Our new chief revenue officer, Brady Holcomb, joined the Winmo team last week. Nothing like an end of quarter sprint to welcome him into the new role. Holcomb is incredibly humble and knows success isn’t possible without the people he’s worked with and learned from, notably his father and mentors.
I sat down with Holcomb (virtually of course — and can attest that his home office is nicer/cleaner than mine), to discuss his career trajectory, unique sales methodologies, and how it all started with a little red wagon full of carpet samples.
Check out our press release announcing Brady Holcomb’s hiring as CRO here.
Samantha Stallard: Tell me about your career. What were your ambitions when you started in sales?
Brady Holcomb: I started when I was four-years-old in Jacksonville, Florida. Seriously. My dad was a carpet salesman and gave me the discontinued carpet samples. I had a little red wagon and took them door to door to sell for 25 cents. I loved it! I’ve loved it since day one. So many little boys look up to their fathers — they think he’s Superman — and I wanted to be just like him.
My first serious professional sales gig was with BellSouth. Each month, they sent out a chart ranking every account executive’s YTD obtainment against quota. It listed all of my peers and how I stacked up against them. There were 420 of us in our nine state region and I decided I wanted to be ranked number one. That’s when I uncovered how math, from an activity perspective, factors into sales. In three months, I was ranked number one and eventually became a member of BellSouth’s Pinnacle Club as a top one percent annual performer.
Sales is a lot of luck, right? You need to be in the right place at the right time, but it’s also a lot of hard work. Just like my grandfather always said, the harder I work, the luckier I get.
From BellSouth I went to PGi then Silverpop. That’s where things got really interesting. I started applying what I was learning in marketing automation as I led one of their first ever inside sales efforts. Then I got a huge opportunity with Marketo! They hired me to launch and run their east coast hub where I was challenged to grow the office from just myself to 300 to 400 employees within three years.
SS: What’s something you learned early in your career that you’ve taken with you throughout jobs and industries?
BH: First, it never hurts to ask. Then, there are a couple phrases you may hear me say a million times — one is, logical, repeatable and scalable processes and the other is, activity times proficiency equals revenue.
SS: COVID-19 has had devastating economical and operational impact across industries, what permanent changes do you think it has had on our industry? Can you pinpoint any positive changes, too?
BH: Absolutely. An incredible organization, AA-ISP, monitors a lot of data related to Inside Sales. Surprisingly, they’re seeing many improvements from a sales activity perspective. Many sales leaders, myself included, were concerned we would see activity plummet during the pandemic, but the overall industry average within technology shows some insightful and encouraging trends related to activity and certain KPIs.
SS: What drew you to Winmo? How do you plan to implement your impressive SaaS background into sales intelligence?
BH: When I was at Marketo and planning for my next role, I had a list of qualifying criteria that were a nonnegotiable. I wanted to go to a company with a good reputation which had both a product with a strong marketplace demand and sound financials. A strong relationship with a highly respected and successful CEO was most important, too.
Winmo is prime for greatness as they are truly set up for success. First and foremost is Dave. It was easy to make an immediate connection with him. Then I checked around town and Dave is held in the highest esteem by many marketplace leaders. Also there’s Winmo’s incredible reputation and financial stability with as a profitable company. To top things off there’s the long tenure of Winmo’s incredible employees which is unheard of and extremely appealing. At the end of the day it’s an incredible software company with such impressive net-new sales and retention numbers — it was a no brainer to join Winmo as I believe this to be a once in a career opportunity!
Many sales leaders come in and start shooting from the hip, bringing in and implementing their new ideas. I think getting buy-in is more important than a new idea. My objective right now is to gain relational collateral. My saying, which has proven itself over and over again, is to make relational deposits before making a relational withdrawal. From there, focus on identifying and removing obstacles for my sales force which are interfering in revenue obtainment.
SS: Any strategies, tips, or words of wisdom for sales people heading into Q4 2020?
BH: First, I don’t hire sales people. I hire sales professionals. The difference between a salesperson and a sales professional is a professional is intentional about becoming better at their craft. My number one tip is to be intentional about becoming better at your craft. Carve out 15 minutes, three times a week, and be intentional about learning, developing, and strategizing. Don’t let the urgent replace what’s important — as there’s always going to be something urgent in the sales world.
SS: How can they close the year strong while also preparing for Q1 2021?
BH: This comes down to discipline. Creating a solid strategic plan around where you’re going to allocate your time and then executing that plan.
Mentoring has also played a significant role in my life not only professionally but also personally. I am fortunate to have extremely wise mentors who continue to invest in me. Whenever there’s a question or want to process a tension, I’m lucky that they’ll make themselves available. Professionally there are three people — my father, he was the best sales professional I’ve ever met; Bob Sanders who not only introduced me to my current sales methodology but continues to make himself available. Also Bob is the one who introduced me to the idea of “logical, repeatable and scalable” process as well as “activity times proficiency equals revenue;”. Then there’s my former manager, Jeff Lattomus who is the best leader I’ve had the pleasure to work with! He always trusted me as he handed over the reins and let me go, yet still extremely supportive.
As far as plans for Winmo, great things are right around the corner!