Sat, 27 May 2017
I'm excited to introduce a Chief Executive Officer who knows how to direct his sales force to the highest opportunity revenue sources. Executive leaders of every function should prepare to take notes from today's guest who will share how to think through the highest value creation sources of revenue. In the race to make your number, sales leaders will naturally bet on every horse that can deliver a revenue dollar. Your corporate strategy can quickly erode to the easiest revenue dollars to capture, regardless of the long-term value and profitability. That's where the CEO comes in to guide his or her sales leader to the revenue dollars that create the highest value long-term.
Today we're going to demonstrate how to create clarity throughout the entire company by getting everyone laser focused on the real drivers of revenue growth. As a guide to the discussion, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Turn to the Corporate Strategy section and flip to the Objectives phase on pages 54 – 59 of the PDF workbook.
Joining us today is John DiMarco, Chief Executive Officer for Cedar Document Technologies. John and I share the same Alma Mater, Georgia Tech and John is a CEO who came up through the ranks of technology development. What I found fascinating about this interview is the precision with which John breaks down revenue growth to provide clarity to his sales leader. John's Company is a provider of hosted customer communications management services to large enterprises. Cedar serves as a hub to manage all enterprise communications for how an enterprise client talks to its customers and how those customers interact back with those clients. John is uniquely qualified to demonstrate how to create clarity throughout the entire company by getting everyone laser focused on the real drivers of revenue growth.
Listen as John and I dive into the into three main types of CEO-driven revenue growth strategies. We address each with examples to identify the real drivers of revenue growth from the CEO seat. John and I discuss the differences between market expansion, market exposure and market share. I list those three in order because market expansion is the quickest way to create enterprise value shareholder wealth inside of your firm. To illustrate this point, this is where the CEO knows the market so well that he or she can place the boat right over the fish.
Market expansion is Cedar’s main strategy where John has recognized he’s in a market where there are tail winds and he needs to make the most of the opportunity. The market exposure example market demonstrates how John is listening to the market, seeing a movement to mobile and trying to expose his company to that new source of growth. The final strategy of market share gain doesn’t apply to Cedar since it’s an emerging market.
Why this topic? Organizations that have too many objectives and priorities essentially have none. They risk accomplishing nothing of significance. A CEO strategy often does not get executed because the sales, marketing and product leaders are in their silos pursuing what they feel is important. This causes strategic misalignment and results in sub-par revenue growth.
There's a completely different sales and marketing approach required to accomplish each revenue growth strategy. Sales and marketing leaders that don’t know these details are working blind. Enjoy the dialogue of the Cedar use case to identify your growth strategies.
If you would like to spend time with me on your revenue growth drivers, come see me in Dallas at The Studio, SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. Sessions at The Studio are experiential and are designed around the principles of interactive exercises, hands-on innovation, and peer-to-peer collaboration. The Studio is a safe-haven for learning and after just a few days clients leave with confidence and clarity your revenue growth strategies and sales and marketing motions to make your number.
Thu, 25 May 2017
Joining us for today’s show is Biju Baby, a Vice President of Global Sales Operations who knows a thing or two about supporting revenue growth. His company has seen an impressive 54 quarters of sequential revenue growth and Biju has been an instrumental part of the team the last six years. [p]
Today’s topic is back office support, how to make your company so easy to buy from and sell for that you win more deals. To follow along download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Turn to the sales strategy section and flip to the Back-Office Support phase on pages 326 – 327 of the PDF workbook.
Biju Baby is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic of back office support as the Vice President of Global Sales Operations for Equinix. A public company with revenue of $3.6 billion, Equinix builds and operate data centers for customers to connect with each other. Listen as Biju demonstrates how to be a company that's easy to buy from and a company that's easy to sell for.
Why this topic? Taking days to get a pricing decision frustrates customers. Delaying the closing of a deal because of lengthy legal reviews reduces win rates. Paying a sales rep incorrectly, and late, drives up turnover. It is hard enough to grow revenues faster than the industry and competitors. Try to not add to the level of difficulty by being hard to buy from and sell for.
We begin the podcast with Biju explaining the three things he recommends to evaluate how easy your company to buy from and sell for. The straight-forward advice from Biju is the starting point for you to evaluate your own company’s needs in this area. Listen as Biju explains how as you gather feedback from the sales force, how to distinguish between the signal and the noise.
Listen as Biju provides a use case for how to make a company easy to buy from. This involves pushing the pricing and approval process down into the field with identified thresholds and empowering the team to make those decisions in the field. Biju explains how to hold the field accountable to make sure that the thresholds are not broken. Most companies are not comfortable taking this approach and want to control everything at headquarters. The problem is that it becomes a bandwidth problem and things take too long. Listen as Biju explains how at Equinix they trust the field with such a critical decision, but also making sure that you're following up on a quarterly basis that the thresholds don't get broken. That's a great example of how to push the pricing and approval process out into the field.
Biju and I discuss the length of time it takes for an approval internally. Equinix is a global document that spans across 21 countries and operates in a country manager model, yet Biju's team can turnaround most decisions in 24-hours. Think of the advantage that would give your sales team. Listen as Biju and I discuss the steps required to put this in place.
Time kills deals, yet we have all have experienced companies that make it difficult for you to award them business. If your company making it difficult to do business with you then it’s impacting your win rate. Worse, ‘A’ Player sales candidates can sniff out companies that are difficult to buy from and sell for resulting in lost talent, and retention problems. Listen to this podcast to act on making your company easy to buy from and sell for.
If you would like to spend time with me on the topic of making your company easy to buy from, come see me at The Studio in Dallas. The Studio is SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. Sessions at The Studio are experiential and are designed around the principles of interactive exercises, hands-on innovation, and peer-to-peer collaboration. The Studio is a safe-haven for learning and after just a few days clients leave with confidence and clarity your revenue growth strategies and sales and marketing motions to make your number.
Mon, 22 May 2017
Today’s topic is focused on how to match the capabilities of the executive team to the objectives in the requirements in the corporate strategy. Our guest is Kelley Steven-Waiss, the Chief Human Resource Officer for HERE, the company leading the charge on autonomous driving technology. Kelley is leader who knows how to build an executive team to Make the Number.
During our discussion, Kelley and I leverage the annual workbook for our conversation. Turn to the Corporate Strategy section and find the Talent phase on pages 100 – 106 of the PDF workbook.
Joining us is Kelley Steven-Waiss, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at HERE Technologies. HERE was formally owned by Nokia and at the end of 2015 broke away as a separate company owned by consortium of automotive OEMs, BMW, Daimler and Audi, plus new investors, Intel, Navinfo and Tencent. Here is an open Location platform company, leading the charge on autonomous driving technology. Kelley will demonstrate how to match the capabilities of the executive team to the objectives in the requirements in the corporate strategy.
Why this topic? The revenue growth objective, which is what we're about, is heavily dependent on having superstar executive talent. Field an average team, and you're going to miss the revenue growth goal. At times, this revenue growth strategy calls for a new set of competencies that the existing team might not possess. Sometimes, the competitors have a talent advantage that results in them winning more than they should, so mismatch talent and corporate strategy and suffer from significant execution problems.
Listen as Kelley describes how to match the capabilities of executive talent to the objectives and requirements of a corporate strategy. We begin the show discussing what sales and marketing leaders need to be best-in-class thrive in HERE’s innovative industry. Kelley describes that the number one attribute is adaptability. The markets are moving so quickly, so the ability to adapt to different customers and market segments is required. Having high levels of business acumen comes next. Being self-aware to adjust your style based on your customer or even the sales talent underneath you. Finally, consultative selling skills, because today it's about understanding the customer's ecosystem and competitive landscape, and if you cannot connect the dots at a high level, you're not going to be as successful.
Expertise in the technology is obviously important. Particularly for a sales marketing executive, it's crucial to be articulate, well-versed in the business, and have the ability to inspire and motivate teams underneath the buyer. Because at that level, you're not the one selling necessarily, you're really selling to your own people underneath you. Sales and marketing leader can inspire teams, and as markets shift and evolve, the more and more that an executive can demonstrate his own adaptability to ensure their teams are really following them.
Kelley and I also discuss role of talent when thinking about your routes to market, and if they are changing. If routes to market are changing, then take a fresh look at your leadership team and ask yourself the question, "Have I matched the capability of my leadership team to the requirements of my corporate strategy?"
Sat, 20 May 2017
Today’s topic is focused on how to transition channel partners from perpetual license to cloud-based offerings. Our guest is Steve Blum, an executive sales leader who knows how to Make the Number with channel partners. What’s unique about today’s guest is that his company, Autodesk, does most their business through partners and has done so from the beginning. Autodesk grows primarily through an indirect go-to-market selling model. I can’t think of a better guest to demonstrate how to work with channel partners as you navigate your way through major shifts in your business model.
During our discussion, Steve and I leverage the annual workbook for our conversation. Flip to the Channel Optimization phase on pages 290 – 298 of the PDF workbook.
Joining us in-person in The Studio is Steve Blum, Senior Vice President of World-Wide Sales for Autodesk. Steve has been a sales leader at Autodesk the past fourteen years, with the last seven serving as the head of world-wide sales. Steve will demonstrate how to bring a channel organization along through major transformations in the business model, such as shifts from perpetual license to cloud-based offerings. If you prefer to watch the live interview in high definition video, click here.
Autodesk’s channel business represents an astounding 75-80% of the total revenue, with the rest being direct. Steve is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic of channel optimization. Steve’s team has a few named account organizations that calls on customers direct, but most his business coming through indirect channels.
Autodesk does business in 170 countries around the world. Steve begins the show by outlining his indirect and direct models of selling. To be able transact business locally in local currencies, Steve requires people on the ground in all those countries, it requires an indirect channel. The channel approach gives him scale, coverage and ultimately it provides value to our customers.
Why is sales channel optimization important? Selling to customers directly when they want to buy from partners is a surefire way to miss the revenue goal. Selling to customers through partners when they want a direct relationship with your company is equally devastating. And within the direct and indirect channel model, there are multiple sub models to consider. Coverage model decisions have never been this complicated for we live in the omni channel era.
Listen as Steve outlines for our audience how to bring your channel partners along with you through major transitions of your business model. In this use-case, from selling perpetual licenses to Cloud solutions, you must think through how that’s going impact your partners. Channel partners, like most human beings, don’t like change. There’s going to be some resistance, but if you can work through it with your partners, you’re creating new revenue streams for them. New value propositions for them. And a new set of services that might make their business more competitive.
Watch as Steve and I discuss the short-term and long-term vision for a business predominately driven by channel. As a public company, there are natural pressures from the street. Steve discusses his long-term view he takes to ensuring his partners are successful in a win-win that ultimately best serves the shareholders.
One of the most fascinating discussions in my interview with Steve is how he prevents conflict between his direct and indirect channels. This is really built by trust that he has established with the channel and his direct team. Watch as Steve explains how to build trust that will serve as the foundation to navigate your way to making the number with an indirect and direct business model.
If you would like to spend some time with me on this subject of channel strategy, come see me in Dallas at The Studio, SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. A visit to The Studio increases the probability of making your number because the sessions are built on the proven strength and stability of SBI, the industry leader in B2B sales and marketing.
Mon, 15 May 2017
Joining us for today’s show is Michael Speranza, a marketing leader who knows how to build brand preference with a strong B2B brand. Today’s topic is Brand Strategy and Planning. On Friday, IPC Systems launched a new brand identity following its acquisition of Etrali Trading Solutions earlier this year. Our guest today shares the use case for the brand strategy that 1400 IPC employees will use to convey a single, compelling story that inspires customers and prospects.
Michael and I leveraged the SBI annual workbook to guide our conversation. To follow along, flip to the Brand Strategy and Planning phase on pages 174 – 179 of the workbook.
Michael is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic of B2B brand strategy. As the Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy & Marketing for IPC, Michael has guided the brand strategy of his company through a major acquisition. IPC is a global B2B provider of technology solutions for the financial service markets. IPC provides communication, networking and information governance solutions in the FinTech space. After IPC acquired their top competitor, Michael navigated his company through the brand evolution to help make this M&A investment pay off.
Listen as Michael demonstrates how to create an inspiring brand that tells your strategic story. This show is valuable for every marketing executive with brand stewardship responsibilities, and a must watch episode for anyone acquiring companies as part of their growth strategy.
Why this topic today? Your competitors are making the same claims and promises as you. They are even using the same words. Brands that are built on “who you are” and “what you do” do not result in above average revenue growth. Your brand impacts revenue growth when it gets activated by the sales force and becomes uniquely relevant to your customer and prospects.
This brand strategy use case starts with understanding the 360-degree view of your customers and prospects. This involves understanding where your brand lives and how your audience might engage with your brand. Michael describes the brand audit process that helped inform the new brand strategy with primary research. IPC conducted in-depth interviews with customers, employees, and stakeholders, plus discovery workshops with many constituents to identify key brand attributes of IPC and the acquired company.
Michael states that; “We identified what we thought were the aspiration elements of the brand, and we made sure that we incorporated that cultural component to embody and create a brand that was going to be embraced by not only the joint set of employees but the joint set of customers that we're bringing together.” The brand audit covered all aspects that you would expect: visual identity, brand, logo, content, web, print, advertising as an end to end program that touched every campaign. From start to finish, this process was three months’ duration.
Listen as Michael describes how the B2B brand is lived by the sales force. Michael recognizes how important it is to support the sales force when you relaunch a brand, and how the sales force conveys the brand in every interaction.
Mon, 8 May 2017
doesn’t produce results. Joining us for today’s show is Skip Miller, an executive who knows a thing or two about sales training. Skip has trained over 300,000 salespeople in 35 countries over the last 20 years and is considered one of the top sales trainers in the world. Skip is an ideal guest to help untangle why sales leaders continue to invest in sales training despite the lack of measurable results. Today’s show was recorded at SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center.
Why this topic? Loyal clients and followers of SBI are wasting a lot of money on sales training and I would like to put an end to this. According to a report The State of the Sales Training Industry published by the Association of Training and Development, there is $2.7B spent per years on sales training. Yet our benchmarks reveal that 85% of sales training does not result in better sales results.
Today we're going to discuss why this is happening and what you can do about it. Our guest is Skip Miller, the President of M3 Learning. Skip is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic of wasted sales training and what to do about it.
What is the top reason for sales training failure? Skip describes the all too common ‘check the box’ approach sales leaders take when turning to training as the solution. Sales leaders want their teams to see that the company cares about them and is investing in their success. Implementing sales training efforts can be rolled out very quickly, providing a sense of accomplishment and a perception of bold change. Yet sales training rarely produces a result. Investing in sales training is habitual and habits are powerful things that rarely get broken.
One reason sales training continues to be a habitual purchase is the cost appears minimal. Listen as Skip and I discuss the average investment for sales training that ranges from 1-3% of the quota of each sales rep. The cost of training seems small when reviewed as a percentage of the total quota, appearing cheap. However, when viewed in whole dollars the sales training budget is the largest expenditure within the sales force that doesn’t have a measurable result tied to the spend.
If you prefer to watch a high definition video of the interview, click here.
To get training on the right track, Skip outlines four metrics to calculate the return on that investment for sales training. Those four metrics include:
To impact these metrics, effective sales training must focus on training reps to manage to the buyer stage, not the deal. Managing to the buyer stage requires a custom sales process mapped to the buyer stages. Without that in place, you’re hard pressed to make training pay off. To evaluate your sales process, answer the evaluation questions starting on page 280 of the workbook.
For sales training to produce a result, we discuss the need for a highly-customized approach. Skip shares his thoughts on the importance of an assessment up front to identify short and long-term goals of the training. For instance, the training goal may be to help reps to reach higher to senior executives, or qualifying or disqualifying quicker. Once you get the goals down, the training can be customized by the goals.
Skip and I discuss customizing sales training by industry. While industry customization is important, it's less important. It’s more important to hire smart people and teach them the industry and product, vs. hiring industry and product people and teach them how to be smart. Furthermore, customizing by channel should be a higher priority than customizing by industry. Inside sales reps need different training than an outside rep because the dynamics of the communication channels are different.
We finish the program with Skip’s thoughts on the future of sales training. He’s trained over 300,000 sales reps, in 35 countries, over 20 years and has a great summary of what to expect from sales training in the future.
Would you like help developing your sales training approach? Come see me in Dallas at The Studio, SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. To grow revenue’s faster than your industry and competitors every month, quarter and year is hard to do. A visit to The Studio increases the probability of making your number because the sessions are built on the proven strength and stability of SBI, the industry leader in B2B sales and marketing.
Sat, 6 May 2017
Joining us for today’s show is Jennifer Arnold, a marketing executive who knows a thing or two about generating revenue. Today’s topic is customer marketing and how to grow revenues from existing customers. We leveraged the SBI annual workbook to guide our conversation. To follow along, flip to the Customer Marketing phase on pages 227 – 233 of the PDF workbook.
Our guest today is Jennifer Arnold, the Vice President of Marketing responsible for Australia and New Zealand for software powerhouse SAP. Jennifer is going to demonstrate how to grow revenues from existing customers.
Jennifer is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic of customer marketing. SAP depends heavily on growing revenue from current customers to hit their revenue target. Customer accounts in Australia and New Zealand contribute approximately 4x the revenue of net new SAP customer base. Jennifer and her team are at the heart of helping the sales team make that happen.
Why is this topic important? When a customer says, “I did not know you did that.” You are in big trouble. If your business depends on increasing the revenue generated from current customers, you must educate these customers in everything that you can do for them. The customer life-cycle does not stop once a prospect becomes a customer. The life-cycle continues as your customers become repeat customers.
Every executive’s nightmare is hearing one of your top customers mutter the words “Oh, I didn’t know you did that.” SAP has a solution for just about every front-office or back-office system that a company could run. An additional level of complexity comes into play with acquisition of new capabilities. Customers who love your company are the most difficult to re-frame your expanded capabilities. Watch as Jennifer outlines a disciplined approach to Customer Marketing to retrain loyal customers how to think of your company in new expanded ways.
Increasing revenues from current customers requires an excellent account-based marketing program that goes beyond the hype of ABM technology solutions. Jennifer describes the marketing and sales steps and building blocks to implement account-based marketing to generate robust customer revenue. In addition, Jennifer outlines the three key pieces of data that you need to have to effectively generate revenue from current customers. This show is a must-watch episode for every B2B Marketer.
Watch as Jennifer describes the selling motion for SAP’s sales efforts that she supports. SAP executes a classic land and expand strategy. SAP assigns an account executive to large customers to act as a conductor of an orchestra. The AE makes sure that all those specialists, salespeople, and delivery-people work together and are bringing the right solutions to the customer.
Marketing supports the land and expand strategy through several ways. For very large accounts, SAP marketing executes account-based marketing programs that are highly customized and tailored to those individual customers. Watch as Jennifer provides an example of targeting the very large banks in Australia, in some cases some of SAP’s largest global customers. Marketing works together with the account team and start with an initial account plan that maps out the year. Marketing contributes insights about what’s happening in the market, what’s happening globally in the banking industry, what’s happening in other industries that might be applicable to the banking industry. During this ABM planning process an immediate one-year plan is developed as well as a 3-5 year vision for what the sales team wants the account to accomplish.
Jennifer describes how customer marketing includes the development of Industry-focused marketing programs to produce highly relevant marketing materials and programs. This includes tailoring the discussions that we’re having with our customers to the issues and the growth areas and the very specific requirements of target industry groups. Without this level of relevance, customer marketing efforts are hard pressed to produce meaningful results.
Persona-based messaging is a foundation of customer marketing. Watch as Jennifer describes the transition from product-focused discussion to more of an audience-focused discussion. Jennifer’s teams run programs that are focused on different audiences including IT and CIO audience, HR audience, finance audience, etc. This involves creating marketing programs that speak more about the business needs and the business problems than we are talking about the specific solutions.
In recent years SAP has acquired expanded capabilities. This includes Ariba for procurement, Concur for travel and expense, SuccessFactors for HR, Hybris for sales and marketing, and and more. These acquired companies come with strong customer bases, brand names, and SAP is working to integrate their services and solutions and their brands into the larger SAP brand. Jennifer outlines the challenge communicating with customers to share the breadth of solutions to solve a broad array of business problems.
Customer marketing is not as simple as blasting a portfolio message. For each solution, there are very specific customer bases. It might be in HR; it might be procurement; it might be head of sales. So, it’s making sure that you are orchestrating discussion about the right solutions to solve their very specific problems.
Would you like help developing your customer marketing campaign strategy? Bring your marketing leadership team to see me and a hand-picked team of marketing experts in Dallas at The Studio. The Studio is SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. A visit to The Studio typically results in getting three months of work done in three days. The immersive sessions accelerate everything, dramatically reducing the time it takes to diagnose a problem, develop a solution, and create an implementation plan.
Mon, 1 May 2017
Joining us for today’s show is Chris Fris, an executive who knows a thing or two about driving aggressive revenue growth. Today’s topic is focused on how Sales Operations enables the sales plan. During our discussion, Chris and I leverage our workbook, so flip to the Sales Operations phase on page 314 of the PDF to follow along.
Chris is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic of sales operations. For those of you who have followed John Gleason’s successful career at Ryder as Chief Sales Officer, Chris is the man behind the scenes enabling revenue growth. Successful sales operations leaders like Chris interface with the functional groups within your company to enable the sales plan to be successful.
As the Vice President of Global Sales Strategy and Operations at Ryder, Chris is going to demonstrate how to improve the efficiency of the sales team. Chris has served as the head of sales operations the past seven years at Ryder and before that led sales operations for DHL Express for fourteen years.
Why this topic on this day? Sales ops has become a catch all phrase. The sales ops leader gets assigned all the work no one else wants to do. Often underfunded and understaffed, sales operations leaders fail to deliver a meaningful revenue contribution. Yet, the best growth executives understand that sales ops is the most strategic sales function in the entire company. They understand that when deployed correctly, sales ops can impact revenue growth in a very meaningful way. Do not starve this vital department. If you do you're going to miss your revenue goal.
Listen as Chris demonstrates how to improve the efficiency of the sales team. We begin the show with an overview of Chris’ strategic areas of focus and his organization chart. Few people outside of sales operations realize the nexus for so many interlock points across the company.
The top three core processes that sales operations Vice President’s need to manage include: Pipeline management, territory design, and quota setting. Chris takes the listener through his approach for each process and I fast frame each with the following headlines.
Chris and I discuss the approach for sales operations to analytics. We discuss the four-step continuum of analytics. Descriptive analytics us what has happened in the past. Predictive analytics predicts the outcome at some point in the future assuming all in the inputs stay the same. Finally, Prescriptive Analytics is predicting the future and if you don't like the outcome, you can seek to change the outcome before it happens. Prescriptive is about prescribing a set of activities to alter the future. This all requires systems, methodologies, data, talent and continuous improvement. Listen as Chris describes his team’s movement along the four-step continuum of the analytics journey.
Pay close attention to the detailed description Chris provides of the diagnostic analytical approach to sales win/loss. This is a great way to expand into diagnostic analytics if you're just at the descriptive stage right now. Understanding why you won, why you lost, you're really answering the question of why it happened. You'll see over time recurring patterns and trends that will take you to the predictive and prescriptive approaches.