November 11 by Adina Crossley

Recently I had the pleasure of sitting down with Larry Dunivan, Executive Vice President, Sales at Ceridian, a global leader in human capital management. His broad background in Information Technology has led him down an unexpected, yet very successful career path in which he has expanded his role to include revenue responsibilities, and pioneered cloud computing. Our discussion explores what he has learned on his unusual journey, as well as key emerging trends in business technology.

Q. You started your career with a degree in Chemistry and an MBA in Information Technology. What were the trends and experiences that have brought you to your current role?

Larry Dunivan

A. Right after graduation I was working the car rental counter at O’Hare airport and one of my colleagues introduced me to her husband who ran support for a small software company that served school districts. They assigned me to work on Payroll, and that was the start of my HR software career and education in information technology – it evolved from there.

Q. You have clearly seen a lot of change in business technology in your career. How has the cloud changed what executives need to know about IT in their organizations?

A. It’s what has and hasn’t changed that’s important. It’s just as critical to do all the classic things we’ve been doing for decades to deliver successful IT Projects. The difference in the cloud, however, we are no longer burdened by all of the things that don’t add any value — writing custom code, forcing users to consult highly technical people to do configurations or pray you can get budget to upgrade to the next release. It’s a more ‘frictionless’ experience, faster, simpler implementation and a greater bandwidth to focus on what will add value to our organization.
Information Technology
Q. One trend that we have seen with our customers at Apttus is the need for Sales and IT to work closer together than ever before. What does each need to understand about the other? What do you see as key to keeping Sales and IT aligned?

A. I think the most important thing is for there to be someone in IT that supports sales that really ‘gets it’ — ideally someone that came out of sales into a role as a domain expert for it. It’s all about reducing friction in the sales cycle and there’s a tricky balance with IT both reducing and increasing friction (quoting is a fantastic example). And if the person driving the technology doesn’t understand that, user adoption fails no matter how good the training is.

But it’s not just Sales and IT that are working closer together. Technology, particularly the cloud, has pushed all departments closer together, sharing common data and often on the same platform, has really allowed organizations to align horizontally and work together in a very cohesive way. Companies that are able to manage their processes in unison are more effective, efficient, and successful than those that still work in a siloed manner.

Q. What advice do you have for Sales Operations? A. It all hinges on change management — the best technology won’t allow you to achieve your goals on its own. You have to evangelize a vision, understand what you’re doing and why, establish the right level of support from sales leadership and doggedly work together to accomplish it. Always promote the successes as well as rapidly address any failures in user adoption. And no matter what, you can’t give up in your efforts to get the desired results.
Sales and IT
Software is hard. So is getting it to work and still provide the flexibility to changes as business changes. The cloud has made it much easier for IT and operations to keep pace and meet the demands of the organization, which is why Ceridian decided to make that leap to automate its internal Quote-to-Cash processes.

To hear more of Larry’s insights of sales effectiveness and ask Larry questions directly, register now for the upcoming live webinar on November 13: A Sales Executive’s Guide to Making 2015 a Blowout Year.

Larry Dunivan at Accelerate3 Join the Twitter conversation: Success hinges on change management. The best tool won’t allow you to achieve your goals on its own. @larrydunivan |

Trending Blogs