Logikcull is excited to announce that Russell Sachs is joining the organization as Chief Revenue Officer. Sachs is an accomplished attorney, sales leader, and startup founder who will play a crucial role in helping law firms and corporate legal teams modernize their approach to discovery and litigation with powerfully simple software. He brings decades of experience to Logikcull at a time in which law firms and legal professionals are rapidly adopting cloud-based solutions, a DIY approach to discovery, and predictable pricing to bring cost and data control to a notoriously unpredictable and risky process.
We recently sat down with Sachs to discuss his decision to join the company, his vision for the future, and why, in his words, Logikcull is “sitting at the epicenter of a massive transformation within the legal industry.” Watch the video highlights below, then continue on for the full transcript!
Logikcull: So, let's start here: why Logikcull and why now?
Sachs: When I looked at Logikcull, what I realized was that this company is sitting at the epicenter of a massive transformation.
On the one hand, you have an opportunity to disrupt an industry that is notoriously late in terms of technology adoption. eDiscovery is built on legacy software that has been around for decades. It's really ripe for a modern do-it-yourself approach.
On the other hand, you have these macroeconomic trends, which are causing law firms to reevaluate how they do business, forcing them to do more with less in the way of resources and money, and challenging them to rethink how they service their clients. At the same time, corporate law departments are under enormous pressure to bring discovery costs down and bring more control to a traditionally unpredictable process.
I thought it was a perfect time to join a company poised to disrupt the entire industry.
Logikcull: You’ve got a rapidly growing team under you. What do you look for in a team overall and in a great individual team member?
That's a great question and it's something I think a lot about. You know, as much as sales is measured by individual performance, I believe it is a team sport. At the team level, it's about collaboration and sharing of knowledge. If something's working great, I really expect that the team shares it with each other.
I often use a term that was shared with me years ago, which is “steal shamelessly.” When something's working, double down and press on it. It's about picking each other up and spending time with each other, without being asked by leadership to do so. I really expect that comradery and friendly competition.
“This company is sitting at the epicenter of a massive transformation. I thought it was a perfect time to join a company poised to disrupt the entire industry.”
At the individual level, there are certain things which are just table stakes for me: Operating with integrity and confidence, persevering through adversity, and ultimately coming to work every day with a willingness to learn and grow.
So much of being great at sales is educating yourself so that you can educate your prospective customers and customers alike.
The investment I ask is that sales leaders bring their lunch pail and their hard hat every single day. When they do that, great things are bound to happen.
I believe there's a quid pro quo. What I mean by that is, if you do all the things that we're asking of you, if you come to work in earnest every single day with a great attitude and a commitment to excellence, then it's upon us as leaders and as an organization to invest in you and in your career development.
“For me, seeing the progression in my team has been the most rewarding aspect of my personal career.”
That means understanding what you want to get out of this experience, three years, five years, 10 years down the road. What are your personal goals? Let's set up a path to get you there.
I will tell you that it's something I'm really proud of, that the people that have worked in my organization have gone on and they've achieved their personal growth goals, whether that was driving a tremendous amount of revenue, seeing big paychecks, career promotions or ultimately going on to leading their own teams. For me, seeing that progression in my team has been the most rewarding aspect of my personal career.
Logikcull: Managing the revenue function at a fast-growing company can be both an art and a science. How do you balance those two inputs, the hard data and the gut feelings that can help inform a market approach?
Sachs: You hit the nail on the head. I do believe there is both an art and a science to managing revenue, and a sales leader needs to know how to find the right balance between them. First and foremost, as a sales leader it's incredibly important to lead from the front, which means regularly talking to customers and prospects alongside your team, so you can hear firsthand what challenges they are facing and help them overcome any obstacles preventing them enjoying success. As a servant leader, I want my team to know that I'll always be in the trenches with them and looking for ways to help them succeed.
I think performance and operational decisions start with putting great infrastructure in place. For example, defining a sales process that lines up with the buyer’s journey and defines specific stage gates so that everyone in the organization is aligned on the sales motion and expected outcomes. Additionally, it’s critical to embrace a sales methodology that works for you and for your organization.
Finally, you need to ensure that you have defined and codified the core sales KPIs, which are the activities associated with driving revenue. Those metrics help sales professionals make sure they are staying on track and keeping pace with expectations.
To balance this, sales executives need to lift their head out of the data and coach to the individual. Every sales professional has strengths and weaknesses. Some may be fantastic at giving a demonstration, but they have trouble at the closing stage. Other people may be really great at prospecting, but are weaker at discovery and applying rigorous qualification. You provide specific, tailored feedback on behaviors and then you consistently measure progress against that guidance.
Sales leaders need to balance both that gut feeling and the hard data, so that they act as your ying and your yang. You can't drive only on gut, but you also can't just rely on data.
“As a sales leader, it's incredibly important to lead from the front, which means regularly talking to customers and prospects with your team, so you can have empathy and help them overcome any obstacles in their way.”
Logikcull: Alright, one final question. And, to borrow your phrase, I’m going to steal shamelessly from our partners at OpenView, one of Logikcull’s VC backers, that they use in all of their podcasts: What did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
Sachs: Apparently as a child I thought I was going to be an orange bird. That’s what’s in my baby book. My parents insist to this day that when I found out that I could never become an orange bird, my feelings were crushed and I was inconsolable. They remind me of that rather frequently.
As I got older, my thinking evolved and I was determined to become either an actor or a lawyer. Ultimately, I chose the law.
Logikcull: You have a diverse professional background. As you said, you did grow up to be a lawyer—but that wasn’t the end of your career path.
You graduated from the University of Miami School of Law, practiced as a litigator for five years, and then went on to co-found a tech startup, MessageOne. That company was eventually acquired by Dell, where you worked for four years leading the sales team there. After that, you went back into the startup world and eventually made it out here to Logikcull. That’s a pretty impressive resume.
How have these past experiences shaped you and your approaches to growing a business?
Sachs: I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a wide variety of companies; operating in multiple VC- and PE-backed high-growth businesses at various funding stages, participating in a couple of exits along the way and also operating as a sales leader within a Fortune 50 organization. So I look at my career trajectory as additive—with each experience, I am building and refining my skill set.
I also would say that while my experiences have built on each other and changed me as a sales professional, sales itself has gone through an evolution over the years, from how people approach and interact with their customers to the associated tools and technology that they leverage in the process. All of this means that I simply cannot rely on the same playbook over and over; instead I need to be flexible and adapt the playbook to the way people want to engage and purchase software. I find myself continuously refining, iterating and changing the go-to-market strategy with each new organization that I join.
“We have an opportunity to transform how discovery gets handled, how investigations get handled, how FOIA requests and subpoenas get handled.
“I think that's a massive opportunity.”
That brings me full circle: What excited me about Logikcull was this notion of selling the way customers want to buy. We are hearing more and more about companies changing from SaaS subscription licensing to usage or consumption-based pricing, because that is the way companies now seem to want to procure software.
You wouldn't think that this concept would spark such a “Eureka!” moment, but it really does—because it’s rare in this market. What sales professionals often tend to forget is that you are trying to solve a customer's problem, so give them a way to purchase the way they want to consume, rather than the way we want them to consume.
We have an opportunity to transform how discovery gets handled, how investigations get handled, and how FOIA requests and subpoenas get handled.
I think that's a massive opportunity. That's why I'm so excited to join Logikcull.
Interested in joining the team? Logikcull is currently hiring! Click here to see open positions.