SBI Podcast

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

1