Marriage, Product and Sales with Hugo Song

The best way to create a product that solves customers’ problems? Simply talk to them. Hugo Song, Product Manager at Google, shares the benefits of talking to customers in this episode.
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Show notes

Hugo Song, Product Manager at Google, wants to talk to customers. He’s not the product developer with his head down, staring at white boards all day.

The best way to create a product that solves customers’ problems? Simply talk to them.

He shares the benefits, and how to listen the right way (yes, even to your spouse), with RevOps Therapist and CEO of Greaser Consulting, Jordan Greaser.

Jordan  00:00

Hi, everyone, this is Jordan, the owner and CEO of Greaser Consulting. On this episode, we have Hugo with us who’s a Product Manager over at Google. He’s worked both in some really large enterprise companies as well as multiple startups. And so in some instances, product has had a very heavy hand in sales; in some instances, product hasn’t even spoken to sales, or at least the aspects that he’s been in. And so we’re diving into the topic of listening; you know, how does that customer feedback work? At one point, we even touch on marriage. So this is going to be a really interesting one with some eclectic points. But if you’re interested in product, or you know, that’s a world that’s sort of new to you, I’d really encourage you to listen all the way through this one. Hugo’s a great guy with some really good insights that can help you think through where does product fit in this world? And how do we listen well? So with that, we’re gonna jump on over.

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Say you want some clarity in sales and marketing and SEP? Well, we have just the remedy: our podcast, RevOps Therapy. Yeah.

Jordan  01:14

Hi, everyone, this is Jordan. I’ve got Hugo with me today. Hugo, why don’t you go ahead and introduce yourself?

Hugo  01:19

Yeah. Good to see you, Jordan. My name is Hugo. I am currently a Product Manager in Google Research. And prior to Google, I’ve worked as a product manager and software engineer building various tools in different companies, ranging from building Office products, like the Word, Excel, PowerPoint that everyone’s using, to SaaS startup, building sales engagement solution, which is Jordan, where I met you. And then also working some other startups. Where I’m, I was, I was responsible for building the logistic pick and pack solution. So experienced, there are tons of different products already. It’s great chatting with you.

Jordan  02:01

Yeah, so I know, like, the main sort of premise we’re getting into is, is product and sales alignment and those conversations that you have back and forth. And I know, just like you mentioned, your experience is pretty eclectic. So you’ve, you’ve worked with the Microsofts and Googles, you know, to the Outreaches, and other startups you may have never heard of. So real quick, when you get into some of these much larger organizations, do you ever interface with sales? Like is that even part of the job description? Or is that really something that you’ve only found happening in the startup side of life?

Hugo  02:42

I’d say from my experience working in Google and Microsoft, at least based on two specific… Well, first, let me take a step back, I think in those larger companies, there’s so many different teams. So I think my experience doesn’t necessarily kind of apply to some of the other teams. And I’m sure there are teams that is more focused on sort of customer-facing solutioning, like building specific custom solutions for, for for your, for your target customer. For example, I think Microsoft and Google, they have the cloud offering, which I know, in those teams, there are product teams or engineering teams that works closely with customers. But I’d say from, from, from my own personal experience, where when I was in Microsoft, we were, we were focusing on Office product, which is very consumer-facing. And I think when you’re working a B2B app versus like a consumer-facing app, I think there’s different ways how you talk with a customer, or how you get those level of customer feedback. And then in Google, I’m working on Google Research, which most of the, our quote-unquote, target customer, are internal Google teams, kind of we’re building the underlying technology for other Google teams to use. So I would say it just kind of taking the Microsoft example and answer your question. I’d say from my experience, we have other channels where we get customer feedback, but there isn’t a time I’ve worked side by side with an outbound sales rep, or enterprise sales rep. Kind of landing a specific customer deal, and neither have I done that in Google.

Jordan  04:08

Is that something that you, something you miss? Like, is it more fun to get to interface directly with the salespeople?

Hugo  04:15

Absolutely, absolutely. I mean, like, that is actually one of the reasons I joined Outreach. Right? So I think you and I joined Outreach roughly the same time like 2015, December, November-ish. Yeah, we had. We had I think we probably had like 30 employees or so, less than 10 people in the product slash engineering slash design organization. And I think majority of them were Outbound Sales Rep or Customer Support, Customer Success. And that’s one of the reasons I joined Outreach is because, you know, when I was in Microsoft, I felt at least you know, back then 2014 time, though it was so disconnected from the customer. There are like five layers between software engineer or PMs. And then there is the sort of the escalation engineer, customer support customer success, account executive, and then SDRs. Like we’re so far away from the customer, that the reason why I joined Outreach is I wanted to see not only how to build a product, but but how to kind of tie this entire big machine of a company that you have sort of product innovation, and that you have you go-to-market and that kind of this cycle of things. So do I miss that area? Yes, very much. But I mean, I think there’s good and bad too at the same time, right? So, but…

Jordan  05:33

Tell me, that, you know, coming from the sales side, don’t hurt my feelings. But tell me some of that bad.

Hugo  05:40

I wouldn’t generalize saying, like, you know, I hate doing XYZ, I think there are specific incidents or specific times where I had to work on certain deals where I felt like, you know, I kind of wish I didn’t have to be putting through the situation, whether it’s working the 30 this closely with this particular customer, or working with a specific sales rep, which might… well actually, let me ask you like, which one, which would you want me to go down? It’s like, working with sales rep? Like, what went wrong, or like working with a customer? Which, which, what went wrong?

Jordan  06:15

I, hey, listen, you go whatever way you want to go. But I even think about whenever we think about product in general, Outreach was a really unique case, right? Because our own sales team use the same product that we were selling to other people. And so they were all they were instances very early on, right, that you start to realize, hey, our internal sales team doesn’t behave just like our customers do. Right? And so then, you know, you’ve got some internal salespeople that are kind of fussed with product of like, “Well, why didn’t you do this yet? Because this would make my life better.” But it’s maybe not a priority compared to, you know, the actual customer themselves. Right. So yeah, I’m just I’m interested to hear all of it. Like, where’s the struggle?

Hugo  06:59

You mentioned a couple of different things. So maybe I’ll kind of go over them in order. And remind me if I if I, if I missed anything. So firstly, talk about kind of the unique experience in Outreach where I had to work with our sales team, which is, I would say, the… quite different from the sort of the it’s probably the ideal customer profile of the Outreach product, but doesn’t necessarily overlap with what we had in our pipeline the most. I mean, I think firstly, even knowing that our internal SDR team and AEs use our Outreach very differently, and they’re kind of like more the expert user, I think it’s still really important to get their feedback. I remember, like two months after I joined Outreach, me and me and Kinzer, like the head of product. There’s one time I don’t know if you remember, we traveled all the way to State College. We met up with you and Alex and Mark and Ashley. 

Jordan  07:55

And that’s how, that’s how we know that you were one of the early guys. There were very few folks that saw the inside of that Pennsylvania office.

Hugo  08:02

Yeah, that blue building.

Jordan  08:04

Yeah. I mean, it was intense.

Hugo  08:07

It was intense. I think we called it a sales pit. Well, that was the sales pit before we actually had the sales pit in the Seattle office.

Jordan  08:13

Right, the, the mosh pit, right. It was before we had the mosh pit.

Hugo  08:17

Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And that was, I remember, that was a really eye-opening experience. Because I think like, you know, we talked about, like before, kind of being there in that environment. We talked about what the Outreach does, what is the typical SDR’s workflow. But then once you were put into that situation, I remember like, one of the requirements we, I had from that trip is I’m going to wake up the same time as all the SDRs wakes up, which is like 6:30, 7 o’clock got into the office, I think, I think around that, and then kind of see how, I think, the first thing we do is like, you know, I remember on one side of the screen, we have the, we have the leaderboard, kind of see how many calls people have made. And then on the other side, we had the, the, the bouncy, like the bocce ball thing, which I think maybe that was something afterwards to basically get pumped up. And then kind of seeing how sales rep making calls or going through their daily tasks making calls, what they do after the call, what did they do before they get on the call, kind of sit next to them listening, what they talk about in the call. Those are really eye-opening experiences. Those are incredibly helpful. And, and then I also did a lot of customer visits afterwards to where, where we kind of go to the prospect’s or existing customer’s office kind of see how they work. And it feels very different. But I think the point I was trying to make is, even if I think Outreach’s only SDRs use case is a very niche use case in the sense that I think it’s pushing the boundaries of what the product could do back then. I think it was still really, really helpful. It was incredibly helpful to kind of see how they work and know what are the pain points. So, kind of coming back to your original question, I think with like, some of the challenges, I think you answered the question of like, the challenges working between salespeople and sales team, and then the product team. Yeah, I think I can probably recall a few examples where I think things went sideways, or could have gone a little bit better. Would that be? Would that be helpful to kind of start from there? Yeah. I’m not gonna say it’s, you know, top five common mistakes because that’s not what we’re here for. But like, you know, a couple of the things that could have… there’s a couple of the situations that could have gone better; I think, in one of the situations, I think the product team is constantly ignoring the sales team’s feedback. I’m gonna admit it, you know, I was I was at fault there. I think it’s…

Jordan  10:56

Oh, Hugo, you’ve never done anything wrong.

Hugo  10:59

Yeah, but I do think there are, I think, I do think there are times where I think the product/engineering team was a little bit too stubborn. And then we, we, we have this mindset of what we think customer wants. And and that causes us to reject some of the common response we get from customer that we don’t deem to be, “hey, this is not how you’re supposed to work.” And then we’re kind of trying to force customers into the buckets of, “hey, this is how we think you should be doing things” instead of this is customer needs today. So I think that I think that is the first common mistake, which is like, doesn’t feel collaborative, you know, sales team, they get customer feedback requests, or feature requests, during discovery calls, and then kind of, you know, pass them to the product team, but kind of the product people look at them and saying, like, “No, we’re not doing that.” And that’s the end of discussion. Like it doesn’t feel collaborative. It’s very much a Mexican standoff, right? Like, on one side, the person says, “We really need this,” and the other person says, like, “No, we’re not doing this,” and then you don’t have a resolution there. So So I think what I could have done better, in that case, is think firstly, we need to make sure there’s a really good system of tracking kind of the different types of feedback from customers and then, so that you can kind of see a pattern over time of which type of customer tends to have which type of feature requests. And I think another one, another thing I could have done better is just more open-minded, like, asking the why like, and not necessarily understanding why they need that feature, but like understanding the broader problem they’re trying to solve. Actually, I think not asking why is a common mistake that could be made by both the product team and the sales team because I think kind of opposite of what I talked before was kind of the product team not understanding why a specific customer asking for certain things. I think the same type of learning could also happen to a sales team to where I think another sort of downfall I’ve seen when product team collaborating with sales team is sales reps end up becoming this man in the middle or person in the middle, that is playing the telephone game. That is customer asks something sales team doesn’t understand sort of why do they need this? Or how does this fit into the broader solution or problem that the prospect is trying to solve, and then just take that feedback as is to the product with the expectation that we will deliver this feature, check this checkbox, and then customer would sign the deal. I think that’s kind of a problem.

Jordan  13:33

That’s great feedback because I remember experiencing that when I went to the professional services side of the house and working with clients. And it is my first sort of foray into this side. And I was working with somebody who had been in Success for, like, multiple years, and we had a situation come up with a really significant client was asking for a very specific workflow. And I went right to work on “well, you know, that’s not really how we do it out of the box. But if we do this, and we set that on the back end; we integrate this with Salesforce, like, boom, like, we’re gonna make it happen.” And so I had the whole solution mapped out. And I remember, like, presenting it to the person in Success I worked with, was there for a long time. And her first response was, “well, did you figure out why they want to do that?” I’m like, “Well, yeah, because they want to get to here, to here faster.” And she’s like, “Well, that’s what you assume they want to do. Like, why are they actually trying to do this?” And so while you know, I’m thinking, “Oh, who cares? Whatever, we got it solved. We checked the box, whatever.” And so we get on that next call with the client, and she just starts unpacking the why; then we find out, we don’t need to do 20 hours of development on the back end on a workflow. Like literally, they don’t even need to do that because Outreach replaces something that they do now. And so just click this button in Outreach and you get everything that you need. And it was like, “Oh my gosh,” right? Like we would have had, and that was on a small scale, right? We’re not developers; we’re not engineers. But just creating sort of this high tech, you know, not high tech, this sort of integrated workflow wasn’t even necessary. So you know what you’re saying, like, I feel that in my bones now, right?

Hugo  15:18

And I don’t think anyone’s perfect. What exactly, kind of, I have a, I have a short story, I’ll maybe quickly share that is relevant to maybe to kind of work with a product team, or a sales team, but just like, very much to what you just said. So actually, couple of weeks ago, I was in a, in a discussion with one of our engineering leaders here. And and he basically, like we were discussing how, you know, we should be engaging with our potential customers. And he said something which I, which I don’t agree on. And I think the old me, would it be like trying to persuade him, or convince him why I was right, and he was wrong on the spot. But then, right before that, I was I was reading the Stanford Research; basically, they were saying, you know, when people are listening to things, there are really four different modes you need to have, and you need to be very intentional around which mode of listening you are doing. So the first mode of listening is listening for appreciation. So that is like I’m listening to good music; I’m listening to a good story. The second mode of listening is you’re listening to comprehend. I’m asking you a question. “Hey, Jordan, how do I go from here to Costco?” You tell me the route: take a left, take a right; that’s, that’s listen for comprehension. And then the third type of listening is you listen for empathy. A lot of times people want to, you know, they were having a bad day; they want to talk to you about it. But they don’t actually expect you to give a response or jumping and giving a suggestion. And then the fourth type of listening is you listen for a counterargument. Like, you know, I disagree with you, but I’m going to listen to your feedback. But my goal is, “hey, here’s where you are wrong, Jordan.” Or maybe I’m listening so that I can put in the position of power; you come to talk to me about something, and I instantly became the advisor role: “Hey, Jordan, have you thought about a, b and c?” So I think like the, in the, in the research, they were saying the common mistakes people are having when it comes to listening is, a lot of times, you should be listening for comprehension. But you’re jumping the fourth category; you, you listen, for the sake of having a comeback; you listen for the sake of correcting them. So kind of jumping back to the specific story I was telling. So what I did is I grabbed some separate time with an engineering manager. And then I was asking him, and I was actually curious to understand his point of view, not for the sake of “Hey, dude, you’re wrong, this is how you should we should be doing things.” And it turns out that what he was thinking is exactly the same as what I was thinking. It’s just we use different terminologies; I use this terminology of the specific thing to describe one part of the workflow where he was using the exact same terminology to describe something else. But if you were to kind of lay it out, we’re talking about the exact same thing. And I felt like if I were jump in the mindset with, “Oh, I’m just trying to listen, so I can kind of nitpick you afterwards,” I would never uncovered that in the first place. So the art of listening is really, really important. And one of the things I really love about working with great sales rep to kind of bring our topic is there is this amazing Account Executive I worked with in Outreach. I thought his superpower isn’t necessarily he’s really technical, or he’s a smooth talker. He’s really good at listening. Like, I was in this call with this prospect. And this prospect asked for a certain feature. And and he basically started asking those probing questions for like, why you need to do this. And he’s not asking for the sake of, “hey dude, you actually don’t need to do that because Outreach does ABC for you.” He’s listening to actually try to build empathy. Yeah, this is, uh, he’s one of the, he’s the best Account Executives I’ve ever worked with in my lifetime. Is he’s a great listener. So we probably went off topic, but just…

Jordan  19:07

I’m listening to you talk. You’re talking about off-topic… I’m thinking about how this applies to my life with my wife, right? Like, how many? How many times you know, I’m going on 10 years of marriage here in June. And, you know, the first couple years, I’d sit down and talk with her. And the only thing I could think about was solution, solution, solution. And then we’d end up getting in a conflict. And I’d say, “Well, what are you mad at me for? I thought you were complaining about something over here. I just gave you the answer.” And you know, you get a little older a little wiser. I can’t say I’ve figured this out completely. But then I’ve now have I’ve, I’ve noticed like sometimes I need to listen for empathy. Actually, that’s probably most of the time, right? Like, she probably doesn’t want my solution. She probably doesn’t care what I even think. But just to know that she was heard is really what matters. And and I know, I know we’re going way sideways there on marriage. But I think that even touches on exactly what you’re talking about with that sales rep. Like, yeah, we might have a point solution that can solve it; we might have something in the product that does that. But before we even get to the point where we’re trying to sell what that is, or that change of mind or whatever, first, let’s just understand, you know, why does this matter to you? Right? And like, like, why do you care? And like, maybe on this call, we don’t even need to present the solution. Maybe we just need to listen. Which I think is a big part of what you’re talking about here. 

Hugo  20:36

Yeah, for sure. I mean, funny thing. You mentioned the wife situation. That’s, I mean, I don’t think my wife would ever hear me saying this. But yeah, I use, I use the, the technique I just mentioned, when I, when I talked to her, worked a lot of times. Yeah, I would say when I’m having a conversation with my wife, I would go really heavy on the third category, the empathy part. And it did work.

Jordan  21:03

It worked. Yeah, yeah. Well, listen, it’s, it’s amazing how it’s the different things. We often try to compartmentalize life, like, in the sense of this is my family, this is what I, this is my work, or these are my hobbies. And, man, we try to compartmentalize all these things as if they don’t interrelate. And the reality is they do like there’s things that we can learn at home; we can bring them to work with us. There’s things from work we can take into the home. And that’s even one of the things. When I think about like folks that are trying to educate themselves in their positions, often they’ll say, like, let’s take your example of product, right? Like they want to go out and read the 50 best books on products, and my commentary is like, well, read two or three on product, read two or three on philosophy or something. Do one on Biochemical Engineering, if you’re interested in it, right? Because all of those things will actually help round out some of that decision-making and thought process.

Hugo  22:04

Absolutely. Like can’t can agree more with what you said. One of the interesting things I just learned very recently is we have so, in the team. So my team is part of the Google Research. So we’re kind of focusing on like, what is the landscape of sort of artificial intelligence look like within the next 10 years. And we have this very inspiring leader; his name was Blaze, and, and he kind of shares out what he’s reading. And one of the interesting things I found is, he’s a VP of Engineering. So I would expect him reading a lot of engineering, paper, Mathematics, Philosophy; he focuses on social behavior, human-computer interaction, human psychology. So like, in order to be a thought leader, in order to be any type of leader, I would argue, like, you need to be really good at what are you doing, whether it’s sales, engineering, product; you also need to be very well-versed in all the random topics. I think like, that’s, this is one of the, and it was probably not the purpose of this chat. But I love listening to any type of podcast from, from Elon Musk, where he was, he was, he was a participant because the breadth of knowledge he has in so many different topics is just mind-blowing. Like he’s, he’s the richest man; he has one of the business dude; he has so much more time to read and learn so many, quote unquote, adjacent topics, or adjacent industries that don’t feel relevant upfront. But as you kind of go deep into them, you see, like, all of them are very similar.

Jordan  23:37

So on that topic, are you, is that something I know you said your leaders sort of thinking that way… But when you’re thinking about product in that sense, like you yourself, now, do you find yourself also trying to sort of expand the scope of what you’re looking into even as it relates to the product you’re working on? Or do you keep it all down that same vein?

Hugo  24:04

I would say like, I don’t know if that directly answer your question. Like I aspire to be someone continuing in the product, let’s say I wanted to be a product manager continuously. I aspired to be someone who knows really well about product, but who’s also a good salesperson who is also a good customer success person, just kind of put it very tactically, because I think the true product leader isn’t necessarily you’re so great at product strategy, product execution. It’s you have that sales lens and looking at things. Like one of the things that was really incredible at one of the startups I had is we hired this, this kind of Amazon veteran as our CTO, and he didn’t come from a computer science background. I don’t know if he actually knows about coding or think he came from like physics or astronomy, or something similar to that. But like he’s a, he’s but he’s the CTO; he’s the sort of the top of the product in engineering work. And initially, I’ve actually felt kind of strange. But then I realized that as a VP above, you don’t really need a lot of the product chops to be a product leader, you need that sort of, quote, unquote, business chops, that is a combination of product, technology, solutioning, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. So I think right now, what I’m trying to do is breadth my skill set in those different domains. That’s why I like, I like talking to you, because I aspire to be a great sales rep, like Jordan.

Jordan  25:41

Hugo, I always I always tell you, you’re always wanting to butter somebody up. So I appreciate that. That means a lot to me. You know, I was on a call, we have a mutual friend, right. And Alex, Alex Lin, who’s at CrowdStrike. And he was, he was actually one of the podcasts earlier, but one of the things he and I talked about, after our podcast, was the things that made him really, really good. Like that got him the job as the like, original Operations Director for Sales Development over there, like are not the things that he even thinks about today. Because now, you know, he’s up at this level, where it’s all like six months, 12 months out; it’s more about how do we rally the team, it’s more about, like, this overall scheme of headcount, and whatever. And he’s like, he’s like, on the one hand, I had to, I had to show my chops to get to this place. But now I all of a sudden have to relearn everything because it’s a totally different skill set. So when when we think about product, and I know this isn’t maybe product and sales, but purely product, and I’m talking to you a guy in product, like what are the things once you get to that VP level, that shift that like, I know, you’re maybe you’re not quite there yet, but when you look up into that space, you’re saying, “Oh, if I want to get to there, here’s what I need to know.”

Hugo  27:09

You’re right; I’m not there yet. I think it’s develop that awareness cross organization. I think up your certain level, I don’t know if it’s director, I don’t know it’s a VP, I, I don’t have a good understanding of the exact nuances between the two roles. But I would say up to a certain level, it’s okay for you as a product manager to only focus on the product. At one point, you need to know beyond the product; you need to, you need to be really good. I mean, like, I think the product example might be a bad example. Because I think you know, as a junior product manager, I would still argue that you need to work with the customer. But like, you need to be able to work with the customer, you need to be able to work with your sales team. You need to be able to work with your customer success team. And I think that’s probably the difference between a sort of earning the career Product Manager versus someone who’s hired up, who’s a higher up more experiences, they have that kind of long have that longer vision of how they wanted to work with the customer and how they shouldn’t be working with the customer. I don’t know if that actually answers your question.

Jordan  28:26

I think you got me at least part of the way there, Hugo. But I never want to give you full credit anyway. So that’s how that works.

Hugo  28:35

I just, I just thought about another kind of, I wouldn’t say common mistake, but I wish things aren’t like that. When we’re working between the product and salespeople. I think sometimes, in certain organizations, or in certain deals, I think there’s the distinction of, “hey, you know, ABC, you three are the tech people, you talk to the tech people on the customer side.” And so then, you know, “DEF, you are the salespeople, you are the business and when you talk to the business people on the other side,” so you’re creating this barrier between product and business. Like, you know, kind of one example of that is sales rep would would, would schedule a meeting of just the the meeting would literally be titled, “talk about product, talks about integration”, where the sales rep is just not paying attention throughout the meeting. A lot of times you’re asking them a question; they’re like, “oh, sorry. Can you repeat the question?” 

Jordan  29:40

Oh, that’s because they’re in their, in their inbox trying to close the deal. That’s what’s going on.

Hugo  29:43

Sure. Sure. But I would say I think there’s a much deeper product and in business collaboration that a lot of people are not leveraging. There was one time I was working on, I was working on a deal kind of with some, some with some sales reps. And on the business side, on the product side, we are in deep conversation with a customer about integration about what are what are the things we can do to make to make it happen for them like to kind of alleviate their pain points. So what ended up happening was, the sales part was not moving forward because they have stuck at some type of VP review, or some like the I think it’s the person who’s about to sign it had some kind of concerns. And then it was actually the customer’s VP of Engineering went to the business person saying, “hey, the customer, the specific, you know, mind group was super lean being like, they’re really willing to help us Is there anything you can do to kind of move the deal forward?” So in that case, the prospect’s VP of Engineering actually became the advocate of us, the seller side, just shocking. I’ve never seen that happen in the past, probably because we’ve never been in tight collaboration with, with, with the prospects when it comes to like engineering integration. But that’s a really great example of, you shouldn’t think product and, and sales as isolation; you should think like, there are things your product team can do to make the deal more successful beyond from like, you know, reaching the promise of the customer want or implementing the feature the customer wants; there are a lot of things your product team can do to instill more trust to the customer and kind of, you know, show that you’re leaned in and willing to commit.

Jordan  31:27

I’ll leave you with this last question. Okay, this will be our last one. How many folks in product though, and listen, like we’re gonna we’re about to, to give a stereotype here. So like, you know, blow it up, don’t answer my question. But I’m just saying, as a general sense, like, how often are folks in product willing to put on that sales hat and say, “Hey, like, put me on a call and let me talk with, you know, whoever I need to talk with on their side?” Like, is that a motion that folks in product are actually like, “Man, I’d love that opportunity.” Or in general, they’re like, “hey, whoa, whoa, that’s a little outside of my scope.”

Hugo  32:07

Yes, are you asking me in terms of my personal opinion, where they should be or like where they are, in reality?

Jordan  32:12

Where do you typically see product? Not where they are today, but I’m saying to you, like, you’re talking about this world that sounds very good to me. And clearly, you have an appetite for it. But in general, is that something that folks in general, that are in product are open to: putting their sales hat on and doing that? Or is that something that like, you’re here saying, hey, for anybody listening, that’s in product, like, here’s a muscle that we really need to learn to flex that we don’t typically do?

Hugo  32:43

It’s a little hard to answer the sort of specific ratio, but maybe I’ll give you that, I’ll give you this. I think it’s very much dependent on the culture, the culture set by the leader. I think in the two startups I worked in, Outreach and Flex, not not the whole time, but at one point, we have the right product leaders in place, or right technology leader in place that really puts the product and engineers even close to the customer. I think in larger companies, it’s like, as I said, Microsoft, I think because of the sort of the legacy hierarchy of how things work, I think that there isn’t a lot of opportunities. So there might be people who’s really willing to be talking to customer, but they don’t have the right avenue to do that. But obviously, in startups, I think, you know, this opportunity is typically there. And I think it very much depends on the culture you’re setting. I’ve worked under Product leaders who is very much about, you know, the product should be heads down and kind of, you know, just go to whiteboard and you will solve all the problems versus spending more time talking with your customer and kind of trying to synthesize the what’s the broader pain point here. And I personally love doing the second option. And I think, I think it helps you come up with a product that’s much more convincing, and that, you know, there’s a strong product market fit, then, you know, you create a vacuum; you create something in the vacuum. Did I answer your question?

Jordan  34:18

Absolutely, absolutely, you did. And I think I think there’s probably more product questions to have some somewhere down the line. So I’m gonna tap your shoulder again, if you don’t mind. But thanks for, thanks for coming today. We appreciate you and just coming and chatting about some of these issues related to product and sales. And for everybody listening, we hope you enjoyed the episode. And with that, we’re gonna, we’re gonna wrap up so we’ll see everybody later.

Hugo  34:45

Thank you, Jordan. Thank you, everyone.


Hot dog. That was a great episode. Thanks for listening. If you want to learn more about Greaser Consulting or any information you heard on today’s episode, visit us online at Be sure to click the Follow button and the bell icon to be notified on the latest here at RevOps Therapy. Thanks and see you real soon.

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