When asked whether a new sales enablement hire would be a “direct report,” Bill Koefoed, CFO of OneStream Software, replied: “Organization matters only when your processes and relationships don’t.”
It’s an observation not shared widely perhaps among newbie CFOs, who upon their arrival are known to rely more on organizational reporting lines than relationship potential to assert their influence.
Nevertheless, four months and one pandemic into his latest CFO tour of duty, Koefoed has his relationship-building skills in high gear as he works alongside OneStream’s sales leaders to better identify those factors contributing to sales productivity.Read More
According to Koefoed, the challenge is not just about sales productivity, though, but also about how to make the team productive more quickly. Hence OneStream’s new sales enablement hire.
Says Koefoed: “People don’t have to sit in finance to be effective, and having great partners and relationships in other areas of the business is just a great way to run the business.”
In addition to sales, Koefoed’s relationship-building skills also appear to be focused on OneStream’s customers. How long a customer has been in the pipeline frequently correlates to deal size, says Koefoed, who concedes, “Obviously, big deals take longer.”
Still, Koefoed says that his focus these days is more on something that he refers to as “customer familiarity”—and here, too, he’s looking for ways to accelerate OneStream’s upward climb on his customer awareness meter.
“The more familiar somebody is with your company, the better able they are to make key decisions,” adds Koefoed, who note that in the case of OneStream, “key decisions” are what trigger the movement of customers to OneStream’s software offerings and away from software provided by larger, more established rivals. –Jack Sweeney
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CFOTL: Having worked in the Bay area for most of your career, tell us about your arrival at OneStream and the opportunity that brought you to Michigan …
Koefoed: After I got a call from a recruiter to come and see this company, the more that I pulled the covers back, the more that I liked about it. It’s really a company that was born out of a lot of folks who had deep experience with Hyperion, which, as as many know, was really the standard for consolidation and reporting and planning and analysis for the biggest companies in the world for a long time. It was acquired by a large software company in the Bay area, and now we’ve really built a modern, cloud-based, next-generation product that allows the finance organization to do all of those finance functions in a really modern and cloud-based way.Read More
We’re based in Rochester, Michigan, which is not the Bay area but does have good universities and has attracted quite a talented team to build upon. We don’t actually have the same competitive dynamics that the Bay area has, which is a really big advantage for us. We did over $130 million in 2019 and grew by over 50%. We feel that we’re well positioned to be just a really great solution for finance organizations, and we have aspirations to continue to grow the business at a pretty rapid pace.
When I look at the next year, it’s overwhelming but really exciting. It’s all about having a great team, building a great team, and having fun in your job every day, which is one of the things that I would recommend for everybody. It’s easy to say, but life’s too short: Have fun in your job. If you’re not having fun, then reevaluate the job that you’re doing or go get a new one. I really think that the difference between success and failure in life depends on whether you’re having fun.