The Sales Hacker Podcast
The Sales Hacker Podcast

Episode · 4 years ago

6. The Secret to Incredible Sales Management and Coaching Culture w/ Marc Jacobs

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

On this episode of the Sales Hacker podcast, we talk with Marc Jacobs, SVP of Sales and Customer Success at CB Insights about the secret to incredible sales management and building a coaching culture.

One, two, one, three, three, quote. Hi everyone and welcome to the Sales Hacker podcast on your host Sam Jacobs, founder the New York revenue collective. Before we start, a quick thank you to this month's sales hacker podcast sponsor node. Nodes Ai Discovery Platform, can understand the meaning, context and connection between any person or company by proactively surfacing opportunities that are highly relevant and personalized in real time. Note is creating an entirely New Paradigm for sales and marketing professionals to grow pipeline and accelerate revenue velocity. Visit Info dotnode DOT ioh forward sales hacker to learn more. And now on with the show. Everybody. It's Sam Jacobs with a sales hacker podcast. I've got Mark Jacobs here with me, sep of sales success from CD insights. We're so excited to have you. Welcome mark. Thanks Sam. I'm happy to be here. Appreciate you having me. You are one of the best sales leaders in New York City. You built a great business from greenhouse. What we want to first do, though, is just get a little bit of your baseball card stats. So give us your title really quickly. I am the SVP of sales and customer success at CEB insites. Awesome. And so tell us a little bit about what Ceb insites does. Yeah, so CEEB insights. We have a platform. We we aggregate lots of data on DC patents, media tention, that sort of thank for machine learning and with the analyst that we have on the team, we try to predict to our technologies going. We deliver that to our mostly very large customers in a platform and they use the platform to try to make strategic decisions either in their innovation teams or strategy teams. That's those sort of roles to make sure that they're not the next blockbuster, the next blockbuster being the company that is that becomes obsolete through an obsolete business model. It's not the business model, it's just not understanding that distruction was was coming to them and they they didn't see it coming and they paid for that. Okay, seeb in sites, what's the revenue range of the company? We're somewhere in the thirty to fifty million dollar range. Perfect. And then you're running sales and success. I am so tell us how big is your organization? So we have the company itself. We're we're closing in on almost two hundred people. The organization, the sales and Customer Success Organization, were at around seventy five people, growing responsibly, but but rapidly as well. And you guys, if I'm not mistaken, and you've said this here at the conference that we're at, you guys have doubled each of the last three years. Is that accurate? Yes, I got to see B insights only a little bit under a year and a half ago. The company was doubling at that time and we doubled in two thousand and seventeen as well. Congratulations. So one of the questions I ask is what is the amount of capital raised for the company that the sales leaders that I interview are working at? You've got an interesting answer to that question. Yeah, you know, I've been on both sides of the companies that raise a lot and don't raise a lot. What was really interesting to me about CB in sights and what I've found to be extremely valuable in working at CB in sites is that, prior to me getting there, CB in sight said bootstrapped to sixty six people and then they end up raising ten million dollars and unbelievably haven't even touched any of that. They proved that you don't have to raise venture capital in order to be successful and and so revenue to is the best source of funding for us and it's the cheapest. Obviously it's also the best validator. Our CEO on and always talks about that. As I said, the company has doubled in revenue every year and that's without using any any funding. So that's amazing. We're going to come back to that. Breaking Down Your Organization so we understand it. So you run customer success. You have the traditional framework across the seventy five to eighty people, so you've got SDRs, you've got a count executives. Just walk us through a little bit of the ORC charts so we know the scope of the function that you're responsible for. Absolutely. So I haven't a really good sales ops team, which I thinks through essential to scaling and growing. I have the customer success organization where...

...we have a customer success leader that's on my team with a number of managers and customer success managers under them. I have the account executive team with a couple of sales directors that are managing them, as well as outbound and inbound SDR teams, which has been the biggest growth we've had on the team. So you've been doing this a little while. You've got a large team. You know, I first got to know you when you are building Green House, which is another of the best and fastest growing companies here in the city. But how long have you been doing startups and sort of give us a little bit about your background and your origin story? Sure before even going going back all the way to college at so I graduated from University of Delaware. I didn't really know what I wanted to do. Like a lot of other people like sort of wasn't ready to face reality and I end up going to law school, which I thought was the best way to avoid the real world, and my father seemed to like the career a lot. I wasn't really that into it right from the beginning, but I knew that I would be getting whatever I was doing in law school. I was going to be who would be. I'd be able to leverage that going forward. I graduated, I practiced for a few years. It wasn't something I was passionate about. I moved over to business development. That was something I started right away to feel a lot of passion right in. My first experience in a startup was at a company, a smaller company, a privately held company, that was selling into tax and accounting teams in big corporations. I was an individual contributor over there. Continually got promoted U Till I became vpus sales. That was my first VP of sales role and we got purchased by Thompson Reuters. I was at a few other taigh tech companies before landing at greenhouse, but at greenhouse I I came in, I spent two and a half years over there and we ten xt revenue in those two and a half years. Wow. You know, I'm curious because we've got a lot of folks that are probably in a similar position to where you were at back at the beginning of your career. How did you know? And I think that company, you've mentioned it to me in the past, cross border solutions. Yes, was the company it that sold into tax and accounts and got acquired by Thompson Reuters. How did you know? You said you felt like it was a better fit when you're doing business development there. How did you know? I guess you mean a better fit from practicing law from your personality and you said you landed there and you felt more comfortable and all of a sudden you were high performing individual contributor. So was it just a natural fit? Did they give you training where you identified with some of the concepts? You know? Going back to it, I don't know really what the reason was. I could say that the reason I was comfortable is because I was being successful. I don't know if I was successful because I was comfortable, but when you're in sales and your and you're doing well, then that that makes the job that much better. I don't know that it was training. I don't think I got a tone of training there. It was a lot of real world getting thrown in the fire, doing a lot of things and learning with the company. I was given a lot of autonomy as an individual contributor to try different things and and to negotiate and just it worked out. And you mentioned not a lot of training. One of the things I've heard about you through back channels. I heard it from Dan Brown, who's that we work who's brother, Mike Brown, works under you, who said you know, you spend an hour with him in a pod last year going over discovery process where did your sales training come from, besides just learning on the job? How are there specific methodologies that you use? Are Their specific consultants? How do you think about the act of developing a structured sales process when there isn't one? Yeah, I mean it just comes down to me the the actual structure itself, the process itself, those are all all important, but which one you choose is not really going to decide how successful it is. What's going to decide how successful it is is, first of all, getting by in from the team and, second of all, making sure that there's a process in place, there's a cadence in place so that you can have an actual coaching culture. And in order to do that you have to continually be coaching on whatever it is that you've been teaching. So I was fortunate enough in at greenhouse to have a really good enablement person who is great at helping at training once they got on boarded, but continually trained, and then as managers and and...

...leaders, we would continually work with the people on our team, and same thing at Seb in sights. It's something that that I did bring to the organization was a coaching culture where there is a cadence on from a one on one perspective, from a team perspective, both on an onboarding, both from on boarding and ongoing training. So question for you. I'd love to dig into this a little bit because I think a lot of folks are thinking about, you know, the idea that they love to be great coaches, they'd love to help develop people. They're just not sure to the point of the cadence and and with specifics would be helpful, like sure, what does a coaching Culture Caden CCC? What does that look like? For example, at CB in sites? How many one on ones? Are there evening sessions? Is it all at Hawk and what is the role of the enablement person and facilitating all of that? Right, so it's across the board. Has To be a bought in throughout the organization, so it's not just one person or you know, the enableman person is doing a great job of setting up setting up trainings and making sure that people are getting the right on boarding sessions, those sort of things. But it has to be across the board. So for us at CBING sites, it's not only the manager that's managing the either the SDRs or the account executives it's pod captains, it's The a's coaching the SDRs that they're working with. We have alignment between our a's and our strs. It's across the board. Even this morning I saw, I wasn't in the office today and at rain maker, but I saw that there was a seven, an optional thirty meeting this morning being run by one of our account executives on something that they've been successful with. And then I got a picture sent to me at forty five this morning showing fifteen account executive sitting in that room at thirty and I thought, you know, that shows that that not only do we have the right process, the right people working, but also a motivated sales force. It's brought into wanting to be coached and wanting to be better. That is incredible. I can speak from personal experience that I've had difficulty getting people in at thirty in the morning and a full house at dred and forty five. How do you do that? You know, one of the things that you talk about a lot and panels, and you and I have talked about offline, is motivating a quote unquote millennial sales force. What are your strategies there and how do you approach that the whole millennial thing. Sometimes you hear you know, they get a bad name and a lot of in a lot of circles and they get in my opinion, millennials are are the best generation that we have if you pick the right ones and hire the right one. So when I say that, I mean you do have this perception that sometimes there's entitlement, but I would argue the other way is if you find the right group of millennials and you hire them the right way, they're going to be willing to work and do whatever is necessary to get shit done, particularly if you're willing to give them some goals that they need to reach and some rewards for hitting those goals, not just not just compensation, but actually career ladder stuff, promotion from within, proving that if there is a place for them to progress within their career and you give them what they need to do to get there, they're going to get there if you hire the right ones. So you were one of the first people, you know, a couple years ago that sort of hammered the concept of career ladders for me. But you also mentioned interviewing the right way. Do you have a point of view on the right way to interview and maybe the right questions to ask or the right profile when you're looking to hire the next ae or the next SDR for see the insights. I look at it two ways that there's two main things that I focus on. One is is from a cultural perspective. Everyone talks about culture, but for for what I just said before, with it you have to be able to ask questions of the candidate to see if they are in that group that I mentioned that feels entitled, or are they the type of person that's willing to do whatever is necessary get shit done, to get to the next level and be successful? That's a really hard thing to uncover, but if you have enough people that are speaking to them within the organization that understand our culture generally, we haven't seen where we've gone wrong in that regard. The other part, which I think is an easier way and easier portion of the interview process, is just making sure that you test them in whatever capacity, put them in a similar situation that they're going to be in when they when they start the job, and so,...

...whether it's an str we test our sdrs on basically the things that they have to do to be successful. They're going to do those things in the interview process. They're going to do a phone they're going to call call, they're going to send a personalized email prior to even coming into the interview process. We're going to test them for coachability. It's a basically, you know, giving them feedback on what they've done and see how they handle that. And the same thing for an account executive. You can't, I don't believe that you can hire an account executive effectively without testing them and seeing if they're going to be the right fit, their skill sets going to be right fit for your sale I've seen way too many times where top sales reps at certain companies go to other companies and they just cannot succeed in the same thing. I would say for some sales executives that that aren't in the right fit, they can come to a company and be successful if that's the right company for their for their scoat skill set. Are there any red flags that you have in the interview process? One of mine, I have to so I'll hopefully the witness a little bit. One of them is on a phone screen. If they don't answer professionally, that's a red flag. So I say I call them, they say hello and instead of high this is Sam Jacobs. How are you? And then the second thing is whether they're sending follow up emails. That used to be handwritten, you know, mailed notes through the mail. That's, I think, an unrealistic expectation at this point in life, but I still see a lot of times that people don't even send a follow up email. Any red flags like that for you through the interview process? I will say the second one that you said is it would definitely be a red flag for me if there's no follow up coming back after the interview. You know in sales follow up is crucial and if they're not going to take the time to follow up on the conversation, I'm not sure how we can expect them to follow up with their prospects. Some other ones that are red flags for me are if I hear anything in the interview process where they're not sure that sales is what they want to be in, that they you know, like they maybe they're they're interviewing at the company sales they look at as an entry into the company but you know, they're not sure that that's the career that they want, then that's a red flag for me as well, because it's, you know, sales being an str if you're hind for us, you're a it's a hard job and you have to be motivated and you have to want to succeed as a salesperson. There's nothing wrong with changing your mind a year into it, but if you go into the process not sure if you want to be doing sales, that would be a red flag for me. Yeah, I I totally agree with you. So let's reflect on you know, you've been doing the startup thing for a while and particularly the last two roles you seem to have landed on incredible companies. So what do you think are the biggest lessons learn from, you know, the last fifteen or so years? Obviously you figured out how to hire and you figured out how to motivate people, but what else have you learned? I could list ton of things, but I think what I said before, just if you're going into a start first of all in picking the right start up to go to. There what I've learned is, you know, the founders are essential. You have to be able to not only have smart founders, but you have to build aligne with whatever their vision is, and I had that both from a greenhouse perspective and now from a CB insights perspective. I'm fortunate in both of those companies I was fortunate to have alignment with both with the founders of those companies. What does alignment look like and how do you figure out whether you're aligned with the founder or not? I mean, it depends. For me it was about how they want to grow the company, what they're looking to do, how they would like to hire, what their belief is on the culture of a company and then also, obviously, you know, from a product perspective. You know, we can talk all day about product fit and I'll part of market fit and all that, but for me I'm not even talking about that for now. I'm talking more about just the feeling that you know you're going to be handinhand working with this founder or these founders on a daily basis, trying to go after some some really aggressive goals and making decisions together. And if you're in the interview process and you don't see yourself being able to work daytoday with those people and learn from those people, then then that's going to be a problem for you. So I was fortunate. I learned that that's a really important area. I didn't learn it the hard way like some others have, but I was. I have learned that...

...that I'm fortunate for the choices that were made there. Another thing is just we talked about the monnial sales force and motivating them. I think that's really important. I think from an investing in training perspective, you're not going to be able to scale if you don't invest early. We as and at CB insights, I mentioned before. You know, promotion from within. All of those things we're relying we're doubling down on hiring younger sales are less experienced sales people and expecting really large and big things from them, not only right now but but soon in the future. And so if you're going to do that, you damn well better provide them with really good training, on boarding and constant coaching. If you don't, by the time you realize it, it's going to be too late. One of the things you've been talking about, and I've seen you talking about on social media and you and I were just talking about it, is you feel like you've cracked some kind of code when it comes to the success rate of SDRs. I think a lot of folks advertised, and certainly I've advertised in the past, that you know, we've created the ladders and the career progression and you come in as maybe an inbound SDR and outbound str that's obviously a topic of debate, but you come in as an SDR, you spend some time, maybe you go to str on str tow and ultimately you end up becoming an account executive. I think a lot of people want it to be true that those SDRs ramp more quickly and are more successful. I think the bag is mixed, but then I think it's CV insides. It's unequivocally been successful. What do you attribute that success to? It wasn't intentional, by the way. I mean, you know, I was happy with how you know other places where we've had these career ladders and SDRs becoming account executives and just to become an account executive and to start to succeed in that career. That was that was a good thing from a coaching perspective and feeling good about what you're providing to those younger sales reps. but there is a situation where a lot of times they get, they become account executives and it takes them a long time to ramp up because if they've never been a part of closing business, they probably in a lot of cases of never heard and negotiation. They certainly haven't been part of dealing with procurement teams. So that coaching. There's a lot of things that they need to be taught and so the ramp could take a while. What we found at Seb insights, and again this wasn't intentional. It just happened to work out this way and I'm double and trippling down on it and I would I would recommend anybody to do it this way. We have our account executives work on named the counts and the account executives are aligned with their SDRs. Generally it's two to two. So if an account executive as a hundredcounts, maybe they'll provide thirty five accounts to one str thirty five to another and maybe they'll do prospecting on the other thirty. But what ends up happening is the STR has the opportunity to work with the account executive regularly to map that accounts, to look at who we should be going after and then not only that, but they're involved throughout the process. It's not like they're on every single call that's happening, but they are copied on every email that's happening. They are on important, some of the important calls, whether it be with a procurement or negotiation, but whatever the case may be. It's making sure that they again, just like it with the interview process, for it's making sure that they are put in positions and understanding that what they have to do to be successful by seeing other account executives do it, so that when they step into that role they're not going to have to relearn everything. In our case it's been actually a huge advantage for them because because not only are they able to do those things, but they understand our customers way more than someone that we would bring in from the outside. It takes them a little bit longer to ramp up from that perspective, but they understand our customers, they know how to prospect, they're already have prospecting mindset and so we've had a lot of success with it. We've had, I think the latest is, eight SDRs that were promoted into account executives and every one of them hit their number in two thousand and seventeen. Some of them actually doubled it. So wow. So here's a common objection to that strategy. So, as an aside, I'm a believer in the strategy of pairing SDRs and a's, but when you put it in, you'll get feedback. What if I get a bad it's bidirectional feedback. What if I'm paired with a bad SDR? If I'm an...

SDR and I built a complan that maybe include some element of closed business as the incentive comp what if I'm paired with an AE that can't close the business from move the pipeline along? And how do you address those objections? It's a fair objection, but part of it is I honestly believe, first of all, we're doing two to two or no, you're never going to be relying on just one person. So that takes a little bit of that. That that out of the equation. I am a firm believer, though, especially when it comes to the AE's, that they are directly responsible for the success of the SDRs in many cases. So the a the SDRs that are successful are successful becaust a lot of the a's that they're working with are are working with them to make sure that they're successful. That takes, I believe, that, part of the equation out of it. You're always going to have better SDR is in better account executives, but what I've seen is that if you have them work together and they're both aligned to be successful, it becomes equitable. I haven't had a situation at CB insights where we had the situation that you're talking about where someone's just not getting the right resources necessary or not having the right account executive. We also try to make sure that pair based on one senior person to an a and one not as senior person, and we rotate it based on management sort of deciding how to make it fit best. Got It. That's reassuring. I think a lot of folks are thinking about implementing some of those solutions and want to make sure they do it the right way. When you look at success and failure in your current role, and I know that you've got some interesting ideas about failure, but you know what, do you think the biggest drivers are from success and failure for my role? I'll start by saying, and you say you know, you mentioned failure and it just made me think of I was reading in in our newsletter last week on in our CEO writes our newsletter. He wrote something pretty I thought was pretty powerful, and it was about not fetishizing failure. You know, it's failure is one thing that's somehow has especially with with founders, as opposed to not talking about my role or sales roles, that failure happens with when you're selling. But failure is sometimes romanticized and when it comes to startups, but the reality is it sucks and you know, and as on and said, founders should not be talking about, Oh, I'll just learn something and I'll go on to my next thing. You should not want to fail. If you do, don't celebrate it. And maybe that's harsh and I don't think sales as salespeople, we always learn. I do think there's times where failure is really helpful, especially if you're experimenting, and you know we get our ass is kicked a lot and we do fail. But that question you just said made me think of what I read with on him. But from going back to your question about the biggest drivers between success and failure, for me it goes back to what I said before. Hiring the right people that are were willing to work as hard as necessary to get stuff done. That is a huge equation and how successfull you are, no matter how good you are as a sales leader, if you don't have the right people on your team, your there's no way to succeed. And I think also it's about making the team feel like they're one, that they'll work together they have this and that that goes to the culture I was talking about before. It's wanting to win together. We have a competitive team, but not they don't compete with each other. We set up competitions, they work with each other and they love when each other succeeds, and that part of the culture. I think it's really important to to being successful. And, like I said, we rely on less experienced team. If we don't provide the right resources them, we're not going to be successful. And then just from an accountability perspective, you know you talked about asking about success and failure. I think being accountable, openly accountable and holding your team accountable is the only way to make sure that you're going to be successful. I've seen in many cases, and I've done in him at myself in many cases earlier in my career is if you don't hold people accountable and if you you don't move on from people that are not the right fits or not pulling their weight, that could bring the rest of the team down. And so I think making sure there's Accountabilities and incredibly important thing. And then, I know I'm talking a lot, but I should say also from a CS perspective, as I do,...

...oversee both sales and customer success. It see being sights if we can't get our customers engage in the platform right now. That's what my focus is on, is making sure that our customers are very engaged within the platform and making sure that they understand the value of the platform and we understand how we can help them. Those are things that are the difference between me being successful right now and not successful. And what are you specifically graded on? How are you measured? Always interesting to hear how a senior leader how their success is evaluated in the organization is it? Is it just straight revenue or is it more complicated than that? It's just shifted as as two thousand and seventeen ended and going into two thousand and eighteen. And for me, the the sales leader, CS leader, it should be old on whatever the the goals of the organization are right. So in two thousand and seventeen, my main goals were on revenue and then also net retention, and we were able to crush it from both perspectives. This year our focus is obviously still on revenue, it always will be, but we're spent paying specific attention to gross retention as opposed to net and I'm accountable for making sure that we see those goals, both not only just revenue but also making sure that our grosser retention is in a really good place. When you think about building the plan and you know your goal this you're as you mentioned, is to double again and you've doubled each of the last three years. You know you guys are setting very aggressive goals. How do you pick those goals and how do you work with the CFO to build those goals? You know what's your strategy there? Yeah, so our goal is actually not to double this year. We are still going to grow aggressively, but we're not even trying to double this year. What we're going to try to do is have a seventy five percent growth but then also, as I mentioned, focus a lot on throughout the organization on making sure that our grosser tension is where we want it to be and that that includes from a product perspective and includes from obviously, from a CS perspective. But in any event, the way that I work with the CFO. You know, when you think about the revenue plan, you know, and you actually talked a little bit about it today and your session at rain maker, you know you can't just take a number, throw the number out there and then throw the number of Bodies Times quota and think that you're going to get to there. It doesn't work that way. You have to be able to build the plan both top down and bottom up. You have to be able to make sure that there's enough lead flow to hit those goals and make them realistic. My philosophy with finance has always been sugar goes further than then vinegar. There's always going to be disagreement, but it's how you handle that disagreement. If we are aligned, we both just want the company to succeed and we just got to figure out where there's disagreement. But yeah, I mean it's not in a position to. Basically, if a numbers thrown at me, I'm going to from a competitive standpoint. I'm going to say I'm going to get there and I'll go and do what I have to do to get there, but that's not necessarily the A to me. You need to make sure that that you have the lead flow, the product and the right team to get to the goal. There's obviously something special about Mark Jacobs, besides your humility and the sharing of my last name. Yes, yeah, that's true, you have a very special last name. I didn't prep you for this question, but what do you think your superpower is? What do you think you interact with so many different sales leaders, so even beyond again, you're such a humble person, you're such a caring person, but you obviously think there's something that you're doing that special or different or I think you hopefully have some of that awareness. What do you think it is? What is it the thing that you think you're great at in a unique and differentiated way? I think I'm very good at making sure that I can build the right team and, as I said before, that's the most important thing. If I don't have the right team, it doesn't matter what my superpower is, I'm not going to be able to be successful. But I do think that I'm I have particular strengths and making sure that the culture is strong on that team. What I mean by that is it's mostly around root transparency and and working together and winning together and losing together sometimes, but hopefully not that often. But transparency is a big recipe for me for success. It's about setting the right expectations with a team. People, when they know that you're up front and and transparent, they don't worry about getting blindsided and that's extremely motivating.

And then also bringing people into the decisionmaking processes on big decisions that that are going to be rolled out. I'm not a fan of rolling out decisions and and making the team live with them. So so I want them to be part of the decisionmaking process. It may be that their feedback, you know, gets pushed aside and we still do what we were planning on doing, but there's a big difference for people when they realize that they at least had some say in what happened in the decision, whether whether it went the right way or not, and I think that that comes into what I was trying to get to on where I think my superpower is. It's just understanding how to motivate people. It's understanding, making sure that they know that that you care about their success and getting people to work together to to hit a common goal. I think that's a really, really important point. So we're going to I might come back to that later. We want to do last question before we go into a little bit of a quick fire around. So imagine you're twenty five year old up and coming str or count executive listening to this right now. What advice would you give that person if they say, mark sounds like an amazing person. I want to model my career after Mark Jacobs. I want to be the sales and success leader at these incredible companies. What advice would you give them? Take it one step at a time. Coming in as an str I think it's a great goal to want to be the svp of sales or be the CEO of the company. I do love. I actually read a book that talked about that with bill mcdermot on winner's dreaming. Talks about that and how when he first interviewed at Xerox right out of college, they asked them the question of what he wanted to do next and he said be CEO, and I thought that was that was really cool. But in this regard, what I would say is make a lot of mini goals right and make sure that you're in a place where you know that if you do what you're supposed to do, you can achieve those goals, because not all companies are like that, not all founders, not all cultures at companies allow you to be successful. Make sure you're at the right company where, if you do bust your ass and you work really hard and you see success, that you're going to be able to get to the next level at at least a reasonable time. Don't be entitled, but work and do whatever you need to do to get to the next step and those next steps start adding up really quickly and before you know it, you're you're now you're at the next that dream role that you're trying to get to. I think that's great advice. So let's move to some some more tactical questions. We call this the quick fire around. Who Do you think SDR should report to marketing? Ourselves, I do think it depends on the company, but for me I've always been a believer that the SDR should reporting two sales not for any other reason than just from generally who is on the management team in a sales organization as opposed to a marketing organization, and at least the sales organizations and marketing organizations that I've been a part of, sales is much more geared towards the coaching and managing and motivation of the SDR role. Of course, alignment is with marketing is extremely important and you know if you don't have that alignment then you're not going to be successful. But it would have to be a very marketing leader and marketing management that has sales expertise, in my mind, for them to be able to manage and motivate SDRs well. How does your quota system work to use? Do you believe in monthly quotas, quarterly quotas, annual quotas? And again, that's going to depend on the size of the deal, how big the quote is, are what you're trying to accomplish. So I'll just use CB in sights as an example because it's the closest thing to me right now. I always believe in monthly. Definitely monthly, at least from a tracking perspective. Right you don't want to. I've been in organizations where your goals are annual or their quarterly and and you're banking on a relying on doing a lot of stuff in the last couple weeks of that quarter or that year. I think monthly from a tracking perspective, but quarterly from a COMP perspective and a performance perspective. At CB in sites we have are our account executives have quarterly compensation, but we do have tracking bonuses to motivate them to at least stay on track. Okay, that's interesting. And Are you? Are you willing to share what the actual quotas are...

...for a few folks on the team? Sure, our quotas are. It's going to come across as high, but it all depends on on the average deal size, right, and the you know, like you know the math that have put in to figure out what's a realistic quota. Last year our quotas were much lower than they are this year. We based our decisions for quota on last year's average deal size, not our future average deal size, and so you can get yourself into trouble when you raise quotas and you try to base it on where you expect the average deal size to be, because it's tough to get buy in from the from the team. But if you're at least using past clothes average deal sizes, it's hard for an account executive to argue that it's unrealistic for them to hit those goals. So for us we break our team and we don't have a small market team because we don't sell into the small market. So everybody on my team is selling into an enterprise large companies, mostly global two thousand and a lot of focus on unfortune five hundred. But one of the things with our pricing model is that we don't sell into the enter entire enterprise. At the same time we're selling our package into team. So let's say a strategy team of five people in, you know, in London, or a innovation team of five people in San Francisco at a big bank. What ends up happening is we have those enterprise companies that were selling into, but the process can end up being a lot more like a mid market type of sales processes and sales cycle. So for us, our count executives right now are broken into three groups. Only a three is generally is only actually count executives that that's came over from being strs and they're their quotas right now are on a monthly basis. They're sixty thousand dollars, one hundred and eighty thousand per quarter. The next group of account executives we have are at eighty five thousand per month and then our most senior account executives are at a hundred twenty thousand a month, or three hundred sixty thousand a of course, and so I think I've my maths is probably off, but somewhere on the n ember a one point four million a year, if I'm not mistaken. For the most senior account executives it's more than that. It's one hundred and twenty a month for two is no more than the I yeah, that's right, one point four four. That's correct. When you're in sales you get good at multiplying by twelve exact so really quickly. What's in your stack? Let's face some love to some influencers, some vendors and some people that are out there making things that you guys use and love. So what's in your sales stack and what technology are you using? All right, so I'm going to start off since I am at rainmaker right now and I do love this. The company sales off company. I had it at I put it in at at at greenhouse and then we just I brought it in at CB in sights. I think the company is fantastic. I think the platforms great. So sales off is a big part of our of our platform, of our stack. It goes towards our mission of or goals of not spamming customers but actually personalizing at scale, and sales off does a really good job with kidens to do that. A couple of other tools that we've been using. Obviously Sales Forcecom linkedin or our big parts of our sales process. We have some homegrown things that we're doing from a CS perspective on engagement and scoring, but from a outside bender. We mentioned a coaching culture. One of the first things I've brought in at at CB in sites was gone, which is a great tool for for recording and listening to and coaching off those calls. We also just brought in guru because one of the pains that I was seeing at CB in sights was we had a ton of great content but no one could ever find it. So Guru helps us to organize that content very easily. And then recently we brought in Clary, which is a tool that we use on top sales force and it helps us to forecast more accurately. That's interesting. Is that like an inside squared competitor? I think it is, but I'm not a hundred percent sure where the differentiation is. I've used insite squared the way that I looked at inside squared. Inside squared is a great tool and really enjoyed using them, but it was more...

...geared towards management being able to look at the reports, whereas Clary does is focused on the account executive being able to use that as their sort of point rather than using sales force. I count executives get a really good experience with it and as sales management, we can see what's going on from a forecasting perspective. That's great. Thank you. influencers, who are some of your mentors? Who is some of your favorite vpes of sales that you know that influenced you and that that you rely on to this day? Well, Sam, you are one of my biggest influencers and makes us. You did not pay me to say that. I think we have a really good relationship and, you know, bounce some stuff off of each other. So I will. I would be remiss if I didn't say that you are. But I also have a person that I work with a while back that is has remained as a mentor of mine, Jeff Miller, who is a WHO is most recently the VP of sales port works, is a big mentor for me on a lot of different areas that are sort of outside of the startup world. I can name a lot, but the whole New York City revenue collective. You are a founding member of the New York revenue collective. Two more questions and I thank you so much for your time. One is you know, who are you some of your favorite founders? Who are the people that are inspiring you, that you look to for leadership? Going back to sales loft again. I am not doing this. There's no one from sales loft that we know. Or raymire in an empty hotel room. There is no one that sales loft right now listening to me. But it's always been this way. You know, from the day met Kyle portray, you know is very aligned with a type of culture that he's built it sales loft. I also very much appreciate his focus on on raising up the sales profession and and you know, obviously with a platform like his it makes sense to do that, but he's so authentic when it comes to that. So he's one of my favorite and then of the ones, I don't know, it's hard to go go with anyone over Jeff Bezos just because of what he's done with Amazon. I recently read something, either I think was on twitter or maybe it was an article, I'm not sure, and it resonated really well with me that it's important, that I think it's really important for from a success perspective, and it's that most decisions, he had said, should be made with only getting about seventy percent of the amount of information that you wish you had. If you wait to over ninety percent, you're going to be too slow. As leaders, we have to be able to quickly see when we've made a mistake and be able to course correct very quickly. So I guess his point was being wrong won't hurt you if you can course correct quick enough, but being slow can become very expensive or it can become too late if in what you're trying to accomplish. I could not agree with that more. I have a framework for that I called the decision coefficient. Last question. I didn't brief you on media. So give us some books that are important to you, some podcasts when you're going about self improvement and sometimes you listen to ebooks. So tell us some of the great books that you've been reading recently or some of the great learnings that you know podcast places that you found inspiration and new knowledge. I find it all over the place, right. I mean you'd mentioned the e Book that I listened to and I mentioned earlier in the conversation. Just happens I don't listen to a lot of books, but in this case I listen to winner's dream by Bloo McDermott, who went from owning a Delhi as a young man to running sap as CEO, and I thought that was a really great book. That talked a lot about getting stuff done and goals and what you have to do to motivate not only yourself but the people on your team to hit hit your dreams. I listen to a lot of, you know, sales hacker stuff. I listened to a lot of the talks that you have with the folks on the New York I revenue collective. But yeah, I mean, I don't have a specific one that I'm I'm doing. I read our CB in sites newsletter, which it thinks fantastic and entertaining. But yeah, I just make sure. I'm just constantly making sure that I get enough information, but it's not necessarily from the same source. That makes sense. Last question. So you guys are hiring. If people want to get in touch with Mark Jacobs to seek you out as mentor...

...or to apply for a job, are they allowed to? And as there a medium, linkedin twitter email that you prefer that people reach out to you? I'm fine with any means of reaching out to me if it's about finding a job or about work, potentially working together. My email at Ceb insites is m Jacob set Seb in Sitescom. I am on on Linkedin as well. I don't know offhand with the Linkedin. Well, my Linkedin, we can find it. Yeah, it's mark with a sea guy and mark with the sea and Shacobs at and the mets with see be insight. So feel free to reach out to me through Linkedin or through my email address. Mark, thank you so much for joining us today. It's always an honor and a pleasure to have you in the Sales Hacker Recording Studio, Aka the hotel room that we're in. You're a good friend, but also your incredible manager, leader and mentor to so many people in your community. So thanks for joining us. Thanks, Sam, appreciate having me. This is SAM's corner. What a fantastic interview with Mark Jacobs, always insightful and always a good person to talk to. One of the things he said, which I think was really important, is he doesn't make decisions in a vacuum with his team. He involves his team in the decisions and that enables them to have accountability and ownership with each of these big, important decisions and they can feel part of the process. So then when he rolls out the decision, they all feel connected to it. I've seen so many companies go into a room with the senior executives develop a new comp plan, a new lead rotation for the SDRs, a new framework for how opportunities are called qualify, a new lead scoring system that places different emphasis on different parts or activities within the marketing funnel, without asking the people that are actually doing this every day. So if you're out there in a leadership position, I really encourage you if you're thinking about, for example, building a new comp plan, use the team to build that complant. They are not so self interested in self involved that you can't rely on them for their insights to help build something that's going to address their concerns and align the company with the goals that needs to succeed for growth. So that was SAM's corner. Thanks so much for joining in and I'll talk to you all later. To check out the show notes, see upcoming guests and play more episodes from our incredible lineup of sales leaders, visit sales hackercom podcast. You can also find the sales hacking podcast on itunes or people play. If you enjoyed this episode, please give us a share on Linkedin, twitter or any other social media platform. And finally, special thanks again to this months sponsor at node seemore at INFO dotnode DOT IO. Forward sales hacker. Finally, if you want to get in touch with me, find me on twitter at Sam f Jacobs or on Linkedin at linkedincomas in slash Sam f Jacobs. I'll see you next time.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (396)