The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 5 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 revenue targets this month, quarter or year? Your answer is value prime solutions, a sales training and marketing optimization company leveraging the value selling framework. visit www dot value prime solutionscom and start accelerating your results. You're listening to the BB revenue executive experience, a podcast dedicated to helping the 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 be tob revenue executive experience. I'm your host, Chad Sanderson. For those of us that don't have time to listen the entire episode, please feel free to check us out at B Tob Rev exectcom or, of course, hit us up on Itunes, where a review is always greatly appreciated. Today we are looking at with US Julianna slie. She's CEO and chief strategists with a company called government business results that focuses on go to market strategy and enablement for technology firms focused on selling to the public sector. It can be a great conversation. Consider a lot of our guests this point. Of course I've been focused on private so we're looking forward to her perspectives on this. She has a long history of selling into the public sector with executive positions at Autodesk, adobe and Sgi so a Guliana were extremely excited to have on the show. There I really appreciate the time. Thanks, Chad. It's really great to be here. You know, for my perspective, I think your podcast deliver a really unique perspective that adds a lot of value for the marketing and selling community, and so I'm just thrilled to be able to participate. Excellent well, I'm going to use this with a lot of our prospects that are focused on public sectors. So for me it is also extremely value so again I will boutound it. Thank you for your time. Normally on these podcasts we like to front load the value. Will do some of the normal types of questioning stuff, but one of the things I like to ask our guests, especially considered typically high level executives, you know, experienced professionals, is was there a defining moment in your career? When you look back, that kind of either change the course of your career or provided you with some inspiration. If you could kind of share that with our guests and explain what that was, I'd love to start there. What a great question. You know, interestingly enough, when we see, 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 is this, this benign moment? You know that that adds a lot to your life. My defining moment is one of failure. I think you know, we can soften it a little bit by calling it I failed forward. The reality 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 for driving military simulation and training growth for a little tiny company called silicon graphics, who, if you know who Celtic graphics are, Sgi are. In their heyday 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 cutting edge graphics technology and capabilities. So if remember Jurassic Park, that was all done on the SGI's right. And so my job was to take their hardware and some of their software and position it towards the military training and simulation industry and drive revenue and growth there. And I'm looking out across out everything and it's, you know, it's the late s early s and PC's were coming on, as was the Mooditization of the graphics card, and I decided, you know what, absolutely that's a direction we should be going in. I know we make multimillion dollar machines here at Sgi, but we really need to make a low cost entry a product called a PC graphics cluster, and Sgi is going to be the one to pioneer it, because who knows more about graphics and Silk Graphics? Right? So so I was. I was headstrong into 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 of these super computers, and here I was trying to get them to build a low cost PC graphics cluster. And at the end of the day, not only was Sgi not prepared to produce these things, but the military training and simulation and industry wasn't prepared to buy them. They looked at Asgi as a very high end provider of hardware and they kept looking at it. This this PC graphics cluster, going hang on a minute, everything about this is a compromise and my responsible what about it is a compromise. It's medium grade graphics technology available for the low, low price of twenty six thousand dollars for peace to pay back by the time it was all sudden done. That was the cheapest I could get SGI to manufacture this product and that was cost what he's expediency. But the company had let me proceed down this path and I think you know it was I had so much energy and so much vision around it that they got behind my passion, of my energy and allowed me to drive this forward. And at the end of the day, you know my perspective at the time. I was, oh, it's the next big wave. I know 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 want to buy a Yugo from Mercedes Benz with the customers wanted was the quality that they and the cutting edge capability that they had expected from silicon graphics. And so I think we sold one. The entire line was shut down six months later and it was a failure. And it was it wasn't just a little tiny failure, right, because when you spin up a big product inside of a company it all hangs on your back. But at the end of the day, you know, I feel like I failed my customers, I failed my company, I felt my division, I failed everybody and I thought for sure this is at this is the end of my career, going to go down in flames over twenty six thousand dollar PC graphics cluster one, as was the 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 they were known for that big, you know, the big solution it was. They were not a low end player at all. So even to have SGI be 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. I was going after a segment of the market that silicon graphics didn't own that I thought would be highly valuable to own, and I was ignoring a bunch of very important things along the way. I was ignoring the SGI brand, I was ignoring what the company itself was good at, I was ignoring what my customers really wanted and I was convinced that I had the answer. And so 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 so it's not about what I know or what I think or where I believe the market is headed. It's really all about the customer, because at the end of the day, if the customer doesn't want it and it's not positioned in a 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 ah number one. My Second Aha was this. You can't go against your DNA. You have to take that DNA, whatever form it's in, whether it's personal DNA or professional DNA, and make it work for you. You know, 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 to figure out pretty quickly how to make your DNA work for you, because either you own it or it owns you. But you extend this into kind of what I learned with silicon graphics, and it really comes down to they were 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, not filling some gap that I perceive, because they weren't alow on player. And again those two pieces of knowledge have kind of stuck with me all the way through to what I do today. In the work that we do today is helping companies translate their value proposition on the commercial side and extend it into government and public sector. And along the way I'm very careful to remember that I can't transform this company's DNA. I can extend it, I can match the value 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 keep that pretty sacer saying and then the other pieces is I really strive to come at it from the customers perspective, and the public sector is is rather brutal and unforgiving if you don't I so those two lessons sort of guide me today well, 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, or how did that come about? Now I'm from a military family. My family is full of military and nurses. So we were born to serve in one capacity or another a military nurses and actually so we're worn to serve in one aspect or another. But I think, like everything in life, all of the great journeys begin with a single step that just sort of feels good and for me I answered an add in a local DC metro paper for technology reseller that was looking for some marketing help and once I got into it and realized where they were focused within government, I was hooked. I was completely hooked. I mean, from my perspective, there is no other industry that is more challenging, more compelling and more risk reward Laden. Looking within the public sector, and so once for me, I got a taste of really being able to drive and manipulate business and growth in the public sector. I was hooked and that that sort of all she wrote in that area. And so when 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 of our clients. I'm curious, have you seen there be I mean it's a pretty simple concept, right, but also very difficult at time for some people to grasp and put into practice. So I'm curious, from a public sector stand point, how you go about working with companies to say hey, you really 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 particular buyer 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 revenue there directly relates to how deeply they've invested in committed to verticalization in general and and to their ability to be customer centric. Because I think if you if you look 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 the spectrum. On the left hand side is truly customer centric, and that's where public sector lives. Out of all of the verticals. It is the most extreme in demanding a customer centric capability. So for companies who are really far to 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 the public sector in and of itself isn't just about using a certain type of terminology or language. It's not about translation. I can translate something from English into Spanish, but public sector is about localization where you have to pay attention to culture and business practices, and so I will typically walk companies through that discussion of what it means to pay attention to the public sector culture, the public sector business of practices and, of course, the public sector language, because at all wraps together and usually they'll understand. A lot of times I'll kind of nod their heads and go I hear the words that are coming out of your mouth. I really don't know how to interpret that to what we do and then then we go down the path...

...of showing them how to how to actually execute that within their organization structure. And so is that kind of you know, the Genesis for government business results was that? I mean, after years of selling to the public sector and marketing the public sector, the genesis for opening your doors as an entity focused on that kind of thing. Where did that come from? You know, it's interesting. I so gone through my 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 and ten and I decided to take a step out of working for a mainstream company and spend a little time focusing, at the time with my new emerging family, and then I was thinking about picking up a new position in the fall. As I went through the summer, you know, and started to look at my bank account, that I got to get serious about this whole new position thing. I started to talk to a colleague of mine who said, you know what, Jules, at the end of the day, if you want to go doc in somewhere, I'll help you dock in. And this person had known me for about fifteen years, he said, but I know what you're good at and I know companies need what you do, and it'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, your team really produces results. We wish we had that. And the whole time in the back of my head I'm thinking, what a nice compliment and nothing more than that. But when I hung out my shingle and in the fall of two thousand and ten I thought, you know, I'll pick up a couple of gigs, it will be kind of a nice business. We became overwhelmed and saturated almost out of the gate, and what I realized was this idea of really driving a specific industry with embedded institutional knowledge of how to run that industry is lacking. In the technology sector you'll find folks who make great industry marketing managers because they know how to spin a word, but moving beyond that 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 over the course of standing up GBR is there're actually a lot of companies out there who really need what we refer to as industry support as a service in the way where we can kind of dock into their existing infrastructure and provide a level of services that are almost white labeled. So the companies that you see and talk with today in the public sector there's a good chance that's somewhere along their pipeline they're either their strategy, their messaging or their content was approached or or massage in some way by either GBR or somebody's who's related to GB are in some way interesting. So you know, when you talk about technology companies, everybody knows the big brands, right, so adobe, Google, those types of things. But they, and you know that they have great expertise and put a lot of money behind going be to see go into consumers that get that. I'm kind of curious if you had, if you could identify like three, the top three things that a marketer who's really accomplished in a non verticalized text base would need to be aware of in order to kind of make that transition to being effective at Publicic sector marketing. What would the fool's top three things be? You know, I'll say both from the marketing and the sales component. It's a couple of things. The first is you have got to listen, and it's about listening to really understand the culture that I talked about earlier, as well as the dynamics that are in play, not just inside 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 has a very different rhythm and heartbeat for how they drive business and and different sets of needs, and in that way it's no different than really listening to a 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 and so that's the first thing, I think. The second thing is that you've got to put yourself in their shoes. You have to be able to understand their immediate pain points, and it's not always obvious and it's not always what the 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. I find that each one of the customers that we talk to have their different pain points within that as well. And then the third component, I would say realistically, 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 that is for every single quote unquote, vertical that you can find in the commercial space, 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 think about the public sector as another horizontal market, or a vertical of verticals, if you will, so interesting. So it becomes, I mean, I've done 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 for selling 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, do you run into challenges with those tech companies who may be used to other verticals that were the normal horizontal and then going after the public sector to they have their own internal cultural challenges, because that's a I mean it's a pretty big shift that you're talking about. So I'm curious how their own internal cultures impact their ability to be successful. You know, it impacts them and a variety of different ways. Again, it comes down to how dedicated the company is to truly focusing on their customer and and that describes whether or not they're going to have an easier time, I'm adapting to marketing and selling into the public sector 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 we see are more often around the Oh gosh, how do I say this? It's a struggle for companies to want to provide one vertical something that they're not providing the other verticals. In other words, you know, companies will often see their verticals as their children and they all need to get equally versing and they all need to get equal support, with the exception of the fact that the public sector is different, and that's a very challenging obstacle for many companies to 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 have to 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 to recoup in terms of an Roi. And both of those things, both the upfront 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 in thre 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 the way wall streets kind of trained them. My experience with government sector was those were extremely being a lucrative if you could win, but it was a huge amount. I mean, I man I ended up going toward a door helping a lobbyist one time. So I mean, it takes a very long time and that type of investment is almost it is I don't know if it's the other side of the coin or does it create friction with like the other sales teams and marketing teams that are moving at a faster paced. Is that timeline itself create challenges? Oh, absolutely. You know, it's funny. I've one client who talks quite a bit about wanting to create something called linearity in the sales program and so what they're looking for across the board from their commercial sector 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 the quarter you're achieving a thirty to forty percent a revenue month to thirty to forty percent, month three to thirty percent, or or some level of flattening and all that. There's a lot that public...

...sector reps can do to manage and drive 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 just can't. There's there's nothing that a rep can do to change the fact that the 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 still going to get that massive hockey stick on September thirty and the big tail that comes in the November, December, January free time rain. So it is challenging for these technology companies and the traditionally private sector companies to understand that there are 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 they just stopped spending. It's really hard to be that sales RAPP who goes I have a one point two million dollar deal in the pipeline and the federal government just shut down. But that's so we go back to what I talked about earlier. I thrive for that kind of challenge. The creativity that is born of 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 they see, often at the managerial level, is, okay, I've got a team telling me that this is different, they need more, it's going to be longer till I get the Roi and I look at all of that and go I don't know if we want to be a part of this business or I don't know if we can sustain a commitment at the level you're asking us to sustain in a commitment without the Roi and you know everything else that you're going against the grain with, and so those are some of the challenges that I typically have to deal with as well. So do you do you find yourself, you know, eve been doing this a while, you're obviously an expert at it and you're got your own concern going your own business gbrs up and running be very successful. Do you find yourself in the enviable situation of being able to look at customers and assess kind of their level of commitment and say, yeah, you're Nay, no, we don't want to do business with these guys because they're not there. What's your kind of your own education portion of your own sales cycle, when you look at customers who come to you and look for help, whether those that fit the bill and those that 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 started my business simply because I really enjoy what I do and I think you hear it my voices, I pleasure and what I do, and so this whole idea of managing my own sale cycle from time to time catches me a little bit going out head and hang on, I actually I got to take a look at my pipeline and manage my sale cycle. You know, it's Cobbler's kids right, have no shoes. So I look at it and go, okay, yeah, you know, are we in a position to turn away business? We are, but we don't. And I look at it from the standpoint 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 in need 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 piece is I'm truly intrigued because every problem is slightly different. You can have certain categories of problems and I can look at a customer and go or a client and go, you know what, we're going to go through this, it's going to cost them a bunch of money and a bunch of time and at the 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 I find is that little bit of Spidey sense makes me work that much harder to help whatever it is that I create or consult with them on work for them so that they can perpetuate it, so that they can implement it, and that's the way I typically look at those scenarios. Yeah, it's always fun to 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 thing about professional services. Every client has a different perspective or a different or different cultural challenge. So I can completely understand...

...where you're coming from. I do have 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 everybody lives and learns that as they go through, even the mouse customers. That customer segment learned from you during that engagement and you learned from them. Oh, without it, I think walk away both parties walk away rich or for it. This is true. This is true, very good. My wife would say that you see the glass half full and I'm annoyed that the glasses on 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. When you encounter companies that are you know they have a well developed, perhaps you know it's a proven private sector sales team, when they start to go build that public sector team, you know what are the differences that they need to be 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 talking about 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 and turn them into a good public sector AP, and I go if you have five years for them to get there? Absolutely, absolutely, and I typically get this cross I'd look and I'm like and my response is typically along the lines of an order to become a highly skilled public sector rep, you need to understand the budget cycles and to have lived through at least three of them or 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 structure and how the money flows, and then you have to learn how to manipulate and drive that spend in a sales capacity. And I know it sounds challenging if I say the words manipulating government spend. Reality is it's a sales process as we go through it and there is a certain level of management of expectations that you have to go through, both on the customer side and within your own your own company side. So I'll start there. But then the second thing that I typically look at, and this is if you're going to bring to me a public sector rep and say is this candidate good for my company, 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 this company for a year and that company for two years, and is that a problem? And increasingly with a millennial workforce, you see that type of Job Hoop and 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 is their time in segment. How long have they been driving business inside of federal civilian agencies or how long have they been driving business within the DOD? If you see them hopping back and forth between fedsive and Dod, a little bit of commercial over here back in defensive, I start to see red flags because within the public sector it is such a relationship driven segment that what you want in an ideal sales higher as someone who can bring to the table solid sales skills and a deep understanding of the customer, as well as relationships within agencies and knowledge of how agencies acquire and you get that by sales reps who have spent time in segment, and so that's what I would encourage hiring managers to look for. So time in the barrel right time in the barrel becomes the big thing. Now we see that type, that same type of need for that cross section of skill sets right understand the customer in the industries. You see that on both sides of the fence at times, that ability to kind of multi level of layer that approach. I'm curious with public sector. You're talking about and we talked about time horizon right. There's there's this month longer play here. Do you find it's it's easier to find people that have had time in the but may not necessarily be the most polished sales professionals and have the most Polish sales skill set. Where...

...do you find salespeople that may not necessarily 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 segment is what I found to be the the most significant qualifier of or predictor rather of their success. Okay, okay. And is that largely because it's such I mean, relationship plays apart in every type of sale, but in public sector it seems to play an even more important role because of the volatility and a whole bunch of other reasons. But is it because of that ability to understand how it works in an inside that context to build those relationships? It really is. And I'll flip it another way. So when you're making a commercial sale as a sales up, you can send an executive gift, you can send, you know, a door opener. You know, you can send an email directly to their mobile phone. You know you could invite them to a very, you know, specialized luncheon at the Ritz Carlton where only five other executives are going to be and all of that is not permissible inside of 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 maximum gifts they can receive in a given year can not exceed more than twenty five dollars. So you can't buy them lunch, can't buy and dinner, can't buy em drinks, right, so you have to find a different way to build a relationship. Right. Typically, within most public sector agencies they have firewalls that don't allow html based emails to go through. Okay, so I'm not sending this really cool, spiffy email that has all the bells in the stiles. I've got to go create back to text right, okay, all right, and guess what, I'm not going to be able to send an email to your mobile phone because it's fit certified and there are certain things that won't be able to go through because in my email signature I might have a url to my company and your spam filters inside of the government agency might grab that and kick it out. So they're all these intricacies and characteristics of engagement inside of the public sector that are either bound by law or bound by a need for security or a need for privacy, and the primary way to break through all of that is facetoface. When you can have a facetoface engagement and build a relationship with a customer, then that relationship has a significant value in the 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 the individuals inside of government agencies is just getting more and more difficult when you're trying to do it from the outside understand. And so then, of course, the time in the barrel becomes a time in segment, becomes that that critical component. I mean, you can teach him what we do, teach companies how to prospect through the private sector using all of the different mediums that are out there, but I mean, you know, you basically just shut down five 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 really good idea to send solar powered battery chargers, you know, for your little cell phone, right, right, fifteen devices, twenty devices, but think about the circuitry boards behind them. They sent a thousand of them to, you know, Social Security Administration, and the ruck up in the mail room when they received that level of security components, because everything gets anything. Anytime you mail something to a government agency, first and foremost it goes through security scanner. So think about the backlash around that. It's just it's understanding these cultural norms and these limitations and then figuring out creatively how to work within them to build the kind of relationship that you need and, frankly, your customer needs. 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 it about public sector that inspires or motivates you the most? ME, obviously very passionate about it, very accomplished. Curious. What is it that gets the adrenaline flow in about the public sector? For it, you know it's going to sound really Corny, but it comes down to knowing the work that I'm doing plays a part and changing people's lives and making a difference. The reps that I deal with and the marketing teams that I work with are really touch that they've got their fingers into third rail elements of our national security, of military training, of Social Security and health and welfare systems, and when my clients are able to help agencies implement a healthcare system or or a welfare system that all of a sudden enables a whole community of less fortunate individuals to be able to tap into their benefits via mobile devices instead of having to go to a brick and mortar it changes their life. When we're able to when my clients are able to more effectively sell technology to the military that actually makes a substantial 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 for me. When we're when I'm able to help company understand how their technology can fits within the intelligence community and can deliver an advantage to our intelligence community in the way that they protect our nation, then I know at the end of the day, the work that I'm doing ultimately down the chain has a real impact and I think about all of that and for me that's a big piece that fuels me and doing what I do, and I also know that's what really drives many of my clients as well. It's this idea that you're rolling up your sleeves, you're putting your hands deep down into the machine and you're trying to make a difference and it's pretty cool for us. And that intrinsic motivation is something that some of the most successful people I've ever had the opportunity to meet in or interview share right there is there is that intrinsic it's not just about the dollar, it's not just about the puzzle. There is a there's a deep intrinsic motivors. I'm very excited to hear that. When we talked, 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 that you're seeing new in the public sector that you're excited to see play out or something 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 was doing. Here's the really exciting part. So I watched, as I think, as we all have, this administration go down its varying paths and and I do actually believe they're in a learning pattern right now. where it winds up, but I think it's a learning pattern. But what I'm seeing right now is that, honestly, the rules are changing and I think that that gets me really excited about technology acquisition because it means anytime you've got this level of change in the atmosphere, that it brings about new capabilities. I think one of the things that government agencies and Public Sector Agency's truly struggle with at their core today is acquiring technology in time and in a way that they can put to immediate use. I mean, everybody lasts about the government being this big Boohem of bureaucracy. It's the elephant lumbering around in the REALOM, it's what have you. But everybody I know who works for government really does want to see change made. There is, you know, their hands are as tied as the technology folks who are trying to upgrade them. So, and I'll cite you an example. It's really interesting. There is within the dod there's a specific piece of technology that was used for that has been acquired to manage their health care records, and over time we've seen the plight of the the Va and all the challenges that the VAS had. Right well, interestingly enough, the VA, the head of the VA, did something I've never seen done before, and that was basically...

...make the decision without going out to bid. Hey, we are going to adopt what the DOD has adopted for medical healthcare records, and that will enable us to do two things. One, communicate electronically with the DOD, which, frankly, they couldn't before, and that's a little frightening. The second pieces, though, it's they're looking across 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 try to reinvent the wheel. I get super excited about that because that's a game change, 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 you can go high enough, then you can help to effect change faster. Well, and that specific can that specific va example. I mean I actually watch president 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 challenge had been that lack of ability to share Emr, you know, electrono medical workers between the different you just think I made the assumption that that was already in 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 that brings 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 mean even more Roy may not change the time one necessarily, but man, but might get Roi out of it right, so that that is taking the handcuffs off a little bit of the sales teams and and encouraging them to go high right and build a lot of value around what they're doing. But the second thing it does that I get really stoked about too, is you're able to then reference cell in new and meaningful ways. It's the first time I've actually seen at that high level and enterprise reference sale go from one installation not just to another installation. But if you think about it, the Department of the VA is a civilian agency, very federal civilian agency. The DOD is the DOD and they typically purchased very differently and in this case you've got a civilian organization who referenced off of a Dood sale and is simply going to copy and print for them. That tell sales reps references do matter and your ability to reference across accounts is going to continue to improve your sales posture. So it's a much more dynamic environment right it especially with all the change and the change of administration. It gets more dynamic. Do you see the sales reps get excited 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 at the 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 to do 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 really bullish 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 sitting down 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 this partnership. Man Companies go to get really excited about that, and that's why I go back to time and segment right, because then you've got a rep who understands, not only understands the importance of that relationship, but that relationship has a value to the REP itself. So they're not going to push anything forward. That's not going to be a win win, right, because they've got 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 a public 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 like to ask our guests. The first one, as an executive yourself, that that puts you in the targets sites sometimes for people who are looking to sell to you. So I'm curious what is it when somebody's trying to to sell to you that that you don't know right? We would call it cold at cold start. What gets your attention? What makes you pay attention to somebody or 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 target on linkedin. Yeah, and I'm Tald you of between the Linkedin. You know, please, you know, please, connect with me, because I want to sell you something. And and the emails that I get, some of them are so extreme it's laughable and you kind of go okay. So clearly they were going for humor to break the ice here. However, I don't have time for this, but the ones that do make me take notice make me take notice in two areas. The first is if I have a reference. So if you're going to use Linkedin, use intelligently. Figure out who you and I have in common, contact that person and say do you mind if I reference you in my initial email outreach? Right, so that's that's kind of tried and true. Sales one hundred and want. A referenced opportunity 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 value proposition 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 you know what I do, you've got at least a fifty to a sixty percent chance 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 people don't even open them up, hope up the animals. I requires a level of 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 enough to understand who they are and what their company does. Well, I think that's actually a really good point, right. We spend a lot of time as so a lot of time a clients and sales reps working on the fact that, look, you, this is a human interaction, right, and so all of the dynamics in playing any human interaction that you have, there is a level of respect, there's a level of making sure you are you not 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 make sure 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 like ten people responds, like okay, but what kind of you know was I say about you? Absolutely, and you know, it's no different than what I do with my clients. Right, I get an email, whether it's a referral email where somebody has introduced me, or I've got, you know, a cold call, or relatively cold call, that that's going to go out, I am absolutely going to research everything I can about that company and those people before I pick up the phone. Right. It just that's my commitment to building a longstanding relationship and I want them to understand that that I'm going to provide a level of value right up front by not wasting their time 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 a respect thing. It's amazing to me. I don't know if people get to focus on their number and forget that at the heart of this, what we're talking about, is how do you accelerate human interaction and value exchange. It amazes 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 acceleration insight. And if you had sales, marketing or consulting professionals focus on the public sector in front of you, you have the opportunity to give them some advice 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 the story completely, then your arm with all of the facts and all of the information you need to effectively drive and manage the sale, and I think we forget that quite a bit of the time. We go in, we ask a couple of questions and they might be the same couple of questions that we ask every single one of our customers. And so what I would charge public sector reps with doing, and with though, actually sales reps in general with doing, is become the best investigative reporter that you possibly can. Leverage the tools around you to research everything you can about that customer, that agency, the mission, that they have, the challenges they have around them, and there are quite a lot of tools inside of the public sector and outside of the public sector that you can use. Things like Google, which is fantastic for surfacing information. There's the freedom of Information Act, which forces agencies to post budgets and Org Charts and program information and mission information all available to you on the website. You can go to websites like us a spending Dotgov and actually find out what competitive technology has been sold at that agency before and how much and when and who the purchasing officer was. So there's there's a plettter of information out there, and I would encourage sales professionals and marketing professionals to to do your investigation ahead of time, really dig in understands what's happening within that agency and within that customers world so that you know which questions to ask when 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 to drive forward and take a step back and really consider what the customers trying to accomplish and going again, coming full circle. You can only do that when you ask the right questions and you're cheat up to listen. So that's what I would do. I would encourage each one of the sales professionals out there to really work on building that story almost before they even go in for the first meeting or the first call, so they've got everything they need to ask the 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 to search for us on itunes. Leave a review please. We'd love to see those good, bad or indifferent. Helps us make sure the show is valuable for you and your friends, family and Co workers, who we encourage you to share the show with. Julian, I can't thank you enough of the time 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 next time. 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 and Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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