What do unicorns know? Pablo Dominguez lays it all out in his book, What a Unicorn Knows: How Leading Entrepreneurs Use Lean Principles to Drive Sustainable Growth.
As Operating Partner, Sales and Customer Success for Insight Partners, he helps bring that growth focus to a portfolio of businesses including Calm, Qualtrics, and 6sense.
6sense CMO Latané Conant brought Dominguez to TalkingSense to share his secrets. Below the video, you’ll find some highlights from their chat.
How Connecting Functional Teams Saves Time and Money
The key to lean process work, Dominguez explained, is bringing people together to examine shared processes.
“Whether you’re in marketing, a sales rep, an account manager, customer success, you’re in legal because you’re doing contracts,” he said. “You want to get everybody together that is involved in the quotes-to-cash process, and have them collectively map out the process. What’s working? What’s not? What you find is people are in their silos, so they do their role based on what they were trained on and don’t understand the rest.”
On average, Dominguez said, through this work they’re able to reduce time-to-value by 25% across an engagement. In their work with one client, Gainsight, they reduced time-to-value by 66%.
Finding the Best Teammates
“The best advice I got years ago,” Dominguez told Conant. “My boss said, ‘Make sure you have the right team now, as you go into a tumultuous time. Because that’s the team that’s going to get you through the hard time. And that’s the team that’s going to help you be successful. And if you wait too long, you’ll have to make trade-offs that are going to make your life harder.’”
He believes in keeping your best people, and making sure they have what they need to stay motivated. Support them through difficult times so they can achieve both personal and team goals, even in times of financial uncertainty, he said.
Meeting Your Team Where They Are
One of Conant’s favorite TalkingSense topics is reflecting on a major failure, and Dominguez was happy to share one of his.
Earlier in his career, Dominguez worked in consulting for two large public companies. When he moved on to a startup, he was overly confident. “I came in and said, ‘I know exactly what to do. I’ve been in the promised land; I know how to build a Ferrari because I’ve done it.’ And I had all these grand aspirations to fix things and roll things out.”
But the team wasn’t ready for a Ferrari. “It made me realize that for the stage that they were in, there was a garage with car parts. Not even an instruction manual on how to build something. And I realized we don’t even need a car. I don’t even know if they need a bicycle. Like, they need a skateboard.”
He wasted six months and put the organization through a lot of strain. It wasn’t until then that he accepted that all they needed at the time were wheels for the skateboard to start moving.
Going Lean to Grow
Because Dominguez has guided many companies through the lean growth process, he has many more learnings to share.
Get insights into growth process principles that can help any company by watching the latest episode of TalkingSense.