What is Asa Hochhauser's background and what does he do now?
Asa Hochhauser is the Vice President of Sales at Magada IO, a company that helps businesses with marketing technology and analytics. He has worked in the SaaS industry before, starting as an SD R and working his way up to become the head of sales at a fast-growing SaaS company. He was also part of another SaaS company that was bought out. He joined Magada IO to help brands solve the problems he had when selling and implementing marketing technology solutions.
What is the most important work that needs to be done to set up a sales stack and operation that works well?
Understanding the buyer is the first step in building a successful sales stack and operation. This means knowing what the buyer does on a daily basis, what their needs and goals are, and making sure that this information is easy for everyone in the organization to find. This information should be the "bible" for everything else the company does, like the onboarding program and continuing education for the sales team. Also, when buying sales technology, it's important to know who the target buyer is and how the technology will help bring them in and keep them interested.
How can a company make sure that their tech stack helps departments work together and doesn't make things hard for the customer?
It's important for departments to talk to each other and work together to make sure that the tech stack supports alignment and doesn't cause problems for customers. This means that the customer success, marketing, sales, and product teams should meet regularly to talk about how they can help each other and work toward the same goals. After that, each leader should do their own research with their teams and then come back to talk more about how to reach these goals. Communication and working together should be a top priority and should also be pushed for in situations like lockdowns and pandemics where people are working from home.
Marcus Cauchi: Hello, and welcome back once again to the Inquisitor Podcast with me, Marcus Cauchi. Today my guest is Asa Hochhauser. He's the VP of sales from Magor io, and today we're gonna explore a number of very poignant topics. Before you spend money on technology, why are you doing it? Have you any idea what the unintended consequences of the decision you're about to make?
Is gonna have, are you setting it up for the right reasons? What are your blind spots when you're putting technology in? What are the trends? What's the future of selling it? How's it gonna be affected by technology? And how does the sales tech fit into the larger ecosystem across the customer's journey?
So we're gonna be tackling, tackling a number of these topics. Asa welcome.
Asa Hochhauser: Awesome to be here, Marcus. Thank you for having me. Excited to have the conversation.
60 to 90 seconds on your history so they understand your pedigree
Marcus Cauchi: It's a delight. Thank you for, uh, coming. Um, would you mind giving the audience 60 to 90 seconds on your history so they understand your pedigree?[00:01:00]
Asa Hochhauser: Absolutely. So, uh, as you said, I'm VPs sales at Magada IO. Magada IO is, uh, marketing technology and analytics consultancy. And I landed here because I spent a lot of time coming up through the SaaS world. Uh, started off as an SD R when I first broke into the industry. And then kind of worked my way up to eventually being a head of sales at a fast growing SaaS company and, um, helped them get acquired and then was part of a, another hydro SaaS helped them get acquired.
So I'd either been selling marketing technology point solutions or working, uh, voraciously in-house to get our systems right so that we can be successful and just recognize how painful that process was both in selling. But also doing it on my own in-house. And so I was super excited to join, uh, when the opportunity arose to, to join McGaw and really help brands
overcome this huge problem.
Why did the investments in sales tech and MarTech so often go awry and fail to deliver the outcome intended?
Marcus Cauchi: Tell me this then. Why did the investments in sales tech and MarTech [00:02:00] so often go, uh, awry and fail to deliver the outcome intended?
Asa Hochhauser: That's a huge question. Um, there's a lot of different reasons and I think it depends on, it depends, right? It depends on. It's two-sided, I think, right? Is there the proper education that's going into the buyer and and educating the buyer?
Are they doing the proper research and the proper planning to be successful? So let's kind of start on the ladder there. If you think about going out and getting a marketing, uh, any kind of technology solution. What we're starting to see is a massive blend between marketing and sales tech and even other parts of the business technology solutions.
But when you're looking to go get those solutions, what are you going to do that for? So, you know, are you really mapping back to goals? Like there should always be a goal that you're trying to achieve first and foremost. And I think that's often, that's often overlooked or at least not thought most deeply about.
Like, are you gonna be able to invest the time [00:03:00] and the talent in order to achieve this goal. And is it worth investing that time and talent in order to achieve the goal? So I think always starting there is important. Then we also look at like the teams, you know, that are gonna be actually using some sort of technology.
What kind of lift does that, uh, require? That's another thing that I often see overlooked, right? Oftentimes, maybe it's driven from the top down. And the boss comes and says, all right, we're gonna start using this tool. And there hasn't been enough diligence internally to think about who's gonna manage it, what does it even take to manage it, so on and so forth.
And then also in the same vein, technology needs to be integrated within the stack. And I think that's just something that's very challenging to stay on top of and be really good at and understand all the intricacies there. But it's definitely something that is gonna affect you, uh, in the long run if you don't think about it upfront.
And then on the other side, from a buyer, like the seller's perspective, I feel like there's this, if a buyer isn't coming and asking you those types of questions to be in order to be there successful, then the [00:04:00] seller should be probing them with those types of questions so that they are successful once they actually make the purchase.
And I think there's, um, sometimes a a miss on the seller side because they just want to get that deal closed, um, and they're not properly asking those deep questions and probing and making sure that they're gonna set up that fire for success once they, uh, move over to the customer success, uh, function.
Marcus Cauchi: So this is, um, a, a really interesting and, uh, vitally important topic because I think what tends to happen is that the sellers are incentivized, measured, hired for their transactional nature, and by their very nature, it means that they don't really give any thought to what it's gonna be like to live with the purchase. Then no one is really taking care of the people who have to look after the purchase and have to, you know, suffer the day-to-day misery of dealing with it, dealing with [00:05:00] support and so on. And as a result, when it comes to renewal, there's a high churn rate. So, I'd like to speak to the economics of a really, really smart sales operation because what, what I see time and time again is organizations just doubling down on stupid.
What's the foundational work that you need to put in, first off?
Marcus Cauchi: In terms of just doing more brute force rather than stepping back and thinking about the problem. So I, I would love to get a sense of what it takes to put in place a really rip snorting sales stack and sales operation. So if we can spend some time on that. Yeah, absolutely. So what's the foundational work that you need to put in, first off?
Asa Hochhauser: One thing that again is, it's not a sexy thing, but I think it's super important and I've just seen tremendous return from it, is focusing on understanding your buyer, um, first and foremost. And again, I think this is, you know, I, I, when you're [00:06:00] selling techno sales technology and even when you're purchasing it, right? So I think kind of like when you think about how do we set up a good sales operation, you know, I have to think about what do you have to do to make sure that your customer's successful and that things are, are moving along the sales cycle in a way that's advantageous to the buyer and the company. But then there's also the buyer's side, right? So when you're buying tech, sales, technology, It actually is very similar in a lot of ways.
You have to understand when you're buying sales technology, you have to understand who your buyer is right? And who you're going to, uh, and try and attract and, and engage with, and how does that work, and that's gonna influence a lot of the tools that you use in order to enable that. And then same on the, on the seller side, right?
When you're going to sell a product or, or service, uh, let's just called sales tech, right? If you're selling sales technology, then you also have to really deeply understand the buyer, so that, like I said, [00:07:00] uh, just previously, you can ask questions that are gonna set them up for success. So first and foremost, in an onboarding program, in an ongoing education.
There just has to be this, uh, huge passion of understanding who your buyer is better than the buyer knows themselves, what's their day-to-day look like, and making sure that you're documenting that and, and it's easily access accessible across your organization so that, um, that, that should be the bible of, of everything else that you do.
What kind of dialogue needs to go in front of the investment with users, with the people who are gonna have to maintain it? With the people who are indirectly affected by it?
Marcus Cauchi: Okay. So what kind of dialogue needs to go in front of the investment with users, with the people who are gonna have to maintain it? With the people who are indirectly affected by it?
Asa Hochhauser: Mm-hmm. . Yeah. So I, again, what are we actually looking to achieve here and what's the goal that we're looking to back into and whoever is responsible for that, right?
And a lot of times, um, it's going to be marketing, sales, [00:08:00] sometimes even customer success. I think there has to be that feedback loop that people have to at least know what's going on because it might not directly impact something downstream in and say, let's say you're buying a marketing or sales tech, it might not impact product today, but you know, in the future it is going to. And so, um, I think making sure that everyone's aligned around the goal and is it worth, uh, going down this route? Because then once it is, then the next phase is techno, is the integrations, right? How is it going to impact things and what are, what are the resources gonna be to set these things up and then maintain it as we go?
So, getting a, a technical opinion on, im implementing sales technology is super important. Some companies have this really well baked into their process. Some do not. And the ones that do not think they have it easy because they, you know, don't have to kind of go through that, that, um, evaluation. But they're gonna walk into a room two, three years down the road and they're gonna need to do something and they're [00:09:00] not gonna be able to do it because they didn't think far into downstream as far as integrations and things are gonna be really expensive and messy to untangle at that point. In that same vein, I think having a operations minded, uh, person that's involved in setting things up and making these decisions early on is super important. It shouldn't just come from the top down or even the bottom up, like just because the sales teams needs something.
And then, you know, once you actually get something in place, you have to understand like, who's gonna use this thing? What kind of skillsets does it require? Some tools are super easy to live up, uh, lift up. Like I think about conversation intelligence. When you first plug it in, it's really quick install.
You get a lot of value pretty quickly out of that, there's a lot of different creative ways you can use it. But I think there's less of those considerations you need to think about upfront for that particular type of tool. But if you look at like a content management system where it's, it's going to require multiple different types of people to use it.
And then they probably have their traditional workflows, um, that they're [00:10:00] used to working in, whether they're hard coders, and now they're gonna have to come in and start to use templates. How does that impact their day-to-day? Is it actually gonna slow them down once they get started? And, you know, people are often sold technology because it's gonna speed things up when a, a lot of times it has that inverse effect at the beginning of, of a process.
If you don't think about that before you actually get launched, obviously there's gonna be an onboarding. But you want to, you need to make that as, as as efficient as possible by understanding what needs to happen during that onboarding.
Marcus Cauchi: I wanna touch on the subject of efficiency because I think so much sales and MarTech is sold on the basis of driving efficiency, but always it seems to be at the expense of effectiveness.
How are you getting them to think differently and ask better questions so they get better outcomes and better answers?
Marcus Cauchi: And that baffles me because the economics of that just means that you piss more people off by spamming more of them and irritating people who you shouldn't be calling and you tie up expensive resources in dead activity. When you are [00:11:00] advising leadership on the decisions that they're going to make around their sales and marketing stack, how are you getting them to think differently and ask better questions so they get better outcomes and better answers?
Asa Hochhauser: Yeah, so a lot of times you have to go and ask them. You definitely have to get to know the team, right? If they don't know the team, uh, you know well enough, then you have to go and talk to these individuals one-on-one, you know, and get them into, into a setting where they're comfortable talking about their pain points and what their problems are.
But sometimes, you know, unfortunately, sometimes they, they just don't have the skillsets to actually make a technology successful. Or the experience in actually doing it so they can do it, but they just need a little bit of handholding. And so what we find is that just kind of asking questions, again, going back to same responsibility for me, asking questions about how things are actually gonna get done because we know what it's gonna take
to set it up. For example, a lot of times companies want really clean [00:12:00] analytics, right? Or they want a surface reporting to sales so that they can make really good decisions in their CRM. How is that actually going to be surfaced to them, right? On the CRM record, is it gonna be surfaced in a couple of different fields?
And then how, who's gonna manage those fields and how are you gonna set those fields up? And then where's the data coming from that's gonna populate those fields? Well, that is often not, not thought about. And same and downstream analytics tools. There's a lot that goes into making that type of insight accessible.
Everyone wants insights, but no one really wants to do the hard work that it takes to kind of let set things up and make sure things are moving downstream in a way that's digestible.
Marcus Cauchi: Again, one of the things that I see happen time and time again is the emphasis on lagging indicators. The, the horse is already, you know, welded, you know, down the road by the time that data comes in.
And too little emphasis is focused on leading indicators. So again, how do we get people to start thinking more [00:13:00] rationally instead of, uh, staying stuck with the traditions of what they've always done and what was done to them.
Asa Hochhauser: Yeah. I'm not the most rational person, , but, so if I understand the question you're saying, how do we start to understand what's going wrong in the first place?
Yeah. So that we can actually start to change things in the future? Like if you can't understand what's happened, how do you.
Marcus Cauchi: How, how, how do, how do we fix the problem? Upstream at its cause or cause is because most of these problems that sales and marketing organizations or revenue operations are facing are complex.
They're interdependent, they're concurrent because they're complicated and concurrent. They're wicked problems. They require wicked solutions. They don't require point solutions. And when I see people building their stack, often what they do is they buy a piecemeal instead of building it right from scratch with the intention of helping the sales and marketing operation [00:14:00] perform better and serve customers better.
Instead, it's being put in as an audit function. Yeah, yeah.
Asa Hochhauser: Uh, just a way to record more like useless data. Yeah. So I think you said something it really important there in that a lot of people are piecemealing it together. I don't think that's a necessarily a bad thing, but again, it takes the important, you have to, going back, it's gonna sound like a broken rip.
You have to think about the integration and then what are you actually looking to get out of building your stack. A lot of times, you know, there's one thing that I picked up, you know, when I joined Magada IO was this proliferation of, of like a data pipe, right? And how you can actually start to aggregate data from lots of different sources.
Store it somewhere and then be really thoughtful about how you're going to use that. And that's one big, uh, change that I've seen. The most successful, fast-growing companies that are actually getting a [00:15:00] ton of value out of their tech stack is they're thinking about it like a pipe. And then they're getting it to a single source of truth that they can then use.
So an example would be using your advertising data, your CRM data, sorry, your CRM data and things that are happening in the marketing automation platform. You know, those are three very different things, but how do you kind of get that insight? They all kind of can tell a story. So taking that using some sort of data, data pipe using like a customer data platform.
And what we've seen is either organizing it there and then surfacing that in analytics, or if it's really kind of a lot of different sources, sometimes even offline stuff that can help tell the story. Putting that into something like a data warehouse and then using that to surface it up through analytics and then having an analytics platform that can a reactivate, that. That's the end state, that's the, that's the dream state that we see a lot of customers trying to march towards.
But just, you know, hearing all those different [00:16:00] tools should give you a little bit of anxiety because you now have so much data. How do you ensure that you're collecting all that data, getting it to a place where it's usable and then resurfacing it? Um, and there's a lot of intricacies, uh, to that
Marcus Cauchi: Again, to compound the problem, if you don't do the foundational work and you don't engage and involve other people and include them in the definition of the specification and defining what the outcomes are that are intended, Then what you tend to find is that most of the data going into your CRM is worthless. You know, the, it, again, you know, the, the stats on this are terrifying.
You know, uh, up to 80% of the data contained in most CRMs is dribble. It's, you know, left VM call back in six weeks. It's useless stuff. And by doing that, you are actually getting in the way of the intended, originally intended outcome, which is to have more control. Mm-hmm. , because now you're making [00:17:00] decisions on the basis of 20% accurate information.
I was, uh, speaking to Guy Rubin. The, uh, founder of Ebster a couple of days ago, and he said from using their system on average, they find that 42% of the opportunities that are active are not actually in the single source of truth. Now all of that information is contained in email, trails and telephone conversations and everything else.
But you're missing out 42% of the information, and that's not, that's standard. That's that's average. Yeah. So when, when you consider the unintended consequences of poor planning, it just doesn't make any financial or commercial sense to rush the planning phase. So how much additional time in your experience, should people give for the planning and the design phase than they normally do?
Is it 10%, 30%, 50% double? It's
Asa Hochhauser: a lot more. I don't know if I have a [00:18:00] number, but it's a lot more, and I, I think the, the thing is, is that you just have to be open to asking for help really, because it's not, a lot of times it's, it's not. If you don't ask for help, then it's your fault, but I think there's just so much out there.
It's so overwhelming that it's hard to keep up with these things. So that's why revenue operations professionals are so hot right now. They're so, you know, they're hard to find. They're super expensive because they're making such an impact in organizations if they actually know their stuff. So I just find that sometimes you're gonna have to learn as you go.
Like, I get it. Mm-hmm. , like they're, you know, you have to keep conducting business and you're gonna learn as you go. You gotta test and inter iterate and you're gonna fail. But what I would say is, rather than the time putting a number on it, just make sure that you are dedicating an operational mindset to it from the, from the get get-go.
If you do that, you're gonna be forced to ask some really hard questions. [00:19:00] Um, that will set you up for further success downstream. So I don't think it's a, I can't give you a number, but I would say what you can do. Is just do something that a lot of others aren't doing and bring in operations early and think about how things are going to impact you across the stack and downstream.
Marcus Cauchi: I cannot stress how important that is. It's like, uh, companies experiencing hyper growth if you haven't got your operations in place prior to hitting the curve of the hockey. You are screwed because it's only a matter of time before you start irritating customers by breaking promises. And they start to churn and then they tell people how terrible the service is.
Yep. Um, okay, so again, I think, uh, what I'd like to explore is how you create a text stack that creates alignment. And a drive towards common purpose across the entire revenue operation because again, there seems to [00:20:00] be so much structural tension and friction between marketing the SDR team, sales, customer success, account growth, product development, and so on, because there doesn't seem to be a, uh, a common purpose or unifying technologies.
How do you make sure that the tech stack supports alignment so that the customer doesn't feel that frictionless to get thrown from one department to the next?
Marcus Cauchi: So I, I'm curious, how do you make sure that the tech stack supports alignment so that the customer doesn't feel that frictionless to get thrown from one department to the next?
Asa Hochhauser: I think, you know, this isn't gonna be her shattering insight, but communication is is so important, especially in fat, high growth companies.
Having purposeful communication cross-department, I think is a game changer and something that I've seen really transform businesses I've been a part of when we actually had customer success, marketing, sales, and products all sit in the same room often and have communications about what everyone is looking to [00:21:00] do and how they can actually impact each other and what that looks like.
From there, usually you start to get aligned around some really core rocks, right? And I think there has to be this culture of like actually saying no as well, right? You can't say yes to everything. So really understanding like what, again, going back to Kohl goals like. Cohesively can we do because we care about the entire buyer's journey and not just one piece of it to drive success.
So I think that communication piece is really important. From there, once we start to a line around a couple of big things that need to be accomplished. Then each, I believe each leader should go and kind of do their own due diligence with their own teams and then come back and have a conversation about that again, about those same things and what it's gonna look like to accomplish them.
That, that, I think that that kind of initial communication and, and, and kind of. Will help really set, set you up for [00:22:00] success, and then you can start to get into those finer details around integrations and how things are actually going to work and figure out what, what tools are going to actually get you to those, to those pieces.
I'm big on communication if you can't tell, and, and kind of having that collaboration internally.
Marcus Cauchi: Well, I, I couldn't agree more. And so what I'm really interested in is how we create the conditions for better collaboration, especially now with Lockdowns, pandemics and all the other, uh, stuff that's going on.
How do we create true collaboration environments using technology so that we are creating collaboration internally with everyone who touches the customer in an opportunity with partners and with the customers team?
Marcus Cauchi: How do we create true collaboration environments using technology so that we are creating collaboration internally with everyone who touches the customer in an opportunity with partners and with the customers team? So we are starting to work collaboratively towards solving the customer's problems.
Asa Hochhauser: For sure. Yeah. Get that meeting booked first and foremost. Um, I always find too, having someone in the room with, [00:23:00] that's kind of dedicated to documenting things. One of my big pet piece is when you have an amazing collaboration type of cadence going, but no one's documenting anything that's been discussed and everyone leaves and it's like, what are we gonna do now?
Um, so having someone that's, that's part of that and documenting action items. And things that are, have been discussed I think is super important. Also, I actually, this is something I re, I heard recently. I think a lot of tools are gonna start to reinvent themselves to support these types of collaboration efforts in the, uh, virtual world.
I did actually hear from, uh, uh, someone in my network telling me if they were going through planning and they were a. SaaS company, you know, like one of these unicorns out there. And they were, they used a tool called Miro mi and Miro is, yeah, very good. And, uh, I've, uh, I've heard about it, you know, a lot for like mapping out, you know, tech stacks and things like that, you know, in our world.
But they used it as a full on, um, sprint planning type [00:24:00] meeting where, you know, if you've seen those rooms back in the day where they had the um, post-it notes all over. Yeah. And they kind of have their big rocks and you move the post-it notes. He said that they used that and it worked amazing. So I think we're gonna see more and more of that, uh, coming up to help facilitate these types of conversations.
It's an amazing technology investment there. I mean, that's supporting something really big. And that's again, something that I would think about. Like, you know, it doesn't take, you know, there's certain things that are gonna make an impact that doesn't take a big lift, integration lift. You know, technically I don't know enough about Miro specifically, but when you think about that, that supports something that's really huge but doesn't probably, you know, you gotta stand it up, you gotta use it, but it doesn't really need to integrate with a lot of different things, you know?
So that's why I think there's, there's different buckets, you know, of
Marcus Cauchi: Like, it's all cloud-based. So it's, it's very easy
Asa Hochhauser: And it supports collaboration. Like when we think about sales tech and marketing tech, those things are really customer facing and they drive impact on revenue [00:25:00] tremendously, like very directly.
So that's why it's a little bit different when you, when you look at tools in the sales tech.
What are the up and coming technologies that people really need to be aware of coming down the pipe?
Marcus Cauchi: Okay. So let's spend a little bit of time looking at trends in the tech stack and also around how you think sales will evolve and how the tech stack needs to evolve, um, uh, around that. So what, what are the, um, sort of, uh, up and coming technologies that people really need to be aware of coming down the pipe?
Asa Hochhauser: One thing that marketing, I feel has a lot of pressure on them right now because there is so much data out there and so much insights that they should be, sales, feels like they should be being served things up on, on a silver platter in a lot of ways. Like there's a, um, idea that you can tell who's in market.
You can tell who your who, your I, you know, if you know who your ICP is, you can go find your buyer. You can start to measure things on, on your website, uh, and what the activities look like. [00:26:00] You know, I think. Kind of owning that data. There's this world, you know, the cookie's dying. So marketers are rushing to, you know, capture as much first party data as they can.
But I think most importantly, it's like, how is that going to be surfaced to sales so they can use it is something that's, that's gonna be important. So, for example, you know, there's a lot of predictive that's really been hot for a couple years now, but I'm continuing to see, see growth in that sector. I also hear challenges of, you know, how do you actually use that data once you find it?
How do you activate it, you know, for sales? So I see there's a, a huge opportunity for, um, CRMs and even, you know, best in breed CRMs to really start to surface insights to sales in a way. That's a bit more agile because they've, you know, thought about these hard problems that a lot of marketers and sales leaders have had using these monolithic solutions in CRM, you [00:27:00] know, marketing automation platforms and CRMs.
I've also, I mean, do you, you know, you know, I find that the dark web and kind of marketers just come, going to Google and putting in a search for a solution, I think is starting to go away because we're so connected now. You know, I personally experience in my business, I talk to a lot of others that do it, uh, you know, that do as well as people are going and asking for referrals from their networks.
And so anyone who could start to connect that, um, in some way, shape or form, uh, you know, I think is, is gonna be, that would be really interesting. But I continue to see kind of like influencer marketing. You know, it kind of had it heyday, I remember back in like 2012, 13 where, when it started to get, uh, some bugs behind it.
But I see that coming back more as well and being able to find ways to leverage your network and track things in like these Slack channels. And that's another one, CRM for Slack . [00:28:00]
Marcus Cauchi: Interestingly enough, we were having that conversation only last week. So . Okay. Well, a, again, I think there are a couple of big, uh, trends or big opportunities.
I'm not sure they're trends. I think the first one is gonna be in management enablement. Your managers are the most undertrained, under-resourced, most precarious people in your business. But if you enable them to do in the moment operational coaching, you provide them with tools to be able to create interventions with their people, whether it's in sales or QA or de and I or whatever.
But enabling people to capture moments that they see in the field and then coach people. Um, and I think that's gonna be a huge growth area because we need to prepare managers for what's to come and managers. Miss the opportunity to turn an interruption [00:29:00] in their day into a teachable moment, become a bottleneck, and they then become squeezed.
They create learned helplessness, they disempower their people and so on. So I think management enablement is gonna be one huge area because with the skills shortage, with a mass resignations going on, with you know, fight for talent. You need to get more out of your people and you need to have people who are creative in solving their own problems so that managers can focus on high value activity.
So that's one. The other area, the, the other area I think is gonna be huge is partner enablement. Because the economics of selling into a cold market by comparison to selling either a warm or hot are ludicrous. Yeah, when, when you're talking about a tariff of three and a half to five and a half thousand dials to get to one second meeting, surely it makes more sense to get referred in hot or to get your managers to [00:30:00] help people to convert more first meetings into second meetings and to eliminate the constipation in the funnel.
So I think those are two big areas that we should really keep an eye out for.
Asa Hochhauser: Yeah, I think that's, uh, those are solid, solid, um, insights there. I, uh, you know, you could, the partner enablement and the kind of influencer kind of tapping your network, I think, you know, kind of isn't that same vein there. And I've actually experienced that McGaw, you know, probably 25 to 35% of our business in 2021 came through partners.
It's a pretty significant part of our business and it was fast moving. So one of our, you know, to your very point, one of our big goals for now we're currently working on it and in, in 2021, is how do we align with partners? Like we know we know each other now, but. , there's also, it's a different motion, right?
There's a different, there's a lot of different things that could piss the buyer off. Um, you know, when they get that [00:31:00] handoff from a partner and then they have to start working back and forth, and then you have two different agendas. Sometimes I think that, I love that partner enablement and, uh, really, uh, making sure that you're creating a good buyer experience via partners.
Uh, and that's the.
Marcus Cauchi: Happy partners mean happy customers and one partners worth 50 customers, so it, it does not make sense to treat your partner channel. As, uh, you know, second class citizens or as a get out sales free card. Mm-hmm. . So, uh, I think what's gonna be really interesting, and, and I'd love your thoughts on this, I think the market, the sales profession is going to go through quite a lot of change in the next couple of years.
I think the order taking catalog in a seat type of salesperson will move into marketing and they will be replaced by marketplaces and intelligent website. I think a large number of vendors will realize that actually having a land army of salespeople is expensive, and you have [00:32:00] all sorts of problems associated with having a fixed sales force in that you have to cater for sickness, absenteeism, gaps in the headcount and all that kind of stuff.
Whereas if you go through partners, you can mitigate a lot of those risks, but you have to treat your partners as if they are, uh, your own, and they're a special forces unit. Mm-hmm. . So you work with hundreds or thousands apartments, you work with a handful, and then you put the others through distribution. So you work through, uh, so you have a two-tier channel.
So your special forces partners, they, you are in and out of each other's pockets. You are really intimate, you know each other's business and you are helping each other succeed constantly. But it's a tough relationship cuz you challenge each other. And then for the volume, occasional business, you put that through distribution.
If you send me your postal address, I'll send you my book making channel sales work, which is love that specifically for people in your, your possession. Tell me this then. If [00:33:00] we look at the alignment of revenue operations with the rest of the business, Because I think that's really important as well. And very often there's this sort friction, um, between sale of the revenue operation and the rest of the business.
How do we make sure at a leadership level that the right messages are clearly coming through so that everybody knows why they're coming to work and that they have a window to the customer?
Marcus Cauchi: How do we make sure at a leadership level that the right messages are clearly coming through so that everybody knows why they're coming to work and that they have a window to the customer?
Asa Hochhauser: I think that what we're gonna start to see if and it priority is happening is just traditionally, what we think of as a leader in an organization is, is going to to change quite a bit.
You find leaders that are a charismatic type that kind of know, you know, they know a little bit about a lot of different things, but they know, understand how to run a business and motivate people. Still super important things, but you know, you're gonna start to see more and more of [00:34:00] people who are coming, have come up in the ranks, who have been really hands on with things.
And just understand this, start to get these leadership positions and start to ask, you know, the right types of questions and bring the right people into the rooms as we start to make all these changes, you know, like through enablement and technology. So I just think the, the profile is just gonna continually evolve.
So that we are starting to have these types of conversations and good leaders are gonna know that they don't know what they don't know, and they're hopefully are surrounding themselves with the people that that do, that do get all this technology stuff.
Marcus Cauchi: So in terms of where salespeople need to evolve, um, it, it's very clear to me that if you are not at least tech aware and willing to embrace it. You're gonna have a very, very difficult future in sales going forward unless you've got a handful of accounts that you can farm and you don't have a whole heap [00:35:00] of ambition. How do people learn about technology? Because it, you know, if you're an old fussy dinosaur like me, it's bloody terrifying, you know?
And there's a CRM where I'm having to make decisions about the technology stack. It does give me palpitations because there's so much choice and there seems to be overlap, and I'm confused by the jargon and you know, it, it's just poor. The whole experience of being a buyer.
Asa Hochhauser: Yeah, it's a tough, it's a tough one, right?
Um, I think obviously there's tons of content out there, you know, to, to start to learn about. I think you gotta find a couple good resources that, that you can trust and tap into when you have questions, I think is always super helpful. From a aligning, just kind, kind of to your point, like we still have people in the world that, you know, are from, who were selling in the nineties and in two thousands and even before that, um, that are still, you know, at sales professionals.
I do believe that they're, they're. [00:36:00] Is a way to leverage skillsets that people bring to the table as well, independent of technology in a lot of ways. And there could be a certain things, right? You don't have to boil the ocean, but there's certain pieces of technology that, um, again, as a leader, you can, you can think about the problem at hand.
What are you trying to solve? And can technology actually make this easier for them? And if it, then go and, and look at how, how you can implement that. I think that's a big thing, like goals and problems. Like think about what they're actually, don't just go and use technology for the sake of technology.
Just literally think about like, what's the problem that I'm having now because I'm, uh, I'm an older school seller and you know, I'm, I'm not able to knock down doors like I used to. All right. What skillsets do I have and what are some things that I could maybe, how could I do this? Like, we gotta take a step back and think about it, and.
There's usually something out there from a technology perspective that, that can help enable it. I also go like to [00:37:00] aligning skillsets and you kind of brought up like how the role of of field sales is, is changing and how they're gonna kind of go over to marketing more. I kind of think of it as a little different.
I think one department that's gonna continue to evolve the, the org chart of it is going to continue to evolve is, is really on the customer success side. Yeah. And how that, how that is. I have yet to really work with a company that's that's nailed that upsell cross-sell motion, um, where they're really well aligned with customer success and new business.
Um, I do think new business is going to become more self-serve. It's gonna be a good entry level role that even a BDR can rule manage into some regards if you set it up right. But I see they see us, um, kind of customer. Or chart kind of being rethought and to support enterprise sellers and PE and people who are really good at that type of thing.
Marcus Cauchi: This, this is where I think there's gonna be some really interesting moves. I was, um, [00:38:00] reading a fascinating article by Mark Boundy, um, earlier on in the week, and he was making the point that the predictive revenue model is really geared for sellers to qualify for themselves, selfishly. They want to know, do you have a pain, do you have budget?
Do you, do you make the decision? Unfortunately, That kind of housekeeping question irritates the C-suite. And you should be able to do most of that either through research or through the application of technology so that you can focus your time in front of the customer in terms of delivering value to them.
And I think there's a whole generation or couple of generations of salespeople that have no idea how to deliver value in a conversation. Their fe, their feature benefit monkey. And I don't blame them for it. It's ignorance. And ignorance is the most forgivable, uh, of the reasons for you to fail. We just don't know, but neither do their managers.
And [00:39:00] that's, that gives me real cause for concern because if we're gonna dig our way out of this post covid, uh, apocalypse, we do need much better leadership. And we need people, uh, who are empowering and enabling their Salesforce to actually solve real business problems instead of turn up and talk about product.
Why do we not spend more time teaching and developing business acumen, understanding the mechanics of how business works?
Marcus Cauchi: So why, why do we not spend more time teaching, uh, and developing business acumen, understanding the mechanics of how business works?
Asa Hochhauser: Probably goes back to that, uh, management enablement piece that you talked about. I think that's, that's definitely a piece of it. It was easy for us to get sucked into future and benefit because technology was fairly new, I think, when a lot of that was going on.
But, you know, I, if you even go back to some of the, be, you know, some of the best sales stories are from like the 1920s, right? I can't think of one off the top of my head. If you're focused on the problem at hand, right? We have a much better chance of being successful at, at [00:40:00] sales and education, educating people on, you know, things that they maybe haven't thought about and thinking we teach, you know, teaching them new, new insights.
Like this isn't a new concept. I just think it takes time and it, and it can be hard, you know, to, to dedicate that time. It's a lot easier just to learn the product and, and kind of get lucky. I think that's anything with like volume sales, right? We, people always complain on LinkedIn, like connect and pitch.
Like, I hate when people connect and pitch with me. I hate it too, but it's being done over and over again. Why is it being done? It's because they're one, they're probably getting a small slice of like a huge pilot they're going after to actually say yes. So it kind of, it keeps those bad behaviors around and it's just easier.
Uh, I think if people did really take the time to have the patience and think in the long game, then we're just too shortsighted as a society I think a lot of times. So having that management enablement to be able to educate the be benefits and [00:41:00] how that, uh, is actually going to provide more success when we have those types of business level conversations.
Hopefully that starts to ring true. I know it did for me. You know, I was a product seller when I first got into SaaS. I wanted to learn that product. All I cared about was understanding that product so good. So I can demo it amazingly. I was good at my demo, but I was still getting a lot of known decisions. When I actually started to understand the business problem and the people I was selling to at an intimate level and started to ask 'em, you know, second, third level questions about why they're doing things, it changed the game for me and I think it, you know, a lot of sellers, once they, they experience that and they get coached on it, and they can change the game for them as well.
Marcus Cauchi: Really interesting. Uh, my pal, Bob Messter always says that people don't ever buy your product outright. They rent the outcome and only for as long as it delivers, uh, the result that they're looking for. And I think that's true, but I think you need to look a little bit deeper as well, because the outcome can be [00:42:00] subservient to a deadline or to a budget.
And I, I don't think that sellers are taught enough about asking insightful question to get to the truth or to identify the upstream causes. So all they're doing is they're looking at the symptom and they're trying to put a sticking plaster on that cancer, but it's not gonna make the problem go away.
And so this sense speaks to another couple of issues cuz um, I've been, I've really been wrestling with this the last, uh, 18 months, uh, around compensation and measurement. Cuz there's a really, really strong argument for taking away performance-based compensation from salespeople and creating an incentive scheme where everyone who contributed to the customer's success, to their adoption, to their consumption, to their renewal.
It's gonna be very difficult to let get old school leaders let go of their comp plans and their KPIs
Marcus Cauchi: Everyone gets paid on that. And then that fosters more collaborative, uh, workings patterns. But I think it's gonna be very difficult to let, uh, get old [00:43:00] school, um, leaders let go of their comp plans and, uh, their KPIs. What are your thoughts?
Asa Hochhauser: I believe in compensation plans that are collaborative. Um, I do love the idea of that.
I like team. I, I like spiffs for, you know, achieving team goals. I love when possible allowing CSMs and anyone who's customer facing really to benefit from working together. I think the problem is that really good sales professionals make a lot of money. They make incredible OTEs and so how do you balance that?
Right. You know, when you start to get into a collaborator, I don't have the answer for it, do we? Is there a time when we just have to say, you know, a salesperson doesn't make a million dollars a year anymore or make 750 or make 500,000 a year anymore just because, unless there's like some key [00:44:00] things that you can attribute back to that.
I do think as sellers we've gotten, we've worked tremendously hard. Our job job is super stressful. But we've also, I think we've gotten, I guess, a little bit lucky that it's a really well paying profession, you know, and a lot of, a lot of that, uh, you know, that compensation probably does come from, you know, working in the collaborative environment.
So do we need to spread the wealth? I don't wanna get shot, you know, after I leave here today, but, um, you know, it's a, it's definitely a, an it interesting, uh, conversation and I think. It's gonna take, you know, you have things like equity and, and I think it's gonna, if to get there, it'll probably take things, you know, from the board.
You know, it's gonna take someone else giving up something too, right? Uh, in order to make something like that work.
Marcus Cauchi: The culture of the money behind your organization permeates your organization. So if the, uh, investors are after a [00:45:00] quick win and a fast. They'll move you away from being customer-centric and creating biosafety, and they'll focus on their valuation.
Um, so you, you've got all of these things playing on in the background, which I think represents a really phenomenal opportunity. I remember reading Chris Anderson's book, the Long Tail, about 10 years ago, and it really sparks my imagination because I think the way the market is likely to move because technology has become so sophisticated.
No single vendor is really a one-stop shop anymore. Even the IBMs, they have to partner with other vendors, and I think the ability to collaborate will determine your success in the future, and vendors will need to learn how to play nicely with their competitors and with adjacent technologies because the customer wants the outcome.
What will happen when you start seeing groups of A players clubbing together and working in strategic alliance in strategic alliances and tackling marketplaces together and then dissipating before they can get crushed?
Marcus Cauchi: They don't care about you, your company, your product, how long you've been in business, who your investors are, which round of funding [00:46:00] you've got. They care can you help me solve my problem? So I'm really very curious to see what will happen when you start seeing groups of A players clubbing together and working in strategic alliance, um, uh, in strategic alliances and tackling marketplaces together and then dissipating before they can get crushed.
So I'm, I'd love to get your thoughts on that.
Asa Hochhauser: It's a, it's a, it changes the game, right. And I think a new breeds of leaders and new breeds of, of partners are gonna, are gonna be bred because we gotta be, we gotta survive and we gotta figure, figure out a better way as we continue to change. I think. I think that's an interesting, uh, interesting thought.
You know, I think we're also getting to your point, we're getting really pressured by boards. These companies that are getting really high valuations, and I think that often is driving a lot of the bad decisions that go into to running a [00:47:00] business and putting pressure on leaders and the people that are reporting into those leaders to do things that are not in the best interest of the customer.
So yeah, I think there's some sort of transformation that potentially could happen. I don't know what that is. I think you're onto something there. Um, you know, I'm thinking about it. I haven't thought enough about it, but I think anything that can make the world a better place by, uh, you know, kind of relieving some of that pressure, I think is really interesting thing to spend a lot of time thinking about.
Marcus Cauchi: If you take, if you take that model a little bit further, it becomes really very exciting. Because if you have strategic alliances, I'll, I'll give you a couple of great examples of this. Tom Matson does over a hundred million a year and he's got a tiny organization. Um, last year, Simon Severino with eight people took on five and a half thousand new clients with an average spender between two and 21,000 euro.
Now, I think what will happen is
Asa Hochhauser: It's [00:48:00] a service to it. What kind of company is it?
Marcus Cauchi: They, they do strategic sprints. So they've got 273 different models and they work in two week sprints or three month sprints, uh, within their client's businesses. And so they buy, okay, uh, you know, buy like a cafeteria. They buy these different tools and, um, get help.
Now when you think about it, I think our value as sellers and as partners will be enhanced dramatically by the ecosystem and the marketplace that comes with our network. Because I think as sellers, we need to be talent scouts for our clients, and we need to bring them innovative ideas and new technologies that can help them even if we don't make a direct sale. What we're doing is we're staying front and center and we're bringing real value to them. Because as we move away a, as the, the market evolves and buyers become a lot more savvy, they don't want to do the basic research. Um, with the seller, [00:49:00] they bring the seller in much later nowadays, and that I think, is a function of salespeople not playing the long game because they're always fixated on this month or this quarter instead of putting the pipeline out 2, 3, 4 quarters out, and that's where you make your real money.
The best salespeople I've ever worked with are fabulous at building the medium to long term pipeline, so they always have. When it comes to the next quarter, they've got three to five times in there moving from qualified to closeable. And so they're always smashing it. Okay.
Asa Hochhauser: And I think there's an interesting, you know, point there in that it, it really comes into, Product Market Fit as well, right.
And then the leadership, right. So I don't like to think that people love going and working with boards. Yeah. You get, you know, good insights and helpful, you know, but you're trading off that, that peace of mind. So I think it does come back like your buddy who's [00:50:00] created this company has obviously found amazing product market fit and he's reaping the rewards of that.
Marcus Cauchi: Excellent. Hey, so this has been really, really interesting and very insightful. Thank you.
Asa Hochhauser: No thank you. I've learned to ton myself, so I appreciate you having me on in the conversation.
What one choice bit of advice would you give him that you know, he would've ignored but would've benefited from?
Marcus Cauchi: If you had a golden ticket, and you can go and whisper in the ear of the idiot Asa aged 23, what one choice bit of advice would you give him that you know, he would've ignored but would've benefited from?
Asa Hochhauser: Wow, that's a good question. I would say, yeah, that's a tough one. So something that I would tell myself in 2023 that I would've benefited from.
Marcus Cauchi: No, at the age of 23.
Asa Hochhauser: Oh, at the age of 20, 20, 23. All right. That was, uh, uh, that was interesting. Uh, sorry about that. Yeah, I would say surround yourself with amazing people.
Like I always used to hear people say, you know, how, how, uh, how important, um, you know, they love working somewhere because the people were amazing. And I kind of, when I was young, just thought that was a little bit of [00:51:00] fluff. Like, yeah, you gotta say that your work with them, you know? So it was like, is this how it is in the corporate world?
Um, I think if you take that a step further and really start to, you know, first start understanding yourself and what is gonna take to make you successful and happy, and then you can't do it alone and understand what kind of people are gonna help with that. And surround yourself with those people and your, and your day-to-day and where you work.
Because there is different cultures, there's different leaders, and you have to, you know, you'll be miserable if you get into the wrong one or work for the wrong person. So I think really putting. A lot of thought into that. Um, early on would be,
Marcus Cauchi: I, I was advising a client this morning who's thinking about a job change, and I said, design the job first so you know what you're looking for.
So you recognize it when you see it, and, uh, hire your manager because that's gonna be the most important factor that determines whether you succeed or not. Mm-hmm. Cause he, he took a [00:52:00] job because it was the first one offered and he's regret.
What are you doing to prepare your managers for what's to come?
Marcus Cauchi: Big, gnarly, difficult question to finish on. What are you doing to prepare your managers for what's to come?
Asa Hochhauser: What am I doing to prepare my managers for what's to come? Making 'em, uh, man, that's a tough one. I, so my managers for what's to come, I would say trying to slow 'em down, you know, my particular scenario, my, uh, we're just moving so fast. It's like, how do you take a, take a. And really understand what's going on and take some time to think about it.
So I'm just trying to slow 'em down right now to be able to have that conversation. I dunno if that answers your questions, but, uh, question, but,
Marcus Cauchi: well, it's good advice. I, you know, I, I, I'm working with a number of founders and they're always, always, always in an unholy rush. Yeah. And as a result, they don't do enough thinking.
They don't do enough planning. They do way too much doing. They're not thinking [00:53:00] enough. Selling and management and leadership are cerebral activities. They require someone who's intelligently lazy. You shouldn't be just doing busy work. Yeah, I think it's the blight of the modern age.
Asa Hochhauser: Yeah. Yeah, that's, it's tough, you know, and I battle with this personally because, you know, you just think like, are they so smart that they don't need to take time to think, you know, it's a, uh, you know, it's a, it's a, it's a thing that you have to wrestle with.
But I do, um, again, I think it goes back to surrounding yourself with the people that value the things that, that you do that will challenge you, get shit done, but kind of align with the way you think you need to, you need to be do things to be successful. And for me personally, you know, sometimes that's getting these super smart people to, um, take a second to, let's, help me think about like, why we're doing things, how we're going about things so we can have that, that long game, uh, mapped out and we're working backwards from that.
So how can people get ahold of you?
Marcus Cauchi: Fabulous. Hey, so how can people get ahold of you?
Asa Hochhauser: [00:54:00] Yeah, I'd love to hear from anyone, anyone that has questions. I'm probably most easily accessible on LinkedIn, so just hit me up. Asa Hochhauser on LinkedIn. I always like to just say, you know, Magada IO, we're, uh, you know, a technology consultancy that creates tools to help people, free tools that can do things like help you manage spreadsheets, visualize your stack.
So there's cut a bunch of cool stuff on there I definitely would recommend checking out the site too, in case there's any tools on there that could, um, you know, easily help you out. I'm not talking like tools you have to integrate, but just, uh, well,
Marcus Cauchi: That'd be helpful. Thank you.
Asa Hochhauser: Enablement. Yeah. Yeah.
Marcus Cauchi: Excellent. Asa Hochhauser thank you.
Asa Hochhauser: Thank you very much Marcus.
Marcus Cauchi: So this is Marcus Cauchi signing off once again from the Inquisitor Podcast. If you've enjoyed this, then please like, comment, share, and subscribe and tag someone who would benefit from listening to this conversation. And if you feel, uh, inclined, then go to the Apple Podcast, scroll below the fold and leave an honest review.
1, 3, 5 stars, somewhere in between. [00:55:00] Anyway. In the meantime, stay safe and happy selling. Bye-bye.