Mark Kosoglow – Catalyst Software – The Power of Working in a Consistent, Data-Driven Way Every Single Day

Quote of the Show

The biggest enemy of success is expectations. When you have all these expectations, you act entitled. My first job, you know what my first promotion was? If you didn't screw up too much, you get to keep your job. Do you know how many raises I got in my first 7-8 years? None. But you know what, I was able to learn a lot and I was able to grow. - Mark Kosoglow

Key Takeaways

  • Building a culture that fosters trust and partnership at work is essential.
  • Don’t act entitled to your expectations.
  • Identify your ICP, develop sequences, and sort out objection handling while also optimizing along the way.
  • A consistent approach is required for a team of people to produce consistent data that is valuable.


[00:00:00] 1, 2, 3, 4, sales, marketing, and rev. It’s sink or swim out there. And yesterday’s strategies and tactics won’t help you today. This is revenue today, and I’m your host, Jared Robin. Join me as we interview revenue leaders in our community to learn what steps we could take, right. To help you scale yourself and your company.

Revenue today is sponsored by Rev Genius, and we’re on a mission to bring inspiration and creativity to all revenue professionals in the world.

Wanna shout out our sponsored demand base Demand base to Smarter GTM for B2B brands, they help marketing and sales teams spot the juiciest opportunities earlier and progress them faster. By injecting account intelligence into every step of the buyer journey and orchestrating every action. For more information about demand-based, [00:01:00] visit demand-based dot com.

Hey friends. Today’s guest of revenue today is the former VP of sales at Outreach and current Chief Revenue officer of Catalyst. Welcome, mark Kolo to the show. What up, Jay? It is a snowy day in Pennsylvania today. I’m watching the inches accumulate as we speak . So you, you have quite an awesome journey and we’re gonna dive into that.

Like I, I, I want to help revenue generators learn from you today, but you spent about eight years at Outreach Mark from early on until past the unicorn status, right? What was the most important lesson that you. You know, I had somebody just ask me this the other day, and it’s a hard question to answer because there’s so many lessons I learned, like tons of stuff.

Well, a few that, that, that are like guiding principles. [00:02:00] Well, I’ll tell you, I didn’t boil it down to one, but it’s gonna seem selfish and self-focused. But sometimes those are the most important lessons that we have, right. The thing that I learned most is like, I know what I’m doing. . Like I’m not crazy. My ideas work.

If I trust in them, have confidence in ’em. Take ’em to execution. You know, usually things happen and I think that like just confidence in myself is probably one of my biggest takeaways from my time at Outreach. Now, how did that confidence develop? Because Mark, eight years ago, is different than Mark today with, with ideas too, right?

Yeah. I’ve always been, I think I’ve always been confident, actually. One time did a talk on the difference between confidence and pride with a group of business people. And now I don’t think I’m prideful, but I think that, you know, when you do things, in a a large company [00:03:00] where you have limited impact, your ability to innovate and move fast and do crazy stuff is somewhat limited.

Versus a company that has unreal growth expectations good amount of funding a good product, and really wants you to like, kind of push the envelope, then that’s when you can see like, do you have what it takes to live in that environment, which is extremely rewarding or. Are you more suited for, you know, managing a process in a team versus like blazing a new path?

Like at Outreach, you know, an example is like, I did SDR stuff, like nobody had ever done it before. And now I guarantee you, vast majority of SDR teams do the things that I innovated on eight years ago because everybody uses outreach. And outreach was developed to, you know, support those processes. And I talked to so many people, but like, you know, I would never have thought I’d have been able to do that eight years ago.

Well, yeah. And you talk about working for a company with lots of funding. [00:04:00] Outreach had that catalyst is on the path to getting that, but before raising 489 million, at least according to, to Crunchbase, right. You, you probably just had one or two. , right, man. Way, way back in the day. Like walk, walk me through the grit and determination needed because Yeah, I mean, because there, there’s different stages to a company, right?

And you earned opening those doors up. H how’d you get there? Yeah, I think I’ve told the story a million times. I can tell it again if you want me to, but like, . The gist is, is it’s a one in 10 billion chance that I get to meet Minnie Medina. That we hit it off, that he trusts me to do some stuff, and, you know, that he accepts my offer to work on a hundred percent commission and, you know, the product is good enough for me to create some initial sales that start to add up really quickly.

We did about a million dollars of sales. You know, in that first like six or seven months, and then that really got us some major traction and [00:05:00] started the, you know, a series of, of raises that resulted in the number that you just showed. But like, In the beginning though, you’re right, it’s just grind like, I think people think, well, you know, outreach was always this thing and like Mark went to some office and he opened up his, you know, company sponsored MacBook and put on his job headset that they paid for and he’d taken a flight out there on Outreach’s dime.

And that’s not really how it worked. Like the way it worked is I used my own computer. I sat in the parking lot of my son’s gymnastics gym. . And from five to eight 30 while he was practicing, I’d crank out sales calls based on meetings I’d set during the day, and I would sell outreach from the driver’s seat of my car with the seat all the way back.

And that we probably signed the first three or $400,000 like that, you know? And then I started to do stuff from my off my home office during the day, and I was in the middle of Central Podunk, Pennsylvania doing that. Not in San Francisco. [00:06:00] Not in Seattle. Not in some big. I was just taking the leads that Manny was giving to me as my first S D R.

and and then I was doing my sales thing on ’em. And then, you know, we got enough traction to be able to start to build out a team. And then I was super lucky that my first four sales hires were all complete legendary rock stars, and stayed with me for at least three and a half or four years.

And some, one of ’em is still there after eight years. So that’s a you know, that’s kind of what got the ball rolling in that way. But yeah, in the beginning, Sitting in my kids’ gymnastics practice in the front seat of the van. , you know, cranking out tech sales with people on the phone. , yeah. Stealing their wifi.

You, you could have been still at Nittany notes, right? Which is , you know, nobody knows about Nittany notes. Jerry, that’s the secret. As, as a Penn State alumni, I know about Nittany notes. You know about nit notes. You go Penn State, anybody that went to Penn State knows about Disney Notes. What, what, what some folks don’t realize [00:07:00] is there was a period.

1998 to 2014, where you weren’t in high growth technology companies, right? Oh, no. I was the furthest, I was the furthest place from that. I was in Nittany Notes, was a locally owned business by a guy in my church that just had a good idea and built a. really nice, you know, sole proprietorship type of business that just happened to become part of like the cultural fabric of Penn State for probably 25 years.

And if you, like you said, if you went to Penn State, you knew about NI notes, you bought it at least once, if not all the time. And it was a great little business where I learned a ton of stuff from. But then after that, man, I went into like selling stuff to schools. Up and down the East Coast like it was, there was no technology.

As a matter of fact, my last job, right before outreach, mostly what I was selling was paper, homework planners to school districts. I mean, that’s pretty rad. That ain’t tech . [00:08:00] Now you, you know what’s interesting, you know, folks, you know, the, the many leaders will attribute their success to, to good hiring, right?

And, and, and hiring based on, you know, their experience and their track record. It’s so interesting cuz you come on as. and commission only rep, essentially picking. How, how’d, how’d you pick outreach as, as where you wanted to take, make this bet? Why was it them for somebody else? Well, well, so it’s kind of, you know, weird.

I’d always, I always was like a techie nerd and always like, trying to do stuff to become, to automate my process. So, , the job the two jobs I had before Outreach, I did a couple things. One is I constantly tried to use technology to make my job easier and was pretty successful in that. And, and, you know, because of that I was always listening to tech podcasts.

Like I listened to this weekend Tech and I listened [00:09:00] to Jason Callan’s first podcast way back in the day, and I listened to those all the time as I was driving my three or four hours in a car. So I felt. Even though I wasn’t in tech like that, I was in the know of what was going on, how it worked and, and all that kind of stuff, which, you know, maybe was somewhat true or not, but like I knew that that’s a, a path that really was interesting to me.

I didn’t see a way there though. I mean, I, I was living in a town of 5,000 people in central Pennsylvania. in coaching my kids’ soccer teams at night and like hoping that I could make 80 K that year, which would make me a big dog in that tiny little town and make sure my grass looked good. You know what I mean?

That was kind of like my life trying to figure out like, well, do I need to buy some real estate? Like how do I like get myself out of this rut? And so, I was starting to write sales blogs in order to, you know, just really almost as much for me as for anything of like, how. How do I think about sales?

What do I really believe? What are the lessons I’m learning? And somehow some [00:10:00] dude in New York City read it and I helped. He called me and I helped them out, and it was really valuable to him. So he introduced me to Manny, who he’d met by doing something weird, something or other. And when I met Manny, I, and I saw what outreach was, even when it was way back when, when all you could do basically was.

A sequence of automated or manual emails, and that was about all you could do. Mm-hmm. . I thought, I, first of all, I became terrified. Like, if I don’t have this software and my competitor does, I don’t know how I’ll win cuz I can’t outwork ’em anymore. And then the second thing I thought was like, this is like what my system is in technology form, because about a month or two b prior to that, I’d met with one of my reps in Northern.

And he’s having pipeline problems. And we literally opened up that like, you know, Hampton in whiteboard in the conference room. And we said, all right, on day one we’re gonna send an email. On day three we’re gonna make a phone call. On day four we’ll leave a, [00:11:00] we’ll call again and leave another phone call.

Then on day six we’ll do, and we wrote out a sequence and we created a spreadsheet to manage it. And his pipeline went nuts. He sent it so many meetings he had, we had to turn it off. So I introduced it to my whole. , same exact thing. The only problem was, is after two or three weeks, they couldn’t manage the system because it was just too much to juggle too many things.

Everybody’s out in a field sales role. It was just very difficult. When I saw the technology, I was like, this is my thing, but these guys have built it, and I just got so excited. Like I knew I had to be a part of it somehow, and so I was gonna buy it. Then my whole team got laid off. Oh, Manny and I became friends.

Yeah. They kept me. . But Benny and I became friends and I was kind of helping him on some sales calls and coaching him a little bit. And then then sure enough, he he I said one day, why am I not selling outreach? He said, we can’t afford you. I said, I’ll do a hundred percent commission. I mean, what did I care?

I was like, my whole team was gone. They hadn’t given me anything to do. So, I, I did that and then you doubled. Let them fire me. Yeah, I let them fire me. They got a severance too, and [00:12:00] then that made sure that I was successful. But I honestly, We had set up a nice commission structure for me in the beginning, and I was selling so much outreach.

I didn’t even need all that to be honest with you. Nice. But it was nice insurance. So what, what’d you learn from hiring your first people? You know, going back to hiring that, that’s quite a, a grit latent story that you have. How’d you find those first four? And, and, and how have you carried that to, to catalyst for your hiring?

I’m, I’m like super lucky. I think it’s cuz I’m like a, a mostly a positive person. I like to have fun, I like to work hard, you know, I like to really, you know, enjoy people. And so over the years I’ve accumulated what I call my squad. It’s like people that wanna work for me and you know, now there’s dozens.

Back then there were still quite a few, you know, a handful, 10 or 12 maybe. So I called my Mike squad and I said, listen. I know this sounds crazy, but do you trust me? And I was like, if you trust me, like I think that you will go, you’ll [00:13:00] make so much money and we’ll be so successful and we’re gonna have so much fun.

And I’m gonna like, change your life. And I had three people I knew one that worked for me for maybe two or three years and had become, gone from being a teacher to the best sales rep I’d ever seen. The other one was a longtime friend who had worked for me at my company previous to Outreach, and was a, just a strong, thoughtful performer.

And then another one was a, a, somebody that I’d known for probably 15 years. I knew him since he was like 12 years old. And I’d given him my sales territory when I had left my previous job, and he had taken it better and I asked him to come over and those, those three people plus a referral. I got from a, somebody I really trusted who I, we went through a ringer to hire him, but those four came over with me and we had a, you know, a good commission plan that was probably, Crazy, but like, you know, it was what we needed in the beginning to get started and it didn’t last forever, but we brought those people in and [00:14:00] this is how they turned out.

Jared, I’m actually about to do a post on this. One of them stayed with me for almost four years. Yep. And was at one in the time she left, she was the number one rep ever at Outreach. The second one left and basically retired. He now runs a school for his church and that’s all that he does now.

That’s awesome. The third one retired and became a pastor and because he made so much money and then the fourth one is still the number one all-time ae at Outreach and he’s still there. And so like I, you know, that’s pretty nice. The, the one that left early is cuz she got a job offer that was so unbelievably good that like she, she had to go take it.

And so like, it’s, you know, it’s kind of, it’s kind of fun to look back on how well we did as, as a group. And that was like my key group. We added a few more along the way and when we got to 10 million bucks, we probably had like, I think nine to 12 reps. F seven or eight of ’em stayed with us for a long time, and that’s because we created an awesome culture, awesome [00:15:00] work environment.

And so the same things happened in the Catalyst to finish your, your question. Yeah. I’m, cause I’m thinking you had some circumstances that that just added extra. Grit that, that you probably don’t have now because you’ve spent so much time successful. So now success and, and not saying you weren’t successful there, but, but mega’s successful Mark, right?

Like, going into here, how, how do you recreate that with your hires? Well, I’m a in, I like to be in the dirt with my hands dirty. You know, I like the high level strategic stuff, but like if I need to go coach a rep, like I could probably get more buzz outta that. Would rather go do that than like go sit in another executive meeting, talk about stuff and.

You know, again, like I’ve, I’ve come here, I’ve, I’ve hired the best frontline manager I ever worked with. I hired one of the best reps that I’ve ever worked with. I was able to help bring over my product marketing partner who he and I like, did a ton of the outreach messaging over the years together.

And, and so, you know, [00:16:00] I, I think that, you know, catalyst, first of all has a unique proposition and opportunity. That attracts people. But I also think that like, and like, again, I don’t like to tipt my own horn, but I think it is true. It’s like, it’s very, I, I create a fun, high energy working environment where you’re gonna grow and you’re gonna learn and you’re gonna learn how to like do your job like a fricking pro.

And we’re gonna balance the how do you have freedom, but how do you have accountability at the same thing in a really good way, I think, and I’m gonna demand the best of you, but I’m also gonna believe that you can be your best and. I, you know, I think, yeah, it just kind of creates an op, a place where people come to work.

But then I’m really honest with people. I usually try to talk people out of it right before they take the job, and I’m like, listen, it’s a grind right now. Like, I’m working, I don’t know if I’m working more hours than I did at Outreach, but like the thought work that I’m having to do is much more complicated right now across all the different stuff.

And I’m like, that’s where, how it’s gonna be for a while. Like, we don’t got some of. Stuff we developed at Outreach, you’re gonna have to come [00:17:00] figure it out and help me build it again this way and take the learnings that we had and do it a little bit different and a little bit better. And so that’s I think people get drawn to that.

Once you, you know, people can know who you are and feel your energy and it vibes with them. I noticed that outreach still has, I believe, a state college S D R. Unit or at least a couple reps. Right. There’s probably, well, a couple have just left, but I think there’s probably three or four people in this area that still work at Outreach.

There’s probably, there’s been a total of probably 25. And some of ’em have gone on to like leading the sdr, all of SDRs at CrowdStrike, 300 people across, wow. Nine different locations generating hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue. I took him from being a back office guide at a Verizon wireless store to get, putting him in a position where he could do what he had inside of him and.[00:18:00]

he wrote that to what he’s doing now, which is just like, blows my mind. And you know, there’s probably like a dozen stories like that of people here in central Pennsylvania whose lives like completely changed. Do, do you think there’s something to that? Because when you hire folks from certain areas and certain backgrounds, , it appears often that the the will is is there do, do you, do you see a correlation?

Yeah. All the first SDRs I hired, almost all of them were in their early thirties. Mid thirties. And then the second wave I hired, most of them were like people with kids that were like in their forties, but they all lived in central Pennsylvania. It was the best job they’d ever had. Free snacks at work. Oh my God.

Plus you’re making more money and. It was, I got people that were so thankful and grateful to have a job. Like I didn’t have a discussion about a promotion or a raise for probably two years cuz they got their promotion and their raise from their crappy job as [00:19:00] an assistant manager at Walmart or a bartender at Red Lobster.

And those are some of the first people. My, I hired a bartender from Red Lobster. That became a world class s d R. Then we moved him over because he always, he had a degree in, I think it, and we moved him over into security and now he runs security for some like hotshot company in Silicon Valley. . That dude was tending bars when he was 24, 25 years old, not starting a sales.

And so like that’s, I think you can do that with people. If you find hungry people that are smart, wanna work hard, there’s definitely something to that. And, and without you know, for hiring people from the valley, they, they want. To make a certain amount of money or, or quote unquote, need to, they’ve preconceived notions with, you know, where they were with other companies or, or the space.

There’s something really beautiful to being able to mold somebody without all of that, right? I don’t, this is entirely true of our tide. Believe [00:20:00] this, I’m gonna make a very, you know, crazy statement is like the biggest enemy of success, I think is expectations. and like when you have all these expectations, you act entitled instead of like, you know, my first job, do you know what my promotion was?

My first promotion was you didn’t screw up too much. You get to keep your job. You know how many raises I got my first seven or eight years? None. The way I got raises, I sold more. Mm-hmm. . And you know, you know how many time my titles changed the first eight years, like zero. and like, you know, but you know what, I was able to learn a lot.

I was able to grow, I was able to provide for my family. I did make more money based on my effort and like, you know, this kind of, and I’m, you know, I don’t know if I’m too old school or whatever, but like getting a promotion every six months, just, I don’t, I don’t know. I don’t know how you can learn. in six months to understand how to do something so well that you should get promoted.

But, you know, maybe that is the case. Maybe I’m just too old school. Well, are are you [00:21:00] seeing, like with, with attrition right in, in leadership in, in reps at an all time, you know, short stint mode, is that becoming hard? From where you’re hiring from? Like, or, or do you think you don’t notice it as much? I think there’s some really because if you have a rep performing and, and you’re not giving them that promotion, there’s a mindset now, or, or was with the great resignation at least.

Right. And, and some of that’s carried over that they could be making more. . Well, if you look at the great resignation like that was I think the trickle down effect of like, we can raise a hundred million dollars and be a unicorn and we don’t even, haven’t even done 10 million of revenue yet. And like why is the company, why is the CEO all of a sudden a multi-millionaire?

And like, I’m the one doing the work. I should share in some of that. And I honestly like that probably is very true. [00:22:00] Right. And that probably helped with some of the expectations and stuff that people had. We’re not in that world anymore. No. And so I think, I think a lot of people that resigned in the great resignation took a job making 50% more than the people that were already at that job, because that’s what the market dictated.

Are have, have either already or soon will be looked at by their C F O and wondering like, why the heck are we paying that mu person so much money? And I think that that’s a lot of, that’s gonna backfire versus, you know, I never, I asked for a raise in eight years at outreach one time. That’s cuz I was moving from central Pennsylvania to Seattle and my mortgage was gonna quintuple and I asked for them to cover the difference in my mortgage.

That’s the only raise I ever asked for. Never asked for a promot. . I just put my head down, did my work, and thought my work would speak for me. Now, that was a mistake in some areas. Mm-hmm. and I should have advocated for myself more. But I th I think for me personally, in my [00:23:00] situation, that’s how I’m comfortable doing things.

Like I’m gonna just grind and my results will speak for me. I like that. And, and, and I subscribe to that too. And, and there’s ways that I’ve been burnt with that, but overall, , you know, spiritually with the greater powers, everything will work out. You took over your current role at Catalyst, you’re at 1.9 x pipeline coverage, which is yeah, for 20.

Yeah. You all, you all weren’t closing 60% right. at the time. So where that would’ve covered, ITT didn’t have 60% one rates, so mm-hmm. , we did a, we did a great job in q3, which I came in at the last month, less than a, less than a month left to go. We had a, our. Our most tenured rep had a huge deal with a huge logo and he closed it and got the quarter, which no that’s not how I would do it all the time, but sometimes I say, oh, you gotta do it

That’s that’s stepping in. [00:24:00] You know what, Right. And then my thing coming into this quarter, The things that we put in place hadn’t taken into effect enough yet to affect the pipeline coverage coming into the quarter. So we had a little bit of a gap and we had an aggressive goal go after. So there was always probably gonna be a little bit of a gap and, and

But listen, man, the team has rallied and we just got an update last night from my director of sales, and I think that we’re gonna beat our number by, you know, as much as 10%, just real strong execution. And this is your first quarter. or second quarter there? That’s my first full quarter. Yeah. Wow. So yeah, we’re rolling it back.

Like how would you bridge that gap? Like, like what steps did you take? And, and I know you had an awesome LinkedIn post on this. This is helpful because other others are in this exact same position right now. Yeah. You know, the first thing I did when I came to Catalyst was I looked at the [00:25:00] pipe G and thought, I think that there’s some efficiencies we can create there and some extra productivity.

It wasn’t bad, but I thought there was potential there. And then when I got in and met the actual SDRs, I was kind of blown away and I’m like, wow, we could blow this thing off if we really like. Get these people engaged cuz we have four unbelievably talented SDRs here. And so we uncorked them, we showed ’em some process, we created some expectations, created some accountability around that, and then let ’em loose.

And they were doing 75% the productivity of a bigger team, 75% more productivity than a bigger team have been doing for months. And so that was that was a quick win that started to help develop. Pipeline that started to really take into effect like around November, like around Thanksgiving, like I started in October.

We started this six week pipeline push sometime in late October, and it went through basically Thanksgiving. AEs participated in that too, which [00:26:00] was really key. So did the executives, some of that process. . It sounds like you just taught your team the grit that the other team you, you recruited for. That’s pretty cool.

Yeah. Well, I mean, first of all, it was like what is your icp? Yep. Like do you have those accounts? Are they assigned out? Are they being worked? Like, that’s like number one. And we, we, I went to my customer success success leader, and I. Show me what our greatest customers look like. And we developed the ICP from that customer-centric perspective, and got those all loaded up.

Our rev ops guided did an awesome job figuring that out. Got those out really quick. That was the first step. Second step is, all right, who are we going after? Then we looked at the personas and we made sure that we are going after the right titles and the right people right now, asset now. Now you gotta have the messaging.

You have the right messaging. So that’s when we created a sequence. That I had seen this kind of structure, this kind of language work really well. And so we put in that sequence. Then we spent two or [00:27:00] three days in a room together and we’re like, They’re like, we don’t do cold calls right now. Like we will do cold calls.

This, let’s pick a methodology. We picked a methodology. Let’s write out the script together. We write out the script. Let’s this, what are the objections we’re gonna get? Let’s write out the ejection handling. All right. Now, you know, it does, it also helps that like the first time your team makes calls that they book their first meeting within 10 minutes of being on the phone.

But like that’s how. The world works when you do the right things. Mm-hmm. , right? Mm-hmm. . And so that created a lot of belief. And then we just we’re, now we got a new channel that was, could be optimized and we’re booking meetings through that we weren’t accessing earlier. Then we start to look at, right, what are the daily expectations?

And we agreed on those as a group, and then we held everybody accountable to those every single day. And then if they don’t get caught up by the end of the week, and they’re simple things like put this many people in sequence. make this many phone calls and no overdue tasks. Like that’s the three things SDR does that they’re gonna probably win.

And they’re not winning. You can coach ’em on their cold call, their [00:28:00] email or whatever, as long as they’re, or just make sure they’re using the right sequence. Then we lock down all the content. We only have like two or three sequences we use. That’s it. That’s all you need. Right? And so there’s a series of steps like that that we took that were very pragmatic that, that an SDR was.

it redefined what the SD R’S expectation was. They still get comped on meetings held and all that kind of stuff, so that didn’t change. But what they were trying to do is they were trying to get meetings held. If they didn’t get a meeting set and held, they felt like failures. And what I did is I brought it back to if you just put people on sequence, make your phone calls, and you do your tasks, you will eventually get the meetings and you can go to bed at night.

I did a really good job today cuz I did those three things, and if you do those three things every single day, if you don’t succeed, it’s my fault and I will take the blame and I will work to support you through that. But if you don’t do those things, it’s your fault. And you [00:29:00] shouldn’t work here if you don’t wanna do those things.

And so we kind of moved the ball back earlier on the field to help them understand that like, I can go to bed at night feeling like I really did a good job if I did my three things, whether I booked a meeting or not. Cuz Mark’s got my back. That was the most, that was the biggest learning years ago when I was a rep or, or the biggest feel good moment.

I had a manager that once said if you do these things, these process things, , I’m gonna shield you from the sun, from, from the higher ups. Hmm. Because I have such faith in this process working that if you do this and your numbers are off, we’re good. We’re good. You’re, you’re, you’re good here. If your num right, like if your numbers are on, you could, you could hide from anything.

Assuming you’re not doing any deal breaking type of things, you could hide from activity related stuff. Right. and Hey, Jared, is this a is this a video podcast or just audio? There’s gonna, the video’s recorded as well. [00:30:00] All right. You want me to show you something? A framework? Yeah, please. Exactly.

And you, you know what’s funny, mark? What, what you’ll like under that manager, I became the top selling rep in all of the company at FedEx. Of course you did. Grinded. And I said, you know, This guy was a nice guy. I thought, I thought he was fine, but now that he has my back, I’m going to work. Yeah. For some reason the video is flipped.

I don’t know if I can, it says way in results on the left and, and way underneath. Yeah. Way on the right. Right. So this is a simple, I can’t, I can’t, A guy from CenturyLink taught me this when we were selling to him, and I thought it was, it’s just always stuck with me. So there’s there’s two ways you can do things your way and my way,

Right? And there’s two types of results that you can get bad and good and explain for the audio part of it. Where everything is on the [00:31:00] axis. Yeah. So X axis is, starts with your way and it goes to my way. Y axis is results and it goes from bad to good. And then you divide those things up into four quadrants.

So what happens if you do it your way, Jared, and you get bad results? What happens? That’s a hundred percent on me for accountability and, and I have to reap the consequences. , right? You’re gonna get fired, most likely fired . Right? If you’re doing it your way and you’re getting bad results, you’re gonna get fired if you’re doing it my way or, and what I mean by my is not Mark’s way, but like the company’s way, the way we’ve agreed to do this together.

If you do it my way and you get bad results, what do you think you’re gonna get? You’re gonna stay and you’re gonna get coaching. You’re gonna get coaching. That’s exactly right. You’re gonna get coaching. Cause if you’re doing it my way and you’re getting bad results, that’s on. right now. If you’re doing it your way and you get bad results, you know what you are, you’re risky [00:32:00] because you don’t know what you’re doing.

Well, if you’re, if you’re your way, I can’t help me get good results, you mean? Yeah. If you’re doing it your way and you get good results, you’re risky, you’re, you’re always about to fall back down to bad results. And I can’t help you because you’re doing it your way. I can’t like help 200 reps. I’ll do it their way.

I have to have a way. Right. And guess what happens if you do it my way and you get re results, you get. . And so like that’s the construct that people need to kind of think through is, is like, you know, the thing that everybody wants is data. And everybody wants data-driven decisions. If everybody is doing data-driven decisions are doing things a different way, the data is inconsistent and nobody can draw any conclusions from the data and you can’t apply a help that helps everybody cuz everybody’s doing things differently.

So the only way to get a team of people. To produce consistent data that can actually be valuable and to help each other out is to have a consistent approach without a doubt. And, and now what about the rep [00:33:00] that wants to experiment doing it a better way? How do you, how do you recommend mm-hmm. , you know, because, because this rep.

Could potentially be your next All-Star manager. And you need to enable them. You need to enable that person because otherwise they feel stunted because there is a chance that your way isn’t the best way. Let’s be real. All right, so first of all, I love this person that wants to do it their way, but wants to make sure that they’re not breaking the consistency of the data.

And a, a quick story about what I did at Catalyst is I put in a. That had crushed for us at outreach. The structure, the language, you know, it was obviously, you know, per or customized for catalyst situation and personas and whatnot. And about a week and a half in one of my SDRs was like, mark, I’m getting a lot of unsubscribes, like more than I normally get.

And I was like, really? And I was like, I don’t, no, lemme go check Do then subscribes off the charts. [00:34:00] And that’s because my way. Wasn’t the right way. So the first thing is, is like you gotta make sure the leaders opened up. So what we did is we went back to an email that highly performed and like everything fixed itself like immediately.

And we, we got a little, our persona doesn’t like quite as aggressive follow ups. We like. Well got the stage it or the steps a little bit more spread out and that immediately picked up our results. So the first thing is you gotta stand up and say, Hey, I’m not getting the results I want to with your way.

And somebody has to make sure that you’re doing that. The second thing is, is somebody wants to experiment. That is cool, but you go and you say, listen, I’d like to run this experiment or like at here at Catalyst, like we have a way of saying in our SDR meetings or whatever, this is an experiment I’d like to propose.

And then we agree on we’re gonna do it. Who’s gonna do it? And then we measure it and we see if it works. If it works, we automatically do it and everybody does it. If it doesn’t work, then we know it doesn’t work, and we move on and keep doing what we’ve always done. But you piddling around by yourself. , [00:35:00] it doesn’t have the visibility and nobody’s gonna be watching to see if you work and nobody’s gonna believe your anecdotal story about how it works.

So say, Hey, I got a experiment I wanna run. Can me and two or three reps go wrong with this? I will say yes to that like almost a hundred percent of the time, but I’m gonna say you write it for four weeks. and I wanna see the difference between what you did and what your peers did. And then we look and if it’s a winner, everybody does it.

If it’s a loser, then we just move on. And I think that, that the, if you don’t have leaders that help you with that kind of stuff, you should leave your job. Cause then you’re stuck. You either, they’re either task master and it’s just like, do it my way. Or they’re like, however y’all wanna do it. And there’s no way that they’re, you’re ever gonna find your way.

You mean you can find your way, but it’s just really hard when it’s all by yourself. Nice. Now what? , what’s the biggest myth, like debunk, the biggest myth you see from revenue leaders in revenue today? Like, like how they’re acting? What, what? What the space is like debunk it. [00:36:00] I think, I don’t know if it’s a myth necessarily, but I think that most revenue leaders only pay lip service to the importance of customers when it comes to.

and they’re like, oh yeah, we can’t lose customers cause duh, that’s kind of obvious, but they don’t really believe it. They don’t act in a way that’s consistent with that. Like if I believe customers was really important the, in my first round of layoffs, why does the team that gets hard hit the hardest, the C s M team?

Like it’s inconsistent behavior and talk. And so I think that what most of them are unwilling to. is that, or maybe don’t even know, is that they’re playing a recurring revenue game. Mm-hmm. using a legacy software purchase strategy and, you know, that kind of like, you know, old thing where I buy the D V D from Microsoft once every four years that has all my [00:37:00] office updates on it and I install it on my computer and if I wanna skip an update, I don’t have to pay for it.

I can still keep using it. You know that perpetual licensed software model is still too directly influencing the current recurring revenue model that most companies say that they are, they’re trying to do, they’re just not doing it correctly. That’s the biggest thing I see wrong when I talk to revenue.

Do you think it’s cost? They’re optimizing for the wrong. metric or kpi, I think it’s because they know acquisition much better than they know post-sale success and revenue expansion and stuff like that. And so they tend to go to what they know with and invest in what they know because they’re gonna get a known quantity out of that.

But I think that that’s become very tenuous in today’s economic conditions. Like acquisition is really slowing down and elongating. We’re seeing it in everybody’s metrics. So you better find a different place. And I think that that’s where a lot of ’em are coming up with, oh, well we need to help with expansion.

What do we do? Verse, and then what they say, well, yeah, I can’t figure it [00:38:00] out. Like let’s just pour money on acquisition. I need more top of funnel stuff. Marketing. Give me more leads. I don’t think that’s the answer right now. So, yeah. What, what, what are the important KPIs that they should be measuring?

Well, I mean, I don’t think there’s any kpi I’m gonna say that is gonna be revolutionary or whatever. Of course, of course. Like everybody’s tracking N R R right now. But you know, how much impact does someone actually have an individual person have on N R R? Like, let’s look. , let’s look at a customer that’s having troubles in your product.

They could be having troubles in the product cause they recently made a change that nobody could control. That now our product doesn’t really support that change. Mm-hmm. And we can’t overcome why our product. should not allow that change. So now they’re operating in a way that nobody can control. It’s just out of the, out of the thing.

That happens a lot. Maybe there’s a functionality that they realize they need to have, that we don’t. That you don’t have, and they’re not getting as much value, but that could happen. Maybe their entire sales team or marketing team gets laid off. [00:39:00] You can’t control that. Right. Lot of the NR stuff is uncontrollable.

Mm. and what we, what we do, and we set that up as like the biggest metric. What ends up happening is, is people feel defeated because I can’t control what’s going on and I can’t win. And so we have to be really careful about what we tune our teams to, to make sure that they can control it and that the inevitability of control of that thing leads to the outcome we want, which is better.

N R r I like that. Now Mark, what, what are some challenges? Right now, as an early earlier stage, c r o a catalyst, you’re, you’re going through right now that’s keeping you up at night. What’s something I’m going through right now that’s keeping me up at night? Nothing. I sleep like a baby every night, dude.

Why is that? I don’t because I give up a hundred percent. You know, like I’m, I’m doing my best thinking, giving my best work. I don’t, I work from home. This [00:40:00] is my home office right here. I get in my seat about 7:00 AM I don’t leave until five 30 or six, and people can call that hustle cu hustle culture or grind, or whatever they wanna call it.

I call it like, my company pays me a lot of money and I owe them to do a hard day’s work every single day. And so, like, am I nervous or anxious about how things will turn out? Yep. But like, you know what? Like I know what they are. I’m working on ’em really hard. I’m trying to do my best work, my smartest work.

So if they don’t turn out my way, like I, there’s nothing I can do about it. . Like if I was like, well, you know, I, I like, I gotta workout in the morning. I gotta do this, this, this. I get in about nine 30. and you know, like I have to take my hour to lunch for myself and then, you know, like, I got this and this and this, so I gotta leave at four 30.

Like, you’re not, you’re not putting in the work, you know, unless you’re just a really, unbelievably, I can focus for three hours and get eight hours worth of work done person, which I don’t think that there’s many of those people out there. So I [00:41:00] hate to make it be that simple and I hate that it’s kind of old school or whatever, but like, that’s my personal truth is if I sit in this.

work hard and work smart. Like I don’t have anything to be nervous about. Now, I mean, some people will work nine to nine, right? Or nine or or 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM and that’s fine for some of them. Yeah. I couldn’t do that. Right. Well, but like what I would tell you is that like that, the terminology I use, that’s called work life harmony.

there is no work-life balance. Like sometimes my family needs me more, sometimes my job needs me more. My job is to find the harmony in doing what I need to do between the two. And they’re constantly pulling or pushing demands. Yeah. I mean, mark, what, what, what excites you the most about the future in this space?

So, you know, outreach was a powder keg. It to me, it was like a case study. , this new role that everybody is experimenting with and wants to [00:42:00] invest in to create more predictable revenue to stereo still Mary Lou, Tyler and Aaron Ross’s books, you know, ideas like this s d r thing, right? We feel like this could be something big.

So that’s being created and figured out. It’s being, it’s being. staffed by a bunch of early stage career people that don’t necessarily have the discipline or the understanding of how to do the job and because people are trying to figure it out. Like there was just a lot of ambiguity of what to do. And then, you know, so in that crossfire of also now the, the explosive growth expectations that investors have for every company cuz of Amazon’s and all those kind of.

it created like the perfect confluence of things for outreach to create this thing called a sequence. Mm-hmm. , which is how to get an SDR to work in a consistent, data-driven, disciplined way every single day to get massive results to fuel growth is like [00:43:00] perfect. So that was like boom, powder keg, like I just, like I said, one in 10 billion.

The sdr, the SDR roll came out. roughly the same time in in, you know, it’s important to note, because I got into tech in 2013, so I could say this was certainty right around 2013, 2014, my leadership said, how would you like to have SDRs? And I’m like, no, because I thought it was gonna take away from my commissions because we were full cycle, right?

Like, yeah, I didn’t know what that meant. I thought that it made them less reliant on me and made me more vulner. in some ways. Mm-hmm. . So I think, I think it’s important to note that there were no, the, the function of SDR came out right around that time too. I did some work with David Delaney, who I think is a real historian of SD R stuff, and I think that he estimates in the 2014 range that there was like 10 to 20,000 str, and now there’s multiple hundred thousands, right.

So that it was just getting started [00:44:00] now. I think what I’m most excited about Catalyst is I see something similar, but I think maybe more powerful. I see a a way of doing business, a go-to-market strategy called SAS that is 20 years old, and that people are just now really starting to understand the importance of customers in that equation, and that that’s starting to become a talking point and things that people are exploring to figure out, but like nobody really has an answer yet.

I see a C S M or customer success post sales role. That’s not like a all in one ae, probably like you are Jared, where you would source ’em, you’d close ’em, you’d success ’em, you’d support ’em, you know, well, for great price of $77 a year. , right? if you did 300% of your quota and one week off. And so, the CS or post sales roles that are specialized have only been around for 20.

And I think they were, we’re just now starting to see some of the thought leadership, best practice stuff that, the way that I [00:45:00] communicated is like I could go on LinkedIn right now and see at least 20 posts on how to start a cold call. Not the how, the whole thing, just how to start it, but there’s zero posts on I, I’m A C S M, about to do a meeting with a at-risk customer that wants a big discount.

and I would argue that that conversation’s way more important than how to start a cold call. But nobody’s helping these young people see that there’s no content on it. Actually, there is a content on that. Cause somebody heard me say it so many times, they actually did a post and like, Hey Mark, here’s the post.

You keep saying that doesn’t exist. It exists now . And they went through it. It was really good. But so that no catalyst reps creating personal brands with exactly this starting next week, . Okay. So there’s that, that CSM role I think is begging. for a proper seat at the table and best practices in how to do it.

And though thought leadership and stuff is just coming to ba mm-hmm. be. The third thing is this ubiquity of data warehouses and product data, but nobody can [00:46:00] turn that into something that a rep can use to action, to, to do better performance and have better productivity. So they just kind. Doing what they’re doing.

And then the last thing is, is the current economic conditions require faster, cheaper, easier, less risky growth vectors to invest in. So the confluence of those four things to me, after, you know, I’ve probably had 20 or 25 companies that wanted to hire me as a cro. I explored all of ’em and looking at those market conditions and everything, and then looking at all the other players in this space, it was clear to me.

Catalyst was taking a new and different approach. So that’s what I’m most excited about is like every week I call my c e o and I’m like, dude, I nailed my decision to come here. Like this market is begging for a winner. It’s begging for a change. It’s begging for modernization. It’s, it’s begging for investment and, and we just have to do and show that we’re the people that are worth taking, taking what they want to give us.

We could end right? Like that. Mark, [00:47:00] how could people get in touch with you? I’m on LinkedIn. I post almost daily you know, mark Kolo if you wanna search for me. And yeah, I’m I, I respond to most of the dms and you know, try to do my part of being a, a healthy part of that community. And plug Catalyst.

Catalyst is what you’re most excited about, essentially that opportunity there, . And that’s, that’s pretty rad when, when you find that place. That you could work at, cuz let’s be real. Work for most of us is a necessary part of the equation. Combines with what you are most excited about the future, you found a, a great home.

Thank you for, for coming today, mark. And thank you all for, for listening. This is another episode of Revenue Today, if you like to share it. We look forward to seeing you next time. Thanks again. Whoa. Another great episode of Revenue Today. For show notes, links and mentions, visit revenue for all my friends in [00:48:00] the Rev Genius community.

Thank you. It’s been awesome to spend this time with you. Please DM me any feedback and ideas in our Slack channel or on LinkedIn. If you’re not in Rev Genius, join [email protected]. It’s free and it only takes like two seconds, and you’ll be joining a group of 27,000 revenue professionals strong. We’ve got it all.

Looking forward to seeing you there. Catch you on the flip side.

Become a RevGenius member today.