#005 Mastering Sales Strategies for Global Connectivity with Greg Butler
Unlocking Revenue Potential
Guest & Host
Greg Butler & Steven Morell
Welcome to Speak Revenue, the podcast where we emphasize that revenue is not just a goal; it's a result. In this show, we shift our focus from the output to the inputs. We engage in conversations with sales leaders and entrepreneurs about their remarkable journeys. Our mission? To uncover the true root causes of success. In this episode of Speak Revenue, host Steven Morell dives deep into the world of sales, revenue, and global connectivity with his special guest, Greg Butler. As the Head of the Americas for EXA Infrastructure, Greg brings a wealth of experience in optimizing sales processes for a leading pan-European network provider. Join the conversation as Greg shares his insights into the unique challenges and opportunities in the telecommunications industry.
September 13th, 2023
Steven Morell: Welcome to our new episode of Speak Revenue. Remember, revenue is not a goal, it's a result. But a result of what? In this show, we turn our eyes from the output towards the inputs. We speak to sales leaders and entrepreneurs about their journeys. Join us on our quest to uncover and learn the root causes of success. Let's unpack what works for them and what didn't. Today with my guest, Greg Butler. It's an honor and a pleasure to have you in the show. Thank you for taking the time and coming to our podcast episode.
Greg Butler: Yeah. Thank you so much for having me. Very excited to be here.
Steven Morell: The excitement is totally on my side, Greg. Let's start. We had already had a nice chat before the show for our audience. Give us a quick intro in the good old days, we would have said Twitter sized. I'm not sure what we will say now and today, but real short, who are you, what do you do and why are you so successful?
Greg Butler: Yeah. The third part, I don't know. I don't know if we can comment too much on that. Certainly not in Twitter size. But yeah, my name is Greg Butler. I'm the head of the Americas for EXA Infrastructure. EXA Infrastructure is the leading pan European network provider. Most people are familiar with network carriers that provide your cell phone service. So I'm in the United States. The big ones in the United States are AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. But there are many other business to business companies that support the underlying infrastructure for those companies and then for every tech and digital company, every financial company, every government, basically anything you do digitally across the globe, right? And EXA is the leading or one of the leading providers throughout Europe.
Steven Morell: If I was on your website, are you guys, the guys who are running the C cables?
Greg Butler: We are, yeah, not all of them. There's, actually, there's a really cool website. It gives you a submarine cable map. com. And it will show you every single submarine cable across the globe. And you'll be stunned at how many there are. At least I was when I first looked it up, but yes, we EXA own three transatlantic subsea cables. And one of those subsea cables is actually the fastest connection in the world. From New York City to London. It's an extremely valuable cable. There is no other faster way to move traffic between North America and Europe on a fiber optic cable. That one is called XXpress. We also have a north cable that goes over the north part of Ireland. We call that EXA North. And then we have a southern cable called EXA South that goes a little bit more south than the Atlantic. But there are many subsea cables throughout the Atlantic. And we're just three of them we're also, we own and operate those three, but we will also be, or are looking to take down some more capacity and offer some bandwidth on some other cable systems as well. We'll be expanding our footprint throughout the Atlantic and, by some measures, artificial intelligence is coming. Some people are estimating that transatlantic bandwidth will grow 5x in the next three years. I don't know if that's true or not. I work in the industry. I hope it's true. I hope it's 10x even. But we're seeing more and more bandwidth be pushed. So we're certainly in a good space owning three of the critical cables across the Atlantic, including what many view as the most critical cable across the Atlantic, xExpress.
Steven Morell: How much is satellite a competitor to your infrastructure?
Greg Butler: Yeah, that is a fantastic question. And many people ask and they say, Oh, you're a fiber operator. Hope you like your business, from 20 years ago, because you're about to go out of business. It's all satellite now. The truth is, so there are many providers out there. And they're doing wonderful things. All of those providers are basically our customers. We are still selling a tremendous amount of bandwidth to those satellite operators. And we will continue to view them as competitors, but also customers. And right now, at least the satellite bandwidth is forecasted to skyrocket in growth. And I hope it does. But all bandwidth is skyrocketing in growth. We don't think that it will make fiber obsolete by any measure. There are, there, there are terabytes and petabytes of data and eventually even higher up to exabytes of data that have to be moved. And right now, satellite technology cannot achieve that and cannot do that. It is going to be very valuable for many people in rural areas where you can't get internet today, you will be able to get it with satellites for ultra low latency connectivity. You will be able to get across the Atlantic faster than we have on our X Express fiber. But the level of bandwidth that you're going to be able to move in these scenarios is not quite up to the level that certain applications need. For example in some of the higher education and science fields, there's a telescope in Chile and it takes a picture of the entire visible sky every day. And then that has moved to universities all around the world that could not possibly be done with wireless technology today. That needs fiber and it needs a lot of fiber. And a lot of universities.
Steven Morell: At some point the internet traffic has to come down from a satellite on planet earth. And that's when you guys come in and move the data.
Greg Butler: Exactly. And that's probably why I want to. So no, go ahead. Sorry.
Steven Morell: Yeah, go ahead.
Greg Butler: No, I was really just going to say that's probably why a lot of people haven't heard of us is that we typically serve governments and we serve businesses. It's. We don't necessarily serve consumers but obviously business to business businesses are a lifeblood of industry. Yep.
Steven Morell: So you already mentioned one customer who's also a competitor. That's probably Starlink with their satellite network. They're not names. But who is your typical? I guess I'm asking what your ICP is?
Greg Butler: What is my what?
Steven Morell: Your ICP, your ideal customer profile?
Greg Butler: Oh, ideal customer profile. Yeah. This is something we do spend a lot of time on. I'm trying to segment our customers in the right way. And we're really big in our Miller Hyman methodology is what EXA has chosen to implement. And a good customer profile for us. Is one that is needing to move a lot of bandwidth. So there are a bunch of them subcategories underneath that, right? Some of them could be the hyperscalers, right? So that would be the Amazons, the Googles, the Metas, the Microsofts of the world. They are the global cloud providers of the world. So that's another subcategory. So anyone who's offering cloud connectivity, all of that cloud computing and connectivity and bandwidth, all of that has to happen somewhere and has to move somewhere. So any cloud provider is a very big customer of ours. Anybody who's doing video streaming YouTubes of the world, or anyone who's doing gaming, somebody that needs Ultra low latency where you are doing a latency sensitive application like video chat or video gaming, right? All of those lend themselves very well to being good customers for us and then The other really strong verticals for us are our finance and what we call wholesale or other carriers. So finance is a very strong vertical for us because of that X express route. It is the lowest latency route from the New York Stock Exchange to the London Stock Exchange. That's very valuable for high frequency traders to get their trades in. Ahead of your trades, right? Should that be legal? I don't know, but it is out there.
Steven Morell: It's the original sin of trading that the tick can be as short as they want. And yeah…
Greg Butler: They are not. It is not a level playing field between your trades and their trades. That is for sure. But we enable those types of customers. And so having that route is very valuable to the financial vertical. And so as a result, we've played very well in that vertical. And then the last one that is a really good profile for us are other Providers. And so we, we classify those into, again, some subcategories, but other telecommunications providers, I said in the US it's AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, things like that. But then also satellite operators. You mentioned starlink. There are men, there are a multitude of others that are doing low or orbit, middle with orbit. Very various options there. There's a bunch of data center companies which are, data centers where all of our fiber kind of connects. And those are the hubs of the Internet, right? EXA actually owns 13 of those data centers throughout Europe. But there are many data center companies that are really big for us. We play very well in wholesale, what we call, telecommunications. We play very well in finance. And we play extremely well with hyperscalers and cloud content and technology companies. We have,
Steven Morell: It sounds like there's a finite amount of potential customers. I don't know whether it's thousands or tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands, but it looks like it's not like in the millions.
Greg Butler: Correct. I would.
Steven Morell: How do you go about lead gen? How do you generate your leads?
Greg Butler: Yeah, our leads.
Steven Morell: They come to you or do you go outbound? How does that work?
Greg Butler: Yeah, the vast majority of our sales are outbound right now. And I think the vast majority, the reason the vast majority of our sales are outbound is that EXA has only been around for two years. So our two year anniversaries this month haven't even happened yet. And so we are less than two years old. Our assets are a little bit older. We,..
Steven Morell: All this in two years?
Greg Butler: Yeah, we acquired our assets from a company called GTT which is a very large provider throughout the world. And we bought the underlying fiber and colon assets and wavelength lit infrastructure assets from them. So that network had actually been acquired by GTT from a European company called Interroot. From a transatlantic company called Hibernia. There were some KPM assets for the Dutch company. So a variety of acquisitions over the years all pieced together, and we've made a big acquisition. Since we have continued to acquire as well too, we just acquired a correlation company called Unitel and we intend to opportunistically continue to make acquisitions when feasible. I don't want to say we built the network in two years. But we are a two year old company and many of our systems and our processes and our strategies are less than two years old. And our brand is less than two years old. How many, how much lead gen or how many inbound leads do we just get where our customers are reaching out to us because they recognize our brand? In Europe, it's pretty strong. It's pretty strong in Europe. We have a very good brand in Europe. There's only about four ish. 4 to 5 ish pan european providers, many of the providers are country specific and they do very well within their country, but they can't go all throughout the continent. So we're 1 of just a few and because of that, we play well in Europe, but we're certainly developing a brand in the United States, which is. The biggest country in my market that I run. So we don't get a ton of inbound sales leads. We just don't go to a lot of conferences. We do a lot of speaking events. We do things like this. So we are doing our best we can to build the brand and with time, then we will receive more. We received some through our website today. If some people obviously reach out via LinkedIn but it's not huge. The vast majority of our sales are outbound right now. And, we can talk about that if you'd. I'll pause, but there's a variety of obvious things we do in our strategy to try to build the brand and then with our outbound sales strategy.
Steven Morell: How do you do outbound? Are you cold mailing people? Are you cold calling them? How does that
Greg Butler: Yeah. Yeah. I don't know. Do cold calls work for you? I don't know. Probably not. Too often, right?
Steven Morell: I'm a cold call junkie but I don't get to do cold calls. Yeah I used to love to do cold calls. I hated the first 10, but Once I was warmed up, I loved doing this. I haven't done this in years.
Greg Butler: Yeah modern prospecting and modern outbound hunting sales is tough. It's very tough. So if you're out there listening and you're doing that job, I tip my cap to you. It's a tough job. I actually think it's harder than when you could cold call because the vast majority of people don't answer unknown phone numbers anymore. In the United States, at least, and I believe it's in many other countries as well, you get a call on your phone that says spam likely or scam likely, or it says unknown. So, with the advent of caller ID and more information, consumers have been more educated and they don't answer the phone. So how do you connect with the right type of customers, right? The first is. You have to use your network, right? So I always tell all of our sellers, they will connect with every single person on LinkedIn at the company at exit, right? We're about 470 to 500 people depending on where we're on a hiring surge right now. So I'm not exactly sure where the number is right now, but probably just a little North of 470. And with all of those,
Steven Morell: Team size of…
Greg Butler: That's me. That's correct. That's the entire company. That's the…
Steven Morell: How big is the sales team?
Greg Butler: My sales team in the United States is 15 or is going to be 15. And then globally, I don't actually know off the top of my head. I would estimate it's probably about 50, but I'm not. I'd have to double check that number. Yeah.
Steven Morell: Yeah.
Greg Butler: Yeah, ballpark…
Steven Morell: And how are you structured? You're, you said you're VP sales Americas. I assume there is a VP sales Europe.
Greg Butler: Europe is such a big market for us that we actually have many VPS throughout Europe. So for the Americas, we have one. Within Europe, we have probably five different VPS that run different regions or even different verticals. So we have a VP of just the hyperscalers, just those. Five or six customers. I said that they are really massive content providers and bandwidth boxes, we have a VP of the UK in Ireland, we have a VP that's located in Paris. We have one that's located in Prague. And I think that's it. Yeah,
Steven Morell: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And they all report to a chief revenue officer.
Greg Butler: They do. His name's Nick Collins. Wonderful, very intelligent person. He's my direct boss, and I love working for him. And he spent many years at Telstra which is an Australian company that is one of the largest network providers in the world. And came over here most recently from Telstra. He was actually... I believe head of the Americas For Telstra prior to taking his role as chief revenue officer at Exxon. Yeah.
Steven Morell: Interesting. Let's get back to your regeneration. So you're telling your team, build your network. Basically, there are only four ways to tell people what you're selling. There. Are people who know you and people who don't know you and you can do this one on one or one too many if you want to know all combinations thereof. You can tell people who don't know you in one too many words what you're selling. That would be a billboard or you can tell people who you don't know or don't know you by one on one. That would be called email. All cold calling. What is your combination?
Greg Butler: Yeah, we do both right? So we certainly aren't buying billboards. But We are, I would argue that we are sponsoring conferences That are in strategic verticals and align with our customers, right? So there's some That are for the one to many sale. This is for customers that are somewhat in the wholesale space or somewhat in the telco space. We will sponsor telecommunications conferences. We will have people that speak on panels. We will have lots of branding at those conferences. And so that is typically the best way that we are attacking, one too many the one to one is an art at this point, right? So we have, and we are implementing a new sort of outbound email system as well, Salesforce, Vue Salesforce. And that system is going to. Allow us to get a tremendous amount of data from the emails that we're sending today. So today, frankly, our sellers are doing research into companies. They're finding people on LinkedIn or they're finding people through their network. And then they are cold outreaching to them, whether it's on LinkedIn or email or phone call or text message. Typically, we are actually having the most success in text messages. Probably the least amount of success in email, right? And I think those are reasonably predictable. We have some strategies that we implement to try to make our email hit rate a little bit better. We believe that there are certain times of day that our emails are better received, right? So for us, it is typically from about 10 a. m. to about noon. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, that tends to be when we get the most response rate to our emails. And so that's when we are really…
Steven Morell: This by time zone? Do you send a different badge for a colleague than you do for New York and Boston?
Greg Butler: Absolutely. And the reason, it makes logical sense. So we saw this data and we said, okay what are some theories as to why, right? And we can't be certain, but it's pretty logical that people come in on Monday. People have a backlog of emails from the weekend. They're very busy. They have an action list of things they're trying to get off. for the week. Are they likely to respond to a prospecting email? Probably not, right? Friday, similar scenario. People are checking out for the weekend. Maybe they're going to take off early. Many people take Fridays and Mondays off occasionally on the tail end of vacations. Those tend just to not be good days. 8 a. m. to 10, 10 a. m. when people are coming in the morning, they're going to triage their email and respond to the things that are the most. Pressing and a prospect email is not pressing to them usually, right? So you are going to get lost in the mix and likely just auto deleted if that email arrives in the morning or sometime between 8 and 10. After those first couple hours, most people on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, they've gotten the biggest things that they need done. And now they're paying attention. They might look at their email for the second or third time and they might look at it and go, Oh, I see something. Okay. A headline that just says need European connectivity question mark, right? And you go wait, I actually do need European connectivity or do you need transatlantic diversity? Oh, I do, so it makes sense as to why that time works best for us. We've seen a slight difference with LinkedIn. The best time for us on response rates tends to be about 1 to 3 pm.And that again is Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, but that is still stronger on Fridays and on Mondays. It's not quite as strong of a correlation as it is with email. And again, our reasoning for this is that most people in the afternoons tend to be tired. They are coming back from lunch. Their brains are maybe not working quite as fast as they are in the morning. They're not quite as motivated. That is the time, statistically, when most people open social media. Now, people are on social media all the time. But there's really a peak in that afternoon where people open up Instagram or Twitter, X, or whatever, right? And they start looking at social media. LinkedIn, although not a traditional, social media per se, it has a higher likelihood of being open in that
Steven Morell: Oh, it's totally becoming the Facebook of business people.
Greg Butler: Absolutely, right? People are saying, what are they, who acquired who today? And, people have new jobs, things like that. People are
Steven Morell: Down to I, I did this five K run and I ate this cheese sandwich.
Greg Butler: Yeah, exactly.
Steven Morell: It's everything's there. Yeah.
Greg Butler: Whatever. Yeah. Greg Butler.
Steven Morell: I believe this is the core of social media.
Greg Butler: Yeah…
Steven Morell: On social media I just ate this cheese sandwich.
Greg Butler: Yes, exactly. It's news, pressing news that your network needs to know, Steven. Yeah, we find that we actually get really good response rates in that afternoon, because if you're on LinkedIn. And you have a lot of, prospect sort of messages again, most people ignore them. But if one comes in hot and you happen to be in the app, that's a very strong person who tends to look at it and go, okay. And they might respond back to you pretty quickly.
Steven Morell: Let's get down in the trenches. You have your team of 15. Salespeople in the U. S. And maybe 50 more over in Europe, give or take. Do you run the BDR SDR with? Any combo or do we have a full cycle? A's.
Greg Butler: Yeah. So we actually have full cycle ways. However, we're implementing a BDR SDR type position. So we haven't traditionally been large enough to have both. We were a very small nimble organization with, when you only have 50 sellers or let's say 60, 70 sellers, whatever it is globally. You can't, you don't necessarily have the bandwidth to have people just getting meetings and then have people just managing accounts. In some cases you do, but not, probably widespread and certainly not when I look at just my region in the Americas, I just don't have enough sellers for that. However, we've been seeing such a surge of business and demand in the Americas for another European provider like EXA that we are now able to staff up and do this. So we are hiring a director of sales in, he's going to be in Denver where I'm located. I say he is because we just made an offer, but a person isn't accepted yet. If they don't accept, maybe it'll be a woman. But right now that person will manage a team of what is going to be basically four BDRs. That is going to be out there pounding pavement, getting meetings, and that's what they're going to be conked and bonused on. And then eventually that's going to be our farm system as well for growing our talent, right? We'll be able to [00:23:00] bring in some more junior reps than we've been able to afford in the past. We had so few sales reps. We didn't have the ability to really. Take chances on a ton of people who were ambitious and maybe super smart, but hadn't done sales before, we just couldn't really afford to do that now we can, which is wonderful. So we're going to have a, it's going to give us a better pipeline of talent and growing our own talent and developing the way we wanted to develop them. And it's going to enable our account managers who are best at building an account and growing within the account. It's going to let them do what they do best. And the SDRs going and getting meetings and getting in there where it's going to allow them to do what they do best. We're not implementing this across EXA. Each team manages a bit differently. And each region is a bit different. And our brand recognition is so much better in Europe. It's not necessary. You don't have to have as strong of a BDR SDR. Presence really compared to what we…
Steven Morell: Let me ask you. Do your salespeople have to come up with their own place? Or because it's so it sounded like you really looked into the numbers. You really measure. I don't know all that many companies and organizations that can measure the hour. When was the open rate? By the way, what is your open rate?
Greg Butler: I don't know the open rate off top of my head. It's not great though. I've heard other people think they're lying because I hear other people claim that they're in the 20 to 25 range And this is tough, right? I can't tell what our open rate is in email because we don't have that. We don't have the capability yet, but it will be implemented this month. So I will start to know what our open rate on email is. Our response rate is low. Our response rate is probably sub 5% on email and on LinkedIn, it's a little bit higher. Maybe it's in the seven ish percent range. But it's not strong. It's not strong. Now our response rate on text messages, very strong. Our response rate on text messages is nearly, it's not quite, but nearly 50%. So we, yes, people are, it's a texting environment now, right? People don't want to answer the phone and they're flooded with too many emails. And they don't really care about LinkedIn. But when you have an unread text message, the vast majority of people do not sit with hundreds of unread text messages on their phone. They just don't do it. Most people are looking at all text messages that come in. So the fact that you know that everybody's looking at that, that then naturally creates a higher response rate for us. It can be
Steven Morell: Where do you get the, where do you get the mobile phone number from? Number two, what is the text message? Do you just text?
Greg Butler: Yeah, exactly.
Steven Morell: Do you need transcontinental C cable connections?
Greg Butler: It is that right?
Steven Morell: A text like this.
Greg Butler: Yeah. So where do we get the phone number? It's very different for each country, right? Because certain countries who are not actually allowed to just proactively do that. In the United States, you can. So in the United States, you can. And so we'll find there are various tools that we have where we can find people's cell phone numbers. If we've most people's business line today. Is a cell phone. A lot of business lines are going away and people just operate from their cell phones. So the vast majority of phone numbers that you see, whether it's in an email signature, if you ever got it, or it's some sort of business card that maybe you, you got at a conference or whatever tends to be a cell phone number. It is tough to get them. I totally agree. But when we do get them, the text message is effective. Second question. What do we say to them? Sometimes it is as simple as, yes, hey, would you like some subsea connectivity? Would you like, connected, would you like a hundred gigs somewhere, from Paris to Frankfurt or whatever, right? More often what we do is we do research into the company and we are seeing the projects that they're working on and that are important to them. You can see these from press releases. You can see these from 10 Ks, but you genuinely can see them most reasonably from their social media pages. People love to be trying to advertise this is what we're doing. They love to advertise speaking engagements that there may be chief strategy officer had you go and you watch that and you say, great. That's obviously where they're going to go. If they're going to do that, it's a bandwidth intensive thing. I need to reach out about that. You say, Hey, does X product that you're going to be launching, do you need connectivity in Europe? Because we're the leading connectivity provider. Hey, I met you or I found you on this panel. I was really impressed with your speaking. Would love to chat with you if you are in need of this. There's not a lot of providers out there, short things. What I just said is way too long, but it would be very short like that. And our response rate is, like I said, not quite 50%, but it's very high. We do very well on text messages. Yeah.
Steven Morell: Let's talk. Let me grill a little bit on metrics. And if you don't want to share, then both parts are fine. And you can strike. I'm the type of guy who never has the number in their head. I have to look at everything. So…
Greg Butler: Yeah. I'm a similar guy, so I may I'll, I may abstain. You may be cutting this section of the podcast, but I'll do my best. And I'll give as sincere an estimate as I can.
Steven Morell: Yeah. Okay. How many emails are you sending? And how many text messages?
Greg Butler: Yeah. So each of my sellers we are trying to send text messages to, far fewer text messages are manual. We don't yet have any kind of system where we could queue up or bulk send text messages. By the way, I don't really think bulk sending of text messages with generic things works as well. I think you need to, I think it needs to feel like it's from a human, not a machine and a text message, certainly. For emails, we're striving to send 200 emails a day. I don't think we're anywhere close to that. Again, we are implementing tools that are going to allow me to better track the sellers and how many they send. But individually, I'm hoping each seller is sending 200 a day. And those may be to contacts that we've reached out to multiple times, of course, right? These are now 200 new contacts a day. We actually, in the cloud content and tech space, We really only have 300 key target customers that we are targeting. But those target customers are massive technology companies that have hundreds and thousands of people in their companies. And so 200 emails a day is totally one…
Steven Morell: And how do you do this? You said 300 companies send 200 emails a day. You must be targeting dozens of people per company. Is that correct?
Greg Butler: In general. Yeah, probably not quite dozens. I would say a lot of those are repeats. A repeat outreaches that you would have. Within a large scale company, there are naturally going to be multiple buying divisions. So let me give an example of somebody in my space. So let's just use AT&T, okay? AT&T is going to have a division that serves consumers, right? So that is people that are using the internet at home and, okay. The next one is... They're going to have a cell phone, a wireless cell phone, and part of the company will buy a product that we call fiber to the tower, which is fiber that connects into cell phone towers. Their next division that they have is going to be the government, right? So AT&T is going to be bidding government, education businesses. Those tend to have, very specific requirements and certifications that you have to have and maintain or even bid government. Then there's going to be a business to business section of AT& T where they're doing. What EXA is doing, they're selling large scale bandwidth to bigger businesses, right? So this is an example of, yes, it's AT&T, but those are four distinct divisions. Just right now that each of those divisions may have buyers. They may have procurement decision makers. They will have engineering decision makers. And then they also usually have financial decision makers and we need to be engaged. With each of those decision makers at multiple levels at each of those buying centers. So you look at someone like AT&T, there genuinely might be 50 people that are relevant for us to know AT&T and have a routine relationship with. You look at some of the smaller AI tech companies, it's certainly not dozens of people there. They may have two people that are managing, they may be very well funded, they may be trying to staff up, and they may have two people that are making the vast majority of their tech decisions. And that person may also have the financial ability. And that person may also have the procurement. They may be doing everything because they just haven't stepped up the company yet. So it's very different.
Steven Morell: You're dealing with a variety of buying centers from super large, super complex to small and usually fast.
Greg Butler: Yes. Yes.
Steven Morell: Is your sales cycle?
Greg Butler: Sales cycle varies widely, right? That small and fast company is most likely if we're just getting in the door, the sales cycle can be very long for them. We are just developing a relationship. They may be doing everything they have over basic Internet and AWS cloud connectivity, and that may be all they're doing today. Exit infrastructure sells a layer down from those types of services. We don't sell an I. P. product. We sell wavelengths or dark fiber products. So companies typically have to grow to a certain level in order to qualify for that. So many of those well funded upstart tech companies, the sales cycle could literally be a year because we're just getting a chance to get in the door. We're starting to talk to them. We're explaining. Hey, yeah. Wavelengths or dark fiber might be more cost effective for you. We're often educating those smaller customers. Now for the larger customers, for transactional 10 and 100 gig waves, which I know it sounds crazy, but 100 gig connection is transactional for some companies these days. The sales cycle could be as quick as a couple weeks could be easily a month, right? I'd say on average our sales cycle for a typical deal is about 70 days, something like that, a little over two months. For the largest deals, it's going to, they're going to be six month deals. To nine month deals for the biggest projects and for those projects, even we're talking, eight figure deals very large fields that are going to be extremely complex, have lots of different routing requirements, maybe span multiple countries, have lots of considerations on timing of installations, permitting of getting things like those are very long projects. And there's some projects we do that are multiple years. If we're building a truly brand new route that spans multiple countries and we're building and putting the fiber in the ground, it's a very long
Steven Morell: Sounds like a multi year project. How many deals are you closing per year? Ballpark
Greg Butler: Oh in the Americas? I don't know how many we're closing per year.
Steven Morell: The dozens and hundreds and the thousands.
Greg Butler: It's certainly in the hundreds. Yes, it's, I would say it's definitely not in the thousands and it's definitely more than dozens. So it's probably several hundred that we close per year. But I'm going to pull it up in the background here and I'll be able to tell you exactly. Yeah…
Steven Morell: All right, everyone. That brings us to the end of this episode of speak revenue. I want to thank our guest, Greg Butler. Thank you so much for joining us and sharing all those insights. That was, there's so much more to uncover that I probably got to reach out to you and invite you again, because I want to discuss enterprise sales and complex buying centers, and I think there's a whole. Other conversations are buried there. If you shout out to our listeners, your support means the world to us. Please remember to check our website at speakrevenue.com for a full transcript and more resources. Also if you enjoyed the show, please go to Apple podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you go for your listening needs and and rate this show. It means the world to us. It really helps us to get the world out. The word out. Also follow us on LinkedIn, on Instagram and on YouTube. We are everywhere and we'll be back soon tomorrow, probably with a new guest. Until then stay curious, keep listening. And thanks Greg for joining us.
Greg Butler: Thank you so much.