The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 4 months ago

Ep 109: Take a Huge Risk w/ Adam Bowden

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Ep 109: Take a Huge Risk w/ Adam Bowden

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

Hello everyone and welcome back to thePavilion podcasts. Almost said revenue collected. Almost caught myself. I'myour host, Brandon martin, you're listening to Is this a good time theshow where I put Pavilion members on the hot seat for 15 minutes. We heartheir incredible stories. It's a fun job, chose her out Tuesdays andthursday. So hit subscribe here. Um All our guest today is Adam Baden. He hasthe longest title I've ever heard in my life. It's a global lead for sales andcustomer programs at workplace from facebook. And we talk about taking ahuge risk, like the fact that he moved to Singapore on a whim. Really cool.This episode was brought to buy drift. More than 50,000 businesses use driftto grow revenue and increase customer lifetime value faster drift, helpstheir customers alliance sales and marketing on a single platform todeliver a unified customer experience where people are free to have aconversation with the business at any time on their terms, learn more atdrift dot com. Alright, let's do this episode 48. Is this a good time? Allright. We are here with Adam Baden. Adam Baden has a very long title. We'regonna try to do this right. Here is the global lead for sales and customerprograms at workplace from facebook. Adams out of London. Adam thank you somuch for being on the show. Well, it's it's great to be here and apologies forstarting you off with a long title as well. That's all right, man. Look, Ithink the more words in your title, the more accomplished you are and youcertainly have an incredible career that we're about to dive into. So look,I'll meet no filler. We get right into shit here. Tell me, just like, give usa rundown of your career. How did you find facebook? I know you worked atlinked into that was it's a total interesting place. Tell us about it.Certainly. I mean I kind of look at my, my career is to two very, verydifferent parts. The 1st 10 years, I was one of those guys who was workingat recruitment firms and and working my way up and doing that in in the UK, gotsome stints over in Nigeria for for 6 to 9 months as well, which was whichwas fantastic experience. And that was...

...what kind of got me over to Singaporeas well back in 2000 and seven. But I'll take my real passion in terms ofcareer started back in 2011, that's when I really made that big jump intokind of Sas as a career, started my own company and had that for for 3.5 yearsbefore selling off the pattern right into a number of different countries.It was one of our claim to Fames was that we were actually featured inForbes magazine in Bulgaria, which I didn't even know that Bulgaria hadtheir own version of Forbes magazine, but if you can look it up and you canread Bulgarian, were there put that on the fridge, I love it. Fantastic. Soyes, it did that for for a while and then the opportunity came up withlinked in and it was a you know, a platform I've used I've known for yearsobviously being a recruiter, it was something that I was very much an aviduser. I learned there that it's not just the recruitment platform isobviously a fantastic for content and I think most people are starting torealize that over the last few years led some really good client success andsales teams. I'm a builder by nature, so set up two new businesses for themin ASia, pacific and inside sales business and a channel sales business.And then took the opportunity to join facebook workplace On facebook is verymuch a communication and collaboration platform that connects everyone in theorganization And that was my passion. That was something that really drew meto the role. I'd work with businesses all over the world for coming on now 20years and I was surprised by the inefficiency in which companies couldactually communicate amongst themselves. It seems to be easier for me to workwith them than for them to work with their piers, their counterparts indifferent regions in different time zones and and I kind of felt there mustbe someone out there solving for this and as soon as I call wind of aworkplace was like, okay, this is it, it's easy to use. People get it. Youknow, whether you use facebook, whether you use other social media platforms orother apps. It's that simplicity to use...

...and it's about connecting everybody.That person who works on a shop floor in a retail organization is the voiceof the customer. And how do they get their message all the way back up tothe ceo, which traditionally they don't get to do. So that's what kind of areally joined and I said, I was fortunate to come over to headquartershere in London and now I look at all of our sales programs, all of our clients,success programs and really design how we take our product to market, how wesupport our customers, working with all of the regional teams. Because what wedo in Mexico versus what we do in Vietnam is very different and yeah,that's where I am today. So to really, really different careers, I'd say Ihave so many questions about the early part. I want to ask one of the realquick about workplace for a second. I mean customer success is, is, it's aland and expand strategy, right? Like you can have a small group within acompany that's using workplace for facebook, just like slack right in thisway. And so the success that that small group has might be the thing thatactually translates into a larger part of the organization taking this on asinternal communications tools. So it feels like is that I'm getting a senseof that correctly, that customer success after the sale really mattersin this type of a deal, definitely the land and expand motion. I mean youmentioned slack. The company that I really like Asana is very, very similar.I mean they only kind of had salespeople two years ago. Everythingelse was self serve and you bring in amongst the team and then that expandsand continuous. I think one difference with workplaces actually it generallygoes in and goes company wide from the start. So that that often is a verydifferent experience for clients success. Obviously different things youhave to focus on. But there are still those scenarios where it is about atrial and it needs to be expanded and if I look at linked in previously, alot of that was to go in for a small segment, a small business unit or asmall geography and really expand that out. So they used to have quiteaggressive sales targets connected with their client success teams. Cool, Cool.Alright, let's go all the way back.

Where did you grow up? Because I findyour background like hopping around, you just dropped in Nigeria that Ididn't know. He said Nigeria right? Like Syria, you lived in Singapore, Youlive in London now. Like you don't care about any borders. I love this. I don'tand I often get kind of miss can shoot around where I'm from. I get Australiaa lot. I don't think the accent kind of sounds like that, but I get that quiteoften. I was born in Cornwall, so I'm very much a village village boy bynature. Kind of grew up in villages. Even when I moved to a so called townin the UK. I was in the villages outside of the town. I mean, I've neverlived in London or or spent more than one night in London in my entire lifebefore leaving the UK and in 2007. So I was very much a country boy. Okay. Butso what give me that moment that you were like, we don't work in Singapore,that that makes it even more, you know, unique to me. So I said, I gotta be theflavor because I did that 6 to 8 months of Simon in Nigeria and that was partof my recruitment days. It was going over there supporting Eriks and theywere trying to highlight 300 people and it was my account in the UK and theysaid, hey, you fancy. And I was like young, single like this, this must becool work wise. It was cool lifestyle wise. It was kind of really restricted.I was very much in a compound and didn't get out of that much, but it wasan experience that I never regret doing in terms of like the Singapore move. Itwas led by a personal matter. I was one of these guys deeply in love had thisamazing girlfriend been together five years november. She dumped me and I waslike, okay, maybe I need something different, different. Yeah, what's,what's different, I'm in the UK, why don't I just go to the other side ofthe world, that's probably gonna be a bit different to where I am now. Andthat was sort of kind of dumped in november. And by february I was on aplane flying out to Singapore. I never been to Asia, didn't speak anotherlanguage, didn't know anyone in the entire Asia region. And yeah, I mean itwas just a bold move and I remember kind of telling my group of friendswere out for were playing football and...

I just said, hey guys, by the way, infour weeks time I'm moving to Singapore and that was it. It was just kind ofjust this bombshell. And again, it was interesting when I used to come back, Iwas a lot of, I guess a lot of people don't know where Singapore is, I thinkit's, it's become a lot more prominent now. It's, it's very big, obviouslyyou've got the F one there, so that brings a bit of an audience, it's verymuch a truly established business hub, but back in 2000 and seven, if youdidn't know Singapore, you didn't know Singapore and I didn't, the reason Iwent there is english is the main language for someone who only speaksenglish, that's probably a good place. It seems like Singapore, Hong kong,especially to places that expats can go. There's expat communities, I have afriend who have lived in both places and and done that. We're going wildlyover on the amount of time we're talking about. I just, I just foundthat little nugget to be super interesting. How many languages youspeak now? I'm still barely struggling with the one which is english, but I, Ihave to be able to speak good Indonesian perhaps very soon. My wife'sfrom bali and my daughter speaks both languages. So unless I'm going to getcaught out as a father, I need to make sure that that one is tight. I know abit, but I need to improve on that significantly. Thank you for telling usabout your family there. I love the little eat pray love here. You wentaround the world, probably met your spouse in relation to getting, goingaround the world. I would imagine very close to each other. A lot of directflights I know from. I actually took one of them. Once we can have aseparate conversation, let's get to some of the questions fine and maybewe've been covered it. But like luck and hard work makes all this stuffhappen. It seems like you've taken a bunch of kind of lucky breaks if youwill to get to where you are. What's an example of that in your career? I wouldsay the Singapore move, I sort of really didn't know what I was gettingmyself into and it could have turned out to be disastrous. Everyone wasasking me, how long are you going for? And I just said, I don't know I will gountil I feel like I need to return. And...

...as I said, it could have beendisastrous. I only met my then new company and new manager when I landed.I could have had the worst experience. We have a really poor manager and thatprobably could have sent me straight back to the UK. So I got a lot of thatbecause he's, he was a phenomenal manager, someone I'm still in contactwith now, the business was a good business people. There were verywelcoming. So I'd say it is like obviously, let's be honest, you got toget, you gotta have a bit of balls to get on that plane and just jump overthere and and say, hey, I'm headed into this. No question. But, but you know,maybe if you were with the manager down the hall, it might have been adifferent situation than the manager you had. Exactly. Yeah. I mean, look,this is exactly, this is such a prime example of just like having got thehard work to get a good job where they're willing to relocate you allthat other stuff. But if you landed on the wrong manager there, you would haveturned back and gone down a completely different path. I'm glad you went theway you did. Yeah, there's so much in there, man. All right. Well look, giveus give us a sales and marketing or CS here tactic that you feel that peoplecould implement in what they do every day. I don't think it matters so matterof his sales or client success. I got taught very early on the power oflistening and I know it it said a lot, but the power of listening is it stillstays true today. It is so important. I'm not necessarily going to get intothose theories around percentages of what you should speak and what youshould not speak, but it's so important to listen. I don't mean just hear whatthey say, but I mean genuinely listen and actually take that on board. Ithink those are imperative and those are things that I try to bring into myrole every day and what I try and get my team to bring into the role everyday. The other is just authenticity. You need to be yourself when you engagewith people where its sales, whether it's client success, it's about thatpersonal connection and it doesn't mean you have to be the funny person in theroom. It doesn't mean you have to be the smartest person. It just means youneed to build a relationship and you...

...can only truly do that when you haveauthenticity. And you know, I've worked in companies and they talk a lot aboutactually kind of trying to interpret other people's styles and you reallyjust need to focus on yourself. And I would say if you adapt a stronglistening focus and bring your authenticity then you're definitelygoing to be successful no matter what role you take on. I like that a lot, aslong as you're not an asshole because yeah, you can do play for those and bea jackass and then you're still going to probably struggle to be, to besuccessful. Right, Right. I totally fine. I even had a call yesterday withthe prospect of ours and it was the end of the day and I just like the shieldwas off, you know, I was like 7, 10 hours of zooms in and I was just like,and it was the best conversation I had all day. I was just being totallyrealized my kids might run in the room right now. They're like, oh I have kidsand like did that whole thing, but I totally agree with this, but I owe, youcan find myself now when I, when I get cold cold about whatever it is, whetherit's a new kind of gas supply or whatever it is, I listen out for thoseand I test them and I've had sometimes people on the phone for 15 minutes andI want, I want them to go through that experience. I'm not gonna buy what theywant to buy, but I'm going to listen to them, I'm going to take their name andI'm gonna feed back to that company that you've got a sound salesperson andkeep this person and help them to be successful because if they show that ona cold call for a, a gas company or water works or whatever it might be,they're good talent. Otherwise you get the usual ones where they're sellingyou something when you straight away said, By the way, I'm not interested inbuying anything today. And those are the ones I don't give any time too. Butthose that actually show those skills, I do listen, because if I can give thatfeedback to that company, maybe that's the opportunity that person needed toget the next role in that company. Well, I mean kudos to you for giving back inthat way. I try to get off cold calls as quickly as possible and realize thatthis goes out to thousands and thousands of people. So you may begetting an influx of new people call every sales. It is going to be like,let's get Adams number. We're gonna call him and he's like our secretshopper. This is perfect keeping my...

...number very, very safe now. For sure.It's going to be in the show notes, folks in the show. No, I'm just kidding.All right. Well look, anything you're hiring for or you know, I know you saidyou might be hiring more for like or like looking to meet people of acertain type rather than hiring for specific positions. Yes. I mean I guessI'm fortunate the moment I've got a fully capacity team, which is which isfantastic to work for. And I think they're a great symbol of what Igenerally higher. And that is true. Diversity and diversity is me is notmaybe the traditional forms of diversity that get a lot of importantpublic awareness, but I get diversity of ford and diversity of life. I loveto see how people traveled. I love to see where they've done somethingcompletely random or like me took a major shift in what they did and thereasons why, because I often feel that those types of people will bring mesomething completely different than if I'm hiring a client success kind of sasperson and all that person has done is client success and sas I'm probablygoing to get a lot of what I already have in terms of knowledge within thebusiness, what I love to get there and is someone who has done something veryrandom, got a friend who set up a yoga studio for a year after doing SAS salesand then went back in and those are the types of stories I'm like that's justfascinating like why how those are the types of people I want to bring inbecause they're going to give a different perspective. Love it, Love it.Alright, cool. Well, lightning around through this next to two or three whatsome shoutouts companies, people company wise, I'm, I mentioned earlierasana, I'm a big fan of Asana, I love the product as a user. I'm reallyexcited for what they're gonna do next. As I said, they've been that companythat is a land and expand but they are definitely grown as a pure enterprisecompany wide platform paradoxes one, it's probably not well known, it'seffectively a recruitment ai tool. I've done a lot of advising to competitorsof, there is in Asia, they've been...

...doing fantastic in the U. S. There nowlaunching over in asia pacific so I can't wait to see what what they docoal and of course very important to me, most important to me where we eat man.Well I mean it's good that we can actually now get out any for severalmonths, like most of us around the world, it's been home cooked dinnersand I think we've all horned up our cooking skills, but I'm gonna keep thisclose to home. I live in Notting Hill, which is an amazing part of London andthere's a restaurant here called Gold and it is just to die for. It's nothingextravagant. It is good quality products cooked with the simplest oftechniques and skills, great food, great vibes and every now and then youdo spot a little celebrity in there. So having a few little celebrity crushesevery now and then you just get a little bit fan like so uh, you gonnahold yourself back because no one wants to be the guy that steps over thatcelebrity at their dinner. So it's a great place to go. I love that. Alright.We're going when I'm, when I'm in London bonus question for you, which isyour favorite hawker fare? These are you if you go to Singapore? Yeah.Talking about, I was gonna say you threw me from that. I had to kind ofthink about the hawker centers. I would say my favorite hawker center is goingto be. It's a really, really small warning sibling. It's, I don't evenknow the actual name. It's in sibling. It's basically bottom of the fishmarket. The best fish you can get in all of Singapore in my boy. This islike the Bourdain level tip shoutout R. I. P. Yeah. Alright man. Adam. So goodto have a conversation with you, appreciate you being on and uh, youknow, keep doing what you're doing man. Yeah, well thanks for having me. It'sbeen great to chat with you. All right. That is our show. Especially enjoyedthis one today. Thank you so much for listening. If you love the show, rateand review in the apple podcast or Spotify app, send it to some friends,make sure to smash that subscribe button reminder. This episode wasbrought to you by drift. The new way businesses by from businesses. You canlearn more and get the conversation started at drift dot com. I had fun. Ireally hope you did too. Go crush your...

...numbers. Say something. Mhm. Yeah.

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