SBI Podcast

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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