The Sales Hacker Podcast
The Sales Hacker Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

59. How to Focus on the “How” vs. “Why” of Your Product with Scott Armour

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This week on the Sales Hacker podcast, we speak with Scott Armour. Scott is the Chief Revenue Officer at Nextiva. After 16 years at IBM, Scott has learned a thing or two about assessing marketing strategy and how to assess how effective your product is. Listen in to today’s episode for bite-size takeaways that you can implement with your business!

One, two, one, three, three, they everybody. It's Sam Jacobs. Welcome to the Sales Haacker podcast. We've got another great show this week. We've got Scott Armor, who just joined the company next Eva as chief revenue officer. Scott has a multi decade career specializing in building and scaling sales organizations. He spent a lot of time as svp AD Oracle digital and he also spent a very long time and IBM, and he's just great at building big companies. So it's going to be a great conversation. We're going to talk about what's the difference between being a seller and an order taker, how do you focus on the right activities in order to build pipeline, why pipeline generation is so important and focusing on the how versus the what. So it's a great conversation. Now, before we get into the conversation, we want to thank our sponsors. We've got to this week we've got Conga. CONGA is the leading end to end digital document transformation suite. With Conga you can simplify documents, automate contracts and execute e signature so you can focus on accelerating sales cycles and closing business faster. Our second sponsors outreach, the leading sales engagement platform. Outreach supports sales reps by enabling them to humanize their communications at scale, from automating the soul sucking manual work that eats upselling time to providing action oriented tips on what communications are working best. Outreach has your back. We're also brought to you by the ambulances and sirens that you might have just heard in the background where recording this in lovely New York City. So, without further ado, let's listen to Scott Armor from next EVA, and thanks for listening. Hey, everybody, it's Sam Jacobs. Welcome back to the salesacker podcast. Were incredibly excited today to have Scott Armor on the show. So Scott is the chief revenue officer at next EVA. He just joined in two thousand and eighteen and he's responsible for Nexttiva's global growth strategy. He comes to next EVA with a multi decade career specialized in in building and scaling sales orgs. Most recently he was stp for Oracle digital and then before that he had experience at IBM and then several other early stage technology companies. He is an avid hiker he's got a wonderful family and he's got a bachelor's degree in maths. Maddox from UCI's also a firm believer in lifelong learning. So, Scott, welcome to the SALESACER podcast. Well, Sam, thank you for having me. Glad to be here. We are excited to have you. So the way that we always start is that we want to we want to understand your baseball card, which means we want to understand what you're doing at next Eva and who you are so we can contextualize your expertise and your insight. So first of all, first of all, did I pronounce the name of the company the right way? Yes, it's next teava. Wonderful. What does next TVA DO? So next EVA is in the business communications space. So in essence, we're taking traditional communications up into the cloud, so things like your voice, voice over, IP, Call Center, advanced contact center, all those types of services, delivering those through the cloud to businesses. Wow, okay, who are we talking from? Are you in Las Vegas Right now? I am not in Las Vegas. Are Our headquarters and next to the headquarters is in Scottsdale, Arizona. We're okay, got it. The largest software company in the Phoenix area. So, Oh wow, we are speaking from my office and they are are sculpt I don't know where I got Las Vegas from them. And yet I actually live in southern Utah Okay. It's called St George and nobody typically knows where that is. So on Linkedin. I'll list the Las Vegas area. That's the closest major city, but it's basically right near Zion National Park. If you've heard of that. That's my bed. Course I have. Oh Wow, this is an unrelated personal tangent, but I spent some time in Moab at arches a year ago on a solo running quest. That was through the desert. But Anyway, so I love you talk. Next EVA largest. It's software company...

...in Scottsdale in the Phoenix area, or one of them. Over a hundred million dollars in revenue. Is that right? That is correct. Yes, and we're a subscription based business. So that's a very healthy revenustry. That is a very healthy revenustry and that's fantastic. Now, how many people tell us about the size of the company, but specifically the size of your organization. And so we have over a thousand employees the company is ten years old. It's privately held, founder based. Most of the employees sit in the Scottstale facility, although we have large facilities in the Ukraine. And of those thousand employees, about three hundred of those employees Sam are and what we would consider the revenue producing parts of the organization. They're either going to be inside selling, outside selling client success, which is a growth engine for us in a subscription business. And then we have a very robust partner ecosystem and very talented channel managers out working with those folks. Wow, okay. So and you just join? Well, you joined. When did you join? NEXT EVA? So January. Second so I'm in about just past day one hundred. Oh Wow, okay, damn, this is brand new. How's it going? It's going great. It's is we'll talk about my baseball card. I built my career around what you would probably consider more e ticket rides. You know, there's people who like to go to, you know, Fantasyland, and I'm more of a Tomorrowland Guy, and so I love the e tickets and that's what this is. I mean it's it's we're never bored. There's a lot going on. We're changing quickly, growing quickly. It's a great segment. So I've loved the first hundred days. I've never heard this metaphor before. Tell me what you mean by you like the EA tickets. So you mentioned that I have a decades long career. That's kind way of saying I'm old. So yeah, back in the olden days when you when you went to Disney land, and so thank you for letting me see the metaphor. Generations who wouldn't even understand it. So back when I was a kid, when you went to Disneyland, you got little ticket books and they had eight tickets and beat tickets and you know, the a ticket was like, you know, you go on the merry ground. The e ticket is what would take you on to like Space Mountain, and so that, yeah, that analysis lost fun on most generation. So so, yeah, I like excitement. I like change, you know, I like fixing things, building things. There are lots of really exciting kind of sales jobs or sales leadership jobs that are more cog in the machine. You know, it's you know, just keep it running, it's already a well tuned engine. Or can you squeeze another two points out of this thing? I kind of get bored with that pretty quickly. So I've built my career on, you know, rapid growth, you know building out new business models and new routes to market, and so that's kind of what I mean by that eat ticket ride. I like the excitement and Nex Steve is in a great space. The business communication space is growing about twenty two percent per year. It has been for five years and is projected to for another five. Sad as, it's a great segment. That means if your business is growing twenty some percent, you're simply treading water. So we aspire to growing forty, fifty percent, to two times the market at least to accomplish our potential in our goals. Well, that sounds I get the e ticket now and I'm going to. I'll use it in the future and and I appreciate it. And Seniors home. They'll built like that. You're not that old. I know it's space mountain is at least. So how'd you get into sales light when let's let's let's go through you know your background quickly. Where you from, like where to grow up, because so it's a great question. So my father worked for a company called IBM, which sure of them back in the day. Yeah, okay, so back in the day was the premier it sales organization. So we moved around quite a bit. I was born in upstate New York, so I was a, you know, IBM baby, but really...

...moved coast coast several times. IBM stood for I've been moved back then. And so, to be candid, as I came out of college, I did not spend a tremendous amount of time, you know, thinking about what I was going to do when I grew up. I did end up with a math degree, which was an interesting degree to go get, but then when you graduate you realize there's not a heck of a lot in the world you do with a math degree. So except maybe teach or go to Grad School. Neither of those was interesting to me. You could always become an actuary at an insurance company. Yes, probably also not that e ticket experience I was looking so I wanted to sales. My father had been in sales. You know, it was I learned a lot from him, clearly one of my mentors in terms of the approach I take to selling, and so saw him enjoy seeing what he did and thought I would enjoy that as well. So I started with IBM in Santa Barbara, California, many moons ago and have just built a great career on selling and kind of it's interesting because I speak to a lot of audiences and you know, not everyone's in sales. But if you think about sales skills, having those sales skills, because no matter what your your role is, you're really always selling something in you know, you're selling yourself, you're selling your ideas. So developing a good set of sales skills I think is beneficial to anyone, no matter what their their role is or what their aspirations are. Absolutely agree. What were you selling at IBM? Or I mean I'm sure you're selling everything, but we saw in consulting. Were you selling absolute machines on ten? I was, you know, I sold the the big stuff, the old you know, water cooled, and in Santa Barbara You can imagine that that was not a huge market for that. So you got pretty good, I'd selling those types of things. But what was nice about IBM a great training program when I joined IBM I spent eighteen months really in training. got a very strong technical base with really eighteen months in training before that. Actually, let me go talk to real customers and at the time I was chomping at the bed but in hindsight you realize it was a great foundation. Then the breadth of IBM, I started selling hardware, that I moved into selling services, that I'm was just selling software and I was able to develop a breadth in my portfolio, all staying in the same company and again moved around a little bit. That was IBM's way, but just a great foundation, a great experience and that I appreciate more and more as I build my career. Absolutely, and I think get to your point. That's the the benefit of an IBM or an Oracle is is the investment that they make in training. You come out of there and you know, at least you know what the conventional wisdom is on enterprise sales and on selling strategy. You get the fundamentals. Yeah, and so then after IBM, is that, what did you go to Oracle in my diamond also, this is the the interesting career. So toward the end of my cared ib am, I was there sixteen year Sam and IBM made the mistake of giving me the opportunity to build a new business, and so I was, you know, I moved up the headquarters and made my career track up there. was kind of on the Lule, you know, the executive resources group, where they where they put the hypos and they let me build a business out, and it was a business to kind of sell IBM software, which was really plumbing at the time, out to the application providers. So if you think about a customers, they want to buy houses. IBM had plumbing. If you want to sell your plumbing, you got to get it into the houses that the customers are buying. And so we built a global business to go do that and it was the hardest I had ever worked in sixteen years, but it was the most satisfying thing I'd ever done at IBM. And it was a global business. We couldn't use any of IBM's tooling or infrastructure. Way To build everything out our cells and I did that. It was the first job to be candid sit IBM that I didn't want to know, I wanted to stay. You know, normally I'd get in a job and within twelve, eighteen months I've mastered this and ready...

...for the next challenge. I love that job and you know, being on the R IBM came and said okay, it's time for you to go do this and go do that. You know, after that I went and a rent sales ops for, you know, the the software group in North America. I was a sales BP, but I just never really got back into it at IBM because it was so exciting to be part of that built. So I left IBM after sixteen years and I spent the next twelve years doing really early stage companies, a round B round y'all. A lot of companies, startups that had blown through their initial around to funding and the investors were not going to put more money into the company unless some adult supervision was brought in and I was usually that adult supervision and we had some some great experiences, couple successful accits and just love doing that. Did that for about, like I say, twelve to fifteen years, about four, five, six companies. And then one of the folks that actually worked for me at IBM, no, I have tremendous respect for gentleman, and then urged Drafo, he landed at Oracle, gave me a call said Hey, I want you to come and kind of do what you did at IBM, which is build businesses inside of Oracle. So I took the bait and went and that's where I spent the four years at Oracle. Great experience. Built out the Global Java business, did lot with Oracle digital, which is really Oracle's transformation from traditional outside selling to inside selling. gave me a lot of exposure and opportunity to work with mark heard, where I learned a tremendous amount, and so that what takes us to. Well, I then left to Oracle after for wonderful years and took a sabbatical hike the entire Appalachian trail with my son. Great Experience, probably a lot better than anything don't work. And then, after finishing that, Thomas had called me and gave me this opportunity and that that that leads us to the hundred days. Well, that an amazing story. Thank you for for sharing it with us. We've got some questions that I probably didn't write down on our little one pages that we prepared the Big One, as you've been doing this a really long time. First of all, I have sort of two themes. One of the themes is what's changed, but the first, that's the second thing. The first theme is what are your key tenants. You know, what are your principles? You mentioned that after building, you know, you built businesses inside IBM an Oracle, you're now building and running a different business. You were part of a bunch of different sort of turnaround stories essentially over the course of the last, you know, sixteen years. So what are your tenants? What are your first principles when it comes in and you're assessing a situation to figure out where you need to apply your emphasis? Yeah, so what I've learned is your focus on the how more than the what. And let me explain kind of what that means. Early in my career, you'll go in and as a sales leader or is a salesperson. You know, you grow up, you've got a target on you, you know everyone's got a quota, and so you kind of get into the model of, you know, really focusing on got to make the number. I got to make the number, and that becomes kind of the most important thing. And what I learned from, to be candid, some some early failure is if all you do is immediately go in and focus on the what of making the number and you don't think about the how you're going to make the number. What you end up with is tactical success but not sustained success. And if you think about, you know, the way stocks and companies are valued, those who have a very predictable, consistent success are going to be valued, you know, over those that spike and valley. If you think about your quality of life in a sales role, whether you're an individual contributor or manager or a leader, your quality of life is much better when you have predictable, sustained, consistent success versus, you know, you have a great year and then you have a credit year and then, because every one of those valleys is very stressful, and so I learned early on to assess, you know, look at the how we're going to be and, even though it might take a little more time to get to that what goal, if you do it in a way, when...

...you build for sustained success, it always ends up better in the end. So, Scott, you've talked about, you know, the how, not the what, and to tell me, when you're thinking about specific examples of what you mean when you talk about the how, not to what, walk us through what you mean. Yeah, so a couple of examples I would give from my experience. You know, one is just as a seller, and I learned this the hard way early in my career and you see it in in new sellers. It's kind of the bright and Shiny Object Syndrome where you get the the big deal and you get so focused on getting that deal closed that you don't put effort into prospecting and building the pipe. And so typically what you get in is that Spike and valley type of performance where you get a big deal and then you focus on closing it and then when it closes you may have a good week, good month, good quarter, but then the next week, month or quarter, you know I have anything to sell. And so is sellers mature. What you're going to see is they typically learn that lesson and they focus on developing pipe even while they're closing deals. Another good example, and we we suffer from that a little bit here today at next it is you get that great white whale. Right there's this the huge deal out there that everyone gets excited about. And what you need to make sure as you're looking at your Portfolo of opportunities, and whether you're an individual rep manager or leading an entire sales organization, you got to make sure you've got healthy portfolio. So that great white whale, when your team brings it in, is getting you into accelerators or well over your goals? It's not. You know, you're not depending on that one deal to get to go. So those are just some examples, you know, from kind of early selling in terms of the how versus the what. I think you can also come back to how you interact with customers. Say, and I think sometimes it's tempting, I'll say, to just kind of go do what the customer wants. You know, here's what the customer asks you to do, when, if you're really doing the job right, focusing on the how, not the what? And why is that tempting? Because it's easy to get in a word of that way. Here's what the customer said, here's the price they need. I'm going to go back to my company and I'm just going to tell my company here's what we need to do and here's the price and I'm going to get that order. And that it feels easy and you think, okay, that's a great way to make my number because it's easy. But if you focus on the how for sustain success, what you really want to be doing is you're out listening to that customer, trying to understand how your products, your solutions are going to really add value. Now that takes a little more time on the front end. But what you find is when you invest that time on the front end and you focus on the how, not just the what, the stickiness of your sale is much higher. You're going to get a lot more to value, a higher price point. So you don't need to sell as many transactions because you're getting more for me each transaction you sell and you're going to have a great customer experience, which then leads to customer references, referral sales and lots of other an slurry benefits. So that those are some examples of just focusing on the how versus just the what. What very tactical. The how is more strategic and position yourself for sustained success. So when you when you think about the example that you just provided, what part of what you're saying if I'm hearing it correctly, but you can correct me. As the customer says, these are the features that I need, these are the criteria. Maybe the product doesn't quite have them. The REP goes back to the engineering team or two sales engineer or somebody and says build these things and we can deliver that to the customer, or makes a promise of the customer that we will build those things, when in fact what we really should be doing is saying, why are you asking for those features? Why are you asking for that? You know what is the core problem that you're trying to solve and let's figure out if our solution can help you there. Is that accurate or am I massage? I think, Sam, that's fought on. In fact, one of our sales trainers, you're a great guy, by the name of Derek Goins, has a story where the guy goes to buy a drill and you can go in...

...and guy sells them a drill. That's kind of you know, I'll take the order. Here's what you asked for. The real seller is going to say, why are you looking for a drill? Well, I need to drill a whole. Well, why do you need to drill a whole? Well, I need to mount a light. Why do you need to mount the light? While I know I'd you got to drill the hole to putting the plug to put in the light, when so, what the guy really needs is a light doesn't really need a drill. But if you don't take the time to ask the questions and discover the real need and all you do is kind of fulfill their initial request, you haven't really add a lot of value to the process. So, in fairness, yeah, it's a little extra effort to ask those questions, but it yields much better results and much more sustained results. So when you're coming in to an organization and you're and you're trying to figure out is there the Howur, is there the what? Let's say that they're too focused on then the existing pipeline and not focused enough on pipeline generation or creation. Are you putting in a series of, you know, new strategies, new teams? How are you think, maybe thinking about what you're doing in the first hundred days for next Tiva? How are you approaching that pipeline generation capability and developing it? So that's a great question and so we're going to we're doing the couple things and this is not unique to Nextiv. I think this is a way you probably engaged almost any new situation. So first you get to look at where the gaps are. So what's current state? What's what's the the ASPIRATIONAL STATE? What are the gaps, and then how do you best go in address those gaps? And one thing you can look at is you don't care. What are my skill sets? What's my organization? What's my go to market model? And so ofttimes what you find, especially in earlier stage companies, if you think about companies and transition when you're a small company, one of the things I love about small companies is you get to wear a lot of hats. Why? Well, because you know, when you're in an oracle and an IBM there's a hundred thousand people. Every job is a very clearly defined when you're in a startup and there's, you know, twenty or fifty people, you know if something he's done, you just go do it. But as you grow up, if you look at nextiva growing from like two hundredmployees to over a thousand employees in just a few years, when you have a thousand employees, you've earned the right to have more specialized roles. But a lot of the tradition would be now I wear multiple hats, and so one of the things we're looking at is cannel. We or should we have more specialized roles, because when I ask somebody to recruit or prospect for new business and then develop that business and then close that business and then manage the customer aft, if you have one person trying to do all of those things, what's going to happen is either a they're going to focus on the one they're most comfortable with or they're going to potentially focus on the one where they're having the most success. And what we're looking at is, how do we potentially specialize some of these roles so that we can faster on boarding of new employees? You get more focused results and the overall company ends up accomplishing a better and healthier on the how healthier set of outcomes. And I guess in some sense, if you've gotten to over a hundred million. Did I skipped over this by accident of it. Founder Finance. That means you haven't raised outside funding. Is that it is correct? Yeah, so again our daughter, I'm amazing Thomas Gornie, and he again has has been very successful. He has built and sold several businesses and based on that success, was able to basically kind of bootstrap they this business on his own. And so, yeah, the return on capital for a Nextiva is phenomenal and it's a beautiful situation because of work for a lot of early stage companies and it's great to go out and get the the VC money or the PE money. But again, those those those functions typically then put a very tactical kind of exit focused set of decisionmaking, you know, on to the executive team. Where is here? Thomas is looking at this again very much on the house, very much on a long term play, and he doesn't have those pressures because he hasn't had to raise any...

...outside funds today. That's amazing. So I mean to your point lack of specialization, but you're still at north of a hundred million. That must to you sign a fact tremendous opportunity. Again, I one of the things that excites me a hundred days in is when when I look at how big this company has grown, it's a it's a tribute to the culture and the people that have worked so hard to get us here and it also speaks to, you know, the upside potential that exists as we take that culture in that energy and begin to introduce some process Sam one of the things when I have a career where I've been in the smallest is small and the biggest of big, and you realize that there are things that you need to do well to kind of get from zero to a hundred million, and then there are different things you need to do to get from a hundred million to kind of the billions, and then there's a third set of things you need to do, you know, when you want to go billions and above. And so next team is at a very exciting inflection point where we're kind of, you know, moving from those things that got us from zero a hundred million and now we're introduced seeing the process and the skill sets and the approach that's going to get us from a hundred million to a billion. That's again, if you've gotten all the way to a hundred million and you feel like you still haven't put process or specialization and then you've got a good thing going there when you think about the difference. So one of the you know, a lot of the listeners out there, they are at different stages of their career, but they want to get to where you are, which is the chief revenue officer. And there's a lot of questions these days about the difference between a VP of sales and svp of sales and a SCRO. When you think about those differences, what do you think is the key difference between being the VP and the skills that they need, he or she needs, and the skills that she needs as a Cro? So that's a great question and I would imagine things the most important person's perspective on that is is your C or your founder, because I'm not sure everyone will look at it the same way, but based on my experience, the difference is really the level of business acumen that you bring. So if you think about as a salesperson, you know it's really all about making the number and then as a sales manager it's, you know, manager team. VP of sales is still very focused, I believe, on making numbers and probably less concerned with the long term growth strategy of a company. To me, why? Why was the role of Cerro created? And that's because we need to get somebody who is very familiar with sales, knows how to lead and or manage that those parts of the organization that can also sit at the executive table with a overall business perspective and managing sales within the confines of a longer term business strategy or business plan as opposed to being focused on that annual number or earnings. That makes a lot of sense. Are there things that you've done, our experiences you've had that have helped you develop that business document or whereas it just you've done it a long time and you've seen a lot of different, you know, types of situations in types of businesses. Yes, so I will come back to two things on that one ISS not that I'm a big advocate for a company hopping, but I have had an opportunity, through the breadth of businesses I've worked in, to really get kind of broad experience in that I think has been helpful. I also, I'll come back Sam to that, kind of how versus what. That was a math majors, as we talked about earlier, and so I know there's a lot of people who are really good at selling through relationship in really of you think about the old world, that was a lot of how selling got done and that was never me, you know. So I was a math major, so I was all about problem solving and so if...

...you look at my sales career and some of my biggest best sales, it wasn't necessarily because the people I was selling to like me, or I took them golfing or out to dinner. I put a compelling business case behind the proposal I was I was selling to the point where you just couldn't deny the fact that this is something they needed to do, and I think that approach, you know, kind of forced my selling to get more on business and less around, you know, just making numbers. And you could say maybe that was happenstance, but that's just the skill set that I was blessed with and so I had to play the hand I was dealt. But I in hindsight, I do think the taking that approach caused me to be a little different in my selling, in my sales leadership, which has helped me to elevate my career because, again, CEOS boards, they're not just looking for pure sellers in these senior leadership roles. They're looking for business people who understand the revenue side of the business. That makes a lot of sense when you think of you been doing this, as you mentioned, you know, sixteen years at IBM and then, I think you said, twelve years at various early stage companies and then four years at Oracle. What's changed? Since you started in, you know, as a covering Santa Barbara, and now now you're running a you know, a big company, a cro and you've seen different things come in and out of fashion when it comes to sales and go to market strategy. What do you think the key things that have changed or are evolved have been over the last couple of decades? That's great question, so I'll take it from two sides. On the selling side, I don't think a lot is changed in terms of the things you need to do to be a successful or an effective salesperson haven't really changed. I mean, I trained at IBM thirty five years ago with, you know, Tom Bosworth solution selling. Since then they're probably been fifteen, twenty different sales methodologies that have cycled through, but when you peel back the onion it's really just the same fundamental sales model with new taxonomy, new language so that somebody can market it and sell it for more money. So I don't think the art of selling has changed dramatically and to me, if you're really good at selling one thing, you could probably be good at selling another, because there's a natabilities around sales. What has changed dramatically is the role of the consumer. When I started selling, the only real avenue for information was salespeople, and so if you think about, you know, the sales process, it was pretty heavy. You know, you be out, you meet with the customer, you put them down on the couch, should do your long discovery and because really the customer had to invest in that extensive selling cycle because it was the only way they could get good information to make an informed decision. So what's changed dramatically with the advent of the Internet and social media is now most buyers will get sixty to seventy percent of the way through their buying process before they ever bother engaging a salesperson. And so that fundamentally change. Is What a company needs to do, and not so much the seller because again, now, if you look, you know used to be a little bit of marketing, a whole lot of sales. Marketing now becomes a much more critical role because we need to make sure that we're properly influencing the thinking of that prospect during that sixty seventy percent of the buying cycle or they're not engaging with our selling people. Now, a sales people, you need to understand you're engaging later in that sales process, and that, to me, is what's fundamentally changed. And you're seeing that with companies like, you know, Oracle and others, who are shifting away from the more traditional outbound selling model, which is, you know, very slow and expensive, and moving more toward, you know, inbound selling models, which are a lot more flexible and economic and...

...better at tune to the new buying habits. How do you evolve as a leader, given that these things are changing? Are you what are you doing for yourself to make sure that you are on top of new advancements in technology, moving from an outbound to an inbound model? How do you how do you make sure you stay crisp? So one of the things you need to do is you probably need to abandon some of the stereotypes that we all grew up with and I think if you're not willing to do that, then you kind of trap yourself as the world evolve walls around you. Know, a great example when I was, you know, early in my career, if you'd have said, Hey, do you want to go join an inside sales group? You want to lead an Inso, you would have thought absolutely not, because the perception is. That's a very different role. I it's somewhere lower on the status ladder or something. I think today the fact that I invested and took some risk in doing some of these inside sales transformation things at Oracle, which, again, with my peer group, I think many of them would have said that is not where you want to go, that is not what you want to do. I think that there's a lot more value on my resume in the market place, given where the markets going, then had I just, you know, stubbornly stuck with a traditional outbound selling path. Are you reading constantly how to hot what prompted you to take that on? Is it just that you just stay invested in what's happening in the ecosystem? You're reading, you're listening to podcast you're reading blogs, or do you have coaches or mentors? How do you make sure that you make that decision correctly? So I do a lot of reading. You mentioned earlier. I love lifeline learning and most of what I do is, since we mentioned e ticket rides. So I'm I'm more of the reader. Got Plant time on the plane. So that's how so we do some reading. I also you you to keep your kind of hand on the pulse of the market. But to be candid, you know, if I was really so smart and knowing every you know what, what's really got to happen, you know, I'd probably be working for, you know, some DC firm on the street and be very, very wealthy. So at some point you do just need to take some risks. And if I look at my career, Sam, I could show you risks that, in hindsight, were a mistake and then I could show you some risks that paid out very handsomely, both, you know, either economically or from a career development and value perspective. So I think at some point you just you want to make informed risks. So you do want to do your reading, you want to talk to the community, but you just got to be able to take risks. I firmly believe that, yeah, makes a lot of sense. Scott, we're coming to the end of our time together and what we we like to do towards the end of these conversations is see if we can pay it forward to the point of, you know, being a lifelong learner. There's probably people that have influenced you, books that have had a particular impact. When you think about either people that we should know about books, we should be reading book POPs to your mind. So again I'm going to come off as a little old school Sam but you'll have to abolisize. Sure all we read. We are inclusive here on the Celtacker podcast, Scott, and we don't discriminate based on age or any other demographic criteria. So we just want your best ideas fit right in. So from a favorite book, I'm going to give you two, and one that's going to come off as really clunky and then one that I think is very powerful. But they're all both older books and the good news is you'll be able to get them for a very low price from from your ebook retailer. So what is called the greatest salesman in the world by Augment Dino, and that book just kind of talks about eight habits that very effective sales people are going to have, and I think the power of the book is probably more about habits and how you, as an individual can change your habits to drive better outcomes. I think that principle is probably more valuable than the eight things were suggested habits he puts in the book. The second one is...

...a book called elements is styled by drunken white, which most people have never heard of, and the reason I would suggest that book is, if you look today, with so much verbal communication and you know, there's so much with thumbs on the phone, a lost art form is, you know, effective business communication, and I see that with a lot of the folks that I lead manage. It's it's powerful, though, and still necessary. And strunken white is great because it's just a very quick little primer on how to tighten up your communication and I think communication skills as a seller and as a leader or critical. So those are the two books I put out. there. Both old school, but you know again, the classics never, never lose value. Elements of style is a classic and I love that you suggested it because most you're the first person that's mentioned, the first sales leader I've met that's mentioned, not just being a good writer, but that I mean it is a formative text and most journalism classes is reading that book and understanding how you're supposed to put a sentence together. So Kudos to you, Scott. Last question. What's the biggest thing you learned hike in the Appalachian Trail and, by the way, it was just you and your son the entire time. What did you guys do to make sure you didnt kill each other? So there I'll give you two lessons from the trail. And it was. It was a great experience and so if anybody has the means and even an inkling of the desire, I would highly recommend it. So two things I learned. One is my son is amazing and very even keeled. So, as you can imagine, on the trail you've got super highs and you've got days where it's just like windy and cold and it just they suck, and I tended to really celebrate the highs and really get kind of grouchy on the lows and and my son was amazingly even killed through those all those experiences, and it was a great lesson to me. I mean there's a lot of good business lessons. I actually post in an article on the good business lessons from that trip, but the one that was probably most powerful and that I've learned even late in life, is I've come away from that experience being a lot more even killed than I was. I learned that from my son. The other thing I would I would suggest is it just shows to me the power of goal setting. I set the goal to through hike the APPEALACHIAN trail when I was twelve. I finally did it when I was fifty five, but he's awesome setting that early goal. That provided the motivation and ultimately happened. So just for the listeners out there, so it's twenty two hundred miles. Is that right? Yes, twenty two hundred miles. And the part most people don't know five hundred Ninezero feet of elevation game. So hiking that trails like climbing Mount Everest about nineteen times five hundred and nine thousand Jesus Christ. Okay, and it's does it's start in Maine and and where it starts and macaton Maine and ends and Springer Mountain and right by Atlanta down there in Georgia. Wow, that sounds like a that sounds like something worth doing. Scott, if people are listening, first of all, I would assume, given you just talked about how you guys are specializing, you all are specializing at next EVA. I would assume you're hiring accurate. We are hiring aggressively. In fact, about half my day is interviewing good talent. So if I'm a listener, I'm a person that feels appropriate for one of the roles that are posted. Is it okay if they reach out to you, or even just maybe for advice? Are you open to that and, if so, is there a preferred communication channel for outreach from the PODCAST listening community? Yes, I would be fine with that. Again, we have that all upon our website and I'm also on the website, so I think that would probably be the best way to move through that. I could provide an email, but, to be candid, there's quite a volume of that, so I think through the website may be the best way to go. Are you responsive to Linkedin? Are you know thinks people responsive to Linkedin? Okay,...

...the great my favorite tools. Awesome. All right. So it's Scott Armor, a RMO. You are cro of next EVA if you want to reach out to him on like den Scott, thanks so much for being on the sales hacker podcast. It was a pleasure. Sam. Thank you. Everybody's Sam Jacobs. This is SAM's corner. Great Conversation with Scott Armor. I really liked them. Was Glad to be introduced to him through Guy Tano, who used to run marketing for sales. Hacker and Scott had just a plethora of really interesting and useful insights. Some of these are common themes and so it's I think it's just important to to remember them. The big one is sellers versus order takers. And what's the difference between somebody that can just take an order, which is the customer tells you what they want and you go out and get it, versus a true salesperson, particularly at the enterprise level, a lot of what you need to do is very similar to the work their product manager needs to do, which is the customer says this is what I need and instead of saying yes, I'll go do it, you say why, why do you need that? Let's talk about the actual problem you're trying to solve and figure out if our product can be helpful in the course of that. Many, many times you'll get hung up, especially again in the enterprise world, on specific features. The buyer will say we need these features, and if you just go back to the engineering team and say we have to build these features, you're doing a great disservice to the organization. What you really need to do is you need to have a deeper conversation, a deeper discovery conversation, because a lot of the times buyers will say they need certain features and then when you have a conversation with them about how you accomplish that same objective without whatever the feature may be, you actually end up in a fine place. So do not just be an order taker, do not just be the representative of the buyer back to your organization, but be the representative of your organization back to the buyer and use really, really good discovery and really good, thoughtful probing questions to really understand the context for the buyer. And I think that's something to to always remember. So this has been Sam's corner. Of course we want to thank our sponsors. It was first Conga. So Conga is the leading end to end digital document transformation suite. With Congo you can simplify documents. For being honest, I don't know what it means to simplify a document. Maybe that means like fewer words or something, but I understand what automate contracts and execute a signature means, so that seems very clear. We'll figure out what the document simplification process looks like at some point in the future. Nevertheless, our second sponsor that we're thinking before we close out the show is outreach. outreaches the leading sales engagement platform. If you want to reach out to me with feedback or you have a specific point of view and what document simplification looks like, you can reach me at Linkedincom. Forward the word in and then forward. Sam F Jacobs, this has been the salesacker podcast. I'll talk to you on Friday and thanks for listening.

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