Here is what our satisfied customer has said about us.
– Happy Customer @ Awesome Company
Scaling Sales Teams
How do you get 2x or 3x productivity out of your sales team with the same number of people?
What does good retention look like? How do you optimize your retention and renewal rates?
Partner Program Development
There are partners that can help protect your markets from competition, and partners that can increase your sales channels. When should you use which?
Sales Targets and Compensation
How do you know if you’re over- or under-paying to market? How do you create the incentives that benefit salespeople AND the firm?
Sales Training and Coaching
Individual 1:1 and team training on sales best-practices for telesales or field sales teams. Lose the gimmicks and the latest Amazon best-seller and focus on a tailored approach to your firm’s Ideal Customer Profiles.
Competitive Market Analysis
A detailed and empirical analysis of the markets you compete in and the competitors that threaten your business. Identify green-field opportunities and which competitors you should steal market-share from and which to avoid.
Get an objective assessment of your marketing strategies and tactics. Have your customers changed what, how, or who they buy from while you haven’t changed your methods?
Harvard Business Review wrote about “The Rise of the Super Temp” in 2012, where senior executives were contracting themselves out for high-value complex task-based work where CEOs and other senior executives lacked experienced resources in-house to handle. This is my most popular service, often used to address a collection of high-value tasks and problem solving without having to stick to a narrow scope-of-work. This allows my clients to use me for strategic issues, project work, tune-ups in different parts of the business, or to help implement recommendations from my diagnostic work. For start-ups who need a seasoned vice-president before they can afford one full-time, this is a great option that gives them the knowledge they need at a price they can afford.
I can’t count how many wasted hours I’ve spent in “strategic planning meetings” that have gone nowhere, or produced a lot of paper and no results.
This hands-on working engagement will see me lead your team through the use of tools I’ve developed to assess your competitive landscape, identify your best competitive position, capture and score your strategic options, and choose your best courses of action based on your limited resources.
You’ll achieve full alignment and consensus with your team, and we’ll end up with an aligned business, market, and product feature stack as an outcome.
Business Plan Development
There are tons of templates online, and services that can guide you. Unfortunately they can’t write the plan itself. I can help you create a focused and attractive investment-grade plan suitable for consumption by angel investors, government and industry grant programs, venture capital, or bankers. I will be able to bring real-world experience into your plan that will set it apart from other startups that will be competing for your funds.
Startups often have to find their first strategic customers before they have their minimum viable product ready. Even with an MVP, acquiring the right customers that don’t end up being a liability to your business can be difficult.
Choosing the wrong customer could end up consuming all of your resources and leading you away from your best market opportunities. Finding the right customer can provide you with market validation, market insights, profitable business, and even access to other strategic customers. I can help you understand who the best early-stage customers will be, how to approach them, how to confidently negotiate with them, and how to win the business you need most.
For most startups, marketing dollars can be scarce. How do you get the best return on each marketing dollar spent? How can you measure the performance of your marketing dollars? Should you spend your limited dollars on search ads, social media ad buys, email marketing lists, trade shows and events, website content, product videos, or hire one of the Kardashians to promote your product on the latest social media platform anointed by the techno-glitterati? What can you do for free? What can you do yourself? What’s the best bang for your buck?
Every month I listen to at least 6-8 early stage firms pitch for new investment. At least one of them, without fail, makes a simple or significant mistake in their financial summary. Most of them have significant weakness in their revenue predictions that cause them to lose all credibility, and all their hundreds of hours of preparation, their travel costs from all over North America, and the time of the investors in the room are wasted. All of this can be avoided with a credible revenue plan. Investors are not looking for perfection.
Investors are looking for a coherent and defensible plan that also adds up. I can help you avoid reputational damage and put together a plan that has my 37+ years of experience generating revenue behind it.
Funding for Startups
Whether you are looking for your first investors in a friends and family seed round, grants from government or other institutions, or preparing for private equity or debt rounds with angels or VCs, or even looking for debt financing with your bank, I can help you identify which options are available for you depending on your type of business opportunity, projected growth, exit strategies, assets, and a range of other factors that determine your attractiveness to different funders. I can help you prepare for those funders and I may be able to help with introductions in the right circumstances.
Sales and Marketing Automation (CRM)
Having a robust platform in place to capture sales, marketing, and customer service activities is critical to managing your business. Being able to create and manage a robust opportunity pipeline, identify and monitor KPIs for each team and roll them up to the senior executive team is essential. Automating manual sales and marketing processes to achieve scale requires a flexible and capable platform you can afford. Creating a clean view of essential information and integrating that information into the management of your business is critical to successful adoption. I specialize in Salesforce but I have also worked with Hubspot and a range of other CRM platforms since 1995.
An effective pricing strategy can help you maximize different customers’ willingness-to-pay in different industries, with customers of different sizes, and different needs. A one-size fits all pricing strategy will either limit your growth or leave money on the table that you would have otherwise captured. I can help you design and communicate a modern pricing model that will satisfy a broader range of customers across different industries, reduce losses from poor sales team negotiating strategies (or lack thereof), and provide incentives for customers to upgrade at deal-time or at renewal-time.
Large Customer / Enterprise Sales
I’ve worked with customers of all sizes, signing global license agreements with Apple, IBM, and Best Buy to name a few, as well as municipal, state/provincial, military, aerospace, and federal government accounts.
I can help you create a Large Account strategy, create a supporting team structure to work and win large deals, and help you get started with the resources you currently have to validate before you scale.
I’ll bring in seasoned professionals from Tier 1 accounts to talk about their experiences to add to my own, and provide invaluable insights into how some of the largest companies (and small ones) win big.
Scaling Sales Teams
There are two situations where I see a need for scale:
- A new company that has validated their market with a minimum viable product and is ready to grow
- A mature company who is using outdated processes that limit their ability to grow
In either case, my approach is to review existing processes and implement scalable automations, tools, and processes to eliminate barriers to growth.
It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach: some are sales team dependent, some are marketing activity dependent, some are a mix of both. Quite often the strategies that got a company to the stage they are at will not be the strategies that will help them scale.
What makes me different in this respect is I can bring the perspective of a salesperson, a senior executive, a customer, and perform hands-on implementation of everything required to effect the change you need.
Partner Program Development
There are four kinds of partnerships that I commonly see:
- Partners used to address mutual competitive threats
- Partners used to open new markets
- Strategic partners as potential merger/acquisition suitors
- Opportunistic partners looking for you to give them leads
Guess which ones I see most of?
Guess which ones I want my clients to focus on?
I have strong opinions on when to partner and when not to. I didn’t invent these opinions: I learned from experience and I learned from very smart people who taught me a lot.
If you have questions about who, why, when, and how to develop partnerships and save yourself from excruciating distractions, I can help you.
New Market Development
Whether it’s new geographies you want to access or whether its new industries you would like to bring your solutions to, I can help you assess competitive landscapes, measure your relative competitiveness, and make decisions on which markets will require the fewest resources and have the biggest payoffs.
I’ve developed tools based on my past client work that reduce the amount of guesswork and subjective opinion and show you which of your options are the best for you.
Then I can help you develop a plan of attack, set objectives, measure performance, and create new revenue growth from new markets.
For SaaS/PaaS/IaaS and other service-oriented businesses, renewals are critical to the health and value of a firm. What does good retention look like? How do you optimize your renewals? What causes a customer to not renew and how can you change that? Should you have renewals within your Sales team or your Customer Care team or a separate team of their own? How do you create processes that integrate into the new business development and support teams within your organization? How do you make that frictionless for your customers?
I can provide you with the information and insight into best practices. There is no one true way: I will look at your business, your customers, your teams, your current state and tell you if and where you can improve.
Sales Targets and Compensation
I’ve spoken with many early stage firms who struggle to understand how to compensate sales teams and sales leaders effectively. I’ve also worked with CEOs of mature companies who can’t fathom why their lucrative compensation plan isn’t helping close more business. I can help you create competitive compensation plans that balance the needs of your business, recognize the value of your sales talent, and avoid pitfalls that achieve the opposite of your intended outcomes. It is NOT an art; compensation is a SCIENCE, and I can save you time, money, and sales.
Clients who work with me know that this is the most neglected – and valuable – exercise that an organization should go through. From early first-customer stage firms to multi-billion dollar household names, management teams who miss this essential decision pay dearly.
Without understanding how you will position your firm versus your competitors and your markets, it’s not a matter of if you will fail, but when.
The surprising part of this process is that it’s not complicated, it doesn’t take long, and it will save you from wasting precious resources on initiatives that don’t fit your business.
More than half of the companies I’ve worked for didn’t have a product manager either because they couldn’t afford one, or didn’t think they needed one.
If you’ve got a product manager, it’s likely they already have the skills, tools, and processes in place to ensure that your product releases and feature stacks align with your markets, competitive strategy, and your customers’ business problems. If you already have a smooth process, this isn’t for you.
If however, you lack the resources or your development team owns the feature stack and release calendar, I can provide your existing teams with the tools and processes to ensure the right choices get made by all your key stakeholders. Even if you have to continue without a dedicated product manager for the time being, I can show you lightweight solutions to improve your alignment and ensure your customers and new prospects respond enthusiastically to your new product releases.
sWhen revenue is off, the Sales team often takes the lion’s share of the responsibility. Although performance demands often fall on the individuals, quite often the answer to flat or decreasing sales are much more complex.
Rarely is it from lack of effort. I’ve seen some of the hardest working salespeople get nowhere regardless of the time and effort they put in.
More often than not, it is a combination of sales execution, market changes, changes in buyer journeys, and out-dated methodologies that worked 25 years ago and stopped working right around the time your revenue started to decline.
I will help your Sales leadership discover, assess, plan, and implement modern processes and accountabilities to ensure their Sales team is operating at peak efficiency. I will also teach salespeople what they don’t learn in every sales training they’ve ever taken: how a business works, what business leaders do and care about, and how that can make or break their sale.
Marketing is about lead generation. If your lead generation is stagnant, your website visitors unengaged, your content uninspiring and unaligned, your search rankings far below your weaker competitors, and you aren’t sure if you’re getting value for your marketing spend, I can help.
Marketing can consume as much money as you want to throw at it. However, you can achieve material growth even while reducing or maintaining your current spend. My approach is to optimize first to get correlation between your spending and your lead generation, and then prepare you to invest more in your marketing once there is evidence that your spending won’t be in vain.
I can also help you glue your Marketing and Sales teams together to create a culture of shared accountability towards the common goal of “more money faster”.
Sales Training and Coaching
Sales training. Ugh.
I can’t count how many sales training programs I’ve been through. They all follow a predictable pattern:
1. What you’re doing is all wrong!
2. We invented a new language and terminology for the same things we’ve been doing since the Phoenicians were puttering around the Mediterranean 3,000 years ago developing a world-class supply chain.
3. The sales process is the same process with a different name on it. We just put lipstick on the pig.
Sales training and coaching is part familiar process, consistency, business acumen, active listening, and a lot of humanity. We’ve all been part of thousands of sales processes over the years, and yet somehow we forget why we ourselves make purchasing decisions.
My approach synthesizes all of these things – uniquely so – and tailored for YOUR business, YOUR markets, YOUR ideal customer profile, and YOUR culture. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. I will take the parts that fit for your business and your people, and train and 1:1 coach them through to implementation success. I’ll also help you tailor your CRM systems and your management processes to ensure that you have a holistic set of processes that ensure full adoption by your team.
Competitive Market Analysis
I’ve rarely encountered a firm who has done a robust competitive analysis. A competitive analysis can show you who you need to pay attention to, who you can ignore, and where you can most effectively steal market share from.
A competitive analysis can show you where your closest threats are, and what you need to do in order to neutralize them. It can also show you where your next market opportunities are – where is the least competitive space, most competitive space, and the green-field ripe for the taking.
A competitive analysis can also feed into your pricing strategy and show you ways to capture more value from your existing markets.
This is one of the most data-intensive and time-consuming exercises, which is why many companies skip it, or perform an incomplete job. However, once the model is populated, it is relatively easy to maintain and you’ll know at all times where you are in relation to your competition.