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HR Secrets for Successfully Supporting Sales Teams During Hypergrowth

By OpenComp


Today, we’ll explore how passion and process have guided John Jensen’s career as an individual contributor and sales executive at global leaders like Alteryx, Informatica, Tableau, and his current role as RVP of Strategic and Enterprise Inside Sales at Gong.

Specifically we’ll cover topics from building sales culture to hiring, career pathways, compensation, and his advice for HR business partners.

Join us as we discuss:

  • The four core values to build your team
  • Knowing what your company needs to create the profile for new recruits
  • How to build career pathways and measuring employees readiness to be promoted




CAITLIN ALLEN: Hello and welcome listeners. We are excited to record a new podcast today for you. My name is Caitlin Allen, the VP of Marketing at open comp, and I'm one of your co hosts.

NANCY CONNERY: And this is Nancy Connery, your other co host and co founder of open comp and principal at Connery consulting. Thank you for joining us today. And John, thank you for partnering with us on this podcast.

CAITLIN ALLEN: Thanks for having me. So today we are going to explore how passion and process have guided John Jensen's career as an individual contributor and as a sales executive at global leaders like Alteryx and Informatica Tableau as well as his current role as our VP of strategic and enterprise inside sales at Gong. And specifically, we're going to cover the topics, topics that relate to buildings, sales, culture, hiring, career pathways, compensation, and his specific advice for HR business partners. John, thank you for being with us today. Good that. So let's get it started. What is one thing most of your coworkers don't know about you?

JOHN JENSEN: That's an easy one. I played soccer, I think six or seven years of semi pro football. And while doing this for a living, because it's that's why it's called semi pro, you don't get paid to practice 11 o'clock at night at Stanford University's in San Francisco a lot of time and effort. The other 100 people come to the games just just for the passion. So I did that well, being a VP of Sales for for a services company at the time.

NANCY CONNERY: Impressive, I think that shows your grip. May be a little bit of both. Maybe a little bit of both. But I think both are good things. Thanks, John, in our prep call, you know, you shared your belief that happiness comes from being so good at something that people want to come and learn from you. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?

JOHN JENSEN: Yeah, I can you know, there's things in your life that you're naturally good at, or do you gravitate to or maybe even gravitate to yourself and you're unconsciously competent. You're good at it, you enjoy it, but you haven't given it deep thought. And there's two pieces that coalesced here. So the first was I was interviewing a young SDR 2015, I was an enterprise sales leader. At that year, I was tapped to help with the SDR or no one reported me, but I was kind of a coach, if you will. And I was interviewing a Sony young woman. And she said to me, it's just I hope I don't offend you. But you seem a lot like my dad. Okay, let me hear it. She was well, you know, you just you have this passion. And you're such a good teacher, I can see that. And she was, you obviously love to tell people things they should read and absorb. And do you mind if I give you something? No, I love that. Reverse the tables here. Let's go. She's there's a book you need to read. And the title is so good. They can't ignore you. And what you've described an interview is exactly what my dad talks about all the time, because people your age and older, subscribe to a different philosophy and a lot of people that are in their 50s or older now of what color's your parachute from the 70s and 80s. And that whole premise was, if you love dogs, go open a kennel. If you love numbers, go be an accountant. And the conventional wisdom in that book is challenged by this book so good. They can't ignore you. It says no, that's not where happiness comes from. Happiness comes really from being so insanely good at something that people gravitate to you and want to soak you in. And that gives you energy, and that gives you passion and gives you happiness. And so I went read this book, and I was like, Holy mackerel, this is exactly how I'm wired. Thank God, I met that young lady, she went on to be very successful. And that kind of catalyzed how I thought about it. Then, about a year and a half later, my VP of sales calls me on a Friday, as get ready to go take a long bike ride. We're off the week. He was JJ, the thinking about you? And it's gonna seem like a really weird question. But I want you to take the weekend and I want you to think about this one question. What makes you happy? Now? The only answer, I want you to call me on Monday. So I hung up, took a long 30 mile bike ride, and it came to me I just boom, there's the answer as corny as it may be. So I called him back money Morris Barry. The answer is three things. Puppies, dogs, the Dallas Cowboys and helping people those are the three things that give me the most joy other than this week obviously. And you know, terrible loss we had lost the quarterback but that was a that was so basic for me and then the next the next day and he has been promoted to VP of sales and they're moving into New York to fix the problem office and dresses history. That kind of You know, I was in my mid 40s At that point, and I was like, Wow, I'm like 45. And I finally understand what makes me tick. Wow. Cool new

CAITLIN ALLEN: story. I think that's so I like the ability that it has to couple the personal emotional with the professional, productive. That's, that's truly unusual. When I have a, I looked at your LinkedIn profile before we we spoke today, and there were so many reviews on it that for me, it really underscored that you've done a fairly decent job of living out that belief that

JOHN JENSEN: happy it's a good without knowing it, though, that was kind of cool. And the first sales training class ever took its age 23, right out of college, was taught by gentleman force, he's no longer with us. But he was like 80 at the time, and no one took him seriously because he was older. And the minute he started speaking, we were mesmerized. And he talked about that. He talked about that you that conscious competency, when you get to the point where you know why you're good at something, you will have really arrived in your career. And some of you may come 10 years from now, some of you 20 years from now, because I hope for all of you that point comes where you're really good, you recognize me really good. But you understand why then you're you're deadly?

CAITLIN ALLEN: Sure. Now, let's talk about how that gets applied, then, because obviously you've been good at that too. And we'll start maybe touch on several different topics across the employee lifecycle and start with culture. What are the four core values that you use to build teams with that main one in mind?

JOHN JENSEN: Yeah, I love talking about this. I remember you and I talked about this in the pre call, I have to give credit to Tom McCory. If he's out there, Tom recorded and recorded it in quarter systems. He and I ran a team together at Ultrix. And it was it was a really interesting team. It was what we call insight enterprise or emerging enterprise. These were not SDRs VDRs. They were commercial mid market salespeople that just frankly, weren't quite ready to be an enterprise seller, certainly not an outside seller. But they've outgrown where they were even some STRS and BDRs. outgrow or they were they just weren't ready to be full fledged strat wrap. So enterprise wrap. So we created this kind of middle tier between those two worlds caught inside emerging enterprise. And we sat down and said, like, we're wired the same way. We always joke we're brothers from another mother. How can we inspire people around the things we believe in? One, make sure we only bring people in to believe the same things. And to propagate and help those those values grow to create our own culture within a good culture already. And there are as follows. First is discipline. Simply stated, discipline is a word that can have it's a double edged sword, it can seem totalitarian and kind of heavy handed, or it can seem inspirational. When we say disparate discipline, we do not mean do what I tell you to do. Discipline is the, hey, I'm gonna eat the frog. First, I'm gonna do the hardest thing every day. And for me, it's cold calling and cold calling, by the way in the morning. If it's writing, I'm going to do my writing earlier in the day, the hardest thing for you personally, is what you need to do first. For myself, personally, it's getting up in the morning working out. But we have to find a way to have the discipline to eat the frog. The second is accountability. And this is another thing that's a double edged sword. It can sound heavy handed and self serving, or it can be inspirational accountability to yourself, not to me, not to Tom, not to your leadership team, not to your pod leader to yourself, be accountable, do what you say you're gonna do. It's not the same as discipline. And then the third thing is respect. This is really important, again, double double sided, it can be negative, you should respect me. No, it's not about respecting your leadership, although we hope you do, you should. It's about respecting the profession of selling, with the accepted view on professional, not the job selling. Personally, I am remiss to hire anybody that looks at this as a job and wants to jlb and I really, really, really, my hackles raised when I'm interviewing people that don't think of this as a profession I think of as a waystation or a point in time. And then that is all anchored by the most important cultural value of all and this is a little too touchy feely for some people and if it is, they're not going to work in my work because they're going to hate me. Love. Love each other. Love what you do love the profession of selling love the grind, love the studying love the extra things you need to put in to be great if you don't love those things. And I know some people underscore I don't know a lot about professional football. But Tom Brady embodies love more than anyone you've ever seen. He loves the grind. He loves his teammates. He loves competing and that's what we want New York wherever it is, whether it's Ultrix, or gong or Tableau or unica or any of the places I've been. That's one of the ingredients I've seen. And we're now in a cultural time with thanks to COVID COVID massively accelerated a lot of feelings in corporate America. It's okay now to talk about your feelings. It's okay now to talk about mental health. And you know what? Love is missing in too many parts of the world and it's definitely missing in the sales profession. Salary data shows if you're paying fairly.

NANCY CONNERY: No doubt that you have built some tremendous organizations along the way with those outstanding core values. You know, with that in mind, you know, I want to ask a question about your hiring process. You said that Gong's Talent Acquisition team is the best that you've ever worked with? Yeah. Yep. Kind of hiring process. Did you follow? And how did you build the best team?

JOHN JENSEN: Yeah, very good question. And I want to accent that is so true. I actually started my resume because it was a hot six months of my life. But I actually was the VP of Operations for a retained search firm in Silicon Valley, called people, people scape, which is in San Jose, and we were the first ever online portal for hiring now, Korn Ferry, Spencer, Stewart hybrid struggles all have an online component like future staff and leaders online, we were the first in that category. And so I know a thing or two about hiring, I am surrounded by a talent team that forgot more than I know. And one of the things I love, and it's not easy task to get a job of God. And God has its own cultural values, eight of them, they're phenomenal. And one of them is no sugar, they really believe in giving each other the no sugar, but then nicely, professionally, because same thing in every process. We have a five step interview process, it starts with a really thorough screen, which I think almost everyone does that in their talent organizations. But then every hiring manager has a specific purpose in the interview process, rather than doing five interviews the same over and over, which I think a lot of organizations don't mean to do, but they do that. We mix it up. The second interview is an interview where we give the person ahead of time a week ahead of time we give him a profile on and it's the same profile, we do this, we have a way to consistently measure it, we give him a profile of a very senior sales leader on LinkedIn, and say write us a prospecting email to this person based on what you can research and find out about them. That tells us how good a writer they are, and what bent they're coming from. A lot of people are selling. You know, Nancy, your organization, you probably have salespeople that you look at your mandate is lead with the product. And other people lead with the problem. And some people do a combo platter and I teach the lead that the problem, not the product. So the second interview, the hiring manager, by the way, in that second interview is asking, you know, attainment type questions and process questions. Then the second hiring manager interview takes place, that's a discovery call. We do a mock discovery call in about a half an hour of actual interviewing. So now we know how they write. We know roughly how much confidence and Moxie and knowledge and capability they haven't discovered process, which is really, really important when you're selling a high ticket item like golf. Then the next one is the mindset interview. That's the segment leader, that's myself or rob Anderson, who I work with. And that's where I'm going after mindset. I'm going after mindset and a little bit of attainment and history and how'd you get where you are. And we're all trying to kind of find where we missed something, but we're not being redundant. And then the final interview is with the SVP or CRO, and they will typically really go hard to hold on just one question. Hey, Caitlin, when things get really hard, tell me about the last two or three times things are really hard. And how did you handle it? Because we are in hard times and hard times meet great people, but they also greatly affect the people that are great. Salary data reveals pay competitiveness.

NANCY CONNERY: Yeah, no, no question you have you have a great process. And I'm sure it's no, no surprise that you have an outstanding team as a direct result of that.

CAITLIN ALLEN: retrograde. Going back to what you said, John, about gels is not a gob, it's a career. Some of what you just said about the process, will I think inform this question your answer to this question, but I'm curious to ask specifically, what is the profile that you hire for? Like, clearly, it's aligned with values you uncovered in your your hiring process, but if there were a few things that you'd use to describe what would they be?

JOHN JENSEN: Yeah, I'd like to say that there's, there's there's the JJ philosophy, then you also have to work within the organization you're in. So organizationally Gong believes and hiring if we actually pivoted, we come around at the minute from an SDR mindset to an ISR mindset. But we fortunately and unfortunately, in some ways, believe in only hiring people that have been in SDR already.

CAITLIN ALLEN: Can I interrupt real quick? Yeah, for the listeners that don't make sure we had to do with the acronym, SDR sales development rep ISR is inside sales rep.

JOHN JENSEN: Very Right. Correct. Yeah, thank you for stopping me on that. And there's a difference. STRS typically are responsible for getting meetings. Every BDR. SDR. org has only two ways they can comment or go get meetings or they get sales but sales call I'll fly off earlier stage companies tend to focus on meetings. Later stage companies tend to focus on quality leads. We made that pivot from getting meetings to quality leads. But I'd really I'd really love to see us also make the pivot to hiring people that are out of school, because I can get to them early and I can have a bigger influence on creating habits, rather than breaking some bad habits and got from other places. Because we're breaking a lot of bad habits, like leading with the product is one of them that drives me nuts. You know, lots of little things in language like I'd love to, who cares what you love to do, you're a salesperson. Prospects don't care about that. They care about what they love, just little things, and these bad habits get started. And it's all downhill from there. The profile that we do look for though, is someone with one and a half to two years SDR experience, maybe a years has VR experience, because we're gonna make them into an ISR, we're going to have to level them, we look for people that are really smart. I'm not looking for the most gregarious person in a room, I've got that covered. We're looking for people that are thoughtful. Now, if they're gregarious, that's great. But we're looking for people that are thoughtful, because selling is not all about being anxious and excited and excitable, and, you know, believable and emotional. It's also about being deeply intellectual today. And understanding brain science, understanding how the art of persuasion not to persuade someone to do something you want to do is to persuade them to a different way of thinking that exposes them to gaps and frictions and problems. They've gotten an org that they're just too busy to acknowledge. Or they don't have the skill set, or the binoculars or the microscope to see if our job is doing illuminate. And that's not always what people buy emotionally. They start to justify things with fact. And it's important that we find people to understand those two things. And so I love it when someone's got a psychology background. I love it when they've got a good sports background, and they're competitive. So my best managers and my best ISR professionals played, you know, semi professional sports or in like really crazy sports like Ultimate Frisbee where they tackle the heck out of each other. Yeah, just up there playing golf. That's what's really cool. As you see, we look for I don't mind the eclectic, I do look for people kind of an eclectic background and afraid to kind of let their freak flag fly and say, here's who I am. And I prayed. I'm learning who I am at an early age Am I afraid to show it really like?

CAITLIN ALLEN: You reminding me really hardcore of my old boss Mark cranny? Yes, he had looked for, like, leaders of team sports because he liked looking for someone who was collaborative, but can also be a leader. And it was, it was a profile that I'd never actually thought of applying. But it worked over and over. Salary data unlocks sales performance.

JOHN JENSEN: We don't use this a gong per se. But if I were to say to anyone organization ever worked for my life, they got the hiring profiles down there now called PTC, they used to be called parametric Technology Corporation. And it's a CAD CAM software vendor out of Boston. And I worked there for a short time in my early 20s. And I was overhearing all the way to sales kickoff, the sales leaders talking first class, I'm gonna first first row and in the back of the bus there, and I heard them talking about hiring profile. And they were talking about how they wanted people that were good students in school, but not straining students. And the reasoning was, we want people to know how to have fun and relate to people, they want people to nerd out in the library all the time. So why people got a good test scores on SATs or AC t, because they're smart, but we don't want people that spent their whole college career focusing on their grades because that's not what we're doing here. Another thing to look for, which was really kind of odd was they looked for people that were from divorced families, for instance, that's a really controversial Ahmad. Then in reasoning, explain all the reasoning as you're talking as Wow, it's fascinating. I had an industrial psychologist come in. And I'm from a divorced family. Oftentimes, people that don't come from a nucular family are seeking, they're seeking approval, they're seeking something's missing in their lives. And that is part of the fuel that drives them. And like, like you're not there's a lot of psychology to what we do. And there's not what anyone profile, but understanding how to go after people and how they're wired and what they care about what they're striving for in their lives. And at that point in their life, is something that I think you have to take into account. You know, we hired a young man recently who really didn't ever see himself as an SDR BDR type he was he wanted to own a restaurant. He came from a family that was a culinary background and hospitality background, and to 2008 and other factors. They lost some of their businesses and then he went and started a Thai restaurant during COVID. That didn't work so great. Now he's in the SDR role and he's a gritty, smart young man who wants to be successful. And those are great examples of people that can really help your work and then they find out they love selling, that might be the path to take the rest of their life. Maybe not. But in most cases, yes.

NANCY CONNERY: Yeah, I think this, this really validates the idea that there's a lot more than the resume and to take the time to understand people's stories. And the reason that people have taken the path that he or she has taken is very important. I, you know, in that same vein, you know, looking at education and background and you know, what is the story? Why did you pick the university that you might have picked, it might not have been a top university, but the story behind it might show an awful lot of qualities about you, that in turn, turn into you being a top employee in the field in which you are so you know, with that said, you know, what are some of your go to interview questions, because it sounds like you have done a great job at really formulating a, a formula that works and hiring.

JOHN JENSEN: I have a three page document that we work from, but me try to keep it interesting. For a while there, I was doing seven to eight interviews a day. And I probably still feel like a robot because asking the same questions is also how you get a control experiment in place. I have a couple of favorites. And actually, I gotta give some credit. I'm forgetting her name right now. But I did a kind of a an information share with the inside sales leader at Docusign. We kind of did an information shared. She's like, here's my favorite interview question. And I'm like now on my top five, and it'd be Nancy. Love this interview so far. Love what we're talking about. I'm gonna ask you kind of an off the wall question. And that's what is Caitlin again this week Caitlin's your leader, what do you get? What is Caitlyn going to miss most about you and you read? And you listen to what they say? No, I say cool things and that's great. Then you go kind of nucular on that one. Give it some nucular power. All right, Nancy, I'm gonna go the other side of the coin. What will Caitlin Miss least about you? Now why do we ask that self awareness? One of the most important things that I have learned, especially this year, hiring so many people, I think we've hired 3540 people in a short period of time. There are people that come with not the level of self awareness you need. And that's a lot of calories sometimes to fix that. And so it's important to get that out in the open. Another one, I love to ask Caitlin, straight up why sales? You want to Nancy, you want to have the stories that gets stories flowing. I mean, that my own story, there's one that everyone wants to hear it but why sales, you find out so much stuff, you'd never find out asking about their attainment, and, you know, their sales process and all that baloney. Another one is, you know, Nancy, you have two choices, you can be the top performer on the team, called a team of 12. making the most money possible breaking the Complan. Kind of on your own. Or you can be a top performer and that top performers here in the upper, your upper 20%. making a good living, deeply collaborative with your teammates, which appeals to most and why. This also came from Lady DocuSign shows this there's a science behind asking this most people that we're hiring into the workforce today, let's call them 30 years old and younger. They are not as money motivated as we might have been earlier in our career. They say they are sometimes but actions speak louder than the words. And she said that she'd done a controlled experiment over three different companies it looked at when people answer it's all about the money. I want the number one 10% of that 100% of people that say that actually meant it and become top performers and are chasing the dollar and trying to really make money. It's really more about collaboration and making a fair living and enjoying what you're doing. Like that is counter to what was like mentioned anyone when I got to school, it was like, let me step over you to get $1. And that's really kind of, you know, going by the wayside a little bit, culturally, society.

NANCY CONNERY: Yeah, speaks about the evolution of the workforce very much

JOHN JENSEN: for sure. Another question I like to ask is Caitlin, how do you like to be coached Now often, if it's someone and there's a lot of women's who love football if we ended up talking about football or sports in any way? I won't say we'd bring it up unless they brought it up. But if we go down the sports route, my favorite question to ask is Caitlyn. If you didn't name any current or past NFL or college coach, who would you want to play for and why? You find it out with someone who can tell you I like to be coached hard. I want this this this and this or I like, you know, I'm more of an auditory learner. I need to do whatever they say. When they actually identify with a coaching style that everyone knows. It tells you how true to themselves they are how much their BS. Like when someone tells me the accuracy, they're pretty disciplined. And I say, who would you want to play for? They say, Bill Bell check. And I say, Well, hi, like, well, he's a nicest guy in the world. But it's about discipline and a process to get the job done. I know that mean it. But if I see a bunch of behavior in their past, that's inconsistent with that kind of discipline. That sounds like a platitude.

CAITLIN ALLEN: Interesting, well, unfortunately, if you'd asked me that question, the interview will be over because I know nothing about football. That's okay. That's why you bring it up. I do have a double click question for you. Yeah. So John, one of the things that I hear a lot from our listeners is how much they care right now about retention. Right? And career pathways are really big for for the part of the workforce we're talking about right now, as well as for retention as a whole. If you get to this time of year, when people are thinking about potentially moving on and that traditional after the holidays kind of timeframe. What how do you build career pathways? What does the traditional career pathway look like for SDR to ISR? And from there on out, and how do you measure someone's right?

JOHN JENSEN: This is a hard one, because everyone's in a hurry and wants to be promoted yesterday. And there's a there's a company out there called the Bridge group. It's kind of like the Gartner of SDR land. So for those that are listening in on the bridge group, great group of people have helped me a lot. They have a book called the STR handbook. And they talked about kind of the basics. If you've never been an SDR manager or belted STR org, it's pretty elementary, but really good. And also for an old vet like me, I've learned some things they've taught me talk a lot about that. You have to look at the success rate, a whopping 67 to 68% of all SDR BDR, inside sales types that go to become a full fledged account executive failed to make quota first year. That's a staggering number. It's an unfair number. And so one of the things we sought to do a gong this year was completely revamp that whole mindset around SDR BDR, inside sales, and come up with this inside sales role. That wasn't just a little bump in pay, and certainly a bump and what we expect you to do. It was also a bump in expectation setting that round, most people go in there an inside salesperson for like nine months a year, and they expect to fully be promoted to something else. And most orgs fall into that trap and have a process for that, as did gone. And we call it a ticket to play. Once you have your nine months in, you've done your 12 months, you can go anywhere, anywhere you want. It's a timeout, everybody that might work in commercial that might work down market mid mid market, if we're trying to build an enterprise business, that's not going to work. Because it's too nuanced, it's too serious, it's too different. And people aren't gonna learn the skills they need in eight or nine months, they're probably to learn them in like 24 months or 18 months. So we need to have two things, we have a very conscious understanding that we don't want to hire people that want to get into marketing and or customer success. And this is a stepping stone to that role. Because they're gonna give it the old college try. They're not going to come in fully committed, and it's a jlb it's not a profession. Selling is a profession. It's such an emotionally draining role. It takes so much brain power earlier in your career, especially when everything's new to you every acronyms new the only sales org structure, let alone in your world, how does compensation work, they only understand how organizations are structured from an org perspective. So you know, there's a lot of teaching going on. And it's it's naive of the employee, and it's naive and the company and the leader to think you're going to just small package that and nine to 12 months and be successful. So they found it at 18 months. Now it's in the teens like 17% don't make that number. So the path we see is a 24 months or less 12 months or more path with three gates to it, which we're still refining candidly, we've got an SRO role as senior is role role, where they now go into close your role and work underneath the tutelage of a strategic AG. I'd like to see us actually threefold that I'd like to have an ISR or associate ISR ISR senior ISR and make it so there's a bump in pay along the way. There's a bump in responsibilities and if I could design my own comp plan next year, which I might have a chance to have a little more input because I kind of got thrown into the fire here in the year. Right now we've got a salary and then we've got a variable and a variable solely based on how we can do any number of sales accepted opportunities you need to serve us it's called four or five for our purposes per quarter. And if you get there and you get paid per Sal and and yet paid. Yeah, what I would love to do too is it's a little we need a little instant gratification. I'd love to see us also pay for getting meetings with senior executives are on a hit list. Because the meetings though the sales accepted opportunities, and I think it's challenging sometimes if you're if you're lumpy and enterprise, if I go six weeks without getting the meeting, I'm gonna go six weeks not getting commission check. So what I'd love to see us do is even that out, not part of it out, but just even an hour. So maybe 65% of the variable is still for the ultimate goal, getting accepted opportunity, and then also reward people along the way for some bread crumbs, which we know lead the goodness, that would be ideal. We don't do that today, right now. It's variable is all the sales accepted opportunities?

NANCY CONNERY: Yeah. Great information. I was actually John gonna ask you, you know, and then say that I would be remiss on this podcast for you know, not bringing up compensation and your philosophy around it. You definitely gave us some great tidbits there anything else that you would like to add in terms of you know, how you approach compensation really across the organization from strategic sales to your SDR teams?

JOHN JENSEN: Well, I'll say this. Gong, I think the compensation is fair and well articulated. But I think it's also during times like these, you can't be afraid to double down. And we're certainly doing a good job of that. And that helps you with retention. And it's not necessarily overpaying for things are paying people for things they don't deserve. But being willing to maybe go a little beyond to really reward the behaviors that you need. And I think a lot of sales or sales leaders for that matter, come up with spiffs and plans and commission percentages and levers and plans that are about the company. And and the reps know that. And it's got to be about the rap and the company, it's hard to balance those two things. But it's got to be about kind of an equal seat at the table, still drive into the metrics, we need to be a profitable concern and go public, if that's what you're trying to do, or your bond, if that's what you're trying to just make a profit. I think sometimes you get into a little bit too much of CFO mindset on comp plans. And I think if I could wave a magic wand, and be and have more say in that than they do today, or even like lead an effort like you guys do to compete to create those those models. I think you have to have sales and finance at the table together. Too many of the times finance is coming up with this FPN a model is headcount based model, this whatever news volume based model, and they're pushing it down the throats of everyone else, and no one else buys into it. But everyone wants to make money and they don't want to leave the company so they accept it. And that's not when you get maximum emotional output from people who let's be fair, let's be fair and honest. Salespeople are emotional creatures more so than most. And you've got to have a comp plan that caters to that.

CAITLIN ALLEN: Yeah, what's what's coming to mind is it's just it's left behind the veil of mystery, right? There's been unequal access, and it's been not useful compensation information for most folks. So it's you, you hit that that point right on the head, and we all care about what we're paid, intimately connected with calm. So I think he makes some really good points.

JOHN JENSEN: The nature of people, you know, that old fable, if you've got the frog, and the scorpion, and scorpion asked the frog, if he'll help them sort of cross the lake. You heard this? And then he was like, No, you're a scorpion, you're gonna fight me and kill me? No, I'm not, you're doing me a favor, I would never do that. So he gets on his back and they go across the lake, and they get across this scorpions thing, and then he kills him, because you suddenly I'm gonna die. It's in my nature couldn't help it. And what you have to do is you have to look at the nature of sales works, and what motivates salespeople in mass. And you have to take that into mind, you have to take that into account, while also balancing the needs of the world from a finance perspective.

CAITLIN ALLEN: Well said, John, this has been fantastic. I'm going to close out with something. Just one last question. Our audiences HR listeners is HR leaders, as you know, what's the one thing you would ask them to remember from all the goodness that you've shared today?

JOHN JENSEN: Well, I'll tell you, I work with the best HR leader I've ever had in my life. Melanie curry here, girl, and I would say balance the three. The Big Three, the person, the manager in the company, she does that better than anyone I've ever worked with. I applaud her all the time. It's a gift. It's a gift if you can form it as an HR professional, and as an org, especially oh man, and you're cooking with gas. That is really hard to do. Because most HR orgs have the reputation of being all about the company. And then maybe in the Silicon Valley and b2b tech companies all about the employee. Okay, whoa, that's overboard. too. And then sometimes in some more draconian places like Boston and New York, it's all about the manager, we're gonna protect the manager. That's not fair either. Sometimes managers are wrong. You got to really peanut butter, spread that across the three and it's so hard to do and you got to be equal proportions 3333 33 and an extra 1%. Maybe throw in a place that needs it at the time.

CAITLIN ALLEN: Sounds wonderful. Well, thank you again, John. This has been fantastic and I enjoyed it.

NANCY CONNERY: Thanks, John. Great information for our listeners. Really appreciate it. Thank you.

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