Mike is a very curious person and as a child he was known for asking a lot of questions to simply understand how things work. With that DNA, he appropriately chose engineering as his degree. However, as he entered the workforce, he wanted to be directly involved with solving problems, so he started his career as a sales engineer, where he learned the skills and mechanics of sales.
Mike's competitive nature sometimes frustrated him whenever he lost deals to superior products. This led him to more education and a career move to product management, where he learned the nuances of product development, product positioning, messaging and strategy. Mike really enjoyed the role of a product manager because for the first time he could see the creation of a product grow into the market. It was this experience that formed Mike’s passion and confidence to start a system integration business.
It took a lot of work to get the business off the ground, but what he soon discovered was that the constantly changing technology, competition and market needs kept pulling him away from sales. He tried delegating some of the work, but there was just too much knowledge needed and he found it easier to just do the work himself. So the business remained stuck.
Already overworked and stressed, Mike then received a message from his largest customer, telling him they were moving on to a competitor. The news was shocking on so many levels and he seriously thought about quitting.
But Mike is not a quitter and his curiosity again drove him to understand how to get the business over the hump, or rather, how to get his employees to make meaningful contributions to the business. He reflected on his experiences and reviewed various sales and marketing seminars, books and courses he had taken over the years. He concluded that for anyone to make meaningful contributions to the business, they needed to know the fundamentals of strategy, market focus and sales execution. But teaching all of this was not a viable option. So forced to find another way, Mike focused on processes that not only taught these fundamentals but also reinforced a market-focus and a productive sales culture.
The result of this simple step was amazing and the business emerged as the region’s premier system integration firm. So, as I sit here today, with Viotera and its mission to serve small business, I decided to build out a course that not only efficiently teaches these business fundamentals, but also puts them into action so that you can grow your business with confidence and embrace change as your vehicle for sustained growth. I call my system S.O. Productive