The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

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Ep 6: Starting up an SDR program feat Andy Racic

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Starting up an SDR program feat Andy Racic

Toe Ottete eeteo e. What is up everybody welcome to therevenue collective PODCAST, I'm your launch Hose Justin Welsh member of theLos Angeles chapter of revenue, collective. An inside of these episodes,we're going to feature ideas and conversations that are inspired byongoing discussions within the revenue collective community across the glowand inside of the Revenue Collective Slack Channel. There has been a lot oftalk recently around the unique challenges of building an SDR programfrom scratch. We're going to cover how to do that in more inside of thisepisode with our guests, the head of sales at Tangl, health, Andy Racic, andbefore we dive in with Andy a few notes, if you're out there listening and youwant to join revenue, collective visit revenue, collective dotcom and clickapply now. Also, our sponsor for June is out reach the number one salesengagement platform outreach, revolutionizes customer engagement bymoving away from silent conversations to etreamlined in customer centricjourney leveraging the next generation of artificial intelligence. Theplatform allows sales raps to deliver consistent, relevant and responsiblecommunication for each prospect every time enabling personalization at scalethat was previously unthinkable. Okay, let's dive in and get the show startedwith today's guest Andy Racing. Our guest today is Andy. RACIC Andy isthe current head of sales at tangle health, a BTB SASS and bepel providerin the benefit space, currently around ten million an Arr he as nine years OBEto be experienced within HR talent and benefits, and he's also the CO authorof your definitive sales career guide. Andy Welcome to the Showman Justinthank traveling happy to be er awesome. I always like to start out andy just bylearning a little bit more about how our guests got to where they are today.Can you tell us a little bit about your career history? How did you get to bethe Headis sailes at tangle health yeah for sure, so on? Yourprobab, yourserotypical accidental salesperson. I studied physics of all things incollege and really had no, you know business type aspirations and Undergradtowards the ont of that I I realized that you, I actually should maybechange my mind and find a way to enter the business world and obviously youknow everyone needs a eeds, a career it' about three months or sorry. Threeyears after I graduated I've been with a very good company for a while andeventually realized that that sales might be kind of interesting. Just'cause, you know hey it's a it's critical problem solving and you knowyour your problem is trying to figure out a lot of different things andmoving pieces. Specifically, you know people where their mind is that Andallthat so I became very interested in in the challenge of professional sales,and I was very lucky that I had a a former Classmad, an friend David Wiss,who helped me get into sales fast...

...forward about eight years or so yo owI'd. I spent a lot of time in the talent space I'd spent a little bit oftime in the HR software space. I was in Austin an I was with ADP an in bidmarket sales, and I saw an opportunity to join a you know: Small Start Up, ishcompany, which Tengo and I I jumped at it, and at the time I I joined tangoand I was in a individual contributor position covering affectively. You know:Enterprise accounts for the northeast United States over the next. You knownine months or so the Deam I was on turned over completely. So my peers-and I was you- know one of four- the other three left the business for forvarious reasons. We had an str supporting us. She left the businessand also, at the very end of that time, my vp took a position to get back tobasically a business development, Arall onte space that she was much morefamiliar with. So it wasn't a bad story by any means, but you know the teamturned over for various reasons. Luckily, at the time I was luckilymaybe not, but Skilrlikeyo IHT, but I'v been the top performer on the team, soI'd earned earned my stripes during my time at Tango as an individualcrontributor. So I made the case of you, know: Hey, let's, let's kind of rebuildand reactool our sales organization a get idea of some of the best practicesthat I'm aware of in industry. So I made the case for that and basicallymade the case to get the leader Chiprle at the same time and Yeu other businessliked and trusted me enough to to give me the opportunity. That's amazing, you know I I think alot of us. You know a lot of us kind of stumble into sales by accident right. II think m a few people kind. O know they want to be sales people, but youmoved up really quickly into sales leadership and I gotta Kindo wonder:Did you know that you wanted to be a sales leader and, if so like? Why wasit the challenge or are you a natural people leader? Was it something else?How did you think about you know moving up into a leadership hole? That's agood question and I've been I've been mulling over that for for quite sometime, I'm not necessarily arly, said Popenot. I don't think I'm a powerhungry person or even necessarily a status hungry person, and I'm not goingto deny that hey. We all kind of like power and status ecause it Mexulideseasier, but I've had some opportunities to to step in the leadership roles hereand there like now I did the fraternity thing in college, which was dumb butalso was a lot of fun, and I I stepped into some liatership roles there andreally more often than not. Whenever I I felt that the motivation or the driveor you knowthetheneed to do that, it was because I thought that I could helpout and serve you K, ow the organization potentially better thananyone else 'cause. You know either my skillset or the time I had available orwhatever it is 'cause. I I really do believe in servant leadership and oncesomeone eventually explained what that framework was and and that philosophy aa o yeah that that's how ID like to operate. So if I think I can do thebest job, I'm going to fight for it and...

...if I think that someone else can do youknow as good or better of a job than I don't necessarily care as much to goafter that job because, hey you know, m I'm pretty happy N in the role I' at atalmost any given time. So let us try to like work together to figure out heywho really should be doing this and as long as d, The best person for the job,even better 'cause, I mean I've got a great ceoiolf reporting to that Guy Ido have you know aspirations to eventually you know continue and angrowmy career, but I love that guy in that job right now. I hope he never moves,and I I hope that you know we're able to have someone above me teaching mefor for quite some time. Yeah I I can you know I can testify howimportant that is I' I've reported to to amazing ce Os, and it just makesyour life so much easier, and I I'm with you on th on the leadership sideright. I think you know when I think about leadership being able to helpothers achieve leadership roles as been something that's really stood out forme. I you know, of course, I'm I'm excited about how the companies thatI've been at perform. But when I look look out across my network, you knowwatching guys and girls that have reported to me go out and B VPS andCros and CEOS has probably been. You know more fun for me on the on theleadership side. So I want to do transition into this conversation,though, which I I saw in the revenue collective slack channel, which is, Ibelieve, you recently went through the challenge of building your very firstSDR program when you were tassed with building that program. How did youstart mapping out the build of your very first str program? Yeah? So, let'ssee, I think I I made the case for that in January or February of last year andwe're recording this in you know early April. So it's it's still very much sowork in progress, but as part of the you know, transition from individualcontributed a leadership. I said: Hey, you know. Companies like hours havesuccessful, outbound S, Dr Programs. I think we're we're really. You knowmissing a lot of value by not having one I haven't built one before, but Ihave done a lot about ounprospecting. So I think I can do that. So I I did alot of research, and that means you know I consume a emetric Crapton ofoncast content and typically listening at you know one point five to two x tojust cram as much an there as possible wit it if listen to a lot of content,and then I read as many books as I can find I'll round that subject sopredictable revenue, still devoent playbook or the two that immediatelyjumped to mine that, were, you know, fairly foundational for for a lot ofwhat I put my plant around. Did a little bit of a competitive survey tolook out in the market and say you know, hey, let's make sure that you know ourour main competitors or you know, companies that are in our space thatare a bit larger and a bit more sophisticated as far as their salesorganization goes, Wat make sure that they're doing that, okay Yep they areso we've proven out that we're reasonably confident that the marketmakes sense for this. Then it's you know every single step from there. Solet's define the role responsibilities,...

...make sure that we've got the tools thetexttack there and you know just kind of get to work from there. Yeah S. it's it's really interesting.You know I've built out a FW SR programs myself and the amount ofthings that you learn like right up front is really really promising. Whenyou can turn those learnings around and use them to better, you know, grow yourteam, I'm going to assume that you guys had some pretty quick learnings as well,both positive and maybe also some challenges as well. What was somethingthat didn't go as planned when you were building this out and and how did youhandle that I this is, you know, embarrassing toadmit but th? I think the biggest challenge that I've I've had this pastyear and at this point, ave had to replace the person that that joined usbefore 'cause someone came in, you know had some success, but you know franklynot not enough. I think they kind of saw the writing on the wall and theyfound another position and then w. We brought somebody else in, but the theperson that we had in the role- I've always been a bit of a self starter andif I don't either understand the job in front of me or the task orhow to do it best, I'm going to proactively find ways to do it, andthat means you know research. However, I need to or obviously reach out to mymanager 'cause. You know it's kind of their job. To make me successful anenable met O achieve my goals, 'cause, it helps them. I think I'd accidentallyor you know, through through poor highering and screeing PROC practiceshired someone that really wasn't like that and they needed l or you know timeand attention handholding how werd you want to call it, and I I didn't, evenat the time, realized that that could be a thing fora sales person 'cause. It just didn't didn't make sense to me that someonelike that would would take a Sall job so now I've I've become much morecognizant of the you know, profile or personality profile of the person thatI'm I'm hiring or or bringing ont on my team. Yet to me it's the differencebetween optimizers and builders and I think oftentimes we get confused by thesuccessive people and we see you know someone was a world class sales manager,one President's Club a few times, but it's really truly important tounderstand whether or not they actually built something from scratch or whetherthey took something that was built and actually just went out and optimized itright and it sounds like you needed a builder. Is that right, yeah! That'sthat's a very good way! Framing that how do you find those folks right likeit feels like you? You maybe took a swing ind a miss on the first hire. Youprobably learned a lot from that. Do you have any sense of of how companiesgo out in assess who a builder is versus someone who needs something tobe in place, because I see this mistake happening all the time w. what's yourtake on on getting that right now that you've, you know maybe gotten wrong thefirst time yeah and I can I can speculate, and I can talk about whatI'm trying to do I'd very much so like to like to get some advice or maybeEcan, hear your thoughts, but I think a...

...lot of it comes down to the you knowthe interview process, the screening process and specifically behavioralinterview, Questions 'cause, you gotta really screen very, very hard. You know,I think, one of the one of the first lessons that one of my former vps youknow imparted to me once I was stepping into ladership role, was higher slowfirefast and I was like why you want at you want to build a team as quick aspossible, and then eventually you realize that you know ance, you hiresomebody, you know for better for worsh. She stuck with him for a while and thebehavior o interview style questions. That's what allows you to reallyunderstand. How does this person react in this kind of situation? What kind ofexperiences do they have and- and it kindof helps you suss out who they, whothey really are? At least that's my take on and thus far do you ever tango,I'm curious when you're hiring executive, you know, leaders or orsenior sales leaders to come in, and you know build an str program orbuilding ae Tam. Do you have them during the interve process? Do aproject I I'm kind of going around a and getting a sense from folks onwhether or not that's that's commonplace. I did it in my pastbusiness and really enjoyed it. What about it tango? Do you do you? HAVETHEM CREATE PROJECTS YEH? So it's funny. You mentioned thatthe first time around I I thought. Okay, let me give an exercise to thecandidates that I'm screeting for, and I try to give the exercise basicallyafter the initial application, before any any conversation, and I think outof the twenty or thirty people that I had given that to only one respondedand their work projects so to speak. ortheir their exercise submission wasalmost a copy paste for a Wesite, so I was was not super friend of that and Iwas Misr Y, but this Ti'me around I was Ai Welma. I N get them a little bitexcited about the opportunity first and then theye'll be a bit more invested init. So I I did make a point to introduce and exercise essentiallyafter the phone scream portion of the conversation that worked out fairlywell for US yeah. It's been, it's been really big in my previous businessesand I love giving people just a bare minimum amount of information and inkind of understanding whether or not they come back and ask a lot ofquestions. I want to see that curiosity. I think that builders tend to be justhypercurious, so you know for for those folks out there that aren't puttingexecutive leaders or salesleaders through through a a project in theintervy process. I highly recommend it, but t'slet's maybe move down into theSDR team themselves. When I built SR teams in the past, I was actuallyreally surprised to find that my best SDRs actually came right out of school.Now I built SMB SASS teams, so it wasn't complex enterprise sales, butthat was surprising to me. I had always anticipated that someone, W was sixmonths or twelve months would be more successful. What about it tangle,health? How do you think about you know hiring the people that are most likelyto succeed an and who have you seen, succeed so far, yeah unfortunate, I'm abit too too early to give you t e. This is what's workd for us. I've seen somesuccess so far, but uncurrently about a month or so in in on boarding my mostrecent str. I get the idea of the logic...

...behind what what makes the most sense.As far as you know, hiring someone fresh out of school because you do havethe ability to work with someone that has a bit of a blank slate as far aswhat what professional sales looks like what professional work looks like andyou can ideally be the person wha gives them that mold of is the expectations.This is how you, how you behave on a team. This is what what works the best,I'm still trying to find out myself. I do remember when I've been goingthrough this process and asking people my network, you know tips and tricks,for you know identifying higher and screening. A lot of people wererecommending strs fresh out of school, but some of t e, the left field ones,were anyone, that's coming out of education or healthcare. So if youcoald find a teacher, that's like Yep you now. I Love Education, but I Idon't really want to do this for the rest of my life as well as nursesapparently can kick, but in this kind of job I haven't had the opportunity todo you hire anyone like that, but it's something that'll keep in eye off forit cool. So so you know you're just kind of fresh into it. You're you'relearning a lot you're hiring people you're having winds, you're, makingmistakes just like we all do it t it's amazing w. What after sort of thisearly, you know look into your SDR program. What's the number one pieceadvice that you have for someone after just this sort of short learning orexperience that you've had, but you know you reach out to the audience andsay this: Is the one thing to either do or don't do what? What is it never hireless than two to start with, ideally over three? Why is that so? And it's it's a trap, then.Unfortunately, I I got forced into and I'm I'm digging my wout of right now.'cause I've made the case for two and we eventually settle on one, but thechallenge with hiring just one. It's there's a lot of things that are intothat one. You don't have anything to really measure that person against,because even if you were in that role, doing a outbound prospect, I mean youknow what your prospects. You know how to target them and if, if you know thatjob you know throwang through it's not quite the same, because unlikely tyou're going to hire someone with your level of experience in the space. Youcan't even measure yourself against that person very well and you needsomeone else to benchmark them against. So that's just a good way of helpingyou manage that the other piece is for one of the other pieces is that createsa sense of you know: Team Comroderie, 'cause I've been in rolls where I'vebeen one of two I've been in roles where I've been. You know one of six,seven, eight on a team and then you at least have a teammate to learn fromsomeone to you know want Whan Nee, be you can complain about. You know, workor whatever it is, but t allows the just the feeling experience of the jobto be a lot better for the person assuming you can build and fosterpositive culture, and then the other piece is if that person leaves you're startingover from scratch, whereas if you can hire two or three ideally you're, notlosing the entire tea mell once and when you bring someone on board, youalready have a bit of that culture that trival knowledge there. So theonboarding training process- whil, that's still on you to provide toNuhire existing team, can take care of...

...a lot of that. For you yeah. I love it.I I love it when I was you know, building my last business. This was apiece of advice that I took to heart, which was to hire two or three to start,and I can recall hiring. You know two guys and one sort of look the part.Your your. Maybe cliche salesperson, big strong kind of former athlete andthe other one was didn't necessarily look. That way wasvery timid and shy and sort of on a hunch we hired both and the ladder thetimided Chiguy rocketed his way up through the organization and runs ateam of you know: Thirty People doing twenty million in revenues. So I canappreciate that. So that is a great piece of advice. If you're out therehire two do not hire one doesn't matter if it's SDRs a es, whatever alwaysstart with to so great piece advice. Andy, I appreciate you sharing it andUm we're actually nearing. You know the end of our time on this episodetogether and we have one last segment that we love to do. It's called ourquickfire five and it's just five questions where we get top of mind:real answers from executive revenue, leaders like yourself, Youe ready all rightes, do it. What is your mostcontroversial perspective on business today? SEALSPEOPLE are both underpaid andoverpaid. At the same time, can I ask what you mean by that? I I got out itim yet so I mean from a system level a standpoint hey.You know: We've proven out that th, the complemodel for sales people work, OIta, you can build and Growin scale an organization and it does work, but atthe same time a lot of it exists just because well, hey the sale. Ferker wasthe last person t to to touch this. This account and they're the thedifference maker between Yes or no R Wendedo, don't Lok win thedeal and Ithink that's that's still kind of a handfisted way of of attributing valueto the sales process and it's really hard to say hey, you know what whatreally was the difference maker in this case, and I I don't think that themodel is is correct. I don't have a better solution for it yet, but it issomething that I pits on my mind. Quite a lot really interesting, then, what'sa song that you listen to to get you pumped up for a workday born for this by the score nice? I do not know it. I will look itup besides speaking to me today what has been your favorite experience todate so far in revenue, collective Ye. So I was, I was monioring, the the newmember channel, an slack, and I saw someone join and you K now we kind ofprovided borb about ourselves and I was like well this person's got. You knowthr there, where I wan to be in you know ten fifteen twenty years, justbasid on their track, recard INA in a very, very similar space as mine, so reOutte Dem and I ended up being in their city. You now a couple of months later,so it s like Haom in town and K ow. He happened to be free, so we got you know,drinks and T K, kindo caught up for an hour or two, and now I've got a mentor.That's you know been phenominally more successful than I have just from mostlyjust the fact that we're both in reven e collective, because I don't know ifyou would have necessarily taken my call or give me the time Ho Day.Otherwise, amazing, that's great men.

What's something that Andy Racic isworld classin, probably root, cause analysis, slashsystem level thinking, so you looking at a a complex problem and distillingit down to just the two or three things that are really that really matter smarter Guy Than I am lastly tell theaudience: what's a life motto or a guiding principle that they can takehome with them today, this too shall pass literally one of my favorite things. Isay T to my wife all the time, every time I'm going into something that Iknow is going to be miserable. I say it out loud. I say this too shall pass soreally interesting that that that is yours. It's been awesome. Having on theshowman tell everyone how they can get in contact with you should they want to Lincon is far away the easiest way Ispend too much time there and I' probably want to be only if not theonly anyracics on there. So if you look for any Racin, can you fin hm in Austin,Texas? That's me cool and what's your revenue, collective slack handle AndyRacic Dash, atx, Great Andy, thanks so much for for spending some time. Wit Metoday really appreciate it and learned a lot, and I will see you inside of therevenue collective slact channel Justin. Thank you. Well apprecyou. ThisTayourman.

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