The Sales Hacker Podcast
The Sales Hacker Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

75. How To Scale Operations for a High Growth Sales Enablement Company w/ Jason Holmes, COO, Showpad

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This week on the Sales Hacker podcast, we speak with Jason Holmes, President and COO of Showpad.

Jason specializes in executive sales leadership with CRM, SaaS, and other tech companies. He’s been an executive and/or VP for a variety of household names, such as Marketo, Adobe, and Oracle. He also served on the board of directors for SIM Partners. He's here to chat about one big topic: cash generation. 

... Sam Jacobs. You're listening to the Sales Haacker podcast. Thank you for listening. By the way, today on the show we've got a great guest. You can just tell sometimes when somebody is just the consummate executive and professional and somebody that you know is in a different league sometimes than some of the other operators, and this is why sometimes they get those big jobs. This is Jason Holmes. He's the president, Chief Operating Officer of show pad. They're growing very, very quickly. They've got offices both in Europe and in the US. I'm based out of Chicago, and Jason Walks through sort of his career journey, beginning all the way back and through, I think, with a company called hey period, but but also important stints at Oracle, at Omnature, particulate, Marquetto pre IPO, to the take private transaction and now at show pad. So he walks through how he does that, what the lessons are as he tries to grow and develop, how he takes on new functions, which I think is a really important skill set for people. If you're going to be an executive, you're going to inherit things like marketing, our customer success, and you're not going to know how to do those things, or at least you're not going to have direct experience. So you need to playbook for how to learn, essentially, and that's what Jason Walks us through. So it's a really, really good interview. Show pads doing some really, really interesting things in sales in anglement and I'm excited to share it with you. Now, before we get started, we want to thank our sponsors. We've got two sponsors, as you know. The first we're so excited to have lucid chart as a continuing sponsor, and lucid chart sale solution is the leading account planning platform for modern sales organizations. 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. GO TO LUCID CHARTCOM forward sales for more information. So again, you know we talked a lot about this, but if you're if you're an enterprise sales you need some kind of visual tool. It's complicated and you need some kind of visual tool to map out the organization, to identify the preferences of all of the key decision makers. There are so many decision makers within enterprise organizations at this point, so you need something like lucid chart. If it's not lucid charted, should be something like it to help you visually articulate the organizational structure that you are trying to sell into and the preferences and power of the people that you're trying to sell into. So I think it's something worth checking out. Lucid chartcom forward, SLA sales. Also our second sponsors outreach. That's outreach, the leading sales engagement platform. Outreach supports sales reps, really all all reps, customer successor Reps, Marketing Reps, by enabling them to humanize communications at scale, from automating the soul sucking manual work that it's upselling time, to providing action oriented tips on what communications are working best. Our reach has your back. If you haven't checked out the sales engagement book, please do so, written by maximny and mark. It's at Amazon. It's called sales engagement, so should be pretty easy to find and without further ado. Let us listen to Jason Holmes, President and Chief Operating Officer of show pad, everybody, it's Sam Jacob's welcome to the salesacker podcast. Today we're incredibly excited to be talking to Jason Holmes. Jason is the President and CEO Show Pad, which is a leading global sales enablement provider. He's responsible for marketing sales, customer success and partnerships globally and he's really focused on creating customer value through making sales people successful every day. Jason was previously CEO at Marquetto Pre IPO through the take private transaction, and it spent time in global executive roles at Adobe, amnature and Oracle. He also holds an MBA from northern Illinois University. Jason, welcome to the show. Thank you, Sam. Pleasure to be here. Yeah, we're super excited to have you. So the way that we typically like to start is, and I just read a little bit about it, but is is your is your baseball card, which is a brief synopsis of your background of Career. So we know your name, Jason Holmes, we know your title, which is President and CEO, and we know the name of the company, which is show pad. But tell us a little bit about show pad. Who are they? What do they do? What do...

...you do and and give us the pitch? Sure. So, show pad is is a company in the sales enablement space or category in the tech industry. CHOPAD is a company that really focuses on making content findable, making sure that sellers are prepared, making sure that buyers are engaged, modern buyers are engaged with modern sellers and ultimately providing incredibly end depth analytics back to marketing organizations and sales organizations and how they can continue to improve. So that's the the company in the space, in in sales enablement and in my role here is as much as you said. My job is to help grow this company, for sure, but also make sure that we grow this company by making sure that we're acquiring the right customers and making the walk. Why are we put theftball and we're experience for JOE head and ultimately in their ability to sell in a modern buying world? Very good. We will. We will dive into that topic. You know those topics deeply. Just to understand a a little bit about sort of the stage of growth that show pads in. Tell us like the rough rur revenue range, a little bit about the financing. Obviously, how many employees. Don't tell us any confidential information, but help us frame the size and the growth stage of the organization. Show pad today is is an excessive fifty million recurring revenue in in euros. Actually were a European headquartered company and again Belgium, with a US headquarters here in Chicago, Illinois. We have almost exactly half of our operations and revenue in Europe and the other half in the US. So we very much for a small to medium sized tech scale up are operating in in both locations we have a four hundred and fifty people right now. Would expect to end this year somewhere in north of five hundred people and continue to continue to just have strong growth and in great customer success as we go forward. Will congratulations on all of that growth. So beyond the baseball car, we also love to know there's a lot of folks out there listening that that want to one day be Jason Holmes, if not literally, perhaps figuratively. So tell us a little bit about your story. How did you get here? How did you how does one become a president and cl so what has been your path? I think there's a number of different routes. So I'll give my path as a probably one that's a little bit less less common than than perhaps others. So my path is essentially my last real job was probably twenty plus years ago at a at a company where I acquired software to solve a financial reporting problem. Ultimately decided that working in software would be more interesting and so entered into the tech industry through a consulting role inside of a technology company, at a company called hyperion. As part of my journey at Hyperion, ramped up over the course of ten years to be running the consultancy and pre sales organizations as a VP for the America's quite a while ago and managed to then acquire an oracle. Left Oracle, went to a company called Amature, ran a worldwide consulting at Amnateur as well. Acquired into adobe round global consulting at Adobe. So you'll see this theme of first going from on premise to Sass as a big switch that I made. The other is going from consultant and consultancy to include all things post sale. So owning the customer experience which, as the world has transition from on premise assass, actually matters perhaps a lot more than a did in the on premise time because, as you know, in the world subscription software, customers can fire you every single year, and so the need to have strong executive presence and an exact staff and a leadership positions that understand customers and can drive customer value and customer retention is instrumental in growing at, you know, at some point a highly profitable as Sass for current revenue business in in the industry in which we all work. So my path has been very much, you know, from the finance world into the marketing world, from on premise into recurring revenue and from professional services through all things post sale and then up...

...to an including all things customer related, from marketing, sales, customer success, support partners and channels and so forth. First of all, that's incredibly impressive and I love the comment that you made that the customer experience imperative has really been underscored by the movement from on Prem Tosass. Was it your experience that in sort of the world of on prem the systems were so hard to rip out that, you know, they really wasn't a choice for most organizations to move to different providers? I think there was. First yes, systems were much switching costs were just much steeper. I would think would be certainly the first thing, and I think the second is the leverage. So much of the leverage sat with the vendors, right that, the technology providers who they've already got all of your money, as opposed to the maintenance streams. So this idea of firing them just didn't really come to the surface very much, and so I think very much the post sales organizations and the world of on premise were the you know, the no news, the no news is good news departments. Those to today mean what's happening with the customer experience, retention, you know, gross and Net retention, how much you're growing your base. I mean those are headline items and board meetings in investor decks and so forth, and I think are things where you basically have a fairly limited number of people that really understand intricacy of how to improve them and ultimately, what they do the business would the long term. Yeah, when you think you've mentioned this transition from being sort of a consultant running a services team, global services teams and then moving into sort of broad general operating functions. What's been a I guess the first question I have is what do you attribute your success to over the last twenty years? When you reflect on the skills, the tools, soft or hard, that enabled your continued growth and development, what do you think those are? I think first is a never ending curiosity to learn, to continue to improve and reinvent myself. So I think that's something I take very, very seriously and I take I try to listen. Two years one mouth, listen a lot, talk a little less, taken a lot of information and and adjust and it's okay to be wrong and not be too strong ahead from minded. So I think there are a few things there and just curiosity and adaptation and reinvention. I think a little bit more, you know, little more practically leadership and hiring, you know, acquiring, on boarding, training and making teams work. I think very much transcends all the organizations in the business. So I think a great leader or someone who you know appears to be a great leader in the sales organization, if they're a great leader at heart and in their capability, they're actually going to be able to build a great team as you give them more responsibility. In my case I was able to build great teams and service and as I get on into these sorts of roles that are broader in scope and the different and funking Blob want to acquire on board and create a great team of leaders and and I think that very much times the growth. And then last I would say is, you know, as we would say in my time at Marquetto you know, we live in a world of facts, and so I very much live in a world of facts, of analytics, data. You know, help me understand, show me how we measured. that. Like making sure that we have a fact based operating system as a business is incredibly important, so the business is not run based on the last anecdote, the last conversation, the last person to talk to the CEO and so forth, and so I think that that fact based approach to the running the businesses is instrumental and it doesn't matter if it's, you know, one dimension of the business, one department or all departments of the business. I think it's universal and particular, in your role as CEO, what's your perspective on kind of single source of truth, analytics, to the point of a fact based business, in the sense that sometimes in organizations they'll be an operation, a revenue operations team that sort of reports up through sales. They have numbers. Sometimes the finance team has numbers and then order. Other organizations have said, even if there are imperfections within X, Y Z data source, we're only going to...

...use the STATA source that everybody's reading. Mixing a ton of metaphors here, but reading from the same hymnal. Do you have a perspective on sort of where data needs to sit and whose responsibility is to own it within this within large organizations? I definitely do so, I would say first and foremost, you know, I call it the the trailer park of operations teams that exists in side of companies. I think create more division than then collaboration in teams. And so, for example here at Chowpad, and I firmly believe, I know it's not easy, but I firmly believe having an operations team from a revenue standpoint, so marketing ops, sales ops, customer success ops, services ops, under one leader is essential to driving, you know, first, integrity in the data and second making sure that you know, you don't have all of the politics and evils that live by having different numbers and different departments supporting different agendas and and so I have definitely very much created that as a unified team that reports to me directly in this role. I think so, and I think their job is largely operational reporting of actuals and reporting and roll up of forecasts and budgets. I think then you also have a finance team who I fit see a very close partnership between the the revenue operations team and the Finance Organization. But I rely on finance for all things actuals, and so all things actuals need to come out of finance. They should be reflected exactly the same in the finance reports and in the operational teams reports. And I also rely on finance for all things P andl related and cash flow, Advalanceiad and so forth related. So I think there isn't intersection point in a revenue and bookings between these two teams. actuals come out of finance. Everything comes out of the operations team, but I think beneath that it's a lot of operational reporting and rub ups and I think it's a lot of PNL cash flow and basic financial or financial statement reporting that comes out of finance. Makes a lot of sense. One more question than obviously with want to talk about the topic of the day, which is sales enablements, and probably revenue enablement perhaps. But when you are inheriting new functions, what's your to your point right that you mentioned that leadership transcends operational departments with an organization. But nevertheless, as you are running a global consulting business or global services business and your given the opportunity to run customer success or to run the post sale experience for your customers, what are your first what's your action plan as you inherit an entirely new function, to make sure that you get up to speed, that you're competent on it, that you enable and empower the people below you and also, important part of my question, recruit great people, some of whom are going to know more about that function than you are, given that you're sitting on top of it at that point. So I think the first thing is is I'm I'm definitely a style of person that, when I inherit new functions, the first thing I do is I listen to the people that have been doing the job for, in all likelihood, far longer than I have, at a far more detailed level, and so my job at first is just to learn what I can from them, which generally means creating sort of a safe space of hey, you know, I know things, not all things are great and not all things are broken here, so help me understand what's working, what's not working and what should we do more for something along those lines. So so I definitely take that approach internally. I also am adamant about engaging and talking with customers directly to understand from their point of view. It could be anecdotal, for sure, because you're not going to talk to, you know, all thousand or one five hundred customers in the case of someone like showpad, you know, but it is important to get that direct voice of the customer of what's work in an enterprise, what's not, what's working in the market what's not. I also then the will start to revert to hour we measuring success in in this particular group and and making sure that we're clear on the few, you know, Kpis or metrics that we want to track. So are we? You know, I inherited the team once upon a time and there was a consulting team and they didn't measure utilization and I said, well, that seems like the silliest thing. And so I waited thirty days and I said, okay, we're only going to...

...attract one thing for the next ninety days. I just want to get this one metric in and make sure ever understands it and starts to orbit around it. So I very much will start to go down a path of how do I measure success and and then, ultimately, you know, as I look to hire people, one of the dynamics you'll see that I don't subscribe to as people that move from company to company and they bring like thirty friends with them everywhere, figuring that those friends you know, I've worked with them in the past. I can move quickly and that's a great plan. I very much like to understand the business at a granuw level, understand the metrics, understand how things are trending from a metric standpoint, understand the personalities that have been running that piece of the business for a period of time and then make determinations still the right people or not, if we're going to introduce new people, what is the right type of person that's going to make sense in the situation? And so I like it's a very careful process versus many people, I think take the easy route, which is, you know, go find people I know or go find people that on paper to look like the right people, even though they may not be the right people. I think really understanding how those people and new leaders tick and matching them with the problems you're trying to solve at this point in the history of the company is something. It also takes time and it takes a lot of care, but I think it ultimately results in much better outcomes in terms of people that come, they succeed and they stay and they drive consistency in the customer experience or in that selling experience or marketing experience over the medium to long time. Makes a lot of sense. When you think about compensation, this is just a topic. I was just at a breakfast actually this morning, and we were talking about how more and more functions within revenue, at least this is the perspective of people at the breakfast, are moving to more traditional a bigger percentage of their compensation is being put in to metrics driven bonuses. This is come came from a marketing person. What's your perspective on incentive comp for functions that have traditionally not had a tremendous amount of their compensation in incentives, in commission payments or bonus payments, like customer success, for example, or marketing. Do you align everybody around you know, highly incentivized commission plans in the same way that sales people are give a different approach. I believe that, from a constant point, making sure that your comp plan and the expected behavior around a complant is aligned with the goals of the business is like fundamental to making sure that the business works well. Like people work well with one another, people strive for the right goals and that is like the most captain obvious statement. But at the same time, the number of companies and people and leaders that I see that say, well, we want x to happen, we're going to comp a little bit differently than that, but people will do the right thing. It's like, all things being equal, why don't you just line up to comp with the exact expected behavior and and it will actually go want better for you. And so I take incredibly great care to make sure that those things are lined up. So, for example, you know customer success managers. What do I want them to do? I want them to keep and grow the business, and so I comped them on keeping and I comped them on growing marketing and sales. Like the marketing sales love love, affair or divide, depending on your company. Sales is comped on revenue. I comp you know, and I very much believe marketing is comped on revenue. We don't comp marketing on mq wells or squos or pipeline contribution. It's on revenant. So if sales of succeeding, marketing succeeds you in the business operations team they're tied to net bookings. So gross bookings churn yields a net and I generally am a very large fan of having as big a percentage as people will tolerate and variable comp invariable complants. So nearly everyone, for example, and the go to Market Organization at Chow Pad and prior position of Marquetto as well. Almost everybody had a variable complan and all of those were very carefully aligned to make sure that they were tied toward unified great outcomes for the company. Not necessarily like. Well, if some like, if you pull the other like the Jenga set and like try to figure it all out, like is this all going to land in the right place, even though it seemed highly...

...contrived to confusing. It's like no, just like make it simple, make everyone pointed at the same numbers, and you know, ultimately people will collaborate and you'll get the best outcome. I love it that you said a lot of really important things, I think that in that last little snippet. But one of them is is sort of just comping a lot of different functions on the core output, which is revenue. Have you seen a lot? I mean, I guess to. I'm sort of leading the witness, but the would seem like one of the big potential pitfall a is comping marketing organization or even any demand generation function like strs, on pipeline contribution when necessarily pipeline is an internal metric that is gamable and doesn't align with revenue. With that be an example of them of a potential of a mistake forget completely. And so you know, for my standpoint, it's you know, and you can mix them a little, like in the case of DRS or strs. You know, you can, you know you can, and we do things like where you have seventy five percent of it is tied on Esquos or meeting sets, which are obviously you have an offset of that where sales has to accept that and order for its a count and and that's one you have to keep very close eye on. But a piece of it also needs to be on sales success, like, did we actually hit numbers in your region or in your segment? And then you share in that success as well, and so like like, yes, be highly productive day to day, week to week, and in doing meeting sets and in doing sales qualified opportunities, but ultimately you're also not going to get a hundred percent of your comp if if the sales team with what you're working isn't succeeding as well. And so I think you've got a you've got a straddle some of them in the cases where you can, and and I'm very much have to live not just this job but this job prior jobs. People that want to come and talk to me about setting comp against something that is not objective, I'm like step one. You only comp on things that are objective, and so bringings are super objective and revenue or expense and expense management very objective. Things that are like the Soandso his opinion, or things that are dragged up and down based on surveys scores, based on response rates and all that's like. I find them interesting and I find them good in theory, but make sure you can prove to me that it's scientifically objective and then we'll talk about how we put it into a complax. Otherwise, I go keep US circle survey scores being like customer satisfaction scores, for example. We track them, we do them, we qbr them, we manage them, tying people's comp to stuff like that, like when you have a two percent versus a six percent response right and all that. You know, providing people upside and accelerated upside on a survey score process won't, you know, gets very complicated and starts to feel a little bit like a little bit of fiction land as opposed to facts, and so I very much like to live in the world of facts. Love it. You have, you know, your over twenty years you've been kind of rising up, rising up inheriting new functions, as you mentioned, some of them you didn't have experience and you went out and listen to customers and you talk to people that were doing the job, etc. Meanwhile there's a different set of conventional wisdom right now in the high growth environment around stage appropriate leadership and this idea that you kind of need to slot leaders in that have experience with that specific stage. There's a zero to ten million stage, there's a ten to thirt you know, or whatever the stages are, and you kind of need to swap leaders out as you go. I guess the alternative would be to invest in them and invest in their ability to grow and develop. How do you feel about sort of, you know, I don't know if it's a opposing views, but there's probably a philosophy that you have around people's upside and their potential to grow as they encounter new and different challenges. So I have a very specific when you on this topic. First, depending on the type of business that you're in. Like, let's just we're in a high growth business. The business is growing faster than people can grow their leadership and management skill sets and careers. It just is like the fat you can't. You can't gain five years of leadership experience in a year and a half, though the business is growing fast enough that you know the size of teams someone might be managing, the complexity of problems of scerned to solve grows exponentially faster than than...

...humans can learn. So or most humans can learn. So I think there's three approaches. You have people that your replace. They're just like they were great from zero to ten, but now they're just wrong for the business all together for a variety of reasons. I think that's a pretty small subset, by the way. I think there are people that you top. I think those are the majority of the people. You essentially say hey, you're a great manager for the CS function or you're a great sales director, you're not ready to be a VP, but I really want you to stay the sales director for another couple of years while you get more experience. So I'm going to go outside, I'm going to go find a VP to heavy report to. And the third is the people that you grow, and those are the people that are the sales vp, are this you know sales director, or the CSM who is really ready actually to become a CSM manager, or the BEDR who really is ready to go take on a BDR manager to position or something like that, and you grow those people. So I think the people your replaces the smallest bunch. I think the the people that you can grow is the next smallest bunch. You know, there's probably twenty percent of the people in that bucket and I think the vast majority of people in these high growth businesses are people that you talk and so I think like being able to figure out especially the gross versus the tops and not getting yourself too wepped into I really like that person. I want them to succeed and then I'm going to hold on too long to the dream of them making it to a VP even though they just can't and they're not gonna be able to get there at the speed we need them to. And making sure you're making the right calls at the right times. And I think it's an every year or two process, and for me it's a never it's an annual process to go through and make that determination and I do it quite physically and I do it with the board. Did it at Marquetto for five years. Do the same thing here at choped annually, and that way it just makes you very clear on where what work you have to do hiring that needs to be done and where you have, you know, scale weakness inside of your leadership team. That makes a lot of sense when we think about yeah, I mean, I'm just, I'm just, I'm just digesting those opportunities and thinking about the people that you grow versus the people that you talk. How do you manage the folks that? I guess the tension is the judgment that you mentioned right, understanding which person falls into which bucket and how to evaluate them. And, to the point of the your first set of comments, in an objective way have you created, or is it as objective as possible? Like it? Does judgment come more into play here, or have you helped create some objective performance management system that has clear, clear boundaries, guidelines, expectations around what a VP is, such that you can tell that senior director or that director, we here's what we've we've previously agreed that this is what a VP does and we and here's where you are not able to do that. Is that is that some some part of the system that you've created and in your roles at Markuino, show pad and, I would say, to some extent in a little bit more mature organization like Marqutto? The answer is yes, I think in a less mature organization just in terms of size and systems and what have we written down on what we haven't written down, probably less so in the smaller sized businesses, and so I do think it comes with judgment. I also think, frankly, it comes with a couple things. One is being quite open with this philosophy, right. I mean it's not a secret, like people realize that that's how I think and how I operate, and so it's not like a big surprise and people are super disappointed. Don't get Mery. I know there's some disappointment if you know, Sally thinks she should be from director to VP and she doesn't get it, but it's not like that's the first time sally will have ever heard that, you know, as it as being something that is a probability because of the infrequency of being able to grow people. So I think there's that. I think the other, though, is just in you'll in interact with people, whether it's at this company or prior roles, that I've had no lack of direct feedback and, you know, making sure that people are fully grounded and where they are and how I view them. And then I think you know what their growth potential is and I think if you keep that open dialog open and as a manager you're willing to have like a courageous conversation once a month or once a quarter or...

...even once every six months about, hey, this is kind of how I'm viewing you and this is kind of what I'm starting to see the develop a little bit and what I'm going to have to do about it, I think, to the extent you can have that as an active dialog, so it's not like blindsided eighteen months in and like I totally thought I was. You know, like it has to be ongoing dialog and conversation between you and different leaders in different people in the team, and that way I think it lands in quite a quite a good place. Yeah, let's let's transition to the top of Tujure, which is sales enablement. So which is the the the company that you're running right now. The sales enablement space is projected to be worth two point six billion dollars, by two thousand and twenty four, and so that's massive amount. I guess my question to you is, first of all, when you say that phrase sales enablement, you alluded to it in terms of the show pad technology, but what does it mean? Will you know? I think a lot of people hear it think a lot of people want to put in enablement. I don't know that there's a wikipedia page that says this is what sales enableman actually clearly means. What does it mean to show pad? Sales Enablement, for show pad means a few things. One, sales enablement is about preparing sellers, the second thing is about engaging buyers and third is about providing analytics as to what's going on in these be tob buying processes to provide that feedback back into sales organizations and in the marketing organizations. So in the world of selling or in the world of preparing and engaging, I think there's two fundamental like one of the two pieces of technology that largely exists in the sales enablement space. I think there's the first big chunk is content, like their sales content, so powerpoint presentations, google slides, videos, one pagers, access to data sheets and online collateral and so forth. How do you make sure sellers can bind that stuff, share it with customers and have those customers engage or those buyers engage with that content? So there's a whole content side of the business. The other side of the business is very much about training, on boarding coaching new sales reps, having them practice their sales pitches, having managers or peers review those sales pitches and ultimately be able to give feedback and have this continuous improvement. So the thinking goes, if you can have like the best content, if you have the best prepared sellers and you have the best content in the predictable content they're using and words that they're saying in front of buyers, ultimately you can create a better and more engaging buyer experience and a more capable seller. The results in better outcomes in terms of soul deals and size of deals and so forth, and and so that's the I think those are the nuts and bolts of it. And if you really think about it, and as I think about it, like this problem has not been meaningfully solved and B tob selling right now, right it is like there are crm systems that are out there, there are marketing automation solutions that provide tons of leads their share point, and there are content management systems for dumping bunch of digital assets into, but like the systems that the sellers log into and use every day to be successful, or things like linkedin sales naviator, outreach, show pad it. You know, it's a it becomes a pretty short list of things that they care about and things that they log into to help them do their job more effectively. In chill pad very much lives in that world of making those other successful, it seems to me. But correct. I just I wonder if the word sales as a modifier to enablement is would one day becomes superfluous, because it seems to me that the things that you're describing, which is providing content, information insights that the organization is generated to the right person at the right time, is not a problem that is specific to sales. It maybe that sales needs it more acutely, would you, but that seems to be like a massive opportunity for any company that's delivering answers to questions in real time at the moment that that person in the company needs. I totally with that. I feel that just in the world of sales, much like sales for started with a sales...

...force automation solution and they said, you know, a system of record for service probably would be helpful to boltime and then maybe we should get a system of record or something in the lead space. With the exact target and part out and so before you know, like there's more to be done from a back office standpoint that you get from someone like sales force. You know, I very much few like this, is that one is about sales and solving the sales marketing, customer buyer divide. But ultimately and frankly, today customers absolutely used Chow Pad and are competitors products in the customer Success Organization and the Support Organization and Marketing Organization stations in some cases internally for internal learning solutions and so forth. So there's tons of opportunity and I think that's a difference between a Billion Dollar show pad and a ten billion dollar show pad. Over time is just growing that audience. It strikes me that, which is true for so many different companies where they have articulated a software solution to a problem, that you have some pretty deep insights probably into the tangential areas around that problem. So what I mean specifically is, if your solution is delivering assets at the right time at the right place to the seller or to the buyer, I wonder if you know what assets should be created as a consequence of leveraging them all the time so that companies that are growing, that want to build, that want to know what content should we build? How many sales playbooks do we need? What one pager should we have? Is that information that maybe your professional services team or somebody at show pad can help the buyer understand, because I think a lot of people want to do sales enablement. They're just not quite sure where to start, like what is the complete content checklist to make sure that they've got all their bases covered? So, as part of getting going with with show pad, of course, like one of the first things we do is, let's do it content audit, like what is your world look like today in terms of content, meaning what are the different assets that you have available and, just as importantly, in how many places to those assets live inside of the organization? And third, which is usually the unanswerable question, how many of them are actually used by the sales organization or by buyers? And then the clearly unanswerable fourth point, which is and how are they working, like does the butt does it resonate with the buyer or does not? And so we definitely lead customers through this process of understanding their content, understanding where it lives, understanding how to start centralizing it. And then really it's this feedback loop of the goal here, I was at a custom meeting yesterday, is how can we create the fewest number of assets that have the highest percentage of utilization that ultimately move the needle and get deals closed or get deals progressed or get deals bigger over the course of time? And if you think in those terms, you constantly need an analytical feedback loop consumption effectiveness and ultimately it can feedback into wow, it seems like videos are rocking it. Well, we should probably do a lot more in the video space in a lot less in the PDF space, and so then you start leaning your content development much more in that direction. And so it's that process of first doing a baselining that we will do from a professional services standpoint with our customers, but then teaching them how to constantly engage that feedback to adjust as they go forward in their sales enable to journey. Is that, and you mentioned something. Is that true that videos are rocking it, just because I've been hearing a lot about the growth of video, particularly in sales recently? I would say categorically yes. I would also say that it we very much market sell and implement a horizontal solution. And so, for example, I would say yes, I would say totally yes in the Act Con Vertical probably not quite as much in like the medical device space and more traditional type industry. So it there are hot spots and cold spots on different types of assets and different types of content. But but overall video does something, something that's doing quite well. That's exciting. Jason Work. This has been an incredible conversation. We're sort of coming to to the end of our of our time together, but what we like to do in this section of the of the conversation is just pay it forward a little bit. You know, you...

...mentioned intellectual curiosity. You mentioned that you're always trying to learn. When you think about either books that have really influenced you or, I don't know, managers, leaders, CEOS, founders, investors, people that have really influenced you. What comes to mind as some of the you know, things that you think we should be aware of or learn about with the goal of becoming either a better professional, bet our salesperson or maybe even just a better human. First I would say the the never stop learning. The comments that I see from Bill Gates, for example, who I seldom quote or even think much about, but his comments or as thought around, read things that don't necessarily aren't exactly aligned with what your business is because there are so many things you could learn from totally off base topics and apply them in your day to day professional life or actually quite profound and so so I think that you know that advice of constantly be learning, but don't get siloed into I'm going to read a bunch of book about books about Tech Companies and how to make tech companies successful. That's actually you're just to be, you know, breathing a lot of your own exhaust and rereading things that you probably, in many cases, know today. I would say other things that I focused on beyond reading is I spend a lot of time listening. I read something recently by Jeff bezos said, you know, there are people in the world who are pretty smart, people who listen a lot, change their mind a lot, and it's because they continue to take in data. I watch people consistently who they form their opinion and then they do it's like a validation bias or something like that, where they go looking for evidence to support the decision they've already made. I think that's one of the biggest evils you have and an executive leadership inside of companies. So I definitely would think think in those terms. I think being human, being pleasant to the people around you, is incredibly important. I'm convinced, like you can have companies that are led by crazy dictators who are intolerable to be around and they can succeed. I mean, I think we've seen that. I actually think you can do it the other way and and so do your comment romp being a better human. You know, I definitely view this opportunity to you know, show pad as a great example for me right now, which is a place where you can actually be who you are. You can actually drive hard, but you can actually be pleasant and kind and create a great culture while creating a great company at the same time. And so those are a few things that the come top of mine. For me, make sense, Jason, if people are listening and they want to reach out to you, maybe they want to work for show pad or they want to become a customer. Is that okay? If they reach out to you, and if so, you have a preferred channel, email linkedin twitter. How do you prefer to be contacted by strangers, if at all. Yeah, so well, there's www dot pdcom for people that are in the market for sales enablement or think maybe they ought to be. Now I'm also happy to people contact me at my shoe pet email, Jason Dot Holmes at chopeedcom and and linked into something up. You know, like many people, I spend a fir amount of time on so definitely very accessible there as well. Wonderful, Jason. Thanks so much for being on the show and we'll talk to you this Friday for Friday fundamentals. Thank you so I appreciate it. Hey, everybody, it's SAM's corner. What a great interview with Jason Holmes. He packed a lot into those thirty eight or so minutes. I want to recap some of it because get out of NOTEPAD. Maybe I don't know. Do whatever you want. You don't work for me, you work for yourself. But but here's some key things that I think are really important to take away. First of all, I just think that a lot of people are talking about revenue as the key, which sounds obvious, the key metric, the key KPI for revenue organizations. What do I mean by that? Not comping, marketing, organization, the Marketing Organization, on things like mql's leads hipeline contribution. It may feel like those are objective metrics. We have a lead scoring system in place. It gives this many points every single time we delivered this many qls, but it's not revenue and it...

...is gamable and it's controlled oftentimes by the Marketing Organization itself. More importantly, perhaps even than mqls or sales qualified opportunities or anything else has when you're comping the customer success team, and Jason was saying that every revenue team should have a portion of their comp as variable. I think maybe. I don't know if I completely agree, but I think it's an interesting insight. But the point is, don't put accelerators and Revenue Compensation into non revenue metrics like customer satisfaction or NPS, a survey that you might run of customers. That's not it's not objective enough and it's not tied to business outcomes clearly and objectively enough to warrant cash compensation. So just try to align the cash generation of the business with the cash distribution of the business to its employees. That's, I think, pretty important to remember whenever you can. So some organizations take that to to an A. I don't know if it's an extreme, but they take it somewhere, which is that they refuse to pay sales people until the money is collected from the customer. I think it's very common. It's particularly common larger organizations where the dollar the check sizes are very, very large. You know, one of the ways you can solve that, instead of having this complan that pays people out over a tremendously extended period of time, is simply to demand up front payment from your customers and then pay people when you collect that cash. I do think that as the business reaches a certain skill, though, the company can subsidize the distance to some extent. Provide you of the right policies in place so of the sales people aren't shouldering the balance sheet. Word into the company. I understand that CFOs one alignment, but sales people, as individual contributors, don't have equity in the company, or at least the same equity as the CFO, the CEO. CEOS went out and raise a lot of venture capital. You can use that money to subsidize the commission payments of the sales people. In my opinion. That's just my opinion. If you have a problem with it, I'll tell you how to contact me in a little bit. Also, you know this idea about stage appropriate leadership. Jason believes in it. I'm more skeptical, to be completely honest, but but he's the presidency of show pad and I'm not so maybe listen to him. But he has three buckets for for evaluating talent. As the organization achieves hyper scale, three buckets are removed. Growing top. He says about twenty percent of the people are grow, about five percent are remove, and so you've got three quarters of the people that are top, meaning you're going to have people that you bring in over them. If they're the director of sales, are going to hire vp of sales. If they are senior director of Managain, you're going to hire a VP marketing. If their VPA marketing, you're going to hire a chief marketing officer. You have to be careful about that. The big thing there is managing expectations appropriately and making it clear that that is your philosophy and then I think also again having objective clearly defined, an articulated guidelines, responsibilities requirements of the job so that it's not just listen, I don't think you're there yet, and then the person says will what do I need to do to get there, and you don't have an answer. Think you need to have an answer, in my opinion. Write down what you think the job of a VP or CMO is is or should be, how it is different from the current job, and then you can articulate the gaps between this person and what your aspirations are. I really hope, though, that you're not using this framework as as a mechanism for unconscious, conscious bias where because that person is young, or because they are a woman, or because they don't look the part using the moneyball framework, that they're not going to get the opportunity to step up. I think that the people that are the most talented in the organization, that are demonstrating capabilities, at least deserve a chance. Once you've articulated those guidelines, give them that chance to succeed. At any rate, I interspersed a little bit of my thoughts with Jason's, but go back and listen to that, to the Pod, because I think he really does a tremendous job of articulating the job of a President CEO and providing a framework for how to look at an organization from a strategic perspective. So thought it was a great interview. If you want to reach me, you can on Linkedins, linkedincom forward lash the word in. And then for las time, if Jacobs, if you would be so kind as to rate the show on Itunes, we would really appreciate it. Please give us five stars and write something really funny and endearing about me personally. Thank you, and obviously I'm getting about that last part.

And and we want to thank our sponsors, lucid chart and their sales solution, which is the leading account planning platform for modern sales orgs, and outreach, the leading sales engagement platform. And I will talk to you next time.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (405)