The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 1 year 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 executive experience, a podcast dedicated to helping executives train their sales and marketing teams to optimize 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 on problems and challenges internally, but have a tendency to focus on the goals of the organization, of the team. They set the guiding light and then I'll think 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, and since we need that today we're talking with Tim Kakure, CEO and founder of squad one. Tim, thank you for taking the time and welcome to the show. Hi Chad, thank you so much for the invite and this episode of pleasure to be here and hello to all the listeners. Excellent. So, before we jump into the top of the day, we love to start with a question that helps the audience get to know you a little bit better and would love to know always interested know something you're passionate about that those that only know you through work may be surprised to learn about you. Okay, well, I think that to just are are on, as we were starting to call you. So my guitars. I'm actually a sound engineer as well and I'm a technically JS. On the weekends you can find me in dark techno 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 I found out is that I was actually marketing everything I was doing. So then I slowly switched to tech, to technology companies, and I left the music scenes at day. And is that how you got, you know, the help us understand the journey from there to the founding of squad one and what led 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 to four years. At first it was a it was a platform that was building for my clients. I'm a growth consultant now. I helped technology companies are grow and it was about experimentation. It was about learning from your failures and your winnings, because we make so many mistakes but we never learned from almost like I don't want to say never, about most of the time we don't learn from them, and has had the in company especially. That happens a lot, as you may know as well, and so it was an experimentation platform. Then, with time, I was putting this in my clients and what I realized is that they wanted something bigger. So what we did is that we change the platform the last year by testing a little bit more with clients and we made it more about a strategical goal setting to that basically bridges the gap between strategical goal setting and day to the execution. And I mean just to make it a bit clear, I have a mission for that company, which is a drive growth through collective intelligence. Love it. I love it, and so when we were prepping...

...for this, we started with your passion and focus on problems and organizations not focusing on the problems rather than just the objectives. What kind of led you to this realization and what did you experience that made you understand there needed to be a kind of a shift in focus, or a broadening of Focus, so to speak? I work with some amazing CEOS. There were there were very I don't want to call aggressive, but, you know, go get it, and and they were always thinking ahead. They were always like, let's go get this money, let's go get a new revenue and let's get a monthly recording revenue. It's focus on 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 be fixing something thirty times a day and if you can't assign that as a problem or a challenge, now I call it, which I think will touch on in a bit, and if you can't assign that and people can find the solution to that, then that problem keeps happening and you're losing resources, you're using time and time is money, right. So I started to focus on the little problems in companies. Could be in the marketing team, it could be in the sales and we could be on the operations. And what I realized 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 potentially be rigid, static difficult to establish for the listeners who don't know what is the Oka our framework and what makes it so challenging. Well, the okay frame is actually a great, great, great framework. Is At least there is something, right, because I think they we didn't even have anything better than that. Yeah, exactly correct, Chad. So the OKR was invented by Andy Grove at Intel many, many years ago and it's basically objectives and key results. Right. So what is an objective? And objective is a broad'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 you want to do in a company? Right, it's aspirational. As inspirational is achievable, but they still yet stretching. Right. So if you do seventy percent of your of your O kr, that's still good, right, because we want to be a bit more ambitious. Right. And the key results, basically is the quantitative statement that measures the achievement of that objective. And this is great, but I've I've heard so many complaints about it because it's not 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, you know, blockers. And actually a great friend of mine, he's also talking about this all the time on how to change all Krs to be a bit more, how can I say? A bit more flexible, a bit more collective, you know, a bit more fun as well, right, because when now we want to have fun at work because if not, we we change our jobs and we want to believe in that culture. We willn't believe in that in that mission of the companies. And that's how I found that it was a bit limiting in companies. So I kind of invented my own and 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 it how you apply it. That that's correct, Chad. I mean I've invented G SEO A couple years ago. I...

...mean to be honest, it just slowly became g SEO. It had different names and so on, and I always tried to find that a good marketing name for it. And basically the GCO is a little bit difference goals, Challenges and opportunities. Right. So every goal, if they're ambitious enough, they do have some challenges. Right. If we do have challenges, right, we need some portunities on fixing those challenges. So what I say also, a challenge should always include a baseline, right, so that you say, all right, the challenges. If you 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 when you start defining these challenges, people are suddenly able to understand, oh, okay, that is the challenge. I do have some opportunities. Maybe could be higher, more people, maybe it could be automate some of the sales processes, it could be less, get a better crm. Suddenly it makes you start being creative and if you do communicate your challenges throughout the car the company, then people collectively are starting to do ideation sessions and they can prioritize the best opportunities and that's how I've brought about a bit the GCEO. The goals is is kind of the objectives from the old Krs, as we mentioned about the challenges. is where I'm starting to reinvent a little bit and the key results, because key results are great to get to an a, to a 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. With Ok are you mentioned waterfall? GCO feels much more can agile and in nature and much more collaborative. I'm wondering, have you seen or do you think that generational differences in the workforce are impacting the effectiveness of either one of these right in making Ok are more challenging and restricting to use because we're seeing much larger influx of millennials as baby boomers retire. Baby booners were used to that top down approach. millennials want much more collaboration across the board. Do you think there's some level of acceptance and in creativity excitement around GCEO because it also taps 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, but this 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 go right, because there's so many tech companies and obviously, post covid world is we're remote. So we can change companies, we can go to a company where we really believe in the culture, we really believe in the vision or the just cause or their mission. Right. So, the younger generations, I think we do have this luxury of a year and a half, two years later, changing the job. A few years ago, if you're in a CV, you had someone working a year and a half or two years in a place, in two years another place, you wouldn't want to hire that person, right. You will be that, oh, he doesn't stay in in the same job for long, but now we do. Why? Because you come as a professional. It could be in product, it could be a marketing you do what you do, you bring your skills and you want to you want to go to the... challenge for yourself as well, right, for your career, and I think definitely generationally, thanks to the Internet and thanks being online, this has happened. So what do I mean with the GC or framework, how it works better for these generations, is that anyone now can assign a challenge, right, if you gave as a CEO or as the VP's and if you give some goals. Now, finally you can speak up, right, we're giving a word to everybody, right, so everybody can say, Oh, we do have a challenge about those goals. People you know, I'd s levels executives. We have, we have some challenges and when people start getting involved, especially these younger generations that you mentioned, right, then there is a better ambience, there's a better culture. You're suddenly driving the company all together and not just from top to bottom, and I think with that aspect of collaboration, I think covid in the and the even the acceleration of the workforce into a virtual environment top down is 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 the structure of the organization. Whereas when we use something that's much more collaborative, much more agile, much more inclusive, such as GC, I think that actually could potentially amplify the impact of being able to effectively work virtually. Have you seen that impact at all or seen it play out that way? I mean absolutely, because what happened as well, if you know, the last ten years, we really being focused on the technology companies building, Hey, charteels, right, how you know, Work Life Balance? How do we feel better at work and so on, and obviou see now with Covid, just pretty covid, we had this trend as well, right, like mirror white boards, like digital white boats? How? Like Zoom? Now we have 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 with them anymore anyways, but so what happens is that is when you try to implement that in a digital world, and especially if you're not going to do nineret tow five or ninety six and you're going to say, okay, you start work at nine, you've finished it six. How are you going to track that anyways when you're at home? Right? But if you bring a way of ideation sessions less, let's bring the goals together a team, you know, let's bring the challenges. What are your challenges in your job? What are challenges in your team, in your department, and everybody now was allowed to bring opportunities right away. We have started to work collaboratively and this could be remote, this could be offline, it doesn't matter. Of Fine. As you know, the design sprints, the ideation sessions, these have been going on for years now and these were where we were collaborating. Now I think that we need to collaborate at every level, and this should be from strategy goals today to day task management. And so when you implement GCO inside of an organization, how do you... there a platform or a way you like to track it or share that project tracking information, or share that information to make sure everybody has a clear understanding of what's going on and who needs to do what. It's standard project management software or is there something you found to be more effective in terms of being able to provide a dashboard and insight into progress through the framework? I've tried many, many I've tried with Trello, with a sauna would click up and I tried it on purpose because I was building my platform, which is squad one. That I oh, right, and and you still can, but it's going to take you hours and hours. It's going to take a lot of complex design in your mind and then trying to implement that on a typical task management platform. Then you have all these kr tools. There's so many of them. But, as I just mentioned, there are two different platforms. One is strategical goal settings and one is day to the execution. So what I've just built, and I'm still on early, early adoption, Beta testing. So I don't accept every company yet, but a squad the one does. I oh. What we'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 those challenges. Right now, I've haven't changed the naming yet because I'm testing just the classical right. So I call it goals, results and ideas at the moment, but my my future goal, which is going to be in the next few months, is to finish up the framework as a book and then change the naming around it in the company, in my platform, and start preaching at the GCO framework. So you're actually one of the early ones who and your listeners are the first ones that actually are listening to apart my clients of course. Excellent. Well, we appreciate you. Appreciate your sharing this for it. So you've obviously been iterating on it, doing agile approach, continuing to improve it. Curious if you could give us an example, real world example, of where you've seen it play out, either with a client or even even in squad one? MM. Yeah, and this is what I love. We already use our own platform for our own company and that works really well. But I'll give you an example from a client. So I client was again it was one of these CEOS who had some some really amazing goals in mine. You know we're going to we're going to reach these numbers 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 a them in the product right. So we were the sales team was setting a product 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 the biggest problem was the product team was even more far. There were more silod right, because they were really working on the product. And so what we did 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 to day, 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 was no squad one, and we were putting...

...this in a spreadsheet and everybody would look at the spreadsheets and suddenly the product team would have access to the spreadsheet and 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 can fix all of this. But then we realized that would take a lot of the men power from the actual product and just fixing a little bugs. And we always have to keep innovating, right. So what we were able to then do is to bring a prioritization framework right to score, to be able to score on saying, you know, what would be the impact, how easy 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 some ideas that they would never say because they're just busy with the numbers. And suddenly everybody was scoring. There were scoring all these these problems. Back then it was called problems, not really challenges, but there were scoring these problems about you know, how impactful would it be if we fix that? How easy would it be to fix that? Suddenly the product team had a priority and from this say ten problems would just get the three, the three top ones, and those three top ones as soon as you fix that. We had happier customers, we had happier sales people, we had happier marketing people because 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 taking this we grow from from about under km rr and we triple that in eighteen months. Wow that those are some impressive results. And so when you see you know, you think about the future, future, as we continue to see the business environment involved kind of you know, we had the last eighteen months with the pandemic and everybody was kind of shut in. Now we've got some 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. Are we going to back in person that kind of stuff? As you continue to see this, and I the only way I know how to describe it is just a consistent river of change. Like every day, you just have to be 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 to better 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 that they can stay focused on what's going to help the company be successful. Can you see the playing out that way and, if so, can I explain that a 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 did have a GC or framework. I'm going to try to adapt this. It's I'm going I'm going crazy here, but let me see. So let's say that countries actually said, right, the goal is to get rid of this virus, and suddenly they start saying the challenges right, people are traveling, this is happening, you know, we don't have enough beds, we don't have enough that. And if they could had assigned these challenges globally, right, and suddenly countries everywhere, I could that start bringing some opportunities to the table. And if everybody had prioritized these,...

...all these countries, all these big leaders that we're talking about, that we you know, that that are kind of leading our world, what would happen then? Right, and we prioritize these these these opportunities, these solutions, to these challenges and everybody together had worked, they collaborated. I think we will not not be in here child, to be honest with you, right, but to let me put it, in a business space as well, if you like, precovid post covid during code, if we have the mindset of always speaking about our challenges right 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 problems in companies, there are problems in individuals, but you know, we have this. You know we always have to look strong and this is how we learned in the past. Look strong, be the best. Right, to be the best, you have to accept, you know your weaknesses and work on them. 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 where opportunities will start, a rising creativity will be tapped into a collectively and everybody will 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 communities and this is going to work globally. In my mind. I love it and I actually I you know what, I really the the the example of countries collaborating to the framework, I think, resonates very powerfully because we saw what the fragmentation did at a global level. It's not hard to extrapolate that to see what happens inside of organizations as they grow and they add new departments or divisions, especially if people are distributed and you don't have the you know, the I hey, I can drop this off on somebody's desk or just mentioned in this in the hallway. There has to be something that kind of serves as the touchdown or that or the foundation for that collaboration, creativity and focus, and it sounds to me like GCO and the platform that you're working 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're remote to a location, right, and I do, I do try to use more the world. Just distributed as well. That means that there is no headquarters in everybody's all around the world. So so I love that you use that and I mean I don't think that my platform is ready to be used by countries and globally politically, but the hopefully, one day we'll get there. Yeah, how you got to have goals, right guy, exactly. That's to be ambitious as well. Absolutely all right. So let's Change Direction here a little bit. We ask all of our guests to standard questions towards the end of each interview. The first is simply, as a founder and CEO, that makes you a target for other people that are trying to sell things, and I'm always curious to learn the easiest way in is if you 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 effectively capture your attention and earn the right to time on your calendar? HMM, that's a great question. I get a lot of those, obviously, and I did it myself. I used to sell carpets do to door at some point and that was difficulty. But get... know who you targeting, right. We have the Internet now. It's not creepy to you know that to look online. What's available information about you, understand what you like, understand how you speak on Linkedin, what types of post you engage with. Right and speak my language. Don't come to me so strict when I'm not a strict person, you know. But go to somebody who likes strict language, to go strict with him, but come to me more friendly. And you know, I had some amazing examples. One person actually made the joke of hello, 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 first name. 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 automation not being an automation. I loved it. I laughed a lot and I reply to him. I said I that was hilarious. I really love that it. So, you see, I got your attention and I jumped on a call with him. I never bought his product, but we still speak Nice. Excellent. All right. So last question. We call it our acceleration in sight. There was one thing you could tell sales, marketing professional services people, one piece of advice you could give them that you believe would help 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 each other. 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 other of the quality of the lead, or you can't close the deal and so on, when they start working yet why? This is hilarious, but it happens all the time. And when you say hey, guys, you're all a 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 of amount 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 get that collaboration, customer service tells you what types of problems are happening and how clients speak to them. So the sales now knows how to make sure to answer 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, and the 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 interested in talking more about the topics we've touched on today or learning more about squad one, where do you want us to send them? Well, first of all I think my website, Tim cookirecom. So that's Tim Se Akircom and obviously saying my first last name on Linkedin. Are the two places. But also on my website you will find my news that's up every Monday. I try to send out a news that's up with all the tools that are recommend some frameworks that are recommend and so on, and I try to help professionals that way. Perfect, Tim, I can't thank you enough for taking time. It's been amazing avenue on the show, Chad, an upsolute pleasure. Thank you 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 the greatest success. You've been listening to the...

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