The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 2 years 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 to the revenue collective podcast. I'm your launch host, Justin Welsh, member of the Los Angeles Chapter of revenue collective. In inside of these episodes we're going to feature ideas and conversations that are inspired by ongoing discussions within the revenue collective community across the globe. In inside of the RC slack channel. There has been a lot of talk recently around how to lead our people effectively, not just coaching and mentoring, but doing so in a way that embraces and celebrates diversity. We're going to cover all of that in a little bit more inside of this episode with our guest, our VP of national sales at demand base, Katie I v. before we dive in with Katie, a few quick notes. 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 amazing podcast sponsor, outreach, the number one sales engagement platform. Outreach revolutionizes customer engagement 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 deliver consistent, relevant and responsible communication for each prospect every time, enabling personalization at scale that was previously unthinkable. Okay, let's get the show started with Katie Ivy. Our guest today is Katie Ivy. Katie is the regional vice president of sales at demand base, which is a leading be tobe marketing platform with deep expertise in Martek and leveraging technology to scale revenue teams. Katie spends a ton of her time these days working with sales, marketing and customer success leaders 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 that we're going to discuss today, I'd love to just learn a little bit more about your journey to becoming the rvp of sales over at demand base. Sure thing. It seems like a common theme that I hear quite often from sales leader these days, but I most definitely stumbled into sales. I call myself an accidental salesperson. Had A bit of a unique journey. Right out of high school. I ended up traveling working for a nonprofit for almost five years study political science. Thought I was going to go a very different path than then 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 unexpected kind of turn of events, but it turned out probably three to four months in, that I was just obsessed. I loved the thrill, the pace, the journey, the people that I got to work with, a sense of building and building a team and being on a team and really have done sales and tech sales and primarily MARTECH sales and sales leadership really since since that day. 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. So most of my journey and my experience has been more in the leaders side of the House as opposed to sales, which I think is maybe a little bit unique. 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 the show is like, I'm sort of an accidental salesperson, but they don't all have that necessarily quick progression into leadership like you'd like. You did some some 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 remote sales 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 career that I've been managing a hundred percent remote team. I will tell you I miss being in an office something terrible and I absolutely missed working with customers spacetoface as well. So it's been a challenging few months. It's interesting thinking back even to my slightly atypical background of transitioning...

...to the leadership so quickly. I found the management side of sales really, really natural, but it took me a much longer, I think, to feel like I was such a natural at the selling motion. So a lot of if I think of the first five years of my career, so a lot of time was spent focused on how do I perfect those skills in the midst of while I'm running larger and larger teams and trying to, you know, exude confidence in areas where I wasn't always, you know, so confident. The last three and four months has been a little bit of that. A lot of what I feel like I'm so natural at is around creating strong cultures. I'm really good at connecting with people on a one on one level, great at building relationships and identifying strengths and helping reps do that. And, let's be honest, that's much harder to do remote and over zoom. I'm certainly have some of that zoom fatigue. We all talk about tired of being on video for eight to ten hours a day, but have been very purposeful at trying to identify what are the things that I feel like make me strong as a leader in a facetoface team environment and how do I translate those, you know, day in a day out, even as kind of the routine and the day to day is changed so much. Yeah, it's interesting. I think when I talk to people we always tend to sort of focus on what is become really challenging with moving 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 of tired of be on video. For Age ten hours. I think that that's totally understandable. Has Anything gone explicitly well that's been surprising to you? Has Anything moving from you know, in person to remote, just have like wow, this was actually easier remote than it is in person for you? So I love that question because actually, yes, for me personally, there's certainly some things that have been almost a big leap forward. I feel like in my career, part of it as I've taken a lot more control over my calendar and how I spent my time. We all know being in an office environment there's people coming out the woodwork all the time, there's conversations that are constantly happening and the positive is that a ton of that mentorship and knowledge transfer can happen in a really authentically and those settings. But it also means that you're pulled in a million directions and it's very hard to dictate how you're going to spend your time unless you've literally, you know, lock yourself in a conference room or or behind a door somewhere. So, being working remote, I've certainly created more structure around how I use my time and even some really simple things like who use gone and I love spending time reviewing gone calls and coming up with some things that reps are doing really well or interesting things that we'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 that is on my agenda and there's a plan to do it, but you get pulled in so many different directions that sometimes, you know, anything that's not urgent at that exact moment sort of falls by the wayside. I think it's certainly being remote has definitely allowed me to decide what is going to be important versus urgent and making sure and deciding to get that the important things done as opposed to just all the last minute things that pop up. Yeah, you know, it really kind of interesting thought for me is I feel the same way, like I feel like I've been able to sort of organize my time around 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 find the people that are struggling to do the same thing now that their environment has been shifted. Yeah, it's a good question and my team's interesting because I have a pretty big range. I have some folks that are relatively junior and have been in closing roles maybe for one to two years, and then I've got other folks that have been doing it for ten years plus, and so it's there's some differences in some nuances there. And the first thing when we did some personality assessment test really early during work from home, just to understand in some of this I kind of intuitively thought that I knew, but I wanted 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 being alone, extroverts get their energy from being with other people, which means when 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 about how you like to use your time. What do you feel likes going well and where you getting stuck or where are you struggling and I certainly identified early on, especially some of those folks that were younger or that didn't have great work from home setups, which a lot of my teams in Manhattan, so that's a ton of them that didn't have great setups. There were some really simple things that I could help with or do to try to remove some of those obstacles. The goal was obviously to not micromanage in any way and kind of create this you must fit into the structure, but try to identify ones that were struggling more in this new environment. Into your point, reflecting on you know, how do I use my time well? What am I naturally good at? How does that translate into a remote environment? It's a lot of that just kind of has to happen, I think, in a one on one setting. Definitely, and you mentioned something you know there which you're interesting, which is, like you know, a lot of us are. This is 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 has been, in an interesting year in so many different ways. A lot of things are changing. I think going remote is just one of them. But the world is continuing to progress in other ways. There's there's now a major focus on not just a celebration of diversity but also taking action to build really diverse high performance leadership teams. So how have you focused on creating that environment within your team while also, you know, learning to go remote, learning these new skills, helping your team? How is that? How are you doing that right now in your current day to day? Yes, so there's a couple, I think, pieces to that question that are really relevant. Obviously, and I love that you use the word interesting, which I use this the same word for two thousand and twenty. But it's been challenging on so 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 around us has been really, really confronting. So I guess the first answer to that question in terms of how we're tackling that or handling that even just at the team and the one on one level, it's been having some really open and really uncomfortable conversations with my team. We've been reading a couple of books together. We've been doing some things collectively at demand base as well, just focused around what are the areas where we just really need to learn and identify what our biases may be and what the gaps are and then, even at the company level, identify what are areas where we absolutely need to get better and 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 and women into sales leadership, and that's certainly been kind of my lane that I've played in when we talk about diversity, but recognizing over the last number of months at that's it's too small of a lane like that. The conversation around diversity just has to be so much bigger and and for a lot of us the starting point is being willing to have those tough conversations in environments where maybe it doesn't feel quite so natural. I can't remember now I got so passionate about that topic. There was another layer to that question and I think I took it in a different direction. No, it's actually it was a really a great answer, but it opens me up to something else that I'm thinking about. I interviewed Daniella Blair. She is the the head of sales over at shopify a couple of weeks ago and she was talking to me a little bit about women in sales and one thing that we were discussing is, you know, she said, oftentimes there's this idea that women can be a bit more 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 not not all women by any means, but she she had said that to me during the podcast and she was working on really getting her voice out there and taking 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 thousand and twenty? Has that been, you know, empowering to women in sales? Has that been helpful? Has that been hurtful? I would love to sort 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's certainly in need now to be much more vocal and to think broader and bigger than 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's absolutely correct that, historically and in part of it's literally how we in our society, 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 if you fall down and scrape your knee, and girls are bred to be cared for and project this image of perfection. And so that translates into the fact that as females, we are often more resent to put up our hand for an 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 or all the right things on our resume. To your question, around this remote world, I think it's created some great opportunity, certainly, and I've been leaning into these big time in terms of just working harder to build my personal brand, being very cognizant of building relationships online through channels like linkedin and twitter, publishing more content, trying to be more vocal. But I notice even in myself there's absolutely that, you know, mentality, or the the trap that I fall into. Of I'm not sure if this is quite good enough or I'm not sure if I have quite the expertise to speak out on these certain topics, and I think that's one thing that's been interesting. I've spent a lot of time, obviously during the season, analyzing linkedin and some of what I'm doing there and recognizing what a massive gap there is in really strong female leadership voices, particularly in sales, which is very much kind of the place that I play in, and a lot of that, I think that's come down to the fact that because we are a bit more hesitant to lean in and put out content until we feel like it's packaged up well enough and it's, you know, something that we've been researching and learning about for the last five years, to have this perfectly crafted perspective, and that seems to be a little bit different for the opposite gender. Again, painting with broad strokes, to use your words. Sure, absolutely, and as someone who you know, I wrote a newsletter for over a year just on really strong content on Linkedin and I remember it was part of my goal was to shine a light on a diverse population of folks who are turning out great content on Linkedin, and I can just remember scrolling through my feet and just saying, wow, there's not not as many, you know, vocal female sales leaders on Linkedin is, as I would love to see, and so it's I'm really glad to hear that that's something that that you're leaning into, because I think there's there's just such a massive opportunity there. So that's really awesome to hear and I've seen your stuff. So congratulations. That's awesome. I'd love to maybe transition a bit more to the tactical side of people leadership and I know that, like, you and I had connected before the podcast and that you 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 managing to the numbers, and I'd love to know. Can you tell me a little bit about more about where that came from, I guess, first of all, and then how do you do that specifically? Yeah, so in terms of where it came from, and I think I've always as a people oriented leader and probably, honestly, as someone that struggled at sales early on in my career, I have a lot of empathy for folks that feel like they're working really, really hard and struggling to put some of the dots togetherther so one of the things that I've focused on really from day one is focusing on strengths before I focus on gaps and weaknesses. And again we're talking like on a one on one level with with reps that have worked for me and leaders that have worked for me, and so I think that has helped me kind of craft and awareness of that whole person. You know who's this individual? What do they bring to the table? What's that kind of hidden superpower, that unique thing about who they are that, if I can figure out 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 help offset some of those maybe other errors where they're not quite as strong. Doesn't mean 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 that person working towards? Where do they want to be? You know, not just the classic where do you see yourself in five years, but really you know what gets this person out of bed every single day and makes them want to be great at their job and trying to spend time on that and I think that's probably ties into your earlier question to around maybe some of the positives or things that at least have potential to come out of this strange or interesting season that we're all living through. I...

...think there's certainly been even more of a requirement to take a step back and make sure that I'm managing to the individual as opposed to this one size fits all, because there is such a diversity in every person and why they do what they do and what makes them great at what they do. So I think that that's another thing with this covid environment that at least I've personally focused a lot on. What are the things 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 and own that room and literally build trust in an instant, and that doesn't happen the 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 to learn 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 kind of mantracking came from from my perspective good and you know, I heard like hey, you know, there might be some folks in your team who are struggling 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 pieces together? Are You more empathetic? Is it business as usual for you with, you know, performance, you know management and things like that? I'd love to hear the impact on simply how you think about the struggling folks on your team right now. They're definitely has to be more of a layer of empathy and at least in a cognizance and a willingness to dig in and try to understand at a different level. I think we also we can't lose sight of the fact that the last four months that we've lived through is just massively stressful for not just the people that work for us, the people that were selling to you know, every element of human interaction has shifted and there's so much uncertainty and the pace of change is so incredibly different. So I absolutely don't think there's the capacity for just business as usual. It doesn't mean that we're lacks and not paying attention. I certainly have, you know, very clearly outlined. There's it's pretty clear what reaps that work on my team have to 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 to recognize, and I've had to recognize as a leader, that there's been a lot of things that we faced. You know, think February, March, April, things that are very outside of the control of that salesperson. So I've been much more cognizant, I think, more than ever, to identify what are the things that that person's doing well? Are there certain things that are working or there are there things that we can identify in ways that I can 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 really lucky to sell into a space that still spending money in the midst of Covid some sales teams do not have that luxury right now. And there's things that doesn't matter how incredible their team is, there's just going to be a slowdown on the revenue side of the House and I think that we absolutely have to identify that and take ownership there. Let's take a look at the opposite end of the spectrum. So you know there's more empathy. It can't be business as usual, but there are clear performance expectations for folks who are struggling during during covid. Let's take the person who has been struggling. You put them into a remote environment and suddenly maybe they're that introvert, maybe they don't get the energy away from around people in the in the office, and maybe they're thriving 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 the office 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're looking at it. I personally meet selfishly. I love being in an office. It's definitely the environment that I personally thrive in. But there's no denying that not every person on my team is wired the same way and I've had countless conversations with seller, sales leaders, marketing leaders. A lot of folks that their team is as productive, if not more productive. So I think it's all about open lines of communication understanding what folks that work for you need during this season. But I think we have to breath look at how what we think about remote, remote work holistically. I agree. I you know, I did a survey at the last business that I was at and as someone who's worked remotely before my my...

...thought was was going to be that ninety 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 of the 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 percentage of 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 and come back into the office? Most of my folks want to be in the office. I don't think that they want a nine to five, five days a week expectation to be in the office, but percentagewise, probably eighty percent of my 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 office for a long time, but at that it's neither here nor there. Were maybe I really appreciate work in the most fun off as possible. Maybe it just 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 wrap up here, which means we do something really cool at the end of each of these episodes and it's called our quick fire five and it's just five questions where we try and get off the cuff kind of real answers from executive revenue leaders like yourself. Ready. I'm ready awesome. I know that you're a big reader. Tell me about a book that you've read that has changed your perspective on life? Oh, I just read a book called Waking Up White. That was revolutionary, awesome. Why was it a revolutionary it was just 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 and how that framed how she saw the world. Very cool. What is your most controversial perspective on startup culture? Something that you hear, you know, people say all the time that you think is just, you know, maybe BS. I think we talked about potential and high potential people way, way too 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 that I read recently. It's called nine lies about work, and basically the lie that they break down, or one of them, is all about this concept of potential and we lean on that as a crutch as leader so often that we figure out there certain people that have more potential than others and we pour a lot of resources into them, as opposed to really breaking down what is great look like in a lot of different ways and putting people in the environment where they are and actually built to thrive. Very cool. Interesting. Nine lies at work is that it was called line lies about work. I think not in lies about work. Okay, cool, off to pick that up. That sounds really interesting. You're going to close a really big deal with your team and you need one song, a song that just amps you up and 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 I am really, really good at managing sellers early in their career, helping them build kind of that first layer of confidence and learn the building blocks of a great bell career. Looks like that is an awesome answer, because I truly think that a very underrated piece of your sales careers momentum, and I think that if you can succeed very early in your career, that is the momentum that a lot of folks need to have a very lengthy and successful career in sales. That's great to hear. Great my lastly, kind of give the audience your life motto or guiding principle that they can take home with them in use today. Wow, you say the best for last. Yeah, my life motto. I think people are incredible. I think that people have the capacity to do so much more than many of us accomplished, that many of us play way too small and many people that we manage play way too small and part of our job as leaders is...

...to open up that perspective and challenge them to do more. Cool, you heard it. They are leaders challenge or people. They're playing too small. But, by the way, I tend to agree with you. You know, as someone who's managed sellers for the last, you know, eleven years, I've been absolutely shocked at what people can do, especially, and not not to go down that rabbit hole, but especially generation Z. Some of the the sellers that I've brought into some of the organizations recently, they are so, so many light years ahead of 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. Tell everyone how they can get in contact with you if they wanted to reach out and have a conversation or learn more about you. Yeah, sure. So I'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. Love to engage and have conversations and Linkedin's probably the best channel. Awesome, and if folks on the revenue collective want to get ahold of you inside of the collective what you're slack handle, I'm Katie IV Andy. Ste Awesome, Katie. Thank you so much. That was a ton of fun. Learned a lot had a lot of fun chatting with you. Thank you so much for coming on with me today and stay safe out there. Thank US and appreciate it.

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