What a great conversation with Matt Compton over at Filo.co!

While I don’t promote any vendors I love the way Matt and the FILO team are thinking about the virtual/hybrid world that is our norm, and how to best support key enablement and sales activities like:

👉 Sales Kickoffs
👉 Executive Briefings
👉 Onboarding
👉 Deal Rooms

If you are in Enablement, give a listen to get your thoughts flowing. Thanks to all who attended, and especially to Bob Dozois for the conversation in chat!

Are you looking for a place where you can learn to apply Enablement based upon where you work, your challenges, your culture?  Join the Trust Enablement Community to bring best practices and insights to life in your business.

Audio Transcript

John Moore
live right now, with Matt Compton, founder and CEO of phylo.co. Now, do I have to say follow coma? No, no.

Matt Compton
If yes, my marketing team, they would say yes, but you know what you say phylo. And we’re going to respond to it regardless.

John Moore
That’s awesome. Hey, before we talk about phylo. And before we talk about, you know, general topics around the cool tech you guys are building and how it can help sellers and buyers and all that. Tell us a little bit about who you are. And and how you got to this point.

Matt Compton
Yeah, yeah, that definitely, first of all, john, thank you so much for having me. I know that the team and I, we’ve had so much fun and enjoyment learn so much from our conversations over the last few months. So I’m really, really excited for this one. So just appreciate you giving us the opportunity to chat. Yeah, so so me I’m I am an engineer by trade somehow made the transition 13 years ago from the engineering world to the sales world. And then I’ve spent the last the last 13 years directly selling products, services companies, as well as supporting sales through and being individual contributor and pre sales organization and sales engineering to leading entire organizations there to the last four years running operations, strategy, deal desk support and enablement for a large organization. So those two mix the two things has been has been pretty interesting. But we we founded phylo, early last year, when I was working with a venture studio out of Indianapolis called high alpha, with a simple premise that we just believed that people shouldn’t have to travel in order to get work done. That has driven everything that we’ve we’ve done Now, don’t get me wrong, I love travel, we love travel. But we believe travel travel should be for fun, like travel should be for fun for experiences for building personal connections with like, intimate personal connections with people that happen naturally over, over coffee, breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks, walks. And but travel is also incredibly disruptive. So it can be disruptive, it’s disruptive, to productivity, it’s disruptive personally, when you look at families and the things that you miss, when you’re on the road, I probably spent three quarters of my life the last 10 years on planes and in hotel rooms and eating terrible food on the road. So it’s very disruptive there. It’s very disruptive to organizations and the amount of money being spent. And most of that time isn’t for fun or for enjoyment. It’s because you feel like you have to in order to get in a room and collaborate with people. And so it’s something we got incredibly passionate about earlier last early last year set up solve the problem. And it’s been a pretty wild ride for the last.

John Moore
I love. I love that man. I remember once jumping on a plane to fly to Seattle to set up a meeting with Microsoft for one hour. And it was literally flew out there for the hour meeting and flew right back. And that those kinds of experiences should never, ever happen. And I just

Matt Compton
feel demoralized. You’re stuck on these in this plane, in the middle seat with no elbow room, all to be able to get in a room with people for a few hours. And instead, man. And I’ll do that all day long in order to sit and enjoy a meal with somebody who’s amazing and being able to learn from each other. But to just get in a room is just yeah, there’s no point.

John Moore
Now before we dive into what I have to ask you because I didn’t remember this. Matt, you were an engineer. Back in the day, I started my career as an engineer as well. So I always find that interesting. Did you were you a software engineer writing code all that? Yeah, so

Matt Compton
as computer engineering undergrad, so really right at the intersection of the hardware systems and the software and then started my career at IBM as a software engineer in their tape storage division, which so you think of like a stodgy part of IBM that was probably I worked with some incredible, incredible people writing appliances sitting in data centers that talk to all the different IBM Systems in a data center and monitored health and phoned back and we’re there for service. So that was an a really great four or five years there, all the way to my first startup, coated half of it with my co founder, we were both technical and bootstrapped and coated the entire things ourselves. But these days, they don’t they don’t let me hit the keyboard as much as I as much as I used to.

John Moore
If you’re anywhere near you, I’m sure you were a better engineer than I was. But probably safe, probably smart. keep you away from the keyboard. Let’s just talk that’s a better way to go. Better Way to go. Hey, let’s dive into it. So phylo I love the reason behind its existence. The reason behind you diving into it. How can you give us a little bit more I know what it is but for the audience, can you tell us a little more concretely what it is and then maybe talk a little bit about How do you see tools solutions like this? Yours is one, there’s others that are similar, and being able to help customers and seller of buyers and sellers, and and the things that we all do. Yeah, if

Matt Compton
Yeah, bear with me for a second, because I’ll kind of start with the use case that even got started. Because your half ago, we didn’t actually set up start a company, we were just trying to solve our own problem. And then that’s kind of evolved into what it is today. But the problem is, I said, last year, beginning of the year, I was working with a venture studio called high alpha and of Indianapolis, and they have something that runs every single quarter. It’s an event that that is the impetus really the catalyst for starting all their companies a week called sprint week. And this is probably the most intense collaborative week I’ve seen anywhere on the planet. And I believe that exists anywhere on the planet, you have 80 people, some of them are high alpha employees, a lot of them are partners and entrepreneurs and industry experts and investors who come together and over four days start four companies from scratch, over the course of four days. So and if you look at what that looked like it is always 100% done in person and an average when you might have 15 to 20. People say it’s taking place in Indianapolis, which is where I live and where high alphas and most of them would take place 15 to 20 people of the ad would probably fly in or drive in because they don’t live in the Indy metro area. And then you have the other 60 who are driving into downtown Indy, because they’re in the metro area, you come together, lock yourself in a room for four straight days. But you think about what that would look like you were probably with 15 to 20 people traveling, you’re probably spending $30,000 on planes. At the end of the week, you have four companies that didn’t exist at the start of the week, then like everybody else first in the first quarter last year, we had one scheduled in May. And we were sitting there looking and saying oh, well, this can’t work virtually. I said, Well, why couldn’t it work? virtually? What would we use in order to run this virtually? He said, Well, what we’re going to do? Well, we can take a number of $15 in licenses, and we can stand up a free chat environment. And we can use some some low cost or free virtual whiteboarding equipment. And then we’ll just use email. And oh, yeah, that can’t work. So in one case, you’re probably spending $50,000 on everything to be able to support this week, and then virtually say, we’re going to spend a couple $100. And it’s just not possible virtually. So instead, we just sat back, and we asked ourselves cash, what if we took that amount of investment, and invested into a virtual experience in order to bring these teams together, and we built what became the first prototype of phylo. And essentially, what phylo is, is to be able to very quickly, in a customized way, create a virtual environment that brings everything you need together into one place, zoom, live streaming, chat, whiteboards, links, documents, images, branding, banners, all of it together into one place, bring teams of people together into it and configure it exactly how you want bring people together, and you get full visibility into all the conversations and all the meetings that are happening at any point in time bird’s eye view. And you’re always one click, and a couple seconds away from being a part of a conversation, either joining a conversation that’s happening live, or spinning up a private conversation where I roll out of a meeting and I heard something from a prospect. And I think, man, I got to really run that by john, I can see john click on you and quickly spin up a private what’s essentially a zoom meeting. And then we’re actively talking in seconds, we talked for a few minutes, shut it down, go back to our day. Rather than saying we’re gonna schedule 30 minutes together four days later, it just rapid fire increases these conversations. So that’s what we set out to build. We built it over the first prototype over four weeks. And what went from we were going to cancel sprint week became the most productive sprint week they had ever ran in high alpha history. So they had run 30 to 35. Before they normally have the four companies, you start from scratch, normally one of them survives and lives on. And then that becomes a company that they partially own. I think the most successful when they had had before was two companies lived on. And in this case, we had all four companies started with everybody in their offices, all four companies lived on are out there and now have funding and employees and customers are solving problems that wouldn’t have existed. Had we not jumped in and done this. So that was that was kind of how we started. And once everybody else saw what we did, and we were just saying what if we invested the same amount in this one sprint week? Then people started asking, Hey, can I use that for this conference? I have coming up Can I have Can I use it tech stars to say can I use it to run virtual accelerators? And then how we got with my history over the last 13 years in sales. It quickly branched into the sales world. And the catalyst for that for us was really people planning kickoff season at the end of last year, who looked at sales kickoffs and thinking, Man, how are we going to run these things virtually All Yeah, almost the exact same thing we were doing for sprint week, they were asking, and most people were making a choice between one of two things they were either saying, All right, where you think of everything we would normally do in a kickoff, well, now that we’re virtual, they’re either going to invest a bunch of money into video production, because what they said was, well, if we’re going to force all of our people to sit there and watch a live stream for three straight days, at least, we should try to make it feel like they’re watching Netflix, in order to make it feel.

Matt Compton
Because that’s a boring three days. That’s fine. That’s exactly right. Drop the real good ones, we’re dropping a shipment that lands on their door on day one. A couple of water bottles of Blanton’s or something. And in order, they said, Gosh, well, this is just live streams anyway, we’re just going to use zoom. And really, those were the choices people were making. And similar to us, people, there were certain groups to start asking, gosh, there’s got to be a better way. If we took these millions of dollars, we normally didn’t a kickoff invest a little bit of money. And can we can we get all the things we need to get done? And what would truly be a collaborative rich environment in person? And I think we proved that could work. And that’s kind of branched into a bunch of use cases since

John Moore
Well, let me ask you this, because I’m going to I’m gonna sit down the ESCO. Kind of minute. Okay, Matt.

John Moore
I’m hearing from so many enablement professionals right now. Hey, you know, because these things get staggered out throughout the calendar year. Geez, I’m thinking about my next set. And then my next sales kickoff, or I do this twice a year, mid year kickoff, whatever they’re still struggling with, do I bring everybody together? Do I still do it virtual? How do I do it? What are you seeing whether through your technology? Or just what have you seen that wow, you about this new hybrid body in a world that we’re in using technology Lifeline? Oh,

Matt Compton
yeah, it’s a great question. I’ll tell it through a specific one of our customer stories. And right, so with this customer, just like the ones I ran four or five kickoffs that my team owned and ran and facilitated that we’re all in person back when we did that. And the when we did it, the best ones were a number of different things, right? It wasn’t just, we’re going to align people, those are important. We’re gonna align people on how we did last year, what’s the mission? What’s the vision for the coming year, bring in some guest speakers and inspire them for the year to come so they can hit the ground running. But it’s also branched into how do we prepare them? How do we take the new messaging we’re having and how that we get them interacting with one another, presenting with one another practicing? How do we get conversations between our sales teams so that people can share stories, not just to celebrate wins together, but hear about challenges and losses and be able to learn from them and get better? And then how do we give a place we would always give a place for the teams themselves to come together. So not just a global kickoff for North America kickoff. But what how can our North America new business East team with their sales engineers and SDRs, and their support people get together into a room and spend a half a day to a day talking about their challenges from the last year what their pipeline looks like, how they’re going to tackle that pipeline, and really take bringing it down to where the rubber meets the road. So we said, Gosh, all those things we can do, they may not look exactly like they do in person, we can set up an environment to do all of those. So one of our customers came with that exact challenge said, here’s all the things we would like to do. I don’t know how to do this with a traditional event platform or just using zoom. Help us over the course of a few days, we set up an environment to do all the things we just talked to. Now the conversations weren’t people running into each other over beers in the hallway. Instead, they were organizing sets of rooms for peers to give storytelling sessions that were pre organized. So you had to think through some of them. But it went so well. It was a global organization. 1600 people this event they were pretty ambitious. It ran 24 hours a day for three straight days to be able to follow the sun.

John Moore
Yeah.

Matt Compton
And then afterwards, we talked kind of rewind back to I said the beginning we said travel should be about enjoyment about personal connection and fun. Their their selling organization came and said, I don’t want to do an in person kickoff anymore. As this was such a better way of consuming content of practicing with my peers, of really getting the core work done. That happens within a kickoff. I would love and I could do it and I could also put my kid to bed in the evening. And I could I didn’t have to miss things are happening first thing in the morning, and I could walk away and I’m not out of the field so I can be engaging with my prospects as well. What I would would love to do though, is if I’m in Paris, and I’m a rep in Paris, I would love to fly to London or Amsterdam for a day, a day and a half and just spend time with my team. Right and just spend time with my team and grab budget, grab drinks and do some activity together to just spend time with one another And connect, and I. So you take what would have normally been three months and millions of dollars. We’ve now shortened that two weeks. And I don’t know how much total was spent on it way, small fraction of millions of dollars. And then you combine that with now how do we strategically use travel in order to connect with one another has also opened up that customer’s eyes to say, Gosh, this shouldn’t just be a one time a year thing, we can now do this quarterly, like we shouldn’t be twice a year, we can do it quarterly and reassess it, it may be a half day instead of three days. But the core work of state keeping people aligned and inspiring them and helping them prepare and get enabled, in an event that takes them out of their day to day is is pretty powerful.

John Moore
That’s awesome. Now, one of the things that I always thought was tough about stos, about sales, kickoffs, in general, is the fact that you have this amazing set of conversations taking place you learn you’re inspired all the things you just said, Matt. But then a month later, traditionally, all of those amazing lessons, all of that inspiration is gone. And have you seen using your type of platform, using your specific platform, are people able to save that stuff and leverage it further and further, not just to have them more often, but also to keep building off of what they’ve already done.

Matt Compton
That’s another that’s a benefit I haven’t heard a lot of people talking about on virtual but it’s absolutely true, like take when those when a lot of those conversations happen, because you run into a friend or a colleague from another side of the world in the hallway, and you’re doing it over drinks, that happens. It’s a small group of people. And you lose that we had one customers who set up they were by far the highest rated sessions throughout their entire kickoff. And they set up 12 to 15 deal rooms. And they were a mix of new business reps talking about how they landed a prospect implementation teams were even running and say how they implemented a customer success talking about how they renewed and grew a big account. And they were just there telling the story, 3045 minutes live interaction, zoom meetings, but then all of those things were recorded, they could hear not only the person talking, they could hear the questions that were being asked and the real time response happening from those questions. And those were recorded, and then people could come back and it actually lived within the phylo environment that didn’t go away. Any new new rep that gets hired months in advance, or months later, could come in to phylo. And could join that room and listen and hear that exact same story and see all the chatter on the side that happened during the entire session. Those are now assets that they can that can live on. And by the way, if you do that quarterly, those things constantly get refreshed, right it’s it’s you’re leveraging your reps for the content, but it’s those are just constantly being refreshed rather than one time a year, you go out for the first month something ships within the marketplace, there’s an acquisition that happens somebody announces a new product. And now everything you did in kickoff is gone. Or at least disrupted. Now you get a chance to

John Moore
reset that every quarter. And Bob does he threw into the chat. He’s like yeah, and now you can cut out those pieces of the conference and use them for training and retraining and all that stuff spot on Bob. And that’s something I feel like too often traditional SK owes we lose, which which is wonderful. And and I happen to really respect where you guys are going that I’m not pushing phylo I think there’s other technologies you can find, like you said, you can put things together, you guys have done it in a really interesting way. And I like the way you guys are thinking about the business as well. But I’m not promoting one tool over another but but I do think those are some huge benefits. And Bob, you’re right, he’s like it’s sky every day, you really just can live and build on it and build on it and make even more value out of the whole thing. Let me let me switch gears though. Matt, if I could, everything we’re talking about reminds me of sort of the dream of the deal room, you know, sellers and buyers working collaboratively, that history being built, everybody learning and everybody getting what they need. So deals can move forward in the right way to support the customer with what they need, and the sellers with what they need. Are you seeing people looking at using whether it’s phyla or or people asking you about using technologies like yours for dealroom?

Matt Compton
Yeah, I’m glad you said the last part of it is asking asking for it because we’re we we are an incredibly customer driven group. So pretty much the last year has been about we solve one we solve a customer’s problem. somebody sees that solution says that solves this other problem I have over here they come in we look and say yeah, we can or we can’t solve that problem. If we can we jump in. We help solve that and we’ve just jumped from one problem to another. So where we started out with kickoffs, that then branched into onboarding and I’ll get to the deal room. I promise but

John Moore
onboarding is a really good,

Matt Compton
a great resignation happening, resignations happen because they’re going someplace else. So there’s really just large shift of people happening when you have all of them start new. You don’t have to fly them to a single location. But their solution shouldn’t be just using zoom because you still have the field of culture, the branding that you want to be able to bring together exact same as kickoff. For customer advisory board sessions for product launches. We just had a customer of ours who acquired and this amazing company, their sales enablement content company, they acquired a sales enablement and are another sales training company, just an incredible, incredible acquisition. And they needed to roll it out to 700 people globally and the most efficient way possible. So it was a two day thing that we put together for them. But we had it We’ve had a few really interesting things pop up that honestly, we were not thinking about a year ago, one of them we ran for a global organization, a kickoff that was about 900 people. And then we did a few other things for them. But then we had one of their individual sales reps came inbound to us reached out found us in the website and came inbound. Right? Well, that’s interesting. And we jumped on the phone. And what she said was, I need a virtual executive briefing center. So I have an opportunity to bring 20 executives from my customer together. Like again, think of collaboration. This is the best sales is collaboration, right? It’s group of people, prospect partner, you coming together? and identifying What’s the problem? How do we solve it? Can we use the our products, services and people together to help you solve a problem, and putting something in place that makes everybody’s lives better? Right? Like that’s the best selling. She said, I’ve got 20 top executives for my top prospect who have agreed to let us run a workshop with them. And I can’t fly them someplace, they’re not going to jump on a plane. They’re even within healthcare. And I wanted I have a half a day. And I was trying to figure out how am I going to run this virtually? Then she called us. I wish she would have said file co but she called us that what about that thing we used for our kickoff? For kickoff asked

John Moore
to Marsha when she remembered.

Matt Compton
So we said yeah, we can solve that. So we jumped in, set up an environment, she brought her her prospect into it over the course of you know, four hours afterwards, we were debriefing with her and she said, You not only shot us she was I think I was probably third on the list, you not only shot us straight to the top of the list, but I think you just accelerated the deal by over a month because the selling they had to do internally to get the support, we had everybody together. And we weren’t shoving our services down their throat, we were just running a workshop to give them a deliverable on how to solve the problem either through us or through somebody else. And I have no clue how we could have set up that rich of an environment without it. But that branched into Alright, now how does that work? When I don’t have an event? Like an executive briefing? How do we it’s really how do we get humans interacting directly with one another, that can be asynchronous stuff that we can do fairly well. But how do we get them interacting with one another in a much more human indirect way. Because as soon as you do everything through email, and just file sharing, and calendar invites, it just puts a wedge between everything. It’s like a big hassle to be able to once you start communicating.

John Moore
So I don’t see your face, you’re no longer a human being commit, you’re just some person that I’m dealing with.

Matt Compton
Yeah, and if and if I need so I’ve got a question. All right, how do I get the question answered? Well, I’ve got to send an email, ask if you have some time to discuss it, what time works on your calendar, you go back and forth, you find a 2030 minute slot, you organize everybody else’s calendars your week and a half later, and you’re on the phone talking about the problem. And instead, how do we create a rich environment that could be as simple as not only send you a message, but I can send you a message. And we could potentially be on a zoom live talking and less than 20 seconds, right and the record of all of that lives on so that other people can see it. Other people can come and interact. I’ll be honest, our product from the ease of standing up a space and sharing it out. It isn’t quite there yet. But we’ve got some great things coming down the pike, that we think that’s a huge use case that whether we solve it, or there are many other software providers, any of them solve it. Either way, we have an opportunity to really improve how how selling is done.

John Moore
Oh my god, Matt, we’ve talked for like 2527 minutes here already. And I feel like we barely scratched the surface. But I want to be respectful to you and to the listeners because I usually go 2530 minutes. What What didn’t we you know, we talked about some really interesting stuff. Are there key points, though our key pointer to the want to make sure you leave us with before we come to the end of this conversation.

Matt Compton
It’s a great, it’s a great question out. I mean, if you think about this journey, we’ve all been on for the last Last year and a half, right? We kind of defaulted to doing everything in person to then forced to say we can’t do anything in person. And now we have an opportunity to come back and figure out what is this magical mix of both worlds that is there because again, I am a huge believer in, in travel, when done for the right reasons, right when, when it’s done so that hopefully someday I can get up in the Boston area. And you and I can go out and have water, coffee blends, whatever your vices together and have a nice Martini together. build that relationship. So now that we were just getting we’ve built an entire muscle we didn’t have before. Now how do we use this other tool in our tool belt that hopefully God willing, if things progress, we’ll come back and become more available to us going forward? And I think it’s going to make things much better. the only the only thing is on the people think about how do we take the physical and make it virtual, it takes a rethinking of certain things. It’s just different. We can get every all of the work can be done. And collaboration can be done virtually, sometimes it just takes thinking about it differently. And in doing so, I don’t know, we’ve seen some magic happen. So yeah, that’s the biggest thing I would I would leave with you know,

John Moore
Matt, this was fantastic though it really was. And I’m so in love with how you’re approaching your business and what you’re trying to accomplish and, and what you’ve accomplished already. So I really applaud all of that. And I look forward to seeing where you guys go. And frankly, I hope you get a hell of a lot of competition, because I think there’s a real need here. And I think that’ll move everybody forward faster and a good way. And I’m actually confident you guys will will will still win out even with a lot of competition. I think we’re just pushing in certain fun directions, which will be awesome to see too.

Matt Compton
I agree. I’m stoked about everything that’s being built, what we’re building as well as what other people are building. Man, I think the world’s gonna be a much better place a year or two from now when when things go back and settle.

John Moore
I agree. Well, anyway, I’m gonna let you go, Matt, thank you. Thank you so much for coming on and sharing all this stuff. Bob, Josie, you’re the man. I appreciate all your comments. And I appreciate everybody else listening in to love all of you, Matt. We’ll do it again soon, I hope. Thanks so much, john.