The Engine that Drives SOAR
SOAR is brought to you and the market from a partnership between Leslie Laredo (The Laredo Group) and Michael Hess, business associates and friends for the entire 20+ year history of the digital industry. Out of a passion to help our friends in the industry get smarter through data, we have developed SOAR to advance all of our businesses.
Michael's Passion for SOAR
I am incredibly excited to partner with Leslie and The Laredo Group and am deeply passionate about SOAR because it will help all key players who represent the roles I had over my career: senior executives, sales managers, and front-line sales executive warriors. There is no other mechanism today besides SOAR that provides the insights that will help companies execute better. Through my practice at Core 6 Management Advisors, I continually witness really smart and ambitious executives trying to do their best, yet until now they haven’t had quantifiable insights needed to help focus their energies and make sound strategic decisions.
Besides the operational insights afforded senior executives, sales managers and list-carrying reps, SOAR provides a deep view into the heartbeat of a company: the culture that lives each day within the sales operation. Often, companies address culture by sponsoring Thirsty Thursdays, ping-pong tables, and, unnecessarily paying top dollar to all on the sales team. According to Frank Cespedes of Harvard Business School, 20% of 700 surveyed firms reported that their compensation plans had “minimal or no impact on selling behavior”. Cespedes explains it this way, “One reason is that sales comp is typically based on some conventional wisdom that, in my experience, is often false.” (Ouch…many of you are doing it wrong!)
Even with the promise of equity events and big compensation packages that are the norm, sales executives are motivated by many other elements besides money. Recognition, career growth, title, and other factors are part of a bigger force that drives behavior amongst sales producers and yet most leadership teams don’t understand this.
Leslie's Excitement for SOAR
I have known Michael going back to the late 90s and have always admired how he thinks about our industry. His extensive experience as a successful sales manager is one of the key drivers behind what we're doing together at SOAR.
We believe that within 3 years, the knowledge, skills and aptitudes required to sell media opportunities will be 50-70% different than what is used or needed today. With increasing automation/programmatic delivery, real-time data infused campaigns, and use of audience signals and content consumption (by device) as the proxy for targeting intent and opportunity, media sellers must be competent with technology, data, and analytics, and know how to build relationships and sell across business enterprises (beyond the marketing/advertising departments) and can navigate changing marketer-agency interactions.
The reality is that publishers and other sellers in the ad tech industry must start to assess their reps and managers and determine what is needed to support a healthy sales organization via optimized candidate selection, training and coaching, as well as modify their hiring, on-boarding and other talent development efforts to prepare for the future of media selling.
For your company to receive maximum return on your sales organization investment, you will need to create and sustain a positive environment that covers all elements of what genuinely motivates your sales team. SOAR is the microscope that media and ad tech companies need to address all strategic levers that are need for success. But you can’t begin to make changes until you understand what’s going on, and SOAR is that tool that gives you the information you need.