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Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor
Steve Alexander, Associate Editor
Bud Wayne, Editorial Executive
Christy Rivers -
Interview conducted by:
Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine
Published – January 20, 2019
CEOCFO: Mr. Kanter, what is the idea behind AuctusIQ?
Mr. Kanter: As we have worked with CEOs around the world, it became apparent that B2B selling is harder than ever. What used to work does not work anymore. Buyers and organizations are becoming more complicated and more sophisticated, and buyer satisfaction with how they interact with sellers is continuing to drop year-
CEOCFO: Why is it so hard for companies to recognize they are not doing it the right way? After all, most sellers are buyers as well.
Mr. Kanter: I think the answer is a combination of a few major shifts in business, but the most important one is the onset of the digital age. We have more information, more data, at our fingertips than ever before, which means the buyer has more knowledge and more options than ever before. In a lot of cases, buyers actually understand the solutions better than a lot of salespeople.
When I started my first company in 1995, you only had to do $800 million in revenues to be in the Fortune 500. Now, you need to do more than $3 billion. The complexity of selling into these organizations has gone up by multiples, and there are multiple decision points during the selling process. There are also so many more business processes and systems in place for organizations to engage with vendors and for contracts to be signed and checks to be cut, which has dramatically increased the complexity for sellers.
CEOCFO: According to the AuctusIQ site, there is not a single sales force in the world you cannot make better. Would you tell us about your platform and how it works?
Mr. Kanter: AuctusIQ is based on a tremendous amount of research and a lot of practical, hands-
To fill the void, I teamed up with Courtney McCashland, one of the best business psychologists I have ever worked with, to acquire back intellectual property from IBM that explains the differences between high-
The new AuctusIQ platform has three key components. One is talent and intelligence, which allows sales leaders to hire the very best people possible. This is based on a model of excellence within a sales leader’s organization, so that it allows companies to look at traditional and non-
The second is a coaching methodology that ties to the rhythms and cadences of the business practices of high-
Third, our methodology also has what we call a Deal Intelligence component. As I studied growth back at Kenexa, when we had that incredible run-
At the end of the day, these three things come together to really create a highly functioning, highly focused, highly metrics driven strategic advisor, selling model.
CEOCFO: What types of companies are likely to engage with AuctusIQ?
Mr. Kanter: B2B organizations looking to improve win rates, close rates and reduce costs of selling, from Fortune 500 companies to SMBs.
CEOCFO: How do you work with a client?
Mr. Kanter: Here’s a good example of how we work with a client. Tim Geisert is the chief sales officer at Engage2Excel, a corporate recognition and employee experience solution provider to large organizations. Tim was tasked with trying to transform the salesforce in a highly competitive marketplace. He turned to AuctusIQ to understand what differentiates wins versus losses. We helped Tim implement the Seven Imperative Selling Methodology, so he had a data-
CEOCFO: How do you help salespeople stay on course and not fall back on old habits?
Mr. Kanter: How most sales training is done is by showing up at a conference that takes place inside an airport hotel, you learn for a couple of days and then you leave, ready to take on the world with a different approach. This feeling maybe lasts a week.
What we do is bake our methodology into your system on a day-
We also coach sales reps to track their day-
Our seven imperative deal technology overlays the coaching and allows you to track in real-
CEOCFO: You recently launched your performance-
Mr. Kanter: For the last couple years, we have been working diligently on the science behind our platform. The Kenexa IP that we re-
CEOCFO: What did you learn during the 24 months you were putting things together and what surprised about the AuctusIQ platform?
Mr. Kanter: The biggest surprise is that sales organizations do not know how to consistently measure metrics that will actually drive performance. Once you figure out the handful of metrics that will move the needle, and you figure out how to document that, it is amazing how it enables the sales leadership team to focus. The problem with most salesforces is that they are confusing activity with actual business outcomes, and that was a surprise that there is such lack of measurement visibility in the entire selling process. Once you can put those measurements in place, it is incredible how quickly you can move the needle.
CEOCFO: What is your strategy for the next year or so?
Mr. Kanter: We will continue to help our clients exceed their revenue goals and continue to invest in our platform and grow our customer base.
CEOCFO: When a company implements your program, is this an ongoing situation?
Mr. Kanter: There is initial setup, and then clients become self-
CEOCFO: What, if anything, might a potential client miss when they first take a look at AuctusIQ, and how do you present a complex program without overwhelming potential clients?
Mr. Kanter: The people who instantly see the most value in what we do are executive committee members, CEO, COOs CFOs and CROs. They are trying to think about spend on selling as a return on invested capital. Once executives understand that you need to think about every dollar of sales spend as running an ROIC model, the light bulb comes on. They start to focus on things they can control, like who I hire and how I hire them, how I onboard them, how I coach them, how I ensure that I am measuring their knowledge and skillset to increase productivity. They realize they can turn sales leaders into performance coaches, creators of revenue, and then, deal by deal, they start to understand the interactions that are accelerating win rates and close rates. That is key. It starts with the executive leadership team.
AuctusIQ, Salesforce Analytics, Salesforce training, Troy Kanter, Accelerating Cost-
“Sales is the only function of an organization that does not have set business processes. Most CEOs would never run finance without a business process, they would never run manufacturing or R&D without a business process, yet they choose to run sales without one. What we have done is take the smartest components that are not overly burdensome but are the things that lead to revenue growth and baked them into a sales process.” -