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 back ramping to The SaaS Ramp Podcast. I’m your host podcast Pete. Welcoming Jim Lipuma. To the show today, Jim is Chief Revenue Officer at 7shifts. Welcome to the show, Jim.
Jim Lipuma 00:19
Hey, Pete. Great to be here.
Pete Thornton 00:21
Yeah, fantastic to be here with you. And you guys, I do have to like, tell you what you’re missing. Because I don’t have the video anymore. We have got some amazing sports memorabilia in behind Jim, I know this is audio only. But you want to tell them what you’ve got right back there before we dive in and get really relevant. I
Jim Lipuma 00:37
I don’t want to alienate people here. But there’s some Yankee paraphernalia up on the wall there. There’s the core four signed on by my office. I have an office here that’s just got a lot of things from my upbringing here. So whether it’s things that happen in football or hockey or Immaculate Reception with Franco Harris or Peyton Manning pictures and things that were pretty important to me. So I collect those just for fun. So
Pete Thornton 00:59
You can’t live in this world now without admiring people’s background. Like, I love what you have in your zoom background. What about your resume background? You know, those kinds of things? It’s a special one. Well, this is a podcast. So we’ll get right kind of into some of these challenges. From your take, then Jim, the biggest challenge last six months or so?
Jim Lipuma 01:20
Yep. Great. Thanks. So I’ll start by sharing a little bit about what we do, because I think that will point people toward what our biggest challenge is. So my company is 7shifts, and we are team management for restaurants. And so what does team management for restaurants mean? It’s all the heavy lifting things that restaurant operators have to do to operate their business. It will go anywhere from communication with the staff, scheduling, time clocking, compliance issues, tip pooling, tip distribution, payroll, etc. All those things that are really important to a business to operate, that take a lot of time, that are not the sexy things that happen within a restaurant, but super important. So as you ask the question around the biggest challenges of the last six months, it really is the industry more than anything else. Many of us come from the restaurant industry and care deeply about the restaurants that we serve. And there is no industry that’s been harmed more than what’s taken place over the last few years for restaurants and a vast majority of that has nothing to do with them. It has to do with circumstances. And so we fight every day to try to help them get time back and get some opportunities to earn better. This is a way to do it. Give time back in their life.
Pete Thornton 02:29
Yeah, so you always hear that about the restaurant industry like just as a bystander having never been in it whatsoever. Just always hear like, hey, thanks tough grind or certain hours. And then if you do it for passion, you’re probably more into cooking like you maybe you’re a chef, something along those lines, and then all these things you mentioned, those are not distinctly not, you know, like sushi chef type activities. And then a pandemic came along. And like that is the thing that just got smashed.
Jim Lipuma 02:56
Yeah. It pains us on their behalf. I mean, we serve our customers, we are dedicated to the restaurant industry. They are the center of our communities. And we are focused on helping them thrive and come out of this many didn’t make it and those that did. They probably went without. They probably went without vacations. They probably went without robust Christmases with their families or holidays for their families. So we take our role and responsibility very seriously.
Pete Thornton 03:19
Yeah, that’s great. Okay. Yeah, wonderful to know. And again, this is the first deep dive into the restaurant business from the SaaS angle that I’ve ever gotten. So it is always interesting to learn. And like, of course, just be a little bit more aware of what industries or events still impacted from these things in recent years. Okay, then, then your chief revenue officer, so CROs, I know you’ve got a million things on your mind at all times, which is what makes the question interesting. But if you had to kind of boil that down, boil it down to one thing you had to get right, in order for your order to grow. What would you say that might be? Yeah,
Jim Lipuma 03:56
great question. I think, you know, I joined here, end of last year. I was an advisor for seven years for the organization. So I saw it in its infancy. And I watched this progress of life, winning awards and growing and doing great things and raising and it was just a wonderful story about how it started and where it evolved to. And that came on board at the end of the year. And we’re really in this massive scaling opportunity for our organization. And I’ll use this term that I heard recently, which I thought was really interesting. It’s a French culinary term called Meezan. Pause. It means you put all of your products together first, like you would chop everything and you put it all together before you even start cooking. And so it’s kind of the same way I think about our business like we had to put together the foundation first, before we can really build here. So that’s process that’s ensuring that we are all aligned on the mission, making sure that we’re all thinking about things the right way, making sure that we are all saying things in the right way and we’re saying it enough but really process driven foundationally driven so army’s applause is really about, let’s settle everybody and bring this whole team together, make sure we are aligned, and that we grow from here. So that was, I think the biggest thing was just, again, a level set and what we’re doing here, why it matters, and, and make sure that we’re moving forward in the same direction.
Pete Thornton 05:16
who that was. I love that Meezan pauses, because this is a restaurant term. And it means the way you’re putting everything together in advance, which is how you’ve kind of structured like brought in the process of really kicking off this next layer of growth. That’s right. Yeah. Okay. So, this, I love that. Yes, yes. I’m not even mad that you use a French word like. Any, so any background of that, like, you’re in the industry, you talk to people all the time, like, how does that come about? Or is that something you’re just like, hey, I’m trying to put something together. So people understand grabbing an analogy or something like that this way? Yeah,
Jim Lipuma 05:56
I’m into storytelling, I think it’s an important part of what we do anyway. But I really, you know, and again, coming into your the thing that you look for most of time I go into businesses, and there’s like, there’s fires, or there’s things you have to fix or things that are broken, or you’ve got some bad apples, some people that just don’t fit culturally or, you know, aligned with the vision, and our character, that was not the case here. So I’ve given great gratitude to the people that I work with, that predated me that brought in these tremendously talented individuals, makes my life much easier. But then I spent, you know, before I even started, I was into Gong, and I was listening to all these calls, and I was starting to see the same thing, like we were very product leads. So it was always about these great products. And if you don’t believe me, just Google it, you’ll understand, you’ll see videos, you’ll see high grades, we have exemplary products for the industry, untouched by anybody else. But I was hearing a reliance on that. So there’ll be a couple of technical questions, then it would be great. Now, let me tell you about me. And we went right to like this product and that product, it was always like, we expected people to be able to assimilate that with challenges or pain that they might have. And so I immediately brought the whole team together. And I was like, we have to have a conversation here. And I really, you know, there’s so many analogies I’ll use here, but the one I really think about is from a medical profession. And I think about imagining going into a doctor, and the doctor said, you go to the doctor and say, I have pain in my side, and the doctor says, we’ll lay down here, I’m going to cut you up, and I’m gonna check out what it is inside of there. That would be a massive malpractice problem. What’s the same thing in sales? It’s like, if we don’t uncover the needs of the pain, like, where is this stemming from? What is this issue? What does that mean to you? What pain might that cause to you, and we just race right to the products that we have. And we’re trying to get them to put those two together, we’re missing the boat. So what I really want to do is be really specific on the front end of discovery, a really meaningful discovery that pulls all that out, we use this term the power of three, get three points of pain, and then you’re allowed to move forward to the demo. And in that demo, then you’re very surgical about what you present. It’s not like, here’s 20 products we have, it’s here’s the three pieces of pain, you tie down to it, then you tie back to it. Like remember when you said this, here’s how we solve that you’re not alone. Others feel the same way. So that’s really the way we think about it just to be very specific about their pain, not me. And then how can I solve that pain?
Pete Thornton 08:25
Adam, this is really interesting. This is a little bit like meta, but just to like recap. So you came into the organization, though you were an advisor, but you’re coming in like a very full time role. So different. It’s always a different step. You made a discovery. And then you focused after that on Discovery. So it was just like diving in, you brought up Gong guy, obviously, like I’m very familiar, of course. And so anybody in the audience isn’t a revenue intelligence tool, going through and just reviewing, call after call. I know you a little bit now. And I’m like, I know, he listened to like 30 calls, like I just had already sent it about every
Jim Lipuma 09:00
day, think of people who aren’t doing that, and you have that tool. But you’re missing out. Because, you know, Pete, you and I talked about this before, it’s like, often people rely on training to do the heavy lifting for them. Training is the start of the process. It’s like, you have to do that to set the foundation. But then you have to just make sure that you’re on top of it, you’re reviewing, you’re playing this repetition play, you’re reinforcing, you’re recognizing where you need to recognize but the real work comes after the training. And Gong is a tremendous tool or any tools like that tremendous tool to see if it’s sticking 21 days to form a habit. You need to make sure people are on this and they’re practicing and it’s uncomfortable and it would be really easy to go back to the old way. I want them to stay on it and be uncomfortable and make sure that we’re going about our business the right way.
Pete Thornton 09:46
That’s why I liked your pneumonic like that. Or however you referenced it as the power of three because there’s a thing that happens in their mind at that point. They’re like oh, I’ve actually got to keep going you know, I don’t have it yet. So it’s not remembering how to say this or you have to, it’s just like I don’t have three things. Yeah. Let’s move it in there before they can kind of just over there, by the way,
Jim Lipuma 10:03
it’s there. You just have to be patient like people want to raise to this outcome. I hear people say, I need to get closer to my team. I’m like, No, you don’t, you need to get an opener. You need somebody who can engage meaningfully as logically progressive questions and move those conversations in a natural direction. And then the close takes care of itself. All too often it’s about let me tell you about me, let’s close in, the person doesn’t feel any reason to do it. There’s no compelling reason for them to move forward. That all happens on the front end here. So that’s what I’m very focused on. very meticulous, and programmatic about front end conversation. So the most important part of any sales call.
Pete Thornton 10:42
Yeah, you hear that? So frequently? And I mean, obviously, they’ll put it side by side, you’ll get some analytics, you’ll see when rates go through the roof. And it’s, you know, a lagging indicator at that point. But if they’re doing, you know, doing the discovery,
Jim Lipuma 10:56
yeah, but we saw it like after we ran this training, I mean, we are seeing our conversion rates go up. And we’re still not where we need to be. So it’s again, repetition, recognition, like, we will take good calls, I will play them for the team, we will put them in Slack channels, people can listen to discoveries, like we’re just constantly making sure that we’re programming well.
Pete Thornton 11:16
Yeah, that’s so and that was the other point. I heard you mentioned, you mentioned on a previous call, we had kind of just set up and I was like, Oh yeah, because it’s like my enablement heart. We were like, hey, it’s not so much the training. But what comes after is that reinforcement, there’s this statistic, because I guess, SKF season, so everybody’s doing their kickoff, like 87% of initial training is lost in 90 days. And it’s not in that song as lost. It’s like 87% is astoundingly so ridiculously much. And so to go in and like have that understanding and want to reinforce it, is really huge. To kind of understand that as a sales leader, too, because sometimes it’s about the result. We did it great. Can we move on? We got to take some action.
Jim Lipuma 11:56
Thanks for your story. I think it’s an important story. It’s, I know you and I spoke about this prior but it’s this book, chop wood carry water. It really gets at this topic here. So I, you know, I follow Penn State wrestling and wrestled in my youth and I just love everything about Penn State wrestling. And I liked the team so much. I was really in favor. This guy named Nick Lee Nick Lee was not supposed to win. Like he was good. He was really Penn State’s exemplary team, but he was going up against this guy named Jordan Ironman from Iowa and Iowa, you know, Iowa is a wrestling hotbed. And he ended up beating him which was just like this. It’s like, David and Goliath kind of like when you look at the two guys in your life, while Ironman is just a beast. And afterwards, say it comes off the mat. He’s sweaty, he walks over to the announcer now just like, Nick, it’s unbelievable that you won like so proud of you well about what’s next. He goes, as of Sunday, chop wood and carry water. And I’m like, What is? What is this job with Gary, what are they? So immediately my mind is like, what is he talking about? And then I heard him in another interview, and I’m like, oh my god, now I get it. So I bought this book. And it’s required reading, by the way, for everybody that works with me now. It’s called chop wood carry water by Joshua Metcalf. And the premise of it is a very quick book, very quick to read. But it talks about this kid that wanted to go be a samurai marksman or samurai Archer. And he ended up going to faraway land. He’s working with his Sensei, he gets there. He’s like, Okay, where’s the range? Where do I start shooting? And the guy said, Hey, man, that’s not the way it works here. Like you have to chop wood and carry water, we have a community here. And you have to do these fundamental things before you get the right to move forward into that. And so the story, I won’t ruin it for everybody. But it’s, I have 50 pages marked of things in there. We’ll meet my leaders and I will talk about these things. But it comes back to this idea a little bit every day. bite sized chunks, repetition, daily consistency in your process, leads to the outcome. Often people think about the outcome. But it’s really all the series of consistent activities that lead to that outcome behaviors plus activities equals result in when you’re looking down the road at like my quote is this. It’s like I don’t think about that I think about is what am I going to do today to help people and that will compound itself to get me to where I have to go if I do well by others, the universe will deliver back to me, but it’s a daily daily discipline toward doing the right things.
Pete Thornton 14:18
Yeah, that’s that. I’ve never heard of that book. That’s really cool. It’s like that one. I’ll see if it’s on Audible as well. Because you mentioned that and I was intrigued and now got to kind of check that out. chop wood carry. Okay, you have an interesting background because you I mean, there’s a you brought up sports a couple of times. I mean, it’s hard to tell which sport because you mentioned seven ohms so far so you might just be an enthusiast all right. But what are the personal experiences and professionals too but what led to this growth into the role of a chief revenue officer? I know plenty of our listeners would like to be there, one some already are but like yeah, what’s that? What’s that pathway? Just all college majors. Yeah, I
Jim Lipuma 14:55
I wouldn’t go too deep but I will say you know so much about life, how you were brought up, how you were, so I’m a traditional middle child, older brother that could do no wrong. And a younger sister. And here was this guy in the middle always trying to fight for, you know, his crumbs. So it was like, it was that I really had to always fight and scrap. So I had that in my blood pretty much. And then, you know, I came out of college and I was just like, trying to figure out I didn’t say, I didn’t know what sales was, I didn’t know this when I was preparing baseball games, Mr. Lombardo would pull up in his Cadillac, I’m like, what does that guy do, because I kind of want to be that and he knew he was in sales. So I was like, this is interesting, I have thought about it. So here I am, you know, coming out of college, I end up in a sales role. And I worked my way through many different companies, SMB driven, mid market, enterprise, startup scale, fortune 500. And everything in between there. And it’s been a long career. It’s been a great career in many different ways. But I always believe that, you know, there’s some things I missed, like, there’s a couple opportunities I could have taken that are companies that people know that I passed on, I laugh about that, because I’m where I’m meant to be at this moment. So I’m grateful I live a grateful life. And I’ve had broad experience. And what I did know as I liked scaling, what I did know that I liked taking it from one point to another point, times four or five acts like that was always fun to me, there were some things that were in place that needed to be fixed, needed to root into a solid foundation, and a really strong playbook. And then you move the needle. So it was really focused on this idea of scaling. It’s the most fun for me.
Pete Thornton 16:30
That’s cool. That’s interesting. Yeah. So. So just one more on that, when did you know that? Did you find yourself in an opportunity where that needed to happen? Is it just the idea of growth from a sports background of like, hey, look, I’m lifting five pounds, I’d like to lift 10 Like, like, how do you know that?
Jim Lipuma 16:47
Yeah, it’s a great question. I think it’s just having done it enough. Like I’ve been in a bunch of companies and you’re like, you know, sometimes you have to go through it to realize what you really like, and what you might not like, as much like, I have worked in big companies, big companies before, and you make a lot of money, but you’re you may not feel challenged, or you may not feel like you’re hurt, or you can make an impact. And then when you’re a startup, it’s like you talk about a scrappy unit, you have to make sure you keep the lights on, so you have to really hustle, so that’s the other part of it. But it is scale, it’s exciting, there’s investment coming in your business, you know where you’re at, you know, where you want to go, you have the resources to a pretty solid degree to be able to take that on. So I really just feel like, you come in and you’re like, ready to go and you build a team, you bring a great group of people together, and you have a great product, you get a really good chance here and you get through Series C and you know, you’re in a place here where you can do some really good things on behalf of those whom you serve. And that’s really what I really enjoy that,
Pete Thornton 17:47
I find that to like growth is exciting. But as you know, I don’t want it to be like an echo chamber. But it’s just like, it’s those things are, when you move from one thing to the next, you know, it’s why acceleration in a vehicle is much more fun than just traveling on the interstate or whatever it might be 80 miles an hour, then 7shifts, 7shifts, it’s got some some growth behind it. Obviously you like doing that. And that’s why you’ve come on full bore, what, what’s the context for hyper growth? They’re like, why are you guys taken off the way you are? Like, what’s happening?
Jim Lipuma 18:16
Yeah, thank you, I think, you know, I have been in businesses where the product has been good. And we’ve had to work really hard to make that work, I will never represent a product I don’t believe brings value. But there are some technical limitations in some businesses, that is not the case here, the product solves a problem. It is an amazing product, unlike anybody else. So to be able to come in as a seller or running a CS team, running a marketing team, like you have a lot to work with here. So I think about that as being like you have that together. Now it’s a matter of the other pieces, which is people in process because you have the one of those big P’s which is which is the product side of it. So that’s what’s exciting about this, there is a need in an industry that suffers that we can help and that’s just fueling me. I think you know, we have a mission statement that we have. I’ve really fought to convince my team that this idea of a rally crime at rally cry is really about helping an industry that’s been hurt, we owe them and we have a product that solves that. And I think if you can anchor to a mission, and everybody aligns to that mission of what we’re trying to accomplish, it’s a pretty exciting moment. Then you go one deeper and you’re looking at each person’s why What are you in it for? What are you fighting for? And you build off of that but that combination of personal why and organizational Why is pretty powerful. It fuels people I believe beyond compensation. I think if you really want something you feel like you can help and in turn, you have good things coming to your family. It’s a huge win. That’s where we’re at right now.
Pete Thornton 19:48
Okay, that’s very cool. Very cool. So the product is in place and you can come in and work with the things that are a little bit more malleable, typically for a sales leader as well, which is the people in the process. Cecil, although it can be, it can be very difficult as well. But it’s just it’s one of those things that you probably have, like a calling for event for what sounds really the last thing you just mentioned, like when you’re starting to get into a couple of these wise, this is, this is kind of like feeling a little familiar to me around some of the books you’ve written so, so for audiences, if you don’t know, Jim, haven’t seen him on there to time leadership book author, that first one, first one lead from the front, would you? Would you tell us a little bit about that book? And maybe how it loops in what you’re doing today?
Jim Lipuma 20:32
Yeah, thanks. I appreciate that. So when I decided I wanted to write it was really about experiences and helping other leaders, I really enjoy mentoring, you know, people that are getting into the business, like what you’re trying to accomplish here and you are accomplishing greatly, is this idea of trying to pull people through those learnings, the first book, because really, it’s 101. I call it quips, quotes and anecdotes, and it’s just like stories, it’s like, the way that I want to read is I’m not a big volume reader, you know, like, I want quick hit things that I can pocket and run along with. If somebody had told me once, it’s like, you come across people like this smorgasbord, there’s a whole bunch of things on there, and you decide what you want. That’s what this book was, there’s 101 different things that are just quick stories, you know, that are, I think, important to future leaders, people that want to go into leadership, most specifically, and even sales leadership skewed heavily. So the first one was a lot more role a lot more, you know, had my heart in it, you know, and the second book was much more what I would call mechanical was much more about like, like, the pieces like what do you do now in these, you know, in your business to be extremely successful. So two very pads there. But both with, you know, very similar themes in there, who do you serve, serve them, well understand the people you serve as why and make sure they are your customer and that you deliver for them. Because if you deliver to them, everything else takes care of itself. I don’t care what my quote is, what I care about is each of my people being successful. And I want to pull and I do this with my managers, I have it tied to their compensation, it’s like, pull everyone across the line, make a lot of money, pull, you know, sometimes you get this, you hit it big, and you’re like standing back as the hero or hero s and, you know, it’s like you had one person who carried it. Like, I think our responsibility as leaders is to pull everybody across the line, like that’s our game. Otherwise we fail them if they have a reason. And it’s part of it as being successful to satisfy that why, then our responsibility as a leader is to pull that through, and I use this term a lot. Leadership is a privilege. And I want my leaders to understand how important of a privilege that is. So I invest in them. The leadership is the flywheel. I want them to influence the whole business, that is the most important arm of a business, in my opinion, is frontline leadership. And so if that’s I’m off site with them next week, but I’m not I’m really focused on their development, because I know that they influence greatly
Pete Thornton 22:56
to the people that they serve. That’s cool. That’s great. Yeah, yeah, excited for you guys to be able to do that, especially with kind of like the energy and enthusiasm that you bring to these pieces. Then in the second book, you said a little more tactical, like, called pulling levers. And you mentioned four Ps, I’d love to know more about those, if you would kind of take us through those.
Jim Lipuma 23:17
Yeah, and there’s four P’s. But there’s two that are so super important. So let me give you all four of them. So people like me have seen companies succeed greatly with mediocre products and great people, I have seen great products fail miserably because they accepted mediocrity in their talent. So to me, it really is much more about this idea of you have to have great people. You have to, you cannot settle. You never settle on a B player. If you feel like you’re on the fence, say no. Like you’ve got to focus on bringing the right team together that shares your vision that is compassionate toward others, that goes to work every single day. So to me, the people part of it is really important. Second, P is passion. So they bring passion, right? And what does that mean? It’s about caring. It’s about caring what you do. It’s about being a professional. It’s about caring about those people whom you serve. It’s a really important term. To me, servant. Leadership is a really important term. So that’s the third part of it. And then the proposition making sure that you have this tremendous proposition that you know, you can deliver upon that you bring value to those whom you serve. And then the process which I have in people and process to me are cornerstones for a business, if you have great people, but you don’t have a process. They can get frustrated, or they can flail. If you have a process and you don’t have people it falls on deaf ears, or it doesn’t really take hold here. And so I’m really interested in this idea of just bringing together great people to represent a great product passionately, and then follow a process or a playbook that’s going to take the promised land for your organization.
Pete Thornton 24:54
Yes, that’s very cool. So background and teaching background and enablement. Some of This came from, you know, I essentially taught because in college, undergrad, I was a pre med, I didn’t end up obviously taking that path. But like, if you’re gonna do well and take all that course load, you have to go teach yourself to study because you didn’t have to really study in high school. It’s just the way it goes. I taught high school and then you know, put yourself through a process every night you go, you chop wood and carry water, like that’s kind of the same thing as it was. And you just get off at the library by yourself. And nobody comes into the dorm room and bothers you. And three hours every night, three hours every night, no matter what you practice the next day, that kind of grind. But that process, but in that process around it allowed me to feel freedom actually felt more freedom from the process. And so later in the sales career, it was a career changer. And I went knocking doors and trying to eventually get a business development job. I thought that sounded so good. And then I’m like, Oh, I’ll call people all day. I was like, well, at least the kids aren’t screaming in my ear while I’m doing some back there in the office. So everybody else was wondering about it. And I was like, Guys, did you have some of the cashews, Lacroix ? This is delightful. It’s all relative. And in the process, I had to teach myself. So I put together all these documents. And then when I was done with a role, or I’d move into midmarket, whatever, I would pass back my little playbooks. And there’s somebody who eventually told me like, you know, that’s called sales enablement, if you ever want to consider it. So I love the process. And I feel like it allows a passionate person who might otherwise go off the rails and go wherever to like, stay focused, but like, you can exist. So these things, they feel like they converge together. For me, this is just a big aside, but like, when you go through them, I’m picturing like this tight knit intricate, you know, well, woven path. So that’s what’s kind of cool about that to me. Yeah,
Jim Lipuma 26:40
I think you’re spot on there, I think, is this saying that says that average people want to be left alone, good players, good. People want to be coached and great players want to be told the truth. And I think that’s really important . You kind of live by that. Like, if you have people that are just like, hey, man, I know what I’m doing. Just leave me alone, I’ll do my thing. What happens in those situations is they get outside the guardrails, then they start saying things the wrong way, or they think they’ve got a better way. I think I’m really about making sure people have their individuality in that. But to really try to control the variables, when I see somebody who goes into a funk, we all have had that before. It’s usually because of either one of two things, or both of them. They’re not saying it right, or they’re not saying it and like I really it’s that activity, like is the activity there. And when you speak with someone, are you saying the right things? Are you behaving the right way, as a professional adult? And are you guiding those conversations in a way that has self discovery that leads to a relationship moving forward. And I think that’s, to me, is, that’s why you meet great people, because they want to meet, often I hear managers just say, Man, she’s great, just let her do her thing. And I think that is eventually gonna be one or two things, she’s either going to fall to the side, or she’s going to like get disenchanted, because she’s going to feel like, well, you don’t spend any time with me. And so it’s like, you have to invest in your best people, you spend time with them, you have to give them responsibilities, guide them craft or hone their craft to be the best they can possibly be. But I really am about that idea of like, investment in people, invest in your leaders, help them become great leaders. I think when times get tough, people start to think that I’ve got to cut training budgets, and I just didn’t like that it is not the place you’re cutting, that’s a place you’re doubling down on because that’s where you develop people and development is our responsibility as a leader. And that’s where, you know, investing in the right people really makes a difference for your business. If you pull back on that, it’s just it, they will lose interest, they will move on. That’s the way to think about it. Yeah, that’s a good point. That’s,
Pete Thornton 28:45
so you get this combination of things going on. So I’d love to get a little bit in the weeds if you’re willing to go to one particular place. So you invest a lot in your leaders, like your frontline managers, and then you’re a heavy user of golf. A lot of our audience members are for some reason software industry in general, like just, they seem to love this particular software. And there’s multiples of them, they seem to choose that one. But how do you leverage it to help drive coaching of your frontline managers? Or conversely choose either one? Like teaching them how to use it for their reps? Is there a particular thing that you kind of enjoy doing with it? Yeah, I
Jim Lipuma 29:21
I think as I mentioned, we really try to highlight this. So we put it in open forums to share like really good portions discovery, most specifically, I don’t concern myself with the close. I mean, that’s a natural extension of the question. But it’s to me, it’s really about the front. So I emphasize that the managers, we asked them to do two calls a day, you know, a Golang call usually lasts about 30 to 35 minutes, they have to weave that in and they have to give robust feedback. So we would judge our managers based on the feedback that they’re providing. We all have a view into what that looks like. Again, if we really do believe we serve others, to serve them properly to serve their why you have to give feedback there and help them To help guide them. And, you know, if you’re in a field sales role and you’re side by side, you’re seeing that if you’re decentralized and people are working from their home, you don’t have a line of sight and that you need a tool to help you with that. That’s why gong or others are really important to a business so that you can help people become successful. And again, if they’re not successful, you can have reports. It’ll show how many calls are making, how many demos are doing, and you can figure all that out. But it’s like the quantity part of it, you can measure the quality part you need to look at, you need to see that or else you’re just blindly hoping they’re saying the right things. So to me, it’s like manager responsibility to again, it goes back to servant leadership, you serve your people, you know what their wise are, you know what they’re fighting for every day, you have to help them on both guide on the quantity side and guide on the quality side, you’re doing
Pete Thornton 30:49
a good thing for your reps. And your managers by doing that, like having that top down. Lean in because it is hard. Like if you’re an IC on this call, like you probably don’t know yet. But just when you have people underneath you and you’re trying to talk about an extra hour per day of listening to something on yet another audio is harder, listening to those calls consistently like that you build the muscle, but it’s sore for a while for sure. So not a lot of like, people are like, Hey, go do that amount, it might be two a week or once a week, or when you get to it or diagnosing a problem after it’s that you know what I mean? It’s not that yeah, you know,
Jim Lipuma 31:27
exactly. If you’re on a monthly goal, business, every day’s worth 5%. So, to me, it’s like, if you’re not viewing for a week, you lost 25% of the month, good luck hitting that number. And to me, it’s really more about like, catch it at one day, like catch that call, correct it. So the next day, it’s better. It’s okay to have a bad day, it’s not okay to have two or three or four or five bad days in a row. So you really want to make sure that you’re just chopping wood and carrying water every day, you’re doing your job in the right way. Say it enough, say it right. It just made sure that we’re giving adequate feedback there. That’s how we run a machine.
Pete Thornton 32:02
That’s cool. That’s cool. Okay, I love that it runs me the way they say, I forget the number but it’s like when a rocket goes to the moon, like they’re always off course. And they just keep pivoting it that 1% back and forth. They like sails this way to the moon or something. Yeah, this way. We’ve been to the moon in a while but still. Okay, then this will be one that is super simple. Or maybe not. Maybe it’s so many potential leadership moments. It’s hard to pick just one. But do you have years of service? Do you have a favorite leadership moment?
Jim Lipuma 32:32
You know, I think it’s funny. I don’t know, a few weeks ago, I was just looking around in my LinkedIn trying to figure out where some of my people are. I was working in a network, you know, if I can bring talent with me, I’m always in a recruiting mindset. And I started looking at so many different people that have gotten themselves to very high levels, you know, like my level or SVP levels, and they were ICS when I started a long time ago, but to me, those are the moments that I feel really good about. And then you get a note from somebody that says, Man, you really influenced my trajectory, and I hadn’t spoken to them in 20 years. I mean, I’ve been a VP for 20 plus years. So you know, VP, SVP CRO for 20, maybe 25 years, but I’m showing my age. But when you touch them, like that’s why I always say leadership is a privilege. I tell my managers that all the time. Because something you say that might be something that’s dismissed, you dismiss it is just like me talking to somebody, and they come back to you. Lots of years later and say, you told me this and it changed my trajectory. That to me is like you gotta watch what you say, as a leader, you’ve got to make sure that you are thoughtful in the way that you represent. Because everything could influence that person, you can influence their future. And so I take that role and responsibility very seriously. So I really think about leadership is like you think about the coaching tree in football as an example, like all these people came from Andy Reid’s coaching tree, or Bill Walsh’s coaching tree, it’s the same thing. Like I think you’re judged as a leader based on if you’re able to build people up to become leaders like yourself, and you’ll leave it in a better place. Because you’re bringing a bunch of people that are from your tree. I think that’s right, take most my biggest responsibility, maybe most pride,
Pete Thornton 34:12
That’s cool. You know, there’s, that’s a bit of a double edged sword because you do actually build people up who will then go and leave an organization to go and carry it forward. So you kind of have to know there’s this back and forth that you’ll be onward. Because, you know, there’s not always upward mobility every single week, month, year, whatever it happens to be teachers. So I do love it when a leader does that, especially when they’re not naive to that exact point right there as well. That’s right. Okay, this has been fantastic. Got the finale. You know, my, the little podcast wraps up there, but we always get some different answers for this one, so I got to ask it again. What does SaaS ramp mean to you?
Jim Lipuma 34:55
Yeah, it’s funny. We do get a bunch of different answers here because I listen to your podcasts now. Really? just might appreciate the work you’re doing. And so I really think about SaaS, ramping your name. And that, to me, is an important thing that you’re doing there. I mean, this is a growing sector. And it’s great to have opinions and have other voices here. And listen to them. I mean, I’ve listened to your podcast now. And I’m like, I’m really blown away by the talent you’re bringing in, and I’m picking up nuggets, it’s like I said, that smorgasbord, there’s things I’m picking off of those. So I think what you’re doing Pete is really important, and keep it up. And I mean, all of us that listen to this, should be amplifying this among our network, to try to support someone like Pete, who’s doing really good things, I think, for our community here. So I really do appreciate that. And then the word ramp, I always think about the word ramp is like, you know, let’s go. I mean, there’s a lot of people probably listening here, and, you know, and I feel for their situations, they may be in a different situation in my organization. But don’t take that lightly. In the end, I think we, we own our success, and we are in our hands. And, and we are very focused on treating that well, and, and making sure we control our fate here. So I would just say the ramp part of it, we are in an exciting moment in our organization, and we are ready to take that hill on behalf of those whom we serve. So appreciate the work you’re doing. And I’m excited about the work that we’re going to do.
Pete Thornton 36:15
Yeah, thank you so much. Yeah. So I mean, just, it’s, I can just tell because you have enough of these conversations and things like that just such a growth minded but like servant oriented leadership style that you have gem so I’m like really excited for all the people who are with you and around you, and you can’t see so you don’t actually see this, you must keep yourself in good shape. If you’ve been VP SVP for 25 years. He’s looking young and spry. He’s got many more until his wife says, Your die Come on, you’re coming.
Jim Lipuma 36:42
You know what, you’re only as old as you feel. And I’ve been blessed with health and you know, I like to ride distances on my bike like we will ride distances and will ride it, you know, ride for a charity we might be doing. I’m training to go cross country from California to DC. So I’ve got to retire first. So we’ve got some work to do first, but in a few years, I’ll be doing that. But that’s my focus.
Pete Thornton 37:05
You hear when you hear 7shifts goes IPO, you’ll know that he was ready to get that bike underway. I’m on a bike. Yeah, that’s fine. That’s tremendous. Thank you so so much for I really appreciate it on behalf of our audience and looking forward to doing this again in 18 months when you know when the next phase is happening, because that’s what happens when you grow that fast.
Jim Lipuma 37:24
Yeah, thank you so much. I really appreciate the time with you and your audience.