The Revenue Engine

Optimizing the Revenue Engine through Optimizing the Salesperson’s Workspace with Pouyan Salehi, CEO and Co-Founder at Scratchpad

February 25, 2022
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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.

Having access to the right data at the right time is a challenge for every revenue team. And more importantly, having the right visibility and insights into your business. How do you optimize this for the revenue process? Optimize the experience for the salesperson. Meet them where they work. How they work.

In this episode of The Revenue Engine, Pouyan Salehi, the CEO and Co-Founder of Scratchpad joins Rosalyn to discuss how to improve sales efficiency and productivity while creating an environment of the right visibility and insights to optimize the Revenue Engine.

🔗 LINKS

Connect with Pouyan on LinkedIn and find Scratchpad at their website.

Follow Rosalyn on LinkedIn.

The Revenue Engine is powered by Outreach.io.

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 + Chief RevOps Officer @ Carabiner Group
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Pouyan Salehi
CEO and Co-founder of Scratchpad
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[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.

Some people were just born to be entrepreneurs. These folks love to build and solve problems. And they're always trying to make a difference. Pouyan Salehi is one of these folks. With a background in mechanical engineering, combined with an MBA Pouyan is a four time founder who knows what it takes to start a business and what not to do.

Today's podcast is sponsored by Outreach.io. 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 click.outreach.io/RevEngine.

And this episode of the revenue engine podcast, Pouyan shares his learnings as a founder, his impressive career journey and how he has introduced a game-changing solution for a problem that all revenue teams face.

So take a listen and learn how to drive better sales, efficiencies, and productivity, better adoption of systems and processes and get the right data at the right time.

So super excited to be here today with currently the co-founder and CEO of Scratchpad Pouyan has had such an amazing career as a four time founder. So I am super excited to dive in for those of you who may not be familiar with scratch pad. Scratchpad is changing the way revenue teams manage their business.

It is the first workspace built for sales with every feature and every interaction designed with the account executive in mind. So no longer are you working in multiple documents, sheets, tasks, and different systems, but we'll learn more from the founder himself. So welcome Pouyan and thank you for joining me, I'm excited to learn more about your journey.

[00:02:50] Pouyan Salehi: Thanks so much for having me. I'm excited to be here.

[00:02:53] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Thank you. So you have had such a long and impressive attorney, but before we talk about, you know, what you're working on now, which is super exciting and I am excited to dive into, but I just love to hear your backstory.

I mean, you know, can, can you maybe share a little bit more about your. Career journey, you know, take us through this path. I mean, you went, you were at, you know, you had stack mob Lira labs. I think we first interacted and met at Persist IQ, you know, can you share a little bit more about that?

[00:03:20] Pouyan Salehi: Gosh, I wish I could say it was all perfectly planned and designed to go this way and it's it certainly wasn't really, I, I just knew that I love to build and I love to solve problems in.

Leverage the creative part of my brain and, and work with folks who were aligned with that and that I could just, you know, bounce ideas off of with, and we can go solve problems together and build stuff. So that was what really drove me. And I, I guess just for, for quick background and I studied, and I was really curious about how things worked and that's what led me to study mechanical engineering for undergrad.

I'm always really interested in business. I grew up in a small family. We ran a small family business. So that part of it intrigued me as well. I later went and got a went to business school for an MBA that again was driven by the curiosity of how the business world worked. I felt like I understood it at a micro level of a small business, but how markets worked how larger businesses worked was, was still a huge question to me.

You know, I never really thought of myself as somebody that would that would fit at a larger company, but coming out of business school again, the curiosity is really drove me to to apple. And it was at that point, it was a very different company than it is now. The iPhone hadn't even launched yet.

So I was very lucky and fortunate to be a part of that journey was there for a few years. And after that said, you know, I think it's, I think it's time. And while as much as I loved hardware, the cycle times were much longer than I liked on iterating. And so I just became really interested in software applications that impacted how people work.

And that's been the journey I've been on sense across different companies, lots of products and and continuing.

[00:05:12] Rosalyn Santa Elena: That's amazing. I think it's like, you, you kind of know you're a builder and, you know, you're, you know, a business oriented, you know, sort of entrepreneur and I mean, you've done so much, you know, when I think about, you know, all the different companies that you've started, that you've been part of, and I'm sure there's tons of lessons learned from all of those experiences.

Are there some things. You know, maybe that you wouldn't mind sharing that you did learn maybe things that you felt like, Hey, going back, you know, looking back that maybe you did wrong or that you might do different.

[00:05:42] Pouyan Salehi: Oh gosh, I think we could talk for hours, have a multi, a multi-session series here on that.

But yeah, there, there is a lot everything from why start a company in the first place to how to approach an idea and, and bring it to life. Let me start with let me start with starting a company in the first place. I felt like I was, I'm generally a very impatient person. I don't know if it's my Persian background or what, but, you know, I was so just itching to get something started and wanting to just start building that.

I probably rushed into a couple ideas. And the idea of starting something was so was just so ingrained in my mind that I felt like I have to start a company around it. But after doing that a couple of times and realizing, gosh, it's a lot harder to, it's a lot harder to actually solve, like, find a real problem to solve that a company should exist around.

You realize that not everything needs to be a company, even if there's a problem that exists. And there's a product that can address. That problem. So I think lesson number one was just be patient. Lesson number two is any, you know, there's this, you could actually like chart out the emotional highs and lows.

You can, you have with an idea where early on you have this idea and you get really excited about it. And then you realize that maybe others have tried it. And then you go through this trough of sorrow where like, oh, this is terrible. And then you come back up and, you know, I think just being, even keeled and trying to get to the root of the problem itself and why it exists.

And it's actually great when others have tried to solve the problem, because there's a lot that you can learn from them and you can also learn, is this even a problem worth solving and why have certain people not maybe purchase the solution or why have certain solutions not take it off? So I think that's that's another big lesson we learned.

And then the third one is after, after having built a lot of stuff that never got traction is to build less. And what I mean by that is early on really focused on understanding the problem or the current state of the world as much as possible, and try to get signal on why, like what your unique angle is on it.

And there's so much that you can do now without actually having to build anything because building's expensive is very expensive. It can take time. It can take a lot of your resources and it's a natural thing to want to do. Is just focused on like, well, let me, let me create that first version of the product.

And gosh, if we just add this one extra feature, then people are really going to want it rarely is that the case? And I think there's a lot that you can learn by trying to sell or go to market very early. Even if you don't have a product, just see, can you gather interest with your messaging and positioning, which a lot of that can then inform what you build in the first place or what your entry point should be.

But the concept of build less, especially in the early days as one. I think my co-founder and I learned over time through making those mistakes. And it's certainly something that we did at scratchpad that helped us get to product market fit very quickly. And it's something we continue to do today.

[00:08:52] Rosalyn Santa Elena: That's great. That's, that's actually really great advice. I didn't think about, you know, it's true people rush to build a product and then. You know, understand product market fit, but sort of understanding kind of being iterative and building as you go and learning. That makes a lot of sense. And I could definitely see that in what you're doing at scratchpad.

So let's talk a little bit about that. Can you know, so you, you mentioned, you know, obviously founders trying to solve a problem, they start a business. With scratchpad, I mean, sales productivity, and just time wasted on updating all these different systems like Salesforce and all of these different tools.

I mean, the tech stack is immense, right? It's just enormous today. There's like a piece of tech for every single part of the funnel and every part of the customer journey. And it's a big problem. Right? It's a big problem. Salespeople. It's also a big problem for rev ops people like myself, but, you know, maybe let's talk about, you know, how the idea for scratch pad started, you know, and kind of, what was that vision you had when you started this business?

I think it's about two years ago now.

[00:09:56] Pouyan Salehi: Yeah. So let me, let me back up a little bit, because it was more of a rolling start into it. It wasn't any sort of like flash of brilliance or.

My co-founder and I started a company called Persist IQ, and that was born out of our own problems that we faced when trying to do sales. Neither one of us were sales people by background. We, we were just two founders that had built a product and we were trying to get it to market and to sell it.

And we realized after having built quite a few different products with this, you know, we had one product that was starting to get traction and we're like, We just, we have to start selling this thing. So we just, we lean deep into it. We read every sales book. We could, we talked to as many salespeople as we could to learn.

We picked up the phone and did we cold called we? We prospected, I mean, we just did the job and, and really took ownership of it. And it was through that experience that we built a lot of empathy for salespeople, for the job to be done for the entire ecosystem. And. Just appreciated how hard it is, but also like you're saying now, and this was what, 2014, 15, when we started persist IQ, even then there are so many different tools to use.

And it's only, I mean, it's blown out of proportion since since then, but we solve, we set out to solve a problem that we faced, which was how do you start a conversation with somebody that you don't know? Like back then you had Salesforce, you had Marketo but there was really nothing that existed for the Salesforce.

To be able to do that. And it was funny. Cause most investors just wrote it off and said, you know, there's this isn't going to be a space. It's this seems so, so narrow. And you fast forward five, six years, you have several multi-billion dollar companies built around this whole new category called engagement.

Right? So I think we could do a whole separate session on, on on the learnings there. But I share that story simply to say, you know, we were in it, we were in the sales tech space. We were talking, we'd probably talked to thousands, if not tens of thousands of salespeople and worked with thousands of sales organizations.

And even then the problem that we're solving with scratch at it, wasn't immediately obvious. It took just, I, it was just really hardcore customer development, talking to users who talking to account executives, understanding how they work. And it was only through that experience. We'd built a different product that leaders loved, but they, they just wasn't getting adoption.

And so we asked a couple of the customers that said, Hey, can we, do you mind if we just come in and watch your. I've watched some of your AEs work and see why this, this other product that we had built may not be getting adoption. And it was through that experience that we actually learned so much just sitting behind an aide, watching them work for us.

I remember. So they turned around and be like, is this interesting to you? Yes. Yes. Just keep going. And what happened was there was a, you know, if you take each of those as like one.as an observation, What happened is there was all these dots that we just started to place and started connecting little bits and pieces of them.

And slowly this picture started to emerge. And, you know, everyone has known that like, Salesforce is great CRM, but it's somewhat difficult to use. So you have all these other tools. And a lot of folks are trying to solve quote, unquote, the Salesforce. You know, usability problems, many products that existed like that before, or is helping salespeople take notes or all of these pieces.

And so we knew that had existed. And we weren't trying to do that again, right. Because none of those had really taken off. And what we observed was even with all of these tools, you have Salesforce, you have email tools and call tools and note-taking tools and tools, tools, tools, salespeople were still working out of general purpose spreads.

Or note applications or their own task managers. And it was through just watching this and seeing this pattern over and over again, that we connected the dots and said, gosh, what they're doing is they're digitally duct taping their own individual workspace together, a system that helps them as a sales person, be able to do their job, manage their pipeline, talk to customers, stay organized, do their follow-up.

But then there's this whole other overhead piece that exists. And how do they update the CRM, which is also important, right? As I'm sure, you know, as a rev ops leader, having structure, having systems, having process is really important for consistency and for scaling. But all that would do is add drag to them because then they would have to block four hours off each week, go and update the bare minimum gets into it.

And it was through those observations that we just simply asked the question why. Why does this, why does the world operate in this way for them? You know? And if you look at other other spaces, if you will, even outside of tech, you'll see the, you know, if you're a chef, you have a kitchen that's optimized for you and how you work.

If you're an artist, you'll have a studio. If you're an athlete, you'll have a gym that's designed for how you do your work. And we actually looked at it through that lens and said, gosh, if sales is a craft, why doesn't something exist for the sales person on the frontline to help them be their best. And that was, that was the inspiration for starting scratchpad.

So it was really around the sales person, trying to help them be their best, much more so than it was. How do we make it easier to use? You know, any CRM system.

[00:15:30] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Got it. Yep. That makes a lot of sense. Thank you for sharing all of that. I think that's great to understand sort of the journey kind of the way of thinking and how the product, and really the business has been built around helping the sales rep.

[00:15:44] Pouyan Salehi: We talked and in that journey, we wanted to make sure that. This actually mattered because you know, there's so many, as you know, there's so many sales tools out there and everyone claims to, you know, 10 X productivity and 10 X revenue, and everything seems to be a 10 X. And we, we really unpacked. Why had no one else done this?

And why had none of the other products that claim to make working with Salesforce or updating pipeline or take notes? Actually stick or take off with folks because a lot of them seem to have the functionality. And the other key insight that we had was it's all about adoption and it's about how do you make it so simple, so intuitive, so fast that any, you can just pick it up and within 30 seconds to a minute, start seeing some value out of it.

And, and that's a really hard thing to do because as I'm sure, you know, Most AEs work in very different ways. Some are very detailed note takers, some just take, you know, like bullet points. Some are very meticulous about pipeline. Others are a little bit more loose. They're all there. They're all effective.

And these could all be high performers, but they just work in different ways. So designing a product or a system that had the flexibility to adapt. To how individuals worked was and continues to be a really big challenge. But it's one that my co-founder and I love like those, those are the types of problems we love solving.

[00:17:12] Rosalyn Santa Elena: I love that. So you probably spend a lot of time. Do you still spend a lot of time then with your customers? I'm assuming you're. Are you still sitting behind an AAE learning about how they're working?

[00:17:24] Pouyan Salehi: Yes. Yes. And what's been exciting is. The work we do now has evolved to much more than just the, and I guess this comes back to another learning we had or just in the entrepreneurial journey and ensuring that, but it's not being afraid to go too narrow or be too specific.

And so when we first started, we said, you know, we are, so we all, we are solving for the account executive. That's it. Very clear persona. We know the job to be done and we just want to make them as happy and successful as we possibly can. And by doing that, we have to say no to a lot of things that at first felt a little scary because we wondered are we going to narrow, right?

Is this going to be too specific? But what it did is create the space for us to solve the problem really well for AEs, which ones. Started adopting it and started loving it. It naturally started to spread to other parts of the revenue team. And so now, you know, we're talking to customer success, folks and account managers and sales engineers SDRs sales managers are adopting the product.

A lot of rev ops teams are now seeing it as a secret weapon to getting adoption and driving consistency. And so. You know, I'm S I'm doing customer development calls with all sorts of personas now, not just the AEs, but even, even for our account executives, we're constantly learning about new workflows and new challenges and, and bringing that into our design system and seeing how, how we might.

[00:18:54] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. I love that. I mean, I'd love the fact that you're, you know, when you mentioned the rev ops piece, you know, for me, you know, as we were talking about actually, before we recorded, I mean, I look at this as kind of a. You know, special tree to kind of give our team, right. Because I, you know, as a rev ops leader, you know, I'm always thinking about, you know, when I think about the sales reps, you know, I'm trying to obviously improve sales efficiency, right.

Productivity, as you said, you know, 10 X and more. But then, and then driving adoption, right? Because the key is adoption. Cause you can buy as much as you want. You can implement as much as you want, but if there's no adoption, then it's a big, you know, it's a big failure. So really driving that adoption.

And then of course. Right. Data is huge for everybody right now. And you touched on this a little bit, but you know, having that right data, you know, that we're gaining from the sales reps, but obviously for the sales reps. Right. And making sure that everybody on the revenue team has that view of the data at the right time.

So I want to talk about kind of those, those couple of things are really obviously important for me. It's top of mind for probably everyone in revenue. Right? So productivity, efficiency, adoption, and data, right? So. If we think about sales, efficiency and productivity first, you know, with everybody, you know, two years ago, shifting to this remote workplace, you know, are there, you know, what are some of the things that you've seen teams do maybe to improve sales efficiency?

And what advice, I guess, do you think leaders should really be focused on?

[00:20:19] Pouyan Salehi: Oh gosh. So much to unpack there.

[00:20:21] Rosalyn Santa Elena: We're going to have a series of conversations.

[00:20:25] Pouyan Salehi: I actually think. Rev Ops has a really, a really tough job because you have to think about all of the things that you just mentioned and think about how do you design and build a system around it.

And at the same time, get adoption from your end, your end users, right? As a re as a rev ops team, which are, which are the front folks on the frontline and the sales team And that's a really hard thing to do because really what, what you're being asked to be there is a product designer and a UX designer.

And one observation I've had is a lot of rev ops folks that are thinking about scalability and thinking about systems and process and data and putting, I guess, putting things in place like implementing from everything from required fields to page layouts, to validation rules, or workflows into slack.

And on paper, it might seem like it's a good idea. Like it works, you know, before you, before you can move a deal to the next stage, you have to fill out these, you know, these certain fields that it has to go in this flow, but I haven't seen many rev ops folks, actually. I, I haven't seen any that go and do what we did, which is sit behind their AEs and watch how they work and try to understand the implication of the changes that they're making or what they're implying.

Because that's fundamentally what impacts adoption and the net that the effect of that has been not only are there more tools in this, in, in the whole tech stack, but there's so much more drag that's actually been put on the sales reps themselves because of this desire to be more process driven and to have more data in the system for right.

Reason. Right? Like, I understand why you'd want that because you want to make better business decisions. And I think that's, that's a really important thing to be able to do. But this concept of drag is one that we just keep hearing over and over again, from the sales reps, we're saying, you know, I just don't have, like, I have all of this overhead work that I need to do.

And it just sucks. And then from the rev ops side, you hear, gosh, we're not getting adoption of the med pick, you know, process we put into place that data's not there. Reps are complaining. But I think that that is an observation that we've had across every. And one of the biggest ways to increase productivity and efficiency is identifying ways, one first identifying that drag and then just chipping away at it and saying, all right, what can we do to remove as much of this drag as possible?

[00:22:54] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yep, yep. Yeah, definitely. And I think with the technology available, you know, some of that automation, right, where I'm always looking for places to automate, because it not only means less clicks and less, but also. Error right. Less human potential for error when you're manually inputting things into multiple systems, because you want everything to be integrated.

And as you said, make it as easy as possible. I do think, you know, you brought up a good point also about adoption is that I think whenever we're rolling out something new, one of the things that I make up. To do is have users test, right? We'll have the users come in and see what that experience looks like.

[00:23:30] Pouyan Salehi: Also when you do that, there aren't many folks that do right to just to close the loop and say, Hey, we made this change or we implemented this product.

[00:23:40] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. I actually, even before you implement the process, right, you, we've kind of designed what we think needs to work in the technology and then have a couple of your early adopter type of reps.

And maybe, you know, I'd like to actually pick a couple early adopters and a couple of folks who are. That great at technology or more resistant and have them sit down and walk through it and see, Hey, what's that experience like? And, and get then get that feedback, right. And put that back into your process because, you know, to your point, we're not the ones doing that job.

So we don't really know. So we need that perspective from the sales rep. And then on top of that, Hey, guess what? Now you've got some champions on your site because now they've been part of it.

[00:24:19] Pouyan Salehi: You just increased your fan base from any of you that's listening, because I think that's more than minority. I was on a call with within a, the other day who said, you know, our, our rev ops team just does what they want.

They don't even talk to us. All of a sudden we have this process and then there's another tool that we have to use. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:24:39] Rosalyn Santa Elena: That's really? Yeah, because how do you know that it's going to work right for the team, if you don't have the actual users in there trying it out and they try it out and they, we usually provide really good feedback for things.

Maybe even simple things like, even if, you know, button doesn't belong there, you know, better places there or better on this page, but just that type of feedback and getting that into the process. And then, and then you build those champions. So then when you're rolling it out, Your high performers, your champions are, are following that process and you know, who, you know, who better to promote that process than their peers.

So, yeah, definitely.

[00:25:14] Pouyan Salehi: I think that's spot on that's spot on.

[00:25:17] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. Okay. Well, great. And then, so we talked about TAC. We talked about systems and processes, you know, and we talked about integration because definitely having, you know, the tech being used being adopted and integrated and automated as much as possible is going to help You know, not only drive efficiencies and productivity, but also better data quality.

You know, if I think about, you know, technology, and I think you touched on some of this already but are there other things that, you know, you've worked with lots of sales teams, you've worked obviously in the tech space for so long, like, are there some things that you think are like, Hey, these are the big kind of no-nos or mistakes that you see companies make.

When they're trying to leverage. Right to really help the sales team. And again, I think you touched on some of these things already, but is there anything else that you would add or anything you want to dive deeper into?

[00:26:05] Pouyan Salehi: Yeah, I'll see. You know, you talked about automation. I think we can dive into that a little bit.

So I think automation can help quite a bit, but it can backfire a lot as well. And. A pattern I've seen is every, you know, a lot of folks just thinking about how do I automate, how do I automate, how do I automate how we have more automation? And we took the contrarian view with scratchpad. There is no automation in scratchpad.

There is no AI and scratchpad, there is no ML and scratch pad there's no, really any buzzword that scratch had simply because what we observed was this is. This is not a problem that automation can solve. This is a problem around simplicity and speed. And so we actually looked at this as more of like what you would with a consumer app and saying, how can we remove as many clicks as possible?

And how can we make it as fast as possible? And there's this concept that I've heard folks say, oh, well, like sales account executives or salespeople are lazy. They never updated. And they're like, that's, that's so far from the truth because they actually are. It's just not in Salesforce. They have even the top performers that have very low quote unquote Salesforce hygiene have probably some of the best.

Data, but it's in their own notebooks, it's in their own spreadsheets or it's just, it's, it's just in their head, but the data is there. So the question is, how do you take that? How do you get that data into a system that is then usable by the organization that follows a certain process? And in our years, my co-founder and I, in the years of being in this space, automation can serve, can solve specific problems that are well-defined and do those well, but are repetitive, but it has a limit.

And in this space of how people work. There were very few things that have seen that automation can actually have a significant impact. It may have some convenience impacts on certain areas, but sales is a little bit, it's just, there's too much complexity involved in it to automate all that much. So I would say actually try to go step back a little bit and not just look at automation, you know, how do I think about how I can automate things, but really step back and look at it through first principles and say, how can.

How can we solve this fundamental drive to be done for folks?

[00:28:25] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. I liked that. I liked that. And I like the fact that there's kind of no buzzwords associated either.

[00:28:32] Pouyan Salehi: I mean, I trivialize what we do in that, in that way, but I think it is that level of simplicity matters so much, especially in sales because you have so much going on and there's so many different tools to use.

And actually one of the ways we designed. The product was to try to fit existing sales rep behavior versus trying to get sales reps, to change their behaviors, to match what we wanted to exist in the product, because changing those behaviors is one of the hardest things to do. And That's where simplicity really comes in.

[00:29:03] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. I love that. If I think about, you know, you touched a little bit on data, right? And talked about, you know, how obviously everybody's hungry for that data. And like you said, it could be in a sheet, it could be in a doc. It could be in somebody's head. And us trying to extract that information is like, The challenge.

Right. And so when I think about, you know, a solution like scratch pad, I think it just makes it incredibly simple. Right. And easy to gather that data, you know, as you touched on, you know, making sure that, you know, we, we meet the sales rep where they typically work, where they like to work. And just gather the information that we need and then we can disseminate into, you know, or the CRM or wherever we need to get it to.

So can you maybe talk a little bit about how, you know, scratch pad really helps to make that process super easy? Right? Cause it's not just for the sales people, it's for the customer success. It's really, for everybody that's involved in revenue that needs to have access to this information.

[00:29:56] Pouyan Salehi: So you just nailed it right there with what you, what you just said about access. Because a lot of folks are thinking about it from the there's there's two components. One is how do I get data into the system, into the CRM? And that's where the biggest focus seems to be because with all of this. I would bet most folks in rev ops or most sales leaders are looking at their CRM and saying, we don't have great data quality here, both in terms of coverage.

And in terms of freshness, like how fresh is this data? And so a big focus has been put on how do we get more data in, but there's another really important part to this is how do I use the data that's in there. And that's, that's something that's actually surprised us quite a bit. And how teams are using this concept of a workspace that we're building it's scratchpad, which is it's all.

And again, it's all done through simplicity and speed and it's all, and, and make and meeting folks where they are and where they work. So. We have this guy of this concept. I like to use called product ego. We try to have very little of that to say, you know, you have to come to this application called scratch pad to then use it in accident, you know, update Salesforce or get the information you need from it.

One thing we observed is salespeople are working across a variety of tools. You know, you're on, you're an email and calendar and LinkedIn, and you may actually be, even be in Salesforce. You may be in a company dashboard. And so we designed the product such that you can access it from me. Through just a, a quick keyboard shortcut command.

J if you're on a Mac, I could just hit keyboard, shortcut. I could type in the name of anything, an opportunity, contact a custom object, like a contractor who might be worth working and it pops right up and I can interact with it right there. And this is, this comes back to that concept that I was talking about, which is removing clicks and making it fast.

So that part of it not only makes it easy to enter it for me. Right. So maybe I'm looking at my calendar and I realized, oh shoot, I forgot to log notes or update certain things for a meeting I had this morning. I don't have to switch context. I can stay within the context that I'm in, which is my calendar and write from there, update the information that I need, but from a consumption standpoint, I could be.

And we know we're starting to see people in finance, in product and marketing, leveraging, scratch hat, as well as leaders. They're not updating opportunities, but they're relying on that data. And what they're saying, and what they're seeing is this concept of this workspace makes it easier for them to interact with the data that exists in the CRM.

And that's been a really interesting, really interesting learning for us. And so, you know, back to what we talked about it at the, at the very beginning, which is how we can. Across the observation in building scratch that in the first place, right. Watching how he's work. This is how we're now learning how to do it for the entire revenue team.

By, by understanding how does a revenue team that works incredibly well together, need to operate and how might we be able to serve that? And the accessibility of the data is one of the key components because we're seeing it leads to much better collaboration. And you know, a lot of times people think collaboration.

Let me just like, leave some comments here and there and what have you. But sometimes it's, it's actually in handoffs and making sure that, you know, if, if you're the ag that closed the deal and I'm the CSN taking over that I can access the information that you put in there. And I don't have to do discovery with the customer again and create a really crappy experience.

[00:33:24] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yup. Yup, absolutely. I think, and when you first start talking about the data, it's, it's interesting because everyone's so concerned about getting all of this data into their system of record, but it's really, it's not about getting the data it's about, it's about really like, what is the data telling you and, and who needs to know what, at what time?

Right. And just making sure that you're getting the right information to the right people and it's that accessibility and visibility.

[00:33:52] Pouyan Salehi: That's so key because it's, I think it's more important to have data that you're actually using and just having maybe less of that data than all the, all the data you could possibly record, but then nobody's actually using it to make decisions.

[00:34:05] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. Yep. 100%. Well, good. So, you know, as I think about, you know, I think about the revenue engine, you know, this podcast, I'm always hoping others will be able to, you know, really learn to how to accelerate revenue growth, right. Empower that revenue engine. So. From your perspective, you know, what are some of the, maybe the top two or three things that you think you know, all CEOs or revenue leaders should really be thinking about today to help accelerate revenue growth?

[00:34:33] Pouyan Salehi: Wow. So there's so, so much there. Let me think of that. Let me, I'm thinking of what is, what's not like the same old stuff, cause there's a lot of, there's a lot of good, good content and ideas out there. All right, let me, let me share something. I learned from one of our customers, a CRO that that we have the fortune of working with and she deployed, scratch right across her team.

And this one surprised me a little bit Morrell positive, like making, making the sale. The salespeople on her team had. And, you know, there's a lot of buzzer and talk about our employee happiness and what have you. And I think that that's important, but you rarely see folks connecting that to performance and revenue.

And in this case, that happened, and there was such a clear connection between the sales reps, morale and performance, and this CRO value that, and also said, you know, I care about my team. I, I want them to be happy in their jobs because I also know that that's going to lead to better customer experiences.

And in, especially in SAS, I think the customer experience is a way to differentiate. It's not just product features and benefits. And that's one that, you know, those are values that we certainly operate by here at scratchpad, but it was surprising to see articulated so clearly by another sales leader.

Impacted revenue, because I think in SAS, it's not just about the deal that's done upfront. It's also about retention and expansion. And so that customer experience, when you create a great delightful experience upfront can pay for a very long time and making sure that the folks on the frontline that are interacting with those prospects and customers are actually happy.

And I know who might sound a little bit cheesy, but it makes a big difference. And. Yeah, that's one that, that stood out to me.

[00:36:32] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. I love that. I think that, you know, the morale, just having the team really motivated and also believing in the product. Right. I think from, for me, that's super important when I joined an organization that I really believe in the product and understand the value and be excited about it.

Right. And be part of that, because that resonates with your customers. Yeah. What about, you know, from a CEO or founder perspective, and you probably have a long list of these things, but it is there like one piece of advice that you would give to another CEO or founder, you know, is that, that kind of one thing that makes all the difference?

What would that be?

[00:37:08] Pouyan Salehi: Gosh, you have such a great question. You know, I guess, let me, let me give advice for one. The stage that we're at, which is of a company that's relatively young, that is figuring out growth and and go to market motions. And I think early on it's, it's being as flexible as you can.

And what I mean by that is with the revenue team, recognizing that when you're hiring your first, I don't know, five, 10 salespeople that you probably don't have everything figured out. And while there's all this content out there, Exactly. You know, what typical SaaS quotas need to be and quota attainment and all that stuff, creating the space for experimentation and saying, okay, this, we don't quite fully know how this is all going to play out.

But we'll figure it out together. And that means having your expectations as a CEO in the right place where yeah, maybe, maybe everyone misses quota for a couple of quarters. Cause you just don't have the process figured out or everyone absolutely dominate. And, you know, you're paying out crazy accelerators and that's okay.

You should be excited about that. But I think that level of flexibility is really important and, and it takes hiring the right folks that align with that and are willing to operate in that.

[00:38:24] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah, I love that. I love that. And by the way just so you know, side note I've had a number of folks ask me if you're hiring.

I think a lot of AEs want to come work for you. So as you grow, I'm sure you have a huge pipeline of candidates who would love to be part of your team.

[00:38:42] Pouyan Salehi: We are, yeah. There, we're spending a lot of time on as well. So yes, we're, we're looking at,

[00:38:47] Rosalyn Santa Elena: It's actually funny because I literally got like two messages, I think today and yesterday around.

Hey, do you know, they hiring a so separate conversation, but we can take that one offline,

[00:38:59] Pouyan Salehi: feel free to send anyone over at.

[00:39:01] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Perfect. So as we wrap up, I, you know, I would love to really know two things. I always ask all the guests, these two things and hopefully you've had a chance to look at this before.

I always try to give a little bit of headway, but I think, you know, one, what is the one thing about you that, you know, others would be surprised to learn and to what is the one thing that you absolutely want everyone to know about? And it could be the same thing. I've had a couple guests that this, the same thing.

So one thing that would people would be surprised to know or to learn. And one thing that you really want everyone to know about you.

[00:39:34] Pouyan Salehi: Let me answer this the last one first or the second one. What's something I want everyone to know about me. I don't know what I'm doing.

[00:39:43] Rosalyn Santa Elena: I think that would be the surprise. What, I don't think anyone would

[00:39:47] Pouyan Salehi: Maybe I'll answer both of them together. Yeah, I'll say that. But I, and I say that in a way that, that I embrace is that because this is something I tell my team a lot as well. And the folks that I think are, you know, really aligned with how we operate here at scratchpad is being, being comfortable with saying that and embracing it and saying that it's not a bad thing. You're just acknowledging it and then saying, okay, well, I'm going to figure it out.

We know, we don't know. And so we're going to do everything we can to get curious and to find the answer. And I think there's just some there's just a level of, there's this flexibility that comes with it. And it's just that you feel a little, a lot lighter by being able to say that with an approaching something like, I have no idea how to do this, but that's the fun part.

Like I'm attracted to that and saying, okay, well, I'm going to figure it out. So, I guess maybe my answer is the same people would be surprised to learn. Is that actually a, I say that quite a bit.

[00:40:52] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. I love that. I love that. I do think it gives a completely different perspective and different feel towards approaching and solving difficult problems.

Right? So solving customer challenges and solving different difficult problems, nobody has the answers to everything, but we can all work together to figure it out.

[00:41:10] Pouyan Salehi: Yeah. And it, and it avoids you from feeling like you have to make assumptions or that you always have to have the answers to things. I mean, listen, you eventually have to get to a place of conviction where you make a decision to move forward.

But I've learned that that helps actually is like saying that and then approaching it with curiosity. Come to a better, a better place.

[00:41:31] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. I love that. Well, thank you so much. Well, thank you Pouyan for joining me. I'm super grateful to you for spending the time with me and just sharing your story and just so many incredible insights, and I'm really excited to see what's next for you and for Scratchpad

[00:41:45] Pouyan Salehi: Thanks so much for having me, it was my pleasure.

This episode was digitally transcribed.

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