Kevin Price, Host of the Price of Business on Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston) recently interviewed Jeffrey Palermo.
About the interviewee
Jeffrey Palermo, CEO and Managing Partner of Clear Measure, is an eight-time Microsoft MVP and recognized expert in business-critical core software systems engineering. A frequent speaker and author of three books, he has built two market-leading software engineering firms. Jeffrey has been working with senior executives to solve business problems for 15 years. He has developed a methodology for the engineering of software systems that directly ties engineering practices to measurable ROI. He has helped hundreds of clients improve their business performance and achieve competitive advantage by better leveraging custom software systems and focusing on clear business outcomes.
Tell me about your firm (number of employees, location, type of companies you work with, etc.).
Clear Measure is a custom software engineering firm that delivers competitive advantage to growing companies by helping them gain positive and measurable business outcomes from their toughest technology challenges. We achieve these results through a focused business approach, innovative leadership, and critical expertise in designing, building, integrating and modernizing software solutions.
By building custom software that is architected for ROI, and then managing and operating it efficiently, we enable companies to realize long-term cost savings and maximize their systems’ business value. Unlike other software engineering firms, Clear Measure runs and maintains the applications we build, sharing responsibility for their long-term success. The systems we develop enable clients to deliver the innovative services, data, and transactions that drive top-line growth and bottom-line profitability.
Clear Measure’s corporate headquarters is in in Austin, TX, with offices in Dallas and Ohio.
What type and size of companies do you have as clients?
Clear Measure provides custom software development services to small, mid-sized and large growth-oriented companies, across all industries, that recognize that they need a competitive differentiator to achieve future growth, or that their current technology is holding them back.
As an example, S3 is a fast-growing company that provides complex claims administration for large law firms. These firms expect insurance claims to be processed with speed, scalability, and low cost. That is also important to S3 since the lower the cost per claim and the faster claims are closed, the more clients it can serve with maximized profitability. We worked with S3 to build a custom software system that delivers fast, automated workflows that minimize manual human interaction. S3 was able to reduce the time and cost of claims delivery, giving it the advantage over its competitors to win large deals consistently and deliver maximum value to its customers.
What comes to mind when you see this topic?
C-level executives are looking for ways to strategically grow their businesses. When selling to CEOs, it’s important to deliver solutions that provide measureable results, differentiate their companies in the market and enable them to achieve positive business outcomes. If you are selling technology, CEOs want solutions that are highly attuned to their specific business needs and enable them to spend more time focused on reaching their strategic business goals and less time on IT development. Making the business case to the CEO requires an understanding of the company’s specific business and what makes it unique, and then automating its processes with core business – and often unique – software to help the company better achieve its end goals. This approach provides a double advantage of reducing operating costs (therefore improving profitability) and allowing the company to capture new customers faster and at lower cost than its competitors (new revenue and competitive advantage).
What are the best practices when it comes to this issue?
A key best practice in selling to C-level executives is to understand their goals and challenges from a very strategic business perspective. It’s not about technology but rather about the company’s business and how the solution enables critical business advantage. We discuss these issues with the C-level executives, identify the critical business problems they’re trying to solve, and what competitive advantage would look like for their businesses. We work with them to create a definition of success that can be translated into clear and measurable business outcomes. It starts with understanding how people interact with the software on a daily basis. What do they need? How will they work? Then we help create and map requirements to unique business processes. We help define metrics, visibility, and control. We help determine what will be measured, who will have visibility and how much, and how we’ll know when the goals are reached.