Key topics in today’s conversation include:
The SaaS(ramp) Podcast explores how tech leaders scale from product adoption to enterprise success. Learn more at www.saasrampmedia.com.
Pete Thornton 00:06
Welcome to SaaS(ramp) podcast. This is your host podcast Pete got an amazing show for you today. I think you’re really gonna enjoy this one. This is with Braxton Carr of UserGems. Braxton is director of revenue enablement, walks us through rep Centricity talks about kind of putting reps at the center of your enablement plan sounds obvious sounds like something you should do. But I’d love for you to listen to the flywheel, he might want to go back on it kind of jot it down as he walks through this thing. And then interestingly, he kind of gives us his tech stack of choice towards the end like how he likes to keep sellers in one view, create a feedback loop, create measurements. And he uses some of the tools of course that we all know and love to do that. So I think taking a really interesting persona has an interesting background as a seller growing up in Europe, coming back to the United States and then just trying to take some of these things that make him diverse and understand the diversity of all the different sellers and how to kind of like to use that to our advantage. A theme we’ve heard a lot lately, I really I’m really enjoying it. And now a word from our sponsors before we get all set up. From gong.io services partner rampant rampant is a gong certified services firm solving the challenge of revenue disparity amongst sales team leaders, or members Sarandon identifies the unique behaviors that result in the revenue gaps between top and middle performers. And then drives Gong lead revenue enablement automation to achieve measurable increases in deal size, deal velocity and win rates. So the Fit would be for sales or enablement leaders in high growth tech leveraging Golang for revenue intelligence, if interested ramping offers a 16 week revenue ramp Bootcamp for a limited number of Gone customers. And if you’re listening to this as this podcast drops in April, the next available cohort kicks off in May so I’m interested to learn more and connect with Pete at the rampant DOT cloud. Hope you enjoy the show. Welcome back to The SaaS Ramp Podcast. I’m your host podcast Pete welcoming Braxton Carr to the show today. Braxton is director of revenue enablement at user Jim’s Welcome to the show Braxton.
Braxton Carr 02:23
Thanks so much for having me excited to get into it. Super excited
Pete Thornton 02:27
to have you on the show, seen you on LinkedIn, chatted with you before, shared the profession sometimes as sales leaders here. And then sometimes enablement. So this is like for like with enablement. So yeah, welcome. And I’m super excited. Also about kind of like the theme we’ll approach today, not to do any spoiler alerts or anything, but it’s something that enablement, professionals and reps like I think will enjoy.
Braxton Carr 02:51
I hope so. That’s the name of the game, right?
Pete Thornton 02:54
Name of the Game for sure. All right, well, let’s dive in, then. It should be interesting. So we’re talking about six months before this. So maybe the biggest challenge you’ve experienced in your space in the last six months?
Braxton Carr 03:07
Yeah, that’s a good question. I have a feeling that it’s a similar challenge to what probably a lot of leaders have dealt with. And I think it’s the question of how do we continue to hit growth targets, although you know, you’re not hiring as aggressively, you’re not necessarily investing in human capital as aggressively. So I don’t want to follow the old cliche, like how do we do more with less, but maybe more accurate way of describing that is, how do I maximize the production of the people that are already at my
Pete Thornton 03:34
company? That’s a good way to put that like a maximize maximization of production,
Braxton Carr 03:41
more with less is a little gloom and doom. I prefer to look at it as how do you get the most possible out of the people who you already work with?
Pete Thornton 03:48
Yeah, it’s a good point, like, like, because they can result in the same maybe like actions, but the feel behind those actions is going to be different. Like when you say, Oh, we’re gonna give you less now. But we want more out of you. It’s kind of just like squeezing everybody dry through a hard time. When you mentioned maximizing productivity. Well, that’s something that can happen in any kind of economic situation. So it’s, it’s almost like a concept that is ever ready. And it’s just a little bit more upbeat. And there’s a big difference in sales like how somebody feels when they’re going out there to try to kind of walk things across the line. So I like your turn of phrase there anyway.
Braxton Carr 04:28
Yeah, definitely something that I think about pertaining to this. So a lot of people talk about like salespeople as athletes, which sometimes I think can be a little oversimplified, but it is true in the aspect that they the people that are going out there have to perform at a high level of return the lights are on in order to quote unquote, win. So you can think about big market sports teams and small market sports and what are the big market sports teams do they go out there and they can sign any player right to the top contract. Let’s bring in the best players. Let’s go out and win. What small market teams do they know they can’t necessarily invest in, and the best player available is the biggest free agent available. So those teams are always super invested in the coaching staffs, the training staffs, the people that are involved in the X’s and O’s. Why? Because they have to make the players that they draft into incredible players. So I think that’s an easy analogy for what a lot of people in this space are seeing today.
Pete Thornton 05:21
That’s excellent. I really like that when I’m a soccer guy. So like my sport of choice, there were plenty of people who knew Barcelona fc. It’s really all Messi played for all growing up. And like a lot of famous soccer players from way back. Diego Mayor Donna was there for a while, people like that. So but what they have is they have this little Academy called llama Sia. And they brought in these like, there’s kids, they’re like, eight, nine years old, but they’re good, but they bring them they’re one of the first clubs to ever like just, like, bring kids through these things and bring them into the first team Pep Guardiola huge coach now at Man City, like he came through Lamesa and came with all these other players. And they’re just training, it’s a full focus on training. And the reason they did that back in the day was maybe they weren’t as fiscally able. But other clubs do it. And they’re selling clubs, they’ll bring them up, they get to use them for four or five years, and those uncapped transfer markets and stuff like that. And they actually make a ton of money and have good young teams as they do it. And it’s a way that you don’t have to be in the top three, four or five organizations, whether sports team or business due to the cool analogy you just gave right there.
Braxton Carr 06:26
Yeah, I love the soccer reference, though the fans might laugh at this, but like by, you might laugh at this as well, actually. So my first like 14 years prior to the states were across France, and England. And I had a teacher when I was a kid, and this is France in the 90s. So everyone’s super into soccer, football. But I was an NBA fan. My mom’s from the States. And I’ll never forget this teacher who asked her, What do you want to do when you grow up? And I said, I want to be Allen Iverson and the teacher is sure that if you take enough singing lessons, you’ll be just like him. So that cares to share with you the presence of no other sports but football in Europe at that time.
Pete Thornton 07:01
That’s hilarious. You are taking less than to worry about it. All right. Dude, that’s so funny. Well, it’s good. It’s probably good. She didn’t know who Allen Iverson was. Because that’s when he was probably tearing it up. And like claiming he’d never go to practice again or what?
Braxton Carr 07:16
Not southern France in 1999 definitely did not know who I was and watched.
Pete Thornton 07:22
And they just won the World Cup. And like 98 was the dawn and all those guys. So that’s true. First one. That was big. Yeah, I watched that. That was all about that when I was the right age to be seeing all that. This cool background didn’t know that about you. But like, diversity of background always helps, especially when you’re needing to train teams that are have very diverse backgrounds, like like of previous careers, like skill sets, gender, whatever it happens to be like, it’s, it’s good to have experienced that yourself to kind of know what the highs and lows are, what the differences might be.
Braxton Carr 07:55
I think about that a lot, actually, I mean, especially as it comes to enablement. So the sales coaching, the ongoing training, even the onboarding aspect of it, like people from different walks of life are going to have different motivators, different ways. They receive feedback, like a different ideal work environment. So certainly, like even what we’re talking about today, like how do I quote unquote, get more with less? How do I make the talent of the people that I work with? Understanding there’s things intrinsically about people and then expounding upon them to create that environment for them, I think is a huge part of maximizing output. Like, it doesn’t matter how talented the seller is, if the environment around them is not conducive to consistent closing. So I definitely think about making an inclusive and sort of diverse set up for people.
Pete Thornton 08:42
Yeah, yeah, that’s a good background to have, especially just that experience. What about this is a little bit of a hypothetical, because you never get to do this in enablement. You never get to do it in sales leadership, either. Obviously, like, it’s just a. It’s just a practical question, though, because it helps you kind of prioritize, or prioritize one thing to get right for your org to grow. And let’s just look at the forward forward facing six months then for that.
Braxton Carr 09:09
I think it’s gotta be coaching. I mean, well, it’s tough to say one thing, because there’s so much there’s like a kinetic chain of things that will occur in order to be able to mail coaching, right? Can’t misfire. Nothing is a good one as well. But I think like for an award continues to grow when it comes to people in the revenue team. For me, I think coaching is at the center of any human like that’s what it’s all about. The challenge is how can you leverage that coaching consistently, especially when you think about being at an organization like a Series A or Series B, every two weeks? Like, what you’re selling is different, and the story you’re telling is different and the pricing might have changed, and now there’s a new product line and then there’s a new persona. First of all, how do you not overwhelm the reps with information? How do you decide between the difference of importance versus urgency? And how can you consistently say And for feedback, not just verbal, right data points as well, to figure out what’s working and what’s not. And to me, all of that ultimately feeds into the coaching mechanism.
Pete Thornton 10:10
Yeah, yeah, yes. Because if it’s like, if it’s See One, Do one teach one that’s like a very common little framework and education or whatever, like, in order to do the coaching, you’ll have had to like move through all the spectrum. So at that point, you’re like, understanding how to even convey it to other people. And to your point, constant change, like trying to nail down the product on the nail in the messaging, trying to nail down the pricing. And then you have an economic change that happens there. Now your buyer has kind of fundamentally changed and you’re, you’re pivoting and trying to relay that on over a course of time. Yeah, I think I think you’re right, like coaching, it’s hard to go with one. But if you’re gonna go with one at least it’s something like, coaching this like a domino effect everything else as well.
Braxton Carr 10:54
Especially in this environment. Well, he put it at the time, like Teach a man to fish this is like, teach them how to catch a different type of fish in a different type of water. Every other week, right?
Pete Thornton 11:03
Every website, if I happen to look at a software company’s website, and like, I don’t know, like last year, q4, and then I look now I’m like, Oh, I don’t even recognize this thing anymore. Like everybody had to pivot and it was like art of the possible all the way into practical. Here’s what you get these rocks, like whatever it happens to be like, everybody’s been very specific and practical at this point. Different deal. So we learned a little bit about you just the fact that you came up overseas, a European upbringing. Very cool. Very interesting. My daughter’s name coset. So that was that? Yeah. So that’s, that’s do actually do you know the reference Do you know where it’s from? Or like, it wasn’t just I don’t know anybody know, named coset. Never met a coset or anything like
Braxton Carr 11:44
that music. All right, Victoria. You
Pete Thornton 11:46
There it is. He’s cultured ladies
Braxton Carr 11:47
and gentlemen. Being hazed into reading is like our version of third grade.
Pete Thornton 11:55
abridged or unabridged?
Braxton Carr 11:58
Well fortunately, in third grade, it was a bridge but I do remember we had a classical Posey, which is like poetry class, and Victor Hugo, great writer for all of his talents, incredibly verbose. And I think that man’s ever discovered a word on the three syllables. Not an ideal read when you’re in middle school, and you’re thinking like, Man, I’m really just trying to, you know, go out and do bad stuff with my friends.
Pete Thornton 12:20
No kidding. And yeah, I never got past the abridged version and I barely look, they made a movie of it. If you want to go see Les Mills or whatever, see the little girl named coset. You just go and watch a Wolverine playing fowl, John and
Braxton Carr 12:34
not about not about deal washing. Hugh Jackman. Do you see the calling from Gladiator? Isn’t that true?
Pete Thornton 12:39
Yeah. What does that Russell Russell Crowe
Braxton Carr 12:41
legit legend shot Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman the horse he’s taken over
Pete Thornton 12:47
the amazing job. They had the vocals and everything. I went sideways, but I couldn’t help it. Like he’s got the French connection there. So she’s good to go with that. When are we going to Paris, I’m like another couple of weeks on, you know, get a little bit more work done in here. We’re headed over. But you know, please, this is about your personal and professional experiences. I was wanting to kind of open up a little bit more on how you kind of came to the role at user gyms.
Braxton Carr 13:11
Yeah, no, I mean, we can definitely get into that. So it’s funny. Like I started out my career at Adobe, obviously, like a massive tech company, I’d be hard pressed to believe people listening to this don’t know that that company is a great company that loved being there. You know, looking back, they actually had an unbelievable sales Academy, like everyone that I know, that went through that sales Academy and actually finished it out is like an enterprise rep there. So kudos to them for a great program, but it took like three years to get there. And so, you know, an impetuous 20 to 23 year old that I was like many ADRs probably out there listening because I was like, No, I gotta close right now. And so I got a mid market A E role at a company that competed with one of Adobe’s products it was hold am Adobe Experience Manager which isn’t like the digital asset management space as company called Kanto where I met a guy who had become like a lifelong friend of mine, but also my manager at the time. His name’s Adam D’Angelo. And I’ve learned a lot about the space, how to do even that training and all these big tech companies are absolutely unparalleled. I got to Kanto and I’ll never forget, I went through onboarding. And Adam is like, Oh, how, you know, how was your onboarding spirit? And I laughed in his face, like, What do you mean onboarding experience? Like, he literally gave me a 27 page PDF, and he said, You’re gonna be you’re gonna be able to phone in two weeks, like I figured it out. So I took in everything that I learned at Adobe, and I was like, okay, like, there’s got to be a better way than this. And I started doing really well like my President’s Club first year, all these good things. And so I just started onboarding people. I didn’t even ask, like, I found this free tool. I think it’s called skew ology. And I started like, uploading all this stuff that I had learned and I you know, I had some stuff that I had from Adobe that I put into, like, reformatted into like Word document all this stuff, and eventually It took a life of its own because we realized very quickly like if we don’t a onboard people, but be trained them consistently, as that software was coming out with all of these complexities and new features, things were falling through the cracks. And so for a time I was doing, quote, unquote, the new admin role, while I was now a senior at EA. And so as we were able to see the consistency across reps, now people were starting to reflect a lot of the same plays and knowledge that I had brought with him, the naval department was born and kind of took on a life of its own from there.
Pete Thornton 15:35
That’s awesome. That’s very cool. I’d really like the seller to be in the enablement role. I just think it’s like a, it’s kind of full circle. And it just, again, follows that more linear path. And I know that’s not the only way. And there’s like nine ways to get into enablement. It’s just that I do have a preference for it, because I’m just personally biased.
Braxton Carr 15:54
Oh, no way is better than the other either. I think the one thing that I actually resent about the enablement community, not as a whole, but there are definitely people out there where there’s a certain sense of superciliousness from people that were in sales prior to getting into enablement. And why it’s because we’ve been in their shoes. So like, we actively think about all the obstacles that we’ve encountered. But I’ve seen amazing leaders, from all walks of life, I think the question is just like, What is your enablement philosophy? And how well do you understand the seller day to day and the numerous roadblocks that are in that process? I think if you could have an understanding of that you can be greater than them.
Pete Thornton 16:31
Sometimes we talk, let’s come back to what we would have moved on to Will you just expound on what you just mentioned? This is a philosophy. This is an enablement philosophy. You bringing it up? I’m assuming you have one that you could articulate. We’d love to hear the perfect audience for this.
Braxton Carr 16:47
Yeah. Okay. Put me on the spot a little bit. I think this, like enablement historically, has been like a pretty nebulous concept. It spans sales, like account development, CS teams, drivers development, so it is essentially narrowed down to some cool competencies. I think about revenue, leadership, caring about reps, booking as many meetings, renewals and bookings as possible. I care about reps booking meetings as autonomously and as effectively as possible. So how am I doing? It’s like, I’m seeking to do this by creating the funnels of delivery that my company uses to distill product knowledge, career pathing sales, execution, onboarding, and ongoing training and development. So like done successfully, there’s a couple key outcomes that I’m seeking to engage upon, right? Like, firstly, I want to increase ACTIVE SELLING time. And that’s going to be done via demand conversion and total adoption. Secondly, I’m trying to reduce the average cost of customer acquisition. So I’m looking at things like variability in days from opportunity to close activity, average days, and each opportunity stage career path and retention, because obviously, it’s better for the company overall, I can take someone from being an ADR all the way through eventually becoming like a sales leader. And finally, right, increasing sales, execution consistency. So you know, being responsible for the rollout, the training, the messaging, maintenance of all those new product roles, all the onboarding, looking at things like timing, the first activity time the first meeting booked, and that’s in an effort to reduce the timing, but increase the intensity of both of those.
Pete Thornton 18:23
Okay, okay, so all the metrics are kind of like rolling out underneath this. We had ACTIVE SELLING time reducing the customer acquisition cost, the CAC, and then sales execution, what do you call it? Conditioning? Consistency,
Braxton Carr 18:38
consistency, consistency? And although Pavlov would be proud of the conditioning concept,
Pete Thornton 18:44
conditioned the phrase, so I mean, it’s a big unpack still, like, this is still like, This is years of work, like stretched across with various people having various priorities at different times. Who do you like to work with within your organization as directly as possible, because you mentioned starting this whole thing, like for departments. And that’s also been like, a nuanced angle, we’ve seen, like people who are enablement for XYZ roles. So you can go top to bottom, you also see it side to side, like sales, consistency might be something that rolls side to side, regardless of the business division or the team, or, or ACTIVE SELLING time could move side to side. Some of those are those kinds of theories. So any thoughts on how that’s structured or your favorite? Yeah, I
Braxton Carr 19:34
I mean, all of them move aside to an extent for sure. So like, what we’ve just gone over very like high level objectives. So to stay efficient, you can kind of think about the responsibilities and four core parts, hold them. I’ll call them on this podcast, the four horsemen of the enablement apocalypse. I’m focused on training and development, right? The coaching onboard During and then I would argue most importantly, right the people, processes and systems these are delivered through. So when it comes to onboarding, and really for all of these, like, if you’re not partnered with the managers, you’re gonna have a very tough time doing this. A big question was, how do I keep things on track without having direct management authority cross functionally? And the answer to that simply is buy in like the same way, as a sales rep, you want to run a deal and get multiple people from both sides involved as quickly and as often as possible. Same in enablement. So you’ll see like an onboarding, whomever is going through the process, whoever their direct manager is, I’m gonna get them certainly involved in all of the presentations in grading the work in the LMS, and all the mocks and stuff like that, when you think about like the training and development. So we have like a sales Academy user, Jim’s takes place from AVR, through, you know, a E, CS, Sc, what have you got the managers involved in those live sessions, we’re prepping them for those. Certainly the coaching this, if you don’t get the managers involved in this, it’s not going to happen because you have the bandwidth to score 20 calls a day, there’s an enabler, and you might have someone on your team that is responsible for helping out but ultimately, like, we think about enablement, breaking down, if the coaching isn’t reflected in the one on ones that are conducted by the managers, now you’ve got two like incongruent things occurring. Right? So how do we put ownership of coaching and managers’ hands? How do you put ownership of coaching in the reps hands? What they want to do is go in there, listen back to their own calls, introspectively, find a way to improve, and then go to their managers and say, Well, what did you think about this? Right, and now we’ve got partnership and the development of reps, rather than just barking orders out of that?
Pete Thornton 21:45
Yeah, yeah, great point. Great point, on that survey was two things, one, bringing the manager so that you can actually kind of scale your abilities and, and then have it have some legs, once they leave your you know, your nest or whatever of onboarding, the second piece being like, enable the reps to kind of create that like self assessment flow, so that they can get a feedback loop going with their own manager and kind of partner with their manager being forward. And the farther down, you can kind of get that shirt, and we’ll have it bubble up, probably the more organic, the feel will be over time.
Braxton Carr 22:20
100%, like, think about how many companies either you may have been out or like some of the even the guests on this podcast can relate to this. Think about it like, when you have a really good rep. Right? After they go through onboarding, after they go through wrap, let’s say they’re absolutely blowing it out. What happened, they stopped being coached altogether, because the managers like alright, like, this person doesn’t need any help. So I’m gonna focus on, you know, people that are, will say in development. The truth is, though, like, even though that rep is blowing it out the water, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t skill gaps, it doesn’t mean that there’s no improvement as an overall quote unquote, player. So you’ll see, tenured reps may leave, because they’re like, I’m not developing as a rep anymore. I figured out how to game the system, I’m making loads of money, but I don’t feel myself improving as a rep. So when you think about putting coaching in the reps hand, having them self evaluate things that they’ve done, they’re always going to find things that they want to improve upon, because they’re not thinking about, Oh, I’m so good at closing a company X. They’re thinking, Oh, I’m so good at closing, I want to be good at closing periods, in any setting. So for me, like, that’s what I think about as far as coaching, how can I develop you into the best possible rap, not just for this company, but overall, wherever you
Pete Thornton 23:36
go in your career? Yeah, it’s interesting. Yeah, it’s a good point about top reps too. It’s like students like because that’s what happens. Like, look, you got 34 in the classroom, this is my previous life. And then you’re like, hey, you four, really appreciate the work you’re doing here. I need you to help these eight over here. And this is interesting for a while, right? But they’re not going to be accelerated. It’s just going to be like, can we maintain the status quo here? Can we move this thing along? Now, in that world, it was called No Child Left Behind. So literally, when you’re talking about like glass half full versus half empty, or the thing you even kick it off with about always say and do more with less are we saying maximize productivity? That’s why maximizing productivity, because doing more with less is like saying, don’t let anybody fail? I’m like, Cool. Like you guys. You can read write, go work with Billy, you know, you’re under
Braxton Carr 24:25
percent right? It’s so funny. You say that because I remember so what I was born in New York City, and then I moved to France, like four months it and when I came back to New York City afterward, I went back to like a larger classroom. And the exact same thing occurred I was a good student, smart kid. And all of a sudden, I’m not being challenged at all. And the teachers like Well, are you getting good grades? So like, I’m not going to worry about you. So what happened? Like within six months, I started like smoking weed. Why? Because I’m like, No, I’m no longer being challenged. I feel like I can game the system and then what I’m then your grades start declining a bit why? Because now you’re not even invested. So I think a big part as well of keeping top reps bought in, it’s not just all they making loads of money. It’s feeling as though they consistently challenged and consistently given a path to improve areas that may not be the same for the reps on the team.
Pete Thornton 25:18
Yeah, completely. I still think it was Allen Iverson’s influence. However,
Braxton Carr 25:23
I hoped, oh, man, probably the lack of desire to practice is now bled into me caring so much about a neighbor with a got a practice and got a practice.
Pete Thornton 25:33
I saw an interesting stat as a teacher that definitely carries over in the 60s, we’re in a space race. We’re in a space race with Russia, we’re trying to get to the moon first, I guess in the 50s and 60s. And, and so the percentage per capita or whatever, for the gifted programs across the nation was like, up here, like tip top, and then you look to the early 2000s. And when we transition to No Child Left Behind, and that concept and the gifted program, it’s like, where are you funding and again, everything needs to be handled, and you got to handle everybody, but it’s just a different, it’s a different mentality, it kind of becomes a race to the bottom. And, and that you would certainly want to avoid that and a private institution, such as SAS sales, software sales, any kind of sales, any kind of like competitive event, where there’s a free marketplace, because of course, we’re talking about two different things here, using the same analogy, but yeah, in that case, let’s get to the moon bars as it is now. Okay. What about user gyms like this company? Do just, I started hearing about user gyms, three, four years ago, started popping. And then And then, you know, it’s just taken off. It’s just the tops blown off there. What, what do user gyms do? And what is the context for their massive growth? The hypergrowth there?
Braxton Carr 26:48
Yeah, Two good questions is actually a good challenge. Because when I tell people, when you get asked about what the company does, don’t start with what they do, start with the problem. Start with that, for the purposes of the conversation, if you’re a company, and like you’ve got a great product, tons of people are probably interested in the product, love the product, what happened a ton during COVID. And we’ll call this early stage recession, hit moving companies, right, you’ll be in a deal, your champion will be gone the next day, or you’ll have a product sold to a company. And the people that use it the most are gone the next day, this is a problem on two fronts. First of all, if they leave, now you’re scrambling to make sure that deal gets across so that they renew. But also, it’s pretty likely a person is going to want to bring on your software debt, wherever they go. Next, Problem is there’s no way of tracking this programmatically, even though people know intrinsically like if I’m a rapid I keep my book of business, the person that bought from me last time go somewhere and I can sell to them again, that economic buyer is not the only person with the ability to now bubble you up somewhere else. Think about like the product users thinking about the people that were in the deal that saw the product at one point, but didn’t sign it. Think about people in closed lost deals, there’s so much software that I’ve wanted to buy, that I couldn’t buy, because my manager was like, Nah, like, we don’t have the budget for sure, there’s a ton of potential revenue slipping through the cracks. So what user jobs does is automatically tracks the people that are in your Salesforce wherever they go, as well as if you’re working in an account, and someone joins that account that is familiar with your product that’s already filled in with Salesforce for you. So the buying committee, no matter where you’re working, always fills out. And no matter what happens to that buying committee, however, those people familiar with you will be able to help bring the product elsewhere are also highlighted for you, which means quicker sales cycles, certainly warmer sales cycles, and working with people that you already know. So going back to our earlier point about maximizing the potential productivity of our x. This is about maximizing the potential profit of people that are familiar with their product.
Pete Thornton 28:57
Yeah, that ‘s a great point. There’s so much information out there. There’s so many organizations. And so how do you come in and build a pipeline and then try to close deals? You talked about onboarding people, hypergrowth companies, like they’re also always moving. So you’re also trying to develop these right relationships, often from scratch. And it’s just difficult. So if you can find people who already know you, now you’re in more of a buying conversation, or you’re in a familiar conversation, you might talk about what’s new at the organization, but otherwise, it’s not that everybody wanders around with a favorite tech stack in their head. So you know, and sometimes it’s just familiarity, which is how legacy software can continue for so very long, either long contracts or just familiarity with the users. And then sometimes, it’s just good stuff. Like it’s worked for you in the past, like, I brought going everywhere I went, I made it super easy for them though. I was just like, hey, I’m here. So we’re gonna do the same deal as before, right? Because like, my angle was trying to get the price from yours before it was really well known. And but otherwise, like it would have been like, I might not have thought of it. And somebody should have been reaching out to me and just being like, Hey, I saw you moved over here, congratulations, like, what are your plans, because the plan you had at this company, if it’s anywhere similar to the plan you have at this company, but done faster, more effectively, more efficiently, might involve that particular software. So it’s a cool concept. Definitely, there’s
Braxton Carr 30:21
definitely a timeframe to do it too. Like I see a lot of people that do it over LinkedIn, right. And they’ll get an alert, like when somebody has moved after like 90 or 100 days. If I haven’t, like executed on the things I’m trying to do after 90 or 100 days, like I’m out of there, right. So a good example of this is one of my favorite tools that I used back when I was at Kanto gist tool called Work ramp, Ted Blosser. If you’re out there, love your product. I think they use user names. I know they use your jobs. And within like two weeks of being at the company, I got a message from the CSM that I’ve been working with before, like, hey, congrats on the new role. I’m sure you’ve probably been thinking about how I am going to, you know, set up this entire thing at a new company just wanting to make sure that we’re available for the conversation. It wasn’t even like, yo, let’s hop on a call it was Hey, just wanted to make sure that you’re doing well. He’s still thinking of us. What did I do wrong or crap 24 hours later? I was already into that with a tool like user gyms. If you’re not going to appear for 100 days, you’re going to appear when the person is now auditing whatever they’ve taken over. And you’ll be top of mind. So I think it was interesting seeing that work in real time. Before I knew Warcraft was a customer.
Pete Thornton 31:28
Yeah, yeah. Good point. And lastly, why is it moving so quickly? Like I’m sure it’s a good product, a great problem to solve. But like, why is it more like organic standard growth? What is it that makes the absolutely just pop off business model pricing model like fire marketing? Like is it investment elsewhere? I’m sure it’s a combination of all sorts of things. But if anything comes to mind,
Braxton Carr 31:53
I don’t think it’s any of those things. I think it’s a philosophical change in how people do outreach. I think about how, like, quote, unquote, cold outreach has evolved over the past six, seven years or so. I remember when I was at Adobe, and I had just brought on the tool outreach. And what was I doing? I was sending out like, three, yeah, I was sending out
Pete Thornton 32:12
Let me ask you a question. Let me ask you, what are the Goggles? What is Gmail if you had Gmail enough? Is Adobe like a Gmail shop? What is Gmail’s email count maximum that you can send per day? Do you know it? Or did you know it then?
Braxton Carr 32:25
We were in Outlook sharp, so I don’t know. But I’d be curious to hear it.
Pete Thornton 32:29
You didn’t back in the day, it was 1000. And so was an outrage out? Like, you’d be like, Hey, I’m getting notification, I can’t send any more than like, you hit 1000 for the day, you can only send 1000 a day. Yeah. Okay, so, but that’s your point, 1000 emails per day,
Braxton Carr 32:43
just think of it. That is to think about how insane that is, not only literally sending 1000 a day, they were in like 17 Touch sequences. So I think like, I’m not the only one saying this, I see this being said, like on LinkedIn quite a bit. Like we’re moving to an age now where it’s like quality over quantity. People are sending way less emails a day, but they’re hyper targeted, right? Like when I get a cold email. Now, I haven’t seen a truly terrible cold email in a long time, because I’m not getting blasted just like generic stuff anymore. People are doing a lot of research. I see that putting the time in. And they’re trying to uncover business problems for this in an email. So why is your job popular? They get to cut all that out? Where do you know the business problems? You literally worked with them two months ago, and you know that they already know you? So I think it’s just aligning with the way that outbound is evolving in the eyes of many leaders. It’s just the right time for the product to be on the rise.
Pete Thornton 33:35
Yeah, I would say I would have to say so. Because it looked like you just said 17 It triggered me. I was like, oh, no, it wasn’t 17 Touch. It was 17 days. It was 14 touches in 17 days, seven
Braxton Carr 33:48
days. Yeah. And 17 days like if I don’t think about it, I always think about things like sales versus dating. Because like dating, a good timeline for it is a good cadence for it. There’s certain etiquette with it. Imagine if you literally met someone on the street and you gave him your number. And they immediately texted you 14 times without you responding in the next 17 days. It means saying absolutely insane.
Pete Thornton 34:18
Well, what we’ll reel them back in is the breakup email one day. 17. Oh, you’re telling them you’re going away? They’re so disappointed. No, wait, we were going to book the cold outreach meeting like hold on us.
Braxton Carr 34:29
Like yeah, do you remember those when they first came out? Actually remember when like using you know, I’ve never settled on whether it’s called a GIF or a GIF.
Pete Thornton 34:37
But no, listen, there’s peanut butter, right? That is GIF peanut butter. Okay, I have very, very strong feelings about this. So G I F for me is GIF because I don’t want to confuse what I’m putting up with my little meme with my lunch with my delicious peanut PBJ lunch.
Braxton Carr 34:55
Well, you’re my guide on this matter if you say it’s given, I think I would default To give with like English phonetics, so let’s go with that. I remember when gifts were becoming big for cold email and everyone was using them in like the breakup email, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s a breakup email, like if you have to resort to this, you know, good and well, I’m definitely not interested. So I’m glad that like the age of quote unquote cold emails becoming way more target a little bit less presumptuous, I think than it used to be.
Pete Thornton 35:24
Last note on this is that I was a really good BDR, I was really motivated to do it. I’m not like a complete cave boy like I could figure some things out as far as using the tools and things like that. And so I have this record of like 14 months straight as the top BDR by meetings booked by number of meetings, but because that’s what was easiest to track. That’s what we track. When I became a mid market AE sounds a lot like your story, then. Then I was going to be doing that mostly for myself. Like we didn’t have a BDR score that was for the enterprise, AES. So I started reaching out on my own and after like, not really like, like, I could set the meetings, but like they were just no show or fizzle, or it wouldn’t be great. So curious, then I was like, Well, let me go back to the CRM. Now let me go to Salesforce. And let me go find out what happened with my meetings, like how did all that pipeline go now that they have had time to close or whatever, I went back to the beginning, that close rate of cold outreach like that. So it was more of a marketing job, you’d have to consider almost on the marketing side of that point, you’re getting people to recognize the name, understand essentially what you do, or what challenge you might solve for years down the road, like there were so early in that stage. And that’s what really got me I was like, this is not going to be the way to do this. As
Braxton Carr 36:37
Monroe, it’s funny, like we are in user gems, and we are conducting sales cycles. So one of the things that it will do is it will automatically sequence people based on who they are relative to you. When you show people their response rates, they have like 98%, open rates, and people are like, wait a second, I want it then you think about it, it makes total sense. I know he is literally exactly who you are, of course, I’m gonna open it. And then you think about like, to your point, like just met coal. You look at some of the open or reply rates on that, like numbers are so small, it’s like you’re studying astrophysics. Like, it’s crazy to think there’s a decimal point that has long potential reply rates.
Pete Thornton 37:12
It is dude, it’s that bad. And like, people don’t, it’s not an unsubscribe anymore. Unless it gets just too much. It’s just an ignored delete is the new unsubscribe. So you may never even know about that. It’s just like the open rates were so very small. It wasn’t interesting. I mean, it didn’t really exist when I was in that role. But it would be something that closed one I actually cold called on the second day, or what I thought was a cold call on the second day of being an AE. And then within 30 days, I closed my first deal like it was a great start to becoming an AE. That was a President’s Club year and I have a very similar story again, two years on that one lives. And that was just like, oh, this is gonna be the thing for me. This is awesome. You know, we ‘d been in the system before. Like they already were, they were well aware of us. That particular person that I called who picked up a hit like that is like ringing a bell for him because his other colleagues all knew about it already. They had already talked, we had met at conferences we had done and so it wasn’t even cold like you consider a cold. So I was even misinformed at that level. Like that kind of kept me going on the phones in that way. Anyway, moving forward. But I digress. Man, it’s just interesting, like, That problem has been solved. So I do that. Back to enablement though. You have this ideology around rep Centricity and kind of you broke it out for me when we were having a little bit of a pretty cautious attitude. We’re curious to know more about you and everything. Would you talk to me a little bit more about your, your enablement, thoughts around rep Centricity and what that might mean for other enablement, enablers out there?
Braxton Carr 38:40
Absolutely. I mean, first of all, you want a coaching culture of growth, right? So you certainly want the coaching to be present. But the other side of this is like, what I think of as a flywheel of enablement, it’s got to be able to answer a couple of questions consistently, and if it doesn’t, it’s gonna fall apart and rely on guesswork. So like, as we know, or, as I’ve said, at the center of that flywheel, coaching, when the coaching is delivered live, we need to be able to answer a couple of things. How are the reps being delivered, follow up knowledge and access and practice. From there, we need to know what follow up questions about that knowledge and assets and practice do reps have. And then right, oftentimes, you’re going to have follow up training delivered. So you need feedback on how they’re conceptualizing that knowledge. And all of that leads back to them being on the phones answering how they are applying that knowledge and that practice on those assets. So the analysis of that data, of course, leads back to what we can coach on, the fly will start to get so where does this fall apart like for a lot of companies, like live training will be delivered ad hoc to reps, we can see their emails have gone, we can see their calls. Follow up information exists somewhere, like a notion or some other playbook, but there’s no way to track content usage or search ability. So we can’t assess the usability of it. Right. So if the information can’t be found in something like a notion than the questions asked in Slack, or you know And I know the trail goes cold has no feedback loop as far as what follow up questions are being asked. And so because there’s no feedback loop for those follow up questions, there’s no data to drive what fall learning should be. And because there’s no specified to follow up learning or way to track feedback to that follow up or any, any follow up training is relatively ad hoc. So this is why you see a lot of enablement departments, instead of helping drive coaching, meeting sales managers waking up and seeing something on LinkedIn, he’s like, Hey, enablement, like, I want to train on this today. And so they feel like they’re flying by the seat of their pants. So what we want to do is get to a place with this rep centric enablement, where the reps are at the center as they should be, right. So when live training is delivered, they immediately hit the phones, we see and hear how they’re applying that knowledge and the concept of the phones, we provide feedback to one another on the success of the application via the live coaching via their scoring or ongoing calls. From there, we want the revenue team knowledge base to allow you to see what types of search queries are coming through. First of all, I can know what type of questions they’re asking. But second of all, I want to make sure it’s a knowledge base, it’s embedded in the tools they already use. I don’t want them to be cross referencing, like it’s a Dewey Decimal System, we want them in their workflow. And then once we analyze the feedback from the follow up questions, and the call performance, this drives the strategy for whether or not the live training is required, maybe there’s a lighter touch online training, maybe it’s an ongoing roleplay. The feedback from those training now is going to provide data to assess the level of conceptual understanding, and the fly will start to get ultimately what this means is that all coaching and practice is solely driven by the reps not because I saw a cool, lengthy article.
Pete Thornton 41:44
So if you depend on the podcast medium, you need to probably hit like rewind, 30 seconds about five times in a row, up, up, up, up, and then match that one one more time. That’s because it’s unpacking a flywheel, like verbally. But if you follow those steps straight through it is really good. I was picturing tools. In my head next to each one, I had almost had these like little logo icons as they came through mind dropping them out there like and there’s multiple tools, obviously that do each thing. But this would be like, your kind of stack of preference, because you were talking about some integrations like avoiding those silos as well.
Braxton Carr 42:20
Yeah, for sure. Now, I think there’s levels to it, right? If you have a big budget, I think, you know, the companies out there like seismic high spots, mine, tickle, show pad, shout out those companies, they’ve done a lot for the naval community. But if you try to break it apart the way I have, you know, when I think about live trading, immediately being delivered the hitting the phones or seeing how they’re applying it, that to me is DOL, right, that’s where the scorecards are going to be at. That’s where the forecasting is, often that’s where the coaching is going to be at. Next, you want something in line for them to be able to search and get answers and see what they’re searching in line is key, like anything that causes reps to get out of the tools that they use to close business to me as a cardinal sin. So for me, I use guru for that, because there’s a sidebar that will appear, right, and there’s analytics in the backend. Also, you can search guru information in Slack, which means yet again, they can stay in their workflow. And then finally, you know, when I think about, like, conceptual application, so these are really the only times that I’ll use like, elearning, I use work ramp for that, because I can get feedback. First of all, when they enter the course, what’s your confidence level with this? Obviously, they’re submitting work within the course. And at the end, I can see well, based off of this work, how do you feel about it now. And that gives me a bit of a delta, as far as you know, where they’re at how far they’ve come all of this together, the Golang scoring average, the queries and review the scores and feedback and the work lab gives you basically like a thermographic image of each rep.
Pete Thornton 43:52
is very cool. So it’s funny, dude, every software you just mentioned, this is why some times were aligned. And it’s not just like the Jeep wave or whatever. But it’s just interesting. Every one of them I’ve purchased, like every one of my purchases in the last like 18 months as well. Yeah. With So
Braxton Carr 44:08
and there’s a lot of ways to slice that. I think there’s a lot of like competing tools in the space, I think the main thing is just making sure that no matter what you purchase, first of all, is it mostly in the reps workflow? And second of all, are there analytics on there for you to actually assess the success of whatever you’ve rolled out? And really, I
Pete Thornton 44:26
I think that’s the key. One of the hardest parts is like trying to measure and close the loop, measure and close a loop because you can put things out all day, and they can actually even do good, but if you don’t know it, you don’t know which direction to go next, which was a point I heard you make and again, and so I’ve kept you way over time, but that’s what that’s what I’m talking about Wolverine and Alvin Allen Iverson with you and French national team player. So it’s my fault. Always fun though. So let me ask you just ask you for one more. And actually, let me make this fair. Is there anything that we didn’t touch on that you would like the enablement community at large to know of, and then I’ve got my little Sastra question for you.
Braxton Carr 45:06
No, I don’t think so. Enabling community if you’re out there listening to this and you liked it, come hit me up. I’m still relatively new to the community. I’m trying to meet other like minded people. I know that they’re out there. So. Yeah.
Pete Thornton 45:19
Very cool. Okay. I think this one’s called Four Horsemen of the enablement apocalypse, by the way, now that I heard that blurb and that I was mentally captured. Title now. That’s always part of this gig. Let’s just go ahead and do it live. All right, last one. And my little silly question is called SaaS, rent podcast. This can often mean different things to different roles in different organizations. And because it’s imaginary, but what does SaaS ramp mean to you?
Braxton Carr 45:46
Oh, this is like one of those tests, I forget the name of them where it’s like war of association,
Pete Thornton 45:51
Who blotted the test of verbiage?
Braxton Carr 45:55
That’s right, I’ll tell you, man, the first word that came to mind for me is sustainability. Like when I think about the word ramp, it’s not just how do I grow at all cost? How do I grow in an efficient manner? And I think there’s a lot of parties that are involved with that across the board with revenue. The question is, how do I grow? But how do I have the pieces in place that like, I’m not building the train tracks as the train is coming. So when I think about ramp certainly successfully, that’s what I think about I think, I think baptism by fire is a little out of fashion now.
Pete Thornton 46:26
Yeah, that’s a good point that’s very timely, as well put it kind of wraps together to the opening theme that you delivered, which was maximizing productivity. You know, it’s not just
Braxton Carr 46:36
Fire is not a way to maximize productivity.
Pete Thornton 46:40
You might prove who can handle it, but like, if it’s a long haul deal, as in, you need them longer than 90 days, maybe 180. Yeah, you’re in there and keep them there, keep getting them up to speed and keep them up to speed. That’s okay. Bryce, an awesome conversation with you. I knew it would really appreciate your ideas and insights. And, and the, you know, the diverse background that kind of brings some of them between different roles. You’ve had geographic locations, you’ve been in everything. So very cool concepts, will throw your information in show notes as well. So just reach out to Brax. And I know he’s open to it. Thank you on behalf of myself, and then Sastra and the audience as well.
Braxton Carr 47:18
Yeah, thank you. Thanks for the audience. Cheers.