Bob Kruse is the CEO and Cofounder of Low Rider Security, an early-stage cybersecurity startup in stealth mode. Prior to starting Low Rider, Bob was CRO at Obsidian Security, Head of Sales at Demisto. If you’re a founder of a B2B startup and are of the mindset that “if you build, they’ll come”, you definitely don’t want to miss this episode.
(This is summarized sections of conversation with Bob Kruse on our pod. You can read the detailed transcript here)
2: 56 Career Trajectory- Bob wanted to be an investment banker. However, jobs in the sector needed prior work experience. Hence, he joined a carpeting company to “prove the investment banking world that I could sell anything”. Once, he had the much needed experience, he joined his first company, Robertson Stephens from where his interest led him to Oracle, his first technology company and then there was no looking back.
5:46 Learnings from Oracle: One of the key learnings from oracle was -cutthroat competition may not always breed excellence and it is very important it is to live in the moment or “what can I do right Now?”. As long as there is a goal, keep going and persevere and at the same time be true to your integrity.
10:31 FireEye and Operation Aurora- Operation Aurora was the first publicized and widely advertised nation state attack by China against at least 30 major corporations.This attack made the word “hacking” a part of national vocabulary.
14:55 FireEye- What did not go right- When FireEye meshed with Mandiant, it was a meshing of different cultures and a different product. FireEye was appliance whereas Mandian was a service with product attached to it. Bringing those two together and still keep the relative kind of stature for each company was a challenge. And so, it created confusion in the marketplace because there wasn't a clear message or vision.
22:24 What separates good sales reps from the great ones- “the best kind of person is self-propelled”. Having a passion for the job and making it personal are the keys to being a great sales rep. For being a great salesperson, owning every step of the process is the way to go.
28:55 Can networking be taught- Helping people without an agenda, without favours is how best networks are built. However, if there is an agenda attached to the help then people would smell it from a distance and stay away.
38:55 Advice for sales leaders as founders- If you are a sales leader inching towards starting a startup, make sure your co-founder or the core people are fearlessly technical and know the technical parts much better than you. Have a product or something that you have a very good understanding of product-market fit from a go-to-market perspective and that you already know who to sell to and what to sell.
42:00 Future landscape of Salespeople who are go-getters. They are not waiting for leads to come to them. They know actually how to go out and find them and have made those connections and made it personal. The future enterprise salesperson needs to be a combination of being savvy with digital tools and knowing how those systems work.
42:38 Some book recommendations:
What would Machiavelli do? by Gil Schwartz
The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday
It’s your Ship by Michael Abrashoff
Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
You can read the detailed transcript here
Editing by - Pod PostPro