NEW STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP TO TRANSFORM SALES CULTURE
THE CLIENT: CEO of a Digital Strategy Consulting Firm
A national Digital Strategy Consulting Firm, where the CEO needed to create a more aggressive selling culture for the leadership team and the company at large. Their modus operandi comprised a very haphazard approach. They never evaluated RFPs strategically and just said “yes” to pitching every opportunity. Often they took on high dollar projects requiring intense resources and resulting in very low margins, instead of focusing on mid-dollar projects with predictable resourcing and larger returns on investment. MICA was enlisted to hire a Chief Revenue Officer (CRO), who could both change the sales culture, as well as create and implement an aggressive and methodical approach to business development.
THE APPROACH AND SOLUTION:
We began the project by interviewing the leadership team to ensure alignment and buy-in to the new strategy. There were a few gaps, which we were able to identify and bridge to a new focus – specifically agreeing on the strategic goal of bringing on 4-5 “doubles” per month (mid-sized $ project) versus “grand slams” (multimillion dollar clients) at a couple a year. We set the change management tone by helping the leadership understand the strategic difference between volume sales business development programs and Account Based Marketing (ABM) programs. We then focused on a carefully structured recruiting plan and interview strategy to ensure an optimal hire.
MICA targeted professionals hailing from mid-sized organizations that provided professional services/consulting NOT SaaS or product solutions. These included leaders who had created a similar capability at a professional service company, or a Second in Command who had implemented the same process and was ready to take the step into the top sales leadership role.
MICA employed a detailed behavioral interview plan that would uncover “hunters,” who placed a high level of organization around funnel development, prospect management, metrics, and aggressive goals. We also sought individuals who were adept leaders and influencers in culture and change management. We emphasized to the client that there is almost never a 50/50 balance between Sales/hunter and marketing ability among successful leaders. In this case, we focused on those who skewed as a hunter 75% and marketer 25%.
Over the course of three months MICA placed a talented CRO, who, within six months, was able to create a sales infrastructure producing leads and new clients as defined during the interview process.
“We made the absolute right hire at exactly the right time. He made an immediate revenue impact by finding new business opportunities, as well as a positive cultural impact to align with our approach which is not ‘salesy,’ and that’s important to us. Great hire!” Chief Executive Officer