Jeanne Buchanan
Jul 30, 2014

MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga credited one of the most important leadership lessons he has learned to the managing director of Nestle India, where Banga started his career as a young management trainee. The director, he said, would never take “no” as an acceptable answer. One had to rephrase it to “Yes, if…” and describe what kind of support they needed to get the job done. “You can change the entire feel and look of a company by making people realize that they’re not empowered to say no,” Banga noted. “They’re empowered to say “yes, if.” It changes the bureaucracy, the culture, the passion, the purpose — it changes everything."

Banga says that making a decision—saying “Yes, if…”—is much better than saying no. “If you can do that [for your employees], then you can, I believe, set free the animal spirits of a company. And—I am telling you right now—we have animal spirits in our company.”


Ken Evans
Jun 26, 2014

We just facilitated a session for one of my favorite clients, CalTech.  They are a vibrant IT services company that has doubled in size over the last few years.  I believe they would say that we were a part of that growth trajectory.

This session was about growing their business by using an intentional referral program. And why not?

Their growth rate has been terrific.  They're good at what they do as evidenced by a 99% retention rate.  Their new logo growth is a result of referrals, too.  In 2012, 66 percent of their new clients came from referrals.  In 2013, it was 63%.

The session we did for them was designed to get their customer-facing team comfortable with when and how to ask for a referral and the back-end process for following up.

They're a great sales team that sets goals, develops a plan, executes, and refines along the way.


Ken Evans
May 29, 2014

Critical Path Strategies recently facilitated a Strategic Account Management (SAM) session for Fluor in Amsterdam. We have been working with Fluor for over ten years and have conducted nearly 100 similar sessions. Our SAM process and methodology is the foundation for how they manage and internally communicate progress about their most important customers. In the past few months we have worked with them to integrate the process into their CRM system, Connect to Win, which is a system.

Two observations:

  • In half the room were delivery managers.  At Fluor, as you might imagine, they are project managers. They took to this like ducks to water. Many of the tools they found to be spot on and helpful in managing relationships and communications in the life of a project.
  • The account management tool integration into their CRM system was well received. Many of these customers have global operations and, in turn, Fluor has global coverage. The ability to inform others, both actively and passively, about customer selling and management progress will be a big plus.

These two observations remind me that selling to large clients is a team sport. Success is a result of a great deal of collaboration and communications.