Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Liz Heiman, Founder of Regarding Sales, located in Reno, NV, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I build sales operating systems for startups and growing companies that help them scale their sales. Startups that have been funded and are being pressured to deliver sales results but don’t have the experience or systems to deliver need help to meet growth goals.
Companies that have been around for 20 or 30 years often find that, at some point, what they have been doing no longer works. Sometimes their product has changed, sometimes their customer has changed, and sometimes it is another factor in their ecosystem that has changed, and they need to make changes to keep growing in the environment. Whatever the situation, sales organizations need systems and processes to grow consistently.
Tell us about yourself
I grew up in the world of sales. My dad, Steve Heiman, and his partner Bob Miller started Miller Heiman in the late 1970s. I started packing programs, did administrative work, did sales calls, build a marketing department, and later ran the Asia Pacific Division of Miller Heiman.
While I was doing those things, I was also getting a bachelor’s degree in international relations and graduate degrees in international political economy with the dream of doing trade negotiations. Because I started my sales career at Miller Heiman, I worked with some of the most elite sales teams in the world, including Coca-Cola, HP, NCR, and Kodak.
I also trained and managed an elite team of sellers. When I left Miller Heiman in the early 2000s, I started Regarding Sales, LLC, and changed my focus from enterprise clients to small and mid-sized companies.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My successes are tied up with customer successes. Helping customers evolve their companies into the companies that they want them to be is rewarding. Sometimes the joy is in hitting a number.
My favorite is $1 million to $10 million in a year. Sometimes it is helping a client start and build their own company. Sometimes it is taking the chaos out of a sales organization so it can grow. Sometimes it is setting a company up so they can sell. I do all those things every day.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest part of being a business owner is the focus. It is critical to make time for sales, to make time to be a thought leader and to make time to deliver. There are so many things I want to do that there simply isn’t enough time to do it all.
Many of my customers face the same problem. As consultants, we often say, “Just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should.” Keeping an eye on what I should be doing and not doing the things I shouldn’t be doing is important. Some things I need to do. Some things I need to delegate and some things I need to say “no to.”
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Business owners need to be customer-focused and revenue-focused. Being product focused often leads businesses down pathways they shouldn’t be following. Just because a client wants it doesn’t mean it should be done.
Focus on the needs of ideal customers, not everyone. Avoid activity for activity’s sake, whether it is in sales, marketing, or any other part of the business. “Will this help us sell more?” Build the product your ideal customer needs, and then figure out how to reach your ideal customer so they know you have a solution for them.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Sales is rarely a lucky accident. It is also not magic. Successful sales organizations are structured and focused. They have a clear direction, they know how to get there, and they have the tools to support them.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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