Yep, You Can Async Your Sales Team Too w/ Ryan Burke @ Qatalog
I've always been told Sales teams must work synchronously. Sales teams can't run async as needing to feed off team energy, high-fiving closed deals, etc. That's just a myth as async can give sales teams superpowers.
Here's the recap...Remote can work for some teams like Engineering and Customer Support but not Sales. Then CoVid strikes. Then Sales can't do async because they need lots of together time to feed off each other's energy, high-five, etc. But I've learned from this conversation and from recent experience that async will be a superpower and major unlock for Sales teams. Like the rest of the organization. In this episode, I spoke with a former colleague and fellow remote OG, Ryan Burke, how about how Sales teams can thrive asynchronously. Interestingly enough, how he started building in-person teams at InVision but over time pivoted to hiring anywhere and since going all in on async at Qatalog. If you're running a remote Sales team this is a must-listen.
Sync time is for clients
Most synchronous meetings in history have been informational sharing. One person presents some information from a pre-created presentation to a group of colleagues who listen (and fall asleep or wonder why this wasn't an email). For Sales teams who are judged on output (leads, calls, sales, etc) these are a huge waste of time. Sales folks live in Salesforce and thus should be focused async. Sharing meeting notes, feedback, and similar in and around a tool they're using all day. Why jump on a quick call to share a call's feedback when you can just read the same within Salesforce? Yes, sync time is needed for some training and coaching. Yes, high-fives on big wins are great. However, most of a Sales team's sync time should be focused on clients. Because relationships are built in real-time and that's crucial for the success of any sales organization.
As we've noted in numerous episodes about async, documentation plays a key role.
Meaning sales materials, pitches, operating procedures, etc are documented and easily accessible. And of course, the team has the ability to collaborate and leave feedback on this documentation asynchronously. As mentioned above, Sales lives in Salesforce so creating a culture of detailed meeting/call notes, insights, and more can help the team and management understand what's going on without the "Hey, do you have a few minutes to sync up?" Sharing weekly or monthly stats, milestones, and objectives can be shared offline. You don't need a synchronous call to tell the team this month's target sales calls is X.
Scott - [03:38 - 03:43]
Hey Ryan, how you doing today? Welcome to the show. Thank you for joining.
Ryan - [03:43 - 03:45]
Thanks, Scott. Good to see you.
Scott - [03:45 - 04:01]
Yeah, it's good to see you too. It's nice to kind of like have a history here of, you know, two, former envision OGs. So I think we'll get into that into the conversation, but it's great to, to finally, be able to, to chat about some of the history of envision and things that you've been working on. How's everything in Boston these days.
Ryan - [04:01 - 04:06]
it's rainy, but, but everything is good. Everything is good working from home here in Charlestown.
Scott - [04:06 - 04:09]
Nice. The Patriots lost this weekend.
Ryan - [04:09 - 04:17]
So yeah, maybe not as good Patriots are gonna have a tough year, unfortunately, but, Celtic season is starting. So we've got some, we got something to look forward to.
Scott - [04:17 - 04:28]
Indeed, indeed. so usually the way we start, off the show is just kind of doing a, a bit of an introduction of yourself. Sure. And in this case, maybe give us a little bit of the origin story of Qatalog.
Ryan - [04:28 - 05:52]
I joined Qatalog after five and a half years at, envision, which I know will touch on. and you know, Qatalog is out to solve a lot of the issues that remote companies are feeling and something that I felt pretty acutely at envision in terms of information, being siloed teams, working in different tools, having to search all over the place for different pieces of information. And so I was approached by, Tariq, the CEO founder, and basically Qatalog, was his brain child. You know, he worked at Amazon and TransferWise and he felt a lot of the pain points as well, where, you know, knowledge would just scattered across an organization. And so what he wanted to do was, you know, build and create kind of a single pane of glass view into everything that's happening across your business. So think about what people are working on, updates, documentation, communication, you know, we give companies, you know, one single place to search and it does connect to all the tools that you're using, whether it's notion or Salesforce or a sauna. but again, it gives you that one place to go. And so we're, super excited. We have a lot of momentum these days, a lot of folks signing up for the product. and it's exciting cuz different companies are using us for different use cases, but there's really an application for Qatalog across every part of an organization. And so, it's a really exciting time to be, to be a Qatalog.
Scott - [05:52 - 07:18]
No, absolutely. It's, it's certainly heart and I don't think maybe we'll touch on it a little bit later. Yeah. But as, as remote goes forward, obviously the future of remote is async and the heart of async is the written word in long form writing. And as you noted, I, I obviously face the same division. I faced the similar working in other remote companies and, and consulting and coaching other remote companies. Each team has their own tools. You know, developers tend to like to use confluence, support people that like to use Zendesk and other ones, business people, Google docs, and what have you, and just obviously keeping everything up to date, keeping everything in line, you know, having this disjointed information where near one team and you need to find something that's relevant to another team, you know, you may be looking at Google docs where the right places like confluence and yeah. Not having that. And we all speak about it. Right. And envision, we always spoke about and envision we wanted to be the central source of truth, right. For design. Yep. everything wants to be the central source and that that's where it needs to be. Especially as we move forward with the, with the future work and the importance of, of writing, and documentation, exactly in the future. So kind of diving right into the conversation and I believe your probably your first, foot into remote work was when you joined a set and vision similar to, to my first, experience of remote. And I remember very early on speaking to a couple people that were on your team and the sales team, from what I believe, I remember they were physically all sitting in like a WeWork space or some kind of like office space together in, in Boston. Scott - [07:18 - 07:46]
and it was fascinated cuz in theory, like envision was remote company and we are supposed to be like, get anyone wherever they are. But then most or part of like the sales team, especially early on was like face to face in person in some kinda space maybe in Boston. So I'd kind of love to hear that origin story of how that started like where the team was made up and kind of what the thinking was like to get people into a physical space together when I guess the whole idea of envision remote was to be remote.
Ryan - [07:46 - 09:09]
Yeah. No, it's a, it's an interesting question. So, you know, this was back in 2014, so yeah. You know, before remote was a thing and Clark Valard when he was, you know, sort of recruited me was saying, Hey, you know, what, if you wanna set up a, you know, sales team in person in Boston, go ahead. And because again, at the time there were, you know, there was a few, you Know, so only handful, couple who were doing, They were doing remote, but everybody said, sales teams can't be remote. You gotta listen to other people's calls. You need to ring the bell and the high fives and all that stuff. And so I was pretty skittish about coming on board, to a fully remote environment. And you know, I did come on board, there were a few sales people. I remember aha. And you know, we had some folks that were were remote. but I did hire some people in Boston and you know, at first I was gonna build an office. And so I had, you know, commercial real estate people where're do an office tours. And then I was like, you know what, I don't wanna build something that's counter to the overall culture. And sure. Then I started to hire strategically, into some other markets where maybe it was a little bit less expensive to find good talent, you know, outside of New York and San Francisco for instance. And so, you know, envision was great because we did have an option to go into what WeWork, we had one in Boston and as you know, we started to, you know, scatter them throughout the, throughout the, the globe. But really there wasn't an expectation that you had to go in.
Ryan - [09:09 - 09:50]
And so correct. We were still a remote company first from the top down and you know, so we sort of built built from there and you know, you know, again, just, you know, people say, Hey, you can't have a sales team remote. And this again is back in the back before remote was the thing and remote was cool. Yeah. but why, well, you can't hear, you know, other people's calls, well, that's coaching and there's clearly, you know, technology out there today to support, the, the coaching, whether it's team building activities, all of these things you can address for remote, ultimately sales is, is tied to numbers. So that's kind of absolutely the ultimate, the ultimate measurement that, you know, lend well to a tributed environment.
Scott - [09:50 - 11:09]
Yeah. I mean, certainly that's the argument I've made. God knows how many times on this podcast and everywhere else that, you know, the future of work, it's all based on it's, it's a simple math equation. Like you have a deliverable by a certain timeline and if you've done, you've been productive, right. There's no presence, there's no more nine to five. There's no seeing you, Hey, get this done by that time and theory what you do between now and then is really up to you. but to kind of grow off of your, your point of initially the idea was kind of building a team in Boston, but still hiring. We had people I remember aha was I think of Texas. I think, I think it was over Texas. and certainly as you grew the team and especially later on you moved it internationally, the idea was growing and you really, in theory, couldn't have the entire sales team in one place and now certainly a Qatalog, right? The entire team is remote. So we'd love to hear the thought process. The procedural changes like all the diff kind of different pieces and let's know, I'm happy to nerd out and go to a deep dive here kind of coming from that perspective of, okay, we initially have a, a core group of people in Boston and like, what was that then process that moved away from there. Okay. Now we're hiring people everywhere in the us did globally and away from the office again, like what kind of pieces were in there? Like again, you probably had to have some new processes, new documentations, as we were speaking about, we'd love to hear kinda like what that whole thing looked like.
Ryan - [11:09 - 12:52]
Yeah, definitely. Definitely. And I think it was, you know, it's important to set the foundation from the start because as you start to scale, it gets a lot more unwieldy. And so absolutely. you know, we were very clear from the start that, you know, we did have some people that, you know, aha in Texas and we had some folks in San Francisco, you know, one, you had to set some of the behavioral norms right there couldn't be a have, and a have nots. And those simple things sure. Like if everybody's in the conference room in Boston, but there's a few people dialed in, everybody has to be on their own computer, you know, and just may even the playing field. And, you know, I really, you know, sort of built and developed this concept around, especially for sales, you know, measuring, you know, the behaviors, the activities, and ultimately the results, but no one was more important than the other. And so behaviors, you know, behaviors is, you know, simple things like SLAs around, you know, everybody having being on their own computer or sure. You know, cameras on, you know, during, during meetings, all of these little things, but also, you know, values, like I've always been a big, you know, kind of culture person. And they say, you know, especially with remote, they say, culture's the hardest thing to build, to maintain. Absolutely. we didn't have very vibrant values early on and envision sure. And it was always one of those things that the cam was getting kicked a little bit. And so, you know, the enterprise team, we just built our own values, you know, sort of a bottoms up the team got together. We built the values, ultimately envisioned, you know, launched some, you know, really compelling values that we, that we, you know, adopted and aligned to, but making sure that people understood what the values were and that they were part of the fabric of the day to day, they weren't just, you know, slapped onto a website or, you know, recruiting pitches.
Ryan - [12:52 - 14:29]
It was, you know, we had a slack channel with the values. you know, they were built into performance reviews. We held people accountable to 'em. We celebrated, we had values awards every month. Yeah. little tools like Bonusly, like, you know, Bonusly, like, ah, huge fan of those. I should be on Bonusly payroll, but yeah. You know, should I just, there was that pattern, you know, because you could hashtag a value. Yeah. and so making sure that people were aligned to the behaviors and then you also had the activities, you know, and in sales it was, you know, doing the right things, whether it was, you know, customer meetings, you know, pipeline or coaching conversations for, for managers, you had to define what those, what those activities were. And so we built these leading indicators and, you know, honestly didn't roll them out very effectively at first because everybody was like, I don't wanna be micromanaged and policing everything I do. And I was like, all right, fine. We're gonna boil it down to just customer meetings because yeah. Everything sort of comes from that. You're not gonna have pipeline if you don't have customer meetings. Yeah. you know, prospecting's obviously not, effective if you don't have the customer meetings. And so we boil it down to that. And so measuring those activities and doing it for, you know, the, the reps and the customer success folks, but also doing it for the managers. You know, I had the managers every quarter defined for me what their leading indicators would be. I'm gonna do three coaching calls a week. I'm gonna do a career development conversation once a quarter with everyone, whatever deal reviews twice a week, whatever was, but those leading indicators, and then obviously you have the results and the remote world.
Ryan - [14:29 - 15:11]
Sometimes you only measure the results, but that's not enough because yeah, maybe people aren't doing the right thing. They're not acting the right way. And that's as important. And in sales, especially because in sales, sometimes the results aren't there, you know, maybe it's timing, budget, competitors, whatever it is. But it's a very different conversation if somebody's acting the right way and doing all the right things and the results aren't there versus somebody that the results are through the roof, but maybe they're being a jerk. And you know, they're not meeting with customers, but they get a Bluebird or something. And so making sure that you're looking at the world to the lens of those three things was definitely a game changer.
Scott - [15:11 - 16:40]
for the sales organization at Invision, I love that there are two points I'm gonna pick at here. The first is I love the idea and I, I totally agree with, you know, the early days at Invision, the culture really kind of happened within team. And I've seen that consistently. I still see that today. really, I mean, we were probably what the third, fourth, fifth, all remote company by then, these things didn't exist. You know, the Gitlabs didn't really exist yet with all their, the great documentation and things like that. So everybody came from an off office environment where again, very few companies historically have ever had good company culture. So you've taken this office mentality where even in that case, a lot of it was grassroots, right? Each team, like they, they sit next to each other, they go to lunch together. They go for beers after work. So a lot of like the culture happened by itself because the team were together and they had the opportunity to, to engage and, and do things there. So when you come to a remote world and everything has to be intentional, if you didn't have that experience or the knowledge of, Hey, I need to intentionally create these opportunities here. You'd kind of leave it up to the team or the individual teams that create a culture. And then it's, as, as you said, envision kind of later down the road kind of packaged everything together, took the best things that people are doing and then kind of gave us a Northern light. and I kind of, I still consistently see that with many of the, the remote company, we'll call it the third bucket, remote companies that, that I coach the second piece I, that I would love to know dive into is that I idea of a huge believer in context, right?
Scott - [16:40 - 18:11]
I'm for as much people like to say data driven, data driven data driven for me, data is a red flag at best, right. It's kind of a here an orange flag here, but it kind of says, Hey, look deeper here. Now, this is not just the final answer, take a deeper look. So I love that insight of, especially as we look towards the future work. And again, many of the focuses are going to be on output or contribution or things like that, that we always need to have in mind the context. So, especially in sales, where could, as you said, is simply closed sales, know a number of leads. Number of, the qualified meeting set up number of deals closed, but in environment like it is today where companies are, are downsizing, companies are, are tightening their, their purse books. It's much harder to get those meetings. It's much harder to get those sales just cuz of the environment that we're in. So if you're just looking at, did you get these amount of qualified leads or you call listen amount of deals, you're not seeing the whole picture and don't doing what you've done of kind of looking more holistic and are you doing the right things? Are you going through the right actions? That's right. You know, taking that into consideration versus just the end numbers. And I, I absolutely love that idea. and maybe if you have like one or two examples to maybe share, could be recently, could be an envision where you kind of saw these use cases where for whatever reason could be maybe a junior person or the economy at some point of time, weren't where they were supposed to be. But you saw because you, you put those procedures into place that people were doing exactly what they were supposed to be doing.
Ryan - [18:11 - 19:49]
Yeah, yeah, no, there's a lot, there's a lot to unpack there, but I think a couple things, I think one, you know, it sort of, it touches on the hiring profile because, you know, for sales you might think, oh, I'm just gonna go hire the Oracle salesperson. That's just crushing their quota. I think that might not be the right person for a remote environment. Absolutely. And I think envision did a really good job of hiring people with a good profile for remote. They've got a high EQ, you know, they're, they've got a lot, you know, empathy, resilience, they've demonstrated resilience in a past role. They're proactive, they're people that are gonna come out and ask for help because sometimes in remote you're like, I don't know the answer to this and I don't wanna, you know, just slack somebody randomly or whatnot. they're, they're, motivated by self development. Like they've gotta have some, you know, intrinsic motivation to, to, to better themselves. So I think hiring people helps you get people that are focused on things that are important beyond, you know, just the results. so I think that's, I think that's really, really important and obviously that lends itself to the culture, cuz again, I'll co continue to go back to culture envision for all the things that, you know, maybe when sideways at, at times, you know, to get to be in almost 900 person company fully remote. Yeah. And have culture be one of the best qualities that was a big accomplishment for envision. Absolutely. You know, and it's too bad. That's not celebrated more. yeah, but if you ask anybody from envision like yeah, maybe the, the story didn't have the happiest of endings all the time, but everyone will say culture was great.
Ryan - [19:49 - 20:15]
People were great, you know? Yeah. And that's, that's, that's hard to do. And you look at like simple things, like context again, to your point, you know, I remember the, you know, one of the CTOs at envision, you know, would write these blogs about the engineering updates. Yeah. And those were great for, you know, sales people like myself where you're like what the heck's going on in engineering. And you know, like for sure time, you don't understand what they're saying. Yeah.
Scott - [20:15 - 20:15]
Ryan - [20:15 - 21:39]
But he would write these great blogs on a monthly basis that just, you know, kind of dumbed it down a little bit, you know, and just in, you know, normal speak, here's what we're working on. Here's what the updates are. Here are the issues that we're fixing here are our goals. And that was great. And a lot of that was context. And I think, you know, again, context is, is everything. And I think the biggest thing for context in a remote world is, you know, relative to change management. Yeah. Because changes happen in, you know, companies all the time and half the time people are like, wait, why did we make that change? What is it? You know? And, and so the why is everything? Yeah. And you've gotta double down the why, what was the process that went into this? Hey, before we roll out this decision, we wanna let you know, we've been working on this for three months. These were all the people that were involved. These are the trade offs that we prioritized go into that entire process and then hammer the why this is why we're doing it. And because change management can, you know, make or break or remote company, if you're rolling out changes, whether it's product changes, you know, layoffs, whatever it is, you really gotta double down on providing the context around why that decision was made. So people feel comfortable, absolutely that, you know, the right thought process and people involved and decision making criteria, were all part of it.
Scott - [21:39 - 22:40]
Yeah. I, I totally agree. so moving forward a little bit here, so sure Qatalog is moving beyond, you know, just a remote. Yeah. And a lot of the content and the branding. It's very focused on helping lead companies and lead us to where the future of work is going and that's is async. would love to hear a little bit more about Qatalog's async culture and how other companies can do the same and implement the same. Because again, for me, my 2 cents, are we now? Right? We say that going back to the office is like the worst thing, the right to return to the office. We don't wanna work for those companies. Those companies are terrible. We want remote in 18 months from now, synchronous meeting is synchronous. Communication will be the next iteration of that. Right? Yep. Like the old game of remote will kind of be, no one will talk about, and now it's the idea of, we had to sit in meetings all day long. I don't wanna work for a company that, that works like that. So I'd love to hear again, your experience Qatalogs experience, and then what other leaders can start thinking about doing within their or own organizations to again, move forward with the future of work.
Ryan - [22:40 - 24:16]
Yeah, no, it's a great question. And I, you know, a couple things there. I think that, you know, the balance of power has shifted from employers to employees with this move to remote, you know, there's obviously job opportunities out there for, for employees to work, work from anywhere. And so you really have to prioritize employee wellbeing. And so how do you do that? You know, and, and you know, one of the ways that you do that is, you know, something that Qatalog is setting up to solve, which is making information accessible. It's so frustrating when you can't find something and, you know, Qatalog, we've done a couple really strong, third party research reports, one with Cornell university, one with the GitLab and yeah, they're great. You know, one of the things we found is it takes on people spend right now on average one hour a day, just trying to find information. Oh, was that slack? Was that a in Salesforce? Is that a Google doc? Yeah. I, I don't know. And that leads to employee frustration, right? Yeah. And employee engagement. And then if you find the data, is it accurate? You know, is there, is there a level of trust that the data is the right data and it's up to date and it's accurate. And so that trust and information also, you know, impacts employee engagement and employee satisfaction and wellbeing. Yep. So, you know, one of the things that we're setting out to solve a Qatalog is, you know, we've got enterprise search, you know, one click I can search for anything I can search across my email, slack, Salesforce, HubSpot notion, whatever. And I can find something at the drop of a hat. And that changes your mentality a little bit.
Ryan - [24:16 - 25:56]
Cause the, how frustrating is before meeting, when you can't find anything. And so that's been really important, in terms of making sure that the information is, is accessible up to date and accurate regardless of the tool. And so I think that's one thing that's really, that's really important. And you know, I think another thing with ay, like remote, if you don't figure out, ay, you're done, you're dead. Like as sync is absolutely as sync is everything. Absolutely. Yeah. And so I don't care what you use, but you know, even with one of our recent reports, it was like 30% of people didn't even know what async meant, you know? And it, it probably means something different for every company and that's okay, sure. You have to clearly define it. So everybody knows, and then you have to be overly prescriptive. Yeah. This is what we're going to do in terms of the tools. These are the tools we're using. This is what this one's for. This was one, this one for, for communication. Yeah. These messages should go on slack. These should go in, in, you know, email, whatever it is, but you should have that written down and document it. I mean, at, at, you know, Qatalog, we even documented, you know, how we work, you know, we came together on, on my team. We put together a document on how we work. Yeah. Yeah. It was on, when do we do one on ones? When do we do meetings for, do we celebrate birthdays? Do we use nicknames? Like just, yeah. Putting it all down on paper. And so there's one central resource, which is enormously important for, you know, new employees, you know, for sure. Because the biggest issue with remote and, or one of the biggest issues I would argue is onboarding new employees, onboardings.
Ryan - [25:56 - 26:47]
It can be awfully lonely in a remote world. And so making sure that people know everything, not just, you know, coaching them on the latest product. yeah. But how do they act? How do they communicate? Yeah. How do they socially interact? Like all of those things need to be documented in an ay way. and you know, for a sales to some things are easy, you know, if it doesn't exist in Salesforce, it doesn't exist. Yeah. Done. You know what I mean? And so, you kind of have to do that for the rest of the business. You have to take these pockets and, you know, I look at things like DevOps and then in the envision world design ops, like yep. Design ops became incredibly important to design organizations, to streamline processes, streamline communications, streamline tooling. That's basically what Qatalog was doing for the entire company.
Scott - [26:47 - 27:40]
Yeah. That's amazing. I love the point of having to document everything. I interviewed somebody last week from HubSpot, for the show and was fascinated by the idea, one of the things that they documented through the process of going remote before and during the pandemic where called gen Z, who are just first job outta college. And they didn't know, was it okay to use emojis in slack when talking to their boss? Yeah. Or their colleagues, because maybe on like, you know, SMS or whatever tools that's kind of run to the game, but now in a business environment, like they, they didn't have that experience, especially again, being remote. They didn't just even going down like that level. Hey, when you communicate adding something in there, yes. Emojis are okay in this scenario. Maybe not so great in this, this scenario. I, and I couldn't couldn't agree more that everything is, is documentation.
Ryan - [27:40 - 28:58]
Yeah. And, and being prescriptive, like, you know, we hire a lot of folks that, you know, maybe it's, you know, they're, they're more junior in their career, even things as simple as time management, they don't know how to spend their day. And that's okay. And so again, with the onboarding, you know, we would do, you know, three month onboarding, you know, curriculums. Yeah. Just so people knew we would do time management training, and then we would be very prescriptive. You should be spending two hours of your day on prospecting, whatever on admin and, you know, spend an hour day on self development and learning whatever it is. That's awesome. but again, people don't really know how to manage their time and don't expect them to yeah. And so be prescriptive and help them manage their time. Cut it up into chunks. yeah. But you're right. People need to know all the behavioral norms, which also gets tricky. You know, I manage the international team and live in London for three years for envision. Yeah. There's different behavioral norms, obviously international, for Sure. For sure. And so being very clear in terms of what those parameters are, how you call some, some things out that maybe, you know, certain, you know, you know, regions or cultures aren't, aren't aligned with and, you know, you know, giving those, giving those guardrails for folks.
Scott - [28:58 - 29:59]
Yeah. something that you said earlier, and I've certainly experienced this in my, my latest role. And again, other companies that I've worked with is this mentality, again, again, maybe old school mentality that especially a sales team has to have lots of synchronous meetings. Right. We're skipping the whole idea of, you know, whether office and data sharing and like know high fives, but yep. You're obviously moving away from that obviously with Qatalog, but is this really true? Right. The sales teams, they feed off each others energy. They have to be getting on synchronous calls every day or like team meetings. Because again, I've seen this so often and again, and that's what I've heard from sales leadership. It's sales teams have to be synchronous. We have to get together, we have to feed off each other's energy and this thing, this and that, and the other we're really is, async also the future of sales too. No outside of having a customer call when you have to have a customer call, but is ASIC also the, the future of sales teams, is this for most, every other team within the company?
Ryan - [29:59 - 31:19]
yeah, I think so. I think so. I mean, I'd rather have my team spending time with customers than internally. And so they should be able to get the information that they need asynchronously. And the, the one thing is probably the coaching. And, but again, there's technologies out there, whether it's Gong of courses. A million of 'em out there that enable you to provide those coaching moments. And that's what's really important for, for async and documentation around, you know, where customers stand in their journey, what their friction points are, what their objections are, whatever that is. so sales should a hundred percent be able to be async and, you know, we're remote. I mean, envision, we went from, you know, almost nothing to a hundred million in ARR in, in five years. Right. And so there was a, there's some proof points, you know, the GitLab world, like it works, sure. And you know, there's gonna be a time and a place for team meetings and things like that. And, you know, doing role plays, all of that stuff. But for the most part, all of that, you know, technology has come so far that, there's opportunities to sort of address and support the organization asynchronously, even for, even for sales teams. And again, I'd rather prioritize them, spending times synchronously with their customers and the market and the community that they're involved in that would be internally.
Scott - [31:19 - 32:02]
Yeah. So if it's okay with you, let's geek out out here, let's do a deep dive outside of the customer facing things. So we're saying asynchronous is the future of also sales, but how are you doing it now? And how are other sales leaders? Can they recreate these, the knowledge sharing, the coaching opportunities, just celebrating wins, right. Again, in the office, somebody close a big deal, high five. Okay. You know, you do it in the office. How do you do that? And how do you recreate those moments? Because again, right. In a remote everything's intentional. So you have to intentionally recreate every one of these coaching sessions and feedback, whatever it may be. Yeah. So how can leaders be doing that in a remote ASIC environment again, outside of the customer facing stuff?
Ryan - [32:02 - 33:53]
Yeah. I mean, I think the, you know, there's always gonna be those, those social moments for celebrating a deal or whatnot, but you have to make sure that those moments are captured in a way that somebody outside of the time zone that you're in sure can participate as well. And, you know, selfishly and, you know, we, we use Qatalog for a lot of it because again, it breaks down the barriers and the silos between the teams that allows you to have the documentation visible to everyone at the organization. It's not just like a closed one, you know, notification that comes through Salesforce. We put something in the Qatalog, goes to everybody in the company and then, you know, maybe, you know, corresponds to the, you know, the, the, the slack channel. but making sure that you're creating those moments, in an asynchronous way that everybody can access and respond to, like again, in an asynchronous world, you've gotta make sure that everybody has a voice and that voice absolutely can be documented. You know, they can provide a comment, on a particular thing or, you know, surveys, or there's all these engagement tools out there, you know, that we used, and envisioned, but, you know, people need to feel like they have a voice. And so you have whatever the mechanism is, you know, for us it's Qatalog, but for whatever the mechanism is, people need to make sure that there's some way for them to provide feedback into the, into the, into the organization and, you know, product direction, sales, motion, whatever it is. Yeah. All of those things. and then, you know, just even a envision, like there was all these little tips and tricks that we used to use that would sort of, you know, you know, one of the things that, this might be going off the know topic a little bit, but, you know, everyone's like, oh, you can't do remote cuz you can't brainstorm, you know, brainstorming needs to happen, you know?
Ryan - [33:53 - 35:28]
Yeah. You know, and all of that stuff and you see explosion of digital boards and all of that, you know, they're great. There's a time and place. but you, you remember Clark had envision, always had this term bad version, you know, and it was sort of a safe word to throw things out. Yeah. A bad version. I haven't thought this through, but what if we tried boom. And it was one of those like little safe words and you could do that, you know, putting it on a, on a digital whiteboard on, you know, envision freehand or whatever bad version here's this. But again, it spurs that, you know, it spurs that, proactivity around throwing out ideas versus people being like, I'm not sure I wanna put this on a document because yeah. Yeah. I'm not sure it's really the right, the right answer. And so having all of these little tips and tricks or, you know, we always use for feedback, feedback was another one you're like, oh, in a remote world, you know, you can't get the, you can't get the, you can't get the feedback. And so, you know, we had this concept that we didn't invent, but the, you know, the deck of cards, some of you heard the deck of cards where it was. Yeah. you know, the, the, the, the red are positive and the black are sort of constructive criticism and, arts and clubs are kind of vague hearts. Hey Scott, great podcast. All right. Yeah. Or, Hey Scott, I really didn't like that podcast. We focused on diamonds and spades. Diamonds is positive and specific Scott. I really like the way that you structured the questions in that podcast. Yeah. Spades Scott, the one thing I think you could have done better was, you know, asked this question up front da, da, da, whatever.
Ryan - [35:28 - 36:23]
And so we would build that in to the culture. And so then even in the document you would have those diamonds and spades. And that again, gave people stimulation to provide feedback. Cuz I would go into calls or, you know, or if I would share a presentation, I'd be like, all right, everybody needs to share a one diamond and one spade on this presentation. And then you get these comments in there on diamonds and spades and people knew how to frame it. And or if you're a, you know, zoom call everybody all of a sudden, you know, everybody's like multitasking, then it's like, all right, you need to have a diamond space at the end of this presentation. Everybody like lean for and lean in. And then, and then again, you're spurring that culture of feedback, which some people think, oh, you can't really do that in a remote world, but you can, you just gotta come up with your own sort of cultural philosophies and tips and tricks and all of these things that become part of the fabric of your organization, your culture.
Scott - [36:23 - 37:38]
Yep. That's very interesting. kind of pivoting away from the internal processes from sales and how to async them, even the actual customer facing a customer engaging piece is also starting to go async. outside of just, you know, kind of cold emails, but something that, that we were doing at, at cloud app, obviously dog fooding in the product, especially with know SDRs where again, you're trying to prospect, you're trying to get someone even on like an initial conversation, a 15 minute call just to kind of know, give them initial pitch. And a lot of times like people don't wanna get on that call. People don't have the time to get on that 20 minute call and you still, as a SDR, you, you wanna give them information that will be valuable to them. So we were kind of dogfooding process where we'd create an asynchronous video, 60 seconds, 90 seconds, two minutes and share that video. So we had the opportunity to, to give them the information that we wanted them to have, to allow them to watch it and to consume it in the time that's convenient for them and kind of check off those boxes. And we saw a decent, you know, engagement Ray from that. So we'd love to hear again, maybe things that your team is doing to even ay, part of like the customer facing process and what other companies also should start thinking about and what kind of big ideas is like video going to be a big part of this future, or any of those things you're thinking about or seeing.
Ryan - [37:38 - 39:20]
Yeah, that's a good question. I mean, video, I feel like it's got a lot of positive momentum. I don't know. I get these video outreach from SDRs all the time. I, I don't watch many of them. yeah, you want these, you want these short clips, but what we do do like a Qatalog, you know, we'll, we'll create a slack channel with our customers, you know? And so then they can immediately provide feedback or yeah. One of the biggest things that we built into the product with Qatalog was like, we've got this ecosystem where you can share knowledge and communication. Yeah. we open that up. And so, so, you know, a lot of our clients and customers right now are agencies and they want to be able to develop these, you know, workflows or these projects, but share them with their clients. And so we've opened it up. So now you can share externally all of those parts of the product that help you communicate and collaborate within Qatalog with your customers. So an asynchronous, you know, documentation of, you know, project updates or work streams or all of this stuff has been opened up. So I think it's, you know, using the tool stack that you have and, you know, sharing that with, with your customers as well. And maybe that's a little bit less relevant for prospects, but who knows, maybe that's the direction. yeah. Things are going as well. And I think videos there's, there's probably a place. there's probably a place for videos. I still think like content, if you want to call it, async sharing thought leadership and content is still going to be the primary mechanism to drive awareness of whatever it is that you're doing versus cold email outreach.
Ryan - [39:20 - 39:31]
Cause I just think cold email outreach right now is just not, is not as successful as giving something of value to people in an asynchronous way.
Scott - [39:31 - 40:42]
Absolutely. And it's been so much, I mean, I, I still look at tons of these. It's the spray and pray right? No, no research, no things. You just kind of send it to like a thousand people. Hopefully some people convert. Like the one idea we'd be thinking about with video is especially getting away. We understand from marketing, from sales that personalization has a huge impact on an engagement opens replies to this content. So there is no tool yet that I found that can add in a macro. So if I create an asynchronous video and I say, Hey, Ryan from Qatalog, right. There's no way for me to macro add in there. I had to take the time to personalize this video. Right. And you can't, you can easily tell if something's like cut and chopped to where you just kind of take the whole bit and point and then kind of just add in some like intro. So if you don't do that and you just take that time to personalize 92nd video, but I put in, Hey Ryan, and, and put your company name in there at least potentially gives the feeling to like, to, to the potential leader whoever's receiving it. Like, Hey, Scott actually took the time to record this video just for me and personalize it just for me. and I that's something again that we would, were championing at, cloud I've been know. it would be interesting to see, you know, what that, what that impact is, you know, moving forward.
Ryan - [40:42 - 41:28]
Yeah. It's just, everyone's personalizing these days. Hey, Ryan saw, you went to Boston college, Hey duh, da da, you know, you do this. All right. Great. again, I think the, the, the way that you get someone's attention in this noisy noisy world is adding value. Yeah. And whether it's content or video of something, but it's gotta add value and sure. That's what, you know, the, the personalization needs to be. It's less about the school you went to the company you are that you raised money or whatever. Yeah. It's More about personalization of the message that's gonna add value to that person. And so that's where I think, I think the direction of sort of the sales outreach is going and it takes time, but you know, that's, that's Absolutely. That's, it's gonna get, responses.
Scott - [41:28 - 42:22]
I completely agree. I remember I did lots of workshops in different areas. One was writing these types of mails and I remember getting one in envision. This was probably about 2015, 2016, or so it was a tool that we used back in probably 2012, 2013 that we haven't been using. And they kind of, they, they did the right process of no, here's the issue that you're, you're potentially having in this type of role. And here are the companies. Yeah. And it was funny to say like, Hey, we would love to tell you how companies like Microsoft, whoever, and envision have been using this product. And I thought to myself, right. Two things, number one, we haven't used your product in like four years, but number two, it's like, you're gonna tell an employee of envision how right. We use a product at envision to it's like, again, just like the spray and pray, right. The, even when you're trying to do it the right way and, and personalize it. Right.
Ryan - [42:22 - 42:35]
I completely Agree unless someone in envision was using it. Cause I remember back in the day we used one of those spider whatever technologies to see all the SAS tools we were using. There was like a few hundred SAS tools being used cuz at a 900 per 800 person remote company.
Ryan - [42:36 - 43:14]
It quickly gets very unwielding. I think that's another important point for people is you've gotta distill down your tool stack for people and then enable them because ly it's so many different tools that maybe somebody was using. I mean, even now, like in the Qatalog world, like we talk to people and it's like this department's using assign this, one's using Monday, this one's using click up. They're all project management tools. Yeah. It's like, what are you doing? Why? But they don't know. They don't know. Yeah. And so you've gotta be prescriptive again and sort of distilling down that tools, but then showing people how to use them, who should be using it when they should be using it and what they should absolutely.
Ryan - [43:14 - 43:20]
but I do agree on your, on your personalization. Yeah. on your personalization point.
Scott - [43:20 - 43:39]
Yeah. So last question I have for you is yeah. Obviously besides Qatalog, what asynchronous tools are, are you using, you and your team and similar? Like what rec, what tools would you recommend obviously Qatalog included for sales teams to start looking at, to start implementing, to start a syncing their, their, their processes.
Ryan - [43:39 - 45:19]
Yeah, that's a good question. I mean, you know, like I said before, I'm a big fan of Bonusly and that's, you know, something that really, oh, for sure. You know, explicitly addresses that culture point gives you those micro, you know, micro celebrations. Yeah. It's got great job on this podcast. Here's two, $2. Like you lose those high fives in a remote world. I think that's really important. Yeah. you know, I think tools like scratchpad, or there's a few of 'em out there for sales where, you know, what a sales people complain about. Ah, it's such a pain in the butt to input information into Salesforce. Well there's tools out there, like scratchpad that make it easy to just import notes into, you know, into, into Salesforce and then yeah. You know, again, selfishly, you know, Qatalog is a game changer for us in the fact for sure, the sales team doesn't have to go down a rabbit hole to figure out what the latest is on the product roadmap or, you know, where we are on this marketing strategy, it's all one click away, you know? And so it's very easy or, you know, we have an org chart, you know, most org charts are fairly static and you know, not up to date or whatnot. our org chart shows you in real time, what everybody's working on, I could click on your profile right now. I could see all your projects. I could see all your goals where you stand against those goals. I could see all your latest activity. And so I know very quickly like, Hey, who's working on what, what team are they on? Yeah. And where are those things stand? And so that's really important for a salesperson that maybe needs to get something quickly yeah.
Ryan - [45:19 - 45:24]
For a urgent client, you know, question or situation. Yeah.
Scott - [45:24 - 45:30]
Is that, is that an internal tool? The, the map in all the other information, that's what they're working on. Things like that.
Ryan - [45:30 - 46:20]
Yeah. It's part of the Qatalog product. So all that, That's awesome. And it's as a, you know, you know, directory sync, so whatever you're using for your org tool, you can just import it into Qatalog. And all of a sudden you have an org chart, it shows what everybody's working on. And so it's really good. And you know, there's some social context to it as well. I wanna search and find all the people at the company that are into, I don't know, rock climbing. Yeah. And in a remote world, sometimes it's hard to figure out who those people are, but in our company directory, you can hashtag and, you know, put all of these different things in there. Yeah. And makes it very easy for remote employees to find folks and have a little bit of social context. This person lives there. These are their interests. This is what they did last weekend, whatever it is. And again, it adds to the culture and employee engagement, which is ultimately the biggest thing in, in today's important environment.
Scott - [46:20 - 46:33]
Yeah. A hundred percent. so for listeners listening that want to learn more about you when they get in touch with you, same thing with Qatalog, wanna learn more about Qatalog when they get connect with Qatalog, what's the best way to get connected with you and get connected with Qatalog?
Ryan - [46:33 - 46:48]
Yeah. You can email me Ryan@Qatalog.com. I'm happy to take a call with anybody at any time, you know, give you a, give you a little demo of, of how our customers are using it. Awesome. You can find me on LinkedIn at Ryan S. Burke on, on Twitter as well. And then Qatalog.com.
Scott - [46:55 - 47:47]
I'll definitely put all the links, in, in the show notes and Ryan. Yeah. Thank you so much for, for coming on the show today. Yeah. it's something I I've definitely wanted to do. And I hope to do more of this season of kind of doing deep dives within specific teams within the organization, cuz the last couple seasons been kind of like a very overview kind of company, top down and wanna do a deep dive, more on specific teams. And I think the best place was obviously in the sales team, which historically has always been kind of sync office space. Let's everyone get in the same space and be synchronous so we can do the high fives and all of that. Yeah. But you and Qatalog are kind of leading that change moving obviously remote of course, but moving even more towards async and leading the charge to show other sales teams globally say, Hey, we can be doing this. You can be successful at it and, and kind of leading the path. So certainly appreciate all the knowledge, and wisdom that you've shared. And yeah, everyone listening until the next episode have a great day.
Ryan - [47:47 - 47:51]
Awesome. Thanks Scott. Appreciate it.