CEO’s, CFO’s and CRO’s of The Circle for Enterprise companies convened with Scott Davis to discuss first principles to focus on that will increase the probability for revenue to stabilize, or even grow, in a downturn as well as position the company for growth post-downturn.
Below are 6 key takeaways from our call with Scott:
Recasting value proposition post Covid19 – Start with “what problems do we solve in this current environment.” What is your value prop today? Then re-evaluating your top targets. You should have a way of stack ranking all of your target accounts. You should re-evaluate that for the verticals that are going to be investing right now. Figure out where you have a better approach than your competitors and then also figure out how you re-tool your presentation.
Command of the message – Re-evaluate what is the “as-is state” of your customers and the negative consequences of where they are right now. Then figure out what their “desired state” should be and the positive business outcomes that they could drive by doing that. Then, how would they measure that success? Figure out how do we do that. How do we do that better than our competitors? And where do we have proof points where we’ve done that before? It’s just re-tooling paper writing whatever value selling approach you have to the current time period.
As you reframe the message, how do you collaborate with marketing? – The biggest thing is going back to first principles and having marketing do the same thing I would have a sales do. Go back and make sure you’re super tight and disciplined around the basics. I’m most fond of field events from a marketing standpoint and those can’t happen today. But the other thing is that I’ve found the most valuable for marketing is really capturing the personas, exactly what those folks are concerned about, both within what we do but more importantly holistically. That way sales can understand where those personas should be in the priority ranking and how to discuss that with those customers. Right now I would have marketing go back to the personas and say, “Okay, we need to retool these because the world has changed. So who are the folks we should be selling to, what are they concerned about and how do we fit into their world to help them?”
Pipeline Generation- The five things Davis tried in the past to grow rapidly at BMC during the financial crisis were training, recruiting, pipeline generation qualification and value selling. In terms of pipeline generation today, it needs to be refined in a couple of ways. You need to have your “who can I still sell to” customers and prioritize as we discussed. The “who should I just stay in touch with” customers and see if we can help them. So, we are reevaluating who we’re targeting and how we’re targeting them. I’m expecting more PG from the reps, especially since field and enterprise teams aren’t traveling right now. They have more time for pipeline generation and changing messaging. Getting it tight and really focus on both messaging and pipeline. Making it more of a habit than before.
Supporting your Sales team during this time – I think we need to take more time with those folks even though we believe that they’re self-reliant because their world’s changed. All of our lives have changed. And so, be more cognizant. If you didn’t have office hours before, at least through this time, I would just do video office hours and if anybody wants to jump on Zoom, they can come on and talk about whatever and folks can listen in. But at the same time, to have the group conversations. So, I think that’s really important.
Other key takeaways – Surprisingly now is a good time to recruit. Even if you don’t have open headcount, leadership should always be recruiting. You may find opportunities to dramatically upgrade your talent. You should be retooling to be successful now and in the future. During the last downturn, we swapped out at the leadership level at BMC. End up hiring a young guy as a 2nd line leader who is now the President at Zscaler. When you find those opportunities, you have to take them. That single hire changed the trajectory of my team at BMC.