Jeremy Duggan, President at Multiverse, has an impressive track record, taking three previous tech companies to a billion-dollar valuation. Most recently, Jeremy and Steve McCluskey, VP of Go-To-Market at Multiverse, took AppDynamics from $100 million to $3.7 billion in just four and a half years. Now, Jeremy and Steve are powering our mission to create a diverse group of future leaders, setting their sights on turning Multiverse into a mission-driven unicorn business in the process.
So Jeremy, let’s start off by talking about your Go-To-Market strategy - The 3x Rs: Recruiting, Retention and Revenue. Can you tell us more about this?
The 3x Rs really started with me wanting to be the best that I could be, from both a sales and a leadership perspective, but not really understanding how to turn that dream into a reality.
When I got my first job in sales, I saw that some people were doing brilliantly and others weren’t, but they all seemed to be doing similar things. I’d see two people doing pipeline generating but only one of them would be successful, or two people getting into CIO discussions and one would be successful and the other wouldn’t. I started to realise that I needed to understand what the consistently brilliant people repeatedly did, and the others didn’t, and why it was important to their success. Because if I could find that out, then maybe I could be brilliant too. That was my simplistic view as a 22-year-old sales guy who wanted to be great but had absolutely no clue how to make it happen.
Over time, I figured out that the third R - Revenue- all comes down to a few key factors such as the amount of time spent on pipeline generating, the amount of activity in visible opportunities, the number of business cases that you built that showed you were generating real customer value, and the amount of visible opportunity you had over a certain size to give you the cover you need to hit your number. I started tracking these activities in a small sales team and then over larger and larger teams at multiple different companies, and today we have hundreds of thousands of data points. So now I can confidently say that in the history of time, nobody has ever hit these leading indicators and not become a huge success and changed their professional life significantly.
This approach provides fact-based leading indicators for success, giving you line of sight that you are going to hit your number, as well as an early warning signal if you’re not. That’s really important because you’re not going to be in that awful situation where you only realise you are going to miss your number towards the end of the quarter when there is very little you can do about it. Instead, you can measure progress from the start and course-correct where necessary along the way.
The second thing on Revenue is building tools and excellence around the execution of that activity. For example, it’s not just important to have the right number of new business meetings on a weekly, quarterly and annual basis. You also need to make sure those meetings are of the highest possible quality to maximise your productivity and conversion rates. Again, over time, we looked at who had the best conversion rates and what they were doing compared to those who didn’t have high conversion rates. The best sales people were repeatedly doing the same things such as having prep calls, taking leaders to the meeting, building what we call a value pyramid, and so on. So across all of these different activity points, we built, over time, tools and training to make sure each activity is the highest possible quality it can be, provides the most possible value to our customers, and we continually sense check this data to ensure we are executing to our highest standards, see if there are areas for improvement and make sure our customers are thrilled with their experience in dealing with us.
Years and years of data and analysis has proven beyond any doubt that following this methodology effectively gives you the winning lottery ticket. All you need to do in order to cash in the ticket and change your life is to have the discipline to consistently hit these leading indicator activities, and do so using the tools that we know, WE KNOW, drive the highest possible quality and outcomes.
Recruiting & Retention
When I moved into leadership I started to think about the leading indicators and execution excellence that would make a great leader. Again, the goal was to deeply understand why some people would consistently over-perform and most wouldn’t, and then find a way to simplify this as much as possible, this time from a leadership perspective as opposed to an individual contributor. This became my obsession, firstly, so I could understand how to become a great leader myself, and secondly, simplifying it was crucial so this process could scale to all leaders because simplicity scales and complexity doesn’t. It became clear over time that in addition to selling consistently, as a leader you’ve got to do two other things brilliantly - recruit great people and retain great people. Again, put simply, if you recruit great people, and then retain them through an inspiring culture and the provision of world class development, then give them our world-class playbook, so they can become the best, forever, then it’s impossible to fail. And that’s my goal all the time, I just want it to be impossible to fail.
Now, everyone knows recruiting is crucial, but it always surprised me how few people actually know deeply what they are specifically looking for in the mythical A-Player we hear so much about. Everyone’s looking for that “A player”, but very few people have actually defined what an A player is. So sticking with the philosophy that analysing data provides great clues for success, I’ve studied thousands of people, successful and less so, over 25 years and hundreds of companies, to truly understand what the consistently great people have THAT others don’t. Using this, I built up a profile of what an A player looks like so we could effectively recruit world class talent.
And then once you master this part of the process, and you’ve got the A players, you had better have great plans around how you are going to retain them. What do they want from their career, their company, their leaders, their future? What’s important to them? How do they like to be managed? Sometimes people oversimplify things and they think it’s just about money, a lazy caricature of sales people in my eyes. From my experience it’s rarely about money - of course, good people want to be paid well and should be - but normally it’s quite low down on their priority list. A-players want to learn, improve, be inspired, pushed, and experience these things in a supportive and loyal environment, all whilst having fun along the way. Taking time to understand what A players really want and then building a great culture around these things is crucial to your critical retention strategy. And again in the interests of simplicity, it really comes down to two things: great people want to be inspired and they want to be developed. Provide a culture like this, and people won’t want to leave. Why would they?
Why did you leave SaaS to join Multiverse?
Here’s the thing, Business to Business (B2B) sales is the same whatever you sell. There’s no difference at all in the process of selling apprenticeships, of selling data-based software, application software, furniture to hotels, products to supermarkets etc. B2B sales is one business selling directly to another business and the principles are exactly the same, whatever the industry.
So I didn’t leave SaaS to join Multiverse. I built my career in B2B selling and that’s still what I do today. I think this is really important because if you learn how to master this sales and leadership process at Multiverse, you are learning to be the best in the world in any B2B environment and will be in demand, at any company, for the rest of your career.
The real question is “Why Multiverse?” I loved my time in technology and the thrill of mastering something challenging, I loved the dynamism of the market, I loved building great companies really quickly and the rollercoaster that came with it. But I got to the end of every journey - because it almost always ends in an acquisition if they are successful - and I was proud of what I’d achieved, what I’d learned, and of the people’s lives that had been materially impacted during their time at the company and afterwards. But I felt like that was it, that was the legacy.
If we do this right at Multiverse, we’ll change hundreds of thousands of lives on this journey. Not just the lives of the people at Multiverse, but the lives of thousands and thousands of our incredible apprentices too, and that’s the crucial difference. Alongside our customers, we provide our apprentices with life-changing opportunities. The world is waking up to the massive lack of fairness in society, from a race, gender and socio-economic perspective. Talent is evenly distributed, opportunity is not. And we’re part of the solution to this huge global challenge.
I think this quote from Dr Martin Luther King Jr sums it up perfectly - “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘what are you doing for others?’”
We’re actively recruiting Account Executives to join our growing GTM team. Why should someone join us?
Here’s what you’ll get at Multiverse. Firstly, you’ll get to learn skills that will make you the best forever. Forever. Once you become great at something, you never go back to being average. There’s absolutely no point. You develop the things that make you great into a habit. And when being great is a habit, it’s as easy as the habit of being average. So put simply, we know through intensive research and data all of the things that add up to “great”. We inspire and develop people to master the habits of excellence, and once there, they will never again be anything other than the best.
Secondly, you get all the things that come with being the best: respect, promotions, recognition, money, the thrill of success and the ability to always be in control of your outcomes.
Thirdly, you’ll learn from the people who wrote the playbook: me, Steve McCluskey and Alister Tier. Lots of people talk about these topics and know the theory. A small few practice it. Every day. Every call. These are the people that become the best in the world and drive the most astonishing results. GTM leaders at Multiverse like Steve(opens new window), Al(opens new window), Peppa Wise(opens new window), Nikola Dinsing(opens new window), Iria Saleiro(opens new window), Libby Derbyshire(opens new window) and Mae Rogers(opens new window) live and breathe these ideas every day, they feel the habits of excellence in their souls, they deeply understand the subtle nuances that can make all the difference to executing this playbook, they live their professional lives with the goal of creating excellence as a habit for all those who want to walk that path. Their leadership mantra is based around changing lives! Last quarter alone, 95% of our sales people were over quota and the average performance was 210%. We believe every sales person at Multiverse will smash their quota this year, which is incredibly rare.
And finally, at Multiverse, you get all of those things plus, and it’s a huge, game changing “plus”, being successful at Multiverse changes thousands and thousands of lives, one day, maybe millions. And it doesn’t just change lives, it changes the lives of the people most underrepresented in society, who deserve equal opportunity and a level playing field, yet currently have the hardest road to success, through no fault of their own. And you will be part of a company that is championing the need for a better world, and working with the biggest companies in the world to find valuable and long term solutions to making that happen. I’m not sure it gets any better than that.
Together we’ll change what’s possible in education and work.