The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 8 months ago

Ep 136: Paying it Forward w/ Tom Williams

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Ep 136: Paying it Forward w/ Tom Williams

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

Hello everyone and welcome to the Pavilion podcast. I'm your host friend of art and you are listening to Is this a good time? The show where I put Pavilion members on the hot seat, ask some questions. It's a lot of fun. We really shows every Tuesday and thursday so hit subscribe. So you don't miss hearing from our experts and we got one today tom Williams, Ceo of Deal Point. We talk about a lot of stuff, including the importance of paying it forward, which I'm truly passionate about. This episode was brought to you by Inside Square advanced revenue analytics and forecasting for today's B two B organizations. Your Revenue team wakes up every day with questions Inside Square it gives you the data driven answers in real time. Get 350 out of the box reports and dashboards. Self service. No cope. All right, let's do this episode 62. Is this a good time? Alright everyone we are here with tom Williams coming to us from the beautiful, pacific northwest Tom is the ceo of Deal point. So great to have you on the pod. Thank you. Brandon is the absolute pleasure to be here, awesome man. Well look, I'll meet no filler. Let's get right into it. Um, I've been talking to a lot of Ceos lately. Getting a lot of mentorship myself. I love hearing how you became a Ceo. So like where did you start? How did you get to Deal point and then of course tell us about Deal Point. Yeah, right on it was a funny tale. I used to be the VP of marketing at a company and the VP of sales and I were in a board meeting, you know sales were not doing so hot and he said, I don't know what the hell happened. And then the next week I became the VP of sales and marketing. So it was kind of a sad story of how I got there. But it really opened my eyes to when sales and marketing are aligned and operating under one message, everything goes smoother. But as that VP of sales and marketing I saw that there was sometimes a disconnect between what the customers were hearing and what my sales folks were saying. And that led to the journey of if only we could be on the same page with our customers and...

...understand their problems better and make sure that we were all aligned, everybody would be better off. And that was the nexus of deal point. So I spent the past several years with a killer team here in Portland making it happen that we can actually understand what the customer's problem is and present our solution as a, as a fixed to their problem rather than hey, I want you to buy my thing and when you think life that way everybody's happier. Cool. And tell me the founding story. Right. Did you, when you kind of had the ah ha moment did you quit your job at cloud engage or was it something where you worked on the weekends and kind of formulated it over time and then said, okay, this is going to be a thing. No, it was, it was a kind of quit the job kind of thing. I had, it was a proper middle of the night wake up, like what if everybody was on the same page, like a proper things like that and I actually wrote it onto my iphone, you know, note thing. Oh man, how many? That's the new garage man. Yeah, well we're all the ideas start and then I went back to sleeping in the morning and ignored on me. So I, I went around with a couple of friends of mine and talked about how would it work, what would it look like? I had a bit of money in the bank and so I thought if I'm going to do it, just do it. And so yeah, the first couple years were struggles and then we built the team up to get where we're making money and everybody's happy and we're in a great position now where we still haven't taken any funding, but we're making money. So it's a really nice feeling. We're able to focus on fixing the customer's problem rather than flying down to the bay every week to beg for money. Oh yeah, I mean, we, we all love doing that, but would you plan on taking on money? I mean sometimes the idea is you take it on to accelerate, right? Uh, yeah, well let's say to be determined, let's, let's say that, you know, it's fair, but it's still open to it. Right? Yeah, Right. Partnership comes along, of course we're not, we're...

...not martyrs. You just want to make sure that whatever it's doing is, so our mission is to make the global economy slightly more efficient through better sales and you and you and you've had, you've had other kind of roles, not just in sales, I mean, or even in marketing, I mean, you were product manager, I mean, were there anything in the early days that really led you into these more VP roles later in your career? Well, you know, there's always been this intersection, I think that there is, there's not enough love between the inside of the company and the outside of the company. And so something that I've always focused on is making sure that I'm, that, that that nexus between inside and outside and whether it's as a product manager where you're doing that or marketing or in sales to whatever extent you can translate between those two groups of human beings, you will be successful. It doesn't really matter what the title is, the role is, hearing somebody's pains and translating it into something that somebody else can do something about and there could be product marketing, sales, financing can be nearly anything as long as you're listening carefully and I really like, you know, Henry ford said if, if I gave them what they wanted, I'd give them they wanted a faster horse. So the skill is in hearing the words but understanding what the actual intent is behind that and then being able to translate that into a customer or to a product team or to a sales team of how to position the thing that they want and spell it out to them. So yeah, I'd say I've been doing the same thing forever just in different departments. No, I like I like this is just kind of like an overall thing, always figure out what your customer wants and give it to them right like give them something that can solve the problem the right way may not be asking for the right solve, but that's where the different roles in the organization of of to what, what angle of that work are you doing? Yeah, I love that. Well look,...

I mean I know it took a lot of hard work and as you said to me even struggle and I'm sure some luck along the way. Any particular stories of either like you know true grit or luck that you want to share with us. Well you know the number one key successful criteria for a start up is to have the right partner. And so I was fortunate, so I had I had one partner who shall remain nameless, it didn't didn't go hot and so I was reaching around my friends to say who can look at this code base and tell me what I've got. So I had had coffee with this guy. Random totally random linked in connection. Let's have coffee did that. He said why don't you talk to my C. T. O. And he can take a look at your code. So I said okay I'd love that the cto quit that place and come work with me. Oh very very fortunate that the right the right coffee happened and the timing was right for thomas. I'm tom he's thomas to come over to deal point. It was because I had a I had a lot of coffee that didn't go anywhere. I was gonna ask you do you do you take random meetings with those linked in people that, yeah I mean especially this was all pre pandemic right? Of course. Of course. Yeah. So I think it's really important especially in a physical town to maintain random relationships because you never know where it will go and you've got to give to get. So yeah I will always always do that. Especially if I don't see a particular angle then I can just chill and actually have a cup of coffee because I'm going to drink the coffee. I really appreciate this approach to because I think I do the same thing. I basically try to say yes to every and again let's just talk what it was like before before we're all locked up in our homes or whatever. But I would say yes to every meeting and I think some of them,...

I'd walk away from going, hey, that hopefully somebody got, they got something out of it wasn't really, you know, the best time investing for my time. But the minute one hits, you would have taken all the time you spent and all the other random ones and said that was worth it. Well, I can't say yes to everyone. I have a budget a time of course, of course. But it's like, I know that half my advertising money is spending but is wasted. I don't know which half. So you've got to do the same thing with, with networking and I think you'll get more out of one on ones like that. Some of them will go somewhere. And certainly the, the aura of Kama is being spread out of there. Like this afternoon, I'm meeting with a young sales executive who's landed a pretty nice job, but he hasn't done sales leadership before. So I'm just gonna hook him up with some best practices and get him running and I'm not, you know, no money or anything, but people did that for me when I was younger. And Pavilions a fine example. That, that's, that's the idea, right? Yeah. I mean obviously get that gentleman or young lady into Pavilion, they can learn a lot, but it's going to be one of my recommendations. I appreciate what you're putting out there man because I do the same thing. And you know, it's funny, I, I uh it's almost like I seek to be in debt here. I want to, I want to learn from the folks who have done things before me just talking a bunch of ceos today about raising money and I'm seeking advice and, and I almost tell each one of them if I, if I do happen to sit down with them, I'll be like, don't worry, I pay this forward. I will be teaching the next generation. Like this is part of the deal. So I do love the thing. If if you want money, ask for advice and if you want for advice, ask for money. Okay, good. I'll start, I'll start. This is how my cold emails to the Big BCS are going to be. Let me get your thoughts on our part. Yeah. Oh man. Well look, you know, we were talking a little bit about some of the stuff that's a great piece of advice. But any, any particular tactic that you are...

...drawn to that want to, you want to share some of your secrets with everybody. Yeah, there's one core skill that every rep needs to have and I see this lacking in a across the board, you've got to be able to enunciate your prospects. Value prop in two sentences and it's got to include some metrics. So whether that's sitting at the top of your mutual action plan or if it's the subject or the first sentence of your cold email, you've got to be able to say why is this helpful to that particular person? And so many people are going to revert to my product is fantastic. I don't care. That is not helpful to be able to enunciate and not just in general terms, but understand what it's going to do for their business and be able to do it in two sentences. And if you can't do that, then like for every single one of your prospects, then you're not ready to have a discovery conversation with them. And you need to learn those things. And that's what you got to come out of that discovery with love it. Love it. It's a great piece of advice. Alright, well look, get into kind of the lightning round here any positions you're currently hiring for? Yeah, we are hiring for 80s. So, anybody with anybody who has sold into sales, It's a mixed blessing one. Kill a discovery. Because you can just say, all right, I need to qualify you. I use medic. Um You can actually just do it and say, what's the economic decision maker Who was What's your decision criteria? But on the other hand, none of your tricks will work because they've seen them more. So you can't reflect, you can't porcupine. You can't do any of those things so that you trying to park you find me right now and so people who sold into sales, I would love to talk with you all right, very cool, very cool. And what about some shoutouts, anybody that you really appreciate what they put out there and and learn from yourself or even, you know, secondarily any up and comers who you think are just rock stars in the making. So my, my three right now that...

I'm really into is Sam McKenna of course from Sam sales, my friend Jason. Sam, I am Sam, Jason wants in an email and I'll never live it down. Yeah, she, yeah, you always want to say, yeah, he's real smart now, she is, she's fantastic, got a great attitude and I like that she does a lot of paying forward, I love Carl Coleman over at Clary doing this thing right now or he was at least a month ago, he made a commitment to respond to every cold email that hit his inbox and critique and improve it and if, if that's not paying for that, I don't know what is so an officer and a gentleman and then jeremy Donovan over at sales loft, one of my favorite things, he's like a sales philosopher, so I love him, you will be not surprised to know that these three names have come up in the past. Yeah, I mean, Jeremy, uh he seems to really, he always comes with the stats right, like he has, he has the breath of being able to have the platform and give real strong stats on what's actually happening in the industry right? In fact, he and I both do a traditional medieval longbow archery. So wow, how, how you learn that about somebody else's by taking a minute to chill and talk to somebody else as a human being and you learn real weird things like that and now yeah, we're bonded forever. I mean, I almost want to know what that conversation with that must have floored you. Have you ever met anyone else who has done this randomly? No, because I'm vegetarian. So down the archery range, they invited me hunting one time and I said I'm vegetarian and none of them have ever talked to me again. I don't know any other arches, just me and jeremy, I think that you should get yourself like a coconut tree and wait for the coconuts to fall and you can hit them on the way down. And it's the same thing as hunting, you know why not? It's uh I've got an apple, but my boys are not interested in using the apple. All right, no William tell...

...here. Um uh and any any up and comers, Those are obviously three established names. Any people that you feel are kind of rocks. There's a couple of technologies that I'm really into right now is uh there's a new service called hum and it's a video, like a if you're doing a one on like a single video and then it's really cool, You can change the background really easily. You can throw your presentation up to the side of you, like a newscaster, but it's super, super easy. And so when you're doing a webinar or something like that, instead of it being your heads all tiny, you can be a guy this big on the screen, Just a lot of flexibility for getting rid of zoom fatigue. So that's home. I really did those. And then there's this new email service called gated, oh, email somebody and I've wanted that for years. I really, really like where they're headed, All the money goes to the charity of choice, but it, it kills me that salespeople have wrecked the golden goose of, of email now they're wrecking linked in by just being automated incessant, non value focused things. So the less we can have that, the more better and gate, it is a good way to make that happen. Cool, Very cool. Gate uh we had the gate, it's gated ceo on Andy uh yeah, I mean I'm still the guy who doesn't want to use cowardly. So maybe, you know, I'm not as into these uh these little trip tips and tricks, but who knows, it seems like a really cool product. Alright, well look, the only question that I actually care about of all these, No, I care about all of them, but I want to know where we're eating and this is great because you're vegetarian. I've been eating a lot of vegetables lately. It's the peak of the harvest season here in, in august as we're recording in august, where are we going to eat man? I've got bad news for you here in Portland. We just got locked down again. So you were in your house, I'll eat at...

...my house and well when it opens up where it's the first place we're going, Lewis and clark Lewis is a great spot all the way downtown. And if you really, if you really want good vision chips, then you just got to come to the southeast side of Portland and come eat at at the soccer club and you'll, you'll be a happy man. Love it. Love it tom thank you so much for being here awesome to, to chat with you and looking forward to keeping in touch man, lovely. All right, thanks very much. All right, that's our show. Thank you so much for listening. If you love the show rating review in the Apple podcast, Spotify have sentences, some friends smash that subscribe button, do all the stuff. A reminder this episode was brought to you by Inside Square, say goodbye to spreadsheet forecasting and hello to crm data. You can trust Inside Square delivers predictive deal scoring, Unmatched visibility and inspection and advanced goal management for your entire team everything. You need to take back control of the revenue process. I had fun today. Hope you did too. Now go crush your numbers. Say something. Mhm.

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