The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 2 months ago

Ep 253: A Proper Sendoff w/ Tom Alaimo

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Tom Alaimo, Growth Account Executive at Gong

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

Hello everyone, and welcome to the pavilion podcast. I am your host, Brandon Barton. You're listening to, is this good time? The show where I put pavilion members on the hot tea for fifteen minutes we hit their incredible stories. Shows are out on Thursdays, except today, as Monday, and, as we will talk about in this pod, some things are changing. So Uh note that we will probably have most shows out on Monday's going forward, with some Thursdays popping in. Subscribe that way. That's the easiest way. You make sure you get it into your whatever your feed is, whether spotify, apple music, whatever it is. Just hit subscribe and with that, our guest today is Tom Alamo. He is the growth account executive at gang, also the CO host of the Pavilion Podcast, and we are giving him a proper send off and we'll talk about what's going on with Um and and and there's some of the things that are upcoming with the show. So excited for this one to to turn the MIC around, turn the camera around and put it on Tom. This episode was brought to you by tropic. Tropic makes buying and managing SAS ridiculously easy. Companies of all sizes from startups to Fortune, used tropic to buy software, managed contracts and guarantee savings. Customers save an average fours on their software buying annually. To find out how much you're overpaying for software, visit TROPIC APP DOT IO. All right, let's do this a very special episode. One to one. Is this a good time? All right, everyone, I am here with Tom Alamo, my co host of the the pavilion podcast. We're here for a pretty special episode. He also does have a day job where he is a growth account executive at gang. Uh. He is also the host of the millennial sales podcast that he started before he jumped in to do the pavilion podcast. And UH, why my interviewing Tom? We have some some breaking news here.

Tom. First of all, thank you for being here. Hey, I'm excited to be here. Uh, we don't get to spend enough time together, Brandon, so I'm glad we get thirty minutes here. Yeah, exactly. I we we've talked about doing a doing a home and a way here and I'm glad to have you on, but you're on for a specific reason. Maybe maybe go in and talk about that. I'll meet low filler. We're gonna jump into the questions in a second, but let's let's jump into why we're here. Yeah, yeah, for sure. So, yeah, I guess. I guess to get right into it. Unfortunately, I have made the decision, after eighteen months of CO hosts in the show with you, to to move on, at least for the time being, to work on some other other projects, to put more effort into, you know, what I'm doing in my full time role. So it's been an amazing experience getting to meet so many pavilion members. I mean eighteen months times, you know, one episode per week. I don't even know the math, but it's probably like seventy five or so, uh interviews that have been able to do and meet great people. So it's been a great experience and we're doing a little bit of like turning the tides here home and a way to, uh, to kind of put an end to this chapter of the book. Yeah, so we'll well, you know, we'll we'll be saying about it Tom I will say for those that are frequent listeners of the pod, we've got some interesting stuff coming up. Um, it's given us a little bit more space. We might not be doing two episodes every week anymore, uh you know, or else I'll go nuts and maybe lose lose focus on my day job. But, um, got got some other interesting stuff upcoming for the fall and for next year as we as we look to some new formats. You know, Tom has always done the longer format interviews. I'm gonna be doing some of those, uh you know, maybe even getting into getting experts in here to talk about all the interesting parts of tech that are changing, that are affecting everybody's industries, things from Crypto to web three to two wearables, uh you know, Um, you know, getting really deep and in sales tech and stuff like that. So it'll be a lot of fun. But, Tom you know, it's been awesome. You know, I'll...

...say this up front. It's been really awesome, UM, sharing a stage with you, man, and and, uh and and. You are a killer and I'm excited to see where you go with everything, side, products, Gong everything. Uh, you will be missed here. We'll we'll have you back to give us some reports on on what's going on. You're not gonna be totally off the hook. So, uh, we're gonna get you back in here and and and get some recording time. Yeah, yeah, for sure. I I hope that this is more of a more of a pause, maybe a transition to a different way that I can stay invested and I think just in general, the pavilion community has meant so much to me and my career since I've joined, you know, like two and a half years ago, and so hopefully it's just starting a different chapter of where I can continue to contribute and stay invested in the community. I love it. Man. Well, look, we're gonna send you off in the way, that the only way I know how to, which give you the same questions that I give everybody. So so let's uh, let's jump let's jump in. I mean everyone knows gone, but still tell us about it. Start there. What do you do? What is do? What do you do? And then you know, in your career, how did you how did you land there? I know that you know, you happen to get this role almost, you know, similarly timing to when we started doing this together. Um, and I know how jazz you've been about it. So so jump in there and and tell people about Gong. Yeah, so, if people aren't familiar with Gong, Gong is a Revenue Intelligence Company. Essentially, we help do is unlock the reality of what's happening between Your Company and your customers and your prospects. Right. So, UH, basically it's recording conversations using ai to help you understand what's happening in deals with customers. Uh, you know what your sales reps are saying on calls, you know what's happening with current customers and your your success team and helping to unlock uh, you know everything that's going on so you can better coach and develop and win more deals. Um. So, I'm a growth account executive, so essentially working with some of our mid market customers and helping them to get as much value out of Gong and ultimately my roles to help expand. Didn't expand our footprint...

...and get Gong Wall to wall and some of those customers. been here for about a year and a half and it was interesting because my first job at a school was that a company called tech target in the Martech space, and spent like five and a half years there and in decided I wanted to do something different and, Um, you know I've been so invested in the sales community through my podcast and blog and I knew I wanted to get into sales tech and Gong was number one on my list and actually didn't get the job the first time in the summer of went through the process. Actually kind of bombed my interviewer. was like a mock discovery. Ended up taking a job at a different startup that didn't pan out and kind of was a boomerang circle back and was fortunate enough that at the end of you know, they let me go through the process again. I think I did a much better job from the experience and landed here and it's been a it's been a great uh, it's been a great we'll run so far. Eighteen months in. Talk about that. How why did you bomb your interview? You know, I think Um Gong is really focused on, you know, there's there's so much data behind like the Gong Platform, and there's a lot of coaching and there's like the art and science of sales, and I think we focus a lot on the science here of like tactically, like what questions are going to be the best to ask and how do you run a proper discovery call? And the first few years of my sales crew is really all about the art. It was about building relationships. It was about kind of like winging it and, you know, trying to just figure it out by the seat of your pants. And I wasn't there, you know, I wasn't like properly trained and like sandler or medic or anything like that, and so I just don't think I was structured enough and I don't think that I had as good enough of like a foundation of like technical skills, and so I spent time in between those two interviews, over that six months, like taking some courses and getting trained and like trying to become more of a of a pro I guess, at sales and some of the like the background foundations that I think have helped me out quite a bit. I love that man. You know, I I have a good friend. I think I've said this on the pod before, but I have a good friend who, Um, has helped me...

...to realize the difference between Um, you know, setbacks, things that are failures right, and so it's a really good example of it's a setback, and so I bet you a lot of people, you know, would look at that and say, Oh shoot, I'm rejected from that company. Um, you know, that's it. I can never do and guess what, that's bullshit. You can go and train and get trained on things where you're weak. Um, you know, it's a sports mentality to go and find your weaknesses and get better at those, and that's how you're gonna get better and and then go give it another shot. So you know, you were able to recognize that it wasn't a failure, was a setback. And Look at you now, eighteen months and uh, you know, thriving and and crushing in your role. Yeah, no, I mean, I couldn't agree more. And I think that relates to interviewing. It relates, I mean if you if you've been in sales or I mean you're an entrepreneur, so you know to the fullest extent, like there's all you're gonna get. Knows all the time. You're going to fail all the time, and I think the the way to succeed is to reflect on that, understand, asked for feedback. You know, they gave me the feedback. They said, Hey, this is why, you know you weren't the right candidate at this time. Um, and then take that feedback and go and do something about it and take action. And I think the people that do that over the long run are the ones that you end up making it and have, you know, the job or the career or the situation that they want to have and are successful at it. Yeah, I know we have. I've had a lot of athletes, former athletes, you know, befomer, we're all still athletes, but on the pod and I think, I think that's it's an interesting part of people in sales that have that, that mentality of of, you know, falling down and getting back up right. Uh. It's it's such an essential part of it. I know that you've played tennis, right. Uh, you played in college as well? Uh. Yeah, yeah, I played, I played d two in college. Yeah, wow, that's great. What do you think of the Serena match last night? To Do? Uh, I did. I did watch it. I did watch it, man, it's inspiring as hell to see, like, you know, she's coming up on her forty one birthday. You know a mother about...

...how how old her her kid is, but a couple of years now, and she's played like five matches all year and just comes out and it's just like grinding and it's it's really cool to watch. I love it, love it. Can't can't be more inspired by that woman. She's incredible. Well, look, let's let's jump over to talking a little bit about tennis. You you've told me a little bit of stroke of luck coming off a tennis practice, Um, to to get your first role out of college. Uh, you know, we always talk about luck being part of your success. Um, tell us, tell us that story. So when I was in college, Um, you know, I was playing tennis and actually the first step of this is that I hurt my shoulder one year. I had to get surgery so I couldn't like teach at, you know, the local club. So I randomly kind of got into selling cut coe knives, which, like everyone in my family, advised me not to do. I ended up doing it, loving it, Um, and doing pretty well, making some good money as a college kid. So I'm like, Oh, maybe sales is a thing. You know, we don't. They don't talk about that in college, like that could be a job. And so I'm still not really sure what to do. And I remember going to a jobb fair, you know, straight from tennis practice and sweaty and got my rackets with me and everything, and end up striking a conversation with this woman who also plays tennis and she happened to be the hiring manager over at tech target and we talked for thirty minutes just about tennis and where we played and this and that and uh, you know, ended up having like one interview with the head of sales. That was maybe more of a formality than anything else, but just having that like common denominator, it was just lucky and uh, and it was the way I got my foot in the door and got me on the right path and that's what sent me to San Francisco and there's this whole kind of domino effect from there. Um, but I was lucky to her and I both played the same sport and that was what we kind of bonded on immediately. You love that, man. Yeah, I mean, you know, it always takes these little moments of luck to to spring open a door and then you got to step through it. So obviously obviously you did. Well, look, I'm you know you, you you you study sales, you know as much as anybody. I love this about you. You're you're a student of the game and I would love you know, pick a...

...tactic, like give us something that that you think people either aren't focusing on or they should put into their uh, into their game, to get better at what they're doing. Yeah, I'm I'm big on on the fundamentals, Um. And so there's something that I call outbound mode, and I talked to reps all the time. I've been a rep for a long time and I've never met a salesperson that consistently prospects for an hour plus every single day that doesn't hit their number almost every single quarter. It just doesn't happen, unless you're at like a company where the product is terrible or maybe there's some other macro factor, but that is the number one determiner in my opinion if you're going to hit your number. And so the way I do it is four steps. It's super simple, Um, and you know I call it out bound mode. So the first step is you prepped the night before, right, so before you hang up the laptop in your Home Office, know who you're gonna call and know who you're gonna email. What's your called action all that stuff. You spent thirty minutes on that. Second Step. Block the calendar for me. I do it sually in the morning, so it's before everyone's slacking me and calling me and all this stuff, and so I've got an hour blocked off. It's a meeting with me. I'm not moving it, I'm not changing it. Um. Number three is I turn off the distraction. So I'm not checking slack, I'm not checking email, my phone is face down, you know, on the other side of the room. Um, this is not the time where I'm scrolling instagram or whatever like. This is focused, dedicated time. Um. And then the fourth is I try to have some sort of like reward at the end of it. Right. It's kind of like tricking your brain into wanting to do that activity. So it could just be like, you know, a cup of coffee or I get to take a walk or I get to spend five minutes on instagram after and give me hit's like, honestly, you know, and it's just the same thing as like, you know, if you want to work out. You know it's like the easiest comparison where it's like it sucks to start and then once you start doing it, like the mood follows action in twenty minutes and you're feeling good, you're you're prospecting and then like when the hour is done, you know you've set yourself up for future success and there's...

...a lot of other things you can do with the day, but if you lose put that hour in over time, it's going to add up to results. I love that, man. Uh. There's a you know, I'm gonna I gotta figure out how to attribute this, this quote, and I'm going to butcher the quote, but I heard it recently and it's like something the effect of don't ever be mad at losing, at something that you didn't prepare for. Like you're not allowed to. You're not allowed to be pissed at at at your failure if you didn't fucking prep for it. You know. And Uh, and I love that, man Um. I think that that that's super smart and getting back to basics is is probably a good thing, given, uh, you know where everyone's focused and where the economy is and all the other stuff. Love it, Um. What do you you know? Look, Gon's got a thousand job rex out there. is any any hiring on your team or or you know any specific roles that you want to highlight that people should know about? Maybe maybe some listeners want to jump in with you. Yeah, for sure. We're hiring on on my team. So it's the growth sales team. So we have a mid market team and an enterprise team, so folks can check it out on, I think it's going dot io, slash careers. I have folks DM me all the time about other roles in marketing and sales development and all these other places. So, depending on where you are, Um Gong is definitely hiring and definitely uh, you know, if you're listening to this, you're interested, want to learn more about the culture, feel free to d m me on Linkedin and you know I'll try to help you out and steer you in the right direction. I love that, man, love that. And all right, so here's we'll give you a long u you know, a Nice Chunk of time here to give your shout outs. Uh, you know you can. You can make this your thank you speech. You can give shout out to people that inspire you and and and so forth. Take it where you want, man. Yeah, no, I mean. Well, first of all, you know, given everything that we said in the first few minutes like that'd be remiss not to give a huge shout out to Sam Jacobs, who is, uh is one of the more unbelievable people I've met in my career of just being, you know, very selfless and pretty much making a career...

...out of helping other people, myself included, probably yourself and anyone listening to this included. So, you know, major shout out to him, and shout out to Carly Dell for for helping with she's not on this podcast but she does a lot of stuff in the background and making pavilion successful. So major shout out there. And then a few other people that you know. I I tuned into their content all the time and have learned a ton from H in no particular order. You know, Scott Lease, Kevin Dorsey, Samantha McKenna, L G L G, also at at Pavilion. Um, just as Welsh. A lot of these folks have been on the podcast as well. Um, you know Morgen Ingram, folks that you know. If I see them post on Linkedin, I'm going to take the two minutes to read and, you know, maybe jot down a note from what they have to say. So Um, yeah, all those folks. There's there's dozens of others. Those the first that come to mind of people that you know, inspire me and, you know, help me want to level up to get to the next the next point actually one more that that I love is Ian Konyak because she's his his mentality is just so different and I know he's involved with pavilion, like teaching the enterprise sales school, and his path of you know, overcoming addiction and uh you know, helping others is really inspiring to me too. I love that man. Any any up and comers that you want to Kinda uh you know, stake your claim? You heard it here first. These people? Yeah, there's a few. Um, you know, Anthony and a totally is a good friend of mine. He's over an a e over at lattis. He's putting out some amazing content about prospecting, very tactical. UH, Morgan Buchanan, she's a former ballet dancer turned SDR now a e over at Speckett. She's got some really cool stuff that that's cooking and really sharp. And then the third one, my boy. He's in the other room here at the Gong Office, Ian McDonald. He's on my team and UH, he's he puts out some great content about sales, about revenue intelligence, about investing in first will finance and, uh you...

...know, he's pretty witty too. So those are my three shoutouts. On some up and comers to check out. I love it, man, love it all right. We end where we always end at the at my stomach here. You know I'm a restaurant guy. Um, you give me one spot that people gotta go check out. Man. I moved to Chicago like five or six months ago and I don't know if I've had a better meal than the Burger at Ausheval. I don't know if you've ever been here and had that Burger, brandon, but it might be my favorite Burger of all time if you're feeling frisky when you're there. I actually got a group beer float afterwards. Who was the first group Beer Float I've had in twenty years, probably, but it was. They have great craft beer there and sides and everything too, but the Burger is unbeatable. Yeah, oceval is a killer restaurant. Brandon sotkoff, the chef, hogsalt. Their their customers of ours. So and a couple of times uh, throughout my career in in in restaurant tech. So definitely know those guys have had that Burger and uh, I co sign on that, man, for sure. Well, Tom Bottom of my heart, man, we're gonna Miss You I'm gonna Miss Hanging out and just having having some of the back and forth on on what we're up to uh together in the pod. Uh, let's not let that drop off. Don't be a stranger. Come back on, give us updates on what's going on in your life and UH and your your hell of a person and did a great job here with the pod and uh, you know, couldn't couldn't be more excited for what you got going on. Man. Yeah, likewise, I mean you're you're impressive as hell running this pod and running a business and uh, you know, have a family and so many other things that you got going on. So I don't even know how you have the time and how you make the time to do all of it. It's it's truly impressive and uh, you know, always doing it with a smile on your face and a joke in your back pocket. So, Um, I've learned a lot from you and, yeah, I hope to continue the conversation, keep it alive and hopefully I'll be back on this pot at some point. Yeah, yeah, and they're coming out of CEO of your own...

...company. I'm sure one day, I know that's gonna Happen. Tommy the best man. We wish you all the best. Thank you for everything and to be in touch. Yeah, I appreciate it, man. Thank you everyone. Thanks for listening. All right, that is our show. Very sad send off for Tom but we're wishing him the best. As I said, in the next coming weeks we'll be talking about some of the new stuff going on here at the pavilion pod. But I'm still here, so you should be super happy about that. If you love it and you are happy about that, rate review, do all the stuff now more than ever, and and hit that subscribe button. This episode was brought to you by tropic. Friends, don't lift friends over pay for software. Tropic Helps Companies Produce, burn, extend runway and it's your compliance. VISIT TROPIC APP DOT IO to learn more and get a free savings assessment. Had so much fun today sad episode. I hope you did too, wishing tom the best. Get Out and crush your numbers. Some sad something.

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