1911 – Unlock the Potential in Businesses with Kyle Mealy

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks to the CEO of Next Level Coaching, Kyle Mealy.

Mealy Wide

Kyle Mealy, CEO of Next Level, discussed the transformative role of a fractional Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) in the B2B and small business sectors. Kyle specializes in blending marketing and sales with a profit-oriented approach. He focuses on enhancing margins and collaborates closely with CFOs to ensure profitability.

His primary attention is on companies that rely on monthly recurring revenue or high-ticket projects, especially within the professional services sector, which often involves technical or complex products. Kyle observed that companies generating under $10 million in revenue usually cannot afford a full-time marketing or sales executive. Using his extensive experience, he developed a proven formula for driving new revenue for these businesses.

Kyle highlighted the underutilized potential of LinkedIn and SEO for generating targeted B2B traffic. He also introduced the concept of a revenue strategy statement, a guiding principle that aligns all sales and marketing decisions with the company’s specific revenue objectives and unique market stance.

Key Points from the Episode:

  • Kyle's role as a fractional chief revenue officer (CRO)
  • Specialization in working with companies in the monthly recurring revenue or high-ticket project space
  • Differences between B2B and B2C marketing
  • Effective tactics for B2B marketing, including LinkedIn and SEO
  • Revenue strategy statement and its importance
  • Kyle's role as a change agent within organizations
  • Signs indicating the readiness for a fractional leader
  • Cost-effective option for small businesses
  • Case study and upcoming book by Kyle Mealey

About Kyle Mealy:

Kyle Mealy is a distinguished leader, educator, and motivational speaker who thrives on harnessing the latent potential within entrepreneurial ventures and their leadership. He excels in transforming businesses and individuals, facilitating breakthroughs to elevate them to their next level of success. His dynamic approach and energetic focus consistently yield significant improvements in performance and growth for the businesses he engages with.

His approachable teaching style and adept public speaking skills enable him to captivate large audiences, making complex concepts feel intimate and relatable. Kyle's passion is evident in his impactful delivery and the practical content he shares, derived from his extensive experience in coaching and executive leadership. Under his guidance, entrepreneurs he has coached have seen their profits soar up to tenfold, with businesses averaging a 35% annual increase in top-line revenue growth. His methods inspire and deliver tangible results, making him a sought-after figure in business development.

About Next Level Coaching:

Next Level Coaching offers transformative business solutions through its Fractional Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) service, tailored specifically for small businesses with revenues between $1 million and $10 million. This service is designed to overcome plateaus in profit and growth, particularly in client service and recurring revenue models. By deploying the Next Level Revenue Model, the team at Next Level Coaching helps businesses implement scalable systems for marketing and sales, driven by data-informed decision-making and a focus on profitable revenue growth.

Under Kyle Mealy's guidance, Next Level Coaching guarantees not just improvement but a doubling of top-line revenue within three years or less. The approach focuses on increasing the predictability and valuation of client businesses. For companies experiencing growth without corresponding profit increases, Next Level Coaching emphasizes the need to scale operations profitably. Their strategy, backed by proven success rates, encourages leaders to adopt courageous and innovative approaches to achieve substantial financial outcomes.

Tweetable Moments:

13:52 – “We're going to focus on one thing we're only going to focus on it because it's what we're the best at, and that's how we've added almost a million to the bottom line in six months.”

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out Next Level Coaching’s website at

Check out Next Level Coaching on LinkedIn at

Check out Kyle Mealy on LinkedIn at

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Josh (00:00:05) - Hey there a thoughtful listener. Are you looking for introductions to partners, investors, influencers, and clients? Well, I've had private conversations with over 2000 leaders asking them where their best business comes from. I've got a free video you can watch with no opt in required, where I'll share the exact steps necessary to be 100% inbound in your industry over the next 6 to 8 months, with no spam, no ads, and no sales. What I teach has worked for me for over 15 years and has helped me create eight figures in revenue for my own companies. Just head to up my influence comm and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for great guests. Go to up my influence. Com and click on podcast. I'd love to have you. With us right now. Kyle Mealy. Kyle, you are the CEO of Next Level. You are found on the web at ready for the Next Level. Com Kyle Mealy, thank you so much for joining us.

Kyle (00:01:16) - Thanks, Josh. I'm really, really excited to be here.

Josh (00:01:19) - Absolutely. All the way from Milwaukee, Wisconsin a place where I've spent a little bit of time. Well, Kyle. Tell me a bit about what you do with next level.

Kyle (00:01:28) - Sure. Yeah. I saw this weakness in in the B2B and small business space. You know, those under 10 million, they can't really afford a full time marketing exec or even a high powered fractional marketing exec. They can't afford a full time sales exec. They need both. And there are not many people who can do both. And so I built a formula in some past successes I've had, and now I come as a fractional small business chief revenue officer to do marketing and sales. And that drives new revenue.

Josh (00:01:57) - Wow. Tell me a bit more about the kind of the roles and responsibilities, because usually I think sometimes when we think about the roles of a CRO, I'm sure they're kind of mindful of sales, but mostly they're there to make sure that the books work.

Josh (00:02:11) - I don't know, know, maybe you could just kind of, give us just a bit of an overview of all of the, you know, typically, you know, what a CRO would be concerned with day to day.

Kyle (00:02:22) - Yeah, there's a lot of ways to describe a CRO. And so the the place I'm carving out in this little world, in this modern world, is living in the marketing and sales side of the of the equation. I wrote a really interesting article about, you know, the CRO and the CFO, the new power duo. Normally, you know, your finance people and marketing tend to be at odds because what wants to spend one wants to save. And so I think of myself as like the profit oriented revenue leader. So I'm going to really look at margin first and then build a battle plan that's really profitable. So I end up sitting over marketing and sales seats. But you know, the CFO and I are friendly because I'm not spending money just because I need to build brand.

Josh (00:03:05) - And Kyle, what types of companies do you work with?

Kyle (00:03:08) - I keep Niching into a, you know, a very simple lane. They are monthly recurring revenue or they have a high ticket project. You're talking, you know, if it's a monthly recurring revenue a couple thousand a month or big projects, right, 20, 30, $50,000. they're in the professional services space. You know, they have a technical product or some sort of complicated product, like people, and they're B2B and so generally they're under 10 million. So pretty specific little world I live in, I've kind of built my whole formula around, you know, succeeding in that world and have started to, you know, see a lot of different ways of leveraging it in that space. And it keeps coming up, you know, ACS.

Josh (00:03:46) - Yeah. Tell me about the world, because I, I don't know if you've dabbled in B2C, but tell me about your observations of working in the B2B world.

Kyle (00:03:54) - Yeah. When you start getting into the high ticket, right, you're starting to talk thousands a month.

Kyle (00:03:59) - You know, those are decisions that are made, usually in small business world by CEOs or at least some other level of, of, you know, executive team. Right? You have a CEO or a number two leader and a CEO making decisions. Those folks are hard to crack into, right? It's hard to get a time with them, and they require a ton of trust because the product is so expensive, you know, relative to their size. Whereas B2C, you know, it's more of a knife fight. Like, I always think of B2C as a knife fight, your price delivery, and then you're trying to do features and benefits. You know, it's more of a marketing approach when it's B2C, especially with the power of digital. when you talk about B2B in these kind of expensive products, you've got to manage a marketing funnel, you've got to create awareness to your product and trust all up here, and then you've got to carry that message. You've got to carry that simplicity and, you know, education of your prospect all the way through sales.

Kyle (00:04:52) - And what I keep finding is that most businesses have a leaky funnel or a leaky sales pipeline. And so I just kind of put all those together in one simple way, because that, you know, when you're small business, you need simple. You don't need complex.

Josh (00:05:06) - That's true. So in terms of tactics, are there typical things that you ultimately say, okay, we're going to start needing to do more of this. Anything you see, like here we are in the middle of getting toward the middle of 2024 things or activity that seems to be working well for a lot of B2B.

Kyle (00:05:28) - Yeah, B2B it keeps coming back to I have like what I would call strategies, and then I always put strategies in front of tactics, right. So that the clear tactics that I love and spend a lot of time on is LinkedIn. I think LinkedIn is a still undervalued tool, and then SEO is still undervalued, right? Because those are both traffic generating and into target audience. And you can be really specific with what you're trying to do with both of those tactics.

Kyle (00:05:54) - But I think about, you know, what I really think about strategies, the two things that are in my formula one, it's something unique. I call it the revenue strategy statement. And so what we do is we're going to write down our unique opinion, and we're going to use that in every sales and marketing decision we make. So we're either achieving this revenue strategy statement or not. So one that I really love for one of my clients. Now they're more in the B2C side, but whatever. They have to drive visibility to these trail guides that they make. So it's playful, it's cute, but they are not well known in their space. So drive visibility, you know, pushes us towards going up funnel, you know, working through Facebook, which is better for the B2C side. And so once we have this revenue strategy statement then we can start to pick tactics. We can start to say, okay, we're going to do LinkedIn. You know, thought leadership because we can explain this better that way.

Kyle (00:06:49) - Or you know, there's other like then there's tools of expanding your network really fast on LinkedIn. So it's usually some like that's my home run is going into LinkedIn about 3 or 4 different ways.

Josh (00:07:00) - Yeah. And do you find like when you, when you're working within an organization, you're kind of embedding yourself obviously you know, as a fractional leader. What is that transition usually like when you come in like how do teams adapt to you. Do you come in and start cracking the whip and some people don't like you or like, what is it? What does he usually look like?

Kyle (00:07:21) - I would hate to say that people don't like me, but I like not going to ignore that I'm a change agent, right? Like I'm in and you know where I come in is I always come in and I start talking about reality, and I talk about reality not in a subjective way. I talk about it in an objective data analytics way. Again, back to why CFOs tend to love me is because I'm going to look at the numbers and the hard numbers and, and actually, you know, just ask questions around them.

Kyle (00:07:43) - And that's when it gets uncomfortable is when I look at our reality and I say, okay, you know, one of the things I do is a is a special metric that, you know, I put into place for many of the businesses I work with. And it's like our efficiency right now is low, like. That can't change. We're not healthy as a business. You say you we need more marketing. Well, we can't afford it until we change this number. So what's the plan? To change those numbers? And then I start to get a really good assessment of what kind of skills and and know how and experience I have in there. And before I cut, I coach. I always coach because I think everybody shows up to work wanting to do a really good job. Nobody shows up to work trying to be bad. So that usually means there's an education gap or an accountability gap. So before I cut, I coach now the coaching cycle, depending on kind of the the risk to the business, you know, shortens and the intensity increases.

Kyle (00:08:34) - Because at the end of the day, I'm a cost. I look at myself as a cost and I have to drive an ROI. And if I'm holding on to someone who isn't going to get there in the time frame we need, well, that's when, you know, obviously we have to have those tough conversations, but I think that's the value I bring is a separate set of eyes, you know, that can look at it with numbers versus, you know, sometimes small business owners to a detriment, treat their team like family and at the end of the day, like if you want to go where you want to go, Mr. CEO or Mrs. CEO, this person isn't going to get you there.

Josh (00:09:06) - How might an organization or a leader know they are ready for a fractional leader?

Kyle (00:09:12) - the two that I always run into is, you know, the visionary is or the CEO keeps finding themselves going into the marketing room and like saying we don't have a marketing strategy. the other is they're still in the sales seat in some way somehow.

Kyle (00:09:28) - Now sometimes you know CEOs like being in the sales seat. But there's also CEOs who have to be in the sales seat. And if you're if you have to be in the sales seat or you have to interrupt or do stuff with marketing, then you call me.

Josh (00:09:42) - Yeah. And, you know, in terms of like the, you know, the opportunity to now bring in a fractional CRO. I mean, obviously, you know, if you think about the stages of business, right. There's I'd say, you know, in terms of the money side, you've got your bookkeepers, you got your tax, you know, advisor and you know, someone that's helping you with taxes. Right. And then, you know, accounting. And then there's that jump to bringing in a fractional leader. And then of course, you know, full time CRO I guess, you know, in terms of investment, obviously, you know, there's how expensive is it to bring in a fractional CRO. Not just you or you know, you know, just.

Kyle (00:10:23) - It's interesting because I don't I've looked there are not many people doing what I'm doing. Like truly I've tried to find them in the marketplace. You know, generally Cros are kind of bucketed into more of a sales seat and more of like a sales ops. customer relationships, upselling. That's not me. I like to think of my flavor as a marketing oriented. Yeah. So and I kind of work on that front end of the funnel and, and there's not many people doing that in small business because small business, B2B marketing is just kind of this question mark. Now, you might have a good sales person who can kind of carry it the rest of the way. but to more, more specifically answer your question, I found when I was going in and doing my research into this space, you know, there was fractional chief marketing officers that were 10 to 15 K. Well, they only solve half of the revenue problem. I literally think of it as marketing plus sales equals revenue. So they would solve half.

Kyle (00:11:17) - Okay. Well now you need a sales person, a decent sales person in B2B. And gosh, in 2024 you're paying 120. And that may be before comp or before bonus. And so now we're talking about 25,000 just to have two liters in it. To have two liters like that goes well, two captains on a boat always works. so I come in at about 10,000 a month because I know for most small businesses, that's what they can afford. And the other thing that I do that I don't think most do is if if I could show you my hands and they would be dirty. But keyboards don't really carry enough dirt. So I've been there. I love the kind of the fresh business who's like, we kind of have done stuff in marketing, but it's kind of okay. And it's like, okay, you know, I put on my, my, my gloves and I get to work. so I do the lifting, which is a little different. So I again, I land at that ten k because I know that's what can be afforded.

Josh (00:12:10) - Yeah. Right. And obviously, you know, investment in you if you're a pro growth leader then you're going to come with inevitable ROI, right. Otherwise there's no point in investing in you.

Kyle (00:12:22) - Yep. Yep. You just that's the whole thing.

Josh (00:12:24) - Yeah sure.

Kyle (00:12:25) - I look at myself as a call center on day one, which that means I have to work quick. And so that's one of the things because in in the way I'm going to score myself and present, you know, to the because most small business teams don't know what to put in marketing. They're putting like impressions from their websites like, hey, that doesn't mean anything. And so I bring metrics that mean something, and it's a measure of our success in the revenue department, marketing, sales, me and I, immediately, you know, every business, when they start with me, they take a hit because I'm a new cost. And then I've got to get us out of that. You know, I take a step backward and so it's on me to drive two steps forward quickly.

Josh (00:13:02) - I would imagine, any case studies come to mind of someone that you've worked with and, and kind of what you guys were able to do together.

Kyle (00:13:09) - Yeah, two really fun ones. I'll share the first one because they've been a lot of fun. Really well known player in a community, but disjointed from a marketing and kind of like how to connect it to sales. So they didn't really say, you know what they did well. And so one of the other things I bring besides the revenue strategy statement is I bring this idea of we have to formulate a unique opinion in business space. We have to have a unique thing. and what does that really look like? There's a lot of recruiting agencies out there. And they all try. And you know, we understand people. We're good at finding people. It's like, no, no, no, no. What do you do better than everybody else? More than like a feature and a benefit. Let's drill in. And so I spent a lot of time with the CEO.

Kyle (00:13:52) - And they had a sales leader in that space too, saying, we're going to focus on one thing. We're only going to focus on it, and it's because it's what we're the best at. And so we put together a whole campaign around that. We actually created a day for the the executive hire that they're the best at. And we had about, I don't know, 30,000 engagements on it. It was crazy. We kind of had a little viral moment. And what do you know, their leads have now doubled. Weekly leads have doubled. They went from 6 to 12 and they're selling a $27,000 project. So and they're closed rate is still staying at 30% even with the new volume of leads. So I mean, we we've added almost a million and bottom line in six months just through real strategic marketing and sales. They're fun. That's a fun one.

Josh (00:14:34) - Yeah, indeed. Your website ready for the next level. Com and it looks as though you may have some good resources. I'd recommend connecting with you on LinkedIn.

Josh (00:14:43) - But you know someone that's been listening to our conversation and, you know, maybe they'd like to learn more. I don't know if there's any kind of pillar content or maybe a particular article from your blog or. Well, how about your book? which is coming soon. I mean.

Kyle (00:14:59) - It's so close, I can't even tell you how close it is. I actually had a full manuscript and had to walk it back because it wasn't where I wanted it to be. And so kind of iteration to. But I'm much happier with it. It is the formula. It is the recipe. one of the things that if, you know, if anybody reaches out and mentions your your podcast, I will give them what I call. It's one of my tools. It's called the revenue cascade. And the revenue cascade is a way to look at your marketing funnel and sales pipeline in one clear view. Because most of the businesses I work with, you know, the the CEO comes back, I've got this tactic I want to try because I saw it on LinkedIn, and then they shove it into the program and then kind of chaos reigns, and that's where you get all these kind of random things going on.

Kyle (00:15:38) - But this allows us to look at the whole funnel and pipe at the same time, and then target actions to fix certain pieces. So I call it the revenue cascade. I've got a PDF and a one sheet that I can share, not a one sheeter, but a worksheet that you can work through to see your revenue cascade.

Josh (00:15:54) - Yeah. and where is that? so your website ready for the next to.

Kyle (00:15:58) - Be on LinkedIn or reach out to me on next level, correct.

Josh (00:16:00) - Yeah I got it, got it, got it, got it, got it. Okay. Good. So in terms of like what you see on the horizon, you know just you do this day in day out, any major trends that you would say. Yeah, I would really anybody, whether you're working with me or not, here's what I would recommend you pay attention to over the next 6 to 12 months.

Kyle (00:16:22) - Two things that are going on. So I'm going to, you know, it's kind of, you know, late or mid or early quarter to 2024.

Kyle (00:16:29) - So I'm going to timestamp this and let my future casting go. We're seeing a slowdown like I think across all the clients that my team and I work on. We're seeing kind of a slowdown and extension of sales cycles. So that's one trend I'm seeing and I expect that to continue into quarter two here. the other one is is in it's it's just starting to boil. And I'm trying to push it out there because I believe in it so much is we've got to stop segmenting sales and marketing and small business. We cannot silo them anymore. The whole world has globalized. We are more interconnected than ever in marketing, and sales need to be interconnected and thought about as one department. None of us can afford a separate marketing and sales department. We just can't. So if we think about it as integrated, you're going to increase your efficiency, decrease the friction and move faster. So stop calling it sales and marketing. Start calling it the revenue department, because at the end of the day, they're both trying to do revenue.

Josh (00:17:22) - I like that, I like that. All right. Good okay. So again your website ready for the next And again you've got a contact form there. And then certainly through LinkedIn as well. to get those resources that you shared earlier. And any idea on the book proposed title or anything like that.

Kyle (00:17:41) - It's the next level formula. Can you tell there's a theme? I'm trying to be really consistent. My my unique opinion like. And the fun part for me is I do my own thing. Right? So I have a fractional CRO from my business because I'm a small B2B business that's professional service, that's monthly recurring revenue, high ticket sale. Right? I do my own stuff. And, you know, my unique opinion is this marketing plus sales equals revenue. And the book is literally my process. Like I'm a like one of my core values is I give more than I get. So I'm literally going to like write down everything I do. And that's what the book is. my team has put a deadline for me to finish the manuscript at the end of the month, and I think that is very realistic.

Kyle (00:18:20) - So. All right.

Josh (00:18:22) - Well, Kyle, mainly fractional chief revenue officer and founder of Next Level, you're found on the web at ready for the Next Kyle, thank you so much for joining us.

Kyle (00:18:33) - Thank you Josh really appreciate it.

Josh (00:18:41) - Thanks for listening to the Thoughtful Entrepreneur show. If you are a thoughtful business owner or professional who would like to be on this daily program, please visit up my influence. Com and click on podcast. We believe that every person has a message that can positively impact the world. We love our community who listens and shares our program every day. Together, we are empowering one another as thoughtful leaders. And as I mentioned at the beginning of this program, if you're looking for introductions to partners, investors, influencers, and clients, I have had private conversations with over 2000 leaders asking them where their best business comes from. I've got a free video that you can watch right now with no opt in or email required, where I'm going to share the exact steps necessary to be 100% inbound in your industry over the next 6 to 8 months, with no spam, no ads, and no sales.

Josh (00:19:40) - What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create eight figures in revenue for my own companies. Just head to up my influence. Com and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. Make sure to hit subscribe so that tomorrow morning. That's right, seven days a week you are going to be inspired and motivated to succeed. I promise to bring positivity and inspiration to you for around 15 minutes every single day. Thanks for listening and thank you for being a part of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur movement.

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