Omnitool vs. Stitching Tools? With David Kübler

In this episode Jordan talks with David Kübler of Project A Ventures about choosing between one tool that can do it all or stitching together parts of a tech stack.

Show notes

Are you a smartphone or a flip phone kind of person? Before you glance at your smartphone and scoff at such a silly question, we’ve managed to find two leaders in the tech space who have made the switch back to flip phones.

Why should we care? Because whether someone uses a smartphone, that has everything anyone could want in one place, or whether someone uses a flip phone, carrying around simply the ability to call and text while keeping productivity apps on devices like work laptops, parallels the discussion of which is better: omnitools or stitching together parts of a tech stack?

RevOps Therapist and CEO of Greaser Consulting, Jordan Greaser, and David Kübler, Sales Analyst at Project A Ventures debate these two concepts: not smartphones versus flip phones (although you’ll have to listen to determine who the real trendsetter is there), but whether it makes more sense to invest in one tool that can do it all or many that can do precisely what you need.

Transcript

Jordan  00:00

Hi all, this is Jordan, the owner and CEO of Greaser Consulting. In this episode, we have David who is a Sales Analyst at a venture capital company. I met him first as an SDR, and he was trying to learn a couple things in Outreach. And by the time I was done working with this guy, he was just doing insane business intelligence work with data lakes and tried to create, just, things I couldn’t even fathom through automation and API calls and integrations. And it’s no surprise to me today that he goes into companies over in Europe over and over and over again, trying to look at their tech stack, work through: do we need to stitch these things together? Do we need to get one platform and bring it together? So he talks through today, in this episode, a little bit about those ideas of his thought process on, “Okay, when do we just do best in class? When do we just get the platform to get started?” And just about everything in between. Now, you’ll pick up… I always used to joke with David that we’d work together and he’d say, “Wow, I learned this.” And “wow, that was interesting.” And I’d say, “I can’t believe a German would admit that he learned something from an American.” And we’ve always just enjoyed that banter back and forth; he would say the same thing to me. But wow, for sure, there’s a lot I could learn from this guy. So lean in, get your ears open. Enjoy today’s episode.

Intro Jingle

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

Jordan  01:44

Hi, everyone. This is Jordan, the owner of Greaser Consulting; we got our friend with us, David from Berlin. David, why don’t you go ahead and just introduce yourself?

David  01:53

Yeah, sure. So again, David from Berlin from Project A. I’ve been working here for the last six, seven months now; I should just pass my probation, nice one probation. Period. I just fixed it. And it’s yeah, we’re a venture capital mostly in like, pre-seed or Series A. And I’m part of the sales consultancy team there and basically help our ventures, all the different ones in, you know, growing, checking out what stacks they use, you know, seeing how their operations work, maybe helping their org structure. Yeah, so I actually come from a marketing background which is kind of funny; you always have people that go from one side to the other. I studied Marketing. I actually worked in SEO, SEA for a while. And at some point, I just decided to pick up the phone and kind of fell in love with that. And then moved on from there to all the fun automation and process management things, and have been doing that happily ever since.

Jordan  02:50

Well, that’s funny. You mentioned you picked up the phone; you enjoyed it. When I first met you, you were an SDR at Forto is that right? Yeah. Right. And so when I first met you, right, we’re hopping on some calls; we’re doing some basic trainings: “click here, do this.” So that’s where we started. And by the time you left Forto you’re, you’re calling me and saying “hey, can we design a data lake that we’re going to do all this data and analysis and I want to have this automation over here and this over there and we’ll figure this out.” But I’m thinking here like, “Who in the world is this guy?”

David  03:27

Yeah, that’s good times. Outreach, man. Whoosh, good times. Yeah, it’s I mean, I did, I did, I did a bunch of sales, like pre-sale stuff before. But you know, as the, as the technology grew, the possibilities grew. And with that, you know, we had so much more fun that we can have all these automation things just kept on coming and coming.

Jordan  03:49

And still is coming. I know, like, the topic today, right, is Omnitool versus stitching tools. And even to get into that something kind of funny if anyone has been following me on LinkedIn they know that I, I changed to a flip phone, oh man, a little while back now and literally the last guy on the planet that I ever expected to hear this from… David and I were getting ready for the podcast, and he, like, surprised me with something today. Why don’t you go ahead and tell everybody about your own phone ventures?

David  04:21

Yeah, so, so I decided… I did it a little bit after after you did, but I also switched back to the old Nokia flip phone, and I thought it was a great, great segue actually into you know, Omnitools versus the stitching case because, you know, think about it: our smartphones are kind of the Omnitool, you know, they want to do everything there: all the apps, all the calling, photography, all that good stuff. And I really enjoyed actually coming back to just having a phone to call and to text to those specific use cases. And then for everything else, you know, for like the music part, I now use my old smartphone for like all my productivity apps. I use my like my like, handheld, and then all the major topics and things I have to do, like sitting down actually working, so I use my laptop. So great segue.

Jordan  05:07

Well, so it’s an interesting topic, right? Because today everybody wants to find the solution. Thinking even back to my Outreach days; originally, we were positioning ourselves as a tool, a tool a tool, right? But then there was this huge movement for no, we need to be a platform, right? Because a tool, you can just stick into junk drawer. And you can say, “See you later, right”? But a platform, it’s your one-stop shop to do everything. And you know, you’re hopping on here today, saying no, like, I actually like just using a flip phone. Because I want to call people, I want to text people, and I want to leave everything else over there until it’s time for that. So it’s just a really interesting dynamic that, you know, most folks think “everything at once.” And you’re saying, “well, maybe we should break it up.” So like, talk to me a little bit more about, you can talk about the flip phone if you want, but just in general, a little bit of your philosophy behind this.

David  06:09

Yeah, I mean, one step back there… kind of just defining what I mean of these things, right? So with Omnitool, when I say that, what I mean, it’s just kind of it’s like, similar, would you describe just not like this, this one-stop solution that incorporates like, all these necessary features that you need, and inside of a sales cycle, right? So we’re talking the contact data in our sales intelligence, marketing, automation, reporting, you know, dialing, and all that good stuff. And then when I’m, when I’m talking about stitching, right, it’s basically it’s this like, best of breed, best of breed approach, where we’re trying to integrate individual solutions on you know, you know, natively or some sort of integration software to kind of solve our problems. And I, I so I have a discussion a lot, a lot having this discussion. So I see I can make cases for both sides. I think the the most important factor in when you have to make this decision as like a, you know, CRO/CEO, is kind of where you are at maturity-wise as a company. And, and what approach that you’re going to take when it comes to sales, you know, let’s say growth, actually, because, you know, the whole, the whole buzzword going around PLG, and that kind of stuff, it’s, you have to be careful.

Jordan  07:34

So let’s, let’s talk about this real quick. You’re like, whenever you’re going out, and you’re doing your analyst role, you’re working with, like, pre-seed? Are you working with Series A, Series B? So like, as we frame this conversation, in general, who’s your audience that you’re talking to about this? What stage of the journey are they in?

David  07:52

Well, that’s probably one of the things I love most about working with as awkward as we see, which has, which has various different working style, and the most VCs is that I get to do all of that, you know; I get to work with you know, I get to spar on it with like, CEO pre-seed founders who just kind of were interested in how it does even work. I get to talk to, you know, pre-seed founders, or sorry, a Series A, who were just thinking about, like, what to spend, like what to spend their budget on, what tools to bring on board. And then I also get to hang out with, and this is maybe a little bit more more German than, than you guys have in the states, to like these big PE firms who are basically asking me you know, how to plug in, like Microsoft Dynamics with like a sheet. You know, so it does tend to be kind of all-around, but most of the time, the lack of that… the pleasure I get is I get to talk to decision-makers about this right? So people who are actually going to act on the advice and the solutions that we presented them. 

Jordan  08:57

So let’s talk about it here; you’re, you’re talking about it depends on the situation right? So you’ve had this conversation 1000 times. When, when is the right path to say let’s find out with a one-stop-shop and when’s the right path, like, let’s stitch all the best in breed together? Don’t hurt yourself.

David  09:19

That’s, I would say that’s, the gold question. I, like when it’s time to invest into what? So, so I feel like it has a lot to do with with what your general approach is, and then on the other side, we also can’t deny that just the market is changing a lot and because of that, you are in a way, you know I mean, you know change is good; you’re supposed to be moving with that. Yeah, so if for one thing… Okay, so let’s start the market part first, right… so for one thing we can’t, we hope we all have… then we all know this whole thing of data Is everything, data is… Even though I like that saying, that there’s actually the sand and what we like how we refine it as the oil, the refining part is kind of, in our case, in the sales case, like the tools that we use to do that. But if you just look at the evolution of of like this Martech, sales stack kind of space, it’s crazy, right? It’s insane. There’s so many solutions that are coming up, if you consider, like, Salesforce, how old they are at this point, and how big they are. And suddenly we have we have something like Outreach, which absolutely exploded in the space, and it’s constantly growing and growing and growing. And then we have so many tiny solutions that go all around that. It’s an it’s for one, it’s an it’s an insane, you know, growth market, right. Like, I thought, I think it was Gartner… Gartner in the Future of Sales case, when he said like, 6% of all the sales organizations are going like transition into this experience/ intuition, like experience, like moving out of this kind of like experience/ intuition-based selling to like data-driven, so sales method by, I don’t know, what was it 2025, 28, something like that. And if we just saw, if we just look at the day-to-day jobs people are doing that know that that is that the usage of these tools is also you know, growing and growing and growing, right. So we also have this whole idea that no-code solutions are growing, right. And so the thinking about, you know, your average salesperson is not going to be the greatest at digital tech skills, right? They also need to have that, okay. So there’s no code, which is also growing, right. And again, that’s like another reason why it’s so easy to implement, or way too easy for one to implement. So we chose to try some new tools, but also why there are so many tools that are kind of coming out. And so we have this market space of just exploding of tools and new solutions. And we haven’t even added the crazy, you know, buzzwords to agenda: AIs and PLGs and all that stuff. And on the other side, we kind of have products and how products are evolving, and how selling these products is evolving. And so we kind of need to find, when we’re gonna have these individual talk to two founders about this, I kind of try and explore these, like two sides of them, right. So where in the market are you? And how are your people operating? And what do you expect them to do? And then the other question is kind of like, right, so what’s your product? And how are you going to bring to the market? How are you selling it? Right? Most of times in the B2B space, that makes it a little bit easier. But yeah, I’d say those are the two kind of spaces to explore, and then figure out somewhere where there are you and what tools can we recommend?

Jordan  12:32

So I mean, I would say, if you’re sort of earlier on, this is at least what I see. Right? So you could tell me what happens across the pond, right? Who knows what happens in EMEA, right? That crazy place, right? But what I see what I see over here, is when folks are a little bit earlier on in the journey, they might go out and buy that one-stop solution, because it might not be best in class, but I can get more functionality with at least some data cheaper and faster with this with like, very little administrative lift or around it. Right? Yeah. But then as I start to grow, like instead of, to your point, you said something about sheets, right? Instead of doing our forecasting on sheets, because it was cheap. And like everything just happens in the CRM. Well, now we have a sales engagement platform; we have a Chorus; we have, we’ve bought a Tableau or a Domo, that’s going to do business intelligence, we’re going to do have five different types of enrichment to make sure our data is right, there are different companies that can check each other. Because the you know, the budgets are a little bigger, we can actually hire an operation staff. So you know, I’m looking at this. This is kind of ironic, right? We have the German on over here, given the big philosophical conversation. And we have the American over here doing the pragmatic conversation. Well, like, well, you know, budget makes the decision, right? I mean, push back on me here, am I right? Am I wrong? Does philosophy matter in this conversation if budgets can’t make it?

David  14:09

I mean, yes, always. So for one, I mean, in, you know, we’re, you know, out on the European side, we’re finally catching up to when it comes to how much investment we’re making into some of these startups. Right. So we’ve been having like budgets has been a big question for I think, many series A’s and pre-seed funders, but we’ve yet refined to catch up to so we know we have some nice budgets to spend. And obviously with the, those budget now comes the question, hey, you know, I don’t need to just, you know, just by HubSpot, I’m gonna say, which is the kind of average answer you get when you…

Jordan  14:40

It’s funny you said that. I was literally gonna say someone just goes and buys Hubspot and says “alright, we’re good.”

David  14:45

We’re fine. We’re fine. Yeah, and you know, and I think that it’s not like it’s not wrong, you’re not wrong in doing that, but you got to run to if you don’t think about it, and you’re just coming from a budget perspective, I guarantee you, you’re going to run to some problem down the line, down the down that might make it even more expensive to fix than having gone with a more personalized solution to begin with. So I like to I like to make the case with any very early on company that’s that’s trying to lift off; technically all you need like your entire stack for basically everything. The beginning is a Notion, Air Table and Zapier, if you have that, like, you know. Notion is basically docs, like the, you know, documents on steroids; Air Table is basically sheets on steroids. And Zapier is just steroids, you know, like it…

Jordan  15:34

That’s it, just steroids.

David  15:36

It’s just superpowered, right? So tech, that’s it, right? But obviously, you know, that, that also takes you know, you, that clearly also takes away more work to like lift-off and to build and to customize. But in the beginning, I like to think that if you want to build an MVP of a sales engine, and you’re new to this, and this may be the first time you’re doing this, try that and then see like, what do you actually build? Right? Like, what do you need, because most of the time, you know, this whole, like, Hubspot thing is, it’s kind of just like, because that’s what they know. And then once they’re working on, they start to, they start to realize how you notice this limitation and that limitation. And each upgrade, you know, it’s a marketing plan, or each upgrade with the sales plan. They’re starting to, like realize the world that they’re in, the environment that they’re in, versus, you know, I’m telling you even, even if you just do sheets, which is don’t do that, but you know, even if that’s just what you’re gonna do, you even start like, but why you design these processes, you actually come to realize, hey, you know, like, in my product, on my, like, a sales cycle, I need to talk to these people before I can even you know, maybe start opportunity? Or what are the triggers? To set up the opportunity? Maybe I need to think about that before, you know, investing into the tool. So I’m a big fan of having these like workshops with like, you know, drawing out designing this, this this engine once and then seeing “Hey, like, what do we need to like to that that can that can have the can has the power to to fix those solutions?” And to have those solutions you need? You know, yeah, kind of…

Jordan  17:00

How do you get people to the conversation where they’re actually really ready to think about these things? And what I mean by that is, for the folks that kind of grew up in tech, you started in tech, like, these are easy things, right? Like, this is all we know. But you were talking about this before we hit record on this podcast is: you’re walking into places right now where like, you know, dad owned the business for 50 years, and now the kid’s trying to make it digital. And I actually, I even saw this whenever I would go to different places throughout Europe doing my different trainings, where, you know, two, three years ago when I was traveling around, people were like, well, I’ll use Google Sheets, like for every like, like, that was the answer for everything: Google Sheets, right? I mean, you want data analysis? Google Sheets, right? You want to build a list? Google Sheets. So you want to do some automation? Well, we’ll do some, like a mail merge off of Google Sheets, right? So like, you know, you’re talking about, it’s kind of like somebody who, you know, they didn’t have a telephone, and all of a sudden you’re handing them an iPhone, right? Like, yeah, like, how do you bring people into this world so to speak?

David  18:12

Yeah. So I think one one thing, that’s, that’s always good to do. So I mean, okay, so my, my basic philosophy is, I’m not a fan of black boxes, right? Like, I want everything to be very, like, intuitive and to make sense. And to just like, most of the time, especially with salespeople, it’s and I noticed myself, you know, when I start to see the use for why I’m doing it, then it makes more sense to do it. I’ve had, you know, so many salespeople always complain about, you know, like filling out this field, or, you know, I don’t know, you know, putting it going back into CRM and adding something after a call, something that I get that. You know, it’s not, it’s not fun, it’s not, but then when you show them what’s possible, by doing that, you know, the automations that we can trigger, the insights that we gained, that they gain, then starts to make sense for them that, you know, they’re not just doing a mindless activity; they’re starting to get it all out. It’s just what I need to do to sort of later on we can do that. And can you do the same thing with, with these, you know, I would say, in our world, like these influence our decision-making stakeholders is that I show them what’s possible, if they decide to invest the time, the energy and the budget in order to upgrade these tools. So what are the possibilities even that they don’t know about? And from those possibilities, what do they have to gain which, you know, most of the time it ends up in effectiveness and efficiency, right. So more more money made and more money made faster.

Jordan  19:40

So pivoting just a little bit here. I think one of the, sort of the, premise getting back to where we started, when we talked about that phrase, “platform,” it was almost like, this is better. And this is scalable because it’s a platform, but what I’m doing listening to you talk, a little bit of the sort of the interesting premise that I hear you coming from is, maybe the platform isn’t what’s scalable, maybe it’s the stitching tools, that’s actually like the scalable solution. Am I wrong with that assumption?

David  20:18

I’ll say like, slightly, or maybe even both in a way. And then again, this is why you can definitely make cases for both. But like, if, you know, if we if we, if you have if you run with it, what if… so, my personal favorite belief system would be say, “hey, what you need is like a central tool.” So if you want to make real, if you really, if so if the founder comes to me says, you know, I really want like, scalable, like scale is my question, which most of the time actually, you know, companies make sense of these, like, go to market phase ventures, or founders are asking these questions, right, is because it’s all about scale, you know, is you need, you need like a central tool, you need one tool, the most of time; I would recommend this as your Salesforce, but I understand if it has been your Hubspot before, this is your one, too, you’re not going to switch out anymore. This kind of like some huge fan of Mary Shea, from Outreach. And she was, she was talking about this a while ago; what she was saying, the CRM is kind of like, becomes this back-end database, this repository in a way, right. And that’s what you want; you want this repository, from where you then can plug in, in like underlaying and overlaying solutions that will like that will scale with you until you don’t need those anymore. So the main database, the main main central platform, this will scale all the way until you no matter you know, until whatever you grow up, just to grow with this. And then while you do that, you switch out the tools that you need to like for those solutions to scale along with you. Because the problems you’re going to encounter, as you scale will different, you know, per quarter, you might suddenly have new, new challenges or new, new specific goals that you want to accomplish by using specific tools. Or if you’re, you know, someone who’s really into like these best of breed solutions. there’s constantly new, new prototypes coming out for things evolving like from chatbots and that kind of stuff. And then you’re going to have to switch those out if you want to stay on that level.

Jordan  22:16

So everybody talks about the CRM, and this is kind of my, I have a little bit of a different take on this. Alright, so you can beat on me, which I think you’ll have great joy. So yeah, CRM has been king for a long time, but I think there’s… Are you? Are you familiar with companies like Workato and Syncari? So I think there’s a case, if these companies, I think, if they like nail the right place, is that instead of buying a CRM, which is essentially, like, to your point, it’s a data warehouse, but it’s an expensive data warehouse, like, unnecessary because there’s so many other solutions that are just way better than what that thing tries to do at once. So I, I’m of the belief that like, over this decade, we’re gonna see the fall of the CRM; we’re gonna see the rise of like a Workato, or a Syncari. Like, those types of companies that are just, you know, tool integrators. And I think what you’re gonna see is people are gonna go out and buy a data lake, right? And then they’re gonna get like an integrator, and then that’s their back-end infrastructure, right? That like everything completely, because Salesforce doesn’t let you do everything you want it to do, right? And if it does, it’s clunky, right? Oh, I’m gonna get in trouble here. But then if we get this, like, sort of tool integrator on top of a data lake, and then you can plug in all these other solutions. Now, data has the ability to float really nice. The only thing that you’re losing is a, like a user interface. And I think that’s like, that’s the thing that I think people are concerned about, like, why they wouldn’t do it is like, well, where’s the one place I just go to look? And so, on that note, I’m like, “Okay, you might have an argument there. But I feel like that’s a fairly easy thing to fix, in some way.” But anyway, you’re over here telling me CRM, and I’m telling you, I don’t believe you. So I mean, what’s your, what’s your two cents?

David  24:20

So, on that first thing I have to I always, there is, so again, really big, just microphones, I guess, kind of my, like, yeah, like my sales superhero kind of dude. And here’s this year, this crazy quota while ago, where he was basically like, it was exactly this topic and just kind of saying, you know, there’ll be more tools, and then there’ll be far less, because CFOs will demand it, right. And I totally, like, I can totally also see that side, where, you know, budgets grow. So then we say, oh, you know, budgets growing, right, we’ll get let’s get more tools. And then we start building this whole, you know, stitched infrastructure of all these crazy tools we have, and most of the time, you know, especially the American tools to expansion. It’s crazy. It’s crazy. They’re expansive. And then so we have this together right now. Okay. And then we played, we played this game right now; it’s suddenly inflation hits. Suddenly the budgets decrease again, you know; we can’t, can’t be throwing out like 200k a year for for tools, right? We could be selling, you know, we’re getting the phone guys. And then those those like things will collapse again. So, you know, I like I totally see, like, I can see both sides happening because on the other side, it doesn’t happen, right? So if we, the budgets keep, keep growing, we can keep scaling these tools. But if we’re really honest about it, right, like it’s a process then tools, okay? If you’re, you know, if so what you really need to think about before you thinking about either Omnitool or, or stitching is the process. There’s, there’s totally companies I’ve seen, like in AppFolio, that, that they are running on basically just Google Sheets, and they still are, this goes to unicorn; you know, they do about to hit that. So it’s not like it’s impossible. But like you can, obviously you have a way, you have a crazy advantage, the better you get at finding the tools that will help you break your ceiling. But again, you know, that’s why I say you can, you can definitely make cases for both sides.

Jordan  26:15

Yeah, I think you you bring up a good point. Actually, we’re getting close to the end. So it’s kind of a good way to wrap up here, as you’re talking about. You got companies, you know, so close to unicorn. And they’re still on sheets. I was shocked. Like just organizations that I’d walk in that are just blowing the top off of things. I mean, it’s just unbelievable how well they’re doing. And then I look at their back-end, like how they’re doing it or like what’s going on? Like, like, how does this make sense? But I mean, they have product-market fit. Yeah. Right. And like people love it. Like there’s a cult following behind this this thing or like, or on the other hand, I mean, they just, they got to the market at the right time. So there’s just there’s a lot more factors than just you have the right tool stack for sure. But I mean, it certainly helps. Alright, hey, as we’re, as we’re rounding out, there’s one thing that you said that, that I just, I just want to I want to nail you down on this. You said you switched to a flip phone right after I did. Does that mean that the American convinced the German to do something? Is that what you’re saying?

David  27:24

No, I mean, I mean, did I think it was interesting that we both at the same idea in the same space? Thought it was very interesting, you know, great, great minds think alike, Jordan, and that’s what I saw. So maybe, maybe that’s what it was. But, but no, my man, sorry, you’re not setting trends yet. Okay, maybe maybe some other time.

Jordan  27:45

Man that was meant to cut. That’s what, that was, that was meant to cut? Well, hey, crew, I appreciate everyone listening in today and listening to David and I spar a little bit. I mean, really, if you have any questions about, like, just tool stack in general, you know, especially over there in the EMEA side of the house, like what are some different trends going on? This is a great guy to talk to. We’re gonna, we’re gonna leave you today with a saying that, that David once gave me, so he’s gonna give the German version. I’ll give the English translation and then and then he’ll reinterpret it for us. So go ahead, David.

David  28:24

When we say goodbye, the first time I explained to Jordan that “Alles hat ein Ende. Eine Wurst hat zwei.”

Jordan  28:32

Which is “Everything has an end. A sausage has two.”

David  28:36

Basically saying that we’ll see each other again sometime.

Jordan  28:39

All right, well, hey, I hope everybody enjoyed this. We hope to see you again sometime on the second end of the sausage. Alright, thanks, David. We’ll see you. Bye. Bye.

28:52

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 www.greaserconsulting.com. 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.

Share with your network
Default image
Greaser Consulting

The Greaser team is made up of sales engagement natives; many of our consultants, including our founder, were early employees at the companies who created sales engagement. We are passionate about supporting revenue generators, empowering them to grow their companies and serve more customers.