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Quotable Podcast Episode #83: How Small Business CEOs Improve Their Sales, with Joe Galvin

Hosts: Kevin Micalizzi, Kristie Poon
 
Successful small businesses don’t have better tools — they’re executing better. Join Joe Galvin, Chief Research Officer at Vistage, as he shares findings from his research for Customer Growth: Decisions for the SMB CEO. With a focus on cybersecurity, people, and technology, you can drive greater organizational execution. Take your company from digital transition to transformation.

Those organizations with dedicated leaders are making better use of technology, using better technologies, and getting more for their technology investment.”

Joe Galvin | Chief Research Officer, Vistage
 
 
 
 

Episode Transcript

Kevin Micalizzi: Welcome to the Quotable podcast. Today we're going to be speaking with Joe Galvin, Chief Researcher at Vistage. We're going to be talking about research that he's been doing around small business and what it takes to succeed. Let's jump into it.

Joe, I am super excited to have you on the podcast.

Joe Galvin: Thank you Kevin, it’s a pleasure to be here. I've got a lot of information and data to share and some of the implications I think that people will value as they look ahead into 2018 and beyond.

Micalizzi: And we're joined today by Kristie Poon. She's a Senior Marketing Manager with Salesforce Small Business.

Kristie Poon: Thank you, Kevin. Glad to be here.

Micalizzi: So, Joe, you've done some research for the small business team here, and you and I have been talking about having you on the show for over a year now, so I'm incredibly excited that we're actually doing it this time around.

Galvin: Yeah, me too, Kevin.

Micalizzi: Would you share a little bit about the research you've been doing?

Galvin: Yeah. This is a study that we did. We took the survey data back in August. We had over 1.300 CEOs, business owners, presidents respond to the survey, so we've got an amazing demographic which is the Visage member base. And we wanted to ask them a series of questions about, what are the critical decisions and what are the key investments they're making as it relates to customer engagement?

Then we follow that by an understanding of, what are your winning strategies at marketing, in sales, and in customer service? And to get insight as to what really matters, we did a segmentation of the community. One of the questions we asked was — and this was, again, August of  '17 — so prior year revenue growth, current projected year 2017 revenue growth.

And we separated into the 28% of the companies who were projecting  double-digit growth for two consecutive years, as to the 8% who were flat to no growth. And we wanted to see, was there a difference between what the higher-performing SMB CEOs were doing as compared to those that weren't.

And there's a lot of factors that go into it, market, company maturity, size, you know, you've kind of got to balance it among reality. But, it directionally provided some really interesting insights that we share in the report.

Micalizzi: Excellent. And Kristie, from your perspective, were there certain things you were trying to uncover?

Poon: Yeah. For our team, we want to benchmark, what is the industry doing? Specifically, what are high-growth companies doing so that we can share what those companies are doing with other SMBs so that they can also deploy some of those practices and insights into their business.

Micalizzi: Excellent. So, Joe, let's talk about what you uncovered.

Galvin: Well, what we learned is a couple things. One is that everyone is doing the same types of things. It's not that the underperforming aren't doing it well; it's just the higher-performing companies are doing it much more effectively. They are doing it much more consistently across all the winning strategies. They tend to have dedicated leadership in place.

And one of the things I thought we'd see for sure as you go from small to big, even within the continuum of small business, you would see a logical connection to when people added managers. But it turned out there was no correlation between size of company and having those roles in place. Rather it was that you had a dedicated manager in marketing, in sales, in customer service, that made the difference in performance.

And then that translated into a really powerful effect in terms of not just the use of technology, because everyone's using technology, one flavor or another, but we found that those high-performing organizations, they were 56% more likely to be more effective in using the technology versus those without that are not nearly as effective. Fifty-nine percent were ineffective in using the technology.

So, it's not a single factor, it's a combination of factors. And a lot of it, I believe, has to do with the ability to impart solid leadership, and have that leadership have the ability to execute.

Micalizzi: So, in that, Joe, I hear the leadership side because if you don't have somebody driving, then huge challenges. But on the technology side, there are so many options available even for small business. Did you uncover specific factors from the technology perspective that were helping folks to be on the more productive side?

Galvin: Yeah, a couple things came out of it. One is that, again, comparing high-growth to no-growth, we found that both high-growth and no-growth were investing and all in on marketing applications. I mean, marketing has radically changed. It's a force multiplier for small and mid-sized business. So, I wasn't surprised that everybody was trying and working on marketing.

But there was a large difference, when you looked at sales and service, the number of high-growth companies that had a dedicated application, versus homegrown, versus nothing. The results are predictable. If you want the data, it's in the report. But it shows that the high-growth companies are more likely to have a packaged application for sales and for customer service.

And then you turn and you ask that question of, what is that application? I call it an [app-apalooza] because we literally had over 300 different vendors from, you know, point 299 app store type apps, to fully engaged, fully integrated powerful systems.

And I think the challenge that small and mid-sized business face is, when do you grow out of spreadsheets, and when you do, what do you grow into? And this becomes part of where the next element of our study will go as we look forward is, how do you progress into that?

Poon: Yeah, I think, Joe, from our Dreamforce session, we had one customer, Pixability, remember Bettina saying at one point she looked across their business processes and technology that they use and they had 100 different applications that they were using to run their business.

Micalizzi: It's doesn't surprise me.

Poon: And so, at one point she was like, okay, what are we really using, what's working for us, and what do we need to cut out?

Galvin: It's a broader trend, Kristie, that I think has been in play since there's been sales and sales technology, and that is the movement from tools of individual productivity like a spreadsheet, or PowerPoint, or Word, to those tools that drive organization execution.

Like the ability to impart a common language, a common approach in terms of how you describe customers and customer phases, and then having the discipline to use the technology to capture and analyze that data.

Somewhere on that continuum — from I roll my own to I'm just going to invest in established best-practices — is where we see people on the continuum. And directionally, the data shows that those that have dedicated leaders are twice as likely to outperform, as well as they're more likely to have a dedicated application and get better value from that.

I think we're in this mode of moving from digital transition to digital transformation. Meaning, as I move from paper to spreadsheets, or spreadsheets to some little point application, I'm just transitioning my analogue processes into a digital platform.

True digital transformation is to look at what the platform has modeled in terms of established best practices on a vertical, business-size basis, and adapt what you do to technology. Because if you don't believe that technology is the change agent of our generation, then you will be disintermediated rather quickly out there.

Micalizzi: Right. And I know one of the things that comes up in conversations on the podcast often is the customer experience and the fact that customers are present on so many channels. And from a sales perspective, as well as a support or a service perspective, they expect you to communicate with them on every one of those channels as if they were all one channel.

I'm curious if you found in the research you were doing anything that kind of talks to that kind of transformation of your process. I think it goes even beyond, you know, how do I make this more streamlined, or how do we make a sale in the most simple way possible? But also, how do we meet those customer expectations that are growing pretty rapidly?

Galvin: I think this transcends the sales, marketing, customer service feature function discussion. Rather, it really begins and ends with how you think about and how you choose to engage with customers. Some customers are traditional, analogue, buy my lunch, call me on the phone. Others are omni-channel, digital-channel of choice. This presents tremendous challenges for small businesses to not just have a presence, but have a consistent, high-quality presence.

But if you think about it, pure, customer-focus, being customer oriented, your foundation begins with your customer service and your customer experience. One of the data points that came out of this was the top two winning strategies for high-growth companies in customer service were communications and quality.

And what's fascinating about that is that it connects to the number two and number three winning strategy for marketing and sales, which is referrals. Referrals begin with your existing customers and their desire to share with their friends, their network, the people they know, whether or not they value you as a provider of a service or a product or whatever it is.

That is a foundation. When you look back and see how that connects to winning marketing and sales strategy, it really presents this ability to fully understand the customer, connect with the customer where they want to be and the way they want to be connected to, and that will in turn drive the foundation for you to grow your business through the most common and probably oldest sales and marketing tactic there is, referrals.

Micalizzi: Kristie, I'm curious, what were the biggest surprises for you in the research?

Poon: Yeah, I think that, well, we took a look at, what are the top strategies against marketing, against sales and service. Specifically at sales, I think that some of the strategies were not so revolutionary, or something so different. It is already the tactics that we've kind of used since the old times, but with modifications, and the kind of key lining that underscored the entire research was how technology enabled or amplified those top strategies for those high-growth companies.

Micalizzi: So, it's not the availability of the technology, it's really how —

Galvin: It's execution. When it comes down to it, high-performing small and mid-sized businesses, as with all, they out-execute. Like you said, the strategies and the tactics are similar. The high-performing organizations, they out-execute. They out-execute because they are better able to be more efficient, better able to share information, better able to collaborate, proven by a leader who is focused on getting things done.

Poon: So, Joe, you mention leadership and the application of technology as kind of key factors in what's transforming sales organizations, marketing organizations, and service organizations to be those high-growth teams. We found in separate Salesforce research for SMBs, you know, many SMB owners or SMB leaders, I think the stat was, about two-thirds of them had two or three more roles in their current position.

So, saying a sales leader might also be responsible for marketing or service even. So, what are the strategies or insights maybe that you can share with us that makes those leaders that maybe have multiple jobs more effective than those stagnant companies, or the ones that are not performing as well?

Micalizzi: That's a great question.

Galvin: I think what you see is a continuum of growth. And again, depending upon where you enter into a company and where it is on its growth trajectory it would be different. But if you look at the very small, at the one to three or four million, that entrepreneur, that CEO, that owner, they're going to be wearing multiple hats.

The key question they have to get to, and this is a key transition point for CEOs, is when do you stop working in the business and start working on the business. Because if you're working in the business you're wearing all those hats and you're doing all those activities. At what point do you cross the chasm and say, I now need to work on the business and get someone to work in the business in these functions.

And depending upon that individual's skill set and their thoughts and the key decisions they make, is going to drive that continuum. So, what we see, and again, this is maybe not a major surprise, but when you have dedicated focused leadership with specialized skills, you will perform better in any one of those categories.

And when you multiply that across multiple categories, obviously that's going to accelerate. The question is, in your growth cycle, when can you afford, or can you not afford, to continue to do it all yourself. It's the entrepreneur's dilemma.

Micalizzi: Right. Were there any indicators that you've come across that would help someone make that decision?

Galvin: No. I think the drivers of that have a lot to do with where the CEO comes from. Do they come from a product engineering or a thought leadership content side, or do they come from a marketing, do they come from a sales, do they come from an execution — ? Wherever their orientation is, they are most likely to hire away from that skill set first.

And, you know, sales is one that everybody thinks they know how to sell until they run into a professional salesperson who knows, who has a process. They have an understanding of customer efficacy, they know how to connect with humans, and they leverage technology to drive their performance so they can full-circle connect on their customer. And they realize they really don't know anything about sales.

I think you do, then you reach a period when you go to add your first or second salesperson — when you now go to add that fifth or that tenth, you now reach a point, do I take my best salesperson and turn them into my worst sales manager because they know how to sell?

Or do I go outside and bring in a professionally trained manager and accept the learning curve that will go with them because they'll bring the process, the structure, and the discipline you need as you scale a sales organization.

Micalizzi: I love that expression. Take your best salesperson and turn them into your worst sales manager.

Galvin: Yeah. That's an age-old —

Micalizzi: Unfortunately happens far too often.

Galvin: Yeah. Well, and again, my belief on that is it's driven by the absence of real enablement functions back in time where the best salespeople were those that were able to figure it out for themselves the best, and they just shared their secrets in an analogue, who-you-knew kind of world.

Now that you've got technology and the ability to collaborate across multiple people, multiple organizations, the requirement for the sales manager to be the know-all, be-all, is augmented by other resources that could help them craft and shape all those areas of sales skills and sales training.

Poon: So, Joe, let's talk about the top strategies that sales teams are using in these high-growth companies.

Galvin: One of the data points that we didn't bring out is that high-growth companies are much more likely to go after new clients. They're 29% more likely to go and get new clients. So, you look at that mix between existing and new, they're more likely to get new customers. So, we focus on what are those new customer strategies.

You know, at the top of the list is relationships. Traditional face-to-face selling. And again, you think about the model of the small or mid-size business. You're always doing business locally. Sometimes regionally, sometimes nationally, sometimes globally, but always locally. So, the ability to have face-to-face relationships, especially in long-term, traditional small businesses. That remains at the top of the list.

Next is a defined sales process. Which is, you have an organizational understanding of how your customers want to buy, and you've been able to translate that into measurable, definable sales actions and steps.

And with that common sales process comes common sales language. Meaning we don't reinvent how we sell every time we sell. Rather, we've now been able to capture that, document that, and then put some resources behind it.

And then coming in third is referrals. I mean referrals remain, especially in a small and mid-size business, it's who you know, and can they connect you to the next person. Or, more importantly, are your customers at the high end of that net promoter score? Are they out there when someone says, hey, who do you use for this, or where did you get that?

They say, oh, I work with Kristie. Kristie is just amazing. That's who you want to work with. And that just radiates, going back to customer service, the quality that you drive. But it was interesting that referrals came in third. In the enterprise world, I don't know that it would be the third strategy. But you think of the dynamics of a small or midsize business, it makes a lot of sense.

Micalizzi: Yep, totally agree. And Kristie is amazing to work with.

Poon: Thank you.

Galvin: True that.

Poon: For many businesses across the gamut, acquiring new customers is really hard. And that's probably more so with small businesses that are strapped for resources. So, what would you say are the tactics that they're using to get those new customers?

Galvin: Well, when you think about new customers, the first thing you have to do is attract. It's an attract, engage, and fulfill model. So, how do you attract new customers? This is where your digital marketing comes in. This is where referrals come in. This is where you create awareness about yourself in this space.

More likely, in a small business or a medium-sized business locally, it's working into the identified accounts that you think are adjacent to or approximate to the ones that you have.

Ideally, you're knocking on competitors’ doors, just as they're knocking on your doors. So, in the attract phase, it's the ability to connect to customers and understand how your product or solution can add some undiscovered value for them. Whether you're replacing an existing capability, you're complementing, adding to, or upgrading existing capability, or introducing completely new capabilities.

And in each one of those types of sales there's a different continuum in terms of risk avoidance by buyers, but it's the traditional how do you attract them?

Once you get someone attracted and you get them engaged in a business discussion about the issues, challenges, or decisions that they face, now it's a question of, does the salesperson apply that sales process that they know has been successful because it's been successful with other customers, and be able to provide this customer with information they need as they go from, I'm kind of aware of who you guys are.

Okay, I need to understand who you are. Let me evaluate whether or not you are right for me and how you might compare, and then I'll select who I want. And, as we know, 50% of those decisions go to missed or no decision as people choose not to do anything. But again, that's another conversation.

Micalizzi: So, Joe, let me ask you, as a small business owner, where should I be focusing and investing my time, my energy, and even my money as we're moving into 2018 here?

Galvin: Yeah. In a separate study, we do a study we call our quarterly confidence index where we ask our membership questions about the economy. Where people are making investments is, one, we're seeing that 56% of CEOs are going to increase investments in 2018. This is December data. Fifty-six percent.

Seventy-one percent are going to increase or expand their workforce. So, there's a huge war for talent going on out there. Everyone wants to get the right people on the bus. They want to get the wrong people off the bus. And with 71% of small and midsize businesses nationally trying to hire, as hard as it is for you to hire, the counsel we give is, what are you doing to protect and defend the people you have? So, talent is high on that list.

The number one investment was technology. So, when we asked organizations, what are your top decisions, talent and expanding workforce was top. We asked them what their investments were. Fifty-six percent were going to increase investments, and technology was at the top of that list.

So, as we look into 2018 going forward, we see tremendous optimism. In fact, our quarterly confidence index is at a 10-year high. We've got 83% of CEOS nationally expect increased revenue in 2018, and 67% expect increased profits.

I spoke at one of our events in Dallas just this week, and I opened by saying, these are the good old days. Interest rates are low, easy access to capital. It's a good time to be in the game. We all know that trees don't grow to the sky, so where we see the investments going forward, people are focused on at a level is in talent, and a big chunk of that is sales, marketing, and customer service resources.

And then technologies, which, there's fresh data that shows CRM is at the top of that technology wish list.

Micalizzi: Right. My question for you is, from this technology perspective, are there specific things that people need to be looking for? I know you mentioned the open communication and collaboration before. Were there other aspects that you've uncovered that people should be looking for, whether it's their CRM or other enabling technologies for their sales?

Galvin: Well, I think when we talk about technology, the first question I would ask anyone is, do you have an active cybersecurity strategy? Because we found that 62% do not have an active strategy.

Micalizzi: Right.

Galvin: We found that 24% have been hacked in the last 12 months.

Micalizzi: Oh, gosh.

Galvin: And I've heard stories from $1,500 to $175,000. So, before we talk about the next level of technology, let's talk about securing the technology that we have. Kevin, you have healthcare, right?

Micalizzi: I do.

Galvin: Why? Because should you have a catastrophic medical issue, you don't want to have a financial catastrophe with that. Yet we've got organizations that don't have cyber; it's like not having healthcare.

Anyway. Beyond that, where we see the focus is — and this is fresh data, we're currently doing a pull with just our small business leaders, those are one to 20 million, we close next week. But CRM is, the technologies where you're going to spend, CRM was at 55%. Followed by ERP accounting at 28, HCM at 19, and commerce at 22, and then others.

So, I think people, as you realize we're in a growth market where everyone is looking to acquire new customers, everyone's trying to grow existing business, the shift seems to be on those technologies that are focused on connecting better to your customers.

And this, again, depends upon your business and the context of what you're trying to accomplish, but it begins with sound customer service. You're not going to add new customers to the existing customers you have.

So, the ability to have everyone, even in a small organization, have a common view about where this customer is, what product, what service, whatever's going on with them. I think that's probably the foundational layer of building a customer-focused, high-growth company.

Then you have to create, and this has been a challenge for organizations, is the remix in marketing. How much do you go digital, how much do you go traditional? Are events still an effective [unintelligible] for you? Are referrals and trade shows where you need to hang out? And how you grow business, again, is contextual and based on your size company.

And then it gets to the customer. At the end of the day, it's about connecting to customers, understanding what's important to them, understanding what their concept for success is, understanding the obstacles they feel they'll face, and then being able to connect with them with your product or services in a way that will resonate with their goals and objectives.

Poon: Joe, do you find that in recent years there's been a renewed focus on CRM technology for growing business? Or, do you think historically, you know, CRM has always been a top-priority investment, but it's just kind of a matter of resource and investment availability.

Galvin: You know, I don't have data on this, Kristie, but I would suggest to you that what I am seeing is an emerging class of elite sales professionals who combine the traditional skill sets of understanding customers and sales process and methodology, and whether they're in a transactional or enterprise class sale, those traditional sales skills with innate technology skills.

It's no longer cool to say, yeah, I don't use that. That's what old gray-haired guys say. So, this emerging technology skill set is emerging on an individual level beyond just the use of Excel and PowerPoint. You still, I think, have the reticence at the executive level for big, big package applications because everybody knows someone who tried and failed at that.

And over the history of CRM, all vendors included, there's been a lot of money spent and not necessarily a lot of gain and productivity, or really, sales effectiveness. So, I think there has to be a change at that level again to embrace it. And again, this connects back to our data that shows those organizations with dedicated leaders are making better use of technology, using better technologies, and getting more for their technology investment.

So, I think that shift has to occur at that level. And then those salespeople that want to remain, you know, in the Post-it note and cue card world, I think you could find a typewriter for them somewhere.

Micalizzi: [Laughs] Love it. Joe, you've talked about how it's important to get the right people when you're looking at technology, cybersecurity, as well as making sure you have the right tools for your stage of growth and where you're at, whether that's CRM, ERP, whatever other tools. What other aspects should people be looking at?

Galvin: Well, as we described, you have to have your cybersecurity, your perimeter defenses in place before you make any more investments. Optimize the investments you have in place. Add incrementally where it's going to help you connect to customers and new customers in ways that you couldn't before, or improve the efficiencies of how you do it today.

And now we're seeing emerging technologies. Things like artificial intelligence, chatbots, intelligent digital assistants, connected devices, the IoT thing, blockchain. And this is a survey, again, we're in the middle of it so the data is not final, but a first pass shows that 52% just aren't interested in anything advanced or new. But 24% are extremely interested in pursuing artificial intelligence and moving from data to real data insights. And another 31% were interested in the IoT-type stuff.

So, we're beginning to see, based on industry and based on the progressive nature of the organization, small and midsize business beginning to step into some of these emerging technologies. You know, there's always going to be that first group that gets out in front and they have an advantage while they do, while others continue to struggle with the legacy applications they spend money on but don't really use.

Poon: Joe, I like how you mentioned AI because that's been a hot topic for Salesforce these past couple years. So, like you said, most small businesses, they're kind of wary or AI. They don't know, what exactly is it, but more importantly, how can it help their business, how can they actually apply it. Can you share what AI can look like for small business?

Galvin: Yes, I think there's an intellectual maturity that comes with the usage of advanced technologies. To read about AI, to see AI presentations, it's easy to roll your eyes and say, oh, we're too small for that. But the reality is the challenges with AI exist on the end-user side, and the ability to organize their data or to get their data structured in such a way that they can take advantage of that.

So, before someone can really leverage what AI can do, they have to be a fairly mature and fairly progressive user of existing technology. You know, and if you're putting in faulty data, or manual data, then you're just analyzing bigger datasets of bad data. So, it's those organizations that are more mature in their usage of technology, that are more advanced in how they leverage it, that are prepared to take advantage of what AI can do.

Unfortunately, some people will try to leapfrog from, you know, we're down here at a level one, we're going to jump all the way up here and use AI. The collateral damage will fall out over the course of time as that falls down.

Micalizzi: Joe, is that the difference you were talking about earlier between just digitizing your existing process and trying to innovate your selling process? Is that a part of this?

Galvin: Artificial intelligence is an example of one of the benefits you realize when you have made the digital transformation to totally embrace how your technology is going to drive your business processes, right? Versus transition, this is how we did it on the white board, this is how we did it in spreadsheets, this is how we did it in this thing, now we want to do it here.

That is building the faster horse that Henry Ford's customers wanted. Real transformation is to leave that behind, look at the established best practices that exist inside a packaged application, and then apply your business to that. The power of technology to manage the data, to analyze the data, to follow processes is far superior than your ability to figure it out the first time.

So, this transformation is to fully understand what is possible for your technology, what that means to your business, and then adapting your processes, how that technology will make that happen.

Poon: So, for the benefit of our listeners, what does AI look like for sales?

Galvin: Well, for sales, there are two aspects to this. Where it is immediately providing benefit is in analysis of the data that you have that you know is accurate. Inventory, customer building, what customers have, and being able to connect those dots on those factual things that we can count in the back office.

That's where you're starting to see preferences, proficiencies, willingness to buy, propensity to buy. The other side where I think it has real power is when you can get a level of consistency in how your sales people move through the buying/selling process, that they have discipline in maintaining updates, they have accuracy in identifying the steps in customer behaviors.

When you begin to capture that subjective data that goes on in the everyday world, when you can capture that data, that is when you'll truly take a step forward and truly begin to understand how, as opposed to the analog world of, you know, Joe talking to Kevin, talking to Kristie about what worked, you can now pull that across all your sales people over customer type over time and begin to apply data to what we believe is an opinion.

Micalizzi: Sounds great.

Galvin: It sounds great. It sounds great, go and do that.

Micalizzi: Yeah.

Poon: I was going to ask, if an organization is interested in applying emerging technologies to their processes, their business, what are some of the baby steps they should be taking in getting that to their organization?

Galvin: Two aspects. It would, one, be the maturity of your back-end systems in terms of customer management, in terms of material supply, IT, whatever it is that you provide, and be able to link those back in more ERP-type systems. That's step one.

Step two, and the first question I would ask when you now talk about real customer data, not customer data in terms of name, address, that type of stuff. But, why do they buy, where's the competition, what are the phases? That real customer information. The first question I would is, do you trust your forecast? How accurate is your forecast?

Then, when they say, yeah, my forecast is good, then you say, how about your pipeline? Do you have confidence in your pipeline data? Uh, do you really?

Micalizzi: Right.

Galvin: When you can answer that question with confidence, then you're ready to step up and apply data to it. Otherwise you're just using advanced technology to confuse you faster, richer, greater levels of confusion.

Micalizzi: Yep. Garbage in, garbage out. If you don't have the right data, yeah.

Galvin: That's true at any speed.

Micalizzi: Yep, absolutely. So, unfortunately we're going to have to wrap up here. Before I ask the last question, Kristie, we can share these links to the reports in the show notes, so for any listener who is superexcited to dig into this data a little bit more, we'll have those links there for you.

I want to ask you our lightning round question. Joe, if you could take all the knowledge and experience you have now, go back to the beginning of your career and give yourself one piece of advice, what would you tell yourself?

Galvin: Invest in technology.

Micalizzi: Okay.

Galvin: I started my business career in 1984 selling for Xerox in New York City. I call it the golden days, the ending days, of analog sales. I would go into a building in New York City, 117 offices in 64 floors, and sell copiers. Moved up the food chain. I had a legal assignment on Wall Street where I was replacing IBM Correcting Selectric II typewriters critical to a law firm with a Xerox 620 Memory Writer. This is circa 1986.

And Kevin, I know you won't believe this, Kristie, you'll be shocked, but this electronic typewriter, it had two and a half pages of memory. Two and a half whole pages of memory. And I was selling these for $2,000 each and I couldn't get them fast enough.

Micalizzi: Wow.

Galvin: Looking back in time, it would be technology. And without providing any vendor bias, I would also tell myself to buy Salesforce stock the first day they went public. And I say that because I had seen Salesforce in early 2001. I had just done a global Salesforce automation project. I was a Gartner analyst so I couldn't invest, I couldn't buy stock.

Micalizzi: Right.

Galvin: But I had just done this client server, you know, remote sync 28.8 modem train wreck thing, and then I saw the early versions of Salesforce. If I had done that, well, it would be a different story for Joe these days.

Micalizzi: Joe wouldn't be on this podcast, he'd be lying on a beach somewhere, right?

Galvin: Probably somewhere between that, yeah.

Micalizzi: I love it. So, Kristie, before we wrap up I want to actually ask you that question as well. At this point in your career, if you could take all the knowledge and experience you have, go back to the beginning of your career, and give yourself one piece of advice, what would you tell yourself?

Poon: I think it's the same thing that I've been working toward, and that's just never stop learning. Which is applicable to technology, applicable to the relationship building that you have with others. You know, don't ever stop questioning, you know, what's that, what's this? Keep learning, because that's where you're finding growth professionally, personally, and with whatever company you take with you.

Micalizzi: Sounds great. Awesome. Thank you so much for joining me, Joe.

Galvin: Thank you, Kevin. It's a pleasure, and let's make sure we do this on a regular basis.

Micalizzi: Yeah, not wait another year before we get you back on the podcast.

Galvin: Right. Thank you very much.

Poon: Joe, that means you have to give another research.

Galvin: Well, we can work on that too, Kristie. We've got some ideas.

Poon: Perfect.

Micalizzi: And Kristie, thank you so much for jumping in with me.

Poon: All right. Thank you so much, Kevin. It's fun.

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