My name is Christian Dillstrom and I am an international growth hacker with over 10 years of experience. Also, I am the most read business article author in the World for fourth year running.
My tens of millions of monthly global business readers just love to read interviews about their peers and therefore I started an article series in which I interview interesting businesspeople around the globe.
I was very fortunate to meet an experienced CEO whose startup has solved a challenge that every organization faces:
How to easily empower everyone in the organization to generate hot sales leads?
Please enjoy my interview of Tom Aas.
— Christian Dillstrom
WHO IS TOM AAS?
Tom is 51 years old Founder & CEO from Oslo, Norway.
He works at LeadX empowering B2Bs with a groundbreaking SaaS solution that gives everyone in their organization the ability to generate leads, get recognition, and grow revenue.
ESSENTIAL 11 QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS TO TOM
- What is your education?
I spent 10 years in the Norwegian army including Officer Candidate School and Norwegian Military Academy. I completed my Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) at The Army College of Engineering, and finally a Master of Management (MM) at Norwegian School of Management BI.
- What is your work experience?
After my 10 years in Norwegian defense forces, I worked for three years as a Management Consultant in Deloitte, almost 11 years as Sales Director in world leading software/IT companies like CSC and SAP and 7 years as CEO for world leading software companies.
- What other kind of experience do you have?
I was a very active athlete for 13 years. I was in the national speed skating team.
My best performance was winning one of the World Cup competitions as a junior by doing 100 meters in 9.7 seconds. This was in 1986, and speed skaters with more modern equipment struggle with that speed today.
- What are your strengths?
My key strength is execution. I make things happen in a structured order with high speed.
I like people and love the talent I can find in them. I am positive and cannot do anything without a good team.
With my background as a top athlete I like to go for the Olympic gold medal. National championships are not enough. That is why I am joining a Silicon Valley accelerator right now. I have no problem having big visions without fear.
- What are your weaknesses?
I am too optimistic sometimes. I plan many activities in parallel and get impatient about the time everything takes. I want it to be done yesterday!
- What can you do for an organization?
I can help medium-sized and big businesses to empower their employees and external partners to generate hot sales leads. Through that people feel involved, they are proud of their company or partner, churn is reduced, and revenues are increased.
- Why are you better than other CEOs trying to help their customer improve sales?
I have been working in similar roles as my target audience for more than 20 years. I know the pain with existing CRMs and other systems, and I have seen the opportunities with employees and partners first-hand.
I could be one of the guys I am trying to help and sell to.
- What are the biggest challenges in your work?
The biggest challenge is a fast moving B2B world. The technology is speeding up everything and it is difficult to keep up to date.
- What does your organization do in its industry?
We introduce a new category of sales software. We have named it Lead Management 360. We take a 360-degree perspective on lead generation and processing.
We help medium-sized and big businesses to build a strong sales culture and empower all the players around them to generate hot sales leads.
In short, we make everyone a better seller and help our clients generate more value for themselves and the society around them.
- What are the unique selling points of your organization?
We are doing something totally new in our industry.
We will make everyone a better seller, even those who previously thought they were not salespersons.
While traditional sales software has been targeting the sales and marketing people, we focus on all other personnel of the organization.
Of course, we also help sales and marketing staff, but above of all we are happy to help them by presenting them the already warm leads generated by other personnel in the organization on a silver plate to close the deal.
- What are the biggest sales challenges in the industry of your organization?
The biggest challenge in our industry is that we are moving in a competitive landscape with a lot of noise, confusion and frustration.
Many have for instance negative feelings and experience with traditional CRM solutions. They have tried them all, and they still don’t get the expected value out of them.
So many have tried to build sales and marketing software, and it’s very difficult for the buyers to understand what they need and who to contact.
So, Tom – what do you mean by empowering everyone to generate sales leads?
Christian, today non-sales employees of a company are either lacking willingness or easy and quick tools to pass on sales leads they encounter while facing clients.
In worst cases, they even feel neglected.
We just provide the employees of our clients with a mobile phone app that will both give them recognition for passing the possible sales leads they encounter, and they will even be rewarded if their sales leads become a deal.
That will truly empower employees. Best of all they will feel very respected. This is fair since its them who do the extra work and deserve the honor and reward.
Tom, what will your potential clients achieve if they use your tool?
Well Christian, first of all, they will get a tool in their hand that will gradually help build a strong sales culture in the organization.
Participating in generating and celebrating sales will also generate a lot of good energy in the organization.
The person working in the finance department, or in the warehouse need to hear some good news every now and then. It will make them feel safe about their job, and they feel ownership of the company income.
This is good for the unity and motivation in a company, of course, but what value will the company’s managers get by using your tool?
Actually Christian, this way of working will have a major impact on both revenue and margin.
Since LeadX helps with warm introductions to sales leads, the customer acquisition costs are reduced, the hit rate is improved, and above all the revenues increase.
You also put the tool in the hand of your partners and alliances.
With LeadX on their mobile phone, they can easily start a sales process, and they also get both recognition and reward by doing it.
Many people talk about what will be typical for successful organizations in the next decade. Most experts and leaders agree that working with your networks internally and externally will be the key.
LeadX as a concept and product I believe fit perfectly in that world.
But Tom, don’t many companies use CRM systems for their sales processes? What is different with LeadX?
That is right, most companies have invested a lot in CRM systems, and they may even have tried several over the years.
The problem with CRM systems is that they are complex to use, and even the sales professionals struggle with updating and using them.
It has therefore been difficult to involve others in the organization in CRM.
LeadX works as a standalone for those lacking CRM, but also as an added value for those that have one.
We integrate with the leading CRM players. We also manage to involve people much more broadly than traditional CRM systems.
With LeadX our clients have a toll to break down organizational silos and boost sales.
What do you mean by “breaking down silos”?
Well, I have experienced firsthand that many medium sized and big organizations are working in silos. They have their internal culture and systems, and the communication between the silos is often poor.
With this easy and fun to use tool, you can establish links between these silos and mobilize the employees of your organization for lead generation and success.
Thank you, Tom. This sounds really interesting.
I would like to try LeadX myself, and I am sure many of my readers feel the same. Good luck with taking the product worldwide and growing the company!
Thank you Christian, I appreciate your input and insight. Thank you for the great dialogue. I can for sure see that you have grasped my vision.