Episode 7

Heidi Bullock and Ted Purcell | CMO & CRO at Tealium

Aligning B2B Marketing and Revenue Teams: Interview with Heidi Bullock and Ted Purcell

Heidi Bullock is the CMO at Tealium and has worked at some of the top marketing organizations on the planet, facilitating the transitions of company maturity and scale. Ted Purcell is Tealium’s CRO and has a track record in building modern revenue teams and GTM motions. In this Catalyst interview, they chat with Justin Gray about well aligned revenue teams and their role in building and scaling unicorn level businesses.

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3 Key Points:

  1. Gaining clarity is critical to succeeding in a new role. Fresh eyes will allow you to analyze what’s happening within an organization, giving the team a new perspective on not only marketing and sales, but the customer life cycle, product operations and finance as well. Once you get clarity, you can drive priorities and execution.
  2. For growth goals to be met, your success metrics must be easily measurable and well understood. In other words, high level goals won’t stand a chance unless the initiatives and processes that get you there are well defined and supported – including with the executive team.
  3. Every level of scale in a company’s growth trajectory will be completely different. On top of that, ICP and product market fit can mean something different one fiscal year to the next. This is why alignment and communication need to be prioritized.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

1:00 – How do you spend your time as CRO and CMO of Tealium?

4:40 – What does it mean to be a catalyst and how does it apply to sales?

9:39 – How do you draw the line of what needs to evolve and change, and what is the right fit for a business?

14:03 – What’s your vision for change look like?

19:45 – How do you think about KPIs and do you have any you are setting in the near term?

31:20 – Who was a catalyst for you in your career or personal life?

37:24 – What are you excited about for the rest of the year?

39:20 – Wrap-Up: Find Heidi and Ted on LinkedIn

Full Transcript

 

Justin Gray:

All right. Hey, once again, you are back on Catalyst. I’m Justin Gray, CO, LeadMD, but probably the least important person on the call today because I’m joined by two really great subject matter experts that deal with exactly what we normally talk about on this podcast, which is of course change, how to facilitate that within your organization and really drive results. So I am extremely glad to have both Ted Purcell, CRO for Telium, and Heidi Bullock, CMO for Telium, so we’ve got a twofer here, both sides of the revenue funnel. Again, guys, really excited to have you guys on the show today. Welcome.

 

Ted Purcell:

Thanks.

 

Heidi Bullock:

Thank you. Glad to be here.

 

Justin Gray:

So you guys may require no intros but we’ll do a brief one here anyway. So Ted, I’ll start with you. Give us a little bit of a background in terms of how you are in your career, and maybe a little bit of a window into what your normal day looks like.

 

Ted Purcell:

Okay. Sounds great. The last one will be the kicker questions actually. Because my day right now, we actually have a board meeting next week, and we have our sales kick off next week, so my day is not looking normal right now at all. But going back to your original question, I’ve been at Telium now, like Justin said, for six months. Started in the middle of last year. Previously I was with Marketo, I joined Marketo back in 2016. About three months after that we were acquired by Vista. Went through the whole process of the Vista acquisition and what we went through there, which we’re going to talk a little bit about today, and then went through the acquisition by Adobe as well.

 

Ted Purcell:

Then previous to that I was at Marketo. I ran the commercial business which was the largest chunk of revenue for Marketo. We were going through our transformation going from predominantly an SMB based company from its roots into more of a mid market in either the enterprise based motion as we progressed and matured the company. Previously to Marketo I was the chief revenue officer at a company called Clarizen. Before that where I really feel like I built a lot of my understanding of what my own personal leadership agenda is, how I look at host-based mentalities, how I look at creating high performing organization. I spent 10 years at SAP and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life.

 

Justin Gray:

Awesome. Thank you so much. Heidi, the same question. I know no one has a normal day, but I know a lot of our audience is comprised of CMOs, so really interested to understand how you spend your time.

 

Heidi Bullock:

Yeah. So like Ted I feel like the answer is I don’t really ever have a normal day. And I think for me the key is, a word that I think a lot about is just flexibility. A typical day for me, I’m up at five, I’m on calls because we’re an international company, so I think that bookends my days. I’m either early with Amia or I’m late with APJ, and I just try to pack in as much as I can. I think with Telium there’s a lot to do so I feel really busy. But I’m also really energized by it. But I think for people listening, I also have kids. There’s no shortage of things going on in my household, so I think it’s all about being flexible and getting really good at optimizing your time. That’s another piece that I would add.

 

Heidi Bullock:

Then I think a lot of people listening know my background. I, prior to this, was CMO at Engagio, which is an account-based marketing platform founded by John Miller, one of the founders of Marketo. I joined Marketo in 2012, and had gone through the IPO, the Vista acquisition, a lot of change. A wonderful experience, and somewhere to Ted’s point on SAP, I think that that’s really where I honed in on my leadership style and really how I wanted to lead as a marketing executive.

 

Justin Gray:

Awesome. So as I mentioned the podcast is all about change agents facilitating change, and it’s always interesting in the marketplace, since you guys both have a shared Marketo background, that we so often hear, “I want what Marketo did”, or, “I want the engine that was behind Marketo.” Everyone’s very impressed with the sales and marketing motion that was really created and propelled that company through a number of stages of growth.

 

Justin Gray:

I am curious though to get both of your take on just what the term Catalyst means for you. Heidi I’ll start with you there, because you’ve mentioned your leadership and how it really started with experience over at SAP but stewarded you through those other organizations. What does it mean to be a catalyst?

 

Heidi Bullock:

So for me, I mean my background is in the sciences, so just technically it’s a change agent really. It’s that simple, and I think it’s a person that comes in excited for change. Actually somebody that’s energized by change and brings with them I think just a set of processes, but also a leadership style that embraces like sometimes you might not know something, sometimes the environment around you is going to be dynamic but I think somebody that to me is really energized by that, and isn’t scared by it.

 

Heidi Bullock:

An analogy that I like is sometimes if you are somebody that’s been a surfer or enjoys those types of water sports, things can change fast when you’re doing that sport, and I feel like you’re somebody that can figure out you can ride that wave. I notice that people often in high-tech do the best when they just have that outlook in general. Nothing is static. I can’t think of any company I’ve worked for where they’re just like, “Yep. Same this month.” So you might as well get on board and enjoy that.

 

Justin Gray:

Ted. What do you think about the notion of a catalyst as it applies to sales?

 

Ted Purcell:

Well, boy, there’s a lot of great statements that Heidi just made about that. You’re right, change is very hard. Comfort is human nature, comfort is king, and I view change much like breaking bones and healing bones. It could be that painful in a lot of ways, because human nature is not predisposed to embrace change, and is not easy. It’s hard. But it is, in my opinion, the most fulfilling human trait that there is. If you’re open to change, if you provide gratitude in ability to seek clarity in the fact that your opinions could be changed for the better, I think it’s an inspirational human trait. Let alone organizational traits to improve performance.

 

Ted Purcell:

It’s just the last couple of companies I’ve been at have been in these roles where you’re trying to impact and create change, and create almost a turnaround mentality, and creating a culture around positivity and optimism around change for the better. When people are less comfortable with that change is really, really challenging. And your question of what does that mean for being a catalyst in that context, and I just think it has to be lead with authenticity, sincerity, transparency, and from the front. And I just think that it’s that simple. 

 

Justin Gray:

Yeah. It’s interesting that you bring up the notion of gratitude, which I think is one of the areas that people don’t know normally associate with that, but super powerful in creating that ability to accept change.

 

Ted Purcell:

I think there’s a lot of really interesting concepts coming into military… into leadership these days. I brought up the military because early in my career I looked at leadership, I wasn’t inspired about leadership when I was early in my career. I looked at leadership like it was management, and I didn’t want to do it. In fact, one of the things that I believe that makes me more effective, even though leadership is a challenge and a learning experience every single day, one of the things that I think makes me effective is that I spent a long time as an individual contributor. But I did not want to go into management, and I wasn’t inspired by corporate management.

 

Ted Purcell:

In fact, leadership to me was military, sports, and government. I just hadn’t seen it. At SAP I witnessed it and I saw it firsthand, and it inspired me, and when you get that moment of clarity and excitement around it and you see when Catalyst for change is driven by optimism, and like I said, authenticity and sincerity, it can create a real Catalyst and it’s extremely fulfilling. But it’s really hard.

 

Justin Gray:

Yeah. Great, great insights. So let’s rewind a little bit, not too far, as you mentioned it’s about six months into the role, but one of the biggest aspects of effective change is obviously knowing where the value is, what you need to embrace, and then what needs to evolve. So specifically as you were coming in to Telium, walk us through that process. This is an organization that has had obviously a great deal of success within the market, and as you come into that role they’re looking to obviously create change for a reason, look at the scale, and really go beyond what is a really critical threshold. Right around that $100 million threshold and go far above that. So how do you assess where the organization’s strengths are and where you need to bring in that necessary change?

 

Ted Purcell:

Well, the thing that, and I used the term a little bit earlier, the thing that I’m always seeking is clarity, and I feel like for any change clarity is extremely important because making change without it is not a suggested mode. You can make a lot of mistakes and have to backtrack, and when you’re trying to create change it can create impact culturally on an organization, and I often find that in these high growth SaS companies that what got you here won’t get you where you need to go. There’s common terms like this that get thrown around all the time, and of course change is a relative term because many companies have the good fortune of product market fit and ideal customer profile with the sales and marketing engine that just sends it to the moon without any real growth friction.

 

Justin Gray:

So Ted, the question over to you, as you are coming into an organization and you’re trying to evaluate really the foundations that are working well, what are some of those indicators that you look for? I know you mentioned if something is indoctrinated and the organization is living it, you want to be really careful that you’re going to come in there and really start throwing things out the window. So how do you draw that line of what needs to evolve and change, and what is a right fit for the business?

 

Ted Purcell:

Well, so there’s a couple of terms that come to mind. One I said a little bit earlier which was clarity. I’m always trying to see clarity. It’s my number one mission as I come into an organization to really understand as much of the context as I can. And since I’m in the process of leading revenue teams, you’re looking at the entire customer journey, or as I like to call customer engagement life cycle, is every aspect of it from not only marketing and sales development, and partner organizations, and sales organizations leading into services and customer success, but product operations and finance as well.

 

Ted Purcell:

Through that clarity, that’s how I drive priorities. And to me it’s a three prong set that I’m looking for. Clarity, priorities, and execution, and once I have that clarity I set the priority, I communicate it early, and often, and very consistent so that everyone’s on the same page and you build a high performance culture around transparency, and communication, and alignment. Then it’s all about execution at that point. Now you’re constantly reviewing things to make sure that your earlier priorities are still in fact your priorities and you’re always seeking clarity whenever possible every single day. That’s all I’m trying to do is to seek clarity and also, to your earlier point, try to create change. And change my opinion and look for ways for me to see things through a different lens or a better lens so I can stay ahead of the change that inevitably happens in these markets.

 

Justin Gray:

Yeah. Heidi, similar question over to you, but being the in the discipline of marketing which tends to be somewhat still undefined. It’s a rapidly changing profession in and of itself. What do you look for in the rest of the executive team that allows you to know that you can be effective within that environment. As Ted mentioned, that clarity and the joint understanding of goals is so critical, but I find often times organizations struggle to get that in terms of what we want to do and how marketing is actually going to reinforce those goals.

 

Heidi Bullock:

Yeah. I actually really like that question. I think for me, there’s a piece that I’ll highlight, and I think I do look at the executive team and what have they set out, and it’s important, as Ted said, getting clarity and understanding, “Oh, the objective is this growth goal”, or, “We’re at this amount of AR and we want to get to that next point.” But I really look at it, it’s my job.

 

Heidi Bullock:

I think something that I really try to emphasize is internal marketing, so I might have the high level goal but then it’s my job to create the initiatives, and all the other processes that need to map to that to ensure that we’re tracking. And you know this Justin, you’re a marketer, it’s something that is not always well defined, well understood, and everyone’s got an opinion. So it’s my job to be very, very clear around, “Okay, if our growth goal”, I’ll make this up, “Is 30 to 40%, here’s the initiatives I plan to run for this quarter. Q2, Q3, Q4, and these are our success metrics. And they have to be really easily measurable and well understood, and the onus is on me to really make sure that the executive team hears it over and over, and it’s also clear to them.

 

Heidi Bullock:

So I’m a big fan of OKRs, I’m actually rolling those out currently, and I like them because again it’s the epitome of being clear, and everyone knows where they stand and what they need to do. But just the high level, I think it’s a real danger actually to look at the rest of the executive team to set that pace for a marketer, because you’re not going to get it. It’s just not going to happen. I see a lot of CMOs where, you know the 10 year can be a little bit iffy at best at a lot of orgs, and I think that’s part of the problem. I think in a lot of cases they do great, great work, but it’s just bridging that gap and making sure that understanding is there.

 

Justin Gray:

Yeah. The internal marketing aspect and then obviously visible highly aligned goals. Really, really key elements of setting change up for success there. Ted, as you think about where… So you come in at this point, you’ve done those assessments, you’ve obviously understood the goals of the organization and where they want to be. What do you see for Telium, what does that organization look like, what are some of those key elements that you’ve been able to achieve in 18 months? What’s that vision for change look like?

 

Ted Purcell:

Well, without getting into too much detail, setting the organization and setting the culture around that sense of clarity that I was talking about earlier, quite frankly, and what priorities are. It was interesting, when I was at Marketo it was a vastly different world then what I was used to at SAP where in sales you spent the bulk of the time creating demand. And at a place like Marketo, now we had product market fit and we had a highly engaged customer base and opportunity base given the category, it ended up being demand satisfaction in a lot of ways. And so how you prioritize your days and how you prioritize opportunities was largely fit around that concept of clarity.

 

Ted Purcell:

For us it was in the early days of really understanding how product market fit and ideal customer profile fit into the funnel and into seller’s time. So that is absolutely the exercise that we are going through not only across the commercial businesses, but across our enterprise businesses, is to really understand where we can be most efficient because in these growth companies, the really is you don’t have enough time, you don’t have enough resources. And as you get into the larger companies you may have a lot of resources, and then the question is who are the quality resources and people we can really rely on to deliver high quality work.

 

Ted Purcell:

But that clarity, that driving priorities through that concept of starting with us in product market fit, leading through ideal customer profile to align the entire company around that to create the best customer experience and the best customer journey possible, and aligning every single organization around that so not only that our customers can be successful, but that so we can satisfy the needs to drive the financial performance of the business.

 

Heidi Bullock:

Yeah, because I think one of the things that I think we’re trying to do is you see at a lot of organizations, like Ted said it earlier, different sizes you have a very different playbook. And I think at the size we are it’s really about scale, and it’s about trying to have really consistent plays. I think when you have a product market fit you have your stars, and they might do one thing and it works, and it’s great and everyone loves it, and it’s rewarded. But I think when you’re at the inflection point we are, and that next stage of growth, which by the way is hard, I feel like it only gets harder. And even with product market fit it’s tricky, and I think try to make sure that the plays are consistent.

 

Heidi Bullock:

The marketing programs are consistent. We measure in a consistent way, and then we can optimize. To me that’s a big takeaway for people listening. Do we have the same message? Are people trained the same way? Even in marketing, does everyone know how to create the same type of programming or marketing automation tool? It sounds not that interesting, but it’s so important, and it’s so hard when you get bigger.

 

Ted Purcell:

Yeah, and I think to that point, at every level of scale in a company’s growth trajectory is completely different, and the term ideal customer profile and product market fit can mean something completely different one fiscal year into the next. The biggest challenge you have is engaging and creating as much alignment across people’s calendars and things that they do day in and day out, and no inundating people reporting the news, but enabling people to make the news.

 

Ted Purcell:

This is always a challenge because keeping people aligned requires communication, and communication requires either electronic communication or individual communication. Phone calls, meetings, face to face, Zoom, whatever it may be. And that challenge in creating that alignment is a meaningful one, for sure.

 

Justin Gray:

Yeah, and I think what I heard there from both of you is that really does start with an understanding of the buyer, and then we can build on those foundations. So I think for an organization like Telium that obviously has had success, you’re point around markets change, buyers change, the solutions that they’re looking for changes, and just constantly harpooning back and saying, “Do we understand who that buyer is that this moment? Do we have our ideal profiles understood, and have we precipitated those down across the teams to get alignment?” Is just absolutely key there.

 

Heidi Bullock:

But also just to drive growth though. A lot of companies, you might have the core set that got you from zero to 20 million AR, and guess what? A lot of people have to move up market, or they have to pop into a new vertical. So I’m sure most people listening on the call, even if they’ve done a great job with their initial ICP and that early adopter market, it looks very different than the early to late majority. All of us have seen and understand that, but I think it’s getting everybody else in the org to understand that. And realize the way we sell is different, the way we market is different as we move up market.

 

Heidi Bullock:

Or I know some companies that are great at the enterprise and they want to move down market. It’s a very different motion and getting everyone on board with that is not always easy, but important.

 

Justin Gray:

So in terms of the element of getting people on board, we hear a lot of talk certainly from always sales, marketing is now heavily in this conversation as well, around metrics and KPI. We want these performances, these agreed upon performance indicators that we’re going to be able to look and say, “Hey, we’re on track”, or, “We’re succeeding.”

 

Justin Gray:

How do you guys think about KPI, certainly as it relates to change initiatives like the ones that you guys are going through, and specifically what I want to think about there is setting realistic expectations, and putting the KPIs in front of the CEO, the board, for a public company the Street, and ensuring that their expectation are properly aligned to what you’ll be able to produce there. So Ted, I’ll start with you, as you think about even the changes that you guys are undergoing today, do you have certain KPIs that you’re setting in the near term? And how do those evolve as that change starts to take root?

 

Ted Purcell:

Well, it’s an excellent question, but for us what you look like, the KPIs that you’re looking at in a classic, almost unit economic sense, for us are evolving through the period of change. One of the things that really helped to create the change that we had at Marketo, which we’re going through at Telium as well, was a clear definition of the opportunity itself, because that became the North Star. That also becomes the North Start at Telium. What does it look like? What state does it need to be in? Where do you want the nurture and the development to be? Do you want it in marketing, in sales, in the channel, do you want it in sales development? The clarity of the opportunity definition in order to drive the right KPIs, which to me are conversion rate average age and ASP, and those are the fundamentals of really understanding the unit economics of the funnel or the business from a sales perspective, but then I’m really trying to look at how things are maturing through the process of discovery into value stage.

 

Ted Purcell:

In that early stage pipeline the biggest thing for me is it is very common across sales management that lead a cadence around forecast, and not be as focused on pipeline. And if you’re only focused on forecast, typically that’s the red zone in the football terminology, of the forecast. That’s the last 20 yards of the sales cycle and a lot of battles have been lost, and won by the way, in the first 20 yards of the journey, and there has to be a way to force feed the organization from the top down and the bottom up around pipeline. And more, I don’t want to say, top of the funnel disrespect the term the way that Heidi properly looks at the term top of the funnel. We go through that ourselves and say, “There’s so much more stuff that’s going on before that”, and she’ll get into that detail, but having an understanding how things are progressing through the organization but putting the three-pronged approach in the sales leadership context of having a forecast cadence, having a pipeline cadence, and having a sales or operational hygiene cadence.

 

Ted Purcell:

Those are the three things that matter the most to me, because if you’re not focused on all three, then you’re missing the entire picture of what makes organizations, not only people, in human nature successful.

 

Justin Gray:

Yeah. Heidi, same question from the marketing aspect. As Ted mentioned right there, there’s often within an organization a lot of different expectations that are certainly put on marketing, what are some of those KPIs that you’re looking to create clarity, definition, and alignment around.

 

Heidi Bullock:

Sure. I think the place I start is my audience first. So that answer might look a little bit different if I’m reporting to the board, it might look a little bit different if I’m working with my direct team. So it think that’s point number one is I think that metrics are great but you first have to know your audience, because we’re all going to care a little bit about different things. So more at an executive level I think I certainly am going to look at our meetings. I feel like I own that really closely with our SDR team, I think that that’s a great point where we’re coming together. Our op number, our pipeline value.

 

Heidi Bullock:

I think other metrics that I care a lot about are customer lifetime value, retention. It’s really getting a sense of, in marketing, I don’t want to just be in this acquisition whirlwind and then ultimately not retain the right type of customer, so I really want to understand the health of that full process. Are we engaging people, are we delighting them, what’s our upsell cost sell? So that’s that high level piece, so different metrics there. I mean certainly I also look at different metrics around our brand, which that’s probably a whole other conversation. But all of those things matter to me, even with our product marketing org I look at are we doing a good job, is our sales velocity improving?

 

Heidi Bullock:

If we’re doing a good job in product marketing in getting them the right content and the right help with demos, that should help. So you really get granular, and then I think I’m a big believer that you still need early, mid and late stage metrics. I know everyone’s like, “It’s pipeline.” But If I don’t see certain things early on, gosh it’s too late for me to make a difference, and that’s a key key point I want to make. It’s not about there’s one metric, it’s just you’re diagnosing different things at different points. So early stage, clearly I’m looking at are we selling into the right accounts, are we getting I think the right people in and engaged at an account I care about. Is it an executive? Do I have a person that’s leading the IT group? Do I have somebody that’s a data analyst?

 

Heidi Bullock:

So it’s not just new names, it’s are they the right people, and are they people that can make a difference. Am I engaging them? And then other middle stage metrics like an MQL or an MQA. That’s the early piece, but I think it’s just very important to know your audience and then what question you’re starting with. 

 

Ted Purcell:

Those are all great points to look at in things that somebody, a modern revenue machine marketer like Heidi, is in the details of that and it makes it so much more helpful downstream when you’ve got that sense of clarity to really understand to what level the prospect has been engaged. When it gets deeper into the funnel for us, and going back to the metrics point, and this is a common term, is that people need 3X pipeline in order to be successful, and a lot of sales leadership is driving towards 3X pipe.

 

Ted Purcell:

It’s interesting in high performing organizations I’ve seen as low as 1.9X pipe to revenue ratio when people are making the number, by the way. And I’ve seen as high as four or 5X pipeline where the opportunity definition wasn’t quite as specific and things were way earlier stage, and there weren’t really opportunities, and the three to 5X pipe multiple ends up really throwing everything off from a metrics perspective. So that can be a real exercise in change in and of itself around high performing organizations to really understand what pipe multiple really means. And that’s why I always go back to the opportunity definition earlier in the process, because if the opportunity definition is consistent, and if we agree with it.

 

Ted Purcell:

By the way, it could change in many organizations depending upon the scale of the company, depending upon the region, depending upon the segment, depending upon the product, but assuming that all those are constant and you have clarity around the definitions of what that means, that can also help you really understand who’s high performing and who’s not, so you can understand what the needed pipe multiple is to drive the revenue.

 

Justin Gray:

Yeah. I think what’s interesting there, and certainly this is a product of where the sales and marketing disciplines are at within their maturity cycle, but there’s a lot of shared nomenclatures, there’s a lot of shared focus between your two teams which obviously would not have been there probably even five, much less 10 years ago, as marketers have certainly embraced their influence on pipeline, on forecast, on sharing that joint opportunity definition and so on. So again, just harkins back to that point of clarity and ensuring that executives have the same vision in order to affect change. So really interesting to see that dynamic there.

 

Ted Purcell:

Yeah, and what I would also say Justin just to double down on that, because we could talk about this for two hours, but where opportunities are sourced can oftentimes have completely different opportunity definitions. You look at partner channels and the partner influenced side of the business, partners are often times way more credible in organizations than a vendor is, and it’s been that way since the dawn of time. But you want partner influenced or partner sourced opportunities technically have higher ASPs, and higher conversion rates, and lower average age. But the credibility that gets behind it, marketing sources may be more highly engaged. Sales development or sales source may be outbound, and it’s oftentimes outbound opportunities, it’s not like they’re picking up the phone or responding to some sort of electronic communication by saying, “Oh my God, I’m so glad you called. I’m in the market in the next couple of weeks I’m going to be buying a product just like yours.”

 

Justin Gray:

That happens all the time.

 

Ted Purcell:

“As serendipity would have it we’re talking right now.” That’s more of the rarity, that’s not the rule it’s the exception, but getting that kind of clarity around what the customer engagement lifecycle looks like based on the source also could affect all those other metrics. Which is the reason why it becomes so important to have one consolidated opportunity definition.

 

Justin Gray:

Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely.

 

Heidi Bullock:

Can I add one thing Justin that I think your people listening might enjoy? I think when we are talking about clarity, because I’m trying to think if somebody is listening to this like, “How can I implement that? How can I make it real?” One of the really smart things Marketo did, and again a lot of people were involved in this, was actually really making sure that all of the revenue model and the definitions were posted on a wall. So any person at any time could see, “This is what that definition was, this was the next step and next stage”, and so there wasn’t discussion around, “What is that really?” I think if more companies did that, I think it just takes that all off the table.

 

Heidi Bullock:

You don’t need to argue about the definition is, it is or it isn’t. I think just having that, it’s silly in a way, it sounds funny, but just posting a huge image of that and even when new hires joined that was something that we’d always walk people through. Just a thought. I think that was a really helpful thing.

 

Justin Gray:

Yeah. It’s those really embraced methodologies, and as you said, sometimes it may seem overly simplistic, but we get so electronic these days and everything is, “Oh we’ve got a system for that, and we can put that in.” Like we use OKR views and OKR software, I think it’s great, but at the end of the day I’ve got a big goals board on my wall. And I think that that creates alignment. And certainly it creates the clarity that we’ve been talking about.

 

Heidi Bullock:

Right, because you can’t always find it a Google drive somewhere.

 

Justin Gray:

Yeah. Or the 15,000 Google drives that tend to exist out there. So I am curious, and Ted I’ll ask this of you first, you mentioned your career history at SAP and so on, but I’m curious as leaders become effective at change I find there’s always, and sometimes multiple, but there’s always someone that stands out in their mind in terms of who was a catalyst for them, who really inspired them and took them under their wing. Do you have someone like that that existed either in your career or your personal life? Someone that you really took a great deal from?

 

Ted Purcell:

Yeah. I have a number of them. I would say that the number one that I have from a professional perspective is Bill McDermott was the CEO of SAP, he was actually started as the head of North American sales at SAP and then became the global head of sales operations, and then the CEO. But I remember when it happened too, as an individual contributor, as an AE, Bill McDermott is a legendary figure in the high-tech business now, and there’s probably thousands of people that feel just like I do so this is no secret that Bill McDermott’s a legend, but I remember how he became a legend to me. He’s not only a really smart guy and a really classic guy, he’s funny and obviously very polished and professional, but he has an amazing sense of authenticity and sincerity when it really comes down to one to one communication which I really strive to and I believe in as well.

 

Ted Purcell:

But I remember where we had, I won’t mention the name of the company, but I had a $15 million software deal that was committed, and it was the end of the fiscal year. It was after Christmas, I think it was probably the 27th or 28th of December on particular year when we found at that deal, a committed $15 million deal for a publicly traded company was not going to happen and it was going to get pushed to the next, at least… At that point we actually thought we weren’t even going to win the business and it was completely at risk.

 

Justin Gray:

Oh, wow.

 

Ted Purcell:

So it was a massive gut punch to say the least. That happened on a Friday afternoon, like I said, on the date, and I remember the next Saturday morning I had about a two hour conversation with Bill. Was walking around the street in front of my house on the cellphone and he was literally talking me off the ledge and providing what I saw as the most amazing, authentic, people leadership and coaching that I’d ever heard. And you would think that in that kind of situation, that’s a massive risk to a lot of people other then just an AE when you’re talking about transactions of that size.

 

Ted Purcell:

He went through the mindset of what we were going to do to create recovery. He completely supported me and the personal words that he shared with me, to me, stuck with me to this point. The good news is we ended up not only doing the deal, it actually got bigger, which was an amazing feat to come out of that.

 

Justin Gray:

Yeah. I’ve seen Bill talk a couple different times, and just an amazing, amazing leader. That’s a great story. Heidi, I know you’ve worked with some really high profile folks as well, but I’m curious, who’s going to play that role for that stands out?

 

Heidi Bullock:

Yeah. I’d say the person that stands out to me is Sanjay Dholakia. He was the CMO at Marketo during a lot of my tenure there. And I think he actually, and not everyone knows this because Marketo has such a long and colorful history, but when he really joined the organization I think the culture, I think a lot of things were not what they were ultimately at the end of our tenure. And I think that he brought in just a very different way of operating, and he instigated a lot of change, I think again to get to that next level of growth. But the thing that was interesting to me is he always did it in a very human and very calm, and very positive way.

 

Heidi Bullock:

So I think for me looking, as Ted said, change is hard for people, and I think some leaders they can instigate change but they don’t necessarily do it in a way that everyone wants to follow them. Or some people feel like, “Gosh, everything I did wasn’t that great.” And I think he drove a lot of change but did it in a way that was very clear, very passionate, and also just very positive for everyone. For everyone. Regardless of if you joined the company three years before that or you joined that day. And to me that’s something I’ve always aspired to do. Somebody that I think also was very calm and positive in times that many people could have had a very different outlook.

 

Justin Gray:

Right. Right, and if my history is correct I think Sanjay actually came about as a result of the Crowd Factory acquisition, correct?

 

Heidi Bullock:

He did. That’s correct.

 

Justin Gray:

Yeah, and that’s an interesting dynamic there. Normally you see folks that are taking that GM title and they’re hanging out for a year, and let’s wait for the tail, and let’s leave. So I saw Sanjay also as someone that appeared to have been in the business since day one. So I think that impact is definitely reflected in that profile.

 

Ted Purcell:

What Heidi just mentioned, because I was at the tail end of Sanjay’s tenure at Marketo, and it’s really cool to see Heidi lead through that too. She’s obviously gleaned a lot of that authenticity and sincerity that Sanjay is famous for. The guy is the epitome of that. But what really makes me think about that kind of leadership is like you used to hear about doctors, like, “What is their bedside manner?” And Sanjay’s beside manner is he’s such a sincere, calm, gracious person. He was rooted in the facts, he was rooted in details and the data, but he just had such a nice way about him. And I think that goes a long way, to Heidi’s point, about creating calm in these fast moving often changing organizations where it can be insane sometimes.

 

Justin Gray:

Yeah. Absolutely. So we’re coming to the close of the show here, but we’d absolutely love to a little segment as everyone does of rapid questions, but we like to think these are actually rooted in some value for the listeners. So Heidi I will start with you, what is the one thing you’re most excited for for the upcoming year? Obviously we just turned over into a new year. What excites you in 2020?

 

Heidi Bullock:

What excites me is seeing my current team achieve some of the goals that we’ve set out. Since I’ve been at the company I’ve just seen people blossom, and I’ve seen people just take ownership of projects, and actually really achieve their goals and that gets me really excited. I think when you have this vision, and you get everybody aligned, and then it’s like, “Let’s go do it.” That, to me, is the most exciting thing in my role right now. It’s just we have a lot that we’re trying to achieve and we slowly see people that may initially, when I talk to them, they might have said, “Oh, I don’t know that I can do that. I don’t know that I’m the person.” And when you see others blossoming and doing an amazing job, that excites me. There’s no better feeling than that.

 

Justin Gray:

Awesome, and the inverse, what’s the one thing that always seems like a good idea but never is?

 

Heidi Bullock:

Something that always seems like a good idea that never is. The easiest answer to that, I feel like most roads, especially in a lot of executive meetings, everyone’s like, “Let’s do a press release.” That’s not always the answer, and they cost money. Most people don’t know that. They’re not free. So the answer is not always a press release.

 

Justin Gray:

Awesome. Ted, what’s the one thing you hate spending money on?

 

Ted Purcell:

Mistakes.

 

Justin Gray:

Good answer. What types of stories will people tell about you when you’re long gone?

 

Ted Purcell:

Boy, that could run the gambit from childhood friends, to college friends, to professional friends, to everything. I think hopefully and optimistically it’s about somebody that merged professional and personal life through excitement, adventure, and authenticity.

 

Justin Gray:

That’s awesome. Well again guys, thanks so much for joining us here today. We got a twofer in this one. Ted Purcell CRO Telium. Heidi Bullock CMO, same organization. Rapidly growing org, a lot of change happening over there but you guys are stewarding it incredibly well. Thanks for joining us here today.

 

Heidi Bullock:

Thanks for having us.

 

Justin Gray:

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