SBI Sales and Marketing Podcast

Scott Tapp, former CEO of Software Brands, joins us to discuss the evolution from being head of sales to becoming a CEO. The former sales leader turned CEO gives valuable insights that he has learned along his journey, and how to leverage your own path to the top job.

Direct download: AP_1828_Scott_Tap.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy, corporate strategy -- posted at: 6:56pm EDT

Chris Downie, CEO of Flexential, joins us to discuss how to lead an integration that produces a strong organization, brand, and culture. He draws from his experience forming Flexential from two legacy companies.

Direct download: AP_1827_Chris_Downie_19675.mp3
Category:Corporate Strategy -- posted at: 3:58pm EDT

Eric Vermillion, the former CRO of BlueCat, joins us to discuss how revenue leaders can build a legacy in their company that survives their departure. Eric reflects on his role as a CRO and how his leadership through integrations allowed him to develop successors to perpetuate his legacy.

Direct download: AP_1829_Eric_Vermillion_19675.mp3
Category:Corporate Strategy -- posted at: 12:55pm EDT

Today Meredith Kildow, Chief Revenue Officer of Consilio, joins us to discuss the ramifications of being a sales leader and how to design, manage and execute the integration effort when you combine multiple sales forces over time in a series of acquisitions.

Direct download: AP_1826_Meredith_Kidlow_19675.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 1:01pm EDT

Jill Rowley, former Chief Growth Officer of Marketo, discusses how this emerging role brings together sales and marketing leaders to leverage the power of their best salespeople, their customers.

Direct download: AP_1812_Jill_Rowley_19194_08282018.mp3
Category:Marketing Strategy -- posted at: 5:10pm EDT

Global Customer Officer and former CRO for Anaplan discusses how a revenue leader disrupts their industry to crush their revenue number.

Direct download: VP1807_Paul_Melchiorre-19159.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 2:07pm EDT

Chief Growth Officer and Chief Marketing Officer discuss how to transition to a data-driven business and how to navigate the sales and marketing data mess.

Direct download: AP1814_Sarah_Jill.mp3
Category:Marketing Strategy -- posted at: 1:26pm EDT

EVP of Sales discusses how a business can move from a traditional offering and distribution channel into a new, hybrid approach.

Direct download: VP_1820_Dave_Peranich.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 2:02pm EDT

SVP of Sales for Businessolver demonstrates the case for why a separate customer success function is necessary.

Direct download: Resolving_the_Customer_Success_Tension.mp4
Category:general -- posted at: 10:08am EDT

VP of Customer Ops discusses the emerging role of customer operations.

Direct download: SBI_Interview_with_Scott_Asher.mp4
Category:Corporate Strategy -- posted at: 9:56pm EDT

Global Director of Talent Development for UPS Capital discusses the employee experience and how it impacts top line.

Direct download: Fast_Frame_with_Curt_Redden.mp4
Category:Talent Strategy -- posted at: 7:58pm EDT

Chief Evangelist and Co-Founder delves into the topic of ABM to help CMOs capture and implement this emerging best practice.

Direct download: AP1802_Sangram_Vajre.mp3
Category:Marketing Strategy -- posted at: 6:54pm EDT

Direct download: AP_1821_Jim_O_Gara.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 6:58pm EDT

Direct download: FF_JimOGara.mp4
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 6:53pm EDT

Today we’re going to demonstrate how to drive revenue per sales head up, and time to productivity for new sales hires down.  Success for Andy in making his number quarter after quarter and year after year is tied to his ability to leverage insights from the field. Andy and his team implemented a Field Advisory Board to understand the needs of the field.  You'll find as you listen to this podcast that an advisory board and how to run it may be the key to success for driving revenue per sales head up.As a guide to the discussion, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Turn to the Sales Strategy section and flip to the Sales Enablement phase on pages 319 – 322 of the PDF workbook.

Direct download: VP1708_Andy_Panos_18546.mp4
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 12:37pm EDT

Joining us on the SBI Podcast is Mark Lister, he is the Chief Digital Officer for Ness, a digital engineering company that designs and builds digital platforms and software that helps organizations engage customers, differentiate their brands, and drive revenue growth.

Today we're going to demonstrate how to make the digital experience a competitive differentiator. So, why this topic of digital experience? I mean, if there was a trend happening right now in B2B sales and marketing it is digitization, and how do you become a digital company?

Prospect and customer expectations have risen, and failure to provide them with an exceptional digital experience, for every single one it's going to result in poor revenue growth. So, some customers prioritize their digital experience over product performance when they make a purchase decision. So, this requires a deep understanding of the customers digital journey, and every single touchpoint along the way. So, mapping this customer digital journey is difficult, but it's mission critical, and when it's done correctly it's going to result in exceptional revenue growth. This is a trend you need to get on.

Direct download: Mark_Lister.mp4
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 8:07pm EDT

Joining us on the SBI Podcast is Andrea Brody, the Chief Marketing Officer for Bravo Solution, which has sinced merged with JAGGAER to create the world’s largest independent spend management company. 

Andrea is one of the top B2B revenue generating marketers with a passion for building brands. Andrea has a great story to share about how she led her marketing team to help her company achieve a successful exit strategy.


In today's show, Ryan and Matt demonstrate how an enterprise sales leader brings the best of the enterprise to a fast-growing tech company.

Direct download: VP_1816_Ryan_Mang_19194.mp4
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 8:40am EDT

Joining us on the SBI Podcast is Sarah Kennedy, the Chief Marketing Officer for Marketo.

In today's show, Sarah details how to apply revenue attribution to marketing. Why this topic? CEOs, CMOs and CROs need to understand what sales and marketing activities help influence a revenue booking. Once you can quantify the value of those activities, then you can attribute revenue back to the activities that produced the revenue and use those insights to guide your marketing and sales investments.

Direct download: VP_1813_Sarah_Kennedy_19194.mp4
Category:Marketing Strategy -- posted at: 8:36am EDT

Joining us on the SBI Podcast is Joel Trammell, the Chief Executive Officer of Black Box. In today's show, Joel provides a wealth of advice to first time CEOs. Joel covers the firt 100 days, dealing with an inherited management team, and interacting with the Board. 

If you are a new CEO, this episode is for you.

Direct download: VP1799_Joel_Trammell_19121.mp4
Category:Corporate Strategy -- posted at: 8:30am EDT

Joining us on is Steve Grimshaw, the Chief Executive Officer for Caliber Collision. In today's show, Steve demonstrates how a chief executive orchestrates the right level of inorganic growth to maximize the valuation of their company.


Joining us on is Steve Grimshaw, the Chief Executive Officer for Caliber Collision.  Steve has built and incredible business through both organic and inorganic growth.  He’s here today to demonstrate how a chief executive orchestrates the right level of inorganic growth to maximize the valuation of your company.

Direct download: VP1774B_Steve_Grimshaw_18935.mp4
Category:Corporate Strategy -- posted at: 8:17am EDT

Today we are going to unpack the career path of a new breed of Sales-driven Chief Executive Officers and what it takes to develop the business mindset to ascend to the top position. 

Direct download: VP1776_Ryan_Tognazzini_18981.mp4
Category:Corporate Strategy -- posted at: 7:03pm EDT

Joining us on the SBI Podcast is Mike Volpe, the Chief Marketing Officer for Cybereason, the world's most powerful cybersecurity analytics platform. 

Often called the "godfather of inbound marketing" for his work in taking inbound marketing from an idea to a movement of tens of thousands of people, Mike Volpe is one of the most sought-after B2B marketers. 

Today Mike is going to demonstrate how to replace leads with real opportunities for the sales team through the use of account based marketing. ABM is the effort performed by both marketing and sales to replace leads with opportunities for the sales team. 

Why is this an important topic? Demand generation and lead management does not work for companies with business models dependent on a small number of accounts, but who spend a lot.

Direct download: How_Marketing_Helps_Sales_Win_the_Must-win_Deals.mp4
Category:general -- posted at: 6:51pm EDT

On this episode of SBI TV, Matt and Marc Osofsky, CEO of Aberdeen, demonstrate the importance of Market Intelligence.

 Why is this important for your company?

 Many companies are flying blind, and this is especially true with B2B companies. Company leaders are forced to reactively respond, rather than proactively guiding their teams to a higher level of success.

Direct download: VP_1809_Marc_Osofsky_19194.mp4
Category:Marketing Strategy -- posted at: 10:01pm EDT

The buyer is changing, and the sales channels we go to market with must do the same. Buyers are more comfortable than ever purchasing virtually. Inside Sales organizations are handling larger deals than ever before. Today Mike Huseman is here to share his experience leveraging Inside Sales to virtually drive profitable growth.

Direct download: VP1790_Huseman_19085.mp4
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 8:58am EDT

Joe Vitalone, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Razberi Technologies, demonstrates how to develop and execute a sales strategy at scale through channel partners.

Direct download: VP1792_Joe_Vitalone_19085.mp4
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 4:13pm EDT

Chief Marketing Officer for Caliber Collision, Greg Clark, demonstrates customer relationship management.

Direct download: VP1798_Greg_Clark_19121.mp4
Category:Marketing Strategy -- posted at: 8:11pm EDT

Our guest on SBI TV is Robin Saitz, the Chief Marketing Officer at Avecto. Robin is a transformational marketing executive who knows how to get off to a quick start in a new role.  In today's show we demonstrate how to get off to a fast start in a CMO's first 90 days. If you prefer to watch a video of the interview, click here

Getting off to a fast start actually starts in the interview process.  Robin interviews with the end in mind, and through the interview process she learns a great deal about the company and team.  She dove deep into learning about Avecto, a cybersecurity software company that provides privileged management and application control solutions.   Robin states, "I think the interview process is actually sort of like that pre-first day. It's not really counted in the first 90 days, but the interview process I think is a core part of preparing for those first 90 days. So, I like to say that I was interviewing the company as much as they were interviewing me, and it wasn't just to make the decision to join, but also, to help answer ... to get answers to questions that I had that would make my first day and the first month go well. So I insisted on meeting with a lot of people in this process, because it was a big decision for me, and it was a big decision for them." 

Once Robin accepted the role as CMO, she prepared for her first day and how she planned out her first 90-days before the start date. Listen as Robin describes her preparation steps. 

Matt summarizes Robin's first 90 days, "she articulates how she broke down short-term first 90-day initiatives to put points on the board along with more longer-term initiatives that needed to get done. Robin articulate how she broke down short-term first 90-day initiatives, kind of putting points on the board as we like to say, with more longer-term initiatives that needed to get done. Building that content strategy. Knowing it was both people and resources. Recognizing that, but willing to live with not just doing something haphazard out of the first 90 days to check a box, being thoughtful." 

Robin describes how to assess the marketing team and shares: 

"So whenever a CMO or any new leader joins a company, I think there's probably a healthy amount of skepticism, nervousness and excitement. It's like all of that. So, kind of have to like knock down the nervousness and skepticism. And so, I firmly believe it's important to understand the individual career objectives and the job satisfaction of each team member. So that's sort of like the first set of questions that I tried to hit on with my team, and I met with all of them individually. And then I also tried to understand ... I collected feedback from their peers, from folks inside marketing, folks outside of marketing." 

"I also assess their work output, their responsiveness, and then to the extent, metrics were available. I would look at metrics. Then the other thing that we use that we're testing, we haven't adopted it broadly at Avecto, but I used at my previous company is the Predictive Index for behavioral assessments. I said, "Hey, I'd love to pilot it with the marketing organization," and they were very cooperative with that. So everybody's taken the PI. We have an understanding of who's got a strong process orientation, who's got a high sense of urgency, who's very dominant, and that I think will help the whole organization function better." 

Direct download: AP1773_Robin_Saitz.mp3
Category:Marketing Strategy -- posted at: 10:08pm EDT

Today we are going to demonstrate how to Go-to-Market with a new product. We will cover the topics of sufficiently covering your markets, selecting and optimizing your sales channels, and finally, pricing and packaging your products correctly. If you prefer to watch the interview in HD video on SBI TV, click here

Why are these such important topics? Traditional routes to market are being replaced with innovative ways to reach customers. So, evaluating whether you have the right channels in place for a new product launch is vital for driving revenue growth. Revenue growth driven by products that create new markets, attract new customers, and convince customers to buy more is the most valuable type of revenue growth. Download the full interview transcript in a MS Word document here

The first segment will seek to answer the question: How do you evaluate whether you have the right channels in place for a new product launch? Christopher provides examples of when he launched a new product and added new channels, and when he used an innovative route to market that gave him an advantage and resulted in a substantial revenue lift. 

Christopher outlines, in the second segment, how to package your new products to differentiate yourself from the competition. Christopher goes on to advise the audience on how to identify and validate the true points of differentiation in your product, and how to bring that product differentiation to life.

The final segment of the show describes how to avoid these pricing mistakes when launching a new product. Price your products in a way that does not scale with customer growth and this will result in revenue leakage. Price your products in a way that is difficult for your sales channels to explain the change to your customers and watch your sales steadily decline. 

Christopher details his approach to determining the right pricing strategy for a product launch, pricing at different levels to different customer segments, and equipping the sales force with value-based messaging and negotiation strategies to defend the price point.

Direct download: VP1760_Christopher_Bray.mp3
Category:Product Strategy, Sales Strategy, Corporate Strategy -- posted at: 9:00pm EDT

Our guest on SBI TV is Dan Levinschi, the Head of Marketing for PandaDoc. Dan is a revenue generating marketer who knows how to quickly transition from marketing strategy to execution.

Dan and I discuss how to move from marketing strategy to execution. Dan describes his process for developing a marketing strategy, and how he interlocks the company’s corporate strategy, product strategy, and sales strategy with his own. Dan also shares his rollout strategy and how he presents it to the marketing team to ensure that each person understands the overall strategy, their role, and how their execution fits into the overall strategy.

To follow along, leverage SBI’s How to Make Your Number in 2018 PDF Workbook and turn to the Marketing Strategy section starting on pages 236. To download the full transcript in a word document, click here

In today’s captivating show, Dan shares his method for transitioning from the planning phase to the execution phase of the marketing strategy, specifically how to ensure that the right KPI’s closed loop reporting is built into each new activity. Turn to the 13-minute mark of the video to watch Dan discuss how a marketing leader validates that progress is being made on major initiatives without micromanaging the team.

Matt and Dan discuss how precisely Dan makes this happen at PandaDoc: 

“It is very important for me personally knowing what everyone on the team is doing without being too invasive. The number one thing that you need to have is  a playbook for how your department functions. If people don’t understand how your department functions, it doesn’t matter whether they’re on your team or on a separate department, you’ll always run into the problem of people not knowing what you do essentially. You also have to build an internal Wiki page with all things marketing, just for internal for the company. Then you need to have a project management system in place. If you’re a startup on a budget, you can use something like Trello. Another thing you have to focus on are the core problems and helping your team to understand the impact of their work. Some people just go to work for a paycheck and do the minimum necessary. If they understand very well what the impact on the work is, they’ll be more motivated to work diligently. I find that when people are motivated they don’t need strict management, you can give them a lot of responsibilities and freedom and they’ll spend their time on the right things. 

Dan Levinschi shares his advice on encouraging the marketing team while also instilling the team with a sense of accountability.  

“The way we normally work is to hold open forums. I think that the best ideas are born when you have a number of viewpoints in the same room. What we do is, whenever there’s an argument about whether we should continue a project or not, the results are not there, the real question I’m asking is: “What is the immediate impact on business short term and long term?” If the impact is minimal, which you can generally quantify through specific metrics, it all comes down to revenue. Then it’s a simple argument for me to win. For example, if the impact is short term but in long term this doesn’t make any sense, maybe we should kill the project and reiterate. To summarize, I’m a performance marketer, so I believe in numbers. If you cannot prove it to me in numbers, then the argument generally ends.” 

Having a solid strategy in place sets a company and a department up for success. Understanding and utilizing marketing metrics in your strategic process can make the difference between success and failure. Skip to the 20-minute mark of the video to watch Dan describes how he establishes accountability with his marketing team, how he manages individual contributors, how he reports progress to the CEO, and how he measures the success of his team’s strategy. 

Direct download: AP1780_Dan_Levinschi-18981.mp3
Category:Marketing Strategy -- posted at: 10:05pm EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Hassane El-Khoury, the CEO of Cypress, the leader of the semiconductor industry. Hassane’s mission is to establish Cypress as the global supplier of choice for innovative companies in high-growth markets. Cypress is leading the industry in growth after making the shift from commodity products to high value sales efforts. This has made it possible to focus on the  higher value offerings in the Cypress product portfolio.

Today we are going to demonstrate how to define which markets you will, and will not, compete in.  

Why is this an important topic? Being in fast-growing markets is the largest driver of revenue growth. Least important is market share growth. Yet, many executive teams tend to focus most of their attention on gaining share in their existing markets. While it is necessary to maintain, and sometimes increase, market share, changing your company’s exposure to growing and shrinking market segments should be a major focus. 

The first segment will seek to answer the question: How have you prioritized high-growth markets?   Hassane provides an overview to validate the claim that exposing your company to rapidly developing markets is the easiest way of growing with the highest probability of success.

In the second segment, Hassane outlines what traditional routes to market exist in his addressable markets, as well as innovative routes that disrupt those markets and his company’s competitors. Hassane also covers which channels he uses to target buyers, for each market segment (direct field sales, inside sales, global account management, key account management, VAR, systems integrator, e-commerce, phone, etc.). 

The final segment of the show describes the different areas market growth can come from, such as  market expansion or taking share from your competitors. Hassane goes on to describe the current demand drivers of his company’s addressable markets.

 

Direct download: AP1748_Hassane_El_Khoury_18791_Final_Mix.mp3
Category:Corporate Strategy -- posted at: 5:06pm EDT

Our guest on SBI TV is Ryan Leavitt, the Chief Revenue Officer for LearnCore. Ryan is a serial entrepreneur who knows how to drive revenue growth which is the lifeblood of an emerging business. I can’t think of a better guest than Ryan to share best practices in sales prospecting to fill the funnel.

Ryan and I discuss how to fill the funnel with real sales opportunities. Ryan shares his knowledge of lead production, specifically what percent of leads marketing produces versus what the sales team needs to produce on their own. And how prospecting and technology platforms are used to support prospecting efforts and produce sales leads.

This is a fascinating show where Ryan shares his prospecting methodology, lead cycle length, and his lead-to-opportunity conversion rate, in comparison to his competitors. Turn to the 11-minute mark of the video to watch how Ryan helps his sellers facilitate buyer investigation of their problems early in their purchasing process.

Matt and Ryan discuss how precisely Mike’s team makes this happen at LearnCore:

“Prospecting is all about discipline and setting goals. Your prospecting methodology won't matter if the team doesn’t put in the effort. It’ s a volume game, in which discipline is required for success. The biggest challenge of prospecting is finding the people that are going to put in that effort and are going to focus on it and be disciplined about it. What we do to find potential buyers early in the buying process on an outbound effort, is to look at queues that are common with our current clients and opportunities. And so, whether that's industries, whether that's shifting roles, whether that's mergers and acquisitions, or new product launches, those are all great ways to find the right buyers. The key question you need to answer is, “How are you going to get your 2,000 sales reps across the world to communicate the same message?”

Ryan Leavitt shares his advice on thinking through marketing productivity from the view of a Chief Revenue Officer:

“So, we try to look at productivity on a granular level. Sales cycle metrics are much more important when we start to dig into the industry, the lead source, and the size of decline in general. Because the sales cycles for inbound deals are going to be much shorter than the sales cycles for outbound bills. There's a reason that a potential buyer is searching there. They're educated and they're in a buying process. We need to make sure that our data is apples to apples. So, yes, sales cycle is very important, but we can't compare the sale cycle of a 500-person inbound company to a 500-person outbound company, or a 200-person company compared to a 20,000-person company. They're drastically different, but they came from the exact same lead source. So, we break it down into industry and company size, and from there we could start to optimize and look at the full picture. We look at lead conversion rates, opportunity conversion rates, sales cycle, average deal size, etc. After a period of time, we look at the success of the clients and bring it all the way back to how they came into the funnel to begin with.” 

Marketing is going to contribute ~30% of the pipeline, which means sales needs to generate ~70% of the sales opportunities. Pipeline per rep varies too much without a standard prospecting process used by all. Lead quality and lead-to-opportunity conversion rates suffer when prospecting is left up to each individual sales rep. Skip to the 24-minute mark of the video to watch Ryan describe what competencies he looks for in a new sales rep candidate, and how he gets the new sales reps from day one to full productivity.

Direct download: AP1756_Ryan_Leavitt-18863.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 11:39pm EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Jennifer Bakunas, the Senior Vice President of Americas Sales for Monotype.  Jennifer has a wealth of experience, from spinning up successful start-ups to running enterprise sales teams. She took over the sales leadership role at Monotype last year, and we join her at the end of one year to discuss her successful transformation of the 100-plus person sales force.

Today we are going to demonstrate how a head of sales transforms a selling team to hit their growth objectives. 

Why is this topic so important?  The honeymoon for a head of sales ends quickly.  Successful SVP’s of Sales have one key thing in common.  They get off to fast start with a successful transformation that starts bearing fruit in year one. 

In the first segment of the podcast, Jennifer seeks to answer the questions: As a new head of sales, how do you approach assessing your sales leadership talent? More specifically: How do you assess talent at the individual rep level? 

"How I approach talent assessment when I come to a new business, is to assess who you have, and then where the gaps are, and who you need to add. I think the best way to do that is to just dig in,  sit down, and meet one-by-one with every single individual on the sales team. You get to know them. You get to know their background. You get feedback on what they feel like the performance conditions are. What's working. What's not. And then you compare that to the results, and do a stack ranking of the team, because they've all likely existed at that point under the same performance conditions." 

Jennifer goes on to provide an overview of her account segmentation scheme, go-to-market strategy, sales process, buyer personas, and assessment of the performance conditions of the sales force. We talk through the transformation initiatives Jennifer put into place to lay the foundation for success and how she made sure the new initiatives were adopted. 

Jennifer outlines in the second segment how to successfully communicate with the sales team, as the new head of sales, to keep them informed and focused on the right things. 

We discuss how to approach segmenting your accounts to focus on the accounts that can produce the highest revenue yield in the shortest amount of time.  Next we cover the topic of  ales organization design, including type of reps you need, the best organizational chart, and the number of heads. 

The final segment of the show describes how elite sales leaders insert themselves into pricing strategy. Jennifer describes how to approach assessing your pricing strategy and common trouble spots to look for. She specifically outlines a proven roll out strategy for your newest pricing initiative.

Direct download: VP1768_Jennifer_Bakunas_18935.mp4
Category:general -- posted at: 9:20am EDT

Our guest today is Gabe Larson, the VP of InsideSales Labs for InsideSales.com. Having spent five years as the VP of Inside Sales, Gabe provides a behind-the-scenes look at building and operating one of the best sales development rep teams that we've ever had the benefit of examining.  InsideSales.com has experienced tremendous growth and the Sales Development Representative has played a significant role by filling the funnel with quality opportunities.

Listen as Gabe and I demonstrate how to fill the funnel with real sales opportunities that will drive revenue growth for your company. If you prefer to watch a HD Video of the interview, click here

So why this topic? Marketing is going to contribute to about 30% of the pipeline, which means the sales needs to generate the remaining 70% of the sales opportunities. Pipeline per rep varies too much without a standard prospecting process used by all. So, lead quality and lead to opportunity conversion rates suffer when prospecting is left up to each individual sales rep. 

Gabe reveals, “Prospecting has become an interesting concept, especially in the tech space. How do you build that go to market strategy when it comes to structure? We've broken it down into three key areas: small business, medium business, and enterprise business. But to facilitate a bigger pipeline, we jumped on the train, and now have, what I consider to be one of the biggest innovations in sales in the last decade, and that is that sales development team.”

We begin with Gabe proving a sense of place by outlining the InsideSales.com sales organization and the various roles involved in prospecting for new customers. We then dive into the business case for the investment in building the Sales Development team of SDRs.  

In the middle segment of the show Gabe describes the prospecting process, the steps of engagement and how to make it easy to execute with technology.  We wrap up this segment by discussing the marketing support required to empower the SDR team, and how the SDR team support the marketing efforts to drive your buyers to your content and events. 

The SDR career track is a hotly debated topic among sales leadership, and we discuss the career opportunities the SDR role provides for the sales force.  Gabe explains: 

"There is a career track, and that's the great thing about stratification. You can come in as a mid-market SDR and move into an inbound rep, hone your skill, get the practice, and then move into that enterprise role. That's sometimes a year, a couple of years, but at that point, you're a pretty good prospector. Then if you want to jump into the closer role, you have the SMB track, the mid-market and enterprise. Very rarely do we push people obviously, from sales development into enterprise. But it was fantastic to move them into a mid-market or to an SMB type of role."

We summarize the show by describing the top metrics that indicate success and/or failure of the prospecting process.  Make sure to take the time to listen to the full postcast. The level of execution that Gabe describes will have sales leaders taking notes on how to execute and run a high performance SDR team.  

Direct download: VP1764_Gabe_Larson.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 8:13pm EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Walt Megura, Vice President of Emerging Industry Segments and Channels for Ericcson.  Walt is here to share his experience in creating new beachheads in verticals that provide future long-term growth to Ericsson. 

Today we are going to demonstrate how to ensure you have the right sales strategy and talent to enter new markets. 

Why is this an important topic? To grow revenue, companies are moving into adjacent spaces.  Assumptions made during the planning process make or break the success of the entry into new markets.  The selling motion that has worked so beautifully for you in other markets may or may not work in new markets. 

In this first segment we discuss how to ensure you have the right sales strategy and talent to enter new markets. To begin, Walt shares an overview of the business challenges faced as Ericcson sought to enter new markets.  For each new market, Walt describes how you determine the value of your solution to the market.  In other words, how did you validate that the ambition to enter the new market is supported by the capabilities of your solution? 

Walt then describes the strategies to enter new markets and outlines the different types of strategies.  Did you have an effectiveness (focus on penetration of the market with land & expand), or an efficiency strategy (profitable business)?

In the second segment we discuss how to assess sales talent and what is required for success in each of the markets you want to enter. How were the sales hiring profiles different that the proven profile of the core business? How do you evaluate existing sales talent, who has been successful in other markets for the new markets?

We wrap up the show by describing the points of differentiation to look for in each new market and how these factors impact the sales strategy.  The variance in sales cycles and buying dynamics will influence how you structure your sales force and the strategy you deploy.

In summary, Walt's interview provides a valuable context to help you avoid the trap of simply applying a proven approach from your core markets. Increase your probability of success by matching your sales strategy and talent to the new market. 

To evaluate your sales strategy for the new market, consider leveraging an interactive calculator that will help you understand if you have a chance at success. Take the Revenue Growth Diagnostic test and rate your Sales Strategy against SBI’s emerging best practices.

https://salesbenchmarkindex.com/revenue-growth-diagnostic

Direct download: AP1777_Walt_Megura-18981.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 3:48pm EDT

Our guest today is Tiffany Nels, the Chief Marketing Officer for Lifesize.  With 20 years of Tech B2B marketing experience, Tiffany is one of the top B2B revenue growth marketers. Tiffany played a major role in the successful demand generation efforts at Solar Winds and has the right blend of strategy and execution that B2B companies need for success. 

Many B2B marketers have over-rotated to demand generation tactics without enough emphasis on brand. Tiffany is going to make the case for why branding and demand generation are not parallel paths, but rather should be intertwined to give you the highest probability of making your number. 

Tiffany is going to demonstrate how to create an inspiring brand that tells your strategic story through Brand Strategy and Planning. 

Why this topic? Your competitors are making the same claims and promises as you. They are even using the same words. Brands that are built on “who you are” and “what you do” do not result in above average revenue growth. Your brand impacts revenue growth when it gets activated by the sales force and becomes uniquely relevant to your customer and prospects. 

Most buyers are researching and building a consideration set without speaking with the sellers.

Watch as Tiffany describes her company's brand approach. Listen closely as she articulates a brand that has a crisp emotional connection to the audience. Tiffany describes the process and steps to develop the brand story. 

Tiffany shares, "The art of storytelling is what enables brands to grow and win by setting themselves apart. When you develop that discipline and integrate all the way through the funnel to the customer experience, then you have an incredibly sticky experience." 

Direct download: AP1747_Tiffany_Nells_18791_Final_Mix_1_1.mp3
Category:Marketing Strategy -- posted at: 10:09pm EDT

Did you set the quotas right to drive revenue growth?  The purpose of today's show is to demonstrate how to link the company objectives to sales targets through quota setting.  Leverage this use-case to evaluate how you set your quotas. John has a proven record of accomplishment of increasing profitable recurring revenues faster than his industry and his competitors in a crowded SaaS market. 

Our guest today is John Young, the SVP of Global Sales at NetFortris. vJohn is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic with proven experience in quota setting to guide his sales team’s revenue attainment. Watch as John demonstrates how to link the company objectives to sales rep targets through quota setting.

Why this topic?  A company’s revenue goal needs to be intelligently allocated to divisions, regions, districts, territories, and sales reps. Unfortunately, it rarely is. Quota attainment, a metric tracked by most sales teams, often lies to executives. Reps who make quota do so because their quota expectation was based on the potential of a sales territory. Reps who miss quota do so because their quota expectation was not based on the potential of the assigned sales territory.

In the first segment of the program John shares the process for quota setting, and how to link the company objectives to the individual sale rep revenue goals.  The peanut butter spread approach is replaced with an intelligently allocated goal setting to achieve the company’s revenue goals across the sales team.

Listen as John describes (10:53) the qualitative and quantitative inputs required to accurately assign quotas.  John explains how to intelligently prioritize based on spend potential and a propensity to buy formulas play into your quota setting. 

We wrap up the show (18:32) by discussing how to gain buy-in internally with the sales reps and at the executive level for the quota plan.  This involves also having a clear workload capacity model built indicating how many live deals, accounts, and prospects a sales rep can handle. [p]

Direct download: AP1754_John_Young-18863.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 10:56pm EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Jeff Harris, the Chief Business Development Officer for Millar. Today we are going to demonstrate how to drive revenue per sales head up and time to productivity for new sales hires down. 

Why is this an important topic? Getting an increase in sales head count is difficult. The expense cops expect all the current sales reps to be at quota before they agree to add any new heads. And when new sales people are hired there is little patience from the executive team members, who want each to generate revenue as quickly as possible. The sales enablement function exists to onboard new sales hires and to drive revenue per sales head up. Neglect sales enablement and forgo adding head count in the future. 

Our expert contributor is Jeff Harris, the Chief Business Development Officer for Millar, a medical device company. What makes today’s guest incredibly unique among sales leaders, is Jeff’s background as a former Chief Learning Officer. 

In the first segment we dive into the ideal the onboarding program for new hires.  Jeff describes must-have elements of an onboarding program to quickly ramp new reps to full productivity. 

Jeff outlines in the second segment how to enable the sales field with tools such as use-cases and battle cards. The onboarding training walks through the essential elements required to enable new reps.  These include items such as positioning statements, ideal customer profiles, marketing tools, and client references. Do you place them in a reps hands with the proper training?  

Driving accountability of your new hires requires a thoughtful certification program.  You are investing in them, they need to reciprocate. What gets inspected gets retained, and Jeff describes the sales readiness program. 

The final segment of the show describes the design and delivery of an onboarding program.  This includes your learning delivery process (blended learning, coaching, role playing, classroom, online) and curriculum design.

Direct download: AP1745_Jeff_Harris_18791_Final_Mix.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 11:12am EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Mike Volpe, the Chief Marketing Officer for Cybereason.

Today we are going to demonstrate how to replace leads with real opportunities for the sales team through Account Based Marketing. 

Why is this an important topic? Demand generation and lead management does not work for companies with business models dependent on a small number of accounts but who spend a lot. Waiting for dream accounts to come to you will result in you missing your revenue targets. If you live and die by the big deal, growing revenues faster than your industry, and your competitors requires a shift to account based marketing. 

The first segment will seek to answer the question: When does ABM make sense for your company?  Mike provides an overview to validate that ABM is the right strategy for your company.   

Mike outlines in the second segment what a successful ABM program should look like. How should marketing implement ABM to support the sales reach to new buyers and influencers in targeted account.  The types of roles are required for success are described for sales and marketing.  Mike covers the key metrics to track and the time horizon to expect for results. 

Direct download: VP1762_MikeVolpe.mp3
Category:Marketing Strategy -- posted at: 2:51am EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Bryan Adams, the co-founder and Managing Partner for Integrity Marketing Group. Matt and Bryan use the How to Make Your Number in 2018 Workbook to share emerging best practices. Access the latest Workbook and flip to the Objectives Phase of the Corporate Strategy section, found on pages 40-47.

Today we are going to demonstrate how to create clarity throughout the entire company by getting everyone laser-focused on the real drivers of revenue growth. 

Why this topic? Organizations that have too many objectives and priorities have none. They risk accomplishing nothing of significance. A CEO’s strategy often goes unexecuted because the sales, marketing, and product leaders are in their silos pursuing what they feel is important. This causes strategic misalignment and results in sub-par revenue growth. 

Bryan is an executive leader who rose through the corporate ranks as one of the youngest VP’s in his industry, and then, as an entrepreneur, started his own thriving business. Bryan is an expert on building, growing, and scaling a business. 

In the first segment of the program (6:18) Bryan shares the top goals of his business and the greatest challenges they face. He explains (8:03) how different types of growth earn different returns on capital, revealing that not all growth is equally value-creating. And, he walks us through (9:23) the process of converting revenue growth into a proportional growth in cash flows. 

Watch as Bryan describes (12:57) the three sources of revenue growth: Market Expansion, Market Exposure, and Market Share Performance. Bryan reviews each source and how it applies to his business, in order to understand the drivers of revenue growth. 

We wrap up the show (26:48) by discussing what strategic trade-off decisions should be made to prioritize long-term value creation. And Bryan discloses his willingness to forgo short-term profits to earn better return for shareholders (27:00) in the long-term. 

Direct download: AP1755_Bryan_Adams-18863_1.mp3
Category:Corporate Strategy -- posted at: 11:09pm EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Randolph Carter, the VP of Marketing in North America for Rentokil. Randolph answers questions out of SBI’s 2018 Workbook to share his deep knowledge of campaign strategy and planning. To follow along flip to the Marketing Strategy section and turn to Phase 6, Campaign Planning found on pages 264-269.  

Today we are going to demonstrate how to capture the attention of customers and prospects through campaign strategy and planning. 

Why this topic? Every market has a “sweet spot.” Campaigns and campaign budgets generate revenues when focused directly at this “sweet spot.” Campaigns that are not hyper-targeted do not. To generate a return on marketing campaign dollars requires a clear objective, timeline, budget, accurate lists, correct media mix, and compelling calls to action. 

Randolph brings a wealth of experience from his role, heading Rentokil's expanded marketing efforts across all of North America. Listen as Randolph demonstrates how to build a marketing campaign model that will drive revenue growth and help you make your number year after year.  

In the first segment of the program, Randolph shares his own experiences and evolution in building marketing campaigns to demonstrate their significance in company expansion.  We begin with discussing objectives and logistics for a new marketing campaign.  

This dialogue delves into specifics on the ideal objectives, timeline, budget, and results of a marketing campaign. Randolph gives specific and detailed advice on managing every aspect of the campaign, with examples from his years of experience. He discusses the importance of sales enablement for the campaign budget, and the importance of working alongside the sales team. Randolph then delves into the topic of addressable markets and methods for targeting those markets. He discusses the importance of focusing in on and monitoring addressable side markets that have the size and potential for growth. 

We're a company that's growing both organically and through acquisition but our key target, as I say, is growing organically. There are lots of ways of doing that and the marketing campaign is certainly one that's gaining in importance for us over the last couple of years. We do two to three campaigns a year, and they last three to four months each. The key is sitting down and working with the sales team, so that it goes in our plan and in their plan. 

The budget we break down into marketing and sales enablement. On the marketing side, we're looking at pay per click. We build that budget overall and we say to the sales team, "Okay, what do you think you can achieve in order to get sales growth?" and then we measure the return on investment on that incremental sales growth.

We segment our markets by industry type, then we sit down and talk to the sales team. It's very much a process hand-in hand, but we look at which segments we've got a compelling offer from and where we think there's a sizable and big enough offer for us to go after. Once we've got that first segment identified, we think about the sub-segments or groups with in it. We focus in on an addressable side market that's got size, scope for growth and where we have a winning proposition. 

The second segment of the show focuses on demonstrating how to capture the attention of customers and prospects from marketing campaigns. Randolph addresses the two market segments of his business and the ways in which he builds provocative and differentiated campaign messages. 

If I think about the commercial side first when we're developing a campaign, the first thing we do is our research into the chosen sectors or segments and create what we call our “Segment Bible." Our Segment Bible is a really in-depth look at everything we can find, namely through desk research and contacts about that segment. 

The residential side is more about understanding our customers and consumers and getting into the nitty gritty. The secret to the sauce is that final drop of detail. We've got people, who we train incredibly highly to do a great job, but they are using many of the same tools that our competitors have. So, differentiating your business is critical. 

To build the campaigns, we look at the trends within the sectors or segments, the influencers and their motives. What are their needs? We'll look at where those people are shopping online, where they are doing their research, what forms are they looking at? From that, the marketing managers will work with our creative team to distill it and come up with the themes for the campaign around which we base all our communications, propositions, etc. and drive it through from there. 

 We end the show discussing the question, “How do you make sure that the campaigns have enough content at the right points of the buyer’s journey?” Randolph provides guidance on how to select the right channels and the right content, and later convert inquiries into buyer interest.

Direct download: VP1752_Randolph_Carter_18863.mp4
Category:Marketing Strategy -- posted at: 12:49pm EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Steve Bonvissuto, the Executive Director for Innovation at MarketSource. Today, we're going to demonstrate how to improve the productivity rates of the sales team with smart sales systems design. 

Why this topic? Too much technology and the reps never ever meet with customers because they become data entry clerks. Too little technology and the reps waste countless hours administrative tasks that could have been automated. You kind of think about revenue growth, it sits between these two extremes. 

Steve is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic with 30 years of experience transforming strategy and translating into results for Fortune 500 companies. Listen as Steve demonstrates how to build a sales technology strategy that will drive revenue growth and help you consistently make your number. 

In the first segment of the program, Steve shares the use-case of his company to illustrate the demonstration.  We begin with discussing the extent to which technology is changing sales performance.  

This dialogue delves into three different lenses of sales enablement. One lens being about the process in which people work, and the importance of an efficient and streamlined process to ensure the effectiveness of any technology. Another lens being the focus on driving productivity using the skills of the sales teams. This lens hones in on the strengths and weaknesses of sales teams and identifying where instructional design needs to be applied to increase the team’s skills and acumen. 

The final lens is about technology and making sure technical productivity is as high as possible. Making sure that when we look at sales enablement technologies we’re increasing our productivity, reducing time, and increasing quality. Steve explains how to deal with the confusion that the proliferation of technologies poses to a sales force: 

It's typical that see customers in this analysis paralysis phase, and for us, it's all about learning. We look at where in the funnel are we trying to have an impact; is it the top of the funnel, middle of the funnel, bottom of the funnel? Then, what is exactly we're trying to accomplish? Are we increasing the skill or acumen? We like this idea of failing fast and developing a use case and trying something quickly. So, for us it's about testing as many products as we can, developing those use cases, and seeing what the outcome is. Within 30 days, we can determine whether something fits in our environment or a customer environment. 

The second segment of the show focuses on demonstrating how to improve the productivity rates of your sales team and the usefulness of sales outsourcing using smart sales system designs. Steve addresses sales tech integration and importance of a company’s CRM. 

If you think about the customer life cycle all the way from creating demand to servicing a customer for life, your CRM is a key component of that. You want your sales force or CRM to be a tool that your people want to use to do their job, not just another task they need to do at the end of the day in order to get credit for an activity. I would suggest that most companies look at their CRM and make sure that they're designing it in a way that serves the needs of each individual role in the sales organization. Then, bolt on tools are going to serve each of the areas of the funnel: predictive analytics on the front end, lead scoring tools front end, so that you have the highest possible quality leads and you're focusing on the right prospects and the right personas. 

We end the show discussing the question, “What is the best approach for the audience to determine the budget for sales technology?” Steve provides guidance on how to reduce the cost of sales enablement technology to further increase profit and sales efficiency. 

Direct download: AP1757_Steve_Bonvissuto-18863.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 8:02am EDT

Joining the SBI podcast show is Nick Mehta, the CEO of software company Gainsight, the global leader in the customer success category. Many CEOs are moving their revenue models to recurring revenue as this type of revenue creates more enterprise value than transactional revenue.  As a result CEOs have become strategically focused on revenue retention, customer renewal rates, and customer life time value.

Nick literally wrote the book on customer success and with his company Gainsight, created the category. If generating more revenue that is recurring is on your strategic priority list, this show is for you.

Why this topic?  Business models are changing from transaction-based revenue models to subscription-based revenue models. Companies dependent on recurring revenue must pay special attention to customer renewal rates, revenue retention, and customer lifetime value. As a result, reactive customer service approaches, built to lower the cost to serve, are being replaced with proactive customer success approaches, built to increase the revenue per customer.

When your customer becomes more successful as a result of using your product, they buy more of it. And when your customer is unaware of how you have contributed to their success, they attrite. 

Greg and Nick leverage the How to Make Your Number in 2018 Workbook.  Turn to the Sales Strategy section and flip to Phase 15, Customer Success found on pages 411 – 416.

Listen to the first segment as Nick describes what is customer success, what type of businesses should be investing in it and what value customer success promises to create.

The second segment of the show is focused on how customer success lowers the cost to serve customers and increase the lifetime value of a customer. Also, how do companies fund a customer success department.

Our final segment of the show explains what is the profile of the leader of the customer success department, who should this person report to and how should this person be measured and compensated.

Direct download: AP1743_Nick_Mehta_18806_Final_Mix.m4a
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 5:57am EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Jason Close, a key member of the team working behind the scenes of the successful Global Payments growth story.  Global Payments literally doubled their revenue growth in a short period of time.  Jason is here to share the story of how the sales leadership team made that happen.  Jason has a unique approach to enabling the sales team to outpace the competition. Jason shares his story by answering questions from the How to Make Your Number in 2018 Workbook to share emerging best practices. Access the latest Workbook to review the Sales Enablement phase starting on page 407 of the Sales Strategy section. [p]

Our guest today is Jason Close, the Senior Vice President of Global Sales Excellence for Global Payments. The leader in merchant credit card processing, Global Payments is a technology-driven company serving business owners. Jason will demonstrate how to drive revenue per sales head up and time to productivity for new sales hires down. 

Why this topic? Getting an increase in sales head count is difficult. The expense cops expect all the current sales reps to be at quota before they agree to add any new heads. And when new sales people are hired there is little patience from the executive team members, who want each to generate revenue as quickly as possible. The sales enablement function exists to onboard new sales hires and to drive revenue per sales head up. Neglect sales enablement and forgo adding head count in the future. 

Jason is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic as the sales enablement leader for a highly successful growth company. Listen as Jason demonstrates how to drive revenue per sales head up and time to productivity for new sales hires down. 

In the first segment of the show, Jason describes the business outcomes he strives to accomplish with sales enablement.  He then ladders this down to the strategic focus areas of the sales enablement team to accomplish the business outcomes.  And to give you context, Jason describes his sales enablement team and the relationship with the overall sales force.  Jason shares below:

As my team starts, we step into each of these regions, it's an assessment period of three to four months. We're looking at a myriad of different areas like their current sales processes, methodologies. Do they have a methodology? Quota setting, channel optimization, buyer segmentation, market segmentation, six or seven others. 

We're approaching this from as much of a holistic standpoint as we can. And we're looking for, where are we thriving? Where are we strong? Where do we have gaps? Where are we starting from scratch? And with that assessment period, we're going to be looking for those initiatives that are going to help us, again, really start piling on with the organic revenue growth. 

At the end of the assessment, we end up with 10 or 15 different initiatives. And we're going to whittle that down and hopefully create a two, three, four, five-year trajectory. So, are of the two or three things that we need to start today? What might we stagger to the beginning of next year and the year after that? But again, we're looking for that steady, upward climb as we develop more scalable systems. 

Jason starts with an assessment to understand what everybody's doing.  This helps the corporate office make sure not to miss pockets of excellence and understand what everybody's doing in the field and across the company. 

In the next segment of the show, Jason describes how he leverages a custom sales process to help his sales team win more deals, faster, and at a higher close rate. 

Jason describes the sales process in detail, and this quote stands out: 

The sales process allowed me to focus on a couple of basic things. And the first one that we stumbled upon was, the most important thing that we could focus on is, how many first-time appointments are our salespeople getting in front of on a weekly basis? Not monthly, but every single week. What would it look like if, based on each person's personal goals and what they needed to hit?  That's key, focusing on their personal goals. I've never put together a business plan for a rep where it didn't far surpass whatever minimum standard that I had for them to keep their job. We help them identify their number, then, based on their own numbers and metrics, how many new people do you need to meet with on a weekly basis? And once we find that number, it's just about asking permission, can I hold you accountable to your personal goals? We've identified what the metric is, what it's going to take for you to do that, and I want to make sure that you are not only hitting but you're surpassing those personal goals. 

Jason summarizes the show by sharing his onboarding program.  Listen as Jason describes how he takes a brand-new rep and brings them to full productivity.  You will want to take notes as professional sales development programs are discussed, including the content required to enable the sales team.

Direct download: AP1739__Jason_Close-18733.m4a
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 8:33am EDT

Joining us for today’s show is David Ciccarelli, the CEO of Voices.com, who specializes in content marketing. This is an area David has developed deep expertise in, so his business is fueled with great content. David answers questions from the How to Make Your Number in 2018 Workbook, to access emerging best practices for content marketing. Turn to the Marketing Strategy section and flip to the Content Strategy and Planning phase on page 270. Today we're going to be discussing how to earn brand preference by satisfying the information needs of your target customers and prospects. 

Why this topic? Producing and distributing content for everyone means you're really doing it for no one. For content marketing to generate revenue, you have to know exactly what your customers need, where they need it, how often they need it, and in what form they need to consume it. Miss any of these items and others like them, and your content marketing efforts will fail to contribute to revenue growth in any meaningful way. 

David is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic as a CEO who understands the power of content marketing to drive his corporate growth strategy. Listen as David illustrates how to manage your content marketing team to maximize your business’s productivity and increase its profit. 

If you'd prefer to watch a full video of the interview, click here. 

In your business, what reasons do you have for creating content and how does it help your business?

Well I think one of the first things every executive needs to consider is really the buying cycle that a prospect will go through. We've all probably heard the times where a customer would say to us after they've made a purchase, “I wish I knew about you five years ago!” So, really the disconnect there is that there is no awareness. They may not have even known that your company existed. The first phase of that buying cycle is generating awareness, and content feeds right into that. From there, you're moving to the acquisition of a lead and the conversion of that lead into a customer. 

Direct download: AP1738__David_Ciccarelli-18733.mp3
Category:Marketing Strategy -- posted at: 7:56am EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Todd Jones, an executive sales operations leader who knows how to support aggressive revenue growth. Today’s topic is focused on how Sales Operations improves the efficiency of the sales force.  During our discussion, Todd and I leverage our workbook, so flip to the Sales Operations phase on page 314 of the PDF to follow along. [p]

Our guest today is Todd Jones, the Vice President of Sales Operations and Enablement at Renaissance Learning. Renaissance is the leader in the education software space, a SaaS based offering, providing a learning assessment and development platform to the K-12 market education market. Todd is going to demonstrate how to improve the efficiency of the sales team. [p]

Todd is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic of sales operations.  His background spans all aspects of sales, sales operations, enablement, and business management. Todd has more than 25 years of experience in sales operation leadership positions from marquee names within the technology space such as NetApp, QLogic, Symantec and now Renaissance Learning.

Why this topic on this day? Sales ops has become a catch all phrase. The sales ops leader gets assigned all the work no one else wants to do. Often underfunded and understaffed, sales operations leaders fail to deliver a meaningful revenue contribution. Yet, the best growth executives understand that sales ops is the most strategic sales function in the entire company. They understand that when deployed correctly, sales ops can impact revenue growth in a very meaningful way. Do not starve this vital department. If you do you're going to miss your revenue goal. [p]

Listen as Todd demonstrates how to improve the efficiency of the sales team.  We begin the show discussing the business outcomes a sales operation team needs to deliver.  Todd describes top-line growth and profitability as the number one priorities both within sales operations and the organization at large. The primary objective within sales operations is focusing on the skills development, the sales effectiveness, and ultimately driving the productivity and capacity of selling resources.

Todd shares, “Sales operations often can be what I would categorize as the dumping ground for all things that need to be addressed, or challenges within the organization. As I entered the function here at Renaissance, I think as important as it is to understand what we will do, equally important to understand what we will not do to avoid becoming that dumping ground.” The strategic areas of focus for any best-in-class sales operations organization are really quite simple.

  • Focus on the re-engineering alignment design of core sales processes, the system capabilities, and automation tools that align in support of those processes.
  • Define a clear business management process and operational cadence that supports the objectives of the organization. The business management process covers how we operate, how we function as a sales organization, how we lead, inspect, and deliver on those commitments to the company.
  • Ensure the coverage model and compensation plan for the sellers to take to market and manage their book of business are clear, well-defined, and aligned across the company.

Listen as Todd describes his forecasting process.  It’s tight and stage-gated. If you're struggling with forecasting accuracy, make sure to take notes while you listen to what Todd shares about his process and you'll receive tremendous value.

 

Direct download: AP1707-Todd_Jones-18546.m4a
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Bill Griffin, an Executive Vice President of Global Sales who knows how to Make the Number. Today’s topic is about winning more deals, winning bigger deals, and winning them faster. Bill uses the How to Make Your Number in 2018 Workbook to access emerging best practices as a guide for our questions.  Leverage the latest Workbook to review the Sales Process phase starting on page 361 of the Sales Strategy section. 

Our guest today is Bill Griffin, the Executive Vice President of Global Sales and Services for Aspen Technology. Aspen is the leader in process optimization software, primarily for the process industries, which include oil, gas, and chemical customers. This show is a can’t miss episode for executives who want to yield more deals, bigger deals, and greater success in making your number.  

Today’s focus on sales process has an emphasis on pipeline velocity and pipeline cleanliness. To increase deal sizes, improve your win rates, and shorten your sales cycles, you need to adopt a custom, proprietary sales process/methodology. Bill is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic of deploying a custom sales process, as he came up through the ranks of Xerox and Autodesk, and has guided his sales teams to win more deals, win bigger deals, and win them faster.    

Why this topic? Standard, one size fits all sales methodologies no longer work. Your competitors can license the same sales methodologies from the same vendors you can, so there is no competitive advantage to be had by adopting the latest sales methodology from the sales trainee industry.

Listen to the interview with Bill from May, 2017 that demonstrates how to win more deals, win bigger deals, and win them faster.  

We begin the show by providing an overview of how Bill uses sales process to help buyers make purchase decisions.  He describes the sales methodology and the resources the sales team needs to execute the sales process.  Bill describes how to use the sales process to trigger access to higher end sales resources. 

We do that by making sure we're giving the customer the right resources they need at the right phase. What is important is that those stages trigger certain activities from your sales organization. I would not send out a pre-sales application engineer or solution engineer - we call it a business consultant at Aspen Technology - unless we've reached a certain stage in the process because it would be inappropriate. Just like throwing a quote out to the customer, doing a deep dive custom demo. You need to make sure you reach a certain stage in the process. By having those stage gates, you can make sure you are applying the right resources because your resources are expensive and limited in a global organization, at the right time in the sales cycle. 

In the second segment of the show Bill explains how a custom sales process shortens the sales cycle length, increases win rate, and improves the deal size.  Bill’s straightforward answer provides a sound guide to how this can pay off for you: 

You allocate your limited resources on deals that a higher likelihood that are actually going to be closed. And by doing that you're able to grow the deal because you're not wasting your time chasing deals that aren't going to follow through.

Bill provides an insight into how to track the right metrics that indicate success of a sales process. What are the leading indicators and ultimately the lagging indicators to show success.  

Direct download: AP1737__Bill_Griffin-18733.m4a
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 8:10am EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Amir Wain, a Chief Executive Officer who knows how to commercialize technical innovation. This show suggests ways to generate revenue from new product introductions. Amir and I answered questions from the new How to Your Number in 2018 Workbook to demonstrate generating revenue from product introductions by leveraging emerging best practices. 

Joining us today is Amir Wain, the CEO and of i2c, a payment technology company. I2c provides the infrastructure to enable companies to address the needs of the next generation of payments and commerce with personalized payment solutions.  Watch as Amir demonstrates how to commercialize technical innovation. 

Why this topic?  Technology companies are pouring millions of dollars into product development and many of these innovations are not generating enough revenue. Building cool new products is exciting, but unless they are bought at scale by prospects and customers, it's really not worth it. 

Amir is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic. Amir has pioneered many industry firsts, and has cracked the code on converting product development dollars into scalable revenue streams. If you plan to launch new products and need to get prospects to buy them at scale, you're going to get a lot out of today's show. 

In today’s show, we begin by discussing by determining which problems that are worth solving through product development. Customers have many problems, but you can't solve everything. Amir explains how to select the problems that matter to go after. Amir explains: 

Every month people from customer success, compliance, engineering, service delivery, and customer service come prepared with a sequential list of items that they want the company to spend resources on in terms of product development. Each advocate their case as to why their suggestion is important, and the others get to question and challenge.  Together they determine where the resources must be deployed for that month. The monthly cycle is important, because if your assessment was wrong, then you can quickly adjust and correct course.   

Amir’s description relies on agility to provide the courage and the capability to pivot to the next thing and keeping these cycles down to monthly sprints to keep product development pointed in the right direction.  We then discuss how to fit your product to a growing market and how to do that at scale. 

Watch as Amir advises how to develop a strong product to market fit, as he begins to explain:  

I think one thing to keep in mind is to distinguish between invention and innovation. A lot of times engineering and product teams get into the invention business, and it's cool that I've come up with this really. That's good. But can I monetize that? Can I commercialize it? That's the innovation piece. 

Skip to the 9-minute mark of the video to for Amir to describe the difference of invention and innovation.  It’s great advice on how to stress test whether a buyer is going to write a check for it or not, and that's the ultimate proof of product market fit. 

We discuss in detail how to think through the market plan and select the right routes to market.  Amir begins with this quote: 

The innovation adoption curve and the model of early adopters shows how people who would buy or not buy, no matter how good the product is, and what all it can mean to them unless they have validation and customer references. Depending on where you are in your product life cycle, I think recognizing it and making sure you keep adjusting and making changes to support, that is important. People who you would initially go after may not be a good fit for you later in the cycle, so the whole organization realizing that, and being prepared across your company is extremely important.

Watch Amir describe the product life cycle and how to think about where the product is in its life cycle.  Using that as an input, determine which products to sell, to which customers and through which channel.

A fascinating discussion involves how to validate value propositions for your product, and how competitive positioning fits. Amir and I discuss how to validate whether or not differentiation is real or false. From there, you have a superior product, and have the opportunity to receive a price premium. 

Direct download: AP1742_Amir_Wain_18790.m4a
Category:Corporate Strategy -- posted at: 8:15am EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Oni Chukwu, a software executive who knows how to make the number. Today’s topic is Go-to-Market Strategy. Oni and I leverage the How to Make Your Number in 2018 Workbook to access emerging best practices as a guide for our questions. Access the latest Workbook to review the Corporate Strategy section. Flip to Step 5 Go-to-Market that includes Coverage and Channels as well as Pricing and Packaging phases. [p]

Our guest today is Oni Chukwu, the Chief Executive Officer of etouches, the premier leader in event management software. The event management software covers everything from venue sourcing all the way through analytics and serves over 1,500 customers in 50 countries. Oni will demonstrate how to sufficiently cover your markets by selecting and optimizing your sales channels and packaging your products correctly. 

Why this topic? Not covering your addressable market entirely will result in missed revenue opportunities. Traditional routes to market are being replaced with innovative ways to reach customers. Packaging your products the same way as your competitors results in perceived commoditization and a race to the bottom. 

Oni is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic as an executive leader with an exceptional history of accomplishment in leading companies to grow faster than the industry and the competitors. Listen as Oni demonstrates how to plan your corporate strategy to: 

  • Sufficiently cover your markets.
  • Select and optimize your sales channels.
  • Price and package your products correctly. 

Category Bundling represents a company that's moving from a company that has several products, and they're bundling these products potentially up into solutions. They're presenting bundles to the customer. Oni describes his thoughts regarding product bundling:

It's an evolutionary step where you're going from the product company to a solutions company I think it serves us very well, because as a company we're on the innovative edge. We're constantly adding products, constantly innovating. Giving our customers value for what they pay us. I think it makes sense for our customers, and given that there's segments of customers and you're not serving just one industry. There's segments of customers that needs certain things, and certain solution sets that you can actually package and make it more meaningful to them.

Direct download: AP1741__etouches_18746_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:04am EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Sean Cataldo, a sales effectiveness leader who knows how to enable a sales force to hit the number. Today’s topic is sales enablement. Sean and I leverage the How to Make Your Number in 2018 Workbook to access emerging best practices as a guide for our questions. Access the latest Workbook to review the Sales Enablement phase starting on page 367 of the Sales Strategy section. 

Our guest today is Sean Cataldo, the Senior Director of Global Sales Force Effectiveness at Veritas Technologies. Veritas helps companies manage information to harness the power of that information regardless of whether it lives on-prem, in virtual systems, or in the cloud. Sean will demonstrate how to drive revenue per sales head up and time to productivity for new sales hires down. 

Why this topic? Getting an increase in sales head count is difficult. The expense cops expect all the current sales reps to be at quota before they agree to add any new heads. And when new sales people are hired there is little patience from the executive team members, who want each to generate revenue as quickly as possible. The sales enablement function exists to onboard new sales hires and to drive revenue per sales head up. Neglect sales enablement and forgo adding head count in the future. 

Sean is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic as the sales enablement leader for an enterprise software company. Listen as Sean demonstrates how to drive revenue per sales head up and time to productivity for new sales hires down.

In the first segment of the show, Sean describes the business outcomes that sales enablement is tasked to pursue.  He describes three business objectives for his sales effectiveness team:

The first is we are in fact charged with reducing time to productivity across our entire sales force. That's not just for new hires but also for existing hires and making sure that they are able execute on our new product introduction and go to market plans. The second area is around enabling our sellers and partners to consistently grow a quality pipeline. The third area is helping those sellers accelerate the velocity of that pipeline.  

To accomplish these objectives, Sean shares the strategic areas of focus to increase revenue per sales head: 

There are four strategic areas. The first is onboarding and that ties of course directly back to reducing time to productivity. We indoctrinate our new hires through a very rigorous program. It helps them understand our strategy, our vision, and how to bring value to our costumes. The second area is really ensuring that our existing sales force is able to execute on its go-to-market priorities, whether they're direct sellers, technical sellers, or in our channel. The third area has to do with our focus around sales process and tools, helping to ensure our selling motion is consistent and repeatable. The fourth area is around developing the selling skills that our teams need to be able to execute that process with world-class efficiency.

Listen to the entire podcast to drilled deep as Sean demonstrates how to executive against these areas of focus to accomplish the business outcomes. 

Have expectations gone up and left you wondering if you have the right strategies to support your revenue growth goals? Here is an interactive tool that will help you understand if you have a chance at success. Take the Revenue Growth Diagnostic test and rate your Sales Strategy against SBI’s emerging best practices to find out if: 

  • Your revenue goal is realistic
  • You will earn your bonus
  • You will keep your job 
Direct download: AP1715_Sean_Cataldo-18602_Audio_Final_1.m4a
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 7:53am EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Emily Rakowski, a marketing leader who knows how to create brand preference that attracts more deals into the funnel at a higher win rate. Today’s topic is Content Marketing and how to use content marketing to build brand preference that gives you a competitive advantage. Emily and I review emerging best practices from the How to Make Your Number in 2018 Workbook. Turn to the Marketing Strategy section and flip to the Content Strategy and Planning phase on page 270. 

Our guest today is Emily Rakowski, the Vice President of Solution Marketing from Ellucian.  A worldwide leader, Ellucian provides software and services to the higher education market. 18 million students around the world are touched by the software tools each day.  

Our guest today is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic of B2B content marketing. Emily is a B2B marketing leader who helped build the Ariba brand and later SAP’s marketing efforts as the global head of solution marketing. 

Listen as Emily demonstrates how to earn brand preference by satisfying the information needs of your target customers and prospects. This show illustrates that content marketing does more than drive leads into the funnel. Content marketing can satisfy the information needs of prospects and customers with the result of increasing brand preference.  This is a must hear interview for any executive with an organic growth strategy. 

Why this topic?  Producing and distributing content for everyone means doing it for no one. For content marketing to generate revenue you have to know exactly what your customers need, where they need it, how often they need it, and in what form they need to consume it. Miss any of these items (and others like them) and your content marketing efforts will fail to contribute to revenue growth in any meaningful way. 

In the first segment of the program is focused on assessing the audience needs of your audience.  What questions should your team ask to understand how your prospects researches solutions today, and where you must find them to cultivate latent demand.  

Segment two establishes the objectives and business reasons for why content is created.  What business objectives does content accomplish?  Listen as Emily explains her approach and you will understand that content marketing goes well beyond simply purchasing the latest analyst reports that support your business case.  

A unique discussion occurs by answering the question, what would you do with an extra $1M in marketing budget? Would you spend it on content marketing? This question unpacks the greater opportunity that eludes most companies.  

Emily describes the content marketing staff allocated to develop content.  Listen to think through how your company has allocated staff to execute your content marketing strategy. This is typically where marketing teams lack the manpower to execute the strategy. 

Listen as we discuss the tools and process required to successfully execute content marketing.  Is your team writing content without the proven tools that best in class content creation teams are leveraging?   

Have expectations gone up and left you wondering if you have the right marketing strategy to support the new revenue growth goals? Here is an interactive tool that will help you understand if you have a chance at success. Take the Revenue Growth Diagnostic test and rate your Marketing Strategy against SBI’s emerging best practices to find out if: 

  • Your revenue goal is realistic
  • You will earn your bonus
  • You will keep your job [p]
Direct download: AP1729-Emily_Rakowski-18691.mp3
Category:Marketing Strategy -- posted at: 8:29am EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Mike Dickerson, the Chief Executive Officer for ClickDimensions who knows how to make the number. Today’s topic is focused on demonstrating the corporate strategy’s competitive view.  For many companies, the CEO leaves competitive guidance up to a simple report of competitor capabilities developed by an analyst.  This represents one of the least defined areas of corporate strategy by CEO’s for their marketing and sales teams.  There is a better way to increase your team’s win rate against the competition.

Mike and I leverage the How to Make Your Number in 2018 Workbook to access emerging best practices as a guide for our questions. Access the latest workbook to review the Competitors phase starting on page 70 of the Corporate Strategy section dedicated to generating revenue growth. 

Mike Dickerson, the Chief Executive Officer for ClickDimensions, a SaaS-based marketing automation company with 3,000 customers. Under Mike’s leadership, the company has grown 45% in the last year with revenues of $45M. Mike will demonstrate how to define who you compete with, and how to win. 

Why this topic? Share battles often lead to below average revenue growth because the cycle of market share give-and-take rarely results in a permanent share gain for any one competitor. Sustainable revenue growth from share gain comes from changing the product or its delivery enough to create what is effectively a new product. Price wars do not result in share gain driven revenue growth because they can result in a decline in sales, and are not repeatable. This is because customers will eventually push back, thus eroding any short-term revenue growth.  

Mike is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic as a CEO with a corporate strategy and planning background.  He knows the importance of setting the right corporate strategy to enable his functional leaders to be successful. [p]

In the first segment of the program Mike and I discuss his company’s unique competitive advantage. There are three broad types of competitive advantage. The first is a superior product, and that's clearly the case here with ClickDimensions, who has built their product with a UI that’s differentiated. They have a very clear competitive advantage there.

The second type of differentiation is price. The way that you can compete on price is that you have a lower cost structure than your competitors. As a result of that, you can be more competitive in pricing and offer a better value proposition.   Mike describes a very unique go to market model, with a thousand channel partners that allow him to have a lower sales and marketing costs, so he can be more competitive from a pricing perspective, which is a brilliant strategy.

The third type of competitive advantage a CEO can typically choose from is customer experience. A god example we can all relate to is the difference between a Four Seasons Hotel, as opposed to the Hilton. They both sell the same thing for the most part, but the Four Season's experience is quite a bit different, so they charge quite a bit more, even though it's the same product. That's called the customer experience.  Listen as Mike describes his customer experience advantage.  Here is a starting quote from Mike, and you’ll want to hear the full show to unpack this example and apply it to your company:

Our longer term sustainable advantage is in our distribution system. Sure, we must stay relevant in our product – The product we have today may only be a part of our portfolio tomorrow. The pace of technology changes, certainly in the marketing technology space, and I'm not sure anyone has an exactly perfect view on where that's going to be. So, we'll have to react to that. But the long-term thing that I think we can build a business on is the unique distribution model and the support that we provide in that space.

Direct download: AP1732-Mike_Dickerson-18691.m4a
Category:Corporate Strategy -- posted at: 8:31am EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Chris Walter, a Vice President of Strategy who knows how to build a sales force. Today’s topic is dedicated to the topic of attracting and retaining top sales talent. Chris and I leverage the How to Make Your Number in 2018 Workbook to access emerging best practices as a guide for our questions. Access the latest Workbook to review the People phase starting on page 367 of the Sales Strategy section. 

Chris Walter is the Vice President of Strategy of Strategic Enterprise Services at MarketSource, a sales outsourcing firm serving both retail and commercial channels. Chris will demonstrate how to attract and retain A-Players who generate 5x more revenue than B-Players and 10x more than C-Players. 

Why this topic? Relying on the heroic efforts of a few eventually catches up with you. When 20% of the sales team produces 80% of the revenue, something is wrong. The labor expense associated with the sales team incurred by the company has to be justified, or a head count reduction is warranted. Tolerating under-performers, hiring mistakes, and very long new hire productivity cycles all lead to missed revenue targets — and job loss for the head of sales. 

Chris is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic coming from a business services firm that provides outsourced sales services. Not only is Chris a peer sales leader with a sales force of his own, but his “Product” is providing feet on the street for other companies. 

Listen as Chris demonstrates how to attract and retain A-Players who generate 5x more revenue than B-Players and 10x more than C-Players. Chris describes the level of talent required, and whether he requires an exceptional sales talent or great product/industry fit. 

In the first segment of the show, Chris describes the investments he making in sales talent to make the number.  Selecting the right talent to start with is where it all begins, and Chris shares his expertise in the evaluation criteria you should use when selecting sales talent. 

Chris describes the changing routes to market in the second segment, and the corresponding changes in sales talent required. The importance of digital marketing is shared in this quote: 

The impact of digital on the overall route to market is important. I've seen stats as high as 60-70% of the buyer's journey now is conducted digitally, so it's really important that companies adapt to that change, begin to work in both demand generation and prospecting through these digital channels, and it's important for the sellers to understand they need to prospect differently, leveraging social, being engaged in social conversations, and then really understanding the buyers are coming to them in a different mindset than they might have been 10 years ago as an example, so they really need to play more of a consultative role, more of a challenger type role because of where the buyers are at the point in time they're hitting the salesperson.

The time it takes to get a new sales rep to full productivity (100% quota) is discussed. Chris explains: 

Depending upon the mission, but we typically look for three to six months on average to get somebody productive, ramped up and productive. It'll be shorter if we're doing transactional sales engagements.  One or two call closes scenarios, obviously need to be a lot faster. If we're doing long sales cycles, complex selling, it's going to be longer, but that's the target that we shoot for on average across our various types of sales programs.

In the final segment of the program, Chris discusses how the onboarding process.  He goes deep into how to find the right blend between situational application of the knowledge and classroom study. 

Direct download: AP1727-Chris_Walter-18691.m4a
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 8:42pm EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Natalie Fedie, a Vice President of Customer Success who knows how to grow and retain customers. Today’s topic is dedicated to the topic of Customer Success. Natalie and I leverage the How to Make Your Number in 2018 Workbook to access emerging best practices as a guide for our questions. Access the latest Workbook to review the Customer Success phase starting on page 411 of the Sales Strategy section. 

Natalie Fedie is the Vice President of Customer Success for Granicus, a digital engagement software company focused on the government sector.  Granicus serves over 3,000 government agencies at all levels of government, federal, state, local, and city government. Natalie will demonstrate how to grow revenues by retaining, and growing, customers by proactively managing the customer life cycle.     

Why this topic? Business models are changing from transaction-based revenue models to subscription-based revenue models. Companies dependent on recurring revenue must pay special attention to customer renewal rates, revenue retention, and customer lifetime value. As a result, reactive customer service approaches, built to lower the cost to serve, are being replaced with proactive customer success approaches, built to increase the revenue per customer. When your customer becomes more successful as a result of using your product, they buy more of it. And when your customer is unaware of how you have contributed to their success, they attrite. 

Natalie is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic having been involved in setting up customer success teams, and leading them to reach their goals of growing customer revenue.  The first segment of the program is focused on providing an overview of a highly productive Customer Success team.  Natalie speaks about the customer renewal rate and what to expect for your company. 

“We are a subscription model. We have annual contracts. Some are multi-year contracts. Our renewal rate is typically in the high 90% on average. Over half of our revenue comes from our existing customer base and that was through expansions of contracts and upsells and cross sells.”

Listen as Natalie describes where the customer success team resides in her company’s organization, who Natalie reports to in the corporate structure, and the number of reps.  Many members of the audience are weighing decisions on where customer support should reside, and listening to Natalie describe the pros and cons of different parts of the organization she’s reported will help you think through factors to inform your decision.

The second segment of the show is focused on how a customer success team gains early adoption of your products, and how to gain expanded adoption.  Natalie provides guidance for how to sell additional products to successful customers. 

Our final segment of the show explains how a veteran customer success team with a proven record of accomplishment recognizes the signs of churn before it happens.  Natalie explains the early warning signs and how her team acts.  In addition, we explore the early signs of a customer who is ready to buy more.  Just asking for more business isn’t going to do more than just capture active demand.  Listen as Natalie describes how a customer success team proactively develops latent demand and then spots trigger events to help customers solve problems.  

We wrap up the show discussing the profile of a customer success manager.  What do you look for in candidates, and how should you compensate a CSM. We dive into the major question of whether a customer success manager should carry a quota and how to structure their compensation plan. 

 

 

Direct download: AP1736__Natalie_Fedie-18733.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 8:16am EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Loren Brockhouse, a Senior Vice President of Global Sales who knows how to Make the Number. Today’s topic is about winning more deals, winning bigger deals, and winning them faster. It’s difficult to grow revenue faster than your industry’s growth rate and faster than your competitors.  Loren and I leverage the How to Make Your Number in 2018 Workbook to access emerging best practices as a guide for our questions.  Access the latest Workbook to review the Sales Process phase starting on page 361 of the Sales Strategy section.

Loren Brockhouse is the Senior Vice President of Global Sales for iiPay, an international payroll provider for enterprise companies. Integrated International Payroll (iiPay) is a cloud-based global payroll solution that reduces dependence on in-country payroll processors; and provides a comprehensive view into an organization’s global payroll landscape. This show is a must watch for executives with sales teams working to disrupt the status quo. Loren will demonstrate how to win more deals, win bigger deals, and win them faster.  

To increase deal sizes, improve your win rates, and shorten your sales cycles, you need to adopt a custom, proprietary sales process/methodology. Loren is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic of deploying a custom sales process, as he uses it with his sales team to disrupt the payroll industry. His reps must get the attention of enterprise buyers and convince them to do things in a different way. He’s been successful upsetting the status quo with his sales methodology, so I have brought Loren on the show to share his use-case. 

If you would prefer to watch a HD video of my interview with Loren, click here

Why this topic? Standard, one size fits all sales methodologies no longer work. Your competitors can license the same sales methodologies from the same vendors you can, so there is no competitive advantage to be had by adopting the latest sales methodology from the sales trainee industry. 

Ultimately, the reason to install a sales methodology or sales process is to improve your win rate, grow your average deal size, and shorten your sales cycle. Loren and I begin the show by discussing the iiPay proprietary sales process. Loren describes how strategic selling questions are baked in at each stage, which enables his team to differentiate his solution from the competition throughout the buying process. It allows his team to speed up the overall sales process by establishing the point of differentiation early. 

The custom sales process is empowered by clear buyer-driven definitions between the stages. The entire sales organization has the same, broadly adopted criteria  for moving opportunities from one stage to another. Ultimately, the stages drive resourcing and forecast which is extremely important to any business, but particularly an emerging one. 

Loren makes the case for why sales leaders should develop a proprietary sales process. “If you (prospects) look at the website of iiPay and our competitors', the websites look the same. The value propositions are the same. So really, the main differentiation is when you engage with the client, and that absolutely must be felt and seen as something different.” Licensing the latest sales process from a sales training company is the same process your competitors can use, and is therefore a commodity offering and experience. The result of a licensed sales process is likely sameness and an over-reliance on the persuasiveness of your sales reps. 

The question the audience should ask themselves, is whether the sales team offers a different experience versus the top three or four other players in your space. In most markets the competitors are using the same words. So how do you differentiate, right? The answer for your sales force is to use a custom sales process built for your buyers and your specific company.  

Have expectations gone up and left you wondering if you have the right product strategy to support your revenue growth goals? Here is an interactive tool that will help you understand if you have a chance at success. Take the Revenue Growth Diagnostic test and rate your Product Strategy against SBI’s emerging best practices to find out if: 

  • Your revenue goal is realistic
  • You will earn your bonus
  • You will keep your job 

 

Direct download: AP1721__Loren_Brockhouse-18661.m4a
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 8:22am EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Ella Balagula, an executive product leader who knows a thing or two about developing revenue-producing products. Today’s topic is focused on how to use the Product Road Map to paint a picture of happy customers well into the future. Ella and I leverage the How to Make Your Number in 2018 Workbook to access emerging best practices as a guide for our questions.  To access the latest workbook, click here to review the Product Strategy section.     

Let me tell you more about our guest. Ella Balagula the Senior Vice President and General Manager of Engineering & Technology Solutions for Elsevier, an information analytics company that specializes in science, technology, and health. Ella manages a product that is an engineering decision support solution that enables engineers to confidently answer technical questions drawing upon more than 130 providers through cloud based platform with powerful search and interactive analytics tool. Listen as Ella demonstrates how to use the Product Road Map to paint a picture of happy customers well into the future. 

Your ability to grow revenue is highly influenced by the quality of the product and whether you are a ‘me too’ or a unique game changer.  In today’s show, Ella guides our audience path to producing a revenue-producing product road map. Ella is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic having a strong background in both strategic planning and product development. Ella is the perfect expert to help connect the dots between the product road map and the functional teams of sales and marketing. 

If you would prefer to watch a HD video of the interview, click here.

Why this topic? Future revenue growth sits in the product road map, use cases and requirements backlogs. Today’s revenue-producing products become tomorrow’s commodities as the competition quickens its development cycle. Building blockbuster products requires moving from legacy market listening techniques to advanced feedback systems. Long lead times starting with robust requirements have been replaced with short lead times starting with use case iterations based on real-time product feedback and analysis. 

In the first segment of the show, Ella describes to process for prioritizing feature requests.  The endless request for features must be tied to customer satisfaction and the path to future revenue.  Our conversation then takes a unique turn as we discuss the drivers that compel changes to the product road map, including what social, economic and industry trends influence a product road map.  This quote from Ella summarizes the emerging best practice approach: 

“We do a deep dive to understand customer use case's workflow. But most importantly, we anchor into, where are we going to play? What are the markets? We get alignment with corporate strategy. Then we look for big meaty problems that drive progress of humanity. It's big issues like health and wellness or energy sustainability or materials revolution.” [p]

“For example, we're developing a product now focused on material selection in the chemical industry. We know that materials revolution is driving a need for people to start selecting the right material and connect research data with environmental data and the prior pricing and all of those. Can we help them? That's when it starts going into product plans or product road map. We start with market. We focus on a big meaty problem and we translate it into what it means to customers.”  

Listen as Ella describes how to take advantage of emerging opportunities created by new technology, and how to navigate the use of third-party partners and technology into your product road map.  

The timing of product releases will greatly impact revenue within a given year.  Listen as Ella describes how to collaborate with sales and marketing to define release timelines.  This includes a discussion into how to employ release schedules to drive a consistent velocity of product releases into your market. 

Decision Gates are used to move products through your product road map.  Watch was Ella describes the gating process and how to determine the right gates to keep your company on track. 

Finally, we have a deep discussion how Ella validates that the new releases on the product road map are delivering value to customers and ultimately producing revenue. 

Have expectations gone up and left you wondering if you have the right product strategy to support your revenue growth goals? Here is an interactive tool that will help you understand if you have a chance at success. Take the Revenue Growth Diagnostic test and rate your Product Strategy against SBI’s emerging best practices to find out if:

  • Your revenue goal is realistic
  • You will earn your bonus
  • You will keep your job
Direct download: AP1733-Ella_Balagula-18691.m4a
Category:Product Strategy -- posted at: 8:27am EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Ralph Hawkins, a Senior Vice President of Sales who knows a thing or two about transitioning from direct sales to indirect sales channels. Today’s topic is focused on selecting the right sales channels and exploring the economic models for partner programs. Ralph and I leveraged the How to Make Your Number workbook to access emerging best practices as a guide for our questions. To access the latest workbook, click here to get started now.   

Let me tell you more about our guest. Ralph Hawkins is the Senior Vice President of Sales responsible for partner programs at PGi. Helping companies collaborate and be more productive by using conferencing and collaboration products, PGi is the world’s largest dedicated provider of collaboration software. With over 50,000 business customers around the world, PGi is the platform of choice for 75% of the Fortune 100. Ralph will demonstrate how to cover the market completely with direct and indirect sales channels, starting with how to make the transition. 

So why this topic on this day? Selling to customers directly when they want to buy from partners, is a sure-fire way to miss the revenue goal. Selling to customers through partners when they want a direct relationship with your company, can be equally devastating. Within the direct and indirect channel model, there are multiple sub-models to consider. Coverage model decisions have never been this complicated, for we live in the omni-channel era.  

Listen as Ralph describes how to transition from a 100% direct sales model to a robust partner model. Ralph describes the advantages to cover the market by leveraging channels to broaden the reach of your company. 

What’s impressive is the approach Ralph has taken to think about all the potential channels in a broad manner.  Ralph thoroughly thinks through going from agents, to private label, to classic resellers, and more. That's what it means. Covering the market completely requires going beyond the obvious channels of your competitors.    

Ralph and I discuss the economics of partnering.  Ultimately it comes down to possible partners asking themselves, "How much money can I make?" Ralph outlines two economic models that he's using, and there are several others. The royalty model Ralph describes is that something that you can could possibly take advantage of that's a lucrative model for the channel partner of a manufacturer. Then you think about the wholesale to retail model, your classic B2B sales approach, especially with a software company like PGi. This model is built on the spread between wholesale to retail. Sometimes that's more of a consumer approach to things, but it's applicable in certain market segments with certain channel partners. Listen as Ralph describes the approach to think through for your economic model.  

In the second segment of the show we discuss how to prevent and address channel conflict.  Ralph describes in depth how to classify the channel coverage models based on your unique market based on buy preference and market dynamics.  

Ralph and I discuss how to leverage the various channels to reach certain market segments that the direct sales force can’t reach effectively.  Once a channel is working, we discuss how to scale up resources and we compare this to scaling internal direct sales resources. 

The show is wrapped up with Ralph describing how to select, recruit an onboard the right channel partners.  This serves as a thorough checklist to think through what your channel program may be missing.

Direct download: AP1704-Ralph_Hawkins-18546.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 3:06am EDT

Today we demonstrate how to design marketing campaigns that generate revenue. It is hard to execute a Marketing Strategy to grow revenue faster than your competitors. The Revenue Growth Diagnostic tool will help you assess your marketing strategy to pinpoint keys to your success.  

Joining me in the studio today is the executive marketing team from Polycom, an agile B2B marketing team. With 400,000 customers and 25 years of success, Polycom is the leader in the collaboration space. Our guests include Amy Barzdukas, Polycom’s head of marketing, Maurizio Capuzzo the VP of Americas Marketing, Charles Dunlap the Director of Lead Generation, and Jim Kruger. 

To facilitate the conversation, we will leverage SBI’s campaign planning tool. I am going to walk this team through the steps and get them to share with you how Polycom plans campaigns from their own version of SBI’s planning process. Prefer video?  Watch the interview video that displays the visual flowchart of an emerging best practice campaign planning process. 

Why this topic? Campaign budgets are limited and these campaigns need to generate revenue. In B2B, marketing campaigns generate revenue when they are hyper-targeted, and do not when they are spray and pray. Today, we will demonstrate how to generate revenue and achieve a return on the campaign dollar.

The show begins by addressing the key question of how marketing leaders make the go/no do decision on campaigns. Listen as the process for decision making is described in detail. 

Listen as Maurizio Capuzzo, the VP of Americas Marketing shares with the audience how to pick a target audience, and how do you select the correct media for a campaign.  Maurizio stated; “The target audience will consume the different type of information according to their stage in the buyer journey. Therefore, we need to look at and learn what they like to consume, when they like to consume it and the type of information that they use. Therefore, as part of the process of understanding who they are and what they do, we try to work with the sales team in understanding and interview the customer as well.”

We discussed how to build campaigns based on the buyer persona’s emotional drivers. This is easier said than done. Amy Barzukas, the head of marketing, provides an insightful answer into the approach. Amy states, “It requires a lot of research into really understanding buyer personas; and you need to understand what they value, what they worry about, what they care about – and then build your messaging for them so that you know that what drives them. Then talk to them about the ease of use – about the ways that it’s going to make their life easier.”

The final segment of the show is focused on demonstrating how to pick the activities to use for each campaign, how to develop compelling offers, and lastly how do you measure the effectiveness of a campaign.

To go deeper with Campaign Strategy and Planning, assess your marketing strategy by investing a few minutes with SBI’s new Revenue Growth Diagnostic interactive tool.  This tool will help you pinpoint gaps and opportunities for improvement.

Direct download: AP1719__Polycom-18602.m4a
Category:Marketing Strategy -- posted at: 8:29am EDT

Today we are going to demonstrate how to capture the attention of customers and prospects with great marketing campaigns. Campaign budgets are limited and these campaigns need to generate revenue. The emerging best practice for planning campaigns requires a scientific approach to dial in the results. Today’s show provides the definitive guide to campaign planning from the first step through the entire campaign planning process. To assess your overall Marketing Strategy, spend a few minutes leveraging SBI's new Revenue Growth Diagnostic tool to pinpoint keys to your success. 

Our guest is Michael Callahan the Chief Marketing Officer for Firemon, one of the hottest cyber security firms performing enterprise security management. Firemon helps organizations with complex IT environments keep the bad guys out by providing a single view of what's going on in someone's infrastructure. Today we are going to demonstrate how to capture the attention of customers and prospects.

Why this topic? Every market has a “sweet spot.” Campaigns (and their budgets) generate revenues when focused directly at this “sweet spot.” Campaigns that are not hyper-targeted do not. To generate a return on marketing campaign dollars requires a clear objective, timeline, budget, accurate lists, correct media mix and compelling calls to action.

To facilitate the conversation, we will display SBI’s campaign planning tool on the screen to provide structure to the conversation.  

In the first segment of the program, Michael will describe how to develop campaign objectives, timelines, budget and expected results for each campaign. The conversation extends to the approach for defining the addressable markets and how do you allocate campaign resources (i.e., people, money, and time) against the “sweet spot” in the addressable markets. 

Michael demonstrates how to ensure that marketing campaigns have clear value proposition and the process for reviewing creative. 

There are multiple program types that a marketing team can run in a campaign, and Michael breaks down the approach to the different types of campaigns including:  Awareness, Cross sell, New logo, Competitive replacement, Renewals, Migration, and Nurture. The best practice is to focus on one.  Michael outlines the mix of activities and how to sequence them correctly, as well as how to create compelling offers to drive response. 

Michael describes how to assign enough content assets and map the assets to the buyers’ journey. The importance is described in this quote: 

“People simply don't have time to figure things out. You may have rock-solid proof, logic-built message – and there's no way that anybody could ever dispute any part of it. But it's so complicated that no one knows what you're talking about and they just move on, because they have a million things to do – furthermore, there's other people in your space that are saying it more clearly. People have choices, you must give them a reason to choose you, and you can't expect them to figure it out. You've got to be really clear.”

Finally, Michael describes how to create provocative campaigns that are differentiated and drive your campaign message.  This is a can’t miss video for every marketing leader to review and share with your team. 

Direct download: AP1734-Michael_Callahan-18691.m4a
Category:Marketing Strategy -- posted at: 8:42am EDT

I am excited to bring you a fellow CEO who made his way up through the function of sales. It’s rare to find a Chief Executive Officer with sales and marketing expertise.  Get ready to take notes of these rare insights from the owner of the corporate strategy who knows exactly how to leverage the sales function to achieve growth objectives.  Today we are going to demonstrate how to fill the funnel with real sales opportunities. 

Our new Revenue Growth Diagnostic tool gives you the ability to test your corporate strategy’s ability to hit the number, and determine if you are likely or unlikely to make your number. 

Our guest today is Henry Schuck, the CEO and co-founder of DiscoverOrg, a sales and marketing intelligence platform. DiscoverOrg solves one of the biggest problems facing sales and marketing teams, and that's getting great data on the companies they're targeting. This includes the prospects at those companies, getting that flowing through their CRM and marketing automation systems and making it actionable for their reps to call on for their marketing teams to send campaigns on and to really drive the funnel. 

Why this topic?  Marketing is going to contribute ~30% of the pipeline, which means sales needs to generate ~70% of the sales opportunities. Pipeline per rep varies too much without a standard prospecting process used by all. Lead quality and lead-to-opportunity conversion rates suffer when prospecting is left up to each individual sales rep. 

We begin the show by learning about Henry’s sales and marketing team.  The marketing team at DiscoverOrg contributes 50% of the leads and 52% of the revenue, which is well above the benchmark of 40% for world class marketing organizations. 

The sales team at DiscoverOrg is 100% inside sales. We discuss the organization structure and approach to drive revenue.  Listen as Henry describes the prospecting process that SDRs use at his company to drive qualified leads. 

“At a point last year, we brought in a sales ops person who went through the entire prospecting process and really dialed it in. The prospecting process today starts with data that flows into Salesforce, leads that come from marketing that flow into Salesforce, get distributed to the right SDRs, go inside their queues. We use FrontSpin as a dialer. We use Outreach as an outbound email system. Leads sort of flow through that process and get followed up on and then go to an account executive. Each SDR, whether inbound or outbound, is responsible to hit a certain number of demos each day, really over the month, but each day. We're tracking that every single week.” 

Henry demonstrates how to fill the funnel with real sales opportunities by executing a prospecting methodology that helps sellers facilitate the investigation of their problems early in the purchasing process.  Listen as Henry share his team’s recipe for success, and provides a comparison view on how his team compares to the competition in terms of sales cycle length, lead to opportunity conversion, and average pipeline per rep.  

In the final segment of the show we discuss what resources the sales team needs to successfully execute the prospecting process. Henry describes how his team leverages technology to make the prospecting process easy to execute. 

Finally, we conclude the show by outlining the key metrics to track to indicate success and/or failure of the prospecting process.  This is a show you will want to take notes and forward to your entire leadership team. 

Direct download: AP1740__Henry_Schuck-18733.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 3:36am EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Finn Faldi, a Partner Revenue Officer who knows how to go to market with the right channels. Our show today is focused on selling through partners, one of the hottest and most consistently requested topics from this audience of executive decision makers. 

Our guest is Finn Faldi, a Partner Revenue Officer for LifeLock.  The Partner Revenue Officer title is new and reflects the growing importance of channel to making your number.  Today’s topic is focused on the emerging best practices for selling through channels. It’s difficult to grow revenue faster than your industry’s growth rate and faster than your competitors. The Revenue Growth Diagnostic interactive tool will help you determine if you are likely or unlikely to make your number. 

I have the Partner Revenue Officer from LifeLock joining us to share with you, the audience of B2B marketing and sales leaders, the emerging best practices from the B2B2C world for B2B partner selling. Finn will demonstrate how to cover the market completely by utilizing indirect sales channels. I sought out the top expert on selling through partners to share emerging best practices. To do this I looked to business-to-consumer companies with a heavy partner mix in their sales motion. The reason being is that business-to-consumer companies almost always lead B2B industries in the adoption of new emerging best practices by several years.  

So why this topic on this day? Selling to customers directly when they want to buy from partners, is a sure-fire way to miss the revenue goal. Selling to customers through partners when they want a direct relationship with your company, can be equally devastating. Within the direct and indirect channel model, there are multiple sub-models to consider. Coverage model decisions have never been this complicated, for we live in the omni-channel era.  

The first segment of the show identifies the economic model required for each unique sales channel.  Finn walks us through the approach he uses at LifeLock, and how he splits the market between direct sales and channel partners. 

Finn describes the channel coverage model he deploys and the level of conflict among individual partners. In the final segment of the show, Finn describes how channel partners can reach market segments that his company could not reach without their selling efforts. The channel partners help LifeLock scale up sales resources to meet customer demand and cover the market completely. 

Finally, Finn summarizes with his proven approach to selecting, recruiting, and onboarding the right channel partners.  This is a great opportunity for you to listen to a Partner Revenue Officer describe the steps required for success and perform your own gap analysis on your own company.  

Would you like help with the channel approach of your company?  Come see me in Dallas at The Studio, SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. A visit to The Studio typically results in getting three months of work done in three days. The immersive sessions accelerate everything, dramatically reducing the time it takes to diagnose a problem, develop a solution, and create an implementation plan. 

Direct download: AP1728-Finn_Faldi-18691.m4a
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 7:54am EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Brad Reynolds, an executive who knows a thing or two about running a strategic sales operations function that supports aggressive revenue growth. Today’s topic is focused on how Sales Operations improves the efficiency of the sales team to increase revenue per head.  During our discussion, Brad and I leverage our workbook, so flip to the Sales Operations phase on page 314 of the PDF to follow along. 

As the Director of Sales Operations and Enablement at Kimberly-Clark Professional, Brad is going to demonstrate how to improve the efficiency of the sales team. Kimberly-Clark Professional is the B2B arm of Kimberly-Clark Corporation with global brands such as Kleenex, Scott, WypAll, and Kimtech. Brad has been with Kimberly-Clark Professional the past eleven years, serving the past four years leading sales operations and enablement.   

Brad is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic of sales operations. The Kimberly-Clark Professional sales team targets segments around the world such as industrial, office buildings, health care, and education with hundreds of thousands of end-users that we deal with daily. Listen as Brad demonstrates how to improve the efficiency of the sales team.  

Why this topic on this day? Sales ops has become a catch all phrase. The sales ops leader gets assigned all the work no one else wants to do. Often underfunded and understaffed, sales operations leaders fail to deliver a meaningful revenue contribution. Yet, the best growth executives understand that sales ops are the most strategic sales function in the entire company. They understand that when deployed correctly, sales ops can impact revenue growth in a very meaningful way. Do not starve this vital department. If you do you're going to miss your revenue goal. 

In the first segment of the show Brad and I discuss the business outcomes his team is charged to deliver.  We dive into the strategic focus areas of the sales operations team and Brad shares how he guides his team with a strategic focus to keep from becoming a reactive catch-all.  To operate strategically, Brad works closely with other functional leaders in HR, product management, finance, IT, and marketing to interlock sales with the overall corporation. 

Listen as Brad outlines the roles and the responsibilities of the sales operations team to demonstrate how to improve the efficiency of the sales team.  As a strategic function, we discuss the executive reporting requirement to provide the right level of information on sales performance at the right time to make decisions.  

To power the sales operations team, Brad describes the systems architecture required power the team.  Brad describes in detail the forecasting approach and process to provide accurate forecasts.  

We wrap up the show with Brad demonstrating a best practice approach to pipeline management.  Listen as Brad describes the process and how pipeline management reports are released; “We have district managers meet with their teams, our directors of sales have the same meeting with their district managers, the VP of sales meets with the directors of sales and yesterday, our VP of sales had his pipeline report with our North American President. We start at that level and we ladder the metrics and the measurements all the way down so that we're all looking at the same things.”

For your next QBR, bring your sales leadership team to come see us in Dallas at The Studio, SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. A visit to The Studio typically results in getting three months of work done in three days. The immersive sessions accelerate everything, dramatically reducing the time it takes to diagnose a problem, develop a solution, and create an implementation plan. 

Direct download: AP1722__Brad_Reynolds-18661.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 8:12am EDT

Today’s topic is focused on how to match the capabilities of the executive team to the objectives in the requirements in the corporate strategy. Our guest is Kelley Steven-Waiss, the Chief Human Resource Officer for HERE, the company leading the charge on autonomous driving technology. Kelley is a leader who knows how to build an executive team to Make the Number.[p]

During our discussion, Kelley and I leverage the annual workbook for our conversation. Turn to the Corporate Strategy section and find the Talent phase on pages 100 – 106 of the PDF workbook.[p]

Joining us is Kelley Steven-Waiss, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at HERE Technologies. HERE was formally owned by Nokia and, at the end of 2015, broke away as a separate company owned by a consortium of automotive OEMs, BMW, Daimler, and Audi, plus new investors, Intel, Navinfo, and Tencent. HERE is an open Location platform company, leading the charge on autonomous driving technology. Kelley will demonstrate how to match the capabilities of the executive team to the objectives of the corporate strategy.

Why this topic? The revenue growth objective, which is what we're about, is heavily dependent on having superstar executive talent. Field an average team, and you're going to miss the revenue growth goal. At times, this revenue growth strategy calls for a new set of competencies that the existing team might not possess. Sometimes, the competitors have a talent advantage that results in them winning more than they should, so mismatch talent and corporate strategy and suffer from significant execution problems.

Listen as Kelley describes how to match the capabilities of executive talent to the objectives and the requirements of a corporate strategy.  We begin the show discussing what sales and marketing leaders need to be best-in-class and to thrive in HERE’s innovative industry.  Kelley states that the number one attribute is adaptability. The markets are moving quickly, so the ability to adapt to different customers and market segments is required. Having high levels of business acumen comes next.  Being self-aware enough to adjust your style based on your customer, or even the sales talent underneath you.  Finally, consultative selling skills, because today it's about understanding the customer's ecosystem and competitive landscape, and if you cannot connect the dots at a high level, you're not going to be as successful.

Expertise in technology is obviously important. Particularly for a sales or marketing executive, it's crucial to be articulate, well-versed in the business, and have the ability to inspire and motivate teams underneath the buyer. Because at that level, you're not the one selling necessarily, you're really selling to your own people underneath you. Sales and marketing leaders can inspire teams and as markets shift and evolve there's more opportunity for executives to demonstrate their own adaptability, to ensure their teams are really following them.

Kelley and I also discuss the role of talent when thinking about your routes to market, and if they are changing.  If routes to market are changing, then take a fresh look at your leadership team and ask yourself the question, "Have I matched the capability of my leadership team to the requirements of my corporate strategy?"

Would you like to spend some time with me and my hand-picked talent experts on this topic? Come see me in Dallas at The Studio, SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. A visit to The Studio increases the probability of making your number because the sessions are built on the proven strength and stability of SBI, the industry leader in B2B sales and marketing. 

Direct download: AP1720__Kelley_Steven-Waiss_Chief_HR_Officer.m4a
Category:Corporate Strategy -- posted at: 8:56am EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Kathy Juve, a marketing leader who knows how to create brand preference that attracts more deals into the funnel at a higher win rate. Today’s topic is Content Marketing and how to use content marketing to build brand preference that gives you a competitive advantage. Kathy and I leveraged the SBI annual workbook to guide our conversation, turn to the Content Strategy and Planning phase starting on page 190 of the PDF. 

Our guest today is Kathy Juve, the Chief Marketing Officer for Convergys. The world leader in contact center outsourcing, Convergys is a $3 billion company who has fueled growth through robust marketing and sales. What differentiates the contact center outsourcing is their ability to provide analytics, technology, and automation solutions to help large enterprises execute their customer contact strategies. 

Kathy is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic of B2B content marketing. This is a rare show for B2B marketing leaders to learn from a CMO peer who is also a top expert on customer engagement.  Seth Godin’s research has revealed that becoming a superstar takes 10,000 hours of hard work.  I have a rare B2B marketing leader for you today who has 20+ years of experience.  That’s 40,000 hours of marketing leadership experience marketing the omni channel customer experience. 

Listen as Kathy demonstrates how to earn brand preference by satisfying the information needs of your target customers and prospects. This show illustrates that content marketing does more than drive leads into the funnel. Content marketing can satisfy the information needs of prospects and customers with the result of increasing brand preference.  This is a must hear interview for any executive with an organic growth strategy. 

Why this topic?  Old activities-centric marketing organizational charts create ineffective silos and prevent revenue growth. Modern outcomes-centric marketing organizational charts eliminate silos, provide seamless integration with the product and sales teams, and unlock trapped revenue potential. 

In the first segment of the program Kathy and I set-up the use case for Convergys to give you context for how to apply this demonstration to your unique business.  We begin by outlining the audiences that Kathy prioritizes and we identify the information needs of the customers and prospects.  Kathy has a strong understanding of the audience expectations and while listening to the podcast you should be asking yourself if your team has a similar grasp of your target audience.  Finally, we discuss where the audience goes to fulfill their information needs so that we can understand the challenge involved in driving the audience to an alternate source of information. 

Segment two establishes the objectives and business reason why content is created.  What business objectives does content accomplish?  Listen as Kathy explains her approach and you will understand that content marketing goes well beyond simply purchasing the latest analyst reports that support your business case.  

A unique discussion occurs by answering the question, what would you do with an extra $1M in marketing budget? Would you spend it on content marketing? This question unpacks the greater opportunity that eludes most companies.  

Kathy describes the content marketing staff allocated to develop content.  Listen to think through how your company has allocated staff to execute your content marketing strategy. This is typically where marketing teams lack the manpower to execute the strategy. 

Listen as we discuss the tools and process required to successfully execute content marketing.  Is your team writing content without the proven tools that best in class content creation teams are leveraging?  

We summarize the final segment by discussing the budget required for content marketing, and how the content marketing line item fits within the budget.  Most companies profess to be performing content marketing, but the budget doesn’t match the objectives. Finally, Kathy outlines how to measure the effectiveness of your content marketing program. 

Direct download: AP1731-Kathy_Juve-18691.m4a
Category:Marketing Strategy -- posted at: 8:12am EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Michael Speranza, a marketing leader who knows how to create an inspiring brand that tells your strategic story. Today’s topic is Brand Strategy and Planning for the purpose of building brand preference. You can follow along by downloading SBI's annual workbook and flip to the Brand Strategy and Planning phase on pages 174 – 179 of the PDF. 

As the Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy & Marketing for IPC, Michael Speranza has guided the brand strategy of his company through a major acquisition. IPC is a global B2B provider of technology solutions for the financial service markets. IPC provides communication, networking, and information governance solutions in the FinTech space. After IPC acquired their top competitor, Michael navigated his company through the brand evolution to help make this M&A investment pay off.

Michael is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic of B2B brand strategy. Listen as Michael demonstrates how to create an inspiring brand that tells your strategic story. This show illustrates brand stewardship responsibilities, and is a must hear interview for anyone acquiring companies as part of their growth strategy.

Why this topic today? Your competitors are making the same claims and promises as you. They are even using the same words. Brands that are built on “who you are” and “what you do” do not result in above average revenue growth. Your brand impacts revenue growth when it gets activated by the sales force and becomes uniquely relevant to your customer and prospects.

We begin today's show by outlining a 360-degree view of your customers and prospects. This involves understanding where your brand lives and how your audience might engage with your brand. Michael describes the brand audit process, that helped inform the new brand strategy, with primary research.  IPC conducted in-depth interviews with customers, employees, and stakeholders, plus discovery workshops with many constituents, to identify key brand attributes of IPC and the acquired company.

The brand audit step in the planning process was essential to understand the current assets and momentum.  An ideal brand audit should cover all aspects of your customer and prospect engagement including: visual identity, brand, logo, content, web, print, and advertising, as an end to end program that touched every campaign. For IPC, from start to finish, this was a three month long process.

Listen as Michael describes how the B2B brand is lived by 1,400 IPC employees to convey a single, compelling story that inspires customers and prospects. Michael recognizes how important it is to support the sales force and overall employee base when you relaunch a brand. 

Would you like to sit down with me and my hand-picked team of B2B brand strategy experts?  Come see me in Dallas at The Studio, SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. To grow revenue faster than your industry and competitors every month, quarter and year is hard to do. A visit to The Studio increases the probability of making your number because the sessions are built on the proven strength and stability of SBI, the industry leader in B2B sales and marketing. 

Direct download: AP1723__Michael_Speranza-18661.m4a
Category:Marketing Strategy -- posted at: 11:49pm EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Mike Doobay, a Chief Executive Officer who knows a thing or two about creating new markets through product development. Our guest today has grown his company by creating new markets. He will demonstrate how to attract new customers to an existing product, and how to convince current customers to buy more of an existing product. We leveraged the SBI annual workbook to guide our conversation.  To follow along, turn to the Product phase of the Corporate Strategy on pages 72 – 77 of the PDF.

Joining us today is Mike Doobay, the Chief Executive Officer of Affinitiv. Anyone in the automotive industry will know Affinitiv as the leader in helping OEMs and dealers retain customers, build loyalty and drive sales.  Affinitiv does this through a combination of predictive analytics, integrated technology, and in-field experts. Listen as Mike demonstrates how to create new markets through the development of new products, how to attract new customers to an existing product and how to convince current customers to buy more of an existing product.

Mike is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic that dives deep into the product portion of the corporate strategy. Mike’s leadership is a fascinating story of impressive growth that serves as a solid use-case to demonstrate growth through new products. The benefit to our audience of CEO’s, marketing leaders, sales leaders, and product leaders in the B2B space, is that you should be thinking about all the different ways to bring innovation to your customers to spark revenue growth.

Why this topic? Not all revenue growth is equal. Some revenue growth creates more enterprise value than others. Revenue growth that comes from increasing market share for a product does not create much long-term value because competitors can easily retaliate. Revenue growth driven by increasing prices of certain products comes at the expense of the customer, who can retaliate by buying less and seeking substitute products. Revenue growth driven by products that create new markets, attract new customers and convince customers to buy more is the most valuable type of revenue growth.

Listen as Mike explains how the corporate strategy focused Affinitiv as a specialist to be unique and therefore drive impressive growth. Mike is competing against these much larger marketing services firms that are generalist, yet Mike’s team knows the automotive industry better than a generalist because Affinitiv is entirely focused on that industry. The corporate strategy Mike outlines tells his sales and marketing team what markets they will compete in and how they will beat the competition.

When thinking about, “How am I going to grow?” you should have a command over your business. What is your market share? How do you segment your market? What’s the spend? Who has the propensity to buy? who are my competitors? What is my competitive differentiation? Mike’s demonstration is a use-case of a CEO who knows what he’s talking about, and you should aspire to be like him if you’re able to answer these key questions for your team.

Would you like help developing your growth strategies or fine-tuning your product development approach? For your next executive offsite, bring your team to come see us in Dallas at The Studio, SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. A visit to The Studio typically results in getting three months of work done in three days. The immersive sessions accelerate everything, dramatically reducing the time it takes to diagnose a problem, develop a solution, and create an implementation plan. [p]

Direct download: AP1654-Mike_Doobay-17932.m4a
Category:Corporate Strategy -- posted at: 8:12am EDT

Today’s guest is a product leader who knows how to set-up the sales team for a successful product launch by developing the right product messaging. A great product alone is not enough for success.  The interlock between product, marketing and sales requires collaboration to develop compelling messaging to overcome the biggest competitor for most companies, which is Do Nothing.  Overcoming the status quo requires story telling, and today's guest has a launch process that will place you on the right path during pre-launch.   As a guide, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Turn to the product strategy section and flip to the Product Launch and Messaging phase on pages 143 – 146 of the PDF. [p]

Why this topic? Product launches fail to generate revenue when sales people and channel partners are not involved in messaging development during pre-launch preparations. When messaging is developed in isolation it is not compelling enough to get your customers to act. Stories told directly to customers by well-trained sales channels enable customers and prospects to answer “Why change?” and this stimulates latent demand while leading to exceptional revenue growth. [p]

Joining us is Toby Williams, SVP, Chief Product and Strategy Officer for Ellucian. Ellucian is the world’s leading provider of software and services for higher education institution, serving more than 2,400 institutions and 18 million students worldwide. Listen as Toby discusses how to create messaging to defeat the status quo. This starts with market problems that the solution is solving and to capture it through the customer lens. [p]

Toby is responsible for driving product management and strategy, corporate development, M&A, business development, partnerships and cloud business. In the first segment of the show, Toby provides a detailed review of the product launch process at Ellucian. We discuss ‘Why Change’ and the story required to defeat the status quo. 

The second segment covers messaging frameworks and ‘Why Change Now?’ Toby describes how to use the client voice and stories to tell the story. Toby and I discuss the power of leveraging the clients voice to deliver how the solution has helped their institution. Not only the buyers, but the users of the solution by positioning the users as heroes has resonated in the market. 

In the final segment, Toby answers this hypothetical question; If a new company hired you tomorrow with a mandate to launch new products, what would you do, in what order, and why? Toby describes a programmatic approach that creates order. Listen as Toby outlines an action plan in depth that describes the steps to launch a new product. The new benefit is cross-functional organization readiness. 

If you need more help with Product Launch and Messaging, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Turn to pages 143 - 146 of the PDF. To request a workshop with an expert simply sign up for a MySBI account and check the box in your preferences to request a workshop.

Direct download: AP1643-Toby_Williams-17930_1.m4a
Category:Product Strategy -- posted at: 8:53am EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Eric Janssen, a Chief Revenue Officer who knows how to build a team to make the number. Eric is a success story having served as the sales leader for several successful emerging growth companies.  I can't think of a better guest to demonstrate how to build and develop the right team to make your number. Eric has been a long-time consumer of SBI's content and he reached out to me with a quick note thanking me for the show. I was looking for a sales leader guest from an emerging market space to come on the show, so Eric was the perfect guy. 

Today’s topic is focused on talent and we are going to demonstrate how to attract and retain ‘A’ player talent. This is not a trivial matter since ‘A’ players typically generate five times more revenue than ‘B’ players and 10 times more revenue than ‘C’ players.  During our discussion, Eric and I leveraged the annual workbook for our conversation. Flip to the People Plan phase starting on page 285. 

Helping me with our demonstration is Eric Janseen, a partner and the Chief Revenue Officer for Intellitix. If you have attended a large music festival or sporting event, you have likely experienced Intellitix technology.  Events as such as Tomorrowland, Coachella, and the Ryder Cup are powered by Eric’s company. Intellitix makes the guest experience more seamless for over 20 million fans a year by layering ticket-less technology into the event.  They are best known for putting your ticket and wallet onto a single wearable, typically a wristband. Eric is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic with experience building teams and crushing his number year after year in emerging technology companies.  

Why this topic? Relying on the heroic efforts of a few eventually catches up with you. When 20% of your sales team produces 80% of the revenue, something has gone wrong. The labor expense associated with the sales team incurred by the company has to be justified or headcount reduction is warranted. Tolerating under-performers and hiring mistakes and very long new hire productivity cycles all lead to missed revenue targets and typically also lead to job loss for the head of sales. 

Having a great product is table stakes and is not going to sell itself.  For an emerging technology company the dependence on talent is high. In the first segment, we discuss Eric's business and particularly the reason why we have Eric on the show today is because he's an owner and leading the sales team of an emerging growth company. The challenges you have in an emerging growth company are very different than the challenges that you may have in a Global 2000.  

The second segment an overview of how Eric makes a new hire productive. Eric throws them in the field to get them out actually doing the work of helping to put one of these events together. This gives the new seller the context and expertise to speak about what it takes to the target audience. 

Eric and I discuss how to address poor performance in the final segment of the show.  Eric outlines a development plan and how he builds ‘A’ player talent for his company. 

Would you like help building a winning sales team?  Come see me in Dallas at The Studio, SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. A visit to The Studio typically results in getting three months of work done in three days. The immersive sessions accelerate everything, dramatically reducing the time it takes to diagnose a problem, develop a solution, and create an implementation plan. 

Direct download: AP1716_Eric_Janssen-18602_Audio_Final.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 2:54pm EDT

Today’s topic is how to make marketing scientific through a marketing operations department. Shift from art to science to prove marketing’s contribution to revenue with scientific fact. If you would like help with making marketing scientific, visit The Studio, SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. A visit to The Studio increases the probability of making your number because the sessions are built on the proven strength and stability of SBI, the industry leader in B2B sales and marketing. 

Joining us today is Arnaud Kraajvanger, the Vice President of Marketing Insights and Operations for Genesys. Genesys provides customer experience contact center solutions.  More than 10,000 companies in over 100 countries trust the industry’s #1 customer experience platform to orchestrate seamless omnichannel customer journeys. Listen as Arnaud describes how marketing operations is in a unique position with more data than ever to have a significant impact on the business

Listen as Arnaud describes how to measure the effectiveness of the marketing team. Arnaud’s team works with all functions within marketing and develop specific KPI's for each and track the KPI’s throughout the buying cycle. To follow along, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017.  Turn to the marketing operations phase on pages 248 – 251 of the PDF. 

Why this topic? Well, data is everywhere, channels are exploding, technology is changing, executives require more detailed reporting and marketing can no longer rely in intuition, and experience is no longer enough. 

During the show, Arnaud provides a brief overview of how each key area of marketing is tracked.  For brand awareness, share of voice is tracked. From a public relations standpoint, social shares are the KPI.  For analyst relations, the degree of analyst coverage and ranking compared to the position of the competition.  

For DemandGen KPI's there is a focus on opportunities pipeline and wins, with an emphasis for us on driving new logo pipeline.  Arnaud describes how the marketing operations team is transitioning more to a revenue marketing model where it's less about just the numbers of opportunities, numbers of leads, but having everybody focused on the revenue outcome. What is the dollar value that you're generating in pipeline, open pipeline, and wins? The other DemandGen metric that is more sophisticated is influence of deals.  How does marketing influence the win rate through marketing engagement? 

Direct download: Arnaud_Kraaijvanger-MakeMarketingScientific.m4a
Category:Marketing Strategy -- posted at: 5:20pm EDT

I'm excited to introduce a Chief Executive Officer who knows how to direct his sales force to the highest opportunity revenue sources. Executive leaders of every function should prepare to take notes from today's guest who will share how to think through the highest value creation sources of revenue.  In the race to make your number, sales leaders will naturally bet on every horse that can deliver a revenue dollar. Your corporate strategy can quickly erode to the easiest revenue dollars to capture, regardless of the long-term value and profitability.  That's where the CEO comes in to guide his or her sales leader to the revenue dollars that create the highest value long-term. 

Today we're going to demonstrate how to create clarity throughout the entire company by getting everyone laser focused on the real drivers of revenue growth.  As a guide to the discussion, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Turn to the Corporate Strategy section and flip to the Objectives phase on pages 54 – 59 of the PDF workbook. 

Joining us today is John DiMarco, Chief Executive Officer for Cedar Document Technologies.  John and I share the same Alma Mater, Georgia Tech and John is a CEO who came up through the ranks of technology development.  What I found fascinating about this interview is the precision with which John breaks down revenue growth to provide clarity to his sales leader.  John's Company is a provider of hosted customer communications management services to large enterprises. Cedar serves as a hub to manage all enterprise communications for how an enterprise client talks to its customers and how those customers interact back with those clients. John is uniquely qualified to demonstrate how to create clarity throughout the entire company by getting everyone laser focused on the real drivers of revenue growth. 

Listen as John and I dive into the into three main types of CEO-driven revenue growth strategies.  We address each with examples to identify the real drivers of revenue growth from the CEO seat.  John and I discuss the differences between market expansion, market exposure and market share. I list those three in order because market expansion is the quickest way to create enterprise value shareholder wealth inside of your firm. To illustrate this point, this is where the CEO knows the market so well that he or she can place the boat right over the fish. 

Market expansion is Cedar’s main strategy where John has recognized he’s in a market where there are tail winds and he needs to make the most of the opportunity. The market exposure example market demonstrates how John is listening to the market, seeing a movement to mobile and trying to expose his company to that new source of growth.  The final strategy of market share gain doesn’t apply to Cedar since it’s an emerging market.

Why this topic? Organizations that have too many objectives and priorities essentially have none. They risk accomplishing nothing of significance. A CEO strategy often does not get executed because the sales, marketing and product leaders are in their silos pursuing what they feel is important. This causes strategic misalignment and results in sub-par revenue growth. 

There's a completely different sales and marketing approach required to accomplish each revenue growth strategy.  Sales and marketing leaders that don’t know these details are working blind. Enjoy the dialogue of the Cedar use case to identify your growth strategies. 

If you would like to spend time with me on your revenue growth drivers, come see me in Dallas at The Studio, SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. Sessions at The Studio are experiential and are designed around the principles of interactive exercises, hands-on innovation, and peer-to-peer collaboration. The Studio is a safe-haven for learning and after just a few days clients leave with confidence and clarity your revenue growth strategies and sales and marketing motions to make your number. 

Direct download: AP1655-John_DiMarco-17932.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:18am EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Biju Baby, a Vice President of Global Sales Operations who knows a thing or two about supporting revenue growth. His company has seen an impressive 54 quarters of sequential revenue growth and Biju has been an instrumental part of the team the last six years. [p]

Today’s topic is back office support, how to make your company so easy to buy from and sell for that you win more deals. To follow along download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Turn to the sales strategy section and flip to the Back-Office Support phase on pages 326 – 327 of the PDF workbook.  

Biju Baby is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic of back office support as the Vice President of Global Sales Operations for Equinix. A public company with revenue of $3.6 billion, Equinix builds and operate data centers for customers to connect with each other. Listen as Biju demonstrates how to be a company that's easy to buy from and a company that's easy to sell for. 

Why this topic? Taking days to get a pricing decision frustrates customers. Delaying the closing of a deal because of lengthy legal reviews reduces win rates. Paying a sales rep incorrectly, and late, drives up turnover. It is hard enough to grow revenues faster than the industry and competitors. Try to not add to the level of difficulty by being hard to buy from and sell for. 

We begin the podcast with Biju explaining the three things he recommends to evaluate how easy your company to buy from and sell for.  The straight-forward advice from Biju is the starting point for you to evaluate your own company’s needs in this area. Listen as Biju explains how as you gather feedback from the sales force, how to distinguish between the signal and the noise. 

Listen as Biju provides a use case for how to make a company easy to buy from.  This involves pushing the pricing and approval process down into the field with identified thresholds and empowering the team to make those decisions in the field. Biju explains how to hold the field accountable to make sure that the thresholds are not broken. Most companies are not comfortable taking this approach and want to control everything at headquarters. The problem is that it becomes a bandwidth problem and things take too long. Listen as Biju explains how at Equinix they trust the field with such a critical decision, but also making sure that you're following up on a quarterly basis that the thresholds don't get broken. That's a great example of how to push the pricing and approval process out into the field. 

Biju and I discuss the length of time it takes for an approval internally.  Equinix is a global document that spans across 21 countries and operates in a country manager model, yet Biju's team can turnaround most decisions in 24-hours.  Think of the advantage that would give your sales team.  Listen as Biju and I discuss the steps required to put this in place.  

Time kills deals, yet we have all have experienced companies that make it difficult for you to award them business. If your company making it difficult to do business with you then it’s impacting your win rate.  Worse, ‘A’ Player sales candidates can sniff out companies that are difficult to buy from and sell for resulting in lost talent, and retention problems. Listen to this podcast to act on making your company easy to buy from and sell for. 

If you would like to spend time with me on the topic of making your company easy to buy from, come see me at The Studio in Dallas. The Studio is SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. Sessions at The Studio are experiential and are designed around the principles of interactive exercises, hands-on innovation, and peer-to-peer collaboration. The Studio is a safe-haven for learning and after just a few days clients leave with confidence and clarity your revenue growth strategies and sales and marketing motions to make your number. 

Direct download: Biju_Baby-Make-it-Easy-to-Sell-For.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 8:20am EDT

Today’s topic is focused on how to match the capabilities of the executive team to the objectives in the requirements in the corporate strategy. Our guest is Kelley Steven-Waiss, the Chief Human Resource Officer for HERE, the company leading the charge on autonomous driving technology. Kelley is leader who knows how to build an executive team to Make the Number.

During our discussion, Kelley and I leverage the annual workbook for our conversation. Turn to the Corporate Strategy section and find the Talent phase on pages 100 – 106 of the PDF workbook.

Joining us is Kelley Steven-Waiss, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at HERE Technologies. HERE was formally owned by Nokia and at the end of 2015 broke away as a separate company owned by consortium of automotive OEMs, BMW, Daimler and Audi, plus new investors, Intel, Navinfo and Tencent. Here is an open Location platform company, leading the charge on autonomous driving technology. Kelley will demonstrate how to match the capabilities of the executive team to the objectives in the requirements in the corporate strategy.

Why this topic? The revenue growth objective, which is what we're about, is heavily dependent on having superstar executive talent. Field an average team, and you're going to miss the revenue growth goal. At times, this revenue growth strategy calls for a new set of competencies that the existing team might not possess. Sometimes, the competitors have a talent advantage that results in them winning more than they should, so mismatch talent and corporate strategy and suffer from significant execution problems. 

Listen as Kelley describes how to match the capabilities of executive talent to the objectives and requirements of a corporate strategy.  We begin the show discussing what sales and marketing leaders need to be best-in-class thrive in HERE’s innovative industry.  Kelley describes that the number one attribute is adaptability. The markets are moving so quickly, so the ability to adapt to different customers and market segments is required. Having high levels of business acumen comes next.  Being self-aware to adjust your style based on your customer or even the sales talent underneath you.  Finally, consultative selling skills, because today it's about understanding the customer's ecosystem and competitive landscape, and if you cannot connect the dots at a high level, you're not going to be as successful. 

Expertise in the technology is obviously important. Particularly for a sales marketing executive, it's crucial to be articulate, well-versed in the business, and have the ability to inspire and motivate teams underneath the buyer. Because at that level, you're not the one selling necessarily, you're really selling to your own people underneath you. Sales and marketing leader can inspire teams, and as markets shift and evolve, the more and more that an executive can demonstrate his own adaptability to ensure their teams are really following them.

Kelley and I also discuss role of talent when thinking about your routes to market, and if they are changing.  If routes to market are changing, then take a fresh look at your leadership team and ask yourself the question, "Have I matched the capability of my leadership team to the requirements of my corporate strategy?"

Direct download: AP1720__Kelley_Steven-Waiss-18661.mp3
Category:Corporate Strategy -- posted at: 8:31am EDT

Today’s topic is focused on how to transition channel partners from perpetual license to cloud-based offerings. Our guest is Steve Blum, an executive sales leader who knows how to Make the Number with channel partners. What’s unique about today’s guest is that his company, Autodesk, does most their business through partners and has done so from the beginning.  Autodesk grows primarily through an indirect go-to-market selling model. I can’t think of a better guest to demonstrate how to work with channel partners as you navigate your way through major shifts in your business model.

During our discussion, Steve and I leverage the annual workbook for our conversation. Flip to the Channel Optimization phase on pages 290 – 298 of the PDF workbook.

Joining us in-person in The Studio is Steve Blum, Senior Vice President of World-Wide Sales for Autodesk. Steve has been a sales leader at Autodesk the past fourteen years, with the last seven serving as the head of world-wide sales. Steve will demonstrate how to bring a channel organization along through major transformations in the business model, such as shifts from perpetual license to cloud-based offerings. If you prefer to watch the live interview in high definition video, click here.

Autodesk’s channel business represents an astounding 75-80% of the total revenue, with the rest being direct. Steve is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic of channel optimization. Steve’s team has a few named account organizations that calls on customers direct, but most his business coming through indirect channels.

Autodesk does business in 170 countries around the world. Steve begins the show by outlining his indirect and direct models of selling.  To be able transact business locally in local currencies, Steve requires people on the ground in all those countries, it requires an indirect channel. The channel approach gives him scale, coverage and ultimately it provides value to our customers.

Why is sales channel optimization important? Selling to customers directly when they want to buy from partners is a surefire way to miss the revenue goal. Selling to customers through partners when they want a direct relationship with your company is equally devastating. And within the direct and indirect channel model, there are multiple sub models to consider. Coverage model decisions have never been this complicated for we live in the omni channel era.

Listen as Steve outlines for our audience how to bring your channel partners along with you through major transitions of your business model. In this use-case, from selling perpetual licenses to Cloud solutions, you must think through how that’s going impact your partners. Channel partners, like most human beings, don’t like change. There’s going to be some resistance, but if you can work through it with your partners, you’re creating new revenue streams for them. New value propositions for them. And a new set of services that might make their business more competitive.

Watch as Steve and I discuss the short-term and long-term vision for a business predominately driven by channel.  As a public company, there are natural pressures from the street.  Steve discusses his long-term view he takes to ensuring his partners are successful in a win-win that ultimately best serves the shareholders.

One of the most fascinating discussions in my interview with Steve is how he prevents conflict between his direct and indirect channels. This is really built by trust that he has established with the channel and his direct team. Watch as Steve explains how to build trust that will serve as the foundation to navigate your way to making the number with an indirect and direct business model.

If you would like to spend some time with me on this subject of channel strategy, come see me in Dallas at The Studio, SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. A visit to The Studio increases the probability of making your number because the sessions are built on the proven strength and stability of SBI, the industry leader in B2B sales and marketing. 

Direct download: AP1724__Steve_Blum-18661.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 8:55am EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Michael Speranza, a marketing leader who knows how to build brand preference with a strong B2B brand. Today’s topic is Brand Strategy and Planning. On Friday, IPC Systems launched a new brand identity following its acquisition of Etrali Trading Solutions earlier this year. Our guest today shares the use case for the brand strategy that 1400 IPC employees will use to convey a single, compelling story that inspires customers and prospects.

Michael and I leveraged the SBI annual workbook to guide our conversation. To follow along, flip to the Brand Strategy and Planning phase on pages 174 – 179 of the workbook. 

Michael is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic of B2B brand strategy. As the Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy & Marketing for IPC, Michael has guided the brand strategy of his company through a major acquisition. IPC is a global B2B provider of technology solutions for the financial service markets. IPC provides communication, networking and information governance solutions in the FinTech space. After IPC acquired their top competitor, Michael navigated his company through the brand evolution to help make this M&A investment pay off.

Listen as Michael demonstrates how to create an inspiring brand that tells your strategic story. This show is valuable for every marketing executive with brand stewardship responsibilities, and a must watch episode for anyone acquiring companies as part of their growth strategy.  

Why this topic today? Your competitors are making the same claims and promises as you. They are even using the same words. Brands that are built on “who you are” and “what you do” do not result in above average revenue growth. Your brand impacts revenue growth when it gets activated by the sales force and becomes uniquely relevant to your customer and prospects. 

This brand strategy use case starts with understanding the 360-degree view of your customers and prospects. This involves understanding where your brand lives and how your audience might engage with your brand. Michael describes the brand audit process that helped inform the new brand strategy with primary research.  IPC conducted in-depth interviews with customers, employees, and stakeholders, plus discovery workshops with many constituents to identify key brand attributes of IPC and the acquired company.

Michael states that; “We identified what we thought were the aspiration elements of the brand, and we made sure that we incorporated that cultural component to embody and create a brand that was going to be embraced by not only the joint set of employees but the joint set of customers that we're bringing together.”   The brand audit covered all aspects that you would expect: visual identity, brand, logo, content, web, print, advertising as an end to end program that touched every campaign. From start to finish, this process was three months’ duration. 

Listen as Michael describes how the B2B brand is lived by the sales force.  Michael recognizes how important it is to support the sales force when you relaunch a brand, and how the sales force conveys the brand in every interaction.

Direct download: AP1723__Michael_Speranza-18661.mp3
Category:Marketing Strategy -- posted at: 8:49am EDT

doesn’t produce results. Joining us for today’s show is Skip Miller, an executive who knows a thing or two about sales training. Skip has trained over 300,000 salespeople in 35 countries over the last 20 years and is considered one of the top sales trainers in the world. Skip is an ideal guest to help untangle why sales leaders continue to invest in sales training despite the lack of measurable results. Today’s show was recorded at SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. 

Why this topic? Loyal clients and followers of SBI are wasting a lot of money on sales training and I would like to put an end to this. According to a report The State of the Sales Training Industry published by the Association of Training and Development, there is $2.7B spent per years on sales training. Yet our benchmarks reveal that 85% of sales training does not result in better sales results.

Today we're going to discuss why this is happening and what you can do about it. Our guest is Skip Miller, the President of M3 Learning. Skip is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic of wasted sales training and what to do about it.

What is the top reason for sales training failure? Skip describes the all too common ‘check the box’ approach sales leaders take when turning to training as the solution. Sales leaders want their teams to see that the company cares about them and is investing in their success. Implementing sales training efforts can be rolled out very quickly, providing a sense of accomplishment and a perception of bold change. Yet sales training rarely produces a result. Investing in sales training is habitual and habits are powerful things that rarely get broken. 

One reason sales training continues to be a habitual purchase is the cost appears minimal. Listen as Skip and I discuss the average investment for sales training that ranges from 1-3% of the quota of each sales rep. The cost of training seems small when reviewed as a percentage of the total quota, appearing cheap. However, when viewed in whole dollars the sales training budget is the largest expenditure within the sales force that doesn’t have a measurable result tied to the spend. 

If you prefer to watch a high definition video of the interview, click here.

To get training on the right track, Skip outlines four metrics to calculate the return on that investment for sales training. Those four metrics include:

  1. Sales cycle length before and after
  2. Average selling price (ASP), before and after
  3. Win rate, before and after
  4. Forecasting accuracy, which, on the 30-60-90 cycle should be 80-90%

To impact these metrics, effective sales training must focus on training reps to manage to the buyer stage, not the deal.  Managing to the buyer stage requires a custom sales process mapped to the buyer stages.  Without that in place, you’re hard pressed to make training pay off.  To evaluate your sales process, answer the evaluation questions starting on page 280 of the workbook

For sales training to produce a result, we discuss the need for a highly-customized approach. Skip shares his thoughts on the importance of an assessment up front to identify short and long-term goals of the training. For instance, the training goal may be to help reps to reach higher to senior executives, or qualifying or disqualifying quicker. Once you get the goals down, the training can be customized by the goals.

Skip and I discuss customizing sales training by industry.  While industry customization is important, it's less important.  It’s more important to hire smart people and teach them the industry and product, vs. hiring industry and product people and teach them how to be smart. Furthermore, customizing by channel should be a higher priority than customizing by industry. Inside sales reps need different training than an outside rep because the dynamics of the communication channels are different.

We finish the program with Skip’s thoughts on the future of sales training.  He’s trained over 300,000 sales reps, in 35 countries, over 20 years and has a great summary of what to expect from sales training in the future.

Would you like help developing your sales training approach?  Come see me in Dallas at The Studio, SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. To grow revenue’s faster than your industry and competitors every month, quarter and year is hard to do. A visit to The Studio increases the probability of making your number because the sessions are built on the proven strength and stability of SBI, the industry leader in B2B sales and marketing. 

Direct download: AP1701-Skip_Miller-18546.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy, corporate strategy -- posted at: 8:26am EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Jennifer Arnold, a marketing executive who knows a thing or two about generating revenue. Today’s topic is customer marketing and how to grow revenues from existing customers. We leveraged the SBI annual workbook to guide our conversation.  To follow along, flip to the Customer Marketing phase on pages 227 – 233 of the PDF workbook.  

Our guest today is Jennifer Arnold, the Vice President of Marketing responsible for Australia and New Zealand for software powerhouse SAP. Jennifer is going to demonstrate how to grow revenues from existing customers. 

Jennifer is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic of customer marketing. SAP depends heavily on growing revenue from current customers to hit their revenue target. Customer accounts in Australia and New Zealand contribute approximately 4x the revenue of net new SAP customer base. Jennifer and her team are at the heart of helping the sales team make that happen. 

Why is this topic important? When a customer says, “I did not know you did that.” You are in big trouble. If your business depends on increasing the revenue generated from current customers, you must educate these customers in everything that you can do for them. The customer life-cycle does not stop once a prospect becomes a customer. The life-cycle continues as your customers become repeat customers. 

Every executive’s nightmare is hearing one of your top customers mutter the words “Oh, I didn’t know you did that.”  SAP has a solution for just about every front-office or back-office system that a company could run.  An additional level of complexity comes into play with acquisition of new capabilities.  Customers who love your company are the most difficult to re-frame your expanded capabilities.  Watch as Jennifer outlines a disciplined approach to Customer Marketing to retrain loyal customers how to think of your company in new expanded ways.   

Increasing revenues from current customers requires an excellent account-based marketing program that goes beyond the hype of ABM technology solutions.  Jennifer describes the marketing and sales steps and building blocks to implement account-based marketing to generate robust customer revenue.  In addition, Jennifer outlines the three key pieces of data that you need to have to effectively generate revenue from current customers. This show is a must-watch episode for every B2B Marketer. 

Watch as Jennifer describes the selling motion for SAP’s sales efforts that she supports.  SAP executes a classic land and expand strategy. SAP assigns an account executive to large customers to act as a conductor of an orchestra. The AE makes sure that all those specialists, salespeople, and delivery-people work together and are bringing the right solutions to the customer.  

Marketing supports the land and expand strategy through several ways.  For very large accounts, SAP marketing executes account-based marketing programs that are highly customized and tailored to those individual customers. Watch as Jennifer provides an example of targeting the very large banks in Australia, in some cases some of SAP’s largest global customers. Marketing works together with the account team and start with an initial account plan that maps out the year.  Marketing contributes insights about what’s happening in the market, what’s happening globally in the banking industry, what’s happening in other industries that might be applicable to the banking industry.  During this ABM planning process an immediate one-year plan is developed as well as a 3-5 year vision for what the sales team wants the account to accomplish.

Jennifer describes how customer marketing includes the development of Industry-focused marketing programs to produce highly relevant marketing materials and programs. This includes tailoring the discussions that we’re having with our customers to the issues and the growth areas and the very specific requirements of target industry groups. Without this level of relevance, customer marketing efforts are hard pressed to produce meaningful results. 

Persona-based messaging is a foundation of customer marketing.  Watch as Jennifer describes the transition from product-focused discussion to more of an audience-focused discussion. Jennifer’s teams run programs that are focused on different audiences including IT and CIO audience, HR audience, finance audience, etc.  This involves creating marketing programs that speak more about the business needs and the business problems than we are talking about the specific solutions.

In recent years SAP has acquired expanded capabilities.  This includes Ariba for procurement, Concur for travel and expense, SuccessFactors for HR, Hybris for sales and marketing, and and more.  These acquired companies come with strong customer bases, brand names, and SAP is working to integrate their services and solutions and their brands into the larger SAP brand.  Jennifer outlines the challenge communicating with customers to share the breadth of solutions to solve a broad array of business problems.

Customer marketing is not as simple as blasting a portfolio message.  For each solution, there are very specific customer bases. It might be in HR; it might be procurement; it might be head of sales. So, it’s making sure that you are orchestrating discussion about the right solutions to solve their very specific problems.

Would you like help developing your customer marketing campaign strategy?  Bring your marketing leadership team to see me and a hand-picked team of marketing experts in Dallas at The Studio.  The Studio is SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. A visit to The Studio typically results in getting three months of work done in three days. The immersive sessions accelerate everything, dramatically reducing the time it takes to diagnose a problem, develop a solution, and create an implementation plan.

Direct download: AP1726__Jennifer_Arnold-18661.mp3
Category:Marketing Strategy -- posted at: 8:38am EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Chris Fris, an executive who knows a thing or two about driving aggressive revenue growth. Today’s topic is focused on how Sales Operations enables the sales plan.  During our discussion, Chris and I leverage our workbook, so flip to the Sales Operations phase on page 314 of the PDF to follow along. 

Chris is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic of sales operations.  For those of you who have followed John Gleason’s successful career at Ryder as Chief Sales Officer, Chris is the man behind the scenes enabling revenue growth. Successful sales operations leaders like Chris interface with the functional groups within your company to enable the sales plan to be successful.

As the Vice President of Global Sales Strategy and Operations at Ryder, Chris is going to demonstrate how to improve the efficiency of the sales team. Chris has served as the head of sales operations the past seven years at Ryder and before that led sales operations for DHL Express for fourteen years.   

Why this topic on this day? Sales ops has become a catch all phrase. The sales ops leader gets assigned all the work no one else wants to do. Often underfunded and understaffed, sales operations leaders fail to deliver a meaningful revenue contribution. Yet, the best growth executives understand that sales ops is the most strategic sales function in the entire company. They understand that when deployed correctly, sales ops can impact revenue growth in a very meaningful way. Do not starve this vital department. If you do you're going to miss your revenue goal.

Listen as Chris demonstrates how to improve the efficiency of the sales team.  We begin the show with an overview of Chris’ strategic areas of focus and his organization chart. Few people outside of sales operations realize the nexus for so many interlock points across the company.

The top three core processes that sales operations Vice President’s need to manage include: Pipeline management, territory design, and quota setting.  Chris takes the listener through his approach for each process and I fast frame each with the following headlines.

  • The pipeline management process is that it needs to be buyer-driven. Your pipeline management is going to be accurate or inaccurate based on whether it's driven by the buyer.
  • Your territory design process needs to be opportunity based. When you don’t take this approach then you have imbalanced territories.
  • For quota setting process, do not let that be done by finance. Finance typically takes a peanut butter spread quota setting approach. That doesn't work. The rep in downtown Manhattan is going to have more opportunity than the person in Mobile, Alabama. The quota setting must be well thought out and the way that you do that is to intelligently allocate it out, based on pipeline and territories. Listen to Chris describe the process.

Chris and I discuss the approach for sales operations to analytics. We discuss the four-step continuum of analytics. Descriptive analytics us what has happened in the past. Predictive analytics predicts the outcome at some point in the future assuming all in the inputs stay the same.  Finally, Prescriptive Analytics is predicting the future and if you don't like the outcome, you can seek to change the outcome before it happens. Prescriptive is about prescribing a set of activities to alter the future.  This all requires systems, methodologies, data, talent and continuous improvement. Listen as Chris describes his team’s movement along the four-step continuum of the analytics journey.

Pay close attention to the detailed description Chris provides of the diagnostic analytical approach to sales win/loss. This is a great way to expand into diagnostic analytics if you're just at the descriptive stage right now. Understanding why you won, why you lost, you're really answering the question of why it happened.  You'll see over time recurring patterns and trends that will take you to the predictive and prescriptive approaches.

Direct download: AP1714_Chris_Fris-18602_Audio_Final.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 8:28am EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Dennis Hummel, an executive who knows a thing or two about driving aggressive revenue growth. Today’s topic is focused on developing your corporate strategy objectives. Dennis and I leveraged the SBI annual workbook to guide our conversation. To follow along, flip to the Corporate Objectives phase on pages 54 – 59 of the workbook.

As the President of Maritz Holdings, Dennis has been with Maritz for fifteen years and prior to that was President of GE Capital IT Solutions. Maritz is a privately held company with revenues just north of $1.2 billion dollars with 5,000 employees. At some point in your career you have participated in a Maritz built incentive or loyalty programs. Today Dennis is going to share how he provides clarity of objectives to his leadership teams.

Dennis is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic of corporate strategy objectives. Maritz Holdings has several companies in different industries including the travel, industry and motivation industries. Dennis is responsible for setting the strategic direction for each company.

Listen as Dennis demonstrates how to create clarity throughout the entire company by getting everyone laser-focused on the real drivers of revenue growth. This show is a must watch for executives seeking to bring clarity to the leadership team on how to achieve high growth goals.

Why this topic today? Organizations that have too many objectives and priorities really don’t have any at all, they risk accomplishing nothing of significance. A corporate strategy often does not get executed because the sales, marketing, and product leaders, are in their silos pursuing what they feel is important. This causes strategic misalignment, and often results in sub-par revenue growth.

We begin the show discussing how important it is for his leadership team to understand how we make money and how that affects cash flow. We then discuss the three different types of growth strategies that a company can deploy. The first is market expansion where high water raises all ships. You're in the right market, at the right time, at the right offering, and you're going to grow because that sector is doing really well. The next is market exposure you go after an adjacent growth market and grow. The third type is market share where you are competing in a highly competitor and/or slow growth market. To grow you must take business from competitors. Dennis describes how his business units are leveraging all three strategies due to the different dynamics faced in each market. Listen to the scenarios Dennis describes to better understand why it’s important to identify your specific growth strategy.

Dennis and I discuss how you select a growth strategy to achieve your aggressive revenue growth goals. Can I expand in my current business? Can I expose myself to a new business? If I'm going to be in a market share battle then I better know my accounts better than a competitor can learn my accounts. Your growth strategy comes down to selecting market expansion, market exposure, or market share performance. Depending on what you select determines your sales strategy. In the final segment of the show we discuss the strategic trade-off decisions that must be made to prioritize long-term value creation and how to measure a return on ROI.

Direct download: AP1711_Dennis_Hummel-18602_Audio_Final.mp3
Category:Corporate Strategy -- posted at: 8:04am EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Mary Clark, a Chief Marketing Officer who knows a thing or two about building brand preference. Today’s topic is focused on content marketing. Mary and I leveraged the SBI annual workbook to guide our conversation. To follow along, flip to the Content Strategy and Planning phase starting on page 190 of the workbook.  

Our guest today is Mary Clark, and she is the Chief Marketing Officer and Chief of Staff of wireless technology enabler, Syniverse. The leading global transaction processor, Syniverse enable seamless mobile communications across disparate networks, devices and applications. Mary will demonstrate how to earn brand preference by satisfying the information needs of your target customers and prospects. 

So why this topic on this day? Producing and distributing content for everyone means doing it for no one. For content marketing to generate revenue you must know exactly what your customers need, where they need it, how often they need it, and in what form they need to consume it. Miss any of these items (and others like them) and your content marketing efforts will fail to contribute to revenue growth in any meaningful way. 

B2B content marketing is complex when trying to speak to different audiences and tie the right content across multiple different buyers with different needs and different requirements. To make matters more complex, most B2B marketers need to communicate with different sectors within the segments served. Mary describes how she tailors the Syniverse message to bring it home to the varying buyers. 

Mary describes how to prioritize the content resources that are going to provide a hook with unique insight, that's going to be able to elevate the conversation with a buyer. The ultimate goal is to help the buyer recognize the unique position, a unique perspective on the challenge that they're facing. And that the solution that we're bringing to bare is going to be relevant to their requirements, and relieve their pain points.

Listen as Mary and I discuss staffing the marketing team for content marketing. The demand for content is going up and the different types of content and the different ways that content is distributed is changing rapidly. It's difficult to do everything required for great content marketing with internal staff alone. It's a combination of people that have great domain expertise like product marketers inside of your company and finding niche specialty agencies.

We discuss the topic of earned vs. paid media.  Determining where to place media is an evolving process.  Buyer’s content consumption habits change. One day they're reading a newspaper, the next day they're watching broadcast television, and the next day they're streaming, they're paying attention to Facebook Live, and so on. B2B marketers must constantly be paying attention to that and making sure that you're going to be where your buyers are.

At the heart of great content marketing is understanding where somebody is in the buying process, and using content to move that buyer along that buying process. The Buyer's Journey Map is the most important tool for content marketing.  By understanding where your buyer is in their journey, you can understand which content to distribute to them, through which channel. If it's late stage, you probably want a sales person engaging with sales enablement content. If it's early stage, you might be using some digital marketing channels with education content.  Mary describes how to tie marketing efforts directly from the marketing engagement from the demand gen point of view in the early stages all the way through to whether the sale the happened.  The transition from a marketing qualified lead into a sales lead, and the ability to track someone through the buying journey based on initial marketing engagement that occurred is the key.

 

Direct download: AP1712_Mary_Clark-18602_V2_Clean_Up_Audio_Final.mp3
Category:Marketing Strategy -- posted at: 8:30am EDT

Joining us for today’s show is John Kedzierski, a Corporate Vice President of Marketing who knows a thing or two about going to market with the right channels. Today’s topic is focused on selecting the right sales channels by using one of America's great companies as a use case. John and I leveraged the SBI annual workbook to guide our conversation. To follow along, flip to the Channel Optimization phase starting on page 294 of the workbook. 

Our guest today is John Kedzierski, the Corporate Vice President, North America Services and Commercial Markets for Motorola Solutions. Motorola provides push-to-talk communication solutions across the business-to-business space. Examples include baggage handlers at an airline, to police and fire, computer-aided dispatch systems handling your 9-1-1 calls, to communications on military bases. John will demonstrate how to cover the market completely with direct and indirect sales channels.

So why this topic on this day? Selling to customers directly when they want to buy from partners, is a sure-fire way to miss the revenue goal. Selling to customers through partners when they want a direct relationship with your company, can be equally devastating. Within the direct and indirect channel model, there are multiple sub-models to consider. Coverage model decisions have never been this complicated, for we live in the omni-channel era.

Direct download: AP1702-John_Kedzierski-18546.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 8:02am EDT

Our guest today is a Vice President of Global Product Strategy who knows a thing or two about creating a customer experience advantage. We will demonstrate how to make the customer experience a competitive differentiator. If you want to follow along and take notes, flip to the Customer Experience Design phase starting on page 130 of the workbook. 

Our expert guest is Cigna’s Vice President of Global Product Strategy and Operations, Rob Wentling.  Cigna is one of the largest global health services companies in the world. Rob is accountable for creating and delivering an enterprise-wide product strategy including core product development and management processes critical in helping Cigna achieve its “Go Deep, Go Global, and Go Individual” strategy. During the interview, Rob will demonstrate how to make the customer experience a competitive differentiator by using Cigna as an example. 

Why is this topic important? Customer’s expectations have risen, and failure to provide an exceptional experience for each customer can result in poor revenue growth. Some customers prioritize their experience over product performance, believe it or not, when making a purchase decision. This requires a deep understanding of the customer’s journey and each touch point along the way. Mapping this customer’s journey is a difficult yet mission critical task that when done correctly can result in exceptional revenue growth. 

Rob defines the customer experience as creating an experience design that exceeds customer’s expectations. Basically, providing them greater value than they anticipate or they expect. Watch as Rob describes how to understand which customer touch points are most critical, those moments that matter the most. Understand which customer segments have the greatest needs at the different moments that matter and communicate it in messaging. Construct that experience and you have a true level of competitive differentiation. 

In addition to product management professionals, who else benefits from this podcast? 

  • Sales leaders receive insights into the importance of customer experience in the buying process, and act to work with product marketing to enable sales to communicate
  • Marketing leaders provide direction to product marketing to prioritize the customer experience, where applicable, over product features
  • HR leaders to update product management job requirements
  • CEO’s to evaluate the investment into customer experience and receive insights into how the experience can prevent competitive erosion 

There are three primary ways to compete. Product differentiation, price, or customer experience. It seems like that we’re living in an era where product differentiation is harder and harder to obtain, product life cycles are much shorter. With global competitors, product features are sometimes easily copied quickly. It also is very difficult to sustain a price advantage. The customer experience is uniquely human and difficult to copy. If you can truly master that customer experience and how humans interact with other humans and differentiate in those moments that matter, that Rob mentioned earlier, it’s sustainable. 

Listen as Rob and I discuss Customer Experience Design and answer the following questions:  

  • How do you embed customer experience design in your organization?
  • How do you develop customer experience journey maps to understand what exactly motivates people, and what bothers them when buying your product?
  • What impact does the customer experience have on brand loyalty? How do you measure this?
  • Do you use tools such as touch-point analysis?
  • Do your customers care about the customer experience only after they have purchased the product and are using it, or do they care about their experience as they are buying it? What implications does this create?
  • Who is the primary customer advocate inside an organization and why? [p]

If you would like to spend some time with me on this subject, come see me in Dallas at The Studio, SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. A visit to The Studio increases the probability of making your number because the sessions are built on the proven strength and stability of SBI, the industry leader in B2B sales and marketing. 

Direct download: Customer_Experience_Podcast.mp3
Category:Product Strategy, corporate strategy -- posted at: 7:50am EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Ted Hunting, a Vice President of Marketing who knows a thing or two about generating measurable results. Today’s topic is how a well-trained, well-staffed, and well-funded field marketing team can make a measurable difference in pipeline and revenue. Ted and I leveraged the SBI annual workbook to guide our conversation. To follow along, flip to the Field Marketing phase starting on page 244 of the workbook. 

Ted is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic of field marketing. As the Vice President of North America Marketing for Genesys, Ted is focused on generating pipeline and revenue for the field. Genesys is the market leader in the customer experience space. Ted's company is behind the scenes powering the world's best customer experiences for companies of all sizes. As a consumer when you notice world class customer service on the phone or chat, it’s likely Genesys powering the experience with their technology. 

Listen as Ted demonstrates how to drive revenue growth by connecting corporate marketing with the field, through field marketing. We begin the show by discussing business outcomes for field marketing. Over the next 26 minutes Ted will describe in detail one of the most effective field marketing efforts you’ll find in B2B marketing. 

Many of the marketing techniques used in the past by B2B marketers are a little consumer-based, especially many of the elements of digital marketing. In the B2B world, people buy from people. These are complex decisions. They're made by committee. They're big dollar amounts. Often, when somebody's thinking about buying from you, they're putting their career at risk. So, having events like the events that Ted just walked us through, where you're mixing customers and prospects together, and you're getting face time with people, is absolutely essential. This is what field marketing can do for a company, and this is how field marketing can support a sales team. 

Listen as Ted describes the real tangible outcomes from his field marketing efforts.  His results are measured in marketing-sourced pipeline and marketing-influenced pipeline. Yet in many companies the field marketing teams have been reduced. The field marketing budgets have been reduced. I think we've over-rotated to digital marketing. Not that digital marketing is unimportant. Quite the contrary, it's very important. But field marketing in a B2B sense is essential, and Ted describes several great examples on what it can do for a business. 

A well-trained, well-staffed, well-funded field marketing team can make a measurable difference in pipeline and revenue. We saw a great example today from Ted Hunting in his role at Genesys. B2B marketers have over-rotated on digital marketing. Buyers put their reputation on the line when they decide to buy from you. Buyers ultimately buy from people and the world is suffering from too much digital touch at the expense of in-person interactions. We are not as human as we need to be in marketing to impact the buying process. One of the best ways to become more human with our customers is through field marketing.  

Would you like help developing your field marketing strategy? For your next executive offsite, come see me in Dallas at The Studio, SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. A visit to The Studio typically results in getting three months of work done in three days. The immersive sessions accelerate everything, dramatically reducing the time it takes to diagnose a problem, develop a solution, and create an implementation plan. 

Direct download: AP1713_Ted_Hunting-18602_Audio_Final.mp3
Category:Marketing Strategy, Sales Strategy -- posted at: 8:30am EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Mark Logan, a Chief Executive Officer who knows a thing or two about increasing enterprise value. Today’s topic is developing corporate strategy objectives. Specifically we focus on how to maximize enterprise value by selecting the right growth strategies.  Mark and I leveraged the SBI annual workbook to guide our conversation.  To follow along, flip to the objectives phase on pages 54 – 59 of the workbook. 

Mark is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic of corporate strategy objectives. As the CEO of WealthEngine, Mark has spent his entire career leading growth companies in the software and SaaS technology companies. His experience from companies like JD Edwards, Sybase, PeopleSoft, and the last few years with WealthEngine. 

Listen as Mark demonstrates how to create clarity throughout the entire company by getting everyone laser-focused on the real drivers of revenue growth. This show is a must watch for executives of technology companies with high growth goals. Those executives from outside SaaS-based companies can borrow emerging best practices from SaaS leaders like Mark to leap-frog your competition. 

Why this topic today? Organizations that have too many objectives and priorities really don’t have any at all, they risk accomplishing nothing of significance. A CEO’s strategy often does not get executed because the sales, marketing, and product leaders, are in their silos pursuing what they feel is important. This causes strategic misalignment, and often results in subpar revenue growth. 

In the first part of the program, Mark provides an overview of his business and the approach to serving two very different markets.  We discuss the faced by serving two distinct markets and how Mark guides his team to succeed on both. 

Every sales leader who want to become a CEO someday needs to pay close attention to Mark’s comments about how to grow enterprise value of the company.  Every board wants their company to be worth more tomorrow than it is today. As a sales leader, you have a revenue objective, but not all revenue is created equally. Revenue for certain product categories may create more value for the shareholders than others, and there might be certain products that are more strategic for other reasons that just top-line growth revenue.  Understanding how to create enterprise value places you on a path to become a Chief Executive Officer. 

Not all revenue is created equal. Listen as Mark and I discuss the different types of revenue growth strategies. There are three types of revenue growth.  Starting with market expansion, this is where high waters are raising all ships and all companies in the market are growing. The second type of revenue growth is market exposure. In this case of WealthEngine, Mark was in the non-profit world and moved into the commercial world where he you exposed his company to a new exploding market. The third type is market share performance, a market is not expanding, but you are in the market because you can take share away from my competitors in that space.  Listen as Mark and I discuss the growth strategies in a use-case that you can think through for your business. 

Mark and I discuss how he guided his team to go after two distinct markets in non-profit and corporate. For the CEO audience, when you make a move in your strategy, you need to make sure that you’re thinking through the go to market implications of that move. Mark deployed a team of specialists, and aligned his functional sales organization with his corporate strategy.  When making a corporate strategy shift, make sure to carry that argument all the way through to its logical conclusion, and think through all the different functions all the way to the end user. 

Sales and Marketing leaders faced with a major corporate strategy shift, such as Mark’s case where they went from the non-profit world to the consumer world, realize that your whole playbook now needs to change. It’s an exciting change, but it still needs to change. A marketing leader for example, the way that you market to non-profits versus the way to market to corporate prospects is a diametrically opposed to the marketing strategy. Listen to the podcast of my interview with Mark as a use case to make sure that you’re staying in alignment, and constantly refreshing your strategic playbooks. 

 

Direct download: AP1703-Mark_Logan-18546.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy, corporate strategy -- posted at: 6:03pm EDT

Joining us for today’s show is a sales operations leader who knows a thing or two about impacting revenue growth in a meaningful way.  Shannon’s company has an incredible customer retention record of accomplishment that results in a robust Customer Lifetime Value for her company. 

Today’s topic is focused on sales operations and we are going to demonstrate how to improve the efficiency of the sales team. To follow along, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Turn to the sales strategy section and flip to the Sales Operations phase on pages 314 - 319 of the PDF workbook.

Helping me with our demonstration is Shannon Gregg, the head of sales operations for TeleTracking Technologies, a clinical workflow company. Shannon is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic with 15 years of sales operations experience.  

Why this topic? Sales operations has become a catch-all phrase. The sales op leader gets assigned all the work no one else wants to do. Often underfunded and under staffed, sales operations leaders fail to deliver a meaningful revenue contribution, yet the best growth executives understand that sale ops are the most strategic sales function in the entire company. They understand that when deployed correctly, sales ops can impact revenue growth in a very meaningful way. Do not starve this key department. If you do, you're going to miss your revenue goal.

Listen as Shannon begins the show providing a foundation of the strategic focus areas of her sales operations team.  She begins with the strategic focus of reducing the administration time of your people in the field to increase their available revenue generating time. Shannon asks herself, how can sales operations create more time with efficiency and effectiveness to allow the sales team to get out there and do what they're doing best, which is closing deals and making money? To make this happen, her team provides predictable processes, operational resource planning, revenue projections, pipelines, forecasting and technology so that the sales team can use systems, tools and processes that give sales more time in the field.

Shannon describes how she tracks Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) and Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV) to provide the executive team with a clear read on how much to invest to acquire a customer. The goal for most companies is to have a ratio of 4-5 dollars created for every one dollar of customer acquisition cost.  Shannon’s company enjoys long-term retention of customers that can be up to 25 years. This opens many options for the sales and marketing leaders to invest acquiring new customers.  The sales operations team who provides this ratio brings great clarity to the head of sales, the CEO, the head of marketing, and the product leader.

Enjoy the exchange with Shannon regarding the use of descriptive and predictive analytics.  Shannon describes how she is going beyond what happened to reliably predict the future.  Her team looks at traditional KPIs, velocity, volume, customer touches to understand exactly what's coming out of this team.  Understanding geographies and what's happening in the industry helps Shannon understand in how to redeploy resources, including where we should be pulling resources.  The insights from analytics also inform where to perform early stage of marketing and nurturing campaigns to generate marketing qualified leads. Shannon understands exactly what pathway sales operations should direct marketing to focus alongside the traditional sales process.

Direct download: AP1659-Shannon_Gregg-17932.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 8:15am EDT

Joining us for today’s show is the Chief Executive Officer and his sales executive team who know a thing or two about generating revenue growth. We are going to discuss how to grow above the industry average while maintaining profitability. This is hard to do and requires corporate objectives that provide clarity throughout the entire company by getting everyone laser-focused on the real drivers of revenue growth. 

Today’s topic is focused on corporate objectives and we are going to demonstrate how to interlock the CEO's corporate strategy with the sales leader's sales strategy. To follow along download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Turn to the corporate strategy section and flip to the Objectives phase on pages 54 - 59 of the PDF workbook.  

Helping me with our demonstration is the Chief Executive Office and the top sales leaders at BeyondTrust. This team is investing in growth and has a lot to share. Kevin Hickey is our CEO here today. Joining Kevin is his sales leadership team. Brendan Evers is the Senior Vice President of Sales in the Americas, and Brent Thurrell Vice President of EMEA & APAC. 

Why this topic? Growing top line revenue is hard to do and at times, we make it harder than it needs to be when the CEO and sales leader are not on the same page. By interlocking the corporate and sales strategy, we can unlock trapped revenue growth. 

Kevin and his team are uniquely qualified to speak on this topic having grown faster than their industry and competitors the last three years. BeyondTrust is in the highly competitive cyber security space.  Their focus is on the privilege account management side of things, which has to do with identities, passwords and credentials. 

Direct download: AP1710_Beyond_Trust-18602_GFX2016.mp3
Category:Corporate Strategy -- posted at: 8:08am EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Eric Schwab, a Chief Revenue Officer who knows a thing or two about revenue growth. Today’s topic is incentive compensation planning to hit your revenue goal. As a guide to the conversation, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Turn to the sales strategy section and turn to the compensation planning phase on pages 308 – 313 of the PDF workbook. 

Eric Schwab is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic of compensation planning as the Chief Revenue Officer for TEN: The Enthusiast Network. TEN is the company that brings us iconic media brands such as Motor Trend, Powder, Surfer, and HOT ROD to name a few. As a content creation and media solutions company, TEN has transformed from a legacy media provider into a new media company.  Eric has lead the sales team during this transformation. Listen as Eric demonstrates how to design incentive compensation plans that get you to your revenue goal. 

This show is a must-watch episode for any corporate leader wanting to tie the achievement of the corporate strategy to the day-to-day behavior of the sales force. This show captures how Eric recognized the tie between a revenue miss and how the sales force was motivated through the comp plan. Watch as Eric and I discuss the steps Eric took to design the right sales compensation plan that would drive the right behavior and reward performance. 

Direct download: AP1709-Eric_Schwab-18546.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 7:53am EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Chris Stoddard, a Vice President of Sales who knows a thing or two about generating revenue growth. Our topic today is Organization Design. What types of reps you need and the best organizational chart for you. To follow along, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Turn to the sales strategy section and flip to the Organization Design phase on pages 282 - 284 of the PDF workbook. 

Joining us today is Chris Stoddard, the Vice President of Sales for Pulse Secure. Pulse Secure is in the secure access business of helping people, devices, things, and services connect to corporate networks through laptops and mobile devices and just about everything else. Listen as Chris demonstrates how to determine the right number of feet on the street. 

Why this topic? Too few reps and you're going to miss the revenue number, too many reps and you're destroy profits. Hire field reps when you need inside reps and frustrate customers. Organize in a hunter/farmer model when you need industry verticals or product specialists and the revenue goal will be harder to hit than it needs to be and so it goes and so it goes.

Business is booming at Pulse Secure under an innovative model of organization design. Sales leaders should keep an eye on this approach for a glimpse into the future as well as ideas on how to improve your current structure.  This new approach to organization design allows the structure to remain flat and empowers high performing Account Executives to be player-coaches and achieve tremendous teamwork.  

We begin the show with an overview of the traditional seven types of B2B sales organization models.  This provides a foundation for you the audience to think through the options and evaluate your own structure. Listen as Chris describes how he started with the Stratification Model of organization design. By stratifying the accounts into large, medium, and small, the sales force is assigned by the size of the account regardless of geographic boundaries. 

Listen as Chris describes how he adapted his stratification model into what he refers to as a Pod concept.  He wanted as little distance as possible between the most junior seller and senior leadership.  He created a selling pod, or selling unit with five core elements. There's an Account Executive or a senior salesperson. There is a territory Account Manager that farms existing accounts. Also included is an Inside Sales Rep and a partner Account Manager dedicated to servicing our channel and evaluating resellers. The final element of the pod is a Systems Engineer.  Typically, a pod is five core people and that can scale up or down based on the market opportunity.

The pod concept places a high level of accountability into that senior seller of each pod.  That senior seller operates as a player/coach to the members of their pod.  We look for someone who has historically been able to carry their own weight inside a sales model as well as act like a mentor and be part of the hiring process.  We avoid the middle layer of our management hierarchy and the senior seller is a first line of information back to leadership.

Consider this new approach in a pod concept where you have a highly empowered account executive who acts as a senior leader in managing a team of territory account managers, inside sales reps, partner managers and system engineering and keeping the organization flat.  Does this make sense for you, or could you borrow ideas from this model to enhance your existing model. Listen as Chris goes into depth on how to create enterprise value and how to determine the quantity for your sales force. 

Direct download: AP1705-Chris_Stoddard-18546.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 8:02am EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Biju Baby, a Vice President of Global Sales Operations who knows a thing or two about supporting revenue growth. His company has seen an impressive 54 quarters of sequential revenue growth and Biju has been an instrumental part of the team the last six years. 

Today’s topic is back office support, how to make your company so easy to buy from and sell for that you win more deals. To follow along download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Turn to the sales strategy section and flip to the Back-Office Support phase on pages 326 – 327 of the PDF workbook.  

Biju Baby is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic of back office support as the Vice President of Global Sales Operations for Equinix. A public company with revenue of $3.6 billion, Equinix builds and operate data centers for customers to connect with each other. Listen as Biju demonstrates how to be a company that's easy to buy from and a company that's easy to sell for. 

Why this topic? Taking days to get a pricing decision frustrates customers. Delaying the closing of a deal because of lengthy legal reviews reduces win rates. Paying a sales rep incorrectly, and late, drives up turnover. It is hard enough to grow revenues faster than the industry and competitors. Try to not add to the level of difficulty by being hard to buy from and sell for. 

Direct download: AP1706-Biju_Baby-18546_1.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 8:10am EDT

Today we're going to demonstrate how to create clarity throughout the entire company by getting everyone laser focused on the real drivers of revenue growth.  As a guide to the discussion, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Turn to the Corporate Strategy section and flip to the Objectives phase on pages 54 – 59 of the PDF workbook. 

Joining us today is John DiMarco, Chief Executive Officer for Cedar Document Technologies, a provider of hosted customer communications management services to large enterprises.  Cedar serves as a hub to manage all enterprise communications for how an enterprise client talks to its customers and how those customers interact back with those clients. John is uniquely qualified to demonstrate how to create clarity throughout the entire company by getting everyone laser focused on the real drivers of revenue growth. 

John and I dive into the into three main types of CEO-driven revenue growth strategies.  We address each with examples to identify the real drivers of revenue growth from the CEO seat.  John and I discuss the differences between market expansion, market exposure and market share. I list those three in order because market expansion is the quickest way to create enterprise value shareholder wealth inside of your firm. To illustrate this point, this is where the CEO knows the market so well that he or she can put the boat over fish and drop the line in the water to catch fish.

Market expansion is Cedar’s main strategy where John has recognized he’s in a market where there are tail winds and he needs to make the most of the opportunity. The market exposure example market demonstrates how John is listening to the market, seeing a movement to mobile and trying to expose his company to that new source of growth.  The final strategy of market share gain doesn’t apply to Cedar since it’s an emerging market.

Listen to the dialogue of the Cedar use case to identify your growth strategies.  There's a completely different sales and marketing approach that you would take to accomplish each revenue growth strategy.  Sales and marketing leaders that don’t know these details are working blind.

Why this topic? Organizations that have too many objectives and priorities essentially have none. They risk accomplishing nothing of significance. A CEO strategy often does not get executed because the sales, marketing and product leaders are in their silos pursuing what they feel is important. This causes strategic misalignment and results in subpar revenue growth. 

Direct download: AP1655-John_DiMarco-17932.m4a
Category:Corporate Strategy -- posted at: 8:03am EDT

Today we're going to demonstrate how to use the product roadmap to paint a picture of happy customers well into the future. As a guide to the discussion, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Turn to the Product Strategy section and flip to the Product Roadmap phase on pages 138 – 142 of the PDF. 

Joining us today is Tom Banta, Senior Vice-President of Product Management and Development for vXchnge, a co-location facility provider. vXchnge’s Micro Data Centers provide businesses with a Data Center-as-a-Service solution. Tom is uniquely qualified to demonstrate how to use the product roadmap to paint a picture of happy customers well into the future. 

Listen as Tom and I discuss prioritizing product features and the concept of role based themes as customer-centric approach. Most product development teams prioritize by themes. Tom contributes a unique insight with the concept of role-based themes. He explains his approach to identifying impact areas: “Focus on individual roles that would have what we would think as a big impact. At the end of the day, we're trying to get our products to be something that people couldn't imagine living without.” 

Why this topic? Future revenue growth sits in the product road map, use cases and requirements backlogs. Today’s revenue-producing products become tomorrow’s commodities as the competition quickens its development cycle. Building blockbuster products requires moving from legacy market listening techniques to advanced feedback systems. Long lead times starting with robust requirements have been replaced with short lead times starting with use case iterations based on real-time product feedback and analysis.

You must hear Tom’s answer to my question about the golden feature: Sales people are always looking for that "golden feature", the single most important feature around which we build our products and features and the thing that leap off the shelves and kind of sell itself. How do you define a golden feature and does such a thing exist?’ Tom’s answer to this question provides the three basic elements that must be comprised in a successful product roadmap. Major Features, Enhancements which are improvements on existing features, and improvements on usability. Listen to the full exchange to hear Tom’s point of view, including this quote: “We look at impact based and what is something that we think really will set us apart competitively in the market. Some of these require what's called some seed planting way in advance.”

Direct download: AP1652-Tom_Banta-17932.mp3
Category:Product Strategy -- posted at: 8:19am EDT

Today we're going to discuss territory alignment and demonstrate how to balance customer requirements, company revenue expectations and sales rep workload to grow revenues. As a guide to the discussion, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Turn to the Sales Strategy section and flip to the Territory Alignment phase on pages 299 – 303 of the PDF. 

Joining us today is Jim Mears, the Senior Vice President for Motorola Solutions. Jim is responsible for the go to market teams in the U.S. and Canada.  Motorola Solutions provides mission-critical communications products and services to public safety and commercial customers around the world. This is done by providing them with real-time information, and by arming them with nearly indestructible handheld devices. Jim is uniquely qualified to demonstrate how to balance customer requirements, company revenue expectations and sales rep workload to grow revenues.

Why this topic? Some reps only make their revenue objectives by selling to the easy accounts. Yet others are spending too much time with accounts that do not fit the ideal customer profile. Yet still some sales reps have so many accounts to cover that they cannot serve all of them correctly. We call this territory misalignment and it is a common cause of missed revenue targets.

Would you like to balance your territories better or take a fresh look at what the customer requirements are? How about a debate around what the revenue expectations should be by patch and look at data to understand what the workload is at the sales rep level and how to match that up with the requirements of the territories themselves? If that's an exercise that you think might help you increase the probability of making your number, consider coming down to The Studio and spending time with us. I will put a room full of experts in the room and we'll dive into your data and you'll leave with optimized territories. 

Listen as Jim describes how Motorola adapted to changes in buying trends. It became evident in some areas that it probably didn't justify any longer a pure direct rep. Jim describes how he observed the trend and how he adjusted serving the audience through a combination of direct representation and manufacturer reps.  These partners rounded out the offering to customers on the service side and as sales agents for the company.

Jim discusses the objective criteria used when creating a territory. The first criteria include revenue in the territory, second was the level of competition, buying history, buying behavior, the post-purchase service needs, and finally the concept of the customer life cycle.  The final element involves understanding when a customer needs to engage with a salesperson and when maybe they don't. 

In Motorola's case, the customer engagement needs represent a five to seven-year cycle. In your company, it might be five to seven months’ cycle. Those are examples of objective criteria that you might use to design your territories. Are those the right ones for you? Maybe, maybe not. You need to understand what matters for your business and come up with your objective criteria when developing territories. Listening to Jim’s use case will help you think through the right criteria for your company. 

Territory misalignment is a common cause of missed revenue targets. Download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017.  Turn to the Sales Strategy section starting on pages 258 of the PDF. If you would like to spend some time with me on this subject, come see me in Dallas at The Studio, SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. A visit to The Studio increases the probability of making your number because the sessions are built on the proven strength and stability of SBI, the industry leader in B2B sales and marketing. 

Direct download: AP1656-Jim_Mears-17932.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 7:50am EDT

Today’s show is a demonstration on how a Chief Strategy Officer can help a sales team. A common challenge among sales leaders is taking strategic imperatives the CEO has laid out in the corporate strategy and translating that into an operating plan. The head of strategy can help sales leaders solve this problem.  As a guide to the discussion, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Turn to the Sales Strategy section starting on page 258 of the PDF.

Joining us is Julian Lighton, Chief Strategy Officer at Renaissance Learning. Renaissance is the leader in K-12 education technology enabling teachers, curriculum creators, and educators to drive phenomenal student growth. Julian’s experience includes leading strategy at Hitachi, Cisco, Neustar, and Rovi, which is now TiVo.  Before that Julian was a partner in software and services at McKinsey.  Julian is uniquely qualified to demonstrate how the strategy officer can help a sales team.

Julian describes Value Creation Planning as a framework to understand how a company generates value for its shareholders.  This breaks down into a series of value drivers and underneath that a series of KPIs or metrics. For a sales leader, the top value drivers are going to be market acquisition.  The includes finding new logo customers, net new customers, driving wallet share, cross-sell, up-sell and finally renewals if you're in a subscription or services business.  Listen as Julian demonstrates what a sales leader really needs to understand to move each of the KPIs attached to the value drivers.

Why this topic? The best sales leaders we see blend strategy and execution masterfully. The average sales leaders we see don't understand strategy, even though they think they do because they think a collection of sales tactics is a strategy. This is not their fault. Most of them have never been trained on strategy development. This is where a partnership between the sales leader and the chief strategy officer can be a great partnership and produce great results.

The greatest contribution to the sales team by the head of strategy is to hold the strategic problem together (as opposed to breaking a problem apart).  This involves asking, "Which is the greater priority? Therefore, what am I really supposed to be doing?”  This approach keeps the problem from disintegrating and being left with five different problems.  Asking these questions prevents problems that aren’t commonly defined and fractured resources working on different things.

The final segment of the show addresses the elephant in the room.  Often sales leaders think strategy is disconnected from getting the job done. They're worried about hitting this month's quota. Why should a sales leader care about strategy? Listen as Julian outlines three reasons sales leaders should care about strategy. 

Evaluate your connection of the corporate strategy to the sales strategy at a deeper level.  Downloading our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017.  Turn to the Sales Strategy section starting on pages 258 of the PDF. If you would like to spend some time with me on this subject, come see me in Dallas at The Studio, SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. A visit to The Studio increases the probability of making your number because the sessions are built on the proven strength and stability of SBI, the industry leader in B2B sales and marketing. 

Direct download: AP1648-Julian_Lighton.m4a
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 9:19am EDT

Today we are going to demonstrate how to capture the attention of customers and prospects with great marketing campaigns. Campaign budgets are limited and these campaigns need to generate revenue. To follow-along, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017 and turn to pages 184 to 189.

Joining us today is Andrea Brody the Chief Marketing Officer of BravoSolution. BravoSolution delivers strategic procurement solutions for global organizations. The solution helps procurement organizations go beyond cost savings to include risk management, corporate social responsibility and driving innovation as part of developing new products. Listen as Andrea demonstrates how great marketing campaigns capture attention of your target audience.

Every market has a “sweet spot.” Campaigns (and their budgets) generate revenues when focused directly at this “sweet spot.” Campaigns that are not hyper-targeted do not. Listen as Andrea describes how to generate a return on marketing campaign dollars with a clear objective, timeline, budget, accurate lists, correct media mix and compelling calls to action.

Performing well in the monthly operating review and quarterly business review requires campaign-driven marketing contribution.  Campaign offers capture attention and deliver pipeline influence.  

Why this topic? Campaign budgets are limited and these campaigns need to generate revenue. In B2B, marketing campaigns generate revenue when they are hyper-targeted, and do not when they are spray and pray. Today, we will demonstrate how to generate a return on the campaign dollar.

Capturing the attention of customers and prospects requires a focus on the ideal customer profile and personas.  Make sure you have marketing and sales alignment on your ideal customer profile. What is your ideal customer profile? Is it a $1 billion+ company in certain vertical industries? Then you look at the specific buyers and influencers to select the Personas. Ask yourself, "What are those messages that resonate?"

Listen as Andrea and I discuss the concept idea of ‘laddering’ up the message. This involves a steadily increasing level of engagement, leading ultimately a call to action to engage the sales team. Pay attention to digital body language such as a download of a whitepaper.  From there, let's say somebody watches a video. That might be a 30-minute time investment versus reading a blog post which might be a five-minute time investment. This is an emerging best practice and Andrea describes using technology, persona targeting and content to engage.

Direct download: AP1637-Andrea_Brody-17929.m4a
Category:Marketing Strategy -- posted at: 8:18am EDT

Today’s show is a demonstration on how to cover the market completely with both direct and indirect sales channels. As a guide, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Flip to the sales strategy section of the PDF and review the Channel Optimization phase on pages 290 – 298. [p]

Joining us today is Rodney Foreman, Senior Vice President of Informatica‘s partner ecosystem. Informatica is the world’s number one provider of data management solutions, in the cloud, on-premise or in a hybrid environment. More than 7,000 companies turn to Informatica for data solutions that power their businesses. Rodney is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic having run multi-billion-dollar channel businesses with thousands of partners at IBM the past ten years, and now Informatica. Listen as Rodney demonstrates how to cover the market completely with both direct and indirect sales channels.[p]

How do you select, recruit, and on-board the right channel partners? Rodney describes the process that works. How do you attract the best partners who your competitors want as well, that have a customer base they have already been selling into? Once channel partners are selected, listen as Rodney describes on-boarding and activation to drive value and results from resellers. [p]

Why is sales channel optimization important? Selling to customers directly when they want to buy from partners is a surefire way to miss the revenue goal. Selling to customers through partners when they want a direct relationship with your company is equally devastating. And within the direct and indirect channel model, there are multiple sub models to consider. Coverage model decisions have never been this complicated for we live in the omni channel era.

We also discuss how to identify partners that may not sell your product set or technology today, but they have an adjacent product. In this case, they’re selling where your product fits well with what they’re already selling. It’s an opportunity for you and the partner.

The show is summarized with Rodney sharing the three things you want from a vendor.  Rodney details those three things that should be incorporated into your checklist questions to be successful in the channel.

 

Direct download: AP1653-Rodney_Foreman-17932.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 7:39am EDT

Today’s show is a demonstration on how to organize the sales team. This podcast is 51-minutes of high protein clarity on how to determine the type of reps you need and how to organize the sales team. Coupled with this deep demonstration is a workbook where you can go deep with your own sales force.  Download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Turn to pages 282 - 284 of the PDF to review the Sales Organization Design phase of the workbook. 

Joining us today is Mike St. Clair, Vice President of Sales for Rentokil North America. Mike is responsible for revenue and market share growth throughout the US, Mexico and Canada for pest control, brand protection and interior landscaping.

Some of you are struggling with how to determine how many feet on the street you need, what type of reps you need, and which org model is the best one for you. My hope is that by demonstrating how to do this you can avoid costly mistakes. 

Why your sales organization model is important? Without enough headcount, making the case for the right quantity is required to hit your quarterly number. Where and how you place your reps must be right. Listen to Mike demonstrate the seven dominant sales organizational models, and why he did, or did not, select each at Rentokil.  

Here are the specific seven sales organization models Mike will demonstrate: 

  • Stratification (big accounts, midsize accounts, small accounts in a pyramid)
  • Hunter/farmer
  • Geography
  • Product specialists
  • Vertical industry specialists
  • Role specialists
  • Hybrid (2 or more of the above combined) 

Using Mike's company as a use case, validate that you have the right model, and evaluate whether alternative or hybrid approaches are better for you. We go into each of the seven types of sales organization models. Listen to each and identify which model you are using for your sales force today.  

 

Direct download: AP1632-Mike_St_Claire-17929.m4a
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 2:56pm EDT

Today’s show will demonstrate how to create new markets through the development of new products.  We are also going to demonstrate how to attract new customers to an existing product, and how to convince current customers to buy more of an existing product. This is a deep dive on product strategy. To follow along, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Turn to product phase of the corporate strategy on pages 72 - 77 of the PDF. 

Joining us today is Sudhakar Ramakrishna, the Chief Executive Officer of Pulse Secure. Pulse Secure is a leading provider of secure access and mobile security solutions to both enterprises and service providers. As companies increase productivity through the adoption of cloud and an ever-mobile workforce, Pulse Secure provides the security to safeguard your company. Listen as Sudhakar demonstrates how to:

  • Create new markets through new products.
  • Attract new customers to an existing product.
  • Convince current customers to buy more of an existing product.

Enterprise value will only grow if you continue to expand.  Listen as Sudhakar answers how to succeed in existing markets as well as enter new markets. We discuss what's the cost of getting into those new markets and what's the cost of not getting into those new markets? The top priority first is to expand the market opportunity through new innovations and new products.  Second, growth is captured through a disproportionate share of that market expansion.

During the interview, we discuss the different types of revenue growth and which revenue growth is worth more than others and managing the portfolio along its life cycle. All in pursuit of growing revenues faster than our industry and our competitors. We debate whether a company should seek to create an entirely new category or should the company participate in a category within that category through innovation? New category creation has very different cost dynamics. Different customer acquisition costs and strategic time horizons. Listen as Sudhakar provides valuable insights into this decision for a CEO.

Sudhakar provides a great example of building trust and then expanding through innovation. Pulse Secure has a large base of customers whose investment is protected through software upgrades.  During upgrades, new features are unlocked to their mobile workforce and their transition to the cloud. It is a new capability in an existing offering that makes their investment more relevant to their needs today. Through this approach Sudhakar has been able to gain share in the marketplace.  He’s protecting the investment of those customers that bought products and then earning the right to expand your business with them through innovation.

All companies have portfolios, not just products, and those products are on different life cycles. Sudhakar and I discuss how the strategy's going to be a little different between products so this requires dynamic reallocation of people, money, and time, depending on where this portfolio is in its life cycle and the products within it.

Why this topic? Not all revenue growth is equal. Some revenue growth creates more enterprise value than others. Revenue growth that comes from increasing market share for a product does not create much long-term value because competitors can easily retaliate. Revenue growth driven by increasing prices of certain products comes at the expense of the customer, who can retaliate by buying less and seeking substitute products. Revenue growth driven by products that create new markets, attract new customers, and convince customers to buy more is the most valuable type of revenue growth.

 

Direct download: AP1658-Sudhakar_Ramakrishna-17932.mp3
Category:Corporate Strategy -- posted at: 2:46am EDT

 

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Today’s show will demonstrate how to improve the efficiency of a sales team by getting new hires productive quickly. Dave begins the interview by providing three key steps to fill open sales positions, and shrink the time from open position to day one.  The rest of the interview is focused on quickly moving from day one to productivity.  To help you follow along, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017 and turn to sourcing and onboarding on pages 290 – 292. 

Joining us today is Dave Wirta, the Chief Revenue Officer of Greenway Health with 1,800 employees. Supporting 75,000 providers and 8,000 individual practices, Greenway Health is helping to transform how healthcare is delivered by providing technology solutions. Greenway helps physicians and staff focus on delivering healthcare to their patients and not worry about technology and the business side of the equation. Listen as Dave helps his peers by demonstrating how to improve the efficiency of a sales team by getting new hires productive quickly

Dave's time to fill an open positions is only 30 and 90 days. That's an outstanding number considering the competitive market Dave operates within. A big part of the success in recruiting occurs during the interview process when the career path is described. Candidates can visualize what success may look like for them, how they will get there and where that leads them. Being able to speak about a a concrete career path shrinks the recruiting time because the candidates get excited. Listen as Dave describes in detail this concept of developing and articulating career paths.  

Why this topic? Starting a new year typically involves onboarding new sales hires. A long new hire productivity cycle can lead to a missed revenue target, and we don’t want that. There is a way to do this, and when done correctly, this can ignite revenue growth. 

In the first segment of the show, watch as Dave responds to these three questions: 

  • How long does it take you to fill an open sales position and what have you done to shrink this?
  • How long does it take for a new sales hire to reach full productivity and what have you done to shrink this?
  • How do you measure new hire time to productivity (time to break even, time to first sale, time to quota etc.)? 

Dave shares his expertise on some advanced concepts in the final segment. Outstanding guidance is provided to these questions faced by every sales force: 

  • How do you ensure the new sales hire fully understands his or her role and responsibilities completely?
  • How do you make sure the new hire has clear direction on how to develop his or her career day one on the job?
  • How do you make sure the new hire is placed in winning conditions? 

The second segment discusses the appropriate level of quota for a sales rep during the onboarding process. Dave also discusses the controversial topic of what to do with quota levels for open positions. The development and ownership of the onboarding program caps off the second segment. 

Direct download: AP1639-Dave_Wirta-17930.m4a
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 9:15am EDT

Today’s show will demonstrate how to get sales improvement programs adopted in a matrix organization. To help illustrate today’s topic we will think through sales enablement within a matrix organization using Frontier Communications as a use case. As a guide for sales enablement leaders to increase revenue per sales head, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Turn to page 319 of the PDF.

Joining us today is Ian Petersen, the Senior Vice President of Sales Operations and Enablement at Frontier Communications.  Frontier offers broadband, video, voice bundles for small businesses, and advanced business communications for medium and large businesses in 29 states with approximately 28,000 employees.  Ian is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic with experience in matrix organizations at Sun Microsystems, Oracle and now Frontier.  Watch as Ian demonstrates how to get sales improvement programs adopted in matrix organizations.

Sales enablement leaders who work in a matrix inside of an enterprise company often feel that they can’t be successful because they don’t have direct authority over resources. It’s not true. If there is value, you can get people to adopt to your programs, and the way that you do that is you get things done through others. Listen as Ian describes how to develop the skill of getting things done through others.

Why this topic? Large enterprises are investing heavily in sales enablement, yet many are not realizing the full value of these investments. One of the causes of this unfortunate outcome is the matrix organization. The matrix is required in these large enterprises to simply deal with their massive scale but this creates an added level of difficulty for sales enablement leaders.

Listen as Ian describes reporting to an EVP of operations inside of an $11-billion company. Most sales operations and sales enablement leaders report to a head of sales, Ian describes implementing programs within a matrix organization.  The complexity involved is getting sales leaders and managers to adopt enablement programs when you and your boss don’t have any authority over them. Ian outlines how to achieve adoption of programs in this environment.

Direct download: AP1646-Ian_Peterson.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 7:40am EDT

Today’s show will demonstrate how to make marketing scientific through the use of a marketing operations department. To follow along, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017.  Turn to the marketing operations phase on pages 248 – 251 of the PDF.  You’ll find a worksheet approach where you can start to analyze your team. 

Joining us today is Arnaud Kraajvanger, the Vice President of Marketing Insights and Operations for Genesys. Genesys provides customer experience contact center solutions.  More than 10,000 companies in over 100 countries trust the industry’s #1 customer experience platform to orchestrate seamless omnichannel customer journeys. Listen as Arnaud describes how marketing operations is in a unique position with more data than ever to have a significant impact on the business. 

Listen as Arnaud describes how to measure the effectiveness of the marketing team. Arnaud’s team works with all functions within marketing and develop specific KPI's for each and track the KPI’s throughout the buying cycle. 

Why this topic? Well, data is everywhere, channels are exploding, technology is changing, executives require more detailed reporting and marketing can no longer rely in intuition, and experience is no longer enough. 

During the show, Arnaud provides a brief overview of how each key area of marketing is tracked.  For brand awareness, share of voice is tracked. From a public relations standpoint, social shares are the KPI.  For analyst relations, the degree of analyst coverage and ranking compared to the position of the competition.  

Direct download: AP1641-Arnaud_Kraaijvanger-17930.m4a
Category:Marketing Strategy -- posted at: 1:43am EDT