fougere, CRO of Datadog

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This week on the Sales Hacker podcast, we interview Dan Fougere, CRO of Datadog.  Dan is a 20+ year veteran of technology sales and has seen 4 of his last 5 companies become unicorns.  Dan talks about the key qualities of great sales leadership and how to be an effective executive in addition to being a great sales leader.  Dan also discusses his deep background in enterprise sales and how closing $10M+ deals has informed his approach to forecasting.

One, two, one, three, three. Hello everybody, this is Sam Jacobs. You're listening to the sales hacker podcast. I am the founder of the revenue collective, which is the association, the exclusive community for commercial executives at growth companies. As I'm sure at this point you know, we're officially in six cities, Boston, Denver, Toronto, London, Amsterdam New York, but we're actually increasingly accepting members from other cities as remote members. Why? We developed the groups in the communities in those cities. So, for example, Kyle Lacy, VP of marketing at lessonly just joined and he's based in Indianapolis and until we have an Indianapolis chapter, Kyle's going to be in our group. So that's what I do. But most importantly, we've got a show today for you and we've got Dan Fujerer on the show. Dan is the chief of an officer of data dog. Data dog is well north of a hundred million and Ann your current revenue. Dan hinted that things are going so well that maybe there's a good event in the future for them. This year, maybe like an Ipoh, but we'll see. But Dan's got, you know, over twenty years of sales experience and has specifically as insights on sales and leadership, which I think is super important, because there's a big difference between just individual execution and how how are you a great leader? What does it mean to be a great leader? Not just a great manager, but a great leader? So I think it's a really, really good show. Now, before we get to the show, of course, what we want to do is thank our sponsors. The first is chorus DOT AI, the leading Com versation intelligence platform for high gross sales teams. Chorus for chords transcribes analyzes business conversations in real time to coach traps on how to become top reformers. It also is a powerful mechanism to relay feedback directly to the product team in the engineering team, because they can hear from the actual voice of the customer. So with Corus dot a more APPs hit quota, new hires ran faster, leaders become better coaches and everyone in the organization can collaborate over the actual voice of the customer. CHECK OUT CORUS DOT AI forward salesacker to see what they're up to. Our second sponsor is outreach. That's outreached out Oh, the leading sales engagement platform. Outreach supports reps by enabling them to humanize communications at scale, from automating soul sucking manual work that eats up selling time to providing actionary into tips on what communications are working best. Outreach has your back. Now, coming up in March, we're running unleash two thousand and nineteen. It's now march when you're hearing this. Really what we're talking about is next week. Next week, this is going to be a hopefully you've got your tickets at this point, but if you don't, unleash it's happening March ten through twelve and San Diego. Listeners the pod get a hundred dollars off just for entering the Code Sah pod. Hop over to unleash dot outreach io and use the code shpod to save a hundred dollars off your ticket. I'm going to be there and it's going to be amazing and without further ado, let's listen to our interview with Dan Fuj are. Hey everybody, it's Sam Jacobs. Welcome back to the Sales Haacker podcast. We've got an exceptional show for you today. We've got Dan Fuj are on the show. He is the chief revenue officer for data dog. So let me quickly give you Dan's bio. He's responsible for data dogs global sales strategy and execution. He's been doing software sales for twenty years at both public and pre IPO software companies. Before data dog he was global and America's head of sales at Medallia, which is a leading customer experience management company, very well known company, very big company, and his five years at Medallia Dan helped design and execute a go to market approach that increased annual revenue by x and grew the sales organization from seven people to three hundred. Before that he's held leadership positions at BMC, blade, logic and actuate, and he holds a degree in mechanical engineering from rental or Polytechnic Institute, or RPI. Dan, welcome to the show, Sam. Great to be here. A long time listener, first time. Thrill to be here. Thanks for having well, welcome to the warm embrace of the salesacker podcast. So we want to get to know you a little bit before we dive into some of the areas where where we think you're an expert. So your title is chief for Revno Officer. The company is data dog. Tell us what is Daya Dog? What is Daya Dog? Do sure data dog is a SASSED offtware company, the leading...

...platform from monitoring an analytics for today's modern infrastructure, public cloud, private cloud, containers, micro services, serverleist Cubernetti's orchestration, you name it, all the cool new technology that's driving cloud. First innovators like AIRBNB, shopify, Tulio and Hulu, and leading traditional companies making the cloud migration like capital one, verizon, HSBC and USAA, all use Daya dog to make here their infrastructure and applications are optimized so they can fix issues before they impact the customer. Day Dog is the only solution that brings together infrastructure, application monitoring and log management all into one application. We can dramatically reduce the amount of effort required to set up monitoring and also help companies make the moves to the cloud faster. Wow, okay, it's and it from what I know of the company. You guys have been growing like gangbusters. So you know rough rr range. It's fine if it's confidentially sound like you might be pre IPOs. So what are the numbers that you can share with us that give us the sense of the size and the growth rate. Yeah, we're in a spot, we can't here too much, where we can say we're in the hundreds of millions and we're still doubling your over yere. Damn. Okay, so you're you are selling with the market, it sounds like. So tell us about your team. How big is your team and what are the different functions? What are your responsibilities across all the sales type functions? We've got well over three hundred people. We have an enterprise team that goes after the biggest accounts in the world and we've got a commercial team that goes after accounts that are kind of more the typically like the borne in the cloud. Come companies, the smaller startups. You know, one of the cool things about data dog is, you know, we've got awesome customers, even people who are really like driving amazing change in the industry and they're just like the thought leaders, creative, super smart and a lot of the startups just they mean, that's who we built the company around and they helped push us to be able to handle all the new cool stuff, and so one of the things that's great about the company is one of the things that attract the needed data dog is the ability to execute on innovation, just like nonstop innovation, and we're in we're pushed to do that by our customers. So the commercial team goes after these smaller startup companies who just continually make us come up with new, you know, capabilities. At the same time, these bigger companies on the enterprise side, they push us for scalability. For like we've got some some of our customers are in production for highly regulated industries. Are Monitoring Over Sixty Five Tho servers in just at that one customer. And so at the same time, one of the things that is pretty interesting about a lot of these new stass companies is, and data dog is one of them, is that a lot of the growth can become organic. And so once some of these smaller companies being become customers, we reverage our customer success team to not only make sure they're leveraging everything that the cut that data dog has to offer, but also to help upsell over time as well. So we've got an amazing customer success team in addition to the enterprise and commercial team, and I think they we're seeing kind of these these functions evolve over time as the buying model changes. We've also got really just a really kick ASS SC team and one of the things we've done, it's kind of interesting, is instead of going and now we do have a lot of people who are traditional Estes, but again trying to match map to our customers needs, we're hiring people who are like developers and we're teaching them how the sales stuff and because the clouds stuff, the open source and the cloud and everything is so new that and if you don't have it, we're not going to be able to bring as much value to the customer. So we're gonna kind of over index on their knowledge of the cloud space and then teach them the sales stuff. Do you have?...

Do you have SDRs and ADR supporting the enterprise and commercial teams? I'm just curious if you can give us some some detail on some of the ratios, the number of s se's to reps, the number of SDRs to reps and is I would imagine enterprise includes orse maybe exclusively field sales people out in the market, in the geography where their customers are. That's right. So we asked. We do have sdrs and I saw, you know, one of your questions was, hey, should St ours report to marketing our sales and for me, you know, the fcrs are core part of sales organization. We really have we prioritize something that will call pg or pipeline generation, and to break into some of these enterprise accounts it's going to take, you know, a multi pronged approach, and so you know that SDR is our core part of the enterprise team. We're striving for like a three to one ratio of a user account exacts to SDRs for the enterprise and then but we also have great teeming on the commercial side between the SDRs as well and and so they're I think we're probably in a similar type of our ratio and you know those folks are trying to go after lots of different companies. So teaming up certainly helps. Another thing that's scooper cool about what's been happening here over the past couple of years is we've really been able to kind of build had the SDRs become kind of the farm team for the commercial team. And so after spending something like a year or so honing their skills, getting all the training and the SDR roll, we're having great success promoting those folks to the commercial ae roll and they're having just incredible like their their ramptime is really short and their pro activity is is that excellent, and so we're getting a lot of a lot of value out of that too, and it's also exciting part when we're recruiting those people to know that it's not just like a promise that we're going to promote people, but it's actually part of our our go to mark. Do you start giving SDRs pipeline or deals to close before they're promoted to accelerate their ramp, or is it there's a hard line and past that hard line of Promotion, that's when they need to build their own pipeline? Yeah, we haven't done that. Yeah, it's an interesting idea. I think, as we evolved and you know, maybe that's something we can end up doing. And I know that as I've gotten promoted in the past, that's been a key aspect of it, is to start to give the person a little more responsibility. So I'm not saying we won't do it. We just haven't gotten there yet. Understood. So let's let's talk about your background. You know, one of the qualities that we want to talk about in today's show is really the these concepts of leadership and how to be a great leader, and one of the ways that we figure that out is by understanding. You know where you come from, so tell us a little bit about sort of where you came from. How did you get into sales, and walk us through the journey that resulted in you being Crro at Daya Doog and and some of your success in Medallia. You Bet so. It's you know, it's an interesting story. My Dad was a cop in New York City. He was actually like an undercover street crime detective, so kind of like you know Cerproco or something like that. You know, you know the movies from the S of course. So everybody I knew was kind of like firemenut of cops or something like that. And then when I was thirteen we moved to the country. Like I was working on farms. There was no sidewalks. Longer story about how that happened, but I loant you know, longer story shorter. I didn't know any I didn't even know what a business person was. I didn't know what a sales person was. And I was in school and I was but we didn't have a lot of money and I was reading the US News, a world report, and it said top earning degrees and they were all engineering degrees, and I happened to be good at math and science, and so I went to engineering school and I happened to use this software for for design. I did mechanical engineering and the software was pretty cool. Was dmodeling software, Cat Cam, and I ended up getting partly...

...through my fraternity brothers, partly because I knew the software in the software is called pro engineer and it was made by a company called parametric technology, or PTC, and I just learned more about that company and I was just blown away. I was like everybody was like young and smart and energetic and and I just really wanted to be part of what they were doing. So I joined that company as a pre sales engineer and that was when I met my first build people, and these were people who were twenty eight years old and they were having a lot of success or twenty five some of them, and I just thought, Hey, you know, seems like that. Seems more like what I should be doing. So I ended up becoming a rep at PTC. And another thing is I my first job PTC. I moved my first job out of school. I did real engineering. It did that Michigan that I moved to Silicon Valley to go to work at PTC as a resident engineer. Then I moved to Texas, to Dallas to be a rep at PTC. I just got an amazing training and I just the leaders at PTC. Is A guy named Steve Wallfsky who was the cdeo there. It's got John McMahon who was the head of sales. They made a big impression on me around their investment in me and all the other sales people where it was. It was an environment of high accountability but amazing enablement, amazing training, and they helped kind of like take what to me was like an amorphous, you know, structureless thing about like sales and how people make decisions to buy things and turn it into more of a science. And so I got some great training there and I was able to then go an up. But I wanted to. I always wanted to go to one of these startups. I whether it's like Steve Jobs or whatever kind of pictures I had in my mind. And when I was out and silk and value, that's when netneed happened and all that. So I just wanted to be part of some kind of silk and valley thing and I happened to be the second choice for a rep job for a company called actuate which at the time was probably doing about fifteen billion dollars a year but was in like the red herring, you know, top one hundred, you know startups, and anyway, fortunately the first choice guy didn't take the job and I I told the VP if she didn't pick me, I was going to call her customers and tell them that I was the Rep. Anyway, late. Okay, she gave me the KNOB. I took all that PTC training with this great territory and this cool new technology, and I wrote that world that worldwide web thing for a few years. Happened to be the number one rep, I think. Actually, you know, when I left at the history of the company and they move me to New York as a I got to sell the all the financial services companies. That's why I started to do to do big deals. But I knew I have met my wife and I wanted to take on more and so I ended up getting a leadership but job, my first leadership job was and I'm and they happen to move me to London, so I got some international experience, I got to start to learn how to do leadership. It was a good couple of years in London at actually, but I could tell that the company maybe was, you know, the best days were behind them and I wanted to learn more and so I just I just knew I could get better. And some of my friends like Carlos Dellatry, who I had worked for and worth with, who just was the cro at Margo DP. When the my public he was he said, Hey, you know, there's some guys going over to play logic to mcban, was the VP of sales there, and I just wanted to work closely with John and which you know isn't easy because the man is amazing and intent. But Man, I learned a lot. Plus I also that experienced, you know's like Carlos Dellatory, Scott Davis, who is the head of stale at Medallia, Jeremy Duggan, who is the head of sales. That if for a leader, and a MIAF for a dynamics, Adam Aaron's, who's the Ciro at Octa, forgetting a whole bunch of people, but they're all Andy Byron, who's the CRO at cyberries, and we all are sitting around this table in my first leadership meeting and I was just blown away by the talent and I think we all pushed each other...

...and we all really saw like amazing talent and each other, and I that I made such a big impact on me that I just knew that I want to be around people like that, that I want to push myself hard, I want to get better in my life by getting better in my work and just by really, you know, seeing what I'm capable of. And so that was a great run at play logic. We got we went public, were in public at public and actually too, and then we, you know, got bought by BMC and David a Cherio, who's now the seer, the had the CEO of Mondle Day, was the founder at blate logic and he became president at BMC. So we all stayed there and I learned a lot actually, because even though I kind of had probably, you know, not a favorable view of big companies before, because I kind of thought of startups is the real deal, the big companies. There's a lot to learn there too. So I learned a lot about sales ops. I learned a lot about kind of the financial aspect of running software company, meeting with CIO's that kept doing really big deals, like ten million plus dollar deals. But it was time for me to go to another start up and Steve Wolski, who was the founding CEO of PTC, was on the board of this company Medallia, and there was also Doug Leoni, who was the head of sequoia at that time, who I knew a little bit. They were both on the board of this company Medalia. I just was really inspired by the founders. They you know, we're really doing something cool with the round customer experience. So I went there and Scott Davis and I went there on the same time and we were employee, you know, members number seven and eight of the sales team when we joined. When we left five years later, there was over three hundred people on the team doing about three hundred million a year and distant deals around twenty million or so. So that was great, but you know, I just wasn't going to work out exactly the way I wanted and so it's time for a change and I've learned a few things along the way, and one of the things was I wanted to go someplace where product innovation was absolutely paramount and I could see that the people were passionate about building a great company and really passionate about delivering awesome, awesome technology to customers and building in so I when I met the founders at data dog I was living in Silicon Valley and I just thought it took me five years to convince my wife to move the Silicon Valley. I got three small kids, but as I called though my wife, I said I think that we might need to move back to New York, because I think dated August special so that was a, you know, about two and a half years ago, and I have to say like it's just like get one, beyond my wildest dreams and the people are amazing to work with and we're doing awesome things for our customers and we're riding this whole wave of the cloud. Everybody's moving to the cloud for infrastructure. So hopefully you got it. I get to add another exited some point on to my my career list. I'm sure you will. I'm sure you will. That's that's an incredible journey. Dannon and I didn't realize for some reason that you're in New York. So that's great, because I'm right now in New York and I'll make sure that we connect in person or some point exactly. But so you know, over I guess you've been doing this since, for you know, well over twenty years. And one of the things you talked about is concept of a repeatable leadership system from some of the people that you just mentioned as you went through the career, John McMahon and Steve Wall Sky. So talk to us. What is a repeatable leadership system and how does it inform your career and your choices in the kind of senior executive that you've become? I'd say I learned a bunch from PC lineage and then I learned a bunch that my last place too, and in that one, that last place, is a little bit more maybe like eq modernizing it. And so number one for me is create a collaborative, safe environment for constant learning, really focus on enablement but also like have respect for people and have empathy and have growth mindset. And so there's this woman, Carolyn's, who actually wrote this book growth minds. That where, you know, I think what happens for a lot of people is they build up these protective walls based on their previous achievements and that actually inhibits you really getting to that...

...next level. And I think, especially as a leader, once you get beyond hey, you know, as a rep you're going to learn how to do a deal and as a leader you're going to learn how to hire a rep, but eventually you learn these kind of like subject matter expertise skills and then it becomes about you and your ability to grow and how you engage with people and how they feel when they engage with you. And so I want to make sure that that's a part of how we build great leaders here and how we also make sure that builds people, even though we're pushing them really hard, that they feel respected and they feel like, you know, we're treating them the right way, with with like, you know, support while we push them hard. Is there an evolution personally that you've gone through it? I mean it sounds it sounds really important what you just said. How are there specific personal journeys that you're comfortable sharing about how you've grown or evolved over the course of your leadership career? I'd say like you know, going through a couple tough times. You know, tough times in my life previous to that, to my sales career was one thing, but just situations when you're having like a tough time and you realize, Holy Caw, I'm not I'm not able to achieve right now at the level I want to, and you can see that that's like a that's like a moment in time for somebody who is talented and driven and determined. And how do you, how do you, how can you be understanding of them there and then it gives them some support, because sometimes what people need is not like more of a beating and they need some like, you know, they need a lifeline right they need you to reach out and see and see what they need, and it's easy to kind of write them off as saying, Hey, that person is no good, but it's a little harder and but more valuable, I think, to see, like what is this person capable, capable of, what do they need right now, and how can I try to get that to them? Because what I've seen is that people can change right. People can, you know, go from a place where they're not achieving as as well as they want to to place where they can, but it takes a little bit extra work and it takes some empathy and understand at the same time, you got to be realistic and if they don't have the skill or the will, then you know you got it. You have to make a change and everything I'd say there is like even having respect for that person, so that it doesn't has no bearing on them as they're like their value as a human right it this is there might be another job out there, another company that's actually where they should be doing. I mean, so don't send them off into some other some of the place with a bad with bad taste in their mouth. So if you can do it after is that a good answer or what do you think? I think it's a good answer. Yeah, I mean, of course, I think. I mean, personally, for me it's exactly you're exactly right. You build up these walls partially because you're hired to do a certain job and the idea that you can be vulnerable and say I actually you know that this particular thing I don't have a lot of experience with. There's a lot of hesitation to express that because you're worried that you know your executive peers might judge you in some way, and that is that's brilliant inside right there. So there's a woman, Brune Brown. She's written a book. I saw her speak and she talks about with vulnerability as part of leadership. and to me, like you know, when I look at what I learned through that PTC lineage, I learned so many great fundamentals like driving pipeline generation, how to recruit, constant qualification, all those things are absolutely coore and fundamental to creating and driving a high performance sales organization. But also these other parts, these other equ parts, you know, empathy, vulnerability. I think if you combine all that together, then you get the optimal formula. Yeah, I I hope so. To your point, like change is very hard. One of the things that you know that you've got a big focus on pipeline generation. Walk us through some of your philosophies. They're just because, you know, I think we're on the same page. You can't make any money if you don't have any pipeline. So what are your tenants? What are your principles when it comes to building pipeline for your...

...sales ORC? Yeah, so number one, just make sure it's clearly stated to everybody that this is this is important right. This is something that we all do. A mistake I think a lot of sales people make is they think that, oh, yeah, cold calling is for when I was an str when I was twenty two. It's not. It's cold calling is not dead and it's not the sole responsibility of marketing stars. It's great to have leads from marketing, it's great to have FDR's doing the work, but to be like you know, in baseball they call it a five tool player, right where you can. You can run fast, you can hit for average, hit for power field. It's a throw and same thing, I think as a sales professional you want to make sure you continually work on your skills and you've got to take responsibility for creating pipeline. And so one thing about that is first to help everybody see what's working. So by creating a collaborative staffe environment for constant learning, people are going to share, encourage sharing of what's working, sharing the emails that work, the techniques, what time? Well, you know what's what do people not like and don't do more, don't do that. And so if everybody has that mindset and if you have this you know, collaboration environment and you've also got the enablement going, then it's like you constantly just get a little bit better every day, and it also is better for customers too, because you're not just like throwing a bunch of stuff at the wall and hoping out it sticks. You're really refining your message and your techniques so that when you do engage with a customer, you're having valuable interactions and valuable engage. Another thing, as far as like from a management perspective, is to actually track pipeline generation, so we actually delineate between pipeline that's been generated throughout bound efforts and pipeline that is generated through inbound lead to where scrs, so that way we can get a more accurate view of the truth and we can also help people get better who maybe are falling down in those areas and change some of the enablement and training that we're doing. Do you have a do you have an expectation on the percent of pipeline that an individual up is supposed to generate on their own behalf versus coming from marketing or from SDRs? Well, I think what we want to do is people were coming to day to dog and to whatever team I'm running to not just make their number. They're coming here collect it, right. And so if we stay hey, we've got like a three to one ratio, for example, from Opportunity created creation to close, then what we want want to do is say, okay, well, we need to create x quota in pipeline to be able to hit our number. And then what we want to do is say, well, what do you really want to achieve? And so if you want to get to two hundred percent in your number, and fortunately for the enterprise folks on our team last year sixty percent of the folks made their number and fifty percent actually hit two hundred percent of their number, you know, then then I need this much the quota, I mean this much pipeline, and so that should be the goal. Is kind of like working backwards from there and doing the math about how much money do you want to make? What's the deal close ratio? What' SEE IRISH DEAL PRICE? How many opportunities do I need to create during like a week or a month or a quarter, and then start to drive it that way. Here's a debate that me and some other folks have been having within some of my my circles, which is the notion of forecasting. And on the commercial side some folks are advocating for weighted probability. Basically, you know, the way I know what my number is going to be is this. Many deals at this stage at times forty percent, because that's the close rate at that stage. The other folks that are working on really big enterprise deals are saying weighted probability forecasting doesn't really work and it really comes down to a rigorous qualification methodology like a medic or something, where you can either commit the deal or not, and it's really more binary than that. You have a perspective, given that you've worked on so many different kinds of deals, up from the twenty million dollar deals all the way down to the couple thousand dollar deals. A hundred percent. Yeah, some of our deals here are even like the guys instead still look in valley on to show, you know, in a start up garage with two people and the couple servers. So we got the whole gamut here. Personally, as far as like enterprise deals, that has to be...

...what we were what I would call absolute forecasting. We use medic and we use the three wise why should I do anything? Why I should to be data dog, and why now? And that's our that's medic and that is our template for how we forecast deals and everybody needs to use that and everybody has to put their judgment on every deal and that way we when we roll up a forecast, we have human judgment put on every single deal and we also require, you know, some kind of notes like be able to communicate to me. So we used obviously, I mean everybody used the sales force as the back end. WHO USE CLARY for managers to be able to make quick changes and be able to look through the forecast, and then we're using tableau to do analytics as well. And so, but that gives us what we call an absolute forecast for the enterprise, but then also for bigger deals, for commercial, because our commercial team is amazing. But I have to stay, like you know, my personal background has been primarily enterprise before data dog, and I just I love the commercial folks here, I love the energy and we've got just amazing talent and you know, I've learned from them as well. And so, but for the bigger deals, I asked them over some certain amount to you also put their absolute forecast and judgment on all the deals. At the same time, some of these deals are very transaction of someone like buy it on a credit card, and we're not putting judgment on those deals. And then what we do as we actually then do some analytics on the forecast so that we have the absolute forecast. We also have not just weighted but actually we use some kind of machine learning to help predict based on previous quarters, and we also do awaited forecast, which we continually kind of tweak based on what's happened recently. So we've got three different perspectives and then we try to triangulate in on the truth and we've actually on a pretty significant number. Last quarter we missed it by like point five percent or something. Oh well, and then so the past few quarters we've been super accurate with this. It takes a lot of work, but at the same time, one thing I can definitely have learned from our CEO Olivia here is sometimes automation is not the best thing because by having to dig into the numbers and having to dig into the details and do things somewhat manually, you're going to get a lot more familiar with that deal and that's going to force you. Every single time I think into a deal, I'm going to see something where I think through, this is the question, this is the risk, is the red flag. We went through something and it forces the team to go take action and improve strategy on deal. So I think that a combination of all that is important and you don't want to do too much automation. That's amazing. And and triangulation does sound like like the right approach. And so you the the five percent. You mean you missed from you're from the forecast that you had predicted. Obviously you, I'm sure you still beat the board number, confirming that? Yes, yes, we and yeah, and just barely. I mean we almost were exactly accurate for the past couple quarters. Well, so you always want to do more, but beat the board plan and also were very accurate with the forecast, though you know we're always trying to get better and you know things can always change, but so far, so good. Do you align the the sales org around the actual board number, or is it like all of the reps quotas add up to a hundred and twenty percent of the managers quotas, which add up to a hundred and twenty percent of your quota, which adds up to a hundred and twenty percent of the board goal, so that you've built in layers and layers and layers of protection? or Or is it more cut and drive from your perspective? It's just having this conversation with our CEO and you know, the world that I don't think you want to live in as a leader is what we might more call metal on metal right, where everybody has to do exactly their number for you to make your number. You know, it's just it's a it's a that's a painful world to have to try to make that happen, and the higher up you go, the more pain can be felt because the...

...significance of missing is so so much more dramatic, right and so like if I missed, the company misses and we can't do that. So we try to do more of what you describe their where there's going to be some some buffer at each level to make sure that doesn't have to be a hundred percent everybody makes all their number just for the leader to make their number. Yeah, the one issue I've seen, if you put in too much protection, which is very interesting, is is the individual reps or even like the frontline managers walking around after a quarter or a month or a year hanging their head a little bit and saying we really, we really fucked up, and meanwhile the CEO is saying yeah, no, we did pretty good, we're excited about it. And that distant, that differential, that dissonance between sort of the morale and the energy at the very top level. You've built in so much protection that you've actually beat your board number, but the individual people on the ground floor are thinking that they've done a bad job. A hundred percent. Man, you know, you know on the flip side, you know if you set the number too low, you know there's issues there as well. So that's like a thing you just have to always try to be wary of and try to not because the other thing is you want the leader to be in the boat with the salespeople, right and so having too much protection is not a good thing either. What I will say is institution, you know. You know, it's kind of like every one of these like black and white answers. There's kind of then there's like the kind of graduate school answer and in the appendix and you know, I think when you're building right, which is what we've been doing, because when I when I got here two years ago, we didn't have any sales people outside of Boston and we didn't have enterprise team. And so now we've got, you know, commercial team in Dublin. We've got enterprise and commercial people and you know, singing poor and Hamburg and one did an, you name it. And so a lot of these are New Territories. And we also made a big transition from when I got here it was really all inbound. I'm responding to in bald leads, and now we're primarily an outbound in addition to having a lot of inbound. And so as you go through these changes, you also need to, you know, take into consideration that maybe you might need to make some manual tweaks to the systematic approach to quotas, because, you know, breaking into New Territories, creating new teams also has it, you know, kind of its own challenges. When you this this I might not have prepared you for this question, but you're smart guy, so we'll figure out what your answer is on the fly. But when you think about the biggest mistake or series of mistakes that you see people in your situation that are the first time kind of quote unquote, chief Revenue Officer. So somebody maybe they've been a sales director or even a VP of sales, but you know, they've been layers above them and they're promoted into a role where they own they own the number for the company. What do you think the biggest mistakes most people in that position tend to make? There is this there a set of business books by a guy named Patrick Lencyoni, and I got a lot out of it, you know, and I think it was the f of the five dysfunctions of a team or something like. That's it. Yep, that's it. His new one. The advantage is is really good at condenses. All. The one I read more and talking talks about the concept of your first team. And one of the things that happens for somebody like with a background like me, you know, I was always just so super loyal to and part of the sales team, and you know it just like it's you. These are your brothers and sisters who you, you know, fight battles with and you go to war with and you, you know, do have have heroic adventures, right and and so that loyalty is just super deep. But at the same time as you become, you know, higher level leader within an organization, your your first team is no longer the sales team. Your first team of the other exacts and so CFO, General Council, you know, Cmo CEO, like whoever. The other kind of folks are on the operating team, executive team, and you need to make sure you have great relationships...

...with those folks and that you were consider, you're considering the best interest of the company and the best interest of your peers on your first team before you consider the best interest of the sales team. Now you don't. You shouldn't. You shouldn't have to make massive compromises where you know you've done something negative to the sales team. But I think that's a big change for a lot of people and that's going to help the team the company be able to achieve better because you don't want to over index or overempstis the needs of the sales team at the expense of the rest of the company, because that's going to do damage to the company. That's a great insight. One of the got a few time for a few more questions. One of them is you know it always comes down to. There's all these startups, there's a ton of capital out there that's being deployed into early stage companies and people are trying to figure out how do I pick the right company? And this is something I think you have an opinion on. So walk us through. How do you evaluate? Because these, you know, VC's can they have a portfolio? They make, you know, Douglioni or anybody else, they make twenty bets or thirty bets and over the course of their career they've, you know, they've got investments or led the round on on dozens and dozens. But you and I, we only get to work at one place at a time. And so how do you how do you make that, that decision? How do you pick the right company? Yeah, the great question. And so far I've been at five startups. One was a mistake and I got out of there and in three months, just because it took me three months to get a new job. But the other four of all become UNICORNS while I was there, to have gone public. Last one in CIPOL ready. This one may have some good things happening this year, and so my worrate is relatively good and I think. But I've learned from some really sweart people, and so whether I learned from Douglioni Seve Wolf Kee, David Achuria, these guys who have an even better track record than me. And so one is like, is there a macro driver in the economy or in technology that it's directly going to support your growth? So for day to dog, everybody's moving to the cloud right you can just see by aws is amazing performance and Hasure's amazing performance and companies like that. And so that's one thing, like that rising tide will raise all ship. That's one thing that you want to look for. Another thing is something like real technical differentiation, like data. Dog has something called tagging that underlies everything we do. So it allows us to work in the cloud something that's architectural. That's that's a defensible differentiator. And also, I think, but diffrenchiers are fleeting. So also a proven ability to bring meaningful innovations to the market is important. Personally, he's got to be real staff, not like a company that's kind of, you know, doing what was on Premi. Software or kind of custom builds every time. That's that's kind of like a little bit of a nuance, but something modern tech, modern technology. Another thing that was important, it's always important for me, it's our company's willing to pay a lot of money for it. You know, it's a lot easier to move the needle on dramatic growth for a company when somebody spends a million dollars versus going out and doing like, you know, hundreds of smaller deals. Right. And so if what I've seen is like, even if one company or one or two companies are willing to pay a million dollars a year or more, then you probably have something that you can repeat. And also want to look for some impressive brands. Right. Are Companies that have a lot of governance in place picking the right technology? Do they have they pick this, this company's technology. And then I want to see something. Is there some kind of repeatability in the Stale Cycle? Are they missing some things? Because what I think as though sales leader, what I look for is are there some gaps that I can fill? Is this generally a healthy business, but they're missing and outbound sales motion, great sales to people and enterprise sales team selling vow you things like that, where I say I see, hey, they're doing well, but if they had those things, then we could really turbo charge this thing, and then I think, you know, another thing is important to me is someone who really cares about the customer and makes it a priority and everything they do is building something that's lasting. That's kind of like what I look for and...

...that's what I saw at data dog. That really kind of hooked me when I met these guys and I the other thing it Steve Watsky told me, was like, don't go for the title. I'll think, I see. I know. I know a bunch of folks who live and say silicon value. You keep up going from like one start up to the next because they're trying to grab the brass ring and they love these titles personally, whether it's like Crro or global galactic head of all things. They don't get impressed with the title. Go to the best company. If there's if there's a rocket ship, don't ask what seat, just get on. That's that ship. Because what I could tell you is like picking the right company, the cream will rise to the top and you just because you going with a big title doesn't mean it's going to be like the best company. And the other thing is like the crew that you're able to roll with right the people who are like when I met the founders here, I knew that by working with that on a daily basis they would they would make me get better, because they're amazing, super talented, hard driving, and so go work with people who are going to push you and make you better. I love it. That's great insight. I have to ask what's because it sounds like you've gone through a process of change over your career. What's the toughest piece of feedback that you've ever received? If you're comfortable sharing, we can remove, you know, some of the personal details or something, but just curious, like what, what's something? What's a piece of feedback that you've directly received that forced you to evolve? Sam It's a long list and we might need all the things I was not good at that I had to work on. But you know, I think as a former engineer, you know, like I was working on farms, I worked construction, I went to engineering school. You know, connecting with connecting with people, and you know, understanding how people make decisions and you know, I think that early on it was pretty clear to people, Hey, this guy understands technology, he's passionate about it, but he wasn't really connecting and so I mentioned Carlos dellatory. He actually was my boss at the time and he made me read this book how to win friends and influence people, which is an old Eb Goodie and every salesperson should read, and it basically talks about like how to connect with people right and like you know the person's first first name. Their name is the sweetest music to their ears and you'll never win an arguments and people always look externally for rational rationalis to why they they don't succeed and things like that. And so that was one where I really had it was tough to hear, but really like the most valuable feedback, you know, it's it's one of the you know, things about the universe, right, the things that are most valuable, or usually the toughest things that to take in, and so that was something. And I had another leader who's out, a guy wholsoft terry trip. He told me hey, because I think I was going in too meetings very early in my career and just starty to talk about the technology and he's like, don't say anything about technology. Look at what's on the guy's desk, see what he's into, understand like I don't know how many kids he has. I want to know what he what he likes to do on the weekends like and just kind of like make it about connecting with people. So that was one earlier my career. That has paid off for me over time. I love it. You've mentioned, you know, a bunch of people that have influenced you. So we don't need you to repeat them, but some of the folks, just for the listeners out there, Carlos Dellatory, John McMahon, Steve Wall Sky, those are some of the Cros cmzc pieces of sales that you have particular respect for. Any coaches or consultants or people that you've worked with personally that you think we should be aware of if we want to get better? Absolutely, one of the person I put on that list is David e Cheria, who's the CEO of mango DV. Who I mean he picks a lot of winners and he's given me a great coaching and advice over the years, much of which was not super easy to hear, but always super valuable. As far as like, yeah, I've you know, personally, I've I just look like hey, I need I need a big team, like I have two personal trainers, I have a Jiu Jitsu coach, I have yoga instructor. You know, I've worked with psychology just...

...over the years, and then executive coaches also, to me like are super valuable because sometimes you can really dig in and understand. I mean not sometimes, every time, dig in and just getting like very personal or out what baggage am I bringing to the situation and how do I go unpack that and how do I go deconstruct it and rebuild something that's better so I can get better results? And so I've worked with a company called the hand out group and Gabie Jordan is my coach and she's done an amazing job. And one of the things that we, you know, talk about is it's like how tot the like your negative in or dialog right. Sometimes I tend personally, like a lot of people, to go to like some extreme negative situation in your mind about like hey, like this deal is going sideways and then all sudden you're having like a very negative conversation internally. It doesn't serves you really well. So how do you recognize what's happening? How do you stop it and then how do you go and have a more positive and constructive rate to do that so you can go problems? It's great advice. Dan. This has been a great conversation. If folks are I'm sure they're, there are people out there that are listening to you right now that have identified with what you've said and might want to might want to reach out to you. Maybe they want to work at data dog or maybe they just need a mentor are you open to listeners to the pod reaching out to you and, if so, what's your preferred method of communication? A hundred percent. I would love it. I'm Dan at data Dogcom and you can catch me a linked in too, awesome, and it's Fujire. So, for those not in the know, Fou Geree is how you pronounce your last name. Is How you spell your last name. So if you're looking for it on Linkedin and this has been a great conversation. Thanks so much for joining us on the Sales Packer podcast and we will will talk to you this Friday for Friday fundamentals. Sam, thanks for having me. Great catching up and chatting with you awesome. Thank you everybody. Sam Jacobs. This is Sam's corner a really great interview with Dan Fugire chief for having an officer of data dog and somebody that's been building companies for over twenty years. I think you mentioned he's worked at five startups and four of them have had some kind of event, whether it's been an ipoh or an acquisition, or sometimes both in the same in the same company. So he's got a tremendous amount of experience and I think that one of the things that Dan focused on is is the the emotional the Eq, the emotional quotient, the the ability to understand the emotions and not just the Iq, not just the intelligence, not just the ability to forecast, but the ability to understand how you affect other people. You know, there's a there's a phrase. People don't remember what you say, they remember how you make them feel, and it's strange, but at the as you go up, as you become a senior executive, one of the big mistakes I made was thinking that my job was to hit the number. That's my job and you know, doesn't matter what I need to do. My job is to represent my team and to hit the number and to be correct, and that's not true. Actually, your job isn't. As a senior executive, your job is partially to hit the number, but the main job is to align with the executive team and to not create more work for the CEO. The way you create more work for the CEO is by getting in fights a lot. That's the way that you create work for managers, is by having lots of disagreements that you're unable to resolve on your own or, frankly, pissing people off. And so Dan Rightly points out, if you read the the Lensi only books five dysfunctions of a team or the advantage, which is the newest one. Your first team as an executive has to be your pure executives. It cannot be you cannot just be an advocate for your people. That's a big challenge for a lot of first time managers because your instinct is that you are a defender of your people. You really love being loved. You know you are promoted to be a manager, you love that you're the great boss, that you're the cool boss, that you really understand them and what they're going through and you identify with them and you're an advocate for them...

...and you view pure interactions at the executive level, almost in an adversarial way, and that is a surefire way to get fired. That is a surefire way to exit the organization, because your job is an executive is to align and speak on behalf of the company. It is not just to advocate for the reps, it's not just to argue for a better complan. Sometimes you need to be the voice of the CFO back to the reps and tell them why the complan you structured is the way it is, why you must get twelve months paid up front. You can't accept payment terms, you can't pay monthly, and I'm sorry about that, but that's what's good for the company. And so that's a really critical challenge as you grow and as you evolve in your in your leadership career, and I would encourage you to really embrace that idea that as you grow higher, it's not just about being right, it's about your ability to interact and influence your peers. So that is my thought for the day for Sam's corner. Now to check out show notes, see upcoming guests and play more episodes from our incredible lineup of sales leaders, go to sales hackercom and head to the PODCAST TAB. Hopefully, at this point you've either nominated somebody for the sales hacker top fifty awards or you are going to unleash. Remember that the code for Unleash's Shpod, and you can do that at unleash dot outreach Dooh, if you want to get in touch with me, you know how to do that. But if you don't find me on twitter at Sam F Jacobs, although I've been a little dormant on twitter recently because it was pissing me off every time I logged on. People are so angry on twitter, so maybe better to find me on Linkedin. Linkedincom, slash the word in and then Sam f Jacobs. We would love to hear from you. We do love to hear from you. We love the feedback. And then, finally, thanks again to our sponsors for this episode, Chorus, the leading conversation intelligence platform, and outreach, the leading sales engagement platform, and I will see you next time.

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