The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 4 years ago

Juliana Slye on The Challenges of Marketing and Selling to the Public Sector

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In Juliana Slye’s long career throughout the private and public sectors, two things have stuck with her more than anything:

  1. “It’s not about me, or where I believe the market is headed. It’s really all about the customer.” At the end of the day, if the customer doesn’t want it, it’s not going to happen.
  2. “You can’t go against your DNA.” Whether personal or professional, you have to take that DNA and make that work for you.

Today, she is the CEO and Chief Strategist at Government Business Results, and she says that “there is no other industry that is more challenging, more compelling, and more risk/reward laden than working within the public sector.”

Listen in to hear her stories of how a normal gift in the private sector can cause a panic when sent to the public sector, as well as why she’s so passionate about the work she does.

Find a breakdown of this episode here.

Are you concerned about hitting your revenuetargets this month, quarter or year? Your answer is value prime solutions,a sales training and marketing optimization company leveraging the value selling framework. visit wwwdot value prime solutionscom and start accelerating your results. You're listening to the BBrevenue executive experience, a podcast dedicated to helping the executives train their sales andmarketing teams to optimize growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or toolsand resources, you've come to the right place. Let's accelerate your growth inthree, two, one. Welcome everyone to the be tob revenue executive experience. I'm your host, Chad Sanderson. For those of us that don't havetime to listen the entire episode, please feel free to check us out atB Tob Rev exectcom or, of course, hit us up on Itunes, wherea review is always greatly appreciated. Today we are looking at with USJulianna slie. She's CEO and chief strategists with a company called government business resultsthat focuses on go to market strategy and enablement for technology firms focused on sellingto the public sector. It can be a great conversation. Consider a lotof our guests this point. Of course I've been focused on private so we'relooking forward to her perspectives on this. She has a long history of sellinginto the public sector with executive positions at Autodesk, adobe and Sgi so aGuliana were extremely excited to have on the show. There I really appreciate thetime. Thanks, Chad. It's really great to be here. You know, for my perspective, I think your podcast deliver a really unique perspective thatadds a lot of value for the marketing and selling community, and so I'mjust thrilled to be able to participate. Excellent well, I'm going to usethis with a lot of our prospects that are focused on public sectors. Sofor me it is also extremely value so again I will boutound it. Thankyou for your time. Normally on these podcasts we like to front load thevalue. Will do some of the normal types of questioning stuff, but oneof the things I like to ask our guests, especially considered typically high levelexecutives, you know, experienced professionals, is was there a defining moment inyour career? When you look back, that kind of either change the courseof your career or provided you with some inspiration. If you could kind ofshare that with our guests and explain what that was, I'd love to startthere. What a great question. You know, interestingly enough, when wesee, when we think about a defining moment, it's that Aha, right, we're kind of like the clouds part in the sunshines down and seen isthis, this benign moment? You know that that adds a lot to yourlife. My defining moment is one of failure. I think you know,we can soften it a little bit by calling it I failed forward. Thereality is it wasn't just a little failure, it was a pretty monster failure.I was in my late s and at the time I was responsible fordriving military simulation and training growth for a little tiny company called silicon graphics,who, if you know who Celtic graphics are, Sgi are. In theirheyday they transformed gaining virtual reality, Hollywood special effects and military training and simulation. They had these these graphics supercomputers and that were just programmed to scream cuttingedge graphics technology and capabilities. So if remember Jurassic Park, that was alldone on the SGI's right. And so my job was to take their hardwareand some of their software and position it towards the military training and simulation industryand drive revenue and growth there. And I'm looking out across out everything andit's, you know, it's the late s early s and PC's were comingon, as was the Mooditization of the graphics card, and I decided,you know what, absolutely that's a direction we should be going in. Iknow we make multimillion dollar machines here at Sgi, but we really need tomake a low cost entry a product called a PC graphics cluster, and Sgiis going to be the one to pioneer it, because who knows more aboutgraphics and Silk Graphics? Right? So so I was. I was headstronginto this and I knew exactly what I was doing, except I didn't.So FBI had no idea how to make...

...a low end commodity piece of hardware. Everything they had done had been high touch, almost a manual assembly ofthese super computers, and here I was trying to get them to build alow cost PC graphics cluster. And at the end of the day, notonly was Sgi not prepared to produce these things, but the military training andsimulation and industry wasn't prepared to buy them. They looked at Asgi as a veryhigh end provider of hardware and they kept looking at it. This thisPC graphics cluster, going hang on a minute, everything about this is acompromise and my responsible what about it is a compromise. It's medium grade graphicstechnology available for the low, low price of twenty six thousand dollars for peaceto pay back by the time it was all sudden done. That was thecheapest I could get SGI to manufacture this product and that was cost what he'sexpediency. But the company had let me proceed down this path and I thinkyou know it was I had so much energy and so much vision around itthat they got behind my passion, of my energy and allowed me to drivethis forward. And at the end of the day, you know my perspectiveat the time. I was, oh, it's the next big wave. Iknow we were totally dead on for what we were going to do,but I was asking Mercedes bends to build a UGO and the customers didn't wantto buy a Yugo from Mercedes Benz with the customers wanted was the quality thatthey and the cutting edge capability that they had expected from silicon graphics. Andso I think we sold one. The entire line was shut down six monthslater and it was a failure. And it was it wasn't just a littletiny failure, right, because when you spin up a big product inside ofa company it all hangs on your back. But at the end of the day, you know, I feel like I failed my customers, I failedmy company, I felt my division, I failed everybody and I thought forsure this is at this is the end of my career, going to godown in flames over twenty six thousand dollar PC graphics cluster one, as wasthe it I mean for a while there actually I was the IT company.I remember, I'm very clearly remember what Sgi was bringing the market and theywere known for that big, you know, the big solution it was. Theywere not a low end player at all. So even to have SGIbe willing to invest in you, I mean that's a huge vote of confidence. Winner fail, you know it's those are few quote of confidence. Well, it was a tremendous vote of confidence. But but check it out. Iwas going after a segment of the market that silicon graphics didn't own thatI thought would be highly valuable to own, and I was ignoring a bunch ofvery important things along the way. I was ignoring the SGI brand,I was ignoring what the company itself was good at, I was ignoring whatmy customers really wanted and I was convinced that I had the answer. Andso my big Aham what really shaped my life moving forward in my professional growth, were actually two things. One, it's not about me. It's soit's not about what I know or what I think or where I believe themarket is headed. It's really all about the customer, because at the endof the day, if the customer doesn't want it and it's not positioned ina way to drive value for what the customer where the customer wants to go, it's not going to happen. Right. So that was that was my ahnumber one. My Second Aha was this. You can't go against yourDNA. You have to take that DNA, whatever form it's in, whether it'spersonal DNA or professional DNA, and make it work for you. Youknow, your listeners aren't going to necessarily know this, but I'm six foot, for and so as a tall woman, especially growing up, you have tofigure out pretty quickly how to make your DNA work for you, becauseeither you own it or it owns you. But you extend this into kind ofwhat I learned with silicon graphics, and it really comes down to theywere a high end graphics manufacture. That was their pedigree, that's their DNA, that's what they knew how to do and that's what they were known for. So it was about taking that and...

...making it work for us, notfilling some gap that I perceive, because they weren't alow on player. Andagain those two pieces of knowledge have kind of stuck with me all the waythrough to what I do today. In the work that we do today ishelping companies translate their value proposition on the commercial side and extend it into governmentand public sector. And along the way I'm very careful to remember that Ican't transform this company's DNA. I can extend it, I can match thevalue for the DNA a guesst what the customer needs within the public sector are, but I can't change it and I can't alter it. So I keepthat pretty sacer saying and then the other pieces is I really strive to comeat it from the customers perspective, and the public sector is is rather brutaland unforgiving if you don't I so those two lessons sort of guide me todaywell, and so it's great actually segues. So, Sgi was public sector stuff. How did you get into public sector? WAS IT by design?Did you always know growing up you wanted to go into public sector, orhow did that come about? Now I'm from a military family. My familyis full of military and nurses. So we were born to serve in onecapacity or another a military nurses and actually so we're worn to serve in oneaspect or another. But I think, like everything in life, all ofthe great journeys begin with a single step that just sort of feels good andfor me I answered an add in a local DC metro paper for technology resellerthat was looking for some marketing help and once I got into it and realizedwhere they were focused within government, I was hooked. I was completely hooked. I mean, from my perspective, there is no other industry that ismore challenging, more compelling and more risk reward Laden. Looking within the publicsector, and so once for me, I got a taste of really beingable to drive and manipulate business and growth in the public sector. I washooked and that that sort of all she wrote in that area. And sowhen we talk about you mentioned before, you understand it from the customers perspective, that our stuff. We talked about that a lot with a lot ofour clients. I'm curious, have you seen there be I mean it's apretty simple concept, right, but also very difficult at time for some peopleto grasp and put into practice. So I'm curious, from a public sectorstand point, how you go about working with companies to say hey, youreally need to see this from the from the angle of the DOD or,you know, entities of that size, or is it really about that particularbuyer or individual that you're trying to uncover the value from? You know,it's interesting. I have found that a company's ability to really, quote unquote, get it in terms of what the public sector is about and driving revenuethere directly relates to how deeply they've invested in committed to verticalization in general andand to their ability to be customer centric. Because I think if you if youlook at the scale of being customer centric. On the one hand,you know you've got truly company centric ideology on the right hand side of thespectrum. On the left hand side is truly customer centric, and that's wherepublic sector lives. Out of all of the verticals. It is the mostextreme in demanding a customer centric capability. So for companies who are really farto the right and they're still sort of self absorbed, let's call it,what I say to them, in the way that I explain it is thepublic sector in and of itself isn't just about using a certain type of terminologyor language. It's not about translation. I can translate something from English intoSpanish, but public sector is about localization where you have to pay attention toculture and business practices, and so I will typically walk companies through that discussionof what it means to pay attention to the public sector culture, the publicsector business of practices and, of course, the public sector language, because atall wraps together and usually they'll understand. A lot of times I'll kind ofnod their heads and go I hear the words that are coming out ofyour mouth. I really don't know how to interpret that to what we doand then then we go down the path...

...of showing them how to how toactually execute that within their organization structure. And so is that kind of youknow, the Genesis for government business results was that? I mean, afteryears of selling to the public sector and marketing the public sector, the genesisfor opening your doors as an entity focused on that kind of thing. Wheredid that come from? You know, it's interesting. I so gone throughmy life. I've managed Global Government Industries for folks like Macromedia, Adobe,audits, the companies that you identified earlier. And it was in two thousand andten and I decided to take a step out of working for a mainstreamcompany and spend a little time focusing, at the time with my new emergingfamily, and then I was thinking about picking up a new position in thefall. As I went through the summer, you know, and started to lookat my bank account, that I got to get serious about this wholenew position thing. I started to talk to a colleague of mine who said, you know what, Jules, at the end of the day, ifyou want to go doc in somewhere, I'll help you dock in. Andthis person had known me for about fifteen years, he said, but Iknow what you're good at and I know companies need what you do, andit's been something I had heard over the course of my career. Oh,we wish we'd had somebody like you. Or Wow, you know, yourteam really produces results. We wish we had that. And the whole timein the back of my head I'm thinking, what a nice compliment and nothing morethan that. But when I hung out my shingle and in the fallof two thousand and ten I thought, you know, I'll pick up acouple of gigs, it will be kind of a nice business. We becameoverwhelmed and saturated almost out of the gate, and what I realized was this ideaof really driving a specific industry with embedded institutional knowledge of how to runthat industry is lacking. In the technology sector you'll find folks who make greatindustry marketing managers because they know how to spin a word, but moving beyondthat and developing the structures, the programs and the content that actually accelerate revenue, that's almost become a dying art. And so what we have found overthe course of standing up GBR is there're actually a lot of companies out therewho really need what we refer to as industry support as a service in theway where we can kind of dock into their existing infrastructure and provide a levelof services that are almost white labeled. So the companies that you see andtalk with today in the public sector there's a good chance that's somewhere along theirpipeline they're either their strategy, their messaging or their content was approached or ormassage in some way by either GBR or somebody's who's related to GB are insome way interesting. So you know, when you talk about technology companies,everybody knows the big brands, right, so adobe, Google, those typesof things. But they, and you know that they have great expertise andput a lot of money behind going be to see go into consumers that getthat. I'm kind of curious if you had, if you could identify likethree, the top three things that a marketer who's really accomplished in a nonverticalized text base would need to be aware of in order to kind of makethat transition to being effective at Publicic sector marketing. What would the fool's topthree things be? You know, I'll say both from the marketing and thesales component. It's a couple of things. The first is you have got tolisten, and it's about listening to really understand the culture that I talkedabout earlier, as well as the dynamics that are in play, not justinside of the general public sector, but inside each of the segments dod,state and local ICEE, healthcare and education. Every single one of those components hasa very different rhythm and heartbeat for how they drive business and and differentsets of needs, and in that way it's no different than really listening toa customers needs in general. Right, you can genericize to a point,but you become far more effective if you're able to truly listen in zero andso that's the first thing, I think. The second thing is that you've gotto put yourself in their shoes. You have to be able to understandtheir immediate pain points, and it's not always obvious and it's not always whatthe market's going to tell you it's going...

...to be. As I mentioned,that each one of the different segments have their different issues and challenges. Ifind that each one of the customers that we talk to have their different painpoints within that as well. And then the third component, I would sayrealistically, is that you can't think of the public sector as a vertical.You need to think of it as a horizontal and what I mean by thatis for every single quote unquote, vertical that you can find in the commercialspace, you'll find it in public sector. So you'll find healthcare in public sector, you'll find manufacturing and public sector, you'll find utilities in public sector,you'll find transportation of public sector, and so to really kind of thinkabout the public sector as another horizontal market, or a vertical of verticals, ifyou will, so interesting. So it becomes, I mean, I'vedone some just the very little bit of selling into the public sector right,and there's all of the how do I say this nice of the stereotype forselling to the public sector right takes forever, a lot of bureaucratic red tape.I'm curious, when you look at it as its own entity, doyou run into challenges with those tech companies who may be used to other verticalsthat were the normal horizontal and then going after the public sector to they havetheir own internal cultural challenges, because that's a I mean it's a pretty bigshift that you're talking about. So I'm curious how their own internal cultures impacttheir ability to be successful. You know, it impacts them and a variety ofdifferent ways. Again, it comes down to how dedicated the company isto truly focusing on their customer and and that describes whether or not they're goingto have an easier time, I'm adapting to marketing and selling into the publicsector or not. When I'm helping a company to establish the proficiency, though, and really kind of begin to make the changes, the challenges that wesee are more often around the Oh gosh, how do I say this? It'sa struggle for companies to want to provide one vertical something that they're notproviding the other verticals. In other words, you know, companies will often seetheir verticals as their children and they all need to get equally versing andthey all need to get equal support, with the exception of the fact thatthe public sector is different, and that's a very challenging obstacle for many companiesto overcome. There is a sales specialty, there is beyond sales and marketing.There's an operational need, there's a contract set, there's a legal need. It truly is its own little ecosystem that gets spun up and you haveto provide you know, not only do you have to ride differentiated resources,but there is a significant upfront investment that in some cases may take years torecoup in terms of an Roi. And both of those things, both theupfront investment and the disproportionate nature of the investment compared to the other verticals,as well as the Roi Timeframe, tend to be very challenging for tech companies, who usually wanted all. They want it now and they want it inthre thousand six hundred and ninety Tay air right well, and that's the way, I mean that's the way they kind of go to market. It's theway wall streets kind of trained them. My experience with government sector was thosewere extremely being a lucrative if you could win, but it was a hugeamount. I mean, I man I ended up going toward a door helpinga lobbyist one time. So I mean, it takes a very long time andthat type of investment is almost it is I don't know if it's theother side of the coin or does it create friction with like the other salesteams and marketing teams that are moving at a faster paced. Is that timelineitself create challenges? Oh, absolutely. You know, it's funny. I'veone client who talks quite a bit about wanting to create something called linearity inthe sales program and so what they're looking for across the board from their commercialsector is that you wind up with. It's the flattening of the hockey stick, right. So you spread out revenue so that in month one of thequarter you're achieving a thirty to forty percent a revenue month to thirty to fortypercent, month three to thirty percent, or or some level of flattening andall that. There's a lot that public...

...sector reps can do to manage anddrive their revenue in a cadence that aligns well with the company they're working with. But you can't change the laws of the federal fiscal year. You justcan't. There's there's nothing that a rep can do to change the fact thatthe government is going to spend a lot of money between August Person September thirty. So you can flatten it as much as you want, but you're stillgoing to get that massive hockey stick on September thirty and the big tail thatcomes in the November, December, January free time rain. So it ischallenging for these technology companies and the traditionally private sector companies to understand that thereare some things that are out of their control. And then, you know, then you have things like continuing resolution where all bets are off because theyjust stopped spending. It's really hard to be that sales RAPP who goes Ihave a one point two million dollar deal in the pipeline and the federal governmentjust shut down. But that's so we go back to what I talked aboutearlier. I thrive for that kind of challenge. The creativity that is bornof repeatedly driving revenue in that kind of a space is really, you know, to me it's intriguing and it's compelling. But for technology companies, what theysee, often at the managerial level, is, okay, I've got ateam telling me that this is different, they need more, it's going tobe longer till I get the Roi and I look at all of thatand go I don't know if we want to be a part of this businessor I don't know if we can sustain a commitment at the level you're askingus to sustain in a commitment without the Roi and you know everything else thatyou're going against the grain with, and so those are some of the challengesthat I typically have to deal with as well. So do you do youfind yourself, you know, eve been doing this a while, you're obviouslyan expert at it and you're got your own concern going your own business gbrsup and running be very successful. Do you find yourself in the enviable situationof being able to look at customers and assess kind of their level of commitmentand say, yeah, you're Nay, no, we don't want to dobusiness with these guys because they're not there. What's your kind of your own educationportion of your own sales cycle, when you look at customers who cometo you and look for help, whether those that fit the bill and thosethat you know just aren't ready? Yeah, and it's very interesting. You know, I started my ill step back a little bit by saying I startedmy business simply because I really enjoy what I do and I think you hearit my voices, I pleasure and what I do, and so this wholeidea of managing my own sale cycle from time to time catches me a littlebit going out head and hang on, I actually I got to take alook at my pipeline and manage my sale cycle. You know, it's Cobbler'skids right, have no shoes. So I look at it and go,okay, yeah, you know, are we in a position to turn awaybusiness? We are, but we don't. And I look at it from thestandpoint that when folks come to us it's because they have a need.And you know, there's two things that fuel me. It's helping someone inneed and I think that's part of my family's commitment to service. You know, you find service in a variety of different ways. But the other pieceis I'm truly intrigued because every problem is slightly different. You can have certaincategories of problems and I can look at a customer and go or a clientand go, you know what, we're going to go through this, it'sgoing to cost them a bunch of money and a bunch of time and atthe end of the day they're going to struggle with really how they implement it. And I can have that sense going into the conversation. But what Ifind is that little bit of Spidey sense makes me work that much harder tohelp whatever it is that I create or consult with them on work for themso that they can perpetuate it, so that they can implement it, andthat's the way I typically look at those scenarios. Yeah, it's always funto find the next I think my wife refers to it as my puzzle problem, like I need to know the next puzzle right. That's the beautiful thingabout professional services. Every client has a different perspective or a different or differentcultural challenge. So I can completely understand...

...where you're coming from. I dohave some customers, I'll be honest, where I've looked back and said,yeah, maybe I should not gonna know that path, but I think everybodylives and learns that as they go through, even the mouse customers. That customersegment learned from you during that engagement and you learned from them. Oh, without it, I think walk away both parties walk away rich or forit. This is true. This is true, very good. My wifewould say that you see the glass half full and I'm annoyed that the glasseson the table. So, but I totally understand where you're coming from.That I'm curious, and we've talked about this a little bit in the past, the difference between sales professionals in the private sector versus public sector. Whenyou encounter companies that are you know they have a well developed, perhaps youknow it's a proven private sector sales team, when they start to go build thatpublic sector team, you know what are the differences that they need tobe aware? What types of people and personality should they be looking for?Yeah, now, great question. So I typically start off by saying,all right, if you're going to go hire somebody who is and we're talkingabout a company hiring somebody in the private sector to work in the public sector, sure, okay, so let's start there. So companies will often say, well, I can just take one of my top selling commercial reps andturn them into a good public sector AP, and I go if you have fiveyears for them to get there? Absolutely, absolutely, and I typicallyget this cross I'd look and I'm like and my response is typically along thelines of an order to become a highly skilled public sector rep, you needto understand the budget cycles and to have lived through at least three of themor four of them, at which point you're looking at three to four years, because there is a continuity that's involved. There's understanding the system and the structureand how the money flows, and then you have to learn how tomanipulate and drive that spend in a sales capacity. And I know it soundschallenging if I say the words manipulating government spend. Reality is it's a salesprocess as we go through it and there is a certain level of management ofexpectations that you have to go through, both on the customer side and withinyour own your own company side. So I'll start there. But then thesecond thing that I typically look at, and this is if you're going tobring to me a public sector rep and say is this candidate good for mycompany, I'm going to advise them to look for a couple of things.The first thing is they ask me, well, they've only worked for thiscompany for a year and that company for two years, and is that aproblem? And increasingly with a millennial workforce, you see that type of Job Hoopand so I don't get as concerned about that as I previously did.I will tell you where I focus with public sector instead, and that istheir time in segment. How long have they been driving business inside of federalcivilian agencies or how long have they been driving business within the DOD? Ifyou see them hopping back and forth between fedsive and Dod, a little bitof commercial over here back in defensive, I start to see red flags becausewithin the public sector it is such a relationship driven segment that what you wantin an ideal sales higher as someone who can bring to the table solid salesskills and a deep understanding of the customer, as well as relationships within agencies andknowledge of how agencies acquire and you get that by sales reps who havespent time in segment, and so that's what I would encourage hiring managers tolook for. So time in the barrel right time in the barrel becomes thebig thing. Now we see that type, that same type of need for thatcross section of skill sets right understand the customer in the industries. Yousee that on both sides of the fence at times, that ability to kindof multi level of layer that approach. I'm curious with public sector. You'retalking about and we talked about time horizon right. There's there's this month longerplay here. Do you find it's it's easier to find people that have hadtime in the but may not necessarily be the most polished sales professionals and havethe most Polish sales skill set. Where...

...do you find salespeople that may notnecessarily have spent enough time in segment, as you say? You know,I find that they can spend a good amount of time in the sales barrel, but I really want to see them time and segments. Time and segmentis what I found to be the the most significant qualifier of or predictor ratherof their success. Okay, okay. And is that largely because it's suchI mean, relationship plays apart in every type of sale, but in publicsector it seems to play an even more important role because of the volatility anda whole bunch of other reasons. But is it because of that ability tounderstand how it works in an inside that context to build those relationships? Itreally is. And I'll flip it another way. So when you're making acommercial sale as a sales up, you can send an executive gift, youcan send, you know, a door opener. You know, you cansend an email directly to their mobile phone. You know you could invite them toa very, you know, specialized luncheon at the Ritz Carlton where onlyfive other executives are going to be and all of that is not permissible insideof the public sector for one reason or another. You know, for example, public sector employees are bound by anti it's anti bribery laws that the maximumgifts they can receive in a given year can not exceed more than twenty fivedollars. So you can't buy them lunch, can't buy and dinner, can't buyem drinks, right, so you have to find a different way tobuild a relationship. Right. Typically, within most public sector agencies they havefirewalls that don't allow html based emails to go through. Okay, so I'mnot sending this really cool, spiffy email that has all the bells in thestiles. I've got to go create back to text right, okay, allright, and guess what, I'm not going to be able to send anemail to your mobile phone because it's fit certified and there are certain things thatwon't be able to go through because in my email signature I might have aurl to my company and your spam filters inside of the government agency might grabthat and kick it out. So they're all these intricacies and characteristics of engagementinside of the public sector that are either bound by law or bound by aneed for security or a need for privacy, and the primary way to break throughall of that is facetoface. When you can have a facetoface engagement andbuild a relationship with a customer, then that relationship has a significant value inthe public sector and I would say it's more so than in the commercial sector. But it's really important because the ways reaching government agencies today, in theindividuals inside of government agencies is just getting more and more difficult when you're tryingto do it from the outside understand. And so then, of course,the time in the barrel becomes a time in segment, becomes that that criticalcomponent. I mean, you can teach him what we do, teach companieshow to prospect through the private sector using all of the different mediums that areout there, but I mean, you know, you basically just shut downfive of the seven ways that we try to get a hold of people.I could tell you the story about a client who thought it was a reallygood idea to send solar powered battery chargers, you know, for your little cellphone, right, right, fifteen devices, twenty devices, but thinkabout the circuitry boards behind them. They sent a thousand of them to,you know, Social Security Administration, and the ruck up in the mail roomwhen they received that level of security components, because everything gets anything. Anytime youmail something to a government agency, first and foremost it goes through securityscanner. So think about the backlash around that. It's just it's understanding thesecultural norms and these limitations and then figuring out creatively how to work within themto build the kind of relationship that you need and, frankly, your customerneeds. Excellent. Okay, yeah, totally makes sense. Something makes sense. So when you look at you know,...

...we've talked about it a lot.What is it, if you could boil it down, what is itabout public sector that inspires or motivates you the most? ME, obviously verypassionate about it, very accomplished. Curious. What is it that gets the adrenalineflow in about the public sector? For it, you know it's goingto sound really Corny, but it comes down to knowing the work that I'mdoing plays a part and changing people's lives and making a difference. The repsthat I deal with and the marketing teams that I work with are really touchthat they've got their fingers into third rail elements of our national security, ofmilitary training, of Social Security and health and welfare systems, and when myclients are able to help agencies implement a healthcare system or or a welfare systemthat all of a sudden enables a whole community of less fortunate individuals to beable to tap into their benefits via mobile devices instead of having to go toa brick and mortar it changes their life. When we're able to when my clientsare able to more effectively sell technology to the military that actually makes asubstantial difference and delivering a information superiority or decision making a superiority to the battlefield. It means more soldiers come home safe food, and that's that's huge forme. When we're when I'm able to help company understand how their technology canfits within the intelligence community and can deliver an advantage to our intelligence community inthe way that they protect our nation, then I know at the end ofthe day, the work that I'm doing ultimately down the chain has a realimpact and I think about all of that and for me that's a big piecethat fuels me and doing what I do, and I also know that's what reallydrives many of my clients as well. It's this idea that you're rolling upyour sleeves, you're putting your hands deep down into the machine and you'retrying to make a difference and it's pretty cool for us. And that intrinsicmotivation is something that some of the most successful people I've ever had the opportunityto meet in or interview share right there is there is that intrinsic it's notjust about the dollar, it's not just about the puzzle. There is athere's a deep intrinsic motivors. I'm very excited to hear that. When wetalked, when we look back, we've talked about a lot of different,different things, but I'm I'm curious if there's an upcoming trend or something thatyou're seeing new in the public sector that you're excited to see play out orsomething that you're curious how it will impact the segment. So speed you know. So let's take a look at the administration. My best not I wasdoing. Here's the really exciting part. So I watched, as I think, as we all have, this administration go down its varying paths and andI do actually believe they're in a learning pattern right now. where it windsup, but I think it's a learning pattern. But what I'm seeing rightnow is that, honestly, the rules are changing and I think that thatgets me really excited about technology acquisition because it means anytime you've got this levelof change in the atmosphere, that it brings about new capabilities. I thinkone of the things that government agencies and Public Sector Agency's truly struggle with attheir core today is acquiring technology in time and in a way that they canput to immediate use. I mean, everybody lasts about the government being thisbig Boohem of bureaucracy. It's the elephant lumbering around in the REALOM, it'swhat have you. But everybody I know who works for government really does wantto see change made. There is, you know, their hands are astied as the technology folks who are trying to upgrade them. So, andI'll cite you an example. It's really interesting. There is within the dodthere's a specific piece of technology that was used for that has been acquired tomanage their health care records, and over time we've seen the plight of thethe Va and all the challenges that the VAS had. Right well, interestinglyenough, the VA, the head of the VA, did something I've neverseen done before, and that was basically...

...make the decision without going out tobid. Hey, we are going to adopt what the DOD has adopted formedical healthcare records, and that will enable us to do two things. One, communicate electronically with the DOD, which, frankly, they couldn't before, andthat's a little frightening. The second pieces, though, it's they're lookingacross the aisle, identifying something that's worked and said, you know what,we are just going to move forward and execute. We're not going to tryto reinvent the wheel. I get super excited about that because that's a gamechange, or not just for government agencies but for sales teams as well,because it tells the sales rep if you can build the case, if youcan go high enough, then you can help to effect change faster. Well, and that specific can that specific va example. I mean I actually watchpresident trump's speech when they were talking about having been able to accomplish that,and I remember I was actually shocked to think that the part of the challengehad been that lack of ability to share Emr, you know, electrono medicalworkers between the different you just think I made the assumption that that was alreadyin place and had no idea how absolutely complex that that problem had been.But to see them solve that and we can completely understand the reward that thatbrings the table, but also the excitement because now you've got the ability,I would think, to do a larger scale sales strategy. That could meaneven more Roy may not change the time one necessarily, but man, butmight get Roi out of it right, so that that is taking the handcuffsoff a little bit of the sales teams and and encouraging them to go highright and build a lot of value around what they're doing. But the secondthing it does that I get really stoked about too, is you're able tothen reference cell in new and meaningful ways. It's the first time I've actually seenat that high level and enterprise reference sale go from one installation not justto another installation. But if you think about it, the Department of theVA is a civilian agency, very federal civilian agency. The DOD is theDOD and they typically purchased very differently and in this case you've got a civilianorganization who referenced off of a Dood sale and is simply going to copy andprint for them. That tell sales reps references do matter and your ability toreference across accounts is going to continue to improve your sales posture. So it'sa much more dynamic environment right it especially with all the change and the changeof administration. It gets more dynamic. Do you see the sales reps getexcited about that or they or they little kind of can't believe it's happening?Well, you know, it's like every change inside of a sales because atthe same time you're getting excited, you're also kind of going up. Oh, how do I defend my territory? So it's that balance between hey,there's a new way to do things and craft, there's a new way todo things, I've got to figure out a new defense system associated with that. So I'm seeing a little bit of gas clutch, but I remain reallybullish on the public sector. I still think there are big problems to solve. I get really excited about the technology sector's ability to help solve those problems. And when I see technology companies truly partnering with Government Agencies, really sittingdown and you've when you've got a rep who really is invested in an agency, who's driving value along their relationship with the agency and beginning to build thispartnership. Man Companies go to get really excited about that, and that's whyI go back to time and segment right, because then you've got a rep whounderstands, not only understands the importance of that relationship, but that relationshiphas a value to the REP itself. So they're not going to push anythingforward. That's not going to be a win win, right, because they'vegot their own individual reputation and credibility as well. And so as a company, and I encourage the companies I work with, when you see that,get excited, get lined up behind it, because that's when great things happen,when you've got that partnership, in...

...that brainstorming element between technology and apublic sector. Excellent, excellent. Okay, so let's change direction a little bit. We've got two standard questions towards the end of each interview we liketo ask our guests. The first one, as an executive yourself, that thatputs you in the targets sites sometimes for people who are looking to sellto you. So I'm curious what is it when somebody's trying to to sellto you that that you don't know right? We would call it cold at coldstart. What gets your attention? What makes you pay attention to somebodyor respond to somebody? Oh Man, you know, I'll preface this.I almost want to take CEO out of my title because I'll become a targeton linkedin. Yeah, and I'm Tald you of between the Linkedin. Youknow, please, you know, please, connect with me, because I wantto sell you something. And and the emails that I get, someof them are so extreme it's laughable and you kind of go okay. Soclearly they were going for humor to break the ice here. However, Idon't have time for this, but the ones that do make me take noticemake me take notice in two areas. The first is if I have areference. So if you're going to use Linkedin, use intelligently. Figure outwho you and I have in common, contact that person and say do youmind if I reference you in my initial email outreach? Right, so that'sthat's kind of tried and true. Sales one hundred and want. A referencedopportunity is a lot better than a cold opportunity. But I'll tell you,outside of that, if you deliver to me a crisp, well targeted valueproposition that doesn't force me to read through multiple paragraphs, right, for example, but that clearly connects to what I do, improves to me that youknow what I do, you've got at least a fifty to a sixty percentchance that I'll consider replying, considering. That's better than I mean, Hey, that's better than most, right. Mean most of the time some peopledon't even open them up, hope up the animals. I requires a levelof preparation and research, right, doing your homework before you target somebody.Excellent. Okay, yes, but it's not a tremendous amount either. Right. It's a baseline level of caring about who you're engaging with, just enoughto understand who they are and what their company does. Well, I thinkthat's actually a really good point, right. We spend a lot of time asso a lot of time a clients and sales reps working on the factthat, look, you, this is a human interaction, right, andso all of the dynamics in playing any human interaction that you have, thereis a level of respect, there's a level of making sure you are younot wasting their time right, that you are providing values you do it.All of that is amplified in the sales scenario. So you want to makesure you're doing all that. It's funny to me how many people just think, well, I'll just play the numbers, I'll send a thousand emails and liketen people responds, like okay, but what kind of you know wasI say about you? Absolutely, and you know, it's no different thanwhat I do with my clients. Right, I get an email, whether it'sa referral email where somebody has introduced me, or I've got, youknow, a cold call, or relatively cold call, that that's going togo out, I am absolutely going to research everything I can about that companyand those people before I pick up the phone. Right. It just that'smy commitment to building a longstanding relationship and I want them to understand that thatI'm going to provide a level of value right up front by not wasting theirtime having to describe to me who they are and what they do. Right, I'm going to take care of that for them. Yeah, it's arespect thing. It's amazing to me. I don't know if people get tofocus on their number and forget that at the heart of this, what we'retalking about, is how do you accelerate human interaction and value exchange. Itamazes me how many people just forget about really does not. Okay, Julie, I don't we ask all of our guests and then we call an accelerationinsight. And if you had sales, marketing or consulting professionals focus on thepublic sector in front of you, you have the opportunity to give them someadvice that you felt like would make them more effective at beating their targets.What would that advice and insight be, and why? You know, Chat. I think it goes back to what we started our whole conversation with,and that is it's not about you, right, it's about the customer,and from my perspective, each customer has...

...a story and if you understand thestory completely, then your arm with all of the facts and all of theinformation you need to effectively drive and manage the sale, and I think weforget that quite a bit of the time. We go in, we ask acouple of questions and they might be the same couple of questions that weask every single one of our customers. And so what I would charge publicsector reps with doing, and with though, actually sales reps in general with doing, is become the best investigative reporter that you possibly can. Leverage thetools around you to research everything you can about that customer, that agency,the mission, that they have, the challenges they have around them, andthere are quite a lot of tools inside of the public sector and outside ofthe public sector that you can use. Things like Google, which is fantasticfor surfacing information. There's the freedom of Information Act, which forces agencies topost budgets and Org Charts and program information and mission information all available to youon the website. You can go to websites like us a spending Dotgov andactually find out what competitive technology has been sold at that agency before and howmuch and when and who the purchasing officer was. So there's there's a plettterof information out there, and I would encourage sales professionals and marketing professionals toto do your investigation ahead of time, really dig in understands what's happening withinthat agency and within that customers world so that you know which questions to askwhen you're with that customer and then listen, really, really listen. You know, learn from my mistake about my gut and thinking what I wanted todrive forward and take a step back and really consider what the customers trying toaccomplish and going again, coming full circle. You can only do that when youask the right questions and you're cheat up to listen. So that's whatI would do. I would encourage each one of the sales professionals out thereto really work on building that story almost before they even go in for thefirst meeting or the first call, so they've got everything they need to askthe right questions and the specific questions that they need to ask. Excellent,excellent. Thank you for that, Julianna. That's the show for us today.Folks. Anybody who came back late or wants to see the blog post, please check us out at be to be REV exactcom and don't hesitate tosearch for us on itunes. Leave a review please. We'd love to seethose good, bad or indifferent. Helps us make sure the show is valuablefor you and your friends, family and Co workers, who we encourage youto share the show with. Julian, I can't thank you enough of thetime today. It's been an absolute pleasure to have you on the show.Thank you, Chad, so much. The pleasure has been online excellent.Well, to all our listeners and to Julian. Until we talk again nexttime. Good selling and we wish everybody nothing but the best. Thank you. Same to you. You've been listening to the B Tob Revenue Executive Experience. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show andItunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Untilnext time.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (238)