Barry Mainz, COO of Malwarebytes, on Driving Value
Barry Mainz discovered his love for sales and marketing at age seven, when he took up the challenge to earn commission for every cookie sold. His grandmother put him and his nine-year-old brother in charge of getting rid of the remaining inventory at her Italian bakery. “We put a sign up and sold them like hotcakes. That’s when I learned an effective sales and marketing strategy is key in selling your product. .”
He built upon that foundation as a bartender in college, where he cultivated a winning attitude and forwent being right for being rich. “When you’re dealing with the public, your goal is to make sure they have a terrific experience. If they’re happy, they give a higher tip so I put being right on the back burner.”
During his first official tech sales position at Compac Microelectronics, he learned the key to success working with distributors. “When selling to resellers, it appears price is everything. You need to understand what is really important to your customers and it is not always price. Availability, support, service etc. often times can be what wins the deal, not just the price.
We said: ‘In the huddle, free to say. Outside the huddle, run the play.’ Once we decided we were running it, no dissension. If it didn’t work, we’d come back assess the situation, make changes and try again.
As Director of Inside Sales at Sun Microsystems, Barry took inspiration from Alan Patty, aka the ‘why man.’ Alan said, “ ‘You have to ask why at least three times when dealing with prospects.’ I’ve taken that to heart because it’s really important to understand the value to the customer.”
He picked up a phrase – and developed strong operational chops – as VP of Corporate Sales at Mercury Interactive. “We said: ‘In the huddle, free to say. Outside the huddle, run the play.’ Once we decided we were running it, no dissension. If it didn’t work, we’d come back assess the situation, make changes and try again.”
After helping Mercury climb from $40 million up to $1.2 billion in annual revenue, Barry left for Wind River Systems. He was told if he fixed the company’s terrible CSAT scores, he’d be Chief Operating Officer. Barry unpacked the problem, pinpointed the issue and made a change that saw CSAT scores improve immediately.
Once Wind River was sold to Intel, Barry made a big move to help turn around MobileIron as its CEO. Now Barry is Chief Operating Officer at Malwarebytes – a role the company created after he led it to record growth as its Chief Revenue Officer.
Barry ultimately attributes his success to hiring great people. “You hire your way to greatness, you don’t manage your way to greatness.”
Some of Barry’s other keys to success:
- Calling upon a SPARC (strategy, people, alignment, routines, culture) framework. To assess the lay of the land and make sure people are on the same page, Barry uses his framework regularly.
- Changing before it’s necessary. Barry believes in changing sales tactics before it’s too late and he’s in a desperate position.
- Hiring for grit. As a leader, Barry hires people with the tenacity to keep going in the face of adversity and failure.