Tony Stark isn’t Ironman without JARVIS
Ever think about the day that machines and A.I. will take over the world and control all humans? Probably not. But do you ever think about new technologies rendering humans obsolete in a multitude of jobs, including sales? If so, listen in.
In this episode of The Future of Sales, Morgan J. Ingram, Director of Sales Execution and Evolution for JBarrows and host of #TheSDRChronicles, brings us to the beginning of his content creation journey and explains why he thinks everyone should become a subject matter expert. Morgan also explores the role that A.I. and automation will play in the future of sales.
"It's doing the things that everyone is not doing that's going to put you ahead."
The "No Bullshit" Takeaways
• Why it is important to build your personal brand.
• How to rise above mediocrity so you don't have to fear A.I.
• What steps need to happen to create a more diverse environment in tech.
• Hear why Morgan's obsession with asking the "best" questions has helped him succeed in his career.
You can also find us on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud and if you prefer watching, YouTube.
Sahil Mansuri: Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of the Future of Sales. I’m your host Sahil Mansuri, CEO of Bravado, and with me today is a dear friend, an awesome guest, somebody who is very comfortable doing this kind of format, Morgan J Ingram. Morgan is the Director of Sales Execution and Evolution at JBarrows and is a dear friend of mine as well. Morgan, it’s good to catch up with you, man.
Morgan Ingram: Yes, I’m super excited about this. So, you know, we’ve definitely -- we connected in email and then, we connected in person and our relationship has been growing and it’s just been good to kind of see what you’ve been doing and to have peer relationship. So, yeah, looking forward to this podcast. You can get a lot of nuggets here, so if you have a notebook, take it out immediately right now.
Sahil: I love it. I love it, I love it. So, for those of us, you know, who are familiar with your work, I think we know how awesome you are and what a great reputation you’ve built, maybe some of us are not familiar, can you share a little bit about your background and what is the Morgan J Ingram story.
Morgan: Yes. So the story is so crazy, sometimes I still don’t believe it, but I graduated from the University of Georgia, so born and raised in Georgia. And then, from there, I stumbled upon an SDR job at Terminus. I cold called the VP of Sales, now Director of Sales - Tonni Bennett, you guys have spoken with her. And he was like, “Yeah, come in for an interview.” I did it. I got hired as an SDR, started creating content on sales development just from a counterpart named Ralph Barsi, who’s a peer, sales development leader, he kind of pushed me to get -- to do the sales development content by his blog, and that’s where most people know me from is developing that SDR Chronicle YouTube channel.
And then, from there, I created blogs, I created small form of content, micro content, got promoted to SDR manager, managing the 13 reps at max when I was at Terminus. And from there, because I was creating content, a video really stood out to sale trainer, John Barrows who trains Google and then, Salesforce, and he decided to pick me up to do sales development training as a part of his sales training today. So that’s what I do today is I train sales development teams continuously enhancing those skill sets and helping them seek consistent result.
Sahil: Well, first of all, the part of your story -- hey, all of it fascinating. The part of your story that I really love is the fact that you aren’t just a talking head, right? I mean, you know, there’s a lot of people who create content and develop content, but you are doing it while you are actively an SDR and SDR manager. And I think that that is sort of authentic, like I’m in the world doing the job today and here are my learnings and here’s my experiences and here’s what I see working and not working. I think that, you know, that level of authenticity isn’t something that we see everyday. Can I ask you, what inspired you to even create the content in the first place and what made you think, “Hey, this is something that I want to do,” because it’s not the path well-traveled in sales, right?
Morgan: No, it’s not. So I mean, it’s actually funny. While I was growing up, I never wanted to create content, I hated public speakers, I thought they were a joke. And I never wanted any type of publicity towards anything that I did, it’s just not what I wanted. That sounds like, I don’t really care, I want to go do other stuff and like I’ll figure out on the way.
However, what I did realize is that we all have gifts and we all have abilities that we’ve been given -- whatever you believe in, for me, I have God given gifts or whatever you believe in or pray to. We all have that from something, right? So we have that, like there are certain things that I have that Sahil does not, there’s certain things that Sahil has that I just don’t have. So because of that I knew that for me it was inspiring and impacting people and motivating people, because my friends always ask me questions and I’d be like, “This is what you need to do,” and they’d be like, “Oh, I’m so inspired.” “I’d be like, “Whatever.” Back in the day, I was like, “Go do whatever you need to do, like I don’t really care about that.”
So for me, it’s like when I realize that I was actually impacting people and people are changing and making a difference, I realize that I needed to do more. So, right after college I was creating motivational content, just one, “Hey, go to your day, go read, here’s some things I have found.” It wasn’t as impactful because it was just me out of college talking about stuff. But when I latched myself on to something I was actively doing every single day and I had already been making content and I had already known how to make videos and be impactful and motivate people, it kind of all came together from a lot of work I did in the past.
So finding that sales development niche, understanding it, executing on it, being in the grind as you said, that’s what really inspired me with the content because I knew it would impact people. And I felt like the most selfish thing that you can do is knowing that you’re super talented in something and being like, “Oh, I’m afraid to be made fun of.” But the content that you can make can actually change someone’s life and make them move forward and get them promoted and get them a job. So, I always think about like how can I impact the people not more so like what am I getting caught up in.
Sahil: I see. I love that approach, right. Because -- and I think it applies to sales maybe directly, you know, which is that you as a sales person often focus on yourself, right. You focus on your quota, you focus on your pitch, you focus on your deck, you focus on your product, and so much of what sales is about is on focusing on, you know, recipient, right, the buyer and the prospect, the customer and whatnot. And, you know, maybe this is a good segue into something that I’d love your thoughts on, which is to say that today more than ever buyers are so much more informed than they used to be. And that’s a combination of, you know, having buying communities where they can reach into and get referrals and get the kind of recommendations of products.
It’s having access to professional services from like Sirius Decisions and Forrester, and Gartner, it’s the new wave of that, which is, you know, you really see in TrustRadius and G2 crowd and whatnot. I mean it almost seems like the world of the sale, you know, the thing that makes sales people so, you know, or was the thing that sales people relied on in order to like get conversations was an information disparity, right. Which is like you want to know how my product works, you want to know how much my product costs, you have specific questions, technical questions about the product, you have to come to me, the sales person to get those answers and that’s how we get leads and that’s how we do deals. That’s not the world today. Or I can get access to almost any question, any answer that I need. So, you train sales development teams and you’re focusing on helping them kind of, you know, stay ahead of the curve. Where do you see this road going and what is the future of sales look like in a world in which buyers have more information nonetheless?
Morgan: Yeah, that’s a good question. Someone actually asked me that yesterday. So I think one of the big things when it comes to future of sales is that we have to realize that we have to use the tools appropriately. So, as John talks about in his training is that, hey, look, like definitely, the death of the average salesman is coming. So if you’re average, you should be slightly afraid right now because there is so much AI, there’s so many tools that are going to come out, that are going to completely obliterate you if you’re just going to the motion.
So now is the time to get out of motion and to get where you need to be, which is the future. So, the future entails a lot of different things. So, I believe it’s now going to be -- you’re going to become an Ironman in sales. So if you guys are feeling me with Ironman, Tony Stark is a human, he’s super smart, but Tony Stark himself cannot fight off all the villains that he needs to fight off, right, he needs a suit, so that’s Ironman. But Ironman is not as effective if he doesn’t have AI so that’s where J.A.R.V.I.S comes into play.
So I feel like all those things that sales professionals didn’t think about is what is my suit, so what are the tools that I need to be effective and to call my prospects, to send them videos, to email them and to social cell, you got to know all four of those, like you have to. I know how to use all four. There are obviously stronger suits that I have, but I know how to utilize all four because certain people communicate in different ways. I could call someone, email someone and do some videos, but maybe they’re really active on social, but I’m like, “Oh, I don’t want a social cell or social list,” and okay, well, you just missed on a prospect, that could have been a big deal for you.
And then, essentially, AI, you got to understand how to use that. So, there are tools out there, such as Nudge, things of that nature that are able to articulate what’s going on within the ecosystem and then, you can shift through that data to send out an articulate message. So I think the future, that’s where it’s going to become and also that’s coming is a plug and play. I also think that Alexa -- I’m creating an Alexa skill right now to try to figure that out because I believe that you’re going to talk to Alexa, you’re going to be like, “Hey, Alexa, I’m reaching out to Oracle today and it’s going to give you all the updates on Oracle that targets within your CRM that you’re reaching out, what they recently posted and how to send a message.” I feel like that’s where we’re about to go. So as long as you can shift through the data and you’re a great sales professional, you should be -- you should be the most fired person up right now because you’re going to have all the data and you don’t have to do as much research, but if you’re average, you should be terrified.
Sahil: So that was not the answer I was expecting and that was really cool, that was really cool. So I want to speak with your Ironman analogy because I think it’s really fascinating. I get the Jarvis team, right, I get the Jarvis. I get the Tony Stark team, right, that makes sense. Two teams, right. It sounded like and maybe I misheard but it sounded to me like the suit is technology, the suit is what holds, you know, whether it’s using the SalesLoft or an Outreach or whether it’s using a ConnectAndSell or whatnot, it’s becoming more efficient or becoming stronger or whatnot. But back to the question that I initially post to you which is, you know, in a world in which buyers don’t need more information because they have access to information, what is the thing that sales development reps and sales reps in general or sales team in general can provide to a buyer that they can’t get from any other source, why do you need to talk to a salesperson?
Morgan: Because they’re human in the most simple way, right, you’re deeper than that. But they’re going to give me empathy, they’re going to give me humanity, and those are the two things that any buyer is looking for. They’re looking for some type of emotional connection for the most part. Because if you just talk to a robot, you could get the answer but they’re not going to be able to shift through and maybe more analytical than a human to ask for a question because I feel like -- yeah, an AI, you can maybe ask for questions, but will they have the right empathy, will they have the right emotion and infliction to really get to the point, the pain point that the buyers are looking for because I think it’s what, 60%, 70%, a lot of time they’re filling out a form on the website, they’ve pretty much gone through the process.
So, but what pushes them to that next level is that empathy that the sales rep are showing, the emotion, the humanity, the humor, the connectivity, the deeper asking of questions, I don’t think a robot is going to be able to necessarily do that in our life, in our lifetime unless something crazy happens. But I think that’s why the rep will still be relevant and I feel like as long as you understand your industry, you understand your buying personas, you can show empathy, your human connectivity and you could ask the good questions, I don’t see any rep being obsolete.
Sahil: I totally agree with you. I could not agree more with you. And obviously, I wouldn’t have started Bravado if I didn’t believe that. And I think that’s kind of the concept is that people buy from people and I think that for a long time we have this notion that if we could automate the way the information gap that people would be able make objective buying decisions without human intervention. But I look at an example like car purchasing, right, so if you think about car purchasing we’ve had car and driver magazine, we’ve had YouTube videos of, you know, test drives, we’ve had all of these review sites, we have all of these reports that come out. And then, if people like one day, car sales people are going to be obsolete.
And let’s be honest, if you’re going to talk about a sector of sales that is the most caricaturized, it’s definitely car sales people, right. And so, you know, there’s this world where everybody hates car sales people and I’m just going to buy everything off of Amazon and whatnot. But let’s be honest, companies like BP that have raised hundreds of millions of dollars have failed. 90% of Americans buy their car from a car loft, from a car dealer. And it’s not because you can’t buy the car online, you can, but when you’re spending $30, $40, $50, $70,000 on something, I mean, you want that human connection, right. You want the feeling of both being in the car and having test driven it yourself.
And the feeling of having talked to an expert and having had that comfort and having built that relationship and knowing that if something breaks down you can take it back to that guy or that gal and she or he will help you. And just being able to have that human connection is the reason why people don’t buy cars online. And I think the same thing applies to B2B sales, especially mid-market and enterprise products. So if I’m buying Zoom, I can probably just buy Zoom, you know, a single license for myself, like there’s no switching cost.
But if I’m buying a marketing automation product and if I’m buying Marketo or HubSpot, I mean, that’s a big decision for my organization, it’s impacting everyone at my company, it’s impacting our goals, our revenue, and at that point, I need that human connection. So, I couldn't agree more with you, Morgan, that the humanity of sales person and the ability for that person to be value additive is so important, more important today than it has ever been.
Morgan: Right, it is. No, I agree with you a 100%.
Sahil: And so, then, let’s go to the thing that you’re a master at and a specialist on, which is how do you become value additive, right. So, what are the practical tangible steps that you would have somebody take today that maybe they’re not doing, maybe they’re kind of haphazardly doing. What would you have them do and prioritize in order to be able to build those authentic relationships and those connections with buyers and prospects?
Morgan: That’s a good question. So I think it comes down to asking really great questions. It’s something that I’ve been really obsessed with as of late, and it was actually the one -- there were all other factors, but it was one of the leading factors that helps me become a top performing sales development rep, was I just ask really good questions that led to people having really good answers, which led to having really good conversation to leading to the opportunity to be like I want to have -- I want to actually talk for 30 minutes. So I think you have really ask yourself what are some questions that I need to ask that are going to get people to really stop and think and be like, “I’ve never even heard that before and I don’t even know the answers to that.”
And my goal is every time I ask a question I want someone to be like, “Great question,” or be like I can just see their face and I zoom in and they’re like, “Wait, what, like, I didn’t even think about that.” But that’s what I want, so I’m like obsessed with being like, how can I make my question so good that the person is just blown away and they have to give me a lot of information. Because we’re going to give you a lot of information, you can really figure out what the pain is and then, once you figured out what’s going on, it’s now just like, “Okay, what’s the timeline, what do we need to do from a sales standpoint?”
But from like a sales development standpoint it’s -- you only have 5 to 15 seconds to get someone’s attention, so you got to have a powerful introduction. But after that, you got to ask the right questions because then they’re going to be like okay, what do you do, da-da-da, and it’s providing value than asking a question right after that’s going to leave them to go deeper, open ended and get deeper and further.
So I think when you’re really thinking about how can I separate myself with noise, how can I be value add, it’s that, and it’s also doing unique things, personalized LinkedIn connections are really important, that gives you ahead with the noise because most people don’t send personalized LinkedIn invitations, probably the number one thing that frustrates me the most, I just don’t understand how you expect to connect with someone without a personalized connection and they’re a prospect that’s getting blown up by everyone else and they’re not doing personalized connection. So, it’s things like that can get you ahead. Video prospecting is really big right now, I encourage people to check that out and try that out. It’s doing things that everyone is not doing, that’s going to put you ahead.
Sahil: So again, I mean, your responses to things are so fascinating because you have clearly spent so much time thinking about this and have a strong point of view on things. I love the thought of asking a question that somebody -- that really makes the big hit, you know, and I think that that is so important when you’re building authentic relationships in people is to break through the minutia of like I am a sales person, you are a buyer, we are in a sales process, right, and turning it into an authentic dialogue between two people.
One thing that I’d like to drill down on is expertise in your industry which I think is somewhat taken for granted or perhaps not prioritized as much as it is prioritized to just have the right fundamentals in sales. So, the way I see this is like if you are a -- if you want to be a great basketball player, yes, you have to be able to shoot really well and dribble really well and do all of the things that make you really fantastic at the act of playing basketball. But you also have to put in the time to study, play, and watch game and film and do those things that like aren’t as fun as like being on the court and like whooping it up with your buddies but are just as important in order to be like a student of the game.
And I wonder, you know, what is your opinion on people, on sales reps, both SDRs and account executives? Really reading up on their industry, reading up on trends that are happening in their market and becoming a source of knowledge and kind of a fountain of knowledge within this, you know, has a core fundamental thing that you need to do in order to be successful in 2018.
Morgan: Yes, so I think the two distinctions there is the thought leader and there’s a subject matter expert.
Morgan: And everyone right now writes whether you’re a thought leader and that’s cool, that’s great, but I don’t think, like it’s a complete different plane from what I’ve seen and what I’ve noticed and it’s a completely different path that you’re going to take. And not every single person can be a thought leader, right, it’s just not possible, because then -- that’s just -- everyone is a thought leader, that’s crazy, like that doesn’t make any sense. So, but I think everyone can be a subject matter expert. I think this is actually very doable. The conversation I had in my last podcast, the conversation I had with most people, I actually believe that this is a doable thing. So what a subject matter expert is is that you read everything on the subject matter and you become really knowledgeable in it.
So when you talk to a prospect or you talk to a future customer, you talk to a partner, you talk to a sponsor, you know exactly what you’re talking about because you’re reading the material every single day, you’re reading all the blogs, you’re listening to the podcast, you’re listening to account executive calls if you’re an SDR. If you’re an account executive, you’re listening to a customer success calls, you’ve read every case study, you’re listening to every interview. That’s how you become a subject matter expert and I encourage every single person to do that because your conversations are going to go a lot better.
So, you know, something that I did when I first joined John is that I had to know all -- I know the top five priorities of the personas I’m going to after, be in the life, I did some informational interviews on what a day in their life look like, what their priorities are, what they’re looking to do, what are their challenges, I had read all that stuff and continuously read all those stuff and try to get myself knowledgeable because when I have conversation I’m like, “Hey, I know this is something you deal with, this is how we can help, is that right?”
And then, now, they’re like, okay, this person has done a research a little bit, so now they’re a little bit more open of a conversation with me. But if it’s like, what do you do, what’s your business like, that’s a generic sales person, so the buyers are going to be like, here’s another sales call that I’m not going to like or here’s another cold call that I’m about to hang up on.
Sahil: Right. I love it, I love it, I love it. Dude, you really are an inspiring person.
Morgan: I appreciate it.
Sahil: I love your energy, man. It’s so good. It’s so refreshing. I’ve got two topics to touch on and then, I’ll let you go because I know you’re busy. One is around referral. So, we’ve talked about this a little bit previously, I know we talked about this during Rainmaker as well, you know, a lot of sales people know that referrals are a great source of leads and getting a warm intro from one of your current customers as prospects is so valuable and so important and yet, sales people suck at getting referrals, right, like we’re not great at it, we don’t have a great process for it. Talk to me about your opinion around referrals, how you see them becoming more or less important and what you’d advice people to do around this topic?
Morgan: Yes, so from a -- currently in my sales roles I haven’t had as many referrals as maybe as some other people, so I’m not super knowledgeable and versed in this subject. However, when I started a business in college, it was mostly referrals. So, I was hosting videogame Terminus on college campuses, so because of that it was a lot of word of mouth. And so the referrals is what got us sponsorships and what’s got us into venues that we would have not been able to get into otherwise because people -- again, peers trust their peers not salespeople or owners of companies, don’t. So what we had to do is we were like, “Hey, did you enjoy in this event?” They’re like, “Yes.” “Okay, what about the three events around this area that you feel like could help us?” And they’re like, “Yeah, I’ll message the owner.”
And so people would be coming to us and be like, “Hey, I talked to Sam and Dan told me that you did a great job at hosting this event like we want to bring you in.” So, I know that the power of referrals work because I did it when I was 21 years old running a company and owners that are twice my age were willing to bring us into host videogame tournaments. So if that can happen, I’m pretty sure it can in your sales career the same way. It’s something that as I’m actively growing in my role that I’m getting more used to asking for the referral and I know that in the long run it will help me, but I don’t have as much experience within this realm today to tell you that. From a sales development perspective, it’s obviously a lot harder because you’re handing off the opportunity and if it doesn’t go well, then you don’t really have a referral.
Best case scenario that I would tell people is, hey, you know, sometimes if someone -- if you’re in a really good conversation with someone and they ended up closing or you met someone in a networking event or met someone at a conference and they’re really cool and they’re willing to refer you, like use that because sometimes you may have a good conversation with someone who’s in -- let’s say you’re targeting marketing, you got a really good conversation with someone in sales and are like, yes, like I will connect to the marketing person, just use them as a reference to get into people and then, this isn’t really referrals but this is something that I use on the phone.
So I have a conversation with someone maybe the VP or the CMO and then, like, “Hey, I don’t even deal with this at all, but Sally is the person you talked to,” I’d be like, “Hey, you know, is it okay if I tell them that, you told me to reach out?” And they’re like, “Yup.” So I would normally either call or CC them in the email and say your colleague, you know, suggested that we connect. So that’s another -- like it’s not really a referral, but it’s just a way to get from someone if you’re having a hard time getting into account, but those are kind of like my findings just from the referral standpoint.
Sahil: Yeah. No, I love it. I mean, look, I think that your experience in running your own business and growing it is very similar to the experience of doing sales, right, because at the end of the day you manage a book, you have your territory, you have your things that you need to get into. And I love what you said which is that peers trust peers; they don’t trust sales people and I think that’s true. And I think that we here at Bravado are trying to provide a way to change that, but it’s not going to change overnight. And I think that until we hit a world in which sales people being trusted isn’t like an oxymoron, then we’re reliant on word of mouth and referrals in order to open some doors and help build a bridge across between us and the buyer and I think that’s a really important point. So, I appreciate you sharing your wisdom there.
The last thing I wanted to touch on is actually an old topic for us. So you and I got a chance to meet when we were at Rainmaker at the SalesLoft conference and we hosted -- and is later told by, you know, some of the people over at SalesLoft that it was one of the highest rated, if not the highest rated breakout section that they had of the entire conference which was around DNI in sales. And, you know, diversity in sales is also somewhat of an oxymoron, you know, the vast majority of sales teams are predominantly all white men and, you know, I think that that is a reflection of a bygone era which is not reflective of where the world is going to be, and you talk a lot about used to be and what has to be and what will be. Can you share a little bit about your experience as a minority in sales and why there aren’t more of them and should there be more of them and how can people get in and just your general thought, because you have such a great story I’d love everyone to hear it.
Morgan: Yeah. So I had this conversation last week, actually at ASIP because someone asked me the same question, like what are your thoughts on this, we kind of like got of really deep with it and he like really drilled insights, he’s a great guy. And my thoughts -- I like to keep this super simple because I think people over complicate this. So my favorite subject growing up was history. If I could go back to college and you say choose a major to major in, it would have been history because history repeats itself and history tells you exactly what you need to do and you can’t like dispute it, you can’t be like, “Oh, that didn’t really happen.” It’s like, no, that’s history, it happened.
So if you go look back in history, every single time this happened in every single country, in every single realm, in every single war, it happens. So first off, like people -- so white males, right, white males normally have the dominance on what’s going on for the most part, right. So they find it, whatever. And then, normally there’s a discrepancy between white males, so normally it’s Italians or let’s say, it’s, you know, Europe, like they’re from the UK, London, they have like their little fight and like their many thing, and then, they’re like, “Okay, we’re all cool.” And then, the next people up are the women, they’re like, “Wait; hold up, so like we don’t have our rights, like what’s going on?”
So then, they try to fight for their right. And they’re like, “We want to get in, we feel like that’s gone.” So like right now in tech, like that’s what’s happening. Like women panel, women everything, women conferences, women organizations, they’re everywhere right now, right. And so the next thing that happens is minority. So, like, wait, okay, women are good now, but were not good as minority. So that could be Middle Eastern, that could be Blacks, that could be Asians, it could be across the board, so those are the main ones, Hispanics. So the reason that happens is because that’s how history always plays out and, you know, the civil rights movement, the women’s rights, they got to vote in, first in. The minorities, got it, and they got out of slavery. All of these things is history, it happens every single time whether we like it or not. So in tech, it’s happening right now.
So women right now, they’re way more vocal than ever before because in the next three years, there will be more women in sales, there will be more women leaders because there will be more voices that are more active on this and the conversation will be they’ll feel like they’re good three to five years. But the thing is, minorities, there is no minority conference for the most part. There is no -- there is not a lot of minority panels and there was not even a lot of diversity panels. And the reason that that is because history has not -- it hasn’t really caught up yet, but the fact that we’re talking about this now is good because we got to get ahead of that because we don’t want history to repeat itself, we want to get ahead of that.
And I believe the reason that’s happening is because no one is seeing anyone else like them doing their thing. So, like no one -- there’s not a lot of African-Americans in the tech space like being very vocal as much as me for the most part, right. And there are some other people, like (inaudible) he’s out there, right. So, like, obviously, he’s good. He teams out there, right, minority, but the thing is like there’s not that many. So, it’s like it doesn’t make people to be like, “Oh, I could do that.” So, obviously, that’s the main reason why I create contents because I want people to realize like you can do this and it’s very possible. You just got to go out there and get it and you got to stop complaining.
And I think the more people that we see like that, the more that it’s going to elevate people because just by osmosis, if someone doesn’t see someone like them, most people are going to deteriorate because it all goes back to our childhood. The people that we hang out with are the people we want to associate ourselves with. Our childhood is the making of who we are today. So for me, I hang out with all sorts of races. When I to grow up I went to a private school, you know, my parents took me to church, I was around a ton of people, we were very including of people. So, like that’s how I am. I don’t really look at race at all. But some people that’s how they grow up, like they may racists parents, they may have grew up in an environment where there is only white people, they may have been in an environment where there was only black people, so they’ll be like, “I want to be with white people,” or like, “I only hang out with Asian people, so that’s the only people I want to hang out with.”
So when you don’t see that, you’re like I don’t want to do this. So we have to -- as a collected community elevate people to realize like, no, like we’re going to help you, we’re not going to shame to you, we’re not going to block you, we’re not going to give you lower pay. I think as a collective unit if we all bond together and elevate the people who have voices that can help people get to that next level in their career and make it seemed that we all are in the same unit in tech and we don’t have to talk about diversity panels anymore, that’s where I want to be. I want to be where people in the people and we’re not talking about diversity, we’re just on the panel together. But I think that will be coming in the future because this topic has become more and more hot and more and more people are willing to talk about it and not be afraid. That’s my long-winded answer. There’s a lot but like that’s it, that’s it.
Sahil: No, I mean, dude, I love it. I love your refreshing honest and personal opinion on this topic because, you know, so many people are just willing to sit back and say the cookie cutter thing, right, which is like we need more women in sales, we need more minorities in sales, we need to get more LGBTQ community folks involved, and it is our initiative to do that. And then, they don’t do shit, right, like no body --
Morgan: Yeah, yeah.
Sahil: And so I think that, you know, we are in a time, in an era in which, yes, I believe that what has happened since Susan Fowler wrote that blog post in over a year and two months ago has been this great awakening of like enough is enough, you know, the time is up saying -- and we see -- I mean we see it, you know, I actually joined a movement called Founders For Change, which is part of a larger group called Always which is a group of female VCs who are standing up and saying, “Look, you know, only like 5% of partners at VCs are females,” you know. And there is Aileen Lee who is the founder of Cowboy Ventures who came up and said, you know, “50% of engineering grads at MIT are women,” right.
So fuck your like, you know, pipeline problem or whatever and be like good people are out there, we just need to do a better job of creating role models and creating voices. And I think that what you really -- and what I love about what you said is that if you see one person who looks like you standing up there and doing it, it will inspire you to believe that you two can do it. And I think, you know, I was lucky enough to work on the Obama campaign in DC from ’06 to ’08, you know, I had a chance to see how he inspired an entire generation to think, hey, the presidency isn’t just reserved for a bunch of old rich white men, you know. We basically gone like Bush, Clinton, Bush, you know, like it was this like very, I mean it was as like -- it was like we were back in like the old king days of like the Tudors and the whatever, you know.
Morgan: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah...
Sahil: Right. And now, all of a sudden here comes this guy who is just not like that and it was amazing and refreshing. And now, we have Trump, and so I guess like, you know, maybe we go and we come, but I hear you very loud and clear on there needs to be more role model, we need to be better about being inclusive, we need to focus on diversity, and I think that any organization whether it’s a sales organization or in tech or just generally that doesn’t have an initiative and a focus around hiring more women, hiring more minorities and hiring people that are not just like them today is an organization that’s going to look back and find themselves losing the talent more and missing out on revenue targets and not being able to connect with buyers, because you’re right the world is becoming more and more inclusive, the world is becoming more and more diverse and either you keep up or you get left behind.
Morgan: Yup, every single time.
Sahil: Every single time. Morgan, it has been such a pleasure having you here. You’re a rock star and a dear friend and I really enjoyed the conversation. I told you this before we started and then, I’ll repeat it again, I have found you to be just someone that I have grown to admire and cherish as a friend in a very short period of time. Keep doing what you’re doing, man, and we love your stuff.
Morgan: I appreciate the kind words, man. Hopefully, I’ll see you soon and thank you so much for having me on the podcast.
Sahil: Thanks, man. Cheers. Bye.