Coffee, Commissions, & CPQ: The Staffing Paradox

Coffee, Commissions, & CPQ: The Staffing Paradox

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Author: Canidium Podcast

Coffee, Commissions, and CPQ is a podcast that will cover topics about all things sales, sales operations, sales enablement, and SPM! In the third episode of our series, Jason Kearns, the SVP of Technical Services at Canidium, talks about The Staffing Paradox . Tune into our podcast by clicking the link below, or read the transcripts on this blog! 


Rick Roberts: Hello and welcome to Coffee, Commissions, and CPQ. A podcast where we talk about all things related to increasing the effectiveness of your sales organization. My name is Rick Roberts and I'm your host for this episode. Today, Jason Kearns and I will be discussing the staffing paradox. But before we get into that, let's learn a little bit about our guest. Jason, thank you very much for joining us today. 

Jason Kearns:  Thank you, Rick. Happy to be here. 

Rick Roberts:  Thanks. So why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself, what are some things that you enjoy doing, a little bit about your background, your role? 

Jason Kearns:  Well, we could start with my background and my role. I am currently the SVP of Technical Services at Canidium. We are, as everyone listening to this podcast should know by now, a sales performance and process performance firm specializing in helping companies improve their operations and how they implement, among other things, sales performance management (SPM). Which is where most of my background is. I have been working in some form or fashion with sales, performance management, and then specifically incentive compensation since 2000, so 20, about 20 years or so now. And I've done a lot of, I've come at it from a lot of different directions. I've been mostly on the technical side doing implementations of technology to help operationalize sales performance management (SPM) programs. But I've also come at it from the design side, I've worked as a comp plan designer, a compensation manager for sales organizations in my past. And as part of my, the variety of roles at Canidium over the years, I've managed both delivery of solutions, and I've also done strategy where it can help customers of ours come up with solutions on both the, you know, the processes and the technologies and the implementations of those technologies and so on and so forth. So I have a broad background in the space itself. Many different industries, really any industry that has salespeople. So, you know, everything in the private sector pretty much I've worked in, in my past. And you know, outside of work, I am basically a sports junkie primarily, which, at this point in time... We're in the middle of the Coronavirus, self-quarantine period. And so there's no sports going on right now. So it's been really rough. And so, I'm trying to find other hobbies, doing some work around the house that probably otherwise would not have been done. I'm not typically a handyman, but I try to be one every once in a while. But that's me.

Rick Roberts:  Well, you might be like Bob Vila. By the time this all gets over with.

Jason Kearns:  I might. Yeah, maybe I'll take up painting as well. So I'm looking for other hobby options. But this looks like it could go on for a couple of months. 


Rick Roberts:  Yeah, yeah, we'll see how this goes. But I think certainly there's a lot of other means. In the meantime, everything's going as we have been, so it's going to be a great time to learn about a lot of other things that we don't have in the, people don't typically use on their day to day. But how's your how's that dry cough and the sore throat?

Jason Kearns:  Haha. Luckily, I have not acquired any of those things yet. The biggest trauma on me is they won't let me sit at Starbucks at work right now. They closed the dining rooms in all Starbucks, so I have to grab my coffee and go back home. 

Rick Roberts: Yeah, so you know, I always like to ask this; I've had a few other conversations. A few others, but the definition is, always has a little bit of a spin to it when I asked them. But what is sales performance management or SPM? And what do you think the best part about working in SPM is? 

Jason Kearns:  Well, I mean, sales performance management (SPM) is obviously a very broad thing and you know, potentially a far reaching term. And I think, you know, those in the industry who are in target of coming up with these terms and, you know, acronyms and and buzzwords, they've done it, they did that on purpose. Because you know, sales performance management (SPM) encompasses it, it can potentially encompass a lot of elements of, maybe is this think about it generically anything that drives sales performance. And so you know, that could include incentives and commissions and bonus programs. It could include coaching methods, it could include hiring methods, it could include, you know, sales enablement, technologies and processes. And so I think as, as firms, you know, in particular software companies have tried to add features to the software they provide, they've, you know, they've had to redefine and broaden the definition of what SPM is. And, you know, we all, I think, we all acknowledge that the core of it is incentive compensation. And you know, operationalizing, and, you know, in a lot of ways, automating those processes, but, you know, so many of our customers, you know, come to us and have these other elements of sales performance that they need help with, like territory quota management and analytics and, and other things of that nature. And so it's, you know, that's what in my mind, I think of the full picture. Like when we're doing strategy work, I think of all the elements of sales, performance management (SPM), from planning, design, to communication, to implementing, to dispute management, to analytics and coaching. I think of it in those broad terms. And that, in a lot of ways is what I like about it is there's, I oftentimes refer to our space as a niche within a niche, because it's really this performance management specifically for salespeople, and it's a very strategic piece of the makeup of any company and their their sales organization. But it's also very small and specialized. And what makes it even more difficult is all these different elements of sales performance, they could be owned by different people and then organization, you could have some pieces that are in HR and some that are in finance, some that are in sales operations or sales. And so it's kind of a, it's hard to put an umbrella over the whole thing when all of it may not be sitting in the same, you know, in the same room, so to speak. And to me, that's what makes it interesting as a consultant because you get to really explore and experience these different parts of the work of a single organization. And when you layer on and also different industries I work with, you really get to see a pretty wide variety of problems to solve. And, you know, I'm one of those people that has a hard time doing the same thing over and over again. So I love having a job and having a profession where it's always changing and, you know, this fits the bill. 


Rick Roberts: Great, great, you've touched upon a lot of things in that. And you know, it's funny to touch the acronyms to like, I don't know if it was just like a bunch of ex-military people kind of coming into the industry and just taking, that whole culture of always having so many acronyms or what, but it really does feel like there are so many acronyms. And so for that reason, it's hard to get up to speed. Oftentimes, you'll be in a meeting, there were times I was in a meeting 6 months into this being in this industry, and someone would drop something where I'd have to, like lean over or shoot something over to Lee like, like a G-chat and be like, "Hey, what does that mean?" There's so many things there. And you also describe the roles that are within that. Obviously, there's a lot of roles, but just going a little deeper than that and just touching upon each. I guess, how would you describe the role or the rules that are played in supporting SPM? 

Jason Kearns:  Well, that's really the core of the issue that I really wanted to talk about today, which is  really, it's a, I call it a paradox. And it's just really the people that you need, you know, I call it a niche within a niche, you know, this expertise that you need to be familiar with in order to fully support this function. Which is a very, you know, on one hand is a very strategic function within a company. Most companies if they don't do this well, are really at a disadvantage. You know, and the worst case scenario really failing as an organization. On one hand it's very important. On the other hand, it's not necessarily a highly regarded or highly sought after type of position to be in. So it's this weird paradox of being highly influential and important in terms of the true value that it brings to the organization, but not really recognized as such by the organization in terms of salary and position and authority within the company. At least, in general, in most places there, there may be some that have identified as very strategic, but for the most part, and I can, you know, years ago, I wrote an article where I, you know, this was for world at work magazine where I describe the ideal attributes, or at least, or maybe I created a mock job description for the ideal. Let's say you're just gonna put one person in charge of your sales performance management (SPM) program, the entirety of it. And what would that person need to bring to the table? And I came up with a list of attributes and they include: this person must have the ability to communicate with sales and marketing leadership to understand the compensation needs for accomplishing sales goals. So they must be savvy on this, you know, within the sales realm, they must have the ability to work with finance and accounting to achieve budgetary goals, so they need to have finance and accounting chops and understanding of that as well. They need to be well schooled in HR terminology and policies, they must be in a lot of places, also technically proficient enough to understand the capabilities of the tool of any tools they may have. For using technology to calculate compensation, they need to have some technical proficiency there. And in some cases, they need to actually have not just technical proficiency, but actually the actual skills in order to maintain and manage those tools. They must be strong at statistics, analytics, forecasting and modeling. They must be strong in the understanding of compensation and sales data. Must be able to present ideas to executive decision makers from sales, marketing, IT, finance and human resources, and moderating the decision making process and influence the outcome to an end that keeps all constituents satisfied. And that's not all, they must be able to communicate decisions to the frontline, IT, HR, sales staff for the purposes of implementation. They must have the fortitude to create a well defined process and stick to it, but also have the flexibility to adapt to the changing needs of the business. They must be deadline driven with the ability to influence others to reach dependent deadlines. And so, basically, the word paradox comes up time and time again, just in description of the ideal person that would fill that role, right? It's somebody who is disciplined but flexible people that can communicate with executives, but also frontline people. People that are comfortable with concepts and strategy, but also comfortable with the details as well. And this is all you know, doesn't necessarily have to be one person that fits all these attributes, but those are all the attributes that you need to have filled within the role or roles that are supporting this. And you know, what makes it also, one thing maybe reading between the lines is that this person or this organization, a lot of times is influencing decisions, but they're never making a decision. And that, you know, anyone who's been in a position like that knows that's a skill unto itself. 


Rick Roberts: Sure. Yeah. I mean, that's the person you're describing. I mean, if they say, you know, most of those things, all the same person that's like, trying to hire as a superhero, almost. That's insane that is required across the organization. So obviously, that's what makes the role unique is the sense that, you know, depending on your ability to scale and decide where your team would dictate, I guess how much each person needs to know. But if you're a smaller company, and you know you only have like an admin or two and need all those skills. And obviously it makes it almost sounds like it's almost impossible to fill. So how long? I guess my question will be, typically, how long does the company have to look for a candidate to fill in this kind of position? 

Jason Kearns:  Well, I mean, what I've seen over the years is to state the obvious, it's very difficult. You know, it is difficult not only to find a person to fill that role, but it's difficult to keep them probably more importantly, you know, because you might be, you might find somebody and grow them from within, right, and maybe they have some of these attributes that you need, and you decide to promote them into that position, and they acquire some of the other skills. And then before you know it, they're great, right? But once they, once they've achieved that level, you know, we've had customers that have just, over the years, really struggled to keep people in that position. They might find the right person or develop the right person for but that person usually eventually moves on. And then they have to just start the process again. And so what I found is, you know, not only is this, like I was saying before, it's difficult, it's a unique position to fill, there's a lot of attributes that make the person or people extremely scarce. But it's also not, in most cases, not highly regarded enough to make it an attractive position to get to and to stay. And there's a couple of reasons for that. Well, one reason is a lot of times the sales compensation or sales, performance management (SPM), support sometimes doesn't have a logical home within an organization. You know, there's some places where it lives in HR, some places where it lives in finance, some places where it lives in sales operations. And because of this, a lot of times the sales compensation team, or people in charge of that, that support that function. Don't have a clear career path within that part of the organization. You know, for example, if you're supporting sales compensation, and that your unit or your team sits within HR, you know, normally in order to get promoted and get into leadership with HR, you're looking at more of an HR manager or HR director type role, you know, as you go up the ladder. If you're sitting there and sales compensation, you're not acquiring the skills that you need in order to get those higher level positions. And a very similar story can be told if it's sitting in finance, or sitting in sales, or sales operations, is you know, you're living within that niche. And those are the skills that you have. And unless you just have a very progressive and enlightened set of leaders in the organization who recognize raw talent and say, Okay, this person was able to solve this really hard problem, then, you know, let's look for, you know, let's look for promotion for them. Unless you have somebody explicitly going to bat for you it's going to be very difficult for you to naturally proceed up the ladder. And, you know, the bigger and probably what exacerbates the problem, is that not a lot of leaders are going to want you to get promoted, because we just talked about how hard it is to fill that role. And so the last thing they want to do is take this, this person that they finally develop, they found, refilling this very, this very important function, and, you know, create a vacancy for themselves by promoting that person to a different role. So there's, not only is it hard for you to find an advocate within the organization to help promote you, because of your skill set discrepancy, but it's also hard because there's not a lot of motivation within the organization to move you on. And so once again, you're stuck in this paradox. Now, companies can solve this problem just by paying you a whole lot more money or making you more important just explicitly within the organization, but that doesn't happen either. And the reason for that is because most companies still see this role as really a back office type of role. They don't see it as a strategic role, they're not going to pay the director of sales, compensation, or promote that person, or hold them as valuable as a director of sales, or a director of finance. And somebody who has a little bit more of a prominent, more traditionally, traditionally prestigious position within a company. And those types of perceptions and, you know, explicitly assigning value to these roles, in order to get those opinions and those viewpoints changed, especially in large organizations is really, really difficult. I mean, it would take almost an act of God to do that. It would take somebody who is really high up, saying, "Hey, this position is very important to me, we're gonna pay it like, it's a more important position." And you know, most organizations that we work with on a regular basis, just, there's no one there that has the guy that's gonna stick their neck out to do that kind of thing for this type of role. They're going to continue to see it as back office and say, "Well, you know, we'll just figure it out." And so over time, you end up with this real challenge. And we've seen it time and time again, it's a recurring story. The first article I wrote about it was almost 10 years ago, and I see this still happening 10 years later. 

Rick Roberts: Wow. Yeah. So next time you see your sales admin, say thank you. 

Jason Kearns: Yeah, well, you know, ironically, is that is what we see the most, like most companies are like, “Well, we can't really pay this person more or promote them. So why don't we, you know, give them chocolate?” Or, you know, tell them how much you love them on a regular basis. Non-monetary praise is usually the route they go. So they can avoid some other way to acknowledge them. 

Rick Roberts: Yeah, I mean, it's, it's honestly, it's crazy that such a pivotal role or such an important role is not seen as such across a lot of organizations. And it could be a cultural thing, right. I mean, if it's just seen as a back-office job, I mean, no one really understands how important those are until those roles are vacant. And then nobody else actually has the expertise to do that. Right. And then you have a role that requires so much and you know, it's like, it would be hard enough to get by with some back-office job, get by for a few weeks. But I feel like these roles sound so hard to fill that really you need to do everything in your power to make sure that if you have somebody who is great that they're not going to leave or like you had said create a vacancy. So you mentioned a few things that companies were doing to solve that problem, whether it be paying them more or you know, iterating at an important role in the industry or the organization. But I guess why don't you, since you've been doing this for quite a while now - I mean, if you wrote your first blog about it 10 years ago, quite some time, and I’ve known you from Candium for a while too - what are some of the things that you have seen or done while with Canidium that has helped clients with this problem? 

Jason Kearns:  Well, you know, there's really two ways to solve this. Well, I guess there's three you know, the first one is you can just get lucky and find somebody that can do it and he's pretty content just sitting in a back office defined role but actually providing you know two to three x the value that they're being acknowledged for. Those situations do exist. I think I see them all the time. I see just real, you know, tremendously talented people they just aren't, you know, these aren't that ambitious. Right, they like doing the roll, they don't really care and they don't get acknowledged for it. So that does exist. So I put that as option one. And it's really just getting lucky. If you're lucky enough to stumble upon one of these people, then thank your lucky stars, every chance you get. The other two ways, are you more proactive. One would be to explicitly create an SPM, or a compensation management organization within your company. Some companies, they'll call it a CEO or Center of Excellence. There's another acronym for you, put in your book. If you create a center of excellence, you're basically saying, These people are experts, we're creating this center of excellence, it's going to focus on sales performance or sales compensation. And we're going to treat them as such. And so, the companies that we've seen do something like this, where really large companies, maybe that have multiple business units that all have to be supported independently. And maybe this company has decided, we're going to create an independent Center of Excellence, and it's going to service all those different business units. So they've kind of become so large that it actually makes sense to standardize some processes across multiple businesses and to have a Center of Excellence or a separate organization. So in those cases, you know, you are able to find really talented people to go in those because those are very prestigious roles. They're basically like creating another department. And so you can have people that are running that department who came up, through this type of background. But you know, that option is usually relegated to, like I said, very large organizations. For everybody else, if you don't get lucky, and you're not big enough to make it. An important place to be, your third option really is to utilize some sort of outsourcing model. And this is something that we've had a lot of success in over the years, I've been a Canidium 12 years. And we've had several customers that have come to us with this exact problem, some,  I can tell you a ton of anecdotes, but one of my favorite is a customer that came to us and said, "Look, we've hired three people for this role in the last four years, every single one of them as soon as they became proficient at it, they left for a better job. And we're tired of that. So can you help us?" And of course, we said, "Yes, of course we can." They've been customers of ours now for I believe, about seven years going on. And we're all happy for it. So an outsourcing model would be finding an organization who can either fully or in most cases partially, handle some of the some of the responsibilities that these roles have to take on. So like for example, if you have, let's say, you're using a compensation management tool, you're using a Callidus or an Xactly or something of that nature. It's just really hard to find people who both know how to use that tool and also can do some of the other functions of the role like comp plan design or territory design or whatever the case may be. You can find firms such as Canidium, who can, you can outsource the tool maintenance to. And so, a company like ours who focuses on this line of work, we have an army of people who know how to handle those tools and who understand compensation concepts and who can handle a lot of the blocking and tackling pieces of this role. And when you do that, you free up yourselves, your internal resources, to handle this more of the strategic or internal facing pieces of the role. So for example, maybe you've decided okay, you want to design all your own comp plans. That's fine. However, in order to implement those in a tool, in order to create reports in order to produce a comp plan documentation, you want to outsource that to us. And so you do that. So that frees you up to really do your job on hiring the right person becomes much easier, because really all you need then is somebody who can design comp plans, you don't need to know if they know how to do all these other things. And if they need to, their ability to learn the system, and so on and so forth. And so, we're able to carve out pieces of the responsibility. And we're able to handle that on the outsourcing side because we can bring multiple people to the table depending on what needs to be done. So we're not limited by just saying, we need to find one or two people that can fill this entire job description. We have any number of people and you might hire us, and say, you know, we want to utilize one person but it's really one FTE that can actually end up being split between anywhere from one to five different people, depending on your need at that point and time. And so, you've shifted the burden of finding the right people and training them up, you shift that over to a third party. And you benefit from, from us, the SPM  consultancy, being able to always have really highly qualified and top ranked staff on hand. And the reason for that is because all these people that I talked about, are really hard to find and even harder to keep. More often than not, when they do leave the company that they're working for. They're leaving to go work for a consulting company like ours. And the reason is because they've obviously proven to be very dynamic individuals, somebody who enjoys taking on a challenge. And, you know, once they've kind of conquered the challenge at hand at the company they work at a lot of them, the really good ones, they always start looking around to say, "Wow, that was fun. What other challenges are there? Are there challenges here within this organization I can take on or, you know, is there another place I can go work and kind of just make a career out of handling this challenge over and over again." That's what consultants do. That's what consulting companies do, is we're handling the same kind of challenge at different companies over and over again. That's, you know, that's what our company is made up of. And I liken it to a law firm, right, big companies. Every company needs lawyers. A very small number of companies have their own legal staff, a majority of companies outsource all their other legal needs to law firms. Because a lawyer, most lawyers, don't want to go work at a company and just be the council sitting over there in the legal department where it's one or two people, and there's really no upward mobility and no real direct interaction with the health and well being of the company itself. It doesn't feel very strategic. If you go work at a law firm, as a lawyer, you actually have the, everyone there is a lawyer, and your goal is to become a better lawyer, and to move up the chain, move up the food chain, and actually become a part of the success of that firm itself. And it works the same way at a consultancy. You know, if you come work with us, you're a consultant, we all have the same foundational skill sets and interests. And really, the focus is on getting better at what you do. Because the better we all get, the better each person gets, the better the company gets and the more success the company has. And each person, you know, shares in that success. And so, there's consultants, usually people that have been doing the job out, you know, in the industry for a while, who have decided, just solving the problem for one company is enough for me, I want to go do it for many companies. In fact, I want to be a part of the business who solves this problem on a regular basis as a part of their business model. 


Rick Roberts:  So, there's obviously a lot of reasons why somebody should consider a managed services partner. And then there's like you saying, I mean, there's a lot, saving time and money, you have a team of experts on hand, they can fill a lot of gaps for you, you don't have to rely on finding somebody that fits the bill that you described before regarding that position, which is obviously really hard to retain. No more grunt work, that means that you can focus on a lot of the higher level stuff as well. So you don't have to worry about all the ins and outs and the reporting and etc. What are, you know, because I also want to touch upon this, because there's a lot of a lot of people that obviously, are going out there and they're looking for a managed services partner, whether it's whether it's long term or short term, and we do we do month-to-month and I know that's like another appeal as well. But, what are some of the things that people should be looking for when they're going out there in a managed services partner before they onboard it, right? Because obviously bringing on somebody trying to get them up to speed, doing all that, and then turning around and saying, "Wow, I paid all this money, but the managed services partner isn't doing for me what I needed them to do or or living up to the promises that that their teams had made." What are some of the things that people should be looking for in a managed services partner before making that decision?

Jason Kearns: Well, that's a good question, because I think the biggest fear that most clients or prospects have when making that decision, is they don't want to pay somebody else to basically give them the same problem that they already had. Right. So sometimes the way you could see is, you know, like you said, you come hire a firm like us, like Canidium, and we assign somebody to your account. And that person gets to know you and gets to know your stuff. And, you know, they might be doing a really good job. And then four months later, they quit. Or, you know, they're gone for whatever reason. And then you're stuck having to get a new person onboarded, and you're dealing with that kind of pain. That is, that's the number one thing that most customers are afraid of, and what they want to look out for. I think their gut instincts are telling them, you know, the main thing I'm paying for is to avoid that. So convince me that I'm going to avoid that. And that's what, that's what they want to hear. And, so I would say, you know, the way we try to, here's the challenge for us is, customers get really comfortable with individuals. And in fact, we have a lot of cases where, if they've worked with somebody, they'll continue to ask for that person and want them to come back. And, we're actually always fighting against that. So part of our process is, we want you to have some dedicated people so that you have some names you know and you go to trust the people that are helping support you. However, we want you to get fully comfortable with a variety of people working on your account. For all these reasons, we put together knowledge transfer processes and documentation that allows us to bring and onboard new people onto one of these accounts very quickly. We also go out of our way to make sure customers are not paying for any knowledge transfer or transition between resources. You know, there are going to be cases where you have a resource unexpectedly not available for a variety of real-life reasons, we're not immune to that. But what we do is, we try to make sure there's some redundancy built into the team already. But then whenever there are transitions that we just weren't prepared for because they were totally unexpected. We don't charge the customer for that transition for that gap in knowledge that has to be filled. And so I think those are the things that you look for, you want to find a firm that acknowledges. That's a big part of the value proposition. And then to actually have processes in place to make sure that happens, you know that you're actually getting that value. 

Rick Roberts: Got it. And that makes complete sense. I think, you know, for people who are already having any issues to make the wrong decisions or not really look at some of the warning signs or the red flags and then bring on somebody and it only adds to it. That's probably a worst-case scenario, right? But one question that I always like asking to end these, where do you see the industry progressing forward in the next 5 to 10 years? 

Jason Kearns: Well, I really think we're going to see. I mean, it's the evolution that started a long time ago, and I just thought I just see it continuing. It's an evolution towards more specialization and more outsourcing. Outsourcing a lot of times it's kind of a dirty word in a lot of circles. So, you know, maybe we'll think of a better term,  managed services is one term that we throw around, I find that sometimes difficult to explain to people. Outsourcing is at least clear cut, right? Like you're taking a function and you're giving somebody else and you're paying them to do it. That's what, fundamentally, that's what a lot of different businesses are. And,  what I think we'll continue to see happening is more and more specialization. I think, very progressive companies are always looking at ways to spend their money smartly internally, they want to invest in core competencies. They want to invest in, strategic functions within their company. I think that sales performance management (SPM), compensation management, these areas, I think these areas, will become more strategic. And all that is going to do is increase focus on the personnel that they have in charge of those functions, right. So they're not going to want to have a comp admin who's just really good at spreadsheets in these roles. They're going to want somebody who's a well educated, dynamic thinker who's very strategic in these roles. Because like I pointed out earlier in the kind of the role description this role is very influential, by default. That doesn't mean every company is taking advantage of that. I think more and more companies are going to take advantage of that and they're going to put people in these roles who are leaders and who are strategic thinkers, and who are people that can literally move the needle in sales, just by operationalizing sales performance management better. Now, if you do that, then there's less and less of the blocking and tackling of this stuff that these people are going to be responsible for. You want them doing strategic work, you don't want them, you know, running spreadsheets or running Callidus or running Xactly. Or generating reports, these types of things. You don't want them doing that. And so I think that increased focus on the strategic nature, in these roles will lead to more specialization. They'll either either have to hire more people to do these blocking and tackling roles, or they'll be more open to outsourcing those functions. And so, that's where I see it going in the next 5 to 10 years. You know, I'll tell you that a lot of companies go through kind of like a circular evolution process, while other organizations kind of expand and contract. But I see that most of the smart, really progressive companies that I talked to their model is we want to keep really the knowledge and the brains and the strategic thinking in house and outsource the rest of it. Now, it may take them a while to really define where that handoff is in a lot of cases. In some cases, it's very blurry, it's not very clear cut. But over time, it's going to continue to happen. And as that keeps happening, I think that's what we will keep seeing more and more bits and pieces being outsourced out. And the reason for that being a more strategic direction for the internal spin on resources. 

Rick Roberts:  Got it. Got it, and that's all great. I definitely agree with a lot of what you're saying. And again, thank you very much for joining us today, I think, you know, you made a lot of good points from really the strategic importance of this role, why it's so hard to fill this role, why it's necessary to retain somebody within this role. And also the benefits and the value of the managed services partner. So that is the staffing paradox. Really appreciate all that. And hopefully, we get you back on this to discuss some more SPM related or process management, CPQ stuff. 

Jason Kearns: I'd be happy to do it. Hopefully, I won't be as long-winded next time. So I'll have to think of a more concise topic. 

Rick Roberts: I mean, hey, it was a lot of valuable stuff. So long as there's value, we don't mind.

Jason Kearns: All right. I'll take your word for it. 

Rick Roberts: Thank you.

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