Luca Lazzaron, CRO of Sprinklr, On Leading with Respect and Humility
Most young soccer players want to be the star of the team. Not Luca Lazzaron. He set his eye on the coach’s job. That early spark to be “in charge” grew in Luca and was the driving force behind him organizing a 3,000-person party during college and managing a 40-person branch in his first full-time job. “Those were the first signals that something in my DNA was driving me to lead and think big.”
But he didn’t stop there. Urged by his friends to leave behind his 18-hour-per-day job in food services and join them in the technology industry, he landed a job at PTC. Once Luca broke into the technology market, he never looked back.
Now Chief Revenue Officer of Sprinklr, a provider of Customer Experience Management (CXM) software, he’s built and led winning teams at revered companies including PTC, BMC Software, and Cisco.
I used to think leadership was about being the boss. I learned that it’s about earning the respect to lead the team.
Luca will be the first to tell you that his concept of leadership matured with experience. “I used to think leadership was about being the boss. I learned that it’s about earning the respect to lead the team.”
In fact, Luca is very clear about the difference between being a manager and being a leader. “Managers focus on inspecting what their reps are doing. You first need to inspire. Then you get to coach and then you earn the right to inspect. The order matters. And it’s how you build a phenomenal team.”
Luca has done just that many times over by devising and activating key winning strategies. At PTC he mastered the direct sales model – coupling MEDDPICC with a well-defined sales process. “You need both but you should not confuse the two.”
While at BMC, he transformed the sales organization by calling upon his three-P framework. “You need people, process, and the right playbook.”
And at Cisco, he incorporated the indirect sales model into his arsenal. “It opened my mind to what is possible, how you can scale business through partnership.”
Some of Luca’s other keys to success:
- Understanding what it takes to scale. According to Luca, you can’t control a business as it scales without the right salespeople in place and a granular process to guide them.
- Creating strategic partner categories. Luca understands the value of building a diverse ecosystem of partners that enable any customer to create the solution they need.
- Respect that company founders are wired differently. During his time as a consultant for venture-capital-backed startups, Luca saw that founders’ superpower stems from their ability to fixate on opportunity while others focus on risk.