Thought Leadership for Upselling, Cross-selling and New Logos

Gale Strategies delivers a system that activates customer champions to drive upselling, cross-selling and new logos.

Businesses that succeeded in 2023:

  • Said something their competition were unwilling to say
  • Developed peer-to-peer networks of customers
  • Channeled these into streamlined production of customer-driven, sales-ready thought leadership

Click here to download our one-pager and learn more.




Systems of Record are Required for Systems of Intelligence

Businesses need systems of record. Only when we have systems of record can we have systems of intelligence. And business leaders who develop systems of intelligence within their organizations will define the next frontier in their sector.

Let’s look at financial crime.

Systems of record at a bank or fund services firm can allow teams to learn about and then store info on a particular financial scam or scheme. When a bad actor attempts to repeat that scheme, the system of record recognizes it from its databank and can tell systems or people to shut down that bad actor.

But financial criminals know how banks and other institutions work. They are constantly changing their methods and schemes. It’s not enough for bankers or fund administrators to defend against the same types of crime. They must look for the same repeating patterns in their data. They need to defend against the crimes of the future. These crimes may look nothing like previous digital heists or fraudulent transactions.

The learning loop

This foresight requires a system of intelligence. AI tools should power it. These tools can run perpetual analyses on incoming data. They identify known dangers and flag suspicious “unknown unknowns.” These may indicate criminal activity. This kind of smart system helps bankers or other business leaders make breakthroughs. They do this based on the data that’s been collected. They provide foresight for what might come next using probabilities based on the system of record.

Systems of intelligence – a term coined by author Geoffrey Moore in 2017 – look deeper into transactional data to uncover the most well-hidden risks lurking within an organization. The feedback loop of finding new crimes then helps create new rules, keeping pace with the criminals while maintaining an expanding archive of their schemes.

More crime

It’s never been more important for financial firms to show they are serious about financial crime. The cost of financial crime compliance in the United States was predicted to hit almost $46 billion in 2022, up from more than $26 billion in 2019. Global financial crime costs banks north of $2 trillion annually.

Finance and investing firms need systems that are agile enough to confront the compliance challenges of tomorrow and take on the ever-expanding amount of work involved in financial crime and transaction monitoring. Only AI-powered solutions at this stage can deliver this level of efficiency and security.

As the Wall Street Journal’s Richard Vanderford reported, customers and regulations increasingly expect banks, funds, and others to deploy financial-crime-detecting AI systems. There’s no other way to scour billions of transactions while money launderers, human traffickers, drug dealers, and other criminals grow more sophisticated and tech-savvy daily. Vanderford cited AI proponents, saying, “AI can do the job better, require less staff, and enable continuous check-ups on customers and transactions for money-laundering issues and sanctions violations.”

From financial crime to heart attacks

To understand the power of AI-driven systems of intelligence in confronting these myriad challenges, it’s worth looking at how similar tools are revolutionizing health care – specifically preventing heart attacks.

The Semmelweis University Heart and Vascular Center in Hungary has treated thousands of patients with heart disease. They collected troves of data and images to create a patient similarity network. In short, they had a potentially powerful system of record. However unlocking the system’s potential required deploying an AI platform. The platform found patterns and delivered insights. This was achieved through a combination of topological data analysis and supervised and unsupervised learning.

The Center created a system of intelligence that is now detecting cardiovascular risk sooner, predicting patient outcomes more accurately — and saving lives.


This example shows how a system of record is only the first step in deploying data to improve outcomes. Taking the next step allows organizations to identify recurring problems. And they do it far more effectively. They start looking ahead constantly to identify risk. During a time of staff shortages and rising demands across sectors, AI crucially allows companies to increase efficiency without increasing head counts.

More than three in four financial executives see AI-enabled risk detection driving improvements in fraud prevention over the next year, according to a recent survey. More than half see it driving advancements in credit decisions and cost savings.

Firms with a system of intelligence stand to see significant reductions on two fronts. They significantly cut costs. And they avoid the potentially crushing blow of attacks or missed opportunities.


Multiplayer Professional Services Are Eclipsing the Single-Player Variety, and It’s About Time

Lawyers, accountants, and marketers can learn a lot from Fortnite and Donkey Kong

Too many professional services firms are approaching today’s world of Fortnite-like complexity with strategies more appropriate for Donkey Kong.

Here’s what’s going on.

Web1 games and arcades

The concept behind the classic video game Donkey Kong is simple. For 25 cents at an arcade, a player could guide the hero, Mario, up the girders and ladders of a construction site to rescue the distressed Pauline, who was being held hostage by Donkey Kong, a giant scary ape (though actually the protagonist if you know the actual backstory). Along the way, poor Mario would have to jump over or destroy obstacles like barrels and fireballs that Donkey Kong at the top of the steel tower rolled his way.

The whole thing took place in two highly pixelated dimensions and four colors, pitting the player against the CPU-controlled ape. The game was the cutting-edge star of the early 1980s vibrant arcade scene. By today’s standards, it looks painfully dated, but the franchise became a cultural icon, spawning films, and fashion trends.

The podcast Acquired has a great rundown of the game in the context of the history of Nintendo. We can’t recommend it enough.

Enter… more players

Fortnite, in contrast, is much more sophisticated. And Acquired does a great job with that larger story too.

The game presents three-dimensional hybrid worlds featuring zombies, traps, and fights to the death against dozens of live players who are simultaneously online anywhere around the world. Within months of its release, Fortnite — which can be played on any major computer or gaming format — had become a true cultural phenomenon. Four years later, it remains on the cutting edge.

We could keep going with the evolution of this process by tackling Roblox, but let’s keep it to these two.

So, you’re going to extend the analogy to lawyers?

Now let’s apply this contrast to our industry (marketing) and other professional services like fund administration for instance. In fact, let’s focus on fund services where interesting things are afoot.

Fund services are generally the outsourced partner accounting and operations work of venture capital and private equity firms.

One can view fund services as a series of individual workflows. Composing these workflows are many tasks related to each stage of a particular service. Each stage may include numerous financial reviews and revisions, like attorney approvals, name corrections, and adding phrases here or there to documents, before the service can move forward to its completion. The process is like an assembly line. It’s Donkey Kong.

Serial work vs. parallel processing

Automation makes the process easier and faster. An assembly line worker who has been manually installing rivets will be more productive with an electric rivet gun. It’s much more efficient. But it’s still an assembly line. It still requires the worker responsible for one stage of service to complete the job before passing his work along to the next stage. It’s still Donkey Kong.

Most financial services software reflects the pitfalls of the single-player approach. Single-player software is helpful because one person can go in, do his or her work, and leave so someone else can enter and complete the next step. It’s orderly. But it’s also limited. Project leaders and team members, for example, don’t necessarily know where things stand, for anything at any given point, unless they are in the application. None of the people involved knows where they are in the workflow until everything is completed.

In a multi-player professional service or fund administration model that resembles Fortnite, in contrast, far fewer people must wait for someone else to complete their job before another phase can begin. Numerous people can be in an application or document at the same time. Anyone given access can make necessary changes and everyone can see what everyone is doing.

Let the adventure begin!

Multiple actors can simultaneously review and amend documents. Everyone is always dealing with the current version of the text. It doesn’t matter if they are internal, external, or from a third party. It doesn’t matter if they are in the same place or working from points scattered around the globe. Everybody sees the dialogue and decisions that are being made in real-time. Monitoring progress is built-in, making it easier to understand the status of a process at any time. It’s Fortnite.

In Donkey Kong, Mario could only ever rescue Pauline. In Fortnite, you can do so much more.


Here’s how it applies to fund services for example: In a single-player financial tech application, a financial services provider can see a document that a limited partnership has sent, verify the data and note that lawyers have signed off on it. When it’s a multiplayer system, the fund services partner can see and do all of those tasks but also observe delays or problems across limited partnerships and, importantly, intervene and act quickly to fix them. In addition to the fund services partner understanding where tasks are within the flow, they have full audit control with transparency across all parties in the flow.

This is where leaders in the industry like 4Pines Fund Services come in. In the software development world, the multiplayer approach is not particularly new. But it was rare in the private equity industry — up until recently. These kinds of changes are generating a buzz as budgets and operations are getting more focused. This is only going to increase.

This is also where a co-sourcing approach to data and cutting-edge fund administration tech stack comes in, for example, to fix real problems. You’re working to close communication gaps and fix transparency issues between fund managers, investors, and service providers. Most importantly, you’re helping chief financial officers and general partners to identify bottlenecks and key performance indicators to improve speed and efficiency. The automated system reduces human error significantly at critical points within clients’ workflows. Everything is near-instantly trackable, traceable, and auditable.

Fund administrators and private equity managers seeking the most innovative professional services are opting for the multiplayer approach. And this is happening in marketing and legal services.

In private capital, it improves communication between general partners, limited partners, and analysts. It efficiently shepherds sub-docs and other correspondence and compliance through quick and efficient approval processes.  It replaces slow pipelines and obstacles with the latest technologies and solutions that keep fund services running flexibly, seamlessly, and dependably.

So what about your industry? Are you ready to play at a higher level? You’d better be.


The Online Industrial Experience Is Gravitating Toward A Single Screen

CEOs are trying to squeeze out opportunities with smaller budgets, despite ongoing supply chain snags and amid questions on rates and inflation. They are undertaking major overhauls of their sales and marketing strategies as what seem to be the last vestiges of physical commerce migrate online.

Now many companies are discovering that, while they have prioritized the reinvention of customer-facing products like websites and webinars, they don’t necessarily have the foundations that allow them to capitalize on the new tools they’ve created.

On one hand, they’ve embarked on digital restarts in order to keep pace with the competition. On the other, they now fear a digital nightmare as the web-portal façade of their business shows signs of strain as they rush to deliver at the new pace of sales that their digital strategy has delivered.

Executives who might feel as if they are frauds because they’re in this predicament aren’t alone. Many CEOs are realizing they’ve been underinvesting in the core operational processes and technologies necessary to efficiently and effectively turn around quotes and deliver products in an increasingly dynamic world even as they’ve kept pace with Industry 4.0 and similar developments in their plants. They need tools to marry their front-end and back-end capabilities, in other words.

The solution lies in unified e-commerce platforms, or one-stop-shop applications that can be customized to specific businesses to manage B2B and B2C transactions, sales orders, marketplaces, and vendors in a manner that integrates with enterprise resource planning, from supply chain oversight to human resources.

Questions, questions, questions…

The following questions can help CEOs to understand how to become heroes in this era digital transformation.

Do your supply chains operate with resiliency and flexibility? Do they meet customer needs and at the same time cope with constant, fast-changing market conditions?

Having easy-to-use order management, e-commerce, organized data streams, and constant access enables visibility, efficiency, flexibility and the power to anticipate product lifecycles, delivery speeds and market demand for personalization and customization. The goal is not necessarily to know more about supply chains. It’s about knowing how to manage supply chains in order to deliver products consistently. Much of that information is already within a company’s daily business flows. But many companies lack e-commerce solutions that help them unlock the insights that would help them overcome supply chain challenges.

Do you have cloud-based enterprise commerce systems and processes? Can you deliver data visibility and integrity across core operations?

Enterprise commerce sits at the heart of the business. It needs to be customized to the way your company works. In manufacturing, SymphonyAI has pointed out it’s not enough to have automation. It has to be tuned to the culture and capacity of your business to incorporate automation into workflows. Otherwise, your business will pay a price with employee burnout. The same goes for order management and commerce. Can you enable leading edge decision-making to unlock realistic innovation and drive growth?

Are you leveraging a complete technology approach effectively to unlock performance efficiencies and ownership mindsets in your talent?

The U.S. rate of employee churn across industries is 22 percent. CEOs understand this problem well. Replacing a frontline employee can cost sixteen percent of what would be paid in wages if they stayed. Finding more senior level professionals can cost six to nine months of their salary.

Communications is perhaps the best way to retain talent. Forrester found in the early days of the pandemic, for example, only about 43 percent of employees believed their organization had a plan for what was happening. Getting that right made it easier for executives to focus on customers and other stakeholders. Finally, installing a business continuity plan for the duration based on strong employee communications and performance loops delivers value.

Finally, can your business support your customers’ drive to take control of configuring and pricing complex products and services and get the self-help and support they want digitally?

If you want to optimize revenue, you will need to offer up and refine a low friction buyer and customer experience. Get this right, and you will also gain normalized useful data you can invest downstream in business and financial functions, in addition to learning about your customers and monetizing what you see. Mark Nathan at Zipari has been a pioneer in this area for the health insurance many manufacturers look to for their teams.

Unified commerce

These core operational processes define intelligent, integrated and agile cloud-savvy businesses.

Direct digital transformation investments are expected to total $6.8 trillion globally between 2020 and 2023. That’s a compound annual growth rate of almost 16 percent, according to IDC. What’s called the digital transformation services market is forecasted to reach $186 billion by 2024.

Moving computing power off company-owned machines and onto more nimble cloud-based services is the evolution that every industry is undergoing at present. Gartner predicts that global spending on cloud services will approach $400 billion next year. That’s almost a 50 percent increase compared to last year.

And yet spending money does not equate becoming a new hero of the digital restart. It takes more than cash to overcome the struggle with legacy technological debt. Beyond technology, the emerging digital manufacturing leaders are also looking at the organizational, process and cultural foundations of their businesses. Asking these questions starts companies on the right path.

What’s next?

The result is avoiding lost sales opportunities, distribution shortfalls, inconsistent financial management, sub-optimal resource planning and high employee turnover.

Making all this happen, frankly, will take more than the services of most consultancies today. Staffing agencies masquerading as true business partners won’t cut it. And few digital transformation prophets are purpose-built to innovate the next generation of digital operating platforms for the next generation of commercial pioneers.

But the market has a way of pulling forward what it needs to move to the next level. CEOs can and will rise to the challenge of satisfying record high demand while simultaneously harnessing the technology of the future.