Billy Biggs, vice president of Public Sector Sales at WalkMe, recently spoke with ExecutiveBiz for the publication’s latest Executive Spotlight interview detailing his growth and sales strategy to drive the company’s capabilities in cloud adoption, SaaS deployment and other key metrics.
In addition, Biggs also discussed WalkMe’s partnerships and its drive to improve the user experience for its customers as well as the top transformation challenges for digital resilience, his company goals heading into 2022 and more.
“Digital transformation is a term that gets thrown out in almost every conversation I have with federal customers and prospects. However, you cannot fully achieve digital transformation in enterprise software without digital adoption as a core strategy.”
You can read the full Executive Spotlight interview with Billy Biggs below:
ExecutiveBiz: What can you tell us about your growth and sales strategies to drive your team to lead in cloud adoption, SaaS deployment and other key metrics for your customers?
“I’ve supported the federal government in multiple go-to-market capacities related to enterprise technology for more than 25 years. And I was fortunate enough to have the chance to join WalkMe in May 2021 just before our IPO to build a new Public Sector team from the ground up.
So, for the last seven months, I’ve had the opportunity of being very thoughtful about how we continue to invest in the public sector market, including a heavy emphasis on the federal government.
So, with that as a backdrop, I think about growth and sales strategy in a few ways. One of the first things that comes to mind is team culture. I’ve always been a huge proponent of finding the right talent and ensuring that we’re building a great team culture – this is completely intentional and by design. My philosophy is that if we can attract the right people, the rest will take care of itself with sound leadership.
From a recruiting perspective, the last seven months have been the biggest challenge of my professional career. I have spent a considerable amount of time actively recruiting and meeting with candidates who are considering WalkMe as a career option but couldn’t be more excited about the team we’ve built thus far.
Second, product market fit plays a key role in our overall growth strategy within the Public Sector at WalkMe. Simply put, our value proposition is ‘improving the digital adoption and utilization of any enterprise software application’. And guess what? The federal government has a lot of enterprise software with massive adoption and usability issues. There’s significant demand and the government has needed a solution for many years.
Interestingly enough, I was a client of WalkMe at my previous company over six years ago. Even then, I understood the enormous opportunity when I saw the product and instantly thought about all the pain it could solve for my federal customers. I jokingly told company executives then that if they ever had aspirations of building a public sector business unit to call me. Six years later, here I am.
As far as the key metrics for our customers, WalkMe has the only Authoritative Data source that can inform our customers with never seen insights around digital software adoption and utilization. For example, WalkMe has the ability of surfacing application workflows where they’re breaking down and highlighting where users are getting stuck in a process.
And these authoritative data sources are not anecdotal. They’re not qualitative or subjective feedback based on what users think could be improved. These are quantitative AI generated insights that measure how the federal workforce is interacting with enterprise technology – completely new capabilities.”
ExecutiveBiz: With recent partnerships with SAP and Deloitte, what can you tell us about the strides that WalkMe has made to offer a greater user experience, drive business value for your customers and the impact that partnerships are having on the company’s capabilities and growth?
“Improving the user experience is the entire reason for Walk Me’s purpose and has been the company’s central mission since we were founded in 2011. In fact, the idea for the company came from our CEO and co-founder Dan Adika when he was trying to help his mother with her online banking activities. The complexities of trying to transfer money, pay online bills or move funds is something that we can all relate to.
Now consider the daily life of a federal employee who must navigate dozens of enterprise applications every day. Then you combine it with four SaaS releases every year. It has become completely overwhelming from a user’s perspective. So instead of technology helping overcome challenges, technology has become the challenge itself. This creates a massive opportunity for WalkMe to provide greater value around software adoption and utilization.
We’re also excited about the Biden administration’s executive order on the customer experience and the admin’s PMA. These are two of the key initiatives that are directly aligned with our overall value proposition.
For me, the EO highlights the streamlining of customer processes that drive stakeholder value from a user perspective. That’s for government employees as well as external constituents. This goes much deeper than Federal Government customer experience initiatives of the past and I’m excited we’re focused on value as it relates to customer experience.
In addition, the alignment to the PMA as we think about delivering excellent equitable and secure federal services and customer experiences is essential. Under the PMA, WalkMe would be considered a ‘digital equity’ technology provider since our technology has the ‘ability to bend to the skill levels of its user,’ creating equity as it relates to a person’s ability to use technology.
WalkMe can meet the user at their technical proficiency vs the constant need to upskill or reskill the Federal workforce. WalkMe is the only digital equity technology provider available for the federal government in the digital adoption category.
Partnerships are an incredibly important pillar in our growth strategy, and we have built an intentional go-to-market strategy supporting the federal government with our partner ecosystem in mind. Again, I’ve had seven months of thoughtfulness about the critical role our partners play within the Federal Government’s value chain. And when we execute these partnerships properly, they become a force multiplier for hyper growth software companies like WalkMe.
ISVs like SAP understand the value that we can provide by complementing their existing product suites that significantly improve user adoption and customer experience. Our objective is not to replace these applications but overlay relevant content on top of them and augment the user experience where necessary.
Partners like Deloitte also play a critical role as leading experts in digital transformation and technology modernization – two of the key initiatives within the federal government right now.
Most importantly, we rely on their experts with a deep understanding of the government missions and the challenges as it relates to digital adoption in enterprise software. We rely heavily on them to understand the specific use cases for these applications that are challenging for the federal workforce and how we can support them.”
ExecutiveBiz: How does WalkMe help to address the top digital transformation challenges that your customers are facing while also helping them build digital resilience and drive their digital adoption strategies?
“Early in my career, I spent a lot of time directly leading transformational software implementation programs. I oversaw hundreds of implementations in both on-premise as well as cloud deployments.
Over that time, regardless of the technology, two primary measurements of success stood out to me: the implementation itself, which is whether the system performs against the functional and technical requirements that were designed by agency stakeholders; and change management or whether users successfully adopt and use the system as it was intended longer term.
There would be countless times where we’d have teams consider the implementation success, but the rollout would be labeled a failure several years down the road because of a lack of adequate change management. Translation – lack of digital adoption.
Unfortunately, this has become all too familiar for new deployments across this sector and will continue to be an issue. You train your people on the technology and eventually build up knowledge bases, reference sheets, user manuals and FAQs and then you take one hand off the wheel and the project is on cruise control. But these tactical initiatives simply do not address macro user adoption challenges. And that’s exactly why most federal IT investments are labeled high risk before they even begin.
Digital transformation is a term that gets thrown out in almost every conversation I have with federal customers and prospects. However, you cannot fully achieve digital transformation in enterprise software without digital adoption as a core strategy.
I would argue that’s the biggest challenge federal clients are facing related to digital transformation, and no one really knows how big the problem is because of the inability to truly measure it, until now. It doesn’t matter what technology you’re deploying and how much those technical and functional requirements are being met. Without the adoption, there’s significant risk. Period.
Since digital adoption is a new category of technology, enterprise digital adoption strategies are still somewhat conceptual and in their infancy within the federal government. However, I will make a bold prediction for you that over the next three-five years, there won’t be a single enterprise application or IT project awarded without having digital adoption strategy as a core requirement in the acquisition phase.
History has shown there’s simply too much risk. You will eventually see enterprise applications and software being awarded, but a component of that RFP will have a requirement for the digital adoption strategy to ensure that the government gets its return on investment and the value out of the enterprise software that’s intended.”
ExecutiveBiz: As we close this current year and move into 2022, what are the biggest challenges and opportunities for WalkMe heading into the new year? What specific improvements are you hoping to make for your team and WalkMe’s customers?
“We have built an incredible team very quickly. Given the challenges of talent acquisition in the federal sector, we were focused and thoughtful about building the right go-to-market team. That’s not just our Sales team, but our supporting teams as well.
We’ve added customer success and partner enablement resources intentionally to ensure our clients are onboarded correctly and our partners are successfully enabled. We simply cannot be successful if our clients or partners aren’t successful. I feel very good about how quickly we’ve built such a well-rounded team.
When I think about the biggest opportunities in the coming year, one is definitely market awareness. As we’ve discussed, WalkMe is in a new category of technology (Digital Adoption) within the federal government. And at the present moment, the market hasn’t seen our capabilities on a massive scale. In fact, we’ve been very deliberate about who we’ve been prospecting over the last eight months.
I’ve asked my team to only contact specific federal thought leaders and change agents who can help us validate use cases. I want to make sure that we have the opportunity to provide stakeholder value and are soliciting appropriate feedback from the community (Government & Industry).
Since we can overlay on any enterprise application, naturally every agency’s use cases are going to be different, whether the application is COTS, GOTS, or custom application. However, I can tell you that the response to this approach has been extremely positive thus far and we are in a great position to start prospecting to a wider audience as we go into the new year.”