Brad Banyas with Outsource Management Inc.Culture Champion
Brad Banyas with OMI has years of experience with company culture! From supporting the entrepreneurial environment, to effectively mentoring interns, he has built the culture he needed to drive success!
Founder and CEO of Outsource Management Inc
Brad Banyas is an entrepreneur, executive and technology advocate with over 22 years of experience in the Software as a Service (SaaS) industry. Brad started his career in software sales in 1991. He then started, and subsequently sold, Output Solutions Inc.
Brad is currently the CEO of Outsource Management, Inc. (OMI) which he founded in 1999. OMI is the go-to resource for emerging mid-size companies that embrace CRM, Marketing Automation and Sales enablement platforms to grow and dominate their niche.
In 2016 Brad Banyas along with Paul Sciandra, Ravi Devulapalli and Thomas E. Orton co-founded 366 Degrees a Relationship Marketing and Sales Automation Platform.
From the Podcast Booth:
Series Quick Links
Announcer: Welcome to the Epic Company Culture Podcast, where your host, Josh Sweeney, will give you, the business leaders, HR professionals, and company culture aficionados, the knowledge you need to take your company culture to the next level.
Josh Sweeney: Hello, my name is Josh Sweeney, and welcome to the Epic Company Culture Podcast. Before I get started, I would like to thank Prototype Prime for this amazing podcasting space. Today we are joined by Brad Banyas of OMI. Brad, thanks for coming out.
Brad Banyas: And Josh, thanks for having us. Excited to be here.
Josh Sweeney: Yeah, we’re excited to have you. Tell about yourself and about OMI.
Introduction to OMI
Brad Banyas: That can be a long story but we’ll keep that short. I’m a local guy here from Atlanta, Sandy Springs. OMI, started OMI in 1999. We started in the SaaS business for banks and credit unions and had some really kind of document management type platforms. We’ve kind of evolved into a CRM consulting and actually product based company where we have some of our own marketing automation platforms, some new gifting platforms, so been around about 20 years starting in January and that’s kind of a brief overview.
Josh Sweeney: Yeah, I found that exciting since my last company was a CRM consulting firm and we did a lot of the same things that you see in the market, like this opportunity to not only do the consulting on the CRM but to build your own IP that stacks on top of that.
Brad Banyas: Correct, correct.
Josh Sweeney: How’s that been for you?
Customized Intellectual Property
Brad Banyas: It’s actually good because it gives you a little differentiator from being just a peer professional services company. As you know that’s kind of tough. You want those annuity revenue streams so it’s really great to be able to come in and apply our own knowledge and intellectual property back to the CRMs that we work on and it’s been really well. Our new products in that area one’s called Rocket Notes and one is called 366 Degrees. They’re doing really well.
Josh Sweeney: Awesome. That’s fantastic. You’ve been doing this for a while but I’m going to try and get you to think back before this company, a little ways back, and tell us a company culture experience that you had at another organization that was the most memorable. What was one that you went through, you loved it, and you’re like when I start my company I want do that. I want to make sure that’s part of our company culture.
Most Memorable Company Culture
Brad Banyas: Yeah, great. Was kind of walk down memory lane when I pulled in here. I was telling you that about 27 years ago I used to work actually almost across the street, so it brought back some pretty good memories. I think one of my best memories as far as culture was a company called Dataline Systems. A small business, probably less than 50 employees. The owner was a really good guy, very entrepreneurial guy, had several businesses. That culture was really one of kind of team work and everyone kind of worked together.
Brad Banyas: I remember when the new sales guys came in, all of the guys that had been there a while when actually give them accounts that the new business was going to close and our owner could never understand why we did that and we said, “Really, first of all I want the guy to succeed, but second of all, the sooner he gets up to speed, the better it is for all of us.” That culture kind of was like that where to help each other no matter what. It’s not one for all but all for one kind of mentality and I really enjoyed that about that experience so I kind of tried to model some of that with OMI and the works that we’re doing.
Getting the First Win
Josh Sweeney: Yeah, that’s a great idea to help them get started as new sales people. I feel like that’s been a theme for a few people I’ve talked to on the podcast so I think it was Chris Smith from PRAXIS Technology Escrow. We interviewed during a few sessions ago and he mentioned it’s all about getting the sales person that first win and if they can get the first win, it goes really well but if they go a long time being a new sales person, they don’t get that first win, that’s normally where he sees their productivity start to drop off and they get a little more disheveled in that experience.
Brad Banyas: Yeah, it’s just a better experience. Just kind of tell them, “Hey, we’re with you.” It’s better … We all need to prove ourselves in life but one thing is getting that first sale sometimes if you could just get that to someone it boosts their confidence, the team’s happy for them. We had a lot of success with that model and we continue that kind of today at OMI as well.
Worst Company Culture Experience
Josh Sweeney: Yeah, that’s a great technique. As far as, since we’re still kind of looking back through some of your experiences, and I like to tell everybody you don’t have to name any names.
Brad Banyas: You want the worst now.
Josh Sweeney: What’s the worst, yeah, what’s the worst one.
Brad Banyas: Oh.
Josh Sweeney: The one where you said, “I’m going to make sure not to do that.”
Brad Banyas: Well it’s been a long time because before OMI I had a business that we started as well so it’s been a long time since I actually worked in an environment that I didn’t have a little bit of control over the culture but so I worked in a call center as a young, young man.
Josh Sweeney: I’ve heard many stories from this point I think.
Call Center Days
Brad Banyas: I won’t mention who it is because we may want to get business from them one day but the reality of it is what would happen when the lines would go down, they’d have fiber cuts, there’s maybe 100 of us in this call center and these quackers, these things would start quacking. When it would go from one call holding to a thousand calls. It was something out of Clockwork Orange. I mean it really was. I told them when I left, “You guys should be like, I don’t, like maybe put in jail or sued or something because this is the most bizarre thing.” But that environment of that loud noise and beeping and quacking going off just really was kind of a like a weird psychological experience. But it made everybody nervous.
Brad Banyas: I didn’t last long there because I really didn’t care about the quackers and was not going to raise my stress level so I didn’t last very long there. But that was the worst experience. They were trying to use almost kind of fear and some very odd things to drive behavior to pick the phone up quicker. You can’t talk to 10 people at one time regardless so it was weird. That’s my worst experience.
Josh Sweeney: I’m assuming you don’t have quackers in your organization when the case backlog gets too far then.
Brad Banyas: No. That’s a good idea but no. We don’t do that. It really … That’s a different environment. It’s a high stress, high volume but still at the same time I loved the lady I worked for. She was a great woman, very nice person but I told her, “Something’s really wrong with this.”
Josh Sweeney: Yeah, yeah. I know in my past experience doing CRM consulting we ran into certain environments where we were like, “You think that’s happening for a reason?” You’re churning through sales people or you’re churning through people that have to make 200 calls a day and you’re wondering why. I’m like, “It may be working for you. I’m not really sure.”
Brad Banyas: Right. Probably not.
Josh Sweeney: Probably not.
Brad Banyas: Probably not. If you check their turnover it’s probably pretty high.
Josh Sweeney: Right. It’s a little high and there’s cost to turnover for sure. In your current organization what is the one thing you love most about your company culture and what you’ve built?
Best Culture of OMI
Brad Banyas: I would say kind of extending on that, I know it’s cliché, but the teamwork kind of … There’s a lot of people that have been with us a long time at our company and some came from other businesses that we worked with in the past so it’s almost kind of that team, family, it’s not about necessarily the individual. It’s about the individual when it needs to be about the individual. When someone’s maybe got issues or need help, family, other things outside work. Then it’s more focused on the individual.
But we kind of build and obviously I grew up in an entrepreneurial family. It’s very entrepreneurial, it’s very take your own initiative, drive your own ideas and so we don’t prohibit people if they have ideas or they want to work on certain things and markets that … We don’t stop them from doing that. We just say, “You own it. You’re accountable for it and if you can do that and it makes sense from a business perspective and you’ve got a passion for it, you do it.“
Internships through DECA
Brad Banyas: We’re a very kind of … It’s not a free spirited kind of thing but it’s very focused on entrepreneurship, very much when new guys come in I would say the biggest thing I love about what we do now is an internship. We’ve started with high school, local high school program DECA, and we pull guys and girls over from the DECA program and high school and take some of them all the way up through college if they want to work with us in the summers or Christmas. That’s been just an amazing experience to where these young people can really do some great things. I kind of digressed there but sorry.
Personality Assessments for HIRING
Josh Sweeney: No, that’s great. I love the intern programs. I always like hearing that people have a good experience from the intern programs because I know that we’ve had some amazing interns in our environment and it’s always good to see where they end up going. Often, I almost try with all the behavior analytics and personality assessments and people work that we do, I almost try to predict and say, “Well, I think in so many years this person’s going to be there,” or, “This person might not be.” I don’t want to discount anybody but it’s just interesting to see how that plays out based on their initiative in our environment or their initiative in your environment because I know we get people on all of the spectrum.
Brad Banyas: Right, well I would give some advice to interns out there, don’t work for free. Don’t let people talk to you about working free. And then also for the employers that are doing that intern program, give them something more than mixing up pens or organizing pens. Give them some real work. We try to give them some real projects that they have to do and we have some help with it obviously but from day one they’re working. We get feedback, they’re like, “Wow, you guys really think I can do this don’t you?” We’re like, “Yeah, we do. You’re going to do it.” I don’t know, that’s what I’m into right now and that’s what I’ve always thought.
Entrepreneurial Spirit and Balance
Josh Sweeney: Very cool. Well you talked a little bit about kind of the entrepreneurial spirit and your environment and how people have the freedom to go work on these other projects. How do you balance the results that need to happen in the business versus the free time of being able to work on those types of projects?
Brad Banyas: Yeah, so typically when someone says they want to do it it is related to a revenue generating opportunity. It’s not just like, “Hey, I think I want to be a sculptor and I’m going to sell art.” Well no, we’re not going to do that. It’s a great question. I mean some of the ideas that we have or that we now turn into broader products come from that. It’s kind of like an incubator type process.
We balance with it … It has to have some sense. It has to make some sense in the realm of what we do. Whether it’s CRM or marketing or some of the others areas that we’re touching so it’s easy for us to associate that cost or that time of them doing it. I don’t want a flood of people saying, “Hey, I want to come here. I’m going to build the next electric battery.” We don’t do that. There’s a company called Tesla that can do that. We’re pretty … It is confined.
What’s the Process?
Josh Sweeney: Yeah. Do you get all these ideas and vote on them or what’s that process look like? Is it very structured, unstructured, just kind of go with it or how does that work?
Brad Banyas: The old kind of council thing, you come before the council. Typically in our weekly briefs people will bring it up and most of the people now know that if they come to that they’ve got some not really proof but they have some background and why they would want to do it. The voting process is pretty quick. If it doesn’t take a lot of extra funds for additional funds to get it going and they can give kind of a brief, “Yeah, we’re going to do it,” we just say, “Yeah. Let’s do this.”
If it’s something that they’re asking for budget for, then it goes through a little more of a process that we look at and say, “Okay, what’s going to be our time to market? How much do we invest? When can you get a prototype?” Those that actually require a little bit of funding, there is a little formal process but nothing real strict.
Balancing Results Versus the Innovation
Josh Sweeney: Yeah, so I saw what Google had was their 20% time where a certain portion of your week was really dedicated to that and that’s how they balanced the deliverables versus and I was at other companies who had that idea and you could vote on them and pick the best ones so there was a lot of focus around the initiatives in more of a structured way and they could get the team to collaborate and come together instead of one person. But I’ve also been in environments where it never got delivered. It’s interesting. It’s always good to hear how people balance out the results versus the innovation.
Brad Banyas: Yeah, and in fairness we’re not sales force with 30,000 employees so it’s a little different. As you move up in your employee and you get into 10, 15,000 type employees I mean obviously you can’t have some of that freedom to … All of them are going to be, “Why did he not pick my idea,” or, “Why did she not use my idea?” We’re not at that stage. It’s a little bit easier. More innovative, more entrepreneurship still.
The Next Culture Initiative
Josh Sweeney: Got it. What is the next thing? What is the biggest company culture challenge or next company culture initiative you’re looking at implementing?
Brad Banyas: From a challenge perspective I’d say just training, keeping people trained on latest technologies. We do a lot of consulting around CRM, Sales Force, Microsoft Dynamics so different platforms. Keeping everybody certified in general training just on the platforms themself is always a challenge because you’ve got to work and it’s not like going to college and pure academic so you’ve got to work while you’re doing that. Those things are always kind of a challenge for us. Then more kind of just general business.
How to Be
Brad Banyas: We’ve got a program where we’re trying to get in place just general business topics. How to be better at finance, how to be … Things that you can use in life that aren’t necessarily focused just directly to our business. Those are always a challenge for us. Just because the time, the execution. That’s a challenge. As far as what we’re doing next with that, we do have kind of a structured program where you can get training.
The vendors are really good. The sales forces of the worlds have their own trail heads and certification programs. We leverage some of those type programs that are available for more business related technology but we are having plans to do some of our own personal things.
Josh Sweeney: Yeah. Very cool.
Brad Banyas: That’s a long winded question.
The Sales Force Trail Head
Josh Sweeney: I was thinking about the sales force trail head where it’s like you can probably spend all day in that for many many weeks or even months and not get anything done but be very certified.
Brad Banyas: Yeah. It’s one of these things really and I think people … It’s a great strategy for Sales Force because you’re building your own certification professionals and then saying, “Oh, we only work with certified professionals,” where there’s a big group of people that probably don’t have certs that are very talented but you are right. We’re not in the business of becoming academics around CRM, we’re in the business of solving problems for our customers so there’s a fine line between how much time you need to be getting training and certifications and then actual real world experience.
Josh Sweeney: And all the other work that has to get done.
Brad Banyas: Yeah, exactly.
From Big Companies, to Small Businesses
Josh Sweeney: Yeah, definitely. Well is there anything else about company culture or new initiatives that you’d like to share? Any experiences that really stick out in your mind?
Brad Banyas: You know what I find is really interesting from our culture is we have a lot of people that have come from large businesses, KPMGs and big companies, and then we have people that have been more small business, entrepreneurial. It’s really interesting to see those two cultures of where people came from different cultures when they first get together but what’s interesting is the entrepreneurial side always wins out in our people. I don’t know if that’s because of what we’ve picked or who we’ve hired but they’re always like, “This is the greatest thing I’ve ever done. I should have done this 20 years ago.”
The Culture Perspective
Brad Banyas: From a cultural perspective it’s very open, very entrepreneurial, very self-driven but you have to be accountable. There’s a lot more accountability. You’re held accountable because we don’t 35,000 employees.
Josh Sweeney: Yeah, I know, I’ve worked for companies on both ends of the spectrum and I feel that all the smaller businesses was much more fast paced, a lot more accountability, just it’s a whole different environment, it’s a whole different ballgame. Some people enjoy it and some people don’t.
Brad Banyas: Well, I would just say I’ve been in larger companies from a cultural perspective and anyone out there that’s kind of a manager in a 15,000 employee business is sometimes having too much stringent reporting, stringent kind of activities, is really not good for the morale of the team. And I’ve seen big company culture just crush really good people that were actually very productive but when put under the process they couldn’t spread their wings and fly. We like to let them fly. If they come back, they come back, if they don’t, they don’t.
Josh Sweeney: Awesome. Well, it’s been amazing having you on the podcast. I’ve learned a lot of new information that we can definitely take away and hopefully our listeners have too.
Brad Banyas: Great. Well, thank you guys for having me. I enjoyed it and we look forward to speaking again.
Josh Sweeney: Yeah.
Brad Banyas: Thanks.
Josh Sweeney: Thank you for joining us. This has been an interview with Brad Banyas of OMI and thank you for listening to the Epic Company Culture Podcast.
Announcer: Thank you for tuning in to today’s episode of the Epic Company Culture Podcast with Josh Sweeney. If you enjoyed this content please subscribe on iTunes, SoundCloud or Stitcher. For additional content and transcripts, visit epicculture.co. If you have questions or topics you would like us to address or expand on, Tweet us at epiccultureone or email at podcast@-
Podcast Highlights and Resources
- Really, first of all I want the guy to succeed, but second of all, the sooner he gets up to speed, the better it is for all of us.
- We all need to prove ourselves in life but one thing is getting that first sale. Sometimes if you could just get that to someone, it boosts their confidence; the team’s happy for them.
- You own it. You’re accountable for it and if you can do that and it makes sense from a business perspective and you’ve got a passion for it, you do it.
- I would give some advice to interns out there, don’t work for free.
- We’re not in the business of becoming academics around CRM, we’re in the business of solving problems for our customers so there’s a fine line between how much time you need to be getting training and certifications and then actual real world experience.
- What’s interesting is the entrepreneurial side always wins out in our people.
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