Michael is the CEO and President of SmarterHQ, a customer-centric behavioral marketing platform. He is the Co-Founder and former CRO of myDocket (Handshakez). Michael was formerly the Chief Revenue Officer at Bazaarvoice (NASDAQ: BV) and led the company from under $1 million in revenue to its IPO in February of 2012. During his time at Bazaarvoice, Michael held a number of other positions including Senior VP of Worldwide Sales and Chief Customer Advocate. Prior to Bazaarvoice, Michael was the Director of Client Services at Coremetrics, a provider of web analytics and marketing optimization solutions. He is currently on the Board of Advisors at ShopSocially and Nomi.
Summary Notes on Managing Pipelines
How did you weight and flush pipelines?
Had a lot of eyes on every deal
Became successful because he paid attention to every deal he could
What are key metrics to manage and monitor a pipeline quarterly?
Ended up with a view in CRM that was very simple
Matrix consisted of best case and commit and stages of a deal (4 stages)
An early stage deal early in the quarter had a decent chance of closing
A later stage deal later in the quarter was almost a lock
Managed metrics based on deviance – if numbers said one thing and budgeting said something different, would figure out why
How did forecast versus plan at the start of a quarter?
Doesn’t look for 4x pipeline etc., look at a rep’s pipeline and realistic ability to hit target
Looks at the dollar value of each deal
Would ask a rep to pick which names he or she would expect close and why – if that list was covered he was OK with it
Not a concrete ratio
When do deals typically get done throughout a quarter
The more transactional the business, the more you can engineer to a continual model
For business with deals that get done in 5 days, easy to have a monthly target
For business with deals that take 90-150 days, it’s really difficult to engineer to a monthly number
As many as 40-60% of deals occur in the last month of a quarter
This was sometimes weighted by large deals coming in later in the quarter
What are some tips for land and expand strategy?
Have to build the first relationship well – this trains an organization how you’re going to work with them
If it goes poorly it becomes very difficult to upsell that organization
Sacrificing on terms the first time around, and delivering on service, is an effective way of building a relationship for the long term
How hands-on did you get during onboarding of new customers?
Early days you hand-hold everyone, very high touch – was expensive
Given that they were going for a 10-year relationship and an upsell path, this approach was key to customer growth