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C-Suite Chats with Christian Valiulis, August 2018

C-Suite Chats with Christian Valiulis, August 2018

In August, Christian Valiulis answered questions about topics like keeping up with Gen Z and leveraging CRMs to drive results. Here are his thoughts.

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C-Suite Chats With Christian Valiulis, August 2018

Our very own CRO, Christian Valiulis, is a member of the Forbes Business Development Council. Once a month, these members come together for Q&A sessions about relevant, important topics in the business world. The council recently touched on topics about keeping up with Gen Z, motivating commission structures, and leveraging CRMs to drive results. Here’s what Christian had to say:

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Question 1

Recent reports suggest that teenagers are no longer as interested in Facebook as they once were. What’s the best way to keep up with the changing tastes Gen Z consumers, and create lasting relationships with them?

Christian: Resonate With Their Values

We are in the Age of the Individual, where people want a brand that fits their lifestyle. In order to create lasting relationships with any consumer in this era, whether they be Gen Z or not, companies must resonate with their value system to be memorable. Only companies who understand the personas of their target consumers will be able to successfully tie their brand and product to those values.

After years of focusing heavily on the millennial buyer, companies are making room for Generation Z. Businesses need to rethink their selling strategies to appeal to the changing tastes of Generation Z consumers. Here’s some advice from members of the Forbes Business Development Council: Nine Useful Tips For Connecting With Generation Z Consumers.

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Question 2

There are plenty of ways to structure your commissions to ensure that salespeople are closing sales as efficiently as possible. What commission structure best incentivizes salespeople, and why?

Christian: Don’t Think ROI - Think ROTI

Think in terms of time invested. I am more willing to provide a monetary reward if there is a return on time invested (ROTI). If a salesperson isn’t investing time into working and nurturing a prospect, why should it close? Time is a priceless currency, so my reps need to value it above all else. If they make the effort to dedicate themselves to a prospect, that’s when they will be rewarded.

Determining how to compensate your salespeople can be complicated. If the commission plan is too easy to earn, employees won’t input their best effort and if it’s too hard, employees may look for other companies with better incentives. Read what the Forbes Business Development Council has to say on ways to structure commission plans to motivate sales reps: Nine Commission Structures That Will Keep Your Sales Team Motivated.

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Question 3

Customer relationship management (CRM) tools are an essential part of every sales team. They keep track of customer interactions and sales across your team. What’s the best way you’ve found to leverage CRMs to increase your team’s output?

Christian: Create A Healthy Competitive Environment

My team loves to look at their leaderboard and benchmark their performance against others. We use CRM to determine who’s at the top of the board and create gamification. Everyone wants to be #1 and these naturally competitive salespeople want to get that top spot. Healthy competition is great but be warned: understand how the “game” can be manipulated before determining your competition drivers.

Customer relationship management (CRM) is most likely the biggest priority for any sales team.  Staying connected with existing customers is critical to increasing sales numbers and thanks to CRM software, staying on top of these activities is easier than ever. Here Eight Experts Share How Their Teams Leverage CRMs To Drive Results from the Forbes Business Development Council.

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Question 4

Technology is always evolving, as is your company! How has modern technology changed the way your team works together and communicates?

Christian: Comfortable Collaboration

Use technology platforms that your team is comfortable with to encourage collaboration among team members. For example, we use Slack as a way to quickly communicate with multiple departments within the company. But a smaller group of millennials have a Snapchat group to congratulate team members on their personal successes. It’s a way for them to interact using the technology they’re comfortable with.

Thanks to technology, having instant access to your employees has become the norm in today’s workplace. With companies having more and more remote workers, using technology to keep connected just makes sense. Here are 10 Ways Technology Has Changed Team Communication from the Forbes Business Development Council.


About Forbes Business Development Council:

Forbes Business Development Council is an invitation-only organization for senior-level sales and business development executives. Find out if you qualify at forbesbizdevcouncil.com/qualify.

About Christian Valiulis

Chief Revenue Officer Christian Valiulis at APS is a member of the Forbes Business Development Council. As a national human capital management and full-service payroll processing company, APSdelivers a unified cloud solution backed by guaranteed payroll tax compliance services. Christian oversees marketing and sales, channel partnerships, and strategic product and service alliances. Connect with him on LinkedIn to stay up-to-date with his most recent publications.