Sales Talk for CEOs

By Alice Heiman

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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.

Episode Date
The Art Of Scaling A Sales Team

How do you balance growth with quality service delivery? 

With no background in sales, Kevin Warner, Co-founder, and CEO, originally decided to hire someone who knew sales and put his focus on delivery. He realized quickly it wasn’t working and took the lead sales role. 

Once sales picked up, he built a sales team and grew exponentially but he watched  the quality of service delivery suffer, and client churn increased. 

What was the right size for the company where they could serve the clients with excellence, reduce churn and increase profitability? 

They had some tough decisions to make. They reduced the team and focused on the success of the customer. He went back to a founder-led sales approach with a sales team to back him. 

Under his renewed guidance healthy growth returned. Now at 10 years in, they have achieved low churn, high profitability and now have the valuation that creates the exit options every founder dreams of. 

You’re going to want to hear his story.


00:00 Introduction to Leadium 

05:47 How to talk to humans 

09:31 Start with proper segmentation 

11:25 The McDonald’s Conveyor Belt of Outbound Sales 

12:54 Founder led Sales 

16:32 Sales is Not a Magic Bullet 

19:51 Back to Founder Led Sale 

24:07 Removing the Roadblocks 

27:35 The Role of the CEO 

29:54 Reducing Churn 

32:34 The End of SDRs

About Our Guest:

Kevin Warner, the Founder, and CEO of Leadium an award-winning B2B lead generation agency.

Kevin is a core visionary behind the rapid growth of the outsourced sales development industry. He has proven that top-of-funnel sales can be scaled through an agency model, by creating over $1 billion in revenue pipeline across 1200 organizations, playing a part in 76 acquisitions, and seeing clients receive $6.5 billion in funding and 5 IPOs. He has experience managing a global team of 600 sales reps, data researchers, content creators, and sales strategists.

​​You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.


Connect with Alice on LinkedIn

Mar 21, 2023
Building and Implementing Scalable Processes

Most CEOs have a hard time running one successful company. Veronica Buitron runs two!

Her secrets boil down to simple, hard won lessons. First, you need a process for everything to be successful and to scale. Second, you need to trust and empower your teams.

Every CEO can learn from her episode.


00:00  - Introduction

2:26 - Tango Code: Redefining Software Development 0

03:53 - Automating Process for Scalability 

10:02 - Engineering and Sales Are Both Just Solving Problems

14:50 - Building Visions Together 

16:30 - Shared Success 

18:36 - Understanding the Sales Process at An Early Stage

21:02 - Building a Sales Team Starts With A Defined Process

28:11 - The CEO Sales Role

32:39 - How Veronica Runs Two Companies

35:12 - Implementing Agile Across the Entire Company

36:20 - Trust and Empowerment

About Our Guest:

Veronica Buitron is the Co-Founder and CEO of TangoCode a software development company and Chassis, the leading platform enabling digital marketers to automate & accelerate search and social campaigns. As a female entrepreneur, Veronica considers it essential to not only create a diverse and progressive culture within her own company but also to promote it within the tech community. These values have enabled Chassis to create the industry’s most innovative digital marketing solution automating and accelerating ROI for its clients.

Chassis enables businesses to use first-party data to create a more effective marketing offering, achieving results 4X faster than using Google or Facebook. The platform promotes automation as a catalyst for marketers to be more productive and efficient in serving their clients and achieving scale.

Veronica is an avid reader and enjoys speaking on diversity, innovation, and their interrelated relationship. She is a passionate business leader, a lifelong learner, a mentor to other women in technology, and a devoted role model for her three children.

Social links:

Veronica's LinkedIn

Veronica's Twitter


​​You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.


Connect with Alice on LinkedIn

Mar 14, 2023
How To Hire The Right Sellers In An Early Stage Company

Ariel came from engineering, he had been a product leader for quite a few years and then made the transition into sales. 

Initially when he moved into sales, he was running product marketing. And he thought sales was so easy, you just get all of the factsheets and  battle cards and the information on the features and capabilities and share that with the prospects that they will buy it. Of course, he learned quickly he was wrong. Running a sales team taught him that sales was so much more and luckily he learned before he started his company. 

That mindset shift is what prepared him to at first do the sales himself and then build a sales organization at Second Nature AI. 

He learned two very important things as he moved from founder led sales to hiring a team. First, in an early stage company you have to hire a different type of seller. They have to have passion for the product and they have to know how to do full cycle selling without all the resources of a big company.  

He told me, you have to hire full cycle sellers - salespeople who don’t need the support of a large marketing and sales team.  They need to be able to adapt on the fly. 

So that is what he did and then he learned the second thing, you have to have inbound leads. Even with the right salespeople, if there are no leads sales don’t happen. 

Listen to hear the lessons that helped him grow sales. 


00:00 - Artificial Intelligence That Trains Your Salesforce? 
07:48 - The Genesis of Jenny AI 
10:53 - The First Customers Input 
15:19 - Scaling Sales and the Team 
26:32 - Using Second Nature to Train and Assess Sellers 
28:15 - Marketing Ahead of Sales Hires to Increase Inbound 
32:55 - The Sales Feedback Loop 
36:15 - The Next Chapter

About Our Guest:

Ariel Hitron is the CEO and co-founder of Second Nature. He has held various executive positions including VP of New Markets and VP of Sales and Customer Success at Kaltura. He ran global sales teams with dozens of reps, built playbooks and training sessions, and earlier in his career, developed and brought to market multiple software products, generating tens of millions of recurring revenue and used by millions of consumers.

As the CEO of Second Nature, Ariel is able to merge his passion for sales, tech, and product development, by applying AI to enable large B2B sales organizations to scale up and get systematic about their sales coaching.

About Second Nature:

Second Nature helps salespeople have better conversations.

Using AI-driven role play, sales professionals can practice in a safe space, and improve their performance and confidence by gaining real-time, personalized feedback.

Social links:


​​You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.


Connect with Alice on LinkedIn

Feb 28, 2023
The Secret to Predictable Growth through Building a Personal Brand

Samantha McKenna, a former employee of On24, was recruited by LinkedIn for her mastery of building a powerful brand on the platform. She started posting on LinkedIn in 2011, leading to recognition and a promotion. After two years, she broke her 13th record and decided to pursue her passion for making a positive impact. She left LinkedIn to start her own company, #SamSales, initially intending to work part-time, but quickly realized that wasn't feasible.

She is one of the rare founders who was in sales prior to starting her company but she never planned to go into sales, she thought she was going to be in finance. Starting her own business, well that might have been inevitable because both of her parents are entrepreneurs. 

For many who start a company sales come slowly but for Samantha sales were easy because she had already built an audience on LinkedIn. She had been providing useful content for years so once she posted that she  was now in business, the sales flooded in. (Don’t we all wish for that.)

Samantha's all-women team of 11, , now does a full range of sales related advisory and services. To grow into that, she learned to delegate and rely on proactive referrals and relationship-building for long-term success. Even though she has a great sales team, Samantha is still involved in selling and managing sales.Her team does sales the easy way, they rely on proactive referrals from existing customers and partners. She taught her team to track job changes on LinkedIn and stay in touch. This usually leads to more business. They focus on building relationships for the long term.


00:00 - Intro 

02:54 - Quality Over Quantity 

05:15 - Samantha’s Start In Sales 

10:10 - LinkedIn 1%er 

16:51 - My Large Networks Gave #samsales A Running Start 

20:43 - The ever evolving CEO sales role 

24:01 - Referral selling 

25:55 - Working in your genius zone 

30:59 - What’s next?

About Our Guest:

Samantha McKenna, CEO of #samsales Consulting, is an award-winning sales leader, brand ambassador for LinkedIn, angel investor, board member, and highly sought-after speaker. She has broken nearly 15 sales records, believes great sales are rooted in exceptional manners, and consistently looks for opportunities to continue growing the company’s philanthropic efforts. Since 2008, Sam has worked for some of the most notable names in the Bay Area, including ON24 and LinkedIn. While with these organizations, Sam spent her time as an individual contributor in Enterprise sales before moving to scaling teams and revenue as an executive Leader.

With more than 30,000 LinkedIn followers, Sam has inspired sales professionals with her tangible sales tips and actionable advice used daily by executives and teams alike. Sam has been named a Top 50 Women in Revenue and Top 20 Women in Sales Leadership, appears as one of the faces of LinkedIn Sales Navigator’s marketing campaigns, and has been named a Top Ten LinkedIn Sales Star several times over. She has a deep commitment to helping women succeed - particularly those who are military spouses - as well as individuals from underrepresented backgrounds. Sam is dedicated to shining a light on her trademark Show Me You Know Me and #givefirst mantras - and together with her team, raised over $50,000 for charity in 2021 alone with the innovative #samsales ‘Show Me You Know Me’ Charity Event. In its first 24 months, #samsales Consulting has scaled to multi-million dollar revenue and added 17 talented team members. The #samsales team serves over 100 clients, achieved

312% of their first annual revenue goal, and surpassed all reason with 233% YoY growth in its second year!

Connect with Samantha McKenna on LinkedIn

Follow Samantha McKenna on Twitter

​​You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.


Connect with Alice on LinkedIn

Feb 21, 2023
Move Deals Through Your Pipeline With The Centricity Model

Sean Doyle applies behavioral science to marketing and the sales funnel. His model is called Centricity and he shares important lessons about alignment between sales, marketing and customer success to move deals through the funnel. 

Sean says, “Deals stall in the middle of the funnel because we aren’t giving the buyer what they need to make a decision.If you are still feeding them information about your product features and benefits, they are 80% likely to decide to stick with the old, lower risk, status quo.”

On the other hand, we know that if you help them make sense of the information, you are heading in the right direction together. Sometimes this takes sales, customer success and marketing together and at different points in the customer journey. 

This lively interview will help every CEO with strategies to help their team move more deals through the middle of the funnel to close.


00:00 Strategic Versus Creative Marketing

06:17 Behavioral Science: The Centricity Model

13:22 Your Buyer’s Problem

18:36 Marketing and Customer Success at the Closing Table

24:08 Making it Easier for Customers to Buy

31:00 6 Step Pipeline: Tracking Steps Versus Activity

38:00 Emotional and Rational Content: Marketing and Sales balance

43:40 Selling is Helping


About Our Guest:

Sean M. Doyle is principal at FitzMartin Inc, a leading consultancy focused on optimizing sales and marketing investments of emerging middle- market, B2B businesses. FitzMartin’s clients earn on average an ROI of $287 per $1 invested. Through a 30+ year career with over 5,500 client engagements, Sean saw the need for a repeatable, systematic, objective go-to-market model. The model, Centricity, informs sales, marketing, technology and creative decisions. His niche is helping executives identify opportunities to achieve their strategic, personal and financial objectives. 

Connect with Sean on LinkedIn

Follow Sean on Twitter

Resource Links:

Changing for Good 


​​You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.

Connect with Alice on LinkedIn



Feb 14, 2023
Strategies To Gain An Unfair Advantage

Almost every company I know is struggling to bring new business in at the pace required. 


Well, that is an interesting question but I think by now most of us know that our methods are outdated and simply don’t work. The better questions are how do we keep new business flowing in? 

What should be done instead of what we continue to do that doesn’t work? 

I’ve always had a fascination with weeds. They are amazing. Strong, resilient, persistent and they can literally take over an area. My friend Stu Heinecke and I share that same fascination only I know he is more fascinated than me because he wrote a whole book on them called How to Grow Your Business Like a Weed. 

Weeds have an unfair advantage and Stu wants all company leaders to understand what that is and how it can be applied to their business so that they can dominate the market. 

There are many strategies to gain that unfair advantage and Stu is here today to help you pick the best ones for your business. 

Find out why having the mindset of a weed will give your company an unfair advantage and possibly even market domination. 


04:14 Having a network is very important. Being able to get introductions is very important. I mean, that works. That's a shortcut.

04:37 [If you can’t get an introduction] You need to do something audacious, not just audacious, but also you need to do something that's relevant… something that has the person saying, Oh my gosh, who is this? I love the way you think.

07:01 books are still a valid way to stand out, even if you haven't written one, send some of your favorite books…I’m helping you to learn…

09:58 Alice Heineman says you can tell a lot about a person just by looking at their pipeline.[the caption on a cartoon that Stu sent to Alice ahead of the interview]

12:36 one of your [Alice Heiman] great unfair advantages is that you show up usually as a speaker at events

16:14 what is it about weeds that causes them to spread and grow and dominate and makes them such tough competitors? Do they have a unified model? And it turns out they do, they leverage a fierce mindset.

17:11 if a business doesn't have unfair advantages, it won't exist for long.

19:20 you want your competitors looking at your unfair advantage and saying how the heck are we going to beat that?

22:23 Why would we talk about a mindset when we're talking about plants? They don't have brains.

23:07 You can't grow your business like a weed if you don't have the right mindset. If we're still having our salespeople sell the way they sold ten years ago, it's not going to work.

24:01 I should add a couple more attributes to mindset. Emotions get in the way. Your actions should lead your emotions, not the other way around. Don’t ask ‘Do I feel like going to the gym?’ Go to the gym and then see how you feel. Do everything at scale through collaboration.

28:47 Here's the really cool thing about weeds. They thrive in disrupted ground. We are coming into a recession, another word for disruption, and it’s an opportunity to thrive if you have the right mindset.

31:08 One way to thrive is to eliminate any 1 to 1 leverage. If you are part of the deliverable stream, you need to fix that because you become a bottleneck to your growth. Moving toward multi-channel collaborations is another way to thrive.

About Our Guest:

Stu Heinecke is a bestselling business author, marketer and WSJ cartoonist. His first book, How to Get a Meeting with Anyone, was named one of the top 64 sales books of all time. His latest, How to Grow Your Business Like a Weed, lays out a complete model for explosive business growth, based on the strategies, attributes and tools weeds use to grow, expand, dominate and defend their turf. A twice-nominated hall of fame marketer and Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center author-in-residence, he was named the “Father of Contact Marketing” by the AMA. He lives on a beautiful island in Washington State.

Connect with Stu on LinkedIn
Connect with Stu on Twitter

Resource Links

How To Get A Meeting With Anyone 
Grow Your Business Like A Weed


You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.

Connect with Alice on LinkedIn

Feb 07, 2023
How This CEO Bootstrapped A Sales Team

It’s been 14 years since Bob Vaez started EventMobi and he’s had considerable growth without investment from Venture Capital or Private Equity. How did he do it? It wasn’t always easy.

EventMobi’s early sales model was classic founder led with Bob doing it all from mining his network for leads to closing deals. 

His decision to bootstrap versus take external investment meant that hiring an experienced sales leader was out of the question. Instead he hired young, hungry graduates who could listen and tell stories.

His strategy worked. Growth was great, annual sales revenue soared.  

Then the pandemic hit and revenue plummeted to near zero.

Within a few months, Bob pivoted the in-person event platform into a virtual one.

Sales rebounded and are stronger than ever with a return to in-person.

Bob’s 14 year journey is a great how-to for any CEO looking to bootstrap their startup.


05:20 I had this passion for events and they would give you this tote bag full of paper and this show guide that's 300 pages. I'm like, why is this not on my phone?

06:38 We were building a product that no one had ever heard of, software for events.

06:57 I realized the other part of the product we have to build is a platform for planners and event organizers because their data was all over the place. 

08:10 I think honestly at the beginning for a lot of startup founders, sales is not the main concern. But in reality, you want to make sure you have product market fit and selling is the best way to determine that.

13:10 EventMobi is a bootstrap company and so very different from a VC backed company.

13:43 From zero to the first $500K was very experimental. I didn't know if the company was going to exist in the next few months.  After that, I couldn't do everything myself, so I had to hire someone to do online demos using WebEx

14:49 We weren't really hiring traditional salespeople. We were hiring people that were empathetic. They were really good listeners and they were really good storytellers.

15:12 I ran it like that until we had about 12 people on the sales team. I was still managing marketing and support with a few junior managers, and we hit 5 million. That’s when I realized it was too much for me so we promoted our first sales manager from within the sales team. That took us to $10M.

17:35 I think a lot of early CEOs hire what I call full-stack salespeople - they take it from lead to renewal. This has to be divided into different roles as you grow. How you define those roles and the timing is critically important.

22:46 When the pandemic hit, we went from $10M to 0 overnight because all of the confidence got canceled. We retooled our platform to support virtual and suddenly our leads grew by a factor of five.

28:45 We had a two pronged strategy in terms of building the sales team. One was to promote from within. And the other was to hire staff from the industry.

31:40] Customer demands are changing. They are expecting a different type of response and they have different pain points. We need to train and enable the sales team to be able to help them in a way that they can benefit from rather than let me show you 12 tools we have.

32:05] Information overload is real. There's so much noise and there're so many competitors. The customers can't even remember who said what.

About Our Guest:

Bob has over 10 years of experience in software, semiconductor and mobile industry in various capacities from engineering to business development. He has worked for a number of small and large companies in Toronto, Canada and Silicon Valley, California such as BTE, ATI, AMD and Nvidia.

Currently Bob is the CEO of

EventMobi is an interactive mobile event guide app that helps engage audiences, further green practices and generate revenue. We empower event organizers with simple but powerful tools to create mobile event guides for their attendees in minutes!

Connect with Bob on LinkedIn:
Follow Bob on Twitter:

About Guest Company:

EventMobi's end-to-end Event Management and Virtual Conference Platform makes it easy for event organizers to plan, promote, monetize and deliver engaging virtual, hybrid and in-person event experiences. 

From website, registration and an award-winning event app, to the Virtual Space and fully managed online event production, the EventMobi platform has been used by 10,000+ event planners in 72 countries around the world since 2009.

Sign up for a free demo:
Follow on Twitter:

You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.


Jan 31, 2023
What every CEO can learn from 2022

Wrapping up my 3rd season and I still can’t believe I started and built a successful podcast. 

The thing I love most is the conversations with the CEOs. They are so willing to share their story in the spirit of helping others. 

Whether they are near the beginning or the end of their journey it’s always interesting to learn why they started and how they grew sales. 

In this Season Finale we revisit some of the main themes that are essential for every CEO to take into 2023 and beyond.

Number one on the list - if you are using the sales strategies and methods that got you where you are I can guarantee they won’t get you where you want to be. 

Just doing more of the same doesn’t cut it. Strategies and tactics that worked just before the pandemic don’t work anymore. You need to stop and map your buyer's journey and adjust your strategy and tactics to meet that.

Cold outreach yields abysmal results. No one answers the phone and no one wants your sequence of emails especially when they are all about you. 

Buyers who are looking for you expect to have access to your product information before engaging with your sales team. You need to understand what your customer wants, how they want to buy and meet them where they are. 

If buyers won’t take cold calls and they are deleting your email how do you generate leads? How do you ensure that your sales people are having plenty of conversations with people who can buy from them?

The changing role of the CEO in the sales process was another recurring theme. Many of our guests are moving back to a founder led sales approach and have found huge success in being the chief lead generator. Imagine using your own network and the network of your whole senior team to make introductions for your salespeople so they don't have to go in cold. What is your role in sales currently?

Tune in to this and every episode to find the answers. 


01:15 A different structure for how to pursue revenue growth.

02:03 How the customer wants to buy from you.

03:03 So as a CEO, what are some of the things you can do to make it easier to be your customer? 

04:26 Making content readily available to the people that want to buy from you.

05:43 What is the CEO’s role in the sales process?

07:17 Creating a conversation.

08:16 A mindset shift.

10:05 Increasing the effectiveness of your salesperson.


You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.

Jan 24, 2023
Bring More Certainty and Less Volatility to Sales

Heidi Messer started Collective[i] with one goal: to bring more certainty and less volatility to sales and improve the livelihoods of every single employee.

According to Heidi, sellers operate at 30% productivity rates. There is no other function in a company that is as unproductive as sales. Higher productivity equals more certainty, so why not improve it. If sales improves every other department has more opportunity. 

In order to bring more certainty and less volatility , Collective[i] focuses on two main innovations:

  1. Automate everything possible in the sales process in order to reduce seller admin work and improve CRM accuracy;
  2. Train teams on the agile sales process in order to scale revenue.

This is one of the most comprehensive interviews on the modern sales process I’ve ever recorded.  


01:19 All of the time that is spent trying to fix the problems in CRM, we fix so that sellers can sell, managers can coach, and everybody else has absolute transparency into what's happening. 

02:23 Nobody trusts the pipeline reviews. So let's just start with a clean capture of data into the CRM and have it done automatically. Nobody has to worry about trusting it.

02:36 You know that sellers operate at 30% productivity rates. There is no other function in a company that is as unproductive as sales.

03:16 Instead of trying to figure out what happened, we want people to focus on adapting to what's likely to happen.

04:25 What was interesting about the mid 2000s is we actually saw marketing transform from being a gut based endeavor to one that was highly scientific, very adaptive and focused on optimization.

06:54 We're going to own siloed data, not just within companies, but between companies. Everybody told us it wouldn't work. I'm convinced that if you haven't heard that, you don't have a good idea.

07:33 Sales is the lifeblood of companies. Our entire economy depends on sales. If you can bring more certainty to sales and less volatility, you impact the livelihoods of every single person employed by a company.

08:17 There's no entrepreneur I've met who isn't a great salesperson.

10:21 When you start out with a new product you have to find out what's important to their (you customer’s) business? How am I going to persuade them to try this new thing? And then somehow I think what happens when you grow is you get out of that habit of thinking that way,

11:12 There's a significant portion of companies that still believe sales itself is a process, meaning sales is an assembly line. It’s not, it’s more like a sport that needs a playbook and lots of practice.

13:51 So imagine now you have to hire salespeople who sell to people who sell.

15:53 You have to hire salespeople who are able to be trusted advisers. Do they have fundamental sales skills? Do they have enough knowledge that they can provide people with advice on how to move forward and not just explain something?

16:58 I think there's a massive defining line that happened after COVID, and I don't think we're going back.

17:49 There's a particular kind of sales leader who can sell innovation and there's a kind of sales leader who wants to sell the status quo.

22:33 If you're a good founder, you pick advisors who are smarter than you. I want to hire an expert in something that I may not be an expert in.

25:39 We have to do a better job of training our sales teams.

27:13 We drink our own champagne.

27:57 We switched to Agile.

29:11 Agile sales describes an organization that's working perfectly in sync to adapt to changes that are happening real time in marketplaces.

31:46 We automated everything that they were doing that was low value. So there's not a seller that spends more than 10 minutes a week in CRM. 

32:37 We don't do annual sales conferences, we do quarterly, we call them ARCOS revenue kick offs. More importantly every week our sales team has at least 1 to 2 training sessions.

33:57 I think it should be sellers are selling to buyers in a transparent environment. Why should anything be hidden today? There should be no opacity in business.

36:49 Sports team would be crazy if they said, I'm going to give you a playbook. Go on the field without practice. 

41:21 I think the average number of buyers on a buying team has gone from 8 to 12.

42:38 We invested a lot in upskilling our salespeople. We invest a lot in digital. So my belief is if a website could do it, a human should not. 

46:20 We hire for a growth mindset. I think a growth mindset and trainability come hand in hand. 

About Our Guest:

Heidi Messer has been an active entrepreneur and investor in the digital economy since the commercialization of the Internet. Ms. Messer currently serves as co-Founder and Chairperson of Collective[i]™.

Prior to Collective[i], Ms. Messer and her brother, Stephen Messer, co-founded LinkShare Corporation, host to one of the world’s largest online affiliate networks representing the world’s premier publishers and merchants on the web. The company is widely considered to be a pioneer in the world of SaaS, digital advertising and the sharing economy.

Under Ms. Messer’s leadership, LinkShare was recognized by Deloitte and Touche for two consecutive years as the fastest growing technology company in the New York Region. Ms. Messer served as a board member, President and Chief Operating Officer of LinkShare until its sale to Rakuten (4755:JASDAQ) for $425 million.

Ms. Messer is a frequent speaker at conferences and universities around the world on artificial intelligence, enterprise technology, entrepreneurship, modern sales, marketing and the future of work. She has been cited in various publications including, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine, Vogue, the NY Post, The Nikkei, Women’s Wear Daily, and Chief Executive Magazine. Ms. Messer has also appeared on national television and radio programs including the Today Show, Rock Center with Brian Williams, Business Talk Radio, CNBC, Fox News, CBS Morning News and the Fox Morning Show.

Ms. Messer has received several honors including being selected as one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs by Goldman Sachs (2012) and is a recipient of the Technology Pioneer Award during Women’s Entrepreneurship Day hosted at the United Nations (2015). Ms. Messer serves on the board of Aperture Investors, the Partnership for NYC, the Partnership Fund for NYC and the Board of Trustees for New York-Presbyterian Hospital as well as the advisory board for the Johns Hopkins University Department of Physics and Astronomy. Ms. Messer is an advisor to the AXA Venture Fund and serves on the investment committee for The Equity Alliance.

Ms. Messer received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude. She received her juris doctorate from Harvard Law School graduating cum laude.

About Guest Company:

Collective[i] (short for Collective Intelligence) helps companies around the world forecast, manage and grow revenue leveraging data, human talent and social connections. Collective[i]’s global network and application uses artificial intelligence to enable sales and other supporting functions to leverage their professional networks and intelligence that optimizes all of their sales activities and processes. Collective[i]’s mission is to enable global prosperity by helping companies and sales professionals worldwide leverage both human connections and machine generated intelligence to grow revenue.

Resource Links:

Twitter: @heidimesser, @collectivei 
LinkedIn - 

You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.

Jan 17, 2023
Nine Time CEO with Seven Exits Talks About Building Sales Teams

Sean Burke shares his knowledge of building high performance sales teams gained through nine startups, seven exits and billions of dollars in value creation.

The first rule, you can only attract the best if you can show a definitive path to hitting quota. If you can’t show the math, why would they join your team?

Next, you are building a team not a collective of individual contributors. Part of this is defining your role and the role of every part of the company in contributing to the sales team's success.

And finally, you need to build metrics around each salesperson to compare and help share best practices across the team. Why is one person’s close rate higher or time to close lower?

Sean goes on to talk about mentoring and the difficulty of getting people to take the essential first steps. If you follow his advice, you will never have to worry about getting a job or earning a living.

And these highlights only scratch the surface of the wisdom Sean shares with us.


20:52 If you can't share with them the math of how people get to their numbers, why would they ever join your team?

23:26 Every single salesperson on my team has those numbers in a customized dashboard.

23:37 The sales velocity formula basically tells you, "Am I going to hit my number or not?"

24:38 "Joe, here's what your close ratio is. Bill's close ratio is 10% higher. What are you guys doing differently? By the way, why is Jane's time to close 60 days shorter than yours? Why is our time to close existing business longer than new business? It should be shorter."

25:31 What does the data know that our sales leaders don't know, and what do our sales leaders know that the data doesn't know, and we can combine those two together to get a much more accurate forecast.

26:42 I will coach anybody on my sales team, but very few people will do the things that I ask them in coaching.

28:53 I can guarantee you this, anybody who takes the effort to follow my plan will never have to worry about money the rest of their life,

29:06 I do deal strategy work and I will sell, my CEO will sell, everybody sells in our organization so the sales team knows that they have an absolute support mechanism.

35:44 From the CEO down to the individual customer success representative we define how we're going to work with each customer.

About Our Guest:

Sean has devoted his career to practicing, testing, learning, measuring, failing, and triumphing in the pursuit of sales & leadership excellence. The knowledge he shares is from doing the work every day. So unlike consultants, influencers, and experts – Sean still has a number to hit and over 2,000 people across the globe who expect him to make the right leadership decisions as well as help them achieve their own life’s mission.

Connect with Sean here:

LinkedIn -
Website -
Twitter -
Quora -
Prometric -

About Guest Company:

Prometric is a leading provider of technology-enabled testing and assessment solutions. Our integrated, end-to-end solutions provide exam development, management, and distribution that set the industry standard in quality, security, and service excellence. Today, we are paving the industry’s path forward with new solutions and innovation to ensure reliable access to secure assessments anytime, anywhere.

For over 30 years, we’ve supported more than 25 million exam hours at our testing locations in more than 180 countries around the world.

You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.


Jan 10, 2023
Selling is Solving

After eight years of trial and error, Daveed feels he has finally figured out the sales model for, Valens Global. 

He heard about the rainmaker sales model from a very successful law firm. The senior partner initiated discussions with clients that demonstrate the firm's expertise and ability to solve a particular problem. 

For Daveed it meant taking the lead with the customer to define the problem and the framework to solve it. His teams, often working in parallel, taking charge of delivering the solution. 

We love to solve problems and when we are focused on doing that the sale comes naturally. 


02:01 Valens Global solves problems that involve the intersection of evolving technologies, changing global society, often changing ecology or environment, and manifest in ways that are different as patterns than they were in the past. Disinformation, for example, is one such problem set problems involving climate change, problems involving terrorists, and evolving technologies.

03:53 We use simulations and games. What is different about our games is first we've invested significantly in storytelling and world building techniques. So there's a cinematic or novel quality to our games.

05:30 For our university clients, we get a lot of students coming back and saying that this was the most profound educational experience that they'd had during their university career.

06:36 Last year we did a racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism workshop. It was a series of workshops that used a Valens simulation tabletop exercise to anchor the conversations.

08:32 Given the life and death nature of the topics that we deal with, practicing self care for your team is very important.

09:09 I started Valens Global because I was tired of correctly predicting outcomes that were against the consensus opinion. Valens allowed me to productize my subject matter expertise and rise above group think consensus.

21:39 Our sales model has shifted from a sales team model to a rainmaker model that I learned from a famous law firm.

33:19 It’s really important to listen and learn about a customer's problem. And in many cases, we deal with big problems and we can’t afford to fail. Solving these problems is my sales model.

About Our Guest:

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross is an entrepreneur, practitioner, and scholar with specialized knowledge of violent non-state actors and terrorist groups. He is the founder and CEO of the private firm Valens Global, which has twice been named to Entrepreneur Magazine’s E360 list of the top small businesses in the United States. 

He is also on the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University and Duke University. Among the many projects that Daveed has undertaken for Valens Global, he led the company’s efforts to support the drafting, threat assessment, and crafting of priority actions for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s 2019 Strategic Framework for Countering Terrorism and Targeted Violence, which received widespread acclaim. 

The New York Times, for example, editorialized that the strategy represented “a shift that is both urgently needed and long overdue.” He holds a Ph.D. in world politics from the Catholic University of America and a J.D. from the New York University School of Law.

About Guest Company:

A few sentences about Valens Global: Valens Global was founded in 2014 on the belief that the private sector is vital to addresing key twenty-first century challenges, including advancing the national security interests of America and its allies and to saving lives by protecting the public from terrorist attacks and other threats. Valens's high-quality analysis is paired with numerous interlocking capabilities, including in physical security, training, threat assessments, detection of insider threats, and messaging. The company's goal, simply put, is to understand, predict, and act to empower clients as they navigate and address emergent challenges rooted in security, technology, and a changing global society.

Resource Links:

You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.

Dec 27, 2022
Use this simple rule to win more deals

Years of trust can evaporate in a matter of moments if you forget this simple rule. Dmitri Leichik learned the hard way that customers are not buying your product, they are buying your commitment to their success. The moment they perceive a transactional motive, you’ve lost.

Utilizing a founder led sales model, Twistellar has grown globally and still relies on Dmitri’s long term relationship strategy that in many cases takes years to mature from conversation to trust to a project.

If you sell B2B, you have to assume that a potential customer already has a trusted supplier. They may say no to you on a Monday and yes on a Friday because something changed in that relationship. 

Timing and luck are everything and that’s why you have to be tireless in maintaining relationships over long periods of time.


3:24 You need to clearly understand how people interact, how people communicate, how your sales people actually work every day to make their customers happy. Only then can you automate the process.

5:14 A professional consultant must focus on the customer’s business processes, not the solution features.  Sometimes our role is to convince the customer not to spend money on a solution because the business is not ready.

8:27 In sales, the first step needs to be defining “What difference can you bring to the table?”

9:49 To be successful, three factors need to come together at the same time: You need luck to be in the right place at the right time, you need to be very active to be in as many places as possible, you have to be working hard to make every customer successful.

11:49 I still do most of the selling myself since I am the best person to match business needs to technical solutions. I am a technical advisor and am never trying to sell a specific solution.

13:47 In B2B, a potential customer already has a supplier to solve their problems. You have to get to them at the exact moment where they have some reason to consider a new partner.

14:45 We work 12-14 hours a day so that we can always be available to give friendly advice. That’s how we ‘sell’.

18:48 To win business, you have to demonstrate that you bear the responsibility for the project’s success.

20:49 It can take years to build a relationship before the first project. On the other hand, one wrong action can spoil that relationship in one day.

23:01 You must consider all of the people in an organization who benefit from your work. They are part of your word of mouth referral network especially when they move to a new company.

26:50 The sales process ends when the work is done and the customer is happy.

28:10 Mistakes can be made and it's critically important to take responsibility for them. We recently underestimated a project by 400 hours and we accepted the loss.

About Our Guest

Dmitri Leichik is CEO and co-founder of Twistellar,  #1 Salesforce Consulting Partner in Denmark. Dmitri brings more than a 20-year background of being a co-owner and CEO of a group of trading and production companies, providing hands-on management experience.

For now, Dmitri is a business expert who's responsible for corporate strategy, finances, business development, customer relations, and general operational efficiency in Twistellar. He managed to gather a team of 100+ motivated professionals in just 5 years.

Dmitri is a master of business & service processes automation and optimization. He ensures that the customer is always the key figure at Twistellar.

Connect with Dmitri




About Guest Company

Twistellar is a #1 Salesforce Consulting Partner in Denmark, working with customers in the USA, Europe, Asia, and Australia. The company provides top-quality Salesforce solutions development services to solve complex business issues and boost sales.

Twistellar has grown from 0 to 100+ in-house consultants in 5 years. The company's headquarters are located in Copenhagen, Denmark, with development centers in Poland and Georgia. Twistellar also has its own products delivered on AppExchange — Sculptor CPQ (a native Salesforce interactive quote generation solution) and Dash (a visualization tool for dynamic clickable charts in Salesforce Lightning).

In 2022, Twistellar was announced as the #1 Salesforce Consultant in Denmark by and entered the global TOP-10 list of the best Salesforce Consultants by


You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.

Dec 20, 2022
Leading Growth: How to modernize your sales team

Anthony Iannarino has some bad news for sales leaders who are depending on 20 year old sales models. They just don’t work anymore. 

“Tell me about your problems and let me tell you about my solution” won’t even get you a second meeting.”

Alvin Toffler, who wrote The Future Shock, said that the future is going to be dominated by people who can learn, unlearn and then learn again. The hard part is unlearning.

Sales teams must be retrained to create value not sell benefits. Anthony calls this becoming a One Up. The core value creation is ‘'I know more about this decision than anything else.” Let me start a conversation with you about that.

Unlearning old sales habits is only the beginning. Anthony takes us through his three, non-negotiable, steps to hold salespeople accountable. Number one, a set amount of time per week prospecting. Number two, reporting on the actual conversations that are ongoing. As a sales leader, your job is to establish the criteria for what represents a quality conversation. And finally what is the next conversation that we should be having and our strategy to get there.

Listen to the entire episode to learn how to build your modern B2B sales strategy and team.


2:21 I'm not disrupting the industry. All I'm doing is documenting the strategies and tactics that work because the buyer has a different problem than they've ever had before. They're more confused, they're more uncertain. They have a difficult time getting consensus.

3:07 The most common problems that sales teams have: I don't have enough opportunities. Opportunities aren't moving fast enough through our pipeline for us to reach our goals. I don’t understand why salesperson A is doing well while salesperson B isn’t.

4:47 If you're training your team in a legacy approach where it's looks like solution selling and we start with let me tell you how great our company is and look at all these logos…

8:21 …one client said to me, we did $10 million. Our goal next year is $12 million. And I said, that is probably the worst goal I've ever heard…

9:26 The part of the vision that I care about is what do you want your team to be?

10:03 The best salespeople create more value in a conversation than others.

10:52 There's a chapter in the book about alignment. It’s when the CEO has a vision that is tangible, proven, and clearly understood by customer success, marketing, and sales.

12:39 I would describe churn as the devil.

14:16 We can get the first meeting, but we can't convert it to a second meeting. What that means is you didn't create enough value.

14:54 Let me give you another lens, my lens is not filled with false assumptions. I'm showing you what reality looks like and what you need to do.

15:30 We transform your team to a modern approach that means they're going to be what I call One Up. And One Up means I know more than you and I have greater experience than you do about this decision, not about everything.

Helping them understand what's going on, what it means for them, and what they need to do. So that means you're going to have a different sales force on the other end that can create greater value.

17:13 So it's not about what you sell. It's about how you sell. And if you get the ‘how’ we sell right, then you have a better shot of reaching your full potential.

18:29 Alvin Toffler, in The Future Shock, said that the future is going to be dominated by people who can learn, unlearn and then learn again. So that's where we are right now. So the hard part is the unlearning.

19:09 the most important thing for you to work on is increasing the effectiveness of your salesperson in the conversation with their client.

20:39 That's where growth comes from. It's the conversations that we're having.

23:34 I have two chapters on accountability…It's a very, very different kind of accountability. And it means I care enough about you to make sure that you succeed.

25:29 I have three non-negotiables, measures of accountability…

29:01 So if you start teaching, you start informing, you start enlightening them and you start getting rid of their terrible lens that they're looking through…

About Our Guest:

Anthony Iannarino is a writer, a best-selling author, a speaker, a sales leader, and an entrepreneur. He spent twenty years selling and leading a sales force in the highly commoditized industry of staffing before becoming a writer and publishing daily at since 2009. His primary focus is human effectiveness in sales, management, leadership, and personal and professional transformation.

About the Book:

In Leading Growth: The Proven Formula for Consistently Increasing Revenue, veteran B2B sales professional and coach Anthony Iannarino delivers an expert guide to enabling revenue growth in your sales team. In the book, you’ll explore the fundamentals of organizational leadership, including vision, transformation, strategy, communication, and decision-making. You’ll also define new frameworks for growth involving the people, planning, pipeline, and efficacy that make up your strategy.

Contact info:

Anthony Iannarino
Author, Leading Growth: The Proven Formula for Consistently increasing Revenue

Book page on Amazon:

You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.

Dec 13, 2022
If your sales process is all in the CEOs head, you can’t scale!

Jake Dunlap takes us from founding Skaled Consulting to his first successful sales hire. And yes, it did take 10 years to get it right.

It’s great to be a founder led sales company but founder led services delivery is a problem. This was the first major hurdle that Jake encountered in his fledgling sales consulting business and a barrier to scaling. 

It took years to structure a scalable services delivery model. The first big lesson, young, affordable, full-time staff didn’t have the requisite skills to replace Jake and properly service the accounts. It turns out, contract, part time senior team members could deliver.

As he grew globally, it was time to expand the sales team. His next big challenge was finding salespeople who could sell even 80% as well as he could. His hires kept failing until he realized it was because the sales process was in his head and needed to be on paper. 

His second big a ha moment was realizing that selling a product is different from selling a service. Jake only recently cracked this problem and hired an experienced services salesperson.

The biggest takeaway that every B2B company needs to understand, customers want everything on their terms and this includes learning about your product. Sales teams can no longer be gatekeepers of the buyer's journey.


1:57 We are a revenue strategy, operations and enablement company and really what that means, we've got 40 plus people globally and what we do is we help organizations optimize the sales process. 

3:13 If you've got a marketing organization that's compensated on one thing and a sales organization that's compensated and there's no overlap, you're not going to have marketing and sales alignment.

6:27 When I started my business, I started cold outreach from Crunchbase. I found people that just raised a seed series A, series B and started reaching out cold to CEOs. Hey, you know, chances are you're probably thinking about these challenges. I've faced them multiple times. Let me know if you need help. And sure enough, within the first 45 days, I had a few customers. I’ve just been figuring it out since then.

9:59 I thought everybody had to be full time because if they were contractors, they wouldn't care. And boy, was I wrong.

11:57 Over the years we hired a few different sales people and it never worked out. Obviously as a CEO, everything's my fault. I didn't really know the DNA of the person that I needed. Selling a service is much different than selling a product.

15:05 I can count on two hands how many founders I've seen that didn't have to figure out the Go-To-Market themselves before hiring the first salespeople.

17:18 It's your job to fix these problems no matter what department. You can't outsource fixing your problems.

20:36 And so another mistake that I made when I was scaling early is I kept hiring junior people and putting them in roles that they were not set up to be successful in. 

22:03 Get it right and then get it off your plate.

23:27 Some of our first big deals were through partnerships where the other partner didn’t provide the services that we did.

26:21 Handing a job off to someone without the training or process is abdicating not delegating.

30:40 I didn't ever really define what made a good partner for us. I took probably hundreds of calls with people who were never going to be a fit.

35:46 ​​Revenue Operations is really a good synopsis of what we do. It's looking at the end-to-end customer journey and experience.

40:03 We live in a world of now on my terms. I want to consume information when I want to. The problem is B2B sales is in the Stone Age right now. We've created a process where the salesperson is a gatekeeper for information instead of giving it to consumers on their terms.

About Our Guest:

Jake Dunlap consistently designs repeatable, sustainable sales models and processes that outperform industry standards. As the Founder + CEO of Skaled Consulting, Jake helps executives around the world accelerate business growth with data-backed sales solutions. Before building Skaled, he held the roles of VP of Sales at Nowait (acquired by Yelp), Head of Sales + Customer Success at Chartbeat, and VP of Sales at Glassdoor (acquired by Recruit Holdings for $1.2 billion dollars in 2018).

Follow Jake on LinkedIn and subscribe to the Jake Dunlap Show on Apple Podcasts.


You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.


Dec 06, 2022
Hear how Matt Fok grew his company leveraging existing customers

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 ongoing interactions between companies and their prospects, the platform could be used to build communities. eZ-Xpo provides the middle of the funnel nurture interactions virtually. 

Rather than hire a sales force, Matt has employed two sales strategies. He has hired and trained a team of 20 Digital Collaborator Champions to guide customers through the setup and management process. Each champion specializes in a niche such as fintech or blockchain.

And instead of trying to clone himself, he runs boot camps to teach customers what he has learned about creating successful implementations.

An unexpected consequence of his approach is improved SEO as a byproduct of the enhanced content and interaction on his customer’s websites.

“The lack of in person events taught us that we needed a way to maintain interactions started at in person events!”

Join us to learn more about how quickly Matt scaled eZ-Xpo with his sales model. 


2:13 We help companies get more organic traffic and leads by leveraging hybrid events, both in-person and virtual and on demand not just for lead generation, but actually for ongoing engagement.

3:26 One of the big challenges or huge untapped opportunities for companies is to leverage the same platform to do in-person events or hybrid events.

5:31 We started thinking that there is a better way to get virtual traffic. We actually started the virtual trade show before the pandemic.

6:33 Sales is about educating your clients about new ways to do business.

6:59 You bring the leads at a trade show but then you have to nurture. Instead of spamming them with promotional material, have a virtual summit with subject matter experts to show the benefits of your approach to solving their problem.

8:27 Bring people back for more content boosts your SEO ranking for free.

9:10 After our initial sales focus of promoting SEO benefits to existing customers we reached out to channel partners. The platform itself is really good at creating a partner ecosystem network.

12:19 Our first target audiences were communities like associations that have captive audiences like the Chamber of Commerce. They don't have a solution to connect all the local chapters.

14:22 We do some outbound marketing through social media and, SEO, but of our lead generation comes through channel partners. 

15:26 Instead of growing a sales force, we rely on 20 Digital Collaborative Champions. They specialize in verticals such as fintech or blockchain and work directly with channel partners to design the community programs.

19:00 Instead of looking for new customers, focus on expanding your offer to existing customers.

21:30 Instead of cloning myself to get out of the founder-led sales role, we created digital bootcamps to pass all of my knowledge to potential customers.

22:38 Any B2B company with a channel partner ecosystem can take advantage of this platform to enhance the front end experience versus focusing just on backend API integrations.

27:48 Companies and communities are looking for thought leadership in order to think outside the box.

29:47 A company that brings a community along with their solution will have a major competitive advantage over their competitors.

32:21 Hybrid events or in-person events is like e-commerce. Remember 20 years ago asking should we just have a brick and mortar company or just e-commerce? The short answer is both. We need both hybrid events and in-person virtual.

About Our Guest:

Matt Fok is a leading expert in digital transformation, business strategy, and the digital partner network ecosystem. Matt has over 20 years of technology experience in enterprise applications and telecommunication, delivering high-impact and global enterprise solutions.

About eZ-Xpo:

eZ-Xpo is the Amazon of Virtual Collaborative Network for every industry and community. eZ-Xpo turns hybrid events and works into traffic engine 24/7.

With eZ-Xpo, every organization can close all silos to connect and collaborate with its customers and partners for daily traffic and engagement!

Show Links:

You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.


Nov 29, 2022
Is B2B Buyer Confidence Stalling Your Deals?

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 with consensus on the value that the solution will deliver and builds a picture of the steps, and barriers to delivering that value. 

By the same measure, help the customer make the best decision and if that’s not your product, get to that answer as quickly as possible.

Stick around to learn what your sales teams need to do to overcome this crisis of confidence. 


5:48 The number one thing we need to solve in B2B commerce is customers' lack of confidence in their ability to make complex decisions on behalf of their company.

6:12 There are three forces eroding buyer decision making confidence: complexity, information overload and value opacity (outcome clarity)

8:16 The value discussion has to start significantly farther upstream than your capability or benefits.

10:24 (the old way of selling) was based on this idea of frame breaking. You map a customer's mental model of how their business works, and you find places to displace or disrupt that model to break that frame and show them a better, different way to think about their business.

11:12 I think there's an opportunity for us today to move from frame breaking to frame making.

11:59 Travel agents went out of business because I could do it all online. And all of a sudden, I tried to do it online and was overwhelmed. And I realized, you know what I need? I need a travel agent.

13:15 Now they're stuck and really frustrated. What if you were the company that helped them anticipate that obstacle, helped them avoid it to begin with? What if you took them by the hand and guided them through a decision making process, gave them a heads up? By the way, the phrase I use all the time, “in working with other customers like you, one of the things we've found is…”

15:17 Let's see if we can, in our case through software, put a framework around, okay, what are you trying to do? Why is that valuable? By the way, do your three colleagues agree with you that that's what they're trying to do?

20:49 …notice everything we're talking about here isn't about selling and buying, it's about humanity.

32:35 A faster close comes from confident customers. There's our bumper sticker.

34:04 Because if we're going to lose, we want to lose early so we can move on to better opportunities. 

About Our Guest:

Brent Adamson is a world-renown researcher, author, presenter, trainer, and advisor to B2B commercial executives around the world. 

Known as having the “biggest crystal ball in B2B sales,” Brent is the co-author of the best-selling, industry changing The Challenger Sale and The Challenger Customer.  He is also a frequent contributor to well-known business publications, including the Harvard Business Review, featuring his recent articles, “Sensemaking for Sales” and “Traditional B2B Sales and Marketing Are Becoming Obsolete.” 

Across the last 19 years, Brent has been privileged to work with some of the greatest thought leaders in B2B and B2C sales and marketing, building and leading exclusive communities of highly progressive commercial executives.  Known as a world-class facilitator and speaker, Brent has presented to tens of thousands of commercial leaders both in-person and virtually all over the world, ranging from executive leadership teams to large keynote audiences.  

Especially well known for his passion for “productive disruption,” Brent served as the “chief story teller” for CEB, now Gartner’s, sales, marketing, and customer service practices from 2003 to 2022.  Across that time, Brent’s research has focused most closely on the critical, boundary-spanning intersection of selling and buying, seeking to understand the rapidly changing nature of effective commercial collaboration.  Most recently, Brent and his colleagues at CEB, now Gartner, have introduced industry-leading concepts such as Buyer Enablement, Sense Making, and Customer Decision Confidence.   As of June 1, 2022, Brent now services as the Global Head of Research and Communities at Ecosystems, a cutting-edge SaaS platform designed to help companies identify and track dimensions of value creation with their customers. 

A native of Omaha, Nebraska, Brent received his MBA with distinction from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. Prior to that, he served on the faculty of Michigan State University as a Professor of German and Applied Linguistics. In addition to his MBA, Brent holds a B.A. with distinction in political science from the University of Michigan along with M.A.s in political science and German, and a Ph.D. in applied linguistics from the University of Texas. Brent resides in Leesburg, VA with his wife, two daughters, and rescue dog.

Show Links:

Value Blueprint Download

HBR Articles:

End of Sales and Marketing:

Sensemaking for Sales:

Interview with SMART Technologies on how they built a unified commercial engine

You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.


Nov 22, 2022
Founder-Led Sales Startup: Tips and Tricks After 8 Years of Selling with Karen Frame

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 and consumer success team for her two-sided marketplace instead of hiring a sales team.

One of her earliest lessons about selling came from a successful Silicon Valley startup CEO who taught her it's never too early to sell. Whether that be customers, investors or future employees. She continues to follow this sage advice.


1:45 We connect you with brands that are better for your health and better for the planet no matter where you shop

5:24 I'm going to take the mall kiosk concept into the 21st century. Everybody's got a handheld kiosk in the palm of their hand. And now I can really help people buy better anywhere they want to shop.

8:06 I was giving up a lot in my career to really focus on building something where I felt like I was helping people lead healthier lives on a cleaner planet. 

10:25 I learned from a Silicon Valley CEO named Praveen that you don't really have to have everything all together before you start selling. And as a founder, you're always selling. You're selling to investors, team members, in my case, consumers, brands, and partners in the industry.

14:32 But the mission is around helping brands really understand how to move their product off the shelf. Where are they doing well? What is their competition doing?

15:53 So when I started Makeena, I knew that I wanted to be a Certified B Corp because when I launched Natural Interactions, this interactive touchscreen kiosk system in the 1990s, I had sat on a steering committee for business for social responsibility. And I knew that business could be a force for good.

19:13 And when brands saw this (a Certified B Corp), they're like, “Oh." And immediately they trusted us more. 

34:11 Keeping customers delighted as we continue to grow the company is really just about listening. And this is one of the reasons why I think it's really important for a founder to continue to sell no matter what. You have to listen to the feedback you're getting from your customer. 

37:06  Being the founder with a small scrappy team, my first real hires are brand delight people that are continually talking to the customer because I can't do that all the time.

About Our Guest:

Karen, Makeena’s CEO & Founder, is passionate about being an entrepreneur and making the world a better place.  She firmly believes that building a technology company in the natural products space will encourage people to shop healthier and lead to a cleaner planet because Makeena will make it easy for them to make smarter choices.  

Karen became an entrepreneur in the early 1990s when she moved to Boulder, Colorado, and built and operated two interactive touchscreen kiosk companies, one for the real estate industry (InterActive Properties) and one for the natural products industry (Natural Interactions).  After that, Karen was general counsel for a number of emerging growth and publicly-held software and data analytics companies.  

Karen earned her degree in accounting and business from Indiana University and a CPA and law degree from the University of Illinois.  She also attended Oxford University, focusing on international business transactions, and taught Principles of Business for Entrepreneurs in the Cross Campus Entrepreneurship Certificate Program at the University of Colorado.

About Makeena:

Makeena is a rewards app that connects shoppers with “brands for good.” Available on iOS and Android, Makeena enables shoppers to buy eco-friendly, healthy products from any source, upload receipts, and then earn cash, freebies, and samples. Brands and retailers receive critical business analytics and shopper profile data to expand their presence in the market and increase business. Makeena is a Certified B Corporation. For more information, visit

Resource Links:

Karen's Social Media Links:


Makeena Social Media Links:


Go to to download the app.


You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman  in the links below.



Nov 15, 2022
Sales Talk for CEOs: Building A Revenue Team in 2022 with Arman Eshraghi

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 only succeed if they can see that the product is helping customers. This is the only way to build their confidence. Do you agree?

Another major shift, in perspective for Arman over the 4 startups is the way to measure success.  Sales numbers are not it. Successful customers is the ultimate measure.  Making Qrvey indispensable to every customer is the finish line. 


1:29 Qrvey is an embedded analytic technology that SaaS companies can infuse within their own product rather than spending years and millions of dollars building it themselves.

3:50 The world is about data and what you can do with that data. If you have a coffee shop, and you want to make more sales you could improve your coffee, or you can improve your data and do better marketing. Better marketing will improve revenue more than improved coffee.

4:24 Amazon is Amazon because they have data and the more data they have, the faster they grow.

6:28 The software world is getting to the point that you just put pieces together unlike 30 years ago when you built everything from scratch.

8:32 If you, as a founder, cannot sell, bringing in a sales person won’t solve the problem.

10:16 I would like to admit that good sales people do a much better job than me. When it comes to sales, I cannot really keep up with them. (Because as CEO, he set them up for success)

12:46 In my previous company, I came to market when the web was brand new. We came to market in a completely different way.

About Our Guest:

Arman Eshraghi is a serial entrepreneur presently serving as Founder and CEO at Qrvey. Arman's professional career includes founding four B2B software companies while also serving as an advisor to startups and entrepreneurs. He is a member of Mindshare and the Forbes Technology Council and also a board member of INCspire.

When he's not working on his own startup or advising other startups, he can be found sharing his thoughts on leadership, entrepreneurship and technology on Linkedin, Medium and

Arman currently lives in the San Francisco Bay area with his family of three. For fun, Arman maintains an unusually large board game collection and sometimes designs his own strategy games, drawing inspiration from everything, especially from the nature around us.

About Qrvey:

"Qrvey delivers embedded analytics specifically designed for SaaS companies, empowering them to offer rich self-service reporting and dashboarding capabilities to their business users easily and quickly."

Show Links:

Arman Eshraghi:




You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.


Nov 08, 2022
Why CEOs Should Care about Starting a Digital Conversation with Expert Tim Hughes (S3:Ep13)

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 “interrupting to pitch” to “gaining trust”. Simply put, you and your team use social media to start conversations that both expand your network and build trust for a future opportunity to sell. He explains the three how-to steps: Creating the right social profile, expanding your network, producing content that engages. 

Many salespeople don’t know how to use social media to connect and build a trusted network so they simply have a meager profile and don’t do anything else. In fact they may even be afraid because their previous company may have fired employees who posted on social. If you expect your sales or better yet, your Go To Market team to build networks and share content on social then as CEO model the behavior and create the proper framework for success including training, guidelines and content strategies.

Tim goes on to explain the opportunities for B2B CEOs to dominate their vertical as thought leaders by producing content designed to educate target customers. 

Unless you are one of a handful of CEOs like Bernard Looney of BP, who already have it down, it’s time to watch, learn and do social selling.


3:02 In the past our sales and marketing used interruptive methods, cold calling, email, billboards. We interrupt you to pitch. And now, the buyer just won't put up with that.

3:24 …buyers are digital. What can we actually do to be where the buyers are? 

4:23 Gartner research is telling us that more and more people are saying 'I'd like a seller free buying experience. I'd like to be able to learn  on my own.'

5:11 What we're doing on social is trying to create a conversation. There's three things that you need on social media. One is you need to have a great profile. A great profile as in what we call "Buyer centric." So when a buyer looks at you, they go, "That person looks interesting, that person could help me."

9:14 So the second thing you need is a wide and varied network. And that's about you building out contacts in the people you want to influence, so the accounts you want to sell to, yes, but better yet, people who could introduce you.

11:08 And the third thing that we need is content. And the reason why we need content is buyers are online looking for information and advice. 

16:31 If you are not connected in your digital network to enough people, it's going to be really hard to get introductions, or if you connected and then spammed me, I'll never give you an introduction , because I know you're going to do that to the next person. 

20:03 CEOs, senior leaders, lead by example. If you want your teams to be digital, you have got to be digital.

21:01 Look at people like Julie Sweet, who's the CEO of Accenture, or Bernard Looney, who's the CEO of BP. Bernard has done an amazing job at repositioning BP in the world via social media. 

24:41 I ask CEOs who is the leading technical and commercial influencer in your market or vertical?" And the answer to that usually will be, "I don't know. There isn't one." Well, why not? Why isn't it you?

29:40 It's about digital dominance. Owning the narrative out there on social media.

37:18 I don't think we realize how much it's changed, but COVID has changed the world, it's changed society. And so it changed the way of business. It sped up our need to be digital.

About Our Guest:

Tim Hughes is universally recognized as the world leading pioneer and exponents of Social Selling and he is currently ranked Number 1 by Onalytica as the most influential social selling person in the world. In 2021, LinkedIn said he was one of the top 8 sales experts globally to follow.

He is also Co-Founder and CEO of DLA Ignite and co-author of the bestselling books “Social Selling - Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers” and “Smarketing - How To Achieve Competitive Advantage through blended Sales and Marketing”.  Both published by Kogan Page.

Show Links:

Social Selling: Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers

Company Website:






Clubhouse: @timothy_hughes 

Tik Tok


You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.



Nov 01, 2022
Sales Talk for CEOs: A Return to Cold Calling with Chris Beall (S3:E12)

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 pioneering better pipelines and finally inventing the next generation of technology that cannibalizes his first generation. 

His biggest breakthrough was going from demo to test drive where customers get to experience the thrill of having actual sales success in a day-long, on premise, session. Every CEO can learn how to increase sales team performance by listening to this interview with Chris. 


2:10 So everyone out there who's saying cold calling is dead, cold calling is not dead

2:27 You don't want to pay your reps to be phone jockeys

14:13 "Look, there's two kind of CEOs. There's peacetime CEOs and wartime CEOs, and you better know which one you are."

14:49 We got going pretty fast and started making lots of sales. Then we focused on making a sales machine and finally made the breakthrough “The Test Drive”

18:44 I don't believe that it's possible to figure out what to do until you're doing something and feeling the pain of it not working.

20:41 To me, something that's not done in anger is not done at all. So that's our test drive. We do 500 of them a year.

23:57 So what the question on the table really is, what's it going to be like to work together to solve this


25:02 Your competition right now, today, tomorrow, the next day, and forever is to do nothing!

27:01 Well, we need to experience what our customers are experiencing. So let's organize like they're organizing even though we don't like it.

28:05 There is no such thing as a person who talks, listens, reads, writes, and does data who isn't a CEO or a future CEO.

31:14 Rescheduling (missed sales calls) is your number one source of new business.

33:36 The idea of the lone wolf salesperson who's not part of the machine is just not part of our company.

34:41 We establish status alignment with somebody that we're their peer, and then we need to let them feel comfortable that we're an expert, and then we need to give them a piece of advice about what the next thing is to do.

38:27 So once a test drive has happened, the conversion rate is about 37%. 

40:31… the enterprise is not that person you're talking to, it's this big dynamic beast that's going to reorg once a year. 

41:19 Everything's renewals, everything's upsell, everything's the future.

So how do you start in a way that establishes, for sure, that value is being delivered

About Our Guest

For thepast 30 years, Chris Beall has participated in softwarestart-ups as a founder or at a very early stage of development. His belief is that the most powerful part of any software system is the human being that we inappropriately call a “user,” and that thevalue key in software is to let the computer do what it does well —go fast without getting bored —in order to free up human potential. Toward that end, Chris has been involved with Requisite Technology, GXS, Epiance, Qlip Media, Aptara, Cadis, Sun Microsystems, and Unisyn. He is currently CEO of ConnectAndSell, Inc., based in Silicon Valley, and hosts a podcast at

Show Links

Gerhard Gschwandtner and the Sales 3.0 Conference


Connect with Chris Beall in the links below:





You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.



Oct 25, 2022
Sales Talk for CEOs: A Founder-Led Sales Organization with Usman Sheikh (S3:E11)

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 with redefining the sales mindset. B2B sales are not transactional. They come with building a relationship and the core currency of a relationship is the right information. 

That’s how he got xiQ - Personality-Driven Sales & Marketing™️, started in the first place. He reached out to his SAP network to share his vision of providing more helpful data to sales organizations than they could possibly collect on their own. 

This turned into more and deeper conversations with people in his network who eventually became his first 5 customers. Rather than change this approach, he expanded it by reaching out to more and more people in his network which created opportunities for his sales team.



4:54 Fortunately for me, when I was at SAP, I was able to form a great network of

highly valuable and engaged and influential people

7:15 I started explaining my vision, which was to be able to tap into this enormous amount of data that's out there that's relevant to sales but humanly it's not possible to analyze and bring in, it started ringing bells.

9:04 So it was very clear to me that listening to what the customers had to say, addressing their key pain points, and being able to bring novelty innovation to how traditional problems were solved was super, super important.

12:47 … being able to hire the right mindset. Sales is not about selling anymore, it's about educating. It's about having a conversation.

15:42 We have to make it easier to buy from us, and knowing our buyers better helps us do that. 

18:18 We take salespeople and we make them into tool jockeys, and that just takes time away from selling.

20:03 Salespeople are only spending about 20% of their time with actual customers. 80% of their job is doing so many other things.

21:45 We, by the way, drink our own champagne. Everybody uses xiQ. And one of the core purposes of xiQ is to help you spend less time on doing research, more time on selling.

25:30 We're still doing a lot of networking and finding individuals that can help us meet a heart lead leader.

31:16 We are increasingly leaning towards partnerships and channels.



“You’ve got to know the problem you are going in to solve. The client doesn’t have time to explain it to you.”


Connect with Usman Sheikh in the links below:





You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.



Oct 19, 2022
Value Propositions That Sell with Expert Lisa Dennis

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 for salespeople to get their message heard by the right buyers. Without a rock solid, relevant value proposition, attracting and closing new customers is just plain hard. 

Most value propositions are "inside-out" - more focused on product and service features than they are on the buyers' needs. Ask your team for the messages they use and see what you think. 

In her new book, Value Propositions that SELL: Turning Your Message into a Magnet that Attracts Buyers, Lisa Dennis explains how to move from an “inside-out’ proposition to an approach that speaks the language that activates your buyers. I recommend you give this book to the leaders of your Go to Market team. 

In this episode we talk with Lisa Dennis whose company, Knowledgence Associates, is a marketing & sales consultancy specializing in buyer-focused value propositions. Lisa explores the most common problem - value statements that lack relevance to the customer because they are too focused on product or service features. Buyers are left to connect the dots between these features and their actual pain point. Lisa’s research has demonstrated a 50% decrease in the likelihood of closing a sale when a value proposition lacks relevance. Listen so you can learn what your team should be doing to make it easier for your customers to buy from you. 



3:02 If your value propositions lack relevance to the buyer 

You are 35% less likely to get shortlisted 

You are 47% less likely to get a sale


4:02 We need to be talking about the buyer’s market, priorities and issues.


5:55 Are your writing one size fits all value proposition or do you segment by buyer persona?


9:12 It all starts with marketing teams that thoroughly understand the ideal customer


12:20 The first line or two of your value proposition should  be about what is driving your customer to make a decision


16:00 With value propositions, less is more versus bloated generic ones


16:51 The last chunk of a value statement, and the hardest, what are your differentiators?


18:00 You need two differentiators - one identifies what is different about working with your company and how the customer will feel after working with you.


18:45 A value proposition must be true - A customer is saying it, a partner is saying it, an outside third party organization is saying it.


20:48 When I ask sales teams to write their value proposition it’s frightening how often none of them are the same - this is why it's so important to present yours to the entire team.


23:15 Once you have your value proposition, you need email copy, blog templates, social copy, voicemail, email signatures…


24:49 It’s like you’re breadcrumbing them down the path with storytelling


29:15 How am I going to install this message organizationally? Just putting it in some content isn't enough.



“Get your target right, once you do research it so you know it well. Gather the important data and information because if you don’t, how are you going to write engaging messages that matter?”


Resource Links:


Connect with Lisa Dennis in the links below:




You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.



Oct 11, 2022
A 30 Year Perspective on Scaling a Startup with Doug Frazier

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 longer. It wasn’t until he discovered a genius channel strategy that he made the transition out of sales management.

In this episode of Sales Talk for CEOs, Doug Frazier talks about his 30-year journey at EnviroGuard and the key milestones that defined his path to success. From teaming up with his wife in order to make EnviroGuard a female-led company to hacking together a CRM solution years before Salesforce was invented. But the breakthrough that got him out of sales management and into the C Suite, a certification program for channel partners. The program provided the necessary training, but more importantly, it became a symbol of expertise and competence that differentiated his channel partners in the eyes of the customer.



1:25 - The big idea

6:20 - CRM before Salesforce

12:52 - Certification as a channel strategy

24:03 - The future of EnviroGuard


About Guest & Company

Doug Frazier is the co-founder and CEO of EnviroGuard, a company that revolutionized battery safety products that are utilized in mission-critical applications such as backup power sites, data centers, utilities, and telecommunication transmission facilities across North America.



“The single best strategy for scaling was to create a certification program similar to the Automotive Service Excellence program that auto mechanics have to pass. Ours is a factory installer training program with yearly courses, badges, and online videos. We have 1,200 certified installers across North America. The end customers really appreciate the fact that our installers are certified.”


Connect with Doug Frazier in the links below:




You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.



Oct 04, 2022
A Step-By-Step Guide to Setting Up a Successful Channel Strategy with Bruce Stuart

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 make money with the product or service you want them to sell. It’s not up to the partners to figure it out, it’s up to you.

My guest today is Bruce Stuart, a partner at CHANNELCORP and a 30+ year veteran helping companies develop profitable channel strategies. 

In this episode, Bruce will take us through each step in the process of setting up a channel strategy. You will learn tactics on how to identify potential partners. He explains how to build a financial model that will attract the right partners, including understanding their investment and time to pay back. Another key takeaway is the program package. Think franchise, and you are on the right track to understanding the investment that you need to make in preparing the materials and process for a successful channel strategy.



3:46 How to decide if your product or service is suitable for channel sales

6:29 The relationship that your channel partners have with their customers is the biggest asset that they will ever have

10:24 I tell my clients to “Think franchise” that’s how complete your offer has to be

10:58 The most cost effective way to find channel partners

13:50 Your channel marketing people need to know how to count

15:20 You are investing in an asset that will be treated as an expense

17:14 Checkout this 250 page instruction manual, you don’t have to make it up

22:48 The worst thing you can have is an incompetent channel partner making a succesfull sale

26:50 The three options for channel structure

29:24 Channel manager as trusted business advisor

33:15 When do you have to revisit your channel strategy


About Our Guest

Bruce R. Stuart, CMC, founding partner of Channelcorp Management Consultants Inc. (Channelcorp) where he provides growth-focused executive education and channel consulting to senior executives in the IT industry. He has authored more published articles on the topics of channel partner profitability, channel development, channel management, and strategic partnerships and alliances then anyone in the industry.


About Channelcorp

Channelcorp is the leading, and most experienced, independent IT channel consultancy in the world specializing in vendor and partner business model transformation. Channelcorp has completed Management Consulting and Executive Education assignments in 25 countries around the world. The firm’s clients include many of the top hardware/software/telecommunications companies selling into most of the product and service categories in the worldwide IT market.


Show Links

Resource Link:


Connect with Bruce Stuart in the links below:



You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.



Sep 27, 2022
Supporting Sales Leaders with Rasmus Goksor

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 Rasmus Goksor learned as he founded and sold his company Cobalt (a portfolio monitoring solution). And that's what led him to launch his new company, Ressemble, a platform designed for supporting sales leaders.

In this episode of Sales Talk for CEOs, Rasmus talks about his experiences at Cobalt which led him to create Ressemble. He discusses the things that didn't go well (like hiring three different VPs of sales that all didn't work out) and the things that worked perfectly (like using content creation to build a community to sell to). He explains how the technology he created helps in supporting sales leaders and shares advice on what CEOs should do to support their leaders as well, such as determining how and why you're winning customers and stepping in at the beginning of the sales cycle. Before you hire that next sales VP, who may flop, tune in to discover ideas on supporting sales leaders and enabling them for success.



3:24 Challenges in one business led to the creation of another

8:55 Supporting sales leaders by asking, "How are we winning, and why are we winning?"

10:55 Rasmus Goksor's founder story

16:20 Supporting sales leaders through changes in the market and how customers buy

24:05 Build a community (and sales will follow)

35:12 The CEO's role at the beginning of the sales cycle



"As CEO, I can never really take my eye off the ball when it comes to sales. I always need to understand where the market is. Why are people buying? Who is buying? How are they buying? Otherwise, I can't be supportive strategically or tactically with my sales team."


Connect with Rasmus Goksor in the links below:




You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.



Aug 30, 2022
Sales Talk for CEOs: Elevate Sales by Making Sales Easier

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 just you and me where I share insights on various topics that will help you elevate sales. The first topic, making sales easier.

The key to making sales easier is alignment. As CEO, you are the only one who can make the changes needed to align your teams to make sales easier.  It starts with aligning your sales process with your buyer's journey. That’s hard to do if you don’t have alignment between your sales and marketing teams (and the rest of your organization) to take a customer-focused approach. Listen in as I share advice on where to focus your attention and what CEOs can do to make sales easier.



1:06 A year in review

2:52 Introducing the Insights Series

3:19 Making sales easier

3:51 The importance of alignment

6:01 The CEO's role as orchestrator

7:41 Make it easier for customers to buy


"What CEOs need to know is that sales shouldn't be so hard. If it's hard it’s because there is no alignment between the way the buyer wants to buy and the way you sell.” 

You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.



Aug 23, 2022
Closing Bigger Deals with Expert Lisa Magnuson

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 valuation. At some point, they'll exit, make an acquisition or bring on investors. So, scaling sales is a priority, and they want to make it happen quickly.

During our conversation, Lisa discusses the CEO's role in closing bigger deals, the importance of celebrating wins, how to adequately prep for sales calls (and why CEOs should make this a requirement!) and how to build the right team structure. 

Landing big contracts takes planning and time, but when you land a deal 5x of the your largest deal yet, you'll understand that the effort was well worth it. Use the ideas offered in this podcast to close your next big deal!



0:29 Lisa Magnuson introduction

3:41 Closing bigger deals starts with mindset

7:36 The CEO's role in closing big deals

15:38 Why call planning is a must for big deals

23:22 Building a team structure to land bigger deals

33:19 Are you ready to land bigger deals?



“CEOs who want their salespeople to win more big deals have to develop a culture to support that. That culture starts with the CEO and has to include everyone in the company. The right culture will attract those bigger deals.”


Connect with Lisa Magnuson in the links below:


The TOP Sales Leader Playbook
The TOP Seller Advantage


You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.



Aug 09, 2022
Thinking Differently about How to Build a Sales Organization with Juliana Stancampiano

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 your assumptions and have you thinking differently about how to build a sales organization.

Juliana's strategy for building a sales organization involves scaffolding around her strongest workers. By evaluating their strengths and weaknesses, she finds new team members who fill in the gaps so that each person can work in their zone of genius. The truth is, there are a lot of parts of the sales process that excellent sellers are not good at. Why force them to work in their zone of incompetence where they'll end up unengaged and burnt out? Letting salespeople do the things they excel at and taking the rest off their plate is how Juliana has found success. She's explaining her strategy so you can replicate it in this episode of Sales Talk for CEOs.  



07:40 Buying a business during the Great Recession

13:05 Finding a salesperson who sells just like you

22:06 Building the scaffolding that supports sales (versus hiring more sellers)

22:34 Enabling your sales team

29:55 Generating more customer-ready conversations

35:41 Keeping your sellers in their zone of genius

43:54 Thinking differently about how to build your sales organization



"I would take less on the skills side and more on that innate belief side any day because skills are much easier to teach than authentic enthusiasm."


Connect with Juliana Stancampiano in the links below:



You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.



Aug 02, 2022
Product CEO or Sales CEO? Why You Need to Get It Right with Catherine Dahl

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 sales machine turned on, Beanworks went from half a million Canadian in revenue in 2017 to 8 million Canadian in 2021. Listen to her story in this episode of Sales Talk for CEOs.

During our discussion, Catherine takes us back to the early days when Beanworks was starting. She discusses building the platform, getting customers, and the bumps along the way. After partnering with Sage, Catherine demonstrated her knowledge of the pain points and product through speaking and educating customers. But it wasn't until she read Steve Jobs's biography did it 'click' that she was a product CEO trying to be a sales CEO. Her journey led her to find the perfect sales leader, who built a powerful sales team and got the sales machine running. Find out how it all happened by listening to this episode.



0:50 Rejuvenating a hundred-year-old business

4:39 Getting ready to go global

7:26 Before Beanworks began…

12:21 Trying not to sell

19:57 The quest for more customers

23:33 Getting the channel sales flowing

26:52 Product CEO or sales CEO?

34:18 The biggest lesson learned along the way



 "Steve Jobs was not a sales CEO, and all this time, I thought he was because of the way he's portrayed in movies. He was a product CEO, and his passion was product. And he hired the right people to do the sales side."


Connect with Catherine Dahl in the links below:




You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:



Jul 26, 2022
Going from Incremental Growth to Exponential Growth with Expert Richard Medcalf

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, CEOs, and executives to reinvent their success formula and push their companies to the next level. He knows what it takes to achieve exponential growth and shares his expert advice today. Believe me when I say that all CEOs who want to scale their growth need to understand the ideas discussed in this episode.

Our conversation focuses on what CEOs need to do to get to the next level where they can work ON their business instead of just IN their business. We discuss 4 limiting factors that could be holding you back from exponential growth and the crucial role of mindset. We also explore how delegation frees up your time and what you can do to get the right team in place. In the end, the challenge for most CEOs is to envision a very different future (one of exponential growth) versus living in the past (of incremental growth). Richard shares tips on this and what you need to have in place for exponential growth to happen. So, do you want to achieve exponential growth in your company? Then listen in and heed the advice offered in this episode.



3:05 4 limiting factors that hold you back from exponential growth

6:35 The role of mindset in growth

12:34 Learning how to delegate—examples and exercises

17:45 Getting the right team in place

22:23 Envisioning the future vs. living in the past

29:29 3 elements needed for exponential growth to happen

36:40 Resources for CEOs



“As CEO, if you don't focus on the needle-moving parts of the business, the long-term vision, the strategy, the go-to-market strategy, if you're not making sure that you are really leveling those things up, who is?”



Connect with Richard Medcalf in the links below:



You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.



Jul 19, 2022
Build an Outbound Sales Motion Early with Mei Siauw

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 to the next level. 

During the show, Mei talks about how she built LeadIQ by focusing on outbound sales. You'll learn how her team uses trigger events and insights for personalization to eliminate that 'spammy' feel and get engagement with prospects.  She also discusses the organization of her sales team, including how diversity and inclusion have played a role in LeadIQ's expansion. Mei's main message: don't give up on outbound sales! 



1:12 The evolution of LeadIQ

6:32 Focusing on outbound sales

16:25 The importance of personalization in outbound sales

22:03 Hiring for diversity

29:33 Creating a gender balance

36:05 Growth in the early stages: don't give up on outbound sales



“Every company needs to train their sales team to find triggers and insights, to research, and then personalize. That's not easy, of course, but companies that do, book more conversations because they are engaging the prospect.” 



Connect with Mei Siauw in the links below:




You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:



Jul 12, 2022
How Word of Mouth Was All We Ever Used to Attract New Business with Nancy Duarte

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 experienced over 30 years of exponential growth using inbound sales exclusively. Even in those early years, before the books and the fame. Want to know how she's done it? Then you'll have to listen to this episode of Sales Talk for CEOs.

Click to Tweet: @NancyDuarte, #CEO of @Duarte, talks about how to grow your #biz with #inboundsales on this episode of #Sales Talk for CEOs!

During our conversation, Nancy discusses how she has grown her company using inbound sales. You'll learn her strategies to get leads pounding on the door, including top-quality service, word-of-mouth marketing, and thought leadership. She also shares insight into how she qualifies leads to ensure she works with the right clients. Nancy's story includes a cautionary tale about growing too fast and the details of how she’s recently set up the company to scale. If you want to handle inbound sales more effectively, you'll want to listen to this episode!



1:54 Early sales experience: "I was scrappy and tenacious."

5:20 New technology, new business ideas

13:37 Growing a business with inbound sales

18:49 "Cautionary tale…growth brought us to our knees."

23:37 Preparing to scale

32:36 Adding outbound sales to a mostly inbound system

40:48 Communication tip for CEOs: it's all about empathy



"Once you know exactly who the ideal customer is, stick with it, and then you have to learn how to say no. It's hard sometimes, but it is what it is."


Connect with Nancy Duarte in the links below:



You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:



Jun 21, 2022
Building a Powerful Go-to-Market Machine with Jonathan Siddharth

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 machine! And he's joining Sales Talk for CEOs to discuss exactly how he did it.

During our conversation, Jonathan explains how he waited to hire his sales team until he had two important things in place: a playbook and clear evidence of product-market fit. He then describes how he set up his go-to-market machine to be an engine that feeds qualified leads to his sales team so they can do what they do best – have sales conversations, close initial deals, and work on account expansion. If you're experiencing challenges with your go-to-market setup and could use some advice, you'll want to listen to this podcast episode!



1:33 Three difficulties with finding and managing remote engineering teams

5:27 A shift in strategy saves a company

14:02 Product market fit + playbook = time to build sales

19:16 Building a go-to-market machine

26:12 Understanding the customer journey

32:39 Challenges caused by rapid growth

41:00 Advice for building demand, product-market fit, and exponential growth

45:30 Book recommendations for CEOs to learn more about sales



"When you have product-market fit, it feels different. It's more of the market pulling what you have rather than you pushing what you have."


Show Links

How to Grow Your Business Like a Weed by Stu Heineke
How to Get a Meeting with Anyone by Stu Heineke
The Narrative Gym for Business: Introducing the ABT Framework for Business Communication and Messaging by Randy Olson and Park Howell
Indistractable by Nir Eyal
Book List Blog


Connect with Jonathan Siddharth in the links below:




You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:



Jun 14, 2022
Mistakes and Lessons in Building a Sales Organization with Zvi Guterman

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 successful sales organization. And we're going to dive into that more in this episode with Zvi Guterman, CEO of CloudShare, an online platform that helps software vendors deliver virtual sales experiences.

In this interview, Zvi is upfront about the mistakes he's made as he's built the sales organization at CloudShare since 2007. He also reflects on the lessons he's learned from these mistakes that have helped build a strong sales team over time. We talk about many common mistakes that entrepreneurs make when building a sales organization, including growing too fast, hiring the wrong people, underestimating the importance of marketing, and overcomplicating things. For each example, you'll learn how Zvi has navigated the challenges and learned valuable lessons along the way. His insights will help your own journey as you build sales in your company, so check out the podcast now!



4:55 Validating the business idea

9:24 Finding the right salespeople and helping them succeed

15:39 The mistake of moving too fast

21:53 The importance of marketing to strengthen sales

25:21 Navigating the different phases of the CEO's journey

35:49 Final advice for CEOs



"You may have the best technology, but nothing beats hearing your potential customers."


Connect with Zvi Guterman in the links below:



You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:


Jun 07, 2022
How to Use Story as Rocket Fuel for Sales with Expert Park Howell

Every salesperson today wants to have more sales conversations. But they're difficult to get because it's become so hard to get the buyer's attention. Want to break through the noise? Try storytelling. Learning how to effectively use story in your messaging can dramatically increase the number of sales conversations and conversions. This is a big topic, and I know CEOs are eager to learn more about using story to boost their business. That's why I invited Park Howell, author of Brand Bewitchery and host of the Business of Story podcast, as the guest for this special episode in my Experts Series.

During our conversation, Park dives into the who, what, and why of using story as a business strategy. He explains what CEOs should understand about storytelling and why it's so effective. We discuss the 'how to' of good storytelling, including the ‘and-but-therefore’ (ABT)  framework, and how to get your sales team actively involved in storytelling. Finally, you'll get several examples of companies that found great success when they started using story in their message.

I can personally attest to the power of storytelling because I've seen incredible results from it in my own business. If you're a CEO interested in using story in your messaging, get started today by listening to this podcast.



2:32 What CEOs should understand about storytelling

5:56 How CEOs can use story to help sales

8:30 Future-based storytelling

11:37 The power of the founder's story

16:54 The ‘and-but-therefore’ (ABT) framework for storytelling

24:15 Training your sales team in storytelling

31:34 Real examples of how story can boost sales



“The number one rule is you are not the center of your story. Your customer is. It's all about them. The number two rule is your story is not about what you make. Because nobody actually cares about what you make. Your story is always about what you make happen in their lives.”


Connect with Park Howell in the links below:




You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:




May 31, 2022
Scaling Your Business with Trusted Partnerships with Angela Saunders

Angela Saunders is the CEO of Vorum, a company that provides digital workflow solutions worldwide for the design and manufacturing of custom prosthetics and orthotics. Started in 1989 by Angela's father, the company has seen big changes since Angela became CEO two years ago. She's not starting from scratch, though. Angela is taking the trust her father built over decades and strategically leveraging those trusted partnerships to scale the company. To learn about her journey and get inspiration for your own, check out this episode of the Sales Talk for CEOs podcast.

During the episode, Angela and I talk about the trust that her father built with clinics, hospitals, and individuals throughout Vorum's 33-year history. When Angela stepped in as CEO, one of her first objectives was to define the core customer, so she explains how she did that and how she created a sales growth plan centered around this core customer. You'll also learn how Angela is coordinating a massive mindset shift in the business as they seek to scale through their relationships with trusted partnerships. Get all of this and more by listening to the episode now!



2:10 Enabling a better patient experience

7:15 Building a business based on trust

11:33 Narrowing down the core customer

16:28 A sales growth plan centered around the core customer

21:52 A company-wide mindset shift

33:31 Analyzing wins and losses

35L41 Breaking free from silos



“We're all trying to work with each other to make something greater than what we could do as individuals.”


Connect with Angela Saunders in the links below:




You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:




May 24, 2022
Improving Sales Discovery with Jody Glidden

People are bombarded with emails and sales messages. Response rates have plummeted. The number of quality interactions with prospects has declined. As a result, each interaction is more valuable than ever before. By using sales discovery to truly understand the prospect, you can build a relationship and partner with them to solve the challenges they’re facing. In today’s world, every CEO should be looking to improve sales discovery, and that’s why you’ll want to listen to this episode of Sales Talk for CEOs with Jody Glidden.

Jody Glidden is CEO of Introhive, a customer intelligence software that does discovery research and delivers valuable insights about clients and prospects to your sales team. During our conversation, we talk about how important ‘discovery before discovery’ is to successful calls with prospects. We explore how technology for sales discovery has changed throughout the years and the problems with the current methods. You’ll also learn about using relationship intelligence before discovery calls and the role of storytelling in overcoming objections during calls. Each interaction your sales team has with a prospect is valuable! Learn how to improve your sales discovery by listening to this episode of Sales Talk for CEOs.



4:47 Two reasons why sales discovery is harder today

12:09 An eye-opening experience in sales

21:17 Analyzing the problems with sales discovery

26:40 Using relationship intelligence for sales discovery

32:44 Team-based sales training (including storytelling)

39:57 Discovery BEFORE discovery

48:50 Maintaining executive alliance with the sales team



“That’s the primary function of our customer success department. They get measured on the happiness of our customers. It’s not so much on the upsell. Upsell is a side effect of customer happiness.”


Connect with Jody Glidden in the links below:




You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:



May 17, 2022
Building Your First Professional Sales Team with Lars Grønnegaard

Lars Grønnegaard is the CEO of Dreamdata, a SAAS company that gathers, joins, and cleans revenue-related data to help B2B businesses understand what is driving sales so they can focus on what works. Like most new companies, Dreamdata started with founder-led sales to get their first customers, but within 18 months Lars realized he needed a professional sales team. In this Sales Talk for CEOs episode, Lars offers some invaluable advice!

Lars and I discuss the importance of finding new sales hires with an entrepreneurial spirit. We explore why previous experience does not necessarily translate to a new startup environment. We talk about experimenting (and using data) to find what works and offering fair compensation to your first hires. Finally, we explore the ways in which Lars is still highly involved in the sales process even now that the professional sales team is handling the bulk of the work. If it’s time to hire your first salespeople (or if you’ve been trying to do so—unsuccessfully!), you’ll want to listen to the tips offered in this podcast.



1:57 How a problem inspires a solution

5:20 From founder-led sales to a professional sales team in 18 months

9:50 Hiring for entrepreneurial spirit

13:45 Learning from the data to discover what works

17:50 Hiring for the entrepreneurial spirit

29:41 CEO…but still head of sales

36:20 Encouraging more referrals



“The most fundamental thing we went looking for was an entrepreneurial spirit. You have to love the concept of being part of building something. You’re living in the house while you’re building it and remodeling everything at the same time. So we went looking for people who would like that.”


Connect with Lars Grønnegaard in the links below:



Article on B2B Attribution


You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.




May 10, 2022
Finding Success Through Channel Partners with Barb Kinnaird

Dr. Barbara Kinnaird is CEO of Response Biomedical, a point-of-care testing solution helping to diagnose acute diseases. A microbiologist by trade, Barb stepped in as CEO after a significant company downsize, and she soon discovered there were many other problems in the business that needed fixing. 

One of the big ones? Lack of clarity on who the core customer is. 

Research in this area led Barb (and the company) to a huge mindset shift: from focusing on product features and end users, to concentrating on channel partners.

"I think we're on the right path with the core customer being the channel partner," says Barb. "It's a little bit differentiated in this industry, so I think it helps us because they feel the love." During this episode of Sales Talk for CEOs, you'll learn about Barb's journey, including moving from public to private, finding investors, and trying to understand sales. You'll also find out how Barb has restructured Response Biomedical to support channel partners and compete with big companies in this fast-paced field of medicine.



3:30 From microbiologist to product development to CEO

8:24 We've got some problems to fix…

12:07 Who are we selling to? A shift in focus to channel partners

22:26 Setting up a system to support channel partners

28:56 On the horizon: showing more love to channel partners, a streamlined product

33:04 Growing as a CEO



"When you aren't really sure about how to do sales, you're going to be agile, and you're going to move, and you're going to try again because you don't have a preset way."


Connect with Barb Kinnaird in the links below:




You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:



May 03, 2022
Level Up Sales at Your Company with Expert Steve Benson

On this episode of Sales Talk for CEOs, Steve Benson, CEO of Badger Maps, joins me as an Expert to talk about what CEOs can (and should!) be doing to level up sales at their company. Now hold on a moment before everyone goes, "Wait a minute, I have a sales leader who does that. I have a CRO in place. I have a VP of sales." Yes, I'm sure you do. But CEOs always have a role in sales, regardless of whether the company was just founded or is a mature business. The role changes as you grow, which is what we're talking about during this podcast, a special episode in my Experts Series.

During our discussion of how CEOs can level up sales, Steve and I focus on three important roles in sales that CEOs must embrace. 

  1. CEOs are responsible for building the sales organization. Steve has tips on how to do that and how the strategy changes based on how long your company has been in business. 
  2. CEOs are responsible for creating a feedback loop and using that to make decisions. Steve shares his thoughts on how the CEO can get data and what to do with the feedback you receive. 
  3. CEOs are responsible for creating a culture of learning and curiosity. Steve offers advice on how he trains and develops his sales team, as well as makes ideas on how to make changes when needed. 

These are three roles that every CEO should look at improving in their company in order to level up sales. Get started today by listening to this episode!



5:58 Building your sales team

8:55 Staying involved in the feedback loop

14:20 Taking action on the feedback you receive

19:08 Coaching VPs of sales to make the right hires

24:32 Making changes to your sales organization

29:00 Developing your sales team internally and externally

33:22 The benefits of peer-to-peer training

38:30 Encouraging a culture of learning



Great CEOs are, first and foremost, on the sales and customer success team.

As a CEO, you should be in the sales seat, driving new business, keeping customers happy, and have your fingers on the pulse of those parts of the business.


Connect with Steve Benson in the links below:





You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:




Apr 19, 2022
Developing Sales Leaders from Inside Your Business with Patrick Parker

Many CEOs struggle to find sales leaders, including sales managers and VPs of sales. Not Patrick Parker. Patrick is the CEO of SaaS Partners, which helps early-stage entrepreneurs and builds in-house products to start new companies. Patrick is launching new businesses all the time, yet he never struggles to find sales leaders. His secret? Patrick has identified the exact traits to look for in new salespeople, and then he strategically grooms them into leadership roles. If you want to learn the formula for successfully developing sales leaders from inside your business, you’ll have to listen to this episode of Sales Talk for CEOs!

Patrick has always been interested in team-building and has a passion for lifting people up. During our discussion, he talks about this background, and then we dig into the details of finding the right salespeople that show promise. You’ll learn Patrick’s theory on promoting people from within and how he uses incentives to build up individuals and teams. We also dive into the exact traits to look for in new sales hires, including self-awareness, motivation, curiosity, and agility, and how you can evaluate those characteristics during the job interview and in daily work. If you’re a CEO who has struggled to find the right sales leaders for your company, listen in to learn how you can groom the perfect managers and VPs from inside your business!



6:19 A passion for lifting people up

9:12 Promoting people from within

15:09 Using incentives to build individuals and teams

18:16 Traits to look for in promising sales team members  

21:06 Understanding what motivates your team

30:22 Building a culture of curiosity and growth

35:48 More indicators of a person who can ‘level up’



“When you strengthen the weakest team member, it makes the entire team stronger.”


Connect with Patrick Parker in the links below:




You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.




Apr 12, 2022
Lead Generation for the Complex Sale with Expert Brian Carroll

Lead generation is often ranked as one of the biggest challenges of growing a business. That’s why I invited expert Brian Carroll to the Sales Talk for CEOs podcast to discuss what CEOs should know about generating leads for complex sales. Brian is the founder of Markempa, an empathy-based marketing company, and the author of the bestselling book Lead Generation for the Complex Sale. In this episode, he shares expert advice and actionable strategies for CEOs to evaluate their current lead generation practices and make adjustments that will increase sales.

In this interview, Brian diagnoses the problem of many marketing messages, and he encourages CEOs to see things differently by developing empathy and trying to understand the world of the customer. He shares many practical steps CEOs can take, including conducting customer journey interviews, keeping an eye on specific metrics, and employing strategies like empathetic listening and emotional leadership. This episode is for CEOs who want to improve lead generation by evaluating current methods and guiding their teams to adopt better practices. If this sounds like you, then listen in today!



1:45 Diagnosing the problem with most marketing messages

7:25 How to conduct customer journey interviews

16:09 How to use empathy indexing to improve the customer experience

21:53 Specific metrics CEOs should use to assess their sales team and processes

30:25 Analyzing sales calls to improve strategy and training

35:55 The value of empathetic listening

44:24 Three questions to ask to improve your sales processes

48:00 Using emotional leadership to empower your team



“We need to understand what’s the mind of our customer, what’s the heart of our customer, and what are the things that they really care about.”


Connect with Brian Carroll in the links below:




You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:



Apr 05, 2022
How to Become a Trailblazer in a New Market with Amy DuRoss

Amy DuRoss is the co-founder and former CEO of Vineti, an enterprise software platform for personalized cell and gene therapies. Personalized medicine—designing custom therapeutics for each patient to cure diseases like cancer—is a whole new terrain in the pharmaceuticals industry. So, what’s it like to start and build a company in a brand new category? In this episode of Sales Talk for CEOs, Amy talks about what it takes to become a trailblazer in a new market, including the role of passion, storytelling, networking, and referrals. If you’re a CEO entering a new market (or innovating in an old one!), you’ll want to listen in.

During the episode, Amy talks about how Vineti got its start with one customer who took a chance on the company because they shared the same passion and vision. Next, she explains the role of storytelling in acquiring additional customers and the importance of networking to build a pipeline. Finally, Amy and I discuss making complex sales more customer-focused and the customer success team’s role in growing trust and reference-ability. Listen to Amy’s advice and take some of her tips to become a trailblazer in your own industry!



2:28 Seeing the gaps in the medical market

7:52 How to sell a business in a new category

13:08 Forming powerful partnerships

18:21 Crafting a story that carries itself  

25:40 Customer-focused complex sales

38:45 Increasing reference-ability

46:18 A continuous learning mindset



“It’s genuinely felt in the marketplace—that our team is committed, and we’re out there working day and night, united by this shared mission, culture, and values.”


Connect with Amy DuRoss in the links below:




You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:



Mar 29, 2022
Winning Hearts, Minds, and Clients Through Account-Based Marketing with Blake Williams

Account-based marketing is one of the hottest growth strategies right now (note: it's not new, just hot), with companies in all industries looking to create a personalized buying experience for targeted accounts. If you're a CEO who wants to unleash the power of account-based marketing in your own business, you'll want to listen to this episode of the Sales Talk for CEOs podcast. My guest, Blake Williams, is the founder and CEO of Ampfactor, an account-based marketing that teaches companies to do this, but all of his business has come from referrals. Find out how he grew sales and how he serves his customer.

In our discussion, we talk about account-based marketing from two standpoints. First, you'll learn how account-based marketing can help you focus on specific prospective clients in order to build relationships that lead to a sale. Next, you'll discover how account-based marketing can help you expand opportunities with your current clients and increase your revenue potential. If you're interested in account-based marketing (or you're doing it but want to up your game!), then this episode is a must-listen. Check it out below!



1:14 The importance of an account-based focus for complex sales

6:54 Leveraging relationships and referrals

11:25 Outbound marketing to build relationships

17:17 Growing your sales organization

25:04 Winning hearts and minds with account-based marketing

33:12 Are your salespeople developing coaches?

40:03 Call to CEOs: Challenge your thinking and align your strategies  




“The goal is to win hearts and minds, get them to engage, and start creating targeted content.”


Connect with Blake Williams in the links below:




You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:



Mar 22, 2022
Casting the Vision for the Sales Team with Darren Dixon

Darren Dixon is the founder and CEO of Fyxify, a software platform for the home services industry that connects consumers and contractors. He describes Fyxify as "the most energy-efficient software in the world" because the company's vision is to address the problem of global warming by equipping homeowners and service providers with the information they need to handle home maintenance in an energy-efficient way. This vision permeates everything they do at Fyxify, from sales to hiring to customer experience. If you are a CEO who wants to build your company around a strong vision, you will want to tune into this Sales Talk for CEOs episode to learn about how Fyxify is standing out in this area, and how you can too.


In this episode, Darren discusses the CEO's role in sales as being the person in charge of the company's vision. He explains how the CEO needs to communicate this vision clearly and consistently to the sales team and check their understanding by "inspecting what you expect" instead of assuming. Darren and I also discuss the importance of creating a reputation (online and offline) that reflects your vision and values, and we touch on how you can attract the right people to your business when your mission permeates the workplace too. This episode is for CEOs who want to get more strategic with their company vision and use it to drive sales, hiring, operations, and the customer experience. Listen in now!



0:50 The mission of Fyxify: addressing global warming

4:59 Understanding the target market

15:26 The CEO in the sales role

18:54 Taking charge of the vision

23:00 The importance of repetition

28:09 Everyone is watching…always

32:07 When vision and mission permeate the workplace

35:14 The marketing battlefront today: customer experience



"My job in sales transitions into a role in which I am making sure that the vision of our organization stays very, very clear to the people who are in charge of communicating it. That's the challenge that organizations have as they grow."


Connect with Darren Dixon in the links below:




You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:



Mar 15, 2022
Teaching Your Sales Team to Have Authentic Conversations with Brent Keltner

Brent Keltner is the founder and President of Winalytics LLC, a go-to-market and revenue acceleration consultancy. His upcoming book, The Revenue Acceleration Playbook, teaches CEOs and go-to-market teams the importance of having authentic conversations with potential buyers. In this episode of the Sales Talk for CEOs podcast, we dive into the topic of authentic conversations: what they are, how to spot them, and how they differentiate your business. The episode will leave CEOs contemplating what authentic conversations with their customers look like and how to build and train a sales team that can have these conversations.

We cover all aspects of having authentic conversations with buyers during our discussion. You’ll learn how to find out if your team is currently having authentic conversations, how authentic conversations can lead to better discovery calls and more sales, and how to hire salespeople with an aptitude for having authentic conversations. If you’re looking to differentiate yourself from the competition, having authentic conversations is the way to do it. Listen in to learn more!



1:27 Authentic buyer conversations

9:50 Outbound and inbound marketing for lead generation

10:56 The importance of referrals (and how to get more!)

15:20 Better discovery calls: shifting from shallow discovery to value discovery

18:44 Hiring the right salespeople for authentic conversations

23:24 The importance of playbooks in marketing, prospecting, and selling

31:30 Saying goodbye to product pitching and traditional selling

33:51 Authenticity wins



“We talk about the work we do as building an authentic buyer journey and having authentic conversations, which means simply, don’t talk about your product until you know how it will make your customer more successful, and then talk about your product aligning to what their goals are for a better future.”


Connect with Brent Keltner in the links below:



The Revenue Acceleration Playbook:


You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:



Mar 08, 2022
What CEOs Need to Know About Voice of the Customer Research With Expert Tonya Bjurstrom

Voice of the customer research is more than just sending out a customer survey or asking for a review. It involves conducting strategic interviews, often handled by a third party, to get targeted insights for your business. Every CEO should be looking at voice of the customer research, which is why I invited expert Tonya Bjurstrom, founder of Dirby Group, a voice of the customer research company, to join me for this episode of Sales Talk for CEOs. In it, we discuss everything that CEOs need to know to get started with voice of the customer research.

In this episode, you’ll learn what voice of the customer research is, its benefits, and how you can use the information for customer retention and growth. Tonya also shares examples that demonstrate the power of voice of the customer research—when you learn how it’s worked for other companies, you’ll want to try it in your business too. Finally, we discuss how to structure your interviews using KDIs, and how to know when it’s time to employ voice of the customer research in your business. This episode has everything CEOs need to know to get started with voice of the customer research. Dive in now! 



2:47 Customer listening: the missing element

6:45 Using voice of the customer research for retention and growth

7:16 Why you should use a third party to get voice of the customer data

11:00 The key benefit of voice of the customer research

13:29 Voice of the customer example 1: saving a big client

19:00 Voice of the customer example 2: avoiding a bad investment

27:22 Identifying KDIs – key desired insights

30:12 Knowing when to conduct voice of the customer research



“Who better to help you understand why companies should buy your product than companies who bought your product?”


Connect with Tonya Bjurstrom in the links below:




You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:



Mar 01, 2022
Creating a Mission-Aligned Sales Team with Leeatt Rothschild

Leeatt Rothschild is the CEO of Packed with Purpose, a specialty corporate gifting company that sources from minority-owned companies with superior products that make a social impact. Social mission affects everything at Packed with Purpose—from how they market and package products to the people they hire. In fact, Leeatt has worked hard to build a mission-aligned sales team, which has greatly contributed to the company's success. The truth is, every CEO needs to think about creating a mission-aligned sales team. That's why you'll want to listen to this episode of Sales Talk for CEOs to learn how Leeatt does it.

In this episode, you'll learn how Leeatt has taken the value of 'social mission' and woven it into every aspect of sales and marketing in her company. We discuss finding mission-aligned sales team members and why this is so important for growing your business and reaching sales goals. We also talk about the art of active listening and how you can use the words and stories of customers to improve every area of your marketing, including your website, emails, sales scripts, and brochures. Whatever your specific company values are, this episode will give you ideas on how you can weave them into your sales and marketing too. Listen in now!



1:28 Finding a unique place in the market

8:04 Becoming obsessed with an idea

13:00 "If I don't take this idea to market, someone else will."

19:50 Seeing sales as helping

28:43 The scrappiest market research: listening to your customers

34:44 Hiring people that are mission-aligned

40:45 Making it easier to be your customer (and harder to be your competitor)  



"As the CEO, I need to be at the 10,000 foot view, but I also need to get on the ground because on the ground is where you get all the insights.”


Connect with Leeatt Rothschild in the links below:




You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:



Feb 15, 2022
Owning Your Role as Sales Leader with Torrance Hart

Torrance Hart is CEO of Teak and Twine, a corporate gifting company that works with sales, marketing, and HR teams to use strategic gifting to accomplish goals. Once Torrance embraced her role as sales leader, there was no turning back. She now loves her work leading sales and credits her involvement in the sales process as one of the primary reasons for the rapid growth of Teak and Twine. Her story is a great example of what owning your role as sales leader can do for your business!

In this episode, you’ll learn a little about Torrance’s company and how you might use strategic gifting to achieve your own business goals. You’ll also find out how Torrance leads her sales team by focusing on ‘worktopia’ and collaboration. In addition, we discuss our favorite sales and entrepreneur-based podcasts and some hot business topics like EOS and account-based marketing. Listen in now!



1:05 Strategic gifting for sales, marketing, and HR

7:07 Virtual gifting to build engagement

12:35 A big project inspires a big pivot  

17:02 An important realization

25:00 Creating “worktopia”

28:08 Maintaining a collaborative atmosphere

32:17 EOS and finding an ‘integrator’

38:08 Account-based marketing



“What keeps me motivated is bringing a fresh perspective and new ideas to the team each day."


Connect with Torrance Hart in the links below:




You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:



Feb 01, 2022
Solving Startup Problems with Craig Zingerline

The startup industry is littered with failed businesses that didn’t reach the five-year mark. It’s a shame because there are a lot of great products, ideas, and services out there that never make it because these early-stage startups don’t get the help that they need. That’s why I’m excited to welcome my guest for this episode of Sales Talk for CEOs: Craig Zingerline, CEO and founder of Growth University. Growth University delivers on-demand training programs geared toward early-stage startups to give them the information they need to make better decisions and grow their startups faster.

In this interview, Craig shares advice for some of the common problems that startups face, such as choosing the wrong marketing channels and not understanding potential buyers. He also discusses some of the success strategies that Growth University uses, including details about their customer acquisition strategies and how he protects his time by disqualifying potential buyers who aren’t a good fit. If you are a startup CEO, this is a must-listen episode!



2:04 Helping startups succeed

9:54 Choosing the wrong marketing channel

12:23 Not understanding your potential buyers

16:10 Gathering data through curious conversations

27:07 Refining your product from beta-version feedback

34:34 Four customer acquisition strategies

42:23 The importance of qualifying the potential buyer

45:34 Disqualification how-tos



“Every founder needs to get the tooling in place so they can understand where each customer is coming into the buying process. The key is to know where your business is coming from. Which lead source is producing the best results.”


Connect with Craig Zingerline in the links below:



You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.




Jan 25, 2022
The 3 Stages of Business Growth with Orrin Broberg

According to Orrin, the three stages of business growth are as follows:

Stage 1: You’re scrappy and entrepreneurial with a ‘let’s just get it done’ kind of attitude. As for sales, you do most of the work yourself.

Stage 2: ‘Let’s get some kind of management in here!’ becomes your mission. You start to grow your sales team and add people in layers into the organization. You may even start to get some investors.

Stage 3: The 3 p’s are in place: people, process, and product. Backed by a good board and investors, and with trusted sales, marketing and customer success managers in place, you are free to become a future-oriented, strategy-focused leader.

Having made it to Stage 3, Orrin takes a look back at the journey that got him there, sharing advice for each stage and the kind of things he wished he knew along the way. No matter which of the stages of business growth you are currently in, you are sure to gain new insight that will help you reach your next milestone.



10:20 – Building relationships to land big customers

14:14 – The 3 stages of business growth

18:32 – Stage 1: The scrappy entrepreneur

23:43 – Stage 2: Learning to delegate

31:24 – Setting yourself up for success in Stage 3

35:52 – How to know you’ve made it to Stage 3

38:22 – What’s coming in the future



“When you have a well functioning team it frees leadership to focus on the vision and where the business is going.”


Connect with Orrin Broberg in the links below:




You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:



Jan 11, 2022
Marketing That Is Music to Your Buyer’s Ears with Kate Bradley Chernis

Connection is everything. When your marketing message resonates with your customers, selling becomes easier, retention becomes easier, and your customers become powerful evangelists who market and sell for you. To achieve this, you have to find the right words that make your customers lean in. You have to create marketing that is music to your buyer’s ears.

In this episode of the Sales Talk for CEOs podcast, my guest Kate Bradley Chernis shares advice on how to do just that. A former live radio DJ, Kate is now the CEO of Lately, a software that uses artificial intelligence to learn the voice of brands and create writing models based on the words, key phrases, and sentence structure that will get the highest engagement. Kate has used Lately technology to get a 98 percent sales conversion rate with the company’s organic messages, and she is sharing tips for creating marketing that connects to customers in this podcast episode.

As Kate explains, the problem with a lot of marketing is that marketers are trying to find ‘the right words that sell.’ “The objective isn’t actually a sale,” says Kate. “The objective is first to engage. Get to the next step. Get the reaction. Get them to lean in. Get that long play going.”

In this interview, Kate discusses the importance of making a connection as you start conversations with potential customers via marketing. Using the neuroscience of music, she explains how marketing messages should be crafted to offer familiar ‘touch points’ that cue nostalgia, memory, and emotion. This, in turn, builds trust, which is the basis for customer acquisition and loyalty. Sound interesting? Then listen in to learn how you too can create marketing that is music to your buyer’s ears.



2:37 The rollercoaster of the CEO

8:27 Getting specific about your ideal customer

17:58 Why the objective of your marketing isn’t a sale

21:17 Believing in yourself (and not the naysayers)

28:26 Creating two-way street marketing

30:33 Making music to your buyer’s ears

39:00 Creating a seller-free experience



“The objective isn’t actually a sale. The objective is first to engage. Get to the next step. Get the reaction. Get them to lean in. Get that long play going.”


Connect with Kate Bradley Chernis in the links below:



You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:



Dec 07, 2021
Aligning Your Go-to-Market Team with Pouyan Salehi

Product. Sales. Marketing. Customer Success. If you want to grow your business, your entire go-to-market team has to be in perfect alignment. Providing a seamless experience makes such a huge difference to customers, but it’s often hard to achieve. Luckily, you’ll get plenty of ideas and inspiration in the latest Sales Talk for CEOs podcast.

My guest for this interview is Pouyan Salehi, CEO of Scratchpad, a workspace designed specifically for sales and revenue teams. Scratchpad has a unique bottom-up sales model where—on the one hand—the end-users of the software (sales reps) are not the buyers, but—on the other hand—the end-user experience is instrumental in getting sales conversations with decision-makers at large companies. A fully aligned go-to-market team is crucial to success, and, in this interview, Pouyan shares how he achieves it.

As Pouyan explains, aligning your go-to-market team has nothing to do with tools and processes. Instead, you have to start with mindset, prioritizing ‘delight’ and ‘experience.’ “We’re a software company, and we build a product, and people buy the product. But that’s just one component,” says Pouyan. “What we’re essentially doing for every user interaction that we have is we’re giving them an experience. We’re delivering an experience, and that experience should be one of delight.”

This mindset drives sales and customer experience at Scratchpad and has brought the entire go-to-market team together into one cohesive unit. Although Scratchpad is only two years old, the company has established a base of raving fans that any CEO would envy! Listen in to hear how Pouyan has done it, so you can apply the strategies to your business too.



2:25 Designing a space for sales team efficiency

7:24 Understanding diversity in sales reps

9:26 Balancing structure and individual flexibility

13:45 Selling your idea and testing your value proposition

20:25 Designing a complex go-to-market motion

29:40 Building a fully aligned go-to-market team

35:19 Creating raving fans



“What we’re essentially doing for every user interaction that we have is we’re giving them an experience. We’re delivering an experience, and that experience should be one of delight.”


Connect with Pouyan Salehi in the links below:




You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:



Nov 30, 2021
Building Relationships to Grow Your Business with Amir Reiter

If there is one thing to take away from this episode of Sales Talk for CEOs, it’s that CEOs should be making connections. If you’re not reaching out to customers, employees, peers, and mentors, you are missing out on opportunities to learn and grow. I understand that this doesn’t come naturally for everyone, but when you hear about the benefits of networking, evangelizing, and building relationships in today’s interview, I know you’ll be motivated to make it a priority.

This episode features Amir Reiter, CEO of CloudTask, a B2B Lead Generation company helping SaaS companies drive revenue growth through teams of sales development professionals. Amir has spent his career focusing on relationships, and it is these relationships with customers, employees, mentors, and peers that have helped him build the company to what it is today.

In the interview, Amir shares many stories about how he has used networking, evangelizing, and relationship-building to grow his company, including stories about:

  • How he initially built the company by creating a network of people who believed in him and the product—and that network became the voice of awareness for others.
  • How he hires as few employees as possible but really takes employees under his wing to develop their confidence and help them feel like part of the team.
  • How he actively seeks out relationships with other business owners to learn from their mistakes, and how recent advice caused an important shift in his business model.
  • How he prioritizes evangelizing for the company by strategically using social media and finding networking opportunities.


Amir Reiter has built CloudTask out of (in his words) persistence and trial and error. Every step of the way, he reaches out to others and observes the world around him to make better decisions. His story is sure to motivate you to do the same, so you, too, can strategically build relationships to grow your business.



3:45 Following your passions

8:35 Using networking to get to the next level

11:04 Defining your success as customer (and employee) success

14:50 Confronting your limiting beliefs

21:38 The role of CEO as evangelizer

24:49 An important lesson: less is more

33:10 Building team culture



"As the CEO, one of the most important things I can do to increase sales is build strong relationships with my team, our customers, and others who play a role in our success."


Connect with Amir Reiter in the links below:




You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:



Nov 23, 2021
Finding the Right Sales Leader for Your Company with Elay Cohen

Hiring the right sales leader is something that every CEO has challenges with, so this episode of the Sales Talk for CEOs podcast is a great opportunity to improve your strategy and avoid some common mistakes. By hiring the right sales leader for your company, you’ll be able to build the kind of sales organization that really supports your business, and that allows you, as CEO, to take on the role of strategist, evangelist, and thought leader.

The perfect guest for this topic is Elay Cohen, CEO and co-founder of SalesHood, a sales enablement platform. The role Elay has taken in sales is the role I hope all CEOs can get to. But there were some bumps along the road to getting there, which is why Elay is openly sharing some of the lessons he learned while trying to find the right sales leader, so you can avoid the same mistakes.

During this interview, Elay takes us on his own journey to find the perfect sales leadership for SalesHood. He recounts the missteps along the way, including his first hire, who looked great on paper but wasn’t a good fit for the company, and his second hire that failed because of a misunderstanding related to job title and role. You’ll also learn how Elay landed his current co-leaders in sales who are exceeding sales goals and gearing the company up for amazing growth in 2022.

By finding the right sales leaders for his company, Elay is able to take the role of chief strategist, visionary, and evangelist of his business.  Of course, getting to this place in your career is only possible when you find the right people to lead your sales team. The information in this podcast is sure to ease the process!



8:18 The importance of your first customers

13:00 When to hire a sales leader

20:51 The journey to find the right sales leader

24:14 A lesson on title inflation

27:45 When to consider your top sales rep as head of sales

30:36 The CEO’s role in sales after finding a sales leader

36:00 A red flag when interviewing sales leaders

39:48 Final takeaway on hiring your first sales manager



“Recruitment and finding the right people has been the hardest thing. I never would have thought. I would have thought building the company, getting customers, innovating… No. The hardest thing in the last eight years has been finding the right people for the company.”


Connect with Elay Cohen in the links below:




You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:



Nov 16, 2021
Growth Strategies for Hiring and Organizing Your Sales Team with Jacco van der Kooij

As an entrepreneur, when you first launch your company, you often start out doing most of the work yourself. However, at a certain point, it’s time to hire a team so you can focus on the higher-level work required of a CEO and grow your business. But who should you hire first? When should you bring on a sales team? What hiring strategies can help you find the best talent? How should you organize your team for top performance and growth? All these questions (and more!) are answered in my latest Sales Talk for CEOs podcast.

This episode features Jacco van der Kooij, Founder of Winning by Design, a global B2B revenue consulting and training company founded in 2012. In this interview, Jacco takes us back to those early days when he was running the company by himself, through his years as CEO, and up until today when he has passed the CEO baton on to someone else and stepped back into the role of Founder of the multi-million-dollar international company.

In this interview, you will learn why Jacco suggests not to hire your sales team first (and who you should hire instead!). He also shares two hiring strategies his company uses to make it easier to find the best candidate for your position (and quickly eliminate those who won’t make the cut!). Finally, you will find out about the intriguing way he groups his team members into customer-focused pods to enable them to become powerhouses for customer service. At the heart of it, this episode is all about growth and how your hiring and team organization can set your business up for success. Listen in, and you are sure to get amazing insight to grow your company too.



3:22 Growth via recurring revenue

8:10 Why you shouldn’t hire for sales early

15:37 Two unique elements to include in your hiring process

17:14: Taking a multi-dimensional approach to growth

21:50 Organizing your team: units instead of individuals

27:25 The evolving role of CEO in sales

31:05 When it’s time to step back

35:35 Marketing: entering the realm of science



“Selling is not what the customer wants. What the customer is involved in is buying. Instead of selling to them, which is against their nature, help them to buy, which is human nature from the get-go.”


Connect with Jacco van der Kooij in the links below:




You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:



Nov 09, 2021
Building a Customer-Focused Sales Strategy with Erik Frank

The companies that are succeeding today are the ones that are looking at themselves from their customers’ perspective. How do your customers see your business? Do they understand your products and services? How do they want to buy from you? Whether you have been in business for five years or 100, your customers’ perspective will always play a pivotal role in the success (or failure) of your business. So, are you listening to their valuable feedback?

No matter how old your business is, you must constantly change and adapt to what your customers are telling you. That’s the subject of my latest Sales Talk for CEOs podcast, where Erik Frank - CEO and President of Tristate Amature and Electrical Works - shares the details on the major overhauls that are happening in his 101-year-old business. Erik is completely rebuilding his marketing and sales strategy from the ground up – all based on what they are learning from their customers.

Erik’s strategy includes gathering extra insight into the customer experience through conversations with customers, a newly launched customer survey, and continued customer outreach. The strategy also involves changing up the sales team, including better training for customer service representatives, hiring more sales staff, and finding that crucial new hire for VP of sales.

This episode is a must-listen if you feel that your sales strategy isn’t quite hitting the mark with your customers. Whether you’re just starting your business or have been at it for decades, there is ALWAYS room to make your marketing and sales more customer-centric.



3:10 Bringing sales experience into the role of CEO

8:35 Customer-focused rebranding

11:25 Why train your customer service team in sales

15:18 Using customer surveys to gather data

17:31 The importance of sales leadership

21:00 The CEO’s role in sales: selling the vision of the company

23:00 Growing your sales team to accommodate customers’ needs in the future



“Today, the companies that are succeeding are looking at themselves from their customer’s perspective and the way their customer wants to buy from them versus the way they have been selling to them for sometimes 30 or 100 years.”


Connect with Erik Frank in the links below:




You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:



Nov 02, 2021
Integrating Sales and Marketing to Better Serve Customers with Bronwyn Allen


1:20 Changes to hiring during the pandemic

8:25 Growth of sales operations during the pandemic

11:25 How to integrate roles on your team to serve customers better

14:10 The CEO’s unique role in sales

18:38 Balancing a CEO’s many responsibilities

22:40 Switching your sales strategy when inbound calls increase

25:07 Growth opportunities on the horizon



“The customer wants it to be seamless. They don’t want to have your services coming from 15 different directions and different messages. They know what they want, and they want it to be seamless. They don’t really care what happens behind the scenes. They just want good results, a good outcome.”



Connect with Bronwyn Allen in the links below:




You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.



Oct 26, 2021
3 Mindsets Every CEO Must Develop in Their Business with Maria Nordstrom


3:19 The journey to becoming the CEO of basketball

8:24 Knowing CEO skills, playing the sport and understanding the fans

10:57 Finding solutions for the first challenges you have to face as a CEO

19:10 Holding each member and each department of the organization responsible for revenue and the customer’s experience

27:35 The CEO as the spearhead and pivot of the organization

30:35 Keeping sports stakeholders engaged during the pandemic through innovative thinking



3:25 “If I wrote down a piece of advice to myself: specializing in a particular area is helpful as you move through.”

9:23 “You need to be authentic. In anything, authenticity is key. Because people buy from people at the end of the day. If you have strong knowledge of your product, your services, and you understand your customer, you obviously are going to be more successful.”

20:28 "If we don't collaborate, the customer may choose to work with somebody that's easier to deal with than our organization. Simplifying that for all the people and strategically working more... systems on actually putting the customer on the center... and everybody in that value chain have responsibility for the customer"

35:05 “That innovative thinking and people putting themselves and making themselves available has been the beauty of what this pandemic has brought about in a number of different areas”



Connect with Maria Nordstrom in the links below.





You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.



Oct 19, 2021
Interviewing for Creativity with Kris Rudeegraap


2:50 How Sendoso started - finding creative ways to connect with people

5:20 Interviewing for creativity 

15:10 Building a strong company culture 

20:20 Adapting to modern sales 

24:58 Following up with customers

27:41 Why stay with named accounts? 



4:57  “Creative thinking is one of those soft skills that are underutilized and undervalued… add creativity or if you want to be more creative that’ll be a skillset that will stand out”

5:32 “I think creativity is something that all you CEOs out there - make sure that your sales leaders are interviewing for creativity”

15:57 “I’m really trying to create a culture where it’s a ‘one team, one dream’ and the CEO is not too cool for school, he’s in the trenches working with everyone else.” 

24:25 “People should not just disappear from a customers life, they should be around and the customer knows they're available and a part of a team that's helping lift everybody up.”

26:51 “Any day can be ‘we love our customers day’”


Connect with Kris Rudeegraap in the links below:





You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.



Oct 13, 2021
Entrepreneurial Enthusiasm with Chris Cabrera


1:20 What exactly is Xactly and who are their ideal customers? 

7:00 Sales journey to CEO 

11:55 Entrepreneurial enthusiasm

26:42 Sales organization’s evolution after 16 years

30:10 The balance of having partners and direct sellers 

38:20 From private company to public, then to private and going back to being public




11:30  “So many things could go differently, so many startups fail for so many different reasons - but that never entered my mind. Looking back, I didn’t understand that - but at the time the idea of it not working was never ever in the realm of possibility”

11:55 “I call that entrepreneurial enthusiasm, if you didn’t have it - you won’t make it. You have to believe, you can’t even look back and think that it’s not gonna work - that’s not the way we think as entrepreneurs”

24:24 “CEOs can really be the chief evangelist for their company and it makes a huge difference. It’s more about that networking and developing and drawing people to you because they see you and they see “oh, this CEO isn’t afraid to be out there, is available we can talk to him”


Connect with Chris Cabrera in the link below.





You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.



Oct 05, 2021
Benefits of Hiring a Sales Leader with Gary Goerke


3:30 Before Clarity Voice: how Gary had started as tech support and then trained in sales

6:08 The CEO being the first salesperson of the company

15:13 Realizing the need for a sales leader 

20:18 When the CEO manages his own sales team

26:46 Technology doesn’t solve all problems 

30:01 The richness of business



3:30 “With any entrepreneur, when they look back to when they started the company and what led up to it, there were many things that happened that built them to where they are ready to move on to an opportunity.”

5:48 “If I could hit moderate success in pitching non-sales people to pay for the privilege of joining a direct-selling organization, it should be a breeze to talk to small businesses about having better phone communications”

14:40 “It took me some time to really get through my thick skull that hiring superstars wasn’t gonna work.”

15:10 “I was resistant to hiring a sales leader because I couldn’t see or justify such a large expense for someone who wasn’t a direct producer. Huge mistake, that mistake probably caused me millions of dollars over the last ten years” 

22:20  “I had to make the real decision: ‘do I wanna be small and in control of everything or do I wanna grow?’ And that was my choice…you really have to ask yourself ‘do you have to grow?’” 

30:01 “The richness of business is the journey getting there. Some of it is in the struggle and in figuring things out. But it’s also in enjoying the successes, recognizing the achievements and liking what you’re doing and whom you’re doing it with - both your team and your customers.”


Connect with Gary Goerke in the links below:






You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.



Sep 28, 2021
Building and Maintaining Partnerships with Jamie Crosbie


2:18 How and why Jamie started Proactivate

8:45 Recognizing when to hire people 

12:39 Strategically building and maintaining partnerships

16:00 Partnerships versus cold-calling 

19:23 Mindsets that are helpful for serving clients and growing your business - mindset versus skillset



5:26 “It was me selling, for sure, in the beginning and doing a lot of it. In the first week I got 25 appointments”

9:26 “Adding a salesperson would be worth a million dollars in revenue to my company… I hired some sales team member and then took them through a very specific sales bootcamp because I knew that they would be the lifeblood of my company”

11:10 These client relationships and referral partner relationships, they’ve been really key. A lot of them have been great friends and partners in business. I work really hard in just maintaining that and growing some of those strategic relationships. 

15:34 “If you’re thinking, ‘how can I find some partners?’ Jamie has just laid it out for you: think about who else sells to the same audience that you sell to, what would be important to them in having a partner and how you would build that. Start with one and see how it goes. Be strategic about it and pick up a few more.” 

20:55 “80% of our success is based on mindset and yet we spend all this time interviewing people based on skillset and training people based on skill set.” 


Connect with Jamie Crosbie in the links below:


Website: |






You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.



Sep 21, 2021
The Importance of Understanding Sales with Steve Benson


[3:06] Being a business owner with a sales background

[6:59] Getting people onboard in your company - what you can do as CEO

[10:50] Building the sales organization in your company

[20:41] Supporting sales and the CEO's growing role

[25:51] Making your customer feel important, secure and happy

[31:00] Hiring outside help to communicate more freely in the office



[6:30]  “It's really useful to have a sales background starting a company, at first you are not just selling a product, you're selling for people to join a company”

[7:00]  "If you're a CEO you better be good at sales and telling your stories if you want others to come to your company right now"

[12:56]  "You do need to have experience with hiring sales people and it's definitely a skill"

[20:43]  "If I keep my toe on the water too much, it hurts the company from a sales perspective because I'm spread too thin… you see this a lot in companies, whatever the CEO is really great at is what their company is weak at"  

[24:46] "Talking to your sales people is a great way to keep your fingers on the pulse of the business"


Connect with Steve Benson in the link below:




You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.



Sep 14, 2021
Strong Contributors to Sales Success with Jon Ferrara


  • 2:00  From Goldmine to Nimble, Jon’s entrepreneurial journey
  • 8:20  Be present for your family's growth. Don't let your career get in the way of being with your loved ones. 
  • 18:17  The secret sauce to making connections and closing sales - listening more and being human
  • 29:24  Integrating more and more communication systems into Nimble 
  • 33:04  Making it easy for the buyer to buy from you


  • 2:02  “It really starts with our first company that I co-founded called GoldMine. I started that company out of a personal need, I struggled as a sales person.” 
  • 8:20  “I came to the conclusion that I’m on this planet to grow my soul and the best way to grow my soul is to be present with people who love me and help them grow. So I decided to dedicate that time to being a present father, husband, and member of my community”
  • 15:55  If you share content… those influencers will start conversations with you and you have to reel them in to do one on one face to face”
  • 16:10  "You don't want to start talking about yourself and your products. What you want to do is prepare for the meeting, learn about them... ask some questions and shut the F up and listen... " 
  • 23:10  “You just have to be thoughtful, share what you believe in, interact with the people that you want to interact with you then it starts to work.” “You have to be human…”
  • 34:14  “I encourage every CEO listening today to go be their own customer, to go try to buy from their own company… pretend you’re your own customer and evaluate yourself from that perspective… many of you will be shocked.” 

Connect with Jon Ferrara:




You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.



Sep 09, 2021
Directing Sales Profitability with Transparency with Ganesh Shankar


01:46 Starting RFPIO and helping companies respond to RFPs more efficiently

10:07 Ganesh's sales experience was a natural progression to CEO 

14:01 Trial and error: Changing company goals to figure out behavior

19:21 Celebrate sales milestones and recognize the efforts of every team member

23:15 Filling the organization structure with the right people at the stages

31:45 Future forecast for RFPIO and success with an onboarding specialist

38:46 Sales tips for fellow CEOs


08:27 "We realized salespeople never logged into those system. They have accounts already working on. They don't want to log in. So go with cheaper solution."

14:26 "Compensation drives behavior. The second one is, time kills deals. Two things it is always in my mind. When we started scaling, we as an organization were looking at what is that year 1, what is the behavior that we want?"

19:34 "We as a company celebrated every small milestone the sales team brought in. Everybody from top to bottom, even an intern who's on the engineering team was made part of the sales team."

25:21 "My entire sales team knows it will change. Either the quotas will change, the territories will change, the industries will change, but not in between."

39:07 "Make sure you're not creating a conflicting competition plan. Make it clean and simple, easy for sales team to understand, and go after it. It'll make your life so much easier."


Connect with Ganesh Shankar in the link below.


You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.



Jul 31, 2021
Reimagining How Salespeople Sell with Melanie Fellay


01:47 Innovating the training process with Spekit

10:44 Melanie's background in supporting sales and overcoming self-limiting beliefs

18:39 Learning how to sell a product and being deliberate with hiring a sales team

26:55 Having a clear company vision and hiring the first head of sales

37:30 Creating an online presence to evangelize and attract clients

40:34 Building up the sales team and adapting to changing buyer behaviors

48:32 Sales advice for fellow CEOs


09:16 "How do we reimagine the way that employees learn at work? And how we make that easier, more personalized, more data-driven experience for them."

21:52 "I deeply, deeply, deeply believe that if you want to solve the problem better than anyone else, you need to understand the problem better than anyone else."

25:28 "I'd just be intentional about hiring your first head of sales because they're going to shape your culture, your sales culture, but at the end of the day your sales team shapes the culture of your company."

32:05 "For me to excel at my role, I need to grow personally to a level that's faster than the growth of the company and that's hard when you're on hyper growth mode. But learning how to be an effective sales manager is probably not the best use of my time."

50:06 "I think it's really important to get super, super clear on the psychology and characteristics or whatever you want to call it of your buyer so that you can map out the kinds of sellers that I think are going to be the most successful."

Connect with Melanie Fellay in the link below.



You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.



Jul 31, 2021
Finding Success by Building a Remote Sales Team With Mario Martinez, Jr.


02:11 Mario's accidental entry into sales and realizing that sales is the art of helping

09:44 From accidental salesperson to accidental entrepreneur 

12:54 Ask yourself these questions before striking out and becoming an entrepreneur 

17:23 Being CEO means you are still involved in sales

21:26 Scale your business with remote sellers

29:56 CEOs must oversee sales teams and ensure company values are preserved

34:15 Future forecast for Vengresso and technology


08:51 "We're just focused on, really, sales as human to human. Human to human engagement. That's it. That's as easy as it is and if we understand that, then we can explode our sales."

19:02 "As a CEO of any size company, small or large, you will always be selling. You're always going to be selling no matter what."

25:25 "I could hire somebody with an amazing great income out of Colombia for a couple thousand dollars a month, they live like kings as a result of that type of salary, and I save 40,000 dollars a year."

33:19 "It is no different than if you think of a salesperson. That evolution, instead of it happening over 21 years with a child, it really happens over the course of 2 years with a salesperson."

36:37 "So that is critical to a salesperson and a CEO is making sure that you've got the skill mapped to the technology."

Connect with Mario Martinez Jr. and Vengresso in the links below.


Remote Selling Made Simple: 5 Practical Tips for a Successful Organization:


You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.



Jul 31, 2021
Finding Success by Building a Remote Sales Team With Mario Martinez, Jr.


02:11 Mario's accidental entry into sales and realizing that sales is the art of helping

09:44 From accidental salesperson to accidental entrepreneur 

12:54 Ask yourself these questions before striking out and becoming an entrepreneur 

17:23 Being CEO means you are still involved in sales

21:26 Scale your business with remote sellers

29:56 CEOs must oversee sales teams and ensure company values are preserved

34:15 Future forecast for Vengresso and technology


08:51 "We're just focused on, really, sales as human to human. Human to human engagement. That's it. That's as easy as it is and if we understand that, then we can explode our sales."

19:02 "As a CEO of any size company, small or large, you will always be selling. You're always going to be selling no matter what."

25:25 "I could hire somebody with an amazing great income out of Colombia for a couple thousand dollars a month, they live like kings as a result of that type of salary, and I save 40,000 dollars a year."

33:19 "It is no different than if you think of a salesperson. That evolution, instead of it happening over 21 years with a child, it really happens over the course of 2 years with a salesperson."

36:37 "So that is critical to a salesperson and a CEO is making sure that you've got the skill mapped to the technology."

Connect with Mario Martinez Jr. and Vengresso in the links below.


Remote Selling Made Simple: 5 Practical Tips for a Successful Organization:


You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.



Jul 31, 2021
Fostering Collaboration Between Channels with Julie Thomas


01:27 Julie as an "accidental entrepreneur" and rebuilding the structure of ValueSelling 

09:37 Challenges with recruiting passionate people and translating languages

14:18 Figuring out the ideal profile for ValueSelling's independent contractors

18:37 Company culture has a direct effect on a channel's effectiveness

21:18 Strengths and obstacles: Collaboration and adapting to change and technology

29:53 Hiring direct sellers alongside independent contractors

35:53 Future forecast: Adaptability is the number one skill

40:11 Advice for CEOs to get more involved with sales


11:37 "We also then put in place some incentives for my existing channel to go clone themselves and go find people that would help. So that became some of my recruiting arm."

22:22 "As we've grown in scale, some of the processes that worked when we were a company of 10 or 12, no longer work when you're 60, 70, 80 people, right? So we've had to change some business processes. Everything today is technology-enabled."

26:37 "It doesn't matter what you're going to do. You should learn accounting, you should learn finance. because every business needs that. And every business decision, you need to understand the language and finance."

35:16 "They have got such a fertile referral network that all they have to do is nurture and maintain and invest in that network, and the business is coming to them. We're going to tap into that in any way, shape, or form."

41:23 "When we flip what we think selling is from pushing to creating that pull with people, where they're leaning in, tell me more, I want to learn more, I think you can help me. That's where I think CEOs can add the most value."

Connect and learn more about Julie Thomas in the links below.


You can learn more about Alice Heiman by visiting the links below.



Jul 30, 2021
Get to Know Your Host

On this inaugural episode of Sales Talk for CEOs, guest host Park Howell interviews Alice Heiman to get the backstory of her career and how this podcast came to be. 

More about Alice Heiman


Follow Alice on LinkedIn:

More about Park Howell


Follow Park on LinkedIn:

Jul 16, 2021