Monthly Archives: October 2018

Building Roger 2.0

- - Sales

A few months ago, I had dinner with Roger Travis, who ran sales for me at Pilot Software back in the mid-‘90s. When I hired Roger, I introduced him to the board by saying, “Roger has been selling for longer than I’ve been alive,” which was true. He’s still going at it, helping tech companies build their sales teams. To this day, a lot of my thinking and talk track to my team stems from things I learned from Roger.

Roger is the best kind of enterprise salesperson, because he is a master at building relationships. Even though digital technology has changed the way sales professionals work today, people still buy from people, so relationships matter.

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Finding your Ideal Customer Profile

- - Leadership, Sales

This is a recap of a web seminar I did a while ago around identifying your Ideal Customer Profile. This is something that every company really needs to identify and revise often, your customers will change and evolve – you have to do the same.

Most growing SaaS companies face similar challenges: Optimizing sales and building effective marketing programs. The answers for all of these challenges can be found in your current customer base. The trick is to identify your best customers, understand what they have in common and what it is they love about your product.

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Are you a Platform?

What’s the hottest trend in business right now? Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter? Sharing economy apps such as Uber and Airbnb? Apple, and its line of personal computing devices? Or Software as a Service for the enterprise, such as Salesforce?

You could probably make a case for any one of these, but here’s the thing: Although on the surface these companies appear to have completely different business models, they all share one very powerful component: a scalable online platform connecting people and ecosystems.

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How I learned not to fear the Reaper

- - Leadership, Sales

As you go along in life, there are some aphorisms that stick in your brain, sometimes for no apparent reason at all. Other times, it’s because they resonate in a variety of situations, and because of that their meaning seems to deepen as time goes by. I have a few of these that I carry around with me. One is, “Don’t fear the reaper.”

It’s actually a line out of a 1976 song about death and eternal love by Blue Oyster Cult, but the way it got burned into my brain was through business, so I’ve always associated it with that.

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My Big Break

- - Leadership

Someone recently asked me how I got my “Big Break.” I had to pause and reflect back as, like most of you, I’ve had a few lucky breaks. I got one of the luckiest breaks of my career when I least expected it, during the dotcom crash of 2001. I had recently moved out from the East Coast to Silicon Valley to get into the software industry, because I could see that it was changing the world. I was only here for a couple of years before the dotcom bubble burst. Through a combination of networking, asking for feedback and simply being passionate about what I was doing, I got the opportunity build a company which we were able to scale and later sell to software giant SAP. Here’s how it happened.

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