The Revenue Engine

Why Hiring is Not the Only Way to Scale the Revenue Engine with Amir Reiter, CEO of Cloud Task

June 28, 2021
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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.

“Stop selling and start helping” - this is one of the tips from Amir Reiter, the CEO and Founder of CloudTask. If you aren’t “helping” solve a problem, you’re going to have a tough time in business.

Take a listen as Rosalyn dives into an authentic, real, and hard-hitting discussion with Amir and cover his thoughts on -

  • Why the word “outsourcing” has been stigmatized
  • Why the terms “inbound” and “outbound” are becoming irrelevant
  • Why it’s hard to put “customer first” if growth rate is your top metric

And much more..

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Connect with Rosalyn

Thanks to Sales IQ Global for powering the Revenue Engine

Amir Reiter
CloudTask
Vision: Every business is a lifestyle business. Mission: Help 10,000 businesses transition to the right cloud software, which means their teams will get work done better, faster, cheaper so that they have more opportunity to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

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.

Stop selling and start helping. This is one of the tips from Amir writer, the CEO of CloudTask. If you aren't helping solve a problem, you're going to have a tough time in business. As Amir shares, the mission of CloudTask is to help 10,000 businesses transition to the right cloud software, which means their teams will get work done faster, better, and cheaper so that they have more opportunity to enjoy the fruits of their labor Mira.

And I cover a number of topics and cover his thoughts on things like why the word outsourcing has been stigmatized. Why the terms inbound and outbound are becoming irrelevant. Why it's hard to put customer first. If growth rate is your top metric and why you probably don't need more SDR. We also talk about why you need to focus on the data versus just hiring more people and much more.

So take a listen to the authentic, real, and hard hitting discussion with the mirror. So super excited to be here today with Amir Reiter, the CEO at CloudTask. Um, so welcome Amir, and thank you so much for joining.

Amir Reiter: All right. Pleasure being here.

Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. Do you want to talk a little bit about CloudTask?

Amir Reiter: CloudTask is a B2B lead generation company, right? I think a lot of people forget that Facebook and, and we help find good fit prospects, book, sales, qualified meetings, and increase revenue. Um, ultimately, you know, our mission is to have. You know, 10,000 plus businesses get worked on better, faster, cheaper from anywhere.

And that has a lot to do with our focus is solely on companies that are in the digital transformation space. And you find a common, a common theme with technology where it's more efficient, faster, and cheaper. So. Uh, we looked for painkillers and we looked for products that really help people with the new modern lifestyle.

And, and we help, you know, the future customers of our, of our clients succeed.

Rosalyn Santa Elena: That's great. That's great. And I think we'll dive a little bit more into sort of the company and some of the things that you're doing there as we go through the discussion, but just wanted to give sort of a high level for folks who maybe aren't familiar yet with CloudTask.

So let's talk a little bit about your career journey. You know, you've been in a number of different revenue roles at companies like drift at HubSpot, you know, at net suite. And it looks like it had major robotics and more so maybe, can you talk a little bit about your career journey, you know, prior to CloudTask?

Amir Reiter: Yeah, I like my, my career journey prior to CloudTask began with me wanting to get into medical device because I started pre-med, but kind of always knew that I was not going to stay at school until 31 only to the hospital. Cause that's my nightmare. Uh, and then on that journey, you know, just became an entrepreneur at 23 water service company that I had built and sold.

And then trying to parlay that into an office supply company. Um, but I also sold, and then from that point, I decided that, Hey, um, you know, my, my industries were not really matching up with people. I wanted to speak to find supplies and water. It just was really transformative. Uh, and then from there I kind of pivoted into, um, my first corporate gig, which was actually surgical robots.

And guess what? Surgical robotics was. More efficient and faster, right. Cheaper, probably as well. Right. That commonality, uh, helping neurosurgeons, you know, perform precise flying surgery, which was, which was exciting. And then, uh, from there I worked with a company called NetSuite, which you named, it was also helping companies do things faster and more efficient in the cloud.

On that point on, I kind of saw some of the. The problems that are now magnified with just, uh, the workforce in general and the concept that. Work produce results versus the process bruising results and, and just kind of seeing that, like the way that companies were evolving to be more efficient, faster and cheaper, they were also kind of not doing that themselves.

Right. They were still growing at a very slow, expensive way. Um, so almost kind of bringing to them what they bring to other people, um, and, and, and kind of went live with a hot ass back in 2006. Got

Rosalyn Santa Elena: Got it. So when you started, um, when you start at CloudTask, you know, like you said, 2016, so it's been about five years, a little over five years, you shared a little bit about sort of the vision of kind of what you were trying to do, right.

Around doing things more efficiently and doing things faster. What was sort of the idea. Was there anything else that you might share around sort of the vision for the company and how has that changed over the five years?

Amir Reiter: That's a great question. It's definitely changed dramatically. I'm focused on being the best at something is definitely the one answer that looks picks up sticks out immediately.

Right. And it's, it's, you know, we were, we were offering. We will offer a customer support, uh, customer success and sales, you know, looking at the opportunity to say, Hey, we can, we can handle a customer full cycle. And, um, you know, after several years, we, we really actually decided that a, the word outsourcing was a horrible word.

Um, and it's really, really, really ironic, right? Cause the billion dollar companies produced billions of dollars. Um, Outsourcing and with working with multiple outsourcing, but there was this gap where, you know, every company that's smaller than a billion dollar company was like, no, I want to outsource even if their own product was outsourcing and it was ironic, right?

Because SaaS software as a service is basically like, Hey, I already have the software built. You don't need to build it internally. You can rent it. Right. Um, because of the way that outsourcing was stigmatized by politics, primarily the concept of like, Hey, I'm sending jobs over to, you know, the offshore world.

Um, it, it just really hurt a lot of our customers and partners almost mentally is the concept is a little bit too much for them at the mid and small company size, not at the large, um, you know, the large companies are, they are working with multiple billion honor all centers. Um, so kind of transform, you know, said, Hey, you know what, uh, when it comes down to, it comes down to let's say customer support and, and other things like tie tie matters, right?

Like maybe you want somebody on a live chat for eight hours a day and maybe that's a staffing solution. Right. There's music people there, but with revenue. People really do not care about time. They, they quantify time because they consider that if a person is working four days a week, they, they can't produce results.

But with all the explosion of tools and data, we've kind of really looked at. Revenue as more of a performance thing versus a time thing. And that was a big change that we did recently where, you know, we're not really presenting ourselves as staffing solution. We're not presenting ourselves as an outsource.

We're presenting ourselves the same exact way. As you would work with a Facebook, right? Facebook has highly converting marketing ads because they know what the audience wants and likes. Well, Bob has, we're doing the same thing. We've been working, uh, our own database and picturing data for five years and we start actually learning what people want and what they need.

And we use that to, to help people solve their problems. Um, and that's kind of our big trends. And that's kind of, uh, that can go on for a long time. There's a big, there's a very big roadmap ahead of us, but you know, the concept really is, is moving away from the, you know, we'll make meetings for you versus we're going to actually help your future clients.

Right. Because. You know, quantity is great and all, but in reality, any business, that's not really actually helping somebody solve a problem, whether it's cost efficiency or speed, it's going to have a tough time surviving. Right. Cause I think the cat out of the bag with transparency and people just can do their own research and they can really identify whether or not it's something that yeah.

Is a, a candy or a painkiller, as we say in cloud. So yeah, that transformation is, is really now focusing more buyer, not the seller. And then, and then saying, oh, Mr. Seller, oh, you want access to the buyers? Or you want to help those buyers? Okay. Then we can talk. Right. Uh, kind of like if you think about a home yeah.

It's retail. Right? Um, cool. Right. Th th they, they help people, people walk into the store. What, what kind of lawnmower do I need? What kind of, uh, sir, what kind of wood do I need for my balcony? Right. They work with manufacturers. They help people. Well, we're going to be doing that for this digital world.

Right? The only difference is that it's not physical inventory, it's digital assets. Right. So taking that approach, a buyer first approaches that activity and change from five years to go today till today.

Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. Yeah, definitely. And I see that, obviously not just with your business, I mean the entire industry, right?

It's the buyer focus is talking about, you know, obviously bringing value problems you're trying to solve. It's no more, no more about selling features or function. Right? It's all about selling value and solving complex business problems and helping your customers. It'll be successful in hitting their own objectives and goals.

Um, so you touched on some of this as well, but I mean, because you've worked with so many different, you know, B2B companies, you touched a little bit on some of the things that the companies are doing, you know, right around sort of that buyer. Alignment buyer value. Well, what are the, what are some of the other things that you're seeing companies doing really right when it comes to generating net new business?

If we talk a little bit about, you know, new acquisition and what are some of the things that you think they're really doing wrong?

Amir Reiter: That's a great question. Um, all right. So, you know, I would say right off the bat, you know, if they are doing something right, it would be focusing on the problems or fixing and not on their features and functionality.

Right. Um, you know, that's just from a, from a, from a right off the bat, right. A company either will focus on. That one market and dominate it or, or spreads in, um, and not really dominated anything and have a lot of churn. Um, you know, a lot of the companies that I've worked with in past years have been successful, primarily drove business in an inbound fashion.

Um, which, which I, you know, I've seen. You know, I, you know, it's almost as if cloud packs cause like the only company I know that really grew only on outbound and probably from that, my other colleagues that offer our service. Um, but most of the. You know, I think they caught from a time perspective, and this is like, this is not working with the Googles and the apples they're around for 30 years, which is more of like a, company's been around for 10 years.

They really caught, you know, the Facebook marketing and all this digital ad at the right time when the costs were right. And the, and they, and they were really maximizing the newsletters and the marketing automation. Um, and now that that's kind of been saturated. There, what they're doing wrong is they're, they're separating their marketing and sales team and not really unifying it as a revenue team.

And they're, they're really not actually understanding that. The word outbound and inbound kind of becomes irrelevant. And it's all about the right message, right. Channel, the right timing. Um, and, and, and some people really can't separate the fact that, you know, an advertisement that you might see on cnn.com because you have cookies.

Is outbound, right? Like you didn't want that ad in your eyes, you know, but it becomes acceptable because we've become so acceptable to the fact that these billion dollar companies that ruined our lives were like, Hey, they have the right to be out the front of our eyes. We feel it right. Like we do not get upset.

Right. We don't get upset when Google or Facebook. Right. We don't, and they were smart because they gave us, they gave us something for it. They gave us access to information. Right. Um, and then, and then, you know, what leaders aren't realizing is that a phone call, email SMS message or all of the above is essentially the same thing.

You're taking a message. You're putting your first, one of the major differences that the way people perceive it is to be annoying and disruptive. Right. Um, however, if those messages are actually written. Quality thoughtfulness and helping them at first, it works very well. Right. And then what they're also missing is the fact that they missed the following.

Right. And then I'll be really blunt about it. Uh, you know, Aaron Ross really good dude, um, worked for Salesforce, wrote predictable revenue back in 2005. You know, they, that's where they started the SDR kind of movement and people just kind of forget. Salesforce had a lot of demand, right. And people were coming to Salesforce and it was almost a way of, uh, saying, Hey, like, you know, there's too many people coming to Salesforce.

Let's create STR to qualify leads for the of executives. So then people really focus on that term. FCR feels it on the rep. I hear it all the time. They're like, I need four SDRs. I need three to stars. And I'm like, no, you don't, you need pipeline that you can. Right. So I think what they're getting wrong is the fact that titles don't matter, body counts not gonna help you future client.

And what happened with Salesforce 10 years ago is not necessarily gonna happen to your company, alas, unless you have. Great SEO and thousands of people signing up. So I think, I think people re and then another thing that people get wrong is that they, they fail to read data. So they fail to really actually look at the it's almost like global warming.

The warning signs are all there, right? The data there. So, you know, a company called bridge group, which was an awesome competency to do. They do research, tried to reach out to these leaders. They find that. The average SDR is going to last 1.3 years at tops. Right? Um, so they're kind of thinking that they're going to hire an SDR because it's going to learn your product and then become an account executive.

But the data is telling us is that model is broken and they're not really. Right. They're not, they're not changing. They're, they're, they're still doing the same behavior. Um, and that's kind of what I've seen from that standpoint.

Rosalyn Santa Elena: Got it. Yeah. I mean, the data is so, so incredibly important. Everyone keeps talking about, we need data, we need data, but if you're not looking at the data and analyzing it and driving some of those insights and then taking that data and actually those insights and making a pivot to your, in your business, right.

That's where the data is really. Valuable is around making business decisions,

Amir Reiter: Yeh 100%, and things are changing fast, right? So a lot of the times, you know, leaders and companies that are building very, very sophisticated technology that is new, faster, more efficient and cheaper, but they're not really looking for cheaper ways of growing their business because when they receive money from a venture capital company or a PE there, they're kind of.

Running the same playbook that their own technology is displaced. Right? A lot of people spend a lot of sales and marketing leaders have created technologies that allow you to take the output of what an a sales development rep did 10 years ago. And 10 of them one rep can do that now, but they don't actually hire the way that their technology actually fix problems, which is interesting.

Rosalyn Santa Elena: If you think about, you know, the challenges of last year and obviously the rise of the, you know, kind of the recurring nature of SAS, you know, we all know how critical a client success is, right? In terms of retention and satisfaction, but also the ability to grow and expand within an account. So we talked a little bit about net new business.

What about within your own customer base? Like, are there things that maybe, you know, from a philosophy perspective, um, that you're doing, I guess that has really helped CloudTask with revenue acceleration, um, specifically around your existing clients?

Amir Reiter: Uh, yeah. Good question. I would say that not taking an outside investment from a venture capital company, huh?

Allowed us to make our own decisions and the main decision that was made even this year. Looking back at, at COVID we had an 18% non-renewal rate. Right. And we looked at that from year one, year two, year three, we said, this is a victory, right? Like this is, this is great. Um, but we kind of took a, a deeper look at that.

And it was ironic because I actually listened to a podcast between, uh, Justin Michael's a friend sales leader, mine. And, uh, while I'm at my am I skipping this name, um, Forgot the name, but he's a very awesome dude. I saw this clip, uh, and he talked about the definition of product market fit, where some defined product market fit is like, oh, I got 10 million in revenue.

I got product market fit. And he mentioned that the one definition that he liked the most was somebody who said to him, you know, when you go out and interview, You know, a hundred clients years and 80% say they can't live without you. That's product market fit. And I did, we did a 180, right? I think in March we went from 255 employees to 190 during the transition of becoming more efficient.

Um, our revenue increases. And we took a step back and said, you know, we're not going to hit $10 million with the revenue by actually going out and getting new clients. We're going to hit $10 million revenue by growing our existing accounts, because we are the visits of revenue and the happiest clients are spending the most because it's directly tied to ROI.

So, you know, back to your question, I think not taking a VC money has allowed me to do that because it's allowed me to change. Quicker versus another organization that, you know, imagine you're a CEO and if you don't hit a certain milestone, you start to lose some of your company. Well, that client, that, that CEO can't can, he's not really going to put the client first because his dream could be taken away from him.

Right. Um, so, so I think that not taking money is something I recommend. And if you, if you are taking money, You know, having a partner that, that, you know, measures your success based on. You know, net promoter score and customer retention versus growth rate, I would prefer better because I think whenever you patrol three first, I think it's just, it's very hard to put growth weight first and put, put your customer first at the same time.

Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yep. That makes a lot of sense. Um, You know, the revenue engine and you know, this podcast, I always hope that others will be able to really learn how to accelerate revenue growth, right. And power that revenue engine. Um, from, from your perspective, maybe what are the top two or three things that you think all revenue leaders should be thinking about to really grow their business?

Amir Reiter: I literally just think about data and I think they should think about getting accurate data because. It's so ironic. How many people, including myself fall into the same trap of I'm going to hire bodies. I'm going to hire VPs of sales. I got the money, I got the, I got the budget and I'm going to hire the staff.

And it's ironic because think about a farm, right? You can go and get workers to till your farm. You can go buy John Deere tractors. They're going to sell that stuff to you, right? If you don't spend time picking out the best seeds I started. You can have the best workers and you can have the best tools, but you're going to get what your seats give you, right?

It's not thought to verify data, right? It's not fun to call a list and say, this is not their number. This is that I get the voicemail. It's not, it's not exciting. Right? It's boring. But if companies invested what they invest into employees into data and not only data, but cleaning the data. They would succeed in so many ways, unimagined, because selling to the wrong person, first of all, you've to get rid of the word selling, right.

Helping, right. If you're not focusing on data, then you're selling. If you're focusing on the data, then you're helping because you should know that this person, you know, imagine you, right. Like, and you're using zoom podcasts. And then I can reach out and say, Hey, I can see you're using zoom for pockets, which is awesome.

But there are options out there that might improve the quality of your sound. Could I set some time up to show you how we compare to the quality for your podcast. So you can see this decision a, it helps your show. Right? And if my list had everybody who used zoom to record their podcast, and I said that same helpful message over and over again, would I really be selling or would I be actually helping you?

Uh, and that's, and that's kind of, you know, I think, um, you know, a big opportunity for our leaders out there.

Rosalyn Santa Elena: Awesome. I love that. I love that by the way we use squad cast, but I appreciate that

Amir Reiter: as I was just kind of bringing it up.

Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. Definitely

Amir Reiter: either help yourself. Right. Which is fine. Yeah. Which is that that's what the Internet's for. And I help myself, or I don't know, I have a problem. Right. And then someone helps help too.

Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. Yeah. And I think that's a lot to do with it too, around the buyer.

Right. Just the fact that we have so much information us as buyers or consumers. That were already armed with so much information before we even look and start to look at different solutions to help us. So having that, you know, thought partner and sort of that leadership with, you know, less of a vendor and more of a partner, really helping us, as you said, versus selling to us. Right.

Amir Reiter: It's incredible. I've been doing that actually lately. It's ironic. I had a company actually get insulted that I was telling him. Right. And I told them, I was like, well, I, I'm not sure. Do you want me to tell you what you want to hear? Take your money and you're not happy. Cause I I'll go send you to someone else will do that.

And the call ended with him, you know, thinking I was arrogant, which I can come across. Um, I call it a straightforward, right? Like I, I like to be very straightforward with people. Um, and I prefer the people who come back and they're like, yeah, you know, you were straightforward. You didn't tell me what you want.

What I wanted to hear.

That's a bad thing. A doctor, like if you have terminal terminal disease and someone that you don't want to wire doctor line,

right. That's

Rosalyn Santa Elena: right. That's right. So what about, what are some of the things, um, is there something you wish you knew earlier, or maybe that you might do differently? If you could go back, you know, five years, five and a half years and do it all over again.

Amir Reiter: Oh, yeah. I'm like the first thing I would do is it would not affect my partner that I did.

Um, even those of minority and minority partner. And I think, I think just assuming that, you know, you're going to succeed and finding somebody who is as passionate about fixing the problem as you is extremely important to your employees and customers that believe in you, um, and, and, and giving out titles based on, you know, I think titles are, are evil.

Um, and I think they really. Really mess up with, you know, people's performance because yeah, that's my biggest advice. Anybody, anybody starting over, you know, focus, you know, choose the right partners carefully or choose none. Um, and, and also, you know, focus on one market and dominate it.

Rosalyn Santa Elena: Okay. Got it. That's great advice.

So thank you so much for joining me. I'm a mirror, but as we wrap up and before I let you go, I was asked two things. One. What is the one thing about you that others would be surprised to learn and to what is the thing? What is that one thing that you want everyone to know?

Amir Reiter: I think people would be surprised to know that I'm actually nice and I want people to succeed and be happy.

I literally am so straightforward. And I'm so to the point that I think that I think there's a commonality that people typically at first would. Not drive with very well. And then eventually they're like, wait, um, he's just actually just straight forward and honest. And I like this better. I've heard that so many times and it's coming, you know, I guess stronger as you can say.

Um, but like, I, I, I guess I just feel like. I'm being nice by being honest. But, you know, I feel like if I feel like I play the game and then I feel like it might be a con artist and I have those skills.

Rosalyn Santa Elena: Is that the one thing you want? Yeah,

Amir Reiter: I don't want to, I, you know, I don't want to feel like that. Right. So it's like, I'm not going to, like, I'm not going to tell you what you want to hear. Yeah, cause then I would be a liar and I just don't wanna do that. So, yeah. And I, and I think if anything, to know if they want to know about me, so go ahead.

Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. What is the one thing that you want everyone to know about you?

Amir Reiter: Um, the question, um, I would say. That I will transform sales, um, from the way we know it to something completely different, more like the harmony sales within five-year periods.

Rosalyn Santa Elena: Interesting. Well, thank you so much for joining me Amir, as a pleasure to chat with you, and I'm so grateful for your time and for sharing your story and your perspective with us.

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