IAM316- Founder Creates Marketplace to Power Sales Automation Processes

Podcast interview with Alex Glenn

Alex spent his career helping founders and teams to build and execute creative growth systems. He is a marketplace and partner programs specialist now-focusing my experience on Rainmakers.co – to continue to optimize user and employer experiences while scaling operations nationwide.

  • CEO Hack: Putting everything you do into executable processes
  • CEO Nugget: Embrace the process and be patient
  • CEO Defined: Someone with a responsibility to people outside the organisation

Website: https://automated.af/

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Intro 0:02

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:30

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. Alex Glenn of Automated.af. Alex, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Alex Glenn 0:40

Thank you. Great to be here. I'm excited to share my story. And hopefully, everybody's interested.

Gresham Harkless 0:48

Yeah, I definitely think we will be and I wanted to read a little bit more about Alex so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. And Alex has spent his career helping founders and teams to build and execute creative growth systems. He is a marketplace and partner programs specialist now focusing my experience on Rainmakers. co – to continue to optimize user and employer experiences while scaling operations nationwide. Alex, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO Community?

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Alex Glenn 1:15

I am

Gresham Harkless 1:16

Awesome. Let's do it. So the first question I had was to hear a little bit more about what I call your CEO story. What led you to start your business?

Alex Glenn 1:23

Yeah, so I guess it all sort of started back when I first got into marketing in general, right? So when you start marketing, you go through other people's stacks and other people's businesses that they've created out of their brains out of their processes. And that could be A, B, and C business that operates mobile app. And you deal a lot with analytics, and you deal a lot with ad campaigns.

And all the organizational components are on that if you're b2b, you get into CRMs, you get into account-based marketing, you get into data, and it changes from there. But everybody has their own stacks, everybody has their own paths to building those stacks. And one thing that I found in all of these situations, going from a marketing manager all the way up to a VP of marketing is the complexity and the biases.

And all of the different pathways that people take to create their stack lead to a lot of poor choices, and confusion, there's just not enough real valuable information out there. That is sort of summarised in one place where someone can go and say, if I want to do this with my business, what are the tools and processes that I need to get that done? So that was the genesis for Automated.af of we're talking specifically about that marketplace.

Now Automated.af is a great place for teams and founders to go to learn what's working in marketing and sales automation. Now what it's going to become, as we develop more and more resources, a place is a place where you can go to basically type in an end-all-be-all result, whether it's customer success, a pain point that you have, or a sales pain point that you have.

And I find out what others have created by way of processes to get that pain point solved. And then we pile in the actual deployment resource. So you can take what others have done in their business and in a matter of minutes, deploy it into yours by way of a step-by-step execution. And we talked about this before we got started. But I think the main theme of this talk in this episode is taking complexity out of those decisions around how to get processes done in your business or how to get end results done, by way of breaking it up into those processes.

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So my background, again, to reiterate the point is coming from marketing, I dealt with a lot of stacks, a lot of putting together of processes in business, started out in other people's processes, and learned a lot learn how to properly navigate the confusing world of Mar tech came to the conclusion that most teams that I've been involved with, don't take the necessary steps don't take the appropriate steps I would say to getting their stack built and that is what led me to more of a automated marketing skill set profession and and then dovetailed into what is now Automated.af as a marketplace.

Gresham Harkless 4:55

Nice I absolutely love that just because a lot of times the same goes for heads is better than one a lot of times when you're able to tap into and have a very quick one-stop shop that you can go to and get all of that information so that whatever pain points like you mentioned, or issues that you might be going through, you can actually tap into all those mines that have been able to solve problems, and then implement that quickly. So I love everything that you're building and everything that you're doing.

Alex Glenn 5:22

Thank you, thank you.

Gresham Harkless 5:23

No problem. And I wanted to drill down a little bit deeper. Is there any more that you speak to somebody that's maybe going to automate it out for the first time and what you feel is your secret sauce? And what sets you apart?

Alex Glenn 5:35

Yeah, so I think secret sauce, I would say honestly, there is no secret sauce that I have. I mean, I would say I'm definitely one to really dive in headfirst and just start doing and things start to fall into place as they go, if I had to put it into a secret sauce, I guess I'm a little bit fearless in that component of my life where I haven't really been afraid of just doing what I feel like needs to be done. I think there's a lot of cautious people out there that it's important. But I do think especially a lot of the CEOs and the founders that I know, it's really just run first. And then a walk-jog mentality versus a walk, jog, run mentality, right? And I think this is important, especially in technology.

And these are some of the things that we do, we do teach in the in tech stack formation processes, you really have to test you really have to get out there, you really have to throw things at your audience, you really have to learn by doing, then you backpedal, you do the review, you do the analysis. And then you get yourself in a nice place to develop a cadence for whatever that end-all-be-all goal is. So growth is typically at a revenue. So I would say my secret sauce is just my ability to, take that and be comfortable with a run, walk jog mentality.

Gresham Harkless 7:08

Absolutely, that makes perfect sense. And I appreciate the fact that you've touched on, especially in the technology world, which pretty much is in every industry seems like technology is affecting every industry. So a lot of times people have the ready aim and they never actually fire. And then a lot of times when you're building something, especially if you're building new ground, you have to take action first. And then you have to look at that. And that action after the fact. But if you look and do all the research and homework, especially if you're doing something new, that doesn't even exist a lot of times.

Alex Glenn 7:40

Yeah, that's another analogy.

Gresham Harkless 7:43

Nice. And what I wanted to do was switch gears a little bit. And I wanted to ask you about what I call a CEO hack. And this is an app or book or a habit that you have, but something that makes you more effective and efficient.

Alex Glenn 7:55

Yeah, and this is what's great. And I go back to the theme of the episode and what's awesome about what we're trying to do here. And the hack I would say is converting everything that you are doing in your day-to-day and your week-to-week as you're building your business or scaling your business into executable processes. And this just came to mind as we're talking about it. But I've got to write an article about a retrospective on hiring. And the retrospective on hiring is essentially taking all of the best practices that you as the CEO have put into place when you make a new hire, right? So imagine a world where you as the CEO have been doing all of the hiring for your organisation from day one, right?

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And you've just been going about it how you go about it, you look for things that you want to look for. you have a certain body language, you schedule things a certain way you do phone interviews, and then in-person interviews, or maybe you don't do phone interviews, you only do in-person, or maybe you have coffee, or maybe you take that person out for a beer, you have a different process for a C suite hire or leadership higher than you do for a low-level hire. But you have your own process. Now you're in a stage, fast forward a few months, years, whatever you've raised around the funding or you're just growing quickly, and you're too busy to do those hires.

So you tasked those hires off to department heads. Now what right? You've made all of the hires today, let's say you're at 50 People now you need to scale from 50 to 500. But those 50 people are what got your organization to a place where you're ready to grow. They're great hires, they've been doing their jobs perfectly. You've got low attrition, right?

So now you're in a place where you have to grow and you've tasked off that hiring process to another leadership person. Now all of a sudden the hiring process changes. He or she does things differently than you. You or she maybe does not take that coffee, maybe they only do phone and video screens, maybe they implement some video interviewing software, and everything starts to change. Ideally, it would change in a good way. But more often than not, that hiring process change causes new hires to have higher attrition rates. You don't agree with a lot of new hires coming through, you can only blame yourself because you didn't put that into a process.

Gresham Harkless 10:31

That makes perfect sense. And yeah, you always want to have that kind of creating a manual type perspective to building your business and building every single process related to that. And now I want to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. And you might have already touched on this, but this is a word of wisdom or piece of advice. Or if you can happen to be a time machine, what would you tell your younger business self?

Alex Glenn 10:55

I would say embrace the process, and be patient, I learned a whole lot from a lot at the time, seemingly just awful employers and just very difficult to work with. But in the end, what it's done is kind of molded me into a little bit more of a meticulous person, where previously and I guess my personality I'm not a meticulous person, I really like the idea of just trying things out, just throwing it to the wind, and then coming back and analyzing and taking the next steps, the appropriate steps there.

Gresham Harkless 11:36

Nice, nice, nice. And now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is a definition of what it means to be the CEO. And we're hoping to have different, quote, unquote, CEOs on the show. So, Alex, I want to ask you, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Alex Glenn 11:48

I mean, I've got my own perspective on this, because I deal a lot with tech startups. So I think the word CEO and if you look at this just from a brass tacks perspective, the Chief Executive Officer, this is someone that has responsibilities to people outside the organization, that's very key to understand. And this is why I like working in startups. I like to have a responsibility to my team, and my product, therefore, you don't see CEO on any of my titles. And I hope never to become a CEO. Because as soon as you become a CEO, you're dealing in a world of pro formas, and board meetings and gearing up for rounds of funding, and fundraising all day, right? So my CEO at Rainmakers is in a fundraising stage right now. And his life is off the product, right?

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And that may be something that is necessary, and it's great for the ecosystem. But the word CEO means you have responsibilities outside of the organization, you still may deal with products here and there, you still may oversee marketing, but you do not have full responsibility for the company itself. Or sorry, full fault, I guess, responsibility to maintain more than just the company, the internal stakeholders of the company. So you have a responsibility, the board, sometimes the shareholders, and you have to oversee the company. So in my personal world, the term CEO is not something I strive for. It's not something I look to achieve the terms founder, the term president, those are words that I deal with most often in my world.

Gresham Harkless 13:55

I definitely appreciate that definition from that perspective, as well, too, especially for somebody coming from the tech world. So Alex, I truly appreciate your time. And what I really wanted to do was pass you the mic, so to speak, just see if there's anything additional, you can tell our readers and listeners, and then of course, how best they can get ahold of you.

Alex Glenn 14:11

Yeah, of course, I just reiterate the idea of trying to make sure everything's in a process as you grow your business, making sure that you're documenting things. When you get something right, whether it's the process of bringing on a new team member, or the process of spinning up new software, document it because as you grow, the best thing you can have in place is these processes for your business.

So when you have that new hire that they were hired under that process that got that previous hire that you love. And when you have that new hire, go about doing something in your business, you can hand them a step-by-step process of how you guys get it done. And that keeps everybody on the same page. It also keeps the culture of just effective work. In a place where nobody's out there just doing whatever they believe is the right way to do things, you have it all documented.

And people are iterating on that document, but it is a process it is go here and do that type of structure. I believe that's super important. And that will help you scale. It'll help you keep organized. It'll help you as the founder, and CEO, to be less stressed as you go about building your team. So I would say that's the main takeaway, if anything, keeping true to those go here, do that type of processes.

Now getting a hold of me, I'm on LinkedIn. Alex Glenn on LinkedIn, that's a great way. If you have any questions about Automated whether you're a founder who wants more automated processes from us, or if you are an actual automator, as we call them, that has an automation that you want to submit to the marketplace. You can go to Automate.af to submit any of that information, you can email us directly at @automated.af and get started.

Gresham Harkless 16:08

Awesome, awesome, awesome. We will have those links in the show notes as well. But thank you again, Alex, for your time and all the insightful information you provided. And I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Alex Glenn 16:18

You too, sir. Have a good one.

Outro 16:20

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

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Mercy - CBNation Team

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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