The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 5 months ago

Your Company Has Issues. It’s Time to Talk About Them. w/ Tim Cakir


Your organization is taking off. Everyone is so excited about growth that it seems like every day is a ticker tape parade celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall. Meanwhile, the new systems for scaling are actually slowing you down. But no one wants to listen to you complain, right? Wouldn’t it be nice to work somewhere where everyone could voice their concerns?

My guest today, Tim Cakir, CEO and Founder of Squad One, says th ere is no reason that shouldn’t be the case at every company — and he’s doing something about it, offering growth management software and a framework that makes talking about problems easy.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Why most companies shy away from talking about challenges
  • Why it’s more important than ever for everyone to bring up challenges
  • The benefits of the GCO (Goals, Challenges & Opportunities) framework to address the problem

Now that you know how to bring up challenges at work, are you ready to dive into transforming your sales org with data and technology, or how to rehumanize your customer experience or learn the secrets to personalizing at scale? Check out the full list of episodes: The B2B Revenue Executive Experience. 

You're listening to the BDB revenue executiveexperience, a podcast dedicated to helping executives train their sales and marketing teams tooptimize growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources,you've come to the right place. Let's accelerate your growth in three, two, one. Welcome everyone to the BB revenue executive experience. I'm your host, Chad Sanderson. Today we're talking about why organizations don't more often focus onproblems and challenges internally, but have a tendency to focus on the goals ofthe organization, of the team. They set the guiding light and then I'llthink about what has to be done or what challenges make it in the way. It's a complete equation. You can't do one without the other, andsince we need that today we're talking with Tim Kakure, CEO and founder ofsquad one. Tim, thank you for taking the time and welcome to theshow. Hi Chad, thank you so much for the invite and this episodeof pleasure to be here and hello to all the listeners. Excellent. So, before we jump into the top of the day, we love to startwith a question that helps the audience get to know you a little bit betterand would love to know always interested know something you're passionate about that those thatonly know you through work may be surprised to learn about you. Okay,well, I think that to just are are on, as we were startingto call you. So my guitars. I'm actually a sound engineer as welland I'm a technically JS. On the weekends you can find me in darktechno warehouses playing music. Wow, how did you get into that? Well, to be honest with you, that was even before I was doing marketing. I study sound engineering and in London I had the studio, recording studio, and I had the techno party, a record label, and what Ifound out is that I was actually marketing everything I was doing. So thenI slowly switched to tech, to technology companies, and I left the musicscenes at day. And is that how you got, you know, thehelp us understand the journey from there to the founding of squad one and whatled you to do that, make that jump? Yeah, I squad one. Actually it's been an ID in my head for the last about three tofour years. At first it was a it was a platform that was buildingfor my clients. I'm a growth consultant now. I helped technology companies aregrow and it was about experimentation. It was about learning from your failures andyour winnings, because we make so many mistakes but we never learned from almostlike I don't want to say never, about most of the time we don'tlearn from them, and has had the in company especially. That happens alot, as you may know as well, and so it was an experimentation platform. Then, with time, I was putting this in my clients andwhat I realized is that they wanted something bigger. So what we did isthat we change the platform the last year by testing a little bit more withclients and we made it more about a strategical goal setting to that basically bridgesthe gap between strategical goal setting and day to the execution. And I meanjust to make it a bit clear, I have a mission for that company, which is a drive growth through collective intelligence. Love it. I loveit, and so when we were prepping...

...for this, we started with yourpassion and focus on problems and organizations not focusing on the problems rather than justthe objectives. What kind of led you to this realization and what did youexperience that made you understand there needed to be a kind of a shift infocus, or a broadening of Focus, so to speak? I work withsome amazing CEOS. There were there were very I don't want to call aggressive, but, you know, go get it, and and they were alwaysthinking ahead. They were always like, let's go get this money, let'sgo get a new revenue and let's get a monthly recording revenue. It's focuson that and we they never focused on the actual problems in the company.And when I say that, let's say a customer support the agent might befixing something thirty times a day and if you can't assign that as a problemor a challenge, now I call it, which I think will touch on ina bit, and if you can't assign that and people can find thesolution to that, then that problem keeps happening and you're losing resources, you'reusing time and time is money, right. So I started to focus on thelittle problems in companies. Could be in the marketing team, it couldbe in the sales and we could be on the operations. And what Irealized is that actual growth comes from understanding these problems and solving these problems.And so you mentioned in some of the pre material that Okur framework can potentiallybe rigid, static difficult to establish for the listeners who don't know what isthe Oka our framework and what makes it so challenging. Well, the okayframe is actually a great, great, great framework. Is At least thereis something, right, because I think they we didn't even have anything betterthan that. Yeah, exactly correct, Chad. So the OKR was inventedby Andy Grove at Intel many, many years ago and it's basically objectives andkey results. Right. So what is an objective? And objective is abroad's qualitative gold design to properly your forward, properly you forward in a desired direction. Right. So it's like it answers the question, what do youwant to do in a company? Right, it's aspirational. As inspirational is achievable, but they still yet stretching. Right. So if you do seventypercent of your of your O kr, that's still good, right, becausewe want to be a bit more ambitious. Right. And the key results,basically is the quantitative statement that measures the achievement of that objective. Andthis is great, but I've I've heard so many complaints about it because it'snot very collective. It's still waterfall, is still from top to bottom,and so I kind of tried my own Okar methodologies many times in different companies, where I put a bit more of the purpose, some initiatives, youknow, blockers. And actually a great friend of mine, he's also talkingabout this all the time on how to change all Krs to be a bitmore, how can I say? A bit more flexible, a bit morecollective, you know, a bit more fun as well, right, becausewhen now we want to have fun at work because if not, we wechange our jobs and we want to believe in that culture. We willn't believein that in that mission of the companies. And that's how I found that itwas a bit limiting in companies. So I kind of invented my ownand no one. That you invented is GCO goals, challenges and opportunities.So help us understand what that is and then we can get into how ithow you apply it. That that's correct, Chad. I mean I've invented GSEO A couple years ago. I...

...mean to be honest, it justslowly became g SEO. It had different names and so on, and Ialways tried to find that a good marketing name for it. And basically theGCO is a little bit difference goals, Challenges and opportunities. Right. Soevery goal, if they're ambitious enough, they do have some challenges. Right. If we do have challenges, right, we need some portunities on fixing thosechallenges. So what I say also, a challenge should always include a baseline, right, so that you say, all right, the challenges. Ifyou want to make that money, we can't because right now we're here. Right. Or if you want to be able to hit those sales numbers, we can't because we only have five ceales guys. Right. So whenyou start defining these challenges, people are suddenly able to understand, oh,okay, that is the challenge. I do have some opportunities. Maybe couldbe higher, more people, maybe it could be automate some of the salesprocesses, it could be less, get a better crm. Suddenly it makesyou start being creative and if you do communicate your challenges throughout the car thecompany, then people collectively are starting to do ideation sessions and they can prioritizethe best opportunities and that's how I've brought about a bit the GCEO. Thegoals is is kind of the objectives from the old Krs, as we mentionedabout the challenges. is where I'm starting to reinvent a little bit and thekey results, because key results are great to get to an a, toa number by the where are we? What's happening? What is the programs? What are the challenge just on getting there, if that makes sense.Yeah, makes that absolute sense and I'm curious if you think so. WithOk are you mentioned waterfall? GCO feels much more can agile and in natureand much more collaborative. I'm wondering, have you seen or do you thinkthat generational differences in the workforce are impacting the effectiveness of either one of theseright in making Ok are more challenging and restricting to use because we're seeing muchlarger influx of millennials as baby boomers retire. Baby booners were used to that topdown approach. millennials want much more collaboration across the board. Do youthink there's some level of acceptance and in creativity excitement around GCEO because it alsotaps into some of the generational differences that we're seen in the work force.Wow, I love this question because I've been in a few PODCASTS, butthis is a really interesting one. Child. Thank you well, to be honestly, I think so. When I think about it now, that,as you're asking now, we have actually so many jobs that we can goright, because there's so many tech companies and obviously, post covid world iswe're remote. So we can change companies, we can go to a company wherewe really believe in the culture, we really believe in the vision orthe just cause or their mission. Right. So, the younger generations, Ithink we do have this luxury of a year and a half, twoyears later, changing the job. A few years ago, if you're ina CV, you had someone working a year and a half or two yearsin a place, in two years another place, you wouldn't want to hirethat person, right. You will be that, oh, he doesn't stayin in the same job for long, but now we do. Why?Because you come as a professional. It could be in product, it couldbe a marketing you do what you do, you bring your skills and you wantto you want to go to the... challenge for yourself as well,right, for your career, and I think definitely generationally, thanks to theInternet and thanks being online, this has happened. So what do I meanwith the GC or framework, how it works better for these generations, isthat anyone now can assign a challenge, right, if you gave as aCEO or as the VP's and if you give some goals. Now, finallyyou can speak up, right, we're giving a word to everybody, right, so everybody can say, Oh, we do have a challenge about thosegoals. People you know, I'd s levels executives. We have, wehave some challenges and when people start getting involved, especially these younger generations thatyou mentioned, right, then there is a better ambience, there's a betterculture. You're suddenly driving the company all together and not just from top tobottom, and I think with that aspect of collaboration, I think covid inthe and the even the acceleration of the workforce into a virtual environment top downis harder to enforce in I think in my experience, when everybody is virtual, it almost removes accountability and responsibility from an individual puts it back on thestructure of the organization. Whereas when we use something that's much more collaborative,much more agile, much more inclusive, such as GC, I think thatactually could potentially amplify the impact of being able to effectively work virtually. Haveyou seen that impact at all or seen it play out that way? Imean absolutely, because what happened as well, if you know, the last tenyears, we really being focused on the technology companies building, Hey,charteels, right, how you know, Work Life Balance? How do wefeel better at work and so on, and obviou see now with Covid,just pretty covid, we had this trend as well, right, like mirrorwhite boards, like digital white boats? How? Like Zoom? Now wehave zoom APPs, you know. So every company, every technology company,is going towards helping companies work remotely better. Right. So in this sense,as you mentioned, if you try to be Super Bussy and you said, all right, you do what I say, you're going to do that. Yeah, but it's sad. But this never Reho went for me.Yeah, I'm glad it doesn't call you, but it's still some people do thing. I have some CEOS that they do. So I don't work withthem anymore anyways, but so what happens is that is when you try toimplement that in a digital world, and especially if you're not going to donineret tow five or ninety six and you're going to say, okay, youstart work at nine, you've finished it six. How are you going totrack that anyways when you're at home? Right? But if you bring away of ideation sessions less, let's bring the goals together a team, youknow, let's bring the challenges. What are your challenges in your job?What are challenges in your team, in your department, and everybody now wasallowed to bring opportunities right away. We have started to work collaboratively and thiscould be remote, this could be offline, it doesn't matter. Of Fine.As you know, the design sprints, the ideation sessions, these have beengoing on for years now and these were where we were collaborating. NowI think that we need to collaborate at every level, and this should befrom strategy goals today to day task management. And so when you implement GCO insideof an organization, how do you... there a platform or a wayyou like to track it or share that project tracking information, or share thatinformation to make sure everybody has a clear understanding of what's going on and whoneeds to do what. It's standard project management software or is there something youfound to be more effective in terms of being able to provide a dashboard andinsight into progress through the framework? I've tried many, many I've tried withTrello, with a sauna would click up and I tried it on purpose becauseI was building my platform, which is squad one. That I oh,right, and and you still can, but it's going to take you hoursand hours. It's going to take a lot of complex design in your mindand then trying to implement that on a typical task management platform. Then youhave all these kr tools. There's so many of them. But, asI just mentioned, there are two different platforms. One is strategical goal settingsand one is day to the execution. So what I've just built, andI'm still on early, early adoption, Beta testing. So I don't acceptevery company yet, but a squad the one does. I oh. Whatwe're doing is exactly that. It's been able to actually put your goals,then put all your challenges and being able to bring all your opportunities for thosechallenges. Right now, I've haven't changed the naming yet because I'm testing justthe classical right. So I call it goals, results and ideas at themoment, but my my future goal, which is going to be in thenext few months, is to finish up the framework as a book and thenchange the naming around it in the company, in my platform, and start preachingat the GCO framework. So you're actually one of the early ones whoand your listeners are the first ones that actually are listening to apart my clientsof course. Excellent. Well, we appreciate you. Appreciate your sharing thisfor it. So you've obviously been iterating on it, doing agile approach,continuing to improve it. Curious if you could give us an example, realworld example, of where you've seen it play out, either with a clientor even even in squad one? MM. Yeah, and this is what Ilove. We already use our own platform for our own company and thatworks really well. But I'll give you an example from a client. SoI client was again it was one of these CEOS who had some some reallyamazing goals in mine. You know we're going to we're going to reach thesenumbers and so on, and it's a bit the example I given the beginning, but I'll gie you really a bit more factual. Is there was athem in the product right. So we were the sales team was setting aproduct right. It's as as product suffers service and you can close some clients, you don't close some clients. And then there was there was a problems. Sales people were having problems. Sales Marketing was speaking a little bit right, thankfully, but sales customer support was not speaking as much. But thebiggest problem was the product team was even more far. There were more silodright, because they were really working on the product. And so what wedid is actually being able to for the customer support team first of all,to actually say all the problems, all the challenges that they see day today, day to day and every day at the end of the day,they would they would actually put this in a spreadsheet. Back then there wasno squad one, and we were putting...

...this in a spreadsheet and everybody wouldlook at the spreadsheets and suddenly the product team would have access to the spreadsheetand they will oh my God, that issue that you guys are having right, it's a very easy fix. So then there were okay, we canfix all of this. But then we realized that would take a lot ofthe men power from the actual product and just fixing a little bugs. Andwe always have to keep innovating, right. So what we were able to thendo is to bring a prioritization framework right to score, to be ableto score on saying, you know, what would be the impact, howeasy would it be, and so on. And when we brought these this framework, we suddenly allowed the whole company, marketing, sales, even finance,and we found some incredible stuff to be on asks. Finance had someideas that they would never say because they're just busy with the numbers. Andsuddenly everybody was scoring. There were scoring all these these problems. Back thenit was called problems, not really challenges, but there were scoring these problems aboutyou know, how impactful would it be if we fix that? Howeasy would it be to fix that? Suddenly the product team had a priorityand from this say ten problems would just get the three, the three topones, and those three top ones as soon as you fix that. Wehad happier customers, we had happier sales people, we had happier marketing peoplebecause now they were marketing something that was working a little bit better as well, and we did grow. We did grow in eighteen months. With takingthis we grow from from about under km rr and we triple that in eighteenmonths. Wow that those are some impressive results. And so when you seeyou know, you think about the future, future, as we continue to seethe business environment involved kind of you know, we had the last eighteenmonths with the pandemic and everybody was kind of shut in. Now we've gotsome people going back and there's the Delta variant and all this. You know, certainty out there, you never really know what's going to happen. Arewe going to back in person that kind of stuff? As you continue tosee this, and I the only way I know how to describe it isjust a consistent river of change. Like every day, you just have tobe prepared for some level of shift because of what's going on around the globe. Do you see this framework and this approach being able to enable companies tobetter weather that kind of consistent change age that they're seeing? Give them,I don't want to say a touchtone, but more of a foundation so thatthey can stay focused on what's going to help the company be successful. Canyou see the playing out that way and, if so, can I explain thata little bit to us? Absolutely. I'm going to take a different example, because you mentioned our covid. What happened in the beginning of COVID? No countries has actually collaborated. Everybody was very individual. Right, countries, where we're just thinking about their own countries. Let's say that they didhave a GC or framework. I'm going to try to adapt this. It'sI'm going I'm going crazy here, but let me see. So let's saythat countries actually said, right, the goal is to get rid of thisvirus, and suddenly they start saying the challenges right, people are traveling,this is happening, you know, we don't have enough beds, we don'thave enough that. And if they could had assigned these challenges globally, right, and suddenly countries everywhere, I could that start bringing some opportunities to thetable. And if everybody had prioritized these,...

...all these countries, all these bigleaders that we're talking about, that we you know, that that arekind of leading our world, what would happen then? Right, and weprioritize these these these opportunities, these solutions, to these challenges and everybody together hadworked, they collaborated. I think we will not not be in herechild, to be honest with you, right, but to let me putit, in a business space as well, if you like, precovid post covidduring code, if we have the mindset of always speaking about our challengesright and not just trying to make everything fluffy and butterflies and everything's beautiful.Know there are problems. There are problems in the world, there are problemsin companies, there are problems in individuals, but you know, we have this. You know we always have to look strong and this is how welearned in the past. Look strong, be the best. Right, tobe the best, you have to accept, you know your weaknesses and work onthem. So, if we could say our challenges in companies and individuals, I think that they're we're going to start having a better world where whereopportunities will start, a rising creativity will be tapped into a collectively and everybodywill help each other, not just themselves, but everybody will help each other,and that this will work as companies. I think this will work as communitiesand this is going to work globally. In my mind. I love itand I actually I you know what, I really the the the example ofcountries collaborating to the framework, I think, resonates very powerfully because wesaw what the fragmentation did at a global level. It's not hard to extrapolatethat to see what happens inside of organizations as they grow and they add newdepartments or divisions, especially if people are distributed and you don't have the youknow, the I hey, I can drop this off on somebody's desk orjust mentioned in this in the hallway. There has to be something that kindof serves as the touchdown or that or the foundation for that collaboration, creativityand focus, and it sounds to me like GCO and the platform that you'reworking on will be a great way for organizations to benefit from that approach.And I love that you said distributed and remote, because remote means that we'reremote to a location, right, and I do, I do try touse more the world. Just distributed as well. That means that there isno headquarters in everybody's all around the world. So so I love that you usethat and I mean I don't think that my platform is ready to beused by countries and globally politically, but the hopefully, one day we'll getthere. Yeah, how you got to have goals, right guy, exactly. That's to be ambitious as well. Absolutely all right. So let's ChangeDirection here a little bit. We ask all of our guests to standard questionstowards the end of each interview. The first is simply, as a founderand CEO, that makes you a target for other people that are trying tosell things, and I'm always curious to learn the easiest way in is ifyou know somebody and they say, Hey, you should talk to this person.But if you don't have that trusted referral in, how does somebody effectivelycapture your attention and earn the right to time on your calendar? HMM,that's a great question. I get a lot of those, obviously, andI did it myself. I used to sell carpets do to door at somepoint and that was difficulty. But get... know who you targeting, right. We have the Internet now. It's not creepy to you know that tolook online. What's available information about you, understand what you like, understand howyou speak on Linkedin, what types of post you engage with. Rightand speak my language. Don't come to me so strict when I'm not astrict person, you know. But go to somebody who likes strict language,to go strict with him, but come to me more friendly. And youknow, I had some amazing examples. One person actually made the joke ofhello, first name right, and I thought that he missed the first name, but in the bottom said hey, tim I actually didn't miss the firstname. I just wanted to show you that this is not an automation.And it was still an automation right, but how he he faked the automationnot being an automation. I loved it. I laughed a lot and I replyto him. I said I that was hilarious. I really love thatit. So, you see, I got your attention and I jumped ona call with him. I never bought his product, but we still speakNice. Excellent. All right. So last question. We call it ouracceleration in sight. There was one thing you could tell sales, marketing professionalservices people, one piece of advice you could give them that you believe wouldhelp them hit, where exceed their targets? What would it be and why?I think this maybe is going to sound very simple, but it's not. Sadly, it's just be friends, you know, don't compete with eachother. You're a whole team, you know. Don't separate those teams,because I've seen a little problem between sales and marketing where they blame each otherof the quality of the lead, or you can't close the deal and soon, when they start working yet why? This is hilarious, but it happensall the time. And when you say hey, guys, you're alla team, you're all responsible, your objectives are the same, right,your goals are the same and you're going to all get the same kind ofamount of money's or whatever rights if you close a deal, even customer service, even customs support, suddenly you get this collaboration. And when you getthat collaboration, customer service tells you what types of problems are happening and howclients speak to them. So the sales now knows how to make sure toanswer those questions or how to speak to potential clients right at the prospects,and suddenly marketing learns how to message better on the website. Right, andthe more we do this, I think this that's where we start growing revenue. Love it. I love it all right, Tim. If somebody's interestedin talking more about the topics we've touched on today or learning more about squadone, where do you want us to send them? Well, first ofall I think my website, Tim cookirecom. So that's Tim Se Akircom and obviouslysaying my first last name on Linkedin. Are the two places. But alsoon my website you will find my news that's up every Monday. Itry to send out a news that's up with all the tools that are recommendsome frameworks that are recommend and so on, and I try to help professionals thatway. Perfect, Tim, I can't thank you enough for taking time. It's been amazing avenue on the show, Chad, an upsolute pleasure. Thankyou so much. All right, everybody that this is for this episode. You know, the drill be to be REV exactcom share with friends,family co workers who like what you here, leave us a review on itunes.Until next time. We have value something associates which real nothing but thegreatest success. You've been listening to the...

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