In this episode, we’ve got Don Addington with us. Don, a veteran sales leader, is the Chief Revenue Officer at Tackle.io. Don and Tackle are helping software companies get onto cloud marketplaces which enables them to sell their product to companies easier. Join us for a great conversation about sales and growing your company with Tackle’s cloud go-to-market strategies.
If you missed episode 209, check it out here: Selling in the Hospitality Industry with Maryclare Sweeney
What You’ll Learn
- How Don went from being a recruiter to be a driving force of the growth of Tackle
- How you can accelerate your company’s sales cycle by using Tackle
- Ways that your email can stand out from the many emails that clients get from competitors by being meaningful
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Show Agenda and Timestamps
- About Tackle.io and Don [3:31]
- The key changes that Don has seen in sales in the last 15-20 years [14:28]
- Training sales reps to hit their growth margins without diluting the message [17:16]
- Changing sales tactics of the company in lieu of a possible recession [19:55]
- Paying it forward [24:56]
- Sam’s Corner [29:50]
About Tackle.io and Don [3:31]
Sam Jacobs: Welcome to the Sales Hacker Podcast. It’s Sam Jacobs. We’ve got a great guest on the show this week, Don Addington, the chief revenue officer of Tackle. Tackle’s a really interesting company doing great things based out of Atlanta. They help software companies get onto cloud marketplaces, and that enables them to sell more of their product to companies more easily. Don is a veteran sales leader, so let’s listen to this conversation.
Before we get there, let’s hear a word from our sponsors.
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Without further ado, let’s listen to my conversation with Don Addington.
Sam Jacobs: So you’re the chief revenue officer at Tackle. What do you all do? What’s the origin story, what’s the impetus, and why now for the company?
Don Addington: We’re up to actually about 450 customers now. Dillon Woods and Brian Denker started the company in 2017. As most startups, looking for exactly where they could provide the most value. Specifically the AWS marketplace at the time was just starting to emerge as a place where individuals and companies might go to search, find, try, and potentially buy software. We’ve grown from just getting people into a marketplace and listed, to supporting AWS, Azure, GCP, Red Hat; the major hyperscale cloud marketplaces.
Sam Jacobs: Congrats on all the success. How’d you get into it? What’s your background?
Don Addington: I don’t know a lot of people that went to school that were like, “Hey, I want to be a sales rep.” And so, I fell into it. I went to Penn State, then I started out recruiting software sales reps. I ended up really getting into it; then all of a sudden I was like, “Yeah, why am I not doing this?” That’s how I really got into the business.
The key changes that Don has seen in sales in the last 15-20 years [14:28]
Sam Jacobs: Thinking about the evolution of sales, we may or may not be in a recession right now, a lot of uncertainty. How has sales changed over the last 15-20 years that you’ve been doing it?
Don Addington: One opportunity that’s been super exciting is helping to embrace some of this change in helping to shape the software sellers in the future. I think today it’s… How has the entire cycle changed? It’s not just selling; your buyers are generally coming to the plate much more informed now. Your customers have 15 different touch points before they get to you, and so you’re dealing with a relatively well informed prospect.
Training sales reps to hit their growth margins without diluting the message [17:16]
Sam Jacobs: How do you coach your reps to adjust to this world and make sure that the messages they’re putting out there are more signal than noise while still hitting your growth targets?
Don Addington: This is what makes it an interesting, challenging and difficult game. Because you have to balance those things. Everybody has territory, everybody has segmentation. You have focus. Look at who you’re targeting, narrow it down, and try to do higher quality, less spread. And be thoughtful and look at the themes that are resonating.
Changing sales tactics of the company in lieu of a possible recession [19:55]
Sam Jacobs: What are you coaching your team to do, or how are you thinking about navigating what we are coming up against? Maybe it’s a recession, maybe it’s some kind of protracted economic malaise.
Don Addington: I think we rush so hard to sell our solution and our features and our benefits and get to the demo. If you slow the hell down for two seconds and have a great conversation and really learn about the person, the company, the challenges of who you’re talking to… It’s up to your company that you’re working for to put out great software that’s going to work, that’s going to meet needs, and that’s going to really, at the end of the day, impact customers.
Paying it forward [24:56]
Sam Jacobs: When you think about big influences in your life that you think we should know about, what kind of ideas or people or books come to mind?
Don Addington: My dad is in the software business. He’s been a salesman, a CEO in the software business for his entire life. I’ve learned a ton just by osmosis there. I mentioned Tom Noonan, who’s been a great mentor to me as one of the founders of ISS. Siobhan McFeeney — we brought Siobhan on board at Pivotal to build our transformation practice, and I learned a ton about organizational transformation from Siobhan. And I really loved Daniel Coyle’s book on culture code.
Sam’s Corner [29:50]
Sam Jacobs: Hey everybody, Sam Jacobs. Sam’s Corner. Loved that conversation with Don Addington. Just a great seller. Like many folks: Gets into the sales industry in unorthodox ways, was a recruiter first before he became a software salesperson, and now is helping drive the growth of this really interesting new category that Tackle embodies, where it’s helping companies get onto these cloud marketplaces so that you can just accelerate your sales cycle. You can get into enterprise clients and customers more easily.
Don’t miss episode 211!
Now, before we go, we want to thank our sponsors.
- Pavilion, the key to getting more out of your career
- Outreach, find out why Outreach is the right solution
- Varicent, planning for growth within a high performing revenue organization
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