Podcast

Be A Passionate Student – Andrew Ettinger

What does it take to succeed? If you ask Andrew Ettinger, Chief Revenue Officer at Astronomer, the answer is hustle and curiosity. As a leader in open source and data-focused startups, Andrew stands by his belief that working hard and learning everything you can about your industry can take you as far as you want to go.  

Learning was the real driver behind Andrew’s conversation with host Chris Smith, as they dive into Andrew’s career story and how he found himself at Astronomer. When he took the job with his boss and mentor Joe Otto, Andrew knew almost nothing about data pipelines. But Joe was confident he was the right person for the job, and Andrew was passionate about learning. Ten years later, Andrew has taken a lead role in this rapidly growing company, and has become an expert not only in the industry, but in sales and executive leadership.

Andrew and Chris talk about tracking losses in CRM, giving your team room to fail, and what it really means to hustle. At the end of the day, Andrew’s definition of working hard is all about customer satisfaction – if the customer is happy, he knows he’s done his job right.

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Transcripts

Wed, 12/16 3:57PM • 42:51 

SUMMARY KEYWORDS 
sales, crm, people, deal, data, intellectual curiosity, question, work, opportunity, drive, leveraging, sales team, understand, important, company, learn, felt, world, meeting, startup 

SPEAKERS 
Andrew Ettinger, Christopher Smith 

 Intro 
Welcome to the Sales Lead Dog Podcast hosted by CRM technology and sales process expert Christopher Smith, talking with sales leaders that have separated themselves from the rest of the pack. Listen to find out how the best of the best achieve success with their team and CRM technology. And remember, unless you are the lead dog, the view never changes. 

 Christopher Smith  01:34 
Welcome to Sales Lead Dog. We have a great episode today. Joining us today, we have Andrew Ettinger. Andrew, welcome to Sales Lead Dog. 

 Andrew Ettinger  02:13 
Thanks, Chris. Great to be here, appreciate the opportunity. 

 Christopher Smith  02:44 
Andrew, tell us a little bit about yourself and your company. 

 Andrew Ettinger  03:09 
Thanks, Chris. Yeah I’m the Chief Revenue Officer of a company called Astronomer, and we are the commercial developers of Apache Airflow, which is a pretty popular open source project that was incubated at Airbnb, and spun out to really help people in the data community orchestrate and manage their data pipelines and enable them to get from point A to point B in a very consistent, reliable manner that allowed them to create the dependencies necessary between the data set so that they could drive and derive interesting work from them. It’s been a very vibrant community with over 600,000 downloads of the project every month, so we’re thrilled to be a part of that and help grow that data community. Previous to that, I’ve been in startups and the one for the longest time was at Pivotal for ten years, where we also took an open source community around spring and a very popular open source Java framework to really help fuel companies adoption of micro-services based applications from the legacy world into the cloud. And we had a flagship product that did that, and went from zero to 500 million in ARR over, you know, four or five years and went public and had a pretty nice exit there. So, I spent a lot of time in open source and helping to grow and scale companies and love it. Yeah, that’s awesome. That’s one of the things I excited me about having you on the show is what you’re doing because that is such a huge component for any business is that movement of data and having confidence in that, that whole process, so that’s, I’m really excited to have you here. A question I’d like to start off every show with is, tell me about the person who has impacted your career the most. Thanks, Chris. It’s a good question, and it’s a hard one, right, and people are probably not going to believe it when I answer this, because it’s my boss today, but it’s not actually because he’s my boss today, right, and it’s because he hired me 10 years ago, where we had a phone call on a Friday and he asked if I could be in California and Monday. I told my wife, she thought I was crazy. She called and said, “How’d the, the interview go at the end of Monday,” and I said, “I took the job,” and she said “What job?” I was like, “I don’t know,” she said “Well, what are they paying you?” I said, “I didn’t even ask,” and she said “Well, before you return back to the East coast, why don’t you find your mind because you clearly lost it?” And I said, “Look, I just got a feeling, I you know what they’re up to here is pretty special. And the person I have an opportunity to work for, Joe Otto, I is someone I could learn a lot from and has had deep experience,” and really felt that connection that he could help me propel into the next phase in my career and it happened and couldn’t be more thrilled to be reunited with him again is we went and worked together for last 10 years at Astronomer and it’s, it’s fabulous. 

Christopher Smith  11:03 
What he, has he ever shared with you and in about what was it about you that he saw in you, that he said “I need to have you on my team?” 

 Andrew Ettinger  11:11 
Yeah, well I could tell you what it wasn’t, and the time it was Greenplum Software which was an analytic MPP database that competed with the likes of Tara Data and Tiza. He certainly didn’t hire me for my technical abilities to understand what data warehousing and analytics were, because I had no idea. But what I’ve learned about Joe is he has this uncanny ability to identify talent and put them in the right position to succeed and grow and what he saw in me. Was intellectual curiosity, insane work ethic, and the ability to think in terms of business outcomes, where traditionally the industry was talking about speeds and feeds, and he admits now he did it as a project but thank God, you know I didn’t know that then that someone wanted to toy with my life as a project, but I guess it worked out all right. 

 Christopher Smith  12:08 
Oh yeah, that’s great. What are the three things that you feel have really contributed the most to your success? 

 Andrew Ettinger  12:17 
Yeah, that’s a really good question. I think I hit on a little bit of it there. You know, the first one is just insane work ethic and hustle, right? Which is so intuitively obvious, and everyone says that, and it might be cliche but actually doing it matters. The second thing really is this notion of having intellectual curiosity for the industry, for technology, for how things operate and work and I really fundamentally believe that you, if don’t understand the world inside out, it’s very difficult for it to for you to then bring it you know outside in. And I think the third thing that I’ve always responded to per the conversation on Joe and what I try to practice is really leading from the front, and being visible and not being afraid to roll your sleeves up and get after it and do all of the hard work and the little work necessary and lead by example. And I think those things have certainly served me well, I in in a multitude of fashions. 

 Christopher Smith  13:18 
You talk to quite a bit about your insane work ethic. Does that mean you work really long days, or do you work, trying to work really really smart in your defined work day?  

 Andrew Ettinger  13:30 
Well, look, the right answer is to work, you know smarter not longer, and that’s the right answer, but we’re in the middle of COVID in a pandemic where this you know, lovely chair and room that I’m sitting in, I do spend a lot of time in. So it’s both. But I do it because I love it, and it is a passion, it’s a hobby, and in some respects, you know, it’s a sport for me like I just enjoy being part of it, being and growing with it, so I do both for better for worse of being the right answer wrong, that’s that’s that’s reality. 

 Christopher Smith  14:06 
What do you do to maintain work-life balance, and any tips there? 

 Andrew Ettinger  14:11 
I don’t know that I have any great tips, but I’ve got a wonderful family that’s not just incredibly supportive, but you know I’ve got kids that are 18 and 16, and we’re pretty active and work out and play sports together and, you know, spend, spend a lot of good time, you know, going to great restaurants and, you know, exploring, exploring together so it’s very important.  

 Christopher Smith  14:33 
Yeah, I’ve learned, my kids are pretty much the same age as yours and I found it’s not really about the quantity of time it’s really about the quality that you’re getting that those quality moments. 

 Andrew Ettinger  14:43 
Well, yeah. No, you’re right you’re spot on. You’re spot on the inverse of my work answer, right, right. Yeah, exactly. Exactly.  

 Christopher Smith  14:52 
Yep. Thinking back to when you first got your start in sales, what do you wish you would have been taught at that time? 

 Andrew Ettinger  15:03 
I actually wish I would have been taught the very basics of sales, and whether you like these sales methodologies, whether you hate them, and whether you’ve got religion in one of them, I wish I would have gone through one of those like the first week that I went into sales, because I think it would have accelerated a lot of the mistakes that you naturally make as a young sales professional. Even if you were implementing the process the wrong way, you at least would have had some better guardrails. And so I think that would have certainly been very interesting now knowing myself, there’s no way I would have followed it to the rules and I probably went too stuck with it, but I certainly think it would have helped me avoid a lot of mistakes, that’s for sure.  

 Christopher Smith  15:44 
Right. What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow your path where you’re really going into the entrepreneurial world and eventually get into a CRO slot? 

 Andrew Ettinger  15:57 
Yeah, I mean, I think the first thing you know goes back to the intellectual curiosity is really just have a thirsty appetite to want to learn about various different functions and always push yourself to get better, some good examples there is I joke ten years ago that I didn’t have the expertise technically, but I evolved into a really technical sales professional because I had to, I saw the world changing. I’ve spent the last year and a half really getting deep in how marketing works and marketing technology and leveraging intent, real intent data as a driver for fundamentally how you approach kind of go to market teams. So I think just really having that thirsty appetite to continually learn and push yourself. And I think on the other side is continually networking, in all sorts of various shapes, sizes and forms, even when you might go into a networking call or event not really thinking right what value it will provide for you that day and have a much longer term view on things, I still call people randomly I met seven years ago at an airport while our plane was stranded together, and all sorts of weird things that you know life works in mysterious ways and the world is ultimately smaller than we think it is.  

 Christopher Smith  17:07 
Oh yeah. Yeah. Do you have a crazy sale, crazy, funny sales story you can share with us? 

 Andrew Ettinger  17:16 
Ah, that’s a good question, Chris. I, I think what I would go with was I was going into a meeting and the company will remain anonymous and Mark Hurd, you know unfortunately passed away, but was the legendary sales professional at the time at Oracle was in the meeting before us, and it ran late. And so we only had 22 minutes to get our proposal done, and our sponsor had said, right had let us know that Mark was there. So I, on the cuff changed our price upward by three x knowing that we had a lot of room to go because Mark just set the bar, and it worked and my team left and was like, ‘Well that wasn’t in the slides like why, how did you do that?” I was like, “I just thought off the cuff that if Mark Hurd was there he definitely asked for a heck of a lot more money than we did,” and deservedly so but I felt like the buffer we added was much greater and we got the deal and it was really funny to kind of look back on that and see that happen and of course we delivered orders of magnitude, more value, and outcomes for the customer so it all worked out. But you know, surely had Mark Hurd to, to thank and and actually was pretty cool to see him, you know, leave a meeting as you were coming in. 

 Christopher Smith  18:33 
What, what was your reaction when you found out like, “Hey Mark Hurd is, is he’s in there before you,” was that like just a total double take or what was your reaction? 

 Andrew Ettinger  18:43 
Yeah, I mean it was fine, I mean obviously we knew they were a big Oracle customer as everyone is and they were a Fortune 50 company, but there were some really strategic negotiations going on for some deals that they were trying to do in the cloud. And it really, the reaction for us as a small startup at the time was really that we had something of relevance, if someone like that was meeting with them before us and it wasn’t competitive at any stretch of the imagination, but it really kind of gave us, you know, some confidence that we were onto something, so it was really a shot in the arm. 

 Christopher Smith  19:20 
Oh yeah that’s huge. That’s huge. And I love the way you just tap dancing you did to just say “Hey, let’s do, you know, I’m doing this.” That’s awesome. 

 Andrew Ettinger  19:28 
Yeah, it was fun. It was fun. It was, it could have backfired though, so risk/reward the risk/reward worked out. 

 Christopher Smith  19:33 
Exactly. Yep. Tell me about your decision to pursue a sales leadership role, because that’s a big jump for a lot of sales guys. What drove your decision? 

 Andrew Ettinger  19:46 
Yeah, it’s a good question. I, you know, my, my, my old boss, Bill Cook, who’s also been massively influential in my life and sales career has a saying that says, you’ll know that you should do the next job because you’re already doing it for three or four six months before that. Right, it’s so it’s such a natural progression. And I really started to build out our go to market sales plays and sales motions based on driving business outcomes in an environment that traditionally, as I mentioned earlier, wasn’t really thinking in those ways, and the way in which I was communicating and presenting to my peers was resonating, and I felt like there was a bigger opportunity to have a more widespread impact inside of the organization. And I wanted to have a bigger impact and kind of bring a team together that I felt I could lead to greater heights and use that as the model going forward. And so I really just leveraged some of the outside of the box thinking, and some of the things I was doing to just say, “Hey look, like I want to I want to try, try this,” and look like most you know good sales professionals taking their first leap into management you get caution with all of you know the green, red, and yellow flags you know that are necessary. So thank God I had some good leadership throughout the way and certainly, like most folks, made plenty of mistakes along the way that you learn from. And that you don’t ever think could happen to you and they do, but you know nonetheless, it was really just that ability to really want to lead and have a bigger impact. 

 Christopher Smith  21:19 
Is that what you look for in the people you’re cultivating on your team for leadership position? 

 Andrew Ettinger  21:25 
Yeah, I mean I think that’s definitely part of it, right, there’s a series of intangibles that certainly go into that, but you know I’ll give you a great example of a young sales professional very early in his career who’s working for me right now, who really stepped up and put an 18 slide, 18 slide deck together on our sales process objection handling and the key personas that we’re selling to, and really just raised his hand and said “Hey look, we need this it’s not perfect, but I’ve put all my thoughts together, I’ve interviewed four other people, could you work with me on this and could we present this to the broader team?” and I think when you start to see things like that, then you really know that you’ve got an unbelievable team and you know there’s certainly an old saying that you know, you want to make sure that people work for you are way better than you. Right, and I think that’s true regardless of, you know, your skill set or tenure.  

 Christopher Smith  22:12 
Yeah we, I haven’t yet talked about this on any of our episodes yet, but a key to really being successful I think as a leader is having a tremendous team. So when it comes to hiring What are you looking for when you’re building your team. 

 Andrew Ettinger  22:29 
Yeah, that’s a great question, Chris, again, I don’t mean to keep harping on some of the similar concepts. But, you know, look I mean attention to detail is super important. Customers are making significant significant buying decisions to get outcomes for their company and relying on you to deliver that to them and they need their, you know attention to detail really well-documented and executed against. You know that work ethic, certainly plays into that is key and foundational, are you willing to go the extra mile to make sure that your customer gets what they need, which might include doing some things that you know are less than desirable in the process, you know, certainly maybe internally at a growing startup as well. And then I think you know look, looking at you know there is no replacement for intellectual curiosity that I keep harping on. But if you’re not able to be compelling with your customers and be someone that they want to spend time with and talk about the challenges that they’re facing and how you can be a person to deliver value in that process for them, then they’re just never going to make it. And again, all those things are very easy to say they’re hard to do individually, let alone when you put it together and have to carry the pressure of delivering, you know, a number and a quota, and everything that goes with it. You know it’s not an easy job for folks and so I really admire the ones that can put all that stuff together, and for me, it’s those are part, part of the formula but I think those are non-negotiable pieces. 

 Christopher Smith  23:55 
How do you, everybody says they have a great work ethic, how do you really tell someone has a work ethic that you want? 

 Andrew Ettinger  24:03 
Yeah, I mean it’s a really good question, Chris. I think a lot of it goes into understanding their past successes and failures and really getting detailed on how they went about those, right, and you know I borrow and steal a lot of things from the who method of interviewing because it really forces you to stay true.  

 Christopher Smith  24:24 
I love that. 

 Andrew Ettinger  24:24 
Yeah, well, it just forces you to stay true to asking the second- and third- and fourth-level questions that really get at the heart of what someone really did. Did you hop on to an ELA and negotiate an extra zero because there was a large ELA going down at one of the large incumbents, or did you really go and find that opportunity and craft the narrative and develop a new product and create a new segment and repeat that and put all the work in that’s necessary. And look, it’s easy to be fooled, because good sales professionals are good storytellers. Right, so look inherently that’s there, but I always just found taking the time, not being rushed and really getting those second-, third-, and fourth-level questions, has really benefited me and look no one’s perfect you’re going to make mistakes in the process. but you try to give yourself the best chance to succeed and be very detail oriented and I take notes and I review them and you know I kind of take it really serious So, 

 Christopher Smith  25:22 
Yeah, yeah, that who method is fantastic, it’s transformed our hiring process. I love that. What are you looking for, are there specific signs that you’re looking for that it’s time to pull the trigger, it’s time to promote this person into a leadership role? 

 Andrew Ettinger  25:40 
Yeah, that’s a good question, Chris. I mean I think look I I try to the extent possible to understand everyone that works for me’s core objectives and their goals in life and then certainly, you know, at the company in the next six, nine, twelve months and then try to work on a plan to get there. So largely I try to front load that so that we understand it before it happens, so we can put them on a plan and a path to get there. But that’s obviously not perfect and things will still happen. Look in a startup, you got to be scrappy and very opportunistic. So a lot of times, it’s just having a really, you know, solid finger on the pulse of understanding what else you’re going to create and plugging those opportunities with talent that you have in other places that would be a great opportunity for them to go own and lead something, whether it’s going from sales to customer success or to marketing or to a new consulting services program, or the inverse of all of that, really kind of looking at that broad spectrum and making sure that you’re getting diverse talent in the truest sense. But also with, not a bias towards how something should be done because their experiences come from a different angle. I’ve always found that if you can get that formula to be right and mix and match that, that you can get outsized results in returns.  

 Christopher Smith  27:02 
Yeah, when you’re pushing people into new territory for them, how do you, what’s your approach for supporting them? You know how much rope do you give them and how do you know when it’s time to tug back a little bit? 

 Andrew Ettinger  27:16 
Yeah, I mean look. Yeah, look, I mean it’s not it’s not an easy problem, right, I mean you have to give people the space to succeed and fail, and you need to be there to catch them when they fail and give them the motivation to dust themselves off, get back up, and go after it again. At the same time, your instinct is, you know, a parent, as a leader, or a supervisor, if you will, is to try to catch them before they fall so that doesn’t happen but as we all know, sometimes you get to skin your knee to kind of really learn the lesson. So to the extent possible, you try to minimize that damage and try to give them the guidance on what to look out for, the traps that you know they most commonly could fall into, and at least give them that warning and then when they do it anyway, then they are at least they kind of, you know, are able to see that and learn and it’s just the same pitfalls as being a good rep going to manager. Right, what got you there is not what will take you to the next level, and everyone says it’ll never happen to me and and more times than not, it does. So it’s can you catch that quickly, right, and shift and be nimble in that approach, right, is all you can ask for, right. 

 Christopher Smith  28:26 
What’s your cadence for meeting with your sales team? 

 Andrew Ettinger  28:30 
Yeah, I mean, I, you know, very very traditional in terms of very formally once a week, but then I spend time very deep in the trenches on sales calls with every you know person every, every waking second so I’m very active and COVID’s actually been an accelerant to that because you’re not wasting two days traveling. I live on the East coast to the West coast to do a super important meeting and then you’re out of touch for a while, so I’m finding that you’re able to do a lot more with a lot more people in a condensed amount of time than you otherwise would have, given the environment, so we’re really taken advantage of that and I think it served all of us. It’s allowed me to get a better pulse on the market and the signal, as well as helping to develop some of the reps in their cadence in their process and advancing kind of their confidence level so it’s been great. 

 Christopher Smith  29:21 
That’s awesome. That’s awesome. That is one of the benefits of this is that, not having spent any of that time on planes or in airports, you get work done. You know, it’s that that is one of the positives here. Rejection’s a big part of sales. Do you have a deal that you remember that really hurt the most, and what about that deal changed you that you use today? 

 Andrew Ettinger  29:49 
Yeah, I’ll never forget it as long as I live. I was a young sales professional selling in sort of the big leagues and we were selling at the time in the late 90s, it’s gonna, I’m going to date myself, but I you know, market data on earnings estimates and stock recommendations which at the time was really largely just for institutional, you know, buyers and sellers. And we had a deal with the American Stock Exchange, and we were ready to close it, and we’ll never forget being on the treadmill at the hotel in the morning, getting a little workout in before we’re going to close this really big deal and CNBC was on and the merger happened with NASDAQ and almost fell off the treadmill. And just had that pit in your stomach. and it was at that time, the notion and the lesson of time killing old deals really struck home. Not that you can control a merger, but if you were to then do a retrospective right you could have compressed some activities that happen in that sales cycle that ultimately would have given us an opportunity to kind of get that done sooner and so now just living in that constant paranoia of time kills all deals, you’ll never forget that one, right, and there’s more unfortunately, and if you don’t have them that means you’re not doing enough deals, but you know that one certainly stuck with me at a really early age. 

 Christopher Smith  31:11 
Do you talk about that, do you share that story, that experience with your team? 

 Andrew Ettinger  31:15 
All the time. All the time. All the time. And it was like, you know look, at the time, it was a big commission for you know someone in their 20’s, right. And like most 20 year olds you’ve got great plans for what you’re gonna do with that money and it certainly wasn’t to go save it right. Ah, but I do save it, look I believe in being vulnerable, I believe in, you know, being someone that can share experiences, good and bad, and proving to people that it’s okay to have things that go wrong as long as you learn from them and try to foster that culture because I believe you get a really healthy tension in the right behavior when, when you enable that to happen. So I try really hard at that. It’s not easy. And it’s taken me time in my career to really recognize how important that is. But, absolutely. 

 Christopher Smith  32:06 
That’s awesome. CRM, always a part of our discussion here. Do you love it, or do you hate it? 

 Andrew Ettinger  32:15 
Stock Salesforce or CRM in general CRM. I’m kidding. 

 Christopher Smith  32:20 
Conceptual CRM. 

 Andrew Ettinger  32:23 
Ah, look I mean, it, 

 Christopher Smith  32:25 
Yeah, I don’t want to slam any specific people. 

 Andrew Ettinger  32:27 
No, I know, I know, I know, and I wasn’t slamming Salesforce, it’s just CRM or a tickler system, right. Now look, it’s a proverbial love and hate, right? I mean I think at the end of the day you hate the process of having to make sure that it’s updated and screaming at the professionals that sometimes don’t always do it on time when you’re going into a meeting where you need everything to be accurate, etc. So I think the process of getting it to the state where you need it to be is hey, I think the act of having all of the right information readily available at your fingertips to be able to drive insight and action into your business on, like there’s no, there’s nothing better in the world. Ah, so you gotta love that, right, because there’s no way to do that without it, but getting there is certainly a little bit painful. 

 Christopher Smith  33:13 
Oh yeah, yeah. It’s so true especially you know, it’s a very consistent theme when I ask that question. It sales guys, typically, it’s like, “Hey, this is really more of a pain than a help for me.” So, when you’re motivating the sales guys that, “Hey this is a key part of what we need of our process is using CRM,” you know, one of our strategies, when we get with clients is is really conveying the why to the sales team, having a really good why. What is your why when you’re talking to the sales guys about, you know, when you’re trying to get them to buy in? 

 Andrew Ettinger  33:53 
Well I could be flip about it and tell you the why is because you get a base salary and everyone has work that they have to do with their base salary that’s probably not you know the top of their list and they got to choose everything they work on. So I’d start there, but then if I was not being flip about it, I would tell you that having that information updated in the right way, enables the right people at the company to provide more strategic value to the things that you’re working on. And, you know, now what you’ve got to do is work to make sure that’s true, versus having seven other people call people and scream at them about their forecast or ask them why that deal didn’t happen, so you got to make sure you safeguard against that and actually show them that that is in fact going to be true. But, you know, they call that management, right?  

 Christopher Smith  34:42 
That’s right. That’s right. You talked about this, this next question that I asked you a little bit before, when you were talking about doing retrospectives, I think a really key component of CRM is tracking every deal you lose. What is your feelings about that, how important is it to track the lost deals? 

 Andrew Ettinger  35:04 
I think it’s as important is winning. I, you know, I’m a firm believer in pattern matching at all levels, and you can’t properly pattern match unless you have the right set of inputs from things that didn’t go well, right. And it’s just as important, is why you want it and in fact, many times you’ll learn more from your losses than you will your wins. Right?  

 Christopher Smith  35:31 
100% agree. 

 Andrew Ettinger  35:32 
You know some folks think it’s counterintuitive but it’s actually not. So I’m maniacal on the losses, and I actually deeply appreciate the opportunity to have a conversation with the executive buyer on the other side to just understand, so we can get better. And most people are respectful of that and I typically don’t bring the reps on to that call because I don’t want the buyer to be threatened or I don’t want there to be any risk of trying to over overturn the deal because it’s like no it’s done, I just want to learn so we can get better and, you know, I found that to be very productive. 

 Christopher Smith  36:04 
I think people are afraid to do that but I think it’s so important because, as you said, it’s the only way you can get better is capturing that that’s one of the things the early questions we asked when we engage with the client on CRM is are you tracking your lost deals, because so many are like, “Oh no, we only put into CRM the ones that we know we’re gonna win.” You’re not, you’re not getting the benefits of that data. And it’s a shame. So, 100% agree. 

 Andrew Ettinger  36:33 
It’s cross functional too, right, because you’ll get inputs that drive product decisions and feature prioritization, and things that maybe you could be doing better or differently with customer success or, you know, support or your marketing materials or your sales process or a whole multitude of things and so you’ve got to be on the lookout for all that because, you know, look, this isn’t a linear game, right, and so you’re gonna have to optimize different pieces of your sales supply chain if you will, and all these interconnected but, you know, loosely coupled parts and, you know, you got to work hard to get that formula right. 

 Christopher Smith  37:07 
Right. What do you think the biggest struggle companies have with leveraging CRM technology in supporting their sales process?  

 Andrew Ettinger  37:18 
I think just making it simple, right? I’ve just been too many places and seeing too many things where it’s just overcomplicated. And I think that then drives the wrong behavior and some of the friction that we spoke about an implied basis but you know is certainly explicitly true. And I think that’s it. Right, which doesn’t mean that you can’t ask for fifteen fields to be filled out, right, but just make them the right fields, right, and make them the right fields that allow you to coach better and allow the reps to see value and guess what, in turn, they’ll use it more. Right? 

 Christopher Smith  37:52 
That’s, that’s great advice. That’s another thing we really, you know, free CRM advice here is, look at your data set, and keep it to that minimum that stuff you really need to have to drive deals in process. Everything else, get rid of. 

 Andrew Ettinger  38:10 
Yeah. Yeah. Well, thanks. I’ll take the free advice any day of the week so appreciate it. 

 Christopher Smith  38:16 
Well yeah it was for you and for everyone listening. 

 Andrew Ettinger  38:18 
Cool. 

 Christopher Smith  38:20 
The one question I like to ask, we’re getting close to our end time here. The support of the marketing team is really important for the sales team, what advice could you give to CMOs in terms of how they’re leveraging CRM in support of the sales team? 

 Andrew Ettinger  38:44 
Yeah, I just think broadly CMOs and CROs should be best friends. And the lines between sales and marketing have completely blurred. And if you don’t have the proper alignment between the two, it’s never going to work. Period. And I think the CRO modern zeros of the world need to deeply understand how marketing actually works, and I think the modern CMOs are able to use that data and help educate how a sales process could work to best support what they’re seeing in that data, asnd I think they complement each other very well. Now, that should manifest itself into a centralized system that uses that data that everyone operates off of the same set of assumptions good batter and different that they then use to drive the downstream activities in whatever area or discipline you’re in, and you know again, like I said, I just firmly believe in that type, that type partnership between, you know, marketing and sales. 

 Christopher Smith  39:46 
That’s great. I completely agree. We’re at our time here. If people want to reach out and connect with you and learn more about Astronomy, what’s the best way for them to connect with you? 

 Andrew Ettinger  39:57 
Yeah, well, we’ve got a lovely new website at astronomer.io, so please feel free to visit that if you’re using Apache Airflow. Obviously I, you know, LinkedIn, I’m happy to speak or collaborate with anyone if you want to reach out, and I’m sure we’ll post this there and all my contact details are there and happy to chat with anyone, anytime on any subject and appreciate the opportunity Chris. 

Christopher Smith  40:23 
Now you bet. And I apologize, I said Astronomy I meant to say Astronomer, because that’s one of the things I didn’t tell you is that, that is the coolest name. I love it when I first saw that, I was, it intrigued me so much. But, I think that is the coolest name. 

Andrew Ettinger  40:39 
Yeah Thanks well, we’ll try to get some leverage out of it. 

Christopher Smith  40:43 
That’s awesome. Well thank you so much for being on Sales Lead Dog, I’ve really enjoyed speaking with you, and I wish you guys all the best of luck. 

Andrew Ettinger  40:51 
Awesome, thanks Chris. I appreciate it. 

Outro 
As we end this discussion on Sales Lead Dog, be sure to subscribe to catch all our episodes on social media. Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. Watch the videos on YouTube, and you can also find our episodes on our website at Empellorcrm.com/salesleaddog. Sales Lead Dog is supported by Empellor CRM, delivering objectively better CRM for business guaranteed. 

Quotes:

  • “Are you willing to go the extra mile to make sure your customer gets what they need?” (19:16-19:22)

Links:

Astronomer Website
Andrew Ettinger LinkedIn
Empellor CRM Website
Empellor CRM LinkedIn

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