The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 8 months ago

Ep 140: The Power of A Unified Team w/ Andy DeAngelis, COO Votacall

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Ep 140: The Power of A Unified Team w/ Andy DeAngelis, COO Votacall

Part of the TGIM (Thank God It's Monday!) series hosted by Tom Alaimo.

Welcome back to the Pavilion podcast. This is your host tom malabo. This is the show where revenue leaders come to learn the tips that from the great land of boston Mass on the show. Today he is to the voter call C. 00. He's been there for just over 16 years, climbing through the ranks before that was the Ceo at all business communications at E. V. P. Of sales sales leader at multiple different companies before that as well. And someone that I've actually met through Pavilion, someone I've got to know in the last year or two and really like the way that he thinks some of his tips for sales for leaders for overall communications of different teams. So we talk about his path, his journey throughout his career, but also just how as a Ceo he works across different parts of the organization, sales, customer success operations etcetera. Thought it was a great conversation. I think you're gonna really enjoy this one. If you do give us a shout on apple, give us a review, subscribe there and on Spotify and hit me up on linkedin. You have questions, comments, feedback. I'm tom Alamo. I work over at gong so shoot me a D. M let me know what you think before we get to the goods of today. Want to give you a quick shout out to our sponsor. This episode is brought to you by insight squared advanced revenue analytics and forecasting for today's B two B organizations. Your revenue team wakes up every day with questions insights squared, gives you the data driven answers in real time. Get 350 out of...

...the box reports and dashboards, Self service, no code. Let's get straight into my conversation with Andy. Let's go all right. Andy the Angelus Welcome to the Brazilian podcast man. How are you? Good. Thanks tom. Thanks for having me. Yeah, absolutely. First zoom background I've seen with zebras on the walls. I love that. Hey, well you know, this was, this was the pandemic project, my office. So I was amongst three Children who were working at home for school. It wasn't working so well, I was getting pulled in a lot of direction. So the deal was, I was gonna get in office, my own office in the home of my own space. Not necessarily my own space. I still have people creeping in the out of here and playing around in here. But yes, the wallpaper was mine. I picked this out surprisingly enough. I have some taste. This is from one of my favorite movies, The Royal Tenenbaums. I don't know if you're a fan of Wes Anderson, he's my favorite director and uh, this wallpaper was in that movie. So I wanted to have it in the, in the office. That's the wallpaper store. I didn't know this was a wallpaper podcast. It's actually an interior design. Interior. All right. Good. Well I guess I'm a perfect cast. Yeah, yeah, I love it. I love it. I'm excited to get into. Just a bunch of different topics with you and a few things that you're passionate about. One thing that we were talking before the show that speaks to me is that you're passionate about is leadership without the title, right? Or or not reliant on your title and it's someone that's in the c suite, you've been in the C suite for a long time. You know, run sales teams running the organization over a protocol. Like I'd love to hear you talk a little bit about what you mean by your leadership qualities, not being defined by whatever your title might be. Sure. So in essence, it's how I conducted myself...

...from the beginning of my career on, I wanted to do the little things to move up the ladder and it wasn't necessarily to get a promotion. It was if you're going, if you're, if you're going to do anything, you should do it right and you should be the best at it, right? And my biggest thing is uh you know, a title is great, but you know, that's a resume filler, right? You should be hiring people people not resumes, you should be hiring someone's character not because they had a cool title, right? And I don't care if you're an SDR A. B. D. R uh E. V. P. Of sales, whatever your title is, right, You have an opportunity every day to leap lead people through your actions or your words, right? You don't have to be or operating at a, at a podium to be a leader. You can lead by action, especially in sales team, sales teams feed off of each other. Often times the sales team, they do well together and they do poorly together. Right? And it's just this emotion that's created. So I've always believed that you want to find those characters that have on your team that are in constant leadership mode through actions and then can communicate that through their words. It's a selfless Rep, right? You want to be able to share what makes you successful, which in sales at least when I got into the business, uh, I'm sold in the nine in the late 90's sales is very compartmentalized each rep. I was really concerned about them and they had looked over their shoulder and they didn't want necessarily the guy to do well behind them. That's all changed now. It's much more of a team sport And when without being true, there are leadership moments all around all of us again, regardless of role and if you keep your head down, you do the work,...

...do the right things you coach, the people next to you regardless of title. Good things are going to happen to you and good things are going to happen to the team around you. I've always believed that I always preached that there are leadership moments in every every and every day, every, every hour of every day, there's a moment to be a leader and you do have a choice. I mean we've all been at a crossroads so I do the extra work. Do I do I give some feedback when when it wasn't necessarily ask for right? You always have this crossroads that you could take the leadership path or you can take sort of the easy path and be the individual. I want people to take a leadership path, Do the extra do the extra work, give me a little bit of coaching, right? Give the give the little value nugget that you possess and only you possess to the next person. That that's a huge thing and building any sort of team. I've built sales teams, I've built C. X. Teams I've built support teams and it really comes down to those people not being individuals but coming together to form a cohesive unit. So how do you encourage that? Especially you know in a remote world where I feel like it's easier if you're saying you're you're making cold calls or something, you hear the person next to you mess up or have a tough one. Hey I heard that maybe you might want to try this or that or you know I feel like there's a lot more tribal knowledge that gets passed around like how do you? So you know that's something that and and I think that the world where we live in uh it's gonna keep evolving and it's going to maintain it's sort of a hybrid status. So that level of, and you, you said it well, like the tribal knowledge, right? You're, you're all, you're around it and you're taking it in it, it's like osmosis that you're taking all this information in and now you have to find different ways to drop the value without sucking people's day away with, You know, Zoom calls. There is no five minutes zoom call. Yeah,...

...that's the problem. You can't just stop by someone's desk and say, how's it going? Good bye. Now. Everything is an event. So you know, for me it is about having many team building events, Quick stand up meetings, having things schedule where you can with, with a defined agenda that honestly my zoom calls. I tried not to schedule anything that's more than 45 minutes. So once you, once you bend around that our mark people are like they were checking out. So having scheduled meetings now where you have, you define what you're talking about the winds, the losses, making people know that it's okay to fail. We want you to share your, when you didn't do something well, when you failed, we want as much as we want people to share their successes. I have always said and this is, this is a big thing for leadership is a leader needs to come out front with failure, right? I need to, I need to tell my team when I had my misstep. I mean I have many. So I'll be the first one to stand up, raise my hand and say, hey, you know, the, the initiative, we're rolling out, it didn't go very well. We didn't go as planned. This is why this is where I messed up. That's how I got us back on track. This is what I learned from it when they see that a leader can be vulnerable like that. They're more willing to share and they're more, they know it's a safe environment to share of failure. It's not all about, you have to hit your quota and you have to, you have to drive hard every day day in and day and do what I say and and all in all that sort of old school, you know, managerial mentality, This has to be a coaching environment and the only way to do that is for the coast to be vulnerable and the coast to share their experience and let them know that it is safe to talk about it once you do that, I feel like the coach create that coaching environment, then you have this sort of virtual sales environment...

...where people are willing to talk because that's the name of the game is willing is sharing and talking about the winds as much as the losses and the losses certainly really digging in deep and and not making people feel shame about it. Um, I firmly believe in that. I feel like there's a culture in a lot of startups from what I see that everyone is trying to kind of like pitched the story of the growth so hard in the company, there's all these monthly stand ups, Hey, here's how are revenues grow and we brought in all these customers, you know, if you want to get people excited and there isn't enough of sharing the other side of, we thought this was going to be a huge thing and it, it totally, you know, with the bed like it was terrible or you know, we just, we didn't execute here. We should ever, I messed up here. And so I think that's, that's so crucial for leaders to hear that people under them want to know both sides of the story, you're a human being, just like them, right? I mean I fail all the time. Yeah, but I keep, but I keep coming back and I keep pushing forward and I think that is such an important message that you know, a misstep doesn't mean you, you stumble, fall down and you're, you can't get back up. It's just now you're that much closer to your success. I mean that's so everybody, you know, that's, that's talked about all the time, right? What is failure? It is one step closer to achieving your own goal. That's really true. As long as you get yourself back up. So the fact that you can see that not only are you vulnerable as a leader, but you're resilient to me, that's the leader I want to work under and it will drive me forward. It will make me take chances. I want people to be bold. If you're not giving them license, if you're not empowering them to be bold and take a chance, what are we doing? You might as well leverage ai to do all the sales work. Right? I mean if you want that sure have at it, but for me,...

I want an individual with a personality, there is no sales mold by the way, as you know, there's no defined. Yeah, give me this type of person who has this type of skills and it will equal a champion salesperson. It's just not, it doesn't work that way. You just, you want a person who's able to let their personalities show and shine within your group and take and take it into the next level and and know that it's safe to do. So I'm curious, um you know, I know you've run sale, you said sales support C. X teams, I think the last roll before your ceo role was it was the VP of sales. So I'm curious like what's the difference in responsibility like for you as a ceo of like what, what teams are you overseeing right now? You know, E V P. S. L. Like that was strictly, you know, the sale squad inbound up on the, you know, the standard and working with some marketing, moving to C. 00. I have to oversee all the operational people, the project management teams, the technical and support teams as well as sales. So for me it's about having establishing a great set of directors that are underneath me that are running these teams day today and making sure that I'm checking in and managing that and then when you find that the need or the whole within each group, you know, you have to coach them on how to fill it, whether it's personnel or process. Oftentimes this process, you don't want to just throw people out of problem necessarily. You need to really dig in and look at the process that may be failing. It's one of my favorite parts of my job is, is problem solving and finding solutions to sort of tricky things that are not on the surface, there are deeper than that. So when I took the role on, I literally hold the directors in and you know, they have an E. V. P of sales now as ceo the sales...

...people like it. Yeah, technical support operations. I mean traditionally we were like the enemy, right? We're selling things and they're cleaning up the mess. I mean that's like that, that war has been going on forever. My job is to make sure that war didn't happen, just stop that, you know, and not perpetuated. So, um, my first conversation with them was I work for you, my job is to make your life better your work life and in doing so, everything else would be better. Your your personal life, you'll feel better about what you do. I want to give you your time back after hours. It was all about, you know, making them happier outside of the sales people. I'm talking the operational people, the technical people that the, the project manager. So I would sit and I'd move my desk around at the time and I would sit with each group for about a month. And I kind of watched their process in the background, see how things are done. Listen, listening is so important and I kind of get an overview of people skills, how people are running their day to day, how processes are working maybe where holes are coming. And then I'd meet with the director and we talk about it and over time, you know, I had to really earn their trust to to say, I am not the sales guy who's going to come in and just bulldoze all the technical people and say, no, it's all sales and sales and sales of sales. No, for me, it's a customer experience, right? And, and and without an internal experience that's uniform across the board and awesome, we could sell a deal. We're not going to hold on to that customer lifetime value is too important. So for me, it was making sure these people are happy their needs were met and their processes were tight and that's that's my day to day now even I mean we're constantly evolving. Yeah. You know the deal uh this pandemic has us in a constant state of...

...evolution and change. Which is exciting and fun if you're willing to be flexible and adapts. Mm What did you, you mentioned how important those directors are for each of those teams? Like what what do you look for? Or did you look for when trying to find like the right person for that type of role? I inherited a bunch of directors. I hired a couple as well and I had worked with them for a while. The ones that I inherited, they knew me as more of a sales guy. So I knew the burden was on me. Not them either earn the right to lead them like really? And that's why I say getting back to the original point is, you know, leadership isn't about a title. I didn't want to come in and say I have a C. At the beginning of my title. Now you must listen to me. You know like and some people they pull that card and it's bullshit. It really is that the servant leader is true. The only way to lead is for people to believe and buy into the fact that you are there to serve them and make them better, make them happier, Make the environment better. And if you do that, you will see it through again, customer lifetime value does not lie. That that one stat that metric. It's one of the ones I focus on uh pretty hard now. That tells a big story on the health of the team. Yeah. At least in my industry because you know we're selling and it's a managed service. So people, people are happy in sales, you sell it. But if people are unhappy in the project management team, the operational team and the support team, you don't keep it. You do not keep that customer. So um I just, you know, I came in and had to win those people over make them realize that I am on their side that I work for them and I had to do it not just with...

...words but with actions and the new directors. I'm looking for extreme accountability. Unbelievable communication skills. The standard. Right? But I've always said that accountability, it's such a hard thing to judge when you're interviewing and on a resume. Yeah, but you really have to focus on how accountable someone is. If someone, if you want someone to execute accountability is key and you can get that through a conversation. You know, you you can't necessarily get it on a resume. You can you have to really get it from the person in a two way conversation. Interview. My interview process is different than probably most where I will have someone come in. This was before we were remote and put a pad of paper down and say right five topics down you wanna talk to Andy about. And one caveat is that can't be about the job. Can't be about the work. five topics outside of this sphere that you are now in that you'd like to talk about. They'd write them down. I'd come in the room, grabbed a piece of paper, looked down to see what they were about. They could be about the red sox or they could be about favorite book, movie, you know, interests, family, whatever they wanted to talk about. And I just go down the list, have a conversation and in between in between the different topics. I'd weave in something about the work, I'd find a way to like we've that in and then pull it back out just to see if they could how they were communicating if they were over prepared. I don't like over prepared. I want someone who is a human being and go back and forth and through that You can slowly find little nuggets of accountability in there who that person really is, it's not 100% foolproof. Yeah. But if you, the character of the person will shine through in a two way conversation and I think if when you do that when you when you when you aim to find that you will find the accountable person and not just the over prepared. Perfect. I'm interviewing person. I don't know that that's that's not what...

I'm looking for. Where'd you get that idea for the five topics? I've never heard that before. I think we were sitting in their uh interviewing people and it was me and it was um our director of technology who's like super smart, super nerdy which is a compliment. I always say I'm like you know that's a compliment and he takes the comment. But we were interviewing these people with these, you know they had all the certifications you would ever want the paper. The resume looked awesome but we're not hiring a piece of paper alright we're hiring a human being who needs to interact with other human beings. So I said okay I gotta figure out a way where once the interview process gets to me, like I'm the end at the end of the line. He's already he or she is already answered all the technical questions, certification questions. I don't want to have the same interview now for the 4th, 3rd or fourth time. Yeah I want to find out who this person is. How do I do that? I have to have a conversation with him. Okay I also have to see if they can pivot, I have to throw them off because everyone shows up so prepared so how can I throw them off. But but also is fair, I can't sit down and all of a sudden sit across from someone and start firing random questions at them. It's weird, it's like a, it's odd. So instead I said, okay, why don't we meet in the middle? I'll write down, I'll say right down five tubs you want to talk to about so they can control the conversation. Yeah, right. It will certainly throw them off because they sit down for an interview. They're ready to talk about the interview and they have to think differently. So they have to turn that part of the brain off, turn the other one on right and be a human being with me. And then in the meeting, when I'm talking about these things, once I, we've a couple of things in about the job or the role or their past that isn't in there. Five questions. I want to see if they can pivot and answer that appropriately, right, or does it throw them off so much that they start stammering and...

...stuttering and I can't answer the question well, how are they going to handle a customer who is, you know, not necessarily happy or throws throws a curve ball in a conversation, right? I want people who can pivot and are flexible and not are just great piece of paper with certifications under their name. I love that. Have you ever had a situation where uh, someone wrote down something, you're like, oh God, we gotta just a crazy topic. So I've never had that, I think and see that's what people and it may just be me and maybe I'm a little cookie or whatever, but I would love if someone went totally like, you know, out in left field on me, right, I'd love someone to stump me, like I don't even know how to approach this topic appropriately, of course, but often times it will be the favorite movie or, you know, hobbies and they'll get into that stuff, but I'll try and push the envelope a little bit and push back on them, you know? Uh because that's relatively can't, you know, I had a couple of people who said, you know, let's talk about cooking 1, 1 person loved to cook, I don't love to cook, right? But that opened up a huge conversation because you have a theoretical expert on one side. Yeah, and a complete novice on the other, and that's me and I get to ask all sorts of questions about, you know, cooking. Yeah. And if it meant it went to a great conversation and at the end of it, when I leave the room, if I think I had a great conversation with someone I want that person on my team. Yeah, yeah, totally. Yeah, I feel like I've always thought you can learn way more about a person from a conversation like that, just about them, what they care about their interest than you can from three months of like hand, business conversations, you know, it's like that, it's like you, you work with someone for a long time and then you go to a happy hour or you play golf or you get...

...outside the office and for an event or something like that and you're like, wow, that's what you're like, like, you know, like it can just really, it shows you who the person is, you leave and you're like, I had no idea. So and so was so cool. Yeah, right? Or so like, kind of wacky, wacky is good, right? You know, wacky is cool. You know, I can't believe like you have this, it's buttoned up during the day, but you know, they got an edge to them and honestly, I want a team filled with people with a little bit of an edge. That's personality to me. People want people want to interact with personality, especially now that separates everybody. Everybody's pitching my inbox is full right? But what I will remember are the brands that have an edge to them. The people that have a personality, right though? That's all branding and it's so very, very important, right? You don't want a bunch of robots, like a clone army spitting out the same stuff and it's just blending in with everybody else. You know, just calling to check in and just, you know, all those emails and nonsense driving me crazy. I'd rather have the personality when someone sends me a wacky video, I'm going to stop and I'm gonna look at him like and I'm most likely I will engage, you know, those are the people I want on my team. I don't care what role you're in. I want people who have personality. I love it. I love it. All right. I got a few more questions for you. You get pitch all the time. What was the last sales meeting that you took? Okay, So the last sales meeting I took was for sales intel? Have they hook you? So they, I think they went to me directly. Then they went to an SDR and I said, I told you asked the SDR, go, you know what, get, you know, hop on it. If you think it's good, then I'll take a look at it. And I did that for a couple of reasons. One, you know, you have to empower your people, right? Empower your people to make some decisions or at least make...

...recommendations. So it was an exercise and hey, I trust you if you like it and you want to bring it to me, I trusted that that's legitimate. And you see value in there. And then, you know, once they saw the demo, uh, from sales intel and I saw the value myself. Um, there have email is a nightmare. So I haven't taken something off of email in a long, long, long time. It's everything blends in. However, you know, a couple of years ago when video started making its way into outreach. Those ones I definitely stopped and and would respond to because it was unique. And I forwarded around my company and say this is, you know, look at this approach, how can we take this approach and kind of make it our own regardless of department. There are some really creative people out there and then there are some that maybe not feel empowered to be creative and they need to stick to the standard. And that's a shame because although I believe in sales being a contact sport and you know, it is somewhat of a numbers game, there isn't, there's a combo of you know, contact sports in creativity that really gets the job done and but you have to let your people be creative, you have to show them that it's ok to be creative and not everything is going to work and that's all right. Just make sure you review what you've done, reflect and adjust and everything will work out, everything will be great. Yeah, absolutely. I saw a post yesterday that I had to comment on, it was like, do you agree with you know, companies that make all the sales people have the same picture on linkedin and banner and this and that and I just like I very strongly disagree with that. I feel like you can offer it as an option if they want to enhance their profile or whatever, that's great, but give people a chance to have their own personality.

It's the same with like I know SDR or is that they all have to send out of like one cadence or one sequence in an outreach, your sales off and uh it's like literally all you're doing is is pressing a button all day and then, you know, making calls using a script, like there's no, there's no room for creativity, there's no room for improving in the craft that way. Um so I think some of those things are ridiculous, so there, you know, and I do think there's a place for some of that to get started, right? I mean we all needed to have like a baseline. Yeah, totally. But the moment that script is your is your pitch, I mean that scripture give is a jumping off point, it's to give you sort of the Foundation two then make it your own. Yeah, I do, I I think I agree with you there. Absolutely. Alright, so last question for you billion, we're big on, you know, networking community, building, all that good stuff. What's your number one networking tip for the audience? So, you know, there's obviously 22 types of networking uh there's there's, you know, two colleagues networking for jobs and what have you and then there's two passing uh and information and then there's passing leads um my the biggest tip is being responsive to eat in either side being responsive and communicating the moment, I don't care if you feel like you're over communicating, you have to stay relevant. You have to be top of mind of people, you have to get your name out there, you can't be worried about. Oh, I sent an email last week. I don't, I'm going to give them a week off. No, if you have something to talk about and you and you want to build a relationship, you have got to be relevant. Top of mind in these people's in boxes, I mean in boxes are flooded so you have got to constantly reach out um and and stay relevant. Communication. Communication's key. It's the name of...

...the game, name of the game. Yeah, absolutely. Um Andy appreciate your time this morning, appreciate the zebras lifting my mood this morning and uh they're all around me. You can't see it all around me. I love it. Thanks for coming on. Well, thanks for having me appreciate. All right, thanks for listening to that episode. This was brought to you by Inside squared. Say goodbye to spreadsheet, forecasting and hello to Crm data. You can trust Inside Square delivers predictive 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. That's it for me. You can make sure to add me on linkedin. My name is tom LeBeau I work over at gone way back next week with another episode till then get after it peace. Say something. Mhm.

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