Birth of a Data-Driven Salesperson, w/ Carson Heady

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What's the first feeling that you get when you hear the word Sales or Salesperson? We believe that most people do not get warm fuzzies when they hear those words!

Carson Heady is Director, Health Solutions - U.S. Health & Life Sciences at Microsoft and shatters the negative stereotypes of the Salesperson. He is about as human and helpful as any guest we've had on the show, and we're quite sure that his customers agree!

His titles and achievements are amazing, and we were fortunate enough to be able to talk to him about a gamut of topics-from data use in healthcare, to the importance of transparency, the future of Microsoft, and all points in between!

Here's Carson's Website: The Home of the “Birth of a Salesman” Series, by Carson V. Heady

References in this Episode:

Far Side King of the Salespersons

White Men Can't Jump Water Scene (CONTENT WARNING!)

The Shining-Scatman Is So Nice

Episode Transcript:

Rob Collie (00:00:00): Hello friends. Today's guest is Carson Heady, Director of Health Solutions at Microsoft. There's a lot of exciting things going on where the healthcare space meets the Microsoft platform, especially the power platform and Azure.

Rob Collie (00:00:13): And so of course, we talk about that a bit during the conversation. But he's also a bestselling author of books on sales, which led us down the human path in the conversation. Things like relationships and transparency, and the art of empathy and collaborative problem-solving. And all of these really being at the heart of this thing called sales that I think is very, very foreign and almost like anti-matter to the data crowd.

Rob Collie (00:00:43): I know that I personally have always gotten way too hung up on the negative aspects of sales. There's something repulsive about talking people out of their money, isn't there? And there are certainly instances where sales does have that reputation for a reason.

Rob Collie (00:01:01): But I think I learned something very, very powerful and important. It's one of those things that I think looking forward I'm going to be thinking about this conversation for a long time, which is that even the notion of calling it sales is defining it from the perspective of the supply. It's defining it through the lens of the people or organization that actually has something to sell.

Rob Collie (00:01:22): But if you look at it instead from the perspective of the buyer, they need something. They need a service. They need a product. They need a solution to a problem, and they need someone to help them understand that it's possible and how much it's going to cost, and all of those sorts of things. They need someone to help them.

Rob Collie (00:01:40): And I think if we had, from the beginning, not defined sales from that supply side perspective but instead had described it from the very beginning as customer empowerment or customer enablement.

Rob Collie (00:01:52): And I know that a lot of places do try to rename sales to be something like that, and that's probably effective in some cases. But in other ways, like when they go out to hire, those same organizations, when they go out to hire people for customer enablement, what are they looking for? They're looking for sales professionals.

Rob Collie (00:02:09): And so I think the word is just stuck. But for us, people who are more technically minded, who are more direct, hands-on problem solving sorts like me and like many of our listeners, I still think for us, it's a powerful concept to not think about sales from the outbound sense, not think about it from the supply side. Think about it from the demand side. Think about it in terms of the customer. What would they call it?

Rob Collie (00:02:34): And when you look at it through that lens, and that was something that very much leaped out of my headphones when talking to Carson, suddenly it all just makes a lot more sense. So if the concept of sales has seemed foreign or alien or icky to you in the past, I think you'll find this conversation to be very valuable, interesting, and useful long-term.

Rob Collie (00:02:54): With all that said, let's get into it.

Computer Generated Voice (00:02:58): Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention, please?

Computer Generated Voice (00:03:02): This is the Raw Data by P3 Adaptive podcast. With your host, Rob Collie. Find out what the experts at P3 Adaptive can do for your business. Just go to P3adaptive.com. Raw Data by P3 Adaptive is data with the human element.

Rob Collie (00:03:23): Welcome to the show. Carson Heady, how are you this fine afternoon?

Carson Heady (00:03:27): I'm great, Rob. Thanks for having me. How are you?

Rob Collie (00:03:29): We're doing well here.

Rob Collie (00:03:30): So Carson, let's start with today. What do you do at Microsoft?

Carson Heady (00:03:33): Sure.

Carson Heady (00:03:34): And at Microsoft, you never get too used to titles because they may change. Today, I'm a director for Microsoft's Health Solutions, which is basically med-device, MedTech, some of our ISV partners that dabble in the healthcare space.

Carson Heady (00:03:48): I've got a team that supports nationwide customer organizations that fall in that space, and been with Microsoft seven and a half years. Exclusively in the healthcare organization for the last couple of years, and then prior to that, I've spent time in the small and mid-size.

Rob Collie (00:04:02): I've just been fascinated, having worked at Microsoft on the engineering team for so many years, but then to go and go out into the wild and see how Microsoft actually meets the world. It's very, very different. And there's so much value created in the small and the SMB space by Microsoft tools, and at the same time, so little attention paid to it from an enterprise sales perspective. Because guess what? It's not enterprise.

Rob Collie (00:04:27): So how did you even come into the role that you're in right now? I know that... You just mentioned the last couple of years in healthcare, was healthcare always a passion or an interest for you, or an area of extreme growth for Microsoft? It could be both, of course.

Carson Heady (00:04:41): Yeah, Rob, very astute observation. It was one of those situations, I had the serendipitous good fortune of joining Microsoft the week after Satya Nadella became the CEO.

Carson Heady (00:04:51): So to watch our transformation as a platform organization, I came into a brand new role at the time, I was brought in by a gentleman that I'd worked with at a previous organization. And had some success in that role and was pulled into the small and mid-size organization.

Carson Heady (00:05:06): Now, in that business I had pretty much every industry vertical represented, and healthcare probably comprised 18% of the total account portfolio. There were some good wins and synergies within the healthcare space. And when I was saw one of my colleagues and then also a leader that I had worked for previously move into the healthcare business, and as the small and midsize organization continued to evolve into more of a digital model with more coverage, I made the move as a field seller into the healthcare space.

Carson Heady (00:05:39): Predominantly supported providers and payers, I'd say probably a year plus in that space. And then just recently made the move into a leadership role in the health solutions, med-device, MedTech space.

Carson Heady (00:05:51): So it's been an interesting journey, but mostly been gravitating toward leaders that I want to be aligned with in the business. And then also it's wonderful to be able to parlay your skills into a industry field that is so rewarding, one where I've been able to learn but also stay at the pulse of what matters to our healthcare organizations.

Rob Collie (00:06:11): So are you not so much focused on providers and payers anymore, or is it just an expansion, like the Venn diagram also includes that now?

Carson Heady (00:06:20): No, that's a great question. So our customers are prominent major organizations that fit into the medical device realm laboratory, laboratory, some of the pharma and life sciences organizations, and then also some of the partners that have built on our platform.

Carson Heady (00:06:38): So it's fascinating because a lot of the conversations could be around supply chain, visibility, resilience, and most prominently, data. How are we leveraging data? How can data be utilized for these organizations to glean insights, better uncover commercialized models? There's a lot of really interesting implications. And mixed reality, that plays a lot in this space from a internal operations but also from a training perspective, and how they are engaging with their clients, who in many cases are the very healthcare providers, the hospitals that we were just talking about.

Carson Heady (00:07:12): So different realm of the sphere but all obviously in the same ecosystem and speaking a similar language.

Rob Collie (00:07:18): What are these vertical solutions that are being produced by Microsoft using the Microsoft platform? Like the combination of Azure and Teams and all that, is it Microsoft Health Solutions? Is that the right name?

Speaker 4 (00:07:29): Sure. No, that's a great question, and it's very similar to our titles within healthcare. A lot of it is connected health experience, whether that's internal operations or patient experience. So there is a formal Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, a cloud for retail, a cloud for manufacturing.

Speaker 4 (00:07:45): And to best answer your question, Rob, there is a... Basically a sphere that will show and chart out how all of these pieces are connected, whether it's data at the core of it. Interoperability is very important in the healthcare space where you or I, as a patient, we've got to be able to go into a healthcare provider and have access to all of our health records and have that experience be connected.

Speaker 4 (00:08:08): So there's a lot of work that goes into that realm, but you nailed it. As your Teams, dynamics, whatever ERP systems some of these organizations are used, all of that is the connected element. And I think that's what sets Microsoft apart, frankly, is that connected platform experience.

Speaker 4 (00:08:27): It's not Microsoft is the solution to everything anymore, it's how do we integrate with the solution? And in healthcare, a lot of these organizations are using their medical health records systems. We can now integrate with those. We can now host those in Azure. We can now glean insights from those and help them make better predictive decisions. So that's at the core of why we have a connected platform experience.

Rob Collie (00:08:50): Yeah, the reality of the world I think is... And this has been a theme on this show with multiple guests, is that Microsoft's DNA as a platform company is very, very well positioned for where the world is right now.

Rob Collie (00:09:03): There is no one stop shop solution to anything. We joke about best of breed, every organization claims with a sly grin that they have a best of breed, a mix of technology solutions and software that runs their business, which really just means the random collection of stuff that they happen to buy and get entrenched in over the years and through acquisition and all that. There's no rhyme or reason to it.

Rob Collie (00:09:26): You end up with just this completely random and unique collection of line of business systems, and your entire business depends on the sum total of all of them. It was this really crazy dawning realization for me over the past few years when it came into focus that when it's done right, even business intelligence is a form of middleware. The old BI, which was frankly very, very poor, most of it, was all single silo reporting.

Rob Collie (00:09:58): Here's the reports coming out of this SQL database and here's the reports coming out of this SQL database, which again, gives you all these completely disparate views of your business that like, oh, you need to integrate that into some sort of overall picture of how things are going. Well, use your brain. Just integrate that in your head, or more realistically, give it to the Excel people and make them do it.

Rob Collie (00:10:18): So if you think of BI as read-only middleware and the rest of Microsoft's power platform and Azure, all of these things, it's not just read-only, you're not just reading data. You're very often passing and writing data between systems, that interoperability that you're talking about. And who is positioned to do a good job of this even on par with Microsoft?

Rob Collie (00:10:41): We used to be cynical in a way, even if you work for some place too long you always invariably become a little bit cynical about it. And we used to always laugh about, oh yeah, Microsoft will give you the parts to the Porsche. You can assemble your own.

Rob Collie (00:10:54): And we saw so many competitors delivering fully assembled Yugo's or whatever. the car wasn't as good. But you didn't have to build it. You didn't have to put it together. I think today's reality is is that everything needs customization, everything needs tweaking.

Rob Collie (00:11:09): Everything needs to have a platform view because a 99% solution is just another version of zero. It needs to be 100.

Carson Heady (00:11:17): I think you're spot on, and there's always different movers in the landscapes that we play in. I think it's fascinating too. And even in light of the pandemic, you've seen a lot of these different platforms that have become more and more prominent in how they've been utilized or more and more capabilities that have been introduced. And it forces us all to get better.

Carson Heady (00:11:39): I think what I've seen mostly around Power BI as an example just over the last handful of years is the ability that I have to have the inputs and get back something that's going to be truly meaningful, but also the ability to leverage data as a diagnosis tool.

Carson Heady (00:11:56): And it's amazing too working with clients. Being in healthcare, being able to see how they're leveraging the data. And in a pandemic, and being able to see in real-time some of these factors that are impacting patients, and some of these symptoms that are becoming more and more prominent as they discover them for the first time for the Coronavirus.

Carson Heady (00:12:16): Or take it one step further, how can we build something meaningful with a customer and then commercialize that model? More and more in healthcare, I'm seeing a lot of these organizations enter into consortiums. Where can they share data in a meaningful way where they still retain the rights to their data, but they can call it together and then glean more meaningful and sometimes predictive insights around different things, like the effectiveness of a coronary stent?

Carson Heady (00:12:43): I think these things are extremely powerful. And where Microsoft isn't always at the forefront of some of these things historically, we do a really good job of learning from our competitors. We do a very good job of catching up and then surpassing and bringing it all together.

Carson Heady (00:13:00): To your earlier point about it being a platform, where else are you going to find a solution that brings it all together? I love that you touched on best in breed as well, because on paper thematically and aesthetically, that type of a format and approach makes sense to some degree. But where we enter into more and more of these discussions with decision-makers and influencers and executives in these organizations is in an environment like that to maintain, how cost-effective is it to maintain something of that ilk when you can have a platform that everything inherently fits together, talks to each other, and is easier to manage overall? Especially when all of those offerings are much more robust than they once were.

Rob Collie (00:13:43): Okay, so the official name I was looking for before I think was the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare.

Carson Heady (00:13:48): You got it.

Krissy Dyess (00:13:49): I actually had a question Carson, the thing that peaked my interest that... Tell me what mixed reality is in healthcare?

Carson Heady (00:13:56): Love that question, Krissy. It's fascinating to me because I've been aware of HoloLens and some of the devices that Microsoft has released historically. Which there's a headset, you have the ability to look at the space in front of you. And the reason it's called mixed reality is because there will be something that I can interact with or envision or see that appears to be right in front of me.

Carson Heady (00:14:19): Now, in the case of healthcare, there's a lot of practical applications for this. The one that I'm seeing a lot of is the ability to perform surgeries or do a mock surgery leveraging this headset. So being able to go out and look at the surgical format and different instruments and interact, it's basically a computer that is strapped to your head that gives you the vision that you are performing this operation so that you can do it from a practice perspective.

Carson Heady (00:14:50): I've seen it leveraged from a training standpoint. Before joining healthcare I was working in the small and mid-size, and there was a moving company that I worked with at one point that was leveraging these to be able to beam in remotely into an environment and be able to see and do these remote surveys.

Carson Heady (00:15:07): So there's a litany of different ways that these are leveraged, as opposed to full-on artificial reality, which gives me that full capability to strap on a headset and actually physically be in another space.

Carson Heady (00:15:18): This is the same space that you're in but you're able to interact with others. You're able to do training, and you're able to do the things like even go out and look at a car part if I'm a manufacturer. And I go in and amplify it, blow it up, examine these things in a way that I would not be able to do otherwise.

Rob Collie (00:15:37): Let's talk about sales. Before Microsoft, what's your origin story? How did you get into all this?

Carson Heady (00:15:41): It's one of those things, I got into sales completely by happenstance. And I think that's common of a lot of sellers. There was no predetermined career path. I had the same conversations with my parents who were frustrated that I had no idea what I wanted to do with myself when I grew up. And sometimes I still don't, hence why I try to dabble in so many different things.

Carson Heady (00:16:00): But in all seriousness, I started out trying to go into a customer service type role. Started with AT&T, I was on the phones and I believed that it was going to be more of a service style role. It was not. It was basically one call close selling.

Carson Heady (00:16:15): At first it was businesses calling in asking something about their accounts, and then there was the expectation of upsell. And not long into my tenure there they changed our entire office into residential. So it got better. It was people calling in complaining about their phone bill and I had to turn around and upsell them.

Carson Heady (00:16:31): So you can imagine that once you develop an ability or an acumen about being able to do that, I moved up in that department, and then jumped into a few different roles while I was at AT&T over about eight and a half years.

Carson Heady (00:16:45): I was in sales, sales leadership, and then I ultimately ended up working in their advertising business for a little bit. So I've worked in a lot of sales and sales leadership environments, but completely not dependent on different industries.

Carson Heady (00:16:57): So I subscribe to the belief that sales, if you develop a muscle around it, is a transferable skill. And I've been very fortunate to be successful in different industry verticals across my time at AT&T and Microsoft, but also a few smaller, much smaller organizations in the interim.

Rob Collie (00:17:14): You said transferable. So you mean portable across industries, as opposed to transferable like, oh, I can teach you. I can teach you in an eye blink how to be good at sales.

Carson Heady (00:17:26): I think there's an element of that. But for me, it's always been about people and process, understanding the people that I'm interacting with in that food chain, be it the customer, staying at the pulse of what matters to them, then also my colleagues or any resources that exist. And then process, we were talking earlier about [at-bats 00:17:45]. The one thing in sales is there's a lot of at-bats but you've got to have quality at-bats.

Carson Heady (00:17:49): So understanding what is going to be the best method for reaching out to new prospects, or what's going to be the best method for follow up or continuing on through a sales cycle. I've been in one call close environments, I've been in two and three, four year sales cycles. So it's spending a lot of time in very different sales environments has given me a lot of valuable experience. And so I think with that comes some ability to teach. It's not as easy to transfer that ability because everybody comes with a different unique vantage point.

Carson Heady (00:18:22): But I think that if you're good at sales, if you develop an acumen for that, you can translate that with practice. And obviously with a lot of effort you can transfer that into other industries.

Rob Collie (00:18:34): I'm sure you've seen the Far Side cartoon, I forget the name of the character, but he's in a boat and he's sailing away from the Eskimos on their icebergs. And they're all sitting there with brand new refrigerators and freezers, and he's waving bye bye to them. And the caption is all hail King Jimmy, king of all sales people, it was something like that.

Rob Collie (00:18:52): That scenario you described, that starting point or one of the starting points where people are calling to complain about their bill, and your organization's expectation of you is to turn that complaint into them subscribing to additional services. It's got to be one of the most difficult challenges ever. Like, no, we're going to feed you a steady stream of people who are angry.

Carson Heady (00:19:14): Yes, but I don't believe... Just like Captain Kirk, I do not believe in the no-win scenario. I will find a way to succeed. And that's part of sales, frankly, is understanding the parameters and the playing field. We want to stick with some sports analogies too.

Carson Heady (00:19:28): Like the at-bats, you've got to understand your playing field. And there's an element of it that is about sales excellence, but a lot of sales excellence is understanding the customer, what's the pulse of the customer, what are the resources at my disposal? And then how do I best operate with the parameters of maybe different buckets that get me paid, or whatever that looks like?

Carson Heady (00:19:46): But part of it is developing a thick skin. The customer's not upset at you personally, they're upset at a situation. So let them vent, listen, and then ultimately try to arrive at a plan that is going to meet them where they are and align to what their stated goal is.

Carson Heady (00:20:02): Now you ultimately are going to try to influence them to change their current behavior. But before you can do that, you have to make sure that they see a gap in what they're doing.

Carson Heady (00:20:10): And again, that's in every selling environment. It's just some people cling to their current way of doing things more than others, and for different reasons. So we've got to uncover that why before we can even start to build a relationship that could lead to that change.

Rob Collie (00:20:26): Listening to you talk it just occurred to me for the first time ever that I think one of my problems with... Or difficulties, a problem sounds like an objection. A difficulty that I've had is that sales is... Even the word sales, it is written from the perspective of the organization that has something to sell.

Rob Collie (00:20:48): In other words, it's not written from the perspective of the person who has a problem to solve. And a lot of geeky, nerdy types, such as myself, sales is a very uncomfortable place. The idea that I'm supposed to go and talk someone else out of their money, it was just such a bad personality mismatch for me.

Rob Collie (00:21:09): At the same time, it might sound contradictory but I don't think it will to you, I've loved evangelism. I've loved marketing, I've loved messaging. It's just when it gets onto that personal level, one on one, I just want to go back to the marketing message and then let them make up their minds.

Rob Collie (00:21:26): Over the year as I've come to understand this, it's not sales, it's problem-solving. If the product you're selling isn't worth it, it doesn't have positive ROI, then you're a swindler.

Rob Collie (00:21:40): But none of the stuff that we're working with is like that. The technology that you're responsible for selling and the services that we sell that go along with it are the most insanely positive ROI you're ever going to find. And so I had to get out of my own way in the way I think about this. And we're growing really quickly. We're hiring seemingly a new consultant every week, sometimes more than that.

Rob Collie (00:22:04): And as part of our onboarding process, I meet with everybody one-on-one for an hour, hour and a half. It's one of the things I've been telling them is like, my transformation, my personal journey in terms of my relationship with sales is you're there to solve problems, and you're also there to not make your own service hard to consume. It's going to go out there in the world and it's going to do good things, don't get in the way. Don't passively block that.

Rob Collie (00:22:29): I wish that there was another way we could describe sales. We could just change the name. And instead of describing it from the perspective of the seller, describe it from the perspective of the buyer. I would've had a very different feel for it from the very beginning, if it had been reversed in the way we described it.

Carson Heady (00:22:43): Yeah, Rob, I think sometimes it has almost that four letter word type of connotation in your mind. But you said something really important that I think we need to double down on, which is evangelism. I look at my role as I'm being paid no matter where I work to be an evangelist of my brand. It's important that I believe in that brand to be able to do it right and to be able to do it with my whole heart. But the other thing too is I view my responsibility as being an advocate for my customer, because I need to understand the customers why and what their key milestones are so that I can go back to my organization and ultimately sell them on why they should care about my customer more than maybe they do on paper.

Carson Heady (00:23:21): I also try to take a very counterintuitive approach to customers if commonly I get feedback that, "Hey, we already spend a lot of money with your company and we don't necessarily get as much value as we think we should." Or, "You're the biggest check we write," or, "Hey, we only hear from your team every few years when you want to renew us."

Carson Heady (00:23:39): Guess what? I'm going to infuse that into the way that I reach out to customers, as in, "Hey, the reason I want to come to you today is because you're entitled to a lot of resources because of your investment with us. I want to make sure you're privy to that."

Carson Heady (00:23:53): And then we get a baseline there and we optimize your investment first before we do anything. I want to build a foundation of transparency and trust. I also want to make sure I arm them with all of those resources that they're entitled to, but I understand their why, what's at the pulse of what matters to them.

Carson Heady (00:24:07): And then if there's a way to align, great. But I try to look for ways that I can more inform as well. I've started webinar series, I've started newsletters. These are very passive forms of sales but it's a great way to stay top of mind. If something resonates, great. Let's have a conversation.

Carson Heady (00:24:22): Because I think what a lot of sellers forget, deals happen as a result of relationships. That's it. And you're going to develop a relationship by showing first off that you care about what they care about.

Carson Heady (00:24:33): Second, arming them with what they need to know about how to best leverage their relationship with my organization. And then lastly, just being there, making sure that you're actually showing up and that you're a part of the solution, like you said, as opposed to just coming in and trying to sell or get them to change their current way of doing things.

Carson Heady (00:24:52): Because we have to minimize the risk factor. They're not going to have minimal risk in their mind until they actually have a trusted relationship with you, and you've earned that trusted advisor status. And I think that's the way sellers need to position themselves and think in order to be successful.

Rob Collie (00:25:09): It might be the word of the year for me, calling it the word of the year would suggest that I'm actually going to learn everything I need to learn about it in a year. Which means it's probably more like the word of the decade for me, is validation. I'm not very good about this. I need to be much better, particularly in my home life. That's a skill that for some reason I've got a ways to go.

Rob Collie (00:25:28): Twice here, just in the early going of our conversation, I've heard you talk about something that seems very much on that theme. When you're talking about the people who are calling and angry, giving them a forum to air their grievances and be heard. So there's that validation component there. And then you're talking about working this into your messaging, like your outreach process, because of the investment that you make.

Rob Collie (00:25:50): You're preemptively validating, and I think it's a superpower. If validation of another person's, another human beings struggle comes naturally to you, you're going to move through the world at hyper speed, relative to the people who don't have this superpower.

Rob Collie (00:26:10): Professionally, I'm way ahead of my personal life version on this particular superpower. The professional version of me is really good at this. The personal version has a long way to go. And I don't know how to really reconcile the two, but it seems like this is like a way of life for you.

Carson Heady (00:26:29): It's so important to make sure that no matter what you're doing, that you think about all the...First off, what are the strengths and, like you said, the superpowers that I can bring to the table? How do I master flexing that muscle? And then how can I replicate that elsewhere? And invest in relationships? That's what's been the most key thing for me, is just investing in the relationships and showing up with the value. That could be me with my colleague. That could be me with any customer. Because at the end of the day, I hate that it has to be said, but we're all people.

Carson Heady (00:27:04): If I think about how other people are probably showing up to customers, they have a process too, just like I have a process. I have a process that's designed to create relationships, create conversations, and see where that can go in a fruitful way for both parties.

Carson Heady (00:27:19): But a lot of buyers have a process as well. They have the capability to research our company, they have the capability to research our sellers. And so I think if we can show up differently, then I would say probably the majority of other sellers show up, which is what you described earlier. Where I'm trying to show up, regurgitate every great thing that I deem about my company, that's not what's reaching and connecting with buyers truly.

Carson Heady (00:27:42): So I feel like to your way of life comment, that's the right approach, because you have to live and breathe that authenticity in whatever you're doing, whether it's selling or just whether it's how you live your life. I'm of the same mindset even just in my personal life. I try to look at it the same way. I'm always trying to invest in relationships because we're so close to people in our personal life. I think that's what makes it challenging to have those relationships sometimes sing in the same way that the business ones do.

Carson Heady (00:28:10): Because it's a little bit less personal, but I would agree with you wholeheartedly that it is, it's about a way of life. It's investing in people, and evolving, understanding what matters to people, staying at the pulse of what matters to them, and then adjusting your process accordingly.

Rob Collie (00:28:24): There's a lot in there, the authenticity thing in particular. I'm going to do a quick side question here and I'm going to direct this question to Krissy.

Rob Collie (00:28:31): You remember in the movie white men can't jump, when Rosie Perez says to Woody Harrelson, "I'm thirsty," and he gets up to get her a drink of water and she gets really angry at him. And he goes, "What do you mean?" He's just, "I don't want you to solve my problems, I just want you to validate my feeling of thirst."

Carson Heady (00:28:50): That's the biggest mistake I make at home, because I'm always trying to solve problems.

Krissy Dyess (00:28:56): I did not see the movie but I get where you're going.

Rob Collie (00:28:59): As the lone female on this podcast.

Krissy Dyess (00:29:01): I'm here to represent, yes.

Rob Collie (00:29:02): You're here to represent the entire female population of earth.

Krissy Dyess (00:29:07): I'm sorry all females, but I am here to represent. I'm doing my best, I'm doing my best.

Rob Collie (00:29:12): If you say that you're thirsty at home and your husband goes to get you a glass of water, is that an A plus or a D minus performance?

Krissy Dyess (00:29:23): Ah, this is such a tough question, because I don't really need anybody to get me a glass of water. But it would be nice and appreciated. It's like the opening door thing and how that's changed. And that's where I was thinking about this conversation, is, wow, technology has changed. When I'm hearing you talk it reminds me actually of a movie that I did recently see that I had never seen, which was surprising. The shining, have you all seen the shining?

Rob Collie (00:29:51): No.

Krissy Dyess (00:29:52): Okay, you should-

Rob Collie (00:29:54): I know everything about it but I've never seen it.

Krissy Dyess (00:29:56): And that's how I was too. I know the version from the Simpsons. I get the premise and I get the gist of it. And at Halloween we try to embrace all things Halloween with our family and our kids, and so we watched it. And after I watched that movie, there was a scene where the gentleman, he calls and he's worried about the family that's up there taking care of the property. And if they're going crazy and somebody's going to kill him.

Krissy Dyess (00:30:20): And he calls up there and he says, "Can go check on them?" And he took it an extra step further. Not only did he check in, but then he followed up. And it was like this light bulb went off. I feel like we lost that. Just that general concern and connection. I feel the technology, while it's great, because I'm thinking about this for people that aren't particularly skilled and you can totally feed that all into a machine learning algorithm, prompting people on what they should say. And even picking body language and stuff like that.

Krissy Dyess (00:30:53): I don't know if it's in the mixed reality with the avatar and we get the avatars expression, maybe that comes into play. The technology is great, but there is a part that is that human element. That is something that we at P3 deeply believe in with the Microsoft suite of tools, you can't just throw a technology and tools at things. But when you combine it with really that passion, that deep understanding, and you just do that little bit extra. It just makes such a big difference I think in terms of those relationships that you were talking about.

Krissy Dyess (00:31:27): So anyways, I know I took that 100 places so I'm going to go back to the water thing. Okay?

Rob Collie (00:31:32): Okay.

Krissy Dyess (00:31:32): I'm going to tie it all back together, because here's something that happens. So my day is busy, sometimes I don't even have a chance to get a tea in the morning. And so oftentimes I go downstairs, I make a tea, and it's hot and I'm letting it steep. But then I hop up and I get on one meeting to the next meeting. Well, my husband, he picked up on it, because I come down at three o'clock and here I am drinking my tea, because I want to drink it. It's green tea and I want the good stuff in my body.

Krissy Dyess (00:32:00): So he anyways brings me up my tea one morning. I come over and I'm like, "Oh, how sweet. He put a little actual rose on my desk." I don't know why. It was weird, but anyways. And I come over and I take a big drink, it's scolding hot and I burn my tongue.

Krissy Dyess (00:32:15): So I don't know, sometimes you try to do something good like that. And in that case, it turned out really bad. But the next time then... There's more Rob, I know. There's more. Then next time he came up and he put it here, and he said, "Hey, just so you know, your tea is hot."

Rob Collie (00:32:35): I have no familiarity whatsoever with this concept of trying to do something nice and having it backfire, no concept of it.

Carson Heady (00:32:42): Never heard of that.

Rob Collie (00:32:43): Never heard of it.

Rob Collie (00:32:45): I'm always well intentioned, always well intentioned. If only there were bonus points giving out for intention, but I... Yes, I typically fall short.

Krissy Dyess (00:32:56): It's the thought that counts. It's the thought that. And you take the data and you learn, okay, didn't go right. Next time I'll let her know, put the sticky on there, it's hot.

Rob Collie (00:33:05): Hopefully we live to try another day.

Krissy Dyess (00:33:07): This is true, this is all true.

Rob Collie (00:33:09): Always improvement, the evolution of the process. Tea is hot.

Carson Heady (00:33:13): It's like groundhog day, it's like today I might put too much creamer in her coffee. So tomorrow, I'm going to do my absolute best not to do that but then I'll probably mess up something else. And then we're all striving toward that one perfect day.

Rob Collie (00:33:28): I think in an old Bill Simmons column someone calculated how long that character probably spent.

Carson Heady (00:33:35): A thousand years or something. It was something crazy.

Rob Collie (00:33:38): It was a really long time, that's how long he was trapped in that single day. It was a heck of an analysis.

Rob Collie (00:33:43): Going back to these themes, these sort human themes. Carson, what are your thoughts... This is the biggest softball question of all time. Ready for this?

Rob Collie (00:33:50): What are your thoughts on the concept of transparency when it comes to working with your own team, working with customers, I'm just going on a hunch here that this might be an important word for you.

Carson Heady (00:34:02): Big time, love that you called out that word, Rob. I think from a transparency standpoint, ultimately when you're working with a customer you strive to have that relationship where you care about what looks like a win to each party. And that best happens when they understand your process as best they can.

Carson Heady (00:34:18): I try to arm customers with as much as they need to know about what's a lever that I can pull on their behalf? How can you best arm me with information that I can take back to my company and say, "Look, this is why we need to invest at this organization." That's the type of level of relationship that I want to establish with every customer that I work with. That's how we best become advocates for them and evangelists of our own brand in turn.

Carson Heady (00:34:43): Same thing with working with a team. When I'm working with somebody on my team, and I've been in leadership for the majority of my career, it's understanding what's their motivation, what's their why? But show them as much of the behind the curtain wizard of Oz stuff as you possibly can, they need to understand, how are these key processes going to work either for or against them? How can they best optimize their payout? Or arming me with the information that I need when we do quota setting exercises or getting them mastery of their role, but also getting them promoted or getting them wherever they want to go. Those are the types of things that are so critical, I have to be able to understand that so I can be a champion for my people.

Carson Heady (00:35:24): And the best part of that is is showing them as much of the sausage making as they want to see, or that makes sense. I've got to be allegiant to my organization because again, that's what I'm paid to do. I can't just show and tell everything, that's not my job. But I do think it's important that the team and the individual contributor or the manager that's working for you, whatever it is, they know as much of the process as will be advantageous for them in making decisions around their job mastery and then also taking charge of their career.

Rob Collie (00:35:55): When you understand the benefits of a transparent style it seems really obvious that this is the way to do it. At the same time, why does it seem so novel? Why does this feel like a cheat code as opposed to how everyone works? It just seems like it should be a hell of a lot more widespread than it is. Do you have any instincts on that? Why is transparency not the norm everywhere?

Carson Heady (00:36:19): I think there's a variety of reasons. At the heart of it there's a conscious decision that comes into it. When I pull up my email every day I've got hundreds of emails, I've got fires that I've got to put out every day. But it's those decisions that you make about your non-negotiables every day. I'm going to etch out five things that I have to get done that day.

Carson Heady (00:36:38): And it might be I see somebody struggling, so I'm going to carve out a conscious working session where we're going to work through whatever that issue looks like, or I'm going to validate and listen to what they have to say if they've got a legitimate beef or a legitimate barrier to success. We're going to sit there and we're going to sit in it. And it's uncomfortable sometimes, I think that's why it's not necessarily the default, is because there's elements of it that are maybe uncomfortable.

Carson Heady (00:37:04): It also depends on what's the messaging and the treatment from above. How are my managers or my leaders conditioning me to be a leader? Am I getting the training that I need to be a good manager? Am I being trained and coached to put people at the heart of everything that I'm doing? So it's the big element of culture that fits into it as well.

Carson Heady (00:37:21): So if you've got those factors working against you you're always going to be a product of your environment. That's the way of life. And I think if you're not trained or coached or conditioned to lead by putting people at the heart of it, and you don't consciously make the decision every day to go out and be transparent and put people at the heart of this, communicate with them consistently, be consistent with your message, it's really easy to get pulled in a lot of different directions.

Carson Heady (00:37:48): We all have a lot of minutia going on. I've absolutely had managers in my career that have led blindly with data reactively, and just said, "Hey, you need to go sell more widgets, just go out and do it."

Carson Heady (00:38:00): Well, that doesn't help me understand the why behind that process. And the more inclusive way of doing that and the more effective way of doing that is to work together to say, "Hey, we're not doing well at this widget. Let's sit down and understand why that is. What's the pushback we're getting from a customer as an example, maybe were some best practices. Who's doing well at this? How can we learn together and do this together?"

Carson Heady (00:38:24): That's the key element that I think is lacking when you don't necessarily do that as a default. But I think it's product of environment, and it's also putting people at the heart. It isn't necessarily the default. And there's some discomfort sometimes that comes with that validation and sitting with the struggles with your team that are required to truly get you there, and to optimize that dynamic.

Rob Collie (00:38:47): We've been playing the sports metaphor game, why stop now? So I remember watching... It was a boxing match, it might have been... It was some sort of fight where people were swinging fists at each other in a controlled setting.

Rob Collie (00:38:58): There were gloves but they left them on for the fight. So it wasn't hockey. Okay, so we can rule out hockey. And after the fight, the winner, they're interviewing the winner, and I don't know a thing, one about boxing terminology or whatever. But I remember him saying, "Yeah, I just felt really confident the whole time and I felt really comfortable staying in the pocket."

Rob Collie (00:39:17): And I'd never heard that phrase before, and I'm sure they use it all the time in fighting. And guess what, I'm not a fighter. My last amateur fight was probably I was eight years old. It was unsanctioned bout and I retired after that. But that whole concept of in the pocket, now we're really taking a Brene Brown turn in the conversation.

Rob Collie (00:39:37): Listening to your answer, you hit on vulnerability. You want to be transparent, that exposes your neck, and it's uncomfortable to do that. And I think especially as youngsters we misunderstand, we have an inverted sense of strength and weakness. Vulnerability is weakness in the wild.

Rob Collie (00:39:59): But in teams, in society and relationships, it takes all the strength in the world to be vulnerable and survive it. But all the value is there. Now we're going back to the fighting metaphor, which is less collaborative for obvious reasons. But that notion of staying in the pocket, in order to win he had to be within striking distance of his... Let's just say his goal and not the other guy's face that he's trying to pummel.

Rob Collie (00:40:25): No, he needs to stay within range of his goal, but at the same time that puts him in danger. And he has to be comfortable with that. That doesn't just come naturally to most people. For me, myself, I don't know when that magnetic poll started to reverse for me and started to understand it differently. A lot of things that I thought were weakness were strength and vice versa.

Rob Collie (00:40:47): I'm very grateful that that inversion has happened or maybe it's still happening for me. But yeah, vulnerability, most people don't like it. And so opacity rules the roost.

Rob Collie (00:41:03): Okay, we can now rest assured that being transparent will keep us in the upper percentiles basically forever, because vulnerability is always... It's going to be something that's uncomfortable. There you go, durable business advantage.

Carson Heady (00:41:18): I love it. Here's the key element, is I've been in sales for a long, long time, and it was always taught to me to never let them see a bleed and to be able to withstand anything. And that's just not reality. Don't get me wrong, you can be the strongest person there is and you can not let folks see a sweat, but your team isn't going to believe that you're a real role model.

Carson Heady (00:41:44): We spend a lot of time here at Microsoft from a leadership standpoint talking about modeling the behavior, coaching the behavior, and ultimately caring about the people and they're plight. And if you act like you're bulletproof and put up this unrealistic facade you're not going to get... People aren't going to buy into you. It's just that simple. I think a lot of times about just tough conversations.

Carson Heady (00:42:08): You talked about Brene Brown, one of the biggest takeaways that I had with dare to lead is that oftentimes when we have a tough conversation or we have the apprehension around having a tough conversation, it's not about them. It's about us. It's about our own discomfort.

Carson Heady (00:42:21): When I have a tough conversation with somebody that I work with or a tough conversation with a customer, whatever it is, a lot of the angst that I take into that is about my own discomfort. Like, man, I don't feel like doing this, or man, I don't want to deliver this news. Or I'm just going to sidestep the confrontation because I don't want to feel uncomfortable. And we've got to own that. That's really helped me transform a lot, because I will tell you in my younger days as a leader, because I didn't know any better, I thought it was so important that my team never saw me make a mistake. Never saw me do anything that was... Showed the slightest hint of weakness or uncertainty, or whatever it was. And that's just not realistic.

Carson Heady (00:43:00): Being able to tell somebody, "I don't know the answer but let's go find it together." Those are the types of things that help you become that trusted advisor, whether you're working with a customer or a colleague, because they know that they can go to you every time they have a conundrum of that ilk. You're going to become somebody that's going to be in the boat with them as opposed to somebody that is on a different plane.

Rob Collie (00:43:22): You mentioned that when you're younger you were different about this. The lessons that we learn in middle school, they carry some momentum. I wasn't getting beaten up in the hallways by vulnerable people, that wasn't... The bullies didn't really advertise what was really going on with them. Even when we were younger, it speaks to, like you were saying earlier, this isn't critical mass. If you'd had role models that had taught a different... I think it was you that hinted on the... Not hinted at, you said directly, that the culture that you're immersed in is going to dictate a lot of your defaults.

Rob Collie (00:43:54): If we grew up with and just lucked into really, really, really positive, early role models that bucked that trend, I think we... Most of us, well, I don't know, maybe I'm being too gracious, but I think a lot of us would happily take that more authentic route.

Rob Collie (00:44:09): When I joined Microsoft in the 90s, an organization, if there ever there was one, an organization that was populated by people who were being stuffed in lockers in middle school, this was like the greatest concentration of bullies victims in the world at the time. And still to go... And certain teams were worse than others, the Windows team in the 90s was just vicious. They were so mean. The whole organization operated out of fear and intimidation and threatening, a lot of demeaning. It was just part of how they operated.

Rob Collie (00:44:46): And I worked in the relatively calm and soft nerf-lined world of Office by comparison. But even in Office, there was a lot of abusive behavior there. I know that all of that has gotten much better over time, but this was my indoctrination.

Rob Collie (00:45:03): Well, I had the opportunity at one point to change teams and take the better move for my career and join the Windows team. And I said, "Oh no, no way. I'm not going over there." It was brutal.

Carson Heady (00:45:15): No, but I think on the flip side you hit on something that's crucial for us to double down on, which is I cut my teeth in a one call close environment, which was basically, like years ago before Microsoft, it was like a PG13 version of the Wolf of Wall Street every day.

Carson Heady (00:45:29): But to be able to go through that and to understand it, and understand what worked and what didn't and now parlay that into my current environment, we're all a product of environment, but also experience.

Carson Heady (00:45:41): You're able to learn from these things, what works, what didn't, what gave me meaningful connection and what didn't. I think it's key that we're able to hit on that and acknowledge it and evolve. I think that's crucial. And that's what over time, a new day dawned when I realized two things about sales. One, how important it was that it was a team sport, and two, how important it was that you focus on the relationship, not on the sale itself. And that's what changed my entire career.

Rob Collie (00:46:08): And I'd heard that from others before, but so many things in my life, I can hear it, I can read it in a book, and I can nod and go, "Yeah, yeah. Obvious." But never really understand it. Until one day I live it, and then I go, "Oh, oh, okay. That's what they were talking about."

Rob Collie (00:46:28): I think I get it now. This isn't the first time I've heard it, but it's probably one of the first few times I've heard it said so directly and have me actually understand what's being said, as opposed to just going, "Yeah, yeah, yeah."

Rob Collie (00:46:38): Some sentences you just can't disagree with. So you agree, but that doesn't mean that you actually get it. I think it's one of the most, if not all of the most valuable things I've learned in my life, are of that category. They don't sound like genius. They don't sound like innovation, but if you really lean into it, if you make that a guiding principle and not just one of many things that you believe to be true, it changes the way the world works.

Rob Collie (00:47:04): Let's go back to that question I had earlier, which is on an average day in your professional life, what percentage of the time are you spending with fellow Microsoft employees versus with customers?

Carson Heady (00:47:15): That's a good question. I strive for as much customer time as I can, but also leading a team there is a healthy balance of ensuring that I'm keeping up with team meetings, one on one meetings, coaching sessions, et cetera.

Carson Heady (00:47:28): I'd probably say 20 to 30% is with customers. I do a lot of the prospecting with my team and I leverage the fact that I am in a position where I can be a support resource for customers. I like to be in the field with my team, even if it's virtual in this case a lot of times, because my team's all over the country. But I like to be with the customer, because it does two things for me, Rob. One, it helps me stay at the pulse of what matters in our industry so that I can articulate that when I go spend time with my team or work with other customers.

Carson Heady (00:48:06): But the other thing it does too is it shows that I am there, I'm a part to that team supporting them. That is so critical, because we hit on that earlier. A lot of times, if customers feel like you're either not present or you only show up during certain compelling events, it gives them the opposite impression of what we're trying to create. Which is not just a culture of our team but a culture with customers. We want to be true collaborative partners.

Carson Heady (00:48:30): And that word gets thrown around a lot. So what I believe that means is spending as much time as I can actually with the customers so that they see us as a actual partner and collaborator, and then looking proactively for things that we can do together as opposed to just things that we can do that involve my company.

Krissy Dyess (00:48:48): I worked in a sales organization prior to coming to P3. I wasn't a sales person but I worked with the data and the analytics and the clients, and improving. And that culture of sales, everything that I've heard you describe here, and how that really prepares you as you move into leadership, talking about the inbox and you quickly scan through and you figure out your non-negotiables. And that's all sales coaching and sales training. And I just, I feel like there is so much strong leadership themes that I heard here today that are just really a skill that takes time to learn and have those mistakes and grow.

Krissy Dyess (00:49:30): And I just... Gosh, I'm getting so inspired by just hearing this conversation, because I have a team that I manage and I work with customers. And do you have a coach that you work with on a regular basis, or do you have peers in your organization? How do you continue to be inspired and get energized? Because it is not easy when you're giving that energy to so many people and so many resources and you need some kind of mentor or inspiration, maybe it's Rob's podcast each week. I don't know.

Rob Collie (00:50:02): Oh, I'm sure it is. Yeah, go ahead, Carson. We need a sound bite of you saying, "All I have ever known in life that was valuable I learned on the podcast that was started 18 months ago."

Carson Heady (00:50:15): Krissy, that's a great question. At the end of it we all go out with the best of intentions I believe. And we've got our heads down, and when your heads down you can't look up and look around. And I think that's the key difference as a seller. It's so easy to get lost in my calendar, and so there's a lot of people that have been mentors for me over the years. But I didn't proactively go out and look for mentors when I was younger and earlier on in career, because I didn't really know to.

Carson Heady (00:50:41): It wasn't until somebody invested in me in that way, that said, "Hey, you need some formal mentors." That was super eyeopening for me because I didn't know that I needed it until I got it.

Carson Heady (00:50:51): And now it's such an important part of the puzzle for me. I'll give you an example, to be able to go out and look at my calendar for the day, how often you see that back to back to back to back to back day. Well, on some of the days when there are things that absolutely have to take priority, I've learned to go in and do the uncomfortable thing of looking at the day and saying, "What could move to tomorrow? Is this meeting mission critical for me today?"

Carson Heady (00:51:15): And if it's not, then I've got to be able to convey to the person like, "Hey, I had a lot of stuff pop up today. I have to get X, Y, Z done. Is there any way we can push to tomorrow or next week?" Or whatever that looks like. And to be able to have those types of conversations.

Carson Heady (00:51:29): When you get into that ability to either really have a discipline around your management of your day, those types of things can make all the difference in the world.

Carson Heady (00:51:38): The other thing that I think is really critical is being challenged to replicate your strengths and superpowers broadly. We talk a lot at Microsoft about the impact that you're having and outcomes, tangible outcomes that you're driving. And so I typically try to coach my team to think about first off, mastery of role is important. Obviously hitting your number is an important element, but if you want to move up, develop a personal brand, you've got to transcend the game.

Carson Heady (00:52:06): You've got to think about how can I take my strength and do it in a way that it drives outcomes for everyone. And so I really try to challenge my team to think very broadly about how can you take the things that you're passionate about or strong with and replicate these things broadly. And when I had that happen for me, from a mentor, that was one of the most impactful things that ever happened in my career. Because I started consciously thinking about it's bigger than just me.

Carson Heady (00:52:36): How can I help other people do some of the things that I have been successful with? And guess what? What happens when you do that is you find people that have different gaps than you have, and they're strong in a certain area that I have a gap in. And so guess what? Now you've got a symbiotic relationship where we're both learning from each other.

Carson Heady (00:52:53): Microsoft is like many companies, we're very much a relationships and resources organization. You got to understand the resources but you've got to really proactively go out and have relationships. Every meaningful role I've been pulled into in my entire career, except one, was because of relationships that I was able to form, people that wanted me to come work in their environment.

Carson Heady (00:53:14): And guess what? The other one, the one that wasn't was because of something that was part of my personal brand, it was a book that I had written 10 years ago.

Carson Heady (00:53:22): And the reason that my resume stood out was because I had that one unique nuance applying for a sales management role, I had written a book. And it made that stand out.

Carson Heady (00:53:31): So think about the ways that you can stand out positively. What do you want your personal brand to say about you? What are the strengths that you want to parlay into success for other people? And how can you go out and proactively seek out people that are doing it better than you are? People that can challenge you to do it differently. Those are the things that are going to make all the difference in the world.

Rob Collie (00:53:51): What's the name of the book?

Carson Heady (00:53:52): 2010, I wrote a book called birth of a salesman. Sales books are out there and done so effectively that I didn't want to replicate what's already been out there. So I actually created a fictional protagonist and a story, a within a book. So it's a novel but this fictional character writes his own sales book.

Carson Heady (00:54:09): And I now have four of them. The latest was a salesman on fire, and I did that one in 2020. It's been a really interesting journey. I obviously haven't sold enough to retire. I've been able to talk to people all over the world as a result, and it's been a very career-defining thing.

Carson Heady (00:54:25): I always like to tell people the stuff that I've done is very easily replicatable, anybody could do the stuff that I've done. You just got to be willing to do the work.

Rob Collie (00:54:33): When you said your first book was called birth of a salesman and then you said you'd written four. I was looking forward to the adolescence of a salesman, the full life-cycle.

Carson Heady (00:54:44): As long as I don't do the death, but that's where I got the title, Arthur Miller.

Rob Collie (00:54:48): Wow, that sounds really challenging. You had to write dialogue.

Carson Heady (00:54:51): Yeah, I've never been good at that. You know what's funny though, Rob, is I've always been bad at writing dialogue. I tried to write a screenplay when I was in college, I took a script writing class.

Carson Heady (00:55:00): And I actually forced myself in my third book to write almost nothing but dialogue intentionally to put myself in an uncomfortable spot to make myself better at it.

Carson Heady (00:55:08): But yes, actually had to write dialogue.

Rob Collie (00:55:11): That's just brutal. I've written two books, well three, one of them sold so few copies that we don't talk about that one. But the whole thing's basically written in my voice. And to try to write other people's voices and put quotation marks around them. Even some of my favorite authors, when you're reading their work you very quickly figure out if you're paying attention anyway, which character in the book the author wishes they were. They're imbuing this one character with the version of themselves, the most powerful version that they wish that they were. You can see them projecting their own fight club, alter ego into this story.

Rob Collie (00:55:45): And I read a lot of Roger [inaudible 00:55:47] books growing up, a lot of the sci-fi. It doesn't matter what genre it is, there's always this one character in there that's the protagonist. It's always the same character over and over and over and over again. You just know it's who Roger [inaudible 00:56:01] wishes he was.

Rob Collie (00:56:02): Oh man, writing an educational book, in some sense nominally a non-fiction work, while still having to fiction angle to juggle at the same time, that's degree of difficulty 10.

Rob Collie (00:56:15): No. Can you imagine writing a Ax [inaudible 00:56:17] novel, Krissy? It's like this murder mystery with the calculate function.

Krissy Dyess (00:56:24): I could see it capturing a lot of scenarios around people and their challenges, and the road that they go down of, oh, I'm going to solve it today. No, no, no, I'm going to walk away. No, I'll come back later. I could see there's a lot of that type of scenario. If it gets in the code nobody's going to really read all that.

Rob Collie (00:56:39): It would just be like a bunch of jokes is all it would be.

Krissy Dyess (00:56:43): I think there could be some stories in there, but I think if you're going to attract readers it's more around the relationships and the overcoming the challenge. And how did you solve it and what kind of scenario? I think there's a lot of people that could relate to some of that, like, oh, I found this really cool tool but then I got in there. And it was really cool but then it got hard.

Krissy Dyess (00:57:03): But then I figured it out and it changed my life. I don't know. There could be some stories around that. And if you actually go into our Slack channel, we are just having conversations around this that maybe we should sell a subscription to our ask a friend.

Krissy Dyess (00:57:14): So I don't know if you know about this Carson but we have Slack and we have a whole team of consultants, and we have a channel dedicated to just questions that people are having. It centralizes, people can jump in, whoever has availability. And there's a little bit of humor in there as well. You have to qualify the humor in that it is people that like [inaudible 00:57:36] and stuff like that.

Krissy Dyess (00:57:37): So there's a little bit of I guess nerd humor in there, but-

Rob Collie (00:57:41): Oh, a little?

Krissy Dyess (00:57:41): A little bit.

Rob Collie (00:57:43): Krissy's given away all kinds of secrets now. First of all, that we're a Slack org. Now we're also a Teams org Carson-

Krissy Dyess (00:57:52): That's true, that's true.

Rob Collie (00:57:54): Because we are a best of breed type of organization, which is really just code for, well, at one point in time we had someone working here that really thought we should try Slack.

Krissy Dyess (00:58:02): Teams wasn't around back like it is today.

Rob Collie (00:58:06): See, we've got an excuse. So-

Krissy Dyess (00:58:10): There is an excuse, there is a very valid excuse. Even now there's so much development and things rolling out of Teams to address the remote experience. So to be fair, Teams was not what it was when we went the Slack path.

Rob Collie (00:58:22): That's right. That's right.

Carson Heady (00:58:22): That's what I love about the competitive landscape, it forces us and others to up their game when there's these capabilities, functionalities features that are available.

Carson Heady (00:58:32): Look at when the pandemic began, and some of the tools that were being leveraged at the beginning of the pandemic for virtual conversations, virtual meetings. There are so many features and functionalities that have been added to these tools over the last 18 months. It advances the technology, it advances the experience. I think that's what it's all about.

Carson Heady (00:58:52): So I welcome the competitive landscape because I think it makes everybody better.

Rob Collie (00:58:56): Well Microsoft, if you ever come knocking, trying to convince us to switch to Teams full-time on an enterprise license, just remember we're going to be evaluating Teams versus Slack, primarily through the lens of your Giffy integration and your custom emoji support. Those better be robust or we're going nowhere.

Carson Heady (00:59:21): It's good to know what matters most know what matters.

Krissy Dyess (00:59:23): No, it matters. Yes.

Rob Collie (00:59:25): We left the custom emoji permission wide open on our Slack, just the collection of those moves at incredibly high velocity these days. You've got to keep up.

Rob Collie (00:59:38): The subtitle of our show here is data with a human element, and we have really leaned into that human element. And I like that.

Rob Collie (00:59:45): With our remaining time though let's circle back to more of the tech side, Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare. Is this something that you, Carson, in the medical device relationships and all of that, is that particularly relevant in that space or is that mostly focused more on the provider side of things?

Carson Heady (01:00:03): There are elements that are going to play across the spectrum from a healthcare standpoint, but a lot of it, Rob, is about the integration. So everybody's going to come to the table, whether it's a med device organization, medication management organization, a laboratory, pharma and life sciences, or a hospital, they're all going to come with a different inherent setup, different tools that they're leveraging today.

Carson Heady (01:00:26): And I think the beauty of a cloud for health as an example is there's two real major components. One, where does it fit in from a data, data sources, data systems perspective, some of the tools that they have in place today. We've hit on a few of them today. How are they calling and portraying their data? What's their electronic medical record? Do they have Microsoft or a competitor for their ERP? A lot of them have a sales force, so do they have a CRM that they're leveraging?

Carson Heady (01:00:56): And so looking at some of these inherent tools and what makes up the backbone of their organization, and then where does Microsoft plug and play into those?

Carson Heady (01:01:06): And there's some obvious ones, ways that it can have a data repository and Azure as an example. And then it's very easy to run your machine learning and analytics on top of that and glean insights. That could be one actionable way to make it hum.

Carson Heady (01:01:19): One of the other ones that could be different platforms that become a part of that solution. So we are currently signing partners to become part of Cloud for Health. We've made some acquisitions recently that add additional layers to Cloud for Health.

Carson Heady (01:01:35): And personally, when I'm having conversations with a client, with a business decision-maker in one of these organizations, I'm always proactively looking at how could what they do or what they're endeavoring to do fit into this model? Because that's the beauty is it's still being fleshed out for how it can really add meaning for the healthcare ecosystem in this case.

Carson Heady (01:01:55): So that's a great question, and I think the beauty is it can have some immediate impact for customers but it could also have some long term ramifications that open up ways that we could partner.

Rob Collie (01:02:04): You started to hint at a couple of my follow- up questions actually there, which is awesome. It's perfect. Teeing it up.

Rob Collie (01:02:10): So the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare at its most fundamental level consists of technologies that are already there. Robust, mature things like Azure and Teams and everything, but there's also... I'm assuming there's this layer of solution level glue and customization that's being built on top of and between these things that then turns it into the Cloud for Healthcare as opposed to just all these separate cloud solutions that you can get.

Rob Collie (01:02:39): So where is that being engineered? Are there dedicated engineering teams that are working on this? Because that is a bit of a departure from the Microsoft that I've known, which is every now and then historically they've gotten into solution specific stuff. But those teams in the past anyway, they seem to be ahead of their time essentially. It was a good idea but just too soon, the market wasn't ready for it.

Rob Collie (01:03:02): Are there teams now, engineering teams? If I was back on the engineering org, is that one of the places I could work, would be engineering specifically on the Cloud for Healthcare?

Carson Heady (01:03:12): I think the key element is that it very much depends on what the customer is showing up with. I'll give you an example, like virtual health, that could mean a lot of things to a lot of different folks. And if I'm talking to a health provider, they're going to by default have some kind of posture of tools that they're leveraging for a virtual health experience. It may be with Microsoft, it may not be. But the other element is that we've got a lot of partners in our very robust partner ecosystem that have built solutions that sit on top of Teams, to your point.

Carson Heady (01:03:43): And so it could be internal to Microsoft, where it's something that's been developed within Teams. I've seen many, many folks, technical specialists, engineering, that have developed some of these tools where it could be for internal collaboration at a health organization, these tools that are built within Teams, where I can very rapidly and in real-time see x-rays, and interact with other folks on that x-ray. Circle something on that x-ray, and that speeds up the amount of time that it takes to diagnose a patient.

Carson Heady (01:04:14): On the flip side of that with the patient experience, somebody being admitted into the virtual waiting room. Being there, making sure that that information and that data is free-flowing and that the doctor or the nurse or whomever needs that data has access to that in real-time. Now we're talking to each other on a virtual screen. That apparatus is not necessarily solely dependent, relying on Teams. It could be a partner solution that's built on top of Teams.

Carson Heady (01:04:41): So you're going to see a mix from internal Microsoft, customization and engineering, then you're also going to see some of the buildouts that our partners are doing. And the beauty of this is now we're more often than not looking for customers as partners. How can we reach out to customers that want to or can develop this IP? We can do something very meaningful there.

Carson Heady (01:05:03): And then ultimately if it works out well we can go to market with these types of technologies also. So the game has completely changed. The landscape has changed, but it's very much geared toward meeting the customer where they are, and the patient.

Rob Collie (01:05:18): What a fascinating concept. In college I worked for a subsidiary of a construction conglomerate, I basically was a computer guy for this company. And they were up to their eyeballs in Lotus Notes, Lotus notes ran the show and not very well. But it was pervasive. And the headquarters out in the Dallas, they were so up to their eyeballs in Lotus Notes that they'd actually started a subsidiary that was a Lotus Notes consulting org. That's how in on Lotus's Notes they were.

Rob Collie (01:05:48): This idea that a customer, a Microsoft customer, like a healthcare provider, who would know better the needs of a line of business solution for a healthcare provider than a healthcare provider?

Rob Collie (01:06:02): There's not some software company that comes along... And it's possible, but a software company's going to come along and start studying the problem, and they're going to nail the software but not understand the problem. And that's always the case. It's always the case, it's the requirements that are the tricky thing.

Rob Collie (01:06:17): And what a fascinating idea. I love it, that something could be purpose built by a healthcare provider just to solve their own needs, but then could also become this unexpected revenue stream for them if they shared it.

Rob Collie (01:06:32): Another example of this, I don't think I'm giving away any secrets when I say this, but NPC Universal has a system, it's called PARIS. Participation and residuals information system. And what this thing is, it is a rules engine that is capable of ingesting, not automatically but manually, can express the rules and clauses of any contract ever signed between the studio and someone that's a producer, director or actor, whatever, like production crew.

Rob Collie (01:07:02): Can you imagine how complicated those contracts can get, that they're limited only by the creativity of the attorneys involved? However, no matter what contract you come up with, eventually it can be decompiled into a set of rules that go into the PARIS engine, that then calculates your royalty check every month or every quarter, or whatever.

Rob Collie (01:07:23): And this thing is like the Whopper from war games, it's like one of the wonders of the world that this thing exists.

Rob Collie (01:07:34): It's so effective that they just license it to other studios, so like other big move studios and TV studios, they're just like, "Ah, we give. We're going to license from our competitor the thing that calculates royalty checks."

Rob Collie (01:07:48): I just think things that are grown really, really, really, really close to the actual problem tend to be... As long as they're well resourced, tend to be the best solutions. What's better than distance zero? That's the first time I've heard this about the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, the possibility that some of the solutions might spring from that source. Which is again, I just think it's about as good of a place you could find to get something like that. So that's really cool.

Carson Heady (01:08:15): It's been fascinating to watch the transformation. Having joined a week after Satya became CEO, to watch the transformation of it becoming less and less about Microsoft being the solution to everything, but more how do we integrate with where the customer is and how do we grow and transform together? Not to mention watching the stock price go from $30 a share to $330 a share. It's been a fun ride.

Rob Collie (01:08:40): So Carson, what are you most excited to see? What's next?

Carson Heady (01:08:44): I took in Ignite, and some of the announcements that were made as part of Ignite. And seeing what's possible around the metaverse. And let's use Mesh as an example, how people can be in a shared space with an avatar or with some type of mixed reality, or we're collaborating on the same document. And we feel and appear like we're in the exact same space.

Carson Heady (01:09:10): Those are the types of things that I think excite me most as a future of work. Look, as a seller for all of my career, don't get me wrong, I really enjoy and like being in-person with my team, with customers. But we've hit on something here where there's a lot of value around what hybrid work and remote work can bring. It's a reality that's not going anywhere.

Carson Heady (01:09:32): So what I find fascinating is as we continue to look at how we're securing the hybrid workplace, how we're optimizing that remote workplace, those are the types of things that I'm most excited about.

Rob Collie (01:09:44): Well, Carson, I know we've had this on the agenda for a long time to do this. I've really appreciated your time, not just your time but your perspective. I really do think that the stereotype around sales people is... I think it's earned in general, there are real people out there that embody the used car sales stereotype, and the people who are more slick than capable. And certainly not authentic.

Rob Collie (01:10:09): But when it's done well, I don't think I've met really, really, really successful members of the species who fit that stereotype. The people who are successful at sales are much more authentic, problem-solving, let's both win human beings.

Rob Collie (01:10:26): And it's nice to know. I think for anyone that's getting into sales, immediately you're hit with that stereotype subconsciously. And I can't be that person. And the answer is, good.

Computer Generated Voice (01:10:39): Thanks for listening to the Raw Data by P3 Adaptive podcast.

Computer Generated Voice (01:10:43): Let the experts at P3 Adaptive help your business. Just go to P3adaptive.com.

Computer Generated Voice (01:10:51): Have a data day!

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