Sales Talk for CEOs

Sales Talk for CEOs

Welcome to Sales Talk for CEOs, a show where Alice Heiman interviews successful CEOs who have successfully scaled their B2B sales organizations. In each episode, we get to know the sales background of each CEO, dig into the strategies they've used to build their sales organization and wrap it up with what the future holds. We cover the good, the bad and the ugly of scaling a sales organization in order to deliver to you: value and insights.


November 29, 2022 39 min

Matt Fok came up with his idea for eZ-Xpo, before the pandemic. He thought, what if you could continue the dialogue started at conferences virtually? Since his company was already selling an eLearning platform, he simply went to his existing customers to validate the idea. 

And then the pandemic hit. 

His founder-led sales approach paid off as he uncovered more and better ways to address the market need. By providing content and ongo...

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My next guest on Sales Talk For CEOs is Brent Adamson and he’s got some revolutionary ideas about B2B enterprise selling. 

Brent explains decision maker confidence is the main barrier for B2B teams to close deals. The three factors eroding confidence are complexity, information overload and value opacity or consensus on the value of the desired outcome.

So stop selling product benefits. You need to propose a framework that starts wit...

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My guest today on this episode of Sales Talk For CEOs is Karen Frame whose company Makeena, is on a mission to help people live healthier lives on a cleaner planet.  

She talks about the advantages of having a founder-led sales organization. 

The obvious advantage is being close to your customers and making sure that your product is solving a real problem for them. 

The not so obvious advantage is using scarce capital to hire a brand ...

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Arman Eshraghi can teach us something about building sales teams from scratch. He is, after all, on his fourth startup Qrvey. So, what has he learned from one startup to the next? What has he changed and what stayed the same? 

One constant that remains true for Arman, if you, as CEO and Founder can’t sell your product, bringing in a sales team won’t solve the problem.  

Once you do bring in a sales team, Arman believes  sales teams o...

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The world of selling has irrevocably changed. Buyers no longer want to be sold to and especially not as a result of a cold call. They want to get to know a company by getting to know and trust the people who work there. Starting digital conversations is the first step to build this trust. As CEO, it’s imperative that you lead by example.

In this episode Alice talks with Tim Hughes who explains how to change your sales approach from ...

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My next guest is Chris Beall, CEO of ConnectAndSell, Inc. who is a case study in drinking your own champagne. He is here to talk about using his own platform to build his business and the breakthroughs that he discovered to make the platform more effective for him and of course the customers that use it.

Chris Beall takes us through his journey building the ConnectAndSell business model starting with his “Wartime” stance to pioneeri...

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So many founders make it their goal to get out of the sales role as they scale. “I can hardly wait until we can afford a VP sales to take over” is a common founder refrain. 

While his role has evolved, getting out of sales entirely is the last thing that Usman Sheikh plans to do. In this episode we will learn what defines a founder-led sales organization and how you might change your mind about getting out of sales.

It all starts wit...

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Is your sales team using a value proposition that is irrelevant to your buyers leaving them to connect the dots?

Take a look at the value proposition that your Go To Market Teams are using to make sure they are relevant. As CEO, you are the only one who can orchestrate this. It matters, research shows that relevant value propositions could increase your deal closure rate by 50%.

In today's hyper competitive markets, it's hard...

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Most startup founders wear many hats in the early days. And one of those hats is often head of sales usually because they are the most knowledgeable about the product and the problems it solves in the market. But it's impossible to grow beyond the startup phase if you are spending 15 days a month on the road selling. Replacing himself as a salesperson took 3 years, but replacing himself as head of sales took Doug Frazier much l...

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Do you have a channel strategy in place? You may have channel partners as part of your Go To Market Strategy, but do you have a strategy that includes how you will support your partners’ success? 

I’ve worked with many companies who sell through the channel and complain that their channel partners aren’t selling enough. 

In order for channel sales to be successful, your team has to understand how the potential partners are going to m...

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Like most CEOs, you've probably had some bad experiences trying to hire sales leaders in your company. The root of the problem? Many CEOs think they can hire someone to take over the sales team so they can step away and focus on other things to grow the company. It's just not that way! The CEO can't step away from sales but instead must have a plan for supporting sales leaders every step of the way. That's what Rasm...

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Show Notes

Today we celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Sales Talk for CEOs podcast! Throughout the past year, I've featured two types of episodes on the show. In the “CEO Journey” series, I interview CEOs to learn about how they grow sales. Next, in the Experts Series, I interview experts I know will have advice to help you grow sales. So today, we kick off a new segment: the Insights Series! These will be episodes with j...

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Lisa Magnuson is a mastermind sales strategist and author of The TOP Sales Leader Playbook and The TOP Seller Advantage. Today she joins me on a special episode of the Sales Talk for CEOs Experts Series. The topic of our conversation? Closing bigger deals. If you're looking to scale sales by going after much larger deals, this is the perfect podcast for you.

Many companies I work with are growing sales to increase their valuatio...

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Are you trying to find sellers who check all the boxes of success in sales? Do you believe that you must keep hiring more salespeople to grow sales? That's what Juliana Stancampiano thought before she tried a radically different approach that has yielded amazing results. Juliana is the CEO of Oxygen, a company that works in the learning strategy space. She joins me today on Sales Talk for CEO in an episode that will challenge y...

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Are you a product CEO or a sales CEO? The answer may not be what you think. Case in point: Catherine Dahl, the CEO of Beanworks, an AP automation platform recently acquired by Quadient. Catherine spent two years building her company as a sales CEO when a sudden realization struck that she was trying to be something she wasn't. By owning her role as a product CEO, everything changed. With the right sales leader in place and the ...

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Going from incremental growth to exponential growth requires radical changes in your business—from your mindset and focus to your team and how your company operates. If you're a CEO who feels 'stuck' in incremental growth but wants more, you'll want to listen to this episode of Sales Talk for CEOs Expert Series with  Richard Medcalf. Richard is the CEO of Xquadrant, a company that works with high-achieving founders,...

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According to Mei Siauw, CEO of LeadIQ, a tool that helps sales teams with smarter prospecting, building an outbound sales motion is the key to growth. Start early, stick with it; if you do it right, outbound sales will produce amazing results. In this episode, we talk about the outbound motion Mei built, how Ryan used the piano to book conversations with prospects and how Mei built a global, remote team of 150 people to take LeadIQ...

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Nancy Duarte is the CEO of Duarte, a company that specializes in the art of persuasive communication. YShe’s known as “the Storyteller of the Valley” and the author of six best-selling books, including Resonate and slide:ology. Her famous TedTalk has had over 3 million views. What you may not know is that although her business was founded in 1988, she is only now growing an outbound sales team. That's right. Nancy has experienc...

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Jonathan Siddharth is the CEO of Turing, an AI-backed Intelligent Talent Cloud that helps companies source, vet, match and manage software developers remotely. There are currently 1.5 million software developers on Turing, and the platform is used by huge companies like Johnson & Johnson, Pepsi, Dell, Disney, Coinbase, and more. The reason for Turing's wild success? Jonathan has strategically built a powerful go-to-market m...

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Here's the reality: you'll make mistakes at every stage of building a company, especially when building a sales organization. But it's what you do with your mistakes that will determine your success. Entrepreneurs who catch the error, identify the problem, and correct it quickly are those who go on to build profitable, long-lasting businesses. Making mistakes—and learning lessons from them—is part of building a successf...

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