The Revenue Engine

Finding Success and Winning with Transparency with Ryan Walsh, CEO and Founder at RepVue

May 20, 2022

The Revenue Engine

Each week, Revenue Operations expert Rosalyn Santa Elena shines the spotlight on founders, CEOs, and Revenue Leaders from hyper-growth companies and dives deep into the strategies they implement to drive growth and share their learnings. Rosalyn brings you inspirational stories from revenue generators, innovators and disruptors, as well as Revenue Leaders in sales, marketing, and operations.

Transparency. Transparency leads to better outcomes for your team, for your business, and for your customers. But also for hiring. Especially in Sales. With an increasing demand for transparency by potential candidates, we are seeing companies support more transparency as it relates to compensation, earnings, and other data points, that in the past might have been more difficult in terms of visibility.

In this episode of The Revenue Engine Podcast, Ryan Walsh, the CEO and Founder of RepVue, shares how transparency is helping sales professionals research, learn, and join the best run sales organizations, matching expectations with reality to help find success - and achieve what we all want in Sales - to win.


Connect with Ryan on LinkedIn, or at the RepVue website.

Follow Rosalyn on LinkedIn.

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The opinions expressed in this episode are the speaker's own and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Sales IQ or any sponsors.

Rosalyn Santa Elena
Host @ Revenue Engine Podcast + Founder & Chief Revenue Operations Officer @ The RevOps Collective.
Ryan Walsh
CEO and Founder @ RepVue

[00:00:00] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Welcome to the Revenue Engine podcast. I'm your host, Rosalyn Santa Elena, and I am thrilled to bring you the most inspirational stories from revenue generators, innovators, and disruptors, revenue leaders in sales, in marketing, and of course in operations. Together, we will unpack everything that optimizes and powers the revenue engine. Are you ready? Let's get to it.

One of the words I use quite often, because it is something I truly believe in is transparency. Transparency, leads to better outcomes for your team, for your business and for your customers. In this episode of the revenue engine podcast, I'm incredibly thrilled to share the story of Ryan Walsh, the CEO and founder at rep.

As Ryan shares, if you're a sales person, how do you know what it's really like before joining a new organization? Typically, the only way to really know is to ask a friend or someone that you trust, who actually works there.

[00:01:13] Sponsor: Today's podcast is sponsored by Outreach is the first and only engagement and intelligence platform built by revenue innovators, for revenue innovators. Outreach allows you to commit to an accurate sales forecast, replace manual processes with real-time guidance, and unlock actionable customer intelligence that guides you and your team to win more often. Traditional tools don't work in a hybrid sales world. Find out why Outreach is the right solution at

[00:01:52] Rosalyn Santa Elena: And here comes RepVue. So take a listen and learn more about how Ryan and RepVue are helping sales professionals research learn and join the best run sales organizations, matching expectations with reality to help find success and find what we all want in sales: to win.

So, excited to be here today with Ryan Walsh, the CEO and founder of RepVue for those who might not be familiar with RepVue, repVue is the world's largest sales organization platform built by sales professionals for sales professionals to research, learn and apply for sales roles at the best- run sales organizations.

So welcome Ryan, and thank you so much for joining me. So excited to just unpack your story and learn

from you.

[00:02:45] Ryan Walsh: Great. Yeah, no, I'm happy to be here. Thank you so much for inviting me and having me on the podcast. Happy to talk about it and share a little bit more about what, what what my journey has been and where we're going with RepVue.

[00:02:55] Rosalyn Santa Elena: So, so let's talk a little bit about your career journey and sort of your backstory prior to prep for you. You were at channel advisor for over 15 years. Yeah. For starting your own consulting firm growth line consulting. Can you share more about maybe your backstory and your journey before RepVue?

[00:03:10] Ryan Walsh: Yeah. Yeah. Sure. So you know, as you mentioned, as it relates to rep you, right, it's, it's geared at helping sales professionals and, and as a founder and CEO of a tech company, a lot of, a lot of. Founders founders are, have tech backgrounds or developers or engineers, and that sort of thing. One of the opposite of that.

So I'm a career sales person. So spend now, you know, I won't say how many years, but many, many years sales both as for many years as an individual contributor. So as a, as a kind of, I spent about five years as an enterprise. Professional at general visor. And I started at that company on day one, the first day it was founded.

So, and I have some startup experience prior to that. So then kind of in startups, but that one startup just happened last a decade and a half. And, and through that run at channelizer, which is a SAS company that helps e-commerce merchants sell on channels like Amazon and Walmart, eBay. I eventually took over as a CRO and led the sales team from 2011 to 2017.

From 35 million to a hundred. And. 15 ish million while I was there running that sales organization. So, so my background spans everything from selling to director of sales leading account executives leading sales development reps. We started with sales development reps in 2007 or 2008. I think so pretty early on sales development had sales, engineers and sales ops very, very early as well.

Call it 15 years ago. You know, so, so selling leading sales teams, leading account management teams, SDRs AEs sales, ops sales engineers customer success at, at small scales and at big scales, when I left there, the team was about 250 people. The sales org was about 250 people. And really that was, you know, it was foundational in my experience and understanding what.

You know, how are salespeople able to succeed both from my own personal experience, also from the experience of leading other salespeople what environments do they need? What, you know, what type of communication works? How do we interview? How do we hire? Which is very hard. So that was, that was the run there.

The growth line consulting piece was really when I left channel visor, about four years after we did an IPO. I probably assumed that I was going to go back and be an operator. A growth line was, was kind of a fractional CRO type of a thing that I did for a number of smaller tech companies around the North Carolina region where I'm based.

And while is doing that. I spun up the idea of RepVue kind of as. Project. And eventually, instead of going back to being an operator and leaving the consulting business, I'd left the consulting business, but it was to go full-time on RepVue. And I went full-time on RepVue. I believe it was probably Q2 two of 2012.

When I went full-time along on RepVue. So that's just a little bit about my background. I think, you know, we do a lot of content on various social channels related to sales. I personally do a lot and it's it's founder and CEO, but from a background of selling and, and empowering salespeople, and that's really core to our mission at RepVue as well.

[00:06:07] Rosalyn Santa Elena: I love that. I love that. So you talked about kind of doing RepVue sort of on a part-time basis before you kind of went full time. And, you know, as I've spoken to many guests on, on this podcast and other folks, a lot of times when I talk to a founder of, okay, they had a problem or they saw a challenge and something that they were really trying to solve.

Right. Or there, it might've been just some kind of aha moment or an event that happens that sort of shapes this idea. Was this the case for rep fee? Like what was the original vision, I guess, for the company and then maybe how has that changed over time?

[00:06:38] Ryan Walsh: Yeah. Yeah, happy to, happy to talk about that. I mean, w so, so in my background, right?

I I've always seen salespeople when I've, I've witnessed the interview process up front so many times, and it's just really hard to get the right information about companies prior to making an incredibly life-changing decision. About taking a job there. Right. And I, I use the example of like ticket, take an account executive, especially say the, the on target earnings is 160 K.

Right. Okay. That's pretty good. But literally a year out you could be making a hundred K or you could be making 800. Right. Th th the Delta, there is so huge and there are so many factors that go into whether you'll, where you'll be on that spectrum. A number of them are out of your control as a sales professional.

So how do you extract the right information to make the decision for your career, whether you should join that org. And if you talk to people historically, it's kind of like, well, what's the best way. Right. What were the best way know knows you have a friend that works there, right? You can just call that friend and you can ask them why what's it?

Like, what's the culture, like, what's the boss. Like I'm going to get this territory or I'm going to be on this team. Like what's going on? Like even in some works like TMA. Oh, yay. I'll be on that team. B no avoid that team. Is there so much variability, you have to have a friend that works there and the interview process isn't sufficient.

And what that's led to is that there's high turnover in sales higher than other parts of. We know from our data, right? Half the, roughly half the people are hitting quota, half are missing and that's just not acceptable, really, in my opinion. And I witnessed it firsthand. We, we always had struggles with attrition and we did our best to hire.

We did our best to be transparent. You know, and so the concept of rep was can we collect, like collect and aggregate data? As if it's like, you're the good friend, right. And collect that data, aggregate it, and then deliver it to users delivered to salespeople, such that they can make that decision. And so, so really that's a great idea.

And it's a grand idea, but actually it's kind of hard though. It's like, how do you do that? Where do you even start? I'm in Raleigh Durham, North Carolina region. And I said, let me just, let me just like, we just built this basics called it, survey the ratings process, and let's just see if we can get enough data to aggregate it.

And. Published profiles of companies and in the Raleigh-Durham area. And so in 2019, we had a beta and we got about a thousand ratings and we published 20 to 25 profiles of companies. And a company would only be published. We had seven or more ratings and, and we launched it. We said, all right, here's 20 we're in beta.

We're coming out of beta because now that we're out of beta, we launched this profiles and people loved it. They were like, oh, this is. But unfortunately it was only like 20 profiles, right? It's like mostly local type tech companies. It's like, well, where Salesforce where's Oracle, like what were all these?

And so we knew, and we, we, whenever we, if it's like before, like a year ago, it was pretty much just me, but. But I knew like there's really a market for the people really are digging this if, and so the challenge is how do we just get more data? And so that's really what we focus on. And it really, what we built in the mission is for a sales person, the mission is don't ever go into a sales job, like an opportunity, a recruiter reaches out your interview.

Don't ever go into it without full transparency into what it's really like, how much money can you earn? What are your chances of hitting quota? What's the culture like? And just all the data and information that you need to know. If you personally can be successful in that role. And th things have evolved in different products and features and that sort of thing has evolved.

But really the core mission is absolutely still on track for users, which is, which is exactly that. And then we can also use the data to help employers Uplevel their org and, you know, get talent and things like that. So w w we'll we're early in our monetization journey. But we're making money from employers, not users.

It's always free for users. We just want to be that trusted data source that you don't get anywhere else to make those decisions. So that's, that's a little bit of backstory on, on rep you kind of gloss over how we went from a thousand to many, many, many tens of thousands of, of ratings. But, but it was a lot of hard work and effort and you know, we're, we're super pumped to continue that mission and.

Yeah, hopefully users will, will give us a look and take a look and gain value out of it. And we know that we're helping people make more money and get better jobs. And so we're excited about it.

[00:10:59] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. Oh, that's awesome. That's awesome. I love that. That the only way you really know is if you have a friend that works there, right.

That will really tell you sort of the ins and outs and being able to gather that same data. I think that's amazing. Yeah, I'm sure it would probably expand to other roles I could see everybody else would love to hear that for their own roles too. Not just in sales.

[00:11:17] Ryan Walsh: Yeah. And, and sales, you know, we, we call sale like the overall umbrella of sales most of the data you see on the site really like account executives SDRs, but what we do and our capturing data on customer success, account managers sales, operations, sales management and so we're, we're. You know, slowly but surely filtering that data out onto the platform as well. And, and, and it's not just tech, you know, we've got finance before, med device pharma.

Most of what we have is tech, but we're, we're also it kind of felt, you know, expanding out into, into many other other verticals as well. That, that, that frankly experienced the same challenges, you know, that, that tech sales people have as well with lack of transparency, challenges of hitting quota.

You know, not understanding of where the product market fit sits relative to competitors and things like that, which are all super, super important in terms of your ability to succeed as a sales person.

[00:12:10] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. So, so you have a chance, you know, you'd mentioned some of the, you know, having a lot of different companies, I mean, you have a chance to work with many different organizations.

Right. And I think as we all know in the current market companies, especially in B2B, right. They're really struggling to find and really recruit and retain. Strong sales professionals. So what are you seeing companies do right? When it comes to attracting and retaining this top talent and maybe what are some of the things that you think they're doing wrong?

[00:12:39] Ryan Walsh: Well, so yes, so there is a supply and demand issue. First of all, with sales talent and other areas, you know, development is another one that's that's, you know, call it supply constrained. Right now, and there is not been, you know, you wouldn't be surprised people aren't surprised, like there's so much venture capital money falling into particularly tech companies.

And most of that money is flowing into, Hey, build the product, hire developers and hit the next fundraise by adding 50 salespeople. And so that, that is, you know, and, and the fundraise, the $20 million series. That fundraiser is secured by saying by a pitch deck that shows what you're going to do to get to your $80 million series B you know, two and a half years later, or whatever the time is sometimes sooner.

And, and you break that down in this really one major lever and it's heads, it's people, it's bodies, it's quota, carrying reps, QBs, our quota, carrying sales rep, and a. And so that is, there's a huge supply demand issue. And so, so starting with that, right. And then that also leads to, you know, these quota bearing sales professionals are widgets in a spreadsheet, right.

And that leads to treatment of such like, Hey, we, you know, we know we're going to treat 80, we've got to hire 150. And, you know, this whole concept of, you know, you got a storm, the beaches, and you're going to lose some troops is like, you know, that, that, that is for salespeople, but it keeps happening. And so so, so that's just a little bit of some of the stuff we'd like to talk about and, and, and help us with.

But. Yeah. What are your questions? What are companies doing differently to set themselves apart? And how, how do you, how are you, what are you doing to, to win those talent battles? There's a, there's definitely some things, right? So with COVID and the pandemic and work from home, there's a lot of evolution that has to happen in companies.

And you know, and, and so evolving your process, evolving your hiring process, and then evolving your environment. Those are two different things. So from a hiring process, why do you need to evolve your hiring process? Number one, I talked to salespeople every single. I mean 3, 4, 5, 6 times a day.

They're getting hit up by recruiters, right? Like it's, it's super aggressive. Right. And so be smart about your interview process. So tree w we have a big theme at RepVue for the talent acquisition team to work with, which is treated like a sales funnel, right? Like, what's your, you know, what, what, what's your.

No time to respond right to candidate. Just like if you've got leads coming in, right. You've got to, you know, SLA for leads. What is it? Is it 24 hours? Is it one business day? Is it. Well, you know, the same should be true for candidates. And every day that goes by, well, we have a four day SLA. I've seen this art SLA seven days.

It's like, well, it's good that you have an SLA, but it's bad that it's really the wrong SLA, but it's like one. So first of all, and then how many steps are in your process? Right? So, so there's, there's so many different levers you can pull with having an efficient hiring process that enables you because candidates are just not going to wait around for five, six weeks.

If you have a good one, that'd be smarter. Yeah. Another one, you know, not necessarily related to the interview process is just the work environment, right? Like what, what you're selling as an environment is so different than it was three years ago. Like what's now it's flexibility. It's empowerment. It's, you know, work from home.

It, you know, and, and there's com if you're not allowing flexibility and work from home, particularly in a hybrid, you're going to be at a huge disadvantage by what, five years ago. It's like, well, we have kegs every Friday, like, okay. That's like a 180 of like, what's important to people, right. It really has completely changed.

So, so think about what you're selling. So putting a rep, you slant on it. Like we people go in there like, oh man, this order looks really, really bad. Like, oh my gosh, well, no sales orbs are perfect. Like it's, it's not right. Every sailor has challenges and issues. I know from being a leader in sales that like we always, every quarter is like these here's three things we know we need to do better to serve better for the, to serve our people better.

And so it's really less about, is there something wrong with this org it's more about is the org transparent and understanding what's wrong? And then are they able to communicate that and even fix it? Right. Like, you know, we tell sales people all the time, ask hard questions, right. And then, and then you shouldn't be looking for dodging or like no rebutting it, what you should be looking for is, yeah, we know that only 48% of our team hits.

And we, and we want it to be 63% and here's four things that we're doing over the next 12 months to get it from here to here right now, now as a candidate, like, I would love to hear that because like, all right, are those four things reasonable and doable and are they in their control? And they recognize that it's, there is their weak point, whatever that point may be.

We're jamming transparency down people's throat, but I think at the same time, And, you know, at the same time companies are embracing it more because they kind of have to, it's a world we live in, right? You're not going to restaurant reviews you know, on Yelp or whatever. And just every year, Amazon, you know, you buy your toaster like eight toasters and I have 17,000 reviews on every post dry purchase.

Why is it easier to find a review on a toaster that's $80 and it is on this job that could cost $300,000 over the next couple of years. You know, I think companies are embracing it, but you know, when you, when you talk about what are they doing, right? It's like being transparent is super important and evolving with the changing environment is super important and just recognize that.

Their strengths and weaknesses and knowing that no, no org is perfect. And when sales people ask me about different orgs, you know, I always say that, Nope, no sales order is perfect. It's just about, you know, let's find out where the weak points are and then are they. Are they quote unquote fatal weaknesses from your ability to succeed there and then make a decision on that.

[00:18:52] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. I love that. I love that. And I, I love the transparency. I think there's your toaster analogy is really telling, right? I mean, there's just, there's transparency everywhere. Why, why wouldn't there be right in something as important as a career or a higher. Our decision to do that. So you touched on this a little bit.

I think some of the things that, you know, maybe companies are doing right, are probably the things that salespeople care about, but what are you seeing as some of those top motivators for sales reps right now that they're when they are looking for a new role or a new home, you know, I think people will automatically think it's money.

I don't necessarily think it's always money. Right? So tee it's, is it a team at percentage as it grows? Is it that leadership, like what are some of those things that you're seeing?

[00:19:34] Ryan Walsh: Well, you know, look, it all comes down to companies want to succeed, right? Companies want to be successful. They have to, they, many of them have boards.

Many of them have investors. Many of them are public. Right. And so they have to succeed, right? So they need, they need to retain and they need to hire great people. And I think that I agree with you generally speaking, it's not always about money for, for a lot of people. I think money plays a role across most people.

But I think what's related to money is, is similar to in the company main it's like, you want to win, right? You just want to, you want to get wins. You want to be successful, right. Like, and, and what does winning mean? Like maybe it means hitting quota. Maybe it means making a lot of money, but it just means like you're, you're, you're succeeding and you're winning more than you're losing.

Like, and that doesn't mean like I have a closed percent over 50%. It just means that like, For example over the years, what a sales culture, like, how do you define sales culture? How does it, how do you draw? Like, I don't know if there's one really good right. Answer for that. But what I can tell you is that it's really, really easy to have a great sales culture when a lot of people are winning.

Right. Right. It's like, it's really, it's almost impossible to have a great sales culture when nobody's winning. Right. Like it's just really, really hard. And so, and so then, well then, all right, well, how do you win and how do you make people win? And that goes more to like overall organizational kind of there's other big organizational things that play into that that are out of control.

Now, certainly bad leadership is a problem. You know a really important one is product market fit. And this is what we talk a lot about for people interviewing is like, well, who is this company? Where do they sit in their market? You know, how has their product and what is their trajectory, right?

Because there there's, there's such a key factor in your ability to win. Right. So it's like, what are sales people looking for? They're looking for the ability to win, right? Yes. That will translate to making money and hitting quota. Okay. But I see those are effects, right? Those are, those are side effects of winning, you know, you know, and, and so, and so when you look at like, what is it, the data that we like to capture is like, all right, well, do you like your incentive comp plan?

Do you, how is the culture? Right. And, and then, but I usually dig in really personally I'm like that product market fit issue. I use the example of you know, throw a great leadership team in a bad product and the product wins every time. And, and that's, that's because it's just really, it's really hard to rack up those wins.

So you know, I think, I think for me, You know, and it goes back to that other question, like, well, yeah. What is culture? Culture is no longer a like office K right? It's like, well, people were kind of sulking around. People will be sulking around the office keg if they all just hit. 48% of quota. Right.

Versus like, if they, if they all get 20% of quota and then they're probably at home and doing their remote work, but I don't know. So, so I, I just, I just always come back to, like, what are the, what are the contributing factors for the ability to have a large percentage of your sales team win? And what are the things that go into.

Product market fit, strong leadership, a process, right. I know on about revenue operations, right? Like how tight is that process? And does it match up. You know, the, the go to market strategy and does it put people in the seat to drive that, that bus to wins as well. So process right. People, the right, you know, the right product you know, and, and that equals winning.

And then again, money is just a side effect of winning. So that's, that's what people want. They want to win more than.

[00:23:17] Rosalyn Santa Elena: You know I love that. Thank you. So let's talk a little bit more about transparency. I think, you know, more and more we're seeing companies support, as you were saying more transparency, right?

When it comes to compensation to achievement and some of those other data points that maybe in the past have been more difficult, right. To to retrieve. I think, you know, this is maybe probably due to just the demand from. Employees right. And potential candidates similar to, I guess your toaster example as buyers.

Right. We're really demanding. And we want that transparency as well. So I guess in terms of, from a company perspective, like, what are you seeing in terms of trends here and where do you, where do you see things going?

[00:23:54] Ryan Walsh: Well, I would say two years ago, it was like, you know, if, if you ask companies, you know, Hey, what percent of your team had quote. Like, you know, you get a lot of deer in headlights, you get a lot of pushback, you get a lot, like, that's just one ho you know, and I think that's something that we're happy to have helped play a small role in contributing. Like this is normal, right? This is like, and I, I've probably posted this on LinkedIn before, which is like, Hey, if the company is asking you, if you hit quota, you know, you need to ask them who hit quota on their team.

Right. What's the difference, right? It's the same thing. So let's, let's, let's. You know, focus on that. And so, so how are companies? And so I think I am, I'm reasonably encouraged also. In the progress that is being made with regard to companies being more open to sharing this data. Right? Like, and what is this data?

Right? This data, this data is around their performance, right? How, and when I say their performance, I mean the performance of the people on the team where you're going to be taking a job in a similar, you know, in a similar role, right? Like I'm going to be taking a mid-market AP role at software company XYZ.

Like what's happening there. Right. Like what, like the key thing is like, can I succeed there? What the company is trying to do in the interview process. It determined, can you succeed here? What you're trying to do is figure out, can I succeed there? Those are the same thing, right? So let's get together on the process and mutually agree if I can succeed there.

And the companies who are, you know, there's a simple formula. Expectation minus reality equals disappointment. Right? So if you do the math on that, if my expectation is way ahead, you know, basically what that means is if you, if you, if you, as a hiring manager, get those people to come in and work for you and.

You know, you've sold them on something that is not legitimate. Trust me. It does not take long for people to figure that out. Right. And in today's day and age, guess what? They've got people that are calling them every day, even if they've only been at your company for three months, they're getting called every day.

And so this whole concept of like expectations minus reality, cause disappointment is like a legitimate formula. Like how, how big is the gap between their expectations and reality? So as a hiring manager, if you close that gap and expectations equal reality, Right then there's no disappointment, right?

Because you are totally transparent. And that to me is almost the definition of transparency is having an expectation sinked up very well with, with reality. And I think that's, it, it also goes back to like, you know, just, just, just transparency in general. And, and knowing that every sales org, no sales org is imperfect.

Like just disclose the problems like this is already. Or issue lead flow is low. Our issue is, you know, and, and maybe, you know what, so guess what, if you want it, you're going to have to create 50% of your own pipeline. And you do that by making an average of 28 cold calls per day as an account executives.

Guess what? There's a lot of salespeople that are totally fine with that. Totally fine with that. And you know what, if you hire those people that are totally fine with it, then guess what attrition is. And and they're fine with it. Whereas if you hide that and you know that some salespeople that are account executives, maybe they already put in a bunch of times in STR maybe they're just like, I'm not good at cold calling.

And I hate it. And maybe there's some roles where they can be successful and not do that. But if you jam them into your role where you got to make 28 cold calls a day, guess what? And disappointment of balance because of the gap between reality and expectation you know, so. You know, I think, I think when you talk about transparency or when you talk about you know, what's, how are companies evolving?

I think, you know, there's a, long-winded answer to say that I do see progress and I see more companies embracing transparency and, and owning their warts and knowing that if they don't, it's just an endless cycle of 50% or more attrition in key sales roles, which do the math is going to just. It crush your ability to be successful from an organizational stand. Yeah.

[00:28:05] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yep. I love that. Thank you. You know, as I, as I think about, you know, the revenue engine and I think about this podcast, I'm always hoping others will be able to learn how to accelerate growth, accelerate revenue growth, and really power that revenue engine. So I guess, as a CEO and founder yourself and long-term sales leader as well. I think from your perspective, you know, what are the top, maybe two or three things that you think, Hey, all CEOs and founders should really be thinking about today to establish that right organization for growing and accelerating revenue.

[00:28:36] Ryan Walsh: Yeah. It's really interesting because yes, I'm a CEO founder, but also a sales manager, you know, and, and I'm a pretty heavy process person.

I'm more admin at RepVue by the way, like I do the Salesforce, I probably need, I'd probably need some professional guidance on it. You could probably help us out, but I do it just enough. Right. So, so I think that you know, I'm a big advocate for sales ops and. Establishing a process and in a, in a assembly line, I like to use it.

Like, I'm like, I like to use like the phrase, like you got a Henry Ford eyes, your, you know, your system as early as possible. Right. Even, even if there's manual things that have to happen here and there, but like conceptually, like how does. An opportunity get generated. Where does it come from? Literally?

Where does it live in your system? How does it get converted? What are the stages? How does it convert to an, an account and then what are you doing? And then how are you treating that? And then renewals. And like, so unlike, unlike a, a different type of CEO than many tech founders, because like, I think about that stuff all the time, I actually get excited about different things, not to, not to get too in the weeds, but like, I get excited.

No rep you has like a backend all this data and things like that. And I'm like, man, think about how we could integrate that Salesforce. And then we could trigger this and trigger that and trigger this and trigger that that would be so awesome. And so like, I kind of geek out on that. And so I think, you know, from a gross standpoint there's plenty of companies that have just like created an amazing product market.

And like grown ridiculously fast and that's amazing. And I think even those companies are, are, you know, they, they, they get to some point and they're like, they've created a lot of work for themselves. So then go back. Put process on top of all this good stuff that's happening. Right. Whereas if you, if you could actually just think a little bit about it, like we probably like, you know, we had Salesforce before we had any customers, you know, at RepVue and it's like, well, why would you do that?

Well, here's six reasons why we did that. Right. And here's, you know, and, and so, so, so I just, you know, from a, from a growth standpoint, I think that, and I think, you know I think that a lot of people that when they're just starting out too, and you want to grow, like, just start doing stuff like this is not sales specific or, or process specific, but like starting a company doing a startup.

I want to start something like, even before, like, don't like, don't write a 40 page business plan of like this, that or the other go, like, go talk to customer here and there go. If you have any coding skills, just try and build prototypes. Get in front of somebody just like start checking things off of lists, right?

Like just, you know, you just have to get started, you know, somewhere, right? Like you have to take the first step in the marathon at some point you go across the starting line. And I think I've seen people that like want to do something, want to build something, want to start something. And it's people like, I don't know where to start.

And it's like, Like did any, like, you're like, well, I could do this, I could do this data. Like just anybody just do one of them because when you do that one thing, then once that's done, you have to do something else. And I think that, that, that's a, that's a key blocker for so many people is like being, being paralyzed about where to start or like, I didn't write a business plan.

It's like, forget about a business plan, you know? If, you know, and, and with today's technology, there's ways to do a lot of this stuff without really investing a lot, you know, a lot of money or whatever. And I don't know, different people have different ideas and some of it's more tech heavy than others, but you know, so, so those are, those are kind of two, two slants on, on growth.

One is my sales ops slant, and one is, might just do it. Nike, Nike slash.

[00:32:25] Rosalyn Santa Elena: I love that. Thank you. Are there other things that maybe you wish you knew earlier, or maybe you might do differently if you could do it all, sort of start over again?

[00:32:35] Ryan Walsh: Other people ask me this too, and like, I mean, looking back tons of stuff.

Right. I filed it. I filed them under mistakes, but I also file it under, like, I don't know if there's a way we w it would have been really easy to like, know, not to do something, you know, or, or to do something differently, like with, with RepVue, right. Like, you know, how do we get early users? We tried this, we tried that.

We spent resources doing this, like on the marketing side. Well, that didn't work. Like, you know, there's, there's, there's many examples, right? Like, You know, ultimately rep you wants to attract salespeople and they. You know, they can access the site and the data they'll leave us some data. And so, so in that way, you know, there's a, B to C component to it, just getting people, getting users to it.

Right. So then you look at, so then what do you do, right when you're first starting out? Well, what are some successful examples of that? Right? What did they do? Right. So you look at that and you think, oh, like I remember early on, we looked at different things and I looked at different things. It was like, oh, this dollar shave club, what did they do?

Right. And it's like, well, they did this prelaunch thing and they got this list and it's like, all right, Maybe it's not relevant to us, but they did that. And it worked really, really well. And so we like built this prelaunch like list and it was like, Hey, get, you're going to get access to this rescue thing earlier.

And it's like, the list wasn't that big. And then it really wasn't that compelling. And it was like, man, how much, how much re like we just wasted, you know, like way too many resources on that. But then like, you know, you learn things and you're able to leverage some of that for something else. And then same with other marketing experiments we did early on.

Like that just, it just fell flat. You know, to try. And really all we're trying to do is just that salespeople generally like RepVue when they see it. So it's like, how do we, we just need to make people aware of it. Yeah. You know, if they don't like it, they that's fine. They can just matriculate on to something else.

And if they do, they'll leave a rating. And so we're just trying to drive awareness. We tried tons of stuff. Some have worked really, really well. Some, some of it didn't you know, so when people ask me, what would I do differently? I'm like, there's probably, there's like 80 things I would do differently.

And it would be like, we'd grow like four times as fast, but th but that's also just part of starting a business. Like there's, there's no way to know. Everything you should do at every, at every step of the way and, and, and have it be perfect. So I wish, I wish I wish there was, but there was not,

[00:34:56] Rosalyn Santa Elena: That's actually really good advice though. I think it even is just this, the point about just get started. Right. Just, just take that first step and just get started. I love that. Well, thank you so much for joining me. Ryan, but as we wrap up and before I let you go, I always ask every guest two things. One. What is the one thing about you that others would be surprised to learn and to what is the one thing you want everyone to know about?

[00:35:26] Ryan Walsh: Yeah, no, I got two different ones for you for that. So, so what surprised that? I think it surprised like, so I have two cars don't, I'm married. I have a couple of kids. My kids are 14 and 12. I don't think that's others would be surprised about that necessarily, but so I have two cars and th the newest car that I have is not new enough to have. In it, like, if that tells you what situations there I'm not going to go into anymore. What's the newest car that I have is, is not new enough to have.

And then what, what, everything, what w w what do we want everyone to know? I think the most important thing, right. Is like, you see, you see this company RepVue and, and you use this in the intro. It's like built by sales professionals. Now, right, of course we have people that are like coders that are helping, that are doing stuff and on the team and that that's of thing, but truly like my, like I am a sales person, we are salespeople.

We're building it for salespeople. Our background is in sales. We know sales really well, and we know. You know, w our, our mission is to empower salespeople. And I use the story of like, when I was running a sales organization, I was able to impact the careers of people. Hopefully positively, maybe not all, but I think a lot of them would say, maybe I did, but that was on such a small scale.

And so this is a mission-driven thing where it's like, we can impact people's careers on a, on a huge scale. And that's really what we want to do. So I just, you know, I. I want people to know that we're coming at it from a standpoint of. Being genuine to the profession that is sales and wanting to uplift careers of people who engage with our business in some way.

So that's.

[00:37:06] Rosalyn Santa Elena: I love that. I love that. Thank you for sharing that. Well, thank you so much, Ryan, for being on the show. I'm actually really excited about it. Just kind of going back and listening to all the things that you said. Cause I think you've shared so many great insights and just so many great learnings for everybody.

So just really appreciative of your time and I'm looking forward to seeing what's next and watching your journey.

[00:37:26] Ryan Walsh: Awesome. Thank you so much for having me on the show and look forward to listen to it as well and great to get to know you a little bit better.

This episode was digitally transcribed.

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