Micah Birkholz, Director of Sales, Vistadash

December 13, 2022
ASOTU was on the ground with Micah Birkholz during the 2022 Modern Retailing Conference.
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Micah Birkholz is the Director of Sales at Vistadash.


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Kyle Mountsier: 0:00This is In the Dirt with ASOTU. We are hanging out here with with my good friend Micah. He's got he's got a beautiful beard, if you're not watching it is just listening is beautiful. And the hair might be doubly as beautiful. But Micah is the vice president sales of Vistadash, the industry's? Is it the industry's only agnostic analytics platform outside of Google Analytics?

Micah Birkholz: 0:25

Well, I don't think Google Analytics is

Paul Daly: 0:31

already past that. Got it? But yeah, that's

Micah Birkholz: 0:35

that's really, that's really our thing is vendor neutral reporting.

Paul Daly: 0:39

Yeah, it's really cool. So I've never heard it, position that clearly at your neutral report and make a really good value proposition. Thank

Micah Birkholz: 0:46

you. Maybe have a look at it like a booth.

Paul Daly: 0:48

It was a great vendor neutral reporting. Yeah.

Kyle Mountsier: 0:53

There it is. That's it. Thanks for joining us.

Paul Daly: 0:57

I think we need to send them a bill.

Kyle Mountsier: 0:59

Yeah. Well, yeah. We just rebranded visited that, Bill. You know, I think that one of the interesting things about like the way that you have kind of position yourself within the industry as you've really embraced this, like, mentality of not being the out and out salesperson, like all the way through and through, right, I see you just being the people, like just being around and with people and engaging and you do that, whether it's on social or in text threads, and, and so I'm just encouraged. You're like, I

Paul Daly: 1:35

love this podcast.

Kyle Mountsier: 1:36

It's such a good podcast, but what you know, when you think of like, especially because you are a vice president of sales, when you think directors, Director stuff, sorry, that's 30 cares. But when you put like, when you think of that, that role that position and eat, especially like leading others into that, how are you walking others through kind of the way that you position yourself in in a sales environment and leading others into that? Well,

Micah Birkholz: 2:02

I think you have to, you have to be present and show up. And I think what has happened for me personally, is I've learned a lot from my mistakes a lot from my mistakes, and, and those mistakes, were not being that vendor neutral personality. And I always had to find who the bad guy was. And I always I went down a path of always trying to position myself in sales as you need me because they're so bad.

Paul Daly: 2:26

You needed to find a villain, right? You had to hero, you had to find a villain.

Micah Birkholz: 2:30

I did that so long for so many years. And then I when I transitioned into a consulting role, I started really realizing like, you know what, maybe there's a lot of people in this business, that maybe their product might need some help. But they're not bad guys, right? So they're just, they're people just like me, trying to make a living, provide for their family support their kids, good human beings, they might just not know the product as well as they could or their product might not be performing the way it should. And so just giving that grace to those people, and just saying, that's how I'm gonna approach it. I'm here to help. I am really just here to help. And whether that is helping a client helping a co worker. It's just that's, that's, I've seen the results really speak for themselves that way.

Kyle Mountsier: 3:15

Yeah. Brad Paschal just sent you a trademark infringement for he's here to help.

Micah Birkholz: 3:19

Yeah, I don't know if he actually came up with that dog. Just I think that phrase might have been around before

Kyle Mountsier: 3:25

Brad. Actually, do you know who came up with that phrase for Brad Paschal.

Micah Birkholz: 3:29

Cool. So what do you say to that?

Paul Daly: 3:37

I just told him to put it on a hat. There's no, I mean, like, it's not trade markable phrase, but it does kind of sum up. Yeah, the guy. It does. It does. And YouTube, though. Well, you just said it.

Micah Birkholz: 3:51

Yeah, I was using like a fire emoji. Yeah. Well, I'm talking right now. So Joe Jackson could come after me or anything. But yeah, yeah,

Paul Daly: 3:59

exactly. What do you what do you think is the biggest sense of relief in a client of yours? When they realize they realized something and they're like, oh, it's that easy? Or I can do it like what have you seen that that moment be?

Micah Birkholz: 4:14

There's a there's a there's a couple. One, I think that I think is probably one of the biggest is what it's like when the relationship between the salesperson and the client that we don't upsell anything. No, we're not we're not when you're like that's it. That's it. You got everything. Wait, what that's ever it's everything. We're not if we improve our product, we get arch more. It's you get the improvements because you're with us. We don't we have legacy I've never had to tell somebody your rates going up. And when they and I'm hey I'm calling to check in not because I'm selling you anything. I'm just checking in to see how you're doing

Paul Daly: 4:54

probably actually get a lot more calls picked up.

Micah Birkholz: 4:56

I get a I get calls picked up. I get referrals I get very There we go. And that's that's the feeling that I think is one of the big things because there's so often that they're working with a vendor that's used to selling them. The next thing or the next product. Yeah. Because that's a business model that does help with MRR, you know, and yeah.

Paul Daly: 5:15

Again, you're not throwing shade on that business model. You're just saying, like, people seem really relieved when they know that's not coming.

Micah Birkholz: 5:21

Exactly. So I think that's it. And then one would they are looking at like trying to solve those problems, like, what does the data show that I can that can help me solve that problem? And then when they can actually see it, like, oh, yeah, you set it. And there it is. It's like, Alright, now I can make these decisions better. So what's what's 2023? What's going to be the big deal? Oh, my gosh, that is? That is a great question. I

Paul Daly: 5:43

know, well, like look,

Kyle Mountsier: 5:45

we've actually we've created three letter words that nobody has heard yet. Exactly. And we're gonna come out with them and shocked the world.

Micah Birkholz: 5:52

Our KPIs, and TLAs have never been seen before. That's a three letter acronym. We need more what letters

Paul Daly: 5:59

need to be in an acronym. I think Q, Q. Figure Q, and we had Z

Micah Birkholz: 6:03

in there for a while. Was Z, Z. It was zero engagement percentage. We have that as there for a very long is it and then, but it was always fun, because when you're doing like having conversations with Canadian dealers, Zed EP, let's Zed. What's

Paul Daly: 6:19

the guy from police academy? There's so much talk Kyle and I We're saying like this this time last year at MRC, which was triple as you know, the first. That was even planned. MRC, formerly triple A is

Micah Birkholz: 6:38

nicer than saying aaas conference, but that's kind of, I don't

Paul Daly: 6:44

know, we don't Okay, straight straight in the dirt straight. So, I don't know, I can't say this for sure. But I think I was the first person to say the letters CDP from the stage. And now this year, the conversation has evolved just across platforms across the industry. We're CDP's CD XPS for your listening customer data platform. Yeah, customer, let's see the XP experience. Okay, kinda. And then like custom, the cvmp, their CCMP,

Kyle Mountsier: 7:13

which is also

Paul Daly: 7:14

all of this for all of you that are like me that don't fully understand it all. It means I'm having all of your data in one place. And then a platform where you can use it to leverage and pull bunch of leverage across your dealership. Right from your DMS. I have to say, a simple way. Yeah. And so the conversation seems to be swirling around that. Yeah,

Micah Birkholz: 7:35

you got the CDP you got a first party data, I think that's these are all pieces of the of the equation that people are.

Paul Daly: 7:39

So you're, you're kind of you also are swimming in that pool. So for 2023, what do you think the big deal is going to be? You know, we're just gonna land it.

Micah Birkholz: 7:47

So some of the things that we're working on that we're focusing on that's gonna be coming in 2023 is because of our partnership with BADA and the 20 groups that we're working with and the digital composites, it's just that layering of data that we are doing we don't touch PII, which is one thing that's kind of like a comfortable space to be in, because we don't touch PII that people personal identifying information. Exactly, yeah. So by by not touching that stuff, and not being able to have any type of exposure, like all the Comply autos and all that pixels that might be grabbing the data that you don't know what they're grabbing, because we don't go down that path, it does give us a little bit of a safe space to be in. But with that being said, we've just got this past year were acquired by dealer built DMS, DMS that was built by dealers for dealers, it's got that type of mentality. So now what we're doing is now we're starting to build out more and more, not just with the Vistadash analytics app, but also some BI. So some of that stuff that we're doing is kind of that go between bi I don't know that one either. Say b i b? Yeah.

Paul Daly: 8:52

i But what does that mean? Business Intelligence. Okay. Oh, yeah, I'm the level setter, right? On the level setter. Okay, so here's the really, he was like, you don't know what that means? No, I really

Micah Birkholz: 9:04

don't know. It's not that. I wasn't sure if you're like, but here's the thing. We tease each other so much in this business, like, like, how's the timer? Like, okay, I'm how careful do I have to be? Because he just is just trying me on with? Well, no, no,

Paul Daly: 9:18

because of our audience to also doesn't know, I'm representative if the audience

Micah Birkholz: 9:23

didn't know what that meant. I apologize that I felt really dumb

Paul Daly: 9:27

for a minute, because you stopped and I looked at Kyle and he didn't say anything. I'm like, Is this something I really should know?

Kyle Mountsier: 9:33

Right? Well, it's not I mean, people throw it around. It's like, I mean, how many people have you talked to in industry that have been in the industry for nine months? And they're finally like, okay, okay, but what's a VDP?

Micah Birkholz: 9:45

Right? I don't even think that's gonna be a thing is it? Now they're changing from VDP to all the GA4 talk, what are they talking about units? They don't even talk about VDPs anymore that like all these

Paul Daly: 9:55

nga for, by the way is Google Analytics

Kyle Mountsier: 9:58

for where we're doing we're doing a master class on you have three letter acronyms you got

Micah Birkholz: 10:05

to get there's when I first got into the vendor side of it, I was actually mapping out like all of those TLA's, all the acronyms going through and all that. I had two lists actually growing one was Who did I work with? Like, what was our churn of the salespeople in the company I worked for and what was this? I couldn't tell which was getting longer the the amount of salespeople that left the company or the acronyms, acronyms, so it's kind of interesting how that can go sometime. Okay.

Kyle Mountsier: 10:32

It's always a lot of fun to hang out with you excited to see what Vistadash is going to do in the next year and how you're going to be a part of it. So appreciate yes to

Micah Birkholz: 10:39

that with us. Thank you. Thank you. Yeah. All right.

Kyle Mountsier: 10:42

Thank you for listening to In the Dirt with ASOTU. We love the automotive industry and the people who make it run day in and day out. We would love to connect with you more through our daily dose of fun, a free email that you can sign up for at asotu.com That's a s o t u.com. We put our heart and soul into it every day. Thanks again for listening. Join us next time for more Conversations In the Dirt with ASOTU

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