The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 2 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 thePavilion podcast. I am your host, Brandon martin you're listening to Isthis a good time The show where I put Pavilion members on the hot seat for 15minutes. We hear their incredible stories. We got a good one today. Wereally shows Tuesdays and thursday so hit subscribe. So you don't misshearing from our experts. Our guest today is Maddie Alcala. She is theexecutive vice president of sales and business strategy at Putin. We talkabout getting something when you give on a deal and all about e commerce andon demand printing. It's pretty cool stuff. This episode was brought to youby inside Square advanced revenue analytics and forecasting for today's Btwo B organizations. Your revenue team wakes up every day with questionsinside square it gives you the data driven answers in real time. Get 350out of the box reports and dashboards. Self service, no coat. All right, let'sdo this episode 61. Is this a good time? Alright, we're here with a great guesttoday. Matty Al pala, executive vice president sales and business strategyat gutin. She just like a refugee of new york out in Denver as opposed towhere I went but great to have you on the pod. Thank you very happy to behere, awesome. Well look, I'll meet no filler. We jump right in maddy, tell uswhat you do and how you got to this role. Yeah, so I, as you said, I am theexecutive vice president of sales and business strategy Ed guten which is amouthful but what that really means is that I oversee all of the merchantpartnerships for gluten which is an e commerce fulfillment company. And tomake it really simple, we help online sellers and businesses who want toaccess the best on demand production globally do exactly that. So we have amerchant part of our business which is right now to work with about 9000different brands and retailers all the way from really, really big ones toosmall Shopify store owners or Etsy store owners and help them access ourplatform which integrated with a global network of print on demandmanufacturers. So how I got here is is...

...a bit of more of a story than that Iactually was in finance prior to working at guten, I loved it. I workedat Blackrock had an awesome role on the corporate development and strategy teambut I wanted to do something completely different. So I thought what was moredifferent than working at the largest global asset manager than going to a20% e commerce start up in the middle of Manhattan made the switch. Iactually was joking with our Ceo this morning that neither of us really knewwhat 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 CSPdownload of all of our current merchants on the platform and basicallysaid nobody is doing anything with these businesses, go nuts, see what youcan 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 alittle bit more To dig in about 9-10,000 merchants on the platformtoday 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 thetwenties kind of 2030, pretty early on. And so we've added a little over 100people join the company, Wow, that's that is that is such a fun. Um I thinkthat segment is super fun like from really early up to like 150 is just uhit's a blast and you know, everybody in the company, everyone is a essentiallylike a siloed functional leader. Like yes, like marketing is a person for along time. That's awesome. And how did you find, I mean like great that yousaid, hey, you know, Black rock, that was fun, would want to go do somethingcompletely different. But like, I think That's something that people have ahard time doing because the accessibility to like where do I evenfind a 20% startup that I'm interested in and I'm willing to take a risk onlike yeah, I mean it was definitely a process, I did a lot of interviewsbecause I was very much exploring of what I wanted to do. So I talked to bigcompanies, small companies, a lot of different industries, I knew I wasinterested in the e commerce and...

...logistics space, something that was, mydad worked in supply chains, I got to see some of that first hand, justthought it was really cool the concept of just how do you get goods for me tobe, but I had never heard of on demand manufacturing, I didn't know anythingabout e commerce, I never worked enough before and it really actually cameabout through networking. So I had reached out to friends and colleaguesand 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'mnot trying to interview, I'm not gonna ask for a job, I just want to see whatthey do. But a whole bunch of just informational conversations, I talkedto someone through my alma mater Colgate who worked at etc. It was likeokay, this is interesting. And then actually through an old classmate gotconnected to one of the investors at guten who then connected me to the Ceoof Putin and said you should go talk to brian who's our Ceo. So I said greatI'll go talk to brian and met brian and about 15 minutes into talking to brianrealized 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 reallywhy. Um, but we chatted for two hours and he left and said you should comeback and talk to more people and so I did and then they made me an offer andso I think my original title was something funny. It was like partnerssuccess manager, like they had made something up essentially to just eventinventor role and they're like, yeah, you seem smart and cool. Like why don'tyou come join us figure out if you can do anything Being in that exact stageright now if an investor of ours handed handed somebody to me and they weresmart and cool. It is one of those things where like, yeah, we're gonnaneed, 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 theywant to do as long as they're like in on it. That's pretty cool. I love thosestories where it's not well, you know the three hour first like first meetingthat turns into something that's pretty cool. Yeah, it was awesome. We justtalked about a whole bunch of different stuff and I thought what brian and thecompany were setting out to do was really interesting and soundedchallenging in a good way in the role...

...kind of fit exactly what I was lookingfor, which was frankly at the time, just an opportunity to flex differentskill sets and experiment and try new things and take a lot of the ownershipthat I, you know, it's just hard to do at a big corporation, right? Like Youget to work on really awesome projects, but you know, you're a part of the teamthat moves the needle 10%. You don't get the opportunity to move the needle10% yourself. So just to have that opportunity, but really attracted me itsounds 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. Youknow, my husband, I don't think he will ever want to work at a small personstartup. He loves the structure, he loves the stability, the consistency, Iguess that's why we fit right. Some opposites attract there because I lovethe chaos and the variety, but I do think it's a really awesome learningexperience, but both are valuable, right? I, I got such a good educationin many senses at black rock and I still use a lot of what I learned onthat team fairly daily. Honestly, I wish more people that didn't want towork in startups, wanted to because we all need the people who have like thatneed 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, Imean, I, we always talk about in the pod luck and hard work or two thingsthat get you there. I mean clearly a lot of hard work went into networkingyour way into all these meetings. You probably had 40 information,informational interviews that didn't land anything, any kind of stories oneither 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 fittogether. 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 anetworking 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 youlike sales, it does not mean you're like networking events. That's on handin hand at all. I agree. So I'm glad that you are on the same page, but Iforced myself to go because I obviously, I think it's important, it's good tomeet people and like it puts me out of my comfort zone actually in a differentway. So I went to this networking event, met the cfl Blackrock, I had no ideawho he was, which I think I was the only person in the room. He was justlike, yeah, he seems like a nice guy, I'm gonna go talk to this person and Iget maybe that made me come across differently, I wasn't trying to impresshim. Um I just struck up a conversation and he asked me what I wanted to do andI was honest and said, I don't really know, you know, I'm looking a bunch ofjobs and he said, well thought about Black rock and I was like, yeah, youknow, I thought I saw the application, I was really sure he's like, you reallyshould apply, like, I think you should really do it. And so I went home and Igot an application in like two hours before the deadline and I don't think Iwould have applied had I not met him, um and I end up getting the job andthen a whole bunch of things came out of that. I think it, it landed me innew york, which I wouldn't have been in new york, I met my husband, so therewas just a lot of luck that came out of that interaction, I think like was thisa like were you a senior in college? Was this like, oh gosh, oh, so you werelike a student talking to this basically Global boss of bosses. Yes. Ijust, I think that there's something amazing about like the disarming natureof ignorance and you know, you walk up to somebody who everyone else knows whothey are and you don't and you're just like, hi, what's going on? I think Iactually asked him, he I said, would you like to get a glass of water? Youyou look like you could use a drink because I think I've seen peopletalking to him all afternoon and I just didn't know he was, but I was like, youwanna get something to drink? Like thirsty. He's like, I am really thirstyactually like, thank you, that'd be great. And I was like, yeah, cool. He'slike, what do you studied? Right? We...

...were just chatting about stuff. Hisname is Gary, he's a wonderful person. I had the opportunity to work with himon 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 justsomething I think about walking up and talking to him and striking up aconversation and I never confirmed it, but I always had a feeling that hemight have helped me if that role, look, if he hadn't, I'm sure folks talkedabout who applied and who he met at the event that was like, you know, had hadpositive vibes. I mean that's all part, it all goes towards it. I'm sure thatthat happened. That's very cool. All right. Well look, whether at Blackrockbecause that stuff is interesting from like a tactics perspective. Some of thethings you might have worked on that or in your current role, what's a sales ormarketing 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 thisjob coming from finance background. Um, One of the things that I go back tobasics, I was just talking about it with our team this morning really isjust that simple give get. I see especially as I've hired youngersalespeople in their careers, you really want to please your cust Allright. You want to get a deal done. Um, and there's some of that desperationthat can sometimes show through even from a pleasing standpoint or frompushing things forward. And so I think, you know, something I always remind ourteam if we're going to make a pricing concession. If we're going to go out ofour way on something, flex our policies, we should try to get something inreturn and doesn't have to feel transactional, but actually thinkprospects a lot of times will respect you more. I had a conversation with alead a couple weeks ago, pretty big account and they were asking for somestuff that we usually wouldn't do contractually and we ended up agreeingto it and I said, look, I'm just gonna make this ask if we, if we agree tothis, can I count on you for a case study in the future? Would you bewilling to speak about guten? Um and give a lot of that data to us? And theysaid absolutely, right. So I think that sometimes people can feel uncomfortablemaking those asks, but they actually can be really important and a lot oftimes the worst thing someone could say is no, and you can still move on fromit. Sure. And I love, I love the...

...example that you gave there when youare asking for a price concession or asked for a price concession and youask 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 tothem. 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 ofsales development, so str team guru to really scale out our outbound functionin particular, but will oversee and bound as well. And so who are theyseeking in a role like that they're seeking is this because you said youyou go from big companies all the way down to etc. You know marketplace, youknow, customers like how does that work? Yeah. So it is a little bit ofeverything. It's actually, I think why it's a challenging and fun role to hirefor because really the great candidates that we've been getting in are the onesthat are excited to really build out that function for us and specializedmore with an S and B team or group of individuals and market and enterprisebecause we do have all the way up from those big retailers down to the smallbusinesses. So it's exciting from a development standpoint because there'sa huge net of people we can chase after. But on the flip side, it's hard to stayfocused and build strategies around it. And so we've had a lot of really goodinitial success in our efforts, but that's what this whole is to, to do, tocome in scale, optimize put process around and, you know, kind of put atent on this circus, so to speak, um, and help us get get it to the nextlevel 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 inthe company, right? Yeah. I mean, that's just like, uh, that is kind of adream. 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 hugeimpact and then, you know, you know, who's out there, who you enjoy theircontent, 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 alittle 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 wholebunch of great contributors, but I'm always looking for inspiration to forour content and they do a really good job of tactical things that you need toknow if you work in an industry that touches e commerce and then just kindof 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 goeat? 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 lastweekend. 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 arestaurant called the nose cabin up on the side of the mountain nestled in thevalley in the winter, you can only get there by snow cat and we had dinnerthere, we had the five course prefixed meal. It was incredible, wow way do newyork strip and it was just like I have to roll you down the mountainafterwards, you're just so stuffed I'm in. I would just grab a pillow and stayovernight. I'm totally imagine maddie so great to have you on the pod. Reallyenjoy hearing your transition from financing to cooler shit and I'm happyto 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 wantmore on print on demand. It's a weird, crazy little market. This whole conceptof making something to order at scale wild. You would be surprised the nexttime you order something on my online that might not have been sitting on ashelf somewhere. So you know how your goods are made. It's good stuff. All right, that's our show. Thank youso much for listening. If you like the show, send it to a friend rate andreview five stars on or four were not...

...that great but fine. A reminder. Thisepisode was brought to you by Inside Square, say goodbye to spreadsheetforecasting and hello to Crm data, you can trust Inside Square deliverspredictive deal scoring, unmatched visibility and inspection and advancedgoal management for your entire team. Everything. You need to take backcontrol 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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