PODCAST 133: How to Go From Startup to Pre-IPO: Unexpected Lessons From a 20-Year Sales Veteran with Jim Donovan

If you missed episode 132, check it out here: The Internal Game: Coaching Your Way to Success in Sales with John Mark Shaw

Subscribe to the Sales Hacker Podcast

Show Agenda and Timestamps

  1. Show Introduction [00:09]
  2. Who is Jim Donovan and what is PandaDoc? [2:30]
  3. The keys to a successful journey from startup to pre-IPO [8:28]
  4. How to build your pipeline [12:32]
  5. How to surf the COVID waves [21:16]
  6. All about patience, longevity, and tenure on a team [23:24]
  7. Who influenced Jim [34:25]
  8. Sam’s Corner [38:15]

Show Introduction [00:09]

Sam Jacobs: Today on the show, we’ve got Jim Donovan, the vice president of global sales from PandaDoc. A fantastic guest and really great guy, Jim’s a 20-year veteran of the sales industry. He was also in the World Trade Center during 9/11. That was a pivotal moment in his life and when he decided to embark on a career in sales. Now, we get to chat with him. He’s down in St. Petersburg, Florida managing a global team on the march to 100 million for PandaDoc.

Before we dive into that episode, we would like to hear from these wonderful new sponsors.

The first new sponsor I want to tell you about is a company called Loopio. If RFPs are slowing down your sales team, you need to check out Loopio. It’s the leading RFP response software trusted by more than 800 high-performing organizations across North America. It automates the tedious parts of the response process, like filling in the right answers and formatting documents so you can finish RFPs in hours instead of days.

To see how Loopio can help you with your next RFP, go to loopio.com/saleshacker to get a personal walkthrough today. I can tell you, having run enterprise sales organizations for complex technology, RFPs are a pain in the ass to complete. So really I do encourage you to check out Loopio software.

We know who our second sponsor is, Outreach. They are the number one sales engagement platform. Outreach revolutionizes customer engagement by moving away from siloed conversations to a streamlined and customer-centric journey. Leveraging the next generation of artificial intelligence, the platform allows sales reps to deliver consistent, relevant and responsible communication for each prospect every single time, enabling personalization at a scale previously unthinkable. Outreach produces industry-leading events, like their Unleash Virtual Conference series. That’s what we’re going to say about Outreach. Check them out, www.outreach.io. They are on their way to becoming a public company. They’re a badass platform. I think have been consistently rated as having some of the best technology within the sales engagement space. I really do encourage you to check them out.

Now, without further ado, let’s listen to this interview with Jim Donovan.

Who is Jim Donovan and what is PandaDoc? [2:30]

Sam Jacobs: Hey, everybody. It’s Sam Jacobs. Welcome to the Sales Hacker Podcast. Today we’re incredibly excited to have the VP of global sales for PandaDoc with us on the show, Jim Donovan. Let me tell you a little bit about Jim and then we will get into the conversation. Jim is a motivating sales leader with demonstrated success in generating organic revenue across the media, SaaS finance, and mobile industries. His focus on sales enablement and sales ops skills combined with a proven metric-based SaaS model has generated over a billion dollars in revenue across five major enterprises. He’s hired, trained, and promoted over 1500 professionals, and he is trustworthy, ethical, detail-oriented, team worker, confident, and poised in his interactions at all levels. He’s a great leader. Jim, welcome to the show.

Jim Donovan: Thanks for having me, Sam.

Sam Jacobs: We are excited to have you. So Jim, you’re the VP of global sales at PandaDoc. Many folks know what PandaDoc is, but many folks don’t. We like to start with the baseball card and just learn a little bit about the company. In your words, what does PandaDoc do?

Jim Donovan: We are an all-in-one document generation platform, really fueling proposals, contracts, and we are quickly becoming one of the largest providers in the e-signature space, which has obviously been fueled by a ton of remote work over the last six months. We’re competing heavily with the likes of DocuSign and HelloSign, but we’re really proud of our technology. The customer ratings are proving out that we’ve got a really sweet product to offer.

Sam Jacobs: What stage of growth are you at?

Jim Donovan: We are definitely in a pure growth stage, and we just exited our startup phase. When we completed our series B, we just got another 30 million in August and we’re now a 350-person organization with a growth trajectory to get to approximately 480 in just the next six to nine months.

Sam Jacobs: How large is your sales organization?

Jim Donovan: 84

Sam Jacobs: I’ve been seeing PandaDoc come up more often, but for the sophisticated buyers out there, what separates PandaDoc from a DocuSign, from a HelloSign, from the other options that are out there?

Jim Donovan: One of the things I particularly as a sales leader love about our product is we give a hardcore dashboard where you can see all of the activity of your different divisions in one place. We also provide document analytics that are next to, there’s nothing like the analytics that we provide out there today. Where some providers like ClearSlide might show you something like, Hey, they’re looking at this page and they’re spending a considerable amount of time on this section of the page, we actually take our KPIs to the full next level. We actually provide you insights that can help you understand whether messaging inside your proposals is generating conversions and wins, or if you should be changing up some of the formatting of your proposals to drive better success for your business.

Sam Jacobs: Well, let’s learn a little bit about you. Tell us a little bit about your career.

Jim Donovan: I started out my career as an investment banker on Wall Street. I went to Villanova University in the Northeast corridor, and immediately you graduate and you go right to Wall. That was the motion back then. Randomly, I was working for JP Morgan on September 11th, and I just happened to find myself in the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11th when the first plane hit. Yeah, it was pretty wild. I swam the morning of September 11th, on the rooftop pool of the Marriott Hotel that actually used to join the two towers at the lobby. Of course, we all know what happened next. For me, it actually became a massive pivot point in my entire life.

I ended up essentially exiting investment banking on September 12th. I decided it was not for me. I had witnessed a lot of people unfortunately die jumping from the towers and a lot came into focus for me quite quickly. I left investment banking right after that. I actually left the New York city area as well and relocated down South. I went right to Texas where I spent a handful of years. Then I went over to Atlanta for about 12 years. Now I’ve been here in St. Pete, Florida for the last seven years now. I immediately got into sales management. I knew I always wanted to be generating revenue. That was what I liked about Wall Street. So I just pivoted from generating money through money, into generating revenue through products.

I just really loved people and working with people. So I got into sales management pretty quickly with EarthLink Wireless. I pivoted that into a joint venture with a company called SK Telecom out of South Korea. And we did about a $250 million joint venture, which would then just set me up on this path of creating inside sales orgs, and eventually leading me to the place where I am today, which I’ve discovered my sweet spot is taking organizations from roughly anywhere from five to $20 million of revenue. The blowup point of getting from there to 100 million has become my sweet spot. So I’ve been enjoying that for the last few years.

The keys to a successful journey from startup to pre-IPO [8:28]

Sam Jacobs: That’s a good sweet spot to have. Let’s talk about your sweet spot. As an expert on somebody helping take people from essentially the end of startup phase to like maybe just pre-IPO phase, what do you think the keys are to that stretch of 20 to 100 million?

Jim Donovan: That’s a great question. What I was so impressed about with PandaDoc and why I wanted to be a part of this organization is they had a growth plan that they had been really sticking to. I think it’s hard, but a critical point is if you’re going to actually create a plan of how to get to an aggressive number like 100 million, you have to believe in that plan. You have to know that it’s a living plan and allow it to fluctuate, but you can’t abandon the plan. That’s one thing that I’ve noticed that PandaDoc has done a tremendous job of. They’ve stuck with a laser focus on their growth plan and they allow failure to occur along the way, but they don’t deviate from what we know has made us successful. What has made us successful are things like creating a predictable funnel, predictable revenue growth, conversion rates that we can rely on and lean into and build organizations on top of.

Sam Jacobs: How do you build predictability?

Jim Donovan: Obviously we have a top line number that we’re working backwards from. If you don’t have some type of activity model engineering you, that helps you understand the exact tactics that are required to get to that revenue, you’ll never get there.

If you understand what one body can produce and start manufacturing how to get to that number appropriately, meaning you have to allow SDRs, account executives, AMs time to ramp. A lot of people make this mistake, they build a plan with bodies at full effectiveness on day one, and that’s just not how salespeople work in any company. That’s another factor we’ve done is not only have we created a strong activity underlying model, we actually have allowed people to scale in that model. It factors in for example, quarters of a body, a half body, three quarters of a body, rather than just assuming a full FTE can start producing at 100% on day one, which you and I both know never happens.

Beyond that, I’d also say org design and targeted talent hiring have been key to us. I am an example of that at PandaDoc. They actually spent a year and a half searching for my role. They could have settled on dozens of candidates prior to me, but they understood that they were looking for a particular person. They were looking for somebody that had done exactly what I’ve done, time and time again. And then on the org design side, this is I think, where you have a lot of fun. Sam, I’m sure you’re really familiar with, you got to move the pieces around on the chess board, but you have to actually be able to lay out a vision of where you’re going to end up at 100 million first and then work backwards from that. I’m doing it right now.

I know all the holes unplugging and I don’t have a lot of anxiety about whether or not I’m hiring the right people at the right time because we have such a buttoned up rev ops plan to guide me. It actually triggers me at the exact right time, and it raises this hand for me and tells me I need to hire if I’m going to remain on plan. And I find that to be beyond invaluable because my number one gotcha in the four build-outs prior to this one was I was always behind on hiring. That’s a Google thing to get behind on.

How to build your pipeline [12:32]

Sam Jacobs: A lot of times people assume that hiring reps is the thing that drives revenue growth fundamentally, when it really depends on what your assumption is about how much of the pipeline reps are producing themselves versus SDRs versus marketing and other activities. How well are you aligned with your marketing pier to make sure that your assumptions about where the pipeline is coming from are on track so that you don’t end up with a bunch of AEs that you’ve hired on time, but you don’t have the pipeline to support those people and they don’t have the deals to close?

Jim Donovan: Isn’t that even worse? Because then that leads us down the path that we all know what that results in. So absolutely, my marketing partner and I were famously connected at the hip. Once a week, we sit through a gauntlet of what we call the funnel pipeline review, where we’re looking at everything. What’s the quality of our MQLs? How is the SDR doing converting them? We provide approximately 70% of pipe to everybody, which I think is hyper generous. So we’re really only needing to manufacture approximately 30% across the board. Also, we have the good fortune, not just of raising a series B, but again, a strange effect of the pandemic has been that our overall funnel has exploded with interest and curiosity. Quite honestly, we don’t have the resources to handle the amount of demand coming at us.

Sam Jacobs: That’s a great problem.

Jim Donovan: Honestly, I have this smirk on my face that I don’t deserve to have, but you’re absolutely right. I feel guilty over the last six months sharing that often. But I have to also step back and remember that even in the worst of times, there are businesses that need to benefit and how ideal for PandaDoc that our technology is at that intersection?

Sam Jacobs: You’ve mentioned that you have a strong point of view on whether or not SDR shouldn’t be specialized versus hybrid. When you say specialized, do you mean inbound versus outbound? Talk about what your ideal SDR design structure is. And also of course, there’s that debate of who they should report to. So who do you think the sales development team should report to?

Jim Donovan: That’s a great question. I don’t have a strong opinion on where they should report to, as long as they’re producing. I’ve noticed that the connectivity of the SDRs to the AEs generally produces a better result when it’s in sales, just because there’s greater connectivity from a one-to-one management perspective. But I’ve obviously operated in scenarios where marketing provided our SDR support and that’s worked out as well for me. I think it really comes down to the leadership over the specific functions. On the specialization one, again, this is almost a real-time thorn for me. I actually, Sam, you’ll appreciate this, the Revenue Collective provides such amazing data that not only do I contribute, but I go there so frequently to extract.

I had actually pulled a great SDR slide deck from there that y’all had put together. And I was using it as a reference because I was really trying to understand the industry best practice there. And one thing I noticed from your deck was, two-thirds of companies don’t specialize their SDRs. They really allow them to be hybrid more or less. When I was arriving at PandaDoc, we were specialized staunchly. So I was curious, is that an area of opportunity for us?

Sam Jacobs: How are you defining specialization?

Jim Donovan: Pure specialization of inbound to outbound. I just thought there was a little bit of room to experiment there. We did, and it was a failure candidly. So I think what it matters, just to answer your question very directly, is you have to understand your organization before you make that decision.

I like an inbound SDR that can handle 90% of their volume, but that if they don’t have that volume, they’re still capable of generating some activity and generating some of their own volume, at least 10% of the time. But that hasn’t worked out for us here at PandaDoc, we have actually gone right back to full specialization quite recently. And you can tell the team’s energy and morale are heightened again because they prefer to just have the focus and also the outbound, the makeup and the DNA of an outbound SDR we’re learning is a little bit different than the DNA of an inbound SDR.

Sam Jacobs: So the Revenue Collective deck said that 70% are hybrid?

Jim Donovan: It was a survey. I think it was 200 plus companies had responded, and of all the respondents that you had polled, two-thirds of them were not specializing. They were willing to be hybrid.

Sam Jacobs: It also might be a function of the volume of leads. If there’s just not enough inbound leads, then it just might not be possible to have inbound versus outbound. But we’re talking about something that’s of great interest to me. So I have more questions.

On the one hand, you might say inbound SDR is less senior than an outbound SDR because the outbound sales motion is more difficult. It’s more difficult to get somebody’s interest. It’s more difficult to have a meaningful ongoing conversation when they didn’t reach out to you.

So on one hand you might say the most junior people in the organization are going to start off as inbound SDRs. On the other hand, you could also say, and the marketing team might say, the most junior person in the organization is talking to the person that is closest to the finish line. That is the most important to us and most likely to buy. In fact, I want more senior people to be on the inbound side because I want the people that have their wallets out to be talking to our best salespeople, our best SDRs. What’s your perspective?

Jim Donovan: That’s a great point. I’m going to answer by saying, I’m going to go back to the point you may, which is, I do think it’s dependent on two key things, volume and then deal value. So what kind of value are you getting from a conversion rate perspective from your inbound versus outbound? If they’re on par, you can have a lot of fun there and you can play. Usually, they’re not on par. Usually, you’re seeing an actual difference in the overall ACV of one channel versus the other. I love what you’re saying and I agree with you. I think that inbound SDRs are a great place to have a training ground. Typically, what we’ve seen is our top producing inbound SDRs are the activity workhorses that are going to be the most successful if we transition them to outbound, because they’re not afraid of activity, they’re not afraid of rejection. They just want to be pointed at the problem, and then they want to go solve that problem.

Ultimately, when we measured the success of all of our account executives, the one thing that jumped out at me is the longevity of somebody that has an outbound skillset. I think this is an important tip for anybody in sales or anybody in sales management. In my opinion, you must have some outbound skillset and some outbound rigor in your toolkit if you want to have longevity in sales. Meaning when we measured the length of time and the position, what we noticed is an outbound focused SDR is going to last longer in the total ecosystem of the company than an inbound. Such as one interesting data point.

It’s not an end all be all, but I’ve always told my sales team, “Look, some days inbound dries up. Most of the time it’s there, but sometimes it dries up. Do you want to be the person holding the bag when it dries up or do you want to be equipped and capable of hunting and bringing home your quota?” They always, always, always want to be capable of it. Back to your point though, that doesn’t mean it’s easy and it doesn’t mean that they’re not afraid of it.

How to surf the COVID waves [21:16]

Sam Jacobs: Yeah, it is difficult. We had Jeff Martin, the founder of Sapper Consulting, and he was saying on the show, “Every day is the easiest day it’s ever going to be for sales development and for overall meeting generation because the channels are getting clogged. People are turning off, they’re not responding to LinkedIn. They’re not even responding to text messages as much.”

What are the channels that are working really well for you and your team in terms of generating interest and awareness and conversion? Or do you feel like you’re still just surfing the wave of COVID, everybody working from home? Like you said, you’re just hiring as many bodies as you can to fill the demand.

Jim Donovan: Great question. We’re definitely no longer surfing the wave. What we found at the beginning of the pandemic was everybody was freaked out about working from home. So if their phone rang, they actually picked up. So we took advantage of that, and we actually upped our call volume, but we didn’t see a massive lift in conversion rates. So we went back to our tried-and-true approach of an omnichannel, making sure you’re capturing them at all of their own conversion points.

The one thing I will say has really sweetened and juiced our own performance has been the ability to get to the decision maker’s mobile device, and absolutely add SMS into the equation. I can’t emphasize this enough. SMS is becoming a real game-changer. If you can strike up one of the most intimate types of communication we have and get reciprocity on that, that is an amazing buying signal. By the way, you’ll also sometimes get people who tell you to eff off, don’t text me again. But as you and I both know, that’s okay. In sales, you just want to know where you stand. So we’re definitely using an omni-channel approach, and we’re getting into seasoning SMS quite a bit more than we ever have.

All about patience, longevity, and tenure on a team [23:24]

Sam Jacobs: What are you seeing in terms of tenure? How long do you think SDR should be ready to sit in their seats before they ask to be promoted?

Jim Donovan: Such a great question. I was actually just building a slide earlier today as we’re getting ready to do our Q4 kickoff early next week. And one of the things I was noting was, “Oh my goodness, I cannot believe I’ve only been in my job here at PandaDoc for six months.” When I was looking back at just the last quarter, I was blown away that we’ve actually had 14 promotions inside of the last three months.

Sam Jacobs: Almost 20%

Jim Donovan: Almost 20%. Very exciting. I can’t wait to share it with the team. What we have and what I recommend everybody out there that works really well, this has worked for me for 20 plus years and let’s see it. I think my attrition rate was probably five or 6%. At [inaudible 00:25:08], it was approximately 8%. But when you talk about managing turnover, that’s obviously a critical metric.

Sam Jacobs: Those numbers are very low.

Jim Donovan: They’re extremely low. And trust me, the reason I share them is because I had a great example, advertising media sales. The turnover for the core sales division was probably 40%. So for me to be able to operate at 5%, we always wanted to understand what we were doing differently. And it was simply one thing. At the beginning of any new hire, we would actually sell them something we called a progression model. And the progression model was plain and simple, a career path. I don’t think SDR should be in the seat for longer than a year, but I think it’s a mistake to pump them out of the seat before the end of the year. And that happens a lot. Because the motion for an SDR is, Hey, you’re going to come in, you’re going to learn to develop some pipe. And then as quickly as we can get you into an AEC, we’ll get you there.

What that does is it sets them up to come in with this passive expectation of promotion at any minute, rather than saying to them, “Hey, you’re going to be here for a minimum of 12 months,” which I think is the right turnaround. If you then show them that progression model and help them see a minimum of a five-year career path complete with salary bumps and title changes, and if you do that upfront, we all know how sales people’s brains are wired. We’re not overly complex creatures. So if you show a map in the beginning, normally what happens is they’ll look all the way to the right on the map. This is where the model comes alive.

The last promotion is what we always call a sales contract. We all know how sales contracts work. That basically means if the company gets purchased or the entity dissolves, you as a salesperson are still included in that dissolution you are accounted for. So we always like to show people that in the course of five or six years, they can get to that state where they’re almost treated at the same level as an executive. All they have to do is generate a few million dollars. And I will tell you, it has worked famously for me. In fact, when I first joined Revenue Collective, it was one of the first things I published there, it was my progression model. I got a ton of feedback from people that I know are using and out there today.

Sam Jacobs: I actually didn’t know that term sales contract. So it’s like at the end of the five years, do you have a VP title on there or you don’t, and do you prescribe management track or you just account executive, senior account executive, enterprise account executive, then you get to work on seven-figure deals, stuff like that?

Jim Donovan: That’s exactly it. It goes from junior SDR, junior account executive to account executive, to senior, to enterprise and then contract and all along the way you’re getting increased levels of training. So as you get more to enterprise, you might be experiencing Dale Carnegie. Whereas in the beginning, you’re probably getting exposure to Sandler. But the whole point of the contract is, it’s more of an ego thing, Sam, more than anything. Contracts are even meaningless in some cases for executives. When the rub comes down, sometimes the contract doesn’t matter either. But it is this idea of aspiring to a place in the sales org that really ends up feeling them from a perspective of do I want to stay here? Do I want to be committed to this place? And if you have a progression model, at least they can visualize themselves there, be home the SDRC. And if you don’t, I find you can often lose them right there and that pivot point between SDR and AE.

Sam Jacobs: That’s a great insight. That 12-month number you mentioned, that’s bright. That is exactly the controversial number. I’ve seen research from the Bridge Group that if you promote them before 12 months, there’s a 60% failure rate. And if you promote them after 12 months, there’s a 60% success rate. It’s like the inversion of it. Something about pushing people into the role too quickly is definitely detrimental.

Jim Donovan: It is, it really is. It’s like a gap here. It’s like when people graduate high school and they’re not ready to start college, just take a little time off. Go experience the world before you move into something you’re not ready for.

Sam Jacobs: Well, certainly if you’re going to borrow money and go to a secondary school, that’s especially true because you don’t want to go into debt to go to a place that you’re not going to make use of. My last question for you is, you’ve been down, because we are almost at the end of our time together. But the last substantive question I have for you is just really around, is PandaDoc completely remote? Because you mentioned that you’ve been in St. Pete for six years. I think that COVID probably made it completely remote, but was that always the intention that you’re able to run this 100 person global team from a beautiful place in Florida?

Jim Donovan: I’m pretty lucky. We had a hub here and we always intended to have a hub here. Most of our engineering and product teams actually operate out of Minsk Belarus and Minsk specifically has been going through a ton of political turmoil. Strangely enough, in August, there was an election there. Lucas Shenko is the last dictator in Europe and he lost that election pretty horribly, but he’s having a hard time accepting those results. So at any rate, what it’s done for our company is it’s not only helped us decide on going remote first, it’s pivoted us into a place where we must become remote first, overnight. At first, it was really scary, Sam, I’m not going to lie. I’m a sales leader, so I’m used to walking around high fiving.

All of a sudden I had to figure out, how do you establish those types of connections in this vastly remote setting? I do find it harder. It definitely is a lot more exhausting because you have to overextend yourself to create that connectivity. But at the same time, when I step back and look at my personal productivity, it’s through the roof. I can’t get over how much, I think we’re all working possibly too much. I like a couple of things about going remote first. First off, it’s already opened us up to brand new talent that we never would have been able to access prior to being remote first. We’re seeing people get excited immediately and they’re moving instantly all over the country and frankly all over the world because they now are understanding this isn’t just a PandaDoc shift. This is a global shift and we’re making the conscious decision to take advantage of it.

We have people right now that are moving to Lisbon and Poland and throughout the United States, everybody is dispersing wherever they’ve always wanted to be. So we think what we’re going to find in the next six to nine months is a much happier workforce operating from where they’ve always wanted to be. Our challenges will now become, what technologies are we going to invest in to connect people? How are we going to run things like the president’s club and what are we going to do about those old trips that we used to run to The Bahamas or grease? What replaces that? But I think that’ll just birth a bunch of creativity and we’ll solve it in fun ways. So I’m excited about it.

Who influenced Jim [34:25]

Sam Jacobs: The last thing we’d like to do before we go is just get a feel for your influences. It could be books that you really have had an impact on, could be mentors, could be coaches. If you wanted to give us some ideas or people that you think we should know about, what comes to mind?

Jim Donovan: First off, I’ve been really fortunate to have two spectacular coaches in my career. A gentleman named Brent Cobb, he’s a president of a software company in Atlanta. I also at one point had a mentor that was a former CIA agent. The reason I share this is that my mentor taught me some of the most important skills as a sales leader. He taught me about intonation, body language, word choice and eye movement. Again, I know that falls into body language, but really, I have a master’s in organizational behavior. I’m striving to get my PhD in it, and understanding how people are actually feeling versus what they’re telling you, I find to be one of the critical things that has set me apart as a leader. I can read through the bullshit is the best way I can say it, much better than I used to be able to. A book that I rely heavily on, and this is campy, Sam, but I’m sure you’ve heard of it. It’s by an author named Og Mandino, and it’s called The Greatest Salesman in the World.

Sam Jacobs: Very famous.

Jim Donovan: Yeah, it is. Here’s the thing about it. A lot of people don’t realize this, but if you actually read the book and you do the exercise in the book, that means that you’re doing the exercise for 300 days, almost a full year, essentially 10 months. You are reading through these scrolls that are designed to program your brain to think positively, act positively and be positive. I’ve done it twice now in my 20 year sales career, the 300 day exercise. Each time I’ve done it, it has not only transformed my career and my income, it’s actually transformed my life. So I highly recommend it. It’s hard. The scrolls, it’s 10 scrolls and the idea is you’re supposed to read them three times a day. First in the morning, once at lunch, and then at night you read it aloud before you go to bed. And it literally, it just reprograms your brain to think differently. I really like the way it makes me feel and the way it makes me think after I’m done with it. So I highly recommend it to anybody looking just for a little, a fresh start.

Sam Jacobs: That’s awesome. There are so many of those old books where some people, we just know the names of them. So they sound cheesy and then you actually read them and then they can really have a powerful impact. The book that jumps to mind for me is Napoleon Hill’s famous Think and Grow Rich, which is very similar to Og Mandino. It’s all about your mindset. It’s all about visualization and putting yourself in the spirit of abundance and then it all starts coming to you. Anyway, Jim, it’s been great having you on the show.

If folks want to reach out to you, because it sounds like things are going amazing at PandaDoc, and maybe they want to work with you or for you, what’s the best way to get in touch.

Jim Donovan: Always feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. My mobile number is published out there and it’s one of the easiest mobile numbers you can text me on or call me, I’m happy to connect.

Sam’s Corner [38:15]

Sam Jacobs: Hey, everybody. Sam’s corner. Really enjoyed that conversation with Jim Donovan. You can tell he’s a good guy, and he’s also somebody that really has a lot of experience in that stage of 20 to 100 million.

We spent a lot of time talking about the sales development team, some of the tidbits that came out. SMS as a really important channel both for all of the reasons. Because if you are pissing off that person, then at least you know where you stand. But for the people that you can generate reciprocity with…what a clear signal that you’ve got meaningful engagement with the decision maker. So if you’re not using text in your sequences, then I would urge you to do so.

The second thing is just talking about progressions and development, and he presents a five year career journey to the person joining the PandaDoc organization. I just think that’s brilliant. That’s because that’s what we all need. People say, that’s what the youngsters need. Young people need rewards and incentives. Everybody needs that stuff. It doesn’t matter how many millions of dollars you make. You need to be inspired. You need to feel like you’re moving towards some important goal. And that’s what this career progression path is; that’s what it helps the employees of PandaDoc do. It helps them visualize the next steps in their journey so that they can contextualize, put the activities they do on a daily basis into context. And I can tell you they are doing shitty, boring stuff every day. It is much more palatable if you know that you’re moving towards something inspiring and meaningful, that you are on a journey that will encompass accomplishments over the course of some period of time.

Don’t miss episode #134

Now, we want to thank our sponsors. This episode was brought to you by Loopio. If your teams respond to RFPs, you need to try Loopio’s intelligent platform. It helps hundreds of sales teams answer RFPs in hours instead of days. Sign up for a personal walkthrough of Loopio today. Your sales team will thank you, trust us. Go to loopio.com/saleshacker. Do that anyway, if you like the Sales Hacker Podcast because that lets Loopio know their dollars are being well spent.

Our other sponsor, Outreach, is the number one sales engagement platform. If you want to reach out to me, you can at linkedin.com/in/saleshacker. If you’re listening to this right now, we’re nearing the end of October. It’s been an awesome October for Revenue Collective. We’re running our largest membership drive to date. We’ve got group memberships that we’re rolling out for teams. So if you’re a manager and you’ve got teams of people, this is an incredible professional development opportunity to enroll your directors and high-performing individual contributors into Revenue Collective for a group discount. They get personalized onboarding, they get specialized personalized resources, and we’re really building out this concept of Revenue Collective for teams. So if you’re interested in that, revenuecollective.com. Otherwise, I will talk to you next time.

Join Us Today

Insider access to the GTM network and the best minds in tech.

Join Us Today

Insider access to the GTM network and the best minds in tech.

Trending Now

You may also like...