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Do you have a channel strategy in place? You may have channel partners as part of your Go To Market Strategy, but do you have a strategy that includes how you will support your partners’ success? I’ve worked with many companies who sell through the channel and complain that their channel partners aren’t selling enough. In order for channel sales to be successful, your team has to understand how the potential partners are going to make money with the product or service you want them to sell. It’s not up to the partners to figure it out, it’s up to you.My guest today is Bruce Stuart, a partner at CHANNELCORP and a 30+ year veteran helping companies develop profitable channel strategies. In this episode, Bruce will take us through each step in the process of setting up a channel strategy. You will learn tactics on how to identify potential partners. He explains how to build a financial model that will attract the right partners, including understanding their investment and time to pay back. Another key takeaway is the program package. Think franchise, and you are on the right track to understanding the investment that you need to make in preparing the materials and process for a successful channel strategy. Highlights3:46 How to decide if your product or service is suitable for channel sales6:29 The relationship that your channel partners have with their customers is the biggest asset that they will ever have10:24 I tell my clients to “Think franchise” that’s how complete your offer has to be10:58 The most cost effective way to find channel partners13:50 Your channel marketing people need to know how to count15:20 You are investing in an asset that will be treated as an expense17:14 Checkout this 250 page instruction manual, you don’t have to make it up22:48 The worst thing you can have is an incompetent channel partner making a succesfull sale26:50 The three options for channel structure29:24 Channel manager as trusted business advisor33:15 When do you have to revisit your channel strategy About Our GuestBruce R. Stuart, CMC, founding partner of Channelcorp Management Consultants Inc. (Channelcorp) where he provides growth-focused executive education and channel consulting to senior executives in the IT industry. He has authored more published articles on the topics of channel partner profitability, channel development, channel management, and strategic partnerships and alliances then anyone in the industry. About ChannelcorpChannelcorp is the leading, and most experienced, independent IT channel consultancy in the world specializing in vendor and partner business model transformation. Channelcorp has completed Management Consulting and Executive Education assignments in 25 countries around the world. The firm’s clients include many of the top hardware/software/telecommunications companies selling into most of the product and service categories in the worldwide IT market. Show LinksResource Link: Connect with Bruce Stuart in the links below:Website: You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.Website: https://AliceHeiman.comLinkedIn:
Like most CEOs, you've probably had some bad experiences trying to hire sales leaders in your company. The root of the problem? Many CEOs think they can hire someone to take over the sales team so they can step away and focus on other things to grow the company. It's just not that way! The CEO can't step away from sales but instead must have a plan for supporting sales leaders every step of the way. That's what Rasmus Goksor learned as he founded and sold his company Cobalt (a portfolio monitoring solution). And that's what led him to launch his new company, Ressemble, a platform designed for supporting sales leaders.In this episode of Sales Talk for CEOs, Rasmus talks about his experiences at Cobalt which led him to create Ressemble. He discusses the things that didn't go well (like hiring three different VPs of sales that all didn't work out) and the things that worked perfectly (like using content creation to build a community to sell to). He explains how the technology he created helps in supporting sales leaders and shares advice on what CEOs should do to support their leaders as well, such as determining how and why you're winning customers and stepping in at the beginning of the sales cycle. Before you hire that next sales VP, who may flop, tune in to discover ideas on supporting sales leaders and enabling them for success. Highlights3:24 Challenges in one business led to the creation of another8:55 Supporting sales leaders by asking, "How are we winning, and why are we winning?"10:55 Rasmus Goksor's founder story16:20 Supporting sales leaders through changes in the market and how customers buy24:05 Build a community (and sales will follow)35:12 The CEO's role at the beginning of the sales cycle Quote"As CEO, I can never really take my eye off the ball when it comes to sales. I always need to understand where the market is. Why are people buying? Who is buying? How are they buying? Otherwise, I can't be supportive strategically or tactically with my sales team." Connect with Rasmus Goksor in the links below:Website: You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.Website: https://AliceHeiman.comLinkedIn:
Show NotesToday we celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Sales Talk for CEOs podcast! Throughout the past year, I've featured two types of episodes on the show. In the “CEO Journey” series, I interview CEOs to learn about how they grow sales. Next, in the Experts Series, I interview experts I know will have advice to help you grow sales. So today, we kick off a new segment: the Insights Series! These will be episodes with just you and me where I share insights on various topics that will help you elevate sales. The first topic, making sales easier.The key to making sales easier is alignment. As CEO, you are the only one who can make the changes needed to align your teams to make sales easier.  It starts with aligning your sales process with your buyer's journey. That’s hard to do if you don’t have alignment between your sales and marketing teams (and the rest of your organization) to take a customer-focused approach. Listen in as I share advice on where to focus your attention and what CEOs can do to make sales easier. Highlights1:06 A year in review2:52 Introducing the Insights Series3:19 Making sales easier3:51 The importance of alignment6:01 The CEO's role as orchestrator7:41 Make it easier for customers to buyQuote"What CEOs need to know is that sales shouldn't be so hard. If it's hard it’s because there is no alignment between the way the buyer wants to buy and the way you sell.” You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.Website: https://AliceHeiman.comLinkedIn:
Lisa Magnuson is a mastermind sales strategist and author of The TOP Sales Leader Playbook and The TOP Seller Advantage. Today she joins me on a special episode of the Sales Talk for CEOs Experts Series. The topic of our conversation? Closing bigger deals. If you're looking to scale sales by going after much larger deals, this is the perfect podcast for you.Many companies I work with are growing sales to increase their valuation. At some point, they'll exit, make an acquisition or bring on investors. So, scaling sales is a priority, and they want to make it happen quickly.During our conversation, Lisa discusses the CEO's role in closing bigger deals, the importance of celebrating wins, how to adequately prep for sales calls (and why CEOs should make this a requirement!) and how to build the right team structure. Landing big contracts takes planning and time, but when you land a deal 5x of the your largest deal yet, you'll understand that the effort was well worth it. Use the ideas offered in this podcast to close your next big deal! Highlights0:29 Lisa Magnuson introduction3:41 Closing bigger deals starts with mindset7:36 The CEO's role in closing big deals15:38 Why call planning is a must for big deals23:22 Building a team structure to land bigger deals33:19 Are you ready to land bigger deals? Quote“CEOs who want their salespeople to win more big deals have to develop a culture to support that. That culture starts with the CEO and has to include everyone in the company. The right culture will attract those bigger deals.” Connect with Lisa Magnuson in the links below:Website: TOP Sales Leader PlaybookThe TOP Seller Advantage You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.Website: https://AliceHeiman.comLinkedIn:
Are you trying to find sellers who check all the boxes of success in sales? Do you believe that you must keep hiring more salespeople to grow sales? That's what Juliana Stancampiano thought before she tried a radically different approach that has yielded amazing results. Juliana is the CEO of Oxygen, a company that works in the learning strategy space. She joins me today on Sales Talk for CEO in an episode that will challenge your assumptions and have you thinking differently about how to build a sales organization.Juliana's strategy for building a sales organization involves scaffolding around her strongest workers. By evaluating their strengths and weaknesses, she finds new team members who fill in the gaps so that each person can work in their zone of genius. The truth is, there are a lot of parts of the sales process that excellent sellers are not good at. Why force them to work in their zone of incompetence where they'll end up unengaged and burnt out? Letting salespeople do the things they excel at and taking the rest off their plate is how Juliana has found success. She's explaining her strategy so you can replicate it in this episode of Sales Talk for CEOs.   Highlights07:40 Buying a business during the Great Recession13:05 Finding a salesperson who sells just like you22:06 Building the scaffolding that supports sales (versus hiring more sellers)22:34 Enabling your sales team29:55 Generating more customer-ready conversations35:41 Keeping your sellers in their zone of genius43:54 Thinking differently about how to build your sales organization Quote"I would take less on the skills side and more on that innate belief side any day because skills are much easier to teach than authentic enthusiasm." Connect with Juliana Stancampiano in the links below:Website: You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.Website: https://AliceHeiman.comLinkedIn:
Are you a product CEO or a sales CEO? The answer may not be what you think. Case in point: Catherine Dahl, the CEO of Beanworks, an AP automation platform recently acquired by Quadient. Catherine spent two years building her company as a sales CEO when a sudden realization struck that she was trying to be something she wasn't. By owning her role as a product CEO, everything changed. With the right sales leader in place and the sales machine turned on, Beanworks went from half a million Canadian in revenue in 2017 to 8 million Canadian in 2021. Listen to her story in this episode of Sales Talk for CEOs.During our discussion, Catherine takes us back to the early days when Beanworks was starting. She discusses building the platform, getting customers, and the bumps along the way. After partnering with Sage, Catherine demonstrated her knowledge of the pain points and product through speaking and educating customers. But it wasn't until she read Steve Jobs's biography did it 'click' that she was a product CEO trying to be a sales CEO. Her journey led her to find the perfect sales leader, who built a powerful sales team and got the sales machine running. Find out how it all happened by listening to this episode. Highlights0:50 Rejuvenating a hundred-year-old business4:39 Getting ready to go global7:26 Before Beanworks began…12:21 Trying not to sell19:57 The quest for more customers23:33 Getting the channel sales flowing26:52 Product CEO or sales CEO?34:18 The biggest lesson learned along the way Quote "Steve Jobs was not a sales CEO, and all this time, I thought he was because of the way he's portrayed in movies. He was a product CEO, and his passion was product. And he hired the right people to do the sales side." Connect with Catherine Dahl in the links below:Website: You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:Website: https://AliceHeiman.comLinkedIn:
Going from incremental growth to exponential growth requires radical changes in your business—from your mindset and focus to your team and how your company operates. If you're a CEO who feels 'stuck' in incremental growth but wants more, you'll want to listen to this episode of Sales Talk for CEOs Expert Series with  Richard Medcalf. Richard is the CEO of Xquadrant, a company that works with high-achieving founders, CEOs, and executives to reinvent their success formula and push their companies to the next level. He knows what it takes to achieve exponential growth and shares his expert advice today. Believe me when I say that all CEOs who want to scale their growth need to understand the ideas discussed in this episode.Our conversation focuses on what CEOs need to do to get to the next level where they can work ON their business instead of just IN their business. We discuss 4 limiting factors that could be holding you back from exponential growth and the crucial role of mindset. We also explore how delegation frees up your time and what you can do to get the right team in place. In the end, the challenge for most CEOs is to envision a very different future (one of exponential growth) versus living in the past (of incremental growth). Richard shares tips on this and what you need to have in place for exponential growth to happen. So, do you want to achieve exponential growth in your company? Then listen in and heed the advice offered in this episode. Highlights:3:05 4 limiting factors that hold you back from exponential growth6:35 The role of mindset in growth12:34 Learning how to delegate—examples and exercises17:45 Getting the right team in place22:23 Envisioning the future vs. living in the past29:29 3 elements needed for exponential growth to happen36:40 Resources for CEOs Quote:“As CEO, if you don't focus on the needle-moving parts of the business, the long-term vision, the strategy, the go-to-market strategy, if you're not making sure that you are really leveling those things up, who is?”  Connect with Richard Medcalf in the links below:Website: You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.Website: https://AliceHeiman.comLinkedIn:
According to Mei Siauw, CEO of LeadIQ, a tool that helps sales teams with smarter prospecting, building an outbound sales motion is the key to growth. Start early, stick with it; if you do it right, outbound sales will produce amazing results. In this episode, we talk about the outbound motion Mei built, how Ryan used the piano to book conversations with prospects and how Mei built a global, remote team of 150 people to take LeadIQ to the next level. During the show, Mei talks about how she built LeadIQ by focusing on outbound sales. You'll learn how her team uses trigger events and insights for personalization to eliminate that 'spammy' feel and get engagement with prospects.  She also discusses the organization of her sales team, including how diversity and inclusion have played a role in LeadIQ's expansion. Mei's main message: don't give up on outbound sales!  Highlights:1:12 The evolution of LeadIQ6:32 Focusing on outbound sales16:25 The importance of personalization in outbound sales22:03 Hiring for diversity29:33 Creating a gender balance36:05 Growth in the early stages: don't give up on outbound sales Quote:“Every company needs to train their sales team to find triggers and insights, to research, and then personalize. That's not easy, of course, but companies that do, book more conversations because they are engaging the prospect.”   Connect with Mei Siauw in the links below:Website: You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:Website: https://AliceHeiman.comLinkedIn:
Nancy Duarte is the CEO of Duarte, a company that specializes in the art of persuasive communication. YShe’s known as “the Storyteller of the Valley” and the author of six best-selling books, including Resonate and slide:ology. Her famous TedTalk has had over 3 million views. What you may not know is that although her business was founded in 1988, she is only now growing an outbound sales team. That's right. Nancy has experienced over 30 years of exponential growth using inbound sales exclusively. Even in those early years, before the books and the fame. Want to know how she's done it? Then you'll have to listen to this episode of Sales Talk for CEOs.Click to Tweet: @NancyDuarte, #CEO of @Duarte, talks about how to grow your #biz with #inboundsales on this episode of #Sales Talk for CEOs!During our conversation, Nancy discusses how she has grown her company using inbound sales. You'll learn her strategies to get leads pounding on the door, including top-quality service, word-of-mouth marketing, and thought leadership. She also shares insight into how she qualifies leads to ensure she works with the right clients. Nancy's story includes a cautionary tale about growing too fast and the details of how she’s recently set up the company to scale. If you want to handle inbound sales more effectively, you'll want to listen to this episode! Highlights1:54 Early sales experience: "I was scrappy and tenacious."5:20 New technology, new business ideas13:37 Growing a business with inbound sales18:49 "Cautionary tale…growth brought us to our knees."23:37 Preparing to scale32:36 Adding outbound sales to a mostly inbound system40:48 Communication tip for CEOs: it's all about empathy Quote"Once you know exactly who the ideal customer is, stick with it, and then you have to learn how to say no. It's hard sometimes, but it is what it is." Connect with Nancy Duarte in the links below:Website: can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:Website: https://AliceHeiman.comLinkedIn:
Jonathan Siddharth is the CEO of Turing, an AI-backed Intelligent Talent Cloud that helps companies source, vet, match and manage software developers remotely. There are currently 1.5 million software developers on Turing, and the platform is used by huge companies like Johnson & Johnson, Pepsi, Dell, Disney, Coinbase, and more. The reason for Turing's wild success? Jonathan has strategically built a powerful go-to-market machine! And he's joining Sales Talk for CEOs to discuss exactly how he did it.During our conversation, Jonathan explains how he waited to hire his sales team until he had two important things in place: a playbook and clear evidence of product-market fit. He then describes how he set up his go-to-market machine to be an engine that feeds qualified leads to his sales team so they can do what they do best – have sales conversations, close initial deals, and work on account expansion. If you're experiencing challenges with your go-to-market setup and could use some advice, you'll want to listen to this podcast episode! Highlights1:33 Three difficulties with finding and managing remote engineering teams5:27 A shift in strategy saves a company14:02 Product market fit + playbook = time to build sales19:16 Building a go-to-market machine26:12 Understanding the customer journey32:39 Challenges caused by rapid growth41:00 Advice for building demand, product-market fit, and exponential growth45:30 Book recommendations for CEOs to learn more about sales Quote"When you have product-market fit, it feels different. It's more of the market pulling what you have rather than you pushing what you have." Show LinksHow to Grow Your Business Like a Weed by Stu HeinekeHow to Get a Meeting with Anyone by Stu HeinekeThe Narrative Gym for Business: Introducing the ABT Framework for Business Communication and Messaging by Randy Olson and Park HowellIndistractable by Nir EyalBook List Blog Connect with Jonathan Siddharth in the links below:Website: You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:Website: https://AliceHeiman.comLinkedIn:
Here's the reality: you'll make mistakes at every stage of building a company, especially when building a sales organization. But it's what you do with your mistakes that will determine your success. Entrepreneurs who catch the error, identify the problem, and correct it quickly are those who go on to build profitable, long-lasting businesses. Making mistakes—and learning lessons from them—is part of building a successful sales organization. And we're going to dive into that more in this episode with Zvi Guterman, CEO of CloudShare, an online platform that helps software vendors deliver virtual sales experiences.In this interview, Zvi is upfront about the mistakes he's made as he's built the sales organization at CloudShare since 2007. He also reflects on the lessons he's learned from these mistakes that have helped build a strong sales team over time. We talk about many common mistakes that entrepreneurs make when building a sales organization, including growing too fast, hiring the wrong people, underestimating the importance of marketing, and overcomplicating things. For each example, you'll learn how Zvi has navigated the challenges and learned valuable lessons along the way. His insights will help your own journey as you build sales in your company, so check out the podcast now! Highlights4:55 Validating the business idea9:24 Finding the right salespeople and helping them succeed15:39 The mistake of moving too fast21:53 The importance of marketing to strengthen sales25:21 Navigating the different phases of the CEO's journey35:49 Final advice for CEOs Quote"You may have the best technology, but nothing beats hearing your potential customers." Connect with Zvi Guterman in the links below:Website: You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:Website: https://AliceHeiman.comLinkedIn:
Every salesperson today wants to have more sales conversations. But they're difficult to get because it's become so hard to get the buyer's attention. Want to break through the noise? Try storytelling. Learning how to effectively use story in your messaging can dramatically increase the number of sales conversations and conversions. This is a big topic, and I know CEOs are eager to learn more about using story to boost their business. That's why I invited Park Howell, author of Brand Bewitchery and host of the Business of Story podcast, as the guest for this special episode in my Experts Series.During our conversation, Park dives into the who, what, and why of using story as a business strategy. He explains what CEOs should understand about storytelling and why it's so effective. We discuss the 'how to' of good storytelling, including the ‘and-but-therefore’ (ABT)  framework, and how to get your sales team actively involved in storytelling. Finally, you'll get several examples of companies that found great success when they started using story in their message.I can personally attest to the power of storytelling because I've seen incredible results from it in my own business. If you're a CEO interested in using story in your messaging, get started today by listening to this podcast. Highlights2:32 What CEOs should understand about storytelling5:56 How CEOs can use story to help sales8:30 Future-based storytelling11:37 The power of the founder's story16:54 The ‘and-but-therefore’ (ABT) framework for storytelling24:15 Training your sales team in storytelling31:34 Real examples of how story can boost sales Quote“The number one rule is you are not the center of your story. Your customer is. It's all about them. The number two rule is your story is not about what you make. Because nobody actually cares about what you make. Your story is always about what you make happen in their lives.” Connect with Park Howell in the links below:Website: You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:Website: https://AliceHeiman.comLinkedIn: 
Angela Saunders is the CEO of Vorum, a company that provides digital workflow solutions worldwide for the design and manufacturing of custom prosthetics and orthotics. Started in 1989 by Angela's father, the company has seen big changes since Angela became CEO two years ago. She's not starting from scratch, though. Angela is taking the trust her father built over decades and strategically leveraging those trusted partnerships to scale the company. To learn about her journey and get inspiration for your own, check out this episode of the Sales Talk for CEOs podcast.During the episode, Angela and I talk about the trust that her father built with clinics, hospitals, and individuals throughout Vorum's 33-year history. When Angela stepped in as CEO, one of her first objectives was to define the core customer, so she explains how she did that and how she created a sales growth plan centered around this core customer. You'll also learn how Angela is coordinating a massive mindset shift in the business as they seek to scale through their relationships with trusted partnerships. Get all of this and more by listening to the episode now! Highlights2:10 Enabling a better patient experience7:15 Building a business based on trust11:33 Narrowing down the core customer16:28 A sales growth plan centered around the core customer21:52 A company-wide mindset shift33:31 Analyzing wins and losses35L41 Breaking free from silos Quote“We're all trying to work with each other to make something greater than what we could do as individuals.” Connect with Angela Saunders in the links below:Website: You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:Website: https://AliceHeiman.comLinkedIn: 
People are bombarded with emails and sales messages. Response rates have plummeted. The number of quality interactions with prospects has declined. As a result, each interaction is more valuable than ever before. By using sales discovery to truly understand the prospect, you can build a relationship and partner with them to solve the challenges they’re facing. In today’s world, every CEO should be looking to improve sales discovery, and that’s why you’ll want to listen to this episode of Sales Talk for CEOs with Jody Glidden.Jody Glidden is CEO of Introhive, a customer intelligence software that does discovery research and delivers valuable insights about clients and prospects to your sales team. During our conversation, we talk about how important ‘discovery before discovery’ is to successful calls with prospects. We explore how technology for sales discovery has changed throughout the years and the problems with the current methods. You’ll also learn about using relationship intelligence before discovery calls and the role of storytelling in overcoming objections during calls. Each interaction your sales team has with a prospect is valuable! Learn how to improve your sales discovery by listening to this episode of Sales Talk for CEOs. Highlights4:47 Two reasons why sales discovery is harder today12:09 An eye-opening experience in sales21:17 Analyzing the problems with sales discovery26:40 Using relationship intelligence for sales discovery32:44 Team-based sales training (including storytelling)39:57 Discovery BEFORE discovery48:50 Maintaining executive alliance with the sales team Quote“That’s the primary function of our customer success department. They get measured on the happiness of our customers. It’s not so much on the upsell. Upsell is a side effect of customer happiness.” Connect with Jody Glidden in the links below:Website: You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:Website: https://AliceHeiman.comLinkedIn:
Lars Grønnegaard is the CEO of Dreamdata, a SAAS company that gathers, joins, and cleans revenue-related data to help B2B businesses understand what is driving sales so they can focus on what works. Like most new companies, Dreamdata started with founder-led sales to get their first customers, but within 18 months Lars realized he needed a professional sales team. In this Sales Talk for CEOs episode, Lars offers some invaluable advice!Lars and I discuss the importance of finding new sales hires with an entrepreneurial spirit. We explore why previous experience does not necessarily translate to a new startup environment. We talk about experimenting (and using data) to find what works and offering fair compensation to your first hires. Finally, we explore the ways in which Lars is still highly involved in the sales process even now that the professional sales team is handling the bulk of the work. If it’s time to hire your first salespeople (or if you’ve been trying to do so—unsuccessfully!), you’ll want to listen to the tips offered in this podcast. Highlights1:57 How a problem inspires a solution5:20 From founder-led sales to a professional sales team in 18 months9:50 Hiring for entrepreneurial spirit13:45 Learning from the data to discover what works17:50 Hiring for the entrepreneurial spirit29:41 CEO…but still head of sales36:20 Encouraging more referrals Quote“The most fundamental thing we went looking for was an entrepreneurial spirit. You have to love the concept of being part of building something. You’re living in the house while you’re building it and remodeling everything at the same time. So we went looking for people who would like that.” Connect with Lars Grønnegaard in the links below:Website: https://dreamdata.ioLinkedIn: on B2B Attribution You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.Website: https://AliceHeiman.comLinkedIn: 
Dr. Barbara Kinnaird is CEO of Response Biomedical, a point-of-care testing solution helping to diagnose acute diseases. A microbiologist by trade, Barb stepped in as CEO after a significant company downsize, and she soon discovered there were many other problems in the business that needed fixing. One of the big ones? Lack of clarity on who the core customer is. Research in this area led Barb (and the company) to a huge mindset shift: from focusing on product features and end users, to concentrating on channel partners."I think we're on the right path with the core customer being the channel partner," says Barb. "It's a little bit differentiated in this industry, so I think it helps us because they feel the love." During this episode of Sales Talk for CEOs, you'll learn about Barb's journey, including moving from public to private, finding investors, and trying to understand sales. You'll also find out how Barb has restructured Response Biomedical to support channel partners and compete with big companies in this fast-paced field of medicine. Highlights3:30 From microbiologist to product development to CEO8:24 We've got some problems to fix…12:07 Who are we selling to? A shift in focus to channel partners22:26 Setting up a system to support channel partners28:56 On the horizon: showing more love to channel partners, a streamlined product33:04 Growing as a CEO Quote"When you aren't really sure about how to do sales, you're going to be agile, and you're going to move, and you're going to try again because you don't have a preset way." Connect with Barb Kinnaird in the links below:Website: You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:Website: https://AliceHeiman.comLinkedIn:
On this episode of Sales Talk for CEOs, Steve Benson, CEO of Badger Maps, joins me as an Expert to talk about what CEOs can (and should!) be doing to level up sales at their company. Now hold on a moment before everyone goes, "Wait a minute, I have a sales leader who does that. I have a CRO in place. I have a VP of sales." Yes, I'm sure you do. But CEOs always have a role in sales, regardless of whether the company was just founded or is a mature business. The role changes as you grow, which is what we're talking about during this podcast, a special episode in my Experts Series.During our discussion of how CEOs can level up sales, Steve and I focus on three important roles in sales that CEOs must embrace. CEOs are responsible for building the sales organization. Steve has tips on how to do that and how the strategy changes based on how long your company has been in business. CEOs are responsible for creating a feedback loop and using that to make decisions. Steve shares his thoughts on how the CEO can get data and what to do with the feedback you receive. CEOs are responsible for creating a culture of learning and curiosity. Steve offers advice on how he trains and develops his sales team, as well as makes ideas on how to make changes when needed. These are three roles that every CEO should look at improving in their company in order to level up sales. Get started today by listening to this episode! Highlights5:58 Building your sales team8:55 Staying involved in the feedback loop14:20 Taking action on the feedback you receive19:08 Coaching VPs of sales to make the right hires24:32 Making changes to your sales organization29:00 Developing your sales team internally and externally33:22 The benefits of peer-to-peer training38:30 Encouraging a culture of learning QuoteGreat CEOs are, first and foremost, on the sales and customer success team.As a CEO, you should be in the sales seat, driving new business, keeping customers happy, and have your fingers on the pulse of those parts of the business. Connect with Steve Benson in the links below:Website:  You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:Website: https://AliceHeiman.comLinkedIn: 
Many CEOs struggle to find sales leaders, including sales managers and VPs of sales. Not Patrick Parker. Patrick is the CEO of SaaS Partners, which helps early-stage entrepreneurs and builds in-house products to start new companies. Patrick is launching new businesses all the time, yet he never struggles to find sales leaders. His secret? Patrick has identified the exact traits to look for in new salespeople, and then he strategically grooms them into leadership roles. If you want to learn the formula for successfully developing sales leaders from inside your business, you’ll have to listen to this episode of Sales Talk for CEOs!Patrick has always been interested in team-building and has a passion for lifting people up. During our discussion, he talks about this background, and then we dig into the details of finding the right salespeople that show promise. You’ll learn Patrick’s theory on promoting people from within and how he uses incentives to build up individuals and teams. We also dive into the exact traits to look for in new sales hires, including self-awareness, motivation, curiosity, and agility, and how you can evaluate those characteristics during the job interview and in daily work. If you’re a CEO who has struggled to find the right sales leaders for your company, listen in to learn how you can groom the perfect managers and VPs from inside your business! Highlights6:19 A passion for lifting people up9:12 Promoting people from within15:09 Using incentives to build individuals and teams18:16 Traits to look for in promising sales team members  21:06 Understanding what motivates your team30:22 Building a culture of curiosity and growth35:48 More indicators of a person who can ‘level up’ Quote“When you strengthen the weakest team member, it makes the entire team stronger.” Connect with Patrick Parker in the links below:Website: You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.Website: https://AliceHeiman.comLinkedIn: 
Lead generation is often ranked as one of the biggest challenges of growing a business. That’s why I invited expert Brian Carroll to the Sales Talk for CEOs podcast to discuss what CEOs should know about generating leads for complex sales. Brian is the founder of Markempa, an empathy-based marketing company, and the author of the bestselling book Lead Generation for the Complex Sale. In this episode, he shares expert advice and actionable strategies for CEOs to evaluate their current lead generation practices and make adjustments that will increase sales.In this interview, Brian diagnoses the problem of many marketing messages, and he encourages CEOs to see things differently by developing empathy and trying to understand the world of the customer. He shares many practical steps CEOs can take, including conducting customer journey interviews, keeping an eye on specific metrics, and employing strategies like empathetic listening and emotional leadership. This episode is for CEOs who want to improve lead generation by evaluating current methods and guiding their teams to adopt better practices. If this sounds like you, then listen in today! Highlights1:45 Diagnosing the problem with most marketing messages7:25 How to conduct customer journey interviews16:09 How to use empathy indexing to improve the customer experience21:53 Specific metrics CEOs should use to assess their sales team and processes30:25 Analyzing sales calls to improve strategy and training35:55 The value of empathetic listening44:24 Three questions to ask to improve your sales processes48:00 Using emotional leadership to empower your team Quote“We need to understand what’s the mind of our customer, what’s the heart of our customer, and what are the things that they really care about.” Connect with Brian Carroll in the links below:Website: You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:Website: https://AliceHeiman.comLinkedIn:
Amy DuRoss is the co-founder and former CEO of Vineti, an enterprise software platform for personalized cell and gene therapies. Personalized medicine—designing custom therapeutics for each patient to cure diseases like cancer—is a whole new terrain in the pharmaceuticals industry. So, what’s it like to start and build a company in a brand new category? In this episode of Sales Talk for CEOs, Amy talks about what it takes to become a trailblazer in a new market, including the role of passion, storytelling, networking, and referrals. If you’re a CEO entering a new market (or innovating in an old one!), you’ll want to listen in.During the episode, Amy talks about how Vineti got its start with one customer who took a chance on the company because they shared the same passion and vision. Next, she explains the role of storytelling in acquiring additional customers and the importance of networking to build a pipeline. Finally, Amy and I discuss making complex sales more customer-focused and the customer success team’s role in growing trust and reference-ability. Listen to Amy’s advice and take some of her tips to become a trailblazer in your own industry! Highlights2:28 Seeing the gaps in the medical market7:52 How to sell a business in a new category13:08 Forming powerful partnerships18:21 Crafting a story that carries itself  25:40 Customer-focused complex sales38:45 Increasing reference-ability46:18 A continuous learning mindset Quote“It’s genuinely felt in the marketplace—that our team is committed, and we’re out there working day and night, united by this shared mission, culture, and values.” Connect with Amy DuRoss in the links below:Website: You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:Website: https://AliceHeiman.comLinkedIn:
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