The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 4 months ago

Ep 190: Building Your Sales Tech Stack w/ Asa Hochhauser, VP Sales Mcgaw.io

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Ep 190: Building Your Sales Tech Stack w/ Asa Hochhauser, VP Sales Mcgaw.io 

Part of the TGIM (Thank God It's Monday!) series hosted by Tom Alaimo.

Welcome to another episode of the Pavilion podcast. This is your host, Tom a LEMO. Thank God it's Monday. This is where we share the tips, the tricks of tactics that you need to be successful as a revenue operator in this world. Excited to be here, excited to get into the content today. Before we do that, let me give a quick shout to our sponsor. So in January, show pad is sponsoring the podcast. Show pad is a global leader and revenue enablement technology. Allow us to add some context to that. To some, revenue enablement means making sure your revenue teams have access to the right content at the right time. To us, it means helping revenue teams create rich experiences for buyers, engaging whole buying teams in virtual deal rooms and using data insights to spot and ten spikes, improve marketing content and conquer the world and more than fifty countries customers rely on the show pad revenue enablement platform to build collaborative experiences buying teams love, so opportunities turn into revening faster. Show pad has been named a strong performer by foresters wave for sales content solutions, recognized as a top ten software company by GTWO and listed in deloyd's fast fifty. Learn more at show padcom. You can also hit me up on Linkedin. My Name's Tom Alemo. I work over at Gong and you can check out the content that put out every single day about sales and about podcasting in mindset. So check me out there all right. Today I've got Asa Hawk houser on the line. He is the VP of sales at my God io, formerly known as ef an amazing, which is an amazing thing for a company, a says, the go to person when we're talking about text sacks for sales teams, and that's what he advises on it. But God every single day he's in the trenches with different levels of sales leaders talking about how to build out the right text that get the most out of it, integrate it and make sure it's successful in drive Zorroy. So...

...that's what we talked about today. He's also have great experience director of sales, formerly over at the Linux Academy. He is over at champion Solutions Group. Before that, Skyword I on interactive use all over the place as a ton and a wealth of information and knowledge that he's going to share today. So let's get straight into that conversation with ASA hot houser. Let's go. All right, next up on the pavilion podcast. Who you have? Asa Hawk House or Asa? How are you? I'm doing amazing, Tom Great to be here. Thank you. Yeah, I'm excited to have you on. You are you out in Delray Beach Right now? I am Delry Beach, Florida. Beautiful, beautiful, I love it. I'm excited to have you on. This is a one of the topics that we're going to get into is a passion of mine. It's obviously a passion, a major skill set knowledge of for you, around tech stacks and sales text acts in particular. So I'd love to maybe before we get into like the nitty gritty and the technical stuff, I'd love if you could just maybe share with folks a little bit about, like you know, your experience in a little bit about your background in the Martech world and in the sales world. Yeah, happy to definitely don't think we're going to get too technical today. I'm not. I'm not a tech guy in any way, shape or form. I have been in the sales world for about fifteen years now. Came up really through the marketing technology industry. Was the head of sales at uninteractive and a company that was founded by Scott Brinker, who created the Martech landscape that everyone seeing grow by the thousands over the years, and then was also the head of sales at a company called Linux Academy, which is the eat learning platform, and help them get acquired by a company called a cloud Guru, who's now owned by plural site. So have been in and around MARTEC for quite a while, obviously either selling Martech point solutions or working on building out our own internal text acts. And I've been through three acquisitions, so not only building...

...text acts for my team's but also working through those transitions of when two companies come together. So I've seen a lot of things when it comes to kind of building out the text act from start, midway and then when you're really looking to have it fire on all cylinders. And now I'm over at Magod ioh joined the team about fifteen months ago, sixteen months ago, and you know, really my made the jump from Sasta services because I just realize that people teams really struggle with getting the text St Act Right, and so that's all we do at Magaze you know, help companies find the right tools, implement them, integrate them and then execute using them. Yeah, I think probably everyone listening to this podcast is familiar with that Martech landscape, you know, visual where there's that you mentioned, where there's I don't even know how many, three thousand, five thousand companies, thousand plus, and I think he I don't even think he did one this year because there's just too many. He's rethinking how to present it now because it's just way too many to put on one slide now crazy. So we're how does that compare to sales teg? I think it's probably sales is as lagged a little bit, you know, in terms of like the volume of venders that might be making up that landscape, but it seemed, it feels like it's catching up rather quickly. Would you say? Yeah, the explosion is real, for sure. I don't know. I don't have numbers as to how many sales texts versus Martech is out there, but one thing that I can say is that sales tech, there were a lot of mistakes that marketing leaders will admit to, you know, and building out their text acts over the last decade and I think sales tech if they're not careful, the sales leaders, if they're not careful and build out their sales text acts, you know, our Prim to make a lot of the same mistakes. So I think it's really important that sales leaders learn from kind of that explosion that that marketing leaders experienced over the...

...last decade and make sure that they're not repeating some of those mistakes so that they can get a true value out of out of what they're trying to build for their teams. Yeah, and I feel like, you know, there's a few things I want to get into, one being, you know, for folks listening to this, are different stage companies, right and have different challenges and probably different ways that you might suggest that they look at their at their sales tech. If we start with someone that's, you know, really kind of building from the ground up and might be just starting to hire folks in the go to market and just starting to land customers and scale up, like, are there any either, I guess, you know, spaces that they should look at or particular vendors or anything that, when you're really kind of building the sales TAC like you want like the first few kind of like big rocks. They're going to move you in the right or action. Do you typically suggest people check out anything in particular, or is it always kind of independent to the company? So I think there's probably a lot of different perspectives here. I can just speak from my experience and where I see the most value and as especially in the SASS world, where companies are looking to start from zero and grow really fast and if you have a good product market fit, that usually you know happens if you if you execute, you where they often miss the boat is they underestimate the value of data early on, right. So they just they're really focused on the product, they're really focused on getting the message out there and then it just starts to happen right there's this demand that starts to come in, but they haven't done anything to start to capture data so that they can grow predictably over the over time. So one thing that I'm a big believer and it is investing in ops very early on, in some way, scare or form, and tools that are going to allow you to have a data capture system and build a process and iterate on a process that will eventually allow you to pull levers and scale the business.

If you do that too late, you're going to be having to untangle a lot of different things and so and that's where we spend a lot of time, honestly, at macgott IO is working with like fifty million and up, with companies that just have no clue what's going on because they just went too fast and you know, they're trying just untangled now because they didn't invest early enough and really getting good processes and ways to capture data and execute against it. So, you know, I think the obvious answer to that is, you know, a crm right is pretty pretty early on, you know, I think, because that's one great way to start to do things like set lead stages, do opportunity stages and manage of pipeline and your lead flow accordingly, with points of conversion along the way. When I first got into sales, it was really focused on, you know, being able to have a place where you knew you could type in that they had a dog named Charlie so that the next time you call them, you know you can ask him how Charlie was doing. Right, and you know, I think it definitely is. You know, I learned a lot and realized where the real value of crm comes in and just a day to capture type of tool is critical to scale. You're not going to get a media benefit right from day one, right, but it's going to be critical to you know when you really find that product market fit and want to get to that next stage. So that's where I think it's really important invest in ops in a way to capture date and build processes around your go to market early on. Now I think something that a lot of leaders, whether we're talking MARTEC or sales tack, struggle with or have questions around is rhy I've sold MARTEC for the first five years of my career and now I sell sales tech and I think those conversations happen all the time. Like one what to expect before you bring on a new vendor and then to is this actually work it because in a sales funnel or in a marketing funnel, there's so many different factors that lead to...

...whether you're going to bring that prospect into be a customer, and your technology is at certainly has a role there. But if you have five hundred and ten, fifteen, fifty, a hundred different technologies all working together and every single one is telling you, well, here's our twenty two one Rohy that we've given you or that we're going to give you. I would imagine. I've never been a VP of sales or marking. I imagine that's a very confusing conversation to have and what to look at. So I just curious what your take is on trying to kind of like unwrap that as a as a sales leader. Yes, so, when I was at I, an interactive you know, Roi was a big piece of what the conversation that we wanted to have, you know, with our buyers who are buying our technology. We were an interactive content platform, created landing page. So we're directly tied to like red advertising and optimizing to those dollars you're spending on advertising because you could convert more. So you pretty easy one to one roy there. How much he's spending? How much more are you going to convert? You know, there's good roy conversation there. But when you ask, what I found in my experience is when you ask folks what they're looking to achieve, there's no a lot of times there's no hard and fast number. Right. They they really don't know. They're really I found a lot of times there's just they have this pain point, maybe right, that they're trying to solve or they, you know, they're chasing something that they think is really cool. So one of the big mistakes, and I think why sometimes it's hard to point, hard to prove our why, is that they haven't even set a metric that they want to achieve by implementing the tool. So one of the first mistakes that we often see, and I've seen throughout my career now and admittedly have made it myself, is not actually having a metric, a hard and fast goal that you are looking to achieve by implementing this solution. So...

...it's really important to think about your goals and map back to that and then, you know it's your point. Think about an Roi case. They're and a lot of times if a buyer doesn't have that, I think that it's our responsibilities as sellers, even in sales tech, you know, to you know, ask the right questions so that you can help them build up, build that Roy case. And you know in sales right, if they don't know that, then they're going to go and get someone they they don't know the answer right to what that goal is and what they what really will prove oury of this tool. Then we need to ask them to go get the person that does know that right. So it's a super important piece to building out the text act that we need to make sure as buyers and sellers, I think it's we both have the responsibility to make sure that we're thinking about what's the goal that we're mapping back to. If the buyer doesn't know, the seller needs to help the buy or find out invite yours. Yeah, it's something that I'm seeing a lot of and having conversations with other leaders around right now. Is because everything is expanded, so much is around and consolidation. I feel like there's the age old question of do I go with the one platform that can do six different things and you know for those six are, you know, a seven out of ten, but the two are like a nine out of ten or a ten out of ten, or do I go to six different vendors and get the nine or ten out of ten version of each one and might be a little more complicated, it could be more expensive, but you're going to get maybe the best version of, you know, your contact database, the best you know sales engagement video soft, whatever it might be. Do you have a thought on, or an opinion on on that kind of like controversy or that topic at least? Yeah, I think it's really is dependent on the company. Right. I do believe that each team is different and each tool is different, right. So I think there's a few factors as like what's the team that's actually going to be using...

...it? To your point, right, if we can create buy a tool that's going to get us the job and we don't have the resources to do a strong integration between best and breed solutions, then yeah, I think an all on one platform is going to make sense. If, if I do have those types of resources, I'm going to always kind of air towards finding the best and breed and making sure that we're integrating them very tightly, because that's how you in right, if you could have the best tool and everything that you do, that's obviously going to help, but the best tool is crap as well without, you know, strategy and someone, the person that's using it at the what's the saying? A fool with the tool is still a fool, right. So yeah, you know, you got to make sure that you can use it and so again, I think it just really maps back to the internal culture and skill sets and resources that the company has and then and understand that's very similar like understanding your goals, like understand your team, understand your company, and I think that's going to help guide you as to whether you need to have a full consolidation strategy or really go best and breed. What's one of the major mistakes that you see as pretty common when you're working with customers? That you know is happening across the board? That is something that might be common across a lot of folks. So organically talked about two of them. Right, is not mapping back to goals, not thinking about actually want to what they need to do. Too. From that, the second one is the team that's actually going to be using the tools that you put into place. Are they actually ready to use them? So, if we think about sales technology, I made a huge mistake when I fought sales engagement for the first time and I implemented it because I wanted to in increase output, activity, output so that I can hit this huge...

...goal that I had. Activity actually didn't double at all. It actually stay the same, might even dropped a little. Bit because people weren't ready, they didn't have the messaging, they weren't ready for it and, you know, it changed their workflow so much. So there wasn't a good adoption plan the first time I rolled it out and I just I just kind of said, if we have this amazing new tool, we're going to be able to just click a button and it's got a dial for use and the next call is going to come up. But you know, people weren't, you know, ready for that. You know I didn't do a good enough job. So I think the team and the prep work that you put into it is super important when you're going to roll out a technology solution. And again, something that I would always hear on calls is if a buyer wasn't asking those types of questions, like who's going to be using this? How? What's the learning curve? How's this going to change my workflow from what it is today, then that's a big red flag and a high risk of churn, you know, after, after you get that deal done. So that's a big one. I think integrations is is a huge one as well. Right. So thinking about how what we see a lot is I just talked to someone today. Right, we're thinking about implementing a technology and then they failed to think about out how that's going to impact the product team, right, and the data that they were collecting and how they were going and executing their programs by implementing this particular in this case it was a content a customer data platform, and you know, it really created a roadblock for them because, you know, they weren't thinking about things downstream. So, you know, they got product team goes and purchases something else, marketing goes and purchases something else, and now you have all this overlap and all these silos. You got to think about integration and how things are going to fit holistically and I...

...think that's why we're seeing the explosion with rebops because it's starting to solve major pain point across you know, silos throughout the text that. Yeah, I'm curious when you're thinking about like from a from a red OPS perspective. I follow Scott Lease on Linkedin. It's probably a lot of folks do. He he's one of the people I look at in the sets ass sales world and going back to some of the earlier one of my earlier questions that he's very adamant that his first hire as a VP of sales or crow is ahead of red OPS or one of the first, and I know you mentioned that. From a tech perspective, is like you want to make sure that you can understand the data and the trends and having either a revops technology or rebops person can help do that. But do you do you see something similar, like do you see a lot of successful companies do like make sure that they make that higher early on or at a particular stage? I believe in getting someone to do that job as early as possible and I've primarily came up through the startup world, where the role wasn't as popular. Right, I don't even know. There wasn't even a you couldn't go find a director or head of Red Bops, you know, job posting, you know, let's say back in two thousand and twelve, two thousand and thirteen, two thousand and two thousand and fifteen, right. So where I would where we are doing is we're finding someone who was willing and able within the organization, and I typically found that was usually in the marketing department, someone who is Managing Marquetto you know, that kind of had some of those chops and really getting them aligned with sales and starting to focus on that type of thing. So depends what stage you're at early on. I think you just got to find someone to do it. You know, if you have the resources to go hire someone that's really great at it, than absolutely I think the sooner the better. Huh. I'd love to span out to just the market as a whole for...

...a minute and just here. Like, you know, you're so close to this world. You're talking to customers all day long about, you know, their text acts and help them solve problems. Like what are you just seeing in the market right now and, like, do you foresee any trends coming into play, whether it's a new type of technical knowledgy taking over, whether it's, you know, a lot of acquisitions or more consolidation, or certain types of trends that you know you think are on the horizon or just that you're starting to see a lot more of recently? So one thing that I'm I have a lot of conversations about his data, is analytics and getting insights to everyone and as in a single source of truth way, which is very hard to do. But I think as we're starting to learn more and more about text acts and how data works and how you get a single source or two sources of truth. We're getting closer to that. Product leg growth is obviously, you know, very popular right now and you know, but I'm a big believer that product leg growth does not eliminate sales teams, but it does open up a whole new world of data that is now available to sales teams. That is probably going to be really hard to get at because even when marketing automation got its hype right and we started to get these insights from website visits and email opens and content downloads, marketers really struggled to get those insights to the sales team and in a way that they would could actually intelligently use them. I've been you know, I've been with some teams that have done pretty good at that and I've seen most teams really fail. There's a big disconnect there. All the data kind of sits in marketing and never really makes it over to sales because they don't know how to surface it. So...

...what I'm hearing a lot of in the market is how do we get all these different data sources into a central, single source of truth? And then actually enable each team to use it right and I think you have to kind of put the data where people are working right. I don't think a sales team is going to go log into your bi tool and and slice and dice data to figure out insight right. So you have to make sure that you are getting data to the right team in a usable format and that's why I think they're the best of breed. Really there isn't really a tool out there that kind of democratizes data from multiple sources and a usable way across multiple teams. So I think that's a that's a promised land. We might be a little ways away from, but companies are starting to think about that and and how they can can actually accomplish that. That's interesting and you you made me think of when you were talking about it. You know sales reps are going to go into the BI tool and slice and dice data. You got me into thinking about behavior change and I saw a post from you know, some one of my network is a VP of sales, Mike Hook, who's been a guest on this podcast, and he said he made a comment about trials and said, hey, if you're if your trial is seven to fourteen days. I don't even want it. I don't even want to try if you want to give me a real proof of concept over thirty, sixty, ninety days. But you know, I'd like to spend the time to do it. Otherwise I'd rather just decide to buy it or not. MMM, just I happen to see that today and just kind of popped into my head, like, is there any thoughts you have? I feel like this, the seven to thirty day trial is like rampant in sales tech from what I see. HMM, not as many ninety days maybe, unless you're going for a major like enterprise type of deal. But any yeah, any any question or...

...opinion on our thoughts or opinions on that, like can you get a real sense of things in fourteen days? You know? If so, how would you kind of like structure that? As a VP OF SALES? Yeah, I would say it depends on the product. Absolutely depends what you need to do to stand it up and what it's going to do. I learned from attending a Topo conference a couple of couple of years ago, or five years ago, before they got scooped up by gardener. I learned about a pretty good methodology and I was kind of practicing something on my own, for I learned as but they put a lot of structure, which I loved, around how to run a pocat. And as long as you get a commitment right to what the define a plan right around what that POC is, then if it's two weeks, it's two weeks, right, but you're getting buying and agreement on an outcome of that two weeks. So your buddy, you know, to his point right. If it's only two weeks, it's probably because he's just browsing, right. I don't know if it's if he's just going and he wants to try, try something out just to kick the tires. Yeah, maybe two weeks isn't long enough. I think product led is starting to figure that out right. It's they're doing much more usage base type pricing, right. They're letting you use a lot and then when you use it enough then they kind of put that pay wall in front of you. So I just think there's there's different scenarios. You know, where I had more most most of my experience has been more and kind of enterprise, mid market, the enterprise where there did need to be a little bit of guidance, you know, in the in using the product. So setting up a two week proof of concept did make sense. But we had exactly what they were looking to get out of it right and then what a successful outcome was and then already agreed upon next steps before we even said Yes to it. And so when they say yes, that happened. You know, we were we were off to the races from there. So different. Right. So product led growth like is very the buyers and they're going they're just experimenting. I...

...could see why a two week trial wouldn't be good enough, but again, I think that's why a lot of companies are moving to more usage based rather than, you know, putting time on it. Yeah, I want a pivot for the last few minutes to get into some rapid fires with you, Asa, if that's cool with you. Let the audience get to know you a little bit better. Okay, yeah, I love it all right. So, first up, we're big learners on this podcast. Curious if there's any books that have have, you know, really changed you, know you as a person or your career. Any topic is fair game, but if you are a reader, I'm just curious if there's any that that stand out to you? Yeah, I'm a huge reader. I'm about to wrap up atomic habits. It's a king up here. It's I'm getting a lot of nuggets out of that one. I say, from a career perspective, most transformative book of my career was gaps selling, and I can actually have a caveat there. I consulted with Keenan before continued. Keenan consulted with me before gaps selling was published. So I actually was fortunate enough to like learn a lot of those concepts early on in my sales career by dealer directly working with Keenan and you know. So it was awesome to see all that come to life and his book gap selling, and I just think that's you know, anyone who's pushing product too hard needs to go read that book and really understand what sales is all about. Though. That was a big game changer for me. But I'm pretty classically trained when it comes to the books. I've read them all. I Know Challenger. But yeah, I like Atimic cabots right now here. Yeah, I love the I love what they do over there at that winning by design, the SASS method still fun, for sure. I got some more faster, which is a pretty simple, simple methodology that I really liked, rolling out four points and system just to sell more faster. So those are some someones that have been impactful on micro that's great.

I can definitely give a plus one to atomic habits and gap selling. Both are outstanding. All right. What about in the world of podcasts? Of If you've subscribed to any blogs or newsletters or people that you like to follow on Linkedin and anything like that, any other place where you consume content in the space like we're you know any like folks that you'd recommend we check out? Yeah, for sure. So podcasts. I like their predictable, predictable, predictable revenue podcast I've been a big fan of them for a long time. They've been doing it forever, so I just love to see how the methodology has adapted over time. Yeah, a little bit more on the personal level. I got a lot of life lessons from the most recent Joe Rogan poke at podcast with snoop dog. So how is good? That was good. The guy just loves man like. He just makes you want to be a better person in life, and that's that's what I'm all about. I don't think there's anyone I would rather change lives with than snoop Dogg. He's he he's just having fun everywhere he goes and he's just I think Joe Point Sava is a he just gets paid to be himself, which is like the most amazing thing. Yeah, I think everyone's been talking about Chris Walkers podcast to get a lot of nuggets and kind of the demand ginside from from what I see he's doing on Linkedin and that whole crew is doing a great job. I've heard some good conversations on the outreach podcast. Gone's content is amazing. Plug for you guys. You guys have been doing the gamils are doing, yeah, data driven thing for for a minute and you know, it's been awesome to kind of see those blogs coming out with like data backing it up, like the gone can do. So awesome. Watch out. There so much out, all great. Yeah, this is there's almost too much content. So, yeah, all great recommendations. What goes on in the ASA? Headphones, like on spotify or apple music, orerever you're listening tunes. What type of music is playing nowadays? I'm big into I'm pretty...

ECLECTIC. I grew up listening to hiphop. So I love outcast. The big boy just came out with the new album, which is pretty fire. And then I also came up through the electronic music scene. You know, I've chilled out a little bit and as I've gotten older and I'd say prod of my headphones on while I'm working, music has been the Bonobo album, okayty solid, nice, nice soundscapes and you could still kind of focus. And then I've been getting more and more into jazz lately. Okay, I like it because it's something I can listen to my daughter with while we're messing around in the kitchen. She actually really enjoys it as well. She's wise beyond her years at eleven, so that's awesome. Well, anyone that's an outcast or s hip hop fan is good in my book. So you have me there. Cheers. I my my last question for you before we then get to you know where folks can find you and stuff like that, is who else in your network would you like to see come on the pavilion podcasts and share their story? Billion Network? Donald Audatoya, I can call him out the guys, as he's the spark of energy. He's SDR manager over at content full right now and yeah, I miss them. I wish I talk to him or WHO's on my team when I was at I an interactive and would love to let to hear what he's up to. All Right, Donald will curt we're coming for you a so this is this is great love for us to just, you know, take a minute here. One thank you for coming on and sharing your wisdom. I think sales tech, and Martech for that matter, are confusing spaces. There's so much going on you almost like get lost if you if you take a day off of you know new announcement of funding or an acquisition or something else happening in the market. So, first of all, thank you. In second if folks want to learn more about you, about McGaw, I know you folks recently just wrote a book on the space, which could probably educate everyone even further. So maybe just take a minute and kind of let us know where the best places...

...are to connect with you guys. Yeah, thank you for having me again. This was this was awesome. I'm on Linkedin right hit me up on Linkedin. It's probably really the only channel, Macon. I need to be better about that, but that's where I'm at. And then, yeah, mcgonda io, we offer a free copy of our CEO's book. It's called Bill Cool Shit and it's all about building the modern text act. So I definitely recommend go and checking out that link on our site of God to Ioh and grabbing a copy of that will will help you definitely get a good grasp of what a solid Martin Modern Mar text act and sales text act looks like. Build Cool Shit. I love it. Asa, thanks for coming on. Man, this is great. Everyone. Definitely go check out the book. Hit Ace up, connect with him on Linkedin and following for more info, and otherwise we'll be back next week with another episode. Thanks Asa. All Right, thanks for checking out that episode again. This podcast was brought to you by show pad. This is thank God it's Monday. By pavilion. I'm your host, Tom Alamo. Hit me up on Linkedin. Tom Alamo on Linkedin, I post every single day about sales and podcast stuff until next week, yet after it. We'll see you next Monday. Peace.

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