The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

Ep 177: Diversity and Inclusion in Sales w/ Nikki Ivey (Best of 2021)


Ep 176: Diversity and Inclusion in Sales w/ Nikki Ivey (Best of 2021) 

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

Hello everyone and welcome back to the Pavilion podcast. I am your host, Brandon martin you are listening to. Is this a good time? We're doing something special here for the last couple of weeks of december, taking some time away and uh spending it with family and, and re energizing as I hope you are while, while you are listening and just catching up on your podcast and so playing some of the best episodes of 2021 user throwbacks. I went with some recent throwbacks that I wanted to put back up there. Um some of my favorite episodes of the second half of the year as we've, we've done a little of this in august. So, uh this is a few folks that I just think we're incredible guests on the pod and uh I hope you you think so to enjoy, have a safe and healthy and happy holidays and looking forward to getting back with everybody in the new year. Hello and welcome back to the Pavilion podcast. I'm your host, Brandon Martin and you are listening to Is this a good time? The show where I put Pavilion members on the hot seat for 15 minutes and we hear their incredible stories. We really shows on Tuesdays and Thursdays. So hit subscribe. So you do not miss hearing from our experts today, We have a great member of the Pavilion. Nikki ivy, she's head of growth development and culture perspective. We talk about diversity and inclusion in sales amongst so many other things. This episode was brought to you by Sandoz. So Sandoz. So is the leading sending platform is the most effective way for revenue generating teams to stand out with new ways to engage at strategic points throughout the customer journey by connecting digital and physical strategies. Companies can engage, acquire and retain customers easier than before. All right, let's do this episode 68 is this a good time? I'm super excited to have today's guests. Nikki Ivy is with us, she is the head of growth development and culture perspective, also a co founder of SDR...

...defenders, which was recently acquired by Pavilion. So a lot of good stuff to dive into. Nikki, thank you so much for joining. Thank you. I'm excited to talk to you today. Well, Nikki, um if you've listened to the pod, you know, I'll meet no filler, we jump right into the question. So why don't you tell us about your current role that you have and and how you got here? And I'm also gonna throw in a little bonus, Tell us about the origins of str defenders. Yes. Um, so I'll start with my current role, it's pretty straightforward as head of growth Development at cultured perspective, we're a consultancy. So I handle the sort of top of funnel strategy and execution for, you know, usually series a startups. Um, as most of you probably know typically a founder slash ceo will need a lot of help, but often they don't know you know what that looks like from a sales perspective. So it's fun to go in and help people make you know something out of nothing. Cool, very cool. And and so growth development, that means you are working with Ceos, are you, are you seeking out new businesses for for the company we are working with Ceos, are you asking me like what my your, your role, your role there? I'm I consult, I go and find them when people sign on with us. I go and one of the reasons why it was important to me, I'll just drop it here is culture perspective is a black owned agency. What I remember from when I first started as a salesperson is that when it came to, you know, who was touted as having expertise, none of them looked like me. So you can implicitly get this idea that expertise comes from a certain archetype and it's really exciting, especially because we're dealing with a lot of new sales people coming into the industry for them to be introduced through sort of this lens of inclusion. I love that. And this, this can serve as a 15 minute commercial for your company because because essentially anybody who's listening who's a ceo or needs help and growth development is in that stage. I mean, you could, you could potentially come and get Nikki to come work with you, so this is this is excellent. Yes, and it's not just me, it's this Gentleman Marcus Knight from...

...text. Yo Marcus has got a couple of, you know, successful exits under his belt. Ellis Stone who is a BDR manager all day long. Uh, and so many of us are are there and it's fun for us to be able to, without it having to be like full time employment all the time. It's it's fun for us to be able to do what we love to do and like I said, help folks get where they're trying to go. I love it, I love it. Alright, well that's the role today. Tell us about the beginnings of str defenders. It's a really fun story actually, Right, So I had come to a point during Covid where I was seeing a lot of two things happen, right. I was seeing obviously this sort of mass termination for lack of a better term of, of salespeople, they were the first to go. So you had this group of sales folks who were, you know, looking to get back into work, but they were seeing a lot of like, really, I'm gonna say it, bad advice on linkedin on, on, you know, how to do this. And, and so I had posted about it. I posted specifically about the sort of plight of sdrs josh Roth had seen it and he was sort of thinking the same thing, I was thinking I still have a screenshot of it. He actually commented on that post and said, this is great. Nicky, I have an idea, I'll DM you and the idea was str defenders. Uh, and so we sort of joined forces with tom brokaw archbishop eric and Kyle Coleman and you know the rest is history and, and also the present. Yeah, for sure for sure. And then, and then um, somehow Sam found out about the organization was like, this should be part. Let me wrap this up in Pavilion. Yeah, yeah. Because the other members that I just talked about are the other founders that I just talked about. They are all in, we're in, you know, pavilions formerly revenue collective. And so he had relationships with them and sort of understood that there was a shared mission in terms of democratizing...

...access to the profession. And it was kind of, it sounds like a no brainer for him. Love it. Love it. Well that's uh, that's incredible. We always talk about success being made up of both kind of luck and hard work. So I wonder if in your career there's a moment of kind of extreme of either where something is propelled you forward. Yeah, definitely luck. Not that I don't work hard, but to this point of democratizing access to the profession. I've been selling cars and I, you know, didn't know that those skills were transferable, two B, two B tech. So the very serendipitous thing that happened is I had been, you know, selling this gentleman a car And when we got through the end of the transaction, he was like, hey, have you ever, you know, thought about selling software and I was like, I don't even know what that is like that. That's the thing. You mean, people will pay me money to do that and I get to be in the air conditioning. So it's like, yeah, you should meet my boss and I go into this sort of cattle call interview and his boss ends up being scott lease and yeah, and I end up standing out getting the interview and you know, yeah, that's that's the luck part of it. And I count it as luck, not just because it introduced me to B2B tech, but because this company outbound engine that we worked at and the culture of training that Scott had built um was a really good experience as far as what can be right in terms of, like for me it was the ideal experience for people to have coming into the profession because there were a lot, it was, it was the most diverse team I've ever been on. There was psychological safety. He didn't scott doesn't believe in sort of beating yourself up just next play mentality and you know, and like I said, this culture of training where everybody was involved and you had these optional meetings at like seven a.m. To skill up on the script and things like that. And it was just, it was lovely love, that's incredible.

Alright, that's that's incredible to hear. So, you know, along the way, I'm sure you learned a ton, you know, from scott and everybody else. I wonder what, what secret marketing or sales tactic would you want to share with us? It is how to get video into a linkedin connection request to ensure that people see it. So, and I actually did this to SAm a while ago, um like a couple years ago, so you get up, you know, whatever app you're using, it has to be one where, you know, there's the screen and then your face in it and you just go to that person's, it can be their linkedin page even better if like you heard them on a podcast and you go on that page and like, look Sam I what you said to such and such really resonated with me and I just, I had to connect with you because I don't want to miss a single minute of the jewels you're dropping out here. Right, just that quick a message and the link looks like text in a connection request. So you drop the link and typically these apps will tell you when someone's viewed your video. So then, you know, yes, they've seen it, whether or not they connect is, you know, one of the other, but I've had anywhere between like a 50 to 65% success rate with that test. Okay, so, so, so so people click on a link sent to them from a stranger? Well, so what happens is these apps have, where it's a gift, Right? And so they see a face, they see enthusiasm. Sometimes I do something goofy, like like I will write their name on it, but I'll write, I'll hold this upside down, I'll hold the border and then look at it and like make fun of myself and turn it so you give them something to, to want to engage with and they have to click it and it's working for me and I love it. So much fun. You kind of start the relationship off on this sort of, I'm not like these other folks, I...

...really do want to learn from you so much so that I took the time to put together this video. That's awesome. I love it. All right, we're gonna, we're gonna do this. Do you want to drop in any, any of the platforms that you like for video? I mean you could say, hey, I'm neutral but anything that you'd recommend for people to use. Yeah, I typically use bloom. But I think the functionality I was just talking about, I think drift video has the has the same thing. It's, I guess it's whatever you're comfortable with. Um I used loom to hit up the then head of sales at loom for a job interview and it worked. You're spot and he's like, here's my calendar link. So like I said that a lot of you gotta eat your own dog food as they say, right? And I love that. That's super cool. Alright, great. Any, any positions you're hiring for today, not just yet. We're gonna be looking for um, contract STRS as the business grows and there's, you know, demand more demand for that after we've laid the tracks in terms of strategy, some folks still aren't ready to do the execution piece by themselves. So here in the next couple of quarters will probably be ready to bring on more folks. But right now we've got it under control. Got it. And, and so do you ever, do you ever find SDRs for the businesses you consult with or is it or is it really that it's str as a service if you will. So we have partnerships with companies like us in tech. Uh, there's another, I should say, relationships with us in tech. There's another called Rework and so that's typically where we go first when someone's expressed that they need access to SDR talent because like I said, right, we are trying to yes, get people into these roles and yes, help these companies go from something to nothing, but also do it through a lens of inclusion. Love this. Love it awesome and give some shout outs. I know you already had to your, you know, your scr defenders, co founding team and uh, and to your current team, anybody just in general either up and...

...comers or, you know, real thought experts that you would say, hey, they're putting out great content. That is, that is really valuable to people the same way that, you know, you're, you're interested in Sam's content, I don't know, something like that. Yeah, there's, there's this young man, Evan Patterson and I hope I'm saying his lesson incorrectly, he was over at reprise, I forget where he's at now, but I had noticed a gap in um sort of the voices that I represented on linked in and he represents as a, you know, a person who was out and queer in sales and that's something I'd like to see more of and he's sort of unapologetic, unabashed. Like here is who I am and what we don't need to do is have people hiding because you know, maybe you've seen it, it used to be and maybe a lot of places that still is a huge part of sales culture to not be sensitive or not be thoughtful in the way that we, in the way that we talk about people on the L G B T Q spectrum. So I love to see it other than that a lot of folks that your listeners probably already know Salem Germany is just the hardest working person that I've come in contact with in my life. Uh, so I got to give her a shout out and then um, Gabrielle Blackwell and um Alex seen what they're doing with women in sales club, I think is taking what, you know what Laurie Richardson started at women in revenue and then bringing it to, you know, a whole new group of folks who maybe weren't around when those original communities had come out and and those women, they are, they're freight trains there ready. So I love it. I love it. I love it. We've got to get them on to do uh do a pod to to tell everyone about it. Cause I've I've heard some of the activity and some of the kind of momentum and it's um it's so great. I've had, I've had definitely more than 50% women on the pot and it always is is um it's just a topic how... it has been such a male dominated industry and um it's great now that there is more diversity, more inclusion. Some of the stereotypes of buyers are going away because now millennials are buyers of of stuff, right? Like it's we're all moving in and kicking out the boomers and everything so well more than that we're all craving, you know, connection with each other, right? I'm not going to go into the buzzword of empathy, but it's a true thing, right? I go most of my day, not actually talking to a human being because I sit in front of my computer and I work from home. So I think that's why this emphasis on communities that we're seeing, where there's ones cropping up all over the place. I think that's why that's been successful. Yeah, I couldn't agree more. Alright, well, last but not least at all because this is the most important question to me by far. I need a secret place to eat. Give me give me one of your favorite spots. It could be where you live, it could be where you travel. Doesn't matter. Give me a spot that we can go grab a bite or people who are listening can go explore Gordo's in Austin. Gordo's in Austin and you have to order the Ron burgundy. Okay, so so Gordo's, they have, it's one of those places where the bun is made out of donut but it's not like glazed or sweet or anything, it's just like the crispy texture where the outside is crispy and the inside is warm and on the Ron burgundy there is, there's egg, there's bacon, there's shed. Er I mean if you like a burger, this is like the burger you have to have. If you go to Austin the Ron burgundy at Gordo's, I'll start working out right now to put on those calories. I love it. Nikki so great to have you on. Thank you so much and psyched to just be connected. I love it. Thanks so much. That is our show. Thank you so much for listening. If you love this show, please rate and review apple podcasts. Spotify and I see that you're not rating and reviewing. I see you're not so you're listening. Rate and review. Go do it right now. Give me five minutes of your time, smash the subscribe button, too. By the way, while you're at it reminder of this episode was brought to you by Sandoz.

So they deliver modern direct mail, personalized gifts and other physical impressions that make your outreach more personal. I had fun. I hope you did too. Now go smash your numbers. Mm hmm.

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