Apr 13, 2022
This week on the Catapulting Commissions podcast, Anthony welcomes Simon Severino. In 19 years of entrepreneurship, Simon has executed hundreds of go-to-market strategies with B2B teams around the globe. He’s a father of three, author of Strategy Sprints, and a business coach specializing in B2B sales/marketing. He has a blueprint for CEOs to achieve financial freedom with a firm that runs on its own. His Strategy Sprint method helps CEO’s double their revenue to get out of the way of their business to accelerate growth.
CEOs should consider firing themselves from operations as soon as it is possible– even at the $1-3 million range it’s too late. If the CEO never stops running the business, your business will run the CEO. It will be hard to scale because no one will ever take over big decisions. When that happens, the CEO is not using the intelligence of their people. Every time the CEO needs a vacation or isn’t available to make a big decision, it creates a bottleneck, and it slows the business down. Everybody needs to be not just doing the work but improving the work.
In his 90-day Strategy Sprints, Simon works with founder-led B2B teams with up to seven years in business, 35-50k per month. The founder wants t to get out of the weeds but they don’t know how to do it or if it’s even possible. He helps them scale their business so it can eventually run without them. It’s a smarter way to do business. When a business runs without any single person making all the major decisions, the multiple by which it can grow is so much higher. For example, Simon turned his own 90-day Strategy Sprint system into a repeatable process that he could turn into a certification program. So now he added a certification business on top of his consulting business. He doubled the revenue and decreased his risk. Simon believes all CEOs can do this to some extent. There is always a smarter way than dealing with the constant bottlenecks created by a founder-led company.
To determine where the bottlenecks are and how to solve them, Simon starts by asking founders to consider what would happen if they had 10x growth overnight. He then tackles those week by week in the training. They segment the business into marketing, sales, and operations teams, and most of the time it’s clear that the CEO is doing all of it. When the founder realizes they are doing all that work that could be done by others, they realize they need a change. Which one can be systemized first? And they work week by week to systemize each of those segments. After 12 weeks the CEO has created an SOP playbook, and regains 10-14 hours per week of their time to work ON the business rather than IN the business. When you work IN a business you are planting, weeding, and laboring in a garden every day; when you work ON a business you are a gardener who harvests the vegetables and casually waters the flourishing plants and flowers as needed.
Once you’ve made that transition to gardener, you should not allow yourself to get back in the weeds– no matter how strong the pull to do so. At first, your ego will tell you that you need to go back, but you should never do it. It sends the signal that you don’t trust the process you put in place. There may be times when you need to have a discussion with your team about certain metrics that aren’t being met, but getting involved will only cause your team to think you don’t have faith in their ability to deal with it.
Of course Anthony wants Simon to talk about building a sales team– this being Catapulting Commissions Sales Talk. He says you have to explicitly write down the minimum expectations for the closers and setters. What does the perfect closer do? What does the perfect setter do? What KPIs will you measure daily, weekly, and monthly? Then you go on LinkedIn and post it. Simon has applicants send in videos first, and then they select top candidates to meet in person or virtually. He says turnover for setters is higher, and that’s to be expected. He recommends compensating setters with commission only. People who work on commission only tend to be more motivated. When there is no cap on their income, people have more skin in the game. As long as you keep taking care of those people and help them develop and grow, they will stick with you. Give them everything they need quickly and without question, and they’ll flourish with your company.
When you align marketing, sales, and ops, you have to have consistent weekly meetings. They all see the numbers and collaborate on how to get the most out of each other. It’s an open dialogue about what each department can do to support the other. When you don’t meet regularly, assumptions are made in ignorance. Holding weekly meetings that foster open dialogue allows everyone to get on the same page. Everyone speaks to each other. They hold each other accountable. They work in unison and feel they have skin in the game. This is the dream for any founder.