State of Stretch: 53 down, many more to go...
Happy March 4th Eve…
I’m going rogue this week and tweaking things a bit. March 4th is tomorrow!!!!!!
Exactly one year ago tomorrow is when I launched this crazy hair-brained idea of a newsletter. This marks 53 CONSECUTIVE WEEKS of sending an email each Wednesday morning. Check out that first email HERE and find out why March 4th has become a yearly celebration and reflective adventure.
Faced with the choice of giving up on our goals or marching forward - this date serves as a reminder to execute instead of retreat.
I’ve got a ton of content I’m excited to share in the coming weeks but wanted to pause a bit and reflect on the journey here so far.
If this bores you, go ahead and skip this one. Regular programming will resume after the break.
For those that are interested in the journey as well as what’s next on the roadmap…read on.
Let’s get to it…
State of Stretch:
I was looking at this the other day and it hit me that there is a great sales (and life) analogy with these images. Check em out:
Subscribers Last 4 weeks:
Subscribers Last 12 weeks:
Subscribers Last 52 weeks:
This lesson is something we all need to remember. In sales, we’re going to have ups and downs. We’re not going to win every deal we are in. (I’ve never seen anyone with a 100% close rate).
What’s the lesson? If we focus only on what is in front of us, we often get lost in every success and failure. Every step seems so critical and crucial.
But as we zoom out, things get a bit more clear. Trajectory is made more apparent. And that is where success is measured.
In total: 268 of you have trusted me with your email and I hope it’s been rewarding. And this number increases every week. That’s what’s crazy.
But behind the small yet growing subscriber numbers are actual sales leaders with teams, reps, customers, deals, and quotas to hit. Sales pros from all across the world. Leaders at publicly traded companies to startups and everything in between. LOTS of individuals and companies I admire.
That’s who is on this list. And that’s humbling. Thank you!
What’s that process been like?
Lots of late Tuesday nights. Many times I’ve caught myself asking myself “why am I doing this again?”. I already have a job and quite frankly - this is more work on top of work. But seeing new subscribers each week continues to keep me going. Zooming out makes it all worth it.
There’s really no magic bullet in sales. There are so many things to focus on, coach, learn, and perfect. But something I believe to be a key contributor to success for anyone is to be “consistently persistent”. Showing up.
So that’s what I’m going to do here with 53 weeks down and another 52 weeks ahead.
I started this not really knowing what to expect or really caring what it was other than an outlet to share some personal learnings.
But now, it seems to make sense to shoot for something this year. I think we can get to 1,000 subscribers by March 4, 2022.
I’d LOVE your support in the quest for 1,000. #Stretch1k
To get there, I’m also asking for feedback on how I can make the weekly email more valuable. So if you have a couple of spare minutes, PLEASE:
TAKE THIS QUICK (2 min) SURVEY
This helps me understand what you’re interested in. What you find helpful. What do you like? What resonates? What do you skip over and what do you delete?
Help me help you…
I’ve talked with some of you about what’s next. I figured it would be fun (while holding me accountable) to publicly share a few things I’m working on and looking forward to releasing soon. MARCH FORTH! A few things that I have in the works:
I had hoped to get this up and running by March 4th, but committing here is the motivation I need to publicly hold myself accountable. I’m still finalizing a name (HELP ME DECIDE HERE) that fits with Apple/Spotify’s requirements, is favorable for Podcast SEO (this is a thing), yet explains to future listeners what they can expect to get out of the podcast. Who knew so much went into creating a podcast? I did get a sweet mic though so…making progress.
My vision for the podcast is to focus on two distinct “channels”.
Channel 1: Weekly Recaps.
This will be a short 5 min episode of me using my own smooth voicebox reading the weekly email. It’s essentially the Stretch VP Weekly Email - Audio Version.
There is a surge of newsletter authors starting to do this and it fits with how I consume content so figured, others may find it useful as well.
Don’t have time to read everything in the email? Subscribe to the podcast and get these delivered to both your inbox or podcast player of choice for a quick 5-7 minute recap of that week’s email. Of course, the episode details page will link to the appropriate email so you can dive in deep with snippet links, articles, and other podcasts I’ve included that week.
*Currently deciding on either using Substack (what I use for this newsletter) or Anchor (a dedicated Podcast Host) for this as well as a distribution schedule and format.
Timeframe: next few weeks. Stay tuned.
Channel 2: Lessons from Leaders
As a fan of the interview-style podcast myself, I plan on following suit with a 1-1 interview with legit leaders in SaaS to document their journey as a sales leader, with some recommendations, learnings, and insights for us to emulate. It’s always helpful and motivating for me to talk with other sales leaders and learn from their journey. Hope you think so as well.
Timeframe: Mid-end of Q2
Channel 3: TBD
Leaving room for iteration!
I’m moving my website and blog over to a new host. With this also comes a new logo and branding. Kinda geeky but helps provide some clarity around the Stretch VP Website, Blog, Newsletter, and more down the road.
Plus - I was sick of GoDaddy kicking visitors off whenever it decided.
This may be a Carrd site at first while I configure everything else. I’m also leaning towards using Medium exclusively for the blog. My mentality is DONE > PERFECT.
Timeline: This month
Stretch VP Database
Have you ever asked yourself: “What was that article I read talking about top negotiation tactics?” or “What about the famous 5-minute rule?” and even “Best way to structure your sales team and process?”
I’ve often had to go back and reference past articles, podcasts, and things I’ve shared for my own good, or as part of the day/day conversation with my team.
Luckily my process to curate and send this weekly newsletter allows me to categorize, search and quickly serve up content I’ve shared. This is cool because with a few tweaks, I have my own mini-google of Stretch VP curated insights.
I’ve heard from a few others that this may be helpful and would be of interest, so with some clean-up and extra nights/weekends, this will be ready to launch in the next month to all of you.
Timeline: Early Q2
Other things kicking around my head are:
Awards nominated by leaders to publicly recognize sellers, team members, other leaders, and mentors. Annual Stretch VP MVPs etc.
Job board. Just a quick look at Stretch VP subscribers will tell you there’s a SOLID group of smart, ambitious, coachable individuals that may be looking for that next thing. I’m working on something that can curate/send new sales leadership roles to subscribers. Intriguing?
Digital products like the Stretch VP Database, Startup Sales Stack, etc.
Collaborations and Guest content on the blog
Thanks for reading and March Forth!
My hope is if you find this valuable, consider sharing it with friends (or signing up if you haven’t already). #Stretch1K
— Grant 👋
About stretch vp: confessions, learnings, and insights from sales leaders in SaaS
Compiled and aggregated from a network of sales leaders in SaaS, Stretch VP showcases learnings, insights, and experiences as well as best practices to overcome common hurdles, obstacles, and setbacks in your quest for excellence as a sales leader in SaaS.
Are you a VP, Director, thought leader, or content producer in the SaaS space? We’d love to have you contribute. Contact Me HERE.
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