Just a few months into his new job as Workday co-CEO, Carl Eschenbach is actively ratcheting up the sales intensity at the company by overhauling international sales leadership, building out new go-to-market plans, and glowing over his discovery that Workday’s filled with “great people who like to kick ass.”
Set to become sole CEO early next year, Eschenbach is in some ways balancing the overall capabilities of Workday, which has always been very strong in its use of advanced technology and development of sophisticated products but has not been nearly as feisty in its sales and marketing efforts.
That is set to change — quickly and dramatically — under the high-intensity leadership of Eschenbach, whose superb background I analyzed early this year in a piece called Who Is Carl Eschenbach, and Why Is Workday Betting its Future on Him?
And speaking earlier this week at a Morgan Stanley investors conference alongside cofounder and co-CEO Aneel Bhusri, Eschenbach offered some insights into how he plays to infuse “more giddyup” into Workday’s sales and marketing organizations.
The first centers on his delight in discovering that the Workday culture is totally receptive to and supportive of Eschenbach’s intentions to “amp up” the growth opportunities.
“What really attracted me to Workday was the value and culture system that Aneel and co-founder Dave Duffield built over the last 18 years and how we treat our people, and focus on customers,” Eschenbach said.
“Inside the company, the Workmates like to use this line: ‘We’re great people, but we like to kick ass.’
“And I’ll tell you, I’ve had a few chances to witness that.”
Building off that scrappy base, Eschenbach talked about three big opportunities: Driving much more revenue outside the U.S., selling more to existing customers, and leveraging Workday’s ecosystem to help boost the overall business. Here’s a look at how he views each of those opportunities.
“The statistic we share with folks is right now 25% of our business comes from outside the U.S., but international represents more than 50% of our opportunity or TAM,” Eschenbach said.
“We’ve seen more macro headwinds in Europe, and we’ve called that out as why some of our international growth has been down. But I also think the opportunity is very large and we haven’t executed well — if I can say that with Aneel sitting here next to me!”
Eschenbach mentioned new leaders for European operations as well as country or regional leaders for the UK, Northern Europe, Germany, and parts of Asia-Pacific.
Selling More to Existing Customers
“The business Workday has built is really durable,” Eschenbach said at the Morgan Stanley event.
“And what I mean by that is when you look at the strength of our installed base of customers and the opportunity to sell back into it with all of our solutions, I think that’s really, really impressive. And as we do that, I like the diversity in who we’re selling to.”
Bigger Opportunity for Ecosystem — And for Workday
(Early next month, I’ll be sharing a video interview I did with Eschenbach about Workday’s partners ecosystem strategy as part of Acceleration Economy’s Partners Ecosystem Innovation series. For now, here’s what he shared on that subject at the Morgan Stanley investors event.)
Register here for your on-demand pass to view all content from Partners Ecosystem Digital Summit. The digital event, which took place on April 20, focused on analyzing the business and IT imperatives around cloud, AI, automation, data modernization, and cybersecurity that define the future of partnerships.
“We have a number of partners that have literally built $1 billion franchises on the back of implementing and installing Workday, and we’re really happy for them. But we’re also going to start to lean in on them in a partnership, and we’re also going to start to look for reciprocity and how they can drive this to market,” Eschenbach said.
“So there’s a lot of innovation we’re doing and planning to do on the go-to-market side… And you’ll certainly see a number of changes over the coming 6-12.”
To hear more data modernization, AI/hyperautomation, cybersecurity, and growth strategies from CIO practitioners, tune into Acceleration Economy’s Digital CIO Summit, which takes place April 4-6. Register for the free event here.