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Ep 8: We're all remote now. Learn to build your sales team feat Simon Tecle

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Ep 8: We're all remote now. Learn to build your sales team feat Simon Tecle

Toe E, what is going on? Everyone welcome tothe revenue collective podcast. I am your launch host Justin Welsh member ofthe Los Angeles chapter of rather nue collective. An inside of these episodeswere going to be featuring ideas and conversations that are inspired byongoing discussions within the revenue collective community across the GLOBand obviously, as of LADE. There has been a tremendous amount of talk aroundremote work, hiring onboarding training and coaching all remote all across thecountry, and we're going to cover some remote best practices. Inside of thisepisode with our guest had of sails in customer success at CITRUSLABS, SimonTeckel, if you're out there listening and you want to join revenue,collective visit revenue, collective dotcom in click apply now before wedive in Watsimon. I cannot forget our amazing podcast sponsor outreach. Thenumber one sales engagement platform outreach revolutionizes customerengagement by moving a way from siled conversations to a streamlined incustomer centric journey leveraging the next generation of artificialintelligence. The platform allows sales raps to deliver consistent, relevantand responsible communication for each prospect. Every time enablingpersonalization at scale that was previously unthinkable. Oky It's timeto kick it off. Let's get to our guest Simon teckl. Our guests today is Simon. TeckellSimon, is the head of sales in customer success at citrus labs, a one and ahalf million dollar arr business, headquartered right down the streetfrom me in Santa Monica California, he has over five years of executiveleadership experience and has been in sales since two thousand and six afterattending my Amamadar, the Ohio State University Simon, welcome o SholmanJustin. Thank you so much for having me I'm excited to be here and I'm glad youdid say the Ohio State University. You don't think that I would screw that up.'m, I do it. I do it the way, the football players do it befor the Games,the Ohio State University, the Onen only but Gan to have you great to haveyou men. You know B before we dive in, and we talk about today's topic, whichis remote, work, I'd, love to learn a little bit more about your careerhistory. What is your backstory leading up to citrus labs and then maybe tellus a little bit about what citre slabs? Does yeah absolutely thanks Justin, soI am first generation born in Chicago and H. I was rig from Chicago. I wasraised in Cleveland, a curlers I likit in Columbus Ohio. So you know I've donesales, my entire life, my first sales job was being a telemarketer collectingdonations for the Ohio, patrolment's Benevled Association, and then I wasyou know, calling for a mortgage company and generating leads for loaneofficers, so that was kind of my first sales job, an the taste of the salesenvironment. So after attenning t the house, the Ohio State University, I amemy professional CR. I began my professional career selling computersfor dealt so that was kind of my first taste of outside sales experience andcombining you know that it hardware, software and m matching that up with thcustomers needs and getting a glimpse of that so m. from there I landed at acompany called everyday health based out of New York. That was the firststartup I ever joined and the stars aligned and and the first start, if Iererjoined IPO in two thousand and fourteen so thi was really exciting. Tolearned a lot from my time at everyday health and about the struggles and justkind of getting a grip of what start up in girth life is so I've just been inlove with startups and Growth Company. Since then, N I've held every role fromintivilgal contributor to local level. You know front line sales managers todirector level roles, and now I had a sales and customs CEESSE SIC is labsawesome and what does citroslabs do...

...yeah so citru labs is we're a healthcare tech company, and so we a support clinical trials. So you know right now,it's just a very interesting time for us right with everything going on withcoved, so we are in the patient engagement space with clinical trial.So we have developed software that streamlines everything from patientrecruitment for clinical trials to patient attention to controlling yourpatient experience, while they're you know visiting the doctor's Office for aclinical Troug, so we are an end t nd platform for patient cruitmentretention and engagement Gotcha. So you know all these companies a lot ofcompanies m. You know a few that I'm working for as an advisor at the momenthave been forced into remote work because of Cohid, and I was justcuriousbefore coved was citrus slabs fully remote or or were you all officebased yeah? So we were a fully remote company. So, as you know, companieshave had the transition right now. You know to Workin home. It was business asusual for us right so and you know the way we look at remote. Work is a coupleof different ways. O know. Primarily we look at as how can we attract right?The best talent out there, so we think being remote first allows us thatflexibility to attract in the best talent, that's out. We look atat also as employer attention. You know we are able to. You know, compete withother larger tech companies and companies that you know may have alarger brand or more funding or anything like that, because we offerthat Workom ome flexibility. So it's away for us to remain competitive aswe're small companie, as we are growing so away there as well employeretentionand then just overall, given people t the flexibility of working home. We seeyou know higher engagement, higher productivity, a people spending moretime working too united slack messages at ten eleven at night, sometimes whenpeople that are working late at night because it just fits their workstylebetter. So you know we except we ore remote first company and you know Oba,it's not going to change and you know we've seen a ton of benefit from it. That's great. I I'm, like I said: I'mkindo working W th with two companies now and I've never been remote beforeso I've never done remote and there's been so many incredible learnings asI've helped transition in in office team to a remote team. As you started,thinking about building out your team at citrus labs, you know was there likea surprise or an incredible learning that that you took away pretty quicklyin the beginning yeah, so you know for me. Fortunately, I've been remote, myentire career, all but one year. So I don't know anything different,essentially from being Romot work and working remotely, so that N, whetherexe, even as indinividal contributor and throughout my ntire career Um, youknow- all I know is remote so know it's. Allow me to learn a lot of things. Youknow and h. You know a and bring some best practices. You know as I'mbuilding and scaling you know a company here, so you know there's a lot ofthings that happen when you know you're looking at a company and you're tryingto build it, and I think it all starts with you know, like Yeu said: Who areyou hiring? I think you're hiring Ome vils are extremely important whenyou're hiring for a remote role and it's going to be different than who you're hiring. If you have anoffice environment, I mean that's one of the big key things that you knowthat I've learned as as I've been you know, working with differentorganizations, an helping them grow and build teams. Is the profile's going tobe pretty different interesting? Can you tell me a little bit about thatthat profile? You know it's still unclear to me as I'm trying to buildteams in the remote remote era how that profile, shifts and changes. I'd loveto learn from you. How has it changed when you Shif from I know you haven'tdone like in office or what are some of the things of a remote candidate thatreally stand out to you that say: Hey this candidate has a great chance to besuccessful in a remote environment wha. What are some of those things that yousee yessolutely, so I you know, look for you Kn W. Most people will say wellyeah. We all look for that, but a lot I...

...spend more times understanding theirstory and what are that intangible? So I like to to understand not why do youwant to work remote? But you know what is the outcome of your? You know. Whatdoes working remote provide you, you know number one. You know some peopleit's! You know I have a kid at home or you know I have a sick parent orwhatever s. So it's motivation for working from home. You know it wasdifferent than you know. My for you know I have to go to an office or Idon't have the Biliy to you know to go to an office. So you know that's thatmotivation is important. For me to understand. Second is: What is theirwill to win? You know and I like to understand: What did you do in college?What did you do outside of college? You know not just that was part of thisclub or this club, but tell me a time that you ran through a water crush agoal. Right. Tell me a time that you know you were relentless on achieving aquota, so I think the the having the self motivation that self starterability is high on my priory list when I'when I'm talking to sales or absandleaders and stuff like that to t to join our organization, because thereare some reps that are use that need that office structune and there'snothing wrong with that right. They need that office structure. They need.You know some you know to you know, have someone h holding them accountablekind of you know for every part of their day and that's how they work best,which is gray, but you know I've taken. You know where you have taken chanceson sales reps in that scenario, because you can kind of manage their day to day activity in aremote environment. You really can't take a chance Onnso, someone like that,because you don't have that ability to quote unquote, micromanage, Gotcha.That makes a lot of sense and you said something interesting early earlier,you said you know: People tend to work potentially longer right and I've seenthat as well, especially during covid, because everybody knows we're in frontof our computers, we're kind of trapped in our houses right. So like there's,this idea that you can start slacking people at five. Thirty in the morningI'm getting early morning slacks some days, I'm getting you know, nine PM,slacks and you're also telling me about hiring these self starters. These folksthat are really motivated. You know when I see those two things together: ahighly motivated self starter and then the ability to be overworked. How doyou make sure that doesn't happen? How do you put up boundaries in remote workto make sure that not everyone, starting at five, thirty and ending ateight and you're burning the team out you're burning the company out wh? Whatare some best practices for making sure that t doesn't happen? Yeah absolutely so I think we as acompany. We have the Times that we respond to slack and when you canexpect a response, you know from a slacker and email right. So if I'mslacking someone at ten PM, I know I'm not getting a response rigt or at fiveam so that is also helping people prioritize. You know number one numbertwo burnout. Is that questions? How do you sult for burnout? You know so onething that we did as a company is we limited the amount of vacation days?You can roll over inti the next year right and part that was not us beingselfish as a company. The reason was we wanted to force people to take theCasehon right, so my job as a leader is to say: Hey. You have x montivicationdays left when when are you planning on using them? You know almost kindof likeforcing someone to say: Hey, youhave vacation, let's, let's make sure you'reputting on the calendar and helping them. You know t t to schedule thattime to get away because Bernat is real and m. You know the third part you knowof that is in you know, you're one or once, and you know, if you're seeingsomeone always sending messages at ten midnight, seven am or whatever the casemay be m asking o them. You know some people, they work better. That way. Youknow we have a marketing team in a TEC team and we get a lot of emails andstuff in them at weird hours right, but that is what how they work best, andsometimes it's okay. If that is how someone performs the best right- andthat is my prmost Mo prod activity that my practivy s highest at ten and eleven,because I'm just kind of zoned in and you know- th Gh- The world is shut downat that time. So it's it's a balancing act. You know number one, but also Idon't want you don't want to impede...

...what is someone's you know. Mostproductive hours are most productive time. Yep. Definitely so I I I feelyeah I try and get my work done and very specific blocked hours, becausethat's just one I'm best over a cup of coffee. You know nd, I'm I'm more, I'mwortless between three to five. So I I totally get that you said somethingearlier as well. That was really interesting, which is this allowscitrus labs to compete. You can compete with these larger companies. You cancompete for the best talent. You know one thing that I've never done that I'dlove to hear from you is on boarded groups of new folks into myorganization remotely, and I can only imagine I mean I've done it in personin an office setting. I can only imagine that there are significantchallenges between onboarding folks premotely in those who are doing it atoffice. Do you think that there is a new or unique or particular approachthat works really well to onboarding folks into a remote environment? Yeah?Absolutely you know if I had a couple pieces of advice for on boarding newhires, whether it's sales or management or whatever level you know, especiallyon the sales side. You know as you're hiring sales reps you on number one you want to hire ingroups, you know I say minimum minimum. You want to hire in groups of fourright 'cause you want to have that Comroderie 'cause, you can have them dothings as a group and learn together and that that keeps each oth that keepseveryone motivated. You know the biggest cownn of being remot is feelingif you're on an island right and I'm alone, so the more you' come back thatby hiring in groups youill alleviate that, for your hiring classes. Numberone number two, I'm a big believer before you even start on boarding. Youmust preboard Riam, what's included in in preboard to me, what's included inPretty Board is introducing that team or that that those team members antwowho are who's immediately on the team. This is everyone else. That's on yourteam! This is your direct report. You know we have little sheets that tellyou! You know this is my favorite book, and this is what I like doing and youknow so you can find out hey who, on the team, do I have some similaritiesto right, so I think that's very important as part of preboarding.Second, a sign of mentor to to everybody right. So this is your goatto person. If you have questions also, this is a way for you t to give somemore responsibility to maybe there's an a e or someone. That's asking for morethat you want to, you, know, bring up to the company or potentially repromoteinto a management role, assigning a mentor to to to each person, and if you,if you don't have a one tol on ratio that you can do that a to to one ratio,you know c can work just as well. Third is everything that's expected of them,so a lot of the stuff that you know most people get on day one. I starttoday- and this is what my weak is like- that information is extremely valuablea week before their first day, you know number one here, your expectations,heres, you know the K pis your ow Krs here is everything that we're lookingfor. Yo Know: here's what's required, you hear's what happens if you, if youdon't meet, you know performance expectations. So all that stuff, Ithink, is critical for someone to understand before they even get today,one because then, when they land on day, one there's a lot of the unknown or alot of the nervousness they had. They know who their mentor is. They know whoare their buddies. They know who's all on their team and they get that teamenvironment almost immediately right, and so I think, preeboarding andanything you can do to make them feel comfortable to teach hem about thecompany to send Hem, five or dusmall sample dacks t at they at least knowsome of the buzzwords and Lingo and and things about what you sell and how yousell anything you can do ahead of time before they land on day. One will makeon boarding that much better yeah th. That's that's some great advice, and Ithink you know, with with covet going on we're, seeing a lot of advice aroundhiring onboarding training, seeing a lot of advice on coaching remotely. Theone thing where I see less information out there is about working cross,functionally or takin another way, developing a linement between differentteams. So alignment between marketing...

...sails C S, Prada things like that. Howhave you effectively brought those teams or stakeholders together, whileworking remotely for citraslaps Yeh? So I think the first thing withthat is making sure everybody's objectives at some point are aligned, so we're allworking towards the same goal. Right selfishly, you know, I think our goals,aure objectives need to Aligne at some point number one, because then at leastour meetings then are all working towards a common goal m. You know, Ithink that's one of the challenges whos product has their own roadmap andthings they want to do in marketing, has their own issues with demandgen andthings like that and sales like revenue, reben revenue and we're almostoperating in three different silos, so everybody needed to come under one SIO.You know at one point and then it's. How are the leaders of each of thosesilos C s marketing product coming together to discuss? You know what arethe challenges in each everybody's organization and how we can supporteach other right. So product may need sales to give feedback on. You know anew role out that they're going to have marketing may ask Hey: How are theleads coming in from the last demandien campaign, wedate or whatever? The casemay be right, so I think it starts with the leaders of each of those silos. Ithink you need to aline goals and bring everybody under one roof. You know andthen Um have those continuous meetings that we're we're, keeping track, we'rekeeping score an, and we have actionable items that we're going totake to, or you know, a specific business units and disseminateinformation and say here's how we're all working together towards thatConmon Bolt Lell. That is there. Is there any particular. You know goalsetting framework that that you use. I know some folks use o krs others justkind of dump some goals. Anddo, a Google dock. Is there a particular waythat you guys go about setting cross functional goals, yeah so m with youknow our co and and coo when we kind of do ouryearly planning. So at the end of Twenty Nineteen wher, we were lookingAttho twenty twenty and K o. We were identifying watour goals, engion andyou know: Ok, Urs. We specfically set out what what are some combined O K,Urs right, you know, and we got by and from you know our head of marketing andour chieftonology officer and myself on what those could be getting goals isone thing, but you know have everyone to sit down and agree that, yes, youknow these are are combined kind of objectives is another thing, and thatis what really fosters that collaboration in that workingenvironment for everybody to have and ou W. I have a lot of friends that arein you know similar roles and bprols that they're fighting with you knowproduc an marking. We hear the stores all the time Rejustin so and thechallenges is that there th there's no combined objective. Everybody isselfishly working for their own objective and and to me I say you guysdo not have combined objectives that you guys can work on towards together.The orianaization will feel that right and the company will feel that,ultimately, it will hinder the growth you Kno of the organization wheneveryone's kind of you know operating in their own little debble totally. Iknow that Um, you know when, when people are doing ok rs for the veryfirst time they never go well the first time andas we did them more and more and more frequently at my previous companies, westarted to figure out that having those crossfunctional Okrs were was socritical because we were able to drive huge. You know company CPIS forward byleveraging our entire our entire group of of employees. So it's it's great tohear that you guys are taking a similar approach cause it took. It took me afew years to learn that approach, and it was just a huge benefit once t oncewe we went that way, so very cool, thyt you're doing that at Cetr slapps aswell, Simon wr, we're kind of nearing the end of our time here together, andthat means that we have one more segment left and that's our quick firefive segment, and these are five questions where we get top of mind:real answers from executive revenue. Leaders like yourself, you're ready togo...

...iready to go arig man. What has beenyour favorite experience today inside of the revenue? Collective, so my favorite experience to date wouldbe. I was invited to participate. Sam Jacobs, obsy operated this great groupT s partner with Divante Jackson and they have created revenue, collectiveof color and really really awesome, and my hats areoff to same Jacobsgandevante for, for you know, coming up with this idea andpushing it forward n for itcoming to crition, and what it's doing is. Isit's putting a group together and how can we champion the next phase of underrepresentative minority leaders to you know get into these executive levels ofVP levels head of sales levels and how can we mentorn foster? You know thenext generation and invite more people to join the the REB Nelective, even theassociate program right. So you know that's been my favorite experience sofar and Getn my hat's off to to Sam Jacobs and the vontelos Jacks for foradvancing that initiative, love it man. I was reading about it the other day,so that that's that's great, to hear. What's a piece of advice that you hearoften that you think is total bullshit, you know I'm mchon, we have. You know for me, I would say the thatpiece ORT afvice for me that that I think is complete. Bullshit is the find what you love and the moneywill follow, advice, a D and I'll explain why so one of my favorite showsis sharktink. I've seen everyop, probably three to five times Kay andyou you know I watch Al these people pitching and, and you K ow some havegreat idea some, you know not so great ideas or whatever e case may be, andyou know they are Um. You know fighting fighting, fighting, fighting andgrinding grindand grinding and even though the business and the numbers andnothing supports the stainability for them to continue they're still drivingforward and saying you know, I'm just going to Kek figuring it out and I'mjust going to keep doing what I'm going, because I love and and everything willfigure itrself out, and it reminds me a lot sometimes and we hear the storiestoo and th start up in. You Know Worldright, where you have foundersthat are just hyperfocused on a product because they they develop the product.And you know Y re we're going to bring this PRAC to market and they're, notlistening to what Accustom Eyre saying or what sales or anybodys saying andthey're just really focused right on their product, because that is whatthey love and they say w we're just going to push is prignar market andeverything else will take care of itself and you see a lot of companiesfolding because of that right. So I think that you hear that evice often yyeah it' work for some people, but I think m overall. I think that that isactually some terrifle advice got it. What's a book, that's changed your lifeyeah man. This is a couple of books, I would probably say I'm a big Fan of msen buyer say no. That would be my m,my favorite book, because when I first got into sales, a lot of sales that Iwas doing was you know lo lot of transactional and you knowtelemarketing and generating leades for lone very just kind of a hard sale. Soyou know I read that book and you know it reminded me back to that point andlike all the little mistake I was making- and you know we're not in astol transactial environment now, but I think there are still some gems inthere that every salscan can benefit from by you know time: Hopkens love itwhen Simon Needs, inspiration, who's, a music artist. We're going to find youlistening to when I need inspiration, I'm going tobe listening to drake. Probably you know and- and the reason is is M- drakehas music. That can help all my moods right. If I ingsomething to pump me up and get me going if finding something a littlemore mellow, that's just kind of background noise, because I'm justreally focussed and you know I'm doing some work. You Know He. I can turn onone of his albums and is to take care...

...of albums, probably it you know, I canturn it on, and you know I'll get a little bit of everything in that andthat' somehng. I can just have playing in the background all right. The lastquestion: What's the biggest mistake, you've made building teams and what didyou learn from it yeah so actually, when I was sellingcomputers for Dell, I was promoted to become a sales manager. When I wastwenty five years old, I was managing a team of eight people and talk about onthe job training and the biggest thing that I did that I learned from is, Iwas training and coaching and motivating people based on whatmotivated me- and I didn't. I did not understand that I have to realize whatmoone motivates at them and Unlocke that and so agait back to the point ofon the job training. I struggled for probably my first year a year and ahalf and wondering why people are't, motivated by the things that I am, andso that was a big mistake for me and I lost talent, and I learned things thehard way at that point and I read o look in the mirror and just figured outwhat wasn't working and you know I have to look at resources and read andunderstand you know, management, skills and so m. that's been the biggestlesson I learned early on Mos, how to you know, manage and motivate people,and it helped me Tro, Mak yeah. I think that's a lesson that ninety ninepercent of he people learn. I mean, I think maybe one percent of people arejust. They just understand that intuitively for some reason and they'rereally good at it, but man I I know I had to learn that as well Simon. Thisis this has been great man really really enjoyed. Speaking with you telleveryone how they can get in contact with you yeah absolutely so you canreach me on Linton, Simon teckle, and then email me at Simon at citrus labs,Otcom ul and your revenue collective slackhandle, Simon Yeah. It is Simon,teckell, C bus, Awesome Simon. It has been great having you on the show,really appreciate taking the time out always great to talk to a fellowBuckeye, and I wish you a wonderful weakmen thanks. So much thanks, justingthanks for having me really appreciate it hat was a killer. Conversation wasSimon, teckell, head of sals in customer success at citrus laps. Here'swhat I took away from the time that I spent speaking with Simon First, whenyou are moving to remote work, the profile of your candidates will change,be prepared to observe how that happens at your company and how about thisrefreshing nugget push people to take their vacation. Burnout is real, asSimon said, and I can absolutely attest to that. Okay, if you're out therelistening and you want to apply to revenue collective either to ourexecutive or associates program simply head over to revenue, collective dotcom,that's revenue, collective dotcom and CI apply now, thanks again to ourguests. Today, Simon Teckel, if you are wondering how to connect with me, youcan find e young twitter at Justin Sass, that's just an saas or simply byvisiting my website at the official Justin Com. Let's connect there andtalk shop, cheers.

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