Bobby Napiltonia 36 min

Nearbound Podcast #167: Building SaaS Credibility in a Skeptical World - Bobby Napiltonia


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It's no surprise 44% of salespeople didn't hit their number. Look at pavilions

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information.

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I'll tell you this is not me spewing stuff. The world is oversaturated with

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stuff to sell

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and the consumers done and they're thinking AI is the holy grail because it's

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going to do things

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differently. We're back at last. Welcome to the nearbound podcast.

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I have a very exciting episode today. It's just me, but I'm bringing on the

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very first guest

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and probably my favorite guest. If you go all the way back to episode number

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two of "Partner Up,"

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that very first guest is the one, the only, Bobby Napolitonia. Bobby, it's so

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good to be with you,

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my friend. You're so kind to me. I can talk to you every single day with intros

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like that.

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You can be my front man anywhere. I go. I need to actually get you on payroll,

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I think.

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Though, same to you. Anytime you and I get on a conversation together, I know

1:00

the nearbound

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summit one that we did back in November. Folks just absolutely love Bobby. As

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we enter into a new

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phase of the nearbound landscape and nearbound podcast in the future, there's

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some pretty big,

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exciting announcements that are happening all around this. I was like, I got to

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bring Bobby back

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on. He was my first guest. I got to get him back again because it feels like

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the world has changed

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because here's what's crazy, Bobby. That first episode that you and I recorded

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was almost four

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years ago. I was going to ask what time, four years ago, wow.

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That's crazy. It was almost four. It was September of 2020.

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Wow.

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September of 2020.

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It's amazing. How time flies?

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Yeah. There's some stuff that's changed since that first one. I think you gave

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us some timeless

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lessons. I was going back and relistening to it and you gave us things like the

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three by five

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account planning and mapping strategy. You talked about the rise of the app

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exchange and how your

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GSI stories, blue wolf and purple moon and sky and how you took out Accenture's

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big things.

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So you gave us some timeless lessons that I think are still applying

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partnerships.

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But I wanted to zoom out and talk a little bit about the market because the

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market always wins

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and we're sitting at the precipice of unknown territory. You have this remit

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where you've

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been a CRO, you've been ahead of partnerships, you've had a little bit of

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everything.

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And you've looked at hundreds and hundreds of AI companies. Tell me, Bobby,

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what the heck is

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happening in SaaS, go to market land right now?

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This would be a great story to unpack with in an entire series because we've

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been actually

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as a lifetime student of go to market. We take esoteric topics like that and

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start breaking down.

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Like, will subscriptions go away and win and wins the consumption economy?

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And then who are the players that will be hurt most and can they pivot or will

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they go away?

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Actually, Bobby, I want to say it.

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Salesforce, the next Lotus notes.

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I actually want to stop there because there's one thing that I feel like is

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very important.

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You know, Jaco Vanderkweige, somebody by design?

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So we did a podcast with him on the show and it was like the most depressing

3:04

podcast ever

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because he basically was like, "It's over." And I was like, "You're saying it's

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over?

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Jaco's saying it's over?" He pretty much was. But one of the things that he

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pointed out is like,

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he's like, "Look, why do we trust brands in B2C? It's because whenever I order

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something on Amazon

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in its prime, it's going to be there in 24 hours. When I hail an Uber and it

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says six minutes,

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it's there in six minutes, I get these repeatability of outcomes. And then if

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you look at all the SaaS

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products that we've had over the past several years, I don't know about the

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repeatability of

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outcomes like nine times out of tenet. Even to do a renewal, I need to talk to

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16 people.

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You know, like, you know, there's a lot of things broken that like our consumer

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lives

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and then our B2B lives just are not matching up. And we think the arbitrage on

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AI, for example,

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is like, "Hey, maybe, you know, subscription going away, consumption. What

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about outcome-based pricing?

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We're actually just paying for the thing that I want, not for access to your

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software."

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That's been around for a while. Most CFOs puke and gag on it because they end

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up looking at the

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numbers and going, "There's no way I'm going to pay you X." I go, "Look, I'm

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going to save you Y."

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Well, I think you've struck a chord on it. And I think this is one of the

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things I see people

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not attacking. And maybe we shouldn't even reveal it on the show. But if you

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think of AI and you

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actually understand and look at business, you'd apply it, not necessarily where

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you think you need

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it because you're just telling me where we see the problems going, which is

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really only attacking

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a cost to sale, which just keeps adding on to that stuff that we're all trying

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to chop wood

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and chop away from versus attacking costs to goods. And when I start looking at

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AI and where I apply

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it, first group I ever take over when I go into companies, I want support. Why?

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That's my customer.

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I don't want some third-rate person saying words like deflection and don't call

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me. I want to

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love them up and find out what are the next things I can put in their pocket.

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Because we all know

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the easiest person to sell who's a happy customer. You just said, "Trust me,

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trust me, trust me. Don't

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go find someone new that you then go down the slippery slope one." I think the

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problem also with

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AI is that it's so cheap, easy, and ubiquitous that it's confusing. It really

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is for people. It

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reminds me of .com on steroids, but with somewhat of controls, meaning that it

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's not true Wild West,

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but there's Wild West in that we don't know how to adopt, deploy it. This is

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where the channel will

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change. And if you look at the segments that can most use AI, it's mid to low

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long tail. They're not

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going to have policies that say, "I can't help it." They're going to go, "I

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need to stay in business.

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Who can help me? Labor shortage is real." So if we start adding all of those

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concoctions and we

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start looking at the long tail, people are attacking it the wrong way. Why?

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Because everyone's reading

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the press. Too much sass over this, over that. Can this consolidate and

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collapse? Guess what?

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It's going to happen. It's going to happen because CFOs are just cutting off

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and saying,

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"I'm not signing anything." Start thinking about that. The tax for a sales

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person is like $1,800

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when you add all those systems up. How many recordings do I need to listen to

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to come up with best

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practices? I don't need 30,000 hours to listen to. I don't know my best reps.

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It's no surprise

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44% of salespeople didn't hit their number. Look at pavilions information. I'll

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tell you this is

6:00

not me spewing stuff. The world is oversaturated with stuff to sell and the

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consumer's done and

6:07

they're thinking AI is the holy grail because it's going to do things

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differently.

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There was this analogy going, I was talking about the Jocko episode that I

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think he was spot on

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about is that what happened to manufacturing? What happened to manufacturing

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was there was this

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cottage industry of suppliers that supported what the big manufacturers. You

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had all of this

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cottage industry of people that would make specialty parts and they sold to the

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big things.

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Then what happened is that robotics took over everything. It seems like with Go

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ToMarket and SAS,

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there's a very appropriate analogy is that the AI or the bot, so to speak, is

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going to disrupt

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the cottage industry of SAS vendors that are basically selling to what? SAS

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vendors.

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You shouldn't be selling to us anyway. That's the whole part. It was propped up

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propped upness. When you start thinking of the house of cards, I think that's

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what we're kind

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of seeing in a way. I've struck a couple of cords there. I think the probably

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the most important one

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is for whoever the consumer is to find a trusted source. It's not going to be

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the vendor calling

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you. By the way, we know this. No one's taken an EDA, an SDR call, take a

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meeting, to set up a

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meeting to hear about. I want to know who's using what, how is it working, who

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can I learn from?

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So I think you're starting to see more activity and activity. Look, it's

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-- You said it. You said it. It's from the book, "Nearbound in the Rise of the

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Who Economy."

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Screw all the BS. I need to talk to someone who's done the thing that I'm

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trying to do.

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100%. This is why it goes back to the regionality and who can I trust and what

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's my patch in my

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backyard? We'll come back to this where I believe the rep firm modeled from 25,

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30 years ago. We

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could end up having a concentration of knowledge in region. I mean, imagine

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this, Jared. Let's just

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say Bobby and Jared start a company tomorrow and I hire 50 VPS sales one in

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every state.

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Are you telling me we can't get to the 50 best customers in that state?

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No, of course you could. Then what will we do? We'd have 2,500 customers from

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50 people only

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that would give us that wherewithal to get those references ability to get to

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that next one.

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You don't need 50 people selling the same things. It's not fair to an end user,

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by the way.

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You can't test it. You can't pilot it. It's going to be interesting who

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survives and who wins.

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Because again, it's .comish that has been well overfunded for AI for AI's sake.

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Even the people who've executed best post sales force, because I think sales

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force is

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executed remarkably well, it's undeniable how well they've executed throughout

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the

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outbound, inbound kind of eras. The next best one is HubSpot. Then it looks

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like Google's

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probably going to snatch them up. There is some crazy consolidation happening

8:49

where

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who had that on their 2024 Bingo card? Google's ad business is going to get

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destroyed and disrupted

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by AI. HubSpot's business is built around. He's going away. He'll do that. Not

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AI.

8:59

Yeah, Kootie's going away.

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It opens up a whole new, we can get into a front door story in people's

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websites that are going to

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suck moving forward because no one can do it. It's going to be really hard to

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be a publisher.

9:10

I did a project for a company in the open source. They have 40,000 customers

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for six months, and

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then we hired a CEO last month. It's interesting. I believe there's going to be

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three phases. The

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first will be a red wall. Why? You can't come strip mine my stuff. The second

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will be a pay

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wall and the third will be an AI wall. This will happen and you'll see most

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sites doing it.

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You're already starting to see it for the big sites that have been brought up

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by private equity.

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Weather.com has done telling you the weather without knowing who you are.

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Yeah. It's going to be a very interesting world, how the front door changes in

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the

9:43

cookulous world and who, to your point, the Golden Goose is gone.

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Is the Golden Goose the cookie? The Golden Goose is the ad money that we all

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got.

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Because think about this. You already know how big the ad budget is. Ad fraud

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is projected

9:59

within the next two years to be bigger than the illegal drug trade. Cool.

10:03

Think about that statement. That's interesting. Think about that statement.

10:07

Oh my gosh. That's a big scare. It's crazy too, just like

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tacitly, Bobby, what you're saying and kind of this shift to who. One of the

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big luminaries on

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LinkedIn is a guy named Chris Walker that's kind of a gadfly of the demand

10:26

generation kind of things.

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He talks about dark social. One of the things that he talks about a lot is

10:32

putting self-reported attribution on your site. One of the things that we've

10:37

done and

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reveal with Isaac and me is we put on the site, who sent you our way?

10:40

And you know what's hilarious is that people will put specific names of people

10:46

and they'll put specific companies or events and it's like, oh that's actually

10:50

why you came to

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us is because of a person, a conversation. But then you go look at GA and what

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do you think they say?

10:59

Oh it's because of this SEO. It's pay us more money and it's like that person

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has no idea

11:07

whether or not that was influential. It's like sure they might have clicked

11:11

something after they

11:12

had a conversation. So good. I'm not saying get rid of content. What I'm saying

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is that's not

11:16

the influential thing. It's not writing Google. It's the vegetable beside your

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green dish.

11:21

Exactly, exactly. So that dichotomy is just like that used to be something that

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's like

11:29

how did you hear about us was predominantly Google or something like that.

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And now word of mouth with specific names is almost it's over 50%.

11:38

Because people ask what's the problem and then people go how do you solve the

11:41

problem?

11:42

Oh how did that work for you and it gets down to the specificity?

11:44

Yeah the actual like did you get the outcome? What's my problem? I don't want

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to Google that.

11:50

Have you tried Google or something lately?

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Of course it sucks. It's horrible. So who's the next G2 then? Because what you

11:55

're saying is if you

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look at the intermediary that's what they did and Goddard came and solved a

11:59

need which is we can't

12:00

really trust Gartner. We need this middle market that can consolidate everyone

12:04

's perspective together.

12:06

I feel like we're bouncing all over the nearbound book. I kind of love this.

12:08

This is fun.

12:09

So what you think of the channel is that your book covers all aspects and there

12:13

is no one

12:14

one arrow in your quiver. You truly have to understand how you're going to

12:18

attack it.

12:18

Educate awareness, education, execution in each of those streams. Who are the

12:23

people that will

12:24

help you get there further faster and I guarantee you there's an ecosystem in

12:27

each one of those

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sprints you would do. There are. So like there's this I've called it Bobby 4.7

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star syndrome

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right and I have this phrase that you know all games get gamed. So review sites

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get gamed.

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Like it's just you know all games get gamed. So you go to G2 or you go to any

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of these sites and

12:45

everyone kind of has very similar ratings. All of them kind of sound the same.

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And you're like

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this this is no longer signal for me. It's just noise. Everyone's on it.

12:53

Everyone's got badges.

12:54

They're all top performers. What's the point? Well, Vinay Bogot, the CEO of

12:59

Trust Radius,

13:00

he really shocked me because I was talking trash about review sites and

13:04

no shade against Goddard because he's obviously one of the best.

13:07

No shade against him from my side. But I was trash talking review sites. Vinay,

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the CEO of Trust Radius reached out to me and was like Jared, I agree with you.

13:16

And I went,

13:17

wait, you agree with me? And he's like here's a study of 2000 of our buyers.

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And

13:23

what was 20 times, and I put this in the book because it was so good, what was

13:29

20 times more

13:30

important than the review score was the relevancy of the reviewer to me. Who?

13:36

Who? Right. So he's

13:38

changed his product to help people surface that. So for example, instead of

13:42

giving a score, it's

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like, hey, let's say we know who this it's a return visitor or something like

13:47

that. It's an expansion

13:48

account. Let's make sure that on the homepage of the site or something, the

13:51

testimonial is from

13:53

someone like them, for example. Like that's just a better use. I have to dive

13:57

into this real quick

13:58

and take 30 seconds. So what you just said is why we have Dell around still. So

14:03

most of the companies

14:04

we work with, so I kicked off the go-to-market firm after we sold the Datab

14:07

ricks last year,

14:08

because too many people were calling and asking questions and I thought, let's

14:11

just start getting

14:11

some content out. And it ended up picking up thematic themes of which are worth

14:16

three particular

14:16

companies. But one really went down the path in which you just said, which is,

14:20

I can't just do

14:22

that that way anymore. How do I start tackling an industry differently? And

14:27

what we did is when you

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come to the website, you heard me say the front door, you don't want to go in

14:31

unless you know

14:32

is there champagne in there? Is there something for me? Is there something that

14:34

I want and can I

14:35

identify back to Dell? Dell last one standing wide. When 30 years ago, when you

14:41

went to their site,

14:42

you'd self-identify, I'm a small business, I'm a government, I'm an education.

14:45

Why? Because early

14:46

on they knew this is here for you. And if you did that right, then you got to

14:51

hear the stories of

14:52

the people. Look, Salesforce did it right. We made the person, the hero, and

14:56

put your picture,

14:57

you go to Dreamforce, you see all your peers on the walls, you don't see any of

15:00

our people.

15:00

Right. Exactly. The customer's the hero.

15:02

Customers the hero. And I think we're coming back to that. The partner's going

15:05

to be the hero in

15:06

this next phase because they're going to make the customer succeed so they don

15:10

't get fired and

15:10

replaced by AI. Oh, look, I work with the robotics company. Now it's the number

15:14

one open position in

15:15

the world. We need robotics. Here's what I do know. You're not going to spend

15:18

for your kids $30

15:19

for a hamburger, but by the rate it's going, it's going to be a $29 McDonald's

15:23

hamburger.

15:24

I shocked the other day that I was like, wow, how did I? Legitimately, that's

15:31

been

15:32

the inflation on just McDonald's was out there. And it's like, well, if you don

15:35

't use our app,

15:36

right? So like you're paying like a 20 to 25% tax now if you're not using their

15:40

app. And I was like,

15:41

so push the labor to the person, make them do the work, right? For sure, for

15:47

sure. I mean,

15:47

look at that. Why would you not do that? Is to have someone observing it. But

15:51

no, we can't afford,

15:52

I mean, it's not just the inflation. It's the labor cost of people for any jobs

15:57

that we don't

15:57

really want to end up doing things for hence robotics, repeatable things that

16:01

we won't necessarily

16:02

get the value out of. But if I went down that path, I would tell you the number

16:05

one open position

16:06

for the blue collar workers welding. If you look around you, everything's weld

16:09

ed in some way,

16:10

shape or form this mean for our lives, you can't be down 2 million welders in

16:14

America to think

16:15

you're bringing in manufacturing back. Yeah, no, no way. We go back to your

16:19

schools,

16:20

trade schools need to light up again, because these things are going to need to

16:23

be fixed.

16:27

Yeah, I mean, there's so much that's going to change in the next, it's like

16:35

people

16:35

overestimate what they can accomplish in one year and they underestimate what

16:38

they can

16:39

accomplish in five. And I think that's a good heuristic for what's happening.

16:42

You kind of

16:43

writ large to business in, let's call it America, but the global economy is

16:48

that there's this hype

16:50

cycle where it feels like, okay, is this all going to happen in the next 12

16:54

months? But then we don't

16:55

look five years out and it's like, that's about five years have been pretty

16:58

crazy. The next five

16:59

years are going to be more. There's a lot of retooling and rebuilding and resh

17:03

uffling and new stuff

17:05

that with a past doesn't necessarily indicate the future on this one is, is

17:09

cluster computes come down. Look, the Nvidia story is insane how they've just

17:14

outpaced Apple. I mean,

17:15

we could go down there by the way, Microsoft, they're like almost three

17:18

trillion dollars already.

17:20

When I was in creative, we went and bought, we interviewed all three graphics

17:22

companies and they

17:23

were one, one, one's we interviewed was 3D of X, 3D Labs and Nvidia and we

17:26

ended up buying 3D

17:27

FX for the mood chip. They've been making a very easily been a different story

17:30

in the time, but

17:31

Jensen was a strong man, never wanted to sell. And that's why they are where

17:34

they are. They have

17:34

a great leadership. Oh my gosh. So Bobby, as of today, as of this is as of

17:38

today, it's 3.1 trillion.

17:41

There you go. 3.1 trillion. And what's Microsoft's market market cap like

17:50

and 3.26. So it's the second most valuable company in the world and it was

17:54

barely a trillion

17:55

dollar company 12 months ago. And from graphics chips? Yes. From graphics chips

18:01

. Well, they acquired

18:02

S3's assets that gave him the GPUs, Compute came on board that people could

18:05

program them. I mean,

18:06

there's a great story of just staying true to what it is that you know and do

18:09

and he did and

18:10

there's where they are. Look, so then that question, what happens to Intel?

18:14

Well, I'm talking to a

18:18

chip challenger, the chip that actually broke Moore's law for the first time in

18:22

like 30 years.

18:24

And so we're going to in this huge ship, it's played. It's like 360 chips and

18:27

one chip and they're

18:28

doing again big deals because you're going to see data centers come back, super

18:32

computers,

18:32

powers are going to be important and they're all going to be darned by partners

18:35

. No company is

18:37

going to have the wherewithal unless you're that large and you've got that much

18:40

of a big data set

18:41

and that money, right? Right. Beginning of the mainframe. This is mainframe 2.0

18:46

. I hate saying

18:47

that because people will laugh, but it's true. It kind of has centralized

18:52

computing's back. It

18:53

really is because cloud computing is just decentralized centralized. So what do

18:59

you think that does for

19:01

you know, the cottage industry of SaaS that was built around it? You know,

19:06

there was this

19:06

this interim mainframe 2.0. There was this cloud, you know, phase where there

19:10

was, you know, what?

19:12

200,000 ISVs that were built on top of AWS and Azure and GCP that were

19:17

facilitating some niche

19:19

processor workflow. Yeah. So they're in between there was something called

19:23

client server and that

19:24

was really big too. And that led to the SaaS because that lets you see because

19:28

you couldn't

19:29

know, you just hit the point, you couldn't afford to build a client server app

19:31

for niche markets

19:32

and SaaS allowed you to attack that last corner because you'd have to buy the

19:35

hardware software

19:36

support. You had to be a smee. I know how to do X very well and then you could

19:40

have a

19:40

vertical SaaS is hot now because horizontal doesn't work anymore because you

19:43

need to know my businesses,

19:45

my processes and I think that that's where you're going to start seeing the

19:47

specificity,

19:49

the technology can take you down for me, AI for me. Yeah, exactly. I think that

19:54

's

19:54

that's what a lot of people I think really miss with their partner programs,

19:59

Bobby. I'd love

20:00

your take on this is that like, you know, last couple weeks ago, I had Pete Cap

20:05

uto on. So from HubSpot,

20:06

he's, you know, another one of my mentors. And there's just the way that he

20:09

talks about driving

20:10

partner value is that like, look, partners for me are about helping reach

20:14

people that I never

20:15

would market or sell to otherwise. For example, you know, he's the CEO of Data

20:18

Box and they're a

20:20

BI analytics platform. So he allows agencies to white label and create

20:24

benchmark groups. So to take

20:26

data from, let's say, I sell to, let's say, lawyers, right? And I'm an agency

20:31

and I can take all my

20:31

legal clients and benchmark their SEO, their YouTube performance, their social

20:35

performance,

20:36

their website traffic, their conversion rates and go, Hey, you're really

20:39

performing down here.

20:40

You know, as a lawyer against this cohort, here's how we can help get you to

20:44

hear. So it's like,

20:45

it's it's niche data. The only that agency could have because it's their client

20:50

base. It's served

20:51

for a vertical for lawyers. And then that agency can create content and serve

20:55

their customers better

20:57

than DataBox ever could because how could DataBox go acquire a lawyer? Right?

21:01

Well, we have many

21:02

LLMs, maybe that actually each company can have their own. And to your point,

21:05

my special sauce

21:06

can end up being that. And we can go back to truly have IP that's yours because

21:11

it's the knowledge

21:12

based information. Yeah, you're you I mean, there's so many topics, but listen,

21:17

the SI's got to change

21:18

too, because I don't need you're doing different things. And so in the last six

21:22

months, I went out

21:22

and talked to a handful of the system integrators going, your world's changing.

21:25

You're not doing

21:26

that's how are you going to what's an a what's a gen AI SI look like? And you

21:30

know what? They're all

21:32

wondering because they're going to say do they have an answer out of doubt that

21:35

they don't

21:35

throw it up in the growth of the look no no is it just a great question. I've

21:38

talked to a handful

21:39

of people that fund the SI's too. They're all caught up in there's too much

21:43

work to be done on

21:44

snowflake too much work to be done in Databricks because if you start looking

21:47

at the masses of

21:48

icebergs moving, those icebergs have moved. And maybe you know you call it a

21:52

partner ecosystem.

21:53

I look at it as off balance sheet resources. What do I need to get done that I

22:00

can't afford that

22:01

someone else will do for me? Right.

22:04

Telling is being one of them. How about the demo? How about the upstream? You

22:08

know, we did this

22:08

the complete compliment extent take my corn, make me better. I mean, those are

22:12

the things I think

22:13

people will start learning and understanding. And then I as a domain expert

22:16

could actually get

22:16

back in the game because I got some assets and I could actually deploy them or

22:21

sell them or

22:22

leverage or use them. I love that phrase off balance sheet resources. If you

22:28

want to go

22:29

sound a little bit more sophisticated to your CFO, it's like, look, we're not

22:31

just talking

22:32

partnerships. We're talking off balance sheet resources and that's required.

22:35

And I came up with that when we went to pitch our CFO. It's funny you should

22:38

say that. And we

22:39

went to ask for our money for our department and they're like, look man, budget

22:43

, budget,

22:44

budget, but look, I'm going to bring X that will do Y and I don't have to pay

22:47

them anything

22:48

unless they perform. Wait, what? How much do you need? And can you guarantee

22:52

that will happen?

22:53

And it did. And it has and it works. Right. So you go and guarantee, but you

22:57

can guarantee

22:57

the model will work. Yeah, I think that that's one of the things I wanted to

23:03

get into you with

23:04

you about a little bit, Bobby, there's this kind of like scary thing that's

23:08

happening out in the

23:08

market for SaaS to go to market kind of writ large, so to speak. But there's

23:12

almost never been a,

23:13

well, there's not almost, in my opinion, there has never been a better time to

23:17

have some

23:17

conviction around partnerships, ecosystems and using nearbound to up level each

23:22

department,

23:22

right? That's, you know, partner and ecosystem is outside your walls. To me,

23:26

nearbound is about

23:27

how to get each of these departments to activate it, right? So it's not just

23:29

some silo department

23:31

that's working. It's like, how do you make each department do nearbound

23:33

marketing, nearbound sales,

23:34

nearbound success? And I think, you know, you've had the courage to go, you

23:41

know, toe to toe and

23:42

work with and work under folks like Benioff. And you've had to have the courage

23:46

to kind of risk

23:48

given all of the scary stuff happening in the market. I think people are

23:51

finally realizing,

23:53

I need to go have this hard conversation with my CEO and my CFO and my C-suite

23:57

and go, we need

23:58

to commit to a partner plan. And on all the CRO and CMO CEO conversations that

24:03

I'm having,

24:04

they're finally listening. Why? They don't have another plan.

24:07

They fail because they fail. If you're at the end of your road, what would you

24:11

do? You'd take

24:12

the last gasp and pray. You said the final prayer partner people, listen up.

24:18

It really is. By the way, a lot of these companies are at that point in the

24:20

ropes because they went

24:21

to the last two or three years and didn't read the tea leaves and understanding

24:24

, holy heck,

24:24

and they're not going to get more money. And people are looking at the

24:27

advantage. You're not.

24:28

By the way, and then we can talk about all the go-to-market technologies that

24:31

are overfunded over value.

24:32

They're going to languish and go away. No one can acquire them. They're too

24:35

expensive.

24:36

And none of them are real product. They're all nice as ease. I mean, think

24:39

about what you look

24:40

in your go-to-market stack. And if that company went out of business, would you

24:44

die? No.

24:44

There's not one that you could go out without them.

24:49

Yeah, the only thing that I would talk my own book for a second. So if I was

24:53

thinking reveal

24:54

and the death of the cookie, I think second-party data is going to become very

24:57

important.

24:58

So third-party data is going away with cookies. Right. Second-party data is my

25:02

partner's information about their customers. And that's that escrow database

25:06

reveal cross-beam.

25:07

I think that gets exponentially more valuable when the cookie list world

25:11

happens.

25:11

And you're like, hey, I really do need that to like, who am I targeting? Who am

25:14

I working with?

25:15

So like, that's a fundamental shift to network database. So I think there is

25:18

something fundamentally

25:20

new there. But for the most part, I would agree. Like the AI is going to

25:25

disrupt anything that

25:26

doesn't have a proprietary data source. And I think your partner's data, this

25:30

their connect

25:30

interconnected CRM is that proprietary data source. You can't get that anywhere

25:34

else

25:34

otherwise by opting in to cooperate and collaborate and work with those

25:39

partners. Otherwise, you don't

25:40

get it. You don't get it from a cookie or from Google anymore. Right. By the

25:44

way, back in the

25:45

day that was called EDI and we traded information to make the world a better

25:49

place.

25:49

Yeah, I mean, you had data.com, right? Oh, yeah. Yeah, that was the thing. You

25:56

basically trade data

25:58

with Salesforce, right? Yeah, data exchanges have been around for a while. I

26:02

mean, that's why we

26:03

all have credit scores. Totally. 100%. So like that's been needed for B2B. I

26:08

was just talking my own

26:09

book for a second, obviously, you know, reveal all that. But so what do you,

26:15

what would be your

26:15

message, Bobby, for folks that have listened to this and been like, all right,

26:17

there's a little bit

26:18

of doom and gloom, but there's some, there's this partnerships moment nearbound

26:21

the book taking off,

26:22

nearbound as a category. What would be your clarion called the partner folks

26:25

out there right

26:26

now to like go have the courage or conviction to have that hard conversation

26:30

with the CFO, the CEO.

26:32

You know, you're actually just wondering, Jared, do maybe you and I go off

26:35

script and cuff and

26:36

do we want to go put together a webinar, how to approach your CFO? And I'm, you

26:41

know, you think

26:42

I'm joking. I get pained in calls all the time for people and I can't do the

26:46

one off just because

26:47

it doesn't scale. Hence why we fired up to go to market for my buddy and I said

26:50

we can maybe even

26:51

start cranking out content and who knows maybe you're a feeder of what are

26:55

people really needing

26:56

and we could fill out the gaps. And it's less about making money. It's more

26:59

about sharing the

27:00

knowledge so that the end user can then go, oh my god, I need some of that.

27:04

I'll go throw it to Shawnee on the content team right now and say, hey, Bobby,

27:08

and I want to do

27:09

thing on how to talk to your CFO should be like, okay, done. So that's the new

27:12

controller. Like,

27:13

you can't get a deal done without talking to your CFO today. So I don't know,

27:16

totally. Right. So

27:17

you made me onto that can be the best podcast webinar we ever have because

27:22

everyone would show

27:22

up knowing that unless you have those word off balance sheet resources, like

27:27

the things in

27:28

packaging up that you can show and scale. By the way, that's why our team

27:31

wanted Salesforce and we got

27:32

all the money of the four horsemen in the model. We proved that we were the

27:35

most efficient, most

27:36

effective and dominated the other channels. Right. And the four horsemen that

27:41

was partnerships,

27:42

marketing, sales, and success? No, sale. We didn't have success at the time. So

27:46

sales had EBRs

27:47

found, right? Then you had the salespeople, then you had marketing and then you

27:50

had partners and

27:51

so we'll measure men against those four categories. Close rates, deal size. Man

27:56

, I can tell you down

27:57

till like then that's asked what happened when, where, why and how because we

28:00

use PRM to capture it.

28:01

We build it, Eli and I together so we could actually consume what the world

28:05

needed.

28:05

I forgot that you called it the four horsemen because I remember, see, I listen

28:09

whenever you

28:10

talk, Bobby, actually do the things that you say. So like at Drift, I had the

28:13

fantastic four meeting.

28:14

There you go. Right. We called it the fantastic four versus the four horsemen.

28:17

And that was, you know, that was our segmentation was looking at each one and

28:23

making sure that we

28:24

were having hard conversations and I hated those meetings. I hated them, but

28:27

the only thing that

28:28

was worse than having them was not having them. Right. We're having the wrong

28:32

data when you went

28:33

to that meeting, not knowing where the effectiveness truly was. You know, that

28:36

's the sad part. And by

28:37

the way, this is where people go, Oh yeah, the marketing gets X percent, Y

28:42

percent, and then that's

28:43

where they fight for, Oh, I need X for brand and awareness. And there is some

28:46

validity to that. But

28:47

the best way to get brand and awareness is to have a killer product people love

28:50

. And then you don't

28:52

have to tell the world how good it is because they have. Right. And then you

28:56

just make it easy to,

28:57

you know, you make it easy for people to share and like,

29:00

consume it, consume it. Right. I mean, I've wrote, I thought about this a lot

29:05

because

29:05

I think the persona that's attaching ourselves, attaching themselves most to

29:12

nearbound that I'm

29:12

seeing right now come out of the woodworks that are very interesting

29:15

conversations is marketing

29:17

leaders, CMOs. So a couple of weeks ago, we published the nearbound marketing

29:20

blueprint. And it took

29:23

off. And so it was kind of like taking what was in the book on the marketing

29:25

chapters and sections

29:26

and kind of codifying it into building a nearbound account list. How do you,

29:30

how do you like one-to-one

29:31

partner account mapping, Bobby, you and me, we can do that all day. We sit down

29:34

with a partner,

29:35

we do some business planning and we go, okay, boom, here's the three by five

29:38

strategy with this

29:39

specific partner. But if you zoom out to the marketing leader, can they not do

29:43

the same thing?

29:44

And the answer is, yeah, if you have all of your partner ecosystem data, you

29:46

can kind of build your

29:47

nearbound account list and then work with five 10, 20, 50 partners to go bring

29:52

stories to them.

29:54

And the content creation framework that goes behind that, like how do you

29:59

actually create content

30:01

with dozens of partners is one of the things that's shifting, I think the most

30:06

right now that's

30:07

very fascinating because you really do need to start operating like a media

30:11

company. That's why

30:12

we've been successful is that we've been putting narratives out into the market

30:16

, not product features,

30:17

narratives. Here's this fundamental shift that's happening in the world. Don't

30:21

you see it, don't

30:22

you feel it. And then our partners are going, yeah, there's going to be winners

30:25

and there's going to

30:26

be losers. Here's how the winners are playing. And they come alongside because

30:29

they're like, man,

30:30

that message is so good. I want to be a part of that event. I want to tag you

30:35

on social. I want

30:36

to use your words. Like it's great media and great content that pulls the

30:41

market with you.

30:42

And then all of a sudden partner marketing is like, no, it's just marketing. It

30:46

's not like, hey,

30:47

here's this product feature. Can you like add this integration to some email

30:50

drip? It's like,

30:51

no one wants to do that anymore. Right. You know, back in the day, there were

30:55

words like co-op and

30:57

MDF. Do you know what those are? Yeah, of course. MDF still exists. It's just a

31:02

lot of times it's a

31:03

scam today. But they were real formalized programs and you as a channel partner

31:09

knew that I got 10%

31:10

MDF market development funds and probably 10% or 5% co-op. And if you bought

31:15

through two-tier

31:16

distribution, it was a shared model. And so manufacturers built that margin in

31:20

to actually

31:20

understand how to do that education awareness and that's going away because

31:23

everyone thought

31:24

we need to do it directly. That goes back to beginning of our conversation,

31:27

which is why

31:28

44% of salespeople missed their number last year. You shouldn't have been

31:31

selling to begin with.

31:32

There's no market for you. Right. You should have never hired you. The board

31:36

should never

31:36

ever let the CEO hire you. I mean, we go on and on and on about that. Yeah,

31:40

because we have

31:40

the boom. It's over saturation. It should have never happened to begin with.

31:45

And the thing that I think I talk about so much is there's just not

31:50

there's not enough expertise for that that customer. So like, you know, I like

31:57

saying the

31:57

same 10 things a thousand times versus a thousand things 10 times Bobby,

32:00

because I'm just I'm that

32:01

much of a simple minded man is that, you know, if I talk to a CRO and I ask

32:07

that CR, who do you

32:07

sell to? And unless it's gong, right? Where gong is like, well, we sell the

32:10

salespeople. Okay, good.

32:12

Good. Like you're in a good spot. You sell the salespeople, you're trading

32:16

salespeople,

32:16

and you use your product. Unless that is you. I think you're in a world of hurt

32:20

right now. Why?

32:21

It's like, oh, we sell to manufacturing CIOs. Okay, fantastic. How many sellers

32:26

on your team

32:27

have been manufacturing CIOs? The answer is none. The answer is none. And what

32:32

industry is that is

32:34

your median rep on? They're on their fourth or fifth industry. Like they're not

32:38

close to the

32:38

customer. They don't understand how to become a better manufacturing CIO, much

32:43

less a mediocre

32:44

or shitty one. Let me tell you about the supply chain. Right. You know, like

32:48

they don't even

32:49

know the supply chain. They would have no clue. It's like, and that's maddening

32:53

as a customer.

32:56

It's maddening as a buyer. We're stick a bit.

32:58

We're a ecosystem that actually has subject matter expertise that you can

33:02

leverage and drill down

33:03

on. Hence you can, you know, look, unless you're really big or you go vertical,

33:07

SaaS like Viva in your own that category because it's pharma, right? And then

33:12

you're very narrow,

33:12

but it's so big that narrow is good. Yeah, no, absolutely. I think that's the

33:18

case. But like,

33:19

you know, for the folks that are listening here, I think that's, you know, one

33:23

of my takeaways is

33:23

like you got to build some conviction around an industry and a problem and a

33:26

challenge.

33:27

It's not industry hopping so much and figure out what the heck you actually

33:30

care about

33:31

because it's not enough to understand a product. You have to understand the

33:35

outcome that the

33:36

customer is looking for. Right. Well, and the changes in the landscape of their

33:39

environment,

33:39

is the market, the market, is it regulatory or there are different things going

33:44

on?

33:44

Is it the cost of money manufacturing? I mean, there's so many aspects that you

33:49

as a seller would

33:50

never have. There's no way you could know that unless you came from that

33:53

industry.

33:54

That's where I'll give my Isaac. Isaac's not here to geek out with me on this

33:58

part,

33:58

but give our backgrounds a big shout out Austrian economics. You know, it's

34:01

market-based thinking

34:02

where like the market always wins in like the study of human action, it's you

34:06

need to be

34:07

obsessed with the market, not obsessed with your company or the model. The

34:10

market always wins.

34:12

The market always wins. And the reason which I'm an eternal student of go to

34:16

market for that

34:17

reason. Right. Right. And I'm, I can go down to esoteric things I look at to

34:22

try to understand

34:23

how they were sold, where they were sold through anywhere from, you know, how

34:25

did five hour energy

34:26

get dominant market share? They went into a gas station and said, I went in

34:30

front of that and

34:30

I'll give you 50 points of margin. What gas station only makes 50 points of

34:33

margin on anything? How

34:34

about none? So what would I put in front of my cash register? The thing that

34:37

everybody walking

34:38

in my gas station needs, energy. Now those economics have changed and they

34:42

probably get 5%

34:44

because the addiction has happened, the adoption has happened, and now they're

34:47

just going to milk

34:48

the machine. Absolutely. Absolutely. Bobby, parting words for the, the partner

34:55

leaders out there and

34:56

that, you know, I guess that's the call to action is that you need to shoot me

34:59

note on LinkedIn,

35:00

folks, if you're listening, saying, Hey, let's do that CFO talk with Bobby.

35:04

Tell us what you want to hear. Send us a note because we've got content to

35:06

share and just

35:07

don't know what you don't know. Yeah, I think that the CFO is definitely going

35:13

to be the most

35:13

important person I've connected with the gentleman. It's from my, like my, to

35:17

me, I never used CFOs.

35:18

He's got the strategy CFO Jack and it's interesting. I listened to them. I

35:21

actually turned a couple

35:22

of salesforce execs onto them just so that others could hear some of the riches

35:26

in the stories

35:27

because that that's truly and the CFO is going to be strategic. They're no

35:30

longer a bean counter.

35:31

They're going to be made and you see the CFO and CFO collapsing and consolid

35:35

ating so they actually

35:36

understand parts of the business. Yeah, that's, I mean, partner people persever

35:41

ance

35:42

day to day to day to the day that doesn't lie. Give the proof points. And if

35:46

you're not looking at

35:46

the ecosystem, I guarantee your competitors are and you may have already missed

35:50

that bus.

35:51

100% 100% Bobby, I could talk to you about a thousand things over the next

36:00

several hours.

36:01

It's a blast having you on the podcast every single time. We're going to need

36:04

to do an event.

36:05

So I'll ping Shawnee on that. We'll bring the CFO in. Thank you so much for

36:09

joining us today on

36:11

the podcast. Thanks for having me. It's always a pleasure. All right, nearbound

36:14

. We'll see you around

36:15

until next time on the nearbound podcast.

36:22

Bye.

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