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How to build a resilient foundation for your go-to-market teams with Dan Waldschmidt, Chief Revenue Officer at Panzura

In this episode of the Revenue Insights Podcast, host Lee Bierton is joined by Dan Waldschmidt, CRO at Panzura, an IT services and consulting company. They discuss sustaining growth in a turbulent economic environment and the key differentiators of high performers. Dan highlights how growth in the current economic scenario should be driven by focusing on leads that fit your ideal customer profile. He highlights a conversion focus, an eye for detail, and alignment with the company’s mission as key performance differentiators. Hence, these are traits to look for at the talent acquisition stage.

Dan Waldschmidt is the CRO at Panzura, an IT services and consulting company that provides data security to its clients. Dan has over seventeen years of experience as a founder and leader at businesses ranging from IT to consulting and realty. As part of his hobby, he was also the lead writer at The Edgy Empire, a leading business blog for over fourteen years. He is also the tenth person to complete the Run Everest challenge. 

Time Stamps:

  • 01:31 – 05:01 – Dan’s Story
  • 05:11 – 06:24 – The importance of investing in hiring and boarding to create long-term success
  • 06:52 – 08:29 – Using a well-defined process to solve your problems
  • 08:59 – 12:41 – Using ICPs to identify the accounts that will ensure revenue growth
  • 13:33 – 16:46 – The importance of a good story to sell successfully
  • 17:33 – 19:19 – How to use purpose to ensure your teams adopt initiatives
  • 20:15 – 22:09 – How to use exercise to be better in your role
  • 23:17 – 25:06 – Focus. Mission. Details – The three key differences between high and low-performing sales teams (please use for the first post)
  • 25:57 – 28:23 – How sales is now 90% science and 10% artistry
  • 29:02 – 30:07 – The importance of intent data for sales teams
  • 30:22 – 33:59 – Why communication is vital across the revenue organization
  • 34:34 – 36:11 – Why Dan ran the ‘Running Everest Challenge
  • 36:57 – – Dan’s Book Recommendation: Becoming Supernatural by Dr. Joe Dispenza

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Transcript

No matter how bad things are today or no matter what I screw up today, there’s always tomorrow. And if I use that opportunity each day, I’m not only going to get better, but I’m going to arrive at a spot where I look back and I go, wow, I’m pretty fulfilled. I’m pretty happy. I’m glad I’m here.

So it’s been a journey and I’m sure we’ll talk about some of it in the next few minutes of our discussion. Welcome to Revenue Insights. Every week we’ll be joined by revenue leaders from some of the most successful and highest growing companies. Together we explore how they built their revenue teams, the journeys that they’ve been on, and the lessons they’ve learned along the way. Revenue Insights is brought to you by Epstor.

We’re a revenue intelligence platform designed to help revenue teams to build more pipeline, close more deals, and retain more customers. Hello there, listener. You are listening to Revenue Insights. Today I’m joined by Dan Woltzman. He’s the chief revenue officer over at Panzura.

Dan, it’s a pleasure to speak with you. Thanks for having me today. I’m excited to be here.

Yeah, really excited to dive into things. Even just looking through your LinkedIn, there’s so many interesting ways that I think this conversation can go.

But for anyone that hasn’t met you before or has heard of you, could you give them a little bit of a background check of your story and how you got to where you are today?

Yeah, sure. So for all of you who haven’t met me, I’m Dan Woltzman. I’m an ultra runner. I’m a chief revenue officer of a Silicon Valley cloud company that’s disrupting the storage space. Inc 5000 later now, as of a couple months ago. That’s really amazing. I’m the 10th person on the planet to run to complete the Everest Challenge. And a bit of a tech nerd, I would tell you.

A bit of a tech nerd.

So you know, how did I get here?

Wow, that’s the $64 bajillion question.

Look, I am a person who’s always looking to do better tomorrow than I did today. Dropped out of college twice, so I’m definitely not doing it on brain power, but I am doing it on willpower, I think. And this sense that no matter how bad things are today, or no matter what I screw up today, there’s always tomorrow.

And if I use that opportunity each day, I’m going to, I’m not only going to get better, but I’m going to arrive at a spot where I look back and I go, Wow, I’m pretty fulfilled. I’m pretty happy. I’m glad I’m here. So it’s been a journey. And I’m sure we’ll talk about some of it in the next few minutes of our discussion.

But you know, I think how I got here is sort of a commitment to always getting better, which by the way, if you’re in the business of sales, is the only mindset that I found that helps me weather the storms. Because two years ago in 2020, we had COVID and everything went topsy turvy. People went home, people got fired, people got laid off.

Governments gave us money to sort of patch things along and duct tape along. Now fast forward two years, now we have these economic headwinds. China has COVID again, apparently.

You know, and people are nervous and Russia’s at war and, oh, we don’t know what’s happening. Trump’s running for president again. People are throwing up their hands and sort of bailing water out of the boat, trying to. And the reality is, look, hey, there’s always going to be obstacles. There’s always going to be craziness. If you’re in the business of revenue, there will always be a headwind against you, always.

It’s on us, leaders, to sort of keep our heads straight and just improve on a daily basis. I think that actually kind of sets up for a really nice way that we can start to take this because from your experience and your career, looking back to a period like 2008 when there was also severe kind of headwinds that sales teams were running through to.

Having been through that period and knowing what you know now, and I think something that we’ll talk a lot around is kind of things that you have learned of, you know, how do we do better every day?

Having been through a period like that before, what are you taking from that into the kind of the next 12 months ahead?

How are you planning for your teams and your approach to actually prepare for what is going to be a lot of unpredictability?

Yeah. So lesson number one is don’t do stupid shit. So here’s what I mean by that. I think it was my mother who said to me, if you can’t do something brilliant, don’t do something stupid. There’s a lot of things we do that are stupid in business.

We hire, but don’t train.

Okay, stop doing that. Train people. Invest in onboarding. Invest in knowledge systems. By the way, if you want to read an amazing book, I think it’s Enemy at the Gate, Steven Prescott, and talks about the Spartans and how they would shine their shields and they would teach the young Spartans how to live and the culture.

In sales, we recruit and we tell people, hey, Lee, this is going to be amazing. Come join us. Let’s do this. We’re going to change the world. We hire you and then we forget about you. And then six months later, we come and yell at you because you haven’t produced revenue.

And so, okay, let’s not do dumb shit. Hire people, onboard them well. Pay people what they deserve. So that’s dumb. It’s stupid to hire someone and then underpay them or stiff them on their commission or try to play all these hijinks.

So okay, without getting into a negative track here, there are a few things we do in revenue that are just unacceptable. And in a moment where there’s this economic headwinds or there’s some fear and doubt and uncertainty in the air, use that moment to just look at what are all the things that we’re doing that haven’t made sense, but we never stopped to clean them up.

You’re growing, you’re growing, you’re growing, you’re growing. And it’s like, we’ll fix it later. We’ll fix it later. We’ll fix it later. We’re growing. This rocket ship is screaming to the moon. We don’t have time to fix up our comp plan. We don’t have time to fix up a recruiting plan. Now’s the time.

Now is the moment where you may not be growing as fast and you have moments to dig in on things like training and hiring and all the different things that will lead to long term success if you do it right.

So there, can you dig into what some of those common mistakes are?

What some of the common things that you see, I know that you do some consultancy with other like sales and revenue leaders, right?

So from your perspective then, what are the common things that you see that bubble to the surface more frequently than not?

Yeah. So one of the biggest mistakes we make in sales is we assume that people solve problems, not process. And it’s always process that solves problems. Now don’t get me wrong. There are superstars out there and certainly everyone listening probably has one, maybe two on their team.

But the reality is if you’re going to grow successfully, scalably, predictably, then you’re going to need an army, right?

A small army, medium sized army, big army.

Let’s not debate the size, right?

Depending upon where you’re going and the size of your investment into sales, you’re going to need an army. And you can’t have an army of superstars. You have to have individuals who follow a system and a process.

And that process leads them to be more successful than they would on their own, right?

And so focusing on that process. Without the process, you’re left casing one superstar to the next. And the challenge with hiring salespeople is, I mean, we’ve all experienced this. You go to hire someone and it’s like, oh, I’m the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Well, why?

Well, I did this and I did this and this and this.

And it’s like, well, why am I hiring you then?

Why aren’t you the president of Exxon, right?

And the reality is hiring sellers, they’re sellers, they’re salespeople.

They’re pitching us, right?

It’s hard. It’s hard to get that right. And we often screw it up. The reality is, we just need to do a better job as team members of making sure that our process, the process that guides us is in tune to what a normal individual in sales would be doing on a daily basis.

And I’m interested to know, in terms of perhaps more anecdotally, in terms of Panzera and what you’ve got planned for next year, what does the process look like for you guys?

What have you kind of built and how are you aligning your sales teams behind it to kind of carry you into, I would assume, not only retaining revenue next year, but also starting to grow it?

Yes, we’ve grown at a clip that’s just right about 500% growth over the last 20 months. That’s a lot. That’s a lot.

Especially when it’s millions, right?

If you grow from $1 to $5, you know, that’s where it’s going. If you go from $1 million to $5 million, that’s something. If you start doing tens of millions and millions, that’s something that’s commendable. So the team’s incredible already. A couple of things we did this year is that we focused on leadership.

Again, I’m sort of dogfooding what I’m telling everybody else. We focused on leadership.

So I brought in, I went out and recruited an SVP and I looked, I took my time and actually found someone that I not only had the skills and not only had sort of the competencies that I wanted culturally lined up to what I wanted to do, but also someone that I felt like I could work with, right?

Someone who was hands on, shapes the tree if things aren’t going.

And then he went and found a whole series of leaders he could work with, right?

And so our AVPs are strong, our senior leadership is strong, our sellers are strong. That all being done. Took about a year to do and we have maybe 40 or so sellers on our team. Now it’s a focus on targeting specifically our ICP. And I don’t want to go too deep into what our ICP is because I’m sure my competitors would love to sort of try to get up inside my head.

But the reality is really digging deep on who we sell to and the specific choreography. Here’s what I mean, Lee, if we double click into this for a quick second.

Remember a few years ago, what was that play where they rapped about the presidents?

Remember Hamilton?

Hamilton, Hamilton.

So Hamilton was unique, right?

The story about Alexander Hamilton. They sort of rapped the music and it was sort of a neat phenomenon. It wasn’t just the music, it wasn’t just the talk track. It was the music. It was the sound. It was the lighting, it was the costumes. It was sort of the ticketing. It was the whole theater itself. And often we forget in sales that it’s not just about, oh, here’s your outbound email.

Send that. Or it’s not just, here’s Medic. Here’s what we’re doing with Medic. It’s about the entire thing. Not just the entire thing inside sales, but the entire thing across the entire company. How somebody answers the phone. What our website looks and feels like. All of these different pieces lead us to outcomes that are either successful, we’re like, great, that’s exactly what I wanted.

Or it’s not as successful as we want and we need to work on improving that. And so intending into 2023, we’re going to focus on growth, but we’re going to focus on smart growth, which means we’re spending more time instead of just blasting this sort of shotgun. We’re going to spend… And I’ll say this. Our leadership has done a really good job of narrowing the blast.

And now we’re going to get sniper rage. So instead of 12 gauge, now we’re down to less than that. And then we’re going to go down to sniper shot heading into 23. So that’s exciting. That’s exciting because now it means we think we can truly win in a head to head battle against our competitors in sort of the most desirable accounts. Yeah.

And I really love the idea of getting smart about it and actually taking the slice that most realistically is actually going to help you to be able to grow.

And I wonder, really interesting number there in terms of the growth numbers that you’ve seen, 500% up, which is great, right?

Particularly going into, I think we’ve seen certainly from customers that we work with a lot of unpredictability from last year where it kind of just started pretty good coming off the back of COVID and then kind of reality has kind of been setting in going into the latter half of the year.

And so what have you find as part of that?

What perhaps have been some of the tactics, techniques, processes?

You mentioned medic there, you mentioned ICP.

Has there been something that you’ve implemented this year that has been to you, maybe the first time you’ve done it that, wow, that really helped us to hit that number?

Yeah. So let me tell you, a January, well, this time last year, I was stressed out about the fact I didn’t feel like we had a good story. So it’s not funny. I guess the word’s ironic or annoying. It’s not funny. But it’s funny how not we’re sellers and we often have a horrible story.

The story that we tell, the narrative that we tell is lackluster, right?

And it’s just uninspiring. It doesn’t seem to have all the components in it sometimes. That’s where we were a year ago. We were. And so I hired an agency and spent a lot of money, $20,000, $30,000 a month. And then I hired a second agency to help us with some other things and paid them $20,000, $30,000 a month. So I invested in this. It wasn’t free.

So you have to often invest in a company who could help you do these things. But we worked with two different agencies and we came away with a first call deck that was just like lights out amazing, like just amazing.

And what’s cool about it is we went from talking speeds and feeds and technology to be like talking about cloud and how the fact that we’re the cloud OGs, right?

And here’s why. Here’s our 40 patents. Sort of hitting people with unexpected lingo, talk track in a way that gets people thinking, okay, not only do these guys have like whiz bang technology, but they seem to be like, not that we need to be cool, but they seem like cool people.

Like people we want to talk to, people we want to hang with, right?

It’s just like, it feels like this is a company that I can actually partner with, which if you’re spending millions of dollars, that’s something you probably want to do is are you working with a vendor that you could actually tolerate?

So getting that first call deck was an iterative process. It took us a bunch of time. We got that locked in and then we said everybody in the company, not just in sales, everybody in the company has to learn. And once we did that, we then said, we’re going to have a competition. And if whoever wins gets $5,000. And so we had people pitch, people pitch.

And then once they pitched, we gave out, we gave out money to the people who ended up winning. And it was, I think we actually gave out a second and third prize too, because they were so good. Some of the top ones were so good. People learned it and embraced it.

Guess what?

Now everybody knows what we do as a company. I really love that. Something is very close to my heart, I’d say. Coming at it from a marketer’s lens. And it’s something that in particular, the episode we’ve been working on a lot.

For us, we’ve got three fairly distinct products.

And when you’ve got 15 minutes tops to try and explain to someone what we do, it’s like, okay, how does that all connect together?

And it was only through storytelling, much like you described there, which actually helped to put it into perspective. And I think what’s been interesting from my side, to the point that I want to pick up on there, where you’ve kind of, I wonder how you got the adoption of that. So often it’s kind of senior leadership in the ivory tower per se.

And it’s, here you go, guys, this is what I need you to be doing. And to reps on the front line, you know what it can be like.

It’s, well, I’ve been doing absolutely fine. I’ve been hitting my quota.

Why do I need this?

And perhaps to that specific example, or even to maybe a bit more broader examples, how are you getting your sales teams on the front ground to actually adopt a lot of the initiatives that you’re pushing forward with?

I think one, we just say that it’s got to be done, right?

I mean, I don’t want to be overly simplistic, but it’s just mandate. It’s non-negotiable. But behind the non-negotiable language, which can be often strident, is people want to know purpose.

What’s the purpose of this?

Why?

Who cares?

I’m doing my job, and now you’re telling me I got to do a second job or something else on top of that.

Why?

So you have to walk them through that.

You have to say, listen, we all know this thing called first impressions, right?

We know first impressions. We know that first impressions matter. You make judgments based on your first impression of people.

Now can people unwork those?

Yes. But listen to what we said.

Can you unwork those?

It requires extra work to sort of reset someone’s expectations of you.

Let’s imagine a world where the first perception of us is the best perception, right?

It’s the right perception. And so that’s where the FCD first call deck for us is going to solve things. We’re going to tell a story that people go, oh, wow, that is exactly who I want to work with. And that is their thought process from the beginning all the way through the end of this journey.

So again, it’s narrative again, goes back to what you asked about earlier. You have a story that you’re telling. And part of the story is done internally. It’s about why this matters. This matters because if we don’t do this now, in this moment, with the right level of purpose and intensity, we’re going to do it 50 times after this.

And it’s never going to be quite as good as if we did it right the very, very first time. So let’s get right at that first time and save ourselves 50 other times of trying to fix it.

Yeah, I love that.

Dan, something that I wanted to touch on with you, you kind of mentioned it at the top of the show. You’re an ultra runner, which is, I’ve seen level distances.

And what I’m interested to kind of move this in the direction of is for a sport such as that is so much of it is around resilience and really being in the top kind of what 1% of runners really to be covering such distances.

In using that as an example, and I think we can go into that a bit more as we talk, to put that in a sales perspective, how valuable have you found that as a kind of endeavor and activity?

And what have you learned from ultra running that you actually carry into your day to day, into your work, into the job that you do?

So running from a physiological level, let’s not even talk like hypotheticals or like parallels or things like that.

You know, parables, what’s the parable of the runner to the parable of the seller?

But at a just a very real level, there is something about intense exercise that sabs the soul, right?

It heals you. It heals your mind. For those of you who have your favorite sport, I’ve got friends who are doing all kinds of different things from cycling to CrossFit. And it just it makes you better.

I mean, there’s sales is the most neurotic sport in the world. Think about it. What other job says, hey, Lee, I’d love to hire you. And you say, yes, I’d love to be hired. And then I go and say, hey, here’s what we’re going to do. I’m going to pay you $100 a year. And all of that, I’m going to pay you $50 right now.

And the other $50 might or might not get paid to you based on your performance. And I’m also going to tell you what your performance should be, which will tell you after we’re hired. I’m going to give you your quota and your numbers and your percentage and all that stuff after you’re hired. And that’s where the rest of your money comes from. There’s no other job like that on the planet, Lee.

I mean, it’s sort of besides being the owner of the company yourself directly, there’s just no other sort of position to be in that’s like that. So it is it’s tough mentally. You’re in a headspace where like, you know, you have to show up every day and earn your stripes. You do.

So running lets you for me take a moment and just take that rage, take the frustration, take the feelings of inadequacy or self doubt and just pummel it through, you know, hitting the pavement for eight miles or 10 miles a day to just be renewed. Right.

So that’s that, you know, Lee, I think for me, it’s less about well, you know, resilient as a runner, resilient as a seller, you know, I think it’s more about using that as a as a tool to just be a better Dan and a better Dan is automatically going to be a better seller. I love the word that you use as a tool.

I was kind of getting down, you know, almost as a tool to be used. I’m interested to know from your perspective, you know, when you look at perhaps in teams that you’ve managed and that you’ve that you’ve led, what perhaps are the three key things that differentiate a high performing team, you know, that’s consistently hitting and beating their quota number and those low performers who, you know, falling a little bit short.

What are those common threads that you see that really differentiate the best from the best?

Three things focus, mission, details. So let’s talk about each three really quick. Focus mission details. Focus you can’t do everything. You’ve got to focus on what matters. The high performing teams know what matters and they focus on it maniacally, maniacally. They don’t do 10 things. They do two things.

They do those two things with all the effort of that small company running around doing 10 things half ass, right?

They do two things really, really, really, really well. Okay. So that’s one thing is focus, focus. Number two, mission. They’re not selling something.

They’re on a they’re on a holy war, right?

They’re on a mission. And there’s, you know, the person who’s selling you something, you know, is kind of, you know, you’re pivoting, you’re sort of all over the place and a mission driven person like, man, you can’t like a dog with a bone. Like you cannot you cannot stop them from getting what they need, where they want to go. It’s a mission.

It’s a mission, right?

And then number number three is details. Okay.

I hear often and it’s been a minute since I’ve been in consulting, right?

Because I bought PennZero back in 2020 and so I’ve been heads down with this one company, but would often show up and talk to people and they’d say, you know, hey, hey, Dan, I’m doing that.

No, I’m doing what you just told me to do. I’m doing.

And I would say, no, you’re doing something that may look or sound similar, but you’re not doing what I asked you to do, right?

You’re sending an email. I’m saying send this email in this way at this time to this person. And you’re saying, well, I’m already doing it.

No, you’re sending an email and the details, the turn of the frames, the color, the shape, the variety, this sort of artistry is what makes great teams significantly better than anyone else in their industry or their space, right?

I love that point on artistry and this is an interesting way that we can take it because I know at the top of the show you mentioned, you know, being a huge advocate of technology and I’ve always found certainly with sales that you get this blend of it being an art and then also of it being a science as well, right?

And so what’s your perspective?

Do you see sales more as an art and, you know, the art of the cold call, you know, of writing that email, right?

You know, building a relationship with someone or do you see it these days as becoming more scientific?

You know, what we can do with different tools to analyze that first call, you know, analyze that email, you know, using data, obviously, which, you know, this revenue operations is becoming more and more prevalent.

So I’m interested to know from your perspective, do you think it’s a balance of the two or do you think it leads one way or the other?

I mean, at the risk of being the boring white guy who slices the toast right down the middle, you know, I think there are pieces of this that are definitely science. There are definitely.

Like, how many deals did you, number of deals created?

That’s a science thing.

That’s a data point, right?

Something you should know, have to know. And it definitely leads to your outcomes, successful or otherwise.

Artistry is, okay, well, how did you create those and from what sources and what sources are better than others, right?

There’s a blending of these things where, yeah, the scientific part is like the must have, must know, must be, must do. And then there’s another side to this.

There was like, well, what if we were to tweak it?

If we were getting good results already, we want better results.

What would we tweak and what would we do and how would that look like?

That’s where artistry comes in for this. If you’re in a new industry or you’re venturing boldly in a new direction, a lot of what you’re going to do is artistry. It just is. But you very quickly need to find the pathway to segue from artistry into science. And so that a significant portion of this, 90, 95% of this should be science.

And the last five to 10 points of that sort of daily effort should be artistry.

Why?

Why?

Artistry requires a lot of bandwidth, a lot of things. The best artists, it takes time.

Best artists, sort of from your soul, it sort of bubbles out, right?

It requires a lot of emotional intelligence. It requires a lot of available brain power, thinking time.

If you’re a seller, you don’t have a lot of time to think like that, right?

You’re boom, boom, boom. You’re mission driven.

Again, going back to that focus, mission and details, right?

So there can’t be a lot of art in this because if it’s a requirement, you’re probably going to fail, right?

It’s also not scalable. So that’s sort of my current thought process on science and artistry from my perspective. It’s changed. It’s changed in the last couple of years already, my thought process on this. But it’s just looking at this current company and the companies we have supported in the past, look, you need a process.

And I wonder then, it’s evidently edging more in the needing that scientific part of it, needing that data to be able to make better decisions ultimately at the top of the tree.

So I wonder in your world, when you look at supplementing the artistry of your team, shall we say, what tools in the tech stack do you find essential in enabling them and ultimately to elevate them and actually deliver more results?

So we’re, you obviously need a CRF. We use HubSpot. We use HubSpot for everything. For marketing, for sales, for service, for tickets. We use it for operations. We use HubSpot everywhere. You need some sort of tool to stay organized around it.

Whether it’s something that’s free, it’s a plugin to Google Apps, or whether you use all the way up to like Salesforce.com, right?

Or something like that. It doesn’t matter. You need a platform like that. I think there are a bunch of tools that do intelligence. Databook is one. Try databook.com. There’s Sixth Sense. There’s Demandbase.

I think in today’s world, if you don’t have access to a platform that takes all of this what’s happening in the industry and distill it down into some talking points for you, you’re already running behind what your competitors are doing. Those are sort of two categories I see as like must haves. I love that.

Dan, I’m interested to know in the here and now, we’re speaking literally the week before Christmas of 2022 at this point.

I wonder what is one of the biggest challenges that you’re trying to solve right now?

What keeps you awake at night that you’re trying to get to the bottom of, particularly heading into next year?

Yeah. It’s a personal challenge. It’s my ability to communicate risk and progress to the rest of the organization. Because if we’re a software company, I need to be able to communicate risk of lack of features or risk of blocking inside the application. I need to communicate that in a way that someone says, oh, I need to fix that. I need to fix it now.

That across our different departments, whether it be finance and working with finance on specific sort of budgeting, whether it’s engineering or services, communicating is key. I’m often so busy and so stressed that if I do have a conversation, it’s like I’m shaking someone about the throat rather than calmly, quietly, logically walking them through the problem in front of us. I think that’s the current challenge that I have.

How are you, I’m interested, can you perhaps shed a light on how exactly you’re trying to solve that at the minute?

And I guess more specifically, by the sounds of it, how you’re working on improving your communication skills to be able to get the message across to your different departments. Yep. So anytime I have a major objective like this, I normally go get help. So I’ll normally either find a training program that I can deploy and use those skills or hire a coach.

I mean, I could figure it out on my own by trial and error, but when you have something like this, it’s urgent. It feels like you shouldn’t take this cavalierly. So for example, if you had a heart murmur, not a heart attack, but a heart murmur, you probably wouldn’t just say, well, it’s okay. It’ll work itself out.

You probably get a little help, get some advice, get some people looking under the hood, right?

See what’s going on. And then you would know exactly how to proceed, how to stay healthy so it doesn’t get worse.

Right?

Same thing here.

It’s like, it’s not working right.

Why don’t I get help?

And that’s going to start with some sort of coach or some sort of training platform or something like that.

The other thing is, so what causes poor communication?

Well, me blowing up at people.

Well, why am I blowing up at people?

Well, I’m stressed.

Okay, let’s go. Let’s play this game again.

Well, why are you stressed?

Well, you’re stressed because you’re not sleeping.

Why are you not sleeping?

Well, because you’re stressed.

Well, we could keep doing that game all day long, but the reality is, there’s a quote Vince Lombardi said years ago.

He said, fatigue makes cowards of us all. In other words, you’re not sleeping enough. You’re just not, you’re not making good decisions. So okay.

Well, what if my communication were directly linked in some way to my sleep?

So maybe my real goal is, hey, I’m going to go sleep. I’m going to make sure I get at least five hours of sleep a night.

Right?

And then what if I said, wait a minute, it’s not just sleep, but it’s running. And running helps me clear out some of my frustration. So now I’m clear eyed from sleeping and now I’m frustration free, or less frustrated, from running. And now step three is now let me go communicate. So that’s how I’m thinking about solving for this challenge.

Right?

Get some external help, but then internally, be a much better version of myself right away. I love that. As we kind of move to wrap up our conversation today, I did want to touch on, you mentioned it at the top of the show, running Everest. I’d love to understand a little bit more, one, what it is, but also kind of your motivation behind it.

I feel like you’ve kind of alluded to it a little bit through our conversation where, you know, running is almost an outlet, I sense, for you. And so we’d love to just get a bit more kind of context on that and why it’s so valuable for you. Yeah.

So for me, running has always been, you know, emotionally an accelerant, right?

Helps me mentally, spiritually, and physically as well. The run Everest challenge was one I saw, I heard about it.

I thought, why can’t I do that?

Why wouldn’t I want to go do that?

So I started out putting a few things in place. I didn’t really do a lot of training because I’m always training, but I put in place a little bit more uphill work.

It’s 29,000 feet of uphill elevation, of course, on Everest.

And so, you know, you find a hill, could be no downhill, you can’t rest, you can’t sleep, and you basically have to run 29,000 feet straight up in the area. And if you do that, and you’re, you know, there’s a lot of governance around it, then you get rewarded with this Everesting trophy.

And so, yeah, we just set out one weekend and plugged in and I think it was like 25 hours later, we had finished, we had finished the whole boondoggle.

So why, why, why, what’s the mindset behind it?

It’s, you know, I said this before.

Why not?

Right?

Why not?

Why not do it?

Right?

Why, to sort of prove that we can, and not in sort of a thump your chest sort of way, but a thump your brain sort of way, a inside your own head know that, you know, despite, you know, whatever is going on in the world around you, that you’ve got this, right?

You’ve got this. It’s going to be okay. You are going to crush it. Life is going to be amazing. I love that.

Dan, last question, and I can’t be asking this yesterday because what’s so interesting coming into these conversations is like, you know, I’ll do a bit of Googling around people. And that’s when I came across firstly, your kind of the Everesting challenge and it was like, okay, well, this is going to be a great one to go down. The second was that you’ve written a book in the past.

Now we chatted about this kind of pre-show and you were like, no, no, I won’t recommend my own book, which I love.

But if there’s one book that you’d recommend to other revenue leaders and perhaps to be more specific, let’s say other chief revenue officers, you know, in a similar role as you, which book would you recommend to them?

Yeah, it would be Becoming Supernatural by Dr. Joe Dispenza. Joe Dispenza is a PhD, actually he’s a board certified neuroscientist and talks about how the brain works and how the brain sort of guides what you do. And I got to tell you, it changed my life.

There’s not many people that I consistently go to and it’s always better, right?

It’s like sometimes you meet someone and like, you’re like, wow, that was a great meeting. You realize the second time you go back, oh, you got all their juice. Like everything they know was in that meeting and now there’s nothing left. He’s a guy that every time I’m engaged with or part of sort of a group discussion, it’s just just a wise, inspiring person. So Becoming Supernatural, Dr. Joe Dispenza, mind blowing.

We’ll pop a link to it down below and I’ll give it a read and let you know.

Dan, it’s been absolutely fantastic to have you on and to pick your brain for a little bit.

For those listening at home, if they want to connect, reach out, learn a little bit more about what you’re doing, where can they find you?

Yeah, I mean, you could find me on LinkedIn. If you do danwalsmith.com, I think it forwards to my LinkedIn account.

But yeah, I’m on LinkedIn right now and look forward to getting your message.

Awesome, we’ll pop a link to that down below.

Well, once again, Dan, thank you so much. It’s been a fantastic conversation and to everyone that’s listened to the episode this week, thank you so much and we’ll see you next week. Thanks for listening to Revenue Insights. If you want to learn more, subscribe to our newsletter and we’ll deliver every episode straight to your inbox. If you have any questions, feel free to connect with us on LinkedIn.

Our links will be in the episode notes. See you next week. Bye.

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