The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

Ep 13: Leading Our People Well feat Catie Ivey

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Leading Our People Well feat Catie Ivey, RVP of Sales at Demandbase

Bok. Hello everyone and welcome tothe revenue collective podcast. I'm your launch host, Justin Welsh, member ofthe Los Angeles Chapter of revenue collective. In inside of these episodes we're goingto feature ideas and conversations that are inspired by ongoing discussions within the revenue collectivecommunity across the globe. In inside of the RC slack channel. There hasbeen a lot of talk recently around how to lead our people effectively, notjust coaching and mentoring, but doing so in a way that embraces and celebratesdiversity. We're going to cover all of that in a little bit more insideof this episode with our guest, our VP of national sales at demand base, Katie I v. before we dive in with Katie, a few quicknotes. If you're out there listening and you want to join revenue collective,visit revenue collectivecom in click apply now. I also want to thank our amazingpodcast sponsor, outreach, the number one sales engagement platform. Outreach revolutionizes customerengagement by moving away from silod conversations to a streamlined, in customer centric journey. Leveraging the next generation of artificial intelligence, the platform allows sales reps to deliverconsistent, relevant and responsible communication for each prospect every time, enabling personalizationat scale that was previously unthinkable. Okay, let's get the show started with KatieIvy. Our guest today is Katie Ivy. Katie is the regional vicepresident of sales at demand base, which is a leading be tobe marketing platformwith deep expertise in Martek and leveraging technology to scale revenue teams. Katie spendsa ton of her time these days working with sales, marketing and customer successleaders to help drive synergy across teams. Katie, welcome to the show.Thanks so much. Just a just and great to be here. Yeah,it's great to have you and before we kind of jump into the topic thatwe're going to discuss today, I'd love to just learn a little bit moreabout your journey to becoming the rvp of sales over at demand base. Surething. It seems like a common theme that I hear quite often from salesleader these days, but I most definitely stumbled into sales. I call myselfan accidental salesperson. Had A bit of a unique journey. Right out ofhigh school. I ended up traveling working for a nonprofit for almost five yearsstudy political science. Thought I was going to go a very different path thanthen landed what ended up being an amazing sales gig with a very international company. Found myself making cold calls literally day one. It was such an unexpectedkind of turn of events, but it turned out probably three to four monthsin, that I was just obsessed. I loved the thrill, the pace, the journey, the people that I got to work with, a senseof building and building a team and being on a team and really have donesales and tech sales and primarily MARTECH sales and sales leadership really since since thatday. I made a transition into leading teams relatively early, I think,partly because I had some experience pre college where I'd been leading teams. Somost of my journey and my experience has been more in the leaders side ofthe House as opposed to sales, which I think is maybe a little bitunique. Definitely, and you know you kind of fall into sales accidentally,and I hear that like from it's funny. Almost every guest that comes on theshow is like, I'm sort of an accidental salesperson, but they don'tall have that necessarily quick progression into leadership like you'd like. You did somesome folks take seven years, some takes ten years. So you know,we've all had to now do something even different where we're quickly progressing into remotesales leaders so I'm curious how is that transition been been for you so far? That is a good question. This is the first time in my careerthat I've been managing a hundred percent remote team. I will tell you Imiss being in an office something terrible and I absolutely missed working with customers spacetofaceas well. So it's been a challenging few months. It's interesting thinking backeven to my slightly atypical background of transitioning...

...to the leadership so quickly. Ifound the management side of sales really, really natural, but it took mea much longer, I think, to feel like I was such a naturalat the selling motion. So a lot of if I think of the firstfive years of my career, so a lot of time was spent focused onhow do I perfect those skills in the midst of while I'm running larger andlarger teams and trying to, you know, exude confidence in areas where I wasn'talways, you know, so confident. The last three and four months hasbeen a little bit of that. A lot of what I feel likeI'm so natural at is around creating strong cultures. I'm really good at connectingwith people on a one on one level, great at building relationships and identifying strengthsand helping reps do that. And, let's be honest, that's much harderto do remote and over zoom. I'm certainly have some of that zoomfatigue. We all talk about tired of being on video for eight to tenhours a day, but have been very purposeful at trying to identify what arethe things that I feel like make me strong as a leader in a facetofaceteam environment and how do I translate those, you know, day in a dayout, even as kind of the routine and the day to day ischanged so much. Yeah, it's interesting. I think when I talk to peoplewe always tend to sort of focus on what is become really challenging withmoving from being in person to being remote, and we always say like Oh,I have zoom fatigue or Hey, I'm you know, I'm kind oftired of be on video. For Age ten hours. I think that that'stotally understandable. Has Anything gone explicitly well that's been surprising to you? HasAnything moving from you know, in person to remote, just have like wow, this was actually easier remote than it is in person for you? SoI love that question because actually, yes, for me personally, there's certainly somethings that have been almost a big leap forward. I feel like inmy career, part of it as I've taken a lot more control over mycalendar and how I spent my time. We all know being in an officeenvironment there's people coming out the woodwork all the time, there's conversations that areconstantly happening and the positive is that a ton of that mentorship and knowledge transfercan happen in a really authentically and those settings. But it also means thatyou're pulled in a million directions and it's very hard to dictate how you're goingto spend your time unless you've literally, you know, lock yourself in aconference room or or behind a door somewhere. So, being working remote, I'vecertainly created more structure around how I use my time and even some reallysimple things like who use gone and I love spending time reviewing gone calls andcoming up with some things that reps are doing really well or interesting things thatwe're hearing. It even from customers, what we're seeing in the landscape,the market, feedback we're getting on the product, and that's always something thatis on my agenda and there's a plan to do it, but you getpulled in so many different directions that sometimes, you know, anything that's not urgentat that exact moment sort of falls by the wayside. I think it'scertainly being remote has definitely allowed me to decide what is going to be importantversus urgent and making sure and deciding to get that the important things done asopposed to just all the last minute things that pop up. Yeah, youknow, it really kind of interesting thought for me is I feel the sameway, like I feel like I've been able to sort of organize my timearound what is most important, what is most urgent. That, to me, has come naturally as someone who's been working remote for a little while myself. How do you look into your team and find those folks on your team, whether their frontline managers, whether their individual contributors? How do you findthe people that are struggling to do the same thing now that their environment hasbeen shifted. Yeah, it's a good question and my team's interesting because Ihave a pretty big range. I have some folks that are relatively junior andhave been in closing roles maybe for one to two years, and then I'vegot other folks that have been doing it for ten years plus, and soit's there's some differences in some nuances there. And the first thing when we didsome personality assessment test really early during work from home, just to understandin some of this I kind of intuitively thought that I knew, but Iwanted to make sure I understood. I mean even something as simple is,is this person an introvert versus an extrovert? Like introverts get their energy from beingalone, extroverts get their energy from being with other people, which meanswhen we're locked in our houses, the energy factor is a massive challenge.So some sure simple things of identifying how...

...people are wired and then also,really early on, having one on one conversations around. Talk to me abouthow you like to use your time. What do you feel likes going welland where you getting stuck or where are you struggling and I certainly identified earlyon, especially some of those folks that were younger or that didn't have greatwork from home setups, which a lot of my teams in Manhattan, sothat's a ton of them that didn't have great setups. There were some reallysimple things that I could help with or do to try to remove some ofthose obstacles. The goal was obviously to not micromanage in any way and kindof create this you must fit into the structure, but try to identify onesthat were struggling more in this new environment. Into your point, reflecting on youknow, how do I use my time well? What am I naturallygood at? How does that translate into a remote environment? It's a lotof that just kind of has to happen, I think, in a one onone setting. Definitely, and you mentioned something you know there which you'reinteresting, which is, like you know, a lot of us are. Thisis the first time for a lot of us in remote in remote roles, and you know, let's be very clear, two thousand and twenty hasbeen, in an interesting year in so many different ways. A lot ofthings are changing. I think going remote is just one of them. Butthe world is continuing to progress in other ways. There's there's now a majorfocus on not just a celebration of diversity but also taking action to build reallydiverse high performance leadership teams. So how have you focused on creating that environmentwithin your team while also, you know, learning to go remote, learning thesenew skills, helping your team? How is that? How are youdoing that right now in your current day to day? Yes, so there'sa couple, I think, pieces to that question that are really relevant.Obviously, and I love that you use the word interesting, which I usethis the same word for two thousand and twenty. But it's been challenging onso many different levels and this whole very mean for a lot of us.A much more recent focus on diversity and some of what's been going on aroundus has been really, really confronting. So I guess the first answer tothat question in terms of how we're tackling that or handling that even just atthe team and the one on one level, it's been having some really open andreally uncomfortable conversations with my team. We've been reading a couple of bookstogether. We've been doing some things collectively at demand base as well, justfocused around what are the areas where we just really need to learn and identifywhat our biases may be and what the gaps are and then, even atthe company level, identify what are areas where we absolutely need to get betterand figure out how do we more aggressively move in a more diverse direction.In my own career I focused a ton on getting more women into sales andwomen into sales leadership, and that's certainly been kind of my lane that I'veplayed in when we talk about diversity, but recognizing over the last number ofmonths at that's it's too small of a lane like that. The conversation arounddiversity just has to be so much bigger and and for a lot of usthe starting point is being willing to have those tough conversations in environments where maybeit doesn't feel quite so natural. I can't remember now I got so passionateabout that topic. There was another layer to that question and I think Itook it in a different direction. No, it's actually it was a really agreat answer, but it opens me up to something else that I'm thinkingabout. I interviewed Daniella Blair. She is the the head of sales overat shopify a couple of weeks ago and she was talking to me a littlebit about women in sales and one thing that we were discussing is, youknow, she said, oftentimes there's this idea that women can be a bitmore timid in raising their hand or, you know, using their voice powerfully. And I don't mean to paint with a broad brush. Obviously not notnot all women by any means, but she she had said that to meduring the podcast and she was working on really getting her voice out there andtaking charge. And I'd be curious, as a strong woman in sales,how do you feel as though this this remote sort of shift in two thousandand twenty? Has that been, you know, empowering to women in sales? Has that been helpful? Has that been hurtful? I would love tosort of understand it from from a strong woman in sales leadership's perspective. Yeah, it's a good question because I could argue both sides of that. There'scertainly in need now to be much more vocal and to think broader and biggerthan just your current role, and I think that's true for all of us. And to your point, even just...

...from your conversation with Danielle. She'sabsolutely correct that, historically and in part of it's literally how we in oursociety, how we raise little girls different than little boys. The boys,Yep, our bread to be risk takers and take chances and it's okay ifyou fall down and scrape your knee, and girls are bred to be caredfor and project this image of perfection. And so that translates into the factthat as females, we are often more resent to put up our hand foran opportunity, for example, if we don't feel a hundred percent qualified,maybe we're not sure if we have all of the right things to say orall the right things on our resume. To your question, around this remoteworld, I think it's created some great opportunity, certainly, and I've beenleaning into these big time in terms of just working harder to build my personalbrand, being very cognizant of building relationships online through channels like linkedin and twitter, publishing more content, trying to be more vocal. But I notice evenin myself there's absolutely that, you know, mentality, or the the trap thatI fall into. Of I'm not sure if this is quite good enoughor I'm not sure if I have quite the expertise to speak out on thesecertain topics, and I think that's one thing that's been interesting. I've spenta lot of time, obviously during the season, analyzing linkedin and some ofwhat I'm doing there and recognizing what a massive gap there is in really strongfemale leadership voices, particularly in sales, which is very much kind of theplace that I play in, and a lot of that, I think that'scome down to the fact that because we are a bit more hesitant to leanin and put out content until we feel like it's packaged up well enough andit's, you know, something that we've been researching and learning about for thelast five years, to have this perfectly crafted perspective, and that seems tobe a little bit different for the opposite gender. Again, painting with broadstrokes, to use your words. Sure, absolutely, and as someone who youknow, I wrote a newsletter for over a year just on really strongcontent on Linkedin and I remember it was part of my goal was to shinea light on a diverse population of folks who are turning out great content onLinkedin, and I can just remember scrolling through my feet and just saying,wow, there's not not as many, you know, vocal female sales leaderson Linkedin is, as I would love to see, and so it's I'mreally glad to hear that that's something that that you're leaning into, because Ithink there's there's just such a massive opportunity there. So that's really awesome tohear and I've seen your stuff. So congratulations. That's awesome. I'd loveto maybe transition a bit more to the tactical side of people leadership and Iknow that, like, you and I had connected before the podcast and thatyou sort of have this ethos or this mantra that you were sharing with me, which was like managing the you know, the whole person, versus just managingto the numbers, and I'd love to know. Can you tell mea little bit about more about where that came from, I guess, firstof all, and then how do you do that specifically? Yeah, soin terms of where it came from, and I think I've always as apeople oriented leader and probably, honestly, as someone that struggled at sales earlyon in my career, I have a lot of empathy for folks that feellike they're working really, really hard and struggling to put some of the dotstogetherther so one of the things that I've focused on really from day one isfocusing on strengths before I focus on gaps and weaknesses. And again we're talkinglike on a one on one level with with reps that have worked for meand leaders that have worked for me, and so I think that has helpedme kind of craft and awareness of that whole person. You know who's thisindividual? What do they bring to the table? What's that kind of hiddensuperpower, that unique thing about who they are that, if I can figureout how to harness it and get them to really lean into that strength,I know it's going to make them better and all the other areas and helpoffset some of those maybe other errors where they're not quite as strong. Doesn'tmean we don't pay attention to the things that need to improve, of course, but making sure I understand you know what's the big picture, what's thatperson working towards? Where do they want to be? You know, notjust the classic where do you see yourself in five years, but really youknow what gets this person out of bed every single day and makes them wantto be great at their job and trying to spend time on that and Ithink that's probably ties into your earlier question to around maybe some of the positivesor things that at least have potential to come out of this strange or interestingseason that we're all living through. I...

...think there's certainly been even more ofa requirement to take a step back and make sure that I'm managing to theindividual as opposed to this one size fits all, because there is such adiversity in every person and why they do what they do and what makes themgreat at what they do. So I think that that's another thing with thiscovid environment that at least I've personally focused a lot on. What are thethings that you know in a new selling environment? What are the gaps?Are you and I all know the people that can walk into a room andown that room and literally build trust in an instant, and that doesn't happenthe same way over Soem so. So how do we compensate for that one? Are the other things that that can work with that individual to do tolearn to build different strength and leaning into that same strength in different ways?So I think that's probably part of maybe where that that ethos or that kindof mantracking came from from my perspective good and you know, I heard likehey, you know, there might be some folks in your team who arestruggling or who aren't being able to put the pieces together, you know,right away as they come into a new sales environment. And I'm curious,with with covid in the mix, has your style changed around that particular person, that person that is struggling, that person that is not putting the piecestogether? Are You more empathetic? Is it business as usual for you with, you know, performance, you know management and things like that? I'dlove to hear the impact on simply how you think about the struggling folks onyour team right now. They're definitely has to be more of a layer ofempathy and at least in a cognizance and a willingness to dig in and tryto understand at a different level. I think we also we can't lose sightof the fact that the last four months that we've lived through is just massivelystressful for not just the people that work for us, the people that wereselling to you know, every element of human interaction has shifted and there's somuch uncertainty and the pace of change is so incredibly different. So I absolutelydon't think there's the capacity for just business as usual. It doesn't mean thatwe're lacks and not paying attention. I certainly have, you know, veryclearly outlined. There's it's pretty clear what reaps that work on my team haveto do to be successful. We understand all the leading indicators, the numbers. What does the funnel need to look like? But we've also had torecognize, and I've had to recognize as a leader, that there's been alot of things that we faced. You know, think February, March,April, things that are very outside of the control of that salesperson. SoI've been much more cognizant, I think, more than ever, to identify whatare the things that that person's doing well? Are there certain things thatare working or there are there things that we can identify in ways that Ican showcase that individual that might not just be about the numbers, because,I mean, let's face it, there's a lot of things and I'm reallylucky to sell into a space that still spending money in the midst of Covidsome sales teams do not have that luxury right now. And there's things thatdoesn't matter how incredible their team is, there's just going to be a slowdownon the revenue side of the House and I think that we absolutely have toidentify that and take ownership there. Let's take a look at the opposite endof the spectrum. So you know there's more empathy. It can't be businessas usual, but there are clear performance expectations for folks who are struggling duringduring covid. Let's take the person who has been struggling. You put theminto a remote environment and suddenly maybe they're that introvert, maybe they don't getthe energy away from around people in the in the office, and maybe they'rethriving at home. What's your personal thought on how this change is moving forward? If you see someone on your team who's really doing a great job,you know at home working through Covid, do you bring them back to theoffice or do you start to change the way you think about flexable work,about remote work in the future? Yeah, we definitely change the way that we'relooking at it. I personally meet selfishly. I love being in anoffice. It's definitely the environment that I personally thrive in. But there's nodenying that not every person on my team is wired the same way and I'vehad countless conversations with seller, sales leaders, marketing leaders. A lot of folksthat their team is as productive, if not more productive. So Ithink it's all about open lines of communication understanding what folks that work for youneed during this season. But I think we have to breath look at howwhat we think about remote, remote work holistically. I agree. I youknow, I did a survey at the last business that I was at andas someone who's worked remotely before my my...

...thought was was going to be thatninety five percent of people would respond and say we want to work from home, and that just wasn't the case. You know, most especially some ofthe newer or younger sales professionals on the team. They missed that Camaraderie,they miss that in the office and I just I just wasn't expecting that.So to me that was a huge learning are you seeing that a large percentageof your sales team or a small percentage? I'd be curious to hear from you. Over demand based, do you think the team wants to thrive andcome back into the office? Most of my folks want to be in theoffice. I don't think that they want a nine to five, five daysa week expectation to be in the office, but percentagewise, probably eighty percent ofmy guys want to be back in an office. So interesting to me. I just I just imagine that after after having worked ahead in an officefor a long time, but at that it's neither here nor there. Weremaybe I really appreciate work in the most fun off as possible. Maybe itjust means my office is really, really amazing. Most likely that's awesome.Well, well, thanks, thanks for sharing sort of how you think about, you know, remote work, how you think about empathy right now,how you think about diversity. I think that's that's really really interesting stuff.In really powerful Katie. And you know, we're kind of getting ready to wrapup here, which means we do something really cool at the end ofeach of these episodes and it's called our quick fire five and it's just fivequestions where we try and get off the cuff kind of real answers from executiverevenue leaders like yourself. Ready. I'm ready awesome. I know that you'rea big reader. Tell me about a book that you've read that has changedyour perspective on life? Oh, I just read a book called Waking UpWhite. That was revolutionary, awesome. Why was it a revolutionary it wasjust a very different and interesting perspective on a white woman similar to myself,recognizing a lot of areas of bias and perspective around how she was raised andhow that framed how she saw the world. Very cool. What is your mostcontroversial perspective on startup culture? Something that you hear, you know,people say all the time that you think is just, you know, maybeBS. I think we talked about potential and high potential people way, waytoo much. When you say we talk about people with high potential too much, what exactly do you mean? Fun enough ties into a different book thatI read recently. It's called nine lies about work, and basically the liethat they break down, or one of them, is all about this conceptof potential and we lean on that as a crutch as leader so often thatwe figure out there certain people that have more potential than others and we poura lot of resources into them, as opposed to really breaking down what isgreat look like in a lot of different ways and putting people in the environmentwhere they are and actually built to thrive. Very cool. Interesting. Nine liesat work is that it was called line lies about work. I thinknot in lies about work. Okay, cool, off to pick that up. That sounds really interesting. You're going to close a really big deal withyour team and you need one song, a song that just amps you upand pumps you up. What are you plan who runs the World Girls Nice? Very good. What is something that Katie Ivy is world class and Iam really, really good at managing sellers early in their career, helping thembuild kind of that first layer of confidence and learn the building blocks of agreat bell career. Looks like that is an awesome answer, because I trulythink that a very underrated piece of your sales careers momentum, and I thinkthat if you can succeed very early in your career, that is the momentumthat a lot of folks need to have a very lengthy and successful career insales. That's great to hear. Great my lastly, kind of give theaudience your life motto or guiding principle that they can take home with them inuse today. Wow, you say the best for last. Yeah, mylife motto. I think people are incredible. I think that people have the capacityto do so much more than many of us accomplished, that many ofus play way too small and many people that we manage play way too smalland part of our job as leaders is...

...to open up that perspective and challengethem to do more. Cool, you heard it. They are leaders challengeor people. They're playing too small. But, by the way, Itend to agree with you. You know, as someone who's managed sellers for thelast, you know, eleven years, I've been absolutely shocked at what peoplecan do, especially, and not not to go down that rabbit hole, but especially generation Z. Some of the the sellers that I've brought intosome of the organizations recently, they are so, so many light years aheadof where I was when I was that age or that point in my career. So I'm with you, I think. I think folks are only getting better. So, Katie, this is this has been really excellent. Telleveryone how they can get in contact with you if they wanted to reach outand have a conversation or learn more about you. Yeah, sure. SoI'm fairly active on Linkedin, as I mentioned earlier. I'm Katie Ivy.It's Katie with a sea, so I'm usually pretty easy to find. Loveto engage and have conversations and Linkedin's probably the best channel. Awesome, andif folks on the revenue collective want to get ahold of you inside of thecollective what you're slack handle, I'm Katie IV Andy. Ste Awesome, Katie. Thank you so much. That was a ton of fun. Learned alot had a lot of fun chatting with you. Thank you so much forcoming on with me today and stay safe out there. Thank US and appreciateit.

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