sales leadership we need at each stage of growth

Becoming a CRO in 4 not-so-easy Steps

Over the years, I’ve worked with thousands of salespeople and sales managers, some of whom aspire to be a SVP of Sales and Marketing or Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) at some point in their career.  I’ve also had the privilege to work with and coach high-performing heads of sales and CROs.

I have observed that the career journey from salesperson to CRO requires numerous experiences, tough choices, acquired skills, hard work, and tangible results.  All are important, but none capture the sine qua non – the essential thing for success at each of four major career transitions.  Read more

Signs Your Customers Don’t Get It

3 Signs Your Customers Don’t Get It

Value Drift could be killing your sales. Here are the warning signs.

Whether you are responsible for your company’s overall growth strategy, or are a salesperson with a quota, it’s crazy-making when customers don’t “get” the value of your amazing offering.

If you are confident that your B2B product or service creates significant business value for customers, and yet you are seeing any of these 3 fact-based warning signs, your business may be experiencing value drift.

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Scaling the “front office” of your growth business is your greatest challenge. Here’s why.

Congratulations.  You and your team have created a powerful solution using sophisticated technology or a clever platform that solves an important business problem.  Even better, you designed your business model around a product that can scale.  Unlike a professional service business or a capital-intensive manufacturing business, you’re able to provide your product to vastly more customers with very little marginal cost.  People are hailing your company a “high growth business.”

Growth vs. Scale

Businesses that are designed to scale should be growing, but not all growing businesses scale.  That’s because growth and scale aren’t the same.  Growth simply means you are increasing revenues.  But if your costs increase proportionally, you may be bigger without being more profitable.  Scale is different. Read more

3 Plays from the Private Equity Playbook —
and what they teach us all about Value Creation

Private equity (PE) firms have become expert at creating shareholder value because their fundamental business is to buy companies, improve their value, and then sell them for a solid return.  As an industry, they have had a lot of practice at it.  Currently, there are about 7500 U.S. companies owned by private equity, and over $2 trillion in assets under management by PE firms globally.

With that level of experience as an industry, I was curious to see what I could learn from PE about creating shareholder value.  As I researched this topic and spoke with numerous PE firms, I observed that Read more

Growth is Not a Strategy

“Growth” is Not a Strategy

“Our strategy is to achieve double-digit revenue growth year-over-year.”

Whenever I see something like that on a corporate strategy or mission statement, I want to say, “For your sake, I hope not!  What you have there is a desired outcome.  Growth is not a strategy.”

Don’t get me wrong; growth is important – very important.  A long-term McKinsey study has shown that revenue growth is strongly correlated with future business survival, more so than company size, industry, or shareholder returns. Read more