On Episode two, Jason Creane, UK&I Major Accounts Director at Zscaler, takes us behind the scenes on what was the successful sales culture like at the billion-dollar whale, AppDynamics, alongside what makes a high performing sales team, and his mission at Zscaler.
Hello, welcome to web shop sales podcast. My name is Will Chivers. I'm driving my cars for sale calm. And we're here to interview some of the world's most influential sales leaders, revenue officers, executives on the planet. Wm Episode Two, we disrupt sales podcast. Who do we have on the show today? What are we going to talk about? So today we have someone called Jason crane. He's the UK and I major accounts director of a company called z scalar. And he's going to be taking us inside the lens of the sales contract dynamics, talking about what makes a high performing sales team and how he's putting that all into action. z scalar now mentioned two companies, z scalar, and jumped up and omics, who was the scalar. What I've done and why these companies? Absolutely. So app dynamics. They're an application performance monitoring platform. The reason why they're so exciting is now a $3.7 billion acquisition from Cisco. And they're widely known as is genuine benchmark for sales excellence, you take a look at all of their leadership from a sales perspective and they've come from some of the most successful companies in the world. Now z scalar the reason why that's so exciting is purely starts with the CEO itself. So Jay Choudhury, he sold four of his past security companies, and he's genuinely found a massive gap in account security market. And I think if you look at the share price, or the back of COVID, I think that would explain itself. So let's pause there. Let's get into the show cuz I'm keen to learn more. Jason, welcome to instruct sales podcast Scotto on the show. Yes, it's my pleasure to be here. Thanks, guys. Great. So Jason, for those that haven't been lucky enough to meet you already. Can you maybe kick off with a little bit about yourself and what got you into sales? Well, I so I guess I should start with what I do and and where I work and what my role is. So my name is Jason Korean. I'm a regional director for the major accounts business At said scalar. What that effectively means is I mean, I manage a team of high performing sales executives. And our goal is to do transformational deals with some of the world's largest and most complex businesses, and develop a culture of high performance sales. So I'm responsible for recruiting into that team, and developing the people in that team and making sure that we deliver the number. Awesome, I really want to kick off with talking about the absolute rocket ship app dynamics and what your experience was there so and can you start off with talking about the discovery of app dynamics and what the whole process looked like? And we can build the conversation from there. So you see, you've got to go back to about I think it was 2014. Right? Some 2014 to put my foot kind of give painted a picture at the top of my game, a gardener, I'd really figured it out and figured out how to sell it. I understood the rhythm about how to build a predictable business there, and I global recognition. And I think at that point actually in 2001, I was officially the number one sales executive in the world for my area of the business. So, as you can imagine, sort of flying, like feeling like, I knew everything, and I was great. But I, I recognize that, I guess, when I looked around, I felt like it, it seems wrong to me to be in an environment where I was the best. That seems almost a little bit because I didn't really back myself to really feel like I was all that special because that's put into perspective. I've done three years of sales. And what certainly I'm now like, you know, fantastic at selling, it didn't seem to make sense to me. So I felt in my gut, this feeling of an a bit of an imposter syndrome. Like that. I really wasn't as good as maybe people thought I was and the fact that they thought I was good, maybe made me unlovable. Do them. Like, I almost felt like the fact that you think I'm good makes me worried a little bit, because I feel like I have a huge amount to learn and a huge amount of grow. So that all led to a very interesting discussion, where I got a call one day, this is the truth of the matter. I literally got a call one day and a guy said to me, headhunter said to me, what would it take for you to leave? I've hear you've got fantastic results. What would you take the leap? And I said, a very corny thing, I hope I'm embarrassed to say right now, but I basically said to him, I want to find the high risk sectors of the of the enterprise software selling world anymore. What do you mean? I said, Well, I mean, they must be out there. There must be this group of people that are I hear these myths and these tales about these people who are just, you know, making a huge amount of money who are incredibly successful, who are, you know, ludicrously slick. Where are they? Because I don't I don't see many of them in my day to day So, if you can find people like that, that I can learn from and be around, that's what I'm looking for. And he kind of laughed at me. And I thought nothing of the conversation and nothing would come of it. But he gave me a call. I think it was a week later, instead of I've got it, I've got what you're looking for. And I was like, Alright, what is it? And he says, Look, there's a company called app dynamics, and you need to go meet the team that run that place because they're exactly what you're looking for. And I said, Okay, and I hadn't heard about dynamics, I'm gonna be honest with you. I wasn't really in depth into the market research. Sometimes I tell people that now is because I was a gardener. I really understood the market and he precisely the company to go after. Truth be told, it wasn't like that. I literally got this call that said, you need to check out these people. And that's a bit of fate, right? I genuinely, I didn't look at five or six other businesses. I just decided to meet with Steve McCroskey at app dynamics in a coffee shop. Near bank. And, and that was it. As soon as I met Steve, I realized that immediately I was out of my depth. And that made me really excited. So I'll pause there because I guess that leads into probably the journey of app dynamics. But does that make sense? This is sort of like, you know, what was happening at the time? Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I, I think it's pretty amazing that you can get that just from a quick interview. So I guess what was the elements of your game that Steve unpacked, that made you go Okay, well, I'm out of my depth here, and there's a lot of it to learn. So, um, I think it was that I'd never really been trained. To sell really effectively at Gartner. You have a wonderful brand behind you. Your customers really know already what you do. You're typically speaking with CIOs on a one to one basis in a very consultative manner. And it's comfortable, right? But sometimes when you meet someone like Steve McCroskey or another seasoned software sales executive, they make you feel uncomfortable. And instinctively by asking you the tough questions, by maybe forcing you to, you know, figure out your way through a complex and a difficult situation. I think what he, what he said to me was, I arrived and I was very relaxed and thought it was going to be a very comfortable meeting. And through a number of questions, I started to feel more and more panicked during the interview, that I was losing control of the conversation. And at one point, he asked, he told me the things he was looking for as an example. And he eventually then 15 minutes later said, What were those four things that I'm looking for? And I've forgotten them. I didn't even I didn't even remember what he said. He said, How many notes have you taken during the interview and I hadn't even pulled out a notebook or a pen. I'm being serious like I was. I had, I had gotten to this point where I was so unconsciously incompetent. Where I was so wet, I was so unaware of what made me gray. And what made me not so great that I was really unable to predictably and consistently act in a manner that would make me successful. So even to the basics. I have gotten to this point where I was almost unaware of myself. So Steve helped me realize that in a very short period of time, and I think, you know, instinctively, when you meet someone that's much more of a match than you are, and some people cower from that moment, and some people really lean in, and they think this is, this is precisely what I've been searching for. And then my brain turned on where I was like, I now need to do everything in my power to get this job. It was no I guess. So. That was brilliant. So I guess for you Uh, you know, you mentioned a really key phrase there sort of consciously incompetent. And I really like that because, you know, you look at the four stages of learning in terms of, you know, you know, incompetent consciously incompetent, competent, consciously competent, um, you know, it sounds like for you, the biggest driver was to understand where you are in that cycle and how you move through that cycle and, you know, ultimately being being comfortable being uncomfortable. if, if, if that makes sense. To Okay, so, so, you know, you've had that Harvey specter, Mike Ross moment. Yeah, you're, you're, you know, you've, you've, you've obviously gone through the interview process, you've joined app dynamics. So talk to me through that journey. Talk me through, you know, the first six months finding your feet because you've been really successful at appdynamics. you've, you've hit a ton of presidents clubs and so forth. So just just talk me through that initial six months and then kind of the journey into management. Sure. Okay. So I arrive and I remember Jeremy passes me in the hallway and he says, Have you started PG in yet? And I turned him and said, What's pG? And he turns to me and says, You're joking, right? And I went, No, I don't know what you're talking about. And then he looked at Steve and Steve said, just just ignore him. And what I hadn't realized at the time was PG was pipeline generation. And that is literally the lifeblood of what that business ran on. It was the culture of what made that business the engine that it was. And for me to say that on day one was almost the epitome of how much of a fish out of water I really was. Right? So then I arrive. And the first thing you have to do is PG. So you get given a patch of customers, and you're in the deep end trying to build a territory. And I remember going into my planning session with Luke Rogers, and Steve and they said, so how are you going to? How are you going to pipeline generate? I said, Well, I'm just gonna call all the CIOs. In this list of companies, and they said, Yeah, all right, well, how are you going to do that? I mean, what happens if we don't get in touch with your weapons if they don't reply to you? And no word of a lie, I said to him in response, well, it would be impolite if they didn't get back to me. And he thought at this point, I mean, I can imagine what they were thinking that the reason I'm saying these kind of details is because I just want to frame how, how different the world I was stepping into to the world I'd come from really was, and my mindset at the time was so alien to the way that they run their business. So anyway, I get in, and I start pedaling, generating and I have some success. So I start booking my activity is very high. But I always had this philosophy about was you have to work hard before you can work smart because you haven't really earned the right to understand how to work smart. So in face of that, just work as hard as you possibly can. So I dedicated myself to that. Very, very high activity over the first quarter. And one of the leading indicators of success in your first quarter was to hit 20 new business meetings to make sure that you can book and complete 20 new business meetings. Now, I achieved that metric which show the activity that I was able to produce in my ability to pipeline generate, but I converted very little of those. So to long story short, within the first six months of being an app dynamics, I hadn't closed one piece of business. Right? So there was a turning point in the year where I got into an opportunity at a large retailer. And this became the deal that would almost like everyone has this moment where they have a deal that changes their direction, the changes that they're facing. This was my deal, and it happened in the summer of 2015. And it was a large, complex deal. And what happened was, everyone knew I had this opportunity, and all of the leadership started like Coming around me, they started like, seeing the opportunity for me to develop during the sales campaign. And they knew that if they were able to get me through it, and they were able to teach me the fundamentals of selling, going through this process, it would be the turning point for me. And if I was unsuccessful at it, maybe I wouldn't have ended up staying after namics. Right. That would have been the truth of it. But I knew the importance of that moment. And thankfully, the support of the leadership was so involved. And I had the likes of Jeremy, Doug and Steve, even Joe Sexton at the time, he was the president from the US all involved in this deal in the meetings with me, helping me through the process, and that was one of the greatest examples that I'd seen or hadn't seen it before, of what an involved leadership team really meant. Like how leaders really spend their time and energy day in day out with you, actually giving you the marginal gains to make you better. Now how you can improve your emails how you can improve your calls your preparation for meeting How you add value to champions, how you can overcome objections. But not you just come overcoming that on your own, but a group of people helping you in the background to be successful. And what happens is when you get through one of them, and you learn the process properly, you're able to replicate it. And that was really what happened to me. Through having that moment where I was able to complete that deal. Everything started to take shape. So I ended up at the end of that year on 127% of my number, I think, in that year, and that was all in the back end of the year. So the first six months was, is this person going to sink or swim. And then that moment happened where I was able to my feet changed. And everything happened from that. And to just give you one example of how important that was. I remember Jeremy came up to me in the hallway again after namics and he just very passing Coleman. He said, oh, by the way, Jason. If You don't believe you're going to close this deal with every inch of your eye every interview, that I want you to give it away now, okay? Because we're going to commit everything we've got to helping you through this deal. But if you don't believe that you're going to close it, and you you're not going to commit to making it happen, then you might as well give it away now, right. And that was what he was doing right there was testing my attitude. He was testing, even though in the absence of not knowing whether I was going to make it happen, that I had the belief, and I was going to commit to doing everything I could to make it happen. And that's a key trait that people like that dynamics and other cultures look for. They look for this resilience, and there's never give up type of attitude. And I think that's what got me through a lot of that first year. So when you look at all the learnings you had across the six to 12 months that enabled To hit quota 127%? Was it the they will give you step by step in every deal? Or do they also put a really solid training plan in place to, I guess, pick apart your sales process and find out all the areas that you needed to work on? And yeah, so the good thing about these environments, which what attracts so many people to join them, is they take the art of selling and they break it down into a real science. So the framework that they have around how much activity Do you need to be doing? What's the most exceptional way that we can engage with customers? And how do we deeply qualify deals to make sure that we know where we are and we know where we're not? The combination of those three elements to the framework that they have, really helps you consciously understand exactly what you need to do during a process. It also helps us have a very common language across the environment so that we can speak together not about opinions and what Do on a deal about data about what we know to be true, and what we know not to be true, and how to take decisions on how to change our faith by attacking the gaps in a deal that are objective. And that was the biggest turning point for myself then just really relying on my gut instinct all the time, to recognizing that there are fundamental things that are consistent across all deals, and all brilliant salespeople. And if you do these things on a consistent basis, not only will you be successful, but your deals will make much more likely to close. That's really interesting because I think naturally as salespeople we're taught to be subjective, right? And our biggest challenges, how do we view something objectively sort of take a step back and look at, you know, look at the gaps because naturally we we sort of want to believe, reasons why something is gonna happen versus why it's not gonna happen. So, so that's really interesting. And it sounds like from a culture perspective, you know, that's something that They hardest in sort of pushed? extensively. Yeah. 100%. I mean, so take the environment that that creates, right? So no longer is it a bunch of people where you don't trust the advice. You know, we don't have an environment where you have people questioning the advice of your leadership or, or, or wondering if they know what the right thing to do is or debating opinions on who's right and who's wrong. We always know what the right thing to do is, right. And that creates a very constructive environment where you can develop people based on data. And you can develop people based on what we know to be true based on thousands of sales campaigns and thousands of salespeople that have been developed from individual contributor to leader. So you there's one of the hardest things that you have in your first year of transitioning into these environments is actually trust. It's actually relinquishing a lot of your the things you know, and the things you feel comfortable with and saying maybe I don't know best Maybe I need to relinquish that control and trust the people who are guiding me who know better to help me be successful. That's one of the hardest things I found. Yeah, no, that's, that's really interesting. And you mentioned a couple couple of topics that I want to just unpack very quickly. So, you know, when you when you start looking at the culture piece, and you start looking at making data driven decisions, how do you sort of build data into the culture piece and get a guess this you know, the Salesforce to sort of really buy into that. So the first thing you have to do is you're right in your statement that they have to believe it, right. So there's no point just a bunch of people recording data every week and submitting it into Salesforce. That's not what this culture is about. Every sales organization has Salesforce administrative tasks, for the sake of management to be able to forecast that's the almost the complete opposite of what this culture is about. This is about you recognizing as an individual that Do these things, right in my business, I will be successful. Now, how do they know that? Well, that's the responsibility of the leadership team, first and foremost, to be able to show what success looks like, and show how other people have had the pathway to success by leveraging the status, their advantage and being successful. So one of the most important things is finding success stories around where these this data has been helpful to make people successful. And making sure that you do a really conscious job as a leadership team, in bringing that to the attention and highlighting how if you were to run your business in this way, this would be incredibly helpful to helping you run your business in this way. And then it becomes almost the smart people in the room recognize that and they go wow, if I want to be if I want to be the top of the top performer and the top 10 people are all leveraging these leading indicators in the way that I'm being told. Then, either I'm not being smart by deciding that I want to do that or I'm not being coachable, right? It's one or the other at that point, when you're shown the way and you choose to not do it. You're either saying to yourself that, am I as really as coachable as I thought I was? Why do I really want to be more successful than I thought? Or am I? Am I not being as smart as it could be? Am I almost not recognizing the the opportunity that's here? And taking full advantage of it? Would you say that it's fair to say that a lot of the culture and the learning environment created that enabled that culture was all around the data driven decisions? I would say it was a it was that was that was a that element. The culture enabled us to have very constructive, development oriented conversations. One of the worst things in a sales culture is when you have a meeting with your manager, and you're finding that he he or she is provided some opinions, and you don't believe in those opinions. And then you get into an argument about who's winning And who should you want in the deal? That's a very difficult environment to develop it right? So you nip that in the bud by having this data driven approach to development. I don't think that defines the entire culture, though, I would say what was above and beyond that, and was much more, like, almost palpable, can the environment with this belief, culture is very, or this mission driven culture where everyone was there because they believed they were doing something special, and they were believed they were part of an environment and part of a group of people that were accomplishing something special. And that was true. Every day you woke up you felt almost this pride and gratefulness to be part of a community of people where you felt like you were operating at the highest level of execution, and you were achieving something special. And that was because that was like, enhanced by the insert inspiring leadership and the belief in the mission that we run into To build this the fastest growing enterprise software company on the planet. So I would say the combination of those two things are very belief oriented culture where we were hiring and developing the best on the planet. And then running this very high execution and sales process that you could see was making the difference in people's lives, right, not only in their professional lives and how that was changing their career trajectory, but actually the way that they were able to enhance and accelerate everything they wanted in their personal lives. You know, from a financial perspective, or from a goal perspective. This business was helping people accomplish everything they wanted. And it was for for a huge amount of time. That's why you turned up every day and gave it everything you had. That's really interesting that I guess the marriage of company culture and sales culture and making it work is one. You know, a lot of organizations we look at, they've kind of got a sales culture. And sorry, disconnected from the company culture, but from what you're describing, it sounded like in terms of that dynamic. Certainly, you know, it was very much the company culture and the sales culture sort of working as one is. Is that a fair statement? Yeah, I think that the the benefit of apti was the founder and CEO is really recognize the importance of the go to market element to the company. So rather than it being just an engineering, lead, and product oriented company, they really recognized early on the importance of both of those organizations coming together in a very valuable fashion. And the cultures were very much around how do we achieve things in a symbiotic fashion? I think when you're one or the other, like if you're a very good market oriented company does innovation suffer? If you're a very predatory in an r&d might be excellent, but does execution suffer? I think what that dynamic is got the balance of was that we the top down leadership all the way through to the sales people recognize that Go to market element. And this was one of the most valuable assets of the business. And it was one of the reasons that we were out competing, a lot of companies that arguably had a strong or sometimes stronger capability in the market that we were operating in. So that was, that was something that made it incredibly valuable place to be. I guess, from from my perspective on that part is, did you then have a mindset that was created? I know a lot of people talk about environments when it comes to culture. So the challenge of mindset, the the spin mindset and things like that, was there things that they day to day put in place in order to kind of help that go? Good question. I think that it was a very, I think, Well, I think the thing that inspired me was coming from Gartner where I was almost around a group of people where I felt like I was the number one seller Person people, I was stepping into an environment where the difference in quality between where I was, and the people that I was surrounded by. And the leaders that were teaching me were, was an incredibly inspirational place to be because every day You, you, you, you're getting feedback on something that blows your mind or a way to navigate a problem that you've never thought of, or, and salespeople love that when they're getting really wonderful insight into how the how to overcome a problem that feels like God, if only I could be as smart as that only I could, you know, think of it in that way and be as quick as that person or be able to do it in that way. That's what great looks like and I think if you're dedicated to trying to be the best version of yourself, the just being around great people was almost a culture builder in itself. And I think we're the hats off to them. They're focused on recruitment, and being so maniacally focused on trying to hire people that were As per the traits that they were uncompromising on, you know, bright, high character, coachable people with a high performance track record. They, you were surrounded by the best. Right, and that that breeds success. So having that experience, what did that do for you coming into z scaler? building a building your cultures there could a major account manager. So I think it gave me an opportunity to Well, I definitely had the unrest, I definitely had the chance to know what good looks like right, coming from that environment and seeing what worked. You have a benchmark right of excellence, but you also have an opportunity, right? So when a chapter closes, and you've you've grown up in that environment, hopefully you've developed some individual perspective. And you've you've, you've matured as an individual and you've you've given you've thought about the things that you stand for from a valuable perspective, a cultural perspective, a development perspective. And you're able to have an opportunity to craft that in your own world right? Now, that can be that's a big responsibility, because what you don't want to do is start trying to fix something that isn't broken. But naturally, you want to be authentic, right as as a leader in terms of what you stand for. So So now you've transitioned into scalar. And you've got the opportunity to create something new, you know, talk, talk us through that process, and talk us through what that journey looks like. So one of the most important things to me is I want to lead with a culture of excellence. But I want to make sure that I am true to myself in the way that I lead. So first and foremost, I'm a father, I'm a husband. And I have many people of different types, from different backgrounds working for me so I could have mothers working for me, fathers working for me, people who are older people who are younger, and I find that it's very Important to be incredibly empathetic to the way everybody needs to be developed. So there's not a one size fits all, to making people successful. So I think what I'm learning in my young career as a leader is balancing excellence. and delivering it with empathy is one of the hardest but most important things that we're trying to accomplish here. So your app, see zscaler. Now, what's the goal and what are you working to do? So Well, my my mission is quite simple, to be honest. I want to hire, I want to build the world's greatest sales team. Okay. That's plain and simple. It's what I want to do. And I feel like we have not only an opportunity to do that, but actually an obligation because everything is in our favor right now. The company, the market, the people, the leadership, the development, when you line up all of the things that people are looking for. I believe that we have an environment and an opportunity that people should be desperate to join. So with, with that belief in mind, I'm holding myself accountable to building the world's greatest sales team. That's my mission. I'm guessing a massive part of this is going to be talent selection. So what kind of qualities do you tend to look forward to know that they're going to be able to deliver to the sales excellence that you're looking for? Perfect. Okay. Well, it's, it's nice and simple, but it's hard to find. So we want to hire exceptionally bright, high character, coachable people with a strong and proven track record, right? If we find the combination of those four things in the to the degree that we need, it allows us to, we almost decided at that point that if we find a candidate with all of those ingredients, and we don't make them a superstar that's on us. That's a failure on the leadership team. So we go in hunt for those ones. qualities. And I'd say it's quite difficult to find the four things together. So finding really super bright people who are really open to learning who are special and have a special story to tell, and then can point to a consistent, exceptional, proven track record is something that's hard to come by. So Jason, you spoke a lot about, I guess, app dynamics, and now you're a Zed scalar. So let's say for example, I, I'm a rep, I'm currently in a role. I've got about five years experience, I've been fairly successful. But I'm now looking to take that next step in terms of my career. You know, why, why is that scalar why Jason, you know, talk me through how you can sort of work with me to take me to that next level. Great. Okay. So um, I think that that's a really interesting question. So the majority of people that I meet that come into my team are what I would call they, some of them might be very good, like, so let's say for example, five years experience, you've had a lot of success, let's say, when you say you want to take it to the next level, what that typically means for people that want to join this business is they haven't made that leap from being unconsciously incompetent to consciously competent than unconsciously competent, right? They want to under better understand the things that they don't know. And the things that they do know, almost like me at the beginning of app dynamics, right? They are, there's good, they've got success, but are they in the position where they think that they can really find the marginal gains to make them, you know, do 300 or 400% of their number, right? So the environment that they're stepping into here will provide them not framework for success. So going back to that science of selling that we talked about that dynamics, that's very Much something that they will learn here. And the biggest gift they will get is not only learning how to find the marginal gains in their own performance, but they'll then be able to teach that to other people. Right. And that's, I think one of the biggest drawers for for for individual contributors coming in who want to progress into leadership. They're thinking, well, how will I feel confident and comfortable leading a team of people, if I haven't really understood the fundamentals of what drives success, and what they get from coming in here is working for someone like me, who is done that exact path from individual contributor to leader and learn that process like the back of my hand, and being absolutely dedicated to helping them make that same journey. And because I've got all the scars and, and all the difficulties with doing it, it gets someone who can empathize with how difficult that journey can be, and how and I'm on that journey with them every single day and every week and every quarter, and my whole reason to exist. To develop them to be the next leader within the company. I think one of the things that really stood out for me is the leadership team and said zscaler don't they don't judge their success based on creating fantastic regional sales managers, they've judged their success on creating the next leaders. So since dollies joined z scalar, as a CIO, what's been the kind of urgent thing that he's wanting to put in place for the company? So the thing that Dolly has done with huge urgency and, and incredible passion and incredible execution, is he's turned a company that was a market leading product organization with incredible innovation and incredible competitive advantage to a business that is prioritizing development and sales, sales, learning and development as the heart of the go to market culture. So the way he's done that is obviously using the three R's. He's recruited some of the best leaders on the planet to help support him with that. He's built an incredible sales enablement core business unit within the business that was never here before that is now enabling globally, everybody on our new methodology and making everybody successful and the quality of that training and enablement is the best I've ever seen. And I think that to be able to just slightly adjust a company culture from being We are the number one product in the world. And that's going to drive our success to being we care about creating an environment for salespeople to come in, be developed and be the future of this business, or relies on a culture of development. And I think Dolly's the thing that's so clear about the way that Dolly runs the business is he prioritizes that development almost above everything else. So what you get coming into this business is a feeling that right from the top down We are all at every single level dedicated to trying to make you the best version of yourself. And from the resources, the investment, the tools that people, the involvement we have in your business every single day is all centered around, how can we make you will, the best version of yourself? And how do you feel like every day that you're turning up to a group of people that are committed to making you as as great as you possibly can be? and holding up our side of the bargain, right? Because you would have interviewed with us and you said, Look, I'm looking for a place to be the best version of myself. We hold that accountability incredibly seriously, that we need to deliver on our promise to get you to be a superstar. And if you have those four traits that we look for, and we don't get you to where you deserve to be, and like I said before, that's on us, right? So we take that responsibility incredibly serious and Dali sets the tone on that cost the entire organization. What does that accountability look like, as a leader to a rep. And you mean day in day out? I think it looks like we probably love to see my calendar, I think it looks like like, rather than almost like that we sell as a team. Like salespeople, there's often some of the best salespeople in the world are these lone wolves that they're out there like selling on their own and, and that's very difficult for that person to make any marginal gains, because it's only them looking at their own business every single day. Now, that might be great for some people, but it's not the way we run our business. We sell as a team, we win as a team, we we get involved as a team. And what that means on a day to day basis is in the way that let's say you had a key meeting this week. Well, for a senior stakeholder, it would mean that you know, today we were spending a couple of hours together, really going over the narrative. Going over this slide, making sure it's first class and waking up tomorrow morning. And really looking at that and making sure that's good. Then rehearsing it with the internal account team and making sure you get his eyes on it. Mark sighs Josh has eyes on it. And then like turning it around, and us maybe taking some accountability for helping you with the narrative, and then looking at the roles of the people in the meeting. So what role Am I going to play? What's Mark going to play? What's Josh gonna play? What's the senior head of sales engineering going to play? And then you're in the room as the quarterback. But you've got this team of brilliant people all around you who are dedicated to making that meeting, the most special meeting and possibly can be, but we were invested in the preparation. We turned up for the hours before to make sure it was brilliant. And that the learning you get from that is exceptional, right? Because then you know what great looks like the next time you want to do it. Right? And then we all debrief as a team afterwards, and we think what could have gone better? What went right? What did we all do? Well, what is We all do badly. How can we learn from this experience? And what can we do moving forward? And how could we roll out these learnings to the team? That's what involved leadership looks like, day in, day out. And the people that are most successful here are the people that are so open to that. They come and go, I want to take the best from you, from you, from you from you. And I'm going to bring all of what you've got into my game. And I'm going to accelerate salary my ramp so fast, because I've almost got Mark Pete in my business I've got Izzy in my business I've got Darlene because I want Jason in my business every day, you know, that's a, I think to get that level of involvement is very special, very unique. And people feel very grateful for having that dedication from people in the leadership team. Jason, that sounds fantastic. And it's been an absolute pleasure. I'd love to cover it off with a with a rapid fire right now. And the first question for me would be what are the top Three facts you look for now, when you join a new organization. Okay, so starts with leadership. The second one is the business. And the third one is a role. Right. So in terms of the facts around those, do I believe that I would follow this leader is one of the most important things and do I believe that this leader can take me to the next level of my development? And I think leadership comes not just with your first line manager, but across the organization. Do I believe that people are attracted to this business? And do I believe that those people can take me to the next level of my career growth? I lead with that because if you don't find that, don't pass, go, don't collect 100 pounds, don't look, in fact to unlock pack pack three, pack two, I would say, is this business healthy from the perspective that is it growing as fast as I wanted to, against other SAS businesses are the metrics that support that business as they need to be. And I dig deep into that. And then finally, the role is, is this role going to extend me out of my comfort zone? Is this something that's gonna make me feel like when I sign on the dotted line for the contract, they get a worry in my stomach that I'm, I've signed myself up to something I can't do you want to feel a little bit of that. So the role has to test you. The business has to be an environment that's accelerating that allows you to, you know, I guess, be in a growing environment in a huge market with all of those things that are important to you. And everyone's criteria around that is different, right? So it's impossible for me to say what criteria for the business in terms of health, but based on what you're looking for, is the business healthy? And then the first and most important one, will I follow this person? Do I believe that this person will be my champion? If I deliver on my promises, and do I believe this person can develop me? What's your view on challenges selling, selling in enterprise technology in today's world So, can you give me your definition of challenger selling, so don't misinterpret it? So challenger selling to me as the book and so methodology is a way of instead of getting your customers to tell you what their problems are, it's about educating our customers, being the dominator of the conversation, telling them what they need to do on their business where they're going wrong. I'm interested to get your perspective in terms of what's your view on that sales methodology? And how do you see it fitting in, if you do in the enterprise sales world? So the short answer would be I see it as an as an an incredibly valuable way of selling because one of the wonderful ways to differentiate yourself as a salesperson is rather than turning up to that first meeting, and asking all of the questions to learn about the business, then you turn up with a perspective. You turn up with a hypothesis. You turn up with someone that's bringing value in educating the room on what you believe. What you believe are the ways that you can help them. Right. And now what that allows you to do naturally is build credibility. And when you build credibility, you earn trust. And when you earn trust, you earn the right to ask questions. Right? So I would say that in your in your initial interactions, the more you can do to separate yourself from the masses in terms of this person is different. This person is bringing something to me to make me feel like I'm getting something from this. But then you turn the table and say, You know what? I'd say I've got a 60% on this job in terms of my understanding of your business, how about you help me fill in the rest. So I've prepared a couple of what I believe to be insightful questions around the gaps that I that I don't understand. And I'd love to spend just the initial part of this meeting making this even better. Because imagine if we were able to improve upon this position, and for the rest of the meeting, we focus on the areas that are most important to you. So what a wonderful way to go in with a perspective, to challenge them to educate them, but then say, look, this isn't a free ride. I'm also going to ask for something in return. And the way I'm going to ask for that is I'm going to ask some brilliant questions that make you show how smart I am, how prepared I am, how engaged and how curious I am about your business, but how that will drive an outcome that will help me serve you better. Right? That's, I think, if you can make that impression in the first interactions, it's how you build a champion. It's how you get someone because the deals are built on pain and champion, right you find a problem you can solve, and you find a person that cares about solving it. You never get that second piece that champion piece, right? Unless they buy into you. Right, they buy into spending time with you. Yeah, short answer. I went on a bit there. But I do believe that that's a wonderful way of separating yourself. And the funny thing is, most people don't do it. Because it's too much work. Love it. And the last question me that we always have to ask is, what what is your favorite book and why? So I mean, I hope this isn't disappointing, but I find the most value I get from books is reading about leaders who have done exceptional things. So I don't spend a lot of my time reading a lot of practical books on methodologies or, or techniques or things, how to do things differently. I feel like because I come from an environment where we focus on sales execution so much the answer such a daily degree that if I went home and read about it, I think that's all I would think about. So the book I'm reading at the moment, it's actually on my desk here right now. It's the ride of a lifetime by Bob Iger. So the Disney CEO and his and his journey through being that At the CEO of that business, and he talks to some wonderful stories about his time with Steve Jobs, and the lessons he learned through acquiring multiple businesses, and I think through the period of his time as CEO, he quintupled the value of Disney. So like, what a wonderful like, I find a huge amount of learning from someone who's seasoned and as brilliant as him to take those learnings of leadership and try and apply them and try and learn from them and get inspired by those stories that he tells. So that's what I'm reading at the moment. And that's when I get a lot of inspiration from his autobiographies and biographies. Amazing, Jason, it's been an absolute pleasure. So thank you to have you on the show. If people are keen to get in touch, is that okay? And where can they find you? Absolutely. So I'm as people probably gather from LinkedIn, probably people are sick of me but I'm very open on LinkedIn. So feel free to get in touch with me. And as I would be remiss of me to say that I am hunting for The world's best sales talent. So if you feel like you've got inspiration from some of the things I've said and you're out there listening and want to join in an environment where you want to be a part of something special where development is at the heart of what we do in a company is going places. Get in touch. Jason, thank you very much for your time. It's been a pleasure. Transcribed by https://otter.ai