DiscoverSales Talk for CEOs
Sales Talk for CEOs
Claim Ownership

Sales Talk for CEOs

Author: Alice Heiman

Subscribed: 3Played: 67


Welcome to Sales Talk for CEOs, a show where Alice Heiman interviews successful CEOs who have successfully scaled their B2B sales organizations. In each episode, we get to know the sales background of each CEO, dig into the strategies they've used to build their sales organization and wrap it up with what the future holds. We cover the good, the bad and the ugly of scaling a sales organization in order to deliver to you: value and insights.
71 Episodes
How do you balance growth with quality service delivery? With no background in sales, Kevin Warner, Co-founder, and CEO, originally decided to hire someone who knew sales and put his focus on delivery. He realized quickly it wasn’t working and took the lead sales role. Once sales picked up, he built a sales team and grew exponentially but he watched  the quality of service delivery suffer, and client churn increased. What was the right size for the company where they could serve the clients with excellence, reduce churn and increase profitability? They had some tough decisions to make. They reduced the team and focused on the success of the customer. He went back to a founder-led sales approach with a sales team to back him. Under his renewed guidance healthy growth returned. Now at 10 years in, they have achieved low churn, high profitability and now have the valuation that creates the exit options every founder dreams of. You’re going to want to hear his story.Chapters:00:00 Introduction to Leadium 05:47 How to talk to humans 09:31 Start with proper segmentation 11:25 The McDonald’s Conveyor Belt of Outbound Sales 12:54 Founder led Sales 16:32 Sales is Not a Magic Bullet 19:51 Back to Founder Led Sale 24:07 Removing the Roadblocks 27:35 The Role of the CEO 29:54 Reducing Churn 32:34 The End of SDRsAbout Our Guest:Kevin Warner, the Founder, and CEO of Leadium an award-winning B2B lead generation agency.Kevin is a core visionary behind the rapid growth of the outsourced sales development industry. He has proven that top-of-funnel sales can be scaled through an agency model, by creating over $1 billion in revenue pipeline across 1200 organizations, playing a part in 76 acquisitions, and seeing clients receive $6.5 billion in funding and 5 IPOs. He has experience managing a global team of 600 sales reps, data researchers, content creators, and sales strategists.​​You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.Website: https://AliceHeiman.comConnect with Alice on LinkedIn
Most CEOs have a hard time running one successful company. Veronica Buitron runs two!Her secrets boil down to simple, hard won lessons. First, you need a process for everything to be successful and to scale. Second, you need to trust and empower your teams.Every CEO can learn from her episode.Chapters:00:00  - Introduction2:26 - Tango Code: Redefining Software Development 003:53 - Automating Process for Scalability 10:02 - Engineering and Sales Are Both Just Solving Problems14:50 - Building Visions Together 16:30 - Shared Success 18:36 - Understanding the Sales Process at An Early Stage21:02 - Building a Sales Team Starts With A Defined Process28:11 - The CEO Sales Role32:39 - How Veronica Runs Two Companies35:12 - Implementing Agile Across the Entire Company36:20 - Trust and EmpowermentAbout Our Guest:Veronica Buitron is the Co-Founder and CEO of TangoCode a software development company and Chassis, the leading platform enabling digital marketers to automate & accelerate search and social campaigns. As a female entrepreneur, Veronica considers it essential to not only create a diverse and progressive culture within her own company but also to promote it within the tech community. These values have enabled Chassis to create the industry’s most innovative digital marketing solution automating and accelerating ROI for its clients.Chassis enables businesses to use first-party data to create a more effective marketing offering, achieving results 4X faster than using Google or Facebook. The platform promotes automation as a catalyst for marketers to be more productive and efficient in serving their clients and achieving scale.Veronica is an avid reader and enjoys speaking on diversity, innovation, and their interrelated relationship. She is a passionate business leader, a lifelong learner, a mentor to other women in technology, and a devoted role model for her three children.Social links:Veronica's LinkedInVeronica's Twitter ​​You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.Website: https://AliceHeiman.comConnect with Alice on LinkedIn
Ariel came from engineering, he had been a product leader for quite a few years and then made the transition into sales. Initially when he moved into sales, he was running product marketing. And he thought sales was so easy, you just get all of the factsheets and  battle cards and the information on the features and capabilities and share that with the prospects that they will buy it. Of course, he learned quickly he was wrong. Running a sales team taught him that sales was so much more and luckily he learned before he started his company. That mindset shift is what prepared him to at first do the sales himself and then build a sales organization at Second Nature AI. He learned two very important things as he moved from founder led sales to hiring a team. First, in an early stage company you have to hire a different type of seller. They have to have passion for the product and they have to know how to do full cycle selling without all the resources of a big company.  He told me, you have to hire full cycle sellers - salespeople who don’t need the support of a large marketing and sales team.  They need to be able to adapt on the fly. So that is what he did and then he learned the second thing, you have to have inbound leads. Even with the right salespeople, if there are no leads sales don’t happen. Listen to hear the lessons that helped him grow sales. Chapters:00:00 - Artificial Intelligence That Trains Your Salesforce? 07:48 - The Genesis of Jenny AI 10:53 - The First Customers Input 15:19 - Scaling Sales and the Team 26:32 - Using Second Nature to Train and Assess Sellers 28:15 - Marketing Ahead of Sales Hires to Increase Inbound 32:55 - The Sales Feedback Loop 36:15 - The Next ChapterAbout Our Guest:Ariel Hitron is the CEO and co-founder of Second Nature. He has held various executive positions including VP of New Markets and VP of Sales and Customer Success at Kaltura. He ran global sales teams with dozens of reps, built playbooks and training sessions, and earlier in his career, developed and brought to market multiple software products, generating tens of millions of recurring revenue and used by millions of consumers.As the CEO of Second Nature, Ariel is able to merge his passion for sales, tech, and product development, by applying AI to enable large B2B sales organizations to scale up and get systematic about their sales coaching.About Second Nature:Second Nature helps salespeople have better conversations.Using AI-driven role play, sales professionals can practice in a safe space, and improve their performance and confidence by gaining real-time, personalized feedback.Social links: ​​You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.Website: https://AliceHeiman.comConnect with Alice on LinkedIn
Samantha McKenna, a former employee of On24, was recruited by LinkedIn for her mastery of building a powerful brand on the platform. She started posting on LinkedIn in 2011, leading to recognition and a promotion. After two years, she broke her 13th record and decided to pursue her passion for making a positive impact. She left LinkedIn to start her own company, #SamSales, initially intending to work part-time, but quickly realized that wasn't feasible.She is one of the rare founders who was in sales prior to starting her company but she never planned to go into sales, she thought she was going to be in finance. Starting her own business, well that might have been inevitable because both of her parents are entrepreneurs. For many who start a company sales come slowly but for Samantha sales were easy because she had already built an audience on LinkedIn. She had been providing useful content for years so once she posted that she  was now in business, the sales flooded in. (Don’t we all wish for that.)Samantha's all-women team of 11, , now does a full range of sales related advisory and services. To grow into that, she learned to delegate and rely on proactive referrals and relationship-building for long-term success. Even though she has a great sales team, Samantha is still involved in selling and managing sales.Her team does sales the easy way, they rely on proactive referrals from existing customers and partners. She taught her team to track job changes on LinkedIn and stay in touch. This usually leads to more business. They focus on building relationships for the long term.Chapters:00:00 - Intro 02:54 - Quality Over Quantity 05:15 - Samantha’s Start In Sales 10:10 - LinkedIn 1%er 16:51 - My Large Networks Gave #samsales A Running Start 20:43 - The ever evolving CEO sales role 24:01 - Referral selling 25:55 - Working in your genius zone 30:59 - What’s next?About Our Guest:Samantha McKenna, CEO of #samsales Consulting, is an award-winning sales leader, brand ambassador for LinkedIn, angel investor, board member, and highly sought-after speaker. She has broken nearly 15 sales records, believes great sales are rooted in exceptional manners, and consistently looks for opportunities to continue growing the company’s philanthropic efforts. Since 2008, Sam has worked for some of the most notable names in the Bay Area, including ON24 and LinkedIn. While with these organizations, Sam spent her time as an individual contributor in Enterprise sales before moving to scaling teams and revenue as an executive Leader.With more than 30,000 LinkedIn followers, Sam has inspired sales professionals with her tangible sales tips and actionable advice used daily by executives and teams alike. Sam has been named a Top 50 Women in Revenue and Top 20 Women in Sales Leadership, appears as one of the faces of LinkedIn Sales Navigator’s marketing campaigns, and has been named a Top Ten LinkedIn Sales Star several times over. She has a deep commitment to helping women succeed - particularly those who are military spouses - as well as individuals from underrepresented backgrounds. Sam is dedicated to shining a light on her trademark Show Me You Know Me and #givefirst mantras - and together with her team, raised over $50,000 for charity in 2021 alone with the innovative #samsales ‘Show Me You Know Me’ Charity Event. In its first 24 months, #samsales Consulting has scaled to multi-million dollar revenue and added 17 talented team members. The #samsales team serves over 100 clients, achieved312% of their first annual revenue goal, and surpassed all reason with 233% YoY growth in its second year!Connect with Samantha McKenna on LinkedInFollow Samantha McKenna on Twitter​​You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.Website: https://AliceHeiman.comConnect with Alice on LinkedIn
Sean Doyle applies behavioral science to marketing and the sales funnel. His model is called Centricity and he shares important lessons about alignment between sales, marketing and customer success to move deals through the funnel. Sean says, “Deals stall in the middle of the funnel because we aren’t giving the buyer what they need to make a decision.If you are still feeding them information about your product features and benefits, they are 80% likely to decide to stick with the old, lower risk, status quo.”On the other hand, we know that if you help them make sense of the information, you are heading in the right direction together. Sometimes this takes sales, customer success and marketing together and at different points in the customer journey. This lively interview will help every CEO with strategies to help their team move more deals through the middle of the funnel to close.Chapters00:00 Strategic Versus Creative Marketing06:17 Behavioral Science: The Centricity Model13:22 Your Buyer’s Problem18:36 Marketing and Customer Success at the Closing Table24:08 Making it Easier for Customers to Buy31:00 6 Step Pipeline: Tracking Steps Versus Activity38:00 Emotional and Rational Content: Marketing and Sales balance43:40 Selling is Helping About Our Guest:Sean M. Doyle is principal at FitzMartin Inc, a leading consultancy focused on optimizing sales and marketing investments of emerging middle- market, B2B businesses. FitzMartin’s clients earn on average an ROI of $287 per $1 invested. Through a 30+ year career with over 5,500 client engagements, Sean saw the need for a repeatable, systematic, objective go-to-market model. The model, Centricity, informs sales, marketing, technology and creative decisions. His niche is helping executives identify opportunities to achieve their strategic, personal and financial objectives. Connect with Sean on LinkedInFollow Sean on TwitterResource Links:Changing for Good  ​​You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.Website: https://AliceHeiman.comConnect with Alice on LinkedIn  
Almost every company I know is struggling to bring new business in at the pace required. Why? Well, that is an interesting question but I think by now most of us know that our methods are outdated and simply don’t work. The better questions are how do we keep new business flowing in? What should be done instead of what we continue to do that doesn’t work? I’ve always had a fascination with weeds. They are amazing. Strong, resilient, persistent and they can literally take over an area. My friend Stu Heinecke and I share that same fascination only I know he is more fascinated than me because he wrote a whole book on them called How to Grow Your Business Like a Weed. Weeds have an unfair advantage and Stu wants all company leaders to understand what that is and how it can be applied to their business so that they can dominate the market. There are many strategies to gain that unfair advantage and Stu is here today to help you pick the best ones for your business. Find out why having the mindset of a weed will give your company an unfair advantage and possibly even market domination. Highlights:04:14 Having a network is very important. Being able to get introductions is very important. I mean, that works. That's a shortcut.04:37 [If you can’t get an introduction] You need to do something audacious, not just audacious, but also you need to do something that's relevant… something that has the person saying, Oh my gosh, who is this? I love the way you think.07:01 books are still a valid way to stand out, even if you haven't written one, send some of your favorite books…I’m helping you to learn…09:58 Alice Heineman says you can tell a lot about a person just by looking at their pipeline.[the caption on a cartoon that Stu sent to Alice ahead of the interview]12:36 one of your [Alice Heiman] great unfair advantages is that you show up usually as a speaker at events16:14 what is it about weeds that causes them to spread and grow and dominate and makes them such tough competitors? Do they have a unified model? And it turns out they do, they leverage a fierce mindset.17:11 if a business doesn't have unfair advantages, it won't exist for long.19:20 you want your competitors looking at your unfair advantage and saying how the heck are we going to beat that?22:23 Why would we talk about a mindset when we're talking about plants? They don't have brains.23:07 You can't grow your business like a weed if you don't have the right mindset. If we're still having our salespeople sell the way they sold ten years ago, it's not going to work.24:01 I should add a couple more attributes to mindset. Emotions get in the way. Your actions should lead your emotions, not the other way around. Don’t ask ‘Do I feel like going to the gym?’ Go to the gym and then see how you feel. Do everything at scale through collaboration.28:47 Here's the really cool thing about weeds. They thrive in disrupted ground. We are coming into a recession, another word for disruption, and it’s an opportunity to thrive if you have the right mindset.31:08 One way to thrive is to eliminate any 1 to 1 leverage. If you are part of the deliverable stream, you need to fix that because you become a bottleneck to your growth. Moving toward multi-channel collaborations is another way to thrive.About Our Guest:Stu Heinecke is a bestselling business author, marketer and WSJ cartoonist. His first book, How to Get a Meeting with Anyone, was named one of the top 64 sales books of all time. His latest, How to Grow Your Business Like a Weed, lays out a complete model for explosive business growth, based on the strategies, attributes and tools weeds use to grow, expand, dominate and defend their turf. A twice-nominated hall of fame marketer and Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center author-in-residence, he was named the “Father of Contact Marketing” by the AMA. He lives on a beautiful island in Washington State.Connect with Stu on LinkedInConnect with Stu on TwitterResource Links: How To Get A Meeting With Anyone Grow Your Business Like A Weed​​You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.Website: https://AliceHeiman.comConnect with Alice on LinkedIn
It’s been 14 years since Bob Vaez started EventMobi and he’s had considerable growth without investment from Venture Capital or Private Equity. How did he do it? It wasn’t always easy.EventMobi’s early sales model was classic founder led with Bob doing it all from mining his network for leads to closing deals. His decision to bootstrap versus take external investment meant that hiring an experienced sales leader was out of the question. Instead he hired young, hungry graduates who could listen and tell stories.His strategy worked. Growth was great, annual sales revenue soared.  Then the pandemic hit and revenue plummeted to near zero.Within a few months, Bob pivoted the in-person event platform into a virtual one.Sales rebounded and are stronger than ever with a return to in-person.Bob’s 14 year journey is a great how-to for any CEO looking to bootstrap their startup.Highlights:05:20 I had this passion for events and they would give you this tote bag full of paper and this show guide that's 300 pages. I'm like, why is this not on my phone?06:38 We were building a product that no one had ever heard of, software for events.06:57 I realized the other part of the product we have to build is a platform for planners and event organizers because their data was all over the place. 08:10 I think honestly at the beginning for a lot of startup founders, sales is not the main concern. But in reality, you want to make sure you have product market fit and selling is the best way to determine that.13:10 EventMobi is a bootstrap company and so very different from a VC backed company.13:43 From zero to the first $500K was very experimental. I didn't know if the company was going to exist in the next few months.  After that, I couldn't do everything myself, so I had to hire someone to do online demos using WebEx14:49 We weren't really hiring traditional salespeople. We were hiring people that were empathetic. They were really good listeners and they were really good storytellers.15:12 I ran it like that until we had about 12 people on the sales team. I was still managing marketing and support with a few junior managers, and we hit 5 million. That’s when I realized it was too much for me so we promoted our first sales manager from within the sales team. That took us to $10M.17:35 I think a lot of early CEOs hire what I call full-stack salespeople - they take it from lead to renewal. This has to be divided into different roles as you grow. How you define those roles and the timing is critically important.22:46 When the pandemic hit, we went from $10M to 0 overnight because all of the confidence got canceled. We retooled our platform to support virtual and suddenly our leads grew by a factor of five.28:45 We had a two pronged strategy in terms of building the sales team. One was to promote from within. And the other was to hire staff from the industry.31:40] Customer demands are changing. They are expecting a different type of response and they have different pain points. We need to train and enable the sales team to be able to help them in a way that they can benefit from rather than let me show you 12 tools we have.32:05] Information overload is real. There's so much noise and there're so many competitors. The customers can't even remember who said what.About Our Guest:Bob has over 10 years of experience in software, semiconductor and mobile industry in various capacities from engineering to business development. He has worked for a number of small and large companies in Toronto, Canada and Silicon Valley, California such as BTE, ATI, AMD and Nvidia.Currently Bob is the CEO of is an interactive mobile event guide app that helps engage audiences, further green practices and generate revenue. We empower event organizers with simple but powerful tools to create mobile event guides for their attendees in minutes!Connect with Bob on LinkedIn: Bob on Twitter: Guest Company:EventMobi's end-to-end Event Management and Virtual Conference Platform makes it easy for event organizers to plan, promote, monetize and deliver engaging virtual, hybrid and in-person event experiences. From website, registration and an award-winning event app, to the Virtual Space and fully managed online event production, the EventMobi platform has been used by 10,000+ event planners in 72 countries around the world since 2009.Sign up for a free demo: on Twitter: can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.Website: https://AliceHeiman.comLinkedIn:
Wrapping up my 3rd season and I still can’t believe I started and built a successful podcast. The thing I love most is the conversations with the CEOs. They are so willing to share their story in the spirit of helping others. Whether they are near the beginning or the end of their journey it’s always interesting to learn why they started and how they grew sales. In this Season Finale we revisit some of the main themes that are essential for every CEO to take into 2023 and beyond.Number one on the list - if you are using the sales strategies and methods that got you where you are I can guarantee they won’t get you where you want to be. Just doing more of the same doesn’t cut it. Strategies and tactics that worked just before the pandemic don’t work anymore. You need to stop and map your buyer's journey and adjust your strategy and tactics to meet that.Cold outreach yields abysmal results. No one answers the phone and no one wants your sequence of emails especially when they are all about you. Buyers who are looking for you expect to have access to your product information before engaging with your sales team. You need to understand what your customer wants, how they want to buy and meet them where they are. If buyers won’t take cold calls and they are deleting your email how do you generate leads? How do you ensure that your sales people are having plenty of conversations with people who can buy from them?The changing role of the CEO in the sales process was another recurring theme. Many of our guests are moving back to a founder led sales approach and have found huge success in being the chief lead generator. Imagine using your own network and the network of your whole senior team to make introductions for your salespeople so they don't have to go in cold. What is your role in sales currently?Tune in to this and every episode to find the answers. Highlights:01:15 A different structure for how to pursue revenue growth.02:03 How the customer wants to buy from you.03:03 So as a CEO, what are some of the things you can do to make it easier to be your customer? 04:26 Making content readily available to the people that want to buy from you.05:43 What is the CEO’s role in the sales process?07:17 Creating a conversation.08:16 A mindset shift.10:05 Increasing the effectiveness of your salesperson. You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.Website: https://AliceHeiman.comLinkedIn:
Heidi Messer started Collective[i] with one goal: to bring more certainty and less volatility to sales and improve the livelihoods of every single employee.According to Heidi, sellers operate at 30% productivity rates. There is no other function in a company that is as unproductive as sales. Higher productivity equals more certainty, so why not improve it. If sales improves every other department has more opportunity. In order to bring more certainty and less volatility , Collective[i] focuses on two main innovations:Automate everything possible in the sales process in order to reduce seller admin work and improve CRM accuracy;Train teams on the agile sales process in order to scale revenue.This is one of the most comprehensive interviews on the modern sales process I’ve ever recorded.  Highlights:01:19 All of the time that is spent trying to fix the problems in CRM, we fix so that sellers can sell, managers can coach, and everybody else has absolute transparency into what's happening. 02:23 Nobody trusts the pipeline reviews. So let's just start with a clean capture of data into the CRM and have it done automatically. Nobody has to worry about trusting it.02:36 You know that sellers operate at 30% productivity rates. There is no other function in a company that is as unproductive as sales.03:16 Instead of trying to figure out what happened, we want people to focus on adapting to what's likely to happen.04:25 What was interesting about the mid 2000s is we actually saw marketing transform from being a gut based endeavor to one that was highly scientific, very adaptive and focused on optimization.06:54 We're going to own siloed data, not just within companies, but between companies. Everybody told us it wouldn't work. I'm convinced that if you haven't heard that, you don't have a good idea.07:33 Sales is the lifeblood of companies. Our entire economy depends on sales. If you can bring more certainty to sales and less volatility, you impact the livelihoods of every single person employed by a company.08:17 There's no entrepreneur I've met who isn't a great salesperson.10:21 When you start out with a new product you have to find out what's important to their (you customer’s) business? How am I going to persuade them to try this new thing? And then somehow I think what happens when you grow is you get out of that habit of thinking that way,11:12 There's a significant portion of companies that still believe sales itself is a process, meaning sales is an assembly line. It’s not, it’s more like a sport that needs a playbook and lots of practice.13:51 So imagine now you have to hire salespeople who sell to people who sell.15:53 You have to hire salespeople who are able to be trusted advisers. Do they have fundamental sales skills? Do they have enough knowledge that they can provide people with advice on how to move forward and not just explain something?16:58 I think there's a massive defining line that happened after COVID, and I don't think we're going back.17:49 There's a particular kind of sales leader who can sell innovation and there's a kind of sales leader who wants to sell the status quo.22:33 If you're a good founder, you pick advisors who are smarter than you. I want to hire an expert in something that I may not be an expert in.25:39 We have to do a better job of training our sales teams.27:13 We drink our own champagne.27:57 We switched to Agile.29:11 Agile sales describes an organization that's working perfectly in sync to adapt to changes that are happening real time in marketplaces.31:46 We automated everything that they were doing that was low value. So there's not a seller that spends more than 10 minutes a week in CRM. 32:37 We don't do annual sales conferences, we do quarterly, we call them ARCOS revenue kick offs. More importantly every week our sales team has at least 1 to 2 training sessions.33:57 I think it should be sellers are selling to buyers in a transparent environment. Why should anything be hidden today? There should be no opacity in business.36:49 Sports team would be crazy if they said, I'm going to give you a playbook. Go on the field without practice. 41:21 I think the average number of buyers on a buying team has gone from 8 to 12.42:38 We invested a lot in upskilling our salespeople. We invest a lot in digital. So my belief is if a website could do it, a human should not. 46:20 We hire for a growth mindset. I think a growth mindset and trainability come hand in hand. About Our Guest:Heidi Messer has been an active entrepreneur and investor in the digital economy since the commercialization of the Internet. Ms. Messer currently serves as co-Founder and Chairperson of Collective[i]™.Prior to Collective[i], Ms. Messer and her brother, Stephen Messer, co-founded LinkShare Corporation, host to one of the world’s largest online affiliate networks representing the world’s premier publishers and merchants on the web. The company is widely considered to be a pioneer in the world of SaaS, digital advertising and the sharing economy.Under Ms. Messer’s leadership, LinkShare was recognized by Deloitte and Touche for two consecutive years as the fastest growing technology company in the New York Region. Ms. Messer served as a board member, President and Chief Operating Officer of LinkShare until its sale to Rakuten (4755:JASDAQ) for $425 million.Ms. Messer is a frequent speaker at conferences and universities around the world on artificial intelligence, enterprise technology, entrepreneurship, modern sales, marketing and the future of work. She has been cited in various publications including, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine, Vogue, the NY Post, The Nikkei, Women’s Wear Daily, and Chief Executive Magazine. Ms. Messer has also appeared on national television and radio programs including the Today Show, Rock Center with Brian Williams, Business Talk Radio, CNBC, Fox News, CBS Morning News and the Fox Morning Show.Ms. Messer has received several honors including being selected as one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs by Goldman Sachs (2012) and is a recipient of the Technology Pioneer Award during Women’s Entrepreneurship Day hosted at the United Nations (2015). Ms. Messer serves on the board of Aperture Investors, the Partnership for NYC, the Partnership Fund for NYC and the Board of Trustees for New York-Presbyterian Hospital as well as the advisory board for the Johns Hopkins University Department of Physics and Astronomy. Ms. Messer is an advisor to the AXA Venture Fund and serves on the investment committee for The Equity Alliance.Ms. Messer received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude. She received her juris doctorate from Harvard Law School graduating cum laude.About Guest Company:Collective[i] (short for Collective Intelligence) helps companies around the world forecast, manage and grow revenue leveraging data, human talent and social connections. Collective[i]’s global network and application uses artificial intelligence to enable sales and other supporting functions to leverage their professional networks and intelligence that optimizes all of their sales activities and processes. Collective[i]’s mission is to enable global prosperity by helping companies and sales professionals worldwide leverage both human connections and machine generated intelligence to grow revenue.Resource Links: @heidimesser, @collectivei LinkedIn - You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.Website: https://AliceHeiman.comLinkedIn:
Sean Burke shares his knowledge of building high performance sales teams gained through nine startups, seven exits and billions of dollars in value creation.The first rule, you can only attract the best if you can show a definitive path to hitting quota. If you can’t show the math, why would they join your team?Next, you are building a team not a collective of individual contributors. Part of this is defining your role and the role of every part of the company in contributing to the sales team's success.And finally, you need to build metrics around each salesperson to compare and help share best practices across the team. Why is one person’s close rate higher or time to close lower?Sean goes on to talk about mentoring and the difficulty of getting people to take the essential first steps. If you follow his advice, you will never have to worry about getting a job or earning a living.And these highlights only scratch the surface of the wisdom Sean shares with us.Highlights:20:52 If you can't share with them the math of how people get to their numbers, why would they ever join your team?23:26 Every single salesperson on my team has those numbers in a customized dashboard.23:37 The sales velocity formula basically tells you, "Am I going to hit my number or not?"24:38 "Joe, here's what your close ratio is. Bill's close ratio is 10% higher. What are you guys doing differently? By the way, why is Jane's time to close 60 days shorter than yours? Why is our time to close existing business longer than new business? It should be shorter."25:31 What does the data know that our sales leaders don't know, and what do our sales leaders know that the data doesn't know, and we can combine those two together to get a much more accurate forecast.26:42 I will coach anybody on my sales team, but very few people will do the things that I ask them in coaching.28:53 I can guarantee you this, anybody who takes the effort to follow my plan will never have to worry about money the rest of their life,29:06 I do deal strategy work and I will sell, my CEO will sell, everybody sells in our organization so the sales team knows that they have an absolute support mechanism.35:44 From the CEO down to the individual customer success representative we define how we're going to work with each customer.About Our Guest:Sean has devoted his career to practicing, testing, learning, measuring, failing, and triumphing in the pursuit of sales & leadership excellence. The knowledge he shares is from doing the work every day. So unlike consultants, influencers, and experts – Sean still has a number to hit and over 2,000 people across the globe who expect him to make the right leadership decisions as well as help them achieve their own life’s mission.Connect with Sean here:LinkedIn - - seanburke.bizTwitter - - - www.prometric.comAbout Guest Company:Prometric is a leading provider of technology-enabled testing and assessment solutions. Our integrated, end-to-end solutions provide exam development, management, and distribution that set the industry standard in quality, security, and service excellence. Today, we are paving the industry’s path forward with new solutions and innovation to ensure reliable access to secure assessments anytime, anywhere.For over 30 years, we’ve supported more than 25 million exam hours at our testing locations in more than 180 countries around the world.You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.Website: https://AliceHeiman.comLinkedIn:
Selling is Solving

Selling is Solving


After eight years of trial and error, Daveed feels he has finally figured out the sales model for, Valens Global. He heard about the rainmaker sales model from a very successful law firm. The senior partner initiated discussions with clients that demonstrate the firm's expertise and ability to solve a particular problem. For Daveed it meant taking the lead with the customer to define the problem and the framework to solve it. His teams, often working in parallel, taking charge of delivering the solution. We love to solve problems and when we are focused on doing that the sale comes naturally. Highlights:02:01 Valens Global solves problems that involve the intersection of evolving technologies, changing global society, often changing ecology or environment, and manifest in ways that are different as patterns than they were in the past. Disinformation, for example, is one such problem set problems involving climate change, problems involving terrorists, and evolving technologies.03:53 We use simulations and games. What is different about our games is first we've invested significantly in storytelling and world building techniques. So there's a cinematic or novel quality to our games.05:30 For our university clients, we get a lot of students coming back and saying that this was the most profound educational experience that they'd had during their university career.06:36 Last year we did a racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism workshop. It was a series of workshops that used a Valens simulation tabletop exercise to anchor the conversations.08:32 Given the life and death nature of the topics that we deal with, practicing self care for your team is very important.09:09 I started Valens Global because I was tired of correctly predicting outcomes that were against the consensus opinion. Valens allowed me to productize my subject matter expertise and rise above group think consensus.21:39 Our sales model has shifted from a sales team model to a rainmaker model that I learned from a famous law firm.33:19 It’s really important to listen and learn about a customer's problem. And in many cases, we deal with big problems and we can’t afford to fail. Solving these problems is my sales model.About Our Guest:Daveed Gartenstein-Ross is an entrepreneur, practitioner, and scholar with specialized knowledge of violent non-state actors and terrorist groups. He is the founder and CEO of the private firm Valens Global, which has twice been named to Entrepreneur Magazine’s E360 list of the top small businesses in the United States. He is also on the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University and Duke University. Among the many projects that Daveed has undertaken for Valens Global, he led the company’s efforts to support the drafting, threat assessment, and crafting of priority actions for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s 2019 Strategic Framework for Countering Terrorism and Targeted Violence, which received widespread acclaim. The New York Times, for example, editorialized that the strategy represented “a shift that is both urgently needed and long overdue.” He holds a Ph.D. in world politics from the Catholic University of America and a J.D. from the New York University School of Law.About Guest Company:A few sentences about Valens Global: Valens Global was founded in 2014 on the belief that the private sector is vital to addresing key twenty-first century challenges, including advancing the national security interests of America and its allies and to saving lives by protecting the public from terrorist attacks and other threats. Valens's high-quality analysis is paired with numerous interlocking capabilities, including in physical security, training, threat assessments, detection of insider threats, and messaging. The company's goal, simply put, is to understand, predict, and act to empower clients as they navigate and address emergent challenges rooted in security, technology, and a changing global society.Resource Links:Valens website: LinkedIn: LinkedIn: Twitter: can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.Website:https://AliceHeiman.comLinkedIn:
Years of trust can evaporate in a matter of moments if you forget this simple rule. Dmitri Leichik learned the hard way that customers are not buying your product, they are buying your commitment to their success. The moment they perceive a transactional motive, you’ve lost.Utilizing a founder led sales model, Twistellar has grown globally and still relies on Dmitri’s long term relationship strategy that in many cases takes years to mature from conversation to trust to a project.If you sell B2B, you have to assume that a potential customer already has a trusted supplier. They may say no to you on a Monday and yes on a Friday because something changed in that relationship. Timing and luck are everything and that’s why you have to be tireless in maintaining relationships over long periods of time.Highlights3:24 You need to clearly understand how people interact, how people communicate, how your sales people actually work every day to make their customers happy. Only then can you automate the process.5:14 A professional consultant must focus on the customer’s business processes, not the solution features.  Sometimes our role is to convince the customer not to spend money on a solution because the business is not ready.8:27 In sales, the first step needs to be defining “What difference can you bring to the table?”9:49 To be successful, three factors need to come together at the same time: You need luck to be in the right place at the right time, you need to be very active to be in as many places as possible, you have to be working hard to make every customer successful.11:49 I still do most of the selling myself since I am the best person to match business needs to technical solutions. I am a technical advisor and am never trying to sell a specific solution.13:47 In B2B, a potential customer already has a supplier to solve their problems. You have to get to them at the exact moment where they have some reason to consider a new partner.14:45 We work 12-14 hours a day so that we can always be available to give friendly advice. That’s how we ‘sell’.18:48 To win business, you have to demonstrate that you bear the responsibility for the project’s success.20:49 It can take years to build a relationship before the first project. On the other hand, one wrong action can spoil that relationship in one day.23:01 You must consider all of the people in an organization who benefit from your work. They are part of your word of mouth referral network especially when they move to a new company.26:50 The sales process ends when the work is done and the customer is happy.28:10 Mistakes can be made and it's critically important to take responsibility for them. We recently underestimated a project by 400 hours and we accepted the loss.About Our GuestDmitri Leichik is CEO and co-founder of Twistellar,  #1 Salesforce Consulting Partner in Denmark. Dmitri brings more than a 20-year background of being a co-owner and CEO of a group of trading and production companies, providing hands-on management experience.For now, Dmitri is a business expert who's responsible for corporate strategy, finances, business development, customer relations, and general operational efficiency in Twistellar. He managed to gather a team of 100+ motivated professionals in just 5 years.Dmitri is a master of business & service processes automation and optimization. He ensures that the customer is always the key figure at Twistellar.Connect with DmitriLinkedinTwitter About Guest CompanyTwistellar is a #1 Salesforce Consulting Partner in Denmark, working with customers in the USA, Europe, Asia, and Australia. The company provides top-quality Salesforce solutions development services to solve complex business issues and boost sales.Twistellar has grown from 0 to 100+ in-house consultants in 5 years. The company's headquarters are located in Copenhagen, Denmark, with development centers in Poland and Georgia. Twistellar also has its own products delivered on AppExchange — Sculptor CPQ (a native Salesforce interactive quote generation solution) and Dash (a visualization tool for dynamic clickable charts in Salesforce Lightning).In 2022, Twistellar was announced as the #1 Salesforce Consultant in Denmark by and entered the global TOP-10 list of the best Salesforce Consultants by You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.Website:https://AliceHeiman.comLinkedIn:
Anthony Iannarino has some bad news for sales leaders who are depending on 20 year old sales models. They just don’t work anymore. “Tell me about your problems and let me tell you about my solution” won’t even get you a second meeting.”Alvin Toffler, who wrote The Future Shock, said that the future is going to be dominated by people who can learn, unlearn and then learn again. The hard part is unlearning.Sales teams must be retrained to create value not sell benefits. Anthony calls this becoming a One Up. The core value creation is ‘'I know more about this decision than anything else.” Let me start a conversation with you about that.Unlearning old sales habits is only the beginning. Anthony takes us through his three, non-negotiable, steps to hold salespeople accountable. Number one, a set amount of time per week prospecting. Number two, reporting on the actual conversations that are ongoing. As a sales leader, your job is to establish the criteria for what represents a quality conversation. And finally what is the next conversation that we should be having and our strategy to get there.Listen to the entire episode to learn how to build your modern B2B sales strategy and team.Highlights:2:21 I'm not disrupting the industry. All I'm doing is documenting the strategies and tactics that work because the buyer has a different problem than they've ever had before. They're more confused, they're more uncertain. They have a difficult time getting consensus.3:07 The most common problems that sales teams have: I don't have enough opportunities. Opportunities aren't moving fast enough through our pipeline for us to reach our goals. I don’t understand why salesperson A is doing well while salesperson B isn’t.4:47 If you're training your team in a legacy approach where it's looks like solution selling and we start with let me tell you how great our company is and look at all these logos…8:21 …one client said to me, we did $10 million. Our goal next year is $12 million. And I said, that is probably the worst goal I've ever heard…9:26 The part of the vision that I care about is what do you want your team to be?10:03 The best salespeople create more value in a conversation than others.10:52 There's a chapter in the book about alignment. It’s when the CEO has a vision that is tangible, proven, and clearly understood by customer success, marketing, and sales.12:39 I would describe churn as the devil.14:16 We can get the first meeting, but we can't convert it to a second meeting. What that means is you didn't create enough value.14:54 Let me give you another lens, my lens is not filled with false assumptions. I'm showing you what reality looks like and what you need to do.15:30 We transform your team to a modern approach that means they're going to be what I call One Up. And One Up means I know more than you and I have greater experience than you do about this decision, not about everything.Helping them understand what's going on, what it means for them, and what they need to do. So that means you're going to have a different sales force on the other end that can create greater value.17:13 So it's not about what you sell. It's about how you sell. And if you get the ‘how’ we sell right, then you have a better shot of reaching your full potential.18:29 Alvin Toffler, in The Future Shock, said that the future is going to be dominated by people who can learn, unlearn and then learn again. So that's where we are right now. So the hard part is the unlearning.19:09 the most important thing for you to work on is increasing the effectiveness of your salesperson in the conversation with their client.20:39 That's where growth comes from. It's the conversations that we're having.23:34 I have two chapters on accountability…It's a very, very different kind of accountability. And it means I care enough about you to make sure that you succeed.25:29 I have three non-negotiables, measures of accountability…29:01 So if you start teaching, you start informing, you start enlightening them and you start getting rid of their terrible lens that they're looking through…About Our Guest:Anthony Iannarino is a writer, a best-selling author, a speaker, a sales leader, and an entrepreneur. He spent twenty years selling and leading a sales force in the highly commoditized industry of staffing before becoming a writer and publishing daily at since 2009. His primary focus is human effectiveness in sales, management, leadership, and personal and professional transformation.About the Book:In Leading Growth: The Proven Formula for Consistently Increasing Revenue, veteran B2B sales professional and coach Anthony Iannarino delivers an expert guide to enabling revenue growth in your sales team. In the book, you’ll explore the fundamentals of organizational leadership, including vision, transformation, strategy, communication, and decision-making. You’ll also define new frameworks for growth involving the people, planning, pipeline, and efficacy that make up your strategy.Contact info:Anthony IannarinoAuthor, Leading Growth: The Proven Formula for Consistently increasing RevenueBook page on Amazon: can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.Website: https://AliceHeiman.comLinkedIn:
Jake Dunlap takes us from founding Skaled Consulting to his first successful sales hire. And yes, it did take 10 years to get it right.It’s great to be a founder led sales company but founder led services delivery is a problem. This was the first major hurdle that Jake encountered in his fledgling sales consulting business and a barrier to scaling. It took years to structure a scalable services delivery model. The first big lesson, young, affordable, full-time staff didn’t have the requisite skills to replace Jake and properly service the accounts. It turns out, contract, part time senior team members could deliver.As he grew globally, it was time to expand the sales team. His next big challenge was finding salespeople who could sell even 80% as well as he could. His hires kept failing until he realized it was because the sales process was in his head and needed to be on paper. His second big a ha moment was realizing that selling a product is different from selling a service. Jake only recently cracked this problem and hired an experienced services salesperson.The biggest takeaway that every B2B company needs to understand, customers want everything on their terms and this includes learning about your product. Sales teams can no longer be gatekeepers of the buyer's journey.Highlights:1:57 We are a revenue strategy, operations and enablement company and really what that means, we've got 40 plus people globally and what we do is we help organizations optimize the sales process. 3:13 If you've got a marketing organization that's compensated on one thing and a sales organization that's compensated and there's no overlap, you're not going to have marketing and sales alignment.6:27 When I started my business, I started cold outreach from Crunchbase. I found people that just raised a seed series A, series B and started reaching out cold to CEOs. Hey, you know, chances are you're probably thinking about these challenges. I've faced them multiple times. Let me know if you need help. And sure enough, within the first 45 days, I had a few customers. I’ve just been figuring it out since then.9:59 I thought everybody had to be full time because if they were contractors, they wouldn't care. And boy, was I wrong.11:57 Over the years we hired a few different sales people and it never worked out. Obviously as a CEO, everything's my fault. I didn't really know the DNA of the person that I needed. Selling a service is much different than selling a product.15:05 I can count on two hands how many founders I've seen that didn't have to figure out the Go-To-Market themselves before hiring the first salespeople.17:18 It's your job to fix these problems no matter what department. You can't outsource fixing your problems.20:36 And so another mistake that I made when I was scaling early is I kept hiring junior people and putting them in roles that they were not set up to be successful in. 22:03 Get it right and then get it off your plate.23:27 Some of our first big deals were through partnerships where the other partner didn’t provide the services that we did.26:21 Handing a job off to someone without the training or process is abdicating not delegating.30:40 I didn't ever really define what made a good partner for us. I took probably hundreds of calls with people who were never going to be a fit.35:46 ​​Revenue Operations is really a good synopsis of what we do. It's looking at the end-to-end customer journey and experience.40:03 We live in a world of now on my terms. I want to consume information when I want to. The problem is B2B sales is in the Stone Age right now. We've created a process where the salesperson is a gatekeeper for information instead of giving it to consumers on their terms.About Our Guest:Jake Dunlap consistently designs repeatable, sustainable sales models and processes that outperform industry standards. As the Founder + CEO of Skaled Consulting, Jake helps executives around the world accelerate business growth with data-backed sales solutions. Before building Skaled, he held the roles of VP of Sales at Nowait (acquired by Yelp), Head of Sales + Customer Success at Chartbeat, and VP of Sales at Glassdoor (acquired by Recruit Holdings for $1.2 billion dollars in 2018).Follow Jake on LinkedIn and subscribe to the Jake Dunlap Show on Apple Podcasts. You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.Website:https://AliceHeiman.comLinkedIn:
Matt Fok came up with his idea for eZ-Xpo, before the pandemic. He thought, what if you could continue the dialogue started at conferences virtually? Since his company was already selling an eLearning platform, he simply went to his existing customers to validate the idea. And then the pandemic hit. His founder-led sales approach paid off as he uncovered more and better ways to address the market need. By providing content and ongoing interactions between companies and their prospects, the platform could be used to build communities. eZ-Xpo provides the middle of the funnel nurture interactions virtually. Rather than hire a sales force, Matt has employed two sales strategies. He has hired and trained a team of 20 Digital Collaborator Champions to guide customers through the setup and management process. Each champion specializes in a niche such as fintech or blockchain.And instead of trying to clone himself, he runs boot camps to teach customers what he has learned about creating successful implementations.An unexpected consequence of his approach is improved SEO as a byproduct of the enhanced content and interaction on his customer’s websites.“The lack of in person events taught us that we needed a way to maintain interactions started at in person events!”Join us to learn more about how quickly Matt scaled eZ-Xpo with his sales model. Highlights:2:13 We help companies get more organic traffic and leads by leveraging hybrid events, both in-person and virtual and on demand not just for lead generation, but actually for ongoing engagement.3:26 One of the big challenges or huge untapped opportunities for companies is to leverage the same platform to do in-person events or hybrid events.5:31 We started thinking that there is a better way to get virtual traffic. We actually started the virtual trade show before the pandemic.6:33 Sales is about educating your clients about new ways to do business.6:59 You bring the leads at a trade show but then you have to nurture. Instead of spamming them with promotional material, have a virtual summit with subject matter experts to show the benefits of your approach to solving their problem.8:27 Bring people back for more content boosts your SEO ranking for free.9:10 After our initial sales focus of promoting SEO benefits to existing customers we reached out to channel partners. The platform itself is really good at creating a partner ecosystem network.12:19 Our first target audiences were communities like associations that have captive audiences like the Chamber of Commerce. They don't have a solution to connect all the local chapters.14:22 We do some outbound marketing through social media and, SEO, but of our lead generation comes through channel partners. 15:26 Instead of growing a sales force, we rely on 20 Digital Collaborative Champions. They specialize in verticals such as fintech or blockchain and work directly with channel partners to design the community programs.19:00 Instead of looking for new customers, focus on expanding your offer to existing customers.21:30 Instead of cloning myself to get out of the founder-led sales role, we created digital bootcamps to pass all of my knowledge to potential customers.22:38 Any B2B company with a channel partner ecosystem can take advantage of this platform to enhance the front end experience versus focusing just on backend API integrations.27:48 Companies and communities are looking for thought leadership in order to think outside the box.29:47 A company that brings a community along with their solution will have a major competitive advantage over their competitors.32:21 Hybrid events or in-person events is like e-commerce. Remember 20 years ago asking should we just have a brick and mortar company or just e-commerce? The short answer is both. We need both hybrid events and in-person virtual.About Our Guest:Matt Fok is a leading expert in digital transformation, business strategy, and the digital partner network ecosystem. Matt has over 20 years of technology experience in enterprise applications and telecommunication, delivering high-impact and global enterprise solutions.About eZ-Xpo:eZ-Xpo is the Amazon of Virtual Collaborative Network for every industry and community. eZ-Xpo turns hybrid events and works into traffic engine 24/7.With eZ-Xpo, every organization can close all silos to connect and collaborate with its customers and partners for daily traffic and engagement!Show Links:JumpStart Your Business - to Supercharge Partner Network Ecosystem for Hypergrowth - to JumpStart Global Trade - Online Workshop – How to Jumpstart your business by promoting your partners and customers - can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.Website:https://AliceHeiman.comLinkedIn:
My next guest on Sales Talk For CEOs is Brent Adamson and he’s got some revolutionary ideas about B2B enterprise selling. Brent explains decision maker confidence is the main barrier for B2B teams to close deals. The three factors eroding confidence are complexity, information overload and value opacity or consensus on the value of the desired outcome.So stop selling product benefits. You need to propose a framework that starts with consensus on the value that the solution will deliver and builds a picture of the steps, and barriers to delivering that value. By the same measure, help the customer make the best decision and if that’s not your product, get to that answer as quickly as possible.Stick around to learn what your sales teams need to do to overcome this crisis of confidence. Highlights:5:48 The number one thing we need to solve in B2B commerce is customers' lack of confidence in their ability to make complex decisions on behalf of their company.6:12 There are three forces eroding buyer decision making confidence: complexity, information overload and value opacity (outcome clarity)8:16 The value discussion has to start significantly farther upstream than your capability or benefits.10:24 (the old way of selling) was based on this idea of frame breaking. You map a customer's mental model of how their business works, and you find places to displace or disrupt that model to break that frame and show them a better, different way to think about their business.11:12 I think there's an opportunity for us today to move from frame breaking to frame making.11:59 Travel agents went out of business because I could do it all online. And all of a sudden, I tried to do it online and was overwhelmed. And I realized, you know what I need? I need a travel agent.13:15 Now they're stuck and really frustrated. What if you were the company that helped them anticipate that obstacle, helped them avoid it to begin with? What if you took them by the hand and guided them through a decision making process, gave them a heads up? By the way, the phrase I use all the time, “in working with other customers like you, one of the things we've found is…”15:17 Let's see if we can, in our case through software, put a framework around, okay, what are you trying to do? Why is that valuable? By the way, do your three colleagues agree with you that that's what they're trying to do?20:49 …notice everything we're talking about here isn't about selling and buying, it's about humanity.32:35 A faster close comes from confident customers. There's our bumper sticker.34:04 Because if we're going to lose, we want to lose early so we can move on to better opportunities. About Our Guest:Brent Adamson is a world-renown researcher, author, presenter, trainer, and advisor to B2B commercial executives around the world. Known as having the “biggest crystal ball in B2B sales,” Brent is the co-author of the best-selling, industry changing The Challenger Sale and The Challenger Customer.  He is also a frequent contributor to well-known business publications, including the Harvard Business Review, featuring his recent articles, “Sensemaking for Sales” and “Traditional B2B Sales and Marketing Are Becoming Obsolete.” Across the last 19 years, Brent has been privileged to work with some of the greatest thought leaders in B2B and B2C sales and marketing, building and leading exclusive communities of highly progressive commercial executives.  Known as a world-class facilitator and speaker, Brent has presented to tens of thousands of commercial leaders both in-person and virtually all over the world, ranging from executive leadership teams to large keynote audiences.  Especially well known for his passion for “productive disruption,” Brent served as the “chief story teller” for CEB, now Gartner’s, sales, marketing, and customer service practices from 2003 to 2022.  Across that time, Brent’s research has focused most closely on the critical, boundary-spanning intersection of selling and buying, seeking to understand the rapidly changing nature of effective commercial collaboration.  Most recently, Brent and his colleagues at CEB, now Gartner, have introduced industry-leading concepts such as Buyer Enablement, Sense Making, and Customer Decision Confidence.   As of June 1, 2022, Brent now services as the Global Head of Research and Communities at Ecosystems, a cutting-edge SaaS platform designed to help companies identify and track dimensions of value creation with their customers. A native of Omaha, Nebraska, Brent received his MBA with distinction from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. Prior to that, he served on the faculty of Michigan State University as a Professor of German and Applied Linguistics. In addition to his MBA, Brent holds a B.A. with distinction in political science from the University of Michigan along with M.A.s in political science and German, and a Ph.D. in applied linguistics from the University of Texas. Brent resides in Leesburg, VA with his wife, two daughters, and rescue dog.Show Links:Value Blueprint Download Articles:End of Sales and Marketing: for Sales: with SMART Technologies on how they built a unified commercial engine can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.Website:https://AliceHeiman.comLinkedIn:
My guest today on this episode of Sales Talk For CEOs is Karen Frame whose company Makeena, is on a mission to help people live healthier lives on a cleaner planet.  She talks about the advantages of having a founder-led sales organization. The obvious advantage is being close to your customers and making sure that your product is solving a real problem for them. The not so obvious advantage is using scarce capital to hire a brand and consumer success team for her two-sided marketplace instead of hiring a sales team.One of her earliest lessons about selling came from a successful Silicon Valley startup CEO who taught her it's never too early to sell. Whether that be customers, investors or future employees. She continues to follow this sage advice.Highlights:1:45 We connect you with brands that are better for your health and better for the planet no matter where you shop5:24 I'm going to take the mall kiosk concept into the 21st century. Everybody's got a handheld kiosk in the palm of their hand. And now I can really help people buy better anywhere they want to shop.8:06 I was giving up a lot in my career to really focus on building something where I felt like I was helping people lead healthier lives on a cleaner planet. 10:25 I learned from a Silicon Valley CEO named Praveen that you don't really have to have everything all together before you start selling. And as a founder, you're always selling. You're selling to investors, team members, in my case, consumers, brands, and partners in the industry.14:32 But the mission is around helping brands really understand how to move their product off the shelf. Where are they doing well? What is their competition doing?15:53 So when I started Makeena, I knew that I wanted to be a Certified B Corp because when I launched Natural Interactions, this interactive touchscreen kiosk system in the 1990s, I had sat on a steering committee for business for social responsibility. And I knew that business could be a force for good.19:13 And when brands saw this (a Certified B Corp), they're like, “Oh." And immediately they trusted us more. 34:11 Keeping customers delighted as we continue to grow the company is really just about listening. And this is one of the reasons why I think it's really important for a founder to continue to sell no matter what. You have to listen to the feedback you're getting from your customer. 37:06  Being the founder with a small scrappy team, my first real hires are brand delight people that are continually talking to the customer because I can't do that all the time.About Our Guest:Karen, Makeena’s CEO & Founder, is passionate about being an entrepreneur and making the world a better place.  She firmly believes that building a technology company in the natural products space will encourage people to shop healthier and lead to a cleaner planet because Makeena will make it easy for them to make smarter choices.  Karen became an entrepreneur in the early 1990s when she moved to Boulder, Colorado, and built and operated two interactive touchscreen kiosk companies, one for the real estate industry (InterActive Properties) and one for the natural products industry (Natural Interactions).  After that, Karen was general counsel for a number of emerging growth and publicly-held software and data analytics companies.  Karen earned her degree in accounting and business from Indiana University and a CPA and law degree from the University of Illinois.  She also attended Oxford University, focusing on international business transactions, and taught Principles of Business for Entrepreneurs in the Cross Campus Entrepreneurship Certificate Program at the University of Colorado.About Makeena:Makeena is a rewards app that connects shoppers with “brands for good.” Available on iOS and Android, Makeena enables shoppers to buy eco-friendly, healthy products from any source, upload receipts, and then earn cash, freebies, and samples. Brands and retailers receive critical business analytics and shopper profile data to expand their presence in the market and increase business. Makeena is a Certified B Corporation. For more information, visit Links:Karen's Social Media Links:LinkedIn: Social Media Links:LinkedIn: @makeena.appTwitter: to to download the app. You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman  in the links below.Website:https://AliceHeiman.comLinkedIn:
Arman Eshraghi can teach us something about building sales teams from scratch. He is, after all, on his fourth startup Qrvey. So, what has he learned from one startup to the next? What has he changed and what stayed the same? One constant that remains true for Arman, if you, as CEO and Founder can’t sell your product, bringing in a sales team won’t solve the problem.  Once you do bring in a sales team, Arman believes  sales teams only succeed if they can see that the product is helping customers. This is the only way to build their confidence. Do you agree?Another major shift, in perspective for Arman over the 4 startups is the way to measure success.  Sales numbers are not it. Successful customers is the ultimate measure.  Making Qrvey indispensable to every customer is the finish line. Highlights:1:29 Qrvey is an embedded analytic technology that SaaS companies can infuse within their own product rather than spending years and millions of dollars building it themselves.3:50 The world is about data and what you can do with that data. If you have a coffee shop, and you want to make more sales you could improve your coffee, or you can improve your data and do better marketing. Better marketing will improve revenue more than improved coffee.4:24 Amazon is Amazon because they have data and the more data they have, the faster they grow.6:28 The software world is getting to the point that you just put pieces together unlike 30 years ago when you built everything from scratch.8:32 If you, as a founder, cannot sell, bringing in a sales person won’t solve the problem.10:16 I would like to admit that good sales people do a much better job than me. When it comes to sales, I cannot really keep up with them. (Because as CEO, he set them up for success)12:46 In my previous company, I came to market when the web was brand new. We came to market in a completely different way.About Our Guest:Arman Eshraghi is a serial entrepreneur presently serving as Founder and CEO at Qrvey. Arman's professional career includes founding four B2B software companies while also serving as an advisor to startups and entrepreneurs. He is a member of Mindshare and the Forbes Technology Council and also a board member of INCspire.When he's not working on his own startup or advising other startups, he can be found sharing his thoughts on leadership, entrepreneurship and technology on Linkedin, Medium and currently lives in the San Francisco Bay area with his family of three. For fun, Arman maintains an unusually large board game collection and sometimes designs his own strategy games, drawing inspiration from everything, especially from the nature around us.About Qrvey:"Qrvey delivers embedded analytics specifically designed for SaaS companies, empowering them to offer rich self-service reporting and dashboarding capabilities to their business users easily and quickly."Show Links:Arman Eshraghi:Twitter: can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.Website: https://AliceHeiman.comLinkedIn:
The world of selling has irrevocably changed. Buyers no longer want to be sold to and especially not as a result of a cold call. They want to get to know a company by getting to know and trust the people who work there. Starting digital conversations is the first step to build this trust. As CEO, it’s imperative that you lead by example.In this episode Alice talks with Tim Hughes who explains how to change your sales approach from “interrupting to pitch” to “gaining trust”. Simply put, you and your team use social media to start conversations that both expand your network and build trust for a future opportunity to sell. He explains the three how-to steps: Creating the right social profile, expanding your network, producing content that engages. Many salespeople don’t know how to use social media to connect and build a trusted network so they simply have a meager profile and don’t do anything else. In fact they may even be afraid because their previous company may have fired employees who posted on social. If you expect your sales or better yet, your Go To Market team to build networks and share content on social then as CEO model the behavior and create the proper framework for success including training, guidelines and content strategies.Tim goes on to explain the opportunities for B2B CEOs to dominate their vertical as thought leaders by producing content designed to educate target customers. Unless you are one of a handful of CEOs like Bernard Looney of BP, who already have it down, it’s time to watch, learn and do social selling.Highlights:3:02 In the past our sales and marketing used interruptive methods, cold calling, email, billboards. We interrupt you to pitch. And now, the buyer just won't put up with that.3:24 …buyers are digital. What can we actually do to be where the buyers are? 4:23 Gartner research is telling us that more and more people are saying 'I'd like a seller free buying experience. I'd like to be able to learn  on my own.'5:11 What we're doing on social is trying to create a conversation. There's three things that you need on social media. One is you need to have a great profile. A great profile as in what we call "Buyer centric." So when a buyer looks at you, they go, "That person looks interesting, that person could help me."9:14 So the second thing you need is a wide and varied network. And that's about you building out contacts in the people you want to influence, so the accounts you want to sell to, yes, but better yet, people who could introduce you.11:08 And the third thing that we need is content. And the reason why we need content is buyers are online looking for information and advice. 16:31 If you are not connected in your digital network to enough people, it's going to be really hard to get introductions, or if you connected and then spammed me, I'll never give you an introduction , because I know you're going to do that to the next person. 20:03 CEOs, senior leaders, lead by example. If you want your teams to be digital, you have got to be digital.21:01 Look at people like Julie Sweet, who's the CEO of Accenture, or Bernard Looney, who's the CEO of BP. Bernard has done an amazing job at repositioning BP in the world via social media. 24:41 I ask CEOs who is the leading technical and commercial influencer in your market or vertical?" And the answer to that usually will be, "I don't know. There isn't one." Well, why not? Why isn't it you?29:40 It's about digital dominance. Owning the narrative out there on social media.37:18 I don't think we realize how much it's changed, but COVID has changed the world, it's changed society. And so it changed the way of business. It sped up our need to be digital.About Our Guest:Tim Hughes is universally recognized as the world leading pioneer and exponents of Social Selling and he is currently ranked Number 1 by Onalytica as the most influential social selling person in the world. In 2021, LinkedIn said he was one of the top 8 sales experts globally to follow.He is also Co-Founder and CEO of DLA Ignite and co-author of the bestselling books “Social Selling - Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers” and “Smarketing - How To Achieve Competitive Advantage through blended Sales and Marketing”.  Both published by Kogan Page.Show Links:Social Selling: Techniques to Influence Buyers and ChangemakersCompany Website: DLAIgnite.comLinkedin: @timothy_hughes Tik Tok You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.Website: https://AliceHeiman.comLinkedIn:
My next guest is Chris Beall, CEO of ConnectAndSell, Inc. who is a case study in drinking your own champagne. He is here to talk about using his own platform to build his business and the breakthroughs that he discovered to make the platform more effective for him and of course the customers that use it.Chris Beall takes us through his journey building the ConnectAndSell business model starting with his “Wartime” stance to pioneering better pipelines and finally inventing the next generation of technology that cannibalizes his first generation. His biggest breakthrough was going from demo to test drive where customers get to experience the thrill of having actual sales success in a day-long, on premise, session. Every CEO can learn how to increase sales team performance by listening to this interview with Chris. Highlights:2:10 So everyone out there who's saying cold calling is dead, cold calling is not dead2:27 You don't want to pay your reps to be phone jockeys14:13 "Look, there's two kind of CEOs. There's peacetime CEOs and wartime CEOs, and you better know which one you are."14:49 We got going pretty fast and started making lots of sales. Then we focused on making a sales machine and finally made the breakthrough “The Test Drive”18:44 I don't believe that it's possible to figure out what to do until you're doing something and feeling the pain of it not working.20:41 To me, something that's not done in anger is not done at all. So that's our test drive. We do 500 of them a year.23:57 So what the question on the table really is, what's it going to be like to work together to solve thisproblem? 25:02 Your competition right now, today, tomorrow, the next day, and forever is to do nothing!27:01 Well, we need to experience what our customers are experiencing. So let's organize like they're organizing even though we don't like it.28:05 There is no such thing as a person who talks, listens, reads, writes, and does data who isn't a CEO or a future CEO.31:14 Rescheduling (missed sales calls) is your number one source of new business.33:36 The idea of the lone wolf salesperson who's not part of the machine is just not part of our company.34:41 We establish status alignment with somebody that we're their peer, and then we need to let them feel comfortable that we're an expert, and then we need to give them a piece of advice about what the next thing is to do.38:27 So once a test drive has happened, the conversion rate is about 37%. 40:31… the enterprise is not that person you're talking to, it's this big dynamic beast that's going to reorg once a year. 41:19 Everything's renewals, everything's upsell, everything's the future.So how do you start in a way that establishes, for sure, that value is being deliveredAbout Our GuestFor thepast 30 years, Chris Beall has participated in softwarestart-ups as a founder or at a very early stage of development. His belief is that the most powerful part of any software system is the human being that we inappropriately call a “user,” and that thevalue key in software is to let the computer do what it does well —go fast without getting bored —in order to free up human potential. Toward that end, Chris has been involved with Requisite Technology, GXS, Epiance, Qlip Media, Aptara, Cadis, Sun Microsystems, and Unisyn. He is currently CEO of ConnectAndSell, Inc., based in Silicon Valley, and hosts a podcast at LinksGerhard Gschwandtner and the Sales 3.0 Conference Connect with Chris Beall in the links below:Website: You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.Website: https://AliceHeiman.comLinkedIn:
Download from Google Play
Download from App Store