Do you want to set your team up for success? Then surround yourself with amazing people and ask great questions. The opportunity is endless if only you understand the value of connectivity and the power of multiplication.
In this episode, we have Joe Jordan, the Chief Revenue Officer at ShipSigma, a supply chain data analytics software that helps shipping companies reduce costs without changing anything operationally in their business.
During the conversation, Joe shares his sales leadership journey and how he supports his team to reach their full potential and achieve company success.
Joe also discusses how to unwire your brain to understand what matters, the beauty of working in a fast-paced environment such as a startup, and the value of customer relationships to create success.
01:36 Joe’s background and how he got to Indianapolis
06:55 How Accelerant helped Joe to grow and succeed as a leader
14:43 Joe’s personality and core values as a leader
19:35 The focus of the Chief Revenue Officer role
25:19 Leaving every meeting with clarity and commitment to win
28:19 Joining ShipSigma
35:30 The difference and benefits of working in different business sizes
41:18 How to help the team to reach their full potential
44:06 Joe’s favorite suit and tie color scheme and favorite sport
Grayson Faircloth: 22:27
Yeah. And I'm interested, so it can be kinda broken down into more of a formula, you know, follow up. You know, the relationship, stuff like that. But have there ever been times where you followed the formula or you followed the sales process and it didn't work out? I'm sure there's been plenty of times where it didn't work out as you'd hoped, but what do you think causes that when it's like, just doesn't work out? Like how does that fit into the equation of sales and kind of the revenue engine side of things?
Joe Jordan: 22:57
Yeah. I mean, you know, someone once told me, you know, some will, some won't, so what? Right? So I think you're gonna run into that...
Grayson Faircloth: 23:03
Joe Jordan: 23:03
As you go. You know, you could have the perfect playbook. You have perfect play, ready to go, and it's worked, you know, 99 times. And then you get to the, you know, you get to the one-yard line and there's a fumble or the clock, you know, runs out. There are moments in time that that's gonna happen. I don't think it's always prescriptive. I think you can be perfect and still not get an opportunity. And I've ran into many of those, not just one. I've ran into many of those.
Grayson Faircloth: 23:26
Joe Jordan: 23:26
Where I followed the playbook and got a no.
Grayson Faircloth: 23:30
Joe Jordan: 23:30
But I've always followed the mindset of, you know, yeses or nos are okay to have. They're great to have honestly. I just don't want the maybe. And I think if you can find your way from a sales perspective to get rid of the maybes and just go after the yeses and nos, you'll have more clarity. And then that would allow you to execute it at the highest level. Someone once told me that if you can leave every meeting with clarity and commitment, you're gonna win.
Grayson Faircloth: 23:53
Joe Jordan: 23:53
You just gotta have clarity and commitment. You gotta know what next steps are and you gotta have people committed on what next steps are.
Grayson Faircloth: 24:00
Joe Jordan: 24:00
If you leave the meeting and you're unsure, they're unsure, it's a recipe for a disaster. If you leave there knowing, hey, here's specifically what I'm gonna do, here's what you're gonna do, and your heart's in the right place to serve that person, to help them...
Grayson Faircloth: 24:11
Joe Jordan: 24:11
Get to that next decision. Whether that's a yes or a no. If you just help them get to those places, if they can be a yes or a no, not the person, they can just give you a no.
Grayson Faircloth: 24:20
Joe Jordan: 24:21
Then you can be successful. But I would tell you my experience has been you can run the perfect play but the defense could, you know, run the perfect way too. So that's my experience.
Grayson Faircloth: 24:31
Well, so I'm interested, this yes and no concept, I've been going through some of the Sandler Sales training stuff myself over the past couple weeks, and I'm interested, so how do you incorporate this? Like yes, we need a hard yes, we need a hard no, but we also, you know, want to establish like a solid relationship with the person, and there may be someone that you'll interact with for a long period of time. Like how do you play that line in terms of like what is maybe, or like what is no but later? Is that like a no or...
Joe Jordan: 25:00
Well, so I've always found that if you set the proper expectations up front, then it's not gonna get weird later on.
Grayson Faircloth: 25:06
Joe Jordan: 25:06
So if you set the proper expectations and say, hey, you know what, you know, here's a reason we're here together today, and at the end of the meeting or at the end of the conversation, here's what I'm trying to accomplish and here's what I'd like to do, here's why it's important. At the end of the meeting, listen, if we're gonna be, it's a good fit and we'll move forward and help each other, great.
Grayson Faircloth: 25:22
Joe Jordan: 25:22
If it's not, that's okay too, and we'll be friends and I'll work to help you regardless.
Grayson Faircloth: 25:26
Joe Jordan: 25:27
All I ask is if we pick where we're at, I think if you say that early on, it's a lot easier to go back to it once at the end of the meeting or at the end of the conversation. But the person that you're talking to, they gotta see that you care about the process. You care about them making a good decision.
Grayson Faircloth: 25:41
Joe Jordan: 25:42
Whether that decision is with you or with someone else, you care about that. You care about the decision, not about lining your pockets, not about getting more customers, but you care about helping other people get to where they want to go. If you do that well, and you do a lot of it, so I mentioned earlier on activity, if you can do a lot of [00:26:00] that and meet with the right people solely for the expectation to helping them arrive, you have fun doing it.
Grayson Faircloth: 26:06
Joe Jordan: 26:06
Cause if you're a no, hey, great. That's fantastic. You're a no. Let me help you. Like who can I introduce you to you know, and how do we stay in touch so that if something were to change, you can reach out to me.
Grayson Faircloth: 26:15
Joe Jordan: 26:16
I've always lived by that. Now listen, there's gonna be some people out there that they don't live by that same train of thought and they're probably gonna you know, just never talk to you again, you know, or have their cameras off or, you know, and that's okay.
Grayson Faircloth: 26:28
Joe Jordan: 26:29
But you give with the expectation of not getting anything in return and it will come back around. Always does.
Grayson Faircloth: 26:34
Yeah. Okay. Interesting. Yeah. A little sidebar question, but I appreciate your perspective on that so. Want to get into what you're doing currently. So, let's talk a little bit about ShipSigma and would love to just know how you got involved with them. How did you hear about it's pretty small company, how did you hear about them in the first place and how did you get involved?
Joe Jordan: 26:54
Yeah, so after I left my… can I go back in time a little bit?
Grayson Faircloth: 26:57
Joe Jordan: 26:58
I was with FE Moran Security Solutions. We were growing that company. We decided to exit the business. When we exit the business, we're bought by a large company called Securitas Electronic Securities. Amazing company. They're doing great things and I was in a pretty nice role and it's really great role, to be honest. They set me up to be successful. I just didn't feel like my heart was in big business. It was a big, big company. And I said, you know, I'm gonna find out what's next in my life. So I stayed on there for a little bit just to help set the team up for success. When I left there, I really had to think through and I couldn't really land on what I wanted to do until I met ShipSigma. I met ShipSigma through relationships. That's how I met him. And that's how I met FE Moran was through relationships. Met him through an introduction and then I had an executive dinner, put together a dinner, and again, bringing people together. Not for anything, just to bring great people together and got to hear their story more in depth and said, hey, this is something that I can get behind. I can get behind helping people put savings back in their budget. I can get behind a small team that's nimble and wanting to run really fast and have that chase for excellence.
Grayson Faircloth: 28:03
Joe Jordan: 28:04
And so I can get behind a few of those things. And we have two co-founders in the business that are great visionaries and they know where they want to go. And I wanna help them get to where they want to go and we got an amazing team. So I got to them through a relationship and I'm staying with them because of the frame of mind that they have. And ultimately cause we're trying to help our people and we're trying to help companies unlock value and I'm all about that.
Grayson Faircloth: 28:27
Yeah. That's awesome. And then continue on, just like the pitch for ShipSigma, what exactly do you guys do? What do you help with? Who do you help?
Joe Jordan: 28:35
Sure. We are a cost reduction firm. We focus specifically on small parcel. So companies that are shipping currently with a FedEx or a UPS, and they're spending between 1 million and a hundred million dollars a year with those carriers, we can help them reduce their costs without changing anything operational in their business. What we do is we have a unique technology where we can look at their raw invoice data with the [00:29:00] carriers. We can then tell them within 24 hours exactly where they could be saving with going and getting a new agreement, re-engineering a new agreement. And that every week, every single week, what we do is we we're able to validate, verify, monitor the savings amount with the carrier and with their invoice. And so we're auditing that on a regular basis to make sure they're getting best in class pricing. We're able to do that because we have two things. We're not better negotiators, we're not better engineers than our customers. We have two things that separate us. One, we have proprietary technology that we've invested heavily in that gives us the ability to see shipping characteristics. And then number two, we see live market data. So we see over a billion dollars of live market data. So we know what someone's neighbors are paying, you know, across the entire spectrum. So we can look at, you know, best in class, you know, standards in specific industries and based on certain shipping characteristics. So on average, we're saving our customers 25.2% cost reduction across the board. We only get paid if we save. So we are a performance-based. Our customers don't pay us unless they, you know, put dollars back into their budget and we're paid a percentage of the savings in which we find, and then we surround all that savings with all the other value pieces from reports and analytics, and our BI team, and our contract engineering team, and our customer success group. And we just shower our customers with as much value as possible to keep 'em around long term and then just put money back in the pockets. That's what we try to do.
Grayson Faircloth: 30:31
Yeah, I remember when I first heard about it. I love those types of businesses where the pitch is essentially, hey, we can save you, you know, 25% off the millions that you're spending every year. That's a pretty great value prop so. Well, I'm interested, so when ShipSigma was going out looking for a, you know, chief revenue or sales leader, what did they think that they needed you to do when you joined versus what you ultimately identified that you needed to do? Like what was the disconnect? Yeah. I'm just interested in like that first couple months as a CIR at a new startup, essentially.
Joe Jordan: 31:05
Yeah. I think, ultimately, what they needed and what they were looking for was someone who could help them fill the pipeline with the current sales team that was there and make it repeatable and predictable. And I think that that still holds true, repeatable, predictable sales, and then repeatable, predictable revenue. I think that that still holds true. However, I think early on what they were expecting was someone just to come into the business and really just be a sales and kind of a marketing leader and just lead that function. You know, I think we all kind of benefited in my past experience I mentioned earlier, I had a few different hats from a retention standpoint as well as an MNA and so that allowed me to, you know, kind of play in the finance world a little bit and work closely with the CFO and work closely with operations and then work closely with a lot of leaders with my Accelerant background. So partnerships. And so I was able to come into the business and do a little bit more than just, you know, the sales and marketing function. And so by nature of that, we've been able to lift a little bit in some other areas. And so what we're doing now is, you know, at CRO I'm focused on, you know, customer success. Very important that we keep our customers. It's more expensive to go, you know, get customers than it is, you know, to lose 'em. So we we're keeping our customers, you know. Number two is marketing and sales that comes naturally. I mean, you just help others get what they want, you know, you just keep helping 'em. That's not difficult. There's some things we're doing over there. Really scale it up. The other piece I think that we're finding benefit in is new revenue creation. I think that's the benefit that the company's got because not just cause I'm here just because I'm bringing some other thoughts to the group and the other teams, you bring in thoughts and they create thoughts and then you all rise.
Grayson Faircloth: 32:37
Joe Jordan: 32:37
So we're gonna create some new revenue streams, gonna make our business more profitable and grow, you know, more top-line revenue. So, I think new revenue streams are something that I think that they wanted. Did know that, you know, someone like myself could help bring that to the table. I'm bringing some of that to the table and ultimately I think those revenue streams, it's just gonna be helpful to our current customer base.
Grayson Faircloth: 32:57
Joe Jordan: 32:57
So you have to have someone that can see like that full picture of, you know, how do you help the customers? How do you get new customers? How do you market it? How do you, you know, what does it mean from a profitability standpoint, you know, all those pieces. And I think I was able to bring some of that to the table.
Grayson Faircloth: 33:12
Yeah, I love that. And how would you say that, you know, what you're doing now varies from what you've done in the past in terms of you did have some more medium sized companies, but then going into more of like a larger, bigger company perspective. Like how are things different and how are things similar from like a sales and like a building, an organization perspective?
Joe Jordan: 33:33
Yeah, I mean this is an entrepreneurial type company. You know, we're still building out systems and processes and elevating our team. You know, the differences is that I've found in businesses, I've been to medium sized business, I've been to a really large business, I've been in a small business, and the benefit you have is, you know, sometimes you have to be, you know, executive coach player, you have to wear multiple hats. You know, what I'm seeing now is I enjoy. I enjoy getting in the trenches with my team. I enjoy helping fight the battle that needs to fight. I wanna be on sales calls, I wanna be on customer calls. I think that, you know, my mantra has always been, you know, I wanna lead from the front. Like, I want my team to know that I'm willing to be in the battle.
Grayson Faircloth: 34:09
Joe Jordan: 34:09
And honestly, I love it.
Grayson Faircloth: 34:10
Joe Jordan: 34:11
And so I think that, you know, in the smaller type company, entrepreneurial type company, that is a key difference that you're in kind of in the fight, whether they're trying to work from a tower, and not that I ever was that, but I think it's challenging for some leaders to not to work from the tower because you have to work from a tower sometimes to be able to put together the strategy and the vision and actually help others execute it. Because of the nature of, you know, the size of the business. I'm in a position now where I'm able to kind of go back and forth as we build a team. And you know, our business model is such that we don't have to have hundreds of companies that come on as customers every month. We want the right companies joining us and partnering with us. And so it gives me the ability to be player-coach and executive at times, but I would say that that's, you know, what's cool about being a part of a smaller company is you got that speedboat. You're not working, you know, with the Titanic and it's gonna take you six months to get a decision. You know, we can make a decision here in 15 minutes. Let's just go fast.
Grayson Faircloth: 35:04
Joe Jordan: 35:04
We'll make, you know, mistakes along the way. That's okay. That's what's fun about working inside of a company like this.
Grayson Faircloth: 35:08
Joe Jordan: 35:09
We can get better. So, hopefully, that answers your question, but ultimately it's those things.
Grayson Faircloth: 35:13
Yeah. And thinking forward, I know you said taking on a couple customers a year, but eventually over time, you know, responsibilities grow, team gets billed out. How do you think that your responsibilities will change in the future as your team continues to scale?
Joe Jordan: 35:28
Oh, parts of my role does change that just shows, you know, hopefully, good leadership and good development of our team. We're working through that and transitioning some of, you know, some responsibilities over to our VPSL so he can take on more activities that I'm running. But there's some things that I wanna continue to have, like, I don't wanna be disconnected from our customers. I don't wanna be disconnected from our team members. I don't wanna be disconnected from our sales process and our, you know, our efforts there because that, you know, honestly, it gives me energy. It gives me, you know, I get pumped up when I'm on a customer call and I can see, you know, how hard our team's working. Like those things are fun for me. But there are those proud popup moments, if you will, that you wanna have, right? Where you're able to put together a call with your team members and you've been putting this call together over time and leading them, and then you show up on the call and you're just quiet and you let someone else run it. You see it go really well and you're just like that's the team.
Grayson Faircloth: 36:18
Joe Jordan: 36:18
Like I just, I can sit back. So you know, I say like, what is my role? Like over time? I don't know. I hope it doesn't change too much. I mean, there's some things that I think I can lift and help. I think there's gonna be some newer responsibilities as we grow the company and go from a 10 million dollar company to a 17 million dollar company to a 35 million dollar company. There will be some changes. But at the end of the day, I never see myself getting out of the date, like a customer meeting or for a prospect meeting. I can't be on all of them.
Grayson Faircloth: 36:46
Joe Jordan: 36:47
But this guy can't get out of. I can't be outta all of ‘em. [36:51:03].
Grayson Faircloth: 36:53
And so I'm interested though, that coaching perspective. I talked with another kind of senior director of sales and he indicated that coaching really stood out to him as one of his most important responsibilities for his team. And I know you recently, your VP of sales, been a couple months now, two or three?
Joe Jordan: 37:09
Grayson Faircloth: 37:10
How have you kind of developed from a coaching perspective, like when you talk about prepping them for that call, like what are those things and how are you working through on the actual coaching side developing your team?
Joe Jordan: 37:21
Yeah, no, that's great. You know, it's really helpful if you're a coach to have a good player. Like it's really important. And when I say good player, you know, I don't want the fancy guy that, you know, thinks he's got everything put together and he can, he's got it. I got it figured out. I want the one that's like I'm humble and hungry and smart. Like I want those guys. And lucky for us, we have one of those guys on our team.
Grayson Faircloth: 37:40
Joe Jordan: 37:40
And so early on, like the way that I've coached and I'll always coach is, you know, what I've done is I lead, I say, hey, I'm gonna run these calls. You join me, I'll run the call from beginning to end, and then the next move will be, hey, listen, you're gonna run a couple of these slides, or you're gonna run a portion of the meeting, and then we'll go back and we'll have a debrief right after that and a 30 minute debrief to go over things that he thought he did well, things that I may make some recommendations on. And then we do it over and over and over and over again.
Grayson Faircloth: 38:08
Joe Jordan: 38:08
We have, you know, basically a 90-day period in which that's what we do over and over. And then we have these check-ins where I'll pop in on certain calls and give him feedback. But we built the most important thing that you have to have inside of coaching is you have to have trust. And so you can say things that you know may be painful
Grayson Faircloth: 38:24
Joe Jordan: 38:24
But not painful when you have trust. They're like, yeah, you're right, Joe. Like, thanks for telling me that.
Grayson Faircloth: 38:29
Joe Jordan: 38:29
Because no one else is gonna tell me that.
Grayson Faircloth: 38:31
Joe Jordan: 38:31
So I think ultimately that's really it.
Grayson Faircloth: 38:33
Yeah. No, I love that. I want to end off on, so I told you a little bit about the purpose of the podcast, but one of the purposes is for those people who are in, you know, individual contributor roles or maybe they're adjusting out, starting out in sales leadership, talking about growing and progressing in their career. So what are some of those things that when you're having a conversation with someone, maybe it's your new VP of sales, or maybe it's someone at a former company that you worked at, what types of things are coming up in that conversation and what are the things that you're pushing them for, and what are the things that you're kind of like letting them take a stab at themselves?
Joe Jordan: 39:07
Yeah, so I would say one, like if, you know my goal and I don't do it the best job possible, but I try, my goal is to be proactive and go to the team and have those conversations and say, Hey, how do we help you reach your full potential? That's what we should be doing as a leader. Hopefully other people have leaders that are doing that, their leader on their team. However, if they're not, and you're on the team, you know, proactively reaching out to your leader, asking, Hey, I wanna reach my full potential. Can you point out areas in which I can grow? But in order to do that, you have to draw a line. If you don't have a leader that can help you draw the line, you gotta be able to draw a line of where you are now and where you'd like to go at least three to five years out. Draw the line, where do you wanna go? Where do you wanna be? And if you don't know that, you gotta figure it out. So you gotta invest time to understand what your trajectory is and where you want to go. And be able to outline, well, what are the steps that I need to go, what are the things I need to do to be able to arrive? And ultimately set your side, set your sight out on someone who's already in that position or, and someone who's not just in that position, but they're effective in that role. And then see the steps in which they took. And so I would say that, you know, if it's a sales leadership role, well there's some things you gotta learn how to do. You gotta learn how to, you can't just be the top salesperson cause that's, typically not the best top sales person's, not typically the best leader. You gotta think through how do you arrive in that leadership role. And you know, what I've found for myself is I surround myself with amazing people that are, you know, steps I mentioned earlier, I'm a product of people, so I find people that are better than me. Good mentors, good coaches, and I ask them, you know, I'll reach out to them and with questions. But I build a tribe and then have them, you know, invest in me as I invest in them. Ultimately, I think that's it. Outside of that, I would say one of the key things that I think is important that I think a lot of people missed on. Is not being afraid to ask others that are out there that could potentially be a mentor. You know, you could reach out to someone on LinkedIn and just say, Hey, I wanna reach out to you for 20 minutes just to pick your brain, and then trying to turn that into a mentor relationship. Most people are fearful of it because they say, Hey, I don't know. This guy or gal may tell me, no, they may not wanna be, you would be surprised at the people that would be honored to be a mentor and be a guide for someone, you know, that hasn't quite, you know, arrived at the place they wanna arrive cause guess what? That person was in that role before too, most of the time. So, at least I was. And so I would be honored if someone were to reach out to me and say, hey, can you put me in a direction here? Cause ultimately most leaders, if they're good. They exist to help other people reach their full potential.
Grayson Faircloth: 41:31
Joe Jordan: 41:32
That's the reason they should exist so..
Grayson Faircloth: 41:33
Yeah. Cool. No, I love that. Want to end off on a couple fun questions and then, we'll call it an afternoon.
Joe Jordan: 41:41
Grayson Faircloth: 41:41
Fun question number one. So I know you're a big fan of looking sharp, so suits and ties, cool color combinations. I'm interested, if you had to choose one, what would you say your favorite, suit, and tie, like color combo scheme? Like if you're putting together the outfit of outfits, what are you?
Joe Jordan: 42:02
Yeah, that's an interesting question. My favorite outfit. So, I love a three-piece suit.
Grayson Faircloth: 42:06
Joe Jordan: 42:06
It's different these days because of, I think covid changed the world in a lot of ways, but I love a good three-piece suit. And so my favorite one, I love like purple stripes. I love like a pinstripe, so.
Grayson Faircloth: 42:16
Joe Jordan: 42:16
I love a white crisp shirt with, you know, the pinstripe, you know, like a purple pinstripe suit.
Grayson Faircloth: 42:22
Joe Jordan: 42:23
With a vest, with a purple tie. I mean, that is great, right? It's probably my favorite go-to.
Grayson Faircloth: 42:28
Joe Jordan: 42:29
And yeah, so that's mine.
Grayson Faircloth: 42:30
Yeah. Okay. No, I love that. What would you say your, you know, favorite sport or activity to play is?
Joe Jordan: 42:39
Favorite sport to play is basketball. I've enjoyed it. You know, it's just, you know, I would say the other one would be football, but man, these guys are way bigger than me, so I, basketball is bigger than me, but they can't touch me. So I can.
Grayson Faircloth: 42:51
Joe Jordan: 42:51
Basketball's my thing.
Grayson Faircloth: 42:52
Okay. And last fun question, pretty random, but what is your favorite fruit?
Joe Jordan: 42:57
Grayson Faircloth: 42:58
Joe Jordan: 42:59
Oh, you know, this is interesting. I love blueberries. Blueberries [43:04:61]. My wife started making these blueberry muffins for me.
Grayson Faircloth: 43:07
Joe Jordan: 43:08
That's fantastic. Blueberries.
Grayson Faircloth: 43:09
Blueberries. Okay, cool. Well, we'll end it there, Joe. Thanks for coming on.
Joe Jordan: 43:13
Thanks, Grayson. I appreciate it.
Grayson Faircloth: 0:00
Today is the last episode on season one of the Startup Executive and a great way, a great guy to end off on this week, we've got Joe Jordan. And Joe is currently the Chief Revenue Officer at Ship Sigma and Joe's someone who is super passionate about helping people and companies reach their full potential. He's had experience in startups, the SMB sector and global multi-billion dollar organization. But like I said now, he's focused on a fast growing cost reduction firm that's located in the Midwest that's focused on helping high-volume shippers save on their small parcel without changing anything operationally. So, I'll go ahead and drop a link to where you can learn more about Ship Sigma, and that'll be in the show notes. And yeah, I'm looking forward to getting into this. Thanks for coming on Joe.
Joe Jordan: 00:51
It's good to be here, Grayson.
Grayson Faircloth: 00:53
Yeah. I know you and I have talked a couple of times, but as I was doing some prep for this episode, looking into your background a little bit, there's a couple things [00:01:00] that stood out that we haven't talked about before. So I'm interested in diving into a couple things with you today, but I'd love to just get an overview of your background. And while you're talking about your background, I'd love to know how you got to Indian and what's kept you here.
Joe Jordan: 01:12
Yeah, no, that's great. So, my background's pretty simple. I grew up in Alabama, went to a school called University of North Alabama. My background has been sales. From North Alabama, I was a marketing degree and I moved to Nashville, Tennessee to be a singer-songwriter. See, there's a guitar in the background here. When I moved to Nashville for that purpose, but at the same time had to find a job that would, you know, pay the bills. And so I found an opportunity to work for a logistics company going into an account executive role, and did that for a while and really enjoyed the sales activity. And that led me to a business development role in Indianapolis, or sorry, in Nashville, Tennessee that eventually brought me to Indie. So came to Indianapolis through Nashville, Tennessee, working a business development group and took it over in India and we had some amazing, amazing results, which then allowed me some of the opportunities that I have today. And as I've built out some relationships and ultimately Grayson, that's what's kept me here, is relationships.
Grayson Faircloth: 02:09
Joe Jordan: 02:09
The connectivity I have to the city, to incredible business owners and leaders here has kept me here. It hasn't necessarily been the weather, hasn't been people.
Grayson Faircloth: 02:17
That's fair. Yeah, we'll dive into some of those relationships and stuff a little bit later on in the episode. What I'm interested in, so that very first sales job that you had, you said that you enjoyed it. What do you think like stood out to you as your very first sales job?
Joe Jordan: 02:32
Yeah, so first sales job, I mean, I think I was just somewhat green as it relates to just business and just trying to understand what I should do. And so I think the freshness, the newness of it got me excited. I mean, I was right outta college trying to, you know, find my way. So that was the first thing that was exciting was, Hey, I have a real job now.
Grayson Faircloth: 02:48
Joe Jordan: 02:48
I think the other pieces that made me really, you know, kind of, it made it fun and exciting for me is the chase.
Grayson Faircloth: 02:50
Joe Jordan: 02:53
I've always enjoyed the chase, whether, you know, whatever the chase may be but, you know, the idea of knocking on, you know, 30 doors during the day or early in the morning, making 30 phone calls, knocking on doors, you know, 30 or so during the day, and then coming back and making phone calls and, you know, chasing down these folks to get a decision. I don't know, there's something about that that's, you know, kind of exhilarating so.
Grayson Faircloth: 03:14
Joe Jordan: 03:14
Early on that was the first thing.
Grayson Faircloth: 03:15
Do you think that's interesting? Cause I've met a lot of salespeople and some of them are, you know, so and so about the chase, but some of them clearly like you, like really love it. Like, do you think that can be learned or do you think that was just something that was sort of natural for you in terms of that just mindset needed to be successful in sales?
Joe Jordan: 03:34
I think I don't know if you can learn it. I think it's something deep within. I think it's probably some type of DNA that's inside your body. Maybe they're like the chase or you don't, you know, I think the understanding of whether or not how to take a no or unwire your brain and think a different way about some things, and understanding why that's important or why that matters. And really kinda changing the wires in your brain. I think you can do that, but deep down in your core, it's hard to change the, you know, your state of mind as the chase.
Grayson Faircloth: 03:58
Joe Jordan: 03:58
I think you have that, but you don't.
Grayson Faircloth: 04:00
Yeah. Yeah. I feel like we can do a whole episode just about that specifically, but one of the things I wanted to talk about, so that very first couple of years that you had in that account executive role, what kind of exposure did you get to leadership and kind of what did you get while you were still like in that individual contributor role?
Joe Jordan: 04:18
Yeah, you know, I had some direct connectivity to leadership just because the size of the business that I was working for, you know, you're looking small to medium-sized business, so you, you have access to, you know, upper management and into, you know, the executives, whether that's an owner or CEO, that's one. So I had direct internal access to the executive team. But, you know, it was who I was selling to, so I was selling to a lot of C-suite and CFOs and executives of companies. And so through that process, I think that gave me other visibility to other leaders that are out there outside of what was happening internally in the team. I would say, you know, early on in my career I had pretty good access to leaders.
Grayson Faircloth: 04:54
Yeah. That's awesome. And so, was it something about like just that access to the leaders, or did you have a particularly like helpful, you know, boss or leader or mentor that made you realize that you wanted to go into more of a sales leadership, your role or sales leadership role yourself? Or how did you come to that realization?
Joe Jordan: 05:13
Yeah. No, I think, you know, it was probably, you know, I'm a product of a lot of different people, but I would say early on, you know, the CEO of my first job, the first company I was involved in, he was actively involved in the business. He was a sales leader. He happened to run all the functions of the business. But it's really great to have, you know, if you have an executive or you know, a C-suite individual who's also got chase in 'em, the hunt, that gets you excited and especially when you have that inside of you. So I think that there's some alignment that took place and through that, if you have someone that has that in them, they're actively engaged. So it wasn't as much me having to engage leadership as much as leadership was engaging me. And I think that got me excited to see, you know, hey, these leaders are pouring into someone like myself and trying to make me better.
Grayson Faircloth: 05:56
Joe Jordan: 05:56
And so I think, you know, early on you start planting those seeds in someone like me and it says, you know, Hey, one day, Joe, you can help do this. You can help team members grow and get better and reach their full potential. So I think early on that helped.
Grayson Faircloth: 06:08
Yeah. So kinda planting the seeds, yeah, from earlier on. That's awesome. And then, one of the very first companies that you spent like a significant, like four plus years at, was a company called Accelerant, correct?
Joe Jordan: 06:20
Yeah. Yeah. Accelerant.
Grayson Faircloth: 06:21
Yeah. There's lots some background on, you know, what they do and how you got involved there.
Joe Jordan: 06:27
Yeah, so I met Accelerant after my... I had a couple of, you know, sales opportunities as you know, selling into small to mid-size companies. And I thought, what's the next path for me? What can I do next? And this next, the company that I found was Accelerant. They found me in Nashville, Tennessee. They found me, I would say more of a, I don't wanna say account manager, but my role was, you know, I was an RVP of partner services. And so the background of this company is, they're a business development platform. They operate in six different cities across the United States. They go after tier, you know, two or tier B or tier C type cities. These are smaller type [00:07:00] cities with, you know, a million to, you know, maybe 5 million in population, if that, right? So smaller type of a city, not so super small, but think NFL team type of a city. And so the idea is you take, you know, 60 non-competing businesses that are in their own unique categories, and you bring their executive team together with their sales team, and you focus on building trusted relationships where there's non-competing categories so you can feel safe to make a referral so you're not giving it up to a competitor. And my job was to bring together this group of executives in meetings and bring together their producers in meetings to build trust and to facilitate conversation and then ultimately to drive referrals. And so, I learned a lot running point there in Nashville so much so that we had tremendous retention. We had an amazing, you know, amazing couple of years while I was there. And that gave me the opportunity from that kind of an account manager type role, helping the group give me the opportunity to come to Indianapolis and run the regional president role.
Grayson Faircloth: 07:57
Nice. And so four years, good amount of time. What made you stay so long or kinda what do you think they did well that just kinda made it natural to stay there?
Joe Jordan: 08:06
Yeah, I mean, they gave me opportunities. So I think that's one, they gave me an opportunity to go from that kinda the regional VP role to the regional president role. VP role is more of account management, let's take care of the customers we have. The president role is more let's go and hunt and go find new ones.
Grayson Faircloth: 08:19
Joe Jordan: 08:19
And the beauty of that is I was able to really learn the operations and how the business worked really well to then go out and sell it. It's a big deal for me. So they taught me, they put their arms around me to make sure that I was, you know, stable. And then they gave me an opportunity to be successful. But I think the other thing too is I love what I did. It was an amazing time in my life where I was able to build amazing relationships. I would not be where I met from a connectivity standpoint here in Indianapolis without that opportunity to meet some amazing people. So it just set me up for success. And, you know, mentioned earlier, you know, access, you know, I worked directly with the CEO and president of Accelerant and they have tremendous experience and different leadership styles and different principles. But at the core of them, it was that chase, it was that [00:09:00] hunt. It was that, you know, strive for excellence that I saw in them that kept me there. So there's a few thoughts there.
Grayson Faircloth: 09:05
Yeah, no, no, that makes sense. And then like, so as you're going on this process, so you're coming in, you know, fresh out of college, learning how to sell and then eventually becoming more of like a leader type role, what was the most impactful or effective way that really helped you learn and improve as an individual salesperson, but then again, growing into more of that leadership role? What were some of the ways that you just improved?
Joe Jordan: 09:29
Yeah. I think ultimately doing, right? So, you know, I think the way I improved it from just an individual contributor role is I would get told no and I would have to react to that no, then I would've to find a way to overcome, you know, either overcome and get it to a yes or be able to understand it enough to be able to then go get a yes. Or ultimately, I think it was just the process of doing, they helped me grow and you know, that's one from an individual contributor role. You know, from just an overall, like what helped me move into [00:10:00] a more of a leadership role is understanding the value of connectivity and understanding how to help others get what they want, you know, without expecting anything in return. That helped me understand kind of the leadership principles through, you know, kind of through my day-to-day.
Grayson Faircloth: 10:13
And was that like a specific moment where it just clicked or how did you kind of realize that, you know, relationships are really what is key and like a successful sales career and just in life in general?
Joe Jordan: 10:27
Yeah. You know, when I first started out, you know, I thought that, you know, I was trained, you know, hey, let's go knock on doors. Let's go make phone calls. Let's go, let's create action by activity. And there's something to be said with that, you know, with action there's something that can happen on the back end, right? But that was what I always thought you did. You just made a lot of calls and you created action from those calls you made. But then through time, I learned, hey, there's an art of referral, meaning you get a customer and you do a good job and then they can refer you to a new business. And I thought there was value there. But then when I went into the Accelerant model in Nashville, I really understood the value of connectivity and the power of multiplication. Because then it's not as much about the customers that you have relationships with, it's about every contact you come into conversation with. If you do what you say you're gonna do and you follow true to your core values, and those core values resonate with the other people, then you can really, you know, multiply your return. And so, you know, I think it was, you know, as series of really three things that I figured out. It wasn't like one point of time, but I think it was a series of things that took place. You know, I still think that you have to make calls and you have to send out messages to hold outreach because there are people out there that don't know who you are and they need to hear about you. Then I think that there's your customers who can make good referrals and be a reference for you and be a good testimonial to drive business your way. But then, it took me, you know, the opportunity with Accelerant in Nashville and then coming here. That was another pivotal moment where I had to understand, hey listen, it goes even beyond that. It's more about everyone you come into, you know, contact with. You know, helping everyone get to where they need to go without anything in return. And then I watch that now, just pay dividends like over and over more so than just the activity.
Grayson Faircloth: 12:05
Joe Jordan: 12:05
Activity is important, especially when you're first starting out. But helping others is ultimately where everything comes back.
Grayson Faircloth: 12:10
Okay. Yeah, no, I love that. And so, sticking with this same line of conversation, what are some of those things that, when you moved into that or yeah, when you moved into that first leadership role, what were some of the things that you struggled with being like a first-time sales?
Joe Jordan: 12:28
Not being an expert and every, you know, in the specific industry itself and others, you know, there's other people on the team that are not just older than you with as it relates to age, but also as it relates to experience. And so, that can create a little bit of self-doubt or a little bit of self, you know, like I'm not sure if I'm this guy for this role. So I think, you know, one was being, you know, confident in myself. I think I could see that if I look back in time and saying, oh man, I'm taking this pretty decent size opportunity. And I had to have others believe in me and me see that and see myself in through their eyes. I think the challenge was, you know, lack of experience in a leadership role. That was tough. I think, you know, if you look at, you know, leading people, one of the hardest things I think that I've come across, it's, you know, balancing, you know, the emotional piece with the illogical piece in leading someone, letting someone know that they're not hitting the excellence bar, but also knowing that, you know, they have, you know, a sick kid at home. Like you gotta understand that balance.
Grayson Faircloth: 13:28
Joe Jordan: 13:29
And I would say that's probably one of the harder balances to work with.
Grayson Faircloth: 13:32
Joe Jordan: 13:32
But for me, I think early starting out it was probably that piece as well as you know, people on your team having more experience in that area than you do.
Grayson Faircloth: 13:41
Yeah. And how would you like categorize yourself? Were you more on that, you know, like rational, like hardcore, or you more of that like empathetic, like what was just like your personality going into being a leader?
Joe Jordan: 13:53
Yeah, probably empathetic, you know, right?
Grayson Faircloth: 13:55
Joe Jordan: 13:55
And probably a lot more than I should have been, right? I just probably should have pushed more on that, the logical [00:14:00] side and saying, hey, you gotta get this stuff done and hold people accountable. That took a little bit of time and there's some processes and things that I've read and leaders that I've leaned into that have taught me, you know, how to do that and be more effective there. And ultimately it's not... and also there's some things inside of my own head that I had to work through to say, hey listen, you know, you gotta hold yourself accountable here. You gotta strive for excellence. And I think if you look for people with the similar core values that are striving for excellence, that don't make excuses, they're probably gonna hold themselves more accountable than you could ever hold them. I would say, you know, probably that. Yeah, hopefully that answered your question.
Grayson Faircloth: 14:33
Yeah. No, and that's interesting. It kind of triggered another question that I'd love to get your perspective on. When you are going out and doing things like hiring and growing your sales team, what are some of those things that you're looking for? You already mentioned one, but would love to get like the full picture.
Joe Jordan: 14:49
Yeah, I mean, I always go back to, you know, core values. I mean, you know, at ShipSigma we have our company core value that we hold as the standard of who we're looking for coming on the team and important for the team members before they arrived to understand what we're looking for and what, you know, the drum in which we beat as a company. Because if you come here and you don't have those same core values and you may not fit and you're gonna know it when you arrive. And so, we look for similar core values in our people. We look for skills that are important for one to have in that role. And you know, we don't look for someone who, you know, listen, you don't have to have all the skills. You know, some skills can be developed. Core values are a lot...
Grayson Faircloth: 15:24
Yeah. What skills, for example, or like, how do you test for that? I'd love to...
Joe Jordan: 15:29
Yeah. Well, I mean, a lot of skills come with, you know, experience and so, there's a series of different skills one would need in, in order to have, you know, to be in a sales role. One of those skills would be, you know, prospecting. Well, if you've never prospected before, well then you're gonna have to learn that skill. Or let's see, if you currently have that skill. You're coming right outta college, I don't know if you have that skill. Maybe you do, but prospecting, if you're gonna go into sales, you need to be able to have some type of prospecting skills. Number two, you have to have some type of presentation skills that's gonna be important. Whether that's a, you know, the world's changed some, so you have to be able to present via, you know, screen share. You know, that's important these days. And so, presentation skills, closing skills, you know, maybe some techniques in which you have to close. Follow up skills. I mean, do you know how to follow up effectively? Do you know how to pipeline management, you know. Do you know how to put someone in a pipeline and follow the process? And because, you know, a lot of this is process driven. You know, you put 'em in a pipeline and you follow up appropriately. So there's a series of different skills, and one doesn't have to have all those skills in order to be in sales. Over time, you do, you need to develop those skills. But if you have a couple of those skills and go learn the other skills, you can always grow and develop and get better. But to join a team like ours, I mean, we look for the core values first. We didn't look at the skills. And then the skills that you have, if you have five outta 10, well, what are the five you don't have? And can those be developed? And do you have a hunger and a drive to go get those skills? And if you do, then that's a conversation that one would wanna have, right?
Grayson Faircloth: 16:57
Joe Jordan: 16:57
Because we can help you develop those skills.
Grayson Faircloth: 16:59
Yeah. Cool. No, I love that. And so this kind of plays into a similar line of questioning, but what do you enjoy most about being like in a sales or revenue leadership role?
Joe Jordan: 17:09
Well first I, you know, well, I don't wanna put 'em in any specific order, but I would say the challenge, you know. It's not easy to have to, you know, anyone out there in the world that's doing revenue generation or sales, it's not easy or everyone would be doing it. And if you actually ask most businesses where they struggle the most, it's in generating revenue. And so, I would say that the challenge is fun for me.
Grayson Faircloth: 17:28
Joe Jordan: 17:28
Number two, there's something about helping other people reach their full potential...
Grayson Faircloth: 17:33
Joe Jordan: 17:33
That's more rewarding than anything that, you know, that I personally could do for myself. Helping others is just a lot more fun. It's kind of like, you know, we're approaching, really the Christmas time here and it's a matter of like getting a gift and giving a gift. Being able to give is a lot more fun than receiving.
Grayson Faircloth: 17:50
So going from, you know, a background in sales, revenue leadership, and then I saw you went into what was titled a chief sales officer role. So I'd love to, you know, hear what exactly that entailed, and if that was building on things that you had learned previously or if that was a lot of new learning for you.
Joe Jordan: 18:07
Yeah, no. So yeah, that role as a chief strategy officer, my focus was more on, it was revenue generation. It was around, you know, driving new sales, but, you know, the role really encompassed much more than that. So the focus point was sales, but a part of that too was, you know, customer success, making sure that we took care of our current customers. Also, we had some mergers and acquisitions, so MNA focused as well. Helping us go find new opportunities as well as integration. So helping, you know, from an integration standpoint, partner with our senior vice president of operations, as well as our CFO.. So, you know, at the core of it, it was generating new business, but there were some, you know, revenue protection as well as, you know, new MNA activities. So it was really a combination of a few different buckets.
Grayson Faircloth: 18:51
Yeah. So it kind of seems like more, yeah, just like very similar to probably like a chief revenue officer in terms of activities but maybe some additional responsibilities.
Joe Jordan: 19:00
Yeah, absolutely. So, I mean, with a strategy officer, there was also some focus around, you know, new product development and how it works. Do we bring that to our current customer base and how do we go acquire new business based on our offerings? And so in that role, there was a little bit more of that focus to MNA and some customer, you know, some new products that we were rolling out for our customers.
Grayson Faircloth: 19:19
Joe Jordan: 19:19
That happened, you know, I would say 10 to 15% of the overall focal point of that role. In its chief strategy officer role or in a chief revenue officer role, the role is ultimately to go and get business, right? And where that business comes from, if that's coming from you know, new sales, that's coming from your existing customer base. It's, you know, all or an acquisition. All those things are important, but you know, 60% of the time is spent on new sales generation.
Grayson Faircloth: 19:45
Yeah, yeah. No, that makes sense. And would you say that your previous experiences, it was kind of like a next step in terms of building on the top of those previous experiences? Or was it a lot of new, like things that you'd never done before?
Joe Jordan: 20:00
Yeah. No, I mean, there were some things I've never done before. Yeah, absolutely. But I would say that, you know, some of the things I was able to learn in working at an Accelerant and helping run that platform, I was able to meet, you know, hundreds of executives and CEOs and spend a lot of time with them on how they ran their business and understand, you know, were some of the important dominoes that they had to put in place in order to actually build the structure for their business. So, I had some early insight on what to do and what not to do. And I had some leadership, you know, growth throughout my journey before I even that role at Accelerant. But there were some things that, and I think there's still, there are things today that I don't know how to do and that I'm learning how to do as I go.
Grayson Faircloth: 20:38
Joe Jordan: 20:38
But I think that ultimately along the way, there were things that prepared me.
Grayson Faircloth: 20:41
Joe Jordan: 20:42
And things that really you can't read the book, I think you have to experience along the way.
Grayson Faircloth: 20:47
Joe Jordan: 20:47
That's from my perspective, that's been my kinda my world.
Grayson Faircloth: 20:50
And that's actually like an interesting point cause you could maybe make a statement that, you know, once you've figured out sales at one company, you've kinda figured out how to do it at everywhere. Would you say that that has been the case for you from like a leadership perspective? Or would you say that every company has been, you know, different in certain aspects where you do have to go out and learn like a new thing and you can't just come in with more of like a prescriptive, okay, here's what we need to do type mentality?
Joe Jordan: 21:17
Yeah. I don't think you have, I think it's really difficult to, you know, rinse and repeat in every single role you have and bring a, you know, the exact playbook to the team. I think it's really hard to do that. In my experience has been, I've been jumping from a different industries. Types of buyers, different ways to make decisions. But I will say that there are some things that remain true and that there's constant, and that, you know, at the foundation of, you know, decision making, there's a, you know, do I know, like, and trust, you know, I think those things are, you're gonna find that throughout any sales process for the most part, unless you're running just an RFP process. But if you're actually making, getting a decision from someone where there is logic and there's a motion that's applied, then I think that no like and trust and verify, you know, from a pricing perspective, but I don't think it's rinse and repeat. I think you have to get into the role. You have to understand the business. You have to understand the characteristics of, you know, the buyer, and then be able to, you know, build your sales process around those and then ultimately be able to, you know, follow up appropriately. Ultimately, at the end of the day, if you do what you say you're gonna do, you have a good value proposition and you just follow your process, I think you'll be successful. But you do have to cater to the prospects in which you're reaching out to.