CEO of iGrafx shares his incredible journey from a frontline sales rep to the office of chief executive.

Joining us on SBI TV is Ryan Tognazzini, Chief Executive Officer for iGrafx, an enterprise class business operations and modeling software that allow it’s users to capture, communicate, improve and optimize every aspect of their business processes.


Ryan represents one of the new breed of sales-driven chief executive officers who have come through the ranks of sales. Ryan shares his incredible journey from a frontline sales rep to the office of chief executive.


Below is a timestamped summary of the show segments and the topics covered. If you’d prefer to listen to the podcast version click here.  


Segment 1: From Salesman to CEO 


Skip to minute 9:26 to listen to Ryan describe why coming from outside the industry was advantageous for the company:


Four centuries of expertise, we don’t need more expertise. I’ve been in and out of 200 software companies as part of SBI, so I’ve seen a lot of things done really, really well with lots of innovation, lots of creativity, and I’ve also seen lots of things that were done the wrong way, so the organization didn’t need somebody who had more expertise in our space. They needed someone to bring some different ideas, and apply the expertise to those ideas…”


Segment 2: Succeeding in the Role of CEO


Skip to minute 18:59 to hear Ryan discuss the importance of involving functional leaders in the decision making:


 “Sometimes, as the CEO of the company, there’s a misconception that you have all the answers, and by no means do I have or want them all. I would rather make fewer decisions than more. So, one of the things we recognized was that there was a bottleneck of a lot of decision-making happening at the CEO level, and I oftentimes don’t even understand what the right decision would be because it’s just not part of my expertise. So, getting input across functions is vital…” 


 Segment 3: Leading the Transformation of a Company


Skip to minute 24:28 to watch Ryan give his advice for new CEOs  :


 “Be patient, especially if you’re coming from the sales side of the business. Learning patience in this role is crucial. If there are things that are happening in the business that are symptomatic of larger issues, you have to be patient because it really takes time to make some of those changes stick, and you’re not going to know if the things you’re doing now are working for a couple of quarters at least, so patience is key…” 


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Matt Sharrers

Leads the firm's focus on the CEO’s role in accelerating revenue growth by embracing emerging best practices to grow revenue faster than the industry and competitors. 

Matt Sharrers is the CEO of SBI, a management consulting firm specialized in sales and marketing that is dedicated to helping you Make Your Number. Forbes recognizes SBI as one of The Best Management Consulting Firms in 2017.


Over the course of nearly a decade at SBI, Matt Sharrers was an instrumental early partner guiding SBI as the Senior Partner. Matt’s functional responsibilities included acting as the head of sales where he led SBI’s double-digit revenue growth, and was responsible for the hiring function to build SBI’s team of revenue generation experts.


Prior to joining SBI in 2009, Matt spent eleven years leading sales and marketing teams as a Vice President of Sales. Matt has “lived in the field.” As a result, he is the foremost expert in the art of separating fact from fiction as it relates to revenue growth best practices. CEOs and Private equity investors turn to Matt’s team at SBI when they need to unlock trapped growth inside of their companies.



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