Sales and Marketing: How to Effectively Conquer Issues

By Nathan Denny and Scott Axelrod

This Private Advisory Board session on Sales and Marketing offered CEO advice from around the room on concerns ranging from pricing to new marketing hires. Here’s the recap:


CEO owns a business with his wife. He’s Ops; she focuses on sales and growth. For the business to continue to grow, they need to bring in help, and are considering hiring a Sales Manager. They seek advice on where to start, and have no experience building a sales team. They also want to free up some time personally.

1.  Re-Stated Issue

“How do I build a sales team and transition the company from the ownership team responsible for all aspects of sales and growth to having a process in place that grows the company and offers me and my wife some work/life balance?”

2.  Why It’s Important?

The business is 15 years old and has 25 employees. The wife is currently the face of the company.

3.  Action Plan

Before the CEO moved forward with the hire, it was advised that he have more conversation with his wife/business development director and make sure she’d be open to working as a high-level assistant so she can be more effective.


After making a deal on a product based on incorrect assumptions, a CEO is now stuck with a very large and prestigious customer that’s sending non-profitable business. If they raise prices, the product is not sell-able. The client won’t agree to price concessions or additional business. The original question: “How do I get rid of an unprofitable business?”

1.  Re-Stated Question

“How do I decide if a business is economically viable?”

2.  Why It’s Important?

The CEO’s company does between $5 and $10 million in business with this company each year. This is also a strategic growth area for their company — so they don’t want to back out of this product. As their premiere client they do not want to lose them — but they don’t want to lose money either.

3.  Action Plan

After being advised to “think outside the box and make the business model work because the relationship is too strategic to lose,” the CEO decided to “have a discussion with everyone involved in the account to come to share ideas and come to an understanding that this client is too important to lose over one failing division/product.”


This CEO wants to expand his advertising efforts to social media but doesn’t have the bandwidth to do it on his own or internally. He wants to hear how he can justify and measure R&D spent on engaging outside resources in a social media campaign.

1.  Re-Stated Issue

“How do I make my selection on picking a social media firm?”

2.  Why It’s Important?

This is where the younger generation is, and the CEO believes he’s ahead of his competitors by heading that way.

3.  Suggestions/Discussion

It was determined that there may be no real way to track social media efforts for leads. The CEO was advised to:

  • Consider what competitors were spending on social media
  • Figure out how much he can afford to budget for it first
  • Consider whether social media costs could be combined with existing website marketing and/or SEO campaigns

4.  Action Plan

The CEO concluded that he must look more closely at his own expectations for what he wanted social media to accomplish. “I will figure out the metrics I am looking for.”
Session date: Dec 1, 2011
Originally published: Dec 1, 2011

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *