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The importance of building a strong team, Q/A with Geoff Ashley [Podcast]

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Geoff Ashley is the principal at Geoff Ashley and Associates, where delivering a stellar experience to every stakeholder is the mission and focus. Everything they do is designed to help their clients achieve this goal within the organization and it also defines the relationships they develop and maintain with their clients. Geoff is a senior-level executive with over 25 years of experience building some of the most successful sales teams and strategic partnerships in the industries he serves. He specializes in building and managing strong teams.

Tell us about yourself

Geoff Ashley: My focus is mostly on software publishers and their channels; indirect channels in software publishers. 100% of my background and experience is with organizations that deliver what I call complex business solutions. Not commodity type products. Mostly ERP, CRM, other types of very complex solutions that require longer sales cycles; higher dollar volume sales. I focus on trying to help organizations become more effective, efficient, and profitable in how they deliver the solutions.

I think one of the biggest things that I bring to the table is I have been focusing on is cloud and the cloud model as it relates to channels and/or their publishers. I’ve been doing that since 2007, so I got a little bit of a head start on cloud solutions. I help owners understand how to make that transition from professional services companies to volume and velocity companies who focus on new customer acquisitions.

Why do you love what you do?

Geoff Ashley: I’m absolutely passionate about building a strong team. My organization and all of the associates that work within my organization, we all have the same background. Publishers and/or partners. We work on building dominant leadership teams, dominant sales teams, dominant marketing teams, and I do have some people who will go out and work on the professional services side, as well, but mostly on the executive teams. The vision, the mission, helping take that down to the sales and working on volume velocity and then taking that even further and making it all prescriptive. That’s what I’m passionate about doing.

To build a strong team, the hiring process is very important. Tell me a little bit more about what you think about the hiring process, especially in regards to the technology industry.

Geoff Ashley: One of the things is important is to understand, as a principal owner or executive of a VAR delivering complex business solutions, is when you hire somebody, you make a commitment to that person. It’s very interesting when you talk to the owners, that’s not how they view it. That’s not what they say. That isn’t even what their answers mean when you ask them the questions.

They don’t view that they’re making a commitment, necessarily, to that employee. Therefore, every time there’s a hiring mistake, that the failure within the organization. Part of the problem with that is there are no negative consequences. If we have a hiring manager and that hiring manager is consistently having high turnover, there are no negative consequences for those actions. No formal education. I did a survey of over two and 50 owners and I asked how many of you have had any kind of formal education since college in either HR, hiring, psychology, any of those things that would help you become better at hiring the right person in your organization and the answer is no, none.

That same group, 87% of them, 87% of business executives, say that finding good people is the number one factor hindering their ability to grow. It’s almost 90% in importance and yet they spend no time learning how to do it better. The other thing is more than 50% of people who leave their jobs cite their manager as the reason. One in every two people that leave your company leave because of you. Yet, you spend no time learning how to do this better. That’s one of the reasons that we picked this topic. That’s one of the reasons why we focus a lot of time and attention on it. The other thing is, to survive in a deferred revenue model, you got to be able to scale your business.

You cannot scale a business unless you have the right people producing at their most effective and efficient levels so you can do more with less.

Want to hear more from the interview with Geoff Ashley and Ed Kless? Listen to the full podcast interview.


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