Author: Chelsey Nugteren

sales and marketing management

{SMM Article} What B2B marketers can learn from B2C

AUSTIN, TX (April 2019) Mereo President, Jay Mitchell, recently has had the honor of sharing thought leadership in the prestigious print magazine Sales and Marketing Management.

In his article, titled “What B2B marketers can learn from B2C,” Mitchell addressed who should take responsibility for keeping the pulse on the market, as well as gathering, optimizing and internally dispersing insights within an organization. These essential tasks are often overlooked or misplaced.

Mitchell goes on to share the status quo of market research and insights, why CMOs should take on this responsibility and the most-effective cadence and method to sharing these market insights with others, especially in terms of sales enablement.

Here is an expert:

B2B organizations can gain a better pulse on the market in a few ways:

  • Sales invites marketing to participate in buyer interactions — Marketing is able to gain and maintain a pulse on the market through firsthand interactions, and sales provides marketing the opportunity to do so on a regular basis when it will be most valuable to winning the sales cycle. Net, marketing adds value to sales and is invited to help more — gaining invaluable buyers insights along the way.

To read the other two compelling points and the entire article, visit Sales and Marketing Management online.


For organizations seeking to instill the go-to-market tenets paramount to winning an unfair share™ of sales cycles, Mereo powers sustainable revenue performance. Market leaders such as Ariba, Pitney Bowes, Accel-KKR, Appirio, SAP, Ace Hardware, Bazaarvoice, E2open, Microsoft, The Riverside Company, Ingram Micro, North Plains, OKI Data, CenturyLink, Oracle, The Vintage Racing League and dozens more employ Mereo’s revenue performance programs to unleash repeatable revenue growth. For more information about Mereo, visit the firm’s website at


Adaptable leadership in a business era of continuous change

customer value

 Pat Ryan is the general manager of Axway North America, a technology company that helps customers move, integrate and expose data securely and reliably in support of critical business exchanges with their business community and within their enterprise. Mr. Ryan has an extensive background in sales, with more than 20 years’ experience in sales leadership positions.

I have been at Axway for five years, initially as the senior vice president of sales and now as general manager of our North America business. In the past five years there has been an unprecedented pace of change in our industry. Our customers must absorb and process increasingly large amount of data, address sophisticated security threats, and have the analytics and insight to support narrowing transactions windows — while exposing new channels offered or consumed via a hybrid integration platform founded on integral API and micro service backbone.

Dealing with the pace of change and continuous evolution is not unique to my experience or to Axway. Many other strategic, high-level positions, from CROs, CIOs, CMOs and CSOs, are experiencing similar industry shifts with similar challenges and opportunities.

The following are some observations that may benefit others who are responsible for generating revenue and profitable growth for their organizations.

Customer value is always shifting.

My primary job is to deliver customer value. To do this successfully, I must continually look for ways to help my customer improve their business. It is critical to keep your business and technology skills sharp. I always try to keep an eye on how innovation will help our customer meet their business objectives: What upcoming changes will our customers face? The upcoming trends in their industry? How can we continue to help our customers make and save money and protect their brand? What are future problems our customers may face that we could help them solve?

It is critical with the pace of change in our industry to keep your skills sharp. This means that you must have an intelligent curiosity to understand the challenges of the market you call on and how your solutions can be applied to deliver positive business outcomes.

At Axway, our customers do not make a one-time technology purchase of a “thing.” They buy business solutions, increasingly as a service in the form of a subscription, which means we must provide value from the start to forever in order to win and maintain their business. We strive to stay true to our value and to protect our customers’ prior investments while offering new ways to consume and offer our solutions. I often say we are not in revolution, we are in evolution aligned with the industry and where our customers are going. For example, the shift to digital and mobile has given us the opportunity to enhance our industry-leading integration solutions to support new channels of communication and collaboration for our customers.

The successful seller today realizes that it is all about the customer and their business needs with the ability to clearly link the value of their solution to positive business outcomes. The challenge and opportunity for sales professionals becomes: Are you customer-centric? Do you invest the time to keep your skills sharp? Are you maintaining relevance? If not, you will become a dinosaur very fast.

It takes a village to deliver customer delight.

The internet is a valuable tool allowing customers and prospects to effectively research products, changing the seller’s role from “product educator” to “solution provider.” In many cases, when a seller engages a prospect today the buyers have already formed a solution vision. Therefore, the seller’s ability to provide a strong point of view of how their solution can deliver a better business outcome than their competitor is the new standard. Understanding the solution and technology remains important, but more important is the ability to link technology to solving business problems.

As an effective leader, you must have right people in the right place to support the new customer buying process. “It takes a village” rings true today as customer buying shifts from traditional software license sales to SaaS. There must be intense focus on customer success, through sales cycle and delivery, to adoption and expanding the solution. Our customer delight team is composed of sales, presales consultants, professional services and customer success managers all focused on delivering the solution. Today’s buyer expects fast time to value, flexibility to add new capabilities in term, security/compliance as essentials, wide adoption of the solution and measurable return on investment. An analogy a former mentor coined is that “the best sellers are CEOs of their territory” — they develop and formalize their plan, communicate it well with the cross functional team and customer, and work collaboratively to deliver value and delight to their customers.

Don’t be left behind.

If you succumb to the notion that you have it all figured out and have not adopted a continuous learning philosophy you and your team will be passed by in the proverbial New York minute.

Successful technology companies are always seeking to improve quality, agility, support, best practices, methodologies and tactics to meet customer demands. Even when looking back three to five years, one can see significant shifts in our customers’ needs and buying patterns. If you are locked into what was successful in the past, you will likely miss opportunities to provide more value to your customers and catalysts that will help drive innovation that extends the value of your solutions. Without question there is a shift in customer expectation of success that is clearly focused on business outcomes and not features, functions and benefits.

I recently read an article where many industry leaders like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have adopted the five-hour rule for continuous learning. Ben Franklin, throughout his adult life, devoted one hour every workday to deliberate learning, hence the five-hour rule. No matter how much an organization commits to systemic training and enablement it will not replace the individual commitment to self-learning.

In short, today’s economy and market demand that you to be adaptable, passionate and dedicated to creating customer success. What you did yesterday doesn’t guarantee success for tomorrow.

business reviews

When business reviews are less about metrics and more about people

Chris Carmouche is an operating partner and president at HireBetter, a new kind of recruiting firm that offers permanent search, interim solutions and advisory services. He’s uncovered a way to make internal business reviews mean something more at his company — and make an impact on performance, specifically helping take the company from $3.8 mm to $7 mm in revenue in just one year. In this guest blog post, he shares his tactics that have turned business reviews into an art of caring, transparency, accountability and real results.

When I arrived at HireBetter, I quickly noticed there were some people in the wrong seats, and as such the company as a whole wasn’t achieving what it was capable of.

The culture here has always been that of competitiveness with a dash of accountability and a familial flavor. Some days I have to open my arms for a hug and other days I must point toward the invisible time-out chair.

I took the opportunity at our internal business reviews to get to know people. The business reviews broke out into weekly stints with the sales team, the marketing team and one-on-one top-level executives; every other week one-on-one with other employees; and a quarterly off-site meeting where we bring in leaders from around the world as we realign to our core goals and values.

While metrics are crucial, I make the meetings about each person and building relationships.

If you and I ever sit down at a meeting together, you’ll likely be asked, “How are you doing?” And I’m not asking about how are you doing on the job. I honestly want to know how you are doing as a person, inside and outside of the office.

There are meetings where we never get to the metrics. I value the individuals I work with and care about their lives outside of their jobs. I want them to be successful in all aspects of their life.

When meetings become about people, new metrics and a different kind of data become relevant: a person’s strengths, weaknesses, goals and skills.

I will use the information I glean from meeting with people and openly and transparently rank them on what they are doing well and where they could do better.

If one of my employees needs a challenge, I will uncover a piece of the business that isn’t working and provide them the opportunity to fix it—on a crunched deadline. When you push someone, they will either fold or stand up to the challenge and prove their problem-solving skills and come out even stronger on the other side.

More than building relationships with employees, internal meetings allow for tough discussions and real growth

As a leader, I’m open and transparent — and willing to have hard conversations to help people reach their potential and meet their personal and professional goals.

I want people to find their right role, their right fit, even if that means it isn’t with HireBetter. By getting to the core of each individual at this company, I have since shifted people around to their ideal roles and we’ve gone from $3.8 to $7 million revenue. That is reason alone not to blow off business reviews as not worthwhile.

Chris Carmouche is an experienced leader with a demonstrated history of guiding companies to fast growth. He touts 25 years of management experience in six different industries with 13 years as an operating partner. He has successfully scaled four different companies, including one that took a company from $13 mm to $100 mm in three years.

Mereo makes TSW Top 50 Sales and Marketing Blogs of 2018

2018 Top 50 Sales & Marketing Blogs Widget

AUSTIN, TX (MAY 2018) Top Sales World, a leader in the global online sales community, has recognized Mereo as one of the top 50 Sales and Marketing Blogs of 2018. Mereo is receiving this recognition for the third time, having been previously acknowledged in 2015-16 and 2016-17.

Mereo continues to be a reliable and trusted space for thought leaders in sales enablement and revenue performance.

“Any recognition from Top Sales World is an honor, so to be seen as one of their Top 50 Blogs is exciting and encouraging,” said Jay Mitchell, Mereo founder and principal. “This is the third year our blog has received this high honor, and it fuels us to continue to provide relevant and helpful content that serves our clients and followers alike. We strive to utilize our blog to be a source of insight for those looking to add value and create sustainable revenue in today’s dynamic and oftentimes challenging business landscape. This award is confirmation we are connecting to our audience, and we will continue to do so this coming year.”

Mereo plans to expand its content output in 2018-19.

About Mereo

For organizations seeking to instill the go-to-market tenets paramount to winning an unfair share™ of sales cycles, Mereo powers sustainable revenue performance. Market leaders such as Ariba, Pitney Bowes, Accel-KKR, Appirio, SAP, Ace Hardware, Bazaarvoice, E2open, Microsoft, The Riverside Company, Ingram Micro, North Plains, OKI Data, CenturyLink, Oracle, The Vintage Racing League and dozens more employ Mereo’s revenue performance programs to unleash repeatable revenue growth. For more information about Mereo, visit the firm’s website at

Sam Reese

Q&A with Sam Reese: How leadership can get employees invested into the company’s revenue performance culture.

Sam Reese is the CEO of Vistage — the world’s leading business advisory and executive coaching organization that helps high integrity leaders make great decisions that benefit their companies, families and communities. He has experienced firsthand how a business culture ingrained in revenue performance can lead an entire workforce with clear goals and transparent outcomes.



Chelsey: What does revenue performance mean to you, to Vistage?

Sam: For me, revenue performance is synonymous to healthy growth — growing in a way that is sustainable and has growth push behind it, so you don’t find yourself in a bad situation where you are always going up and down.

Healthy growth always has to be the key metric companies are speaking to. Healthy companies are growing companies. This growth has no context unless you can be crystal clear about the company purpose and vision.

Everyone in the company needs to know what you do and why. To do something great as a team, you need to rally around a vision and purpose, otherwise you are just asking people to ring the cash register.

Chelsey: How does Vistage make revenue performance a priority?

Sam: We put it in the context of our game plan. Every year we build a game plan. Everything is anchored around our purpose and vision. Then we create a game plan for how we will “keep score” around the year. We build an operating cadence. Every employee has a bonus tied to the number. We give monthly updates. We operate under outlook budgeting — if we get ahead, then maybe we can spend a little more on new ideas; if we get behind, then we don’t.

Monitors throughout the office display our company stats, so everyone knows exactly where we are at all times. There is no mystery and every single employee is included.

Chelsey: How do you get people to believe in the growth of the company — as more than numbers?

Sam: They believe in the numbers because they believe in the vision — where we are going. The vision is more than what we sell. In fact, every single meeting starts with a member success story, because members are our engine. It’s not revenue for the sake of revenue — but the revenue is greater impact we are going to have on leaders and communities.

Chelsey: How have you established revenue performance as a responsibility of all departments?

Sam: The No. 1 input into our game plan is every single department’s own GPS (goals, performance objectives, strategies) that rolls up to overall company goals. Then we put the rhythm together for the year: Every leader has a weekly one-on-one with their team as well as brings their entire team together for a group meeting.

Most companies have the numbers but not the communication plan or operating rhythm of the company. Relationships are vital to employee investment and company culture.

Chelsey: How can leaders engrain revenue performance into their company culture?

Sam: You can’t build a culture like this unless you believe in (1) transparency. Your team can take good and bad news. They want and deserve to know the truth — even when things are tight.

Also, it’s a hollow exercise to drive the business if you can’t hang it on an understanding of (2) why you exist as a company. Revenue performance numbers are just numbers when they aren’t connected to a bigger purpose.

Lastly, don’t leave it to chance. This can’t be just charts and graphs. This job requires heavy lifting. Stop complaining about your team and (3) look to yourself and see what your leadership is missing. You have to have the hard discussions and truly lead.

For more on making revenue performance a priority for everyone in your company, read our previous post: Revenue Performance Concerns Every Employee.

business growth

How revenue performance goals have revolutionized business strategy

This week I had the opportunity to sit down to Mark Schmitz, Senior VP of Business Operations at Citrix, to hear how creating and maintaining revenue performance goals have impacted the companies he has been a part of. Schmitz shared some great advice for leaders looking to strategically grow their companies.

Drive a growth culture.

Schmitz made one thing very clear: Revenue performance is not an initiative or a program you run, it’s a culture you create — a growth culture. Business leaders can get caught up focusing on existing profits and forget to see the big picture.


Company growth


“To have a thriving company, one that is actually growing, you need consistent and stable recurring revenue, and then you can grow on that base with solution expansion, seat growth, etc. Retaining your existing customers is as critical to growth as expanding the new revenue streams.”

Schmitz has played a hands-on role in a variety of companies by creating thriving growth cultures. From transforming licensing models into subscriptions, to building new products and upgrades for existing customers, Schmitz has helped companies embrace this philosophy, resulting in impressive business growth.

Whose job is it anyway?

Many leaders never worry about revenue performance. In Schmitz’s experience, most people think revenue should be left up to the finance or sales teams. Schmitz disagrees.

“Every person in the business needs to be held accountable to revenue goals — from the head of sales to the office manager — otherwise there is a breakdown in vision and responsibility, and the organization may become fractured and unfocused.”

Schmitz gave examples of how each department can operate with a growth perspective — continually measuring themselves on how they are contributing to the company’s overall growth.


company growth


“If you truly want to be a company of growth, then no department can be self-serving. Silos need to be torn down and everyone needs to be held accountable to their role in growing the company.”

Although, Schmitz did expand on two roles that should take internal responsibility for creating and maintaining revenue performance goals for the company:

  • The Chief Revenue Officer
    Formerly thought to be a finance officer, this role is essential to protecting both the revenue base and the new sources of revenue growth.
  • The Chief Customer Officer
    This role, which is relatively new, is responsible for looking after the entire customer life cycle. They are responsible for the value realization customers seek when adopting solutions and are always working on increasing the use case execution of the purchased solutions— leading to new opportunity development, secured solution execution and overall growth in the solution footprint.

What is the first step?

For leaders who understand this concept and are ready to create a growth culture, Schmitz says the most important piece of the puzzle is having a supportive C-suite and board.



“Culture changes can start anywhere in the company, but support needs to come from the top for lasting impact to take place.”

{Top Sales Magazine Article} The most-realistic way sales can create content that connects with buyers

Mereo founder and President, Jay Mitchell, was featured in the world renown sales and marketing publication, Top Sales Magazine this month. See excerpt below and download complete magazine here.

But how can leadership achieve “dynamic and adaptable” sales and marketing processes?

  1. Sales and marketing still need to collaborate.

Regardless whether part of the sales or marketing team, each member of an organization is working toward a shared revenue performance goal. Likewise, every member of an organization wants to connect a targeted buyer with the organization’s solution. To ensure that marketing and sales agree on these goals and align in their efforts, bring them together regularly and often. Invite marketing to support the sales cycle. Invite sales to campaign planning meetings. In these frequent interactions, sales and marketing are able to:

  • Agree on important information like the target organization and buyer personas, assets needed for the sales cycles and more.
  • Encourage each to own their own expertise and strengths, as well as enable one another to excel in their strengths.
  • Track and measure past and current efforts.

For example, marketing may be creating a sales-ready asset that checks all their boxes but that fails to connect with the buyer out in the field. Unless sales brings that feedback to the marketing team, the issue may never be resolved.


To discover two additional, crucial steps in this process, check out the entire February edition of Top Sales Magazine.

seeking to serve

A decade of seeking to serve part 2: Looking forward

Part 1 of our 10-year Anniversary blog post was centered around looking back and reminiscing about Mereo’s beginnings and the highlights over the past decade. I caught back up with Jay to take a look forward and discuss Mereo’s future for the next 10 years and beyond.

Jay, it was great hearing more about where Mereo has come from and what has been going on with you, the company and the market over the past 10 years. Now let’s look forward to the next 10 years for Mereo. Where do you see Mereo 10 years from now?

Really my hope is that in 10 years our goal will remain the same. I want to continue to build on serving customers. I want to see us following the original motivation of seeking to serve while multiplying who we reach. I would also like to see our team continue to grow. I don’t necessarily mean grow in numbers but grow in effectivity as they serve our clients so that they leave a lasting impact to help clients serve others as well.

More in the short term, what is your next goal or milestone for Mereo?

What I want to see happen, as I alluded to earlier, is see the team getting in a better position to work with clients and apply intellectual property in a more independent fashion. It is my hope that I can serve our team internally as they build and develop as service men and women and gain more opportunities to serve our clients more and more.

Let’s flip that question around, what is one thing about Mereo you hope changes?

One thing that has stayed more or less the same for Mereo is our clientele. We have been blessed to help serve some of the biggest and best companies in the world over the last 10 years, and I hope that doesn’t change any time soon. However, I would love the opportunity to serve smaller organizations than we typically do. The simple matter of the fact is that there are other firms that need us just as much as the larger organizations we serve. My hope is that we are able to stay out of our own way in pursuit of the other opportunities.

The one common thread that keeps being mentioned is staying true to what Mereo was founded around, serving rather than selling. What do you think is the key to remaining true to those values as Mereo continues to grow and change?

The answer is pretty simple: We have to stay true to doing what is best for our client. My original motivation was built around the vision of seeking to serve and not to sell. As long as we keep that the backbone of everything we do, we will continue to move forward just as we have for the past decade.

How do you plan to stay ahead of changes that happen in the industry?

The best asset we have are our customers, and the best way we can stay ahead and in-tune with the market is by listening to them. That is how you stay innovative and reduce completion. Also, we need to continue to balance our team with different points of view and various reference points to keep an edge on innovation. By listening to customers and valuing the opinions and ideas of our team, we can remain cutting edge and ahead of the curve.

What an incredible decade it has been for Jay and Mereo. If you missed part 1: Looking Back check it out here.

Mereo President, Jay Mitchell, to Speak at Forrester’s B2B Marketing Forum 2017

AUSTIN, TX Forrester Research is hosting its annual B2B Marketing Forum this year with the focus on shaping B2B Marketing and Sales processes to align with customer obsessions. With the expectation for less human interaction from the customer, and the rise of ROI expectations from the marketing team, long-term profitable client relationships are imperative for marketing and sales leaders. The 2017 B2B Marketing event aims to equip marketers with new tactics and innovative approaches to make the right choices that surround client relationships.

Mereo President, Jay Mitchell will be speaking alongside Mediafly CEO, Carson Conant. Their presentation, titled “The Engagement Path Less Traveled,” dives into the ever-expanding chasm between the value buyers expect to garner from sellers in the buying journey and what sellers actually deliver. Mitchell and Conant will share a proven, three-pronged framework for enabling sellers to engage in compelling dialogues with buyers at all the “moments of truth” along the buying journey.

“It is an honor to be sharing insights alongside our friends at Mediafly at such a prestigious and well-respected event,” Mitchell said. “My hope is that conference attendees leave empowered to make beneficial, game-changing improvements to their marketing and sales processes.”

Forrester’s B2B Marketing 2017 will held at the JW Marriott in Austin on October 5th and 6th. The Engagement Path Less Traveled will be presented on Friday, October 6th at 11:45.

{Featured on Sales and Marketing Management} The conversation CSOs and CMOs need to have

Mereo Founder Jay Mitchell recently had the opportunity to share his insights on the popular industry website Sales and Marketing Management.

Mitchell has extensive experience and success in bridging the gap between sales and marketing. His guest post sheds light on this growing issue and provides a way forward for teams wishing to make profitable change in their organization.

Here is an excerpt from the post:

The growing gap between sales and marketing is becoming more than a minor issue to be ignored. In fact, B2B companies’ inability to align sales and marketing teams around the right processes has cost them upwards of 10 percent or more in revenue each year (IDC). While companies that had aligned their sales and marketing teams generated 208 percent more revenue from marketing efforts alone (MarketingProfs).

Change starts with leadership. The onus rests on the CSOs and CMOs to align their departments to better serve their B2B customers — and in turn, better serve their organizations.

Read the rest of the post here.