Driving Rapid Revenue Growth: A Q&A with Diebold Nixdorf’s Jason Weick
Executive Insights Interview Series Episode 3
In this exclusive series, FTI Consulting experts interview industry executives to explore how innovative leaders are adopting new strategies to drive rapid revenue growth.
As the new global leader of Sales Ops for a multibillion-dollar company, how do you define your priorities to drive rapid revenue growth?
Jason: I look at revenue growth as a three-legged stool.
The first leg of the stool is you have to make certain you are
protecting the revenue streams you have today. The second
leg of the stool is you must look at your existing customers
to identify opportunities to drive cross-sell and up-sell
programs based on white-space analysis. The third leg of
the stool is truly new logo customers or clients who do zero
business with you today. One of the biggest mistakes I see
are companies that completely over-rotate on the third leg
of the stool by chasing the “shiny new object/logo” and lose
complete focus on the first and second legs of the stool. In my
opinion protecting the existing revenue streams and driving
solid up-sell and cross-sell programs to existing clients is
the key to rapid revenue growth. I strongly believe that it
takes a solid analytical approach to enable the three pillars
of revenue growth. For example, companies have a very
dispersed customer base, and they need to take a granular
look to identify pockets of growth, and then tailor the right
sales strategy to capture the revenue growth.
Can you share with us your thoughts on how this pandemic has disrupted the customer behaviors and expectations in your industry?
Jason: This is a great question and one I get frequently.
Financial institutions are working very hard to manage their
revenue and customer expectations while keeping an eye on
their strategy and vision for the next five years. Many financial
institutions had already started their digital transformations
before the pandemic began and were all at different points
in this journey. The timetable has now been dramatically
compressed, in my opinion, to meet customer expectations.
In other words, if those financial institutions thought they
had the next five years to get this right, my belief is they really
have the next 12-18 months. Those that got a head start prior
to the pandemic are really poised to separate themselves
from their competitors.
How do you envision the role of Sales Ops to evolve in the future?
Jason: Traditionally, the Sales Ops function has been looked
at as a cost center driving an operational set of activities.
As companies pivot to growth strategies, I believe the
most progressive Sales Ops organizations will evolve into
more of a strategic Revenue Ops organization. This will
include responsibilities for the various value-add practices
that ultimately have top-line P&L revenue impact into
the business. If you think about it, Sales Ops is very well
positioned to drive the growth agenda, given how close they
are to customers, market, and to sales teams. In my recent
interactions with other leaders of Sales Operations in the
industry, the trend of shifting Sales Ops from cost center to
strategic revenue center is gaining a lot more attention, not
just in our industry, but across other industries as well.
One of the most challenging aspects for Sales Ops leaders must have been pulling their sales division through the crisis and keeping up their morale. How are you doing that in your role?
Jason: If I think about the make-up of our sales organization,
we essentially went from sellers who thrived on face-toface
interactions with clients to one that had to learn new
skills to cope with our new norms for serving customers in
a virtual world. We spent a good majority of time working
to spool up programs to help support our sellers to be
successful in selling in a virtual environment. For example, we
implemented a three-part “Selling from Home” training series
to sharpen some critical skills that are key to succeeding
in virtual sales. We continue to invest time on sharing best
practices; this is new for many of our sellers, so we must
continue building these new muscles on a regular basis – it
does not happen overnight. In addition to virtual selling, our
sales organization strongly believes in “Selling with Purpose.”
In this virtual environment, where selling has become
extremely different, it is important to build trust and lead with
purpose in our sales strategy. In my role as the Global Leader
of Sales Ops, I am constantly encouraging our sales teams to
move away from transactional discussions and be a trusted
partner to our customers.
What would be your advice to fellow Global Sales Ops leaders to drive profitable revenue growth and customer centricity?
Jason: My single biggest piece of advice is to not lose focus
on the customer. It’s easy for Sales Operations to become
internally focused, so I would encourage leaders not to allow
sales operations to become a “dumping ground” and to
always keep their organizations focused on an “outside-in”
perspective, starting with the customer — and if you can do
that, then you know the decisions you are making are in the
best interests of your customers.