Note from the Road: Finding Your New Zealand!


As I started the month of February, I felt as if I was entering another typical grind. Startup hours, travel, hotels, okay food, okay beer, prospect interactions and quarterly business reviews (QBRs) were all on the docket. I was heading to Seattle post their Super Bowl loss and upon arrival it was clear that the city was deflated.

Sometimes you need to find your New Zealand or another place you dream about to regain your balance. I hope Pete Carroll finds his along with the rest of the state of Washington!

Although I have not visited New Zealand, it has always been at the top of my list. Being a startup junkie whose domain is global sales, I have traveled my fair share to state it lightly. But, not visiting this visual place of splendor has not affected my longing to escape to New Zealand one of these days!

As I progressed through the week, we conducted our quarterly ritual – the QBRs. As a leader of the global field sales team, I have always valued the power of QBRs – to take a pause, review your previous quarter’s performance and set the stage for your current quarter success. Fairly straightforward, right? Successfully orchestrating and executing QBR sessions is an important part of building the sales “mojo”.

Mojo is the spirit of selling, the full engagement of sales, product and customer success staff working on a common mission. It is the critical alignment of processes and tools, teams and individuals knowing their role and commitments that bring revenue of new or existing customers to the bottom line.  In order to get to the “mojo culture” you can’t just do QBRs and think all is well. As a young and emerging company, it is critical to know where we are in the path of success individually, as a team, and as a company to move forward.

QBR sessions must be a two way street of dialogue. QBRs should be your tool as a leader to understand your business and pivot accordingly for the next quarter. Do this right and you will see quarter over quarter revenue growth for your company.

I’ve found that effective leadership comes with leading by example. To set the tone, I go first. My updates usually come with some training, metrics, admin reminders, etc. My approach this time was to focus on an assessment of one’s POWER score. Finding your happy place to think and regroup was a key pillar.

POWER is your ability to acquire customers, and apply individual processes and skills that maximize productivity. I collaborated on this concept with Mark Smith (now CEO of Alttitude).

To succeed in an emerging company, it takes special contribution and honed skills. As a team we focused on the following to aid us in our efforts to increase productivity:

Driving POWER into your daily workings through self-assessment

  1. Tools: What is your tools set?  How good is your tool set as it relates to managing your priorities, your network, your prospects and customer growth? Do you rely on others or do you find the right balance of tools to make yourself productive? This could be the simple use of time management to-do applications or your advanced working knowledge of LinkedIn.
  2. Work Ethic:  Simple. Do you work hard? There is absolutely a direct correlation between hard work and sales productivity.
  3. Structure: Are you working smart? Are you in control? Do you use the right constructs to support your activity and hard work?
  4. Skills: How skilled are you?  Do you know your areas of weakness, and are you focused on gaining the necessary training and insights to improve your skills?
  5. “Finding your New Zealand”: Do you have a place to go and THINK?  Are you analytical about your approach?  Can you find that special place that allows you to be focused?

Rate yourself on a scale for all five criteria. Where are you weak?  Where are you strong?

I know my score, do you?

As I move away from the emotion of this quarter’s QBRs, I am confident that our team has built a solid base of Trust, Support, Challenge and Fun – the four pillars that support our company culture.


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