The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 4 months ago

The New Revenue-Focused CIO


The CIO role is changing.

COVID has accelerated that change, but the function has been transforming for years.

These days, the role is about more than technology — it’s much more focused on revenue and engagement.

Just ask Gamiel Gran, Strategic Business Development & Corporate Innovation Network — aka Mayfield Edge — at Mayfield Fund, whose career has led him to notice the massive transformation of the CIO role.

He joins me in this episode to discuss:

  • How COVID made CIOs the hero (and increased competition in the field)
  • Why CIOs are becoming more revenue-oriented (and how to help them get there)
  • Getting the CRO, CFO and CIO aligned and working together

For more engaging sales conversations, subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Sales Engagement in your favorite podcast player.

Welcome to the sales engagement, apodcast, this podcast is brought you by outreach, the leading sales engagementplatform and they just launched out reach on our reach. The place to learnhow out reach well does not reach learn how the team follows up with every leadin record time after virtual events and turns them into revenue. You can alsosee how out retines account based plays, manages reps and so much more usingtheir own sales engagement platform. Everything is backed by data pulledfrom out reach processes and customer base when you're done you'll be able todo it as good as they do had to outreach on io on out reach to see whatthey have going on now, let's get into the day's episode hello and welcomeback every one to these sales engagement podcast. Thank you as alwaysfor hanging out with us for the next thirty minutes. I know there's fourhundred and seventy eight billion things fine for your attention, so wedon't take it lightly that you got us in your ear drums right now, whateveryou're doing so, we will make this educational. We will make thisactionable. I'm super excited for this. One. I've been excited for it since wekind of started wrestling with the topic, but before we get there, i wantto introduce my guests. I'm joined by gamel grand who runs bed and corporateinnovation over at mayfield fund. Give me a welcome. Thanks, got really reallypleased to be here, and i know we're going to have fun. So kick us off. Let's do it, so i always like to startwith a little bit of context for the for the listeners and i usually frameit out like this. What is this superhero origin story of gamil? Howdid you get to where you're at today that's great? Well, i really am pleasedto be here today and share a little bit about my background. You know i havethis really fun job in the venture capital world. That is somewhat of aunique role, which is i get to help our portfolio companies reach marketadoption faster, i'm a real operator at heart. I california native grew up here, went tocolt berkeley right out of school, worked at ibm and went through one ofthe most extensive sales training strategy courses for a year and a halfthat ibm used to put on. I don't know if they still do, but it was somethingwhere i learned, perhaps an algorithm that i've applied throughout my entirebusiness career and that is you've got to listen really hard. Ifyou want to sell effectively and the idea of consulted of selling strategicselling a partner base selling all representative fairly big view by torstrategic view of selling big deals by being a consultant by being a thoughtprovider by bringing value to the equation, and to do that, you had toreally shut the heck up and listen, and i used to edit when it ibm salestraining. We would go to atlanta for four weeks and then come home for fourweeks and then go back. We did this over a year and a half and the salestraining boot camps. We were required to learn a particular product and atthe time i m is selling everything from copiers to main frames right and i wasassigned back home in sacramento to state of california as my first salesjob, which was you know, one of the worst sort of entry sales positions. Ithink anybody could have given anybody which, because the process was a threeto four year r f p process before you ever want to deal. So if you wanted towin a deal quickly, you weren't going to see it at say of california anyway.Along of the whole thing, was these sales coaching events which i'd love tohave sales people do today really forced us to one learn the product, butmore so learn the customer before we...

...went in and we would listen then toclose and ask really provocative questions, and it was interesting thatsales managers who would grade us- and i was always, of course, verycompetitive. I always wanted to win every day. They would grade us on howeffective we could close, and there were three of us who were assigned toeach customer scenario, and i said i always want to be the closer. I alwayswant to be the closer, and the reason was that all the conversation that wouldensue at the beginning was so much insight for me to be able toeffectively say mister customer, didn't you say you needed the following:didn't you say these are the three priorities? Didn't you say that to makethis work the following things need to align? Let me propose the followingthat alliance to everything that you've just said, and they would they theperspective customer and these these demo sales events would say: wow younailed it and we've closed the deal, and i be thrilled that i listened well anyway.The long of the whole thing my whole career has been about listening,listening really hard and there i go on talking for three four minutes. Sosorry, let me listen to you now, but no that was that was gold and what poppedinto my head there was. Why do you think these programs fell by the wayside? You know that you jump to that right away. When i ask about yourbackground many folks that have been through like an ibm or a xerox, theylook back extremely fondly and say it's some of the best training they ever got.Why did we go wrong in sass like what? Why did these go away? It became very expensive and a newguard of tech companies. You know at the time we were competing against sun,microsystems and scotman neale said i'll. Just hire a bunch of ibm guyshere already trained and he did an oracle did the same and in fact i leftibm and went to oracle and oracle. Didn't have the same sort of sales,training, thesis and long term thing. They had some workshops, but theydidn't have the same process. I think it was just expensive and you couldpick up the x pts er ox ibm guy off the street yeah. That makes sense well, wecan probably spend a full thirty minutes unpacking your your background,but i do want to get to this this topic, because i think it's wildly interestingand so you're a listener, you're an observer by nature. One of the thingsthat you brought up last time we were talking was a trend that you're seeing a trend thatyou're, seeing particularly with cios at larger, larger organizations. Do youwant to talk a little bit about about that trend that you're seen sure sure?So you know having been in the industry for a number of years being an operator,i've been selling the cios for a long time and i've watched sort of theevolution of the function. You know many years ago it was considered youknow, sort of the house of maintenance of the blue wire coming out of the walland then and the storage devices and the printers, and what not you know,sort of the tech desk. If you will clel today, competitiveness is made forcompanies at a business level based upon how they operate. Digitally weredigital first and you know tech terms, cloud first sort of world and thatobviously brings more attention to the cios strategy. Their budget isimportant. What they're doing truly impacts the business this last yearwith ovid. You know, i think that the cios function was sort of the mv. Ifyou will on march eleventh everybody, you know that the gauntlet was droppedand said so guess what everybody is working from home and ask the cio foraccess to things like great, so the cio in matter of days and weeks, almostunceremoniously was able to get entire organizations working remotely and notjust up on zoom, but on their...

...collaboration, environments, vp's, thedining room tables you know, being able to get get t customer support, teams ofhuge scale, doing documents and notarizing online and tell a health andeducation. You know every industry amazing transformation, because thetechnology teams were quite adept at making that happen. Like a men to youguys, you did an amazing job, but it also, i think, unleash a level ofcompetitiveness that may be the cats out of the bag. In a sense, you knowcloud first, digital, first expectations for you and your peers is,you know, hey? I don't want to walk into a dmv. I want to do it online. Hei don't want to walk into a bank. I want to do it online and if you're noti'm going to go to the next guy and the next company, and so the business unitsare coming to the cio and saying we need even more competitivedifferentiation here, we need to be faster. We need to be faster than ourcompetition, we need to be more productive and you need your help inguiding us to the right product decision. Therefore, i think the ciosfunction is much more business and revenue driven than technology driven.Of course, technology is a component, but i don't necessarily care how you doit. I need you to be impacting the business so er, sort of reflection, ofmoving from tech to business or revenue impact, i think, is the big macrochange yeah. It's almost like this new age, the revenue minded or our outcomedriven cio, and you drew a great comparison earlier to what what we sawhappen in the cm role about you know eight eight years ago, which was veryinteresting. You want to talk through some of your thoughts on term that ithought it was a great comparion yeah i mean the there's always been thesee,these sort of stories of the the death of the cio or the end of the cio, andone of these. These sad eras was about ten years ago, when we saw the the roleof the cmon to take even more authority in the organization, the board, thesenior leadership. The ceo basically asking the mo to do a much bigger job,to carry more weight around getting closer to customers and giving the c moan even bigger budget, and what we watched was cms, who were leading brandand brand strategy being asked to engage with customers in a much more number, driven quantitative, drivensort of way. And, of course, what they needed was all sorts of tools and thetools that they were acquiring were being acquired for campaign monitoringsocial feeds. You know, add placement et cetera, and there were dozens, ifnot hundreds of tools in this whole marte stack that were being created bythe entrepreneurial community from the likes of mayfield marquette was one ofours and a number of others. You know it's just a fascinating time in history,where the cos budget really swelled to a point where people said wow, the samowas more important than the cio really was the quandary. I remember having anevent where i had c mos and cio sit on a panel and describe how they thoughtabout the business, and it was night and day the c mo was so close to thebusiness, so they're they're vernacular their narrative, their understanding ofthe problem, their understanding of a customer and the c i o at the time wasso internally focused and it was sort of a wake up. Call the cio said jeez.You really know the business better than i do, and i think this was areflection. As i said about ten years ago, and now, if we fast forward totoday digital transformation cloud, first replacement of legacyinfrastructure with a digital first...

...sort of customer engagement inenvironment is now on the shoulders of the cio, because it's complicatedthere's a lot of data. There's a lot of security. There's a lot of architecture,there's a lot of transformation of legacy things and the c mo says youknow i'm not here to design architecture, we're just trying tofulfil a campaign strategy or get close. So please, let's partner, you me youthe cio and me the cm into an engagement that allows us to do thisfor the long term. We need data science strategy to this. We need we need to beable to protect trug privacy, the data and how it's being used. We need realtechnology support, so cios have stepped up to be the the architect,let's say, of this future digital first world. So the c mo baton is passed backto the cio, and i think the stereo will continue to win the day when they bringthemselves closer to the business. Just as the c mo did a few years back, so it's so interesting and something thatwere forseeing at at outreach as well right, we're typically talking to cros.The cio traditionally wasn't overly involved in the decision, but we'veseen this evolution as well play old over the last, i would say twelve toeighteen months, we had a, i want named them, but a very large, well known bankand we initially went through the traditional path and we were talking tothe you know: sales leadership in the cro and very very quickly. They brought in the cio to manage itfrom from start to finish, and what it felt like was exactly what you just said was that thecomplexity of the systems they now had in place the complexity of the data andinsights that they were trying to derive from all of this, what's kind ofjust beyond their capabilities right, they're, a recoming leader. They know acertain still set and we're seeing this this kind of now merge. I guess that'sa another question that i would love your your thoughts on what is your feedback or advice for cal and cropartnership? How do you think they could get more more alined in the endthat the business unit should be really clear on what success looks like whatthe business needs are and the cio should then be able to provide andadvanced architecture and strategy to deploy it its scale with high level ofof productivity and and reduce risk and ensure the lights are really on. So ithink it's a perfect partnership. When the cio says look, i serve at the bestof the business, but the business has got to be clear. What a success looklike then i, the cio, need to be able to structure, not a house of no hey. Ican approve that, oh unless it meets the security requirements, they need tocome at it with a business minded. Okay, there's some security risks here. Thisis how we're going to work through that, because we've got the team that can dothat or where's the data going to reside against all this other data thatwe need to collect the make this meaningful or how is it going tointegrate with these other very important other systems in ourorganization that finance or operations, or whoever else needs the data as well?So it's not single minded but very comprehensive with the idea that thecro says. Oh, i hadn't thought about that. But i'm glad i've got you as apartner to help me think through those things, so that this isn't just a nichesolution, but it really can becomes a policy standard across the organizationso to go big. The two of those rolls need to come together verystrategically and offer a bigger thesis,...

...and i think that's maybe the offer fora company like out reach to think about. Okay. How do we do first step with ourcro as our sponsor and then second step with this combined strategic sale?Let's say with the cio and the cro coming together to talk about? How dowe make this an enterprise wide platform? I mean that would be such anincredible future state where, where the executives go to the cao, not toyou know, please just we. We got to get this done just push this through, butthe cio could take a step back, see the full lens and not just act as an opera.Who gets things done, but look at it strategic, wai and say: hey. Okay,we've got this, but we also have dead a living over here in customer successand and over here, and this is what reos doing and kind of tie it tie it.All together would be incredible. It almost feels like coming full circle.Maybe we need to get the cio some sales training. They can listen and a fullycomprehend, and then you know act as that consultative partner yeah. I mean,i think, that's exactly right and i think in some ways the cio wants to bea value ad to the business junis. In thiscase, to sailers and if they're not equipped with the language or the needs,then maybe they don't know how to approach it. So yeah, if you're,educating the cio to be more, let's say, sales savvy. What are the trends that asales leader is facing? One are the issues to become even more competitive,more productive, more more effective at generating revenue from a top line andfulfilment standpoint, and how does the siro think well? Does a sou cio haveall that language? Well, ideally, they do because they're partnering withtheir sero in an effective way, but yeah. If you were to provide a primerso to speak, you know, so they were fast tracking that conversation andhelping to finish the sentence along with the with the cro. They actuallywere singing kumbaya so to speak together, then i think things move alot faster, because an effective cio wants to be needs to be valuable to thebusiness to sustain their own career. If they're, just a house of now, ifthey're just the blocker based on technology and policy alone, that isobscure, sort of sort of reason or rational to the business, then thebusiness will go around them. And then you have the sort of rogue environmentwhere things actually don't take hold and things don't go big and i thinkthat's a issue that the entrepreneur you out reach have to face, which is,if we don't garde their attention sooner, that we're going to have toface this battle down the road yeah. So i think there's two twolisteners that are going to really find what we're talking about interestingright now, and i want to get some questions that are specifically forthem and one is. We have sales leadership, cros bps of sales thatlisten to this. For those folks, one is stepped one in bridging a relationshipwith your your cio, i mean, then of course, you're gonna have somesemblance of a relationship, but it's not overly. In most organizations, i'vebeen a part of like a a business forward relationship where you'reyou're actually partnering on things. What do you think step? One is to breakthat gap a little bit yeah. I think you have to be able to be appreciative ofhow the cios current stack looks what their current environment is. You knowthis listening part, i think really matters, and i think you can ask someprobing questions around how how the needs of their business unitsare being met. How they're currently approaching things and then offer tothe point you made a few minutes ago, some advice on the kind of pain, and ii would turn the whole thing around and...

...bring bring a brownie so to speak or agift, if you will to the cio, which is here's, how you can promote somethingto your business unit, your cro in an effective way, here's what your peersare doing, here's how other cios have gone about enabling this transition, orthis this communication and high impact impact to sales and who isn't going towant to hear that story. Your ceo is going to want to hear your boards goingto want to hear it and clearly, your cro, that you support is going to wantto hear it and here's how they're going about the process so bring them insightabout. Well, one: listen about their business problems, how they're thinkingabout things they could be overwhelmed with large legacy. You knowinfrastructure and really can't get through it. They couldn't beoverwhelmed with trying to get closer to the sales team, but there they'll beinspired to learn from their peers, excellent excellent advice and then thesecond demographic was probably ears are peking. At least mine would be asi'm listening to this are those individual contributors that are arelistening to this podcast that may be perhaps sell into cios and they're likeoh. This is a this is a trend that i should probably switch up some of mymessaging and how would you coach folks that are trying to get the attention ofa cio to do that today? Now that there's this kind of shift happening soand it's a little bit of the same same message, which is if i was selling to an organization- and i hadgood relationship with you- know: sales leadership, but no relationship withthe cio. How would i go about that? I would try to find peers again referencenames of other cios in our network, others that are are either indirectlyor directly users that might connect and befriend that way within theindustry within the market, and again it has this listening thesis to it,which is i understand where you're coming from. I understand how you thinkabout it: you're going to need to make sure that this has a level ofenterprise scale to it, you're going to need to understand the level ofintegrations and how integrations are actually managed, and what thattechnology looks like you're going to want to understand how things aresupported and what what it infrastructure are needed to make. Thishappen, you're also going to under going to want to understand what levelof security and compliance to security standards are already in place. This isa little bit of motherhood and apple pie stuff, it's probably part of astandard presentation deck that you have at outreach, but if you offer itin a way that suggestive that you have spent time to learn from other ciosabout what are the most critical things, and am i missing anything and offer itin a very i guess, a gallitin sort of way, which is were thoughtful to this.We know at some point we wanted to get to you in advance rather than behind,and i want to just bring you up to speed on the kind of homework we'vedone with other cios to make sure our platform is cio ready. That's excellent.This future stake that that we're moving into that you're kind of pantingfor us obviously really excites outreach. We want to be the platformthat the drives business outcome so seeing cios adopt a revenue or outcomedriven mindset is, is music to our years and, of course thank you forhelping surface this and and sharing it with our with our listeners. I'm alwaysshocked how fast time goes when a you having a good conversation, but as wesort of wrap up there was a lot there. I was a timed topic. I always asked thesame question at the end. You know if people forget the last thirty minutes,you know they were working out. They...

...were multitasker, doing all sorts ofthings and they only remember three things from this discussion. What wouldyou want those to be always approach, a relationship as if you need to bringvalue expect that of yourself before you start asking to bring something and do so in the form of a lasting longterm? Multigenerational partnership- everybody you meet in the businessworld will probably be a friend for life. If you approach in that way, and then the axim you've got two earsand one mouth apply, that algorithm shut up half of the time or listentwice as much or a little of both of that, and in doing so you will present in a way that's somuch more thoughtful and refreshing generally to people who have alwaysbeen screamed at by yet another demo or presentation or power point or point tobe made stopping selfish and be more galatian and things really open upfantastic advice bring value every single time. You show up optimized forlasting long to multigenerational relationships. I love that one twoyears on to optimize. Accordingly, that is gold. Give me a thank you againreally appreciate it. I had a lot of fun and for all those listeners, petrinow with us and we'll see an ex episode. This was another episode of the salesengagement podcast to help this get in front of more eyes and ears. Pleaseleave us a shining five star with you: join us at sales engagement com for newepisodes, resources in the book on sales engagement to get the most out ofyour sales engagement strategy, make sure to check out out reached tio. Theleading sales engagement platform see you on the next episode.

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