Separating “Identity” from “Role” with Patrick Downs

About This Episode

Anyone who has worked in sales knows that it is all too easy to let the ebbs and flows of the job impact your state of mind – for better or for worse. Patrick Downs is the Sales Enablement and Training Manager at PandaDoc and the co-host of The Customer Engagement Lab podcast. As a sales leader and coach, he’s passionate about helping sales reps separate their role from their identity.

Patrick joined us on Decision Point to share how he’s taking a different approach by celebrating the right things and helping his reps separate the idea of success or failure in their role from their everyday life outside of sales. He also explains how his diverse background prepared him for this role and how PandaDoc is thinking about customer engagement in new and exciting ways. Take a listen!

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Decision Point: Separating "Identity" from "Role" with Patrick Downs

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Patrick: [00:00:00] Just because you’re successful doesn’t even mean that who you are caused that. There’s millions of factors that play into success. And even like, assuming that “I’m great, and that’s why I’m successful” is damaging, the same as it’s damaging if you think, “I’m terrible and that’s why I’m not successful.” Those things don’t correlate one to one. 

[00:00:15] Brad: [00:00:15] Welcome to Decision Point, a podcast about overcoming adversity in sales and the growth that we experience in the process. I’m Brad Seaman. 

[00:00:25] Welcome to Decision Point. I’m so glad that you could join us today. I recently had a chance to sit down with Patrick Downs, who is the sales enablement trainer and manager at PandaDoc, and is the co-host of the Customer Engagement Lab podcast, as well as the Five on Friday podcast. 

[00:00:43] If you are not familiar with PandaDoc, PandaDoc doc is the all-in-one document automation software that empower sales teams to streamline their process, to generate negotiate and sign proposals, quotes, and contracts.

[00:00:58] All right. I’m excited to have [00:01:00] Patrick on the show today. Not only is he a phenomenal sales leader and coach, but he is also the funniest man in revenue.

[00:01:10] So tell me a little bit about the Customer Engagement Lab. 

[00:01:13] Patrick: [00:01:13] Yeah. So Customer Engagement Lab is part two of our project of launching a PandaDoc podcast. Uh, the first version of it was just me without a haircut for like seven months at the beginning of the pandemic with like a shaggy mane interviewing random people.

[00:01:28] I liked on LinkedIn on just the video podcast. And it,  

[00:01:32] Brad: [00:01:32] You do have a couple of really cool haircuts when I was researching you? I liked you. You had some like really, I mean, Was like, I was jealous. I love, I love

[00:01:44] Patrick: [00:01:44] The swoop is iconic. Um, but yeah, it was just me and my kitchen. Cause at the time we were just forcing to work from home and I live in like a two room condo. It’s just a big space. I was just in my kitchen. And the CRO was like, you cannot be on your podcast with your dishes in the bathroom. [00:02:00] Oh, the 

[00:02:00] Brad: [00:02:00] Or the Cheerios.

[00:02:02] CRO is like, I don’t like Cheerios box. Yeah, it 

[00:02:05] Patrick: [00:02:05] Did not love the Cheerios and the dishes. So yeah, I really loved doing it. And I got a lot of good feedback from people, especially the people I interviewed that were like, Wow. That was, that was really interesting. I don’t know how you got me to say that and stuff like that.

[00:02:17] No, that was the first time I’d ever interviewed anybody. So for me, that was a good initial, like, okay. Maybe you should try this again, even though that wasn’t the right fit for you. So we’re watching it again with Travis who also lives locally in St. Pete and we’re co-hosts now we’re doing more of like a comedy angle where we’re looking to entertain people while giving them a rundown of what’s going on, kind of in the day-to-day sales and marketing world.

[00:02:40] We do a lot of likes. Scouring LinkedIn looking for the best posts, talking about them, discussing them, talking about news. The whole pitch is like daily show for sales pretty much. And we have segments that the most recent one, we just did, like the, who is each department on a road trip and like, joking about that and just like little comedy bits [00:03:00] as well.

[00:03:01] Brad: [00:03:01] Well, why have it? So I got it. So I have a, so you customer engagement, which I assume at the end of the day, you’re talking about how do you get your customers, use the product and how do you get them to stay around. For a long period of time, right? Is that the premise, 

[00:03:13] Patrick: [00:03:13] The basic premise 

[00:03:15] Brad: [00:03:15] When you think about customer engagement.

[00:03:16] What do you think about? 

[00:03:17] Patrick: [00:03:17] It’s creative outreach is our, is our main topic. So we do one interview per episode. We have like just us doing comedy bits at the beginning. And then the interview is about people that have experienced like creative outreach, what stands out, that sort of thing. 

[00:03:31] Brad: [00:03:31] Gotcha. So it’s more customer engagement on the, on the front end of the funnel.

[00:03:36] Patrick: [00:03:36] Correct. That’s where we’re starting, but we left it vague enough where, you know, customer engagement can mean a lot of things. Um, so as we go on, it could potentially go deeper into the funnel. 

[00:03:45]Brad: [00:03:45] Tell me a little bit more, so like on the customer engagement side, you guys are, you guys have chosen to talk about creative outreach.

[00:03:53] What’s the, is that what sorta is driven? That obviously the product that you guys provide. It’s not a [00:04:00] top of the funnel product. 

[00:04:01] Patrick: [00:04:01] No, because our target is sales and marketing people. Right. So we want people that we want to work with to like our brand and to listen to our podcast and think we’re cool. We just want to be cool.

[00:04:13] That really, when it comes down to it, that’s what it is. It’s like I want every SaaS sales company to think we’re cool. 

[00:04:20] Brad: [00:04:20] I’ll tell you what’s cool, Patrick, Panda tattoos. 

[00:04:24] Patrick: [00:04:24] Panda tattoos, tattoos, bamboo tattoos, anything Panda related. Yeah.

[00:04:33] But yeah, that, that was a major driver. Cause you know, a lot of our customers are the kind of people that we would want to listen to our podcast. 

[00:04:40] Brad: [00:04:40] Um, well, that’s, that’s uh, that’s, that’s exciting. I mean, th the podcasts are definitely a great way. I mean, ultimately you want to generate revenue. Uh, from, you know, from the podcast and brand right now, but they’re just a lot of fun, you know, it’s great having guys on.

[00:04:53] I mean, I, since we’ve been doing ours, I’ve just had a blast, uh, having, having people on and having conversations and. [00:05:00] It sounds like you’re you probably feel like a full-time podcast or right now, if you’ve got three, three podcasts, 

[00:05:06] Patrick: [00:05:06] I do. Yeah. And I had a fourth too that I stopped doing.

[00:05:14]Brad: [00:05:14] You must not have kids.

[00:05:16]Patrick: [00:05:16] No, I chose the mic over the baby.

[00:05:19] Brad: [00:05:19] The mic over the baby, mics over babies. Get that as a better that’s the best man. We’re rolling. Um, so, so did Kiel tell me right. That you were a marketer. And then you transitioned to a, or was it the other way around? 

[00:05:35] Patrick: [00:05:35] That was Travis did that and he’s my cohost, but I have worked in like marketing, uh, content writing.

[00:05:42] I was an English major in college and like, one of the things I wanted to do was 

[00:05:47] Brad: [00:05:47] so where’d you go to school and how’d you get into sales. 

[00:05:50] Patrick: [00:05:50] Uh, University of New Hampshire, I was born and raised in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, like 35 minutes away from the greater Boston area. And I went to school for English because I thought I was [00:06:00] going to be a creative person, ended up finding a job for Yelp account executive on an alumni board.

[00:06:05] And was like, Oh, an executive. I’m going to have my own office. Cause I was in 88. Um, and then I decided, cool, I’m going to apply for this job that pays $30,000 a year and drive all the way across the country. And my mom’s broken Zuzu rodeo. The transmission didn’t even make it the whole way without an apartment.

[00:06:22] Even like booked for myself. I was on the phone with a real estate agent while I was driving there. What year is this? 2015. 

[00:06:31] Okay. So six years ago. So you got to university of New Hampshire and you’re like having to work for yellow pages. I’m D all executives get office. 

[00:06:41] I didn’t know what an account executive was because I hadn’t watched mad men yet, you know?

[00:06:46] Brad: [00:06:46] Oh man. That’s that’s. Uh that’s so, that’s so awesome. Do you have, what’s your, what’s your folks do. 

[00:06:52] Patrick: [00:06:52] Growing up. My dad was a business owner. He owned a real estate business, a bowling alley at a nightclub. My [00:07:00] mom worked with him on that and she also ran a gas station and auto repair shop. And then like, my grandparents were all business owners too.

[00:07:07] Okay. And 

[00:07:08] Brad: [00:07:08] Does that give you the entrepreneurial edge then? 

[00:07:10] Patrick: [00:07:10] It does, but that is what I ultimately want to do, but because it’s, you know, 20, 21, the idea is like a media business, right? Oh, okay. 

[00:07:19] Brad: [00:07:19] Okay, well, Hey, once you get the itch, it’s hard to it’s, you know, it’s hard to, well, you get to get experience at paint a doc.

[00:07:27] That’s good. It’s amazing experience. Um, so how’d you get it? So how’d you go from yellow pages to PandaDoc? 

[00:07:33] Patrick: [00:07:33] So it was Yelp by the way. No problem. Totally fine. Cause when I called people, they’d be like yellow pages. I was like, no, no, no Yelp like, like the sound of dog makes when you step on it. And I go ha funny, funny.

[00:07:46] Um, yeah, so Yelp, I ended up going yeah, to a San Diego based, uh, SaaS company called house pro it’s a field service management system. That was my first software job. It was very SMB because you’re literally selling to [00:08:00] the dudes that wake up at 4:00 AM to go fix a house, you know, like that kind of person.

[00:08:04] Um, but it was a good first experience with it. Cause I got to experience what LTV to CAC men and how inbound funnels work and the different kinds of sales teams that exist in a revenue org in a software company. And then from there, I ended up moving to this tiny, tiny software company that barely existed called in where I ran the entire revenue team, uh, from new business sales to account management, even to like product management.

[00:08:26] I ended up taking over and helped the engineering team develop the product. Cause it was like a custom software. So that was a very interesting experience. Got to wear a lot of hats. Did 

[00:08:37]Brad: [00:08:37] Did you like that? 

[00:08:39] Patrick: [00:08:39] I loved it. It’s what made me want to like. Seek for more. Cause at first I was like, Oh, I’ll just stay in sales, get to enterprise sales, you know, cash out as like a key account manager or something and just ride that wave.

[00:08:52] But then when I did that, I was like, okay, I probably want to be in a more strategic role. Cause this is like scratching the itch real nice. Right 

[00:08:59] Brad: [00:08:59] So, [00:09:00] so, so you go from there and then how do you get into, how do you get to St. Pete, the Sun? So do you move to St. Pete and they get the job or do you get the job and move to St. Pete? 

[00:09:09] Patrick: [00:09:09] Oh, God. I ended up moving to this little coastal town called Zephyrhills. So they bottled the water. Uh, in, in Florida, I was living with my uncle for a while because there’s like a family situation. And then I ended up, um, not being able to keep my job at housecall pro because they couldn’t pay for me to work remote.

[00:09:25] Just because I was in Florida, so I had to leave. And then I was without that job for a while and decided, all right, well, I’ve got to look for stuff locally. There was one software company in St. Pete at the time, and it was called Panda doc. And I was like, well, this is my only option. And I better get the job because if I don’t, there’s no other companies and I got it somewhere.

[00:09:45] Brad: [00:09:45] What do you start at as an a, as an AE? I mean, they got, they got a little software. I got some software companies out of there now 

[00:09:52] Patrick: [00:09:52] They do now. But I started almost three years ago. And when that was the case, there was nothing, it was [00:10:00] just, um, outreach at an STR office, but it was just SDRs and Panda doc, which was interesting.

[00:10:06] But I actually started as an SDR because I accepted an account executive job, but then when I got there, they were like, by the way, you gotta do STI work for like three months. And I was like, all right, well kind, kinda mad about it. But also 

[00:10:18] Everyone starts 

[00:10:19] Brad: [00:10:19] out as an SDR?. 

[00:10:21] Patrick: [00:10:21] Correct. Yeah, I guess it just wasn’t explained to me fully, because I didn’t get how that works because in the past I’d always been full cycle for the most part.

[00:10:29] And I was like, what the heck is an SDR? 

[00:10:31] Brad: [00:10:31] Meaning you were doing the whole thing, right? 

[00:10:33] Patrick: [00:10:33] Yeah. I was a hundred percent use to just running the entire cycle from prospect to close. 

[00:10:38] Brad: [00:10:38] Awesome. Do you, um, yeah, no fascinating. So you get there, they’re like, Oh, by the way, you gotta be an SDR. And so you make the transition from SDR now, who do you actually report to?

[00:10:50] Currently, do you report to marketing or do you report to sales? Are you a sales enablement? 

[00:10:55] Patrick: [00:10:55] Yep. We’re in sales. And so the sales enablement team rolls up to the director of [00:11:00] enterprise. 

[00:11:02] Brad: [00:11:02] Okay. What’s your favorite part about your job? 

[00:11:05] Patrick: [00:11:05] Probably the coaching aspect. Uh, to me that that’s always the most satisfying, because the big fun part about being an enablement and training is seeing people make ah-ha moments when their eyes light up.

[00:11:16] And they’re like, Oh, Holy crap. Like, Oh, that’s what it is. That kind of thing. It’s like watching a child’s eyes light up. And now it’s just a great feeling. 

[00:11:26] Brad: [00:11:26] So what’s, uh, so, uh, so you really enjoy the coaching, like the coach. Do you consider yourself like a coach, like a, like a teacher. 

[00:11:34] Patrick: [00:11:34] Yes. I I’d say I’m more like coach persona than I am management persona, but I’ve 

[00:11:40] Brad: [00:11:40] Like Saban? Like Bobby Knight, or John Wooden?

[00:11:47] Patrick: [00:11:47] No, not throwing anything. Yeah. 

[00:11:49] Brad: [00:11:49] So, so one of the things that I wanted to talk to you about is, um, so I know that you had mentioned on. LinkedIn that you were asking about how people separate their [00:12:00] personal identity from their sales role. W what do you like, tell me a little bit about that. What, like, what caused the question and then how do you think about that?

[00:12:07] And what were some of the interesting answers that you got? 

[00:12:11] Patrick: [00:12:11] So the whole idea came from when I read a little book called You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar by David Sandler. Uh, about half of that book is about the concept of identity versus role where there’s this trap. And this book was written in the fifties, right?

[00:12:26] So this has been going on forever where people associate their entire identity with the role that they play in capitalism. Which is incredibly psychologically damaging because every day you cross the bridge sheer job, and you’re the salesperson and what’s supposed to happen is once you’re done, it’s five o’clock and you punch out, you take your service person hat off, and then you go back home to your castle and you live a normal life as Patrick, for example.

[00:12:51] Right. But what happens is people don’t take the hat off. They wear all the way home. They get into bed with a hat on and they start thinking the same thoughts and it’s incredibly [00:13:00] destructive. Even if you’re doing well, because you start associating either success or failure with your identity instead of your role.

[00:13:06] Because just because you’re successful, doesn’t even mean that who you are cause that there’s millions of factors that plan to success. And even like, assuming that I’m great and that’s why I’m successful. It’s damaging the same as it’s damaging. If you think I’m terrible and that’s why I’m not successful.

[00:13:22] Those things don’t correlate one to one. So when people have those two things crossed, they start associating their worth with their quota, with their performance at work, their personal life turns into shambles when things aren’t going well at work. And it’s, it’s just incredibly destructive. 

[00:13:37] Brad: [00:13:37] Yeah, it’s interesting.

[00:13:38] So I taught, so I, so we, uh, we have a profiler that hires for our sales team. And so we put the profiles and we actually put the profile profiles, the employees, uh, as we’re going through the interview process. And we actually talk a lot about that because he says, Hey, there’s certain personalities that are going to be kind of, you know, cosmetically construct.

[00:13:58] Like if things are going [00:14:00] well, Everything in their lives going to be going well. If sales is going bad, everything in their life is going to go bad. Cause there’s a, there’s a predisposition to attach those two things. Together. And some people are more prone to have that attachment than others. Now, do you spend time talking to your salespeople about that?

[00:14:17] Like, is that part of your 

[00:14:19] Patrick: [00:14:19] Yep. Especially with SDRs because they’re taking a brunt of this stuff, you know, like the way that we set SDR quotas too is so funny. Like you ask somebody how it was set at any company. And the answer is never, well, we looked at three years of historic data and like tracked it back to this.

[00:14:36] And then if we break it down by month and quarter, depending on the sea, it’s never, that it’s like, well, we need to hit that number because the board said, we need to hit that number. And then you have these STRs putting their self-worth and do a number that was just pulled out of thin air, essentially.

[00:14:49] Brad: [00:14:49] Um, so, so do you know, that’s, that’s a hundred w w so here’s okay. So I’m glad we talked about this topic because this is your, at the end of the day, or this podcast is about. Mental [00:15:00] toughness. It’s about the important decisions that you, that you make in life and in sales. And it’s about the things that transform you from where you are to where you’re, where you’re going.

[00:15:09] And ultimately mental toughness is about really about the ability for you to continue to go keep moving. Right? You get knocked down, you get back up sales. There’s lots of podcasts out there about. Selling and how to sell and what to do and training. But, but there’s not a lot of topics on mental toughness in like how to think about continuing to get up and go and interact.

[00:15:32] And so this is a topic of mental toughness, which is, Hey, you gotta be able to separate who you are from what you’re doing. If you’re going to be, if you’re going to be successful. Um, did, were there any comments when you posted that, that you really, that w w I guess first off, what do you think about that?

[00:15:49] Patrick: [00:15:49] Yeah, I agree with you, mental toughness is super important, and a lot of people have a hard time separating those things. And I think you’re coming about a predisposition is interesting because I think a lot of the [00:16:00] predisposition isn’t, you know, genetic, right. It’s, it’s a cultural predisposition where people are taught essentially to conflate those two things.

[00:16:09] Right. So when you’re a kid and you go to school and you get straight A’s and you come home, your parents say great job, and they give you all this, uh, congratulations. And your success is amazing. It’s reflecting well on us and they treat you better. You do poorly. You need to do better punishments, et cetera.

[00:16:27] So you start to relate how you feel emotionally to how well your outputs are matching with cultural expectations. Right? You’re taught that. 

[00:16:37] Brad: [00:16:37] How do you balance that with just being generally prideful about what you do? 

[00:16:42] Patrick: [00:16:42] Hm. That’s a completely different thing because being prideful about your role is different than tying how you feel to it.

[00:16:49] Because pride is more of like, okay, like I’m happy with what I do because when I come into work, I give a hundred percent of my effort to it. I treat the people I’m around really well. [00:17:00] And I give them all my focus, these people, but it has nothing to do with my success. My success has nothing to do with my inputs.

[00:17:06] I think a lot of people have a hard time dealing with that because like, I can be a great person and fail, but that doesn’t matter. I can be a terrible person to succeed. So why should I take the output and say, that’s who I am when I’m actually the input. 

[00:17:19] Brad: [00:17:19] How do you unteach this? Because this is obviously what you’re talking about is a taught behavior.

[00:17:26] It’s being taught in every  90% of the sales organizations in the country. Right. They’re teaching you to attach those two things. So how do you, how do you teach it? Cause look, ultimately what you just said goes back to the, one of the very first podcast that we did, where we talked about. We, we, early on, we were talking a lot about, uh, I’m a big fan of John Wooden.

[00:17:46] And he never once ever talked about winning and losing, he only talked about, um, getting better and doing the best that you could, the best that you could with the skills that you had. Right. And so like at the end of every podcast, we say, don’t want what you [00:18:00] can do, getting in the way of what you can do.

[00:18:02] That’s like how we, that’s, how we sign off. So a lot of what you’re saying sounds a lot like, uh, like John, like Johnny wooden, who says like, Hey, you gotta do your best job. And, you know, his premise was as a teacher in the little town that he grew up or that he, uh, taught in and Kentucky, as a, as a first year teacher, he said he had a lot of kids whose parents wanted them all to get A’s, but he knew they did not have the skills to get A’s.

[00:18:28] So he decided to redefine what he considered the, the definition of success, which he defined as essentially doing the best that you could with the skills that you had. And that sounds a lot, like what, you’re, what you’re saying. So how do you teach 90% of the, of the sales organizations are teaching.

[00:18:44] These people are teaching these SDR sales reps to attach these two things. How do you, how do you unteach that? 

[00:18:53] Patrick: [00:18:53] Yeah, it’s still one of those work in progress, things where like, in the past, I’ve, I’ve tried to, and maybe failed because I still have [00:19:00] that cultural instinct to go, Oh, you close the deal. Like, great.

[00:19:03] Let’s celebrate it in Slack. And I mean, that’s still a thing that I have built into me from boiler room sales, starting at Yelp, you know? But I’m trying to unlearn it. And one of the major things I’m doing is trying to reward behaviors over successes or failures. So like if somebody comes in and offers to teach a new SDR out of nowhere, like all the fundamentals and like help coach them outside of their role, I’m going to reward that behavior because it’s not an output.

[00:19:30] That’s like a great thing they’re doing because of who they are. Same thing. If they have a really great customer call where they go above and beyond for them, That’s an amazing behavior. It’s not a closed deal. I’m going to reward the actual behavior in the call. And I start trying to focus on that and give people positive affirmation when they’re trending in the right direction.

[00:19:48] A lot of people will say, Oh, you’re not hitting your activity metrics. And that’s a way to motivate them to do better. But you can say, Hey, like, I’m really proud of you for showing up today. Like, that’s amazing. Like, do you think you can make 10 dials this morning? Like. [00:20:00] If you can just let me know, like that kind of thing, going softer on it while still encouraging it.

[00:20:06] I think as a subtle shift in perspective that we need to start making in sales management because the old school is just a lot of shame and shame just encourages the success failure dynamic, in my opinion, 

[00:20:18] Brad: [00:20:18] Alright, give me an example of somebody being shamed. Like, I mean, like what, like how you just didn’t make your numbers and we’re a fire you, or like what, 

[00:20:26] Patrick: [00:20:26] I mean, I think the fact that we, like, I mean, look at a leaderboard, think about the fact that like, there are some sales companies where you walk in every day and like, there’s this leaderboard that has nothing to do with what these people are actually doing.

[00:20:38] It’s just like their deals. Right. And you look at that every day and then you see you’re not on it ever. Right. It’s like, okay. But I come in every day, I make the same calls. I put the effort in, I coach the new people. I put extra hours in. I’m not on a leader board. So like the stuff that they’re doing, isn’t being rewarded.

[00:20:58] So they feel ashamed. And [00:21:00] then, like you said, there’s also just the metrics thing where it’s like, you only made 20 calls today. I’ve had situations where I wasn’t allowed to use the bathroom. Cause it wasn’t at my call metrics. 

[00:21:08] Brad: [00:21:08] That’s intense. That’s intense. Yeah. Well, I had to get all of this there’s uh, you know, that’s, that is a shame, but I think in all of this, there’s, uh, there’s a, there’s a balance, right?

[00:21:17] I mean, you can’t, you can’t, do you think you can totally take your eye off the revenue number? 

[00:21:23] Patrick: [00:21:23] No, I think there’s room to introduce other aspects while keeping that. 

[00:21:28] Brad: [00:21:28] Yeah. I mean, I think it’s, I think it’s both right. I mean, I think, you know, one thing is incentivizing behavior, so, um, I’m a big fan of buffet and Munger and they talk a lot about incentives.

[00:21:39] So it’s like, you’ve got to incentivize you typically get what you incentivize for. And so you’ve got to figure out what you want. And then you’ve got to figure out how to incentivize for that. I think traditionally we think about that as revenue. Right. But as revenue, really what you’re trying, I mean, revenue, in my opinion is a by-product of doing all the other things that you should do, right.

[00:21:56] If you take the sales cycle and you do all the things you’re supposed to do, revenue is just a by-product [00:22:00] of, that’s not actually what you want from your, your, your salespeople as I think about it. Uh 

[00:22:06] Patrick: [00:22:06] A hundred percent. Can you imagine if there was an incentive for people to help new hires, how does that scale compared to an extra 10 K a month?

[00:22:14] What if your best rep was incentivize for every 10 new people coming in? He coaches them and is able to take the skills that made them the best. And scale it to everyone else coming in, but we don’t incentivize that behavior at all. So unless people want to go on a management track, you don’t see it, period.

[00:22:29] Brad: [00:22:29] No, no. It’s interesting. Patrick. We could talk all day, man. This is, this is, this is fun. Like, no, you’re a cinema. So, so we’re getting, we’re getting close here on, on, on time. So let me ask you a couple of questions. What’s the one thing that you’re like the most passionate about? 

[00:22:46] Patrick: [00:22:46] I would say film. Um, I’m passionate about film and television.

[00:22:50] I talked about a lot of things that I wanted to do when I was a kid here, but I moved to studio city when I was like 21. I did like a gap year in college. I was a [00:23:00] PA. On a show called Baby Daddy, which is this terrible show. Don’t look it 

[00:23:04] Brad: [00:23:04] up. No dude, my I’m sorry, my kid, my girls at this is a dude. I know what this is.

[00:23:10] So what, where are you at on this? W what’s your role in the show? 

[00:23:15] Patrick: [00:23:15] It was just like the lowest level PA like getting people, coffee kind of job. Right? Cause I was going to LA thinking I’m going to be. No the next dude, I wanted to be involved in film and television. So that was my first step in. And I had such a bad experience.

[00:23:30] I was just like, all right, I gotta get out of here for a minute. But to me, film and television is still my greatest passion. I’d love to make a movie someday. 

[00:23:37] Brad: [00:23:37] Dude. That’s so awesome. So, Kiel, again, back, you got to edit out me noting that my kids like Baby Daddy. So we got to get shamed. So anyways, we’ll talk about Baby Daddy in a second.

[00:23:50] Um, so what stops you from, you know, what’s, is there a, you know, someday in the future, do you make the jump and go, go back to try to make a movie or, or to be 

[00:23:59] Patrick: [00:23:59] in [00:24:00] a movie? Yeah. I think like the path I’m thinking about right now is eventually going full-time into a media production podcasting and that kind of thing.

[00:24:08] And then slowly use that as a way to get something financed and men to do them concurrently.

[00:24:17] Brad: [00:24:17] All right. What a great conversation with Patrick. I think the one big takeaway that I had from that conversation was really rethinking. Success in sales. So we tend to think about it as a number. And I think that’s probably where I went in towards, you know, being number focused. I think that probably comes from being highly competitive and when you’re highly competitive, you’re just super focused on the score and you’re focused on winning, but like a good teacher.

[00:24:45] I think Patrick, um, laid out this different idea, which, which I would consider to be more wouldn’t ask. So if you know anything about John wooden, all his players say, no, not only is he one of the greatest basketball coaches ever, probably one of the greatest teachers, all of his [00:25:00] students or his players, um, commented on the fact that they never heard him say the word win or lose.

[00:25:09] And that all of his teaching was really focused around a core set of skills and many cases. Those skills were individualized to a player. And he also focused on, uh, on a, on a core philosophy around the team. And so, as we were talking to Patrick, a lot of the stuff that he was talking about is rethinking the idea and sales really was very wouldn’t ask in the fact that he was.

[00:25:34] Really trying to detach a revenue numbers from success and get his sales team or his players to focus on the skills and then to be able to, um, put a number or put a success rate on those skills so that they could improve. And I think that was the big takeaway is that it’s so easy to get focused on the [00:26:00] score because there’s so many things in sales that we can.

[00:26:04] Uh, that we can focus on that we get that we can tell him, right? We can tell he phone calls. We can tell him, uh, you know, the revenue number, but at the end of the day, if the goal is to get people to improve, then you have to get them to focus on the skills, uh, and monetizing or incentivizing improvement around those skills.

[00:26:23] So that’s the big takeaway that I got the idea of rethinking success in sales. All right. If you enjoy the conversation with Patrick, we love to have you sign up for our newsletter at Or you can get additional content and insights around sales techniques and how to grow in your role as a sales rep or a sales manager.

[00:26:43] And remember as always don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can. [00:27:00]

[00:00:00] Patrick: [00:00:00] Just because you’re successful doesn’t even mean that who you are caused that. There’s millions of factors that play into success. And even like, assuming that “I’m great, and that’s why I’m successful” is damaging, the same as it’s damaging if you think, “I’m terrible and that’s why I’m not successful.” Those things don’t correlate one to one. 

[00:00:15] Brad: [00:00:15] Welcome to Decision Point, a podcast about overcoming adversity in sales and the growth that we experience in the process. I’m Brad Seaman. 

[00:00:25] Welcome to Decision Point. I’m so glad that you could join us today. I recently had a chance to sit down with Patrick Downs, who is the sales enablement trainer and manager at PandaDoc, and is the co-host of the Customer Engagement Lab podcast, as well as the Five on Friday podcast. 

[00:00:43] If you are not familiar with PandaDoc, PandaDoc doc is the all-in-one document automation software that empower sales teams to streamline their process, to generate negotiate and sign proposals, quotes, and contracts.

[00:00:58] All right. I’m excited to have [00:01:00] Patrick on the show today. Not only is he a phenomenal sales leader and coach, but he is also the funniest man in revenue.

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