Scaling Hypergrowth in the Expanding Virtual Environment

with Colin Specter,

VP of Sales at Orum

In this episode, Pete is joined by Colin Specter, VP of Sales at Orum. The two discuss the challenges of scaling at a hypergrowth company, evolving to meet the needs of the virtual business environment, and more.
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Key topics in today’s conversation include:

  • Biggest challenge over the last six months (1:27)
  • What’s the context for hypergrowth at Orum? (3:24)
  • Favorite leadership moment (10:13)
  • Challenges of scaling at a hypergrowth organization (13:06)
  • Key communication practices despite being a remote company (18:44)
  • Colin’s background and journey into sales leadership (24:00)
  • Advice to Colin’s younger self (32:15)


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


Pete Thornton 00:06
Welcome back ramparts to The SaaS Ramp Podcast I’m your host podcast Pete welcoming Colin Specter to the show today, VP sales at hypergrowth organization Orum. I’m really happy to have you on today. Welcome, Colin.

Colin Specter 00:19
Thank you podcasts. Pete, love it. Thanks for having me on the show. This is awesome.

Pete Thornton 00:24
Appreciate it. Yeah, that’s my fun little Here’s Johnny moment, before we dig into some sites. I’ve been, I’ve been kind of tracking the organization seeing what you guys have been doing just most recently, just before we even kick off a big congrats on that, on that rep view, top 20 list for for sales organizations. Super nice to get that kind of like that little round of applause from somebody outside the organization. So congratulations.

Colin Specter 00:50
Thank you. Yes, yeah, it’s it’s you know, it feels good to get some validation acknowledged from, especially an organization like rep view where a lot of folks are turning to you now for ratings and opinions on sales organizations that are great places to work and invest your career. So yeah, we’re super pumped about that.

Pete Thornton 01:10
Yeah. Awesome. Awesome. Yeah. And it’s been validated twice. Now, for anybody watching, you might have seen another participant and other guests from Orem. So we, that is not a mistake, or I’m so good. We want guests from Orum. So, yeah, I can’t wait to unpack it with you here. Maybe we’ll kick it right off. I know you’re in hyper growth, everything is going really well. But that does not mean it’s easy. So if you’re thinking back to the last couple of quarters, or maybe six months, what would you categorize as the biggest challenge in the last six months?

Colin Specter 01:43
Yeah, I mean, we, in the last really two quarters, we’ve doubled our sales team. And we’re 100% remote company. And so onboarding enablement, getting your people to speak the same language, especially when you’re an early stage company, right. And you might not have the Enable enablement operations in the kind of wherewithal that a large company would have were, of course, used to hiring large classes of wraps. When we hired so many wraps in such a short succession of time, I think that put a big emphasis on of course, pipeline generation aways, but enablement, investing the resources, they’re making sure we’ve got a really, you know, it really pressure tested our playbook. And in the best way it’s right and showed us areas that we needed to focus more training and enablement, really helped us identify and nail and further our hiring profile, get really crystal clear on what we’re willing to coach and not willing to coach for anyone coming in the door at our stage. And when so we’ve gotten just a grade out of this the past six months, I mean, just a great class of wraps and, and I think an even clearer vision of what enablement and onboarding looks like Apple room for the next phase of growth that we’re entering now. So,

Pete Thornton 03:05
okay, I’m not at all surprised to hear that like, based on how fast you’re growing, and the kind of like the kind of headcount quotas that you might even be under simply to, to fill those seats with because there’s business out there to be had. So that that’s something we hear kind of frequently from organizations your size, maybe, maybe I’d like to know more about you because because like there’s, there’s various contexts for hyper growth that different organizations can have, you know, as mentioned in our work at postman, so for postman, it was the product lead growth and the fact that there was maybe 10 million or more developers using the tool for free or for a low paid self service before they added anybody on the go to market team for Orem. What’s the context for hyper growth? Why you guys have just taken off?

Colin Specter 03:51
Yeah, it’s, it’s a combination of I think, good product market fit solving a big business for all big business problems, right. So lowering customer acquisition costs, reducing sales, ramp time, improving sales efficiency. And right now, especially in this market in this economy, revenue orgs are trying to figure out how to do more with less and I know you’re probably hearing that a lot, but moram is an answer to that problem. We are an efficient solution. We are an AI that augments what you would normally hire a human being to automate a lot of the manual tasks and manual work typical human beings would do almost like hiring you know, robots on the factory floor to put the widgets together. Forums AI is doing work like that for your sales team. And so starting to automate more and more of what a typical sales rep would do, to prepare for prospecting and conversation so our live conversation platform is powered by the latest machine learning and artificial into halogens. And an AI we filled is really focusing on removing the drudgery that a rep would normally take to get into conversations with their target market or customer conversations to talk about a renewal or look for new business opportunities that occur in our account. So there are different features and functions we have to do that assist your salespeople. And, and the reason we’re seeing this hypergrowth right now is just the markets ready for this? I mean, AI is becoming more of a widely adopted understanding, just generally not just in sales, but you know, across our whole economy and society right now. And so the problems that we solve impact, revenue and business risk and all some of the key kind of value drivers that most major organizations are thinking about every day and every quarter and every year right now, so

Pete Thornton 05:59
Okay, yeah, what a good I mean, it’s hard anytime you say the word good in the same sentence as macro economic headwinds, you know, you have immediate regret, but the timing, the timing is accurate, if you can provide some of those efficiencies and like, increased productivity, do more with less or do more with the same or what have you. So it does make sense that, you know, some of these companies that I’ve spoken with in the hypergrowth round, they had something for kind of like remote work set up? Because they say, oh, you know, naturally, we’ll head this way. And then we moved into the pandemic and accelerated that. Are there any kinds of things, environmentally, that have happened to accelerate? Or, um, or do you think it was just about that time AI, like you mentioned, is better understood, etc?

Colin Specter 06:46
Yeah, absolutely. So I think a combination, right, people have always been prospecting, whether we were back in the office or, or remotely, I’d say what’s helped to accelerate Forum’s growth is we have developed our platform really for that hybrid or remote work environment as well. So part of our platform is a virtual sales floor. See, you have this engaging and gamification experience to bring the kind of buzz of a real sales floor to your virtual environment. So one of the big problems I was hearing from sales leaders, just across my peer network, is it was becoming increasingly difficult and still increasingly difficult to get keep your your sales development reps engaged your inside sales team engaged and trained and speaking the same language in a remote world and, and zoom fatigue was becoming a thing. And so offering another solution for folks to get on a platform and do that, of course, the table stakes of their job prospecting, pipeline generation, and enclosing revenue, by providing a fun environment, a platform that fosters gamification and enablement and coaching, making fun which is part of the fun and being of a sales seem like in our early in my career was on the sales floor, you know, and doing the games and hearing the person next to you getting the objection and, and kind of like having that empathy in real time. And so a lot of that’s starting to be lacking in this hybrid remote world and with Orem, that’s a big problem we’ve been focused on solving. And so keeping engagement, keeping the buzz going, even though virtual setting is has been a key ingredient over the last call it 18 months or so.

Pete Thornton 08:35
Yeah, yeah, I can’t, I can’t have to hold everybody because I hit up onboarding, I deal a lot in that space for postmen. And I do feel it for the reps who come in, especially getting their start. You mentioned business development, sales, development, account development, whatever, like the prospecting role, as well as inside sales. I did both of those roles in person. And I came from the classroom and from the fields, I was an educator and a coach and moved into that role later on, like, baby on the way I was like, Well, it’s been good on that teacher salary, let’s try to go ahead some other direction. And that was the introduction into SAS sales, and like it was so so you’re learning it’s difficult, but you’re you’re picking up those vibes that you have side to side. And you’re hearing in real time, things that are, especially at the time, difficult to replicate. So it is good that they’re having that. I tried doing it from home because my boss like Barrett shout out there. He was like, He’s good with it. He knows I’m still gonna go make the dials. But the minute I got to the house, I just wanted to be in traffic and then spend two hours at the house finishing out just so I could add 45 minutes of productivity to my day. And it was not the same that was two hours a day as opposed to 100% of the time. So, you know, it’s hard to imagine trying to pick up learning, onboarding, ramping, and then you know, just having a little bit of that energy and excitement. So I do love those kinds of platforms. It’s a new, it’s going to have to be the new normal for the way some of these things work on thinking,

Colin Specter 10:01
oh, yeah, we all have to evolve and adapt to just the new working world that we’re in and, and norm, we’re really happy to offer some solutions.

Pete Thornton 10:11
Okay, okay. Yeah. All right, that’s great. So you have so many people coming in, let me just ask this one a little bit more on the personal side, the like, you’re leading a lot of folks a lot of very rapidly. And it doesn’t have to be from your leadership position, it might have been somebody you had in a leadership position that you absolutely love, however, but you have a favorite leadership moment by chance,

Colin Specter 10:33
favorite leadership moment, it’s an internal to think of a good one. I mean, just seeing people that are hired as individual contributors achieve their personal goals or personal wins, like I know you had Daisy on the show. And Daisy was originally hired as an account executive here at aura, I’m actually I had worked with Daisy back at, namely, and helped bring her on as a sales development rep. So I’ve really seen her grow in her career from str, to SDR manager, to a, to manager to now director and through that, as her, as her income has as an increase in personal goals that she’s had, you know, start to build her real estate empire. And so, you know, in leadership, you want to help your people achieve their personal goals and their personal wins. And, and, and so Daisy’s a great highlight. Also, recently, we brought on somebody from outside of SAS and outside of our industry, and you know, when you’re an early stage company, you really ask yourself, like, what you’re willing to coach on what you’re not willing to coach on. And you don’t really have the enablement resources that, you know, a larger company is only going to work for Snowflake or Salesforce where they can teach anybody that has had the communication acumen. And so we, in my opinion, we kind of took a risk with somebody who was coming for real estate, no tech sales background, by Lee, they, they were the Top Rap of the quarter Top Rap of the month, last month as well and the the rapping quote on top of leaderboard, and so that person was a super highlight just to show that, you know, we were able to take someone with an internal here with unlimited and human resources to develop them and train them and get them into a closing kind of position here. It’s kind of opened our mind beyond even people within tech and SAS. And because it’s, you know, it adds a bit more uncertainty and a bit more risk, just if you don’t have the training capacity and plans yet. So that’s been a bright spot recently.

Pete Thornton 12:38
Yeah, that’s, that’s excellent. I really do love to hear that with leadership, just looking at folks and watching them on their progression and really getting something out of that. It’s good to get something out of that too. Because when you take that leadership position, your days are no longer your own. You know, yeah, for longer on your own, which is in a way you’re like, Oh, yay. And then after like two seconds, you’re like, Oh, like this is what this means now? Yes. So,

Colin Specter 13:00
Yeah, your calendars are invited by your people. Absolutely.

Pete Thornton 13:04
Yeah, yeah. Okay, what about now, so you mentioned onboarding, that is one of them. So that one’s that one’s kind of an obvious piece of the puzzle, but you’re trying to potentially move up mark is just, these are just guesses, like you’re trying to get the Go to Market program put together, you’re hiring rapidly trying to scale, there might be product releases every X number of days, weeks, months quarters, what would be the top challenges associated with just hyper growth? Just the sheer speed of growth within your organization?

Colin Specter 13:38
Yeah, so I mean, a couple of things you touched on there, I think moving up market when you move when you start to move from SMB and mid market where we really got a lot of our early traction to now towards the enterprise where we’re we’re selling into mega corporations, right big, you know, fortune 100 companies, even your your motion has to change, like the way you approach legal and contracting and security and, and even just sales, presenting and consensus building. The foundational skills you learned in midmarket will help but it is truly a different motion. And I think until you tried to go through it and are going through it, it doesn’t really hate you and your whole organization has to get behind this intentional move right there there will be features and functions that the enterprise require that that will kind of beyond what your mid market product market fit, you know, has right and so your whole you have to get your whole organization bought in seeing this type of change, focus in a change and focus on the market that your fear Focus On Service servicing. So for us at Oregon, you know, that’s been a big transformation for us is two things really that were two, two paths one is going across the On Beyond North America, and starting to sell to European and UK based companies, who have others, you know, features and requirements and compliance needs, as well for pushing up market. So both of these in tandem are really kind of pressure testing, and kind of forcing us in this hyper growth mode to cat to kind of catch up and really think about, from a compliance perspective, from a security from a legal perspective, that we’re, we’re reducing sales friction, that we’re putting the right resources in place to support moving in these markets. And so there are a couple of big bets that we’re making right now, which, you know, we’re 100% Betting are gonna, are going to pay off long term. And so we’re starting to see the fruits of that. But yeah, so I think for anyone listening, like as your company moves, you know, if you started an SMB, man, you want to go for the enterprise, you have to realize you need all the stakeholders bought in internally, right, you need to have your product team, your legal team, your finance team, you know, with legal and you might have to do some bespoke, you know, agreements versus, you know, in the mid market, everybody has to be on your paper that sometimes it doesn’t work in the enterprise. That’s just one small example. So happy to dive in deeper there as well.

Pete Thornton 16:15
Yeah, that’s interesting. Like, I guess, any tips for others, this is very common, too. So like any tips for other leaders taking this step like because there’s there’s a place where there’s, because it’s up and down, maybe a tip for alignment towards other departments and up into maybe founder CEOs, as well as for how to bring the team with, Hey, you have a quota. I know that’s been supplied by midmarket. Today, you’re going to want to keep 80% of your deals in that realm, maybe if that’s how it works, and but why don’t you try for a couple of these. So we can try to get the messaging and the motion down for some of these enterprise deals as you like, there’s some kind of split maybe happening as you Yeah, they call it the building, building the plane while you fly it, like there’s that whole concept but any tips for up

Colin Specter 17:01
and down. I mean, that’s exactly how we started it now we’re, we’re putting more focus just on enterprise now. But in the beginning, it was taking our top kind of mid market reps that had the highest kind of sales acumen, if you will, and putting them on a blended patch where they’re they’re strategically focusing on some some whales bought for velocity and to protect, you know, their income and the company’s you know, needs from a quota attainment so work in some of those mid market deals. And now that we’ve proven in some of those enterprise accounts, where we’re putting more focus there for those top reps that have proven they can sell to that market, and as well, in terms of recruiting start to be able to recruit confidently proving enterprise folks. So

Pete Thornton 17:44
nice. Okay. Okay. So that is interested, that would be the you peel off a couple and go send them into those markets and give that shot as part

Colin Specter 17:52
yeah. Yeah, we didn’t go all in like from it was like, hey, like, you’re gonna go test the enterprise enterprise quota? No, we took, really, we took one person in the beginning and said, hey, you know, keep these mid market accounts. But let’s also go for these 20 enterprise accounts. Let’s see what we can do here. So it was similar with the UK was like, Hey, you’re not just gonna focus on just the UK? Take these 20 UK accounts. Let’s see if we can get some traction there. prove out the market before making a big bet.

Pete Thornton 18:23
Okay, that makes sense. And then what about by the way, that’s kind of like keeping your day job kind of feel. Somebody’s like, like, hey, yeah, I’m doing great at stand up comedy tonight. Cool. Keep your day job for a while. Let’s just make sure. Yeah,

Colin Specter 18:35
exactly. Yeah, you got your side, your side hustle. And then you’re still your day job? That’s right.

Pete Thornton 18:40
Yeah. Here’s your podcast. Yeah. So what about marking any back to product team engineering team? You know, we’re, we’re spread across from India across the states. I mean, we’re in like, 20 countries now and, and have been for a long time at postman. So how do you work that communication? And like, how does it go? How did they understand the voice of the customer and what the enterprise needs might be? And as these things evolved, do you have any tips for leaders on that?

Colin Specter 19:09
Communication is key. Right? And that’s, that’s an easy answer to give. How do you foster that? I mean, we have our internal chat tools we submission we call it our challenges Dopper we submit any challenges that we’re running into with the product or potential product market fit or feature requests or friction with the product for certain markets or certain customers and so the product team sees the submissions plus we look at maybe any disqualified deals why we had to DQ them and he closed last deals why we had to close last them. And we’re now of product product marketing as well helping to facilitate this research. But in the earliest days, it was really sales leadership and product kind of meeting hand in hand. Now we have product marketing, really looking through the data from Salesforce plus at the form submissions and everstart to triage and prioritize, hey, you know, what is what is the impact on building certain features, right? There’s an opportunity cost to chasing any one feature. So when you’re developing your roadmap, you have to think about where we’re going. And if we’re making an intentional bet on the enterprise, that’s why you need everybody in line, you know, your product team aligned. And then when you look at the features and functions that we’ve submitted, maybe it’s specific roles and permissions and team based reporting and divisional reporting. And it could be different, maybe currency, just as you start to enter these different markets, and they have their own complexities there. Yeah, communication is key, just to get tactical, I mean, make sure you have everything in Salesforce, you know, your disqualifying reasons are closed. Last reasons your subcategories start to report on this. Even in your earliest days, at least start collecting the information at the account level in your CRM, whether it’s Salesforce or HubSpot, or whatever you’re using. And that will feed you later. All right, you already have a repository of data. When you start to get to that point, you’re like, hey, we’re making an intentional decision. You know, like, for example, we recently launched a HubSpot integration. And that was all links to data our team had been collecting over the past few years that shows how many accounts are on HubSpot news. Oh, we hit an inflection point. We’re like, well, in our CRM, we’ve already got X millions of dollars of HubSpot in our CRM that we’ve had to say no to over the past four years. Let’s go build this integration. Let’s run a marketing campaign against the people we already know are qualified now in HubSpot and Bo, and we’ve unlocked this revenue. We have just been collecting data for the past several years. So earlier, don’t move like that. Yeah.

Pete Thornton 21:43
Yeah. Okay. So maybe there’s three things then like I’m hearing like, there’s the single source of truth document challenges, Doc, it could have ended up with any department after it landed there, depending on the challenge, but it was at least one place where everybody was looking.

Colin Specter 21:55
Oh, yeah. And then reforms central Google Form. Yep. Central Google Form.

Pete Thornton 21:59
Yeah, I mean, and then you had to make sure they didn’t use a different copy of that same Google Form for their CRM, they actually plugged into the like, the Salesforce like, Please, guys, and thank you, if you would, please put this in there. It’s important to us because, you know, thank you for doing your administrative, you know, housekeeping piece that can sometimes be the, you know, shepherding reps to do so. Alright. And then time, you mentioned four years, like four years is like 40, sometimes in hypergrowth. So just consistency over time of keeping that up. So now you have some data to work with. So, you know, the internal communications are a little bit more than I have a gut feeling that this will work. You know, if we, if we spend time and development resources to, for example, have that new technical requirement for HubSpot.

Colin Specter 22:43
Yeah, I mean, we’ve got a, one of our values that we’re in is logic wins. And so you know, yeah, your gut and emotion can say all we want to go do this. But backing it up with logic is really important here to getting any proposal approved. And so the better you’ve been about collecting data and logical arguments, the more likelihood you have of getting buy-in from other stakeholders and getting something done here. So

Pete Thornton 23:06
That’s cool. That’s cool. Because that is like, a very, like, sales driven concept. It feels like but that’s very much internal as well. I live in an internal world now. And I used to live in the sales world. And I’m like, internal is some ways like harder, less, you know, like, there’s every third Scott

Colin Specter 23:22
or initiative and as a company grows, you gotta learn how to sell internally, right and manage up and, and work in partnership with your counterparts and keep communication strong with your marketing leader and your product leader and CS and everyone’s on the same page. So

Pete Thornton 23:38
yeah, yeah, yeah, totally. That’s

Colin Specter 23:41
a full time job. I think especially when you hit a VP of a mature company, like that becomes the job. It’s really communication over communication.

Pete Thornton 23:48
I keep getting that one over and over every six months. We seem to be a new company and I’m like, Oh no, I had to learn that lesson again like one day I’ll just be locked in. Okay, love to know I mean, I’d be remiss not to know a little bit more about your your a little bit about your journey you know, like did you know it was going to be sales did you know it was going to be sales leadership like how did that look for you and kind of kind of what the route look like?

Colin Specter 24:12
Yeah, I I’ve always been an entrepreneurial kind of startup guy, you know, startup person and out of college started a company that company wanted folding, we got a little bit of traction we want a folding are all first time founders and kind of didn’t really know what we were doing and then didn’t know how to fundraise and all that and then I went and intentionally found a company that was at the series seed stage that had like successfully kind of like fundraise to that level like arco we didn’t get and started there as an SDR and, and then it quickly just worked my way up. My goal was really originally spent some time at different venture backstage companies. And I wound up just sticking around at this one company for the for five and a half years this company called namely, and, and I was able to, the reason for that is when you’re in a hyper growth, release each company and you’re doing well like opportunities open up, you get away to scratch the edge of entrepreneurship when you stay in the same company. And so you’re like an intrapreneur. And so I got to open new offices, I got to launch new product lines. And so it always felt like every, every couple of years, it felt like a new company for me. So I stayed with, namely, from SCR to AE to, to manager to Director, leading teams and focusing on national enablement. And then I got the call to jump down Orem. And a friend of mine had started this company, and I was ready to scratch that itch again. You know, I think, namely had grown into a company that was a big company are ready to get back in entrepreneurship. And so, you know, jumped on here and was really the first W to hire at Orem No, caymanas, VP of sales, but really was just a glorified STR again, you know, cold calling our way at almost zero in revenue to, to now, you know, a $350 million valued company over the last few years. So, so it’s been, it’s been a fun ride, for sure.

Pete Thornton 26:14
That’s great. Yeah. So that’s a fantastic tale. And I do I really, like you really do have to be an intrapreneur this, you’re the second VP sales, who initiated directly out of college into a business and understood either Oh, I have to know sales to be a CEO or had this kind of like, interaction and then went on into this other more structured world. But I mean, when we say structure is a very loose term with this is just flying. So yeah, so different

Colin Specter 26:41
organized chaos, or I forget the dirt. Yeah. But it’s like, yeah,

Pete Thornton 26:46
It’s wild. And there’s a certain type of person who does it and it’s not quite like a serial founder, but it’s not too far off. So I find it fascinating, like the personality types that jumped into it. Sure. I mean, a ton of different ways. I’d love to go but maybe just for sake of time, and I promised not too long of your time today, but you kind of come through different organizations, learn from a lot of people and, and bumped into some folks along the way. So like anybody to pass some gratitude on to any two to three thank yous if you can. Even name names. I know it’s hard when you’re trying to narrow down a list.

Colin Specter 27:23
Yeah, I have a couple of great sales leaders I worked for who I think could be great for your show. Michael Mann, who was the VP of sales at Namely, I learned so much under his tutelage. Jetson, Jetson Griffin, who’s now the SVP of North America for intercom he was a sales leader I learned under as well. Jason Dorfman, CEO of Orum, I’ve learned a ton from Jason and Ben, you know, his background, he had scaled rubric from zero to 300 million as the inside sales leader there. And so had had so much kind of background in scaling hypergrowth sales organization. So let’s just maybe through the top that I learned, I’d recommend I mean, you already had Daisy on the show I you know, then I’ve had a ton from Daisy over the years as well. So your your audience love are great, some great nuggets from from Daisy shows, well, I’m sure

Pete Thornton 28:21
she made mention of you. And maybe this is, I mean, it’ll all air at some point, but it was eight, the eight, the two A’s, like the attitude and the activity, and things like that. And she rattled that right off. I mean, I’m like, yeah, she’s a highly intelligent person. Anyway, she’s also highly trained. And so I was like, Oh, I got you. That came quickly to her mind on those two A’s. So that was your input there. That’s

Colin Specter 28:42
what we say we say two levers you can control every single day, your attitude and your activity, when everything else is going crazy. Everything else around you. Those are two things no matter what you can always control.

Pete Thornton 28:54
I love that. Because it’s not just sales, like I can imagine back in my biology classroom of yesteryear. And I could just be telling that to like the back row of rowdy boys as well. But listen, fellas, we can only control these two things. Could we control any of it today? Yeah, that’s right.

Colin Specter 29:12
That’s right. I mean, sometimes you just have to separate the kids. You know, I remember being in that biology class and like the teachers calling you or failing my class. Okay, what are we going to do about this? And we’re like, Well, I guess because I’ve played around with that guy in the back. So maybe we should sit separately, and want to turn things around. And sometimes it’s little fixes like that. Just, you know, set up your environment for success. You know what I mean? Right? Was the lesson there?

Pete Thornton 29:37
Right? Well, sometimes when there is not clicking, and maybe this is a sales lesson somewhere. I remember one kid who’s just having the most trouble ever and he was smart. He just didn’t want to do anything which looked like a public school. I can’t understand. So I just thought, what are you going to do for a little while and when you get out of here? What are you going to do? Because he was telling me he’s going to quit, he’s only 14. You gotta wait till you’re 60 And I’m like, it’s a bad situation. But at some point, like let me meet you where you are. Dad had a fencing company. I’m going to take over my dad’s fencing company. I’m like, do you have room for you? Is he ready to retire? He’s like, no, no, he’s only blah, blah, blah. He seemed young. And I was like, Okay, well, why don’t you go find out what that top line revenue looks like and see if he’s got rapport. Like, let’s figure this out together. I’m teaching science. It’s not even like a math class where this is somehow applicable, but it’s just the human being. And he came back, he’s like, we’re gonna have to two or 3x that revenue in order to have plays for me. I was like, Well, buckle up, man, let’s just get through this together, let him work on that. And then you can come help them in a few years if you don’t want you to get a high school degree. He’s like, Yeah, I kind of said that. I was like, All right, let’s go. So I education

Colin Specter 30:35
some you can always take with you, you know what I mean? So that’s great that you, you were fostering that and ZeroMQ students.

Pete Thornton 30:42
And then you mentioned knowing even what some of your reps’ other goals were? You mentioned it was a little offhand thing about real estate before and I just, like, picked up on that. I was like, you even know what they want to do.

Colin Specter 30:54
Like what their life ambitions are, is a superpower. I mean, like, what are they? What are they driving for? Because sales is freaking hard. Right? And it’s like, what, like, what are the goals? Let’s get back into that. Right? Like, you know, and if it’s to make a lot of money, but like, what, how much money? What is that number significant, who’s there a house, a mortgage, or trying to, you know, save up for or certain certain milestones or goals, college fund, whatever it is, and I think it just makes it more real. And you can do the back of the napkin math on the number of deals it takes to get there, the number of meetings, number of calls to set the meetings. And it just makes it more real, right? You started with the WT number, but what’s behind that number? Why do you want to make a million dollars and right ask why now, it’s great if you can know that as a manager as a coach, it just helps keep your wraps focused on the bigger prize when you know shoot is going crazy, right? There’s that big point of sale that we’re still going towards, even though the waves are hitting us and wind is blowing and they are having to attack and move the ship around. We know exactly where we’re still going. Yeah,

Pete Thornton 32:01
a purpose up ahead. That’s really, really good leadership advice, then I have one more, just one more, it’s because that might have been the advice. But if you had a tip for yourself from, say, 10 years ago, but just younger self in general, knowing what you know, now, maybe having the bright, fresh feeling of 10 years ago, I don’t know about that one. What would that might have been for yourself as far as like, yeah, just a few

Colin Specter 32:26
Buy bitcoin. Yeah, live off your base salary and invest on your commissions. I think that would be the smartest financial advice I’d give anybody in sales, because you do have these two streams of income built into your job, and build your life, live off your base and invest all your commissions, that’s all financial side, on the other piece of that as get focused on mindfulness and focus on like, I would tell myself, like really, really pay attention to what type of work feeds you and fills your cup and fuels you and what kind of work to trackside and then, you know, and sucks your energy and like, like exhausts you. And then you also know how to stack your days because, you know, you’re not going to get to only do the work that fuels you, right, but understanding how you work, you want to build your day where you’re getting a healthy balance of both types of work, right? If you know, you have to build the comp plans and for and forecasts, and if that’s draining work for you, and you love coaching and motivating and teaching and training, right, you want to stack those moments up and wrap it around the exhausting work, too many days of the exhausting, it can really lead to burnout. And so my advice to a 10 year old, you know, 10 years ago would be outlined sooner. And that way, you’re not questioning why you’re having those moments of maybe drain or hard days and you just have more introspection and mindfulness about who you are and the type of work that kind of sparks you.

Pete Thornton 33:55
Yeah, that’s fantastic. I really, I really, really liked that. Those are two very practical takeaways, I kind of sense that you tell your team these things fairly frequently.

Colin Specter 34:03
I try to Yeah, whether they listen or you’re not. But no, it’s good. This is awesome. P

Pete Thornton 34:10
Oh, fantastic. Yeah. Thanks for the time, Colin, really appreciate it. I know our audience will appreciate it as well. So thanks on behalf of them. And yeah, I look forward to staying in touch and seeing what wonderful things you guys will do ahead.

Colin Specter 34:20
Sounds great. Yeah, much success here. It’s you as well, and thanks for having me on the show here. Cheers.