The Harvard Business Review conducted an in-depth study of more than 50 company spinouts for a 7-year period. Two-thirds of the cases studied either fell short of expectations or failed outright. The first major hurdle to a successful venture is to get the right leadership in place with the skills and experience to champion the new spinout and execute with precision to ensure success.
FireOne was brought in to lead the sales and marketing efforts of a $200 million company that had newly been spun off, backed by a large private equity firm. Our immediate challenge was to disentangle the new company from its previous parent entity, which poses an entirely different problem from a company starting out new and independent from the get-go. Our primary focus was to help our client achieve and sustain growth and be set up for long-term success. We had to drive the sales and marketing strategy, focus the teams and instill a common purpose to rally the new company together. At the same time, we needed to create some internal autonomy with new systems and processes for the sales and marketing organization to thrive.
We also understood the cost and time pressures on the CEO and CFO and had to design and deploy smart solutions quickly. Our comprehensive approach encompassed a full sales strategy, including target customers, buyer personas, sales channels needed to rapidly expand, and operational requirements to facilitate sales motions. The entire Go-to-Market strategy focused on sales force effectiveness, key account management and competitive positioning.
It was our role to make sure that the entire executive leadership team was aligned to the proposed strategy and actively supporting our plan for roles, reporting, goals, metrics, and budget to drive successful execution. With their buy-in, we started running to “Win the Race.”
In the first 90 days, we put in place a differentiated sales strategy that allowed the client to expand into growth markets while upselling and winning in the existing customer base. We were able to create strong momentum to generate new revenue while keeping customer churn to a minimum. The client exceeded its 90-day targets and was on track to continue performing against the plan.
The following 90 days were focused on organizational adoption and continued execution. We placed significant energy into retaining high performing employees, putting customers first, and taking care of partners. We implemented a multi-phased success plan to further develop the sales organization and ensure the company stay on track to meet or exceed its goals and achieve predictable, sustainable growth.
FireOne specifically delivered in the following areas:
- Go-To market sales and service strategy
- Marketing execution including branding and new website
- Portfolio and customer retention and profitability optimization
- Portfolio rationalization and simplification
- Product roadmap strategy with a voice from the field and customer
- Customer experience management
- Sales Channel buildout and execution
- Market opportunity validation
- Talent acquisition strategies including top grading, retention and hiring
- Training and implementation of Challenger Sale and MEDDIC
- Implementation of new CRM system
- Account coverage mapping
- Sales compensation plan design
- Pre-sales and consulting realignment and enablement
- Development of new deal desk and management system