The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 8 months ago

Ep 135: Get When You Give w/ Maddy Alcala

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Ep 135: Get When You Give w/ Maddy Alcala

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 martin you're listening to Is this a good time The show where I put Pavilion members on the hot seat for 15 minutes. We hear their incredible stories. We got a good one today. We really shows Tuesdays and thursday so hit subscribe. So you don't miss hearing from our experts. Our guest today is Maddie Alcala. She is the executive vice president of sales and business strategy at Putin. We talk about getting something when you give on a deal and all about e commerce and on demand printing. It's pretty cool stuff. This episode was brought to you by inside Square advanced revenue analytics and forecasting for today's B two B organizations. Your revenue team wakes up every day with questions inside square it gives you the data driven answers in real time. Get 350 out of the box reports and dashboards. Self service, no coat. All right, let's do this episode 61. Is this a good time? Alright, we're here with a great guest today. Matty Al pala, executive vice president sales and business strategy at gutin. She just like a refugee of new york out in Denver as opposed to where I went but great to have you on the pod. Thank you very happy to be here, awesome. Well look, I'll meet no filler. We jump right in maddy, tell us what you do and how you got to this role. Yeah, so I, as you said, I am the executive vice president of sales and business strategy Ed guten which is a mouthful but what that really means is that I oversee all of the merchant partnerships for gluten which is an e commerce fulfillment company. And to make it really simple, we help online sellers and businesses who want to access the best on demand production globally do exactly that. So we have a merchant part of our business which is right now to work with about 9000 different brands and retailers all the way from really, really big ones too small Shopify store owners or Etsy store owners and help them access our platform which integrated with a global network of print on demand manufacturers. So how I got here is is...

...a bit of more of a story than that I actually was in finance prior to working at guten, I loved it. I worked at Blackrock had an awesome role on the corporate development and strategy team but I wanted to do something completely different. So I thought what was more different than working at the largest global asset manager than going to a 20% e commerce start up in the middle of Manhattan made the switch. I actually was joking with our Ceo this morning that neither of us really knew what my role was when we came when I came in. Very typical small startup. We're going to see who blinked first and so on my first day he gave me a CSP download of all of our current merchants on the platform and basically said nobody is doing anything with these businesses, go nuts, see what you can do and obviously a lot more later, but four years I now oversee that team. So we went from About 200 merchants at the time that I was working with a little bit more To dig in about 9-10,000 merchants on the platform today that my team supports. That's incredible. You may have mentioned how, what number employee were you? It's a bit difficult to say, but in the twenties kind of 2030, pretty early on. And so we've added a little over 100 people join the company, Wow, that's that is that is such a fun. Um I think that segment is super fun like from really early up to like 150 is just uh it's a blast and you know, everybody in the company, everyone is a essentially like a siloed functional leader. Like yes, like marketing is a person for a long time. That's awesome. And how did you find, I mean like great that you said, hey, you know, Black rock, that was fun, would want to go do something completely different. But like, I think That's something that people have a hard time doing because the accessibility to like where do I even find a 20% startup that I'm interested in and I'm willing to take a risk on like yeah, I mean it was definitely a process, I did a lot of interviews because I was very much exploring of what I wanted to do. So I talked to big companies, small companies, a lot of different industries, I knew I was interested in the e commerce and...

...logistics space, something that was, my dad worked in supply chains, I got to see some of that first hand, just thought it was really cool the concept of just how do you get goods for me to be, but I had never heard of on demand manufacturing, I didn't know anything about e commerce, I never worked enough before and it really actually came about through networking. So I had reached out to friends and colleagues and people I knew and just said hey I'm trying to figure out what I want to do. Is there anyone that you know that you wouldn't mind setting me up with? I'm not trying to interview, I'm not gonna ask for a job, I just want to see what they do. But a whole bunch of just informational conversations, I talked to someone through my alma mater Colgate who worked at etc. It was like okay, this is interesting. And then actually through an old classmate got connected to one of the investors at guten who then connected me to the Ceo of Putin and said you should go talk to brian who's our Ceo. So I said great I'll go talk to brian and met brian and about 15 minutes into talking to brian realized he was interviewing me for a position I had no idea. But I was like, this feels like an interview if I've ever been and was, I don't know really why. Um, but we chatted for two hours and he left and said you should come back and talk to more people and so I did and then they made me an offer and so I think my original title was something funny. It was like partners success manager, like they had made something up essentially to just event inventor role and they're like, yeah, you seem smart and cool. Like why don't you come join us figure out if you can do anything Being in that exact stage right now if an investor of ours handed handed somebody to me and they were smart and cool. It is one of those things where like, yeah, we're gonna need, I know we're gonna need 40 people like this in the next three years, might as well start collecting them. They can, we'll figure out what they want to do as long as they're like in on it. That's pretty cool. I love those stories where it's not well, you know the three hour first like first meeting that turns into something that's pretty cool. Yeah, it was awesome. We just talked about a whole bunch of different stuff and I thought what brian and the company were setting out to do was really interesting and sounded challenging in a good way in the role...

...kind of fit exactly what I was looking for, which was frankly at the time, just an opportunity to flex different skill sets and experiment and try new things and take a lot of the ownership that I, you know, it's just hard to do at a big corporation, right? Like You get to work on really awesome projects, but you know, you're a part of the team that moves the needle 10%. You don't get the opportunity to move the needle 10% yourself. So just to have that opportunity, but really attracted me it sounds like you're endorsing the idea for folks younger in their career. Let's even say to go and work in a startup just for at least a little bit. Yes, I mean for me definitely though, I do think it's a personality thing. You know, my husband, I don't think he will ever want to work at a small person startup. He loves the structure, he loves the stability, the consistency, I guess that's why we fit right. Some opposites attract there because I love the chaos and the variety, but I do think it's a really awesome learning experience, but both are valuable, right? I, I got such a good education in many senses at black rock and I still use a lot of what I learned on that team fairly daily. Honestly, I wish more people that didn't want to work in startups, wanted to because we all need the people who have like that need of structure and have maybe even like domain expertise to go take a risk. But this is my pipe dream. Not uh you can't put that on people. Well look, I mean, I, we always talk about in the pod luck and hard work or two things that get you there. I mean clearly a lot of hard work went into networking your way into all these meetings. You probably had 40 information, informational interviews that didn't land anything, any kind of stories on either one of those subjects that you'd want to kind of share. Yeah, I mean, you know, in hindsight, it's always easy to see how different things fit together. I think honestly, originally my job at Black Rock was a lot of luck. I met the CFO of Blackrock was pretty senior, important person at a networking event. You can tell, I, I try to go to random things. I actually, as much as I'm in sales and I love people actually hate networking events. I feel like a lot of people do you know,...

...these things don't just because you like sales, it does not mean you're like networking events. That's on hand in hand at all. I agree. So I'm glad that you are on the same page, but I forced myself to go because I obviously, I think it's important, it's good to meet people and like it puts me out of my comfort zone actually in a different way. So I went to this networking event, met the cfl Blackrock, I had no idea who he was, which I think I was the only person in the room. He was just like, yeah, he seems like a nice guy, I'm gonna go talk to this person and I get maybe that made me come across differently, I wasn't trying to impress him. Um I just struck up a conversation and he asked me what I wanted to do and I was honest and said, I don't really know, you know, I'm looking a bunch of jobs and he said, well thought about Black rock and I was like, yeah, you know, I thought I saw the application, I was really sure he's like, you really should apply, like, I think you should really do it. And so I went home and I got an application in like two hours before the deadline and I don't think I would have applied had I not met him, um and I end up getting the job and then a whole bunch of things came out of that. I think it, it landed me in new york, which I wouldn't have been in new york, I met my husband, so there was just a lot of luck that came out of that interaction, I think like was this a like were you a senior in college? Was this like, oh gosh, oh, so you were like a student talking to this basically Global boss of bosses. Yes. I just, I think that there's something amazing about like the disarming nature of ignorance and you know, you walk up to somebody who everyone else knows who they are and you don't and you're just like, hi, what's going on? I think I actually asked him, he I said, would you like to get a glass of water? You you look like you could use a drink because I think I've seen people talking to him all afternoon and I just didn't know he was, but I was like, you wanna get something to drink? Like thirsty. He's like, I am really thirsty actually like, thank you, that'd be great. And I was like, yeah, cool. He's like, what do you studied? Right? We...

...were just chatting about stuff. His name is Gary, he's a wonderful person. I had the opportunity to work with him on a couple of things. Once I did join Blackrock, he kind of just does right? That right? He connects with everybody knows who you are. But there was just something I think about walking up and talking to him and striking up a conversation and I never confirmed it, but I always had a feeling that he might have helped me if that role, look, if he hadn't, I'm sure folks talked about who applied and who he met at the event that was like, you know, had had positive vibes. I mean that's all part, it all goes towards it. I'm sure that that happened. That's very cool. All right. Well look, whether at Blackrock because that stuff is interesting from like a tactics perspective. Some of the things you might have worked on that or in your current role, what's a sales or marketing tactic that you think other people can learn from or even use? Yeah, I mean, so I've had a lot of sales education as I've gone, learning this job coming from finance background. Um, One of the things that I go back to basics, I was just talking about it with our team this morning really is just that simple give get. I see especially as I've hired younger salespeople in their careers, you really want to please your cust All right. You want to get a deal done. Um, and there's some of that desperation that can sometimes show through even from a pleasing standpoint or from pushing things forward. And so I think, you know, something I always remind our team if we're going to make a pricing concession. If we're going to go out of our way on something, flex our policies, we should try to get something in return and doesn't have to feel transactional, but actually think prospects a lot of times will respect you more. I had a conversation with a lead a couple weeks ago, pretty big account and they were asking for some stuff that we usually wouldn't do contractually and we ended up agreeing to it and I said, look, I'm just gonna make this ask if we, if we agree to this, can I count on you for a case study in the future? Would you be willing to speak about guten? Um and give a lot of that data to us? And they said absolutely, right. So I think that sometimes people can feel uncomfortable making those asks, but they actually can be really important and a lot of times the worst thing someone could say is no, and you can still move on from it. Sure. And I love, I love the...

...example that you gave there when you are asking for a price concession or asked for a price concession and you ask for something that's going to help you grow outside of their account. Right. Like that's a, that's a perfect trade off. It's a, it's a soft cost to them. Love that. Great. And so anything, anything you're currently hiring for, any any positions? Yeah, we've got an open roll right now for sales head of sales development, so str team guru to really scale out our outbound function in particular, but will oversee and bound as well. And so who are they seeking in a role like that they're seeking is this because you said you you go from big companies all the way down to etc. You know marketplace, you know, customers like how does that work? Yeah. So it is a little bit of everything. It's actually, I think why it's a challenging and fun role to hire for because really the great candidates that we've been getting in are the ones that are excited to really build out that function for us and specialized more with an S and B team or group of individuals and market and enterprise because we do have all the way up from those big retailers down to the small businesses. So it's exciting from a development standpoint because there's a huge net of people we can chase after. But on the flip side, it's hard to stay focused and build strategies around it. And so we've had a lot of really good initial success in our efforts, but that's what this whole is to, to do, to come in scale, optimize put process around and, you know, kind of put a tent on this circus, so to speak, um, and help us get get it to the next level in terms of types of leads we attract. That's super cool. I mean, especially, you know, you're still under 200 people, right? You said in the company, right? Yeah. I mean, that's just like, uh, that is kind of a dream. You know, you're still on the bottom part of the hockey stick growth, right? Like that's, that's where an SDR kind of scr leader can have a huge impact and then, you know, you know, who's out there, who you enjoy their content, follow their content kind of get inspiration from either you know, up and comers or folks that are well...

...established. Yeah, I mean this may be a little bit of a different answer. Um, I read the big commerce blog a lot. Obviously we stay up to date on an e commerce news and they have a whole bunch of great contributors, but I'm always looking for inspiration to for our content and they do a really good job of tactical things that you need to know if you work in an industry that touches e commerce and then just kind of more fun thought leadership pieces exploring different topics. So, um, person in particular, they have a lot of people that contribute to their blog, but I like, I really like a lot of the content that they put out awesome. Alright and last but not least the most important question, where should I go eat? It could be in and around where you are now, could be in new york, whatever you want. Yeah, so I actually went to an amazing restaurant last weekend. There's a place in the mountains. I'm a big skier, love hiking, beaver creek colorado, which is about 15 minutes past bail. There's a restaurant called the nose cabin up on the side of the mountain nestled in the valley in the winter, you can only get there by snow cat and we had dinner there, we had the five course prefixed meal. It was incredible, wow way do new york strip and it was just like I have to roll you down the mountain afterwards, you're just so stuffed I'm in. I would just grab a pillow and stay overnight. I'm totally imagine maddie so great to have you on the pod. Really enjoy hearing your transition from financing to cooler shit and I'm happy to watch kind of your growth. This is gonna be awesome. Yeah, well thank you, thank you for having me. Um and you know, definitely hit me up if you want more on print on demand. It's a weird, crazy little market. This whole concept of making something to order at scale wild. You would be surprised the next time you order something on my online that might not have been sitting on a shelf somewhere. So you know how your goods are made. It's good stuff. All right, that's our show. Thank you so much for listening. If you like the show, send it to a friend rate and review five stars on or four were not...

...that great but fine. A reminder. This episode was brought to you by Inside Square, say goodbye to spreadsheet forecasting and hello to Crm data, you can trust Inside Square delivers predictive deal scoring, unmatched visibility and inspection and advanced goal management for your entire team. Everything. You need to take back control of the revenue process. I had so much fun that I hope you did too. Now go out and press your numbers. Say something. Mhm.

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