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Putting Strategy at the Backbone of Sales | Ep. 08

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The perception of a sales rep is commonly associated with someone dialling the phone, day in and out. Yet as technology has evolved sales has evolved with it/ However, until recently this tended to be a slower pace than what we saw in marketing. 

For our eighth episode of Beyond Business with Synx, we had the pleasure of chatting with Thomas Moin who is the Co-Founder of the sales intelligence tool, Triggr. Triggr empowers B2B sales teams with a powerful prospecting automation tool that works off of internet data to help pinpoint ideal customers. As a sales rep,  you can define events that are relevant to your sales process then Triggr will notify you when they occur. 

Prior to founding Triggr, Tom was a channel manager at HubSpot helping small businesses and marketing agencies get started in their inbound journey. In this episode, you will find insight into Tom's time at HubSpot, what it taught him as a sales rep, and how he thinks the role of the sales rep will change over the next few years. 

 

Some of the show highlights include: 

  • When and where Tom started his career in sales 
  • When Tom joined HubSpot in the APAC region and how he not only started but watched the region grow 
  • How COVID-19 has forced a lot of businesses out of the traditional way of sales and marketing and into a more digital, strategic approach
  • How a modern day sales rep benefits from a data-driven sales tool like Triggr
  • 30% of MQL’s become sales
  • Why account-based marketing is no longer a viable option in our current environment considering a lot of it is based off IP addresses
  • How much content on the web has grown in just the last two years alone
  • How important it is for you to find your own rhythm of working 

Links and Resources 

Thomas Moin on LinkedIn

Traction EOS 

Hacking School - Tedx Talk

 

Quotes by Tom

  • “Now, HubSpot comes in, coming from the US and is very cutting edge in terms of how they engage customers, and all of a sudden you're able to connect with people... with WebEx at the time it was before Zoom, but shows how early adopters they were. And just being able to, you know, engage the customer while they're still sitting at their desk was far more efficient, and it became more, I guess, more adopted and more, more acceptable to have important meetings over Zoom.”
  • "Marketing has done an amazing job over the last five or so years, in terms of becoming more data driven, and being able to, to actually measure you know, leads funneling through and nurturing them until until they're buying ready. And with sales, they, you know, they're now the ones are a little bit behind."
  • "The best companies in the world, you know, at best they might generate 30% of their number from from MQLs/marketing qualified leads. So, that's the top. So where do the rest of the reps number come from?"
  • "People aren't in buying mode right now. So you need to be a strategic seller to start building those relationships early and understand that it's going to be a longer... a longer game. And be okay with just adding value without, you know, taking anything in turn."
  • "I don't think content as a strategy is going to disappear. That's how you educate yourself. And if anything, education is becoming more important now."
  • “I think having started Triggr and running a start up blocking out your calendar and doing what you know you need to do is so important, and it's something we used to talk about in sales, but I think it's even more important, you know, in trying to run a business and will help anybody in terms of just Completing and achieving and hitting the milestones that you want to hit."

Transcript

Introduction

Charles McKay 0:01 

Hello and welcome to the Beyond Business podcast. My name is Charles McKay. Today we spoke with Thomas Moin who is the Co-Founder and Growth and Strategic Officer at Triggr, which is a platform that pretty much uses the internet to trigger activities into your platform, into your CRM or whatever instance you use for your sales team to actually give them some insights on who to call and potentially why to call them. Super powerful and in the current environment, probably has some merit about it, too. We talked about Tom's career, how he got started in... working more infrastructure and IT sales and moving through to what he's doing today. Obviously, Tom and I met in 2014 when he was a HubSpot Strategic Account Manager and I worked with Tom for about four years. Tom is not what you would call your traditional alpha male sales rep. He's very strategic, very analytical. And what's really interesting about what we go through today is... some of the things that have evolved and also change quite rapidly in the last couple of months. Like if you're running an ABM strategy, it's now quite hard to actually get where people are sitting and why they're sitting there like, no longer are people sitting in corporate offices so they're going to be working from home. And what potentially the future sales looks like, you know, is sales a dying breed? Or is it starting to evolve into be much more strategic than just getting the deal done? And you know moving on to the next one? Like, how long is the deal taking? It's all really interesting stuff. So without further ado, I'll hand over to Tom and myself. And I hope you enjoy the conversation. 

 

Charles McKay 1:43 

Thomas Moin, what a pleasure it is to have a conversation with you, mate. Tell me on this fine evening, or fine morning I should say. Welcome to the show! Whereabouts you sitting and where would you normally be sitting in this current climate?

 

Thomas Moin 1:57 

Charles McKay, it is a pleasure to be here. I am sitting at home, at my makeshift desk that you can see that I've created. We have two desks that we've had to create in, in my, in my unit. So me and my partner swap desks depending on where, where we want to see it or the mood that we're in. So that's as, as mixed up as we can have it at the moment where I would usually be would, would be now in our office, just in the city, but it is a remote life for 2020.

 

Charles McKay 2:35 

Yeah, how long do you envision being in this, this state?

 

Thomas Moin 2:40 

You know, we've made it really work for us. And we were actually talking about "Hey, on the other side of all of this, you know, maybe it is a matter of not going fully remote like you need your team to be able to see each other but have it in a way where maybe it is only a few days. A week or maybe it is a lot more flexible than we have been." And as, as you would know, you and I built our professional relationship through HubSpot, and they had to work from home policy from day one. So all of the systems that are in place, it's very familiar to me. Zoom, been using it for years, all our documents are in the cloud. Everything's, you know, accessible. Everyone's on slack. So, you know, after the initial shock of, just general business disruption. It's actually pretty smooth.

 

Charles McKay 3:40 

Hmm. Totally, totally. So, Tom, we had the pleasure of first meeting each other, I think in 20 into 2014. We'd had a few conversations on the phone, and I randomly said, I'm downstairs from your Sydney office. So I rolled in, walked up to your co-working space when you were at HubSpot, there were four people slammed in an office like a sardine tin, and that was sort of the start of the journey of how you and I met. But roll let's roll back a few years for yourself. Tell us a little bit about your background and what got you started into this SaaS sort of sales slash you know, user experience, call it whatever you want. But yeah, when did your business career start?

Tom's Start into Sales

Thomas Moin 4:23 

How far back do you go? I mean, at uni I was a major in computer science and English literature. I think I was probably the only person in the whole university that was bouncing between those, those two campuses. They're completely in contrast to each other. So I was always on that technical path, I couldn't tell you why I just really enjoyed it. Even in school, they call it a-tie now but the HSC I studied software, even in year 12, before uni, so I just like tinkering with things and I was always going to get drawn into the technology space. But while at uni, I realized quite quickly, I wasn't going to be the best developer in the room. There were some geniuses at Sydney Uni, and they were leaving me for dead, but I still had a general appreciation and love for that space. I just realized I wasn't going to be a propellerhead. So my first gig out of uni... went into sales for a small IT integrator. Loved that went and did a stint at Macquarie Telecom after that, and they were going through their own transition. They just invested in a $60 million database data center. And as a telco, the sales team sales motions, all their divisions were geared towards all the TELCO data and mobile services. 

 

Charles McKay 6:02 

What year was this in like 2000, 2008 or something nine. 

 

Thomas Moin 6:08 

No, this would be around 2000, yeah, 2010/2011.

 

Charles McKay 6:11 

Yeah. That's interesting. So this is like building data centres before the Amazons and the zeros and taken off, so they built their own.

 

Thomas Moin 6:18 

Yeah, well, I saw that happen. I remember being sat down in our sales meeting. And our sales manager at the time said, okay, just so everyone knows. AWS just landed this big account. And it was a big deal. I can't remember what the account was, but it was a large enterprise deal, and he said, from this day forth, Amazon are no longer a small business, you know, $4.95 a month, now hosting company. They're now a big player and things are gonna change pretty quick. And I remember I remember sitting in that in that meeting, and lo and behold, Amazon have you know, they now dominate. So, that was I guess that that initial exposure into the SaaS space because they were our customers, they were the ones that were buying the mission-critical hosting solutions. And so started to learn about software as a service and hosting your applications in the cloud and everything involved there. And then an interesting change that happened. Within my careers. We had a bit of turnover and attrition in the team, and it was all hands on deck with a few things. And I actually ended up helping with setting up their Marketo system sending out newsletters in their Marketo instance, which was a pretty new tool at the time and expensive toy that they had purchased. And I truly think that it was that exposure with Marketo that gave me the kind of the edge into launching the HubSpot office and knowing that, knowing that space, and so yeah when HubSpot launched in 2014 I was on the I was one of the first recruits. They flew us over for a month to spend time in Boston. And it wasn't too many more months after that, that I met you, you were obviously pretty early on, having come in and see us in that in that small office at the time.

 

Charles McKay 8:18 

Who was... who were the first four employees in APAC. 

 

Thomas Moin 8:23 

So it was myself, Emma Hogan. We were on the channel side. There was another person that had come over from Dublin, Mads Nelson. And then on the direct team, it was Madison Comedy and Nicholas Hedges. All of whom have gone on to do some very cool and amazing things. And I I cannot forget Dave O'Connor who started as a BDR. So he started with basically doing cold outreach. And he's obviously done amazing things since then is all.

 

Charles McKay 9:03 

And featured as a remote working surfing, somewhat so-called legend or pioneer. That was funny a couple years ago when these articles launched I think it was on Sydney Morning Herald.

 

Thomas Moin 9:14 

Yeah, it was great. I remember him saying they did a photo shoot. So he had to sit on the beach with his surfboard and a laptop just for the feature article. And I think I remember him saying how it was just a disastrous day like it was really cold and they just kept wanting to take all these photos. He's just sitting there, and he's, you know, in his bordies while they've got photographers trying to make him work, you know like you're sitting in the sun.

 

Charles McKay 9:39 

Yeah, yeah. Classic. So, Tom, obviously, you know, going through that four or five years at HubSpot pretty amazing journey I'd say you would have had internally and saying that business grow from you know, I suppose what would have been when you were there probably 600 employees and probably three and a half thousand by the time you finished up. You know I'm sure we could have a whole interview on that journey in its own right, but maybe just in progression to what you're doing now from what you're doing that telco and then to what you learned at HubSpot, how did what the telco, telco was doing from what they were selling to them, what you started selling and how selling evolved in your four years at HubSpot? What would the two biggest things or two takeaways you took out of that? 

How HubSpot Changed the Sales Landscape

Thomas Moin 10:28 

Well, I think in hindsight, when I look back, I think some of the biggest changes was that you had the rise of inside sales as a dominant force of engaging buyers and it existed early on, but it wasn't seen as a highly-skilled profession. At least within the sales realm, it was the field reps that you wanted to be everyone was a field rep. In telecom, it was no different. You had the sales director get up on stage, and he said, I don't want to see anyone in their seats that means that you're out talking to customers and out, you know. And that was the way that things worked. Now, HubSpot comes in, coming from the US and is very cutting edge in terms of how they engage customers, and all of a sudden you're able to connect with people... with WebEx at the time it was before Zoom, but shows how early adopters they were. And just being able to, you know, engage the customer while they're still sitting at their desk was far more efficient, and it became more, I guess, more adopted and more, more acceptable to have important meetings over zoom. There was some resistance early on, there were some big deals where we would have some Zoom calls, but then you know when you talk to that senior person, you still have to go out and meet them face to face and you know, in Australia, I still think that that's pretty important. But yeah, no no Zooms or WebEx or anything like that at Macquarie Telecom in the early days.

 

Charles McKay 12:18 

Yeah. It's really interesting when you start looking at it. I have a look at our relationship. You know, I drove up to Sydney and drove back to Melbourne, I whipped up and had a quick coffee with you. And probably over the five or six-year tenure, went to your office six or seven times, so once or twice a year, and we'd see each other at Boston. Talk to you all the time or through all sorts of other channels. But I do believe that it's a bit of a limiting belief that you have to have a coffee or have to take them out for lunch or have to do those, you know, mundane things in the sales process. Yes, relationship building is really important, but you don't need to do it at the start. Don't once you're on there onboard and you add value at that point.

 

Thomas Moin 13:02 

Yeah, exactly. And I was listening to something earlier, just in the last week or so where lots of companies are being forced into this new world. And some that, you know, like, like myself, doing business in, in the way that we're doing business now is, you know, the transitions been pretty smooth, but some businesses have suddenly been, yeah, you know, they've realized, hang on, I can actually have a team that can attend, you know, multiple meetings a day, every day of the week and not have to pay for their flights and hotels just to do maybe two meetings per day. And they're still progressing deals forward.

 

Charles McKay 13:46 

And there's so much ego probably that goes into that traditional way of doing things and like a thing that I'm quite passionate about is removing the wastage from these two sales and marketing departments. Like there's so much wastage in marketing, and there is just so much wastage in sales, you simplify that reality is the reps life will or, you know BDRs, life's gonna get better, they're gonna do more work, they can do more quality work, and they're not going to get as unhealthy. Like, there are so many positives that come from it. More time with your family. So, you know, I think that quality over quantity thing becomes even more important. So it's going to be really interesting, I think, where it ends up and how businesses what, who goes back to the old way and who just adopts it and moves forward

 

Thomas Moin 14:32 

100% there's going to be a lot of people that are going to be looking for quick, cheap, dirty solutions when their back is against the wall. And then they will be the businesses that actually do go quality over quantity and I think it'll be obvious which one will reign supreme?

 

Charles McKay 14:52 

Yeah ad we all know that the quick fix doesn't solve the problem anyway, you've got to go a lot deeper. Which makes sense. So you have had an amazing career at HubSpot Tom and then, you know, you've ventured out. Tell us what the main driver was, you know, for you to shift gears and go and partner up with someone and have a crack at something yourself like what was that internal drive that made you do that go from not certainly not going to say a cushy job, but you know, hard-working, you know, where you got looked after very well job to having a crack on your own?

 

Thomas Moin 15:26 

Yeah, I would say it was just a little voice in my head that's always been there. And that voice just got louder and louder until it reached a point where I, you know, pulled the switch on it. So during my initial very first interview with Gigi Mitani, who's the international VP for HubSpot, he said, "where do you see yourself in five years?" and I said, running my own agency. So when I started at HubSpot, I ended up working on the agency team helping channels because they were where I was interested in, but I, I always had that vision in my head. And sure enough, it was a five-year stint at HubSpot. And I had no idea how rewarding that five years would be. 

 

Thomas Moin 16:16 

I wrote my resignation letter, and I posted it on LinkedIn. I did it on my last day. I didn't put much thought into it. It was kind of like I have to hand my laptop in the next five minutes. You know what I might as well do a quick goodbye on LinkedIn. So I just slapped it on and left it. And it ended up getting seen 450,000 times, and it got however many thousands of likes, and just went completely viral, which was was surreal. And so the reason I guess I lept into this space was that I had spent about my last 18 months HubSpot focusing on sales services with people like yourself and other agencies because what had happened is that HubSpot had launched a free CRM and then some paid tools behind that CRM. And having worked with, with the channel model in the agencies, all of a sudden, they're being told well you can provide sales services now. And for some, that was great. For others, there was resistance, and for someday, there was zero interest because they'd had 20 years in marketing. And so taking agencies on that journey down sales services and what's possible with sales services, sparked my interest and that that connection or alignment between sales and marketing and how important that is essentially something that is now core to the new business that I'm at. It's Triggr. So I ended up going down into joining a start-up, which is in the sales intelligence space. So it works with sales reps to give some give them some intel to have context for conversation. All around trigger events.

 

Charles McKay 18:19 

I love it, we'll get into Triggr in a minute.

 

Charles McKay 18:22 

I think one thing that's interesting to highlight just externally to let people know the sheer scale of how quickly things evolved within the HubSpot sort of ecosystem. You know, 10 years or nearly eight years, nine years of a marketing product, to then or seven years of marketing product into a CRM into a service product in about nine months. So, you've got 5000 partners globally selling marketing services and products and blogs and all of the assets that go with that and then all of a sudden that's gone right now you've got to sell down that channel into sales and service. Then it became very disruptive for businesses agencies... I'm sure for you guys. But it was an early play by HubSpot... I think it's gonna pay off in the long run. But talk about adaption and change of climate like, totally disrupted the whole industry.

 

Thomas Moin 19:19 

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, there were two, two big plays that HubSpot put in place, and they did them both pretty much at the same time. The first one was the movement to a freemium model. Yeah. So having a free CRM and not something that's you know, that you can barely use like it's a fully functional CRM, and they just released it for free. And then the second was becoming a multi-product company and going from having that single marketing product to the full flywheel... the suite.

 

Charles McKay 19:52 

Yeah. And now as a platform what it's moving into. So, leading into what you're doing now that it's really interesting that sales and marketing alignment piece.. sort of. It's interesting how we even started with my business when we partnered with you; it was sales marketing, and actually, IT was the friction. So sales departments, marketing departments punch in, but then you put the IT department in the room, and then they all glaze over and look at each other and go, "What are you all doing?" But let's drill into a little bit about the problem that you're trying to solve now or when you started with Triggr, what you know, what is this funnel bloat, or this sales process bloat that you're trying to solve for reps and to give them that insight?

 

Thomas Moin 20:34 

Well, the way I think about it is marketing has done an amazing job over the last five or so years, in terms of becoming more data driven, and being able to, to actually measure you know, leads funneling through and nurturing them until until they're buying ready. And with sales, they, you know, they're now the ones are a little bit behind. And so the best... best organizations in the world the best companies in the world, you know, at best they might generate 30% of their number from MQLs/marketing qualified leads. So, that's the top. So where do the rest of the reps number come from? Well, you can't afford to just smash the phone anymore. You know it's, it's not in a world where you can make the 80 calls a day with nothing unique to say to any of them. It's just picking up the phone, and you know, you ready to buy you're ready to buy. And so now it's what I believe is sales is starting to lift their game, and there's now a focus and empowerment for sales reps. So what Triggr does is it gives the intel for the rep to have that contextual content to actually have something unique to say when they don't have the reliance on these MQLs, you listen out for trigger events that you know, can lead to a valuable conversation, whatever that is senior role change, the company adopts technology, any of these something that's going to lead to, you know, a conversation that has value or that you can actually help with and it's it's not just the Triggr platform, there are other tools that I'm really enjoying seeing the rise of like Gong and Chorus, so conversational intelligence, as well. And all of these are kind of lifting the game of the sales rep to basically the what.. what we saw within marketing within the last five years I see happening now with within sales.

 

Charles McKay 22:55 

Yeah, make sense. So the problem that you guys are initially solving to what you're sort of seeing now. And even in this current environment, have you seen any shifts and pivots? I don't like the word pivot, because it should be just shifts or micro changes that you're doing not a full pivot.

 

Charles McKay 23:12 

What are you seeing that's happening at the minute?

People Aren't in Buying Mode Right Now — Show Them Value

Thomas Moin 23:14 

A couple of things. The first thing is people aren't in buying mode right now. So you need to be a strategic seller to start building those relationships early and understand that it's going to be a longer... a longer game. And be okay with just adding value without, you know, taking anything in turn. So, what that's meant is the inbound leads have dropped off. So across the board, there's a lot of studies that are showing that the leads that are converting on websites have completely dropped off, but, you know, reps still need to hit their number obviously, so they need to lift up their side of the game. And then on the periphery, there is another consequence that we've seen, which is any organization that's focusing on ABM marketing — so account-based marketing. The backbone of account-based marketing is very heavily dependent on reverse IP lookup. So you can target organizations or specific accounts, knowing their IP ranges from between businesses.

 

Charles McKay 24:25 

They're all working from home now. 

 

Thomas Moin 24:27 

Yeah, as far as the seller is concerned, I work for TPG. You know, because that's my IP address. So that's disrupted a lot of efforts as well.

 

Thomas Moin 24:42 

That's not that... ABM marketing isn't solely dependent on IP ranges, but it's a big part of it. And that's, that's been heavily disrupted. So in terms of where, where Triggr has been fitting in, it's still a similar value proposition we're not backflipping on our strategy. I think any business that doesn't complete one as you may not have had the best strategy, to begin with, but certainly, certainly adapting to those needs of reps and now working from home, they want to hold themselves accountable. They don't have leads to call, you know, it's a little trickier to motivate yourself when you're, you know, sitting by yourself without you know, that energy from the team that's around you. And now listening out for trigger events, which, you know, can help you open strategic conversations.

 

Charles McKay 25:38 

From the... defining these triggers, you know, whether it be an ideal client profile, personas of interest, whatever it may be... give some examples outside of the technical ones and job-based, you know, new roles, like what sort of other triggers are you seeing people get really creative with to go "right, there's an opportunity for me to have a strategic conversation not trying to push product."

 

Thomas Moin 26:05 

Yeah, I mean it, it obviously comes down to the company, their value proposition, their product, and more importantly, the buyer. One of the more creative ones that I've seen, I won't say the name of the business, but they wanted to know when an employee started at a company, and the location of that employee did not match the headquarters. So match the location of the headquarters and the service that this company provides is basically travel services. And so what that means to them that's a big trigger event because what that means is essential, if... if somebody is working in a location that doesn't match the headquarters, then they're going to have to travel a lot between back and forth, between those two locations. Now all of this data is, is available on on the web. So it's just a matter of having a workflow tool or workflow automation tool that can string it together, which is what we, which is what we did for them. So you can get, you can certainly get very creative. I mean, an interesting stat in terms of the public web is it's 90% of the content on the internet was created in the last two, two years. 

 

Charles McKay 27:31 

Wow. Wow. 

 

Thomas Moin 27:33 

So if you think of exponential growth that's in my eyes exponential growth, so that that data is going to get more and more leveraged. You know, as time goes on and buzzwords like machine learning and AI will slowly start to kick into gear and really, you know, be able to decipher informative Intel out of that.

 

Charles McKay 27:57 

Leading into that sort of topic and it can become a minefield. But what're your thoughts on? You know, as everyone now is a content creator, and it's getting harder and harder to decipher? What is the source of the truth? What is the factual information? Do you see a private web being built versus a public web? Where... So what I mean by that is it's a paid internet versus a free internet, do you think that'll ever happen?

 

Thomas Moin 28:25 

Umm, well there's a few points there. I mean, I'm not talking about net neutrality or anything like that. But just the noise that's coming through, we started to see this with the early days of blogging, and everybody was blogging, and you know, how did you rank to the top when there's so much noise, and it just came down to quality. It wasn't about just smashing out eight blogs a week, you actually had to write something of value with the persona. 

 

Charles McKay 28:58 

Candy content versus good content.

 

Thomas Moin 29:00 

And so now you're seeing that transition to video. It's no longer just about good blog content, just so you can rank number one, ranking number one barely even exists as an idea anymore. So now it's... you've got video content, you've got online widgets, you've got all different kinds of online content. I am seeing a rise in gated or paid gateway contents as little ecosystems starting to get built, so people that want to get that higher quality. You know, there's businesses that are taking advantage of it. Sure. I see that is really valuable. That's not going to go away. But yeah, I think I don't think content as a strategy is going to disappear. That's how you educate yourself. And if anything, education is becoming more important now. Everyone's trying to adjust and learn in 2020. The spike in interest in online education courses has gone through the roof. But yeah, there are guys like sales IQ, who, you know, for sales teams, you sign up, and you get access to some of the best consultants in the world. And there are other tools as well, obviously, that are out there.

 

Charles McKay 30:22 

Yeah, it's fascinating. And even the education flip and shift and how universities have tried to move into this space like overnight. You can imagine how many people have been trying to tell them you need to build this, you need to build this and then it's like, whoop we need to do it now. Without the change management piece, and you know, now they're probably starting to wonder why teachers are going crazy, and students aren't listening. And, you know, that's where the change management becomes so important. You can flip something, but it won't sustain through the really tough stuff. And you'll pretty much guarantee they'll go back to the old way of doing it rather than this hybrid sort of solution going forward. You know, start thinking about school in the future, like it shouldn't be five days a week at school, it should be out and about like this, you should be able to do school from a cafe, you should be able to do school from anywhere as well. Not just chain them to you; need to be in this classroom at this time. Because then it's real-world learning, real-world thinking, you know, rather than the typical theoretical, you know, educational process, which I'm sure has changed a lot. Yes, it's gonna be fascinating. I think your points are, um, interesting. We'll see where it goes.

 

Thomas Moin 31:35 

Yeah, well, I was having a conversation with my business partner not too long ago about this. And I was very much leaning into the, to what you were just saying. His counter-argument was strong, though. So he was basically studying mathematics and had a mathematics teacher at the time. And basically saw some talent within him and saw that he was, you know, had some potential basically took him under the wing and the motivation that he got just by having you know that. That face to face relationship and mentoring, you know, allowed him to become quite strong and he obviously able to was able to go to university with great grades and he attributed a lot of that to the to the relationship that he built with a teacher that basically took him under his wing and mentored him. And I think the biggest challenge that we'll be facing is how you keep that while going online. Yeah, and it will it'll just have to be a balance.

 

Charles McKay 32:48 

Yeah, I am. I agree with that. There are just different ways of finding these mentors. Like if you look at everyone's career life journey, there's going to be mentors throughout. You've just got to find your own way of finding them. And on the school piece, there's this amazing YouTube clip... a TED talk actually on hacking schools, where this young guy actually quit school and did his own curriculum. It's fascinating. I'll make sure it's in the show notes. But yeah, he, he literally goes and works in a shop and designs ski products. He loves skiing and finds all of these passions, and he builds these six pillars of life. And it's just fascinating how 14-year-old kid worked all this out, but it was probably because he had the right mentors. And anyway, that could be what the future school looks like. But I think there's going to be a hybrid you need face to face time kids needs to learn how to communicate, they need to build those social skills, like imagine no social skills as kids like that's not going to be a good place. 

 

Thomas Moin 33:52 

Hundred percent.

How the EOS Model Helped HubSpot in APAC

Charles McKay 33:53 

So getting to the journey that you've been on Tom and you know, from success at HubSpot and moving into your own adventure, and you know the journey you're on, you know, you're not the end of the journey. But what's that journey been like? And tell us some insights on what you thought it was going to be to, like, you know, obviously consulting and helping all these agency owners, then flipping into your own business. What's that journey been like today?

 

Thomas Moin 34:20 

Well, certainly the map does not equal the terrain. I think that's the best, best, best way that I can describe it. So what's that mean? Well, I spent years with the likes of yourself and other agencies. So I coached that 80 agencies around business growth and acted as a consultant as both around their sales coach, but also just that their business growth over a period of years. And then I have a newfound empathy for anyone who's running a small business — definitely. I think some of the saving graces that I have had that I can attribute to HubSpot is having frameworks that you can follow and accountability systems that you can follow. So, an old manager of mine at the time is now the country manager of HubSpot. Dave Shepard taught us and was really drilled into us, the EOS system. I believe you follow it as well or at least familiar with it. So I've found myself leaning back on that quite a bit. We built out our hierarchy based off of that. But the visionary we've got the integrator and anyone that wants to dive into this, I'm sure you can add the book into the show notes. It's an operating system for running your business, and there's been plenty of times or days where I may have forgotten about that system. And it can seem like everything's going a bit crazy, but it's a great anchor to pull yourself back into and focus on what's important on a weekly basis and monthly basis. Have your accountability clearly mapped out between them, between the full team. But certainly, there are things about running a small start-up that you can't read in a handbook. And the biggest change that I would say is you get to be much more creative. But you have much less resources. There's many magical things that occurred at HubSpot from the head office in Boston that you never even knew were, you know, in existence. All teams dedicated to solving problems you didn't even know you had. 

 

Charles McKay 36:58 

Yeah.

 

Thomas Moin 36:59 

So all of a sudden, those were things that we had to think about.

 

Charles McKay 37:03 

Yeah, it's, um, it is fascinating. We had Dave Shepherd on a few days ago, actually. And he talked about that journey of when the EOS was implemented at sort of the HubSpot APAC region. And yeah, I will definitely put notes in there and we have an episode coming up with one of the guys or the guy that made EOS in Australia possible. Dan Davis, so really looking forward to getting him on and going through it in a bit more detail. But yeah, it's a framework. And I agree with you that it's probably been the biggest thing. This is one of the things about HubSpot that attracted me to it was their inbound methodology. So, like EOS is a methodology and its framework, HubSpot, that inbound methodology, that's what it is that the software happens to do it. You need to drive it. And I think, as all of these tactics have changed, you know, different ways of doing things, but that's still at the core of that business. And that's why I was attracted to it. You know, being a country lad, being at the end of sales calls, like all these things were like, this just makes sense to me. And it's the same with EOS. It's like, this just makes sense. So went and did it and even, that's a journey like... you know... the whole... both of them take time. And that's the thing that, you know, the longer-term vision, the longer-term thinking, more sustainable growth becomes such a big thing. Which, you know, you can probably imagine when you're sitting in HubSpot, it's like, wow, these agencies just growing.

 

Thomas Moin 38:37 

In the early days, yes, yeah, that was... I certainly had that thought come through my mind a few times.

 

Charles McKay 38:43 

I do remember one call, I rang you, and this is when I was early... you know, probably less patient and looking for quick wins. And I'm like, Tom, who... give me your top five, what they've done, who's doing it? What are they doing and I want to copy it now? And you're like, oh, I've got this one guy in Sydney, and I'm like I reckon you do? Who is this?

 

Thomas Moin 39:05 

It was probably you from the beginning, I think you had a very good start as an agency, and it was good to watch your journey as well. Around your, your, I guess your business model and how strong you were in building your systems. And I think you were actually one of the early guys to adopt EOS and talk about it quite seriously, not just having read the book... you showed me some templates that you were implementing yourself and what your rocks were and then it became a bit more important internally at HubSpot is as it was adopted and rolled out for us as well.

 

Charles McKay 39:51 

It's cool. So are you now into your annual and quarterlies and your level 10s and doing all of that?

 

Thomas Moin 39:56 

Yeah, we have our monthly investor calls, and we're teaching a particular framework in terms of what we need to cover off on those calls. And yeah, that certainly helps. It's the way to go. It's not it's never the.... the fastest solution is never the correct solution. So if you do it properly...

 

Charles McKay 40:18 

Yeah, and I think these models that have been around like reality is they've all been around for quite a while. I think they're gonna get a bit of a re-tweak soon. You've got newer guys coming in that have had, you know, worked at HubSpot or worked at Salesforce or worked at these big companies that are going to have some new ways to tweak some of these core tools. And I think they're going to get it sorted — dot twos are coming out. That's my thoughts on it. Because it just businesses aren't like, you know, they're not 30-year-old companies anymore. They're not 25-year-old companies where the family is owning it or whatever it is like the much newer move much quicker, but I think they're gonna get some tweaks. So it'll be interesting to see what you know what sort of that looks like.

 

Thomas Moin 41:04 

So EOS was almost an evolution of email, email. And so I agree it will continue to evolve. Yeah.

 

Charles McKay 41:15 

So the theme of this podcast on is around businesses are trying to do things better and make, you know, make lives easier and help people. What some of the things that trigger doing and probably, you know, HubSpot, they had a big mission. And, you know, it was easy or not easy to get on board. But once you understood that, it was pretty powerful, and they got everyone rowing in that one direction. What's been the thing that, you know, you've seen it trigger, and you've started to say that this is actually making people's lives better. And when we're actually helping, rather than just selling another thing that's gonna get thrown down, they're thrown down the, you know, into the compost or into the bin.

 

Charles McKay 41:54 

That's actually really starting to help people.

Triggr Helping BDRs Book More Meetings

Thomas Moin 41:56 

Yeah, I think the first moment was hearing it from the horse's mouth of the customer. And so we had a particular customer and he, the BDR actually called us, and he basically said, Yeah, I've booked like 12 meetings this week just using your tool. It's amazing, and it's like that's, that's so great to hear like tell me exactly how you're using the tool and what your approaches to doing this and then that that really drives you to say okay, this is really something to to to invest my all my time and effort blood sweat and tears into so I see it is just helping sales reps elevate who they are and how they sell, there's a better way to actually sell is a better way to to to engage with your audience. And we're going through a period right now where I won't call it at all the extinction of sales reps, but lots of sales roles are now getting made redundant. A lot of the transactional order taking roles will no longer be required, you can now purchase pretty expensive software online without talking to anyone. So the future of the sales profession is going to be the strategic seller. That's, that will always be there, and it will always be important. But there will be other roles that will essentially get replaced. And so how do you become a strategic seller? Well, you have to start early, and you have to start as senior as possible early and senior. And taking organizations on that journey has been rewarding. But there's a better way to do it. You know, you can't survive just by saying smashing the phone anymore. You have to research first have something to say, have an opinion.

 

Charles McKay 44:06 

Yeah, I couldn't agree with you more, and you need an overarching strategy, you have to be aligned. Now, I think the really compelling thing that Brian Halligan presented an inbound last year, here's how you sell is how you win. You have to not sell like everyone else. And we've had a couple of conversations actually, in this podcast series around different types of personality types in sales, like it's no longer the alpha, you know, a type person that's winning the game. You know, it's really interesting actually, when we first met I brought one of my good mates with me. And he was like Tom's, your sales guy?

 

Charles McKay 44:53 

Like, yeah.

 

Charles McKay 44:56 

Expecting that typical alpha, you know, get to the fire. You know, our alpha male sort of ego sort of type-driven success.

 

Thomas Moin 45:06 

I remember, we went downstairs and we just had a coffee in the yard and it was super casual. And I was like, Alright, see you guys and just walked back up.

Why the Seed and Grow Mentality Matters

Charles McKay 45:16 

Yeah, hundred percent. And that, that's, you know, the strategic part of it. And I go do a similar thing is like planting the seed like seed and grow mentality that I use a lot. You can just plant the seed with one line, and that might come to fruition for two to three years. So, you know, understanding those strategic planning of the seas. Now you watch, you watch a favourite tree grow. It's not going to grow in six months, it takes 910 12 2030 years to grow. So and that's strategic. And I think when you start to look at sales in that role, as the lifespan of a sales rep, I think is it 15 months or something? So even been strategic if you're gonna get into sales, treat it like a career and go right this is going to be a long term play. Which is tough. I get it. You know, I was that guy that didn't want to go to uni because that was three years that I could be doing something, but it was more important.

 

Thomas Moin 46:15 

Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

 

Charles McKay 46:18 

I love it. So, Tom, if you don't even want it to our audience that is, you know, trying to get hyper-focused and actually, you know, get results for their business. What would that be?

 

Thomas Moin 46:33 

Yeah, so outside of sales advice and sales coaching, I think having started Triggr and running a start-up; blocking out your calendar and doing what you know you need to do is so important, and it's something we used to talk about in sales, but I think it's even more important, you know, in trying to run a business and will help anybody in terms of just Completing and achieving and hitting the milestones that you want to hit. And it ties back to the EOS model EOS model, in terms of, you know, write down a list of what you need to achieve and block in your calendar and make sure you do it. It's simple. I don't know if that's as groundbreaking as you're hoping for this, but it certainly helps me.

 

Charles McKay 47:25 

Yeah, with that, I want to ask you how you get around, dealing with the daily grind stuff. So you know, people have expectations. How do you manage that when someone's expectations are through the roof? And you know, you've got something that is so important to do, and that expectation is just going, how do you break that connection so that you don't get distracted from the daily noise and get those big things done?

 

Thomas Moin 47:56 

I've got a new tactic which I'm doing since we've all been working from home, and it's been, it's been great. And it's what I think everyone in Australia is probably already had a stint at, which is I've done a 30-day yoga challenge. I get up at six in the morning. And I've done a session which is just self-guided. And I tell you, you know when the morning when the day and I've repeated that for a long time, but when you actually put it in place consistently, you know, it clears your mind in terms of what you need to achieve, specifically to what you said, I mean, you have to set expectations. Obviously, if you need to get something done, you need to call it out early to anybody else in terms of when something else may be completed or sent through. We have some offshore developers, I spend some time in the afternoon talking to the developers. So I've been My day out by doing sort of operational things in the afternoon, and I do sales-related things in the morning. Yeah. And just you know, that works for me because it goes to developers but just having that system. 

 

Charles McKay 49:14 

I think that that is fascinating. And you know, a lot of people talk about the daily routine, or I believe in the daily routine. I believe, too, that everyone has got their own and you can't put a box and dice and say that everyone needs to fit into this one routine. Some people are night workers, some people are morning workers, some people like a sleep in the afternoon. If that's how you work and you work at your best do it, I have absolutely no problem with that. I think some people really battle with that. You know, it's like if you're not, it's similar to what you said about your boss at the start. If you're not in, you know, out and about, you're not selling that is such a vanity metric.

 

Thomas Moin 50:03 

Hundred percent.

 

Charles McKay 50:04 

Yeah, I love that too. But I think it's really powerful of, you know, defining what works for you and then double down on it, what works, what doesn't work and reassess like it's one of those tools in EOS actually is it's just a is a not a quarterly conversation and clarity break where you just go and write down what's working, what's not, and start chipping away at them. And over time, things just start to get happier.

 

Thomas Moin 50:31 

Yeah, well, there's a lot of fads that come and go, and like one of them is meditation. I'm not calling it a fad. But what I will say is it doesn't exactly work for me, I've tried it. And people preach about it. And then I see everyone, you know, in the office doing their, their meditation breaks, and then like two weeks later, they're doing something else because there's another fad that Silicon Valley is preaching about. Yeah. But certainly yet, due to What works for you? For me? I've actually really enjoyed getting into yoga, and it is a form of meditation but totally meditation itself. That doesn't do it for me, so I don't do it.

 

Charles McKay 51:14 

Yeah, it's fascinating too. And obviously, the rise of social media, everyone's got some tips and tricks and hacks and blah, blah, blah. But I think those things are formed when you're at the earlier they formed in your life, the better. And I was very lucky that I got into sport at a very young age and that I was just addicted to it. So that just becomes once it is what it is. That's my meditation. If I don't do that, I get really tense and wound up.

 

Charles McKay 51:40 

So I couldn't agree with you more. So Tom, you've had a pretty amazing career and journey and decisions whether you've selected them on tact or they have just come out. But tell us a couple of your success stories with Maybe HubSpot and then one big trigger that you're most proud of today that you know can leave that touch that you know anyone can do it. You've just got to have a crack.

 

Thomas Moin 52:11 

Well, I mean, you're gonna laugh at this because it's it has to do with yourself. But the most rewarding things that we had at HubSpot was seeing the success of our partners, and it was truly You know, it validated wow, this is really actually changing small businesses lives.

 

Thomas Moin 52:33 

And you were one of those examples, one of the early diamond partners if not the first, first or second. Were you the first? It was quite close

 

Charles McKay 52:47 

It was pretty close between at the time brand manager and asked us, but then they rebranded to Salted Stone, so then I held the realm for a while. 

 

Thomas Moin 52:57 

Yep. And yeah, that was extremely rewarding watching, you know, someone who I onboarded because that was rare at HubSpot at the time partners tend to shift between account managers. So it was extremely rewarding to see you grow to a diamond partner, particularly with your business model as well. I think it was the envy of many agencies. So at HubSpot, it was just a million small wins like that. I could, you know, it was great to go to president's clubs or go to the US or Boston for the inbound conference, be able to take my partner and you know, she gets a bit of a break from my late nights of working so I can say, Well, at least you know, you've got this. You know, HubSpot used to take you to your partner as well to president's club so being able to reward her without as well was extremely rewarding.

 

Thomas Moin 53:59 

And Then at Triggr, the most rewarding thing is having something that's... building something that didn't exist before, is it's a new feeling. I think I would say it's a new reward that I haven't had before. And so that's, that's pretty unique. And as I said, you know, you have that, that moment with a customer that says, hey, I just booked, you know, 12 meetings this week using your tool, and you're like, wow, that came out of my head.

 

Thomas Moin 54:38 

That's been very rewarding.

 

Charles McKay 54:40 

I think that's fascinating becoming a creator and building you know, using all of the stuff you've learned throughout the period to then, you know, build it into a product that then sells and helps people, so I think that's amazing. I think the old just what you said about, you know, seeing other people succeed that's like in thank you for mentioning it, but Um, you know, I agree with the best success is seeing other people succeed, I get a lot of satisfaction out of that to, you know, setting up those foundations so that they can grow and evolve. And, you know, I could categorically say that, you know, when I rang you guys for the first time, I didn't know what I was doing. I knew that I knew where the internet in the world and technology and that was going in this space, but yeah, how and what it was gonna look like, I didn't know. You know, and I had this vision of what I was trying to put together, but I didn't know how it's gonna come out. It's been a fascinating ride. And yeah, I want to thank you for being on the journey. And I look forward to seeing where trigger ends up, Tom. So we better start bringing it to the ground. Thank you for sharing some insights and some stories. So how do people find yourself and trigger where would they go?

 

Thomas Moin 56:00 

LinkedIn, Thomas Moin on LinkedIn is the best way to find me or just head to the Triggr website, which is triggr.ai.

 

Charles McKay 56:10 

Awesome, Tom, it's been a pleasure. I look forward to many more in the future. Thank you once again.

 

Thomas Moin 56:16 

Thank you very much. Thanks for having me.

 

 

Charles McKay

Charles McKayAuthor

Charles built a very successful I.T. Business from the ground up prior to SYNX. Bringing advanced technology skills to digital marketing, and the ability to explain it simply to his customers, is allowing SYNX to stand out in an overcrowded under-educated market. Synx is a digital marketing agency based in Australia, focusing our work on Marketing Automation, Demand Generation, Lead Generation and Social Selling.

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