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The Unicorn Fallacy Part 3: Ditch the Growth-or-Die Herd

Feb 06, 2024
2 min read

The world of startups and entrepreneurial ventures has long been obsessed with the concept of unicorns—companies with billion-dollar valuations. However, The Unicorn Fallacy, written by Xactly’s Founder, Chris Cabrera, challenges this prevailing belief and argues for a new perspective on business success.

In this final installment of a three-part blog series, we recap the key takeaways from the latest episode of Sales Hacks with Xactly, The Unicorn Fallacy: Ditch the Growth-or-Die Herd, where Chris, alongside Xactly sales leaders Taylor Wilding and Brandyn Le-Lewis, sheds light on alternative approaches to growth. Read on for the full episode recap, which includes potential lessons for entrepreneurs, investors, and business professionals alike.

Cost-Cutting Measures

There’s a current challenge of balancing company expenses with employee needs, citing the complexity of modern life and the importance of finding a balance between cost-cutting and employee engagement. The financial impact of company events such asPresident's Club should be factored in this equation.

Leveraging ICM Technology to Optimize Sales Performance

There are limitations to traditional commission structures, which prioritize revenue over quality and longevity. Instead, revenue leaders need to focus on generating revenue that goes beyond incentivizing sales reps to close ARR at all costs—and consider how long that revenue is going to be coming in and how much it increases automatically year-over-year.

Using Data and AI in Sales Leadership

Revenue leaders need to embrace data-driven decision-making, make sense of the data, and leverage tools to augment decision-making and stay ahead of the competition. Acknowledging that AI is rapidly changing the landscape is critical, and ignoring it may result in falling behind.

Company Culture and Sales Strategies for Long-term Growth

Culture plays an important role in a company's profitability and growth, as organizations that prioritized unicorn valuations over culture are now struggling. Their revenue growth slowed as the economy slowed and now that they’re underwater, their stock is worthless, causing many employees to leave those companies.

Instead, getting buy-in from employees on a balanced approach to business is crucial for building a healthy and successful company. Revenue leaders should prioritize quality revenue and actively care about it. They should create revenue that is better than simply incentivizing reps to close ARR at all costs. Instead, consider how long that revenue will be coming in and how much it will increase automatically every year. They can achieve this by focusing on signing longer-term deals and implementing changes in compensation plans to incentivize closing those deals. By altering the motivations of the Sales team, it’s possible to attain dramatically different results and drive the company towards success.

Sales Techniques and Company Growth

In coaching sales representatives, it is essential to emphasize the significance of continuous improvement and learning. Reps should prioritize self-improvement by actively listening to recordings of their sales calls to identify areas for growth. Additionally, valuable insights can be gained by sitting down with peers and learning from each other's approaches to handling objections. By adopting these practices, reps can enhance their skills and contribute to the overall growth and success of the company.

By re-evaluating the perceptions of unicorns and acknowledging the limitations of rapid expansion, entrepreneurs, investors, and business leaders can build more sustainable and resilient companies, and adopt a more holistic approach to success. The episode serves as a valuable resource for anyone seeking to challenge the prevailing narrative of rapid growth as the ultimate goal and explore alternative paths to success in the dynamic business landscape.

You can watch the full episode on-demand here.

  • Compensation
  • Culture
  • Intelligent Revenue
  • Sales Coaching and Motivation
  • Sales Performance Management
Kelly Arellano, Senior Content Marketing Manager at Xactly
Kelly Arellano
Senior Content Marketing Manager

Kelly has over 10 years of marketing experience in demand generation and content marketing. She was born and raised in the Bay Area and enjoys sports, going to the beach, golfing, lifting weights, and playing with her three littles.