The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 10 months ago

Ep 141: The Importance of Mentors w/ Cara Felleman

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Ep 141: The Importance of Mentors w/ Cara Felleman

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 and you are listening to, Is this a good time the show where I put Pavilion members in the hot seat for 15 minutes and we get to hear their incredible stories, chose her out Tuesdays and thursday. So hit subscribe. So you don't miss anything today. I have a friend and guest coming on carafes element. She's a VP of sales and press record and we talked about the importance of mentors throughout your career. Really cool conversation and I'm so psyched to have carry on, especially because today is my actual actual birthday putting on a special episode. This one was brought to you by insights squared, advanced revenue analytics and forecasting for today's B two B organizations. Your revenue team wakes up every day with questions inside squared gives you the data driven answers in real time. Get 350 out of the box reports and dashboards. Self service, no code. All right, let's do this episode 65 Is this a good time? All right. I'm so excited to have our...

...guest on today's carafes. Ellemann Cara is currently the VP of sales at Kresic or she and I had the pleasure of working together at Risi and I'm just so excited to catch out. Happy to be here. All right, well look, I'll meet no further. Even though we could be s and do do all the bullshit in the front. Want to get straight to it. Tell us about your current role? This is a new role for you. Right? So tell us about the current role. What do you do there and then go back because as far as food tech goes right being involved in food tech, you have a very blueprint career, You've excelled everywhere you've been. But like man, if somebody could follow those steps, that would be a good plan. So tell us about the role first. Awesome. Thank you. So crazy core is a new company I've been at. This is I guess week three so very early on but really excited and happy to be there. So for those that don't know what trade promotion is, I'll make it as simple as possible if you ever go to the grocery store and you look at the checkout line and there's things that discount or you see your favorite brand and maybe it's a buy one, get one that is what's...

...considered trade And actually brands are spending 20-30% of their revenue on trade promotions to get new customers. And so the company I work for were actually empowering small to midsize brands to actually manage plan and execute their trade across retailers. So I've been, as you mentioned in food tech primarily on the restaurant check side and now I've taken my love for food in the hospitality industry and I'm actually transitioning it into supporting small to midsize brands. So that sounds really boring. I'll give you some fun brands and I think that will kind of add some color. So if you like totally or simple mills Wild Planet, perfect snacks lilies purely Elizabeth lesser evil, Amy's hint water, those are all current customers of ours that use our trade promotion platform to execute their trades fan. I mean, I, I don't think if anyone's paying attention it's not boring because I feel like CPG food products are exploding right? Um, I mean if you were...

...to just think about the variety of, as you said, like oat milk available to you, there was only did a super bowl commercial. I mean this is clearly a huge growing market to have boutique, niche, whatever foods. And it feels like even, you know, in our old world, the world of restaurants, every chef in every whomever, every personality is coming up with their own products in this space. And I think what's cool is, you know, everyone wants to live a healthier lifestyle and so you're seeing brands come up with new, healthy natural alternative to your childhood favorite things, right? So like you love sour patch kids probably not the most healthy for you, but smart suites has a much healthier version of it. So you're seeing consumers have better, healthier options for the things that they love and that's what this emerging brands are really putting on the shelves in grocery stores love it. And is it always like, are you basically always kind of enabling a physical...

...activation. Is it always something that's kind of in the store. So trade promotion is typically the discounts in which gets a consumer to try your brand. Um Well, I'm not talking about the, you know, if you go to whole foods and they're giving you a sample that is in a different budget and that's really more so in like in store marketing. But this is what are the strategies brands take to get consumers to buy their brand for the first time or maybe repurchase? It's all about increasing revenue. So, but so, you know, even though these products are bought by consumers, it's not always direct to consumers. So how how does one? So this is why I'm asking the physical part. Like how does a brand that is maybe distributed through grocery store is going to reach their end consumer with an offer. Yes. So most brands fun facts are not actually going direct to the retailer, usually going through...

...distributors, Katie and Unify are two of the largest vendors kind of in the space. So there are, it is a complicated web in which the brand is making deals with distributors. The brands are also making deals with retailers and distributors are making brand, you know, deals with the retailers. So it's definitely a sticky web and that is why brands need a place to actually plan and track that data. And historically it's been done in Excel sheets. And so what we're doing is actually replacing Excel and creating a really strong foundation of datasets for brands. So I like to say uh Salesforce once upon a time replaced excel sheets for businesses, we are doing that except for the small to mid sized brand food and beverage CPG. It's a shout out to Excel being the greatest tool of all times. Every single business was basically an Excel spreadsheet until it's not even even reservation platforms. Well look, I want to, I want to hear, I mean we could talk forever, but I mean, you know, I always say in the pod that hard...

...work and luck both get you to where you are. I mean I wonder if you want to bring up a story of either or both from your past, you know, I mean we haven't even got into the idea of you know, starting a single platform and the single platform mafia and then coming over part of the mafia for sure, but then putting in all the hard work at ready, but maybe we can get with this segment with hard work or luck. Yeah, I think that um I'm going to talk about luck because I think that a lot of people can understand the grit that's required to be successful in the hard work that you need to put in, but I think you create your luck right? So I do think there is some part of serendipity, it just happens, but I'm a firm believer that you create your own luck and the luck that I think I've been dealt is my network. I am very grateful to have incredible mentors and they have really all contributed to who I am today, honestly, why I got the job at Kresic or, and how I've been able to grow as a, you know, individual, as a professional,...

...as a female leader because of my network. And so how is this? Look Long ago before I actually joined my second company, bit lee, I was interviewing for a company and Andrew Odo was a guy that I was interviewing to work underneath and I wanted to work for him, I loved the company that he was at and he loved me, but he didn't hire me and I reached out and I said, hey, you know what happened? He said, look, we got acquired by facebook, I actually couldn't tell you and I couldn't hire you, but I would have loved to hire you, let's stay in touch. And he became one of my first mentors in new york city and he got me really involved in battery capital when he was working there and has introduced me into his kind of network, but also taking me under his wing and now we have a great relationship where you know, yes, he's a mentor to me, but also there's ways in which I've been able to help him as well. That was like, look, but bad luck, right? I wanted to work for him and now he became a mentor. Another example is max, he emailed me on linkedin said,...

...hey, you know, uh sales hackers doing an event in new york city, you should come. I had no idea who max was and I said, oh, I can't come, but I actually see that you're connected to someone that I know and I'm starting a CBD chocolate company, would you be open to having breakfast with me? And he was like, absolutely make it work. So I met him for breakfast, it ended up starting to talk about the business I was building at the time, then created a really long standing three year plus relationship where he's a mentor to me both from a business perspective, from an investing perspective and now a friend as well. So I think those are two examples of mentors that happened from luck, some bad luck, but luck that I created into a good circumstance and good for max Now now you and I, in this case we're both LPS and his fun. So what goes around comes around. Absolutely, we've got to keep network tight because everyone supports everyone. We've, we've had a lot of fun...

...with the GTM fund shout out, So very cool. Love that. Well, in the current role, obviously it's early, but I know that it's a growing business that you guys have and they wouldn't bring on somebody with your caliber of skills without wanting to grow immensely. Right? So is there any positions you're hiring for currently? Yes, we are hiring for a ton of positions. Um, my sales team has yet to be put on linkedin in terms of hiring, we're still figuring out the go to market strategy, luckily where 100% inbound right now, which is amazing but not sustainable. So we are hiring for engineering. We're hiring for design. We are hiring in implementation customer success. And then I would say in the next 1 to 2 quarters will be ramping up our sales development and account executive program awesome. I would just say to anybody, if you, if you are enjoying the conversation and think Cara's cool. Like I think there is cool just reach out to her and be like I want to work for you somehow because who knows, it might be an Andrew Oto, you know, situation definitely. And I think that I've also...

...kind of built a name for myself to just help people in general find jobs whether it's not a good fit for the company I'm working for. But if there's someone that I have in my network that I can help with or it can, you know, give some of the advice or the tough, tough love that I've received and things that I've learned that didn't go so well, I definitely think that's important and specifically women supporting women because I think there's not enough out there of the executive c suite women and we've got to stick together and help each other rise up. So I'm definitely here to help in any way. I could not agree more. This is when I get to plug that, I actually got to hire you. So I'm well support of getting more women into sales. They rock they crush. All right, well uh any any shout outs, I know we already brought up a few folks, but any shout outs of people who who you you know, are you know, find inspiring or love following their content. Um Well, I think pretty much the consensus is there's a lot of people in Lincoln that...

...people follow actually was going to plug a book that I just read that I really enjoyed. It was a really easy read. It's called the qualified sales leader by john McMahon. It was a great read if you are a leader, if you want to be a leader if you are interested in sales and building strong businesses. I thought this was a really easy read and it validates things that you've done well and you're like, yep, I feel good about that or it gives you insight into like you know what I should think about it that way. Love it. And just because I follow you on instagram. I know the answer to this, where are you reading this book? I was reading, I just took a three week hiatus in between jobs and traveled spain and Morocco. So I would say a majority of that book was read in the balearic island, so Formentera Ibiza in my Orca on a lounge chair with a peanut colada or not even a peanut cause I was something better than that. I would say that if you are, if you are leaving your job and you're going to another job, negotiate time off because you need to reset, you know, you are...

...going to be so much more productive if you disconnect from the internet, you disconnect from work brain, totally relaxed, blank slate and then you can come in with super energy which I have always, but now in this new job as well besides the book, any up and comers that you feel like you want to give a shout to that you have have either worked with yourself or just love what they do from afar. I feel like I have a lot and then I feel like I would leave people out so I will keep that to myself because I realized that if I say to people, I'm going to leave out to other people fine, we'll let you just because we're friends will let you cop out. Okay, most important of all is my restaurant question, we know all the restaurants in new york together and probably a lot of them in the U. S. Give me something outside the us, you just went on this big trip. Give me something from your trip as to where somebody should go eat or I should go eat. Yes. So if you are a quote unquote...

...foodie. Um but you also like the outdoors. Saint Sebastian Spain is absolutely incredible in northern basque region and I just went to an incredible steakhouse and when I say steakhouse, remove the vision that you have in the US. This is seven bar seats. They serve three items. They serve a steak, peppers and tomatoes. They bring out two stakes in front of you. They say which one do you want? They put a bunch of salt on it, they cook it really quickly, they bring it out to you, you watch it cook on the slab and then they have fresh tomatoes with ton of salt and then pardoned peppers grilled and they bring that out to you. You get beer, you get wine super simple. The best steak I have ever had in my life and I had the pleasure at eating at incredible restaurants by far. It was the most affordable and the most flavorful steak I have ever had. What's the name of the place or in a store I believe bar nestor. All right, well this is just, this sounds like this...

...sounds like the peter lugers of sense of action. It is peter lugers of Saints of action. We only do one thing and we do it perfectly. And yes, and they will say they have their, the grandmother of the man that owns a restaurant. She makes a spanish tortilla once a day. So it's, it's only eight pieces and if you go two hours before the restaurant opens, you can put your name on the list to get one of the eight slices. Did I do that? Yes. Did I want to do that two days in a row? Yes, it was incredible. But if you google barna store, you want to look up my instagram meeting with Kerry, you'll see it. It is literally life changing. I love that. I love the instagram plug, love it. I've been, I've been pretty bad at it lately, but it is a fun fun thing to have on the side. Cara, you're incredibly inspiring. Always love chatting. So happy for all the, all the things that you've earned so far in your career and it's just just early days to be honest with you now you're getting all the heat of being an executive. I love it. So good luck and...

...everything. Thank you for coming on. Thank you and thank you for also being a mentor part of that crew, you know, so I'm happy to be on the call, appreciate you by awesome. 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 or Spotify absent into some friends. Make sure to have smash that subscribe button reminder. This episode was brought to you by inside squared, say goodbye to spreadsheet, forecasting and hello to Sierra and data. You can trust. Inside Squared delivers predictable 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. I a lot of fun today. Hope you did too. Now. No question numbers. Say something. Mhm.

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