#215 Jacob Muraca - Inside The Bondi Sands Sales Playbook
The episode delves into Bondi Sands' remarkable journey from its humble beginnings to becoming a global cosmetics phenomenon, including insights into market expansion and a significant acquisition by Cal Corporation.
Additionally, it explores the dynamic relationship between CFOs and CMOs, emphasizing the importance of understanding ROI metrics, budget competition, and data interpretation in modern sales.
1. CFOs as Growth Strategists
Jacob shattered the stereotype of CFOs being mere "cost-cutters." In our discussion, we learned how CFOs are, in fact, growth strategists constantly seeking incremental benefits in their purchasing decisions. Discover how understanding their perspective can make you a valuable ally in sales.
2. Bondi Sands' Journey to Success
We embarked on a journey through Bondi Sands' growth story, from humble beginnings to global phenomenon. Discover how they conquered new markets and secured a significant acquisition by Cal Corporation.
3. The CFO-CMO Dynamics
We explored the dynamic relationship between CFOs and CMOs and how their experiences shape ROI metrics. Learn how to navigate budget competition and gain insights into building compelling business cases.
4. Retail Engagement and Marketing Insights
Our final segment decoded the art and science of retail engagement, marketing spending decisions, and the often-overlooked but critical role of a CFO in approving expenditures. Plus, we explored the importance of data interpretation in modern sales.
Stay tuned for the next episode, where we'll continue to explore the ever-changing world of sales, one episode at a time.
If you found these takeaways valuable, please consider leaving a 5-star rating on Spotify and a review on Apple Podcasts. Your support keeps us motivated to bring you more insightful content.
Until then, keep selling, keep innovating, and keep aligning with your customers' needs.
Jacob Muraca: 0:00
It's a hard one to not navigate through, because your inbox is always constantly full of people reaching out with sales opportunities. To me, it's probably, you know. I think that the subject line is the most important thing. There's different choices for different things. Not everything might be about growth, you know. There are some things about brand awareness which eventually will lead to growth and might not translate straight away on the bottom line, but it's a longer term objective and it's really, you know, assessing those decisions and kind of making sure we're making the right decisions, which is important. Growth we've experienced in the UK over the last 12 months has been phenomenal. We actually have the number one sunscreen product in the UK.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 0:38
Welcome to this week's episode of the how to Sell podcast. I'm your host, Luigi Preston Enzi. I'm joined with my co-host.
Dave Fastuca: 0:46
David, welcome. Thank you, louis. Pleasure to finally join you now.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 0:52
We have a very, very special guest. We have a guest who has been in the news over the last couple of weeks. He'll tell us a bit about why they've been in the news, but we're really pumped to have the CFO, the COO, so two roles for Australia's big global brand, now Bondi San. So welcome Jacob to the How to Sell podcast.
Jacob Muraca: 1:14
Thanks Louis, Thanks David. Pleasure to be with you both and talk over the next half an hour, so let's get into it.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 1:21
Yeah, awesome. Now, before we get started, a bit of backstory. We all kind of grew up with each other. We played football together, or, as they call here in Australia, soccer. So, Jacob, the rumour has it that you were a better player than Dave. Is that correct?
Jacob Muraca: 1:35
The rumour would be true. The benchmark wasn't very set, very high, so I'm going to leave you with that. Louis, you did teach me a lot in between the goals, so I knew a lot of it.
Dave Fastuca: 1:51
Back in the day I had a little lot in.
Jacob Muraca: 1:55
Yeah, I had to blame the defenders. It was never the goalkeeper's fault. It was always a good defender's fault, that's right, it's always somebody else.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 2:01
But look, you know, unfortunately you did choose. Hey, why did you choose Spurs, Tottenham to go for Tottenham, hot Spurs.
Jacob Muraca: 2:13
I was moving to London and I was living in North London. So I had two options : Arsenal or Tottenham. I had a lot of friends that went for Arsenal and, to be honest, excuse the French, but they shitted me up the wall. So I always liked how Tottenham went about their business, Always enjoyed at least watching Bale during that time, and I still vividly remember the Champions League game he played against Inter Milan and just tore it to shreds. So yeah, kind of yeah had that soft spot for him and living close was easy for me to become a bit of a member there. And yeah, picksburg was probably at a good time. To be honest, it was probably their twilight period. Still won nothing, but anyway they had a good package. It was good to be able to be a part of it all.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 2:58
They'll be great. They'll be remembered for heaps, you know. Just thinking like what did they do?
Jacob Muraca: 3:04
win, they'll just do anything.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 3:06
They'll be remembered for a lot of good things.
Jacob Muraca: 3:08
Now up in Germany against two other teams. You know, three seasons. We'll hang out hard on that.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 3:13
That's right. Dave's team is going to be remembered for cheating. That's right. Cheating, cheating.
Jacob Muraca: 3:18
Well, we're not talking about the details.
Dave Fastuca: 3:21
Actually, you know what?
Luigi Prestinenzi: 3:23
We've got to be careful here, because this whole podcast could be talking about football.
Jacob Muraca: 3:26
But we get to it. Football podcast is right.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 3:32
But, mate, can you just tell us? So you, your company, has been in the news for all the right reasons, which is a testament to the hard work of you and what the founders have done, which is great because it's a global scale. You've managed to do something incredible. Can you just tell us a bit about what you know about your role at Bondi Sands and what's been in the news in the last couple of weeks?
Jacob Muraca: 3:55
Yeah. So I guess what has been in the news is that we were acquired by Cal Corporation, who's a Japanese company who's been around for 180 odd years. They are kind of quite diverse in what they do. They've obviously got a huge part in FMCG, really big in salon, salon products, but also make chemicals. So really kind of a broad remit and, yeah, ideal partner for us. You know we've been around now it's Bondi Sands for 11 years, launched in the UK in 2015 and then launched in North America in 2019. And to them, you know the founders credit both of them. They didn't want to buy off more than they could chew. They really had a kind of a tactical approach to the markets, making sure we establish our staff in one market before moving to the next, in particular because it helps at least fund the expansion, and making sure they had the right time to kind of enter each market. At the time they started in Australia. It's funny, a lot of people call me now and, you know, after it's been in use. You know I say congratulations and it's funny, a lot of them say you know, when the two boys, the two founders, Sean and Blair, came up to them early with the idea they thought they were crazy, they said it would never work. No one wants to buy that, you know, really trying to say they had no future. Maybe the boys didn't listen to them. They insisted with what they, what their gut told them and really grew the brand to be the number one South tanning brand in the world. So, yeah, launched the products 11 years ago within the price line as a retailer and really grew the brand since there quickly became. At the time, latam had 60% market share, santropay about 30% market share. As it stands today, you know we've got 50 odd percent market share in Australia, latan's about 60% and Santropay is about 13%. So we've really kind of come into the market and it's been the same model across all regions. Come to the market, I wanted to tick three boxes: how can we be affordable, accessible and have a salon quality product? And that's really been the mission behind the brand making sure that we're affordable and everywhere so people can access it, and making sure the product, the quality, is good, because without a quality product you're not going to get a repeat purchase and that's probably the biggest. I guess the biggest, most important thing is a repeat purchase and, to be honest, your biggest advocates are your customers and that's probably the cheapest marketing you can do is word of mouth and having a good product really supports that. So that really allowed the brand to launch in the UK in 2015. Made sense to go to the UK first. I guess Bondi Australia really resonates with me. UK people always have. From a travel destination, they understand the lifestyle in Australia. Plus, I don't get much sun there and I always want to be tanned, so it made quite a lot of sense to go in there in 2015 before going into America, which is obviously the biggest market from a category perspective, and really making sure we had the success to build a brand there, because America is not an easy market to break into. A lot of brands have tried and haven't succeeded, so we wanted to make sure we gave ourselves the best opportunity and, in doing so as well, we had to look at how we kind of, I guess, future-proof the brand. Now, south Tanning as a category isn't the largest category we've gone around, so you could tap out your potential pretty quick. So what adjacent categories could we launch into that made sense? And making sense for us was obviously sunscreen, and that's where we've really been able to power ourselves. The category of sunscreen is five times the amount of what South Tane is, which is important and it's such a vital product to an everyday consumer. Everyone wants to protect their skin and it's such an important organ to the body, so we're really kind of launched in that sunscreen space Recently. Official partner of the Australian Open for the last three years and also will be for the next three years, which is great news to give the brand credibility and brand awareness. But the growth where we experienced in the UK over the last 12 months has been phenomenal. We actually have the number one sunscreen product in the UK in Superdrug over this summer as well. So it's a bit of a testament to the brand and I guess all that combined it's an avenue. We want to continue to grow the business we want to be. Well, we're the number one in South Tane. How do we become the number one in sun care globally?
Luigi Prestinenzi: 8:35
Jacob Muraca: 8:35
And also skincare. How do we grow our skincare portfolio as well? So for the two found it was okay. Who is the right partner? For the last 10 years there have been knocks on the door of people who have been interested in the brand. I've obviously seen the success of the brand from afar and wanted to be a part of it, but again, none of those partners felt right until Cal came across and the synergies that they had with our brand really resonated, both with our owners but also the Cal team leadership team as well, which was really the, I guess, the forefront of our partnership and them acquiring us. And it now gives us the power to really, I guess, project the brand globally and enter markets where we haven't been before and really continue our stronghold of not only South Tanean but really really weak in that sun care space.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 9:30
Yeah, I love that and I really appreciate you sharing that. But I think what I just took away from what you shared with us I think there's a lot of misconceptions here. You're coming at it from that CFO's perspective, but your view on the whole conversation that you shared was about growth and you know adjacent product lines etc. And I think sometimes a lot of people fail to recognize that the CFOs are focused on how they grow, how they propel the business, etc. And a lot of the times we think growth-minded conversations are only focused from marketing and sales, when actually the CFO is in those conversations right. So that's my biggest takeaway from that, from that, and obviously Kudos to you. I know, Dave, you've been involved in a startup that got eventually acquired by at least in firm overseas and you know the work that goes involved in getting to that point. So I think that's a massive effort, man, so well done.
Jacob Muraca: 10:35
Thank you. But then I think about your point. There you know we started off. I was the eighth employee back six years ago. We're now got 130 globally. So when you have such a small team. You know everything has got financial implications, so you do need to be across every kind of decision because you can't afford, when you're kind of a small company, to make too many bad decisions. So it's really important to really, you know, partner closely with the marketing team, partner closely with sales, to make sure you are making the right choice. Now, there's different choices for different things. Not everything might be about growth, you know. There are some things about brand awareness which eventually will lead to growth and might not translate straight away on the bottom line, but it's a longer term objective and it's really, you know, assessing those decisions and kind of making sure we're making the right decisions which is important.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 11:27
So that brings us into. So would you mind sharing a story with us of something that you, from a CFO's perspective, purchased in the last whether it's 12 or 24 months something of significance? Maybe you can just tell us how you went about acquiring Like? What was the process? Who did you need to get involved internally, or did you have the ultimate say? We just love to hear your perspective on that.
Dave Fastuca: 11:55
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Jacob Muraca: 12:21
Yes, I think that again, probably not purchasing per se, but we've always established ourselves as, you know, markers with distributors, using distributors to really grow the brand. But you know, over time we thought we're the category leader. We are the one that wants to be in front of the customer, the retailers, having these conversations directly. So we've made the conscious business decision you know, from July last year to finish in February this year where we became. We removed our distributors in both Australia and the US and went direct to the retailers and that was really important for the brand. We want to be having those discussions directly with the retailers, on how we grow the brand, how we make our partnership so strong that we both win. So they're winning from a category that makes the buyer look great. We're winning from a brand and that's probably, I guess, a really important thing for us is relationships with those buyers. Yeah, they turn to us to grow the category. So they see us as those decision makers and with that comes the responsibility to make sure we're both making the right decisions for our brand. So just having those direct conversations with the retailers, understanding what the marketing plan looks like, really leverages the growth and for us it's all about really about how we gain additional placement. We want to be a retailer. We want to have multiple points of distribution. While the aisle is great, it really creates real estate. How do you come across? as many people as possible. Whether it's countershows, end aisle placements, it's really about gaining additional placement to get into as many customers as possible.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 14:09
So, and I really like you, I know again what you're sharing there, because it's about really thinking about how you get greater exposure. But I want to flip this. So, where you had to purchase, so from a company perspective, so from a Bondi Sands perspective, you were making, whether you're purchasing a tech platform, whether you're, you know, purchasing something physical for the business, can you make just sharing with us, like, what does that process look like? Are you the ultimate decision maker or are there multiple people that make a decision as a company to buy something? Like definitely.
Jacob Muraca: 14:48
So I think, from real estate reality is with our company. You know, marketing is probably our biggest expense Now, whether that's in influencers partnerships, as in the Australian Open, or trade marketing, it really is. So you know, we'll have, for these influencers, come across our desks on a monthly basis. Who is that? Who is the in? You know? Who is whose social media talking about? Who is the hot thing on Tik Tok? Who's hot on Instagram? Do we want to engage them? Everything comes at a fee these days. Does it make commercial sense to engage them? You know we've got teams who look after our influences, so they'll kind of say, okay, these are the topical people at the moment, this is who we want to engage. They'll kind of then escalate that through the marketing ranks and effectively, you know, if it is going to be a big investment, we're going to put them on a contract and work with them over a six to 12 month period. They'll really be a proposal to the business and say, okay, this is who it is, this is their engagement, this is a geographical location of their engagement. And that's important because we want to make sure we're hitting the right people in the right area and targeting our demographics as well as getting new customers. So we'll look at that. We'll then say, okay, it doesn't make commercial financial sense. Are they going to be speaking to a product? Are they going to be speaking to a range? If it's a new product, then it makes more sense because we want to be promoting this new product, we want to be getting it out there in the speaking to a range, just making sure that the synergies that they're talking to makes sense and we are getting effectively. From my perspective as a CFO, it always comes back to ROI. Now we're getting our investment. Now, with marketing, it's a hard one to gauge and it really, you know, there is a bit of a, a bit of guesswork and a bit of kind of intuition you need to take, but ultimately that's how it gets my final ticket approval. Now I don't have the final say there will be between myself and the owners. You know sometimes it might be about it might not all be about. You know, short term ROI. It might be about brand awareness, building a brand. So you invest in early days and you get the longer term success. And that's where sometimes it might not make sense initially on paper, but there is a longer term objective which we need to make so realistically. There's kind of you know, the decisions are made by a few key people, but there's a lot of metrics we want to see and want to kind of look at to make sure it makes commercial sense.
Dave Fastuca: 17:12
Yeah, that's right, Jake. And look, can you explain? Look, what role do you play in confirming spend towards these various campaigns? Have you ever declined to spend, and why?
Jacob Muraca: 17:25
Yeah, we've got really, really strict metrics within the business, which, ultimately, I'm the gatekeeper. Often I really need to kind of, I guess, control them and have tight reins over them. But within our budget it starts at our budgeting process. Now we've got metrics where we want to spend a percentage of. You know, marketing is really based on a percentage of sales. Sellery wages are based on a percentage of sales. Without these metrics, things can get away from you pretty quick and it really just erodes your bottom line, which is not, you know, what any business wants. So we need to say to the team and this is where we kind of empower our team. We say, okay, we're going to give you X percent to spend on marketing. Now you go away, put together what you think is the best use of these funds and come back and present to the business to tick off which is all well and true during budgeting. But you get through the year and things transpire. They might come back and say, okay, well, we need an additional budget. There's new opportunities, and we need an additional budget. And we're like the first thing we'll ask you, okay, is what incremental sales are bringing, Because can that fund the marketing spend? If it can't, then it really does become a business decision. Do we need to be spending that? Firstly, it is okay if it doesn't bring instant revenue. Can we save elsewhere? Are there other costs we're willing to cut to do this new activity? If not, then you know there's time and I guess, unless it's really a directive from the business, we'll just say no to the spend. The business isn't willing to invest in it if it's not gonna bring incremental benefit. And again, as a CFO, I'm always kind of the bad guy. I'm always pulling back the money you give. Marketing is the one that just wants to spend everything. So I guess I've seen that evolve since when I first started Really making our marketing team a lot more commercial with the decisions they're making to understand what the ROI is, understand. Is it the best use? And I guess the first protocol, yeah. If it's not, if it's not gonna bring incremental sales, can it come at the expense of other activity? Is it gonna have a better uplift than other activities proposed before they even come to us with a kind of an out of budget proposal to review?
Luigi Prestinenzi: 19:37
Well, there's a lot of actual key benefits or key takeaways from what you just shared, right? Because I think the questions that you're asking of what are the incremental benefits, I think sometimes, from what I hear, when people are going to the CFO for that extra budget, they're not thinking about those questions and they go in underprepared, which doesn't give confidence. I mean, have you seen that a couple of times in your role? I can only assume.
Jacob Muraca: 20:02
Yeah, definitely. I think throughout the six years I've been here, it's evolved. It's rewarding too, because, you're right, the first few times I was just spending all my money and not understanding what it was doing, and probably again, some of it is not having the tools to measure what the ROI is either. So now we've got those tools, we've got the data, we've got the know-how to really kind of put that together and say well, if we go ahead with this proposal, we expect it to bring in incremental sales. Now, again, there's no crystal ball. People are using, I guess, the data at the hand to make those decisions, which is great. I think what the most important thing is as well is really kind of post-60, 90 days, do a campaign review and really understand okay, this is what our proposal was, this is what we said the ROI was post-implementation and going live. Really, what was the outcome? Because it's not good or bad, I'll say you're wrong in doing it. It's really lessons learned, because those lessons are invaluable, because either you'll make those decisions again because they work tremendously or they didn't work, and you won't go back with the same proposal. You'll tweak it and understand what works, what didn't work and how you can do something better the next time.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 21:16
Yeah, and so this is good. So if a team member was coming to you outside of the budgetary process, right, they're asking for money that you haven't allocated in the budget and, like you said, your decision-making process is you look at if it's important, you look at maybe taking it from somewhere else. Do you want them to come to you with a business case, like is it a one-page you're looking for? Yeah, I'm curious. Do you mind just walking us through? What are you expecting your team to share with you, to give you the confidence to say, yes, I'm willing to give you this money.
Jacob Muraca: 21:52
Yeah. So it's a one-two-page presentation effectively saying, okay, this is the opportunity at hand, but it needs to tick commercial boxes. And we've got I guess, wider than that, we've got a stage gate committee where all these opportunities get presented to us. Now these are all retailer opportunities and then marketing opportunities. But there's people on the stage gate committee from a variety of backgrounds. We have a marketing representation, a sales representation, a finance and a commercial representation on this committee where the regions will pitch their ideas. But as a committee we need to kind of vote and understand okay, is this a viable opportunity? Is it one that we want to proceed with? Then we'll have a kind of a traffic light system where you know a red is no, we don't want to prepare it, proceed. Orange is we need some more information. Or green is go ahead and get it. And I think that's an important step to having the business, because it does need to have multiple lenses on there. Yes, it's got to make financial and commercial sense, but brand marketing needs to make sure it's hitting their objectives, what our global objectives are, and, in sales as well, making sure that we are getting the best return on it.
Dave Fastuca: 23:06
What does the time process look like for that, like an opportunity? I'm a staff member and they say in the marketing team I've pitched this new tech platform to help us with XYZ. I've put a two-page together, I've given it to you, presented it. How long does things take within your organisation?
Jacob Muraca: 23:22
I think that's probably one of the benefits of our organisation. It's always been a strength of our speed to market and our fast pace and again, that's probably coming off the back of being a privately run company where you haven't got a lot of hoops to jump through. We can have an idea from a product perspective and have it on shelf within 12 months. We can have an idea from a marketing perspective and have that influence posting within three, five days. Now we've probably got better in that process over time. But we have a fortnightly stage gate meeting. Now if there's no new ideas, we'll cancel that meeting. But it gives everyone an opportunity and a platform to bring their ideas to the table for us to review and we really aim to have feedback turned around within two weeks. Now, depending on the scale of the project might need some extra approvals, director's sign off, or might need a bit more planning before it can be executed. But speed to market has always been one of our strengths, nice.
Dave Fastuca: 24:20
And Jake, I like to understand if sellers have reached out to you directly, whether it be via cold email or cold phone, and, if so, what triggered you to accept the request and pick up the phone and speak to them or email or get into a meeting, yeah good question, dave.
Jacob Muraca: 24:40
It's a hard one to navigate through because your inbox is always constantly full of people reaching out with sales opportunities. To me it's probably. I think that the subject line is the most important thing. You can get a good understanding of what they're trying to pitch. Within that subject line and obviously within my role as CFO, coo, I understand where the brand, where business wants to go or where our investment needs to be and the best use of our time. So for me, if the subject aligns to what the company objectives are, I'll definitely consider it further or forward it onto the necessary people. But yeah, it's really got to align again. You haven't got much time to capture someone's attention, so you're not sure you're hitting the right points in that initial impression to engage.
Dave Fastuca: 25:34
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Luigi Prestinenzi: 26:30
So if Don't put words in your mouth, right, but if you were, obviously your email is getting pretty hammered. Are you looking for somebody to pitch? Or if somebody was saying sharing insight? Or saying, hey, I've got some insight about X. I would love to share this. I mean because I was recently at a conference where I spoke to a lot of CFOs and they were saying, look, we don't have all the answers. We're actually looking for education, and that's what we need in order to help us progress and manage certain issues that we're encountering. Is that similar to where you're at?
Jacob Muraca: 27:11
Yeah, definitely. Internally, we've always had a saying where we're data rich but insights poor. We've got all this great data at our fingertips, but are we getting the best insights out of it? To your point, there is someone who's an expert within that data and translating those insights can be impactful to you in your inbox, say this is what we're seeing. It's definitely engaging, because, from my perspective, I'm engaged more when it comes to numbers and data. That's what I prefer to see. Then, along with the emails saying this is what we can do, make it impactful. Get in front of you. I do love data and interpretation. I resonate with that a lot stronger.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 27:55
Dave Fastuca: 27:57
What's been on the flip side there? What have you thrown out into being ignored? Is persistence something that you appreciate or hate, if you haven't responded?
Jacob Muraca: 28:09
Probably my pet hate is people try to hate Especially as a CFO is trying to hook you in for FX trading. Use that platform to do our international trading. At the end of the day I reckon I've had probably my biggest pet hate because it's something we do review occasionally, but they're all the same. You're not going to be saving too much more and I think to get to a point where convenience and familiarity is the winner there as well.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 28:40
Just as an FYI, Jacob Carl Valeri. I was going to refer him to you because he works for Convera, but we'll tell him Jacob.
Dave Fastuca: 28:50
Don't need another one.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 28:53
This has been awesome and I know that we don't want to. I think we've covered a lot and obviously, at the end of this episode, we're actually going to another Fireside Chat. Dave and I are going to break this down for our audience, but I just want to say look, really, really appreciate your insights here. I think, for me, I'm going to have to listen to this back because there are so many key takeaways around the way you think about the ROI, the way you're educating. I'm also hearing that you're really educating your internal team on what information you need, how you need to see it in order to make decisions, especially around that commercial component. I just want to say really appreciate you coming on spending some time with Dave and I sharing your story about what Bondi Sands was able to achieve, because it's massive and I think for every entrepreneur out there that's trying to build a brand, what Bondi Sands have done is fantastic because it just goes to show. Like you said, a lot of people say it can't be done until they show it can be done. I think this is another great story to show people that anything's possible when you put your mind to it. So, Dave, any last comments before we let Jacob go.
Dave Fastuca: 30:05
No, just like I say thanks, jake. I've seen Jake on his journey throughout the six years of working at Bondi Sands and to see the growth that he has had a big impact on just so many people looking from the outside as a friend. So wait on, Jacob, and look forward to seeing what you tackle next within the business.
Jacob Muraca: 30:24
Thanks Dave, Thanks Louis, I've definitely enjoyed the chat.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 30:27
No, no. And where's the best place for our listeners to find you? Are you linked in Instagram?
Jacob Muraca: 30:32
Yeah, probably linked in, it's better. Yeah, in Jake and Maraca, you'll find me there.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 30:39
We'll make sure it's in the show notes. Thanks, mate. Good luck to the Matilda's coming up tonight. I know our listeners are probably watching this later, so they'll know the result. Good luck to the Spurs. You know what? I've never been a Spurs fan, but this year I will, because our great Australian coach Ang is there and he's going to do amazing things. So hopefully, hopefully, mate, you guys get to put a trophy in that trophy cabinet soon.
Jacob Muraca: 31:07
It's been nice. It's been nice.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 31:12
Thanks for coming on the show, mate.
Jacob Muraca: 31:14
Right, Thanks both.
Dave Fastuca: 31:17
Dave, what a session. Yeah, that was great. Jacob's got such great experience being there from almost day one to where it is today, and one of the big things, too, is that he didn't touch on in the early days. They would have been making decisions based on what at that stage, would have been small spend, but the scale that they are, his decisions would be in the multi-means of dollars too when they're buying and purchasing decisions. So, yeah, great, amazing story.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 31:49
Yeah, I think the other key takeaway that I really really liked hearing was when he's looking at marketing or when somebody's asking him for cash or money outside of that budgetary process, they're asking what are the incremental benefits? So he's not just a CFO, like a lot of people have this feeling. Oh, the CFO is there to cut costs etc. He's saying no, tell me what is the benefit Like, what is the net benefit going to have to our business, so that I can justify the you know and say there's a good return on investment. We should be spending this money. So I, and I think for me that's very encouraging, yeah, because again, so a lot of salespeople go oh, I know the CFO is getting involved, we should be going okay, great that the CFO is getting involved. Let's actually show him the benefit that this solution, this product, this service is going to have on the business.
Dave Fastuca: 32:40
Yeah, great, like I can attest that I've been a CMO back in Locomote days, gone to the CFO when we had to go to, when we had to go to her, I was always with that connotation of she's going to cut the budget or ask for the opposite. She was very PIP back in the day. She was very positive and was always like how is this going to help grow the company? What can we do to help? What more funds do you need to help grow? So it was a very humbling experience to learn that. You know, I just put that persona on the cut person and look in the safe where their job is easier if the company is growing.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 33:19
Yeah, and also pick up the other big takeaway as well, rose. Like you know him having to educate his team on what he needed to get. You know in that business case, that two pager right and what needed to be in that two pager, which I think. Another big takeaway from me is people within a business looking to get that money don't always know what information the CFO needs. And sometimes you know how to sell what we think we need to talk about, right ? Don't assume that your champion, the person that you're talking to, knows how to get this process or how to get the budget secured. And this is where we, as a sales professional, need to maybe talk to our champion and say, hey, get an understanding of how many projects have they brought up to them and got signed off on before? Because and this is where the past base question comes in because if they haven't done this before and we're not preparing them to say, well, what is a CFO actually needing? So before you go up there and get that final budget you know request, put that budget request in, maybe add a step to the process to ask, hey, before I come to you with this business case, what information do you need from me to help you make this decision?
Dave Fastuca: 34:34
You know we're all about operating systems. We think you know a premier course is sales OS. I reckon here, once we go through and have more interviews with CFOs, what we can do for our community is build out a bit of a CFO system where here are the things that CFOs want when they've been, when they're looking at opportunities to ensure that people that are selling to them have the right information, a bit of a micro playbook on how to sell the CFOs.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 35:06
Absolutely. But again, and I think from my perspective right, I think it's absolutely fundamental in sales, we can sometimes be so focused on trying to get to the decision where sometimes you've got to actually slow the process down and think and go look at those micro steps and say hang on a second. This is why it's critical for us to seek an understanding from our champion or the buying committee. If we're talking to multiple people. Find out what they know about their internal buying process and if there is a CFO or if there's somebody in that role that he's going to be making a key influence over the decision making process. Don't just go to them and say, hey, this is what we need is, like I said, put that step in to find out what they need before putting together that final business case, right. So for me, that's a big takeaway from Jacob, and I think what we need to do in some of our other episodes is let's understand, let's keep down the path of understanding. How do they view it? What lens are they putting on decisions? What information do they need to capture so that we can really create that right business case? And I think the other key thing that I took away. I loved how Jacob shared his view on growth right. He really did understand the business, how they make money, the markets. Like you could see that he's been involved in conversations that are just not about cost cutting right.
Dave Fastuca: 36:41
No, look, that's why Bondi Sanders is where they are today, hence why they got that exit. But let's do a little exercise here, if we may. How would you, you know, being the sales godfather, how would you sell to Jacob right? Pick a product that you're pitching to them and you're doing a cold email, or even a cold call based on what you've just heard? How would you approach it with Jacob?
Luigi Prestinenzi: 37:10
Well, I think you could probably break this down into stages of growth, right, like, if you think about, you know, Jacob mentioned when they first started going to the UK. You would have looked, having followed Jacob for a number of years, obviously because we've grown up together, right, but having followed his journey on LinkedIn, there were noticeable times, with some of the things that he was doing on his post, that we knew that he was going to the UK. So what's that telling you? It's telling you that the business was looking to grow outside of Australia. So if I was reaching out to him during that stage, the whole narrative around that would have been hey, understand, you know, the business is making an intentional effort of growing into the UK market and it's a new market. For you Got some great insights on what other companies have done to grow in the X market. Love to share those with you. Right, that would be my messaging framework, because A, it's a new market, probably hasn't done it before. Yes, he has a strategy, but there's also things he doesn't know, probably a bit of fear sitting behind it as well. What if it doesn't work? Right, because there's consequences, yeah, so now, obviously, when you develop that type of point of view, you've got to have that insight to share, yeah, so if I haven't got the insight, then don't lead with that, right. But I have the insight, obviously, because I've worked with companies that have gone into different markets and got that insight that I can share. So that would have been my strategy in reaching out, not a strategy of pitching, a strategy of really helping, saying there's probably some information gaps that you've got and I want to help fill those information gaps, just to help you understand what you might not have considered. Yeah, so that would have been my outreach message. But, flipping it, say I was in that position. I had that conversation whether it was Jacob or say it was with their chief marketing officer, and it was about spending money In understanding what Jacob shared about how he would influence that decision making process. That has always been part of my process. When we're building that initial discovery document, when we're building that scoping document, we always start to think about what are those ROI metrics? And he was very clear about it. Yeah, he said we've got some key metrics that we need to run through before making any decision, and so the questions that I would have been asking the CMO would be around what the numbers need to look like in order for this to get across the line?
Dave Fastuca: 39:53
So you're asking what are the metrics they need to hit Absolutely, yeah, yeah, absolutely.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 39:58
So that's what needs to be in the two-page business case, right, we need to know what is the current state, where are you going as a business and what are those metrics need to look like, like? What does success look like? And let's define those metrics. That needs to be on that business case and then having an action plan. As part of that action plan, it would be to go and validate those numbers with the right people, because potentially, cmo or the marketing team might say, hey, this is what we think are the numbers that we need to hit. We need to get that validated right and go and ask Jacob to say can you validate these numbers before we put this in the final business case? Just that alone, the confidence from Jacob's perspective would have gone up, because it means the format is going to ask for cash. They're actually asking some questions about those commercial metrics. Yeah, yeah, that's smart. So that, for me, is how I would be selling to Jacob. That's the exact blueprint and the exact process that I would take to go to the head of marketing or whoever is my sponsor and then to the final decision maker, which would be Jacob, to say, hey, based on what we've presented. You know, here's the business case on why we need to get that money and why you might need to take that money away from something else. And this is another key thing, I think, for all of our audience, dave. They need to really think about what to take away. He actually said it, he was very clear about it. If I'm going to spend on something we haven't budgeted for, I'm potentially going to take it from somewhere else.
Jacob Muraca: 41:34
Luigi Prestinenzi: 41:35
And that somewhere else could be another stakeholders budget in the business. So that could create competitive tension within the organisation. So if the head of sales or the head of marketing is asking for X and Jacob's like, yeah, I can take that from maybe the tech team or IT, all of a sudden now IT has got its backup. They're defensive, they might not want money to be taken away, so they will become the anti-sponsor Right. They're going to be the ones that are going to be in the ear of the CFO to say this is why you shouldn't be doing that.
Dave Fastuca: 42:12
And these are the unheard conversations that I am still aware of.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 42:16
Yes, absolutely, and we need to be asking those questions in the sales process, right? Because if we're not asking those questions about hey, just in understanding that the budgetary process has already been done and you're going to be asking for an additional budget, do you mind me asking where this budget will come from? What part of the business might he take that from? But then what would you do with that?
Dave Fastuca: 42:41
Luigi Prestinenzi: 42:43
Well, okay, well, how are you going to go about, you know, working through that if it becomes a challenge where the other member of the team starts to push back on why you shouldn't do this project, why other projects are a priority?
Dave Fastuca: 42:57
Yeah, so it can help you evaluate whether this deal is likely to close or likely to get pushed back more and helps you with your pipeline confidence of that deal.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 43:06
Yeah, but even further. It's about going well, okay, well, what is the plan? If we are going to have pushback? How are we going to turn? How are we going to work through that?
Dave Fastuca: 43:16
Luigi Prestinenzi: 43:17
What other members of the team can help navigate that or help become your internal sponsors Right, or potentially will that become a roadblock, because that's where the strategy comes through. I'm not talking about five grand deals here. Yeah, I'm talking about deals that have a lot more complexities, where there's a lot more stakeholders. Just like Jacob said, they can't get access to funding from somebody else's department.
Dave Fastuca: 43:43
Luigi Prestinenzi: 43:43
But this is all stuff. We'll continue to validate this. So you know, over the next couple of weeks we've got more CFO conversations that we're going to have so that we can really build out the playbook. And, Dave, what's the best place for our audience and our listeners? Where should they go next to get more of this content?
Dave Fastuca: 44:02
Perfect. All you need to do is go to growth forumias forward slash newsletter, sign up there. You get a free eight-day micro course and you get updates on every new episode that we come out. So one email a week of all the new juice that's coming out of the growth forum, as well as that free eight-day micro sales course.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 44:23
Awesome. And also, look, we're all about this. How to sell podcasts is all about helping you sell more rights, making it easy for you to engage with the different buyers across the different industries and across the hierarchy that you're looking to engage with. So let us know if there's a particular buying profile that you're struggling with or that you want to get more engagement from, whether it's procurement, let us know. Hit me up on the DMs in LinkedIn. I'm with Luigi. I'd love to learn more about this person because we're going to go out there and we have got an incredible amount of CFOs, we've got CMOs, we've got head of enablement, head of revops, we've got different roles that we are interviewing so that we can help you sell and really shift the perspective, so that it's not sellers focused, it's buyers focused. So let us know, we design this content to help you be the very best sales professionals you can be.
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