Professional summary

Mark Palmer focuses on the discovery and execution of the next steps to achieving your overall objective. He leads his clients to find the small incremental steps, executed in the right order to accomplish revolutionary results.

Mark is passionate about strong Execution. He invests sufficient time upfront to understand the objective and the context to enable such execution. Then he intervenes to make a difference, one hour at a time. Clients descriptions of his expertise include success coach, excuse remover, accountability partner, empowerment coach.

He has a broad, "mistake-based" experience – a career of over three decades of fixing both his mistakes and the mistakes of others. He believes that the greatest learnings come from mistakes.

Engagement overview

A series of 1-hour online meetings over a specific period of time. A typical engagement would be bi-weekly meetings for a 90-day period of time. The outcome of each meeting is an agreed upon action(s) necessary to accomplish the goal.


• Visus, LLC - Software Development Company
• Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics - Federally Qualified Health Clinic
• Citrix On-Line - Cloud Based Services
• Blue Marble Game company - Games for Rehabilitation

Case Studies

Ground work of creating awareness about the firm amongst organizations touched by rehabilitation was already accomplished by the Founders. Narrowing the focus to formulate a “go-to-market’ strategy was the need of the hour... Read more

The firm bid for a fixed price project to be accomplished within 5,000 hours. Due to unclear definition of end results and constant changes in specifications, actual effort exceeded 7,000 Hours.

This led to an excess cost of $0.5 Mn at standard billing rates. Needless to say, it was a serious client issue and revenue risk. .. Read more

The clinics had exhausted their line of credit for operating expenses and were placing a huge burden on the already overloaded emergency room. The clinics were in jeopardy of closure because they had a mission to treat all patients, regardless of their ability to pay.

There was a sharp rise in the number of people who couldn’t pay for the services. In addition to a decline in community giving, ... Read more

With $5 Mn on credit, the new owner of the firm was always struggling with funds management. There was immense pressure every month to cover payroll of 32 employees. .. Read more


Subordinates who lack initiative often escalate common roadblocks to their managers. Or micro-managers often automatically start working on tasks their subordinates are supposed to perform. Either way, the result is the same. Managers end up doing the work their direct reports should be doing.

This is a failure of the manager, the subordinate and the organization.

Here is a good ground rule for ... Read more

Driving growth and innovation means taking risks. Making mistakes. Failing faster.

Leaders should encourage people to take time to understand why mistakes happened in order to minimize them in the future. They should openly and proactively discuss past mistakes, not merely for accountability, but much more critically to identify the root causes and lessons learnt. This is how smart teams get sm... Read more

Smart B2B companies go the extra mile to segment their clients and establish special processes to serve their core client base (high margins, high volumes, high potential). Here are some best practices:

1. Engage Through a Customized Model. Leverage the sales and account management team members who have the best rapport with the client's leadership team. Coach them to take a longer-term view of... Read more

Offering discounts train your client to expect more price concessions in the future. Instead smart suppliers use their negotiating power to shift the conversation. Some tips:

- Focus on value: If the client understands the full value of the offering and its importance to their business, they are less likely to try to rattle you by threatening to switch suppliers.

- Avoid early involvement of... Read more

Often businesses fail to explore all the options available to them for growth. They over-rely on conventional strategies like M&A, geographic expansion, pricing change, and product extensions. None of these options work when capital markets are tight and consumer demand is weak.

Here is a more comprehensive framework to uncover growth opportunities:

1. Share-Of-Wallet Lens: Deepen and widen ... Read more

“Let’s schedule a meeting” is a common end to many workplace conversations. It also leads to incredible amount of wasted time. Some tips to be more efficient with your time:

1. Have you thought through the situation? It’s tempting to schedule a meeting to show progress. But unless brainstorming is key at that stage, scheduling a discussion is an inefficient use of everyone's time. First... Read more


The process for making a complex decision, need not be complex. Here are 3 steps to beat the anxiety and still end up making a better decision:

1. Hoard information – Get as much information as you can and discard impractical alternatives

2. Sleep on it – Leverage the power of your unconscious mind. Since, conscious mind is frequently distracted, you need you need undivided processing power ... Read more

If I were to answer the question of what is the most important and immediate step I could take, the answer would be to "define the big picture". My experience has shown that a request to be "big picture" implies that one has not included the company and/or departmental objectives in their thinking.

The frustration of the boss is a result of the fact that tactical implementation almost always l... Read more


In addition to the great input already received above, one of the most important elements in a job interview is “being you.” You are absolutely the best at being yourself. If a personal connection is made it will be the sincerity and validity of which the candidate communicates their answers to questions asked. The opportunity for a personal connection will not present itself until the interv... Read more


I agree that you have already received some great answers. I would add that your proposal should include your plan to fill your current position and responsibilities. Communicating both your understanding and willingness to move on to the bigger and broader task at hand... Read more


The current marketplace has become a catalyst for change in sales and sales management. Sales teams need to be more responsive and adaptable... Read more

The TBI Daily, by Realistic Hope: Traumatic Brain Injury News

Effective Sales Leadership Daily, by Sales Insights: updated automatically with a curated selection of articles, blog posts, videos and phot... Read more


Some do community service as a way to constructively use their time, taking on pleasant, perhaps even challenging, projects to help their favorite nonprofit. Mark Palmer has the reputation of diving into those voluntary positions most others avoid. A few years ago he found himself on the board of an organization that was in deep financial crisis, with about a month of solvency before it would have to close its doors. That agency provided first-line medical care to over 17,000 Santa Barbara individuals and families.

The closing of these clinics would have wrecked havoc on both those patients and the entire healthcare system in the county. While other board members made a quick exist, Mark Palmer leaned into this crisis, and led one of the more gutsy turnarounds of a nonprofit that I have witnessed as a private funder. No aspect of the organization's operations, staffing, and policies went untouched. In a period of 180 days, through a lot of tough-love, dedication, vision, and termination, Mark Palmer, as Chair of the Board, and his fellow trustees, led their organization away from sure bankruptcy and to a road of organizational health and growth.

Today, nearly 20,000 individuals and families are once again able to confidently depend on their neighborhood clinics. Government contracts have been renewed, a new clinic has been built, and private financial support has returned. None of these things would have happened without the selfless, quiet, but strong leadership of Mr. Mark Palmer. The Santa Barbara community owes him a huge debt of gratitude.

Ronald V. Gallo, Ed.D., President & CEO Santa Barbara Foundation

Mark is a former national sales-marketing exec with several very high-end tech firms in Silicon Valley, most notably a long/very successful tenure at Sun MicroSystems, working closely with founder/CEO Scott McNeely as they grew sales into the hundreds of millions.

Mark has beena fantastic entrepreneurship/innovation colleague of mine the last 15+ years here in SB, working closely with me on my SEED-National Collegiate Venture Forums, assist on my consulting projects, judge my bizPlan competition, guest speaking in my classes when I was traveling, and involved in local SB-area entre programs/initiatives in various capacities, including Central Coast MIT Enterprise Forum and the Technology Mgmt Program at your alma mater - UCSB.

Really knows his stuff and connects very well with every age, from college-univ. frosh, up thru grad students, as well as entrepreneurs and bizOwners of all generations.

Dr. David Newton, New Venture Consultant and Lecturer in Executive Development The Rady School of Management, UC-San Diego

Mark has given us valuable insights into our sales process that have moved the needle in scalability, productivity and sales management through a focus on best practices

Brett Caine, President Citrix Online

I have worked with Mark as a trusted advisor for over five years. He has helped me map out all the major functions of my company and look at my business with a fresh perspective. This has resulted in our ability to grow despite a difficult economy. Mark's process is now integral to my management process

Michael Daoud, CEO Visus, LLC
Project Proposals

1. Initial meeting with CEO or Head of Sales to,
a. discuss current customers and what new distribution channels we are trying to reach
b. identify 3 potential partners based on ease of getting access and how complimentary are your respective current offerings
c. answer: "Why should the company become your channel partner?"

2. Mark will help you craft a customized presentation to each of the... Read more

1. Initial discussion with CEO or Head of Sales on the overall sales goals Vs. the current situation. Understand expectations from the Sales team.

2. Review goals with the sales team, provide them with a 1-page template and request each member to come up with a game plan.
a. Name the prospects
b. How are they going to reach the prospects
c. How are they going to communicate the value proposi... Read more

First, Mark digs into the specifics of your company, people and processes, to help uncover what the real problems are. This is the most important part of his approach.

Once there is 100% clarity on the core problem, the next step is to find potential solutions, aligned to your context and long-term vision. He'll ask the tough questions to prepare you for your next move, whether it is product de... Read more