The Top-of-Funnel Key to Ramping

with Santiago Suarez Ordoñez,

Co-Founder and CEO, Momentum

In this episode, Pete is joined by Santiago Suarez Ordoñez, Co-Founder and CEO of Momentum. During this conversation, Santiago discusses his journey in hyper-dynamic sales, the challenge of moving from an engineering role to being the CEO, the importance of building top-of-funnel motion, the digitization of the sales process, and more.


Key topics in today’s conversation include:

  • Biggest challenge over the last six months for Santiago (2:21)
  • The thing to get right for organizational growth (5:59)
  • Importance of top-of-funnel motion (8:08)
  • Santiago’s journey to becoming CEO of Momentum (11:55)
  • What is the context for hypergrowth at Momentum (20:04)
  • The digitalization of sales in recent years (23:49)
  • An Engineer becoming CEO and creating a top-down-funnel (26:32)
  • Metrics to track in sales growth (33:49)
  • What does SaaS(ramp) mean to Santiago? (36:47)


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


Pete Thornton 00:06
Welcome back rampants to The SaaS Ramp Podcast special guest today Santiago Suarez Ordoñez, please welcome him to the show. Santiago is the Co-Founder and CEO of We’re gonna have him speak about or what he did speak about today and kind of given you a little intro to is early stage sales, call it hyper dynamic sales, kind of meaning like at a series, a organization or any organization where you’re moving from product into a true go to market motion, what that looks and feels like because that it’s tough. It’s tough, you know how it goes, you have to create systems and processes and you’re still guessing and checking. So really great tidbits on this one since he has an interesting background, because he’s coming from a few CTO roles. So he’s his product, these engineers. So he’s moving into the CEO and co-founder role and kind of leading the go to market charge. So think about the kind of systems and processes that he’s putting in place because that’s the type of background he comes from. He talks about Systemising an outbound motion, and then also building an SDR organization just very fundamental things that are very cool to hear about, especially someone who’s in the weeds, building it doing it now, so I think you’ll like this episode, I sure did enjoy it myself, as I always do. And now a message from our sponsor. Rampant is a gong certified services firm solving the challenge of revenue disparity differences in revenue gaps among sales team members, ramping drives increased revenue per rep, by leveraging Gong AI to implement what is called infinite automation so it’s AI Artificial Intelligence to IA infinite automation Kohan if you’re a sales enablement leader in high growth tech leveraging Golang for revenue intelligence, and would like to learn more connect with Pete at Pete at rampant DOT cloud. Enjoy the show. Welcome back to The SaaS Ramp Podcast. I’m your host podcasts Pete welcoming Santi Suarez Ordonez to the show today, Sandy is co-founder and CEO of Welcome to the show, Sandy.

Santiago Suarez Ordoñez 02:14
Thank you, Peter. It’s good to be here.

Pete Thornton 02:17
Wonderful to have you on. It’s been great that kind of like getting to know you, and some of these pre show calls and things like that. And it’s been awesome to get to know a little bit more about the product as well. Momentum, early stage software, really interesting software. I know you’re building and doing a ton. So in these more turbulent times, the last six months, two quarters, what’s been the biggest challenge for you? Oh, boy,

Santiago Suarez Ordoñez 02:41
Which one has it been in the last six months? I thought about this. I almost said Silicon Valley Bank and lost all their money. But that luckily didn’t happen. It was just a stressful weekend. I think it all comes down to just the downturn as a whole. It’s just been a really, exceptionally rough year for everybody. If you’re in sales, I think you felt that one way or another or another.

Pete Thornton 03:07
Yeah, I, I saw something yesterday kind of reported light, just showing basically around, like some of the commentary around that is gone away. So they like people like, Oh, this is normal. Now we’re used to this. But all that means is the only thing spoken for six months, basically so or longer. So there’s definitely a period

Santiago Suarez Ordoñez 03:28
of sale. If you’re in sales, I feel like it’s just now part of the fault motion. Everybody shows up saying they have no budget, they had a riff X amount of months ago. And you just have to claw your way out of that, to get any conversation off and it’s just so rare to get in front of a company these days. But it’s just absolutely killing it and just like growing and looking into the future, which makes sales harder all around.

Pete Thornton 03:58
Totally does. Yeah, yeah, totally does. I just know that for a fact. And you mentioned Silicon Valley Bank, though. So like, that was only a rough weekend. Like, not more than that for you.

Santiago Suarez Ordoñez 04:09
For us. It was just yeah, it’s just a very stressful weekend. We definitely needed to take a break. I was on vacation. But when the news broke on Thursday, we started preparing for it. Friday was a disaster. Saturday was just stressful. Not only are you thinking about payroll, and being able to, you know, do basic operations, but you start thinking about second, third tier, or third order consequences. Friends like our customers want to be able to pay, we have a renewal. All these things that, you know, wouldn’t think of right off the bat, you have a whole weekend to think about and stress out about so we were just holding our breath for Sunday night or Monday morning because the Fed elinoz thinks we’re gonna be under control. And luckily, that happened. So everybody’s happy now.

Pete Thornton 04:58
Yeah, yeah. Good. I’m glad Hear that that is brutal. And that certainly was turmoil. So if that question would have only been like the last few weeks or something like that, maybe that would have worn out six months. Yeah, for sure.

Santiago Suarez Ordoñez 05:12
Yeah. As a general theme, I think the SVP, the backhaul is just another kind of consequence of the ultimate in a big downturn that’s going on. So I would say, a six month bar is the all encompassing bounce around that it’s been a bit of a theme for a year. But as you say, I think I’m feeling it’s starting to normalize. So at least it’s not as directly impacting things, people are starting to appreciate it as a default, and starting to accommodate around it and build growth plans and stability under that assumption. So I’m optimistic, but it’s been tough.

Pete Thornton 05:57
been tough. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Understood. And that’s just one, one aspect of a role like, co founder or CEO. So I’ve got a question for you. And the question is, like, it’s really just a mental exercise, because of all the things that I know you’ve got going on, and that you have to pull together all the different micro roles you’ll have within your macro title. Yeah, and so because you gotta roll these things out to your organization, and make sure all aspects are growing at all times. So if you could only choose one thing to try to get right and make sure your org was going to grow, what would that one thing be?

Santiago Suarez Ordoñez 06:31
It took me a little while to learn that form. Actually, even as a CEO, I think, top of funnel when you’re coming early stage even as you grow we are so now what it is a default theme. And this is something that I am directly responsible for and connected to. It’s not that I’m talking to every single SDR in the organization every day. But I keep a close eye on a weekly and bi weekly basis, at different levels. I think, you know, at the very beginning, of course, people listening to this podcast are a little beyond my stage of the journey. But at the very beginning, you know, you think that it’s all about getting your pitch dried, improving your close rate, getting your sales cycle time down, and you spend a lot of time optimizing that even though you’re working, you know, six or seven deals. And it took me a little while to just realize, you know, most of the deals don’t close. And it’s all about numbers, you need to be working more pipeline, if you’re working 600 deals, deals will be closing in a regular fashion. And you will have a lot to work with and learn and improve everything that I just mentioned, the sales cycle time to pitch, the ICP. Without pipeline, everything’s just learning slower and that’s a challenge as well, when you know, in the early stages, it’s all about learning late stages, it’s all about closing predictably. But I think the top of the funnel is really, really key for wealth.

Pete Thornton 07:58
Okay, that is interesting. And it’s not one we’ve heard before. And all of this time, you know, like, Yeah, but It completely makes sense. Like, because there’s a trickle down effect. And because of Yeah, because of the way that kind of works. Now there’s different types of top of the funnel. Yeah, maybe I don’t want to derail. But would you break out a little bit of what you’re referring to, with the context that I’m previously coming from a product led growth organization in which like, top of funnel with almost like, bottom of funnel, like why user base. And there’s challenges both directions, though, it’s interesting, totally,

Santiago Suarez Ordoñez 08:39
I, you know, I come from the world of top down sales, not really plg we had, at some point back in the day at Sauce Labs, we did have a freemium or very cheap product that people would self serve on and provide would provide top of funnel but these days at my company, we’re focusing on just the classic cold outreach, get people in front of sales and walk them through a sales process. And that world to me top of funnel is generating leads with ICP with qualified personas and the right companies, given the pitch passing through the process. There’s different types of top of the funnel and you can kind of generate pipeline from all of them. It’s tricky to always be deciding where you want to invest your resources to grow. And everything’s just very slow to fully develop. You can’t expect to throw whatever 10 grand at one strategy next month. It usually is, at least in my experience, it’s been anywhere from three months at the fastest to a year and a half out the slowest

Pete Thornton 09:51
three to 18 months. Yeah, yeah, I can understand cuz you’re basically building processes around that. You’re kind of guessing check a little bit and think Remember, as you go, have you all changed the, the type of ICP that you like reach out to are you like, hey, just start as high as you can and then work your way down until you find a happy medium between like resectability to the concept or understanding of how the user base would work with a little bit of decision making power. I know, there’s always kind of a dynamic as you fluctuate.

Santiago Suarez Ordoñez 10:22
Yeah, we’ve definitely refined I would say, our original assessment was not too far off, we were going up to the classic ICP that an early stage startup shoots for, which is like a series B Series C Company, you know, anywhere between 150 and 500 employees, the benefit you have there, they move fairly fast, they don’t have a super sophisticated procurement process, they’re willing to take some risks. So their sales cycle time could go down, while they still have a pretty decent budget, if you solve a concrete problem for them. The challenge out there, everybody started in Rome, everybody’s going for that ICP. Over time, you’re assigned it further now we have like two colors of ICP. They all are, you know, in a spectrum, but now I know exactly how to target the kind of somebody in the smaller spectrum of that ICP and somebody in the larger spectrum, and who do we want to talk to? In those companies? If anything, I would say the persona has been definitely the part that we’ve had to kind of refine, and kind of explore and learn from almost the years.

Pete Thornton 11:35
Yeah, yeah, I can completely imagine you would. Okay, that’s good, though. You had a hypothesis? And it turns out, that was the one so you don’t have to QCon continually pivot over and over. It’s nice.

Santiago Suarez Ordoñez 11:46
Yeah. If anything, I would say we’re slowly getting smaller, actually, over time.

Pete Thornton 11:52
Okay, okay. Okay. Okay. Okay, that is interesting. We should talk more about that. Because I’m interested in that whole top down funnel motion. But first, just to like, you have a slightly different background and like not, and not everybody is a co-founder or a CEO. So knowing that you might not go to college classes for that, or if it’s not like traditional format. What are the personal professional experiences that brought you to your current state?

Santiago Suarez Ordoñez 12:19
Sure. So first of all, I’m totally not a sales guy. today. I’m responsible for it. It is the most important thing I do in my business. But for the last 15 years, I’ve been on the engineering side of the aisle. I’ve been in startups the whole time, I was a first employee at a company called Sauce Labs. In the engineering side, I left us a director of engineering teams. I became a Principal Engineer at MuleSoft right before the IPO, which was fun. Then I started my first company called blameless, Andres pretty well, Lightspeed XL. I was the CTO, I built the team and the product, because I became blameless. Then I became a CTO for another company called wireline acquisition by clear and it all came together to momentum where my I guess a partner in crime online for the last 10 years, he was the first employee at blameless he was the person that I hired back in the day at Sauce Labs, reached out and had some ideas that led to momentum and said, Would you like to start something together, understand, kind of hop off the engineering side and become the CEO or be in charge of oversell it. So that’s kind of how it all came to be. So

Pete Thornton 13:37
That is like, the amount of time you spent in engineering and how successful, obviously, you were moving into the CTO role is what probably differentiates, I’ve heard this story before engineering to sales. And it actually makes more sense than most people might think if you kind of think about the skill sets that you need to ultimately like to systemize or build a machine around. But your co founder, then like your partner, like, also an engineer and where you’re just sitting there being like, Well, should you do it? Or should I do it? Like, did you lose the bet to have to move over into the other seat? Are you itching for it? Were you ready for to that point,

Santiago Suarez Ordoñez 14:16
I was gonna prepare for it. You know, I summarized her. At some point in your life, you gotta serve somebody, you gotta sell to somebody. There were a couple of skills that people were saying that were really important for you to develop as a human and to learn from and I’ve always been kind of curious about it. I certainly have a kind of raw set up. While it is and I think, it makes me a viable option for selling. So I kind of took it in. I’m a big learner. So I was bashed, I was excited about the prospect of starting something from scratch and being forced to learn it, because it’s not my job.

Pete Thornton 14:58
Yep, okay. So interesting, you know, and there was another, there was a guest on the show, the head of sales at advanta. And he had, he had gone off and he started his own thing. And he came back in and spoke to investors. And they said, amazing engineer, that’s a great little startup, you know, like, once skill you’re missing is to become like a true founder, CEO, maybe the next go round is sales. He goes, Great, let’s go and just switch over. You’re making really good heads of sales. Actually, there was a former engineer or solution engineer, head of sales at Postman, my first chief revenue officer was a former engineer. I went, I was hired to ramp it up. First full time employee was an engineer not doing engineering for me, I just like the mental mapping that happens, you know, like, I can just see them calculating and tabulating and putting together a graph in their mind, it’s really helpful for remote selling and, and everything. Do you find it helpful? Are you just like, Why did I spend 20 years on the other side of the equation, and now I have to learn it.

Santiago Suarez Ordoñez 16:02
On one side, I will tell you, it gives me credibility when somebody stands in front of somebody who’s been building for when you want to be consulted them being able to speak from having built things or, you know, understanding how, whatever a CDP works or how a load balancer works, when you get in front of a customer, like postman API economy kind of company, and you understand what an API action Yes, and you’re also a salesperson definitely get to, someone had said a level of respect in the conversation maybe a little bit. Total. Another side, I think, you know, especially for this podcast, when you’re talking about scale, and growing sales from, you know, the early kind of pattern matching learning piece of sales into like scaling and getting real revenue and getting predictability. To me, it’s all a machine. And it’s all about graphs and understanding variables and optimizing a human organization to make a dent on the variable that could change on him. Or me that was being a principal engineer back in the day, we looked at production services, and tried to figure out how to make them more stable, how to make them scale, how to make them cheaper. So I see a lot of correlations in that regard.

Pete Thornton 17:19
That’s cool. Okay, I definitely get it. You mentioned MuleSoft little side note when I was an SDR BDR, as we call them at that organization, same thing. One of my best enterprise account executives who had come directly from MuleSoft came into that organization and left there eventually, for hashey Corp. gist, he was the most technical seller I’d ever met, the only technical seller really that I’d met at that point. And he would always speak to me about API’s, and he made his “nobody can see ” podcast. I’m making little motions with my hands. And he would always connect things via API’s, like, if it’s a rest open API, if they have Oh, data, and I was getting my knowledge from him. And he did extremely well. We had sellers at postman, they were extremely technical as well as introverted, extremely technical, and that they would just you wouldn’t hear from him for about six months. And then there would be like, a $1.1 million deal. Boom, just close. Wow. And the customers are extremely happy. And they just dug in and they got I think they got technically dirty with the customer, like they understood what was really going on. And, and move deeper, faster. In a less traditional format, I think it’s a cool skill set.

Santiago Suarez Ordoñez 18:26
Word on the street is that the mule soft sales organization back in the day was only second to Salesforce, they were solid, and they really made the business that became the $6.5 billion acquisition back in the day. Now,

Pete Thornton 18:42
okay, that’s awesome in that, that that particular seller, he had come through sap to MuleSoft, like some of these places, you just get these really fundamental knowledge. And that’s awesome. was cool as a cool, cool background, anything on the personal side? Did you do anything that led you to, you know, this big leadership role that you have now, like, you know, a lot of people like to line up and say, Let’s go, not proven yet. Let’s do it anyway, you know, like, from partner on to a whole organization’s worth.

Santiago Suarez Ordoñez 19:10
There’s definitely something in Hawaii and how we behave that kind of inclines me to be the first one to step in and say, Hey, everybody, let’s go this way, you know, speak with authority. I don’t really know what I’m talking about. And it has its positives and its negatives when it comes to building a business. Very helpful. To be able to make others be believers and hold their fundamentals.

Pete Thornton 19:38
That’s cool. Okay. Yeah, I’ve heard everything from like, oldest, oldest sibling to I orchestrated the parties in college to like a sports example. I’d seem to be the captain on the sports teams or something like that. Whatever it was. Yeah. Yes. Guys, take STAND BY ALL RIGHT. follow him wherever. Hopefully it’s towards the paycheck one day.

Santiago Suarez Ordoñez 20:03
Let’s do it. That’s a brother’s night. Yeah. Let’s all go.

Pete Thornton 20:06
So good. That’s cool. And usually there is something though. So that’s very interesting. will tell us about momentum now then What’s the context for your growth and scale? And, and all the wonderful things have been happening over the last a couple years?

Santiago Suarez Ordoñez 20:23
Yeah, so perhaps what’s interesting for this podcast as well, this conversation as we do sell, to sales organizations that are scaling, a product that we built, at the beginning was with the thesis that, you know, selling software was just too convoluted, too complicated. There were too many people in the process and reps were spending way too much time doing it, not selling. And this came from, you know, being the CTO at this early stage of companies and having to get roped in to the sales calls, and, you know, rarely have any clearer idea of what the call was about or what was effective. So we had this hunch, and then we kind of started confirming, there’s just too much decK, the process is not as easily enabled by technology, as it could be, you know, coming from the world of reliability, it’s all about tech, you just buy the right tools like postman, and plug them in. And that’s just to see things happen for them. And they just mainly direct and then you enter the world of sales. And it’s messy. Especially given that these people have to spend hours and hours in the day jumping from some call to zoom call Lone Star. So it’s been a three year journey of trying to make that smoother, easier to follow and easier to scale as you’re hiring people.

Pete Thornton 21:47
Yeah, yep. Given that that’s a definite challenge, like I have, if you saw the number of tabs, I’ve always had this number of tabs and any kind of sales role whatsoever. And it’s just like, you’re just trying to hop around and get data in the correct locations and figure out just how, and how you communicate to people then how you cross that to a customer.

Santiago Suarez Ordoñez 22:08
Yeah, it’s thrilling. It can be thrilling, but it can be brutal, like yesterday had seven sales calls, and four of them were just literally back to back, like hang up, immediately go on the next call, hang up on the next call. And then at the end of my day, I’m like, oh my god, I truly felt like we don’t lose sleep. Well, I gotta take all my notes, I gotta manage my pipelines. So back to your original question, what do we do? We built both an automation engine that allows the students to gather and build micro workflows. So for example, instead of signing up from online calls, momentum was thinking of me on Slack saying things like, Hey, you just had a qualification call, disqualified. And I can click the green or the red button and magic, you’ll see some very kind of low friction, micro workflows will make things smoother. And then on the other side, thanks to the advent of AI, and I don’t know if we have a lot of time to talk about that topic. But it’s super interesting to me. We started bolting AI into this automation, and we ended up building a whole new product. And it’s doing things like taking notes after every single call capturing every single action item that is spoken and not spoken in the call management for me. So it’s a lot. It’s perfectly aligned with the vision of at this point, it’s not just making productivity happen. Literally doing the work, we’ll get to review. Don’t let it do its thing.

Pete Thornton 23:32
Yet so good. That’s so good. Because like it comes in. So we’re talking about like a summary and then almost like an action. That’s a little bit like, what action would you like to take out of this and it gives you the Choose Your Own Adventure? Red? Yeah, red grip, dude, I’m thinking of like the opposite of what’s the good red pill? The red pill? Yeah, well, Phil Reto is a blue pill when we go matrix. It’s very cool. It’s interesting how that happens. It takes a lot of like, there’s a lot of context that has to be ciphered through technologically to make that work appropriately. And so I appreciate the technology because I’ve seen it tried many times. And it’s very difficult to get right because like a transcript is one thing, a true summary is another and you’re always gonna have to do that either. It’s a human being that does that because you’re typing your notes or writing your notes or your and you have to like, put them back, summarize them, boil them down. And it can help in doing that at the end of the day, especially when going from one to the next. Any help doing that trying to prepare a podcast would be helpful, let alone live through revenue ramifications.

Santiago Suarez Ordoñez 24:40
Hourly, clear ROI. Yeah. The interesting insight here is, you know, the world has changed over the last five years. The most right all of a sudden sales became digitized through and through like no questions asked at this point. Every interaction you have with a customer and of course this happens in your world. Well, as well they record it, every word set is stored, every physical reaction to the pitch stored and captured. The problem is like, it’s impossible to plow through it manually and nobody can go watch, you know, I’ve gone call three times, or nobody can watch every single sales call that happened last week in my business a second time and extract every kind of nugget of information that exists there. You can have this mountain of unstructured data that is completely untapped, but full of gold. There’s so many good nuggets there, you just have to have the tech to kind of make it happen. And I think large language models are the key unlock for the next couple of years, to really give another twist of value to sales.

Pete Thornton 25:45
I would 100% Agree, because the challenge just a very few years ago, and I guess this completely went away with the pandemic was like, like the feeling that some of these call recorders would be like a big brother, like, I don’t really want my calls recorded. I haven’t heard that objection for years now. And it has fundamentally changed everything. So now you’re great. Now we have the data. But now what and so on the other side of that, you jump in and you’ll see a customer with 20,000 30,000 40,000 recorded calls. Now, what are you going to do with those? It’s like Google, like, great, it’s there. What do you do with it now? And like how can we get back to some form of actionability? With that data? Yeah, it is a new frontier. It’s really cool. I don’t make software. I look at them though. And I like them. It’s like when you go to an art museum, you’re like, That is beautiful. Somebody else painted me something else. Nice. Okay, killer, that’s really cool about momentum. Now you have created and again, this is coming from an engineering background into the CEO world and trying to set up a sales organization, you’ve set up this nice top down funnel from the sounds of it. That’s very relevant to a lot of our listeners relevant to myself, would you kind of unpack a little bit of some of the learnings you’ve had as you created this SDR organization?

Santiago Suarez Ordoñez 26:59
Yeah, absolutely. First of all, the kind of painful first lesson was that it really takes a lot of time to develop it. And make it perform the way you expect. You can’t just pretend to hire a couple of SDRs. Even if they come with experience of doing the job and you know, overnight, start delivering 10 beats a month or whatever it is no role for them, you need to learn how to communicate your value prop. Even if you don’t have great value, it’s like an in person sales call kind of load, when you have to translate that into one sentence emails that people will actually read. Oh, my God, it’s like a whole different jerk. At this point, I feel like my STRS knows how to read a lot better than I do, but I want to be the one that accepted it, and got it to a decent enough working place. So it’s just a process that when I advise other entrepreneurs that reached out asking for this, I usually tell them, like go out with patients, really, the first six months, just try your best and don’t really have a lot of expectations. hire two people to try to compare them and see if one is kind of separating, understand why but for the most part, don’t have a super high bar. Hope that by six months, you’ll start seeing something that really functions and then you can start scaling it and add more in. It’s a challenge of a ton of different pieces all the way from the technology side like email deliverability, choosing the right sequencing sequencing tools to like sales enablement, right. volleying propping up Account Based Marketing, there’s a ton that you need to kind of sort through to get something that functions but the beauty of it is once you do get it down, once you invest all that time, and you build it, that leads just calm predictably, with other kinds of systems or other kinds of approaches, you could tackle, like a public launch, it’s a one off thing, it could be killer, you get a ton of inbound, you get recognition, and we do that too. There’s a lot of value to them. But you cannot reproduce that predictively in a way that you can deliver revenue at the end of the quarter in a predictable fashion. So to me, top of the funnel through STRS cold outreach needs to be a fundamental baseline for every business that is looking into Predictable Revenue every day. And it’s forced us to learn a lot more about our product pitch.

Pete Thornton 29:24
Yeah, that’s right. Because I mean it is, there’s nothing harder. It’s so funny to me. And I’m not going back into the world except for everybody’s going back to that world the minute you need to do this yourself, but like an introductory level position that involves more technology, you have to interact with more technologies than an AE does in all honesty because you’re an there’s more loads of customers and clients and data that you have to deal with. And then you have to, as an intro level person, boil it down to the ones that she talked about, and try to deliver that to another human being in an ad hoc fashion that is not scheduled. And that is almost everything that’s brutally hard about it. And they’re like, just out of college, give it a crack, you know? And then you don’t even really onboard them hardly, like you’re saying take six months and like, everybody else’s was like, Yeah, wait two weeks, two weeks, we’re gonna be ready we’re gonna do, you can pick up the phone in that amount of time. That’s true. But like to get this thing dialed in, I find it extremely difficult and extremely difficult to get right. And it’s something that’s a little bit overlooked. Ultimately, I could still honestly be in that world had it received a little bit more like, respect and like, like, attaching to the deal flow. Like if you bring in something that then closes for big later, did you get $35 for setting the meeting? Or, like, is there something that would indicate you wanted to take it a little bit further to professionalize it in some sense? So?

Santiago Suarez Ordoñez 30:53
Oh, yeah. spiffs compensation, it’s a massive machine that you got to build and it’s damn you scale? Pretty much endlessly, then you start going after, you know, cost benefit CAC, how much do you pay these people? How much did they cost? You start looking into? Like, where can you find them in a way that you can maybe work in a yield? Base? It’s a super interesting topic that, if I think about it, is not as glamorous, and it gets a lot less attention than it probably should. Because if you’re building a business that has an endless lead kind of flow, and always bringing you decent conversations of the top half just works, your POCs get tight, your demo is good, your pitch gets better, your reps are learning fast. But you kind of forget about the fact that’s because you’re having, you know, six calls per day per person or four calls per day per person to flex that muscle. So I’ve become, I’ve really gotten appreciative of what we’ve been able to build there.

Pete Thornton 31:58
Yeah, that’s fantastic. I do love a good SDR organization. Do you have an oh, by the way, just one little aside, BDR SpecOps is what we call it. Once I got good at it, we got good at it. We had this pod, we had a couple of pods, which made it even more competitive. You just mentioned hiring two at a time. It’s the same thing except for like, for like 12 or 14 of us. And we were in person together. So you kind of overhear these things. And you hear when it goes bad. You’re like, Sorry, man, you know, or it goes well, and you’re like, alright, you know, and everybody’s kind of in it together. It’s kind of grindy, it’s kind of tough. I’d come from the world of teaching. So I was no longer teaching science to 34 high schoolers at a time and coaching till 11 o’clock at night. So it was not like when everybody’s like, this is terrible. I’m like, Hey, there’s cashews in the kitchen. Because it’s not something that they ever had in an education format, any of the tech benefits are all new and fantastic, even for the $35 a meeting. So. So anyway, we formed the spec, Spec Ops. And so it was this two week thing where we had to make such and such a number of calls is very quantified. And, and in the end, if anybody was able to make it through, and there were just a few of us who did, then we had talked to CRO and had some special swag for us. I was like Jerry, I’m just gonna need to go to Target and buy these things and monogram them with this little skull that I made. And so at the end, we had like, our level here, you know, I love it. He Yeah, but you know, is that right? Right? It was like, this little prestige, almost kind of thing. And he was like, hey, well, why aren’t you making those kinds of calls, like every week now, like, because we die because we would die? Because why are your military people not Navy SEALs like it’s because they die. But it can be done, Jerry? And we’ll do it for you again, like next year?

Santiago Suarez Ordoñez 33:42
Yeah, it’s a hard job. It’s a really hard job. But you can make it work well, for other people, too. It’s a fun skill to learn. Now with the right models and the right motivation. It can be rewarding but it’s hard, but rewarding.

Pete Thornton 33:56
Yeah. Is there anything like it for others who are in your position? You mentioned something you track weekly and bi weekly? Is there any type of metrics that you might advise something actionable, that people could take away and be like, Yeah, I’ll go actually check that out for our organization this week.

Santiago Suarez Ordoñez 34:11
I mean, I would say the usual, one thing we’ve been kind of getting, I guess there’s different areas of generating funnels with an SDR organization that perhaps are not as exploited and found to be great. Facts are complemented the usual. One of them has been a warm introduction building a network of advisers and investors that are broad, that you systematically turn through to look for requests to make introductions. We’ve gotten dozens and dozens of introductions by now and that allowed us to beef up fields. So you were already working, or completely developed. Do that with a completely cold outreach. So that’s an area that I think it’s worth exploring. worrying. Another one is, you know, building special types of sequences on campaigns that are a little more ad hoc. And this is where my team has complete authority at the individual level to build this out. But instead of, you know, a marketing defined playbook that they kind of have to follow. And they have very little wiggle room to personalize and tweak, they are now able to do things like building a sequence for everybody who’s the head of sales and into fishing, and send, perhaps you’re talking, you know, a couple dozen people. But you put together an automated sequence that feels like an incredibly personalized email that was only written for them. And in reality, they’re heading, you know, a couple dozen people at a time with a couple dozen sequences a week. And that’s been a pretty good strategy for us as well.

Pete Thornton 35:50
That’s cool. I remember doing that. Over and over, we had a homegrown, like, sequencing engine, we’d created this one. Yeah, it was. And look, they you could have just as easily bought, like, especially now that there’s like a couple of those front runners that are really good at doing it, but they don’t write the emails for you. So you get really, you know, you get inspiration in the shower like this is what I’m going to try. It’s going to be this number of sequences can be this number of touches, we’re going to do this and then call back that way. And you have to and you have to keep up with it all. So you don’t

Santiago Suarez Ordoñez 36:22
I think that’s only one thing. They didn’t write the sequences part and now they can do or if they don’t, already, they are about to a lot of these writing is just kind of getting overhauled these days. It’s a brave new world and that prompt as well.

Pete Thornton 36:39
That’s right. This is you many years ago like this would be done differently. I would be happy about that too. Well, I think I’ve kept you a long time longer than I intended but I wasn’t. It’s just an enjoyable conversation. I should ask you my funny question at the end and remember there’s no right answer to this one. But all SaaS RAM podcasts so yeah, all your experiences now in SaaS, what does SaaS ramp mean to you?

Santiago Suarez Ordoñez 37:06
SaaS ramp was definitely the ramp piece there wants me to say something in growth and sales. And because of the theme of the podcast, I guess I’m gonna go with the ramp being the top of your funnel, the leads that you’re able to generate every month and that’s growing. Everything’s growing. I’m gonna say the top of the funnel is going to be the foundation to take off as a business.

Pete Thornton 37:34
Yeah, I love it. I again told you I haven’t heard it before because they haven’t quite had that theme on the show yet. So yeah, how you gonna land you’re gonna have to pull the top of the funnel however it happens to be wherever that top of the funnel comes from whatever avatar or channel or whatever it happens to be coming on. It’s been great at Santi, thank you so much for the time today. I really appreciate you telling us about yourself and momentum and a little bit of tips and tricks around creating that top of the funnel input and just really enjoyed my time with you. So I know the audience will as well. Thanks a bunch.

Santiago Suarez Ordoñez 38:09
Thank you. Thanks for having me. It’s been fun.