The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 3 months ago

EP 201: Product Led Growth w/ Catie Ivey

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

EP 201: Product Led Growth w/ Catie Ivey

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

But hello everyone and welcome back to the pavilion podcast. I'm your host, Brandon Martin, and you are listening to is this a good time? The show where I put avilion members on the hot seat for fifteen minutes we hear their incredible stories. You know the drill. If you hit subscribe, you'll see our your get our shows every Thursday and won't miss hearing from our experts. Our guest today is Kati IV. She's a VP of sales at Pendo, and we talked about the whole new world of product led growth and all the interesting things about it. It's awesome conversation. This month sponsor is Sandso, the leading corporate gifting platform that inspires human connections for revenue driven teams to stand out at strategic points throughout the customer journey. All right, let's do this episode ninety eight. Is this a good time? I am so glad to have Katie IV with us. Katie is the VP of sales at Pendo. Katie's also been on this pod way back, but with Justin not with Brandon. So now we'll do it with brandon. Katie soil, great to have you here. I am so stoked to be here. Thanks so much for the invite. Yeah, and you know all me. No, Philler, let's jump right in. I'm excited to talk about what you're doing. I mean you have you had some crazy changes and also your person like that. You were saying. This is perhaps a re entry after taking some time off. So I'm excited to get dive into any of that stuff that you want to but start with what are you doing today, where you tell us what Pendo does and tell us a little bit about how you got here. You have such an interesting career. Sure, and yes, a lot of changes. I'll maybe touch on those. All really good, exciting stuff. So currently I leave the Commercial Org Isation at Pendo pen as a product management platform. It's basically software that's built to make software better, so helping companies become truly product led. I'm relatively new. I joined the PENDO team about four and a half months ago, as it's been an incredible ride so far out no doubt I will have an opportunity to talk a little bit more about that. Prior to Pendo, though, I've worked for some amazing companies really leading up to this GIG. Most recently, I led the men market sales, or get to man base also just an incredible company, incredible organization. It's been a good bit of time at Marquetto as well. Sales force part...

...out prior to sales force part of that acquisition. So it's ass sales as sales leaderships pretty much the entirety of my career and MARTEC has made up a big majority of that as well. I love it and just, you know, going to what you know. Some of these names are household names. Obviously, Marquetto and demand me. You know. Why did you choose Pendo? Just the go into that. That's that path. How did you got any land there? Yeah, so it was was accidental in a lot of ways and I'll tell you. So it's been an interesting last few months, as you alluded to. So my husband and I had been in the process of adopting our first child over the last year and a half ish, but we got a surprise call. Literally would just finish the paperwork and we were like down in Florida and there was a little baby on the way, like born twelve hours later. We were holding her twelve hours after that and Allantown, Pennsylvania. So the best surprise of our lives. But that happened back in June. Her name is Eve grace, who's the most magical human being you could ever imagine. It's been an incredible ride. So obviously took some time off, a little bit unexpected, for maternity leave. Spend some time in that phase and during that time had some conversations with some folks over at Pendo. It's a product that I had used on the customer side for a long time. Always been really impressed with the software, the product. I leveraged it as a sales leader really to understand what our customers were doing, what aspects of our product they were using, where folks were dropping off, you know, to look for a potential turn risk, ortension indicators, things like that. So it always been impressed and I knew some of the folks over there and they had just hired a new cro who is just this phenomenal woman named Jen Brannigan. She convinced me to get in a call thing and it was networking. You know. Three months later I had a new job, really big job, lots of changes, great opportunity. It's just in a hypergrowth mode in a stage that is more exciting than any place that I've ever been and honestly, I'm super motivated just by the product led movement and product leg growth holistically. So just like it's a massive opportunity, really large total addressaball market. So it was just kind of one of those things that sort of showed up that was too good to pass up, if you want to be I mean just just to come at first of all, congratulations on everything and new personal life. That's that. That's incredible and you know,...

I love I love hearing and talking to parents that are going through this, especially mothers that are going, you know, operating in a high level and teaching us all so much, you know, about what it takes and grit and everything like that. So congrats on that. Amazing. I'm really curious about the idea of like the product led growth and kind of what's going on in that space. I mean, it seems like every new product that comes out is trying to take a product lyb growth strategy. It seems like the Tam is growing tremendously. Like what are some of the just give us a sense, like from that side of the fence? If you're in traditional be to be sales, maybe that's not something you see often. What are some of the things that are happening in the product of go growth on kind of space. Yeah, and it's it is, to your point, such a massive Tam and it's growing so quickly and we, I mean folks like yourself, in myself, like I've been in software for so long, but a lot of my world has been in very much this kind of sales and marketing, revenue driven motion. We're of course, we're working with product and we're trying to connect the dots and, you know, feed insights from our customers over to product to make sure that we're building the right thing. When we think about product led growth, it's really flipping that whole thing on its head and figuring out how do we let our product lead the way in every capacity of the organization. And a lot of people think product led growth and I think it's just like freemium, free trials, you know, no humans involved, and that that can be an aspect for some businesses. That certainly not the whole story, but it's literally just letting the product lead the way and then being able to leverage really valuable insights, ideally from your customers and your users, that are coming out of the product that influence what should we be building? WHERE SHOULD WE DOUBLE DOWN? What did we maybe spend resources building that customers aren't finding particularly valuable? Like how do we want to pivot the direction of the company and the business and the go to market based on what we're seeing in the product and what the products telling us through the customers? So look, I mean, I guess being naive, I've always I've always felt like product like growth. Essentially. The distinction here is that you can purchase within a product, right, you can upgrade within a product and you and then, of course, like how you get people into that funnel to...

...upgrade and all the tricks that you're taking to get people through that. But it sounds also like you're saying just the mental shift of saying we are going to build things only that our customers use and we're going to also admit our mistakes when we build things that we thought were good ideas and our customers don't use it. Yeah, totally, and what you just described is absolutely a huge aspect of product growth. So I mean trying to enable more and more functionality to exist when the within the product, so that customers do have control to buy, to upgrade, to have a journey that doesn't always have to involve human interaction. That's certainly a big piece of it, but to my earlier point and to your point, it's so much more than that and I think that's the piece that excited me so much about the market, specifically in the direction that we're going, because it really is just it's looking at products and software differently than we have before and allowing them to inform a much broader go to market in a really strategic way that's all about the customer. Yeah, it's incredible. I don't our business today does not employ much product the growth in this way, or at least the way that I've thought about in the past, where like fremium and, like you said, the whole fremium model or something, or self on boarding or something like that. But you know, would would a company like I wonder people are asking themselves, would my product benefit if more users used it? Not being a user base, I'm so, even if it's just an enterprise subscription, would my product benefit? Would white my stickness benefit more people use it? Maybe it's just simple as getting people to get on boarded and share, you know, getting more logins from different users. Right, any business that's build on the back of software can probably make that software better, and that's really the premise. And I think sometimes we over complicated because we think I'm not I'm not a twilio or I'm not one of these like true product blood organizations. Yet and honestly, if you look at our customers at Pendo, if such a massive range, it's some like ultra forward thinking, very product led, product first organizations. And then we're also working with folks that are in the fortune five hundred, that have been around a really long time and are in the early stages of digital transformation, like far behind some of the SASS companies that you and...

I interact with. But there's some challenges within their software and they know, hey, if we can make certain things stickier, if we can make certain things more intuitive, if we can help our users get from point a to point B, or if we can give visibility to our internal team of what features are really resonating, not resonating all that stuffs, going to make the business more impactful and make us more money long term. Yeah, it's fascinating and I feel it. You know, we could probably say this about a lot of stuff, but the good feels like we're still in the first or second inning here of a nine inning game. So very cool. Well, look, you know, we always talk about both hard work and luck being things that get you to where you are. Its sounds like there's a little bit of that in the conversations that you had with Pendo to land there, but it was there any of any other specific things that you know in your career that we're just you know, maybe happenstance that that really launched launched you into an amazing situation. Yeah, and I couldn't agree more. Both hard work and luck are so incredibly important. I think anyone that says otherwise it's a little bit naive. I've just I've had so many lucky breaks, I think, in my career, and I think most of us have. I mean honestly, the first job that I landed was a sales job and that was very much by accident. I had a political science degree, I was planning to go to law school. I had traveled. I thought it was going to do international politics. Like not at all the direction that I ended up and I landed in an interview for this very entry level sales gig. That was a lot of cold calling back before we had all kinds of, you know, sophisticated technology to help us be a little bit better as a Dr I fell in love with a company. Had to work really, really hard because I, to be honest, wasn't naturally good at it out of the gate. But I realized I really like business, I'm really curious about the companies that I'm interacting with. Like I just sort of found a fascination that then allowed me to that kind of hard work piece to really fire, and that was so incredibly lucky that that was the first job that I took compared to that Pairalegal Gig that I was offered as well. So that Super Lucky. I also took a role at pardots, I guess, five years into my career, and that was an incredibly lucky gig. That was an amazing opportunity with very much a startup, e feel company that then got acquired by sales for so I got to experience both of those spectrums and learned so...

...much through both of it. So I could go on and on. There's many lucky breaks along the way, for sure. I'll big. was just curious how big this part out when you when you landed there, so I joined about a year before the acquisition, so we had just been a quart part I had just been acquired by exact target, but they were functioning totally separate. So other than going to Indianapolis for on boarding, we didn't really interact with exact target. So much so I think the we called ourselves Pardashians. It was a couple hundred, probably three hundred, maybe something like that. That's good. I you know, they're should be a website where, because I just found out that the facebookers, or whatever they're called now, or now net a verse, amates, Metamites or something the outwet. Oh, yeah, something. Yeah, I saw that in you. That's night. I'd be pissed if I if you changed what my name is. I know, I think I'd rather be a facebooker. Sorry, yeah, I don't it wasn't face. I don't even know if it's facebooker, but facebook he's. Who knows? There should be a full website dedicated to all that startups that do that silly names. Well, that that's super cool. Well, look, you know, there's a there's a ton of different directions for us to go any I would love to know maybe throughout your career kind of the best sales are marketing tactic that you've used and in this obviously it's we talked a lot about product leg growth, but maybe go back to some of the ABM stuff that you've done in the past. What would you say is something that people should invest more time in? By the way, I love that we got sidetracked on product leg growth, but I am passionate about sales and marketing and a revenue leader through and through in terms of tactics. mean, it sounds super, super simple, but if I like go back to my demand base days, the most consistent conversation we were having with customers was around how to get sales and marketing working together more tightly like and we having these conversations for five, ten years. But the reality is is that you need to know the exact accounts that US sellers want to sell to and then to make sure that marketing is actually marketing to those accounts and that there's alignment. And so it's all about aligning around a tight target account list, driving that consistent alignment, building shared you know, incentives, cop plans, visibility, all of that stuff. If you can create that alignment across the full revenue funnel, then I think you're unstoppable and it's just amazing to me how many companies are still not doing that basic a thing today. Yeah, it's...

...a nice look in the mirror sometimes to say are we actually is my marketing and my sales actually aligned to do the thing we want them to do? Yeah, a hundred percent. One other tactic I would say if you're a seller, because that's more kind of on the leadership level. If your seller just stop spamming, stop automating, stop blasting like personalization wins. I shouldn't have to say that, but it's very clear that we're at a pivotal place and sales and we are going to have to be better as sales executives if we want to get meetings and get folks to give us our time. Well, let's stay there for a second. What does personalization mean to you, because I don't think you mean make sure the person's name is right when it says hi, Katie Right. What if personalization mean? You do mean actually writing individual emails? For the most part, yes, and I do understand that it's different depending on the segment that you're selling into. There's a lot of different variables that are going to determine how many times you're reaching out, what pieces you should automate versus which pieces that you shouldn't. But I firmly believe that you should not be reaching out to individuals and less you know something about what that individual, and ideally that individuals company, cares about, and I don't think that you can automate that process. I think there has to be some element of actual research that goes into figuring out, and sometimes it's down to the personal level. Where they go to school, what do they care about? What sports did they play? How many kids do they have? Like, how can you spark a real conversation with this real human being that's on the other end of the phone or the email or the social channel? Sometimes it's more soft touch or high level, depending on the volume that you're expected to produce. But I just think that some of the stuff that lands in my inbox I'm like, how do you get a paycheck for doing that? It is just it does not feel logical to me. Yes, and and and, just just so I ask the question. So we say this out loud. You believe in the right scenarios, right not maybe like a pure smb play or something like that, but the right scenarios, personalizing will lead to a better yield then blanket, you know, spamming and so forth. Right that you're going to you're not going to get as many at...

...bats, but you're clearly going to get a better rate, much higher when rate and much better returning your time, for sure. All right, we're marking you down on that note. I mean, I'll go to I'll go toe to toe with anyone that wants to debate me on it. I love it, love it. Anything you're hiring for, any positions we are hiring like aggressively. I think I mentioned I have never worked at a company that is in the level of hyper growth mode that we are a Pindo. Specifically in my org I have openings for mid market and enterprise growth sales executives, as so count executives. Specifically, if you have experience either working with or selling to product leaders and product teams, love to talk to you. But great sellers, I think, can probably be great selling many things. So yeah, those those are my immediate openings. Interesting. Love it and any shoutouts that you want to give. You know people up and commerce or folks that you know. Perhaps you've have inspired you at least. Let's see shout outs. I there's a couple of different buckets of content that I consume and follow. Sales thought leadership. Kevin Dorsey's like my all time favorite love. Katie a ton, marketing side of the House. John Millers like forever my marketing Guru Body over at Gong, I think, is also just amazing. I love what he's building and I'm obsessed with his team. Product by growth. James Maize is phenomenal for mind the product. So that's probably who I would recommend. They're on the UPANDCOMMER side and I don't know if he really counts as an upper upandcomer anymore because he's built quite a brand. But then Metano used to work on my team at demand base, or it's still at a man base. He was an str and now top performing a e. his content around sales, both sales development, building pipeline and sales execution. It's like second to none. It's exceptional and it's not just linkedin. He's super present on twitter's doing some interesting things on tick tock like again, I don't know if he counts an UPANCOM or but you should follow me. He's phenomenal. Love it. I'm just looking at his profile here and he's he's got a picture front and Center with my Guy Gary v. So yeah, I mean he's hysterical as well. So you know, you at least won't be bored. I love it all right. And last but not least, you gotta give me a restaurant to go to. Give us a secret, one of your spots. WHERE SHOULD WE BE DYING? Oh, secret. So I split my time between Atlanta and Pensacola Beach. We have a rental...

...property down there that we live in offseason. I actually haven't been in Atlanta a lot recently. The last place I hate out, I think, was two urban licks, which is like one of my old school like favorites here in Atlanta. In Pensacola beach there is a spot that's relatively new. It's like fine dining right on the water called drift. That is like second to none and amazing cocktails. So it's my current what's type of food? Just like sea food, like what do you would what do you back next? Yeah, high and seafood and then a little bit of mix of some Non Sea food, but they're scallops, Sr yeah, seafood is there is pretty phenomenal. Love it all right. This is perfect, Katie, thank you so much for joining me. So excited that your back, so to speak, and it's really cool what you're up to now. I'm looking forward to just following along. Thank you so much. It was a great conversation. Really enjoyed it all right, that's our show. Thank you so much for listening. If you love the show, please rate and review apple podcast, spotify. Do it for real. This episode was brought to you by Sindows. They are redefining the way businesses inspire human connections by offering an intelligent gifting experience with a global fulfillment infrastructure, highly curated premium vendors, deep analytics and personalization at scale. I had so much fun today. I hope you did too. Now get out and crush your numbers.

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