The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 4 months ago

Ep 187: Building the Ultimate RevOps Tool w/ Brandon Metcalf

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Ep 187: Building the Ultimate RevOps Tool w/ Brandon Metcalf

Part of the "Is This A Good Time?" series hosted by Brandon Barton.

Hello everyone and welcome back to the Pavilion podcast. I'm your host, Brandon Barton, you're listening to Is this a good time the show where I put Pavilion members on the hot seat for 15 minutes. We hear their incredible stories new for 2022. We're just doing shows on Thursdays from now on, giving me a little bit of a break from the two week and so please hit subscribe. So you do not miss hearing from our experts every thursday now, exclusively, our guest today is Brandon Metcalf. He's the founder and Ceo of Place Technologies and we talked about building rev up school from scratch, founded three companies. Really, really interesting story from Brandon. This episode is powered by show pad, the open end to end platform that makes me to be buying and selling easier, transform your team to have high impact and the differentiated customer conversation in today's environment. I want to see a revenue enablement technology that provides every customer facing team with required skills, knowledge and content to have impactful conversations with your buyers, head to show pad dot com to learn more. Alright,...

...let's do this episode 91 Is this a good time? All right, everybody, we have Brandon Metcalf joining us today, he is the Ceo and founder of place coming into us from Austin texas. I believe Brandon is so great to have you on the pod. Hey, Brandon, it's good to talk to another Brandon. Exactly, love it when you spell it the right way to Well look all beef. No fillers. I want to jump right into it. Tell us a little bit about your work history and how you got to, to finding your own company being a founder. Yeah, it's probably not the straightest path to get there. But I think it's uh one that worked well. So I started my career in financial services and banking basically started my first banking center to manage when I was 21 which was fun doing that Orlando and they sent me to Chicago after that to open banks there. And then after a few years I started getting bored with banking. So I stumbled into staffing and recruiting and took a job with kelly services to be a sales manager for the state of colorado. And that just kind of clicked and I did really well there. So for about nine months they sent me to sacramento to turn that region around. And after about 78 months from that...

...they sent me to san Francisco to run northern California. Did that. Yeah, I got headed by this guy named Cats gray to go work for him and his regional more executive retained search firm. So I took the job with him, switched over and then a couple of years into it started to get the itch to get like I wanted to do something else and I got a random phone call from google who wanted me to come in and interview good dad. Long story short google offered me a job. I turned it down. I stayed with Kent and then shortly thereafter he had me running technology for the company and I got frustrated with our software. So I had the crazy idea that I could make a better software for the staffing industry. I hated what we had at kelly, I hated what we had at CB partners and in 2009 I started building a product called talent rover. We commercialized it in 2011, scaled it to nine offices, eight countries literally around the world with small companies. And then we always joked that one day we would sell licenses to be Adecco group. Well actually won the global relationship with the deco when I sold that business in March of 2018 and then I was trying to figure out what the heck to do next. So I came up with when I started doing...

...consulting work to try to figure that out. And through that I came up with the idea for a place which is really just solving the same problem that I lived when I was running talent over but I'm trying to solve for other SAS companies so crowded place at the very end of 2000 and 18 started product build in 2019, started sales in 2020 and here we are and talk about place what does the product do? So places a finance platform. So really we we do three things, we do revenue lifecycle management, so think subscription management, building a sec. Revenue recognition like all that fun stuff. And then we do financial planning and forecasting. So piano, cash forecasting, various analysis and scenario modeling, all of that true FP and a stuff. And then we're rolling out our third component which is the people component. So human capital management, so applicant tracking, performance management benefits on boarding integrations with payroll, all that. So it's really revenue planning. People were a little bit different though are actually very different. We're completely built inside of Salesforce. So we're the only product that does this in Salesforce. So deep native...

...connection to like Salesforce, sales file and Salesforce reporting and and all that stuff to really complete the flow. So in essence what we really are because we're an operating system for SAS companies or software companies. We focus on selling the early stage fast. Salesforce has a lot of gaps when it comes to sass right? I mean talk to me about some of the now here I'm going into buying mode. I like this. Talk to me about some of the, you know, some of the gaps that you're filling because subscription pricing and modeling is not really something that Salesforce does well even though it is the O. G SAS product itself. I mean, so some background so talent over my last company operating system for staffing and recruiting for firms 100% built on Salesforce as well. So I've been building Salesforce based software company since 2009 when it's both a great platform to build on for 1000 reasons and also a really difficult platform to build on for 1000 reasons as well. But you know, Salesforce sales, cloud product obviously opportunities leads on the whole Crm is is a fantastic product, but it does stop...

...short after the sales process and you know, originally we decided to build our FP and a component inside of Salesforce because we wanted that direct connection to everything that was happening with sales. But we also wanted to do something a little different. We wanted to bring finance to the business. So we wanted to give like, you know, I'm a salesperson, I should be able to look at an account record in Salesforce and I should be able to see the financial relationship with that or a service person or vice versa. But then we also wanted to give the finance person the ability to have the context of what was going on with those deals because, you know, how often does a head of sales turn in their sales forecast and the CFO immediately just cuts it in half or whatever because they're like, you're never gonna get that. So, we wanted to help with that and give some context behind the numbers to help that CFO make the right decision. And through that we started to uncover a lot of gaps between Salesforce and just even financial forecasting and that's where the revenue product line came to be where we needed to have a S. C. 606 revenue recognition. Like how do you account for daily rhetoric, which I think everyone in Sask, I've never met...

...anyone that loves daily revenue recognition, but we're slowly going to be forced to do it. So how do you do daily rhetoric or you know, how can I just get an invoice out that ties to the order and and just like simplify all that stuff when there's big products that do it like Zoran and all those guys that help with it. But what about the early stage like we focus on seed to see and most of that stuff's overkill at talent rover. We used, We bought adaptive insights and after 10 months of trying to implement the dang thing, we ripped it out and went back to spreadsheets because it's just for enterprise. So I think you know, going back to your question, I think there's a lot of things you can buy and do in Salesforce, that's really good for enterprise. And I think all of the big boys integrate with Salesforce, we just had a different approach to it where we wanted to be natively inside of Salesforce. So like if you think about how many times you change your sales process, I've probably changed our sales process at least six times here at place. I also want to adapt my revenue process and all of that with it.

So we take that sales process that tells where it is good at and then connect it to billing and then connect it to planning and then connected to the accounting system as well. So we have bidirectional integrations with these accounting systems. So like when you turn on place we actually pull in your entire chart of accounts. We pull in every single transaction from your accounting system so we'll pull and push data. So it's really creating that whole flow from initial sales conversation through collecting cash to doing financial analysis and planning to doing financial reporting and then visualizing the whole of the company that's sort of what we do and we try to do it all in one place, love it, love it. Well look, I mean you know you've obviously had a ton of success in your career. I wonder if there is an anecdote of either luck or some really kind of extreme hard work that that you feel like you know got you to where you are today I think for me and I was, this was something I was advised early in my career to not be. I'm glad I didn't listen to this. I was advised to not be a generalist and I intentionally set out to become a generalist. I want to be in sales, I want to be in tech, I...

...want to be in service, I want to be in product, I want to, I want to do a whole gamut and I want to understand it and I also want to do, I did something I also advise you not to do is I switched industries, I went from financial services to staffing to software and I love software, I don't plan on getting out of software, but it's that well rounded nous of, you know, being a sole contributor, managing small teams, managing regions, leading companies that kind of gave me really the foresight of how to think about business. So for me wanting to grow and like be a ceo, I never knew I was going to build my own company but I always knew I wanted to be a ceo that generalist path is what got me there. I think the other two pieces of advice don't be afraid to think much bigger, like if I ever would have thought of building a software company when I started with kelly services, that's a crazy idea, it worked and then really invest in those that those people that invest in you, I get every opportunity I was ever given is because of a relationship I had with someone they invested in me and then I worked my butt off to make sure I delivered for them and it was symbiotic and we just...

...helped each other and those relationships I think are really what gets you to the next level. Yeah, I mean that's, that's a, that's a recurring theme here on the pod for sure. That nobody goes at this alone, there's always always somebody helping you along the way, totally. I don't have a big ego. Yeah, I mean, well that people are going to reach out to help you if you do right, you know, that goes hand in hand in hand with you know, being a great human being to others. You know, if you have a big ego, they're not going to be calling you to to help you when the opportunities arise. Well look, you come at sales and marketing from a bunch of different perspectives, you know, an individual contributor, founder of a company. Give us a tactic that you feel like has worked for you over the years, The art of selling without selling. So what I mean by that is I think I sell all day long in every different facet of my job, right? That's part of being a ceo but I'm selling with trying to have understanding and empathy and why am I pushing this agenda and why do I want to do the things I want us to do. So there's really a lot of reasons as to what I'm selling. So selling something...

...you believe in in your passionate and but it doesn't have to be a blatant sales pitch sometimes. It's just a conversation and the way that I've built the best businesses. And one of the biggest deals is just from telling stories telling stories in a way that people can relate and be just being human with the other person. I look at software for example. You know we could feature dump you to death, look at all the cool stuff we do, we do this blah blah blah instead why don't we just have a conversation of OK, you are a serious seed. How are you planning to get to your series? A let's talk about how we can probably help you and what you're thinking about or hey you just got your big series a great How are you going to spend that money? Let's talk about ways in which we can help you spend that money in the right way so you can continue to grow. And it's those storytelling telling of not only those situations but then also being able to relate like this is how we've done it or this is my experience that people yet because it's it's not so much the technical nuances I think people are buying, they buying so you can help them solve a real problem. And I just found over the years in software...

...and staffing and even in banking a little bit of storytelling have them relate more to you and relate to the situation and then you're speaking the same language because I think a lot of times you can get lost in jargon and being too technical and at the end of the day, the people that you're trying to sell to may lose the plot of what you're actually trying to get them to buy, interesting. Alright, love it man. And what are some positions you're hiring for? We have a senior account executive that we're super focused on right now as the rest of the world the software probably is as well. So that position can be anywhere really aggressive compensation package. That's the big one for now. We're gonna have a marketing role open up here in about a month. We're working on finalizing the job description now, so we'll report into our marketing manager And then we'll have a channel sales person open up in about 2-3 months probably. Alright, cool. Well look all three killer positions and you said remote right anywhere, not just in Austin. Yeah, I mean we're headquartered in Austin but you can be anywhere. I love it. And give some shout outs, anybody either up and comers or people that you...

...follow for content, you know who you want to give a shout out to. My biggest shout outs to our sales director, Aaron has been with me for about three years and from initial conversation with what we were doing with place to, you know, his team had 181% of quota last quarter. He's just crushing at a really, really good guy. Would be a great guy to work for. He's also part of pavilion. So he definitely deserves a big shout out. I love it, man. And last but not least most important to me. Give me a spot. I should go eat. It doesn't have to be an awesome but could be, if you ever come to Austin, it takes some planning. But my favorite place here is, Oh, Toko, tell us about it. It's a 12 seat restaurant that is. I think the chefs of Michelin chef, I might be wrong, but it's a sushi type restaurant where it's, I think it's 18 courses where you get one little piece at a time. Hands down one of and I've eaten like talent over. I was constantly all around the world and taking clients out. So I've eaten kind of everywhere. Hands down one of my top three restaurants in the world. It's a pain to get into those. So they open it up as a lottery and you have to...

...wait and then like you try to book a spot in. Those spots are like 3 to 4 months in advance, but it is worth, it is absolutely worth it. All right, well, we'll, we'll plan an advanced trip once this whole covid thing goes away. But Brandon is so great to have you on, man and love what you're up to. And I think there's a lot of people who are probably listening who are having the problems that you guys are solving. So give Brandon a ring and try on this product. I think I'm going to. So cheers man. Thanks Brandon. All right, that's our show. Thank you so much for listening. If you love the show rate and review Apple podcast, Spotify as do all the fun stuff. This Pavilion podcast is powered by show pad for opportunity preparation and or opportunity execution. Show pad is everything your team needs to add value, provide insights and engage with your customers. Want to learn more about. Show pad, head to www dot dot com for a personal assessment of your enablement journey. I had so much fun today. I hope you did too. Now get out and crush your numbers.

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