The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 4 months ago

Ep 221: Pricing is NOT the Art of Discounting w/ Anna-Lisa Natchev

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Ep 221: Pricing is NOT the Art of Discounting w/ Anna-Lisa Natchev

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

Hello everyone, and welcome back to the pavilion podcast. I'm your host, friend of Martin. You are listening to, is this a good time? The show where I put a billion members on the hot seat for fifteen minutes. They tell some great stories. It's a lot of fun. Shows are out on Thursday, so hit subscribe and you will not miss hearing from our experts. Our guests today is Ana Lisa Notachev. She is the rope chief growth officer at good signed solutions, and we talked about the Helsinki startup seeing, as well as the idea that pricing is not the art of discounting. I loved that line. Today's out sponsors outreach, the sales execution platform that helps revenue organizations deliver predictable, efficient growth. All right, everyone, we are here with Anna Lisa Notchev. She is the chief growth officer for good signed solutions. On a Lisa, so great to have you on the podcast. Thank you for the invitation, Brandon. Yeah, my pleasure, my pleasure. Well, look, let's get right into it. I'll meet no filler. You know what is the current role you're in? Tell us about what you're doing and then you know how did you get here? Give us a little bit of the background. Sure. So my current role is a quite new one, a new assignment. I have been working with BEC owned soft growth company for four years and I did for MNAS in four years. WHOO, that was yeah, that taught me a lot and then I was ready to start doing something different when I was planning to start working as a fractional growth leader, or says later, but then they are CEO for good sign. She called me and it's a kind of a funny history because I actually tried selling something, something to her like six, seven years ago, and she obviously didn't buy right. He remembered me, so she called me...

...and she said, Hey, I'm Alissa, you should check this out. We wow, it's brilliant. We got ten million in VC funding. Nastier, I have the place for you, and I was like, okay, here we go. Wow. And what did you try to sell her? Just curious. Yeah, I was working at Basquers. I was selling E. invoicing solutions and cash management, and she was laughing quite a lot because obviously that's what the good signed office. Also it removes the complexity there. So I may have knock done my homework before going to pitch to her. But you know, she liked my attitude. I was you. It was a familiar page and she hurt. She know she heard probably immediately that you were doing it as well, or better perhaps, than her team. So very cool and to why don't you tell us a little bit, go into what a good sign does for companies? Sure, so that was actually the reason why I wanted to jump on board, because I realize the mistake I had been doing before. Right. So, I have been working with product let growth, sales and marketing that growth, you know, doing the go to market plan, with a growth packing team, looking for data, always looking for new opportunities. And it hit me. I have never ever thought to kind of really think about the pricing part and the pricing strategy and pricing for growth. And come hit me and I felt kind of stupid for a while when I realized with good sun was doing. I said, Oh my goodness, I've been missing out on this. I've been making my life so much harder and the company's growth so much harder, because that's, you know, obvious when you hear it. Obviously, for growth you should combine different...

...ways to monetize your assets. Right, you should give the product development say like do concentrate on value and don't worry about the monetization and for the sales and go to marketing growth pacing people to have more customer centric pricing. And if we look at the growth, we then can focus more on the attain because you can attain come customers quicker and then they can try and buy paper course. And it kind of hit me like why, why have I not ever thought about this? And and then it occurred to me that I've been working in companies where there was, you know, subscription model, good, better, best, right. You know that the CRM systems, the PQ system, a kind of the building team saying do not, whatever you do, change any object, you know in the crm called because our invoicing will just collapse. You know, and and, but that's the usual thing. So, yeah, I think that's why I go to market. Teams don't really stop and think about pricing. Yeah, that's incredible. And so tell us about the company is based the swear we are inhale sinking in Finland. So we're Santa Claus lives. But we did, we do have a bit of snow left actually in this is no joke, but it's hopefully melting away soon. So we are based here in Finland, but we work globally and we actually do have a global footprint, and that's also, you know, it's our solution, doesn't look at countries or territories. So so that's from where we're starting. Tell us a little bit of for those that don't know, tell us a little bit of what's going on in the world of startups...

...and he'll sinky and and maybe, like northern Europe in general, there's such an incredible, you know, energy that it's that, to me, is coming from from these airs. I get to talk to a lot of people through the podcast that are leaders in revenue and leaders in Sass. You know, they're just give us your sense of what's going on on the ground. Sure, Brandon. So it's a really exciting times and the nordics, we have long been very exceptionally good in technology, right and solutions, and we did start first with Nikia and as a mess, but that's another story, you know. But the great thing what I'm seeing is said that also from Finland you're seeing, you know, hyper growth companies like super metrics and the like, because from where, if you look into the nordics from the US. Right, you might say. Okay, so all the same day, the jump around with polar bears in the midnight sound, you know, all of them together. But really there's a quite large culture difference between the countries and other Furs Sweden, right, and I live in Finland, and that's finish tech. Seen. I just love it, you know, because they are so good and what they do like this, these guys who did that, the good signed software, and then they kind of stop there, because if that would be a US or even a Swedish or whatever company, they would go all out. Then, you know, hate the drums and here we are before it's perhaps ready and so on. But the finish on that, okay, I guess it's good and you go like what, this is brilliant and they got to, I don't know, hold that. And that's the funny thing. But we are having a lot of traction. There's a...

...lot of bacy activity here. If my former role at the mania I worked with the PSG, who is the providence. So so they are also, you know, working here and I worked with we're dying that that's Norwegian vc and we just had a month ago or a couple of weeks ago we had a huge event in Sweden, a live event, and I think it was over Onezero two. Hundreds of companies at the event, Rep people wow, then orderic sauce companies. It's called softiest. So anyone from the US who want to tap into the Nordic soft startup seeing, I definitely recommended this. Is the event interesting and just what one last quick question for you. I'm you know, is there challenges in hiring folks and engineering, or is it the opposite, where there's so many folks who have this expertise that a high you know, doing high quality work, that there is a there's an attraction to this, this field? Yeah, I mean there I would say. I think that hiring talent is that sort of more of a global problem. Sure, and if we look at how many people we have in Finland, I think we're five point five million. Yes, big deal of them are engineers, a large percentage compared to the US, I imagine. Yes, but still, you know, there's always the need and it's the good I think that the first of all we get also, you know, international people for some weird reason want to move here. I'm actually hiring a guy from Canada. They'd ask him how he you know, and ended up in Finland, but for him is the sort of the same hemisphere. So I guess it's it's okay with the darkness and the coldness. Yes, for us, you know, we are hiring global. It doesn't really matter now where you...

...work, of course, being in develops, are into the system or customers support where, of course, the conscious that we have an EU internal, the unique and then an external right. Yeah, for sure. Well, before going on to some of the questions, I have to ask is we're in the middle of this incredible, awful conflict across Europe right now, Finland being obviously a border to Russia, is there any sense of the the impact that that you know or fear is perhaps about this going on around? You know your network or or your company or your country, you know your your friends within the country. I'm not really I would say, of course there was a lot of companies who have had their you know, tech people in the Baltic states and and also in Ukraine. I'm also half Bulgarian, so obviously you know the roots from roots. They're all that's also sort of boardering. Yeah, I wouldn't say that it's it's a topic other than trying to support, you know, people from Ukraine as much as possible. Cool, cool. I always wonder about, you know, the difference between what we see on the US news versus what is actually going on in the ground. So thank you for that. Well, look, I'm you know, we talked about success being a combination of hard work and luck, and it seems like you you have had a bit of a lucky stroke by having that maybe bad sales called to a great CEO. I don't know if that is the the singular story, but is there any anything else in your career where you've had a couple lucky breaks that have gotten you to where you are? Sure, brother, and I would say like success it's a combination of luck and hard work, but then again, the harder you work, the more lucky...

...seem to get. For sure, and you kind of think people can say, okay, you were in the right place, right time, but then kind of forget to look at what made you go to that place right at the right time. But definitely I was lucky because back at IBM, actually we're worked in Ireland, I chose that the things top sales, gun approach, you know and lie. I didn't want to be a manager or, says, leader. Wanted to be, you know, the they kind of super IBM, sales person, right lilies into Indonesian cells, whatever, you know, stem now, the DELP, the team. But then I had to move to Finland. I have two kids, so the education system mere kind of was. Was a bit more lucrative, perhaps. Yes, and I worked at best where. That's where I did the unsuccessful saints called. That led me to my current yes and bass, where decided to spin off the cash management part of the company and then Verdane came in and Verdy was like this is great, we love the business and we're also buying you. And I was like so when in there? And then this kind of and MNA track get started. But I have to say I've learned so much and and I've learned most of all what I don't know. And both were Dane and and PSD. They have really good resources and sure you know. And now when I look back four years ago, I have to apologize to all you vc people out there. For my part, I was totally clueless. Probably in the beginning. That's okay. I think that's exactly where I am at all times when it comes to be say it switches on a diamond. Who knows? So I totally can relate. Well, look what you know.

You know, given given your level, I'm sure you have a ton of these, but give us one growth tactic that you feel is working. You've already talked a little bit about, you know, adjusting pricing as a tactic for acquisition. Is there anything else that comes to mind that somebody could try to implement like tomorrow within what they do? Sure, I mean, there's a lot of things I've learned and and for the you know, pricing part, the first thing I will give a suggestion is stop and think for a second how you're working with pricing, because pricing, it is not the art of discounting and it is not the art of, you know, the yearly price increases, too much inflation, and it's not about, okay, now we have this magical excel with good, better pricing. That is going to work. For every ICP out there that is not working with pricing, think about what acids you have, how you want to Change Your Business and what your customers are ready to pay for. And I give you an example, for example, Porsche, when they wanted to launch the cayenne model. It was actually a necessary, necessary evil. You know, they were going, they were speeding off a cliff with with the profitability, because people weren't buying sports cars. Right. So they designed the Cayenne around the price and they actually did so much research that the engineers weren't the ones to decide it. You know, we have cup holders in the Kayane or not. It was the people who would pay for the Cup holders because those were the people who wanted to drive their kids to stalk the practice or in the Porsche drinking...

...their ice loop there, right, and they they now I think the can is over half of the turnover porsche. And then if we go to pay per use solution, yeah, you losing out on revenue by not optimizing the the sort of activation of your client. We're going into mega inflation, a bit of unresting in the world. And if I look, for example, at Mark Tech Companies, yes, I guess five calls a day. You know, everybody's telling me like, Oh, use my lead generation and my another ex and my this and that and you'll get to, you know, growth. And I'm starting and my colleagues will started, will start soon to say, all right, Brandon, I'll pay you, but I only pay for the outcomes. Right, right, pricing, interesting and just. I think. I think it's something, something great for all of us to take a look at. I love that. All right. Any key positions you're hiring for? Yes, many, so in my team, says, people as drs capital in the US or EU. Always interested. Great, great, great solution to work with. I mean this is so giving because you can just whenever you talk with the company, you get the Huh, you know, its Nice, and also growth hackers and more like sales engineer, some hiring for awesome. And then anywhere, or has to be in Finland, hell Sinki, know, anywhere, the same people. You know, it's good for them, I think, to be kind of local. But we have a way, we have a partner that we can hire via global.

It's actually also I think it's finished innovation called the deal and and they have an ambition to be the world's biggest employer with the was it a million employees or something? Oh my goodness, because they hire for soft company so that you can work where you want to and they will take care of, you know, all the legal stuff and whatever, and we will be the team that they work with. So I think it's great. Love it, love it all. Any shoutouts for people that you appreciate kind of the content that they're putting out there, the message that they have about growth, or we're marketing or yes, yes, many and I would maybe shout out now to louder and them a dream data in that mark. I just spoke with her. We're going to do linkedin life talking about who owns the go to market and I'm gonna rough all the feathers a bit and say it's not product development, it's actually the go to market team, together with the rest of the organization's right. So, and that's also a great solution for revenue recognition, because everything you do, I think sales have been bashed a long time that we're just, you know, loud and push it says people, you know, pushing product, but actually sales is a science, business, the elephment revenue development. That is the science and we need to work with data. So that's a good shout out, I think, for anyone who wants to sort of put some dollars behind the data. Love that and and and of course, last but not least, I care a lot about restaurants, and so you have to give us an amazing restaurant to go to when we visit Helsinki. Who? That's hard. Do you like rain there? I...

I have had it, but I would love to have it again. Okay, then I would say it's probably Song Restaurant Saga. It means the fairy tally finish, but for I don't eat me personally, but for the ultimate rain there experience, I recommend you go up to lackland during a dark winter's night and you eat the rain there that you have cooked on an open fire when you're sleeping in in sort of a hea glue and watch the northern lights. WHOO, this sounds like an experience. I will definitely be asking you for advice when I plan my trip. I love it. Thank you so much for coming on. So interesting to hear kind of what's going on, you know, on the ground, and also just hear about your career. So really appreciate it and I'm looking forward to keep it in touch. Great thank you for having me. All right, that's our show. Thank you so much for listening. If you love the show, a rate and review and the apple podcast or spotify APP send it to friends and make sure to smash that subscribe button. Shows brought to you by outreach, the only company that offers sales engagement, revenue intelligence and revenue operations together in one platform. Outreach helps teams prospect more efficiently, proactively fixed deal risks and win more predictably. Discover how you can improve sales execution at every stage of the sales cycle by visiting outreach dot ioh I had so much fun today. I hope you did to now get out and crush your numbers.

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