Featured: Mike Scher, Co-Founder & CEO, FRONTLINE Selling
Every business has a story to tell. The key to successful selling is being able to tell our stories to more people, more often. FRONTLINE Selling was created by Mike Scher and Dan McCann, seasoned sales veterans who knew that companies needed an entirely new approach to securing more meaningful conversations with key decision makers. In addition to developing a powerful SaaS solution, they analyzed over 1.8 million prospecting outreach efforts to create a methodology that simply takes the guesswork out of prospecting and helps companies sell more. Our ultimate goal is to help sales people become wildly successful by more effectively engaging with their B2B buyers.
What inspired you to launch the business?
For 18 years I sold Enterprise software including 9 years in the ERP space with JD Edwards, where I enjoyed a lot of success and frequently made the President’s Club. After leaving there, I found myself selling in start-up and new product launch environments. Out of necessity, I quickly developed an expertise in the prospecting phase and it was clear that was not the norm as I watched really talented sales professionals stall out there. They would constantly ask how I was able to penetrate so many accounts and reach the decision-makers so swiftly. I would share my approach and when they, too, started consistently using it, they got in the door and experienced more success. Realizing that even the most motivated sales people get stuck when it comes to securing that coveted “first conversation” I decided to take what I was already sharing with colleagues and turn it into a business to help sales people everywhere prospect more effectively.
Do you have any recent success stories to share?
Yes, all of them! We have fueled the growth of nearly every company that has deployed our StaccatoTM methodology and technology. Our system makes sales people wildly successful by providing the most effective way to engage their B2B buyer, which changes the trajectory of careers and businesses. After deploying our system, one customer grew 100% year over year for 3 successive years, and another has had a 500% increase in monthly recurring revenue. Both companies heavily credit our software, Staccato, for these marked results. Overall, what sets our customer success stories apart is that we have not seen the common 5 or 10% growth but rather 100, 200, and 300% increases in outcomes. Every client we have helped has become a phenomenal success story, demonstrating our ability to significantly scale organizations.
What’s the biggest challenge as a business owner that you’ve had to meet?
The speed of our growth has not matched the speed of our internal communications about our growth. Key measurable results and upcoming product enhancement are always common knowledge for the departments and employees directly involved, but we move so quickly with customer optimization that we haven’t been as effective in communicating this news with others at the company—which is so important. We have recently engaged an organization which is providing us with an Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS). We have put in place a common sense approach using simple tools to drive communications consistently—how to efficiently run meetings, how to set goals and create accountabilities that empower individuals and teams. We now have the system that positions us for greater profitability while creating a motivating culture and healthy environment for all the employees.
What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for FRONTLINE Selling?
The release of our next product, Staccato Pro which takes the functionality and integration of our current Staccato product to a whole new level. Staccato Pro will drive sales people to more be even more successful at connecting with their buyer and we are really excited about the upcoming release.
We are also looking at expanding our international presence. We want to use a single platform to help companies around the world build and scale sales pipeline and significantly grow sales and revenue.
Where do you envision FRONTLINE in the next 5 years?
We anticipate our growth will reach close to a hundred million dollars in revenue as we become the dominant de facto standard and ‘go to’ player for helping companies build and scale their sales pipeline. Here’s how. Historically, companies have invested in training “for the close” but they are quickly learning that no one makes it to this phase if they haven’t perfected the art of getting the first conversation. This realization is positioning us well and in 5 years, we expect to be a board room name in the sales acceleration space.
Do you have any mentors or role models that have influenced you?
First and foremost is my father, who just had a great work ethic. I have also read and learned from books written by Tony Hughes from Australia including The Joshua Principle which has had a big impact on my life and how I go about doing things. I have also read and been influenced by many insights and theories written in Start With Why by Simon Sinek, Good To Great by Jim Collins and other business books that take you through the practical and common sense approach to company success.
Do you consider yourself successful, and by what means do you measure success?
Yes, because I believe when you are committed to leading with purpose and earn the respect of your employees and executives you collaborate with, you are a success. Same with my family, where I have tried to lead by example, doing the best I can by always showing generosity, decency and kindness. Even in a fast-moving landscape, it is possible to be profitable and have heart. This is the attitude and culture we have embraced and lead with at FRONTLINE Selling.
How do your competitors view you?
Actually, we don’t have many competitors because our solution, StaccatoTM is so unique. There are however, many companies that offer solutions “around” our expertise. But for specific prospect optimization leading to growth – we are the stand-out in this area.
What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs and business owners?
Hire good people. When you hire those with strong character, who also have the right skill-set, everything else falls into place. Bring on the right kind of people, who share your values and are eager to contribute, and this will drive your company’s success.
What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken and how did it turn out?
Starting my own business was the biggest risk and so far it has turned out quite well! We get calls and emails all the time about the impact our StaccatoTM methodology and technology has had on individual careers and the overall growth of businesses. Having our company be profitable and rewarding is the ultimate outcome.
One question I wish you would’ve asked?
What do we see as the next big thing in B2B selling?
Sales acceleration is a broad term that all sales people have heard, but don’t always know what it means. In a nutshell, it’s about how to turn a lead (that companies spend millions of dollars to acquire) into a first conversation (and of course, an eventual sale). But actually securing that first conversation requires the skill and know-how to target opportunities and penetrate accounts effectively. So, the next best thing won’t be about additional technology, but more about acquiring the know-how on using the technology.
We are really excited about this because with StaccatoTM, sales people across all B2B industries can combine their own tools and technology with our powerful software and proven methodology to exponentially increase their sales and revenue.