For Partnership Leaders

Episode 27: Ray Carroll, B2B SaaS Revenue Leader & Sales Advisor

Ray talks about why this is the best time to evaluate new strategies for breaking into top accounts, co-selling successes that he's experienced, and more.


This week on The CoSell Show we are thrilled to have with us Ray Carroll, Sales VP at Marketo, Engagio, and Skilljar.

Topics Discussed:

  • Ray’s uncanny ability to light up the stage at a karaoke bar

  • Why there is no better time to evaluate new strategies for breaking into top accounts

  • Key co-selling successes that Ray has experienced in his career

  • How to pitch your boss to invest in a co-selling platform

 

Listen & Subscribe

YouTube   Apple Podcast   Spotify

 

Follow Along With The Podcast Transcript

Pete:
Hi, everyone. Thanks for listening to the CoSell Show a podcast with a focus on all things partner co-selling. Today I have a guest, his name is Ray Carroll, a B2B revenue leader that's been ... Worked at companies in sales leadership roles at Marketo, Engagio, Skilljar. Very respected in the tech world. And all those companies use Very Early app. What's up, Ray? Thanks for joining.

Ray Carroll:
Nothing much, Pete, good to be here and chat a bit about how to co-sell

Pete:
Great, yeah, so why don't we dive right in. Per the CoSell show tradition, we always ask, just to break the ice, what is something about you that is not on your LinkedIn profile that you'd want to share?

Ray Carroll:
I'm one of those people that, I'm not really afraid to have data and stuff about me out there, so I'm trying to think what don't people know. I'd say if you haven't worked in orgs that I've been a part of, you might not know that, in addition to running revenue teams and being a dad and the Denver Broncos, which is a sports team I love, I also had another life as a karaoke superstar in my early 20s. Which is probably where I developed some of the mindset and confidence and fearlessness you have to have doing what it is that we do. But if you get a couple of beers in me, or even if you don't get beers in me, and throw me in a karaoke bar in Austin, we'd probably have a good time.

Pete:
Awesome. Awesome. Yeah, so I'm sure you've spent some time in ... What's the name of that bar in the Marina? Silver Cloud or something?

Ray Carroll:
I've been to Silver Cloud, I've been to Silver Cloud, and good talent there too, by the way. I'm a nobody in Silver cloud, there's some really good people there.

Pete:
Yeah. In Austin, there's Ego's, that's the name of the go-to karaoke spot and, yeah, the next time you're in town we'll have to listen to your karaoke. Get you on stage.

Ray Carroll:
I think you framed it right, have to. It won't be a picnic, but it's funny on some of these Karaoke spots ... there was a spot I was going to in Seattle once a week and it would be a two hour line so I actually stopped going to this one. But people were so into it they would put in and they would wait two hours to sing one song.

Pete:
They're waiting for someone from Singing with the Stars to show up and that's their shot, I guess.

Ray Carroll:


Pete:
Cool. Well, yeah, let's jump into business. So really, the first question I have for you is, as a rep, if you wanted to start co-selling, where would you start?

Ray Carroll:
Well, I'd say there's five or six things that you want to make sure you understand. The absolute first thing is you have to get in the mindset for co-selling. So you're doing your day job, trying to create value, knock on doors, prospect, whatever. But when you're co-selling with another rep, it needs to be ... Literally, you need to have the mindset of, 50% of the time I'm going to be spending on this call is going to be how you can help make me money. And 50% of the time that I'm going to be spending on this call is going to be about how I'm going to help make you money and create pipeline. So I've seen reps that have tried, or gotten conversations with ancillary software companies, go into these conversations and just screw up the first call.

Ray Carroll:
And the rep is like, why am I going to spend time with you? You haven't really explained how you can help me. So you've got to understand both sides of the equation here. And so what I'd say is, mind set. Because if you have the wrong mindset, you do everything else right, it actually won't work out. So number one, no, you're there to help each other, not just you. And then on top of that, then it's the tactical stuff. So what companies are complimentary to your offering that are good use of time for you to co-sell with? If you're a rep as salesforce.com, it may not make sense for you to align with a rep from Spotify, if they even have reps there. So it needs to make sense. And then there's, how do you engage with them in a way that makes them want to work with you?

Ray Carroll:
What will you share? Is it insights? Is it leads? Is it counts? And then the last part is, how are you going to communicate if this is successful so that other people can get benefit from, maybe, a relationship with that company. As opposed to being, "Oh, this is just my tool that I use to feed pipeline." The best co-selling relationships that I've seen, that not only benefited the rep, but ended up benefiting the organization, is when one rep gets in and builds a good relationship and then they help bring in their peers so that they can reap the benefits of that as well.

Pete:
Yeah. Yeah. And I remember when I was selling LinkedIn Sales Solutions and I met with you over at Marketo.

Ray Carroll:
Right, we met there.

Pete:
Yeah, and that was nearly 10 years ago. And I remember you were doing co-selling in some form. And I think I met with you when you might've been a rep and then you obviously moved up the ranks to BP, but I remember meeting with you and you would leverage LinkedIn for these warm intros. I'm sure you recall that and so you were kind of bleeding edge when it came to referral selling. So I guess, let's just go back to, if you're a sales rep and you need to now convince your boss to invest in something like CoSell.io or a platform like that, to surface overlaps, how do you convince your boss that, hey, this is the way to go. This is a bleeding edge and this will help us sell more.

Ray Carroll:
Yeah. Well, so I think now more than ever the window's open and it would be ... it's all about pipeline creation. At the end of the day, like recent events, unless you're Zoom, have made it a little harder to create pipeline. It's still doable, it's our job. Sometimes things are great, sometimes things are not so good. There's some uncertainty out there, but that's not an excuse, we got numbers to hit and pipeline and create. And I think right now, with everybody doing the same stuff, you're using Outreach Salesloft, you're using LinkedIn Sales Navigator, you're creating 10/80/10 emails. You're doing phone, email, you're touching the account 16 times. Everybody's got the same playbook. Let's be real. So co-selling is something that can be different and it's another engine of growth. So if I'm you and I'm trying to convince my boss, whoever, "Hey, let's spend some money and get this thing," I would try to do a ... let's just walk through pipeline.

Ray Carroll:
So let's say you're generating 5 million a month as a team in pipeline and you've got a 50K ASP and a 30% win rate. Well, if you can generate 150,000, so three ops across the team, doing co-selling in various forms, then if you apply the win rate there that's 30K. If the ASP is 50K, that's a $50,000 increase in revenue after you do the pipeline conversion. And if you're paying somebody 2K, 5K, 6K a month, there's a good ROI there. So the best way to do it would be is how much pipeline can you create? And to do that, it would just be how many ops do you create? What's the team win rate? And then put that in front of somebody. That would convince me, if brought to me that way.

Pete:
Yeah, yeah. And so do you feel like a platform like CoSell can replace cold email and cold calling? Or is it more of, it's another avenue in to get into key accounts.

Ray Carroll:
No, it can't replace those things. I mean, our toolkits as sellers will always have email, will always have phone calls, nothing is going to be dead. But CoSell is another engine. So the way I'd be thinking about it is; you're a plane and your engines are email, phone, LinkedIn, CoSell, Sendoso, direct mail stuff. Those are your engines and everybody's got access to these same engines if they want to go buy them. And I think that if you get really good at understanding who your ancillary market sellers are, you as a seller will just start to have that advantage too. Not only in pipeline, but you'll be smarter about the industry and probably have a much higher win rate than your peers.

Ray Carroll:
When you're on a call, you know your partners, they mention, "Hey, we're looking at Hopin for virtual events and you're selling marketing." Well, okay, if you know about Hopin you're going to be more credible too. Now that's not going to be a reason that you pitch this to your boss for budget, but frankly, it's a hidden benefit for you by getting good at this as well. It's going to help your win rate. Even if you're not using tech, just to know who your other sellers are, what's happening, that's going to make you better. And I bet your win rate will be better too.

Pete:
Yeah. And so do you have any examples that come to mind on deals that you won that involve co-selling?

Ray Carroll:
All right, I got to go back [crosstalk 00:09:53] when I had much darker hair, less gray. So a couple come to mind, one specifically me, and then others, let's say teams. I remember a deal with a great sales leader now, a guy, Travis Bryant. Who was early at Salesforce, was a rep, was a VP, then he went on to stand up optimizing. Now he's, I think, in DC. He was a rep at Salesforce and he was selling a deal, I can't remember the name, but it's a nonprofit in DC. And we started working together to win this deal, because it was a nonprofit in DC, which meant that they were probably going to be a little older school in solutions that they bought than hot tech companies in New York City or Silicon Valley. And so we had to go in there and really tell a story together on how the purchase of salesforce.com and Marketo were going to be this amazing system for revenue growing the business.

Ray Carroll:
And frankly, Travis needed the story of the marketing cloud, because at the time they didn't have exact target and everything else, to win his deal. And so we got aligned that way. And then we found out, hey, we run the same region, we're selling into the same accounts. And then that opportunity that he brought me, turned into situations where, if I found out somebody was on Oracle CRM in that region, I'd be like, "Hey, just found out, here's this," and we just start feeding each other and helping each other. And that was a huge advantage. I probably got an op a quarter that we worked on, one op a quarter that we worked on that I wouldn't have got, I didn't have to do outbound for, it was just ... we got to know each other and had that relationship.

Ray Carroll:
Then if I think about, there's another example I can give, it was actually a rep from Skilljar. She did some co-selling with a rep in the customer support space. They connected, found out they had the same territory, and there was an account that that company had as a customer, Skilljar didn't, and she was able to uncover something about the executive decision maker that was super unique. I forgot what it was, I think they liked cats or something. I don't know. But based on that info, she dropped one note after the account had been hit 40 times by the BDR team and everything, got a meeting. So when you're co-selling, it's not just, "Did I win business? Did I get an op?" Little wins matter. You can find out, "Oh, they're on an incumbent and they don't renew for two years."

Ray Carroll:
Well, okay. Maybe that's not the top of your list. Or you find out, "Hey, the decision maker really likes the New York Jets." Okay, weave that into your outreach. So little things that you might not think matter, you do the little things right in sales, and ultimately ... You do little things right consistently enough and you will end up being very good. And I'd consider that to be little things right, make the most of anything you can get and then go apply it in your role as a seller.

Pete:
Yeah. No it's a great point you bring up and it seems like there's more competition in the market, now more than ever. If you look at the LUMAscape, there's just so many companies, they're all doing a lot of the same things that we talked about. And so any way to stand out from the crowd and break through the noise is very meaningful. And so, why do you feel like co-selling now is more important than ever? If you look at all the different strategies.

Ray Carroll:
Yeah, I mean the big reality out there that every single sales and marketing leader knows, is that pipeline is harder to create than ever right now, due to some headwinds that we can't necessarily control. And anything that gives you something differentiated that everybody else is not doing is, frankly, something that might be worth time. So I'll go back to, why more than ever? Because it's an engine of growth that a lot of companies can't say they've legitimately explored and try to get done right. We've all tried a million different outreach sequences or SalesLoft cadences on, "Is this going to be the one? Is this the perfect one that gets the highest response rate and the most ..." The reality is there's no silver bullet, okay? But if you think about co-selling now, the gains you can get by getting your co-selling program from zero to one are a whole lot better than, how do I get the 15th cadence or sequence I've done to perform 1% better? The co-sell bet is a more upside, much more upside bet, than needling on word choices of sequences.

Pete:
Yeah, yeah. And so, if we go back to your Marketo days, and let's just say CoSell existed then, how do you feel a platform like CoSell ... And I hate doing this shameless plug here, but, just ... Obviously Marketo's been known for creating this amazing ecosystem of partners. And how do you feel co-selling at that point in time could have helped in experiencing hyper-growth during that Marketo journey?

Ray Carroll:
Yeah. Well, I'd say that I was doing a decent amount of co-selling probably in 2010. So most of my journey at Marketo, I did have this in mind, but here's the reality. Marketo had an amazing product in a big market that was super early. And although it wasn't required the first, let's say, two years that I was at Marketo, to really be good at co-selling, to do 150, 180% of plan. I was a young spring chicken living in the Silicon Valley, bought a house, my wife wasn't working. I needed to maximize income as fast as I possibly could, so that I could actually stand up shop here. It's expensive, as we all know, to live where we live. And so I would've seen ... If we had really been good at co-selling, truly across the entire revenue organization, more reps would have done higher attainment versus quota.

Ray Carroll:
Because we had some years at Marketo where 85% of the team was at the number. [crosstalk 00:16:54] that's special. That is special. That's not how it always is. And we were growing and adding people, we were still hitting the number. And we had average reps selling in an average way, doing good stuff. So we had predictability, scalability, consistently, all that other stuff. But reps that were dallying with co-selling were getting up to 200% of plan. They were getting up to 200% of plan. I'd probably argue, like this past year, reps that got good at co-selling, they found ways to get between 95 and 130% of plan this year. If you weren't doing any of that, and you got caught in the slog, your performance might've been lower. So it's an optimization engine that can either get you to quota or get you to accelerators if you do it well.

Pete:
Yep. Well, listen, Ray, I know we're coming up on time. Thanks so much for sharing insights that you did. And, yeah, I guess if there's any listeners that want to get in touch with you, just to ask more questions, what's the best way for them to do that?

Ray Carroll:
Follow me on Twitter at raycarroll55. That's two R's, two L's. That's probably the best and fastest way. But yeah, I'll leave everybody with ... How would I put this? I would just say, if you can't say that you've spent time getting to know all the different AEs in your industry and you're thinking about the activity metrics that you need to hit. If you mix it up and spend a little time getting to know others, and hold yourself accountable to the activity metrics, my gut is, you'll create some change to your day to day that's going to make you even better when you're prospecting. My gut is, there's a lot of zombie prospecting happening where the buttons are being pushed, the numbers are being hit, but your heart and your mind isn't in it. And if you engage in some of these conversations to other people, you'll be fresh when you go and go about your day-to-day now.

Pete:
Yep. Yeah, it's kind of the concept of, not going at it alone, leveraging partners that are going after the same market as you are that are not competitive, and finding new avenues in. So yeah, super excited. Would love to have you on again soon, Ray, as the co-selling motion evolves and thanks again.

Ray Carroll:
No problem, great to be here. Thanks, everyone.

Pete:
Thanks.

Ray Carroll:
Bye.

Similar posts

We are about to enter the era of referrals and relationship-selling. Join our community.