What if you could take your best performing sales executive and clone him/ her? Or at least understand the behaviors and the attributes of that person that help them be more successful than their peers?
In this episode of The Revenue Engine Podcast, Yogi Panjabi, the Co-Founder at PeopleLens shares why putting your sales team at the center of your revenue engine can help drive better topline growth, accelerate revenue, and help uplevel your sales organization.
Follow Rosalyn on LinkedIn.
The Revenue Engine is powered by Outreach.
The opinions expressed in this episode are the speaker's own and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Sales IQ or any sponsors.
What if you could take your best performing sales executive and clone him or her, or at least understand the behaviors and the attributes of that person that help them to be more successful than their. What are they doing differently from the rest of the team? And then start to dive into the strengths and weaknesses across your team to help elevate each individual and ultimately the entire team.[: [:
And help up level your sales organization. So please take a listen and learn how to make sales more human and so much more. So excited to be here today with Yogi Panjabi, The co-founder of PeopleLens. For those of you who are not familiar, PeopleLens is an AI driven platform helping sales be more human and more intelligent.
With the goal of being more productive and accelerating. Top line. So welcome Yogi, and thank you for joining me. I am looking forward to learning more about your career journey and what you're building.[: [:
As I saw you were a CIO as well at multiple companies. So maybe before we dive into what you're building now can you share more about. Story and your career journey?[:
Found myself at, at McKinsey, where I was fortunate to have mentors and colleagues who, who helped me learn much of what I know today. And, you know, from that world of, of strategy, I got lost. Inside the enterprise, bouncing around a few functions starting in the world of sales and then marketing and then product and from there to the world of, of people.
And, and it you know, I've always believed good things happen at, at intersections. So. You know, we, we truly to serve our stakeholders when, when functions come together. So I enjoyed living at that intersection of, of people in Id leveraging it to truly serve the employee. Most things, you know, employee experience, employee apps, employee tech, data sets uh, And so in each of these outings, I had to tap into my, my outsider advantage and learn from world class teams in every function to see the business and the data sets through that enterprise lens.
And, and over the last two decades I've been. Fortunate to live in pretty much every function across that enterprise as well as the, the CIO role twice.[:
When you and your co-founder decided to start PeopleLens, was this the case? Like was there a specific challenge that maybe you set out to solve?[:
You know, our new CEO had had just started as well. He had built out his exec team, brought in a bunch of great folks, and. At the board. And he knew pretty much that we wanted to broaden our footprint from this firewall centric appliance play to become a, a cloud centric cybersecurity leader that we, that we are today.
And so, you know, off we went on the acquisition trail acquiring you know, two product companies about a, a quarter. And we did that for five, six quarters, bringing in engineering and product teams into the business while, while leaning on our homegrown reps for our go to market engine And. You know, our product portfolio evolved from a firewall centric play to the world of analytics and ai, and then iot.
And we made all of this technology cloud centric, you know, working our way towards becoming a truly SaaS company. And this, this grand vision began of payoff. But then we really missed our numbers. Two quarters in a row, the stock went the the opposite direction, and there were a bunch of questions being asked of the leadership.
You know, like every good. , We tried a few things, you know, more, more customer insights, more sales ops, more strategy consultants. Everyone's sort of scratching their heads. Nothing seemed to to to go right at that point. And so what did we do? We then, you know, shifted focus and we put the spotlight inward, you know, on our sales teams, on our people and our reps.
And we looked at the key competencies, the attributes of individual reps, whether it's consultative skills, sales techniques, network. And we helped each rep, one rep at a. You know, make that transformation from the world of a box seller to the world of a SAS seller. For Mike, for example, you know, it was consultative skills, it was product knowledge.
It was, it was mindset. We helped him make progress on these fronts, and we saw him transform from, you know, selling 50 K boxes to, to seven figure SAS deals. And, you know, that's when we saw the top line really began to, to reac accelerate, you know, And our mission became clear to make. Rep better. And in addressing that pain, you know, PeopleLens was, was born and so, so grateful to Palo Alto Networks for initiating this journey in, in many ways.
And, you know, we were then blessed to assemble a team of machine learning wizards and, and go to market advisors and, and get to work. And, you know, my co-founder is a, is a 10 year Amazon data scientist. You know, he's improved operational outcomes across a million plus employees in, in that world of Amazon with a focus on people science.
And, you know, one of our advisors is, is Rhonda Larson, a stellar sales ops exec from the world of Snowflake and, and LinkedIn.[:
So maybe can you talk a little bit more about this and share what the thought or vision is behind this goal?[:
And, and customer 360 in the, in the B2B world. And, you know, while the CRM has become centerpiece in, in sales, the lens is, is solely on the, on the customer. What we observed is that, you know, the rep is, is left out of the equation in many ways and is sitting on the sidelines and, you know, they spend.
Give or take, you know, eight to 12 hours a week, you know, on their 15 plus tabs in their crm, serving their manager with, with data and with with reports. And we really wanted to just flip that, you know, we wanted to serve the reps and their managers with insights and execution plays, and we wanted to do that with their own lens.
So, you know, if we truly apply first principle thinking in the world of sales, we have a buyer on one end and the seller on the other end, and. Product at the center yet, you know, today almost all the energy, the data sets that are, that are existing are built around the, the buyer or the customer, you know, the rep is, is that underserved audience in many ways.
You know, they're seen in, in many places as this code occurring entity. And the rep's current toolkit offers them limited insights on their own personal journey. They're living with those fragmented experiences and, you know, we are really trying to reframe that. Conversation, putting the sales team at the center, helping them with that manager 360 or with that rep 360, and serving them with exactly what they need as they serve customers.
And so we grow our top line by focusing. On your frontline.[: [:
I think the organizations in general are doing a, a lot, right. By wearing that, that customer lens, you know? But on the other hand, as we look at it, we believe most companies and tools have. Narrow focus on the customer data sets and you know, for them that rep is a, is a customer facing coda carry entity and we are really, really just, you know, zooming out.
We are widening that aperture and including the org and people data sets to augment the rich. Customer focus and the customer data sets that are already in play. And so if we, you know, consider a, a sports analogy there are, you know, a million data points to measure. Perhaps Steph Curry's every move, you know, in the arena or, or at the Chase Center, but none to focus on his own.
Overall match prep, basically the other 90% of his life. And so we believe that, you know, for a sales rep, being prepared isn't half the battle. It is their battle. And yet today, almost all of the solutions put the spotlight, you know, solely on the arena, i e, the, the customers. And, you know, not so much of that match prep or the, the insights.
And so for us it's, it's what you do in the dark that puts you in the light, or it's, you know, our customers have said it perhaps better is if you have a sales so that cares about, its. You know, PeopleLens is perhaps a, a great fit.[: [: [:
Right. I mean, as a go-to market revenue operations, I'm always looking for ways to, you know, help that, help the go-to market team be more connected and be more efficient. You know, I think one of the key areas of enabling the team is. You know, being able to understand what behaviors or actions yields the best outcomes.
You know, ideally we want to clone our best performers. So from your perspective, you know, how should organizations be thinking about this? Like, what should they be doing to better understand the behaviors that they want to replicate or to do more of?[:
For most part, what we observed was that these data sets sit. Of the world of sales. And so we bring that holistic lens and the data sets to every manager and every rep. And you know, believe that the market we are serving is this white space. You know, on one end of the spectrum we have the, the CRM and the sales analytics and the sales intelligence folks.
And on the other hand you have the HCM or the H R I S, so the, the people systems and the people analytics vendors. And there is this massive, massive, unaddressed opportunity at the center, which is where we are focused.[: [:
So for some folks it's consultative skills. For others it's product knowledge. For others still, it could be their time allocation or their, their mentors that they have had on their journey. And for others it is really around their, their pipeline discipline. So our insights go well beyond the world of training and and coaching, and it puts the focus on that person inside the salesperson.[:
So how does PeopleLens, I guess, help analyze and dissect, you know, those right data points and provide recommendations to really help move the needle?[:
What we are really doing is, you know, bringing our machine learning models to bear analyzing the drivers, you know, surfacing really what matters for every manager and for every rep and, and contextualizing it for their goals, you know, their OKRs. And that translates, you know, to a nudge or in action, you know, on their phones or on their calendars or in their workflow making execution and that actionable feedback.
Really, really seamless. You know, essentially we're delivering a, a Netflix like experience to your favorite device as we think of it. So in this way, you know, we are really able to guide behaviors and we are able to connect it to outcomes that, that matter, creating this, this actionable feedback loop.
So we really help the reps up their game, the managers, you know, up their, their coaching elements with those precise insights. And we do it with you know, zero. Incremental admin, which, which is really, really important for, for every rep out there, this thing as well as for, you know, making sure that there is limited to no overhead for their, for their managers.
And so the impact is really, again, in the eyes of the, the customer. You know, one of our, our customers had this to say, and I will, I will code you know, we were able to really identify missing competencies. In each of their underperforming reps that they perhaps would never have seen using their call summaries.
You know, at best they would've been written out in their reps performance review six months out. And, and PeopleLens was able to surface those competencies and other insights, you know, at least two quarters in advance, and to accelerate top line then by helping those managers and those reps, you know, coach with the, with the manager's guidance precisely with what they in, in real time.[: [:
You know, you can't really tell Steph Curry, you've gotta be at a shooting practice. It's, it's much, much more than that, right? It's truly about his 360. It's about his whole self. And, you know, that's exactly how we really think about empowerment and how we view sellers at PeopleLens.[: [:
And for a revenue enablement leader, it's, it's really, really simple. It is to, to wear that PeopleLens no pun intended, and, you know, jokes aside, but it's to put their people first.[:
And really power the revenue engine. So maybe from your perspective, you know, what are the top maybe two or three things that you think all revenue leaders should be really thinking about today to drive revenue growth?[:
This is, this is my favorite question. I've just learned so much in, in the prior episodes, learning to, to your guests and everything that, that sort of comes through their top three. And so for me, you know, it's what I observe great revenue leaders is, is three things. You know, one is just wearing the, the PeopleLens, you know, focusing on your teams.
You know, helping your bees grow instead of letting them go. That's number one for, for us. Number two is, is. , bringing science into your, your day to day. You know, not just with with fancy dashboards, but with real drivers and with actionable feedback loop personalized for every customer facing colleague.
And, and then number three is, you know, partnering with the breadth of exec. A, around the table. At the end of the day, you know, we are solving an enterprise problem. We are not just solving a, a functional problem. So it's really important to partner with, you know, marketing leaders with people, leaders, with finance, with it, you know, that's how really teams are connected and, and solving for those outcomes as a, as a enterprise with an enterprise lens.[: [:
So we are founders with a, with a lens on character chemistry and competency. And, you know, we are really excited about culture and people so excited that we, that we put it in our name, and we, you know, refer to our values. As our lens. So our team is guided in our journey with, with our lens, by our collective principles to really serve sales teams with that, with that deep rooted empathy.
And so, you know, one of the, the elements that, that I'm learning and, and, you know, still really, really continue to do is while we got into this journey, you know, fail fast was a, was a pretty recognized mantra. You know, pretty conventional founder mantra. . And for me personally, it's a little counter in my startup journey.
You know, I'm observing. My conviction is test. And my patience is, is truly rewarded. Yeah.[:
Two, What is the one thing that you really want everyone to know about you?[:
But, you know, I like to spend my Sunday afternoons with a bunch of fifth graders. Oh, . And I've watched a little bit of the show, you know, Are you smarter than the fifth graders? And every Sunday, you know, I remind it. I'm really, really reminded. I am, I am not . And so I go with each. You know, I've been a, I've been a humble learner, let's say, since I left school, but I'm beginning to become that, that humble teacher in the company of these super talented fifth graders.[: [:
Over time I have learned that these are my true defining moments, my lessons and my learnings, and. You know, I ignored them in the, in the classroom and they're being taught to me in the meeting rooms and, and virtual rooms. So it's been a, it's been a fun ride and there have been lots and lots of treasures along the journey.[: [: [:
This episode was digitally transcribed.