Based in the Atlanta metro area, Bart Fanelli is an experienced sales executive with expertise in the technology industry. He has led organizations of more than 375 employees with company revenue exceeding $1.5 billion and has particular experience in building high-performing global sales teams. In November 2021, Bart Fanelli concluded a three-year executive stint at OutSystems. He joined the company as global vice president and field advisor in 2018 and most recently served as its chief revenue officer.
Fanelli began his career as a senior account manager at BMC Software in 2000 and, through 10 years with the company, rose to the position of director of its global field sales leadership enablement practice. In this role, he was tasked with managing its personnel and revenue plan with emphasis on increasing revenue per salesperson. He earned honorable mention for the FY11 BMC Board of Directors Operational Efficiency Award for Sales Onboarding.
Fanelli next served in various executive positions at Splunk from 2010 to 2017. He joined the company as director of its global field sales enablement practice and later served as senior director of global field operations, assistant vice president of global field operations, and vice president of global field success. Specializing in value consulting focused on key markets such as business analytics, and IT operations, applications and security, Fanelli led an award-winning team in the latter role and earned the Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) STAR Award for Expand Selling.
Fanelli drew upon his sales leadership experience to co-author The Success Cadence: Unleash Your Organization’s Rapid Growth Culture with former BMC colleague and Splunk boss Tom Schodorf. Among other lessons in the book, he speaks about the importance of creating and maintaining a consistent organizational cadence to boost business growth. Fanelli also detailed his keys to organizational and sales success in March 2021 as a featured guest on the podcast Legends of Sales and Marketing hosted by People.ai. In addition, he was interviewed by Harvard Business Review regarding his team’s successful recruiting and training strategies at Splunk.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
Over 25 years in the industry, I’ve had many discussions with founders, aspiring high- growth startups, and mature companies. All had similar patterns of Go to Market (GTM) inefficiencies that they were attempting to recover from—many failed. We believe in a better way, through technology, for early-stage and mid-market companies to establish critical GTM patterns with less cost and more predictable scalability without making common mistakes.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Productivity is a proactive decision and is dependent on a particular time-bound outcome. If there’s no time-bound outcome driving my actions, productivity gets confused with busy work. Aside from random family needs, which are at times chaotic, I time-set outcomes with dates and block my work time, meetings, and thinking time.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I use a white board—it gives me freedom to think openly and work through many iterations of an idea safely.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Talent decentralization. Decentralization has shifted influence to the individual rather than the company that employs them. Individuals now have more choices based on their skills, regardless of their location. As a byproduct, companies that are agile, early-stage, and genuinely committed to building balanced and inclusive cultures will win. Anything less will struggle to attract and keep top talent and stagnate.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I’ll let you know when I figure that out—I’m still learning.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Find more mentors (those that have done it before) and be more coachable sooner.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
While on your deathbed, if you can count on one hand those that have been there for you and supported you no matter what, you will be lucky.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Be a broken record about your beliefs, and don’t apologize for it.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
My business is brand new and in stealth mode at this publishing. However, I’m confident I will be relentless and a broken record about my beliefs and not apologize for it.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I failed at not starting sooner, but I found the courage to start.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
A glass whiteboard—I iterate thoughts on it daily.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Lucidchart. My ideas (patterns and frameworks) move from whiteboard to Lucidchart for professional collaboration.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Succeeding When You’re Supposed to Fail, by Rom Brafman. Life does not always cooperate with you. This book will help you understand that it does not matter and you can find a way to succeed.
The Success Cadence. It’s a blueprint for companies to establish an operational foundation for rapid growth and culture. I co-wrote this book with one of my mentors and friends, Tom Schodorf. David Mattson, President & CEO of Sandler Training, co-wrote and published with us.
What is your favorite quote?
“Coaching is a gift.”
Productivity is a proactive, conscious decision.
The decentralization of talent gives individuals more power. Now more than ever, companies need to be agile and inclusive if they want to attract and keep top talent.
Don’t apologize for your beliefs—stay committed to them.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.