The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 8 months 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 Pavilion podcast where revenue leaders come to learn the tips tricks and tactics that they need to be successful in their roles. I'm your host of, thank God it's monday Tom Alaimo from Gang. Let's get after it today pumped to be here pumped for this episode. I got my man tucker Hood, usually from indiana, currently living 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 form stack. Uh so C 06 Ter he's an interim VP of sales a capture lee co founder at the trellis app. He's been all over. He's a pretty big name on linkedin as well and had a great conversation with him, learning about his career, learned about his background. I think you're really gonna like it before we get to that actual interview. A couple quick words. One feel free to add me on linkedin. My name is Tom Alaimo work over at gong, give this podcast some love on apple and Spotify subscribe, leave a review and one quick word from our sponsor. This episode is brought to you by insight squared advanced revenue analytics and forecasting for today's B two B organizations. Your revenue team wakes up every day with questions insights squared, gives you the data driven 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 tucker Hood and let the magic happen. Let's go. All right tucker Hood. Welcome to the Pavilion 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 the trickling 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're moving into august, we're trying to make some things happen. So hopefully we bring each other some sales karma here. Yes sir. Let's bring some energy today for ourselves and the folks on the call, uh, all about spreading the left. Yeah. So, uh, I wanted to start in a unique place with you because I was just kind of scrolling through your linkedin and do a little research this morning and came across a recent recommendation from you on linkedin and I'm definitely not going to read the whole thing because it would take 12 minutes. But your most recent one, a few quotes that I picked out, tucker Hood defines in all caps relentless. You know, there are people we meet in life who allow every setback, no matter how big or small to cripple them or at least cause them to become stagnant, not tucker so on so forth. He has a way of bringing his competitive and fighting spirit to win and applies to everything and everyone around him. And that's just like a few sentences out of like three paragraph review. What made who is this? Michelle. What made Michelle say that about You? Well, one Michelle is a phoenix of a human being rising from the ashes, just a very sweet individual and one who has, who has punched back at life. So, you know, I think that's more about her than it is about me, to be honest with you. But you know, yeah, I've always tried to fight back, you know, whether it be from struggles that I've had outside of work, whether it's, you know, I had had knee surgery, pretty extensive knee surgery 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, is this guy done some cool stuff, it really doesn't paint a picture, and for most people it doesn't right? So, you know, I always tried to be the bounce back 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 and have startup life, and you know, that's all we can do is keep punching. It's it's not about how many times you get hit, it's about how many times you you get up and keep moving forward, so that's that's kind of what I try and live by. I love it and what did I see?...

Something about like this? I felt like there's a long time ago, but something about, like, an appendix or a stomach surgery or something like that. You mentioned the knee surgery, but am I making this up about something with a stomach or a kidney or something that you 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 tell me what was wrong with me. Thought it was autoimmune. I thought it was maybe my appendix, my gold bladder. You know, I was constantly in and out of the er was struggling a lot. I lost about £35 and in three or four months I was getting to the point where I, you know, was concerned about my future on this earth, spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to figure out what was wrong 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, inability to sleep and ability to, you know, eat. And a couple weeks later I woke up and I was still screaming in pain. So furthermore, just started changing my diet, started eating better, started drinking way more water, started trying to manage my stress better, started seeing a therapist worked out like 227 days 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 I appreciate you asking about, I'm glad, I'm glad to hear it. Uh that after 227 days in a row you're probably feeling pretty sore, pretty tired, how some of those life changes just helped. Like as we're talking about, you know, adapting to 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 I think definitely a generation or two ago certainly overlooked as part of like the overall balance of success, but curious if, if you've seen any like upticks in your business life from taking care of yourself more on a personal level Man, I'll tell you what I was, I was a pretty average. E at one point when I started making these changes is really when I accelerated and I started lighting up the scoreboard and really leading a sales team of 20, from a revenue standpoint, it was Me and one other rep at a, at an early 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 you know, she was out of new york, I was out of san Francisco we were we were doing a great job, I think you know personally I went from frat boy college lifestyle out of college to you know pretty serious high growth tech company with a lot of responsibilities and I had a lot of growing up to do mentally emotionally, physically and the human body, the human mind can only kind of takes so much at one time and when you're trying to do everything all at one time, you know, maintain your party lifestyle, maintain you know 60 70 hour work week, maintain all these friendships, all these obligations, fighting demons that you haven't dealt with from from childhood it catches up with you man and and really I think that's what happened is I I got incredibly stressed out and I had to start cutting things out of my life to add more to my life mm I love that you feel like a lot of people, the first thing that they try to do and they make a changes, add something add more at this 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 for me has always been true when you give yourself, you know, first cut out the bad things are first cut out the things that maybe aren't serving you aren't helping push you in the right direction in whatever area before trying to then add things on top of it, right? And I'm...

...still no saying I still struggle every day. I think you know the reason why I have had some minor successes is a bit of addictive personality and I don't stop a lot of times. So just trying to balance that out and use that in the right ways and also be calm when the time 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 into your career a little bit, look like you interned with the Pacers and then went over to six or where you started your sales correct? I'm always curious how folks get into sales. So like what's the story behind how you got into the sales world? Yeah man. Like just like everybody else. Probably it starts way before then I was 10. You know my family did all right, but if there was extra things that I wanted in life, you know, I had to go buy them, which I think 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 indiana time where I know you have some family actually Carmel, Yeah, shout out to Carmel and started working for her for like four or five bucks an hour and I did everything from cleaning out the gutters, to reaching things that she couldn't on the ladder to pricing antiques, to doing business taxes, to running the cash register to talk into different folks walking up shaking their hand, asking him, you know what they're in for, what they're looking for, how their day was going and got a, you know, really really good look at a small business that way, shout out to grandma too. You know, that was really pivotal for me. From there started working in restaurants. I hosted, I served bar tended worked at a car wash for a year and a half of selling people on car washes. Um, I sold to use medical equipment for a summer. I've done quite a few different uh jobs always, you know, relationships, always uh communication, always sales. So then I got really, really lucky with the Pacers. Got introduced to uh one of their executives, Jim Morris who is just a wonderful person, basically met with him. He said, hey, if you hit this G. P. A. I'll get you an interview for an internship I did that got the interview, luckily enough, they gave me a shot. So spent through four months working with them did everything from, you know, working basketball games to working fundraising events, looking at old data from previous seasons and analyzing it, building lead lists, you know, really anything that they asked me to from there had the opportunity to get started in SAS got an opportunity with an early stage company. I mean we were just after seed far less than a million in annual revenue and got started as an SDR came in, broke a couple records, worked my ass off really, really did, you know, some some 10 12 hour days and then had a chance to to grow rapidly with the company. So we about 20 X the the annual revenue about five X employees while I was there and moved from SDR 2 82 senior a and had a really fun ride and a company that's that's now terminus, which is, you know, really really fast marketing technology company. So you know, 60 was the one I was at and and then had the chance to do it again with another one called socio to spend a year there very similar path, forex revenue five ex employee count. They recently got acquired by Cisco. So you know, now all those folks are working for a fortune fortune 100 really and learned a lot on that ride last year was quite a bumpy ride, tried to start a company, joined another as a VP of sales. Both did not work very well. I'll just put it that way, Went and spent 8-10 months as an enterprise rep at a larger company and then had the opportunity to come out here to ensure mine. So yeah, it's been a, it's been a wild ride and um, you know, start ups software definitely in my DNA at this point. Yeah. So tell me a little bit about what you're doing at insured mind, like what I see 1/5 5th sales higher. 33rd total hires, is that...

...right? Or uh, or fifth us higher? That is fifth us higher. Yeah. So when I, I was actually, I was, I was road tripping 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, and having some fun and got in touch with the ceo of, of insured mine who started recruiting me. I thought it was a partnership call. I weren't very quickly and not a partnership calls recruiting call. And you know, we had some 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 most part, you know, at least without the title. And he offered the opportunity to come in and kind of build from the ground up. What I mean by ground up is he did a wonderful job scaling the business to close to a million in revenue on his own. He's got a couple of solutions engineers that worked around that, that we're doing sales but not really anything like super formal hunting 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 from scratch on the sales side? One of the solutions engineers still still along and kicking the other one, uh, decided to move on, which is totally good. So hired a couple sdrs getting ready to hire the first e, I've been closing deals building process and you know, we're really priming for that x devolution of growth that I've seen it, you know, one of my mentors said, you know, 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 doing everything I can, to, to put in guardrails and, and build process and bring in deals and learn as much as I can quickly. So trying to lead from the front and, and hire great people and I think we've got a great opportunity to 5 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 decided to get acquired, take more funding, you know, we've been bootstrapped up until this point, maybe funding coming wink wink very soon, but uh, you know, just really excited for the opportunity to do it as a leader and, and really watch other people thrive and help them grow as opposed to me, you know, being that individual contributor guy? Yeah. So what's the, uh, what's the team look like now? Have you, have you been hiring? Is it, is it still just, you like driving revenue like from a sales perspective at this point? What's the team look like? Yeah. So David and SAM, my two sdrs, wonderful guys have come in and, and really, you know, started grinding quickly. We're putting a lot of meetings on the board now, you know, I gotta close it alongside our, our solutions engineer getting ready to on board and e, we haven't officially signed anything yet, but getting really close there and then, you know, depending on funding will either be, you know, eight salespeople by end of the 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. So that's, that's really exciting to, to build a team hire a team and cm when obviously 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 engineering side. So we actually have 30 plus engineers over in India where our Ceo is 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 have some happy people now it's time to just add that, go to market fuel and and continue to grow. Yeah, What was the rationale behind hiring to Sdrs before maybe like an 80 like you get the sdrs, they said the meetings for you rather than an 80 that might go full sale cycle, like straight off the bat was curious. No, it's a, it's a really great question. You know, I think getting that, that lead generation engine, I think it's going to be hyper important for us as a team because you know, the last thing I want to do is bring in a and here and there there sitting behind their desk all day and obviously that person should be able to build their own pipeline and will, but you know, I always want there to be...

...plenty to eat off of, so we hadn't really 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 a formal process for that. So, and part of it too is, you know, one of my mentors has mentioned, I wish I would have sold, you know, he came in as VP of sales at about 50 K and r r when he was at one of the previous businesses that, that I was at and you know, I wish I would have sold, I wish I would have been inundated with meetings learned the product or in the sales cycle and now that I've had the opportunity to do that and my calendar slammed every day. I know what my A s are going to be going through. I know how 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. So now when I bring this a n there's a lot to build off of. So maybe not the strategy 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 is not individual contributor, interested again in the leadership in the future. What's been the biggest challenge or biggest kind of unforeseen obstacle that you've had in that transition, You know, tom that's a that's a great question. I'll tell you. It's time management is my hardest thing every day because there is literally 40 things that I could do at any given second pulling on the right lever at the right time. I'm still getting better at that, right? And if I waste and it's probably not a waste, but if I waste four hours interviewing somebody who doesn't end up, you know, that's four hours that I could have been selling before we hired our VP of marketing, I was working on a lot of marketing things if that's not yielding something or, you know, maybe I just should have said no to it, that's time I could've spent somewhere else. So it's just like with a salesperson, I mean it truly is a my managing my time, well what's going to yield me the biggest R. O. I. For the time that I can spend today, how do you answer that in your head? If someone comes to you with a request and you know you're strapped for time? Like is there a filtering process that you go through is just kind of like a gut decision? How do you decide? Yeah, I mean there's there's a lot of power and know some people in my life and they actually have called me a yes man before, you know, I I just got to get better at that. So you know, I think a lot of times I know the right answer in life and business, it's hey can I, can I give the right answer at the time? So no is empowering whether it's in a sale cycle, which you should say a lot or whether it's you know with your team or you know because people are always going to load you up with more and more and you know I think strategically my Ceo has given me more than I've been able to handle to allow me to say no and allow me to choose which is good. So that in itself has been a huge learning 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 which which gives me opportunity to to really dig down and focus. I love it. You mentioned product led growth earlier, is this the first P. L. G. Type company that you've stepped into? That's a great question. I mean so six there we had you know we had raised funding way way earlier, a couple million funding at a very very early stage. So you know I walked into a oh 8 to 10 person sales did well I was SDR three and we had three A. S. We had a VP of sales. We had like seven and then our but we were you know very low amount of revenue and the product was just it was coming along. I'll just put it that way. So socio I'd say the product was was pretty good. But yeah again uh and it was actually very similar to our ceo was from Turkey at socio we had a large engineering team out of Istanbul great way to scale business for any founder who can manage folks overseas and and spend a little less than your san Francisco new york engineer. But yeah I mean he really didn't hire a true hunter salesperson until A pretty...

...sizeable revenue range for a startup had 30 plus engineers had what I would call an enterprise ready product. I mean we've got six figure deals on the board and it's a it's an early stage startup. I mean that's you don't you don't see that a lot. So one I respect it too. It allows me to come in and replicate that. And three, I think a lot of organizations could take a, take a note out of that playbook. I mean you can go raise a ton of capital and go cram a product down folks throats without it being there or you can boot, boot, strap it and scale it and get the product 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 something that a lot of exact, you know, everyone listening to this podcast is probably responsible with with some sort of hiring, whether it's at the exact level or individual level or somewhere between what are some of the criteria that you're looking for? You're trying to find your first e so what are you looking for? Maybe what are you looking to avoid for someone like that to take on that role? Because it's a very specific role, a specific type of person you probably need for that job. 100%. And I've got my spreadsheet pulled up here now, one of the things, you know, and I've mentioned mentor ship just given pavilion a plug, I've found a mentor through pavilion, I've got a couple others that I've worked with that's incredibly important for a young guy like me trying to get in a leadership and succeed because without it, you know I would I would probably fail even more than I am already. Uh fell 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's she's a big scorecard proponent and a lot of different measures for me, it's on the hiring side. So I think about the hard skills, right? Business document for us. We shall sell into insurance agencies, insurance acumen. Do you have SAS experience and then what are those soft skills? Right. So for me I'm looking for self starter, adaptability, curiosity, organization and process. And are you collaborative other things I can help with other things I can teach. Maybe you don't have inter insurance experience and SAs experience and business acumen, they're all out of five, right? I can toy with those 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 obsessed with learning all the time. You know, I can't teach somebody to be an absolutely relentless person when it comes to getting better and growing and developing themselves. Insurance and sass, you know, you can learn that over time. So really it's just for me thinking about what are the non negotiables that I must have. What am I willing to train, what am I willing to teach, what do I have time for and then trying to hire around that as best as I can. Yeah, I love the scorecard idea. I didn't know that that was that made it around or or that was something that Amy was a huge proponent for. It seems just like a helpful way, especially if you're screening so many people to remember. 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 and contrast, you might have recency bias or things like that. Sure. And and Amy actually, 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 an opportunity, right? I get on the phone with somebody and it's like, hey, what are 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 of a discovery process. Right. Yeah, absolutely, Absolutely. All right. Last few questions for you. I'm curious on the Pavilion podcast, Right? All about community. All about networking. All about trying to build your brand, things like that. What's your number...

...one networking tit for? Anyone listening to this podcast? Mm That's a great question. So I'm not a huge poster right now. Mostly because I'm trying to build a start up from the ground up and you know, I just haven't focused as much there. But if you look back at my, some of my earlier post, my number one would be vulnerability. You started the call asking about one of my surgeries and some of my trials and tribulations in the past. I've tried to be really open about that, tried to be really vulnerable about it. I think it opens up conversations indoors. I think we're all human whether, you know, I'm calling a C suite at a massive insurance company or you know, talking to Some old ladies on an insurance business for 40 years. There's still people, we're all human. Right? So vulnerability and networking people reciprocate that people just like they buy with emotion. They network with emotion. They build relationships with emotion. So we should always seek to, to start start by opening up the door ourselves. I believe. I love that. I've asked that question to every guest I've had 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. Any recommendations either in sales or newfound leadership or startups or anything in terms of like books or podcasts or any sort of learning devices that you found helpful either when you were starting up or in your current role or anything that's top of mind. He's about to pull something out of 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 to support the g their gap selling is what I'm reading with my team right now. Um What keenan, that's a great book. I think, you know, there's so much to glean from lengthen. I think there is some, some stuff that you may need to filter 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 books on my bookshelf that I haven't read yet, Some that I have read and that's that's always, you know, it's one of the questions I asked in interviews to what are you reading, tells me a lot about who they are as a person, what they care about. The guy that I interviewed today, I mentioned, he was reading James Clears Atomic habits and David Goggins and Hurt me. Those are two of my favorites. So those are a couple other recommendations. So he's got to be high up on the list with two books like that in A recent interview man and he'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 with when, when you're trying to learn and a new role. And then when you got to Sdrs coming in and trying to learn the ropes. I mean that's a great place to uh have your foundation, yep, yep, it's, it's uh, you know, I think he talks a lot about really just uncovering pain discovery and not selling unless, you know 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 find out what's going on. No, that intimately know the impact and then it'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, a little bit of spin selling in there, this is the impact and this is how we can help. It totally makes sense at that point. Yeah, absolutely. That's a great place to start for anyone. That's an SDR, they'll be listening to this or running an str team or sales team, last question for you, Pavilion, great people there whose one person in Pavilion that you want to see on this podcast. So, I'll be honest with you, my, one of my mentors guy named dan Richardson, he's VP A revenue at edge...

...petrol one, He's Australian. So he, you know, he, I love to listen to him talk, I mean, listen to him, read the phone book, I'd be happy, So, and to, you know, he's a wealth of knowledge, really, really knowledgeable guy, Really exciting guy, really motivated guy, just got to give a shout out to a guy who's helping me a lot. All right dan. 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're all rooting for you first. Any last things that you want to touch on that we didn't get to and then obviously what's the best place for folks to connect with you, whether it's linked in or somewhere else? No man, I'm just grateful for the time. You know, I know we've connected quite a bit back and forth, 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 I encourage folks to be and uh, you know, you can hit me up on linkedin, email me tucker had insured mine always down to chat help and if you're looking to grow a company pretty quickly and you're around Dallas, give me up awesome man, appreciate it. All right brother. Thanks. All right, Thanks for listening to that episode. This was brought to you by Inside Squared, say goodbye to spreadsheet forecasting and hello to Crm data. You can trust Inside Square delivers predictive deal scoring. Unmatched visibility and inspection. An advanced goal management for your entire team, everything You need to take back control of the revenue process. That's it for me. You can make sure to add me on linkedin. My name is Tom Alamo. I work over at gone. We'll be back next week with another episode till then get after it peaks. Say something. Mhm.

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