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Mike Williams of Mitratech: 5 Tips to be a Great Company

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CEO of Mitratech Mike Williams leads a diverse global team that delivers innovative solutions to empower legal professionals working at the leading companies across the world.

At Mitratech, Mike Williams leads a “proven global technology partner for corporate legal professionals who seek out and maximize opportunities.” These opportunities range from raising productivity, controlling expense, and mitigating risk.

How do Mike Williams and Mitratech do this? The company works hard to deepen organizational alignment, increase visibility, and spur collaboration across all levels of the business. Currently, the company serves 1,200 organizations of various sizes across the world. Mitratech also represents 40% of the Fortune 500, with a user base of 500,000 people in more than 160 countries.

Before Mitratech, Mike Williams used to be a Mentor at Capital Factory, as well as CEO at uShip. The latter company is an “online shipping, transport and freight marketplace that enables individuals to enterprises.” They serve clients of all sizes from anywhere in the world, with operations in 19 countries.

Also, before hopping to Mitratech, Mike Williams worked as the General Manager of Corporate Real Estate Services at Accruent. At the company, he was responsible for “generating top-line growth, achieving EBITDA targets, and growing enterprise value.”

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My source of persistence comes from the joy of working with great professionals, learning from each challenge that arises and getting just a little better every day. Mike Williams, CEO of Mitratech

Jerome Knyszewski: Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

Mike Williams: My career in high tech started when I was lucky enough to land an entry-level job at Motorola right out of college. All of my internship experiences up to that point was government-related and I had always expected to follow that path. At Motorola, I was able to work with a team that designed and launched a new category of two-way radios into a competitive marketplace. I was hooked!

Rather than return to the public or government sector work, I embarked on a journey that continues to this day — to learn and experience as much as possible about leveraging technology to create, market and deliver products that help organizations be more effective and efficient.

Over the past 20+ years, I’ve been able to work in a variety of roles — from product management, marketing and sales to executive leadership. And I’ve worked within businesses that range from startups without any revenue and only a handful of people to very mature global businesses with some of the most well-known companies in the world as customers.

Jerome Knyszewski: Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

Mike Williams: One of the things I enjoy most about technology and enterprise software is that it is ever-changing. There are things possible today that we couldn’t have dreamed about 15 years ago — and that not only applies to the underlying technologies available but also in how we market and support customers.

Rather than point to a specfic hard time, I’d like to leave you with the thought that challenges or hard times don’t ever really go away — they just evolve. On the one hand, a significant challenge for any startup is winning their first few customers. On the other, a challenge leading a company with thousands of customers and hundreds of employees is keeping everyone aligned and successful. My source of persistence comes from the joy of working with great professionals, learning from each challenge that arises and getting just a little better every day.

Employees deserve to have good managers and it takes formal training and development for managers to reach their potential. Mike Williams, Mitratech

Jerome Knyszewski: Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things one should know in order to lead a company from Good to Great? Please share a story or an example for each.

Mike Williams:

  1. Focus on your most important priorities

Each executive could easily list ten action items they would like to accomplish in a given quarter. In our experience, that would lead to a lot of half-completed items. Instead, pick the three most important and achieve 100% on each one.

  1. Align at every level and over-communicate

The executive team has to lead the way in terms of being aligned and coordinated on the company’s top priorities. This alignment has to cascade throughout the business in highly consistent ways. Communicate the priorities at all hands meetings, team meetings, by emails, by videos, etc. While it may feel like overkill at the time, you will rarely regret this level of communication.

  1. Invest in teams

Employees deserve to have good managers and it takes formal training and development for managers to reach their potential. Leading people can be one of the most rewarding (and most daunting) opportunities. Don’t expect it to happen naturally.

  1. Operate with discipline and rigor

Staying focused is hard. Resisting the temptation to chase distractions is hard. Holding yourself and others accountable is hard. Maintaining discipline will achieve results — and that’s fun!

  1. Continue to improve

Our teams seek out ways to make things work better. Did the client implementation go off without a hitch? Great, but what is one thing we can improve for next time. We don’t beat ourselves up over items that don’t go perfectly, but rather we embrace a culture that strives to learn and apply lessons.

Jerome Knyszewski: Extensive research suggests that “purpose driven businesses” are more successful in many areas. Can you help articulate for our readers a few reasons why a business should consider becoming a purpose driven business, or consider having a social impact angle?

Mike Williams: At Mitratech, we center on delivering real and tangible business value. With that purpose, it drives alignment across all teams — from research and development through how we market, sell and support customers.

A brand that delivers consistently on its commitments is one that can be trusted by its customers.

Jerome Knyszewski: As you know, “conversion” means to convert a visit into a sale. In your experience what are the best strategies a business should use to increase conversion rates?

Mike Williams: Customer references are the number one way to convert sales. It’s human nature for us to seek the advice or recommendations of our peers — whether for a $100 consumer item or a $100,000 enterprise software solution investment. If your product is delivering value for a business that I would consider a peer, I’m going to be more likely to adopt it myself. Of course, in order for customers to serve consistently as positive references, the product, support and value must continue to differentiate itself successfully from competitive alternatives.

Jerome Knyszewski: Of course, the main way to increase conversion rates is to create a trusted and beloved brand. Can you share a few ways that a business can earn a reputation as a trusted and beloved brand?

Mike Williams:

Consistency

A brand that delivers consistently on its commitments is one that can be trusted by its customers.

Innovation

A brand must always be improving its products and ensuring that customers are able to generate real and measurable business value.

Support

By providing world-class support when it’s needed, a brand shows it can be relied upon when a customer needs it most.

Jerome Knyszewski: How can our readers further follow you online?

Mike Williams:

LinkedIn

Twitter: @MikeWilliams2

Jerome Knyszewski: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!

 

 

 

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