Disruptive Successor Podcast

Episode 44 - The Complex Sale - A Conversation with Alice Heiman

Episode Summary

Joining Jonathan Goldhill in this episode of the Disruptive Successor Podcast is Alice Heiman, Founder & Chief Sales Energizer at Alice Heiman, LLC. Alice elevates sales and increases company valuations with B2B sales that have exceptional growth potential. She shares the dynamics at her father's company, Miller Heiman, the role she and her siblings played in it, and how succession was not an explicit topic of discussion. She explains how their sales training was geared primarily towards companies engaged in complex sale. Alice illustrates the needs of a complex sale with a case study of a $12M software company selling to another company 10x its size. She further explains a CEO’s role in sales during the company's different stages of growth. Finally, she also talks about sales playbooks and the need for this document to be easily accessible, edited, and applied by the whole company.

Episode Notes


02:58 Working in Miller Heiman and the lack of succession planning

07:51 Not wanting to run the company anymore: An indicator to sell or plan succession

10:30 Miller Heiman sales training is for companies with complex sale

18:08 Case study: $12M software company complex sale

25:32 CEO role in sales: Carrying the vision and meeting with the proper people

31:07 Sales playbooks: What kinds of salespeople do you need? How to coach? 

37:41 How to connect with Alice


07:31 "Do I know how to run a $20 million company? And so I love that they were always growing and learning and asking themselves those hard questions because I think it's true about founders. You get to a point where your company outgrows."

10:51 "In a complex sale, you have a very long sales cycle for many reasons. There's multiple people involved on the buyer's side, multiple people on the seller side. There's high dollar stakes. There's lots of competitors. There's technical complexities, integration complexities."

26:34 "That role of building out the sales organization and being involved in it, even when there's a Director of sales, a VP of sales, or even a chief revenue officer at that point, the CEO still has a role in carrying that vision forward."

29:56 "If the CEO can provide some evangelism and some thought leadership by video, on events, be a panel member on a panel, speak at a summit, post on LinkedIn, any of those kinds of things is going to draw people to your company because people buy from people, not companies." 

36:02 "It's ever evolving. Playbooks are not static. Playbook should always be updated as needed. And so we develop them with the real humans that are doing the jobs, and then we review them, and we use them, and we continue to update them as needed."

To learn more about Alice, you can check out the links below.

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