24 episodes

Hunters and Unicorns shares the playbooks from leaders, founders, executives and investors from high growth technology companies.

In this special edition series The 33 CXOs we investigate the greatest success story in the history of software sales. Discover how thirty-three sales execs from one organisation, BladeLogic, became CXOs in the world’s 100 fastest growing technology companies. We uncover the stories and playbooks of the most prolific sales leaders in the industry.

( https://www.somuchsoap.com/the-33-cxos )

Hunters and Unicorn‪s‬ huntersandunicorns

    • Business
    • 4.7 • 9 Ratings

Hunters and Unicorns shares the playbooks from leaders, founders, executives and investors from high growth technology companies.

In this special edition series The 33 CXOs we investigate the greatest success story in the history of software sales. Discover how thirty-three sales execs from one organisation, BladeLogic, became CXOs in the world’s 100 fastest growing technology companies. We uncover the stories and playbooks of the most prolific sales leaders in the industry.

( https://www.somuchsoap.com/the-33-cxos )

    Hunters + Unicorns: The Presales Edition - Phil Pergola #004

    Hunters + Unicorns: The Presales Edition - Phil Pergola #004

    In the Presales Edition of The 33 CXOs we explore the crucial role of the presales organisation in what is regarded as the greatest success story in software sales.  
    When John McMahon took over as the Head of Sales within BladeLogic, he had a clear vision to create a sales and presales organisation that was in complete unison. What transpired became a sales rhythm which remains the golden standard for best practice within the most successful technology companies in the world.  
    The effects of a value-driven, technical sales function transcended the boundaries of presales. The playbook has helped trailblaze best practice within Customer Success, Value Engineering, Professional Services and even Product Management.  
    We uncover the stories and playbooks of the most talented technical sales leaders in the industry who are driving the technology companies of the future. 
    Episode 4 features Phil Pergola, Global Customer Success Leader for Success 360 at VMWare Success 360. Phil started his career as a Senior Consultant at Accenture and was originally introduced to some of the future leaders of BladeLogic when he moved to become Director and Solutions Architect at Eggrock Partners in 1999. Proving himself in this role, he stood out as a key player who could assist and add value to a pioneering SaaS start-up and was approached to join the founding team at BladeLogic in 2002 as DirectorHead of Client Services. From there began Phil’s upward career trajectory of strategic transitions and professional advancements that have led him to become the accomplished enterprise software leader that he is today. 
    “At the end of the day, what I’ve found in my career is that diversity of experience is huge because every role that I go to, I'm even better because of the diverse experience that I've had and the perspective that I can bring to those roles.” 
    With a process-centric mindset and a background in enterprise SaaS, Phil already had many of the foundational skills he needed to tackle challenges and solve problems whilst simultaneously building Professional Services and Support divisions at a start-up experiencing huge growth. However, a new era of innovation within the software space transpired as a result of the thought leaders at BladeLogic. In order to succeed in his role there, Phil needed to develop new skills. Under the leadership of Steve Strachan and John McMahon, Phil learnt and mastered the sales playbook.  He was not only taught how to sell and scale a global organisation, but also how to incorporate this methodology into his practice areas, enabling him to take his professional development to a new level.  
    “It's one thing to read a book on methodologies but it's another thing to experience it and really learn how to apply it. You don't learn how to drive a car by reading a manual. You learn to drive a car through hours of experience and making mistakes, and I think the experience of working with those leaders was profound in my ability to not only apply that, but also refine my craft.” 
    In this vodcast you will discover: 
    How MEDDIC methodologies can enhance your career in Professional Services or Customer Success 
    How Phil is defining the Customer Success playbook for the next generation 
    Phil’s role at VMWare and the importance of Customer Success to subscription and SaaS business 
    The role of diversity in delivering a positive experience for customers 
     
    Phil Pergola understands exactly how to drive positive business outcomes across the entire customer lifecycle. His diverse background of engagement with the expansion and development of systems and processes in world-class SaaS organisations is a testament to his versatility and readiness to constantly adapt. We discuss th

    • 59 min
    Hunters + Unicorns: The Presales Edition - Tim Fessenden #010

    Hunters + Unicorns: The Presales Edition - Tim Fessenden #010

    In the Presales Edition of The 33 CXOs we explore the crucial role of the presales organisation in what is regarded as the greatest success story in software sales. 
    When John McMahon took over as the Head of Sales within BladeLogic, he had a clear vision to create a sales and presales organisation that was in complete unison. What transpired became a sales rhythm which remains the golden standard for best practice within the most successful technology companies in the world. 
    The effects of a value-driven, technical sales function transcended the boundaries of presales. The playbook has helped trailblaze best practice within Customer Success, Value Engineering, Professional Services and even Product Management. 
    We uncover the stories and playbooks of the most talented technical sales leaders in the industry who are driving the technology companies of the future. 
    Episode 10 features Tim Fessenden, President at Propertybase. Tim has over 20 years of SaaS and enterprise software experience and a proven track record of effective leadership at fast-moving, global SaaS-based software companies. Prior to joining Propertybase, Tim was Vice President of Products at Yottaa, a SaaS-eCommerce acceleration platform, and previously held senior positions including General Manager at BMC Software, and Director of Sales Engineering & Product Management at BladeLogic. Tim originally joined the founders of BladeLogic in 2001 to grow a services practice but quickly transitioned to become a key player in the development of their initial product and customer base. His professional achievements and career progression have led him to become the versatile leader that he is today, driving the next stage of development at the world’s leading real estate software platform.  
    “I never thought of myself as a technologist. I thought of myself as an intelligent businessperson looking at large macroeconomic shifts and figuring out who were going to be the winners and who were going to be the losers. I saw technology as a clear tailwind in the market, so I said, how do I get there? I never had any training in technology, I just identified that that was the place I wanted to live and breathe.” 
    With an innate ability to look at situations through a macroscopic lens, as well always engaging with the customer experience, Tim was already practicing some of the key principles of John Kaplan’s value framework even before being introduced to a physical playbook.  Therefore, when the extensive training and methodologies were implemented at BladeLogic, Tim naturally stepped into a leadership position. Owning the roadmap and being able to communicate the WHY behind what was being built allowed Tim to train, enable and strategically position sales engineers to execute the product strategy and generate revenue faster than ever before. He understood the importance of technical depth through the sales process and became a translation engine, bridging communication gaps between all functions and building the foundations for his future career.  
    “A lot of people have a myopic view of just the part that impacts them, but we all know that it's a continuum - if you push in one area, it's going to pop in the other. It’s all interconnected. A discussion around pain ultimately needs to translate to something actionable on the back end and vice versa, if something is innovative on the backend, you need to make sure that that message gets out on the front end. That translation engine is the number one thing I hang my hat on and the most important thing that's attributed to my success.” 
    In this vodcast you will discover: 
    Building BladeLogic from the ground up – Tim’s experiences in the early days of product development 
    The key personality traits that enable transition from presales into

    • 1 hr 55 min
    Hunters + Unicorns: The Presales Edition - Diwakar Prabhakar #007

    Hunters + Unicorns: The Presales Edition - Diwakar Prabhakar #007

    In the Presales Edition of The 33 CXOs we explore the crucial role of the presales organisation in what is regarded as the greatest success story in software sales.  
    When John McMahon took the reins at BladeLogic, he had a clear vision to create a sales and presales organisation that was in complete unison. What transpired became a sales rhythm which remains the gold standard for best practice within the most successful technology companies in the world.  
    The effects of a value-driven, technical sales function transcended the boundaries of presales. The playbook has helped trailblaze best practice within Customer Success, Value Engineering, Professional Services and even Product Management.  
    We uncover the stories and playbooks of the most talented technical sales leaders in the industry who are driving the technology companies of the future. 
     
    Episode 7 features Diwakar Prabhakar, Vice President of Solutions Consulting at Sprinklr. With over 20 years of experience scaling diverse teams for high growth companies in the SaaS industry, Diwakar is a presales powerhouse. Working with global software leaders including BladeLogic, BMC, Medallia and AppDynamics, Diwakar has built an impressive career portfolio and has continually developed his skills to progress from unpacking boxes as a Customer Support Engineer straight out of college, to using his experience and credibility to drive and evolve business as Vice President of Solutions Consulting at the world’s leading Customer Experience Management platform. 
    “Revenue is a really good indicator of how well the company and the product is doing. I would almost say that the technology is secondary. It's about the value that you can deliver, but the real proof is, are they willing to write the cheque? I think the revenue, the value and the technology are all of equal importance.” 
    With enough IP operations experience to let the customer know "I've been in your shoes before", Diwakar brought an abundance of credibility and experience when he joined the BladeLogic pre-sales org. He was skilled in his field and confident in the product, but he soon realised that it was going to take more than a technological solution to win deals. For customers to buy the BladeLogic product in higher quantities, Diwakar recognised the need for enhancing the sales approach. Following the high-profile appointments of Steve Strachan and John McMahon, the thorough implementation of the MEDDIC framework began. At this point he realised “the process around selling the technology is more important than the technology itself.” Diwakar witnessed a huge upward trajectory from his continuously improving ability to communicate value, find pain points and build champions. He attached himself to critical business needs and has continued to trust, develop and adapt these core playbook principles throughout his career. This has enabled him to drive revenue and scale organisations at an astonishing rate. 
    “It's the drive, the desire to learn, the ability to take risks and being honest with yourself about what you know and what you don't know. No one at Medallia ever confused me for a subject matter expert. Every one of those 85 SEs that I hired knew more about the industry than I did. I learned from them and I wasn't embarrassed to admit that I didn't know much about the industry. So, be honest about what you don't know and willing to put in the effort, I think goes a long way.” 
    In this vodcast you will discover: 
    The early days of BladeLogic - how the playbook transformed the company and defined Diwakar’s career  
    How to adjust the playbook to fit new organisations and industries 
    Diwakar’s transparent approach to recruitment and advice for anyone entering the world of pre-s

    • 1 hr 24 min
    Hunters + Unicorns: The Presales Edition - Frank Lamprea #002

    Hunters + Unicorns: The Presales Edition - Frank Lamprea #002

    In the Presales Edition of The 33 CXOs we explore the crucial role of the presales organisation in what is regarded as the greatest success story in software sales.  
    When John McMahon took over as the Head of Sales within BladeLogic, he had a clear vision to create a sales and presales organisation that was in complete unison. What transpired became a sales rhythm which remains the golden standard for best practice within the most successful technology companies in the world.  
    The effects of a value-driven, technical sales function transcended the boundaries of presales. The playbook has helped trailblaze best practice within Customer Success, Value Engineering, Professional Services and even Product Management.  
    We uncover the stories and playbooks of the most talented technical sales leaders in the industry who are driving the technology companies of the future. 
    Episode 2 features Frank Lamprea, Sales Engineering Leader at ThoughtSpot. Frank started his journey into presales at BladeLogic in 2006, having originally built his career in the end-user space. His adaptability, deep-rooted passion for technology and profound insight into the customer experience gave him the raw materials he needed to enter and evolve in a pioneering, high-growth, aggressive software space, and subsequently launch an incredible career trajectory. With a consistent focus on progression and “sharpening the sword”, Frank has continued to excel in this field, climbing the ranks as part of world class sales teams.  He has played key roles in the growth of market leaders including BMC, AppDynamics and most recently, ThoughtSpot. 
    “Most successful presales people have an interesting mix of skills that makes them who they are. You need that mix of technical expertise and a good set of soft skills, communication skills, savviness with the business and an ability to build champions and connect with people.” 
    In a powerful sales organization built on rigor and methodology, and surrounded by like-minded individuals, Frank wanted to win. He recognised that the only marker for success in this industry is performance. His technical expertise already equipped him with the skills required to make it as an engineer, but the training and ground-breaking approach to presales enablement at BladeLogic added new dimensions to the role. This enabled him to optimise and expand his skills, establishing foundations to support his development into the multifaceted leader he is today. 
    “There are two ways that sales engineers are categorized - you're either a tool or you're a partner. Unfortunately, a lot of companies treat sales engineers as a tool. I've always strived to have it be a partnership of equals and I think big part of why we would win at BladeLogic is that we maximized the value of the resources that we had by developing relationships like that and by not letting somebody be idle when they could be contributing.” 
    In this vodcast you will discover: 
    Which aspects of MEDDIC are most beneficial in presales 
    The mindset and methodology required to build and scale high-performance pre-sales teams 
    Hiring right - the importance of recruitment and how to find the right people for your company 
    How to prepare for a change of rank or position 
     
    Frank Lamprea believes in building a culture that adapts positively to continuous change and innovation. He is a leader with a fierce work ethic and an unwavering commitment to learning, evolving and remaining at the forefront of the technology landscape. Through thought leadership and creative problem solving, he has created an enviable track record of success stories. Find out Frank’s views on which area of innovation is going to have the biggest impact on busines

    • 1 hr 33 min
    Hunters + Unicorns: The Presales Edition - Damon Miller #005

    Hunters + Unicorns: The Presales Edition - Damon Miller #005

    In the Presales Edition of The 33 CXOs we explore the crucial role of the presales organisation in what is regarded as the greatest success story in software sales.  
    When John McMahon took over as the Head of Sales within BladeLogic, he had a clear vision to create a sales and presales organisation that was in complete unison. What transpired became a sales rhythm which remains the golden standard for best practice within the most successful technology companies in the world.  
    The effects of a value-driven, technical sales function transcended the boundaries of presales. The playbook has helped trailblaze best practice within Customer Success, Value Engineering, Professional Services and even Product Management.  
    We uncover the stories and playbooks of the most talented technical sales leaders in the industry who are driving the technology companies of the future. 
    Episode 5 features Damon Miller, Senior Vice President of Field Technical Operations at Lacework. Originally drawn to a career in tech due to his innate inclination to “tinker” and through a passion for understanding the way things work, Damon started out in the software industry as an IT Administrator. His mindset and unique skillset would pave the way for an upward trajectory in the enterprise software space. He joined the founding team at BladeLogic in 2001 as a Sales Engineering Manager Engineer and has since scaled his career in numerous high profile leadership roles. He has taken key positions in start-ups such as CloudSwitch, Sumo Logic, CloudHealth and is now thrilled to have recently “come home” to Lacework. 
    “I've had the good fortune of being in touch with people who have demonstrated an ability to identify growth opportunities, . I’m very fortunate in that regard. It's tough to time the market, but you can take an educated guess, put your trust in people that have succeeded in the past and who are willing to work hard for you and with you. That's what I've always tried to do, and it's worked out well.” 
    The unpredictability and excitement of the start-up came as second nature to Damon, whilst his hands-on technical experience enabled him to add value and offer guidance to the dynamic BladeLogic team.  However, in order to increase product sales, the team required further direction. Under the leadership of Steve Strachan and John McMahon, methodologies and processes were created and moulded, that enabled the business to scale at an unprecedented rate. With support from his mentors, Damon was given the freedom to innovate his role, push boundaries and develop his own strategies to evolve as a leader.  
    “Lead with compassion and heart as much as fist and operate with urgency. If you feel something is nagging you, don't wait, just take care of it, because this industry is a game of inches and that tiny little difference might will make a huge impact later in ways that you might not realize.” 
    In this vodcast you will discover: 
    How the MEDDIC methodology enabled Damon to develop as a presales leader 
    The challenges of building a presales team in the early days – Damon’s non-traditional approach to recruitment  
    What key character traits are required for a career in presales 
    Damon’s role at Lacework – a new era with the old team.  
    Damon Miller has an innate knowledge of how to drive team success. From the very beginning, he has operated like a shareholder as opposed to an employee.  His success in the industry is a testament to his dedication, passion and instinctive desire to “figure things out”. We discuss Damon’s career progression from BladeLogic to Lacework, his advice for anyone entering the tech industry and find out which area of technology he b

    • 1 hr 48 min
    Hunters + Unicorns: The Presales Edition - Sahir Azam #001

    Hunters + Unicorns: The Presales Edition - Sahir Azam #001

    In the Presales Edition of The 33 CXOs we explore the crucial role of the presales organisation in what is regarded as the greatest success story in software sales.  
    When John McMahon took the reins at BladeLogic, he had a clear vision to create a sales and presales organisation that was in complete unison. What transpired became a sales rhythm which remains the gold standard for best practice within the most successful technology companies in the world.  
    The effects of a value-driven, technical sales function transcended the boundaries of presales. The playbook has helped trailblaze best practice within Customer Success, Value Engineering, Professional Services and even Product Management.  
    We uncover the stories and playbooks of the most talented technical sales leaders in the industry who are driving the technology companies of the future. 
     
    Episode 1 features Sahir Azam, Chief Product Officer at MongoDB.  Sahir has extensive experience in product management, marketing, sales, presales engineering, and corporate strategy.  This has culminated in a remarkable track record of success at both start-ups and PLCs within the enterprise software space.   
    Sahir had no experience in presales prior to embarking on a career at BladeLogic in 2006, but his character, coachability and passion for sales methodologies equipped him with the essential skills needed to win.  His mindset enabled him to smoothly integrate with a high energy start-up team, that only accepted the highest standards. Taking on one of the most versatile roles in the business, Sahir mastered the presales skillset early, and since then his career trajectory has been truly remarkable. Sahir is now responsible for product management, product marketing, design, across the MongoDB portfolio and has led MongoDB’s transformation into to a cloud-first company.  
    “I was lucky, because of mentors, I was able to realize what my strength was relatively early in my career and put emphasis and energy into making that stronger. In my case, it's the combination of business and technical.” 
    Sahir thrived in an environment that enabled him to have a strategic impact and leverage his rare blend of technical and business skills. Historically, the presales function had been primarily technical, but BladeLogic’s integrated approach brought teams together through culture, methodology, accountability and most importantly, a united competitiveness and determination to be incredibly successful. A new era was born; one that would set global standards and impact the future landscape of SaaS sales forever. 
    “Presales was a partner as opposed to just a resource you use for technical help, and that culture was foundational because of how complicated the product was. There was a mutual respect going on there, and you needed both sides of the coin, the technical sellers and the business sellers together to make a really amazing deal happen.” 
     
    In this vodcast you will discover: 
    The essential skills required for a career in presales 
    The importance of MEDDIC and the role of presales in the sales process  
    The vital link between technology and business fluidity 
    How to scale your career in presales 
    Sahir is now as much a business leader as a technical leader. His ambition and ability to combine these two skillsets have propelled his career forward and reflect his innate ability to stay focussed, impact business value and constantly evaluate how to elevate to the next level. We discuss Sahir’s experiences in this constantly evolving industry, his playbook, and the core ingredients needed to succeed in SaaS presales. This thought-provoking discussion is essential listening for those with an interest in sales strategy, as well as anyone w

    • 1 hr 26 min

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