Executives-as-a-Service for Business Growth Acceleration

Avoid the $100,000 Hire, Hope, Fire Mistake with a Sales Ecosystem

Avoid the $100,000 Hire, Hope, Fire Mistake with a Sales Ecosystem

By in Achieving Growth, Agile Sales, Business Acceleration |

Trusted Outsource to Build Sales Ecosystem

[In Part 2, Bill realized he was close to making Sam’s hire, hope, fire mistake. He now knows he has to build a sales ecosystem, but is concerned it could get expensive.]

Sam returns with refills and Bill says, “Tell me a little more about Cindy‘s background and why you engaged her to help you grow revenue.”

“First, as you gain more understanding and what a competitive advantage it is to have a sustainable sales ecosystem, you will realize there are very few people who really know how to build such an ecosystem. Cindy is one of those few. There’s a lot of people who know how to manage, maintain and grow revenue, but their success is based upon the quality of the sales ecosystem.”

“That makes sense and I’d love to have your success. I guess my next step is to get with Cindy, but tell me a little more about how she might engage with me and my business.”

“Let me share my experience with her. Let’s just say she made the complex simple by displaying her knowledge and expertise with the xy graph that directly related to me and my business. It’s not about her trying to prove she’s the smartest person in the room. It’s about creating value for clients. She was the first to describe the whole sales ecosystem on one page and, at the same time, integrate it and customize to fit my specific situation. It wasn’t about doing some extensive assessment and producing some big report. She quickly helped me uncover specific gaps and opportunities and then validated those for taking necessary actions. She knows her stuff and is also a best selling author on sales.”

“So, she’s a subject matter expert with credible experience, who not only knows how to execute, but also how to advise others to make things happen. That’s a rare combination of skills. Can’t I just buy the book and figure it out?”

“Maybe, but it will take you more time, probably not produce the results you expect and be more expensive. Remember our first fishing trip together and you asked me why pay the expense of a fishing guide? You saw the wisdom after we caught our limit of fish. How many times had you gone fishing without a guide and caught few, if any, fish?”

“Too many times. I get what you mean. I didn’t get the results I expected and in the long run, it was more expensive trying to find the best fishing spots on my own. I love fishing with the guides you find. Thanks.”


“How will this help?”

“Bill, I would recommend getting the book sooner than later. I recently read a review on the book how it is an important read for owners, CEO’s and COO’s, who aren’t sales execs but need to devise a sales strategy and drive profitability. It covers the fundamentals that few owners and executives really understand. It’s both a great introduction and refresher for owners who want to grow revenue and learn how to run a sales ecosystem effectively. Cindy wrote the book after helping grow a venture backed company from 8 salespeople and $800K in annual revenue to 150 salespeople and $60M, in five years.”

“Wow, I’ll take half those results and you know you’re making this sound even more expensive.”

“That’s what I thought as well. But, when I met with Cindy she gave me a different perspective about working with credible experts. It’s about achieving objectives at a fraction of the time and cost. Think about it. When people know what to do and how to do it, things get done, right?”

“Sure they do,” replies Bill.

Sam goes on to say, Cindy explained how owners and executives get stuck in traditional hire and develop internally thinking. That was my mistake and now I understand how much I actually put at risk thinking that way. I remember hiring the salespeople and didn’t expect any real results for 30 to 90 days. With Cindy, it’s about experts who hit the ground running the first day and can create results and value in a fraction of the time. I realized I could keep doing it my way and always expecting different results or allocate a portion of my budget to establish a sales ecosystem and avoid making another $100,000 mistake.”

“Well, I’ve got $80,000 to $120,000 budgeted for a salesperson. But, if I spend that building the sales ecosystem without any new sales, isn’t that similar to your mistake in hiring the two salespeople?”

“Bill, that’s a good question to ask Cindy. While I’ve got the results I shared earlier, I did wonder in the beginning, whether or not I’d end up making another mistake. But, Cindy has effective metrics for viewing progress, so everyone is on the same page, moving in the same direction and achieving specific objectives required to produce desired results. If something’s not working, you’ll know it right away and make directional changes. I know I keep saying that this isn’t rocket science and it isn’t some complicated methodology you have to learn. Cindy keeps the focus on both building the ecosystem and executing strategic actions, at the same time. I was amazed how quickly things developed.”

“So, Cindy‘s become a trusted advisor for you?”

“Absolutely, Bill. Cindy thinks and operates like an owner, which makes her a peer. Actually better than a peer because she has already accomplished building big, fast growth businesses. I’ve learned if I want to avoid making big mistakes, hire experts and find mentors who are my peer or better.”

“So, you’re telling me if I engage Cindy, I can avoid your $100,000 mistake?”

“Can’t make that promise, Bill. But, you’ve got better odds than if I had emailed you a group of resumes and let you go your merry way.”

“Guess the next time we get together I’ll buy the coffee and you’ll have those resumes ready for me.”

“For sure, Bill. Here’s Cindy’s LinkedIn profile and ZFactor Group bio and link to her book: ZFactor Sales Accelerator: From Vendor to Value Creator. I’ll do a personal introduction for you by email.”

“Thanks, Sam. This time has been eye opening and I look forward to meeting Cindy.”

“One other thing about working with Cindy. Also, check out her partners. You’ll see they all have impressive experience with fast growth companies. You get the whole brain trust, their access to subject matter experts and their network. This makes them very distinctive from traditional consultants, coaches, mentors and advisors.”


“How has that been an advantage for you?”

“I’ve got access to entrepreneurs who have built much bigger businesses than mine. They work with me, as needed, to fill specific knowledge, experience, skills and resource gaps that I have. Now here’s the key point to leverage. If I want to make a significant change in my business, I can minimize my risk by engaging an expert at a fraction of the cost it would be to do the traditional hire internal model. If the change is validated and successful, then I can seek to hire the internal executive. It’s like rent first and try it out before I buy versus just taking on a big risk. Outsourcing to qualified, credible experts is a real business growth accelerator.”

“Thanks, Sam. Lots to think about. I really appreciate your time, wisdom and saving me from making a very foolish $100,000 mistake.”

“Thanks, Bill and let me know how your meeting with Cindy goes.”


Want to go deeper? Click to Schedule a Visioneering Session.

Read how we have helped other CEO’s work through leadership changes, overcome marketing and sales challenges, and realize revenue acceleration.


About the Author: Alan Goldsberry, Managing Partner, ZFactor Group

Alan serves as the Managing Partner of ZFactor Group, LLC and LeaderXY Group, LLC. He also serves as Chairman of Higher State Technology, LLC. Since 1975 Alan has founded, operated, acquired, advised and invested in multiple entrepreneurial ventures. In 1984, he secured the initial funding to start a solid waste collection company in Houston, Texas and with additional rounds of funding, he co-founded Allied Waste Industries, Inc., now Republic Services Inc. After serving as President, VP of Sales and Director, Alan left in 1994 and has been involved as an Investor, Chairman, Director and Advisor to other private and public companies. Read More…