The Sales Hacker Podcast
The Sales Hacker Podcast

Episode · 2 years ago

68. How to Go to Market with an Enterprise Solution w/ Ed Calnan

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This week on the Sales Hacker podcast, we speak with Ed Calnan, co-Founder and CEO of Seismic. Ed has taken the business from $0 to $100 million. Today he’s discussing how to go to market with an enterprise solution. With a background in sales leadership that extends beyond 20 years, he knows a thing or two about growing a company.

One, two, one, three, three. Quote. Hey everybody. Sam Jacobs, welcome back to the sales sacer podcast. We've got an incredible show for you today. We've got ED, count them, the cofounder and president of seismic, which is a company in the sales enablement space. In some ways that created that category. That's going to do over. Basically they're already doing over a hundred million. You know that the the financials are private, but ed has taken that business from literally zero as the cofounder all the way past a hundred million. He has a deep background and enterprise sales and it's an incredible conversation about really how do you go to market within a true enterprise solution. SEIZEMIC was only founded in two thousand and ten. They're over six hundred employees. They've raised over a hundred and seventy nine million dollars and ED was there from the beginning. So and he's just got this this very long background in enterprise sales. He brings over twenty years of sales leadership experience from places like ATP. So it's a great conversation and we're super excited to have the conversation. Now. Before we jump in, we've got a new sponsor. So we want to we want to thank our sponsors, as we always want to. Today we've got on the show lucid chart sale solution. So lucid chart is an incredible company. We've all known about them. Dan Cook has been on the show, head of sales over lucid chart. Lucid Chart Sales Solution. It's a leading account planning platform for modern sales orgs. With lucid chart you can visually map out key contacts and crucial account data to uncover critical insights that will allow you to close bigger deals faster. So go to lucid chartcom forward sales for more information and if you're listening to this next episode and try to understand how do you go to market? How do you deliver a true enterprise sale solution and sales strategy and sales playbook, lucid chart might be just the thing that you need. Our second sponsors outreach. That's outreached, out I oh, the leading sales engagement platform. Outreach support sales reps by enabling them to humanize communications as scale, from automating the soul sucking manual work that he's upselling time to providing actionary into tips on what communications are work. Invest outreach has your back. Thanks for listening. Let's listen to this interview with Ed Kelmany everybody, it's Sam Jacobs. Welcome to the sales hacker podcast. We are incredibly excited to have the president and CO founder of one of Boston and really start up lands biggest success stories, the company seismic. So today on the show we've got Ed Kelman, and is the CO founder and president of seismic, where he leaves the companies go to market efforts and brings twenty years of sales leadership experience from ATP Thompson Financial, SMP and Ian to seismic. In Two thousand and sixteen he was named a top Boston startup founder over forty by tech DOT Co. Ed, welcome to the show. Thank you. You're welcome. Now, so you work at seismic. There's probably people out there that don't know who or what seismic is. Or Doug, we always start with the baseball part. So in your words, Mr President and Co founder, what is seismic do? What do you guys do? So we help marketing and sales teams work better together to condense the sales cycle of BTB sales and help rep st deals faster and smarter. Okay, how do you do that, if I'm the ask so there's always been this age old divide of the assets that marketing creates and the inability of sales to find them and apply them in the right selling situations, and our systems use machine learning and artificial intelligence to make that problem go away. So we we instead of the sellers trying to find the content, using our systems, the content finds the sellers at the right time in the sale cycle and makes it effortless to help tell a grate story at the right time. Awesome. Okay, now I understand Thomas a little bit. We understand that it's a private company. So what can you tell us about kind of like the revenue run rate in terms of like the stage of growth? That seism SEC gives a little bit of background on size the company. How many employees, how much money raised, all that good stuff. Great. Yeah, so we're we're almost nine years old. We were founded at the the end of two...

...thousand and ten and founding team has been together for quite some time. Our CEO, Doug, and I. This is our fourth company together. We sold our last company, which was a software company in San Diego to EMC in two thousand and eight and then completed the transition of that acquisition and then left the end of two thousand and ten to start Seismech. We did a press release at the end of last year. We just went raised our series e round, which brings our total rays to a hundred seventy nine million dollars. Who are lucky enough to add lightspeed ventures to our board of directors as they led that round. In that press release we show that we we went through the hundred million and revenue mark which has been climbing since the beginning of this year. Over about six hundred employees worldwide. We're truly global now. So or growing really quickly in Europe and down an eight pack. And you know the category is is really exploding. If you talk to people in and around the sales enablement market, if you look at things like Linkedin, you know couple of years ago there was a few hundred titles. Now there's Twentyzero are so sales enablement titles in the market. Big companies are recognizing that this is a big problem and they're really starting to realign in order to fix it, which is help sellers sell smarter in the Modern Age. You know, you need to be you need to bring data to the party now and the buyers want to be engaged with at their right stage of the buying cycle and it's a lot more buying in two thousand and nineteen that it is selling. So for those reasons, you know, we really you know, we really think about our solution as the last mile of the B tob sales cycle. So people have automated their websites and they've automated the marketing automation PLAT forms and they really kind of help the buyers through the journey until the end and we take over when sales gets handed a lead and we help them tell the story more efficiently and smarter. So walk us through a little bit about, you know, your background. First of all, how did you you mentioned that you'd worked with is it Doug Winter? That was the person that you'd worked with at at at the company that you sold to MC? Is that right? Yeah, that's right. So how did how did you all get connected, you know, and how did you have the idea for this business in the first place? It sounds over a hundred million and growing, starting in two thousand and ten is a pretty damn good success story. So how did you all think this up and what was the impetus for the the origin of the company? Yeah, it's it's actually so. Our last company was a document management platform, and so it was technically it took data from different places and a built documents really quickly. So we'd sell it to banks and insurance agencies and government agencies to do high volume production of things like wealth management statements and credit card statements and banking statements and insurance policies and things like that. And truthfully the idea for the for the company was born in a discussion with one of our customers. So when we did the deal with the MC we went to speak with a bunch of our big customers. So we went to nationwide insurance and Mary Lynch and USAA Downa Texas and a bunch of these other companies, and one of the women in the marketing group at one of those firms said, you know, when our customers open up a statement in the mail or they look on the website, it's a perfect client experience. And I said, well, what does that mean? And she said, well, the marketing is always current, the data is correct in the compliance language is always up to date and I said, okay, Great. Well, ones it not a perfect client experience and she said every time one of our sales people goes to talk to a customer it's awful. And we said what do you mean? And she said, well, we don't know what they use and they use old stuff and they go to Kinkos and print things and you know, we just have no idea if all of the money we're pouring...

...into creating all this cool material is working. And you know we love to see what the sellers are talking about. And that was really it. We said, wow, if we can figure out a way to marry data with content and put the power into the sales users hands with really simple applications to find and personalized content, to make suggestions on the right stages of the sales cycle to use it in and then track it all and push it back into the machines and spot patterns to get better over time, we could really fix a big problem. And that's really where it started. And we were lucky because we bootstrapped the company for the first three years, so we didn't take funding until two thousand and thirteen and we went up market early. So the first contract I signed was General Electric. Second one was fidelity investments and a bunch of other big companies, and we've really you know, we have some of the world's most recognized brands use seismic to power their marketing and sales teams. Wow, I did not realize that your bootstrap for three years. That's amazing. How do you convince? I've been in situations trying to do enterprise deals with a company that nobody's really heard of. What is the structure by which you got General Electric to to take a chance on you as a little known vendor? Was it just your reputation as entrepreneurs having sold, you know, a business before? Was it the structure, like a POC? How did you get General Electric to make that decision and give you that vote of confidence? Yeah, I mean it was clearly the charming personality of the sales leader, nom only kidding, because so part of it was locked and part of it was part of it was brute force, and so we had we targeted early companies like Gee and infidelity and others that historically invest in young companies. So there's a bunch of big firms out there that like to place bets on new technologies and help to shape down and Gee has always been very public about that. So a friend of a friend got me connected to one of the divisions. We did a POC for them that, you know, had a contract quickly, and then Gee's one of those organizations that likes to share ideas. So I remember the CIO for the division I was working with called me at home one Friday afternoon and said, okay, I have an honest question that I need your answer from and I said sure, I shoot and he said I'm about to go on stage with over a hundred cios at GE worldwide and I need you to tell me if I if I tell them about your idea and they come to you to try to work with you, are you ready for that volume? And I said yes, trick lesson, that's right. And he said are you really ready for that volume, and I said yes, I said we are, you know. So we ended up going into GE capital and oil and gas and healthcare in a bunch of news other divisions and and did the same with other organizations. You know. I targeted relationships that I had in the past of big companies that you know like I said, aren't afraid of growth companies with good ideas and cutting edge technology, and they're out there. You know, there's people that want to get behind companies like ours because, again, they can help shape and guide the road map and when it works, it works great. When you, I mean you've been doing this a little while and you know, tell us about the origin story, because what I'm specifically interested in is what have you seen for yourself as the difference between you're a president and CO founder leading, you know, a Unicorn company that's north of a hundred million on revenue, and when you look back on your career and you think about the skills that you had to develop in order to get there? A lot of our listeners are, you know, younger count executives their STRs and they want to know, or they're just first time managers. They want to know what does it take to become the president and Clo you know, etcetera, that the person leading the overall revenue function of a hugely successful company? What do you think about? is like the key skills that you learn to develop over your time at...

Cap Iq and Thompson financial and all of those places? Yeah, it's for those listening. The advice I would give is partner up with other founders who are a lot smarter than you. So, you know, I'm lucky enough to have a couple of great business partners who are really, really bright and you know, I think that's the key, is to try to find the right team to work with WHO's WHO's experience. You know, there was four of us that started the company. It was three really, really smart engineers and engineering leaders and then me on the sales and marketing side. And you know, I think you know, I look back on my career now and I'm almost envious of the of today's sales wrap here in two thousand and nineteen, because there's so much so many resources available at their disposal to learn about the prospect before they engage. And when I started, my first job was selling payroll software for ATP and there was no Internet, there was no celluo phones, so it was very little available. You know, the Commercial Internet was literally just beginning to come into households and I remember walking into the town halls of the town's my accounts were in and looking at the DB listings of who started businesses. And you know, I I push my reps hard to use data and tools effectively, and it's some that would be. The advice is to use to look around you and to use all the things at your disposal. Like if you go into a meeting now unprepared, you know you just should pick a different profession because there's there's so much available about the prospects and the business goals they're trying to solve and the buyers themselves and their personal interests and all of these other things that you can really formulate a great story of why you're the right person and why you can help fix their business problems. And then also always network. You know that I have an interviewed for a job since maybe one thousand nine hundred and ninety five, and you know I've always either had old bosses pulled me along or ex colleagues that I've joined up to start businesses with. And you know, I think if you as a salesperson, you know, go meet the engineering team and really dedicate yourself to understand how the product works and how it's built, and you know the connections you can make. I was lucky enough to make some of those connections early on that led to the team here. You know where it's you know, go connect and if you can surround yourself with smart people and build those relationships, good things will happen in the future. I believe that. I believe that. I have a question because there's a lot of talk right now and some of it comes from the you know, some of it comes from your your board members, then your investors and some of it, some of it is just treated as conventional wisdom, as the industry standard, and that's that. Talk is about stage appropriate commercial leadership and basically, you know, you need that. The idea is that the people, the the revenue leaders, that go to market, leaders that are with you at the company when it's zero to ten million are different leaders than you're going to need when it's a hundred to a hundred and fifty million. And yet you've been with the company now, granted you're a cofounder, but essentially you're the first sales higher and you've built out a team, but you've been with the company from zero all the way north to a hundred million. So I guess my question is, do you agree with that conventional wisdom that you need different leaders for different stages of growth, and how do you think about personally addressing challenges that you know you haven't encountered before and making sure they are always the right person for the job. Yeah, the board didn't tell you ask me that question today. I asked it on behalf of my revenue collective members who are transitioning and out of Rolls Fifteen Day every fifteen to eighteen months, and it can be pretty tumultuous. But you've managed to make it the distance so far. All right, good, I'm wiping my brow right now. It's I think. Well, I think there is some substance to that theory. You know where I'm lucky enough to have? I'm old, so I've been at this for a long time and I've I've been lucky enough to be at really big companies...

...like ATP and the MC, and then high growth companies like SMP, capital Iq and seismic and a couple of others, and so I've seen all stages and all shapes and sizes. I was also lucky to, you know, I learned early on that I didn't really know what I didn't know. So I hired a bedr manager that knew how to run BEDR teams and I hired a marketing person early on that new new age marketing and in bond marketing it was. That was just a concept that was completely foreign to me growing up an enterprise. Software we're marketing really didn't matter, you know, and now in two thousand and nineteen, it's it matters the most. There's nothing that matters more than really having a good understanding of your buyers and nurturing them through the cycle. And I think smart people can figure out pretty much anything, but there is, you know, there is when you look at our business, now here through a hundred million. I mean we just have a different level of process and a different level of consistency than we did in the early days. You know, it was in the early days it was just three of us around the around the table with a spreadsheet of potential opportunities and figuring out a plan to go close them all, and nowadays it's you know, we have over two hundred people in the sales team. We need regular processes that all of us, some of US actually grew up with. So standardized forecast calls and standardized pipeline calls and must win deal calls and working with partners and all the other stuff. So I think at the early days, now is a SASS business. You need some modern ideas and you need some experience with people who have run modern day Sass Legion teams and then if you can round that out with old people like me that have been in the enterprise software market for a while, the those personalities can complement each other really, really well. So I think there is. Like I said, I think there are. There's definitely different skill sets that come from each stage of the journey, but I don't I don't think that that means that one person can't have them all. It is hard to bring in someone that I was. I'm not sure I would have taken the job unless I helped to start the company. You know, I would have probably not been the first sales person and probably not run the first sales team. Maybe I would have come in around now, you know, having run la your team, or so there's definitely a difference there because I was one of the original members. One of the things that I've heard from other folks that have sort of taken companies through that those cases of growth as one of the key challenges, beyond just more process and more system and more rigger and better forecasting, one of them is that there's they're probably arises in need for a diversity of revenue streams and you have to move beyond whatever got you there, which might be just a pure outbound direct sales model, into new channels like a partner channel or something like that. Have you have you found that, as you've grown, that seismic has had to diversify where the revenue comes from? It can't just be the same play being run with, you know, fifty people instead of ten people. Yeah, without a doubt. I mean we're living that right now. We're actively investing in our partner and Channel Group. But we busted through the hundred million Arr mark with sweat and hustle and, luckily, a pretty good product and a pretty receptive market. And I think to go from the hundred to five hundred you definitely need to diversify. Just can't because there's only so many prospects on the planet that can hear from you directly. Right. And then also if you can start to think about getting, if you have a platform like we do, getting baked into larger solutions like digital transformation projects, that can really propel you for years in the future. So yeah, without a doubt. I mean you know you can only go so far with a list and smart people, no matter how hard they work, you need uplift from other areas. Yeah, yeah, makes sense. One of the things that I mean to the point of the existence of seismic right. You've talked about how the buyers journey has changed and sellers are to disadvantage. Walk us through what the implications of that are and what you mean when you say that the buyers journey has changed. Yeah, I mean it's you know, twenty years...

...ago the salespeople were the keepers of the information right. So it was my job to show up and educate the leadership team on the coming trends in the technology market, and that's how I added my value. And if I if I was smart and did my homework and built trust with you, you would give me money and exchange for that. And nowad is, you know, after the crash and OA, global sourcing came together and got smarter about how they buy things. You know, there's no sales cycle. That's not competitive anymore, which is a change. Then it never used to be like that. If you built a relationship, you were guaranteed business, and that's not the case anymore. You have to build a relationship and educate the buyers and build trusts and when. And you know, nowadays, with the with all of the information available on the Commercial Internet, you know like you know when you show up to a sales call. They know who you are. They know who your competitors are, they know who your customers are, they know who likes you, they know who hates you, they know who what your price points are. They know pretty much everything. And you know, if you don't come to the meeting with a similar type of preparation, you're just going to lose a lot more than you win. And so the buyers are just smart now and they expect you, they demand sales teams to be almost as smart and to really understand their problems and to really understand what their goals are and to really make connections beyond features and functions. And it's a fine line. I mean, we sell enterprise software, so our stuff isn't you can't buy it on a credit card. We don't turn it monthly like we sell enterprise software. So people make you know, typically their one, two or three year deals. They're changing the organizations that we work with and you know. So our sales cycles are you know, you have to be sharp and you have to be prepared and you have to you have to use all the tools that your advantage in order to compete. So what do you think to your point, right the buyers you walk in, and I also want to just will ask in a second, just about it. You know how to run an effective multi stakeholder enterprise sale, given given the realities that you just describe, which is that there's tons of people and tons of opinions and every everybody needs buy in in order to make the purchasing decision. But what do you think the role of a of an enterprise sales person is, if it's not to present information about the product? How should somebody be thinking of themselves as they approach a critical meeting with an enterprise buyer? Really good question, and I think that's the most that's the hardest part of being an enterprise salesperson, and says today, is the distinction between talking about the product and talking about the problems. And I think that's the key. I mean it's at the end of the day. You know, I always told my team you really have to focus on three areas, and one is proving to the buyer that you understand their business problem. That's a number one. So what's who told them to go investigate buying something and why did they do that? What business problem is the company suffering from? And then the second pieces. You have to prove that you've solved it for another person like them. So you have to prove that this isn't your first Rodeo and you understand how to do this stuff and you've made other people successful. And then the third part is at you know, after you've done the first two, that justifying the cost. So if they give you money, what are they going to get in return? And to really prove that your solution can make a difference, and make a difference, meaning it can save money or save time or cut cost and I think the great sales people will have always done that. I think it's just harder now, because it's harder and it's easier. Right. It's harder because they have a bunch of information on you and it's also easier because there's a bunch of information available for you. They'll get as long as you do your job and, as you know well from doing a bunch of these and being in the industry for so long, most sales people don't they...

...don't do a good job, they want to show up and do a Demo and beg for an order, and you know that's just not the right approach. How do you you know, I read this book, the Challenger Customer, which is the sequel to the Challenger Sale, and it talks, as I mentioned, you know, previously, about the used to be five point four. That's how many different people in the organization you needed to to kind of put their hands in and say I to move forward on a, you know, meaningful kind of workflow driven enterprice purchasing solution. But now some people are estimating it's twelve people. What, first of all, like what do you have a process? Is it medic or Medpick? Like? Do you have a methodology that you use or a playbook that you use to help the seller navigate places like General Electric or fidelity, and tell us a little bit about that. Yeah, I mean I'd say that that's those estimates. Or I read that book as well. It really enjoyed it. I think those estaments are low. Like we're I mean honestly, like it's maddening. It's the most it's the most difficult part of being an enterprise seller today. It's we're working on a pursuit now with a big Tech Company and they have eighty five people that can weigh in on the decision, which is insane and inefficient and probably it's going to it well. It certainly delaying the purchase a little bit. But what we try to do is we try to we we've segmented our accounts and so our approach is different from a GE or an HP or, you know, one of our big banking clients, and so we have three segments now. Currently we have global accounts, we have enterprise accounts, we have commercial accounts, and so global would be like a General Electric and enterprise account would be still a big company, you know, a couple thousand salespeople. And then a commercial accounts, typically high growth tech companies like seismic. So I have sixty field sellers. We have, you know, or through a hundred million in revenue and we're growing really quickly and the sales motions are different based upon the size and the industry of the organization. So I think that that is really that is key. So you need a different playbook for each different type of selling situation. And then we typically are global reps. are the most tenured. So they're used to working with big companies or a pain in the ass that have horrible per cameron processes and have those crazy multi headed decisionmaking processes. And then our commercial sellers are typically younger, kind of more transactional. Sometimes grew up in our bed, our program and they're comfortable selling to like a that, you know, five to ten person decisionmaking process and the playbook is different. You know, if it's if it's a global account, it's talking about integrating with global systems and process change and all of those types of things. If it's a you're selling to size me, it gets hey ED. I can get your reps on boarded quickly and you're going to close deals faster and we can have you up and running in five days. Doesn't that sound great? Yeah, and who else needs to talk about it? You know. So I think part of it is like pairing the right talent with the right opportunities and the right ten you're you know, because if you just haven't been through those selling motions, it's hard to learn and me and a manager to try to coach rupt through that, it's really, really difficult to do. Yeah, it's extremely hard and it's also, you know, it's I mean so many companies want to move, so to speak, into the enterprise because that's where the money is. If they can have they have the capital on the balance sheet to to sustain the twelve and eighteen on sales cycles, which are sometimes how long they take. Are you finding that in that world? You know this concept of medic where he is economic buyer and they're sort of like one economic buyer doesn't that's just not true in the sense that, to your point, you need so many different people. Are there strategies that you use to engage all of those different people? Do those global sellers really only work a very small number of accounts, because keeping track of, you know, eighty five different people and their preferences on seismic and what their position is and do they have any power to influence the decision? That's there's only so many of those accounts you can manage without without...

...having things fall through the cracks. Yeah, you're exactly right. So we we don't have of a playbook methodology. It's kind of a combination of a bunch of things. Challenger some, some of the medic stuff and just, you know, the managers kind of will run. will run plays that are applicable to the size and you're you're completely right on when you say we've limited so for each our global account reps they have a limited amount depending on what market they're and of prospects and customers. So we don't have a hunter farmer model, we have a hunter model and if you so, if you're a global rep, you have between ten and thirty logos, a healthy mix of existing customers and prospects and at any time a global rep will probably be working on three to five opportunities actively with a BEDR team behind them that is nurturing the account. So we, you know, we were very classic kind of land and expand model where we go into a division most of the time and then we sell cross divisions, we sell internationally and we try to go as wide as possible and that number falls on the enterprise rep and then, with bedr support to grow and upsell the organizations, we get a bunch of our revenue every year from upsals into existing logos. That and that's what makes you a tier one SASS company. How do you do you find? You know you munch in return, but you didn't. You didn't say Uri when you're talking about sort of like the three key pillars of an effective rep, driving successful outcome and closing a deal, do you find that return can mean a lot of different things for the For the enterprise buyer, doesn't necessarily have to be like here's exactly how much money you can make on this decision. It's a really good question. It's, I think, yes, right there. The concept of return could mean many di different things. That could mean somebody getting promoted, it could mean being competition, it could mean a number of different things. I think you always have you have soft return and you have hard return. Right. So the soft stuff is, Hey, I'll help increase your winning percentages and I'll help to decrease the onboarding time that it takes to get a rep in the door and productive. We try our best to tie those out too hard numbers. You know, sometimes if you're selling to a global account and you can go in and say look, put seismic in as the standard for sales enablement and, like one of our other customers, they went from like forty plus content management applications down two three and they turned off over a hundred thousand pieces of marketing collateral when they went live with seismic and very proudly the CMO said at our sales kick off they didn't receive one email of complaint. Wow, and so those those types of cases you can really deliver a nice hard rli with real numbers on it, and even the other stuff too, if you can dense. You know, if I can bump your sales by three percent, you know that's pretty good number, depending on whatever your sales number is. And if I can condense the sales cycle fourteen days per opportunity like we have at other customers, you know, what does that mean to you and aggregate across the world. Those are things that get buyers moving. And you know, in a world of multi threaded decision makers and way too many people at the table, that's what separates the really good organizations from the bad ones, which is you can help write a business case and hand deliver it to a champion that's going to have real numbers that they can used in the organization to help drive a decision and then drive a decision in your favor. You know, nowadays so many sales cycles get stalled to no decision because people are just kicking the tires. You know, you really want to get them to make a decision first, and then you hopefully want to make help them choose you to yeah, and and also teach your...

...reps to disqualify aggressively so that you don't spend twelve months on something that you could have figured out was dead eight months ago. That's really hard to do. You know, all the all the reps have the happiest years on the planet, it is, and at you want to you need them to be optimistic, because you know they're here and no most of the time. So if they're if they're too down, it's probably not going to be effective. But but, yeah, effective qualification so important. You've also mentioned that sales professionals, reps, need to maintain soft skills. You know, there's all this tech out there that's you know, and you know, all this data and analytics that can tell us what our close rates are and what our in rates are, and you know we can use tools to personalize or to reach out to lots and lots of people at scale. But how do you what do you mean my soft skills and how do you work to maintain those? It's hard because there's so much. You know, when I came up there was just nothing right. There was not a lot of data. It was you know, it was when I ran my first sales teams, I would say to my boss, you know, hey, I need a bunch more reps because there's tons of opportunity and they'd say, okay, they trusted me. And nowadays doesn't work that way. Like my headcount model is built out with a backwards plan of you know, almost all the way down to the email or the coal call, about how many people we need and how we can justify their ramp and, if we can, you know, when we think they're going to be productive. And you know, every time we do a big higher that's all the board wants to talk about is how are they doing and when are they going to be productive and how awesome as everybody. So I think in a metrics driven world sometimes sales leaders can convince themselves that it is all about the numbers and it's not right. It's some of it is about coaching, right. So what do you do with that data to help your reps get better? And it's you know, it's kind of like watching film and Sports, where it's not you have every metric on the planet at your disposal, but how do you put those into practice and how do you get the players better on the field? And, you know, I think that's part of it and we try to do a lot of that stuff with our we have great coaching programs your where all the way down to the bed our team's up to the global account reps, but also things like, you know, like asking great questions and listening and all the basics that I think some people get away from in a numbers driven world, you know, like you could do. The quality versus quantity argument is real and just because you make fifty calls a day doesn't mean you're making fifty good calls a day. And then we do a lot of in person meetings. You know, we sell bigger deals, so we you know, you're not going to get somebody to invest a million dollars a year over the phone, and so, you know, we tend to try to identify champions early and go see them and understand their motivations and understand their personal goals and understand their professional goals and think about the goals of the company, you know, and all that stuff matters. You know, I tell the reps all the time nobody's going to buy from you because they like you. But you want to create relationships that when you're not in the room, somebody wants you to win, and that's the difference between and you do that by building trust. You know, it's I laugh I see these videos on linked in about people hard closing things and it's you know, I always joke like if you have to hard close someone, you either didn't do your job well or you have a shit product, and it's just that simple. Right. And you can't push for you know, aggression for aggression sake is is a bad business and you know, I've seen it over the years and you have to earn the right to push. You know, it never feels weird if you've done your job along the way. Then you've set proper expectations and you've used those soft skills to read the room in a meeting and try to figure out who you're champion is from the first time you set foot in the building and try to figure out who doesn't give a shit either. You know, and try to figure out who the WHO the person in the room is. It probably talked to your competitor first, and who the other person is who's politically trying to wrestle the decision away from somebody else and those types of things, I think, are you know,...

...you can't really teach some of that stuff. Has To happen over time and we try to thoughtfully coach our reps to consider all of those angles during a deal cycle. I think it's to your point. It's critical, and especially understanding the politics of what's happening, what's happening inside that company and who's getting promoted and who's not getting promoted and who's jostling for power and using that effectively is a skill it's very, very difficult to teach. Can't not a straight line sometimes. I guess one question. I have to a few more questions before we the end of our time together, but one of them is you sold a company, I guess, ten years ago, eleven years ago. You've been doing this for nine years. What motivates you? You know what I mean. You presumably have done well enough over the last however many years, two thousand and twenty five years, that you probably don't need to be pushing yourself every day the way that you're doing it. So what motivates you to build companies like seize Mech in, to just go out there and try to do the impossible every day. You know, I think somebody asked me the other day if I liked my job and I and I replied a kind of shocked him a little bit. I said, are you kidding? I've this is my dream job, like I wouldn't want any other job on the planet. And I'm lucky because most people don't say that. You know, you go to your average cocktail party or barbecue and you know people are not necessarily glowing about, you know, where they spend their time on day through Friday. And I'm lucky because I got to build this team with people that I trust and I enjoy working with and and that help make me better. You know, so when you start a company you get to hand pick who you invite to the party at the beginning, and I was, you know, I invited my college roommate first and I invited all the people that have performed for me over the years second, and you know, they hired their friends and they hired their friends and so on and so on, and it's wonderful to be able to see. You know, we've been at it long enough where we have people on the team that started here fresh out of college and got from their first promotion here and met their wife and got married and had a kid and bought their first house with a commission check from seismic and that's the stuff that gets me out of bed, as is the ability to help people accomplish things that they didn't really understand they were capable of doing, you know, and then to pass that down and give responsibility to people who have never run a team before and watch them coach in a way that they didn't think maybe was possible, and to be able to go global and hire people in different countries. You know, we have the person that runs our inside sales team in Europe, grew up in Boston pretty much never left and now he runs team of twenty five people and has people in London and in Paris and in Germany and you know, he's just, you know, life literally life changing events that I get to help influencer. That's the best. I mean, I leap out of bed every morning still with with that on the mind, and every time we have another successful quarter I get to make more of that stuff happen. So it's really pretty awesome. That is awesome. That's and sounds sincere and genuine and inspiring, to be honest. So congratulations. To the point of, you know, helping others out and all that good stuff, where at the point in the conversation where we like to pay it forward a little bit and just here here a little bit about some of the people that have influenced you, some of the people that we that you think we should know about. When you think or even just great books, you know, it can be books, music or it can be people. But when you think about key touchstones, key influencers for you that have impacted your sales career or just your professional career, who comes to mind? Who Do you want us to know about? Oh Man, that's a long list. When you start a company. Yeah, I mean I I really love to be coached. I was never the best athlete on the planet, but I was always a really good teammate and I worked hard and I like coaching a lot because I think it can it. You know, just if you have the right mentality, helps get better. So I've always sought...

...out mentors and coaches to help push me and from my first sales manager, Vernon coffee at ATP you know, through the CEO of first call at Thompson, Bruce Fader, through people like billy scandal at AMC, you know, and even current day. You know, we have one of our advisory board members is John Boucher, who was credibly successful sales leader over his career, that I literally talked to every day and helps me out. People like Marco Robersh, who was one of the founding members a hub spot. Personally friends with him and when I started this thing, I had coffee with him. We live in the same town together and I said, Hey, dude, you got to teach me how to do in bond marketing because I have a freaking clue and what this stuff means. Well, that's the person ask that's right. I stepped in it because our wives were friends and he was nice enough to take a meeting with me and he was great. He was super helpful from the early days to help me really understand, you know, the modern buyer, in the modern buyers journey and how things were changing even ten years ago. Looks completely different than it does today. And then, you know, friends and colleagues around me, you know, like I've been, been able to lean on people here and when you're in the throes of it, quarter after quarter are growing a hundred percent a year for eight years in a row. They're not always great days, and to be able to have people on the team that you trust, that you can truthfully and honestly bounce things off of, that make solve the difference in the world. So sales leaders here like Rob Bardon and Chris Lynch and Brady Flan again, you know people over the years that have just been incredibly supportive to me. You know, it's wonderful to be able to pull someone into a conference room and say hey, dude, I'm I losing my mind right now and have them say yes or no. You know, most of the time yes in my case, but you know, that's that's essential. You need someone to be able to look at you and tell you, especially when you get to this size, because most of the time when I talk to people, they they want to give me the right answers and they want to make me smile. And you need people around you that are going to tell you the truth and not always look to give you good news, but it will give you bad news as well, and I'm lucky I got a team full of those. Well, that's lucky. Some days pain in the ass other days. But and thanks so much for being on the show. I'm sure there's folks out there that are listening that are inspired by the story. Maybe they're living in Boston. They want to become they want to become employees as seismic. So is it okay if they reach out to you and what's your preferred if so, what's your preferred channels? It emails at Linkedin. How do you how do you prefer to be contacted? Yeah, anybody that wants to connect on anything. You know, I I believe in the power of networking and I believe in the power of helping people and you know, Linkedin is the best way send me and invite and shoot me a quick note and whether you want a job here or you want to job somewhere else, or you want some advice and the wrong way to do things, I'm happy to help. I've been lucky over were these last ten years where people I have more favors and I can repay, and so anything I can help with for anybody I'm happy to do that. Fantastic. Ed. congrats on the success with seismic. It sounds like you guys are building the next public company. So that's incredibly exciting and thanks for being on the salescacer podcast and we'll talk to you this coming Friday. Thanks man, I appreciate it. Everybody has Sam Jacobs. This is SAM's corner. It's always just impressive to talk to people like Ed Calman, who has had such an incredible track record and keeps diving back in to build these companies over and over again. And I think one of the things that makes ed so great is that he's a fan of both the science and the soft skills that are related to sales and he's always talking about how salespeople that are working for them they need to embrace the soft skills of active listening and building more poor in addition to understanding the conversion rates and all of the math that's required when you're going to market as a salesperson. And he also we also talked about sort of the concept of going enterprise first and what is...

...required to go enterprise first when you've got so many different decision makers and so many different constituencies. I think he mentioned that he is in one of his clients. He's got over eighty different decision makers and stakeholders. That's really important. that you understand how to manage and navigate a really complex multipart sale, and that's you know, those are skills that you have to develop over ciments, not something that's really easy to learn going from, you know, an SDR that's eighteen months out of Undergrad into enterprise sales, and that's why that gap is sometimes a challenge for people to make, because it's more easy, it's more seamless to move into a phone base sale, which is typically SMB or commercial event market, but true enterprise sales requires skills that you have to develop typically over a couple of years, and so that's a lot. That's something that that's that's a challenge for people in the sales world, which is how do we create or roll or how do we create a continuity for professional development that meets the patients levels of the account executives that are working on the team at the same time that it meets the needs of the business and we train people on how to really be effective when it comes to soft selling and and soft skills at enterprise sales. So I really, really enjoyed this conversation with ad I think what they've done with seismic has been incredible. Think sales enablement to such an important category. So I hope you got something out of the conversation. Before we go, we want to thank our sponsors, outrage, the leading sales engagement platform, and lucid chart sale solution, which is the leading account planning platform for modern sales ORCs. If you want to reach out to me, you can. It's linkedincom. Forward the world in and forward them, ff Jacobs. If you haven't rated the show, please give us five stars on the itunes rating system so that we can remain in business and continue to bring these so and I'll talk to you next time.

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