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.
Welcome to the very first Revenue Engine Podcast powered by Sales IQ Global
In our inaugural episode, Rosalyn is joined by the incredible Manny Medina — CEO and Co-Founder of Outreach. Outreach is a sales enablement company that is valued at over $1.3b — but it wasn't always that way.
Before becoming one of the most recognizable SaaS unicorn's in the market today, Outreach was only a few months away from wrapping up. So what had to change?
Sit back and enjoy this week's episode as Manny shares with us his story and his philosophy around product differentiation, customer success and much more.
00:34 - Welcome to the first Revenue Engine Podcast Ft. Manny Medina
02:26 - Welcoming Manny to the show
03:50 - A change had to come — pivoting to sales automation
10:20 - Sales Engagement — an emerging market category
14:58 - Identifying issues with pipeline, messaging, and positioning sooner rather than later
16:56 - The confusion and mishandling of COVID is causing uncertainty
20:41 - Sales will never be the same. The two things that have changed
22:43 - Becoming a true partner to your customers and driving customer success
27:28 - Outreach's quality culture and strong core values have created an incredible brand
34:29 - Champion of diversity and inclusion
39:26 - Accelerating revenue growth and powering that revenue engine
43:40 - You might be surprised to know...
45:33 - Thank you for listening to the show!
Don't forget to subscribe to The Revenue Engine Podcast.
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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.
I had the absolute pleasure of showcasing the amazing story of Manny Medina, the co-founder and CEO of Outreach for my inaugural episode of the revenue engine podcast Outreach is the sales engagement company that is valued at over $1.3 billion. Yes, that's billion with a B making it one of the most recognizable unicorns in the market today.
But it wasn't always like this. And our discussion, Manny shows his story of how the company was just a few months away from closing its doors and how he turned it around to be the company that it is today. Truly powering the revenue engine. He also shares his philosophy around product differentiation, customer success, and much more.
Aside from Outreach, having an amazing product and brand Manny himself is well-known for being an inspirational leader, not only within his own company, but across the industry. In fact, he was most recently recognized as one of the top CEOs by comparatively for 2020, his support for diversity and inclusion, especially for immigrants, women and working parents is one of the areas I most admire about him.
Manny's authenticity resonates throughout our discussion. And many times you'll hear me get caught off guard as the fan girl that I am and be a bit tongue tied and lost in his story. So please forgive me for some of the awkward pauses in the discussion. I'm beyond thrilled to bring you this story. Take a listen and be sure to hear the answer.
When I ask him what thing he wished he knew earlier, or would do differently if he could do it all over again. And I promise, I didn't ask him to say that.
Absolutely thrilled to be here today with Manny Medina, the co-founder and CEO of Outreach, the sales engagement company that has raised $289 million in funding and has a valuation of over $1.3 billion. Making it one of the most recognizable SaaS unicorns. So welcome Manny. And thank you so much for joining me.
Manny Medina: Thank you for having me. This is great to be the inaugural guest.
Rosalyn Santa Elena: I love it. Thank you. Yeah. So when I was first asked to start the revenue engine podcast, you were literally the first person I reached out to, to ask about being a guest. You know, there were a handful of really inspirational leaders that immediately came to mind and you were definitely one of them for a number of reasons, which I'd love to chat about too.
I did want to congratulate you on your recent ranking of one of the best CEOs at a high, at a large company. I saw you in comparatively ranked number 16 amongst all the CEOs and was definitely no surprise to me.
Manny Medina: Well, I was, thank you. Thank you for our knowledge of that. It was a surprise to me. Uh, it was also a surprise to me that we're called that large company.
I never considered myself a large company.
Rosalyn Santa Elena: It was pretty shocking. It's amazing too, because it was rated obviously by employee feedback. So that's always a Testament to the type of leader that you are. So, so let's get into some of the questions. So, you know, first things first, right? When you and your co-founders originally started working together, you were actually focused on solving problems for.
Versus for sales. So I've actually read that the company was in business for a few years. And literally you found yourself with just a few months of runway left. So can you take us maybe just for Ms. Take us back to that time and tell us, you know, tell me what was going on and, you know, through your mind and kind of what led to that pivot into sales automation?
Manny Medina: Yeah, the, what happened was that we tried to solve a problem that we thought we can solve with technology. And that was. That recruiting, uh, aspect and sort of the, the finding the right match for you. And we realized that recruiting could not be solely solved with technology that you actually needed a component of sales and marketing and sort of demand generation to do also to also generally, you know, generate the demand for.
Uh, employers to meet the, the, the candidates and for candidates to actually meet more employers. And we were not very good at that aspect of it. And we found ourselves with running out of cash in 2013 at the end of the chain. And, and it, it was interesting because he was so precarious and that we, we tried different business models, you know, try SAS, try, um, you know, some low recruiting fee.
And then we ended up switching everything over to, you know, finder's fee. Um, just like any other recruiting ideas. So it was this one time in which we thought that we're going to bring in a deal, we didn't bring the deal. And that forced us into thinking, all right, you know, where are we going to do the whole day?
And come through, we don't have that much runway left. So we, we, we looked introspectively and we were very honest with each other and were like, look, we're not very good at sales and marketing, but we have to get good if we're going to get out of this. And, and we, we dove into our funnel and what was generating the little cash that was coming in.
And we sort of quickly resolved that we just needed to generate more meetings. So we have two sales reps and we realized that if we, if we can just TEDx their production and make that production convert in the next two months, and we can actually write it. And so we decided to do that. And we, we, we, we broke that into pieces and we realized that, you know, uh, our value prop was right because, you know, there's tons of recruiters out there and they're all, you know, very successful ones.
So it wasn't that it wasn't the market. Wasn't big. It wasn't our value prop is right. It's just that we're not reaching to enough people in a, in a way that is making sense to them. So that's when we came up with idea of creating. So two workflows, one that would personalize communication at scale, we did that.
We did that by putting humans in the, in the, in the. Meaning imagine. So we built this really, um, you know, I mean, now it sounds brilliant, but back then it was really strange. We imagine you're screening split by half and half of it. I have old information about you Russell Inn, and that have every, and then I have a company.
Window that has sort of my value proposition. And then as a writer, I'm worried I'm in and yeah, right up my subject line. And my first in my opening sentence, that's all I'm, first of all, I sing the rest of the email is sort of like can, but by doing that, you do drive through the things you drive out, good open rate, and then you also drive.
I go to engage them with the body of the email. And what we do is we start cycling in. People who had English majors or were, or were, or literature majors or people who are just writers is that we're trying to make it out in the world and we will pay them 25 cents or 50 cents an email. And it would generate about 10 to 20 emails per hour, depending on their speed and their, and their inequality.
And that would go out to people and, you know, in the form of a personalized approach. So you will get these emails and these emails work, you know, out of the blue, they were cold, but they were welcome posts with a lot of information about you that were. So the reply rate, Haley went through a roof because of the personalization.
And then we build this other followup engine, which is what our reach is right now. Um, that was sort of follow up on the email automatically. If the person didn't respond with, you know, something that looks semi-permanent. And all of a sudden we went from, you know, from, you know, from having a couple of just a couple of meetings a week for a rep to literally very little like 20 meetings per rep, per week to about 10 meetings per day, per rep.
And the reply rates went from, you know, a couple of percentage points to 40% reply rates. So we were swimming in meetings that were all qualified and our rep. We're not able to process those meetings that quickly. So what I try to do, and because, you know, at this point, my month has gone by and, you know, we have one month left, so we decided to go out and try to sell the meeting.
So I went to recruiting firms, agencies, and companies that were growing fast. And I said, Hey, what about, you know, me generating meetings for you for your recruiting team, so that you can take that pipeline and turn them into, into its employees. And that's not a model in recruiting. So, you know, that's a modeling scale as I'm only recruiting.
So the recruiters are looking at me like I had the pen and they were like, how would you generate these meetings? And I said, well, you know, we built this engine that personalizes, it reaches out whatever they were like, stop. I want to, by the end. So, you know, that's what led us to pivot the company into that engine and our first customer.
W we're luckily, uh, Cloudera and AppDynamics, and we both sold into, into the recruiting teams and the recruiting teams only had like five, seven seats. So it wasn't a big deployment, but there were like, Hey, you know, this could be used by our sales team and they have hundreds of seeds and I think they could benefit from this technology.
So we went and said that with the sales statement had said, it turns out they have exactly the same problem and they were getting paid for it. You know, recruiters don't get paid, you know, for, for, for a recruiter for, you know, But sellers do get paid either for meaning, if you're on SAR or for opportunity created and close, if you're on a, so, um, it was a quick transition from then on, in terms of moving from where we were to selling into sales.
And then, you know, we use, you know, we, we have built already an integration into ATSs and it was easy per label until the integration into a CRM. And before you knew it, you know, the word sales stack quote unquote became a thing that people will compare and we became part of a sale. Conversation. And so I always say that in, in startups, you, you have to there's, you know, there's one portion of, of scale and three portions of luck, and that's part about luck.
Rosalyn Santa Elena: Wow that's amazing. And this, the opportunity in such a short span of time, you quickly pivoted sort of what you were thinking you were doing into an opportunity that now has led to. You know, years later, a billion dollar company. It's amazing story.
Manny Medina: We had a lot of bumps in between. Never, it's never a straight shot.
Rosalyn Santa Elena: Right. Um, so you talked about sales stacks, so, you know, sales engagement, you know, obviously it's not, you know, necessarily a new term by any means. Um, but I think. It's really an emerging market category, right? It's gaining recognition as well as a lot of traction, especially when it comes to data, you know, analytics and insights, you know, because those all continue to be very, very critical in order to predict.
Right. Right. And I saw as part of your recent, um, explorers, um, Outreach, explorers, winter, your product announcements, that now you have buyer sentiment analysis added to your, your functionality, as well as the leader in this space. You know, what have you been seeing, you know, in terms of trends in the market, right?
How have you seen sort of, when you pivoted into this kind of sales stack, um, industry, how have you seen it evolved and you know, where do you see it going?
Manny Medina: That's a, that's a really good question. And it's hard to. So, let me start by saying that the market is still evolving and we're in, we're in the mirror in the very middle of the middle of it.
Right now, there is not, I don't know what the end state will be because, um, you have both the forces of people wanting to consolidate tools and innovation happening at an even faster clip that sort of creates a best of breed approach. So I still think that we are in the best of breed approach, but you did see at least one turn and consolidate.
Um, and you also saw a one turn into people realizing that clearly CRM is not the end, all of sales that you need. And the first thing you needed more of was beta, right? You needed more sort of contact info or charts, um, information about your prospective buyers. And, and, you know, there's a lot of companies that came to the space and zoom info created a great consolidation play there.
And then, you know, now a vibrant probably company, but all the other pieces that were in the stack are now getting consolidated to, and to some degree or specialized. So for instance, when we came into the market, There was a tool for pretty much every modality of communication. So there was an email sort of template and follow up tool.
There was a, there was a dialer version, you know, that either did out autodialer power dialing. And, you know, there were calendar appointments tools, and then were like, you know, package sending them, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And each of those have to be bought separately, integrated via CRM, and then, you know, good luck putting that together.
Um, you know, we came in and we realized no workflows are, you know, unified meaning, you know, as a customer. Or as a prospect, you want to be communicated in the way that you prefer it, right? Either via, you know, starting with marketing and an educated, and then moving down to a sales cycle, you want to have a conversation with a rep, um, almost right away to brainstorm your problem or any other way, right.
You know, via social, et cetera. So given the reps, the modality of executing their workflows and their playbooks in one place, what's our singular insight that sort of, you know, plays a little bit, the single point solution. Um, now fast forward to today, you know, there's other singular insights. So for instance, there is Sinkler inside around, you know, how do you, how you run pipeline, how do you manage pipeline and how do you forecast pipeline?
And, you know, that's the singular insight that the, for instance clarity is, is after. And that, that there's nobody winning. Um, B from before and, and with, you know, companies say clarity coming into the space and, you know, declaring that this is a problem. Now you got momentum and you got energy and you got passion around that particular problem.
You know, there was another one that just came out of the blue, conversational intelligence. That wasn't a problem before, until somebody pointed out that, you know, it's better to listen to calls and then coach the rep after that. And now that's the thing and that's, you know, evolving and growing and becoming its own thing.
The question is at what point would this, you know, solutions collide, right? You know, do you want to coach the rep based on information that you had or based on the call that you had, or based on, you know, based on whether you are early in the Piper lane, the pipeline, et cetera. So you will see an evolution of, um, sort of coaching solutions and solutions that you use.
Not only, I guess, the manager, but also the coach, that's going to have all, all of it in it. Um, you know, you gotta, you gotta be seeing solutions like ours, that is in the engagement side. Are you going to see other enters into the market and you know, Salesforce or not even a player in the market and now they have a solution then.
Um, and so the employment has a slight solution there. So you will see sort of like avenues of consolidation coming in. As people try to figure out how to run their teams more efficiently, how to coach and in the moment and how to even get ahead of problems before they happen. Right. And that's the holy grail is how do you catch things early enough?
So you kind of, you know, you, so you're gonna affect the results in the quarter as opposed to, you know, coach it today for the next quarter. And, and I think that there's going to be a lot of, a lot more tech and a lot more innovation coming out in that direction.
Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah, definitely. I think I wholeheartedly agree as, you know, as buyers become smarter, as, you know, sales has higher expectations and even from, you know, from an operations perspective, right.
Looking for the best solutions to really help drive, you know, drive efficiency, drive enablement, try faster, you know, bigger revenue and shorter time. So definitely. Yeah.
Manny Medina: And, and, and the things that I think that, you know, I was talking to another, I was talking to another company a couple of days ago with terminals about this.
This problem is that they are some, some, some, some principle durable, Um, uh, facts that will never change, right? So companies will always want that deal to come in sooner than later. You know what I mean? Like nobody wants to come in next quarter. They want it this quarter, you know, so velocity will always, you always need higher velocity.
It doesn't matter whether you. And I hear a lot of like, no, I'm an enterprise shop. I'm okay. If he deals, you know, you have to take time to come in. I'm like, no, you're not okay. You want the deal right now. If you haven't told me, you will take the revenue right now, not tomorrow, today. Um, so the last city will always be something people want.
Uh, the other thing is you will, you will want ramp, you know, faster ramping reps. Nobody will say, you know, I really want my rep to ramp in nine months. You know, if you can take a rep, Ron BREP today. Right. So there's a few, like, you know, things that are subtle, like our true north, that should be like our principles of operation.
We will always want to fast for the, you know, money today is better than money tomorrow. You know, capacity, production capacity today is better than a project from the capacity tomorrow. And, and, um, instead of we should take that and use that as our true north of what is, what are the things that are going to influence the marketing that direction.
Um, so, you know, finding out early. You know, what's wrong with your pipeline. What's wrong with your rap. What's wrong with your messaging. What's wrong with your positioning. What's wrong with your persona. It's better than finding out later. So whoever the middle of something that gives you earlier signals is going to have an advantage of a barrier.
Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yep. That makes complete sense. That's right. So I guess one of the things I wanted to talk about also, you know, as you're talking about sort of what's happening in the market is, you know, we've, we've all been impacted by COVID. Right. And the global pandemic, you know, both from a business perspective, as well as from a personal perspective, um, you know, for Outreach and for its customers, you know, with sales teams, Working outside of the office, I would guess that in AI powered sales engagement platform, like Outreach has become more and more right.
Of a must have rather than a nice to have. So how have you seen, um, this really impact your business and your customers, and also, you know, as other companies, including your own, you know, look at forward into 2021, you know, what are some of the lessons learned or things that you might do differently next
Manny Medina: time?
Yeah, no, that's, that is the question of the moment. Um, and I'm, I'm, I'm curious to hear your thoughts on this, but the number one problem of COVID is outside of the human tragedy. And, you know, the mishandling of it is the amount of uncertainty that it has created. Um, and, and it hasn't helped the fact that.
That, you know, we can't even agree with ourselves of what is, and what isn't, you know, as a, as a, as a country, we can't even agree to wear a mask or whether it passed for useful, you know, it's real. So there is this, this sort of like, you know, um, is dismissal of facts that on inability to get behind sort of principles is, is hurting, you know, our speed at which we're going to get out of it.
And this confusion. Is what creates, you know, is what stoles deals, you know, can you hire another rapper? Can you not hire a rep? Like I, you, you know, when I, when COVID hit it, and I'm curious to hear your, your, your, from your side, but when COVID hit every VC panicked and every VC started calling their companies and be like, all right, so where are you?
Where's your pipeline and how much money you have in the quarterback. And, you know, the first wave of calls is like, you know, having two years of cash is a new, having one year of cash. And then the week after was having three years of caches and you haven't the years, where does it end? You know what I mean?
Like I'm not the central bank. I only have enough cash to operate my business, you know, the next milestone, but I'm not sitting around a hoarding it. And so, you know, there was a lot of that. And then the question turned into like, all right, so how big are you going to be the layoffs? Is it, is it going to be 10, 20, 30%?
And I'm like, how about none? No, we need everybody. We need all hands on deck right now. Like if anything else, you know, we need more people. We need cooler heads. We need, you know, more empathy towards our customers and prospects that are being hit hard. Um, and not less. So the, uh, The tendency of a reacting in the lack of good information and true north is around this pandemic, what has been the biggest problem through it?
Uh, and I, I feel like pipelines were impacted because of these, this lack of certainty. Um, what that has done in my mind is that it has forced people to sort of like, um, get leaner faster. So, you know, you heard, you probably heard this metric that even though. You know, there's a lot of new innovation and digital transformation and happening, but, you know, from a GDP perspective, you're not seeing a big bump in productivity kind of productivity.
It's kind of like, yeah, I'm moving up in the right direction, but it's not being transformed by the web. The interesting thing is that, you know, we're not hiring as fast. Some people are cutting, um, cutting, uh, head counts, but you aren't seeing roughly maintain levels of production. So we aren't increasing productivity, but we're just doing it the wrong way by letting people go.
Um, and instead of, you know, creating more jobs and being aggressive about, you know, growth. So I think to two points come out of that one is that, you know, sales will never be the same. I don't think that you're going to see this large splurges, you know, long deal cycles with, you know, expensive dinners and golf outings and whatnot to close a deal.
I think that we're going to keep a tight on a close eye on, on T and E and we're going to be, we're going to be getting a lot more efficient going forward. I mean, how we drive the revenue and expansion revenue. Um, and I think the second thing is that, um, you, as a, as a seller, Aren't going to get your, you're going to get your bike.
You get it. You're going to get to know your buyer a lot better. I think one of the things that COVID has done is actually in a weird way, bring us closer together because when you're in zoom, you know, your background, as we noticed when we started the conversation, you know what I mean? And you start conversations with like, you know, what is it, what is that DJ equipment do?
It, that's fine. But I, you know, I just know a fact that I didn't know before. So you know, that. Getting people to know that the personal, uh, the personal realm it's important and it's going to transform sales. And I think in a positive. So you're going to see a lot less of this sort of like transactional, you know, spray and pray, you know, get denied by blind, close the pipeline, and it's going to be about, you know, how are we doing we're Rosaleen and what, what is she up to and how how's her family holding together?
And, you know, can we help, you know what I mean? There's going to be this new level of empathy that we have brought together, just because of what COVID males go through.
Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah, no, that's, that's, that's amazing. I think that's, um, completely true. I don't think that we're going to come out on the other end, you know, as we look at, um, you know, with the same type of structure, because even as we're looking at planning, right.
And thinking about sort of what, what our segmentation looks like, what our territories look like, you know, it is a different, um, It's a different perspective on how to organize and how to structure our sales team, kind of in this new model of selling. Um, you talked a little bit about, you know, the buyers and about being, you know, different, um, relationship with your customers.
But, you know, if you think about, on the top of, of customers, you know, I've heard you say in the past that, you know, you take a customer, you solve their. Right then you move on to the next and the next. So I think one of the areas that I've seen you really excelled at at being is really being a true partner, right to your customers.
You know, I've obviously as a customer have experienced that personally, but I've also heard very similar feedback from others. Can you share a little bit about sort of what your philosophy is around, you know, really driving customer success, because that's one of the things that, you know, uh, with this pandemic, I think all organizations have really shifted to, you know, less about obviously revenue is still important, but less about.
Going out and getting new customers versus really, you know, clarity. We talk about, you know, bear hugging our customers, right. And really looking to your customers and helping them be successful and seeing how they're doing and what value, you know, that we can, um, we can bring to help them be successful and make it through the pandemic successfully as well.
So what is sort of your philosophy around, you know, driving customer success, driving customer value, and how do you see that sort of has contributed to your overall revenue acceleration?
Manny Medina: Thank you. Thank you for that question. So the, for us, our customers were what saved us as a company. Meaning the, the, the, the, the, the incredible blessing of finding, you know, the workflow solution to our workflow problem early on, and having people suspend this belief that the fact that there was four co-founders in a very tiny office in Seattle, you know, running multi-million dollar revenue engine and letting us help is something that, you know, to this day, I can not forget.
And I cannot forget our early customers. I cannot forget our early traction with them. You know, people who sort of this, you know, who believed our vision, who, so who we were as people and what we were trying to do and sign up early, like on a large deals. And back when he was at Cloudera, he's not a snowflake.
Um, and there's a few more like that. Who, who, um, who came in early and bought the, you know, uh, a relatively rough product that had very big promise and, and where to sort of assign partners. So for me, the customer obsession is beyond, you know, a slogan and the Yana value is, is what I personally, and what we, as the founder team and now the entirety of outreach or, you know, existence too only the fact that they bought the early product, that the fact that, you know, they come back to us and they confided to us are new problems and allow us to build not only whatever.
Was at that point, which was, you know, an outbound email engine to becoming a full workflow engine that included every single modality of communication. And it was a matter of them coming to us and saying, Hey, Manny, I love what you did here. Um, we got, uh, you know, we got an inbound to worried about that.
We will love to start converting and we need to figure out how right. And then we get into it. We figure out triggers. We figure out persona assignments. We figure out, um, No, the fact that, you know, sometimes that dial is faster than Emile email, getting a hold of a particular prospect, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, routing rules and other, you know, CRM sync rules.
And, and, and so this, you know, earning your customer stress to the point in which they can find them. They're they're their problems is such a gift because people don't come people, you know, it's very hard for somebody to talk about their problems. They usually talk about their wins and hop. Right.
They're doing killing it, you know, um, shop. It's very hard for them to say, yeah, this sucked and I wish you can help me. You know what I mean? So it makes me think you have to get to that level. And the second piece is that for me, customer obsession is not just about getting to the level of trust where people are telling you your problems.
It's when your get so good that you're anticipating the problems you're seeing around corners on their behalf. When they, you know, it is, is sitting down with them and redefining why they think is success. You know, many people will come out to you with, uh, uh, you know, a definition of what success looks like.
But if you are a true partner, you'll be like, you're, you know, this two things I see eye to eye there's other things. Let me give you a perspective that I learned from this oh two customers who have the same problem. And they re really find success in this other way. And they may work better for you is what I mean.
And yeah, the ability to see around and to help be a thought partner with your customer is in my mind, Nirvana. And that's what I get out of bed for. You know what I mean? It's my wife. And, and to do that at scale, and to do that for so many people is really what, what gives me energy and, you know, uh, and you can only do this on energy.
There's nothing else.
Rosalyn Santa Elena: So, I guess, aside from the product and the customer focus, you know, outreach, as I've shared with you, and I shared with you them in such a fan girl, but outreach has an amazing brand, right? Especially for someone looking in from the outside, you know, from my perspective, there's a couple of reasons.
One is obviously the caliber of talent that you have within your organization. Right? You have folks who are the leading experts in their space, but the other reasons I believe are related to one, the culture, right? That you have built at outreach and to champion that. Right as a leader. So I'd like to dig into a little bit about the culture first, right?
So as you know, you know, I've been in go-to-market operations leadership for 20 years now. And for that entire time, I was also a mother. I started out with two and then later added in another one. And so I've definitely had to juggle work and career and home family. And, you know, obviously it's been upleveled with the pandemic and everybody being at home.
And you have been a big believer right? In supporting working parents. As a father of three yourself, you know, you have firsthand experience. I had to try and find harmony in work and home, you know, as you're building your company, you're building your family, you know, can you tell me about the culture that you've built at outreach really to help your team be successful?
And please include the overnight doula stipend because I'm, super jealous.
Manny Medina: Yeah, thanks for that. Um, so the, the culture of outreach is that there's two ways to sort of define core culture and core values. You, you, you, you either write your core values as the company you want to become, and you do it sort of prospectively or you or you, or you write down the core values as a company.
You want to sort of the values that you want to keep fixed as everything else changes and you grow and you. Um, prospectively, meaning you look back at who you are and what got you there. And you want to make sure that as you, as you become bigger and more people come in, that you don't lose that, that true north.
And we did the latter, meaning we, we, when we sat down with, when we were about 50 people, we rubbed down our core values and our core values really reflected who the core founding team were as people and what got us to where we are and what are the things that we hold. And there's a few, you know, we have, uh, a very similar core values as most companies, but there's a few that are a little quirky, right?
One of them is it's called having your back. That's a core value here. I mean, you have to have somebody else's back in, and that doesn't mean that I'm going to allow a sloppy work or in attentiveness to a customer, et cetera. But what that means is that I'm going to let you, you know, go out on a limb and do something new, something crazy, you know, explore, you know, And I'm also going to have your back when, when, when, when you need me, when you, when, when, when, when you need it at home, you know, Gordon, my co-founder had their first kid, um, as we were pivoting and we had nothing, we didn't even have health insurance.
We didn't have. We didn't have the doula service, we don't have anything. And there's a, there's a photo that I love, you know, where he is patching up a piece of, you know, a piece of code from a customer with, uh, with his baby. And, and he's laughing in the middle of the night. I mean, typing with one hand and with a bottle and together, um, as a father and I feel like we're all have that sort of memory of, you know, we doing one thing for, for love and the other thing for love, it's kind of our two kids and, and you know, our first instinct when we saw that is, you know, we'd never want anyone to go there.
Now we have money. Now we have momentum that we have created a gallery for everybody else. We have customers. So how do we prevent, you know, what we have to go through from there, you know, from the rest of our team members. Um, and, and, and I think that has to do with the fact that, you know, as, as four co-founders, we have to be a little bit more egalitarian than if it was just like Manny with one good idea and, you know, hiring a bunch of other people because I have to be like, I have to treat him like my.
And the way you treat families. So you want to make sure that they're okay. That they're okay at home, that they're okay mentally and that they show up to work with, you know, strengths with energy and without worries. And, you know, I much rather have, you know, when we hire, we hired the full human. Yeah. So I can tell you to like, leave your personal problems at home and your show up and like deliver the work because you're going to come home, you've got to come to work and you're going to be, you're not going to be a hundred percent.
So that's, those were the guiding principles of sort of like, you know, how do we build a culture of inclusion? That allows everybody to be their best self at work and, and at home. Um, and you know, that's what they do look for a man is, you know, I had, I had my, my daughter, I'm gonna say this. Uh, about the second year of outreach, you know, after, after racing series a and, and it was really hard because I still want it to be present at work.
And I had a lot of yellow, a lot going on and, and I, I didn't get any sleep because, you know, babies just don't sleep well. And we had this idea of like, you know, is there a such thing as a night doula? And it turns out there is. And, and, and, and once we, after we hired. And th the world has changed. I was so much more productive even though I was at home and, and, and, and, uh, helping out.
Um, so I was like, if I have this, why wouldn't everybody have it? And, and then, so that was the impetus of it. And then, and then the, the sort of the, the side effect of that was that, you know, most people are not like me, most people are, you know, usually it is mothers that bear the brunt of the child rearing.
Um, and by, by big bringing up this benefit, We were able to remove a blocker for, for a young women who want to become mothers at some point to join average. And that drove, you know, the amount of women that we can bring into the team. Now, those women are, you know, across the board know managers and VPs and just high-performing individuals and leaders that we build from scratch.
And I think that every great company needs to have a point of view as to what kind of culture, what kind of, uh, What's the makeup of that company early on. And if you don't have a point of view, he will end up, you know, being whatever every other tech company is, which is, you know, mostly white male dominated.
Um, but if you sort out early to decide, like, who are you going to be? And the kind of people you wanna attract, then, you know, when you fast forward, you know, three or four or five X, the number. That that growth will reflect your point of view that you had early. So for instance, we are 40, 60 women. 40% of our workforce is women.
6% is men, which is much better than anything else in tech, but we're not done yet. Like we want to get to 50 50 because that's what the world looks like. And we should not be different in any different than America given that we're a us company. So, um, I recommend to every leader to take up on of you, you know, You know, diversity inclusion or, you know, be a side show.
Don't let culture happen to them. It's something that you design and you actively curate, uh, as, as it evolves. And as you grow.
Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah, that's, uh, that actually leads me to sort of, one of the other reasons I really was excited to have you on the podcast, too. And to be able to speak to you is really, you know, I personally think what's one of the biggest contributions to how amazing.
Brand is, is how active you are, right. As a CEO and being a champion of diversity and inclusion. You know, you talked about it a little bit, but you know, specifically, really just the outward support that you have for minorities, um, especially immigrants and women, right. As you mentioned in tech, you know, for somebody like me, you know, being a minority, female, executive, and tech, right.
And especially in revenue, oftentimes, you know, I'm the only woman in the room or I'm the only minority or. You know, I'm the only mom, right. Or sometimes all of the above. Right, right. And, you know, honestly, it's like, I've never really thought about it too much, like early on in my career. Um, you know, as I was growing my career, but definitely, you know, maybe I was just, you know, maybe it was something to be considered and I was just unaware, um, or maybe just naive about it.
Um, you've, you've obviously, you know, shared your story about growing up in Ecuador, you know, being an immigrant here in the United States, you know, You know, really building a company as you've shared, is this really a great makeup right. Of very diverse, very inclusive, especially in tech, in any company, but especially in technology.
So can you share a sort of a little bit maybe about how your upbringing and sort of your own personal experiences have really helped shape this culture that you've built?
Manny Medina: Yeah, absolutely. The, um, culture is, uh, Is, uh, again, it's a, it's a, it's a design principle, um, that, that you, that you as a leader are responsible for as, is it one thing that you kind of design that, that, um, that will scale over time?
That the main thing for us, and this is where I they've worked with our CEOs is that I don't think that culture has fixed. Matter of fact, when you use the word PR you know, you interview somebody and you say this person was not a cultural fit. I take that sometimes to mean that you're driving in a striving for as opposed to diversity.
And that's a very dangerous path. Whereas if you assume that the culture will change over time and everybody who joins the company, bunny brings in another flavor. And you think of your culture as a soup, like a stew, or like a soup where everybody brings a flavor and the flavor evolves, or a time to become more complex where new ones were settled.
Um, then, then you have a different attitude towards. Uh, I'm of the latter camp that I, we, you know, we have our core values and those are not, you know, you can validate those, but, you know, at 600, we're a different culture that we were at at 50, because we just have more people of different walks of life.
And that should be celebrate. 'cause and, and then the question is, is, you know, for us, it's how they're in. Can we be to push the envelope and bring people who are not out of central casting into our fold and, and you know, how much mistakes are we going to tolerate and how much risk are we going to take in on, on, on behalf of diversity and on behalf of inclusion.
And that's again, a design principle that every leader should they call and then decide what is their principle of design? Our design principle is that. For me personally, I grew up in a very diverse environment. Uh, Ecuador is a country of many different cultures and people that came in as immigrants or were there natively.
And the result is, uh, is a very broad palette of colors. And that's how I feel comfortable. Homogeneity makes me nervous. You see what I mean? Like, I don't feel comfortable. And I, and I put this out in, uh, in another podcast and that actually, when I was talking to CNBC, that it took me a while when I was fundraising.
Especially when you come in, pitching in partner meetings, you know, this is long mahogany tables, full of white faces. I just don't feel comfortable in that environment. Cause I didn't grow up there. You see what I mean? So I can take a couple and like, and be cool with it. But when there's a whole room full of that, I'm like, I just don't, you know, I have to take a deep breath and sort of calm myself down.
So for me, the design principle is one in which a, it needs to reflect the makeup of this country that has adopted me, which is very diverse and B it needs to reflect, you know, th the thing that, that makes me comfortable, uh, as a leader. And again, my design principles as a leader is that I want a lot of homogeneity.
I want a lot of color when a lot of ideas, I want a lot of different beliefs, different walks of life. And, and I, and, and I believe that if you. If you marry that with excellence and accountability, you get wonderful performance and in a place that is both loving, inclusive belonging. And high-performing, I don't think that those are by any means at all, uh, exclusive mutual exclusive from each other.
So that's how I think about it.
Rosalyn Santa Elena: Oh man. Yeah. I love that. I love that so much. I'm going to be quoting that I'm such a fan and just really enjoy speaking with you. Um, I know, but I'm also want to be cognizant of your time. So I guess pivoting. Pivoting back to revenue. Let's go back there because again, I could spend all day talking about culture.
Um, so pivoting back to revenue, you know, as I think about the revenue engine and you know, this podcast, right? I really hope others will be able to learn how to accelerate revenue growth. And really power that revenue engine. So I guess what are the, I mean, from your perspective, are there any things that, you know, is there one or two things that maybe you wish that you knew earlier, or maybe you would've done differently, right.
If you could hit the reset button and do it all over again.
Manny Medina: Yeah. That's a great question. Um, you know, and, and I, and I think you, you will understand is. I wish that I would've spent more times thinking about revenue operations as opposed to result. Um, you can fake it until you make it all the way to 10 million.
Sometimes they will even all the way to 50 million by breaking a lot of glass and doing a lot of things that are unsustainable. Um, and as an entrepreneur, your job is to make sure that the company is set up for the next stage. Not to just get to the current stage is, I mean, it's kind of like a great.
We'll play that sets up the shop in such a way that you are the next two shots for you. Great chess player. And I didn't really grok that in the early days, the early days was just go, go, go deliver the numbers, deliver the goods, you know, you know, you know, post good numbers to on the board and, and, and, and, you know, raise more money, do it again, et cetera, as opposed to, you know, sitting back and figuring out, you know, You know, once we get to 200 or a hundred million dollars in AR, et cetera, you know what, that's a revenue makeup look like and what are the, what are the leavers of growth?
And, you know, and then work back to today and then figure out what is your operations look like to get there. Right. And if we would have done that, save ourselves a lot of we've grown faster, actually one B would I say as ourselves, quite a bit of turnover in ourselves. Um, that was relatively unnecessary because it came from a point of like, you know, higher, more on the same, as opposed to, you know, have a design principle of like, look, we want to be, I don't know, 25% enterprise, um, or we want to have a big number 200, 300, hundred thousand dollar as a hundred thousand dollar account by three years, you know?
And those look like, you know, more like corporate and then their laminate expand. And this is the emotion that this is the kind of, you know, Uh, enablement that you needed this of the rep that, you know, responds well to that. And then go build that out. You know, I didn't do that. I was more used to deliver the numbers in any way I can.
And it was only now that I find myself sort of, you know, looking back at that operational that and tangling it. And this is why you have people like Hareesh and Anna sort of like helping us professionalize that part of the operation. And it's literally just to, you know, send it to that platform for better, better, bigger.
Um, and, and it's not just growth for old sake is, is high quality, high octane kind of growth, meaning the growth that then once you set it up, if it gets more growth, you know what I mean? Like once you set up a, a land, you have the land expand teed up, you have the apps healthy enough, you have the cross sell data, you have the renewal data because of the way that you landed that account.
So I, I wish I had known all that before, before I started scaling.
Rosalyn Santa Elena: That's awesome. And that is a perfect segue and perfect to kind of a way to wrap up because I'm obviously, you know, I've been on my soap box all year about, you know, all 2020 about revenue operations and how important it is to really define your operation process and build the infrastructure.
Right to support your revenue, um, process to help it scale right. Efficiently and effectively. Um, and I do agree a lot of companies are very focused on, you know, just get it done early on. And then at some point it's time to bring in operations and start to structure and, you know, be able to build some scalability and repeatability in your processes.
Manny Medina: Absolutely. I wish we would ask that more. I supposed to like, what's your number? What is your revenue operations? And what's your plan if that, I mean, because that is a precursor of not this year's number, but the next 10 years of numbers. Right?
Rosalyn Santa Elena: Exactly. Well, great. Um, so thank you so much for joining me.
Um, I have to say, you know, I've, I've loved having this conversation with you. So appreciate all of your insights and just, um, you know, getting to know some of your background more. Um, but as we wrap up, you know, and before I let you go, um, you're are a very open book about, you know, your company about your, your background, your personality, which, you know, I really appreciate, but is there, is there like one thing about you about one thing about Manny Medina that, you know, others might be surprised to learn.
Manny Medina: So remember that, uh, there's a movie called jewel. I think it's called Julia and Julie.
Rosalyn Santa Elena: About the Cooking.
Manny Medina: I did that. I, I swear. I lived that movie a year before the movie came out. And when I tell people that starting to be like, of course you did, like you watch a movie and you got excited and you did it just like the rest of us.
I'm like, no, no, no, no, no. I read that. About the, about the book in the New York times. And I went and bought a used book that it must have been like the second edition of the, uh, you know, of the French cookie. They art of French cooking and I cooked entire. So I cooked that entire Julie Julia child's book, Julia and Julia Cook entire Julia child's book before the movie, before it was cool.
Um, not that many people know that.
Rosalyn Santa Elena: Oh, that's amazing. So, so you have a love for cooking or was that
Manny Medina: it calls on both sides. One is. My grandmother will always kick me out of the kitchen. So I always walked there. Why, you know, how, how does it work? You know what I mean? So I always had this, this, you know, normal strive to really get into the kitchen and, and do my own tricks.
Um, and then, then, you know, after cooking French food, you never go back. So I, I love cooking and I love cooking Ecuadorian food and.
Rosalyn Santa Elena: Well, definitely that was a surprise to me, but I, uh, I appreciate that and I, I love that. Um, so thank you again, Manny for being on the podcast. I really do appreciate your time and just really appreciate the opportunity to learn more about outreach and about you and your journey.
Manny Medina: Thank you so much. It was a pleasure.