Adam Jay – Co-founder and CEO of Revenue Reimagined – Redefining Startup Success

Quote of the Show

More VCs are recognizing the value and benefits of bringing in fractional leaders to help early-stage startups.

Key Takeaways

  • Hiring a VP of Sales is not a solution to revenue problems without a well-defined sales process and understanding of the ideal customer profile.
  • Founders should focus on building a solid sales process, validating product-market fit, and understanding their buyer persona before scaling the sales team.
  • Fractional go-to-market leaders can help founders transition from founder-led sales by building out processes, validating assumptions, and hiring the right talent.
  • The future of fractional leadership is promising, with more VCs recognizing the value and benefits of bringing in fractional leaders to help early-stage startups.
  • Responsible growth and consolidation in the B2B tech space are expected, with companies focusing on building strong products and providing value to customers.


In this episode of Revenue Today, Adam Jay, the founder and CEO of Revenue Reimagined , discusses the common misconception that hiring a VP of Sales will solve all revenue problems for early-stage startups. He emphasizes the importance of building a solid sales process, understanding the ideal customer profile and buyer persona, and validating product-market fit before scaling the sales team. Adam also shares his insights on the future of fractional leadership and the need for responsible growth in the startup ecosystem.

[00:00:40] Welcome back friends. This is another episode of Revenue Today, and I’m joined by with a very special guest, a guest that I’ve known for quite some time that, uh, I’ve become even closer with this year and, and, and grateful, gratefully. So this is the founder and CEO of Revenue Reimagined and host of the revenue re imagined podcast.

[00:01:06] He’s a seven time executive sales leader holding roles, such as VP of sales and CRO. And he’s now working with founders as a fractional go to market leaders to successfully transition from founder led sales. Welcome, Adam. 

[00:01:22] Adam Jay:  I don’t know how I’m going to live up to that. And you say it so calm and so methodical.

[00:01:30] That was a really good intro. I might steal that and put that on my show. 

[00:01:34] Jared Robin: Take it. I was gobbling up rice before this. And I have one stuck in my tooth. So even with… One hand tied behind the back. No, 

[00:01:45] Adam Jay: I love it. I, I appreciate the warm intro. Um, I was going to ask what, who Adam J consulting is, but I forgot that I named my company after myself.

[00:01:53] We could talk about why that’s a good or bad decision. Um, we’ll talk 

[00:01:57] Jared Robin: about that in the second half. I want to jump right into it. Um, you have such amazing content all over. LinkedIn and, and, and you’re focusing on helping found you focus on a lot, but helping founders transition from, we’ll talk about that too, uh, from founder led to sales led, but yeah, Adam debunk a myth.

[00:02:21] About GTM or generating revenue today, 

[00:02:25] Adam Jay: so there’s 2, but they’re going to tie together. Um, the 1st 1 is hiring a VP of sales is not going to solve your problem. And that ties into hiring people simply throwing people at the problem. Hiring is hiring BDRs, whatever it is saying, let’s just go hire people and we’re going to grow revenue.

[00:02:45] Isn’t going to solve your problem.

[00:02:50] Well, 

[00:02:51] Jared Robin: yeah, help, help me understand, um, what, what are people doing? What are they expecting and how can we, uh, how can we better position to solve it? 

[00:03:03] Adam Jay: So a lot of the founders that I talked to, one of the first things they say is we’ve achieved. You know, X milestone, whether that’s a million A. R. R. 500 A. R. R.

[00:03:15] You know, seven. It doesn’t matter what the number is, but we’ve achieved X milestone. So now we’re just going to go out. We’re going to hire for account executives and a V. P. S. Sales. And we’re going to scale this thing, right? They’re just going to go bring in revenue. And when you start digging under the surface and pressure testing that so yeah, Let’s pause before we make those job descriptions live.

[00:03:35] Let’s pause for a minute. Um, and let’s ask some questions. Do you know what your ICP is? Sometimes they do. Sometimes they don’t, but do you know who your buyer persona is? Maybe let me ask you a question, Jared, of the deals that you’ve sold to get to a million dollars. Do they all look the same? The answer is always no, by the way, tell me a little bit more.

[00:04:00] Well, one was, you know, up here, one was down here, one was here, and we had a bunch of them that were like right here. Well, which ones do you want? Well, we want the big ones. Of course, those are the ones that are the easiest to maintain. Those are the ones that are in our ICP. We’ll go back to your ICP because do you really know what your ICP is?

[00:04:21] And of all those customers who, by the way, all were looked very different. Was the sales process the same? Did they all close the same way? Did they all follow the same journey? Of course not. Guess what? You are not ready to hire a sales team, much less a VP of sales. You haven’t built out your sales process.

[00:04:39] You don’t truly know if you have product market fit yet. What you have is heroics. What you have is friends and family, like, I mean, family is a stretch, but friendlies who have purchased your product, you have word of mouth from people within your network, but you haven’t established product market fit and systemization to understand that what you’re doing actually works.

[00:05:00] So what’s going to happen is if you go hire a bunch of people, there is no process, there are no systems, there is no ICP, there is no buyer persona, everyone is just going to go after everyone. And it’s going to be a show of heroics. And ultimately, what you’re going to find is that you’re not able to scale because there’s only so many people that will buy that way.

[00:05:19] And you’ve now spent a bunch of money on these folks. And not money or time where you should be figuring out the basics first. Congratulations. You’ve sold a million dollars. That’s phenomenal. And that should never be discounted. And I mean that sincerely. Like that’s not an easy thing to do. But a million dollars does not equate to product market fit.

[00:05:41] Jared Robin: But it equates to enough budget to hire somebody, right? And isn’t 

[00:05:46] Adam Jay: that next 

[00:05:47] Jared Robin: person’s place to solve the challenge? Like why, you know, devil’s advocate. A founder that may not have extensive sales experience. Yeah. Shouldn’t they hire somebody that does? Um, and to help them walk through it. 

[00:06:05] Adam Jay: So, yes, you should hire someone that does to help you walk through it.

[00:06:09] It should not be a full time 500, 000 a year VP of sales. The other problem that you’ll find is when you’re typically hiring a VP of sales and I was one for years. Um, they’re not builders per se. Some of them are, don’t get me wrong, but they don’t want to be in the weeds. And if you haven’t built a startup from the ground up yet, if you haven’t actually had to go out and find that ICP, determine the buyer persona.

[00:06:35] Deal with pricing and packaging. If you haven’t done all of that as a VP of sales, you’re used to at least the basic foundation being set. I posted about this this morning and you come in and you have none of that, right? What you have is 8, 10, 15 deals that have closed. No real process to look back on and you’re going to be asked to build it from scratch.

[00:06:57] And you’ve never done that, and you’re going to have this look like deer in the headlights, and you’re not going to know what to do. So the smart thing to do, be it me or anyone else, is to bring someone in on a fractional basis for anywhere from 90 days to, you know, 180 days to work with you. To build out that process to validate your assumptions to make sure that you’re hiring the right people and make sure that that playbook is completely built 80 to 90% before you go hiring and scaling rapidly.

[00:07:29] Sure, you could hire an A or two. Um, but what you don’t want to do is just go expand the team. I had a founder the other day. It’s like, oh, we’re going to go hire 10. What the fuck? Sorry. What do you mean? You’re going to hire 10? They’re like, well, we have seven. Now we’re going to hire three more. And I said to him, I said, so.

[00:07:45] Seven. Like that’s a lot. You’re at 800 K ARR. That’s a lot of AEs, right? What do they get paid? 60 grand each. So let, let’s do the math here. 60 grand each times seven, and you’re at 800 K ARR. Is that a wise use of 75% of your money? Let’s ask question number two. They didn’t have their first board meeting yet.

[00:08:11] Um, there, there, there is no board meeting yet cause they, they haven’t raised funding, which is an even interesting part, but we, we dug deeper Jared and of those seven, how many, how many are hitting quota two? What is quota X number of deals per month? How do you come up with that number? Well, because I think that’s what they should be able to sell.

[00:08:33] I mean, you have two people who are doing that. You have five people who aren’t, maybe it is the right number. Maybe it isn’t, but to go higher three more because two people are hitting quota is not the right answer. Well, let’s, let’s, 

[00:08:45] Jared Robin: let’s break this down a bit more. Like what are some bullets that a founder.

[00:08:49] Should have in place before bringing on a seller, period. And then, um, the second part, like some bullets before bringing on a sales leader, um, in bullets, meaning processes and playbooks and 

[00:09:02] Adam Jay: stuff like that. Uh, so it’s not like a Glock 40, a Smith Wesson 45. I do live in Florida. We don’t, we don’t need permits anymore to carry guns.

[00:09:11] Um, whole separate conversation. So before you hire that first seller. At a bare minimum, you need to understand who you’re selling to. What is that ICP? What is that ideal customer profile? Who do we want using this product? ICP is not to be confused. With BP, which is buyer persona. Those are two very different things.

[00:09:40] And arguably you need your buyer persona as well. So ICP, who is the company? What is the ideal company that we want? I want to sell to rev genius. I want to sell to Salesforce. Those are two very different companies, right? Right. But shouldn’t, 

[00:09:54] Jared Robin: um, what we want and who we should sell for or to, can’t those be two different or shouldn’t they be two different things?

[00:10:02] Cause I’m, I might want to sell to the Yankees, but the, the product isn’t ready yet or 

[00:10:10] Adam Jay: so you shouldn’t be selling to the Yankees right now, should you? Right? Here’s the problem. Everyone wants to go up market enterprise whales, right? We all want the whale. Right. When you are dealing with smaller, we’ll call it mid market to what I’ll call mid SMB, um, maybe even between mid market and enterprise, that kind of midder prize segment, you can afford to mess up a little bit.

[00:10:33] There’s multiple people that you need to get in front of. They’re arguably easier to get in front of. And if you make a whoopsie. You could kind of walk it back. There is only one New York Yankees. And if you happen to get the chance to get in front of your buyer persona, we’ll assume that is the CTO or COO at the New York Yankees, you get one at bat to stay with the baseball analogy.

[00:10:56] And if you fuck it up, they’re not letting you come back in because you’ve done and messed it up. Where’s your proof points? It’s very hard to start an enterprise. You have no proof points. Can it be done? Yes. Is it my wheelhouse? Transparently? No. Um, my wheelhouse is much more midterprise and lower level enterprise.

[00:11:14] I’m not selling to the New York Yankees, but what I can tell you. It’s an orgs that I’ve worked with. You’re right, who you want to sell to and who you should be selling to are very different. Having an MVP and validating that your product does what it’s supposed to do with the buyers that you want to target is absolutely important.

[00:11:32] But you don’t start at the very top without having started at the bottom and worked your way up and having a proof of concept. It just doesn’t work nine times out of 10. So you have an I. 

[00:11:43] Jared Robin: C. P. You have your personas. What else do we need for your first AE hire or your first sales hire and should it be an AE or should it be an SDR?

[00:11:55] Adam Jay: Oh, that’s a loaded question, Jared. Um, that, that is highly variable depending on the business, depending on who you’re selling to. I am a huge proponent of full cycle AEs. I think SDRs make sense in large enterprise where you are trying to really penetrate deeply into an organization and there are layers upon layers upon layers that you have to get through and the dollars make sense when you are a, you know, when you’re selling to smaller companies, even mid market, I had a client who their, their average ticket price was like 220 a month and they’re like, Oh, we’re going to go hire BDRs.

[00:12:29] I’m like, the math doesn’t make sense on this. Like, what do you mean? They’re like, well, we need leads. Yeah. Whole different conversation. We could talk about marketing and marketing and sales working together. Um, pricing in packaging, I think can be flexible upfront. Like pricing is typically all over the place.

[00:12:45] You know, with the startup, it’s not standardized. Um, but you, you have to have that kind of brain dump from the founder to build out the sales process. What I find happens is a lot of AEs will get hired. And it’s Oh, go sell. You know, this is I do a discovery. I do a demo. Um, and then we close them. That is not the sales process.

[00:13:07] I promise you there are so many conversations that the founder is having and so many things that the founder knows about the product, the process, the handoff to CS onboarding, what it takes to get a customer onboarded, what it takes to get a customer to use the product. All of that information has to be documented and brain dumped and then put in a nice pretty form before you hire that first sales hire.

[00:13:31] I think, and I tell all my founders, it’s not your job to make it pretty, right? Put it in Apple notes, Google notes, a Google doc, a notion. I don’t care where the hell you put it. I’ll figure that part out, but you gotta document everything that you’re doing and everything that you know. You can’t just expect someone to come in who’s not a founder and be able to sell your product like you do.

[00:13:58] You’re on, I can’t hear a word you’re saying. 

[00:14:01] Jared Robin: There’s this intangible founders passion. And founders can 

[00:14:08] Adam Jay: not be replicated like, like this 

[00:14:10] Jared Robin: person was C level of SAP and, and I worked with them for 14 years, but I trust that person. You can’t put that in a playbook. 

[00:14:21] Adam Jay: I don’t even think that matters though. I mean, I’m, I’m working with a founder now who, look.

[00:14:30] Whose previous role was an account executive at a well known software company that we all know. Um, but they have this passion that they get on the phone, they get on the zoom with you to your point. And like, you would swear this person has been doing this for a hundred years. They’ve been in AE for three years, but they have that passion that will never be replicated by someone who’s not a co founder.

[00:14:51] And that’s why founders are so good at selling. But it’s also why I think founders don’t understand that everyone else isn’t so good at selling. 

[00:15:04] Jared Robin: And I do believe that’s an intangible for first sellers, um, as well that, that, that some people have, like they need to believe in, in, in the folks that are the best for sellers tend to have that they might not always have the process, but they come in with a 

[00:15:18] Adam Jay: lot of passion.

[00:15:20] So I, I’m, we’ll, we’ll get a little controversial here, right? Um, which I, I, I have no problem with that, but I think my belief when you are selling, if you are, and there’s people who would tell you otherwise, if you are not passionate about what you are selling, I think it radiates, I think people can tell.

[00:15:42] I think it appears as if you’re going through the motions. I think you’re not as vested in the product and I think you will not do as well. The best sellers that I’ve seen genuinely believe in the product and the people that they are selling to. There is a reason that I never went to sell paperclips for Office Depot because it would not excite me in the slightest.

[00:16:03] And I have a friend, I shit you not, who makes half a million dollars selling paperclips for Office Depot. I can’t fathom doing that. And when you hire people who are just looking for a job or my favorite line in interviews says, Oh, sales is sales. I could sell anything. And it’s always this bullshit. 

[00:16:22] Jared Robin: Oh, that’s a, that’s a non starter with that.

[00:16:25] Uh, that line 

[00:16:27] Adam Jay: it’s, it’s not. That’s true. And if you want to be really good at what you do, you have to be able to empathize with your buyer and to be able to empathize with your buyer. You have to be passionate about the problems you’re trying to solve. 

[00:16:42] Jared Robin: Well, well said, um, it was funny, uh, working for a perceived commodity and having the other person that FedEx and UPS come after me, I’d like laughed at them.

[00:16:54] I’m like, I can’t like you’re, you’re the reason why I’m so good here. Um, 

[00:17:02] Adam Jay: and, and listen, there’s, There’s going to be roles and positions out there. FedEx, UPS, paperclips for Office Depot, like not every job is one where it’s like, holy, like, I love what I’m doing and I love what I’m selling. Um, I couldn’t do it.

[00:17:18] I think those roles all have a place, but specifically when it comes to our world that I’ll call B2B tech, I think it’s very different than selling a commodity. And I remember it. I started my career in health care and women’s health and I was in the final interview and they actually brought a product manager in, um, to interview me and he said, like, if you want to sell the coolest widget, you know, a laser or, you know, something that does spine stuff like.

[00:17:47] This isn’t the place for you. Like that’s not what we’re doing. If you want to sell something that you could be proud of and make a difference every day and be like, wow, like I’m helping to prevent cancer. Um, then this is an opportunity. Was it less money? Yeah. Was it sexy? No, not at all. Um, but did I make a difference every day?

[00:18:11] Absolutely. 

[00:18:13] Jared Robin: So I think, um, the core difference, uh, is if you’re looking at something as a commodity, you can’t sell it. But if you’re looking at something as a value driver, even if it’s a paperclip versus a paperclip, like my paperclips get there three days quicker, they last 14 times longer and the Yankee sign 20 X.

[00:18:37] Times the contracts and generate this much extra revenue than your POS paper. If you’re looking at it like that, you can sell a paperclip. 

[00:18:44] Adam Jay: Yes. That’s very different though. There, there’s a bunch of caveats. You just put on that right now. We’re talking about differences in product. This paperclip is manufactured better.

[00:18:54] It’s manufactured out of a stronger value. Right. It’s also blue and it’s blue and white. Yeah. Why, why wouldn’t you want a blue and white paperclip? You’d 

[00:19:03] Jared Robin: want red on it too, uh, for, for 4th of July, but yeah. 

[00:19:07] Adam Jay: I mean, we could go red and white for the Red Sox, but I don’t know if we want to have this conversation.

[00:19:12] Oh, blue and white for the Yankees. 

[00:19:14] Jared Robin: Yes, well said. Pardon me. But, um, okay, so we built, we built this, uh, playbook. We hire the first AEs. At what point do we bring on… The senior leader, 

[00:19:29] Adam Jay: like what’s needed, like what gaps need to be come across at that point because when, when we’ve, when we’ve demonstrated that we could do this in a repeatable fashion and there is no magic number, it’s not Jared, it’s when you have 20 customers, it’s not when you have 10 customers, it’s when you can say, I was going to say Tom, Dick and Harry, Bill, Bob and Sam, um, are all selling the same thing The same way with the same messaging and seeing results now, and they’re at capacity.

[00:20:00] They can’t do anymore. Now we’re at a time that we want to start looking at expanding the team. Now we’re at a time that we want to bring in probably more AEs and someone to manage those AEs. I will tell you, and this is just my belief, 90% of companies, in my opinion, bring in a VP of sales way too early.

[00:20:20] I think you could do with a director. Um, level, sometimes even a manager level to coach the team, guide the team, motivate the team, pump them up, work on a little bit of the process with the founders, work on really hammering out that playbook with the founders, but bringing in a half a million dollar VP of sales.

[00:20:38] Um, that’s a big nut and that’s a lot to undertake because it’s going to kill your burn rate unless you have the systems. The strategy in place to either really, really drive an increase in revenue or really, really drive an increase in efficiency. 

[00:20:57] Jared Robin: What, what KPIs, um, would you look at as that founder, like just monitoring.

[00:21:05] Yeah, ease. 

[00:21:06] Adam Jay: What’s what’s a KPI? No, I’m kidding. Um, so I think there’s a lot of things you need to look at. And I think this is where a lot of founders go wrong as they’re just thinking sales KPIs and they don’t realize that marketing sales success all have to work together before you consider bringing in someone senior.

[00:21:23] And certainly as you look to grow your org. So it starts with how many leads are we getting and where are those leads coming from? Um, and what are the best performing lead sources? Then you move into of those leads, how many of them are turning into sales accepted, right? There’s a big difference between a lead and a sales accepted lead of the sales accepted lead.

[00:21:47] How many of those are turning into opportunities? So now we’ve taken that whole top of the funnel and we’re going to understand are we targeting the right people at the right time with the right message? Fantastic. That’s done. Now you’re in the hands of an AE of those opportunities. How long are they taking to go from stage to stage?

[00:22:07] Do you have clearly defined stages with very clear entry and exit criteria? That’s a big mess with a lot of companies is if I ask you what stage three is, it’s going to be very different than what someone else tells me stage three is. So do you have that entry and exit criteria? What is your average selling price?

[00:22:25] Are we seeing consistency across the board? Are we seeing consistency in the amount of days to close and ultimately it’s all of those critical conversion rates that we need to look at to make sure that deals are flowing through in a scalable and repeatable fashion than the one thing where I think people don’t spend enough time and this is hard in startups because you don’t necessarily have a year.

[00:22:49] Two years, three years. What is that churn rate? So while you can’t understand churn rate initially, listen, if you come at me eight months after you’ve founded your startup and I ask you your churn rate and you have annual contracts, you’re going to tell me, Oh, our churn rate is great. No one’s ever left.

[00:23:06] Okay, big deal. They haven’t left yet. So what’s the next question? How many daily active users do you have? How many monthly active users do you have? How long are they spending in your product? What’s the value they get out of your product? You got to ask that to everyone. And as a new sales rep, sales leader, sales VP, you best be on the phone asking customers that as well.

[00:23:31] Jared Robin: So there’s a lot to do as a founder, which is why 

[00:23:35] Adam Jay: fracking, I’ve seen one of the reasons why fractional 

[00:23:37] Jared Robin: became popular 

[00:23:41] Adam Jay: is a popular, 

[00:23:43] Jared Robin: there’s a few folks, do you think, um, 

[00:23:47] Adam Jay: Oh my 

[00:23:47] Jared Robin: gosh, I, I, I have, uh, I don’t know if it’s provocative or not. You tell me, did, did, did the need of early stage companies for not hiring fractional, uh, not hiring a full time leader, create the fractional market or did a lot of early stage VPs becoming disenfranchised with early stage.

[00:24:15] Life and being hired at the wrong time, create that market, 

[00:24:20] Adam Jay: I would argue, probably in my opinion, in my opinion, more of the latter. I think almost every great revenue leader that I know has worked for multiple startups with multiple founders who were very, very well intentioned. And that’s an important thing to note here.

[00:24:45] I don’t think that 85% of founders are anything but well intentioned. I don’t think they wake up and they’re like, Oh, how many people could I piss off? And what could I do wrong today? And I want to run through like a bull with a china shop. I think those who do run it around like a bull in the china shop are doing it with pure intention.

[00:25:04] But what happens is you don’t know what you don’t know. Nothing changes if nothing changes. And they’re creating these environments where They’re being told by their VCs to go out and hire someone to lead sales, to lead revenue, and they’re not ready. And then they get in and I, I have personally had this happen to me.

[00:25:30] They don’t know as a founder, how to understand the numbers because they’re not a revenue leader. And they’re giving you numbers that are inaccurate. I’ll give you a perfect example. I asked a founder in an interview. I’m like, Oh, so how many customers do you have? And she’s like, Oh, we have 227. It was like 227, 229 customers.

[00:25:51] Wow. That’s great. How much AR do you have? Just under 2 million. Pretty awesome. I didn’t know then to ask. I know now how many of those customers are paying. So they were monthly. There was no contract. How many of those customers are paying customers? Well, that dwindled it down to 82. How much of the big number, how much of that revenue has been collected?

[00:26:18] Never think to ask that they were counting monthly subscriptions that were going unpaid as revenue because the customer had not emailed and said, I want to cancel. So they were recognizing revenue that the, Oh, is that’s the right answer. Big no no. That’s the biggest 

[00:26:33] Jared Robin: one. I don’t mind the 82 out of whatever.

[00:26:35] You could fix that. But the, the not 

[00:26:37] Adam Jay: recognizing the money coming in. Biggest no no. But it wasn’t ill intentioned. And, and I realized after I left the org that it wasn’t ill intentioned and I, I left. Pretty pissed off and pretty upset. Like I felt like I was lied to and I was deceived. And you know, I, the founder and I spoke and I, I stayed on as an advisor for a long time afterwards.

[00:26:57] It’s, it’s what her, it’s how her VCs told her to spin the story to get a sales leader in. Wow. Um, so she was taking the advice of her, of her venture capitalists, but had no understanding of how to really look at the numbers. So when something like that happens to a great VP of sales or a great c r o at early stage, Over and over and over again.

[00:27:18] We finally get to the point that it’s, it’s twofold. It’s number one. I’m never going to do this again where I’m going to put blind faith into someone. And then to me, my main guiding principle is I want to help as many founders as I can not make the mistakes that I’ve seen because what those mistakes do is multifaceted.

[00:27:39] Number one, it kills your reputation in the community, both from a product standpoint and a personal standpoint. Number two, Your burn rate goes sky high number three, your dilution goes sky high. And when you go to raise again, you’re going to raise a shit round because your numbers suck. So if I can help founders not struggle with that by implementing the right processes, the right playbooks, the right systems, the right messaging upfront.

[00:28:09] Then I feel like I’ve done something great. 

[00:28:12] Jared Robin: Are you seeing, uh, VCs warm up to the idea of fractionals coming in? 

[00:28:17] Adam Jay: I am. Um, so I’m working, Dale and I are working with a client now that is VC back series B $53 million x, y, Z company outta New York City that I can’t disclose. Um, but part of the process was getting their VC’s blessing.

[00:28:32] Um, so I think that VCs are, Because they don’t want that burn. They don’t want to see it go wrong. And it’s a lot easier to say, Hey, you know, we’re going to spend 15 to 20 grand a month for six months on the right person to get this done right. Um, before we hire someone full time, cause the numbers work out to roughly the same, other than the fact that, you know, a fractional person isn’t fully loaded, so you’re not paying benefits, insurance, you know, workers comp and all that other stuff, but you’re going to get that process.

[00:29:04] Set up properly. The other part that I think is really, really appealing to the VCs, specifically with our model, um, is a couple of things. Number one, we don’t want you to be a customer forever. I don’t want to string you along for 9, 12, 18 months and have you. I want to work with you for arguably six months and then wind down over the next three.

[00:29:26] And then I’m going to help you find a really great VP VP of sales. Yeah. Um, and A. E. S. Through our network and P. S. You’re not gonna pay a recruiting fee. So when you have a founder that goes to, you know, the board and they’re like, Hey, I need 100, 000 to pay 20% of, you know, X, Y, Z salary, that’s a hard sell.

[00:29:46] But when that 20% gets you my services, plus that same recruitment, now it becomes a much easier sale. 

[00:29:54] Jared Robin: It’s a super interesting, uh, space being built, right? Like with that, and I spoke to another person that places sales reps and then trains them, not quite building the full. 

[00:30:05] Adam Jay: I love Hamish. We could talk about him directly.

[00:30:10] He’s incredible. And his model is different. 

[00:30:13] Jared Robin: He might come into my co working space in due time. I was talking to him today. 

[00:30:19] Adam Jay: But his model is different. You brought it up, so I’ll, I’ll dig into it. He will recruit them, but it’s kind of a fractional model. Yeah, absolutely. Yes. Yeah. He, he’s just doing it in, in a backwards way than we are not backwards wrong.

[00:30:35] He’s just, he’s doing the recruiting first, the training second. What I love about what he does is he has a vested interest on like most recruiters and listen, I have recruiters that are friend, my, my kids, mom’s a recruiter. Um, Most recruiters don’t have that vested interest beyond that initial three month period where they have to replace them.

[00:30:52] When you have someone who is saying, I’m going to recruit this person and I’m going to train them for you. They’re not going to hire someone that’s going to a shit show or a shit show to train because that’s on them. I love this model. And he’s a good human being. He’s a 

[00:31:10] Jared Robin: sweetheart. Um, it opens up to, uh, a bigger thing because now you’re seeing fractional BDRs, fractional everything.

[00:31:18] Like, 

[00:31:19] Adam Jay: is, is this just, I don’t, I don’t believe in that. Um, I think that’s just 

[00:31:24] Jared Robin: an excuse to underpay, 

[00:31:25] Adam Jay: right? Yeah, I think it’s an excuse to underpay. I think that you’re not going to get the results you want when there’s certain roles that I do believe need to be full time in house. I think that it’s one thing to have someone working on your business, working on your strategy for several hours a week.

[00:31:41] It’s another thing to have an outsider who is doing BDR work for you for an hour and BDR work for someone else for an hour. Um, I think a lot’s going to change. Yeah. In the BDR space, I think a lot’s going to change in the sales space and networks are going to become much more prevalent and important.

[00:31:57] Um, I’m not sold on the fractional BDR model. Yeah, 

[00:32:01] Jared Robin: I, I, I think I’m not either. Um, but it’s, it’s going to be interesting dynamics. Like within the six months you work with somebody. Like what, what’s a reasonable success metric to, uh, strive for, 

[00:32:20] Adam Jay: you know, that’s, um, that’s a loaded question. Um, typically I guess it depends which, yeah, it does.

[00:32:26] They’re, they’re not nine times out of 10. They’re not tied to revenue. Um, to be totally honest, they’re tied to an increase in revenue, but that percentage is highly variable dependent upon how engaged. The founder or leadership team is with us, um, dependent on how much of the process is built out when we start or not, um, to me, everything starts.

[00:32:51] We have 127 question diagnostic that we run our clients through, um, super simple. It’s it’s a rating scale and it lets us know where to focus. Um, and then we have a playbook of over 65 different items that we want to complete throughout our engagement. And that’s everything from, you know, we talked about ICP and buyer persona.

[00:33:09] We’re going to build out your, your initial messaging. We’re going to build out your nurture messaging. We’re going to go through, um, objections and rebuttals. We’re going to work on building your job descriptions to make sure that you’re getting the right talent. We’re going to help you hire. There’s so many things that go into what success looks like at a high level.

[00:33:26] I would say it’s a hundred percent completion. On that playbook being complete so that when we leave, everything is set up in a repeatable manner. That revenue is growing the other success metric, Jared. And the only 1 that really counts to me revenue up into the right is important. But when we’re done and I send you that link to leave a testimonial, will you unbiasedly leave a 5 star review?

[00:33:50] If you won’t. We have not done our job. 

[00:33:55] Jared Robin: That’s good for folks to understand, right? That are, that are looking to hire a fractional or, or build out their team. I’m curious what keeps you up at night on behalf of your clients. Cause you’re in a, you’re in a unique position. It could be nothing, right? 

[00:34:11] Adam Jay: No, it’s, it’s, it’s not.

[00:34:13] Friday’s off. So I had this illusion when I went to work for myself that I was going to take Fridays off, um, that lasted about three weeks. I do try to do no meetings Fridays, but there’s too much work to be done. Um, what keeps me up at night? Um, multiple things. So we’re working with typically early stage startups, right?

[00:34:32] So if you have an AE and part of what we’ve been brought in to do is help you scale and grow and train that AE. What if that AE quits? What if that a sucks and that a quits now and I had this happen to a friend of mine a quit. Well, we don’t need you anymore. What the, what do you mean you don’t need me?

[00:34:50] You haven’t built anything outright. We can’t afford you because we have no business coming in. Um, is what that comes down to making sure that our founders are. Not getting the pressure from the VCs to grow at all costs. Um, and that, that doesn’t come back on us that we’re not going to come in one morning and it’s going to be great.

[00:35:13] Our VCs just said, you know, we need a six X revenue, you know, in the next three months. And if you don’t do that, you know, we’re going to have to terminate your contract. That keeps me up at night. Um, and making sure that my clients are satisfied and feels that, you know, we are moving in the right direction and having progress.

[00:35:31] One of the things I think that Dale and I do that is unique that most people in our space don’t do. Everyone has a 30 day opt out in our contracts. If you’re unhappy for any reason, 30 days, opt out, really forces us to stay on our game, right? We collect payment at the start of every month, but we don’t get six months up front.

[00:35:49] You, like, and, like. 30 day opt out. So you have to be successful. And that means that we have to constantly be moving that needle up into the right, whether that be in a revenue standpoint, whether that be in a playbook completion standpoint, whether that be in an understanding why people are buying our product standpoint.

[00:36:06] At the end of the day, we have to see progress because we Can be fired at any point in time. 

[00:36:14] Jared Robin: It’s a good thing though, with the 30 day opt out, because if they’re going to be a difficult client, you’re weeding them out fast yourself. Right? 

[00:36:22] Adam Jay: I mean, so the clause used to read that they, they didn’t have an opt out other than for cause we always had a 30 day opt out as the fractional leader.

[00:36:34] We always have the ability per the contract to say, listen, like, you’re not doing what we asked. You’re not involved, et cetera, et cetera. Like, this isn’t a good look for us. This isn’t working. Whatever. Like, we’re out. What we’ve done is trying to be more approachable to founders who are hesitant of working with fractional leaders, because sadly, the word consultant and notice I haven’t used it once other than in my damn company name.

[00:36:58] Um, the word consultant has a very dirty, dirty connotation with it. Um, we’re working with a client now who’s like, I don’t want to consult him talking with my customers. Um, so we’re trying to flip that and turn it that like we are an extension of your team, right? At the end of the day, I want everyone on your team and your customers to look at us as an extension of your team.

[00:37:21] And that’s hard from a context switching standpoint. Like, Going from a company who’s in healthcare to B2B SaaS to packaging all in one day. Like that’s three different personalities. I literally have a collared shirt that I keep in my, in my office for when I’m dealing with healthcare. Um, so that context switching is hard, but I think, you know, to allow people.

[00:37:43] To build trust to earn trust. Um, we’re asking people to spend a lot of money with us. Um, and with that, you know, has to come trust and trust isn’t given. Trust is earned. 

[00:37:54] Jared Robin: Agreed. Now, in regards to the future, what excites you the most? Whether period take it any direction you want. I’m curious. 

[00:38:04] Adam Jay: My, my child turning 18 in six years and me being able to travel the world is the first answer.

[00:38:09] But you travel 

[00:38:10] Jared Robin: the world with him, or you 

[00:38:11] Adam Jay: try to? No, he’s gonna go to college, um, when he’s 18. And we, we travel now, but when I say travel, Jared, I mean like, we’re moving out of the house and we’re living 30 days in different countries. Um, like really. Travel the world. Um, what excites me professionally, I think that we’re finally seeing a realization and how to grow and scale responsibly.

[00:38:31] I think that everything that’s happened over the past year and a half, um, has not been, yes, it’s troubling. There’s been a lot of layoffs, but I don’t think it’s like, oh, my God, a catastrophe in that sense. I think it’s we are right sizing. We are getting to where we should have been. Um, and correcting the mistakes that we made.

[00:38:52] And it’s horrible. It is sad. I know many people who have been laid off, but I think that what it’s allowing for us to do is recognize how businesses should be grown the proper way. Um, slowly, steadily. Responsibly, um, without this growth at all costs mentality. So that excites me. Um, and I’m, I’m going to go a little controversial here.

[00:39:18] What excites me also is the consolidation. Um, I think that you’re going to start to see all of these platforms that do the same thing, get gobbled up by others. Um, and you’re going to have, you know, one or two clear winners think, you know, in no particular order gone, Clary outreach sales loft Falcon.

[00:39:35] There’s a bunch of these companies out there that arguably all do the same thing. Um, you’re going to start to see some consolidation. I think some are going to gobble up some of the others. Um, and you’re going to get one or two clear winners and that’s going to require people to get really good at what they’re building.

[00:39:52] Um, and I’m, I’m excited to see what gets built. 

[00:39:55] Jared Robin: All right. So we’ve learned a lot about how you’d help transition from founder led to sales led. And then also like, you know, figuring out the whole future of, um, Fractional and current state as well, and in the future in general and traveling, I’m curious to know more about you, Adam.

[00:40:15] Like, uh, if, if you were to have a dinner party and you can invite one person alive, dead or fictional, 

[00:40:27] Adam Jay: who would it be? Or fictional. Um, 

[00:40:30] Jared Robin: I have to add fictional cause, uh, there’s a, there’s a lot of good 

[00:40:34] Adam Jay: folks. You, you didn’t prepare me for this one. Um. We’re going to get a little emotional here. If I, if I could invite one person, um, I’d invite my mom.

[00:40:46] My mom passed, um, six months ago. We hadn’t spoken in the better part of two years because of some addiction issues on her side. Um, I found out it doesn’t matter how I found out, but I found out well, well, well after the fact, um, and hindsight being 2020, while I couldn’t have changed. Her addiction, um, there was so much that went unsaid and an addict is an addict, right?

[00:41:16] You can’t change them unless they want to change, but no one should ever leave this earth wondering if someone loved them or not. Um, so having the chance to have that conversation, that’s where I’d go.

[00:41:34] That’s where I’m prepared for that one. Were you? 

[00:41:37] Jared Robin: No, that was deep. I was, I was thinking that you were going to give like Ken and Barbie and Ken or something, but that was, uh, no, that, that, that’s more potent by far. And, um, you know, I’m, I’m exploring now myself. Um,

[00:41:54] You know, being multi sensory, meaning, you know, outside of look, feel, touch here, um, the connection with others, you know, the, the true karma and, um, and, and, and the oneness and, uh, it’s, it’s pretty humbling and incredible.

[00:42:18] Alright, let’s, let’s tell me about what you love to do outside of 

[00:42:25] Adam Jay: work. Oh, it’s all my kid, man. Zachary, um, Zachary is my world. He’s 12 years old. He is a avid basketball player. He’s on a couple travel teams, a rec team. Uh, so we spend a ton of time at basketball. Um, we’ll be there tonight. Practice from seven to eight on a Tuesday.

[00:42:41] It’s lots of fun. Um, my wife and I love to travel, um, typically. So we do a week off, week off with Zachary, with his mom when he’s not home. Uh, one of those two weeks a month, we are usually somewhere I’m actually gone for the majority of the rest of this month, starting next week, um, and all of September as well.

[00:43:03] Uh, so traveling’s huge and I’m a huge foodie, man. Love to cook. 

[00:43:08] Jared Robin: That’s awesome. Now. One piece of advice that you’d give to your younger self and you could give it to Zachary, 

[00:43:14] Adam Jay: what would it be? You have two ears and one mouth for a reason. You don’t know everything. Shut up and listen. How could 

[00:43:21] Jared Robin: people get in touch with you, Adam?

[00:43:24] This has been a great, uh, this has been a great talk and so happy that we were able to see who Adam is. outside of scaling. 

[00:43:31] Adam Jay: I appreciate it, man. Uh, LinkedIn. It’s Adam B as in boy. J A Y. Um, and stay tuned for something super special. It’s revenue hyphen reimagined dot com. That is where you could find all things.

[00:43:43] Jared Robin: I am bullish on what him and Dale are building with revenue reimagined and their fractional, uh dot com. Business that they have. It’s spectacular. You’re helping people that need to be helped do things that they wouldn’t do without them. Um, thank you all for, uh, for listening and thank Adam. Thank you for coming.

[00:44:01] Adam Jay: Thanks for having me, man. I appreciate it. 

[00:44:03] Jared Robin: And for everybody listening, if you enjoyed this, share this, like it, um, come back next week. We’ll be here again. Thank you all. This is another episode of revenue today.

[00:44:17] Thank you friends for joining me. That was another great episode of revenue today. If you’re looking to listen to more episodes or for the show notes, go to RevGenius. com. For all my friends in the RevGenius community, it was awesome to spend this time with you. Please DM me any feedback or ideas for future podcasts in our Slack channel or on LinkedIn.

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