Lies and the Lying CEOs That Tell Them, Compete Regrets, People Enablement

Lying is bad.

When you’re the CEO of a publicly traded company, lying is illegal. 

That doesn’t always stop them from doing it though… 

One way to push back against lies is with data — ideally third-party, objective, quantitative data. 

As it turns out, data from win-loss analysis and interviews checks all three boxes.

And that’s exactly how one CEO corrected the record when his rival was spouting lies. 

That’s first up in today’s edition of Coffee & Compete

Plus, Community Brands’ Senior Director of Product Marketing Tirrah Switzer on her biggest compete career mistake.

And a revenue enablement pro who puts people first. 

Let’s roll,

Ben ✌️

The lie detector determined THAT was a lie  

Once upon a time, Tom Ebling was the CEO of Demandware. 

The CEO of their main competitor at the time — a CEO and competitor who shall remain nameless — had a bone to pick. 

Maybe he woke up on the wrong side of the bed for a couple weeks straight. Maybe he’s a long-suffering Dallas Cowboys fan. Maybe he had previously tried to acquire Demandware, failed, and then got bitter about it. 

We’ll never know the real reason why this CEO had it out for Tom and Demandware (although it’s probably the last one).

But partly as a result of this bitterness, he started to lie. 

As Tom remembers it:

“He would tell investors that his product was far superior to ours and that he was beating us in the marketplace, which we knew wasn’t true.” 

But knowing it in your gut and knowing it based on evidence are two very different things. Especially when you’re the CEO of a publicly traded company. 

So Tom turned to win-loss analysis for the kind of data that could help prove to his stakeholders that the other CEO was…stretching the truth. 

“Once we started getting the third party, win-loss information and could see that this competitor never even made it to the finals in any of our deals, I could now respond to my investors with confidence.” 

Of course win-loss insights aren’t just for putting a rival in their place (although that is pretty sweet!)

Objective, third-party data you get from win-loss analysis can and should inform all your strategic decision-making. Like the multi-million dollar acquisition Tom made during his tenure at Demandware.

Tom talks about that acquisition, the unnamed rival CEO, and much more on this week’s episode of Blindspots with host Ryan Sorley. 

And you can check out the full episode on YouTube, Spotify Apple Podcasts and more right now.

❓How long should you stick with sales❓

Tirrah Switzer‘s biggest mistake in her career as a product marketer and compete professional? Taking too long to expand beyond sales.

But that doesn’t mean she regrets starting with sales. 

“I think that starting with enabling sales is 100% the reason why we’ve been able to show success with the compete program.”

Today Tirrah’s compete program supports her executive team, using competitive and market intel to inform their overall strategy. Her team also surfaces the intel and insights that fuel Community Brands’ marketing efforts. 

The partnership with sales will always be core to her compete program — and yours too probably.

But knowing what she knows now, how the insights unlocked by compete programs make every department better, she regrets not having pushed harder to work with the senior leadership team sooner. 

There’ve been a lot more wins than regrets for TIrrah in her career though.

And you can hear more about all that #winning on this week’s episode of the  Competitive Enablement Show

Coffee & Compete Community Corner

The numbers. The people. 

People aren’t numbers. but when you’re in sales, you sure as hell have to put up numbers. 

Revenue enablement pros like Steph White know that when companies invest in people, they put up better numbers in the end. 

She’s the author of this week’s post in today’s Community Corner

And she’ll be one of the guests on Season 2 of Winning as Women with host Jody Geiger launching July 7. 

steph white sales enablement

Thanks for reading this week’s edition of Coffee & Compete. As always, please reach out to me and the rest of the team with your thoughts and feedback. 

And If you know someone who isn’t already subscribed to Coffee & Compete, be a good friend and tell them about us.
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