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Improve Performance, Provoke Thought, Think Critically.

You are constantly striving to improve.  You are looking for practical tips you can apply to your daily work that will impact your performance.  You are looking for advice from professionals who do the work. You want to engage with professionals who have been in your shoes.

Be the Founder that can clearly articulate the problem your company solves.

Be the Sales Professional that your customers want to work with.

Be the Learning Professional who can deliver your solution in the context of the business.

The Find My Catalyst Podcast is published weekly.  We take listener questions at @catalystsale on twitter or via email.

Topics discussed - Revenue Operations, Customer Success, Goal Setting & Execution, Mindset, Performance, B2B Sales, Sales Training, Product Market Fit, Growth, Hiring, Recruitment, Sales Process, Business Acumen, Startups, Leadership.

Feb 26, 2019

Connecting Security, Technology, Leadership and Sales with Guest Mike Kail

Mike Kail is the CTO of, with over 25 years working in technology companies from large to early-stage startups. 

We discuss Security, SecDevOps, Sales and Software Development Alignment, Sales Rep Outreach, Compensation, Leadership, Focus, etc.  This discussion crosses a number of different critical areas that will impact your organization.

Thank you Mike for joining us this week - the discussion was awesome.

Questions Addressed

  • What are some lessons Mike learned as he has become more experienced on the sales side of the equation?
  • Why do sales reps forget empathy?
  • If Mike's working with a vendor, what are some questions a rep can ask to reveal timeline, focus, plan?
  • How often does Mike delegate research to other members of the team?  Where does collaboration fit?
  • How can we build better rapport?
  • How often does Mike see the same type of outreach communication?
  • What is DevSecOps?
  • Why do people worry about security teams in the organization?
  • What Leadership traits are necessary in successful organizations?
  • How do you create better alignment to support the building of culture?

Key Takeaways

  • Technical founders tend to focus on the how.  Alternatively, focus more on the why, the business problems that you address. 
  • Maintain a partnership vs a hands-off relationship.
  • It is difficult to read the context.
  • Hope and desperation fuel sales tactics, this is never good.
  • Layout the "Why Strategy" on a proper timeline.
  • Spamming and hoping something sticks does not work.
  • "Don't make your problem my problem" - Mike
  • There is nothing magical in the end of quarter theory.
  • Questions to consider.
    • Is this tied to something larger?
    • What are the side-effects?
    • Who are the cast of characters?
    • How will this impact the business?
  • Ask questions, set expectations.
  • Establish communication protocol sooner rather than later.
  • Play poker - learn how to read tells.
  • Transparent conversations are important, build relationships, earn trust.
  • Be personal, do the work.
  • If you are going to send canned messages - remember to edit.
  • DevSecOps - helps to make security a first-class citizen.
  • There has been a shift from control based to more contextual
  • Sometimes security is perceived as a weapon.  In less forward-thinking orgs it may be perceived as a checkbox.
  • Involve security early in the discussion.
  • The security team does not need to be software engineers, but they need to understand how security impacts or should be considered in the pipeline.
  • Software engineers should be aware of security hygiene.
  • Culture of transparency, open communication, empathy, are all important.  You can't play the blame game.
  • In a disagreement, take the position of the other person, start solving problems, and not worry about who is right.
  • In many organizations, the sales data is about reporting up, and does not include context. 
  • Design is important in security, operations, and sales.
  • Empathy - in the DevOps world you have a post mortem, which is blameless.  Think about how this can apply to your sales organization.
  • Post-Mortems - there is value in having them not be "anonymous"
  • Two foundational leadership traits - Trust & Respect
  • You are on the same team.
  • Identify your north star, and remind people of that.
  • Everybody is human.
  • Early technical founder - trying to improve sales - focus on the why, the value proposition, the business impact.

Call to Action/Engagement Question

  • How are you taking an operational oriented approach to your business?
  • Think about how you can apply the post mortem in your organization.

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Catalyst Sale

In every business, in every opportunity, there is someone who can help you navigate the internal challenges and close the deal.  There is a Catalyst.  We integrate process (Catalyst Sale Process), technology and people, with the purpose of accelerating revenue. Our thoughtful approach minimizes false starts that are common in emerging markets and high-growth environments. We continue to evolve our practice based on customer needs and emerging technology. We care about a thinking process that enables results versus a process that tells people what to do. 

Sales is a Thinking Process.