Keepin’ it 100 with Alfie Marsh, Spendesk

Keepin’ It 100 is a series of five-minute episodes of bite-sized tips and encouragement for revenue practitioners.

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Christian Kletzl
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Our guest for this episode is Alfie Marsh, Head of U.S. Sales at Spendesk.

“When you go into a manager role, it's that transition from individual contributor to now I'm not working as an individual within a machine, I am the machine operator. And you have to take a systems-thinking approach to management.”

Alfie warns against blindly following best practices and offers insights for figuring out the right approach for your situation.


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Alfie Marsh is Spendesk's Head of US Sales. He helps growing companies create more efficient and effective spending processes, and move away from the traditional hassles of spending at work.

Read Transcript

Nelson: I'm Nelson Gilliat with user gems. And today I'm keeping it 100 with Alfie Marsh, VP of sales at Spenddesk. His insight for revenue leaders is to not just blindly copy best practices, but to take the time, to figure out the right approach for your situation, whether it's technology or tactics to reach your goals.

Here's Alfie illustrating his advice on taking systems, thinking approach to being a revenue manager, 

Alfie: that when you, when you go into a manager role, it's that transition from IC to, I'm not working as an individual within a machine. I'm the machine operator and you have to take systems thinking approach to management and analogy, which helps explain this is.

If you're trying to make the best car in the world, it might be easy to think that, okay, I'm just going to take the best bits who are the best cars in the world. So I'm going to take the tech piece out of the driverless system from Tesla. And I'm going to take an engine out of the Mustang and I going to take the steering out of the Porsche.

And if you imagine taking all these parts out and putting them on a warehouse floor in a factory, and then assembling them together, And then thinking this is going to be the best kind of world while you'd be mistaken, because they probably don't even talk to each other. The nuts and bolts don't fit.

You probably wouldn't even move. And so a systems thinking is more not looking at each individual kind of piece and trying to optimize and maximize, but it's how does one piece actually relate to the other if you use that analogy to things like. Emails or calls or these sorts of things where you can try and maximize getting like, you know, the number of calls up.

But if the pitch that's going through, these are not working or you've constantly got incorrect numbers. Cause your data provider sucks or they're just not really working in a systems kind of orientated fashion. And you really need to think about it building your own machine from the ground up and making sure each individual pieces work with each other.

And that is another big problem of when you look at outside help for advice because everything is taken kind of out of the context, what works really well for one company or one particular team is not going to work well for you because you haven't got the context of what other interlink and parts are actually there.

So you've got to just kind of. Stay in your lane, look out to the other things that are happening to understand which car has the best, you know, best technology piece in which car has the best engine, but you have to build your own one. You, you can't focus on trying to patch, work things together and make a system that works.

Nelson: Do you have a note of encouragement or insights to share email me and we'll get you on the show podcast@usergems.com.