Jeff Ignacio: Welcome Revenue Architects. I'm your host, Jeff Ignacio in this podcast, we're going to bring incredible business athletes together. We'll explore how to build a go to market capability for businesses. No matter the size or shape we'll remix content from a bunch of different places. Bring in guests, deep dive into incredible topics.
So with that in mind, I want to thank you for joining us. And now onto this episode of the Revenue Architect.
Today we have Kevin Dorsey, otherwise referred to as KD joining us today, I first came across KD at a Topo conference in San Francisco. It was a guest speaker at the event, and I walked away thinking, wow, I hope I get the opportunity to partner or work with him one day. And there's a lot to learn from this man is what I came away with, who knew that later on, I'd get that chance to work alongside him at his current company, patient pop.
In addition to his full-time role, he's a mentor at 500 startups and host of the live better sell better podcast. If you're not subscribed to it, I highly suggest you do. I, even though I'm in revenue operations and learn a lot from his podcast and from his guests. So with that, Katie, welcome to the show.
Kevin Dorsey: Man, I'm pumped to be here, dude. It's it's a long time coming. We've been trying to make it happen for a while. So we got it now. And by the way, you're going to be on live better, sell better soon. So just be ready for that invite.
Jeff Ignacio: Fair enough. I think you went through a move. I went through a move and somehow that always gets lost in the shuffle.
Kevin Dorsey: It's always.
Jeff Ignacio: So, you know, the format of our podcasts. I, I'm going to ask you a bunch of questions. I feel like we can go down a ton of rabbit holes, riff and play some jazz here, and then I'll go through a segment that likes to call their Worshack tests. But yeah, first off, you know, one thing I've always been impressed with is, you know, your ability to build, nurture and motivate teams at PatientPop.
We had these national sales meetings and quite frankly, They started off with a bang. So every first week of the month I look forward to it. Cause we did a recap of the previous month and then look forward to the next month. You know, when does a company, you know, bring in a builder like yourself? Like when would they succeed at bringing in a Katie?
Kevin Dorsey: You know, it's, it's actually, it's a very interesting question because I think it depends on what the company goals are. Right. And it requires a different type of person at each stage. And so like I know for, for me that I am, I am a builder. That's, that's what I do. That's what I love. I love stepping into something where it's kind of a muck there's a lot going on or there's nothing and building.
Right. And so that's like, When you bring in someone like me, it's like, when you need something built, when you need to make it repeatable, when you need to make it like, okay, we know what we're doing. Yeah. We're starting to optimize. Right. But that's not always the type of person that you need. Right. You might also need someone to take you into new markets.
You might need someone who's actually really good at scaling it across international or across like a country. Right. And so it's defining. The type of leader you need based on the results that you're looking for and then being very specific around. Right. And so if I think about, you know, Pete accompany being successful, or when to bring in someone like me, it's like after you define what your actual next five-year goals are, I think also too comedies get ahead of themselves.
Sometimes I'm like, all right, this is going to be my leader for the next 10 years. Probably not, it's probably not how it's going to work out, you know, what's the next five and who's best suited to get you there. So that's kind of it.
Jeff Ignacio: And that's interesting because when folks are thinking who they're going to bring in, they go in to an interview and quite frankly, you're interviewing them as well, trying to figure out if the situation that.
They're looking to bring in this leader is something that you're going to succeed at. It's very similar in revenue operations, right? You, you have a founder doing selling, you have their first sales manager becoming their Salesforce admin. They're doing two things and they realize I need to bring in someone that can take this off my plate and help build something repeatable.
I'm curious about playbooks. You know, you just had recently hosted a session with the revenue collective around playbooks, and I'd love to hear from you, you know, what is a playbook? What are some of the secret ingredients around that? And there's a playbook needs to be tailored for different teams within a company, or should it be universal?
Kevin Dorsey: Oh, absolutely. So I think when I think playbook, I think of a documented structure that leads to success. Right. Like, these are the things that we believe will lead to success in what we're trying to achieve. Right. Which is why I think different orgs in different roles should have different playbooks because they're trying to achieve different things.
Right. But the goal of it right. Is to make sure it's aligned with success. Right. It's more around behaviors and skills and mindset than product knowledge, right? Like if you look a lot of playbooks, It's it's product knowledge, right? It's just about the product is what they're teaching versus. Well, what do I do with this?
Right. And so like, I, I go through like the five, like when, when I teach it right, you have your people, you've got your problem. You solved the prospect that you sell to the process and then the product. Right. Like, those are, I think the core elements of a great playbook. And as you're building it, it's making sure that you're involving other people in it.
Right. Involving people that are also specialized, like to your earlier point, like. Sections of your playbook, you should lean on the people who are good at those things. Right. And so I know like when it comes to the process element, like leaning on sales ops and leading on rev ops, I'm like, okay, like help me build a good process.
Here's all the things that I'm thinking about. Help me build this out, I think is so important. The actual metrics, right. You and I used to talk about this, you know, back at PatientPop right. It's like. Yeah, I don't, maybe you don't remember this conversation, but was like, Jeff, like, I don't want the data. I want the diamonds in the data.
Right. And that's what was something you were so good at is like, all right, the numbers, aren't what they are. But you were able to like, look at them and tweak them and say, here's what we do with it. Those are the things that go into the process side of things. So I think playbooks, you have to have it if you want to scale, because also too, you mentioned earlier, like founders, this is where most founders get stuck.
Right. I work with the 500 startups a lot. I get to talk to their startups. It's like they can get to that first Mark where they were able to do it, but they can't seem to get anyone else to do it because they never were able to take out what was in their head and build it into a follow, like a playbook people could follow and they wonder why they wallow around.
So I think playbooks are mandatory, but also they have to evolve. The playbook that I have now is different than the playbook I had a year ago.
Jeff Ignacio: That's really interesting with the founder knowing their space so well. In fact, they created the product to solve a certain problem with their future prospects customers.
And then secondly, they have that cache because they know their product inside and now they know the limitations of what they can push. And early on, I think a lot of times customers aren't buying a startup, they're buying the founder. Because the founder is so passionate about solving something that they've been living with for so long.
And then you bring in the second wave of folks and it's fragmented. That knowledge is like Humpty Dumpty. It's it's spread across your solution consultants, your product team, your marketing team. One thing about the five P that I'm really interested in is the prospect. It's not about selling it's about the prospect.
And one thing that I w called is really breaking down ICPSR and personas. And how does that. What, what do you think is the best way to do that? Do you look at recent wins and talk to them or do you have to go out and canvas a little bit more going as far up to your SDRs?
Kevin Dorsey: So it's, you know, I come from the and mentality not, or right.
It's everything you mentioned. Right? So one, you can go through certain exercises that my favorite one is still the buyer's matrix by Jill Conrad. So my favorite tools, I do it for any new product that I'm trying to sell. Cause it talks about the personas and really getting like into their world and how they think and how they're measured and what matters to them.
But also why wouldn't they change? What's the status quo, right? So when you start to build out the personas that the buyers matrix is one, but that's, you know, that's one of those things that always works in the spreadsheet. Eventually, you got to talk to some people, right. And so then going and talking to the, your customers or prospects, and we can talk about either here, but like, you know, when I, when I went to PatientPop actually got into a little bit of trouble, I just started calling customers, started calling, right.
Because calling them, right. Like, Oh, did you get all the questions? Right. And I was like, I should have asked for permission first. I was just excited. Right. But the problem, not even the problem I hadn't sold to medical before.
Right. I hadn't sold to these personas before. And so I wanted to learn, so I called almost 50 of them and I asked them like this series of questions.
Right? Why did they buy it? All right. Why didn't you buy a patient pop? What problem were you hoping to solve? What were you afraid of before by what's your favorite part of the product what's changed the most since you've bought? And how would you describe patient pot to a fellow doctor? Right. And I talked to almost 50 customers asking those questions.
Now I've got my personas. Now I know how they talk. Now I know how they think, how they described. Right. It's a very similar when I came into patient pop, you know, how we described what we did to doctors. We are an all in one practice growth plan. You know, how many of the doctors I talked to when I asked them what the product is said, you're an all in one practice growth platform and no idea, not one that's.
Yeah. That's not how doctors talk. Right. And so that's where you start to get into their world and say, how does they talk? Right. And then that thing, what problem were you hoping to solve? Now you're learning about the problem. What were you afraid of now? You've got the unspoken objections, right? And so you can do that.
I would recommend that to any leader, go talk to, and to any early stage founders, this is the easiest way to onboard a new rep when you don't have the time to do so. If you don't have time to onboard a new rep, go have them interview 30 customers. If you don't have 30 customers have them go interview 150 prospects, don't ask them to demo.
Don't ask them to sell yet. Go ask them to do these interviews. They will learn the space in the language so much faster. So the prospect is almost missing from everyone's playbooks. Never talk about the prospect, right. Or they have enterprise Eddy and SMB sale, you know, which is just so far removed from the real world yeah.
Jeff Ignacio: Sammy SMB. I love that. I love that Eddie enterprise. I started my sales ops career in the enterprise, right. Deals that would take two. What? 10 to 12 months, if you're not building your pipeline 12 months earlier, the dye is essentially cast for your 2021. Now I'm living in a much more transactional focused business and it is much more about the activity, but some of those periods are universal around, you know, getting information from your prospects.
It's often interesting when you hear a cab or a customer advisory board, I find that the outputs and the outcomes from that. Are primarily around product roadmap, but could easily just be distilled and broken down into our fomenting and building your go to market playbook as well.
Kevin Dorsey: Oh, absolutely. So one of the questions I also asked of a decent amount of doctors is how do you like to be contacted phone or email? I like to be contacted phone or email?
Right now because here's, what's so funny. Right? What do you think most of them say.
Jeff Ignacio: Call me. I like to be contacted phone or email I'll totally didn't get it haha.
Kevin Dorsey: They said email. Right. And it doesn't, it shouldn't shock to many people. Right? Like people don't enjoy being cold called. Right. They'd prefer email. Guess what we weren't doing at all.
And our outbound and inbound prospects.
Jeff Ignacio: I'm assuming.
Kevin Dorsey: Yeah, we weren't emailing. So here we have the prospect who says, yo email is best for me in a sales org. That's only calling. Gee. I wonder why we may not be getting the results that we need to. Right. And so you can learn so much about them. When you have a good cab, you can put emails in front of them.
You can put marketing materials in front. It's like, yo, does this capture your attention? What do you think of this? Would you save this? What does this even mean to you? Right? Like the product can be developed from it, but then you have a little bit of the blind leading the blind. Sometimes I've always asking customers what they want because you got five.
10 representing thousands. Right. But you start to think about how they think about things with messaging. You can learn a lot there on how to take your product to market.
Jeff Ignacio: Yeah. It's interesting. Growing up, I've always been told, you know, you'd be great at sales. You seem to talk a lot. And when I went through my first sales jobs in high school, they talked about tonality, objection to handling, dialing for dollars.
But what you're describing is completely different. It's actually a process. And there's a quote that I like to go down the path of. Okay. You know, if you can't describe something as a process, you don't know what you're doing and quote, credit to w Edwards Deming on that. And your questions are not about, I have sold in this space before.
Therefore I have the expertise in the industry. I can then sell laterally and horizontally to the next company that sells that same exact space. You're actually taking a playbook or a process that you can bring anywhere. There's some universality to it.
Kevin Dorsey: Absolutely. I mean, it's something that I look at within my career that, you know, I am proud of, you know, like there's all sorts of awards on LinkedIn and social media and all that fun stuff, but like, they're, they're fun.
But like, what I'm most proud of is I've been able to scale orgs successfully across completely different industries, but there is absolutely no commonality between any of the sales orgs that I've run in terms of the prospect and product. But the process has been very similar. You can talk to my reps from the snag nation days.
Funny enough, actually one of my former reps stagnation is now a manager at a sales software company. They are currently pitching my managers and listening to them. Riff is hilarious. Because he knows what it was like to be managed by me. Like current managers know what it's like to be managed by me. So they're just, they're just dropping KD isms all day long with each other.
Right. And that process is in there from the beginning, what I'm trying to do. Right. And this is also to back to your first question of like, when you're looking for someone to hire, if you're trying to build, you want to hire a builder, someone that knows how to figure out how to bring something to market for the first time.
Oftentimes, if you're trying to scale, you've made it past that initial velocity right now. You're trying to go after that 100, 200, 300. Now that's a different type of person. Now the product or industry knowledge doesn't matter that much it's system knowledge, right? It's internal process knowledge, right?
And so that's where you have to learn how to bring things to market. But that is it's a process. What I've described to people who go to any other product, give me 90 days and 90 customers. I'll be able to have the messaging down.
I'll be able to have a playbook built. I'll be able to bring that to my managers and my reps and go to work.
Jeff Ignacio: So I'm on the opposite side of the fence these days. Yeah. It's been probably a good 10 years since I've sold anything. And from that, it's a partnership between, you know, rev, ops, sales, ops, marketing ops, whatever you want to call it, you know, how do you, from your perspective, you know, what's been the most successful partnership with your operating partners.
Kevin Dorsey: So I would say. The most successful has been when we are aligned on a common goal. First of all, right? Like we know what we're actually trying to achieve. And sometimes this is where I think, you know, ops and sales can't conflict is sometimes they're going to be conflicting goals, right? Like sales is thinking about revenue and ops might be thinking about efficiency, right.
Or sales is thinking about bookings. Opposites focused on like churn, right? Like you can have conflicting main goals where it's been most aligned for me is one, when there's clear objectives, we're working towards the same thing. But then honestly you were you were okay. And actually Chris Petros over at service Titan were the first two that I've worked out from an ops perspective that were also strategic.
Right where like you were providing insights that I didn't have, or I didn't see. And different ways to think about it because a relationship I'm glad you used that word is too sighted. Right. And oftentimes with sales and ops, it can be more of like a dictatorship is the wrong word. It's more like, Hey, like go do this.
Right. Like, go, go do this sales needs this, go do it. And it's not a relationship. It's not both sides trying to find solutions to things. And so that's where I've seen the best success in relationships with ops is one we're aligned on a clear goal. Two, we communicate often. I think, I mean, you and I were meeting weekly, but then three there's a, a general consensus of we're both trying to achieve something.
What are the different ideas on how to do it? That's when it gets fun, right? Is now you got two people, three people, five people coming up with ideas to solve a problem, not just one side dictating and another side.
Jeff Ignacio: That makes sense. Cause if you bring in a deli ticket, The last thing I'm going to do is go get you a sandwich, right?
I'm going to get you a sandwich, but I'm also going to offer you or push back and say, are you sure that's what you want to eat? And are you sure this is the restaurant you want to order from? Or it's something else entirely. Right. So, you know, the idea of looking around the corner on behalf of the go to market engine, really providing recommendations and insights.
One of the folks that I like to follow is Hillary Headley over at zoom. And she has this quote where you have an ocean of data, but a desert of insights and leaving that desert of insights to. The sales managers that figure out themselves, you know, you only, you know, when you're in ops, you can run Monte Carlo simulations, then run the pipeline thousands of times.
But every day that goes by as a day loss, without that opportunity to really understand where do we have our highest and best marginal benefit by points to the right ICP, fixing our process, pointing out the opportunities that are looking stale to the managers to course correct.
Kevin Dorsey: I think it's key because also too, even one of my big learnings As I have grown in the industry is like, I love numbers and math.
I love them. I enjoy them. I love analyzing it. I love analytics. I love big data and small data. I have come to realize I'm not necessarily the norm when it comes to a lot of sales leaders in that aspect. And so that's why I'm also so surprised that more sales leaders don't lean on ops even more like sales is not just an art form.
It's not, there's a lot of science that goes to it. And sometimes when you can find an insight, I can two X, your org like literally confined to an exit. And that's not where a lot of leaders are always looking. Right. They're always looking sometimes like at the deal or in this quarter, right. You team up with a great ops team.
Now you're finding those insights, but also looking forward, right. That long game. Not what's going to do things this quarter, but like, Hey, this will help you to X in three quarters. Let's go do that. Right. So that relationship, those insights that you mentioned before, that's, what's so crucial to make it all.
Jeff Ignacio: So I want to switch tracks here a little bit. You run your own podcast, live better, sell better. And. All right, Frank, there's a lot of value in it. Right? As a revenue operations partner, I'm often reading one sales book a month or a marketing book a month, and the idea is there to get inside the heads of my go to market stakeholders, rather than focusing on what systems or tools or technology in I use to fix the problem here.
When in reality, I really need to think more like a head of sales or a head of marketing. What was the impetus for launching your podcast and you know, what have you learned since.
Kevin Dorsey: So it was a few things actually. So something not a lot of people know about me and actually are surprised to learn is I am significantly more an introvert than I am an extrovert, and I can tend to, to just be solo.
I like, I don't reach out to a lot of people. Like I don't hang out with a lot of people. And so this was actually me putting myself out there a little bit to just have more of these conversations. And I just to talk with people about these things, right. And to make sure that I was being social because I I'm very, I'm very, anyone that's ever worked with me knows this.
Like, I'm very like narrow focus because I'm working on something, that's what I'm working on. And I won't always think to, you know, branch out and just talk to people and have good combos. And so that was the first part it's just to like to push myself. To have those types of conversations. Second was, I've been, I'm blessed to be in a position now where I have access to these people.
Right. And so if, if there's there's people that I can text that other people are just wishing they could hear and talk to. And so I was like, I can use that as a place of like, let's pull these people in, right? Like who does the audience want to hear from? Right. So I don't really pick. Like guess my group does, my connections are like, who do you want?
And I'm blessed that I can, I can reach out to someone and say, Hey, can I bring you on the show? And 99% of the time they say yes. And so it was also to try to bring that information to people because there's so many smart people out there. There's so many people that are doing great things and not all of them are posting on LinkedIn every day, you know?
And so to also give them a platform to share what they know and to share like those insights, it's just. I I'm very passionate about learning and teaching and coaching. And I also in a big way, like there's more ways to do it than my way, you know? Like I want other people's insights, you know, Morgan and I disagree on things, but well, and I disagree on things, Scott, my good friend, we disagree on things.
Great. Right. Like now you're exposing people to all of it. And so that's why I do it, man. I enjoyed it. I get benefit from it. I think the audience and the network gets benefit from it. And I do, you've heard it if you'd like, I'll push my guests. Like I'm going to make them like get tactical and they will almost always come back and say, that was fun.
That was a good interview. Like I enjoyed that. So it's been fun, man. It's been a journey. I'm still learning as I go. I'm far from a professional with it, but I'm enjoying it.
Jeff Ignacio: I think the constantly professional will always tell you that they're learning day in and day out working on their craft. I talk about you know, I'm a huge basketball fan, right?
So I'll follow almost every basketball player on Instagram or Twitter. And one of the things that I remember it was cagey just talking about his craft and Kevin Garnette. And I've thought about that as like, you know, That's interesting because when I played basketball, I wasn't very good. I remember drilling the same skill.
I came in with one single skills, you know, just jab step shot. Right. And, but there's the one thing I did well on the court. And I realized you just gotta work on your craft every single day. And you're going to learn from different mentors and from different places.
Kevin Dorsey: Well, I want to touch on something you just said though, right?
Because this is also too where I think people, especially in our industry, miss a little bit is your level of obsession with it. Right. So you said cagey, you know, who popped into my head first? It wasn't Kevin Garnette. It's Kevin Gaither. No, Kevin Gaither. Right. So like, right. So this is, but like, it's that level of obsession, right?
Of like, you know, that's what, like LinkedIn to me is what Instagram is for a lot of other people. Like I obsess over other revenue leaders. Right. And like, that's who I follow. That's what I studied. That's what I read. That's what I learned. That's why I reached out to you. Right? Like kg can tell you, like our first meetup was God, seven, eight, eight, maybe eight years ago, seven, eight years ago.
Right. I reached out to Gaither for mentorship. Right. And like, now look where he is, where I am. Right. Like that. But that I was trying to get better than reaching out to people significantly more senior than me to, for coaching and learning. Right. Like I've got CDs in my office right now of kg talking with Mike Brooks about how to build a successful inside sales team.
Right. And I don't feel enough people bring that level of like, Session for our craft, because if you obsess over it, if you absorb everything, you can, I like your, you can change your career overnight, not overnight, but
Jeff Ignacio: I think it's shorter than people think. Right? You can, you can take careers that have a multiplying effect on you and there's no more.
There is no better field than sales, in my opinion, where you can really be multiplicative based on some simple tweaks, simple changes, habits and habits are powerful thing. Absolutely. So I have this segment, we call it essentially, I'm just going to name some. Concepts and really just say the first thing that comes into your mind and we'll see how this goes.
Kevin Dorsey: This can get dangerous, man. I don't, I don't know. I don't know if I'm ready for this, so let's do it. I'm I'm I'm in. Let's go.
Jeff Ignacio: All right. So personalization versus relevance, both B2B versus B2C.
Kevin Dorsey: No such thing B2B all people.
Jeff Ignacio: MQL real or not?
Kevin Dorsey: Real
Jeff Ignacio: Deal Velocity?
Kevin Dorsey: Overrated.
Jeff Ignacio: Full cycle versus SDR assist?.
Kevin Dorsey: Who the return of the full cycle
SDRs and inbound.
Ooh. Yeah, I guess like, I guess how do I say this? Like quickly? No, no one treats an inbound lead better than outbound rep.
Jeff Ignacio: Amen to that. Actually
Kevin Dorsey: Attention to detail
Jeff Ignacio: is cold calling dead?
Kevin Dorsey: Nobody's dying.
Jeff Ignacio: All right, man. I wish we could unpack some of your answers there.
Kevin Dorsey: No. Oh, those though there's there's some juice in there, man. Juice.
Jeff Ignacio: We'll have to go back to a couple of those later full cycle. You said something related to the, about AE or the ROI on a full cycle rep. I think that's a useful juicy metric to look at. What do I need an eight? Do I need an SDR team or do I not? Experiments?
Kevin Dorsey: Yeah. I want to touch on that real fast. Cause I think people like everyone looks at the size of the deal to determine whether or not they should have SDRs. That's the wrong way to look at it. What you have to look at is the amount of pipeline your SDR can generate. Right? So if you can only, so say the ACV is only a thousand dollars, but you have SDR's producing 50, 60 opportunities per month.
You can afford to do it, right. That that's where people get it twisted. Like, Oh, you can't do it. If the ACVs below something, that's not the case. But if they're only setting five meetings at an ACV of a thousand, then yeah, you can't, but it's total pipeline generated that can justify whether an SDR can fit in cost wise. So just a quick call out.
Jeff Ignacio: It's interesting. The creative pipeline versus the opportunity cost of not doing so.
Kevin Dorsey: Yeah. Like my that's why I think full cycle combined with SDR is the most efficient. Way to go because the SDR can fill the gaps that a full cycle rep that you fill with more meetings or can't prospect enough to get extra.
It fills in the gaps there. And then you're also still getting pipeline from your AE's. It's the most efficient, revenue model that I've seen.
Jeff Ignacio: Then you get to these other conversations of how much pipeline should come from assist versus self gen. And then you get these. Different organizations. Very interesting.
Well, KD, thank you for joining our show in blowing my mind, quite frankly. You know, where can our listeners find more about you?
Kevin Dorsey: For sure. I mean, they can find me on LinkedIn. I don't have any of the other social channels. I don't have Instagram or Tik TOK or snap or Twitter. I have a Facebook, but I'm never on there.
So LinkedIn, you can find me. I have my own Patrion course or my patron group where. You know, I'm doing AMA's, I'm doing live training sessions, a lot of like custom podcast episodes in there. I have a course on you to me now for B2B selling. So I'm out there, you know, I'm doing my best to share my own learnings, my struggles as I go through it.
So I'm always here to help. So if people want any reach out,
Jeff Ignacio: Sounds good. We're going to have to get you on here again. I appreciate the time KD.
Kevin Dorsey: Oh yeah, my man. I'll be back.