Hunters and Unicorns: Playbook Universe – Graham Moreno #002

Hunters and Unicorns shares the playbooks from leaders, founders, executives and investors from high growth technology companies. In this special edition series The 33 CXOs we investigate the greatest success story in the history of software sales.


Discover how thirty-three sales execs from one organisation, BladeLogic, became CXOs in the world’s 100 fastest growing technology companies. We uncover the stories and playbooks of the most prolific sales leaders in the industry. In this episode we sit down with Graham Moreno, Regional Vice President, Central, Southeast, and LatAm at Grafana Labs to take a look back at his incredible career trajectory and discuss how his early indoctrination in the Playbook community at MongoDB shaped and influenced his leadership style today, enabling him to recognise the huge opportunity presented by Grafana Labs and play an incremental role in scaling this company from 30 to 1000 employees in just three and a half years.

“They had almost $5 million in revenue. No salespeople, no customer success people, it was a team of very extraordinarily talented engineers and I just remember sitting at a bar with Raj and saying, ” I think there’s the opportunity to do something really amazing here.” And he was like, “I do too, but I’m not a sales guy.” After a couple of months, I joined and it’s really been incredible.”

Founded in 2014 by Raj Dutt, Torkel Ödegaard and Anthony Woods, Grafana Labs has not only experienced overwhelming growth in recent years, it has also been recognized for the second year in a row as one of America’s best start-up employers.

We ask Graham to guide us through his experience of scaling the hiring process from the bottom up at Grafana Labs and how he implemented structure in the early stages of development using the foundations of Playbook methodology to create a successful growth strategy based on both repetition and continual evolution.

Offering advice and guidance to current and future leaders, Graham insists that it’s not only the Playbook but the people and culture of Grafana Labs — which fosters transparency, autonomy, and accountability — that has proven to be the cornerstone of the company. No matter how big the organization gets or how fast it scales, leaders are dedicated to prioritising culture above revenue, staying true to company values and building long lasting relationships to improve communication and cultivate trust and respect. “With experience and maturity, I have learned to communicate a lot more effectively because as we’ve gotten bigger, it is so important that even if you disagree, you’re able to do it in a way that is opening up a productive conversation and I don’t think I was always awesome at that early on. I’ve had an opportunity to evolve – if you look at the most effective selling teams at Mongo and Grafana, it’s the teams where customer success, engineering, and marketing are all onboard and working together and there’s a really good environment in terms of how we’re sharing knowledge and what we’re able to bring to our customers as a result.”

In this vodcast you will discover:

The framework that enabled Graham to scale the Grafana Labs workforce from 30 to 1000 employees in record time

How to maintain high performance throughout your career by surrounding yourself with astonishing talent and learning to accept feedback

How to scale the hiring process through periods of rapid growth How to protect the culture of an organisation as it scales Graham Moreno understands exactly

How to build a sales force to stand the test of time.

We discuss key challenges and accomplishments from Graham’s journey at Grafana Labs and what he believes to be the core ingredients needed for a company to reach unicorn status. This wide-ranging discussion is essential listening for those with an interest in sales strategy, as well as anyone with a passion for the technology space.


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