In this episode, Adam and Carlton are joined by Mike Simmons, the founder and CEO of Catalyst Sale and the host of the Find My Catalyst podcast. Mike talks about all things growth, from definitions to mistakes to avoid. Make sure you tune in for this really brief masterclass on sales and revenue management.
Highlights from the conversation:
Keep up with Mike:
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Transcription generated by Otter.ai
Adam Vazquez 0:06
On this episode, we’re joined by Mike Simmons, the founder and CEO of Catalyst Sale and the host of the Find My Catalyst podcast. Mike has enjoyed a prolific career leading sales efforts for a number of companies including UPS and Safar Books Online before serving as the Chief Revenue Officer for CybSafe.
During our conversation, Mike discusses his view of how startups can leverage content to drive better sales, and we go deep into sales enablement and operationalizing revenue for startups and small businesses. This was a unique episode, and I got pretty vulnerable about some of our challenges at Heard, which Mike helped coach me through live on the show.
I think you’ll learn a lot, and this is a particularly good episode for anyone who is running or growing sales for their organization, Mike has a wealth of knowledge and is a true expert in revenue ops, so without further ado, let’s get to Mike Simmons from Catalyst Sale.
Put that content down. Content. The close is over. What’s your name? Content. That’s my name. You know why, mister? Because you drove a Hyundai to get here tonight. I drove an $80,000 BMW. That’s my name. Content Is for Closers.
Adam Vazquez 1:26
Alright, we’re back with another episode. Carlton, last time we did this— First of all, it’s weird. We’re sitting next to each other.
Carlton Riffel 1:32
Yeah. This is not video edited to look—
Adam Vazquez 1:34
No, we are physically in the flesh here. Last time we did this, I was concerningly ill and couldn’t use the footage and so we had to run it back here in real life, but had a good episode with Mike Simmons. What’d you think of it?
Carlton Riffel 1:47
It was good. I think last week I was out on vacation, so if any of you are just worried and scared and thought I had been shipped off to Mars, I’m still here.
Adam Vazquez 1:56
He’s back. We didn’t even have an intro last week. It was kind of depressing. It just rolled right into the—
Carlton Riffel 2:01
No, yeah. If you actually liked that better, if you thought that’s the way you want it all the time, then just DM me.
Adam Vazquez 2:09
He’ll make sure that happens.
Carlton Riffel 2:10
Yeah, I mean, pass it on to the right person. So no, yeah, it was good episode. We’re talking about sales this episode. So some people think that content and sales are separate. But they’re not. There’s actually a lot of overlap. And you can indent a little bit. But I think mostly mainly, in this episode, we’re talking about frameworks, and how do frameworks help you figure out what to focus on. When you know what plan or what vision you have for your company, and what you’re really aiming for. It allows you to craft a sales process that enables you to do things in a way that’s accurate in a way that’s repeatable in a way that assures that there’s quality and an effective process behind what you’re doing. So yeah, that was one of the main things I took away from it. What about you?
Adam Vazquez 2:56
Well, you use that word enablement. When I had this conversation with Mike, we had just come out of one of our quarterly meetings as a team and realized that we needed to enable our customers to take advantage, to activate them so that we could get revenue from them was a sales problem that we were having as a business. And I didn’t even bring it up in the conversation. But Mike addressed it as one of the top things that marketing companies and small businesses deal with and so I thought that was really interesting and poignant for anyone who’s listening who is in that space is a smaller company or a marketing or consultancy or services business, enabling, empowering your customer to be able to pay you dollars is something that we don’t talk about or think about, but it’s something that a lot of us deal with, so that I think that was the biggest takeaway, just that that bit of the conversation
Carlton Riffel 3:46
Yeah, that’s great. Let’s jump in an episode
Adam Vazquez 3:59
All right, we’ve got Mike Simmons here on Content Is for Closers. Aside from obviously being an expert in growth and all the other things that you do, as we were just discussing, you put me to shame on the golf course as well. So it’s just a pleasure to have you and thanks for pushing the tee time to talk to us.
Mike Simmons 4:17
I don’t know if it’s put you to shame. I think we’ll have fun when we get to get out there and play one of these days, whether it’s you hit it out here in Arizona or me get out to South Carolina.
Adam Vazquez 4:28
Both great golf places, by the way.
Mike Simmons 4:30
Awesome golf places. Golf is a great sport. There’s so much that. Bob Rotella had wrote a book out there. He said golf is a game of life, and then he did a follow-up on around businesses that came with life where he removed the golf component from it but there’s so much that you can learn not only about yourself but about others and about controlling what you can control when you embrace A game. That is, I would say it’s challenging. This is this game because the ball in the crazy part of the ball doesn’t move. But for whatever reason that makes it harder, I think.
Adam Vazquez 5:10
That’s the most maddening part about it. Well, as much as I love golf, really what we have you on here to talk about is growth, obviously, the things that you deal with in your day-to-day with your clients. I want to get into more of your background and more of how you started the company that you have, but maybe just to kick us off, we have this nebulous concept that we talk about all the time, that is growth. Maybe five, 10 years ago, “growth hacking” was a big thing and now it’s “growth at all costs.” But Catalyst Sale, when I looked through your site, when I listened to some of your episodes, it seems like you’ve put some real specificity and process around what growth actually means. What does that mean to you? And how do you talk about that to your customers?
Mike Simmons 5:56
Yeah, there’s a high level of rigor around it. And we need to have that because we have to agree with a definition first. If we’re going to solve any problem, let’s agree to whatever the problem is that we’re solving for. Let’s not get into a situation where someone thinks that we’re solving for something that’s different, or they look at something that’s a little bit different. So when it comes to growth, for me, growth is about growing revenue. It’s about growing the money that exists inside the business. There are a couple of different ways that you can grow. You can add more money into the business through investment, you can add more money into the business through customers coming and paying for something, you can increase enterprise value by adding more people, data points into your system. So you’ve got to first start with a clear definition around what growth means and what growth is, and the distinction there is, “means,” how do we define growth? “Is,” where are we focusing our attention?
Adam Vazquez 7:07
When you go through that process, I thought that was good, the three that you kind of just acknowledged (revenue, investment, or people). I guess investment could be a few of those things. Specifically for the startup founder or the small business owner, how do you go about figuring out which of those three is right for them to emphasize or to focus on at any given stage?
Mike Simmons 7:31
Yeah, it’s tough because I think a lot of people want all of it. We want to grow the money, we want to add more investments so we have fuel to support the growth and we want to get more people in because if we get more people in data, and then that’s going to lead to all of those, so they’re, so they relate to each other. But the challenge I think a lot of people run into, and where founders struggle, business owners struggle, leaders struggle, individual struggle, is being able to say, No, I’m gonna focus on one thing, just one thing and demonstrate that I can actually do that one thing before I try to do all of the things. And so the way that I work with organizations, and the way that I work with founders, business leaders inside organizations, individuals who want to get better at their work, is to identify that one thing, and it might be, there might be two that we’re working on, but we want to demonstrate is, can we get to and I’ve talked a bit about this recently, about how speed to impact is greater than going fast, can we get to that impact point. And then go get to the impact point. Again, I could swing a golf club really, really fast, it doesn’t mean that I’m going to make proper contact. I could play the game really fast, it doesn’t mean that I’m actually getting closer to the hole. And I know we’re going back into the golf piece, but that’s the struggle though. So you get into situations where people will say, I want to climb to the top of Everest of like, just to have this most amazing business where people are shouting from the rooftops. And all I have is all of this inbound that comes in. And I can’t handle all of the demand that I’m getting. Okay, that’s great. So where are we with our product? what customers do we have today? Who’s using our product? What kind of feedback are they use it? What are those customers will eat, drink and sleep like we’ve got to get that data first before we get to the top of the mountain. Another way to visualize this is there’s a reason why base camps exist. You get to each stage you acclimate at that stage, and then you move on to the next stage. So don’t worry about getting all the way to Z. Let’s solve for b first, let’s get from A to B. And then let’s get from B to C and do incremental steps and I think that is the hardest choice. challenge that business leaders have owners of companies have individual contributors who are high performers, they Well, high performers, I think have solved this. Many of us who have had an opportunity to play sports, we understand, look, I can’t do anything about what’s happening in the fourth quarter, at the beginning of the game, make it through each of those stages. I gotta make it through the first quarter before I get to the fourth quarter. So yeah, that’s it, it’s focusing on what’s right in front of us. So we solve for it, then move to the next, move to the next.
Adam Vazquez 10:30
Okay, so maybe a couple follow ups on that. Is there a most common or most frequent starting place meeting, I think a common thing that is now sort of falling out of vogue, but for a long time was the de facto was like, Okay, we need to raise investment so that we can hire people. And then, if we do that and continue to build, then eventually revenue will come. And there are certain businesses where that matters. But to like, to me when you say that, I think, well, revenue building is, is where most companies should start. Is that true? Or is there another place that you see people overlooking a step or something like that?
Mike Simmons 11:11
You gotta go back to whatever the goal is of the business, what’s the ultimate objective of the business? And then start to say, okay, what are the things that are gonna get me to that objective? Revenue is one of those things that if you are able to generate revenue, you start to have more control over your destiny, rather than being beholden to others who are giving you money to go build the thing that they want to see or the investment they want to turn over. So in the venture space, I think the ratios are one out of 10, I think that’s the bet. So if I’m going to put money in, I’m gonna place 10 bets out there. And my expectation is one of those 10 is going to be going to become the unicorn. What happens the other nine, BI, are still people inside those organizations, what customers we’re working with those organizations. So I think we got to be careful about what train you jump on, be deliberate, be intentional about the train that you jump on. And for me, as a sales professional, my preference is to build from within build in a deliberate format. And then once we’ve tested in the market, start to pour gas on that, that’s where once I’ve demonstrated success, this is where you’ll lead organizations will go through founder-led sales. So founders will sell challenge the founders will have is they may sell to friends and family. They may sell within their network, they may have not branched out beyond their network, but they bring in somebody else, an SDR, early career sales rep to come in and start selling into other networks. But they don’t really understand the problem, as well as the founders, they don’t have the magic that the founder has. And founders have magic. They passionately care about the problem that we’re solving in the marketplace. So just to kind of come back and make sure we this pretty tight revenue gives you a lot of options. If you have money in the bank. When you have money in the bank, it gives you a lot of options. If you start running out of that money, your runway start shortening up, your options start to shrink, and then you start to get desperate. And then you start trying to squint and you allow scope creep and you clearly miss a lack of clarity comes down. So this is a huge challenge for organizations. It’s yeah, it’s that whole money and time thing.
Adam Vazquez 13:45
Yeah, it’s so interesting that we keep seeing— We look up to obviously the icons and the bigger, whatever unicorn successes, but then you start seeing over and over again, these sorts of similar failure points, whether it be we work or Theranos, or most recently fast. Yeah, and then if those people are having those struggles and feeling at that level, how much more the other 95 98% of us who don’t even have the attention that those people are demanding, and they’re still not able to leverage up and catch up to the debt and all that sort of thing. So I think it’s great advice and revenue obviously allows you to control your own destiny, you touch there on founder-led sales and an operator who a lot of times an owner is gonna go out and be a big part of the sales force. What do you see whether it be in that transition going from founder-led sales to something else? Or just in general, what are the mistakes that you see founders make when it comes to selling?
Mike Simmons 14:45
Two mistakes. One, when it comes to the founder actually selling, the founder not realizing that there’s actually a process.
Adam Vazquez 14:57
My team would— Yeah, okay. Go ahead.
Mike Simmons 15:02
You said my team would go ahead?
Adam Vazquez 15:04
No, I think they’d all clap and applaud that statement. I think it’s definitely true of our company.
Mike Simmons 15:12
Cool. So there’s a process. There is a process. You may not be repeating the same process. And if you’ve repeated the same process, you might actually be much better at selling than you are as a founder out there, who’s just going and saying, You know what? My business would be growing faster if I could have more conversations. I just need to talk to more people because I can get in there and I can talk a good game. And all of a sudden, at the end of the good game, people are buying into it. And some of the people buy into it, because they’re like, You know what? I could see it, I believe in the energy behind the person I have, I want this thing to work out. But if we break it down and say what actually happened? Well, the first thing that happened is a founders you engage with somebody actually had a direct engagement now, and I said the first thing, the thing that happened before that is, ideally, you identified them, or they identified you either way. So you identified someone, then you engage with someone, when you engage with someone, you had some set of objectives, clear set of objectives, you had something you wanted to accomplish. Ideally, you’ve anticipated what they wanted to accomplish as well. You’re, you then had some idea of what your desired next steps where do I get someone to sign up for something? Do I get someone to go through a trial? Do I get someone to agree to a demo? Do I get someone to do whatever you’ve identified, you’ve engage, you’ve established objectives, next steps, and then you call people to action and reengage with people. And that’s a looping process that every rep goes through. When selling, they may not think of it in that context, they may not put that much structure, but if they do, they’ll find that a lot of the work that they’re doing is just wash, rinse, repeat, wash, rinse, repeat on that side, we as founders can get into situations where we’re like, wow, you know what? I have a conversation, things just kind of come together. And when they didn’t come together, it’s because it just wasn’t meant to be or they didn’t understand what I was talking about. Now, if you didn’t take the time to actually discover, do real discovery, dig deeper into the problem from their perspective, or challenge that that problem creates the pain that’s associated with it. And if you follow that kind of process, you would get better at sales. And that’s why I work with technical founders to help them understand that the things they do in other aspects of their business actually apply to the same thing that they would do from a sales perspective. So the big one for founders is the process piece.
Adam Vazquez 17:48
Yeah, I could totally see that in myself. It’s not so much the technical translation or something like that. If you’re a sales-driven founder, or that’s your backer, I think armadas at times can be whatever it takes because I can just change something. So we have a process, we have a set of things that we sell or promise. But if I’m in the room to your point, and things are happening, and there’s movement, and there’s magic, and well, I just say this, I know I can get this done right now. And that might cost the team at some point, but like, we want to get this done. That’s what matters, right. And so that’s a flaw that I have. And I think that a lot of people who maybe rely too much on personality or charisma could if you’re not careful because that process helps you maybe stay within the bumpers of what the long-term health of your businesses. Is that what you’d say?
Mike Simmons 18:42
That’s not scalable. You’re right there, you’ve got the flexibility of being able to say, you know what? I know where we’re going, as a business, I understand where, where I’m willing to take on certain risk. And then you go and you hire, let’s say you hire someone like me, early career sales rep. I’ve never sold anything before. But I’m really excited about this thing. And I get in there. And those questions start coming up. And I start to think, oh, I don’t know if we can do it. But I’m not comfortable saying I don’t know. So I say, Yeah, sure we can do it. Or I say no, we can’t do it, either one of those. And now I’ve either dumped a lot of stuff on the team because I brought in a customer who’s not the right fit, or I’ve missed an opportunity because I didn’t ask the follow-up question. The challenge we run into is how do we convey founder vision aligned with capabilities inside the organization aligned with direction of the business? How do we align that with what we’re communicating to our team so that our team can play loose in that environment and be really comfortable asking the right questions, gathering some information so that they can deliver a solution in context, not just keep pitching for the sake of pitching.
Adam Vazquez 20:00
I like that. You said founder vision plus capabilities plus business direction. That seems like an incredibly powerful formula to put together.
Mike Simmons 20:12
So why do you think people don’t think about it?
Adam Vazquez 21:04
I mean, you’ve got a million other things going on. For me, sales can come easily. And so then it doesn’t come easily, right? Because it’s something that I’m not going to focus on as much.
Mike Simmons 20:29
We get distracted. We’ve got a lot of things that are out there, there’s a lot of noise. And there are a lot of things that we could do things that people say you should do. And then there are things that we just actually have to do in order to get things done. There’s that process from a rep perspective, and some people lose that. And then there’s the other part of the process is the understanding of things from a forecasting perspective. So if I have predictability in the revenue that I’ve generated, and I know Aaron Ross has the book out there Predictable Revenue, and in some cases, that’s done a lot of damage inside organizations, because they believe I can create an SDR function, I can have specialized over here have the baton handoff, have the baton handoff happen, wash, rinse, repeat, I’m going to be able to make it work, it may or may not work for your environment. If I’m a company that only needs to work with 10 customers, do I really need an SDR team out there doing a lot of that stuff? If I’ve got a simple product that I’m delivering the market, and I don’t have a high level of specialization by organization, is that the framework that I need to apply? I think what we need to do is we need to ask ourselves these questions. How does this process or approach align with the things that we’re doing? Is the business aligned with the way that our customers buy? So that when we hire the right sales reps into the organization, we can set the proper expectation with them around? What are the core components of the job? How do we go about executing? What are we going to learn as we go through? And then what data points do I need inside the organization to accurately forecast business so that I can invest further in product in technology, in operations in engineering, and all of the other stuff. And this is where the relationship between the sales team sales professional sales leader, and the CFO, the controller, the person who’s responsible for the money inside the business, really have to work together? So you get this alignment between CEO, CFO, CRO or CEO, VP of Finance, VP of sales, whatever the the mixture is. And if we have a high level of alignment, where, what’s the vision? What are we delivering inside, inside the business, where’s the direction that we’re going, then we can communicate much better as an organization. This is where the next level of sales process really helps us. Those are the stages that you use in order to demonstrate probability of money coming into the business, not timing, the probability timings and everything. And so you get back to that first question that we were talking about, which is, what problem are we solving for? Floods have clarity around what the problem is? How do we define it? How do we define growth? What does it mean? What are we looking to grow? How do we define that we want to know the difference between our pipeline and forecasting the accuracy of forecast? What are the specific things we’re looking for, and then let’s solve for that. I think this is I think, the challenge, you hit the nail on the head. And I feel like I’m rambling here, but the challenge that we’re serving as business leaders is we’ve got so much stuff going on, and then we try to do too much. And then we end up doing, having five projects inside our house that are partially worked on, and none of them are really complete. And it gets back to that piece that we were talking about before, which is A to B to C. Just regimented rigor in order.
Adam Vazquez 24:03
We started the book collection last year and that’s really been great for our business for a number of reasons. The main one being it’s helped us focus for someone with attention deficit, it helps the business continue to align and seven people all be on the same page. And we’re small, but one question, you talk about forecasting, and I think a lot of times, especially smaller businesses, or a lot of that can feel like just crazy. We can forecast all day. Yeah, we’re gonna make a million dollars tomorrow, but you have to do the work. So, someone like me, I normally will be like, yeah, forecast, but like, whatever, we’re gonna have to go make it happen. And whatever happens happens, we’ll figure it out. Maybe you could talk about why forecasting is important and, on a fundamental level, how to go about beginning to do that, incorporate that into to a sales process.
Mike Simmons 24:59
If you’re Early stage and you’re still just trying to figure out how to generate revenue, your ability to forecast is going to be is you’re focusing on the wrong problem, just go out there and generate revenue. So don’t worry about this, as much from an early stage perspective, still have a process that you go through. And it can be simple. But as you move along, and you start generating more money, and you just need to be able to start to predict the future start to be a bit of a fourth teller and say, Hey, this is where I think we’re gonna land in a given period of time. This is where sales process can be really helpful, not the way the we approach it from a rep perspective, which is what we talked about before. But from the standpoint of, what do we put in our CRM, so that we know how deals are moving through the funnel? HubSpot spent a lot of stuff around this. And then a number of other organizations have done different things. I’ve got my own process that’s up on the website, the catalyst sale process, is it’s about understanding, clear stages that have simple yes, no statements associated binary statements associated with each stage that will shift and change things. The reason it shifts and change things is because now there’s no there is no ambiguity around whether or not something is in a stage or not. There are some processes out there, where you kind of got to squint and say, Well, yeah, I think I’m in whatever, like whatever those mean, from it. Yeah, catalyst sale perspective. Here’s the way that I walk through it: validation. Do I see a scenario where we would conduct business with each other? Yes or no. Qualification. Do I understand the problem from the perspective of the customer? Yes or no. Now, there’s more detail behind that.
Adam Vazquez 26:46
Yeah, it’s an interesting definition of qualification. I like that.
Mike Simmons 26:49
Yeah, and people will throw bands and med pick and all the other stuff that’s out there. And those are checklists that will can help you with qualification. But at its core, do I understand the problem from the perspective of the customer? Yes or no? Based on my understanding of the problem, do I have the right solution? That’s fair? Yes or no? Based on my understanding of the problem, the way that I presented the solution, does the customer believe that they can implement? Can they pay for it? All of those things? Do they believe that we’re the right fit for them? So the first fit is fit from my perspective, feasibility, which I’m going to update this and show it as client fit. But spoiler alert that will happen sometime here in the next little bit, as I’m refining some things, but fit on our side, feasibility on the client side? All these are yes, no. If no, then close lost the deal. That’s not the right opportunity. Go back a couple of stages and find some things that you want to address, then proposal? Did we send a proposal? Yes or no, that proposal has been delivered into the organization? Closed one, did we win the agreement? Have they signed the contract, and then the last one is confirmed? Did we deliver what we said we were going to. And as you go through each of those stages, which is kind of like playing Chutes and Ladders, if you’ve ever played Chutes and Ladders as a kid, you can go all the way up and be like, Hey, I’ve got a proposal. And we’re really excited. And then all of a sudden procurement comes in. And they’re asking a lot of questions. And there are a bunch of bids. And we’ve got to go back to back earlier on in the process. Each of those have different percentages applied to them, those percentages are probability percentages, the probability percentage will give us an indication of the amount of revenue, this still has nothing to do with time. That process we can do it in the context of EQ, you can do it in the context of picking someone up at the bar, you could happen in over the core course of a 30-minute period, it could happen over an 18 to 24-month period, it is not time bound. It’s binary statement bound.
Adam Vazquez 28:55
I love that we use a similar model, although I like yours better and I think we’re going to adopt it. And I would just one comment on the close lost, close won: that is such a relieving tool for a salesperson or a founder. Because I think earlier on in my career, and early on in the business, I was scared to put things in the clothes last thing because it was like I lost like I failed. But in actuality, I mean, there’s some of that, of course, a lot of times it’s exactly what you said, it’s us saying this is not the right fit or we’re not the right provider or whatever. And just writing that into there allows us to focus and refocus on more of the opportunities that can go into the closed one. So like last quarter, I’m always pretty transparent with our numbers on the show, but last quarter, I think we closed like $140-150,000 in new recurring revenue, and we lost we closed last 160 or 170 was like just a little bit more than we closed one and I felt great about that because we had to convert sessions to get pretty close to $300-400,000 worth of ARR. And a lot of it didn’t fit, and we were able to move on from it. So I think it’s a super valuable tool that people shouldn’t shy away from. Embracing it, actually, helps facilitate the entire process, in my experience.
Mike Simmons 30:17
There’s so much that you can learn from those failures, or those losses or those misses, whether you want to call them failures or losses or misses. It’s okay. You’re not going to serve every customer that you come across, there’s going to be learning things. And then once you if you if you leverage your CRM and gather the data and have clarity around close loss reasons, and then can organize that by industry, understand that by role inside an organization, imagine the scale and the focus that you can create inside your organization. Because then you say, I now know that I want to invest in more organizations that look like feel like smell like this. When I come across someone who looks like and feels like and smells like something different than I need to have somebody else I can pass them on to because if I waste my time trying to manufacture fit, I’ve now cost the organization resources. And I might feel good because I’ve got a pipeline, but it’s not real. So yeah, so marking things should be good. It’s awesome that you, as a leader are comfortable with that inside your organization because it will give your team the freedom to say, hey, we lost and we learned. We lost and we learned.
Adam Vazquez 31:34
Yeah, and it’s something that helps you refocus on the next and keep always moving on to the next thing. So I know we’ve kind of gone into coaching Adam here, which I appreciate.
Outside of maybe the sales process, what new ideas or what new could be sales-related, content-related ideas have you most excited as we keep pushing forward here? What is it? April of 2022 and heading into the summer.
Mike Simmons 32:03
I don’t know that they’re super new, but they’re gonna be new to some people. There’s a lot of noise out there relative to things like revenue enablement, and revenue operations. And if you go into the hospitality industry, they’ve got they’ve had revenue operations for years, and it means something a bit different than what we’re seeing in SaaS. And so I’m really excited about the blurring of lines across the entire revenue team, between marketing or demand. What happens from a marketing perspective, what happens from a sales perspective, and what happens from a customer success perspective, I’m super excited about these lines starting to blur. Because now we as an organization can operate, we operate effectively across the team, we understand where we’re going, we keep that alignment happening inside the organization, we can operate well and create an amazing experience for customers throughout their entire journey. Because sometimes we forget, not only do we have a business that we’re running, where everybody has the same email address and their domain, and checks come from the same place. But our customers have their own experience that they’re going through and they’re in there, even the rules start to change route they’re through there, the entire part of that journey and without customers or business doesn’t exist. So revenue enablement, which came from your way back when sales enablement was created beat to solve for some challenges that were happening inside organizations, revenue enablement, are solving for more challenges. And at some point in time in the future, and some people might have heard this first, I believe that we’re going to evolve to organization enablement, organization enablement will be something that we do better as business leaders with. So I’m excited about those lines blurring. And I think it’s important for organizations to have a common vocabulary across the organization, specifically when it comes to revenue. So that sales teams are not sales success, marketing are not considered a black box that people deal with when they have to deal with them but don’t really understand the mystic arts that they’re working on over there. I think we can uncomplicate that.
Adam Vazquez 34:18
It’s so important, too. We just had our quarterly review on Monday for our company and we go through our financials with everyone and show them all the numbers in the clear problem for us and I think this is common just in the conversations that I had is our sales numbers consistently exceed goal because we have a value proposition we have we have a pretty good niche that we know we’re going after, but the revenue actually getting the revenue that can trail so, so much and that can there can be so many different things that stop or pause or whatever distract from revenue being able to come into the business and then and then you factor on the fact that to your point. About the sales process, you can push people through a funnel. But the timing of that is anyone’s guess there are so many different factors that go into that. The biggest being just the customer’s readiness based on what they have going on in their lives and in their business. So you go through that process, you finally get the sale, and then revenue is its own thing. And that’s actually our biggest objective for this quarter is beginning to spend time and energy on thinking and solving this as a huge, huge problem, opportunity, wherever you want to say that I think I assume are you going to be? Do you talk about that in your podcast? Or do you speak to that on your site?
Mike Simmons 35:37
I speak to it more directly when I’m working with organizations. As far as on the podcast, the intention of the podcast is to help people find their catalysts. Find that nudge that helps them just start taking the next step, the thing that whatever has been getting in the way of them taking the next step. Let’s give them that catalyst. And it comes through experts that I bring on people who’ve done the work, not talk about the work. So that challenge that you’re talking about, that’s what I do inside organizations because some companies struggle with distinguishing between bookings and revenue. And, and if we’re not aligned on the difference between bookings and revenue, then it’s hard for us to determine what is most important, where are we focusing time and attention? Or have we taken a land and expand approach? Do we know? Or do we expect all of the business to happen up front, we’re okay with a lot of turn. Where are we relative to our journey? So that’s the kind of stuff that I’ll do inside organizations. The reason why I do it inside organizations versus talk about it on the site, other than I’ve got a post that talks about where’s revenue come from? And I’ve got one around reducing friction and process is it’s so personal inside organizations, as you start asking questions, you realize that kind of like The Princess Bride, when the guy keeps saying inconceivable, and you keep saying that word, but I don’t think you know what it means to say those words. And their view of it is a bit different. So my view on this whole challenge, Adam is we can simplify it by clarifying the definition. And this is my approach to problem-solving in general, what problem are we looking to solve? What problem we’re looking to solve? Who is impacted by that problem? Who has the problem? Who cares about those people who have the problem inside? It could be inside our organization or outside of the organization? Why is it important for those people to solve the problem? What’s the business impact? If we know what, who and why then we can advance to things like how to many people throw the problem out there? And then like, Okay, well, how can we solve it without actually taking going through a couple of steps just a little bit more work? You’re saying let’s align on this. And not because we want to delay? It’s because we want to actually do the right things. So that we’re not running around in circles going really, really fast. We’re actually focused on speed to impact.
Adam Vazquez 38:09
That’s so good. Mike, this has been a really brief masterclass on a lot of things that I think founders and operators can think about when it comes to both sales and just revenue management. If folks want to continue in digging a little deeper or find out more about you. And you have a show that maybe because you give people the best places to find you.
Mike Simmons 38:30
The best website to go to his catalystsale.com. That’s for business leaders, business owners, people who are leading teams and talks about what we do from a revenue generation perspective. If you’re an individual who’s just getting better at your work, go to findmycatalyst.com. It’s a separate site. And I this is one of the things I struggle with, which is how do I clarify my message out there so that people know where and how to connect with me. The easiest place in the world is just go to LinkedIn. I’m Mike Simmons on LinkedIn. I was on there early enough to actually have my name on there. So like someone on LinkedIn with Catalyst sale and send me a connection request a direct message, let me know you heard it here on in this conversation and or just speaking with you.
Adam Vazquez 39:18
Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Mike, for coming on. The questions I sent you were mainly around how you leverage content. We didn’t get into that, so we’ll have to do a part two at some point. But really appreciate you coming on and sharing your expertise and we’ll have to do it again.
Mike Simmons 39:32
Thank you very much.
Carlton Riffel 39:34
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