When a CEO has to Blow the Whistle to Improve Sales

A CEO has to constantly straddle the line between intervening and meddling. When it comes to the sales process, there is usually a well-defined line that should dictate when it’s time for a CEO to step in. As an example, consider the lead management process. A hypothetical company is funneling money into lead acquisition through the marketing department. But once these leads fall into the sales department’s hands, they stagnate. It’s now time for a CEO to intervene and do some cross-department counseling. When it comes to playing mediator, the CEO should be prepared to hear both sides’ argument. It very well just may be a…

Product Management: The Secret Tool to Train CEOs

CEOs don’t wake up with the skills they need to thrive at the head of businesses. It takes years of firsthand experience and executive development to gain the skills necessary. One often overlooked option when it comes to prepping CEOs for many of the core responsibilities they will undertake at the top of a company’s hierarchy is to turn them into product managers. During the product management life cycle, a CEO can develop many of the traits they will need later in their career. And that’s because product management requires many of the same talents that being a CEO does.…

Fail More if You Really Want to Succeed

Failure is nothing less than indispensable to your success. When you fail, you learn. Great companies know this. Marty Cagan, the founding partner of the Silicon Valley Product Group and a presenter at an OpenView Lab Forum, showed this video to put emphasis on the importance of failure in the lifecycle of companies. The learning process is simple. The first thing you figure out is why you failed. Then you begin to see the details, or the how. But the real value of failing is in what you take away from your failure. You can apply this information to improve your shortcomings and…

Your Corporate Blog is an Asset for IPO Development

What does your corporate blog have in common with your IPO development? More than you might imagine. Your corporate blog holds a cache of information that isn’t overtly displayed on the homepage. Some digging is required in order to get to the plethora of data beneath. When you look at some of the most popular posts on your website, there’s much to be learned. Was it a catchy headline that attracted readers and comments? Was it the well-written analysis of the topic? Or was it the subject matter itself? There are metrics and measures to help you figure this out,…

When’s the Right Time to Hire a VP of Sales?

SalesCrunch sat down with Steve Blank, the “father of customer development,” and asked him when a startup should hire a VP of sales. Here’s a look at Steve’s advice: A Founding Member Needs to Make the First Sale Steve says that if a founding member of the startup doesn’t make the first few sales, the company runs the risk of becoming dependent on a new hire who may or may not “get it.” The goal is to find and create a functional, repeatable sales model, and then look for external help. It May Not Be Who You Think In Steve’s experience, it’s not the VP…

Product Managers and their Impact on Software Companies

A product manager can drastically change the face of a product through data-gathering over the course of the product management lifecycle. They can eliminate gaps in products and work toward improving them. Just as easily, they can see where the competitive advantage of a product resides and amplify that. Boiled down, there’s a lot a product manager can do for a product. But from a more distant perspective, what does a product manager logistically do for companies? They take the customer’s voice and intersect it with the company’s goals. Where the two meet is the resulting product and the changes that follow.…

Do You Know which Customer Satisfaction Questions to Ask?

As a business, you understand the importance of customer satisfaction. But do you know how to gauge it? Most companies struggle with the intricacies of customer support. They have a general sense of whether or not their base of customers is satisfied, but they’re unable to produce more detailed data. Yet this is a major problem. Being intricately familiar with your customers’ assessment of your company is vital. To change this dilemma, companies need to start actively reaching out to customers. Ask them the sorts of questions that shed light on their issues and give you insights on important topics. At the end…

The Types of Content that Supplement Early Stage Buying

Young companies looking to facilitate early stage buying processes should be relying on certain types of content more than others. What does this mean? Engagement is paramount in the initial phases. If your content is long-form and mostly text-based, you may not be building engagement with the necessary rapidity. To overcome this, first, shorten up your content. And don’t limit yourself to sprawling written entries. Keep it short and sweet, when appropriate. Another important step in your content marketing strategy should be to add audio and video to your campaign. By adding a podcast and a video series, you’re becoming…