Revenue Builders

Force Management

Welcome to the Revenue Builders podcast, a weekly show featuring B2B sales leaders and executives. Hosted by Five-time CRO John McMahon and Force Management’s Co-Founder John Kaplan, the show goes in the barrel, behind the scenes with the people who have been there, done that and seen the results. Revenue Builders covers the best practices for scaling and growing your business, while sharing the pitfalls to avoid. Great conversation. Solid interviews. Tangible takeaways to help you succeed. If you enjoy our content, please subscribe, rate and review the show to help us reach more people. This show is brought to you by: Force Management where we help companies improve sales performance, executing their growth strategy at the point of sale. Check out forcemanagement.com more information read less
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Episodes

REPLAY: The Navy SEAL Approach to Leadership
Today
REPLAY: The Navy SEAL Approach to Leadership
This episode of the Revenue Builders Podcast, hosted by John McMahon and John Kaplan, is a special replay focusing on leadership and resilience insights from Navy SEAL veterans Mike Hayes and Brent Gleason. Hayes, a former commanding officer of SEAL Team 2 and current SVP and COO of VMware, discusses his book "Never Enough" and the importance of constantly striving for improvement, embracing difficult situations, and fostering a team-oriented mindset. Gleason shares his SEAL experiences and insights from his book "Embrace the Suck," underscoring the significance of persistence, purpose, and passion in overcoming adversity. Both interviews delve into how SEAL training philosophies on embracing challenges, dynamic subordination, and the mental aspect of enduring hardships can be applied to business leadership and personal growth, promoting a narrative of continuous learning and team cohesion.Tune in and learn more about this episode of The Revenue Builders Podcast.HERE ARE SOME KEY SECTIONS TO CHECK OUT[00:00:47] Memorial Day Special: Lessons from Veterans[00:01:07] Mike Hayes: Leadership Lessons from a Navy SEAL[00:02:15] Embracing Challenges and the Concept of 'Never Enough'[00:10:35] The SEAL Mindset: Team, Teammate, Self[00:14:59] Dynamic Subordination and Leadership in SEALs and Business[00:18:51] Brent Gleason: Embracing the Suck for Extraordinary Life[00:20:44] The SEAL Training Experience and Building Resilience[00:24:08] Channeling Pain and Persistence for SuccessADDITIONAL RESOURCESLearn more about aligning customer-facing teams to improve execution: https://forc.mx/48o1jyPLearn more about Mike Hayes.https://www.thisismikehayes.comLearn more about Brent Gleeson.http://www.brentgleesonspeaker.com/index.htmlHIGHLIGHT QUOTES"You're only excellent if you know you're never excellent enough" - Mike: [00:03:52] “Whatever ways we define 'better', I think it has nothing to do with seniority, age, or where we are in our careers. You can be ninety-something years old and still be trying to get better at different things.”"Brent on having a passion for what you're trying to accomplish": [00:28:24] “If you think about any lofty goal we've ever pursued in life whether it's sports, work, charitable organizations, or in relationships, no lofty goal is ever achieved without some stress, pain, and adversity.”
The Right Hire for Customer Success with Dan Barrett
4d ago
The Right Hire for Customer Success with Dan Barrett
In this curated episode of the Revenue Builders Podcast, John McMahon and John Kaplan are joined by Dan Barrett, Executive Vice President of Customers at MongoDB. Dan shares his journey of evolving MongoDB’s customer success strategy from a reactive to a proactive approach. He discusses the importance of hiring the right profiles, implementing disciplined processes, and understanding the nuanced root causes of customer churn. This conversation is a must-listen for anyone involved in customer success or looking to enhance their customer-centric strategies.KEY TAKEAWAYS[00:00:36] Transition from Reactive to Proactive Customer Success[00:01:01] Implementing a Disciplined Process to Identify and Address Risks[00:02:30] Balancing Skill and Will in Hiring and Developing Customer Success Teams[00:04:47] Key Attributes for Successful Customer Success Managers (CSMs)[00:06:21] Common Pitfalls in Customer Success Leadership[00:08:24] The Complexity of Understanding and Addressing Customer Churn[00:09:46] The Importance of Truly Listening to the Voice of the CustomerHIGHLIGHT QUOTES[00:01:54] "The earlier you engage with the customer, the better chance you have of fixing their problems and getting them happy."[00:02:54] "Part of it was a skill thing, but part of it was also a will thing. Do people actually want to be doing that kind of job?"[00:05:34] "The biggest strength of a great CSM is that they just want to go above and beyond for their customers."[00:07:31] "Customer success is not a silver bullet to a product that doesn’t work or doesn’t have product-market fit."[00:08:43] "Most churn situations are much more complicated and nuanced than a single subcategory."[00:10:33] "There is no substitute for actually talking to customers and understanding what really went wrong."Listen to the full episode with Dan Barrett through this link: https://revenue-builders.simplecast.com/episodes/an-outcome-mentality-the-right-way-to-approach-customer-successCheck out John McMahon’s book here:Amazon Link: https://a.co/d/1K7DDC4Check out Force Management’s Ascender platform here: https://my.ascender.co/Ascender/
Why I Shutdown My Startup
1w ago
Why I Shutdown My Startup
Guilherme Stetelle Martins is an engineer turned software sales professional. He’s been in Software Sales his entire career from BDR to Enterprise AE. He’s also had a lot of failures that have taught him a lot about life and business, including his company he founded and shut down in early 2024. He also writes frequently about business, life and his projects on LinkedIn.Guilherme joins John McMahon and John Kaplan to discuss his experience as a startup founder and the lessons he learned from shutting down his company. Guilherme shares his journey from being an engineer to entering the world of software sales. He explains why he decided to start his own company and the challenges he faced along the way. The conversation dives into the importance of timing, the energy required to be an entrepreneur, and the distinction between being a patriot and a mercenary. Guilherme emphasizes the need for self-reflection and understanding one's own motivations and limitations.Tune in and learn more about this episode of The Revenue Builders Podcast.HERE ARE SOME KEY SECTIONS TO CHECK OUT[00:12:50] Slow success builds character, while fast success builds ego.[00:18:42] The importance of understanding the challenges and risks involved in starting a company.[00:30:07] The distinction between being a patriot and a mercenary and the impact it has on commitment and success.[00:32:45] The value of being transparent and honest with oneself and others throughout the entrepreneurial journey.[00:37:27] The significance of timing in entrepreneurship and personal life decisions.ADDITIONAL RESOURCESLearn more about aligning customer-facing teams to improve execution: https://forc.mx/48o1jyPConnect and learn more about Guilherme Stetelle Martins.https://www.linkedin.com/in/guilhermestetelle/Here's the link to the Shutdown Article:https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/i-shut-down-my-startup-here-journey-guilherme-stetelle-martins-zpfpf/HIGHLIGHT QUOTES[01:00:10] "The credit belongs to the men and women who are actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who airs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming. But who does actually strive to do the deeds, who knows? Great enthusiasm, great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause?"[01:01:03] "It's not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the men and women who are actually in the arena."
Cold Calling and Objections with Leslie Venetz
May 12 2024
Cold Calling and Objections with Leslie Venetz
In this curated episode of the Revenue Builders Podcast, John McMahon and John Kaplan engage in a dynamic conversation with Leslie Venetz, an expert in outbound sales strategies. Leslie delves into the art of cold calling and objection handling, drawing from her extensive experience. She shares invaluable insights into common objections, the psychology behind them, and practical strategies for navigating them effectively. Discover how curiosity, conversation, and conclusion form the pillars of successful cold calls, and learn actionable techniques to empower your sales team.KEY TAKEAWAYS[00:00:30]Common Objections: Leslie identifies 13 common objections encountered in sales cycles, emphasizing that objections are inevitable and must be anticipated. [00:03:09] Rooted in Fear: Many objections stem from a lack of trust and fear of making the wrong decision, especially in uncertain economic climates.[00:04:48] The 3 C's Framework: Leslie introduces the 3 C's approach—Curiosity, Conversation, and Conclusion—as a paradigm shift from simply overcoming objections to fostering genuine dialogue and understanding with prospects.[00:06:38] Curiosity is Key: Rather than immediately trying to counter objections, sales professionals should prioritize curiosity and seek to understand the underlying reasons behind objections.[00:07:54] Personal Detachment: Separating oneself from the product or solution helps salespeople handle objections objectively and maintain genuine curiosity about the prospect's perspective.HIGHLIGHT QUOTES[00:02:23] "If you're getting on a cold call with somebody, you're going to hear at least one objection. Full stop."[00:06:15] "The number one most important thing that you can do when you hear an objection is just try to keep the conversation going."[00:07:07] "Some of the best salespeople...are so curious as to why the customer has that opinion...they start to ask why and they don't understand, and it's very genuine because they really don't understand and they really are curious."Listen to the full episode with Leslie Venetz through this link: https://revenue-builders.simplecast.com/episodes/the-art-of-cold-calling-with-leslie-venetz/Check out John McMahon’s book here:Amazon Link: https://a.co/d/1K7DDC4Check out Force Management’s Ascender platform here: https://my.ascender.co/Ascender/
Moving Into Sales Leadership Roles
May 9 2024
Moving Into Sales Leadership Roles
Today we bring you three segments that cover sales leadership transitions. We discuss making the jump from rep to first line manager with Tammy Sexton the Chief Revenue Officer at Skyflow, the jump to second line manager with Carl Cross - CRO at Alkami and then walking in as a new CRO with Terry Trip CRO at Tines.Tune in and learn more about this episode of The Revenue Builders Podcast.HERE ARE SOME KEY SECTIONS TO CHECK OUT[00:00:46] Segment 1: Transitioning from Rep to First Line Manager[00:06:19] Segment 2: The Leap to Second Line Leadership[00:15:16] Segment 3: Stepping into the CRO Role at a Startup[00:21:55] Conclusion and Final ThoughtsADDITIONAL RESOURCESLearn more about aligning customer-facing teams to improve execution: https://forc.mx/48o1jyPConnect and learn more about our guests.https://www.linkedin.com/in/crosscarl/https://www.linkedin.com/in/tammy-sexton/https://www.linkedin.com/in/terrytripp/HIGHLIGHT QUOTES[00:02:13 - 00:04:51] Tammy Sexton: "I think the biggest thing with that role is... And it's something that I tell my managers as I promote them. This is probably a mistake that you're going to make. So I need to print, I need to plant it in your brain right now. And then when I see that happening, I'm going to ask you to think about like how not to make that happen."[00:07:02 - 00:08:29] Carl Cross: "What makes a great first line leader?... They represent the values of the company, better than anybody, they understand, the leading indicators of the business... And then they're great storytellers, right?"[00:19:45 - 00:21:55] Terry Tripp: "Fundamental is you got to get everybody that's speaking the same language... I think as you get in the mode of trying to grow and scale, it becomes more important even because you've got to have that framework."
When You Should Focus on PLG with Alex Bilmes
May 5 2024
When You Should Focus on PLG with Alex Bilmes
In this curated episode of the Revenue Builders Podcast, John McMahon and John Kaplan dive into when to focus on product-led growth. John McMahon and John Kaplan discuss product-led growth (PLG) with Alex Bilmes, the founder and CEO of Endgame. They explore the types of products that are well-suited for PLG and those that may not be a good fit. Alex explains that products that are easy to use, provide immediate value to the user, have a short time to value, and have a low price are ideal for PLG. However, more transformative products that require organizational change and have larger deal sizes may require a sales process to facilitate adoption. Alex also shares insights on how to determine if PLG is a good fit for a product and the questions to ask before implementing a PLG strategy.KEY TAKEAWAYSTransformative products that require organizational change and have larger deal sizes may not be a good fit for PLG.When considering PLG, it is important to assess the product's interface with different disciplines and other products, as well as its impact on user behavior.Endgame focuses on the sales side of PLG and helps companies integrate sales efforts with product data to accelerate revenue growth.Understanding the ideal customer profile (ICP) from a product-led perspective and using data to create behavioral-based ICPs are crucial for successful PLG implementation.HIGHLIGHT QUOTES"Humans are tricky. Anything that requires interfacing with humans or interacting with people always adds a layer of complexity." - Alex Bilmes"If you don't know what harbor you're sailing for, no winds will get you there." - Alex Bilmes"A product-led sales orientation lets you validate what the company is doing using empirical data, meaning you can tell how people are already using your product." - Alex BilmesListen to the full episode with Alex Bilmes through these links: Leveraging Product-Led Sales for Growth with Alex Bilmes: https://podcasts.apple.com/in/podcast/leveraging-product-led-sales-for-growth-with-alex-bilmes/id1610203369?i=1000635042791Check out John McMahon’s book here:Amazon Link: https://a.co/d/1K7DDC4Check out Force Management’s Ascender platform here: https://my.ascender.co/Ascender/
Scars of Knowledge from a Serial Entrepreneur
May 2 2024
Scars of Knowledge from a Serial Entrepreneur
In this episode, John McMahon and John Kaplan feature guest Sean Burke, a seven-time CXO.From 1990 to 1994, Sean was a salesperson and loved every minute of it (he broke records, built amazing client relationships, and put hundreds of thousands of miles on his Honda Accord).From 1994 to 2018, Sean co-founded and helped grow nine early-stage companies. Seven of these nine companies successfully exited for over $600M.During these years, Sean learned about mergers & acquisitions, product-market fit, managing cash flow, evangelical sales, raising funds, making & losing millions, how to creatively accomplish much with very little $, and much more.The discussion includes key sales lessons from Mark Cuban, emphasizing the importance of trust and helping in sales, and strategies for creating trust with clients. The hosts also delve into the intricacies of forecasting, deal qualification, and managing sales cycles, with a focus on understanding customer needs and aligning sales strategies accordingly. The conversation provides actionable advice for sales leaders on improving sales performance, structuring deals, and leveraging data for better forecasting and pipeline management.Tune in and learn more about this episode of The Revenue Builders Podcast.HERE ARE SOME KEY SECTIONS TO CHECK OUT[00:01:51] Sales Insights from Mark Cuban's Masterclass[00:03:32] Building Trust and Understanding in Sales[00:08:18] The Art of Preparation and Asking the Right Questions[00:11:55] Navigating the Procurement Process: Insights and Strategies[00:15:44] Simplifying Business Success: Lessons from Purdue University[00:20:36] Identifying and Targeting the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)[00:24:17] Strategic Sales Expansion and Resource Allocation[00:31:56] Navigating the Challenges of Meeting Sales Targets[00:32:42] Strategies for Setting Realistic Sales Goals[00:34:52] Building a Culture of Accountability and Trust in Sales[00:35:41] The Importance of Ownership and Data in Revenue Operations[00:42:39] Forecasting and the Art of Accurate Sales Predictions[00:42:44] Understanding and Managing Deal Pushes in Sales[00:50:33] Optimizing Sales Operations and Pipeline Management[01:02:43] Concluding Thoughts on Sales Success and LeadershipADDITIONAL RESOURCESLearn more about aligning customer-facing teams to improve execution: https://forc.mx/48o1jyPConnect and learn more about Sean Burke.https://www.linkedin.com/in/seanhburke/HIGHLIGHT QUOTES[00:02:36] “They have to trust the seller first, the company second, and then the product solution, et cetera, after that.”[00:10:28] “We would put together a team and we would have the personas that we're selling to be represented by the same personas within our team and role play those out.”[00:59:23] “So it's all this rhythm of the business that you got to be really aware of as a CRO because you can start a year and end a year dead Or you could start a year and end of the year on the path to success”
Emotionally Connecting with Your Buyers with Richard Rivera
Apr 28 2024
Emotionally Connecting with Your Buyers with Richard Rivera
In this curated episode of the Revenue Builders Podcast, John McMahon and John Kaplan dive into the crucial aspect of emotionally connecting with buyers. Joined by veteran sales leader and author Richard Rivera, they explore the science behind buyer decision-making and the importance of understanding the emotional journey buyers go through. Rivera introduces the concept of the buyer decision path, emphasizing the need to disarm the survival instincts of buyers before engaging their thrive state and intellectual brain. Through insightful discussions and practical examples, listeners gain valuable insights into reshaping their sales approach to prioritize emotional connection and drive successful outcomes.KEY TAKEAWAYS[00:00:26] Understanding the science behind emotionally connecting with buyers is crucial for sales success.[00:01:36] The buyer decision path consists of survival, thrive, and think stages, reflecting the evolution of the human brain[00:04:05] Disarming the survival brain by addressing the buyer's problems is essential to establishing emotional connection[00:06:20] Prioritizing emotional connection before intellectual engagement is key to effective sales strategies.HIGHLIGHT QUOTES[00:02:40] "The natural human response is to push back and protect itself... When anyone or anything presents a threat or even a new opportunity to us, it comes across as a threat and they have to protect themselves against it."[00:04:52] "Here's the problems that I saw for help me understand how you might relate to any of these. And it frames up the discussion in a very disarming way."[00:06:01] "Before this buyer is going to spend energy and invest in really understanding the intellectual parts of my value proposition, I've got to disarm their survival brain by attaching to the problems they care about."Listen to the full episode with Richard Rivera through these links: Developing Buyer Champions with Richard Rivera Part 1: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/revenue-builders/id1610203369?i=1000610878740Developing Buyer Champions with Richard Rivera Part 2: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/revenue-builders/id1610203369?i=1000611697594Check out John McMahon’s book here:Amazon Link: https://a.co/d/1K7DDC4Check out Force Management’s Ascender platform here:  https://my.ascender.co/Ascender/
Behind the Deal: A Perspective from an Economic Buyer
Apr 25 2024
Behind the Deal: A Perspective from an Economic Buyer
This episode features an insightful conversation on selling to the economic buyer with guests Carl Froggett, CIO at Deep Instinct, and Joe Lynch, Sales Director for the East at Deep Instinct. Before they were colleagues, Joe sold to Carl. Carl shares his extensive experience as an economic buyer in tech deals, highlighting the importance of account executives not wasting his time with generic pitches or vendor bashing, and instead focusing on understanding his business needs. Joe discusses his approach to selling to Carl at Citi, emphasizing the value of doing thorough research, building trust, and creating a tailored value proposition. The discussion also covers strategies for forming genuine partnerships with clients, the challenges of navigating sales processes within large global banks, and the innovative threat prevention technology offered by Deep Instinct. The conversation provides valuable insights for B2B sales professionals on effectively engaging with economic buyers and fostering long-term partnerships.Tune in and learn more about this episode of The Revenue Builders Podcast.HERE ARE SOME KEY SECTIONS TO CHECK OUT[00:00:45] Diving Deep: Selling to the Economic Buyer[00:01:43] Insider's Take: Carl Froggett on Vendor Engagement[00:07:20] Joe's Approach: Research and Value-Based Selling[00:14:40] Building Trust and Partnership in Sales[00:26:28] The Art of Prioritization and Flexibility in Tech Solutions[00:33:44] Building Trust and Overcoming Challenges in Sales[00:34:13] Innovative Solutions to Business Disruption[00:35:51] Strategic Partnerships and Economic Decisions[00:37:55] Navigating Internal Company Dynamics for Sales Success[00:57:20] Deep Instinct: A New Frontier in CybersecurityADDITIONAL RESOURCESLearn more about aligning customer-facing teams to improve execution: https://forc.mx/48o1jyPConnect and learn more about Carl Froggett.?https://www.linkedin.com/in/carlfroggett/https://www.deepinstinct.com/Connect and learn more about Joe Lynch.https://www.linkedin.com/in/joe-lynch-6613745a/HIGHLIGHT QUOTES[00:38:48] “There needs to be transparency internally at a company about how a large global bank operates. Our product is fantastic, but they do have their procedures and their policies for how they evaluate new tech and onboard new tech and understanding what those timelines realistically look like.”[00:54:05]  “I will always pivot back to where's the value prop for my business and my company ultimately.  And like I say, timing is part of it.”
Decision Criteria with Anne Gary
Apr 21 2024
Decision Criteria with Anne Gary
In this curated episode of the Revenue Builders Podcast, John McMahon and John Kaplan, sponsored by Force Management, delve into the crucial aspect of decision criteria in sales. Joined by Anne Gary, the team dissects the intricacies of aligning decision criteria with product differentiation to secure sales success. From handling competition to managing scope creep, they provide invaluable insights into navigating the sales landscape with precision.KEY TAKEAWAYS[00:00:35] Understanding how competitors may adopt your terminology highlights the importance of clarifying distinctions in customer conversations.[00:01:26] Identifying who within the company influences decision criteria sheds light on the political dynamics of the sales process.[00:02:03] Aligning product differentiators with decision criteria ensures that customers are truly buying what you're selling.[00:03:04] Formalizing and quantifying decision criteria is essential to avoid ambiguity and ensure accountability.[00:04:38] Scope creep occurs when additional criteria are introduced, increasing the risk of losing the deal.[00:06:43] Failing to define criteria rigorously can lead to irreversible setbacks, especially evident in failed Proof of Value (POV) scenarios.[00:07:48] After a failed POV, complaining appears futile as it disregards agreed-upon rules and may damage credibility with the evaluation team and economic buyer.HIGHLIGHT QUOTES[00:02:21] "If you're outside of the bullseye, they're not buying what you're selling."[00:04:58] "It's a seller's job to get the criteria to be... in their bullseye."[00:06:43] "If you execute the POV and you haven't locked all this down... it's nearly impossible to recover from a failed POV."[00:07:48] "Even if you did it again... you'd wind up losing again."Listen to the full episode with Anne Gary through this link:https://revenue-builders.simplecast.com/episodes/decoding-decision-criteria-mastering-champions-blueprint-for-sales-success-with-anne-gary/Check out John McMahon’s book here:Amazon Link: https://a.co/d/1K7DDC4Check out Force Management’s Ascender platform here: https://my.ascender.co/Ascender/
Growing in B2B Sales: Common Mistakes to Avoid with Monica Stewart
Apr 18 2024
Growing in B2B Sales: Common Mistakes to Avoid with Monica Stewart
Monica Stewart is a highly sought-after go-to-market consultant with over 15 years of experience working with B2B software companies. She specializes in helping startups in the $2 million to $20 million revenue range that are selling to large organizations. Monica has worked with companies like LinkedIn, Trello (acquired by Atlassian), and Panjiva (acquired by S&P). She is known for her sustainable growth-focused mindset and her ability to help companies bridge the gap between their current strategy and their long-term vision.In this episode, Monica shares valuable insights and discusses common mistakes made by startups, such as not targeting their ideal customer profile (ICP) specifically enough, lacking a clear understanding of lead channels, and neglecting net dollar retention (NRR) metrics. She emphasizes the importance of narrowing the ICP, prioritizing lead channels, and implementing effective post-sale processes for long-term success. Monica also highlights the need for founders to be open to change and willing to reevaluate their strategies as their companies evolve.HERE ARE SOME KEY SECTIONS TO CHECK OUT[02:08] Monica's Approach to Transforming B2B Startups[05:28] Common Mistakes in B2B Startup Growth Strategies[15:34] Deep Dive into Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) Strategy[20:31] The Importance of Narrowing Focus in Startup Strategy[27:20] Understanding the Three Whys of Buying[30:58] Navigating Leadership and Team Dynamics in Business[31:38] The Importance of Being Present and Adaptable in Leadership[34:48] Strategies for Effective Team Management and Role Alignment[36:00] Embracing Change and Coachability for Organizational Growth[37:10] The Founder's Journey: Vision, Commitment, and Self-Awareness[45:39] Practical Advice for Founders on Prioritizing and Implementing Change[56:40] Understanding the Role of VCs and Owning Your Business NarrativeADDITIONAL RESOURCESLearn more about aligning customer-facing teams to improve execution: https://forc.mx/48o1jyPConnect and learn more about Monica Stewart.https://www.linkedin.com/in/monica-stewart/https://www.linkedin.com/company/msps-co/HIGHLIGHT QUOTES[00:53:46] "It's really the founder and it has to be because at the end of the day, there's a tremendous amount of commitment and buy-in that's going to be needed from them in order to do this work."[00:56:23] "VC firms don't give companies money because they think that company is going to succeed, or even because they necessarily need it to succeed. They give companies money because they want to spread their risk out amongst a broad portfolio. And they know that a good percentage of the companies that they invest in are going to fail."[00:55:53] "Once you see it, you can't unsee it. And it changes the way that you look at your organization forever."
Do Your Teams Know the Strategy? with Chuck Bamford
Apr 14 2024
Do Your Teams Know the Strategy? with Chuck Bamford
In this curated episode of the Revenue Builders Podcast, we engage in a thought-provoking conversation with Dr. Chuck Bamford, renowned author and business strategist. Dr. Bamford sheds light on the critical issue of aligning corporate strategy throughout an organization, from top-level executives to frontline employees. Drawing from his extensive experience, he highlights the common pitfalls and challenges companies face in achieving this alignment and offers insightful strategies for overcoming them.KEY TAKEAWAYS[00:00:24] Alignment breakdown: Many employees, especially those closest to customers, often fail to see the relevance of corporate strategy to their daily tasks, leading to a disconnect between organizational goals and individual actions.[00:01:39] Annual strategy setting: Corporate strategies are often formulated as a one-time event, lacking consistent follow-up, measurement, and adaptation throughout the year.[00:02:23] Activity alignment: Bridging the gap between high-level key performance indicators (KPIs) and frontline activities is essential for ensuring organizational alignment and success.[00:03:29] Misaligned incentives: Compensation structures and performance metrics for employees often do not align with the overarching corporate strategy, resulting in disengagement and inefficiencies.[00:05:13] Alignment is key: Success in organizational strategy hinges on effectively communicating and aligning goals at all levels, ensuring that both strategic objectives and individual incentives are harmonized.HIGHLIGHT QUOTES[00:02:45] "Everything that leadership does is a hypothesis... they don't want to address what the activities are or convert it to activity metrics."[00:03:52] "I was so disconnected from those other levels... my measurements and compensation were completely misaligned with whatever the corporate strategy was."[00:05:38] "The compensation needs to be based on the activities that you want those employees to do."[00:07:00] "They're doing things that are destructive to the strategy... because they have to hit their KPI or they're out."Listen to the full episode with Chuck Bamford through this link:https://revenue-builders.simplecast.com/episodes/executing-a-winning-strategy-with-chuck-bamford/Check out John McMahon’s book here:Amazon Link: https://a.co/d/1K7DDC4Check out Force Management’s Ascender platform here: https://my.ascender.co/Ascender/
The Impact of AI on Sales with James Underhill
Apr 11 2024
The Impact of AI on Sales with James Underhill
James Underhill is the Senior Director of Sales Operations and Strategy at MongoDB. He started his career as a pre-sales engineer at Videology and later spent two years at Twitter as a Revenue Operations Analyst. Since joining MongoDB, James has been promoted four times and now leads the Sales Innovation team.In this episode, John McMahon and John Kaplan are joined by James Underhill to discuss the potential impact of AI on sales. They explore how AI can enhance sales productivity by automating time-consuming tasks and providing valuable insights. James breaks down the different stages of the sales process and explains how AI can be leveraged to improve territory management, discovery, preparation, coaching and forecasting. He emphasizes the importance of combining AI with human skills and highlights the need for curiosity, critical thinking, and a customer-centric approach in sales. The conversation also touches on the potential changes in the buying experience as AI becomes more prevalent in sales.HERE ARE SOME KEY SECTIONS TO CHECK OUT[00:04:42] Importance of combining IQ and EQ in leveraging AI tools[00:08:11] The role of human elements and trust in the sales process[00:11:15] Traditional territory management problem and the use of AI in contextualizing data[00:12:42] AI can assist with knowledge procurement and enablement for new reps[00:14:58] AI can aid in equitable territory management and hold managers accountable[00:21:00] AI can automate the process of gathering foundational information, but reps still need curiosity and hunger to progress in the sales cycle[00:22:21] AI will expose bottom reps and decrease ramp time[00:25:01] AI enables instant coaching and on-demand knowledge[00:34:08] AI can help transfer knowledge and boost productivity in sales[00:46:09] Warm introductions becoming more meaningful in salesADDITIONAL RESOURCESLearn more about aligning customer-facing teams to improve execution: https://forc.mx/48o1jyPConnect and learn more about James Underhill.https://www.linkedin.com/in/james-underhill-ba22313b/https://www.linkedin.com/company/mongodbinc/HIGHLIGHT QUOTES[00:54:42] "Are they planning a merger with another company and they're going to go bonkers? Are they launching a new product? Like it's hard to predict that. And so that's where the human element is really important."[00:55:08] "And now I'm taking that information and then I can have, I can use an assistant of sorts or a tool to help me understand how that translates into what you're going to pay over time. But it's not going to tell me, Hey, James, they're going to bill this over this time period. That's unlikely."
The Challenges with Scaling PLG with Oliver Jay
Apr 7 2024
The Challenges with Scaling PLG with Oliver Jay
In this curated episode of the Revenue Builders Podcast, we dive into the complexities of scaling Product Led Growth (PLG) models with guest Oliver Jay, former Product Led Sales leader at Dropbox and CRO at Asana. In this insightful conversation, they explore the nuances of PLG, its effectiveness in different market landscapes, and the strategies required to navigate its scalability challenges. From understanding the dominance dynamics in PLG markets to dissecting the intricacies of selling to end-users versus enterprise buyers, this episode offers invaluable insights for companies looking to leverage PLG for accelerated sales performance.KEY TAKEAWAYS[00:00:00] PLG dominance dynamics: In PLG markets, the winner typically garners 80% market share due to the model's viral nature.[00:01:50] Challenges for non-leading PLG companies: Companies beyond the top two struggle to gain traction and should consider pivoting towards enterprise-focused strategies.[00:02:49] PLG's compatibility with enterprise sales: While PLG excels with end-users, scaling to enterprise level introduces complexities due to the lack of traditional enterprise sales infrastructure.[00:05:04] Hybrid approach for PLG scalability: Successful PLG companies often combine PLG with sales-led growth, using PLG to seed accounts and leveraging sales teams for enterprise deals.[00:08:30] Layered nature of PLG scalability: Scaling PLG resembles building a multi-layered cake, with each layer representing different levels of customer engagement and sales complexity.HIGHLIGHT QUOTES[00:01:26] "If you're like number three, four, five, six... the wind is not going to be behind your sails. Might as well tweak your product to be a bit more enterprise from day one."[00:04:45] "A lot of companies... seed the account with end users, then back it up with sales-led growth... to get an enterprise purchase order."[00:08:30] "Building a PLG company over time... you have a strawberry shortbread bottom, you have a chocolate middle, you have a tiramisu top. It just keeps going."Listen to the full episode with Oliver Jay through this link:https://revenue-builders.simplecast.com/episodes/product-led-growth-in-b2b-sales-with-oliver-jayCheck out John McMahon’s book here:Amazon Link: https://a.co/d/1K7DDC4Check out Force Management’s Ascender platform here: https://my.ascender.co/Ascender/
A Closer Look At Champions
Apr 4 2024
A Closer Look At Champions
In this episode, John McMahon and John Kaplan discuss the process of champion building in B2B sales. They emphasize the importance of identifying potential champions early in the sales process and developing strong relationships with them. They also highlight the need for sales reps to earn trust, educate champions, and provide value throughout the sales cycle. The episode explores various strategies for testing champions and collaborating with them to achieve successful outcomes.Tune in to this conversation with John McMahon and John Kaplan on the Revenue Builders podcast.HERE ARE SOME KEY SECTIONS TO CHECK OUT[00:00:42] Definition and importance of champions in sales[00:06:00] Definition of a champion: power, influence, and vested interest[00:09:13] Indications of power and influence in a potential champion[00:11:17] Building trust and uncovering information through precise questioning[00:21:46] Differentiating between a coach and a champion[00:23:33] Importance of authority and influence in the sales process[00:29:19] Developing coaches by educating them, aligning them with critical business issues, and connecting them with executives[00:34:11] Adding value to champions throughout the process builds trust and confidence[00:37:21] Sales leaders should measure accomplishment, not just activity[00:52:13] Setting clear criteria and expectations to prevent competition from changing the rulesADDITIONAL RESOURCESLearn more about aligning customer-facing teams to improve execution: https://forc.mx/48o1jyP HIGHLIGHT QUOTES[00:58:47] "It starts to become really collaborative because they're now on your team, like we talked about, and they're part of your team. They have invested interest in it. They have personally winning it, whether it's recognition, approval, control, money."[01:00:42] "If I truly have somebody that is the definition of a champion, where they have power and influence, they're actively selling on my behalf, and they have a vested interest in my success, and I understand that happens over time, but if I truly have the markings and the identification of somebody like this, I'm not alone."
The Right Leader for the Right Growth Stage with Bill Cea
Mar 31 2024
The Right Leader for the Right Growth Stage with Bill Cea
In this curated episode of the Revenue Builders Podcast, we delve into the nuances of hiring effective leaders for various growth stages within companies. Joined by Bill Cea, Managing Director at Foster Beck Associates, the discussion navigates through the distinct requirements of sales personnel and Chief Revenue Officers (CROs) across product market fit, deal stage, and scale stage. From debunking conventional job descriptions to unraveling the myths of hiring from big-name companies, the conversation provides invaluable insights into assembling the right sales team for sustainable growth.KEY TAKEAWAYS[00:01:14] Product Market Fit Stage: Initial job descriptions often lack relevance; insights from product and engineering teams are crucial for identifying the right salesperson tailored to the product and market needs.[00:02:45] Warning Signs of Misalignment: Inconsistencies in the backgrounds of sales team members can signal organizational issues; diverse backgrounds without a common thread indicate potential problems.[00:03:25] Importance of Early-Stage Expertise: Startups require individuals capable of building from scratch; hiring from established entities may not align with the demands of early-stage growth.[00:04:07] The Fallacy of Big-Name Hires: Hiring from renowned companies doesn't guarantee success; candidates considering both startups and established firms may lack commitment to the startup's demands.[00:06:33] Aligning Expectations: Transparent communication about the challenges and expectations of a role is essential to prevent disillusionment and turnover.[00:07:52] Navigating Deal and Scale Stages: Accelerated hiring plans demand individuals with an entrepreneurial mindset; excessive hiring can lead to revenue dilution and dissatisfaction among sales teams.HIGHLIGHT QUOTES[00:02:27] "If the sellers all look differently... there's something wrong... That's the 1st warning sign."[00:03:06] "You need somebody who truly understands how to develop something from nothing."[00:04:07] "Hiring a name brand... is the absolute opposite... It's a safer bet, bigger company, which completely is the absolute opposite, right?"[00:06:33] "Transparent communication... is essential to prevent disillusionment and turnover."[00:07:52] "Excessive hiring can lead to revenue dilution... dissatisfaction among sales teams."Listen to the full episode with Bill Cea through this link:https://revenue-builders.simplecast.com/episodes/hiring-for-growth-strategies-for-scaling-sales-teams-with-bill-cea/Check out John McMahon’s book here:Amazon Link: https://a.co/d/1K7DDC4Check out Force Management’s Ascender platform here: https://my.ascender.co/Ascender/
Improving Productivity and Reducing Friction in the Workplace with Mark Banfield
Mar 28 2024
Improving Productivity and Reducing Friction in the Workplace with Mark Banfield
In this episode, Mark Banfield, CEO of 1E, discusses the emerging market of Digital Employee Experience (DEX). He explains how 1E's technology monitors and manages the digital experience of employees on their devices, identifying and remedying issues before they impact productivity. Mark emphasizes the importance of providing a great employee experience, as it directly translates to a great customer experience. He also highlights the role of technical and executive champions in driving the adoption of DEX solutions. The conversation delves into the measurement of DEX, the impact on IT service desks, and the potential for cost savings and productivity gains. Mark shares insights on building trust with customers, the value of authenticity, and the significance of every employee's role in the organization.Tune in and learn more about this episode of the Revenue Builders Podcast.HERE ARE SOME KEY SECTIONS TO CHECK OUT[00:03:03] Introduction to digital employee experience (DEX) and its importance[00:04:30] How DEX is measured and its impact on employee productivity[00:07:37] Cost savings and efficiency gains through DEX[00:11:39] The impact of digital friction on employee morale and retention[00:12:08] Addressing onboarding challenges with new applications[00:13:54] The digital adoption platform is a white hot space with great opportunities[00:16:02] The executive champion is usually a VP of infrastructure, end user computing, or digital workplace[00:23:45] Building trust and relationships with customers is crucial in sales[00:34:02] Transitioning from a CRO to a CEO role requires accountability and adapting to new responsibilities[00:44:57] Importance of projecting a future for individuals to see themselves inADDITIONAL RESOURCESLearn more about aligning customer-facing teams to improve execution: https://forc.mx/48o1jyPConnect and learn more about Mark Banfield.https://www.linkedin.com/in/markbanfield/https://www.linkedin.com/company/1e/HIGHLIGHT QUOTES[00:55:25] "There's no shortcuts. One of the four values in OneE is belief. And I put that value in place when I got here, because I thought, in my view, that whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right."[00:56:00] "There are no shortcuts to success, it's about putting in the work and pushing yourself."[00:57:43] "There's no elevator for success. You have to take the stairs."
Making Decisions with Brian McCarthy
Mar 24 2024
Making Decisions with Brian McCarthy
In this curated episode of the Revenue Builders Podcast, we dive into the intricacies of decision-making, the role of intuition versus data, and the importance of checking one's ego with special guest, Brian McCarthy, Chief Revenue Officer at Rubrik. Brian shares insightful perspectives on how to blend gut instincts with data-driven approaches, the significance of being secure in one's decisions, and the value of course correction when needed. Through candid discussions and personal anecdotes, listeners gain valuable insights into effective leadership strategies and sales performance optimization.KEY TAKEAWAYS[00:00:29] Intuition in Decision-Making: Brian discusses the significance of listening to one's gut instincts alongside analyzing data when making critical decisions.[00:02:11] Ego and Decision-Making: The importance of separating ego from decisions, being open to course correction based on new data, and avoiding ego-driven attachment to decisions.[00:03:33] Integrating Data and Intuition: Brian highlights the importance of considering both data-driven insights and gut instincts, along with input from key individuals, to make informed decisions and drive organizational success.HIGHLIGHT QUOTES[00:00:49] "They give me the data and I just, I hear them. Sounds like there's a logical solution, but my gut just is something in my stomach... I just don't feel like I want to make the decision now."[00:02:30] "Get your ego out of the way and just change [the decision]... I've always found it's okay to make a decision based upon the data that you have."[00:03:54] "If you're really listening, you're listening to what the data tells you, you're listening to what your eyes are telling you, what your gut tells you... and then quickly execute."Listen to the full episode with Brian McCarthy through this link:https://revenue-builders.simplecast.com/episodes/what-the-best-sales-leaders-do-with-brian-mccarthyCheck out John McMahon’s book here:Amazon Link: https://a.co/d/1K7DDC4Check out Force Management’s Ascender platform here: https://my.ascender.co/Ascender/
Sales Best Practices with Mark Wendling
Mar 21 2024
Sales Best Practices with Mark Wendling
Mark Wendling is the Global VP of Data Cloud Sales and Alliances at Snowflake. He has a successful career in sales and has held various leadership positions in companies like S.C., Michael Page International, East Search Vision, ClearSlide, and Sumo Logic. Mark has been with Snowflake for the past seven years and has played a crucial role in scaling the company's sales organization.In this episode, Mark shares insights into how Snowflake organizes its commercial sales teams and the key skills young sellers need to learn. He emphasizes the importance of focusing on the customer's pain points and metrics, rather than just selling the product. Mark also discusses the significance of memory in sales, the value of being coachable, and the power of creating a vision for customers. He highlights the importance of tracking meaningful metrics and shares his approach to negotiation and pricing. Additionally, Mark provides advice on scaling sales teams and the importance of focusing on the ideal customer profile.Tune in and learn more about this episode of the Revenue Builders Podcast.HERE ARE SOME KEY SECTIONS TO CHECK OUT[00:02:03] Overview of Snowflake's commercial sales organization[00:11:08] Command of the message framework for social selling[00:12:07] Focusing on positive business outcomes and creating a vision[00:15:08] Drive, memory, and coachability as important characteristics[00:18:04] Using MEDDICC for qualifying and forecasting[00:21:21] Coaching reps to understand and influence metrics[00:23:02] The importance of reps knowing how they are measured[00:24:45] Focusing on the answers you need, not just want[00:27:29] Focusing on what you receive, not what you send[00:28:20] Top reasons for deals going awry: lack of a champion and failure to identify pain points[00:31:45] Understanding what matters to the customer and prioritizing give-get scenarios[00:34:10] The importance of memory and being prepared with give-gets[00:37:08] Need for exit criteria before moving to the next stage[00:39:53] Importance of having multiple paths to reach sales targets[00:48:22] Importance of equitable division of potential accounts[00:56:49] Educating reps on the risks and challenges of career advancementADDITIONAL RESOURCESLearn more about aligning customer-facing teams to improve execution: https://forc.mx/48o1jyPConnect and learn more about Mark Wendling.https://www.linkedin.com/in/marc-wendling-0b1503/https://www.linkedin.com/company/snowflake-computing/HIGHLIGHT QUOTES[00:19:50] "It's not about the answers you want, it's about the answers you need."[00:25:02] "It's not about what you say. It's about all the signals that you receive and what you do with them."[00:32:45] "If you try to sell Snowflake, you're going to fail. If you sell change, you are going to succeed."
Avoiding Burnout with Marcy Stoudt
Mar 17 2024
Avoiding Burnout with Marcy Stoudt
In this curated episode of the Revenue Builders Podcast, we talk burnout with Marcy Stoudt CEO and co-founder of Revel Coach. Marcy helps leaders avoid burnout, become their best selves without sacrificing success in either area. In this segment she covers a few tips to avoiding burnout.KEY TAKEAWAYS[00:00:27] Burnout affects individuals beyond just moms, particularly leaders who lose perspective and struggle to lead effectively when overwhelmed.[00:01:45] Your attitude towards upcoming challenges greatly influences burnout; maintaining a positive mindset is key.[00:02:25] Adopt a daily practice of living "above the line," clarifying your vision and taking action aligned with your desired self.[00:04:36] Recognize and address negative events and emotions that contribute to burnout, working to stay "above the line."[00:05:55] Clear clutter from your schedule, aligning commitments with your vision of success and avoiding unnecessary tasks.HIGHLIGHT QUOTES[00:01:03] "There's a fine line between working too hard and being addicted... It's real and you can't generically say how to prevent it."[00:02:47] "Living above the line... You're defining who you want to be more often."[00:05:19] "Clearing clutter from her calendar is really important and just doing it to align to her vision of success with no comparison."[00:07:34] "Being honest with yourself about the addiction... my inability to extricate myself... became a self-fulfilling prophecy."Listen to the full episode with Marcy Stoudt through this link:https://revenue-builders.simplecast.com/episodes/mastering-work-life-balance-with-marcy-stoudtCheck out John McMahon’s book here:Amazon Link: https://a.co/d/1K7DDC4Check out Force Management’s Ascender platform here: https://my.ascender.co/Ascender/