Tim Philips, CEO of Revenade, talks about his strategic consultancy that helps companies grow sales.
Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.
Matt Register: Welcome back to the show, Texas Business Radio. We’re talking about sales, sales today. Everything starts with sales. You don’t sell anything, you don’t have anything to built. Right? I’m your host Matt Register. Jay Curry is sitting over there in the co-host chair. What do you think man?
Jay Curry: No doubt about it. And as everybody knows and as they hear frequently from us, the Internet is changing everything. And that’s what’s been exciting about this show is to get caught up on how the Internet is, is really impacting business.
Matt Register: Well and it’s changed everything.
Jay Curry: Every element.
Matt Register: And it’s changed very, very quickly. We have over in the hot seat Tim Phillips the CEO of Revenade. One of our favorite sales gurus. What do you think Tim?
Tim Phillips: I think it’s great to be back with you Matt. Jay, good to see you again. And yeah, you’re absolutely right. All begins and ends with sales. If we don’t have anything to sell, we don’t make any money.
Matt Register: Nope, that’s exactly it. Now Tim is the CEO of Revenade. Revenade is a sales company that, that can come in, help you guys, you know, grow your sales. Tell us a little bit about Revenade.
Tim Phillips: Sure. Revenade is a strategic consultancy and we work with a wide range of both professional service and product companies. And as our name says, we help execute sales acceleration to drive revenue. Pure and simple.
Matt Register: Well and everybody can do with a little more sales. Right?
Tim Phillips: Absolutely.
Matt Register: We were talking during the break. I want to talk about some of the technological changes that have completely disrupted the industry. Right? I mean, if you are in the business of selling a product or selling, even, even a service but especially a product, technology has changed everything. Talk to me a little bit about that.
Tim Phillips: Sure. And what it’s done, you’re exactly right, it’s changed it at an ever increasing rate of change. And what we’re seeing is, there’s several disruptive factors. And traditionally we would talk with our clients, not only their traditional sales process but also, you need to have an e-commerce strategy. And typically that included, you know, I have a web site, I have an online store. I have the ability to do that. Well what we found though is like, really the past 18 to 12 months the hyper rate of change with regard to disintermediation of supply chain.
Matt Register: Yeah.
Tim Phillips: And also what we call the Amazon factor. So beyond just having an e-commerce strategy, you better have an Amazon strategy as well as an online store strategy in order to keep pace. Go ahead.
Matt Register: No. What we were talking about during the break and something I found very interesting is even corporate buyers… Right?
Tim Phillips: Yes.
Matt Register: We were talking about the distribution industry. If you are a peer distribution company, you have a problem because companies are going direct to manufacturers. And they’re going direct to manufacturers in a way that ensures that they get the supply that they need by skipping the middleman. And because these corporations, especially in Texas with the energy downturn, they have a dire need to cut expenses. Correct?
Tim Phillips: Exactly. And I like how you said it. Which is cutting out the middleman to find cost savings.
Matt Register: Sure.
Tim Phillips: The economists and the strategists and the consultants always used the fancy term of disintermediation. All of that to say, distributors who have traditionally dealt directly with the end user or the purchaser of a product represented manufacturers. And what has happened, is through technology the actual end use customer wants to purchase the product directly from the manufacturer. To do what? Save the cost savings that they’ve been paying that margin to those distributors.
Matt Register: Sure.
Tim Phillips: And having reliability of supply chain, directly from the manufacturer. So it’s a twofold win.
Matt Register: Well information is now, is a commodity. Right?
Tim Phillips: Right.
Matt Register: And having access to that in, that original manufacturer is not something now that the distributor can, can keep a secret. Right? It’s something that, you know the end user has access directly to their manufacturer. They have access to the same information that distributor has. And it’s something that as a distributor you have to figure out another way to add value besides just, you know, distribution or you’re gonna go away. Right?
Tim Phillips: I would agree with that. And so what is my compelling value add that I can position myself to maintain that. So perhaps it’s the product itself; how to better use the product, could be education, could be technology. There has to be some value add. But simply I buy from a manufacturer and then using my retail distribution channels sell to the ultimate end user. The other thing that we’re seeing though, that’s driving this is within major enterprises, large corporates and even federal, state, local governments. They’re empowering the actual purchasers of the product by delegating and empowering them. Instead of going through a traditional procurement organization. They give them the “P” card and you have a fifty thousand, hundred thousand, depending upon what the role is, purchase authority. And so here’s a designated list of manufacturers that meet, it could be our safety requirements, our product specs, whatever it is.
Matt Register: Whatever their left over limit is. Right?
Tim Phillips: Whatever it is. But here’s your “P” card, go online, buy it directly. And that’s why we tell people if you don’t have an online store through which to sell your products, better get one and get one fast. Because the competition has probably already got it. And so people become creatures of habit. We’re actually seeing “P” card purchases at ever increasing rate with the federal government.
Matt Register: Yeah.
Tim Phillips: Federal agencies buying products directly that traditionally had gone through major procurement organizations and contracting. Like the Department of Defense, Department of Transportation, all that’s getting pushed down to the actual agency itself. And so if your positioned and you have the ability to market and attract those people and meet those specs, you’re in a good position.
Matt Register: Well technology has not only changed vastly how people are buying but it’s changed the way you sell as well. Right? I mean it’s, it’s worked on, it’s disrupted both sides of it. So not only, you know we were talking about the phone banks… Right?
Tim Phillips: Yeah.
Matt Register: That are sitting empty. I mean that’s just not happening anymore. It’s all pushed online and there are more efficient ways to reach that end, that buyer. Correct?
Tim Phillips: Yeah. It’s kind of like Willy Loman, Death of a Salesman. The day of the sales, the drummer who goes from location to location and here’s my product offering and my price sheet and how many…. That day is over man.
Matt Register: Sure.
Tim Phillips: Because look at also the demographics of the purchaser. The millennial’s have come in, there in these purchasing positions. They don’t want to talk to people.
Matt Register: No.
Tim Phillips: The day of the cold call is over. They want to find; do you have a product. Does it have a four or five star rating? That shows credibility. And more importantly and this is what’s really important, especially if you’re a manufacturer, you have to have the ability to deliver. So if I buy that product, I better have it and can’t go on back order. And I, because if it is, what will I do? If it’s back ordered, I’m going to go to the next guy. Who’s the next one on the pick list because I googled up bike helmets or whatever it may be.
Jay Curry: So the bottom line is that, whatever you’re selling, you have got to look at business differently. Need somebody like Revenade to come in and educate you on this and help you prepare for the coming changes. Because it’s just getting faster and faster and faster and faster.
Tim Phillips: The pace changes.
Jay Curry: Yes.
Tim Phillips: Increasing at an accelerating rate. And so it all starts with sales process. Process is key. Then I shape my business and my organization around the sales process and leveraging technology to automate as many steps in that sales process as I possibly can.
Matt Register: Well the tools are now available and economical. You know one of our, friend of the show, SalesForce.com…
Tim Phillips: Awesome company.
Matt Register: Is a software as a service.
Tim Phillips: Yeah.
Matt Register: If you have a single salesman, that is not too small to be able to build a process, map your process. We’re talking during the break, map your process to your, your CRM and have a enterprise level sales process. Right? As a much smaller company than was ever, ever available before. Right?
Exactly. And it goes now beyond just the sales process itself. Because with their acquisition of Pardot and the integration of the Pardot capability I have the ability to do online automated lead generation through the internet. Interaction with a prospective customer and based on that level of interaction, it will give them a score and then automatically kick it into another stage within my sales process to actually engage and close the deal.
Matt Register: Wow. Amazing stuff. Tim Phillips, CEO of Revenade, here in the studio. Tim thank you very much for joining us again.
Tim Phillips: Thanks Matt. Enjoyed it. Good to see you Jay.
Matt Register: Absolutely. Revenade.com is the Web site, Revenade.com. We’re going to have a link right there from Texasbusinessradio.com. We do have to go pay a couple bills ourselves. We’ll be back right after this.
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In addition to hosting "Texas Business Radio," Matt is an investment banker and serial entrepreneur from Montgomery, Texas. He is the owner of RREA Media and Register Real Estate Advisors and a Managing Director and Principal at Corporate Finance Associates. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Rice University in Houston. You can read more about Matt HERE.