"What I Look For In a CEO - Founder In a StartUp"

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"What I Look For In a CEO - Founder In a StartUp"

Jeff Yoshimura has been a part of some big growth companies, such as, Salesforce, Zuora, and now Elastic. Currently, Jeff is VP of Worldwide Marketing for Elastic, the search company behind the world’s most popular set of open source products powering consumer apps like Grubhub, Uber, and Wikipedia and enterprise systems for Goldman Sachs, NASA, and Sprint.

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“What I look for in a Startup” - A Silicon Valley VP of Sales Perspective

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“What I look for in a Startup” - A Silicon Valley VP of Sales Perspective

I run a recruiting firm called 121 Silicon Valley, and we are always asking ourselves “What does a VP of Sales look for in a Startup?”  So I sat down with Steve Sovik, Chief Revenue Officer at Tipalti,  a fast growing provider of software to automate supplier payments. Before joining Tipalti, Steve spent five years as SVP of Sales at Coupa Software, where he led sales growth from essentially nothing to over $80+ million. Randy Bolten*, former CFO at Broadvision joined the conversation.

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Consistent Performance: Not Always Optimal

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Consistent Performance: Not Always Optimal

We often hear senior management wishing their sales force would deliver “boring” results. They dream of a sales team that’s on auto-pilot, with monotonously consistent on-plan results quarter after quarter. Some companies even offer a “consistent performance” bonus for sales reps who meet all four of their quarterly quotas. But in our view, those companies are committing…

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The Deadly Sins of Incentive Comp – A Recap

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The Deadly Sins of Incentive Comp – A Recap

If your company has a December 31 fiscal year, you’re probably in the throes of finalizing your 2017 incentive comp plans. So in the spirit of avoiding the most egregious compensation errors, let’s revisit the Deadly Sins we’ve discussed on this site over the past year or so (for links to the original blog posts, click on the numbers):

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Read Your Comp Plan. Before Resigning. LONG Before.

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Read Your Comp Plan. Before Resigning. LONG Before.

We depart temporarily from our tour through the Deadly Sins of Incentive Compensation to talk about a more difficult subject: what happens to a sales rep’s commissions if he/she leaves the company. We all hate to deal with this sort of thing, but let’s face it: sometimes a clearly drafted “last will and testament” can save everyone a lot of hassle and heartache.

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Capping Incentive Comp - Deadly Sin # 5

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Capping Incentive Comp - Deadly Sin # 5

As we near the midpoint of the sales year – at least for December 31 companies – it starts to become apparent who the really big producers are, and just how much they might be earning this year. It’s a good time to re-examine your sales commission plan if you’re one of those companies that’s commits….....Deadly Sin #5 – Capping incentive compensation..

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What Does a Bad Hire Cost?

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What Does a Bad Hire Cost?

We all know that bad hires are expensive. In fact, that’s become a cliché, and clichés don’t motivate or impress. So in this blog, let’s look at what a bad hire really costs, in actual dollars. We look at a sales rep, the position we know best. The costs of a bad hire – and the savings (yes, there are some) – include:

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Quarter-End Bottlenecks Survey: Results are In!

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Quarter-End Bottlenecks Survey: Results are In!

Survey Results:

In the last few weeks we’ve blogged about staggered quota quarters (click here and here to see those posts). We followed it up with a survey on the subject, where we learned that the real problem that staggered quota quarters are intended to address – that is, quarter-end bottlenecks in business execution – is clearly a significant issue. And it’s an issue that may not be getting the attention it deserves.

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Biggest pitfalls in stock option plans?

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Biggest pitfalls in stock option plans?

Q:  When setting up stock option plans, what are the biggest pitfalls startups face? 

A:  That’s an excellent, and important question.  Stock option plans are by far the most expensive benefit that startups can offer their team members, so the most important objective is to make sure they are actually perceived as truly valuable.  Two perceptions potentially fatal to that objective are:

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Deadly Sin #6 – Too Many Compensation Elements...(simplify and keep your sales people happy.)

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Deadly Sin #6 – Too Many Compensation Elements...(simplify and keep your sales people happy.)

In our recurring series on the Deadly Sins of Incentive Compensation, so far we’ve focused on the sins of plan delivery – that is, the errors made when documenting, communicating, and administering comp plans. In this post, we return to the sins of plan design – errors resulting from flaws in the way we structure the plans in the first place. Here’s one of my “favorites”:

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Staggered Quota Quarters: A CFO's View

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Staggered Quota Quarters: A CFO's View

This month we step away from the Deadly Sins of Incentive Compensation to discuss a truly interesting suggestion about quota structure, from the Sales VP at one of our clients. At his company, regional sales quarters are staggered, so if there are, say, three regions in the company, each region’s quarters end in a different month. Here’s what that company’s quota quarters might look like for fiscal 2016 (with a 12/31 fiscal year):

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