089 - Sales Hacking Meets Partner Hacking - A CrossPod takeover from PL[X]

What is up PartnerUp!?

The SalesHacker OGs join the PartnerHacker newbies for a moment to never forget. When SalesHacking meets PartnerHacking. Scott Barker and Max Altschuler of https://www.saleshacker.com/ talk about what it means to have a partner led sales force.

Max tells how he hacked his way into the Dreamforce conference by renting out an apartment near the conference and hosting meetings from the apartment. He describes the hacker mentality – generating more revenue with less resources.

This episode was recorded LIVE at PL[X].

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Full transcript:

Jared Fuller  0:11
All right we're live what is up partner up? I've been waiting for this one for a long time because we would not be here today at partner hacker without the oh geez the OG himself Max all to share from, you know, founded sales hacker and Scott Barker, someone who's been a longtime friend and a guest on the podcast early, early days, like almost two years ago. Max and Scott, thanks so much for joining us at the pls summit on sales day. So good to have you.

Max Altschuler  0:36
Thanks for having us.

Scott Barker  0:38
totally happy to be here. Ready to chop it up?

Jared Fuller  0:41
Yeah, Scott, where the heck are you again?

Scott Barker  0:45
I am in Porto, Escondido, Mexico. Doing a little work by the beach. A little surfing. Lots going on right now though. So pretty locked in.

Jared Fuller  0:56
At least Max. Max. What about you that looks like a Marriott?

Max Altschuler  1:00
It is a Fairmont. Thank you very much. The pier Santa Monica Pier.

Isaac Morehouse  1:08
Gosh, we got to get a hurricane outside the window here in St. Pete. Week. Yeah, yeah, it's totally week. So I want to see some people who are watching live. Give some emoji love. If you are a sales hacker fan. Or if sales hacker has been any part of your career edit any value. There we go. We got some hearts coming in. I love those emojis.

Jared Fuller  1:33
Yeah. Or the new newsletter and podcast.

Isaac Morehouse  1:36
GTM fund. Yes. GTM. Fun, huge shout out. Yeah,

Jared Fuller  1:40
we've got a lot of love from that as well. Scott,

Isaac Morehouse  1:43
great. Let's go back in time, though. I want to I want to go back when when you first started sales hacker, like a lot of things that I think are taken for granted. Now were very different. Can you paint like a picture for us of what was the sales professional? Like, what was the landscape? Like? What was the community? If there was one, like there was not

Max Altschuler  2:04
much I mean, there was I didn't even know existed. But I found out a little while later, but there was like sales, sales to point out and aisp American sociation of inside sales professionals, kind of more old school organizations, they had a lot of enterprise folks, I'll give them that they had, you know, folks that I think a lot of tech companies would call non ICP but you know, outside of, of tech companies, head of revenue operations for Amtrak or Kimberly Clark or things like that unsexy businesses, but that made a lot of money. But there was not a lot of focus on sales technology, which is, you know, what we wanted to focus on. And I think we hit that wave at the right time. You know, I was one of the first customers over at a company called tout app. And that was early, early sales engagement product. There was yes, where there was seismic. Yeah, there were I mean, other than that, I mean, it was like Salesforce and LinkedIn Sales. Now, there wasn't that much. And we started in 2013, we started sales hacker. And then I think in 2015, was really the inflection point where we started to see a lot of funding go towards sales technology. And, you know, I've written a LinkedIn post on this a couple months ago, but I think it was like spring of 2015. But outreach had raised their seed round like $2.3 million seed SalesLoft had raised there a like a $10 million a tied up and raised there be like a 20 million from like, Andreessen Yes, where I'd raised there B, which was one lottery or something like that, yeah. Like 30 million. And then there was Gainsight and raised a ton if you want to include them there. There was inside sales that raised like 150 million from Salesforce and Microsoft and a bunch of others. I know I'm missing some companies there. So I know seismic did around in that in that timeframe. She just started seeing a lot a lot of money go towards sales technology. And I think like we we didn't really have that much innovation for salespeople since Salesforce, like maybe sales nav was really the only other thing so we were right for that level of disruption and marketing had had its cycle about five years earlier when you saw HubSpot Marketo logo responses, exact target Pardot you know all have outcomes. So sales was was do sales budgets were coming from marketing like sales didn't really have its own budgets now. Now like people have sales tech budgets, but back then it was like, hey, marketing, can we get some dollars to go spend on this thing? Like it's gonna make your number look a lot better. And, and I think that that worked out but yeah, it was different times. And it was still you know, we say the bull market was from like, 2010 to last year till 21 Basically, but even then, like things weren't that bullish like it. Nothing really popped popped until maybe like 2018 1920 and then things went crazy, but Even back then it was kind of it was still hard to get a seed round up, it was still hard to raise money. It was the there wasn't a ton going into into tech. And so it was an interesting time for us to start that business and even doing trade shows and sponsorships and stuff like that was tough. I think if you continue running sales hacker on its own, you know, through 2018 to 2022, like that would have been a great time to go reach out and grab all these budgets, I felt like we were for like the last at least two or three years in one of those machines where like, there's money floating around, you just gotta like go and grab it. Budget. So we'll see, I mean, the media company stuffs gonna get harder, I think, next year and an after, with companies being a little tighter, but it just means media companies need to do a better job of, you know, showing, showing that value. And I think, you know, at sales hacker we we were onto something there I mean, we we were sending people leads and really placing people in position to go find new technology and bring in revenue for software vendors who are just starting out.

Isaac Morehouse  6:12
It sounds it sounds so familiar to the partnerships people we're talking to right now when you're like, hey, look, the sales team didn't even have their own budget for their tech they had to go ask marketing that. How familiar is that? Right partner people like yeah, there's different tech I need to use PRM whatever and they gotta go ask somebody else. Yeah, they're going

Jared Fuller  6:29
in you know, begging, borrowing stealing for reveal or partner stack or crossbeam or something like that. Go home to Sales Team at their number and they're going to their CRO. And we got some I want to knowledge we actually got some dope people in chat right now people that you probably know, Max, I was just gonna kill Brian chat, Matt Cameron.

Max Altschuler  6:46
People. I have great respect for admirer that were speakers, iron. Legends legends, Gil and Matt, if you lost the mic on your side. That'd be awesome.

Scott Barker  7:04
All right, Max, you start juggling my What? What what's up? Gonna do some jugglin While we get it back online?

Max Altschuler  7:12
I don't Yeah, I guess I could perform what she was saying.

Scott Barker  7:19
Let's do it. Alright, let's talk about that. Let's talk about the idea of the concept of partner led sales. You know, what is that? What does that mean to you? And how is that different from the landscape? You were describing? You know, back in, you know, 2015 and 2013. When you when you started this? Now, what, are we back?

Jared Fuller  7:45
We're back. Yeah, we're

Max Altschuler  7:46
good. Scott. St.

Scott Barker  7:50
Yeah. I was I was asking you. I was asking you,

Isaac Morehouse  7:54
Jared. Yeah. Jared, hold the cord out. Yeah, yeah. We were off, we're off. We're back.

Max Altschuler  8:02
What was the question?

Scott Barker  8:04
The concept of partner led sales. What does that what does that mean to you, you know, versus 2013 2015. You know, most people running Predictable Revenue playbook, you know, everyone seemed to be doing, you know, up, cranking. And now there's this idea of, you know, partner but sales that seems to be sort of the the next wave maybe mixed in with a little plg What's your take on the landscape?

Max Altschuler  8:33
Yeah, um, you know, we did an investment into crossbeam. And, you know, we looked into, you know, quite a bit of partner tech and stuff, I think crossbeam and maybe one or two other deals we ended up doing, but yeah, for which one Cabal? Cabal? Yeah, love Cabal. You know, for us at Outreach, I think we would want to like one of the first folks to do it really? Well, I know Jared at Drift. You were running a really good operation over there as well. But we leaned on that big time. Like I was on a podcast, I think with Paul yet boy from from Sastre the other day, and he is like, main question was all about the stuff that we were doing where I always came to the table like a general manager, for like a sports team. I looked for like, deals, street team trades, things like that. Like how can we all do like a win win here. And we got the I remember when we got the sales engagement domain, we bartered like two webinars with the sales consultant who was you know, who owned the domain instead of paying in cash because like, we didn't want to spend the money. But I think like from a partnership standpoint, like your customers are our potential customers, our customers are your potential customers. And I always looked at running sales hacker as a real threat to my business because like, if I'm a vendor that's complementary to outreach, would I rather pay to be at outreaches customer conference than to be at like at sales hacker, if that's the case like how do I make our sales hacker events so much better to be up, like at a higher standard, and our events always had to be profitable, where their events can be loss leader. So like, you know, outreach or sales loft or any of these companies that did raise a bunch of money could have like Shaq be the keynote, Beyonce do the after party. I had to go have box box lunches, like I had to go have Mark cranny do me a favor, you know, or jail or Matt or somebody and be the keynote speaker five and I couldn't go afford to pay somebody 50 Because we come to conferences, so

Jared Fuller  10:33
100% That's what we're all here. We're, you know, remote right now. Like, you know, we partner hackers had to be a profitable business from day one. We didn't have luxury.

Max Altschuler  10:42
Exactly. But but like to Scott, to your point, your question, like I always thought that was that's like a great go to market. And it was almost like a threat to my business, because it's one of the best go to markets is to just go and your, your lowest hanging fruit is complementary vendors. So you know, if I'm, if I'm outreach, I want to know, who highspot There was a customer of highspot. That's not a customer of mine. That's going to be the low thing. Right? So like, how do I go and get that information? And then, like, facilitate those conversations that need to happen to get them on? And then yeah, I think we saw a lot of companies try to stay independent. And like work with both vendors equally. So like highspot Would, would work with us and SalesLoft to, you know, to support in sales cycles. But I don't really know if that's the best practice. I don't know if it's like, let's just work with everybody. Or if it's like, let's just go really deep with who we think is going to be the winner here and, you know, build GTM together?

Isaac Morehouse  11:44
That's a great question. I'd love to hear Scott and Gerrits take on that. Well, I

Jared Fuller  11:47
think these are I would bifurcate that between partnerships and alliances, right like alliances like you are you are betting on a winner. Right? So like my panda doc story was like I bet on HubSpot winning SMB CRM, right, that was my alliance. But I partnered with Insightly, Pipedrive, copper, you know, prosper works wherever that they're called. I mean, you name any SMB CRM I partnered with, but my alliance was with HubSpot. So like I didn't pick a winner, so to speak, in terms of like, going all in. But I partnered with everybody. And I feel like these are, you know, they're different levels of investment. So I think it's both actually Max, I don't think it's a dichotomy. I think you should you should be able to do both, unless you're directly competitive and like, you're literally taken food,

Isaac Morehouse  12:29
like how often

Max Altschuler  12:31
you should integrate with both, but do you have joint go to market? You know, with both? And and do you let that be known? Also, or are you like, duplicitous? Like, are you sitting there telling both of them that like, Hey, we're just working on this special go to market motion? But you actually do. Because I assume that all the time, and then that leads to that leads to better leads nowhere? That leads to ultimately bad things? Because then nobody wants to work with you like, so yeah, I mean, like, I listen, I've running marketing and outreach from like, 25 to 100 million arr. I, I, I focused on a lot of this type of stuff. I thought we did a really interesting way. But I don't know if that was always reciprocated the same. And there are definitely vendors that I thought did it well, and vendors that I thought didn't do it very well. So totally, totally. I don't know where to go with that. But yeah, no, no,

Scott Barker  13:26
my two cents on that is I think you got to play nice, you know, in the sandbox with everyone at the beginning, because you want you need to find out, you know, who's going to be the biggest kid in the playground one day before you make that that bet. But you know, once you've clearly identified that, and one partner is, you know, maybe they don't even have to be the leader, maybe they're just the one that really leans in the most. And you you've tracked the number of introductions and you know, actual deals that you've co sold together, you know, you can, you can start doubling down slowly, you know, partner led sales to me is just sales. Now, you know, there's no lone wolves and in sales anymore, those days are long, long gone. And if you don't have a partner or a trusted advisor bringing you into a deal, or like helping you open doors or helping with the velocity of that deal, the likelihood of that deal getting done are slim to none. And likely, you won't even get a chance to have a shot on goal, you know, especially if you're trying to go out market. You know,

Jared Fuller  14:27
Alex, what episode was Scott, let me know. So if you haven't listened to it, you actually got to go listen to the partner episode I do with Scott on his role at Outreach, which was strategic engagement, which I thought was the right approach to all of this, which was just like, look on a deal that we shouldn't lose. How the hell did we surround this account? Right, whether it was a partner by name, or it was, you know, the husband's board member, right, like no matter what it was, like, Where can we get some influence to tackle this account with more than just this AE that like, you know, man, she's a certified quota killer, whatever. She doesn't have any influence over that CRO of a $500 million revenue business, she really truly does it. But there might be two people that does. And I thought the way that you frame that and thought that way, you know, Scott was like, it's very much a partner led approach, so to speak, but it was not by those words, and not by that name. And I, I mean, in aggregate, I bet those deals where the strategic engagement team was involved, I'm assuming your win rates were higher,

Scott Barker  15:28
way higher. And I mean, it resulted in literally 1000s and 1000s of warm introductions to enterprise accounts, executives, we could directly fly to the top of the mountain and get our CRO talking to their CRO, our CEO talking to their CEO, you know, I would urge everyone to go listen to the, to the episode because I broke it all down. But you know, essentially, the, it was about the amount of value, revenue and pipeline that is just sitting nascent in most companies networks is truly insane, especially in Tech where everyone's jumping around so much. So I would urge everyone to broaden the thinking of what it means to be a partner, you know, a partner can be a community member, can be a friend can be a VC can be a board member. And, you know, truly spending the time to unlock those networks. You know, future that's the future in my eyes, you know, it's building networks, understanding networks, building content that drives community and community generate revenue. I think that's where we're at

Jared Fuller  16:39

Isaac Morehouse  16:40
So I want to briefly I want to ask you about, you know, sales hacker, you got hacker in the name. So you're, you know, hacker is like finding really resourceful ways to do things out of the box and solve problems on the fly. I saw one of you post on LinkedIn, this story about I think it was a it was either Sastra conference or a Salesforce conference. And you couldn't afford to like officially officially like host a room or a table. But you have this amazing hacky, can you tell that story? I think it's so amazing. I love these stories.

Max Altschuler  17:11
Yeah, Dreamforce. You know, everybody had booths, which were very expensive. And then they had like lounges where they rent it out restaurants for a couple days, also very expensive, 50 to $150,000, whatever it is, and we couldn't afford do anything. But we wanted to have a presence at Dreamforce, because we were we were a sales media company that we should have presence there. And our way to hack that was, we kind of found out that if in all these luxury high rise buildings, they have lounges, and you can if you're if you have an apartment there, you can rent the lounge. And if you rent an apartment for a month, it's like a short term rental, you can rent the lounge. So for like, I think it was like eight grand a month rent to be in one of these high rises, which expensive rent, that's really expensive. I couldn't afford eight grand a month to, like have an apartment. But for this, I factored it into like the cost of the event. So you pay k to rent the place. And then you could rent the lounge out for like, I think was like $100 An hour or something like that. And it was like a maximum, eight hours a day or whatever. So we rent it out for like three days in a row. And then we would go to Costco a couple days before, grab a bunch of stuff like snacks, pastries, whatever it happened there, orange juice. And then we would do Mimosa as we had some champagne in there. So we would do like little brunches. And then we catered in each day, you know, just like breakfast burritos, or whatever. And so people can come like start today, they're gonna go to meetings there. We had, like a couple of sessions of content there. And it was just in his lounge at this apartment building. But the apartment building was right on the corner. Third admission right above Grove cafe, really, we were overlooking, we had the best location. I mean, you couldn't get a better location than that. And we'd sell sponsorships to it. And we would end up netting out like I don't know, 50 grand, every year profit on getting real estate and a presence at Dreamforce. So again, like just find ways that we find ways to hack the system. And hacker was born a sales, sales hacker, the whole hacker mentality was just generating more revenue using less resources. And that's ultimately what we had, you know, early in my career Udemy was we didn't have resources that everybody else had, like, I had to figure out how to build an SDR team using virtual assistants in the Philippines. And, you know, that was that was it. I didn't have budget for STRS you know, I didn't have I couldn't pay people 60k a year or more whatever it was.

Jared Fuller  19:44
I mean, this mentality I think is I've heard some feedback in the market that like and I might have even heard either of you or both of you say this like hey, you know, at the peak of the bubble, which you might not have known it was the peak of the bubble at the time, was like man, you know hacker in the name like I would have gone back and renamed it because it has this connotation of like, you know, X, Y or Z. But at the same time, sitting at where we're at right now is your roots, man. But no, hold on, hold on. I'm getting to it sitting out where we're at right now. I feel like there's a lot of people that are going to have to realize that they need to go back to being a hacker because guess what, the budgets are gone, the layoffs are happening. And we're in for a long run, folks. And, you know, the sales hacker Oh, geez. And the stuff that Max is talking about right here and the stuff that we're for modulating like, you know, hacking is back at style baby.

Max Altschuler  20:34
It needs to be. I mean, yeah, people are gonna have to figure out how to be more scrappy, and conserve cash. And, you know, figure things out, can't just throw money at the problem like it could when you knew the next round was guaranteed, and coming in short order, and, you know, the tides have gone out. And so we'll, we'll see where it shakes out. But listen, I thought, I thought some of the stuff that we did early on in the business was really cool. I do think that I could have been mature, more mature about running the business, I think my regrets boil down to not hiring a CFO early enough or at all, and, and operate operating with a little more, I'd say business maturity and, you know, putting money back into the business to, to fund focused efforts, like a lot of times I think we threw a lot of things at the wall to see what stuck and then like would chase that thing. I don't know if that's the best way to do it. So like, in hindsight, you might have done that differently. But I was you know, mid 20s young kid had a good cash flowing business and I was having a lot of fun honestly, like, couldn't pick a better profession to to run a company like a media company like that. And who doesn't want to hang out with a bunch of salespeople are like the most fun people, right? Like, better than doing like a CISO conference, right? Oh, my gosh. Like a GC conference, I can't imagine being in a room full of legal folks all the time.

Jared Fuller  22:08
I was uh, I was trying to I was trying to steal the former head of events from drift Jana Erickson, which I heard I had a lot of fun. I Scott, you know, Jana, right.

Scott Barker  22:20
I know. Well, yeah.

Jared Fuller  22:21
I was trying to steal Jana. I was like Jana, come run this thing with me. And she was I had her on the one yard line. And I was like, Janna, you're running events right now. For CISOs let's be real when you go home at night Are you really that excited to come on get over here come over here with a water warm and have some fun with a you know we're like partnerships meet sales meets marketing you know the go to market side right the fun side. actually want to I want to pivot the conversation to combo I've had a couple of times with an individual you may or may not know. Tiffany Bova so Tiffany was the Gartner's number one analyst of all time, hurt thanks to Joe rally in chat. Tiffany has been able to develop a relationship with me because she's she's been a channel chief for a fortune 500 company. And she's helped the sales See, so she gets it. She has a good perspective. But one stat that she's thrown at me, Scott, Max, whoever can pick this up that they want is that on any given month, quarter or year, she has been tracking sales attainment, right, so quota attainment, for the past 15 years. And that number of people who miss on any given month, quarter or year, is it 56%. And it has stayed the same for the past 15 years. Why the hell is that? What was all the sales tech for and revtech and Mark tech like is that I mean, I don't know if it's the, you know, sales innovation dilemma, or that new book that came out? Like, what's your thought process on that, like, quote, we brought all this automation and innovation to the space but sales attainment, you know, hasn't gone up. And in fact, you know, last quarter I read the last I was 63%, missed in q2, q3 q4 might be any worse. Well, what's your take on that haven't seen an evolution of sales?

Max Altschuler  24:00
Well, first of all, we live in a bubble. There are 5000 customers, they use our reach, maybe that number is 6000. Now, so that means maybe 10,000 companies use sales engagement, which means maybe 12,000 companies use some form of like modern sales technology. I think Salesforce has 200,000 customers, I think they represent 20% of the market. And I think that market is growing like 20% year over year or something like that. So you can fact check me on the, on the math, somebody in the background could go Google a bunch of that stuff. But roughly there's a million companies on CRM, and maybe 12,000 of them are high tech. So like, let's not sit here and say that like, wow, well, the sales innovation has existed now for seven years. Like why hasn't anything changed? What do you mean, it's still such a small part of the market that's actually adopted anything? So like if she's looking at those numbers across the board, especially across Salesforce customers, and they're not using modern sales technology, then yeah, like, what's going to change? So I wouldn't put that on the shoulders of like, Oh, we've invested in all the sales technology and nothing's changed. That's bullshit. Nobody's invested in any sales technology 1% of the market has invested in sales technology 12,000 of a million is, what is that? 1.2%? So, I don't know, I think there's just lack of penetration market penetration adoption. There that takes a while to, to filter through. So that'd be like, I'd say it all that. What else? I had an idea I knew I would need time to give you

Isaac Morehouse  25:38
I mean, I've got a I've got a really boring economist answer to this. Nobody wants to hear. They're gonna find it there, you're always going to find an equilibrium. Right? So like, if it's been this for a long time, okay, maybe you adapt new tactics, everything gets, everything gets more efficient, then what's gonna happen to the, to the expectations, they're gonna ramp up, there's someone delivering, we're like, Hey, you always want somewhere around half of your people missing your quotas, otherwise, you're not aiming high enough, there's always gonna be an adjustment. So I don't know if I would take that number. Because that's a subjective No, you get to pick what the quota is, right? So not that outbound sales and sales in general is not getting difficult right now. And in a tough spot from all the anecdotal evidence we have talking with people. But I think that percentage number, it's an equilibrium number. If if if there was a 10 year span, where 95% of people were hitting quota, you just say we have a culture of too low expectations. I mean, I would write I would you want a number that's challenging, but not unattainable. And that's gonna get you somewhere around 50%.

Jared Fuller  26:42
By dimension efficiencies, right? Like you need revenue efficiency, like CAC, LTV and unit economics of any given rep, or series of reps, right? Like, there's definitely a balance to be had there. Guys, I'd love to,

Max Altschuler  26:58
if you googled the companies with the largest market caps, a deck a decade ago, and matched it with the companies with the largest market caps right now, how much of that you think would overlap? I don't know, I didn't do it. Somebody can go do that. But like, for every 30 to 40%, maybe, yeah, for every blockbuster, there's a Netflix. So like, you're going to have companies that do a really good job that come out of nowhere that are highly efficient. And you're going to look at those and say, like, why isn't everything changing? Every company is probably like that. It's not true. There's just as many companies that are that are blowing up are also coming crashing down. So I think it nets out also, like the markets are cyclical. And, you know, we're gonna sit here and say, like, wow, the companies that we work with, that our high tech companies have have gotten so much better. How is this number not improving? But for every one of those companies, there's 5000 other companies that are getting put out of business? So

Jared Fuller  27:55
I have a question, a follow up question for you on max, what companies do you feel like have become a big cap tech company that have embraced, like, what you were, you know, evangelizing around sales hacker early on? I mean, does a company like a snowflake, for example, and Frank's looping in that mentality? Like, do they stand out as like, obviously, their tech was cool. And they have developer community and ecosystem by the way, their their app ecosystem and what they're doing with their data platforms and their integration. It is brilliant. But their sales execution seems to have been highly effective. What companies stand out to you and like this, you know, decade of like sales, hacking and sales, transformation, sales engagement, that it really knocked it out of the park, to your point.

Max Altschuler  28:36
Snowflake is a good example. And then reinforced that by hiring Lars, and you know, I think they came to they were doing really well. And they said, We need to focus on pipeline, who's the best person to go focus on pipeline? I believe that they asked that directly to Craig and Topo. And he was like Lars, and they've, they said, All right, you know, Lars, we need you. You know, here's the here's the Brinks truck, backed up to his house. And they got lost. So I think they're a great example of it. I'm trying to think of some other ones. I mean, there were definitely some great SAS companies that are public, and, you know, at least were skyrocketing. That we're, you know, outreach power users like zoom Cloudflare CrowdStrike Okta, Twilio, you name it. I think there's, there's a lot there. Even the telcos to like surprisingly, are like really good early ish adopters to you know, sales tax, I know 18 T, and Verizon, T Mobile all have kind of robust sales, tech stacks and in fairly good leadership in those areas.

Jared Fuller  29:51
And the telcos aren't scared to you know, work the accounts with all the other people as well like as much shade as the telcos get for being out of date. They They're no stranger to sharing lists and partnering up I mean that, you know, a lot of channel emanated from old school telco PBX systems, right. Like, that's, that's where the channel kind of originated from that, you know, ended up becoming to you know, Ingram's and stuff like that, too. So those adopters tend to do better. Yeah, let's look. Let's go back to that.

Scott Barker  30:20
We also have gone back to snowflake. Going back to snowflake quick. I did an interview with Lars last week about his academy that he just created over at snowflake he's got like a full STR Academy wants it to be like, known as the next like, like Xerox did back in the day training. It's pretty cool episode. It'll be dropping on the GTM. Podcast next week. Subtle, subtle plug, but it was a good one.

Jared Fuller  30:48
Hey, you're welcome to do plugs. Anytime, my man. We will definitely be checking that one out. I want to go to midstream and sales hackers journey now like when Scott Barker came in to your worldview, Max, you brought this gentleman in here who's been fantastic add on, you guys are still doing business today. You started a venture fund together, you did a lot of cool stuff together. Scott, what was your original title head of partnerships, that sales hacker or was that something like I remember that being in your title at some

Scott Barker  31:14
point? Yeah, it was head of partnerships. But listen, we were a lean team that punch way above our weight in terms of value we could drag for partners, but that was that meant everything that was creating pipeline, closing deals, creating case studies building out sponsorship prospectus, you know, actually coming up with the content for the campaign, actually moderating the webinars and like coming up with all of that. So I think it was it was pretty cool. Because that role, I probably anywhere else is probably five or six different roles. incredible learning experience, to just, you know, learn how to context which learn how to be super resourceful. And just like if I needed a case study, I just go fucking build it on Canva. And I just hit Go call a customer and get a quote and you just do the hacky things you have to do to get it done. And I mean, it was a chance to it was it was it was tough at the beginning for sure.

Isaac Morehouse  32:18
No, if you get a chance to be like a linchpin employee at a really early company like that, like take it man, just take it. I mean, that's just that's a ride, like, it wasn't a ticket, it was

Scott Barker  32:27
wrong, horses got to give me the job.

Max Altschuler  32:31
So I was all in I was we hired this role. And it was literally like, at that time, LinkedIn had something going on, I just introduced the way the algorithm is. So I was getting like millions of views on every post. This is some of the summer of like, 2017 or something like that, I think. And so when we hired when we hired for this role, I just posted on LinkedIn, like a type form. I was like, I'm hiring for a head of partnerships, and I've run sponsorships for me and you know, webinars stuff like that. And we ended up with like 150 applications now that down to like 30 Actually pretty solid people. Now that down to 12 went through like an interview process eventually got down to two. And it was Scott and Scott, another Scott and Scott a Scott a and literally just got beat and accidentally

Isaac Morehouse  33:20
gave the offer to the wrong guy. But here we

Max Altschuler  33:24
are, here we are, baby. And then I heard his voice and as a cop pocket. It was no, so other Scott was an enterprise sales rep coming from a different industry. And that's actually what I wanted, like I wanted somebody with enterprise experience who can help us do bigger deals like Microsoft and Salesforce. And, and then there was Scott Barker, who I thought was a lot more on the creative side and like was a hustler and can like figure it figure out, you know our business very well. And the team wanted Scott Barker, but I was I want to other Scott and we were split, it came down to like okay, well I gotta I gotta ask this one question. So I called them both up. And I asked the other Scott, I was like, alright, so like, why do you want this job? And he's like, oh, I want to get back into sales and marketing, selling sales and marketing technology just to like really like what I'm selling right now and like, would like to work for you blah, blah. And then I called Scott Barker and he was like, it's the only job I will leave my job for right now. Like I will do anything to work with you we're good sales hacker like I see the vision I see what you guys are doing I want this job so I was like okay, I can't not hire you give me a job Scott Barker. And then the other Scott ended up where I helped him get a job at Drift so I got him back into sales marketing technique work Jeff for for a while, and I ran into him at sasta recently, and he's doing very well so I'm very happy for him. But anyway, so Scott comes in and stupidly the same time as hiring Scott. We also changed our sponsorships to try to be like an annual sponsorship and like instead of like a pay per package type thing and Looking back on it again, like you don't change two big things at the same time. And so we had trouble selling these sponsorships for like the first three months. And here I am like, Why can't tell if it's the packages? Or I can't tell if it's Scott, like, what are we doing here? Why isn't this you know, having the pickup, people still want the, you know, chunks of like little packages instead of the annual thing. So we were kind of like reluctantly selling that to them. And we realized it was the annual thing that that wasn't working, we needed to sell it in the way that like people like to consume it and buy it. And, and Scott was kind of thrown into the fire and he had to go and build out like a bunch of new person like, he basically had to like realize this his himself build out the new prospectus is figuring out how to sell the products, like we put a lot more on his plate than we thought we were putting on his plate at the same time. But came out the other side. And here we are five years later. And he's been my right hand man through sales hacker outreach, and now the fund. And I think we're onto some pretty awesome stuff. And he's had, you know, obviously opportunities that, you know, he's made happen, you know, I didn't give him anything here. And

Jared Fuller  36:01
that's amazing. They hit me right in the heart, especially because I'm halfway blind. So I can't really see the chat up on the screen. But I did see my head of partnerships. Well, Taylor, say I'm listening. So there you go. Well, Taylor, I hear you're listening. There's a Scott Barker story for you. I've listening, there we go, buddy. I love it. I love

Scott Barker  36:20
being there. With just alerting to like, from my perspective. And Max, you know, you know, I tell you this all the time, but you know, it's been a it's been a hell of a ride. But some of the learnings so like, if I'm not multi threaded in that initial interview, I don't get the job. The only reason that I ended up winning over Scott was one that answered that question. But also, you know, even to get to that stage, if I wasn't multi threaded, and you can take this to accounts, partner sales, you know, whether you look, you know, I talked to like everyone on the team and gone actually like around max to make sure that I was multi threaded. So, tough times out there tough times for hiring. So, you know, if you are going for a role, you know, go all in multi thread, you know, I created a mock webinar deck with all of the people that I had worked for in the past, who was like, look like a sales hacker webinar and got them to like, put in quotes and stuff. So it's a different time. And I think we're at that different time, again, where you want to do exceptional things, you have to, you know, go and, and stand out some way. So that was one of the learnings. And then, you know, just for anyone out there, like on the sponsorship model side of things, I think there is, you know, there's ways to do annual deals, but just make sure that your barrier to entry for them to try your community out isn't too high, they'll have some sort of, like initial offering. And then with an understanding that, you know, if we do this smaller campaign, it goes, well, we're gonna roll that over to a larger, you know, six figure annual deal or, or whatever. Anyway, I thought I'd share those, those to learn

Jared Fuller  38:02
No, and I mean, I got to, I got the chance to work with you on the, you know, like the sponsor side of things, Scott, and I was always impressed with your ability to like, drive value first, like, you weren't just sales. I mean, like partnerships in media can be like, blended like, Okay, this is sales by another name, but like, the things that you were doing is that you are going above and beyond show that you are creating value to get the deal done. And I think that has that same kind of hacker mentality. Like, it wasn't just about like, Hey, here's the price. It was like, No, here's, here's the experience, here's what we're bringing to the table. And if there was something missing, you were always willing to bring that to the table to make it happen. And we're always super creative. I think it was a great role model for me. I mean, obviously both of you to influence me and ton. We're sitting here we know we got the new the new hackers in the partner world, the OG sales accuracy or so this is like a, this is funny. This is like so your country,

Isaac Morehouse  38:55
let's bring it home with this. I want to ask you, and I'm sure you're thinking about this all the time with GTM fun. Give me like one or two, what are the one or two shifts in the world that are currently underway or you think are about to be underway that you're the most excited about?

Max Altschuler  39:13
Shifts? endorse it, go for it, you want to hit it go? Yeah,

Scott Barker  39:19
I'll just the first thing that comes in, and I mean, I hammered this home and like your network, is your network. And obviously, that's cliche. I once heard that it's still true. But it's true. And it's more true now than it ever has been. It's really tough to get time on busy execs calendars. No one wants another zoom call on top of you know, the 10 that they already have. So you need to find ways now to build your network through content. And I said this before, and then that use that content to create community and use that community to generate revenue and companies you know, we're seeing them catch up to that At but, you know, individuals, all the people listening to this partner leaders, sales professionals, whatever your role is, is revenue generating, you know, you can do this for yourself. So get out there, you got to start creating content build community around that, and that will it's like the truest form of of sales provide the value upfront, and then you can, you know, generate revenue, you know, on the on the back of that to get, I don't know if it's a new trend, but that's it's as true as it ever has been, if not more.

Jared Fuller  40:34
Max, what do you think,

Max Altschuler  40:36
trends? You know, capital's commoditize, even in even, even in the bear market, just like this money floating around money's money, I think people expect, at least in the funding environment that they're going to get more with, with their investment. So it's like, why folks like GTM fund exist. I know Jill's hear from stage students why they exist. I think there are a lot of capital plus firms that are being created right now that we see people tech partners, simper virens, I think is another one on the on the HR side. There's a bunch that are coming out right now. But I think that that's, that's the future of venture capital is building some kind of platform around more than just a fund. So for us, it's fun to community and media. I think that's, that's definitely, you know, a big trend that we're banking on.

Jared Fuller  41:27
So I want to, I want to feel that you just gave me a thought Max, I want to peel that back. One more layer real quick. This is a little bit of what we've done. Like, I don't know if you had to do this and sales hacker, but sometimes we were getting something together. And it was not just the partnership with the sponsorship. But it was like, Yo, the way that you're talking about that and framing that content, your pitch as a company and being a vendor on the partner hacker platform. It's garbage, we got to help you talk the right way. Like that's not gonna resonate with anyone. So we were just not doing partnerships or sponsorships. We've been helping people craft their narrative and their stories. So that's like media plus, right? It's not just giving you the spot to talk to our base.

Isaac Morehouse  42:04
That's it's like, we want to help you become good enough to be a sponsor, right. And I will say that insulting way, but like, you gotta get your message more compelling. Before we're gonna be willing to work.

Max Altschuler  42:15
All we did at sales hacker, because we would not let people do webinars that were promotions for their business like they it had to be value add. And so like almost a big part of Scott's job, unfortunately, in Gaetano his job, ended up becoming like teaching them how to give webinars how to do webinars that were useful. And not just like, completely promotional. Promotional.

Jared Fuller  42:41
So this is like everything plus right now, like it's Vc plus, right? It's media plus, it's software. Plus, it's not enough just to have the software that's like, look, you can do sales engagement, or ABM, or chat or data. It's the thing plus I think that's the big differentiator right now, and my takeaway from this conversation is that, like, look, the game has changed, where you just can't have the thing you have to help them, you know, get to the highest spot, right? You have to help them get to the mountain with that, that other value add that no one else can. And as you scale, what better way to do that than with people that have been to that mountaintop, right? Like that's my message with the partner hackers,

Isaac Morehouse  43:19
I have a pitch for GCM fund right here that to partner

Jared Fuller  43:24
like I'd much rather work with people that aren't just selling me a thing to do the thing I'd much rather work with people that are helping me get to the place that I'm trying to get to of course you got to software of course you got to surface of course you got to fund whatever the heck it is everything's this plus economy and I think that's

Max Altschuler  43:41
trends question without expecting me to pimp my my font

Jared Fuller  43:49
is big, big fans of it over here. I've sent multiple things your way Scott will get random text messages for me all the time on Hey, Scott, I got a company you got to talk to you. I send people to GTM fun first. And I do mean that Max and Scott, y'all have been an inspiration to me throughout my career. Thanks so much for everything you did with sales hacker everything you do with GTM fun and for joining us here partner up podcast live day for pls summit partner lead sales day.

Isaac Morehouse  44:13
One more day, partner lead success starter lead success

Jared Fuller  44:17
we're gonna enjoy his a success department to everyone that's crazy enough to be hanging out with this after hours being here all day for nine hours. Thank you so much. We've had some heavy hitters in the chat today. So appreciate it, y'all. Thanks so much.

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