My guest today is Henry Schuck, the founder and CEO of ZoomInfo. I’ve gotten to know Henry over the past year by virtue of him being on the board of Tegus, where I’m a board observer. I meet a lot of people and Henry is one of my favorites. His energy is unmatched and he knows his business down to the tiniest details. He has tenacity and curiosity in spades.
ZoomInfo is a go-to-market software and data solution for B2B sales. Henry founded the business as DiscoverOrg in 2007 and bootstrapped it for the first 7 years of its life. Today, it’s an $8.5 billion public company with a database of over 140 million business contacts. We delve into the science of great sales, Henry shares some awesome stories, and we talk about his business philosophy more broadly. Please enjoy my great conversation with Henry Schuck.
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For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.
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(00:03:19) - (First question) - The story of Henry’s famous email about building a championship team
(00:07:01) - Dealing with pressure in business
(00:09:14) - Applying pressure from the top down as a CEO
(00:10:28) - How ZoomInfo’s C-suite was constructed and how it operates
(00:13:17) - A high-level picture of their product philosophy
(00:19:29) - Rating the effectiveness of the average B2B go-to-market engine
(00:21:25) - An anecdote about meeting with the head of commercial banking at one of world’s largest banks
(00:23:06) - What separates the good from the great B2B go-to-market strategies
(00:27:30) - Specific questions for screening potential salespeople; characteristics to look for
(00:31:39) - The story of bootstrapping his startup
(00:36:05) - His view on the process of pricing
(00:40:54) - The importance of M&A in building the business
(00:47:01) - The story of how ZoomInfo was acquired
(00:50:06) - The ever-shifting goal posts of mergers and acquisitions
(00:53:15) - Anecdotes of hustling in the early days
(00:59:34) - Another story from the early days of selling
(01:03:40) - Using information to influence a potential lead into a sale
(01:04:57) - How companies can prepare for the advent of generative AI
(01:12:10) - The stages of what it means to be a CEO
(01:13:15) - Learning how to execute M&A
(01:16:43) - What it means for a company to work in unison at scale
(01:18:26) - His advice on M&A, company core values, and corporate communication
(01:26:57) - Tips for going public with a company
(01:28:33) - Lessons learned from leading a public company
(01:34:47) - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him