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Episode 80  |  35:34 min

How to go from $0 to $60 million ARR

Episode 80  |  35:34 min  |  05.17.2021

How to go from $0 to $60 million ARR

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This is a podcast episode titled, How to go from $0 to $60 million ARR. The summary for this episode is: <p>Have you ever been at a company that went from $0 to $60M ARR? Joubin Mirzadegan, Go To Market Partner at Kleiner Perkins shares how to design a winning culture by recognizing, empowering, and promoting from the bottom up. You'll learn why hiring great people and being prepared for change management is essential while climbing the ARR ladder.</p><p><br></p><p>Key Takeaways:</p><p>05:28 - Identify with the Voice of the Customer</p><p>13:33 - Innovate and Deliver to Drive Value</p><p>18:30 - This Week's Data Breakout</p><p>21:06 - Culture Ebbing Up</p><p>32:33 - Sales in One Word</p><p>34:17 - This Week's Micro Action</p><p><br></p><p>Want to explore Revenue Intelligence for your org? It starts here: <a href="https://www.gong.io/revenue-intelligence/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://www.gong.io/revenue-intelligence/</a></p><p>Connect with Devin Reed: <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/devinreed/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://www.linkedin.com/in/devinreed/</a></p><p>Connect with Sheena Badani: <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/sheenabadani/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://www.linkedin.com/in/sheenabadani/</a></p><p>Connect with Joubin Mirzadegan: <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/joubin-mirzadegan-66186854/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://www.linkedin.com/in/joubin-mirzadegan-66186854/</a></p>
Takeaway 1 | 00:36 MIN
Identify with the Voice of the Customer
Takeaway 2 | 00:39 MIN
Innovate and Deliver to Drive Value
Takeaway 3 | 01:18 MIN
This Week's Data Breakout
Takeaway 4 | 01:14 MIN
Culture Ebbing Up
Takeaway 5 | 01:20 MIN
Sales in One Word
Takeaway 6 | 00:43 MIN
This Week's Micro Action

Have you ever been at a company that went from $0 to $60M ARR? Joubin Mirzadegan, Go To Market Partner at Kleiner Perkins shares how to design a winning culture by recognizing, empowering, and promoting from the bottom up. You'll learn why hiring great people and being prepared for change management is essential while climbing the ARR ladder.

Guest Thumbnail
Joubin Mirzadegan
Go To Market Partner, Kleiner Perkins
Joubin joined Kleiner Perkins in 2019 and focuses on advising the KP portfolio companies on all aspects of building and scaling a robust go-to-market. Additionally, he enables the firm’s portfolio through high impact relationships with F500 executives and key ecosystem partners. Joubin was previously at Palo Alto Networks as a global district sales manager for the Central US based in Chicago where he scaled the Central Cloud business from 1 enterprise rep and $2M ARR to 12 reps and $50M+ ARR in 4 quarters. Before Palo Alto Networks, Joubin worked at Evident.io as an enterprise account executive focused on the Palo Alto Networks relationship, which resulted in Evident’s acquisition by Palo Alto Networks. Previous to that, Joubin was at Bracket Computing (acquired by VMWare) and built the inside sales team from the ground up.
Connect with Joubin

Devin Reed: Welcome to Reveal, the revenue intelligence podcast powered by Gong. We're your hosts, Devin Reed

Sheena Badani: And I'm Sheena Badani. Revenue intelligence is a new way of operating based on customer reality instead of opinions, making data- driven decisions based on facts instead of opinions or guesswork.

Devin Reed: And it's made up of three success pillars, people intelligence, deal intelligence, and market intelligence. You know, the things all revenue teams need and care about. Every week, we interview senior revenue professionals and share their stories and insights on how they leverage revenue intelligence to drive success and win their market.

Sheena Badani: You'll hear how modern go- to- market teams win as a team, close revenue with critical deal insight and execute their strategic initiatives, plus all the challenges that come along with it.

Devin Reed: Sheena, have you ever been at a company where you went from zero to 60 million ARR?

Sheena Badani: I have actually multiple times. Most of my career have been at high- growth startups, but I've been, I think like in different stages of that. So the last company I was at before, Gong, we were in the very early stages trying to get our first customers. So it was like going from zero to one, like how do you get there? And then I've been at companies like LinkedIn in the early days, Mongo DB kind of in that mid phase, now Gong, where there's more traction, there's customers and you're just trying to scale and do more of it and repeat the playbook. So it's pretty interesting. It's all different.

Devin Reed: Maybe one day you will be on a podcast talking about zero to 60 million because that's what Joubin joined today to talk about, how to go from zero to 60 million ARR. Now we could probably have done a full season of this podcast to really dive into all the ins and outs of that, but he did a great job in the 30- ish minutes that we talked to really share what those expectations are and how to prepare yourself as a sales leader for one, rapid growth, but also the expectations for each stage of those growth. Right? Which I think would be like one to 15, 15 to 30, 30 to 60.

Sheena Badani: Mm- hmm( affirmative).

Devin Reed: And so it was really insightful to get to hear from him having worked with a lot of go- to market and sales teams and founders of what's working, what's not, and some advice in terms of how to hire the best people.

Sheena Badani: Yeah, it was great. I loved it. He had a lot of great examples from conversations he's had with C- suite revenue leaders, which I loved those peppered throughout the conversation too.

Devin Reed: Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, hey, let's go hang out with Joubin. Joubin, welcome to Reveal. Thanks for hanging out with us.

Joubin: Thanks for having me. Excited to be here.

Devin Reed: Before we dive into the fun stuff, let's just start with the basics. Can you give us a quick overview of what you do at Kleiner Perkins and what you're focused on right now?

Joubin: Yeah, thanks again. I guess the most important overview is my name. You nailed it, Joubin, like Ruben with a J. I start every Zoom meeting articulating that because otherwise we can't even get past go. I joined Kleiner about a year and a half ago. We focus on early stage, typically series A investing. Usually the folks that we're investing in are highly, highly technical genius founders. Typically, they started a company. Within the previous company that they were working at, they had a problem, they were building a technology that was trying to address that problem, and they decided to spin out and solve that problem for many customers, not just the organization that they're working for. The problem with that is that there's often a lot of blind spots, right? And so the main blind spot that a highly, highly technical, really, really smart early stage founder has is on the go- to market side. This is anything from how do I hire my first rep? What is a comp plan? What is a quota, let alone how do I build those? How do I hire my first leader? When do I go international? And every single kind of question in between those, you have no idea. And so I guess it's my job to kind of help fill in some of those blind spots. And admittedly, I think a lot of what I do is kind of shepherding them away from what not to do rather than what to do. And so I try and help them avoid a lot of the pitfalls along the way.

Devin Reed: That sounds like a very fun, very interesting, and probably fairly challenging role.

Joubin: Keeps things fresh.

Devin Reed: Yeah.

Sheena Badani: Yeah. Especially with some of those founder types, as you mentioned, they're geniuses. And so they may feel like they know a lot, even if they haven't been through it or they might talk to other folks, other founders who've done it, or they've done a tremendous amount of research and they're coming with their own ideas around it and you may have to shift their perspective or tell them something different that they may not believe. What is that like?

Joubin: It's less tactical and more strategic in terms of a mindset. So what I mean is like, there is a culture of engineering that aligns with the founder's mindset. So like when you're a former CTO or VP of engineering, when you've only managed or led engineering teams, then you're very engineering centric. You're very product centric. You're very technology centric. And so you end up building and doing things around the technology rather than the customer. And so what I like to say is like, look, we need to hire sales, but don't think of it as sales because there's a negative stigma in the brains of founders, around sales. You're hiring the voice of the customer. We need to start building on behalf of our customer, right? We're not building a cool technology anymore. We're building a solution on behalf of the market. We need to go talk to the market. We need to understand what they need and then we need to build and cater towards that market. So we need to start identifying with the voice of the customer and we need to bring in people who can help be a liaison between us as the builders and the end user or the customers.

Sheena Badani: And I think it's part of the education that you're trying to do for these founders, you have created a really amazing podcast, the Go To Market Grit podcast, and you've interviewed some pretty heavy hitters in the revenue space. What have you learned from some of these folks that has specifically surprised you?

Joubin: Breadth matters more than I thought? So let me explain that. The lineage that I come from, the sales idols that I've had, the leaders that have always been within my orbit have been sales leaders. And what I mean by that is that they've always stayed within a very narrow ladder of sales, right? They've done the director, they've been a district manager, they've been an AVP. They become VP, then they become a CRO at an early stage. They do that rise. Those are all the idols in sales that I had growing up. I've learned over time that breadth really rounds out a compelling leader in my mind. So how do you get breadth? Well, one is like the Dan Shapero route, who we've both had on our podcast, the CRO, I guess now COO of LinkedIn. He managed a team of thousands of people under a sales organization. And then at some point he said," You know what?" Actually, Jeff Weiner said," You're not ready to take it to the next level as a leader." And he said," What are you talking about?" Well- respected all these things. And he said," You don't have enough breadth. You're too deep." And so what did he do? He took an individual contributor role as a product manager within the organization and built his way back up for breath. The other way to achieve breath, which is kind of more pertinent to my world today is go to an early stage startup. You want to learn how to be a marketer and a PM and an SDR, be the first or fifth AE at a startup. Like you do all those things. And so if you can go to an early stage startup, also you're kind of like a jack of all trades, you wear many hats, you get the diversity of the experience and the breadth. So you don't have to go the Dan Shapero route necessarily, but as long as you're seeing all these different things, you get to be much broader rather than deeper. And I think the reason that's important just to put a bow on this is that when you're the head of sales, you're kind of the conductor, you're the head of the orchestra. And what that means is that all the sounds need to be in harmony and they all need to sound good together. And so you need to be able to speak marketing in order to speak demand gen in order to get your team the leads that they need. You need to be able to speak product in order for you to be able to appropriately articulate, what is your team seeing in the field and how can we build a product based on that feedback, right? You need to be able to speak executive leadership and sell the team on like headcount and resources, et cetera. So to me, that's probably what surprised me the most was breadth versus depth.

Sheena Badani: Yeah, I like that. And I think even in the external conversations as a sales leader that you have with clients, having that breadth of experiences will help you connect to your buyer because maybe you're selling into engineering teams and having had some experiences working closely with product, working closely with engineering will better set you up for those external conversations too.

Joubin: Absolutely.

Devin Reed: So Joubin, we brought you on the show, other than hearing good things about you, because we wanted to dive into what it really takes when it comes to taking a company from zero to 60 million ARR. So to start out, why is ARR such an important metric? And really, I think what I'm more interested in is how does it differ from other metrics like total revenue when it comes to guiding decisions and strategy?

Joubin: I guess most software businesses in the valley, definitely most within the client portfolio want to be measured in ARR. Why? So let me give you an example. You want to put pressure on a sales team, like I tell the early stage sales team in the portfolio, for every deal that you close, let's imagine it's a million dollars, you are adding 10 to$20 million of valuation to this company, right? Why is that? Like, that's the magic. That's the sexiness of ARR. So for every million dollars that we add, we build a 10 to$ 20 million buffer of valuation, reason being, you're getting these crazy multiples because scale is like it's never been before, right? You have things like the cloud, et cetera, et cetera. So the opportunity for businesses to be huge, you look at a Snowflake, et cetera, the multiples are much crazier. The other is that, I think probably businesses are more easily distributed, right? You can get software into the hands of a lot of people a lot more quickly than back in the old days, when you have to ship a NetApp or an EMC box, that's not recurring revenue in the same sense. And so your COGS or your cost of goods sold, doesn't dilute as you scale, right? It's kind of a perfect business in the sense that you can continue to manufacture the same product for an infinite level of customers. And your cost is the engineers that are adding incremental features and functionality to that product. And so that recurring revenue engine is a really beautiful thing because it scales so well.

Devin Reed: Absolutely. And I think too, is like, how does that kind of impact the guiding decisions and strategy by choosing ARR as that focus, maybe on a more operational level.

Joubin: Well, it's a double- edged sword. Assuming ARR is really closely coupled with software businesses moving forward, right?

Devin Reed: Sure.

Joubin: It's kind of a double- edged sword because software businesses scale, they also don't have the moat of a hardware business. Right? Maybe I'll make a dumb example, but when you have an iPhone, like switching to an Android, there's a pretty significant physical cost to doing so. You hold the thing in your hand, et cetera, et cetera, you have to ship it back, whatever. When you have a continuous monitoring security platform or a sales enablement platform, switching those, you can just rip it out and then put it back in the next day, something different. Right? And so, I guess you need to like, create a moat around your business, which is, I think how you guide the decisions. The first that I would probably identify is like, okay, the land becomes very important. So at Gong, I would imagine, and again, I'm just extrapolating here, but your first deal is probably not as big as your second deal. And if you look at your annual contract value, you can't just look at the first deal because typically customers will expand over time.

Devin Reed: Right.

Joubin: And so the new POC is really like a land deal in my mind where you do a 20 K, a 10 K deal, you pick off one use case. You're successful with that one use case. You have a transaction for services or goods for dollars, you get that done, you build value, and then you can go horizontally to different teams, different ideal customer profiles, whoever it is within the organization. So the land matters. That's kind of the new POC in my mind. And then you have to do the expand. And so when you do the expand, what are the things that you have to think about in this software world? Well, product needs to deliver. So I go back to like, well, if you're a sales leader, you need to be able to speak product because now our expansion is so important that we need to really put the army around this customer to make sure that they're successful. A big kind of key tenant of that army is product. We need to continue to innovate and deliver to make sure that we're driving value for the customer so that they can expand. I guess the other that I would probably say is customer success. So you now need to build a really big or really effective, I should say, post sales organization that can step in and build that moat, that they stay a customer for life. That's ARR. That's the beautiful thing.

Sheena Badani: So again, we're talking about getting from zero to 60 in ARR. Within that, it's the interesting ride. Like every million dollars is not the same. Maybe in your mind, you have like buckets, like zero to one, one to 30, 30 to 60, they're all very different. How would you break down those buckets within getting from zero to 60 and why are they so different?

Joubin: Good question. And I think for the simplicity of a podcast, it's probably easiest to break it down. You ask my portfolio, they'll probably laugh at me because it's never this easy and it's never as narrowly defined as like," All right, Joubin, we've gotten to one million. Now we've moved on to the next bucket." It's a very crooked line. That being said, I do think there's three really unique or rough delineations within that journey of zero to 60. The first is the zero to one. That's kind of like, well, I tell the portfolio it's like our Where's Waldo face. The second is like one to 15. This is like you're leaving the nest. Right? Mama bird has now let the kids leave the nest. Can we build a repeatable process that doesn't involve the founder? And then the third is like 15 to 60. Again, very rough benchmarks here. This is the like cabinet building. This is like when the president gets inaugurated and he or she builds a cabinet around them. That's the 15 to 60.

Sheena Badani: Okay. What's your favorite one and why?

Joubin: Oh, man, This is so unfair, but my least favorite is the 15 to 60 because you figured it out. It's the most fun, but it's the least existential, is this going to work or not? And I think when you have that question of, oh my God, is this going to work? There's something on the other side of that fear that I think is really, I don't know, rewarding. I really like the one to 15. The zero to one is very founder led. So there's only so much that I could do to help there. I think there's only so much anyone can do. That's very much like, all right, who are your first five to 10 customers, right? If a founder doesn't actually sell those first few deals, they don't know how damn hard it is to sell. And so as they start to bring on new people onto their team, they can start to realize like, oh, you build empathy, you become a more effective leader that way. You can start to think of like culture. And I don't mean culture as like a pie in the sky term. I mean, like very tangibly, I think there's tactics that you can put in place to get a bunch of individualistic, highly competitive, highly motivated reps to work together. And the portfolio ask me all the time like," Joubin, what's the best culture? How do you build a sales culture?" And I always say, winning. Winning is the best culture. There is no substitute for a winning culture. And so how do you design that? I think there's very specific tactical things. Even within a comp plan, I think 75 to 80% of all sales reps should be hitting their quota. We should put quotas in a place where there's a majority of people. That way, those that aren't the outlier, you can manage to the outlier rather than, hey, 50% of the team has hit it, 50% hasn't. Then all of a sudden it becomes a question of, have we calibrated the quotas appropriately? Not, what can we do for the remaining 20%? Culture comes from signaling around recognition. So what do you recognize? Again, Dan Shapero in LinkedIn, what they do, which I love is that in their WinWire, they're not even allowed to put the revenue number that the deal was closed out, or if they do, it's at the very bottom in like micro font. It talks about the team and the contributions of product and marketing and the SDR that found the opportunity, et cetera. Ross Biestman, who's the CRO of ServiceTitan, who I had on my show, they talk about the Best Teammate Award and the Best Teammate Award is the most coveted award that you can get. That is their President's Club. Like that's fun to me. So going back all the way, long- winded answer, but that's what I think is really, really fun because you can design a culture that makes people successful and you can watch them be successful rising through the organization.

Sheena Badani: All right, everyone, in every episode, we have a data breakout, a quick sidebar to look at the data. Your company's success may not only depend on demand or having an innovative product. It could come down to the strength of your people. In fact, data from the Journal of Management shows that 60% of new ventures fail due to problems with the team. But what makes the difference between winning and losing teams? Is it experience skills, culture? That's what a study of 95 new startup teams in the Netherlands by Eva de Mol, Managing Partner at CapitalT aimed to find out. When measuring for innovation and products and services, customer satisfaction and expected sales growth, the teams that reported average levels of experience, but high levels of passion had significantly stronger performance than teams that reported high levels of experience, but low passion. The study also found that greater team experience only leads to better performance if the team members share a strategic vision for the company. That means that when it comes to growing your company's ARR, lack of experience may not be as important as you think. Success might come down to fully tapping into your collective passion. Stay tuned to the micro action at the end of the episode for tips to help you design this type of winning culture. That bucket that you outlined is that critical moment where that gets defined. Beyond that, it would be super hard to change behavior, change that mentality and that culture that was created in those pivotal year, years, however long it may have taken to go from 15 to 60. So I love those tangible examples that of highlighting others. It's not just the rep, it's the solutions engineer, it's marketing, it's SDR. It's all these other folks that have contributed and enabled that win to happen.

Joubin: I feel really strongly that culture ebbs up, not just down. And again, I'll be not pie in the sky and pretty specific with what I mean. A lot of the time we define as a leadership team cultural values that we then push down. But often, if nothing else matters about hiring, okay, and if you hire great people and that's what defines a great leader, then why would you hire those people and then let them be uniquely themselves and great? And so when you have a bunch of individuals, a cast of characters that all have their own strengths and weaknesses, and they all bring that to the table, then you can start to pull all the different, unique spirit of each of them and ebb culture up. So what that means is like, all right, we're going to hire Sheena. And let's pretend Sheena's a BDR and Sheena is going to do an awesome new way of lead gen that we've never seen before. Or Sheena's an AE and she's going to define a mutual customer success plan that we've never seen before. As a leader, you need to be able to say, all right, we recognize that. We want to empower her to do that. And that's going to go into Gong so that we can record it so that it goes to the rest of the organization. That is culture ebbing up. And the only way to send a signal to the organization that you value culture from the bottom up, not the top down is promoting that person. So when Sheena does a great job as an SDR or an AE, you need to send a signal to the organization that not only do we like to say that culture ebbs up, but we rely on that ebbing up within our culture in order to be successful in the long run as an organization. So culture ebbing up, not only does that mean that you take Sheena's great work, you evangelize that to the rest of the organization and then you systematize that. It also means that through title pay, et cetera, you reward that work and you send a message to everyone else. That is a winning culture. That's why it's my favorite.

Devin Reed: We've had other folks on the show, Kelly Wright most recently, she and I were talking about how to make sure the values and culture of your team isn't just a poster on the wall. And I think what you just said helps that, which is if you get in a room and talk about who you really are, and as a collective, what you value and that's your core, that's going to stick with you longer than," We're dedicated." And you look around and like," Yeah, I'm dedicated. I don't know if I'd say it's the number one quality, but sure. Put it on the board." And you kind of just go through this list of more of like aspirational traits versus core characteristics of the people in the room.

Joubin: Yeah. And not to be too preachy, but values and characteristics are fu and games until things start getting hard. And then you can start to put those things to the test and see like, are those actually real. If they're not authentic to who you are, to who your team is, then you're not going to be able to lean on those values through tough times.

Devin Reed: Absolutely. I'd like to dive in more. So for the sales leaders listening, I imagine, you know, we're talking about one to 60, that's probably a large gamut of the folks listening, even though there's probably some obviously outside of 60, but I feel like you have some good insight, Joubin, in terms of how we can prepare sales leaders for the next stage. Right? So if I'm not one to five stage as a sales leader right now, what can I expect for the next stage and so on and so forth? And I know that can be kind of a deep question. So maybe just the first few things that come to your mind is like, what should sales leaders look forward to, or be prepared for as they climb that ARR ladder?

Joubin: The most important thing and this probably won't come as a surprise to the audience is hire great freaking people. I always tell our CEOs and our VPs of sales like, look, screw everything up. I don't care. Literally everything, but if you hire great people, we're going to do great things. Literally that's it. We could spend 80 to 90% of our time just recruiting and almost everything else can fall by the wayside, unless you're a CEO, in which case you have to go raise money. Almost everything else is just lost in the peripheries. It doesn't really matter that much. And I think we make much ado about nothing for all of the other things that tactically matter. And don't get me wrong, they do, but if you hire great people, no matter what stage you're at, I think that's probably the most important thing. I guess the other thing, and I was listening to a podcast with Harley Finkelstein, who's the COO of Shopify, and what he talks about, which really resonated with me, so maybe I'll just reshare his thoughts because I apparently can't come up with my own, is that he was always really insecure. He was there employed at 20, whatever, very early at Shopify. And he was always very insecure that he couldn't scale with the organization. And when you're at a fast growth, like insane trajectory startup, like Shopify was, like many of the organizations that we work with or talk to, the organization is moving faster than you are. And so the buck stops with you. It's incumbent upon you to scale before the organization. So how do you learn? What do you learn? Who are the people that you're surrounding yourself with in order to get better at that next level? So I spend a lot of time putting podcasts guests who have seen the next level of scale that our portfolio is going to as advisors into our portfolio so that we can start to help them shape what scale looks like at that next place. One last thing is change management. As a leader, change management is one of the hardest things at a startup that's growing fast because when you're a rep... Let's just say we're in bucket one to 15, Devin, to your point and we're moving from 15 to 60, what does that mean? We're four to six X- ing the business, right? That means that territories are going to change. Comp plans are going to change. Quarters are going to change. The Bay Area, while you might've had that in two pieces are now about to be 10 pieces. While you may have had San Francisco, Oakland and Palo Alto as your territory, you now have like 94123 zip code within San Francisco. And so that is hard, as an individual, to accept that change. The only thing that's consistent is change at these companies. And so as the ground starts shaking beneath everyone and that shaking feels so personal, no pun intended to all the people that are on the ground, well, what can you do to make sure that we're all up for the task and that the team was, that all boats are going to rise with the tide, no matter what.

Devin Reed: Yeah, absolutely. And then I know, again, from experience, the best leaders will set those expectations as these things are unfolding, right? Which is like," Hey, we're heading towards this new growth. We're going to go from 20 to 40 this year. Here's what it's going to look like. And here's how it can affect you." And I think just level setting early, right, instead of quarter over quarter. Now my territory is a little smaller and the next quarter, man, it's cut again. And this is challenging. My commission went down 2%. And I think if you get ahead of it, like you've mentioned, you get more buy- in upfront like, hey, things are going to change, but it's for the greater good. And then like you said, you're doing all these, we'll call them cultural signals to the business to steal your wording. So yeah, I really like how you put that, Joubin.

Joubin: This speaks to, who are you hiring? So I think you design your hiring process and the characteristics of people that you're looking for knowing and assuming maybe you're already in that hyperscale or maybe you're still in the zero to one, but you're starting to think about, what does that look like? Well, you need to be able to hire for people that have something in their track record that shows a willingness to adapt, change, grit, whatever you want to call it.

Sheena Badani: So you're talking about hiring and how that's the most important thing that a sales leader could and should spend their time on, regardless of what stage they're in. On the flip side, where do you see sales leader spending too much energy and time that should be diverted to other things?

Joubin: Maybe I'll reinterpret the question a little bit, but if hiring is the most important thing, let's just assume that I'm always pressing us on what are we doing to hire great people? And so maybe the way that I would answer the question is like, what should we not hire for? And I know that's probably not the exact question that you asked me, but I think it's a really interesting question that I ask myself all the time, which is like, all right, if 80 to 90% of our job description is hiring, let's make sure we know what we're not hiring for. One that I would say is what I call earning fool's gold. So again, this is all stage dependent. But you just finished zero to one and you're like, all right, we have a business here. We've sold 20 customers. We know who our ideal customer profile is. We have our ACV down, et cetera. Who do we hire? It's very tempting, very tempting to hire the really sexy logos and resumes. Okay? It's very tempting to hire someone who was at Atlassian when there was 1, 000 sales reps, or at Twilio at 50 billion in revenue, or at Slack right before they got acquired. These logos are really, really, they hold some gravitas in the industry. Right? And especially when you're an engineer or an engineering leader, right? So let's just say the CEO is an engineer. You can't hire out of Slack and you can't hire out of Twilio right before they went public or whatever it is because the engineering credentials aren't actually that different, right? What they have to do, the problem in sales is very different than the problem in engineering. And so I think making that distinction and then thinking about not hiring for fool's gold is really important. So that's one. Maybe another is like the steak dinner rep. I think the steak dinner rep is dying or dead. What I mean by that is the notion of a account manager that you hire because they sold into the same sets of accounts for 20 years and their notion of an account strategy is steak dinners and 18 holes of golf. And look, I love steak dinners and I love 18 holes of golf. I would love to be that rep. It's a great job, but that's changing over time. And I don't believe that the future buyer is going to be making decisions based solely on relationship like they have in the past, because there's too much data out there and they're empowering their teams in a way that they never have before. Show me someone who's highly technical that looks more like a mathematician than a sales rep, that is very processed and process driven and oriented. That's what I think is the future sales rep and is very, very in tune with your platform, your product and what they do.

Sheena Badani: And just bringing more of that science into sales, right? Before it was just this black box of, oh, the reps that have been doing this for 20, 25 years, they just know how to do it and nobody else can figure it out or it'll take all of that time. But being able to... Now we're at that place where we can highlight the data, we can show what's working and really double down on those and help other parts of the org, newer reps, folks newer to sales get to that same level. So Joubin, we ask all of our guests one question, so we're going to ask you the same, which is how would you describe sales in one word.

Joubin: Underrated.

Sheena Badani: Oh, okay.

Joubin: My expend.

Sheena Badani: Explain.

Devin Reed: Yeah, please.

Sheena Badani: Yeah, please.

Devin Reed: Please explain. My guess was grit, only because that's the name of your show. I thought maybe that-

Joubin: Yeah. Honestly, I thought that was too obvious. It is, but grit is a characteristic that I think is important in sales.

Devin Reed: Sure.

Joubin: Underrated is how I think about the profession of sales. And I say that because what a good job, it's such a good job. I don't know why we don't talk about how amazing this profession is more. A, it's not taught in schools, which is a damn shame. So that's probably why we don't talk about it because the social stigma around sales is not the same as like being a doctor, lawyer, whatever. I'm not qualified for any of those things. I'm barely qualified for sales. So that's one. It's like, man, what a great job. It's such a shame that it's not taught. Two, what an impact can you have on your business? You are the tip of the spear driving revenue. And if you're not building something, you're selling something. Right? And so like, man, what an impact can you have? And then the day- to- day of the job, in most companies that aren't giant Fortune 500s, who do you think makes the most money at a company? It's the top rep, usually more than a CEO at most startups, the top rep. Think about that. Every year, the top rep makes more than everybody else. That's pretty nice. And then their flexibility. You can work from wherever. You get to fly. You get to do all these things. You set your schedule with the customers. No one's really putting meetings on your calendar because the meetings on your calendar that matter are the ones that you're setting with the customer. Like man, what an underrated job.

Sheena Badani: I really like that. That's great. So underrated, you heard it here from Joubin. We had such a blast today. Thanks so much for joining us on the show.

Devin Reed: Thank you. Thank you.

Sheena Badani: Yeah. All the insights that you have from working and talking to all these different sales leaders has been really impressive. So thanks again for being here.

Joubin: Thank you, both.

Sheena Badani: Every week we like to bring you a micro action, something you can think about or put into play. Joubin believes that culture ebbs up, not just down, that designing a winning culture starts with helping people be more successful and rise within the organization. Here's some questions to help you do just that. Are we hiring the right people and letting them be uniquely themselves, or are we forcing a fit? Are at least 75% of our sales reps hitting quota? And if not, what do we need to do to calibrate our expectations? And finally, are we just promoting individual accomplishments? How can we get better at highlighting team achievements, including contributions from product, marketing and SDRs?

Devin Reed: Did you like today's episode? Subscribe now so next week's episode will be waiting for you on Monday.

Sheena Badani: And if you really liked the podcast, please leave a review. Five star reviews go a long way to help get the word out there.

Devin Reed: And if you're not ready to give a five, check out another episode and see if we've won you over by then.

Speaker 4: And if you have any feedback or you want us to interview one of your favorite revenue leaders, just email us at reveal @ gong. io.

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