Meet Mereo: Joel Reed

This summer I am going to be spending some time with each of Mereo’s principals to provide a behind the scenes look at these seasoned professionals, what they bring to the Mereo team and some fun facts about their lives. Today, I am going to be talking to Mereo Principal, Joel Reed. {Chelsey}

How did you get into this industry?

My first job in sales and marketing actually started by designing software with JD Edwards (this is also where I met Mereo Founder and President, Jay Mitchell). As I started to work in this function of the company, it became apparent there was a need to support the sales force, sales engagements and marketing. What started as a focus on developing supply chain software, rapidly became a need of “how do we market and launch this software?”

I’ve always been in customer facing roles, even when I was in production environments. Engaging with customers comes naturally for me, and I’ve always loved working with them to help determine what it is they need, and what solutions can be created to fix their problems. Joining the Mereo team was an easy transition as this customer centric approach is at the core of who Mereo is and what Mereo teaches.

What expertise do you bring to the Mereo team?

I would start with my product marketing experience and comprehensive product launch approach. I am a process-oriented person, and thoroughly enjoy creating repeatable processes and capabilities for clients. I’ve been helping companies take new solutions to market for over 20 years. By working with numerous companies and helping them design and improve their own individual processes, I have garnered a wide range of experience and a large tool kit of approaches.

{Check out Joel’s ebook: THE Guide to a Cost and Time Effective Product Launch)

Another aspect I bring to the team is my product management experience. Often clients have a difficult time defining, implementing and maintaining consistent processes for communicating internally and externally about products, strategies and roadmaps, but this is where I thrive. I enjoy the challenge of making sure these cross functional processes run smoothly and efficiently. Also, reviewing a client’s product management process is extremely important so we can help a client answer questions like: “How do we come up with a strategy and how does that turn into a new product or product enhancements?” I have learned that the best practice is to engage customers every step of the way, and to that end, one specific approach we take is to help clients build customer advisory boards. This aids in validating and defining the product strategy and prioritizing roadmap investments.

What is your favorite client success story?

There are two that immediately come to mind. First, is an extremely challenging and rewarding project we did with Pitney Bowes. They had a sales force that primarily sold postage meters, and our challenge was to help them learn how to sell software solutions. This was not a simple transition as the solution was more expensive and had a much more complex sales cycle. But we helped them achieve great success.

Over a 6-month period those who went through training saw a nearly 200% increase in pipeline and more than 50% year-over-year increase in revenues.

As a team, we were able to have a huge positive business impact, and have now been working with this division of the client for over three years, having helped to develop more than a dozen different situational plays for the sales force.

The second example, is a project management endeavor we did with Trillium Software– a division of Harte Hanks. We helped this client define how they would interact with customers on their development of a product strategy and prioritization of features for the next product release. We aided in the creation of customer advisory boards in the US and Europe. As a team, we helped them each step of the way, down to the details of creating agendas for the meetings. These boards turned out to be more than advisors, and many ended up expanding their acquisition of Trillium solutions. What was designed to validate a strategy, ended up driving over 33% of Trillium’s Q4 sales revenues.

Where do you go for insight and thought leadership?

I follow a few marketing and sales groups on LinkedIn, but mostly, I am a veracious reader of The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Money and Bloomberg.

I also believe networking is crucial. I have a strong network of people from senior sales and marketing leaders in different industries, to small business owners. I am constantly touching base with them to stay in touch with what is going on in the market.

Clients are also a huge source of insight for me. I look to them for perspective, and they continue to help build a great portfolio of knowledge for me.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I don’t have any free time because of Jay….haha!

Just kidding, my wife and I love to spend time with our kids whenever we get the chance. Every moment together as a family is precious. We are also travel bugs. My wife, Kim, and I go wherever work takes me. Last year we went to Germany and France for work, and were able to spend more time in Paris, our favorite city. We reside in Colorado, so we also enjoy any outdoors activities— biking, hiking and skiing. If I’m not at my desk, I’m outside.

Joel with his two sons and father-in-law.
Joel and his wife, Kim, skiing.

What is your favorite part about working with the Mereo team?

Mereo is a fascinating business and I am blessed to be a part of it. There are endless opportunities to learn and grow, as we are involved in a variety of industries and projects. Building relationships with clients is always our first priority, and those relationships have been such a gift over the years. Virtually every client I’ve been engaged with has reached out at some point to reconnect. The service culture Mereo has created is a unique thing to be a part of.

When you are working for one company, you get to impact one company. But when you work for a company like Mereo, you get to serve several companies simultaneously. We get to have more impact because we aren’t tied down by internal norms or processes. We can break through things our clients can’t. We can go have frank conversations, when internal people may not feel comfortable doing that. It just provides us an incredible opportunity to bring about needed change.

Within Mereo, the Principals are a bunch of like-minded people with similar, yet different experiences. Each player has had such deep success in their personal careers, and brings something individually profound to Mereo. Our team interactions are fun in and of themselves because of the depth of experience. The stories and conversations we have help each of us grow personally and professionally. It is great to have access to this wealth of knowledge if I ever have a question or need advice.