VMware logo

Value

Realization

Report

ValueCloud® Allows VMware to Scale and Automate Value Across the Entire Enterprise

Customer for Life Mission

VMware doesn’t just put customer value at the center of their business, they deploy it everywhere. Their Customer for Life Mission is underpinned by the value they offer and the value their customers realize every day by using their solutions. We spoke to their Senior Director of Worldwide Sales, Mike Maxey, about their strategy regarding customer value and their experience with DecisionLink’s ValueCloud®. 

Mike started his relationship with DecisionLink at AirWatch, a company that was later acquired by VMware. AirWatch was selling a very technical solution and focused on features and functions, but as they started to scale to a more “platform” like solution, they recognized the need to move beyond a commoditized security product. Mike turned to DecisionLink to scale their value management because their internal resources were limited and they didn’t have the resources to hire a huge value team. What Mike really wanted to do was ‘empower his sales team to execute a value-led sales strategy themselves!’ 

When AirWatch was acquired by VMware in early 2014 and integrated into the business in 2016, they took ValueCloud®, an automated cloud-based customer value management (CVM) tool, with them. VMware had operated with traditional macro-enabled spreadsheet models where value experts were needed to produce each business case. As the customer-facing teams came together, Mike saw an opportunity to expand the use of ValueCloud®. As Mike says, “to be a world-class organization, it’s not about selling in a linear process.” 

“…in the world of subscription-based software, the world isn’t flat anymore, it’s round and you’ve got to continue to deliver value. A customer is going to purchase from you many times, especially in a product line like ours, where we talk about the journey to the digital workspace and it truly is a multi-phase multi-year journey that people make. If you don’t deliver on value, they’re not going to buy from you again, but if you do and you’re one of the few companies that do, you’ve got a customer for life.” 

Mike Maxey
Senior Director of Worldwide Sales
VMware

photo of Mike Maxey

Company Profile

  • Industry: Virtualization Software  
  • Location: Palo Alto, CA
  • Number of Employees: 24,000+

The Burning Platform

VMware sells a highly technical solution and it can be easy to get down into the weeds of specifications, like speeds and feeds, with checkboxes and drop-down menus. But at some point, all the competition started to look the same so the only way to differentiate is with differentiated value. VMware needed their sales team to be able to tell the customer or prospect. ‘this is what you can save and we’re the only solution that can deliver that saving.’ Mike explains, “when there’s a true dollar value associated with savings, that’s a rock-solid moment for us”. He adds, “we refer to it as the ‘burning platform’, they’ve got to jump. Some of the best business cases quantify the cost of inaction!” Letting a company know that every day they are not switching to a new solution is costing them significantly adds urgency to their desire to purchase. 

12%

Reduction in Discounting from leveraging ValueCloud®

Supporting Your Advocate

VMware is acutely aware of the fact that the pressure on investment is high and that many times, you are not in the room when that final pitch goes to the decision-makers. They use ValueCloud® to ensure their ambassadors in their prospect accounts have the tools to make the best business case possible. Mike believes that working with the prospect to define that value is huge, saying, “sometimes we sit shoulder to shoulder with the customer and say, okay help us refine this. The best deals are whenever we’re doing that kind of iteration, five, six, seven times, so the business case includes their number”. 

As a sales leader, Mike knows that when a salesperson is working this closely with a customer, the prospect is good. Conversely, when customers don’t want to engage in this kind of collaboration with his team, that’s a red flag, suggesting they see VMware in column B or C in an evaluation. 

“With ValueCloud®, we can see when we’re going through six different iterations for a business case for a company. That indicates to me that the customer if they’re investing that kind of time with us, has a real project.” 

Mike Maxey
Senior Director of Worldwide Sales
VMware

Automation Delivers Scale and Depth

It is the automation, like data from Dun & Bradstreet, weighted average cost of capital, size of company, number of staff, that allows the sales team to leverage customer value management (CVM) at a much larger scale. VMware’s sales team now goes much deeper into their pipeline because with ValueCloud®, they can easily execute a business case without relying on complex macro-enabled spreadsheets or having to go to a value engineer and wait for them to build the business case. The results have been phenomenal. Deal sizes have grown significantly, discounting has been reduced by 12% and VMware’s middle performing sales reps have produced much stronger results than they previously did without the tools and automation.  

Guided Discovery 

One of VMware’s goals was to make the discovery process as simple as possible. By working closely with the DecisionLink team to create a ‘guided discovery’ that could take even the newest sales rep through the questions to ask a customer to create an initial business proposal. Mike knows that deals that have been through this value motion and have the associated assets are more likely to close. As a result, with more than 700 sellers in the field, if a deal doesn’t have a business case or hasn’t gone through ValueCloud®, the rep needs to explain why. If anyone asks for Mike’s support in a sales engagement, his first request is for the business case and associated artifacts, because as Mike puts it, “that’s going to tell me what the business issue is, what business problem we’re trying to solve is. Then I can go in and have that conversation with the decision-maker.” 

“…the biggest impact has been that in the past, my reps would do a really good value-based sales cycle on maybe their top one or two deals per quarter. Now, my reps are going deeper into their pipeline, we go in and within 10 or 15 minutes we answer a couple of questions around what’s going on with the customer and automatically ValueCloud® pops out a pitch deck, value proposals, and more with boilerplate marketing templates, already with company letterhead and conforming to consistent standards.”

Mike Maxey
Senior Director of Worldwide Sales
VMware 

valuecloud graphic

Value for Life, Customer for Life

shaking hands image

Mike believes that DecisionLink and their commitment to value-based selling are the drivers of their “Customer for Life” strategy. As Mike so succinctly puts it “In my mind, without ValueCloud®, our ‘Customer for Life’ program would not be anywhere near what it is today”. 

“…for us, every investment that a business makes has a business case behind it. Did you write it, did they, or did your competitor? We want to be the ones that are bringing that to the forefront early on in a sales cycle. If a customer is not willing to invest the time it takes to really talk through their challenges, what’s hurting them in their business, they’re either just researching and kicking the tires or they’ve already found somebody. It’s not you and they needed a competitive quote.” 

Mike Maxey
Senior Director of Worldwide Sales
VMware 

Key Benefits

  • Reduced discounting by 12% by leveraging quantified business value early in the sales cycle 
  • Created a roadmap for success and accompanying value for each customer 
  • Value has become the heart of VMware’s Customer for Life Mission 
  • Empowered 700 sales reps to build business cases on their own with an easy-to-use, self-service platform 

View our other Case Studies

Crowdstrike
CrowdStrike graphic

Value Realization Report

DocuSign
DocuSign graphic

Value Realization Report

Verint
DocuSign graphic

Value Realization Report

VMWare
vmware graphic

Value Realization Report

ServiceNow
servicenow logo

Value Realization Report

Crowdstrike
CrowdStrike graphic

Value Realization Report

DocuSign
DocuSign graphic

Value Realization Report

Verint
DocuSign graphic

Value Realization Report

VMWare
vmware graphic

Value Realization Report

ServiceNow
servicenow logo

Value Realization Report

decisonlink valuecloud logo

3423 Piedmont Rd NE • Atlanta, GA 30305
Phone: 800-670-8301 • E-mail: info@decisionlink.com