B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 5 months ago

106: DARE to Grow: Establishing Alignment Across Revenue Teams w/ Mike Simmons

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Misalignment stymies the development of your business. If your sales, marketing, and customer success teams aren’t working towards the same goals, it leads to friction and inconsistency in the customer experience — and that ultimately takes a toll on growth.

Mike Simmons, CRO of Cybsafe, has developed a methodology he calls DARE that tackles the issue of alignment and he breaks it all down in this episode.

We talk about what DARE stands for, how to get teams to work together towards an overarching goal, the biggest challenges with alignment, and how to measure alignment.

To hear this interview and many more like it, subscribe to The B2B Revenue Acceleration Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

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You're listening to be to be revenueacceleration, a podcast dedicated helping software executives stay on thecutting edge of sales and marketing in their industry. Let's get into the show. I welcome to vp revenue acceleration.My name is dan tebrick and i'm here today with mike simmons cr side safe bymike. How are you dedond i'm doing great? How are you yeah i'm good? Thankyou very good cool. So so i thanks for joining us today. The main topic oftoday's conversation is around the appenin that you've debate. The specific tropic is actually dare togrow. Establishing alignment across the renew teams will dive into that and your acting imand that you've developed shortly. But before we do that, can you justgive us a bit of background on yourself as well as your company, sipi yeah, soi'm i m based in the states backgrounding operations, what in the past would have been calledaccount. Management or implementation. Success in today now would be morecustomer. Success spend some time as an individual contributor and the saleside have been had an opportunity to lead sales teams and build sales teams,and i've recently joined side safe as cro here in january. So i'm just comingout of my first ninety days inside a new organization which is always alwaysan interesting and fun time period, o yeah, absolutely and and in ternallyyour company stades. What exactly are you doing? These're, british sobersecurity and data, analytics company or primary focuses on reducing ambiguitywhen it comes to human cypra risk and that's both at an individual level. Sowhat people know what what people do, how people think and then at anorganization level how the organ is it? What what's known across theorganization? What kind of behavior we sing across the organization and how isthe organization thank as it relates to security? Our software helps to de risk organizations or reduce riskand organizations by working leveraging, behavioral scienceto help change behavior over time and on the day to side we improve insightwere addressing the sider security challenge from a human perspective,which is a really really important focus yeah. It is- and i think theshetwo facets that, from from my perspective on one fasset is just ageneral lack of awareness, the lack of cider awareness at the e t e, the nontechnical employe level. I've got a friend that worked for a sister and hewas saying to me that he's constantly getting you know: fishing evau in officemails, their company sent fishy emails, almost a trick, the employees intoitlong on them as part of their...

...training, there's that side of it, butthen there's the other side of it, which is a skill shortage within thesiver department, which is which is another with another issue that a lot of silent departments of facingand just the industry as an old thing to be facing. To be honest, it's a it'san interesting and a balding threat that will be o continue to change, andi think there's there's a lot that we can do be bedoing a bit differently and that's my one. I'm excited about being a part ofthe industry and excited about what we're doing in the space yeah- and ithink you know human to humans right. There's, there'salways the products that can be put in place to to solve challenged, but thereality as humans have emotions and that one momentary lapse ofconcentration can be the biggest issue in a in an organization and just thinkabout what we've run into with our sales teams. Like we all. You know wetrain teams, they know what they should be doing. Yet you get into a situation where someoneasks a question you're under high stress. You share a bit of informationor you jump out a couple of steps ahead. It's not that you didn't know what todo. It's that the operating environment that you wereworking in created a scenario where you didn't do the right thing and anythingwe can do to help help people slow things down both theother through what they know or just general awareness of what's happeningaround them can help, and i think that applies not only in security but alsoon the sale side and to your point, human, your human, so,whether we're talking about diet and fitness or we're talking about sales,behavior, we're talking about security, behavior that behavior piece of follow us allthe way through yeah, and actually that's a that's, probably a nice segue into intodiving. You know more into the conversation that we're going to havetoday, so he mentioned about h, humans, whetherit being in the sale side, wet its dirty start, doing the right thing and-and i think you've been a bit prone in your past career around helping teams, a line, open, tive worktogether to go to do the right thing and obviously move businesses in theright direction. I always think about it. I think it was a. It was a quote bydaniel pink, which is about he was saying you know you want to get theright people on the bus. Then you want to get those people facing in the rightdirection. Then you want to get the bus driving the right direction and- and iguess that's a lot about what you're going to methodology and background abeing around. More specifically, my understanding inthat you you, over the years of developer, an acronym which is der sodared. So could you can you explain more about that? Idon't know if an acronotus doing a disturbace or whether it's amethodology, but can you give us some some background on that and and whatthe in you know, what impacts that has and the importance that have on onteams being able to work together...

...toward the same objective is one ofthose things where you just kind of stumble upon it. When you're writingthings up on a on a white board and you realize wow, the the makeup of the teamactually spells a word, and so the focus here isdemand. So what are we doing to generate demand in the market placefrom maybe a one to many? A one to one leveraging channel partners said demandis the first first letter and then in the middle of with acquisition, and ifwe're not we're, not acquiring customers, we're not going to be inbusiness very long, any business out there unless you're gonna going downthe constantly funded route and even then, in order to get funding, you needto be able to demonstrate an ability to acquire the achor customer. So thedemand is the first category. Acquisition is where money comes intothe organization, and then we move into retention and expansion. So how do we?How do we make sure that we keep those customers that we bring on board andone way that i found throughout my career to keep customers is to havethem expand? And it's rare that an organization that you're working withtrans, if you're expanding the things that you're doing inside theorganization, whether that's delivering additional products and services insidethe organization or increasing the scope of the audience that you're reaching out to- and i was on a video conversation with a member of theteam and is we're- were these- are three buckets that we've been focusedon for years. The acronym just kind of popped out so started saying: okay, howdo we make this a little bit more simple? How does it become more clearacross the organization what we're doing and there's where the the deer toexpand and grow came from so demand acquisition,retention and expansion? Traditionally speaking, a lot of organizations wouldlook at this as marketing sales and success or account management, there's a lot of bias. That comes withsome of those words and some misalignment. That comes with some ofthose words, so we've been very deliberate. I've been very deliberatein focusing on demand acquisition,retention and expansion. Okay, okay cool- and you mentioned about thosethree- those three teams through departmentsworking working, typically a by that process or said martin and customer success, or operations, or acommand from whatever it called in in a given organization, but in terms ofgetting those teams to buy into a gol work together, i mean how do you whendo you start with that? I think the the first place to start is clarity aroundwhat it, what it is that we're trying to do and why we're trying to do it andthen who were trying to do it for...

...that's more but on the business side.So what do we do? Why do we do it, but we impact and then flipping that lens around andlooking at it from customers perspective. What problems dothey have? Who cares about those problems and whydo folks care about those problems? If we understand the who? What and why,from both perspectives, we can then start to identify patterns inside thereand see where those dots start to connect. We can connect those gods. Wecan create a better alignment between inside our organization and theinteractions that we have with customers and ultimately reducefriction, as we look at ways to help solve those problems insideorganizations and ultimately grow. So that's that's one perspective. What why who or what whowhy, dependingon which, which which lens were looking through the other side, i think, isreally important. A common mistake that organizations make, as we tend to over,complicate a lot of the work that we do. We come up with our own jargon. We haveour own set of processes. We try to apply those processes bothacross the business inside the organization across teams and over to our customers, and weforget that there's multiple perspectives that we're looking at hereand those perspectives are the customer. What they're going through the business,what the business is doing, whether it's from a forecasting perspective orjust a general execution perspective, and then the rap the the person who'sactually engaged with the organization day to day. So we can simplify. If, ifwe can be clear about our perspective, which lends were looking at the problemthrough, we can be clear about our perspectivearound the area focus inside the business and then we can simplify thetools and processes we apply. We can create better alignment across all ofthose teams and more consistency rather than talking past each other, where inone instance we're calling something- and i'm struggling to find a word here,but in one instant area i might be calling this a marker that i'm holdingin my hand an x po mark or a drace marker and then in another instance, imsomeone's calling it a pen for a white board and then in another instance,somebody's calling it something to write with. We are talking about the same thing,but we're talking past each other with creating confusion. We're creating amisalignment that creates potential, friction, increase some challengesinside the organization. I about understanding perspective, applyingtools and really working to keep things simple, yeah yeah. Now, that's very interestingand- and- and i think the point you mentioned there and simplicity- if notover complicating things using simple...

...language using consistent language withwithin your business and with your customer, is really important. We seeit in our business. We are service business. We are in the business ofsupporting our customers to generate opportunity, opportunity pipe linerevenue, but it's super important at the outset that we all have a clear,clearer understanding, w we've seen from the same inchi as to what is anopportunity. What how do you define a pipe line? Oportunity? How do youdefine of revenues a fairly spit for one? But you know what is what does itfor us meeting it like, because you know we could get three months into anengagement and think we're doing a great job, but our customer has a verydifferent perception as to have successful or our program. I, if, if wedon't have that alignment and and that's one of the things are not to inour set of protest, is it by customers and it's a good question. You know inprograms that are unsuccessful, where, where does it go wrong and one of thebirth or the first thing i would say i lack of clarity or disconnect aroundthe language where you see and what the expectations are on and what bothparties see is as a successful outcome. In your view to get teams to work inalignment, do you feel that that, as a cro, let's day is in a in a lot ofbusinesses? Cros have responsibility for sales marketing account managementcustomer success in some instances, preservs well right. They can have overside over a basses other businesses. You've got a pss. You've got a far low.You've got a vidcast omer success. In your view, and in your experience,where do you see it it being? Isit is flat and white saying what if you go tocro, let's say overseas, your functions, it's easier to get a limon, then if youhave vp for different for different functions or is it more a case ofgetting? You know the right tools in place to write the language, the rightprocesses, and actually it doesn't matter how i struck to your business y. I t n it's a tough question, becausethere are organizations who will not who will use a structure differentthan the structure that we use it sibepu and they will create a highlevel of alignment because they pulled together. The right people on the bus.They've got the bus going in the right direction and everybody knows thatthey're actually out of bus. Sometimes people wonder if they're on a bus orout there on an airplane and in those instances you can create a high levelof alignment where you have high performing teams working really welltogether in another way that you can do it is. You can build the team togetherfrom the beginning and whether one way is better than the other. I am surethere are more opinions than there are people out there who do this stuff.That would be able to say this is why you should do it this way or this iswhy you should do it that way. Inside our organization. We chose to go theroute of let's bring everything into...

...the revenue umbrella or underneath thisrevenue umbrella, because it's really important for us to be ableto support customers from the point where they don't even know that weexist to the point where they are so excited and they're going to shout fromthe rooftops that this is the most amazing solution in the entire worldand it's helped us solve problems and if we're all part of the same team thatthey're working with throughout that process, we should reduce frictionaround some of the conversion points that happen when they move fromprospect to customer to growing customer, becausethe people inside the organization that they're in interacting with may chainwill change likely changes. We continue to specialize. The thing that doesn'tchange is the brand that they're working with the technology thatthey're working with the tools that they're working with on our head andthe other thing that doesn't change is that they're still the same company now,even on their side. The people might change a little bit. But we've gonethis route because we want to create a an experience that allows for a highlevel of alignment, reduced ambiguity across the entire across the entireteam. Could we have done it another way? Absolutely might we do it another way,as we go forward sure yeah there, there number number of different ways to get me in trouble with peter, butthere's number of different ways to skin a cat there as we go through thiswell figure out the best way in the right way, and this is the directionthat we've chosen at the moment as we focus on the revenue side of theorganization communicate with the rest of the organization. So this is whereit's not only alignment across our team. It's alignment across the organization,a line of men across the customer base and then, ideally seeing all of thosepieces kind of come together. So you can do anither, you could do it eitherway. This is the way that we chose to go okay, okay and see. We spoke a bit about the where youknow where to start when it comes to trying to drive a line and twindifferent teams and you to poke about the fact in your business, you broughtit under that revenue umbrella, which, which is, if i want it- some seinghappen more or more. You know cro as a job title just a few years ago, justnot around. It was bps t mo more and more often now that there's some kindof dotted line between from marketing into into revenue in it yea. I'mabsolutely seen that and- and you know, you're seeing more and more phrasesbroke and revenue as well, and then to it's constantly evolving a spectrum. Iguess a very on the other side of the fence. If we look at the left positivestart of things wit in your spirit, where does a woman typically actuallyfailed to happen? Hi think the biggest challenge withalignment is when people start operating from the perspective ofdriving their own personal agendas. So you can get in one of those instances where youtalk about the organizations being...

...separate and i is inside one of thoseorganizations. In number of years back, we actually had a marketing team thathad goals that did not align with what we were doingfrom a be to be sale, side of things they had a they had bce objectives,individual consumer objectives. So, given that there they hadindividual consumer objectives. How much time do you think was applied tothe b? To be side of the equation now be to be side of the equation? Was theside that was growing growing quickly inside the organization we felt in thatoperating environment, unsupported and yeah. Here i am a sales guy whiningabout not getting support from a marketing team, but that's where you'verun into some you burnt some challenges inside o organizations is, if you havegoals and objectives inside the organizations that are not aligned witheach other, whereas if you can shift that and youcan, everybody can kind of see how we're working toward the primary aim.We talked a little bit about it earlier. Reducing ambiguity as it relates tohuman side at risk. That's an objective for the organization, we're all alignedthat we have different ways that we go about doing it so yeah word goes bad is when whether it'sindividuals or teams inside organizations allow their own agenda toget in front of the objectives of the business and when those agendas aremisaligned with each other meaning someone has goals that do notnecessarily align with the with other goals inside the team, sogenders a big one, the other one that i think is really important, and wetalked a little bit about this, but it's language, it's vocabulary. Yet howcan we use a consistent vocabulary, especially as we work across multiplecountries and multiple cultures? Yeah. One of the challenges i run into is iuse football analogies. Well, i use american football analogies, notbritish premier football algies, and then i start using words like soccerand people roll their eyes. So there's a there's, a gap that you have from alanguage perspective. That's another area where we can create a misalignmentand some confusion. Now those are a little bit easier to overcome and onceyou overcome them, things start to accelerate. But i think it's it'spersonal agendas. Team agendas and vocabulary create a lot of challenge inalignment and that, ultimately, will create more friction inside thebusiness and it'll start to slow down growth. Yeah absolutely i mean a verytactical example of that. In terms of that, misalignment and- and you know,you're a xample around marking being more drin by bets self more having totest one of the beach beside be see. It is set all the time in organizationswhere martin may be a concented and focused is focused on either an mtl asas, in you know, the marketing lead or based on you, know, impressions or based onwhatever it for something really at the...

...top of the funnel, where sales and a dand the whole business care about rearing and even pipeline right.Thankfully, i'm seeing more and more organization focus marting on apipeline number or revenue number, which is, which is a much moremeaningful metric to track, but we still see it right where marking teamswant to go to trade shows, because they know that they're going to get a thousand leagues from that trade showor they want to run a weapon or because they know that they're going to get athousand leads from that women are, but in reality are half those people startin their bedrooms, and you know just just wanting to know more about thesolution. So it's the historically there has been a massive disconnection.I think in how mark you have been focused themselves and being focusedthan puir seem to be be. We juicing one of the reasons that historically, ithink, has been around compensation and which is probably the biggest biggestdriver in a lot of instances. How can people selfishly earn more money? Andso, when you spoke about that misalignment who do you think is to blame for that.Do you do you feel that you know? Let's say: you've got a marking leader and asalors leader in an organization and the co or the tfoo. The top have beenresponsible for putting together compensational. Do you feel it's assimple as saying? Well, you put together the wrong commission plan nguys and that driving the wrong behavior, or do you think there's alittle bit more complexity to it than that yeah? I think there's a little bitmore complexity to it. These are these are leadership problems insideorganizations and we create them as leaders inside organizations. Thereason we create them is because of a lack calary, lack of clarty and lack of focus andhelping helping people inside the team maintain a level of focus and that tome comes down to decision making. So when a choice comesup when something new and shiny comes up and brunt, do i start working onthat new and shiny thing, or do i pause before i start working on it and sayhow does this actually aligned with the thing my ultimate aim within theorganization and if it doesn't align within my ultimate inside theorganization? Should i really do it well, if it can help drive the broader objective?Maybe i should maybe i should maybe maybe i should doit at some point in the future if it doesn't align with the ultimateobjective than i absolutely shouldn't do it. I should put it off to the side,and maybe we have a conversation around it. I think this is it's a leadershipchallenge inside organization, where leaders get distracted by the thingthat's happening inside the market, so a lot of it comes into the we need todo this, so we need to do xpire, a whatever, whatever that weneed to do more events, we need to spend more on ats. We need to well i, as leaders inside theorganization, we got t ask the question: why: why do we need to do it? What'sthe actual impact going to be inside...

...the organization? How will that connectdirectly to the things were trying to drive whether it's producing ambiguityor driving rothe mil? If it's, if it's doesn't align with each of the eitherof those things, do we really need to do it or is it some shiny thing thatwe're bringing into the organization just because we saw somebody oats? Doit because they've decided to go down this dunes path? So i think it's. Thisis a leadership challenge that gets created inside organizations a lot oftimes, it's driven by lack of alignment across objectivesinside the organization. Sometimes it's driven by a lack in confidence. Fearthat hey, if we're not doing those things we're going to be left behind,so we need to start doing those things, and this is why it's really importantto have strong leadership teams inside the organization who can push back onideas and concepts before we start implementing those ideas and concepts.So i think it's a leader. I think it's a leadership challenge. I don'tnecessarily believe that it's a com plan challenge, but it depends on howyour complaints are created. If your complaints are created in their drivingbehavior that doesn't align with the objectives of the business, then youhave to revisit those complaints, because a lot can happen withcompliment creation, complaint, design, complet analysis and you can drive somebehavior that really doesn't have a positive impact on thebusiness. So i bring it back to the leadership leadership challenge insidethe organization and our capacity for liking to follow sea, shiny things andsay: hey. That sounds cool. Let's go ahead and do it. What do you? What do you think? What i think is essay if i bring itback to our business, but you know, i think, there's a couple ofthings. I think the first thing is similar to what he said: not not kindof getting distracted by the new or the shining toilet comes along in a shortterm, which it inactively does. I mean i'm more on the service side of ourbusiness, but then, looking at looking at mark team right, it's the market ishistorically like new. They like disruptive, they like shiny stuff, theylike to try things out and they have a budget where they can often do it. Soso so i think is easier, perhaps to mark seem to get distracted at timesand it is sale. I think, in businesses. More and moreagain, i inis becoming more and more prevalent is having is havingframeworks to manage the whole business and insure everyone's move in the rightdirection. So, for example, in our business we use the okar framework,which was the developed by i think john de john doe port pronunciation,probably, but he released the book measure or masters early in vestan,intail and google, and a lot of these large technology companies are runningtheir business bunnet and by us having an overacid objective on a quarterly orannual basis and then having three or four key results that contribute tothat overall goal, or you know...

...impractiabl that we can measure in thetrack and focus on. I think nastey and actually results typically follow. So you know our north store might be inour business right. We want to be the best of on generation company forsoftware companies, but what are there the three or four metrics you canmeasure that can contribute go towards that revenues. One of them, you knowmaybe number entrie. Customers is another, but it's a bit, but but thealignment probably come from what you know, stores and then how you set upwith he result to the different departments and and to your point ithink, that's bigger than complans right. I think the complaint should berelatively easy to actually put together off the back of havingproperly structured goals and folks if but for the businessand each team within the business. So i'm on the same page as you just kind of i guess this is probablythe final point for us to touch on it here, which is you know how, and maybe you can clacton in withinyour business or gives me example. But how would you go about measuringalignment? It is, i think it's when you ask questions. Idon't know that. I don't know that you can measure alignment in something likea cr m. Maybe you can maybe there's a way to do it, becausethe things are improving from a speed perspective that might be an output orthe impact of alignment. You can survey data you can use.Surveys is a way to as a way to gather information and start to look atspecific indicators. Are we do we use the same language when describingthe problem that exist out there? Do we use the same language when describingwhy customers elect to do business with us?Do we use the same language when talking about why customers aren't theright fit or why they might not do business with us, so some survey data which ends up beinga bit qualitative yeah? I think the i think survey datawould help. I think, getting out there and havingconversations with people about do they enjoy the work that they'redoing do they feel like they're having an impact on the business, but do theyfeel like they're having an impact on on the companies that they work with?If they don't feel like they have that impact, and you probably are misalignedsome place, you either have the wrong people in the wrong in the wrong placeor you're, not clear about what kind of impact we're having, but i think themeasurement is, i don't know if you can measure it no place where you'd be ableto say i look at a dash board and the dash board would show some key result.That indicates a specific alignment. I think it's a it'sa it's kind of like culture. It's the...

...gets this this these indicators that you have insidethe organization that there are things that are coming together andnot completely disconnected. So i don't. I don't know if, as i'm going throughand giving a really bad answer to this, i'm realizing that i don't know thatyou can measure it in with traditional measurements. You actually have to goback out into a lot of the things that many of us are struggling with over thelast twelve months or so. You've got to get into this management by walkingaround or by wandering around you've got to go and engage with your teampeople and cart to see he are. We excited our is our internal or employee that promoter score high oris it low if our e np is low? Why is it low? Is it low because there's a lackof alignment side, the organization, maybe that's an indicator of ofalignment inside the business, great passion, i'm i'm gonna- have to thinkabout it. Then how about you? Do you have any anything coming to mind o? Howcould i get better measure in alignment? You know, i'm not sure you can. I guessit's a bit of a i'm, not sure it's the best question inthe world. Obviously we what i measure everything, but i'm not sure as we'respeakingly you can you can't measure it right. I think there's there's certainthings in business which aren't necessarily miserable they're, probablymore so of fearing and- and you know they probably other relevantto your point- which you can measure the kind of give, the feeling that theteams are aligned and that we're going in the right direction and maybe that,having that north start knowing exactly where you want to go the business orthe are the other. You know leaning and laving indicatorssurrounding that north start going in the right direction necessary. That's,probably a good indication that the teams are aligned. I also think there's there's an elementof to your point around. You know, employ satisfaction, employed culture,lack of churn in the business, probably a pretty good indication that teams arealigned them to enjoy their work team to being productive got to, but but yeah i think, you'reright. I don't. I don't know that there is a tom set or a metric out theresuggested for, but for alignment within business andthen maybe we need to try and do some research around that and i'll get backto on it. Okay. So anyway, so we kind of movingtowards the end of our conversation here and really enjoyed it. Actually,it's been been being great to church. You, i'm sure, there's going to beother people that want to know more about this. So if that is indeed thecase, how do you suggest they get in touch with you or indeed your company? So i'm on lindon, it's mike simon sonlinton. If you just do a serf for mike simmons and side say if you'll see methere happy to connect with folks on linked on best place to go, is sib feom,that's c y b s a f eco and those are the two two great places to connectwith us as our live chat on the side,...

...safe site that you can, that you can,you can click on as well. Okay, great, wonderful! Well, thanks giving likegreat speeding to thinks so mike is in been it in arizona. So i'm in the uk,it's one a d, forty one here and five and forty one am mike dime to that veryearly. So don't for getting up early and speaking to us and have a greatrest of the day dent it's been awesome. Thank you. I m operatics has redefined the meaning ofrevenue generation for technology companies world wide, while thetraditional concepts of building and managing inside sales teams in househas existed for many years. Companies are struggling with the lack of focus,agility and scale required in today's fast and complex world of enterprisetechnology sales see ow operatics can help your company accelerate pipelineat operatics. Dot net you've been listening to be to be revenueacceleration to ensure that you never miss an episode subscribe to the showin your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening until nexttime e t.

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