Commercial Account Executive at Klue
19 Insights · 6 Questions · 10min Read · 12min Listen · Connect with Jacob on LinkedIn
Consistently educating. Having a relentless focus on educating your market like you're creating a category. Referrals. Happy clients are the best sales team you could possibly ask for. Building a dope competitive enablement function and a killer Customer Success team. Asking: Who do I need to express care to right now? What’s on your mind? How can I help?
Here’s what Arthur Castillo said about Jacob:
Jacob Gebrewold. From Klue. He's new to the software SaaS space, and he's absolutely crushing it as an AE. I think he's a very unique content creator, and he understands how to stand up from crowd but also have buying conversations that engage his prospects, which by the way, are Product Marketers, and he's never been a Product Marketer. I think he's really changing the game from that perspective. —Arthur Castillo, Senior Manager of Field Marketing & Community at Chili Piper →
3 ways that your team converts your
market into revenue?
1) Consistently educating. I would say the most important way that my team converts market into revenue is just consistently educating. I think that, of the buyers I get to work with, this starts at the immediate marketing team, thinking about the content we're creating, distributing that out, chopping that up, get it on social, get it everywhere it can be. That's good, but it doesn't end there. Our reps, from the SDR level, to the Account Executive level, to CSM level, we're constantly thinking about ways that we can be getting that useful information and in the hands of people, whether or not they're our client. Just the belief that, you know, it's a long life, and if you're just consistently helping and serving people, who are they going to come to you when they have questions they need answered? So that's probably the most important one.
2) We're present. Similar, in the sense that we’re present. We are there, consistently showing up. Even if someone isn't able to act on a service. Budget, timing, whatever it is, we don't just say, “Bye, I'll talk to you in six months.” We're present. I think the first really fuels the second.
3) Referrals. We have a lot of people that really enjoy Klue, and they talk about us, and they’re kind to pass us referrals. We heard about a conference where someone who isn't even our client was at, and they're a bit of a fan of ours, and they were talking about how our name was constantly coming up. We didn't have anyone at that conference. Happy clients are the best sales team you could possibly ask for.
3 hard problems that you
1) Getting up early, because I'm not a morning person. So, I'm up at 5:45am. Starting the work day at 7:00am has been a hill I've been trying to climb for a minute. So, I'm glad I'm there.
2) Getting on the same page with some of my teammates. Particularly, I had a manager that had gotten promoted. She was the top rep at our company. We had built a really strong relationship, a really strong relationship, and she was my teammate, my senior teammate, so a lot of respect there. Then, she became my manager and I've just been really impressed with, and proud of, both of us for how we've worked together to co-create a really good relationship. That's a work. That's something that you can make yourself do, like any good relationship, and it's paid so many different dividends as a result.
3) Building a higher standard for myself around prospecting. I don't know that I would say that I'm far out of the woods on it yet, but I would say building a higher standard for myself around prospecting because I know it's something that I need to do. I know it's something that's important to do, and there are seasons where I've done it a lot, but having a consistent discipline, week over week, where I'm doing it well, rather than stops and starts. That's one that I think we're not totally out of the neck of the woods on that one there. I think we need a little bit more longevity before we can claim it as a total victory, but there's definitely been a lot of progress.
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3 questions that you
love to ask and why?
1) What am I trying to accomplish right now? To say, “I like asking that question,” is kind of a misnomer. I need to ask that question. Because if I don't ask myself that question constantly, my brain just gets so totally off-track, down rabbit trails. It also helps in conversations just to make sure I'm focusing on the most important things. What am I trying to accomplish right now?
2) Who do I need to express care to right now? Whether that's new people on my team that are just starting and, I want to just be there to support them. Whether it's a prospect who I can remember, “Oh, I think they were going to get married right around now.” That, often, as a frame of reference, for just nurturing relationships. So, who do I need to express care to right now?
3) How can I help? Or, what's on your mind? Versions of a similar question, but, “What's on your mind?” is probably the one that's more “them” centered, and usually that takes us to a place where I could be helpful.
3 mental models that you use to
do your best work?
1) Atomic habits. It's interesting, I don't know that I've got a super comprehensive answer to this, but I would say that Atomic Habits has been one that's been really helpful for me as I'm started to rethink my habits fundamentally. And, that's not necessarily just work. It's personal life. There's a lot of pieces that that's helpful with, but however one thinks of habits, it’s essential to doing anything well.
2) MEDDPICC. One model that's been really helpful for me in thinking through deal strategy has been MEDDPICC. I've got a long way to go in understanding it better, but just for understanding, “Where are the gaps that are inhibiting me from being the best support to this person, getting their problem solved?” Shout out to David Weiss, who is just a fantastic mind on that, and I have under utilized all the support that he’s offered, but I've leaned on him quite a bit for that in terms of the resources he’s put together. So, MEDDPICC has been useful.
3) Gap selling. Gap selling as well, has been one, by Keenan. It's so helpful for understanding that people don't “care about you.” I think people care about people, but like they don't really care about you as a sales rep or whatever. They care about solving their problems. So, until you can really identify, quantify or clearly articulate, get them clearly articulate, that gap, you're not going to be able to help them with the service that you provide.
4 techniques that GTM teams
need to try?
1) Having a relentless focus on educating your market like you're creating a category. Even if you're not creating a category, treat yourself like a category creator and that sort of thought partner. I don't know what it would be like to work on a startup team without that. It would suck.
2) If you don't have a killer Customer Success team, what are you doing? It's not really a technique. It's a much broader, strategic imperative. If you don't have a killer customer success team, what are you doing? It's where you establish those really happy clients that bring in all those referrals. It's where you actually ended up proving up the value that you got into business to prove. It’s where you end up coming up with a lot of best practices that you can go back and share out into the market like a thought-leader partner. So, you should get a customer success team that's great.
3) Building a dope competitive enablement function. The simplest version of this is: crowdsource the best competitive Intel in your organization about top threats that are knocking you out in a lot of deals, and get that in actionable bite-size content, in front of your reps, where they're already living, whether that’s Salesforce, or a CMS, or something. Because, not having an understanding of one's landscape, it's really hard to be that consultative expert to a buyer when it's very clear you just know your little world. Even if we're not talking about de-positioning, ultimately winning a deal, just in terms of establishing thought leadership in a relationship with a buyer. Yeah, knowing your landscape, which often comes back to market and competitive intelligence, sourcing that, and then competitively enabling your teams with actionable insights where they're already living? Super underrated really great way to get a quick win in terms of Close Won revenue.
4) Finding ways to bet on people who wouldn't normally get bet on that are bright, and hungry, and ready to go. There's something in the constant LinkedIn conversation about giving a shot to underdogs that are scrappy. I know that that's a meme. You know, “I walked across the street on my way to a job interview and I passed by a dog, and I left them some food, and that dog turned out to be the CEO of… you know, never underestimate who you treat well and how they can come back to you!” I know people joke about it, or riff on it a whole bunch, but I still know a bunch of companies that are really old school about who they'll be willing to give a shot to, and they're getting left in the dust by companies that don't think that way. So, finding ways to bet on people who wouldn't normally get bet on that are bright, and hungry, and ready to go. Particularly, if they're from a background that's typically untapped by tech. There are outsized returns there. So I would say that's another one probably worth flagging.
3 operators that should be our
next guests and why?
1) David Weiss. He's got an awesome MEDDPICC course. I think everyone would benefit from taking it. He's a really bright and warm person.
2) Marcus Knight. Marcus Knight is a phenomenal sales mind, and just an even better person. So I would highly recommend him.
3) Gabrielle Blackwell, because as far as SDR leaders who have locked down their craft, and really care about people, and done an incredible job creating content that other people have benefited from, Gabrielle’s just awesome.
So those are my three.
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April 2022 · Interview by Chris Morgan, Host of Market-to-Revenue
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