Start a project

We'd love to hear about your project. Please fill out this form to provide us with the necessary details.

Thank you! Your submission has been received! Our team will get back to you within 24 hours.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Spotlight: Kevin Ascher & Acoustic Selling

Read in light mode
Read in dark mode
From Stanford to Salesforce: Kevin Ascher's journey from the world of geology to helping founders scale their sales operations leveraging the most powerful CRM in the world.

There’s a Mitch Hedberg joke that goes something like this:

"When you're in Hollywood and you're a comedian, everybody wants you to do other things. All right, you're a stand-up comedian, can you write us a script? That's not fair. That's like if I worked hard to become a cook, and I'm a really good cook, they'd say, "OK, you're a cook. Can you farm?"

As a startup founder, I often found myself thinking of this joke while I was learning some new skill I never thought I’d need: fundraising, bookkeeping, sales, marketing, human resources. I just wanted to build products, but the nature of being a founder is having to learn more and more skills beyond the things you were good at that led you to found your startup in the first place.

[Peak Digital Studio] are extremely knowledgeable and responsible, and their responsiveness is impressive. Working with them has felt like a true partnership from the very beginning. I highly recommend them to anyone looking to enhance their website. They have been excellent collaborators.

This is a roundabout way to introduce our latest spotlight on Kevin Ascher of Acoustic Selling: Salesforce architecture, consulting, development, business analysis, and training for startups. He provides founders with an invaluable service: making it easier to acquire one of the many new skills they’ll need to scale their business: enabling more effective and efficient sales processes using Salesforce.

We interviewed Kevin to earn how he ended up here, his vision, why he spends so much time posting on LinkedIn, and his experience working with us here at Peak Digital Studio.

Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn and check out Acoustic Selling at

Interview with Kevin Ascher of Acoustic Selling

Can you share a bit about your journey from Stanford to becoming a Salesforce wizard at Acoustic Selling?

Thank you for asking. It was a circuitous journey. I was a geology and engineering major. After graduating, I tried being a professional geologist, which didn't work out, and then an investment banker, which also didn't work out. From there, I found my way to a startup with many Stanford students, where I ended up in sales operations, operations, and business analysis. My motivation to become a salesperson started there, observing how often salespeople missed their forecast, appearing lazy and undisciplined. I wanted to get into sales myself, partly out of spite, to show I could do it better. I then moved into media sales at another startup, staying in this field for about 20 years. However, I always retained my engineering and process mindset. When I got tired of selling online ads, transitioning into coaching seemed natural, but I wasn't a good coach. Yet, I maintained an interest in operations and technology. I had been using Salesforce since 2000 as an end user. Ultimately, I realized the biggest value I could provide was combining consultative help for customers in figuring out their sales and marketing strategy and implementing it with Salesforce, the most impactful tool in the sales stack.

You've worked at some interesting companies like Yahoo and Microsoft. How have these experiences shaped your approach at Acoustic Selling?

I realized that I'm not a big company guy. In these environments, people who advance often adopt a certain persona, engaging in a bit of acting and quite a bit of gaslighting. I grew tired of sales meetings where leaders would paint an overly optimistic picture, saying everything was great and sunny, when in reality, things were different. I would have preferred a sales leader who acknowledged the challenges, like saying, "It's raining outside, but we're going to get umbrellas, put on our raincoats, and still make it happen," rather than pretending everything was perfect.

This experience inspired us to be honest with our customers. We tell them what they need to hear, not just what they want to hear. This honesty is based on their business goals and objectives, which we sometimes help clarify. These goals are our North Star, guiding our consultations and recommendations regarding technology implementation.

Living in Tahoe, how do you manage work/life balance so that you're scaling your agency, while also finding time to get out and ski or mountain bike?

We're trying to practice what we preach by automating more of our operations. This automation frees up our time, allowing us to either serve more customers or enjoy the outdoors, which is a major reason why we live here. For example, we recently transitioned our project and work management from Jira to Salesforce. This shift enables us to use a single interface and database to track not only prospective customer activity but also all the services we're delivering to active customers. We have a portal where customers can log in to see our progress, and all our communications are consolidated there. We've also integrated this system with our time tracking and estimating tools. As a result, we have a clearer daily understanding of our performance in terms of estimated versus actual time to completion. All these improvements help us run our business more efficiently.

You've been consistently writing daily LinkedIn posts. What motivates you to maintain this routine, and what impact has it had on your personal brand and Acoustic Selling?

Two months ago, I committed to daily LinkedIn posting. The main reason is that finding clients who need Salesforce consulting, development, architecture, or general implementation services – which we offer – can be challenging through cold calling. We aim to be the first company people think of when they realize their revenue operations aren't as effective as they could be, or they're not maximizing their Salesforce investment.

I chose LinkedIn as it's easy to start with, and I'm motivated by the understanding that this is a long-term strategy. I'm not expecting a sudden influx of inbound traffic or leads; instead, I'm looking at a 12- to 18-month horizon. This approach has helped me increase my followership and has given me the opportunity to quickly test content ideas to see what resonates with people.

Regarding my personal brand, I've received encouraging feedback from people I've never met before on LinkedIn, which feels rewarding and fuels my ongoing motivation.

What's the typical type of company you work with at Acoustic Selling, and what does the typical engagement look like? Could you cite some examples?

We aim to evolve beyond just being a services provider and become a provider of knowledge and technology products. We're about to launch our first course titled "Salesforce First Aid for Sales Reps," which is an example of a knowledge product. In terms of technology products, we frequently handle common configurations and implementations. Instead of performing these tasks manually, we plan to offer them as software downloads. For example, when a company has a closed-won opportunity, we want to ensure that the account and all related contacts are owned by the rep who closed that opportunity. Another typical automation is ensuring that there are contacts associated with an opportunity as it progresses past a certain stage. We aim to automate these processes and provide them as packaged solutions, like Salesforce plugins, for commonly requested functionality.

Additionally, being located in a mountain town, my broader vision is to become a sizable local employer. The Salesforce ecosystem is continuously growing, offering abundant resources and an accessible entry threshold. I aspire to bring Silicon Valley knowledge and earning potential to this region, offering local people, who desire a desk job with flexibility, opportunities in the knowledge worker sector.

Before you partnered with Peak Digital Studio, what were you looking for in a digital agency?

I was searching for an agency that would serve us in the same way we serve our customers. This means not just taking orders and agreeing to everything we ask, but helping us figure out what we should be asking for. I wanted an agency that would push back when necessary, especially if they have a strong opinion that what I'm requesting isn't the best way to achieve the goals they helped me understand and clarify from the start.

How has modernizing your website impacted your business and client interactions?

Now that we have a modern, professional website, it has boosted our confidence to promote it and also removed the barrier to more widespread email marketing to our existing list of about 1,500 individuals. This new sense of pride is encouraging, and now the hard work begins to attract visitors to the site. This was a foundational step that needed to happen before we could effectively put a lot of effort into our promotional activities.

Can you tell us about your plans to expand the Acoustic Selling website and how Peak Digital Studio is helping to realize these goals?

The first step in developing our website was to transform it from being substandard into something respectable. Peak has exceeded those expectations. We now have a website that is not only professional but also fun and engaging. That was our initial goal.

The next step involves regular updates to the site. This will include adding blogs, content resource articles, and launching courses through Thinkific. We've also acquired a Pardot license, allowing us to host assets and landing pages. Additionally, we have a customer self-service portal based on Salesforce technology. While Peak will bring our website under one unified, seamless experience for the end user, it's important to note that not all components are sitting on Webflow. Peak is a crucial part of our team, helping to provide a varied and interactive experience for both customers and prospects.

Anything else to add?

I just want to express how much I enjoy working with Matt and Pelumi. They are extremely knowledgeable and responsible, and their responsiveness is impressive. Working with them has felt like a true partnership from the very beginning. I highly recommend them to anyone looking to enhance their website. They have been excellent collaborators.

Matthew Johnson

Published on

December 15, 2023