The Sales Hacker Podcast
The Sales Hacker Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

Friday Fundamentals: EP 45: Big Co vs. Small Co

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

How do you know whether a big or small company is right for you? In a small company, the feedback mechanism feels quick. It feels rewarding because you have instant change. The challenge? You may not always have processes to fall back on!

Everybody. Sam Jacobs, welcome back to the Sales Hacker podcast and welcome to Friday fundamentals. I hope it's a beautiful Friday wherever you are. As a reminder, this is the short five to ten minute format where we bring back this week's guest to ask about a pressing question perhaps that lingered from the interview in this this week our guest on the show is Alison Wagonfeld. Alison is the chief marketing officer for Google Cloud, representing both Google Cloud Platform and g suite and, as we discussed earlier this week, she has had roles at a variety of different companies. She's worked at very small companies where she was, I think, the number two person at the company she helps start quicken loans at into it. So she was a small division within a very, very large organization. She was an investor, so she's seen tons of early stage companies that are scaling to great heights, like zoom, and now she works at Google, which has over a hundred thousand employees. So our question for Alison is going to be about how do you know which, whether it's...

...a big company or a small company, is right for you and how do you sort of evaluate that decision when you're thinking about where to join. Now, before we dive in, we want to thank our sponsor. Our sponsor for Friday fundamentals is outreach. Outreach triples the productivity of sales teams and empowers them to drive predictable and measurable revenue growth by prioritizing the right activities in scaling. Customer engagement with the intelligent automation outreach makes customer facing teams more effective and improve visibility into what really drives results. Alison, thanks for being on the show. Our question for you for Friday fundamentals is, how do you know and what are the biggest differences between working at a really big company like Google and a small, early stage company, and how do you figure out which one is right for you? Hi, Sam, well, thanks for having me here. So, yes, I have been at the tiniest of tiny companies with no office space, all the way to now today, one of over a hundred thousand at Google. So it's certainly seen the Gammet and I would say that there's pros and kinds of each and means. So the smaller...

...companies that I've been at, and certainly as an investor at emergence capital investing in small companies. The part that I loved about that is everything happens so quickly. You decide something, you do it, you make it happen. It's the feedback mechanism is instant, or it feels instant, and it feels like you're constantly making progress and having impact and that is a really rewarding place to be organizationally. And then certainly when you join small companies, you know as an executive, for sure, but even though you have impact on every aspect of the company, of the culture, of the people, of the office space, of the communication and mechanisms. That kind of how you choose to have fun when an off site looks like so having and often you get to operate outside of your job function. So even though when I came into a start up as the VP of marketing, I was I felt like I...

...was impacting product strategy, I was impacting kind of how did we want to think about sales, I would be part of the pitches with our as we are raising money from venture capitalists. so that kind of exposure, there's something really you just kind of can have like ten years of experience and packed into two or three years when everything moves that quickly. The flip side, of course, is that you are building everything from scratch. You have no processes to fall back on. You feel like you are, you know, the person who's in charge of the budget, who's in charge of the systems, who's working through every hr issue that comes off. And being at a company like Google, where I have such tremendous support across all of these different areas, allows me to really focus on what does it mean to be a great marketer here and how am I generating demand and working with our sales teams and building out the brand and doing all the things that we need to do for marketing, and it's more functionally oriented that way. And often with a big...

...company, particularly when like Google having the brands to kind of back you up, it means that of anybody I call or anybody want to want to engage with, I don't spend the beginning of those conversations who I am, what am I doing, why it matters, and so you end up being able to kind of launch right into having meaningful discussions and partnership opportunities, and so that's been one of the aspects that's been fun at Google. So you know, I think it really dead. I actually think it's great to go back and forth to subdigree in some of our best tires here or people who have been able to operate at scale at a big company and know what it means to work with tens of thousands of people and communic create globally and understand that aspect of it. But I also been able to work and more of an entrepreneurial startup environment, because then that biased action is really, really strong and have found that to be an important Combo. So how do you how do you figure out what's right for you, if you were to give that advice...

...to young people out there? So I think it depends on where you are in your own career growth. I think that when you're just starting out, I actually think that there's value of being at a bigger company because you learn from people that have been there and done that before and you see what processes look like, you see what scale looks like and you're often surrounded by a peer group that you're learning from as well. But then I think it's you know, after a couple of years it might be worthwhile to then kind of switch over and go to more of a start up where you're actually helping to build yourself, where you can take some of that learning and then you can put your own flare on it and modify what worked didn't, experiment with new areas and then hopefully your companies wildly successful. So you either grow into a big company or you get acquired into a bigger company and then you can bring that real entrepreneurial initiative back into a bigger company. So I don't I think...

...that it's actually important to be able to operate in both capacities and I think that if you're working at a startup, that you should get to know people who work at bigger companies and understand what that's like. And if it's a be to be start up, you're probably selling into those bigger companies. And if you are working at a bigger company, don't lose track of you know, go to a saster event or go to events where there are some smaller companies there, because it reminds you of what it means to be agile and Nimble and trying to experiment quickly. And sometimes if you're at a big company for too long, I think that you can lose track of some of those elements that makes a company really successful makes a lot of sense. So recapping in either broad strokes, but early stage. Obviously the benefits our speed of execution, the ability to learn on the fly, the ability to a initiative. Sometimes, on the other hand, there's not as much infrastructure, there's not as much support and you don't get the overhead, the the the air...

...cover that you might get from working at a very large organization, and so some balance between the two of the course their career probably makes a lot of sense. Yeah, and then always just being really focused about who were the people that you're working with day and day out, if you go to a startup, that ensuring that you have people to learn from around you. And then even in the same as it a bigger company that you know, for example, of you're at a start up and I've never worked at a bigger company, but want that exposure. If you work for somebody who has at a start up or you have a puer who has, you can learn in that capacity as well. So I think it's being constantly learning and asking questions and recognizing that there's many models of success and really keeping your eyes open to be aware and learn from others. Makes a lot of sense. Alison, thanks so much for being on the show this week. If folks want to apply because Google cloud is growing so quickly and hiring thousands of salespeople, they should find the relevant job that they're interested in. You're hiring all over the...

...world and reach out. Does that sound accurate? Yeah, that sounds accurate, perfect. Thanks for being on the show. Thanks to outreach for putting food on our table and we'll talk to you next time. Great, thanks so much. Thank you,.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (415)