The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 5 months ago

Ep 171: From Teacher to Sales Leader w/ Allison Yount

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Ep 171: From Teacher to Sales Leader w/ Allison Yount

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

Hello everyone and welcome back to the Pavilion podcast. I am your host, Brandon Barton. And you are listening to. Is this a good time the show where I ask Pavilion members some crazy questions are not that crazy. And we talked for 15 minutes hear their stories, shows around Tuesdays and Thursdays. So hit subscribe and you won't miss hearing from our experts. Our guest today is Allison. Yeah, she is the VP of Sales at Fair Market out of SAn Francisco and we talk about going from being a teacher of fifth grade students into sales and the transition that that made pretty cool story. This episode was brought to you by Sandoz. So Sandoz, so the leading sending platform is the most effective way for revenue generating teams to stand out with new ways to engage at strategic points to the customer journey by connecting digital and physical strategies. Companies can engage, Acquire and retain customers easier than ever before. All right, let's do this episode 85. Is this a good time? All right, everyone. I'm...

...here with Allison. Yeah, she is the VP of enterprise sales at fair market. So amazing to have you on Allison. Yeah, thank you. Appreciate you having me awesome. Well look, all meat. No filler. We like to jump right in. You know, you have a lot of experience. Tell us about kind of how you got to where you are today and kind of the path that you took to get there. Yeah, my path is probably very unordinary. If that's a word. Typically people look at my linkedin or my resume and they have a lot of questions, not so much in the last few years, but if you scroll back far enough, I actually started my career as 1/5 grade teacher, which is awesome. Like shout out to you. That's so cool. Yeah, thankfully it was not during Covid because I'm not sure I'd be one of the strong ones to survive that at this point, but a little bit easier back then from that perspective, no masks. But I started as 1/5 grade teacher did that for about four years and absolutely loved it. But there were a lot of politics in the district I was in, I'm a pretty motivated and entrepreneurial person and I wanted to see what else was out there. So I got...

...my first cold calling BDR job from there and I just absolutely crushed it. I had the ability to make my own destiny and control my own salary and that was just addictive for me, right? Like, oh, so if I just placed 10 more calls, The data tells me I'm going to get another meeting and I'm going to make more money. Like I'll be here until seven PM. But Let's smb buyers are basically 5th graders. Right? So it's amazing how many of the skills from teaching have actually translated into sales. But yes, that could be a whole topic in itself. So from there worked my way up the ladder. I was very fortunate to get connected through an investor at google ventures too. The first startup that I joined called Scout RFP Where I think I wore every hat I was a BDR, I close deals, I did demos, I did customer support and then I ended up building up all of those teams from there and helping to see us to 20 million in revenue and then moved on to my next startup and then to another one. Now at fair market having both always focused on CS and sales...

...with more of a passion on the sales side. So kind of a little bit of a backwards way of getting into the sales world but grateful for being able to have experienced both scaling a C. S team and a support team solution, consulting teams and sales teams and now be focusing solely on enterprise sales which is my number one passion. I love it. Now what is Fair market do tell us? Yeah so fair market there's there's gonna be a lot of buzz words here. So this is good practice for my elevator pitch since I'm fairly new to fair market but we automate the competitive sourcing process for something called tail spend and tail spend is typically the spend within any company that's not touched. So most procurement teams out there are managing spend above a certain threshold and that's typically the most important things the company is buying the higher dollar items, there's some small stuff happening but typically below a certain amount within a company they're like yeah just go to whichever vendor makes sense. We don't have the headcount and the bandwidth to be able to tackle that. So we automate that...

...whole process so companies can still save without having to add more heads interesting and so and so you're selling into you know every industry doesn't really matter. But this could be things like paper goods, this could be things like every business has bathrooms, right? Like stuff like soap, right? Exactly. You've got it facilities services, maintenance I. T. Hardware, pretty much everything you can think of. There's an opportunity to potentially put that out to bid to get the lowest price. And specifically with supply chain issues right now when you're going to one vendor you've always gone to for things they might be struggling to get the products they need to fulfill their orders and by putting that out to multiple vendors and figuring out who else is out there, you might get a lower price but also a faster turnaround time, Interesting, interesting. And I imagine you have stats on saving money for companies that must be what 1020% that you can save on this under long tail here or. Yeah right in the middle of that.

Typically around 11 12 savings being able to do that with you know a payback period of usually just a few months. That's super cool. It's you know I like I like it's like uncovering, you know, the change in your couch, right, like that you're not even paying attention to, but it's just sitting there and all you have to do is grab it and uh very cool and so look, I mean you know, both hard work as you kind of mentioned making phone calls and and luck both things that get you to where you are today. I wonder, I mean, I wonder if there's any moments of like this pure luck, it sounds a little bit like that person from google ventures and helping you find that, you know, the role in tech in san Francisco might have been a stroke of luck, but tell us any, you know, any of your anecdotes from that. Yeah, I think that I'm a firm believer that luck is actually a result of hard work and hard work gets you to the right place at the right time. Sometimes sometimes you're unlucky, sometimes you're lucky and I'll reveal that my connection at Google Ventures is actually my own brother. Um and I think that while I'm very fortunate...

...that he helped connect me with that start up, my first startup that I joined after investing in them, I think he saw how hard I had worked to make it since transitioning from teaching into sales in the corporate world and part of that came from him being on a conversation and when someone asked him, hey who's the best salesperson, you know, and the hardest worker in terms of being able to do a bunch of different things at the same time, he was like my sister, you should hire my sister. So I got lucky that my brother happened to invest in a company that needed someone with my exact skill set and personality and approach, but hard work, I want to prove to everyone that knows me that and everybody that I work with and interact with that I'm going to grind right? Not to the point of insanity, but I put 100 and 10% into what I do, but also into supporting my team as I've grown into leadership. So I think being able to show people through both results as well as coaching and opportunities you've taken on that, you know, you are a hard...

...worker who is results driven tends to get you connected with more people, tends to get you more visibility in the world. If you work hard to build your reputation in a community like Pavilion or in other communities that you're a part of people notice you people here, you people see you and the ideas that you have in the questions you're asking and I think you have a higher opportunity and a higher chance of finding yourself in the right place at the right time and coming across some of those quote unquote lucky scenarios. So I think people who work hard tend to get lucky and find themselves in the right place at the right time and through the different things that I've made an effort to get involved in. I've been in the right place at the right time and I consider that luck and I'm so fortunate for that. Yeah, it's funny. I find so much value in the relationship I have with certain people who, who like at any moment I might recommend to go and work somewhere else or you know, maybe even when, when they become free and they call me and say, hey, just keep an ear out for me. It's like I, I love that moment of being...

...able to introduce them to somebody because I know that there are rocks are and it just makes, it just makes me look good. And so I really subscribe to that idea of, of, you know, if you, if you do buster asked do it when nobody's looking, but but people are looking and they see it and and that, that like that will pay out in the long run, it's playing the long game for sure. I agree with that awesome. Well look, you know, you have a ton of experience and you know, as you said, your passion about the enterprise, what is it like a sales or marketing tactic that you or you know, even CS since you've had so much experience there, then you would say is, you know, something people, people don't do as often as they should. There's 100 I could come up with, I'll share two with you. The first one being one that just seems too simple when I tell my team about it that they almost laugh, but it's asking why. And I think this works both in sales and marketing, but I don't think that when I join a call with one of my reps or have worked with anyone on teams or sold myself in the past that I'm doing anything that can't be replicated. You know, I'm not...

...doing anything extraordinary by any means but really focusing on asking why. So you know, hey, what are you really looking for in a solution like this? I'm looking for something that can get me cost savings. We have a cost savings target. We have to hit. Okay. Why? Why do you have to hit that? Cost savings target? Well, you know, we're at risk of a bonus if we don't have that. Okay, so your compound bonus, like tell me why that's really important to you personally, Why is that important to the company? It's almost to the point where you just feel like you're like why? Why? Why? But if your prospect will keep talking, you are going to get the most beneficial and insane information, you could possibly imagine to help you spin this back around and assign value. So our marketing team does that as well. And it's really important to just be able to say why was this important? Why does that matter? And go, you know, not just one layer deeper but seven layers deeper. The question why is just incredibly undervalued. I feel like in the discovery process and probably in life too. I would, I mean look, I also...

...learned that over to the CS process. I mean how many times are you getting a phone call for? We need this, we need that and like let us understand the real reason you need it. Is this is this is this a one time request? Is this like a feature request? Is this you know, is this a bigger problem? I there's been 100 times in my career where the problem is really like the tail of the elephant. You don't realize you're holding onto an elephant which could be a whole new product set for your new features that or something. Yes. Especially when it comes to product. Yeah. Does your product do this? Does your software do this so many times we get trapped with? Well, no, it doesn't. And then you feel like you're gonna lose the opportunity. But if you just say, is that a really key feature for you to be able to have in a solution like this? Well, no, I was just curious is literally the answer you get so many times and you move on and there's no dang and the check boxes for it. So it's kind of funny. The other thing I'll say just real quick is one of my favorite tactics to you is that I'm surprised more people don't...

...use is just send the calendar invite. The number of people I know that say, you know, I've been following up and I just can't get them to respond with the time. Did you just send a calendar invite? Well no, just send one Tuesday at nine a.m. People see things on their calendar and they're either going to say, yeah, that works. And I don't have to coordinate or they're going to, they're going to come back and say, Hey, that doesn't work. And you've just opened up an opportunity to say, well, great one does work. One of my favorite tactics, more, more on the aggressive side of tactics. I would say, you Know, I have to say that the way I got that is that erupted it with me. And I was like, Okay, I didn't want to write back to your emails and say I'm free then are you free then? And if you just sent it to me has proposed a new time in 10 seconds and we connected. Well, let's, let's, let's put one prerequisite in front of that, which is that you're having a conversation with somebody about morning time morning, let's look sometime when present. Please don't go...

...do that as a prospecting method. I don't want to be responsible or attached to that in any way. I look, somebody on this podcast may have once or twice just grab somebody's cowardly that they sent me months back and just at a time because this is the fun part of cowardly. If you send me that like once, it's like you didn't shut the door. So anyway, not me. I'm just, you know, other people I know mine. So I'm into it. But you know, I would say make sure people want to meet with you before doing stuff like that. But hey, there's definitely that asterisk, a good caller and look, you know, throughout your years, you know, who have you followed and found inspiration from and would want to give a shout out. Yeah. So there's a couple of people, I'm really into the humorous side of sales. I think that finding it can be a grind being in sales. It can be demoralizing a time when you're cold calling and you get rejected and you're like, where what is going to give? So I love finding humor in sales. So brian burns of brutal truth about sales and selling is someone that I love who not only takes the humorous side of sales...

...with his videos while he's out on walks, but also turns it around into a lesson. How do you fix this? How do you turn this around and there's always a moral to whatever he's mocking or, or imitating and I absolutely love that. And I think his videos are spot on in terms of what I've experienced in the corporate world. Someone else that I follow and truly I'm inspired by is kevin, Katie Dorsey. My nose is big in the Pavilion community. So I took a course from him recently through Pavilion and I mean usually on zoom whatever the content is, I'm kind of half there, half not. I think I was 1000% there when I took his course and was so inspired by the real examples he showed and I love what he posts and how he promotes people and always has time for those who are learning and he's someone who I just think is a true inspiration in the sales path. Yeah, for sure. He's been on the pot and like that was perhaps one of the best episodes that we've had. He just, he's on fire man, love hearing him talk and just kind of so much rich content in...

...terms of like value that he had. So I'm in on that anyone you're hiring, any position you're hiring report were startup or fast growth, we're in growth mode. We're hiring for literally everything, you know, specifically unselfishly I'm always hiring for enterprise account executive. So if anyone, if there's anyone out there looking for a new role as the year ends and they've wrapped up and crushed their number but want to get on to the next thing. I would love to entertain conversations about that as we're growing the team next year, interesting, interesting, cool and then last but not least perhaps most important to me. Give me a restaurant that we should go eat at. So I just went to Austin and was kind of one of the first times I actually spent a whole few days in Austin texas for a girls trip and my friend is very familiar with Austin, said we have to go to red Ash, like what is this place? And it was delicious. It was super trendy, which is not usually my style and it was absolutely delicious. The service was off the charts but definitely make a reservation because it's hard to get into. It's a smaller spots a red Ash in Austin texas for sure, love that. I...

...have not been there. I've heard some good things, so we'll have to check it out. Well Allison so great to have you on. So great to hear your story and really looking forward to staying in touch. Thank you appreciate the time. Brandon. All right, that's our show. Thank you so much for listening. If you love the show, please write a review in the Apple podcast. Spotify have sent it to some friends and smash that subscribe button as a holiday gift to Brandon Barton. Thank you so much A reminder. This episode was brought to you by Sandoz. So they deliver modern direct mail. Personalized, gets another physical impressions that make your outreach more personal. I had fun. I hope you did too. Now get out there and crush those end of year numbers. Say something. Mhm.

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