Author: Kelsey Fischels

How Does 2023 Go Down in Selling History? Mereo Principals Share These Reflections

Although we are approaching a new year, many of 2023’s selling challenges will continue to impact your B2B organization’s 2024 performance. Our expert principals share these reflections from the 365 days behind us — and predictions for the year ahead.


As trusted advisors to dozens of companies, we at Mereo get to see market and economic trends from not only individual companies but on a macro-level. In 2023 we certainly saw some softness in B2B purchasing. Some initiatives were cut altogether, while others were paused until later in 2023 or even 2024.

Based on conversations with executives and from market pulse conversations with our client’s buyers, in 2023 there was a lot of “paralysis” as B2B leaders looked for clarity. When they did not have that clarity, they froze. This pattern is similar to what we saw in the 2008 / 2009 recession.

The encouraging news is that B2B buying has started to ramp-up, while private equity transactions and investments are also starting to accelerate. The hampering headwinds are subsiding, but strong buying tailwinds have yet to kick in.



In 2023, I witnessed several situations where an overreliance on AI technology posed significant challenges for sales and marketing teams. While AI has undoubtedly revolutionized various aspects of business operations, it is crucial to acknowledge the potential drawbacks that come with it.

One of the major AI challenges faced by sales and marketing teams was the issue of the quality. As businesses increasingly relied on AI algorithms to generate content, uncover insights and make critical decisions, there has been a growing concern regarding the accuracy and reliability of these automated systems. The lack of human intuition and understanding often led to errors or misinterpretations in customer interactions, potentially damaging relationships with both existing and prospective clients/customers.

Another challenge that arose from overreliance on AI was information overload. With an abundance of data available at their fingertips, sales and marketing teams found themselves struggling to filter through the vast amount of information generated by AI systems. This overload made it difficult for teams to identify relevant insights or prioritize tasks effectively, leading to inefficiencies in decision-making processes.

While AI undoubtedly offers tremendous benefits in terms of efficiency and productivity, striking a balance between automation and human expertise is crucial. Sales and marketing teams must recognize that while AI can provide valuable support, human intuition, creativity and emotional intelligence are irreplaceable when it comes to building meaningful and trustworthy connections with buyers. By combining the power of AI with human intuition and tried and true sales and marketing fundamentals, teams can ensure that they are making informed decisions based on accurate data — while also maintaining a personalized approach to buyer interactions.



The lack of coordination and cooperation between sales, marketing and product management — key drivers of revenue performance — continues to be a common issue placing an artificial limit on organizations’ potential for growth and ROI. These three functions are, by their very nature, dependent upon each other for success:

  • Sales needs strong marketing cover, thought leadership and demand generation programs to support early-stage engagements and strong client relations. Marketing should help with stories and references throughout the sales journey. Sales needs differentiated solution capabilities to build a value proposition and a reliable roadmap to maintain strong client relationships and a competitive offering to reinforce price points.
  • Marketing requires constant feedback from sales upon which to build and adjust campaign themes and focus and competitive input to develop better messages and tools. They need a clear line of sight from the product teams to enable effective investments and launch programs.
  • Product management is wholly dependent on sales and market to get a return on solution investments — its raison d’etre. Yet product management typically does not communicate or coordinate well with either of its peer functions.

Yet some trends signify movement in the right direction. Many organizations have moved to general manager (GM) models or chief revenue officer roles that incorporate two and, in many cases, all three of these functions. Removing organizational barriers to cooperation is an excellent first step towards cooperation and collaboration.

One of our clients invested in sales enablement that was built in a partnership of sales, product and marketing teams under the direction of their GM. The sales team benefited from in-depth insight and interaction with the product teams and was able to help marketing hone sales tools and assets as a deliberate part of the sessions. While the ghosts of years past continue to inhibit revenue optimization, a few organizations have recognized and grabbed hold of the opportunity to accelerate revenue performance and align these three powerful engines of growth.




Reflecting back on 2023, it has been a turbulent year for B2B sellers, including the company I lead. While the rate of inflation has cooled somewhat in the second half of the year, prices are up 19% overall since 2020. This inflationary cycle means B2B buyers are getting less for their money.

Unlike inflationary periods in the past, the job market has remained unexpectedly strong with technology sector layoffs only just starting to occur in the most recent quarter. While wages have not risen as fast as inflation, pay is up in the technology sector, which also means costs are up and companies have been raising their prices to compensate. This often makes it harder for B2B sellers to justify purchases to their prospective buyers.

The Federal Reserve has been raising interest rates over the past 18 months to try to cool inflation. Combined with a few high-profile bank failures early in 2023, this caused the credit market for small- to medium-sized businesses to largely freeze-up earlier this year. This has created a liquidity issue for these potential buyers, causing them to delay some investments.

Despite these challenges, creative B2B sellers are still closing business even when targeting small- to medium-sized buying organizations. Keys to success include:

  • Identifying and solving customers’ problems
  • Intensifying and personalizing the pain points experienced by customers
  • Clearly demonstrating the value of your solution and illustrating the return on the customers’ investment

Looking ahead to 2024, it will be a presidential election year with a contentious and divided populace, and with America supporting two major conflicts abroad. It is hard to predict any return to normalcy. With uncertain macro conditions, it will be important for B2B sellers to remain laser-focused on delivering value by solving their customers’ problems. In my role as the CEO of DilSe.IT, I ensure that we deliver technology services with love and care — which means we rarely feel like we are selling. By solving customers’ technology problems, we become their partner in helping their businesses thrive and grow. This approach is consistent with Mereo’s mantra of Seek to Serve, Not to Sell® which remains the best advice for B2B sellers in the turbulent year ahead.


No matter market conditions, a Seek to Serve™ approach to business and life wins. Learn how your organization can imbue its operations with an authentic and meaningful value selling approach in 2024. Download The Complete Organizational Guide to Seek to Serve, Not to Sell®.



While revenue kickoff failures are best left behind us, there are a number of kickoff lessons to be learned by revisiting them. The experts at Mereo have shared some of the biggest kickoff pitfalls they have witnessed — so you can avoid these at your upcoming kickoff event.


I once attended a revenue kickoff where the awards ceremony was combined with the arrival / welcome gathering. While it sounded like a great way to free-up time for other activities on the agenda, the result was a raucous gathering where colleagues were greeting and catching-up with one another for the first time in over a year — while the CRO and CMO who were trying to announce awards over the noise. To make matters worse, a few retiring sales team members who were being honored went unnoticed by the crowd too. The much-deserved celebration became overshadowed by a networking / welcome event.


I knew a sales executive of a $600 million revenue software company who had received tacit approval to plan the worldwide revenue kickoff, with responsibility for the Americas region. However, they did not realize that the CEO (who had previously been worldwide head of sales) still expected to be involved in the process. Thus, when the sales executive finalized all plans and tried to put a down payment on the venue, the CEO refused the payment since he had not been consulted. It was the CEO’s way of making a point on the importance of engaging a broader team versus making decisions in a vacuum. It was an uncomfortable week until the sales executive resolved things with the CEO — and a mistake not to be repeated.


This $50-60 million revenue software company had always held their kickoff at a resort with sun and beaches and pools. Then a new CEO came on-board mid-year and was not pleased with the sales numbers. The CEO cancelled the original kickoff plans and held the event at the headquarters in February in a very cold, snowy location. The CEO’s point came across strong: The company can share the benefits of hard work — but if expectations are not met, then kickoff plans will change and reflect the team’s performance.


A $400 million software company was holding its kickoff event overseas. The team had painstakingly prepared an effective program — yet they failed to properly communicate whether or not the attendees could bring their significant others. If they had communicated this, the answer would have been an obvious, “no.” But since the company had welcomed partners in the past, some assumed a plus-one was fine. Numerous “extras” ended up attending the kickoff and over-burdened the venues for special events and dinners. This led to a number of awkward situations where some people could not attend because there was not enough room, turning what should have been a celebration into a gripe-fest.


At a kickoff years ago, the sales leader decided to make a grand entrance no one would forget (and I still have not). In the hotel venue, he barreled a motorcycle through an air wall in a flash of showiness. This was not out of the ordinary either; the previous year he propelled down from the ceiling, Mission Impossible–style, to start the program. Both came with a lot of drama and sent a ripple of laughter through the crowd. These stunts cost the company a good amount of money, and the attendees were more-so laughing at the sales leader rather than getting fired up, motivated or inspired.


Another big kickoff pitfall offender our experts witness time and again: planning committees not taking the proper time or steps to plan an effective program. We have your back to get started and help you through the process. Turn to the Ultimate Revenue Kickoff Planning Playbook for a step-by-step guide to planning a successful event.



University of Tennessee Student Hired for Summer Internship

Austin, TX (June 2022) The Mereo team is pleased to announce the recent hire of Jenna Mitchell for a summer internship position. Jenna is a rising sophomore at the University of Tennessee, majoring in marketing.

She joins Mereo to work alongside Mereo President Jay Mitchell and other Principals to help support Mereo’s digital marketing team and to gain exposure to the B2B selling industry.

“While interning with Mereo, I am hoping to expand my knowledge on content marketing efforts, as well as build copywriting skills. I look forward to learning as much as possible during my internship and being able to have a behind-the-scenes look into the sales world,” Mitchell says.

“Mereo’s ‘Seek to Serve™’ philosophy is something I hope to adopt throughout my internship this summer for my future career post-grad.”

Upon graduation, Jenna plans to pursue a career in social media marketing.

Jenna’s Mereo summer internship will span from May until August.


For companies seeking to achieve sustainable revenue growth, Mereo provides revenue performance services which help companies win an unfair share™ of sales cycles. Market leaders such as Ariba, Eppendorf, Citrix, Castellan Solutions, Pitney Bowes, Accel-KKR, SAP, Zebra, E2open, Vistage, Philips Healthcare, Axway, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, State Street, Ace Hardware, Miller Heiman, OKI Data, Logility, Appirio, Michelin, HireBetter, The Vintage Racing League and dozens more employ Mereo’s revenue performance programs to unleash repeatable revenue growth.

Stop to Smell the Springtime Flowers — and Boost Sales Performance Power

For many sales teams, long hours are spent within four walls. Eyes train to screens for an average of 8+ hours a day. Tasks and distractions ping at professionals minute by minute, draining energy left and right.

A fix to these common office woes exists nearby — not in a new fancy technology solution but rather in nature. Recent research shows how time spent in the great outdoors can not only be therapeutic to your individual team members’ mental wellbeing — it can also boost their performance and productivity.

While neuroscience continues to change leaps and bounds (with some debate as to why this all works), current research supports that nature can help reduce people’s stress levels and fatigue, while elevating their ability to focus, problem-solve, think critically and creatively, and more.

Do not just hope your team uses business afterhours or a holiday to refresh and recharge outside. Your leadership can tap into the brain-boosting powers of nature on a more-regular basis, while people are on the clock. And what better time to start than now, as the world wakes up from its winter dormancy and spring takes root.


1) Plan a team-building outdoor retreat. Often, team outings or retreats turn into costly events at luxury locations that provide stimulating activities — rather than restorative. Consider finding a local trail or nature preserve to bring your team together. Hire a forest bathing guide or a trail guide to lead your team on a meaningful journey together. A bonus step to make the most of this outing: Leave behind your phones to truly realize the most benefits.


University of Utah psychology professor and researcher David Strayer has focused on cognitive restoration the last 10+ years of his career. In a study he led in 2012, a group of hikers spent three days in a remote nature setting without any technology. More than half of the participants showed increased creative and problem-solving performance at the end of the retreat. Watch Dr. Strayer speak of the study at TEDx.

2) Hold regular sales training practice, coaching and reinforcement sessions outdoors. To truly influence behavior-changes and impart a new skill to your team, repeated practice and reinforcement are key. By practicing in a nature-immersive environment, you can help improve your salespeople’s mental state and help them to focus better and to be as receptive as possible to the key sales enablement tools and techniques you are trying to impart. Much like with point No. 1, leaving the screens behind (or turned off) during this session leads to better results.


Nature research pioneer Roger S. Ulrich discovered decades ago that the brain emits alpha waves while in nature, which helps reduce anxiety and stress responses, and increases levels of focus, intuition and sense-making.

3) Build or update outdoor work stations. Encourage your teams to get outside more when the weather allows by providing outdoor working stations, both for individual work or group meetings. People can avoid attention fatigue and burnout by taking small breaks during or between tasks to let their mind wander with natural stimuli distractions.


Dr. Stephen and Rachel Kaplan developed the Attention Restoration Theory, finding that the human brain can focus on a task or item for only so long before becoming fatigued. What can help? The Kaplans also found that “involuntary attention” or “soft fascination” offered by natural scenes and settings help our brains unwind and refresh to then be ready to focus at increased levels.


A burned-out salesforce can lead to low performance and missed deals. Beyond that, at Mereo our revenue performance experts have pinpointed five other common issues derailing your sales deals.

Download this free resource — and consider printing it out to take it on a powerful coaching session outside — to lead your team toward unstoppable deal-making.


Becky Abraham Wants to Guide More Women Toward the Rewards of B2B Sales

Women continue to be underrepresented in B2B sales roles. In a recent Harvard Business Review article, data reveals that women still hold less than a third of sales jobs. Yet research shows women are more likely to reach their sales targets than men. And the skills learned in a sales role can set women up for success in many other future endeavors.

A large step toward inspiring more young women into B2B sales roles starts with role models. At Mereo, we spoke with Becky Abraham, an Associate Client Partner in sales effectiveness, GTM strategy and sales transformation at Korn Ferry. Becky started her career in commercial sales, and she wants to share with early career women all the benefits sales has had for her career.

What do you think is standing in the way for more women to pursue a sales career?

Abraham: Like a lot of positions, women often don’t see other women in these roles, so they unconsciously begin to think that’s not a role they should pursue. Also, negative misconceptions of salespeople being “pushy,” “aggressive” and “annoying” continue to dissuade women, and men for that matter, away from even considering these roles. Even if they are drawn to a sales role, women often are not applying for positions unless they feel 100% qualified.

There are also challenges on the hiring side. Because of unconscious bias, hiring managers tend to hire people who are familiar; it is just something we do as humans. So in many organizations the natural inclination is to hire individuals like those who have been successful, which historically have been men. I also think this is an opportunity to hire not just for past performance but for potential, and with more organizations using assessments, that information is becoming more readily available and part of the hiring process.

So the answer isn’t just one thing: We need more women interested in and applying to sales roles — but we also need open minds to receive those applications and support women in the role.

What unique impact can women make in B2B sales?

Abraham: First, as customer bases become more diverse, it’s important that sales organizations reflect that diversity. Second, women have been shown to have key skills that make them successful in a sales role, such as collaborating, building trust, active listening and relationship-building — which is needed in the current buying environment.

You are a big advocate for a career in sales, despite not being in a direct sales position any longer. How has a sales background impacted your professional journey and success?

Abraham: If you would have told me in college that I was going to have a role in sales, I would have laughed. But sales grounded me for all of my future endeavors. My first job when I moved to Washington, DC, happened to be a sales role, supporting an account manager for a research organization. I think the job title had “analyst” in it, but it really was a sales support role. My manager happened to be a woman and ended up being a wonderful and encouraging mentor, reminding me that I was the expert in the product and could bring that confidence to clients.

In those three years I learned and grew a lot. For example, at first, each time I heard “no,” which is said more often than “yes” in sales, I struggled to not take it personally. But you eventually learn what’s out of your control. You also have to remember that your customers are human too. You build resilience and grit, as well as a key understanding of human psychology and motivation, which is helpful in any job or industry.

The communication skills I was able to develop were also invaluable. If you can’t say in the first sentence or subject line of an email or in a 10-second voicemail why meeting with you is worth someone’s time, then you’ve essentially lost the sale. Clarity and conciseness are key. And focusing on exchanging value, and what that means for customers, is game-changing.

In truth, we are all selling something, even if we’re not asking someone to sign a contract. We ask people for time. We ask people to change behaviors. That’s why I love the book To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink. He speaks to this and offers a reframe for considering human interactions, decision making and sales in a new light.

What would you tell a woman who is hesitant to pursue a career in sales to make her reconsider?

Abraham: Forget about your preconceptions of who and what a salesperson is. The role has changed. We can and should reframe what this position means internally and externally. In a sales role, you’re not just selling something. You’re learning about other people and motivation, how businesses operate and grow, and their opportunities and challenges. And you find a way to make a positive impact. If you reconsider what it is you can do in this role, you aren’t a salesperson any longer — you become a consultant, problem-solver, collaborator, trusted business partner. Would a role like that be appealing to you?

How can current sales professionals and selling organizations help invite more women to join a career in sales?

Abraham: It starts with the job posting and description, highlighting the elements of problem-solving and collaboration. Using language like that, companies can help reframe what it means to be a salesperson and to challenge some of the stereotypes that still exist. And in hiring, companies can increase the diversity of their applicants through initiatives like partnership programs and ensuring they are seeking a more diverse talent pool before hiring decisions are made. After that, organizations can help give women the opportunity to succeed and rise-up in sales roles through formal programs like sponsorship and mentorship from other leaders, men and women alike. Providing stretch opportunities, like being a player/coach for a team, also cultivates a more diverse pipeline of managers. As more women fill roles throughout all levels of the organization, naturally more women will be attracted to sales.

What resources can young women turn to best prepare for and get a foot in the door to a sales career?  

Abraham: Many universities are offering sales curriculums, and that’s a great option for women in college to be able to take a few classes to learn more about sales. Beyond that, women have access to learning resources, like LinkedIn Learning and insightful sales books — and a growing number of thought leaders to watch and learn from.

Here are some of my favorite organizations supporting women in sales:

Here are some of my favorite women in sales thought leaders:

Explore more organizations that support women in sales.

Speaking of communities that uplift women, tell us about the organization you support, Nerdy Girl Success®. Why is this organization important to young women starting to think about their careers?

Abraham: The mission of Nerdy Girl Success is near and dear to my heart because it’s all about helping young women learn about and engage with different careers. We want to change the landscape of leadership by supporting and preparing young women of diverse backgrounds to become the decision makers in business, politics, the arts and more — thus making a true impact on society.

Nerdy Girl Success offers both virtual and in-person programming. We hold Career & Leadership Summits, help young women start high school clubs, facilitate a career prep program, and provide mentorship opportunities.

Learn more about what we do and how to get involved here. I’ll be at the Chicago Career and Leadership Summit on November 5, 2022, and hope to see you there!

Mereo Celebrates 15 Years of Seek to Serve™

Austin, TX (SEPTEMBER 2022) Mereo is pleased to announce its 15th anniversary of leading B2B organizations to sustainable revenue performance.

In September 2007, President Jay Mitchell founded Mereo with a drive to spread more value. He had already amassed more than a decade of experience in commercial leadership roles between Tatum LLC, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, WorldChain, i2 Technologies and more.

“In launching Mereo, I was driven by the ability to help more companies — and thus more people — with the expertise gained and the value we had to offer,” Mitchell says. “Simply put, it was an opportunity to help two or three or more companies versus just one at a time as an employee. Because the solution was proven to add value, what was needed was a vehicle to scale so that more companies could capture that value. Now, 15 years later, with the team of Mereo Principals working alongside me, the value we are able to infuse spread and the people we are able to serve only grows.”

President Mitchell and the Mereo Principals are grounded in a common goal and vision: Seek to Serve, Not to Sell™. This philosophy started as a vision but has become a backbone of Mereo in the past 15 years.

By seeking to serve clients rather than sell, the Mereo team has been able to build authentic relationships and to share real solutions that make an impact on organizations’ bottom lines.

“While I had personally witnessed this time and again before starting Mereo, I have found that putting others first professionally has actually created more value for all parties. And, more often than not, you will sell more eventually — funny how that works,” Mitchell says.

“You will grow your business and have more clients, but it starts with serving. Everyday. Every client. Every interaction. Even when it is difficult. Even when the best move is to introduce your client to someone else to get them the best solution. Being others-centric does not always come naturally, but it is the way forward.”

Over 15 years, Mereo has served more than 150 clients, further demonstrating that revenue performance services are needed as companies navigate leadership transitions, mergers & acquisitions (M&As), product launches, go-to-market transformations and more.

“Wow how time flies. I have known Jay since we were first introduced in 2010 when Mereo was supporting Ariba at a vital inflection point in our business. Today, congratulations are in order on another big step in the journey as Mereo marks its 15-year anniversary,” Jason Kurtaz, Senior Advisor at Accel-KKR, shared. “Over the last decade, Mereo has played an instrumental role in helping a number of Accel-KKR’s operating companies. From sales enablement and product marketing to go-to-market strategy and market positioning, Mereo uniquely brings operational savvy, executive presence and a passion for excellence to every engagement. While that recipe has created value for our operating companies, it also demonstrates why Mereo has realized 15 years of sustainable success. Here’s to many more partnerships together.”

To learn more about Seek to Serve, Not to Sell — and how this can help you win in a buyer-centric marketplace — download the expert organizational guide here.


For companies seeking to achieve sustainable revenue growth, Mereo provides revenue performance services which help companies win an unfair share™ of sales cycles. Market leaders such as Ariba, Eppendorf, Citrix, Castellan Solutions, Pitney Bowes, Accel-KKR, SAP, HireBetter, Zebra Technologies, E2open, Vistage, Philips Healthcare, Axway, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, State Street, Ace Hardware, Miller Heiman, OKI Data, WP Engine, Logility, Appirio, Michelin, Grace Hill, Affinipay, The Vintage Racing League and dozens more employ Mereo’s revenue performance programs to unleash repeatable revenue growth.


According to Profitwell, as little as a 1% improvement in price optimization can result in an average boost of 11.1% in profits. Yet most B2B organizations struggle to find their pricing sweet spot — and the majority are at a loss for how to approach fixing it. This ever-rapidly changing marketplace does not simplify matters either.

So we spoke with Kevin Lemke, a strategic, operational growth leader and founder of Realytic Growth, to get you and your organization the latest game-changing pricing insights.

How are most sophisticated businesses still struggling with best pricing their solutions? Where are they getting it wrong?

Lemke: First, the good news: Given the prominent position inflation has taken in the world’s psyche, “getting” near-term price for most organizations is easier than ever. But, no doubt, these are trying times.

Beyond inflation, which in some cases may be moderating, we have supply chain issues driven by geopolitical disruption, rapidly shifting demand patterns driven by things like climate change and the accelerating pace of innovation, and whatever surprise awaits us around the corner. Even the most sophisticated businesses with dedicated pricing organizations are struggling to react, adapt and then become proactive in helping companies create and capture value.

Where I believe companies continue to get it wrong is by not putting pricing in a more central role for monetization and value realization. Instead most organizations keep this relegated to an analysis or deal-approval role. The potential of this team — which is data-savvy, understands finance/sales/marketing, is adept at collaborating across functions and levels, and must be customer-centric — is huge. These professionals are in a fantastic position to orchestrate activities across the key commercial functions to ensure the right value propositions are aligned to the right segments —  and that sales and marketing muscle is applied appropriately to communicate and ultimately sell the value of the company’s solutions.

Kevin, as you see it, pricing and innovation share striking similarities. Can you share what those are and how this can help organizations approach pricing?

Lemke: Both pricing and innovation represent the unknown and a state of uncertainty. For some folks, this can cause unease and discomfort — encouraging functions to take the lead in a siloed manner. But for other people, it brings out their entrepreneurial nature in the sense that they are always looking for ways to add and deliver more value. This is true for solutions, as well as how you can price them.

Executives need to be in an innovative mindset when trying to solve pricing issues. There must be a culture of risk-taking as you would in innovating products to find the best option for your buyer. For example, the problem may be high discounting or low margins — but there are right and wrong ways to go about moving the needle. The solution could be as simple of a fix as discount guidance, while there may be a better more complex set of solutions that include refining the value propositions. Leadership needs to face these issues boldly and with a forward-looking approach to uncover what is best for your business, your customer and the current market.

Your organization supports many startups. In this, you have made the observation that pricing is always in startup mode. Can you share more why this is and how this applies to a pricing strategy?

Lemke: There are three things that stick out most to me. First, your leaders need to find the product and market fit within your organization. Second, the landscape is constantly changing, and organizations need to be agile and flexible enough to innovate pricing to keep serving buyers in those shifting landscapes. Third and last, your leadership must be willing to invest in this capability. Effectively pricing a solution is just that: a skillset. In order to create large value, you need your best and most-experienced minds on this.

How can B2B leadership approach pricing strategy effectively? What kind of team structure delivers the best results?

Lemke: As mentioned above, I believe too many organizations treat pricing as a purely analytical function, designed to crunch numbers and make recommendations based on the given set of solutions. That function is necessary but not enough, and it undersells what the pricing organization can contribute to the company.

Pricing power should be a top priority, especially in these turbulent times. Pricing power implies you have the opportunity, better than your competition, to effectively use the pricing lever to manage the growth of the company while delivering bottom-line results.

For an organization to exercise pricing power requires a fully integrated set of go-to-market activities that ensures you:

  1. Have the right solutions for the right markets
  2. Are communicating to the market effectively
  3. Are fully arming your sales organization to sell the value
  4. Lead with rock-solid order-to-cash processes

The team that can influence and manage that entire set of activities with an eye on profitable growth is pricing. So, I recommend SVP or EVP leadership of the pricing function to report to the CEO, or at least, to the CFO. And then provide a broad monetization mandate to the team, setting them up to work hand-in-hand finance, sales, marketing and operations to drive profitable growth for the company.


To keep up with Kevin’s latest pricing and overall growth thought leadership, follow him on LinkedIn or visit his blog.

To gain the Mereo pricing principles that have been applied and proven to work for a number of Fortune 50 B2B organizations, download our exclusive Solution Management Best Practice Guide.




Baylor and UAH Students Hired for Summer Internships

Austin, TX (May 2022) The Mereo team is pleased to announce the recent hire of two interns for the summer: Tyler Armstrong and Sydnie Jackson.

Tyler is a rising junior at Baylor University, majoring in Entrepreneurship / Corporate Innovation and Professional Selling. He joins Mereo for a sales internship and will assist Mereo clients with their sales programs, as well as build on his prospecting, marketing and social selling skills. Tyler plans to pursue a career in sales or consulting post-graduation.

“While interning with Mereo, I am working to expand my knowledge about the sales world, develop innovative marketing skills and learn all that I can with the Mereo team’s guidance,” Armstrong says. “One thing that I connected with while interviewing for this internship was the philosophy ‘Seek to Serve, Not to Sell™.’ I truly want to live this way throughout my career and serve the needs of others to the best of my abilities.”

Sydnie is a rising senior at The University of Alabama, Huntsville, majoring in Digital Marketing. She joins Mereo in a digital marketing role to help support Mereo social selling, content marking efforts and digital analytics reporting. Upon graduation, Sydnie plans to pursue a career in marketing.

“I have had great opportunities throughout my college career so far to build my copywriting and marketing skills. I’m excited to continue building these and learning as much as I can during my internship,” Jackson says. “One of the many reasons I applied for this internship was Mereo’s ‘Seek to Serve’ philosophy. When I decided to major in digital marketing, I liked the idea of forming relationships with clients and helping to make a meaningful long-term impact. I consider myself lucky to be able to learn from those who share my values.”

The Mereo summer internships will span from May until August.

Mereo Presented Gold Medal in Top Sales Awards 2021 eBook Category

AUSTIN, TX (JAN 2022) — Mereo LLC, a revenue performance consultancy to Fortune 500 B2B organizations and high-growth mid-enterprise organizations backed by private equity firms, has been awarded the gold medal in the 2021 Top eBook/White Paper category in the Top Sales Awards. Our eBook was selected as the winner from hundreds of global submissions.

The Mereo Complete Sales Organization Guide to Seek to Serve, Not to Sell™ eBook offers selling organization leadership the framework for delivering maximum value across the buyer journey and customer lifecycle, from marketing through sales and into account management. The Mereo Seek to Serve™ approach encourages sellers to build trust and relationships first and foremost — which wins over the long run in a buying environment that can feel forceful and void of relationships.

With the foundation of this approach, Mereo principals have served and boosted hundreds of market leaders such as Ariba, Eppendorf, Citrix, Castellan Solutions, Pitney Bowes, Accel-KKR, SAP, Zebra, E2open, Vistage, Philips Healthcare, State Street, Ace Hardware, Miller Heiman, OKI Data, Logility, Sopra Banking, Grace Hill, Michelin, HireBetter, The Vintage Racing League and more.

“Our goal was to make this as valuable of a guidebook as possible,” says Mereo president and founder Jay Mitchell. “This meant easy to digest leading practices and foundations, while intentionally incorporating value-add items like exercises and worksheets. When a leader downloads and opens this eBook, we want them to step away with the tools for value selling and sustainable revenue performance.”

The Top Sales Awards has been held by Top Sales World for twelve years. Top Sales World leadership and a select judging panel of selling industry experts recognize individuals and organizations that have made valuable contributions to the global sales industry in the past year. Mereo was also recognized as a finalist in the “Top 50 Sales and Marketing Blogs of 2021.” Other categories include “Top Post,” “Top Assessment Tools,” “Top Sales Book,” “Top Company Blog,” “Top Individual Blog,” “Top Podcast,” “Top Sales Enablement Technology,” “Top Video” and “Top Webinar.” Explore all the winners who have been recognized in the 2021 awards.



B2B leaders share 2022 sales kickoff planning insights

The word around sales kickoff planning season is uncertain. Will it be in person? Will it be all virtual? Will there be a hybrid option? What should your organization do?

There is no single right answer. Every organization has to factor many of considerations into account.

We at Mereo spoke to executive leadership from leading B2B selling organizations to learn about their plans and strategies for the 2022 sales kickoff season. Meet the experts, and read their insights below.

Nicole Briggs is the head of global sales enablement at JLL Technologies.

Kari Neidigh is the senior director of sales and tech enablement at Cloudera Inc.

Barbara Mazziotti is the senior director of regional sales enablement at Cloudera Inc.

What are the biggest considerations driving your 2022 sales kickoff planning?

Nicole: We are still in the early stages of planning at JLL Technologies. But we are sending out surveys to the broader organization and asking them to vote on what type of environment they want to be in. We’re really trying to tailor it this year for the team because we know it is a big ask for a lot of them to travel. Some of them still have kids at home that they’re trying to take care of because schools are still having issues. So we’re trying to get the most value out of this from all perspectives. And even if that value is just them getting to interact with a team, that’s important. Our focus this year is around their wellness and being grateful for what they have accomplished last year. That is our overarching goal this year, which, you know, if you asked me three years ago, that would not have been the same.

Kari: At Cloudera, our leadership has focused on providing plans and options that have people’s safety and well being at the forefront of any decision making. This is what has been discussed as we pull together various scenarios for our global, customer-facing team.

We understand the value of having some face-to-face time for our field team, but we want to ensure that we follow any legislation protocols and that people feel comfortable and safe in doing so.

What will be the format of your 2022 sales kickoff?

Barbara: Cloudera has kept its people at home; everybody has stayed remote. Our leadership is focusing on what is best for everyone in the company.

Nicole: We’re a global organization at JLL Technologies. With differing COVID restrictions around the world, we’re struggling to meet as a team in-person. So we’ve had to try to figure out how we can hold our revenue kickoff summit early next year in-person and virtually — so a hybrid kind of model. Our plan is to do three days in a single location. In the morning we will cover high-level themes, vision, strategy, motivation. That will be the typical center stage where everybody is watching and listening to people present. In the afternoons we will focus on specific tracks for marketing, commercial sales, and certain sales groups to help improve skills.

What lessons did your leadership learn from the 2021 sales kickoff?

Nicole: In 2021 JLL Technologies did everything virtually over two days. The programming was spot-on, but it was exhausting content-wise with the breakout sessions. If 250 people are taking different tracks, and we’ve broken them up into four different tracks and each of those four different tracks has 50 to 60 people in it, and we want to break it down into five- to 10-person breakout rooms so that they can work through a narrative exercise, but then bring them all back into the main room for readouts — you get the idea, it was a Zoom logistical nightmare. But we committed to having at least two to three sessions in which we did do that because we knew the value of people working one-on-one in a group. And now with 2022, we’re hoping that we have fewer individuals who are virtual and more individuals who are in-person. Then the virtual individuals will be able to join breakout sessions more easily than what we were able to accomplish in 2021.

Kari: Last year, Cloudera had a completely virtual SKO. We selected a dedicated virtual event platform that was easy to access and easy to navigate — and also had strong engagement capabilities. We encouraged people to use the social feed and held friendly competitions with it. People did enjoy that, and this was a key element that brought people together across the globe and made us feel like we were doing something together.

Barbara: If I could highlight a point that Kari shared: The fact that Cloudera invested in a specific virtual event platform that supported a high level of collaboration and engagement is unique. Additionally, their leadership was committed to making sure the event aligned with and reinforced corporate culture. I’ve heard a lot about the videos from last year where leadership helped create funny, engaging videos — and all of that helped maintain a personal connection even in a virtual environment.

Kari: Yes, engagement and inclusivity are big focuses for us. We also put a lot of thought and prep into making sure the content was easy to consume in a virtual environment. A lot of feedback shows that about the two-and-a-half-hour mark you start to lose people. We considered everything from the length of content, to timing, to prioritizing critical content. We wanted to make sure people were at their best right when they were consuming content. Overall the event was a success.

How are flexibility and adaptability fitting into your 2022 sales kickoff planning?

Nicole: Right now we are more concerned that the rest of the organization has transparency and full visibility into what we’re planning for next year. That’s why we’re trying to do a hybrid model of broadcast plus in-person — so we can catch the individuals who might be outside of sales but still need to understand these themes and our vision and what our strategy is. So our logistics is taking into account a lot of flexibility to meet our overall goals.

Barbara: We are focused on adding more case studies into the sales kickoff. In this, I bring in real people who fit customer personas. The team can then get direct feedback from the actual persona they hope to engage with the next year. So that is something we are exploring and discussing as a possible addition to the kickoff this next year.

I want to add that Cloudera went private this year, too, so that will be a big influence in our key messaging and themes.

Kari: To continue from where Barbara left off, our company had a very successful 2021 virtual sales kickoff. We plan to use the same virtual event platform, which has only improved this past year with more features and functionality for breakouts and engagement. But based on feedback from last year, we will shorten the kickoff from our 2021 cadence — which was three hours a day, three days a week, for three weeks. It is important to keep engagement high after nearly two years of remote learning.

What one piece of advice would you share with fellow B2B selling organization leaders who are in the midst of 2022 sales kickoff planning?

Nicole: Screen fatigue is a real and serious ailment. If there’s an opportunity to do something hybrid, I think that’s the best way to go, and the leadership at JLL Technologies agrees. It’s been two years since we’ve all been able to be in-person. So just taking the time to find sessions throughout the day, where we can just meet and greet and catch up, is important. But we get it that not everyone is comfortable with that, so our programming needs to remain accommodating.

Barbara: Don’t forget about application and practice. The sales kickoff can build excitement and engagement with presentations, but the learning and owning of the material will not happen until people apply it and practice it. And in doing so much with Zoom and in virtual environments, this is something leadership has to actively push and prepare for.

To embrace a Seek to Serve, Not to Sell™ philosophy for your 2022 sales kickoff and to enhance value selling skills, download “The Complete Sales Organization Guide to Seek to Serve, Not to Sell.”