The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 3 weeks ago

EP 137: Fighting Adversity w/ Tucker Hood

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

EP 137: Fighting Adversity w/ Tucker Hood

Part of the TGIM (Thank God It's Monday!) series hosted by Tom Alaimo.

All right, welcome back to the Pavilionpodcast where revenue leaders come to learn the tips tricks and tactics thatthey need to be successful in their roles. I'm your host of, thank God it'smonday Tom Alaimo from Gang. Let's get after it today pumped to be here pumpedfor this episode. I got my man tucker Hood, usually from indiana, currentlyliving in Dallas texas. He's the senior director of sales over at insured mine.He's had a lot of different enterprise, a experience from places like formstack. Uh so C 06 Ter he's an interim VP of sales a capture lee co founder atthe trellis app. He's been all over. He's a pretty big name on linkedin aswell and had a great conversation with him, learning about his career, learnedabout his background. I think you're really gonna like it before we get tothat actual interview. A couple quick words. One feel free to add me onlinkedin. My name is Tom Alaimo work over at gong, give this podcast somelove on apple and Spotify subscribe, leave a review and one quick word fromour sponsor. This episode is brought to you by insight squared advanced revenueanalytics and forecasting for today's B two B organizations. Your revenue teamwakes up every day with questions insights squared, gives you the datadriven answers in real time. Get 350 out of the box reports and dashboards.Self service, no code. Let's get straight into my episode with tuckerHood and let the magic happen. Let's go. All right tucker Hood. Welcome to thePavilion podcast, man, How are you Tom I'm great. Thanks for having me on.It's another day in paradise here in sunny Dallas as you can see thetrickling in. Um excited to be on the pod, appreciate you having me.Absolutely. We're both trying to shake off july summer sales slump. We'removing into august, we're trying to make some things happen. So hopefullywe bring each other some sales karma here. Yes sir. Let's bring some energytoday for ourselves and the folks on the call, uh, all about spreading theleft. Yeah. So, uh, I wanted to start in a unique place with you because Iwas just kind of scrolling through your linkedin and do a little research thismorning and came across a recent recommendation from you on linkedin andI'm definitely not going to read the whole thing because it would take 12minutes. But your most recent one, a few quotes that I picked out, tuckerHood defines in all caps relentless. You know, there are people we meet inlife who allow every setback, no matter how big or small to cripple them or atleast cause them to become stagnant, not tucker so on so forth. He has a wayof bringing his competitive and fighting spirit to win and applies toeverything and everyone around him. And that's just like a few sentences out oflike three paragraph review. What made who is this? Michelle. What madeMichelle say that about You? Well, one Michelle is a phoenix of a human beingrising from the ashes, just a very sweet individual and one who has, whohas punched back at life. So, you know, I think that's more about her than itis about me, to be honest with you. But you know, yeah, I've always tried tofight back, you know, whether it be from struggles that I've had outside ofwork, whether it's, you know, I had had knee surgery, pretty extensive kneesurgery last year, I've failed miserably in life and and work before,you know, I'm sure you look at my length and you say, wow, this guy, isthis guy done some cool stuff, it really doesn't paint a picture, and formost people it doesn't right? So, you know, I always tried to be the bounceback kid and keep moving forward every day. I love a good challenge. You know,part of me enjoys the sweat and the blood and the tears of of life and andhave startup life, and you know, that's all we can do is keep punching. It'sit's not about how many times you get hit, it's about how many times you youget up and keep moving forward, so that's that's kind of what I try andlive by. I love it and what did I see?...

Something about like this? I felt likethere's a long time ago, but something about, like, an appendix or a stomachsurgery or something like that. You mentioned the knee surgery, but am Imaking this up about something with a stomach or a kidney or something thatyou posted? Yeah, like two years ago I made some significant life changes and,and for some reason my body was not responding. They really couldn't tellme what was wrong with me. Thought it was autoimmune. I thought it was maybemy appendix, my gold bladder. You know, I was constantly in and out of the erwas struggling a lot. I lost about £35 and in three or four months I wasgetting to the point where I, you know, was concerned about my future on thisearth, spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to figure out what waswrong with me. They did kind of a hail mary gold bladder surgery said, hey,we'll give it a 50% chance to fix your pain, to fix your, you know, inabilityto sleep and ability to, you know, eat. And a couple weeks later I woke up andI was still screaming in pain. So furthermore, just started changing mydiet, started eating better, started drinking way more water, started tryingto manage my stress better, started seeing a therapist worked out like 227days before I, you know, had a cheat day and stopped, but 227 days in a row,uh ended up changing jobs, even just kind of hitting the reset button there,so um yeah man, I got, I got really sick and doing better now, so Iappreciate you asking about, I'm glad, I'm glad to hear it. Uh that after 227days in a row you're probably feeling pretty sore, pretty tired, how some ofthose life changes just helped. Like as we're talking about, you know, adaptingto the modern age of sales in a business, like the act of, you know,eating healthier, working out, you know, drinking more water, going to therapy,like all these things that I think a lot of people probably overlook and Ithink definitely a generation or two ago certainly overlooked as part oflike the overall balance of success, but curious if, if you've seen any likeupticks in your business life from taking care of yourself more on apersonal level Man, I'll tell you what I was, I was a pretty average. E at onepoint when I started making these changes is really when I acceleratedand I started lighting up the scoreboard and really leading a salesteam of 20, from a revenue standpoint, it was Me and one other rep at a, at anearly stage company that we're closing about 25, of the company's revenue each,so it was maybe not the healthiest situation for a sales team, but youknow, she was out of new york, I was out of san Francisco we were we weredoing a great job, I think you know personally I went from frat boy collegelifestyle out of college to you know pretty serious high growth tech companywith a lot of responsibilities and I had a lot of growing up to do mentallyemotionally, physically and the human body, the human mind can only kind oftakes so much at one time and when you're trying to do everything all atone time, you know, maintain your party lifestyle, maintain you know 60 70 hourwork week, maintain all these friendships, all these obligations,fighting demons that you haven't dealt with from from childhood it catches upwith you man and and really I think that's what happened is I I gotincredibly stressed out and I had to start cutting things out of my life toadd more to my life mm I love that you feel like a lot of people, the firstthing that they try to do and they make a changes, add something add more atthis and that I'm going to start working out, I'm going to you know,start prospecting more, I'm gonna do A B or C. But I feel like the reverse forme has always been true when you give yourself, you know, first cut out thebad things are first cut out the things that maybe aren't serving you aren'thelping push you in the right direction in whatever area before trying to thenadd things on top of it, right? And I'm...

...still no saying I still struggle everyday. I think you know the reason why I have had some minor successes is a bitof addictive personality and I don't stop a lot of times. So just trying tobalance that out and use that in the right ways and also be calm when thetime is right has helped yield some better results. But again, you know,working on it every day. All right, cool. So I want to get into uh intoyour career a little bit, look like you interned with the Pacers and then wentover to six or where you started your sales correct? I'm always curious howfolks get into sales. So like what's the story behind how you got into thesales world? Yeah man. Like just like everybody else. Probably it starts waybefore then I was 10. You know my family did all right, but if there wasextra things that I wanted in life, you know, I had to go buy them, which Ithink is the right way to approach life for any parents listening out there.But so I called up my grandma, she owned an antique shop in Carmel indianatime where I know you have some family actually Carmel, Yeah, shout out toCarmel and started working for her for like four or five bucks an hour and Idid everything from cleaning out the gutters, to reaching things that shecouldn't on the ladder to pricing antiques, to doing business taxes, torunning the cash register to talk into different folks walking up shakingtheir hand, asking him, you know what they're in for, what they're lookingfor, how their day was going and got a, you know, really really good look at asmall business that way, shout out to grandma too. You know, that was reallypivotal for me. From there started working in restaurants. I hosted, Iserved bar tended worked at a car wash for a year and a half of selling peopleon car washes. Um, I sold to use medical equipment for a summer. I'vedone quite a few different uh jobs always, you know, relationships, alwaysuh communication, always sales. So then I got really, really lucky with thePacers. Got introduced to uh one of their executives, Jim Morris who isjust a wonderful person, basically met with him. He said, hey, if you hit thisG. P. A. I'll get you an interview for an internship I did that got theinterview, luckily enough, they gave me a shot. So spent through four monthsworking with them did everything from, you know, working basketball games toworking fundraising events, looking at old data from previous seasons andanalyzing it, building lead lists, you know, really anything that they askedme to from there had the opportunity to get started in SAS got an opportunitywith an early stage company. I mean we were just after seed far less than amillion in annual revenue and got started as an SDR came in, broke acouple records, worked my ass off really, really did, you know, some some10 12 hour days and then had a chance to to grow rapidly with the company. Sowe about 20 X the the annual revenue about five X employees while I wasthere and moved from SDR 2 82 senior a and had a really fun ride and a companythat's that's now terminus, which is, you know, really really fast marketingtechnology company. So you know, 60 was the one I was at and and then had thechance to do it again with another one called socio to spend a year there verysimilar path, forex revenue five ex employee count. They recently gotacquired by Cisco. So you know, now all those folks are working for a fortunefortune 100 really and learned a lot on that ride last year was quite a bumpyride, tried to start a company, joined another as a VP of sales. Both did notwork very well. I'll just put it that way, Went and spent 8-10 months as anenterprise rep at a larger company and then had the opportunity to come outhere to ensure mine. So yeah, it's been a, it's been a wild ride and um, youknow, start ups software definitely in my DNA at this point. Yeah. So tell mea little bit about what you're doing at insured mind, like what I see 1/5 5thsales higher. 33rd total hires, is that...

...right? Or uh, or fifth us higher? Thatis fifth us higher. Yeah. So when I, I was actually, I was, I was roadtripping Roy this year, I was driving all over the United States, you know,working, you know, a decent amount as people do from them, you know, andhaving some fun and got in touch with the ceo of, of insured mine who startedrecruiting me. I thought it was a partnership call. I weren't veryquickly and not a partnership calls recruiting call. And you know, we hadsome back and forth for a couple months and then then finally got locked in. So,you know, I've always done things as an individual contributor for the mostpart, you know, at least without the title. And he offered the opportunityto come in and kind of build from the ground up. What I mean by ground up ishe did a wonderful job scaling the business to close to a million inrevenue on his own. He's got a couple of solutions engineers that workedaround that, that we're doing sales but not really anything like super formalhunting build sales team. No sdrs, not a lot of process. It was, you know, hey,how can we, which, which happens a lot. Right. So came in kind of started fromscratch on the sales side? One of the solutions engineers still still alongand kicking the other one, uh, decided to move on, which is totally good. Sohired a couple sdrs getting ready to hire the first e, I've been closingdeals building process and you know, we're really priming for that xdevolution of growth that I've seen it, you know, one of my mentors said, youknow, you've seen this movie before, you've seen this movie before, how you,how you kind of in the movie is up to you. So, you know, just doingeverything I can, to, to put in guardrails and, and build process andbring in deals and learn as much as I can quickly. So trying to lead from thefront and, and hire great people and I think we've got a great opportunity to5 to 10 excess business in the next couple of years and, and uh, you know,build a really great future for a lot of people and, you know, if we decidedto get acquired, take more funding, you know, we've been bootstrapped up untilthis point, maybe funding coming wink wink very soon, but uh, you know, justreally excited for the opportunity to do it as a leader and, and really watchother people thrive and help them grow as opposed to me, you know, being thatindividual contributor guy? Yeah. So what's the, uh, what's the team looklike now? Have you, have you been hiring? Is it, is it still just, youlike driving revenue like from a sales perspective at this point? What's theteam look like? Yeah. So David and SAM, my two sdrs, wonderful guys have comein and, and really, you know, started grinding quickly. We're putting a lotof meetings on the board now, you know, I gotta close it alongside our, oursolutions engineer getting ready to on board and e, we haven't officiallysigned anything yet, but getting really close there and then, you know,depending on funding will either be, you know, eight salespeople by end ofthe year or, you know, close to 15 to 20 in the next 12 months. So, you know,we'll grow from three or 4 to 10 to 20 in the next 12 months regardless. Sothat's, that's really exciting to, to build a team hire a team and cm whenobviously a lot of work will happen in between them. But we're really excited.We've been really, really heavy, which I actually prefer on the engineeringside. So we actually have 30 plus engineers over in India where our Ceois from very much a product like growth company up until this point now were,you know, have some massive customers have some, some really great winds havesome happy people now it's time to just add that, go to market fuel and andcontinue to grow. Yeah, What was the rationale behind hiring to Sdrs beforemaybe like an 80 like you get the sdrs, they said the meetings for you ratherthan an 80 that might go full sale cycle, like straight off the bat wascurious. No, it's a, it's a really great question. You know, I thinkgetting that, that lead generation engine, I think it's going to be hyperimportant for us as a team because you know, the last thing I want to do isbring in a and here and there there sitting behind their desk all day andobviously that person should be able to build their own pipeline and will, butyou know, I always want there to be...

...plenty to eat off of, so we hadn'treally done that yet, There have been no str there had been no, um, you know,outside our solutions engineers that were kind of doing it, there wasn't aformal process for that. So, and part of it too is, you know, one of mymentors has mentioned, I wish I would have sold, you know, he came in as VPof sales at about 50 K and r r when he was at one of the previous businessesthat, that I was at and you know, I wish I would have sold, I wish I wouldhave been inundated with meetings learned the product or in the salescycle and now that I've had the opportunity to do that and my calendarslammed every day. I know what my A s are going to be going through. I knowhow to coach around that. And the sdrs are now like really flexing that muscle.Where not only are they bringing in meetings are doing great discovery. Sonow when I bring this a n there's a lot to build off of. So maybe not thestrategy everybody else would go with, but I'm hoping it's gonna pay off. Yeah.What's been the biggest, uh, this is coming selfishly from someone who isnot individual contributor, interested again in the leadership in the future.What's been the biggest challenge or biggest kind of unforeseen obstaclethat you've had in that transition, You know, tom that's a that's a greatquestion. I'll tell you. It's time management is my hardest thing everyday because there is literally 40 things that I could do at any givensecond pulling on the right lever at the right time. I'm still gettingbetter at that, right? And if I waste and it's probably not a waste, but if Iwaste four hours interviewing somebody who doesn't end up, you know, that'sfour hours that I could have been selling before we hired our VP ofmarketing, I was working on a lot of marketing things if that's not yieldingsomething or, you know, maybe I just should have said no to it, that's timeI could've spent somewhere else. So it's just like with a salesperson, Imean it truly is a my managing my time, well what's going to yield me thebiggest R. O. I. For the time that I can spend today, how do you answer thatin your head? If someone comes to you with a request and you know you'restrapped for time? Like is there a filtering process that you go throughis just kind of like a gut decision? How do you decide? Yeah, I mean there'sthere's a lot of power and know some people in my life and they actuallyhave called me a yes man before, you know, I I just got to get better atthat. So you know, I think a lot of times I know the right answer in lifeand business, it's hey can I, can I give the right answer at the time? Sono is empowering whether it's in a sale cycle, which you should say a lot orwhether it's you know with your team or you know because people are alwaysgoing to load you up with more and more and you know I think strategically myCeo has given me more than I've been able to handle to allow me to say noand allow me to choose which is good. So that in itself has been a hugelearning process of just starting to balance and now I can add resources,we've got a new marketing guy, you know things are falling off my play whichwhich gives me opportunity to to really dig down and focus. I love it. Youmentioned product led growth earlier, is this the first P. L. G. Type companythat you've stepped into? That's a great question. I mean so six there wehad you know we had raised funding way way earlier, a couple million fundingat a very very early stage. So you know I walked into a oh 8 to 10 person salesdid well I was SDR three and we had three A. S. We had a VP of sales. Wehad like seven and then our but we were you know very low amount of revenue andthe product was just it was coming along. I'll just put it that way. Sosocio I'd say the product was was pretty good. But yeah again uh and itwas actually very similar to our ceo was from Turkey at socio we had a largeengineering team out of Istanbul great way to scale business for any founderwho can manage folks overseas and and spend a little less than your sanFrancisco new york engineer. But yeah I mean he really didn't hire a truehunter salesperson until A pretty...

...sizeable revenue range for a startuphad 30 plus engineers had what I would call an enterprise ready product. Imean we've got six figure deals on the board and it's a it's an early stagestartup. I mean that's you don't you don't see that a lot. So one I respectit too. It allows me to come in and replicate that. And three, I think alot of organizations could take a, take a note out of that playbook. I mean youcan go raise a ton of capital and go cram a product down folks throatswithout it being there or you can boot, boot, strap it and scale it and get theproduct where it needs to be and then hire your army and I'd prefer the water.Yeah. You talked a little bit about hiring earlier, obviously somethingthat a lot of exact, you know, everyone listening to this podcast is probablyresponsible with with some sort of hiring, whether it's at the exact levelor individual level or somewhere between what are some of the criteriathat you're looking for? You're trying to find your first e so what are youlooking for? Maybe what are you looking to avoid for someone like that to takeon that role? Because it's a very specific role, a specific type ofperson you probably need for that job. 100%. And I've got my spreadsheetpulled up here now, one of the things, you know, and I've mentioned mentorship just given pavilion a plug, I've found a mentor through pavilion, I'vegot a couple others that I've worked with that's incredibly important for ayoung guy like me trying to get in a leadership and succeed because withoutit, you know I would I would probably fail even more than I am already. Uhfell fast and learn is the whole thing. But to go back to your hiring question,a scorecard is always helpful. Amy bellows, if you're on linkedin, she'sshe's a big scorecard proponent and a lot of different measures for me, it'son the hiring side. So I think about the hard skills, right? Businessdocument for us. We shall sell into insurance agencies, insurance acumen.Do you have SAS experience and then what are those soft skills? Right. Sofor me I'm looking for self starter, adaptability, curiosity, organizationand process. And are you collaborative other things I can help with otherthings I can teach. Maybe you don't have inter insurance experience and SAsexperience and business acumen, they're all out of five, right? I can toy withthose a little bit, some of those soft skills. Our hyper important, you know,I can't I can't teach self starter, I can't teach somebody who's obsessedwith learning all the time. You know, I can't teach somebody to be anabsolutely relentless person when it comes to getting better and growing anddeveloping themselves. Insurance and sass, you know, you can learn that overtime. So really it's just for me thinking about what are the nonnegotiables that I must have. What am I willing to train, what am I willing toteach, what do I have time for and then trying to hire around that as best as Ican. Yeah, I love the scorecard idea. I didn't know that that was that made itaround or or that was something that Amy was a huge proponent for. It seemsjust like a helpful way, especially if you're screening so many people toremember. You know, it's hard to remember what the first person was like.Once you're on a person number eight, right? And where they compare andcontrast, you might have recency bias or things like that. Sure. And and Amyactually, I I think her main scorecard is for employees, valuable employers.But I think whether it's it's that or like, hey, you're looking at anopportunity, right? I get on the phone with somebody and it's like, hey, whatare my discovery questions? What do I need to ask to make this a good fit?Can I check those boxes and then be able to speak to them? It's all part ofa discovery process. Right. Yeah, absolutely, Absolutely. All right. Lastfew questions for you. I'm curious on the Pavilion podcast, Right? All aboutcommunity. All about networking. All about trying to build your brand,things like that. What's your number...

...one networking tit for? Anyonelistening to this podcast? Mm That's a great question. So I'm not a hugeposter right now. Mostly because I'm trying to build a start up from theground up and you know, I just haven't focused as much there. But if you lookback at my, some of my earlier post, my number one would be vulnerability. Youstarted the call asking about one of my surgeries and some of my trials andtribulations in the past. I've tried to be really open about that, tried to bereally vulnerable about it. I think it opens up conversations indoors. I thinkwe're all human whether, you know, I'm calling a C suite at a massiveinsurance company or you know, talking to Some old ladies on an insurancebusiness for 40 years. There's still people, we're all human. Right? Sovulnerability and networking people reciprocate that people just like theybuy with emotion. They network with emotion. They build relationships withemotion. So we should always seek to, to start start by opening up the doorourselves. I believe. I love that. I've asked that question to every guest I'vehad on, no one has said that. That's a great, that's a great answer, awesome.I'm a snowflake that very special. Uh, my mom tells my job. Anyrecommendations either in sales or newfound leadership or startups oranything in terms of like books or podcasts or any sort of learningdevices that you found helpful either when you were starting up or in yourcurrent role or anything that's top of mind. He's about to pull something outof the hat here. Got something on the couch pants on. I'm working from home.So everybody got no judgment I'm reading scott leases lease, got tosupport the g their gap selling is what I'm reading with my team right now. UmWhat keenan, that's a great book. I think, you know, there's so much toglean from lengthen. I think there is some, some stuff that you may need tofilter through, but there's some great thought leaders on there. But you know,there's there's more than enough content. I've got a million sales bookson my bookshelf that I haven't read yet, Some that I have read and that's that'salways, you know, it's one of the questions I asked in interviews to whatare you reading, tells me a lot about who they are as a person, what theycare about. The guy that I interviewed today, I mentioned, he was readingJames Clears Atomic habits and David Goggins and Hurt me. Those are two ofmy favorites. So those are a couple other recommendations. So he's got tobe high up on the list with two books like that in A recent interview man andhe's 10 minutes away from where we're at. So yeah, I was I was happy with it.I love it. And uh yeah, scott lease and keenan are 22 good places to start withwhen, when you're trying to learn and a new role. And then when you got to Sdrscoming in and trying to learn the ropes. I mean that's a great place to uh haveyour foundation, yep, yep, it's, it's uh, you know, I think he talks a lotabout really just uncovering pain discovery and not selling unless, youknow why you're selling something and what the impact of that is. You know,that's, I have to break my own habits all the time of wanting to like sell, it's like, no, find out why findout what's going on. No, that intimately know the impact and thenit's not a close, it's just, hey, this is, you can't not do this right. I mean,you've, you've laid this out for me, this is what's going on, you know, alittle bit of spin selling in there, this is the impact and this is how wecan help. It totally makes sense at that point. Yeah, absolutely. That's agreat place to start for anyone. That's an SDR, they'll be listening to this orrunning an str team or sales team, last question for you, Pavilion, greatpeople there whose one person in Pavilion that you want to see on thispodcast. So, I'll be honest with you, my, one of my mentors guy named danRichardson, he's VP A revenue at edge...

...petrol one, He's Australian. So he, youknow, he, I love to listen to him talk, I mean, listen to him, read the phonebook, I'd be happy, So, and to, you know, he's a wealth of knowledge,really, really knowledgeable guy, Really exciting guy, really motivatedguy, just got to give a shout out to a guy who's helping me a lot. All rightdan. We're coming for you uh out to dan tucker. I appreciate you coming on,being generous with your time being vulnerable, sharing your journey. We'reall rooting for you first. Any last things that you want to touch on thatwe didn't get to and then obviously what's the best place for folks toconnect with you, whether it's linked in or somewhere else? No man, I'm justgrateful for the time. You know, I know we've connected quite a bit back andforth, but haven't had a chance to do something like this. So this is awesome.Always the motto is humble and hungry. So that's where I'm at. That's why Iencourage folks to be and uh, you know, you can hit me up on linkedin, email metucker had insured mine always down to chat help and if you're looking to growa company pretty quickly and you're around Dallas, give me up awesome man,appreciate it. All right brother. Thanks. All right, Thanks for listeningto that episode. This was brought to you by Inside Squared, say goodbye tospreadsheet forecasting and hello to Crm data. You can trust Inside Squaredelivers predictive deal scoring. Unmatched visibility and inspection. Anadvanced goal management for your entire team, everything You need totake back control of the revenue process. That's it for me. You can makesure to add me on linkedin. My name is Tom Alamo. I work over at gone. We'llbe back next week with another episode till then get after it peaks. Say something. Mhm.

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