The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 2 months ago

Ep 136: Paying it Forward w/ Tom Williams

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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 thePavilion podcast. I'm your host friend of art and you are listening to Is thisa good time? The show where I put Pavilion members on the hot seat, asksome questions. It's a lot of fun. We really shows every Tuesday and thursdayso hit subscribe. So you don't miss hearing from our experts and we got onetoday tom Williams, Ceo of Deal Point. We talk about a lot of stuff, includingthe importance of paying it forward, which I'm truly passionate about. Thisepisode was brought to you by Inside Square advanced revenue analytics andforecasting for today's B two B organizations. Your Revenue team wakesup every day with questions Inside Square it gives you the data drivenanswers in real time. Get 350 out of the box reports and dashboards. Selfservice. 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 thebeautiful, pacific northwest Tom is the ceo of Deal point. So great to have youon the pod. Thank you. Brandon is the absolute pleasure to be here, awesomeman. Well look, I'll meet no filler. Let's get right into it. Um, I've beentalking to a lot of Ceos lately. Getting a lot of mentorship myself. Ilove hearing how you became a Ceo. So like where did you start? How did youget to Deal point and then of course tell us about Deal Point. Yeah, righton it was a funny tale. I used to be the VP of marketing at a company andthe VP of sales and I were in a board meeting, you know sales were not doingso hot and he said, I don't know what the hell happened. And then the nextweek I became the VP of sales and marketing. So it was kind of a sadstory of how I got there. But it really opened my eyes to when sales andmarketing are aligned and operating under one message, everything goessmoother. But as that VP of sales and marketing I saw that there wassometimes a disconnect between what the customers were hearing and what mysales folks were saying. And that led to the journey of if only we could beon the same page with our customers and...

...understand their problems better andmake sure that we were all aligned, everybody would be better off. And thatwas the nexus of deal point. So I spent the past several years with a killerteam here in Portland making it happen that we can actually understand whatthe customer's problem is and present our solution as a, as a fixed to theirproblem rather than hey, I want you to buy my thing and when you think lifethat way everybody's happier. Cool. And tell me the founding story. Right. Didyou, when you kind of had the ah ha moment did you quit your job at cloudengage or was it something where you worked on the weekends and kind offormulated 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 propermiddle of the night wake up, like what if everybody was on the same page, likea proper things like that and I actually wrote it onto my iphone, youknow, note thing. Oh man, how many? That's the new garage man. Yeah, wellwe're all the ideas start and then I went back to sleeping in the morningand ignored on me. So I, I went around with a couple of friends of mine andtalked about how would it work, what would it look like? I had a bit ofmoney in the bank and so I thought if I'm going to do it, just do it. And soyeah, the first couple years were struggles and then we built the team upto get where we're making money and everybody's happy and we're in a greatposition now where we still haven't taken any funding, but we're makingmoney. So it's a really nice feeling. We're able to focus on fixing thecustomer's problem rather than flying down to the bay every week to beg formoney. Oh yeah, I mean, we, we all love doing that, but would you plan ontaking 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, youknow, it's fair, but it's still open to it. Right? Yeah, Right. Partnershipcomes along, of course we're not, we're...

...not martyrs. You just want to make surethat whatever it's doing is, so our mission is to make the global economyslightly 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 inmarketing, I mean, you were product manager, I mean, were there anything inthe early days that really led you into these more VP roles later in yourcareer? Well, you know, there's always been this intersection, I think thatthere is, there's not enough love between the inside of the company andthe outside of the company. And so something that I've always focused onis making sure that I'm, that, that that nexus between inside and outsideand whether it's as a product manager where you're doing that or marketing orin sales to whatever extent you can translate between those two groups ofhuman beings, you will be successful. It doesn't really matter what the titleis, the role is, hearing somebody's pains and translating it into somethingthat somebody else can do something about and there could be productmarketing, sales, financing can be nearly anything as long as you'relistening carefully and I really like, you know, Henry ford said if, if I gavethem what they wanted, I'd give them they wanted a faster horse. So theskill is in hearing the words but understanding what the actual intent isbehind that and then being able to translate that into a customer or to aproduct team or to a sales team of how to position the thing that they wantand spell it out to them. So yeah, I'd say I've been doing the same thingforever just in different departments. No, I like I like this is just kind oflike an overall thing, always figure out what your customer wants and giveit to them right like give them something that can solve the problemthe right way may not be asking for the right solve, but that's where thedifferent roles in the organization of of to what, what angle of that work areyou doing? Yeah, I love that. Well look,...

I mean I know it took a lot of hardwork and as you said to me even struggle and I'm sure some luck alongthe way. Any particular stories of either like you know true grit or luckthat you want to share with us. Well you know the number one key successfulcriteria 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 gohot and so I was reaching around my friends to say who can look at thiscode base and tell me what I've got. So I had had coffee with this guy. Randomtotally random linked in connection. Let's have coffee did that. He said whydon't you talk to my C. T. O. And he can take a look at your code. So I saidokay I'd love that the cto quit that place and come work with me. Oh veryvery fortunate that the right the right coffee happened and the timing wasright for thomas. I'm tom he's thomas to come over to deal point. It wasbecause I had a I had a lot of coffee that didn't go anywhere. I was gonnaask you do you do you take random meetings with those linked in peoplethat, yeah I mean especially this was all pre pandemic right? Of course. Ofcourse. Yeah. So I think it's really important especially in a physical townto maintain random relationships because you never know where it will goand 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 andactually have a cup of coffee because I'm going to drink the coffee. I reallyappreciate this approach to because I think I do the same thing. I basicallytry to say yes to every and again let's just talk what it was like beforebefore we're all locked up in our homes or whatever. But I would say yes toevery meeting and I think some of them,...

I'd walk away from going, hey, thathopefully somebody got, they got something out of it wasn't really, youknow, the best time investing for my time. But the minute one hits, youwould have taken all the time you spent and all the other random ones and saidthat was worth it. Well, I can't say yes to everyone. I have a budget a timeof course, of course. But it's like, I know that half my advertising money isspending but is wasted. I don't know which half. So you've got to do thesame thing with, with networking and I think you'll get more out of one onones like that. Some of them will go somewhere. And certainly the, the auraof Kama is being spread out of there. Like this afternoon, I'm meeting with ayoung sales executive who's landed a pretty nice job, but he hasn't donesales leadership before. So I'm just gonna hook him up with some bestpractices 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 thatgentleman or young lady into Pavilion, they can learn a lot, but it's going tobe one of my recommendations. I appreciate what you're putting outthere man because I do the same thing. And you know, it's funny, I, I uh it'salmost like I seek to be in debt here. I want to, I want to learn from thefolks who have done things before me just talking a bunch of ceos todayabout raising money and I'm seeking advice and, and I almost tell each oneof them if I, if I do happen to sit down with them, I'll be like, don'tworry, I pay this forward. I will be teaching the next generation. Like thisis part of the deal. So I do love the thing. If if you want money, ask foradvice and if you want for advice, ask for money. Okay, good. I'll start, I'llstart. This is how my cold emails to the Big BCS are going to be. Let me getyour thoughts on our part. Yeah. Oh man. Well look, you know, we were talking alittle 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 toshare some of your secrets with everybody. Yeah, there's one core skillthat 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 sentencesand it's got to include some metrics. So whether that's sitting at the top ofyour mutual action plan or if it's the subject or the first sentence of yourcold email, you've got to be able to say why is this helpful to thatparticular person? And so many people are going to revert to my product isfantastic. I don't care. That is not helpful to beable to enunciate and not just in general terms, but understand what it'sgoing to do for their business and be able to do it in two sentences. And ifyou can't do that, then like for every single one of your prospects, thenyou're not ready to have a discovery conversation with them. And you need tolearn those things. And that's what you got to come out of that discovery withlove it. Love it. It's a great piece of advice. Alright, well look, get intokind 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 intosales, 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 itand say, what's the economic decision maker Who was What's your decisioncriteria? But on the other hand, none of your tricks will work becausethey've seen them more. So you can't reflect, you can't porcupine. You can'tdo any of those things so that you trying to park you find me right nowand 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 reallyappreciate what they put out there and and learn from yourself or even, youknow, secondarily any up and comers who you think are just rock stars in themaking. So my, my three right now that...

I'm really into is Sam McKenna ofcourse from Sam sales, my friend Jason. Sam, I am Sam, Jason wants in an emailand 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 Ilike that she does a lot of paying forward, I love Carl Coleman over atClary doing this thing right now or he was at least a month ago, he made acommitment to respond to every cold email that hit his inbox and critiqueand improve it and if, if that's not paying for that, I don't know what isso an officer and a gentleman and then jeremy Donovan over at sales loft, oneof my favorite things, he's like a sales philosopher, so I love him, youwill be not surprised to know that these three names have come up in thepast. Yeah, I mean, Jeremy, uh he seems to really, he always comes with thestats right, like he has, he has the breath of being able to have theplatform and give real strong stats on what's actually happening in theindustry right? In fact, he and I both do a traditional medieval longbowarchery. So wow, how, how you learn that about somebody else's by taking aminute to chill and talk to somebody else as a human being and you learnreal weird things like that and now yeah, we're bonded forever. I mean, Ialmost want to know what that conversation with that must havefloored 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 huntingone time and I said I'm vegetarian and none of them have ever talked to meagain. I don't know any other arches, just me and jeremy, I think that youshould get yourself like a coconut tree and wait for the coconuts to fall andyou can hit them on the way down. And it's the same thing as hunting, youknow why not? It's uh I've got an apple, but my boys are not interested in usingthe 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 arekind of rocks. There's a couple of technologies that I'm really into rightnow is uh there's a new service called hum and it's a video, like a if you'redoing a one on like a single video and then it's really cool, You can changethe background really easily. You can throw your presentation up to the sideof you, like a newscaster, but it's super, super easy. And so when you'redoing 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 gettingrid of zoom fatigue. So that's home. I really did those. And then there's thisnew email service called gated, oh, email somebody and I've wanted that foryears. I really, really like where they're headed, All the money goes tothe charity of choice, but it, it kills me that salespeople have wrecked thegolden goose of, of email now they're wrecking linked in by just beingautomated 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, Verycool. Gate uh we had the gate, it's gated ceo on Andy uh yeah, I mean I'mstill the guy who doesn't want to use cowardly. So maybe, you know, I'm notas into these uh these little trip tips and tricks, but who knows, it seemslike a really cool product. Alright, well look, the only question that Iactually care about of all these, No, I care about all of them, but I want toknow where we're eating and this is great because you're vegetarian. I'vebeen eating a lot of vegetables lately. It's the peak of the harvest seasonhere in, in august as we're recording in august, where are we going to eatman? 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 upwhere it's the first place we're going, Lewis and clark Lewis is a great spotall 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 eatat at the soccer club and you'll, you'll be a happy man. Love it. Love ittom thank you so much for being here awesome to, to chat with you andlooking 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 theshow rating review in the Apple podcast, Spotify have sentences, some friendssmash that subscribe button, do all the stuff. A reminder this episode wasbrought to you by Inside Square, say goodbye to spreadsheet forecasting andhello to crm data. You can trust Inside Square delivers predictive deal scoring,Unmatched visibility and inspection and advanced goal management for yourentire team everything. You need to take back control of the revenueprocess. I had fun today. Hope you did too. Now go crush your numbers. Say something. Mhm.

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