SBI Sales and Marketing Podcast

Legacy companies have been able to withstand nearly every possible economic condition over several decades, and yet even they have had to persevere through new challenges seen this year.

However, companies like Hexagon PPM have not been around for over 50 years by merely surviving difficult circumstances. Through the adversity, they have made their mark by quickly pivoting to market demands in any disruptive climate.

On today’s show, Hexagon PPM CRO, Steve King, joins SBI Managing Director Tony Erickson to discuss how PPM has responded to shifts in the market to thrive while maintaining their growth trajectory.


The software industry has experienced more disruption in the last 6 months than in the previous 10 years. With an increased need for online purchasing, content management, payment processing, and more, leading software CEOs have navigated changes in demand drivers flawlessly, even with imperfect data.

On today's show, Marc Odenweller, Managing Director at SBI, joins us to discuss how the top 9% of software leaders have been relentlessly agile in their planning process to outpace competitors.

Direct download: VP_1849_Marco_Odenweller_20420_online-audio-converter.com.mp3
Category:Corporate Strategy -- posted at: 3:03pm EDT

Over the last 6 months, there have only been an elite few known as "Accelerators" — those companies that have thrived in a recessionary environment.   One such company is CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society. By expediting the growth strategies they already had in motion, CAS gained a first mover advantage in their market and continues to widen the gap ahead of competitors.   On today's show, CAS' CEO, Manuel Guzman, joins SBI Managing Director Andrew Urteaga to discuss the fundamentals that an organization must have in place to be able to seize unexpected opportunities.

Direct download: VP_1853_Urteaga_Guzman_20420_online-audio-converter.com.mp3
Category:Corporate Strategy -- posted at: 9:43am EDT

In a virtual world, Customer Experience has definitively been at the forefront of the digital revolution. How has your company adapted to the new demands of the market?

On today's show, John deLorimier, EVP at Concentra, joins us to discuss how to bring more value to the customer journey and deliver on the brand promise.

Direct download: VP_1838_JohnDelorimier_20099_online-audio-converter.com.mp3
Category:Corporate Strategy -- posted at: 9:15pm EDT

As part of our advisory program, SBI recently held a virtual meeting comprised of an intimate group of market-leading B2B CEOs (public and private with market caps from $1B to 10B) to discuss current market challenges and opportunities for achieving strategic revenue growth.

On today's show, Scott Gruher, Senior Partner, and Chethan Sharma, Senior Managing Director and CEO Practice Leader, share insights from the powerful peer group including:

  • The CEO's role in revenue growth strategy
  • Managing board expectations
  • Driving digital and customer experience strategy
Direct download: RECORDING_-_CEO_CAB_EDIT_online-audio-converter.com.mp3
Category:Corporate Strategy -- posted at: 4:10pm EDT

Any CEO can attest to the current level of difficulty in closing deals. Customer sentiment and individual mind share are in high demand, and even with everyone online, many fail to adequately engage their communities in order to access their full potential.

On today’s show, Kevin Boyce, CEO of Higher Logic, joins us to discuss new ways of building and leveraging your internal and external communities to drive engagement in a virtual world. Kevin shares how the company pivoted its strategy to meet today's demands and new ways they have been able to enable and communicate to the organization amid their digital evolution.

Direct download: Kevin_Boyce_Edit_online-audio-converter.com.mp3
Category:Corporate Strategy -- posted at: 2:28pm EDT

It’s hard to imagine a time where calendars weren’t inundated with video calls and discussions around your digital sales transformation. With a virtual revolution upon us, how can you maintain the personal aspects that define your culture internally and externally?

On today’s show, Tim Brackey, President and COO of RGP, joins us to discuss how to translate culture from on-prem to a virtual world:

  • Understanding “indie-ployment” and how it may define the future of talent
  • Fostering a growth culture and how to measure it
  • Developing digital capabilities to meet buyer expectations
Direct download: Edit_Tim_Brackney_online-audio-converter.com.mp3
Category:Corporate Strategy -- posted at: 5:02pm EDT

For many services companies who achieve exponential growth within narrow timeframes, they often find themselves lagging in critical operational areas, including go-to-market.

Jarrod Johnson, Chief Customer Officer at TaskUs, found himself in a similar situation but was able to remain as agile as he was during the company’s startup years. Jarrod joins Scott Gruher, Senior Partner, SBI, on today's show to discuss how executing SaaS best practices allowed TaskUs to achieve manageable growth by:

  • Creating a scalable sales system
  • Implementing a high-growth marketing engine
  • Building a data-driven customer experience

With the shift towards retention being the new growth, companies have increasingly seen the incremental value that Customer Success brings. If you are still assessing the benefits of a CS function in today's world, you will fall behind your peers and the market significantly.

 

On today's show, Alan Rudolph, SVP of Apttus, joins Tony Erickson, Managing Director, SBI, to share best practices for Customer Success and strategic deals in today's world. Alan shares how he achieves a 360-degree view of the customer and buyer journey and how to leverage CS to drive business outcomes seamlessly.

Direct download: Alan_Rudolph_EDIT2_online-audio-converter.com.mp3
Category:Corporate Strategy -- posted at: 5:03pm EDT

To kick off the summer, SBI held a virtual meeting comprised of an intimate group of market-leading B2B Chief Revenue Officers (Public and Private, $240M to $8B in Revenue) as part of their advisory board program. These global CRO's gathered to collectively share and learn from one another in an intimate, confidential setting.

In this video, Matt Sharrers, CEO of SBI, and Scott Gruher, Senior Partner, share insights from the powerful peer-group reflecting the sentiment of what is top of mind of global CROs. They discuss emerging best practices such as, what are the applications of digital? You first have to find your strategy.

Direct download: CRO_Insights_online-audio-converter.com.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 12:18pm EDT

The evolution of the Marketing leader role has transformed drastically over the years. Today, those changes are even more significant than what their role looked like nearly 90 days ago. Still, there is no telling what the second half of the year will bring for CMOs.

On today's show, Jim Kruger, CMO at Veeam, joins us for a glimpse into how a market-leading software company has been adjusting to the current market conditions and how they are preparing for the back-half of 2020.

Direct download: Jim_Kruger_Audio_Podcast.m4a
Category:Marketing Strategy -- posted at: 12:04pm EDT

Customer Experience is no longer just a buzz word that companies can throw around. It has become a megatrend that demands a complete mindset shift in not only executive teams, but it also requires buy-in from the board in order to thrive.

On today’s show, Ryan Hollenbeck, CMO of Verint, joins us to discuss what market-leading companies do differently to prioritize CX programs. In Ryan’s first segment, he shares 3 critical steps to building a world-class customer experience program.

Direct download: VP_1840_RyanHollenbeck_20099_online-audio-converter.com.mp3
Category:Marketing Strategy -- posted at: 12:58pm EDT

On today’s show, we are joined by Vince Lombardo, President of US Payments and Payroll Solutions at Heartland Payment Systems. Over the last two decades, Vince has seen Heartland grow from a startup to a global company with 4,000+ employees and has learned a thing or two along the way.

Vince shares valuable lessons learned from his tenure at Heartland that not only relate to the post-COVID recovery but also how you choose to advance your revenue growth journey through any challenging circumstance.

Direct download: Vince_Lombardo_Original_online-audio-converter.com.mp3
Category:Corporate Strategy -- posted at: 4:16pm EDT

Having a full comprehension of customer experience in a digital world is crucial to revenue growth today. This motion requires not only active market listening, but communicating actionable insights across product, service, and channels — all while reducing friction in a virtual environment.

Joining us today is Tish Falco, veteran CX strategist and thought leader in tech and subscription-based services. Tish shares valuable guidance on:

  • Defining CX vision and design from end to end
  • Channel optimization protecting the revenue stream
  • Brightening the future of digital CX
Direct download: Tish_Falco_EDIT_online-audio-converter.com.mp3
Category:Corporate Strategy -- posted at: 7:38pm EDT

Although many sales leaders have had to adjust to this new world since March, global companies have had to acclimate since January. With every challenge that came with reorganizing a regional market, also provided the chance to accelerate a very crucial digital transformation.

As an early adapter to this new normal, Deb Walton, Chief Revenue Officer at Refinitv, saw the opportunity to interact with customers and employees like never before. On today’s show, Deb joins us to discuss how the changes she had made out of necessity have quickly proven to be more effective and have established permanence for years to come.

Direct download: Deb_Walton_online-audio-converter.com.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 3:21pm EDT

At the beginning of stay-at-home orders, maintaining a connection with the customer base was a top priority for CMOs. Marketing teams worked quickly to stand up virtual communities and help customers in an authentic way.

Now, as executives look to the future and aftermath of the pandemic, continuing to invest time and resources into their communities remains an integral part of making their number — not doing so could create a costly disconnect and breed mistrust.

On today's show, SBI community expert and Executive Consultant Laura Hall shares how to continue strong community engagement and why this continuity is important.

Direct download: Laura_Hall_online-audio-converter.com.mp3
Category:Marketing Strategy -- posted at: 4:17pm EDT

Over the last couple of months, CEOs across all industries have faced unique challenges. However, during this time, they have exhibited a common trait — they have proven it is imperative to uphold their brand promise and continue to serve customers the best they know how.

On today's show, Mary McDowell, CEO of Mitel, shares valuable insights for fellow chief executives:

  • Lessons learned from previous crises
  • Having an agile approach to the core business model and legacy products
  • Acceleration of planning and decision-making in a high-pressure environment
Direct download: Mary_McDowell_original_online-audio-converter.com.mp3
Category:Corporate Strategy -- posted at: 6:35pm EDT

Shifting the go-to-market model to digital has been a subject on the mind of market leaders for some time, and now it is being accelerated. For better or worse, COVID-19 has been the catalyst for a digital transformation that will fundamentally change how customers engage with vendors.

Veteran and market leader Chris Perry, President – Broadridge Financial Solutions, has a broad view of his organization and recognizes the critical importance of digital transformation right now. On today's show, Chris discusses:

  • Differences between the current crisis and last recession on a macro/global level
  • An accelerated roadmap for digitizing the client experience now and after the pandemic
  • How sales and marketing must work together to help clients take risks and “win the recovery”
Direct download: Chris_Perry_Edit_online-audio-converter.com.mp3
Category:Corporate Strategy -- posted at: 5:40pm EDT

In the world of a sales enablement leader, the primary goal is to keep the sales team efficient and effective. How that goal gets accomplished occurs with consistent resegmenting of the customer base, cleansing the pipeline, and accurately forecasting changes and opportunities in the market. Market leaders know that these actions were important even prior to the last 30 days and are critical now.

Jedd Williams, Vice President of Global Sales Acceleration at Poly, was in the midst of a transformation when COVID-19 shifted the sales strategy and operating norms. Hear Jedd discuss:

  • Why resegmentation was the first step in adjusting go-to-market strategy
  • How the forecasting process has changed and its effect on product build schedules
  • Covering the install base by considering propensity to buy and propensity to upgrade
Direct download: Jedd_Williams_3rd_Edit_online-audio-converter.com.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 10:45am EDT

Well-established tech companies have typically developed a large, multi-layer partner ecosystem that they rely on. For a sales leader in this environment, problem-solving, and having shared responsibilities with these channel partners is the only way to succeed in moving the GTM strategy forward.

Today, Scott Peterson, SVP Americas at Mitel and veteran UCaaS executive, shares what is working for him in adjusting to COVID-19 market implications with his partner ecosystem:

  • Packaging and pricing with different-sized partners
  • Daily scrums with channel partners
  • Deal flow and execution

We have seen first hand how the pandemic has devastated businesses around the world. However, as we adapt to a new era of commerce, many companies have found opportunities to reevaluate their strategies and thrive. For a CRO in the SaaS cyber security industry, market opportunity has increased.

On today's show, Bob Layton, CRO of Digital Defense, joins us to discuss the effect of the pandemic on software companies. Bob shares that while many aspects of their business remain unchanged, like their coverage model, they are finding creative ways to drive revenue and incentivize their teams.

Direct download: Bob_Layton__Gregg_Blatt_ORIGINAL.mp4
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 6:30pm EDT

It can be difficult to keep up with current updates and regulations surrounding this new normal. Without knowing the full implications of how long this crisis will last, how are business leaders adapting their strategies, especially when working with customers on the front lines of the pandemic?

On today's show, Milton Silva-Craig, CEO of Q-Centrix, joins Doug Bain, SBI's Healthcare Practice Managing Director, to discuss how teams must be agile in facing our new reality. Milton shares how to communicate with your teams and customers and solve arising problems outside of your traditional playbook.


For weeks now, businesses have been impacted by COVID-19. While it has been difficult to predict the severity of the pandemic, the one thing that has been unwavering is people's innate desire to connect with one another. As a Customer Success leader, the actions of your teams now will undoubtedly leave lasting impressions for years to come.

Bernie Kassar, Chief Customer Officer at Xactly, joins us on today's show to discuss what Customer Success teams are doing to help guide businesses through these uncertain times. Bernie shares unique opportunities for companies in today’s environment and how to create a frictionless customer experience.


While businesses world-wide have been grappling with the effects of the COVID-19 crisis, few industries have been seeing a surge in demand. Among those who have an opportunity to thrive are industrial markets like transportation and logistics. While T&L companies have the potential to increase revenue and enter new verticals, this is not without added risks.

On today’s show, we are joined by industry expert Chris Davy, Managing Director at SBI. Chris shares his experience and lessons learned from previous market disruptions in T&L and highlights the importance of a clear exit strategy.

Direct download: SBI_Revenue_Growth_Help_Desk_Insights_-_Chris_Davy_SBI.mp4
Category:Corporate Strategy -- posted at: 2:28pm EDT

There’s no denying it – unity, connection, and community are the marquee themes in the COVID-19 business world. Navigating these current challenges has also presented the opportunity to reimagine what is possible from product offerings and new revenue streams to internal and external communication.

On today’s podcast, Jeff Ray, CEO of Brightcove, a video powerhouse company, joins us to discuss how CEOs have the potential to:

  • Create unity through authentic messaging
  • Lead teams with empathy and positive intent
  • Innovate and propose new offerings through cross-functional collaboration

"We're all in meetings where the dog runs around the back behind you or the neighbor fires up the chain saw. It's just the way it is. We're actually getting to know one another's kids and dogs better... I think there's more authentic talking happening now than ever before. And it would be a shame for us as leaders to miss that window of opportunity."

Direct download: SBI_Revenue_Growth_Help_Desk_Insights_-_Jeff_Ray_Brightcove.mp4
Category:Corporate Strategy -- posted at: 7:45pm EDT

Sales leaders around the world have been adjusting to working from home while attempting to maintain a team-oriented environment. However, leading a virtual workforce eliminates the face-to-face interactions that so many businesses have relied on. How do you sustain personal connections and community, especially in large, global organizations?

On today's show, we are joined by Steve Blum, SVP Worldwide Field Operations at Autodesk. Steve shares how he has been keeping talent engaged during COVID-19 challenges.


Although the global pandemic is creating challenges that businesses have never dealt with before, many leaders had already felt imminent market changes prior to the outbreak. Executives are in the process of reimagining their go-to-market strategies and seeking to minimize disruption, given the circumstances.

On today’s show, Tony Erickson, Managing Director at SBI, joins us to share what market-leading CEOs and CROs are focusing on right now:

  • Revising GTM strategy to optimize productivity
  • Assessing channel mix and sales coverage
  • Measuring progress through behavioral indicators

As we near the end of the first quarter of 2020, sales leaders anticipated a much different outcome for their Q1 goals. In the face of a global crisis, how can you not just keep the lights on but also take care of your team?

Joining us on today’s show is Chris Gosline, an Engagement Manager at SBI, to discuss best practices for providing quota relief and adapting compensation plans. Chris outlines three options that every sales leader should consider.

Direct download: SBI_Revenue_Growth_Help_Desk_Insights_-_CHRIS.mp4
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 5:29pm EDT

Over the last week, we have seen the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the market, businesses, and communities. During these unpredictable times, one thing is certain; we cannot control these events, but we can control how we react.

In today’s interview, we are joined by Josh Horstmann, Senior Partner at SBI, to discuss how to adapt to the new normal. Josh shares a 7-step action plan and timeline to help executive teams mitigate business impact during the crisis.

Direct download: SBI_Revenue_Growth_Help_Desk_Insights_-_JOSH.mp4
Category:general -- posted at: 6:50pm EDT

Entering a role as a new sales leader can be challenging enough. Entering a new role within a legacy company during tumultuous market conditions might then seem impossible. Having overcome these challenges, Steve King, CRO of Hexagon PPM, joins us to discuss his experience leading a full go-to-market transformation.

Steve shares how he prioritized the challenges he faced and began leading the sales organization through massive change.

Direct download: VP_1841_SteveKing_20099.mp3
Category:Sales Enablement -- posted at: 2:13pm EDT

Companies who find themselves declining in revenue, experiencing customer loss or employee churn may be in dire need of a turnaround. To successfully recover from this type of crisis, it often requires a new CEO to step in and lead through the turbulence.

In today's segment, an expert in company turnarounds, David Ratner, CEO of Hyas, joins us to share insights for new CEOs who find themselves in a turnaround position. 

Direct download: VP_1839_DavidRatner_20099_online-audio-converter.com.mp3
Category:Corporate Strategy -- posted at: 1:04pm EDT

Stefano Redditi, EVP of Sales and Marketing for JAS Worldwide, joins us to discuss how he has successfully made this move upmarket to achieve enterprise customers. Stefano shares his experience from identifying triggers for change to navigating the resistance that accompanied the reorganization.


For many B2B companies, the effort to continually maintain and improve their products has become too demanding. Evolving economic factors affecting these companies have pressured many to make the shift from being a product company to a platform company.

Sudhakar Ramakrishna, CEO of Pulse Secure, joins us in this segment to discuss changing your mindset to successfully make the transformation from product to platform.

Direct download: 19852-SBI_May_2019_Podcassts_AP1836_SudhaRamakrishna.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:42pm EDT

As a marketing leader, if you have ever thought about where your next new form of revenue is coming from, the answer is Outbound Marketing. Eric Quanstrom, CMO of Cience, joins us to discuss how Outbound is the new normal. Do not be too quick to dismiss older methods of reaching customers, as Eric affirms cold-calling is not dead.

In this first segment, Eric shares the different methods and advantages to implementing an effective outbound motion.

 

Direct download: 19852-SBI_May_2019_Podcassts_AP1831_EricQuanstrom.mp3
Category:Marketing Strategy -- posted at: 5:49pm EDT

Digital has rapidly transformed the economy, and it is no surprise that having a digital strategy has a profound impact on revenue growth. With so many definitions and ideas of what a digital strategy is and how to implement one, companies find it difficult to find clarity and achieve consensus. Today, Scott Santucci, CEO of Growth Enablement Ecosystems, shares his experience navigating the digital landscape.

Direct download: 19852-SBI_May_2019_Podcassts_AP1835_ScottSanttucci.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:05am EDT

Brad Christian, Chief Customer Officer of Market Force, joins us to discuss the true meaning of customer experience. Brad and his team at Market Force have become pioneers in mastering customer experience. Listen to Brad discuss best practices for implementing a world-class customer experience design.  

Direct download: 19852-SBI_May_2019_Podcassts_AP1830_BradChristian.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:34am EDT

Today Ray Oram, Global VP of Sales Enablement for IBM, joins us to discuss transforming the seller experience. Ray provides a unique perspective on the mechanics of the industry and how he reframes the discipline.
 
By empowering this cross-functional group, it will result in a thriving enablement culture and improved seller experience.
Direct download: 19852-SBI_May_2019_Podcassts_AP1833_RayOram.mp3
Category:Sales Enablement -- posted at: 9:37pm EDT

Nestor Benavides, CEO of EMG, joins us to discuss how a CEO can establish new forms of communication that not only drive the culture but deliver continuous improvement. Nestor shares how he perpetuates a strong culture within his organization through effective communication, objective conversations, and active company values.

Direct download: AP_1825_Nestor_BenaAides_19675.mp3
Category:Corporate Strategy -- posted at: 9:46pm EDT

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: AP1810_Dave_Moore.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:08am EDT

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

Direct download: AP_1824_ScottAsher.mp3
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: AP_1817_Curt_Redden.mp3
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: AP_1821_JimOGara.mp3
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: AP1708-Andy_Panos-18546.mp3
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: AP1769_Mark_Lister-18935.mp3
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.

Direct download: AP1775_AndreaBrody-18981.mp3
Category:Marketing Strategy -- posted at: 2:27pm EDT

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: AP_1816_Ryan_Mang.mp3
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: AP1813_Sarah_Kennedy.mp3
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: AP1799_Joel_Trammell.mp3
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.

Direct download: VP1774B_Steve_Grimshaw.mp3
Category:Corporate Strategy -- posted at: 8:23am EDT

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: VP1774A_Steve_Grimshaw.mp3
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: AP1776_Ryan_Tognazzini-18981.mp3
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: VP1762MikeVolpe.mp3
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: AP1809_Marc_Osofsky.mp3
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: AP1790_Husseman.mp3
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: AP1792_Joe_Vitalone.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 4:13pm EDT

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

Direct download: AP1798_Greg_Clark_E.mp3
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: AP1768_Jennifer_Bakunas-18935.mp3
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: AP1752_Randolph_Carter-18863_MX.mp3
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