Marcus Oulds, VP Sales – GoCardless – Sales Confidence

So just as an understanding I I’ve only been at GoCardless since January right so I started in January, I came from Google as exchanges highlighted, but what they’ve asked me talk about was what’s the difference between wearing it GoCardless and difference between working at Google. And when I was thinking about it what I wanted to talk about was kind of that sales culture that one is that culture of success, and I guess the plot twist is there isn’t any difference, the difference are working at GoCardless list and the difference are working at Google if you do the things right, is exactly the same. I have a pretty simple mantra when it comes to kind of keep myself on track and that’s ‘where are we, where should we be, and how we’re going to get there’, and I kind of envisioned that I talked to my sales team a lot about this and it’s really how we’re gonna get there which is the really difficult part for inspiration. So what I look for is how we’re gonna get there I look for people who inspire me I look for programs and inspire me so I’m going to touch on I’m kind of three of them which I think are kind of what I look for in terms of developing my blueprint and give you context, I wasn’t like before Google I worked another startup, and then before that I worked another startup, and for that works another start up, it’s kind of scaling out sales division for about 15 years now.

But in terms of what I look for, so let’s talk about the All Blacks right, so I’m Australian so it hurts me greatly to talk about how good the All Blacks are. So in 2003 the Rugby World Cup was played in Australia and the English actually won that one, but most importantly New Zealand was expecting to win against England who were one of the favorites and at the end of it they decided to completely scrap the entire organization. Graham Henry came in, he was the coach at the time and he brought in four pillars and he said these are the four pillars we want to focus our entire business model: we want to focus on sweeping the shades right, so this is everybody and everybody has a responsibility to get down into the weeds and actually do everything that required of them to be successful and that includes actually sweeping out the sheds. The second was making sure that you kept a blue head which was, for those who are rugby fans in the audience famously Richie McCaw used to stamp his feet very fast to make sure that he was refocusing when he knew that he was getting stressed and needed to make smart wise decisions. Thirdly he talked about how the Champions do more, which is that the responsibility of leaders was to make sure they led from the front and they made sure that they were always doing that little bit extra even though things they really really hated to do. I personally hate reporting and that’s why micelles ups guys up there because he loves me and he loves pulling reports me all day, but I know it’s required of me to make sure they don’t it’s taken place. And ultimately my favorite is no dickheads, so he made sure that he was hiring right.

So then second of all what’s some other things it’s not just about rugby so the second thing is long ASEA, right and Bohr who’s my Spanish AE, loves the fact I can now pronounce it properly but what they talked about was their philosophy making sure that everything they did brought into an overarching philosophy for success. So in 1970 Johan Cruyff said I want to build on the Total Football Academy and I actually want to look better I won’t be here to Barcelona he was given the remit to do this and what that meant was they went out and they scouted for three things: technique, vision, and speed. They knew that those three things were was gonna bring some spring success and what they then did is Johan Cruyff took that philosophy permeated it completely across everything that meant la mesilla. He had Scouts going and finding those three core functions at a very young age where you couldn’t necessarily know they were going to be successful but he knew those three elements were going to lead to success. He had make sure the nutritionists were giving the right food to make sure that vision was at top, the nature of the medical staff is making sure that speed was always there. So that’s always important to me like what is the philosophies, and can we actually everybody buy into it and we have this overarching belief.

And second of all what I like most about it was their holistic development so what other people don’t know about la mesilla isn’t only is it the number one football academy where 2010, famously eight of the eleven of the eleven people starting in the Champions League final actually were from la mesilla, but actually ninety percent of people leave with a college degree they make sure that everybody is actually got a full educational background, and famously they say we don’t produce footballers we produce men, and we produce men who wish to maintain footballers, and so they have to set them up a long term success.

So thirdly does anyone know Billy Beane, and this is the third thing that I originally looked for I said the third thing was the use of sabermetrics; the use of metrics to make decisions right so what are the core metrics we want to focus on and how do we then see success on this and I liked Billy Beane until I realise he never won anything, and therefore I didn’t like him you know so when I then said is actually who took seven metrics implied them for success and that was Theo Epstein. So Theo realised that metrics and isolation meant nothing you actually needed to take personality attributes as well, so he applied not only those core attributes of speed and batting averages and how fast could you hit, but he realised well actually are you creating but he knew that at the Boston Red Sox, they hadn’t won anything in nearly 90 years, and everybody wanted them to be successful quickly. So he instantly said I need to bring people who have got the ability to handle pressure, so he brought them in. So he took that blueprint of core metrics that he knew were going to be successful, he applied that to psychological metrics that he knew were going to lead to long term success, and he took the same thing to the Cubs and they won after 108 years, so we knew that this blueprint was successful.

So to follow up but I think we’re all sitting here going cool Marcus that’s great but I don’t run a sporting team, and I think that I think that’s fine so how do I apply that to life. So just like the Red Sox for me data is king first thing I do when I come into a new sales organization as I build out a blueprint for what are the key metrics want to focus on whatever what payments do we need, and I’ll be constantly iterating to see if they’re actually making a difference. Just like the Boston Red Sox I make sure I hire four for a system I know what this system looks like because I know what metrics are important and I know what I need to be successful; so I know do I need to have an enterprise sales person do I need to have high-velocity SMB sales people what is my market look like and how are they successful against that. I make sure that I’m in planning this vision of what it could look like consistently to the sales guys who have come in for those organisations just like they do in la mesilla, which is what is important to me today, what is important to me tomorrow, and how do I get there.

But also I want to make sure that one of the four things I do is I always make sure that once I build out my blueprint for success what I build out my blueprints for what does good look like, and once I make sure there’s operating agencies in operation to be able to review consistently, I make sure we have a learning management system in place that we can actually establish salespeople who are better the day they leave from the day they start. So that’s just making sure that we’re training for what they need they’re terrible at prospecting, I trained on how to prospect if they’re not great at negotiation skills let’s teach them how highly complex negotiation skills, we know they’re working the enterprise team we know they’ve been dealing with c-level executives let’s give them effective management, let’s give them effective meetings let’s make sure they do a bit of public speaking. And they what are we then learned from the All Blacks I think this is my favorite, one which is at the All Blacks what are we learn from them that it’s my responsibility as a leader of the team to stand up do all the door that I can do the grunt work were required make sure that there is no one who doesn’t want to do the little bits, make sure we are hiring for culture, and most importantly if we don’t I shouldn’t be surprised if I’m working with dickheads, so thanks very much guys.

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