Sales Talk for CEOs: Product CEO or Sales CEO? Why You Need to Get It Right with Catherine Dahl (S3:E3)

Jul 28, 2022 | Sales Talk for CEOs Podcast

Are you a product CEO or a sales CEO? The answer may not be what you think. Case in point: Catherine Dahl, the CEO of Beanworks, an AP automation platform recently acquired by Quadient. Catherine spent two years building her company as a sales CEO when a sudden realization struck that she was trying to be something she wasn’t. By owning her role as a product CEO, everything changed. With the right sales leader in place and the sales machine turned on, Beanworks went from half a million Canadian in revenue in 2017 to 8 million Canadian in 2021. Listen to her story in this episode of Sales Talk for CEOs.

During our discussion, Catherine takes us back to the early days when Beanworks was starting. She discusses building the platform, getting customers, and the bumps along the way. After partnering with Sage, Catherine demonstrated her knowledge of the pain points and product through speaking and educating customers. But it wasn’t until she read Steve Jobs’s biography did it ‘click’ that she was a product CEO trying to be a sales CEO. Her journey led her to find the perfect sales leader, who built a powerful sales team and got the sales machine running. Find out how it all happened by listening to this episode.

Watch the podcast below or on our YouTube channel.

Highlights of this Episode:

[0:50] Rejuvenating a hundred-year-old business

[4:39] Getting ready to go global

[7:26] Before Beanworks began…

[12:21] Trying not to sell

[19:57] The quest for more customers

[23:33] Getting the channel sales flowing

[26:52] Product CEO or sales CEO?

[34:18] The biggest lesson learned along the way

About Our Guest

Catherine Dahl is the co-founder and CEO of Beanworks, the industry-leading accounting automation software company that is trailblazing modern accounting workflows. As a CPA and CMA professional, she knows first-hand the challenges of outdated financial management practices and is dedicated to driving change through innovation.

Catherine co-founded her thriving company from the ground up, drawing from her more than 25 years of operational accounting and management experience and unwavering determination. Catherine is highly esteemed in the fintech community and was recently named a finalist in the 2020 BC Tech Association’s Technology Impact Awards’ Person of the Year category.

In March 2021, Catherine helped facilitate the acquisition of Beanworks by Quadient for over $100M CAD, leading to one of the largest tech exits ever from a Vancouver-based startup.

At Catherine’s helm, Beanworks was recognized by CIX as one of Canada’s Most Innovative Tech Companies for 2020. By winning the regional at CIX, Beanworks will represent all of Canada at the Startup World Cup world finals in 2021.

Show Links

Connect with Catherine Dahl in the links below:

You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below:


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