The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 4 years ago

Mike Moore on Generating Revenue in a Digital Agency

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

We’ve seen a lot of consolidation of digital agencies over the years, with many getting bought up by “the Big Four.”

Today, independent agencies struggle (at times) creating and maintaining a sustainable pipeline. So it’s worth asking: How do those that survive work to make their revenue more predictable?

In this episode Mike Moore, Partner and Chief Commercial Officer at WillowTree, covers the “real” social selling, some of his agency’s greatest hits, and why WillowTree isn’t aiming for intergalactic domination.

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 executives train their sales and marketingteams to optimize growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools andresources, you've come to the right place. Let's accelerate your growth in three,two, one. Welcome everyone to Thev Tob revenue executive experience. Thanksfor joining us. I'm your host, Chad Sanderson. If you're not ableto listen to the entire episode today, please feel free to hit our website. Be To be REV exactcom you find links to this interview, as wellas others we've conducted and additional content, all designed to help you be yourtargets. Today I'm excited fing with Mike more partner in chief commercial officer WillowTree, to discuss generating revenue with the digital agency space and some of thechallenges that they've faced and overcome. So just kind of as a jumping offpoint, Michael With thank you for your time and let's just start with kindof a little background. What willow tree does in your role? They're sure, Chad Hi, everybody happy to be here today. Willow tree is aa digital and mobile product agency. We specialize in strategy, design, developmentand deployment of kind of any digital experience that you can really think of,anything with a screen on it. Quite frankly, a big chunk of thework we do is around applications and native and web applications, but in thisday and age we really do try and talk in terms of the experiences andwhether that's interactive TV or multimodal kind of voice experiences, we try and helpfortune five hundred companies, whether it be consumer or enterprise oriented, to createthese really engaging experiences across all platforms. Excellent. Next, and so yourrole there? What's your primary function? Yeah, I'm a partner in thefirm and my kind of day job is chief commercial officer, which means I'mresponsible for all of our client side activity, Business Development, trade, marketing andbasically engaging new and expanding existing client base. So basically all of allof the client side activity kind of comes in through, through our side.So many, many hats. Yeah, and many hats with regard to kindof the work you do. Many hats, even within a single client, beingable to be their confidant, their doctor in some cases. We alwayslike to say we try and be doctors, not waiters with our clients. Soit really, it really does kind of come down to every individual clienthaving individual needs. So many, many, many hats. Excellent. We've hadconversations before it and for those in the audience who don't know, Ispent ten years in the same space that will choose in. But I'm curious. We've seen a lot of consolidation over the years of agencies kind of gettingbrought up by, you know, the big for whatnot, and today andthose independent agencies, they struggle at times across the board. Summer better atit than others in terms of maintaining creating, you know, that sustainable pipeline andand how do you guys approach that and how do you work to makesure it is a little bit more predictable, you know, than it can sometimesbe in the professional services space? Yeah, I mean, I obviouslycan't speak to how the big four do these sorts of things are or indeedhow some of these acquisitions of gone. You obviously hear things in the marketall the time. As far as willow tree goes, we really try andstay true to kind of our core values, which is we put our clients first, we suspend disbelief. When face with a challenge, we come atit with a really open mind and really just try and get the most appropriatepeople from our organization around the problem as...

...soon as we are earn opportunity,as quickly as we possibly can. I think with regard to how we doit, I think one of the things we love about our sales philosophy isgetting the business folks out of the way and that that meet may sound counterintuitiveto folks, but but we've had real success having our business folks focused onraiming opportunities, framing a problem really. You know, the number one thingI encourage all of our business development folks to do is to listen, todigest, to understand and then really the challenge is how do we extract thebest thinking from all of the experts we have it will a tree and andeffectively get out of the way? I think particularly with new clients, they'relooking to get to the solution as quickly as they possibly can. I thinkthe day and age of being kind of inundated with keynote and power point,I think those days are kind of gone. I think people expect to get tothe route faster and they'll judge you on your merits. Do you havethe people to do deliver what they're after? Do we have the vision to deliverwhat they're after? And from our perspective, we keep it lean andwe get we get the experts in front of the client as soon as wepossibly can and the business developers, if they've done their job, have framed, digested the problem, where the opportunity, have brief the team, it willa tree effectively and manage to kind of assemble the team that's best suitedto the task. That's always it was always my experts as a challenge.Or if you give you can frame the business issue and then allow the expertsright the room. kind of I don't want to see to find the envelopebecause essentially what you guys are doing is is innovation, essentially. Yeah,and being able to make sure that that connects back to the to a businessissue that can be tracked and success can be quantified. Again, yeah,against is always been a challenge, right. Yeah, I listen, we'd alllove it if, if you were able to get a brief, you'reable to do an estimate and hey, it's going to take six sprints orsix months or whatever it might be, and we have a really clear viewof requirements and we've got some data about your end user that we can employ. You know, that's all kind of pie in the sky most of thetime. There oftentimes lots of gaps along the continuum and you know, it'sthe frustrating but also kind of the the real it's the RUB. It's reallywhat kind of gets you going and the ability to be able to kind offill those gaps, to be able to think creatively where there is no data, is really where kind of the magic happens. Is You guys stop.This is same element team. I think all in were about ten folks.We have for primary kind of category leads, so frontline business developers. We've gotthree folks in more of a solutions architect capacity. We've got some businessanalysts and we have kind of an operations person that helps us with collateral sales, material and processing, some of kind of the the swin contract work.So I'd say about ten people. Okay. And when we were prepping for today'sinterview we were talking about social selling, and should clarify for anyone listening we'renot talking about linkedin and twitter, that social sellings of buzzword everybody's goingto come onto that. That's not what we're talking about. What we're talkingabout is that actual human connection. And Mike, you said you were veryproud of the way that your guys have been able to do that. Canyou illuminate that a little bit for me? Listen, our business is based isin based in Charlotte, Civil Virginia, and also down in Durham, NorthCarolina, which has many, many benefits from an operating perspective, thefact that we can attract and retain the best talent in the industry, thatwe're not susceptible to a lot of the pitfalls of maintaining a team in atraditional, and am making little air quotes with my fingers, traditional tech hub. But it also lends itself to a little bit to our personality. Iwouldn't go as as far as to say that our commercial approach is folksy,but a word we like to use is is authentic, and we believe wecould have the best team in the world with the greatest reference applications and referenceclients in the world, but if we don't make a genuine connection with ourclients and we don't deepen that relationship over...

...time, it's all kind of fornot. So we, the people we hire, have a great combination oftext technical expertise, but but also exceptional people skills and and our job reallyis to make a connection and solve a problem or create an opportunity, proveourselves to clients and then ultimately help them on a journey that, for theforeseeable future, on at least on a digital track, will go on andon. So social selling to us in selling, you know, small sfor selling really is. We've managed to make great connections at the highest levelswith some of our clients, and you know we're talking about major retailers,global retailers, you know, global entertainment businesses, and you know we havethe relationships at the sea level. We help them out around the edges whereverwe can, prepping for internal meetings, helping them with conferences, submitting workfor on their behalf or rewards and, quite frankly, just spending good qualitytime with them while we're on project or even in between projects. And whatwe like to do is be able to pinpoint a couple of these folks thatwe really are close with, that were like minded, that we see theworld the same way, not only kind of with regard to technology, buthow you do business, and we ask them, are there other folks inyour network that fit the bill, that are that would be a good matchfor us, that that have a genuine business opportunity or challenge that you thinkwe might be a fit for or, quite frankly, that we would justget along with? And it's been really successful for us and that's something thatthat that I encourage our folks to do week in and week out. Isthat an approach to revenue generation that was or you guys organically arrived at,or did you try other approaches and find they were less effective? Like I'veseen agencies try and hire, you know, people that are more of that,you know, SASS and price type, sales type, a personalities. Thatwhere you really have to bring back the kind of roll them back offof being sales with a big ass kind of kind of yeah, did youguys try that approach? Was this organic? How'd you had to arrive at this? I think it's organic. I don't think you can divorce the twothings. I don't think you can be a great relationship in executive in ourbusiness and not have the technical ability and or the insight. So let mejust give you an example. You know, pretty much everybody on the business developmentteam here at Willow tree has an engineering degree as somewhere in their education. And it may not all be computer science, it may be industrial ormechanical, but that technical appreciation for how things work, whether it be digitalor physical, is a big part of the equation. They happen to bereally good, smart engaging people on top of all of that. But ouropinion is you need to be both of those things. You need to besomeone that's great at developing relationships and you have to be somebody that's going toparticipate in the process. It's efficient, but it's it is authentic, it'smore genuine and we strive for that. So for us it's less about processinto a certain degree, less about coaching and it's really about hiring and findingpeople that kind of have all those aspects. So is there a secret sauce ofthat? Because I mean the best hirings the channel, especially when itcomes to sales, especially if you're looking for, you know, engineering backgroundpeople to I mean sales. Often in the digital agency space it has badconnotation, right. We used to joke at Sally about the magic bubble,right, like the sales people, don't mess with the the experts that aregoing to execute. Let them believe that the money falls off the trees.So, from a hiring standpoint, do you guys have to implemented processes orhow do you how do you go about making sure you're making the best andmost informed hiring decay? It is a challenge. There is there is noeasier way to put it. That being said, it's worth the investment.It's worth it's kind of worth the pain. It's worth the way when you whenyou do get the the exact profile that you're after. I'm thinking ofone of the hires we made about a...

...year ago. We had one ofour very senior business developers join us from twitter and we waited about a year. We interviewed probably a hundred candidates and we do have a saying here atwill a tree and it. It's not meant to be cute. It's actuallyhow we think of the world in that when we see candidates and we havea doubt, we say we say if there's doubt, there's no doubt.And quite frankly, we weren't going to compromise. We believe that these businessdevelopment roles are often the very first connection that clients have. In most timesthey are unless they see some of our developers, are principal engineers or someof the other senior executives at conferences. Our business development executives are often thefirst connection they have to will a try and you know, and I knowwhen every sales professional that that's worth the grain of salt knows that you onlyget one opportunity to make a first impression. So we don't take any chances atall on the hiring front in that regarden and while it is a longslog, sometimes we feel great about the hires we make. Do you feellike you've had greater success, like with a hiring issue? I think Isomebody told me once that the best hiring managers back five hundred you here.You guys feel like your process and your patients, which is often a challengeright and patients becomes can be a cauld be a hurdle for agencies that arelike and companies. Hey, I need any people on the street now,I need any yeah, and that kind of stuff. Is that. Hasthat resulted in what you would consider a better than average hiring average? Iwe're certainly better than five hundred. That being said, you know, we'renot the largest organization in the world and while there is urgency in our businessto to find more senior sales and business development executives, it's not a kindof the expense of quality. So I feel like the patients aspect of ithas allowed us to do better than five hundred. We're probably a eight hundredor eight hundred and fifty. I would I would have thought, wow,that's nice, but we've created enough space to do that. So we've allowedour enough running room and and our senior executives have been patient and that's reallypaid off for us. Would you find these candidates and you bring them ontoyou have a standard kind of on boarding process to get them used to thewillow tree culture and the why. You know, seven saying why of WillowTree. Yeah, I think we have an onboarding process generally across the business. Quite frankly, I I don't believe there's a ton of Specialized Business Developmenton boarding that I would credit with the success we've had. I think there'ssome of it that's been great, but but generally speaking, you know thehead of our HR here, Christy Phillips, it will a tree, along withpeople like Greg carrier, our CEO, and to B S, our CEO, and Blake Siroc, who's our chief experience officer. We've all kindof helped codify our core values and our core values are things we live byand we hire by here at willow tree, and the great news about it isit's something that the entire business is kind of put together. It camefrom our team. We helped kind of solidify it into ways we look atthe world and the way we look at talent. So I think generally speaking, whether you're a first year web developer out of college or a seven yearIOS developer or a recently minted Mba who's joining us as a business development executive, that core values approach to things is really the best on boarding vehicle wehave. I think tactically, from bizdev standpoint. We do really well withhow we train for meeting protocol and and and focus on kind of listening skills. I think we've got some of the best assets. Are Our libraries areproposal kind of libraries and assets are second to none. But that's much moretactical. I would credit kind of a willow tree wide core values approach toon boarding to be kind of the main driver and our success, coupled withreally sharp tactical business development training. And so we have people of diverse backgroundsthat are, you know, completely making up your business of team. Howdo you, because it's such a relationship...

...based sale, how are you guystracking or quantifying valuating pipeline opportunities or what's your process for, you know,for looking at what's in the pipeline in my clothes, you know, inthe next three thousand sixty nine days, versus what's a longer term opportunity?If you guys come up with an approach, if you feel, as you know, resis with the business I think we have. I think, likeany other services business, that a challenge. If we were selling boxed software,we were selling equipment or hardware. It's a much more traditional approach totracking. You you know this better than anybody. So I would say ourproach, our approaches, is as good as it can be. I thinkright now we're constantly trying to evolve it, but it's combination of tool sets,but but really a deliberate and realistic eye on the pipeline. We don'tbuild pipeline for the sake of pipeline. So, for example, so let'sstart with the tools. So you know we use sales force. We probablyuse sales force at probably sixty percent of its capacity, but we're probably notalone in that regard. And we have a pipeline. I think the mostimportant thing that we do as a business, and this kind of goes back toour core values, is we really try and keep each other with honestas to how real an opportunity is and and how real we should be inin the approach, because we're not the biggest organization and because we do wantto kind of focus our efforts. You know, we're not kind of acarpet bomb organization. Were more like kind of sniper right. We take ourshots very deliberate lie. We were very calculated about them because we do,as I said earlier, in the in the show. We do bring kindof our talent to bear and we want to make sure that we're doing thatwith the greatest possible chance of success, rather than having a pipeline full oftwenty five percent probability. So nothing gets into our pipeline and less it's afifty and quite frankly, our s probably more like a sixty five percenter.So that kind of comes from me. But everybody keeps themselves on us asto what's real what's not, and I think week to week that honesty helpswith priority and whether somebody's got two opportunities or ten opportunities kind of boiling ora bubbling at one time, we all have confidence that they're all very real. So for us it's you know, this may sound counterintuit is too lotsof sales professionals, but it's not a numbers game for us. It's aquality game for us and I don't think that there's any magic tool set thatcan help you do that. I think it's really about a sales philosophy anda sales culture coupled with some tools to allow you to do that effectively.And talk about sales culture, is that something that you see so I've seenin organizations like I mentioned, where sales is a bad word right, andso there is a challenge incorporating that into the culture sometimes. Is that somethingyou guys have been able to overcome, where the organization as a whole understandsthat revenue generation is necessary to to continue to operate and continue to do reallycool stuff? How have you? Have you kind of integrated that a roustthe world? I know exactly what you're saying and I've been part of organizationsin the past where there's and let's be let's be honest, there's there's alwaysgoing to be friction between operations and the commercial the commercial side of a business. That's that is a natural that is a natural tension that exists in anybusiness. I can say without without any doubt at all, that that tensionis alive at will a tree, but it is a very healthy, veryconstructive tension and I don't think I can put my finger on a single thingthat we've done to kind of foster that, but it's it's obviously multifactorial, Ithink. One I think the fact that the people that are on thebusiness development side at Willo tree are also engineers in their own right gives themsome street cred within the organization. I think the fact that the business developersunderstand that we're services business and they understand really and truly that that the wwhere we write in the products we build...

...take time and effort and sweat andtears. We don't take any of that for granted. So we are notthat organization that grabs a brief, has a half baked view of what's goingon, throws it over the fence for the operation to get into it insolution it. That is not how we do it. We are as consultativewith our internal stakeholders as we are with our clients, and that's throughout theprocess and I think one of the big drivers in our success has been thefact that the operation feels invested and when we do have a big lead,it feels like we bring them in early. We treat them as equal members ofthe team, because they absolutely are. And I think you know what it'slike when you when you're on and you're tracking against an opportunity and youwin. For us it's a real team win and I think that that's afunction of many things in the culture, not not one single thing. Somore of a team based sale approach. Did you guys? I wouldn't assumethat it's institutionalize, let's say, but it sounds very account based sales right, like the right people talking to the right areas in the organization at theright time, coordinated through maybe some sales force, but more of that genuineauthenticity. Yeah, and and that that exists presale and that exists post right. We do not have a dedicated account management layer. Will a tree.We have something called the try forces, which is an idea we kind ofstole from the video gaming video game world went. Once we have a clientthat's in and we're deep into project work, we have kind of a biweekly meetingof the minds and the try force is the principal engineer who is responsiblefor he or she is responsible for the technical excellence of the project, theproject manager, who was a project manager, no account manager, and they areprofessionals. They are they are trained to deliver the best experience on timeand on budget, and the business development exact who leads the relationship and thatmeeting of the minds every other week to it could be a thirty second meeting, like Hey, everything's green and we're good to go. Thanks for comingto hey. We have a pretty complex or nuanced problem on the client sidethat's part technical, part commercial, part political, quite frankly, and youreally don't get to result resolving those problems from with a single perspective. Youreally need all of those angles represented. So for us that's that kind oftriforce concept has been brilliant. Actually. I want to go back to thetool snack for second. You mentioned sales force and I know if you're doing. I think you referred to it as the Jerry mcquire approach relationship building.Do you guys have a tool set or an approach from the marketing side thatstill maybe trying to generate new opportunities that leverages the data that you're putting intosales force? Of Basically, what I'm trying to get ays, what isyour marketing stack look like and how well does it integrate with, you know, what you're doing on the sales side? Yeah, our trade marketing team aregreat. I think for us it's less to do with the tool setsmore to do with the strategy and I think we're probably at the early daysof being able to leverage the account data. We have more effectively. To bevery honest with you, we've been very much a marketing led commercial businessrather than a sales and again, I make an air quotes around sales led. The majority the time that our folks spend on the marketing side is largelyaround thought leadership and kind of creating a voice it at conferences, is viathe website, via our partners like forester. So we've got great guys like ScottWolfson who leads kind of our analysts relations group within our trade marketing functionand we really work it right. You were we were mentioned in kind ofthe top five in the forester wave as a strong performer last year and thatwasn't just kind of a one time. Hey, it's nice to hang thatbadge on the website. I mean we activate that. We're constantly engaging withanalysts to get new ideas. We are Google, apple, Microsoft, Sammerin an sap certified partners. We work...

...those channels and and that is tolearn what's going on, to find out the trends in those markets, butalso to push, you know, our accomplishments and and our thinking into thoseorganizations. So I think, I think we probably have a ways to goon kind of employing a stack and a strategy on an account basis, butI think we do leverage our datas well when it comes to channel and partnermarketing. Everything that we've talked about sounds very organic, purposeful, right andauthentic. Those are very powerful words, especially in the space of guys arein. Is the objective for willow tree, you know, total market domination,or is it more kid growth? You know, kind of what's thewhat's the future look like? What are we what are we aiming towards?Gosh, it's hard to articulated, but I think it's very much like linesyou here in films, like bulldrum. We kind of take him one ata time, right, one client at a time. We're trying to doour best and the best thing that we can do is serve an individual client. And and I'll give you a kind of an anecdote there. I meanwe have clients like Johnson and Johnson and Gee. These were, you know, big global companies that that took a chance on willow true when we werethirty or forty people, you know, seven or eight years ago. Eachone of them are clients today and we've been not only do we continue tobe clients on the work we started with them way back when, but they'vebeen good enough to refer us around to other parts of the organization. SoI think that that view of one client at a time, one project ata time and being deliberate really does pay dividends. So I'd say no toIntergalactic Dominationay, I'd say yes to serving our clients well enough that they thatwe continue to grow and and hopefully word of mouth and referrals from those clientsthat have been served well continue to increase our client roster. Those are someimpressive customer names and anybody, I'd recommend anybody who's in ours please check outthe willow tree website. Done some amazing work. I'm kind of curious fromyour perspective, Mike, what if you had one coolest project that you couldactually tell us about in publish? What would that be and why? Wow, a loaded quested. I know. Yes, there there have been lots. One that I just I think is one of my favorites, is RegalCinema. Regal Entertainment Group is a big client of ours and we've been workingwith them for a couple years now and what's been rate about the relationship.What's been great about the software has been they haven't been afraid and we haven'tbeen afraid to really go after big ticket, no pun intended experiences. Right ourfirst bit of work with Regal was kind of reimagining the loyalty view.They, you know, they have millions and millions of people in their loyaltyprogram they really wanted that to be a mobile first experience. We've done somereally cool things around location based services. We've kind of demistified what it meansto earn points and redeem points and that's been received really, really well bythe Regal Crown Club Faithful. We took that momentum when when right into comingup with a native ticketing solution for them to really make ordering tickets online,selecting seats via mobile much more seamless, much more friendly experience, that sortof stuff. Just the momentum just keeps rolling over. I'd encourage people todownload, either on android or IOS, the Regal Cinema APPs and we thinkit's a it's a great companion experience to a really fun experience of going tothe cinema. I wasn't aware until I was doing my you know, Freworkfor this interview, that that was something that you guys have done. Butwhen we went, my wife and I went on Sunday to see alien andand we were using the APP and I'm sitting there telling I'm like, Hey, I know the guys did this. After about ten minutes of me goingon and on about it, I got the Hey, where see movie?Stop playing with the tech. Yeah, is a really cool experience because they'rereally needs to help with that. Oh Yeah, and we're very lucky,you know, lucky and grateful. We've got clients like regals that are committedto mobile and digital as being a core...

...part of their strategy. They arethey view their spaces as mobile meets mortar and whether it's the staff in thein the theater or indeed any digital asset they have, they have to beuser friendly, they have to add value and they've got a great vision fortheir business and we're happy and lucky to be their partner. So, interms of you mentioned a couple of kind of keepers. Mobile first and experientialpart of it. I mean having you know, we've seen, both ofus have seen kind of that industry change from like Oh crap, I needa mobile APP to that real experience, that total merging of physically digital.How do you enhance an experience, a physical experience, with the digital?And then you know the new new stuff with Hiot and Ai Dr and areand all that stuff? I'm kind of curious where you see maybe you can'ttell us which are your customers are on the bleeding edge, but I'm kindof curious how where you see the trends going and where you are most excitedto see it go and how you're working with your sales team to make surethey're prepared for that. Yeah, I'll be slightly cheeky with the answer.As to as to clients, I would have at folks check out the website, wwwwillow tree appscom. They're great case studies on there. I'll I'll leavethat part of it there. I think. I think the view of the worldand the clients that are getting right kind of understand the fact that asthe tech gets more complex, the goal of the tech should be getting simplerand not more complex. Right. I think at the end of the day, what are you solving for? Are you solving for better workflow for youremployees or your team's are you solving for better conversion, more seamless shopping foryour end consumer and we like to ask very simple questions. You know,how would we better dot dot dot? How we better allow customers to shopand Book Hotel Rooms? How would we better allow field technicians to be moreefficient in their day? How would we be better able to allow inventory managers, managers to be able to survey their patch and understand where they are inlife on a day to day basis? So I think that's the key.I think that the days of everybody just Handwaveley saying we need apps are overand and, quite frankly, we find ourselves sometimes talking clients out of APPsor websites and steering them to existing assets they already have. But for us, those simple questions. If you can answer those simple questions, the techcan get you there. But having the answer to those simple questions of whatare you trying to achieve, what needs are you satisfying, who are youtrying to serve and to what end? If you can answer those questions,you know the tack will help you get there and a partner well help youget there. But it really does have to start with asking and answering theright questions. Have you found that the so, when we started and thenit was all about mobile APPS, right, the the education component of the salescycle was fairly significant just because people weren't as familiar with really what designwhy design is important and making things easy isn't simple necessarily right. And thenyou kind of move through this and you see the education portion of a salescycle change to all right, well, Hey, I saw a commercial byapple or I saw I've talked about. You know why they used what aluminumthey use. So I kind of get what design needs. So now youreducation switches right, you got to go from why it's important to okay,you really don't understand it as well as you do, and we always wellas you should, and what it means to your business. That education portionof it, as I've seen it, always be a challenge, I wouldthink. Correct me if I'm wrong, but having people on that have theengineering background that can also understand the larger business focus speak a common language,becomes pretty critical, not only to the successful will truth, but for thesuccess of the organizations you're working with.

Yeah, and and that having thattechnical, technical background and being kind of a stute as to what clients aretrying to get to and what they're trying to achieve. You know, atthe end of the day, for us, a measure of successes. Have youhad a fruitful conversation? Have you even if a you know, weinvest hours and days and in some cases weeks in an opportunity and they don'tall go our way. But but I think when we look back on allof them, have we brought some new thinking to bear? Have we understoodand given a potential client some benefit based on our experience, and have wehelped one there thinking? We'd happily chalk that up to a little bit ofa bit of free consulting and none of us feel really bad about that.I think, at the end of the day, you know, back toone of the questions you asked earlier, particularly around pipeline development in the like, back to that honest view of where you are as a sales organization,as a Business Development Organization, is, how many connections have you made?How many real, genuine connections have you made, whether there's an RFP ora brief or an ask? You know that is it real is as muchabout the opportunity being available in a budget available as it is did you makea connection and I think to the point you're making about engaging in these conversations, if you've made a connection, that's a win. It may not resultBusiness Day one, but I can't tell you how many times we'll get acall out of the blue a year later after conversation, saying hey, wealways really felt like we connected with you guys. We didn't have anything goingat the time or for whatever reason we didn't go with you. We're backnow. So I think that the type of conversations you're talking about before arevery approach to them in the right way results in in in a connection anda success, no matter what the near term brings. Yeah, I meanpeople buy from people. At the end of the day, you have tobe able to trust me because with some of these projects we're talking about budgetsthat that you know, somebody that becomes the sponsor for working with will treeor any agency, that could be a career limiting you know, move ifit goes south. Right, I've seen people lose their jobs because they've beton the wrong horse, so to speak. Right. So the end of theday, if you can get that authentic connection, understand that people buyfrom people, be respectful right in the interactions. I think that goes along way for building the trust that's that's critical for the success, especially inprofessional services. For sure we agree. So when you look at your organizationright now, what's the biggest challenge you guys are kind of facing and wrestlingwith today? I think we've covered a little bit already. I think youknow, demand continues to be robust, so coverage is is key. Youknow we are and we continue to look for business development executives that fit thebill, that that kind of are good fit for our culture. So scaling, the scaling the commercial side of the businesses is key and I think youknow, back to your Jerry McGuire reference earlier, I won't Wax lyrically onhis net manifesto, but what I will say is the trend we're seeing inour business is deeper it's deeper relationships, it's more time spent on a product, on account, on a company, and that creates a need for moretime spent on the commercial side on a client by client basis. We loveit. So I think one of the challenges for us is staffing and youknow, as any other business, it's staying on top of trends and canyou get out ahead of the next thing? I think there are many things thatare out there in front of us, whether it be machine learning or multimodalinterfaces. I think for for a business like ours, we have tobe way out there and kind of leaning to the next thing and I thinkif we've got the business folks that can engage and we have this kind ofnatural maker culture within the business, then we're in pretty good position for what'sahead of us. It's a very is a very cool space for anybody whowants to be on the bleeding edge.

You know, you spent ten yearsthere and then you, like I've done, you kind of step back and workin another area and you can wow, you guys use are still using thisstuff, like yeah, there's so much better stuff out there. Excellenta right. So one last question that I asked all of our guests.We call it our acceleration insight. So if you had one piece of adviceor direction you could give to an individual in sales, consultant or or marketingthat you believe would make them more successful and help them hit their hit orbeat their targets, what would that be? In why I think it's a greatquestion. I and they're probably ten ways to answer it, but I'llpick one I mentioned before. or about being honest about what you're doing,being honest about your pipeline, being honest about your approach, being honest withwhere you think you are in the cycle. And, quite frankly, I thinkthat coupled with the question I kind of mentioned just a couple minutes agoof did you make a connection? And I think if you can coach yourteams or you can coach yourself to measure where you are in your sales lifecycle pipeline quarter week and measure on real connections, and I think and howreal that is. I think if you measure yourself in that regard, Ithink you're going to be more effective with things that that challenge sales people inany industry. You'll manage your time better, you'll use your resources better, you'llbe less stressed because you won't be worried about, Hey, I've gota hundred things in the hopper, how am I going to manage all onthem when, if you're really honest with yourself and you've made connections, youmainly have seven or eight. It does simplify your life. So my viewof the world is, whether you're an individual performer or indeed a sales managerthat's looking after potentially hundreds or even thousands of sales executives, that currency ofhow many connections did you make in being honest about it, honest about itin in your day to day communication, honest about it in your reporting.I think that makes life for a salesperson much, much simpler, because beinga sales executive or business developer is a complex way of life and if youcan find way to simplify it and and give you opportunities to better spend yourtime, there's got to be some upsign in that. Simple is always betterand just like with the digital space, simple's not always easy. Yeah,it takes some focus. I pull that. I been agree more. Absolutely so. It people interested in connecting with you, talking more about some ofthe things we've covered or we're learning more about willow tree, what's the bestway for them to go about that? Yeah, they check out the websiteon Linkedin. That's probably the best way to make an initial connection with me. All right, excellent, excellent. Well, for those that have enjoyedthis podcast, please take a moment to post, to review and Itunes,share with your friends, families, Co workers. Spread the magic. We'redoing this to try and make people more effective. Give you, guys,some insights and access to revenue executives. That will provide you, guys,will information again to make you more successful in your careers. I've got alot of other interviews on the website. BE TO BE REV exactcom so don'thesitate to check that out as well. Mike, I can't thank you're enoughfor the time today. This has been great. These are any last partingwords or any questions you have for me? No, Chad, happy to doit. Keep in touch and and hopefully we'll connect against you all right, excellent. I wish you nothing but the best and we will talk toyou soon. You've been listening to the BB revenue executive experience. To ensurethat you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show and Itunes or yourfavorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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