Proper Coaching and Assessments = Growth

with Cory Bray,

Founder of CoachCRM

In this episode, Pete is joined by Cory Bray, Founder of CoachCRM. Cory talks about how companies can get the most out of their sales teams through assessments, accountability, and proper coaching. The conversation also talks about challenges companies are facing between in-person and remote environments, and more.


Key topics in today’s conversation include:

  • Handling interactions in-person vs. remote (2:08)
  • What are the biggest challenges companies are facing right now? (7:32)
  • Helping individuals and management properly assess performance (13:44)
  • What steps along the journey led Cory to CoachCRM (21:29)
  • How coaching and assessment leads to growth (26:43)
  • What does the future look like for CoachCRM? (32:57)
  • What does SaaS(ramp) mean to Cory? (35:25)


The SaaS(ramp) Podcast explores how tech leaders scale from product adoption to enterprise success. Learn more at


Pete Thornton 00:00
All right. Welcome back rampants to The SaaS Ramp Podcast. I’m your host podcast Pete, welcoming friends from the web many years back and Cory Bray to the show. Cory is founder at CoachCRM. Welcome to the show, Cory.

Cory Bray 00:20
Thanks, Pete. I was trying to think of a cool nickname for myself, but I could be coffee CORBA drink coffee, so that doesn’t work.

Pete Thornton 00:26
I knew that. I know what time it is your time now and like you’re doing water. This is a very healthy practice. You mean coach for duties on your shirt? Your coach?

Cory Bray 00:35
Okay, geez, it was right in front of me. It’s early man. It’s early. Okay, come on, man. Or it’s funny, because that’s actually I’m not gonna give out my private calendar link. But let’s just say there’s something there.

Pete Thornton 00:47
That’s right. That is right. Yeah, yeah. And if you want an hour, guys need an hour, guys get to 30 minute blocks back to back. That’s how you do that. Brilliant. I’m really happy to have you on just for background on this one. Like we touched base long ago, many years ago, probably six years ago, as an organization called squid, we were both working within this kind of the Salesforce ecosystem. Or maybe that’s just one of the many places you were working within. I was working exclusively within that. And we’re just bumping into each other from time to time. And then you were just everybody that you had this. The books rolling out, you had another organization closed loop that you were working within, that you had founded. And I was just like, I mean, not to steal the thunder from asking you about these things, but you just seemed to be everywhere. And then lately, mutual friends have been like, Oh, yeah. CORBA I’m like, poor. Why don’t you know the core? So it’s like, just networked in like, is very interesting. Very fun.

Cory Bray 01:42
It’s been talking about evil. Because somebody told me, that’s what you’re supposed to do. It’s Steve Blank. There’s no secrets in the conference room, get out of the conference room, go talk to people. And magic happens. So just do it. Uncle Steve said,

Pete Thornton 01:55
Okay, we had a little chat before. Before we jumped on the precast. This precast is always the most interesting. I hate to tell people who listen to the podcast that what’s discussed seven minutes before the podcast is even cooler. But you have a bit of a take on what you should do, like how you might want to, you know, handle interactions, even in this remote world? I don’t know why you don’t just like, open up about your plane itinerary lately, and stuff like that. Just see if it juxtaposes against what other folks are doing right now.

Cory Bray 02:24
Yeah, United’s highest published status is 1k. I hit it in September. Who’s gonna be up?

Pete Thornton 02:31
He’s gonna play you in that movie where you’re like, get your million miles and stuff like that.

Cory Bray 02:36
But yeah, so Zac Efron, are you going to develop a second chin later in life?

Pete Thornton 02:43
I spend too much time on it.

Cory Bray 02:47
Yeah. I’ll tell you that the Zac Efron and Robert De Niro movie Dirty Grandpa was just great, because I know this guy, Richard. And Richard is basically that guy. But then Robert De Niro played him. So anyways, that’s why I said, No, I yeah, I’ve been flying over the place, man, I just, you get so much more out of it. When you’re in front of a whiteboard, when you’re shaking someone’s hand, when you’re sitting across the table from somebody. I mean, just in the last, just last week, I was at I live in Houston, I was in Miami for a couple of days, had the best whiteboarding session of the year, and then flew to San Francisco, I got the best direct negative feedback I got all year, in a conference room, where a guy looked at me, and we’re talking about our business and the business we were talking about the business, he looked at me said, Look, I’m going to say to you directly, you are 90% focused on what you’ve done. I don’t care what you’ve done. I care about where you’re going to shift the story to where you’re going. And I was like, cool, because think about it. Our whole lives. It’s like, what was your great, what’s your resume? Where have you been? What’s your traction, all these types of what’s your team, which all of this stuff? It’s like, where are you? It’s very where you’ve been focused. There are certain venues and certain types of conversations where that’s not the right answer. But nobody told you that it wasn’t an email.

Pete Thornton 04:13
Okay, okay. Yeah, I like that. I really like that. And that’s it’s just a such a paradigm shift, you find out where you’re going anyway,

Cory Bray 04:20
he wouldn’t have lit me up. If we were on Zoom. He probably wouldn’t talk to me if we’re on Zoom. He came in, you know, we had lunch, catered fancy. And then it these types of things or just didn’t you and I go to a party one time

Pete Thornton 04:33
at the ping pong bar, in SFO and wherever you need to get to that one,

Cory Bray 04:39
not that kind of ping pong bar like spin.

Pete Thornton 04:42
Right, right. Right, right. Yeah. Hey, you have a patent. The other type Yeah.

Cory Bray 04:48
This Susan Sarandon table tennis club. Yeah, I’ll bet I mean, that’s, it’s, yeah, I don’t know. I’m just, ya know, when we were doing this whiteboard session, what we’re working on was the product roadmap And we went deep. And I’d go, so the guys I work with most closely home and into kill, like, I go up diagrams and stuff out and he kills grab the marker. So yeah, but I’m thinking about it this way home to get up. And you just, it’s not just the interaction of the whiteboard, it’s also just getting ideas pushing come to life and the dogs not behind me. And I’m not sitting in the same Dangal chair we’re in about, well, you know, how long have you had this cup down here without washing it? It’s different.

Pete Thornton 05:27
It’s different. It’s different. Yeah, it sucks you out of that world and puts you in another, your mind needs that as well. I agree, I look forward to some of those pieces. And like when you can, so you’re flying around, you’re meeting people because you’re talking about some of these things. So you might have had a really interesting, a chance to like, actually dig in with people in person. And we’ll continue to the last

Cory Bray 05:47
The thing about this is I think I have a unique perspective. Because from 2012 to 2014, I worked remotely. I lived in Houston, I worked out of my living room for a company based in Portland. And I’d go to Portland every four weeks. Those are the best weeks. And then I get on planes and go to customers in Atlanta and San Francisco and New York City. And those were the best weeks. But I worked out in my house in Houston. And so this isn’t Oh, I’m gonna react to the thing. We’ve all been through type things. No, this is like, this is a real man. Like, why did I go to Portland, Oregon, for a week at a time every four weeks? Because it works. That’s my thought.

Pete Thornton 06:28
Yeah, yeah, I know, there’s different thoughts around it. But I’ve spoken to people who were vehemently one way. And there’s software like tail like dovetails into that. It’s like Asset Management for things that are all remote. So like they baked a product around this. And then others that are like no New York, San Francisco, we build a culture, a strong culture, we want to do one on each coast. As far as we want to expand. These are the two headquarters. If you’re interested, please make the commitment and move and they’re having a lot of success doing that just because of different strokes. And then I mean, my best friends in software all. We were in a bullpen together. You know, we were in a pod like it was just it was the culture and you heard everybody’s failures, because it’s 99% failure. Like as they happened around the horn, and you saw everybody’s experiences and you’re drinking little Costco Lacroix’s while you’re making cold calls. And it’s just a good time. And would do that again. So so like,

Cory Bray 07:20
yeah, it’s not like there’s, especially for everybody. There’s great people everywhere. I mean, yeah. Or Stanford, computer scientists, smart. Sure. But sort of Carnegie Mellon folks there in Pittsburgh.

Pete Thornton 07:32
Yep. So like, when you’re going around to these different folks. And there’s been some economic transitions. I don’t know if it actually affects what you’re doing with them, or whether they discuss these pieces or not, when they’re kind of unpacking their challenges. But what are the biggest things you’ve seen over the past couple quarters with these organizations that you’re touching base with all the time?

Cory Bray 07:52
Well, I think the common theme, and what we’ve decided to focus most of our energy on, is that people are put into management roles without training on how to manage without training on how to coach. And that’s a common trend, because they take somebody from the sales team, and then they put them in, oh, you’re your sales manager. Now. Maybe you’ve got a lot of experience, and you decided to take that phase in your life. Or maybe you’re one of these people, that’s, I’m going to take this job so I can get promoted and management. That’s cool. And then you’ve got this team. And you drift back to what’s comfortable for you, which is closing deals. And the job of a sales manager is not to close deals, it is to get as much as they can from other people.

Pete Thornton 08:31
Do you think that anything accelerate about that just in the sheer fact that like everybody was doubling, tripling headcount, like there’s just been such a big push, like so much money was printed, or whatever happened in the economic environment, that tech just took this big boom up, that maybe we’re seeing flatten out just a little bit right now? Well, has that been exaggerated by it? Or is that just a tail is the oldest, oldest time? Well, I

Cory Bray 08:54
I don’t think it’s as old as time. I think it’s as old as top line growth focus. So whenever you are purely focused on top line growth, meaning revenue, you’re not focused on operational efficiency, meaning profitability. And that’s fine. And there’s some reasons for it. So when you’re a, let’s call it a venture scale company, you want to grow super fast, because the idea is that if you can get to a big revenue number, if you can get to $200 million revenue, well, you can then turn that company into something that’s profitable. Elon is doing it right now. So Elon takes a business that’s doing four negative $4 million in profit. I think it was every month, every week.

Pete Thornton 09:36
I don’t know. I don’t know the numbers on that. I do know a lot of people talking about how you take $44 billion and actually get your money back. So so they

Cory Bray 09:43
where they were losing $4 million. It was either every day every week or every month, probably every day or every week, getting smoked, right? And so he said, “Well, how do I get the top line revenue?” Now let’s restructure the operational expense side of the business. And so if you’re growing very fast, you’re adding lots of headcount, you’re doing that for a few reasons. One is your building product. Two, you’re selling the product in three years for your customers. So those are the three things that really matter. And everybody else supports that in one way or another, well, if the product is good, and you’ve got the customers, they’re not going anywhere, it’s a subscription business. That’s why it’s so valuable. And if you want to increase margins, you can do things like raise price, or reduce costs, those are the two, you can either sell or raise prices for your current customers or reduce costs, those are three things you can do. And once you’ve got scale, once you’ve got 100 million, 200 million, $300 million in revenue, it’s really easy to do that, oh, we’re doing a 10% price increase three and a million in revenue. Cool, we just made another 30 million bucks, it took your company five years to get to their first 30 million bucks, you just did it with the stroke of a pen. And so there’s lots of things that you can do at scale that you can’t do early on. So that’s why they plow all this money to get into scale. And then the question is, do we want to keep growing and profitably, which is fine, because you’re just trying to get to that point where you can switch it on to be profitable at some point, or right, say, Alright, it’s time.

Pete Thornton 11:08
Interesting. So like, push trying to get there is that and then is that the type of companies that you’re mostly speaking to, like the ones that are or at least just say, traditionally, over the past two years?

Cory Bray 11:19
Yeah, so we work with a lot of those companies, because A, they spend a lot of money on stuff like what we do, because they’re trying to figure out how to not break. And so it’s awesome to work with them, because they’ve got a team that’s been given a challenge. In an environment that’s tough. That’s, I need you to grow this thing this month, which is probably a big number with some constraints, which might say, hey, you’ve got this team, we want you to figure it out with this team. Well, the team might not be the best team in the world. So let’s coach them up and make them better. And that’s one option. Or, on the other side of the equation, you’ve got companies that are truly trying to be profitable, either throw off cash to the owners, or their private equity, and they want to flip the company to another bigger private equity firm. So in that case, let’s get more out of the people that we’ve got on the team. So those are the scenarios where I’m usually talking to folks: how do we get more out of who we’ve got?

Pete Thornton 12:13
Yeah, totally makes sense and that’s a challenge you often see. And especially if they’re adding layers in so quickly to that equation to say, you’ll have a head of sales, you’ll have this group of individual contributors who probably have a depth of knowledge, like the tribal knowledge and anecdotally understand about the product, they were employee number 17, or something like that. Yeah. And then on point, they grow, oh, like this head of he needs to report into the board, they’re going to need to get a frontline manager. And then it breaks apart more and more, maybe strategic enterprise mid market, they’ll have some little, you know, they’ll have an SDR, BDR, slight, tight team that they want to spin up. And all of a sudden, to get that scale, they have to boom out. And, and that’s where you make a lot of managers I’ve kind of noticed. So

Cory Bray 12:55
Yeah, you made a lot of managers. And then you say, Okay, well, what’s going on? And that answer to that question is around financial metrics, or numbers. And that’s the problem because people say that humans, people say to humans, that your team, that your employees are your most important asset, where humans are on the balance sheet, they don’t exist. There’s not even a goodwill entry for humans. Goodwill, is that people finance terms for everybody that didn’t study accounting called, but they’re not there. And there’s no way for most companies to understand specifically like, where is this person at? I’m just, I’m on this big kick right now where people think they’re so much further along than they are. It’s fascinating. I want to find a study or do I not really want to do a study. I want to find a study where it’s like, what percentage of people do you think are in the top? 10? What percentage of people think that they’re in the top 25% of performers? What percent think they’re in the top 10? Think they’re in the top one? I bet you my guess is that 50 to 60% of people think they’re in the top 10 And probably 10 to 15% think they’re in the top 1%.

Pete Thornton 14:08
Within what? Three, like within their overall like the role industry, okay, company, like because the smaller you might get, like, the more they might have some relative understanding of where they fall. I know this, these are the full of people I work with on a daily basis. I think number two,

Cory Bray 14:24
Nobody wants to admit they’re below average. And if they’re below average, they’ll start making excuses for it. Yeah, but I’m gonna leave, people struggle to assess where they’re at. And I think that’s an opportunity for management, to get good at assessing where people are at and not use it to beat him up. Use it to help create developmental plans and say, Look, you know, yeah, you’re, you just got promoted into this job, like, how do you think your average like your zero, or maybe your one, potentially two, maybe we use some of these skills in prior roles. Instead of using that That is something that we’re going to be negative about, let’s build you up. And let’s try to make you attend. That’s the exercise that the better managers are having these days.

Pete Thornton 15:09
And then I guess the thing that you probably run into really quickly is, as a new manager is like, what’s the framework for assessing like, you’ve got this gut instinct from having been an individual contributor, or having been a manager elsewhere? Unless you’re coming from a large corporate situation where here’s the set, you know, here’s whatever framework you’ve been trained on, and you can move it into this more typically the audience that we speak to like this hyper growth environment, SAS environment, they’re probably not going to have that. So I’m not sure if that’s like somewhere where you come in. Okay, these are probably I mean, invite you do.

Cory Bray 15:42
Yeah, it’s not hard. I mean, the first is, don’t do Myers Briggs. That’s not the answer to this.

Pete Thornton 15:47
But your persona, your high yellow.

Cory Bray 15:50
Yeah. Your real cool, awesome dude.

Pete Thornton 15:56
I Know I have FOMO on a 7.2, Enneagram, or whatever the thing is. Yeah. Like all the personas, I think

Cory Bray 16:01
it’s really clearly defining what greatness in the role looks like, was these. So we call it a competency matrix of your salesperson. It’d be really good at Discovery and demos and product knowledge and sales process and managing objections and getting to executive stakeholders and things like that. And so what are all the skills that need to be mastered? And put a scale together? I like a zero to four scale, because zero indicates that it’s actually something you haven’t done before. So if you’re an SDR that’s never done it before. Sorry, but you’re zero.

Pete Thornton 16:37
And haul it out just to make sure it’s understood like zero experience here

Cory Bray 16:40
yet zero, like you haven’t done it before. And yeah, you can click on screens, just like I can tell you what your marketing copy should say on your homepage, but that’s still zero. Okay, so finding out what a four look like? Well, a four for demos would be potentially something like a high pressure, late stage multi stakeholder interactive demo. That’s simple. That highlights the right things. It’s acutely focused on every single person’s pain that’s relevant to each individual in the room to some extent that’s highly engaging. And that does a phenomenal job of articulating the value of each one of the products that should be demoed but not going deep into things that are irrelevant. You could go crazy with a matrix there. When you say it that way people like yeah, maybe I’m not for.

Pete Thornton 17:32
Right, right. Right. And just gives it like, just a more objective point on the horizon. It’s showing what good looks like. It’s almost like the whole start with the end in mind. Thing is, but if you do, the hardest part is probably defining the end. At that point.

Cory Bray 17:47
What’s Yeah, defining the end because you know that these people come away from this conversation with this perception of you. Yeah, in that example, and all of these things, some things are really easy to learn, like how to update Salesforce, cool, you can go from zero to 490 days.

Pete Thornton 18:07
Time. Yeah, like the things that are a bit more. Yeah, it takes more time, just maybe artful or something like that. Sometimes, sometimes, you’re gonna have to blend your experiences of understanding a product, but understanding a person and it seems you can connect the two through a challenge or something.

Cory Bray 18:21
And there’s lots of scenarios, there’s permutations and combinations of things that come up. It’s like in golf, you know, so, I love this example, you play golf, right?

Pete Thornton 18:31
I have a golf course behind my house, sometimes I go. Alright. Alright.

Cory Bray 18:35
So one of the one of the examples since you’re not, so if you’re 150 yards out, we’ll call period,

Pete Thornton 18:42
three wood.

Cory Bray 18:45
So, let’s say eight iron, so you get an eight iron. Now, if you’re 150 yards out in the sand, probably going into six iron, maybe if I buy you 150 yards out under a tree, you’re probably going to do a punch shot with three or four. If you’re 150 yards out in the balls, a little bit in the water, but it’s playable, probably going to use a wedge and just chip out into the fairway. So there are all these different scenarios where you’re like, so the person thinks, oh, I’m 150 yards out. I know the answer. It’s an eight iron and they think they’re a four. They don’t consider those other edge cases and how they’re going to be a four. Okay, cool. So can you hit a punch shot without it fading off to the right and can you roll it up to the green and actually stop it? Or is it going to go short or way over? Kill the guy at the next tee box? These are the things that people underestimate their that overestimate their skill on and this is where having a real clear calibration around where someone at today and how can I coach them to truly get to where they need to be, which is where they might think they are but they’re not for the example I just gave.

Pete Thornton 19:57
So it’s really interesting because like enablement is so difficult because there’s, there’s the two elements, there’s kind of like enablement and there’s operations. And so what we end up dealing with in a lot of cases is mostly operational issues, because the thing that they’re doing week to week is taking a forecast, and like rolling the pipeline up higher. And so for that, you can kind of say, like, how many calls did you have? There’s almost a little mathematical formula that you can follow. That’s why there’s, that’s why it makes that there’s so much software around it, you’re like, yeah, we can do this through software. Like it’s something that’s just, you know, we can give you a green, yellow, red, maybe like a clarity forecast or something like that. But this is just a meander showing up and asking, like, what’s your number commit best case? What do you think, and then trying to take their gut and roll something up enablement, so hard is hard, like teaching and coaching was hard back into education days is because it’s, it’s one at a time, it takes like a, you have to, everything’s a unique bit of a Snowflake. And then if you can get them into, if you can get them into a little bit more of a matrix like that, like, you’re still having to kind of assess and work with them. But that is the job of a manager, it’s just one of these things that it’s a little bit difficult. So it gets pushed off some. But whenever you see something like these layoffs that are happening from time to time, or place to place, I just don’t know if anybody will really know where they were in that round, or did they just get unlucky because the inbound route round robin did not come to them in the last month, the way that they wanted. There’s this whole like unknowing, there’s a bit of a paradox. I don’t know if you’ve experienced that along your journey. Uh, maybe the better question would be as opposed to just giving you this kind of like backstory of things I’ve seen a lot would be like, what pieces along your personal professional journey led into coach CRM, because you’ve written tons of enablement, books, you have another training, kind of like software an offering that you’ve delivered before. So what is it that brought about Coach CRM,

Cory Bray 21:53
We are so close with our consulting firm, we are building 70 products. The vision here was one stop shop for enablement teams to deliver anything that was needed to drive sales performance. And so the idea there is that enablement teams either build or they operate. And you can’t really do both at the same moment, you can do both in the same day, you know, Bell builds up in the morning, executes the afternoon. Problem is the people that like building and so when they get done building things, they move on to building B and then they don’t operate. And people that like operating probably are very good at building. So the whole idea was we’re going to build things and we’re going to deploy them. And then like, we’ll just open source, the easy stuff. So read eight books about it. And as we were building things and deploying them, one of the things that we built was a framework on how to coach salespeople. And when we rolled it out to companies, they’re like, this works with immediate impact with it, because managers had never been trained on sales management managers had never been trained on coaching. When they were doing coaching, it felt like micromanagement. It was focused on the pipeline, they were coaching the play, not zooming out and coaching the player. So we want to coach the player, not the play. Because if somebody’s got all these problems, like, go listen to a call and you score it like call scorecard, verbal, in many cases, because Hey, Pete, so out of five let’s say you’re three on this. Two on this five on this, four on this two on this three on this four on this two on this two on this three on this four on this? Cool? So he got a bunch of two’s, what’s he going to do now? If I throw you seven basketballs? How many basketballs do you catch?

Pete Thornton 23:31
00, he talked about, if you’re just trying to translate that into an actual activity net, like

Cory Bray 23:36
I throw you seven basketballs at the same time, what is going to, you’re probably going to

Pete Thornton 23:40
turn your guy to actually get you to completely overwhelm you just like tuck in overlook.

Cory Bray 23:44
And that’s just focused on the call. Because when we listen to the call, a lot of times, what we find is that there’s a root cause behind it has nothing to do with call, it’s often things like pre meeting prep time management, we’re mastery of the market, the persona, or the use case, there’s something there, when you zoom out, that’s the actual root cause. And if you focus on things that aren’t the root cause, the people you’re coaching are gonna recognize it, they’re gonna get annoyed, they’re gonna feel like you’re micromanaging them, their job is gonna be less pleasant. And you don’t know what to do as a manager, because you’ve never been formally trained how to do this. And so there’s this big disaster that’s brewing. And I figured out a way to fix it. So that’s what we do now.

Pete Thornton 24:25
Nice. So this was like, it feels like this is kind of like a natural outcome of those years of like, moving along, you’re working with clients, you’re putting together products. And yeah, hey, I think we have a way to kind of bring this together, just consolidate to some degree.

Cory Bray 24:39
Yeah. And you talked about forecasting. I mean, forecasting is the easiest thing in the world. Technically, because you got a deal that has $1 value. You’ve got a sales process as stages. Each sales stage has a default probability of winning, which can be overridden by the salesperson. And you’ve got a close date though Sport factors are all you need to do math, to run a sum of expected value calculation to show you what your forecast is. But just as people struggled to estimate their current competence, they also struggled to estimate the probability of outcomes and timing of deals. And that’s where they get trouble. So, enablement around that, like, how to forecast like, why is this deal going to close this date? Because when you look at people’s pipelines, it’s always December 13? I guarantee you there’s your pipeline. Everybody’s closing on New Year’s Eve. I know you’re still so close on New Year’s Eve, and then it’s getting close on March 31. Which is probably a Sunday, maybe it’s not.

Pete Thornton 25:40
But do you take a quick peek at the calendar to see where you’re gonna lie? Respectfully,

Cory Bray 25:46
yeah. Anyways, that’s yeah, that’s the thing. It’s just it. If you do it, right, you do it? Well, it’s not hard. If you don’t, then coaching is just, it doesn’t help. And then you’re dependent on Well, who am I gonna hire off the street? And the thing about salespeople, and they may be great. But if they’re that great, why hasn’t someone else picked them up? Why aren’t they working for their old boss?

Pete Thornton 26:09
Ask yourself, right? Yep. Yep. Yeah, it totally is. So the challenge is pretty well, like, understood, like, we do see it all day, every day, like it’s experienced by individual contributors. I think they would even agree with you and kind of let you know, as far as that goes. Yeah, that’s true. And like managers be like, if nobody’s listening, Yes, true. Or maybe outright, like some help on it. It’s just that it’s not as clean and clear, most of the time how to do that versus something else in a more operational realm that just gets kind of handled, there’s software for that. So what about Coach CRM, then? Will you just walk us through what it is that coach CRM does? And what people are mostly because you know, you get those like the customer feedback portions over the first year? And what is it when they say, Hey, I’m all in, they’re all in on? And when the ones who are like not for us not now, whatever it happens to be, what their major objection would be. And that would be interesting, because we’d find out who we might be a fit for that way. Yeah.

Cory Bray 27:09
So we help managers diagnose coaching challenges, prioritize them, execute on coaching conversations, hold people accountable, and resolve the challenge to move on to the next one, with a goal of every manager coaching every person on the team on one thing at a time. And they’ve got a plan on what they’re going to coach each person on next, next, and so we’re building people up one step at a time. And as we do that, the people being coached are very clear on what their commitments are. And when we have those coaching conversations, they’re Socratic conversations, we ask questions, it’s like discovery, we get the reps to buy in, we get them to come up with the ideas, and we calibrate the and so it’s not a command and control top down thing. It’s where the people being coached take a lot of ownership in this. And then while all of this is happening, executives get visibility into what’s going on across the org. Who’s coaching, who’s coaching? Who’s coaching? Who on what, how long are those things happening? And then we just launched our Salesforce integration this week. So we can tie that to revenue. And we can say, How does coaching impact revenue in our company? That’s something that nobody’s been able to do before.

Pete Thornton 28:20
That’s interesting. Okay. So like, that’s step one would be to diagnose them, prioritize, and then plan and try to give that a very streamlined focus, like one at a time, and try to bring the rep into that conversation. Yep. So that they can take as much ownership as possible. And then if you can measure on the backside with the Salesforce integration, now we can start to say, Okay, over the course of time, you see that, you know, this type of training has led to this type of revenue increase, hopefully, is what like, maybe that trailing metric is what you’d want to see. Yeah, by the way, if people are not in enablement, they don’t know, it’s really hard to tie training back to revenue. That’s where enablement gets in trouble. If there’s ever a downturn or something like that, proving your results is really, you know, difficult. That’s why sometimes in enablement, like, some of my favorite things have been to put together full place from outreach through Salesforce and the messaging ended off tying it to the reps like you put it together, you worked with these teams to do it. Because it’s like, anything that generates pipeline out of that you’re like, I have to be included in those results, seeing as how I press in on all those buttons and title, names like you only do this command and control thing for a play.

Cory Bray 29:27
Yeah, man. So I think the ultimate goal here is to create sales and finance alignment. You know, countless people want to talk about sales and marketing alignment, well sales and marketing and never gonna be aligned if there’s inherent friction there. You know, sales are always because here’s why. And it’s because of the sales and finance alignment. So sales do well. The board’s like, cool. This is my let’s just talk about venture backed companies. Sales does well, so we’re growing fast. We’re growing faster than we thought. Well, the board’s Cool, let’s put more money in because they’ll do a pre-emptive round, they’ll say, hey, go go raise your next round. So they’re going to grow the size of the team. So success breeds growth in a scale environment. Well, if that’s the case, then marketing needs to bring in more leads.

Pete Thornton 30:19
Right? Right, right, right. If

Cory Bray 30:21
sales isn’t growing and not hitting their numbers, then sales is going to be like, well, we’re trying our best because people think they try their best. That’s, you know, people’s perception of themselves. We need better leads, or we need more leads, there’s always going to be this thing where you’re either not, you’re not growing in its marketing spot, or you’re growing, and now marketing needs to do better, that’s just always going to exist. And yeah, you can have sales and marketing alignment, Happy Land clouds, and teddy bears, if you’re in a world where growth isn’t either accelerating or stuck. But in high growth companies that just do, it rarely happens. So it’s one of those conversations like it’s cool to have, and you should probably get better alignment, but it’s never going to be perfect. However, on the sales and finance side. What if finance truly understood, every dollar in sales results in X dollars payback on y period. That’s a math equation that you can get behind and can actually come to fruition, if you have a really good understanding of who you’re bringing in what it takes to get them ramped up what they can produce, the probability of them quitting the probability of us firing them and the probability of them getting promoted over different time periods, given the flow of leads for marketing, our win rates and deal sizes like this is all just second grade math. That helps create an understanding of the business but when I just walked through, a lot of people don’t know that, because they’re so focused on their job and what people say on the internet.

Pete Thornton 31:43
Yeah, yeah. Well, they everybody does, like the predictability of the revenue was why the forecast was prioritized and things like that. And like other things that are not as streamlined. If it’s, if you can’t say that a moves to be very cleanly done, those things get lost, when times get tight, especially when if you’re not experimenting, or you know, growth at all costs, and you’re willing to just try to try a little bit of everything, even if you don’t see an immediate result.

Cory Bray 32:07
Yeah. growth at all costs you like on if it’s working, like for Uber, growth at all costs. And then look what happened? They got into a position where I can’t remember, was it last quarter, they weren’t profitable, at least on a cash basis for the first time ever? By raising rates $1 per ride? Because they had scale?

Pete Thornton 32:32
Oh, right, right. Because what you’re mentioning

Cory Bray 32:35
100 drivers. Yeah, when they had 100, drivers didn’t raise one dollar for right, they gave you $5 to ride. And then they went in 2010. And eventually they achieved scale and the chief scale to the point where now they can raise it $1 per ride and go from losing to profitability, the stroke of a pen. And that’s just an incredible position to be in if you get there. Sometimes you don’t.

Pete Thornton 33:00
Was this year gonna bring you what? At coach CRM? What are the goals? If you gather the team up? You’re like, Alright, happy New Year. Here we go. Like, where are we going? What kind of customers? What kind of didn’t have to be strict numbers or anything like that? Just what are you hoping to do? Oh, I know what the question is. The question is, in the boardroom, when the guy gave you that feedback, and he was like, All right, now start again, maybe it’s just really hard to ask and he’s just, but he’s like helping you out? You know, you gave me your resume. I want your vision for the future.

Cory Bray 33:29
What was the vision for the future, then? I’m not ready to talk about that in public, because we’re going after something. What I will say is that the vision? Well, I won’t give you the specifics, in where I was at a Wharton executive education session, because I think that lifelong education is just critical. And so I invest in myself, where we’re going in 2023 and beyond is the coach CRM is going to be the platform that managers live their days in, you’ve got all of these disconnected systems, that managers jump in and out of that are really focused on either the reps or enablement or ops. And then managers, they’ve got Doc’s were docs, or sheets or whatever. You’re sitting there, jumping into deals with deals or the salespersons. Job, you know, jumping into calls, that’s great, that’s very important. It’s part of it. You’re gonna have these meetings with all these other people, your job is to develop your team. And what we’re going to do is get people re centered around that, and spending 30 to 40% of their time developing their team understanding, where’s everybody today? Where are they going? How am I going to get them there? How are they doing along their journey to get to that position? And how do we make sure that the people that we bring into this organization, the right folks to get to the right place over the course the right time so we can execute our mission and our goals? And that’s what we’re building is that central hub for sales managers

Pete Thornton 35:00
that’s cool that’s cool okay that’s awesome no that’s good that’s good yeah when you’re ready to disclose your tax records there’s

Cory Bray 35:05
no but there’s some tactics that I think are gonna be fun but I’m gonna I’m gonna hold on to those for a second because they always don’t poke the bear and

Pete Thornton 35:18
yeah, I’ve had an experience like that was in one organization that did I don’t know if it’s the same exact way or not but don’t so to wrap it up, clean it SaaS ramp podcast everybody’s got a bit of a different take on this depending on their different outlook on where they sit in SAS or what they’re exactly doing within it and everything like that so for you from founder of coach CRM, a time author had a consultancy or still have consultancy as well then with all in all these ecosystems traveling the United States now in Canada, like jumping in and having these conversations with various companies. What does SaaS ramp mean to you

Cory Bray 35:57
get up to speed but I think ramp I just think freeway on ramp so there’s two that come to mind. So the Hayes Kansas man on the ramp goes forever. And then there’s and then there’s South Street and Philadelphia gets down to 76 it’s good on the left side it just went and just hoped nobody’s there.

Pete Thornton 36:21
existence so if you want to All right. All right then. So this is your so traveled. This is so funny, because you’re like you’re going from Kansas to Philly and your mind just like that with just the thought of an on ramp. That is what is really interesting. So getting up to speed though man getting up to speed like whether it’s a long or tail and you’re like out there in the in the Great Plains, or whether you’re out in Philly, just try not to get the burden because that man jump into

Cory Bray 36:46
because if you’re not, if you’re not getting up to speed, guess who is? Everyone else? Everybody else? Yeah. Life’s not fair, but it’s fun.

Pete Thornton 36:57
But it’s fun. Dude, this has been fun, man. It’s great to catch up with you. It’s great to hear all about it. And, man, I don’t know. If you hit the Charleston airport shortly and show up at my house. I wouldn’t be surprised. You’re he’s coming folks. Like if Corey shows up knocking on the door. If you come with bagels, do you come with doughnuts? I don’t know what you bring.

Cory Bray 37:17
Come with me two times.

Pete Thornton 37:21
Yes. Yeah. I’ve got my three wood. I’m ready to roll. All right, brother.

Cory Bray 37:27
Thanks, Pete. It’s been a pleasure.