Speakers: Toby William | Greg Alexander, SBI
Chief Product and Strategy Officer demonstrates how to tell stories to compel your customers to act by answering the key question, “Why change?”


Today’s guest is a product leader who knows how to set-up the sales team for a successful product launch by developing the right product messaging. A great product alone is not enough for success. The interlock between product, marketing and sales requires collaboration to develop compelling messaging to overcome the biggest competitor for most companies, which is Do Nothing. Overcoming the status quo requires story telling. Today’s guest has a launch process that will place you on the right path during pre-launch. It’s difficult to grow revenue faster than your industry’s growth rate and faster than your competitors. The Revenue Growth Diagnostic interactive tool will help you determine if you are likely or unlikely to make your number.


Why this topic? Product launches fail to generate revenue when sales people and channel partners are not involved in messaging development during pre-launch preparations. When messaging is developed in isolation it is not compelling enough to get your customers to act. Stories told directly to customers by well-trained sales channels enable customers and prospects to answer “Why change?” and this stimulates latent demand while leading to exceptional revenue growth.


Joining us is Toby Williams, SVP, Chief Product and Strategy Officer for Ellucian. Ellucian is the world’s leading provider of software and services for higher education institution, serving more than 2,400 institutions and 18 million students worldwide. Listen as Toby discusses how to create messaging to defeat the status quo. This starts with market problems that the solution is solving and to capture it through the customer lens.


Toby is responsible for driving product management and strategy, corporate development, M&A, business development, partnerships and cloud business. In the first segment of the show, Toby provides a detailed review of the product launch process at Ellucian. We discuss ‘Why Change’ and the story required to defeat the status quo.


The second segment covers messaging frameworks and ‘Why Change Now?’ Toby describes how to use the client voice and stories to tell the story. Toby and I discuss the power of leveraging the clients voice to deliver how the solution has helped their institution. Not only the buyers, but the users of the solution by positioning the users as heroes has resonated in the market. Follow a proven framework to develop your Product Launch and Messaging to set-up the marketing and sales teams for success.  


In the final segment, Toby answers this hypothetical question; If a new company hired you tomorrow with a mandate to launch new products, what would you do, in what order, and why? Toby describes a programmatic approach that creates order. Listen as Toby outlines an action plan in depth that describes the steps to launch a new product. The new benefit is cross-functional organization readiness.


Have expectations gone up and left you wondering if you can make your number? Here is an interactive tool that will help you understand if you have a chance at success. Take the Revenue Growth Diagnostic test and rate yourself against SBI’s sales and marketing strategy to find out if:

  • Your revenue goal is realistic
  • You will earn your bonus
  • You will keep your job


If you would like to spend some time with me planning your product launch, come see me in Dallas at The Studio, SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. A visit to The Studio increases the probability of making your number because the sessions are built on the proven strength and stability of SBI, the industry leader in B2B sales and marketing.


The Studio Executive Briefing Center



Greg Alexander

Leads the firm's focus on the CEO’s role in accelerating revenue growth by getting the product team, the marketing department, and the sales organization into strategic alignment.

Greg is the host of The SBI Podcast, the most listened to sales and marketing podcast on the internet.


He is the host of SBI TV, a monthly television program broadcast on the internet featuring top B2B sales and marketing leader sharing their strategies to grow revenues.


Greg is the Editor-in-Chief of The SBI Magazine, the leading B2B publication focused on sales and marketing effectiveness.


He is the author of two critically acclaimed books Topgrading for Sales and Making the Number.


Greg has authored over 100 articles on SBI’s award winning blog, The SBI Blog.


He graduated from The University of Massachusetts Amherst with a BA in English and received his MBA from Georgia Tech.




Transforming the Sales Organization inside Fortune 500 Companies

Greg Alexander and John Gleason, Chief Sales Officer of Ryder, talk about the unique challenges of transforming a sales team inside of very large enterprises.


A Better Way to Structure Your Sales Force

Greg Alexander and Tony Capucille, Chief Sales Officer at Heartland Payment Systems, discuss the pros and cons of the 7 B2B sales organizational models.


Build a team of A Players Inside the Sales Organization

Greg Alexander and Todd Cione, Chief Revenue Officer at Rackspace, talk about hiring, onboarding, and developing exceptional sales talent.




Fill Every Role on Your Team with an A Player

In this article, Greg Alexander makes the case for applying the TopGrading methodology to the sales team, and outlines how to do so.


What CEOs Need to Know About Their Marketing Strategies

In this article, Greg Alexander and Rashid Skaf, CEO of AMX, discuss the role the CEO plays in crafting a company’s marketing strategy.


What CEOs are Looking for in a Sales Leader

In this article, Greg Alexander and George Norton, leader of Heidrick & Struggles Chief Sales Officer practice, discuss what CEOs need in the chief sales officer role.

Read full bio >