The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 3 months ago

Ep 212: Dustin Deno, SVP Sales at Showpad Shares His Secrets Of Building A Strong Sales Culture

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Ep 212: Dustin Deno, SVP Sales at Showpad Shares His Secrets Of Building A Strong Sales Culture

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

Book. All right, y'all, welcome back to the pavilion podcast, where revenue leaders learn the tricks, tips and tactics they need to be successful in their roles. I'm your host, Tom a Lamo. Thank God it's Monday. Let's get into it. I've got I got a great interview today with Y'all, and I say that a lot, but this is a this is a real great one. Dustin Dono, svp of global sales over at show pad. What else can I say about dozen of them? The guys, just a pro and he's just got it dialed in. And we talked about his career, his growth trajectory. That really started at sales force and just learning the learning the business side, which I don't think gets talked about a lot in sales. Business Acumen, you know, happy being able to have conversations with, you know, sea level folks and what they care about, and then how that's translated to helping him run profitable, successful businesses, whether at show pad or in some of his prior lives as well. So really enjoyed the conversation with Dustin. He's my new Chicago neighbor nowadays, since I just moved here, so really enjoyed it, if y'all are going to like it too. Before we get to the content, let's do a quick twenty two shout out from our sponsor and then we'll get straight into it. All right, this month your episodes are brought to you by Dochabo, an award winning industry leader and trusted enterprise learning partner for more than two thousand of the world's best brands. Now let's get into our episode. All right, coming at us from Chicago, we've got dust and Deno from show pad. Dust, and how are you good? Good, how are you doing? Well, it's Friday morning, ray to get after it and, as I like to say, create distance on a Friday. So I'm excited to be chatting with you. Likewise, love. That's a how could go. But we just bonded over a little bit of some indie background, where you're from and...

...where a lot of my families from. I'd love to hear you know. Just like to get straight into it and I want to spend some time a little bit later on what you're doing at show pad, but I'm always interested in just in general in sales, like how did you get into sales and how did that sorry, if it was straight out of college or elsewhere. Yeah, things Tom and it's good to learn about your indy background as well. Good people from from Indiana. So I appreciate the connection. My my crew started, you know, out of college. My my father and uncle had a manufacturing business that they had built from, from really nothing and all the way up to, you know, couple million dollars in sales and had one or two big customers. And, you know, I'm coming out of college, I always thought I would be a part of the family business and so I enjoined that trying to run the expansion for that company in drive sales. So Right College I've I got into two sales through my family business and and over, over time, I started to you know, it was a contract manufacturing job shop type manufacture. Supplied components for a lot of other global contract manufacturers and OHMS and traditional manufacturing ease case. And after spending a lot of time there and that business continue to grow, I started to to realize, because I was really passionate about technology and technology and actually input impacted our our growth at my family business, that that, you know, I didn't want to to kind of sell the manufacturing space for the rest of my life. And so if I didn't want to do it for the rest of my life, I didn't want to do it tomorrow. And so the the The lady that sold sales force to us or to me at when I was at my family business, posted on Linkedin that there's a opening for their self.

Source was opening a a Chicago office and I kind of Said, well, what the heck, you know, maybe I'll give a tach a shot. I was really passionate about technology and wanted to be really good at sales and there's no better place to learn how to sell and then sales force when it comes to technology, and still source to even know. But I was driving back and forth from Loffia, Indianas Chicago for a while community after I got hired. Is that like an s andb Reps. I went from running a, you know, a decent sized sales organization to just being an individual contributor. Learned so much really quickly there and then continue to work up the ladder among in the a ranks at sales force and then, as soon as I possibly could, I transition to the leadership there, where I got to run run teams and then kind of built a brand of fixing certain teams and areas and then rounded out my career running the I was ABP for the retail consumer goods vertical surround, the vertical for the US across a two teams in San Racisco to New York, to in Chicago and a couple in Indianapolis. And so that's where I rounded up my career at the at sales force. But the the the humble beginnings of sales were were in the manufacturing space for the Family Business Nice. Very cool. You see so many sales leaders now that you know come from the the tree of sales force, especially during like the late s early tens, like you did. What is it about the training there, or was it about the training there that like really stuck with you and really seems to just create such sales excellence? There's there's there's really three things that I think they do. I mean it's just world class. Is the first is how they operationalize the business, so how they think about pipeline management, forecasting, how they think about deal inspection, how they manage the...

...pipeline in general is just it's top knots. They've kind of invented the way you should have proactively manage your pipeline. And obviously there's tools out there today that help you do that, but back then you you just build this muscle of operational excellence and rigor that that is, I think, a second to none when building the foundation for a cell seem. So that's the first thing I think they do really, really well. They've created the path to predictable revenue through, you know, operational excellence. Second is stay higher great people, and so you're always around phenomenal sellers and you just naturally either, you know, drift towards that water mark or or you don't really last there. And so it's when you're surrounded by great people it's much easier to to drive that excellence. And then their markets so big that you kind of get an MBA and their motion the way they teach you to sell, you know, it's very solution oriented. So you're you're having a lot of business conversations with so many different types of businesses and you have access to the sea level there that you you kind of get an NBA over time where you just learn how companies operate. You've seen, you know, ten companies that are in SISS or in manufacturing, whatever industry and you've seen all the business problems at those company that had and you're focused on key business problems for those customers because they're in the front on the revenue side. And so you just you you know almost rough us most is you get like an MBA because you've just seen so many case studies of customers in the velocity so high, and so I think those three things are such a recipe for for success. So then you just you can take that operational excellence the the eye and a billion to hire great talent and all the knowledge of how companies run and apply it over to most SASS businesses. And so I think that's why the lineage of, I think, strong sales ers house have come from there. You said earlier that you...

...know, part of your stretch and leadership there was like you were just kind of like fixing different problems across the business. I feel like that's a great opportunity for someone that's listening if they want to rise up the ranks wherever they are, is like go find problems. I'm curious, was that a proactive strategy of you to say hey, we're problems in the business that I can go solve and bring that to leadership or where you just kind of known as that guy and it's a hey dust and this team is, you know, they can't figure out their pipeline or whatever it is, like go fix it, like or maybe there's a combination of both. It's weird. I credit my manufacturing background for for this, as I was always you know, insis sales. You're not really worried about profit margin, right, you're not really worried about like efficiency. To a certain extent, you definitely weren't worried about it. You know, seven, eight years ago in sauce, when it was just about land capturing, like literally, you know, just capturing growth at all costs. But I have this like lean six sigma process, a sorted brain where I'm like wait, this process doesn't make sense for this area doesn't make sense. And so I have always learned that when I can hit my number as a seller but also work on the business and we're collaverty with other teams, like I'm am going to learn be I'm going to impact the company and see I like, I'm definitely going to be in the the pool to be looked at for for for leadership. And then when you have you kind of build that brand initially of you solving some problems. Then you can, you know, elevated too much, bigger roles faster because as you move up in a sales organization, those avps, you know stps, they're their focused only on fixing the problems and working on the business instead of, you know, just closing deals. So to me it was always something that I was passionate about it and it, you know, an insiss you can get in this motion where it's very repetitive. I always found it also is it...

...is kind of a release for me to to do something a little bit different and in you know, maybe be still excited about selling when I was a selling as well. So, yeah, it's sometimes, I tell my team today, it's like, especially if you're in my frontline leadership, like always have a problem you're fixing on the business or in the business, because it's you're so valuable to our organization outside of the number that you bring. I love that. I loved it. Fast forward a little bit to where you're at with show pad now. I saw your post recently coming off of S K oh. I think you said sixty one percent of people got a promotion last year is that? Is that in the whole company or in sales? Or that's crazy? Yes's in sales, you know, all the way from our bt ours through all of our a's and solutions engineering. That's the the scope that I have and you know, we've we've done has been very proactive, all building a career path at show pad where you know, you can get to different levels and then automatically get promoted, and we're continue to work on that throughout all the different roles that we have. But I think, you know, in today's talent market it's incredibly important that you create that career path for your team's and, more importantly, I think we should be looking to hire within, and so I my commercial team and my bed our organizations. I constantly hammering the idea that, like you, are the bench of talent for this company and in my job, is great that path for you to to be, you know, an enterprise seller starting even if you're starting out at SMB, and I think the impact that has on revenue, impact it has on cultures is so massive. Yeah, you may be able to find somebody with a little bit better talent or something, or a little bit more experience in as you move up market, but the ramp time and the ability to get people into the roles, particularly a crazy talent market like it is today, I've just found that it's it's much easier if you provide the right training, provide the right and even went around those people and invest in...

...them and promote them as they deliver results. I mean, you know, your your Hor organization grows very quickly. So that's been the you know, the thesis that I've I've tried to applies as we want to be the springboard for people's career and if we can do that, I find that the results typically typically come. So you know, that's the retention and and you know, making sure your people stay and are happy and get promoted is something that every sales lea or probably every leaders focused on and it's probably harder now than ever, just at least in the sales market. It's just crazy out there. So I'm curious from other folks that you talked to, are other places you've been, like, what's a what's a common mistake you see sales leaders make when they're figuring out kind of like what the promotion path should be internally for for their employees and trying to make sure that there's some sort of structure there for their teams and their people to grow. I try to make it like it shouldn't be ambiguous like like, for instance, with our bedr promotions. It's it's very straightforward. It's it's a certain time period of consistency of performance and then it's except it's an acknowledgement and finishing the training that we asked you to complete. And so once you hit the target on a consistent basis and you are trained for the next level of your your your role as a Dr, I. A senior DR or or heading into like our SB sales team, once you complete that training and you're performing like if we have a spot, you're eligible for it, and so it's creating that like goal oriented career pathing that makes it very black and white. I think just like anything, all people want a certainty and if you set a target for Pete, for sales people in general, and you automatically reward them if you have the capacity or open spots. So we constantly have people moving up through our Dr...

Ranks in a ranks that they know exactly what's next for them and we're trying to be as as as clear and transparent about what that is and if those metrics are hit by a certain percentage of our team, like our number is easy, and so that's the way we try to build that in. So the lesson ambiguity you can put it at, the better, in my opinion. I think, like we all want. I think also those those friend line managers having those one on one conversations right sometimes we get to focused on driving the the number and those one on one conversations. To me it's about driving the number in the context of that person's career. Like hitting the number is a step in the journey of what you're trying to do as a salesperson. So if you connect it always like hey, if you want to get into enterprise, here's what you got to do. It's talking about that deal or that quarter or or your pipeline relative to that long term from objective for that ae that I think it just aligns the a because they know what they're doing it for and they don't feel like I'm just I'm just showing up a number on the board, and so that's the that's the also the one on one coaching that we try to implement on our teams is everything should be in the context of that career, because I fundamentally view my job is my job is to provide the framework for people to be successful and promote them way faster than they could anywhere else. And Exchange I are like, yes, that's the agreement that we have. Is like all, I'll provide a very clear path for you to to advance your career and get you where you want to go and you give me R and we're in a good place. Yeah, so how do you? It's always a tricky balance because I've I've had bosses and VPS that I know very clearly give a shit about me and where I want to go, and I've had some that, you know, maybe that's in question. I think every salesperson could probably say the same. So how do you? How do you coach your leaders to make that part of the...

...conversation, if it's a quarterly basis or right when they first meet everyone, or how you go about doing that? Yeah, I mean if you're not a people first leader, where you're trying to invest in the team and yeah, like with in sales, there's accountability like that. That's that's kind of table six. But if we're not focus on those individuals and where they want to go, it's very, very difficult for us to do anything. And so, I mean it's almost like I do I don't. I can't imagine hiring a leader that doesn't think like that. So we spent a ton of time vetting that out and you see, the ones that do it the best are the ones that are the most successful. I mean, no one's perfect. So but yeah, I'm constantly talking about you know, when we have our leadership sessions or one on ones with my leaders, I'm always asking how's the team doing? Hot like we're so and so want to go. Like what are they thinking for the long term career? You know, so and so has been enroll for for eighteen months. Like what are what are? What are their career objectives? Are Re meeting them, you know, and are they delivering relative to the the skills and knowledge that they need to do that next step in their career? Like how are you coaching them through that Lens? So, yeah, it's just it's just like it's just like pipeline managements are constant, you know, just reiterating those things and it's almost become like just the language with how we speak from our team. So it's it's kind of ingrained in everything we do. Yeah, going back to transparency, which I think is huge for leading, I'm also starting to see a lot more of that in the hiring process and in the job market. Like I see, I sevp's of sales putting, you know, clear OTS on linkedin posts. There's companies, obviously like retview, that are like trying to, you know, bring some kind of GT type of mentality to what it's really like to work somewhere. So I'm curious, like when you're hiring for leaders, you mentioned like Hey, they have to be people first. We're trying to bet that out. What else are you looking for and how are you...

...how are you betting some of those things out in the interview process? Yeah, so one of the questions I asked is like when, when you started here, you know, how many people could you bring with you? HMM, or can you walk me through who you bring with you and why they're come with you? You know, I think one of my mentors, it sells first, one of the best seals leads I've ever met. He always say like be leader people fight to work for, and I find that those people that care about those people's careers. They always have people they can pull with them and their talent magnet and like. So that's like, I think, the biggest leading indicator or ways to understand whether that person has and you it, does it the right way. If they have people that follow them, you know, it's a very clear indicator that they are people first leader for sure. Wow, that's great. I love that. What. So we're kicking off the new year. Did you have a give a fiscal that starts in February or January? Yeah, Yep, February first is when we so, yeah, we just kicked off this month. So with the New Year, like you're obviously you really keyed into just the sales industry. Obviously member of Pavilion on the Board of Sales Assembly. A few other things, like what are you what are you seeing like as in terms of trends for sales or, you know, what you're thinking about for the team just in general this year? ANYTHING THAT COMES TO MIND? Yeah, it's crazy and I know it. You know there's so much talk about this with sales. Has Changed more than last two years and it did in the previous ten. Yeah, I mean you think about the you know, the relationship seller, the one that was like state dinners and Gulfs. That was trending out anyway, but it completely shut down. That's completely dead. So I think what we focus on is creating a you know, you know, I think there's also this consumerization of BTB that's happening where, you know, there's so much more is happening digital. You know, it's all distributed, everyone's remote. So how you manage that? That experience is completely different. So there's there's...

...the bridge and the gap between the digital and the physical that I think we have to continue to figure out, like how people show up on zoom calls, like we spend so much time, you know, getting detail and about the in person meeting. Now, like how does I was ever look? Feel like someone could be distracted looking on, like there's so many more things that get in the way of attention of your buyers. So, like that digital physical challenge is something we think about often. The second is the you know, that buyer experience is something that we're really passionate about. A show a bad. So how do we make sure that that experience is is amazing across the ord even if they don't buy? So we spent a ton of time thinking about, you know, being easy to buy from, removing friction from the buying process and making that experience really, really easy. So that's something that we're seeing across the board. We've INSASS with kind of over complicated the buying process. Sometimes in some areas we've completely simplified it with PLG and made it's super easy, and then other areas who made it so hard, and so I'm excited to work on that. And then I think the the last piece. When you there's so much technology, focus on the deal or focus on giving reps more time back, and I think what you're starting to see is this shift towards fixing the rep, like because the return on investment there is so much bigger. I give picks a deal and there's all these signals that I have now as a revenue leader that like Oh, this deals falling apart, or this still doesn't have engagement, or there's so many great technology and give you all the signal. But in the day you got to fix that what that person says, how they show up, and so that you're seeing that one one coaching conversations being way more important in today's world and so I think that's where you're going to see a shift. is going to bringing that back to human because, you know, more doesn't equal more anymore, like like some more people, more calls, more everything, more emails,...

...more outbound doesn't necessarily translate to more revenue anymore. It's about the right message at the right time, and so that oneone. Coaching is so important. And people have been talking about how, you know, seventy percent of the cycle is now owned by marketing or before they talk to a salesperson, and people just think that's like, oh, we got to focus on that big bucket. My point of view is we've now made that that time you have with a buyer much smaller. So intes, I mean it puts so much more pressure on that thirty percent. Yeah, and sellers just have to way better than they were before, and so that I think, focusing on that. That that seller, the buy experience and then the whole digital, physical kind of those are the things I'm seeing. Yeah, as a salesperson, I'm thinking a lot about the friction piece I was talking with. Did A podcast last night with Samm Kenna, who was talking about her solution to that is she calls it the urgent bird gets the worm and it's like she does not know. It's a little different because she runs her own show, but in the same sense, like she's not leaving her death before every and bound lead is followed up with, like she's making sure nothing slips through the cracks like that, and I think there's a lot of weight like when I'm thinking about that, I think urgency's key. I think not trying to add too many steps to the process, like, at least in my opinion, if you can, if they if you can merge, you know, multiple calls into into one, or you can merge three into two, or give them a sneak peek of the demo, you know, and not make them do thirty minutes of discovery first and get really good discovering fifteen. Like I think sales people need to be tinkering with different ways to be selling, because you know buyers, your sales cycle might be sixty days, but maybe the buyers ready and thirty. You know, and where can you tighten that up? So I think that's a great point in one that person I've just been thinking a lot about recently, that it's everything's changing and if you're not changing with it, or at least trying. I think it's it's really difficult to you can be I've going pretty quickly and it's good to see that you're hacking...

...your process, because we're so in our personal eys, like I can have anything delivered to my house in a matter of hours, right, and so when I like, subconsciously, when I go to buy technology, I want it easy, and if we're not trying to do that while also making sure that we're diagnosing the right problem and and the solution fits, you know, it's hard, but I think we always got to keep that top of mine for sure. All right, let me pivot to a couple rapid fires for you, dust and yeah, all right, so we're big learners on this podcast. I see little bookshelf above your right shoulder there, carris. If there's any books that have made a serious impact on you as a person or your career, and any topic is fair game. I'm going to pull it out. It's one of my favorite books. It's atomic habits. Oh, yeah, I've, I've. I've never read it twice and in fundamentally has changed my mornings and how I think about every day and there's nothing better to me than that routine that it's created and in the kind of the science behind habits and how we can form really good ones and get rid of really bad ones. It's definitely been an impactful book for me. So that's that's definitely one. And then the second one that I think is kind of frame my approach to sales leadership at a high level is the cells acceleration formula by marker bears. Like I love the way he thinks about maybe it's the manufacturing engineering side of me that I love the way he thinks about kind of proving things out before just adding a bunch of heads and growing for gross six. So but those are the two books that I think pretty hit home. The Must I love it. Any any habit that you've picked up or habit you've removed in the last I don't know. You're so that point. It's been helpful. Yeah, you know, as the sales are we're kind of naturally higher strong. So I guess I never thought this would impact me, but the...

...meditation for ten minutes a day is really really helped me. And then I also just make sure I sweat do some type of physical activity every day. Some is more intense than the others. But you know, if I can meditate and and and do some type of of work out or sweat, even if it's for ten fifteen minutes, those things have have impacted me. And then I'm also gotten it gotten into this like the cold showers type of whimhoff stuff. That's been pretty good for me as well. But those are the the three I think top you you get a sweat in, you meditate and breathe for a couple minutes and you can take a cold shower. Your entire world is different after that, like it is all that could happen in about forty five minutes. It's crazy. That's like everyone thinks it's like it. Once you do it for two weeks, it becomes just kind of a normal thing for you, and it's I mean I there's there's not a week day that goes by that I don't read ten pages of a book, Meditate, get a little sweat in and take a culch hour. So those are the things that definitely keep me going at my day start so early because I have, you know, about a hundred people over in Europe and so it really helps me kind of start to day take quickly. What time you waking up? I usually wake up a five hundred and thirty and then I usually start the calls around thirty or seven. Yeah, you know, I just hired a VP of a miasa. Maybe those will shrink a little bit of fern now we're it's been great to have a global experience of shop. Hads been a ton of fun. Nice. All right. How about any I'm not sure if you're a podcast guy, like any podcast you listen to or people you follow on Linkedin or youtube channels? Any any other you know, blogs, anything else that you kind of tuned into to, you know, work on your craft? Yeah, it's not. This is Sartain my craft, but all the all in podcasts with Chimah, David Sachs and and and those...

...guys has been something I religiously listen to every every Friday or Saturday when it comes out. I think just having the context of the world and and also they have a really good perspective on business. And you know, sacks is like kind of the the the king of sauce when it comes to to to venture, and so that that's the one I religiously listened to. I'm also big kind of how I built this. Just listening how companies people like great rumor of built companies. And then I listened to gongs podcast quite frequently as well as nice shout out to Devin read. Right. What? What? What goes through the headphones? Music Wise, on spotify? Oh yeah, that's a that's interesting. Why? I'm kind of all over the board, and I though such a cliche answer, but you know, I was a big fan of the halftime show. So Oh, yeah, it's all that's kind of like my high school, College or college music. So that that was fun. And then, I don't know. I also know there's Times where I'm I feel the country vibe all the way. And then I grew up going to like Dave Matthews concerts of that kind of chill music. And then, yeah, so I'm kind of all over the place, depend on the mood. But yeah, yeah, you you can't be listened Dave Matthews before thirty am called on Friday. Like that's more like Dr Drake time. Ye, all right. My last one for you doesn't is. Who would you want to see next come on the pavilion podcast? Oh Wow, there's there's so many great, great people doing amazing work in the space there's there's a lot of innovation going in on in manufacturing technology and I think there's anyone in those those kind of traditional industries. So I'm on the advise for a company called, you know, amper and like the innovation that they're driving in...

...the manufacturing space is amazing and so, like I feel like they don't get like those those technologies are actually making like a really huge impact into like bringing work back to America, like optimizing manufacturing back in the state's ties, back to what I'm I'm kind of my upbringing. But there's so many of those great technologies I don't think get a lot of voice in the market. So that would be a good one. And we have some great sales leaders here it show pad. That I think a really good but yeah, I've there. There's so many great sellers and go to market leaders I don't think you should have an issue picking but I think, yeah, there's a lot of aspect into some show pad people. Yeah, the product. Sorry, I I no one's really jumping off my head are off the bat, but yeah, it's a problem. All right. I got actually one more for you that I skip before. Obviously, Pavilion Networking Community trying to upload, everyone's trying to up level. What's your number one networking tip for people? Yeah, I always try to add value. Like, yeah, I've I've been, you know, for whether it's, you know, a platform, the we buy, if we buy it, I always try to reach out to those those those vp of sales or Cerros and and say, Hey, I bought it because I believe in it and if you need me to to help with a customer, I can tell how the embact, I can tell them the impact it made for me and I think from a networking perspective, I've always tried to lead with value and then I found that it like pays me back in ten fold. And so, you know, pretticular pavilion like I, you know, I'll go and answer a bunch of questions and if I see someone just getting in the dialog but being very generous and with with any wisdom or most of the time it's because I've made the mistake myself. So...

...saying helping people dodge dodge bullets are but I think anytime you can just continually add and be generous with value, it comes back ten folds. So that that would be my advice. Is Fine. Where you can add value and give it away, and then you'll see the network just comes to I love it, man dust, and thank you for for coming on. I love the conversation. Before I let you go, can you let people know where they can if they want to connect with you, if they want to learn more about show pad? Where are some of the best places for folks to go? Yeah, just on linked Annis, just US and down O, and then www dotshowpadcom's our website's we usually got a lot of great content, you can assume as well. But more than happy to chat with anyone about revenue and adment, sales namement and and sales coaching. So yeah, that's really fine, awesome. Thanks US and appreciate it. Thanks Hu. All Right, folks, this episode was brought to you by Doch Abo. Do Chebo is redefining the future of enterprise learning with its AI based learning suite. With Dochebo, you can create and manage engaging content, the liver training to customers, partners or employees and measure how learning impacts your people and your business, all with a single suite. Find your learning and development suite spot at dochebocom. Thank you for listening to this episode. Feel free to give me some feedback on Linkedin. My name is Tom Alemo. Hit Subscribe and, until next week, get after it, y'all, boots.

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