Driving Rapid Revenue Growth: A Q&A with Diebold Nixdorf’s Jason Weick

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Executive Insights Interview Series Episode 3

In this exclusive series, FTI Consulting experts interview industry executives to explore how innovative leaders are adopting new strategies to drive rapid revenue growth.

Q

As the new global leader of Sales Ops for a multibillion-dollar company, how do you define your priorities to drive rapid revenue growth?


A
Jason: I look at revenue growth as a three-legged stool. The first leg of the stool is you have to make certain you are protecting the revenue streams you have today. The second leg of the stool is you must look at your existing customers to identify opportunities to drive cross-sell and up-sell programs based on white-space analysis. The third leg of the stool is truly new logo customers or clients who do zero business with you today. One of the biggest mistakes I see are companies that completely over-rotate on the third leg of the stool by chasing the “shiny new object/logo” and lose complete focus on the first and second legs of the stool. In my opinion protecting the existing revenue streams and driving solid up-sell and cross-sell programs to existing clients is the key to rapid revenue growth. I strongly believe that it takes a solid analytical approach to enable the three pillars of revenue growth. For example, companies have a very dispersed customer base, and they need to take a granular look to identify pockets of growth, and then tailor the right sales strategy to capture the revenue growth.

 


Q

Can you share with us your thoughts on how this pandemic has disrupted the customer behaviors and expectations in your industry?

A Jason: This is a great question and one I get frequently. Financial institutions are working very hard to manage their revenue and customer expectations while keeping an eye on their strategy and vision for the next five years. Many financial institutions had already started their digital transformations before the pandemic began and were all at different points in this journey. The timetable has now been dramatically compressed, in my opinion, to meet customer expectations. In other words, if those financial institutions thought they had the next five years to get this right, my belief is they really have the next 12-18 months. Those that got a head start prior to the pandemic are really poised to separate themselves from their competitors.

 


Q

How do you envision the role of Sales Ops to evolve in the future?


A
Jason: Traditionally, the Sales Ops function has been looked at as a cost center driving an operational set of activities. As companies pivot to growth strategies, I believe the most progressive Sales Ops organizations will evolve into more of a strategic Revenue Ops organization. This will include responsibilities for the various value-add practices that ultimately have top-line P&L revenue impact into the business. If you think about it, Sales Ops is very well positioned to drive the growth agenda, given how close they are to customers, market, and to sales teams. In my recent interactions with other leaders of Sales Operations in the industry, the trend of shifting Sales Ops from cost center to strategic revenue center is gaining a lot more attention, not just in our industry, but across other industries as well.

 


Q

One of the most challenging aspects for Sales Ops leaders must have been pulling their sales division through the crisis and keeping up their morale. How are you doing that in your role?

A Jason: If I think about the make-up of our sales organization, we essentially went from sellers who thrived on face-toface interactions with clients to one that had to learn new skills to cope with our new norms for serving customers in a virtual world. We spent a good majority of time working to spool up programs to help support our sellers to be successful in selling in a virtual environment. For example, we implemented a three-part “Selling from Home” training series to sharpen some critical skills that are key to succeeding in virtual sales. We continue to invest time on sharing best practices; this is new for many of our sellers, so we must continue building these new muscles on a regular basis – it does not happen overnight. In addition to virtual selling, our sales organization strongly believes in “Selling with Purpose.” In this virtual environment, where selling has become extremely different, it is important to build trust and lead with purpose in our sales strategy. In my role as the Global Leader of Sales Ops, I am constantly encouraging our sales teams to move away from transactional discussions and be a trusted partner to our customers.

 


Q

What would be your advice to fellow Global Sales Ops leaders to drive profitable revenue growth and customer centricity?


A
Jason: My single biggest piece of advice is to not lose focus on the customer. It’s easy for Sales Operations to become internally focused, so I would encourage leaders not to allow sales operations to become a “dumping ground” and to always keep their organizations focused on an “outside-in” perspective, starting with the customer — and if you can do that, then you know the decisions you are making are in the best interests of your customers.
 

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