Sales Talk for CEOs: From Law to Leadership: Clate Mask’s Journey to CEO of Keap (Ep116)

Apr 23, 2024 | Sales Talk for CEOs Podcast

In a recent captivating episode of “Sales Talk for CEOs,” Clate Mask, CEO and co-founder of Keap, shared his journey from law school to leading a company that’s at the forefront of small business automation software. For CEOs looking to streamline their operations and enhance customer engagement, Clate’s insights are golden.

Key Takeaways for CEOs:

  1. Leverage Automation for Growth and Efficiency: Clate explains, “Automation isn’t just about saving time; it’s about scaling your business efficiently to maximize both growth and profitability.” This approach has allowed Keap to support small businesses in achieving more with less—something every CEO should consider.
  2. Emphasize Customer Success: Moving from traditional support to proactive customer success can significantly impact business growth. Clate emphasizes the importance of this shift: “By integrating Customer Success Managers into our team, we ensure our clients not only use our product but transform their business with it.
  3. Stay at the Helm of Revenue Leadership: Even as the company grows, a CEO’s involvement in driving revenue remains crucial. Clate advises, “As CEOs, we must lead the charge on revenue, staying closely connected to the outcomes and processes that drive our business forward.”

Insightful Reflections:

Starting with his initial career pivot, Clate’s narrative is a testament to adaptability and passion. He shares, “I was drawn to the fast-paced world of tech and never looked back. It’s about harnessing every experience to propel your company forward.

Discussing the strategic evolution from Infusionsoft to Keap, Clate offers a candid lesson on market alignment: “We learned the hard way that our strength lies in serving businesses that are ready for automation, not just anyone.

Clate also gets real about the challenges and triumphs of entrepreneurship: “Those dark years were tough, but they taught us resilience and the importance of staying true to our vision and our customer.

Watch the full Sales Talk for CEOs Podcast:

For a deeper dive into how Clate Mask has steered Keap through the ups and downs of tech entrepreneurship and how these lessons can apply to your business strategy, tune into the full episode of “Sales Talk for CEOs.”

Watch below or on your our Youtube channel


[01:03] Welcome Clate Mask – Introducing Clate’s unique journey from law school to software company CEO.

[01:29] Keap’s Mission – Discussing the services Keap provides to small businesses, focusing on growth, efficiency, and automation.

[02:54] Niche Software Solutions – Addressing why Keap is the ideal CRM and business automation solution for small businesses, compared to Salesforce and HubSpot.

[03:33] Clate’s Origin Story – Clate Mask shares his transition from law school graduate to co-founding a software company with family.

[05:24] Company Evolution – How the small custom software company grew into a substantial business focused on CRM products.

[07:26] Rebranding to Keap – Clate explains the strategic shift from Infusionsoft to Keap to focus on small business automation.

[09:05] Infusionsoft’s Legacy – The integration and enhancement of Infusionsoft within Keap’s comprehensive suite of products.

[09:55] Conquering Sales – Clate recounts his early sales challenges and the transformative advice from his father.

[11:27] Automating Success – How the implementation of automated follow-ups revolutionized the company’s sales process.

[13:39] Building a Sales Team – Transitioning from lone salesman to establishing a robust sales structure within the company.

[15:50] Helping Profession of Sales – Aligning sales with a mission of helping customers solve problems effectively.

[17:58] Customer Success Focus – The inception of customer success management to drive user adoption and satisfaction.

[20:13] Marketing Alignment – How the Demand Gen and direct sales teams cooperate to generate qualified leads and drive revenue.

[23:02] Scalable Go-To-Market Structure – Examining Keap’s organizational structure and the collaboration between marketing and sales.

About Guest

NY Times best-selling author, Clate Mask, is the entrepreneur’s guide and the CEO and co-founder of Keap, the leader in small business automation software. Keap is an 8-time Inc 5000 winner and is widely used by savvy small businesses to grow with automation. Clate’s passion is helping small businesses conquer the chaos and grow their business using the Six Keys to Success. When Clate isn’t serving entrepreneurs and building Keap, he loves to spend time with his wife, Charisse, their six kids, and their grandkids. He also loves playing golf and watching sports, with serious passion for the Arizona pro sports teams. He is intimately familiar with the balancing act of entrepreneurs, which is what drove him to discover and teach the Six Keys. Because success as an entrepreneur means having a great business and a great life.

Social Links

Connect with Clate on LinkedIn:

Keap LinkedIn:

Keap Twitter:

Connect with Alice on LinkedIn:

(99+) Alice Heiman | LinkedIn

Check out Alice’s website:

Alice Heiman | Sales Consultant and Strategist for CEOs


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