Despite being sidelined midweek by the flu, I had an action packed visit to Austin. I quickly am getting immersed in all things Stratfor including the people, the products and the many factors that will come into play as we build the enterprise side of the business.
My early assessment is that we have three main priorities in the early days of this venture…
Product Differentiation (consumer vs. enterprise)
Product Development & Content Optimization (enterprise specific)
Marketing & Promotion (dedicated resources)
Further, I have three main priorities as a manager in the early days of my new position…
Restructure sales territories and compensation plans then set clearly defined sales goals for individuals and for the team.
Evaluate existing sales talent, conduct cost analysis for each person, eliminate and replace talent as necessary.
Begin building a team of people that work together in pursuit of a revenue goal and represent Stratfor in a professional and highly credible manner at all times.
Each week, I will give the Exec Team a brief taste of what each rep is working on so that you might get an idea of their individual contribution and allow you an opportunity to offer any connections, support, ideas, etc. regarding the kinds of business or accounts we are pursuing.
Renewed approximately $75K in business this week and closed four executive briefings worth $66,500. Along with her usual intense customer support activity, Debora spent time this week with the Washington reps helping them through Stratfor specific contracting issues with Federal government clients. She is anxious to be a resource to them and in turn they are both eager to learn from her (as time permits, of course).
American Airlines (licensing agreement)
Merck: $85K proposal for GV monitoring and quarterly forecasts covering 12 countries.
Office Max - business risk assessments, analysis and monitoring (March 22nd)
Marine Corps, requesting a more focused briefing on Yemen.
Choice Energy: President of this Houston-based energy consultant company wants to have a STRATFOR analyst to speak at a local YPO/WPO chapter.
Liberty Mining and Metals (Part of Liberty Mutual): submitted $45K proposal for full-day executive briefing with several analysts covering 15 countries.
March deals: Awaiting paperwork on $10K deal for Navy 6th Fleet ($18K annual amount prorated to FYE Sept 2010 – 100 Users), $3K deal for 11 users for SRA/Cal EMA. Other prospective deals ahead but unlikely for March:
US Naval Special Warfare Command (SEALS), this is a Ron Duchin lead that could be 30 users for roughly $6500 with the potential to expand to 100 users or more (late spring/summer)
SAIC 20 – 30 users, $7,500+
BAE 20 users $6,000
Dept of Treasury 20 users $6,000
Unlikely for March, but the most promising deals ahead are George Mason University Library, Anne Arundel Community College and the DEA. Also anxious to engage Capitol Hill prospects (i.e. House HLS Committee) with a possible Stratfor custom content portal offering. Melanie has a deep understanding of custom content feeds from her time at Lexus-Nexus and has offered to spearhead the project from the sales side.
While quite capable, Melanie appears to be having trouble getting traction on accounts and closing business, I will need to work closely with her to determine the reasons why. I suspect that she needs more structure and hands-on management in order to thrive. I can do that.
Closed two pieces of business this week, TCU $18K and Baylor $5K, but unfortunately lost two large opportunities that he had been chasing for quite some time , South African Airways and EU Parliament (both $100K+).
Looking forward, Lufthansa is likely to come in for $4K and with some heavy handed counsel on pricing from his new boss (me), Nate submitted a $100K proposal to the Int'l School of Beijing for a one week training engagement. We should have more feedback next week.