[00:00:00] Tony: Welcome to the CEOs Sales Insights podcast. I'm your host, Tony Hughes. And I am so excited to bring you real world insights from legendary CEOs on how to drive and sustain top-line growth and create a customer centric culture. Whether you're an aspiring or seasoned corporate leader, you'll hear wisdom with real-world application that can make a real difference in your.
But we also provide insights here for sales professionals seeking to elevate to the C-suite. As a seller, you will better understand how a CEO actually thinks and what it really takes to own a conversation. Let's jump in with this episode's CEO.
Welcome everybody I'm Tony Hughes. This is the CEO Sales insights show. It's an absolute pleasure to be doing the show today with our work. Who's the CEO of Camms software. I'll introduce Warrick in a moment. I just also really want to thank our sponsors for the show today. So we've got Triggr which is the sales intelligence platform.
We've also got our, my good friend, Chris Biel from ConnectAndSell. They are parallel assisted dialing solution that enables. To have more conversations in a day than most salespeople would have in a month. And our major sponsor for the show today is ringDNA and ringDNA is a revenue operations platform.
That uses AI to transform sales teams into high-performance revenue engines. They're the leading choice for Salesforce customers and ring DNA clients include Hewlett Packard, Newtanics, Amazon web services. They offer a complete solution for sales engagement, for sales, playbook, execution, performance insights, conversation, intelligence, and coaching, and much more.
They're backed by gold Goldman Sachs and some of the best VC firms in the U S. They were named one of Deloitte 20, 20 technology, fast 500 companies. So we'd like to thank them for also being a sponsor. I'm an experienced CEO myself. I'm also the co-founder of sales IQ global. And I know that sales people are always wanting to elevate the conversations.
We want to sell into the C-suite and this show is really designed to do two things. If you're an aspiring leader, a director of a company, or a CEO or general manager yourself you'll gain some real insights from Warrick today in the conversation around how you can drive sustainable, predictable top line revenue growth in your organization, and really create a customer centric.
Positive sales culture. And if you're a sales person that's watching this, the second half of the conversation's going to really assist you in how to gain access to the C-suite, get some insights into how a CEO really thinks. So I'm going to bring work in, in a moment. But Warrick is an experienced chief executive with 25 years career experience in the technology industry.
He's a double master's qualified professional. He's a fellow of the Australian Institute of company directors. And he's the author of this book here that I absolutely. A startup, it's a blood sport. I had the privilege of writing the forward for this book. So I really encourage you to, to get an and buy that book.
He's the chief executive officer of cams group. They're a globally recognized provider of risk and performance management software. And he's passionate about the latest trends in digital B2B enterprise growth. So that any further ado I'd like to welcome, welcome Warrick. So, Mike, thank you for coming onto the.
Hi I think, would it be great, just that just out of the gate, would you mind giving people a little bit of your, your background and also some scope about what cams does in the marketplace?
[00:04:08] Warwick: Yeah, we'll call I'll just start on Camms first, I guess, and address it in reference to the problem we saw. A lot of companies, you have strategies that have goals and objectives and KPIs that they need to share within the organization.
They have initiatives within those strategies that generate projects within their strategies. They have. Risks that need to be monitored and controlled, and those risks could be it risks, operational risks, strategic risks. And finally, you want to make sure your people are aligned to the strategy are assigned to risk or projects.
We solve that problem by one single platform. So that's really been our unique advantage in market. And it's recently been named on the Gartner magic quadrant and, and, and they can just this month on the forest of GSA, Y which we delivered. In our case, in terms of my path, I started way back in 95 and I started an it company, a business intelligence company as a, as a consultant.
I then saw pre-sales moved in pre-sales and so all the salespeople making all the money. So I asked my boss if I go there and he said, well, I really like you, but if you go there and you don't succeed, I'm going to have to let you go. So that was like a red brag to meet Tony. So I went, I went to south rented at 1998 and by 2000 and 2001 awkward, I was pretty hot at it, man, because there was the Watsi, Kai, which we all loved in it.
And, and GST by John Howard made another compelling event for all of us to turn up and do a presentation and, and think. I think the, the.com crash really made everyone wake up. And for myself, I had to really look at myself and go, what, what can I do better? So what I did is I really went into understanding this whole science of styles and study John Patterson way back around the NCR and, and understood how Tom Watson moved from there to a company.
International business machines, which did pretty well. And then out of that time, Xerox and from Xerox, spin selling came out of it. I think solution selling. So I actually wanted to understand the science. What I was doing as a role. And then you know, I went to IBM's Sydney to selling courses.
Oracle did some great courses and unlabeled may say to see the power of a single language. So everyone in the team understanding what, what does commit mean? What does moving the ball main in the strategy? And then from there I moved into sales management and learned a lot. Wasn't a great manager on a first start.
Many of us are. And again, at the look at my leadership and how to lead better. I worked at Oracle in leadership roles. I worked for a number of us multinationals. And then I came to a stage in my life where I thought, you know what? I really want to do something a little bit different. And I had a coach and the coach said, why don't you work your way to be a CEO?
So with that, I did a lot more work around the science of a software developer. Took a step back and worked at company lightens and ran their software development practice, which was a great role. And that gave me another discipline. So then from there in 2012 I was able to pivot into leadership roles and I took my first CEO role at one test rebellion in Brisbane.
And from there I've been a CEO at a number of firms, done some RPOs. And for the last three years, I've painted.
[00:07:47] Tony: And Kansas had phenomenal growth and you operate globally. I just want to go back a little bit worried to the comment that you made, that when you move from individual contributor sales person to be a sales manager, that you didn't feel you were great.
Initially, what, what's your advice to people that are looking to make the transition from individual contributor into a leadership role in the world?
[00:08:11] Warwick: Yeah, look, I think it's as my wife says, not all about you
[00:08:15] Tony: what's the full of great advice. Yeah.
[00:08:21] Warwick: So individual contributor, obviously you're very focused about doing your one role and, and, and, and making that work. And it's more of a, in some ways, a more of a selfish role and, and. Solves management role is, is moved to a, more of a servant leadership role, which saying, how can I help everyone else?
And that's quite a pivotal move in how we actually approach problems, how you deal with people. And it's not an easy one. So you know, me, my, my approach, if I don't know something, I study the hell out of it and then try and take the theory and put it back into practice. So that's what, and made lots of mistakes along the way.
[00:09:01] Tony: You, you and I have both had a similar career path into CEO roles in that it came through the sales line of business in an organization in your view, what level of advantage does that give a CEO? If they, if they understand selling versus the other disciplines in business, around supply chain, logistics, finance operations.
[00:09:24] Warwick: Yeah, I think it gives a great advantage because so many companies are made you ask them, what type of company are you in? They'll say, oh, well, we're a growth company. And, and a lot of New companies or, or a lot of companies that start off with an idea and a great idea. You know, the founders may not always be the greatest growth person and how to take something, commercialize it.
So coming into a company in, I guess my brand, I can go to a company say, look, my focus really is on. On growth and understanding how to commercialize it. Some other companies really need a CFO slash the a that, that, that blend works. So it's a matter of looking at your, your brand in my view, if you want to be a CEO, you can't just be I was a sales director and that's it.
I think you need to understand more disciplines. So what I did, I actually went on. You know, I, I did a company director's course to make an make sure I understood how I bought things. I did my MBA to make sure I really did understand strategy and the broader aspects of operations. And then I did print to, to understand how change management projects work.
And then I did ITIL for the service management. So I tried to align theory with parts of the role. So I can, again, when I'm going for roles, The show that I've actually understood every part of the role, because if you just come in as a sales director, you can be bamboozled by CTO and be cross-eyed in what they're saying.
And you can't afford to do that from my view.
[00:11:06] Tony: It's really interesting that you made a point of understanding really what a board looks for, what what's your advice to CEOs and other leaders that are, that are listening and watching this now. What's your advice to them about managing the board and things like a full cost.
Cause there's, there's ways to very quickly damage your credibility with your own board, right? But what's, what's your advice to manage the board? I
[00:11:29] Warwick: think to two aspects, the first aspect is know your numbers. You must know your numbers and provide timely relevant information is the first thing.
Second thing is cashews. So, you know, and when I just say cash is king cashflow forecasting and managing the cashflow third is to your point is forecast accuracy. And you need, to provide that confidence and, and then deliver on that is, is, you know, it all comes around tiny fiscal stewardship.
And I guess coming back to the role is, is my role, frankly, is to execute the strategy that's been signed off by the board aligned to the. I think the second aspect is to know what a board does. So understand the roles of the board, the duties, duty of care that they have. You know, I have to work through and, and with the chairman, that's my, my role.
And I think also understand how a board things, so, you know, boards are conscious of not just, you know, good operations, but they might be thinking about a liquidity event, for example, that they might be thinking about an M and a, or. Could be an RPO and you need to understand the difference between a VC and a PA and what that means in a family office and the returns for those organizations that might invest.
So there's, there's more than just turning up and, and, you know, giving a report. I think you have to look at it from multiple lenses. From my experience,
[00:13:03] Tony: one of the things I've always believed is that. It's relatively easy if, if not unpleasant, but it's relatively easy to cut costs. And someone that comes from a finance background, I find is very focused on cost control, but the thing that's really difficult is driving sustained top-line revenue growth.
So what, what, what's your view about how the world has changed? I guess, especially in the last 18 months. Very much in a digital first world and securing engagement for sellers with their prospective clients and even existing customers is more difficult. But what, what's your thoughts about how selling has changed and what CEOs need to think about in adapting their own business models?
[00:13:46] Warwick: Yeah, we'll go into that with, I guess my, my view of the industry and what I started in the old days, I'll call it the yellow page, which was my Google. Was my Salesforce and CRM. But if I, if I look at it from how things have changed, it was interesting. I knew you going to ask me these questions. I did think about it.
I look at your books in 2010, you were actually advocating the importance of deal strategy and how to actually run a deal with that Joshua principle book. And that was critical. And then, yeah, 2015, 16. Combo selling basically saying 2000 professionals. Self-manage your ability to actually get a pipeline.
So understand some of the tools coming out with that. And don't just rely on marketing to set things up for you and, and of light you've come out with the tech powered solves with. It's the most powerful one, because it's basically saying get your head around the digital assets and the digital transformation that's happened within an enterprise database selling to actually understand and manage the top of the.
And, and, and being in control of that, because the top of funnel and how you, how you get leads through triggers and the tools that you need to know has changed over the last four to five years. So does that give you a bit of an understand of how I think it's changing and that's how you need to start to look at it?
[00:15:21] Tony: Yeah. Yeah, my made it absolutely does. And I guess that leads into. Maybe my next question, which is where do you see the biggest revenue generation risks, you know, is that, is that really a ramp top of funnel or is it in, is it in sales execution? Is it in retaining and growing your existing customer base?
What do you think the reality is today? Wait, where's the big
[00:15:40] Warwick: risk. I'll answer it through from my experience. And, and even when I go to companies, the answer is, it depends, but I always start at the bottom of the. If I can't get a forecast, accuracy, nothing works. So I start there with the disciplines around that, and then I try and move up the funnel.
So then what is the opportunity cover I need? And for our company, we need 3.3, two times cover. We know that. And when we people say three times covered, Throw away. What's that mean? Well, for us, it means in 90 days, we need to have 3.3, two times cover to actually know that we'll pretty much close. The numbers have been forecasting as another lens.
If that's accurate, then you go higher and then you start to look at MQL and you start to look at the conversion rates. Then two L's to sell sales, accepted leads into opportunities. And if you start. To actually know those metrics. You can start to manage a business at the MQL level rather than at the forecast.
So from my experiences, how do I get up to the MQL, that top of funnel? And that's why I've been interested in all the things that you've been talking about. Because if I understand and have the right tools and the assets, I can actually have the knowledge and the power to actually know what's going on at that level.
So if I know how many inputs are. And now it's going to go through the funnel and are more comfortable rather than running the business on the forecast and just having that. Does that
[00:17:13] Tony: make sense? You work? It really doesn't and my business partner, the other co-founder for sales IQ, Luigi Preston NZ is an absolute master at building those, those top of funnel processes.
Cause. 'cause I lot, what you saying? And you've you, you took the time to understand selling and revenue generation as a process so that you can go and drive that. And I guess for everybody that's listening into this, there's really two kind of sources of, of top of funnel. It's it's inbound. It's the activity that we drive that creates inbound, those MQL.
Marketing qualified leads that we want to convert. And then there's outbound. You know, I just noticed here that Charles for Setos just made the comment that, you know, we as a team still cold call and we prospect key target market. You know, for their clients and that's obviously an important part of it.
We all need to know what our ideal customer profile looks like. And then go and then very deliberately go off to them in a way that gives us the highest probability of success. I'm really interested in what you say about, about forecasting. See a lot of organizations will recognize that they need a level of pipeline coverage to de-risk the forecast, but then there's the issue of ensuring the quality of what's in that coverage and the we managing deal, deal progression.
We know the deals, for example, that are stuck for too long in a stage, you know, the, the, the danger is they'll slip and just go away. W what, what's your approach to. To managing the quality of selling as, as it goes through that funnel to give you the forecasting predictability.
[00:18:54] Warwick: My approach is this don't use one lens to do your forecast.
[00:19:01] Tony: Wow.
[00:19:03] Warwick: Yeah, so, and one Lane's might be for me just to go, I've got three VPs globally, one an Asia pack, one in the UK and one in north America. And, and they do the same of what I'm saying here. Anyway, I don't stand there and say, what's your number? And it's like, right. And like Mr. Bain, go and go to the board and say, there's, there's the, there's the number?
Go back. What's your number and go there. So we look at we look at it through multiple lenses. Obviously we do with. Cadence forecasting. We look at forecasting by worst case commit upside and, and also as people come in, we actually make sure everyone understands. What does commit or forecast mean?
What does upside mean? We look at the VP forecast. We then look at the wide weighted pipeline that are. We then look at and that's the linear process. Every CRM has got a linear approach of the, of the process and you do a way to it's at 60% and maybe a hundred kites wide at 60 K. And you do all your whited pipelines and come out with a number that should also be pretty close.
You'd expect to the forecast. We also do mudstone for pipeline or forecasting at the end of each month, we can look at milestones. So what I mean by that? Every CRM system expects you to actually have a linear process. Whereas in real life, sometimes you've got the authority first. Then you might have need second budget and then demo.
And the proposal, other times you might have it in different, different orders. So what we do is we do it by modes then like, Score and points rather than a linear one. And we give them points and then look at that forecast, as opposed to the weighted forecast. That's linear. We look at pipeline cover, we look at sentiment or gut, and we look at credibility, historical performance.
We bring it together. And around five lenses, we create a spot, a graph, and we look at each one with the budget and we cite. Is anyone spiking in or out? If it's not, well, then we can go, you know, If it is, we got which one's correct. And then we deep dive. So make sense. So that's probably the first thing, I guess the second thing that's really critical to me is to treat the CRM as much as a CFI would treat their accounting systems.
So. What I mean by that is we, we use probate as you know, in our business. We use we understand sales strategy competition, and next step. So in every opportunity, regardless of where it's at, I can look at procurement budget, authority, need timeframe, strategy, competition. And if it's a push in mock, what we don't know, the next steps should say, Next step is unaided, right?
And then as a CEO, I can, I should be able to log into Salesforce or Pipedrive or whatever, and look at it and make a comment to a BDM. And that's what I do actually. And I learned that because I heard that mark Benioff does it, and if he can do it, so can I, so that's, that's the truth. That's the truth. CRMs is you don't want people to be over burden, but don't put it in.
So you got to put the least in that you can actually read and make a comment and say the logic of what they're doing.
[00:22:30] Tony: I really love that. And for everybody listening to this and watching this just remember the, for the CEO, the thing that destroys their credibility with their own board, the thing that makes their headaches.
Is if the numbers are wrong, right? So the thing I'm hearing you say Warrick is that you have to know your numbers extremely well. Every time you talk to your board, you have to deliver a predictable forecast that I have confidence in. I also love the fact that you've talked about that CRM needs to be the single source of truth about everything that's going on with sales, marketing, managing customer life cycle, and just, you know, my, my advice for every CEO or leader, that's watching this as you implement CRM.
We need to make sure that it enables process for people and that it gives them their time back in the way that it's implemented. That's that's the only basis on which we're going to get that accurate data, you know, so that we're able to execute that as a strategy. Hey, I worry. We'll move on in a moment for some insights for sellers.
Just to sort of wrap up this piece for other leaders what, what are the skills and qualities that you look for in sales leaders and sales people in your organization?
[00:23:44] Warwick: Okay. With all answer first with salespeople, probably five things. And this is, I'm talking about our business. I need someone with a, and if we're looking for someone today for a sales person or a BDM in.
Right now I need someone with enterprise sales experience. We have a great grad program and a lot of people come through that program. Our VP in the UK is from a grad program, but if I need a role, now they not must have that. They must know at least one sales methodology. I don't care what it is, but at least show you actually dive into understanding the profession you're in.
They must be able to. Comfortably around forecasting CRM. What's a lead, what's an opportunity. Be able to talk about cadence and how it works. So it gives me confidence that back she'd done that before the other one that found four Razzies that they must have a GRC governance, risk compliance, content knowledge.
They must be able to talk to a buyer that's critical and finally shown that there's some continued commitment to educate. In terms of sales leaders on probably looking a little bit different. I'm looking for trustworthiness work hard. Tell the truth is what I say, because we're in a COVID world and I'm a managing company.
That's got everyone around the world and you just got to know that they're trustworthy, which we have no surprises and good communicates the second. Third is probably used disciplines. I expect them use disciplines when we're required. Sometimes in a, in a, in a quarter you've got one or two elephants I expect to have closed plans, core plans.
So you lift up the game in our business when they, when they're the larger, important ones. I believe they must honor the servant leadership, basically. What can I do to help my team to be successful and also commit to continue education.
[00:25:41] Tony: A lot of what you've just described, I guess also speaks to the culture that you seek to create in the organization.
Is there anything you want to say about how you'd describe the culture of camps, you know, that you've built? Yeah.
[00:25:54] Warwick: It's sometimes hard when see, I says this, the culture is, but look, the culture I'm trying to instill in our growth teams is trustworthy. Empowerment. You know, too many companies and I've worked in some of the biggest in the world in, particularly in ARP, you know, you feel like you can't say anything, you run to the client, like they said, well, can we have you know, some, some other part of the negotiation on some maybe extra licenses or different discounts and you cannot come back to you.
Wait later. Yes, you can. So I want to empower, empower our, our senior salespeople to actually. Take that role and negotiate for them, for us in a responsible way within frameworks, but back themselves is another part of our, we want people to be able to back themselves in it's okay. To make a mistake.
And finally, as I said, you've got to have a discipline. So the culture is scientific, as I mentioned around the CRM and also uh,
[00:27:02] Tony: Awesome. And the thing we all know is that culture is nothing more, nothing less at the end of the day than the behavior of, of leaders and people in the team. Right.
So, so I really love that. And I've seen your organization action. It's a really good, healthy customer centric, accountability culture, which is great. So I want to let's, let's pivot a little, let's try and provide some insights for sales. So salespeople all want to go and sell to the C-suite everybody's heart starts racing and their Palm start sweating.
When they think they're going to pick up the phone and make that call. And none of us want to botch botch that attempt. Right. We know that we get one shot at the top. So if someone wanted to secure a meeting with you, what what's the basis on which you would typically accept the meeting? Like what, what would the reason need to be that they, that they're giving.
[00:27:53] Warwick: Coming back to what we talked about before is understanding the roles who you're engaging. And I guess, you know, you asked about working with the board. I'm saying, well, if you want to be a C I understand the context of the board. And what's important for directors since the sign for a say, you don't talk a CEO about some transactional manner.
You'd want to go to them about something that's related potentially to a board matter. Something's around. For me around probably around strategic growth uh, partnerships, strategic partnerships is important to me now. But tension for any, any cloud SAS company is a key key measure for a CIO to manage and also probably professional development.
But, you know we're, we're not your biggest firm, you know, we've got four. Employees and you know, I will take calls on some strategic management, most of the operationals you know, obviously go to the right people there and also to get a meeting, you know, to reach out is used a little bit of the combo, have a bit of you know, a strategic approach of approaching me.
[00:29:03] Tony: Yeah. And Warrick just for those listing works comments are very consistent with what Simon Tate said in the last show that if you contact him and want to talk about something that's operational in his mind, he's just going to delegate that off to whoever looks after that for him. So, so you're right work.
If it speaks to how you can execute strategy, get strategic partners in partnerships in place, I guess, anything around how you're measured by the board, if it can. The risk and initiative for you or help drive something new that contributes that that'd be the basis here.
[00:29:36] Warwick: Absolutely.
[00:29:38] Tony: And make, what about the best path to get to you?
So, so for example, if your phone rings and you look at your phone and the person's not in your phone book, will you typically still answer it? Is, does email work LinkedIn? W what, what's the advice for the best path to get to you?
[00:29:58] Warwick: Probably the best path. Well, one of the best parts is referral. Another part is go from the top on the board.
I'll pick up the phone. I think to also for me, it needs to be really well researched when people reach out. So I do sometimes take calls and that's fine off the, my AA filters, a lot of the emails that come through and we make once a week. On a one-on-one and we might talk about, you might say, look, there's one interesting one.
I thought you might be interested in. So my AI still is part of that as well, but, you know, if I do take the phone and I might at times you know, be well-researched no, what we do have you know, Novus something. I noticed something where I can, I thought I'd talk to you a, I wanted to do that. So use that link of Alicia.
Researched. I'm a sales person by heart. So I, I respect that. You know, I've got respect just that, you know, the spam talk. Cool.
[00:31:06] Tony: If someone wants, just to tell you about what they do, low interest, right? They've got to show relevance. I was really intrigued that you said that if someone contacted you because they were referred by the board.
So if a seller contacted someone on your board and got a bit of coaching and then called you that, that wouldn't put you off you'd risk.
[00:31:25] Warwick: Yeah. I mean, you know, sometimes the, you know, the border, you know, they come to monthly meetings and they see what we're doing in strategies and, and, you know, they might have.
Have a connection or someone might see it and go through the board and the board might go, you know what, you know, we've got a P P investment. Like they might hear of something so worried. This might be of interest to you. So, you know, it's an avenue it's you gotta be careful. It's gonna be but, uh, you know, it's, it's sometimes it's a why to get through you know, w we're not.
You are big as other companies have workforce, so that's different, but you know, we, we're still agile enough and we're still open for uh, you know, our might've been for anyone. You know, if the board says that might be worth having a call, I will do that. Absolutely.
[00:32:14] Tony: Wow. Okay. Look, that's that? That's certainly great advice.
Well, we'll go to questions in a moment. Might listen, let's have some fun. And I, I just noticed a couple of comments in the chat pay to Goring says he loves the fact that selling can be fun in scientific, you know, all at the same time. And I guess if you get the science rights in selling, then the process can be fun because you've taken the stress and pressure away.
If you've got the right level of coverage and you're running a well as a process but more to give, give me some examples. Of maybe the best and the worst attempts you've seen of a seller trying to, to get to you as a CEO.
[00:32:55] Warwick: Obviously the, the worst is easy, cause we've all got them, you know, it's that.
Yeah. It particularly that some of the networking event firms that, that I look, we've got a meeting with all these senior people and, you know, I had one recently it's ran all these high chart papers. It's like, well, you don't even know the persona of who we typically go to. So that unresearched just, just annoying.
But I think an interesting one when I had my first role, I mentioned in, in Brazil, And I'm in Sydney said, mobile. Hi, let's go there. It'd be great. It was for two and obvious, but it was interesting. We just had a guy come in off the street and my AI came in and said, this has just come off the street.
So this is an interesting example. It's not a great example to have everything do it. You know, it came up the street, they wanted to talk to me. Oh, I met him out of curiosity. So I thought that was. They it's the, it was in Brisbane, Mike. So there you go.
[00:33:58] Tony: Hi, young, how many phone calls do you get in a month from sellers?
[00:34:07] Warwick: I get a number. I get a lot of the you know, Incs that do a number of groups. But you know, it's, it's not bombard. But know, I obviously get, get a number.
[00:34:28] Tony: And what about emails? How many emails are you getting from sellers a day?
[00:34:32] Warwick: Massive. Uh, I think there's, that's massive, tiny, and that that's very much spam where, as I mentioned, my EA might scan a bit, but yeah.
[00:34:44] Tony: And then what about LinkedIn? How do you regard LinkedIn? Is that an effective channel for a seller to try and get to you? Or is that a bit noisy and spammy as well in your.
[00:34:54] Warwick: It's I still think it's not as bad as other people have mentioned in my lens is lot again, as long as it's it's well-researched and personalized.
But again, the person you're going to may or may not live there as much as someone like I have that I've come from it, sales background. So I still, I still you know, use it extensively. Other leaders may not it has been overused as. And there are otherwise to get to people in, in, in as United through other fine methods as well.
[00:35:30] Tony: Hi, I'm, Darren's asking a question here. I assume, or candles he's on LinkedIn. Does he accept connection requests and Willie engaging conversation? So do you, you manage your, your own LinkedIn or your re yeah,
[00:35:44] Warwick: no, I, I do manage mine. Other companies I've had my EA manage it at times, but I still do.
I still do growth myself. Right. So I still say the guys that were were in a growth company, I can't say I can't. So I do, and I reach out as well. So people can go that way. But you know, my lens is it's, it's got to be researched. It's got to make the, um, pointed and short, as you say, often.
[00:36:16] Tony: My thank you.
I've got a wrap up question that I'll come to, but just want to go to some of the questions that we had come through. Miguel asks for companies with supply chain challenges. What's the best approach to grab their attention. What, what, what would be your advice work? I'm happy to weigh on this.
[00:36:37] Warwick: With supply chain challenges. Yeah.
[00:36:42] Tony: So that, so the thing to me is talk about the opportunity. If you're gonna sell to the CEO, talk about the opportunity to drive a better outcome in their role around supply chain. Yeah, the, what what's, what's your view
[00:37:01] Warwick: a little bit. You know, again, if you've researched and seeing that, you know, you've researched whether it's their annual report and you've seen it's part of initiative and you can link that and they've noticed and noted that they they're looking to uh, improve efficiencies or that, you know, it's gotta be timely.
And, and that's why you, you know, you have covered. And that's why you do outreach to multiple organizations. I hope that's part of the answer. I know. It's. Yeah. Yeah, not there's no, that's the answer, you know, you need to make sure that it's relevant at the right time. Sometimes for me, partnerships was not relevant at the moment.
It is for our business.
[00:37:44] Tony: Yeah. Miguel, the thing I find there's a, there's a universal mistake that most sellers make is, is they talk about what they do and how it works. And then they try and join the dots to how they could deliver some kind of benefit for the customer. But the reality is for a CEO like Warrick and I'm sure you'll agree with me.
A busy leader will tune out of the conversation very quickly if they don't understand the relevance and, and context for them. So the moment we talk about the fact that, you know, we provide supply chain solutions or supply chain software. The reality is, is Warrick. And I'm putting words in your mouth Warrick's to jump in, but you know, work doesn't lie awake at night thinking, do you know what?
I need more software in the business? You know, we need, we need another project to implement. Like he's not really wanting any of that, but he will want the outcome, you know, that, that he can show the board that he's delivered. So we need to lead with the person's opportunity to drive an improved outcome, not with what it is that we do.
We've talked about what we do. We just get delegated to. Why straightaway would you agree with that?
[00:38:53] Warwick: Yeah. And I think, I mean, I know that you mentioned one, one of the things around, so some advice I think for, for sellers at times, and, and there are a lot of theories that are coming out, one's been, you know, the challenger book that's coming out and, and talks about being a challenger and, and, you know, my lens is I actually disagree with that.
I I'd prefer to have a profile. That's more of a relevant storyteller use paste. So you don't need to be the smartest person in the room and the thought leader, because one, I'm not the smartest person. All the time in every meeting. So that's, that's the biggest challenge. And I think, you know, you know, I, I studied a lot of these things.
I think the challenge one that's being talked about as being great and the people that ride it would having felt the heat of the kitchen themselves.
[00:39:48] Tony: I think
[00:39:49] Warwick: that the two. Yeah. And when you tell your stories, I can still see in your eyes, the pain of some of your stories, tiny but you know, I think now is a better time to actually be a storyteller, a use case teller that then works with, with the buyer.
So again, about the supply chain or beside the reason I'm calling I, this was seems important. We've actually helped for others. Similar challenges. And this is the sort of returns they've got. Is that of interest to have a conversation. I mean, that's that, that linkage between use case and experience without saying where the, where the Oracle of knowledge is, is I think the way the world's going to, you know, we can research ourselves.
So. I think respect and authentic engagement. And when you do reach out, you got to make sure that you're talking as I get pushed to who you sound like, as everyone talks about, you got to think about what you're saying when you go into a CEO and think it through and be succinct, but be confident because if your business has done it before for others, be proud of it and use that as the.
Of the experience or the credibility as long as it aligns to, you know, a current need,
[00:41:14] Tony: he and Sue McEvoy just made the comment that uh, storytelling makes it so much more real. It brings trust to the buyer and shows that you know, what you're talking about. And so I really agree what works is saying is spot on.
The key for all of us is that when we tell our stories, we need to make the customer, the new potential customer and other existing customers. We need to make them the hero of the story, not us. And the thing I've always found is people are really interested in what others are doing. To improve results that are also issues for them.
Now, we never wanted to be seen to be betraying the trade secrets of an organization to their competitors. So you would never go to Coca Cola and told them what you're doing for Pepsi and how they're moving the needle on performance. But for example, if you were selling into the construction industry and you had mining clients, And you decided that there's a, there's some commonality in those two different industries in that they're very seasonal.
They can have boom and bust periods. So if you wanted to fake some insights about what one of those industries is doing to trim costs, but in a way that does not inhibit their ability to take advantage of growth quickly, you know, as commodity process come back or markets change, you'd find that a CEO or a CFO would be really interested in that.
Or I wonder what this other industries doing strategically in operation. To be able to downscale and upscale, you know, really easily. So, yeah. I, I I really agree with that. We've, we've, we've got a question here from bread wallet Warrick, do you see value in benchmarking, marketing and sales performance?
[00:42:53] Warwick: I think, yes, I do see it. I mean, we, when I mentioned we do forecasts. Each week, and takes five minutes to do it. And we then benchmark against themselves. So seeing their own performance benchmark. Other people's in terms of their accuracy percent. That's, that's a good one to do, you know, some, some companies go into massive detail around benchmarking activity and calls and, and then you can over over, kill it in terms of what you make.
I guess you want to measure what the Bybee or trying to achieve or the outcome. So I do believe in it and obviously you know, w you know, our business, Tony, we, we measure from that forecasting benchmarking to even the, the budget and the, the, the targets and the quotas and, and looking at people's performance that way.
Do we do it in terms of industries? Probably less. So, I mean, we, we, we sort of run our own. And, and have our own targets. We, we do covers around that as well. So we've got our own benchmarkings around carbon. Like I mentioned, 3.3, two times cupboard. That's our benchmark in some
[00:44:13] Tony: ways. Yeah. The thing, the thing for me, I'm a, I'm a big believer in is, is, is benchmark.
The progression of deals through your sales process. So, you know, how long should a deal be in a stage? Cause when things get stuck, you know, that's often when a whole lot of risk comes along. So that's certainly a good thing to benchmark. Hey, I'm Vivian shoe in Singapore makes the comment she's, she's, she's really loving this.
And she says that storytelling and use case focus is really impactful. However, it's hard to find good salespeople who understand. The skills of being able to tell stories. Well, what, w what do you do inside cams to equip your team, to be able to tell great stories? Well,
[00:44:59] Warwick: we do a number of things we work with pre-sales and marketing's to generate the use case stories.
That's important for us. So we have, you know, we have our own little areas of SharePoint, where we have the use cases and to be able to have. We also invest in, in people like yourselves to come in and educate our people around having genuine conversations and how to have that. We actually invest in we invested in a, another individual actually had to have meetings on zoom and have conversations on zoom.
Everything. And that started with myself. I had it and thought it was so great with this individual that, uh, Chloe that we actually then had all ourselves pretty much shot through a lot of that. So how to, how to have a conversation in a, in a professional way is, is really important. I remember way back when I was young to, to the Commonwealth CommBank.
20 years ago, it was my biggest sale ever. And ed Maceo was there. I was so nervous and I was kept saying, so what happens next and who needs to sign off on it? And boy, not happening. Will it have. Maceo came out and he said by God, why? I thought I was at the dentist, you're drawing the person on questions.
[00:46:35] Tony: Hey countable. I said, well, you
[00:46:37] Warwick: know, I said, Justin, you pay me to do that. You pay me, but I didn't do it well, but you pay me to ask the right questions. So it's not straightforward. Going on working at it all the time of how, how to have a smooth conversation and to bring in the right use case at the right time.
I know on important meetings we do do test and, and we practice making before the meeting, particularly around pace so that people don't talk too fast and no one can interrupt anyone. I mean, that's a big one for me in conversations. I say that you made to have it at a patient. If someone else's, your team can help an add to it.
It doesn't sound like you're tripping over each other to get a point across, and then you sound too salesy. So they're the things that are found it's not easy is the first answer and something we all should be working on. I think as
[00:47:35] Tony: professionals. Yeah. I really think that's great advice worked for everybody.
I, Julian Fenwick has got a question that I'd like to respond to and then throw to you work if that's okay. Julian says you mentioned cells getting stuck at a certain point and the risk that that entails, how do you suggest we unstick those deals? So, Julian, I just encourage you to think about the fact that in my mind, there's four reasons.
Deals get stuck slip and often just die. And the first reason is a lack of compelling commercial value in the mind of the leadership team in the organization. Cause someone like Warrick will have, you know, maybe 27 different things he's being asked to approve and he has to prioritize. So, you know, is there a compelling commercial value in change or otherwise people might go well, yes, there's ROI.
Yes, it would be good, but high, we've got a bit of change fatigue. We don't have the bandwidth for everything. You know, let's just defer this one off. So compelling commercial venues. The first reason, the second one is the lack of consensus. You know, Warrick is a CEO would be looking for his leadership team to be on board with any change.
You know, if you, you don't have everybody lined up and behind it, the danger is the, the initiative, even if it's unintentional. We'll just get sabotage, you know, they w won't be successful. So you've got to have consensus. The third thing is really understanding the buyer's evaluation selection, contracting procurement approval process.
If we don't understand that it can definitely get stuck. You know, if something pops up in the fourth thing is something nasty, just happens at key supporter leaves, they get acquired, they post bad results and we can't really control the third thing. But if there's a sense of urgency where reduced that.
So my advice is the way you make sure things don't get stuck is that the customer has their own sense of urgency. It's got to be within their organization, not externally pushed from us. A lot of software companies make the mistake of putting external incentives, like a discount or something, you know, to try and create urgency.
What we want is a strong business case and, and work. My, my question for you is that uh, someone also also asked in here Matt, uh, asked Warrick's thoughts on the emotional economy and it speaks to this, you know, the decisions we make are based on emotion, not rational is the comment he's making.
So when you think about that compelling reason to do something for the organization, so the emotion of it and the rationality of it, what, what, what are your thoughts there?
[00:50:13] Warwick: Couldn't agree more. I mean, um, getting back to that challenge of book it talked about the challenger, understand the bites then pushes, I mean, holy cow, I win the debate.
Now I'm going to ask for something, you know, I'm smarter than you. So. And I quickly read it last night. Cause I thought, look, I just wanted to go through a couple of methodologists that have looked at help that shows that whoever's writing it. Hasn't done it before. You'd actually want to be more emphasis.
You are saying, you know tell me why you're thinking that way. Hi, you know what, some of these other companies that we did work with, thought about it that way as well. And I can see the view and I can see yours. What worked for them was this way. W what do you think Robin's signs you're wrong? It's this IPI, this thing, and of.
When the argument and in life, you never win something with someone and then think you, you can push for something else because the world's moving. I think two more authentic selling uh, you need to get that respect and, and you need to have an authentic relationship with the buyer. And as buzzwords said, right at the end it's risk and, you know, Right.
So absolutely. It's it's the, the right side of the Brian as much as the, the left.
[00:51:41] Tony: Yeah. My I'll really love that. Pull, pull. Tooke's got a question maybe along these lines. How would Warrick measure the cost of change? I guess when you're evaluating, how you prioritize internally, how do you measure the cost of.
[00:51:58] Warwick: The pine of change and the cost to change as a buyer.
[00:52:03] Tony: Yeah. And actually you're right. Manager's really pain and risk. Isn't it? That's, that's the big thing that we have a look at. We, we tend to identify what the reward will be, but yeah. How, how much pain, how much risk, how much potential unintended consequence from change that we hadn't considered?
Would you agree with that?
[00:52:22] Warwick: Yeah. I mean, you have to have that in mind. I mean, We're doing a lot more work around digitalizing contracts and using some smart approvals and things like that. That's, that's got to be painful for a number of the salespeople, but for, for me, I know that the governance around it far outweighs a bit of the pine around, oh, I've got to use this new system to do a contract.
So and also, we're looking at the investment into Salesforce and how they integrate it. So cost and, and pine and governance, you know, all those factors come together in terms of whether it's worthy to do that change. And that change at times is, is.
[00:53:07] Tony: Yeah, no, that's great. Hey, just want to move to a couple of questions that PayPal, um, putting when they registered for this, through the sales IQ website Michael Alexandra and gene turnout, both have in essence, similar questions in that.
They find that their sales starts lower down in the organization with areas like, like legal. And they're asking about relevance with the CEO uh, and my advice on this, and then I'd love work to weigh on and weigh on, weigh in on this as well, is that w we really ideally want to start high and they get sponsored to the people that need to be on board for consensus.
And the problem is. In both of your questions, you talked a lot though, actually long questions. I can read them out. They're very long, but you talked a lot about what it is your solutions do, and then you got to the benefits and that's exactly the same problem. When you go talk to a CEO, if you talk about what it is you do, you just get delegated down to procurement and legal and HR.
For example, if that's, if that's where your solutions or products actually impact, we have to lead with how the CEO or the CFO. How they can drive, improve results in their role. And once they go, yes, I want that improved result. We, we, we go great. You know, I, can you sponsor me to go meet with these people in the organization so that I can go and validate what the business case looks like, the USC on then come back.
So we, we, we want to get dealt with, so we do not want to get delegated. We want to get sponsored. And we want to do it in a way where there's a reason to go back to the CEO. And in essence, we're trying to help them nail the business case, the commercial value of change and how they can manage all of the risks and secure consensus within their team.
If we start LOA, the problem is you might be relevant for the people that lower, but then they become a blocker and they say, don't, don't don't ring work. You know, I'll go ahead and get this approved, but then we've lost control. Would you agree with that Warrick? What, what, what are your plans?
[00:55:10] Warwick: First one is you know, with all the work that everyone does, you don't always need to get the, get the CEO. And in my view, you want the be in the eye. You want someone who's got the budget or the access to funds and you want the authority. So that might be the CFO. It might be someone else. And I'll give you an example.
I used to sell in the HR space a psychometric assessments and our sponsored by was the HR director. Who's got the budget, right. And say five. So we started tying in CFO and, and, you know, I'll give you another example in our business. We've talked the chief risk and office CFO and things. So when we look at pro band it's not budget.
It's not the issue for us. Typically not the authority, not the need, because you actually got that conversation. It's timeframe. And. They, they, the big ones that, that Treppass on missing our numbers by timeframe, right. Or the procurement, but for other companies. And the other one I was talking about and around talent management, the challenge in our probate was find the budget and find the person with the authority.
They're the ones. Created the real deal, but the need was with, with high HR and, and the timeframe was HR in many ways. So it's interesting. When you look at your business, what are the ones that trip you Irene, your alcohol pry ban, but it could be the why, what, when, who, or how it could be the medic, or it could be whatever measures you look at to say, is this a real deal?
And what are the ones that we really need to be careful of? So we don't miss out now.
[00:57:00] Tony: Thank you so much. Hi work. I'm going to wrap us up with a last question. If, if you could go back in time, so you could talk to the 25 year old you, what, what advice would you give yourself?
[00:57:15] Warwick: Well, I want to answer a different way.
I would do better. What advice my father told me. Which was enjoy your twenties cause they got really fast. How's that?
[00:57:28] Tony: That's really good advice. Thank you so much. Thanks for being on the show. I just want to encourage everybody going by startup. It's a bloodsport. It's a truly brilliant book. Anyone in a startup skylight or trying to draw.
Amazing wisdom in the book. I just want to thank our sponsors again, trigger, connect, and sell, and then especially ring and really encourage you to go to the sales IQ global website so that sales IQ, global.com amazing levels of content connect with Warrick and myself in LinkedIn. So thanks everybody.
I'll see you on the next CEO Sales Insights show and thanks Warrick so much for being part of this. Thanks Warrick. Thanks everybody.