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Meet John Spiliotis, Cherwell’s Newest Board Member

Posted by on May 08, 2018

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This week, we're delighted to welcome two new members to Cherwell's Board of Managers. Dave Welsh is currently KKR’s Head of TMT Growth Equity. Also joining the board is John Spiliotis, a career veteran in go-to-market and sales leadership for enterprise software companies. Like Cherwell, Spiliotis is based in the state of Colorado, so we were particularly pleased to be able to chat with him about why he's joining the board, his take on how companies should embrace new technology, and of course, what he loves about his home state.

Q&A with John Spiliotis

Q: Once you realized there was a fit with the team, what drew you to Cherwell’s Board?

A: I really felt I could add a new, fresh, "outside" perspective that was built on my sales experience and passion for teamwork. Being on the Cherwell Board is a privilege that I take very seriously and know will have a positive outcome for the company.

Q: You’ve been in sales leadership roles at many major brands — do you have a particular business philosophy that helped guide your efforts?

A: My 33-year sales career has always been focused on "doing the right thing" versus just doing things right. There's a big difference and the customer is in the middle of it. When we approach customers with that mindset that they are smarter than us, and when we really listen to them, good things happen.

"My 33-year sales career has always been focused on 'doing the right thing' versus just doing things right." —John Spiliotis

The other philosophy I have is that sales is a team sport, not an individual one. No one in sales can win without the help of teammates — system consultants, finance, sales operations, HR, recruiting, support, etc.

Q: When it comes to companies embracing new technologies, what have you seen as the most effective practices?

A: I've always looked for customers who are willing to look for new ways to differentiate themselves and their services. Then, we make them champions, doing whatever is needed to make these customers successful. They become "ambassadors" for our cause from that point on throughout their own organization and with others. Secondly, I believe that solutions consultants are the ones who can truly earn customers' trust as a new technology is being considered and rolled out. I've found that solutions consultants can translate new technology into customer benefits. Benefits matter, not just features. Benefits sell. Lastly, always consider your channel partners and how to integrate them into the sale and support of the end user.  When executed well, a good channel program truly accelerates sales and growth.

Q: You have helped lead top companies through periods of major growth, any lessons learned shape how you approach advising companies in similar positions now?

A: My approach to navigating change is simple: define what outcome you're looking for and then work backwards to create a plan with milestones that matter. Break down the vision into tangible, actionable steps that are relevant, measurable and accountable. Make sure everyone on the team understands the expected outcome, are personally accountable for their role on the team and are supported to achieve their objectives. As I mentioned related to sales, remember: business is a team sport and everyone has a role in the success. I like to personalize the environment and keep it light and fun for everyone on the team. I've use lots of reward and recognition for teammates to drive a healthy, motivating environment that wins.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about living in Colorado?

A: After being in Colorado for more than 23 years and raising three kids here with my wife, I've found the weather is one of my favorite things because it allows us to enjoy all of the natural beauty of the state. If you live here, you need to get outside and enjoy all the state has to offer, and we do! 

Next Up: Find out more about Cherwell's two newest board members.

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